Lending

Is There a (Juris) Doctor in the House?

There's a 60% default rate associated with modified mortgages.

November 15, 2010
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Many homeowners could use a doctor right about now—a Juris Doctor, that is.

Should you hire a lawyer to review your mortgage documents when you buy, sell, or refinance your home?

OK, I can hear the clucking already with those lawyer jokes and comments about being licensed to steal. Well, stick with me. You might rethink the notion that you don’t need a lawyer when conducting a mortgage transaction.

I haven’t hired a lawyer to review my mortgage agreements since I bought my first home in 1982.

And while I haven’t bought a home in years, I have refinanced enough 15-year mortgages to feel like the home I’ve been living in for the past 22 years has been bought and sold more times than Brett Favre has unretired.

So much for saving money with a shorter-term mortgage.

Subscribe to Credit Union MagazineIt just didn’t seem like I needed an attorney to check things out. But I’ve been rethinking that “wisdom” in light of the whole mortgage processing scandals that hit news outlets every week or so.

Today if I buy or refinance, I’m going to hire a lawyer. Better to be safe than sorry if some lender of ill repute—not a credit union for sure—would deliberately (or not) mess up the review of the paperwork.

Luckily, I haven’t had to face the dire straits that so many Americans today face, having taken out mortgages they cannot afford, suffered a serious setback financially because of health or marital status, or lost a job.

Fortunately, I rarely bet on the hole cards.

An estimated 3.5 million home owners will receive foreclosure notices this year, a 26% increase over 2009, according to government data.

And the percentage of mortgages that are delinquent has soared. The Mortgage Bankers Association says loans delinquent 90 days or more stood at 9.5% in the first quarter of 2010, up from 4% at the same time in 2008.

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Great article! Unfortunately, most employees don’t feel valued or appreciated by their supervisors or employers. In fact, research has shown that the predominant reason team members quit their jobs is because they don’t feel valued. This is in spite of the fact that employee recognition programs have proliferated in the workplace – over 90% of all organizations in the U.S. has some form of employee recognition activities in place. But most employee recognition programs are viewed with skepticism and cynicism – because they aren’t viewed as being genuine in their communication of appreciation. Getting the “employee of the month” award, receiving a certificate of recognition, or a “Way to go, team!” email just don’t get the job done. How do you communicate authentic appreciation? We have found people have different ways that they want to be shown appreciation, and if you don’t communicate in the language of appreciation important to them, you essentially “miss the mark”. Additionally, employees need to receive recognition more than once a year at their performance review. Otherwise, they view the praise as “going through the motions”. A third component of authentic appreciation is that the communication has to be about them personally – not the department, not their group, but something they did. Finally, they have to believe that you mean what you say. How you treat them has to match the words you use. If you are not sure how your team members want to be shown appreciation, the Motivating By Appreciation Inventory (www.appreciationatwork.com/assess) will identify the language of appreciation and specific actions preferred by each employee. You then can create a group profile for your team, so everyone knows how to encourage one another. Remember, employees want to know that they are valued for what they contribute to the success of the organization. And communicating authentic appreciation in the ways they desire it can make the difference between keeping your quality team members or having a negative work environment that everyone wants to leave. Paul White, Ph.D., is the co-author of The 5 Languages of Appreciation in the Workplace with Dr. Gary Chapman.

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