Political debate disrupted by cyber-attacks and arrests

first_img Follow the news on Russia Help by sharing this information Reporters Without Borders deplores the many cases of censorship that marred yesterday’s parliamentary elections in Russia. As most of the traditional media, including TV stations, are controlled by the Kremlin, real political debate takes place only online. But coordinated cyber-attacks and arrests of journalists and bloggers were carried out in an apparent bid to suppress even the online debate. These incidents have obstructed open discussion of Russia’s political future and do not bode well for the presidential election due to take place in March.Wave of cyber-attacksWebsites critical of the government were paralyzed before and during the elections by a series of Distributed Denial of Service attacks (A DDoS attack is one in which many computer systems simultaneously flood a single website with access requests, causing it to block and shut down, thereby denying the service to legitimate users)] aimed as silencing them.LiveJournal, a blog platform that hosts many anti-government blogs, was rendered inaccessible for three days beginning on 1 December. It suffered a DDoS attack on 28 November as well.The targets of DDoS attacks also included:- The site of radio Echo of Moscow, [echo.msk.ru – The site of the independent daily Kommersant, kommersant.ru- The site of the election-monitoring NGO Golos.org- The general news site Gazeta.ru- KartaNarusheniy.ru, an interactive map created by Golos for reporting cases of electoral fraud – The site of Lenizdat, which covers political news in Saint Petersburg, lenizdat.ru- Three opposition sites – Ridus.org, Slon.ru and NewTimes.ru (the two latest relayed the Golos map after Gazeta.ru decided to stop relaying it (see earlier release below)- The site of Dosh, an independent magazine that covers the Russian Caucasus, doshdu.ru- The site of Zaks, which covers political news in the northwest, zaks.ru.Some of the attacks on these sites began a few days before the elections, paving the way for the massive attacks of 3 and 4 December. Most of these sites became accessible again as voting stations were about to close yesterday in central Russia, where the largest number of voters live.In anticipation of this sort of problem, some news media and opposition groups had migrated their site content to online social networks and had told their readers to follow them on Twitter and Facebook if their sites went down.For more information about these cyber-attacks, read this article by Alexey Sidorenko in English for Global Voices.Election coverage obstructedSeveral journalists were barred from voting stations. According to Aleksandr Gorshkov, the editor of the independent news website Fontanka.ru: “In most cases, the reasons given for barring journalists was the fact that they had cameras and, via their photos, could publicize the personal data of voters.”Although illegal, this was the reason that was given to a Fontanka.ru correspondent for preventing him from entering a voting station in the far-north town of Primorye. A reporter for the news agency Rosbalt was evicted from a polling station for photographing a ballot box. Vitaly Kamyshev, the correspondent of Radio Svoboda (the Russian-language service of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty), was denied access to the Central Election Commission and was stripped of his accreditation. The correspondents of the BBC and American Press Agency were arrested in a Moscow voting station and were held for an hour.Arrests of critical journalists and bloggersA number of opposition journalists and bloggers were briefly arrested during the last few days before the election.The editor of the independent news website Besttoday.ru, Alexey Sochnev, was arrested on 2 December by police who, without showing any warrant, forced their way into his Moscow apartment, breaking the door. He was subsequently charged under article 282 of the criminal code with helping to run an extremist organization. Sochnev was one of several members of the campaign committee of Eduard Limonov (the head of the banned National Bolshevik Party) who were arrested. But Besttoday.ru managing editor Marina Litvinovich said the police also went to the home of the website’s developer in order to search it.The well-known blogger Maria Plieva was arrested while participating in a banned demonstration in Vladikavkaz, the capital of North Ossetia, on 3 December. She was released that evening and appeared in court that next day. A charge of hooliganism was finally dropped.In Ulyanovsk, the blogger Oleg Sofiyn received an anonymous phone call in which he was told that he would end up with a “broken skull” if he continued to criticize the region’s deputy governor, Svetlana Openysheva.The head of the NGO Golos, Lilia Shibanova, was arrested on the night of 2 December on arriving at Moscow’s Sheremetyevo airport and was held for 12 hours. Her computer was confiscated after being closely examined on the grounds that it could contain “material dangerous for national security.”Earlier in the day, Golos was fined 30,000 rubles (720 euros) for allegedly publishing poll results during the five days prior to the elections. The same day, Golos was the subject of a one-sided report by NTV (a station owned by the state oil giant Gazprom) accusing it of being a western intelligence outpost.Most of the traditional media, including TV stations, did not report these incidents, but provided generous coverage of Prime Minister Vladimir Putin’s party, United Russia, which won the elections.——01.12.2011 – Authorities tighten control of all media in run-up to electionsReporters Without Borders firmly condemns the avalanche of arbitrary censorship measuresthat Russia’s federal and local authorities have been adopting ahead of the 4 Decemberparliamentary elections and the presidential elections scheduled for 4 March.They are targeting both the traditional media, which are closely scrutinized, criticized andthreatened, and the Internet, now recognized as playing a key role in political debate. Russia has51 million Internet users, more than any other country in Europe. A quarter of Russians say theInternet is their main source of news (according to the market research company comScore).Reporters Without Borders has compiled a list of recent freedom of information violations thatshow that no methods are being spared to bolster Russian strongman Vladimir Putin and promoteunanimous acclaim for his decision to run again for the presidency.Censorship of Internet criticismPrime Minister Putin recently warned western countries against any attempt to meddle in Russia’selections and the state-run Ria Novosti news agency was allegedly ordered to rid its website of any foreignnews reports critical of Putin.Grigory Okhotin resigned from Inosmi, a Ria Novosti offshoot that translates foreign mediaarticles into Russian and posts them on its website, after receiving an internal email from thehead of the Internet department asking all employees “not to post any article hostile to Putin andUnited Russia on the site” during the week prior to the elections. Okhotin leaked the email on 26November. A Ria Novosti spokesperson denied Okhotin’s claim on 29 November, pointing out that media censorship violates Russia’s constitution. The news agency is now planning to sue Okhotin fordefamation.LiveJournal, a very popular blog platform that hosts much of the political debate taking placein Russia, was the target of yet another DDoS attack on 28 November. The platform has beenthe repeated target of such attacks (in which a website is blocked by means of thousands ofsimultaneous access requests) since the start of the year. Organisation RSF_en Russian media boss drops the pretence and defends Belarus crackdown Regional forums targetedOnline regional discussion forums are very popular. In most cases participation is anonymousand Russians like using them to discuss politics. They are a nightmare for the authorities but, asthey are less powerful than national media, it is easier to close them down. Of course, that doesnot stop Russians from continuing their debates on sites hosted abroad. At least three forumshave been closed or suspended since the start of November.On 15 November, police from the western city of Kostroma travelled all the way toDolgoprudny, to the web-hosting company Agava Hosting, to seize the server of Kostroma Jedis, the region’s most popular forum with 12,000 daily visitors, becauseof two satirical videos criticizing governor Igor Slyunyayev (http://www.youtube.com/watch?hl=en&v=lJCg5w9SQYs&gl=US and http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=UWqTwQ1bNDI#!)As the governor is suing the person who posted the videos for “insulting a state representative”under article 319 of the criminal code, the police said they were conducting a preliminaryinvestigation that would take two weeks and could not return the server before 1 December (threedays before the first round of the elections). As a result, Jedis Forum has been down at the heightof the election campaign.Internet users suspect that the defamation suit is just a pretext in order to gain access to the IPaddresses of the forum’s members and identify all those who have been criticizing the governor’spolicies, which would be a violation of the right to the confidentiality of users’ personal data.Other forums – for example, in the central region of Arzamas (mcn.nnov.ru) and the southern cityof Miass (forum.miass.ru) – were closed or purged of all political content by their administratorsduring November. Whether as a result of self-censorship or on the orders of local officials, it hasnarrowed the scope of online political debate in Russia.Newspapers and radio Surveillance of the traditional media has also been stepped up. The far eastern Sakhalin region’snewspaper Sovetsky Sakhalin has been withdrawn from newsstands. Senior officials allegedlyorders vendors not to sell it and threatened to destroy their stands if they disobeyed. Deliveries tothe Kuril Islands were stopped on the grounds of financial difficulties and many advertisers havewithdrawn their business.Created in 1925, Sovetsky Sakhalin is the oldest and most popular of the region’s newspapersand is the only local media which is independent and which criticizes the region’s authorities.There has been a series of resignations from newsrooms as a result of pressure from theauthorities. The deputy editor of the Gazeta.ru news portal, Roman Badanin, announced hisresignation yesterday because his “coverage of the pre-election period no longer satisfied themanagement and owners.”Badanin objected to the withdrawal of an interactive map of election campaign violationsdisplayed in banner form on the site. The result of a partnership with the NGO Golos (Voice),it allowed Internet users to report violations of the electoral process as they witnessed them.Another news portal, Slon, and the weekly The News Times have adopted it. Gazeta.ru’smanagement said it was removed simply to make space for more advertising in the run-up to theend-of-year holidays. Three members of the management of radio Abakan, radio Ekho Moskvy’s partner in thesouthern Siberian republic of Khakassia, resigned six days ago after being asked by the ownersto change its programme schedule. Two subjects were to have been debated with listenersduring the programme “Razvorot” on 24 November – “homosexual propaganda” (the subject ofa Saint Petersburg municipal assembly bill) and “Putin’s third presidential term.” Abakan had todrop one of the topics because someone close to the ruling United Russia party asked it “not tomix Putin and homos.”Russia is ranked 140th out of 178 countries in the latest Reporters Without Borders pressfreedom index and is classified as a “country under surveillance” in its “Enemies of the Internet”report. As a signatory of the European Convention on Human Rights and member of theOrganization for Security and Cooperation in European, Russia is supposed to guarantee mediadiversity and free speech.Laws decriminalizing defamation and insulting comments (including online) and reinforcing thepenalties for physical attacks on journalists were adopted on 17 November. Reporters WithoutBorders urges the authorities to fully implement these laws and to demonstrate a determination torespect media freedom and online freedom of information during the coming elections. December 5, 2011 – Updated on January 20, 2016 Political debate disrupted by cyber-attacks and arrests Receive email alerts News May 21, 2021 Find out more to go further News RussiaEurope – Central Asia June 2, 2021 Find out more Two Russian journalists persecuted for investigating police corruption May 5, 2021 Find out more RussiaEurope – Central Asia News News Listed as a “foreign agent”, Russia’s most popular independent website risks disappearinglast_img read more

Read More →

Holy Family Church’s Middle School Students Spends A Week with Our Lady of Guadalupe and Rose Hills Middle School Youth

first_imgHoly Family Church’s Middle School Youth spends the week from 16th- June 20th with the middle school youth of Our Lady of Guadalupe, Rose Hills, for a week of community building, friendship and service.For those who are on Holy Family Church’ EDGE Ministry, Middle school is a time of transition and transformation, moving from elementary school and getting ready for high school all at the same time. EDGE is a welcoming, exciting, fun community of sixth, seventh and eighth grade youth who gather weekly for friendship, fun, formation and service. Come and join as they learn together how to better love God, the neighbors and ourselves through study of Scripture, knowledge of the faith tradition and their commitment to discipleship deeds.“We believe that God made each and every one of us unique and interconnected parts of the same body of Christ. We ask that all the youth who attend our ministry make a commitment to coming regularly and participating. That way when you leave at the end of the night you know more than when you came in and are ready to turn that knowledge into acts of love in your daily life.”EDGE meets in the Eden Center on Wednesday nights from 7:00 p.m. – 8:30 p.m. and Thursday afternoons from 3:30 p.m. – 5:00 p.m.To register or for more information please contact Angelina Duell, EDGE Coordinator, at (626) 403-6196 or [email protected] Family Church, 1501 South Fremont Avenue, South Pasadena, (626) 799-8908 or visit holyfamily.org. EVENTS & ENTERTAINMENT | FOOD & DRINK | THE ARTS | REAL ESTATE | HOME & GARDEN | WELLNESS | SOCIAL SCENE | GETAWAYS | PARENTS & KIDS Subscribe Business News Home of the Week: Unique Pasadena Home Located on Madeline Drive, Pasadena First Heatwave Expected Next Week Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked * 11 recommended0 commentsShareShareTweetSharePin it Name (required)  Mail (required) (not be published)  Website  HerbeautyInstall These Measures To Keep Your Household Safe From Covid19HerbeautyHerbeautyHerbeautyHe Is Totally In Love With You If He Does These 7 ThingsHerbeautyHerbeautyHerbeautyThis Trend Looks Kind Of Cool!HerbeautyHerbeautyHerbeauty6 Strong Female TV Characters Who Deserve To Have A SpinoffHerbeautyHerbeautyHerbeautyShort On Time? 10-Minute Workouts Are Just What You NeedHerbeautyHerbeautyHerbeautyStop Eating Read Meat (Before It’s Too Late)HerbeautyHerbeauty Top of the News center_img Make a comment More Cool Stuff Get our daily Pasadena newspaper in your email box. Free.Get all the latest Pasadena news, more than 10 fresh stories daily, 7 days a week at 7 a.m. Pasadena Will Allow Vaccinated People to Go Without Masks in Most Settings Starting on Tuesday Community News Pasadena’s ‘626 Day’ Aims to Celebrate City, Boost Local Economy Faith & Youth Holy Family Church’s Middle School Students Spends A Week with Our Lady of Guadalupe and Rose Hills Middle School Youth Article and Photo courtesy of HOLY FAMILY CHURCH Published on Wednesday, June 18, 2014 | 1:16 pm Community News faithfernandez More » ShareTweetShare on Google+Pin on PinterestSend with WhatsApp,Virtual Schools PasadenaHomes Solve Community/Gov/Pub SafetyPASADENA EVENTS & ACTIVITIES CALENDARClick here for Movie Showtimeslast_img read more

Read More →

Freeway Memorial Sign Erected Tuesday to Pasadena Police Officer Killed in Line of Duty

first_img First Heatwave Expected Next Week Business News Community News Name (required)  Mail (required) (not be published)  Website  Home of the Week: Unique Pasadena Home Located on Madeline Drive, Pasadena 15 recommended0 commentsShareShareTweetSharePin it faithfernandez More » ShareTweetShare on Google+Pin on PinterestSend with WhatsApp,Virtual Schools PasadenaHomes Solve Community/Gov/Pub SafetyPASADENA EVENTS & ACTIVITIES CALENDARClick here for Movie Showtimes Get our daily Pasadena newspaper in your email box. Free.Get all the latest Pasadena news, more than 10 fresh stories daily, 7 days a week at 7 a.m. More Cool Stuff Make a comment Pasadena Will Allow Vaccinated People to Go Without Masks in Most Settings Starting on Tuesday center_img Community News top box 1 Freeway Memorial Sign Erected Tuesday to Pasadena Police Officer Killed in Line of Duty By PHILLIP L. SANCHEZ, Chief of Police – Pasadena Police Department Published on Tuesday, April 7, 2015 | 11:29 pm CAL-Trans erected the Pasadena Police Agent Richard Morris Memorial Highway Signs Tuesday morning, authorities said.The signs appear on both sides of the 210 Freeway, Westbound at Rosemead; Eastbound closer to the city limits.The memorial sign will be a consistent reminder, for all who drive by it, of the perils associated with being a Pasadena Police officer.“On behalf of the Pasadena Police Department I would like to thank you again for helping us to honor Pasadena Police Agent Richard Morris (EOW March 13, 1969).  As a police department and community, we should pray that we never have to post another sign like this one, ever,” Police Chief Sanchez said. Pasadena’s ‘626 Day’ Aims to Celebrate City, Boost Local Economy Subscribe Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked * EVENTS & ENTERTAINMENT | FOOD & DRINK | THE ARTS | REAL ESTATE | HOME & GARDEN | WELLNESS | SOCIAL SCENE | GETAWAYS | PARENTS & KIDS Herbeauty9 Of The Best Family Friendly Dog BreedsHerbeautyHerbeautyHerbeautyCostume That Makes Actresses Beneath Practically UnrecognizableHerbeautyHerbeautyHerbeauty6 Lies You Should Stop Telling Yourself Right NowHerbeautyHerbeautyHerbeauty5 Things To Avoid If You Want To Have Whiter TeethHerbeautyHerbeautyHerbeautyYou Can’t Go Past Our Healthy Quick RecipesHerbeautyHerbeautyHerbeauty9 Of The Best Metabolism-Boosting Foods For Weight LossHerbeautyHerbeauty Top of the News last_img read more

Read More →

32 New COVID-19 Cases and 1 New Fatality Documented in Pasadena

first_img Get our daily Pasadena newspaper in your email box. Free.Get all the latest Pasadena news, more than 10 fresh stories daily, 7 days a week at 7 a.m. STAFF REPORT Pasadena’s ‘626 Day’ Aims to Celebrate City, Boost Local Economy STAFF REPORT First Heatwave Expected Next Week Herbeauty10 Female Celebs Women Love But Men Find UnattractiveHerbeautyHerbeautyHerbeautyThe Most Heartwarming Moments Between Father And DaughterHerbeautyHerbeautyHerbeautyShort On Time? 10-Minute Workouts Are Just What You NeedHerbeautyHerbeautyHerbeautyWho Was The Hollywood ‘It Girl’ The Year You Were Born?HerbeautyHerbeautyHerbeautyJennifer Lopez And Alex Rodriguez’s Wedding DelayedHerbeautyHerbeautyHerbeauty10 Easy Tips To Help You Reset Your Sleep ScheduleHerbeautyHerbeauty CITY NEWS SERVICE/STAFF REPORT Pasadena Will Allow Vaccinated People to Go Without Masks in Most Settings Starting on Tuesday Make a comment Business News EVENTS & ENTERTAINMENT | FOOD & DRINK | THE ARTS | REAL ESTATE | HOME & GARDEN | WELLNESS | SOCIAL SCENE | GETAWAYS | PARENTS & KIDS More Cool Stuff Subscribe Community News 32 New COVID-19 Cases and 1 New Fatality Documented in Pasadena City sets up online vaccine inquiry forms for education, child care, food and agriculture workers By BRIAN DAY and CITY NEWS SERVICE Published on Wednesday, March 3, 2021 | 5:19 pmcenter_img Community News faithfernandez More » ShareTweetShare on Google+Pin on PinterestSend with WhatsApp,Donald CommunityPCC- COMMUNITYVirtual Schools PasadenaHomes Solve Community/Gov/Pub SafetyPasadena Public WorksPASADENA EVENTS & ACTIVITIES CALENDARClick here for Movie Showtimes Community News Home of the Week: Unique Pasadena Home Located on Madeline Drive, Pasadena 17 recommended0 commentsShareShareTweetSharePin it Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked * Top of the News Name (required)  Mail (required) (not be published)  Website  Pasadena city officials have set up online inquiry forms for education, child care, food and agriculture workers to be notified when COVID-19 vaccines are available now that those groups are eligible for vaccination under state guidelines.Meanwhile, the city recorded 32 new infections and one new death on Wednesday, city spokeswoman Lisa Derderian said. No details regarding the most recent fatality were available.Over the course of the pandemic, Pasadena has seen a total of 10,949 cases of the virus and 317 deaths, according to city data.Huntington Hospital reported treating 38 COVID-19 patients on Wednesday, with nine of those people requiring treatment in intensive care units. The facility saw an average of four new COVID-19 admissions over the prior week.With education, child care, food and agriculture workers now eligible for vaccination under state guidelines, city officials have created online inquiry pages for members of those groups to fill out so they can be notified when vaccine doses are available. Emergency service providers are also included in the state’s new group of eligible workers, but the vast majority of them in Pasadena have already been inoculated.The forms can be found online at https://www.cityofpasadena.net/public-health/covid-19-vaccine.Officials urged residents to also consult with their primary care physicians about vaccine availability.As COVID-19 numbers continued to improve in Los Angeles County, and with more restrictions likely to be lifted in coming weeks, the county’s public health director warned today that while an end to the pandemic is in sight, it’s not over yet.“Our biggest worry is, of course, that people will relax too much, decide not to wear their face mask, decide not to keep their distance, decide to go back to having big parties,” Dr. Barbara Ferrer said during a virtual briefing. “We’re just not there yet. None of that would be safe at this point, and all of it can cause spread.”Her warning came amid continuing downward trends in COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations, but with daily deaths regularly topping 100 and more variants of the virus appearing that could more quickly spread through a community still struggling to get fully vaccinated.Ferrer said the county has now confirmed the first case of a COVID variant discovered in Brazil, and the number of cases of a variant that originated in the United Kingdom has shot up to 27, up from 18 known cases last week. And a California variant is becoming increasingly dominant, with county officials detecting the mutation in 31 of 55 specimens that were specifically tested for it.“We still have a lot of community transmission,” Ferrer said. “We still have variants that are dominating that are thought to be more infectious, that’s the California variant, and an increased probability that we have more of the U.K. variant circulating as well. So our work is not done.”She said news that vaccine supplies are expected to vastly increase in the coming months — beginning next week with the anticipated arrival of the first doses of the single-dose Johnson & Johnson vaccine — means an end is in sight. But people can’t abandon all infection-control measures before reaching the finish line.“That means that we don’t have that much further to go, and it would just be horrible if in the few months that are left we go through another surge,” Ferrer said. “Our county frankly can’t afford that in multiple ways. We don’t want to do the see-sawing on opening and closing again.”Los Angeles County is on track to exit the restrictive purple tier of the state’s four-level economic-reopening roadmap by late March. If it advances to the less-restrictive red tier, more businesses could be cleared to open, including indoor dining, movie theaters and fitness centers, all at limited capacity.Figures released by the state Tuesday put the county’s adjusted average daily rate of new COVID-19 infections at 7.2 per 100,000 residents. If that number falls to 7 per 100,000 residents and stays at that level for two weeks, the county will be able to move out of the restrictive purple tier of the state’s “Blueprint for a Safer Economy,” and into the red tier. The county already meets the other two required metrics — with an average testing-positivity rate of just 3.5% and a “health equity quartile” of 5.1% — to advance to the red tier.Ferrer noted that in addition to allowing more businesses to open, moving to the red tier would also allow in-person instruction to resume for students in grades 7-12. The county already meets the requirements for in-person classes for pre-kindergarten through sixth grade.She got emotional as she read comments from recent discussions with school children about the difficulties the pandemic has caused on their families and their ability to continue learning.“This pandemic has been extraordinarily difficult for so many, and it’s been powerful for us all to hear the voices of young people who have had the courage to tell us in their own words how they’re feeling,” Ferrer said, her voice breaking. “This is why we really do need to recommit ourselves to use every single tool we have to reduce transmission, to vaccinate everybodywho’s eligible and get to a place where all of our children can get back to school with the safety that’s required in their school community.“Our children have been through something that none of us experienced as children, and we owe them all our support and our effort so that they can be as safe as possible as we move toward a more healthy future.”Ferrer announced another 116 COVID-19 deaths on Wednesday. The new deaths lifted the countywide death toll from throughout the pandemic to 21,669.Another 1,759 cases were also announced, lifting the overall total to 1,195,913.The California Department of Public Health announced 3,352 new infections and 278 deaths, raising the statewide totals to 3,484,963 COVID-19 cases and 52,775 fatalities.The state’s average positivity rate over the prior two weeks held steady at 2.6%, according to CDPH data.As of Wednesday, L.A. County represented 34% of California’s COVID-19 infections and 41% of the state’s deaths.Related:81.7% of Pasadena Seniors Vaccinated Against COVID-19last_img read more

Read More →

Munster make seven changes for crunch Leinster clash

first_imgLinkedin Predictions on the future of learning discussed at Limerick Lifelong Learning Festival LimerickRugbyMunsterNewsSportMunster make seven changes for crunch Leinster clashBy John Keogh – December 27, 2019 599 WhatsApp RELATED ARTICLESMORE FROM AUTHOR Billy Lee names strong Limerick side to take on Wicklow in crucial Division 3 clash Head coach Johann van Graan has rung the changes to the Munster team that will face Leinster at Thomond Park in the Pro14 tomorrow.In all, van Graan has made seven switches to the side that beat Connacht in their last game.Sign up for the weekly Limerick Post newsletter Sign Up Into the team comes Mike Haley, Sammy Arnold, Rory Scannell, Nick McCarthy, Fineen Wycherley, Tommy O’Donnell and Jack O’Donoghue, while Joey Carbery is also named in the 23.9 December 2018; Rory Scannell of Munster celebrates after scoring his side’s first try during the European Rugby Champions Cup Pool 2 Round 3 match between Munster and Castres at Thomond Park in Limerick. Photo by Diarmuid Greene/SportsfileCarbery will make his first Munster appearance of the season if he comes off the bench after an ankle injury. The game against Leinster has a 6pm kick off and is live on eirSport.Munster: Mike Haley; Dan Goggin, Sammy Arnold, Rory Scannell, Shane Daly; JJ Hanrahan, Nick McCarthy; Dave Kilcoyne, Kevin O’Byrne, Stephen Archer; Fineen Wycherley, Billy Holland (C); Tommy O’Donnell, Chris Cloete, Jack O’Donoghue.Replacements: Diarmuid Barron, Jeremy Loughman, Keynan Knox, Darren O’Shea, Jack O’Sullivan, Neil Cronin, Joey Carbery, Calvin Nash.The post Munster make seven changes for crunch Leinster clash appeared first on Sporting Limerick. Email WATCH: “Everyone is fighting so hard to get on” – Pat Ryan on competitive camogie squads Twittercenter_img TAGSJoey CarberyKeeping Limerick PostedlimerickLimerick PostMunsterMunster.RugbyPRO 14Rory ScannellRugby Advertisement Previous articleFlying home to Limerick for ChristmasNext articleLimerick Hurling Team of the Decade: Left Half Back John Keogh Limerick’s National Camogie League double header to be streamed live Print Limerick Ladies National Football League opener to be streamed live Facebook Donal Ryan names Limerick Ladies Football team for League openerlast_img read more

Read More →

Vodafone Ireland Announces Autism Friendly Retail Hours in Limerick stores

first_imgLinkedin TAGSAutismKeeping Limerick PostedlimerickLimerick PostVodafone WhatsApp Email Limerick’s National Camogie League double header to be streamed live Donal Ryan names Limerick Ladies Football team for League opener No repro fee2-3-2020Picture shows from left Adam Harris, CEO, AsIAm; Anita Carra, Consumer Director, Vodafone Ireland; and James Magill, HR Director, Vodafone Ireland at the launch of Vodafone Ireland’s Autism Friendly retail programme which is now available across 25 Vodafone stores nationwide.  Vodafone is the first network in Ireland to introduce autism friendly hours in its retail outlets as part of the wider neurodiversity company programme which also runs across employment opportunities, events and education.  The new programme will see reduced noise, priority seating and appointments in stores every Wednesday between 9am and 11am. Vodafone implemented this new programme by working closely with AsIAm, a not-for-profit charity organisation working on behalf of the Autism Community in Ireland to empower, educate and advocate concerns for the Autism Community.  Autism immediately affects a quarter of a million people in Ireland when taking in the family unit. Vodafone is committed to helping this community by creating accessibility measures in store, supporting inclusive employment and making its technology services more accessible to autistic people.Pic:Naoise Culhane-no feeVodafone Ireland has today announced it has introduced autism friendly retail hours in a number of stores across Ireland including its O’Connell Street and Crescent Shopping Centre locations.The aim of this new initiative is to ensure a better digital future is accessible to all, making technology and employment opportunities more accessible to members of the autism community.Sign up for the weekly Limerick Post newsletter Sign Up The programme will see reduced noise, priority seating and appointments every Wednesday between 9am and 11am.No repro fee2-3-2020Picture shows from left Adam Harris, CEO, AsIAm; James Magill, HR Director, Vodafone Ireland and Anita Carra, Consumer Director, Vodafone Ireland; at the launch of Vodafone Ireland’s Autism Friendly retail programme which is now available across 25 Vodafone stores nationwide.  Vodafone is the first network in Ireland to introduce autism friendly hours in its retail outlets as part of the wider neurodiversity company programme which also runs across employment opportunities, events and education.  The new programme will see reduced noise, priority seating and appointments in stores every Wednesday between 9am and 11am. Vodafone implemented this new programme by working closely with AsIAm, a not-for-profit charity organisation working on behalf of the Autism Community in Ireland to empower, educate and advocate concerns for the Autism Community.  Autism immediately affects a quarter of a million people in Ireland when taking in the family unit. Vodafone is committed to helping this community by creating accessibility measures in store, supporting inclusive employment and making its technology services more accessible to autistic people.Pic:Naoise Culhane-no feeThe introduction of autism friendly retail hours is part of the wider autism friendly programme being run by Vodafone Ireland.Autism immediately affects a quarter of a million people in Ireland when taking in the family unit.Vodafone is committed to helping this community by creating accessibility measures in store, supporting inclusive employment and making its technology services more accessible to autistic people.Vodafone is the first network in Ireland to introduce autism friendly hours in its retail outlets.The programme has been created in partnership with AsIAm, a not-for-profit charity organisation working on behalf of the Autism Community in Ireland to empower, educate and advocate concerns for the Autism Community.AsIAm also work on improving the understanding, awareness and support of Autism across Ireland and the charity has undergone an environmental audit in Vodafone retail stores.The audit aims to identify opportunities to improve the shopping experience for autistic visitors, noting areas of difficulty in-store.An autistic person may become overwhelmed by their sensory environment. To help with this, Vodafone retail stores will offer the free use of a variety of sensory inputs to its customers in store.This will be in the form of a ‘Relaxation Box’, which will be easily accessible to all customers, and will include sunglasses with visor, stress ball, ear defender and scented tags.Not only will Vodafone be providing these services for customers in store, it has developed a training module for staff in conjunction with AsIAm.This course aims to educate Vodafone retail staff about autism and give them the tools and knowledge to meaningfully include people on a day-to-day basis.The in-store autism activity is just one element of Vodafone’s Autism friendly programme, other initiatives across the business include:Employment Opportunities: In Ireland, 80% of autistic people are unemployed or under-employed. Vodafone’s internships and work experience programmes aim to tackle this by partnering with Specialisterne Ireland, who recruit and support talented people on the autism spectrum. Vodafone also work with a local day care centre and invite members of the neurodiverse community to contribute to the business and gain independence and life skills.Education: Along with implementing training for its retail staff, AsIAm and Specialisterne have hosted sensory exhibitions at the Vodafone head office. This gave employees a greater understanding of how autism can affect an individual on a day to day basis. The company’s online training portal, ‘The Vodafone University’, also hosts several modules which educates users on the challenges faced by people of different abilities.Inclusive Events: Every year Vodafone hosts a Christmas kids party for all employees and their families. This year Vodafone offered neurodiverse families a bespoke sensory Santa experience. These families were given access to Santa 30 minutes before general guests and availed of entertainment in a quiet environment. A sensory room was set up ensuring families had access to a relaxing space.Speaking on the announcement, James Magill, Human Resource Director at Vodafone Ireland said:“At Vodafone, we believe in inclusion for all and that opportunities and the promise of a better digital future should be accessible to the many, not the fortunate few.“Through our technology, we will help bridge the divides that exist in our societies. We believe in a future where technology levels the playing field, bringing connectivity and an opportunity for everyone to reach their full potential. We are committed to ensuring that nobody is left behind on the journey toward a digital future.”Adam Harris, CEO, AsIAm:“We want to extend our congratulations to Vodafone on becoming Ireland’s first autism-friendly telecommunications company. Autistic people can find shopping, securing employment and dealing with administrative processes overwhelming, stressful and inaccessible.“This can come from busy sensory environments, unclear communication and not knowing what to expect in a given situation. Staff training, proactive measures to support and recruit autistic talent and creating a calmer shopping time not only supports the autism community but puts in place inclusive, people friendly measures for all.”The autism friendly store hours will be starting at 25 stores across the country with plans to roll out across the rest of the country later in the year. Facebook Twitter Printcenter_img Limerick Ladies National Football League opener to be streamed live RELATED ARTICLESMORE FROM AUTHOR Advertisement Billy Lee names strong Limerick side to take on Wicklow in crucial Division 3 clash LimerickNewsVodafone Ireland Announces Autism Friendly Retail Hours in Limerick storesBy Meghann Scully – March 3, 2020 268 WATCH: “Everyone is fighting so hard to get on” – Pat Ryan on competitive camogie squads Previous articleEnergia Women’s AIL Round UpNext articleA look back at Limerick’s win over Westmeath Meghann Scully Predictions on the future of learning discussed at Limerick Lifelong Learning Festival last_img read more

Read More →

Winning numbers drawn in ‘Daily 4 Evening’ game

first_img Facebook Winning numbers drawn in ‘Daily 4 Evening’ game WhatsApp Local NewsState Twitter Facebook WhatsApp Twitter By Digital AIM Web Support – February 15, 2021 TAGS  Pinterest Pinterest Previous articleDozens charged in Capitol riots spewed extremist rhetoricNext articleWinning numbers drawn in ‘Two Step’ game Digital AIM Web Supportlast_img read more

Read More →

IndiSoft Appoints New CEO

first_imgSign up for DS News Daily IndiSoft Appoints New CEO About Author: Nicole Casperson in Daily Dose, Featured, News, Technology Demand Propels Home Prices Upward 2 days ago Servicers Navigate the Post-Pandemic World 2 days ago Hans Rusli HOUSING IndiSoft mortgage Movers and Shakers Technology 2018-02-02 Nicole Casperson  Print This Post Tagged with: Hans Rusli HOUSING IndiSoft mortgage Movers and Shakers Technology The Week Ahead: Nearing the Forbearance Exit 2 days ago Governmental Measures Target Expanded Access to Affordable Housing 2 days ago February 2, 2018 2,068 Views Related Articles Data Provider Black Knight to Acquire Top of Mind 2 days agocenter_img Servicers Navigate the Post-Pandemic World 2 days ago Demand Propels Home Prices Upward 2 days ago The Best Markets For Residential Property Investors 2 days ago Previous: Looking for a Universal Solution Next: Single-Family Rental Lease Expirations and Vacancy Rates Improving Data Provider Black Knight to Acquire Top of Mind 2 days ago IndiSoft, a Columbia, Maryland-based technology development firm that specializes in systems for the financial services industry, just announced that it has selected Hans Rusli as the company’s new CEO. Rusli brings over 25 years of diversified experience as a senior mortgage banking executive in servicing technology and mortgage enterprise risk management.In his new role, Rusli is responsible for the strategic direction of the company. While Sanjeev Dahiwadkar, Founder and CEO, now becomes IndiSoft’s Managing Member and Chairman of the Board.“IndiSoft is poised for aggressive growth and through our system, we will change the way the mortgage industry approaches compliance and business processes,” Dahiwadkar said. “Hans’ extensive industry network and business knowledge will help IndiSoft reach the next level and help us fulfill our vision and execute our strategy.”According to the release, Rusli said that he is honored that Dahiwadkar has entrusted the growth and direction of IndiSoft to him. “We share the same vision for excellence and passion for providing positive change through the use of technology,” Rusli said.Rusli most recently served as Chief Credit Officer at Caliber Home Loans in Irving, Texas. Prior to that, Rusli spent 10 years at Bank of America as SVP in Risk Management where he oversaw credit quality control of all the bank’s originations as well as regulatory and audit compliance.Earlier in his career, Rusli was SVP of Servicing Operations at Transworld Mortgage, SVP of investor services at First Nationwide Mortgage and a Founder and CEO of MSTD Inc., which introduced the industry’s first default servicing web-based platform, BackInTheBlack.Rusli’s proven success in default, risk management, mortgage servicing, banking, and credit analysis will bring immense value to the company, the release noted. Nicole Casperson is the Associate Editor of DS News and MReport. She graduated from Texas Tech University where she received her M.A. in Mass Communications and her B.A. in Journalism. Casperson previously worked as a graduate teaching instructor at Texas Tech’s College of Media and Communications. Her thesis will be published by the International Communication Association this fall. To contact Casperson, e-mail: [email protected] Home / Daily Dose / IndiSoft Appoints New CEO Governmental Measures Target Expanded Access to Affordable Housing 2 days ago The Best Markets For Residential Property Investors 2 days ago Share Save Subscribelast_img read more

Read More →

Is the Housing Market Overheating?

first_imgHome / Daily Dose / Is the Housing Market Overheating? Sign up for DS News Daily Subscribe Is the Housing Market Overheating? Data Provider Black Knight to Acquire Top of Mind 2 days ago BH&J Index Case-Shiller Demand Florida Atlantic University Home Homeownership HOUSING 2019-01-04 Radhika Ojha Related Articles Servicers Navigate the Post-Pandemic World 2 days ago  Print This Post Governmental Measures Target Expanded Access to Affordable Housing 2 days ago Demand Propels Home Prices Upward 2 days ago in Daily Dose, Featured, Market Studies, News Radhika Ojha is an independent writer and copy-editor, and a reporter for DS News. She is a graduate of the University of Pune, India, where she received her B.A. in Commerce with a concentration in Accounting and Marketing and an M.A. in Mass Communication. Upon completion of her masters degree, Ojha worked at a national English daily publication in India (The Indian Express) where she was a staff writer in the cultural and arts features section. Ojha, also worked as Principal Correspondent at HT Media Ltd and at Honeywell as an executive in corporate communications. She and her husband currently reside in Houston, Texas. The Best Markets For Residential Property Investors 2 days agocenter_img About Author: Radhika Ojha Share 1Save The housing market might experience a downturn, but it won’t affect homeownership as much as the last housing crisis did, according to a study titled Where are We Now with Housing: A Report, by the Florida Atlantic University College of Business.The study investigated and compared the current status of U.S. housing at the national level with that of housing at the peak of the last cycle in July 2006. It revealed that while national housing prices were slightly overheated, residential real estate markets were experiencing minimal downward pressure on the demand for homeownership.”Understanding where housing stands today relative to the last cycle’s peak creates more informed real estate consumers and perhaps a less bumpy ride this time around as the nation enters another housing cycle peak,” said Ken Johnson, the author of the study and co-author of the Beracha, Hardin & Johnson Buy vs. Rent Index (BH&J).To compare home prices and their impact on demand, the study investigated scores of the CoreLogic Case-Shiller Home Price Index and the BH&J. It found that housing prices were at 7.3 percent above their long-term pricing trend compared to 31 percent at the peak of the last housing cycle.In terms of downward pressure on housing demand, the study found that at the end of the last cycle the BH&J Index indicated an extreme downward pressure on homeownership with a score of 1.00. Comparatively, this time around, the index reflected a score of 0.039 suggesting only minimal pressure on homeownership demand.”It looks like we’re in for more of a very high tide, as opposed to a tsunami, as residential prices peak in this latest cycle,” Johnson said. “At a minimum, we can expect flatter housing price growth. At worst, we could experience price declines slightly below the long-term pricing trend.”Click here to read the full report. Governmental Measures Target Expanded Access to Affordable Housing 2 days ago The Week Ahead: Nearing the Forbearance Exit 2 days ago Demand Propels Home Prices Upward 2 days ago Previous: Traversing the Legal Tightrope Next: Mr. Cooper Acquires IBM’s Seterus Servicers Navigate the Post-Pandemic World 2 days ago January 4, 2019 2,887 Views Tagged with: BH&J Index Case-Shiller Demand Florida Atlantic University Home Homeownership HOUSING The Best Markets For Residential Property Investors 2 days ago Data Provider Black Knight to Acquire Top of Mind 2 days agolast_img read more

Read More →

The Value of Valuations: What’s It Worth?

first_img Data Provider Black Knight to Acquire Top of Mind 2 days ago Tagged with: Appraisals Valuations The Week Ahead: Nearing the Forbearance Exit 2 days ago Data Provider Black Knight to Acquire Top of Mind 2 days ago The Value of Valuations: What’s It Worth? August 27, 2019 2,204 Views About Author: Mike Albanese Share 1Save  Print This Post Demand Propels Home Prices Upward 2 days ago Demand Propels Home Prices Upward 2 days ago Servicers Navigate the Post-Pandemic World 2 days ago Appraisals Valuations 2019-08-27 Mike Albanese The Best Markets For Residential Property Investors 2 days ago Servicers Navigate the Post-Pandemic World 2 days ago The Best Markets For Residential Property Investors 2 days ago Related Articles Home / Daily Dose / The Value of Valuations: What’s It Worth? in Daily Dose, Featured, News, Print Features, Secondary Market Governmental Measures Target Expanded Access to Affordable Housing 2 days ago Previous: Zombie Homes are Nationwide Next: State of Emergency Declared for Florida The world of property valuations has seen numerous ups and downs over the past several years. Everything from natural disasters and economic turmoil to bifurcated appraisals and changing demographics within the appraisal workforce continue to create challenges within this space that will shape it for years to come. With CoreLogic reporting in its May Home Price Index that home prices nationally rose 3.6% year-over-year and are expected to increase an additional 5.6% from May 2019 to May 2020, ensuring correct valuations is as critical as ever to many phases of the mortgage and default industries. With these challenges in mind, how are the professionals serving in this arena adapting and preparing for the future?The Winds of ChangeDuring our conversations with the industry professionals working within the sectors of appraisals and valuations, one trend that was often spotlighted is the bifurcated appraisal, also known as the hybrid or desktop appraisal.DS News recently highlighted this evolving trend in a webinar, sponsored by Altisource and entitled “Bifurcated Appraisals: Insights Into an Evolving Industry.” Featuring insights from representatives of Embrace Home Loans, Fannie Mae, and Springhouse, webinar delved into the history of this emerging spin on traditional valuations, in which different parts of the assignment are completed by different individuals. Proponents suggest that bifurcated appraisals may be faster and less expensive than traditional appraisals, but the process has its skeptics as well.William Fall, CEO of the William Fall Group, told DS News that the industry should move forward with caution. “There are some  careful steps that need be taken along the way,” Fall said. “I’ve always felt the best use of the appraiser is in the analytical side, processing data, resources, and other items that are vital to creating a credible report, as opposed to sitting in traffic on the local expressway.” Fall suggests that finding a balance between those two sides could be beneficial for the industry, but cautioned, “we need to be careful in the qualification phase and in the manner of how the implementation actually occurs so that we don’t jeopardize the public trust.” Another trend, and one that could present problems moving forward, is the possible shortage of appraisers. Jacob Williamson, Fannie Mae’s VP of Single-Family Real Estate, noted in a June blog post that 49% of appraisers are between the ages of 51 and 65, while an additional 13% are 66 years of age or older. The issue, he noted, is that 7% of the appraisers have been working in the industry for two years or less, while 52% have been in the industry for more than 20 years. This could present ongoing workforce issues if new blood is not brought into this sector.The Appraiser Qualifications Board of the Appraisal Foundation adopted changes in 2018 that state regulatory boards have since implemented. These changes include education and experience requirements that were modified to remove barriers that have deterred qualified candidates from entering the profession.“There are challenges ahead as there are in many industries within real estate,” said George Paquette, SRA, Chief Appraiser, Valuations, with Springhouse. “We have a healthy balance of fee appraisers in most major metropolitan markets, but I see concerns as fewer people are training new appraisers, especially with many appraisers nearing retirement and who may not be willing to adopt the bifurcation process or other new products,” Paquette added that Springhouse and parent company Altisource have partnered with Fannie Mae and the National Urban League to promote the appraisal industry, and that the response “has been outstanding.” “By showing participants that they have many options within the appraisal industry and witnessing their reactions, it solidifies that the message we are promoting is well-received and needs to be completed on a larger scale,” Paquette said. “I predict that there are going to be less appraisals in the future, due to appraisal waivers and alternative products, but there will also be far fewer appraisers to compete with.”Ernie Durbin, Chief Valuation Officer for Clarocity, said, “there are no new challenges” in this industry, noting that the debate about whether the industry is lacking sufficient appraisers has been ongoing for quite some time. He also suggested that an appraiser shortage is the least of the industry’s concerns. “Do we have an appraiser shortage? Well, we certainly do not right now, because we don’t have a robust market. But if we were back in the summer of 2016, we had a few states in the northwest and Colorado that had a tremendous backlog. That got people talking about the results of the shortage, or if there was a shortage,” Durbin said. He added that, while he questions the accuracy of the supposed appraiser shortage now, he did acknowledge that the average age of an appraiser is in the mid-50s, and suggested the industry needs to learn how to make the appraisal process more efficient and more profitable. The Tech ImpactAppraisers around the country are continuing to see just how powerful and beneficial technology can be in the world of property valuations. “The number of days it takes to complete appraisals is shrinking and data integrity is vastly improving,” Paquette said. “This is exciting because it is something I have not witnessed in the past.” Paquette suggested that, traditionally, appraisers have been slow to adopt new technology. With more pressure on the lending industry to reduce costs and streamline the process, however, those attitudes may be changing.Tony Pistilli, Chief Appraiser with Computershare, said that technology began impacting the industry in the 1990s, when computers replaced typewriters and manual processes. The industry has since witnessed the progression of analytics tools and technology that has been able to assist with auto-populate appraisal software and regression analysis, as well as aiding in adjustment validation. “The next thing we will see is web-based forms, with sales data offered to the appraiser, more data-driven analysis, and less form filling by appraisers,” Pistilli said. “All of these changes have made appraisers more efficient and have allowed them more time to focus on what their area of expertise is—being the local market expert.” Brandon Boudreau, Chief Operating Officer of Metro-West Appraisal Company, LLC, told DS News that appraisers are being asked to do more data collection, as opposed to property inspectors. While he noted this is good for appraisers, technology could be the answer for speed and efficiency. “As technology continues to get a grasp on our occupation, you’re seeing more integration and more and more adoption of mobile devices used on inspections,” Boudreau said. “Those are all things that are speeding up the process and accelerating inspection time in the field. They’re making it easier to communicate as people become more and more integrated.”Boudreau added that what makes the integration of technology unique is that “everyone is getting on board” with new technology, but what’s accelerating the process are the different software and hardware options that are helping make the process more seamless. “A lot of that is the same stuff we’ve been talking about for 10 years, but the adoption levels are finally here,” Boudreau said. “You’re not getting the kickback from the field. Everybody knows you want to be using whatever it is, whether it’s Google Drive to help with collaborative documents, or cloud-based storage, Dropbox, or Amazon Web Services.”Fannie Mae’s Williamson said that technology within the mortgage industry is playing “catch-up” during a time when borrowers expect obtaining mortgages to be similar to their “online shopping experience.” Williamson added that technology is being leveraged in the residential appraisal field by appraisers for data collection and validation, photo capture, market analysis, and overall report development. “The introduction of the UAD in 2012, and the related creation of the Uniform Collateral Data Portal, have transformed our ability to perform appropriate data validations and overall collateral quality reviews with Collateral Underwriter (CU),” Williamson said. ”In addition, CU allows for many units of comparison to recognize trends within neighborhoods and markets that may indicate latent risks that we may not have been able to see without the innovation in CU.” Williamson said that this helps users “throughout the appraisal manufacturing process as well as supporting due diligence throughout the secondary market reviews.”Dealing With Disasters The impact of disasters over the past year have been felt throughout the nation. Tornadoes ravaged the Dayton, Ohio, area in May, destroying homes and communities. California’s Camp Fire in late 2018 burned more than 150,000 acres and killed 85 people. “Unfortunately, us Californians are too used to this by now, and we typically rebound quickly with minimal reaction on the entire market” Paquette said. However, he said that the impact of the Camp Fire was significant and ongoing. “This has caused a major loss to nearly 27,000 residents in these areas where many lost their homes and their employment at the same time due to wildfires. Without homes in these areas, many businesses choose not to rebuild or to relocate, which caused a major economic fallout as well. It is still unknown whether these areas will ever fully recover.”  California’s Camp and Woolsey Wildfires last year caused devastating losses between $15 and $19 billion, according to a CoreLogic Natural Hazard report. Paquette added that it is important appraisers in areas heavily impacted by natural disasters—as well as throughout the mortgage and servicing industries as a whole—to communicate and do a better job of understanding what affected homeowners are going through. “Another thing we can do is adjust our processes to help our clients,” Paquette said. “If we know a big storm is coming, we want to alert our clients to manage their expectations and work together to ensure that we are communicating to the appraisers what needs to be verified before or after a major event.”Durbin said the real issue facing the housing market today is the outcome of natural disasters when coupled with a low housing inventory. “Suddenly you have thousands—maybe even tens of thousands—of people displaced, with no place for them to immediately move into another piece of property. If my individual house burned down, it would be a tragedy for me individually. But within a matter of weeks I can make a decision about whether I’m going to rebuild that or just buy another property in the neighborhood.” When the tragedy impacts the vast numbers of people often involved in the aftermath of a natural disaster, however, things can be much more challenging.“You take a multitude of people and you end up with radical changes in the real estate market overnight,” Durbin continued. “Suddenly, you have a lot of people in the market competing for the same properties. The marketplace is upended until new stock is reconstructed there.”Boudreau said his team in Florida prepares for its biggest local threat, hurricanes, by offering training before a disaster strikes. “We spent a lot of time training our team on how to do [inspection reports],” Boudreau said. “When it’s a little bit more predictable, or you can see it coming with these hurricanes, we start building up bandwidth for that, even lending support to some of our staff who we know the workloads going to be there after the storm.”The FutureThe year 2020 is rapidly approaching, and appraisers are looking ahead as the calendar is set to turn over. Paquette said he anticipates lenders will be looking for faster valuations, as loans are produced more quickly in order to remain competitive. “There is a lot of buzz in the industry about possible solutions, but there are still a lot of questions to be answered,” Paquette said. “We need to ensure that independent fee appraisers remain a part of the process, as they are the only unbiased party to protect the consumer and the investor. With the demand for faster valuation products, this often gets overlooked in an effort to close more loans, and that puts everyone involved at a higher risk.” Fall said while he will be watching what happens with bifurcated appraisals, and said that he is especially interested in what happens to the industry as a whole. “We’ve already seen impact in that with regards to some of the changes on the educational side—the appraisal qualification educational side—because we’ve had record numbers, and that trend seems to be holding so far in 2019,” Fall said. “The number of test takers for the appraisal exam has increased dramatically, and so that’s exciting. I trust that positive direction will continue over the course of the next year to 18 months.Fall is not the only one who will have his eyes on the hybrid appraisals moving forward, as Pistilli noted that appraisers that “adopt and adapt to the new process will continue to be in the industry.” “Much like auto mechanics in the early ‘80s, when computers started to take over mechanical parts in automobiles, those who learned to work with new technology became more valuable to their industry, and in turn, are making more money today,” Pistilli said “Appraisers have the same opportunity. They ought to see this as a way to add more tools to their toolbox and to expand their services much like attorneys, accountants, and doctors do.”Williamson said that the timing, cost, and uncertainty of the appraisal process will remain pain points for lenders and borrowers heading into 2020. While adding that Fannie Mae is “actively addressing” these issues, he suggested that there are many factors to consider. “Consumer expectations continue to evolve, and we must evolve with them,” Williamson said. ”While we recognize that all homes are unique and that buying a home is typically one of the largest purchases people make, we are also cognizant of the fact that technology, data, and analytics continue to iterate and improve, and our overall knowledge of the collateral continues to improve and accelerate.”“Leveraging all of these things to deliver certainty and credible valuations in a timely manner assures that appropriate customer service expectations are met within appropriate risk tolerances,” Williamson added.Boudreau said that, as he looks forward to 2020, many of the challenges facing the industry “aren’t going away.” “The pressure for increased speed will continue. As we’re looking forward, that’s what we’re focused on. We’re fast, we’ve cut our times down, no question, but how do we get faster, how do we meet client demand for that?” Boudreau asked. “Also, they’ve rolled back some of the stricter requirements required to become a licensed appraiser, which we completely support, and I’ll be interested to see how that impacts our industry.” Governmental Measures Target Expanded Access to Affordable Housing 2 days ago Subscribe Sign up for DS News Daily Mike Albanese is a reporter for DS News and MReport. He is a University of Alabama graduate with a degree in journalism and a minor in communications. He has worked for publications—both print and online—covering numerous beats. A Connecticut native, Albanese currently resides in Lewisville. last_img read more

Read More →