Thursday, February 12, 2009

TIAA-CREF Boosts 7 Community Banks' Lending Line With $49M Deposit

NEW YORK, NY—TIAA-CREF, a major national and international real estate developer and financier, announced today it has more than doubled its Community Bank Deposit Investment Program to $49 million of FDIC insured deposits.

The announcement marks the first surge in the private lending pipeline in over a year, according to industry sources. .

TIAA-CREF is placing its first $22 million in deposits with Shorebank of Chicago and Shorebank Pacific of Ilwaco, WA, regarded as the first and largest community development bank in the U.S.

TIAA-CREF also added six additional community banks into the program. They are Carver Federal Savings (New York, NY); City First Bank of DC; City National Bank of NJ (Newark, NJ); Mechanics and Farmers Bank (Durham, NC); Native American Bank (Denver, CO); and New Resource Bank (San Francisco, CA).

“Even in the current economic environment, many community banks continue to thrive as they often have innovative solutions to help borrowers,” says Roger W. Ferguson, Jr., (top right photo)President and CEO of TIAA-CREF.

“Under the direction of our Global Social and Community Investment Department, TIAA-CREF continues to make deposits in some of the country’s leading community banks as a small step towards helping unthaw the credit crisis in some underserved markets while seeking to earn competitive rates of return on our investments.”

Scott J. Budde, (middle left photo) managing director and head of TIAA-CREF's Social & Community Investment Department, says “Community and proactive social investing is a growing part of TIAA-CREF’s comprehensive approach to socially responsible investing.

“We focus on opportunities where we have specialized expertise, as well as the ability to invest effectively and with the greatest possible impact from both a financial and social perspective.
“ In doing so, we often collaborate with like-minded investors, foundations and development banks to seek market-based approaches that address critical social and environmental needs.”

Budde said that in selecting the seven institutions, TIAA-CREF worked closely with both the Calvert Foundation and the National Community Investment Fund (NCIF) to identify efficient institutions that needed funds at competitive rates in underserved geographic and business markets.

"Native American Bank is very pleased to have received a CDARS deposit from TIAA-CREF, says David M. Gilman, (middle right photo) president and CEO of Native American Bank. “The deposit provides a safe and sound investment for TIAA-CREF and supports Native American Bank in its mission of providing loans to assist Native American communities."

The funding source for the investments is assets in the TIAA General Account. The $49 million in deposits is fully insured by the FDIC through the Certificate of Deposit Account Registration Service (CDARS) of Promontory Interfinancial Network of Washington, DC.

TIAA-CREF’s Social & Community Investing department was created in May 2006 to focus on a series of investment programs and oversee the screening methodology used by the CREF Social Choice and the TIAA-CREF Social Choice Equity Funds.

The Native American Bank was formed in 2001 as the first national bank aimed to serve the Native population of America and Alaska.

NAB is owned by a collection of 26 Tribal Nations, Tribal Enterprises and Alaskan Native Corporations. Over 85% of the loans outstanding are to Native Americans. The bank is planning an extension of the bank into more physical locations in Native communities across America.

CDARS, a service of Promontory Interfinancial Network, was created in 2002 to help small banks compete more effectively with large money centers institutions.
CDARS offers clients up to $50 million in Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, (FDIC) coverage and disperses these deposits among several different banks. Small community banks, like those mentioned above, join the CDARS network to "pool" their $100,000 FDIC coverage limits to attract larger depositors.

Ralph R. Roberts Provides Ten Steps to Negotiating an Affordable Loan Modification

DETROIT--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Ralph R. Roberts, (top right photo) consumer advocate and spokesperson for Federal Loan Modification Law Center, LLP, today released his list of the top ten steps homeowners can take in order to negotiate an affordable loan modification.

The following steps apply to homeowners working directly with a lender as well as to those teaming up with an attorney or alternative third-party representative.

1. Come clean – It can be tempting to bend the truth when you are trying to convince a lender to approve a loan modification. Only by laying all your cards on the table and disclosing the truth can you begin to develop and implement solutions that will put you back on the path to long-term financial health.

2. Understand your lender’s point of view - As far as your lender is concerned, it all boils down to money. You are most likely to be approved if you can show modifying your loan will cost the lender less than a foreclosure.

3. Keep a cool head - Expressing anger toward your lender puts you in an extremely disadvantageous position. For example, your lender may decide that you are unreasonable and that foreclosing would be less costly overall.

4. Give them what they need — In order to expedite the situation, find out exactly which forms you need to fill out and which documents your lender needs to process your application. Make sure you provide everything to your lender or representative in the manner specified.

5. Ask for what you want - Before meeting with your lender, make sure you spend some time figuring out what you want and need. For example, how much can you realistically afford to pay each month?

6. Let them do their job - Loan modifications typically take between 30-90 days from start to finish. During this time, avoid the temptation to micromanage the process. To alleviate unnecessary anxiety, ask your lender for an anticipated timeline.

7. Get your financial house in order - Put a tracking system in place today and start developing a budget to ensure you are not spending more money than you are earning.

8. Keep everyone posted of any changes - If anything changes related to your financial situation, be sure to keep your loan modification representative or lender in the loop.

9. Make sure the lender’s offer is truly affordable - If the loan modification is unaffordable or makes your budget so tight that you are only one car repair or medical bill away from defaulting again, head back to the negotiating table to try to work out a better deal.

10. Hold up your end of the bargain - The key to success is discipline and commitment. All the effort you spend setting up a plan is of no use if you don’t follow the plan you created or agreed to.
Contact: Ralph Roberts at

Foreclosure Activity Decreases 10% in January, RealtyTrac Reports

However, Foreclosure Activity is Up 18 Percent From January 2008, the 37th Consecutive Month with Year-over-Year Increase

IRVINE, CA– Feb. 12, 2009 – RealtyTrac®, the leading online marketplace for foreclosure properties, today released its January 2009 U.S. Foreclosure Market Report™, which shows foreclosure filings — default notices, auction sale notices and bank repossessions — were reported on 274,399 U.S. properties during the month, a 10 percent decrease from the previous month but still up 18 percent from January 2008.

The report also shows one in every 466 U.S. housing units received a foreclosure filing in January.

“The extensive foreclosure efforts on the part of lenders and government agencies appear to have impacted the January numbers — particularly the Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac moratorium on all foreclosure sales that was extended through the end of January along with Florida’s voluntary 45-day freeze on all new foreclosure actions and scheduling of foreclosure sales that was announced at the beginning of December,” said James J. Saccacio, (top right photo) chief executive officer of RealtyTrac.
“January REOs, which represent completed foreclosure sales to the foreclosing lender, were down 15 percent nationwide from the previous month. And in Florida overall foreclosure activity was down 20 percent from the previous month.”

Nevada, California, Arizona post top state foreclosure rates

Nevada foreclosure activity in January decreased 4 percent from the previous month, but the state continued to register the nation’s No. 1 foreclosure rate, with one in every 76 housing units receiving a foreclosure filing during the month. Foreclosure filings were reported on 14,444 Nevada properties in January, up 137 percent from January 2008.

California posted the nation’s second highest state foreclosure rate in January, with one in every 173 housing units receiving a foreclosure filing during the month, and Arizona posted the nation’s third highest state foreclosure rate, with one in every 182 housing units receiving a foreclosure filing during the month.

Despite a 20 percent month-over-month drop in foreclosure activity, Florida posted the nation’s fourth highest state foreclosure rate, with one in every 214 housing units receiving a foreclosure filing during the month.
Other states with foreclosure rates ranking among the nation’s 10 highest were Oregon, Illinois, Michigan, Georgia, Idaho and Ohio.
California, Florida, Arizona post highest foreclosure totals

Foreclosure filings were reported on 76,761 California properties, the most of any state despite a 14 percent decrease from the previous month.
The state’s foreclosure activity in January still increased 34 percent from January 2008.

Florida’s 40,770 properties receiving foreclosure filings in January was the second highest total of any state, and Arizona’s 14,674 properties receiving foreclosure filings was the third highest total of any state

Illinois foreclosure activity in January increased 16 percent from the previous month, giving the state 14,447 properties with foreclosure filings — the fourth highest state total. One in every 363 Illinois properties received a foreclosure filing in January, the nation’s sixth highest foreclosure rate.

Nevada, Michigan, Ohio, Georgia, Texas and Virginia also reported foreclosure totals that were among the nation’s 10 highest.

California, Florida, Nevada cities post top metro foreclosure rates

California cities accounted for six of the top 10 metro foreclosure rates in January among metro areas with a population of 200,000 or more. Merced, Calif., posted the top metro foreclosure rate, with one in every 59 housing units receiving a foreclosure filing during the month — nearly eight times the national average.

Other California metro areas with foreclosure rates among the top 10: Riverside-San Bernardino at No. 4 with one in every 81 housing units receiving a foreclosure filing; Modesto at No. 5 with one in every 84 housing units receiving a foreclosure filing;
Stockton at No. 6 with one in every 86 housing units receiving a foreclosure filing; Vallejo-Fairfield at No. 7 with one in every 100 housing units receiving a foreclosure filing; and Bakersfield at No. 8 with one in every 120 housing units receiving a foreclosure filing.

Two Florida cities posted foreclosure rates among the top 10 metro foreclosure rates: Cape Coral-Fort Myers at No. 3 with one in every 80 housing units receiving a foreclosure filing and Port St. Lucie at No. 9 with one in every 123 housing units receiving a foreclosure filing.

With one in every 63 housing units receiving a foreclosure filing, the Las Vegas-Paradise, Nev., metro area posted the second highest metro foreclosure rate in January.
The Reno-Sparks, Nev., metro area posted the 10th highest metro foreclosure rate, with one in every 128 housing units receiving a foreclosure filing.
Reno-Sparks was the only metro area in the top 10 that did not experience a month-over-month decrease in foreclosure activity, but all of the top 10 saw year-over-year increases in activity.

Media Contact: Michelle Sabolich, Atomic Public Relations, 415-402-0230