Thai Airways International (THAI) has entered talks with Airbus to buy as many as 30 next-generation A350 jets and an additional six A380 aircraft.The talks were separately confirmed by THAI president Piyasvasti Amranand and Airbus’s Southeast Asia sales director Jean-Jacques Boissin, the Bangkok Post reported. If the delivery is made, it will represent the largest aircraft order in the 50-year history of the flag carrier. Mr Boissin estimated that THAI needs thirty A350s over the next decade to replace the A340s, Boeing B777-200ERs and B777-300ERs it uses on long-haul routes. However, Airbus may not be able to deliver the A350s to potential new customers soon enough due to a large order backlog, now at 530 planes from 33 customers. Airbus could deliver the A350 aircraft to THAI by 2017 at the earliest. This comes in the wake of an Airbus pledge that delays wouldn’t be seen with the A350.”We are a victim of our own success. So we have to reorganise to improve production capacity,” said Mr Boissin. THAI has yet to decide on the plane order, which could have a market value of as much as US$9.1 billion; though Airbus tends to offer sizeable discounts on bulk orders to remain competitive with rival supplier Boeing.The A350 was designed to compete with Boeing’s popular 787 Dreamliner, which is running more than two years behind schedule and has already seen orders cancelled. The US manufacturer has already received more than 850 orders for the jet that will largely be made from plastic-composite. Source = e-Travel Blackboard: C.C
(L -R) Justin Francis of responsibletravel.com &Kathy Gill of Biosphere Expeditions Source = Biosphere Expeditions Australia Biosphere Expeditions’ work in wildlife conservation has been recognised in the prestigious Responsible Tourism Awards 2010. It took the accolade in the ‘Best Volunteering Organisation’ category after impressing a panel of 13 judges, chaired by Professor Harold Goodwin, who heads up the International Centre for Responsible Tourism in the UK. Commenting on Biosphere Expeditions the judges said: “Biosphere has continued to show its strength in combining strong tourism experiences with solid scientific research. Their commitment to transparency sends a clear message about the value of volunteering, where 66 per cent of a volunteer’s money goes directly to the project.”In 2010 almost 1,800 individual nominations were made for the Responsible Tourism Awards in 13 categories. Biosphere Expeditions director Kathy Gill said: “We are delighted that our achievements have been recognised by the high-profile judging panel, and feel that we share this honour with everybody who has been with us on expedition. Thanks to our team members’ commitment, hard work and financial contributions we are able to make a difference in wildlife conservation. Our whole philosophy is that ordinary people from all types of backgrounds can take part in scientific research. For one or two weeks they become an extra pair of legs, or eyes, enabling the scientists to cover more ground and see more things, hence helping to collect more invaluable data.”Biosphere Expeditions takes around 500 volunteers a year, with a maximum of 12 on any one project. It is currently running a range of expeditions from helping with research into the snow leopard in the Altai Republic to coral reefs off the coast of Oman.
International multi-award winning Outrigger on the Lagoon Fiji’s, Bebe Spa Sanctuary is in the awards spotlight again after receiving the prestigious Best Destination Spa 2011 award at the annual Australasian Spa Association (ASPA) Spas of Excellence Awards. Presented at a Gala Dinner on Friday night at the Outrigger Noosa on Queensland’s Sunshine Coast, the award was presented in recognition of Bebe Spa Sanctuary’s excellence. Bebe Spa Sanctuary Manager, Praveena Dewan accepted the award on behalf of her team and said that the accolade is as much for the beautiful Coral Coast of Fiji as it is for Bebe and Outrigger on the Lagoon Fiji. She said, ‘I’m enormously proud to accept this award on behalf of Outrigger on the Lagoon Fiji and the Bebe team. What sets Bebe Spa Sanctuary apart is not only the sanctuaries ability to instil a sense of total peace and tranquillity, but our entire Spa team who all share the same passion and dedication to ensure that we offer a world class spa experience.’‘It is also incredibly satisfying to win an award that is judged based on service excellence which combines the culture, magic and incredible beauty of Fiji,’ said Mrs Dewan. The award which was judged and determined by the ASPA board recognised Bebe Spa Sanctuary’s high achievement in the industry and its outstanding contribution to the spa industry. The judging process is based on 50 percentage points towards the submission and 50 percent towards a first person review of the facility and services. Situated above the resort on a hill known by locals as Heavenly Hill, Bebe Spa, pronounced behm-beh, a Fijian word meaning butterfly, enjoys exceptional views over Outrigger’s coral fringed lagoon, Pacific Ocean and the lush, undulating hills surrounding the resort.The spa’s concept is based on a traditional Fijian village which also transcends through to the spa menu which focuses on uniting ancient Fijian therapies and beauty rituals with world renowned products. An adults only domain, here you can enjoy the purity of an outdoor balcony spa, salute the sun with early morning yoga or indulge in champagne and canapés set against the Pacific’s finest sunset views. More than 100 guests attended the 2011 ASPA Spa Awards ceremony which attracted over 70 entries. Bebe Spa Sanctuary also won the prestigious Pevonia Spa Design of the Year Award (Oceania) for the second consecutive year in August 2011. Source = Outrigger
Travel agents are under client demand to offer more mobile-technology service to travellers on-the-go, according to new research. A release distributed by Asia based technology company, Abacus, explained that along with the “explosion” of smart phone and tablet users, people are demanding and expecting “travel agents to adapt to their changing behaviour” and bring customer service into the “current age”.“Today’s connected traveller wants a comfortable and seamless experience from departure to arrival,” Abacus Distribution Hong Kong managing director Winnie Lau explained.“Similar to travellers today, agents need to be savvier in utilising key technologies and information to stay connected and help customers keep an effortless travel schedule.”Launching Abacus Mobile solution in 2010, Ms Lau said agencies utilising its mobile tool have experienced an increase in productivity and service to customers.Earlier this year, Sabre Pacific also announced an additional mobile feature to its GDS system that will allow agents to send messages to travellers on-the-go straight to their TripCase mobile app.Click here for more information. Source = e-Travel Blackboard: N.J
A California grand jury has indicted a Florida man on charges he allegedly strangled his ex-wife and threw her off a cruise ship in Italy.Mr Lonnie Kocontes, 55, who used to live in Southern California, was indicted by an Orange County grand jury last Friday and did not enter a plea during his Superior Court arraignment on Monday, the Orange County Register reported.Mr Kocontes remained jailed on Tuesday, charged with murder for financial gain, which carries a potential death penalty and a minimum sentence of life in prison without chance of parole, but he will try to have the case dismissed at a June 26 hearing, arguing that local authorities lack jurisdiction to prosecute.Mr Kokontes and Ms Micki Kanesaki, 52, divorced in 2001 after six years of marriage, but continued to live together intermittently in southern Orange County and they were sharing a cabin during a May 2006 Mediterranean cruise, when she is reported as having gone overboard, her body later washing ashore.Italian police investigated but did not arrest Mr Kocontes, but another investigation began in 2008 after Mr Kocontes began transferring more than $US1 million from Ms Kanesaki’s bank accounts into joint accounts he held with his new wife, authorities said.Mr Kocontes was arrested in February and pleaded not guilty to murder in May, with the case dismissed, but prosecutors then moved to refile the charges and another judge ruled that they could proceed, with last week, prosecutors presenting evidence before the grand jury and obtaining an indictment. Source = e-Travel Blackboard: JAJ
Etihad Airways has awarded a USD $14 million contract to Spatial Composite Solutions (Spatial), the UAE-based manufacturer of crew training equipment for the global civil aviation and aerospace industries.Under the contract, Spatial will design and manufacture 14 cabin crew training devices, including Airbus A380 and Boeing 787 Dreamliner models, to the latest Etihad Airways specifications, which will be installed at the new Etihad Innovation Training Academy in Abu Dhabi.Spatial will also build a series of door and cabin trainers that cater to Etihad Airways’ fleet of Airbus A320, Airbus A330 and Boeing 777 aircraft, and will conduct refurbishment programs on existing cabin crew training equipment.Etihad Airways vice president guest services Aubrey Tiedt, said the devices promoted the carrier’s commitment to safety and hospitality.“These will provide our cabin crew with the best environment in which to hone their skills.”Spatial Composite Solutions chief executive officer Joseph McKeever said of the project’s inauguration in December, that no effort has been spared by all of the stakeholders in this undertaking to ensure that Etihad Airways’ vision to be at the forefront of change in global aviation is upheld.Source = ETB News: Megan Tran
Source = ETB Travel News: Megan Tran The UNWTO Global Report on Adventure Tourism, published jointly with the Adventure Travel Trade Association (ATTA), is an approach by UNWTO on the topic of adventure tourism.This report provides insight of the relationship between adventure tourism and responsible tourism.ATTA, a UNWTO Affiliate Member, provided input for this report to increase awareness among the global tourism sector about the core values of responsible tourism.The report allows tourism stakeholders to work from a common base of understanding in one of the most progressive forms of tourism, which both organizations believe will develop into the industry standard.“This report provides critical insight into one of the most dynamic segments driving tourism´s growth, said UNWTO secretary-general Taleb Rifai.“Furthermore, with careful and responsible management, adventure tourism offers effective development opportunities to countries looking for new and sustainable sources of growth.”An eight chapter overview of the current adventure tourism industry, provides a history of adventure tourism as well as a discussion of current trends and timely issues.Chapters include:Industry introductionGlobal Trends in Adventure TourismAdventure Tourism Industry StructureLocal Economies, Communities and the EnvironmentAdventure Tourism Operational Standards and CertificationsRisk Management in Adventure TourismSector Challenges, Opportunities and Initiatives
With the aim of driving growth in visitor numbers from countries within the Asia Pacific, Dubai’s Corporation of Tourism and Commerce Marketing (DCTCM) today announced the establishment of a new hub office to service the region.The Asia Pacific Regional Office will oversee the work of DCTCM’s existent offices in the Far East, Japan, Australia and New Zealand to maximise the opportunity to increase visitor numbers from Australia, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Japan, Malaysia, New Zealand, Singapore and Thailand.Based in Sydney, Australia, the Asia Pacific Regional Office will be a DCTCM-owned office led by Julie King, with the responsibilities added to her current remit as Director of DCTCM’s Australia and New Zealand representative office.To further strengthen the focus on the region, Shahab Al Shayan has been appointed as regional manager, Asia Pacific and will be based in DCTCM’s Head Office in Dubai.The move is part of the strategy to deliver Dubai’s Tourism Vision 2020, which includes the headline target of welcoming 20 million visitors per year by the end of the decade.Dubai Corporation for Tourism and Commerce Marketing chief executive officer Issam Abdul Rahim Kazim, said that the region is of high importance for Dubai.“The Asia Pacific is of high strategic importance to us, with significant potential for growth across the whole region. The emerging economic power of the Asia Pacific countries is resulting in increased outward bound tourism and Dubai’s broad destination offering meets the varying demands of these tourists,” Mr Kazim said.In the region DCTCM currently has representative offices in Hong Kong (servicing the Far East), Japan, and Australia (servicing Australia and New Zealand). The new regional office will oversee the work of these offices.Source = ETB Travel News: Lewis Wiseman
Strengthening Wendy Wu trade partnershipsLeading Asia specialist, Wendy Wu Tours, has confirmed a renewed agreement with the highly reputable TravelManagers Australia, as preferred supplier to Asia.Wendy Wu Tours general manager, Andrew Mulholland, said “with TravelManagers’ impressive network of more than 490 Personal Travel Managers nationwide and their extensive expertise, we look forward to exceptional growth for both parties”.He added, “Wendy Wu Tours is committed to driving continuous growth for TravelManagers and I am confident that our renewed partnership will benefit the customers of TravelManagers. We are excited to have TravelManagers as part of the Wendy Wu family”.TravelManagers General Manager, Michael Gazal, commented that the company is looking forward to the future through its partnering with such an established operator, offering an intense expertise in the Asia holiday market. Source = Wendy Wu Tours – TravelManagers Australia
PCOs first look at Novotel Melbourne South Wharf Opening March 2018Ten lucky Professional Conference Organisers (PCOs) from Melbourne were personally invited by AccorHotels to the first Hard Hat tour of Novotel Melbourne South Wharf which is on track to open March 2018.Braving Melbourne’s winter weather, the PCOs donned steal capped boots, hard hats and high-vis vests to be provided the first look at Novotel Melbourne South Wharf. The group was hoisted up 26-floors to be given a special look at the unobstructed views, before enjoying an exclusive sneak peek of a prototype room, the hotel’s 200 seat bar and restaurant, 24-hour fitness centre and lobby.The development of Novotel Melbourne South Wharf complements the expansion of the Melbourne Exhibition and Conference Centre (MCEC), providing guests with more high-quality accommodation options on the Yarra River’s Southbank. Once complete MCEC will span 70,000 square meters of meeting space, the largest in the southern hemisphere. The development of the Novotel will contribute significantly to the continued evolution of Melbourne as one of Asia Pacific’s most important tourism, meeting and events cities.The hotel’s Director of Sales and Marketing, Michael Fletcher, emphasised the importance of PCOs to the success of the new hotel.“The team at AccorHotels are keenly anticipating the opening of Novotel Melbourne South Wharf in March 2018. Our partnerships with PCOs will help underpin the success of the hotel, which will be driven by their large event bookings into the MCEC. Our team was delighted to invite them to see the hotel in this construction phase so that they could learn more about the anticipated hotel and provide their feedback during this vital stage of the project.“With Convention Centre precincts often dominated by five star hotels, Novotel Melbourne South Wharf will offer domestic and international guests a highly sought after midscale alternative with a globally recognised brand and service standard.”Once complete, the hotel will boast 347 rooms over 26 levels, incorporating the global Novotel ‘N Room’ design and encompass Novotel brand identifiers including Live N’ Dream bedding, interactive TV’s, FairTrade bathroom amenities, and free barista coffee at breakfast.Novotel Melbourne South Wharf will be the fourth hotel development between AccorHotels and owners, Action Hotels Group to open in Australia, following the new build ibis Styles Brisbane Elizabeth Street (2016), ibis Melbourne Glen Waverley (2007) and the acquisition of ibis Budget Melbourne Airport (2015). Globally the two groups are partners on ten operating hotels.Source = AccorHotels
TAT launches Amazing Thailand Tourism Year 2018TAT launches Amazing Thailand Tourism Year 2018The Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) is launching an ambitious calendar of events in support of the ‘Amazing Thailand Tourism Year 2018‘ featuring an action-packed schedule of unique Thai local experiences and marquee of international events.Mr. Yuthasak Supasorn, TAT Governor, said, “Thailand is naturally blessed with a busy schedule of annual cultural events that appeal to both domestic and international audiences. Thus, the Amazing Thailand Tourism Year 2018 is a unique opportunity for TAT to highlight these along with traditional favourites to reach a larger international audience.“Thai local experiences will be in the forefront complemented by international events like the first International MotoGP Superbike race at the Buri Ram International Racing Circuit and the Air Race 1 World Cup Thailand.”Starting from 1 November, 2017, TAT will spotlight activities categorised as follows: Sports, Gastronomy, Maritime tourism, Wedding and Honeymoon, Medical and Wellness, Community-based Tourism, Leisure, Green Tourism, Night Tourism, MICE, Trade Fairs, B2B Marketing Activity and Logistics.Though too numerous activities to list here in the beginning of 2018 include: Wat Arun Ceremony/Wonderfruit Festival (Bangkok/Pattaya December 2017); Thailand Tourism Festival (January 2018); Thailand International Kite Festival/Thailand Marathon (Songkhla/Bangkok, February 2018); International Balloon Festival (Korat, May 2018); Chiang Rai Flower Festival (July 2018); Queen of Thai Silk Exhibition (SACICT, August 2018); Nationwide Vegetarian Festival (October 2018) and Bangkok Art Biennale (November 2018).Night Tourism activies include: Ong Bak and the Siam Niramitr Muay Thai Live exhibition at Asiatique and Festival of Lights along the Chao Phraya River (Wat Arun).MICE Tourism is also primed for a busy year including the following events: Bangkok Gems and Jewellery Fair (February 2018); AsiaWarehousing Show (March 2018); ProPak Asia 2018 (June 2018); Medical Devices ASEAN (July 2018); AGRITECHNICA ASIA (August 2018) and Batik Design Week (Phuket, October 2018).Other noteworthy events include the annual Thailand New Year’s Eve Countdown, Thailand Chinese New Year, World Wai Kru Muay Thai, and Songkran Festival.The launch of the ‘Amazing Thailand Tourism Year 2018’ calendar of events comes after a busy 2017 full of praise from the international media. The country received numerous accolades including one of the World’s top ten markets – the Or Tor Kor Market (CNN); one of the top street food destinations (CNN); top 50 cuisines in the world (CNN); Thailand’s Isan region named one of the top 17 places to visit in 2017 (CNN), and Mastercard Global Travel Survey 2017 naming Bangkok as the top city.Source = Tourism Authority of Thailand
The biggest hotel in the world is being built in Mecca, Saudi Arabia, a remarkable structure that will rise out of the desert and apparently contain 10,000 rooms, helicopter pads and convenience for the Masjid al-Haram.Abraj Kudai, a hotel with 10,000 rooms, covering 1.4 million square metres, will cost USD 3.5 billion to build and is scheduled to open in 2017. Funded by the Saudi Ministry of Finance and designed by Dar Al-Handasah, the hotel will feature its own shopping mall, convention centre, food court, bus station, and several rooftop helipads where boarders can land instantly.A ring of 12 towers will rise from a podium just over two kilometres from the Masjid al-Ḥaram, Mecca’s holy mosque. Out of them two towers will be providing five-star amenities, but 10 of them would have provided only four-star accommodations. It would be the dream resort for every year’s Mecca visitors.According to Dar Al-Handasah architects, due to its unparalleled size, height as well as distinguished location, exposure and architectural style, the building appears as a striking landmark with a profoundly modern multi-functional identity relating to both the Saudi locality and the Islamic universality of its expected users.
Vistara has now offered its renowned service to travellers bound to and from Kolkata. With effect from early June, the cultural capital, Kolkata will be directly connected to Delhi via double daily flights offering convenient same-day return options in both directions and onward via Delhi to other destinations such as Chandigarh, Goa, Kochi and Srinagar.The airline has also announced the introduction of daily non-stop flights between Delhi and Kochi, to commence in the same month.Flights are now open for sale through the airline’s website www.airvistara.com, mobile apps of iOS and Android, airport ticket offices, OTA, and travel agents.Phee Teik Yeoh, CEO, Vistara, said, “The City of Joy, Kolkata, encapsulates the essence of modern India as a key commercial and educational centre that attracts a large number of business visitors and tourists from India and around the world. With the addition of Kolkata in Vistara’s network and introduction of direct flights between Delhi and Kochi, shortly after the launch of Jammu, Srinagar, Kochi and Chandigarh, Vistara’s footprint in India continues to grow at a rapid pace further enhancing the base of airline’s loyal customers.”With these additions, the airline will be operating a schedule of 455 flights per week, a 44% increase from 317 flights a week that it operated at the beginning of the year.Sanjiv Kapoor, Chief Strategy and Commercial Officer, Vistara, added, “We are confident that travellers on our new flights will welcome the opportunity to enjoy the quintessential Vistara experience that includes exceptional service from cabin crew trained by Singapore Airlines, three cabin classes of service to choose from, exceptional on-time performance, and complimentary meals and beverages in an ambience that evokes an international airline more than a domestic one.”
We participated at TTF for the first time. The response at TTF was good. TTF Kolkata is glamorous and we believe that in the days to come, we will definitely benefit from it.
Dr Betty Radier has been appointed as the new Chief Executive Officer of Kenya Tourism Board. The appointment by the KTB Board of Directors was the result of an extensive recruitment process.KTB Chairman Jimi Kariuki, while announcing the appointment, said that the Board was confident that Dr Radier had the right qualifications to steer KTB and the country’s tourism sector into great new frontiers. She brings on board vast leaderships skills complemented with expertise in strategy.Appreciating the outgoing Ag CEO Jacinta Nzioka for holding the fort for nine months, Kariuki congratulated Jacinta for a job well done during this period. “The KTB board appreciates the role you have played during this time when KTB and the sector has been going through a lot of engagements aimed at improving business,” he said.On Radier’s appointment, the Chairman further explained that a thorough selection process saw Betty come tops. “We are glad that Dr Radier is taking the leadership of KTB as we continue to make progress in the tourism recovery journey. I have no doubt that she is the right person to take the helm at KTB as the corporation celebrates its 20th anniversary next year,” Kariuki said.Dr Radier brings to KTB over 18 years senior management experience in marketing, strategy and operations. She holds a Doctoral degree in Entrepreneurship and Small Business Development, University of Cape Town, Graduate School of Business, a Master of Business Administration (MBA) and Bachelor of Arts (BA) degree and from the University of Nairobi.Prior to her appointment, Dr Radier served as Managing Director of Scanad Kenya, JWT and Scanad Advertising Tanzania, McCann Kenya Ltd, and Lowe Scanad Uganda Limited.“I am pleased to start this new role and thank the Board for their show of confidence. Jacinta-Mbithi has done a tremendous job and I look forward to working with her and the entire KTB team across the country and internationally to make Kenya tourism destination of choice destination,” she said.
A year ago, AccorHotels unveiled its new, ambitious CSR commitments for 2020. The group’s sustainable development program, Planet 21, focuses on four fields of action, namely employees, guests, partners and local communities, as well as two priority issues, food and sustainable buildings.Over 500 urban vegetable gardensAccorHotels, which is present in 1,700 cities worldwide has committed to developing urban farming and to planting 1,000 vegetable gardens by 2020. Through the initiative, the hotel provides its guests with healthy and fresh produce which is grown organically and in-house. This initiative allows the hotel to provide guests with the best gastronomical experience, while also fulfilling responsibilities towards environmental conservation.All the produce generated is scientifically cultivated using natural farming techniques with no use of artificial chemicals and pesticides. To sensitise the guests about the initiative and create awareness about the importance of environmental protection and sustainable agricultural practices, the hotel encourages guests to try their hand at farming as well.Less Food Waste38 hotels in 13 countries are already using connected solutions to fight food waste in their kitchens and restaurants. The initiative has cut food waste by nearly 60% in the pilot hotels’ kitchens. That’s a total of €540,000 in estimated savings.To minimise wastage of food, ibis and Novotel Bengaluru Techpark and Pullman and Novotel New Delhi Aerocity have installed an Organic Waste Composter within the hotel premises. With the help of this composter, spoiled and leftover food scraps are composted which in turn provide nutrition to the soil and enhance its quality.One of Planet 21’s two priorities is to achieve carbon neutral buildings. In 2016, the Group cut its energy consumption by 2.4% and CO2 emissions by three percent. These results are even more encouraging because they were achieved despite particularly unfavourable world weather conditions in 2016 compared with 2015 since demand for heating and air-conditioning increased more than four percent.
Norwegian Cruise Line has released its 2018-2019 Europe Cruising Guide, boasting over 30 cruise itineraries embarking from nine convenient cities departing between June 2018 – November 2019 offering guests the freedom and flexibility to design their ultimate cruise holiday aboard six purposes built ships.The cruisers have options like booking itineraries such as a nine-day Scandinavia, Russia and Baltics sailing from Copenhagen that explores ports such as St. Petersburg and Helsinki; a 10-day sailing exploring destinations including Barcelona and Cannes before disembarking in Rome, and an 11-day sailing around the Greek Isles, where you can discover the delights of Santorini, Corfu and Mykonos, amongst other island escapes.Norwegian’s six ships cruising Europe in 2018-2019 offer up to 27 dining options, accommodation ranging from studios for single travellers to their most exclusive accommodation option, The Haven, and award-winning entertainment, including the iconic hit musical Priscilla Queen of the Desert.
Agents & Brokers Attorneys & Title Companies FHFA Freddie Mac Investors Lenders & Servicers Mortgage Rates Service Providers 2013-05-31 Tory Barringer The “”Federal Housing Finance Agency””:http://www.fhfa.gov/ (FHFA) reported a slight bump in contract mortgage interest rates throughout April.[IMAGE]FHFA’s interest rate survey shows the average interest rate on a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage was 3.77 percent in April, an increase of 3 basis points month-over-month. The average loan amount was $266,500, up $3,100 from March.[COLUMN_BREAK]The National Average Contract Mortgage Rate for the Purchase of Previously Occupied Homes by Combined Lenders index was 3.56 percent for loans closed in late April, up 0.02 percent from March, according to an index of new mortgage contracts.The effective interest rate–which accounts for the addition of initial fees and charges over the life of the mortgage–was 3.69 percent, up 4 basis points.Interest rates are typically locked in 30-45 days before a loan closes, so the late April data reflects market rates from mid-to-late March. Data for April was based on 6,447 reported loans from 30 lenders and does not include refinances, balloon loans, or federally insured mortgages.While rates didn’t move much in April, May’s report (scheduled to be released toward the end of June) should show more movement–Freddie Mac reported an “”increase””:https://themreport.com/articles/mortgage-rates-rocket-as-analysts-foresee-end-to-fed-activity-2013-05-30 of nearly half a percentage point for the 30-year fixed average throughout the month. FHFA: Mortgage Rates Stable in April May 31, 2013 419 Views in Origination Share
Many HELOC Borrowers are in for a Shock From now until 2018, many Home Equity Lines of Credit (HELOCs) borrowed during the housing bubble years of 2005 to 2008 will reach their 10-year end of draw period—and many of the borrowers will not be prepared for the payment shock they will be facing, according to a survey from TD Bank released on Tuesday.The bank’s HELOC Reset Measure, which surveyed approximately 800 U.S. homeowners with HELOCs, found that nearly one-quarter (23 percent) of HELOC borrowers did not have a plan in place to handle increased payments once they reach their end of draw periods. The housing boom saw unprecedented numbers of HELOCs as homeowners looked for convenient ways to borrow in the midst of soaring home prices for major expenses such as college tuition, home improvements, and medical bills.During the housing boom, many homeowners borrowed HELOCs to finance expenses such as home renovations, medical bills, travel/vacation, emergency expenses, and college tuition. With home values soaring, homeowners found HELOCs to be a convenient way to borrow or consolidate debt.“Many HELOCs allow borrowers to draw for 10 years and make interest- only payments,” said Mike Kinane, SVP, Home Equity, TD Bank. “When this draw period ends, borrowers are required to pay principal and interest, which may increase their monthly payments. It’s important that HELOC borrowers plan ahead and review their contract to determine the best course of action based on their current and future financial situations.”The survey found that many HELOC borrowers were unaware of the HELOC reset date despite communication from lenders. More than half of respondents (53 percent) who borrowed HELOCs between 2005 and 2008 said they were unaware of how the reset will affect their payments.Only 19 percent of survey respondents were aware that a HELOC reset meant that their payments will increase. Not only that, but misconceptions existed around the end of draw period—more than one-third (34 percent) of borrowers polled said they believe their payments will be reduced after a HELOC reset.Not all borrowers with HELOCs were unprepared, however. More than one-quarter of survey respondents said they plan to refinance their HELOC into another loan, and nearly 70 percent of those borrowers said they plan to seek advice from their lenders. HELOCs Home Equity Lines of Credit 2016-10-18 Seth Welborn in Daily Dose, Data, Headlines, News October 18, 2016 567 Views Share
CFPB RGA 2017-08-16 Joey Pizzolato Share August 16, 2017 653 Views Republican Governors Association Probe in Daily Dose, Featured, Government, Headlines, News Richard Cordray is taking heat once again due to rumors circulating that he intends to run for Governor of Ohio when his tenure as the Director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) ends.The Republican Governors Association (RGA) has submitted a second request for information regarding Cordray’s actions via the Freedom of Information Act, 5 U.S.C. 522, to Raynell Lazier in order to find out if Cordray violated the Hatch Act, which prohibits government employees from running for office while still employed in their charge.The letter cites two separate instances as grounds for obtaining the requested information: a report by WXVU saying Cordray had a phone call with the chairman of the Hamilton County Democratic Party; and a report by the Cleveland Plain Dealer announcing upcoming gubernatorial debates in September. Apparently, the RGA questions whether or not Cordray discussed participating in those debates.The RGA requested a slew of information, including logs of Cordray’s cell phone and office phone from June 1, 2017 to present, as well as a copy of the director’s schedule from June to present. The letter notes that although the CFPB posts Cordray’s schedule online for transparency purposes, the director’s office has yet to post June or July’s schedule, which makes the RGA question the actual transparency of the office.In addition, the request lists 10 people who could have corresponded with Cordray via his @consumerfinance.gov email: Tim Burke, Erie Meyer, Zach West, Kirsten Alvanitakis, Nelson Devezin, Rachel Rossi, Josh Thurston, Megan Joyce, Greg Beswick, Bridget Doherty, and Neil Patel. They also would like copies of any emails that reference the terms, “cordrayforohio.com,” “Cordray Committee,” or Gubanatorial Debate or Governor’s Debate or Ohio Debate.”RGA Communications Director Jon Thompson had strong words for Director Cordray in an official statement: “Ohioans deserve to know whether Richard Cordray is using his Consumer Financial Protection Bureau office for political gain at the expense of taxpayers,” he said. “If these new revelations are correct, and Cordray did discuss potential gubernatorial debates with Ohio Democrats, he should admit truthfully what he discussed, if he is engaged in prohibited political activity, and why he is so focused on not doing his job.”