Is Foreclosure A Must?

NEW YORK (CNNMoney) — The Obama administration is singing a different tune about foreclosures.

A year ago, officials focused on stemming the foreclosure tide. Now they are touting the need for foreclosures to rebuild the housing market.

Last week Phyllis Caldwell, head of the Treasury Department’s Homeownership Preservation Office, told a congressional panel that “an important part of ensuring longer-term stability in the market is to enable properties to be resold to families who can afford to purchase them.”

And White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs last month told reporters that without sales of homes in distressed areas the “recovery in the housing market stops. It’s frozen.”

“That obviously can have — we believe and others believe — a very negative and detrimental impact to our economic recovery efforts and the housing markets in states that have been hardest hit,” Gibbs said.

But when Obama unveiled his signature foreclosure prevention program in February 2009, he said loan modifications were a key way to prevent the housing crisis from deepening. His initiative called for reducing distressed borrowers’ monthly payments to 31% of their pre-tax income.

“We’re not just helping homeowners at risk of falling over the edge; we’re preventing their neighbors from being pulled over that edge too — as defaults and foreclosures contribute to sinking home values, and failing local businesses, and lost jobs,” the president said.

The shift in rhetoric signals the Obama administration is recognizing that its loan modification program is foundering, experts said. Also, it is acknowledging that banks must address their swelling ranks of delinquent loans.

To be sure, the administration is still concerned with helping homeowners avoid foreclosure. Officials have rolled out a series of initiatives in 2010 aimed at assisting the unemployed and the underwater who owe more than their houses are worth.

And, they have called for reviews into the institutions’ foreclosure policies and procedures, stressing that servicers must comply with the law.

But they also now acknowledge more vocally that foreclosures must continue for a normal housing market to return. And that, in part, is why the administration is not supporting a nationwide foreclosure freeze despite the paperwork scandal that is roiling the mortgage industry.

The administration says there has been no change in either policy or rhetoric surrounding foreclosures and the housing market. The loan modification program was never meant to save every homeowner and officials always acknowledged the role of foreclosures in the market’s recovery, according to a Treasury spokeswoman.

“We have always thought some foreclosures needed to happen for there to be a full housing recovery,” said the spokeswoman, Andrea Risotto.

But, experts say, the new tone eminating from the White House also recognizes that the modification program is not living up to its initial goals of helping up to 4 million people avoid foreclosure. Some 496,000 distressed borrowers have received long-term modifications through September.

“What they have now realized is there are a lot of borrowers who can’t be saved and have to be moved through the foreclosure process,” said Laurie Goodman, senior managing director with Amherst Securities.

And they must break this news to Americans.

Officials are “trying to soften everybody up” to the fact that foreclosures are necessary, said Guy Cecela, publisher of Inside Mortgage Finance, an industry newsletter.

The new talking points, however, won’t likely result in a change in policy, said Anthony Sanders, a real estate finance professor at George Mason University. Administration officials will continue to support foreclosure alternatives because they are more palatable.

“As long as politics are involved, they’ll keep doing it,” said Sanders. To top of page

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What are your Brands Objectives

Working with new and established businesses has allowed us to see the difficulties that companies face when it comes to standing out. Many businesses and individuals don’t take the time to answer important questions that will allow them to establish their brand. Here are 2 important questions that you need to answer when determining your brands objectives:

1. What is it that you want your brand to do for your company?

– Do you want to inspire?

– Are you looking to make your customers lives easier by using your product? etc.


2. What do you want others to know and say about your products or services?


Answer these questions to determine your brands objectives


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VH1 Save the Music PSA

Directed by: Matt Bieler

Written: Bryan Tilford & Matt Bieler

Music: Chris Newlin

Spread the word please. We would like to reach 1 million viewers on You Tube. Support keeping music in schools and keeping our creative young minds alive.

Save the Music PSA

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Isaiah Mustafa and Social Media Prove No Match for Free Goods

As Flood of Body Wash Slows, so Do Old Spice Sales

By Jack Neff
Published: August 26, 2010

BATAVIA, Ohio ( — Muscular as Isaiah Mustafa and his viral videos may be, they seem no match for the power of free goods.
Isaiah Mustafa
Isaiah Mustafa
The latest four-week scanner data from SymphonyIRI show Old Spice body wash sales of $5.2 million for the four weeks ended Aug. 8. That’s up 30% vs. a year ago but down 30%-33% from the prior two periods.

The latest period is when the Procter & Gamble Co. brand blew through all prior records for viral video viewership thanks to a series of customized videos by Mr. Mustafa and Wieden & Kennedy, Portland, Ore., created for the likes of Perez Hilton, Alyssa Milano and Guy Kawasaki.

But the prior eight weeks got more impact from two sets of buy-one, get-one-free coupons for Old Spice. The last such coupon expired July 31, leaving Mr. Mustafa and his social-media buds to do the heavy lifting themselves the final eight days ended Aug. 8, apparently resulting in the slowdown.

Not to worry, P&G has Mr. Mustafa’s back again this Sunday. The company will drop another BOGO coupon for Old Spice body wash on Aug. 29 — its fourth such deal in six months, not counting several more involving free Old Spice or Secret deodorant in combination with body wash.

Like Mr. Mustafa’s videos, Old Spice’s deals have attracted an avid internet following. A Google search shows more than 274,000 entries describing Old Spice “moneymakers” — where shoppers combined P&G coupons with CVS or Target promotions to get bottles of body wash entirely free, plus credits for additional free merchandise.

Yes, the internet’s favorite pitchman has been selling soap below even the internet’s favorite price, as P&G combined with retailers to pay people to haul the stuff away. One popular deal at CVS, for example, had people spend $4 on two bottles of Old Spice or Gillette body wash, then get $8 back in Extra Bucks redeemable for other store merchandise — a net gain of $4.

All of which raises the question of how much product is sitting around in people’s bathroom cabinets now, particularly since P&G’s Gillette has also been generous with free body wash. And, strong as he may be, how will Mr. Mustafa handle those sales comparisons next year?

With less coupon support, Old Spice loses steam

4 weeks ended June 13 4 weeks ended July 11 4 weeks ended Aug. 8
Sales $7.7 million $7.2 million $5.2 million
Vs. prior year +107% +100% +30%
Vs. prior period N/A -7% -30%
Market Share 11.0% 10.3% 7.8%
Percent of period covered by buy-one get-one-free coupon 100% 89% 71%
Percent of period covered by custom Mustafa videos 0% 0% 93%
Source: SymphonyIRI, Advertising Age research

Dates of Old Spice buy-one, get-one coupons

Distribution Expiration
Feb. 7* March 31
March 7 April 30
April 18 June 30
July 4 July 31
Aug. 29 Sept. 30
*P&G had coupons on Feb. 7 for $4 off two Pro Strength body washes (average retail price just under $4) or free Old Spice body wash with purchase of Venus product. Other coupon dates are for buy one Old Spice body wash, get another free.

Since Super Bowl Sunday, the only periods without some coverage by an Old Spice body wash buy-one, get-one-free coupon were July 1-3 and Aug. 1-28.

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Lessons From A Tailor

Here’s a wonderful documentary on Martin Greenfield and the art of tailoring.

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Victoria Platt from “The Gates” on ABC has hired Clover Adams & Co.

Beautiful, Stunning, Sexy and Fierce is how we describe Victoria Platt from ABC’s “The Gates”

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Client Terrell Tilford from “One Life To Live”

We recently started with working with actor Terrell Tilford on branding his image. Check out his website.

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