Category Archives: Cash Flow Sharing

1001 2012 Obama’s HARP, Romney’s housing plan, Bernanke’s QEs or the new equity sharing FARJHO under JOBS Act? – with lyrics from Loca People

It is presidential election season again, so we have started to hear more about the candidates’ economic plans. Nothing attracts more attention from the public than the housing issues. Within the past weeks, we have Romney having revealed his housing plans, Obama having pushed again for his HARP, but  none of them has anything economically new to offer other than using it as another chance to repeat the partisan ideological preaching and the fight over whether government led programs vs. the presumed free market ways to let our country’s housing finance problem heal itself may work better than their political rival’s plan. It seems that they only care more about a simple old fashion plan that appears to work better than the other’s plan rather than supporting an innovative plan that will indeed work but that may incur political risks to introduce.

Disappointed, without getting a satisfactory answer in both of their plans, so I went to the Federal Reserve again. There I found out that Chairman Bernanke and his cohorts were still pumping out nothing but even more and more QEs. All day, all night … All day, all night … All day, all night … Nothing but more QEs to push for more loans, more leveraging and more easier credit, hoping not only to bring us back but to further turbo-charge us to where we had started this whole financial mess from to begin with over a decade ago … I can almost hear Bernanke dancing and chanting at the Fed, Viva la Hipoteca! Viva le Prestamo, Viva los QEs! What the Beep!

So I called up my friend Johnny. I said to him, “Johnny, La gente esta muy loca!”

Well, jokes aside, what we really like to do is to ask those politicians with a real workable housing plan please stand up. For the right, it is easy to just say let the free market heal itself. Free market solutions without the government leadership or competition without rules would indeed simply lead to either a crony capitalism or a ruthless predatory free-for-all anarchy. For the left, once they have replaced the crony capitalism and they’ll easily end up with even worse power hungry crony socialists.

What we need is perhaps not yet another round of old ideological political debate now, but rather some educated rational thinking and technically competent debates of what the new and economically innovative ways may be to own homes without piling up more debts as well as what the new technologically efficient and productivity enhancing ways are to deliver these new economic benefits to the consumers without being misguided and fleeced by unscrupulous financial middlemen yet again. These real stuffs to fix our faulty housing finance system may seem to be what the politicians need to focus on in order to bring the real tangible benefits to our country.

This is the 6th year since I have been researching, publishing and blogging on the various economic benefits of using property equity sharing or cash flow sharing concepts and methods to offer many new alternatives to our current faulty exclusively mortgaged home ownership centric housing finance system. Many of these new findings and creations are available to my personal academic research web site, http://swaprent.com.

More detailed info on the SwapRent original creation process in 2006 is available at https://www.box.com/s/437c60e4d8931365b9e4 and on SwapRent application in the 2009 JHFI (Journal of Housing Finance International) by IUHF (International Union of Housing Finance) paper at https://www.box.com/s/feae725ede7042c53412. For the much simpler FARJHO solution, here again is the link to the FARJHO white paper, https://www.box.com/s/cc0de069ab5c3fd3007e.

Thanks to the democratic power of the Internet, SwapRent and FARJHO have conceptually and academically been gaining momentum and endorsement day by day with a world-wide audience. We are currently preparing to solidify these new innovative ideas and beta launch these new consumer services at the transaction oriented http://farjho.com and a broader social networking portal for home owners, http://wehomeowners.com as our free market based solutions to our country’s housing finance problems. The purpose is perhaps much more mission driven than financial. Since these new services could also be offered on a not-for-profit basis, i.e. through PeoplesAlly Foundation (http://peoplesally.org), we do need many supporters from the crowd to come on board to help us make these new consumer services a reality.

As explained in earlier blog posts, due to the recent breakthrough by a few visionary law makers with their innovative regulatory provisions of crowdfunding and the relaxed marketing rules of private placement funds contained in the JOBS Act, we may finally see the light at the end of the tunnel in bringing these new inventions to life as new free market based consumer services soon.

Viva la Innovation, Viva la JOBS Act, Viva la FARJHO!

(Quoted lyric above from “Loca People” by Sak Noel)

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0303 2012 What is the difference between the cash flow sharing SwapRent solution and a Shared Appreciation Mortgage? – SwapRent is similar to a separate flexible employment contract substitute to hold on to the house

When I said before SwapRent was a bit ahead of its time since its birth in 2006, I meant that most people were unfamiliar with what economic value it could bring. After the financial crisis, most economic policy makers were still learning what property equity sharing concept is and what methods are out there that could be used to solve our current housing led economic crisis. Sadly after more than 5 years, it still appears that the law makers, financial regulators, economic policy makers of the federal governments are only starting to realize the value of the concept and making recommendations for the private sector banks as well as the GSEs, housing agencies to learn how to apply these concepts through the only term in this equity sharing field that they know of, i.e. shared appreciation mortgage.

As one of the most superior and advanced methods to deliver the economic benefits of property equity sharing, ownership sharing or appreciation sharing, the SwapRent related methodologies have been made available to private sector banks, housing finance agencies of the federal, state and local governments through various direct communications and educational campaigns since 2007. It seems that all those efforts were in vain. Now that these supposedly wise men at the government are being called upon by the politicians to study the application of shared appreciation mortgage again to solve the housing finance led economic problems of our country. So let’s take another try to see whether they could comprehend it now or are willing to think outside the box to learn something new.

The new creation of a SwapRent transaction is to allow a free market exchange, between an arms length investor and a property owner, a series of cash flow payment responsibility for a period of time vs. a portion of the upside appreciation right and the downside depreciation risk obligation of the property in question at the maturity date of that cash flow paying commitment time period.

This new SwapRent contract could be flexibly offered separately, super-imposed on and be artificially attached to a conventional mortgage, be combined as a package and/or be detached at any time so that the SwapRent contract could be traded by itself independently, like a free market based derivative financial contract, in an open exchange to allow price discovery and capital regeneration. It is therefore much more flexible, effective, efficient and useful than the old, obsolete, flaw-ridden and rigid shared appreciation mortgage, the shared equity mortgage that have been around for more than 30 years as well as their most recent reincarnation of shared ownership mortgage.

The unfortunate thing is that these academics and economic policy makers whose task is to study, research and come up with a better mouse trap than the old shared appreciation mortgage simply went straight back into those old, obsolete, flaw-ridden and rigid shared appreciation mortgage concepts and methods again. They do not seem to be able to jump out of that old mortgage box to start thinking outside the box. The longer these incompetent policy makers continue to squat on their jobs the more our country’s economy will continue to hemorrhage. It appears a competency issue that only history will prove on hindsight.

Anyway, since the information of the SwapRent based solutions have been made widely available in many written articles at this blog, at SwapRent home page, in many published newspapers and academic journals already, there may not be a need to repeat all those info here again. Let’s take a quick look at what SwapRent concept can do on more than helping cure distressed non-performing mortgages and assisting home owners to hang on to their homes instead.

The way to think of this swap between receiving a series of monthly cash flows vs. giving up a part of the future upside potential could be interpreted and applied to many other events in our daily economic lives.

For example, use you yourself, the body and mind owner, as a case in point. You, like all of us, have a need to receive a series of monthly cash flows to buy groceries to feed your family and pay rent or mortgage payments for your home as a shelter. After you have applied for a job and been hired by your employer, you have effectively entered into a SwapRent transaction. Your boss has simply agreed to provide you with a series of monthly cash flows (your salary) for a period of time (your employment contract period) in exchange for your upside productive potential. Whatever you could produce for the company during the contract period will simply become the company’s material or intellectual properties and become exclusively the company’s financial rewards. Even if you have a great money making idea and developed a patent on it, that would become the company’s property and the company will make all the upside financial rewards out of that patent and all your other future economic productivity to make the patent financially valuable.

On the other hand, if you are an entrepreneur or a small business owner, you receive no fixed monthly cash flows from anybody else since you have no boss but you get to control your own destiny and get to enjoy the entire upside potential rewards of your own talents.

Similarly, what the SwapRent related concepts and methods were originally designed to do for you, the real estate property owner, as a comparison case in point, is quite similar. You may have a need to receive a series of monthly cash flows to pay for a part, or in whole, your monthly mortgage payments which may become delinquent when you have lost your job, either completely or got a lesser paying job instead. So you could, out of free will, decide to give up a part, or in whole, the future financial price appreciation potential of your home property in exchange for receiving the series of monthly cash flows that you need now to continue to keep the legal ownership of your house. If you do not receive any cash flows from any body else, you would of course get to enjoy the entire potential upside appreciation, i.e. assuming you have some other non-free market based magical way that you would not get foreclosed.

In this example above, the new concept and method of the cash flow sharing SwapRent contract simply provides another way for you to obtain a series of monthly cash flows to meet your daily responsibilities in your economic life. Taking a job was the only choice in our capitalism society before. Now with the invention of SwapRent, you the consumer, have been given another free market based choice, if you happen to own a real estate property already.

From an employer’s or an investor’s perspective, the way for them to derive more upside financial returns and grow economic potential for their capital and resources, they could either hire a person by giving him/her a series of monthly cash flows to enjoy the whole upside of his/her talents through a job or an employment contract, or they could simply provide a series of cash flows to a property owner in exchange of either a part, or in whole, of the upside financial appreciation potential of his/her property for a period of time.

I hope the analogy provides a better way to understand what the new SwapRent transaction is about and what kind of power it could provide as an additional consumer choice alternative to our daily economic lives on a pure free market basis.

0301 2012 Crowdfunding – Capitalism for the 99%

We have recently started a new venture as an idea spin-off from our past venture www.reidex.com at REIDeX, Inc. and the current www.farjho.com at InvestorsAlly, Inc. The way both reidex.com and farjho.com have been trying to deliver the economic benefits of SwapRent and FARJHO to consumers are based on the power of Internet by eliminating the financial service middlemen and offer a service that is better, faster and cheaper than the conventional brick and mortar financial services businesses. This concept used to be called simply C2C e-commerce or later, peer-to-peer Internet matching service. Now, it is called crowdfunding.

Therefore it appears that we have been trying to provide the Internet-based crowdfunding services for real estate through both SwapRent and FARJHO as early as 2006 before the term of crowdfunding even emerged in the cyberspace. The reason why that InvestorsAlly has been offering crowdfunding service for home equity sharing is that FARJHO simply corporatizes single family homes and hence make it feasible to use this peer-to-peer matching concept for home owners to raise non-debt but equity based financing.

The use of C2C and peer-to-peer concepts could even be traced way back to the REIFO Exchange venture ( http://www.box.com/s/mnm7xhel0uhp9hkehad7 ) started in 2002 as chronicled in the Los Angeles Times article in 2003 ( http://www.box.com/s/qh42krrm2biiv55rkloj ). The ideas of the REIFO Exchange venture were later taken by CME (Chicago Mercantile Exchange) to let consumers trade futures and options contracts on a different real estate index. Details of this would not be released until 2014 when the 10-year NDA we had with CME expires.

The later over 10 year’s journey of transforming these sophisticated concepts to simpler new consumer-oriented products and services while keeping the similar economic benefits has not been an easy one. The new cash flow sharing concept and method of the SwapRent service through REIDeX seemed to be a bit complicated to the average consumers and the commercialization effort of SwapRent was perhaps a bit ahead of its time, no matter how powerful and useful the service could become to consumers and for our national economy.

To use an analogy again, it was almost like trying to convince people for a test drive by handing over the key of a new Hybrid SUV to people who are only used to riding horses. The shock and resistance to the new way of transportation were severe. Some people say that there is no traffic rules and if you launch it would create a lot of liability. Other people say that it is way too difficult for consumers ever to learn how to use it. Although the consumer acceptance may eventually take place but we could not wait that long to make a business venture commercially viable. So in 2010 we have pulled back the SUV and created a much simpler bicycle to offer to consumers through a new company InvestorsAlly, Inc. The bicycle analogy is the new FARJHO service. The FARJHO matching service is neither a derivative contract nor does it have anything to do with mortgages like what a SwapRent transaction would be, but rather a very simple new home ownership structure.

Through our marketing and educational effort the FARJHO idea seemed to have taken off and become viral in the Realtor community in Southern California since early 2010. Home owners and Realtors have begun to beat a path to our door for helping aspiring home owners with this new equity sharing FARJHO service to own homes since then but there is only one problem left – there have not been enough joint property investors in the current market to satisfy the demand from the aspiring home owners for the FARJHO transactions. Much more effort would be necessary to conduct more educational training under the current regulatory environment for potential investors. In the regard, I am glad to report that we have recently launched our first $20 million FARJHO Reg D private placement fund. More info is available upon request for qualified accredited investors in the US.

Nonetheless, we have yet again temporarily put aside the bicycle for more sophisticated users only and created another much simpler tricycle for the vast consumers for an even easier commercialization. Hence the Crowdfunders Choice (CFC) was born in January, 2012.

CFC simply focuses on introducing the peer-to-peer technology platform to help entrepreneurs raise equity financing. It is not a proprietary concept that we will need to sell again, which has always made launching new businesses much more difficult. It therefore seemed to be much easier to introduce these crowdfunding concept and method as there have already been many tried-and-true web sites offering similar platforms to conduct peer-to-peer micro-lending or to raise donations for creative projects or for political purposes.

The reason it is a much simpler tricycle vs. the bicycle of the equity crowdfunding business model of FARJHO is that the real estate component has been removed from the crowdfunding business model and therefore the new peer-to-peer matching services offered through CFC could be offered to a much broader audience, i.e. people would not have to have prior knowledge or experience with the real estate industry. In addition, people who would like to use the service no longer have to learn some new economic innovative concepts or methodologies any more. Sales calls would not turn into another economic lesson or a heated debate anymore!

As explained in the introduction at its web site ( http://www.CrowdfundersChoice.com ), our goal at CFC is to become the Crowdfunder’s Choice for helping entrepreneurs raise start-up equity financing with a special twist – we would like to make this new venture, crowd-sourced, crowd-funded and crowd-owned whenever permissible under securities regulation in order to act as a living proof that this new crowdsourcing business model would work under an unfettered free market capitalism.

Our target is to get the 99% of our population to have access to entrepreneurial start-up financing on Main Street in order to keep our free enterprise capitalism alive through promoting and maintaining a more democratic version of capitalism vs. the crony capitalism being practiced and abused by the privileged economic elites on Wall Street. The political image also seems to be a perfect match to the values of PeoplesAlly Foundation.

Hopefully through our new alternative funding services some of these entrepreneurs may get to rise up to become a member of the 1% one day. If not, even the top 10% or even top 30% will do, in the true spirit of capitalism. That indeed is our intention – wealth creation for the 99%. It is quite all right to take risk and work hard to become a member of the 1%, as long as they do not transform into a 1%’er or a member of the 10%’ers at the expense of the rest of the 99% or the 90%.

0114 2012 Will a new US President make any difference in helping create a housing recovery and revitalize our economy?

Here below is an excerpt of my upcoming FARJHO article to be published in March.

Governments who set up policies using those ill-advised primitive methods (e.g. the original HOPE for Homeowners proposal in 2008) have only destroyed people’s confidence in the equity sharing concept to solve the problems and let the mortgage foreclosure problems deteriorate further day by day. The Hope for Homeowners (H4H) Program is a loan program that was a part of the Housing and Economic Recovery Act of 2008. The guidelines for the product were released by FHA on October 1st, 2008.

In the original HOPE for Homeowners (H4H) offering, the Federal Reserve together with the HUD Team proposed a non-free market based arbitrary equity sharing scheme for debt principal reduction as (Ref 3)

100% if the property is sold after 1 year

80% if the property is sold after 2 year

70% if the property is sold after 3 year

60% if the property is sold after 4 year

50% if the property is sold after 5 year

There were few takers. Any further consideration by other national policy makers and economists of using equity sharing related concepts to solve our country’s severe housing-led economic problems on a large scale also quickly died with it too for now. The incompetence of these policy makers is indeed very unfortunate and lamentable.

The worrisome part is that even when the top level politicians change posts later on these same technical middle level managers may still be the ones that will continue to squat on the same positions at the Fed and at the HUD since these subject matters may be deemed too technical for the top level politicians or top level policy makers to mess around with.

Will a new President make any difference?

1126 2011 We need to blow up a home equity bubble using equity sharing methods, not debt, like how Silicon Valley blew up tech company stock market bubbles

Ben Bernanke and the Federal Reserve team please step aside, Silicon Valley please step up. We need to create some equity bubbles, not debt bubbles, to reflate our national economy in order to save our economic future. In particular, the national policy makers need to learn and use the equity bubble building techniques that the venture capitalists have been so skillfully creating wealth for themselves, their investors and the entrepreneurs in the past to apply to and to prop up the local property markets on Main Streets across the country.

Most economists, policy makers and concerned citizens probably have learned by now that it is the damaged credit distribution channels, not interest rate levels, that is blocking their desperate attempts to reflate the economic bubbles using debts alone. We all know that credit is a very funny thing. It is always plenty only to those people who do not need it. Therefore rich people have access to plenty and poor people can not get any. Excess money supply made possible by low interest rates have only been making the rich even richer and hence created more and more social tension on wealth distribution equality. Federal Reserve with its money pumping policies without the consideration of its negative effects of creating wealth inequality has hence been the henchman that has killed the middle class in America.

The only occasions when poor people could get credit is during the occasional irrational time of bubble building periods and when the credit process is being abused. When rationality returns, the supply of credit to the poor will come to a sudden halt as is what is happening now. On a further thought, this may not be a bad thing actually. Trying to re-energize the drug addicts with even more Cocaine in a desperate attempt is like kicking the can down the road to let other people solve the eventual real problems and could at most behave like a superficial temporary fix that may lead to much more expanded troubles down the road. A re-hab together with a new diet to create a new life would probably be a more prudent problem solving method.

Similarly, to re-energize our national economy, we will need to focus on alternative ways of financing, other than debt, to reflate our economy for both the short term and long term problem fixing purposes. As once students of finance, we all know that high risk ventures are usually financed by equities, not debts. For example, the entire industry of venture capital in Silicon Valley is focused on equity financing, shared equity financing in corporate ownership, to be precise. That same technique is exactly what we need now to reflate the home equity markets and hence our national economy.

FARJHO and SwapRent related new business methods that we provide only represent a few possible more superior business methods to implement this equity sharing or appreciation sharing economic concepts to attract more equity based fresh capital to resuscitate our national economy on a free market basis. In order to make it work, the national policy makers will need to learn and understand that the goal of rebuilding our national economy could be done through these equity sharing economic concepts. It does not matter whether they choose to use the new FARJHO and/or SwapRent methods or not. They need to open the doors and encourage free market investors to participate in all kinds of equity sharing business methods that utilize the equity sharing concepts so that there would be enough free market capital to flow back into local communities across America to re-create property market led economic booms on Main Street.

Using debt to blow bubbles should not be the only trick up their sleeves. It did not and will not work anyway since the credit distribution channels will not function properly in bad economic times no matter how low they make the interest rate levels to be. That is simply the nature of how credit works. On the other hand, as long as these new bubbles are not blown up through Other People’s Money (OPM), i.e. debt again, it would most likely be Ok for now to get us out of the recession and unemployment for most of the 99% population.

As I mentioned in earlier blogs many times before, asset bubbles are usually blown up by OPM using debt. It is a dangerous bubble that could be popped because it was blown up by hot air. Equity induced asset growth could act more like a hardened molten lava. Once it is cooled and hardened, it does not have to pop or shrink back again. This is due to the simple fact that if the asset was purchased by equity without using debt, when price level declines, there would not be any involuntary selling as would be the case if the asset was purchased with debt.

So the way to make this policy strategy works, the government will need to recognize the need to extend all kinds of smart and stupid property equity sharing methods on a massive scale and on a pure free market basis that include property speculators, not just to use these equity sharing concepts and methods on a limited basis to distressed home owners as a foreclosure avoidance tool only. That concept is similar to the same textbook difference in managing macro-economics vs micro-economics. We will need to use these new property equity sharing concepts and methods as a new way of doing massive macro-economic stimulus for our country.

When free market based investors are aware that these proactive innovative economic stimulus policies have been understood and finally adopted by the relevant policy makers, being implemented on a massive scale and most importantly that they could also participate in, free market based fresh capital will start pouring in automatically to make America rich again. These investors would come in voluntarily simply based on their views that the government is willing to ramp up the prices and hence a timely profit making opportunity for themselves.

The strategy above is a repeat of what has been said many times before in a different way on how to use the equity sharing concept and methods to get our country out of the current economic dilemma ( http://wp.me/p1Cgsz-gI ). When the economy stabilizes, how the government could continue to use SwapRent and FARJHO related new business methods as a third new way of economic policy management tools to stimulate or to slow down a country’s economic growth through the real estate property values of a country was explained more in details in an article that I have published before back in 2009 ( http://www.box.net/shared/v24qtqip4hlgff5l1646 ).

0910 2011 Our response to FHFA’s RFI – FARJHO and SwapRent from PeoplesAlly Foundation and InvestorsAlly, Inc. – A letter to the Fed, the Administration, GSEs, HUD, SEC, CFTC, other Agencies and the State Governments

Here below is a recent update letter to many of my academic friends who possess well established expertise in economics, economic history, finance, derivatives, laws, mathematics, housing, housing finance, urban planning, real estate, business studies, public policy and political science in various leading universities around the US and in selected foreign countries. I thank them for the various feedbacks and support through the years.

Transparency in our federal government’s policy making process is always a good thing for our country and for our democratic society. As one public figure recently said, the best way to keep a secret is to do the right thing.

============
Dear AcademicAlly,

How are you?

Here below is the latest development regarding our efforts to help solve our nation’s housing-led economic crisis. As you know I have been in touch with many of the government folks regarding FARJHO and SwapRent on an academic basis within the past few years since 2007. Please feel free to let me know if you would like review some of their earlier feedbacks. Yours and your colleagues’ academic input and critiques on our proposal would be highly appreciated.

We have provided our FARJHO and SwapRent solutions to the FHFA and submitted our response to their August 10th RFI project (see below) from both PeoplesAlly Foundation ( http://www.PeoplesAlly.org ) and InvestorsAlly, Inc. ( http://www.InvestorsAlly.com ). The non-profit will provide the educational services and the counseling of home owners which we have spent tremendous time to build and to create a political voice within the past year. InvestorsAlly will focus on providing the technology platform for the FARJHO matching services at http://www.farjho.com as what it was always set up to do since the inception on a pure free market basis.

For a thorough understanding of the new FARJHO methodology to own homes one home at a time, here is the link to my draft paper on FARJHO ( http://www.box.net/shared/yfhkjbqre4idf1kgrtc4 ) which is to be published by the housing finance journal HFI in their upcoming September or December issue as a sequel to my earlier article on SwapRent ( http://www.box.net/shared/v24qtqip4hlgff5l1646 ) published in the December 2009 issue.

Please note again the link to a copy of our response is at http://www.box.net/shared/hpfqqajd1aremco716lr . There could be many area that you and your colleagues could help improve this project. Your active participation to further fine tune our proposed methods, the deployment channels and delivery procedures would be very welcome. It is all for saving our country’s economic future. Let’s work as a team.

Let’s hope that these unwise policy decisions made or to be made by our federal government, intentionally or not, will not turn our country into an oligarch state without a middle class soon. Your active participation may help change the course of history. Please feel free to let me know if you have any questions. Thanks.

===============
Date: Sat, 10 Sep 2011 11:54:07 -0700
To: Email addresses suppressed
From: Ralph Liu <ralph.liu@investorsally.com>
Subject: Our response to FHFA’s RFI – FARJHO and SwapRent from PeoplesAlly Foundation and InvestorsAlly, Inc.

Dear Federal Reserve Board Chairman, Regional Presidents, Administration, Treasury, FDIC, HUD, GSEs, SEC, CFTC, Congressional Staff and Other Relevant Agency Officials,

cc. State Governments, State Housing Authorities

How are you? I would like to give you guys an update on the latest developments of our FARJHO and SwapRent efforts.

On August 10th FHFA, the regulator of GSEs issued a RFI asking for ideas from the public on how to deal with their REOs portfolios. Here is the link to their original request. http://www.fhfa.gov/webfiles/22366/RFIFinal081011.pdfrding

We have submitted our public response to FHFA from PeoplesAlly Foundation and InvestorsAlly, Inc. in early September. Here is the link to a copy of our response for your kind review and comments. http://www.box.net/shared/hpfqqajd1aremco716lr

The advantages of our FARJHO based proposal are:

1. It eliminates the need to let privileged private parties have access to and engage in quick short term buy-low-sell-high flipping activities at preferential bulk sale discount prices to profit from the potential privatization of our national assets owned by the GSEs and FHA.

2. It helps avoid the federal government, the elite private equity firms in DC or hedge funds on Wall Street from becoming new long term serfdom landlords to low income working families on Main Street by allowing renters to become partial co-owners of the home properties through FARJHO LLCs.

3. Potential wealth created from a future recovery of the US housing market will be able to be channelled through FARJHO back to small town investors, mom’n’pop’s self-directed IRAs, state, county and local pension funds, church groups, non-profit endowments etc. on Main Street to fix the local government’s pension liabilities and budget deficits by investing on a more level playing field with other elite institutional investors on Wall Street who already have exclusive access to the use of leveraged low cost of funds as a result of the Fed’s loose monetary policies to profit from the potential price appreciation.

4. Through the new Borrow-Pool-Buy (BPB) member level borrowing concept that replaces the old Pool-Borrow-Buy (PBB) property level financing practice in other conventional equity sharing schemes, future foreclosure possibilities could be totally eliminated once and for all in this new FARJHO home ownership structure.

In addition, I would like to take the opportunity to invite your attention again to the applications of SwapRent as a new economic policy management tool that goes beyond its initial objective of creating housing affordability. A successful implementation could provide the governments with a new way of economic stimulus method similar to how governments have been managing the countries’ economic activities by adjusting the interest rate levels at the moment.

Since 30’s and 40’s Keynesian economy and 50’s and 60’s Monetarism could not function well in a technologically very different modern world in 2011 where hot money flows freely and instantaneously across borders, a new economic policy management tool has to be created so that the stimulus money could have “the stickiness effect” and stay in local communities to have the desired economic stimulus objectives of creating local jobs for the domestic economy. That is exactly what a new SwapRent market could deliver.

For an introductory description of how this could work please kindly review Chapter 6 of the SwapRent article published at the December 2009 issue of the Journal of Housing Finance International published by International Union of Housing Finance (IUHF) at http://www.box.net/shared/v24qtqip4hlgff5l1646 . The following two blog posts also explain how this could be done in local communities through championing by local politicians on a free market basis without relying on any handouts from the federal government.

https://peoplesally.wordpress.com/2011/02/19/02202011-it-is-not-keynesian-it-is-not-monetarist-perhaps-we-could-call-it-swaprentism-any-better-suggestions/

https://peoplesally.wordpress.com/2011/08/02/0802-2011-implementation-strategies-of-farjho-and-swaprent-good-economic-stimulus-public-policy-or-cornering-the-real-estate-market-by-investors-for-profits/

All information contained in our proposal to FHFA are non-confidential in nature and therefore are free for public distribution. Please feel free to share with us your thoughts and comments. Thanks.

Ralph Y. Liu
Managing Director
PeoplesAlly Foundation
23 Corporate Plaza Drive, Suite 133
Newport Beach, CA 92660
Tel: 1-888-456-8881 x 888
Fax: 1-888-315-3831
Direct: 1-949-371-9139
peoplesally@gmail.com
http://www.PeoplesAlly.org
http://www.twitter.com/SwapRent
http://SwapRent.com
http://www.linkedin.com/in/ralphyliu

 

0910 2011 Weekly Round-Ups from Various Social Networking Sites on FARJHO, Sec 8’ed FARJHO and SwapRent

There have been increasingly more feedbacks and comments which has made it more and more difficult to keep track them all and summarize in the blog. Here are a few representative recent posts.

========== On not to let Wall Street and Washington DC elites turn our country into an oligarch state without a middle class:
Comments:
Great ideas! You are right, qualified and educated investors are needed. There’s a lot out there who can produce the 20% as the occupying partner because they can not get a straight conventional loan because of foreclosures and short sales. I will follow your company and learn more about it.  You are brilliant!

Response:
Thanks. We need people who could share the visions with us to actively participate and make this a reality together, especially from the grassroots level in local communities on Main Street without the reliance on the federal government or big banks on Wall Street.

It is all for the good cause at http://www.PeoplesAlly.org and we’ll need to make it happen as Realtors ourselves together. Small investors could pool together their funds through IRA or other savings so that they could get to enjoy the wealth from a potential recovery of the housing market. The wealth will then be kept in Main Street America.

We can’t simply let our federal government sell their REOs owned by GSEs/FHA to a few Wall Street players to turn Main Street to become a whole bunch of renters to a few privileged landlord oligarchs in our country going forward.

Realtors’ work will then mostly be reduced to leasing jobs if that is the case. Let FARJHO help the small investors on Main Street to keep a piece of the capitalist’s pie for themselves and Realtors continue to do their main jobs to sell homes.

============ On the need to divert free market capital to the working poor:
Comments: …. Using tax payers money for the Section 8 occupier does not seem like such a good deal for the tax payers …..

Response:
…. Sec 8’ed FARJHO program does not use any of the tax payer’s money itself, it only makes the tax payer’s money already committed by your local congressmen work more efficient through turning renters to become partial home owners in order to improve local neighborhood stability and enhance social harmony …..

…. We are simply trying to educate the investors and let them know the credit risk could be considered lower than putting their money in other regular FARJHO projects so that there will be free market capital flowing into the low income housing sector to have the working class enjoy their fair shares of the economic benefits of capitalism.

In fact, after running the test market program for over a year at our commercial side at http://www.InvestorsAlly.com we have had trouble to even get investors’ interest move out of the premier coastal markets in Orange County to the less prestigious Inland Empire area.

Money seems to love the glitz, glamor and bling, bling. That seems to be how Bernanke and his cohorts at the Federal Reserve strongly believe in to make the rich even richer by flooding them with money at almost no cost to them. They are indeed similar to the elephant seals that I referred to in one of my related old blog post below:

https://peoplesally.wordpress.com/2010/11/02/11022010-from-elephant-seals-colonies-to-emperor-penguins-rookeries-a-few-thoughts-on-farjho-matching-process/

I hope you could understand that while we could do just fine to let the free market capital go chase the bling bling, our social conscience has directed us to set up a non-profit and try to convince the investors that there could be money to be made there with the low income working poor as well! That is the mission of PeoplesAlly Foundation.

The fact is when money flows into a certain area, the property appreciation and economic prosperity would become a self-fulfilling prophecy. On that concept, please see my blog post on “cornering the market or good economic stimulus policy”. Thanks.

=========== On how Keynesian economy and Monetarism no longer work properly in a technologically very different modern world
Comments:
Hi Ralph, I discussed at our last financial crisis 2009 with Representatives of our National Bank. I’am sorry, but they are not aware that their old Instruments don’t work any more. One fact is, that global capital reacts too fast to the real economy. Financial markets became independent of the real markets. A second fact is, that technology is not considered. Fast growing companies/products make some markets rapid obsolete. Complete markets die. We have no more stable competition (accounting can be made in India, with much lower costs, therefore employment is destroyed in Germany for example) This leads to critical societies, where riots occur. We need incentives for the finance market, which correlate with real economy. This is, what you are right. Let us work on stable societies.

Response:
Bingo! I am glad to hear that you had spoken out on this concept before. Very few economists seem to have focused on this crucial issue. Old “national economic policy management tools” don’t work in the modern economic societies. The world has become much more integrated in terms of easy capital flow. Hot money has no borders.

The problem is that some of these old school economists in power may continue run our Western economies to the ground by stubbornly sticking to their old knowledge and hiding in their cocoons. Somebody should step up to tell them to either wake up or step aside!

============ On how Sec 8’ed FARJHO works
Comments: Very interesting…I like it and want to hear more…out of curiosity what  would your underwriting standards be for a Section 8 recipient?

Response:
…. Basically the FARJHO part should not become such as issue since the criteria for Sec 8 assistance is based on income levels, not assets, as currently set by the sponsor. Whether the potential JPIs (joint property investors) have any special “underwriting requirements” or personal pet peeves it would be strictly between them and the AHO (aspiring home owner). This is the new peer-to-peer financial services business model to cut out the unnecessary financial middlemen in order to save money for the consumers. Look Ma, no more banks!

Our Internet portal www.FARJHO.com simply provides a matching service like match.com or eHarmoney.com would for marriages. We would simply match the boys and girls together but whether there is spark between them is purely up to them. We would not want to intervene, dictate any terms or force a relationship. If there is no chemistry between them we would simply try to match them with other potential suitors. Whenever there is a match, we will then handhold them to help them walk down the aisle together.

Please feel free to contact us directly if we could do something together. Those who can make it happen in real life in your own community and write a new chapter in the affordable housing history would be the heros to millions of low income working families and be remembered as such for years to come!

0819 2010 How and when to apply the new FARJHO (Flexible And Reversible Joint Home Ownership) structure?

The following information is on how to apply the new economic concept of the separation of shelter value (use value) and the investment value (economic value) of a conventional ownership of a real estate property. For more details please visit our commercial site at http://www.InvestorsAlly.com or our non-profit operations at http://www.PeoplesAlly.org to assist low income working families with increased housing affordability and enhanced neighborhood stability.

Example 1 – From aspiring home owner’s perspective:

A home seeking person who currently rents identifies a property in a geographical area of his/her choice. He/She has the 10% of the property in cash from his/her own savings and would like to seek to jointly own the property with other investors as the ideal home owning structure.

The reasons could be because that he/she may not have enough monthly income to qualify for a conventional mortgage, prefers to use the discretionary monthly income for other household expenses, does not think the property value may increase in the near term, for his/her particular religious belief that rejects the lending/borrowing concepts or simply any other personal preferences.

He/She commits to pay a pre-agreed rent to the FARJHO LLC that holds the title of the property for a specific period of time. The remaining 90% property ownership could be shared among up to nine other individual, corporate institutional or even governmental entities.

Example 2 – From joint property investor’s perspective:

A group of investors have identified and bought a particular single family house at bargain price through a syndicated LLC structure either through a short sale process or from a bank’s REO portfolio.

The syndicator of the FARJHO LLC tries to find a long term renter of this single family house in order to generate stable long term rental income. Many renters do not commit to the long term and do not usually care about the houses that they rent.

The syndicator/property manager makes an offer to a qualified renter who has the ability to pay for a small percentage of the property value and invites him/her to join the LLC as a minority stake holder/member himself/herself. Once the renter becomes the minority homeowner, he/she may intend to stay for the long term and would treasure the property and take good care of it as thought it were his/her own. In fact it is indeed his/her own, albeit partially. Although he/she does not have the economic income capability normally required to own the property entirely he/she gets to enjoy the high quality home in the neighborhood of his/her choice.

Through buy/sell agreements between LLC members, the homeowners could increase his/her equity ownership through buying existing member’s interests. Alternatively, he/she could use SwapRent contracts to do so when they become available at REIDeX in the near future. In the worst case scenario, he/she could also become a LLC member in another property in the same neighborhood whenever he/she has the increased economic ability to do so and would like to have more investment exposures.

Comparing with conventional commercial property investments, FARJHO offers property investors less worries about vacancy and expenses. The investor’s SGI (Scheduled Gross Income) equals to his/her GOI (Gross Operating Income) and also to his/her NOI (Net Operating Income) since both annual vacancy loss and expenses are most likely zero in a FARJHO structure.

Example 3 – Current application opportunities in the US:

A homeowner currently has a deeply underwater house. He/She contemplates a strategic default on his/her own house but does not like the idea of becoming an apartment renter. A buy-and-bail strategy sounds more appealing to him/her. He/She could use an all equity based FARJHO (SM) structure to become the minority owner/renter of an alternative property in his/her neighborhood before he/she begins discussions with his/her current mortgage lending bank to give up his/her existing homes in either a short sale or a flat out walkaway foreclosure.

The strategic defaulters usually could not secure another mortgage to buy another comparable home before or after he/she walks away from his/her existing home. To qualify for a new mortgage on a second home, he/she has to either have 30% net equity in his/her existing home or a very large fully documented monthly income to qualify for the mortgage payments of two homes. This is often not the case with most upside down homeowners.

An all equity based FARJHO co-ownership structure makes it convenient for a smoother transition to a long term comparable or even nicer and often more spacious home through a partial equity ownership without having to lose the homeowner status by becoming a conventional apartment or house renter. It may turn a somewhat embarrassing, face-losing event into a move-up in prestige as a partial owner of a much bigger and nicer house!

Example 4 – How to use borrowing (through Borrow-Pool-Buy, BPB method) to achieve leveraged higher investment returns under FARJHO:

In a FARJHO transaction, each individual member co-owner can decide whether to borrow for their portion or not. Cash rich investors do not have to borrow. No group decision or action to borrow together is necessary. If some of the co-owner members want to borrow individually for themselves, then the borrowing leverage (LTV) is up to each of the members individually and their individual lenders using the percentage ownership in the legal entity or the corporation as the collateral.

So let’s say a home which is worth $100,000 is being bought by a FARJHO LLC. Three members, A (20%), B (40%) and C (40%) pooled the capital to form the LLC to begin with so that the LLC had the money to buy the home. LLC did not and will not borrow any money or use the property as collateral to borrow any more money. Since neither the FARJHO LLC nor the home property itself owes any money, therefore there is no possibility of a foreclosure of the home property, ever!

Member A was supposed to be the home occupier (AHO), so he pays the LLC a market based rent every month for 3 years say in a 3-year lease as an example. It could be any lease maturity and will be determined by all the members in the LLC.

In terms of borrowing, Member A did not borrow to come up with the $20,000 since he would not want to pay a loan payment in addition to the rent payment very month. Member B does not like to be burdened by the debt service so he did not borrow to come up with the $40,000 cash either. Member C likes to punt and strongly believes in using leverage to achieve high returns. On the other hand, he does not have enough money for the required $40,000. Say he only has $10,000 in savings so he borrowed $30,000 from a lender using his 40% share or member interests in the LLC as the collateral for the lender. The leverage that Member C uses is 75% LTV of his partial member interest in the LLC and his down payment equals to 25% of the value of that partial member interest.

So in the example above, cash was used to purchase the property entirely and no borrowing using the property as the collateral was involved. Borrowing activity, if any, will be conducted only at the member level at each member’s discretion only. That is exactly the spirit of the new FARJHO concept and method to own homes, irrespective which country the homes or the home owners are located.

Example 5 – Section 8’ed FARJHO – AHOs who are Section 8 rent payment assistance recipients

A current Section 8 rental assistance payment recipient inherited $50,000 from his parents. She does not want to put it in the stock market or any mutual funds which she is not familiar with and she thinks those Wall Street stuff are too risky. She wanted to use it to buy a home but the amount is not big enough to buy in an all-cash deal. She can not use it as a down payment to borrow any mortgage because no lenders would be interested in talking to her due to her low income status. The lenders do not believe that she could generate enough monthly income to service a mortgage payment.

She heard about the new Section 8’ed FARJHO program from the local housing authority from her city. She found out that she could team up with a few free market based Joint Property Investors (JPIs) to form a FARJHO LLC to buy a home together and get the new home qualified as a Section 8 property. She could then simply apply the rent payment assistance from the existing Section 8 program as the rent payments to the FARJHO LLC. In this way she would not only just be a renter but also become a partial home owner under this FARJHO arrangement.

Since she is not restricted to renting from a multi-family apartment complex in the run-down districts only, she decides to buy a REO single family house from the Fannie Mae Homepath program in a decent neighborhood as her dream home. The cost of the house is $300,000 in a city in Southern California. In this FARJHO structure she would own 1/6 of the equity ownership of the FARJHO LLC.

The remaining balance of the house price was paid by five other free market based investors. Investor A and B who put in $30,000 each are individuals using their retirement money in their respective IRA accounts. Investor C who put in $100,000 is a local public employee pension fund. Investor D is a foreign individual and he put in $40,000. The remaining $50,000 was put in from an individual property speculator who prefers to use leverage to enhance the potential investment returns. He put down $10,000 cash and borrowed $40,000 so that he could deduct the interest expense for this investment.

The Section 8 recipient gets $1500 monthly rental assistance from HUD every month. She contributes an additional $200 so her total monthly rent paid to the FARJHO LLC is $1,700. This equates to an annual rental yield of 6.8% to all members of the investor group in the FARJHO LLC which the Section 8 recipient/renter herself is also a member of. That is her annual investment income for each year she stays in as a 1/6 interest member. In addition, she will also enjoy the financial value of 1/6 of the potential appreciation of the home property.

The free market based investors are interested in teaming up with the Section 8 recipient over other regular higher income AHOs because they might think, rightfully or wrongfully, the credit risk is much lower since the bulk of the income rent payments would come from the assistance of Uncle Sam!

08/18/2011 FARJHO – securitization of home equity vs. securitization of mortgages, SwapRent – real estate derivatives vs. mortgage derivatives

This is a short blog post to clarify the difference between the securitization of home equities (home equity securitization) and the securitization of mortgages (mortgage securitization) as well as the most commonly misunderstood term of real estate derivatives by the some people vs. what they really meant, mortgage derivatives.

The key to understand the difference is to know that the underlying assets are quite different. One is equity in nature, the other is simply a debt. While there are often blatant abuses of debt by both the borrowers and the lenders through loose credit policy and practice, it is not possible to abuse the equity in the same way.

As I mentioned before in many earlier blog posts, securitizations and financial derivatives are extensions to either equity or debt like how glass-and-steel buildings could be built upon a foundation. If the foundation is a solid rock then the chances of the building to collapse is not much a concern as it would be if the building was built on slippery quick sands. So the problem is not the building but rather the foundation where the buildings are located.

Similarly the problems are not as much with either the securitization concept or the financial derivatives rather as with whether they were built on plain equity, conservative low leveraged debt or the risky over-stretched debt conducted on a loose credit practice.

FARJHO LLC member interests are ownership in the equity form just like corporate shares listed in the stock exchanges are in the form of equity. The purpose of FARJHO is to “corporatize home equities” or to “securitize home equities” for the various economic and social benefits discussed in details in earlier posts. It has nothing to do with any debt, loans, mortgages or financial derivatives. It is definitely not in any shape or form, a securitization of mortgages again.

It is as simple as a common stock of companies but the ownership represents a fractional interest in a homeowner’s home property instead, that is made possible by this new FARJHO concept.

SwapRent, on the other hand, is a new consumer version of equity based real estate derivatives or alternatively called, property derivatives. It is not a mortgage or a mortgage derivative. It is the various forms of mortgage derivatives, credit derivatives, CDOs, Credit Default Swaps etc. that have played a major role in the financial crises within the past few years, not these new “real estate derivatives”.

Therefore, although there seems to be plenty of hostility by certain people about financial innovations, mortgage securitizations, mortgage derivatives, the responsible, intelligent and educated consumers should have no problem in understanding that FARJHO and SwapRent are not related to any of those that have caused controversies in the past. Furthermore they should be regarded more as social innovations in housing and new home ownership concepts than purely another financial innovations for facilitating investors to make money more easily. Even though they do that as well, and they do it much more efficiently.

02/20/2011 The advantages of Cash Flow Sharing vs. Equity Sharing in stimulating our national economy

There have recently been growing number of people who suddenly realized that the simple “equity sharing”, “shared appreciation” or “shared ownership” concept of owning a real estate property could be a viable solution to our country’s mortgage lending or housing finance mess.

Few have had the “Eureka moments” yet about the fact that these simple economic concepts could be modified to create a new economic stimulus program to revive the economic prosperity of our country.

The learning process has been kind of long and the progress has been slow. We need much more people who have the media power or the access to op-eds at leading newspapers to endorse these simple ideas.

The disconnection of moving these shared appreciation related concepts from rescuing the housing finance crisis to further using them as economic policy management tools is due to the lack of the awareness of new innovations already available of some newer concepts and more importantly, newer improved “methodologies” to make implementing these “Shared Appreciation” goals feasible and practical.

That is where the newly invented “Cash Flow Sharing” concept and method come in and that was also exactly one of the key rationales behind the creation of the SwapRent(SM) contract back in 2006.

For more details about the SwapRent(SM) transactions, please visit the SwapRent.com home page again to have a more systematic way to the understanding of these new concepts and methods.

I would like to emphasize only one point here. As compared to the “Shared Equity” method where cash recipients could simply squander way to the new found up-front cash, “Shared Cash Flows” would allow Adam Smith’s “Invisible Hand”, not the capital providers, to have a better control on how the SwapRent(SM) cash flow recipients would utilize these new cash flows to invest more in local small businesses and to create more local jobs under free market based principles.

This is exactly what our country needs right now and it should always be the goal of any economic stimulus programs conducted by the governments.

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