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Making a difference

first_img Previous Article Next Article Related posts:No related photos. Making a differenceOn 8 Mar 2005 in Personnel Today What are public sector HR leaders doing to tackle diversity issues? Personnel Today asks four organisations Department of Trade and IndustryShirley Pointer, HR director, says: “Our policy is to encourage employers to maximise the benefits of diversity in their own workforce. We also deliver services, such as those offered by Business Links, to a diverse community of customers and stakeholders.“For our own staff, we have concentrated on building an infrastructure that supports their diversity. We have made diversity an integral part of our performance appraisal system and established diversity champions in business units. We have established a network of employee-led equality advisory groups, which we consult about a wide range of policy and change issues. “We are committed to building on this in the future, particularly as we implement our department-wide change programme. We are conducting race, gender and disability impact assessments to ensure that our plans do not have a negative effect on the diversity of our workforce. We are also working to move from centrally-led initiatives to mainstreaming diversity into the way we work, making diversity a core element of our employment proposition.” Department for Work and PensionsDr Barbara Burford, director of diversity & equality, says: “The Department for Work and Pensions is a government department with the potential to touch the lives of all UK citizens. We believe that equality of opportunity and outcome, as well as actively valuing diversity, is morally right, socially desirable and makes good business sense.“Our philosophy is based on the concept that ‘to treat me equally, you may have to treat me differently’.The DWP’s strategy ‘Opportunity and security throughout life’ sets out three clear goals:To provide greater opportunities for people to workTo support families and childrenTo provide security and dignity in retirement.“In support of these goals, our diversity strategy ‘Diversity with purpose’ focuses activities and seeks outcomes which will promote diversity across the DWP covering all aspects of its role as a policy maker, an employer and a provider of customer service. “There are several examples of tools and products that have been mainstreamed into the DWP as part of our commitment to ensure that diversity issues are at the core of all our work. These include the ‘impact assessment framework’ – a tool to guide decision-makers when assessing policies to ensure that they do not disproportionately affect any particular group. ‘Race to improve’ is a series of products aimed at ensuring all our services are accessible to older and ethnic minority customers, while the ‘diversity toolkit’ is available through our intranet, covering all aspects of diversity legislation, guidance and good practice.”Merseyside Fire and Rescue ServiceNick Mernock, personnel manager, says: “We are building relationships that ensure the service fully represents the communities we serve.We continue to develop the procedures to actively encourage participation by community groups and their leaders as diversity partners to support and develop our practices and the profile of the service.“This is supported by clear actions to ensure that everyone who wishes to pursue a career in the fire service is given every opportunity to do so.This involves pre-recruitment assistance in both mental and physical skills; open access to all our buildings and managers before application; clear and transparent policies and participation in initiatives. For example, we are an approved user of the disability ‘two-tick symbol’ – a recognition given by Jobcentre Plus to employers who have agreed to meet five commitments regarding the recruitment, employment, retention and career development of disabled people.“We want everyone to have access to the service and we continue to develop our community advocates programme with the appointment of bi-lingual advocates, including Chinese, Asian, Somali and Yemani speakers. We have also appointed advocates to work with the deaf, disabled, older and younger members of the community.”Essex Ambulance Service NHS TrustKim Nurse, director of human resources, says: “Promoting equality of opportunity, good race relations and eliminating illegal discrimination must be at the heart of all modern services, and the NHS is no different. As an NHS organisation we have been developing our capacity to set goals, assessing our own performance, and demonstrating improvements in health and healthcare. This has also included measuring progress in diversity. “We recognise that making progress requires leadership, sustained commitment, resources and managerial attention. We have invested in leadership development programmes for all our managers, and diversity courses are built into our professional training courses and annual development updates for all staff.“We constantly improve our ethnic monitoring data, both by reviewing our existing workforce and throughout new recruitment episodes. The percentage of women entering the profession has increased significantly over the past few years, partly because of our flexible working arrangements and family friendly policies. “We have a mentoring scheme where managers volunteer to support staff from minority ethnic backgrounds. All our new emergency medical technicians are allocated a mentor to support them through their first year of professional practice. This two-way process is excellent in providing the trust with information about where we might address our training and development focus in the future to improve patient care.“Working with our occupational health advisers, existing and new staff – who may require aids adaptations or support to enter or remain in employment if they have a disability – have been actively pursued to ensure our services continue to benefit from their experience and expertise within the workforce. “The NHS is a growth organisation. It is essential that we present ourselves as a model organisation with modern employment practices. As a county-wide emergency service our trust strives to engage with all community groups and to grow our workforce to reflect our communities. We are striving to create an organisation in which diversity issues are integral to all decision-making and the workforce is well balanced and continues to deliver a patient-centred service.” Comments are closed. last_img read more

Clampdown on money laundering via property ramps up in London

first_imgHome » News » Clampdown on money laundering via property ramps up in London previous nextRegulation & LawClampdown on money laundering via property ramps up in LondonThe owners of three more properties bought for £80m in central London must now explain where their money came from or face having them confiscated.Nigel Lewis30th May 201901,043 Views The National Crime Agency (NCA) has intensified its clamp-down on money laundering within the London property market and asked the owners of three more properties in the capital to explain where their wealth comes from.Each of the properties are said by the NCA to be linked to ‘politically exposed persons’ or PEPs and the agency has now obtained Unexplained Wealth Orders from the High Court.The properties, which are said to have been bought for £80 million in total, are in prime central London and were bought via offshore companies.“The individuals behind these offshore companies now have to explain how the three properties were obtained,” says Andy Lewis, Head of Asset Denial at the NCA.Money launderingThe case highlights several of the ‘red flags’ that the Home Office has been asking estate agents to watch out for when dealing with buyers under its Anti-Money Laundering rules including PEPs and purchases involving offshore companies.The NCA has also obtained ‘freezing orders’ to prevent the properties being sold.“The purchase of prime property in London is a tactic used to launder money and we will use all the powers available to us to target those who try to do this,” says Graeme Biggar (left), Director General of the National Economic Crime Centre.The announcement by the NCA coincides with details of its first Unexplained Wealth Order against jailed Azerbaijani banker Jahangir Hajiyev and his wife Zamira who live in Knightsbridge (pictured, above).She is the woman recently unmasked as having spent over £16 million alone at Harrods over the past ten years including nearly £800,000 during one visit to its toy department.Read more about money laundering Jahangir Hajiyev National Crime Agency Zamira Hajiyev May 30, 2019Nigel LewisWhat’s your opinion? Cancel replyYou must be logged in to post a comment.Please note: This is a site for professional discussion. Comments will carry your full name and company.This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.Related articles BREAKING: Evictions paperwork must now include ‘breathing space’ scheme details30th April 2021 City dwellers most satisfied with where they live30th April 2021 Hong Kong remains most expensive city to rent with London in 4th place30th April 2021last_img read more

Hollywood breads in Waitrose

first_imgBakery author Paul Hollywood has begun supplying a new branded range of six traditional breads including brioche into 11 London Waitrose stores and Harrods.Hollywood, who started up a new artisan bakery in Aylesham, Kent, in March 2007, will also launch a range of hearty loaves this week based on old recipes, some dating back 500 years.“The credit crunch has had an interesting effect for us,” he said. “Rather than going out to eat, people seem to be spending more on premium breads to share with family and friends at home.”last_img read more

Speech: Stability and Constructive Dialogue in Nicaragua

first_imgThank you very much Madam President. It’s the first time I take the floor under your Presidency, so congratulations to you and your team for assuming the Presidency for September. Thank you very much to the OAS representative for his informative briefing and also to Mr Maradiaga for your harrowing testimony.I think the Kuwaiti Ambassador has set out very clearly the legal framework under the Charter for why we are having this debate today and we’re grateful to the US delegation for putting it on the Council’s agenda. I won’t rehearse the legal framework since I think Ambassador Otaibi gave a very good account, but I what I will say is that it’s right that the Council is made aware by the regional organiSation concerned of its concerns and the concerns that this may start to have effects throughout the region. I don’t think we ever want to get to a stage where the Council cant hear from a regional organization about its concerns about what is happening in the territory for which it is responsible.But more than that, I think we also need to remember that the Nicaraguan government has expelled a UN agency; it has expelled the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights. So I think that’s a very important fact. Independent of Chapter 6 and the regional organisation’s point, it’s a very important fact. The Council needs to defend the UN entities, and therefore, even if there were no other reason, we would support discussing this issue today.And lastly, I note that there has been a situation of refugees created – by definition, refugees cross international borders. It is therefore right that the Council should be able to debate the implications of that act, which may or may not constitute an unfriendly act, but also risks being destabilising to international peace and security. I am not making a judgment that it is destabilising, but as we heard from the Kuwaiti representative, the Council has the responsibility to investigate situations that may give rise to these implications – and I stress the word ‘may.’ And I think that is exactly what we’re doing today.My government has been watching events in Nicaragua very closely. We regret the loss of life that has occurred since the protest began in April and we call for an end to the violence and for the government of Nicaragua to comply with its international human rights obligations, and these include the rights of people to exercise their right to freedom of expression and to demonstrate peacefully and lawfully.We have been deeply concerned by the excessive use of force by the authorities and pro-government paramilitaries against the people of Nicaragua. We call on the Nicaraguan government to demobilize paramilitary groups and to end the repression against its citizens. We have been alarmed at the many reports we have seen that give rise to human rights concern. These include the use of live ammunition on protesters, and we call for them to be thoroughly investigated.Maintaining press freedoms is always important, but it is particularly so during times of unrest. And we urge the Nicaraguan government to respect these freedoms and to allow the independent press to report freely, without suffering persecution and harassment, and we are very concerned at reports of violence against independent media outlets, journalists and their families.I would also like to register our deep concern at reports of arbitrary detentions of dissenters and again we urge the Nicaraguan government to respect the right to a fair trial and prisoners’ right to due process, a proper defense, and to respect the rights of their families.Madam President, looking ahead, I think we are all aware that the challenges in Nicaragua can be overcome only through a meaningful and inclusive dialogue which addresses the legitimate concerns of the protesters. The United Kingdom was encouraged by the establishment of a national dialogue in May and we welcome the roll the Episcopal Conference of Nicaragua was able to play in convening that and mediating but we regret that that dialogue has had many breaks because of the violence, and the recent decision by the government to abandon the process is very regrettable. And once again, I would like to urge the Nicaraguan government to fulfil its commitment to engage sincerely in a dialogue, including by ensuring peaceful conditions for the dialogue to resume.Turning to the OAS, Madam President, United Kingdom supports the OAS work. We also support the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights and of course the United Nations in attempting to resolve the current crisis. These organizations have important roles to play in supporting dialogue and ensuring that human rights transgressions are fully investigated.I referred earlier to the expulsion of the OHCHR. This followed the publication of their report on human rights violations and abuses in the context of protests in Nicaragua. I would like to urge the Nicaraguan government to reconsider that decision and to permit the OAS Working Group to enter Nicaragua, to carry out their important work and not to impede the work of the interdisciplinary group of independent experts established by the Inter-American Commission.In conclusion, Madam President, a return to peace and stability in Nicaragua benefits not only to the people of Nicaragua, but also the whole region. We heard from the Russian representative a long catalogue of history. History is important, Madam President. It provides context but it is not the reason we are here today. We are here today for all the arguments that Ambassador Otaibi and I set out at the beginning. We want to see stability. We want the violence to end. We hope and urge the Nicaraguan government to engage meaningfully in an inclusive and constructive dialogue and to ensure that all human rights transgressions are fully investigated. Thank you very much Madam President.last_img read more

Alienware 15/17 VR Ready Notebooks Ready to Roll

first_imgOctober can be a month for tricks, but also for treats. And this month we’ve got one of the latter for our Alienware customers – our new Alienware 15 and Alienware 17 notebooks started shipping last Friday! The product pages just went live last week, and you can read all the details and finally place your order. The Alienware 15 is available at $1,349.99, with the Alienware 17 at $1,499,99; each with awesome VR-ready configurations. Now that’s what we call a sweet deal.Alienware notebooks are the gold standard for mobile gaming, offering a counterpoint to our award-winning line of desktops. What can you expect from Alienware 15, 17 and, coming in November, the new Alienware 13? Sure they’re thinner than ever before, increasing their portability. Sure our new notebooks incorporate advanced materials for better thermal management allowing you to play those all night gaming sessions.  But most importantly, with their graphics driven by the top of the line NVIDIA GTX GeForce 10 series, their improved power and performance make the entire Alienware family of notebooks VR ready, a significant milestone in our history of innovation that further accentuates our 20th anniversary this year.So let’s talk performance. In our lab, we broke down some of the details to show our improvements over the previous generation. When we look at the new Alienware 17 and compare its 10-Series graphics to the previous generation (comparing NVIDIA’S GeForce GTX 1060 vs their 970M) we’re talking up to 60% performance increase in Fire Strike graphics score and up to 51 percent performance increase in 3DMark 2011 Extreme.1 For the Alienware 15 generation comparison (again that’s the new GTX 1060 vs the 970M) you get up to 57 percent better performance in Fire Strike graphics score and up to a 56% increase in 3DMark 2011 Extreme.2 You add in peak performance from Intel’s Skylake processors (don’t worry, Kaby Lake will be here soon) and you have a gaming powerhouse that can handle just about anything you throw at it.Balancing superior gaming performance with portability, Alienware 15 is the perfect way to make your world – and the alien worlds you want to explore – VR ready. Coming standard with a 15.6” FHD, IPS Anti-Glare, 300-nits display that makes gaming outdoors during the day crystal clear, its options include FHD 120Hz display with NVIDIA G-Sync for incredibly smooth, synchronized frame rates during those intense squad battles all in UHD IGZO for 4k resolutions.  Its new Alienware TactX™ keyboard also introduces optimized RGB LED lighting, will last for up to 10 million keystrokes and each key providing a full 2.2mm of gaming-grade travel.The ultimate mobile gaming notebook, the new Alienware 17 offers full-throttle excitement, with maximum screen size, performance and immersion. Our flagship notebook gains more power with overclocked Intel Core i7 k-series processors and DDR4 memory running up to 2667 Mhz – more than enough power to handle any multiplayer battles filling the screen with action and mayhem. The notebook will look sweet as well with a sleek anti-smudge finish along with easier access to all internal components. Need to distinguish between your squad commander and teammates voices? Our new speaker design includes internal smart-amps that monitor audio waveforms, enabling the use of the entire thermal margin of the speaker for stronger sound.  The new notebooks even roll out our new Alienware Sound Center with Audio Recon technology which ads a mini map to supported games letting you know which direction in-game sounds are coming from.Both the Alienware 15 and 17 incorporate a standard infrared camera and come pre-packaged with Tobii eye-tracking software.  For the full suite of Tobii eye tracking features to work on the Alienware 15, you’ll need an attachable Tobii eye-tracking camera; on Alienware 17, an upgrade option, has the Tobii camera already built in. Alienware has partnered with Tobii on an exclusive package of features you won’t find anywhere else. Paired with an exclusive new Overwolf app, it lets you replay your gaze pattern, letting you learn from mistakes and improve your competitive focus. Enjoy faster log-ins through Windows Hello biometric facial recognition and secure autolock when you step away. Wake the notebook from sleep mode simply by looking directly at the Alienware logo, my personal favorite. Manage power better with the screen and our patented AlienFX lighting zones illuminating, or dimming, based on where you look.In November, once our rigorous internal testing is complete to ensure reliability, we’ll be rolling out the Alienware 13. Our smallest notebook is getting some big improvements; it certainly has what it takes for the most portable 360-degree gameplay experience on the planet. More on that coming soon! Stay abreast of all the news! Sign up and become a member of Alienware Arena. Follow us on Facebook and Twitter @Alienware. You can also join us on, or sign on and watch our Twitch stream for the latest updates and information.1Based on Dell Labs testing in September 2016 using 3DMark Fire Strike and 3DMark 2011 Extreme benchmarks comparing the Alienware 17 (The new “Cassini” NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060) with its predecessor Alienware 17 (“Echo” with NVIDIA GeForce GTX 970M).Configurations were comparable in order to isolate graphics performance. Actual performance will vary.2Based on Dell Labs testing in September 2016 using 3DMark Fire Strike and 3DMark 2011 Extreme benchmarks comparing the Alienware 15 (The new “Cassini” NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060) with its predecessor Alienware 15 (“Echo” with NVIDIA GeForce GTX 970M).Configurations were comparable in order to isolate graphics performance. Actual performance will vary.last_img read more

Notre Dame meme page informs campus through comedy

first_imgCurrently sitting at 6,503 members, the Notre Lame Memes for Straight Edge Teens Facebook group is the spot for students to find “original content only, fire memes and true friends,” according to the group’s description.Anyone with a valid email address may join the group and, once accepted, can post in the group.Sophomore Ethan Sunshine, who has been a member of the group since his freshman year and has posted a few times, said the ability for all members to contribute gives the group an edge from sites such as Barstool and the Black Sheep.“It’s good having anyone be able to contribute and then everyone can vote on ‘yes people see this’ or ‘no people don’t see this.’ If there is something people don’t want to see it gets put to the bottom pretty quickly versus on something like Barstool, it’s just a post in your feed,” Sunshine said. “Also, the Facebook page is not filtered by editors. For Barstool and Black Sheep and places like that, the editors have a certain image that they’re trying to maintain. The Facebook page really doesn’t filter, so if your content is marginally related like that’s still fine … I think it’s good that there are hundreds of people in the group who all have very different interests.”Sophomore Elizabeth Zahorick said she enjoys the specificity to campus issues that the meme page has.Many of the memes on the page center around the subjects of administrative decisions, campus events, sports results and other satirical takes on Notre Dame’s campus culture.Sophomore Susan Peters said a good Notre Dame meme contains a universal theme or concept.“Everyone kind of relates to it,” Peters said. “For example, the video in which Father Jenkins flies off the stage and into outer space. I think there is something there for everyone.”Another quality that makes a meme great, Sunshine said, is if it gave you the ability to look at something on campus in a new light.An example that Sunshine gave was a meme about mathematics graduate students smoking cigarettes outside of Hayes-Healy Hall.”It was something that I never thought about before I saw that,“ Sunshine said.The meme group allows students to keep informed on campus news through a comedic lens, Zahorick said.“It’s a good way of spreading things that happen on campus,” Zahorick said. “People find out about things. A few people can know about something as it actually happened and then they sort of disseminate their experience through making a joke about it.”Many of the memes on the page contain content related to administrative decisions, some of which criticize those decisions.“Any satire is powerful … It’s creative expression,“ Peters said. ”The parts of it that are critical, I think that people should listen to.”The Notre Lame Meme Page was created on Dec. 7, 2016. The page has had several names over the past few years including “Notre Lame Memes for Joseph Levano,” named after a student whose email to the entire student body became a popular meme in the fall of 2017.Zahorick has posted in the Notre Lame Meme occasionally in the past.  One of her memes received around 1,200 likes and was included in the yearbook last year, Zahorick said.Zahorick made a meme about residents of Carroll Hall having to walk to the dining hall during the polar vortex, and included information regarding the amount of time it would take. Zahorick said the information included in her meme was later mentioned to her.“I was talking to someone later and she said, ‘Yeah, I heard it takes eight minutes to walk from Carroll to the dining hall’ … and then I realized she was citing my meme to me,” Zahorick said.Zahoric said that most of her meme ideas just come to her.“I’ll think, ‘Oh, this is funny.’ … And then I just start thinking about what’s the most concise way to convey that joke. Then I start trying to find the right image for it … I usually send it to a friend to see if it would be funny for the page,” Zahorick said. “To be honest, it’s always the ones that I don’t think are that funny that get the most likes.”Tags: Facebook, memes, Notre Lame Meme Page, Polar Vortexlast_img read more

Panel examines the foreclosure industry for UPL

first_img Panel examines the foreclosure industry for UPL Panel examines the foreclosure industry for UPL February 1, 2004 Managing Editor Regular Newscenter_img Mark D. Killian Managing Editor The Bar’s Standing Committee on UPL has voted to issue an advisory opinion on what it considers the unlicenced practice of law by mortgage foreclosure assistance companies.The committee voted to make its stand after taking testimony at a January 15 public hearing in Miami to consider whether work by mortgage foreclosure assistance companies crossed the line into UPL.The committee determined that the following actions constitute UPL when performed by a nonlawyer on behalf of a party to a mortgage foreclosure action pending before a Florida court:1) Negotiating with the lender or lender’s attorney to modify, reinstate, or restructure the mortgage loan which forms the basis of the foreclosure action;2) Drafting documents which memorialize the negotiations as the representative of a party to the foreclosure action;3) Reviewing and explaining to the party to the mortgage foreclosure action documents drafted by the lender or lender’s attorney which memorialize the negotiations;4) Inducing the party to the mortgage foreclosure action to rely on the nonlawyer to handle all aspects of the foreclosure action for the party; and/or5) Preparing pleadings and other documents to be filed in the court in connection with the mortgage foreclosure action. The UPL panel voted to decline to include in its opinion whether a nonlawyer who negotiates the modification, reinstatement, or restructure of a mortgage loan outside of the foreclosure context engages in the unlicenced practice of law, but noted that the “decision not to issue an opinion on this question should not be interpreted as an endorsement or approval of that activity.”The committee has directed the Bar’s UPL Department staff to draft the opinion for review at its next meeting, at which time it will take a final vote on whether to file the opinion with the Florida Supreme Court, which has final say on the matter.“The current action of the committee does not guarantee that an opinion will be issued or the substance of the opinion,” said Bar UPL Counsel Lori Holcomb.Holcomb said the Bar decided to look into the matter after seeing an expansion of the mortgage foreclosure assistance industry and the public harm it is creating.Janet Morgan, Bar staff counsel in the Ft. Lauderdale office who has investigated several complaints, said the foreclosure assistance companies get the names of homeowners sued in foreclosure from public records. They then direct mail advertise or contact the homeowners in some other way to pitch their services.“Generally, they tell these people in some fashion they can help them save their house or get their house out of foreclosure and they need to sign up with them right away,” Morgan said.How it WorksWhat happens next can vary. Morgan said some companies do very little. In some cases, they try to negotiate with the lender or the lender’s lawyer. Or they give the homeowner advice on how to respond to the suit. Some companies have even drafted customer’s answers and motions, with or without lawyers, or have taken other actions in the foreclosure suit, she said. (Even if a company had a lawyer draft a motion, it’s against Bar rules and case law to pass that through to a client for whom the lawyer does not directly work.)What help did homeowners get for their money?“They either ended up losing their houses anyway, or they handled it themselves after the company did nothing,” Morgan said, “and they were out the company’s fee, which they could ill afford to lose.“The Bar’s position is that the foreclosure companies are essentially negotiating the settlement of a lawsuit, which is the unlicenced practice of law,” Morgan said.The TestimonySeventeenth Circuit Judge J. Leonard Fleet agreed and told the committee all the questions asked constitute UPL. Judge Fleet said these companies are proliferating in Broward County and often prepare legal documents which are then signed pro se by those appearing before him in foreclosure matters. He held up one document that he said was “drafted by someone who has knowledge of the lexicon of law,” but was signed by a litigant “unable to communicate successfully in English.”Judge Fleet said those appearing before him say they pay these companies between $500 and $2,000, and they target “what may be perceived as economically depressed neighborhoods.”“This committee, I believe, must take a stand that these practices are not permitted to be engaged in by someone who is not well schooled in the field of real estate law,” Fleet said.While she is not sure negotiating directly with a lender should be considered UPL, Retired 11th Circuit Judge Eleanor Schockett said it has been her experience that there is “fraud at all levels” of the mortgage foreclosure assistance industry, “but the saddest were people giving their hard earned money to somebody they had read in the paper would help them save their home and the money was never to be seen again.”Judge Schockett said during her years on the bench, she referred many people engaged in foreclose assistance to UPL committees only to have them received notices to stop their UPL activity. But, she said, they often opened up shop again somewhere else under a different name.“I’m sure there are some good guys in this field, but it was only the bad guys we saw on the bench,” Schockett said. “There are a whole bunch of people out there that are out-right frauds. They had no intention of providing the service. . . and those are the guys we should go after.”Schockett said nothing will solve this problem until people are criminally prosecuted and sent to jail.“Now this is not going to happen as long as the state attorney offices don’t find these cases very sexy and waste their time on these simple little drug cases where they can run up their stats,” Judge Schockett said. “And that what’s happening — they are not prosecuting white collar crime and the primary victims of this kind of crime are the working poor.”Michelle Ku, representing Community Legal Service for Mid-Florida, also told the committee that each of the questions constitute UPL and many of the companies involved in mortgage foreclose assistance are engage in “equity skimming.”“The basic objective of many of these entities that profess to assist people in saving their homes from foreclosure is to try to take the equity from those persons’ homes by switching the title to that business or that individual’s own name,” Ku said. “There are real life situations where the homeowner becomes a renter in the home that they once owned.”Charles Elsesser, Jr., of Florida Legal Services said these companies often prey on homeowners who have owned their homes for a long time, during a time a rapid real estate inflation, yet they are still very low income themselves.“At the same time we have had a retraction of the economy and many of these people are losing their jobs or making less income,” putting them in a position where foreclose actions are initiated, Elsesser said. “What we see as the goal of many of these mortgage assistance firms is to simple separate these people from their equity.”In the BusinessWhile acknowledging “there are a lot of scams around and investors looking to take advantage of people,” Carol Hudson, owner of New Millennium Corp., a foreclose assistance company, said her business does not engage in UPL.Hudson said New Millennium only deals with the financial aspects of foreclosure.“We assist our clients by negotiating the reinstatement of their mortgages directly with the lenders or the mortgage servicing companies,” Hudson said. “We guide our clients through the financial aspects of getting reinstated with their mortgage companies by advising them what they need to do during the foreclosure process.”Hudson said her company does not give legal advice or get involved in the legal process. She also said too many attorneys are too fast to recommend bankruptcy to forestall a foreclosure.“How many attorneys are really aware of the criteria for a loan modification where the montage company will capitalize all of the arrears back into the loan, basically giving the clients a fresh start?” Hudson asked. “How many attorneys are aware of the requirements for an FHA partial claim, which is essentially a HUD loan, or the requirements for a VA refinancing program? This is a specialized field that does not require the knowledge of an attorney.”Hudson maintained that negotiating with a lender is not UPL, a position shared by the Real Property Probate and Trust Law Section.RPPTL’s StandWilliam McCaughan, co-chair of the RPPTL Mortgage Law Committee, said while the first five questions are “unquestionably” UPL, a nonlawyer who negotiates the modification, reinstatement, or restructure of a mortgage loan outside of the foreclosure context is not engaging in UPL.“It is tempting to go after these assistance companies because they do a bad job… . but it is respectfully outside the purview of this group. . . to take control of what some companies do that is good and what some companies do is bad. The scope of your area is UPL.”Real Estate ProfessionalsMarcia Tabak, deputy legal counsel for the Florida Association of Realtors, said at first blush, she thought the questions were only aimed at mortgage foreclose assistance companies, “but when we closely examined it, we become a little bit concerned about several of the items.”Tabak said her organization takes no position on what constitutes UPL, but said licensed real estate professionals sometimes engage in the activities described by questions 1, 2, and 6, and are authorized to do so by F.S. §475.“There are occasions where real estate licensees, in fulfilling their responsibilities, from time-to-time are working with sellers who are either pre-foreclosure or in foreclosure,” Tabak said. “Sometime the real estate licensees are aware of those facts and sometimes they are not.“Those folks that I represent are assisting others buying or selling real estate; they are not involved in helping people negotiate and being involved in foreclose actions,” Tabak said. “I’m not looking at if it is UPL. I am looking at authorized activity under the statute.”Kenneth Walton, president of the Wilkie D. Ferguson, Jr., Bar, said a majority of these foreclosure assistance companies are engaging in UPL and even the ones that are good are not as meticulous as attornies.last_img read more

Stephen Colbert to Replace David Letterman on ‘The Late Show’

first_imgSign up for our COVID-19 newsletter to stay up-to-date on the latest coronavirus news throughout New York Shocking. Stephen Colbert, the host of the widely-popular half-hour political satire show The Colbert Report on Comedy Central, is headed to CBS. Colbert will succeed long-time The Late Show host David Letterman, who announced on April 3 his intention to retire next year. Letterman has served as host for 21 years. CBS announced the news in a tweet at noon on Thursday: Stephen Colbert to be next host of “The Late Show”…press release coming— CBS Tweet (@CBSTweet) April 10, 2014Colbert agreed to a five-year deal with the network, but the financial terms of the agreement were not disclosed. The announcement was made by Leslie Moonves, president and CEO of CBS, and Nina Tassler, chairman of CBS Entertainment. “Simply being a guest on David Letterman’s show has been a highlight of my career,” Colbert said. “I never dreamed that I would follow in his footsteps, though everyone in late night follows Dave’s lead.”“I’m thrilled and grateful that CBS chose me,” he added. “Now, if you’ll excuse me, I have to go grind a gap in my front teeth.”   Moonves singled out the comedian for being “one of the most inventive and respected forces on television.” The Colbert Report, which launched in 2005, has won two Peabody Awards and an Emmy in 2013 for Outstanding Variety Series. The show has earned a total of 27 Emmy nominations. Prior to hosting The Colbert Report, Colbert spent nearly a decade as a correspondent on Jon Stewart’s The Daily Show. CBS has yet to announce the date of Letterman’s final show. “David Letterman’s legacy and accomplishments are an incredible source of pride for all of us here,” said Moonves, “and today’s announcement speaks to our commitment of upholding what he established for CBS in late night.”last_img read more

CUES Membership Minute: Calling all emerging leaders

first_img ShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblr All good things evolve if they’re going to get even better.Take my career.When I was named the 2015 CUES Next Top Credit Union Exec, I was manager of philanthropy and community investment at $1.6 million America’s First Credit Union, Birmingham, Alabama.Winning the challenge opened many doors. Along the way to my current role as VP/membership at CUES, I worked as the stewardship and development director at Filene and also did diversity consulting through my own business.Like my career, the CUES Next Top Credit Union Exec program is evolving for the better. In January 2020, it will relaunch as “CUES Emerge.” continue reading »last_img read more

How to manage your overflowing mortgage pipeline

first_img continue reading » Every mortgage boom that has hit seems to have come out of nowhere. Loan officers and the origination team quickly become overwhelmed with overflowing pipelines, so keeping them highly engaged and encouraged only lasts so long as weeks turn into months of long hours.When your mortgage team is overwhelmed, the best relief you can provide is to staff up. This can become a bigger challenge when every lender is busy and competition is fierce to hire the best, qualified loan officers and processors. If past experience holds true, you will likely end up with candidates that aren’t quite what you want, but are still adequate enough to move forward. Here are a few suggested best practices to help your credit union manage the stresses of being incredibly busy, while still capturing new business and serving your members.Best Practice: Hire Supporting Staff to Take the Load OffHiring such supporting staff as junior loan officers and processing assistants, to ease the load for your existing team can make a world of difference. These staff members would be skilled admins that can do simple tasks, such as calling members for documents or following up on requests. Forget trying to train them on the whole job, instead train them to do key time-sucking components. The training time will be reduced and they can add value quickly. This will also allow your more knowledgeable staff to handle more challenging tasks and manage their workload effectively. ShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblrlast_img read more

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