Bangkok to host 2017 WTTC Global Summit

first_imgBangkok to host 2017 WTTC Global SummitBangkok, Thailand, has been selected as the host venue for the prestigious 2017 WTTC Global Summit, which is scheduled to be held on 26-27 April, 2017. The World Travel and Tourism Council (WTTC) announced its decision at the closing speech of the 16th WTTC Global Summit in Dallas, Texas on 7 April, 2016.Mr. David Scowsill, President and CEO of WTTC said, “The WTTC Global Summit is the most influential travel and tourism event of the year, bringing together hundreds of leaders from public sector organisations and private sector companies to discuss and tackle the most important issues in our sector. Travel and tourism is one of the most important generators of jobs and wealth in the world, contributing to over US $7.2 trillion in GDP to the world economy and supporting 284 million jobs, which is 1 in 11 jobs on the planet.”Mr. Scowsill continued, “Thailand is an extremely well established travel and tourism economy. Despite challenges, the sector grew by a stunning 18.4% in 2015, contributing nearly 21% to the country’s GDP (USD$ 81.6 billion or THB 2.8 trillion) and supported 5.9 million jobs, which is 15.4% of the total employment. I am delighted that Bangkok will host the 2017 Global Summit, which will highlight the Thai government’s great efforts in supporting travel and tourism across the country.”H.E. Mrs. Kobkarn Wattanavrangkul, Thailand’s Minister of Tourism and Sports said, “We are excited and honoured to host next year’s WTTC Global Summit, which is a great opportunity to showcase Bangkok as an important meeting place for gathering the world’s top travel and tourism executives.“Being selected by the World Travel and Tourism Council to host the Summit acknowledges the commitment the Thai government has to the expansion of the travel and tourism sector in the country,” she added.Mr. Yuthasak Supasorn, Governor of the Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) said, “Holding the Summit in Bangkok is recognition of the city’s importance as an international hub, serving a large number of international visitors through Bangkok’s Suvarnabhumi Airport.We are looking forward to welcoming everyone in Bangkok next year to experience the beauty of our country,” the Governor concluded. Tourism Authority of ThailandSource = Tourism Authority of Thailandlast_img read more

World record haka wins international attention

first_imgWorld record haka wins international attentionThe world’s biggest haka in Rotorua, organised as part of the nationwide festival of events for the DHL New Zealand Lions Series tour attracted extensive international media attention and was a huge hit with travelling fans.More than 7,500 locals and Lions supporters gathered on Rotorua’s village green, chanting Ka mate, Ka mate, smashing the current world record set in France.Working with the International Rugby Club who masterminded the event as part of Rugby 2017 Festival, Tourism New Zealand funded drone footage and a video of the extraordinary event which then went out to international media.The feedback has been great with the story and images being picked up extensively overseas, including coverage from the UK, Germany and India.When the travelling media are not covering the games, they are enjoying, and reporting on tourism experiences throughout New Zealand, hosted by Tourism New Zealand.Tourism New Zealand is also supporting Sky Sport’s ‘Fan Van’ which is touring the country with commentator Scott Quinnell enjoying activities and interviewing fans and locals along the way.And judging by the responses he is getting, the fans are receiving a great welcome from Kiwis and loving their time in New Zealand. Check out his daily videos.René de Monchy, Tourism New Zealand’s Director PR, Major Events and Trade said: “The feedback from the travelling media so far has been excellent. They have experienced a wide range of activities from Waitangi in the North, through to Rotorua and the magnificent haka; they have visited Hobbiton and tried sky diving and rafting. They have experienced the Canterbury and Otago regions and now they get to spend time in the Wellington region in the run-up to the second test match.“For Tourism New Zealand, this is a great opportunity to promote our key areas of seasonality and regional dispersal. The Lions tour has given us the opportunity show a group of international journalists great Kiwi experiences outside of the popular tourism hotspots and outside of the peak season. It is also an opportunity for Tourism New Zealand to support the Regional Tourism Organisations (RTOs) who have opened their cities to the fans with a programme of events from Whangarei to Dunedin,” said René.youtubeplease specify correct urlSource = Tourism New Zealandlast_img read more

Launch of of exciting new Darling Harbour pavilion

first_imgFor bookings or for additional information contact:Adam SherarAustralian National Maritime MuseumT: +61 2 8241 8309E: adam.sherar@anmm.gov.auhttp://www.anmm.gov.au/about-us/venue-hireFor all media enquiries please contact Momentum2Caitlin Maxwell, Senior PR Consultant:cmaxwell@momentum2.com.au | W) (02) 9212 2000 or M) 0415 316 554Lyn Tuit, Principal: ltuit@momentum2.com.au | W) (02) 9212 2000 or M) 0405 160 275Source = Australian National Maritime Museum Launch of of exciting new Darling Harbour pavilionLaunch of of exciting new Darling Harbour pavilionFrom November 10, a fabulous new waterfront pavilion will be available for venue hire in Sydney’s Darling Harbour, just in time for the festive season.Named after Captain Cook’s majestic vessel and its on-site replica, the HMB Endeavour, the Endeavour Pavilion is an exciting new addition to the wharves of the Australian National Maritime Museum (ANMM). In addition to its prime waterfront location overlooking the stunning harbour, the Endeavour Pavilion also offers all-inclusive event packages, with everything from venue hire to catering and furniture looked after on site.The venue offers guests a unique setting for a function with a wow factor, with the Pavilion nestled elegantly amongst historic vessels, set against the spectacular backdrop of the Sydney skyline.The Endeavour Pavilion is a bespoke marquee from White Umbrella. It can be arranged to suit any event from cocktail parties, Christmas parties, product launches and award ceremonies, to large sit-down lunches or dinners. With four furniture ranges to choose from, the space can be tailored to suit the theme of any function, from modern and edgy, to classic and refined. Clients can specify their furniture selection and how they would like the space to be configured, whilst the Pavilion is fully equipped with lighting and sound.“This new generation of event planning takes away the hassle of coordinating all the necessary extras, thereby saving organisers time and money,” said Matt Lee, ANMM’s Assistant Director of Commercial and Visitor Services. “It also minimises the risks associated with using multiple suppliers – particularly during the festive season,” he added.The Endeavour Pavilion’s comprehensive event packages include catering from award-winning catering and corporate event specialists, Laissez-Faire. Based at ANMM, Laissez-Faire is renowned for working with premium and local seafood and beef suppliers, artisan cheese producers and quality local fruit and vegetable growers, developing inspiring, seasonal menus that bring the best produce to every event. Laissez-Faire is committed to providing unforgettable experiences through innovative and creative cuisine and outstanding service. Guests attending events held at the Pavilion will enjoy the level of expertise and professionalism that can be expected of an established venue, within a contemporary new setting.The incredible versatility of the Endeavour Pavilion makes it the ideal venue for all Christmas cocktail events, corporate lunches and dinners, and other end-of-year celebrations. It can accommodate up to 200 guests seated or 350 cocktail, with packages starting at $140 per head, all-inclusive. Guests will delight in the fresh, seasonal menus on offer from Laissez-Faire, including a Christmas-themed canape menu featuring fresh, bite-sized takes on the classics, such as shaved turkey on rosemary toasts with cranberry compote. Plated menus offer a full three-course selection, including the quintessential Christmas pudding and summer berry trifle desserts.The Endeavour Pavilion will be available for hire from November 10. The venue’s affordable, all-inclusive packages and its proximity to the CBD make it the perfect option for any last-minute Christmas bookings. ANMM will also be offering guests the opportunity to complete their event with a visit to one of its fascinating exhibitions, or to climb aboard the HMB Endeavour moored alongside the Pavilion.last_img read more

La Réserve Paris recognised as the number one city hotel in Europe

first_imgLa Réserve Paris recognised as the number one city hotel in EuropeLa Réserve Paris recognised as the number one city hotel in EuropeTravel + Leisure World’s Best Awards every year, the readers of Travel + Leisure, the largest and most influential travel magazine brand in the United States, rate their recent experiences with destinations, hotels and resorts, spas, tour operators and safari outfitters, cruise lines and more in the World’s Best Awards survey. For its 23rd annual World’s Best Awards, La Réserve Paris is proud to have been rewarded as the Number One City Hotel in Europe and the Number One Hotel in Paris. The full list will be announced in the August issue of T&L and published exclusively online, at TravelandLeisure.com.La Réserve Paris – Hotel and Spa discretly hidden in the city’s 8th arrondissement, La Réserve Paris has 40 elegantly designed rooms and suites, many of which have balconies with views of Paris monuments. The Haussmann-style mansion was designed by the iconic Jacques Garcia and opened as a hotel in 2015. The spa, which is home to a 52-foot indoor pool, is dedicated exclusively to guests and each room comes with its own personal butler. The hotel’s two restaurants, Le Gabriel and La Pagode de Cos, are helmed by two Michelin-starred chef Jérôme Banctel.About La Réserve Hospitality Collection La Réserve is owned by Michel Reybier. A small collection of luxury hotels, spas, villas, and serviced apartments, the properties represent the very highest level of service and design. The collection includes La Réserve Genève – Hotel, Spa and Villas, an award-winning spa and 102-room & suite hotel designed by Jacques Garcia, La Réserve Ramatuelle Hotel Spa & Villas, and La Réserve Paris – Hotel and Spa. La Réserve Paris also comprises ten luxury private and fully equipped apartments with full hotel services set in the city’s 16th arrondissement, just 3km from the hotel.La Réserve Paris Hotel and Spa – 42 avenue Gabriel – 75008 Paris – France – www.lareserve-paris.com – T +33 1 58 36 60 60 Source = La Réserve Paris – Hotel and Spalast_img read more

SeaDream lauded world number one

first_imgSeaDream lauded world number oneSeaDream lauded world number oneSeaDream Yacht Club’s boutique mega-motor-cruiser SeaDream I has been ranked Number 1 in the Boutique Ships category of the just-released 2019 Berlitz Cruising and Cruise Ships Guide.And it ranked 3rd overall amongst all ships in the Guide, being hailed with “twin” SeaDream II for “superlative cuisine and service.”The highly-revered Berlitz Guide is the world’s most authoritative and longest-running guide to cruising and cruise ships by Douglas Ward, the world’s foremost independent authority on cruising and cruise ships. Now in its thirty-fourth year of continuous printing, this seminal book also comes with a free app and eBook, and features the hugely-anticipated, highly-revered Berlitz Evaluations and Scores.SeaDream I and II are both praised by Ward for “unabashed but discreet sophistication,” catering for guests seeking “a small ship with excellent food…and fine European-style service in surroundings that are elegant and refined while remaining informal.” Commenting on the high guest to crew ratio, the guide proclaims that sailing on SeaDream is “really like having your own private yacht, in which hospitality, anticipation and personal recognition are art forms practiced to a high level” with staff who are “delightful and accommodating.”“We are honored to once again be recognized by one of the world’s leading authorities on cruising,” said Andreas Brynestad, SeaDream Yacht Club EVP of sales, marketing and operations. “We take great pride in providing a ‘yachting’ lifestyle aboard our vessels and will continue working toward surpassing our guests’ expectations on every voyage.”SeaDream Yacht Club itineraries are designed to call upon the world’s most intimate ports. From May through October, both yachts sail the Mediterranean Sea. From November through April, they visit the turquoise waters of the Caribbean. The vessels are also available for private charters, providing customizable itineraries and a bespoke experience on the intimate boutique ships.Source = SeaDream Yacht Clublast_img read more

India to extend eTourist Visa to Chinese nationals

first_imgDuring his three-day visit to China, Prime Minister Narendra Modi has announced e-Visas for Chinese tourists to India. This will attract a larger numbers of tourists from China.Subhash Goyal, President, Indian Association of Tour Operators (IATO) has conveyed his happiness on the announcement of e-Tourist Visa facility for Chinese nationals as announced by the Prime Minister Narendra Modi. This announcement will give a major boost in the tourist arrivals from China which is a growing market for India.Goyal stated, “We had been pleading for extending e-Tourist Visa facility for nationals from China, UK, Italy, Poland, etc. as these countries provide tourists round the year and these countries were not included in the earlier announcements. It is really a positive step and exemplifies the working style of the Prime Minister to move the things forward especially for tourism purpose. We are confident that in the next phase all other countries like UK, Italy, Poland, etc. will also be added, which I am sure will increase the growth of tourism to double digit in next two years.”He also added that we have requested the Ministry of Home Affairs and Ministry of Tourism of allowing multiple entry under e-Tourist Visa so that members who want to visit neighbouring countries along with India can also apply for e-Tourist Visa.last_img read more

Australia tackles worldwide Angling market with nationwide Fishing Program

first_imgA suite of promotional materials – including a video, itineraries, articles and stunning imagery – has been published by Tourism Australia to promote the Great Fishing Adventures of Australia collective to keen anglers around the world.The group of independently owned fishing tourism operators in some of Australia’s most naturally spectacular and pristine environments is part of the Signature Experiences of Australia program which packages and promotes outstanding tourism experiences within a variety of niche areas and special interest categories.Fishing enthusiast Dean Cooper is the Executive Officer for the program.last_img

Mortgage Applications Fall Slightly for Thanksgiving Week

first_img Agents & Brokers Attorneys & Title Companies Investors Lenders & Servicers Mortgage Applications Mortgage Bankers Association Mortgage Rates Refinance Service Providers 2012-11-28 Tory Barringer Share Mortgage Applications Fall Slightly for Thanksgiving Week in Data, Originationcenter_img November 28, 2012 423 Views Mortgage applications continued to decrease during the week of Thanksgiving, the “”Mortgage Bankers Association””:http://www.mortgagebankers.org/default.htm (MBA) reported in its latest Weekly Mortgage Applications Survey.[IMAGE]The survey’s Market Composite Index dropped 0.9 percent on a seasonally adjusted basis for the week ending November 23. The week’s results include an adjustment for the Thanksgiving holiday.[COLUMN_BREAK]On an unadjusted basis, the index was down 24 percent.While the larger index was down, purchase activity continued to rise. The seasonally adjusted Purchase Index increased 3 percent from the previous week. While the unadjusted index was down 24 percent from a week before, it still hovers 8 percent higher year-over-year.At the same time, the Refinance Index was down 2 percent from the last survey. However, the refinance share of mortgage activity remained flat at 81 percent.Meanwhile, the adjustable-rate mortgage (ARM) share of activity fell to 4 percent. The government share of purchase applications also dropping, falling to 33 percent–its lowest share in the survey since early 2009.The drop in applications comes despite a decrease in mortgage interest rates. According to the survey, the average rate for a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage with a conforming balance was 3.53 percent, down one basis point from the previous week.last_img read more

FHFA Prices Rise 06 from December to January

first_img March 22, 2013 427 Views Agents & Brokers Attorneys & Title Companies FHFA Home Prices Investors Lenders & Servicers Service Providers 2013-03-22 Krista Franks Brock Share Home prices rose another 0.6 percent in January, according to the “”Federal Housing Finance Agency’s (FHFA’s) House Price Index,””:http://www.fhfa.gov/webfiles/25042/MonthlyHPIJan32113F.pdf which measures the prices of homes owned or guaranteed by “”Fannie Mae””:http://www.fanniemae.com/portal/index.html and “”Freddie Mac.””:http://www.freddiemac.com/[IMAGE]January’s gain continues a persistent monthly trend of rising prices started in January 2012. The past 12 months of rising prices have resulted in a total gain of 6.5 percent. [COLUMN_BREAK]The monthly increase recorded in January is just slightly above December’s downwardly-revised increase of 0.5 percent. While prices continue their upward trend nationally, one-third of the nine U.S. Census Divisions recorded price declines in January–the East South Central Division, the New England Division, and the Middle Atlantic Division. The greatest decline occurred in New England, where prices fell 0.7 percent over the month. On the other hand, two-thirds of the Census Divisions experienced price increases in January–the greatest among them being a 1.6 percent increase in the Pacific Division. The Pacific Division was the only division to experience an increase greater than 1 percent for the month, though the Mountain Division came close to the 1 percent mark with a 0.9 percent increase. On a yearly basis, all nine Census Divisions recorded price increases. The Pacific Division again posted the greatest increase, with prices 13.7 percent above their year-ago levels. The smallest increase on a yearly basis took place in the Middle Atlantic region, where prices are up just 0.4 percent from last year.center_img FHFA: Prices Rise 0.6% from December to January in Data, Governmentlast_img read more

Senate Group Introduces Bill to Dissolve GSEs

first_img Share June 25, 2013 386 Views Agents & Brokers Attorneys & Title Companies Fannie Mae Freddie Mac Investors Lenders & Servicers Politics Senate Banking Committee Service Providers 2013-06-25 Tory Barringer in Secondary Marketcenter_img Senate Group Introduces Bill to Dissolve GSEs A bipartisan group of senators introduced on Tuesday legislation to replace Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac with a newly created agency.[IMAGE]Citing the overwhelming presence of the GSEs in today’s mortgage marketplace, Sens. “”Bob Corker””:http://www.corker.senate.gov/public/ (R-Tennessee) and “”Mark Warner””:http://www.warner.senate.gov/public/ (D-Virginia) unveiled a new piece of legislation designed to wind down the enterprises and rebuild the private mortgage sector.Also involved in the unveiling were Sens. Mike Johanns (R-Nebraska), Jon Tester (D-Montana), Dean Heller (R-Nevada), Heidi Heitkamp (D-North Dakota), Jerry Morgan (R-Kansas), and Kay Hagan (D-North Carolina), all members of the “”Senate Banking Committee””:http://www.banking.senate.gov/public/index.cfm?FuseAction=Home.Home.The legislation would dissolve Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac within five years of passage and transfer appropriate utility duties and functions to a “”different, modernized and streamlined agency.”” The transfer would be done with a fiduciary duty to maximize returns to the taxpayer as the GSEs’ assets are sold off.In addition, the new bill requires private market participants to hold 10 percent of the first loss of any mortgage-backed security (MBS) that purchases a [COLUMN_BREAK]government reinsurance wrap. It also sets up an infrastructure for splitting up credit investors–who are willing to take on the risk of loss–from rate investors, thus keeping mortgage rates competitive while mitigating the risk of loss to taxpayers.Another proposed transitional step is to eliminate the enterprises’ affordable housing goals, replacing them with “”more transparent and accountable”” counseling and rental assistance programs.””Our new access fund–paid for not by taxpayers but through a small assessment on only those loans that go through the government platform–is dedicated to the sustainability of homeownership and to providing decent rental opportunities, while making it very clear where the money goes and putting in place strict criminal penalties against misuse,”” the senators explained in an “”op-ed published on Politico””:http://www.politico.com/story/2013/06/ending-private-gains-public-losses-fannie-freddie-93302.html.Finally, the bill would establish a new corporation–mutually owned by small banks and credit unions–created to protect local banks and credit unions from being “”gobbled up by the mega banks as soon as Fannie and Freddie are dissolved,”” thus ensuring direct access to the secondary market for institutions of all sizes.Initial reactions to the proposed legislation have been positive so far, with Mortgage Bankers Association chairman Debra Still calling it a “”significant milestone”” in the development of a long-term plan for the role of government in the mortgage market.””Some might say this goes too far, others not far enough. But regardless of where your political sensibilities are, you cannot think the current system works,”” the opinion piece reads. “”As memory of the crisis fades, the GSEs will again entrench themselves deeper and deeper into our system of housing finance. Soon, the path of least resistance will be to simply reconstitute Fannie and Freddie as they were. That would be totally irresponsible.””last_img read more

Analysts Recovery Slowing to Sustainable Track

first_imgAnalysts: Recovery Slowing to Sustainable Track Market indicators continue to point to an imminent slowdown in home price gains–further allaying fears of another housing bubble in the making, “”Capital Economic””:https://www.capitaleconomics.com/ says.[IMAGE]In the firm’s latest edition of _US Housing Market Analyst_, property economic Paul Diggle notes investor activity has fallen off nearly one-fifth over the last four months, with investor sales dropping from 23 percent to 18 percent as the inventory of heavily discounted distressed homes declines. On the other hand, the ongoing rise in prices has encouraged more sellers to enter the market, bringing new listings up faster than home sales and resulting in a 10 percent inventory improvement since the start of 2013.””With sellers motivated by the earlier rise in house prices, we expect the loosening in supply conditions to go much further over the next year,”” Diggle said. “”The upshot is that the pace of house price gains will slow.””With early signs already showing price growth “”losing a bit of steam””–including a decline in asking prices in July (as measured by Trulia)–Capital Economics stands by its forecast of an 8 percent increase in house prices over 2013 followed by 4 percent gains in subsequent years.Meanwhile, even as prices continue to rise, the company’s preferred metrics show housing remains on the cheap side, with the National Association of Realtors’ Affordability Index suggesting the median household has 178 percent of the income required to buy a median-priced home.””Of course, should supply conditions not loosen to the extent that we are expecting, double-digit price gains could continue,”” Diggle admitted. “”But even then, we think it might take 2 1/2 years before housing became overvalued.”” Agents & Brokers Attorneys & Title Companies Capital Economics Home Prices Housing Affordability Housing Supply Investors Lenders & Servicers Processing Service Providers 2013-09-09 Tory Barringer in Data, Government, Origination, Secondary Market, Servicingcenter_img Share September 9, 2013 433 Views last_img read more

DoddFrank How Far Agencies Have Come and Whats Next

first_img As the 2010 Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act prepares reach its fifth anniversary, a new report found that although the majority of the rules set forth in this act have already been implemented by various federal regulated agencies, there are several reform rules that have yet to be enacted, including rules for executive compensation, derivatives, and consumer debt.According to a progress report released by Davis Polk LLP, 271 rulemaking deadlines within the act have been passed, and of those deadlines, 192 have been met with finalized rules and rules have been proposed that would meet 46 more. Of the 390 total rulemaking requirements, 247 have been met with finalized rules and rules have been proposed that would meet 60 more. Rules have not yet been proposed to meet 83 rulemaking requirements.On July 21, 2010, President Obama signed the 22,296-page Dodd-Frank Act into law, the report said. This is considered the most significant legislative change to the regulation of the financial industry in decades. The report found that there have been 631 regulatory releases by the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC), U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC), Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC), and the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB). Of these regulatory releases, 75 percent are related to the Dodd-Frank Act.The progress report also revealed that 139 bills have been introduced to Congress to amend or repeal some or all of the Dodd-Frank Act, only five of these bill have actually been signed into law.On Wednesday, SEC Chair Mary Jo White released a statement regarding the Dodd-Frank anniversary. She discussed the effect that Dodd-Frank has had on America and the agency and how they are working to implement the rules mandated by the act.“The Commission has taken action to address virtually all of the mandatory rulemaking provisions of the Dodd-Frank Act, and at the same time we have focused on additional measures to bolster our financial infrastructure,” White said. “Within a year of the legislation taking effect, the Commission began bringing greater transparency and oversight to hedge fund and other private fund advisers with an extensive series of reforms.  The Commission also established stronger standards for the clearinghouses that stand at the center of the global financial system and built an enhanced program for their supervision.”White adds that the SEC has adopted final rules for 61 mandatory rulemaking provisions of the Dodd-Frank Act. However, they are mostly behind on the regulation of executive compensation, with six of these rules adopted and six proposed.“The Dodd-Frank Act was designed to strengthen our financial system, and the Commission has furthered that goal both through our implementation of the statute and through our own initiatives,” White concluded. “Lasting reform – not just “checking the box” for a list of rules – is the only way we can safeguard against another financial crisis.  With increased transparency, better investor protections, and new regulatory tools, the Commission continues to work towards a stronger marketplace and financial future for all Americans.”The SEC has also dragging behind other agencies on the rules for security-based swaps. According to the agency, 17 of these security-based swap rules have been adopted and 12 have been proposed. Meanwhile, the CFTC have completed the majority of their required security rules.In terms of consumer debt, the CFPB still has quite a few more stride to make in completing this rule initiation process. The fairly new agency was created by Congress in response to the financial crisis with the goal of protecting consumers in the financial marketplace.CFPB Director Richard Cordray delivered a speech yesterday at the Americans for Financial Reform Event on CFPB Anniversary highlighting all that the CFPB has accomplished so far since their start following the crisis.“In a very short time, we have done new and important work,” Cordray said. “We have also written mortgage origination rules to help ensure that consumers can afford to repay their loans without being set up to fail and mortgage servicing rules that help end surprises and runarounds for consumers who have bought a home. We have written rules to provide new consumer protections for remittance transfers, and we are working on rules that would provide new consumer protections for prepaid cards and prepaid accounts, as well as payday loans, debt collection, and arbitration agreements.”Click here to view Davis Polk’s Dodd-Frank Progress Report. Consumer Financial Protection Bureau Dodd Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act Fifth Anniversary Rules U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission 2015-07-17 Staff Writer in Daily Dose, Data, Featured, Government, News July 17, 2015 539 Views center_img Dodd-Frank: How Far Agencies Have Come and What’s Next? Sharelast_img read more

Global DMS Global Kinex Integrates with FHAs EAD Portal

first_img Global DMS recently announced that it has officially integrated its Global Kinex application with the Federal Housing Administration’s (FHA) new Electronic Appraisal Delivery (EAD) portal.This integration is intended to provide Global DMS clients with direct access to the administration’s new appraisal submission tool.The new EAD portal, announced by the FHA in 2015, is a free web-based technology system that enables mortgagees, or their designated third-party service providers, to electronically transmit appraisal data, and reports to the FHA prior to loan endorsement. This process will become mandatory on June 27, 2016, in which lenders will be required to use this new portal to submit all their FHA origination appraisals.The EAD portal will allow up to 10 appraisal files per submission, and also allows the submission of up to three appraisal files per loan. Appraisals submitted through the EAD are always subject to an FHA compliance review, and the new portal will return both overridable and non-overridable hard stop messages when appraisal data falls outside FHA requirements.”Global Kinex’s direct integration with the new EAD portal allows users to manage their EAD credentials, upload up to three appraisal files at a time, and manage the EAD submission process to address hard-stops in real time–offering automatic hard-stop overrides when available,” the announcement said. “All EAD submissions through Global Kinex are searchable, and the app will also upload the EAD SSR file as an attachment to the appraisal order when applicable. In addition, EAD submission automation is available via eTrac’s Workflow Engine app to help streamline the process even further.”Accepted Forms/Data Types include:Mismo 2.6 GSE Extended format:Uniform Residential Appraisal Report (FNMA Form 1004; FRE Form 70)Individual Condominium Unit Appraisal Report (FNMA Form 1073; FRE Form 465)Mismo 2.6 Errata 1:Small Residential Income Property Appraisal Report (FNMA Form 1025; FRE Form 72)Manufactured Home Appraisal Report (FNMA Form 1004C; FRE Form 70B)Appraisal Update or Completion Report (FNMA Form 1004D; FRE Form 442) in Headlines, News, Technology Share Electronic Appraisal Delivery Federal Housing Administration Global DMS Global Kinex 2016-02-10 Staff Writercenter_img February 10, 2016 572 Views Global DMS’ Global Kinex Integrates with FHA’s EAD Portallast_img read more

Reevaluating The Mortgage Interest Deduction

first_imgWhile the industry shudders at the thought of a change to the cherished mortgage interest deduction, the future of homeownership could stand to benefit from such a change.By Ron TerwilligerWhile nothing is inevitable in politics, comprehensive tax reform will likely rank high on Washington’s agenda once a new President and Congress assume office in 2017. That means major changes to the mortgage interest deduction (MID) may be just around the corner.Contrary to conventional wisdom, the housing industry has the potential to benefit from the changes. But these benefits will be realized only if the homeownership and rental sectors of the industry work together to further key housing priorities.Speaker Paul Ryan’s Passion for Tax ReformTax reform has a powerful ally in new House Speaker Paul Ryan, who declared tax reform as one of his top goals just before his swearing in. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said that Ryan is so committed to reform he spends his nights “dreaming about tax policy.”If Republicans maintain control of the U.S. House of Representatives following the 2016 elections, a likely prospect at this point, chances are the Speaker will be a major force pushing for an overhaul of the federal tax code. He will find willing allies among Republicans in a newly constituted Senate. And if a Republican is elected to the White House, tax reform will gain even more momentum.The objectives of reform will be to simplify the code and reduce overall individual and corporate tax rates. Achieving these goals in any meaningful sense won’t be easy. It will require lawmakers to reexamine the major deductions, credits, and other “tax expenditures” that currently populate the code and around which strong and vocal constituencies have developed over the years.Reexamining the Mortgage Interest DeductionOne of the biggest federal tax expenditures is the MID. According to the Congressional Joint Committee on Taxation (JCT), in 2015 the MID cost the federal government $71 billion in lost revenue. The projected price tag of the MID from 2015 to 2019 will reach nearly $420 billion, a huge sum.The MID ranks as the fourth-largest tax expenditure for individuals in the entire federal budget. It is an obvious source of revenue to offset what may be lost to the federal government by reducing overall tax rates, both individual and corporate. No doubt, that’s one of the reasons Speaker Ryan has proposed capping the amount of mortgage debt eligible for the deduction at $500,000, one-half its current limit of $1 million.Speaker Ryan also favors limiting the home mortgage tax deduction to “middle income people.” It’s no secret that the MID disproportionately benefits higher-income households. Another JCT study found 77 percent of the benefits associated with the MID flow to households with incomes of $100,000 or more, while 35 percent of the benefits accrue to households with incomes of $200,000 or more. Conversely, households with annual incomes of $50,000 or less receive only three percent of the benefits.A major reason for this imbalance is the MID, like other tax deductions, is available only to the small fraction of households who itemize deductions on their federal tax returns. The overwhelming majority of households with annual incomes under $100,000 do not itemize but instead take the standard deduction.To expand the benefits of the MID, three high-level bipartisan advisory groups—the President’s Advisory Panel on Federal Tax Reform, established by former President George W. Bush; the Bowles-Simpson Deficit Commission, established by President Obama; and the Bipartisan Policy Center’s Domenici-Rivlin Debt Reduction Task Force—have all recommended the MID be converted into a tax credit that would be potentially available to all filing taxpayers, not just those who itemize.Ensuring MID Savings “Stay at Home”Let’s face it: Whenever the mortgage interest deduction is mentioned in the halls of Congress, the first instinct of many in the housing industry is to crouch in a defensive posture. With change imminent, it’s time to take a more proactive approach that views the prospect of MID reform not as a cause for trepidation but instead as an opportunity.The first step is for those in the homeownership and rental sectors of the industry to unite around a clear objective. We must work to ensure that any “savings” achieved through changes to the MID literally “stay at home” within housing and are used to fund and support critical housing priorities—most prominently, first-time homeownership and affordable rental housing.The pressure to sweep these savings into deficit reduction or to pay for overall tax-rate reductions will be great, so developing an effective strategy that achieves this stay-at-home objective must begin now. We must make the case that promoting first-time homeownership and affordable rental housing directly helps families and provides major macroeconomic benefits as well.Resuscitating First-time HomeownershipSince the subprime debacle, the national homeownership rate has plunged more than five percentage points. It now stands at a 21-year low. During this period, the homeownership rates for younger adults and minorities have also registered dramatic declines. Perhaps even more alarming is the percentage of first-time homebuyers has reached its lowest level in 29 years, according to a recent survey by the National Association of Realtors.What’s behind these declines? Years of wage and income stagnation, regulatory uncertainty that has encouraged lenders to adopt restrictive credit overlays to their underwriting policies, a limited inventory of affordable new and existing homes, and record levels of student loan debt have all put downward pressure on the homeownership rate.America’s changing demographics will also present a major challenge. The bottom line is that minorities will be the driving force behind new household formation over the next 15 years.According to the Urban Institute, from 2010 to 2020, 8.9 million net new minority households will account for 77 percent of overall household growth. From 2020 to 2030, an additional 9.1 million net new minority households will form, comprising an astounding 88 percent of projected household growth. Unfortunately, the median incomes of African-American and Hispanic families continue to lag significantly behind those of whites, a circumstance that will complicate the ability of many to become homeowners.Consequently, new approaches to promote sustainable homeownership for first-time homebuyers will be essential. One such approach would be to adopt what has already been suggested—to convert the MID into a tax credit so that moderate-income and lower-income families, most of whom do not itemize on their federal tax returns and account for a significant share of first–time homebuyers, can benefit.But other ideas are certainly worth considering and pursuing. It’s time for the housing industry to put these ideas on the table and insist they be considered if and when Congress reexamines the MID.Making Rental Housing More AffordableWith the decline in the homeownership rate, we have witnessed an enormous surge in demand for rental housing. Unfortunately, the supply of affordable rental homes in many communities has not kept pace. The result: a rental affordability crisis with rising rents consuming increasingly larger shares of household incomes.According to Harvard‘s Joint Center for Housing Studies, in 2014, a record number of renter households, 21.3 million, paid more than 30 percent of their income on housing (the federal affordability threshold), while 11.4 million renter households paid in excess of 50 percent. Those families with the lowest incomes are suffering the most from excessive rent burdens, forcing some to choose between paying the rent or spending less on essentials like nutritious food and medical care.Less appreciated is the negative correlation between rising rents and homeownership. In particular, many younger renters burdened with high monthly housing costs are finding it increasingly difficult to accumulate funds for a mortgage down payment.Strategies to relieve these pressures should be viewed through a homeownership lens—after all, today’s renters are tomorrow’s first-time homebuyers.Increasing the supply of affordable rental homes is a critical national need. A substantial expansion of federal support for the Low Income Housing Tax Credit, our nation’s most successful housing production program for low-income renters, must be a top priority. As recommended by the Bipartisan Policy Center Housing Commission, increased funding for the Housing Credit must also be tied with additional federal support for the “gap” financing that is often required for Housing Credit properties.Without question, responding to today’s rental affordability crisis with adequate supply-side and demand-side solutions will require a significant expenditure of federal funds, a difficult “ask” during a time of severe budget pressures. But, as highlighted by the Bipartisan Policy Center Housing Commission, Congressional consideration of tax reform provides an opportune moment for this conversation to occur.Come Together Right NowA plunging homeownership rate and skyrocketing rents are challenging our nation’s housing system like never before. With comprehensive tax reform on the horizon, it is time for the housing industry to come together to develop a coherent, unified strategy to best position itself for the potential changes ahead. At the core of this strategy must be the recognition that homeownership and rental housing are complementary, not competing, elements of the same system. We are all in this together.Editor’s note: This select print feature appears in the April 2016 edition of MReport magazine, available now. in Daily Dose, Featured, Government, News, Origination, Print Features Homeownership Housing Market Mortgage Interest Deduction 2016-04-14 Staff Writer April 14, 2016 626 Views center_img Share Reevaluating The Mortgage Interest Deductionlast_img read more

Court Deals a Blow to Hopes of GSE Investors

first_imgCourt Deals a Blow to Hopes of GSE Investors Fannie Mae Freddie Mac GSE Investors GSE Profits Lawsuits Net Worth Sweep 2016-09-09 Seth Welborn September 9, 2016 704 Views Sharecenter_img in Daily Dose, Government, Headlines, News Several GSE investors have sued the government over the sweeping of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac profits into Treasury (aka the “Net Worth Sweep), a practice that began when the bailout agreement was amended in August 2012.Those investors have suffered a number of setbacks in the last couple of years, however. The latest one came on Friday when a judge in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Kentucky threw out a lawsuit filed by a GSE investor against the GSEs’ conservator, the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA), and the U.S. Department of Treasury claiming the Net Worth Sweep damaged Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.According to the Wall Street Journal, Judge Karen Caldwell in the Kentucky court ruled that courts were barred under the Housing and Economic Recovery Act (HERA) of 2008 from interfering with the FHFA’s authority to act as conservator of the GSEs, saying that the HERA was a “statutory scheme that swept away courts’ authority to enjoin FHFA conduct.”Caldwell’s ruling further stated that the FHFA was not required by law to restore Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac to a “sound and solvent condition” or to “preserve and conserve” their assets, according to the Journal; instead, the provisions in the HERA granting the power to restore the GSEs to solvency and preserve their assets were not mandatory but were permissive.Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac received a combined $187.5 billion bailout from taxpayers in 2008 to remain afloat. In September 2008, they were taken into conservatorship by the newly-created FHFA. In 2012, the GSEs returned to profitability but the terms of the bailout agreement were amended in August of that year to require all of their profits to be swept into Treasury every quarter instead of the original agreement of 10 percent annually.Courts have dismissed similar lawsuits by GSE investors in Iowa in February 2015 and in Washington, D.C. in October 2014. In August 2016, the U.S. Court for the Eastern District of Virginia dismissed a suit filed by GSE investor Tim Pagliara, who was seeking to examine Freddie Mac’s financial records. Several GSE suits are still pending in the courts, including one by Pagliara in Delaware seeking to examine Fannie Mae’s records.last_img read more

FHFA GSEs Make Progress on 2016 Goals

first_img in Daily Dose, Featured, Government, News, Secondary Market, Servicing The Federal Housing Finance Agency released a report on Wednesday detailing the progress made by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac on goals established in the 2016 Scorecard. The Scorecard, which sets expectations for the GSEs, is published annually by the FHFA in furtherance of its objectives to “Maintain,” “Reduce,” and “Build” in its role as conservator of the Enterprises.According to a release from FHFA, the report notes GSE developments regarding access to credit, borrower and community assistance, credit risk transfer programs, reducing taxpayer risk, accomplishments in building a new securitization infrastructure, and diversity and inclusion efforts, among other things.“In collaboration with Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, FHFA has made significant progress in meeting our conservatorship objectives,” FHFA Director Melvin L. Watt said. “This report underscores our commitment to transparency as we continue to foster liquidity and efficiency in the housing finance markets, reduce risk to taxpayers and build a new mortgage securitization infrastructure, all in a safe and sound manner.The report breaks down GSE developments according to which objective of FHFA’s conservatorship they fall under. In the “Maintain” category, which includes FHFA’s goals like “maintain[ing] credit availability and foreclosure prevention activities,” the report notes several strategies the GSEs have used to increase credit access to borrowers.These include removing prohibitions on previously restructured loans, improving the automated underwriting systems, encouraging the use of alternative credit scoring models for those who don’t have traditional credit histories, and selling non-performing loans. According to the report, the Enterprises have sold 72,502 non-performing loans since 2014.In efforts to mitigate foreclosures, FHFA’s report noted the GSEs’ enhancements to the Representations and Warranties Framework, the development of rescission relief principles for mortgage insurers, implementation of final HARP strategies, and improved housing counseling programs.Under the “Reduce” objective, which includes the FHFA goal of “reducing taxpayer risk by increasing the role of private capital in the secondary mortgage market,” the report notes the GSEs’ credit risk transfer activity for 2016 and over the lifetime of CRT efforts.“Since the beginning of the program in 2013, the Enterprises have transferred a portion of credit risk on loans with $1.44 trillion in UPB and total RIF of $49 billion,” the report stated. “In 2016, the Enterprises transferred credit risk on single-family mortgage loans with a total UPB of approximately $548 billion and total RIF of about $18.1 billion.”As part of FHFA’s “Build” efforts, which include the goal of building “a new infrastructure for the securitization functions of the Enterprise,” the report notes industry outreach efforts, the Uniform Mortgage Data Program, and updates to the Common Securitization Platform and the Single Security Initiative. Part one of the release was launched in November 2016; part two is scheduled for Q2 2019.FHFA is soliciting input on the Progress Report. All comments can be submitted at FHFA.gov. March 29, 2017 694 Views Fannie Mae FHFA Freddie Mac 2017-03-29 Seth Welborncenter_img FHFA, GSEs Make Progress on 2016 Goals Sharelast_img read more

Virgin Australia has begun a threemonth testing p

first_imgVirgin Australia has begun a three-month testing period of inflight wireless internet access on one of its Boeing 737-800 aircraft.Passengers on the Wi-Fi enabled aircraft will be able to use the service free of charge during the testing period and enjoy access to popular streaming services Netflix, Stan and Pandora on their devices while in the air.Virgin Australia has partnered with inflight connectivity provider Gogo and satellite provider Optus to provide customers with inflight Wi-Fi.John Thomas, group executive Virgin Australia Airlines, said: “We want to ensure that guests can stay reliably connected in the air while also enjoying the fantastic entertainment and customer service for which Virgin Australia is well known.“We’re looking forward to receiving guest feedback about our inflight connectivity over the next three months to ensure we are able to offer the best possible service in the sky,” Thomas said.Guests who travel on the Wi-Fi-enabled aircraft during the testing period will be notified that it is is available on their flight and provided with access instructions. inflight Wi-FiVirgin Australialast_img read more

Daydream Island Resort has announced it will incre

first_imgDaydream Island Resort has announced it will increase its renovation investment by $14 million to a total of $100 million to finalise refurbishment plans ahead of the island’s reopening later this year. The initial investment of $50 million announced in May 2017 was subsequently increased to $65 million just one month later, and rose to $86 million by November that year.The island has undergone extensive construction for the redevelopment of the resort, which will see the return of the Living Reef and an expanded food and beverage offering with three restaurants and five bars across the island. The increase in investment will provide funding for a spectacular pool landscape featuring an absolute beachfront pool, adjacent infinity pool and central lagoon style pool with an attached kids area. An adult’s only area and a series of cabanas will join the three new pools to become a central hub for guests and a main feature of the resort.Daydream Island will have a soft opening from 29 September 2018 with all resort facilities operational by 1 November 2018. To book contact the reservations team at reservations@daydreamisland.com. australiaDaydream Island Resorthotels & resortslast_img read more

Beanie Wells does not want you to worry The runn

first_imgBeanie Wells does not want you to worry.The running back missed practice Thursday due to a hamstring problem, prompting fans to worry about his availability for Sunday’s big game in Seattle. Thursday on the Big Red Rage, Wells said there is nothing to worry about.“I just needed a little bit of rest,” he told host Paul Calvisi. “It’s nothing major at all.”Wells is off to a great start this season, picking up 183 yards and a pair of touchdowns in the team’s first two games, but has a history of injury troubles so the latest news was a bit concerning. Nevada officials reach out to D-backs on potential relocation However, if he says he’s good to go then we should probably believe him, though there will probably be some worry every time he’s a little slow to get up after a run. What an MLB source said about the D-backs’ trade haul for Greinke Top Stories center_img Comments   Share   D-backs president Derrick Hall: Franchise ‘still focused on Arizona’ Cardinals expect improving Murphy to contribute right awaylast_img read more

The last time the Arizona Cardinals and Green Bay

first_imgThe last time the Arizona Cardinals and Green Bay Packers got together in a game that counted, the fans were treated to an amazing offensive display.The teams combined for 1,024 yards and 96 points in the Cardinals’ 51-45 overtime victory that propelled them to the NFC Divisional Playoffs to take on the eventual Super Bowl champion New Orleans Saints.That type of offense is a memory for Cardinal fans, as this year’s team has dropped four straight and has scored a total of 36 points during the skid. James MelloI think the Cardinals match up better defensively with the Packers then many people think, especially if Jordy Nelson is unable to play. The Cards rank 4th in the league in passing yards against per game in the NFL. If the Packers receivers are James Jones and Randall Cobb again like it was last week against the Jaguars for the Packers, I don`t see the them moving up and down the field. I think the Cardinals offense will have more success than they have had as of late especially with Green Bay being without all-pro Corner Charles Woodson to put on Larry Fitzgerald. But the lack of an offensive line will again hold them back from getting a win in Lambeau.Final Score: Packers 26, Cardinals 20 Grace expects Greinke trade to have emotional impact The 5: Takeaways from the Coyotes’ introduction of Alex Meruelo Doug FranzThis will not be pretty. If you thought the offensive line was struggling before this game, you haven’t seen struggling until this game is over.Final Score: Packers 41, Cardinals 10 John GambadoroGreen Bay is starting to play much better and even with all the injuries they have, the Pack have too much firepower for Arizona. Both teams do a poor job in pass protection, but Aaron Rodgers is much better suited to handle the pressure than John Skelton is. Neither team runs the ball that well but the passing game of Green Bay against a Cardinals secondary that looked plain awful on Monday night is a recipe for disaster. Plus Arizona is coming off a short week and having to play on the road. The slide continues.Final Score: Packers 31, Cardinals 10 Paul CalvisiPackers have spent this week fielding questions about whether they’re looking past the Cards to the bye week. Guess what? That becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy. We sense a repeat of New England, where Aaron Rodgers makes like Tom Brady and throws for 300+ yards but only one TD. Cards win a game with all the artistic aplomb of a bratwurst.Final Score: Cardinals 13, Packers 10 Katy HartleyI’m pretty excited to see the Cards defensive line take on the Packers’ o-line — but that might be the only decent match up this game. Cards offense just won’t be able to get anything going.Final Score: Packers 24, Cardinals 14 Carter NackeCan we all admit the Cardinals’ season is in a tailspin? Ya? Good. No way Cards are even in this one. Offense won’t stay on the field, Rodgers will tire out the Arizona defense.Final Score: Packers 27, Cardinals 7 Arizona will try to turn it around against a Packers team that has won three in a row after dropping three of their first five games.Here’s how the staff of Arizona Sports 620 sees things shaking out Sunday. center_img Top Stories Derrick Hall satisfied with D-backs’ buying and selling Dave BurnsThe Cards are playing one of the best QB’s in the league, a defense that is tied for the league in sacks (with the Cardinals) in a venue that is one of the toughest in the NFL. Add in the fact the Cardinals are coming off a demoralizing loss and a short week and its hard to envision any scenario in which they win. They must establish the run better than vs. the 49ers in order to limit John Skelton’s throws and the defense must turn pressure into turnovers.Final Score: Packers 24, Cardinals 13 Vince MarottaWe’re into the second half of the season and the Cardinals are still dealing with the issues that have derailed their 4-0 start: pass protection, lack of a running game and shaky quarterback play. So why would any of those issues remedy themselves in a game at Lambeau Field – where the Cardinals haven’t won since 1949? Umm, they won’t.Final Score: Packers 31, Cardinals 10 Adam GreenThis one ain’t gonna be pretty. The only team in the NFL that gets to the quarterback as frequently as the Cardinals are the Packers, and I’m pretty confident the home team will have little trouble getting to John Skelton. And you know what they say, all sacks and now downfield passes make Arizona a miserable offense.The Cardinals defense held up well enough to beat Tom Brady and the Patriots, but Aaron Rodgers is a completely different animal. The Packers will put up some points in a game where they won’t need many to win.Final Score: Packers 27, Cardinals 10 Comments   Share   Former Cardinals kicker Phil Dawson retires Dave DulbergIn Robert Penn Warren’s famous novel turned Academy Award-winning movie All the Kings Men, the author wrote “The end of man is knowledge, but there is one thing he can’t know. He can’t know whether knowledge will save him or kill him.” Ironically the movie won Best Picture in 1949, the last time a Cardinals team went into Green Bay and came out a victor. The problem is knowledge will most certainly do in the Cardinals this Sunday against the Packers. There’s just no room for salvation at this point. A quarterback playing without confidence, an offensive line still in search of an identity, a woeful run game and a star wideout who frankly isn’t getting enough touches. Everyone knows Arizona’s glaring issues, Green Bay will just be the latest team to exploit them.Final Score: Packers 34, Cardinals 10last_img