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!