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US mortgage giant advising SA council on loans for poor
Business Day - South Africa
The Banking Council of SA is being advised by Fannie Mae, the largest source of home mortgage finance in the US, on setting up a local securitisation agency to cater for income groups that do not qualify for traditional home loans.

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Securitisation utilities such as Fannie Mae buy pools of home loans from mortgage originators, package them and sell them to financial institutions as tradable units. In this way, risk is reduced and the debt is transferred from the banks' balance sheets to the capital market.

The concept is being applied successfully to the South African mortgage market by South African Home Loans, although a government-backed initiative called Gateway, launched by the National Housing Finance Corporation in 1998, failed because insufficient loans were granted to the low end of the market.
Business Day

Think you own property in Greece?
Hellenic News of America - USA
Many individuals of Greek decent have inherited property in Greece from their parents or relatives. Under Greek Law a series of procedural steps must also be taken by an heir to establish ownership and clear title to inherited land and buildings.

To protect your property assets in Greece it is in your best interest to find a competent and trustworthy attorney to help guide you through the necessary procedural steps. In addition, you should be actively involved in protecting your property either through a representing attorney or by you own physical periodic presence in Greece.
Hellenic News of America

A long overdue renovation
The Scotsman - UK
They are being hailed as a "revolution" in Scots law and will take effect as of next week, heralding the most far-reaching legal changes to affect property ever seen in Scotland.

These reforms - which see the abolition of the feudal system of land tenure, the modernisation of title deed conditions and important new rights for flat owners - come into force on Sunday, 28 November, consigning ancient and complex aspects of Scottish law to the history books at a stroke.
The Scotsman

Banks set R40bn target for mortgages for low earners
Business Day - South Africa
SA's banks are likely to target up to R40bn in new home loans to the country's low-income earners over the next five years, the independent Banking Council said yesterday.

The target is being set as part of efforts to extend banking to SA's black majority, and promote lending to a high-risk sector, which commercial banks have largely avoided in the past. "We hope to get (new home loans) lending out to somewhere about R35bn to R40bn between this year and 2008," says Charles Chemel, co-ordinator for financial charter initiatives at the Banking Council.
Business Day

Tough mortgage broking revamp
The Australian - Australia
The mortgage broking industry predicts a shake-out among its members as lending growth slows and lenders demand higher standards of the brokers they deal with. Industry representatives say brokers at the bottom end of the market are likely to drop out when faced with these tougher hurdles.

"The banks are now moving more towards quality," Smartline executive director Joe Sirianni said at an industry forum yesterday. "There will simply be some broking houses that won't be able to adhere." The mortgage broking industry has grown fourfold in two years, according to the Mortgage Industry Association (MIAA), driven by the housing boom and falling barriers to entry. Last financial year the industry brokered $200 billion in loans.
The Australian

Municipal costs explained
Business Day - South Africa
Somebody once said that death and taxes are the only two things anyone can be sure of. However, if you are a home owner there is another monthly statements for your rates, electricity and water consumption, writes Nicolina Meerholz.

Every month millions of statements are sent out by the various councils around the country, but just how much do average consumers understand about these slips of paper they receive?

Since our taxes are paid to central government, and disbursements to the country's various city councils have been progressively cut back, SA's modern-day municipalities are required to be completely self funding entities.
Business Day

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