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4 November 2004

Mortgage brokers under disclosure spotlight
Money Management - Australia
Mortgage brokers are the latest target in the soft dollar disclosure crusade with the Mortgage Industry Association of Australia (MIAA) unveiling a new code requiring brokers to disclose any alternative forms of payment they receive for recommending loans.

Under the code, individual brokers and mortgage broking groups will be required to keep a register of alternative remuneration, such as sponsorship of conferences, tickets to sporting events, gifts or computer hardware.
Money Management

Five tips to reverse mortgage fraud
Richmond.com - USA
Reverse mortgages have been making news as a way for cash poor seniors to pay for things they may want or need. According to HUD, the number of reverse mortgages issued this year has more than quadrupled from the early 1990s, when the products were first introduced. However, reverse mortgages are not a panacea for everyone. They are a complex and potentially costly product. one that interests scam artists as much as legitimate customers.

The online trade journal MortgageDaily.com calls mortgage fraud perpetrators the terrorists of the mortgage industry. With mortgage industry production in the trillions of dollars each year, fraud committed on just a small fraction of these loans equates to billions.
Richmond.com

Leaseholder - freeholder = commonholder
RealEstateGates.com - Malta
Until recently there were two kinds of property ownership in the UK - freehold and leasehold. Now the third one, commonhold, has taken force to allow for more equitable rights of leaseholders in England and Wales.

Commonhold is the first change to have been introduced to English law on property ownership since 1925. This system remains freehold as it persuades leaseholders to become full owners of places they live in.
RealEstateGates.com

Big step towards new land laws
The Nation - Kenya
For the first time in Kenya's history, the Government has started a process that might finally settle the "land question".

It goes beyond all previous attempts, most of which have at best, amounted to "fire-fighting" commissions established to investigate critical developments in the land sector.
Although the process of enacting an all-embracing National Land Policy began late last year, experts are upbeat that the government is serious in seeking a final solution this time round.
The Nation

Relax now, homeowners, and release that equity within ...
The Herald - UK
With interest rates apparently on hold again, switching to a new mortgage is likely to continue its extraordinary popularity as a way of raising cash to spend.

According to the Council of Mortgage Lenders, re-mortgages accounted for no less than 39% of all new home loans in August. In property hot-spots like Edinburgh, this percentage is far higher. Many conveyancing solicitors make 50% or more of their fee income from dotting and crossing re-mortgage agreements.
The Herald

Scams fuel squatting - syndicates manipulate housing associations
The Manila Times - Philippines
Although the government's goal of resolving the housing problem has achieved a modicum of success, the age-old problem of recalcitrance and squatting syndicates still hounds a number of legitimate beneficiaries of the Community Mortgage Program (CMP).

Under the program, households are called upon to organise themselves into a community or homeowners' association, which in turn will serve as the main entity that will transact with the landowner. Both parties benefit from the arrangement - the illegal tenants get land-tenure security and the landowner earns from the sale of his idle land.
The Manila Times

Broker group warns of misleading mortgage ads
Sacramento Business Journal - USA
Rising interest rates mean the rising tide of advertisements promising lower mortgage payments is too good to be true, warns the California Association of Mortgage Brokers. The sometimes-exotic loan products that such pitches promise may leave the borrower on the hook for much higher payments over the life of the loan.

"Today's competitive market encourages questionable advertising designed to make people think a lower payment means a better deal, but that's not always the case", said Jon Eberhardt, president of the Sacramento-based association. "The advertised loan may result in lower monthly payments, but in the long run it could be at a cost the customer cannot afford."
Sacramento Business Journal

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