January 9, 2012 |
Consumer borrowing increased at an annual rate of 10% in November, the largest jump in a decade, as Americans became more comfortable using their credit cards heading into the holiday season, as well as taking out auto and student loans, the Federal Reserve reported Monday. Overall consumer credit surged $20.4 billion in November from the previous month to $2.48 trillion. The percentage increase as the largest since an 18.4% jump in November 2001. The figures include most short- and medium-term credit, but not mortgages or home-equity loans.
December 11, 2011 |
Got a beef with your mortgage lender? Is your bank unresponsive when you complain that your escrow account is fouled up and making your monthly payments needlessly high? Did your loan officer switch you into a more costly home loan than you were promised? Or worse yet, did your home loan servicer ignore you when you told him you've had an unexpected drop in income and needed a modification to avoid missing payments? If any of these situations sound familiar, here's a heads-up about the newest and least-publicized source of federal help: the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau's home mortgage complaint and dispute resolution hotline.
November 28, 2011
U.S. consumer debt fell during July through September, pushed down by declines in mortgage balances, the New York Federal Reserve said on Monday. The report showed households continuing to shed debt and dig out from losses following the collapse of housing markets and the 2007-2009 recession. Total consumer credit was 0.6 percent below its second quarter level, the New York Fed said in its quarterly Household Debt and Credit report. "The decline in outstanding consumer credit reveals that households continue to try and deleverage in the wake of a challenging economic environment and large declines in home values," said Andrew Haughwout, an economist in the New York Fed's research and statistics group.
July 7, 2011 |
Consumers who are denied credit or whose existing loan terms become less favorable soon will be able to get free credit scores under new rules from the Federal Reserve Board and Federal Trade Commission. As part of the recently enacted Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act, the two regulators issued final rules this week related to new credit-score disclosures. Effective July 21, if a credit score is used to set certain credit terms, or to deny or revoke credit or change existing terms, then banks and others will be required to disclose credit scores and related information to consumers.
May 2, 2010 |
April was financial literacy month. Did you learn anything? The anecdotal evidence doesn't look good. Americans are falling deeper into debt, and they are increasingly waiting too long to seek help, said David Jones, president of the Assn. of Independent Consumer Credit Counseling Agencies. He ought to know. His group, based in Fairfax, Va., represents nonprofit credit counseling companies that provide free and low-cost consumer credit counseling, debt management and financial education services nationwide, and he said it was inundated with calls for help.
April 7, 2010 |
Consumer credit in the U.S. declined in February more than anticipated, indicating Americans are reluctant to take on more debt without further improvement in the labor market. Borrowing fell $11.5 billion, the most in three months, after a revised $10.6 billion January gain that was twice as much as initially estimated, the Federal Reserve said today in Washington. The decline in the February measure of credit card debt and non-revolving loans was worse than the lowest estimate in a Bloomberg News survey of 34 economists.
January 3, 2010 |
Dear Liz: The day before my son got married, he proudly had a long-term 800-plus FICO credit score. The day after he got married, his FICO score became 600. It seems his new wife had many outstanding major debts incurred before the marriage. They live in a non-community-property state. How can he rebuild his credit either with or without a divorce? Answer: Unless your son filed for bankruptcy the day after his wedding, the scenario you describe is pretty much impossible.
December 26, 2009 |
In case you missed it, Treasury Secretary Timothy F. Geithner this week promised America that there won't be another financial crisis in 2010. "We're not going to have a second wave of financial crisis," Geithner said in an interview with National Public Radio. "We'll do what is necessary to prevent that. We cannot afford to let the country live again with a risk that we're going to have another series of events like we had last year." Well, there it is. And you wonder why the stock market is at 14-month highs?
October 25, 2009 |
Ed Myska works as executive vice president of El Segundo's Bank of Manhattan, so it's pretty fair to say that he knows a thing or two about keeping his financial house in order. Yet he was among numerous people who have been notified by Citibank in recent days that the interest rate on their credit cards is soaring to almost 30%. Letters being mailed out by Citi say only that the rate increase will allow the company "to continue to provide our customers with access to credit."