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    Sunday, January 31, 2010

    Going on the radio to talk about FHA changes coming up and about what's going on with the market.

    Tune in Coachella Valley at FM 94.3 or you can listen online at

    Talking about the 90 day flip rule, MIP changes, condo project approvals and more! Callers welcome!

    Sean La Rue


    Posted via email from Sean LaRue's Posterous

    Wednesday, January 20, 2010

    HUD Press Release with New FHA Rules

    Below is the HUD press release with the new FHA rules.  It states a Mortgagee Letter will be issued tomorrow. 

    In summary it says:

    ·       It increases the upfront premium to 2.25% from the current 1.75%

    ·       FHA will seek legislation to increase the annual premium, which would allow them to possibly reduce the upfront premium.

    ·       There is a minimum FICO of 580 to qualify for the 3.5% down.  Any score less will require a 10% downpayment. 

    ·       Seller concessions will be reduced from 6% to 3%

    ·       Increase lender enforcement.

    For the most part, none of this is a surprise.

    HUD No.10-001

    January 20, 2010

    FHA Announces Policy Changes to Address Risk and Strengthen Finances

    New Measures Will Help FHA Better Manage Risk, While Maintaining Support for the Housing Market and Access for Underserved Communities

    WASHINGTON – Federal Housing Administration (FHA) Commissioner David Stevens today announced a set of policy changes to strengthen the FHA’s capital reserves, while enabling the agency to continue to fulfill its mission to provide access to homeownership for underserved communities. The changes announced today are the latest in a series of changes Stevens has enacted in order to better position the FHA to manage its risk while continuing to support the nation’s housing market recovery.

    The FHA will propose to take the following steps: increase the mortgage insurance premium (MIP); update the combination of FICO scores and down payments for new borrowers; reduce seller concessions to three percent, from six percent; and implement a series of significant measures aimed at increasing lender enforcement. U.S. Housing and Urban Development Secretary Shaun Donovan previewed the changes in December of last year, noting that the FHA would announce additional details before the end of January.

    “Striking the right balance between managing the FHA’s risk, continuing to provide access to underserved communities, and supporting the nation’s economic recovery is critically important,” said Commissioner Stevens. “When combined with the risk management measures announced in September of last year, these changes are among the most significant steps to address risk in the agency’s history. Additionally, by continuing to provide affordable, responsible mortgage products, FHA will support the housing market’s recovery. Importantly, FHA will remain the largest source of home purchase financing for underserved communities.”

    Announced FHA Policy Changes:

    Mortgage insurance premium (MIP) will be increased to build up capital reserves and bring back private lending

    • The first step will be to raise the up-front MIP by 50 bps to 2.25% and request legislative authority to increase the maximum annual MIP that the FHA can charge.
    • If this authority is granted, then the second step will be to shift some of the premium increase from the up-front MIP to the annual MIP.
    • This shift will allow for the capital reserves to increase with less impact to the consumer, because the annual MIP is paid over the life of the loan instead of at the time of closing
    • The initial up-front increase is included in a Mortgagee Letter to be released tomorrow, January 21st, and will go into effect in the spring.

       Update the combination of FICO scores and down payments for new borrowers.

    • New borrowers will now be required to have a minimum FICO score of 580 to qualify for FHA’s 3.5% down payment program. New borrowers with less than a 580 FICO score will be required to put down at least 10%.
    • This allows the FHA to better balance its risk and continue to provide access for those borrowers who have historically performed well.
    • This change will be posted in the Federal Register in February and, after a notice and comment period, would go into effect in the early summer.

       Reduce allowable seller concessions from 6% to 3%

    • The current level exposes the FHA to excess risk by creating incentives to inflate appraised value. This change will bring FHA into conformity with industry standards on seller concessions.
    • This change will be posted in the Federal Register in February, and after a notice and comment period, would go into effect in the early summer.

      Increase enforcement on FHA lenders

    • Publicly report lender performance rankings to complement currently available Neighborhood Watch data – Will be available on the HUD website on February 1.
    • This is an operational change to make information more user-friendly and hold lenders more accountable; it does not require new regulatory action as Neighborhood Watch data is currently publicly available.
  • Enhance monitoring of lender performance and compliance with FHA guidelines and standards.
    • Implement Credit Watch termination through lender underwriting ID in addition to originating ID.
    • This change is included in a Mortgagee Letter to be released tomorrow, January 21st, and is effective immediately.
  • Implement statutory authority through regulation of section 256 of the National Housing Act to enforce indemnification provisions for lenders using delegated insuring process
    • Specifications of this change will be posted in March, and after a notice and comment period, would go into effect in early summer.
  • HUD is pursuing legislative authority to increase enforcement on FHA lenders. Specific authority includes:
    • Amendment of section 256 of the National Housing Act to apply indemnification provisions to all Direct Endorsement lenders.This would require all approved mortgagees to assume liability for all of the loans that they originate and underwrite
    • Legislative authority permitting HUD maximum flexibility to establish separate “areas” for purposes of review and termination under the Credit Watch initiative. This would provide authority to withdraw originating and underwriting approval for a lender nationwide on the basis of the performance of its regional branches

    In addition to the changes proposed today, the FHA is continuing to review its overall response to housing market conditions, and continuing to evaluate its mortgage insurance underwriting standards and its measures to help distressed and underwater borrowers through FHA/HAMP and other FHA initiatives going forward.


    Sean's Mortgage WebSite | Sean's Mortgage Blog | Click for Sean's Weekly Update | Click for Sean's Monthly Update

    Posted via email from Sean LaRue's Posterous


    Hi Rich!
    Thank you so much for your very kind email. Mom and I are so thrilled to be in our own home.
    Maria and Sean made the process very easy. We would like to thank you for sending Maria to us.
    She was a perfect fit - caring, professional, fun, patient, knowledgeable, and supportive. Sean was
    cut from the same cloth - caring, professional, thorough, patient, knowledgeable, friendly, and
    supportive. They make a great team!
    Mom and I are blessed to now add you, Maria and Sean to our list of friends.
    Thank you for everything!

    Daria and Christine Smith

    Posted via web from Sean LaRue's Posterous

    Hi Rich!
    Thank you so much for your very kind email. Mom and I are so thrilled to be in our own home.
    Maria and Sean made the process very easy. We would like to thank you for sending Maria to us.
    She was a perfect fit - caring, professional, fun, patient, knowledgeable, and supportive. Sean was
    cut from the same cloth - caring, professional, thorough, patient, knowledgeable, friendly, and
    supportive. They make a great team!
    Mom and I are blessed to now add you, Maria and Sean to our list of friends.
    Thank you for everything!

    Daria and Christine Smith

    What's so SPECIAL about GMAIL?

    On the first day of class, my Social Media and Blogging students learn they cannot make it through the first day or move on to the second class without first signing up to Gmail to get a built-in Google account. I bring it up on my E-mail Marketing, Web Design and even Intro to Computers classes, as well, and even have a “Getting a Google Account” hand out.

    While some of my students may very well have a Gmail address already, they are mostly unaware of the many benefits adhered to the wonder that is a Google Account.  For my AOL, Comcast, Earthlink, Yahoo and MSN users, it may not be so obvious why I seem to be obsessed with them switching to a Gmail account.

    Today was a special day, though…I actually taught the first session of a series on Google Apps, which includes the use of Gmail, Google Docs and Google Calendar. I love teaching others to use technology devices and applications I love. It sure doesn’t feel like work!

    What’s so special about Gmail anyway?

    Gmail Labs

    • Archiving – Keep your inbox uncluttered and “hide” messages you’ve already worked on. Find your messages easily by using the amazing SEARCH MAIL box or clicking All Mail.
    • Message translation – If you receive an email in a different language, Gmail can translate your message into a language you can understand with just one click.
    • Undo send – You can have a grace period of a few seconds to cancel sending, then edit your message before sending again. I try to put the e-mail address on there last, but this actually makes sense.
    • Offline Access – Can you believe that Gmail can work when you’re not connected to the internet?  Wow…
    • Labels – This is just such a beautiful e-mail feature. Anyone who loves organization like I do knows that labeling your items will make it easier to find them or access them at a later time. Labels work together with Filters to give us back control over our e-mail addresses.
    • View Image – View PDF – You can preview PDFs  and images on your browser (Internet Explorer, Firefox) without having to download them or open them with an application.
    • Tasks – This feature is key in keeping me organized and on track. Adding tasks to your to-do list and checking them off as you complete them is sweet!  You can actually convert an e-mail message into a task. (Accessible on mobile, too). Too unbelievable!
    • Text Messaging -There’s a short messaging system [SMS] built-in  Gmail. Send your text messages using your PC keyboard.  I love that!
    • Set the Tone Theme – From minimalist grays to dynamic mountain landscapes, choose from over 30 options to personalize the look and feel of your Gmail account.
    • Gmail voice and video chat – If you’ve used Skype, then you’re familiar with this concept… sort of.  Gmail users can actually view and listen to each other, by simply downloading Google Chat and having their web cam activated.
    • Use Emoticons on your messages. A real wide variety of “expressive icons” on both chat and e-mail.
    • Gmail for mobile 2.0. By going to on your BlackBerry (I have the World Edition so I can use it internationally), you can download this wonderful tool for offline e-mail capabilities.
    • Gmail for AIM® friends. I’m a Yahoo! Messenger kind of girl, but many of my friends are on AIM®. I can now include them on my Google chat list without having to do an unwanted switch to AOL. (Not that there’s anything wrong with that…).  {AOL and AIM are trademarks of AOL LLC }
    • Colored labels – Everything is better in color! This is true for your labels. I use my blue and green, of course.
    • HTTPS by default - This protocol has been  To protect your Gmail account, we’ve turned on the option to “always use HTTPS” for everyone and encrypts your page to protect your password.
    • Group chat – This Gmail option works fabulously for online meetings or “family reunions”. Multiple people and no multiple windows. Yay!
    • Easy Access to Attachments- You can access Microsoft Word documents, Excel spreadsheets, and even Powerpoint presentations (as slideshows) without having to download them into your computer or opening an application. 
    • 20 MB! The allowed size of attachments to your e-mail is double on Gmail.
    • Get mail and send mail from other accounts – You can retrieve new and old messages from other accounts, as well as customize
      the ‘From:’ address, so they look like they were sent from another one of your email accounts.
    • Message notifications - You will see updates to an e-mail conversation even while you are typing a reply. “That was fast!”.
    • Forward all – You can forward a whole thread of a message, not just single messages.
    • Offline Chat – You can leave “offline messages” to your chatting friends so they can see them when they logon next.
    • – Download this application and and start accessing Gmail on your phone.
    • Voicemail – If you use Google chat, you can send and retrieve voicemail right on your e-mail as an audio file.
    • Put a face on your Contacts – You can set a photo for yourself and your contacts so it shows up next to the contact name.
    • Vacation auto-responder – Tell everyone when you’re on vacation and will be back,  leave the name and number of someone who can assist them or your own contact information overseas, or whatever may be the case.
    • Contact groups – You can send messages to a group instead of having to pick out the individual addresses every time. This is a great time saver.
    • View as HTML – Now you can view Microsoft Office, OpenOffice or .pdf attachments as web pages. Download what?
    • Auto-save – This is such a blessing. When you’re composing a message, it saves to ‘Drafts’ automatically so you don’t lose your information!
    • Gmail on – If you use iGoogle, you can access Gmail from your personalized Google page.
    • Free POP access and automatic forwarding – This is a great tool so you can use to access your e-mail messages via Outlook or Blackberry.
    • Import Contacts -  You can move all your contacts from Yahoo! Mail, Outlook, and others to Gmail in just a few clicks. Exporting is also very easy, if you’re using e-mail marketing software and need a CSV file.
    • Signature options – On the settings page, you will find an option to create a signature that’s automatically added to the end of all your outgoing messages. Mine has links to my Facebook business pages, Linkedin, YouTube, Twitter, blog, website and other contact information.

    You can use your Google DOCS, Google CALENDAR and events right with your Gmail.  A Gmail account is also a Google account, so you can access Google Reader, Google Alerts, Google Analytics, Blogger, Picassa, Chrome, and YouTube.

    Are you still hesitant? If you’re not, welcome to revolutionary e-mailing!

    For more information, connect with me:

    About the Author: Elayna Fernandez is a proud mother, founder of the Positive Mommies Network, blogging/social media/web design instructor, and marketing/branding strategist.

    Thank you for taking the time to reading my post. Have a powerful day!

    This article is the sole intellectual property of Elayna Fernandez. Copyright Designed 2 Impress, Inc.

    Posted via email from Sean LaRue's Posterous

    Tuesday, January 19, 2010

    HUD Expands Anti-Flipping Waiver - Investors May Participate

    Below is updated information on HUD's annoucement on their flipping policy.  We expect this week to have an announcement from HUD on the final changes to their credit policies.  As soon as this is available we will get the information out to you.

    HUD Expands Anti-Flipping Waiver – Investors May Participate
    On January 15, 2010, the US Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) announced that it is temporarily expanding the property flipping waiver to include investors and entities that purchase foreclosures either singly or in bulk for resale.  The waiver takes effect on February 1, 2010, and is expires in one year.  Under the waiver, homes that were foreclosed on and are being sold by the mortgagee or on its behalf may be purchased by FHA borrowers without regard to the 90-day seasoning period.  NAR worked with the California Association of REALTORS® and FHA to expand the waiver.

    All transactions must meet the following three conditions:

    1) All transactions must be arms-length.  The waiver outlines several actions the lender may take to ensure there is no inappropriate collusion or agreements between parties.

    2) Lender must justify the increased value it exceeds 20 percent of the seller’s acquisition cost.  The lender justifies the increase in value by retaining supporting documentation in the loan file and/or obtaining a second appraisal. The lender must also order a home inspection and provide the inspection report to the borrower (the lender may require the borrower to pay for the inspection).

    3) The HECM Program (reverse mortgages) is not eligible.

    HUD first announced the waiver on June 9, 2008, and the waiver was to be in effect for only one year.  HUD exempted from the property flipping rules properties sold by HUD through its Real Estate Owned activities, new homes being sold by builders and properties being sold by relocation companies and the property owner’s employer as part of a job relocation.  HUD later extended the waiver through May 10, 2010.  

    Make It A Great Day,

    Let's Get Connected!

    Facebook | Twitter | YouTube | Linkedin

    Sean's Mortgage WebSite | Sean's Mortgage Blog | Click for Sean's Weekly Update | Click for Sean's Monthly Update

    Posted via email from Sean LaRue's Posterous

    Saturday, January 16, 2010

    "Are Your Ears Burning?- 20 Tools for Tracking Social Media Marketing"

    I thought this was great! Especially numero ocho...

    By Merle

    Social media websites such as Facebook and Twitter make it easy for people to come together and share opinions, experiences and thoughts on a number of topics. Smart companiespanda understand this and are using the power of social media to connect and inform their customers, and potential customers. Referred to as "Social Media Marketing", it's a smart way to open the lines of communication between you and your prospects.

    Social media activities run the gamut from Blogging, micro blogging sites

    such as Twitter, social networking communities such as LinkedIn and Facebook, video and music uploading sites, discussion forums, photo sharing and more. With so many different sites and ways to participate, it can be difficult to keep track of all your efforts.

    Participating in social media doesn't take a lot of money, but it is very time consuming and businesses want to know that all of this investment in time is paying off. Before launching a campaign, you should have a firm grasp on what it is you're trying to accomplish. Is it increasing website traffic? Getting more ezine subscribers? Having more people download your free ebook or whitepaper? Or maybe you just want to work on your company's brand image. Whatever it is, you need to have a plan. As the old saying goes, "If you don't know where you're going, you'll never get there”. Have your game plan intact before getting started in marketing yourself, or your company with social media.

    There are many different forms of social media, so it's impossible to use them all. Pick three or four, and funnel the majority of your efforts there. Even if you won't be working them all, at the very least you should claim your name or company name on as many social services as possible. You don't want to find out later that someone has the user name that you want. If you need to see if your chosen user name is available try which checks dozens of social media networking and bookmarking sites all at once to see if it's available. Claim your name now so you won't end up being sorry later.

    So how do you monitor all the buzz? How do you monitor your brand and protect your hard earned reputation? I thought you'd never ask. There isn't one fool-proof method but there are many services and tools out there that will make it easy to see who's talking about you online. Some are free and others will make you pull out your wallet.

    These "online reputation management" tools, as they're often referred to, will help you to  define keywords, or phrases you wish to track and then watches for any mention of your company name, products, or services. It's important to defend and monitor your online reputation. Similar to High School reputations, protecting your image online is the name of the game, and just as in real life, everyone has one to maintain. 

    Let's take a look at some of the measuring and tracking tools at your disposal:  happybirds4Small

    1) : A search engine for Twitter. See who's tweeting your links and more. Can also sign up for email alerts of new findings.

    2) : A little different than the others , you type in a keyword, topic or phrase and out it goes searching the top blogs, news sites, Google, Technorati, Ask, YouTube, Flickr, Digg, Topix and more. You'll be given a personalized results page to bookmark with everything it finds related to your topic.

    3) : All about Internet buzz, it tracks several different websites to bring you what's "hot" right now.

    4) : Search for the latest and greatest on topics that are popular right now. Type in a keyphrase and it searches blogs, social news sites, photo and video sites for your chosen topic.

    5) : This service watches for comments on blog posts, Digg, Flickr, and others and notifies you of any findings.

    6) : A better way to organize and sort Google alerts. Get a daily report emailed to you in a spreadsheet format of what it finds.

    7) : A search engine for forums only. Monitor discussion boards and be notified by email when a thread matching your search terms is discovered. Free to use.

    8) : I've been using this "secret weapon" for years. Simply type in your name or company name and receive daily emails of results found. They do the work, you receive the links. Free and nice.

    9) : An online reputation management tool with a real-time, concise overview of your online reputation. Multiple levels of services and pricing available. Starting at $1.00.

    10) : Another Twitter only search engine.

    11) : Type in your url and find out what's being said about you. The results returned are gathered from Google Blog Search, Twitter, FriendFeed, YouTube, MySpace, Digg, Delicious and many more.

    12) This service tracks your brands, companies, even the ompetition. Sign up for free weekly updates on any brand. Their detailed reports break down what sites like you, your most talked about features, weekly summary of all blogs and forum activity. Very similar to the old "press clipping" service.

    13) : A tool that scans many websites including blogs, news, image and video sites, forums and notifies you of any mention of your brand, products/services. Easy to use and affordable. Prices vary depending on need, a personal account is only $18.00 a month, corporate account $88.00 a month with other options also available. Try a "personal" account free for 14 days.

    14) : This one searches online news sources, Twitter and others to find out what's being said about you or your company. Pricing is based on the number of users, but there is a free version that provides "5 filters" and 15 days of what they call "article history".

    15) : Just like Google Alerts but for social media. Enter your keyword phrase and email address to be notified of any new findings. Searches blogs, microblogs like Twitter, bookmarks, comments, events, images, news, videos and more.

    16) : A search engine that searches only for data posted to blogs. Enter your keyword, hit submit and off it goes to gather results.

    17) : Billing itself as a "conversational search engine" they index millions of conversations from social networks, blogs and other social media.

    18) : Industry insiders claim this to be the leading social media monitoring solution online. Choice of free or paid version. Free is limited to five searches and 1,000 results. There are three paid professional levels: Gold, Diamond, or Platinum.

    19) : This paid service finds out everything there is to know about you online, and if negative information is found they try to have it removed. Different types of plans are available such as "My Reputation", "My Privacy", starting at only $14.95 a month.

    20) : Topsy will track your tweets that have been retweeted so you can find out who's been sending you all that "link love". Type in your Twitter user name and you'll be amazed at what you find.

    If you'd like to track incoming traffic from your various social media profiles, an easy way to do it using Google Analytics can be found here

    Just as there are many ways to market your company using social media, as you can see, there's a multitude of tools and services at your disposal to track and see if all of that hard work is paying off. Smart companies realize the importance of social media in their marketing efforts and are utilizing it on some level. How smart are you?

    Posted via email from Sean LaRue's Posterous

    Monday, January 11, 2010

    I thought you may like this. Handbook 2010

    HANDBOOK 2010


    1. Drink plenty of water.
    2. Eat breakfast like a king, lunch like a prince and dinner like a beggar.
    3. Eat more foods that grow on trees and plants and eat less food that is manufactured in plants..
    4. Live with the 3 E's -- Energy, Enthusiasm and Empathy
    5. Make time to pray or meditate.
    6. Play more games
    7. Read more books than you did in 2009 .
    8. Sit in silence for at least 10 minutes each day
    9. Sleep for 7 hours.
    10. Take a 10-30 minutes walk daily. And while you walk, smile.

    11. Don't compare your life to others. You have no idea what their journey is all about.
    12. Don't have negative thoughts or things you cannot control. Instead invest your energy in the positive present moment.
    13. Don't over do. Keep your limits.
    14. Don't take yourself so seriously. No one else does.
    15. Don't waste your precious energy on gossip.
    16. Dream more while you are awake
    17. Envy is a waste of time. You already have all you need..
    18. Forget issues of the past. Don't remind your partner with His/her mistakes of the past. That will ruin your present happiness.
    19. Life is too short to waste time hating anyone. Don't hate others.
    20. Make peace with your past so it won't spoil the present.
    21. No one is in charge of your happiness except you.
    22. Realize that life is a school and you are here to learn. Problems are simply part of the curriculum that appear and fade away like algebra class but the lessons you learn will last a lifetime.
    23. Smile and laugh more.
    24. You don't have to win every argument. Agree to disagree...

    25. Call your family often.
    26. Each day give something good to others.
    27. Forgive everyone for everything..
    28. Spend time w/ people over the age of 70 & under the age of 6.
    29. Try to make at least three people smile each day.
    30. What other people think of you is none of your business.
    31. Your job won't take care of you when you are sick. Your friends will. Stay in touch.


    32. Do the right thing!
    33. Get rid of anything that isn't useful, beautiful or joyful.
    34. Faith heals everything.
    35. However good or bad a situation is, it will change..
    36. No matter how you feel, get up, dress up and show up.
    37. The best is yet to come..
    38. When you awake alive in the morning, be thankful for it.
    39. Your Inner most is always happy. So, be happ

    Make It a Great Day,

    Sean K. La Rue
    Sr. Vice President
    ׀ Franklin Loan Center ׀ Se Habla Espa├▒ol

    Direct: 760-837-1488 ׀ Mobile: 760-835-5663 ׀ Fax: 800-784-9089

    44-800 Village Court Palm Desert, CA 92260
    “Your KEY to Moving Home!”

    Let's Get Connected!


    Sean's Mortgage WebSite ׀ Sean's Mortgage Blog I Click for Sean's Weekly Update I Click for Sean's Monthly Update I Mortgage Hotline Radio Archives

    Join us on the Desert’s New Station AM 970, 1140, and 1250 every Sunday from 11am to 12pm for the "Mortgage Hotline" where we are taking your calls to help you wade through the unchartered waters of loan modification and government mortgage programs! You can listen to a live stream at K-News Radio and download archives!

    ***CONFIDENTIALITY NOTICE: This email may contain information that is privileged or confidential.  If you are not the intended recipient, please delete the e-mail and any attachments without reading, printing, copying or forwarding it, and please notify us.

    Posted via email from Sean LaRue's Posterous

    Friday, January 8, 2010

    Isaac - Letter from a Client



    Greetings! Before the week is ended and my new house is closed, we would like to take this opportunity to thank you for moving the loan paperwork forward diligently and steadily in spite of the many challenges you might have encountered at your end. I know sometimes many of the challenges you face internally the customers (Matt and Bina) would not see or hear. But I know that you often become the advocate and the middleman for what is best for both parties. I know this happens in all businesses. We realize this and thank you very much for all your hardwork.


    Our urgency for closing on this property and my frustration should in no way reflect that we are displeased with your work or efforts. You did well under the circumstances and we thank you and appreciate your help. Please have a great weekend!


    PS: Did you know that our son's name is Shawn too.


    Take care!


    Matthew and Bina Isaac

    Posted via email from Sean LaRue's Posterous

    Thursday, January 7, 2010

    SeanLaRueHomeLoans sent you a video: "2020 Olympic Game PingPong Champion"

    Check out this kid....

    Begin forwarded message:

    From: YouTube Service <>
    Date: January 7, 2010 12:10:28 AM PST
    Subject: SeanLaRueHomeLoans sent you a video: "2020 Olympic Game PingPong Champion"

    YouTube help center | e-mail options | report spam

    SeanLaRueHomeLoans has shared a video with you on YouTube:

    Check this kid out...
    6 year old girl is practicing table tennis
    © 2009 YouTube, LLC
    901 Cherry Ave, San Bruno, CA 94066

    Posted via email from Sean LaRue's Posterous