"Don't part with your dreams - when they are gone you may still exist but you will have ceased to live" - Mark Twain

"Do you know that this blog wouldn't exist if it wasn't for you being here to read it!?" - Bobby Gill

Friday, 8 April 2011

Confused by Social Media?

Want more leads for your business? Like to be able to stay in contact with your existing clients? Need to be easier to find online?

Have you taken the first steps to get yourself and your brand online yet?

If you're reading this blog and have been redirected here from a Facebook group or fanpage, Twitter, Ecademy, LinkedIn, forum, RSS Feed or a link shared on a friend's webpage - then you're already half way there.

Did you know that you can also publish content about yourself, your company, products and services just as easily? Yes, it's true! You don't need a corporate sized budget to be able to compete with the big guys any more. For individuals and entrepreneurs it is much easier to get presence and connect with your existing and potential customers.

Have you any idea what people are saying about your brand online? Check Google to see what it comes up with. The problem is that people are more likely to complain when they receive bad service than take the time to thank you - unless you actively engage with them and ask for testimonials and do your best to deal with the complaints.

Below is a presentation I did at the Northern Property Network during March 2009 to a group of property investors and business owners.

The scary thing is that some people still aren't using the tools that they have at their fingertips to grow their business and manage their online brand and reputation.

If you need help with your online social media and advertising.
Then contact me and see how I can help find a solution that's right for you.


Press Play on the bar at the bottom of the presentation to start the audio.

Click on the bottom right icon to make it full size so you can read the slides as well.

Tuesday, 5 April 2011

Government uses blackmail to lower LHA rents

As well as lower DSS/LHA rents the Government is now using blackmail to get landlords to reduce their rents even further if they want to be paid direct.  LHA was the way forward for landlords to get guaranteed rents but it seems as if the Government is putting the brakes on that too by making sure you are guaranteed much LESS!

LHA rents will now be capped lower for new tenants. Landlord groups have always campaigned against the draconian rules of local councils, making it difficult for landlords to collect rent from their tenants, even if the tenant chooses to have it that way as well. 

When DSS to LHA changes originally came in, I was at a Council Landlord meeting and everyone was against the changes, whilst the LHA 'speakers' were there only to TELL people what they will be getting from the Government. Feedback? Well you can say what you want but the Govt / Council isn't listening.

For example, if a tenant tells (lies to) the landlord saying they are waiting for the council to pay them, whilst spending the money that they have received. Should the landlord ask to speak to someone at the council, they are told they can't because of privacy issues.  If the tenant fails to pay or leaves without paying, the council tells the landlord that it is between them and the tenant and they can't help.  An easy way for the council to simply get out of having to deal with landlord requests, hence lowering their council costs, as time is money.  Surprised? Don't expect the council to provide you any service, it works well for them.

Now, yet another failed scheme for Government and a poor fix to what is a simple problem - pay landlords directly the market rents for properties that they rent to LHA tenants, otherwise house them yourself! 

At least some bright sparks in Government are getting paid well to come up with such absurd initiatives.
Even Dirty Rotten Scoundrels Steve Martin and Michael Caine had higher morals!  Thank you Cameron and Clegg! Who's looking after the people if it's not the Government's job to treat everyone fairly?

Unfortunately it becomes more difficult for landlords to rent their properties privately at a fair price if the house is in a 'deprived' area.  So not only have house values come down due to the recent credit crunch, they are about to get lower as those that look at yield will now pay less for properties that now rent for less.

What would happen if Landlords told the council that they would only pay business rates and council tax to them if they reduced their payments?  Oh that's right, enFORCEment to make them pay!  Now let's not go there...



'Del Boy' wheeling and dealing over benefit tenants - Tuesday 5th April 2011

"Councils will be able to protect private landlords who have tenants on housing benefit from the government’s new regime for two years, it has been announced.

It means that councils will be able to make direct payments of local housing allowance (LHA) to landlords in exchange for them agreeing to lower their rents, for this period.
After that, LHA will automatically be paid direct to the tenants.

The British Property Federation questioned the two-year deal.

It described it as a move that would see council staff having to wheel and deal with local landlords to reduce their rent in return for the comfort of getting paid direct.

Ian Fletcher, director policy at the British Property Federation, said: “This is ‘Del Boy’ benefit policy – seeking to trade a landlord’s right to be paid with the Government’s desire to reduce its expenditure.

“If this was really about protecting tenants, why limit it at two years, and not give an ongoing commitment to direct payment up until housing benefit is absorbed into Universal Credit?

“Landlords should expect to get paid for the housing they provide. That shouldn’t be contingent on lowering rents, or having to wait eight weeks under the current system.

“The Government would not dare treat other small businesses in such a way, but seems to think it is acceptable to allow people to rack up huge debts and treat landlords so badly.” "
Source: http://www.lettingagenttoday.co.uk/news_features/Del-Boy-wheeling-and-dealing-over-benefit-tenants

Monday, 4 April 2011

White collar crime - Banks steal houses!

Coming to a home near you soon? Or actually ask your friends and family because the white-collar criminals are likely already operating in your street lurking in the shadows!

If you've got such stories about UK Banks, then write in and let us know - the last thing they want is people discussing their crimes in public even though they're spending the public's money and harassing those very same people!

"Robo-signed documents, false affidavits and failure to notify defendants are just a few of the ways banks and their lawyers are accused of mishandling foreclosures."

When these things are happening there would naturally be investigations into these crimes and corporate frauds - but the Police and justice departments are not interested in pursuing them.
Why would that be when the crimes are so public?
Why do criminal Bankers have no limits on what they will do and then seem to be exempt from investigation?  Maybe it is because they think they are 'above the law' and have 'unlimited' government funding that they do what they want.

So what is white collar crime?

"Within the field of criminology, white-collar crime has been defined by Edwin Sutherland as "a crime committed by a person of respectability and high social status in the course of his occupation" (1939). Sutherland was a proponent of Symbolic Interactionism, and believed that criminal behavior was learned from interpersonal interaction with others. White-collar crime, therefore, overlaps with corporate crime because the opportunity for fraud, bribery, insider trading, embezzlement, computer crime, copyright infringement, money laundering, identity theft, and forgery are more available to white-collar employees."
- http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/White-collar_crime
It looks like Bankers are in the perfect place to be taking 'money' home with them.
They even have systems in place and what looks like 'agreements' with lawyers, courts and judges to allow their paperwork pass through the system whilst the little guy gets stomped on!

Here's just some of the things they are up to:-

Wall St Banks have been caught stealing homes through fraudulent foreclosures.
They are moving people out of their homes before foreclosure completes, even emptying homes of possessions.
Telling people they have to be in arrears before they will help under new anti-foreclosure laws, then foreclosing because they are in arrears.
When people call for help the people are given fake phone numbers to get help.
Using illegal document to get foreclosures.
Faking foreclosure documents.
Foreclosing on homes that have been paid off.
Even setting up boiler room courts to rush them through.

Get more info and read about the crimes at: 

In this story Bank of America 'steals ashes of dead husband and ransacks house' after foreclosure.
"A bank has been accused of unlawfully seizing the ashes of a dead husband from his grieving widow’s home.  Bailiffs working for the Bank of America are said to have broken into the Mimi Ash’s house during a foreclosure before ransacking the place.  And, according to a U.S. lawsuit, they helped themselves to family and childhood photographs along with her son’s ski medals while cleaning out the entire house.
Ira Rheingold, executive director of the National Association of Consumer Advocates, said that bank errors were happening all the time.  She said: ‘Every day, smaller wrongs happen to people trying to save their homes: being charged the wrong amount of money, being wrongly denied a loan modification, being asked to hand over documents four or five times."
Read more at: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1340863/Bank-America-steals-ashes-dead-husband-ransacks-house.html

These small wrongs compound to great injustices!

Yes, this what is really happening. It's not a perfect world out there and it is time for people to support each other, share the truth and fight back against the white collar crime that is increasing around you all the time.


Watch this video below to see the deals that American banks are getting and would you be surprised if the same was happening in the UK and worldwide?
It may be a year old but it's still relevant today. Stay informed and share the information.  Homes are for living in, humans for being treated respectfully and Bankers, well I'll let you figure out what they are good for...
See how they play the numbers game to show that profits are more important than people!

Those Indymac boys were given deal by the FDIC, and borrowers were strong-armed


Transcript: "Does the Government REALLY want to fix this financial mess we're in?

Like many banks during the world financial meltdown in 2008, IndyMac closed it doors. Months later, its assets were seized by the FDIC and sold to OneWest Bank by the US Government.

Well, guess who owns OneWest Bank: That would be Goldman Sachs; with bigtime VP Stephen Munchen and bigtime investors, George Soros and John Paulson - of no blood relation to ex-CEO of Goldman Sachs, Hank Paulson - who would be the ex-Secretary of the Treasury.

All IndyMac's residential property mortgages were purchased by OneWest at 70% of their value; all HELOCs were purchased at 58% percent of the value.

But just in case the OneWest guys would feel cozy and warm, the FDIC stepped in and decided to cover 80% to 90% of the losses, due to short sale or foreclosures that they might incur from those naughty IndyMac-mortgaged homeowners...

The reason why we think you should know about this case is because the Loss Calculations are based on the ORIGINAL home mortgage and NOT the 70% of the ORIGINAL value at which it was purchased by OneWest.

This is an actual sample case fro one of our TBWS viewers…now, this is going to get your blood boiling!

Take an actual loan $478,000 + 6 months of missed payments for a grand total of $485,200. OneWest Bank paid 70% or $334,600 for that loan. ($485,200 X 70% = $334,600).

Then, that underwater homeowner got an all-cash short sale offer for his home that netted $241,000 to OneWest Bank.

Now, according to the FDIC formula, you take the actual amount that OneWest paid for the mortgage: $334,600 but instead they get to use the ORIGINAL amount of the mortgage of $485,200 MINUS the short sale offer of $241,000 and you have an "Adjusted Loss" of $244,200.

Next, according to the sweetheart deal, the FDIC writes a check to OneWest bank for 80% of the net loss ($244,200 X 80%), so the Taxpayer, courtesy of the FDIC pays OneWest $195,360.

Now, ADD the $195,360 paid by the Government to the short sale offer of $241,000 and One West Bank just made: $436,360 on a loan that they only bought for $334,600! And all they had to do was sell it for what they wanted to!

Guys! They can't lose money on this deal! OneWest Bank just profited on this short sale to the tune of $101,760 -- all because of the sweetheart deal they made with the FDIC.

So, if you ever ask yourself, "Why is it so hard to get a mortgage loan?" The answer is that *there's too much money to be made on short sales and foreclosures.*

Ready for an encore? The house still was sold for less than the original loan amount and the *borrower was forced to sign a promissory note for $75,000* to OneWest Bank!

So who really wins in the end? Well, just let you decide...

By the way, the FDIC just announced that they would start needing to borrow money from the Treasury -- the Treasury being the place where all those Goldman Sachs guys used to call home before they called OneWest Bank home.

If you're as mad about this as we are, share this with as many people as you can, so we can all understand more about this business that we care so deeply about..."

Banks Put Profits Before People

If it's possible to make money out of gullible or unsuspecting customers, that's perfectly acceptable.  The Banks pay huge bonuses because they know they can get away with being bailed out to the downside by the Government and taxpayer.  They are not 'too big to fail' but think they are 'too important to fail' - where in reality, with the billion pound bail-outs we're about to find out that they will ultimately be 'too big to save'.

Of course Banks put profits before customers, how else does a business make decisions, especially when you are part-nationalised and insured against any risks?

The delusional Chief executive of the British Bankers' Association Angela Knight says “the industry had reformed radically" - which bank is she talking about in particular that would lead her to think this was true? The Banks believe they can fall back on the taxpayer because it has been proven to be so.

Nick Clegg says he's angry about the Banking industry and it's actions - well do something about it then!!! Otherwise scenes like those seen in London a week ago are likely to repeat themselves again and again...

"Just weeks after Chancellor George Osborne signed Project Merlin the Bank of England governor Mervyn King has questioned why banks are trying to maximise short-term profit at the expense of customers.

In a Daily Telegraph interview Mr King attacked the banking bonus system warning that failure to reform the sector could result in another financial crisis.

Mr King said that, over the past two decades, too many people in financial services had thought "if it's possible to make money out of gullible or unsuspecting customers, that's perfectly acceptable".

He said: "Why do banks in general want to pay bonuses? It's because they live in a 'too big to fail' world in which the state will bail them out on the downside."

The Project Merlin deal previously struck with the banks agreed that in return for the bank’s lending more money and showing restraint on bonuses, the UK Government would not take any further action on pay and profits.

"We've not yet solved the 'too big to fail' or, as I prefer to call it, the 'too important to fail' problem. The concept of being too important to fail should have no place in a market economy. There is too much weight put on the importance and value of takeovers and it doesn't make sense to destroy a company with a sound reputation in the hunt for short-term profits."

Mr King also drew a contrast between manufacturing companies, who largely care about their workforces, customers and products, and the banks. "There's a different attitude towards customers. Small and medium firms really notice this: they miss the people they know.”

Chief executive of the British Bankers' Association Angela Knight said “Some in the industry had got it badly wrong during the financial crisis but since then the industry had reformed radically. We entirely agree that no bank should believe it can fall back on the taxpayer. I sincerely hope Mr King is as committed as we are to forming a good relationship when the Bank of England takes over regulation".

Banking chiefs said they "respected" Mr King but disagreed with his comments..

The Con-Dem Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg told delegates at the Scottish Liberal Democrat spring conference in Perth:"I agree with Mervyn King, the job of making our banks safe and responsible is not yet complete, I understand why people are angry when they hear about the super-sized salaries and bumper bonuses awarded to top bankers. I am too”.
Read the full article by Mike Clarke at: www.mypropertypowerteam.co.uk