Grand Ballroom – Classroom Style Sheraton Hua Hin overview Source = Starwood Hotels & Resorts Sheraton Hua Hin Resort & Spa won the Luxury Hotel & Conference Center Award from World Luxury Hotel Awards 2010 recently. The aims of World Luxury Hotel Award is to recognize hotels which have demonstrated excellence in the category of Luxury Hotels & Conference Centers . This year the award was won by Sheraton Hua Hin Resort & Spa. The resort was also recognized as a MICE Destination due to continue to increase in popularity. Sheraton Hua Hin Resort & Spa plans to build itself into an agile and professional MICE destination that will harness the power of marketing intelligence and database and boost knowledge and skill development in this industry. “I am extremely proud of our staff. Winning this award in a critical year, with market levels at a record lows, is really an accomplishment for all associates here at our resort. The credit for efforts and hard working definitely rests with each and every associate. I am proud to serve side by side with them” said Martin Raich, General Manager of Sheraton Hua Hin Resort & Spa. The World Luxury Hotel Awards was presented to an exclusive selection of world-class hotels, in order to recognize their excellent facilities and services provided, and available to their guests. The World Luxury Hotel Awards accounts for all categories in the Luxury Hotel industry & recognize Hotels & Resorts situated amongst 54 countries nominated including The Philippines, India, Greece, Argentina, China, South Africa, Maldives, Cook Islands, Australia, New Zealand, Israel, Mauritius, UAE, Italy, Thailand, and Spain.
Source = e-Travel Blackboard: N.J Sydney has been selected as the host city for up to 100 international business event organisers travelling to Australia’s trade marketing road show, Dreamtime 2011.Commencing from 13 November, the five day event will present MICE decision makers with the opportunity to network as well as interact in educational activities and galas.The city’s proposal pushed it to host position, according to Tourism Australia head of business events Australia Penny Lion, with innovative communication strategies and creative thinking.However, Ms Lion stressed that Dreamtime would highlight the benefits of incentive and business travel country-wide. “We are absolutely focused on presenting an outstanding Dreamtime – which will showcase exceptional destinations and experiences around Australia and leave buyers with no doubt about the high value Australia delivers,” Ms Lion said.While Sydney has been selected as the host city, up to seven destinations in Australia will also be incorporated into the itinerary.Tourism Australia has asked destinations across Australia to submit a request for proposals to host educational trips.
Source = Regal Hotels International Regal Airport Hotel and Regal iClub Hotel in Hong Kong have been honoured for their excellent performance at the China Hotel Starlight Award 2010 award presentation ceremony held on 18 March in Shenzhen.This year, Regal Airport Hotel Hong Kong has won “The Best Airport Hotel of China”, while Regal iClub Hotel Hong Kong has been awarded “The Best Green Hotel of China”.The Starlight Award is widely recognized as the “Oscar” of China’s hospitality industry, Ms. Belinda Yeung, Executive Director and Chief Operating Officer, is delighted to receive such recognitions, “As one of the biggest hotel groups in Hong Kong, Regal Hotels International always strives our best to ensure the Group provides exceptional experience to all guests.” China Hotel Starlight Awards is the largest and most influential annual event in China, aimed at recognizing the achievements of outstanding hotels and hoteliers.
Flights too cheap to be true? Then they are probably fake. Aussies have been warned to be cautious of online bookings over the Christmas period as scammers set up fake websites offering cheap flight deals.The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission’s SCAMwatch website has issued a statement advising that online scammers have the potential to not only distribute invalid travel documents but are also capable of stealing a travellers well-earned cash as well as their identity. Utilizing the look and ABN of a legitimate travel website, travellers have lost in excess of up to $1,000 on fake international flights. “It’s all bad for these poor scam victims,” MyCRA national credit repairer Graham Doessel said. “At best they can be left with no holiday – but at worst fraudsters can take their personal details and use them to construct a fake identity which would allow them to borrow in their name – the ramifications of that can last for years.” With the Attorney General’s office revealing that one in six Aussies having their identity stolen or misused in some way, MyCRA recommends travellers looking for a cheap vacations do research on the company and confirm the URL is correct for the company before sending any credit card details through.Online bookers have also been advised to avoid any unsolicited emails, take an extra five minutes to research the company and always go with your instinct if a flight seems to cheap then it probably is fake.”If someone suspects fraud, their credit file could show changes, which if detected early, would prevent their good name from being ruined,” Mr Doessel added. “If there are any unusual credit enquiries, or some attempt to alter personal contact details this should be a red flag. “People should alert creditors to prevent their credit rating from being ruined and protect their ability to obtain credit in the future.” Source = e-Travel Blackboard: N.J
Reed Travel Exhibitions Chairman World Travel Market Fiona Jeffery yesterday collected her Order Of The British Empire (OBE) from Princess Anne at Buckingham Palace.Fiona was awarded the OBE for her services to the travel and tourism industry during her 26 years at WTM, including her commitment to responsible tourism and for launching charity Just a Drop – which looks to reduce child mortality through the providing of clean water to third world communities. Fiona Jeffery with OBE Award outside Buckingham Palace Source = World Travel Market
As part of the three-year plan, Qantas aims to achieve AUD $800 million of cost savings and reduce its debt by AUD $1 billion, while a further AUD $200 million of cuts in capital spending will help bring the net capital spending down to AUD $800 million. On the other hand, the domestic market growth in the first half of the year was around 3.5 per cent and is expected to grow further in the next financial year. Mr. Joyce said Qantas still faces many challenges including high competitive intensity in all markets and high cost of Australian dollar fuel price. Other cost-saving initiatives will see the retirement of 767’s and 747’s, a move that will lead to Qantas investing more simplified fleets including the Dreamliner for Jetstar. “We continue to talk to all parties about that process and we are committed to the repeal of the Qantas Sale Act and working with the government on that,” Mr. Joyce said. The international capacity growth into Australia is expected to moderate from 9 per cent this financial year to 4 to 5 per cent in the first half of the 2015 financial year. Qantas Airways CEO, Alan Joyce today announced the airline is on track as it completes 4,000 of its planned 5,000 job cuts, with the number of full-time employees expected to decrease by 2,200 by the end of June and further 1,800 by the end of June 2015. Qantas is also still in talks with the government in relations to changing the Qantas Sale Act, with the airline hoping to allow greater foreign ownership of the airline, although this issue will not be addressed by The Senate until after July. Source = ETB News: Emma Huynh
Bumper weekend of events set for SydneySydney is set for a bumper weekend of events in August when the Bledisloe Cup clash, the Netball World Cup and The Good Food and Wine Show take place from 7-9 August, at Sydney Olympic Park.In the ultimate trans-Tasman battle, the Qantas Wallabies face off against arch rivals the New Zealand All Blacks at ANZ Stadium to try and win back the Bledisloe Cup after a 13-year drought on Saturday 8 August.The rivalry continues on Sunday 9 August when the Aussies and Kiwis battle it out at Allphones Arena on Sunday 9 August in the round robin stage of The Netball World Cup, which returns to Sydney for the first time in more than two decades.Food and wine lovers can also pop into The Good Food and Wine Show at the Sydney Showground from 7-9 August to discover hundreds of local and international exhibitors, meet celebrity chefs, enjoy live cooking demonstrations and more.The bumper August weekend follows the recent ‘Sydney Super Week’ which saw some of the world’s biggest names in sport flock to the harbour city for a week of sports events during Vivid Sydney, the world’s largest festival of light, music and ideas. Every major code of football was covered over the course of the week with major events across Football (soccer), Rugby League, AFL and Rugby Union.NSW Minister for Trade, Tourism and Major Events and Minister for Sport Stuart Ayres said, “Sydney continues to set the benchmark as Australia’s international sports capital, securing some of the world’s most prestigious teams and sporting events. Sydney Super Week showcased Sydney to a global audience and we can’t wait to do it all again with the next round of sporting events during the big August weekend.”To date in 2015, Sydney has already secured and supported a spate of major sporting events including the ICC Cricket World Cup 2015, the AFC Asian Cup, State of Origin Game One, The Star Australian Badminton Open and major English Premier League football clubs, Tottenham Hotspur FC and Chelsea FC, and the momentum is not stopping with more events lined up for the rest of the year.“The recent Tottenham Hotspur and Chelsea FC matches alone have injected $16 million of visitor expenditure into the NSW economy with almost 20 percent of all ticket sales for both games sold to interstate or international fans,” he said.Following the August bumper weekend, more Sydney-exclusive events include The Blackmores Sydney Running Festival, the Telstra Premiership Grand Final, the Emirates Australian Open of Golf, AUS-X open Sydney and the V8 Supercars Sydney 500.Destination NSW Chief Executive Officer Sandra Chipchase said, “Major sporting events and festivals continue to attract visitors to our State. There’s no better place to spend a weekend than taking in a fixture and seeing what the city has to offer.” Learn more about Sydney eventsSource = Destination NSW
Norwegian Joy completes first preview cruise from ShanghaiAfter maiden calls to Singapore, Qingdao, Shenzhen and Hong Kong, Norwegian Cruise Line (Norwegian), welcomed its newest cruise ship, Norwegian Joy, to her new home port of Shanghai, China. The arrival of Norwegian Joy to Shanghai marks a significant milestone for the storied cruise line as it enters the Chinese cruise market. Norwegian Joy was engineered in Germany and designed for China.“Norwegian Cruise Line is extremely proud to welcome the newest addition to our fleet, Norwegian Joy, to her home port of Shanghai, China” said David Herrera, President of NCLH China. “Norwegian Joy’s arrival demonstrates our commitment to the Chinese cruise market. She was custom-built with Chinese cruise guests in mind.”From the first race track at sea to the innovative virtual reality experiences available at the Galaxy Pavilion to the 28 local and international dining options, Norwegian Joy has an abundance of features that appeal to the modern Chinese family, including staterooms especially designed for multi-generational families traveling together. An international standard of entertainment is easily accessible, with Las Vegas-style performances, as well as a wide variety of luxury shopping options. With this incredible ship, Norwegian’s signature onboard experience has been expanded and customized, adding exciting features, services and amenities that combine both the East and the West to deliver a “First Class at Sea” experience.On a preview voyage that departed from Shanghai on June 10, Norwegian Cruise Line welcomed more than 1,700 VIP members and guests of Alibaba Group (Alibaba), the world’s largest online and mobile commerce company, for a four-day preview cruise.In welcoming Norwegian Joy’s passengers, Herrera also emphasized, “It was our distinct pleasure to welcome Alibaba’s members and guests to enjoy a ‘First Class at Sea’ experience on Norwegian Joy during this preview cruise. The voyage marks the latest step in our recently announced partnership with Alibaba and supports one of its main objectives, which is to promote, develop and expand awareness and attraction of cruising among Chinese travelers.”Norwegian Joy’s voyage with the Alibaba Group departed from Shanghai and called on the Japanese port of Kochi before returning to Shanghai yesterday. The ship’s christening ceremony will take place on June 27 in Shanghai, featuring the ship’s Godfather, ‘King of Chinese Pop,’ Wang Leehom. Year-round voyages on Norwegian Joy from Shanghai begin on June 28 with a season of sailings from Tianjin from August 26 to September 15.Source = Norwegian Cruise Line
Club Med Accelerates International Ski Business ExpansionClub Med Accelerates International Ski Business ExpansionFor over 60 years, Club Med has committed to firmly positioning the brand as leaders in the ski tourism industry by offering easy, relaxing and all-inclusive holidays in the world’s best ski domains.Since the first ski resort opening in 1956, Club Med has expanded its reach across Europe and Asia to now being the world’s largest ski resort operator with over 20 ski resorts, from the soaring peaks of Mont-Blanc in the French Alps, to the powder perfect slopes of Hokkaido Japan, but their plans don’t stop there.Club Med has proudly announced its international development strategy with the ambition to open three to five resorts per year globally by 2020. This will include one ski resort opening per year and will also be coupled with regular upgrades of key existing resorts.Locally, Club Med is aiming to grow the Australian and New Zealand markets by 50 per cent over the next three years. Madeleine Clow-Suares, General Manager, Club Med Australia and New Zealand says, “these are ambitious targets which come in response to the strong appetite of Australians for the relaxing, active, social and carefree holidays Club Med offers. We have a lot of exciting activity planned moving towards 2020 to help meet these goals.”“Our ski resorts are located in the most sought-after ski domains in France, Italy, Switzerland, Japan and China currently. We’re continually wanting to surprise our guests with new destinations, starting with our recent openings of exceptional new resorts: Club Med Tomamu Hokkaido in Japan, and Club Med Grand Massif Samoëns Morillon, in the French Alps,” says Clow-Suares.Future ski resort projects include the opening of Les Arcs Panorama, France, in December 2018 – a modern retreat immersed in the forest, at the doorstep of high-altitude mountains, boasting stunning views throughout, kids clubs for all ages, a very comprehensive wellbeing offer and luxury 5-Trident spaces within. Club Med Sahoro, Japan, will be renovated by November 2018 including updates to the rooms, bar and reception areas as well as a renovation of the main restaurant.Discussions are also progressing for new openings in Tignes, France, Valloire, La Rosière and San Sicario in the Franco-Italian domain Vialattea and Saint-Gervais, Montgenèvre, France. Furthermore, Club Med will settle its first resort in Canada, in Charlevoix’s Massif (Quebec) and continues discussion on projects in China and South Korea.The development of these properties will continue to reinforce Club Med’s major role in the ski industry internationally of facilitating and developing important tourism within these areas for years to come.“These additional development projects will offer more exciting opportunities for families, groups and couples when travelling to snow destinations with Club Med. Our outstanding ski concept and signature snow services gives guests more time to spend on the slopes, from getting you to the resort, to having your lift pass ready, your lessons booked and your kids well looked-after, we take the hassle out of organising a ski holiday,” says Clow-Suares.Club Med’s Easy Arrivals service ensures everything is ready for guests before they arrive, including equipment hire fitted and ready in your locker, registration of children to Kids Clubs and allow pre-booking of experiences for the whole family. Ski lift passes are also pre-arranged and included within Club Med’s all-inclusive package so there’s no delay getting to the mountain.The ski-in, ski-out design of most resorts gives direct access to the slopes for added convenience, maximising time spent skiing. Once on the slopes, there are over 19 levels of ski/snowboard lessons that are available with English speaking instructors also included within Club Med’s ski packages, perfect for first-timers, families or expert skiers alike. Amazing après ski activities and unique cultural experiences are also made available by Club Med, some as part of the premium all-inclusive offering, others arranged upon request, allowing guests to immerse themselves within the destination they visit.“We start with a true all-inclusive concept making for a hassle-free holiday, polished with exceptional services for skiers and for little ones by our warm GOs, local, active, relaxing or gastronomic experiences and a generous mix of fun. We even include peace of mind with our travel insurance. All you have to think about is relaxing, enjoying and creating new memories with family and friends. We want to make your dream holiday a reality which is why we offer something for everyone at our ski resorts,” says Clow-Suares.Since the company’s take over by Chinese conglomerate, Fosun, in 2015, Club Med has seen record growth and profitability, more specifically 6.6 per cent increase year on year in customers. This is a result of the successful strategy implemented with Fosun’s support — going local and focusing on digital.NEW Club Med Ski ResortsClub Med continues to reinforce its unique position as a world leader in premium all-inclusive snow holidays with the recent opening of its two newest snow resorts in December 2017 – Club Med Tomamu Hokkaido, Japan and Club Med Grand Massif Samoëns Morillon, France. These premium resorts offer modern design and authentic cultural ties for Australian skiers looking for the ultimate winter destinations with amazing experiences, made easy.Club Med Tomamu Hokkaido offers an upscale ski experience on powder snow, bringing to life modern Japanese culture. Designed by Jean-Philippe Nuel, the chic, modern aesthetic is reflective of the resorts picturesque surrounds, bringing the beauty of Japanese nature into the resort.Located in Hokkaido, Japan’s most Northerly Island, the area is famous for its untouched nature and preserved wildlife with four distinctive seasons. The island is home to beautiful national parks, lakes, and hot springs. In the winter, due to its unique location, Hokkaido provides plenty of perfect powder snow, the ideal ski conditions for those of all ability.At the resort, sumptuous breakfast, lunch and dinner is served in the main restaurant, the Itara, featuring Japanese and international cuisine included within Club Med’s all-inclusive package. From the resort, guests can explore the local ice village or Mina Mina beach, the largest indoor wave pool in Japan, in addition to a wide selection of snow activities. With 29 ski slopes to explore, a variety of après ski activities and children’s facilities available (kids clubs from 2 to 17 years old), Club Med Tomamu is the perfect destination for a family ski holiday.Club Med Tomamu has been open since December 2017 and available to book for 2018/2019 holidays as part of the Club Med Early Bird offer with a 30% saving – 7 nights all included from $2,330 AUD per adult and $1,395 AUD per child , based on stays starting 30 March 2019.Club Med Grand Massif Samoëns Morillon is the new mountain flagship of Club Med in France offering 360 views on the impressive French Alps and exceptional skiing for all ages, all accessible within 1h30 from Geneva International airport.Set within a preserved natural site in the heart of Grand Massif ski domain, the resort boasts an exceptional 360° panorama across the valley of Samoëns-Morillon. Most impressive of all, guests can ski from the resort’s gently sloping rooftop directly onto the snow. With this impressive ski-in, ski-out access to 265km of slopes both high alpine and pine tree forest terrain, this truly is a snow paradise.Guests can dine in ski gondolas within the resort, enjoy relaxing modern baths within their room, or swim among the mountains at the heated pool, all with cliff-top views.The resort also offers a wide range of activities including sports, well-being, culture and gourmet French Savoy dining as well as a comprehensive range of Kids Clubs, catering to guests from 4 months to 17 years old.Club Med Grand Massif Samoëns Morillon has been open since December 2017 and also available to book for 2018/2019 holidays as part of the Club Med Early Bird offer with a 30% saving – 7 nights all included from $1,950 AUD per adult and $1,560 AUD per child, based on stays starting 14 April 2019.Club Med Les Arcs Panorama, Club Med’s recently announced new resort planned to open December 2018 will offer a modern forest retreat on the doorstep of high-altitude mountains.Owing its name to the dramatic vistas of the Tarentaise Valley and summits it offers, the resort’s curvy architecture takes on the mountain’s form, blending into the well-preserved environment. Inside, the design revisits traditional mountain decoration, and integrates the forest in a modern way.The resort will offer a holistic wellbeing experience to all guests through healthy gastronomic options, relaxing spaces like the quiet lounge, and its 390sqm wellbeing space including a heated indoor pool and SPA by CINQ MONDES.Families are guaranteed an easy and fun stay with everything taken care of to make their trip easy and unforgettable, from the comprehensive range of Kids Clubs for little ones from 4 months to 17 years old, many services for babies and kids and the family concept restaurant Bread&Co where kids invite their parents to dinner.For an even more exclusive stay, suites are available within the 5-Trident luxury space, located at the top of the resort to guarantee the best views. Guests of the 5-Trident luxury space will enjoy exclusive services like the access to a private Welcome Lounge offering champagne by the glass from 6pm, an amazing 390sqm terrace with a hot tub and a dedicated Conciergerie, offering the ideal choice for those who want to combine customised service and luxury comfort, with the warm and friendly Club Med spirit.Club Med Les Arcs Panorama will open December 2018 and is available to book for 2018/2019 holidays as part of the Club Med Early Bird offer with a 30% saving – 7 nights all included from $1,990 AUD per adult and $1,595 AUD per child, based on stays starting 14 April 2019.For further information visit www.clubmed.co.nz or www.clubmed.com.auSource = Club Med
Pacific Jewel’s makeover beginsPacific Jewel’s makeover beginsP&O Cruises’ Pacific Jewel has begun a makeover which will bring a fresh and modern look and feel to the ship’s popular public spaces and venues.Over the next 10 days, the 70,310-tonne vessel will be fitted with a range of new features and furnishings including an outdoor barefoot lawn bowling green first introduced on Pacific Explorer last year.Following positive reviews from guests on Pacific Explorer and Pacific Dawn, Shell & Bones will make its debut on Pacific Jewel serving up locally sourced seafood, grill and vegetarian dishes.The ship’s well-known public areas will be redesigned to mirror the striking contemporary look which has become a trademark of the P&O fleet in recent years.Orient Bar continues as a live-music venue with sumptuous soft furnishings made from luxe fabrics for guests to sit back and enjoy live jazz and blues as well as comedy shows.Popular lounge spot Connexions Bar takes on a summer-inspired pub theme with custom-printed fabrics and botanical patterns inspired by The Explorer Hotel on Pacific Explorer.Close to the pool area, Pacific Jewel’s café adopts a light, bright and beachy feel for the perfect morning coffee and poolside Spanish-style snacks; while child-free retreat The Oasis will showcase new nautical-inspired lounge-beds.At the heart of the ship, the Atrium will be revamped to exude a high-end residential feel thanks to new soft furnishings and coral-inspired artworks and accessories.Pacific Jewel’s finishing touch will be the Southern Cross livery emblazoned on her hull, now a signature feature of P&O’s fleet.The makeover will be carried out in the privately-managed dry-dock at Garden Island in Sydney. It is the last dry-dock able to accommodate large ships in Australia.The refit comes as P&O prepares for its biggest year of New Zealand cruising, with Pacific Jewel undertaking 22 roundtrip cruises from Auckland between March and August 2018, up from 15 in 2017.Pacific Jewel’s upcoming cruises include a seven-night Pacific Island Hopper cruise departing Brisbane on October, 21 2018. Fares start from A$689* per person quad share.For more information visit pocruises.com.au call 13 24 94 or see a licensed travel agent.*subject to availability, conditions applySource = P&O Cruises
Share Frank Lloyd Wright-Designed Home Lists for $2.5M August 20, 2012 372 Views in Data, Government, Origination, Secondary Market, Servicing, Technology In California, high-end homebuyers have the chance to own a piece of architectural history.[IMAGE] “”According to Curbed””:http://sf.curbed.com/archives/2012/08/17/dyi_frank_lloyd_wright_house_has_roots_in_taliesen_west.php, a Usonian home designed by Frank Lloyd Wright has hit the San Anselmo market for $2.5 million.[COLUMN_BREAK] The 0.9-acre estate is owned by Robert Berger, who personally constructed the house based on designs he commissioned from the iconic designer, and Curbed calls the home a “”mini-version of Taliesen West,”” Wright’s famed property in Arizona. In excerpts revealed by Curbed, Berger wrote of the building process, “”I started building in 1953 (the plans were obtained in 1951), and we moved into the uncompleted first unit July 1957. My house is probably unusual in several respects for Mr.Wright. First, the house was to be built completely by the owner and second, the house was designed originally to be expanded from one bedroom to three by adding a wing…Incidentally, one of my requirements was that the house be easy to build. This requirement was forgotten by Mr. Wright since I probably have the heaviest house in Marin County.””The website also reports that the unique property is rumored to include a Wright-designed doghouse that accompanies the three-bedroom, two-bathroom home. Agents & Brokers Attorneys & Title Companies Celebrity Homes Investors Lenders & Servicers Processing Service Providers 2012-08-20 Abby Gregory
Altisource to Purchase Fee-Based Businesses from Ocwen in Data, Government, Origination, Secondary Market, Servicing Agents & Brokers Attorneys & Title Companies Company News Investors Lenders & Servicers Ocwen Processing Service Providers 2013-02-13 Esther Cho Share February 13, 2013 422 Views “”Altisource Portfolio Solutions””:http://www.altisource.com/ announced it is purchasing certain fee-based businesses from “”Ocwen Financial””:http://www.ocwen.com/ for a combined purchase price of $218.6 million.[IMAGE] According to a company release, Altisource entered into non-binding letters of intent with Ocwen to acquire certain fee-based businesses related to the servicer’s recent “”purchase of Homeward Residential””:http://www.dsnews.com/articles/ocwen-enters-agreement-to-buy-homeward-for-750m-2012-10-03 and the anticipated “”purchase””:http://www.dsnews.com/articles/ocwen-walter-investment-receive-court-approval-for-rescap-bid-2012-11-21 of the mortgage servicing platform from Residential Capital. [COLUMN_BREAK]The letter of intent for the Homeward’s fee-based businesses gives Altisource all of the capital stock of Beltline Road Insurance Agency, Power Default Services, Power REO Management Services, and Power Valuation Services. Altsource will also acquire the mortgage asset recovery special services division of Stratus Asset Management Group and certain intellectual property and information technology assets of Homeward Residential’s platform. In addition, Altisource will acquire certain fee-based businesses related to default management and charge-off services, designated intellectual property, and information technology assets related to ResCap. “”These fee based business acquisitions are strategically valuable to Altisource, helping us maintain our business model with Ocwen, expanding our footprint and providing significant revenue and earnings growth to Altisource,”” said William B. Shepro, CEO of Altisource, in a release. “”By selling these non-core assets, Ocwen is able to achieve a greater projected return on the Homeward and ResCap servicing acquisitions and to continue to focus primarily on growing our core residential and commercial servicing businesses. Having an outlet for disposition of peripheral mortgage-related assets significantly enhances Ocwen’s competitive positioning for future servicing platform acquisitions that include non-core operations,”” added Ronald M. Faris, CEO of Ocwen.
Bank of America has requested an appeals court to dismiss a $1.27 billion court-imposed penalty against the bank over mortgage fraud and has also asked that the judge who imposed the penalty be removed from the case.The Charlotte, North Carolina-based megabank asked the 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals for the removal of Judge Jed Rakoff of the U.S. District Court of the Southern District of New York from the case if it is remanded based on alleged partial public statements he made while the case was pending, and in particular while the penalty phase was ongoing.”In particular, he criticized the Justice Department for failing to pursue bank executives more aggressively for their roles in the crisis,” the bank said in the filing. “In a widely publicized article, the district judge questioned why the Justice Department had not brought prosecutions against bank executives using a theory of ‘willful blindness’ or ‘conscious disregard.'”The filing also said Rakoff made “numerous” speeches on this theme, “with particular emphasis on the Justice Department’s non-prosecution of Countrywide’s chief executive officer, Angelo Mozilo.”A clerk for Rakoff said the judge had no comment when contacted by MReport.The U.S. Department of Justice sued Bank of America in August 2013, accusing the bank’s Countrywide division of misrepresenting the mortgage-backed securities it sold to Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac in the years leading up to the financial crisis through a program known as the High Speed Swim Lane (HSSL, commonly known as “Hustle”). The government said the program emphasized speed over quality of the loans sold, and staff members were rewarded according to sales volume. In October 2013, a jury found Countrywide liable for selling toxic MBS to Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac under the Hustle program.Bank of America was ordered to pay a $1.27 billion civil penalty in July 2014 as a result of its alleged role in the Hustle case. The bank has been fighting to overturn that verdict since, claiming that the Hustle program ended prior to its July 2008 acquisition of Countrywide. Rakoff rejected a motion by the bank to have the verdict reversed in early February. He also rejected the bank’s motion for a new trial at that time.In December, it was announced that former Countrywide executive Edward O’Donnell will collect $57 million for his role in filing a whistle-blower lawsuit against Bank of America in the Hustle case. Former Countrywide executive Rebecca Marione was ordered to pay $1 million for her alleged role in the Hustle case and is appealing that decision.Bank of America argues in the filing with the 2nd Circuit Court that the Hustle case should have never been brought to trial because the bank should not have been held liable under the provision of a law enacted following a scandal in the 1980s, and furthermore, the misrepresentations in the case may equate to breach of contract–but breach of contract does not equal fraud.”Curiously, the action was brought under a provision of the Financial Institutions Reform, Recovery, and Enforcement Act (FIRREA), which was enacted in the wake of the 1980s savings-and-loan crisis to protect federally insured financial institutions from misconduct by others,” the bank wrote in the filing. “To the best of our knowledge, that provision had never previously been used to extract penalties from a bank, much less from a bank sued only as a successor in interest to alleged wrongdoing. This case never should have gone to trial. By its terms, the applicable provision of FIRREA does not permit liability against banks on the theory that they engaged in fraud “affecting” themselves. What is more, the alleged misrepresentations in this case consisted exclusively of breaches of contractual representations that, under well-established principles, could not give rise to claims for fraud.”Bank of America concluded the filing by asking the court to either reverse the judgment in the Hustle case or vacate the judgment and remand the case based on the claim that “the trial itself was riddled with errors at both the liability and penalty phases.” April 23, 2015 470 Views in Daily Dose, Featured, Government, News Bank of America Asks Appeals Court to Throw Out $1.27 Billion Penalty—and Remove Judge Bank of America Countrywide Hustle Case Judge Jed Rakoff Mortgage-Backed Securities 2015-04-23 Seth Welborn Share
Predicting the Housing Market and Economic Health The next recession is likely to be triggered by monetary and trade policy according to experts surveyed by Zillow, and that could happen as early as 2020. Through its 2018 Q2 Zillow Home Price Survey, the real estate engine asked more than 100 real estate experts and economists about their predictions for the housing market as well as the triggers for the next recession and when it would begin.A very few, only nine, of the over 100 experts surveyed believed that the next downturn would be triggered by the housing market. “By most measures, the economy is doing well; GDP is growing steadily and unemployment is near historic lows. This has prompted the Federal Reserve to raise short-term interest rates four times since the start of 2017,” Zillow said in its survey. With two more rate hikes expected this year, the experts surveyed believed that raising rates too quickly could push the economy towards slower growth, leading to a recession.Despite these misgivings, the respondents also thought that the housing market would continue to experience strong appreciation, predicting that home values in the U.S. would rise 5.5 percent in 2018 to a median of $220,000. They had predicted home values to rise 3.7 percent in 2018 during the same period last year.”As we close in on the longest economic expansion this country has ever seen, meaningfully higher interest rates should eventually slow the frenetic pace of home value appreciation that we have seen over the past few years, a welcome respite for would-be buyers,” said Aaron Terrazas, Senior Economist at Zillow. “Housing affordability is a critical issue in nearly every market across the country, and while much remains unknown about the precise path of the U.S. economy in the years ahead, another housing market crisis is unlikely to be a central protagonist in the next nationwide downturn.”On average, panelists said they expected home value growth to slow further in coming years – to 4.1 percent by the end of next year, 2.9 percent in 2020, 2.6 percent in 2021 and 2.8 percent by 2022.On mortgage credit, most of the respondents had a positive assessment of residential lending with 51 percent saying that today’s mortgage underwriting standards were “just about right, neither too tight, nor too loose.” Around 25 percent of respondents felt that underwriting standards were somewhat tight, whereas 21 percent said that they were somewhat loose. Appreciation Economy GDP Home Home Prices Home Value homes HOUSING Interest rates Monetary Policy Zillow 2018-05-22 Radhika Ojha Share in Daily Dose, Data, Featured, News May 22, 2018 736 Views
Share in Headlines, Servicing The StoneHill Group, an Atlanta-based, veteran-owned provider of quality control, due diligence and mortgage fulfillment services has expanded its mortgage lender support services to help lenders, including banks and credit unions for cost-effective operations.Since hiring and training staff is time-consuming and expensive, lenders often outsourced underwriting, processing, and other origination tasks when loan volumes fluctuate, StoneHill said that its expanded services for mortgage lenders offered variable cost structure for its services so that clients only pay for the work they need.“Almost every day, someone asks me how they can save money originating loans in this environment,” said David Green, Founder, and CEO of The StoneHill Group. “For many, the best option is to outsource some or all of their origination work to The StoneHill Group. Once they do, they can stop worrying about whether they have enough staff, and they can rest assured that their critical processes will be completed on time and within budget.”In addition to providing origination support services, The StoneHill Group is a nationwide provider of loan quality control, loan fulfillment and MERS reconciliation and annual review services. All of the company’s services are rendered onshore in the United States and comply with SSAE 18/SOC 1 standards.“Our outsourcing clients are not only able to react to shifts in loan volume more quickly, we also help them meet specific requirements and stay compliant,” Green said.The company also said that it is now licensed to provide complete underwriting and processing support in Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Maryland, Michigan, Montana, New Jersey, North Dakota, Ohio, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Virginia and Washington, D.C. It is awaiting license approvals in South Carolina, Texas, and Washington state. July 18, 2018 520 Views Lenders mortgage Servicing StoneHill Underwriting 2018-07-18 Radhika Ojha StoneHill Group Expands its Lender Support Services
South Africa: Maluma Symposium to draw larger inte … An area of the Australian island state of Tasmania has been officially reinstated as a Pest Free Area today, 12 months after Queensland fruit flies were detected.The lifting of strict biosecurity controls around Northern Tasmania re-opens the door to domestic trade, but export markets are yet to recognize the new status.The control zones restricted the movement of fresh fruit from some of Tasmania’s prime horticultural production areas, unless it had been treated with methyl bromide or been kept in cold storage for weeks.The shutdown affected export markets and caused huge financial losses.Fruit Growers’ Tasmania, CEO, Stuart Burgess welcomed the positive news and thanked Tasmanian growers impacted by the exclusion zone.“There have been no fruit flies detected in Northern Tasmania over the past six months thanks to a collaborative and relentless approach towards eradication,” said Stuart.“It goes to show what can be achieved when we get Federal Government, state biosecurity teams, industry and the community all pulling in the same direction to solve an issue.”In the 2018–19 Budget, the Government provided AUD$20 million to the Tasmanian state Government to support the response to the Queensland fruit fly outbreak.AUD$100,000 was also provided directly to Fruit Growers Tasmania to help growers prepare for and respond to potentially costly biosecurity incidents.Minister for Agriculture David Littleproud also commented today: “We are working with trading partners with the help of our overseas agriculture counsellors to get international trade back up and running.”“For the fruit exporters of Northern Tasmania we are working to make this happen as soon as possible.”The Australian Government also recently announced $16.9 million to support a strong, effective, harmonised system for nation-wide fruit fly management. January 09 , 2019 Chile opens for Australian almonds … Kanzi apple harvest kicks off in Australia … You might also be interested in Australia: Queensland govt boosts TR4 funding, cal …
Cathay Pacific has launched a new sale running until Monday, 26 March, 2018 for select 2018 departures from Australia to 13 cities across the UK and Europe. Destinations include Cathay’s newest services to Dublin, Brussels and Copenhagen. CLICK HERE for full terms and conditions and to book. *The above fares are quoted in Economy and Premium Economy Class and include all taxes and surcharges correct as of 7 March 2018. IMAGE: Trinity College Library, Dublin airlinesCathay Pacific
Abis Budget GroupagentsAvis Scholarship Avis Budget Group has announced that applications for the Avis Travel Agent Scholarship program, founded in 1996, are now open for 2018. Established to encourage, recognise and reward outstanding customer service, the Avis Travel Agent Scholarship has evolved into one of the most valuable and prestigious awards offered to Australian and New Zealand travel professionals. Applications for the program will be open until 12 October 2018 and finalists will be announced on 25 October 2018. The award dinner and winner announcement will take place in November 2018. Steadily expanding its size and reputation in the travel industry, the Avis Travel Agent Scholarship prize is valued at over $40,000. The winner will enjoy a range of prizes and experiences including international travel to Singapore to attend the Phocuswright Conference, professional guidance and access to exceptional training opportunities with organisations such as Cruise Lines International Association Australasia (CLIAA).Judged on extraordinary customer service and innovation in the workplace, the Avis Travel Agent Scholarship application process is designed to be rigorous, transparent and impartial. Individuals are required to answer a series of questions in the most creative way they see fit, before submitting their responses in any format including Word, PowerPoint or video.Ian Jones, Commercial Director of Avis Budget Group Pacific, said: “We’re very excited to see what calibre of talent is revealed in this year’s Avis Travel Agent Scholarship. Every year the program has attracted hundreds of travel agents across Australia and New Zealand and the applications only get harder and harder to judge.“We’re proud to see the Scholarship continue to grow and become a benchmark for excellent customer service within the travel industry. Personally, I am looking forward to hearing all the fantastic stories that emerge.”
He regained the starting job a few weeks later, but was never able to turn his season around. His struggles culminated with a meltdown after a Monday night loss to the 49ers, as he provided media fodder with a rant about why he was caught laughing on the sidelines during the game.The veteran Hayes, who had been with the Cardinals since being drafted out of Pittsburgh, was a steady presence on the defensive side of the ball. However, injuries plagued him throughout his career, and he played in just six games in 2010. While he collected 23 tackles (33 total), he just wasn’t the same player as he was before. D-backs president Derrick Hall: Franchise ‘still focused on Arizona’ Comments Share Top Stories What an MLB source said about the D-backs’ trade haul for Greinke Nevada officials reach out to D-backs on potential relocation The Cardinals made a couple of moves Thursday, and while the acquisition of Kevin Kolb may be the most flashy, the release of Derek Anderson is likely just as pleasing to the team’s fans.Arizona officially announced Anderson’s release, as well as that of linebacker Gerald Hayes.In the Valley for just one year, Anderson was named the starting quarterback after passing Matt Leinart on the depth chart.Anderson played in 12 games, starting nine, and completed just 51.7 percent of his passes while throwing just seven touchdowns and 10 interceptions. His struggles were at the forefront of a bad season for the Cardinals, and he was replaced by undrafted rookie Max Hall in week five. Cardinals expect improving Murphy to contribute right away
When a team is mired in an extended losing streak, as the Cardinals are, one play can often make all the difference. Sunday was no exception.Although the Cardinals raced out to a 13-0 lead in the first quarter behind three interceptions, momentum was slowly shifting in the Falcons’ direction midway through the second quarter.On a third-and-2 from the Cardinals’ 21-yard line, rookie Ryan Lindley went back to pass but was hit hard from behind by veteran defensive end John Abraham. Top Stories Grace expects Greinke trade to have emotional impact Former Cardinals kicker Phil Dawson retires The 5: Takeaways from the Coyotes’ introduction of Alex Meruelo 0 Comments Share While Lindley’s arm appeared to be moving forward, the ball squirted free to his right and was picked up without a fight by Atlanta’s Jonathan Babineaux, who calmly raced 15 yards to the end zone for a defensive touchdown.The touchdown cut the Cardinals’ lead to 13-10, and the Falcons would go on to score 13 of the final 19 points in the contest for their ninth victory of the season.Head coach Ken Whisenhunt thought the play should have been ruled an incompletion not a fumble, but head referee Bill Vinovich disagreed.“[Vinovich] said he didn’t see it that way,” Whisenhunt said. “To me the hand was moving forward when the ball came out. That’s a rule that’s been scrutinized in the NFL. It was a tight call.”What was most surprising about the play was that when the ball went to the Georgia Dome turf, not a single Arizona player made a move towards the ball. “Multiple players told me they heard a whistle,” said Whisenhunt. “It seemed like everybody stopped playing except for one or two guys. There were players running on the field from both sidelines. It was definitely a strange play.”Babineaux’s touchdown was the second defensive score the Cardinals have given up during their six-game losing streak. – / 18 Derrick Hall satisfied with D-backs’ buying and selling