Global Electronic Access Control Systems Market to Reach US$6.0 Billion by 2015, According to New Report by Global Industry Analysts, Inc.

San Jose, CA (Vocus/PRWEB) January 11, 2011

Despite the popular perception that ever-present safety & security needs and rising crime rates, which interestingly tend to escalate during periods of economic downturn, make electronic access control systems market recession proof, the market ironically has shown signs of marked weakening in the midst of steady deterioration in business climate. With most key end-use sectors i.e. banking, financial services, retail (malls, multiplexes), IT sector, construction, and hospitality (hotels & restaurants) collapsing like a pack of cards, growth patterns have been largely distorted. The forced delay in launch of new retail projects such as malls, chain retailers and franchise outlets, as a result of distortions in economic variables, such as, drying up of debt markets, lack of capital investments, and deep corporate budgets cuts, have eroded market opportunities for EACS.

The meltdown of the construction industry, as reflected in the general weakness in new office, commercial and residential building projects, rising vacancy rates, construction delays and sharp falls in the number of applications for new building permits, and government scaling back of infrastructure-related projects have also played instrumental roles in negatively impacting new equipment order influx rates for EACS. For instance, although a very valuable addition to security infrastructure, the importance of electronic access control systems has temporarily been overshadowed as building owners focus squarely on surviving the crisis. In addition, widespread postponements, cancellation of upgradation security projects and delays in scheduled system replacements in existing facilities, have resulted in sharp declines in replacement demand.

However, a transient disruption in the economic climate like the recent recession is not likely to leave an indelible mark on the market, as prevention of authorized access and detection of perpetrators will always remain vital in the overall security arrangements. Although the tough economic climate has squeezed new orders for EACS, the focus on safety and security among organizations, government agencies and general public continues to remain unchanged, as security coverage is closely tied to safety of human life and asset protection in infrastructure facilities and residential and commercial centers.

With recession now at its tail end, the market will witness a quick resurgence of demand fundamentals, such as increase in commercial and residential building construction, improvements in disposable spends, and increase in infrastructure investments, which will help drive the EACS market in the post recession period. Growth in the market, which was hitherto frustrated by capital shortages, reduced personnel, and unemployment, is forecast to rebound as liquidity issues and financial hardships begin to ease. Technology developments such as development of more advanced, and higher value access control systems and efforts to integrate new advanced features and capabilities such as hybrid and wireless installations to the already installed access control systems, will also generate substantial demand for EACS market over the next few years.

As stated by the new market research report, US continue to remain the largest regional market. Asia-Pacific is the fastest growing regional market waxing at a CAGR of about 3.7% over the analysis period. Growth in this market will be essentially driven by factors such as fast paced economic development in emerging countries such as China and India, increase in foreign investments, rise in the number of new business establishments and increase in crime rates. By product, Card-Based Electronic Access control systems market continues to be the largest product segment, holding a lions share of the global market. Smart cards represent the largest revenue contributor to the card-based EACS market. Audio and Video-Based Electronic Access Control Systems market is the fastest growing product segment, waxing at a CAGR of about 6.8% over the analysis period

Major players in the marketplace include Aiphone Co. Ltd., ASSA ABLOY AB, BIO-key, International Inc., DigitalPersona Inc, Gunnebo Ab, Hirsch Electronics Corporation, Honeywell Access Systems, Ingersoll Rand Recognition Systems Inc., Linear LLC, Imprivata

Total Mortgage Identifies Key Trends in the Mortgage Marketplace in 2011

Milford, CT (PRWEB) January 12, 2011

Total Mortgage Services, LLC, a leading national mortgage lender featuring some of the lowest mortgage rates available, today highlighted five key trends likely to impact the mortgage industry and housing market in 2011.

The mortgage and housing markets continue to be impacted by the housing crisis, which has fundamentally and permanently altered these businesses, commented John Walsh, President of Total Mortgage Services. In 2011, we expect the mortgage and housing markets to continue to undergo rapid changes. However, those who are able to rise to these challenges and opportunities will be able to survive and prosper in the new year.

2011 Mortgage Industry Trends

Quality mortgage brokers will survive and remain relevant: Mortgage brokers, who are committed to extensive product knowledge, ethical behavior, and the highest levels of customer service, provide significant value to borrowers throughout the mortgage process. Without the mortgage broker, competition amongst lenders will diminish. Mortgage brokers have the ability to shop for the best rates and products at a variety of mortgage lenders. This allows individual borrowers to obtain access to a wide array of products and rates. It also creates competition between lenders that benefits borrowers through lower rates and better products. The many benefits that brokers provide to borrowers help to ensure their continued relevance in the competitive mortgage industry.

Vermont Licensed 33 New Captive Insurance Companies in 2010

Montpelier, VT (PRWEB) January 12, 2011

The State of Vermont licensed 33 new captive insurance companies in 2010 as it surpassed the 900-license milestone, according to data released by the Vermont Department of Banking, Insurance, Securities and Health Care Administration (BISHCA).

I am extremely proud of the outstanding performance and leadership that Vermont delivers to the captive insurance industry, said Vermont Governor Peter Shumlin. As the new governor of Vermont, I will continue to do whatever is necessary to keep pace with the needs of this important sector.

Vermont reached its 900th license mark in August, when it licensed Lincoln Financial Group. This milestone, combined with 33 new companies licensing captives made for a successful year.

It is very gratifying to see the growth in new licenses in 2010, said Dan Towle, Director of Financial Services. We are continuing to see companies take control of their own risk by forming captive insurance companies, despite the soft commercial insurance market, he added.

The new captives formed include 19 pure captives, nine special purpose financial captives (SPFC), four new risk retention groups, and one industrial insured captive, bringing the total number of licenses issued in Vermont to 911.

The activity in 2010 reflected a wide diversity of lines, with new energy in securitization and healthcare, said David Provost, Deputy Commissioner of BISHCA. The applications were very high quality, and we anticipate continued growth in 2011 — and we are committed to allocating the resources necessary to provide consistent and quality service, he added.

Some of the companies in the class of 2010 include: NBC Universal, Inc., PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP, Aetna Inc., Procter & Gamble Company, Crowe Horwath LLP, Towers Watson & Co. and Nationwide Financial Services, Inc.

Captive insurance companies formed by the healthcare industry to ensure their unique risk continue to be one of Vermonts fastest growing sectors. New healthcare captives in the class of 2010 include those formed by: EmblemHealth Inc., Albert Einstein Healthcare Network, a group of Midwestern Physicians, Nursing Homes & Home Healthcare Agencies, and a group of New Hampshire Hospitals.

Vermont will not rest on its laurels and we remain committed to being the gold standard of domiciles, said Governor Shumlin. Vermont is aggressively pursuing new opportunities to expand the captive industry. While some of our domestic competitors have reduced their commitment to promoting and regulating captives, Vermont is investing in this valuable sector of our economy, Shumlin said.

Vermont is the largest captive insurance domicile in the U.S. and the third largest in the world, with an excess of $ 17 billion in gross written premium estimated in 2010. Vermont is also home to 42 of the companies that make up the Fortune 100, and 18 of the companies that make up the Dow 30 have Vermont captives.

Captive insurance is a regulated form of self insurance that has been around since the 1960s, and has been a part of the Vermont insurance industry since 1981, when Vermont passed the Special Insurer Act. Captive insurance companies are formed by companies or groups of companies as a form of alternative insurance to better manage their own risk. Captives are typically used for corporate lines of insurance such as property, general liability, products liability, or professional liability. Growth sectors of the captive insurance industry include securization, professional medical malpractice coverage for doctors and hospitals, and the continued trend of small and mid-sized companies forming captive insurance companies.

For more information on Vermonts captive industry, please visit or call Dan Towle at 802-828-5232 or email at dan(dot)towle(at)state(dot)vt(dot)us.

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Hackman Capital Affiliate Closes On $5 Million CMBS Loan

Culver City, CA (Vocus/PRWEB) January 26, 2011

Hackman Capital, a privately-held industrial and commercial real estate investment firm, announced today, on behalf of its affiliate, the closing of a $ 5 million loan to permanently finance the acquisition of three creative office buildings in Culver City, California. The office, recording and production studios, totaling 32,248 square feet, are 100% leased by Westwood One. Inc., the country’s largest independent provider of network radio programming and traffic information. The Hackman Capital affiliate acquired the portfolio in an all-cash, sale-leaseback transaction in December 2009.

The non-recourse financing was arranged by Los Angeles based capital markets advisor, Verona Capital Markets(VCM), who obtained the loan from a major Wall Street investment bank. The loan provided 10-year, fixed-rate financing with a 30-year amortization period and a 5.99% coupon. The proceeds of the loan were used to repatriate equity to the sponsor and its investors.

VCM was able to mitigate the risk associated with a single, non-investment grade tenant by highlighting the superior sponsorship behind the transaction, including its track record of operational excellence across its portfolio and its extensive experience in the Culver City submarket, said Eliav Dan, VCM’s managing principal. In addition to highlighting Westwood Ones longstanding occupancy of the buildings and the financial commitment of its majority equity stakeholder, local private equity firm The Gores Group, Dan noted that VCM assuaged the lenders concern regarding a downside scenario by emphasizing the location of the project in reinvigorated downtown Culver City, the fungibility of the buildings, the loan amount relative to land value and the go-dark value of the buildings.

According to Michael Hackman, founder and CEO of Hackman Capital, this deal is yet another example of the the vitality of the Culver City submarket. “One of the west side’s most progressive and rapidly growing areas, and a destination for creative businesses, Culver City is a vibrant community, ” said Hackman. “We are expanding our footprint here for good reasons.”

Hackman Capital, which is based in Los Angeles, has been investing in industrial and office properties since 1986. Although the company and its affiliates have a large national presence, with an existing portfolio including more than 56 buildings and 16 million square feet in markets across the country, the company is proceeding with investment strategies focusing on Southern California and the West Coast.

Of the 13 properties Hackman Capital affiliates already own in Southern California, five are in Culver City. The three Westwood One Studios are located in the Hayden-Higuera district at 8960 Washington (9,668 square feet), 8966 Washington Boulevard (14,780 square feet) and 8944 Lindblade Street (7,980 square feet).

More about Hackman Capital

Hackman Capital specializes in the acquisition, management, redevelopment and adaptive re-use of industrial and office real estate. Founded in 1986, Hackman Capital has acquired or developed more than a billion dollars of property on behalf of the company, various investment funds and institutional clients. The company manages all aspects of the real estate process, from acquisition through asset management and disposition, and offers services including property and asset management, construction management, marketing and leasing, finance and administrative functions, legal, compliance and investor relations. Hackman Capital currently manages for its affiliates a portfolio of more than 16 million square feet, including 56 buildings and 750 acres of developable land. The

company is based in Los Angeles, California.

For more information about the company, please visit

More about Verona Capital Markets Inc.

Verona Capital Markets Inc. is a full service real estate investment banking and capital markets advisory firm based in Los Angeles. VCM specializes in arranging structured debt and equity financing for all types of commercial real estate investments throughout the country and represents financial institutions in connection with the disposition of performing and non-performing notes and REO. In their previous capacities as lenders and lenders counsel, respectively, our principals have been involved in virtually every facet of the securitized lending process, including loan origination, structuring, underwriting and documentation.

For more information about VCM, please visit

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Global Debt Registry Awarded Provisional Patent

Wilmington, DE (PRWEB) January 27, 2011

Global Debt Registry (GDR), a provider of asset securitization ownership, servicing rights validation, and turnkey accounts receivable titling solutions, announced today that the Company has filed its first cornerstone provisional patent with the United States Patent and Trademark Office, awarded as serial number 61/435,034. The patent protects GDR technologies developed for the Companys recently released Version-5.1 enterprise management tool.

GDR has created a truly unique offering for the global accounts receivable and securitization industries, said Mark Parsells, Executive Chairman. There are no other companies that do what GDR does. We believe this intellectual property will play a significant role in resolving many of the problems that have produced improper portfolio and account-level chains of title, inaccurate data, documentation integrity, and inadequate record keeping surrounding asset securitizations, servicing, and sales in all segments of the global AR space. It is just another step in GDRs mission to establish itself in the market as a forward thinking, leading edge technology powerhouse.

Our groundbreaking patent pending technology is central to GDRs state-of-the-art debt titling solutions, said Greg Ousley, Chief Executive Officer. The filing of our intellectual property is just our latest step in crystallizing our efforts to revolutionize the way issuers, investors, and servicers manage the securitization and accounts receivable lifecycle process.

Bruce Gilmore, President and CIO added, GDR is the only turnkey provider of accounts receivable chain-of-title, data integrity, and media-management services globally. GDR-5.1 is now available and in use by more than 60 customers in all 50 states. The system can be easily customized for any titling, data integrity, and media-management need with very littleif anydevelopment required by the user. Users can easily transmit and receive data while meeting the most stringent regulatory and industry data protection requirements.

The Company will file all documentation for the non-provisional patent on the technology before the end of 2011.

For more information contact Greg Ousley, CEO, Global Debt Registry at 866-660-2341, or visit

About Global Debt Registry

Global Debt Registry delivers significant consumer protections as well as measurable ROI benefits to all participants in the Accounts Receivable Industry by providing the nations only proven, patent-pending AR titling solution. GDRs customizable platform provides a comprehensive Data Integrity, Chain of Title, and Turnkey Media Management solution. GDR maintains the integrity of traded data and documentation (validates debt); maintains accurate ownership (account-level chain of title); and provides automated access for media lifecycle management. The Company offers a customizable platform both in the performing and non-performing ARM industry markets.


National Mortgage Complaint Center Warns All US Homeowners About Refinancing Scams Foreclosures & Says Time for Justice for Greedy Banks

(Vocus/PRWEB) February 01, 2011

The National Mortgage Complaint Center says, “as we enter 2011 we have a lot of really serious concerns related to US homeowners, consumers wishing to purchase a home, and accountability for what got us into this mess in the first place. Things have not improved, and if not the homeowners-the taxpayers should be steamed.” They say, “what concerns us is Federal, or State Law Enforcement are doing little, to nothing about mortgage refinance scam artists, or foreclosure scam artists offering access to interest rates that do not exist, and or foreclosure programs, that require money up front-for nothing.” They say, “what do state, or federal regulators, who are supposed to be protecting consumers, do all day long? They sure and the hell are not doing much to regulate all of this nonsense, and we think all US homeowners, and or taxpayers better wise up. One way, or another you are all paying for this baloney, and will be for as long as you live.”

Refinancing: The National Mortgage Complaint Center says, “we think now would be a very smart time to refinance, because we think the realities of the Middle East meltdown mean much higher oil prices, inflation, and interest rates. Even if the US stock market has a meltdown-we think rates are going up-not down–because a Middle East meltdown probably means higher oil prices, and inflation.” They say, “if you see some advertisement for a 3% mortgage-its not a 30 year fixed product, we consider it to be false advertising, and its high time federal, or state regulatory agencies shut these firms down for false, or misleading advertising.”

Foreclosures: The National Mortgage Complaint Center says, “in 2011 we will see a record, or close to a record number of foreclosures. We expect an additional price decline of about 10% nationwide. The true national unemployment rate is north of 15%. Add in the Middle East meltdown, and 2011 is starting to look like a train wreck.” They say, “and no–if someone has not made their mortgage payment for a year, or more-why should it be the taxpayers responsibility to bail them out?” However, the National Mortgage Complaint Center says, “there is one exception to this not paying your mortgage payment. In this instance, it applies to 10,000’s of US homeowners stuck in a home with toxic Chinese drywall in the US Southeast. Haven’t heard about toxic Chinese drywall? Well there is a good reason why most US citizens have not yet heard about the toxic Chinese drywall disaster–President Obama has forgotten to mention it one time in public since taking office. Not to worry-we think its in all 50 states-so everyone will know about it one of these days.” They say, “toxic Chinese drywall is the absolute worst environmental disaster to ever impact US homeowners, and here’s the good part—–US banks stuck with a toxic Chinese drywall foreclosures in places like Florida–are simply reselling these toxic homes-As Is-no mention of the fact the home could be lethal to the homeowner, or their children-so the house just becomes a foreclosure all over again.” For more information on the toxic Chinese drywall disaster please visit the Chinese Drywall Complaint Center at

On The Topic Of Greedy Banks Investment Bankers & Accountability: The National Mortgage Complaint Center says, “in case you missed it, all of the big time Wall Street investment bankers, banks, international finance people had a big party in Switzerland last week. Apparently they all had a really good 2010. There is one slight problem, we think the US taxpayer picked up the bar tab.” They say, “back in 2006-even 2007, US securities rating agencies were giving questionable Alt A mortgages a triple A rating, just so foolish pension funds would buy these soon to be greatly discounted, or worthless securitized mortgages.” The group says, “the same people/firms at the free bar in Switzerland last week, were telling investors, and the US consumers, the US real estate party would go on forever back in 2006, and even 2007. They were all lying through their teeth, and now the US taxpayer gets stuck with trillions? We say its time for indictments!”

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Global Debt Registry Recognized as Visa PCI DSS Validated Service Provider

Wilmington, DE (PRWEB) February 2, 2011

Global Debt Registry (GDR) is pleased to announce that it is now included on Visas list of PCI DSS compliant Service Providers. Inclusion on this list is a public recognition by VISA of GDRs commitment to the very highest industry standards for protecting confidential consumer data throughout the securitization and receivable lifecycle management process.

GDRs commitment to protecting consumer data as evidenced by our PCI DSS compliance positions GDR as a leader in the processing and protection of consumer data, said Mark Parsells, Executive Chairman of GDR. Meeting the requirements to be on the VISA List of Compliance Service Providers along with our delivery of ground-breaking products and services cements our leadership position and creates unparalleled assurances for our clients that their data is protected.

At GDR, our entire business is based upon data and document integrity and security. If you cannot adequately protect data and documents, you cannot assure their integrity, said Greg Ousley, CEO of GDR. We have produced the securitization and ARM industrys first PCI-compliant AR-titling, data integrity, and media management platform. Our system effectively ‘titles’ pre and post charged-off debt, creating greater protection for consumers, reduced transactional risks, and enhanced ROI for Securitization and ARM industry participants. GDRs breakthrough patent-pending technologies are answering the demand from investors, securitizers, servicers, regulators, judges, consumer attorneys, consumer advocates, and legislators for a higher level of transparency and integrity throughout the receivables securitization, performing and recovery life cycle. Achieving Visa PCI DSS validation affirms our capabilities and establishes us as a benchmark for the Securitization and ARM industries.

For more information about PCI DSS visit For information about Visa PCI DSS Validated Providers visit For more information about Global Debt Registry contact Greg Ousley, CEO, at 866-660-2341 ceo(at)globaldebtregistry(dot)com, or visit

About Global Debt Registry

Global Debt Registry delivers significant consumer protections as well as measurable ROI benefits to all participants in the Accounts Receivable Industry by providing the nations only proven, patent-pending AR titling solution. GDRs customizable platform provides a comprehensive Data Integrity, Chain of Title, and Turnkey Media Management solution. GDR maintains the integrity of traded data and documentation (validates debt); maintains accurate ownership (account-level chain of title); and provides automated access for media lifecycle management. The Company offers a customizable platform both in the performing and non-performing Securitization and ARM industry markets.

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SunGard Acquires PredictiveMetrics to Broaden the AvantGard Suite and Expand into Trade Credit Liquidity

New York, NY (Vocus/PRWEB) February 03, 2011

SunGard today announced that it has acquired PredictiveMetrics, a provider of predictive scoring and analytical services for trade credit, debt collections, utilities and other markets. The acquisition will help extend SunGards AvantGard suite of receivables solutions to offer statistical scoring services that help organizations proactively analyze the credit and collection worthiness and likelihood of delinquency or payment across their receivables portfolio. The acquisition, the terms of which were not disclosed, is not expected to have a material impact on SunGards financial results.

PredictiveMetrics core services around credit and collection analyses will become part of SunGards AvantGard Receivables solution and will be marketed under the AvantGard Receivables brand. SunGard will continue to support the core markets including business-to-business, utilities and debt collection agencies. The predictive modeling solution will also be leveraged to build a new offering for trade credit liquidity decisioning across the receivables portfolio. This will help companies and lenders apply modeling to appropriately evaluate risk and liquidity, helping them better leverage key instruments such as credit insurance, collateralized lending, dynamic discounting, securitization, invoice financing and first / third party outsourcing.

Michael Banasiak, president, PredictiveMetrics, said, Being part of SunGard will help us offer increased flexibility and choice to the credit and collections community. We are very pleased to expand into new areas such as trade credit liquidity in order to deliver more sophisticated solutions for optimized liquidity management. Mike Banasiak will join SunGard as part of the AvantGard team.

C.J. Wimley, executive vice president, trade credit liquidity solutions for SunGards AvantGard business unit, said, The acquisition of PredictiveMetrics is a strategic step forward in our long-term plan to help companies manage their receivables as a capital investment. Performing predictive analytics across the receivables portfolio helps companies mitigate corporate credit risk and gain valuable insight for improved decision-making.

About PredictiveMetrics

Founded in 1995, PredictiveMetrics, Inc. is a global leader in providing predictive scoring and analytical decision solutions using advanced statistical techniques for credit, collections and debt recovery collections. PredictiveMetrics decision technology spans many industries, types of financing, and ages of debt.

PredictiveMetrics is designed to conduct vigorous and sophisticated analytics coupled with innovative, advanced statistical techniques.

About SunGards AvantGard

SunGards AvantGard is a leading liquidity management solution for corporations, insurance companies and the public sector. AvantGard provides chief financial officers and treasurers with real-time visibility into cash flows and increased operational controls around receivables, treasury and payments. AvantGard helps companies drive free cash flow and reduce inefficiencies across the ecosystem of suppliers, buyers, banks and other trading partners. For more information, visit

About SunGard

SunGard is one of the world’s leading software and technology services companies. SunGard has more than 20,000 employees and serves 25,000 customers in 70 countries. SunGard provides software and processing solutions for financial services, higher education and the public sector. SunGard also provides disaster recovery services, managed IT services, information availability consulting services and business continuity management software. With annual revenue exceeding $ 5 billion, SunGard is ranked 380 on the Fortune 500 and is the largest privately held business software and IT services company.

Trademark Information: SunGard, the SunGard logo and AvantGard are trademarks or registered trademarks of SunGard Data Systems Inc. or its subsidiaries in the U.S. and other countries. All other trade names are trademarks or registered trademarks of their respective holders.


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Altos Research and 1010data Partner to Deliver Real-time Real Estate Data to the Financial Community

Orlando, FL (PRWEB) February 8, 2011

Altos Research, the premier provider of real-time real estate data, announced at the American Securitization Forum 2011 the availability of their market analytics data via the industry leading 1010data platform. Launched in 2006, Altos Research tracks the leading indicators for residential mortgage-backed securities (RMBS) default risk, loan-to-value (LTV) adjustments, and forecasting asset valuations on over 20,000 zip codes across the U.S., offering analytics and forward valuation models that are updated weekly with three, six, and 12-month forecasting horizons.

We monitor the real estate market in real-time and this lets us offer the most accurate market forecasting available, said Scott Sambucci, vice president of sales and analytics, Altos Research. By making our data available on the powerful 1010data platform, we will be able to reach more customers via their hosted service.

With decades of Wall Street experience, 1010data understands the data management and analytical needs of financial services institutions, and knows how to provide solutions that make it easy to manage and analyze large volumes of data for a business-critical advantage. The company combines the power of a high-performance back-end database with a Web-based, front-end user interface, empowering financial institutions with the tools they need to analyze, manage and present data. Optionally delivered as a service, the solution is implemented quickly so that companies experience high speed-to-value and very rapid ROI.

“The unique Altos Research data perfectly complements our list of hosted MBS datasets,” said Greg Munves, executive vice president, 1010data. “Access to real-time data is of growing importance to our customers, and allows them to do more timely analysis.”

Altos Research data is now available via the 1010data platform, for more information please visit 1010data.

ASF 2011

Altos is participating in the American Securitization Forum 2011 at the Orlando World Center Marriott February 6 9th. The company is providing demonstrations of the AltosEvaluate FVM at booth #108. To schedule a demonstration, please contact Scott Sambucci at 888.819.7775.

About Altos Research

Altos Research is the premier provider of real-time real estate information. As the only national source of primary research in the active housing market, Altos Research produces unique statistics, leading indicators, and web applications used for analysis. Altos watches the active housing market, about two million properties each week, in 20,000 zip codes, and calculates price changes, supply and demand statistics and market psychology statistics for local market understanding. Altos clients are anyone with exposure to real estate; financial institutions, investors, and thousands of real estate professionals around the country. For more information visit

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Peninsula Financial Advisor Larry Krause Explains How Financial Reform Affects the Average American

San Bruno, CA (Vocus/PRWEB) February 09, 2011

The financial crisis of 2008, the worst shock to the global financial system since the Great Depression, pushed lawmakers to enact sweeping reforms in an attempt to prevent such a devastating disruption to the economy from happening again. The Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act, passed by congress in July 2010, has far-reaching regulatory changes that will be felt not only banks and Wall Street, but also average Americans. Larry Krause, a Peninsula financial advice expert and president of Tessara Financial Advisors, Inc., explains some of the ways the new legislation aimed at lenders, banks and ratings agencies affect the average person.

The Dodd-Frank Act changes rules governing credit and lending practices of mortgage lenders in order to better protect borrowers from predatory lending. Lenders are now required to verify that borrowers can reasonably be expected to be able to repay the entire loan amount, including taxes and fees. While these rules may limit the size of the mortgage you qualify for, theyre intended to prevent you from being steered into a loan thats not suitable for you, says Bay Area money manager Larry Krause. Lenders now cannot refinance existing mortgages unless doing so would benefit the borrower. The Dodd-Frank Act also limits balloon payments and prepayment penalties.

One major provision of the Dodd-Frank Act that affects average citizens is the creation of the Bureau of Consumer Financial Protection, a federal regulatory agency that oversees consumer financial products and services. In addition to regulating consumer products such as mortgages and student loans, the Bureau tracks complaints, ensures equal opportunity to credit, and promotes financial literacy among consumers.

Changes to banking rules and regulations will also be felt by consumers. The temporary increase in the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) guarantee on bank deposits to $ 250,000 is now permanent. This increase in protection means that if you and your spouse each have separate deposit accounts as well as a single joint account at a single bank, the two of you could qualify for as much as $ 1 million worth of total FDIC protection for those accounts, according to Krause.

Banks are also now required to hold larger amounts in reserve, and retain at least a 5% stake in any potentially risky securitized loans they make. They face new limits on proprietary trading and derivative swaps. These measures aim to prevent future bank bailouts that come at the expense of taxpayers.

Lack of transparency from credit rating agencies is often cited as one of the causes of the financial crisis. The Dodd-Frank Act addresses this in several ways: Free access to credit scores is now available for those whose credit score led to them being turned down for a credit card, house or job.

Credit ratings agencies are also now be subject to Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) oversight, and can face fines for faulty ratings. The new Office of the Investor Advocate within the SEC was created to help individual investors with resolutions to problems. This gives investors greater confidence in their investments, as does the provision that allows investors to sue the ratings agencies for issuing knowingly flawed ratings.

The expansive Dodd-Frank Act covers many other areas, from SEC registration of hedge funds to whistleblower protection and incentives to guidelines for orderly liquidation in the event of bank failure. Not all provisions of the Dodd-Frank Act will be implemented or felt by average consumers right away. Thats why its important to have someone help you monitor those regulations as they evolve and evaluate just how they might affect you, says Krause. Dont hesitate to seek expert advice.

For more information about the new financial reform legislation, or any other services from Tessara Financial Advisors, call (800) 331-5843 or visit their website at

About Tessara Financial Advisors, Inc.

Tessara Financial Advisors, Inc. is a Registered Bay Area Investment Advice firm that specializes in providing the entire spectrum of wealth management services, including financial planning, retirement planning, life and long-term care insurance analysis, tax planning, estate planning, charitable giving, asset protection planning and forming strategic alliances. Their goal is to build long term relationships with clients and their advisors that are mutually beneficial and built on the highest level of integrity, trust and service.

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