Thursday, December 18, 2008


Merry Christmas from InSight Mortgage Group. We pray your season is filled with Joy, Hope & Love!

The Christmas Story!
And while they were there, the time came for her baby to be born. She gave birth to her first child, a son. She wrapped him snugly in strips of cloth and laid him in a manger, because there was no lodging available for them.

That night there were shepherds staying in the fields nearby, guarding their flocks of sheep. Suddenly, an angel of the Lord appeared among them, and the radiance of the Lord’s glory surrounded them. They were terrified, but the angel reassured them. “Don’t be afraid!” he said. “I bring you good news that will bring great joy to all people. The Savior—yes, the Messiah, the Lord—has been born today in Bethlehem, the city of David! And you will recognize him by this sign: You will find a baby wrapped snugly in strips of cloth, lying in a manger.”

Suddenly, the angel was joined by a vast host of others—the armies of heaven—praising God and saying,

“Glory to God in highest heaven,
and peace on earth to those with whom God is pleased.”

When the angels had returned to heaven, the shepherds said to each other, “Let’s go to Bethlehem! Let’s see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has told us about.” They hurried to the village and found Mary and Joseph. And there was the baby, lying in the manger. After seeing him, the shepherds told everyone what had happened and what the angel had said to them about this child. All who heard the shepherds’ story were astonished, but Mary kept all these things in her heart and thought about them often. The shepherds went back to their flocks, glorifying and praising God for all they had heard and seen. It was just as the angel had told them.

John 3:16, For God loved the world so much that he gave his one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life.

Please call or email, michele@ if we can help you with any questions you might have or for a review of your home financing needs. We are here to help you make sound choices and connect you to folks who can help you with your spending plans as well as ways to improve your credit!

Blessings galore!

Michele Cole


Tuesday, December 9, 2008


Fence sitting can be painful—don’t wait too long!

I imagine you’ve heard or read about the 4.5% mortgage rate thing being promoted by the government. The Treasury Department is being lobbied hard to consider a plan to purchase mortgage-backed securities with the hopes of driving mortgage rates down to possibly 4.5%, reported an industry source.

Wednesday (12/3): A story is “leaked” regarding the Treasury Department lowering mortgage rates to 4.5%
Thursday (12/4): That headline leads the news
Friday (12/5): 40+ Million American homeowners sit on the fence and Consider “Should I refinance today or wait for
something better?

The most obvious consideration is if the rates are low today, take advantage of it now! Because they may not be low tomorrow, or even 4 hours from now. Mortgage rates could fall a bit tomorrow – or not—so why take a chance? Refinance at today’s low rates, and if rates fall again in the future, you can refinance again. A wise move is to lock up your savings today!

Details of the plan remain vague at this time; each article specifically stated that there were no facts – just speculation. The plan appears to be similar to the move made recently by the Fed, in which securities backed by 30-year fixed rate mortgages would be purchased from Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. Spokespeople from the Treasury Department and the Federal Housing Finance Agency are declining to comment on the proposed plan.

Mortgage rates dropped sharply, from 6.06% a week earlier to 5.5%, after the Fed’s announcement. The Mortgage Bankers Association said mortgage applications more than doubled as a result, with a majority of the business in the refinance sector.

An increased demand for mortgage-backed securities prompts mortgage rates to drop. In turn, homeowners can then refinance into lower-cost loans and it also makes it cheaper for potential buyers to get into the market. This move would help buyers and current homeowners with good credit, says industry experts, but would not provide much help to troubled borrowers.

Experts weigh the positives and negatives

This potential move by the Treasury has prompted mixed views on how much homeowners and the economy would benefit. Lower rates could help stabilize the housing market by bringing in new buyers, reducing housing inventory; those who refinance could have more money to spend.

Scott Talbot, senior vice president of the Financial Services Roundtable, which is encouraging the move, said “If it gets people buying homes and spending, it will help reverse the economy and get us out of this recession.” A senior financial analyst at, Greg McBride, said “it is clearly designed to bring buyers into the marketplace and soak the inventory of unsold homes.”

But, rates are volatile, hovering around 5.25% on Friday, Dec.5th (dependent upon credit scores and other factors) and others have pointed out that several government attempts to lower mortgage rates this year have not had a lasting effect. Also, homeowners who have fallen behind on their payments, have little to no equity in their homes, or who have lost jobs would receive minimal benefit. And with tight credit standards, these borrowers would not be able to refinance to take advantage of the lower rates.

Sound financial decisions shouldn’t be made on speculation. So what do we know now:
*Mortgage rates are lower than they’ve been in years
*Mortgage guidelines are tight, even for “prime” borrowers
*Home prices nationally are falling, making qualifications harder

Rates are still volatile and could rise again overnight to price you out. What was that old saying of Mom’s “a bird in the hand …” And if rates fall after closing, maybe even reaching the “projected” 4.5%, we’ll refinance again.

Call me at 913-642-3334 or email me at with your comments or questions. It’s a great time to review your financial situation and ring in the holiday season on a positive note, and lower interest rate.

I also recently apeared on Pal Van Sickle podcast "The After Show" check out my interview on his site the after show

Michele A. "MAC" Cole


Tuesday, December 2, 2008


On Wednesday, November 26, Secretary Paulson announced that the Fed will purchase up to $100 Billion in direct debt of Fannnie Mae, Freddie Mac and Federal Home Loan Banks and buy up to $500 Billion of Mortgage-Backed Securities.

With this news, the spread between Treasury bonds and mortgage-back securities narrowed significantly and fueled a sharp decline in mortgage rates.

So many customers who had been on the sidelines got into the game and locked their rates on refi's and new purchases. So much so, that many lenders announced that they reached recording breaking milestones!

Don't be a benchwarmer, get in the game now while rates remain historically low. Mortgage funds are available; we have a variety of programs to suit your specific needs. Call Michele at 913-642-3334 or email me at for the most current loan information.

Michele "MAC" A. Cole


Friday, November 7, 2008


Banish the Doom & Gloom thoughts!

How do we stay productive and motivated during these uncertain economic times, when the media is pounding us with doom and gloom stories? I try to work hard to protect myself from the negativity found daily in the paper, on TV, and over the internet. I don’t advocate a “hide your head in the sand” mentality, but I encourage us all to have faith and work on a more positive attitude.

By living a life of intention - focusing on actions to create the life we want - rather than by reaction, we can better guard ourselves from negativity. There's no sense in spending time on things that are outside of our control. Instead of focusing on the problems, we need to look for solutions. By focusing on what we can control, we can reduce worry and stress, maintaining productivity and keeping our motivation at a higher level.

Through each challenge or difficulty we experience, we need to look for a kernel of benefit or positive direction. We can gain strength through adversity, avoid thoughts of panic, by focusing on a benefit of the situation. It’s a process; adversity moves you along – you can gain strength or you can let it can weaken your resolve.

Look at Thomas Edison. In his development of the electric light bulb he documented 10,000 failed attempts. He was asked by a reporter how it felt to have failed 10,000 times. Edison replied, “I didn’t fail 10,000 times trying to invent the light bulb, I simply documented 10,000 ways that it wouldn’t work.” Where would we be today it Edison had quit?

So with the economy, maybe we accept it “as it is”. Neither bad or good, but look at todays’ situation with openness and interest, rather than fear or panic. We discover that kernel of hope and opportunity. Combine that with determination and personal focus, and we stay productive. A common trait among self-made millionaires is the willingness to persevere when times are tough.

Move the focus from the overall uncertain economic situation to your personal situation and ask “What would responsible action look like?” Do you need to adjust your spending to live within your means? Are you honoring the money you have? Acknowledging the facts of your own life is a powerful starting point for reducing anxiety and taking action that is necessary.

To weather the current economic storm: Focus on the facts of your life, the future you want to create, and take action to make it happen – irrespective of what the news is promoting or what your friends are talking about. Believe in yourself, learn from adversity and grow stronger from it, take inspired action. Create your life of intention!

Our goal at InSight Mortage Group is to provide you with the expertise, education and tools needed in making smart financial decisions and the right mortgage choice for your personal goals. Please feel free to call me, visit my website, or email me at

Michele "MAC" Cole

Friday, October 31, 2008


Will Mortgage rates drop since the Fed cut its rate?

On Wednesday, Oct 29th, the Fed voted to cut the Federal Funds Rate by ½%. This cut is seen as positive news for consumer loans, home equity lines of credit (variable rates) and adjustable rate mortgages. So, will fixed mortgage rates automatically drop too? NO, there is no direct correlation between the two rates.

Unfortunately the media isn’t always clear when these announcements are made. The economics underlying the cut is thought to be boring to the general public, and boring is not in the media vocabulary.

The Federal Reserve doesn’t control stock prices nor mortgage rates. Sometimes the rate change by the Fed can influence mortgage rates: sometimes in the same direction at the same time, but often they move in opposite directions. After the rate cut was announced on Wednesday, the fixed mortgage rates improved – for about 15 minutes. But then the mortgage pricing started to climb; within the first half hour lenders had issued new rate sheets indicating an increase of nearly .250.

Basically it’s short term vs. long term. The Fed Funds Rate is a short term interest rate. The FFR is a base for the Prime rate, with 3% added. The rate is adjusted by the Federal Reserve Bank to help control inflation, to help balance prices & stimulate economic growth, and to provide the financial markets with liquidity. The cost of short term borrowing is adjusted.

It’s the mortgage-backed securities market that influences fixed mortgage rates, not the Fed. Generally they are 30 year bonds (at fixed or variable rates), and are considered as long-term products. Investors often move their money into the stock market and out of the mortgage bond market when the Fed cuts rates. It’s these daily ups and downs in the bond market that causes mortgage rates to fluctuate.

With the most recent cut, the Federal Fund Rate is at its 50 year low, and we see mortgage rates closing in on their 3 year high point.

The Fed hopes to stimulate the economy with lower rates. In the long run, a healthy economy positively impacts the real estate market and that benefits the mortgage market by keeping rates competitive. So there is an indirect influence, but no direct tie to one another.

Feedack is always welcome so please send us your comments. You can call me at 913-642-3334, email me at or post comments on the blog.

Michele A. "MAC" Cole


Thursday, October 23, 2008



Want to generate a vigorous discussion at the office or over dinner with friends? Just ask the question: “has the housing market reached bottom yet?” Although the current outlook is a bit sour still, and no one is forecasting a fast national rebound, there are encouraging signs to be seen. The factors that inflated the bubble, speculative pricing and overbuilding, seem to be working their way through the system in various sections of the country.

The good news in Kansas City is that the area’s home sales were up in September and the inventory is down. The Kansas City Regional Association of Realtors reports a drop in new homes on the market. September saw 3,596 new homes listed, which was 27% fewer than in September 2007. And 15,284 existing homes were available in September, which was 7% lower than a year ago. The inventory of both new and existing homes for sale in September was 11% fewer than for the same period last year.

The KCRAR also reports a 15% increase in sales from a year ago for existing homes. The average price of an existing home is $142,966. This is 5% down from a year ago, while the average price of a new home was up 3%, to $291,243.

The Kansas City market is edging towards a balanced market (traditionally a 6 month inventory) with a 7.1 month supply of existing homes at this time. The formula is based on inventory divided by sales pace. The supply of new homes is a 12.5 month level.

It’s important to look at your local real estate market, not the national figures promoted in the media. The national sales figures quoted are brought down by the east & west coast boom and bust markets. (Phoenix, Las Vegas, Miami, So. California cities, etc) If the hard hit areas are removed from the statistical picture, the numbers are much more encouraging. And now that the government passed the recovery plan, the housing market could see an upswing with making borrowing a bit easier for buyers. Let us give you insight into today’s mortgage availability – there is money for purchases despite what the media indicates! Call me at 913-642-3334 or email your questions to

A few other cities with an upturn:

Des Moines: After an agricultural debt crisis in the 1980’s, there was a successful push to diversify. There has been no run up, no crash, no flipping frenzy – just a steady demand for housing. Affordable homes, with the median price of $156,600.

Raleigh, NC: The city has been experiencing good job growth. The first quarter of 2008 saw the 5th highest total quarterly sales on record. And prices are up 3.5% over last year.

Salt Lake City: The metropolitan area has a diverse economy and shown steady jobs gains, which in turn provides a cushion under home prices. Salt Lake City County saw median prices rise April-June 2008 in 7 zip codes.

Some suburban areas of Denver and Philadelphia had even seen prices jump as much as 16%. Birmingham, AL has also weathered the slump with low labor and land costs. Some local areas have seen the median home price increase just under 5% in the first half of the year. There are other cities faring just as well across the nation. Real Estate is a LOCAL market. So take the national numbers with a grain of salt, and read the local news for an accurate view of your community marketplace.

So talk to your professional real estate agent to learn about your market conditions and give us a call at Insight Mortgage Group to discuss your financing options: Michele at 913-642-3334 or email me at

Michele A. "MAC" Cole


Monday, October 13, 2008

Kansas City Loans- ARM's Adjusting - Mortgage Money Still Out There

With the recent news of financial turmoil and tightening credit availability, many people are asking:

Are there still mortgages out there?

YES! Mortgage loans are still available in Kansas City.

Anyone that has reasonably good credit and is looking to purchase a home should be able to get a mortgage, as long as they have enough income to cover the loan. Seems simple enough, doesn't it? Unfortunately in recent years the limits were stretched for many buyers in order to get them into homes beyond their means. And now we're looking at a high rate of foreclosures across the country. Affordability is the key to a purchase. Currently in Kansas City it's a buyers market; it's an especially good time for first time buyers to purchase a home. Money is there for these purchases. Even if your credit scores are in the low 600's, there is mortgage money available.

There are 100% rural development loans available for people that are willing to live on the outskirts of town. These are 30 year fixed loans with no down payment and you might be surprised by some of the areas that qualify. VA loans are another possibility. FHA is still a good option for the home that is in move in condition.

If your credit scores are a little lower than you’d like, then find a good credit repair service and take a proactive approach in raising your score. We can recommend a few very good companies that will work with you on improving those scores in a timely manner. Feel free to call me at 913-642-3334 or email at

What if you had an ARM (Adjustable Rate Mortgage) and you couldn’t refinance before the the ARM adjusts? This is the problem that a lot of people are facing today. They cannot refinance the mortgage that is ready to adjust, are unable to sell their home, and will not be able to afford the new payment. Where does this leave them? Are you, or anyone you know, in this situation? Give us your story. We also offer a product for note modification - if you are not able to refinance, maybe a modification would better help your situation?

Traditional advice says you should not spend more than a quarter of your monthly net income for housing. This still works and is more appropriate than ever before. Apply this rule to renting or buying. Additionally, a fixed rate, whether it is a 20 or 30 year mortgage, is a better option for financial stability.

Most of us may need to scale back and try to live within our means. This doesn't have to mean the end of your dream of becoming a homeowner, or "stepping up" to a larger home. It means making smarter decisions. Isn't a home that is truly affordable a much better choice than the "biggger, better, newer" house that straps you financially and is an emotional burden? The good news is that there is money available now and that you have a source for honest answers, compassion, and integrity in the loan process. So please

Feel free to call, visit my website, or email me at

Michele “MAC” Cole

Friday, October 3, 2008



On Wednesday, Oct.1, a government program took effect which will change the financial picture of many home purchasers and homeowners.

A program, known as ‘Hope for Homeowners’, is part of a huge housing bill passed this summer by Congress, as an effort to help alleviate the mortgage crisis. Its goal is to prevent foreclosures by allowing borrowers in default, and those in
distress, close to default, to refinance their mortgages to more affordable loans.

$300 billion is allocated for the refinance to fixed rate FHA insured loans, at no more than 90% of current market value. Also, borrowers mortgage payments must exceed 31% of their income to qualify. NOTE: loans originated in 2008, except Jan 1 are excluded. Additionally, 6 months of payments must have been made by borrowers.

But, the impact on the foreclosure rate is questionable, as lenders are not required to participate in the program. The lenders actually take a loss on the original loans. However, lenders from the top mortgage businesses indicated they’re adding new staff to assist the implementation of the program.

Other noteworthy issues addressed:

• Seller funded down payment assistance programs for FHA loans have been eliminated.This will practically eliminate no down payment offers. This ban was requested by the FHA, citing the 3 times higher default rate for down payment assisted loans over the traditional FHA loans. Also, they feel market values are inflated with those programs.

• A one-year freeze on “risk-based” FHA loan insurance premiums is in effect. The risk-based program charged borrowers on the basis of the likelihood of the loan repayment.

• FHA-insured loans on condominiums has been streamlined.

• The FHA loan process for manufactured homes has been reformed.

• A new program has been put in place for generating alternative credit-rating information for people with little credit history.

• Reverse-mortgage borrowers are affected by a requirement for “adequate counseling” from a third party not tied to the lender. The government, with funds from mortgage insurance premiums, can create a counseling program.

• Possible conflicts of interest will be reduced due to reverse-mortgage loan originators being forbidden from selling annuities, insurance or other financial products.

• A cap of $6000 was placed on origination fees, and can be adjusted periodically for inflation.

If you have questions or comments, please call me or email me at 913-642-3334 or

Michele “MAC” A. Cole

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Bailout not approved. Why? Is this good or bad?

The $700 billion bailout bill was defeated by a 228 to 205 vote. What happened? Is this a good thing or a bad thing?

How defeated?

Two thirds of the House Republicans voted against the bailout bill, while in comparison, 60% of the Democrats voted for it. This is an interesting defeat since the Bush Administration put this plan together and it was also supported by John McCain.

Another round?

President Bush and congressional leaders are determined to bring the bill back again for another vote; hopefully later this week. Congress was to adjourn this week until after the election, but it looks as if they will all be back by the end of the week. It is unclear as to what the markets will do as the week progresses.

Five courses of action in the plan

• Free up credit - Primary goal is to make it easier for individuals and business to start getting credit again.
• Modify loans - Goal is for the Treasury to modify difficult loans.
• Accountability - The Treasury will be forced to report on their spending of the $700 billion.
• Executive benefits limited- Companies who participate in getting bailed out will lose certain tax benefits. This will limit some executive compensation.
• Taxpayer benefits received- Companies that participate in the bailout must provide compensation that benefit taxpayers once the company heads in a positive direction.

These courses of action sound like reasonable goals. For now they are on hold, but let’s look at the short term effects that have occurred so far because of the defeat, and the long term effects that appear to be on the horizon.

Short term effects

The Dow Jones Industrial Average plummeting more than 700 points yesterday. This was the largest one-day point drop ever. The short-term effects are not good at all. There was an immediate effect in the confidence of the worldwide financial system. Long-term effects might be better.

Long term effects positive and negative

Longer-term, it actually could be positive since it somewhat protects the Federal Government’s balance sheet. The Federal Government may already be looking at trillions of losses because of the FDIC, Fannie, Freddie, the Federal Reserve and the Federal Home Loan Banks. Does the Federal Government need another $700 billion in debt? Give us your comments. We’d love to hear from you.

On the negative side, it is possible there could be a worldwide run on the dollar. Currently, people are running to buy U.S. treasuries. They are perceived to be the safest investment in the world. But dollar assets could fall rapidly once it becomes apparent that the U.S. government is printing a huge amount of currency to pay off its debts.


The future of the worldwide financial system is looking doubtful. There are different theories out there as to how to protect yourself while the economy is so volatile. Some Wall Street professionals have advised clients to take cash out of their bank accounts and keep it in a safe place. Two months expenses are the goal. Others say to hold on and wait for the craziness to pass.

None of us really know what direction the U.S. economy will head from here. It is a guessing game. Things seem to change rapidly. Feel free to give me a call or email me at 913-642-3334 or

Michele “MAC” Cole

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Federal Reserve leaves funds rate at 2%

The Federal Reserve Board has once again decided to leave a key interest rate untouched. What is their reasoning behind this?

Existing Pressures

In its press release, the Fed pointed out the already existing pressures on Wall Street, employment, household spending, and inflation:
• On Wall Street: Strains have "increased significantly"
• On Employment: The workforce has "weakened further"
• On Household Spending: It's "softening"
• On Inflation: It's "been high"

The Fed believes though, that the combined impact of these pressures will eventually die down by both prior rate cuts, and market forces. Let’s not forget, that just last August, the Fed Funds Rate was 5.250 percent and the Fed wants to avoid over stimulating the economy. Too many rate cuts could be counterproductive and detrimental in the long run.

Injecting Money

The Federal Reserve controls the supply of money and its cost by injecting funds or taking funds out of the banking system. The Fed has already recently injected $50 billion to curtail instability brought on by the collapse of Lehman Brothers and the problems of American Insurance Group.

Fed helps bring liquidity
• The Fed buys government securities from banks in exchange for lending them money, in order to increase the money supply and make money easier to borrow.
• Banks that borrow the money, then lend money to other lending institutions.
• The other institutions lend to consumers.


Part of the economic theory behind leaving the rate unchanged, is because the Fed does not want to create the sense that it is going to rescue more struggling companies. Could this affect risky decisions made by large companies if they felt the government would bail them out if needed?? Give us your comments.

Economic growth over the next few quarters is likely to remain flat, but over time, the considerable easing of monetary policy, combined with continuous plans to promote market liquidity, should help to encourage moderate economic growth. Do you think it makes sense to leave the rate at 2%?

If you're wanting a plan to monitor and lock-in great rate dips like the ones we’ve been seeing off and on, get in touch with us and we’ll walk you through the process to capture a low mortgage rate when it presents itself. Call us at 913-642-3334 or email at

Michele “MAC” Cole

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Fed throws out an $85B Life Preserver to AIG

The Federal Reserve provided the largest government bailout of a private company in U.S. financial history. They provided AIG with $85 billion in emergency loans to rescue them from bankruptcy in exchange for almost an 80% claim in AIG. The loan provided was at a very high interest rate and AIG’s entire assets were used as collateral.

Reactions from large newspapers
On its front page, the New York Times calls the government's move "the most radical intervention in private business in the central bank's history," a step taken "to avert a possible financial crisis worldwide." The Washington Post calls the Fed's move "a stunning turnaround," while USA Today says it was a "stunning decision," coming "just days after the Treasury and Fed refused to bail out investment bank Lehman Bros., which filed Monday for the largest bankruptcy ever." The Los Angeles Times calls the move "the largest single financial intervention in the nation's history and a measure of the depths of America's financial crisis."
Does this feel like an indication of the continuing uncertainty in the financial sector? Give us your comments….

Possible implications
It is a little unsettling thinking about how detrimental this could be to corporations around the world. They could get hit with billions of dollars in losses if AIG is allowed to fail.
Keep in mind, that AIG is bigger than Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, Merrill Lynch, Lehman Brothers or the former Bear Stearns. Analysts have been saying that most of AIG’s businesses are in decent financial shape on their own, but the events of Wall Street are the cause of AIG’s problems. This bailout weakens AIG’s current stockholders a great deal but does not wipe them out completely.

Why the bailout?
The decision to rescue AIG was a remarkable turnaround from what government officials had said just a few days earlier. AIG has extensive ties to the struggling U.S. financial system already, so they needed to come to AIG's rescue in order to help stabilization. The federal government determined that AIG was too big to fail and needed to be rescued. These steps were taken in order to promote stability in financial markets and limit the danger to the broader economy.
Is it possible that without this radical intervention, that it may have averted a possible worldwide financial crisis? What do you think?

Feel free to call or email me at

Michele “MAC” Cole

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Michele Cole is a featured guest on Friday Encouter Bott Radio Network 92.3 Fm Friday 9/19 at 2pm cst

Today's Article!

Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc. succumbs to the largest bankruptcy filing in history

Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc. was forced to file a Chapter 11 petition with U.S. Bankruptcy Court on Monday. The New York-based firm, once the fourth-largest investment bank in the United States, joins Merrill Lynch & Co., Bear Stearns Cos., and more than ten other banks that couldn't survive this year's mortgage crisis.


The firm listed more than $613 billion of debt and lost 94% of its market value this year. Lehman owes its 10 largest unsecured creditors more than $157-billion, including debts to bondholders totaling $155-billion. The filing is by Lehman's holding company and won't include any of its subsidiaries.
Historical Events survived by Lehman Brothers Holdings
Lehman Brothers is a 158-year-old firm that has survived many difficult times.

• survived railroad bankruptcies of the 1800s
• the Great Depression in the 1930s and
• the collapse of Long-Term Capital Management a decade ago

Do you think there will be a domino effect? Possibly from individuals or firms that relied on their financing?

Talks of Takeover

There was talk of a takeover but those ideas were discarded. For three days leading up to the filing, the Federal Reserve and Treasury negotiated with Wall Street execs, trying to strike an agreement that would prevent Lehman Brothers Holdings from going down before markets opened on Monday. Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson indicated that he did not want to use taxpayer funds to simplify the sale of the company. Treasury and the Fed have determined that markets have adjusted to the Bear Stearns situation.

If every time a big institution goes under and the markets expect the government to step in, would anyone ever adapt? Give us your thoughts!


In hindsight, Lehmans needed capital to survive and it might have gained a lifeline by selling itself or stripping its fund management. The direct effect of the bankruptcy has been immediate falls in global stock markets, especially in bank stocks and a shift towards safer assets such as gold. The long term effects are unclear. Feel free to call or email me at

Michele “MAC” Cole

Monday, September 15, 2008

How did we get into the mortgage crisis and how can we get out?

Many industries have played a role in getting us into this mess. Lenders expanded their guidelines so that more people could qualify for loans, even if they did not have the means to repay the loan. It meant that many Americans that once could have never afforded a home loan, would now have the American dream; temporarily anyway. Even Congress and President Bush believed that everyone should own a home and encouraged lenders to loan to lower income families. A popular saying was, if someone could breathe, they could get a loan.

Realtors, appraisers, builders, loan originators, developers, and title companies all saw this time period as an opportunity to make money. Even the home buyers thought of this as an opportunity to buy a larger house than they had ever imagined; either in hopes of reselling for a profit down the road, or just to keep up with the Jones’. Scripture 1 Timothy 6:10 says that “For the love of money is the root of all kinds of evil”. Many people wandered from their true faith and brought on hardship. Email for more InSight.

There was a sequence of events that contributed to the time line of these market changes. Some believe it started with the Twin Towers collapse on September 11, 2001. Shortly after, the federal government cut taxes and sent rebates to Americans, encouraging the American people to spend more, in order to fight terrorism. Alan Greenspan cut the discount rate to 1 percent and announced that adjustable rate mortgages were a positive choice. Mortgage companies and lenders threw themselves into creative finanancing. They created ARMs, Option ARMs, 100% financing loans, teaser rate loans, no-doc loans, , and negative amortization loans. The availability of new loans created an immediate demand in housing; upgrading into larger homes and buying new construction. The value of homes started to increase rapidly which led to investors speculating and flipping homes with plans to immediately resell for a profit. This value increase also led to many Americans taking the equity out of their homes with second mortgages in order to spend the money on unnecessary possessions. No wonder we are in such a mess! Visit our website for more information.

The government has stepped in once again, and will hopefully ease the housing and credit crisis, by lowering mortgage rates and allowing greater availability of credit for consumers. Lending standards will not ease though. Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac will keep a close eye on underwriting practices, and fees for borrowers with weaker credit histories will remain in effect. Their primary goal is to increase the availability of mortgage finance while remaining proactive in the processes. Fannie and Freddie are crucial to the turn-around.

The consequences of this market will be seen for years to come. What is the good that will come from all of this? Now is the time to really teach and equip the Church and others financial and biblical stewardship. Americans need to learn how to live within their means and avoid debt, including their mortgage. Our prayer is to see a steady increase in the number of God’s children become 100% debt free by connecting them to different ministries. Bart Nill with Crown Financial Ministries and Matt Schoenfeld of Abundant Life Ministries play an active role in helping InSight’s customers move towards financial freedom. InSight Mortgage Group’s foundational principals are based on biblical principles taught by Kingdom Advisors, an organization that equips the Christian financial professional as well as an Integrity Resource Center. Kingdom Advisors is a ministry teaching business that shows leaders how to walk out their faith in the marketplace with integrity and accountability. Email or call 913-642-3334 for more information.

Michele "MAC" Cole

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Real Estate Investors Will Feel the Effects of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac Takeover.

Fannie Mae is updating its guidelines by adding new restrictions and fees on investment properties. One of the largest changes is the 4-property limitation on properties owned by one investor.
With the new guidelines, applications will be denied if the applicant has a second home and investment properties totally more than 4 properties financed. Previously, the limitation had been 10 properties.
On the good side, Fannie Mae has made changes to the definition of a property owned. This has created a loophole for investors. If the property is held in the name of an LLC, then Fannie Mae will no longer declare it as a personally financed property, even if the corporation is in the name of the sole owner. In the past, this has been a typical practice of real estate investors for tax and liability purposes, but now it is going to be a necessity for these loans to be approved through underwriting. Give us a call at 913-642-3334 or visit our website at for more information or if you have any questions.
Properties that have become a second home by default are not included in this new definition. In other words, there will not be a penalty when a home owner is unable to sell their primary residence, and are forced to rent this property to pay the mortgage. A couple of restrictions apply to this scenario, the property owner will not be able to use the rental income as income on a new application and will need to declare the entire monthly income as a loss if the equity in the home is less than 30%. If the equity exceeds 30%, and if six months of housing payments are in reserves for the rental home and new home purchase combined, then the owner will benefit from the use of 75 percent of the rental income for qualifications purposes.
There are loan fees that are applied to investment properties. If the loan-to-value (LTV) is 80.01-90 percent, there is a 3.75% fee; if the LTV is 75.01-80.00 percent, there is a 3.00% fee; and if the LTV is less than 75 percent, there is a 1.75% fee.
As unsettling as these changes for investment property owners may seem, if they qualify, then lower rates will be available to them. It is uncertain that the takeover of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac will lead to a mortgage industry turnaround, but there is still a lot of upward movement needed to stimulate long-term economic growth. Give us a call at 913-642-3334 or email us at for more information.
Michele "MAC" A. Cole

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

US takeover of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac offers hope of recovery!

The US takeover of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac will likely ease the housing and credit crisis, by lowering mortgage rates and allowing greater availability of credit for consumers. Rates could realistically drop by 1 percentage point for a 30-year fixed mortgage rate.
There is not a clear picture of what Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac will look like over time, but the market reaction of this bailout was overwhelmingly positive. The takeover drastically lessens the probable threat to the housing market, financial industry, and the overall economy. Combined losses for Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac were $3.1 billion between April and June. Fifty percent of these credit losses were due to risky loans with ballooning payments. Both companies said that they could handle these losses, but many investors felt that with more defaults and foreclosures ahead, these reserves could diminish quickly.
Don’t expect lending standards to ease though. Fannie and Freddie will still keep a close eye on underwriting practices, and fees for borrowers with weaker credit histories will remain in effect. The primary goal is to increase the availability of mortgage finance while remaining proactive in the processes. Our economy and markets will not recover until a large portion of the housing correction is behind us. Fannie and Freddie are crucial to that turn-around.
Under the plan, both firms will abandon their goal of shareholder profit, will receive government chosen CEO’s, and the Treasury has agreed to boost each firm with 100 billion dollars if necessary. The hope is that by tapping into the enormous reserves of the US government to the government-sponsored enterprises, this plan will begin to calm down the housing market and confidence will return. The overall effect of funneling money back into housing should put a floor on the housing market. Hope is on its way! Call or email me anytime at

Michele “MAC” Cole

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

When the Feds cut rates, will mortgage rates go down to?

When the Feds cut rates will interest rates go down??

Previously, the Federal Reserve has lowered the Fed Funds Rate by 0.500%. In response, mortgage rates go up, not down.
This surprises a lot of people when we tell them that.
Remember: the Fed Funds Rate and mortgage rates are not related. When the Feds "cut rates", it's working on an overnight interest rate between banks. By contrast, mortgage rates are based on long-term securities between bond market traders.
When the Feds cuts the Fed Funds Rate, it is meant to stimulate the economy and that makes inflation more likely. Inflation, of course, erodes the value of the dollar and, therefore, the value of mortgage bonds.
This is why mortgage rates have gone higher after each of the Federal Reserve's four most recent rate cuts. The bigger the cut, the more the increase to mortgage rates.
Call or email me anytime. I am happy to serve you.
God Bless!

Michele "MAC" A. Cole

Friday, August 29, 2008

There is still a solution to 100% financing! No downpayment!

The USDA Rural Housing Loan Program has 100% loans available, which offer no downpayment mortgages for low to moderate income people. In today’s market, we are all aware that sometimes a steady income and good credit are just not enough to qualify for a home loan at a bank, mortgage company, or savings and loan. The USDA Guaranteed Rural Housing Loan Program (GRH) is helping more rural families and individuals become eligible to become homeowners. The GRH mortgages are 30-year fixed rates at market interest rates. Visit our website or email us for more information.

There are more than 800 field offices throughout the U.S., so the qualified areas are numerous. With the federal government backing these loans, there is less risk to the lenders, and more options for home buyers. GRH 100% loans can be made on either new or existing homes, or need to be acquired through an approved GRH lender.

Michele A. Cole

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Want a smooth mortgage loan experience?

InSight Mortgage Group is like a free flowing river…..when you meet our team, you are relaxed and comfortable. As you come across sharp bends, we will be there to gently guide you through the water without bumping the banks of the rivers edge. We will not sell you down the river, but help you take the easiest flowing path until you reach your destination. You will arrive on time with confidence, knowing that your float was flawless and handled with care and concern.

Michele "MAC" A. Cole

Monday, August 25, 2008

Save Your Home From Foreclosure and Save Your Credit

Worrying because your adjustable rate mortgage is going to reset and you can't afford the new payment? Maybe you owe more than your house is worth? Or you're unable to get a new loan because your credit is less than perfect? Maybe you're 30, 60, or even 90 days late on your mortgage. Perhaps NOD or foreclosure proceedings have already begun!

Stop collection calls! Stop your foreclosure! Stop Stressing! Let us handle your lenders and their attorneys for you.

I’ve tried refinancing, but everyone says that they can’t help?
If you’re in a position with less than perfect credit or if you now owe more in loans than your home is worth, there are several solutions that can still benefit you. Recently the government has passed several laws making it easier for someone with good intentions to keep their home and keep their low monthly payments. Is your mortgage adjusting or going to adjust? We are now feeling the recourse of all the adjustable mortgages that were started in 2004 and 2005. Many people are losing their homes now that they are no longer able to afford the initial “teaser” rate. How can you be expected to pay an additional $500-$1000 per month on your mortgage? We can help you by setting up a new plan with your lender, and keeping your payments where you are able to continue living comfortably.

Stop Foreclosure with Loss Mitigation Programs
Loss mitigation programs were established by the federal government and the mortgage industry in order to stop home foreclosures. They help foreclosure victims in default on their mortgages to find alternatives to home foreclosure. Every homeowner’s situation is unique and each lender has their own policies regarding the use of these programs to stop foreclosure. Our extensive experience and solid working relationships with mortgage lenders allows us help you avoid the common pitfalls that many homeowners encounter while trying to work things out directly with their lender. After performing a thorough assessment of your personal finances and analyzing your lender’s loss mitigation policies our professional loss mitigators will negotiate with your lender to get you the best possible solution to your home foreclosure problem. We can help you save your home and credit history through a variety of loss mitigation options:
Time is your enemy!
The longer you wait, the harder it is for us to help you. Yes, we often do pull clients out of the fire at the last minute but consider this... If your house payments are more than a month behind, your lender has probably already started foreclosure proceedings against you. As time passes, thousands of dollars in penalties and legal fees can be added to the balance you owe. And every single day the interest charges are growing.
Sometimes homeowners are not even aware how far their foreclosure has progressed. We talk to people almost every day who did not even know their house had already been sold at auction. Please don't let that tragedy happen to you! If you would like to stop foreclosure, protect your assets and credit history 913-642-3334 or visit us at to talk with a consultant. You’d be glad you did!
If you are looking for a realistic long term solution to your financial problems? For a FREE no obligation consultation on how we can help you stop foreclosure, save your home and preserve your credit history.

“Helping our Community Save Their Home”

Customize Approach
Too many banks use a “one size fits all” approach with homeowners in foreclosure. Your situation is unique. You deserve to get a fair and personalized settlement from your lender. We stop foreclosure by taking the time to listen to your concerns, assess your financial needs and then negotiate a mortgage workout that YOU can live with.

Professionalism We get your bank to pay attention to your needs because they know and trust us. We have been stopping foreclosures for many years. During that time we have successfully rescued a multitude of families from the devastation of foreclosure. Our chief mitigator has over 15 years' experience in Real Estate. That kind of experience and track record in the industry gives us credibility with your lender. Our integrity and professionalism help us to be heard when no one else can get through the red tape.

Established Contacts Our staff of full time mitigators works with the key negotiators and decision makers at lending institutions across the country on a daily basis. They speak the language and understand what it takes to break through the bureaucracy to get your case heard.
We will use our experience and relationships to your advantage. Please don’t delay. Act today while hope remains.

Michele “MAC” A. Cole Information provided by Emodications...

Friday, August 22, 2008

How to survive the tough economic times in the mortgage and real estate industry?

Al Bernstein
Success is often the result of taking a misstep in the right direction.
How can we balance growth and reduce fears during an uncertain economy?

How can we take this economic crisis and turn it into a positive change for the real estate and mortgage industry?

One way in this uncertain economy, it gives you the opportunity to re-evaluate your business, come up with new strategies for lead generation, human resources, marketing, and investing.

During tough economic times, we need to ask ourselves, what is the worst thing that can happen? How do we prepare for these fluctuations in our economy with the least amount of fear? And can fear and faith co-exist? The bible tells us in Hebrews 11:1 Faith is the confidence that what we hope for will actually happen; it gives us assurance about things we cannot see.

Unfortunately a lot of innocent folks are being impacted by the choices that were made when the market was good. The funnel of how to do more business fueled people into buying homes that were more than they could afford. If it’s too good to be true, it is!
Poor choices whether made by the client or our direction reflects negatively on us and the consequences mean less repeat business.

-We need to get back to the basic fundamentals: maintain a strong work ethic, serve our clients with high quality counsel and service.

-We need to educate them on how to live within their means, avoid the use of debt, build liquidity into their situation, set long term goals and understand that God owns it all.

-And most importantly, we need to keep our clients best interests before us at all times.

InSight Mortgage Group provides your clients with wisdom and InSight in to their situation. Visit us at We provide tools to help them make good choices… choices they can live now and in the future…

As your faith is strengthened you will find that there is no longer the need to have a sense of control, that things will flow as they will, and that you will flow with them, to your great delight and benefit. Emmanuel Teney

Thermometer – measures what is going on, but has no control over your environment
Thermostat – Helps you take control of your environment

Ask yourself – Am I going to be a thermometer, which is driven by fear?
Or am I going to be a thermostat, which controls my environment?

Michele "MAC" A. Cole

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Tips for Searching for a Mortgage Lender

What are some things a prospective borrower should watch for with a lender?

Ask questions, get disclosures, check references. Relationship is most important. God wants us in relationship with Him and with others. If you don’t know anyone, than ask people you love and trust to refer you to someone. Realtor referrals are good source IF you know and trust the realtor as well. Another recommendation is to use website to select a financial or mortgage professional. The training and education needed to be a qualified member is substantial and is valuable to you the consumer.

Michele "MAC" A. Cole

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Real Estate Bubble

How did we get into the real estate mortgage mess we’re in?

The scripture that comes to mind is: 1 Timothy 6:10 For the love of money is the root of all kinds of evil. And some people, craving money, have wandered from the true faith and pierced themselves with many sorrows.

My opinion is that many folks were involved in this market bubble. The lenders expanded their underwriting guidelines so more and more folks could qualify with no real ability to repay the loan. The joke we heard was, if you could breath, you could qualify for a loan. The loan originators, realtors, appraisers, builders, developers, title companies all saw a way to make more money.. The consumer also has some responsibility. We saw many who saw this an opportunity to buy more house than they could truly afford. Keeping up with the Jones’.

Michele "MAC" A. Cole