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Consumer News and Advice Archive


Predatory Loan Servicing Fraud – Part Two in a Series

RISMEDIA, April 13, 2010—I am deeply disturbed by the widespread and effective campaign of financial intermediaries to shift the blame for a plan they implemented onto an unsuspecting public who believed, because of the same unrelenting messaging, that they were doing the right things. ...


More Americans Looking for Apartments in First Quarter 2010

RISMEDIA, April 12, 2010—More Americans are conducting apartment searches in the first quarter of 2010 versus previous years. While the rental industry continues to face challenging times, Apartments.com has experienced unprecedented growth in website traffic and renter leads to advertisers January through March of this year. Compared to this same ...


Homes Are ‘On Sale’ in South Florida, Phoenix and Las Vegas According to ZipRealty’s March 2010 Report

RISMEDIA, April 12, 2010—For home sellers in the Southwest or in South Florida the heat is on. According to a monthly review of Multiple Listing Services in 26 major U.S. markets conducted by the national online real estate brokerage ZipRealty in March 2010, more than 50% of MLS listings in ...


High-End Home Sellers Lower Their Sights

RISMEDIA, April 10, 2010—(MCT)—Billionaire tax cheat Leona Helmsley loved a good bargain. So, were she still around, the late hotelier might appreciate recent happenings at her Greenwich, Conn., estate known as Dunnellen Hall. ...


RE/MAX Trains Agents to Help Families Avoid Foreclosure

RISMEDIA, April 9, 2010—On the same day that the Obama Administration’s Home Affordable Foreclosure Alternatives (HAFA) Short Sale program took effect, RE/MAX University produced a special live broadcast from its headquarters in Denver. The program presented key industry leaders who detailed the new short sale policies directed at helping millions ...


Administration Announces Second Round of Assistance for Hardest-Hit Housing Markets

RISMEDIA, April 8, 2010—Building on the first Housing Finance Agency Innovation Fund for the Hardest Hit Housing Markets (the “HFA Hardest Hit Fund”), the Administration recently announced an expansion of the initiative to target five additional states with high shares of their populations living in local areas of concentrated economic ...


HUD and CPSC Issue Guidance on Repairing Homes with Problem Drywall

RISMEDIA, April 8, 2010—The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) and the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) recently issued interim remediation guidance to help homeowners struggling to rid their properties of problem drywall linked to corrosion of metal in their homes such as electrical components. ...


Regional Spotlight: Activity in Manhattan Continues to Improve; Prices Remain Down but Show Steady Gains

RISMEDIA, April 7, 2010—According to the first quarter market report recently released by Brown Harris Stevens, the average apartment price of $1,369,883 was up slightly from last quarter but down 9% from the previous year in Manhattan. The total number of closings recorded this quarter was up 92% when compared ...


Home Trends – Lively Color

RISMEDIA, April 7, 2010—Punch up your spring and give new life to rooms with these vibrant, happy shades. ...


Predatory Mortgage Servicing Fraud – First of a Series

RISMEDIA, April 6, 2010—It’s been more than three years since I wrote an article about mortgage servicing fraud. I’m a little older, but it’s still alive and thriving. Since then, we’ve had a complete meltdown of our financial system, a thorough looting of the American tax payer, the destruction of ...


The Truth About Remodeling: Why Hiring a Professional Remodeler Is Smarter than a DIY Project

RISMEDIA, April 1, 2010—When it comes time to remodel, many homeowners think “do-it-yourself” or DIY is the smartest and most cost effective way to get the job done. And while popular TV shows on HGTV and publications at the home improvement store boast the ease of such projects, Jeff Brecko, ...


Is Your House as Affordable as You Think?

RISMEDIA, March 31, 2010—A new analysis by the Center for Neighborhood Technology (CNT) shows that only two in five American communities—or 39%—are affordable for typical households when their transportation costs are considered along with housing costs. ...


The American Foreclosure Resistance Movement

RISMEDIA, March 30, 2010—I finally broke down and got my first smart phone with a touch screen, the Blackberry Storm 2. Wow, from the original Maxwell Smart’s shoe phone to this. ...


White House to Adjust Troubled Mortgage-Modification Program

RISMEDIA, March 29, 2010—(MCT)—The Obama administration took a series of steps recently to fortify its $75 billion effort to modify mortgages and plans to unveil more changes—including a push to reduce principals on difficult loans—to help struggling homeowners and cut down on foreclosures. ...


8 Tips to Take Advantage of the Home Buyer Tax Credit before Time Runs Out

RISMEDIA, March 27, 2010—RE/MAX agents report that the home buyer tax credit currently can deliver meaningful savings, but only for those who, at a minimum, have a binding contract to purchase a home in place on April 30, 2010. With ...


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