Storm could take away sights and sounds of BP well

ON THE GULF OF MEXICO – Ships relaying the sights and sounds from BP's broken oil well stood fast Friday as the leftovers of Tropical Storm Bonnie blew straight for the spill site, threatening to force a full evacuation that would leave engineers clueless about whether a makeshift cap on the gusher was holding.
Vessels connected to deep-sea robots equipped with cameras and seismic devices would be among the last to flee and would ride out the rough weather if possible, retired Coast Guard Adm. Thad Allen said.
"If conditions allow, they will remain through the passage of the storm," Allen said in New Orleans.
Bonnie made landfall south of Miami early Friday as a feeble tropical storm with top sustained winds of 40 mph. It broke apart as it crossed Florida and was a tropical depression as it moved into the Gulf, but forecasters expected it to strengthen slightly and roll over the spill site around midday Saturday.
Some of the dozens of vessels working at the well site were leaving Friday evening. By daybreak, all but a handful, including those providing video images, were expected to remain. Allen said individual captains would decide when to leave, based on weather conditions.
The ships holding the robots would be among the first to return if forecasts force them to leave, but they could be gone for up to two days, said Allen, the federal government's spill chief.
The mechanical plug that has mostly contained the oil for eight days will be left closed, Allen said. But if the robots are reeled in, the only way officials will know whether the cap has failed will be if oil pooling on the surface appears in satellite and aerial views — provided the clouds aren't too thick.
Audio surveillance gear left behind could tell BP whether the well is still stable, but scientists won't be able to listen to the recordings until the ships return to the area.
Allen expressed increasing confidence in the experimental cap despite a few leaks that initially worried government experts. Scientists say even a severe storm shouldn't affect the plug, nearly a mile beneath the ocean surface 40 miles from the Louisiana coast.
"There's almost no chance it'll have any impact on the well head or the cap because it's right around 5,000 feet deep and even the largest waves won't get down that far," said Don Van Nieuwenhuise, director of professional geoscience programs at the University of Houston.
Crews of other vessels, including one boring the tunnel meant to kill the flow of crude for good, spent Friday hauling in their gear and getting out of the storm's way. Workers were pulling up a mile of pipe in 40-to-60-foot sections and laying it on deck of the drilling rig so they could move to safer water, probably to the southwest flank of the storm.
"Preservation of life and preservation of equipment are our highest priorities," said Allen, a veteran of the Coast Guard's rescue mission after Hurricane Katrina.
Shell Oil also was evacuating its operations in the Gulf, moving out more than 600 workers and shutting down production at all but one well sheltered safely in Mobile Bay.
At the spill site, the water no longer looks thick with gooey tar. But the oil is still there beneath the surface, staining the hulls of boats motoring around in it.
Strong winds and waves could help break up the oil further, but a storm surge also might push it into sensitive marsh areas along the coast.
"Those are two opposite consequences and we're prepared to move out and aggressively attack this once the threat has passed through," Allen said.
The foul weather has stalled progress toward killing the well and could delay until mid-August the sealing of the nearly two-mile underground shaft using mud and cement, Allen and BP say. BP had hoped to finish drilling a relief tunnel Friday, but had to plug it Wednesday to prepare for the storm.
On the tiny resort island of Grand Isle off the southeast Louisiana coast workers packed up the oil removal operation, tearing down tents, tying down clean boom and loading oil-soaked boom into large containers so it won't pollute the area if the storm causes flooding.
"Part of our severe weather plan is to remove all the equipment from the beach," said Coast Guard Lt. Cmd. Nan Bangs. "We don't want to take a chance on something damaging the sand berm or the houses along there."
Before the cap was attached and closed a week ago, the broken well spewed 94 million to 184 million gallons into the Gulf after the BP-leased Deepwater Horizon rig exploded April 20, killing 11 workers.
BP is likely to be fined per gallon spilled, although determining that could be difficult. Concentrations of underwater oil at least doubled last month, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.
Researchers at the University of South Florida said Friday they have the first scientific proof that two giant plumes of oil beneath the surface of the Gulf came from the broken well. BP initially denied the plumes even existed.
Dishneau reported from New Orleans, Weber from aboard the Coast Guard cutter Decisive. Associated Press writers Mary Foster in Grand Isle, La., Jason Dearen in San Francisco and Matthew Brown in Billings, Mont., contributed to this report.
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Precious legal case is dismissed

A lawsuit in the US between two film companies over the rights to the Oscar-winning movie Precious has been dismissed.

Lionsgate Films and The Weinstein Company sued each other in 2009 over rights to distribute the film.

Matthew Gershman, a lawyer for Lionsgate, said the case had been "amicably resolved". A spokesman for Weinstein was not available to comment.

The movie was based on the 1996 novel Push: Based on a Novel by Sapphire.

It was first shown at the Sundance film festival in January, 2009.

Harvey Weinstein claimed he bought the rights to the film at the event, but sales agent John Sloss later announced he had sold it to Lionsgate.

The dispute led to four separate legal cases on both coasts of the US.

Weinstein's case lost some its steam last September, when a judge in New York said the movie mogul's late-night negotiations at Sundance never amounted to a valid copyright transfer.

According to The Hollywood Reporter, that ruling encouraged Lionsgate to move for a summary judgment in the Los Angeles case - which eventually led to a settlement and dismissal.

In the meantime, the film was released to the public, taking $62.8m (£41m) at the global box office.

Actress Mo'Nique and screenwriter Geoffrey Fletcher also won Oscars for their roles in the drama.

The film, which tells the story of Harlem teenager Precious, who is illiterate and expecting her second child, was nominated in four other categories, including a best actress nod for breakout star Gabourey Sidibe.
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Ballet thriller Black Swan to open Venice film festival

Psychological thriller Black Swan, starring Natalie Portman, will open this year's Venice film festival, organisers have said.
The film, from US director Darren Aronofsky, also features Vincent Cassel and Winona Ryder.
It centres on the rivalry between two dancers at a cutthroat ballet company in New York.
Aronofsky won Venice's top prize, the Golden Lion, in 2008 with The Wrestler, which starred Mickey Rourke.
"The cast and crew of Black Swan are both excited and humbled by the selection committee's invitation," said Aronofsky.
"It is an honour to walk the great red carpet on the Lido, and we are excited to premiere our film to the wonderful audiences in Venice," he said in a statement.
The Venice festival runs from 1-11 September. The full line-up will be unveiled later this month.
US director Quentin Tarantino is heading this year's jury.
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Seven EU banks fail stress tests

Seven of the 91 European banks that underwent stress tests have failed the healthchecks, the Committee of European Banking Supervisors (CEBS) has said.
They include five Spanish banks - Diada, Espiga, Banca Civica, Unnim and Cajasur. The other two were Germany's Hypo Real Estate and Greece's ATEbank.
The tests assessed banks' ability to survive future economic shocks.
The seven banks would need a total of 3.5bn euros (£3bn) of new capital to meet the standards required, CEBS said.
"[The failed banks] will have to agree with their respective supervisors a plan over a given time period which will explain how this weakness will be resolved," CEBS chairman Giovanni Carosio said.
BBC business editor Robert Peston said that on the face of it, the results appeared to be "good news", but questioned how severe the tests were.
The weekend will be an anxious time for banks, as they wait to learn whether it will become easier or harder for them to borrow, when markets open on Monday, he added.

Some analysts are already arguing that the tests were not strict enough.
"What seems to have occurred is a compromise amongst European banking regulators, with many questioning if the bar had been set way too low in testing the European banking sector," said Mark O'Sullivan of foreign exchange firm Currencies Direct.

"It seems the tests may have raised more questions than they have answered and in the coming weeks, it will be the interbank lending markets that will have the real answer as to whether real confidence has returned to the European banks."

But Vitor Constancio from the European Central Bank said the tests were very extensive.

The stress tests were conducted on a bank-by-bank basis, in a move designed to reassure investors over the health of Europe's financial sectors.

The most severe test looked at an adverse scenario, assuming a "double-dip" recession over the next two years, as well as a sovereign debt shock - some kind of financial crisis for European governments such as Greece.
The seven banks failed because in this scenario, it was deemed that their "tier one" capital ratios - the strictest measure of capital - would fall below 6%, the threshold set for the test.

In its report revealing the aggregate outcome of the tests, CEBS said that the 6% threshold was used as a "benchmark solely for the purpose of this stress test exercise".

"This threshold should by no means be interpreted as a regulatory minimum... nor as a capital target reflecting the risk profile of the institutions."

Banks that are supervised in the EU need to have a regulatory minimum of 4% tier one capital.

CEBS added that failing to meet the 6% threshold did not mean a bank was insolvent.

'Preparedness and resilience'
The UK's four major banks - RBS, Lloyds, HSBC and Barclays - were among the banks tested and all passed the tests, which were carried out by the Financial Services Authority (FSA) on behalf of the EU.
"As expected, the outcomes of the stresses demonstrate the preparedness and resilience of the UK banks under unlikely adverse economic scenarios," the FSA said.

"This resilience is a result of the considerable work that has been undertaken to strengthen UK banks in recent years."

The British Bankers' Association said: "UK banks have already put in the work to rebuild their businesses and put more money aside against future financial problems.

"It is no surprise to find they have exceeded the standards set out by CEBS."

'Sound Spanish system'
The five Spanish banks that failed, out of 27 tested, were regional savings banks, which racked up heavy losses following the collapse of the Spanish property market.

Cajasur was bailed out by the Bank of Spain in May.

Following publication of the stress test results, the central bank said in a statement: "The exercise confirms that the Spanish banking system is sound, and in turn substantiates the savings bank restructuring and recapitalisation process pursued over the past twelve months by the Bank of Spain."

Meanwhile, 13 out of 14 German banks passed the tests.

"The German banking system has shown itself to be robust and proved its resilience even under very pessimistic assumptions," financial watchdog Bafin and central bank, the Bundesbank, said in a statement.

It added that the only German bank that failed, Hypo Real Estate, "is currently undergoing a far-reaching restructuring process".

ATEbank was the only one of the six Greek banks that participated in the tests to fail.

Greek Finance Minister George Papaconstantinou said the results were positive and showed that "the Greek banking system can cope even in the extreme conditions of a stress test".
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North Korea warns of nuclear 'sacred war'

North Korea says it will use its "nuclear deterrent" in response to joint US-South Korean military exercises this weekend.
Pyongyang was ready to launch a "retaliatory sacred war", the state-run Korean Central News Agency (KINA) said, quoting defence officials.
Washington and Seoul say the war games are to deter North Korean aggression.
Tensions between the two Koreas have been high since the sinking of a South Korean warship in March.
An international investigation said the ship was sunk by a North Korean torpedo, a claim strongly denied by Pyongyang.
"All these war manoeuvres are nothing but outright provocations aimed to stifle the Democratic People's Republic of Korea [North Korea] by force of arms," KCNA reported the powerful National Defence Commission as saying.
"The army and people of the DPRK will start a retaliatory sacred war of their own style based on nuclear deterrent any time necessary in order to counter the US imperialists and the South Korean puppet forces deliberately pushing the situation to the brink of a war."
In response, the White House said it was not interested in a "war of words" with North Korea.
State Department spokesman PJ Crowley said the US wanted "more constructive action and fewer provocative words" from Pyongyang.
The North had already promised a physical response to the military exercises during an Asian regional security forum in Vietnam.
North Korea's delegation spokesman at the Association of South East Asian Nations (Asean) Regional Forum (ARF) said the exercises were an example of 19th century "gunboat diplomacy".
"It is a threat to the Korean peninsula and the region of Asia as a whole," he said.
China warning
The forum was dominated by the crisis between the two Koreas.
The war games - which begin on Sunday - will involve the aircraft carrier USS George Washington, 20 other ships and submarines, 100 aircraft and 8,000 personnel.
China has criticised the plans and warned against any action which might "exacerbate regional tensions".
But Japan is sending four military observers, in an apparent endorsement of the drills.
The US announced on Wednesday that it was to impose new sanctions on North Korea, aimed at halting nuclear proliferation and the import of luxury goods.
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Little flooding, damage as Tropical Storm Bonnie passes South Florida

The worst of Tropical Storm Bonnie passed over South Florida by early Friday afternoon, leaving little flooding or damage but providing a good trial run for the busy hurricane season that meteorologists have forecast for Florida.
``It helps put us on alert,'' said Troy Samuels, vice mayor of Miramar. ``It's a very nice wake-up call.''
Palmetto Bay spokesman Bill Kress agreed: `We're looking at Bonnie to nudge us to have our storm preparation plans in place.''
At 2 p.m. the National Weather Service discontinued tropical storm warnings for the East Coast of Florida, from Deerfield Beach to the Keys.
``We're still going to be dealing with some showers and thunderstorms today, probably diminishing as we start to move into the evening hours,'' said Chuck Caracozza, a meteorologist at the National Weather Service in Miami.
Bonnie is expected to produce total rain accumulations of 1 to 3 inches over South Florida, with possible isolated areas totaling 5 inches of rain. No significant flooding was reported.
``There was some short-lived pooling on some city streets but by the time Public Works got out there it had dissipated,'' said Kress from Palmetto Bay.
By mid-afternoon, Bonnie was becoming less organized with winds of 40 mph and was moving rapidly over inland South Florida in a north-northwest direction at 18 mph.
Bonnie is expected to move over the eastern Gulf of Mexico tonight and Saturday and approach the northern Gulf late Saturday.
The tropical storm warning remained in effect for Lake Okeechobee and Florida's West Coast from Cape Sable northward to Englewood. A tropical storm warning also was issued for Destin to Morgan City, La.
Friday morning, strong winds and heavy rain pelted parts of South Florida.
At Virginia Key, sustained winds were measured at 41 mph with gusts as high as 58 mph, the Weather Service said.
Bonnie's center came ashore in Cutler Bay about 11 a.m., according to the National Hurricane Center.
At Miami International Airport, 1.5 inches of rain fell on Friday and about a quarter of an inch was measured at Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport.
But Bonnie barely made a splash in Southwest Broward, where neighborhoods and roads remained free of floods, downed trees or any of the hazards typically associated with a named storm.
``All we've had is rain and no wind to speak of,'' said Jack McCluskey, vice mayor of Pembroke Pines. ``It was a non-event,'' he said.
Ditto for Miramar.
``We've only had one power line down,'' said the city's emergency management director, Joe Cabrera. ``We have no flooding, no outages, no significant events.''
A handful of crashes were reported in Broward County on Interstates 595 and 95, officials said. ``Nothing out of the ordinary for a rainstorm,'' said Sgt. Mark Wysocky of the Florida Highway Patrol.
Hallandale Beach has a history of flooding, but was spared this time. Fire-Rescue spokeswoman Yvonne Feijoo said Bonnie served as good practice in distributing sandbags.
Solveig Castro, 37, was among those who received the 1,200 sandbags handed out. She didn't want to take any chances with her mobile home flooding before, with water reaching her calves.
``I'm just trying to take precautions so I'm not in a swimming pool later on,'' she said.
By Saturday, weather should be back to normal for a South Florida summer, with high humidity and the possibility of rain.
Forecasts for Saturday and Sunday call for a mix of sun and clouds, with a 60 percent chance of rain in the afternoon Saturday and a 40 percent chance on Sunday.
That's good for businesses. On Friday morning, as rain pushed through Miami Beach, Ocean Drive was like a ghost town with only a few hearty souls on the sidewalks.
``We're open,'' beckoned Gabriela Arevalo, manager of the Atlantic Bar & Grill. ``This storm is bad for business. Only one customer.''
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Carmelo Anthony Ties The Knot With LaLa Vazquez In New York

After a lengthy engagement NBA superstar Carmelo Anthony and his girlfriend LaLa Vazquez have gotten married in New York. More than 300 guests, including Serena Williams and rapper Ludacris, Lebron James and Kim Kardashian took in the ceremony held at Cipriani, with son Kiyan escorting the couple to the altar.
Vazquez walked down the isle wearing an expensive Vera Wang gown and according to those in attendance she looked beautiful. The couple were married by Dr Michael Eric Dyson in an intimate ceremony featuring a rocking reception complete with a 14-piece band, good food and a five-tiered white cake. Mindy Weiss was the couple’s wedding planner and those of us not invited can watch it in an upcoming VH1 reality show.
Photographers lined up to catch a glimpse of Lebron James as he strutted into the building where the wedding was held, snapping pics of the man who turned down millions of dollars to come play with the Knicks, instead signing with the Miami Heat for Less money. He avoided the cameras, but some celebs in attendance did speak regarding the wedding they were there to take in: “I’m excited for my friend,” said singer Kelly Rowland. ” It’s Melo’s big day. I’m so happy for him.”
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Closing Ceremony sets the scene

Football fans around the world are glued to their televisions tonight as Spain and the Netherlands do battle in Johannesburg for a first-ever world title.

However, while the FIFA World Cup Final is unquestionably the main course on South Africa's menu this evening, supporters have also been treated to a spectacular starter. Less than two hours before the grand finale, a sell-out crowd inside Soccer City Stadium as well as an audience of hundreds of million across the globe were wowed by a colourful ceremony to celebrate the successful conclusion of a memorable first FIFA World Cup on African soil.

As darkness descended on Johannesburg, the floodlights in the iconic arena were all dimmed before a squadron of Gripens from the South African Airforce flew over the Calabash. And with the giant screens at both ends of the stands running videos of comets and fireworks, South African musician Stoan Seate got the show started with a performance of ‘Sizodalala-la’ while performers took to the centre of the field, dancing and forming the shape of a vuvuzela.

Having performed at the Closing Ceremony of Germany 2006 at Berlin’s Olympiastadion, Colombian pop star Shakira once again took centre stage along with local fusion band Freshlyground with the worldwide hit ‘Waka Waka (This Time for Africa)’. It was the second time that the tournament's Official Song has been performed by these artists, who had got the South Africa 2010 party under way with a memorable gig at Orlando Stadium in Soweto on the eve of the Opening Match a month ago.

Highlights of the group stage matches followed, before Seate returned to the stage with ‘Everywhere You Go’ joined by Africa United - six other musicians from across the continent. And with some key moments from the quarter-finals on display, the three-time Grammy Award winning Ladysmith Black Mambazo made sure the crowd remained on their feet as the ‘Weather Song’ filled the stadium, as a safari scene was created.

By the time Abigail Kubeka and Mafikzolo finished their performance, Soccer City's celebrations were already well underway, as the countdown continued to Africa's first-ever FIFA World Cup Final.
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Madiba wows crowd at Soccer City

Soccer City was brought to a frenzy on Sunday night as world icon Nelson Mandela made a grand entrance prior to kick-off at the 2010 FIFA World Cup™ Final between European giants Netherlands and Spain.

As he entered the pitch on a buggy, accompanied by his wife Graca Michel, Madiba was greeted by a standing ovation, the roaring of vuvuzelas and cheering from the gathered supporters. It was an epic moment for the filled-to-capacity Soccer City. For a man who has not only worked tirelessly for the emancipation of his people but has also campaigned for world peace and for better lives for African people, it was only apt that he be afforded his rightful place at the finale of the world's greatest sporting showpiece in his home country.

Madiba was one of the individuals who campaigned hard for South Africa to be awarded the right to host the 2010 finals. Photographs of him in 2004 holding the FIFA World Cup Trophy in Zurich minutes after South Africa won the bid have become almost legendary. At that time Madiba told delegates and the Executive Committee Members of FIFA that hosting the tournament would be a "dream come true" for him and fellow African children. It was a bold statement from a man who had sacrificed so much to that point in his life.

Having spent 27 years in prison, most of those in the infamous Robben Island in the cold south Atlantic, Mandela become a beacon of hope and inspiration in his homeland. Madiba's role in South Africa's endeavours to bring the FIFA World Cup to his country, as well as his love of the event, are well documented. "While we were on Robben Island, the only access to a FIFA World Cup would have been through a radio. Football offered the only joyful relief to prisoners. Through football, we can celebrate the humanity of the African continent and share it with the rest of the world," Madiba once said.

Mandela, one of the most loved figures in the world today, joined an A-list of international stars, presidents, sports people, actors and other renowned personalities who were at Soccer City for the Final. The guest list included, among others, Archbishop Desmond Tutu, former UN Secretary General Kofi Annan, former World Player of the Year George Weah, Roger Milla, Lucas Radebe, Rafael Nadal, Marcel Desailly and Naomi Campbell. Earlier this week, Netherlands captain Giovanni van Bronckhorst said: "I really hope to see him [Mandela], it would be fantastic. I have already met him twice and it was very powerful, very special. And it would be so nice to accept the trophy in front of him."
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Samantha Ronson Defends Lindsay Lohan On Twitter

Actress Lindsay Lohan has been the focal point of the headlines as of late because of her recent jail sentencing and the controversial art work seen on her nails. Joan Rivers recently took to Twitter to slam Lohan, but Samantha Ronson has come to the aid of her ex girlfriend in a series of tweets of her own.
“Lindsay Lohan is so dumb,” Rivers tweeted. “Her idea of being sworn in is cursing at the judge.” She continues: “Lindsay Lohan had ‘F— you’ painted on her nails. What people don’t know is that the judge had ‘Eat me you party sk—,’ painted on hers.” Quick to respond, Ronson, who obviously still cares for Lohan tweeted back: “Hey Joan Rivers. You have collagen older than Lindsay, pick on someone your own age, oh wait I guess people that old can’t hear.”
Despite all her pleading it does appear that the troubled Mean Girls star is heading to jail. Last week her lawyer Shawn Chapman Holley decided that representing her was no longer in his best interest and quit, forcing the Lohan camp to look for a new lawyer. They have found one and beginning immediately Lohan will be represented by Chicago criminal defense attorney Stuart V, Goldberg.
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Netherlands vs Spain Final

The Netherlands are playing in their third World Cup final. They lost the 1974 and 1978 finals, to hosts West Germany and Argentina respectively.
The Dutch are bidding to become only the second team to qualify for the World Cup with a 100% record and win every match at the tournament itself (matching Brazil in 1970).
The Netherlands have won six World Cup matches at a single tournament for the first time. This beats their previous best of five in 1974, when they lost in the final.
Van Marwijk's side are on a 25-match unbeaten streak, a record for the Dutch. Their last defeat was in September 2008 (a 2-1 loss to Australia in Eindhoven).
They have scored 12 goals in South Africa - only Germany have scored more (13).
Wesley Sneijder has scored 7 goals in his last 8 internationals. He was credited with Holland's first goal against Brazil, despite Felipe Melo appearing to get the last touch.

Spain have lost only two of their last 54 games (to USA and Switzerland). Defeat to the Swiss was a bad omen - no side has ever won the World Cup after losing their opening game.
Italy (1994), Argentina (1990) and West Germany (1982) all reached the final despite beginning their campaign with a loss. Argentina (1978) were the last team to win the tournament despite losing a game in the group stage.
This is the fourth time the reigning European champions have reached a World Cup final. The only side to have lifted Fifa's trophy, West Germany, beat the Dutch in the 1974 final.
The Germans failed to double up against Italy in 1982, while the Azzurri lost to Brazil in 1970 two years after winning Euro '68. France also held both titles concurrently, though they were crowned world champions first (in 1998).
The Spanish are through to their first ever World Cup final. They did reach the final four in 1950 under a different format, when the remaining teams played out a group stage. The Spanish finished bottom, behind winners Uruguay plus Brazil and Sweden.
David Villa is one goal away from equalling Raul's record of 44 goals for Spain. He has already equalled the Spanish record for most goals at a single World Cup (five), set by Emilio Butragueno in 1986.
Spain have completed 3,387 passes at the World Cup, more than any other side. The Netherlands have managed 2,434. Prior to the third-place play-off, Spain had the tournament's top four passers: Xavi (464 completed passes), Busquets (420), Alonso (399) and Pique (378).

Netherlands squad * 01 Stekelenburg * 02 Van Der Wiel * 03 Heitinga * 04 Mathijsen * 05 Van Bronckhorst * 06 Van Bommel * 07 Kuyt * 08 De Jong * 09 Van Persie * 10 Sneijder * 11 Robben * 12 Boulahrouz * 13 Ooijer * 14 De Zeeuw * 15 Braafheid * 16 Vorm * 17 Elia * 18 Schaars * 19 Babel * 20 Afellay * 21 Huntelaar * 22 Boschker * 23 Van der Vaart

Spain squad * 01 Casillas * 02 Albiol * 03 Pique * 04 Marchena * 05 Puyol * 06 Iniesta * 07 Villa * 08 Xavi * 09 Torres * 10 Fabregas * 11 Capdevila * 12 Valdes * 13 Mata * 14 Alonso * 15 Sergio Ramos * 16 Busquets * 17 Arbeloa * 18 Pedrito * 19 Llorente * 20 Javi Martinez * 21 Silva * 22 G Jesus Navas * 23 Reina
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Mississauga Condos New Mortgage Rules

On Tuesday February 16th, 2010 Canada's Finance Minister Jim Flaherty announced the new, stricter mortgage rules which will guide Canada's real estate market into this Spring market.All the early speculation was that Mr. Flaherty would announce a higher required minimum down payment from 5% to 10%, and lower maximum amortization schedule from 35% to 30%. Both mortgage rules were left untouched, as the minimum down payment remains 5%, and the maximum amortization which has been a favorite tool used by first time home buyers remains at 35%. The two issues the Finance Minister covered in his announcement were:

•All purchasers are required to qualify based on a 5 year interest rate whether variable or fixed.
•All investor's planning to buy a property that they will not live in, must purchase the property with a 20% down payment.

To address the first of two changes, condo purchasers used to be able to qualify for their mortgage based on a 1 year variable rate which tends to be substantially lower than a 5 year fixed rate. An example is with banks current 1year variable rates between 2%-2.25%, and 5 year fixed rates hovering around 3.49%-3.6%, this equates to almost a 1.5% interest rate difference on their payments.In layman's terms, purchasers simply need to qualify for mortgages based on the higher monthly mortgage payments. You will not have to take the 5 year rate, but must qualify based on the 5 year rates.

The second change in Canadian mortgage rules provides that investors looking to either generate rental income, or renovate and flip property, must have at least 20% down payment.This rule will take several speculators out of the investor market that will not be able to handle a market downturn. In a declining real estate market, investors who purchase properties with a 5% down payment in order to renovate or flip are at high risk of loosing their property. If the market declines by 10% and there is only 5% equity in the home, the investor in already in a negative equity position. (ie: -5%) In a down market it also becomes more difficult to sell the renovated property, which means the investor will have to carry the mortgage cost for longer than anticipated, therefore is at risk of loosing their property. In the other scenario where an investor leases the income property out to a tenant, if the tenant stops paying the rent, the landlord must cover the mortgage carrying costs. If the landlord only put 5% down on the mortgage, the carry costs will be substantially higher than if they put 20% down.In turn, this type of investor is at risk to loose their home as well.

The new rules will be effective as of April 19th, and will weed out several of the speculative investors, and people who can not afford to carry a mortgage at the 5 year rate. Hopefully this will balance out the supply/demand situation in the Mississauga condo market, as less people will be actively looking to purchase property.This will create a market where supply of quality housing will continue to increase, as demand declines based on people who do not qualify for mortgages under the new rules. In turn, it will be easier for purchasers to buy property without competing in multiple offers. However, until these new mortgage rules come into effect, it remains to be a great time to sell your condo, as prices remain high, inventory remains low, and Demand continues to be driven by first time buyers.

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Golf Course Financing

Usually ranked among the most problematic commercial finance situations for business borrowers is specialized commercial real estate. Substantial challenges for commercial refinancing and acquisitions are typical for golf course loans. Because fewer lenders are currently offering competitive business finance terms, this is a further obstacle for an already difficult golf course business loan environment. There are fewer regional and local banks offering golf course financing compared to a few months ago. Unfortunately this difficulty can also be seen with other specialized property financing including funeral home loans. Business owners should be ready for the possibility that the small number of active regional and local banks will probably offer short term financing instead of long term financing for golf course loans. The maximum percentage of value for business financing is a key finance term that can differ from one lender to another. Particularly with business loan terms for length of loan and percentage of value, it is critical for borrowers to avoid unrealistic commercial mortgage terms for golf course refinancing or acquisition. There are some serious potential problems found with golf course mortgage loans that are not usually apparent in other commercial mortgages. When golf course financing primarily entails business loan refinancing, business owners should expect that it will probably be more complex than acquisition business financing, especially in the current lending environment. The commercial property loan valuation is usually much less than the overall business valuation for a golf course business loan. The potential for significantly reduced business financing will often occur because of this disparity which causes many lenders to provide a business loan that includes only the commercial mortgage loan value. During the early stages of the business loan process for golf course financing, there should be some reasonable commercial financing fees. There are a number of business lenders that have chosen to take advantage of the shortage of commercial loan choices for building, purchasing and refinancing a golf course. Commercial borrowers should be aware that charging excessive early fees of $25,000 and higher is a common tactic. Availability of acceptable lenders has shrunk for this specialized commercial loan category. Prudent choice of a lender will be a prime factor in securing a viable golf course mortgage. It is important to select a lender with the ability to avoid the commercial mortgage obstacles described and successfully complete the complex business loan process. The use of a business loan expert should be helpful to anticipate potential problems with complex business financing. Since golf course business loans are among the more difficult business finance transactions that a commercial borrower is likely to encounter, the use of preliminary business consulting should be helpful in obtaining better terms and avoiding serious problems. Steve Bush provides golf course business loans and business financing help at
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Mortgage & mortgaging in Toronto is Easy.

The present century is running on banks, finance and Mortgage. Mortgage means an agreement till death, or we can say mortgage means an advance or finance. What do you think the reason would be if someone is not allowing you to give the finance or loan? But obvious the answer would be Your ‘Bad Credit'.

It becomes real difficult to deal with bad credit & mortgage both together in the market scenario. However the city of Toronto offers you best credit loans with good professional guidance. About an average a bank can help you with 40lenders but Toronto helps you with 100lenders. Here the lenders are more and specific too. You will find it more ease to find you bad credit repair in Toronto than somewhere else.

Home mortgage is also compared pretty low by rates in Toronto. People in Canada have taken the advantage of low rates for mortgaging their home. Extension or building of your dreams is found quite cheap in Toronto. You may even find some easy steps to build up your house over here in Toronto.

It is believed that mortgaging is easier in Toronto all because of Toronto mortgage brokers. Mortgage brokers helps with stuff like choosing the best lender who may not charge penalties etc along with the professional advice.

We know that Second mortgage loan refers to a secured loan that is subordinate to another loan against the same. Because during the time of default payment first mortgage loan gets clear first and then the second mortgage loan, but in Toronto people are using second mortgage loan to pay high debt or other expenses. But the rates of second mortgage loans are quite high in Toronto.

If we talk about third mortgage loans in Toronto, we will come across that third mortgage rates are even higher than the first mortgage loans and second mortgages loan. Because third mortgage loan are based upon the equity you have built in your homes.

Mortgage generally prefers a good debt and not the bad debt because Bad debts always come with long list rates of interest. But there is a way of converting your bad debts into a good one through refinancing. Refinancing just needs a good equity at your place. So contact the mortgage brokers about refinancing your debts.

Mortgage may be difficult but not in Toronto. Rates are cheaper and also the assistance of brokers are better. Canadian city Toronto helps with it in a better way.

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Commercial Mortgage Financing

Ever wondered what you could do with a commercial mortgage? Well, to be quite candid, there is a plethora of ways to make use of a commercial mortgage. Such a mortgage can be used to finance many different types of properties, so let's take a minute to review these properties. Of course, not all commercial investments are created equal. Some inherently involve more risk than others. As a result, some banks and financial institutions that offer commercial mortgages may or may not offer a product that finances one of the following. As always, it will be up to you to shop around and find a commercial loan broker that offers a commercial mortgage package that fits your needs.
Apartments - Great investment opportunities exist with apartments. Apartments serve as a great form of securitization for a commercial mortgage. They also prove to be great income properties, as apartments that are managed well can bring in positive cash flows at the same time as equity is being created.
Health Care Facilities - A commercial mortgage can also be used to finance health care facilities. Such an investment provided two distinct advantages. First, you are investing in a traditional business that has a growing market and customer base. Second, you are also making an investment in land and facilities that will appreciate over time, creating positive equity for you. Investing in this type of property and business is not so far fetched when you realize just how accessible a commercial mortgage really is.
Industrial - Though industrial spaces are neither glamorous nor thrilling investments, they are certainly valuable. Most lending institutions will offer some sort of commercial mortgage that allows for investment in industrial spaces. Such an investment typically proves to be a solid investment since industries are always growing and this type of space will always be needed.
Manufacturing - If you are interested in expanding your business and increasing your manufacturing capacity, a commercial mortgage may be the way to go. You can use a commercial mortgage to finance the expansion of your manufacturing facilities and thus grow your business in the process.
Warehouse - Not very many businesses can continue to grow and prove successful with no room for inventory. If you find your business is ready to take it to the next level, and you are short on warehouse space a commercial mortgage can help you as well. Many large lending institutions have a commercial mortgage designed to finance warehouse expansion, so don't hesitate to contact your commercial loan broker today if you are ready to expand.
Retail Structures - Even retailers need financing to build new stores, increase their accessibility, and grow their business. When retailers are ready to fund a new project, they turn to a commercial mortgage as well.
Office Complexes - Office parks and buildings are financed the same way as all the others, with a commercial mortgage. Office complexes also prove to be great investment properties for investors in the real estate market, as the risk of vacancy in office complexes is much less than that of retail spaces.
You might have noticed a trend while you read this list. Indeed, a commercial mortgage can be used to finance just about any kind of commercial property. So when you are in the market for a commercial property, go visit your commercial loan broker.
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Mortgage Loan - Some Basic Information You Must Know

You may want to know more about the home mortgage loan if buying a home in future is part of your planning for future. There are generally two categories of mortgage loans namely fixed-rate loan and adjustable-rate loan. While some people prefer fixed-rate mortgage because it makes your future financial planning more predictable, some people opt for adjustable-rate mortgage because in the event where the interest rate drops, they can save some money for mortgage payment. Before applying for mortgage finance, there are some important things that you should take into consideration so as to avoid future harassment. Read on to find out more.

- Credit score status

There is a certain requirement for borrower's credit score in order to avail mortgage finance. In general, the credit score limit is set around 600 points and above. For example, one of the mortgage security intermediary giants in secondary mortgage market, Fannie Mae has recently raised their credit score requirement from 580 to 620. Similarly, the lenders and banks who are selling their mortgage loans to Fannie Mae have to fulfill 620 cutoff points too.

- Debt level

The amount of money you can secure from mortgage loans is dependent on your debt level. When reviewing your application, lenders usually take your debt-to-income ratio into consideration. If your ratio is way too high, you may have to consider lowering your current debt amount or increasing your income. While some lenders do not take high debt-to-income ratio seriously, it is advisable to keep it below 30%.

- Down payments

The amount of money that you can pay as down payments determines how long is your mortgage bond and the interest rate that you have to bear. Of course there is always a lower limit for down payment and it varies with different lenders and banks.
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Mortgage Loan - Some Basic Information You Must Know

You may want to know more about the home mortgage loan if buying a home in future is part of your planning for future. There are generally two categories of mortgage loans namely fixed-rate loan and adjustable-rate loan. While some people prefer fixed-rate mortgage because it makes your future financial planning more predictable, some people opt for adjustable-rate mortgage because in the event where the interest rate drops, they can save some money for mortgage payment. Before applying for mortgage finance, there are some important things that you should take into consideration so as to avoid future harassment. Read on to find out more.

- Credit score status

There is a certain requirement for borrower's credit score in order to avail mortgage finance. In general, the credit score limit is set around 600 points and above. For example, one of the mortgage security intermediary giants in secondary mortgage market, Fannie Mae has recently raised their credit score requirement from 580 to 620. Similarly, the lenders and banks who are selling their mortgage loans to Fannie Mae have to fulfill 620 cutoff points too.

- Debt level

The amount of money you can secure from mortgage loans is dependent on your debt level. When reviewing your application, lenders usually take your debt-to-income ratio into consideration. If your ratio is way too high, you may have to consider lowering your current debt amount or increasing your income. While some lenders do not take high debt-to-income ratio seriously, it is advisable to keep it below 30%.

- Down payments

The amount of money that you can pay as down payments determines how long is your mortgage bond and the interest rate that you have to bear. Of course there is always a lower limit for down payment and it varies with different lenders and banks.
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Thinking of Getting a Bank Loan? Do Your Homework First!

Borrowing to start a business is not easy. Getting a bank loan, particularly for a start-up business and a newbie entrepreneur, is like going through the needle. More so if your business is home-based and on the Internet.
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Banks favor an established businessperson with a solid credit rating, a sizeable bank account, experience in the business they propose to enter, and business plans that show the ability to repay the loans. If you are not one, then you need to double your preparations to convince the banker to lend you that much needed start-up capital. If your business is a start-up, bankers will need to know as much as possible about you and your business. Lenders will ask for an awful lot of questions, and it takes a great deal of work to put it all together.
However, many small business owners often make the mistake of not being adequately prepared when going to the bank to the loan. Surprisingly, many loan applicants don't even have the slightest idea how or when they intend to repay the money they requested. Often they don't even know how much money they need. When asked how much money they want to borrow, many people give these two common responses: "How much money can I get?" and "As much as possible." Is it any wonder that lenders say no?
The bottom line is that it pays to do your homework before you ask for a loan. Bear in mind that the probability of getting your loan approved goes up if the degree of risk associated with lending you money goes down. To lower your risk and improve your odds of getting the loan, you need to anticipate the question lenders will ask you. You need to present your banker insights into your business that may enable him or her to easily approve your loan. For example, prior to filling out a loan application, you should know:
1. Exactly how much money you need? Be as exact as possible, adding a little for contingencies and the unforeseen extra expenses.
2. How you plan to use the money? Telling the banker that you want a loan to "have working capital" to the fastest way for your loan to be denied. There are only three things you can do with a loan - to buy new assets, pay off old debts, or to pay for operating expenses. Be specific as possible.
3. How long it will take you to repay the loan? Your cash flow projections will help you formulate a repayment time frame for the loan. This is the time when you need to convince the banker of the good potential of your business and its long-term profitability.
4. What rate of interest rate can you afford? There is no sense in tying yourself up in a loan that will squeeze out your profits and bleed your business dry. It does not benefit you to take on debt that cannot be repaid.
5. What can you use as security for the loan? A loan is a risk, and the bank needs to make sure that they can get their money back. You need to present your personal guarantee to repay the loan and collateral. Your goal is to convince the banker of the value of your collateral.
Of course, don't forget to present that all-important written business plan explaining in detail your business objectives, projected earnings for the next one to three years, marketing strategy, and other relevant information. Be sure your marketing strategies are outlined in detail to lend credence to your sales projections.
In addition to your business plan, you need to support your loan application with numbers - preferably good ones. Part of that homework is to gather the financial data that will enable you to prove to lenders that you are a good credit risk. In short, this entails putting together a credit history that includes the following:
• Personal financial statement listing your assets and liabilities
• A list of all credit cards and their current balances
• All outstanding loans, including original balances, amounts outstanding, and current monthly payments
• Total monthly mortgage or rent payments
• Net monthly income from your home-based business, an outside job or other sources
• Checking and savings account balances
• The value of your automobile(s), including original cost, balance owed, and current monthly payments
• The current value of all property, including real estate, stocks and bonds
Getting a loan is going through a hard road. Bankers need to be sure that they are not taking inordinate risks with you. Your role as the loan applicant is to convince the bankers that you and your business are good credit risks.
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Mortgage Brokering as a Freelance Opportunity

In the mortgage business there are two foundational areas of involvement. One is the position of "loan officer," the other is working as a "broker." The loan officer for the most part earns from what is called "personal production," which means you are earning from what you are able to personally produce by bringing mortgage business into your employer's office. In some cases you may be paid a base salary and/or draw, but then you will be paid less in commissions by the company (broker) you are working for.
The second - and most potentially lucrative for you - area of involvement is the broker. Most people start out in the mortgage business by working as a loan officer, gaining experience and expertise, and later they consider opening their own shop by becoming a broker. This can be frustrating for the broker who is training loan officers, because they are continually losing their best loan officers and creating their own future competition.
The broker hires, spoon feeds and trains their loan officers and pays them a commission out of the profits they receive from the lenders with whom they work. As the loan officer begins to learn the business they obviously start thinking about leveraging themselves through the efforts of others so that they can earn from the production of others as the broker does.
~ The mortgage business is currently experiencing re-definition by new leaders in the industry who are breaking old traditional earning models. ~
Within the last few years new leaders in the mortgage industry have been breaking the old traditional earning models, and have created revolutionary new approaches which allow just about anyone to build a business in the mortgage industry with very little knowledge or experience. Beginners are now able to make more money - in less time - with less effort!
In the past you would have started out as a loan officer - generally with a bachelor's degree in finance, economics, or a related field, and earned $30,000 to $50,000 a year. You then worked locally where the broker who hired you was licensed to do business. For the most part your income level would have been limited until you gained enough experience to open your own shop.
The downside of this was that even when you advanced to becoming a broker yourself, you also took on the financial liability of running a business. Opening a local mortgage brokerage can often be very costly, along with the many additional liabilities that go along with hiring, training and running payroll.
New approaches to the mortgage business now allow you to build a mortgage business of your own where you call the shots and your income is not solely dependent on your own personal production.
Here are just a few of the new advantages...
• You can now earn on mortgage business on a national level. These new business models now allow you to operate under a "branch license" so you can do business just about anywhere.
• You have the ability to immediately leverage yourself. You can earn commission overrides just like a traditional Mortgage broker can. This means that you can build a national team throughout the United States and earn from their activity.
• No major investment - Instead of investing thousands of dollars in franchise fees you can get started typically for around $200.
• You are able to tap into proven business models that will help you teach and train your inexperienced loan officer recruits.
How much money can you make?
Let's compare the traditional model of earning only from your personal production with the model of introducing this concept to others and being able to leverage yourself:
The following will give you an example of what you would earn If you based your earning level on personal production at three different commission earning levels. The following are based on a hypothetical $200,000 mortgage.
One House per month Commission paid out 30% $1,050.00 Earned 64% $2.240.00 Earned 70% $2,660.00 Earned
Two Houses per month 30% $2,100.00 Earned 64% $4,480.00 Earned 70% $5,320.00 Earned
Let's look at this a different way that shows the power of leverage where you are not depending entirely on your own personal production. The following example assumes that you are earning 64% from two personal loans a month and are earning from the personal production of five others who are doing just one loan each per month.
Personal Production 64% Earning Level Your personal earnings - $4,480.00 Loans From 5 Others Who Are At The 30% Level Your earnings from their production - $5,950.00
Total Earnings For Month - $10,430.00
As you can see, it really is to your advantage to immediately involve others in the business. Your personal efforts along with the combined efforts of others can really produce some exciting numbers, in this example over $125,000 a year in income! The exciting thing about this is that you are not limited to just five people, you have the ability to grow a very large income very quickly
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Raising Money for Your Franchise

How often have you thumbed through a business opportunity magazine, noticed a franchise opportunity advertisement, and felt you would really like to get in on that... if only you had the money? If you are like most who are seeking greater opportunity and wealth, this probably happens with you more often than you care to admit, except perhaps in strictly private conversations.
When the average person sees one of these opportunities, or comes up with a similar idea of his own, the problems of start-up capital may seem formidable. But in reality, they may not be. In fact, just about anyone with a good credit record and an "insider's sense of business" can get the capital he or she needs, whenever its needed. The secret is in knowing how to put together a proper proposal, and to present it to the right person.
The first thing you are going to need is a complete business plan. This is a complete and detailed description of exactly how you intend to operate the proposed business. Your business plan should detail precisely the product or products you plan to sell; how you're going to produce or manufacture the product; your costs (inventory costs if you're purchasing them from a supplier); who is going to sell those products for you; how they're going to be sold; the attendant costs; when you expect to recoup your initial investment; your plans for growth or expansion; and the total dollar amount you're going to need to make it all work according to your plan. Your business plan must be detailed - complete with projected income and expense figures - through at least the first three years of business.
Now, assuming you have your business plan all worked out, put together and ready for presentation with your request for capital, let's talk about your capitalization proposal.
First, keep in mind that whenever you ask somebody for money whether it is for a small personal loan or a large amount of money to finance a business, you are involved in a selling situation. You have to prepare a "sales presentation" just as if you were getting ready to sell an automobile or refrigerator. Within this sales presentation you must have all the data; you must anticipate the questions and the possible objections of the prospective lender with answers or explanations; and you must "package" it as impressively as you would yourself for an audience with the president of IBM or General Motors.
The more money you ask for, the more "in-the-know" will be the people you want to borrow from, and so the more detailed and organized your proposal must be. This should not cause you too much worry however, because you can hire a CPA to help you put it together properly, once you have the facts and have a business plan he can work on.
Look at it this way: The more money you request for your business, the more your lenders or prospective investors are going to want to know about you, your planning, and your business. They want to be impressed with the fact that you have done your homework; they want to see that you've researched everything and documented your facts and figures; they want to be assured by your presentation that investing in your business will make money for them. It's just that simple at the bottom line. Unless you can instill confidence in them with your business plan and loan or investment proposal, they are just not going to give much positive thought to your request for capitalization.
So you will need a balance sheet describing your net worth - the worth of what you own compared to the amount of money you owe. You will also have to prove your stability and money-management talents relative to how successful you have been in paying off past obligations. If you have had credit problems in the past, get them "cleaned up", or at least explained on your file at your local credit bureau office. Under the law, credit bureaus are required to give you all the information they have about you in their files, and it is your right to correct any errors or explanations regarding negative reports on your credit. Do this without fail because prospective lenders or investors will definitely check your credit history.
So, now you have your balance sheet prepared; your credit history organized in a light that's favorable to you your business plan (with costs and income projected over the coming three years), you're ready to start looking for lenders or investors.
Almost all franchisers offer help in setting up with one of their franchises. Most will go out of their way to assist you in getting the financing you need. Some will lend you the entire amount; with payments coming out of the income, they expect you to make from their franchise operation. Many will carry this loan themselves, while others will carry part of it and find you a lender to finance the remainder.
Franchisers have two objectives in mind when they offer franchises to the public: They are trying to expand their operation, thus increasing their profit, and they are trying to raise capital for themselves. If you have a good credit history, and if they feel you have the necessary business personality to achieve success with one of their operations, they'll do everything within their power to get you in a franchise outlet. Keep this in mind the next time you see an advertisement for a promising franchise opportunity requiring a substantial amount of cash outlay. You do not necessarily have to have all the money. They want you, and they will help you!
Many people seem to be unaware that most of today's largest corporations started on a shoestring - on borrowed money. Many people seem to feel that unless they've got it all "in hand" in savings, then they'll just have to keep plugging away until they can save up enough to take the big plunge. Nothing could be farther from the truth. Just a quick bit of research will show that 999 out of every 1,000 businesses were begun on borrowed money.
Look to your family and friends for financial help. Approach them in a business-like manner; tell them about your idea or plans, and ask them for a loan. Agree to sign a formal statement to pay them back in three, five or ten years, with interest.
When you have your proposal assembled, you might even want to think of a limited partnership or even a general partnership arrangement as a way to finance your project. In any kind of partnership, each partner shares in the profits of the company, but in a limited partnership, each person's loss liability is limited to the amount of money he initially invested. The truth is, in this kind of a situation, you will be doing all the work and sharing your gain with your partners, but then it's a fairly sure way to obtain needed financing.
Another common method of obtaining business financing is through second mortgage loans on a home or existing piece of property. Say you purchased a home ten years ago for $35,000, and today the assessed valuation is $85,000, with a mortgage of $25,000 still outstanding. A lender may consider your home to be security or collateral for a loan up to $60,000. In many instances, this is the easiest and surest way of getting the money needed for franchise or other business investment. In addition, it makes sense; you have "net worth" available that is doing nothing but sitting there. Take this equity and invest it in a worthwhile business, and you could double or triple your net worth each year for the rest of your life.
Deciding to obtain a second mortgage on your home in order to finance a business opportunity is without doubt a major decision, but if you are sure about your investment project, and are determined to succeed, you owe it to yourself to go ahead. You could incorporate yourself, borrow money from your family through a second mortgage on your home, and protect against the loss of your home through the Federal Homestead Act. The important point here is that all business opportunities involve risk and sacrifice. It's up to you to determine the feasibility of your success with your proposed venture, then decide on the best way possible to proceed.
In every instance where you run into reluctance on the part of a lender to lend you the money you need, explore the feasibility of "two-name" or "co-signed" loans. You can have the franchiser sign with you, or one of your suppliers, a business associate or even a friend. Oftentimes you can borrow or rent collateral such as stocks, bonds, time certificates, business equipment or real estate, and in this way give greater confidence to the lender in your abilities to repay the loan. Whenever you can show a contract from someone who has agreed to purchase a certain number of your products or services over a specified period, you have another important piece of paper that most lenders will accept as collateral. Still another possibility might be to get a bank or a firm that has loaned you money in the past to guarantee your loan. They simply guarantee that they will lend you money in the future if ever the nee should arise.
Going straight to your neighborhood bank, applying for a business loan and walking out with the money are just about the most unlikely of all your possibilities. Banks want to lend money, and they must lent money in order to stay in business, but most banks are notoriously conservative and extremely reluctant to lend you money unless you have a "regular income" that guarantees repayment. If and when you approach a bank for a business loan, you'll need all your papers in order - your financial statement, your business plan, credit history and all the endorsements you can get relative to your succeeding with your planned enterprise. In addition, it would be a good idea to take along your accountant just to assure the banker that your plan is verifiable. In the end, you will find that it all boils down to whether or not the bank officer studying your application is sold on you as a good credit risk. Thus, you must impress the banker - not only with your proposal, but with your appearance and personality as well. In dealing with bankers, never show an attitude of doubt or apology. Always be positive and sure of yourself. However, don't come on so strong to them that you're either demanding or overbearing. Just look good, know your stuff, and project an attitude of determination to succeed.
Your best bet, in attempting to get a business loan from a bank, is to deal with commercial banks. These are the banks that specialize in investment loans for going businesses, real estate construction, and even venture programs. Look in the yellow pages of your telephone or business directories; call and ask for an appointment with the manager; and then explore with him the possibilities of a loan for your project. One of the "nice things" about commercial banks is that even though they may not be able to approve a loan for your business ideas, they will usually give you a list of names of business people who might be interested in looking over your proposal for investment purposes. Many commercial banks stage investment lectures and seminars for the public. If you find one that does, attend. You will meet many local business people, some of who may be able to and interested in helping you with your business plans.
When you are looking for money to move on a business deal, it does not really matter where the money comes from, or how it all comes about. It is important that you get the money, and at terms that are suitable to you. Thus, do not overlook the possibilities of an advertisement for a lender or investor in your local papers. Place your ad as well in national publications reaching people looking for investments. Other avenues to seriously consider are foundations that offer grants, local dental and medical investment groups, legal investment groups, business associations, trust companies and other groups or organizations looking for tax shelters.
It is not a good idea to go to a finance company or other commercial lender of this type for a business loan. The most obvious reason is the high interest creates you have to pay. These companies borrow money from larger moneylenders, and then turn around and lend it to you at a higher interest rate than they pay. Herein lies the means by which they make money from granting loans to you. The more it costs them to provide the money for you, the more it's going to cost you to borrow their money. The only element in your favor when borrowing from one of these agencies is that most will generally lend you money against collateral other lenders just will not accept. Insurance companies, pension funds, and commercial paper houses are not too out of sight with their interest rates, but they generally will not even consider talking to you unless you're requesting $500,000 or more. They will also pretty much require that your business proposal be backed by the best possible plan.
Finally, the bottom line is this: You must have a well-researched and detailed business plan; you must have all your documents and projections put together in an impressive presentation; and then, you will have to be the one who does the final selling of your proposal to the investor or lender. This means your appearance, personality and attitude, because - make no mistake about it - before anyone lends you any sizable amount of money, they are going to want to take a close look at you personally before they hand over the money. Actually, the different ways of financing a franchise opportunity are as many and varied as your own creativity. The sources of obtaining money are virtually limitless, and available to anyone with an idea.
One word of caution before you jump into any franchise purchase agreement: The price you pay to participate in a franchise operation is not always the total cost involved in getting the business off the ground. With some franchise operations, you may find other costs such as down payments on the purchase of property, building construction costs, remodeling or site improvements, equipment, fixtures, signs, advertising, and training. Virtually all franchise deals require that in addition to the purchase price or the license fee of the franchise, you be required to give a certain percentage of your gross business income to the franchiser, plus extra payments for promotion and administrative costs. Above all else, before you get involved in a franchise or any business venture for that matter, make sure you've conducted a complete and thorough investigation of the opportunity presented. If it's a good deal, then go with it; but if you have any doubts or feel as though you're getting in over your head, back off an look around for something not quite so ambitious, or perhaps expensive.
There are a lot of good franchise opportunities, and some not so good. It is important that you be sure of what you're investing in, and that you can make money with it. From there, preparing the proper business plan and the necessary financing, while not always a snap, can be done. Now is the time to do it! We wish you outstanding success with your franchise business.

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Wyndham Capital Mortgage Grows While Rivals Cut Back

This isn’t the first time local mortgage banker Jeff Douglas has gone against the grain.

When Charlotte-based LendingTree was blooming into a national online loan-exchange service in 2001, Douglas decided to leave his promising job there as an account manager to start his own business.

Today, as the housing and banking industries scale back amid a crippling recession, Douglas is expanding his Charlotte mortgage bank, Wyndham Capital Mortgage Inc., by hiring dozens of lenders and moving to a larger office space.

"We’re emerging from the turmoil really strong," says Douglas, the company’s chief executive. "We’re on our way to a very strong year, if not our best ever."

By May 2009, Douglas has expanded his staff to 68 from about 40. His goal is to employ 100 loan officers and support personnel by year end. And he recently added two vice presidents to help shape the expanding firm, former EquiFirst executives Rob Zinger and Dione Thompson.

"Now is the perfect time for a business to grow," says Zinger, senior vice president of sales. "The sun, moon and stars are aligned."

Wyndham’s business model is built on referrals and online leads. Douglas used his LendingTree experience to turn his company into a top-20 lender on the popular Web site. But unlike some brokers that use online leads, Wyndham is a mortgage bank that holds most of the loans it makes instead of selling them to larger banks.

Wyndham is privately held and doesn’t disclose financial details. But previous Charlotte Business Journal research shows the company closed 918 loans worth more than $178 million in 2007.
Douglas, like many of his competitors, is benefitting right now from historically low interest rates and a strong demand for refinancing. He says Wyndham’s month-to-month financial performance is up more than 50%.

But he says he’s positioning the company to keep growing after the refi wave subsides. Interest rates are expected to rise in the near future to compensate for inflation. And Douglas says he’s taking steps to diversify the company.

Wyndham is licensed to lend in 14 states, and Douglas plans to add several more states each year. He’s also growing the firm’s online network of leads. And he says Wyndham’s reputation for customer service has helped it generate about a third of its business from referrals.

"I believe the moves we’re making right now will cushion us into an era of rising interest rates," he says. He notes Wyndham recently received a $10 million line of credit to continue growing its lending operations. "The fact that we got that in this market is a testament to our performance."

Rhonda Marcum, executive director of the Mortgage Bankers Association of the Carolinas, says she doesn’t comment on specific lenders. But she says it’s reasonable for well-positioned mortgage banks to project growth over the next few years, even in a slow economic recovery.

"One thing we know is people will continue to buy homes," Marcum says. "The downturn hasn’t done anything to diminish the dream of homeownership."

For now, one priority is to hire top-quality personnel. Douglas says his human-resources team is interviewing candidates each week, trying to find the right people to carry out his growth agenda.

"We’re putting out feelers in every corner of the city," he says of Wyndham’s recruitment efforts. "We’re bringing people in and showing them you can have a fulfilling career outside of the big buildings uptown."
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Expect Hiccups As A Loan Officer On Every Mortgage Loan When Trying To Finance Properties

No matter how successful you are, or how many loans you have closed, you should expect hiccups. No loan every goes as smoothly as you think it will. And with all the third parties involved on any one transaction, you can and WILL have problems.

Here are some of the most common “hiccups”. I thought of about the top 30 I have been hit with. By the way, my Sink or Swim Loan Closing System at helps you avoid almost all of them. If you want to get more loans to the table faster and earn more money, I strongly advise you at least have a look at my mortgage system and give it a try.

Hiccups which you may encounter include:

1. The borrower not being clear on what exactly he is “buying”. Or not fully committed.

2. The borrower not being clear on what the loan process entails.

3. Not getting all the proper documentation from the borrower upfront.

4. The borrower’s spouse isn’t fully “sold” on the benefits of the transaction and doesn’t want to go through with it.

5. The borrower is still shopping your “rate”, even though you are well into the process (this is a BIG one!!!!!!).

6. Not getting returned phone calls from the borrower, or even from third parties involved in the transaction (such as appraisers, underwriters, lawyers, etc.)

7. Real estate agents and others who foul-up the process by playing sides, sometimes even making you look like the “bad guy” just to win points!!!!

8. Not being clear about whether or not the customer is escrowing just the taxes, insurance, or both!

9. Not being clear about the amount of money which will be needed to be escrowed per order of the bank.

10. If refinancing, not being clear that the payoff amount will be slightly different than what the borrower’s balance says, (having to deal with pre-paid interest and mortgage payments done in arrears).

11. Finding out about secondary liens on the property or open HELOCS, too late in the process.

12. Borrowers continue to spend, open accounts, and move finances around.

13. Property does not come in appraised high enough.

14. Appraisal comparable properties are too old for the underwriter.

15. Not watching your rate-lock expiration date.

16. Not properly pricing the loan-out in the beginning, and ending-up “eating” most of your profits by trying to “save-face” with the borrower.

17. Repairs or remodeling that are currently being done on the property (underwriters will slam you for this!!!).

18. Finding out about financial skeletons in the borrowers past which weren’t disclosed upfront, such as child support payments, wage garnishments, liens, other open debt (not showing on credit report), etc.

19. Borrower forgets to make mortgage payments or other loan payments during your loan transaction.

20. On purchase transactions, when selling one property and buying another one, first original property is having problems with the sale, thus holding your transaction hostage.

21. Borrowers go on vacation or are not available to sign within the 30-45 day window of the transaction.

22. Not being able to get a booking date with the lender.

23. Underwriter keeps conditioning you for the same things or variations of the same things over and over again.

24. Mortgage payments have accidentally been “double-debted” on the 1003 application, throwing their ratios out of whack.

25. HELOC subordination letter is holding-up the process, secondary lien holder refusing to cooperate.

26. Not submitting proper paperwork to the borrower, bank, or other third party. Not taking a full and complete application at the beginning. Numbers are off, etc. (Small mistakes can have a HUGE impact at the closing table). Always double-check your work before sending it out.

27. Lawyer adds-in extra fees to the HUD at the last minute which the borrower isn’t aware of.

28. Your YSP/commission on the loan is incorrect on the HUD statement. (Once the loan closes you can’t change this!!!! So be very careful!).

29. Final pay-off numbers come in incorrect. Borrower has direct-debiting on his account and a mortgage payment or other loan payment has been made during the loan process. (You need to be aware of this and keep it in mind).

30. Borrowers get lost, change their mind, pull-out, or just simply fail to show-up at the closing. (Just think of all the hard work you put in to get them there. Believe me, it happens!!!!!)

Any one of the above, can make your loan a living nightmare. These are just a few that I have encountered over the years. I’m sure you no doubt will encounter the same. Experience is the best teacher of all. Learning from my experience will save you time, headaches and make you more money.

Don’t risk your $2,000-$3,000 commission check. Invest in my system and get that loan closed!!! You will make back many hundreds of times the cost and even save your sanity! Lol. ;-)
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Financing Business Expansion & Business Commercial Finance Mortgages

A lot of theories have been propounded and even studies have been advanced on the subject of business expansion. But one that is worth taking note of is the study of Dr Ichak Adizes. In most of his research, he brings out the fact that every association has its evolution and it builds up starting from a normal formation stage and progresses into a mature stage. At every phase of its existence, the association will have to experience upheavals. In most cases, success in business will only have to be experienced by those business owners who have all the resources, the expertise as well as the experienced required in sailing through financial difficulties. The following lines will identify the various ways through which a business can be financed as soon as it is set up and even right up to when it is fully established in the market:

The Formative Phase of the Business

This is one of those very delicate stages in which every entrepreneur will want to take all measures not only in making sure that the business takes off smoothly, but to ensure that the business has come to stay for good. What every type of business will need at this phase as identified by Adizes is a running capital and an appropriate administration to take care of that capital. What should be observed at this phase of business is that so many unforeseen circumstances may come up. It is for this reason that enough capital should be hoarded to take care of any unforeseeable risk. What the entrepreneur has individually gathered may not be enough. Therefore, it is good that a resort to angel financing, venture capital, corporate venture capital and loans is opted for. Keep in mind that once a business is at this starting phase, it will need a lot of finance to surmount the odds often posed b market forces or even from competitors. This is necessary for a continuous operation.

The Business Flow Phase

This is phase where the business is already running and it is at least expected that the inflow of money is certain. This is also a phase at which the entrepreneur starts to develop some form of confidence that the business will thrive amidst the odds. Although the entrepreneur will have some measure of satisfaction, there is a need to obtain some form of security for the future of the business. This is the main reason why much of what is received in the form of profits should either be ploughed back into the business or should be used to acquire some fixed capital that the business can rely on in the future. The business can also use this to employ more qualified staff.

The Youthful Phase

This is a phase in which the business will experience a lot of unpredictable circumstances. It should be noted that growth in the business will still be experienced, but this will not be stable. It is certain that at this phase, the business will already have made some significant amount of savings. It must also have gained some standing within the business environment and can conveniently surmount any hurdle within the business environment. The money that has been saved should therefore be taken to counter any shortcoming. But the entrepreneur should also make sure that the business can first of all rely on what it has kept in stock rather than seek for external help.

The Mature Phase

This is a phase in which almost everything is certain. Every objective must have been put in place and every priority must have been identified. Growth or expansion at this stage should be maintained to remain stable. The business should also seek for means of spreading out its risk by opening up to possible investors. Also remember that this is the stage in which financing becomes much easier to obtain. This is because the business must have developed some credit worthiness.

An understanding and appreciation of all the phases that your business goes through is important if you have to maintain its growth or develop ways to compete within the business environment.
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Sba Loan For Business Finance And Commercial Real Estate Mortgage

Finalizing a Small Business Administration loan (SBA loan) and refinancing an SBA loan can frequently be among the most difficult commercial mortgage and business financing circumstances for a business finance or business real estate borrower. There are successful business loan strategies for both loan situations.

Are SBA Real Estate Mortgage Loan and Business Financing Programs Difficult?

There are usually two schools of thought about getting an SBA loan to buy a business or commercial real estate: (1) Avoid a Small Business Administration loan at all costs. (2) Use an SBA loan whenever possible. These conflicting viewpoints are due to a commercial mortgage business loan process that is perceived as complex and difficult by many commercial borrowers.

Despite the negative atmosphere surrounding the SBA loan process, it can be worth the time and effort for many borrowers. There are critical business financing and commercial real estate loan obstacles to avoid with a Small Business Administration loan, and there is only a small number of capable lenders in this demanding commercial mortgage and working capital area. It is vital for a successful SBA loan program to involve a real estate and business finance advisor that is skilled at this rigorous business loan system.

Is SBA Loan Refinancing Possible for a Real Estate Loan or Business Opportunity Financing?

SBA Loan refinancing for both real estate and business finance loans has usually been a very difficult proposition. New business loan programs have dramatically improved these Small Business Administration commercial mortgage refinancing restrictions, but the new refinancing options are not widely available.

Future planning for business financing can eliminate many SBA loan refinancing difficulties. If the original commercial real estate loan or business loan can be finalized without including an SBA loan, future business refinancing will be more viable. Borrowers should determine if the initial commercial mortgage truly must include a Small Business Administration loan.

Typical Business Finance Misperceptions with an SBA Loan

One of the prevailing views of an SBA loan program concerns the documentation needed to finish the commercial real estate mortgage requirements. The key to a successful Small Business Administration loan process is trusting the loan facilitator about what is required. What business borrowers should try to realize before becoming frustrated by the loan process is that any commercial loan process will include substantial paperwork whether an SBA loan is involved or not.

A more serious possibility for business borrowers is that they could end up with an SBA lender that is rarely successful in finalizing Small Business Administration loan applications. Judging the real estate loan and business opportunity financing process by looking at the frequency of both successful and timely outcomes for commercial borrowers, the harsh reality is that there appear to be far more ineffective SBA lenders than effective Small Business Administration lenders on a nationwide basis.

Commercial Mortgage Options - SBA Loan Alternatives for Real Estate and Business

The practicality of refinancing a commercial loan will be determined by the commercial borrower decisions when acquiring the original real estate mortgage or business financing. In obtaining a commercial loan to buy a business, non-SBA business loan possibilities should be evaluated along with the option of obtaining a Small Business Administration loan.

A conventional business loan and real estate mortgage might be more feasible than many borrowers realize. The possibility of refinancing either an SBA loan or conventional business financing will ultimately be more practical and successful when working with a skilled commercial mortgage advisor and commercial lender.

Copyright 1995-2007 AEX Commercial Financing Group and Stephen Bush. All Rights Reserved.

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