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Archive for the month “December, 2011”

Strategy with Kristy: Jared Tendler on the Mental Game of Poker

Jared Tendler is the author of The Mental Game of Poker and has coached more than 200 players from around the world. Equipped with a masters degree in psychology and years of experience as a performance coach, Tendler has become one of poker’s most respected teachers of the mental side of poker, which includes tilt, emotional control, confidence, motivation, and fear.
For this edition of Strategy with Kristy, brought to you by South Point, Tendler comes on the show for the first of a two-part interview. He discusses how to approach improving your mental game, the Adult Learning Model, and more.
Here is a snippet from the interview:
“There is so much to learn, and sometimes, when you become more aware of how much more there is, that can be overwhelming. It can cause you to do what you’re learning not as well. I think it’s really important to create some order with what [you’re working on]. Because there is a step-by-step process to reach unconscious competence, you’re goal becomes to not try to learn everything all at once because the mind can’t handle it,” Tendler said.
He continued, “Instead, try to focus on key elements of your game and things that you know are the biggest priorities right now. Do that and do that consistently, even if you know that there is other stuff to improve on, focus on one thing at a time, especially with big concepts. You can really do much more than that. Once you really master that, then a whole other world opens up, and then you can take on some other smaller things. Then, you can do it far more easily because you’ve mastered that concept. Let’s say it’s table position. An important component to having good preflop play is understanding the importance of position. So, once you understand that and the complexity of it, then the next concepts open up.”
In the book, you talk about how all players have a range for how well they are playing at any given time. A player has an A, B, and C game. Can you talk about those ranges and why it is important for players to understand that a range exists?
So many people have this illusion that it’s possible to be at your absolute best all the time, and they are constantly striving for that. But, in my mind, it’s really impossible to do that. It’s extraordinarily difficult to even try to do that consistently. When you’re in the process of learning something, you have to make mistakes. It’s impossible to not make mistakes.
There’s always going to be this gradation, this range of your ability. And that’s assuming you’re mentally perfect. There’s always going to be a range for that, as well. If you get a little bit of poor sleep, you’re mind is not going to be quite as sharp. There’s going to be things going on at the table, either distracting you or causing some frustration.
There are always these subtle nuances that are just part of the game and honestly, part of any game, that make it impossible to constantly be playing at an absolute peak. It is possible to try and prepare yourself to do it more consistently, but that takes a lot of understanding about the things that are going to throw your game off. And also, it takes a real understanding of the things you’re learning so that you can be prepared to make the corrections accurately and stay playing at a high level.

Five Star Poker

Babyshambles announce one-off gig in Luton – minus Pete Doherty

Drew McConnell and Mik Whitnall will play acoustic set at Charlie Browns venue

Babyshambles have announced details of a one-off acoustic gig next year – but it seemsPete Doherty will not be appearing with the band.

The show, which is set to take place at Luton’s Charlie Browns venue on February 3, will feature guitarist Mik Whitnall and bassist Drew McConnell, but singer Doherty is not slated to appear despite the event being billed as a Babyshambles gig.

Tickets for the gig cost £8 and are onsale now. To check the availability ofBabyshambles tickets and get all the latest listings, go to NME.COM/TICKETS now, or call 0871 230 1094.

During a gig at London’s O2 Academy Brixton in September, Doherty revealed he wouldn’t be playing live again for a “long time”. “We need to go and get some new things together so this is it for a while,” he told the crowd.

He also filmed his acting debut inConfessions Of A Young Contemporary, an adaption of Alfred de Musset’s autobiographical novel La Confession d’un Enfant du Siècle, in France earlier this year.

Meanwhile, McConnell was hospitalisedearlier this year after being involved in a road accident. He broke his ribs and injured his spine after being knocked off his bike.

Babyshambles haven’t officially released any music for over 18 months. Their last release was a 7″ vinyl only single of ‘Side Of The Road’ as part of Record Store Day in 2010. Doherty put out a solo album, ‘Grace/Wastelands’, in 2009.

Babyshambles

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6 Steps to Great Dating

Written by Steve Shadrach

I can remember it like it was yesterday. I was a freshman in love!Yes, I was a Christian as was she, but our emotions were more wrapped up in one other than in Jesus Christ. I had this gnawing feeling the Lord wanted us to break up, but I wouldn’t listen. Most of my Christian buddies had girlfriends, and certainly all my fraternity brothers did. Why shouldn’t I?

carried this heavy load of rationalization around with me through the fall semester. She and I finally got enough courage to bring up the subject, talk and make a decision. Using our heads and not just our hearts, we broke up because we felt it was God’s will.

That night I went and hid in a dark, empty classroom and cried for three hours. Not because I felt sad or jilted, but because 100-pound weights had been taken off my shoulders. I’m not very emotional, but that night there was a steady stream of joyous tears signaling I was finally free! Having fully obeyed, I was now willing to do anything and everything God wanted me to.

This gave me the courage to make another important decision that night. For the rest of my college years, I resolved I would develop friendships with Christian girls, not romances. Making a commitment like this may sound radical and unrealistic to some, but for me, it was a choice that allowed me to develop the personal and spiritual foundation I would need to last a lifetime.
Spending those college years building genuine brother-sister relationships with girls, along with studying the Scriptures to learn what a godly relationship looked like, aided me in piecing together a Christ honoring plan that would help me be successful in this modern day, mostly American concept we call “dating.”
Just because we can’t find dating in the Bible or in most countries around the world doesn’t make it wrong. But I want to warn you ? if you follow these “Six Steps to Great Dating”, you will need to go against the grain of your culture. You’ll also be pleasing to God and preparing yourself for an awesome marriage someday.
And now for the list!
1. Date only committed Christians
“You will marry someone that you date” may be one of the few original things I’ve ever uttered. It’s so obvious that it’s humorous, but still our country, where we get to choose our mates, has some of the highest divorce rates in the world. If someday you want a Christ-centered marriage (which clearly requires the commitment of two Christ-centered people), then you better start with the end in mind and take a close look at who you’re attracted to. Yes, I do believe 2 Corinthians 6:14, which says, “Do not be yoked together with unbelievers” means not to marry non-Christians, but if I were you, I’d set my sights on dating and marrying someone who is more than just a believer.
The key is to build opposite-sex friendships with other committed Christians who have a vision and passion for following Christ, for becoming like Christ and for reaching out to others with the gospel. The only real way for you to know if these values will be true of them in the future is to look at their past. Check out their track record to see if their talk matches their walk, knowing college students are notorious for changing and adapting their goals to line up with their latest flame!
2. Plan your dates in advance
Having the same goals is one of the essentials for any strong dating or marriage relationship. Not only does it take time (i.e. years) to develop and live out those goals, it takes careful planning too. Bill Gothard, founder of Basic Youth Conflicts seminars, says “the chief purpose of dating is to achieve spiritual oneness.” If you incorporate that purpose into your dating life, it will require you to prayerfully map out your activities, helping you and your date draw closer to God through your time together. This approach is a rarity in this age of entertainment-addicted Christians where most couples seem to always end up at the local movie theatre or the couch, watching another late- night video rental.
I’d like to talk to the guys right now, because I believe you are primarily responsible for the spiritual leadership in a relationship. Cultivate your and your date’s love for God, for the Scriptures and for others by planning enjoyable, but meaningful activities that will produce fulfillment and mutual respect for each other. If your dating style is just kind of a lazy “hanging out,” consider transforming yourself into “the man with the plan.” If you come up with the what, when, where and how it will not only communicate that you care enough to do some advanced thinking, but she will respect you as a spiritual leader who knows where he’s going.
3. Save yourself for marriage
Here’s the vicious cycle that many college couples go through each weekend: first of all he calls up, then of course, they mustdress up, he then drives over to pick up, fully stocked to drink up, only to eventually throw up, but still later that night choosing to shack up, and with a headache the next morning they finally wake up, once again possessing a deep nagging feeling they’ve really messed up! I hate to break the news to my female readers, but many college guys show love to a girl in order to obtain sexual access. But in the same way guys give love to get sex, there are an equal number of girls who are guilty of giving sex in order to get love. Our holy God, who thought up sex, didn’t say “Let the marriage bed be undefiled” in Hebrews 13:4 to rob us of physical pleasure, but instead to give it to us in fullness and at the right time. In my counseling over the years, I’ve observed that to the degree a couple is sexually intimate before marriage is the same degree that they lack sexual satisfaction after marriage.Pure Excitement by Joe White or Reading a classic together like Choices by Paula and Stacey Rinehart will help you set up and stick to biblical standards, build trust and prepare you someday to have one romantic marriage!
4. Work on communication
If you’re dating someone who wants a little less talk and a lot more action, you might want to check their spiritual pulse. Getting to know a person’s body has nothing to do with getting to know the person inside that body. In fact, communication vanishes as the fog of guilt rolls in. Anybody can kiss, but how about carrying on a meaningful conversation? In other words, if you end up marrying the person you’re dating, the wedding night may be great, but what do you talk about at breakfast the next morning? And as the years slip by our beautiful bodies have a way of sagging and wrinkling, so there better be a deep bond of friendship that outlasts temporal physical attraction.
Learn how to ask good questions, how to share facts and feelings, and how to listen. There may be a reason God gave us two ears and only one mouth! Get to know their past and present, likes and dislikes, strengths and weaknesses, values and dreams. Most married couples are shocked when they realize 90 percent of their dating period was activities and only 10 percent communication, and that after the honeymoon, those percentages reversed themselves. Understand that God made men and women with a spirit, soul and body, then later handed us divine instructions how to connect with one another ? inthat order.
5. Throw out expectations
Sometimes pressure comes from within when one partner has stronger feelings than the other and wants to always “define” the relationship. Jealousy and possessiveness dominate many couples and the only brand of relationships some students know are the conditional kind that always says, “I’ll love you if . . . ” or “I love you because. . . . ” Give each other lots of room to roam, earnestly desiring God’s best for them even if it’s not you. And why let your heart be torn in half every time there’s a breakup? Let’s face it, every relationship you get into is going to end until the “right one” comes along. Relax, go slow, build a friendship, and beware of someone who, on your first date, peppers you with questions about how many children you want!
Pressure sometimes comes from others who are flashing their engagement rings everywhere or asking not so subtle questions like, “When are you two going to tie the knot?” or “Aren’t you going out this weekend?” Having to go on a date each Friday or Saturday night is a sign of insecurity and discontentment. Refuse to allow others to rope you into a dating pattern or relationship that you’re uncomfortable with. Having been in 13 weddings before I got married, it’s a miracle I was able to withstand my friends’ joking and jabbing until age 28 (my wife to be was almost 27) when we finally walked the aisle. Take your time and don’t force it. Let God develop the feelings in both of your hearts, in His way and in His timing.
6. Focus on becoming the right person
Looking for love in all the wrong places, students are frantically turning to cyber dating, matchmaking services, even want ads in their search for intimacy. The guys have replaced wife swapping with wife shopping, while many females come to college to get their MRS degree and, if they’re not engaged by Christmas of their senior year, hit the panic button big time. But if you’ll focus on becoming the right person, instead of finding the right person, (i.e. staying on the road by “seeking first the Kingdom of God and His righteousness”), the Lord likely will bring along someone who far surpasses your little checklist.
Are you willing to spend your college years (and maybe beyond) preparing to do it God’s way, instead of the world’s way? You better, because statistics show that 72 percent of couples divorce if one partner is less than 21 when they get married, and if one of the partners is 26 or less when they get married, there’s a 55 percent chance they’ll be split up before their fifth anniversary. I’ve heard couples tell me, “But Steve, we’re different. We’re really in love!” so many times I could gag. Truly, the riskiest decision you’ll ever make is who you’ll marry, and if this is true, then who you date ? and how you date ? can make you or break you.
A final truth that transcends any list is the fact that no human relationship can fill our deepest needs to love and be loved. Jesus Christ alone fits into the God shaped vacuum in each of us. Dating, even marriage will turn out to be a cheap anesthetic for an empty life until we are totally satisfied in Him and can pray Psalm 73:25 back to the only true lover of our soul: “Whom have I in heaven but Thee, and besides Thee, I desire nothing on earth.”Dating For Love

Anonymous hacks US credit card database

Anonymous hacks US credit card database

Anonymous operates online around the world
Clients of the American security firm Stratfor got a rude awakening at Christmas when they found out that the hacker group known as “Anonymous” obtained information on thousands of the firm’s clients.

The hacker group “Anonymous” claims to have penetrated the American security firm Stratfor and stolen private credit card numbers, emails, passwords, and addresses from a number of the firm’s clients.
Some of the information was published online via the network Twitter, where users were encouraged to download the information. In other cases, unauthorized charges were made to credit cards for payments to charitable organizations such as CARE and the American Red Cross.
According to statements posted online by the hackers, obtaining the data was made much easier for them by the fact that Stratfor did not encrypt its data.
Since the cyber-attack on Sunday, Stratfor’s website has been taken down and replaced by the company’s logo and a message that says the “site is currently undergoing maintenance.”
More data abuse to come?
Posts to Twitter indicated that Anonymous had only published a fraction of the stolen data it was able to maintain. All told, Anonymous says it has 200 gigabytes of information on 4,000 of the company’s clients.
Among the companies and institutions affected are the United States Air Force, the Miami Police Department, the Defense Intelligence Agency, and computer firms Apple and Microsoft.
Stratfor offers clients reduced risk through political, economic and military analysis reports.
The incident has been reported to law enforcement agents and is being investigated, said Fred Burton, Stratfor’s vice president of intelligence.

But he added that “hackers live in this kind of world where once they fixate on you or try to attack you it’s extraordinarily difficult to defend against.”
Author: Matt Zuvela (AP, AFP)
Editor: Ben Knight

Mortgage Rates Suffering From Low-Volume Market Movements

BY MATTHEW GRAHAM
Mortgage Rates suffered their worst losses of the week today as light volume and low participation left sellers in control, driving benchmark interest rates higher. When we talk about “sellers,” it’s in reference to sellers of fixed-income securities in bond markets. The Mortgage-Backed-Securities (MBS) that most directly influence mortgage rates are part of the broader bond markets and tend to move in the same direction as the most popular bond: 10yr Treasury Notes. When sellers outnumber buyers, prices get lower and lower, bringing yields (aka: interest rates) higher. This is happening fairly rapidly for Treasuries, but to a lesser extent for MBS (and consequently lender’s rate sheets). Best-Execution 30yr Fixed rates STILL haven’t moved higher, but closing costs are quite a bit higher at many lenders today.

What we said yesterday: “Low volume and year-end lack of participation continue to distort movements in the secondary mortgage market. The lower a market’s volume, the more weight carried by those who participate meaning that it takes fewer trades/less money to move things around. In general, MBS (mortgage-backed-securities) have pitched and rolled less (for better or worse) than their Treasury counterparts.”

Please make sure to read the “important rate disclaimer” at the bottom of the page in considering what “all-time lows” means. The issue of “buckets” as described in the lock/float considerations below, remains a factor that may prevent rates and/or fees from moving significantly lower in the short term.

Today’s BEST-EXECUTION Rates

30YR FIXED – 3.875%
FHA/VA -3.75%
15 YEAR FIXED – 3.375%
5 YEAR ARMS – 2.625-3.25% depending on the lender
Lock/Float Considerations

The paragraph below is unchanged (except to update “today” to “yesterday”) because it’s exactly what we’d choose to say today. One other consideration is this: even though we can look at rates suffering here today and be somewhat dismissive in saying “sure, costs are higher, but it’s just due to low volume,” doesn’t mean that something meaningful won’t have come along by the time volume picks back up that actually DOES justify current levels. In other words, being able to chalk the weakness today up to low volume is only going to make you sound smart in explaining things to friends whereas ACTING to PROTECT yourself might actually make you feel smart if rates do happen to move higher in the new year. We’re not saying that will necessarily be the case, simply that 3.875% is still the best-execution rate, it’s been historically tough to move much lower, and we probably won’t have a solid idea whether or not that will continue to be the case until the new year.

As noted in the previous post, in many regards yesterday was essentially the last trading day of the year. Despite the predisposition toward volatility at times like this, rates have been holding admirably steady. Even so, the ongoing low volume environment through the new year still constitutes more of a risk than a benefit as far as Mortgage Rates are concerned. To be clear, we’re not saying any fundamental negativity is sweeping over the interest rate landscape, simply situational risk. Keep in mind that rates are about as low as they’ve ever been and moving more than .125% lower from here will not be easy or fast.

“10 Mistakes You Must Stop Now To Have Any Chance At Winning Back Your Lover—And How to Get Your Ex Back…”

Read if you’re hurting from a recent break up…
OK, I’ve got some really important things to go over with you if you’re going to get your ex back. Time is of the essence, so I’m going to be as quick as possible.
I could tell you some things about me. Like I used to make big mistakes in my relationships… Did some embarrassing things while trying to get one in particular back… I learned a lot, had some success and now help other guys and girls get their EXes back…
…but really we don’t have time to go over my background in full yet. I’ll give you a chance later to give me your email and I’ll tell you more about me.
For now, we gotta get focused on some MAJOR F*@K UPs statistics say you’re most likely to make right now.
People who are in deep pain from a break up have a tendency to do the exact OPPOSITE of what you should do. So I’m actingfast to try and get you to stop before any damage is done.
In any disaster the first step is to stop the bleeding and then fix the problem.
Your relationship is no different. There may be some underlying problems with your relationship that must be fixed, but we can get to that next. Right now we need to STOP the bleeding.
So here’s the plan. I’m going to give some blunt advice. Not because I’m mean, but because you need it now more than ever. There’s no time to waste.
The first thing you need to do is STOP acting in a way that your lover is biologically predisposed to NOT feel attraction for.
That means being weak, passive and overly-agreeable. For biological and evolutionary reasons we don’t need to get in to now, women seek strong men who can protect them. And men don’t respect women who let them get away with everything (which means you’ll be habitually cheated on).
I know, after a break up it’s hard to give off the appearance of being strong. But it’s absolutely vital. And it’s not as hard as you think if you’ll just agree not to make these 10 mistakes.
We’ll start with 10 mistakes to quickly stop the damage, and then we’ll move on to some homework and point you to the materials you’ll need.
DAMAGE CONTROL

10 mistakes that convince your lover they made the right choice

OK, first the 10 mistakes. Then there’s some homework for you to do to lure your lover back.
People who get hurt are often the people who say they don’t want to play “games.” You know what? Too bad. The game is being played whether you know it’s your turn or not.
Men and women are constantly testing each other subconsciously to see if you’re a good choice for a long term mate. If you refuse to play along, you’re going to be left out.
You’ll find you can prove yourself worthy by avoiding these 10 mistakes.
MISTAKE #1: Acting Overly Nice And Believing It Makes You A Great Catch

How many times do you have to hear the cliché “nice guys (or girls) finish last” before you finally get it?
You can’t simply go along with everything your partner says and expect to have a great relationship.
Think of it this way. Every good story has conflict, right? Star Wars had good guys and bad guys. And in a similar way so did Pretty Woman and all other romantic comedies.
Conflict makes things interesting. And a relationship without conflict is BORING.
Being too nice comes across as being too passive, insecure, anxious, and predictable. That’s BORING.
Want to find that “spark” with someone special? Then don’t forget that it takes friction to create a spark. Stand your ground.
MISTAKE #2: Trying To Persuade Your Ex To Come Back With Logic

You cannot argue or logically persuade your way back into a relationship. Sure, you can argue yourself out of one just fine, but it doesn’t work in reverse.
You can’t convince a person to like you, love you or want to be with you. Emotions don’t work that way.
A person’s heart is reactive, not logical. So instead of trying to talk them back in to it, there are some things you need to DO to get their heart to respond.
In the homework I have for you we’ll talk more about ways to get your EXes heart fluttering for you again. But that comes in a minute. Moving on…
MISTAKE #3: Playing The Role Of Human Doormat

I hope this doesn’t describe you…
So many people plead with their ex, “Please stay, I’ll do anything you want…”
NO! Don’t do it. That doesn’t make for a romantic relationship. It may turn you in to a sex buddy for a short time, but they will lose all respect for you.
That means as soon as something better comes along, you’re gone. Do NOT beg to be taken back.
MISTAKE #4: Showering Your Ex With Flowers And Gifts

Ever heard, “Can’t Buy Me Love?”
Maybe it’s time you gave it a listen again. Flowers and gifts are best used to say THANK YOU or I LIKE/LOVE YOU. But it does NOT build attraction.
In fact, it can be a repellent. It tells your ex you don’t believe you’re good enough to be taken back on your own merits… so you pad the package with presents to cover up flaws. That’s an attraction-killer! Don’t do it.
MISTAKE #5: Saying “I Love You” Every 5 Minutes

It’s so easy to fall into this fatal trap of telling your ex-lover how much they mean to you and how much you love them… mistakenly believing once they “get” how much you love them they’ll come running back.
WRONG! It doesn’t work like that, or even close.
Smothering your ex with affection right now is not romantic. And despite what you may think, “But I really, really like you,” is not what your ex wants to hear.
Your strong feelings may in fact be the very thing that pushed your ex away to begin with. (Because it can come across as needy.)
MISTAKE #6: Missing The Whole Point Of Chemistry

Too many people completely miss the point of attracting the opposite sex because they do things that would attract themselves or others like them… in other words, people of the same gender.
No, I’m not saying you’re gay or even that you’re acting gay.
I’m just saying men and women are attracted to different things. You can’t use the same tactics that would work on you to woo a person of the opposite sex.
For example men are mainly attracted to a woman’s appearance while women are attracted to personality.
That doesn’t mean men should stop working on their appearance or that women should stop trying to be good people. But it does mean you need to make an effort to work on the things that will attract your partner.
We’re going to work on this in your homework. But for now just realize you need to know what attracts your EX and work on that.
Then you can work on learning the subtle body language cues and emotional hot-buttons turn them on without them even knowing it. (This is advanced stuff that sounds like voodoo, but it works! And we’ll cover it in your homework.)
MISTAKE #7: Giving Your Ex All Your Power

Do NOT act like your life is over if your ex splits.
This simply surrenders all power to your ex and makes you look like a pathetic wuss they can walk all over. That’s NOT attractive and it will only last until someone new comes along.
You absolutely MUST keep the respect of your ex if you want a chance at winning them back.
(If you fear you’ve already lost their respect, you can get it back. We’ll discuss that in your homework.)
MISTAKE #8: The Looks And Money Trap

Our culture makes it so easy for people to believe that looks and money are all people care about.
But you know what? People really aren’t that shallow. Especially after you’ve been involved in a close relationship with the person.
Looks and money are not the foundations of a lasting relationship. They’re window dressing, and window dressing always gets tired after a time.
Some people make the mistake of saying… “I’ll lose 15 pounds and then they’ll want me back.”
NO! You need to take action now. You’re doing that now by putting an end to the 10 most common mistakes, and then following up with your homework from then on.
MISTAKE #9: Mis-Reading The Cues

There’s usually a window when your ex is giving you a chance to make things right. But you NEED to read the cues to know when this window is, when it isn’t, and how to respond the way they’re hoping you will.
This part gets a little advanced, but you can learn from people who have studied human behavior, especially man/woman dynamics and romantic relationships.
When you get good at it you can begin to influence (or what some call “manipulate”) and gain control over any interaction with your ex by giving cues and signals of your own.
MISTAKE #10: Not Getting HELP

Again, most people start a painful break up by making mistake after mistake. It’s a hard time for anyone to know what to do… but there is a right and a wrong way to try and win your ex back.
It makes some people uncomfortable but if you take the time to learn some things about psychology and people’s basic needs and desires from a partner, you can regain control and pull your partner’s heart back in to yours.
But you’ve gotta make the effort, and that means getting help. You’ve taken the first step by reading these 10 mistakes. Now it’s time to get to the homework.
Stop All Those Mistakes Now And You’ll Stop The Damage…

Nevada Files Suit against LPS; LPS Responds

BY JANN SWANSON
Another shoe dropped last week as the Nevada attorney general brought suit against Lender Processing Services, DOCX, LPS Default Solutions and other LPS subsidiaries for engaging in deceptive practices against Nevada consumers. The lawsuit includes allegations of widespread document execution fraud, deceptive statements on the part of LPS about efforts to correct document fraud, misrepresentation about its fees and services and “evidence of an overall press for speed and volume that prevented the necessary and proper focus on accuracy and integrity in the foreclosure process.”

Attorney General Catherine Cortez Masto said of the suit, “The robo-signing crisis in Nevada has been fueled by two main problems: chaos and speed. We will protect the integrity of the foreclosure process. This lawsuit is the next, logical step in holding the key players in the foreclosure fraud crisis accountable.”

The suit, filed in the 8th Judicial District of Nevada, follows an investigation into LPS’ default services of residential mortgages in the state which has led the nation in foreclosure activity for 59 straight months. LPS’ misconduct was confirmed through testimony of former employees, interviews of servicers and other industry players, and extensive review of more than 1 million pages of relevant documents. Witnesses described LPS, the nation’s largest provider of default mortgage services, as an assembly-line sweatshop, churning out documents and foreclosures as fast as new requests came in and punishing network attorneys who failed to keep up the pace.

The suit alleges that LPS:

Engaged in a pattern and practice of falsifying, forging and/or fraudulently executing foreclosure related documents;
Required employees to execute and/or notarize up to 4,000 foreclosure related documents every day;
Fraudulently notarized documents without witnessing their actual signing;
Implemented a widespread scheme to forge signatures on key documents to ensure that volume and speed quotas were met;
Concealed the scope and severity of the document execution fraud by claiming the problems were limited to clerical errors;
Improperly directed and/or controlled the work of foreclosure attorneys by imposing inappropriate and arbitrary deadlines that forced attorneys to churn through foreclosures at a rate that sacrificed accuracy for speed;
Improperly obstructed communication between foreclosure attorneys and their clients; and,
Demanded a kickback/referral fee from foreclosure firms for each case referred to the firm by LPS and allowed this fee to be misrepresented as “attorney’s fees” on invoices passed on to Nevada consumers and/or submitted to Nevada courts.
In response to the suit LPS issued a press release strongly disputing allegations in the complaint. The company said it had cooperated with the Attorney General’s office for more than 14 months to resolve the inquiry “but its efforts have been frustrated by the Nevada Attorney General’s decision to outsource its investigation to Cohen Milstein Sellers & Toll PLLC, a plaintiff’s law firm located in Washington, D.C., in apparent violation of Nevada law. The complaint highlights misconceptions about LPS and seeks to sensationalize a variety of false allegations in a misleading manner.”

LPS said it had previously disclosed some issues with some of its own document execution practices it had discovered during an internal review, but was “not aware of any person who was wrongfully foreclosed upon as a result of a potential error in the processes used by our employees” and will “vigorously defend against the complaint.”

6 credit mistakes that can ruin your holidays

By Lisa Bertagnoli

Credit cards can help make a breeze out of holiday shopping. A few missteps, though, and that breeze can turn into a storm of financial headaches. Here are six credit slip-ups to avoid this holiday season, along with patch-up advice for the sadder and wiser shoppers among us.

Mistake No. 1: You now own a half-dozen retail credit cards. Signing up for an in-store credit card to save 20 percent or even 30 percent on purchases that day is tempting. It’s also trouble, says David C. Jones, president of the Association of Independent Consumer Counseling Agencies, a nonprofit trade group based in Fairfax, Va. Sign up for a new card too many times in too short a period, and it can hurt your credit. “And in a lot of cases the interest rates are ridiculous,” Jones says. (A 2010 CreditCards.com survey said that nearly two-thirds of retail cards feature an APR of 23 percent or higher. Meanwhile, the annual interest rate on a new bank credit card is roughly 15 percent.) Holiday help: Take a pass and make do with the credit you already have. Or if you absolutely must get a new retail card, get just one — instead of signing up for one in every store you visit.

Mistake No. 2: You’re tempted by delayed-interest offers. A popular offer this time of year is “no interest until 2013,” especially on big-ticket items such as appliances and furniture. So even if you don’t need a new California king mattress and storage headboard to go with it, you buy. Holiday help: Read the fine print before you sign. Retailers “aren’t in business to lose money,” Jones points out. “The truth of the matter is these offers are very carefully calculated.” Either the interest rate is built into the cost of the item, or interest accrues during the “free” period, and you pay it at the end of the free period. “It’s wonderful to use credit to get things you need right away,” Jones notes, “but it’s much better if you pay cash.”

Mistake No. 3: You’re spending more than you planned to. So you walked out of the mall with twice as much stuff as you wanted or needed? No wonder: Retailers are geniuses at getting consumers to spend money. “Marketers know all about the psychology of spending,” says Cicily Maton, founder of and financial planner at Aequus Wealth Management in Chicago. Everything from artful displays to that pile of fetchingly priced stuff at the cash wrap “is geared toward making us spend more money,” she says. Her favorite crafty ploy: Buy-one-get-second-for-(however much)-off, which sends most consumers searching for a sweater or pair of socks they don’t need, just for the discount. “And you’re still spending half as much as you would anyway,” Maton points out. Holiday help: Make a list for every single store you plan to visit, and stick to it, Maton advises. Stay out of stores you don’t need to shop at, she adds. Taking cash, not credit cards, also helps resist temptation, as does a snack before a shopping trip. “If you shop when you’re low on blood sugar, your judgment is impaired,” she says.

Mistake No. 4: You’re a big bargain shopper. Newspaper ads and in-store signs tout half off — even 75 percent off — tempting gifts and goodies, and urge consumers to “buy now, while supplies last.” They’re bargains, right? And as a good shopper, how can you resist? Holiday help: Unless the item is on your list, resist the urge to rush out and buy. “It’s not on sale,” points out Ed Landis, president of Landis Financial Services in Annapolis, Md. “Two weeks later, they’ll have another sale.” Landis also points out that a bit of Internet research often can reveal similar bargains (though be aware of shipping and handling costs).

Mistake No. 5: The bad guys got your credit card number. The keep-it-close protectiveness you feel about your wallet or handbag can fade while shopping online. Yes, you’re safe at home, but talented hackers can breach even secure sites. Less-than-trustworthy e-retailers can neglect to fully secure their websites. Scam artists double down on spear fishing — sending innocent-looking links that, when clicked, download malware onto desktops. That malware records keystrokes and enables thieves to steal any and all data entered into that computer. Holiday help: Make sure e-commerce sites are secure. Look for a small icon of a lock in a lower corner of the screen. The Web address prefix “https” denotes a secure site; the “s” stands for secure, explains Stan Stahl, president of Citadel Information Group, a Los Angeles-based cybersecurity firm. To protect your home computer, download software updates regularly. To avoid malware downloads, don’t click on links in e-mail advertisements; cut and paste them into your browser, Stahl advises. Finally, buy only from e-retailers you recognize; thieves set up pop-up Internet shops this time of year and use savvy search-engine optimization tools and ridiculously low offers ($10 for an iPad, anyone?) as come-ons. Finally, review your credit card statements each month to make sure you, and not a thief, are responsible for the charges.

Mistake No. 6: You’re spending money you don’t have. With mortgage and auto loan rates at record lows, credit card debt falling (it’s dropped by about $180 billion since August 2008) and a slight rebound in the job market, it may be tempting to feel flush, and spend accordingly. That might include tapping into the holiday bonus you know is coming this month or signing up for an extra credit card or two. Holiday help: Don’t do either, advises Chris Karam, chief investment officer at Sheridan Road Financial, a financial-planning firm in Northbrook, Ill. “These are murky economic times,” Karam says, adding that credit-card companies are making offers again because of those low interest rates. “Liquidity has returned, but the ability to spend has not necessarily improved,” he says.

Nerve.com Launches Algorithm-Free Online Dating Site

By Claire Gordon Anyone who has crafted a message on OkCupid knows that online dating is still a very unnatural act. You scan the stranger’s profile, wittily riff off of their listed interests, insert a few choice questions, and acknowledge how weird the whole thing is (using the words “sorry,” “apologize,” and “awkward” in your first message ups the likelihood of reply). Nerve.com hopes to make this whole experience less stilted, and on Wednesday launched its new love portal, Nerve Dating. It isn’t Nerve.com’s first foray into online matchmaking. Nerve Personals were also intended to “energize the world of online dating” over a decade ago. Rufus Griscom, who co-founded the site, told the New York Press then that on Nerve you’d “be able to go online and say, ‘I’m looking for someone who loves Faulkner, hates their mother…” It was “literate smut” for the affluent and college-educated lonely heart. But the internet has changed in the past ten years, and Nerve is apparently trying to change with it. The new site has no pleading personals, no questionnaires, no algorithms, according to the New York Times’ “Bits” blog. Nerve Dating takes the hint from Twitter and Facebook, and allows potential romancers to break the ice through a flowing stream of public updates. You can go onto the page “What did you do last night?” and see if someone’s yesterday strikes your fancy. In the “Opinions” section, you can check out other users’ thoughts on culture, sex and dating, or other soul-stripping questions, like “The Ghostbuster I most relate to is…” And if you want to message someone, it’ll cost you $20 a month. Sean Mills, the CEO of Nerve, told the Times that the fee serves as a filter that “benefits everyone on the site.” Nerve Dating isn’t the first matchmaking site to integrate social networking features. That honor in fact goes to OkCupid, which allowed users to write journal entries, create quizzes, and instant message prospective paramours. Many dating sites have followed. Zoosk, which started as a Facebook app, is run exactly like a social network, and took home $90 million last year. Heartbroker lets you set up your Facebook friends. Many have pursued the dream of making online dating less awkward. Grouper sets up three girls and three boys with info gleaned from their Facebook profiles, based on the logic that a “social club” is less potentially horrifying than a blind date. On Grindr, users meet each other based entirely on physical proximity. So your message doesn’t communicate, “I’m really into you.” It means only, “I’m here, you’re here, what do you say?” In years past, online dating sites vied for domination based on the genius of their algorithms. eHarmony bragged about its 258-question personality test, which is responsible, it claims, for nearly 120 weddings a day. A sociologist devised the algorithm for Perfectmatch.com, while Chemistry.com is founded on an algorithm designed by an anthropologist well-versed in neural chemistry. These websites took on the role traditionally occupied by families, churches, and clubs. When it came to love, they knew better than you. But the younger set is rebelling against this top-down matchmaking and its invisible mechanizations. That could be because the younger generation has been raised on social media, and finds the frozen profiles and secret behind-the-scenes workings of many dating sites uncomfortably old school. The majority of the users on eHarmony, on the other hand, are over 35, and are less likely to be fluent in the ways of the social web. “The story of online dating has become about algorithms and not about having fun with people online,” said Mills. “We’re moving away from the algorithm era into the social era. This is a dating site that reflects how the Web has changed.” Singles in their 20s and early 30s are also often looking for good times more than “the one,” and so prefer the freedom to pick their partners. If these people reach 35, and the instant messages and status updates have failed to garner a true love match, then maybe that they’ll admit defeat, throw up their arms, and surrender themselves to the almighty algorithm, too.

When the Most Wonderful Day of the Year Comes Late

To save money on gifts, some families celebrate Christmas a few days late
By Christina Rexrode
When Emily Russell’s two young sons wake up on Christmas morning, they’ll find that Santa left them a note instead of the videogames they requested.
“Hey, I couldn’t get by your house last night,” Russell, a single mother from Kernersville, N.C., plans to write to her sons and sign Santa’s name. “Your mom is going to take you to the store when she can.”
Some people have always postponed Christmas celebrations because their jobs don’t pause for the holiday. But in the weak economy, folks are delaying Christmas for another reason: money.
Deloitte’s annual holiday survey for the first time asked shoppers whether they planned to wait until January to do the bulk of their shopping for Christmas. Six percent of the more than 5,000 respondents said they did.
The strategy can pay off. After Christmas, retailers offer discounts of up to 75 percent on a wider variety of items than they do in the weeks leading up to the holiday.
It’s something cost-conscious shoppers have gotten hip to. Retail sales during the seven days after Christmas rose year-over-year in three of the past five years, according to research firm ShopperTrak. And last year, year-over-year online spending grew by 22 percent on Dec. 26 and 56 percent on Dec. 27, according to computer giant IBM’s retail consulting arm.
Elaine Wu and her husband plan to wait until the day after Christmas to shop because they’ve agreed not to spend more than $150 for each other — a difficult task given they like to splurge on upscale Marc Jacobs handbags and Armani shoes.
Wu says she’s also waiting until after Christmas to shop for some of her friends. Real friends, she figures, wouldn’t want her to go through the headache of shopping in the pre-Christmas madness anyway.
“Just because it’s a day late doesn’t mean it’s going to be any less special or didn’t come from the same sentiment,” says Wu, 36, a marketing manager for the startup website BlogHer in Silicon Valley. “It just means that it’s going to save us 60 percent.”
Postponing Christmas Day, originally a Christian holiday to celebrate the birth of Christ, is almost unheard of in some circles. About 95 percent of Americans celebrate Christmas — including 80 percent of non-Christians, according to Gallup polls.
But Bruce David Forbes, author of “Christmas: A Candid History,” says those who delay Christmas festivities can take some comfort in the fact that Dec. 25 isn’t the date of the birth of Christ.
When Christians started celebrating his birth in the 300s after the Roman emperor Constantine converted to that religion, they didn’t know the birthdate, so it appears that they picked a day to coincide with Romans’ midwinter celebrations of their own gods. Meanwhile, Christians in more eastern countries, like Turkey and Greece, were already celebrating on Jan. 6.
So, Forbes, who teaches religious studies at Morningside College in Sioux City, Iowa, says if you’re celebrating anywhere between Dec. 25 and Jan. 6, “you’re not even doing it late.”
That may be a relief to Mujtaba Al-Qudaihi of Baltimore, Md., who plans to spend Dec. 25 watching a movie, catching up on reading or killing time on the Internet. His real Christmas celebration — which includes his dad dressing up as Santa and the extended family exchanging gifts and eating a big meal — will happen a few days later.
That’s because it’s cheaper for Al-Qudaihi and other relatives to fly to his parents’ home in Indianapolis after Christmas. Besides, Al-Qudaihi figures that the prices on gifts he plans to buy will be much cheaper after Christmas.
“Nothing changes,” says Al-Qudaihi, 27, who works in information-technology consulting for a public university. “Just the date.”
Danielle McCurley of Lacey, Wash., also is planning to postpone Christmas a couple days. She wants to wait until her financial aid check for her school tuition arrives so she can spend the extra money on gifts.
In normal years, McCurley would have finished her Christmas shopping weeks ago. But this year is different: After losing her job as a home health aide, McCurley, 32, returned to school to study social work this fall. Adding to that, her husband, Mario, was out of work for a year and a half, though he recently found a job as a security guard.
McCurley, who has three children ages 4, 5 and 11, thinks her youngest two won’t really notice. Her oldest will, but she already bought his present: a secondhand netbook that she got for a third of the original price at $100. And she figures her mom, her three brothers and her husband won’t really mind the late presents.
“They’re adults,” McCurley says. “I don’t think they’ll be too upset.”
Meanwhile, Russell, the North Carolinian mom, isn’t sure how her sons, ages 8 and 10, will react when they learn Christmas will come late for them.
Postponing the celebration is the only way Russell, a customer service worker, can manage to afford Christmas this year because she had to take two weeks off without pay recently when her youngest had his tonsils removed. She figures if she waits until after Christmas to go shopping, she’ll be able to scrounge up money to buy each boy a video game, a board game and one piece of clothing.
“It might be a little upsetting to start with,” says Russell, 41. “I’ll tell them, ‘I’m sorry Santa didn’t come by today. Maybe he’ll come by next week.'”

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