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October 31, 2009

COMMERCIAL ISSUES

COMMERCIAL ISSUES
Lenders Recovering 60 Percent on CRE Defaults
Research firm, Real Capital Analytics noted that recovery rates varied dramatically based upon the purpose of the loan. Mortgages on development properties yet to be completed brought in slightly more than 30 percent of their balances. Acqui! sition a nd refinancing loans, meanwhile, had a recovery rate of nearly 70 percent. Read more...
http://www.realtor.org/narlservredirect.nsf/pages/NT000014EA?OpenDocument&WT.mc_id=LS102809&CAT=Comm

Large Commercial Firm Files for Bankruptcy
Capmark Financial Group Inc. announced that it filed Chapter 11 Bankruptcy in the District of Delaware. Capmark intends to use the reorganization process to implement a restructuring that reduces its corporate debt and maximizes value for its stakeholders. Capmark`s businesses are continuing to operate in the ordinary course. Read more...
http://www.realtor.org/narlservredirect.nsf/pages/NT000014EE?OpenDocument&WT.mc_id=LS102809&CAT=Comm

Incorporate Networking into All Your Marketing Efforts
On Nov. 14th, Sperry Van Ness Co-Founder Mark Van Ness, and President Kevin Maggiacomo, will describe various marketing tactics as well as the process behind developing the core covenants that helped build their successful business. They'll be featured at the NAR Conference and Expo in San Diego at the Commercial Caffeineted Breakfast. (Ticketed Event) To order¸ go to...
http://www.realtor.org/educsess.nsf/PagesLUNew/09ConfCommBkfst?OpenDocument&WT.mc_id=LS102809&CAT=Comm
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October 28, 2009

Prepared at the Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond and based on information collected before October 13, 2009. This document summarizes comments received from businesses and other contacts outside the Federal Reserve and is not a commentary on the views of Federal Reserve officials.  

 Real Estate and Construction
Most Districts reported that housing market conditions improved in recent weeks, primarily from a pickup in sales of low- to middle-priced houses. Contacts reported that sales were boosted by the government's tax credit for first-time homebuyers. Resale activity also edged up in parts of the New York District, although prices continued to be depressed due to a substantial volume of foreclosures and short sales. New and existing home sales remained flat in the Philadelphia District, and home sales continued to decline throughout the St. Louis District. Sales of higher-priced homes were very slow, according to Philadelphia, Cleveland, and Kansas City. Moreover, real estate agents in the Boston and Cleveland Districts were uncertain about the future of home sales once the tax credit expires. Availability of financing continued to be a concern for potential buyers in the Cleveland and Chicago Districts.

Residential construction activity remained weak in most Districts. Atlanta reported that construction remained very low, and Cleveland expected new home construction to proceed at a slow pace. Chicago indicated that construction on existing developments edged up, but St. Louis reported that construction activity declined. Kansas City reported that housing starts stabilized, although levels remained well below a year ago and were not expected to improve over the next three months. Philadelphia noted that builders continued to offer increased incentives to boost sales.

Commercial real estate continued to weaken across the 12 Districts, although even this sector had scattered bright spots. Each District indicated that demand for private commercial real estate was weak, with New York, Philadelphia, Cleveland, Atlanta, Chicago, St. Louis, Kansas City, and San Francisco all characterizing activity as declining further since the last report. An inability to obtain credit was often cited as a problem for businesses that wanted to purchase or build space. High vacancy rates were noted as a key concern especially for landlords who were not offering concessions. And, while industrial real estate in the Richmond District was generally weak, renewed interest by retailers to revisit postponed expansion plans was also noted. Finally, public nonresidential construction activity funded by federal stimulus projects was a source of strength in the Cleveland, Chicago, Minneapolis, and Dallas Districts, but gains were often offset by state and local government cutbacks. http://www.federalreserve.gov/fomc/BeigeBook/2009/20091021/default.htm

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203K Real Estate Broker/Agent

Need a Real Estate Broker that knows the 203K Loan Program? 310.337.1973, Southern California

Cochise, commer...
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Appraiser
Los Angeles, CA, 203K Real Estate Broker/Agent

Contact The Harris Company, REA/C_Curtis D. Harris, BS, CGREA, REB_ Real Estate Broker/203K Consultant: http://www.harriscompanyrec.com

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Marcus & Millichap Real Estate Investment Services Client Portal

Marcus & Millichap Real Estate Investment Services Client Portal

Marcus & Millichap’s client sign in allows you to search commercial property for sale, view exclusive commercial real estate sales information and access investment market ...

  • www.marcusmillichap.com/services/research/reports/default.aspx?tab=1
  •  · Cached page
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October 27, 2009

Regulatory Barriers Clearinghouse

Regulatory Barriers Clearinghouse
Strategy-of-the-Month Club
 
October 2009
 
The nation's foreclosure crisis has resulted in a large
number of vacant and abandoned properties in many
communities. Left unattended, these properties present a
safety hazard and can lower property values in
surrounding areas. In worst-case scenarios, the number of
abandoned homes reaches a "tipping point", resulting in
widespread dereliction and blight. Faced with daunting
budget challenges, many local governments are adopting
land bank ordinances to help facilitate the redevelopment
and revitalization of affected neighborhoods. A new
report from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban
Development's Office of Policy Development and Research,
 Revitalizing Foreclosed Properties with Land Banks, looks
at the structure and function of land banking, and
discusses barriers and solutions to its successful
implementation.
 
According to the report, land banks provide an effective
mechanism for local governments to return abandoned, tax-
delinquent properties to productive reuse and to achieve
long-term planning goals, such as establishing affordable
housing provisions. To establish a land bank, the report
advises communities to first gather data on existing
abandoned properties and identify existing barriers to
their redevelopment. The next step is to adopt a clear
set of policy goals, which, in tandem with supportive
state land bank-enabling legislation, allows land bank
authorities to acquire and dispose of abandoned
properties. The report also includes case studies that
provide an in-depth view of the operating procedures and
accomplishments of three land bank authorities: Genesee
County, Michigan; Baltimore City, Maryland; and Fulton
County/City of Atlanta, Georgia. These case studies can
serve as a template for local governments in their
efforts to tailor land bank policies to meet community
needs.
 
To view the report in its entirety, please visit
 http://www.huduser.org/publications/affhsg/landbanks.html.
You can also order a hard copy of the report by calling
HUD USER at 1-800-245-2691, Option 1.
 
We hope this information proves useful to you in your
efforts to grow your region's affordable housing stock.
If you have regulatory reform strategies or resources
that you'd like to share, or require assistance in
identifying other viable strategies on our web-based
Clearinghouse database, email us
at rbcsubmit@huduser.org, call us at 1-800-245-2691
(option 4), or visit our website at www.regbarriers.org
 
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October 26, 2009

Disinterested appraiser has arbitral immunity; expert appraiser has no immunity.

  

Disinterested appraiser has arbitral immunity; expert appraiser has no immunity.(Recent Court Decisions)

Winston and Elaine Lambert owned a home in Los Altos Hills that was destroyed by fire in 1995. The residence was covered by a Fire Insurance Exchange (FIE) policy providing guaranteed replacement-cost coverage, which included the full cost of replacing the home in conformity with all applicable laws and regulations. When, four years later, the Lamberts finally obtained all the necessary permits to rebuild, they were unable to agree on the replacement cost with FIE and therefore invoked their right to an appraisal.

Under California law, property owners are entitled to an appraisal to resolve valuation disputes with insurance companies. The law provides for each party to select a disinterested appraiser; any disagreement between the appraisers is resolved by an umpire.

The Lamberts selected Christ Carneghi as their appraiser and also retained Robert Dailey, another appraiser, as an expert "to define, describe and estimate the replacement cost" for purposes of the appraisal. When the Lamberts were not satisfied with the final appraisal at the completion of the process, they sued Carneghi and Dailey for negligence, seeking $1.8 million in damages. The trial court found that Carneghi was immune from suit as an arbitrator and that Dailey had immunity under the litigation privilege, which protects testimony in proceedings authorized by law; the court therefore dismissed the case. The Lamberts appealed.

http://www.entrepreneur.com/tradejournals/article/201802187.html

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OAKLAND, CA-Up 60 basis points during the quarter, the rate has more than doubled in the past year, according to an early report from locally-based Foresight Analytics.
TORRANCE, CA-The Hampton at South Bay apartments sells for $28.1 million in what the receiver describes as a complex transaction involving unusual exceptions to title.
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Distressed Hotel Summit reports strong attendance, predictions for 2010

Distressed Hotel Summit reports strong attendance, predictions for 2010
NEWS
More than 250 hospitality professionals participated in The Distressed Hotel Summit held October 12-13 in Arlington, Va. The focus was on helping hotel owners faced with the threat of foreclosure, operators of distressed properties and those interested in learning about the developments in the industry regarding distressed hotel assets.
Read full story >>
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State of the Multifamily Market Report & How It Impacts LIHTC Industry

State of the Multifamily Market Report & How It Impacts LIHTC Industry

Chief Economist of John Hancock Assesses Market

Bill Cheney, the widely respected Chief Economist of John Hancock, joins us to provide his own economic outlook for the near future and an assessment of how it will affect the multifamily housing market.  Mr. Cheney's work has appeared in various economic publications and is a frequent speaker on the economy for a wide range of radio and TV news and analysis programs.


NH&RA's Fall Developers Forum
The Affordable Housing Vision Awards Celebration & Reception &
The J. Timothy Anderson Awards For Excellence In Historic Rehabilitation

November 2-3, 2009
The Taj Hotel ~ Boston, MA


Seize The Moment And Get The Answers By Joining Us In Boston

Click HERE to Register!
Conference Agenda
Questions? Contact Thom Amdur at 202-939-1753 or tamdur@housingonline.com.

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Daily Business Review Last updated: October 26, 2009 09:33am

Daily Business Review Last updated: October 26, 2009  09:33am
Broker Opinions Sought to Help Pinpoint Values http://www.globest.com/news/1524_1524/florida/181821-1.html?sector=florida#

(This story, in slightly different form, originally appeared in ALM's Daily Business Review.)

MIAMI-As the commercial real estate market continues to seek bottom, beleaguered owners, loan servicers and institutional investors are asking brokers to help determine property values. But brokers are balking at providing free work, and critics say the pricing can be skewed as the brokers hope they will be chosen to sell the property.

With sales scarce and troubled loans plentiful, brokers are sought out for their feet-on-the-street outlook. Who better to know a building's value than insiders with direct knowledge of tenant comings and goings, or unannounced deals in the pipeline that could affect sales and prices, the thinking goes.

Opinions differ dramatically from formal appraisals, which take longer to complete, cost thousands of dollars and must meet certain statutory standards. Appraisers take courses to earn industry trade group designations and certifications. Federal legislation is pending that would define a "qualified" appraiser and appraisal.

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October 24, 2009

Villa Azure in Los Angeles,

Hello!

A new review has been added to Villa Azure in Los Angeles, CA on
ApartmentRatings.com:

http://www.apartmentratings.com/rate/l/zJgTB

Villa Azure in Los Angeles,
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Home Valuation Code of Conduct Interim Complaint Form

Home Valuation Code of Conduct Interim Complaint Form
In March 2008, Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae entered into cooperation agreements with
the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) and the Office of the New York State
Attorney General (NYAG) agreeing to only acquire loans from mortgage originators that
meet new standards designed to ensure independent and reliable appraisals. The
appraiser and appraisal requirements have been documented in the Home Valuation
Code of Conduct (the “Code”), which became effective on May 1, 2009.
Complaints for non-compliance with the Code are ultimately to be referred to an
Independent Valuation Protection Institute (“IVPI”). The IVPI has not yet been
established, but an interim IVPI Complaint website is currently under development and
will be operational in November 2009. The interim IVPI Complaint website will collect
complaints from any party about non-compliance with the Code.
This notice is to display the Complaint Form that will appear on the interim IVPI
Complaint website. This Complaint Form is for demonstration only; it is not available to
be used to file a complaint at this time. If you have a complaint about non-compliance
with the Code, you may go to www.ivpicomplaint.org after that site becomes
operational in November 2009.
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registration of Appraisal Management Companies

Governor Schwarzenegger signed Senate Bill 237 into law on October 11, 
2009, mandating the registration of Appraisal Management Companies 
(AMCs).  Effective January 1, 2010, no person or entity shall act in 
the capacity of an AMC without first obtaining a certificate of 
registration from the Office of Real Estate Appraisers.  To view the 
enrolled legislation, please see the PDF at OREA's website:

http://www.orea.ca.gov/pdf/SB-237-AMC.pdf

Instructions for the application process for AMCs will be posted on 
OREA's website in the near future, and the process for adoption of 
enabling regulations has commenced. Please refer to the OREA website 
for updates on implementation of the new law.
OREA_Notices mailing list
If you wish to remove your email address from this
mailing list please send a blank email to this address:
orea_notices-leave@orea.ca.gov

orea_notices-leave@orea.ca.gov
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October 22, 2009

Is Brown the New Green

 

Is Brown the New Green? Urban Brownfields Make Way for Research-Oriented Mixed-Use Communities, http://continuingeducation.construction.com/article.php?L=5&C=594#

November 2009[ Page 1 of 7 ]         

By Nancy B. Solomon, AIA

 Improved health and cutting-edge technology are concepts not usually associated with the underutilized or abandoned swaths of land that were once home to grimy industrial complexes in most older American cities. These so called urban brown-fields have become increasingly attractive sites for redevelopment; companies seeking to create the next designer drug or the slickest software are transforming the areas into a new kind of urban research park. Woven into the fabric of a mixed-use, walk-able community, these research parks stand in sharp contrast to more traditional ones, which are typically sited on sprawling suburban campuses and relatively isolated from the hubbub of daily commerce.

“My sense is that urban sites are becoming more [desirable] because they are centrally located, attract a creative workforce, [and] have very good access to transportation,” says Christopher De Sousa, associate professor at the School of Architecture and Urban Planning, and Department of Geography at UW-Milwaukee and co-director of the Brownfields Research Consortium. “Cities typically have a large inventory of brownfield sites that they can assemble and make ready for such a venture using subsidies for site assessment, cleanup, infrastructure, and job creation. Plus, reusing a brownfield site adds to the project’s perceived ‘public benefit,’ ” he continues. In terms of uses, De Sousa reports that over the last decade, the types of projects being redeveloped on brown-fields have broadened from industrial projects to include retail, residential, office, laboratory, and park space.

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October 20, 2009

Nossaman proudly announces the launch of its California Eminent Domain Report blog.  It features original content focusing on industry news, events, and policy impacting eminent domain and valuation issues throughout California.   

The Firm's Eminent Domain and Valuation Practice Group aims to encourage dialogue on eminent domain, inverse condemnation, regulatory takings, and other valuation disputes.  Discussion on the blog focuses on project announcements and information, industry developments, and reports on key seminars and events.  The blog also keeps readers informed about legislative developments and key court decisions.  The goal is to provide the eminent domain community with a "one-stop" resource for everything new and noteworthy about California eminent domain.

We invite you to join the discussion at www.CaliforniaEminentDomainReport.com.


Nossaman's Eminent Domain and Valuation Practice Group is one of the largest groups of its kind in California.  The Group handles all aspects of eminent domain and other valuation disputes, representing public agencies, landowners, and business owners.  Nossaman attorneys continue to be involved in the decisions that shape California eminent domain law.

NOS_RGB_HR

nossaman

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Real Estate & Construction Law

Real Estate & Construction Law

RSS Feed

This blawg provides up-to-date information on real estate, construction, environmental and land use law.

Author: Sheppard Mullin is an 480-attorney law firm with offices in California, New York, Shanghai and Washington, D.C. It also writes Antitrust Law, Bankruptcy and Restructuring, Corporate and Securities Law, Fashion and Apparel Law, FCC Law, AdBriefs, Intellectual Property Law and Labor and Employment Law.

Blawg Related Categories: Real Estate & Property Law9th Circuit CourtStatesCaliforniaLaw FirmConstruction Law


Recent Posts from Real Estate & Construction Law

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From: HUD USER News

From: HUD USER News
 
HUD USER has posted new Comprehensive Housing Market
Analysis reports for the Dallas, Texas and Las Vegas-
Paradise, Nevada housing market areas (HMAs). These
reports show that during the 12 months ending February
2009:
 
In Dallas...
 
o The average home price fell less than 1.0 percent;
 
o New and existing home sales decreased 17 percent;
and
 
o The rental market had a high rate of vacancies,
ranging from 10-13 percent across the area's three
counties.
 
In Las Vegas-Paradise...
 
o The median sales price of existing homes decreased
28 percent;
 
o New and existing home sales increased 41 percent;
 
o The rental market had a high rate of vacancies at
9.6 percent; and
 
o Nonfarm employment declined 2.1 percent.
 
Compiled by field economists in HUD's Office of Policy
Development and Research, the Comprehensive Housing
Market Analysis reports present economic, demographic,
and housing inventory data useful in foreseeing
changes in housing trends and conditions. Data in
these two housing market analyses cover the most
recent 12 months, as well as the periods from 1990 to
2000, 2000 through February 2009, and a projected
three-year period from March 1, 2009 to March 1, 2012.
These and all other HMA reports produced by HUD's
Office of Policy Development and Research are available
at www.huduser.org/publications/econdev/mkt_analysis.html
and can be downloaded at no cost.
 
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"A Bizarre Condemnation"

Posted: 19 Oct 2009 04:33 PM PDT

Remember a while back when we noted that a property owner has asked the New Jersey Supreme Court to review what we called a "Kafkaesque" decision by the Appellate Division which held that the government can assert inverse condemnation in order to take property without compensation?  See Klumpp v. Borough of Avalon, No. A-2963-07 (per curiam).

Well, we're not alone.  The New Jersey Law Journal today published an editorial entitled "A Bizarre Condemnation." It's not available on-line except for subscribers, but we will note some of the key passages:

Rarely is there an appellate decision so bizarre that it leaves seasoned lawyers and laypersons alike shaking their heads in disbelief. It is a basic premise of constitutional law that the government may not take property without due process and just compensation. Yet according to Klumpp v. Borough of Avalon, 2009 WL 2341554 (July 31, 2009), a New Jersey municipality can do just that.

. . . .

The court agreed that the Klumpps had fee simply or "record title" based on such evidence as tax bills, borough records and recorded title, but called this evidence "indicia of plaintiffs' bare legal title ... and nothing more." Rather, the court held, it is "equitable title" that is important and the borough has this because it had taken the property in 1962 by making it "essentially unavailable to [plaintiffs] for any purpose." Although the taking occurred, no compensation was due, apparently because it was accomplished by inverse condemnation -- the very finding that should have entitled the Klumpps to compensation.

In sum, the court made two fundamental legal errors. First, it held, with no facts to support it, that a taking had occurred in 1962, effectively ignoring clear evidence that the Klumpps continued to own the property, and it did so by inexplicable and improperly bestowing so-called "equitable title" on Avalon versus the Klumpps' "mere legal title." It misunderstood the situations in which the fiction of "equitable title" has been used to work an equitable result. Second, it misunderstood the concept of inverse condemnation, using it not as a remedy for property owners but as a sword by which the government can circumvent the Constitution and the Eminent Domain Act and usurp property without paying.

More about the case here, including the petition for review. Several amicus briefs have been filed, urging the New Jersey Supreme Court to review the decision:

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Inside This Issue

Inside This Issue


TD 9468 contains final regulations relating to the amount deductible from a decedent’s gross estate for claims against the estate under section 2053(a)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code (Code).  In addition, the regulations update the provisions relating to the deduction for certain state death taxes to reflect the statutory amendments made in 2001 to sections 2053(d) and 2058.  The regulations primarily will affect estates of decedents against which there are claims outstanding at the time of the decedent’s death.  

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October 19, 2009

https://event.on24.com/eventRegistration/prereg/register.jsp?clientid=404&eventid=164260&sessionid=1&key=CC183717244DDFC106B5ACE695A804AB

 

With real estate owners and lenders facing unprecedented challenges, what issues, including tax, should debtors, creditors, and opportunistic investors consider as they position themselves for the future of the distressed real estate market? We'll discuss:

  • Valuation challenges – how is value determined when distressed debtors and creditors abound?
  • Liquidity challenges – who is going to provide the leverage needed to start deal flow?
  • Loan modifications and the tax impacts on debtor and creditor.

Learn about the distressed real estate debt market and ways of dealing with related tax issues.

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October 13, 2009

Government Brief: Landowner Must Seek To Change Land Use Designations To Ripen Federal Takings Claim

Government Brief: Landowner Must Seek To Change Land Use Designations To Ripen Federal Takings Claim

Posted: 13 Oct 2009 03:02 AM PDT

The County of Maui has filed its Answering Brief in Leone v. County of Maui, No. 29696, an appeal in the Hawaii Intermediate Court of Appeals which is considering, among other issues, the question of when a regulatory takings claim is ripe for review under Williamson County Regional Planning Comm'n v. Hamilton Bank of Johnson City, 473 U.S. 172 (1985). The brief responds to the property owners' Opening Brief (here).

The trial court determined the plaintiffs' federal regulatory takings claim -- which they brought in state court, as required by Williamson County -- were not ripe because they should have sought a legislative change to the offending land use regulations which allegedly deprive their property of all economically beneficial uses. The trial court's decision is available here.

The County's brief argues the takings claims are not ripe for review because they "have not alleged nor can they demonstrate they have attempted to obtain necessary changes in the use designation of their property." Brief at 26. 

More details on the case and the issues here.

Disclosure: we filed an amicus brief (available here) on behalf of the property owners. The brief argues Williamson County only requires a "final decision" by the government applying existing land use regulations to the property, and a property owner is under no obligation to change the law before asserting her federal takings claim.

More to follow when further briefs are filed.

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October 12, 2009

New York’s Highest Court to Hear Important Eminent Domain Case

New York’s Highest Court to Hear Important Eminent Domain Case

The New York Court of Appeals – the state’s highest court -is about to consider an important property rights case, Goldstein v. New York State Urban Development Corporation. The case involves a challenge to the condemnation of large amounts of property for the purpose of transferring the land to influential developer Bruce Ratner, who plans to use most of it to build a stadium for the New Jersey Nets (which he owns), and “luxury housing.” The targeted property owners argue that these takings are not for a “public use,” as the New York state constitution requires. Certainly, the case is a fairly egregious example of the use of eminent domain power to benefit private interests. I wrote about this taking in a 2008 post addressing the federal court case in which the Second Circuit Court of Appeals upheld these condemnations under the federal Constitution (as it was required to do, given the Supreme Court’s decision in Kelo v. City of New London):

http://volokh.com/2009/10/09/new-yorks-highest-court-to-hear-important-eminent-domain-case/comment-page-1/#comment-671297

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October 10, 2009

Top Commercial Real Estate News
October 01, 2009 - October 07, 2009
Provided by Commercial Real Estate Direct

Highest Multifamily Vacancy Level Since 1986
The national multifamily vacancy rate rose 10 basis points in Q3 to 7.8%, according to Reis Inc. It now stands 1.6 percentage points higher than a year ago and is at its highest level since 1986. Rents, meanwhile, have also dropped. The New York research firm found that average effective rents, which take
Read Full Story

Real Estate Funds' Capital Raising Down 92%
The amount of capital being raised by private-equity real estate investment funds targeting property in the United States has dropped 92% since Q3 2008. U.S. property-focused funds that closed their capital-raising efforts in Q3 pulled in $1.9 billion of equity. That compares to $24.1 billion in the same period a year ago and is down Read Full Story

DiamondRock Hospitality Sees Drop in Q3
DiamondRock Hospitality Co. said it expects revenue per available room to fall another 16.9% in Q3, when compared to the same period a year ago. The Bethesda, MD, REIT, which owns 20 high-end hotels with 9,600 rooms, in Q2 had reported that RevPAR had declined by 22.2% from a Read Full Story

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Ninth Circuit: Let It Erode - Littoral Owners Have No Right To Install Shore Defense Structures On Their Land

Posted: 09 Oct 2009 03:33 PM PDT

In United States v. Nicholson, No. 05-35802 (Oct. 9, 2009), a panel of the Ninth Circuit held that littoral (waterfront) property owners in Washington state may be liable for common law trespass and for violations of the Rivers and Harbors Act of 1899 because their land has eroded and their "shore defense structures" (rip-rap and bulkheads) now intersect with the boundary between public tidelands and their private property.

The case involves tidelands held in trust by the federal government for the Lummi Nation, pursuant to treaty and President Grant's executive order. Upland owners erected and maintained structures on the tidelands to blunt the force of the waves, initially under a lease from the Lummi Nation which expired in 1988. The public-private boundary is the mean high water (MHW) mark, and over the years, the shoreline eroded and as of 2002, many of the structures were seaward of the line. The federal government sued, and the case was joined by the Lummi Nation as beneficial owner. The district court held the property owners were trespassing, ordered them to remove any structures seaward of the MHW mark, and imposed a $1,500 fine for a Clean Water Act violation. Slip op. at 14467.

The Ninth Circuit first noted that federal common law and not Washington state law governs the trespass claim. The court rejected the property owners' "equal footing doctrine" claim that the tidelands are owned by the State of Washington, and not by the federal government. While the equal footing doctrine and its nuances are extremely interesting to us, we leave you to the court's summary on pages 14470 to 14474, rather than repeat it here. Bottom line is that the title to these tidelands did not pass from the U.S. to the state upon Washington's admission.

The next part of the opinion which begins on page 14475 is the really interesting bit, because many of the same issues are in play in the case from Florida regarding beachfront judicial takings now being considered by the U.S. Supreme Court. The Ninth Circuit held  "[u]nder the common law, the boundary between the tidelands and the uplands is ambulatory; that is, it changes when the water body shifts course or changes in volume." Slip op. at 14476. The court noted the balance between accretion and erosion, and that the littoral owner loses title (most often to the state) when land is accreted, but gains it when new land is accreted. Here's the interesting part:

Importantly, the upland owner’s right to accretions is a vested right and "rests in the law of nature." County of St. Clair [v. Lovingston], 90 U.S. [46] at 68 [(1874)]. It is justified in large part because the upland owner’s land is subject to erosion. As the Supreme Court stated in County of St. Clair,

The riparian right to future alluvion is a vested right. It is an inherent and essential attribute of the original property. The title to the increment rests in the law of nature. It is the same with that of the owner of a tree to its fruits, and of the owner of flocks and herds to their natural increase. The right is a natural, not a civil one. The maxim ‘qui sentit onus debet sentire commodum’ [‘he who enjoys the benefit ought also to bear the burdens’] lies at its foundation. The owner takes the chances of injury and of benefit arising from the situation of the property. If there be a gradual loss, he must bear it; if, a gradual gain, it is his.

Id. at 68-69.

Slip op. at 14476-77. [Sidebar: my Torts professor once semi-jokingly noted that "if it ain't Latin, it ain't the law" but thankfully we've mostly evolved past the need, inter alia, to sprinkle Latin phrases all over the place.]

The court held that because the right is vested, "both the tideland owner and the upland owner have a right to an ambulatory boundary, and each has a vested right in the potential gains that accrue from the movement of the boundary line." Id. at 14477. Thus, the court concluded:

The Homeowners have the right to build on their property and to erect structures to defend against erosion and storm damage, but all property owners are subject to limitations in how they use their property. The Homeowners cannot use their land in a way that would harm the Lummi's interest in the neighboring tidelands. Given that the Lummi have a vested right in the ambulatory boundary to the tidelands they would gain if the boundary were allowed to ambulate, the Homeowners do not have the right to permanently fix the property boundary absent consent from the United States or the Lummi Nation. The Lummi similarly could not erect structures on the tidelands that would permanently fix the boundary and prevent accretion benefitting the Homeowners.

Id. at 14480-81. The court downplayed the impact of its decision:

We emphasize that this does not mean property owners cannot erect shore defense structures on their property or take other action to prevent erosion. Nor does it mean that the Homeowners must necessarily remove their structures, if they can reach an agreement with the Lummi Nation and the United States that allows the structures to remain. Rather, we hold only that the Homeowners have no defense to a trespass action because they are seeking to protect against erosion.

Once the shore has eroded so dramatically that the property owner’s shore defense structures fix the ambulatory boundary, the upland owner cannot expect to permanently maintain the boundary there without paying damages to the tideland owner or working out an agreement with the tideland owner.  Homeowners on Sandy Point previously had leased the tidelands from the Lummi, and there is no reason the Homeowners could not similarly seek to negotiate a new agreement now.

Slip op. at 14481 (footnote omitted). In footnote 11, the court asserted that in most areas, the states hold title to most tidelands, and that "[m]ost disputes that arise between the states and littoral property owners over tideland boundaries and the use of tidelands are ultimately a matter for state courts to adjudicate under state law." Id. That may be true, but this decision is based on federal common law, and a pronouncement by a federal appeals court on a common law issue, while not binding, is often very persuasive to state courts (especially those within the territory of the federal court) when considering the same issue.

The court also upheld the Rivers and Harbors Act claim against the property owners, holding they did not need to have any intent to place their structures into navigable waters of the United States. The court relied on United States v. Alameda Gateway, Ltd., 213 F.2d 1161 (9th Cir. 2000), a case holding that property owners can be liable for "creating" obstructions to navigation even when the Corps of Engineers re-drawing of regulatory boundaries (Harbor Lines) to include a pier in order to avoid paying compensation is the reason the offending structure is violating the Act.

Disclosure: my Damon Key partner Diane Hastert and I represented Alameda Gateway in that case and the companion litigation, Alameda Gateway, Ltd. v. United States, 45 Fed. Cl. 757 (1999), in which the CFC held the federal government owed just compensation for the partial inverse condemnation of Alameda Gateway's piers which were deemed to violate the RHA.

Finally, the court reversed liability under the Clean Water Act because a property owner reconstructing their bulkhead did not involve a discharge into waters of the United States.

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October 09, 2009

COMMERCIAL ISSUES

COMMERCIAL ISSUES
Ethics -- The Key Component of Trust
Hear Buzz McCoy, CRE, lead a presentation on building trust through the leadership of ethics, providing a clear point of personal and business differentiation. Especially in these difficult economic times, determine how to evaluate and make tough ethical choices by surviving the stress through dedication to life balance. Register for NAR's Annual Conference and Expo. This event will be on 11/13/2009 at 3:00 p.m. Read more...
http://www.realtor.org/educsess.nsf/programsbySpecialAudience?OpenForm&CategoryName=Commercial#viewstart&WT.mc_id=LS100709&CAT=Comm

Dirt and Dollars
At NAR's annual Conference and expo in San Diego, hear about special niches, new possibilities and how to make money with land. Determine how to share relevant and credible information regarding land with clients. Learn to use your knowledge to avoid land pitfalls in commercial transactions. Panel with four ALC experts. Session on on Nov 14th from 1:30 till 3 p.m. Read more...
http://www.realtor.org/educsess.nsf/PagesLUNew/Conf09DirtDollars?OpenDocument&WT.mc_id=LS100709&CAT=Comm

Commercial Practitinoers Watching Regulatory Reform Efforts
FED Chairman Bernanke addressed lawmakers last Thursday and agreed that all federal agencies should be given more authority to police how the companies they oversee interact and are affected by the broader economy. He said that the White House plan would not give the Fed unfettered powers to police the economy. NAR leaders are developing key messages about how regulatory reform will affect their business and will be communicating to policymakers regarding them. Read more about Bernanke's address. For more information¸ visit...
http://www.realtor.org/narlservredirect.nsf/pages/NT000014B2?OpenDocument&WT.mc_id=LS100709&CAT=Comm
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to attend a FREE seminar, Title 24 Energy Efficiency Standards -

(Embedded image moved to file: pic22279.jpg)

 

 

 

You Are Invited...

to attend a FREE seminar, Title 24 Energy Efficiency Standards - What to

Expect 2008/2009?, at SCE's Wildomar Service Center on November 4,

2009 .

 

 

This class is designed for architects, builders, planners, inspectors,

and anyone interested in learning about updated Title 24 codes and

standards. Attendees will learn the latest version of the standards

including envelope, lighting, and mechanical requirements that affect

building design for new construction projects beginning in 2009. The new

standards are aimed at further reducing peak energy consumption and

incorporating greater energy efficiency measures.

 

 

 

Event Details

Event Name: Title 24 Energy Efficiency Standards - What to Expect

2008/2009?

Event Number: #20131

Event Date: Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Event Time: 8:30 a.m. - 12:30 p.m.

Registration & Continental Breakfast: 8:00 a.m.

Event Location: SCE's Wildomar Service Center

24487 Prielipp Road

Wildomar, CA 92595

 

Reservations can be made by calling (626) 812-7537 or (800) 336- 2822-

ext 42537 or by registering online at
www.sce.com/ctac.

 

 

FOR OVER 100 YEARS...LIFE. POWERED BY EDISON.

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October 07, 2009

following ASTM products are now available.

As you requested, this alert service notifies you that the following ASTM products are now available.

"ASTM's Digital Library" is now available.  Download nearly any paper, chapter, or book at http://www.astm.org/digitallibrary.
Annual Book of ASTM Standards
Volume 04.01: Cement; Lime; Gypsum
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Annual Book of ASTM Standards
Volume 04.02: Concrete and Aggregates
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ASTM Standards on Hazardous Substances and Oil Spill Response: 3rd Edition
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Stock#: STP1507
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Annual Book of ASTM Standards
Volume 11.04: Waste Management
Stock#: S110409
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Volume 11.05: Pesticides; Environmental Assessment; Hazardous Substances and Oil Spill Response
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If you are unable to click on the above links, copy and paste http://www.astm.org into your browser and type the stock number or a keyword into the ASTM Site Search to locate any of the listed products.

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ATTORNEY AT LAW at LAW OFFICES OF WANDA Y. BELLE

Wanda Belle Wanda is your connection (1st degree)

ATTORNEY AT LAW at LAW OFFICES OF WANDA Y. BELLE

Location Greater Los Angeles Area Industry Law Practice Current
  • Owner at LAW OFFICES OF WANDA Y. BELLE
  • ATTORNEY AT LAW at LAW OFFICES OF WANDA Y. BELLE
Education
  • Texas Southern University—Thurgood Marshall School of Law
Connections

20 connections

Public Profile

http://www.linkedin.com/in/wandaybelleesquire

Summary

My area of practice is Family Law. I represent clients in Divorce Proceedings, Child Custody Proceedings, Child Support and Spousal Support Proceeding, Paternity Proceedings, Domestic Violence, Defense in Child Support Services Department Enforcement Proceedings, and Modifcation of Custody and Support.

I have practiced in the Los Angeles area since 1992 in all Los Angeles County Districts, Riverside County, San Bernadino County, Ventura County, and Orange County.

Prior to 1992, I practiced in Houston, Texas for 10 years mostly in Family Law in Private Practice and as a Contract Attorney for a local agency.

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October 05, 2009

How to maximize value of your distressed property

How to maximize value of your distressed property

September 11, 2009
By Chris Crowell
Hotel and Motel Management

National Report–It’s far from an ideal situation, but it’s a reality of the industry today—many hotel owners will deal with a distressed property. After accepting this reality, borrowers must form a specific plan to maximize property value, minimize personal financial loss and move on. Depending on the particular loan situation, there are a variety of options borrowers need to consider.

The first step, according to Jim Butler, partner at Los Angeles law firm Jeffer Mangels Butler and Marmaro LLP, is to gather all relevant financial information—documents, deeds, correspondence, agreements, etc.—and create a comprehensive analysis. Figure out optimistic, middle and worst-case scenarios in terms of occupancy, average daily rate, revenue and expenses.

“The truth is you don’t know [what’s going to happen],” Butler said. “So you build the scenarios and lay out your cash and you place a value on everything. This is what consultants do. They look for anticipated revenue flows.”
The comprehensive analysis benefits borrowers by allowing them to take stock of the investment’s current and realistic value, and benefits lenders by showing them that the borrower is prepared for the upcoming conversation and difficult decision.

Workout
Workouts aid borrowers if they believe the property will rebound and show value given enough time and a new plan, and workouts aid lenders who more than likely do not want the property. The key to a successful workout is constant, constructive communication. So, borrowers should start talking to their lenders early.

Workouts can yield reduced fees, extension of maturity, reductions of interest rate and principal, and more that aids in an owner’s quest to keep a property and create value. Bringing in a consultant is a good way to help this process.

“A piece of advice in three words is ‘communicate with cash,’” said Steve Van, president and CEO of Prism Hotels & Resorts. “Because lenders and special servicers generally won’t be able to help much unless the owner can come up with cash that isn’t already there, and it’s hard to get around. But to get around that, communicate clearly and communicate consistently.”

Van said, depending on the property, lenders won’t be enticed into a workout for anything less than $100,000. For a $50-million hotel, that could go up to $1 million or more.

But that doesn’t mean lenders aren’t willing to work to reach a deal. According to Kirby Payne, co-president of HVS Hotel Management, many lenders are so averse to taking back a property that they will pay a consultant to facilitate a deal.

“In cases where the lender has paid to solve it, [the property] has never had to be foreclosed on,” he said.
Rather than contribute cash, specifically when the borrower does not want to retain the property, Butler said a borrower could offer services to the lender. This keeps the unwanted keys from both parties.

“Maybe the borrower will say, ‘I’ll put it on the market for you. I’ll do it for you like I’m working for you,’” Butler said. “That could be worth a lot to a lender to have the borrower cooperate and facilitate the sale or hold for the lender.”

These deals can add $10 million of value for the lender and often provide a service no one else can offer—that doesn’t come out of anyone’s pocket.

However, borrowers must remember that any deal forgiving debt has tax implications. The forgiven debt will be taxed, and as buildings depreciate, the basis gradually goes down as the tax liability goes up. The results of this tax can put the borrower in further financial distress.

“One thing that’s important as a borrower is to get with a tax lawyer and structure the foreclosure to minimize the taxes,” Payne said. An option in the workout plan could be a program that defers the recapture of items.
When dealing with a commercial mortgage-backed security loan, one of your first steps might be to miss a payment—intentionally or not—because there can be no workout until a payment is missed. And according to Van, CMBS loans have a longer workout process because of the need for special servicing.

“There’s not necessarily a difference [with CMBS loans], just a difference in process,” Van said. “Special servicers and lenders both want to preserve the value of the hotel and hotel loan.”

Default
Even though workouts to keep a property can be beneficial for both lender and borrower, in many cases it may be a complicated process that yields little value. Often, it may be prudent to simply default and give the lender the keys.

A deal that highlights this option is Sunstone Hotel Investors giving back the W San Diego in June. Sunstone did its homework, saw the writing on the wall and moved on—creating a blueprint for owners in a similar situation.
“Sunstone looked and saw they’d never get out of this hole,” Butler said.

This was nonrecourse debt, which makes up most of the CMBS loans from about 2000, according to Butler. The Sunstone model may become more prevalent based on those numbers.

Bankruptcy
For the most part, bankruptcy should be considered in two scenarios. First, if the borrower truly believes he has equity and that a new plan will turn the property around. Filing for bankruptcy will provide a temporary slowdown in loan payments, halt foreclosure and perhaps provide the cushion needed to implement a new plan and become profitable, Butler said.

Even in this scenario, bankruptcy isn’t preferred, Van said.

“Generally bankruptcy doesn’t accomplish anything,” he said. “That’s just my experience. It generally doesn’t better the position of the borrower and generally has lot of legal fees.”

Second, if a property has a long-term management contract, that contract devalues the property and hurts the lender’s proposition when trying to find a new buyer, which thus hurts the original borrower in a workout. The only way to break such a contract and create more value for the property is through bankruptcy.

“If you’re just trying to get rid of the hotel, that’s a tool I think will be used more frequently,” Van said.
 

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Lawyer Pleads in Appraisal Bribe Scheme; Prosecutors Seek $3.2M Restitution

Lawyer Pleads in Appraisal Bribe Scheme; Prosecutors Seek $3.2M Restitution

Posted Oct 2, 2009, 03:37 pm CDT
By Martha Neil

A lawyer involved in an alleged scheme to obtain $21 million in appraisal contracts by paying Cuyahoga County officials $1.3 million in bribes has accepted a plea bargain.

Attorney Bruce Zaccagnini, 48, pleaded guilty to a public corruption charge yesterday and agreed to cooperate with the feds, reports the Cleveland Plain Dealer.

He is likely to be sentenced to a four- or five-year prison term next year, halving the 10 years he could otherwise have gotten, the newspaper reports. Federal prosecutors are seeking $3.2 million restitution, which they say represents Zaccagnini's profits from the scheme.

Timothy Armstrong, his partner in the former law firm of Armstrong Mitchell Damiani and Zaccagnini, pleaded guilty earlier this week to a public corruption charge.

An earlier ABAJournal.com post provides additional details about the the operation, in which some members of the law firm are accused of representing clients in challenges of their property assessments at the same time that a now-deceased law firm partner, Louis Damiani, substantially controlled the county appraisals that determined the assessments, according to the feds.

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Financial Literacy Update

The Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC)’s Financial Literacy Update is a bimonthly e-newsletter containing information about upcoming financial literacy events, new initiatives of the OCC and other government agencies and organizations, and other related resources. 

Financial Literacy Update provides brief descriptions and Web links for upcoming events in chronological order. We list new initiatives and resources (with Web links) in alphabetical order. We welcome your feedback on the Financial Literacy Update. Please e-mail us at  communityaffairs@occ.treas.gov.

Upcoming EventsNew InitiativesNew Resources

Upcoming Events
October 5-6, 2009 (Washington, D.C.)
The Second Annual Financial Literacy Leadership Conference, presented by the Society for Financial Education and Professional Development, Inc. brings together leaders in the field of financial literacy to develop effective strategies and partnerships to address pertinent issues.
October 7-10, 2009 (Washington, D.C.)
The Council for Economic Education, National Association of Economic Educators, and Global Association of Teachers of Economics holds its 2009 annual conference. The conference focuses on grades K-12 economic, personal finance, and entrepreneurship education.
October 10-17, 2009 (Throughout the state)
Money Smart Week Indiana events are designed for all ages and backgrounds and include topics on teaching children how to save as well as helping seniors manage their finances. Events are held throughout the state, and some will be offered or advertised in Spanish.
October 10-17, 2009 (Throughout the state)
Community groups, government agencies, financial advisers and businesses will attend Money Smart Week Wisconsin events to answer questions on how to handle finances and to teach children about handling money.
October 15, 2009 (Local Schools)
Get Smart About Credit Day is an annual event held in October when bankers visit local classrooms to share with students the ”credit facts of life." October 15, 2009 is the date of this year’s event, the seventh annual. The foundation hosts six free Webinars to review tips on using the Get Smart About Credit Day Resource Kit, planning an event, sharing best practices, and positioning the event for Community Reinvestment Act credit.
October 17-24, 2009
The National Foundation for Credit Counseling and the Council of Better Business Bureaus are sponsoring the second annual Protect Your Identity Week. During PYIW week, hundreds of identity theft protection events will be held in communities across the nation. At local events, consumers can take advantage of education workshops, the shredding of documents, and credit report reviews - - all free of charge and open to the public. A consumer Web site, in English and Spanish has been developed to highlight PYIW events and provide valuable identity theft awareness and prevention education.
October 21, 2009 (Washington, DC)
The Fall 2009 American Savings Education Council Partners Meeting will feature a presentation of the Stock Market Game, showing how the game boosts achievement in math and financial education, and a presentation of the proposed Consumer Financial Protection Agency.
October 21-23, 2009 (Philadelphia, Pa.)
The Institute for Financial Literacy hosts the 2009 Annual Conference on Financial Education. The conference provides professional development opportunities for people working in the fields of financial literacy and education.
October 28, 2009 (Boston, Mass.)
The Massachusetts Financial Education Collaborative is holding a summit at the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston. The summit focuses on program information, coordination and delivery of financial education for young people (K-16), adults and seniors.
October/November 2009 (Boston, Mass.)
The Federal Reserve Bank of Boston presents the 2009 Reserve Cup Challenge to representative high schools - one from each New England state - to compete in a quiz show that tests students’ knowledge of financial matters, ranging from financial literacy to economics to personal finance.
November 4, 2009 (Lubbock, Texas)
The Texas Department of Banking provides hands-on training on three financial education curricula: the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas’s “Building Wealth,” the FDIC’s “Money Smart Program,” and JA Worldwide’s “Junior Achievement.”
November 6-8, 2009 (Washington, D.C.)
The Jump$tart Coalition for Personal Financial Literacy presents the first nationwide conference devoted entirely to personal finance education in grades K-12.
New Initiatives
The FICO Mortgage Recovery Initiative is a comprehensive solution that meets the needs of Main Street and Wall Street. It follows the federal government’s Making Home Affordable guidelines. This program streamlines consumer loan applications and provides servicers with deep analytic solutions to help them work with their customers.
The Office of the Special Trustee for American Indians Field Operations, in partnership with First Nations Development Institute, conducted a train the trainer session at the National Indian Program Training Center to prepare Fiduciary Trust Officers to provide financial literacy training to trust beneficiaries throughout Indian Country. Training also has been conducted at Fort Berthold and Standing Rock.
The Maryland Coalition for Financial Literacy (MCFL) is an initiative to meet the urgent need for more financial education. The MCFL works with educational leadership groups, parents, the financial services industry, and others to find the best program for each of Maryland’s 24 public school systems as well as nonpublic high schools. The MCFL also works with partners to develop programs for adult constituencies such as employee groups, senior citizens, first-time homebuyers, and new immigrant groups.
Native American Bank (NAB) and the Native American Community Development Corporation (NACDC) have developed a “Mini-Bank” program, which the NACDC delivers to elementary schools located on Native American reservations in Montana, Idaho, and Colorado. The program allows Native American youth to enhance their financial literacy skills by actually opening a savings account with NAB and learning, in a school setting, the value of saving, and the power of compounded interest. A combined Mini-Bank and Land Education curriculum is now offered in collaboration with Indian Land Tenure Foundation.
The North American Securities Administrators Association (NASAA) announced a new investor education initiative to equip millions of union and employee association members with the knowledge and skills they need to protect themselves from investment fraud. Through a new outreach program, “United Against Investment Fraud” (UAIF), NASAA is working with unions and employee associations to bring investor education to the workplace. The UAIF program teaches union members how to spot con artists and how to check the backgrounds of stock brokers and investment advisers.
President Barack Obama announced new Federal resources to make it easier for American families to save for retirement. These new IRS initiatives include guidance on saving for, and choosing retirement plans, including design options; expanding opportunities for automatic enrollment; making it easier to save tax refunds; showing how employees can save payments in their retirement plans they would receive for unused vacation or other similar leave; and helping employees and employers understand their tax-favored rollover and other savings options.
The University of Albany’s Center for Excellence in Aging Services presents the Senior Financial Literacy Training and Education Initiative. This program provides to seniors a basic understanding of financial literacy, risk factors for financial exploitation, and an understanding of social work roles focused on senior financial literacy.
The Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) began a two-year pilot project to review affordable and responsible small dollar-loan programs in financial institutions. The pilot is a case study intended to identify effective and replicable business practices to help banks incorporate affordable small dollar loans into their other mainstream banking services. Resulting best practices from the pilot will be identified and will become a resource for other financial institutions.
The "Your Money Bus Tour" is a consumer outreach initiative that kicks off its second year on October 1, 2009. In each city, local financial advisors volunteer their time to meet with residents and answer their financial questions—free of charge, with no strings attached. The bus tour is strictly an educational event; a way to give back to the community and help residents with financial questions. This year, the organization plans to visit 25 cities across the U.S. The tour is sponsored by the National Association of Personal Financial Advisors Consumer Education Foundation (NAPFA), TD Ameritrade, Kiplingers Personal Finance Magazine and FiLife.com.
New Resources
Building Your Future developed by The Actuarial Foundation helps students easily grasp the essentials of personal finance, gives them multiple opportunities to practice core skills and showcases the real-world impact of the financial decisions they make. Each chapter is classroom ready, with a Teacher's Guide that provides handouts and answer keys, instruction and assessment suggestions, definitions and resources that align with national mathematics and personal financial education standards.
The Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis offers Cards, Cars and Currency, a curriculum that challenges students to become involved in three specific areas of personal finance—credit cards, debit cards, and the purchasing of a car.
The Center for Economic Education and Entrepreneurship at the University of Delaware provides to teaching professionals knowledge, skills, and innovative curriculum to equip Delaware K-12 students with the economic, personal finance, and entrepreneurial foundations necessary to become informed, active participants in today’s world.
Consolidated Credit Counseling Services utilizes educational programs, professional counseling and money management instructions to establish a customized program that fits peoples needs.
Consumer Action is a nonprofit, membership-based organization that serves consumers nationwide by advancing consumer rights; referring consumers to complaint-handling agencies through a free hotline; publishing educational materials in Chinese, English, Korean, Spanish, Vietnamese, and other languages; and comparing prices on credit cards, bank accounts, and long distance services.
This summer, more than one million older Americans will be forced into the Part D “doughnut hole”—a coverage gap in Medicare’s program that leaves seniors liable for all of their own costs while still paying premiums. AARP is launching a new free online resource to help these and other older Americans avoid this dreaded coverage gap.
The Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) offers EDIE the Estimator. This estimator can calculate your FDIC insurance coverage in each FDIC-insured bank where you have deposit accounts. EDIE lets you know, in a printable report for each bank, whether your deposits are within or exceed coverage limits.
American Consumer Credit Counseling’s Financial Fitness Center is an online resource offering an enormous amount information on personal money management. Web seminars, podcasts, tips of the week, calculators, worksheets, resource articles, links and more are provided to help consumers better manage their money. Information is available free-of-charge.
The Financial Security for All Community of Practice (COP) is part of the U.S. Department of Agriculture and Cooperative State Research, Education and Extension Service chat programs that consist of monthly personal finance topics. Upcoming topics of discussion are Tips for Happy Holidays without Financial Hangover (October 29, 2009) and Promoting Positive Financial Behavioral Change (November 19, 2009).
FINRA Investor Education Foundation provides support for innovative research and educational projects aimed at segments of the investing public. Through grants, researchers explore investor behavior and develop practical ways to avoid costly mistakes and ensure that reliable financial and investor education is available to all who need it. It also sponsors SaveAndInvest.org, a free service that provides financial education tools for military families and older investors (aged 55 years or older) as well as additional investor resources.
The Institute for Financial Literacy is a nonprofit organization that assists its clients directly with programs in financial counseling, financial education, and bankruptcy-related services.
The Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis offers “It’s Your Paycheck,” a curriculum designed for use in high school personal finance classes. This curriculum is made up of three sections—"Know Your Dough," "KaChing!" and "All About Credit." The lessons in each section employ teaching strategies to engage students so that they can apply the concepts being taught.
The Maryland Council on Economic Education provides individualized assistance to develop a curriculum that includes economic and financial instruction and to develop assessments to measure learning. It also offers free teacher workshops and courses to prepare instructors to teach the content lesson plans and other classroom materials. The curriculum includes programs and seminars are available for adults and community groups. Other programs include the Maryland-DC Stock Market Game™, a poster contest for students in grades 1 through 8 and the Maryland Economics Challenge competition for high school students.
Money Savvy Generation develops innovative products to help parents, educators, and others teach the skills of basic personal finance. Currently, this program is taught in school districts in 27 states and the District of Columbia.
The Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City has developed a new role play, “Payment Parliament,” an interactive way for students to enhance their reading skills while learning about key financial concepts. This program is targeted toward students in grades 5 through 8 and covers different payment methods available to consumers.
The National Credit Union Foundation’s “Right at Home: Financial Answers for Home Ownership,” informs people on how to keep their home in tough economic times. Free and objective information, tips, and resources are provided for those who are falling behind in their mortgage payments but want to work out a plan to stay in their home or to move without foreclosure. Information focuses on finding a mortgage loan that fits your budget, protecting your credit rating, avoiding fraud, and creating a budget to manage your money.
Saving Our Futures: A Financial Responsibility Program for Young People is an online curriculum that teaches young people in middle school and high school financial responsibility and methods for advocating for smarter money management in their homes, communities, and from elected officials. The curriculum is a program of the America’s Promise Alliance.
Smart Borrower provides to people the information they need to make smart decisions about borrowing money for a home, car, college education, or other high-cost items or services. LendingTree created this online resource to make personal finance information easy to find, easy to understand, and easy to act on.
The Stock Market Game is a program of the SIFMA Foundation for Investor Education received results from a rigorous evaluation study conducted by Learning Point Associates with a grant from the FINRA Foundation that show students who play The Stock Market Game outperform their peers in mathematics and financial literacy. According to the independent evaluation team, the gains are substantial at the elementary, middle, and high school levels. In addition, teachers reported that the program influenced their own financial practices.
The Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City has developed a new role play, “There’s No Business Like Bank Business,” an interactive way for students to enhance their reading skills while learning about key financial concepts. This program targets students in grades 3 through 5 and introduces the workings of a bank and the benefits of saving money in one.
What to Do if You’ve Lost Your Job is presented by AARP. It provides people with a checklist of suggestions on immediate steps to take together with longer term ideas for dealing with this new situation.
Wi$eUp is a financial education program designed for Generation X and Y Women. It was developed by the U.S. Department of Labor Women's Bureau in support of the Department of Labor's Strengthening the Family Initiative.
The Women’s Institute for Financial Education (WIFE) is a nonprofit organization dedicated to providing financial education to women in their quest for financial independence. WIFE offers reviews of personal finance books and features articles on personal finance topics, online video clips, and archived WIFE e-newsletters—all designed to improve the financial expertise of women.
HSBC Bank developed Your Money Counts.com, a comprehensive online learning resource that helps people understand finances and make informed financial choices. This online guide to financial and credit education provides people with interactive calculators, information on current money issues, in-depth information on specific money topics, financial education booklets, and quizzes to test their financial knowledge.

 

 

 

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October 02, 2009

From: HUD USER News

From: HUD USER News
 
On September 30, 2009, the U.S. Department of Housing and
Urban Development published a notice in the Federal
Register of the "Final Fair Market Rents for Fiscal Year
2010 for the Housing Choice Voucher Program and Moderate
Rehabilitation Single Room Occupancy Program."
 
Developed by HUD's Office of Policy Development and
Research (PD&R), the FY2010 FMRs are based on 2000 Census
data updated with 2007 American Community Survey data, as
well as more recent Consumer Price Index rent and utility
indexes. Fair Market Rent (FMR) areas are determined by
current Office of Management and Budget metropolitan area
definitions, incorporating changes made in November 2008.
 
Concurrent with publication of the Final FY 2010 Fair
 Market Rents, PD&R has posted a documentation system on
our website at www.huduser.org/datasets/fmr.html, where
you can review the underlying data and computations used
in developing the final FMRs for each area in the
country. The primary uses of FMRs are to determine the
payment standards for the Housing Choice Voucher program,
initial renewal rents for some expiring project-based
Section 8 contracts, and initial rents for housing
assistance payment (HAP) contracts in the Moderate
Rehabilitation Single Room Occupancy program. The FMRs
also establish rent ceilings for use in the HOME program. 
 
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October 01, 2009

Top Commercial Real Estate News
September 24, 2009 - September 30, 2009
Provided by Commercial Real Estate Direct

Commercial Mortgage Universe Shrinks in 2Q
The universe of commercial mortgages in the United States fell in the second quarter to $3.47 trillion from $3.48 trillion in the first and $3.5 trillion at the end of last year, according to analysis of Federal Reserve Board flow of funds data by the Mortgage Bankers Association. The reduction would have
Read Full Story

Blackstone Venture to Buy $1.27B Portfolio
Sunwest Management, a Salem, Oregon, seniors-housing operator in Chapter 11 bankruptcy reorganization, has agreed to sell 148 assisted-living properties to a venture led by Blackstone Real Estate Advisors for $1.27 billion. The price for the nationwide portfolio includes the assumption of $1 billion of debt. Blackstone's partners are Read Full Story

CMBS Delinquency Climbs to $28.16B
The volume of delinquent CMBS loans continued its march upward in August, climbing by nearly 10% to $28.16 billion from $25.68 billion in July, according to Realpoint. The increase came after a month during which delinquency volumes actually fell when loans on properties owned by General Growth Properties were moved back to performing status from delinquent, where they Read Full Story

FDIC Has $30B of Assets to Sell
Despite seizing 118 failed banks with $476.4 billion of assets since the start of last year, the FDIC has only about $30 billion of assets to sell. But some $4.7 billion is in the market for sale via three massive structured offerings that are being shopped

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