Reporting from ConnectSF08

I’m here at the beautiful Palace Hotel in San Francisco for the Real Estate Connect conference put on by Inman News.  I’ve been to Connect conferences in the past and came away with some fond memories of presentations by Larry Page and John Seely Brown.  I’m sure my raincityguide blogger colleagues are here someplace; by this time of night I’ll guess they’re out drinking and I’ll hook up with them tomorrow.  There are two tracks to choose from tomorrow morning, blogging and foreclosures.  Guess which one I signed up for?  Tomorrow afternoon, Brad Inman delivers the opening keynote “How the Nomadic Culture Will Rock Your World” and right after that, we’ll here from Craig Newmark and RCG’s Dustin Luther and THEN finally, “The Housing Debate: Bull v. Bear” panel with two of my favorite bloggers, CR from CalculatedRisk and Yves Smith from Naked Capitalism.  It doesn’t look like all the meals are covered so if anyone who knows San Francisco has suggestions for where to step out for a quick bite, please let me know. I’m across the street from the Mongtomery Street BART station and I am armed with a four day BART pass. 

52 thoughts on “Reporting from ConnectSF08

  1. Have fun, but we miss your work!

    The Times reports this morning that DFI has charged Paramount Equity Mortgage with deceptive advertising, improper disclosures, deceptive practices regarding their status as a “mortgage bank”, and the use of unlicensed loan originators.

    Oddly, there’s nothing in the charges about Hayes Barnard having the most annoying voice in radio history. Apparently, that is NOT illegal.

  2. Hi biliruben,

    Well, I’m not sure. He’s on a panel in the afternoon and tomorrow, he’s part of the “meet the leaders” roundtable session where any of us can sit down and talk with him. I intend to do this. I’d like to know what his take is on the government housing bill the Senate is getting ready to vote on.

  3. Roger shoots and scores! Wow that IS news. I know DFI promised everyone that they were going to crack down on deceptive advertising in 2008. It’s great to see our regulators at work.

    “Calling themselves a mortgage bank”…..Hmmm. We have MANY brokers with a correspondent line of credit as well as consumer loan companies calling themselves “mortgage banks” all over the state.

    This may set a presidence.

  4. Yeah, Jillayne – I was wondering if you were going to meet him live. Presumably it would be hard for him to keep up the Clark Kent act if he were meeting people live, no?

    Ironically, I find his predictions on the economy more credible because his identity is secret. I’m not sure if he would be as forthcoming and such a straight-shooter if his identity were known.

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  6. Regarding Paramount Equity Mortgage story:

    Page 7 of the DFI report, indicates that they had 16 unlicensed Loan Originators operating in their office.

    How many other former or unlicensed LO’s are operating under the radar in our state by using another licensee’s name in our state?

    I’m wondering if any of the 16 named in the DFI report have criminal backgrounds. For example, in Florida it was reported recently that approx. 10,000 loan officers had criminal backgrounds and they are calling for resignation of the head of their state dept. head who oversees the regulation of mortgage companies.

    In reading the DFI report it says that the company originated some 1,750 loans in the state during 2007. Guess the advertising worked pretty good.

  7. The advertising was VERY effective (sadly, annoying is always good in advertising—-HEAD ON, anyone), and just as clearly deceptive. Glad to be rid of them.

    Now, I suggest that you all call your favorite radio station, that surely carried the ads, and ask that they formally apologize to their listeners for accepting deceptive mortgage advertising.

    DFI did not name the 16 originators that were unlicensed, only the 3 principals of the company.

    I wonder if those LO’s were subsequently licensed, left the business, and/or went to work at another deceptive mortgage advertiser?

    HOW could ANYONE originating/brokering loans in 2007 in Washington state be unaware that they needed a license!

    Please, will all the truly stupid people in the mortgage business just walk away… now?

  8. Roger – They really thought they could get away with being “Mortgage Bankers” who are not required to be licensed. This makes a good argument requiring licensing of ALL Loan Originators regardless whether they work for a broker or a bank.

    I agree with you about the radio ads! I used to turn the volume down everytime they came on and sing “Liar, liar, pants on fire.”
    I am very glad to see them get their just due.

  9. Hi biliruben,

    He was there, live, in person. I had the chance to meet him at the conclusion of the panel. I waited patiently while people in front of me were asking him for his blog domain. He looks younger than I would have guessed and was very well spoken and calm about his predictions. I have LOTS of notes from today.

    The Foreclosure session was awesome.

  10. Jillayne:

    Let’s hope it matters.

    Linden is still in business, despite FAR worse deceptive advertising. Paramount ads are still running.

    So far DFI has succeded marvelously in driving out the lowest hanging fruits (several hundred LO’s that could not be licensed, mostly with criminal backgrounds), but the effects of the June 12 legislation drives many wholesale lenders to CLA regulation, where the originators do NOT have to be licensed.

    The marketplace weeded out far more originators (both good and bad).

    There are a bit fewer deceptive ads for mortgages on the radio and newspaper, but the internet is chock full of illegal mortgage advertising, and no one is even attempting to fix that.

    Oh well, it is progress.

  11. Stay away from Food places on Market street. For a great breakfast go to Sear’s Fine Foods…. but go early…like now otherwise there is a line out the door. It’s about 4 blocks up Powell ( from the cable car turnaround) just past Union Square on the left hand side. Old school SF eatery….get the silver dollar pancakes and a side of bacon. Because how could you go wrong with Bacon? For lunch I recommend the Crab sandwich. For dinner got to Scoma’s at Fisherman’s wharf. A the foot of Jefferson street. A little hard to find but worth it.

    Both are old school SF restaurants….One of the FINEST city’s in the world IMO


  12. no problem…BTW if you do go to Sears’ the coffee is horrible. There is a coffee house (forgot the name) to the left across the street (if you are standing facing the street).. Get your java there and bring it in..,,,never had an issue with it..

    Take Care


  13. Hopefully this isn’t too late.. food wise hop on the bart south bound and stop off at either 16th & Mission or 24th & Mission and goto a taqueria!

    Some of the more celebrated ones close to each stop are Pancho Villa on the south side of 16th (address 3071) west of Mission on the way to Valencia & La Taqueira just one block south of the Bart stop close to 25th on Mission. You’ll find many tacqueiras and pupuserias at either stop, and they’re all better than most anything you’ll find here.

  14. Hi michael!

    I found Scomas. I walked through Chinatown and followed Columbus all the way down to Fisherman’s Wharf. When I got to Scomas, it was totally jam packed. I made my way up to the hostess who looked down at me from high up on a platform with an Amy Winehouse hairdo. I asked her how long for a table for one and she said, “we can seat you right now!” I had the sole and it was marvelous. I walked all the way back to the Palace, too. I felt very safe; lots of people around.

    Thank you so much for the recommendation!

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