Source = e-Travel Blackboard: N.J Sabre Travel Network is simplifying the booking process for agents as it rolls out Graphical View, a new shopping and booking interface. Launching to agencies across the globe, the company promises that the product will increase productivity while decreasing the booking time for an agent by up to 20 percent.According to Sabre, Graphical View allows agents to book air, hotel, car and other suppliers with 30 percent less keystrokes to complete a reservation.Agents also have access to nearly three times more low fare options in a single search.Product, marketing and distribution general manager Richard Morgan explained that the interface changes the way agents work and assist customers.“From the introduction of Sabre Red and the upgrading of 145,000 agents to the Red Workspace to the launch of graphical view, we’re equipping agents with powerful new tools to help them stay ahead in a competitive industry,” Mr Morgan said.The company’s head added that the product also cuts back on training time with an estimated two weeks compared to eight weeks on other devices.“This allows agency owners to tap into a broader talent pool when hiring new staff, while also increasing productivity for even the most experienced agents.”
Interline Reservation Service has replaced its old name for the new title ‘Travel Industry Club’, a branding the company’s manager says is better at summing up what they do. Travel Industry Club managing director Sue Francis said that the term interline is not as recognised now as it has been in the past and therefore felt the change was necessary.“We decided to rebrand with a name that really sums up what we do for travel industry people,” Ms Francis said.“As well as the new look of the company, Travel Industry Club (TIC) has built a new website using fresh technology and plans to have a strong presence on Social Media platforms to get the new company known quickly throughout the industry.”Ms Francis added that the new name and branding not only brings a new way of doing things and additional fresh new staff members but a new level of energy to service the travel industry.The new company website has been specifically designed to make it easier to use and can be visited at www.industryclub.com.au.“We identified that our old website had a lot of information visible all at once and we really wanted the new site to look exciting but have the functionality of sending you where you want to go within one or two clicks, we certainly think we have achieved that”. Source = e-Travel Blackboard: S.P
Source = e-Travel Blackboard: N.J If not planned properly, tourism can “significantly” impact the environment and country, according an agriculture leader in Vanuatu.Speaking at the ACP Regional briefing, director of Vanuatu’s agriculture, livestock, fisheries and forestry, Jeffery Wilfred explained although tourism was “key” for small islands, it could also lead to the decay of the environment, particularly the coastal zones, Pacific Islands New Association reported. He added that on the other hand, choosing a coastal region that’s prone to experience climate related changes and environmental degradation would also impact a tourist’s decision to travel into those regions.“Some of our islands are heavily dependent on coastal and marine resources for food security and on tourism which can be easily impacted by climate change and natural disasters,” he said.Mr Winfred noted that a resolution was necessary and proposed the Pacific consider global targets that are relevant to measuring global commitments to promote and support sustainable development. “These targets could focus on key issues to assist SIDS in overcoming their particular challenges such as extreme isolation, exposure to the impacts of climate change and disasters and high dependency on fossil fuels,” he said.
Singapore enforces “outrage of modesty” law. Source = e-Travel Blackboard: P.T An Australian man faces corporal punishment in Singapore after swearing on a Tiger Airways flight.Perth resident Bruce Griffiths was arrested and charged under the country’s “outrage of modesty” laws following an altercation onboard a Singapore-bound flight earlier this month, the West Australian reported.Mr Griffiths, who was sitting in the centre seat of his row, allegedly got up to allow a female passenger to go to the bathroom, disturbing the sleep of the male passenger in the aisle seat.The male swore at Mr Griffiths, who returned the abuse, at which point cabin crew had to intervene.The Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade warns “outrage of modesty” crimes can apply on aircraft registered in Singapore and inbound Singapore-owned carriers.According to Smartraveller, an Australian government travel advisory service, “outrage of modesty” crimes can consist of “men behaving inappropriately towards women, using inappropriate language and inappropriate touching”.The site warns that these laws are “strict”.The 47-year old Australian man faces a possible two-year jail term, 24 lashes of the cane or a fine if convicted.Tiger Airways has launched its own investigation into the incident.
APT has received one of travel most prestigious awards at this week’s Australian Gourmet Traveller Travel Awards, which are voted for by the magazine’s readers, winning the newly introduced River Cruise Operator category.Presented by TV personality, Catriona Rowntree and Gourmet Travellers Editor, Anthea Loucas, APT Marketing Manager Justine Lally, accepted the award, saying, “We are thrilled and delighted to receive such an important accolade, with Australian Gourmet Traveller readers widely regarded as being both incredibly well informed and well travelled.”“Their opinion really matters and so to have been voted as the leading river cruise operator by such an influential audience is an absolute honour.”She added that APT has been operating escorted tours since the 1920s but river cruising only since 2000 with APT believing that their refined product and extensive experience is reflected in delivering the highest quality luxury river cruises available.“We like to treat our guests like royalty, serving up the very finest in cuisine, accommodation and service and we make sure our guests return home with memories that they will treasure, taking them on our unique ‘Signature Experience’ sightseeing tours where they get an exclusive insight into the culture of the country they are visiting.”“This award is testament to all the hard work that each and every member of the APT team puts in to delivering such a high quality product and something they can all be proud of.” Source = e-Travel Blackboard: JAJ Justine Lally (right) receiving the awardfrom Anthea Loucas, Editor, AustralianGourmet Traveller. Image Credit: APT
The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge’s new bundle of joy is creating joy for Aussies looking for a European getaway, with British Airways unveiling a new baby-offer.Commencing yesterday through to 30 July 2013 for travel before 30 November 2013, British Airways is offering complimentary flights for children under the age of two travelling from Singapore to London or Sydney.Subject to availability, the catch is that the offer is only valid when infant is accompanied by a paying adult on promotional economy/premium economy fares to London or Sydney, infants will need to be accompanied by a paying adult in the same booking/itinerary and all taxes and surcharges will still apply.British Airways South East Asia regional commercial manager Robert Williams said the airline really wanted “to celebrate” the Royal birth with its customers.“We have been so excited for the Royal birth since the news broke last year,” Mr Williams said.“We understand that travelling with young children can be stressful, which is why we always strive to make the experience as easy as possible for families.”Click back onto ETB News tomorrow for British Airways’ top tip for parents travelling with infants.Source = ETB News: N.J. British Airways celebrates the birth of the Royal baby.
United Airlines has launched non-stop flights from Melbourne to Los Angeles with the first scheduled international deployment of its new Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner aircraft.The airline celebrated the maiden flight with a ceremony at Melbourne International Airport, and passengers were greeted at check-in by Southern California icons such as Marilyn Monroe, a Dodgers baseball player, a Lakers basketball player and a surfer.United Airlines senior vice president Dave Hilfman said that the inaugural service on this game-changing new aircraft is another major milestone for United.“We’re excited to offer Melbourne passengers a non-stop service to our Los Angeles hub for the first time, and to deliver a new level of inflight comfort to our passengers with the 787-9 Dreamliner,” Mr Hilfman said.The flight will depart Melbourne Airport at 10:15 am on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday and Sunday, arriving at Los Angeles International Airport at 6:50 am the same day, with a Saturday flight also departing slightly later in the day.The return flight departs Los Angeles International Airport at 10:30 p.m. on Monday, Wednesday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday, arriving in Melbourne at 8:15 a.m., two days later.With this new service, United Airlines will provide a convenient one-stop service between Melbourne and more than 37 U.S. cities.Source = ETB Travel News: Lewis Wiseman
Labor’s 457 proposals would damage Australia’s regional economiesCalls by the Labor Party to increase the cut-off level for 457 visas in exchange for passing the China Free Trade Deal would seriously affect regional destinations across Australia, according to Tourism Accommodation Australia (TAA).The peak accommodation body said that the proposal to increase the threshold level from $53,900 to $57,000 would make it even harder for regional and remote areas to source skilled staff, especially with Australia’s cities undergoing its largest hotel expansion in over 20 years.Currently, both cities and regional areas are struggling to fill skilled positions from local sources, and this had the potential to jeopardise service standards at a time when the Australian tourism sector had the potential to make up for the slump in the mining and resource sector.“This would have the opposite effect when it comes to protecting Australian jobs, because the tourism and accommodation sectors use 457 visa applicants to fill skilled positions that they can’t fill locally, and these positions are crucial for providing the services required by tourists,” says TAA CEO, Carol Giuseppi.“Remote areas in Western Australia, Northern Territory and Queensland continually struggle to attract local skilled hospitality workers, and will increasingly rely on skilled overseas workers as all the new city developments require increased staffing.“City accommodation and hospitality providers also face shortages, but have greater capacity to attract workers, but regional and remote areas are particularly vulnerable to skilled staff shortages. Many are very seasonal, so they require greater flexibility, and 457 visa holders enable many businesses that are only marginally profitable with a key resource.“The Labor Party should be supporting both the China Free Trade Agreement – which will provide great opportunities to Australia’s economic future – and supporting the needs of regional and remote areas by not demanding changes to the 457 visa levels.”Ms Giuseppi said TAA supported the research by Australian Chamber of Industry and Commerce which showed that changes to the 457 threshold level would significantly impact accommodation and hospitality industries in a number of States.“We already have reports of significant shortages in a number of areas, and many of these regions have been struggling for a number of years, so this is a time where they need maximum support,” said Ms Giuseppi.Ms Giuseppi said the industry was investing heavily in training and development but with over 10,000 rooms scheduled to come on stream before 2020, the industry could not supply from domestic sources the level of skilled workers required to cater for the growth in the sector. Tourism Accommodation AustraliaSource = Tourism Accommodation Australia
solomon islandsSolomon Islands records solid visitor arrival increase for 2015Rounding out a positive year for the Solomon Islands tourism fortunes, officially released figures this week show international visitation for the period January – December 2015 increased from 20,061 in 2014 to 21,623 – a growth of 7.8 per cent.Australian visitor arrivals again led the way, the 9509 total recorded for the 12 month period representing a 4.10 per cent increase over 2014 and accounting for 43.9 per cent of the 2015 total.New Zealand has for the first time jumped into the number two spot, the 1451 figure recorded for 2015 marking a 3.2 per cent increase over the 1243 total recorded in 2014.The US, Papua New Guinea and Fiji arrivals also showed positive growth, figures increasing by 24.2 per cent, 7.8 per cent and 10.8 per cent, respectively.Solomon Islands Visitors Bureau CEO, Josefa ‘Jo’ Tuamoto again attributed the positive result to the efforts the national tourist office has gone to in all key source markets across 2015.“This is particularly the case in Australia and New Zealand where we have been extremely hard at work creating a profile for the Solomon Islands, working hand in hand with our industry colleagues and Solomon Airlines to perpetuate awareness for the destination,” he said.“Our efforts in the US, which was heavily affected by the Fiji Airways-Solomon Airlines impasse in 2014, and PNG have also borne fruit.“But key to everything we do in order to attract more visitation is to continue to continue to broaden the Solomon Islands’ overseas appeal to attract a more diverse range of visitors.“We are renowned as a mecca for SCUBA divers, surfers, backpackers and more latterly, families looking to reconnect while on holiday and the romance/wedding markets.“Leading into 2017 we also see huge potential with the 75th anniversary of the Guadalcanal campaign and the corresponding 100th anniversary of the birth of John F.Kennedy which we know will hold huge potential for us, particularly in the US market.“Key to everything we do is to continue to take long hard looks look and examine how we do are doing things in order for us to take that step change and propel our country’s tourism fortunes into the future.“Having visited Papua New Guinea and New Zealand earlier this year and with a major east coast Australia roadshow planned in May, we are hopeful of an even stronger result in 2016.” Visit SolomonsSource = Mike Parker-Brown, SIVB PR
Sunshine Coast delivers an Australian Event Awards night to rememberSunshine Coast delivers an Australian Event Awards night to rememberThe Events Centre Caloundra put on a spectacular show last night for the Australian Event Awards, considered the ‘Oscars’ of the Australian events industry.Some 330 event specialists from around Australia attended the function, which included top class entertainment, high quality local Sunshine Coast cuisine and a surprise element that reflected this year’s Australian Event Awards theme of the ‘art of the unexpected’.While the delegates might have expected the Sunshine Coast to deliver beautiful summer-like sunshine during the Awards & Symposium, awards night attendees did get a major surprise when a ‘hidden’ stage was revealed to host a series of glamorous acts.Another unexpected treat was a closing performance by The Antipodean Rock Collective featuring Australia’s rock band pedigree, with members of Jet, Powderfinger, You Am I, and Spiderbait combining to bring the house down with a memorable set.Amongst the industry professionals recognised in the Awards was the legendary Ignatius Jones (Vivid Sydney, Sydney Olympics, Mardi Gras etc), who won the life time achievement award.A local winner, TAFE Queensland’s East Coast Division, took out the award for ’Best Education/Training Program’ for their Diploma of Event Management.Visit Sunshine Coast CEO, Simon Latchford, who presented awards on the night for Best Tourism Event and Best Education or Training Program, said the Awards night at The Events Centre showcased the region’s expertise and innovation in events management.“Delegates I spoke to said this was one of the best Awards events and symposiums they had attended,” said Mr Latchford.“It is a huge credit to the team at The Events Centre and all the local suppliers and operators who contributed to making this a memorable event.“This is undoubtedly one of the toughest audiences to impress because they’ve seen just about everything there is to see in the events space, but you can be certain that they will leave the Sunshine Coast knowing that we can deliver world-class events.“The support by Sunshine Coast Council to target major events has already paid dividends in recent months, with the region hosting the Australian Society of Travel Writers, the Australian Cruise Conference and now the Australian Event Awards & Symposium, three of the most prestigious events in the travel and tourism calendar.“Our Business Events team will be working with Sunshine Coast Council’s events team to pursue other major events and conferences, as they deliver substantial benefits in the short and longer terms to the Sunshine Coast, its businesses and its residents.“The Events Centre delivered an outstanding event, but the best is yet to come, thanks to Sunshine Coast Council and the Federal Government combining to fund a $6 million upgrade of The Events Centre. The Sunshine Coast has so many natural attractions, but this investment will ensure that we can continue to excel in the highly competitive venue space as well as enhance Caloundra’s reputation as being one of the region’s premier cultural and performance precincts.”Source = Sunshine Coast
The Commercial Office of Peru in India, recently organised a seminar in Mumbai called Peru: Empire of Hidden Treasure. Showcasing the landscape of Peru and its tourist attractions, the event stressed on India as an important tourist base. Concluding similar events in Bengaluru, Kolkata and a few cities in Gujarat, Luis M Cabello, Economic and Commercial Counsellor, Embassy of Peru, disclosed plans to target tier-II and tier-III cities, although gradually, given the vastness of the Indian market.Cabello went on to explain the hassle-free visa procurement procedure that would require a passport, travel itinerary, bank documents, a year’s income tax certificate and photograph with white background, on the submission of which the process will require four working days for completion.“From majority of cities in Europe, you will find many flights to Peru. One can fly to Peru via Istanbul, Dubai or Qatar. Air connectivity is not a problem at all,” commented Cabello while speaking about connectivity.“India is soon going to start first free-trade agreement with one of the Latin American countries. And the country is going to be Peru. Once it is done, will further facilitate to promote our country,” said the Counsellor.With markets chiefly based in Chile, U.S. and parts of Europe, India did not feature in the Peruvian map until two-three years back. Marketing strategies are already being executed in terms of connecting companies of the two destinations besides training Indian tour operators. Since we started our business in India, we subsequently realised that India holds tremendous potential for us. Today India has emerged as one of the most important markets for us. In the first year, we took seven companies and a few journalists in our country. Next year it would be better,” he informed.
Kerala Travel Mart (KTM) will hold its biennial meet in Kochi from September 27 to 30. Being held in the wake of the devastating floods that rampaged through large swathes of the coastal state, the 10th edition of KTM will focus on measures that would lead to a strong resurgence of tourism, which is the mainstay of Kerala’s economy.The inaugural session of the four-day event, being organised by the KTM Society in association with the State Tourism Department, will be held at Grand Hyatt, Bolgatty, on September 27.“The response to this edition of KTM has been overwhelming with 395 overseas buyers and 1,095 domestic buyers have registered as participants. The complete list of participants for the Buyer-Seller meet will be released on September 10,” said Baby Mathew, President, KTM Society.As in its previous editions, KTM will serve as a strong platform to showcase its time-tested as well as new products of Kerala and establish firm business links by bringing together internationally reputed buyers and sellers and tour operators under one roof. The new products launched by the state government like the Malabar River Cruise project, focusing on nine rivers in north Kerala, will be showcased before the delegates.Major topics to be deliberated at the seminars will include enhancing the green cover of the state, rainwater harvesting and reduction of the use of plastic. In its previous edition, the key themes of discussion included promotion of organic products, attaining energy efficiency and garbage management.“Special arrangements have also been made for the large media contingent reaching the city to cover the event, including fully hosted tours to prime destinations across the state from September 23 to 27. As many as 20 media persons from abroad and 26 from different parts of the country will be reporting the event from the spot,” said Abraham George, former President and expert member of the National Tourism Advisory Committee (NTAC).
Share Illinois Home Sales Climbed in December Agents & Brokers Attorneys & Title Companies Company News Investors Lenders & Servicers Processing Realtor Association Service Providers 2012-01-24 Abby Gregory Illinois received an unexpected gift during December – rising home sales. Crediting the unseasonably mild weather, low mortgage interest rates, and attractive market pricing, the state recorded its sixth consecutive month of increasing numbers of homes sold.[IMAGE]According to the recent report released by the “”Illinois Association of Realtors””:www.illinoisrealtor.org/, the total number of homes sales during December was up 14 percent year-over-year. Overall, data from Illinois showed 8,828 homes sold for the month, off of 7,746 sold during December 2010.More than half of the counties in Illinois demonstrated a year-over-year uptick in home sales, with 52 of the state’s 100 counties reporting elevated numbers. While median pricing remains down, 43 counties in Illinois did show an increase in pricing year-over-year. Lower median pricing has helped improve sales statistics, and the statewide median price for December was $125,500. The tally represents a 10.4 percent decrease in median pricing year-over-year, with numbers during December 2010 sitting at $140,000.Counties going against the broader pricing trend included Champaign, up 12.2 percent; Grundy, up 3.7 percent; Kankakee, up 10.5 percent; Peoria, up 0.9 percent; Saint Clair, up 5.5 percent; Sangamon, up 1.2 percent; and Woodford, up 8.5 percent.In the state’s nine-county Chicago Primary Metropolitan Statistical Area, home sales rose 17 percent year-over-year in December, and median pricing was depressed by 13.6 percent year-over-year. For the city of Chicago, home sales were up by 6.4 percent during the month on a year-over-year basis, and median pricing declined by 6.2 percent for the same period.Commenting on the results of its survey, Dr. Geoffrey J.D. Hewings, director of the Regional Economics Applications Laboratory, said, “”Housing market forecasts for January, February and March 2012 for Illinois and the Chicago PMSA suggest that sales volume will be significantly higher than the same period last year, although prices will still be lower than a year ago. Until these foreclosed properties and additions expected in 2012 clear the market, sustained upward movement in prices will be unlikely.””Bob Floss, president of the “”Chicago Association of Realtors””:www.chicagorealtor.com/, noted of IAR’s findings, “”December ended the year with an optimistic showing of buyers coming out and making decisions about investing in a home. While the year-end numbers for 2011 were down over 2010, a positive uptick in sales toward the end of the year is a great indicator of a strong winter and spring season for buyers and sellers, alike, looking to get off the fence.””Continuing his statements, Floss, who is also the broker and owner of “”Bob Floss and Son Realty””:bobflossandson.com/, added, “”Still problematic is the downward pressure distressed properties are putting on the market and a trend we will continue to monitor this year as we observe changes in median pricing throughout the city.”” in Data, Government, Origination, Secondary Market, Servicing, Technology January 24, 2012 398 Views
Agents & Brokers Attorneys & Title Companies Carrington Investors Lenders & Servicers Movers & Shakers Processing Service Providers 2013-12-04 Tory Barringer in Data, Government, Origination, Secondary Market, Servicing Share “”Carrington Mortgage Services'””:http://www.carringtonhomeloans.com/ lending division appointed Carl Grimes as branch manager of its office in Tampa, Florida.[IMAGE]With a history of delivering results spanning nearly two decades, Grimes “”has the experience and dedication necessary to ensure the most efficient delivery of products and services to borrowers,”” the company said in a release. [COLUMN_BREAK]He comes from his most recent stint as sales manager for Wells Fargo Home Mortgage, where his responsibilities included–among other things–managing sales operations and building an external network of real estate sales professionals on Florida’s west coast.Grimes’ other previous positions include sales/branch manager for Wachovia Mortgage F.S.B., sales manager/VP for Universal American Mortgage Company, and sales manager/regional VP for Centex Home Equity Corporation.Ray Brousseau, EVP of Carrington Mortgage Services’ Mortgage Lending Division, said Grimes’ hiring is a reflection of the company’s focus on increasing capacity, expanding offerings, and reaching into new markets–all tasks “”that require strong leadership and commitment at the local level.””””With Carl Grimes’ industry and local market knowledge, and his tenacity to meet the needs of borrowers in today’s dynamic housing market, he is well positioned to lead our Tampa branch toward providing enhanced service to our customers in Florida,”” Brousseau said. December 4, 2013 485 Views New,Carrington Mortgage Services Names Tampa Branch Manager
Share The U.S. Supreme Court ruled unanimously to make mortgage bankers eligible for overtime pay under federal labor law today. The case brought by the Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA) was to determine whether mortgage loan officers are covered under the Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938 (FLSA).The FLSA establishes minimum wage and maximum hour requirements. However, certain classes of employees are exempt from these standards. Exemption from these regulations is known as the administrative exemption. In 1999 and 2001, the Department of Labor’s Wage and Hour Division issued letters opining that mortgage-loan officers do not qualify for the administrative exemption. In 2004 the FLSA released the current regulations, prompting the MBA to ask for an explanation of the regulations as it applies to mortgage loan officers. In 2006, the department reversed its standing and issued an opinion stating mortgage bankers fell under the administrative exemption.Then again four years later in 2010, the department reversed its decision and said mortgage loan officers “have a primary duty of making sales for their employers, and, therefore, do not qualify” for the administrative exemption. All of these interpretations were issued without warning and did not provide an opportunity for comment.MBA filed complaint in the Federal District Court challenging the Administrator’s Interpretation, saying the document was inconsistent with 2004 regulation. More important to the case, the MBA argued the administrative ruling was procedurally invalid in light of the D.C. decision in the Paralyzed Veterans case, which ruled rule amendments can’t be made without notice and opportunity for comment because it violated the Administrative Procedure Act (ACA).“Because notice-and-comment requirements may apply even to these later agency actions, the court reasoned, “allowing an agency to make a fundamental change in its interpretation of a substantive regulation without notice and comment” would undermine the APA’s procedural framework,” Justice Sonia Sotomayor said in her opinion.The Department of Labor argued in an August Supreme Court brief that the D.C. Circuit’s stance undermined the flexibility Congress wanted agencies to have. The appeals court’s “judge-made procedural requirement” that agencies must utilize notice-and-comment rule-making before making a significant change to a rule that interprets a regulation was out of step with the APA and Supreme Court precedent, the brief said.“In the end, Congress decided to adopt standards that permit agencies to promulgate freely such rules—whether or not they are consistent with earlier interpretations,” the justices said. “That the D.C. Circuit would have struck the balance differently does not permit that court or this one to overturn Congress’ contrary judgment.” in Daily Dose, Featured, Government March 9, 2015 541 Views APA Department of Labor’s Wage and Hour Division FLSA MBA mortgage loan officers Sonia Sotomayor U.S. Supreme Court 2015-03-09 Samantha Guzman U.S. Supreme Court Rules Mortgage Bankers Eligible for Overtime Pay
September 20, 2017 659 Views in Headlines, News, Technology Share Ellie Mae Ellie Mae Experience 2018 Encompass Housing Industry Conference Mortgage Industry Conference 2017-09-20 Krista Franks Brock Ellie Mae Announces 2018 Conference, Hall of Fame, Innovation Awards Ellie Mae, a technology solutions provider for the mortgage industry, announced Tuesday registration is open for Ellie Mae Experience 2018, the company’s sixth annual user conference.With an anticipated attendance of 3,300, the 2018 conference will take place at the Wynn Las Vegas with the theme, “Dare to Dream Bigger.”“Ellie Mae Experience provides the backdrop to showcase the accomplishments of our customers, the innovation that shapes mortgage industry, the networking powered by our growing connected community and the training and best practices that drive our collective success,” said Ellie Mae President and CEO, Jonathan Corr.The conference will feature keynotes, breakout sessions, and training sessions on the topics of lowering the costs of loan origination, originating more loans, and closing loans faster.Keynote speakers for this year’s conference include General Stanley A. McChrystal, former Commander of U.S. and International Forces in Afghanistan; Amy Purdy, 2014 Paralympic Bronze Medalist and Three-time World Cup Gold Medalist; Jonathan Corr, President and CEO of Ellie Mae; Joe Tyrrell, EVP of Corporate Strategy at Ellie Mae; and Jonas Moe, SVP of Market Strategy at Ellie Mae.Ellie Mae also announced Tuesday it began accepting nominations for the 2018 Ellie Mae Hall of Fame Awards and is accepting submissions for the Encompass Innovation Challenge.Industry professionals may submit nominations for the Ellie Mae Hall of Fame through October 30 in five categories: Business Growth Excellence, Compliance Automation Excellence, Digital Mortgage Excellence, Lenders’ Choice Award for Best Service Provider, and Outstanding Efficiency and ROI.“Our Ellie Mae Experience 2018 conference gives us the opportunity to recognize our esteemed customers and partners who have achieved exceptional results through their innovative use of Ellie Mae technology,” Corr said. “We look forward to receiving their nominations, hearing their success stories and ultimately honoring our mortgage industry leaders.”Ellie Mae will also recognize the winner of the Encompass Innovation Challenge at its 2018 conference.Ellie Mae Encompass users may submit their original uses of the Ellie Mae Encompass Lending Platform and Application Program Interfaces (APIs) to lower origination costs, reduce the time it takes to close a loan, create high-quality compliant loans, or improve the homebuyer experience.Ellie Mae executives will judge the entries, which must include a 500-word description of the innovation. The winner will be recognized at the 2018 conference, and 10 finalists will give demonstrations of their innovations through WebEx. Submissions are due by October 30 and are accepted online.“The Customer Innovation Challenge is designed to bring our clients together to create and exchange best practices and ideas that will help drive the industry toward a fully digital mortgage while helping them become more efficient and compliant with changing regulation,” said Joe Tyrell, Ellie Mae’s EVP of Corporate Strategy. “We look forward to showcasing our clients’ creativity and ultimately helping them better serve their customers as we partner with them to power the American Dream of homeownership.”
in Daily Dose, Featured, News, Servicing Some of the biggest banks in the U.S. reported an improvement in the overall mortgage performance in Q3 according to the Office of the Comptroller of Currency’s (OCC’s) Mortgage Metrics report.The report revealed that as of September 30, 2018, the reporting banks had serviced 17.2 million first-lien mortgage loans with $3.26 trillion in unpaid principal balances indicating 32 percent of all residential mortgage debt outstanding in the U.S. This indicated that 95.4 percent mortgages were current and performing compared with 94.8 percent a year ago.Looking at loan modifications in Q3, the report indicated that servicers completed 25,701 modifications, a decrease of 21.3 percent over the last quarter. Of these, 21,766 were combination modifications that included “multiple actions affecting affordability and sustainability of the loan, such as an interest rate reduction and a term extension.”Among the 21,766 completed combination modifications, the report said, 96.6 percent included capitalization of delinquent interest and fees, 43.4 percent included an interest rate reduction or freeze, 96 percent included a term extension, 1.2 percent a principal reduction, and 13.5 percent included principal deferral.The report also said that of the 23,427 modifications that were completed during the first quarter of 2018, “servicers reported 3,580, or 15.3 percent, were 60 or more days past due or in the process of foreclosure at the end of the month that they became six months old.”Servicers also initiated 28,508 new foreclosures during the third quarter of 2018, according to This marked a 3.7 percent quarter-over-quarter decrease and a 16.8 percent decline from a year ago.Home forfeiture actions during the quarter that included completed foreclosure sales, short sales, and deed-in-lieu-of-foreclosure action, decreased 30.4 percent from last year to 15,506.The report is based on data collected on first-lien residential mortgage loans serviced by seven national banks with large mortgage servicing portfolios. They include Bank of America, Citibank, HSBC, JPMorgan Chase, PNC Bank, U.S. Bank, and Wells Fargo. The report excludes mortgage loans like junior liens, home equity lines of credit (HELOC), and reverse mortgages.Click here to read the full report. December 13, 2018 652 Views Bank of America CitiBank Foreclosure HSBC JPMorgan Chase Loan Modification mortgage Mortgage Performance OCC PNC Bank U.S. Bank Wells Fargo 2018-12-13 Radhika Ojha Gauging Mortgage Performance Share
Existing-Home Sales Lawrence Yun NAR Pending-Home Sales 2019-02-28 Donna Joseph Lawrence Yun, Chief Economist at National Association of Realtors (NAR) says he had expected an increase in January home sales. “A change in Federal Reserve policy and the reopening of the government were very beneficial to the market,” Yun said. He pointed out that positive pending home sales figures in January will likely continue as income is rising faster than home prices in many areas and mortgage rates look to remain steady. “Furthermore, job creation will help lift home buying,” he added. According to the latest Pending Home Sales Index (PHSI) from NAR, pending home sales rebounded strongly in January with all four major regions recording growth last month. The largest surge in pending home sales was reflective in the South. The Index revealed an increase of 4.6 percent to 103.2 in January, up from 98.7 in December. Contract signings on an annual basis, however, declined by 2.3 percent—making this the thirteenth straight month of annual decreases.Yun also noted that higher rates discouraged many would-be buyers in 2018. “Homebuyers are now returning and taking advantage of lower interest rates, while a boost in inventory is also providing more choices for consumers,” he said. The index also found year-over-year increases in active listings in Denver, Colorado, Seattle and Washington to name a few. Nashville, Tennessee saw the largest increase in active listings in January compared to a year ago. In 2019, Yun forecasts existing home sales to be around 5.28 million—dropping 1.1 percent from 2018 (5.34 million). The national median existing-home price this year is expected to increase by around 2.2 percent. Data from the PHSI indicated that Northeast rose 1.6 percent to 94.0 in January, and is now 7.6 percent above a year ago. In the Midwest, the index rose 2.8 percent to 100.2 in January, 0.3 percent lower than January 2018. February 28, 2019 980 Views Outlook Good for Pending Home Sales in Daily Dose, Featured, Market Studies, News Share
Avocados in Charts: Will lower volumes from Peru f … In this installment of the ‘In Charts’ series, Colin Fain and Luis Aragon of Agronometrics illustrate how the U.S. market is evolving. Each week the series looks at a different horticultural commodity, focusing on a specific origin or topic visualizing the market factors that are driving change.Mangoes are a rather peculiar crop. Historians tend to pinpoint their domestication to South Asia well over 3,000 years ago. During the Age of Exploration, mangoes spread to Africa and the Americas, chiefly thanks to the Portuguese. The trees, called Mangifera indica, can sometimes live beyond the age of 300 years whilst still producing fruits, and is not uncommon for them to surpass the height of 100 feet (30 meters). In addition, any extended exposure to cold temperatures (under -1°C) is lethal for this tropical plant. As a result, U.S. production is scarce and limited to the south of Florida and California. Import volumes have stayed remarkably stable during the past five years, as evidenced by the following chart:Historical mango import volumes, non-organic(Source: USDA Market News via Agronometrics)[Agronometrics users can view this chart with live updates here]It ought to be noted that Mexico is the largest exporter of mangoes to the U.S., with a long season that spans from February until September. During the previous five seasons, Mexican imports made up around 67% of shipments to the U.S., with Ecuador and Peru trailing at a distant 2nd and 3rd place, each contributing approximately 11%, largely during Mexico’s colder winter months. Historical mango monthly volumes by origin(Source: USDA Market News via Agronometrics)[Agronometrics users can view this chart with live updates here]Looking at mango volumes by country over the past several years, it’s outstanding to see how the virtually identical Mexican production was for 2015 and 2019. Historical mango volumes from Mexico July 23 , 2019 Avocados in Charts: Market jumps US$5 in one week … You might also be interested in Blueberries in Charts: Mexico sends record volumes … Grapes in Charts: California sees low prices after … (Source: USDA Market News via Agronometrics)[Agronometrics users can view this chart with live updates here]Linking the observations in volume to price, we see an interesting dynamic. For example, it’s worth taking note that after its mid-year gradual drop, 2015 saw prices nearly double.Historical mango prices from Mexico(Source: USDA Market News via Agronometrics)[Agronometrics users can view this chart with live updates here]Thanks to the U.S. National Mango Board’s efforts, Mexico is expecting to send more fruit than it had last year, which was already a much higher volume than in 2015. This estimate indicates that prices could be closer to the same level as last year, but are likely to dip towards the end of August. The bump in prices towards the end of Mexico’s season depends heavily on Brazil’s exports to the U.S. As of yet though, we don’t have a volume forecast to help guide us through that period.Current season’s mango volumes: Arrivals and projectionOne Box = Four Kilos.(Source: U.S. National Mango Board)[View this chart with live updates here]In our ‘In Charts’ series, we work to tell some of the stories that are moving the industry. Feel free to take a look at the other articles by clicking here.You can keep track of the markets daily through Agronometrics, a data visualization tool built to help the industry make sense of the huge amounts of data that professionals need to access to make informed decisions. If you found the information and the charts from this article useful, feel free to visit us at www.agronometrics.com where you can easily access these same graphs, or explore the other 23 fruits we currently track.
SH Pratt’s Halo facility confirmed for Logistics … Chinese fruit store caught falsely labeling dragon … ‘World’s first’ automatic mango harvester develope … The cherry season in the U.S. Northwest is winding down, with industry players reporting a solid export campaign despite ongoing trade issues with China – which two seasons ago was the region’s top export market.The good export season also comes in spite of the year’s slight dip in volume from last season’s 25.4m boxes.”It’s been an interesting season. I think at the start, growers industry-wide thought they had a larger crop than they did so that’s been somewhat of a challenge to overcome … but it’s still been a good season with retailers and growers alike making some money,” says Brianna Shales, communications manager of Stemilt Growers.”Based on what is shipping, the 2019 crop is going to be closer to 22m 20-pound equivalent boxes for the Northwest industry.”Helping industry actors succeed with the lower volumes was the fruit’s quality.”Overall, fruit quality is really really high and we have great sizing,” says Shales.The Northwest Cherry Growers’ president B.J. Thurlby attributes these characteristics to favorable weather, especially over the past few weeks.”We’ve had really good growing conditions this year. In the past three or four summers, we tended to get a lot of heat late in the summer and it’s really stayed mild here; the temperatures have stayed in the 80s and the quality of the fruit has just been really really outstanding.”Its delivery, quality has been as good as I can remember in recent years,” he says.Challenges for exports to China, growth in other marketsThe tariffs China has imposed on U.S. products – including cherries – has had a marked effect on most companies’ exports to the Asian nation.”Anyone who exports to China, as we do, was affected by the tariffs, and the price was not as strong as it would normally be,” says Ray Norwood, Auvil Fruit Company’s director of sales and marketing.Yet a number of industry actors spoke on how they managed to achieve a successful cherry export campaign in spite of this difficulty.”Our hope is always that we get 30% of the crop exported and we’ve been able to achieve that this year so as an industry we’re very happy about the amount of fruit that’s gone offshore,” says Thurlby.In fact, he says about 33% of volumes are heading to export markets.He explains: “We’re still shipping a little bit of fruit into China and other countries have really stepped up.” August 02 , 2019 U.S. Senators introduce bill to hire more ag inspe … He elaborates, saying that the industry has had a very good year in Korea.Meanwhile, it has seen great growth in the Vietnam market, which he says “shows us that it’s going to be a long-term market for our growers.””We’ve seen good quality, high volumes going into Taiwan, and Canada is our number one export market and continues to be,” he adds.Auvil’s surprising bump in cherry exports to ChinaIn the case of Auvil Fruit Company, the entity actually performed better in China over last year.Norwood comments: “Even though there were tariffs, there were tariffs in place last year. So, for us, we sent a really good volume and what we’d hoped for in China.”Beyond this anomaly, Norwood says the company has fared well in its other key export destinations – Japan and Taiwan.”For us, we’re heavy to export with our cherries. We do kind of a specialty pack here at Auvil Fruit.”A high percentage of what we pack and sell goes to Japan and it’s more of a gift market that’s presold, whereas not a lot of our competitors do that.”He adds that the company saw very good demand in Taiwan this season as well.Tech’s impact on the cherry industryLooking to how the industry is advancing, one can’t ignore the role technology is playing.”The advent of electronic defect sizing and sorting machines have really changed the industry in terms of being able to deliver quality and consistency, and that’s been over the last five or six years,” says Shales.Thurlby explains further: “Every year we see more and more optical sorting lines coming into our industry.”There’s almost 100% saturation where we have the high-tech sorting capability and we’re seeing some really beautiful packs show up on the market. Packers can now put up a perfectly colored pack, with uniform color and uniform size.”When it comes to the end product, both Shale and Thurlby emphasize the positive influence these advances have had.”It has a huge role in what we can do and what we can put together in terms of size and pack that consumers will respond to. I just see the technology continuing to evolve.”In my opinion, it’s only going to get better for the consumer,” explains Thurlby.”Investment in that type of technology is where we have to be when it comes to staying ahead of the curve,” Shales adds. You might also be interested in