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Consumer News and Advice Archive


Strategic Defaults and the Moral Imperative

RISMEDIA, February 2, 2010—Should homeowners be morally obligated to make their mortgage payment? What if they could legally stop paying their mortgage and stay in their house with clear title? Should they do it? ...


More U.S. Homeowners Expected to Remodel in 2010

RISMEDIA, January 30, 2010—After a year of steady declines in home remodeling, the Spring 2010 U.S. Remodeling Sentiment Report reveals a 13% increase in the number of homeowners who say they will remodel in the next 12 months. This increase follows a 5% increase in last year's Spring 2009 report. ...


Founders of Home Buyer Tax Credit Website Launch Campaign to End ‘Marriage Penalty’ in Home Buyer Tax Credit

RISMEDIA, January 28, 2010—The Home Buyer Tax Credit is a great program providing a tremendous stimulus for the real estate industry, but the impact of the tax credit is going to be undermined by the restrictive way that the IRS is interpreting the credit for married couples, according to Joseph ...


FHA to Provide Early Relief to Struggling Homeowners

RISMEDIA, January 28, 2010—Homeowners with FHA-insured mortgage loans who are experiencing financial hardship are now eligible for loss mitigation assistance before they fall behind on their mortgage payments. Previously, these homeowners were not eligible for such assistance until after they had missed payments. ...


‘Whitewashed Windows and Vacant Stores’

RISMEDIA, January 26, 2010—That is a line from a 1983 Bruce Springsteen song, “My Hometown.” ...


More Than 95 Percent of Renters Planning to Move in 2010

RISMEDIA, January 23, 2010—Many renters across the country are ringing in the New Year with a new apartment. According to a national survey conducted by Apartments.com—securing more than 1,500 renter responses—more than 95% of renters said they are planning a move in 2010. Striking while their 2010 moving resolutions are ...


Changes Set to Protect Credit-Using Consumers

RISMEDIA, January 23, 2010—(MCT)—After more than a year of talking about it, actual change has finally arrived for the tens of millions of Americans who rely on credit cards. ...


Looking Ahead: Cents and Sensibility Top Priorities for Homeowners in 2010

RISMEDIA, January 22, 2010—Better Homes and Gardens recently revealed proprietary research and insights on what consumers are looking for in their next home and overall priorities guiding current and future home improvement projects. ...


FHA Announces Policy Changes to Address Risk and Strengthen Finances

RISMEDIA, January 22, 2010—Federal Housing Administration (FHA) Commissioner David Stevens announced a set of policy changes to strengthen the FHA's capital reserves, while enabling the agency to continue to fulfill its mission to provide access to homeownership for underserved communities. The changes are the latest in a series that Stevens ...


Company Spotlight: Using the 203k Program, Lowe’s Helps Home Buyers Renovate New Homes

RISMEDIA, January 22, 2010—When Maitland, Florida residents Sean and Catherine Woods found their “dream home,” they thought their search was over. Filled with what Sean Woods describes as “tons of bells and whistles,” including a $30,000 kitchen, they were sure this was it—until the home inspection. ...


Regional Spotlight: Fannie Mae Targets Hard-Hit Florida Condo Market With Looser Lending Standards

RISMEDIA, January 21, 2010—(MCT)—In hopes of reviving one of the nation's hardest-hit condominium markets, the giant mortgage backer Fannie Mae is making it easier for people to buy Florida condos that may not have met previous lending standards. ...


HUD Takes Action to Speed Resale of Foreclosed Properties to New Owners

RISMEDIA, January 19, 2010—In an effort to stabilize home values and improve conditions in communities where foreclosure activity is high, HUD Secretary Shaun Donovan recently announced a temporary policy that will expand access to FHA mortgage insurance and allow for the quick resale of foreclosed properties. The announcement is part ...


Mortgage Modifications Double in December 2009

RISMEDIA, January 19, 2010—(MCT)-After a month of intense pressure on banks and other mortgage servicers, the Obama administration recently reported improvement in its much-criticized program to reduce mortgage payments to stave off foreclosures. ...


Internal Revenue Service Releases New Home Buyer Credit Form

RISMEDIA, January 19, 2010—The Internal Revenue Service recently released the new form that eligible home buyers need to claim the first-time home buyer credit this tax season and announced processing of those tax returns will begin in mid-February. The IRS also announced new documentation requirements to deter fraud related to ...


U.S. Consumer Confidence Reaches Highest Level Since September 2008

RISMEDIA, January 19, 2010—After declining throughout much of 2009, American consumer confidence improved sharply in January 2010, returning to levels not seen since the financial crisis began in September 2008, according to the most recent results of the RBC CASH (Consumer Attitudes and Spending by Household) Index. Driven by the ...


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