Servicer Hall of Fame has dubious proprietor

Freddie Mac last week inducted eight loan servicers into its “2003 Tier One Hall of Fame.” The tier designation is Freddie Mac’s way of ranking its servicers on the basis of benchmarks that include “investor reporting and default management.” Servicers that achieve a top Tier One rating for superior results for at least two quarters in a year get fee waivers, financial rewards, national recognition and other benefits.

The “2003 Tier One Hall of Fame” inductees may be deserving of praise, but Freddie Mac is hardly in a position to evaluate other corporations on the basis of their investor reporting. The mortgage giant promised to file periodic financial reports with the Securities and Exchange Commission some time ago, but has yet to do so due to its own internal accounting problems. –Marcie Geffner

How many lawyers are at the bottom of the bay? Not enough.

The latest liability scare at open houses is people taking off their shoes at the front door and then slipping down the steps and suing the agent or the seller.

Just a few years ago, the trend was to encourage people to take off their shoes; it of course kept the home clean, but it also sent a message that the home was special.

Not anymore. Now Realtors are telling open-house lookers to keep their shoes on.

We noticed that it has also improved the general scent of the home during open houses.

Stay calm, the party is not over

On Friday, the benchmark 10-year Treasury note rose to 4.1 percent from 4.05 percent at the previous close, the highest since the first week in February. We hate to be so short-term in our thinking, but the housing market is absolutely wonderful with rates comfortably below 6 percent again. We would hate to see anything change this picture.

Nevertheless, we hear not-so-good stories out of Charlotte, N.C., Denver, and, of course, Dallas, where inventory is not moving as fast as everyone would like.

Harbingers? We hope not, but we continue to believe with all of our hearts that nothing lasts forever. One exception: San Francisco continues without interruption to be the most beautiful place in the world.

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