Proficient Note Buyers
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April 01, 2014
A Coastal Conundrum
As a note holder, what should you do when the county comes after you when the property falls into neglect?

August 21, 2013
GURU: Rhymes With Screw You...Revisited
In October of 2010, I wrote a blog derived from an article I wrote for an associate's website. Given the recent judgment handed down to one of the highest profile self-proclaimed gurus our industry has ever seen, I am happy to re-post it here for the benefit of anyone who believes they can garner anything of value from someone pompous enough to call themselves a guru.

June 20, 2013
The Truth, the Whole Truth, and Nothing But the Truth???
Don't trust the mainstream media's generalized statements of the housing market...things are different everywhere.

February 13, 2013
What's Going On In There???
Overgrown yards, peeling paint, leaky roofs...these are the things you see from the road when dealing with distressed properties. Ever wonder what they look like inside?

January 18, 2013
The Debt Junkie
As government officials fight over raising the debt ceiling once again, some brief observations from a concerned taxpayer.

December 20, 2012
No Strings Attached: HARP 2.0
My last blog entry detailed my curiosity about the government's HARP 2.0 program and whether the refinance on my personal residence would be approved. Surprise, was.

November 06, 2012
The Lovely Sounds of HARP
A no-cost refinance of my existing mortgage? No appraisal required, no income verification, no out-of-pocket expenses whatsoever? Am I dreaming? Nope, just a potential customer of The Home Affordable Refinance Program (HARP).

October 22, 2012
The Price Of Failing To Read the Fine Print
What do you do when you're stuck in a contract because you didn't read the fine print? The only thing you can do; learn from it so it won't happen again.

September 21, 2012
Unfortunate Series of Events
My neighbors down the street finally sold their house after more than a year on the market. They also took a bath on the sale; one that could have possibly been avoided had they consulted the right person (me).

September 11, 2012
Non-Performing Nightmare
When a payor defaults on their obligation, time is not on your side. The longer you delay taking action, the worse your situation can become.

July 16, 2012
Reinforcing Stereotypes
There is a reason the Department of Licencing / Department of Motor Vehicles has the unenviable reputation it does...because it lives up to its stereotype 110%.

June 15, 2012
Turn the Page
Life's milestones have a tendency to sneak up from behind and scare the crap out of us, or at least force us to contemplate how time flies when we're having fun.

May 09, 2012
That's Not How We Do Things Down Here
When a Talladega County, Alabama employee said those words to me this morning, it was all I could do to keep from jumping through my phone and showing her exactly how things SHOULD be done down there.

April 26, 2012
The title of this blog best sums up how I feel after Tax Deadline 2012. Knowing almost half of Americans paid no federal income tax last year makes it even worse.

March 19, 2012
Would you rather have a roof over your head or the latest and greatest smartphone? Before you answer that, read on...

January 13, 2012
Common Sense Assailed
If you truly believe the big banks and their employees are smarter than the rest of us, please do not read any further.

December 27, 2011
Resolutions vs. Goals
You've got just a few short days to 'live it up' until your self-imposed torture, aka resolutions kick in and you're forced to live a life of sacrifice and abstention from all things pleasurable...or are you?

November 28, 2011
Super Committee Revisited
Not only was the "Super Committee" for deficit reduction an utter failure, but it was also ridiculously predictable; in fact, anything involving lifetime politicians usually is.

November 03, 2011
My Newest Productivity Tool
A couple weeks ago, I wrote about my anticipation of the new iPhone 4S. In this installment, I offer a layman's review of a very sophisticated piece of technology.

October 14, 2011
Caught Up In the Hype
I am unsuccessfully battling the anxiety normally associated with young children and Santa's pending arrival; I am waiting for FedEx to deliver the new iPhone.

October 03, 2011
Workin' For The Weekend
Sometimes the anticipation of the weekend is all that's needed to get through a tough week.

September 13, 2011
Anyone who is familiar with the Guinness beer commercials from a couple years ago will appreciate my recap of a recent due diligence trip.

August 23, 2011
Super Committee??? Please...
Throw twelve members of Congress together and tell them to cut $1.5 trillion from the federal budget over the next ten years and the only thing "super" about that is the ridiculousness of it all.

August 08, 2011
Fair Share? According To Whom???
Many in the media continue to scream the only way out of our current economic fiasco is to tax the wealthy and make them pay their fair share. But who decides what's fair?

July 26, 2011
The One That Got Away
If I can't get comfortable investing in a particular deal, I have no problem simply passing on it. It's when I can't find anything wrong with a deal and still get cold feet that usually leaves me kicking myself.

July 15, 2011
Good For the Goose AND the Gander?
When banks make obscene profits off unwitting customers, it's called good business. When banks are on the losing end of the spectrum, it's called fraud. I offer my take on the news story that corresponds with this blog entry.

July 07, 2011
Too Busy To Blog?
I write this blog to help my business. I figure the more exposure I get, the more potential customers I can interact with. So if I'm too busy to write my blog, is that a good or a bad thing???

June 20, 2011
The True Cost Of Things
Real estate, like a hobby, tends to nickel and dime you with "little expenses" until all those nickels and dimes turn into real money.

June 10, 2011
Topsy-Turvy, But Not Upside-Down
The county assessor mailed our house's "Official Valuation Notice" this week; man, I hope it's wrong.

June 01, 2011
Relative Value
Funny how people's perspective of value changes drastically when emotional influence is eliminated and they are confronted with cold, hard facts.

May 25, 2011
What Happens When Your Borrowers Stop Paying?
It's every note holder's worst nightmare: Your buyer stops paying on the note. Now what?

May 19, 2011
Just Rub Some Dirt On It
It's the tough guy's remedy for any injury: It also might be the key to an economic recovery.

May 09, 2011
Did You Actually Pay For THAT???
One would assume that any print advertisement that makes it to press would have had enough sets of eyes on it to make sure there were no mistakes. Of course, you know that assumption would be wrong.

April 25, 2011
Professionalism Still Matters
I really don't care if you work out of your home; in fact, more power to you. It really only becomes a problem when it's obvious to a caller.

April 18, 2011
Taxes: One Of Only Two Guarantees In Life
Given the choice of paying my taxes or facing death, I'll take the former...although it's still pretty close.

April 12, 2011
Non-Essential Employees
The federal government labels approximately 800,000 of its 2.1 million employees "non-essential". How many companies in the private sector have that designation for part of their workforce?

March 29, 2011
Fraud Detection Warning
Seems the credit card companies have gotten pretty good at flushing out potential fraudulent transactions. Perhaps we could all learn something from them.

March 24, 2011
Read the Fine Print
We receive a lot of calls from new brokers about the disclaimer at the bottom of our home page. No, it isn't there because we don't want to do business; it's there because we are averse to wasting time. Call it our Rule #5. Continue reading to find out what that means.

March 16, 2011
Taking Hostages (Legally)
There's a new kind of outlaw roaming the streets - attorneys hired by Homeowner's and Condominium Associations to do their dirty work.

March 09, 2011
Halfway There
Completing a half marathon this past weekend should feel like quite an accomplishment. Truth is, I'm only halfway there.

February 28, 2011
The Worst-Paying Job On Earth
For those of you wondering why I didn't post a blog last week, consider the fact I was forced to work TWO full-time jobs. Click the link to find out why.

February 14, 2011
You Gotta Pay to Play
Speaking with attorneys' offices feels like a trip to Bizarro World, where everything is opposite to what common sense would dictate.

February 07, 2011
Where Do I Sign?
A recent caller was looking for a little advice. Unfortunately, the question came AFTER it was too late to help her.

January 31, 2011
Minimize the Surprise
Most people love surprises, but in the world of real estate, a surprise ranks right up there with canker sores and migraines.

January 26, 2011
Sweet, Sweet Technology
If you're spending too much time fussing with computers that crash, internet that's unreliable, and a printer that harbors deep hatred toward anything productive, it may be time for an office makeover.

January 17, 2011
Hangin' With the Wrong Crowd
George Washington advised to "associate with men of good quality if you esteem your own reputation; for it is better to be alone than in bad company." He was a pretty smart guy, ya know.

January 03, 2011
Blast From the Past #3
OK, I promise this is my last regurgitation of a prior blog. With the holidays behind us, I'm hopeful I'll have more time to devote to mindless rambling and soapbox sermonizing.

December 27, 2010
Blast From the Past #2
As mentioned in my blog from two weeks ago, I am reposting some of my more educational blogs this month. Between holidays, year-end, and lots and lots of work to do...well, I'm sure I don't have to tell YOU how hectic things can be this time of year.

December 23, 2010
A Holiday Wish For You
No, I'm not wishing you'll find a Lexus with a big red bow in your driveway this Christmas, but that you'll find love and generosity everywhere you look.

December 13, 2010
Blast From the Past
Given the hectic nature of the holiday season, and the fact I can hardly find the time to eat lunch these days, I've decided to repost some of my more educational posts from yesteryear for the coming weeks. Because who doesn't like a gift that keeps on giving?

December 07, 2010
One on One
A Christmas tradition I started with my kids many years ago continues...and they still enjoy it. For now, at least.

December 02, 2010
Linked In, Whacked Out
Need a little humor in your day? Jump onto your LinkedIn profile (or create one if you don't have one) and troll the message boards. Seems they're always good for a laugh.

November 24, 2010
What Are YOU Thankful For?
Does Thanksgiving mean what it should to you and your family? Or is it just another excuse to take a couple days off work and watch football 24/7?

November 15, 2010
Aesthetically Pleasing
Sometimes a change of scenery is all you need to recapture your motivation.

November 08, 2010
Moving Along
I think I'm done leaving voice-mails for people. Scratch that. I am definitely done leaving people voice-mails.

November 01, 2010
Public Disservice
If private sector management had a chance to examine the inefficiences of the public sector, I'm convinced we could categorize half the government jobs out there as "unnecessary".

October 25, 2010
Waitin' On the World To Change
It seems many property owners are singing the popular John Mayer song when it comes to disposing of their REO.

October 20, 2010
You Can't Win if You Don't Roll the Dice
There is money to be made in the REO market, but you better know what you're getting into before you cut that check.

October 11, 2010
GURU: Rhymes with 'Screw You'
An article I wrote for an associate's website a few weeks back generated plenty of positive feedback. I reprint it here for the benefit of our customers.

October 04, 2010
Methinks the Lady Doth Protest Too Much
Many self-help books try to convince you 'if you believe it, it will be so.' Try telling that to the marketplace.

September 27, 2010
Movie Quotes That Help Run Our Business
The world of entertainment has provided my business partner and I a myriad of situation-appropriate quotes. I share a selected few in this week's entry.

September 20, 2010
Relegated to the "Junk Mail" Folder
Two recent miscommunications prove that a good ol' phone call still trumps e-mail every time.

September 13, 2010
A Sucker Born Every Minute
More times than not these days, that light you see at the end of the tunnel is the train. Here's a story about market knowledge and knowing when NOT to take the bait.

September 07, 2010
Mistaken Identity
How can a politician be labeled a 'representative' when he or she no longer represents the interests of the majority of the constituency?

August 31, 2010
Check Your Numbers!
In addition to prematurely graying hair, sky-high stress levels and nightmares of being stuck for eternity in a room full of thousands of Russ Dalbey seminar graduates, another benefit of 18 years in this business is knowing almost immediately if a deal is worth my consideration.

August 23, 2010
Entertained? Yes. Motivated? Meh.
The Get Motivated! Business Seminar recently rolled through town, and may be coming to a town near you. I break down the event here, both the good and the bad.

August 16, 2010
If I Don't Answer...
Normally I'm against screening calls. However, when solicitors and telemarketers start wasting my time during business hours with products and services I don't need, I have to resort to desperate measures.

August 09, 2010
Godspeed, My Friend
Complications from a routine surgery took the life of my mentor, colleague, business associate, and most importantly, friend, Lynn Horne.

August 02, 2010
Bend Over...please
A few bad apples can spoil the crop. The liars, cheaters, and thieves among us make the rest of us work that much harder to maintain the credibility this industry deserves. It's time to fight back!

July 26, 2010
Let the Good Times Roll
Many people I know are hunkering down and waiting for this economic malaise to pass. In the meantime, life is passing them by and opportunities to enrich their lives are ignored. It's time to snap out of it and have some fun.

July 19, 2010
I'm Not Sensing Any Urgency Here
What if you ordered breakfast at a restaurant and didn't get your food until lunchtime? In business, this equivalent happens all the time.

July 12, 2010
Who Do You Trust?
When forced to rely on experts (auto mechanics, electricians, home remodelers, etc.) to fix my problems, one nagging question always comes to mind: Can I trust this person to deal with me fairly and not take advantage of my ignorance?

July 06, 2010
The Ostrich Effect
What's the best way to solve a problem? Bury your head in the sand and wait for it to solve itself, obviously.

June 28, 2010
Silly Little People
I can see Christopher Dodd and Barney Frank looking down from their thrones with their sympathetic smirks as yet more legislation is rammed down the throats of 'the little people'.

June 21, 2010
Welcome To Summer
Welcome to the official start of summer. Let's hope it gets better than 52 degrees and torrential downpours.

June 14, 2010
Disability Dilemma
A friend has a short-term disability at the same time her balloon payment comes due on her mortgage: What are her options?

June 07, 2010
Talk To Me, People!
After two years as Editor of the NoteWorthy Newsletter, I regrettably stepped down May 24th and washed my hands of the company. Now I really want to know what you really want to know.

June 02, 2010
Have You Taken Credit?
Failing to run credit checks on prospective buyers of your properties can be financially disastrous to you in the long run.

May 24, 2010
Permission To Speak, Mr. President?
With so much government legislation and regulation being forced down our throats, our rights are eroding faster than the Grand Canyon.

May 17, 2010
So Long, 30's
In the final stretch before I reach the BIG ONE (40), I reflect back on what I've learned and look forward to what I still need to know.

May 10, 2010
Sticky Situation
My office being overrun with Post-It notes, I turn to technology to tidy up the place.

May 03, 2010
Flex Your 'Muscles'
Sometimes commonly-held presumptions simply don't hold up to the facts; another lesson learned the hard way.

April 26, 2010
Good Riddance
After 18 years of marriage, the stock market and I have divorced due to irreconcilable differences.

April 19, 2010
American Dream? Dream On.
Restrictive government regulations are strangling the American Dream. Do we stand by idly or should we step in and do something about it?

April 12, 2010
The Tax Man Cometh
Thursday marks the end of the line for (most) filers of 2009 tax returns in the U.S. How did your tax liability stack up against prior years?

April 05, 2010
Spring Break 2010 consisted of hair-raising hikes, spectacular scenery, 3,000 miles of driving, and a legion of guardian angels watching over us.

March 22, 2010
Government: How Much Is Too Much?
Congratulations, Mr. Obama - you and your Democrat-controlled Congress just passed one of the (if not THE) most expensive reform packages of all-time with your pet health care reform project. What's next? What other parts of our lives are looking to control?

March 15, 2010
Itemized Thievery
After watching a recent expose on gross overbilling by hospitals, I'm keeping tabs by reporting live from my dad's hospital bed.

March 08, 2010
The Ties That Bind
The maintenance of old relationships is sometimes the best formula for new business.

March 01, 2010
The Depreciation Of Appreciation
I make a point of saying "thank you" to everyone who does anything nice for me. Some people's reactions indicate I may be in the minority.

February 22, 2010
Time For A Little Perspective
With so much to complain about these days, it's easy to fall into the trap of "woe is us", or maybe even "woe is U.S." While there are many strong arguments for the latter quote, it's time to bring a little perspective into just how bad we've got it.

February 15, 2010
How SAFE Do You Feel?
The Department of Housing and Urban Development has issued its proposed guidelines on who must be a licensed mortgage originator - and the results may surprise you.

February 09, 2010
Assessment Shenanigans
My 2010 property tax bill arrived in the mail yesterday. It told me how much to pay, where to send my check, and the breakdown between taxing authorities. Conspicuously absent? The actual tax assessment. Now why would that be?

February 01, 2010
"Ocian In View. O! The Joy."
This famous quote from William Clark on his epic journey with Meriwether Lewis across the continent conveys the excitement of finding the terminus of the Columbia River - the Pacific Ocean. In reality of course, he was only halfway to his destination.

January 25, 2010
Back In the Saddle
A herniated disk in my lower back has made for an extremely long (and somewhat depressing) winter thus far. Last week, cortisone came to the rescue.

January 19, 2010
Waste Lots, Want Not
It's easy to find wasteful spending in government (So easy a caveman could do it!), but the very people perpetrating the waste are the only ones charged to change it. If that sounds like a recipe for disaster, then (DING DING DING!) you just won a first-class ticket to a higher tax bracket!

January 11, 2010
Tax This!
This week's corresponding news article says the IRS expects to answer only 7 of 10 calls they receive this tax season. Yet they can spare TWO agents for an in-house audit party at my house last week???!!!

January 05, 2010
Resolutions or Goals?
The New Year is upon us - did you make more tired resolutions that will be (or maybe already have been) cast aside? Or did you set goals for yourself in 2010? There IS a difference.

December 30, 2009
Full Speed Ahead To 2010
2009 was a rough year for a lot of people, a banner year for a few, and a year of transition for the rest of us. Are you ready to put it in the rearview and charge into the new year?

December 21, 2009
Happy Holidays? Not For This Guy!
I'm sorry if I offend you when I wish you a Merry Christmas. Actually, I'm not. Guess you'll just have to deal with it.

December 15, 2009
Raising Entrepreneurs
They say if money is your sole motivator, you're in business for the wrong reason. Try telling that to my kids.

December 07, 2009
Cutting Their Losses
Getting out of a bad housing situation can be a difficult decision. Staying in a bad housing situation may be even worse.

November 30, 2009
Ask First!
The way to stay out of trouble is to look before you leap. It may seem like common sense, but blissful ignorance is no excuse for a bad decision.

November 23, 2009
Fried Turkey and Beer
As if I didn't already have enough to be thankful for this week, I get to release my inner redneck and fry up a bunch of turkeys Thursday. Yee-haw!

November 16, 2009
In Wall Street We Trust?
If you’re relying on some nameless faceless mutual fund manager to provide you with the returns you need to retire, you really need to think again.

November 09, 2009
Deal With It!
Two mass shootings in two days last week, and the media scurries about to uncover the outside influences that 'caused' the tragedies. Are you flippin' kidding me???

November 02, 2009
Collective Stupidity
The government touted Cash For Clunkers and the First-Time Homebuyers Tax Credit as economy-stimulating 'everybody wins' programs. Really? No, really??

October 26, 2009
Who Decides What Your Time Is Worth?
I love helping people and walking them through the note-selling process. I don't appreciate, however, people who call expecting us to mentor them as if we are a charity.

October 19, 2009
One Man's Trash... another man's treasure. What does that mean in the real estate world? Opportunities, and plenty of them - IF you know what you're doing.

October 12, 2009
A Homecoming (Of Sorts)
A recent business trip took me back to Dallas, a place I called home for almost five years. Turns out, that "homecoming" was the reason I missed out on an equally important "homecoming".

October 05, 2009
Blissfully Ignorant
People who turn a blind eye to all the resources available about their local housing markets and insist nothing has changed in the last several years are the people we can't help.

September 28, 2009
Is Recovery In the Air?
Members of the media make it sound like we are all cooped up in our about-to-be-foreclosed homes, waiting out the recession like a bunch of hermits. Maybe they should have joined me in Denver this weekend.

September 21, 2009
Get Rid Of Your Headaches
No, I'm not talking about your migraines, I'm referring to your problem notes and/or problem properties. Take two aspirin and call Proficient in the morning.

September 17, 2009
Customer Disservice
Unemployment rates nationwide are approaching 10%, and I have to deal with attitude and apathy from some of these customer service reps that still have jobs? PLEASE...

September 08, 2009
The Reality of Taxing Small Business
I'm not a big fan of using someone else's material in my blog. I'm also hesitant to publish hypothetical situations vs. reality. However, this piece from Neal Boortz highlights the real risks to small business should our President get his way with healthcare reform.

September 01, 2009
Return My Call...Or Else
If I call you and get your voicemail, I will leave a message and expect a return call. To me, that's reasonable. In reality, I'm either a very unreasonable guy, or I have a whole lot of inconsiderate people in my work life.

August 24, 2009
Anyone who doesn't remember this acronym from their days in school spent too much time playing hookie. Apparently our politicians in Washington skipped a lot of classes in their younger days.

August 17, 2009
Ipods & Cell phones? Not For My Son
Most middle schoolers want the latest in consumer electronics. My son wants his own house.

August 10, 2009
Inmates Running the Asylum
Landlords don't rent to deadbeat renters and credit card companies don't give credit to people in bankruptcy, yet we're about to entrust more of our incomes to the worst financial manager in the history of the world?

August 03, 2009
Keep on Grinding
Life can be really annoying at times, throwing obstacles (some little, some big) at us when all we're looking for is a straight stretch with smooth passage.

July 27, 2009
Things That Make You Go Hmmm
Many states are seeing their budget deficits balloon just weeks after the fiscal year began. Why is the government allowed to spend money it doesn't have?

July 20, 2009
We're Not All Bad Guys
The media and our government have conditioned the masses to view anyone and everyone involved in banking, finance, real estate and/or mortgages as "The Bad Guys" in the current recession. Sorry, but perception doesn't always equal reality.

July 13, 2009
Potholes On the Road To Success
It's not a matter of if you'll hit rough spots on the road, just a matter of when. How will you react when it happens?

July 07, 2009
A Break From Technology
Four days of whitewater rafting on the Lower Salmon River is the perfect way to leave your worries, your schedule, and especially your cell phone behind.

June 29, 2009
The Word Nerd
My kids call me the “Word Nerd”. Some parents coach their kids on how to swing a baseball bat; I coach my kids how to use words to their advantage.

June 22, 2009
The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly
OK, so I'm ripping off an old Clint Eastwood movie for the title of my blog, but my weekend had a little of each.

June 16, 2009
Navigating the Slippery Slope
Leave it to me to draw a parallel between a mountain bike ride gone bad and the nation's economic crisis.

June 08, 2009
Feeling The Pinch
A trip to a small resort town in Idaho this weekend is yet another grim reminder of how most everyone is feeling the pinch of our current economic situation.

June 01, 2009
Do You Hear That Whooshing Sound?
That's the sound of your property rights being flushed. HR 1728 is a bill that snuck through the House of Representatives before the majority of us even know what it contained. Now we're battling to make our voices heard before the Senate makes the same mistake.

May 26, 2009
How Will You Be Remembered?
The Memorial Day weekend allowed me to reflect on not only my advancing age, but on those that came before me as well.

May 18, 2009
Making Financial Literacy Exciting
Kids don't get too excited when it comes to being taught financial discipline and the value of a dollar. To avoid the mistakes of past generations, however, teaching financial literacy is no longer an option.

May 11, 2009
Pet Peeves
We all have them. One thing (or many) that grates on us like sand in a swimsuit. Mine? Unreturned phone calls.

May 04, 2009
A Little Satire Never Hurt Anybody
You may not be familiar with HR 1106, but its passage would have had far-reaching implications to anyone who holds, brokers, or invests in real estate notes. It passed the House in March, but was thankfully voted down in the Senate last week. What would have happened if both houses of Congress had passed it? Read this week's blog for one man's opinion...

April 27, 2009
Why Would You Do THAT??
The things people do to sell their properties never cease to amaze me. Sure, they eventually sell, but at what cost to the seller?

April 21, 2009
Too Much of a Good Thing...
A note broker can help you find the best possible price for your note. Two (or more) note brokers working on your behalf is a recipe for DISASTER.

April 13, 2009
Finding Joy In the Little Things
The economy is forcing more belt-tightening than a 20-year high school reunion. Even so, it's important to keep perspective so as not to lose sight of the very things that make life worth living.

April 06, 2009
Oceans of Water and Nothing to Drink
A recent conversation with a note holder stressed the importance of cash in a depressed market.

April 02, 2009
Arizona Dreamin'
After a week in sunny Tucson, coming home to three inches of snow is a bitter pill to swallow.

March 23, 2009
Let The Seller Beware...
When searching for the best price for your real estate note, beware of the 'too good to be true' offers...they almost certainly are.

March 16, 2009
Lack of 'talent'
According to, a BONUS is a gift to reward performance. If that is an accurate definition, how can anyone justify bonuses to employees of companies who lost BILLIONS last year?

March 09, 2009
Define "Buyer's Market"
Whether it's your stock broker, your realtor, or your local car dealer, everyone will tell you it's a buyer's market. But how can that be when there are no buyers?

March 02, 2009
Bottom-up or top-down?
What approach has the best chance of reviving a repressed economy; trickle up or trickle down? A spirited debate with my uncle yesterday presents compelling arguments for both.

February 23, 2009
Complicated Meets Simplicity
If you're still trying to work through the mortgage lingo and mumbo-jumbo to figure out what led to the mortgage mess, you must watch this.

February 16, 2009
Does Perception Equal Reality?
The National Association of Realtors recently issued its 4th quarter 2008 report on home prices nationwide. How do you think your area is doing (perception) versus what the report says (reality)?

February 09, 2009
An Ivy League Degree & $3.50...
...will buy you an overpriced cup of coffee, and not much else, it seems.

February 03, 2009
Who's getting stimulated here?
Talk of the economic stimulus package is grabbing headlines nationwide. But isn't 'buying now, paying later' what got us into this mess in the first place?

January 26, 2009
Show Me the Money!
Over 150,000 have been laid off this month. How is your cash position should the worst-case scenario come a'knockin'?

January 19, 2009
De Borrowers Default
What can you do when your borrowers are delinquent or in default of their note? Proficient.

January 12, 2009
Congress is currently considering legislation that would give bankruptcy judges the authority to change the terms of mortgage notes. How would this affect you, the noteholder? Read this blog to see it from the bankruptcy judge's point of view.

January 05, 2009
Dissolution of Resolutions
Most people have the same New Year's resolutions every time January 1st rolls around. Isn't there something fundamentally wrong with this statement?

December 29, 2008
How Did I Do?
Writing a blog about hopes for the coming year is easy. Being right about expectations and/or predictions is another thing altogether. So how did I do based on my blog written at the dawn of 2008?

December 24, 2008
The Night Before Christmas
In the spirit of Christmas and our current economic climate, please enjoy my take on a timeless classic.

December 22, 2008
One in six homeowners are upside-down on their mortgages. The biggest problem is that they are beginning to recognize it, and are bailing out.

December 15, 2008
How Ya Doin'?
It's easy to get distracted and go off on tangents when writing a blog. This entry is dedicated to why Proficient exists and how we can help you.

December 08, 2008
World's Toughest Job
Our President-elect still has the "elect" hyphenated at the end of his job title, and already he's catching heat.

December 01, 2008
Black Friday Economics
Retail sales on Black Friday were 3% higher than they were last year. A few people see that as encouraging news in the wake of this current recession. Most see it as shoppers desperately searching for bargains at a time when their budgets are stretched. Stretched or not, were Black Friday bargains ever meant to be a matter of life or death?

November 24, 2008
Are You Giving Thanks?
Thanksgiving is this week. Are you thankful for all you have, or just bellyaching about all you don't?

November 19, 2008
A Tale of Two Rooms
It was the best of times, it was the worst of times. This famous line from Charles Dickens starts A Tale of Two Cities. A recent trip to Las Vegas bore this out in two events I attended.

November 10, 2008
No Pain No Gain
Restarting an exercise plan is like restarting our markets: It's going to be painful, but it needs to be done.

November 05, 2008
For the first time in the history of this blog, our Senior Vice President Matt Reilly contributes his thoughts on the importance of voting, and how to fix the credit market crisis we're currently experiencing.

October 27, 2008
The Domino Effect
Businesses with no ties to bad mortgages or Wall Street are now feeling the residual effect, and it ain't pretty.

October 21, 2008
Writers Block Can Be A Good Thing
There are days when I sit down to write this blog and my mind is as blank as a bedsheet billowing on a clothesline. Today is one of those days.

October 13, 2008
Thank God for Moms
It's easy to take for granted everything Moms do...until they're no longer able to do it.

October 06, 2008
Networking or Notworking???
Staying in your comfort zone when times get tough can make you quite uncomfortable indeed. Opening your mind to new contacts and new ideas can make all the difference in the world.

September 29, 2008
The stock market lost $1,200,000,000,000 in market value today. For those of you who can't keep track of all those zeroes, that's $1.2 TRILLION dollars.

September 22, 2008
The Doctor Is "In"
People are finally taking notice that all is not well in the financial markets. How does an elephant in the room stay unnoticed for so long?

September 15, 2008
And the Hits Just Keep On Comin'
This weekend was proof that as bad as things have gotten, things can always get worse. Lehman files for bankruptcy, Merrill Lynch gets taken over by Bank of America, and AIG needs mega-billions in cash infusions to survive the storm.

September 08, 2008
Autumn In the Air
Fall is my favorite season of the year...the changing colors, the crisp cool mornings, and football. Oh, and federal bailouts.

September 02, 2008
No Returns or Exchanges
We all have them. One thing (or many) that grates on us like sand in a swimsuit. Mine? Unreturned phone calls.

August 25, 2008
Can't Even Afford to Buy Time
Sure, you're still getting the same payment amount from your borrower, but it's buying less and less each month. Are you fed up just trying to stay fed up?

August 18, 2008
Lifting the Veil of Ignorance
Almost everyone will agree the nationwide housing market is slumping terribly. A large percentage of these people, however, will also insist their local market hasn't been affected at all. HUH???

August 11, 2008
Reelin' In The Years
There's nothing like a high school reunion to take a look back at where we've been and look forward to where we're going.

August 04, 2008
The Only Constant is Change
Another industry heavyweight removes itself from the business. Here we look back at the last 15 years of the seller-financed business and its constant evolution. (or is that dissolution?)

July 28, 2008
Due Diligence
You often hear the term 'due diligence' when a real estate note is being traded on the secondary market. What does it mean, and how does it affect you?

July 21, 2008
Sprechen Sie English, Por Favor
Every industry has its own language, and the mortgage business is no different. Lest I forget that many don't understand the gobbledegook, a more sympathetic blogger emerges this week.

July 14, 2008
Looking for Loans (In All the Wrong Places)
To borrow phrasing from an old country song, borrowers with sketchy credit histories or unverifiable income need not apply to the household-name lenders for a loan these days.

July 07, 2008
Up the River (Without a Paddle)
Learning life lessons on what was supposed to be an adventurous but relaxing whitewater rafting trip was unexpected, yet fulfilling.

June 30, 2008
Affordability: Coming Soon?
A CNN Money story today hints that the housing market is ready for a rebound. The key? First time homebuyers.

June 23, 2008
Kiss My Assessment!
The county just sent me my 2008 tax assessment...what rock did they just crawl out from under???

June 16, 2008
Ethics, Anyone?
In its monthly market report, OPEC said market volatility reconfirmed the view that "current price levels do not reflect supply and demand realities." That leaves only one explanation for what we're paying at the pumps: Price Fixing.

June 09, 2008
"Exurbs" Running Out of Gas
Exurbs, the communities beyond the suburbs, were once the haven for commuters who wanted the big house and room to run in exchange for a longer drive to/from work...but not anymore.

June 02, 2008
The "F" Word
Hey, get your mind out of the gutter! We're talking foreclosures, and how its effects are far-reaching. If you think foreclosures are somebody else's problem, think again.

May 27, 2008
Walking the Walk
We all complain about the rising prices of gas, groceries, and airfare, but are any of us changing our bad habits as a counter-measure?

May 19, 2008
The Good Ol' Days
Whether it be the increase in gas prices or the decrease in home prices, past performance is absolutely no guarantee of future results.

May 12, 2008
New and NoteWorthy
As the recently appointed editor of the NoteWorthy newsletter, I figure it's time for some cross-pollination for anyone involved in the real estate industry.

May 05, 2008
In It For the Long Haul?
If you agreed to finance the purchase of your property with the hopes of being paid off when the buyer could refinance, you may be holding your note a lot longer than you first anticipated.

April 25, 2008
Where is the LOVE?
Although seller financing isn't mainstream (yet), it's becoming much more viable as homeowners struggle to sell their properties.

April 21, 2008
The Provocative Partial
Partial purchase options are beneficial to all involved, and can be an effective and attractive alternative to selling your entire note.

April 08, 2008
Protect Thyself!
Selling your property to a family member or friend doesn't mean you have to take it in the shorts.

March 31, 2008
The Properties of Properties
The property you sold had new carpet and linoleum, fresh paint, and new central heating and air. Are your buyers showing pride of ownership or treating it like a Fort Lauderdale hotel room during Spring Break?

March 24, 2008
Just Pay Me!
Your borrowers have fallen on hard times and are looking to take advantage of your kindness until they can "get back on their feet." No problem - you're a nice person...but will your kindness take a bite out of your backside?

March 17, 2008
Credit Is The Key
Precipitated by the subprime mortgage mess, major Wall Street firms are starting to fall. Let's take a look at one of the biggest contributing

March 10, 2008
Sometimes Your First Loss is Your Best Loss
*Due to the high number of positive responses to this blog, we have decided to keep the content posted for another week.* Congratulations. You sold your property. You're better off than a whole lot of people right now. Now you are struggling with selling your real estate note at a discount. The first step is to realize you're not necessarily selling at a loss.

February 25, 2008
Not In My Backyard!
I hear it every day - noteholders who are convinced the property they sold in the last two years has increased in value since the sale. Not to burst any bubbles, but the statistics aren't in their favor.

February 18, 2008
A quick fix to the mortgage mess? Don't think so...
Many see the Federal Reserve's interest rate cuts as a Band-Aid for the ailing mortgage and real estate markets. Trouble is, it's going to take a tourniquet to stop the bleeding.

February 11, 2008
Life Happens
"Life is what happens while you're busy making other plans." The first time I heard that was as a senior in high school. It didn't even make sense to me then - you know, back when I was bulletproof. My, how times have changed.

February 04, 2008
My Dilemma as a Mortgage Note Buyer
Writing a blog once a week doesn't sound that hard. Throw out a few musings, complain about the worsening economy, and wait for next Monday to roll around with more of the same. This week, I'm pledging to search for the bright side, since dwelling on the negative simply isn't my nature.

January 28, 2008
Looking for Stability in a Sea of Change
If you're a 'market-watcher' like me, you can understand the comparison of a big sell-off to a traffic accident: You know it's going to be bad, but you just can't help sneaking a peek when your eyes should be on the road ahead.

January 21, 2008
Is a recession a self-fulfilling prophecy?
What happens when the media convinces us a recession is inevitable? Do we pull back on our spending in anticipation, or does our lack of spending contribute to the cause?

January 14, 2008
What REALLY Matters
Don't depend on NBC or USA Today for your daily dose of happiness. Chances are you won't have to look farther than the other people in your household.

January 07, 2008
Recovering From the Holiday Hangover
The lights have been taken down, the tree has been dumped unceremoniously with the other trash at the curb, and all the presents have been opened. Now it's back to reality for most of us.

January 02, 2008
Et Tu, 2008?
2007 was a rough year for the real estate and mortgage markets...many expect the trends to continue in 2008.

December 18, 2007
2008's coming...are you ready?
Selling your note may not make your Top 10 list of things to do this month, but it's not too early to think about next year.

December 13, 2007
Why read a blog from a "mortgage note buyer"?
It sounds so exciting; like watching C-SPAN or attending a city council meeting. But maybe, just maybe, you'll find some insight amongst all the ramblings.

December 10, 2007
Mortgages as ATMs...who knew???
A story on CNN's website today paints a grim picture of how far overboard some Americans went when it came to their home equity positions.

December 03, 2007
Brother can you spare a dime?
Bing Crosby was dreaming of a white Christmas, but many find themselves in the red after the holidays.

November 27, 2007
Sure Could Use a Little Good News...
If you allow the media to dictate your mood each day, chances are you haven't been a real happy camper lately.

November 19, 2007
The incredible shrinking investment
Noteholders often ask me why they should sell their note. They are happy collecting a payment every month, they have few issues with the borrower, and it's nice to have that little extra showing up in the mailbox each month. I will almost always agree that it's a good investment for them, but is it the BEST investment for them?

November 13, 2007
4,400,000 homes for sale...and counting
"Thank goodness the real estate market doesn’t affect me", you think to yourself…or does it??? Some people play music for a living. Others fix cars or build computers. I make my living in the privately-held real estate note business…it’s what I do.

November 12, 2007
3...2...1...we have lift-off
Welcome to my very first blog entry…ever. I have two things I hope to achieve through this medium. First, I want it to be informative to you, the reader. Second, I intend to make you smile, maybe even laugh a little, while you're reading it.

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