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  • Minnesota Attorney General Sues “Foreclosure Consultants”
    The Minnesota Attorney General filed lawsuits against two companies in Florida that allegedly ripped off Minnesota homeowners. The companies are accused of charging homeowners upfront fees of as much as $1,850 to renegotiate mortgage loans. Mortgage “foreclosure consultants” are companies that promise to renegotiate mortgage loans to help troubled homeowners avoid foreclosure. Business has been [...]
    [January 30th, 2009]
  • Debt Consolidation: 10 Pros and Cons
    Debt consolidation occurs when a borrower rolls up a number of short-term, unsecured loans (credit card, store accounts, personal loans and so on) into one larger, long-term, secured loan.
    [January 30th, 2009]
  • Payday Loans: Are Borrowers Feckless or Savvy?
    Prejudice Some campaigners characterize those who use payday loans as feckless, and even a little childlike.
    [January 30th, 2009]
  • How to Choose Between Unsecured Personal Loan Types
    Unsecured personal loans customarily come in two main types: the installment plan and the line of credit. Often, the lending institution will offer the borrower the choice between these two alternatives for repayment of the personal loan. Here are a few things to think about before and during that choosing process: When Will Total Repayment Occur? This question [...]
    [January 30th, 2009]
  • How to Avoid the Default Percentage Regarding Payday Loans
    Much of the bad press that payday lenders receive centers on the default percentage regarding payday loans. While it’s true that default percentage rates can be as stiff as 200% or more, those rates only go into effect should you miss a repayment. This retroactive action is typical with any loan that you take [...]
    [January 29th, 2009]
  • Standards Tighten on Loan Applications
    Mortgage loan defaults are at a record high.  As banks examine the causes of the defaults, fraud is again and again identified as a root cause.  In order to eliminate fraud, standards have become tighter on loan approvals. Income documentation and value assessments are at the forefront of the changes being made.  What is an IRS [...]
    [January 29th, 2009]
  • Mortgage Rates Hold Steady
    After sliding downward for 11 straight weeks, mortgage rates rose last week — and remained virtually unchanged through this week, according to Freddie Mac’s Primary Mortgage Market Survey released Thursday. 30-year fixed-rate mortgages averaged 5.10 percent with an average 0.7 point this week, dropping just slightly below last week’s 5.12 percent average. Last year at [...]
    [January 29th, 2009]
  • What Is an Advanced-Fee Personal Loan?
    Borrowers with bad credit may find themselves desperate enough to apply for advanced-fee personal loans. But these personal loans have many pitfalls, and consumers would be smart to steer clear of them. To obtain an advanced-fee personal loan, borrowers must pay money upfront, supposedly to cover the lenders loan insurance, according to CNBC. Advanced-fee lenders [...]
    [January 27th, 2009]
  • Home Prices Continue Their Descent
    The U.S. housing market has continued to suffer at the hands of rising foreclosures, increased unemployment, and lack of consumer confidence. Home prices in 20 major cities in the United States declined at the fastest pace ever in the past year. Home prices in a 20-city sample plunged a record 18.2% in November 2008, on a [...]
    [January 27th, 2009]
  • Four Common HELOC Mistakes and How You Can Avoid Them
    1. Confusing “Term Rates” With Introductory Rates Occasionally, homeowners fall into the trap of confusing the actual interest rate on their mortgage with an introductory rate. Even though stress levels may be high, it’s important to closely examine the details of your home equity loan. With home equity lines of credit, it’s quite common for the [...]
    [January 27th, 2009]
  • First-Time Homebuyer Tax Credit
    The Housing and Economic Stimulous Act of 2008 includes a $7500 tax credit for first-time homebuyers.  There are a few things to watch out for before deciding if this tax credit is right for your tax strategy.  Five things to keep in mind The home must be purchased between April 9, 2008 and July 1, 2009 The credit [...]
    [January 23rd, 2009]
  • Does It Make Sense to Refinance Your Mortgage?
    Current mortgage rates have dropped in recent weeks, causing a flood of applications for refinancings. The average 30-year fixed mortgage rate was 5.12% this week, up from 4.96% last week, according to Freddie Mac. But does it makes sense to refinance you loan even with mortgage interest rates being so low? Here are some things a [...]
    [January 23rd, 2009]
  • Mortgage Rates Reverse Course
    Rates on fixed-rate mortgages reversed course this week and rose, breaking an 11-week downward trend that sent the 30-year mortgage to record lows, Freddie Mac reported on Thursday. The 30-year fixed-rate mortgage averaged 5.12% for the week ending Jan. 22, up from last week’s 4.96% average, according to Freddie Mac’s weekly survey. According to the latest data [...]
    [January 23rd, 2009]
  • Five Worthy Causes for Taking Out a Personal Loan
    With unemployment topping seven percent, American consumers are not consuming as much as they once were. People are concerned about their future income. Just as banks are wary to lend, individuals are wary to borrow. Nevertheless, there are valid instances in which taking out an unsecured personal loan makes sense, even in this uncertain economic environment. Here are [...]
    [January 23rd, 2009]
  • How To Maximize and Build Your Home Equity In Three Steps
    Step 1 - Pay Off Your Existing Mortgage Debt Home equity is defined your home’s value subtracted by the amount of existing mortgage debt.  If you are consistently paying your mortgage payment every month, congratulations - you’re on the right track. By paying your mortgage every month, you are slowly, but surely reducing the amount of [...]
    [January 21st, 2009]
  • 6 Reasons to Apply for Quick Payday Loans
    Quick payday loans exist for one reason: to get you out of financial dilemmas. That said, it doesn’t take much to figure out when you should apply for one. In an emergency, borrowers rarely have the time to apply for traditional loans. Here are 6 situations when payday loans just make sense. Medical Emergencies. eFluxMedia cites [...]
    [January 21st, 2009]
  • How to Unfreeze an Equity Line of Credit
    Banks have been doing what they can to protect themselves amid falling home values and increasing delinquencies on auto loans, credit cards, and home equity lines of credit. Over the last few months, many homeowners have received letters from their bank informing them that their home equity line of credit has either been reduced dramatically [...]
    [January 20th, 2009]
  • More People are Delinquent on Personal Loans
    The amount of delinquent personal and other types of installment loans in the U.S. rose to a seasonally adjusted 2.9% in the third quarter last year, according to data from the American Bankers Association (ABA). People are considered delinquent on loans when they are 30 or more days late. Delinquencies on indirect auto loans that are made [...]
    [January 19th, 2009]
  • Minorities, Elderly Are Among Those Having Most Trouble Paying Mortgages
    People in California, Nevada, Florida, are among those having the most difficulty with paying their mortgages, according to the Associated Press (AP). Furthermore, of Hispanics in New Jersey, single parents in California, and senior citizens in Rhode Island, more than a third can’t afford their mortgages. The AP analyzed U.S. Census data and found that the financial burdens [...]
    [January 18th, 2009]
  • Military Payday Loans: Fast Financial Support for Heroes
    Serving in the armed forces has its benefits. From college financial aid to supplementary income, soldiers and their families often enjoy preferential treatment in cities around the world. But what about finding fast loans for unexpected bills or emergencies? Military payday loans are specially designed for this group and feature almost guaranteed approval and payback [...]
    [January 17th, 2009]
  • Debt: The Worst Sort of Holiday Hangover
    For those who tend to overindulge in alcohol, the recent holidays probably brought some horrible headaches–and repeated promises of ‘never again’. For those who tend to overindulge in spending, the same will apply.
    [January 16th, 2009]
  • Payday Loans: the Other Side of the Story
    Payday loans get such negative coverage in the mainstream media that it seems only fair at least occasionally to give the industry’s side of the story.
    [January 16th, 2009]
  • How to Decide the “When” of Obtaining a Personal Loan
    At this point, it goes without saying that the last year have been a nutso one for credit of all types. Humongous financial institutions have collapsed under the weight of bad loans. What does all this mean for the so-called “little people,” who may need a personal loan to meet short-term obligations and didn’t have anything [...]
    [January 15th, 2009]
  • Approvals Limited During Rise in Applications
    Demand for mortgages has skyrocketed as of late as mortgage rates continue their decline. Mortgage Bankers Association said its seasonally adjusted index of mortgage applications, which includes both purchase and refinance loans, for the week ended Jan. 9 increased 15.8 percent to 1,324.8, the highest reading since the week ended July 11, 2003, when it [...]
    [January 15th, 2009]
  • What 4.5% mortgage interest rates mean to the economy
    Federal Reserve targets rates for 4.5%  (see WSJ article) Mortgage interest rates are targeted to be around 4.5% due to the Federal Reserves aggressive buying of mortgage backed securities.  The Federal Reserve has committed to buying $500 billion in mortgage related bonds in order to drive their yields to their 4.5% target. Implications of 4.5% mortgage rates According [...]
    [January 13th, 2009]
  • Can You Keep Your Home Equity Line of Credit?
    With mortgage rates at all time lows, many consumers are researching their refinance options. Those who have started the application process are likely to run into problems related to credit scores or home values. Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac have implemented risk-based pricing tied to credit scores and home equity that have pushed rates and fees [...]
    [January 13th, 2009]
  • Improving Bad Credit Can Boost Chances of Getting a Personal Loan
    The credit crunch has made it difficult for people with bad credit to qualify for personal loans. But potential borrowers who have an income and are willing to focus on fixing their bad credit, will dramatically improve their chances for getting personal loans. These days many lenders are unwilling to approve personal loans for people who have [...]
    [January 12th, 2009]
  • Consolidate Payday Loans: Combine Emergency Loans for the Low APR
    Despite the negative press that payday loans have gotten over the past decade, the fact still remains that they are a viable vehicle for handling monthly emergency expenses. Partner with a reputable company, know the terms and conditions of the loan, and payday loans can save you from some sticky situations. Another key strategy for [...]
    [January 12th, 2009]
  • How To Avoid Getting Stuck With Negative Home Equity
    What is Negative Home Equity? Negative home equity is when the homeowner’s property value is less that the sum of debts owed on the home. This negative equity in the home can become a serious issue for both the mortgage lender and existing homeowner. From the mortgage lender’s perspective, negative home equity creates a serious liability [...]
    [January 12th, 2009]
  • Pros and Cons to Prepaying Mortgage Loans
    Does it make sense to pay off a mortgage early in these tough economic times? Many financial experts caution against prepaying mortgage loans, but there may be situations where it makes sense. A Wall Street Journal article outlines some pros and cons to prepaying a mortgage. Paying off a mortgage early may not be ideal if [...]
    [January 10th, 2009]
  • Debt Consolidation Through Bankruptcy and A Little Help From Your Mortgage Lender
    If you ever plan on Debt Consolidation by way of bankruptcy you may have more options around your mortgage than you once did. In a move that would help troubled homeowners, Citigroup agreed to support legislation that would let bankruptcy judges adjust mortgages for at-risk borrowers, leading Congressional Democrats said on Thursday January 8th, 2009. Citigroup, which [...]
    [January 9th, 2009]
  • Lenders and Lawmakers Discuss Modifying Mortgages in Bankruptcy
    Citigroup is one of several lenders meeting with lawmakers to discuss legislation that would allow judges to modify the terms of residential mortgages for consumers that wind up in bankruptcy, the Wall Street Journal said, citing people involved in the talks. Traditionally, lenders have been in strong opposition to such legislation. They have argued that these [...]
    [January 8th, 2009]
  • How to Protect Yourself From Unscrupulous Lenders
    Since time immemorial, lenders and borrowers have had a mutually beneficial, but also antagonistic, relationship. Shakespeare advised, “Neither a borrower nor a lender be.” But the reality is that most everyone is one or the other at some time in life, and often both at the same time. Lately, the antagonistic side has been more in [...]
    [January 8th, 2009]
  • GMAC Uses Government Aid
    GMAC is blanketing the auto loan news these past few weeks thanks to GM’s government financial aid.  On top of that the US Treasury said late Monday it would purchase five billion dollars in shares of GMAC to help support the company seen as critical to the auto sector. The Treasury also announced a one-billion-dollar loan [...]
    [January 7th, 2009]
  • P2P Sites Can Formalize Personal Loans Between Family Members
    Last week we looked at how regulators are taking more notice of how peer-to-peer (P2P) lending online is allowing people who need personal loans to get the funds they need without using banks. Even people who plan to borrow money from family members can benefit from using a site like Virgin Money to structure their personal [...]
    [January 6th, 2009]
  • Retirees Look For Alternatives To Home Equity
    In a recent MSNBC.com article, options are laid out for Americans nearing retirement who planned to tap their home’s equity to get them through their golden years. Many Americans have recently found themselves changing retirement plans after losing a substantial amount of home equity as the housing market and the overall U.S. economy struggle. These folks [...]
    [January 6th, 2009]
  • Feds to buy $500 billion in mortgage backed securities
    Mortgage Interest Rates Dropped Towards the end of November 2008 the Federal Reserve announced they would buy $500 billion in mortgage backed securities and another $100 billion in corporate debt issued by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.  When they initially made the announcement, mortgage interest rates dropped quickly and considerably. Markets Price Ahead of News As usually happens, [...]
    [January 5th, 2009]
  • Four Things You Need To Know About The Tax Deductions On Your Home Equity Loan
    One of the benefits of owning a home is that you can save money on your taxes by claiming deductions on the interest you pay on your mortgage. With a second mortgage or home equity loan, you can still take advantage of these tax breaks but the process can be a bit more confusing. Although [...]
    [January 5th, 2009]
  • Federal Reserve Begins Buying Mortgage-Backed Securities
    The Federal Reserve Bank of New York began buying mortgage-backed securities (MBS) guaranteed by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac today. The goal is to help capitalize financial institutions so they can begin lending again while also driving down the cost of borrowing to help stimulate the housing market. The program, initially announced Nov. 25, allows the [...]
    [January 5th, 2009]
  • Credit Card Companies Get the Squeeze
    Economic downturns or dare it be a recession have been a feeding frenzy for credit card companies.  They see increases in credit usage and are able to increase interest rates to sky high levels. This time may be different, credit card companies are starting to feel the squeeze.  These companies help fuel the fire of heavy [...]
    [January 5th, 2009]
  • The Hyundai Assurance Program
    In a time of economic uncertainty car buyers are more leery than ever about buying a new car.  Things like job loss, medical emergency or personal financial downturn weigh heavily on the minds of the average car buyer. Hyundai to the rescue, with the help of Walkaway USA, LLC.  Hyundia introduced their assurance program that offers [...]
    [January 5th, 2009]
  • Payday Loans: 2009 Kicks Off with Yet More Regulation
    January 1 2009 saw new payday loan regulations come into force in two states, New Hampshire and Virginia.
    [January 4th, 2009]
  • Mortgage Cram-Downs Could Be Part of Stimulus Package
    The economic stimulus plan expected to be passed early this year could give bankruptcy judges the ability to alter mortgages on primary residences. In a “cram-down” a judge is allowed to reduce the principal on a loan to help borrowers afford the payments. Currently judges can modify personal loans and mortgages on second homes, but [...]
    [January 2nd, 2009]
  • Paperless Payday Loans Help You Go Green in More Ways than One
    If you’ve been considering applying for payday loans to pick-up some unexpected expenses, there’s a way you can do that and stay true to Mother Earth. Paperless payday loans come with a variety of benefits: the emergency cash you need to get through tough situations, the convenience and security of an online transaction, and the [...]
    [January 1st, 2009]
  • Five Consequences of the New Federal Credit Card Regulations
    The Federal Government, reeling from the impact of the subprime mortgage disaster, recently added increased levels of regulation with respect to credit cards. Read an editorial about the topic here. Although the new laws do not take effect for 18 months, consumers should feel the effects immediately. Here are five specific ways this legislation could change [...]
    [January 1st, 2009]
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