10SHARESShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblr,Jeff Vossen Jeff Vossen is Senior Vice President of Origination and Operations at TruHome Solutions, a Credit Union Mortgage Service Organization, providing a full range of private label services to credit unions (… Web: www.truhomesolutions.com Details TRID (TILA-RESPA Integrated Disclosure) is at the forefront of every mortgage lender’s thoughts right now as everyone in the industry prepares for the impending form changes taking effect Aug. 1. While there’s no shortage of literature currently available about how lenders should prepare and what this means for their business, the potential effect on the borrower’s experience is less explored.Let me paint the picture for you. It’s spring home buying season and the housing market is red hot. Homeowners who’ve sat on properties for years are now looking to take advantage of improved home values and prospective buyers are aggressively house-hunting while interest rates remain low. Imagine a young couple, for example, buying their second home- the one they hope to settle down in and perhaps start a family. They’ve called their trusted realtor, let them know what they’re interested in and are at the table prepared for this exciting move. Except this may not be like their first home purchase for a number of reasons.Don’t Hold the Phone Following an application, the lender will still have three days to send a loan estimate. However after Aug. 1, disclosures must be delivered and acknowledged by the buyer three days prior to closing. While past experiences offered the buyer more flexibility when receiving and digesting this information, missing this step restarts the clock and could change the terms and rates they receive, as well as delay the process. To avoid this, the borrowers need to be educated early on to ensure they are an active participant in the process and understand their accountabilities.Delayed Closings Today, it’s not uncommon for small transaction changes to occur during the contract and negotiation process that can quickly be rectified at closing. Soon, with the new regulations, borrowers may be shocked that there’s little room for error since all closing documents must be complete, delivered and acknowledged by the borrower three days prior to closing. This means that if any changes do occur, it could potentially delay the closing process, creating complications for buyers. This is heightened in a competitive market with buyers lined up for desirable properties. Since most buyers begin making financial adjustments, hiring movers or making temporary living arrangements based on a set move date established in their contract, complications like this can create a negative impression.Communication & Education Among PartiesWhile borrowers are typically immune to any last-minute, unpredicted issues that may occur between lenders, title companies, realtors, etc., this may not be the case following Aug. 1 when it comes to buyer expectations. While smart lenders are proactively educating their trusted parties on what these changes mean, don’t leave out the borrowers. As with any change, there will be growing pains that may expose the buyer to new issues. Until the complexities and responsibilities are fully understood by all parties, the borrower could be put in strained or awkward situations for the first time.While these scenarios leave much to be desired, the truth is, the forms will likely simplify things for the buyer in the long run as intended. However, borrowers will only reflect upon their experience. While first-time home buyers may not notice a difference, second-time buyers or those refinancing in years to come will need re-education.While the impact of TRID is real, lenders that have done their due diligence to invest in compliance, ensure that their technology software up to speed, train staff, educate industry contacts and add staff will likely weather the changes just fine. For financial institutions that don’t have the necessary resources available, these changes are significant and they may have to forego offering mortgages. That’s why Credit Union Service Organizations (CUSOs) can provide relief by way of compliance expertise, trained staff, a top-notch technology platform and deep experience working directly with their clients’ customers or members every step of the way.While you’re not alone in working to prepare for TRID, you may be in a situation where extra support is needed to ensure your members are happily packing their moving truck in route to their dream home this summer. Not only will they appreciate having a positive experience, they will think of their trusted lender who made it all possible for them.
By Devina SamarooA newly formed animal rights group is calling on the public to help with the elimination of the use of loud fireworks and other explosives typically used during the New Year celebration.Firecrackers on sale at Stabroek MarketThe Animal Rescue Adoption and Protection Society (ARAPS) is also calling on the Government of Guyana to lead by example and not use loud fireworks to beckon 2020.“There are alternatives to the use of fireworks, such as silent fireworks, laser lights, and drones, the organisation said.Fireworks mark various celebrations all over the world.It is unclear where fireworks originated but most historians believe it was invented in China and that the Chinese initially believed that it could be used to scare away evil spirits.In Guyana, firecrackers and fireworks are widely used for a number of festivals such as New Year, Diwali and the country’s Republic and Independence Anniversaries.More so, a lot of residents indulge in the usage of these explosive devices, though some were banned many years ago.Despite the ban, firecrackers and other explosives are prominently displayed and widely sold throughout peak seasons.Just in October 2019, the Guyana Police Force issued a reminder, warning that vendors caught selling these goods will be arrested and charged.The Force reflected that in the past, the devices have caused grievous bodily harm to adults and children.Harm to AnimalsBut according to the ARAPS, it also results in significant harm to animals.It pointed out that the function of hearing in animals is much more sensitive than it is in humans.“Fireworks can emit sounds of up to 190 decibels (110 to 115 decibels above the range of 75 to 80 decibels where the damage to the human ear begins) and can lead to the loss of hearing and tinnitus.”As a result, the explosions of fireworks are not only more painful to them but can cause severe damage to their hearing.In addition to these impairments, the sound effects of fireworks cause animals to become anxious and timid, the organisation explained.“Repetitive exposure to unexpected, random massive sonances can generate phobias in many animals, increasing panic reactions.”For instance, dogs are capable of hearing up to 60,000hz, while humans cannot hear anything above 20,000hz.“This auditory acuity of dogs is one of the reasons the sound of fireworks can be so harmful to them, displaying signs of overwhelming anxiety as they are unable to escape from the noise,” ARAPS stated.Common reactions are freezing or paralysis, uncontrolled attempts to escape and hide, and tremors.Other more intense signs may also be present, such as salivation, tachycardia, emotional vocalisations, urination or defecation, heightened activity, hyper-alertness, and gastrointestinal disorders.Horses have a very similar reaction to dogs. They can suddenly feel threatened by fireworks due to their hypervigilance since they are always on high alert.“As a result, horses and dogs tend to try to flee, potentially causing damage to property, traffic accidents, and severe harm to themselves,” ARAPS explained.Birds also affected“The noise of firecrackers can cause birds to experience tachycardia and even death by fright. The high degree of stress birds encounter indicates by the fact that birds may temporarily or permanently abandon their nesting areas, causing them to crash into a building and to experience disorientation.” And in many cases, animals may take weeks to recover from that traumatising experience.AlternativesWhile many look forward to the colourful display in the night skies, there are quieter alternatives.In 2018, the city of Banff ditched its conventional fireworks display for a “quiet fireworks” show for Canada Day.Basically, the vibrant flashy colours remained while the traditional bangs, crackles and whistles were minimised.And other options like lasers and drones guarantee a similar ‘firework’ experience without damage to animals and even the environment.American cities in states like California, Arizona and Colorado used drones to put on light shows for the Fourth of July last year to reduce the likelihood of wildfires.However, these alternatives do come with challenges.Quiet fireworks may not go as high as traditional fireworks due to weaker chemical composition. And, drones and lasers are expensive. For drones, each display may need over 100 devices and it will have to be programmed and tested before the real show.AppealBut when it comes to firecrackers, the animal rights organisation is urging persons not to use them.“This New Year, animals are at your mercy, please do not use loud bombs,” ARAPS pleaded.“Furthermore, please ensure that children or even adults do not play pranks by throwing bombs at animals or tying crackers to their tails. Yes, this has happened in the past,” the organisation pointed out.ARAPS is also advising pet owners to keep their pets indoors and supervised to prevent them from escaping.“Let us all strive to be smarter and better human beings by caring for our voiceless friends. Use this season of celebrating goodness, affection, and the act of kindness to spread happiness and inclusivity, and collectively be a citizenry that cares and respects all living things.”ARAPS was formed in November 2019 by a group of animal activists including Shari Rodrigues Dasilva, Alana Singh, Nikie Ramnarace, Tricia Azaire, Melissa Ramdeen, Kesharie Singh, Tammy Quail, Saleema Haniff, Nicole Patricia, Syeada Manbodh, Noreen Gaskin and Micaela Ross.Its mission focuses on eradicating animal cruelty while promoting awareness, rescue aids, and housing for all animals.
VANCOUVER — Mill cutbacks in British Columbia are still happening, but West Fraser Timber Co Ltd. said Friday that the worst of the pullback is behind it.The company, like many in B.C.’s lumber industry, has cut back and closed mills in recent months in response to limited log supplies and a plunge in lumber prices from record highs last year.Canfor, for example, announced late Thursday it was indefinitely suspending operations at its Mackenzie sawmill and permanently cutting a shift at its Isle Pierre mill to reduce output- Advertisement -For its part, West Fraser CEO Ray Ferris said the company’s already announced cuts should put it on a more stable footing in the province going forward.“From a strategic standpoint, much of our heavy lifting in British Columbia is now behind us,” Ferris told a conference call Friday to discuss the company’s latest financial results.West Fraser announced plans late last year to cut shifts at its mills in Quesnel, Fraser Lake, and in the last quarter announced it would also cut a shift at 100 Mile House and close its mill in Chasm in response to the squeeze on margins. The permanent reductions totalled about 614 million board feet.Advertisement “These permanent reductions, coupled with the impact of the temporary curtailments in the first half of 2019 by approximately 250 million board feet, have been disruptive, costly, and extremely difficult for our employees, our log contractors, our suppliers and our communities,” said Ferris, who stepped into the chief executive role July 1.The shift in fortunes compared with last year were clear in West Fraser’s results, which showed it lost $17 million, or 25 cents per share for the quarter ending June 30, compared with earnings $397 million or $5.19 a share last year.The results were also well below analyst expectations of adjusted earnings of nine cents per share according to Thomson Reuters Eikon.RBC Capital Markets analyst Paul Quinn, characterizing the second quarter as a “ferris wheel of issues, said lumber earnings were below his expectations, made worse by worse-than-expected export duties of $51 million.Advertisement While there is no quick recovery expected in B.C., West Fraser said its fortunes are looking brighter in the U.S. south that it started expanding into 15 years ago in the height of B.C.’s mountain pine beetle outbreak. The region now accounts for over 70 per cent of its lumber production.“Going forward, we expect a less disruptive half across many of our businesses, particularly in the U.S. south,” said Ferris.