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Consumer News and Advice Archive


More Government Help Coming to Homeowners in California, Arizona, Nevada, Florida and Michigan

RISMEDIA, March 1, 2010—President Obama recently announced an additional $1.5 billion in homeowner aid for the areas of the country hardest-hit by declining home values. Florida, Michigan, Arizona, California and Nevada are the five states that will receive funds. ...


11.3 Million Homeowners Underwater on Mortgage

RISMEDIA, February 26, 2010—(MCT)—More than 11.3 million homeowners—nearly one-fourth of all Americans with a mortgage—owe more on their loan than their home is now worth, according to a report recently released by FirstAmerican CoreLogic. ...


C.A.R. Reports Entry-Level Housing Affordability Remained at 64 Percent in Fourth Quarter 2009

RISMEDIA, February 25, 2010—The percentage of households that could afford to buy an entry-level home in California remained at 64% in the fourth quarter of 2009, compared with 61% (revised) for the same period a year ago, according to a report released by the California Association of Realtors® (C.A.R.). ...


Obama Targeting Homeowners with $1.5 Billion in Assistance

RISMEDIA, February 23, 2010—(MCT)—Facing millions of foreclosures and high unemployment, President Barack Obama recently announced a $1.5 billion fund to help unemployed homeowners and other struggling borrowers in a handful of states. ...


Housing Starts Rise in January 2010

RISMEDIA, February 22, 2010—Nationwide housing production hit its strongest pace in the last six months this January, posting a 2.8% gain to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 591,000 units, according to figures recently released by the U.S. Commerce Department. ...


Mortgage Modifications Up in January 2010

RISMEDIA, February 19, 2010—(MCT)—The number of mortgages with permanently lowered monthly payments under the Obama administration's foreclosure prevention program increased dramatically in January 2010. ...


Administration Hopes to Make Mortgage Modification Program More Effective

RISMEDIA, February 18, 2010—(MCT)—Experts fear a new wave of foreclosures will hit this year as prolonged unemployment makes it difficult for millions of homeowners to pay their mortgages—and many of them aren't likely to get much help from a federal program aimed at keeping them in their houses. ...


National Association of Realtors Launches New Consumer Website

RISMEDIA, February 18, 2010—The National Association of Realtors® (NAR) announced the launch of HouseLogic, a new, comprehensive consumer website about all aspects of homeownership. HouseLogic helps homeowners make smart decisions and take responsible actions to maintain, protect and increase the value of their homes. ...


Appraisal Management Companies Ready for New FHA Appraisal Rules

RISMEDIA, February 17, 2010—Title/Appraisal Vendor Management Association (TAVMA), the trade association that represents one of the nation's largest appraisal management companies (AMCs), said recently that its members are prepared to help lenders comply with the changes in appraisal ordering announced by the Federal Housing Administration (FHA) that went into effect ...


Design Dilemmas Solved

RISMEDIA, February 16, 2010—We gathered the most common questions about decorating with rugs, and then sat down with Lowe’s Vice President of Trend, Design & Brand Melissa Birdsong to find solutions that will work for your space. ...


Existing-Home Sales Surge in Most States in Fourth Quarter

RISMEDIA, February 15, 2010—Strong gains in existing-home sales were the predominant pattern in most states during the fourth quarter, with many more metro areas seeing prices rise from a year earlier, according to the latest survey by the National Association of Realtors®. ...


Regional Spotlight: Miami Foreclosure Auctions Shift from Courthouse Steps to Web

RISMEDIA, February 13, 2010—(MCT)-In a move that could speed the sale of massive numbers of distressed properties on the market, Miami-Dade County recently launched online bidding for foreclosures, bringing together bidders from across the globe and launching hopes of an accelerated return to normalcy in the real estate industry. ...


Homeowners Rent Out Rooms to Stave off Foreclosure

RISMEDIA, February 12, 2010—(MCT)—Reeling from the recession's one-two-three-punch of job woes, climbing mortgage payments and evaporating equity, desperate homeowners are dipping into a nearby income stream to avoid foreclosure: That bedroom just down the hall. ...


Fewer Home Sellers Cut Asking Prices for Homes in January 2010

RISMEDIA, February 12, 2010—Just over 40% of available homes for sale had reduced prices in January 2010, compared with 44% in December 2009, according to a monthly survey of home listings in 27 markets conducted by the national real estate brokerage ZipRealty. ...


A Frugal Lifestyle Shouldn’t Vanish when Economy Rebounds

RISMEDIA, February 11, 2010—(MCT)—Frugality. That's been the buzzword of the Great Recession. Sliding home values, stumbling stock portfolios and a shaky job market brought with them a consciousness about spending that many of us misplaced during years of consumer overindulgence. Americans responded to the crisis by buying less, clipping coupons ...


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