New Program Allows Distressed Homeowners to Avoid Foreclosure By Renting From the Bank

If you’re struggling to pay your mortgage and facing foreclosure, you may be able to avoid losing your home through a unique new program. CitiMortgage is rolling out a pilot program in six states that will allow distressed homeowners to stay in their homes by renting it from their lender. If this program is successful, I imagine CitiMortgage will expand to other states. Continue reading

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Government Docking Social Security Checks For Unpaid Student Loans

A few months ago I wrote about how senior citizens are increasingly becoming saddled by student loan debt, whether from a career change late in life or borrowing on behalf of children or grandchildren. For many seniors, carrying student loans into retirement can create an enormous financial burden that can’t be wiped out in bankruptcy. Even worse, Social Security recipients who fall behind on their loan payments may get a very nasty surprise when their next check comes. Continue reading

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Business Insider: One Family’s Journey Out of $26,000 in Debt

I’ve been a big fan of Dave Ramsey’s The Total Money Makeover for a while, so it’s always nice to read how it’s impacted other people’s lives as well.  Business Insider has a great article about a couple in Virginia who decided to live debt free after reading The Total Money Makeover and going through Ramsey’s Financial Peace University course. Continue reading

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Could Supersonic Air Travel for the Masses Be in the Near Future?

I may be a mortgage guy, but I’ve always found it fun to read about new innovative technology. My wife and I both love to travel, but it’s the “getting there” of travel that can be kind of a pain. If there was a way to cut down flight time and keep the air fare reasonable, we’d be all over it! Continue reading

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New Refinance Proposal Targets 8 Million Underwater Homeowners

Senator Jeff Merkley, a Democrat from Oregon, has proposed a new refinance initiative that would target up to 8 million underwater homeowners who currently can’t refinance under initiatives such as the Home Affordable Refinance Program, or HARP.  Because HARP requires that a borrower’s home loan be owned by Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac, many homeowners with non-government backed loans have not been able to refinance and take advantage of today’s much lower interest rates. Continue reading

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Planning on Getting a New Mortgage? Keep Up on Those Mortgage Payments!

Back during the heydey of the housing boom, lenders were letting a lot of things slide when they were giving out loans. Today, it’s incredible to think that it was possible to get a mortgage with no income, no job, 90-day lates on your mortgage, 500 credit scores, etc. Those days are long gone now thanks largely to the subprime bust, so if you’re in the market to get a new home loan, you need to make sure your credit profile is in tip-top shape. If you’re planning to purchase a home or refinance, it’s important to understand that lenders have zero tolerance for late payments on your mortgage. Continue reading

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Average American Works More Than Six Months of the Year to Support Government

Reading and writing about stuff like this always bums me out, but I think it’s important for Americans to realize how much of a burden our government has become. According to an Americans for Tax Reform report, in 2012 the average American worker will labor for more than six months of the year just to pay for the burden of government. In other words, as of this writing, you’ve already worked more than six months of the year and are just now starting to earn money for yourself. Folks, this is heartbreaking!

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Peter Schiff: The Other Massive Fiscal Cliff You Haven’t Heard About

I’m sure you’ve heard plenty of talk about government’s borrowing and spending and how it could lead to serious issues down the road, but what you may have heard about less is related issue that could massively exacerbate an already bad overspending problem.

Peter Schiff of Euro Pacific Capital gives a great rundown of the huge fiscal cliff the US federal government faces if interest rates rise in the future. Because the federal debt is accumulating so quickly, is financed for relatively short terms (and thus needs to be refinanced periodically), it’s not unlike a $16 trillion subprime loan that will have a massive rate adjustment in the future.

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How Rich People (Really) Earn Their Wealth posted an interesting article recently that shows how the wealthiest people in America earned their wealth. As much as it may surprise you, the vast majority of people didn’t earn great wealth working for somebody else. They got it by building and investing in businesses that grew and earned them more income and wealth. Continue reading

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County Wants to Use Eminent Domain to Combat Foreclosures

One county in California has come up with a novel way to combat the foreclosure crisis: eminent domain. San Bernardino County, located inland and east of Los Angeles, has been hit hard by the foreclosure crisis. Home prices in many communities in the county have fallen by half or more since the peak in 2005 and 2006, leaving many homeowners far underwater. Continue reading

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