Mortgage Rates Slip Lower

Mortgage Rates Slip Lower

Mortgage Rates Slip Lower

Rates for most mortgage products fell to new lows, but the average rate on the benchmark conforming 30-year fixed mortgage rate inched higher to 4.47 percent, according to Bankrate.com’s weekly national survey. The average 30-year fixed mortgage has an average of 0.35 discount and origination points.

To see mortgage rates in your area, go to http://www.bankrate.com/funnel/mortgages/.

The average 15-year fixed mortgage slipped to 3.85 percent, and the larger jumbo 30-year fixed rate retreated to 5.10 percent, both record lows. Adjustable rate mortgages hit new lows also, with the average 5-year ARM declining to 3.62 percent and the average 7-year ARM backpedalling to 3.86 percent.

Mortgage rates were mostly lower this week, for both fixed and adjustable rate loans. While the Federal Reserve is likely to resume a bond purchase program designed to push interest rates lower, don’t assume this will automatically translate into lower mortgage rates. Why? For starters, the current foreclosure moratorium mess raises both the cost and the amount of time involved in foreclosure, factors that could ultimately be passed along to future borrowers through higher mortgage rates.

The last time mortgage rates were above 6 percent was Nov. 2008. At that time, the average rate was 6.33 percent, meaning a $200,000 loan would have carried a monthly payment of $1,241.86. With the average rate now 4.47 percent, the monthly payment for the same size loan would be $1,009.81, a savings of $232 per month for a homeowner refinancing now.

SURVEY RESULTS

30-year fixed: 4.47% — up from 4.45% last week (avg. points: 0.35)

15-year fixed: 3.85% — down from 3.87% last week (avg. points: 0.33)

5/1 ARM: 3.62% — down from 3.64% last week (avg. points: 0.33)

Bankrate’s national weekly mortgage survey is conducted each Wednesday from data provided by the top 10 banks and thrifts in the top 10 markets.

For a full analysis of this week’s move in mortgage rates, go to http://www.bankrate.com/mortgage.aspx.

The survey is complemented by Bankrate’s weekly Rate Trend Index, in which a panel of mortgage experts predicts which way the rates are headed over the next seven days. More than half of the panelists, 59 percent, say mortgage rates aren’t headed much of anywhere and will remain more or less unchanged. More than one in four respondents, 29 percent, expect mortgage rates to move higher while just 12 percent predict further declines over the next week.

For the full mortgage Rate Trend Index, go to http://www.bankrate.com/RTI.

US-Poland Business Council to Focus on Growing Opportunities

US-Poland Business Council to Focus on Growing Opportunities

The US-Poland Business Council announced today their plan to lead a foundational Business Mission to Poland from October 18th-19th, 2010 in the capital city of Warsaw.  The mission will mark the official launch of the US-Poland Business Council with the intent to further develop the bilateral economic and commercial relationship between the United States and Poland.  The Business Council was founded in the summer of 2010 by 17  US multinational companies including: The AES Corporation, The Boeing Company, Chevron, ConocoPhillips, Eli Lilly, ExxonMobil, Fluor Corporation, International Paper, Marathon Oil, Owens-Illinois, Inc., PHRMA, Raytheon Company, The Shaw Group Inc., Smithfield Foods, Inc., The Timken Company, US Steel and Westinghouse Electric Co.

The mission will focus on the growing opportunities and potential offered by conducting business in Poland and emphasize areas of mutual benefit and interest.  Meetings during the two day mission will include discussions of bilateral market access restrictions and European Commission regulations and policies.  The purpose of the meetings is to cultivate strategic alliances with key interlocutors in the Government of Poland, the US Embassy, as well as the private sector business associations based in Warsaw.  The business delegation will be received and hosted by Poland’s Deputy Prime Minister, Waldemar Pawlak, and Foreign Minister, Radoslaw Sikorski.

“Poland was the only country in the European Union to experience positive economic growth in the past year and is well positioned to take the helm of the Presidency of the European Council beginning in July 2011,” said Eric Stewart, President of the US-Poland Business Council.  “This trip provides a unique opportunity to learn directly from the Polish leadership their plans for guiding Europe through these tough economic times,” added Stewart.  “This mission will establish that the commercial relationship between the US and Poland is important for the mutual economic success of both countries.”

The US-Poland Business Council is a Washington, DC based non-profit organization that promotes commercial relations between the United States and Poland. The mission of the Council is to enhance US-Poland trade and investment, advance the US-Poland bilateral relationship, and educate the public about its importance.  To achieve its mission, the Council will sponsor policy conferences, briefing sessions and major events featuring senior US and Polish officials, academic and business leaders.

FTC Enforces New Rules for Debt Relief

FTC Enforces New Rules for Debt Relief

FTC Enforces New Rules for Debt Relief-Image via Wikipedia

A new ruling takes effect this month to protect consumers seeking debt relief services. The new Federal Trade Commission rule bans for-profit debt settlement companies from charging for services before they deliver – but even with the rule change, consumers need to find the right company for them.

Prestige Financial Solutions, which offers the Pay As You Settle® (PAYS) program, has created a list of tips to help consumers. “It can be a highly emotional situation, and people need to be sure they’re working with a reputable, established company,” said Amy Thompson, who for four years has run Prestige. PAYS is a program that provides debt settlement services to consumers around the country.

Since launching PAYS, Prestige has operated in the spirit of the 2010 ruling, unlike most for-profit debt settlement companies. “We felt it was the right thing to do all along,” Thompson said.

Tips for Choosing a Debt Settlement Company

  1. Choose a company that is accredited with The Association of Settlement Companies and the United States Organization for Bankruptcy Alternatives. Both organizations perform audits of their accredited members to make sure they perform ethically and appropriately.
  2. Check the company’s rating with the local Better Business Bureau – choose one with at least an A rating.
  3. Choose a firm that is full-service and who will do all the work on your account – including negotiate on your behalf with your creditors – as opposed to a company that outsources any part of the program. This ensures your financial information is secure with one company.
  4. You don’t need an attorney to settle your debt – they often charge more because they don’t do the work themselves. Also, they are not subject to the FTC ruling and so will be able to continue charging upfront fees.
  5. Make sure the company can actually help you with your particular situation before you sign up. A reputable company will listen to your story and, if they can’t help you, will give you other options.
  6. Choose a company that’s been in business long enough to have a solid track record of success and a good reputation.

“Too many people don’t ask for help when they’re in debt. The right debt settlement company advocates for you to help you get a new start,” Thompson said.

Pay as You Settle® (PAYS®) is one of the nation’s leading and only industry accredited pay-as-you-go debt settlement program. The program was designed by long-time debt settlement industry professionals at Prestige Financial Solutions and can be found online at www.payasyousettle.com or by calling 800.441.7297.

Real Estate Decline Blamed on Industry Professionals

Real Estate Decline Blamed on Industry Professionals

Real Estate Decline Blamed on Industry Professionals-Image via Wikipedia

The real estate industry must accept its “proper share of the blame” in the series of missteps leading to the global economic recession and the housing and commercial property decline, according to Urban Land Institute (ULI) Chairman Jeremy Newsum.

“There were many keys to this bomb and we held one,” said Newsum, executive trustee of U.K.-based Grosvenor Estate. The role of real estate in the downturn, and the repositioning necessary for companies to survive the remainder of the fallout and be poised for growth were discussed by Newsum today at a media briefing at ULI’s 2010 Fall Meeting in Washington.

“The fact is, we (real estate industry professionals) lost control of the agenda. Real estate is about buildings and the people who occupy them, collectively forming an urban community,” he said. “Real estate is not primarily about money, and we should not have allowed real estate to become just another playground for financial engineers.”

According to Newsum, the “new normal” for the industry is one that is focused on the operators – the creators and owners of real estate who view their businesses as a long-term investment. The “old abnormal” was real estate being the “puppet of finance,” he said, with real estate viewed more as an investment opportunity than a building for occupation.

During the boom leading to the bust, it became increasingly common for large financial institutions to hold direct portfolios of real estate – a mistake, Newsum said, because those managing the portfolios are, by the nature of their business, more apt to give far greater priority to “collecting the rent checks” than analyzing real estate fundamentals or ensuring the well-being of building users. “All those involved in restructuring portfolios – holders of equity and debt, plus the managers – must use the real estate business model as the right long-term structure for the industry.”

Newsum pointed to closed-ended real estate funds (generally unlisted private real estate funds with a fixed fund size and a limited term, typically 5-10 years) as being “inherently unstable,” in that they “blithely ignore” the long-term nature of the underlying assets. For the industry to restabilize, such opportunity funds should “always be a sideshow, rather than the main event,” and not become the industry norm for how and when properties are bought and sold, he said. “The era when funds predominated is over. I want to see many more new property companies,” Newsum said.

He pointed to the Hong Kong real estate industry – which is now dominated by companies focused on the long term – as an example of what the industry should strive for in the United States and Europe.

A company-specific example: Almacantar in London, an investment and development firm formed by two executives from the Almacantar fund. “They have spotted the future,” Newsum said. Another example: New York City-based Vornado Realty Trust, a company Newsum said “saw the light and came over to the operating side,” and which now owns and manages more than 100 million square feet of commercial real estate in the United States. “Vornado is not a ‘vehicle.’ It’s a business with a mission,” Newsum said.

To attract the best and brightest to the real estate industry, Newsum suggested that seasoned professionals must put more effort into “selling the slow buck” and emphasizing the value of long-term thinking to the next generation of younger practitioners, whose penchant for instant gratification will not serve them well in real estate.

The Grosvenor Estate includes Grosvenor, an international property group of privately owned property development, investment and fund management businesses. From 1989 through June 2008, Newsum served as group chief executive of Grosvenor, which, with property assets under management of $20 billion, has interests in Central London, other areas of the UK, continental Europe, Southeast Asia, Australia and North America. The entire organization was founded more than 330 years ago, a model of longevity that has guided Newsum’s approach to real estate throughout his career.

“No matter how badly you want to do something, and you think you have only one chance to do it, that is rarely true. So, being patient and having the ability to stay focused on the long term are very important,” he said. “Understanding timing and time scales is absolutely critical (to being successful) in land use. The business of community building is a business that spans decades. Each of us is adding something to what is ultimately a continuous process.”

One of the most important real estate lessons from the recession, Newsum said, is the near-certain formula for failure caused by over-extension. “In the future, real estate business leaders and shareholders must take more responsibility for the way their businesses are financed. The bust will come again, and just as before, those fixated by the short term will have too much leverage and will fail.”

Newsum’s message reinforced the theme of the “era of less” in the 2011 Emerging Trends in Real Estate: The Americas report, released today by ULI and PricewaterhouseCoopers. The report discusses how the industry is now defined by lower real estate returns, limited new development prospects, reduced credit availability and curbed profits. It notes that conditions in the commercial sector are expected to improve moderately over the next year, which will position real estate as offering attractive, but not double-digit investment potential. According to the report, “this reconstituted marketplace should reposition real estate as an attractive yield-producing asset class for those investors who recalibrate investment expectations on a long-term horizon.”

Fannie Mae Endorses New Foreclosure Procedures

Fannie Mae Endorses New Foreclosure Procedures

Fannie Mae Endorses New Foreclosure Procedures-Image by futureatlas.com via Flickr

Fannie Mae fully endorses the Policy Outline for Dealing with Possible Foreclosure Process Deficiencies released today by the Federal Housing Finance Agency. These principles reinforce the directive issued by Fannie Mae last week, requiring our servicers to undertake a review of their policies and procedures relating to the execution of affidavits, verifications, and other legal documents in connection with the default process.

We continue to expect prompt execution of our directive. A servicer’s failure to comply with any provision of law, or any provision of our servicing requirements, constitutes a breach of the servicer’s contractual agreements with Fannie Mae. Our servicers are obligated to adhere to all legal requirements as part of the foreclosure process. They must inform us of and rectify any issues that may arise in this regard.

Fannie Mae recognizes that foreclosure is an extremely difficult experience for affected homeowners and we are working to ensure borrowers are treated fairly and respectfully.  Fannie Mae has halted foreclosures, evictions, and REO sale closings when necessary for a servicer to perform required remediation.  Our actions are intended to protect the rights of borrowers facing foreclosure, enable a fair and equitable legal process for all impacted parties and allow new homebuyers to close on their transactions in a timely manner.  These steps will also help ensure the proper functioning of the mortgage market overall so as to meet our goals of maintaining liquidity in the market and minimizing taxpayer exposure.

Fannie Mae exists to expand affordable housing and bring global capital to local communities in order to serve the U.S. housing market. Fannie Mae has a federal charter and operates in America’s secondary mortgage market to enhance the liquidity of the mortgage market by providing funds to mortgage bankers and other lenders so that they may lend to home buyers.  Our job is to help those who house America.

Wal-Mart (NYSE: WMT) Lowers Capital Spending

Wal-Mart (NYSE: WMT) Lowers Capital Spending

Wal-Mart (NYSE: WMT) Lowers Capital Spending-Image via Wikipedia

Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. (NYSE: WMT) today presented its global plans for growth of its operating segments for the current and next fiscal year at its annual conference for the investment community.

The company lowered the high end of its range for the current fiscal year 2011 forecast for capital spending by $1 billion.  Total capital spending for the current fiscal year ending Jan. 31, 2011 now is projected to range from $13 to $14 billion, down from the previous range of $13 to $15 billion.  Last fiscal year, the company spent $12.2 billion on capital projects.  Total capital spending for next fiscal year, ending Jan. 31, 2012, is projected to range from $13.5 to $14.5 billion, an increase of approximately 3.7 percent based on the midpoint of the two ranges.

“Our financial priorities of growth, leverage and returns drive our decisions on capital investment,” said Charles Holley, executive vice president, finance and treasurer.  “We are positioning our company for the next generation Walmart, which means that we will grow internationally and in the United States.  We believe our capital strategy strikes the right balance between growth and return on investment.

“We expect to grow total company square footage between three and four percent next fiscal year, which means that square footage and capital spending will grow at approximately the same rate.  Overall sales growth is forecasted between four and six percent,” Holley said.  “In the United States, we will shift more capital toward new stores, including supercenters and smaller formats.  We are lowering remodeling costs through greater efficiencies, so the total capital commitment for Walmart U.S. next year will be flat with the current fiscal year.

“Because of Walmart International’s concentration on growth in emerging markets, capital expenditures for the segment will increase slightly more than 13 percent next year compared to the current fiscal year,” Holley added.  “Capital for the other operating segments, and corporate overhead, are projected to be flat next year compared to this year.”

Majority in U.S. Prefer More Wind Farms and Bio-Fuels-New Detailss

Majority in U.S. Prefer More Wind Farms and Bio-Fuels-New Details-Image via Wikipedia

A new Financial Times/Harris poll in the U.S. and the five largest European countries finds strong public support for increasing some renewable energy sources, particularly wind farms, provided that they are not asked to pay much more for it. However there is strong resistance to using more renewable energy if it leads to a substantial increase in costs.  The public is much more evenly split on whether to build more nuclear power plants, except in Germany and Spain where substantial majorities oppose any expansion of nuclear power.

These are some of the findings of a Financial Times/Harris Poll conducted online by Harris Interactive® among 6,255 adults aged 16-64 within France (1,102), Germany (1,029), Great Britain (1,056), Spain (1,006), U.S. (1,002) and adults aged 18-64 in Italy (1,060) between September 15 and 21, 2010.

The main findings of this new poll include:

  • Big majorities of the public in all six countries favor the building of more wind farms in their countries, varying from 90% in Spain and 87% in the U.S. to 77% in France.  And large numbers of them favor it “strongly”;
  • Majorities in all six countries, from 77% in Italy and 76% in Spain to 60% in the U.S. favor governments giving financial subsidies for the use of bio-fuels. However, only between 13% in Britain and 34% in Spain favor this “strongly”;
  • Opinions on building more nuclear power plants are more mixed and vary by country. The public is more or less equally divided in the U.S., Britain and France but clear majorities are opposed in Italy (60%), Spain (63%) and even more strongly in Germany (77%);
  • When those who pay energy bills were asked how much more they would be willing to pay for renewable energy, most people in all countries said either no more or only 5% more.  Those willing to pay more than 5% varied from 32% in the U.S. and 31% in Italy to only 17% in Spain and 20% in France;
  • When asked if they would be willing to pay $220 more each month — the amount estimated by the European Union as needed to cut greenhouse emissions and use more renewable energy — large majorities in all the countries except Italy said they would not pay — from 77% in France and 76% in Britain to 65% in Germany who said so.

These answers are broadly similar to the results of an earlier FT/Harris poll conducted in 2008 using the same questions. However support for nuclear power plants has decreased somewhat in both Italy and Germany, over the last 2 years.

So What?

This new poll confirms the conclusions from other Harris surveys:  there is strong support for using more “clean” sources of renewable energy, such as wind farms, but little appetite for paying significantly more for it, and that the public is still very divided in most of these countries on whether or not to rely more on nuclear power.

Gold Bullion Coins Preferred by Global Investors

Gold Bullion Coins Preferred by Global Investors

Gold Bullion Coins Preferred by Global Investors-Image via Wikipedia

Gold bullion coins are becoming the worldwide financial market darling as the International Monetary Fund IMF fails to broker currency agreements. Delegates from world economic powers met this past weekend in Washington to discuss what is being labeled as a “currency war”. Both the United States and China are now openly denouncing each other of pursuing self-interest when it comes to their economic administration. The failure of the IMF to reach a concession means that next month’s G-20 meeting in Seoul will be seen as the last chance to avoid a critical expansion in the currency wars.

US gold coins dealer Regal Assets has been encouraging its clients to follow these events as it may trigger variables that will cause the US dollar to be devalued. Regal has developed one of the strongest reputations among it’s client for precious metal investments and hedging gold against inflation. Regal was one of the industry gold leaders in 2009 to predict that gold would hit $1,350 by the end of 2010 and has developed a strong following of educated investors.

The demand for gold bullion coins has caused an international shortage among some of the more popular forms of gold coins to include the Krugerrand and Swiss gold franc. Last week the US mint released a statement that they are depleted of the 24k Buffalo gold bullion. While Regal has been able to meet all the demands of their clients they have recently added Mexican gold pesos and French gold francs to its offering for American gold investors.

The Mexican gold coin was minted as a 1.2 ounce coin in 1921 and is the only over-sized gold coin minted to date. Today the Mexican gold coins are regaining there popularity because it contains more gold than any other gold bullion or gold coin. Gold Mexican peso coins were one of the most traded forms of gold internationally until the Krugerrand was minted in 1970. The 1 ounce gold Krugerrand coin became a standard displacing the Mexican gold coins in popularity. Today the gold peso stands alone in size and gold content.

The French gold francs are perhaps the most overlooked gold coins available due to it’s neighbor the Swiss gold franc. The gold Swiss franc has one of the strongest reputations in the global marketplace due to Switzerland’s historic financial status. However, it is the gold French franc that not only has the same properties as Swiss gold, but a more diversified history. Gold investors are embracing the gold French franc for it’s content and collectible.

Regal Assets now offers these gold coins to Americans looking to diversify and meet the changing financial environment. Gold Mexican coins and gold French francs can now be delivered anywhere in the US by Fedex 2 day delivery so Americans can take immediate physical possession. These world gold coins can be ordered by phone 1-888-700-9887 or buy gold online at http://www.RegalGoldCoins.com.

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Johnson Controls, Inc. (NYSE: JCI) Predicts Double-Digit Earnings

Johnson Controls, Inc. (NYSE: JCI) announced today that it expects to post solid sales and double-digit earnings improvements in fiscal 2011.

The company is presenting its fiscal 2011 forecast to financial analysts today in New York. Highlights include:

  • Consolidated net sales of approximately $37 billion, up 9%
  • Diluted earnings per share of $2.30 – $2.45, up 17 – 25%
  • Sales and margin improvements in all three of its businesses: Automotive Experience, Power Solutions and Building Efficiency
  • Increased levels of capital investment to support growth opportunities

From a market perspective, Johnson Controls said it expects moderately higher 2011 automotive production in North America, with flat European production versus 2010. China automotive production is expected to increase in the coming year, though at a slower pace than in 2010. The global Building Efficiency market is forecast to improve in 2011 led by the recovery in the emerging markets, especially China and the Middle East, offsetting softness in mature geographic markets.

Johnson Controls said it is positioned to grow faster than its underlying markets with improved profitability over the long term.

“We are substantially increasing our investments to drive organic growth,” said Stephen A. Roell, chairman and chief executive officer of Johnson Controls. “Higher capital expenditures in 2011 will support the significant growth opportunities in our Power Solutions business and further expansion in all of our businesses in the fast-growing geographic markets. Our balance sheet and cash flows are very strong, allowing us to pursue acquisitions that will provide us with platforms for accelerated growth.”

At today’s meeting, the company said its Building Efficiency backlog at the end of the fourth quarter of fiscal 2010 increased 10% over the prior year, while orders were up 31%. With the strong backlog and order rate improvements entering 2011, Johnson Controls said it expects its Building Efficiency business revenues to be 8% – 10% higher in the coming year. The company expects higher demand in emerging markets and Global Workplace Solutions as well as in its energy efficiency and sustainability (greenhouse gas reduction) offerings. A moderate recovery is forecasted for technical services in non-residential buildings. The company’s residential HVAC business is expected to increase at a double-digit pace for the second consecutive year.

Building Efficiency segment margins are expected to increase to 5.6% – 5.8% led by the growth in emerging markets and continued improvements in its residential business. The higher margins will be partially offset by investments in growth opportunities including an expansion in its sales force and the establishment of dedicated energy solutions resources in Europe and Asia.

Johnson Controls said it expects approximately 5% revenue growth by its Automotive Experience business, reflecting the impact of new seating and interiors program launches in addition to the slightly higher production volumes. Much of the new business launching in 2011 is in China where the company operates primarily through unconsolidated joint ventures. The impact of the higher volumes in China, therefore, are not included in the company’s 2011 revenue growth forecast.

The company noted that it continues to improve its global market share, reporting that its backlog of net new business grew 60%, to $4.0 billion, for 2011 – 2013. Segment margins are expected to improve to 4.5% – 4.7% in 2011. The higher margin expectations are the result of the company’s cost improvement initiatives and the improved level of profitability on new business awards.

Power Solutions revenues are expected to increase 10% – 15% due to volume growth across all regions resulting from market share gains and growth in emerging markets. The forecast segment margin of 13.4% – 13.6% reflects manufacturing process efficiencies, the benefits of vertical integration for the recycling of lead and the expansion of local production capacity in China.

Johnson Controls is forecasting an increase in 2011 capital investments to approximately $1.2 billion to support its organic growth opportunities. The higher capital expenditures will be focused on increased manufacturing capacity for SLI and AGM battery manufacturing capacity and expansion of the company’s capabilities in the emerging markets. The increased investments will also support the increased level of Automotive Experience new business awards as well as vertical integration and information technology initiatives.

Today the company also provided profitability forecasts for each of its businesses. Automotive Experience margins are expected to increase by 40 – 60 basis points per year over the mid-term due to the improvements in its cost structure and the positive impact of new business quoting disciplines. For Building Efficiency, the annual margin improvement over the mid-term is forecast to be approximately 50 basis points as its markets recover. Power Solutions margins are expected to increase approximately 100 basis points annually over the mid-term due to the benefits of vertical integration, manufacturing improvements and the increasing mix of higher margin AGM batteries.

“We are well-positioned to outpace the growth of our underlying markets,” Mr. Roell said. “We remain focused on the execution of our growth strategies and improving our cost structure, which we believe will enable us to gain market share across our businesses. With our strong financial position, we plan to take advantage of new growth opportunities to strengthen the company’s leadership positions across multiple markets and geographic regions. We are confident that 2011 will be a year of strong profitable growth for Johnson Controls.”

The Strategic Review and 2011 Outlook Meeting begins at 8:30 a.m. Eastern time today. A webcast of the event and presentation materials are available at http://www.johnsoncontrols.com.

NOTE:  Johnson Controls will release its fiscal 2010 fourth quarter earnings on October 26, 2010.

Johnson Controls is a global diversified technology and industrial leader serving customers in over 150 countries. Our 130,000 employees create quality products, services and solutions to optimize energy and operational efficiencies of buildings; lead-acid automotive batteries and advanced batteries for hybrid and electric vehicles; and interior systems for automobiles. Our commitment to sustainability dates back to our roots in 1885, with the invention of the first electric room thermostat. Through our growth strategies and by increasing market share we are committed to delivering value to shareholders and making our customers successful.

Johnson Controls, Inc. will make forward-looking statements in this presentation pertaining to its financial results for fiscal 2010, fiscal 2011 and beyond that are based on preliminary data and are subject to risks and uncertainties. All statements, other than statements of historical fact, are statements that are, or could be, deemed “forward-looking” statements and include terms such as “outlook,” “expectations,” “estimates” or “forecasts.”  For those statements, the Company cautions that numerous important factors, such as automotive vehicle production levels, mix and schedules, energy and commodity prices, the strength of the U.S. or other economies, currency exchange rates, cancellation of or changes to commercial contracts, changes in the levels or timing of investments in commercial buildings as well as other factors discussed in Item 1A of Part I of the Company’s most recent Form 10-k filing (filed November 24, 2009) could affect the Company’s actual results and could cause its actual consolidated results to differ materially from those expressed in any forward-looking statement made by, or on behalf of, the Company.

SOURCE Johnson Controls, Inc.

GMAC Mortgage to Review Foreclosure Process

GMAC Mortgage to Review Foreclosure Process

GMAC Mortgage to Review Foreclosure Process-Image via Wikipedia

GMAC Mortgage is committed to preserving the integrity of the foreclosure process and in that spirit has engaged several leading legal and accounting firms to conduct independent reviews of its foreclosure procedures in each of the 50 states.

In addition, foreclosure sale files nationwide receive an additional review by a specialized team to ensure that: home preservation procedures have been fully followed; the timing and substance of the foreclosure is appropriate; and the file itself is in good order and complies with all laws and requirements of the state of jurisdiction.

Foreclosure is a very serious matter and only implemented when all other home preservation options have been fully exhausted.  We are taking these additional steps to restore confidence in the process, which is critical for the stability of the home and mortgage industry.

In addition to the nationwide measures, the review and remediation activities related to cases involving judicial affidavits in the 23 states continues and has been underway for approximately two months.  As each of those files is reviewed, and remediated when needed, the foreclosure process resumes.  GMAC Mortgage has found no evidence to date of any inappropriate foreclosures.

GMAC Mortgage is committed to working through this matter diligently and encourages borrowers with questions to contact a customer service representative at 866-304-4682 or loan.assist@gmacm.com.  Additional information can be found by visiting www.gmacmortgage.com.

Contacts:
Gina Proia
646-781-2692
gina.proia@ally.com
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