Success Is Easy, but so Is Neglect By: Jim Rohn

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People have asked me how I became successful when, at the same time, many of the people I knew did not. The answer is simple: The things I found to be easy to do, they found to be easy not to do. I found it easy to set the goals that could change my life. They found it easy not to. I found it easy to read the books that could affect my thinking and my ideas. They found that easy not to. I found it easy to attend classes and seminars, to get around other successful people. They said it probably really wouldn't matter. They neglected to do the basic, easy things that I made priority.

The main reason most people are not doing as well as they could and should can be summed up in a single word: neglect. Because it is not for a lack of money—banks are full of money. It is not for the lack of opportunity—America, and much of the free world, continues to offer the most unprecedented and abundant opportunities in the last 6,000 years of recorded history. It is not for the lack of books—libraries are full of books, and they are free. It is not our schools—classrooms are full of good teachers. We have plenty of ministers, leaders, counselors and advisors to guide us. Everything we would ever need to become rich and powerful and sophisticated is within our reach.


Neglect is like an infection. Left unchecked, it will spread throughout our entire system of disciplines and eventually lead to a complete breakdown of a potentially joy-filled and prosperous human life.

Not doing the things we know we should do causes us to feel guilty, and guilt leads to an erosion of self-confidence. As our self-confidence diminishes, so does the level of our activity. And as our activity diminishes, our results inevitably decline. And as our results suffer, our attitude begins to weaken. And as our attitude begins the slow shift from positive to negative, our self-confidence diminishes even more... and on and on it goes



So my suggestion is that when giving the choice of “easy to” and “easy not to,” that you do not neglect to do the simple, basic, easy—but potentially life-changing—activities and disciplines.

Mississippi Has Highest Delinquent Mortgage Rate Again

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Just as it did in November, Mississippi led all states with the highest percentage of non-current mortgages and serious delinquent mortgages in December, according to data released recently as part of Black Knight Financial Services' December 2014 “First Look” at mortgage data released Friday.


Mississippi's percentage of non-current mortgages, which are those 30 days or more overdue or in foreclosure, was 14.18 percent – a decline from the 14.88 percent the state reported for November. The national mortgage delinquency rate declined by 7 percent to 5.6 percent in December, after experiencing its biggest increase in six years a month earlier.


The non-current mortgage percentage dropped by 8.3 percent year-over-year in the Magnolia State in December. Mississippi's non-current rate of 14.18 percent in December which still way below the state's peak of 22.85 percent, attained in October 2005. Just seven months earlier, in March 2005, Mississippi's non-current mortgage rate fell to its low of 9.60 percent.


New Jersey retained the second-highest non-current mortgage rate in December, 11.9 percent, despite experiencing a decline from 12.41 percent the previous month and an 18 percent drop year-over-year.  Louisiana was third in December, as it had been in November, with 11.06 percent. New York and Rhode Island retained their fourth and fifth spots in December which they held in November with delinquency rates of 10.39 and 10.16 percent, respectively. The delinquency rate declined both month-over-month and year-over-year in each of the top five states. North Dakota was once again the state with the lowest mortgage delinquency rate for December, at 2.38 percent. The second through fifth lowest delinquency rates in December, respectively, were in South Dakota (3.54 percent), Alaska (3.56 percent), Colorado (3.58 percent), and Montana (3.83 percent).


Mississippi also had the nation's highest serious delinquency rate (90 days or more overdue or in foreclosure) for December with 5.30 percent of mortgages in the state in serious delinquency, a slight decline from the 5.39 percent the state reported for November. The state's December serious delinquency rate was still well below its peak of 9.9 percent, reported in December 2005. Mississippi's low for serious delinquency rate was 2.74 percent, achieved in March 2005.


Freddie Mac to Auction $410 Million Worth of Delinquent Mortgage Loans

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Government-sponsored enterprise Freddie Mac has announced that it will begin its second sale of “deeply delinquent” mortgage loans in three pools worth approximately $410 million.


Delinquent loans left over from a wave of foreclosures following the housing bust have dogged Freddie Mac and its sister GSE, Fannie Mae. The conservator for both GSEs, the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA), is requiring the two GSEs to reduce the number of delinquent loans in their portfolios. Fannie Mae has yet to sell off any of its delinquent loans in bulk quantities. "This transaction is consistent with Freddie Mac’s continued goal of reducing illiquid assets from its investment portfolio," Freddie Mac spokesman Thomas Fitzgerald said. "The loans involved in this transaction are deeply delinquent, including a large share that is more than two years delinquent. The sales process is a one round competitive auction."


The delinquent loans are scheduled to be auctioned off in three pools with unpaid principal balances of $160 million, $141 million, and $109 million, totaling about $410 million. Offers are due for the delinquent loans on February 4. Freddie Mac sold its first bundle of delinquent loans for $659 million last July. The GSE owns or backs approximately $1.9 trillion worth of housing debt and held about $161 billion in mortgages as of November 30, 2014, according to Freddie Mac's November 2014 Monthly Volume Summary.


Indices Report Monthly Increases for Mortgage Default Rates

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Default rates are on the rise month-over-month for both first and second mortgages nationwide, according to the S&P Dow Jones Indices and S&P/Experian Consumer Credit Default Indices for December 2014 released Wednesday. According to the data, the first mortgage default rate experienced its biggest monthly increase since September 2013, rising by five basis points from 0.97 percent in November up to 1.02 percent for December. The second mortgage default rate took a leap of 11 basis points, up to 0.59 percent for December.


The national composite default rate, which includes first and second mortgage defaults as well as those on bank cards and auto loans, increased by four basis points up to 1.11 percent from November to December. "December was the fifth consecutive month with increasing national consumer credit default rates," said David M. Blitzer, Managing Director and Chairman of the Index Committee for S&P Dow Jones Indices. "Increases also occurred in some recent months in mortgages and auto loans. While the economy is strengthening and consumer spending is gaining, wages have shown little growth. The large drop in oil prices benefits consumers’ disposable income and should limit consumers’ financial stress. Default rates remain very low but could be a cause for concern if the rising trend gains strength."


Realignment Results in Servicer Cutting More Than 800 Jobs

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Luxembourg-based mortgage servicer Altisource Portfolio Solutions is cutting more than 800 jobs both overseas and at home in the wake of what was a bumpy year for the company.


The move was announced in a conference call with investors on Friday that saw Altisource management working to reassure shareholders who have seen their stock drop more than 80 percent in the last year. In the call, CFO Michelle Esterman said the layoffs reflect the company's need to realign its expenses as Ocwen Financial Corp.—Altisource's biggest customer since it spun off in 2009—faces roadblocks to its own growth.


Much of Altisource's struggle in 2014 can be traced to its close relationship with Ocwen, which was dealt blow after blow throughout the year by state and federal financial regulators, who cited concerns stemming from consumer complaints. The hits continued earlier this month, when news broke that Ocwen may see its mortgage license suspended in California after it allegedly failed to comply with requests for loan documents from the state's Department of Business Oversight. (In the call with investors, Altisource CEO William Shepro said the chances of Ocwen losing its license are very low, though he wouldn't say more on the topic.)


A spokesperson for Altisource confirmed the layoffs, and media outlets in Boston and India have reported news of local offices cutting staff.


Altisource offered the following statement: "We have been focused on diversifying our revenue sources and expanding our business to appeal to a broader customer set for several quarters, including the launch of new products and multiple strategic acquisitions that position us for the future. After a comprehensive process to evaluate the most effective way to pursue continued expansion in light of changing market conditions, we have made the difficult but necessary decision to realign our employee base with the growth opportunities in front of Altisource. We are optimistic about new market opportunities, and the difficult actions we are taking now will better position Altisource to execute against our growth strategy over the long-term."


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