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Archive for March, 2008

Accounting Firms Under Fire For Role In Mortgage Mess

Wednesday, March 26th, 2008

No one who has been paying attention to the mortgage implosion would be surprised by today’s New York Times article about KPMG.  Accounting firms have clearly been complicit in allowing lenders and banks to mask the risks of mortgage packages and mortgage-backed securities.  But, this is nothing new.  As we saw with Enron, WorldCom, and myriad other examples of corporate malfeasance, accounting firms often act in the interest of the current management of a company, rather than in the interest of long-term shareholders, employees, or even common sense.

Here are some highlights:

KPMG, one of the Big Four accounting firms, endorsed a move by New Century Financial, a failed mortgage company, to change its accounting practices in a way that allowed the lender to report a profit, rather than a loss, at the height of the housing boom, an independent report commissioned by a division of the Justice Department concluded.

The 580-page report documents how New Century lowered its reserves for loans that investors were forcing it to buy back even as such repurchases were surging. Had it not changed its accounting, the company would have reported a loss rather a profit in the second half of 2006. The company first acknowledged that its accounting was wrong in February 2007 and sought bankruptcy protection less than two months later as its lenders stopped doing business with it.

The profit was important because it allowed executives to earn bonuses and convince Wall Street that it was in fine shape financially when in fact its business was coming apart, the report contended. But the report stopped short of saying that the company “engaged in earnings management or manipulation, although its accounting irregularities almost always resulted in increased earnings.”

Read the whole story here.

What do you need to know about Lead Mangement Software?

Wednesday, March 12th, 2008


We live and breathe lead management but we often run into prospects and partners that seem a little lost when they try to get their heads wrapped around what we do. It’s not their fault. Lead Management is still a new world and the basic concepts are just starting to get some mainstream business penetration. Leads360′s own Noel Collins has written his first post in a multi-part series explaining how to evaluate a Lead Management Software or Solution. Please visit Lead Critic to check it out.

NOW OPEN FOR BUSINESS: FHA Conforming Loan Amount Limit Increase

Thursday, March 6th, 2008

People, you heard it here first, okay maybe second, or third, but you heard it here nonetheless. As of now, you should be marketing to all of the old leads in your database so you can capture business that you missed out on in the past. There are strategies to make you successful doing this, they are called Best Practices, and we would like to share them with you.

I like to call times like this “Found Money” times. There is found money sitting in the lead manager of every mortgage company out there, no matter what kind of system you use. Whether there is a stack of old leads piled up in a filing cabinet, or whether you are using the best and most sophisticated lead management system on the market, if you play your cards right, you will come out with a BIG W.

Below is a table of new FHA limits. Take a look at it, then get to work. If you need help, just ask.

County Median Home Price New FHA Limit
Alameda County $995,000 $729,750
Alpine County $438,000 $547,500
Amador County $355,000 $443,750
Butte County $320,000 $400,000
Calaveras County $370,000 $462,500
Colusa County $318,000 $397,500
Contra Costa County $995,000 $729,750
Del Norte County $249,000 $311,250
El Dorado County $464,000 $580,000
Fresno County $305,000 $381,250
Glenn County $230,000 $287,500
Humboldt County $315,000 $393,750
Imperial County $260,000 $325,000
Inyo County $350,000 $437,500
Kern County $295,000 $368,750
Kings County $260,000 $325,000
Lake County $321,000 $401,250
Lassen County $200,000 $271,050
Los Angeles County $710,000 $729,750
Madera County $340,000 $425,000
Marin County $995,000 $729,750
Mariposa County $330,000 $412,500
Mendocino County $410,000 $512,500
Merced County $378,000 $472,500
Modoc County $125,000 $271,050
Mono County $370,000 $462,500
Monterey County $599,000 $729,750
Napa County $615,000 $729,750
Nevada County $450,000 $562,500
Orange County $710,000 $729,750
Placer County $464,000 $580,000
Plumas County $328,000 $410,000
Riverside County $400,000 $500,000
Sacramento County $464,000 $580,000
San Benito County $790,000 $729,750
San Bernardino County $400,000 $500,000
San Diego County $558,000 $697,500
San Francisco County $995,000 $729,750
San Joaquin County $391,000 $488,750
San Luis Obispo County $550,000 $687,500
San Mateo County $995,000 $729,750
Santa Barbara County $615,000 $729,750
Santa Clara County $790,000 $729,750
Santa Cruz County $719,000 $729,750
Shasta County $339,000 $423,750
Sierra County $228,000 $285,000
Siskiyou County $235,000 $293,750
Solano County $446,000 $557,500
Sonoma County $530,000 $662,500
Stanislaus County $339,000 $423,750
Sutter County $340,000 $425,000
Tehama County $250,000 $312,500
Trinity County $200,000 271050
Tulare County $260,000 $325,000
Tuolumne County $350,000 $437,500
Ventura County $599,000 $729,750
Yolo County $464,000 $580,000
Yuba County $340,000 $425,000