The fall in consumer demand following the stock market crash so far this year has been high. It has impacted sectors to differing degrees, but certainly has hit both the luxury market and automobiles hard. Aston Martin Lagonda (LSE: AML) is a luxury car manufacturer that had endured plenty of problems before the crisis, so has seen a big hit to its share price this year.Job cuts = short-term painAston Martin has now said it’s going to cut up to 500 jobs. The total workforce is estimated to be 2,450, so this is a big chunk of its total. We don’t yet know where the cuts will be focused. However, given the lack of demand for the car,s along with the advance of manufacturing automation, I think it could be focused around the manufacturing plants. 5G is here – and shares of this ‘sleeping giant’ could be a great way for you to potentially profit!According to one leading industry firm, the 5G boom could create a global industry worth US$12.3 TRILLION out of thin air…And if you click here we’ll show you something that could be key to unlocking 5G’s full potential…Any job losses are awful for those who go through the process, but the firm commented that the decision would “bring the cost base into line with reduced sports car production levels, consistent with restoring profitability“. This will mean some short-term pain for the firm and investors. The Aston Martin share price is down almost 3% today as I write.I wrote back in November how I was still pessimistic on the share price, given the sensitivity of the UK-based firm to Brexit. Added to this was the fact that Aston only makes around 6,500 cars a year. It therefore doesn’t take much to dent revenue from sales.So what has changed now? Well, I’d argue that the Brexit situation is less uncertain than it was back in November. The UK has a fairly clear stance that the transition period will only last until the end of this year, with no extension. This allows Aston to prepare for that eventuality.Cost cutting = longer-term positiveThe main reason I think the job cut news is a longer-term positive for the share price is the message it sends out. It acknowledges that there’s a need to reduce costs, and that there’s an oversupply of production versus demand. It sounds obvious, but taking note of problems and addressing them is something not all boards actually do! The board will also be conscious of moving on from the pre-tax £104m loss from last year and working on restoring profitability.The cuts and reduced production could allow Aston to take one of two paths, both of which could be successful. It could keep production low for the long term, allowing the cars to regain the ‘exclusivity’ factor. This will help keep prices high in both the new and used markets.Alternatively, Aston could potentially pass on some of the reduced costs to the customer via a lower price. The entry level Aston Martin Vantage currently starts at £125,000. The old-shape Vantage from only a few years back retailed at £20,000 less than that. In the coming years, if prices are reduced but production increased, this could be another way to become profitable again. The share price at current levels does look appealing to me to buy into. Granted, it’s a contrarian buy for a longer-term turnaround. But with billionaire Lawrence Stroll and Mercedes F1 boss Toto Wolff investing only a couple of months ago, I feel I’m in good company. Jonathan Smith and The Motley Fool UK have no position in any of the shares mentioned. Views expressed on the companies mentioned in this article are those of the writer and therefore may differ from the official recommendations we make in our subscription services such as Share Advisor, Hidden Winners and Pro. Here at The Motley Fool we believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. Jonathan Smith | Thursday, 4th June, 2020 | More on: AML See all posts by Jonathan Smith Our 6 ‘Best Buys Now’ Shares “This Stock Could Be Like Buying Amazon in 1997” Enter Your Email Address 3 reasons I’d buy Aston Martin shares despite its latest news I’m sure you’ll agree that’s quite the statement from Motley Fool Co-Founder Tom Gardner.But since our US analyst team first recommended shares in this unique tech stock back in 2016, the value has soared.What’s more, we firmly believe there’s still plenty of upside in its future. In fact, even throughout the current coronavirus crisis, its performance has been beating Wall St expectations.And right now, we’re giving you a chance to discover exactly what has got our analysts all fired up about this niche industry phenomenon, in our FREE special report, A Top US Share From The Motley Fool. 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Parcel delivery service ParcelHero is asking for nominations for its Everyday Heroes competition, in order to recognise people who go further to make a positive impact on their community.The winner will receive a prize of two free flights to any destination. As such, the competition seems a good opportunity for charities and community groups to nominate their exceptional volunteers, supporters or staff.The competition is open to anyone over 18 living in the UK. ParcelHero is hoping the competition will let it showcase the “community all-stars that keep that group spirit alive, those sporting enthusiasts who fight to keep kids fit and healthy and those incredible family members who are rocks to everyone around them”.Once nominated, people can then rally friends, family and community to vote for them. There are five categories of hero – business, volunteer, people’s, community and sport.The closing date for nominations for the ParcelHero Everyday Heroes competition is 22 November 2015.—- Howard Lake | 21 November 2015 | News 85 total views, 1 views today AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to EmailEmailShare to WhatsAppWhatsAppShare to MessengerMessengerShare to MoreAddThis Tagged with: Awards Volunteering About Howard Lake Howard Lake is a digital fundraising entrepreneur. Publisher of UK Fundraising, the world’s first web resource for professional fundraisers, since 1994. Trainer and consultant in digital fundraising. Founder of Fundraising Camp and co-founder of GoodJobs.org.uk. Researching massive growth in giving. AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to EmailEmailShare to WhatsAppWhatsAppShare to MessengerMessengerShare to MoreAddThis ParcelHero invites nominations for your everyday hero Update 23 November 2015, 15.46The closing date for nominations has now been extended:
Acting Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security Elaine Duke announced on Nov. 20 that 59,000 Haitians would lose their Temporary Protective Status next July 22 and would have to then return to Haiti.Beyond all the human emotional losses, disrupted families and lost jobs, Haiti faces a serious economic loss: remittances from the 59,000 Haitians living under TPS in the United States make up 15 percent of Haiti’s gross domestic product.If this denial of TPS is upheld, Haiti faces a disaster imposed by U.S. imperialism.TPS allows foreign nationals from countries where there have been political, economic or physical catastrophes, like earthquakes or hurricanes, to live and work legally in the U.S.Some unions, with the assistance of the national AFL-CIO, had already opened up a campaign to preserve TPS. On Nov. 16, UNITE HERE, Painters and Allied Trades, Bricklayers, UFCW and the Iron Workers publicly launched Working Families United, an immigrant worker advocacy coalition that plans a major campaign to extend TPS.The Service Employees Union, which represents a large number of Haitian workers in health care, has sponsored or participated in protests to preserve TPS in Boston, New York and Florida.Trump and his entourage were due in Mar-a-Lago, Trump’s luxury resort, on Nov. 21. UNITE Here paid for buses from all over south Florida to bring workers in the tourism and hospitality sectors as close as the Secret Service would permit. They chanted “Shut it down,” played drums and cymbals and made their militant presence known.Hundreds of articles, statements and editorials in the corporate media — even an editorial in the New York Times — challenged the reasoning of DHS. The Institute for Justice & Democracy in Haiti stated, “DHS could not overcome the mountain of evidence establishing that Haiti has recently endured precisely the extraordinary blows contemplated by the TPS statute, specifically an unchecked cholera epidemic and October 2016’s Hurricane Matthew.” The DHS ignored facts on the ground to attempt to justify its anti-immigrant agenda.During Trump’s presidential campaign meeting at Miami’s Little Haiti Cultural Center on Sept. 16, 2016, he said that conditions in Haiti were still terrible six years after the earthquake of 2010. He then promised, “I really want to be your greatest champion, and I will be your champion.”Like most of his promises, it hasn’t been and won’t be kept.‘Down with the army!’In Cap-Haïtien, Haiti’s second largest city, teachers haven’t been paid for two months. When students took to the streets, piling up desks and chairs to block the main routes leading north and south out of the city, cops opened fire and used tear gas to drive demonstrators off the streets.Students chanted, “Down with the army, long live education, long live schools!” (Vant Bèf, Nov. 15). Cap Haïtien administrators plan to fire all teachers who aren’t working because they haven’t been paid and replace them with members of the Bald-Headed Haitian Party (PHTK), which is currently running the government.Haitian President Jovenel Moïse used the commemoration of the battle of Vertières to mark the re-establishment of the Haitian army, which was disbanded in 1995, by holding a parade.The battle of Vertières was the concluding battle of the Haitian revolution in November 1803, when its revolutionary army seized the hills around Cap Haïtian, forcing the French occupiers to surrender to a British fleet blockading the port.François Duvalier, a dictator who ruled Haiti as president between 1957 and 1971, was the first to use this commemoration to glorify Haiti’s bourgeois army. This army’s origins go back to the armed forces set up under the 1915-1934 U.S. occupation.Opposition to the re-establishment of the repressive army was a major issue raised in the massive demonstrations that shook Port-au-Prince and other large Haitian cities in November.Another sign of the volatile state of Haitian life is the massacre of at least 12 residents of the Gran Ravin neighborhood of southern Port-au-Prince by the police in mid-November. Two cops lost their lives in the gun fight and many people’s property was destroyed. (Haïti-Liberté, Nov. 22).FacebookTwitterWhatsAppEmailPrintMoreShare thisFacebookTwitterWhatsAppEmailPrintMoreShare this
The film “Black ’47” is a dramatization of the ethnic cleansing of Ireland that resulted from the brutally oppressive conditions of British occupation and extraction: An Gorta Mór (the Great Hunger) or, as it is more often known, the Irish Famine.The title refers to the height of this atrocity in 1847. Spanning 1845 to 1851, British imperialist policies and practices caused the death of 1 million Irish and the emigration of another 1.5 million to North America and Britain. While the impact of this event on the trajectory of modern Ireland is undeniable, the dominance of British revisionism on both sides of the Atlantic has created the widespread belief that this disaster was natural or unavoidable.In fact, as “Black ’47” shows, it was brought on and exacerbated by British imperialism and absentee landlordism.The story follows an Irishman — Martin Feeney (played by James Frecheville) — from Connemara in the west of Ireland who deserts from the British army. He returns home to find that his mother has died from starvation, and his brother has been hanged for fighting the eviction of their starving family.Initially, Feeney plans to emigrate to the U.S. with his brother’s widow and her children. However, they are evicted from their home, Feeney’s nephew is shot and Feeney is brought in for interrogation. He manages to break free, thereby alerting British forces of his presence.Returning to the roofless remnants of the house (a common tactic that forced the Irish out of their homes and off their land), he discovers the frozen bodies of his brother’s widow and her child huddled in the corner. Rather than go to the U.S., he resolves to exact revenge on the judge, rent collector, land agent and landlord responsible for the deaths of his loved ones.The ways in which he goes about this convey a fervently anti-imperialist sense of justice and retribution. Officer Hannah (played by Hugo Weaving), a former British soldier who joins the Royal Irish Constabulary — the ruthless colonial police force — is brought in to catch and bring Feeney “to justice.” Hannah is well aware of Feeney’s military skills, as they were deployed in Afghanistan together.When Feeney and Hannah come face to face, the film shows the contradictions of being subjected to British imperialism in Ireland and then “taking the king’s shilling” to enforce British imperialism in Afghanistan. Addressing Hannah, Feeney states: “We did things for them that cannot be forgiven. And for what? When I come home to this. I kill a man, they call it murder. If they do it, they call it war, providence, justice. Where will my family get their justice, if not from me?”In this instance, Feeney reveals international class consciousness and liberational resolve against the brutal and hypocritical British Empire.In stark contrast to Feeney’s remorse and desire for justice is Lord Kilmichael — an absentee landlord who extracts rent in the form of grain and evicts starving tenants unable to pay like Feeney’s family. Addressing Hannah and his partner, Lord Kilmichael speaks bluntly of British intentions to ethnically cleanse Ireland. He claims that driving the native inhabitants from their land is the only way to salvage his property (to increase profitability).Nothing ‘natural’ about the famineDespite the narrative dominant in most history books and other accounts that suggests the potato blight, which was not limited to Ireland, was to blame for the mass death of 1 million Irish people, there was nothing natural about the Great Hunger. Rather, it was part of the steep cost of imperialism that the subjected are forced to pay — the cost of a system of global dispossession.The widespread dependence on potatoes is itself reflective of this fact. While many people had to rely on potatoes for their diet, potatoes accounted for only 20 percent of Ireland’s agricultural produce. Crops such as corn were also grown, but mainly to pay British-backed landlords or for export to British markets. Ireland exported some 430,000 tons of grain from 1846 to 1847 alone, mostly from the most heavily impacted areas of the famine. (Christine Kinealy, “The Great Irish Famine: Impact, Ideology, and Rebellion”)As the film shows in grim detail, this process of extraction meant taking at gunpoint what little the Irish had to eat. In refusing to provide adequate relief, many British liberals claimed interfering would only encourage what they saw as an “inferior” Irish character — which they blamed for the crisis — and impede the supposedly free market, which was in fact kept in place by the British courts and military.Prior to “Black ’47,” no film had portrayed the horrors of this historical event. The film’s value lies partly in its ability to communicate an explicit anti-imperialist message and to cast historical clarity on an atrocity that has long been covered up by British revisionism.FacebookTwitterWhatsAppEmailPrintMoreShare thisFacebookTwitterWhatsAppEmailPrintMoreShare this
Twitter TCU places second in the National Student Advertising Competition, the highest in school history World Oceans Day shines spotlight on marine plastic pollution Twitter Photo courtesy of TCU. Facebook Renee is a journalism major. She is dedicated to improving her journalism skills to effectively and ethically inform others. Renee Umstedhttps://www.tcu360.com/author/renee-umsted/ printThis story was updated Aug. 17 with information about a virtual vigil. A professor in the Neeley School of Business whose time at TCU spanned more than 30 years died Friday of complications related to COVID-19. Provost Teresa Dahlberg emailed the TCU community Saturday to announce the death of Professor of Professional Practice Robert Rhodes. The Office of Religious & Spiritual Life will hold a virtual vigil from 8 to 9 p.m. Monday. A photo of Dr. Rhodes and a white candle will be placed at the edge of Frog Fountain, which will be stilled in memorial. The TCU community is invited to share their stories and condolences in the chat feature on Zoom. Chaplaincy staff will place a candle around the fountain for each comment shared.Prof. Rhodes joined TCU in 1984, after a career practicing law. An instructor in management and leadership, he taught at both the undergraduate and graduate levels.“His academic contributions and impact on students, colleagues and TCU will never be forgotten. Indeed, Dr. Rhodes’ work will continue to reverberate around the world as his students apply the wisdom learned from his more than 30 years of teaching.”Chancellor Victor BoschiniRhodes was named the Honors Professor of the Year in 2020; the Neeley Distinguished Professor in 2018; a Top 40 Undergraduate Business Professor by Poets & Quants in 2017; and the Alumni Professor of the Year in 2008, among other recognitions. He also received the Michael and Susan Baer Award for Outstanding Mentoring in 2008. Dr. Robert Rhodes. (Photo courtesy of TCU.)Known for his “booming voice” in the classroom, he facilitated conversation, inquiry and exploration of topics from every angle, Dahlberg wrote in the email. Rhodes was praised by colleagues and students alike. Homer Erekson, a former dean of Neeley, wrote in an email Rhodes was his “most trusted advocate for excellence in teaching” while he was the leader of the business school. “His appreciation for critical thinking and his ability to develop the same in his students was truly remarkable,” Erekson wrote. Alumna Madelyn Cater, who took a business law class Rhodes taught, wrote in a TCU Admission blog post the professor worked to ensure his students learned valuable and useful information. “While instilling in me the confidence in my abilities, he also taught me that grades are not everything, and that really learning and taking away something tangible from a course is more important,” Cater wrote. In the email, Dahlberg wrote there are no additional precautions to take on campus but asked everyone to continue using good hygiene and following social distancing and other safety guidelines. A memorial will be published on the Neeley website. TCU will not raise tuition for the 2021-22 academic year ‘Horned Frogs lead the way’: A look at TCU’s ROTC programs Jacqueline Lambiase is still fighting for students ReddIt Linkedin TCU 360 staff win awards at the Fall National College Media Convention Renee Umstedhttps://www.tcu360.com/author/renee-umsted/ Renee Umsted Renee Umstedhttps://www.tcu360.com/author/renee-umsted/ Renee Umstedhttps://www.tcu360.com/author/renee-umsted/ + posts ReddIt Facebook Previous articleTCU expects $90 million shortfall to budgetNext articleBlanket Coverage Podcast – CFB split on games, NFL Summer Updates, NBA Playoffs Episode 201 Renee Umsted RELATED ARTICLESMORE FROM AUTHOR Linkedin Welcome TCU Class of 2025
Governmental Measures Target Expanded Access to Affordable Housing 2 days ago Print This Post Share Save Tagged with: Foreclosure Homes Liens municipal liens title violations Servicers Navigate the Post-Pandemic World 2 days ago Home / Daily Dose / The Growing Risk in Municipal Liens Sign up for DS News Daily Governmental Measures Target Expanded Access to Affordable Housing 2 days ago Previous: The Impact of Population Growth Next: Senate Banking Committee Talks Housing Regulation Subscribe Data Provider Black Knight to Acquire Top of Mind 2 days ago Municipalities across the country have the legal right to place a lien against real estate for liabilities incurred by the property owner that remain unpaid. During the foreclosure crisis, filing a lien was the only way many taxing authorities around the country realized tax revenue for many properties in the communities hardest hit by the financial crash. But today, cities, counties, and states can place liens for much more than just unpaid taxes and a great many of these liabilities are still clouding title across the country.Legally speaking, a municipal lien is a lien filed by a municipal corporation against a property owner for the owner’s proportional share of public improvement that specifically and individually benefits the owner. In reality, they are risks that threaten the investor’s right to foreclose or add expense to the real estate disposition process.Various states already had laws on the books allowing them to file the liens. The problem was collecting the money on tens of thousands of zombie foreclosures, where the homeowner had abandoned the property but the servicer had yet to foreclose on behalf of the investor.Today, there are still municipal liens on the books on properties all over the country for unpaid taxes, water, and sewer charges. In some states, local authorities can file a lien for uncut weeds, pest extermination or other code violations. In some jurisdictions, these are super liens that replace the mortgage at first right to foreclose. A simple search for outstanding tax liens will not indicate clear title.The solution to identifying these liens is a municipal lien search (MLS) that identifies lienable water and sewer charges, permits, code violations, and special assessments. The risk is a claim against the title policy. One of the most significant risks to servicers is that they receive incorrect or incomplete property tax reports. This can happen if the tax information provider does not have access to data nationwide (as many as 25,000 government agencies), or is not specialized in hard-to-track and research municipal liens. Only tax certificates that carry a 100 percent financial guarantee can protect servicers and investors.Although the default industry has been in a bit of a slump in recent years, now is the time to make sure you’re ready to handle increased volume. Having a dependable MLS will go a long way to ensuring a smooth experience for you and your clients. Demand Propels Home Prices Upward 2 days ago The Growing Risk in Municipal Liens Demand Propels Home Prices Upward 2 days ago The Week Ahead: Nearing the Forbearance Exit 2 days ago Timothy Moreland is SVP, SLK Global Solutions, a firm that provides technology-based solutions for the real estate lending and settlement services industry. He can be reached at [email protected] in Daily Dose, Featured, Foreclosure, News The Best Markets For Residential Property Investors 2 days ago Foreclosure Homes Liens municipal liens title violations 2018-10-02 Radhika Ojha Servicers Navigate the Post-Pandemic World 2 days ago Related Articles The Best Markets For Residential Property Investors 2 days ago Data Provider Black Knight to Acquire Top of Mind 2 days ago October 2, 2018 5,462 Views About Author: Timothy Moreland
in Daily Dose, Featured, Loss Mitigation, Market Studies, News, Print Features The Week Ahead: Nearing the Forbearance Exit 2 days ago Gathering Storm: Preparing Homeowners for Natural Disasters Home / Daily Dose / Gathering Storm: Preparing Homeowners for Natural Disasters The Best Markets For Residential Property Investors 2 days ago In 2017, Hurricanes Harvey and Maria impacted vast swaths of the southern United States, with Texas, Florida, and Puerto Rico incurring billions of dollars in damages to homes and infrastructure. According to a recent House Financial Services Committee hearing on the administration of disaster recovery funds, natural disasters combined to cause over $300 billion in direct damages in 2017 alone—a new annual record for the U.S.The California wildfires also raged through that state in 2017. A report by National Public Radio noted that, even as a shortage of construction workers delayed recovery efforts in the aftermath of those fires, some affected homeowners found themselves running out of insurance that provided them with wiggle room to rent while their homes were being rebuilt. Though California lawmakers passed a bill extending insurance for wildfire victims, the report said that it only helps homeowners who are impacted by such a disaster starting in 2019.These are just some of the challenges facing servicers as they plan for future disasters. However, the industry is keenly aware of the lessons learned from recent years and are working to prepare plans of action to support borrowers through future difficulties.“The most significant lesson is that we are all in this together, and that resilience in the face of disaster is a community effort,” said Chris Terzich, SVP, Wells Fargo Enterprise Incident Management. “My previous experience in public-private partnerships led me to participate in a working group of the National Infrastructure Advisory Council, where we recommended the Department of Homeland Security include the private sector in a framework for a partnership for disaster response. I am pleased to report that, in many communities, this is now the norm.”The industry is also facing a daunting reality—natural disasters are becoming both more common and more damaging, and it is up to servicers and service providers to become more proactive in their efforts before, during, and after such events.According to David Hughes, SVP of the Contact Center at RoundPoint Mortgage Servicing, efforts such as “monitoring potential threats and actively preparing potentially impacted borrowers, as well as integrating previously disjointed activities such as customer outreach, loss mitigation options, and loss draft processes into a single unit, as well as designing and preparing that dedicated team so it can quickly scale to the size of the disaster,” are just some of the steps that servicers have learned to take.LOOKING BACKAs the occurrence of natural disasters becomes more commonplace, the need for a robust and stress-tested disaster response plan has become clear. However, the flexibility of these plans is also crucial.“Because each disaster from 2017 and 2018 has been somewhat unique, industry participants have had to ensure disaster plans are not too prescriptive,” said Jake Williamson, VP of Collateral Risk Management at Fannie Mae.He explained that flexible disaster response plans are “more about the coordination of the response activities versus the response activities themselves.” They need to address how to coordinate across different stakeholder groups (both internally and externally), how to manage the data received from the various sources (boots on the ground, call centers, social media, inspections, etc.), and who is on point to address each process challenge.Recent research by the Urban Institute, funded by JPMorgan Chase, found that disasters lead to broad, and often substantial, negative impacts on financial health such as credit scores, mortgage delinquency, and foreclosure rates. This makes it even more imperative for servicers to be prepared to streamline loan modifications and forbearance programs while planning their strategy for such events.“Do not underestimate the effect of these events on your customers and your portfolios,” said Thomas O’Connell, SVP of Default Management for Planet Home Lending. “We learned from hurricane Harvey that the customer was not only affected by damage to their property but also by the loss of income due to businesses closing for long periods. Servicers need to determine which customers have been affected early and streamline the requirements for forbearance or modification.”Research also suggests that, despite advances in technology and processes, property damage assessments tend to be far from perfect, causing some households to get left behind during the recovery process.“Our industry has learned that it’s critical to identify at-risk properties during the application process, which will help expedite and streamline the review process if disaster strikes those properties and loans,” said Gerardo Caceres, SVP of Product Management and Data Operations for Closing Corp.Michael Greenbaum, COO of Safeguard Properties, added, “Hurricane seasons from the past few years have been unprecedented. When coupled with disasters like the wildfires in California, a coordinated strategic approach to action is necessary to protect properties.”Communication between all stakeholders—including servicers, service providers, government agencies, and the public at large—has therefore emerged as key ammunition in any disaster preparedness plan.COMMUNICATE, COMMUNICATE, COMMUNICATE“In the chaos that occurs around a natural disaster, knowing exactly what your next steps should be for the various scenarios that arise will save time, money, and relationships,” said Elizabeth Wright Billings, Pricing and Execution Manager for Churchill Mortgage.Rullah Price, SVP of Wells Fargo Community Outreach, told DS News that communicating early on is key to ensuring that customers know what to do if and when they’re impacted by a natural disaster.Wells Fargo uses a variety of channels to ensure that their communication reaches the widest audience, ranging from email to text, ATMs, and social media. This outreach continues both during and after the disaster itself.Hughes said that pre-disaster communication was “critical and should achieve several objectives.” Those include informing the borrower of the impending disaster, providing recommendations from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) on how to prepare, letting borrowers know about the financial relief options available with their lender—especially if their income is impacted by the disaster, advising them to contact their insurance company to start the claims process, ensuring the borrower understands the servicer’s role once the claim process is completed, and providing information for additional available resources through the government.“Do not be afraid to go above and beyond to get the homeowners prepared with proactive preventative measures,” said Bryan Lysikowski, Co-Founder and CEO of ZVN Properties Inc. “Encourage flood/hurricane insurance and provide borrowers with information as to how they can purchase the required items to protect the asset.”It is also advisable to have a single, dedicated point of contact.“This contact can more efficiently assist the borrower and manage the processes in a more comprehensive manner,” Williamson said.It is as important for businesses to assure customers that, despite the disaster, they remain up and running to serve them.“During emergencies, when it seems as though the world is turned upside down, customers just want to know something is safe and secure,” said Steve Comer, Director of Financial Services and Insurance Sales for Hyland. “Executives and IT departments should be able to assure customers that their investments are secure, business is open, and they are ready to serve and assist as needed. But that assurance can only be provided if the right security plans are in place from the start.”Billings agreed. “Overall, clear communication and clear expectations from all representatives of your company will reduce stress in an inherently chaotic situation, although the type of disaster dictates how the communication occurs,” she said.Having a disaster response team in place well in advance can make all the difference between providing borrowers with timely information or leaving them in the lurch.“Servicers need to establish a disaster response team for both outbound and inbound inquiries in the call centers,” O’Connell said. “Team members should be trained on all relief measures. Inbound activities should be a one-touch event for the customer, so there is no additional stress.”Progressive companies are also utilizing data and technology to make better business decisions not when it comes to communicating with their customers but also in ensuring the safety of the property before and during such events. “This includes geolocation, mobile, and multimedia technology, in addition to data analytics to track trends,” Greenbaum said.TECH TO THE RESCUEFrom social media and drones to satellite imagery and real-time modeling, technology is changing the landscape of disaster response. Trevor Nace, a Geologist and Founder of Science Trends recently wrote in Forbes that technology is not only helping those being impacted by a natural disaster to communicate the urgency of the situation but is also playing a key role in ensuring that emergency response managers are better prepared.“As weather models, seismic sensor arrays, and systems advance and with it the modeling of natural disasters, we know earlier and with better precision the next major disaster. These systems provide local, state, and federal officials the ability to prepare for the next natural disaster better than ever before. The outcome of it all, more lives saved,” Nace said.Servicers are increasingly using these tools not only to improve their disaster response but also to also help homeowners safeguard their properties during these events. At a recent DS News webinar, John Thibaudeau, Director of Single-Family Real Estate for Fannie Mae, spoke about the tools and apps that are helping provide real-time information for properties that need an inspection. They are also used to guide inspectors and users on what to look for once they reach the property, and to help servicers absorb all that data so they can prioritize their work.Looking at some of the best practices that the industry has learnt from past disasters, Nickalene Badalamenti-Kalas, President of Five Brothers Default Management Solutions, said that it’s important for clients to upload location verification documents (plat maps, origination appraisals) when FEMA inspections are ordered, as oftentimes normal property indicators such as mailboxes, addresses on homes, and street signs are destroyed.According to Greenbaum, technology and data are key to effective disaster management before, during, and after the storms. “Mortgage servicers are looking to assess the damage to both their current and delinquent properties as quickly as possible to determine the impact. Mobile technology and smart scripting, one that is responsive based on the answers chosen, plays an important role in assessing property damage following a major disaster,” he said.These scripts can easily be adjusted to ensure inspectors gather the appropriate information, photos, and videos. In turn, the information collected goes into the property preservation company’s automated workflow system to quickly assess and determine which properties require immediate attention, enabling servicers to take prompt action.For the vendors in the field, advancements in technology are allowing for better and faster responsiveness. “Vendors can create routes based on their work orders’ addresses to increase efficiency and have faster turnaround times to better serve clients,” Badalamenti-Kalas said. “Field operatives can also be notified and dispatched from surrounding areas to assist in pre and post-disaster efforts.”Servicers are also looking at technology to help them evaluate disaster impacts and target response activities. “The use of aerial imagery (satellite, manned aircraft, drones, etc.) has provided data that can be built into image processing tools and provide heat maps that track damage at a property level,” said Jason Chapman, Director of Property Preservation at Fannie Mae. “These heat maps can quickly inform investors and property owners where the hardest hit areas are and determine potential portfolio impacts.”In addition to aerial imagery, the use of microwave imagery can be leveraged to detect the impacts of flooding in neighborhoods as well as the depth of the flooding. These tools can better define impacted zones and improve response times to the areas that need the most assistance.The use of data and analytics in communicating with customers and helping servicers prepare for any eventualities related to disasters is also becoming an important element of borrower outreach. According to Caceres, using data and analytics to determine national trends and then using those to work with the government and other third-party agencies to discover potential risk areas will be the wave of the future.However, to use these tools before, during, and even after a disaster, it is important for servicers to have a strong IT department in place.“Most customers expect instant access to the information they need whenever and wherever. If a company is experiencing infrastructure downtime due to a disaster, customers lack access to that information, which becomes another area out of their control. With a strong IT and disaster preparedness plan in place, lenders can assure their borrowers that information is secure and available, and they are prepared to work with their borrowers to ensure ‘business as usual,’” Comer said. “That plan might start with a disaster recovery solution that allows financial services organizations to keep their essential systems running by backing up systems, allowing for complete recovery of data, processes, and programs.”It is also important for servicers to utilize the technology at hand at the right time according to O’Connell who gave an example of how drones helped Planet Home Lending in assessing the damages in the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey.“A servicer has to quickly access and approve the work to protect the property, if possible, before a disaster. During the aftermath of a storm, it can be difficult to assess the damage,” he said. “Due to the amount of flooding caused by Hurricane Harvey, our teams could not get to the affected areas to assess the damage, so we worked with our preservation companies to deploy drones in selected areas.”“Effective disaster recovery plans should involve the technology that will eliminate vulnerabilities by keeping information secure and accessible during and after a disaster,” Comer said. “This should include content services systems hosted in a purposefully built cloud.”The first line of defense in making the right business decisions before, during, and after the storm, however, remains the seamless partnership between mortgage lenders/servicers and service providers such as property preservation companies. “Property preservation companies need to engage their mortgage servicing partners with customized, ongoing disaster updates,” Greenbaum said. “Researching projected impacted areas, pulling news articles on the impending storms, and comparing that information to the servicers’ portfolios is key to providing them with as much information as possible so they can effectively make better business decisions.”PARTNERING TO PREPAREAccording to Hughes, open communication between servicers, agencies, and the administration is the best way to ensure the specifics of the disasters properly shape potential policies.Price agreed, giving an example of how Wells Fargo was collaborating with state authorities to maintain communication around where resources were being deployed and where they needed to be. “We want the state and our other partners on the ground to know what we are doing for our customers in these communities so they can direct those in need to the resources that can help them recover and rebuild,” Price said. “We’ve heard from the state and other partners that this approach is effec-tive, especially as the impacted communities transition from immediate relief efforts to the longer recovery process.However, a smooth rebuilding process can-not be achieved without insurance companies, according to O’Connell who said that currently, the amount of time it took to determine “what is insured damage versus what damage can be covered by government or community programs can be excessive.”Partnerships and policies gain even more importance in the aftermath of certain disasters that are difficult to predict in advance. “In disasters that occur more suddenly, such as tornadoes and straight-line winds, the communication around the next steps typically happens after the disaster has occurred,” Bill-ings said. “In these post-disaster conversations, the content covered is the same but the next step is the focus of the conversation. Prepared policies and procedures allow for the Home Loan Specialists to reach out to a borrower as soon as they’re aware that a natural disaster has occurred, knowledgeable about what needs to happen to ensure their loan closes with as little interruption as possible.”The confusion in the aftermath of a disaster also sees a lot of duplicated efforts by servicers. According to Williamson, there’s an easy way around this if the industry works together. To help mitigate this overtaxing of resources and the potential creation of coordination issues, he suggested that the industry could do a more effective job by “working together to create a common and consistent set of response activi-ties for impacted borrowers and properties, balancing the requirements of the investor, servicer, and vendor.”Additionally, he said that sharing impact data such as aerial imagery results or damage assessments from vendor inspections were some more ways in which “the industry could work together to accomplish a common goal of as-sessing impacts quickly and cost-effectively.”Giving Wells Fargo’s example of how public-private partnerships could work together to help streamline the recovery process, Price said that the bank leveraged the relationships it had built over the years to “deploy coordinated messages to local nonprofits, state and local government and national relationships.”“These include resource material and contact information should they need to reach out to us with any questions or concerns. Both the American Red Cross and Ready.gov offer cur-rent information and resources on what you can do before and after disaster strikes,” she said.Fannie Mae, which had announced an expansion of the post-disaster resources it offered in November 2018, has also been at the forefront of developing such partnerships. Its Disaster Response Network is a comprehensive case-management service for disaster-affected homeowners whose mortgage loans are owned by the company. “It provides homeowners broader personalized support in addition to the mortgage payment relief we make available through our servicers,” said Mike Hernandez, VP of Housing Access and Disaster Response and Rebuild at Fannie Mae.Additionally, he said that using a call-center model staffed exclusively by HUD-certified counselors within the United States, the Disaster Response network helps homeowners navigate the challenging and unfamiliar disaster recovery process. “Services offered include a recovery assessment and action plan, assistance filing claims (i.e. FEMA and SBA claims), help working with mortgage servicers for payment relief, access to online tools and resources, and ongoing status checks to help ensure a success-ful recovery,” Hernandez said.ROAD TO RECOVERYDespite these advances in technology and streamlining disaster response, challenges remain for servicers—the biggest one being educating borrowers about their options in forbearance and loan modifications. “I still think there is work to be done around educating borrowers (and potential borrowers) about what assistance options are available following a disaster and who is eligible. In reality, the same assistance options are not available across the board,” Price said, giving the example of payment deferrals, which had caused much confusion for borrowers after the storms last year because of inaccurate information.“To be clear, payment deferrals are an option whereby the missed principal and interest payments are added to the end of the current loan term. Borrowers should know that payment deferrals are not available across all investors so it’s important to check with your lender (whoever that may be), first, to determine eligibility,” she explained. “Names of some of the larger investors who borrowers may be familiar with include Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, FHA, and VA.”Options such as loan modifications from offered forbearance plans are an area that borrowers need better education on, according to Hughes. “Servicers should educate their customers as early on as possible on the impact of the various solutions available to resolve a delinquency resulting from an offered forbearance plan,” he said. “Many borrowers indicate had they known a modification might mean a higher interest rate or a significantly extended term (e.g., 40-years), they would have found other means of making their monthly payments or resumed their monthly payments more quickly and resolved the smaller resulting past due amount on their own.”Hughes added, “Though most servicers apply credit protections (i.e., negative credit suppressions, blocks, etc.), the credit repositories could still lower the borrower’s credit score. The dilemma is in understanding that disasters are acts of God, but so are other reasons for delinquency such as death and illness, which are not afforded equivalent credit protections. This is a matter requiring further thought and discussion by the industry.”Manpower and the cost to obtain it also plays key roles in rebuilding after a disaster. “In most instances the amount of required work and effort to rebuild far exceeds the available qualified workforce,” Lysikowski said. “The importance of knowing and understanding the available in state resources and out of state resources willing to participate in the recover, cannot be understated.”From the servicer’s perspective, the industry must look at alleviating challenges such as “over burdensome documentation requirements, rate increases at modification when the loan has an ARM teaser rate and addressing the expectations from the homeowners that the payments should be waived,” O’Connell said.Finally, though, the best way a servicer can look to prepare for a disaster is looking back and evaluating their processes during the previous disaster to help them strengthen the things that went right and rework on the elements that didn’t. “Thinking about these types of questions ahead of the hurricane season and taking action on the opportunities will allow response activities to be efficient and prevent a lot of rework in retraining and re-decisioning,” Williamson said. Print This Post Data Provider Black Knight to Acquire Top of Mind 2 days ago LoanCare Natural Disasters Servicing 2019-06-10 Radhika Ojha Share Save Sign up for DS News Daily Data Provider Black Knight to Acquire Top of Mind 2 days ago Related Articles About Author: Radhika Ojha Previous: Foreclosure Sales: The Investor Outlook Next: Studying Homebuying Trends of the LGB Community Servicers Navigate the Post-Pandemic World 2 days ago Radhika Ojha is an independent writer and copy-editor, and a reporter for DS News. She is a graduate of the University of Pune, India, where she received her B.A. in Commerce with a concentration in Accounting and Marketing and an M.A. in Mass Communication. Upon completion of her masters degree, Ojha worked at a national English daily publication in India (The Indian Express) where she was a staff writer in the cultural and arts features section. Ojha, also worked as Principal Correspondent at HT Media Ltd and at Honeywell as an executive in corporate communications. She and her husband currently reside in Houston, Texas. Governmental Measures Target Expanded Access to Affordable Housing 2 days ago Subscribe Demand Propels Home Prices Upward 2 days ago Tagged with: LoanCare Natural Disasters Servicing June 10, 2019 5,773 Views The Best Markets For Residential Property Investors 2 days ago Governmental Measures Target Expanded Access to Affordable Housing 2 days ago Servicers Navigate the Post-Pandemic World 2 days ago Demand Propels Home Prices Upward 2 days ago
Main Evening News, Sport and Obituaries Tuesday May 25th WhatsApp Twitter Facebook Google+ Pinterest Further drop in people receiving PUP in Donegal WhatsApp 75 positive cases of Covid confirmed in North RELATED ARTICLESMORE FROM AUTHOR Twitter News Family says handler is key in murder investigation 365 additional cases of Covid-19 in Republic Previous articleNo new cases of TB found at Loretto Secondary SchoolNext articleGAA – Tyrone lose out in Ulster U21 Final News Highland The family of Denis Donaldson have released a police document which they say “precipitated” the circumstances that led to his exposure as a British agent and ultimately resulted in his murder.They have indicated that his handler, called “Lenny”, could hold the key to solving his murder.As Garda detectives continue to question two men in Letterkenny about Donaldson’s murder five years ago, his family have demanded his police special branch handler and his associates must be properly investigated.Donaldson was murdered in Co Glenties in April 2006. The Real IRA said it killed him.One security source described as “significant” the arrest of two men, aged 69 and 31, on Tuesday.The man in his 30s is being questioned about allegedly handling the gun used to kill Donaldson while the other was arrested on suspicion of withholding information.The younger, more significant, suspect is regarded as a long-time member of the Real IRA and senior Garda sources say members of that organisation are now the only suspects in the murder.The younger man has been questioned before about alleged Real IRA membership. He has been close to men from Dublin regarded as members of the same organisation and who have convictions for armed robbery.Meanwhile, Donaldson’s family have complained that five years after his murder little progress appears to have been made in the Garda investigation. They also said that the intelligence agencies, particularly PSNI special branch, have serious questions to answer about his exposure as a British agent and subsequent murder.Through Belfast solicitors Madden Finucane they released a copy of a “police message” allegedly given to Donaldson in December 2005. The message states that members of the media believe that Dennis Donaldson is an informant.The family said that the document was released by one of the agencies who handled Denis as an informer, and the chain of events flowing from this document led to his murder.The family said after receiving the document from the police Donaldson “spoke privately with Sinn Féin over several days and admitted his role as an agent”.Donaldson then recieved an unprompted telephone cfrom his former handler, so-called Lenny, five days later on the afternoon of Thursday 15 December, 2005. This call caused Donaldson to secretly flee from Belfast with immediate effect. After publicly admitting his role as an agent in Dublin the next day, Donaldson then went back into hiding until three months later, when he was again publicly exposed and soon afterwards murdered.The family said that this information, including the document, ought to have been obtained by investigating gardaí from the PSNI. They say this so-called Lenny is intimately informed about the events surrounding Denis’s murder, and the believe he holds many answers about Donaldsons murder. Man arrested on suspicion of drugs and criminal property offences in Derry By News Highland – April 14, 2011 Facebook Google+ Pinterest Gardai continue to investigate Kilmacrennan fire
Steven Ferdman/Getty Images(NEW YORK) — A new Racketeer Influenced Corrupt Organizations (RICO) lawsuit filed Friday in a Manhattan federal court accuses Harvey Weinstein’s defense attorney of deceiving a Connecticut woman who accused Weinstein of rape.Melissa Thompson’s claim was included in a proposed class-action lawsuit in which she and two other women allege they were sexually assaulted by the disgraced film producer.Thompson said that during a 2011 meeting in his New York City office to pitch Weinstein on a new technology to market films he sexually assaulted her, twice reaching under her dress to caress her leg and pinning her to a refrigerator in the office’s kitchen.Weinstein told her the meeting would continue at the Tribeca Grand Hotel after he finished editing a movie, the complaint says. Instead of continuing the meeting in the hotel’s restaurant area, Weinstein told Thompson to follow him to what she thought would be a screening room in the hotel, according to the complaint. Instead, Weinstein “opened a door and hustled Thompson into a sitting room in his hotel suite,” the complaint alleges.There, he exposed himself, invited her to shower with him and importuned her to give him a massage, the complaint says. Feeling trapped, she agreed to the massage in the hope that would be the extent of the assault, but when she climbed on the bed to rub his back, he turned over, flipped her onto her back and raped her, according to the complaint.“His hands were everywhere and she could not get out of his grasp or keep up with deflecting him,” the lawsuit states. “Weinstein held Thompson down and raped her. Thompson closed her eyes, traumatized, praying for the assault to end.”Weinstein has denied all nonconsensual sexual encounters.The lawsuit was filed one week after he was arrested on rape and criminal sex act charges stemming from accounts by other women. Thompson did not report the alleged encounter to police at the time because, the lawsuit said, she feared Weinstein’s wrath.“She knew that Weinstein could and would destroy her if she complained about his sexual misconduct,” the lawsuit said.Thompson’s lawsuit said she had audio and video evidence of the assault, but alleges she was tricked by Weinstein’s defense attorney Ben Brafman into giving it to him. She accused Brafman and another attorney who used to work for him, Alex Spiro, of using “deceptive tactics” to make it seem like they were working for Weinstein’s victims. The complaint alleges Thompson spoke on the phone, exchanged texts and sent emails to Spiro, who she believed was working on Brafman’s behalf.After she sent video to Spiro, believing he worked for Brafman, she later texted him and he responded, “What? No. I don’t work there. Nor do I rep anyone involved.” “She had shared important evidence against Weinstein with the very law firm who represented Weinstein — unbeknownst to her,” the lawsuit said.Brafman denied he or his firm did anything improper.In a statement to ABC News, Brafman said his firm “has never represented” Thompson and that he has “personally never met with her or any of the other women named in the lawsuit.”“Alex Spiro was never a partner of this firm he was one of many Associates and left this firm in or about Sept 2017,” Brafman said in the statement. “To the extent he spoke with or met with any of these women, he did so on his own time after he had left this firm and was already employed by Quinn Emanuel. In addition, while at this firm, he never met with Mr Weinstein nor did he have any responsibility whatsoever in connection with our representation of Mr Weinstein in any matter.”Copyright © 2018, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.