Countrywide Admits to Puffery in Advertising

Interesting admission from Countrywide regarding those claims of working to modify loans for homeowners. From MSNBC:

In marketing, advertising and testimony before Congress, Countrywide Home Loans has said repeatedly that it is working hard to modify the mortgages of financially strapped borrowers caught up in the subprime meltdown. But in a New Hampshire court, attorneys for the lending giant are singing a different tune, describing such assurances as “mere commercial puffery.”

Saying the modification offers are “only Countrywide’s vague advertisements,” attorneys for the lender are asking the court to throw out a lawsuit alleging breach of good faith, fraud, negligence and misrepresentation, which was filed on behalf of a family that was refused a loan modification by the California-based company.

Candor is much need these days.

Introducing Mike Moshofsky

Now that the NEW AZ Mortgage Guru has arrived, I am taking matters into my hands. I have decided that one person can only handle so much. Two is always better! So…in light of this revelation – well…and also being 9 months pregnant and about to go on maternity leave — I have decided to partner up with the Senior Mortgage Professional in our office, Mike.

Mike is THE MAN Shailesh and I have gone to for mortgage advice, input, information, help and coaching in the last 4 years. He is amazing. Not only does have a TON of experience and knowledge (over 20 years in the industry), but he is actually a great guy. Someone you’d want to hang out with after work and have a beer with.

So, without further ado… I interviewed my new partner, Mike Moshofsky for this blog to better introduce him to the online community.

Question: What makes you different from other lenders?

Answer: I am different from other lenders because of my knowledge, experience, integrity and work ethic. I personally have over 25 years of mortgage experience and a thorough knowledge of mortgage lending including FHA, VA, USDA Rural housing and conventional financing.  This experience and knowledge helps me identify potential problems early in the process and avoid these problems or solve them so we don’t have last minute surprises.  I believe in sprinting to the finish line and waiting for everyone else. Stress is eliminated when my documents are delivered to title well in advance of the close of escrow.  This makes happy buyers, and brings repeat clients and multiple referrals.

What characterizes you?

Integrity and honesty are my strongest characteristics.  The agents I have worked with for years know  they can count on me every time.  When I say something will happen they can rest assured it will.  My goal is to provide my agents and clients a quick approval that they can count on.  However, I believe a fast “no” is better than a slow “no”.  If a transaction has no chance, everyone would prefer  to know on day one, and not on day 31.

What about your work ethic and loyalty?

I work long hours Monday through Friday and am typically in my office working for my agents and clients from morning till night.  I am not the loan guy that spends all his time getting new agents and clients only to mess up the transaction so they have to go find other referral sources.  I want to take care of the referral sources I have.    That is my idea of a marketing plan.

What are some of your motto’s in this business?

A fast No is better than a slow No.

Under promise and over deliver.

If you think it is expensive to work with a professional, wait until you find the cost of working with someone that is not.

You have to know what you don’t know.  If you are not positive on an answer, get clarification.  Guessing is very expensive.

Never, Never, Never miss a close of escrow.

What advice would you give potential home-buyers and their agents when they are hunting for a mortgage professional?

There are many excellent loan officers out there.  The problem is there are also many unqualified loan officers and it is often hard to tell the difference.  Many sound great, but do not deliver.  My advice is to ask your Realtor for a referral of someone they have had positive results from in the past.  The Real Estate Agent wants you to work with a professional that consistently delivers quality service at a competitive price.

What do you love about this business?

I love figuring out ways to close mortgages that other said were impossible.  I love dealing with first time homebuyers and their energy and excitement when they get the keys to their first home.

What do you hate about this business?

I hate the fact that there are so many non-professionals in the industry.  I believe we need to have licensing, required training and be held to a higher standard.

I look forward to working with Mike during this time of change for me and my family. I plan on working until the day I give birth and then afterward will take some time off. I will be accessible through eMail a few weeks following the birth, but will not be back in full time action until 2 months. I really appreciate Mike stepping in and helping out during this time.

To contact Mike, please use the following methods!

E-mail: mmoshofsky@primelending.com

Direct: 480-346-8383

Cell: 480-332-8545

Fax: 866-908-6596

McCain Changes Mind on Solutions to Mortgage Mess

Senator McCain reversed his position to let the market sort out the mortgage mess. Yesterday he talked about “using all the resources of this government and great nation to create opportunity and make sure that every deserving American has a good job and can achieve their American dream.” This is in sharp contrast to his comments on March 25th when he said:

I have always been committed to the principle that it is not the duty of government to bail out and reward those who act irresponsibly, whether they are big banks or small borrowers. Government assistance to the banking system should be based solely on preventing systemic risk that would endanger the entire financial system and the economy.

John McCainI have much admiration for Senator McCain. In fact he is my man this year – especially considering the fact that the Democrats can’t get their act together and seem to offer nothing but the same old “government fixes” and have not demonstrated to me that they are capable of strong leadership. The fact that Hillary is offering to spend $30 billion to fix the mortgage mess, just makes me scratch my head in complete and utter disbelief. The main reason why I’ve become more and more of an economic conservative is because I think one of the fundamental problems of the US economy is overspending by the federal government.

To think that President Bush in 2002 was the first president to sign a $2 trillion budget and will be the first to sign a $3 trillion budget is mind boggling! It’s almost like we’re building a house of cards that will one day just collapse on its own weight. I know the smart types will have a lot of “intelligent” ways of explaining this, but from a gut check point of view, simply spending by printing more money just doesn’t seem right. Borrowing and spending doesn’t seem right either. To think that the bill will never come due is just silly and irresponsible.

Having said that Senator McCain is offering a modest proposal to help struggling homeowners. It would help 200,000 to 400,000 homeowners and cost $3 billion to $10 billion. His program would apply to people who were falling behind on mortgage payments on their primary residences. These homeowners would need to demonstrate that they would be able to meet the terms of a new, 30-year fixed-rate mortgage.

Senator Obama also has a massive government bail out program for homeowners. However, I found this bit of news kind of interesting:

Barack Obama went to New York Thursday and blamed lobbyists, greedy businessmen and complacent Washington politicians for creating “an ethic of greed” that led to today’s foreclosure crisis.

Not long after he left the stage, the Democratic presidential hopeful attended a fundraiser held by his campaign in a room in the Manhattan headquarters of Credit Suisse, one of the major investment companies caught up in the subprime lending mess.

I guess the two step dance is an integral part of the art of politics. It is practiced by all who seek the nations highest office and involves speaking from both sides of the mouth and relying on people to not “remember”. No wonder I’m not a politician!

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