The Weekly Rap! Friday Dec 27th, 2013

Happy Friday All,

I would like to take this time to thank all my readers for your support.  I hope you had a wonderful Christmas (or other) holiday and especially time with your family.  We do not get enough chances to spent quality time with the ones we love.  I wish for you a healthy and happy New Year in 2014.  I’ve had the best years when my “resolutions” were to “be happy and enjoy life.”

I have included my “predictions for 2014” below.

The National Debt is currently: $17,262,807,950,873.00 higher by about 20 BILLION.  I post this so we will be aware of what we are leaving the next generation.

The Dow last traded at 16,472 higher by about 200 points from last week.  The S&P 500 is trading at 1,840.  Gold is trading at $1,214 an ounce, while oil futures at $100.48 a barrel.  Gas prices, (Regular in El Dorado Hills, Costco, AM/PM), are at $3.29/Gal.

Yields on 10-year Treasury notes, which move inversely to prices, last traded at 3.00%.  30-year Treasury Bond yields last traded at 3.94%.  Rates on 30-year fixed-rate mortgages are about 4.625% this week. MBS yields are interest rates at which banks sell their loans into Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac bond programs. Rising yields mean higher consumer-mortgage rates.

The FNMA 30-year fixed 3.5% coupon, containing 3.75% – 4.125% mortgages, pretty much the benchmark or how rate sheets are priced these days  is currently trading at 99.31 about .50 worse than where we were last Friday at this time.  Basically each percent change in the price of the security translates to the price (or points paid or credited) of the mortgage rate.  The higher the number (price), the better the rate.

Product Corner:  The HELOC is back!  Yes I realize that this is a repeat, but I’m in holiday mode.  The Home Equity Line of Credit virtually vanished back in 2008 when the mortgage/housing meltdown began.  Well it is back and many do not know about it.  It is a 30 year loan with the first 10 years being interest only.  You can pay it down and use it again.  Max loan amount is $350,000 and we can go behind a Conventional or FHA first (417,000) up to 90% CLTV to $833,000 purchase price.  Rate is 1.99% plus Prime (currently 3.25) for fully indexed rate of 5.24%.  This is great for many of the properties listed in the El Dorado Hills area.

I just approved an FHA first (buyer had Short sale almost 3 years ago) at 4.25% with enough lender credit to cover closing costs and impound reserves, and the second of $332,000 on a purchase of $833,000.  That’s 90% on purchase of $833,000.

In economic news this week; the reader’s digest version is as you may have guessed with it being a holiday week, there was very little news to get excited about.  Markets are usually volatile this time of year with many traders taking time off.  Consumers are a bit happier with spending outpacing income but it is the holiday season. We continue to see growth in the economy albeit slow.  Let’s hope for a robust economy in 2014!

Consumer spending rose 0.5% outpacing income growth which rose 0.2% in November. The savings rate fell to 4.2% from 4.5% in October.  Excluding inflation, real disposable incomes rose 0.1% in November after falling 0.2% in October.

A gauge of consumer sentiment rose this month to the highest level since July, led by brighter views on current conditions. The final December reading of the University of Michigan/Thomson Reuters consumer-sentiment index hit 82.5, unchanged from a preliminary reading, up from a final November level of 75.1.  My guess is that consumers were relieved when the D.C. gridlock ended.  Economists watch sentiment levels to get a feel for the direction of consumer spending.  Despite December’s gain, the consumer-sentiment gauge remains below the average level in the year leading up to the recession. Details of UMich’s report show that a gauge of consumers’ views on “current” conditions rose to a final December level of 98.6 from 88 in November, while a barometer of their future “expectations” increased to 72.1 from 66.8.

Consumers aren’t the only ones with rosier views. Last week the Federal Reserve announced that it will soon start to taper its massive asset-purchase program, showing that the Fed Gods feel the economy is healthy enough to pare down the program that was crafted to encourage growth.  Plus they can’t continue to print money indefinitely.  On the slightly positive side, recent data signaled a nice gain for jobs in November, and that workers are increasingly confident in their career prospects.

Orders for big-ticket U.S. goods rebounded last month, and businesses pumped up investment, signaling rising economic confidence.  The Commerce Department reported that orders for durable goods rose 3.5% in November, led by the usually volatile aircraft and other transportation equipment sectors. Excluding transportation, orders for durable goods rose 1.2%, the most since May.  In another key measure, orders for core capital goods, a proxy for business investment, rose 4.5% in November, the most since January. The strong showing signals that corporations are likely to step up investment in 2014.  Durable goods are pricey items designed to last for several years, so growth signals enough confidence in the economy to make such investments. Regional data have also shown recent pick-ups for manufacturing.

On the Real Estate front: Sales of new single-family homes fell 2.1% in November month to an annual rate of 464,000, down from a rate of 474,000 in October, which was the fastest pace since July 2008.  Rising mortgage rates hit home sales a bit over the summer, but buying has rebounded in recent months.  This week’s data on home sales points to a market in which buyers are adjusting to rising mortgage rates and prices, going forward with purchases, though some are scaling back plans when it comes to factors such as size and location. For their part, home builders are increasingly cheery, with a gauge of their views on present sales of single-family homes recently hitting the highest level since 2005, according to the National Association of Home Builders and Wells Fargo. And there’s reason for cheer: Sales of new single-family homes in November were up 17% from a year earlier.

On the Employment front:  New jobless claims dropped by the most in more than a year in the latest week, but the economites cautioned over reading too much into volatile data around the holiday season.  The number of initial claims for unemployment benefits fell by 42,000 in the week that ended Dec. 21 to 338,000.  This is the biggest drop since Nov. 17, 2012.  The data can be especially volatile during the holiday season stretching from Thanksgiving to New Year’s Day.  State unemployment offices are open fewer hours and there are often delays in processing claims. The seasonal ups and downs could last until late January.

Looking forward, from what I am seeing, I expect the sales pace of single-family homes should continue picking up next year, and I would expect the economy to continue to add jobs at a nice pace and for banks to do something to make up for refinancing applications plunging to multi-year lows.  However, there are also headwinds.  New mortgage rules could curb some lending, and federal officials are working on housing-finance reform, adding an element of uncertainty.

OK, here are a few predictions for 2014:  I will always tell you my honest opinion as I think you deserve to be informed of the bad thing that can happen as well as the good.  I think the economy will continue to grow at a snail’s pace, maybe 2.5% to 3.0% for the year, mostly because I do not see anything on the horizon to change it and we are trying to implement a national healthcare plan.

I think Washington will remain a gridlocked as ever and unless they can figure out a way to balance the budget (we are currently adding about 20 BILLION dollars to the national debt EACH WEEK) Economic growth will suffer.

I see a deep correction possibly below 10,000 in the stock market possible early in 2014 mostly due to the fact that the stock market has more than doubled in value over the past 5 years (the Dow hit 6,626 on Mar 6, 2009 and 8,146 on July 10, 2009) while the economy has grown at a measly 2.5%.  And this growth is due to the government pumping billions of dollars into the markets.  There is a great piece illustrating the past 5 years and the burdens to growth at this link from the U.S. Treasury (unbiased as I can get).

I would take a look at your asset allocation (especially in your 401K and retirement plans) and re-balance or balance accordingly. Real Estate is a great investment right now.

I see interest rates possibly rising a bit but nothing to get alarmed about.  After all, we would need to see a rapidly growing economy and/or inflation, and I don’t see either.  The Fed tapering its bond purchases may cause a rift in the market but if the stock market corrects money usually flows into safe investments (bonds) and this should balance anything the Fed is doing.  I thing conventional rates will remain between 4.25% and 5.25% (no disc pts or lender Credit).

You can visit my corporate website at: http://bill.bartok.stanfordloans.com
Sincerely,

Bill Bartok

Mortgage Advisor MLO# 445991

The nicest compliment I can receive is the referral of your family, friends and co-workers.

Thank you!

Happy Friday all,

The National Debt is currently: $17,252,311,452,573.00  higher by about 26 BILLION.  I post this so we will be aware of what we are leaving the next generation.

The Dow last traded at 16,276 higher by about 500 points from last week.  The S&P 500 is trading at 1,822.  Gold is trading at $1,201 an ounce, while oil futures at $98.63 a barrel.  Gas prices, (Regular in El Dorado Hills, Costco, AM/PM), are at $3.25/Gal.

Yields on 10-year Treasury notes, which move inversely to prices, last traded at 2.89%.  30-year Treasury Bond yields last traded at 3.83%.  Rates on 30-year fixed-rate mortgages are about 4.625% this week. MBS yields are interest rates at which banks sell their loans into Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac bond programs. Rising yields mean higher consumer-mortgage rates.

The FNMA 30-year fixed 3.5% coupon, containing 3.75% – 4.125% mortgages, pretty much the benchmark or how rate sheets are priced these days  is currently trading at 99.78 right about where we were last Friday at this time.  Basically each percent change in the price of the security translates to the price (or points paid or credited) of the mortgage rate.  The higher the number (price), the better the rate.

Product Corner:  The HELOC is back!  The Home Equity Line of Credit virtually vanished back in 2008 when the mortgage/housing meltdown began.  Well it is back and many do not know about it.  It is a 30 year loan with the first 10 years being interest only.  You can pay it down and use it again.  Max loan amount is $350,000 and we can go behind a Conventional or FHA first (417,000) up to 90% CLTV to $833,000 purchase price.  Rate is 1.99% plus Prime (currently 3.25) for fully indexed rate of 5.24%.  This is great for many of the properties listed in the El Dorado Hills area.

I just approved an FHA first (buyer had Short sale almost 3 years ago) at 4.25% with enough lender credit to cover closing costs and impound reserves, and the second of $332,000 on a purchase of $833,000.  That’s 90% on  purchase of $833,000.

In economic news this week; the reader’s digest version is the economy continues to grow at a snail’s pace but at least it’s a positive direction.  Inflation is in check.  New home sales are up while existing home sales are down.  The biggest news of the week was that the Fed will begin “tapering” its bond purchases.

The Federal Reserve reported that Industrial production in November saw the biggest one-month percentage gain in a year, 1.1% in November, to reach a record high, though the monthly advance was led by utilities output after an unusually cold month. This was the biggest percentage rise since Nov. 2012, as utilities output jumped 3.9%.

We spent less on gasoline in November, but the rising cost of housing and pricier airfare largely offset the savings on fuel.  Wholesale inflation was reported last week as basically unchanged and the consumer price index reported this week was unchanged in November as well.  Over the past 12 months consumer prices have risen by a meager 1.2%.

The U.S. appears poised for faster growth in early 2014, according to an index measuring the nation’s economic health.  The leading economic index increased by 0.8% last month, the fifth-straight gain, spearheaded by improvements in hiring and manufacturing. The LEI is a weighted gauge of 10 indicators designed to signal business-cycle peaks and valleys.

On the Real Estate front: A gauge of home-builder confidence rose in December to the highest level in four months, led by views on current sales of single-family homes. The National Association of Home Builders/Wells Fargo housing-market index reached 58 this month, matching an eight-year high hit in August, up from 54 in November.  Results above 50 signals that builders, generally, are optimistic about sales trends. Still, the housing-finance system is in somewhat of a state of flux with new mortgage rules taking effect in January, and plans to lower limits for government-backed mortgages. Plus, U.S. lawmakers are working on housing-finance reform, adding one more element of uncertainty.

Construction on new homes soared 22.7% in November, the highest rate since February 2008, with surges for single-family homes and apartments.  The monthly home-construction data is fairly volatile, and could see revisions. Still, overall starts in November were up 29.6% from the same period in the prior year, pointing to the housing market’s continuing recovery.

Sales of existing homes in November fell to the slowest pace in almost a year, hit by higher mortgage rates and low inventory, according to the National Association of Realtors which reported that sales of existing homes slumped 4.3% in November, a third month of declines.  The sales pace in November was down 1.2% from the year-earlier period, the first annual drop in more than two years.

In our local area (El Dorado Hills to Shingle springs) new listings were down 40% from October to November and down 52% from the high point this year in June.  Sales are down 20% from October to November.  We should have December data next week.

On the Employment front:  last week saw the most applications processed for unemployment benefits since late March, but the spike probably reflects typical holiday-season ups and downs instead of any abrupt change in a labor market that’s shown clear improvement lately.  Initial claims climbed by 10,000 to 379,000 last week.  The claims report is a good barometer of how many layoffs are occurring in the economy but it reveals little about hiring patterns.  Other labor-market indicators, particularly the critical monthly employment report, show that hiring has accelerated, albeit very slowly, over the past few months. The weekly number is typically volatile until mid-to-late January.

The Fed Gods on Wednesday took the first step to exiting from their controversial bond-buying program, showing greater confidence that the economy will grow faster and hiring will pick up over the next year.  Starting in January, the Fed will reduce the pace of asset purchases to $75 billion from $85 billion a month. And if the economy improves at the pace the Fed expects, outgoing Chairman Ben Bernanke said in a press conference that he could foresee the bond-purchase program coming to an end by late next year.

“We are hopeful the economy will continue to show progress,” Bernanke said, and return to a “more normal” path of growth.  Hopeful?  Really?  They’re now basing their policy on hope.  Not that this surprises me, it’s basically what they’ve been doing for years.  It just hasn’t been in print.  The Fed could taper at each meeting if the economy continues to improve.  He didn’t rule out pausing if the economy stumbles or tapering more quickly if growth surprises to the upside. the central bank also tried to cushion the effects of a reduction in bond purchases on U.S. markets by indicating that short-term interest rates could remain near zero for even longer than the Fed had previously suggested, perhaps for several years.  Read full text of Fed statement.

What worries me is that stocks have risen from roughly 8,000 to 16,000 in the last few years on 2.00% growth in the economy that has been predicated of stimulus from the Fed to the tune of 85 BILLION dollars per month.  This is like an athlete on steroids.  But what happens when the athlete stops taking the juice???  We will have to see if the markets can sustain their levels as the Fed cuts off its “juice”.

I have been working with a great credit repair specialist for some time and she shares a “tip or the week” that I thought I would also share.  Please let me know what you think.  Her name is Pamela Standlee, Owner of CreditComeBack and can be reached at (916) 357-6700, Pam@CreditComeBack.org in Folsom Ca.

True or False: Paying Off a Collection will Improve a Credit Score?

False!!!  This is the #1 mistake that I see made in the mortgage credit industry. 

There is a huge myth that paying off a collection will boost a credit score. This is simply not true!  It is the event of having a collection that is damaging to a credit score, not whether or not the collection has a balance owed.

Credit scoring models look at the account’s date of last activity as one of the factors to determine the impact a derogatory item will have on the credit score (how recent is it)? The longer a collection has aged on the report, the less impact it has on the credit score. When a payment is made on an aged collection account (ie; six months or older), the collection agency will send an update to the credit bureaus to reflect the account status as “Paid”. When this happens, the date of last activity is updated to the current date (the day the word “Unpaid” was changed to reflect “Paid”). I’ve seen credit scores drop by as much as 120 points, depending on how old the collection was and the overall credit profile.  The only good collection is a DELETED collection.  Please feel free to contact me for more information on the best way to do this… it can be very tricky and the collection agencies can be deceptive!

You can visit my corporate website at: http://bill.bartok.stanfordloans.com

Sincerely,

Bill Bartok

Mortgage AdvisorMLO# 445991

The nicest compliment I can receive is the referral of your family, friends and co-workers.

Thank you!

The Weekly Rap! Friday Dec 13th, 2013

Good Friday Everone,

The National Debt is currently: $17,226,736,525,674.00  I post this so we will be aware of what we are leaving the next generation.

The Dow last traded at 15,772 a pullback of about 300 points from last week.  The S&P 500 is trading at 1,777.  Gold is trading at $1,234 an ounce, while oil futures at $96.94 a barrel.  Gas prices, (Regular in El Dorado Hills, Costco, AM/PM), are at $3.25/Gal.

Yields on 10-year Treasury notes, which move inversely to prices, last traded at 2.86%.  30-year Treasury Bond yields last traded at 3.87%.  Rates on 30-year fixed-rate mortgages are a hair above 4.625% this week. MBS yields are interest rates at which banks sell their loans into Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac bond programs. Rising yields mean higher consumer-mortgage rates.

The FNMA 30-year fixed 3.5% coupon, containing 3.75% – 4.125% mortgages, pretty much the benchmark or how rate sheets are priced these days  is currently trading at 99.68 about a.25 points (fee) worse in price than where we were last Friday at this time.  Basically each percent change in the price of the security translates to the price (or points paid or credited) of the mortgage rate.  The higher the number (price), the better the rate.

In economic news this week; the reader’s digest version is Small business is a bit more optimistic, The federal budget deficit is getting smaller, inflation is still in check, and mortgage debt is on the rise for the first time since the recession began years ago.

The National Federation of Independent Business said its small-business optimism index rose 0.9 points to 92.5.  According to the survey, small-business optimism edged higher in November on plans to increase employment and to expand.

This is always an interesting topic: The Federal Budget.  The U.S. budget deficit dropped in November, supposedly another sign of an improving fiscal picture for the country.  The deficit for November totaled $135 billion, a 21% drop from the $172 billion gap recorded in the same month a year earlier, according to Treasury’s monthly budget report.  Revenues climbed 13% in the month, and spending fell 5%. Revenue has been increasing thanks to higher tax rates and a slowly recovery economy, and spending has been restrained due to automatic budget cuts known as the sequester.

House and Senate negotiators though just reached a deal to replace about half of the sequester cuts that are scheduled for 2014 with other savings from the budget, such as increased airline-ticket fees for passengers. The $680 billion deficit for fiscal 2013 represented 4.1% of gross domestic product, and was the first gap of below $1 trillion of Obama’s presidency.

Retail sales picked up in November, led by autos, as consumers took advantage of holiday season deals. Overall retail sales climbed 0.7% last month, the most since June.  Over the past year, retail sales have grown 4.7%.

The Department of Labor reported the producer-price index (wholesale prices) fell 0.1% declining for the third-straight month in November (0.2% drop in October and a 0.1% fall in September) but seemed to stabilize when measured on an annual basis. Prices last fell for three months in a row at the end of 2012.  The core producer-price index, which excludes food and energy, increased 0.1%.

On the Real Estate front: Home-mortgage debt in the third quarter rose for the first time since the Great Recession, according to the latest data showing consumers beginning to add leverage as the economy improves.  Home-mortgage debt rose at an annual rate of 0.9%, or $87.4 billion, in the third quarter, the first gain since the first quarter of 2008, the Federal Reserve reported.

The rise comes as home prices have been recovering and as the foreclosure crisis winds down. According to separate data from CoreLogic, prices are up about 13% year-on-year as foreclosures have dropped 30%.  The $9.39 trillion in home-mortgage debt is nonetheless down 12% from the peaks in the first quarter of 2008, before the bubble in the housing market burst, reflecting Americans both voluntarily and not voluntarily getting out of home ownership. The rise in mortgage debt comes as consumer credit, led by auto and student loans, continues to expand.  That led the total increase in household debt to reach 3%, the biggest rise since the first quarter of 2008.

On the Employment front:  Here’s a fresh bullish signal for the labor market: 2.39 million workers quit their jobs in October, the most in five years.  You see, when workers voluntarily leave their job that indicates that they see better career opportunities elsewhere, and are willing to make a move while giving up some job security.  This comes on the heels of last week’s surprisingly good jobs report, which said the economy added 203,000 nonfarm jobs in November, rebounding from a summer slump, with employment expanding in a wide range of industries.  The “quits” data comes from the U.S. Department of Labor’s monthly report on its job openings and labor turnover survey, also known as the JOLTS report.

The number of new applications for jobless benefits rose by 68,000 in the week that ended Dec. 7 to 368,000, reaching the highest level in two months.

I have been working with a great credit repair specialist for some time and she shares a “tip or the week” that I thought I would also share.  Please let me know what you think.  Her name is Pamela Standlee, Owner of CreditComeBack and can be reached at (916) 357-6700, Pam@CreditComeBack.org in Folsom Ca.

What one item has the most devastating impact on a credit score… More devastating than a bankruptcy or foreclosure?

Current Past Due Accounts:  Not the answer you expected, right?  But it’s true. 

This is not to be confused with a 30, 60 or 90 day late. When a creditor is reporting a current past due account (payment) it is a huge red flag to the scoring models that the consumer has not met their obligation to pay as of today (ie; they are currently defaulting on the account).

Within the delinquent accounts on your credit report, there is a “Past Due” column. If you see an unpaid amount in this column it means that the account is currently past due and it will cause the credit scores to plummet!  

How can you fix this?  Contact the creditor and pay the past due amount that’s being reported.  Always ask for a letter showing proof that you have paid and are now current on the account.  This letter can be used by mortgage professionals to do a Rapid Re-Score on that particular tradeline, within 3-5 days.  Without the letter you may have to wait up to 45 days for the creditor to update this information with the bureaus.

You can visit my corporate website at: http://bill.bartok.stanfordloans.com

Sincerely,

Bill Bartok

Mortgage AdvisorMLO# 445991

The nicest compliment I can receive is the referral of your family, friends and co-workers.

Thank you!

The Weekly Rap! Friday Dec 6th, 2013

The National Debt is currently: $17,216,209,495,584.00  I post this so we will be aware of what we are leaving the next generation.

The Dow last traded at 16,014 higher by about 200 pts after the positive employment report.  The S&P 500 is trading at 1,805 also another all-time high.  Gold is trading at $1,229 an ounce, while oil futures at $97.55 a barrel.  Gas prices, (Regular in El Dorado Hills, Costco, AM/PM), are at $3.35/Gal.

Yields on 10-year Treasury notes, which move inversely to prices, last traded at 2.87%.  30-year Treasury Bond yields last traded at 3.90%.  Rates on 30-year fixed-rate mortgages are a hair above 4.625% this week. MBS yields are interest rates at which banks sell their loans into Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac bond programs. Rising yields mean higher consumer-mortgage rates.

The FNMA 30-year fixed 3.5% coupon, containing 3.75% – 4.125% mortgages, pretty much the benchmark or how rate sheets are priced these days  is currently trading at 99.90 about a 1.25 points (fee) worse in price than where we were last Friday at this time.  Basically each percent change in the price of the security translates to the price (or points paid or credited) of the mortgage rate.  The higher the number (price), the better the rate.

In economic news this week; the reader’s digest version is thing are looking better as shown by today’s employment report.  Construction spending as well as Consumer spending is on the rise and manufacturing is improving.  3rd quarter GDP was revised up to 3.6% and real estate is still 20% to 40% below peak levels.

Manufacturing conditions improved in November to their best level in more than two years, according to the Institute for Supply Management’s manufacturing index which climbed to 57.3% from 56.4% in October, reaching the highest level since April 2011.

The Commerce Department reported that Construction spending rose 0.8% in October after falling 0.3% in September.  In October, spending on public construction jumped 3.9%, offsetting declines in the private sector. Residential construction fell 0.6% in October.

Consumer spending rose by 0.3% in October, the Commerce Department reported, indicating that Americans continued to spend at a modest rate despite the government shutdown.  Personal income however fell 0.1%. Since incomes fell and spending rose, the personal savings rate dropped to 4.8% from 5.2%.  Also, inflation as gauged by the PCE price index (Personal Consumption Expenditure) was unchanged in October.  The core rate excluding food and energy edged up 0.1%. Over the past year, the PCE has risen a scant 0.7% overall and just 1.1% on a core basis.

The U.S. economy, GDP upon revision, expanded by a 3.6% from an initial reading of 2.8% annual pace in the third quarter to mark the fastest increase in a year and a half, but the revised gain was fueled by the largest buildup in inventories since 1998. Growth could fall sharply in the fourth quarter if companies stockpile goods at a slower rate as expected.

On the Real Estate front: Years after the bubble burst, home prices in 12 states remain at least 20% below local peak levels, pointing to a lopsided recovery for the housing market.  Nevada’s home prices in October, including distressed sales, were 41% below a 2006 peak, the largest drop from bubble levels, despite explosive growth of 26% over the past year, according to CoreLogic, an Irvine, Calif.-based provider of financial and consumer information. Prices in California in October were more than 22% below local peak levels.  But the picture on the national level is much milder. In October, national home prices were down 17% from a bubble peak.

Apparently buyers of newly built homes evidently brushed off concerns about the government shutdown in October, pushing up sales to their highest level in fourth months on the lure of lower prices. New homes sold at an annual rate of 444,000 in October, up 25.4% from 354,000 in September. Part of what drove sales was a decline in prices and more demand for lower-priced homes, a trend that typically emerges in the colder months. The median price of new homes fell 4.5% on a monthly basis, and dropped 0.6% year-on-year, to $245,800 in October.  That’s the lowest level since November 2012.  The supply of new homes on the market, at the national level, sank to 4.9 months in October at the current sales pace from 6.4 months in September. New home sales are 21.6% higher compared to one year ago.

On the Employment front:  The economy generated 203,000 jobs in November and the unemployment rate fell to 7.0% from 7.3.  The drop in unemployment largely reflects the return of federal workers after the end of the government shutdown in October, but the jobless rate is now at the lowest level since November 2008.  The latest employment report shows that hiring picked up in the fall after a midsummer slowdown, suggesting the economy will continue to grow at a moderate pace. The expectation was for a gain of 180,000 nonfarm jobs.

Hiring in November was strong in most industries, including transportation and warehousing, professional and business services, manufacturing, health care, construction and retail, the Labor Department reported. The federal government cut employment again and has shed 92,000 jobs in the past 12 months. Average hourly wages, meanwhile, rose 4 cents to $24.15 while the average workweek edged up 0.1 hour to 34.5 hours.  The number of new jobs created in October was trimmed to 200,000 from 204,000, while September’s figure was raised to 175,000 from 163,000.  Let’s hope for a few more reports like this one.  We truly need about double this number for a period in order to sustain real growth.

I have been working with a great credit repair specialist for some time and she shares a “tip or the week” that I thought I would also share.  Please let me know what you think.  Her name is Pamela Standlee, Owner of CreditComeBack and can be reached at (916) 357-6700, Pam@CreditComeBack.org in Folsom Ca.

Are the alternatives to foreclosure any better as far as your credit scores are concerned??

The common alternatives to foreclosure, such as short sales, and deeds-in-lieu of foreclosure are all “not paid as agreed” accounts, and are considered the same by the credit scoring models. This is not to say that these may not be better options for you from a financial perspective, just that they will be considered no better or worse for your credit scores.

If you are considering bankruptcy as an alternative to foreclosure, that may have a greater impact to your credit scores. While a foreclosure is a single account that you default on, declaring bankruptcy has the opportunity to affect multiple accounts and therefore has potential to have a greater negative impact on your credit scores.

You can visit my corporate website at: http://bill.bartok.stanfordloans.com
Sincerely,

Bill Bartok

Mortgage Advisor MLO# 445991

The nicest compliment I can receive is the referral of your family, friends and co-workers.

Thank you!