Law Offices of Chris M. Ingram

    More Drama in Wall Street

    Headline – More Drama in Wall Street   Today saw the Dow Jones drop 777.84 points, its largest ever one day fall, but not the largest percentage fall. Reports are saying that this fall was about the 5th largest one day fall. What does all this mean for our clients looking to relocate to the US? To be honest it doesn’t mean much yet. The problem seems to be centered around the banking industry as opposed to an economic decline. In recent years many Americans took out what are called sub-prime mortgages. A sub-prime mortgage is where a person borrowed say $300,000 on a house worth perhaps $320,000. The interest payments should have been around $1,500pm at 6% if the borrower just paid the interest. A sub-prime payment meant that the borrower would only be required to pay $750 and the $750 per month short fall would be added to the loan. Over a 3-5 year period these payments would increase and then on the 5th year the payments would correct so that the borrower would pay the full mortgage payment on what might be a $450,000 mortgage.  The argument was that in 5 years the house might be worth $650,000 therefore the borrower could still make a healthy profit.   This was all great in theory until lenders found two things. Firstly, borrowers would borrow much more than they could afford, by buying houses that were well out of their reach, e.g., instead of buying a $320,000 they would buy a $640,000 and make payments of $1,500 under the sub-prime system. As payments started to ratchet up, borrowers found themselves very stretched almost to breaking point, but they held on. Then after 2-3 years of increasing payments they broke and defaulted in their payments resulting in a foreclosure of their home. The foreclosure rates began to sky rocket as hundreds of thousands of people gave up on their mortgages. House prices started to plunge which only made the problem worse; banks started to fail.   Some industry areas have been caught up in this crisis, such as new construction, but restoration and maintainance work has remained strong. President Bush wanted tax payers to bail out Wall Street, but the popular sentiment is firmly against this, therefore today the House of Representatives voted down the proposed bail out plan and the Dow Jones fell.   Should we be worried about whether or not to relocate to the US? Of course not. As I’ve stated before, many sectors of the economy are doing very well and in fact growing. Many of our clients are starting or buying a new business so they can qualify for an E2 Visa, or opening a branch of their business so they can qualify for an L1 visa. Nothing should change those plans. In fact, it should only speed up those plans. It’s always best to get into the market when the market is weak. Many of our clients have recently married a US citizen or are looking to go through the US Immigration process in order to get the work permit and green card. Again, the current headline news should not cloud these plans.   Many of our clients are in the entertainment business in one form or another and again this industry is booming too. We need entertainment, our appetites through advertising have been engorged – so as a law firm we are constantly looking to help talented people relocate as there is work for them here. The O1 and P1 visas are the ones we use and although they take a lot of preparation, the effort is certainly well worth it in the end.   This blog is geared to shed some positive perspective on what is happening here in America: to try and keep our clients motivated, inspired and eager to move and not be put off by the nay-sayers. US Immigration is a strong sector of the market and should only continue to do well as long as America looks attractive. It seems appropriate to say that relocating to America has never looked so good. ECI  

    US Immigration Law Offices of Chris M. Ingram
    Chris M. Ingram LL.M., ESQ – Immigration Attorney
    Admitted in New York.
    Practice Specializing in US Immigration Law
    520 Broadway, Suite 350,
    Santa Monica,
    California 90401
    Tel: 310 496 4292