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Consumer News and Advice Archive


Is It Time to Go On the Offense?

RISMEDIA, March 23, 2010—I must be living in Bizarro World. Last week, the Associated Press began an article as follows, “Banks weren't the only ones giving big bonuses in the boom years before the worst financial crisis in generations. The government also was handing out millions of dollars to ...


Wells Fargo Agrees to Modify Second Mortgages

RISMEDIA, March 23, 2010—(MCT)—Facing criticism over the slow progress of its foreclosure-prevention efforts, the Obama administration has struck deals with two giant banks that would extend mortgage relief to homeowners with second mortgages. ...


Wealthy Seniors Could Benefit from Roth Conversions

RISMEDIA, March 23, 2010—(MCT)—Roth conversions of individual retirement accounts have been getting a lot of attention this year as more people became eligible to convert. The prospect of tax-free withdrawals in retirement has been enticing for those who earn more than $100,000 a year and who, before 2010, were not ...


Permanently Modified Mortgages Grow by 45%, Government Says

RISMEDIA, March 20, 2010—(MCT)—The Obama administration recently reported that its mortgage modification program continued to make progress, with the number of homeowners receiving permanently reduced monthly payments in February 2010 increased by 45% to 168,708. ...


Obtaining Due Process in Non-Judicial Foreclosure States

RISMEDIA, March 16, 2010—Things are starting to get really ugly out here on the front lines. The banksters latest tactic has them confirming in writing that the homeowner’s eligibility for a modification is being considered while secretly continuing to foreclose. ...


Study Shows More Immigrants Buying Homes in Mid-Size Cities

RISMEDIA, March 16, 2010—In the first study of immigrants buying homes in mid-size areas across the United States, researchers at the University of Southern California Lusk Center for Real Estate showed an increasing number of new Americans are choosing to put down permanent roots outside major gateway cities, lured by ...


NAR Urges Congress, Administration to Approach Changing FHA Slowly

RISMEDIA, March 15, 2010—The National Association of Realtors® urged Congress and the administration to move cautiously before making changes to the Federal Housing Administration (FHA) program that has served the needs of millions of American families for more than 75 years without needing a federal appropriation. ...


Unfinished Homes a Sad Symbol of Real Estate Downturn

RISMEDIA, March 13, 2010—(MCT)—The listing describes the new, six-bedroom, six-bath Colonial on Timberlane Road in Upper Saddle River, N.J., as "spectacular." With an asking price of almost $1.6 million, it's a "must see," the listing says. ...


Jumbo Mortgage Market Beginning to Thaw

RISMEDIA, March 13, 2010—(MCT)—Phil Kelly had 18 more months to go before the fixed rate on his $2.5 million mortgage became adjustable. But when Kelly, a former computer executive living in Rancho Santa Fe, California learned he could knock his interest rate down by a full percentage point by refinancing, ...


Renters: 6 Ways to Spruce Up Your Space

RISMEDIA, March 13, 2010—(MCT)—The new American dream: Renting, until the dust settles. More Americans are renting homes and giving up on home ownership—at least for now. Job loss and foreclosures are forcing some folks out of their family homes and into apartments and rental homes. ...


Government Urges Short Sales; Experts Aren’t Sure They’ll Help

RISMEDIA, March 12, 2010—(MCT)—With the highly touted federal mortgage-modification program falling short of its target numbers, the government has looked into alternatives to foreclosure and come up with a possible, though not original, solution: the short sale, a transaction in which the lender accepts less than the balance owed on ...


MBA Report Shows 1 in 10 Mortgages Now Delinquent or in Foreclosure

RISMEDIA, March 12, 2010—The Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA) recently reported that serious mortgage delinquencies- those at least 90 days past due or in foreclosure- remained at record levels in the fourth quarter of 2009. These latest statistics show that one in 10 borrowers is seriously delinquent on their mortgage, up ...


U.S. Foreclosure Activity Decreases 2% in February 2010

RISMEDIA, March 11, 2010—RealtyTrac, a leading online marketplace for foreclosure properties, released its February 2010 U.S. Foreclosure Market Report, which shows foreclosure filings—default notices, scheduled auctions and bank repossessions—were reported on 308,524 U.S. properties during the month, a decrease of 2% from the previous month but still 6% above the ...


Appraisal Institute Opposes Obama Administration’s Plan for Homeowner Short Sales

RISMEDIA, March 11, 2010—Citing concerns about increased mortgage fraud, four organizations representing more than 35,000 real estate appraisers recently voiced their opposition to changes to an Obama administration program that will encourage short sales of homes. The coalition was led by the Appraisal Institute, one of the nation’s largest organizations ...


Home Values for Older Americans Begin to Rebound in Fourth Quarter 2009

RISMEDIA, March 10, 2010—Golden Gateway Financial, a financial resource for seniors and retirees, recently released new usage data from its online Reverse Mortgage Calculator that showed average home values for older Americans have halted their slide after remaining flat or declining for seven consecutive quarters. The national average self-reported home ...


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