I have updated my speaker and training bio. Please click on the picture below to watch the video. To contact me for an event, please go to http://www.speakermatch.com/profile/drdianehamilton/
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Key underwriting details for the Home Affordable Refinance Program (HARP) are anticipated to be available in mid-March. This program is intended to help people refinance homes that would not previously have qualified under the old system. To find out if a home qualifies for this program, homeowners can go to the following links:
- Find out if home loan qualifies for refinance with Fannie Mae
- Find out if home loan qualifies for refinance with Freddie Mac
For those who have managed to stay current on their mortgage, there are some additional eligibility requirements. The loan must be a Freddie Mac or Fannie Mae loan that was sold on or before May 31, 2009. The loan-to-value ratio must be greater than 80%. Click here to find out more about eligibility requirements for HARP.
Nina Penny, Arizona loan officer, stated, “Not all mortgage service providers participate in HARP. People may also be confused as to whether their home qualifies. I personally have offered to look up homes for my customers to help them discover if their home qualifies.”
To find out if a loan qualifies for this program, check the above links. If the home loan is listed on the site, then contact a participating mortgage service provider. More information may be obtained by contacting HARP at 888-995-HOPE (4673).
- Videos explaining HARP available from MakingHomeAffordable.Gov
- How to avoid foreclosure rescue scam
- FAQs regarding HARP click here
- Updated HARP 2.0 Requirements
- Defaulting on Your Mortgage: How it Affects Your Credit Score
- Lending from a Loan Officer’s Perspective
- Bad Credit Causing More Unemployment
- What is HARP and HARP 2.0?
- HARP: What You Need To Know
- Top Ten Personal Finance Articles
Many consumers have taken a financial hit with the recent economic climate. As more people are defaulting on their home loans, it is interesting to see the impact on FICO scores.
What may be a surprise is how many wealthy people with good credit are going into foreclosure. A recent article by the Arizona Republic mentioned how affluent, savvy homeowners are choosing to default on their home loans based on weighing the pros and cons to such a decision. “Recent research suggests that affluent people tend to be the main strategic defaulters, and these individuals are also the ones who would sustain more serious credit-score damage. This chart shows the resulting credit scores for two hypothetical consumers – one with an average initial score of 680 on the FICO scale and another with a high initial score of 780.”
Situation Initial 680 Score Initial 780 Score 30 days late on mortgage 600-620 670-690 90 days late on mortgage 600-620 650-670 Short sale, no deficiency 610-630 655-675 Short sale with deficiency or foreclosure 575-595 620-640 Bankruptcy 530-550 540-560
The savvy homeowner that sees their home investment as a money pit, may go ahead and buy what they perceive as a better home purchase, perhaps a short sale, before they default on their original investment. In this way, they have good credit to purchase the new home before they take the hit to their credit score caused by the default of their original home purchase.
Sites like HysterSisters have been popular for women who want to get together and discuss their menopause and hysterectomy-related issues. Now there is a site for people to utilize who may be considering plastic surgery. The site MakeMeHeal.com offers a variety of information including everything from post-surgical underwear choices to information about what products may be helpful to heal after specific surgeries.
If a patient is considering eyelid surgery (blepharoplasty) for example, they can go to the link specifically about that procedure to find out details about the surgery including how long it will take to recover, homeopathic remedies for pain relief, what other comfort products are available, and even what makeup works the best as camouflage.
Like the HysterSisters site, the MakeMeHeal site offers a message board. According to their site, “Our plastic surgery message boards are for all of us who want to talk, listen, share, help, and support fellow women and men interested in cosmetic surgery and non-surgical procedures. You can read messages without logging in. To post a message, please log in or register. It’s free…and being a member gives you access to important information.”
The site even offers a directory of doctors. Be aware that the doctors with a lot of information and recommendations may also be advertising on the site. It is important that you research any physician on additional sites. Patients can rate their doctors and even upload their own before and after pictures. There is a “create your photo album” option available for those interested in keeping track of several operations.
I recently asked Dr. Robert Spies, a board-certified plastic surgeon in Arizona what he thought about this site. Dr. Spies stated, “It’s an informative, easy-to-navigate website that provides excellent up-to-date information on the latest plastic surgery procedures.” For additional information about specific operations, see the following links from Dr. Robert Spies, MD at Arizona Plastic Surgical Center:
Arizona State University is just one of many major universities that have started to increase the number of online courses they offer. Within the next decade, ASU expects that 25% of their students will be exclusively taking virtual classes. ASU and other schools are keeping up with their learners’ desire to take online courses.
The Sloan Consortium, also known as Sloan-C, is an institutional and professional organization integrating online education into mainstream education. The consortium is committed to quality online education. The Arizona Republic reported, “According to an annual Sloan Survey of Online Learning at 2,500 colleges and universities, 29 percent of students took at least one course online in fall 2009, up from nearly 12 percent in fall 2003.”
In a recent webinar I created and delivered for Sloan-C, there was strong interest by educators to learn how to deliver effective online courses. There is no mistaking the popularity of online education. Even Bill Gates praised online learning in his 2010 Annual Letter stating, “A lot of people, including me, think this is the next place where the internet will surprise people in how it can improve things.” According to a recent survey by the Sloan Consortium, more than 5.6 million students took an online class last fall, which translates to about 30 percent of college students.
The days of thinking that online education is somehow inferior is changing. Arizona’s three main universities are all embracing online learning. ASU is ramping up their online program. University of Arizona (U of A) has nearly 30 degree programs exclusively available online; many of these programs are graduate-level. Northern Arizona University (NAU) has 63 exclusively online programs and anticipates a 10% growth increase per year.
Arizona universities are not the only major universities to get on board with online education. Some other very prominent universities that also offer online courses include:
- Stanford University Online Degree: Their Center for Professional Development offers 23 master’s degrees online and 35 certificate programs.
- New York University Online Degree: NYU offers a number of online programs through its School of Continuing Studies, including certificates and full master of science degrees (including an MBA) in business.
- Harvard University Online Degree: Harvard Extension School offers on-campus and online classes and undergraduate degree programs and graduate programs.
- University of Notre Dame Online Degree: Notre Dame Online offers several degree programs that can be completed entirely online.
If you or someone you know is considering taking an online class, it is important to understand the terminology, the process and the tricks to being successful as an independent learner. For help, check out: The Online Student’s User Manual: Everything You Need to Know to be a Successful Online Student.
For-profit schools have been waiting to see the final version of the new gainful employment rule that was made public on Thursday. Many are relieved to see that the final design was not as strict as originally anticipated. However, how it actually impacts these schools won’t be truly known until next year when the U.S. Department of Education releases information about how students are paying off their loans.
The new gainful employment rule goes into effect July 2, 2012. This rule was set up to restrict students from using government aid to pay for schooling that doesn’t include occupations that have a strong entry-level salary. This rule affects the big schools like University of Phoenix but it also has an impact on the smaller cosmetology and other private sector colleges.
Federal financial aid has been a big factor in financing students’ education. This has caused concern for-profit schools should this funding should be cut off.
The Arizona Republic Reported, “Under the gainful-employment rule, students can’t use federal aid for programs that fail three tests: at least 35 percent of former students in that program must be paying down their loan balance, the student loan payment must not exceed 30 percent of typical graduates’ discretionary income, or the annual loan payment does not exceed 12 percent of typical graduates’ total earnings. If a school’s program fails the test three times in four years, it is cut off from federal financial-aid funding. For the first time, starting in July, the rule requires schools to disclose total program costs, graduation rates, job placement rates, loan repayment rates and other information to students. Earlier versions of the rule had tougher student repayment standards, took effect faster and did not have the “three strikes” provision. The final version gives schools more time to correct deficiencies and makes it likely that fewer will lose access to federal student aid dollars.”
Click here for the new Gainful Employment Rule guidelines.
Today, March 18, 2011 the FREE YOB Fair will be held at the Shrine Auditorium at 552 N. 40th Street in Phoenix. I will have a booth there. I hope anyone in the Phoenix area will come stop by and say hello. Jerry Colangelo and Pat McMahon will be keynote speakers there. “YOB is a revolutionary collaboration of Arizona’s business owners, visionaries, leaders, community members and resources charging forward as one. Never before has there been a time and opportunity to come together and maximize our collective knowledge, experience, resources and success. YOB is the first large business fair in Arizona to exchange tools, opportunities, alliances, strategies and vision in one power-packed day.”
I will be available to answer questions about career change, online learning and how to utilize personality assessments in the workplace. Learn how to utilizing the ability to understand personalities to:
- Inerview job applicants
- Increase team productivity
- Recognize how to get the most out of employees
- Recognize how to deal with customers
Plus a lot more. If you would like to have a basic understanding of your Myers Briggs MBTI type, I will be able to give you some guidance today at the YOB Fair.
- Community News: YOB Business Fair March 18, 2011 (otef.org)
- Can’t Afford to Take the Myers Briggs MBTI? A Free Way to Determine Your Personality Type and Job Preferences (drdianehamilton.wordpress.com)
- 5 Top Networking Tips for Small Businesses (drdianehamilton.wordpress.com)