May 10, 2013 |
Financially strapped homeowners who are close to foreclosure may want to face the music now rather than continuing to struggle with their monthly payments. There's a high probability of losing the house anyway, even with the government's help. According to a new report, people who take advantage of a key federal program to modify their mortgages in an effort to save their homes are defaulting "at an alarming rate. " The report from the special inspector general for the Treasury Department's Troubled Asset Relief Program doesn't say why an inordinately high percentage of owners who take part in the Home Affordable Modification Program, or HAMP, are unable to maintain their loan modifications.
May 3, 2013 |
Did you hear about the loan underwriter who demanded a letter from the borrower's doctor stating the borrower had been healed and his illness would not come back? How about the underwriter who wanted a verification of employment from the borrower who listed her occupation as "homemaker"? Yes, things are tough out there. And despite some evidence that lenders are easing up just a tad, in the new world of "prove everything - and prove it twice," there have been some unusual demands, to say the least.
April 29, 2013 |
A growing number of Indian tribes are getting into the payday loan business, saying they just want to raise revenue for their reservations while helping cash-strapped consumers nationwide. But federal officials suspect that, at least in some cases, tribes are being paid to offer their sovereign immunity to non-Indian payday lenders that are trying to dodge state regulations. So far, the tribes have prevailed over California and other states that have tried to assert authority over tribal lending operations.
April 28, 2013 |
Question: Even with an annual income of more than $2 million, our association is in a big mess. There's a several-million-dollar loan inclusive of our reserve account the association is paying off that has a variable interest rate currently at 6.85%. The association can't touch the reserves because the bank says it's garnisheed as collateral for the loan. The board says we have to pay this money back because the bank is holding our reserve account hostage. If it is borrowed and we can't touch this high-interest money, can the association just give it back?
April 27, 2013 |
Michele and Russell Poland's credit was shot, but they managed to buy their suburban dream home anyway. After a business bankruptcy and a home foreclosure, they turned to a rare option in this era of tightfisted banking - a subprime loan. The Polands paid nearly $10,000 in upfront fees for the privilege of securing a mortgage at 10.9% interest. And they had to raid their retirement account for a 35% down payment. Most borrowers would balk at such stiff terms. But with prices rising, the Polands wanted to snag a four-bedroom home in Temecula near top-rated schools for their 5-year-old son. By later this year, they figure, they'll be able to refinance into a standard loan.
April 26, 2013 |
Dear Liz: My husband and I are recovering from a job loss four years ago. We used up all our savings and home equity. My husband is now employed, but we are struggling to keep ahead even with a salary of about $100,000. I was a stay-at-home mom for the first 10 years of our kids' lives and now I work two part-time jobs to help with our expenses. We are trying to follow the 50/30/20 budget plan you recommend, but can't seem to get our "must haves" - which are supposed to be no more than 50% of our after-tax income - down from 80% to 90%. Most of the rest goes for "wants," such as the kids' dance classes and soccer teams and for cellphones.