Thursday, August 25, 2011


On August 17, I posted an article about the mortgage/housing crisis, citing the CNBC documentary film, "House of Cards". Multiple discussions have occurred as a result of that blog post. One of my discussions was with my good friend, Jason Kaplan, an excellent mortgage loan officer at SunTrust.

A few years ago, I had an incredible opportunity to meet Jason through buyer clients of mine. They insisted on using him to do the loan on their investment property. That transaction was one of the smoothest I'd ever had. Never once did I have to ask Jason for information. Before I contacted him, he called me to introduce himself, and to provide information that he knew I'd need. Immediately he earned my respect and friendship.

Clients who have worked with Jason say the same thing. They walk away from their purchase or refinance with confidence in him and in the process. If you're looking for a superb loan officer, give Jason a call. He can be reached at 615-329-3261 or via email at
Hiring the right real estate agent and mortgage loan officer are two very crucial and critical decisions. For professional service, contact Jack at 615-373-2044 and Jason at 615-329-3261. They're here to help you!

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

House of Cards - The American Mortgage Crisis

Airing in late 2009, this exclusive CNBC special, "House of Cards" was supposed to be an accurate depiction of the national mortgage crisis. Watching it yesterday, I can only wonder if it was totally accurate.

Don't get me wrong. We have suffered a mortgage crisis here in the U.S., mostly due to greed and unscrupulous lenders, investors and politicians. And while most of this video is accurate, there are a few facts that were left out.

The beginning of the special starts it's focus on the housing market AFTER 9/11 (2001). While that certainly was a point to begin their presentation, the fact remains that this crisis began back in the 1970s when Jimmy Carter was president. Carter (and Congress) wanted to make housing more accessible and affordable for those who could not buy a home. Inflation was at an all time high, and mortgage interest rates were in the double digits. To get the economy back in sync with incomes, Carter wanted to open up homebuying to more people.

During Clinton's administration, the president and Congress wanted to continue to open the floodgates for more homeowner, so rules and laws expanded. Barney Frank led the way because his hands were in the pockets of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. During the next administration, Bush wanted it expanded, too, but soon after, realized that we were in trouble. He pulled back and begged Congress to tighten things up in the mortgage industry. Too bad and too late. With Barney Frank leading the way, mortgages that required NO DOCUMENTATION (stated income) with NO DOWN PAYMENT were now the norm.

The blame did not lie just with the government. Greed set in on Wall Street and in local mortgage lender's offices to get more, make more. Unfortunately, many who are to blame, refuse to take responsibility for this crisis. You get the overall gest of the problems in this video. If you click HERE, you can see the chilling effect that this crisis has had on our country.

If you want a savvy real estate agent on your side, give Jack a shout. He knows the market and how to help you buy and/or sell a home.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Big Trouble in Big America

Check it out. Yesterday, one of the nation's largest banks (and mortgage holders), Bank of America, saw it's stock drop 20%. This as a result of a lawsuit filed by AIG Insurance Company, the very day that S&P downgraded the US Debt and Fannie and Freddie. To read the full article, go HERE.

In my small world, deposit holders are flocking to BoA to withdraw their funds, and they're heading over to smaller, locally owned banks such as Reliant, Franklin Synergy, First Bank, Renasant, Tennessee Bank and Trust, and Avenue Bank. Other mega banks such as SunTrust are holding their own without any problems. Their conservative philosophy has proved to protect deposit holders and mortgage borrowers.

In this blog, I would never provide any financial advice (since I am not a financial advisor), but here's what I can say. BoA is the most problematic bank I've ever worked with in my real estate career, whether they were providing a mortgage for my buyer, or whether they were providing a mortgage for the buyer of one of my listings. They have never closed any of my transactions on time, appraisals have come back significantly lower than contract prices (and comparable homes in the area), and they seem to disappear whenever there are problems.

Things in the mortgage area are so difficult that my sellers are now stating that they "will NOT accept a financing contingency on their house from a buyer if the buyer is using Bank of America for their loan." A sad commentary on what was one of the strongest business entities in the U.S.

In the short sale world, BoA representatives are difficult to reach by phone and/or email, and their customer service leaves very much to be desired. A few months ago, there was a rumor that BoA was hiring out of work contractors, hair stylists, day laborers, etc. to man the phones. And when one person in one department was dealing with a problem, another person was stating that the problem could not be resolved.

Very reminiscent of Dell Computers several years ago, Michael Dell came back to Dell as the CEO and has apparently improved operations and customer service. Can this possibly happen to BoA? I'm not sure. Maybe BoA has gotten too large and so fat that it cannot be moved. Perhaps BoA is now more like the Titanic, and cannot be turned around. What should happen now?

People in real estate have varied opinions of the banking giant. Some believe that BoA is the strongest mortgage lender around; others disagree. If nothing about BoA's problems is significant, one thing is for sure: There are a lot of scared people out there.

For a savvy real estate agent to help you with all of your real estate needs, contact Jack Jernigan at 615-373-2044 or through email at