Central Islip Home Invasion Suspects Charged

first_imgSign up for our COVID-19 newsletter to stay up-to-date on the latest coronavirus news throughout New York Two men were arrested for pistol-whipping a Central Islip home invasion victim this week, Suffolk County police said.Carlos Morales, 26, and 24-year-old Dawon Brown, both of Jamaica, were charged burglary, robbery, criminal use of a firearm and criminal possession of a weapon.Third Squad detectives alleged the duo kicked in the rear door of house on East Walnut Street and demanded money from the victim shortly after 8 a.m. Tuesday.Police said the duo jumped out of windows on the second floor in an attempt to flee when they realized officers had the house surrounded before they were taken into custody.Bail for Morales and Brown was set at $150,000 bond or $100,000 cash. They are due back in court Friday.last_img read more

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COO of Westbury Body Armor Firm Gets 7 Years for Fraud

first_imgSign up for our COVID-19 newsletter to stay up-to-date on the latest coronavirus news throughout New York The former chief operating officer of a Westbury-based body armor supply company was sentenced Friday to seven years in prison following her $200 million fraud conviction four years ago. Sandra Hatfield and her boss, David Brooks, the founder of DHB Industries, were convicted in September 2010 of securities fraud, insider trading, conspiracy and obstruction of justice after prosecutors argued that the pair artificially-inflated the company’s stock and looted the business for personal gain. Hatfield also pleaded guilty to filing a false income tax return. The 60-year-old from LaFollette, Tennessee was also ordered to forfeit approximately $1.8 million in illicit profits. DHB supplied body armor to the U.S. military and law enforcement agencies. Hatfield resigned in November 2005 and Brooks was removed as CEO in 2006. The company later relocated to Florida and was renamed Point Blank Solutions, Inc. Trading on the American Stock Exchange was suspended in May 2006 when the scheme became public. United States Attorney for the Eastern District of New York Loretta Lynch said in a statement that “rather than honor the bravery of those who donned DHB’s products, Hatfield preyed upon investors, lied to them, and looted the company.” Prosectors characterized Hatfield as a liar who not only filed a false tax return, but also misled the Security and Exchanges Commission when they came knocking. Brooks was sentenced last August to 17 years in prison for what prosecutors called his “leadership role” in the fraud.last_img read more

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How to Remove the Panels on Your Alure Basement Finishing System in 60 Seconds

first_imgSign up for our COVID-19 newsletter to stay up-to-date on the latest coronavirus news throughout New York Sponsored Content Brought To You By Alure Home ImprovementsHere’s a daunting question for homeowners from Doug Cornwell, Alure Home Improvements’ chief operating officer:“Did you ever walk down into your dark and dingy basement?” Cornwell asks.If the answer is yes—and for too many homeowners, that is often the case—then Cornwell offers this reply:“If you are, then you don’t have the Alure Home Improvements Basement Finishing System!”Why is that important? Because the Alure Home Improvement Basement Finishing System makes cleaning your basement panels or gaining access to what’s behind them a snap. Literally and figuratively.In a recent episode of “Alure Home Improvements’ 60 Second Fix,” titled “How to Remove the Panels on Your Alure Basement Finishing System in 60 Seconds,” Cornwell demonstrates what a difference having this remodeling system can make in your basement.“Let’s say you need to go down into your newly finished basement because you need to run some wires and you have to remove some panels to get behind them,” he says. “It’s very simple and I’ll show you how to do it.”As Cornwell illustrates in this video, the panels are held in place by horizontal moldings on the top and the bottom. Between the panels are battens, or thin vertical strips of material on either side, to keep the panels snug while covering up the gap in between them.“Just pop the moldings off!” he explains.It’s surprisingly easy once you get the hang of it, as Cornwell proves.Start with the bottom molding along the panel. Grab it and it remove it. Then take the top molding off. Next remove the batten strips on either side of the panel you’re focusing on.Once the moldings and the battens are gone, you can pull the panel out with the minimum of pressure. Now you have access to the space behind the paneling.“Do whatever work you need to do behind it,” Cornwell says.Perhaps you want to run new wiring or do some cleaning, whatever the task, it’s not so daunting once you know how easy it is to gain access to the wall behind the remodeling.Once you’re done with whatever chore you set out to do, just replace the battens and the molding in the reverse order from how you started.First, put the panel back. Then insert the battens on both sides of it.“Snap them in,” Cornwell explains.Click here to learn more about Alure Home ImprovementsNext, put the top molding back until it fits snugly in place. Then restore the bottom molding, making sure you line it up properly so it will snap back into the wall panel unit.“Now it’s all back together and you’re all done!” Cornwell says with a smile.In other words, thanks to your finished basement, you’re through!last_img read more

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Setauket Doctor Facing Upgraded Charges in Fatal DWI Crash

first_imgSign up for our COVID-19 newsletter to stay up-to-date on the latest coronavirus news throughout New York A doctor has been indicted on upgraded charges for allegedly driving drunk, crashing into another car, killing a woman and fleeing the scene in Smithtown six months ago.Dr. Thomas Stavola, a cardiologist from Setauket, pleaded not guilty Monday at Suffolk County court to the new charges, which include second-degree manslaughter, vehicular manslaughter, reckless driving and leaving the scene of an accident. He was previously charged with driving while intoxicated.“What I found most troubling is the fact that a physician chose not to render any kind of aid or use his cellphone to call 911 to get some assistance for a seriously injured motorist,” Suffolk County District Attorney Thomas Spota said. “Witnesses who came upon the crash scene said the defendant suddenly left and began walking west on Route 25.”Prosecutors said Stavola was driving an Audi northbound on Route 111 when his car broadsided a westbound Mercedes at the corner of East Main Street shortly before 4 a.m. on Saturday, June 14.The other driver, 45-year-old Monica Peterman of Middle Island, was taken to St. Catherine of Siena Medical Center in Smithtown, where she died. At the time, the mother of three was driving to her job as an X-Ray technician at that hospital.Stavola’s had a blood alcohol level of 0.10 percent at the time, according to investigators.A police sergeant who was responding to the scene apprehended the suspect as he was walking briskly, with his head down, 500 feet away from the crash, authorities said.Judge Fernando Camacho continued bail for the doctor at $250,000. He is due back in court on Feb. 4.last_img read more

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Thinking About Veterans Day, D-Day & The Liberation Of France Today

first_imgSign up for our COVID-19 newsletter to stay up-to-date on the latest coronavirus news throughout New York Standing barefoot on Omaha Beach, the sand silky soft, the warm waters of the English Channel lapping gently against me, I thought it was a perfect summer day. The sun shone brightly in a clear blue sky. The tide was low, leaving a wide expanse between the sparkling surf and the dark green bluffs past the dunes where a path led to the stairs that would take us back to the American Normandy Cemetery.It’s so hard to imagine that here was where “all hell broke loose” on that bloody gray dawn of D-Day, June 6, 1944. Officially known as Operation Overlord, the Allied invasion of Normandy would be the largest amphibious assault in history. There’d be 5,000 ships of all sizes; 11,000 aircraft and some 156,000 American, British and Canadian soldiers, hitting five beaches along a 50-mile front. Omaha was the bloodiest.In the heat of battle, Col. George Taylor reportedly told his men, “There are two kinds of people who are staying on this beach: those who are dead and those who are going to die. Now let’s get the hell out of here.”My earliest memories of the D-Day invasion were in black and white, because I’d seen the images taken by famed photographer Robert Capa for Life Magazine. What I’ve since learned is that he shot 108 frames when he landed with the soldiers at Omaha Beach, but a lab technician had ruined all but 11 of them in his haste to process them in time for a flight across the Atlantic to the editors in New York. That explains why the surviving ones are slightly out of focus, too.In 1962, Hollywood released its black and white movie about Normandy called The Longest Day, which had a cast that included Sean Connery, Henry Fonda, Robert Mitchum, John Wayne and Richard Burton, to name a few box-office stars. Today’s millennials could re-experience the landing by watching the terrifying opening minutes of Saving Private Ryan, starring Tom Hanks, which came out in 1998.Omaha and Utah were the codenames for the American landings to the west; the British had Gold, Juno and Sword beaches to the east. One of the military goals was to seal off Normandy’s Cotentin peninsula and eventually seize its port, Cherbourg, but by the time the Allies finally captured that city, the Germans had left the harbor in ruins.These days, Normandy thrives on a tourist industry catering to veterans and others who want to remember the war. Today, driving from Omaha Beach to Utah Beach takes about a half hour, but traversing those 47 kilometers through the impenetrable hedgerows of the Bocage region took days of bloody fighting in 1944.In Saint Mere Eglise, you can see a dummy dangling from the church tower high above the central square. Back on D-Day, the GI named John Steele was less conspicuous—and therefore survived—because this paratrooper from the 82nd Airborne Division had gotten his parachute stuck on the tower’s other side when he landed as part of the pre-dawn aerial assault behind enemy lines. In The Longest Day, Steele was played by Red Buttons, a carrot-topped American comic actor born in the Lower East Side who became a top star in the early days of television. His scene is one of the few comedic moments in that very long war movie.Before the Normandy invasion, Gen. Dwight D. Eisenhower, the supreme commander, was a nervous wreck, smoking up to five packs of cigarettes a day and consuming bottomless cups of coffee. The first week of June the weather had turned bad. A huge storm barreled into the English Channel, churning up the seas with high winds and complicating the coordination plans. He knew there was only a small window when the tidal conditions would be right for the kind of amphibious assault the Allies intended: a low tide rising at daybreak.The remains of Nazi bunkers built by the Germans in Brittany as part of the Atlantic Wall defenses in the years before the Normandy invasion (Long Island Press photo).It was no secret the Allies were coming by sea. Germany’s Nazi ruler, Adolf Hitler, had put Field Marshall Erwin Rommel in charge of stopping the invasion, authorizing him to build the Atlantic Wall, a 2,400-mile fortification of cement bunkers, long-range guns, landmines on telephone poles jutting out of the sand, booby traps underwater, spiked iron staves designed to rip open the hulls of incoming boats, and other metal obstacles that would pin down our men in high or low tide.Rommel knew the invasion was coming but he didn’t know where, or when. The Allies had created a deception, complete with Hollywood-concocted fake tanks and bogus planes, codenamed Operation Fortitude, to make the Germans think Gen. George Patton, whom they regarded as the Allies’ smartest general—a perception he also shared—would cut across between Portsmouth and Calais, the shortest distance between England and France. They wouldn’t dare crossing the widest part of the English Channel, would they? When the storm rolled in, Rommel convinced himself that he could leave his elegant chateau estate near Bayeux and celebrate his wife’s birthday back home in Germany. Today the chateau still stands but it’s in private hands.By June 5, 1944, Gen. Eisenhower had already held back the invasion 24 hours and he didn’t want to delay another day. Many men were already on their ships and landing crafts, getting cold and seasick. He feared that one German surveillance aircraft flying over the Channel might eliminate the element of surprise, which really was one of the only advantages the Allies had. Fortunately, even the Germans had grounded their planes that day because of the weather.Before the troops boarded, each soldier, sailor and airman of the Allied Expeditionary Force had been given a copy of the “Orders of the Day,” a letter Eisenhower had drafted:“You are about to embark upon the Great Crusade, toward which we have striven these many months. The eyes of the world are upon you. The hopes and prayers of liberty-loving people everywhere march with you. In company with our brave Allies and brother-in-arms on other Fronts, you will bring about the destruction of the German war machine, the elimination of Nazi tyranny over the oppressed peoples of Europe, and security for ourselves in a free world.”The plan was to start the invasion at 6:30 a.m. And so it went. Relatively speaking, Utah Beach was a cakewalk, even though Gen. Teddy Roosevelt, Jr., the president’s 57-year-old son, had landed 2,000 yards off target because of the strong currents and the stiff winds. He turned to his men and said, “We’re going to start the war from here.” He faced minimal opposition, as did the Brits and Canadians on their beaches.At Omaha Beach, the Americans ran into a shit storm. The naval bombardment had been cut too short to do any damage to the defenses, and the Allied aircraft had flown too far inland where their bombs did nothing but kill cows and horses. The tanks and bulldozers intended to provide cover on the beach had been released too far from shore and many sank immediately. The first wave of soldiers were too loaded down with heavy packs that impeded their maneuverability. Yet, ahead of them lay hundreds of yards, all under unrelenting enemy fire from crack reinforcements from a German division that had recently been on the Eastern Front fighting the Soviets. Not at all the level of resistance the brass had led them to expect.“The eyes of the world are upon you. The hopes and prayers of liberty-loving people everywhere march with you.”– Gen. EisenhowerWhen the doors of the landing craft opened, the embarking soldiers were exposed to the dark bluffs where the Germans were entrenched in concrete bunkers. It was like shooting ducks in a barrel. Our troops had to wade waist-deep past the dead bodies floating in the incoming water. They had been trained to ignore the cries of the wounded and head straight to the dunes where the Germans held the high ground with their protected artillery. Casualties reached the thousands.By 10:30 a.m., the invasion was going so badly that Gen. Omar Bradley, watching from a ship off shore, wanted to call it off and rescue the remaining men. His German counterpart, looking at the carnage on the beach from his protected bunker on the bluff, came to the same conclusion, sending a message to his commander that the Germans had turned the tide.Both officers were wrong.Today you can walk freely around the most strategic part of Omaha Beach, Pointe du Hoc, where the Germans had their artillery emplacement that enabled them to blow ships out of the Channel and rake our troops on the wide stretch of sandy beach. You can stand at the edge of a 130-foot cliff that our Army Rangers had to climb rapidly in order to knock it out of commission. You don’t hear the machine gun fire, the bombs blasting, just the wind and the sea below, as you try to put yourself in their shoes.  When my wife and I were in France this summer, two off-duty U.S. military members and their friend had tackled and subdued a heavily armed man on a high-speed train bound for Paris, reportedly “breaking up what could have been a deadly terrorist attack.”Childhood friends from Sacramento, Calif., the three Americans were enjoying the ride through Belgium when they heard a gunshot. Twenty-three-year-old Airman First Class Spencer Stone—a great name if I do say so myself—ran and tackled the gunman. His pal Army Spc. Alek Skarlatos, 22, a member of the Oregon National Guard, who had been deployed in Afghanistan, grabbed the assailant’s AK-47 rifle while their friend Anthony Sadler, 23, a student at Sacramento State University, assisted them.The gunman was a 25-year-old Moroccan man named Ayoub El-Khazzani, whom French intelligence officials said belonged to “the radical Islamist movement.” He’d emerged from an onboard restroom heavily armed when an unnamed French man trying to enter confronted him. That’s when the first shot rang out and the Americans sprang into action.French President Francois Hollande wanted to personally thank them for their bravery in an official ceremony at the Elysee Palace. When they later met President Obama in the Oval Office, he said they represented “the very best of America and the American character.”“They were thinking they were just going to have a fun reunion in Paris and ended up engaging in a potentially cataclysmic situation,” Obama said at the White House. “Because of their courage, because of their quick thinking, because of their teamwork, it’s fair to say a lot of people were saved, and a real calamity was averted.”The news of their courage made me think of my sons back home who are around their age. Then I got to thinking of the brave soldiers landing on Normandy Beach who once were their age as well. When I was in my early 20s, I was protesting the Vietnam War because I was draft age. Years later, my ex-brother-in-law, who fought in the dense jungles around Da Nang, forgave me. I don’t know what I would have done in the heat of battle, and I hope I never find out.But I do know that this summer was a good time to be an American in Paris.An angry Donald Trump glaring from the front page of France’s Liberation newspaper with the tagline: “The American Nightmare.”The Allies had liberated the City of Light in August, 1945. My wife and I arrived 70 years later. As we got off the train from Nice, the beautiful city overlooking the French Riviera, the first newsstand I saw had a rack of angry Donald Trumps glaring from the front page of France’s Liberation newspaper. It was the quintessential “ugly American,” and I was taken aback because I hadn’t thought about his presidential campaign for weeks.But he wasn’t the only Yankee the French seemed to be thinking about in August. Plastered on walls all around Paris were posters of JFK and Jackie. It turned out to be a promotional campaign for a photo exhibit devoted to the Kennedys. When we saw the show on a Sunday afternoon, about two dozen people were packed into the gallery’s upstairs room watching a French documentary recounting the president’s assassination.From left to right: The view from Pointe du Hoc overlooking Omaha Beach in Normandy, France; a sign at the U-Boat Memorial in Camaret-sur-Mer and one of the remaining Nazi artillery canons.In January, the big news in France was about Charlie Hebdo, the satirical weekly, whose offices had been attacked by armed gunmen allegedly angered over the publication’s depiction of the Prophet Mohammad. Twelve staffers had been slain, including the editor. As offensive as the publication deliberately was, it was a bastion of free speech.We didn’t plan to visit the site of the massacre but we did come upon a packed opening one night for the Galerie Glenat in the Marais district featuring renderings of Titeuf, a well-known French cartoon character of a kid with a bright yellow tuft of hair sticking out of his head. On the wall was a Charlie Hebdo magazine cover by an illustrator named Luz, which showed an adolescent Titeuf wearing a backpack facing his mirror image with a yellow beard who had an AK-47 on his back. The latter one says, “I have jihad tomorrow.” His schoolboy friend replies, “You have it good. I have math.” For the exhibit, Luz had dropped red ink on one corner of the cover. It was a subtle reminder of the blood shed that day.When we went to Notre Dame, like so many tourists before us, we learned there’d been a ceremony honoring surviving American veterans of WW II that very morning. They were long gone from the cathedral by then. But knowing they had been welcomed for their service decades ago still resonated in the air.And on this Veterans Day, 70 years after the end of the Great War, it’s the right time to pay tribute to all the soldiers who’ve gone before and honor the ones who survive.On the eve of D-Day, just as he was about to board his ship, Keith Douglas, a 24-year-old British poet, started a poem he called “Actors in the Wings,” and it had this stanza: “Everyone, I suppose, will use these minutes to look back, to hear music and to recall what we were doing and saying that year during our last few months as people, near the sucking mouth of the day that swallowed us all into the stomach of war.”He never wrote another line. He was killed by a mortar round a few days after landing in Normandy.last_img read more

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Central Islip Armed Home Invasion Under Investigation

first_imgSign up for our COVID-19 newsletter to stay up-to-date on the latest coronavirus news throughout New York Suffolk County police are investigating an armed home invasion in Central Islip over the weekend.A man armed with a gun forced a person into their Feller Drive home, where the assailant stole a cell phone and car keys at 10:10 p.m. Saturday, police said.The victim was not injured. No arrests have been made and no description of the suspect was available.Detectives are continuing the investigation.last_img

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Turnaround Chef Johndavid Hensley Spins Pub Into Blue Oyster Seafood & Oyster Bar

first_imgSign up for our COVID-19 newsletter to stay up-to-date on the latest coronavirus news throughout New York The newest addition to Long Island’s restaurant scene is Blue Oyster Seafood & Oyster Bar, a white-tablecloth restaurant that debuted last month where sports bar Bottoms Up once stood in downtown Islip.Executive Chef Johndavid Hensley, a veteran in the restaurant industry, touts classic dishes with contemporary flair and a focus on featuring local and regional ingredients.“My oysters and clams are pretty much dug right here in our backyard,” says Hensley, sitting in a booth as members of the dining staff began setting tables for the dinner rush on a recent Monday.Fitting the restaurant’s motif, blue light floods the dimly lit dining room accented by bright white tablecloths and nautical decals. Techno music thumping in the background completes the nightclub feel. Hensley takes a positive, hands-on approach in managing the kitchen.“I never really tell anybody here what to do,” he says. “I tell them why and how to do it, so they themselves can make discoveries. I want to inspire and empower.”Hensley, who grew up in the Hamptons, got his start in the restaurant business at an early age.“My family, we’re restaurant people,” he says. “So I grew up with it in my blood. I just fell in love with the job and the environment.”He worked his way up the ranks at Hampton Bays’ now-defunct Indian Cove Restaurant and Marina, where he eventually served as executive chef for more than 15 years. In its heyday, the East End fixture ranked high among LI restaurants, receiving four stars from The New York Times three years in a row. Craving the bright lights and big city, he moved to Manhattan in the late ’90s, and bounced around before securing a position as executive chef of the Russian Tea Room, where he worked from 1998 to 2000.“I got a chance to rub elbows with a lot of political dignitaries,” he recalls. “It helped polish my skills with the service aspect of [the industry]. I fell in love, not just with the food, but also the customers and what they represent.”In the following years, Hensley returned to the Island, and worked at The Montauk Yacht Club, Greek Bites Grill in Southampton and Claudio’s Restaurant in Greenport. While discussing his long career in the restaurant industry, a much younger chef approached the booth at Blue Oyster Bar and asked Hensley for a second opinion on a meatball.“It’s fluffy enough, right? Not so dense?” Hensley says, inspecting the chef’s creation. He later explained it was an “Arthur Avenue meatball,” a Blue Oyster appetizer served with whipped ricotta cheese and named for the Little Italy section of the Bronx. After a brief consultation with the other chef, Hensley says, “All right, run with it.”Throughout the course of his career, Hensley says, skilled chefs often took him under their wing, a practice he’s now adopted. He believes strongly in “paying it forward.”“The kids here, when I give them a recipe, I want them to feel it and touch it,” he says. “I like others to discover what made me smile when I was younger.”Blue Oyster Seafood & Oyster Bar serves up a variety of regional and local seafood along with classic dishes and steaks. Appetizers include baked clams with lemon and thyme ($12) and herb-crusted Tuscan wings served with a curry cream dip. Entrée selections include Montauk swordfish with a honey-sweet potato mash and cranberry chutney ($28); traditional paella with shrimp, clams, mussels and chorizo ($32); and French lobster ravioli. That’s in addition to a full raw bar that features a variety of local oysters served daily.Blue Oyster Seafood & Oyster Bar is located at 524-526 Main St. in Islip. They can be reached at 631-446-4233 or blueoysterlongisland.comlast_img read more

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A holiday hangover?

first_img ShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblr Holiday spending fuels rising credit card balances.by: Mike SchenkThe holidays were fun—perhaps too much for some. As a result, some of your members may have holiday hangovers of the financial variety.Credit union credit card balances have grown quickly of late. Overall balances are up 6.9% in the year ended October 2014, CUNA reports. If history is a good guide, full-year 2014 increases should be 8%. If so, that would represent the fourth consecutive annual increase in credit card balances and the fastest annual advance in seven years.In 2007, credit union credit card balances grew 13.5%. That growth rate was cut in half in 2008 as the Great Recession took its toll and then bottomed out at a meager 3.1% increase in 2010. Each year since, credit union card balances have grown at increasing rates.Credit card growth reflects strong seasonal influences. Not surprising, the holidays are responsible for the large balance increases.Historically, on average, credit union card balances outstanding grow at an astounding annualized rate of 45% in December due to holiday purchases. continue reading »last_img read more

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You can’t manage what you don’t measure

first_img 12SHARESShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblr,Buddy Kittle Buddy Kittle is the Co-Founder of Banker’s Mortgage Consulting, LLC. He began his mortgage banking career in 1993 as a Mortgage Loan Officer and later promoted to producing manager … Web: bankersmortgageconsulting.com Details It would be almost impossible to deliver one article that explained how to improve the borrower’s experience. For those of you looking to improve your mortgage operation and have word of mouth be your main source of new business, hang on. This is part one of a three part series, part one focuses on the very first step of mortgage lending, the application, part two will be processing and underwriting ending with the mortgage manager.Concerns:Compliance and regulation has increased the cost to originate and process a loan over the last five years. The most and probably largest change in regulation since Dodd Frank was introduced is lurking just around the corner August 01, 2015. The CFPB is requiring all lenders to follow the “Know Before You Owe” mortgage disclosure rules or “TRID” TILA-RESPA Integrated Disclosure Rule as commonly referred to by industry professionals.It seems that every software provider, mortgage lender, compliance company and attorney is embedded in some form of implementation, webinar or training to make sure their portion rolls out uneventful. Mortgage managers everywhere are making sure their staff is prepared and ready. Who has time to even think about improving the borrower experience, we are like salmon swimming upstream, we know where we want to be and hope we don’t die in search of our destination.The end result of past and new regulation has done nothing to improve the time from application to clear to close. Resulting in less than satisfactorily performance, extended rate locks, unsatisfied borrowers and frustrated staff. Our industry professionals love what they do or they wouldn’t stay in such a stressful profession. They really want to answer the phone and be told “your doing a great job” by the borrower and/or realtor. We want and need to gain referral business by delivering exceptional service.Visits:During site visits with mortgage operations I typically find frustrated staff. Loan officers tell us that processing takes too long, underwriters have too many conditions and borrowers are frustrated when we ask for documentation weeks after application. However, the processors tell us they receive incomplete applications and are lacking all the supporting documentation. Underwriters express that they receive poorly documented files.Our parents used to tell us to invest the time to do a job correct the first time and it would take less time. They were right, believe me I know since I tried the short cuts and they don’t work. So I find it interesting that we continue to struggle with taking a complete loan application especially when the average age for a loan officer today is 54. So how can we be so remiss in doing a good job when at this average age we should have refined our craft? Loan officers have responded with some of the following comments:I don’t want to trouble the borrower for information we might not need.The processor needs something to do.I have too much business and not enough time.I’m a salesperson not a technician, why do you think we have processors.The borrower gets upset when I ask for so much information.Solution:There are many additional comments that could be added to the above however this could be repaired with one word “education”. If you want a top performing origination group they must have ongoing and in depth education. The loan officer who knows how to respond to a borrowers concerns is more respected by the borrower. Borrowers want to work with professionals that know more about the industry than the loan officers of their competitors.What exactly is the best way to educate your loan officers and how do you measure their depth of knowledge? You must have in place a thorough education plan that includes the following:Setting borrower expectationsProper borrower communicationComplete loan applicationsProper documentationHow to review documentationExplaining the loan process, workflow and trailing document timeframesUnderstanding, sense of urgencyRealtor and Builder (referral networks) communicationMeasuring the success or failure of a loan officerI can’t remember a mortgage operation I worked for that provided education in any of these areas. It was always assumed that if you were a producer you knew what to do however in today’s world of regulations, compliance and costly penalties it is imperative we have a highly educated staff.Driving home to your loan officers that if they take 20 additional minutes to educate their borrower of the importance of supplying all information, then reviewing the documents and delivering a complete application they will receive more referrals. When a complete application with all documentation is submitted to processing the loan will be approved much faster with the proper workflow.Realtors refer business to loan officers that are competent, knowledgeable and have borrower approvals faster than their peer group. It’s a compliment when a Realtor or Builder refers a borrower to a loan officer; they are telling the loan officer “I trust you with my paycheck”. The loan officer should understand this and strive to maintain a high level of service regardless of loan volume. Nothing takes the place of knowledge; the better educated loan officers produce the most loan volume with fewer issues. We don’t keep going back to a restaurant that delivers poor service!The last item on the list above “Measuring the success or failure of a loan officer” is usually the hardest to track. In order to evaluate loan officers you must incorporate a quality check when they submit the loan to processing. We call this a “loan officer report card” or if you want one more acronym for the industry “LORC”. The LORC allows you to track if the loan officer has completed the application properly and if they have collected all of the supporting documentation. You can set the bar for what level of competency you want to achieve. Tracking this informs you of loan officers that need additional education. So you need to adopt this philosophy with every step of your mortgage process: “You can’t manage what you don’t measure”.This may seem that I am picking on loan officers however they are the foundation for a successful loan process. I encourage you to read part two of this series where I will discuss how the processor and underwriter’s role is just as critical as the loan officer once the loan takes the next step in the manufacturing process.last_img read more

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Credit unions powered by Microsoft Surface Tablets with ‘Branch Anywhere’ initiative

first_imgA new deal between Jack Henry & Associates and CDW will supply financial services organizations with Microsoft’s mobile devices.by: Ricky RibeiroIf the future of banking is mobile, shouldn’t more banks and credit unions get on board with the mobile revolution?A new deal between Jack Henry & Associates, a provider of technology solutions and payment processing services, and CDW will make Microsoft Surface Pro 3 tablets available for purchase by financial services organizations, according to an official announcement by Jack Henry.The advantage of a Surface over other tablets is that it can work as a mobile device but also has the heft and might to serve as a notebook computer.Mark Forbis, chief technology officer at Jack Henry & Associates, elaborated on the strategic shift that this new partnership among CDW, Microsoft and his firm offers to financial services providers. continue reading » 5SHARESShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblrlast_img read more

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