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Time to Get Your Nerd On

first_img SHARE By Gary Truitt – Dec 13, 2015 This week the new Star Wars movie hits theatres; and, just as the original movie, it is going to be a blockbuster. Reports indicate that tickets for the first two weeks of the film’s release have already been sold out. Yes, when it comes to science, action, and technology, we love a great adventure.  Yet, if I were to suggest there was just as much science, technology, mystery, and a strange force taking place on farms today, I would have few believers. However, it is true, and at stake is something far more important than saving the galaxy from the dark side.At a recent meeting in Indianapolis, leaders from agriculture, life sciences, and technology gathered to talk about innovation. What made this meeting unique is that these groups rarely get together or communicate in any meaningful way.  “We in agriculture spent most of our time talking to ourselves,” said Julie Borlaug, the keynote speaker at the meeting and granddaughter of Nobel Prize winner Norman Borlaug.  She pointed out that the solution to solving world hunger and increasing food production to feed a growing world population would not come from agriculture alone, but only as a collaborative effort between many sectors including biological and chemical engineers, robotic experts, and computer scientists. In other words, we need some farm nerds.While some of these folks may come from within our ag community, many will not. Frankly, that is a good thing. I would postulate that those from outside ag would have the most innovative ideas because they are going to look at food production and distribution in a totally different way.The problem is: how do we attract this talent to the field of agriculture?  One way is to make food production as exciting as Star Wars. Preposterous you say? We already have prototypes of R2D2-type droids that can run through a field zapping insects they detect. Drones fly overhead watching for invading insects or scanning crops for disease. All kinds of amazing activity is taking place at the molecular level in both plants and animals. Then, there is control of the weather, and that mysterious force known as nature.  Perhaps the next mission for Luke, Han, and Leia should be saving the galactic food supply.Of course, every good adventure story needs a quest. The quest for agriculture is to fight hunger and poverty. Young people often are looking for a cause and a way to make a difference in the world. Agriculture could provide both.The key, however, is for those of us in agriculture to communicate all this to those outside of agriculture.  Our colleges of ag must connect with other schools on campus to share the opportunities that exist in agriculture. This does not mean they need to become ag majors, but simply to collaborate with those in ag on projects and programs that require their technical skills and point of view.So, power up your light sword and head into the world of nerds to find some technological and scientific minds who want to partner with some aggies to feed the world — and may the force be with you.By Gary Truitt Facebook Twitter Facebook Twitter Home Commentary Time to Get Your Nerd On SHARE Time to Get Your Nerd On Previous articleBiodiesel Board Applauds Ore. Clean Fuel ProgramNext articlePinching Pennies and Boosting Yields, Focus of Annual Farm Show Seminars This Week Gary Truittlast_img read more

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Consumer Advocates Concerned Over Non-Borrowing Spouses Facing Foreclosure

first_img March 16, 2015 1,699 Views Data Provider Black Knight to Acquire Top of Mind 2 days ago Tagged with: Home Equity Lines of Credit HUD Non-Borrowing Spouses Consumer Advocates Concerned Over Non-Borrowing Spouses Facing Foreclosure The Best Markets For Residential Property Investors 2 days ago Governmental Measures Target Expanded Access to Affordable Housing 2 days ago Data Provider Black Knight to Acquire Top of Mind 2 days ago The Week Ahead: Nearing the Forbearance Exit 2 days ago The Best Markets For Residential Property Investors 2 days ago Previous: FHFA Director ‘Very Proud’ of Agency’s Progress on Strategic Plan Initiatives Next: FHFA, Nomura Trial Expected to Continue for a Month About Author: Brian Honea Brian Honea’s writing and editing career spans nearly two decades across many forms of media. He served as sports editor for two suburban newspaper chains in the DFW area and has freelanced for such publications as the Yahoo! Contributor Network, Dallas Home Improvement magazine, and the Dallas Morning News. He has written four non-fiction sports books, the latest of which, The Life of Coach Chuck Curtis, was published by the TCU Press in December 2014. A lifelong Texan, Brian received his master’s degree from Amberton University in Garland. Governmental Measures Target Expanded Access to Affordable Housing 2 days ago Servicers Navigate the Post-Pandemic World 2 days agocenter_img Home / Daily Dose / Consumer Advocates Concerned Over Non-Borrowing Spouses Facing Foreclosure Home Equity Lines of Credit HUD Non-Borrowing Spouses 2015-03-16 Brian Honea Related Articles Demand Propels Home Prices Upward 2 days ago Servicers Navigate the Post-Pandemic World 2 days ago Demand Propels Home Prices Upward 2 days ago Subscribe Share Save  Print This Post A group of consumer advocates has expressed concern over non-borrowing spouses facing foreclosure and eviction following the death of a borrowing spouse, according to comments the group recently submitted totaling 65 pages to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD).HUD and FHA amended the Home Equity Conversion Mortgage (HECM) program in January to prevent reverse mortgage lenders from calling the note from a surviving non-borrowing spouse. The amendment allowed for deferral of “due and payment status” for eligible non-borrowing spouses, hence deferring the foreclosure process, for FHA case numbers assigned on or after August 4, 2014 and for certain eligible HECMs and surviving non-borrowing spouses for case numbers issued before August 4, 2014.The comments were submitted by the National Consumer Law Center on behalf of its low-income clients, Consumers Union, California Reinvestment Coalition, Housing and Economic Rights Advocates, Institute on Aging, and The National Housing Law Project. The groups claim in their letter that HUD amended its HECM policy in response to several lawsuits filed on behalf of non-borrowing spouses facing eviction, but they claim that even with the amendment, not enough people will qualify for the benefits because reverse mortgages originated prior to August 2014 did not take into account the often younger surviving spouse’s age.In order for the non-borrowing spouse to qualify for the HECM relief and keep their house under the amendment, first off, the servicer has to agree to assign the loan to HUD rather than pursue foreclosure.  In addition, the surviving spouse must be either older or the same age as the deceased borrower at the time the loan was originated – or the surviving spouse must pay off the entire loan amount or 95 percent of the home’s value.These requirements keep many from qualifying, because in many cases the surviving spouse is younger, and on top of that, they don’t have the money available to pay such a large sum.One of the big problems the groups are facing with this issue is that HUD has not revealed how many people are affected or how many non-borrowing, surviving spouses are facing eviction and foreclosure.”Though HUD stated that it would consider the cost, legality and practicality of its action with respect to non-borrowing spouses, the agency has not provided data or information to support its analysis, conclusions or recommendations,” the letter said. “Indeed, the agency has yet to provide information on the scope of the problem. Nor has HUD disclosed information regarding the actual number of outstanding loans with non-borrowing spouses.”In a report by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau last month on consumer complaints regarding reverse mortgages, the most frequent complaint was on surviving, non-borrowing spouses suddenly facing foreclosure upon the death of a borrowing spouse. The report stated that “some consumers report that their loan originator falsely assured them they would be able to add the other spouse to the loan at a later date.” Similarly, others complained that the loans are often difficult to repay and that lenders often throw obstacles in the way when consumers take steps to avoid foreclosure.The government now requires loan underwriters consider the non-borrowing spouse’s age, which solves the problem for newly originated loans. It remains to be seen what will happen with those originated before last August, however. 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