Category Archives: Mortgage Business

What to Do About the Recent Equifax Security Breach

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REGARDING THE RECENTLY REPORTED EQUIFAX SECURITY BREACH

As many of you are likely aware, it’s been recently reported that Equifax suffered a security breach from mid-May through July that has compromised the personal identifying information of as many as 143 million or more consumers in the United States, UK and even Canada. Because names, addresses, social security numbers, birthdates and even driver license numbers were accessed by the perpetrators, many consumers are in obvious panic mode wondering what to do and how to immediately protect their identities from being used in fraudulent situations.

The FTC has issued instruction this morning directed to consumers that informs of what to do. These instructions can be easily shared through Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn. It’s highly recommended that YOU follow the steps indicated in the article and also pass this information on to help educate as many consumers as possible about the breach and the steps they can take to have best chance at protecting their identities. They will appreciate your sharing the guidance with them.

Summary of Quick Steps Everyone Can & Should take NOW:

  • Visit Equifax’s website, equifaxsecurity2017.com. Click on the “Potential Impact” tab and enter your last name and the last six digits of your Social Security number. Your Social Security number is sensitive information, so make sure you’re on a secure computer and an encrypted network connection any time you enter it. The site will tell you if you’ve been affected by this breach.
  • Whether or not your information was exposed, U.S. consumers can get a year of free credit monitoring and other services. The site will give you a date when you can come back to enroll. Set a calendar reminder of the date and come back to the site and click “Enroll” on that date. You have until November 21, 2017 to enroll.
  • Order your free annual credit report from the bureaus (not just Equifax, but all of them if you are able). Review the reported data for accuracy and assure no credit is reporting that you did not personally authorize. If you find any questionable tradelines or inquiries that do not belong to you, dispute them by explaining you did not authorize the opening of such credit and fear your identity has been used as a result of the Equifax security breach.
  • If you indeed do find new tradelines or inquiries you did not authorize, file a formal complaint with the FTC at gov.
  • You may wish to place a fraud alert or security freeze on your credit files at the bureau level to implement an added layer of protection.
  • A fraud alert warns creditors that you may be an identity theft victim and that they should verify that anyone seeking credit in your name really is you.
  • A credit freeze makes it harder for someone to open a new account in your name. Keep in mind that a credit freeze won’t prevent a thief from making charges to your existing It is intended to stop fraudsters from opening any new credit using your identifying info.
  • Be sure to monitor your bank and credit card statements to assure no unauthorized charges are reporting. Alert your financial institutions to watch for patterns of charges that do not coincide with the account use you’ve displayed prior to the breach period and that you wish to be alerted of any questionable charges or new patterns.
  • Review the new IRS Taxpayers Guide to Identity Theft which explains the new identity theft procedures being implemented by IRS for 2017 tax filing season. You will want to file your income taxes as soon as possible in the next tax season. Note: The IRS identity theft procedures are changed from prior year instructions so you will want to make sure you are informed and educated about them.
  • Visit the FTC’s Site gov/databreach to learn more about protecting yourself after a data breach.

For consumers with additional questions, Equifax has established a dedicated call center. The call center is available at 866-447-7559, every day (including weekends) from 7:00 a.m. – 1:00 a.m. Eastern time.

Contact me today for more information.
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alt_text Steven Baxter
Sales Manager
NMLS 191033
Direct 302-260-7089
Mobile 302-542-8250
Fax 866-685-6528
jeff.baxter
32895 S Coastal Highway, Suite 201A
Bethany Beach, DE 19930
www.jeff-baxter.com

Apply Now
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Mortgage Market in Review-September 11th, 2017

Newsletter-September 11th, 2017
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Jeff Baxter
Sales Manager
NMLSR ID #191033
Fairway Independent Mortgage Corporation
Phone: 302-260-7089
Fax: 866-685-6528
Cell Phone: 302-542-8250
E-Mail: jeff.baxter
Website: http://www.jeff-baxter.com
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Market Comment

Mortgage bond prices finished the week slightly positive which helped rates remain favorable. Factory orders declined 3.3% as expected. Stock weakness early in the week set the tone. Weekly jobless claims printed at 298K and continuing claims, a summation of all receiving benefits, at 1,940K. Expectations were for claims at 239K and continuing claims at 1,945K. Productivity in Q2/2017 rose 1.5% and unit labor costs increased 0.2%. Economists expected productivity to rise 1.2% and labor costs to rise 0.3%. The Fed’s Beige Book indicated the economy continued to expand at a moderate rate and noted that “reports were mixed regarding auto production, and contacts in many Districts expressed concerns about a prolonged slowdown in the auto industry.” We ended the week better by approximately 1/8 to 1/4 of a discount point despite some negative movements Wednesday and Thursday mornings.


LOOKING AHEAD

Economic
Indicator
Release
Date & Time
Consensus
Estimate

Analysis
Treasury Auctions Begin Monday, Sept. 11,
1:15 pm, et
None Important. 3Y Monday, 10Y Tuesday, 30Y Wednesday. Strong demand may lead to lower mortgage rates.
Producer Price Index Wednesday, Sept. 13,
8:30 am, et
Up 0.2%,
Core up 0.1%
Important. An indication of inflationary pressures at the producer level. Weaker figures may lead to lower rates.
Consumer Price Index Thursday, Sept. 14,
8:30 am, et
Up 0.1%,
Core up 0.1%
Important. A measure of inflation at the consumer level. Weaker figures may lead to lower rates.
Weekly Jobless Claims Thursday, Sept. 14,
8:30 am, et
286K Important. An indication of employment. Higher claims may result in lower rates.
Retail Sales Friday, Sept. 15,
8:30 am, et
Up 0.8% Important. A measure of consumer demand. A smaller than expected increase may lead to lower mortgage rates.
Industrial Production Friday, Sept. 15,
9:15 am, et
Up 0.3% Important. A measure of manufacturing sector strength. A lower than expected increase may lead to lower rates.
Capacity Utilization Friday, Sept. 15,
9:15 am, et
76.8% Important. A figure above 85% is viewed as inflationary. Weaker figure may lead to lower rates.
U of Michigan Consumer Sentiment Friday, Sept. 15,
10:00 am, et
96.7 Important. An indication of consumers’ willingness to spend. Weakness may lead to lower mortgage rates.

Consumer Price Index

The Consumer Price Index is widely accepted as the most important measure of inflation. The CPI is a measure of prices at the consumer level for a fixed basket of goods and services. The National Statistics Office and the Bureau of Agricultural Statistics of the Department of Agriculture collect price data for the computation of the CPI. Since it is an index number, it compares the level of prices to a base period. By comparing the level of the index at two different points in time, analysts can determine how much prices have risen in that period.

Unlike other measures of inflation, which only factor domestically produced goods; the CPI takes into account imported goods as well. This is important due to the ever-increasing reliance of the US economy upon imported goods. Analysts primarily focus on the core rate of the CPI which factors out the more volatile food and energy prices. Oil prices are always a concern from an inflation perspective. Inflation, real or perceived, erodes the value of fixed income securities such as mortgage bonds.

Copyright 2017. All Rights Reserved. Mortgage Market Information Services, Inc. www.ratelink.com The information contained herein is believed to be accurate, however no representation or warranties are written or implied.

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MORTGAGE MARKET IN REVIEW Newsletter-September 11th, 2017

Homes, Loans and Milestones: 5 Real Estate Marketing Trends in 2017

FAIRWAY INDEPENDENT MORTGAGE CORPORATION
5 Real Estate Marketing Trends in 2017
(Content pulled from the article “Five Real Estate Marketing Trends Defining 2017” on Inman.com)

Inman recently did a little research on what savvy real estate professionals are doing in 2017 to rise above the market clutter – some of the information isn’t a surprise, while other insights might require a little practice to perfect the process.

5 Real Estate Marketing Trends in 2017

  1. Live Streaming and Video Marketing: This strategy might take a little practice and a few trial runs to get comfortable in front of the camera. But consider hosting a virtual open house, where you are the featured host showing prospective buyers through your listed property. Not ready for live streaming? Consider using Facebook and even Instagram to post a short teaser video highlighting a desirable feature of the home.
  2. Robust Content: Become the subject matter expert of the neighborhoods where your homes are listed… tell folks about the great BYOB farm-to-table cafes, walking trails, dry cleaner and more. The more you can demonstrate that you know your stuff, the more prospective buyers will pay attention.
  3. Target Your Audience – Or Personalization: Think about features of your listings that might appeal to certain demographic audiences – for example: millennials might be more interested in access to public transit, proximity to outdoor activities and energy-efficient features of the home. The more you know about your audience, the more they feel you are talking to them personally.
  4. Digital Showings: More and more listings are featuring virtual tours of the property – 360-degree views of the rooms and outdoor space. It’s a great way for buyers to hone in on their ideal place and then follow up with their real estate professional to do a walk through. At this point, the prospective buyer is more interested and engaged.
  5. Social Media Advertising: Last week we discussed a new marketing tool offered by Facebook… the social media networks are all offering ways to "boost" your post to reach a broader audience for a relatively small investment, and you are able to define your audience by demographic features such as age, zip code, preferences, and lifestyle.

In addition to these suggestions above, the Inman article pointed out the value of drone footage as a way to showcase your listing and stand out from your competition. These days, a little promotion goes a long way – as does working with your referral sources. Teaming together with your mortgage professional can create a great dynamic when building your business.

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Saturday, Oct. 14
8am – 11am

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I hope this email finds you well! Please let me know if you have clients who need home financing options or colleagues who want an exceptional lender.
038c6e06fb884be8b45b3596c5505e97.jpg Steven Baxter
Sales Manager
NMLS ID# 191033
Direct 302-260-7089
Mobile 302-542-8250
Fax 866-685-6528
jeff.baxter
32895 S Coastal Highway, Suite 201A
Bethany Beach, DE 19930
www.jeff-baxter.com
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6 Tips to Help Credit-challenged Clients Improve Scores
By Steve Cook, Inman.com

How many buyers have you met who walk in your door with a rotten credit rating and confidently promise to fix things up before they apply for a mortgage?

That’s never a good sign, even in times like these when first-time buyers can plan on hunting four months or more to find a property they can afford and would buy.

READ MORE

Share with Clients:

What Does Contingent With No Kick-Out Mean? A Clause That Affects Your Offer
By Cathie Ericson, Realtor.com

Should You Invest That Down Payment?
By Jeff Brown, US News

You Could Be Wrecking Your Home — And Not Know It (Yet)
By Amy Howell Hirt, Houselogic

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How email templates can save real estate agents much needed time
By Brandon Doyle, Inman.com

It’s not a surprise that when you hear email templates, you automatically assume it must have to do with bulk emails or mass newsletter emails.

And you’re not wrong, but in this case, it’s more important to think about email templates as one of the easiest ways to personalize your emails to larger groups of people in your network while still saving yourself big chunks of time.

READ MORE

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Could Value Range Pricing Become a Thing?
Daily Real Estate News

Value range pricing, also known as variable range pricing, is when a listing indicates sellers are looking for offers between two suggested prices, such as "$450,000 to $500,000," rather than just one price, such as $475,000. This tactic is still relatively rare, but it’s becoming more popular because it offers advantages to both buyers and sellers, according to realtor.com®.

READ MORE

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This is a Fairway Independent Mortgage Corporation promotional email. Fairway Independent Mortgage Corporation. NMLS#2289. 4801 S. Biltmore Lane, Madison, WI 53718, 1-877-699-0353. All rights reserved. Distribution to general public is prohibited. This is not considered an advertisement as defined by 12 CFR 226.2(a)(2). All rights reserved. Equal Housing Lender.

NMLS Consumer Access · Legal Disclosures

DE License Number MLO-191033 MD License Number 26-1809 PA License Number 50047 Fairway Independent Mortgage Corporation NMLS Entity ID #2289 (www.nmlsconsumeraccess.org) & VA License Number MLO-22871VA

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Homes, Loans and Milestones: Living a Full Life

Fairway-200x50.png FAIRWAY INDEPENDENT MORTGAGE CORPORATION
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How to Live a Full Life – Part 1
Ryan Holiday, American author, marketer, entrepreneur, media strategist, media columnist and editor-at-large for the New York Observer…among other attributes, recently turned 30 years old and wrote an article about living a full life for the online publication Thought Catalog.

The following is an excerpt from the article – you can read the full piece at https://thoughtcatalog.com/ryan-holiday/2017/06/how-to-live-a-full-life-and-leave-nothing-on-the-table-by-30/.

How to Live a Full Life (and Leave Nothing on the Table) by 30

How to live and approach life so that at 30 (or 40, or 50, or 60 and beyond), you can honestly feel like you’ve left nothing on the table. That every day is extra.

  • Do Ridiculous Things. Some of the best decisions of my life came out of total irresponsibility and whim.
  • Not What Will Pay the Most, But What Will Teach Me the Most? This is how I have evaluated my career and job opportunities (and book projects too).
  • Focus! Wake up every day and do a little more. Be unfocused around a little less. See what happens.
  • “The Right Time is Right Now.” If you think you want to do it, do it.
  • Get Married. Be in a Long-Term Relationship. Pick a person and be in a relationship already. It’s the best thing you will ever do. It’s a lot of work. It will be painful and tough at times. But relationships are great because you make them great.
  • Steer Clear of Charlatans and the Toxic. You become who you know. You conform to your surroundings. Make sure those two facts are taking you in a direction you want to go.
  • Keep a Journal. It forces you to look at what you’re doing now.
  • Heck Yes or Heck No is Too Simple. Life is complicated and life decisions are about weighing the odds, not black and white certainties.
  • Live in New York or Los Angeles (Or a City Like That) …but not for long. It’s good to test yourself in a big city. It’s good to feel the energy of millions of people coursing through your veins.
  • The Quiet Moments Are the Best. There is a line from Lao Tzu. “Peace is in the emptiness. Emptiness is in the fast of the mind.” It’s in the quiet, still moments that we feel what matters in life.
“Life is a journey, not a destination.”
– Ralph Waldo Emerson

Professional Selfies for Social Media Sites

Fairway-200x50.png FAIRWAY INDEPENDENT MORTGAGE CORPORATION
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Professional Selfies for Social Media Sites
This information is adapted from an article first published on LinkedIn.com. The full article can be read at https://www.slideshare.net/linkedin/guide-to-workselfie

Forget Glamour Shots!

Our smartphone cameras have come a long way and some of the newest models on the market can take portraits as beautifully as high end digital cameras. How does your social media profile picture measure up? If you think it could be better, here are few tips from LinkedIn:

Before You Start

  • Find a blank neutral colored wall in a nicely lit area. Preferably not stark white, but void of any pictures or background “clutter;” natural light is going to provide a more even tone than a flash will – south facing windows are great, but avoid direct sunlight.
  • Think about what you’re wearing. Wear a solid color that enhances your personal skin tone and hair color; avoid flashy accessories – unless that is your signature accessory.
  • Consider keeping the image simple. This professional shot is about you, and what you can do for your clients…pictures with animals (like dogs) or in lifestyle settings (like on a boat) could actually deter from your goal.

Taking The Shot

  • Do Not Use The Flash.
  • This is where a selfie stick comes in handy! The problem with “selfie arm” is the slightly distorted angle of your face…unless you’re Kim Kardashian who has probably spent 100s of hours “perfecting” the selfie, best to either have a buddy take the image, or set up your phone on a tripod with a timer.
  • But if you are going with the selfie arm… look up at the camera at a slight angle rather than down. This angle removes the shadows and is a flattering angle for your face.
  • Head and shoulders above the rest… not just your business slogan, but also an easy tip to remember for your profile picture. You’ll be able to crop the shot after taking…so take many pictures till you are satisfied. Also take the image from different angles, usually a slight angle will be more flattering than a straight “face to camera” shot.
  • And while you’re at it, don’t center yourself in the image. It’s suggested to follow the rule of thirds. Your eyes should be one third of the way down from the top of the photo and off to one side. This allows for plenty of room to crop the shot.
  • Where should I look?? Look at a spot in the middle of the top of your smartphone – it helps center your face. And remember to look natural – you want your clients to see your personality!

After You Photograph

  • Edit away! The beauty of smartphones are the features that come with the camera function – you can crop, adjust lighting, enhance tone, even add a filter – but keeping the color crisp and “normal” is probably best.
  • Sending your image via email – if you are going to send the images to yourself via email, send a few at different resolutions. Some social media sites can take higher resolution/larger files while others have more limitations. The point is to make sure your image isn’t blurry.

So, until that time when you can schedule a shoot with a professional photographer for really awesome headshots, use these tips to create a respectable and informal profile picture to help create new connections.

Summary of Tips

Be aware of your surroundings

Do use natural light

Do use a good camera option

Do think about the angle

Do think about what you’re wearing

Don’t center yourself

Let your professional personality shine through

Happy 4th of July!

Fairway-200x50.png FAIRWAY INDEPENDENT MORTGAGE CORPORATION
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Happy Fourth of July!
Fun & Crazy Tidbits About The Fourth Of July Holidays

If you live in the United States, you know that the Fourth of July is one of our most popular and important holidays. Officially, the Fourth of July is known as Independence Day – a federal holiday commemorating the adoption of the Declaration of Independence 241 years ago on July 4, 1776.

We thought it would be fun to share some interesting tidbits and factoids about this date in American History…

  • John Adams declared that fireworks would become part of each Fourth of July celebration. Before the Declaration of Independence was even signed, he envisioned fireworks as a part of the festivities. In a letter to Abigail Adams on July 3, 1776, he wrote that the occasion should be commemorated “with Pomp and Parade, with Shews, Games, Sports, Guns, Bells, Bonfires and Illuminations from one End of this Continent to the other from this Time forward forever more.”
  • The American Pyrotechnics Association (APA) estimates that more than 14,000 professional firework displays light up the skies in the United States each Fourth of July.
  • Approximately 155 million hot dogs and 700 million pounds of chicken are consumed on the Fourth.
  • Americans began observing the Fourth of July as early as 1777, when the first-ever major celebration in Philadelphia included a parade and a thirteen-shot cannon salute and fireworks.
  • To avoid cracking it, the Liberty Bell has not been rung since 1846. To mark the quintessential day, every Fourth of July it is symbolically tapped 13 times.
  • Several countries used the Declaration of Independence as a beacon in their own struggles for freedom. Among them, France. Then later, Greece, Poland, Russia and many countries in South America.
  • In 1826, second U.S. President John Adams and third U.S. President Thomas Jefferson both died. Exactly five years later, fifth U.S. President James Monroe died.
  • In 1930, George Steinbrenner was born.
  • In 1939, Lou Gehrig gave his famous retirement speech at Yankee Stadium after being diagnosed with ALS. He told the crowd that he considered himself "the luckiest man on the face of the earth."
  • Since 1972, Nathan’s Hot Dogs has held their annual hot dog eating competition on the Fourth.
  • In 2016 Joey “Jaws” Chestnut ate 70 hotdogs and buns in 10 minutes; Miki Sudo placed for the women eating 38 1/2 hotdogs.
Did You Know…

US flag 13 stars – Betsy Ross

The stars on the original American flag were in a circle so the 13 Colonies would appear equal.