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Mar 19, 2015 11:48:10 AM

How are Chess and ALTA Best Practices Alike?

In chess, each player must strategize the exact right moves to defeat the opponent. Getting to make the first move may be the greatest advantage. In business, as in chess, first movers often gain momentum by grabbing market share before others get into the market. As we consider the benefits of early adoption of the American Land Title Association’s (ALTA’s) Best Practices, competitive advantage is at the top of the list. Specifically, immediately upon obtaining ALTA certification, you can communicate your compliance to lending customers and use marketing efforts to distinguish yourself from your competition.

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Topics: Lending, ALTA

Aug 21, 2014 10:00:00 AM

Is Your Financial Institution Prepared for the Rising Credit Risk of HELOCs?

The Federal Reserve is set to end its downward pressure on interest rates by the end of 2014, coinciding with the end-of-draw period for many HELOC borrowers. It poses what many in the housing and financial industries are labeling a crisis level risk. 

History has shown that rates can change quickly. In fact, the Federal Reserve raised the target federal funds rate from 1% to a high of 5.25% from 2004 to 2007. 

As we know, even small interest rate increments can cause major pain for borrowers. And many HELOC loans are already experiencing credit problems.

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Topics: Lending, HELOC

Jul 30, 2014 10:15:00 AM

How Do Economic Progress and a Cup of Coffee Go Together?

Berkeley, California in the 1960s was a radical place. The vibrant, politically active culture would inspire future generations to challenge the status quo and stand up for their beliefs. It was during this charged, forward thinking era that a Dutchman named Alfred Peet opened a small store in Berkeley selling coffee beans. 

Displeased with the quality of coffee in America, he was moved to create change. Peet tapped into his background in the coffee trade and introduced the local scene to a dark, rich roast of unquestionable superior quality. 

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Topics: Community Banking, Small Business, Lending