Thursday, October 11, 2012

Beating the FDCI's Broad Immunity in Foreclosure Cases

As mentioned in a previous article, it can be very difficult for homeowners facing foreclosure to raise certain claims in court when the bank holding their loan has failed and been taken over by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation. Case law and federal statute give the FDIC broad immunity against a number of claims that could be raised by borrowers in regards to loans held by the failed institution.

However, there are also a number of exemptions to the broad immunity the FDIC enjoys. Four of them are significant and worth examining here, as homeowners in foreclosure may be able to use them to bring claims against the FDIC or successor financial institutions.

The first is called fraud in the factum, and refers to any case when one party to a transaction reasonably relies on a misrepresentation by another party. The misrepresentation will be as to the character or essential terms of the contract. Examples include alteration of a document or forgery. The FDIC nor its successor institutions are immune to claims of fraud in the factum, so homeowners may be able to bring these issues into court.

Second, Truth in Lending rescission claims are still allowed despite the FDIC's immunity protection. In fact, the Truth in Lending Act states that a borrower's rescission rights continue regardless of assignment of the loan or to whom the loan is assigned. This means that, even if the lender fails and the note is taken over by the government, rescission may still be an option if the other requirements under the statute are met. FDIC receivership of the bank's assets will not affect the claim.

Also, the FDIC does not have immunity protection from any transaction that is void. The federal statute granting FDIC immunity is intended to protect the government's interests in assets is acquires from the failed banks. A void transaction, though, does not create an interest in an asset, and the immunity protection can not be extended to assets in which the FDIC has no valid interest. In cases such as fraud in the factum, the transaction may be declared void, for instance.

Finally, there is a rule called the FTC Holder Rule that was designed to protect credit consumers from holder-in-due-course immunity, such as the FDIC has been granted. For this rule to apply, though, an FTC Holder Notice must be included in the consumer credit contract. It will be included in many transactions relating to a sales transaction. This might be a home improvement contract or other similar agreement. If the notice is included in the contract, the FDIC's immunity may not apply.

While the above defenses to broad FDIC immunity have survived most course, other claims have survived in a smaller number of cases. These include such issues as breach of contract, failure of consideration, challenges to the validity of a lien, homestead issues, unreasonable foreclosure sale, and state statutes regarding Unfair and Deceptive Acts and Practices. Homeowners should do their own legal research to determine if their claims may survive, or consult with a competent foreclosure attorney.

When homeowners find that they have become a mortgage customer of the government, falling into foreclosure can become extremely complicated. While the FDIC has taken some steps to assist borrowers in stopping foreclosure, the agency is granted broad immunity from many claims that may have been used to defend against the loss of the home in the first place. Thus, borrowers should educate themselves in regard to the issues surrounding the FDIC's administration of mortgage loans and foreclosure.

Saturday, October 6, 2012

Teacher Interview Tips: How To Pass Your Teacher Job Interview

Applying for a teaching job opening will not be as easy as a breeze if you are not armed with effective teacher interview tips. If you want to ace your teacher job interview, follow the techniques discussed in this article.
Attending an interview for that teaching job opening you desire can be nerve wracking. You also have to make a good impression to increase your chances of acing that teacher job interview. Below are several teacher interview tips that you should be aware of prior to attending an interview:

1. Preparation is a must.

Among good interview techniques that can be applied not only to teaching applications, but to any type of job application is to be prepared. If you're applying as a teacher, you have to make sure that you have all your requirements e.g. certifications, sample lesson plans, among others. Of course, you should also have with you your resume or curriculum vitae, a character reference sheet from your previous employer, and so on. It is also best that you are prepared enough to do a teaching demo when you're asked to do so.

2. See to it that you have basic information about the school you're applying to.

One of the teacher interview tips that you should always utilize is for you to do your research and learn about the actual school or university. You should also have knowledge on the different school programs, courses, and activities of that specific institution that has a teaching job opening. Oftentimes, interviewers may ask you one or two questions about what you know about their universities, and if you are able to answer accurately, you'll have added points in your teacher job interview.

3. Dress professionally for the interview.

Part of good interview techniques is also for the applicant to utilize power dressing. When you dress professionally, you'll definitely make a good impression. You have to ensure too that you look respectable. Thus, among teacher interview tips is for you to avoid wearing a skirt that's too short, a top that's haltered, or too body-hugging, and the likes. Having a tattoo and other piercings aside from your pair of ear piercings is also a huge no-no.

4. Have some practice a few days before your interview.

Another technique on how you can be hired for a teaching job opening is for you to think of basic interview questions and practice how you answer them. It is a good idea for you to look at the mirror and observe your body language and facial expression while you're answering those teacher job interview questions.

If you find yourself frowning while answering, remind yourself that you have to look pleasant and smile sincerely from time to time while answering questions. It is also suggested that you practice the interview with your sibling, or your friend, and, ask your 'interview buddy' to give any feedback or criticisms he or she may have. Of course, you have to improve on any weak areas prior to the interview.

Practicing for interviews is one of the truly essential teacher interview tips that can make you more confident and help you give great answers when interviewed.

5. Answer questions with tact, the right grammar, appropriate tone, etc.

If you want to land that teaching job opening, you also have to choose your words carefully whenever you answer. You should also have the right grammar and pronunciation. You'll become the students' role model, after all, and having proper pronunciation and grammar when speaking or teaching is important. Your tone should not be condescending as well. Instead, it should be calm and pleasant.

Following teacher interview tips and good interview techniques will up your chances of being hired as a teacher.

Thursday, October 4, 2012

How To Prepare For The Investment Banking Interview

It seems that the investment banking industry has narrowly escaped Armaggedon and the survivors are waiving the bonus flags again. Intern classes are getting bigger and Business Week reported that Goldman Sachs has reclaimed the top spot as the most popular employer among elite MBA students again. If you are a career switcher and one among many MBA applicants dreaming of joining Goldman Sachs or another bulge bracket investment bank for the summer internship, this article is for you. Below we provide an overview of an investment banking interview and explain why it's important to prepare in advance. This is especially true if you are a career switcher.

There are several types of questions which you are likely to be asked in your interview. They include career questions, educational questions, competency questions, fit questions, technical questions and industry questions.

While it's difficult to predict which questions exactly you will be asked, there are four questions which will appear in any investment banking interview:
- The WMTYR (Walk me through your resume)
- The 3 Why's (Why investment banking? Why our bank? Why (should we hire) you?

The answer to the first and the second questions may be quite similar to those you provided in your MBA admission interviews. Answer to the third question is a little bit more complicated and will require specific preparation.

The usual reason for interest in any specific investment bank include: (a) a strong platform, which means strong coverage teams, diverse offering of advisory and financial products, many interesting deals and opportunities to learn (b) a strong presence in specific markets or industries (c) and the most important, tons of wonderful and smart people with whom you talked with during your recruiting process and whom you really made a connection with. Networking is a critical component for your interview preparation but we will discuss this area in one of our
future postings.

Why (should we hire) you? To answer this question you need to reiterate your main strengths, interest in a specific bank and a great fit you feel for the bank you are interviewing with.
You should prepare for this question especially well as a bank's approach to this question will usually be that a person who cannot sell himself cannot sell the bank's products and banking is definitely a sales job.

Good to know Other challenging fit questions examining your understanding of the
investment banking can be:
- What does an investment banker actually do?
- What is the role of an associate in the investment banking?
The answer to the first question will usually go in the following way:
An investment bank serves as intermediaries between their clients
who need capital in the form of debt and equity
It provides strategic advisory services by structuring transactions
that meet clients needs and objectives
Overall, Investment bank works with companies on the transactions
that will enhance their value. This may include accessing capital
markets to find growth or expand operations, as well as investing in another
company through merger or acquisition. Banks are not only the
matchmaker between parties involved in a transaction, but also the primary
architects of the deal.

A typical answer to the question about the role of an associate will
go like this :
Analyzing industry and company data related to the transaction
Building excel models to valuate companies
Joining strategic meetings
Performing due diligence meetings with the clients
Creating, editing client presentations
Monitoring, paying close attention to documentation associated with
the deal (prospectus, internal memos)
Managing relationship with an analyst
The most important attributes that an associate should have are:
quantitative skills, the ability to learn quickly, discipline, a strong work ethic, the ability to
work in teams, detail orientation and dependability.

While answering competency and behavioral questions you should be structured and succinct. Banks like well organized and structured thinking and will quickly dismiss candidates who ramble or cannot distinguish important points from the less important ones. We recommend creating 3 bullet points for each of your answers and putting them on the paper in advance. Practice your answers with friends and be sure that your story is consistent and flows well before the interview.

The technical part

The technical part of the interview will test your familiarity with the accounting and financial terms. This will definitely require thorough preparation even if you study at one of the top MBA programs . First of all you will need to be familiar with the financial statements and their analysis. The profit and loss statement, the balance sheet and cash flow statements are all fair game in the interview.
Secondly, you will need to have a basic understanding of the company's valuation methods. You should be very familiar with terms such as cost of capital, cash flow discounting, multiples, accretion and dilution, LBO, CAPM, WACC and Beta.

You also may be asked how M&A and IPOs work and even be given a case study on a business situation. It is strongly recommended that you start b-school having at least a basic understanding of accounting and finance.

Here are some books that can help you.
VAULT Guide to Finance Interviews by D. Bhatawedekhar, Dan Jacobson,
and the Vault Staff
Vault Career Guide to Investment Banking by Tom Lott, Derek Loosvelt
and the Staff of Vault
Heard on the Street by Timothy Falcon Crack.
Valuation: Measuring and Managing the Value of Companies by Tom
Copeland, et al, John Wiley & Sons Inc
Valuation: Measuring and Managing the Value of Companies
by McKinsey and Company
Financial Modeling, 3rd Edition (Hardcover), Simon Benninga

In the industry part of the interview the interviewers will test your understanding of the industry and your professional interests.
You will be asked about financial news and trends, current articles related to investment banking, discussions of the economic environment and economic trends, trends in M&A and definitely about specific deals.

To be prepared for this part of the interview it's advisable to start reading financial and economic newspapers and journals. The Wall Street Journal, FT and Economist are good sources to gain relevant knowledge.

A couple of additional hints:
- Know recent interesting deals executed by banks with which you are interviewing.
- Talk about deals with passion the interviewers will test not only your level of knowledge but also your passion for IB
- And finally, always read the news in the morning before your interview

Some additional books to better understand investment banking before your interview include:
The Business of Investment Banking: A Comprehensive Overview , by K.
Thomas Liaw
Blue Blood and Mutiny: The Fight for the Soul of Morgan Stanley , by
Patricia Beard
The Last Tycoons: The Secret History of Lazard Frres & Co. , by
William Cohan
The Accidental Investment Banker: Inside the Decade that Transformed
Wall Street , By Jonathan Knee
More entertaining books include:
Barbarians at the Gate , By Bryan Burrough and John Helyar.
Bombardiers , By Po Bronson
Monkey Business: Swinging through the Wall Street Jungle, By John
Rolfe and Peter Troob.
Liars Poker: Rising Through the Wreckage on Wall Street , By Michael
Lewis, Norton Books.

Good luck with your interview!

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Best Singapore Banks And Their Services.

Singapore is the best commerical hub and a placed to offer private banking to those of high personal wealth.As one of the world's largest foreign exchange centers, Singapore offers a natural home to Bank.In every Singapore bank displays all the characteristics which contribute to its continued economic success.

Banks provide numerous financial and personal services.All the retail banking services are available such as credit and debit facilities, mortgages and loans. Beside this they also provide services on estate planning, whereby the value of an individual's estate can be maximized. Income tax advice and other personal tax matters are a part of the financial service provision and securities and assets investments will be a significant factor too. Other services include trustee services, credit and trade finance letters, foreign exchange, fund management, electronic and wire funds transfer, and corporate administration.

List of Banks in Singapore:

Bank of India - Singapore
Provide services in Trade Finance, Loans and Syndications, Forex Covers, Options, Placement of Deposits in major currencies, Twin currency deposit scheme, Remittances and a host of other Banking Products.

OCBC bank Singapore
OCBC bank in Singapore was formed in the year 1932. Three banks merged to form OCBC bank-the Chinese Commercial Bank Limited, the Ho Hong Bank Limited and the Oversea-Chinese Bank Limited.Today they has an asset of 0 billion and operations are conducted in fourteen different countries and territories. OCBC is one of the leading financial services groups in Singapore.

ABN AMRO Singapore
ABN AMRO opened its first Asian office in Jakarta in 1826 to finance business ventures in the Dutch East Indies.They have a clear focus on consumer and commercial clients in local markets and focus globally on financial institutions.

Association of Banks in Singapore (ABS)

It is a non-profit industry body which promotes and represents the interests of the banking community in Singapore. They works closely with the Monetary Authority of Singapore and other government and non-government agencies to support their respective roles in developing and upholding a sound financial system in Singapore.

Other banks in singapore

Barclays Bank PLC
23 Church Street, (S)049481
Landmark Category : Bank
District : Raffles Place

Barclays Capital
60B Orchard Road, (S)238891
Landmark Category : Bank
District : Dhoby Ghaut

Citibank Great World City Investment Center
1 Kim Seng Promenade, (S)237994
Landmark Category : Bank
District : River Valley

Deutsche Bank
991 Alexandra Road, (S)119964
Landmark Category : Bank
District : Telok Blangah

EFG Bank Building
25 North Bridge Road, (S)179104
Landmark Category : Bank
District : City Hall

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Which Is Best An 120Vac Or Central Vacuum for New and Remodeled Houses?

There are items to take into consideration when one is considering purchasing a central vacuum system. One of the deliberations is whether to purchase a system requiring 120 volt power or a system requiring 220 Vac. The actuality is we need to narrow the arena even further. For example there is a 220 Vac system and 240 Vac system . So it is meaningful to know what you are requiring of your local central vacuum contractor.

Motor Differences Between 110 and 220 Variations

The motors are not the same in the 220 and 110 variations of central vacuum systems. The power units are wound differently, the transformer is different, the mini-breakers are different, and the cord and wiring are different. As you can see it is important to specify with your contractor precisely which motor you want.

Differences Between 110/120 And 220/240 Vac

Now and then 120 volts is referred to as 110 volts or 115 volts. Also, 240 volts is referred to as 220 volts or 230 volts. Central vacuum manufacturers assemble motors in all those ranges. The superior choices are the 120 and 240 volt power units, not the 110 or 220 volt units.

The 120 and 240 motors will not be negatively affected if utilized with lower voltages. The 120 volt motor will be fine on 110 volts. And a 240 volt motor will be alright on 220 or 230 volts. The other way around will adversely affect the motors. A 220 volt motor would be "damaged" if utilized for extended amounts of time on a 240 volt circuit. And the same can be said for a 110 volt operating on 120 volts. The bulky voltage operate very well in any variation of 50-60Hz.

Which is Best?

The reply to that question depends on the manufacturer. As an example, MD Manufacturing reveals these facts about their production units. For the most part, their power units have very similar performance numbers between the voltages. Their 120 volt Silent Master S5, for instance has 139 water lift and 191 CFM with a high of 905 Air Watts. The 240 volt version has 136.4 water lift and 190 CFM with a high of 866 Air Watts. These stats are extremely close.

Operating Cost

The cost to operate a 240 volt vacuum unit can conceivably be less than its 120 volt counterpart because legs of the electrical power are being used concurrently. However, the 120 volt version may not be wasting much power if the opposite circuit is being used by lights or other appliances simultaneously. In the worst case scenario, the 120 volt version may cost 12 cents per hour extra to operate. Yes, there is a divergence here, but one must add-up several other considerations.

Cost Of The Electrician

As you presumedly know electricians demand a set fee for each 110-120 dulex they install. Normally it is dictated by a flat fee of around to per outlet depending on the area in which one lives. Wiring in a 220-240 duplex requires tying both 110Vac electrical legs together and special NEPA® plugs. Apparently wiring your central vacuum system for 220-240 Vac will incur added expense. Far more 120 volt power units are sold considering they simply plug into any 20 amp electrical outlets and have lots of vacuuming power.

Power Unit Life Expectancy

They feel that the 120 volt versions of the vacuum power unit will last longer. They have a higher amount of copper and thus the heat has a greater ability to disperse. In addition, 120 volt motors are also much easier to find replacements for as they are popular motors in the industry. The 240 volt version motors are not used very often and vacuum shops aross America do not ordinarily stock them. They would almost always stock 120 volt power units.

Plugged Into The Incorrect Outlet?

What takes place when a 240 volt power unit is mistakenly plugged into 110 and 110 into 240? If you plug a 120 volt power unit into a 240 volt circuit and immediately turn the unit on it will run with a humongous amount of suction. The unit will be running very fast! If it is running very long the motor may disintegrate. The transformer will likely burn out before that occurs. When the transformer burns out the power unit will shut down. If one simply replaces the transformer the system will be restored back to normal operation.

If you departed the house without testing the vacuum and later found that the new vacuum did not work, then it is probable the electrical contractor powered it up with 240 volts. Just staying in the off position the power unit will burn out the transformer in 3-5 minutes or less.

Plugging a 240 Volt Power Unit Into 120 Circuit

If you plug a 240 volt power unit into a 120 volt outlet, it will not run properly. The great news is that neither the transformer nor the power unit will be demolished. It will only be running at half speed.

Plan of Action

I would like to offer my many years of experience as a Security / Low-Voltage Contractor and hand you a very acceptable plan of action. If you install the system yourself you will save lots of money. To install your own central vacuum you will first need to know exactly what components are required. What are the top two or three models to consider? Where is the best place to procure your pipe? What type of cabling needs to be pulled in the walls of your home? You are going to need a manual to lead you through the process.

Installing Multiple Systems

It's been my experience that when home owners are considering one system for their new or remodeled home, they are likely contemplating other systems as well.. It would be in your best interest to have installation manuals on each system you would like to include in your house. Read them all then buy your components, special tools, and cable so that they are all on the job site ahead of your proposed start date.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Is it Possible to Cheat with ExamSoft?

Exam takers often wonder whether exam security systems can be breached. As a provider of such a system, ExamSoft implements both cheating prevention and post-exam cheating detection systems. While it is impossible to know how many instances of potential cheating have been prevented, our staff and systems have been responsible for helping our clients identify or confirm cases of illicit behavior after the fact. This role is not always popular. In particular, we are often asked why we use techniques to "lock-down" laptops and prevent access to outside tools or applications. We use such techniques specifically because we are trying to help exam takers, including students and professionals.
Moving an exam from a pen-and-paper format to a computer-based format seems very natural, particularly in today's technology-centric world. However, it is fraught with challenges for administrators. ExamSoft seeks to give exam takers the benefits that come with technology, while satisfying the needs and concerns of the test administrators.

ExamSoft provides the opportunity for exam takers to leverage their own laptops and/or institutional computer labs (depending on the institutional client's choice) to take their exams. The idea is to give exam takers one or more of the following opportunities:

To type their essay answers rather than write them by hand; depending on the specific exam, this might come with certain computer-based tools such as cut-paste or spell-check
To receive score results more quickly than is typically possible with bubble-sheet or blue-book systems
To receive detailed, personalized exam performance feedback, to guide future study or personal development efforts (i.e. get personal emails)
To have their digital answer files regularly backed up during the test, to mitigate risks of potential data loss
To have exam questions that are evaluated/measured for validity and fairness
To test in a location that is as convenient as possible (as opposed to a remote, locked down testing center, for example)
To go green

The student or exam taker preferences often pose challenges for schools and other institutions. Exam administrators want to provide exams that are fair and valid. This means that they need to remain vigilant to prevent security breaches and find security vulnerabilities. It is a continual effort since there are always a small, but impactful number of people looking for ways to cheat or exploit any security system. Unfortunately, this means that the actions or potential actions of a few, impact the experiences of the many who simply want to study for and perform as well as they can, honestly, on their exams. ExamSoft's staff comes to work every day, trying to find ways to improve the experience for all exam takers, while also trying to stop the small number of cheaters from impacting the whole bunch.

If you ever encounter anything that might help us improve the user experience or security level, for the benefit of all exam takers, please let us know. We really want to help and we work to improve each day. We can be reached at or 954-429-8889.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Flat Roof Repair For Dummies

Like all roofs flat roofs require regular maintenance. Localised damage on the smooth surface of an asphalt or bitumen felt covering, e.g. splits and blisters can be patch-repaired with a repair kit. Repairing a flat roof is not difficult even for complete novices.

To deal with splits, first remove any chippings. Use a blow torch or hot air paint stripper to soften the roof covering so that you can scrape the chippings away. Then, before embarking on the actual repair work, clean the area and kill any moss and lichen with a fungicide or bleach. Take care when cleaning because the effectiveness of any repair work will depend on the adhesiveness of the surface when you apply any patches.

Use self-adhesive tape to repair the split. Most of them are suitable for use on all types of roof coverings. Fill a wide split with a mastic compound before taping. Apply the primer supplied over the area to be covered and leave for one hour. Peel off the protective backing of the tape and apply it to the primed surface. Where a short split has occurred along a joint, cover the whole line of the joint with tape. Press the tape down firmly and make sure that the edges are sealed.

Blisters in asphalt or felt roofs only need to be treated if they contain water or have caused the roof covering to leak. Press the blister to check if moisture is expelled. If so, it must be sealed with a patch.

To repair a blister in an asphalt roof, heat the area with a blow torch or hot air paint stripper. When it is soft, try to flatten the blister. If the blister is filled with moisture, cut the blister open and let the moisture dry out. Gently heat the asphalt again before pressing it back into place. Apply mastic into the opening before closing it. Finally cover the area with a patch of repair tape.

To treat a blister on a felt roof make two intersecting cuts across the blister and peel back the felt. You can heat the felt gently to make this easier. Clean the opening and let it dry. Then apply bitumen adhesive and when it has set a little, nail the covering back into place with galvanised clout nails. Finally, cover the repair with a patch of roofing felt glued on with bitumen adhesive or use repair tape. Cut the patch generously so that it laps all round.

A patched roof can be spruced up by applying a finishing coat of bitumen and chippings to create a more uniform surface area. If the surface covering has decayed you may have to re-cover the roof. However, a roof showing signs of general wear and tear can be brought back to life with a liquid waterproofing treatment. This consists of the cold application of a bitumen-based water proofer which is reinforced with a glass-fibre membrane. This should be done during warm and dry weather.

First clean the roof and kill any moss and lichen. Apply the first coat of water proofer with a broom and then lay the membrane into the wet material and stipple it with a soaked brush. Make sure the edges overlap by 5 cm or more and bed them down with water proofer. Apply three coats altogether. Let each coat dry before applying the next. Clean the brush with soapy water before each coating. When the last coat starts to set, cover it with fine chippings to provide a protective layer.

Repairing a flat roof is not difficult and within the capability of most people. By following the steps outlined above you can successfully repair a flat roof in very little time.