Sunday, August 29, 2010

Foreclosure Rates Climb on Maui. Good for Some Bad for Most.

Aloha Everyone,

Maui has always been a place where the cost of living was high and the pay for labor was relatively low. The speculation over the years made homes un-affordable for many local people and the Real Estate boom a few years ago seemed insane, but people jumped on the bandwagon local and otherwise and bought houses that seemed like they were at least double the normal price.

The lenders seemed ready to bend over backwards to allow people with barely any income and low or no down payments to purchase these highly over-priced homes and many did.

Well the Chicken has come home to roost and many, in fact a sizable chunk of people are now faced with foreclosure and properties that are worth far less than the loans they took out.

I was one of those people that due to circumstances bought my house after a divorce and paid way to much out of fear that my ex-spouse would drag things out so long that all that we had invested in our home would be lost as it was sold off and we would receive nothing for it in the end.

The lead story in this Sunday morning's Maui News has a picture of people standing around at the Maui County's Courthouse, all ready to see what kind of a deal they can get on a Foreclosed Home. The Banks are finding themselves sitting on abandoned properties as people can't afford to make the payments and so Bank owned Sales and Short Sales are up too.

The number of Foreclosures for just Maui County alone has nearly doubled since last year's. Currently there are 946 pending foreclosures as opposed to 482 last August. This figure really doesn't count all of the homes that are close to Foreclosure or still sitting on the Banks books.

Unfortunately the people that know how to navigate the system are making some money and many people that just don't know enough about their rights or the ways to prevent being Foreclosed on are trying to figure out where they can take their families as they move out of their homes.

Many families find themselves living on the beach or some other out of the way place and being forced to separate their families by putting their children with family members to live. The lack of jobs and increase in people running out of public assistance money isn't helping

There are ways to prevent losing your home, but it takes education on the part of the home owner. One such program is offered to stop Foreclosures and even in some cases clearing your Mortgage completely. These programs and this one below, in particular is something that the Home Owner has to invest the time and money into learning the process, but it involves laws and procedures that have been around along time, but navigating all the information to understand the forms and the procedures that are required has been nearly impossible for the average person. This company has done a lot to bring all the information together and with their assistance and legal advisors, they can often help the "Home Owner" through giving them the ability to file a few forms that will buy them some time and allow them to proceed to stay in their homes and possibly clear their Mortgage all together. the program, as most will require the person to invest some money, but will give them full access to the companies information and advisors. If you are facing this situation or would like to learn more and help spread the information to others, you could join the course and even become an affiliate and make some money for passing on the information.

I have shortened the link to this site so that you can read more about it. That link is

On the other hand, if you find yourself in a position that you are able to invest into the Real Estate market at a time when prices are so low, then you will want to know as much as possible about the ins and outs of doing just that and making a profit at it.

If nothing else, just learning how that system works could also help you in the future, should you have to give up your existing house and be in a position to possibly purchase another or possibly get into the business of turning over homes.

While I am no expert in the Real Estate field, I have had to put a fair amount of my time into becoming educated about finances and how the Real Estate market works just to stay in my home. Especially as the prices drop far below the loan I needed to take at the time I purchased it.

My hope is that any of this information I have provided might possibly help at least one family remain in their home and maybe even one day be living without the debt of a mortgage hanging over their head.

Mahalo and have a great Sunday,


Monday, August 9, 2010

No Money Can Lead to Prison Time. Be Self Sufficient.

When jobs are scarce and people need money for the basics, sometimes changing careers is needed. A lot of time learning a new skill while unemployed is very possible and funding can be found.

With about 1.8 Billion Internet Marketers out there and around 5 BILLION Cellphones, of which 51 million are able to interact with the internet, mobile advertising is a new way to look at bringing in some income.

Mobile Monopoly (see side ad) has a very detailed method to bring in money from mobile phone advertisings in many ways. It's not free, but it's a low start up if you have some computer background or are willing to take some classes.

Vitec at Maui Community College offers night classes in various areas and MEO Maui Economic Opportunity could be a good source of obtaining a loan if you are willing to work on a plan.

Part of being self sufficient is to have more than one skill to fall back on or a steady stream of income to help support you and your family. Nothing comes easy, but with some work, anyone can learn the skills needed, especially with the proper help.

Cellphone advertising may just be one way to help bring in that extra money needed. Click Here for Mobile Monopoly!

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Build Prisons< Would the Money be better spent on people and families?

I'm a little late in posting this article, but having grown up on Maui and seen people that I grew up around getting out of prison at 50+ years of age, I have to wonder what kind of life they can expect.

Maui is considering building as new and bigger prison system on Maui. The cost is high and at a time when people and the government have very little money. I wish I could say there was a way to fix it all to prevent people from going to prison in the first place, but no matter what, some will for good reasons go to prison and some will go for very Manini (little) reasons.

Recently I heard about a youth going to the Maui prison and his response was that he was taken care of pretty good because most of the people imprisoned were his family in one way or another.

Growing up, and I am 53, it was normal for backyard parties to go late into the night and vast quantities of alcohol were consumed. The beginning started out good as people would visit and the food and alcohol were in good quantities. As the evening progressed, people would slowly leave, primarily the ones with children. The ones left were still drinking and eating, but more drinking. The music would start and it would be rather fun as everyone either played an instrument, mostly Ukuleles and sang along.

Unfortunately,  the hard core group would hang out until the last of the alcohol was consumed. During this time the arguments, heated discussions and outright fights would begin. Very often the police would show up and send everyone home, but there was always one or two that would challenge the police. That eventually led to a prison term.

As time went on the children grew up and drugs were added to the mix, so the alcohol and some drugs would start the evening, but often the night went on late as people continued with drugs. Early on, drugs like marijuana would generally put people done and mellow them down if the alcohol didn't keep working on them.

As time went on the kids seemed to stay up later and were exposed to this as if they didn't know what was going on. Then the next generation included not only alcohol, but a variety of drugs and in my opinion the worst being Crystal Meth or Ice as it was called. The Ice Heads would seem to not feel all the other drugs and alcohol and on top of that they would be up all night and even looking for more in the wee hours of the morning.

This could go on for days at a time for many "Ice Heads" until they finally had to crash and sleep it off. Unfortunately the first thing they did was go looking for  more Ice to keep themselves going. While in the mean time the money disappeared, the jobs got shaky or they lost them and the violence picked up because of the stress of it all.

Being such an addictive drug, the people felt that they could carry on life normally, but it was noticed as the family units broke down. Now years later there are generations of kids that have grown up around it or without parents because they were sitting in prison.

Just sending people off island to Oahu or Privately run Prisons in Texas may have lessened the burden on the physical system itself, but it has increased everyones financial responsibilities through our taxes and has done little to help families become one again.

We may be at a point that building a bigger prison is about the only thing to do at this point and may help to reunite families at least to some degree. The bigger question is how are we going to support the family systems to keep them from dealing with the stresses and resorting to drugs and alcohol in the first place?

I'm sure that even helping lesson the financial burden through some program that will only help people with Food, Shelter and Clothing, as well as creating job opportunities may be a better way to spend the money in the first place. Creating a sense of value and respect for others from when children are young and keeping that  attitude and continue to help them to reach adulthood would be a good investment for the future.  Teaching these kids what raising a family really takes and how to handle their finances in school would be a big plus. This also includes looking at the whole picture and not just while they are in school. Sure we need to keep a sense of privacy for these families, but enlisting the parents in helping the children is very much a part of it all.

Again, we have program after program that touch on these things, but it seems we are short on complete and comprehensive programs. Since I am no expert in this field, I'm afraid I don't have a good solution for it all, but the projections for the numbers that these prisons that we will need to hold all the future prisoners is staggering and everyone of those people have a good or useful side of them that just needs to be found and encouraged. We'll never win the war, but planning for success seems better than planning for defeat.