Today’s Mortgage Rates : Real-Time MBS Pricing For April 22, 2014

Existing Home Sales Rise Slightly

 mbs0422

March Existing Home Sales declined 0.2% from February to an annual rate of 4.59M, which was very close to the consensus, and the lowest level since July 2012. Existing Sales were 8% lower than one year ago. Total inventory of existing homes available for sale rose 5% to a 5.2-month supply.

The results from the 2-yr Treasury auction will come out around 1:00 et.

MBS prices correlate and are inversely related to today’s mortgage rates available from U.S. banks and lenders. When MBS prices rise, mortgage rates tend to fall. When MBS prices fall, mortgage rates tend to rise. In general, a .250 change in MBS pricing corresponds to a 0.125 percentage point change in mortgage rates.

MBS pricing is provided by MBSQuoteline, a mortgage pricing subscription service available to loan officers, real estate agents, and finance professionals. Today’s mortgage rates are based on the real-time pricing shown above.

Click for a personalized, real-time rate for your home.

Article source: http://themortgagereports.com/14820/todays-mortgage-rates-real-time-mbs-pricing-for-april-22-2014

Political battle brews over impact of future mortgage rate rises

This time next year hundreds of thousands of homebuyers could receive letters from their bank or building society giving them the unwelcome news that their mortgage rate was going up.

But Tory strategists are increasingly willing to believe that after a year of rising living standards they will simply shrug it off and continue to hit the high streets with the same enthusiasm that has driven the economic recovery since last year.

Unemployment could have dropped to 2 million and the proportion of the population with a job could be at a record. Even the persistently high rate of youth unemployment could fall quickly as graduate recruitment picks up and business investment, which increased by 8% last year, improves productivity.

But some inside Labour remain sceptical that the Bank of England will risk a rate rise that would push up mortgage payments next year such is the fragile state of the recovery and the vulnerability of most consumers to any rise in their monthly outgoings.

Despite last week’s confirmation that wage rises had begun to consistently outpace rising prices for the first time since 2009, Labour can point to figures that dent the claim that the recovery lifts all boats.

Figures from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) showed that pay including bonuses increasing 1.8%, just a little better than inflation at 1.6%. But rises for those not collecting bonuses averaged 1.4%. And while private sector pay galloped ahead by 2%, public sector workers were limited to a real terms cut after their pay rose by just 0.9%

Workers in financial services received pay rises of just 0.1%, while manufacturing workers, in short supply after a post-crash clear-out, enjoyed rises higher than inflation. Ed Balls has spent recent weeks presenting a revised version of his cost of living crisis speech: yes, wages are rising and inflation is falling, but there is no noticeable to living standards for the majority.

On the BBC last week Balls coralled figures from the Institute for Fiscal Studies (IFS) showing that since 2010 the average worker is paying more tax, not less, after the rise in VAT to 20%, cuts to tax credits, cuts to the childcare tax credit and other changes. “So a family with children is more than £2,000 a year worse off simply because of changes to tax and benefits. On top of that, the average working person, because of their wages, is £1,600 a year worse off,” he said.

The shadow chancellor believes a single year of real-terms wage rises will fail to address this shortfall, given than British wages typically rose by around 4%-5% a year before the financial crisis, but since mid-2008 have fallen in real terms. He also calculates that real earnings will continue to grow more slowly than GDP, which is another way of saying the average worker will get a smaller share of the economy next year, with the balance boosting corporate profits, bonuses for directors and dividends to investors.

Nevertheless, GDP figures published next week are expected to show the economy on target for 3% annual growth, which would be the best performance since 2007. Government critics argue that of the 1.2m private sector jobs created since 2010, almost 200,000 were a transfer of college lecturers out of the public sector and around 600,000 are self-employed workers. There is a rush to discover what this new band of self-employed workers are doing and what they earn.

The Treasury hopes they are a breed of entrepreneurs looking to start their own businesses. A suspicion is that many are former local government administrators working for themselves on lower incomes, often part-time, and barely able to pay their mortgage bills.

Article source: http://www.theguardian.com/money/2014/apr/22/mortgage-rates-political-battle-brews-future-rise

Current Mortgage Interest Rates at TD Bank on April 22, 2014

Current Mortgage Interest Rates at TD Bank on April 22, 2014After surprising its users with sudden rise and fall in the lending rates for a long time, the Canadian lender, Toronto Dominion Bank (NYSE: TD), has long been offering its standard home purchase and refinancing home loan deals at same interest rates. Sticking to its customer-friendly course, in the mortgage charts published on April 22, 2014, TD Bank chose to make no change to its 30 year fixed mortgage interest rates yet again.

To start with, in the standard, long term home loan section, the bank is now offering the 30 year fixed rate mortgage deals at an interest rate of 4.500%, along with an annual percentage rate of 4.612% today. However, the relatively shorter, 15 year fixed rate mortgage home loan deals are now up for grabs at a lending rate of 3.625% and an annual percentage yield of 3.817% this Tuesday.

Shifting sights towards the flexible rate financing section, the interested borrowers can find the best 3 year fixed rate mortgage loans being listed against a starting interest rate of 2.750% and an APR yield of 2.851% to start with. On the other hand, the 5 year adjustable rate mortgage home loan plans are coming out at an interest rate of 3.250% and are carrying an APR yield of 3.025%, which is given on the principal amount of home loan acquired from the bank.

In the more flexible lending division, the bank offers its best 7 year adjustable rate mortgage home loan schemes at an interest rate of 3.500% and an annual percentage rate of 3.200% during the starting years of the home loan period. On the contrary, the most flexible, 10 year adjustable rate mortgage home loan options can be locked in at a starting interest rate of 3.750% and an annual return rate of 3.468% top begin with.

In the refinancing arena, the popular 30 year fixed rate mortgage home loans are now being traded at a rate of 4.562% and an APR yield of 4.676% today. However, the short term, 15 year counterparts of the 30 year refinancing fixed rate mortgage home loan deals are now up for grabs at an interest rate of 3.688% and an APR yield of 3.883%.

When it comes to the adjustable rate mortgage loans, the Canadian lender is offering its 5 year refinancing home loan plans at a starting interest rate of 3.312% and an APR yield of 3.048% during the starting years of the home loan tenure. Alternatively, the more flexible, 7 year refinancing adjustable rate home loans can now be secured at an interest price of 3.562% and an APR yield of 3.231%.

Disclaimer: The advertised rates were submitted by each individual lender/broker on the date indicated. Rate/APR terms offered by advertisers may differ from those listed above based on the creditworthiness of the borrower and other differences between an individual loan and the loan criteria used for the quotes.

Article source: http://www.morningnewsusa.com/current-mortgage-interest-rates-at-td-bank-on-april-22-2014-239706.html

Self-described ‘wolf’ pleads guilty to mortgage fraud

A former hard-money lender who once described himself as “a wolf” pleaded guilty Friday to charges related to a mortgage scheme that caused a loss of more than $800,000 to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, the U.S. Attorney’s Office announced Monday.

Emiel Kandi, 37, of University Place, pleaded guilty to conspiracy to submit false statements in loan applications and to making false statements to the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), and submitting false statements in loan applications, according to a news release. Prosecutors agreed to recommend a sentence of no more than 78 months in prison. Under the plea agreement, Kandi will also have to pay restitution of $831,607 to HUD.

Kandi  submitted false information in at least 19 loans as a way to make them appear legitimate between 2008 and 2009, according to charges filed in federal district court in Tacoma in June 2013, when he was indicted.

Pierce Commercial Bank processed many of the loans, which were for properties in Kent, Puyallup, Gig Harbor and Vancouver. The loans were insured by the Federal Housing Administration, a unit within the federal HUD.

A Seattle Times investigation, published Nov. 13, 2010, revealed how Kandi preyed on unsophisticated, desperate borrowers who sought short-term loans. The report showed how Kandi set up the loans with predatory terms so that he could quickly take possession of borrowers’ homes. In some cases, he flipped the homes for profit.

In describing his practices, Kandi, told The Times “I am a wolf” whose only requirement for borrowers was to have “a pulse and a legal ability to sign.” In one case, he charged a borrower 45 percent interest and told borrowers if they failed to comply with loan agreements, he would take their property. He was able to make hundreds of thousands of dollars, a Seattle Times investigation found.

Kandi will be sentenced by U.S. District Judge Ronald B. Leighton on Sept. 5. Though the prosecutors agreed to recommend a 78-month prison sentence, Leighton is not bound by the recommendation. The court will also decide whether Kandi owes an additional $169,358 to individual borrowers he represented as a mortgage broker.

Article source: http://blogs.seattletimes.com/today/2014/04/self-described-wolf-pleads-guilty-to-mortgage-fraud/

Ocwen Financial targeted in mortgage fee probe

Originally published: April 21, 2014 6:52 PM
Updated: April 21, 2014 8:16 PM

By MAURA MCDERMOTT
 maura.mcdermott@newsday.com

New York Financial Services Superintendent Benjamin Lawsky, shown

New York Financial Services Superintendent Benjamin Lawsky, shown on Nov. 29, 2011, said he has told Ocwen Financial Corp. that he is looking into whether the Florida-based company is engaged in “self-dealing” and charging “inflated fees.” (Credit: Newsday / Audrey C. Tiernan)

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The state Department of Financial Services has accused one of the nation’s largest mortgage servicers of profiting improperly from mortgage investors and distressed homeowners.

In a letter sent to Ocwen Financial Corp. Monday, the agency’s superintendent, Benjamin Lawsky, said he is looking into whether the Florida-based company is engaged in “self-dealing” and charging “inflated fees.”

The letter cited Ocwen’s relationship with Hubzu, an online auction site that Lawsky said charges a 4.5 percent auction fee for Ocwen properties, up to three times the fee charged to other clients.


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Hubzu is owned by Altisource Portfolio Solutions S.A., which was spun off from Ocwen in 2009. Ocwen’s executive chairman, William Erbey, is Altisource’s chairman and owns stakes in both Ocwen and Altisource.

The higher fees, Lawsky wrote, “ultimately get passed on to the investors and struggling borrowers who are typically trying to mitigate their losses.”

Ocwen said in a statement that it would “fully address” the agency’s questions by April 28.

Hubzu is the principal auction site for Ocwen’s short sales and for properties that have gone through foreclosure, Lawsky wrote. In a short sale, a home is sold for less than the amount owed on its mortgage, with the lender’s approval.

In addition to the auction fee, Lawsky wrote, Hubzu charges a 3 percent seller’s fee, a 3 percent buyer’s fee and a $299 technology fee.

Such fees typically would be paid by the investors who own mortgage-backed securities, said Craig Robins, a Woodbury-based attorney who represents Long Islanders facing foreclosure.

The fees also would hit homeowners who lose their homes to foreclosure, if their banks pursue them for the gap between the home’s sale price and the amount owed on the mortgage, Robins said.

“Eventually this could come back to hurt the homeowner if the lender is successful in going after the homeowner,” Robins said.

Lawsky has demanded more information about fees charged by Hubzu, including whether Ocwen’s sellers are required to use the site.

The financial regulator has been scrutinizing the activities of non-bank mortgage servicers, which handle day-to-day functions such as collecting and recording borrowers’ monthly mortgage payments.

With banks facing more stringent capital requirements, more “lightly regulated” non-bank servicers are taking over many mortgage loans, Lawsky said in a speech in February. Those non-bank servicers, he said, are “getting too big, too fast.”

Ocwen services about 126,000 loans in New York, the agency said.

Nationwide, Ocwen serviced nearly $435 billion in mortgages in the third quarter of 2013, up from $128 billion a year earlier, according to a January regulatory filing by the company.

Article source: http://www.newsday.com/business/ocwen-financial-targeted-in-mortgage-fee-probe-1.7783093

Why a government agency won’t lower mortgage fees for borrowers

The recovery remains underway. (REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque)

The recovery remains underway. (REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque)

Two influential housing industry trade groups voiced alarm this month about the fees borrowers must pay when they take out a mortgage backed by the Federal Housing Administration – a popular source of loans for cash-strapped, first-time home buyers.

The National Association of Realtors and the Mortgage Bankers Association sent letters to the agency asking it to lower the “annual premiums” that are tacked onto monthly mortgage payments. The FHA has raised these types of fees five times since 2010,  from .55 percent of the loan’s value to 1.35 percent.  Those fees and others are used to cover lender losses when borrowers default on a mortgage. (The agency itself does not make loans —  it insures lenders against losses if the loans go bad.)

But the industry says the fees have become too expensive, shutting out the very borrowers that the agency is meant to serve.  The Community Home Lenders Association lodged a similar complaint in a letter to the White House earlier this year. MBA says borrowers who take out a $100,000 FHA  loan in 2014 will pay about $600 more in fees each year than they would have in 2008 on a 30-year, fixed rate mortgage.

Still, the FHA is holding firm as the Obama administration pushes to scale back the government’s role in the housing and protect its coffers. Here’s what FHA Commissioner Carol Galante told The Washington Post about her agency’s position on this matter.  The interview has been edited for clarity and length.

Why has the agency increased the premiums so much?

It’s important that every financial institution price properly for the risk it’s taking on.  I do think that we have reached a tipping point though, and I can clearly say we’re not going to continue to increase premiums. But it’s also not the time to do a wholesale rollback of the premiums. FHA’s financial condition is not where it should be yet.

[What this means: When lending sources dried up during the financial crisis, the FHA propped up the housing market by insuring the lenders it works with against losses and enticing them back into the market. But FHA’s default rate shot up as its loan volume expanded, depleting its cash reserves to levels below what is required by law. In September, FHA tapped taxpayer money to cover its losses for the first time in the agency’s 80-year history. The president’s most recent budget request projected that FHA will not need taxpayer dollars to cover losses in fiscal 2015]

About 50 percent of all home purchase loans were backed by the FHA in 2008. The agency’s market share now stands at about 20 percent. Do you think that the high annual fees cut into demand for FHA loans?

The last set of premium increases went into effect literally at the same time that mortgage interest rates jumped, so it’s hard to disentangle how much of the drop is related to premium increases versus interest rate increases. It’s also important to note that activity in the whole mortgage market dropped when interest rates started to go up, so it’s not just FHA volume that’s down.

The Realtors group said high FHA premiums may have shut hundreds of thousands of potential borrowers out of the market, particularly first-time homebuyers and minorities. Is the push to reduce the government’s role in the market at odds with the FHA’s mission to serve these groups?

They’re not at odds. People will generally be better served in the long run with more robust competition in the private market. FHA, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac together support 90 percent of the mortgage market.  We want to see more private capital come in because the government is taking nearly all the risk right now.  If we can have a system where there is more private sector capital at risk, that’s greater protection for the taxpayers.

Are there signs that the private sector is coming back into the market?

Private label security is slow to come back. Those are the mortgages that are pooled together and sold to investors by the private sector without any government backing.  I think there’s a number of reasons why (private sector participation) is not happening, and frankly I don’t think most of those have anything to do with FHA.  They have to do with lack of certainty around the future of the housing finance system. But the private mortgage insurers have picked up a significant share of FHA’s business, and the private mortgage insurers are private capital.

[What this means: Mortgage lenders typically require private mortgage insurance if a loan exceeds 80 percent of the value of the home. The insurance does not protect the borrower, but the lender, should the borrower default. Fannie and Freddie, which are controlled by the government, buy certain low down payment loans with private mortgage insurance. The Realtors say many potential buyers who are priced out of FHA can’t migrate to private mortgage insurance, either because of higher cost or lack of availability.]

Are you worried that FHA will eventually get stuck with the poorest credit quality borrowers because higher quality borrowers will refinance into less expensive mortgages?

FHA’s mission is to have lenders providing credit to borrowers that they might not otherwise serve if not for insurance from the government. When you have higher credit score borrowers going to other channels of lending, we don’t think that’s a bad thing as long as FHA remains appropriately priced for the credit risk we are insuring.

(What this means: FHA has a minimum credit score requirement of 500. But borrowers with credit below 580 would have to make a down payment of at least 10 percent instead of the usual 3.5 percent.  Currently, FHA has basically no borrowers with scores under 580.)

The FHA often notes that lenders are imposing tougher credit score requirements than FHA requires. Why would lenders do that?

I hear from lenders that they’re concerned that the FHA will not cover their losses on loans that default if they have violated our guidelines when making those loans. I also understand that they’re worried about the servicing costs. Another possible reason is that lenders didn’t feel a lot pressure to generate home purchase loans during the refinance boom. That may change now.

If lenders abide by those guidelines, is there any assurance that other regulators or law enforcement agencies won’t take any enforcement actions against them?

Lenders have always been held accountable for their underwriting of FHA loans. That’s still true going forward. You will always have the Department of Justice, for instance, looking at how FHA handles its compliance issues and how lenders handle their compliance issues. We are working on changes that will provide greater transparency so that lenders better understand how we determine what a challenging loan is and make adjustments early on in their own processes, which will help them stay in compliance and perhaps help them to avoid enforcement actions.

What is FHA’s ideal market share?

I am loathe to quote a particular market share because that goes back to how big the market is.  We clearly want to be in a place where we are available and accessible to a broad swath of the population while not taking over the market.  It’s about not being a dominant player while also not being irrelevant.

 

 

Article source: http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/wonkblog/wp/2014/04/21/why-a-government-agency-wont-lower-mortgage-fees-for-borrowers/

Fannie Mae HomePath Mortgage : Low Downpayment, No Appraisal Needed …

Fannie Mae HomePath Mortgage program offer attractive rates and financing for buyers of foreclosed homes

Since 2006, home buyers have flocked to foreclosed homes as an inexpensive way to purchase property. Even today, foreclosures remain popular among all buyer types including first-time home buyers, move-up buyers, and real estate investors, as well.

To help match foreclosed homes with buyers who want them, then, Fannie Mae offers a special program called HomePath. HomePath is a brand name and refers to foreclosed homes sold by Fannie Mae directly.

Fannie Mae HomePath is available in all 50 states.

Click here to see today’s mortgage rates.

What Is The Fannie Mae HomePath Mortgage?

The Fannie Mae HomePath program first launched in early-2009 as a way to help Fannie Mae sell homes it had reclaimed via foreclosure.

The agency is not designed to “manage properties” so the HomePath program was created to unload the thousands of homes which Fannie Mae had repossessed. The HomePath program lets buyers buy Fannie Mae-owned homes with simpler mortgage requirements than with a traditional loan.

There are two distinct programs available via HomePath.

The first program is called the HomePath Mortgage. The Home Path Mortgage resembles a traditional home loan you might find from a bank.

The standard HomePath mortgage is meant for buyers who are purchasing the foreclosed property to be their primary residence; and for homes which are generally move-in ready.

The second HomePath program is called the HomePath Renovation Mortgage.

The HomePath Renovation Mortgage is aimed at buyers buying a home in need of heavier work or repair; and, real estate investors doing fix-and-flip, for example.

Via HomePath Renovation, a foreclosure buyer can purchase a home and simultaneously borrow the lesser of either 35% of the home’s value-after-repairs, or $35,000. The purchase and renovation loans close simultaneously, which reduces borrower closing costs.

Click here to get a HomePath mortgage rate quote.

The Benefits Of A HomePath Mortgage

For buyers of foreclosed homes, the Fannie Mae HomePath loan boats several distinct advantages over other financing types.

As one example, via HomePath, lenders require just 5% down on a purchase for buyers who are purchasing a home to use as a primary residence. For investors, the minimum downpayment is just 10 percent.

These downpayment requirements are in-line with Fannie Mae’s other, non-HomePath loan programs but with one major exception — via HomePath, private mortgage insurance (PMI) is not required.

There is no PMI ever on a Fannie Mae HomePath loan.

Other unique traits of the Home Path program include :

  • Home appraisals are not required
  • Less-than-perfect credit is allowed — even below 660
  • Buyers can accept up to 6% seller concessions to offset total closing costs

Furthermore, downpayments on a HomePath Mortgage can be gifted from a family member; or, made via a grant or loan from a non-profit organization, state or local government, or employer.

As an added bonus to buyers, Fannie Mae offers a “First Look” marketing program to buyers who plan to buy a foreclosed home to make it their primary residence. Designed  to promote homeownership and neighborhood stabilization, First Look makes properties available to primary home buyers 20 days prior to real estate investors.

First Look gives primary home buyers an opportunity to buy HomePath-eligible homes without the pressure of bidding against bona fide investors.

Click here to see today’s mortgage rates.

Am I Eligible for a HomePath Mortgage?

As with all mortgage loans, the HomePath Mortgage requires borrowers to meet qualification standards known as “mortgage guidelines”.

For example, in order to qualify for the HomePath Mortgage, your lender will verify your income via W-2s and tax returns; your assets via bank statements; and, your credit scores via an official credit report.

Subject properties must also be marked as Fannie Mae HomePath-eligible. Your real estate agent can help you to locate participating properties.

Condominium can be non-warrantable via the HomePath Mortgage program but lenders will require the project to carry minimum insurance to protect against loss.

Interest-only mortgages are not allowed via HomePath and not all lenders will offer the HomePath Renovation Mortgage option. If at first your loan is declined, consider re-applying with a different mortgage lender.

Compare Today’s Live Mortgage Rates

For today’s buyers of foreclosed properties, consider the Fannie Mae HomePath program. Mortgage rates are low, program terms are generous, and there are thousands of eligible homes nationwide.

Get an instant mortgage rate online. Rates are available at no cost, with no obligation to proceed, and with no social security number required to get started.

Click here for mortgage rates today.

 

Article source: http://themortgagereports.com/14815/home-path-mortgage-fannie-mae-mortgage-rates

Current Mortgage Home Loan Rates Remain Flat at TD Bank on April 21, 2014

“The Samsung Innovation Museum brings together some of the true historical masterpieces of electronics innovation. These inventions laid the technological foundation that allowed us to develop and refine products that enhance lives today,” said Oh-Hyun Kwon Vice Chairman and CEO of Samsung Electronics at the official opening. “The museum gives visitors an opportunity to see where we’ve come from and also see where Samsung  draws inspiration from to continue to create category defining products.”

The museum is housed in a 10,950-square meter five-story building that’s divided into three exhibition halls. The museum features over 150 inventions and products from not only Samsung but also individuals and companies that aren’t connected to Samsung. Visitors can learn about each of the exhibits via Samsung’s Smart Window interactive transparent displays that can be seen all around the museum.

The first hall, called the Age of Inventors, features historic inventions from the likes of Michael Faraday, Thomas Edison and Graham Bell; the inventions include original models of the Leyden Jars by Pieter van Musschenbroek from 1745, Guglielmo Marconi’s Wireless Telegraph “Maggie” from 1896, Edison’s early filament lamp from the 1900′s, the 1911 Maytag electric washing machine no.45, and the GE Monitor Top  Refrigerator of 1929. Visitors can also learn about the company histories of a few of the industry’s pioneers like Siemens, ATT, Philips, GE, and NEC.

The Age of Industry Innovation is what Samsung has called the second hall at the S/I/M. The hall is subdivided into three zones – Semiconductor, Display, and Mobile, and features technology landmarks such as the invention of the transistor, the development of integrated circuits, the history of the semiconductor, and the evolution of display technology. Visitors can also find exhibits of the world’s first mobile phone and the world’s  first smartphone in the Mobile zone. Products from Samsung as well as Intel, Sony, Sharp, Nokia, and Motorola are displayed at the S/I/M’s Age of Industry Innovation hall.

The third hall, the Age of Creation, is where visitors can see Samsung’s plans and vision for the future as well as the company’s most advanced current technology including the Curved TV and Smart Home technology. The Age of Creation features a 180-degree 4K UHD panorama screen where visitors can learn about Samsung’s commitment to innovation. The hall also features Samsung’s range of B2B solutions in retail, healthcare,  hospitality, government, finance, enterprise mobility and education.

Lastly, visitors can go to the Samsung History Hall where they can learn the company’s history and the products and events that led to the Samsung that we know today. More information on the Samsung Innovation  Museum can be found on the museum’s website at samsunginnovationmuseum.com.

Article source: http://www.morningnewsusa.com/current-mortgage-home-loan-rates-remain-flat-at-td-bank-on-april-21-2014-239688.html

Today’s Mortgage Interest Rates at US Bank Corp (April 21, 2014)

“The Samsung Innovation Museum brings together some of the true historical masterpieces of electronics innovation. These inventions laid the technological foundation that allowed us to develop and refine products that enhance lives today,” said Oh-Hyun Kwon Vice Chairman and CEO of Samsung Electronics at the official opening. “The museum gives visitors an opportunity to see where we’ve come from and also see where Samsung  draws inspiration from to continue to create category defining products.”

The museum is housed in a 10,950-square meter five-story building that’s divided into three exhibition halls. The museum features over 150 inventions and products from not only Samsung but also individuals and companies that aren’t connected to Samsung. Visitors can learn about each of the exhibits via Samsung’s Smart Window interactive transparent displays that can be seen all around the museum.

The first hall, called the Age of Inventors, features historic inventions from the likes of Michael Faraday, Thomas Edison and Graham Bell; the inventions include original models of the Leyden Jars by Pieter van Musschenbroek from 1745, Guglielmo Marconi’s Wireless Telegraph “Maggie” from 1896, Edison’s early filament lamp from the 1900′s, the 1911 Maytag electric washing machine no.45, and the GE Monitor Top  Refrigerator of 1929. Visitors can also learn about the company histories of a few of the industry’s pioneers like Siemens, ATT, Philips, GE, and NEC.

The Age of Industry Innovation is what Samsung has called the second hall at the S/I/M. The hall is subdivided into three zones – Semiconductor, Display, and Mobile, and features technology landmarks such as the invention of the transistor, the development of integrated circuits, the history of the semiconductor, and the evolution of display technology. Visitors can also find exhibits of the world’s first mobile phone and the world’s  first smartphone in the Mobile zone. Products from Samsung as well as Intel, Sony, Sharp, Nokia, and Motorola are displayed at the S/I/M’s Age of Industry Innovation hall.

The third hall, the Age of Creation, is where visitors can see Samsung’s plans and vision for the future as well as the company’s most advanced current technology including the Curved TV and Smart Home technology. The Age of Creation features a 180-degree 4K UHD panorama screen where visitors can learn about Samsung’s commitment to innovation. The hall also features Samsung’s range of B2B solutions in retail, healthcare,  hospitality, government, finance, enterprise mobility and education.

Lastly, visitors can go to the Samsung History Hall where they can learn the company’s history and the products and events that led to the Samsung that we know today. More information on the Samsung Innovation  Museum can be found on the museum’s website at samsunginnovationmuseum.com.

Article source: http://www.morningnewsusa.com/todays-mortgage-interest-rates-at-us-bank-corp-april-21-2014-239690.html

Judge’s Decision Angers Debt Negotiation Law Firm

After the 2008 economic crash, business boomed for companies that promised consumers help in addressing credit card debt. But it turns out some debt negotiation firms were much better at collecting fees than solving debtors’ problems. In response, the Connecticut Legislature in 2009 approved stronger Banking Department regulations to prevent predatory practices.

Debt-reduction companies were limited to a $50 initial fee, couldn’t take more than 10 percent of the debt actually reduced, and needed to have a license costing $800 a year. But there was a lawyer exemption from those rules. And so some debt settlement companies took on the shape of law firms.

One prominent example is Maryland-based Persels Associates, which works for national debt settlement company CareOne, and boasts independent contractor lawyers in all 50 states. In March 2012, Persels asked for a ruling on its eligibility for the attorney exception to the debt negotiation rules.

State Banking Commissioner Howard Pitkin Jr., after soliciting comments, decided the Persels law firm business model didn’t qualify for the Connecticut attorney exemption.

Persels appealed to New Britain Superior Court Judge Eliot Prescott, who recently ruled against Persels, turning aside arguments that the Banking Department, an executive branch agency, had no authority to regulate out-of-state law firms. Persels had argued that only the Judicial Branch can regulate attorneys and law firms, but Prescott held that the constitutional separation of powers doctrine did not prevent overlapping supervision by the judicial and executive branches.

Pitkin called Prescott’s decision “a victory for consumers, and it puts purported law firms on notice that they cannot circumvent the consumer protection laws relating to debt negotiation.”

Persels lawyer Robert Frost Jr., of New Haven’s Frost Bussert, said his client will appeal.

“I think reasonable minds might well disagree as to the conclusions reached in the decision,” said Frost, “some of which have far-reaching implications for lawyers, law firms, and the ability of the executive branch to regulate activities commonly understood to be the practice of law when performed by lawyers on behalf of a client.”

Neil Ruther, the Towson, Md., lawyer who owns 99 percent of Persels, sometimes describes his Internet-powered “virtual law firm” in visionary terms. He told the Law Tribune in a 2012 interview that Persels and CareOne serve all-but-forgotten clients who can’t afford traditional lawyers.

Persels markets itself as a national consumer advocate law firm that offers compromises of unsecured debt, defense of creditor collection suits, protection from creditor harassment and bankruptcy. It has no partners or associates in Connecticut, although a Connecticut-licensed lawyer, Heidi Saas, works in Maryland and supervises the Connecticut contract attorneys.

Article source: http://www.ctlawtribune.com/home/id=1202651842249/Judges+Decision+Angers+Debt+Negotiation+Law+Firm%3Fmcode=1202617073650&curindex=0