Jumbo Refinance Mortgage Loans Can Be Approved If You’re Prepared

You are thinking of a jumbo loan for a home refinance while rates are low but you’ve been told, “Do not to waste your time applying. Not now, because the banks aren’t lending!” Most banks aren’t too keen on approving jumbo loans. The jumbo loans are considered a higher risk loan, especially in a stagnant economy. Some banks may offer jumbo loans but their underwriting process is so strict that getting the jumbo loan to the closing table is impossible. There are a few banks that handle jumbo loan efficiently and will hold these loans in their portfolio. Finding this type of bank may be the first step in your quest to have your jumbo loan refinanced. The right bank will have the widest array of terms and have the most flexible underwriting guidelines. There are other points that should be considered in choosing the right bank.Despite the inherent risks posed by higher loan amounts, the basics of mortgage loan underwriting still apply. Like mortgage loans with amounts below $417,000, the 5 Cs of lending remain intact, (capacity, credit, capital, collateral, character.) So what’s different with jumbo loan underwriting?A residential jumbo loan is any home mortgage loan where the loan size exceeds GSE’s (Government Sponsored Enterprise such as Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac) limits. Currently, the GSE’s loan limits are capped at $417,000.00 or $625,500 in Alaska or Hawaii. Any mortgage loan exceeding these limits is considered a jumbo loan. This is of course the first obvious difference between a standard home mortgage and the jumbo loan. With higher loan amounts comes a lower LTV (loan to value) Expect to have at least a 20% equity position on a rate/term refinance.The loan terms will vary from lender to lender and it’s always prudent to look for a lender that has a variety of options that can be tailored for your specific needs, whether you need a 30 year fixed rate, a 15 year fixed rate or a 5/1, 7/1 or 10/1 hybrid ARM or interest only. The interest rates on these higher loan amounts are not as high as some borrowers think they would be. They generally are a little bit higher than conventional mortgage rates and in some cases they may be lower than some conventional loans after their rate adjustments.Many borrowers have unique situations and the bank that you should turn to is one that has a clear understanding of the uniqueness of the higher loan borrower. For example, although many borrowers have a standard salary and W2 income, there are a disproportionate number when compared to lower loan amount applicants that have a W2 income that include bonuses or commissions. With the higher loan values, there are also a larger number of self employed borrowers and professionals. Different calculations should be used for this type of borrower to allow for depreciation, depletion, bonuses and commissions. For a borrower’s best shot at loan approval and efficiency, the higher loan amounts require a bank that has a staff of underwriters and originators who have a higher skill set and proper training for this type of loan origination and underwriting.In order to be approved for a jumbo loan, you must be prepared with support documentation. Income documentation, documentation of reserves, letters of explanation, tax documents, etc. In short, you will need two years tax returns with all schedules, one month’s most recent pay stubs, two months most recent bank statements, schedule of real estate owned, most recent statements of stocks, bonds 401k and IRA accounts. A professional loan originator who is accustomed to this type of loan will give you insight on what documents you need for your application.
jasabacklinkpro.infojasabacklinks.infokalipakem.comlinkseo.infopage1google.infoseosites.info

Save Taxes – Basics of an Irrevocable Life Insurance Dynasty Trust

For US persons, an irrevocable life insurance trust (ILIT) is arguably the most efficient structure for integrating tax-free investment growth, wealth transfer and asset protection. An ILIT comprises two main parts: (1) an irrevocable trust; and (2) a life insurance policy owned by the trust. An international (or offshore) ILIT is a trust governed by the law of a foreign jurisdiction that owns foreign-based life insurance. An offshore ILIT is better than a domestic ILIT because it is more flexible and less expensive. Regarding US tax laws, a properly designed international ILIT is treated virtually the same as a domestic ILIT.An ILIT becomes a dynasty trust (or GST trust) when the trust’s settlor (or grantor, the person who establishes and funds the trust) applies his lifetime exemption for the generation skipping transfer tax (GSTT) to trust contributions. Once a dynasty trust is properly funded by applying the settlor’s lifetime exemptions for gift, estate and GST taxes, all distributions to beneficiaries will be free of gift and estate taxes for the duration of the trust, even perpetually. The individual unified gift and estate tax exemption and the GSTT exemption are both $5 million ($10 million for a married couple) during 2011 and 2012, which are the highest amounts in decades.Under the US tax code, no income or capital gains taxes are due on life insurance investment growth, and no income tax is due when policy proceeds are paid to an insurance beneficiary upon death of the insured. When a dynasty trust purchases and owns the life insurance policy and is named as the insurance beneficiary, no estate tax or generation skipping transfer taxes are due. In other words, assets can grow and be enjoyed by trust beneficiaries completely tax-free forever. Depending on how a trust is designed, a portion of trust assets can be invested in a new life insurance policy each generation to continue the cycle.Private placement life insurance (PPLI) is privately negotiated between an insurance carrier and the insurance purchaser (e.g., a dynasty ILIT). Private placement life insurance is also known as variable universal life insurance. The policy funds are invested in a separately managed account, separate from the general funds of the insurance company, and may include stocks, hedge funds, and other high-growth and/or tax-inefficient investment vehicles. Offshore (foreign) private placement life insurance has several advantages over domestic life insurance. In-kind premium payments (e.g., stock shares) are allowed, whereas domestic policies require cash. There are few restrictions on policy investments, while state regulations restrict a domestic policy’s investments. The minimum premium commitment of foreign policies typically is US$1 million. Domestic carriers demand a minimum commitment of $5 million to $20 million. Also, offshore carriers allow policy investments to be managed by an independent investment advisor suggested by the policy owner. Finally, offshore policy costs are lower than domestic costs. An election under IRC § 953(d) by a foreign insurance carrier avoids imposition of US withholding tax on insurance policy income and gains.Whether domestic or offshore, PPLI must satisfy the definition of life insurance according to IRC § 7702 to qualify for the tax benefits. Also, key investment control (IRC § 817(g)) and diversification (IRC § 851(b)) rules must be observed. When policy premiums are paid in over four or five years as provided in IRC § 7702A(b), the policy is a non-MEC policy from which policy loans can be made. If policy loans are not important during the term of the policy, then a single up-front premium payment into a MEC policy is preferable because of tax-free compounding.An offshore ILIT provides much greater protection of trust assets against creditors of both settlor and beneficiaries. Courts in the US have no jurisdiction outside of the US, and enforcement of US court judgments against offshore trust assets is virtually impossible. Although all offshore jurisdictions have laws against fraudulent transfers, they are more limited than in the United States. In any case, an offshore ILIT is necessary to purchase offshore life insurance because foreign life insurance companies are not allowed to market and sell policies directly to US residents. An international trust, however, is a non-resident and is eligible to purchase life insurance from an offshore insurance carrier.An international ILIT may be self-settled, that is, the settlor of the trust may be a beneficiary without exposing trust assets to the settlor’s creditors. In contrast, in the United States, the general rule is that self-settled trusts are not honored for asset protection purposes.In Private Letter Ruling (PLR) 200944002, the IRS ruled that assets in a discretionary asset protection trust were not includable in the grantor’s (settlor’s) gross estate even though the grantor was a beneficiary of the trust. The trustee of a discretionary trust uses his discretion in making distributions to beneficiaries consistent with trust provisions. Previously, it was questionable whether a settlor could be beneficiary of an ILIT without jeopardizing favorable tax treatment upon his death. The new ruling gives some assurance to a US taxpayer who wants to be a beneficiary of a self-settled, irrevocable, discretionary asset-protection trust that is not subject to estate and GST tax. As a result, the trustee can (at the trustee’s discretion) withdraw principal from the PPLI or take a tax-free loan from the policy’s cash value and distribute it tax-free to the settlor, as well as to other beneficiaries. In other words, a settlor need not sacrifice all enjoyment of ILIT benefits in order to achieve preferred tax treatment.An offshore ILIT is designed to qualify under IRS rules as a domestic trust during normal times and as a foreign trust in case of domestic legal threats to its assets. The offshore ILIT is formally governed by the laws of a foreign jurisdiction and has at least one resident foreign trustee there. As a “domestic” trust under IRS rules, the trust also has a domestic trustee who controls the trust during normal times. If a domestic legal threat arises, control of the trust shifts to the foreign trustee, outside the jurisdiction of US courts, and the trust becomes a “foreign” trust for tax purposes. A domestic trust “protector” having negative (or veto) powers may be appointed to provide limited control over trustee decisions. An international ILIT protects trust assets against unforeseen lawsuits, bankruptcy and divorce.The objective of PPLI is to minimize life insurance costs and to maximize investment growth. The life insurance policy acts as a “wrapper” around investments so that they qualify for favorable tax treatment. Nevertheless, PPLI still provides a valuable life insurance benefit in case of an unexpected early death of the insured.Initial costs of setting up an ILIT are high, but are recouped after a few years of tax-free investment growth. Initial legal and accounting fees are typically in a range of $25,000 to $50,000. Premium “loading” charges are in a range of about 3% to 5% of premiums paid into offshore PPLI (compared to 8 – 10% in domestic PPLI). Annually recurring charges depend on policy value and vary widely among PPLI carriers, so careful comparison shopping is advised. For example, annual asset charges should be in a range of about 40 to 150 basis points (0.4% to 1.5%) of the policy’s cash value. The annual cost of insurance is not substantial and declines over time. Annual costs for maintaining an offshore trust are several thousand dollars. Finally, investment manager fees are paid regularly out of policy funds.Cash may be contributed to the ILIT, which then purchases PPLI. If asset protection of vulnerable fixed assets in the US is a concern, then equity stripping can be used to generate cash, which is then contributed to the offshore ILIT. Of course, stocks and bonds and other assets may also be contributed to the ILIT and used for investing in PPLI. Various value-freezing and valuation discounting techniques can be used to leverage the GSTT exemption.An offshore “frozen cash value” policy is a variation of PPLI governed by IRC § 7702(g). The minimum premium commitment is about $250,000. During the life of the insured, the cash surrender value is fixed at the sum of the premiums paid. Withdrawals up to the amount of the paid-in premiums are tax-free, but cash value in excess of the premium amounts is inaccessible until after death of the insured.Another alternative investment for an ILIT is a deferred variable annuity (DVA). There is no cost of insurance, so investment growth is faster. Tax on appreciation is deferred, but DVA distributions are taxed as income.Generally, for public policy reasons and because the insurance industry possesses strong political influence, life insurance has long enjoyed favorable tax treatment. Over the past two decades, numerous IRS rulings have clarified the tax treatment of PPLI and irrevocable discretionary trusts. At the same time, strong, new asset protection laws and reliable service providers in numerous foreign jurisdictions have enabled safe, efficient and flexible management of international trusts and insurance products. As a result, an international irrevocable, discretionary trust owning PPLI can provide tax-free growth of a global, variable investment portfolio managed by a trusted financial adviser in full compliance with US tax laws. At the discretion of the trustee, trust assets (including tax-free insurance policy loans and withdrawals) are available to the settlor during his lifetime. Upon death of the insured, policy proceeds are paid tax-free to the trust. Thus, a well-managed life insurance dynasty trust perpetually secures the financial well being of settlor, spouse, children and their descendants.Warning & Disclaimer: This is not legal advice.Copyright 2011 – Thomas Swenson

How to Leverage Video to Market Your Business

It is reported that YouTube is the second largest search engine in the world, used by almost 47% of Australians. Given the enormous use of Search by consumers these days, these facts alone should convince you that video really should be a part of your marketing mix. If not, this article may convince you – plus it provides tips on how to really maximise video for marketing and make it work hard for you.

Don’t tell me SHOW me.

Apart from the cold hard facts, there’s the human element. Video is eye-catching, it can help you stand out from the crowd and draw in potential customers. Video can clearly define your business and in a succinct, much more interesting way then text. And importantly, video can bring faces, voices, personality and heart to your operation, while also demonstrating your authenticity. So if a picture speaks a thousand words, a video speaks a million!

Spread the word. Strike that… Spread the video!

Like any content, video can be shared easily to help spread the word about your products and services. Create a YouTube channel and embed your YouTube videos in your website, blog and all social channels. Links between your YouTube channel and website can boost your rank in search engine results, as can the added visitor count if your video encourages viewers to visit your website.

What Kind of Content?

Different types of content work for different types of businesses, here is a list of ideas to get you started:

  1. Success stories – bring case studies to life.
  2. A brief company intro or value proposition video.
  3. Product demonstrations (even for simple products).
  4. Interviews or Q&As with your CEO, clients, industry experts etc.
  5. Record any external conference or seminar presentations you give.
  6. Product reviews and testimonials – check out Bravo to capture user generated content.
  7. “How-to” videos or short tutorials, eg. if your business sells child safety equipment, create a video on how to child proof the home featuring your products.
  8. A video tour of your premises – if this acts as a selling point or benefit for customers, then show them.
  9. Introduce users to staff that have consumer contact, such as customer service – it’s nice to put a face to a voice.
  10. Record internal training presentations – this content could be valuable for both consumers AND staff. Important company announcements – don’t just post an update or press release.

What about production?

Your videos don’t have to be big Hollywood productions to be engaging and effective. In fact, you should focus more effort on video planning & marketing, than video production. You don’t need to use expensive camera equipment or even record in HD when for the web. It’s possible your web cam or smartphone will do the job just fine. And in terms of editing, YouTube offers its own free video editor, Windows Movie Maker is bundled with Windows, and iMovie with Macs.

Here are seven tips for creating your own videos:

  1. Short is sweet – and definitely no more than 5 minutes.
  2. Focus on first 10 seconds – engage viewers from the very start.
  3. Work to a topic guideline, not a script.
  4. Maintain a fairly fast pace to keep the content punchy and interesting to watch.
  5. Lighting is important. (Avoid windows behind you).
  6. Camera shy? Try Animoto or screen capture such as Ezvid.
  7. Include a call to action.

Share, post, blog, tweet, update…

Once you’ve created your video content promote it everywhere! Upload to video sharing sites – YouTube (see below), Blip.tv, Vimeo, Viddler, Metacafe – post on Facebook, tweet on you know where, share on LinkedIn. You can even (and should) embed videos in your email marketing. And encourage your staff to promote via their network and social channels. To reiterate, you should focus more effort on video marketing rather than video production.

Leverage YouTube – it’s free!

Nowadays YouTube is much more than an entertainment channel to watch funny cat videos or hear Harry announcing that Charlie bit his finger. It’s a powerful (and cost effective) communication tool so be sure to create a YouTube channel for your business. And like all your web content, your YouTube videos must be optimised.

  1. Give your video a title that includes your strongest keyword (relevant to the content).
  2. Complete the description with a short synopsis of what the video entails, including keywords and a link.
  3. Use tags that are true to the content of your video and include your business name too.
  4. Because consumers won’t necessarily be watching your video on your channel, embed your logo via YouTube’s Channel Settings (InVideo Programming).
  5. And maximise links to your website from your YouTube channel.

In summary if you run a business or manage the marketing for one, there’s a lot of compelling evidence suggesting that online video marketing should be a part of your marketing activity.

For more advice, or assistance with your marketing get in touch via our website or call 03 9504 6216.