Welcome!




Expand Your Education with These Courses from
Bundle 2: CIPS Elective Courses (US Version).
Bundle 2: CIPS Elective Courses (Non-US Version).
Bundle 3: CIPS Institute (Non-US Version).
Negotiating Skills: Skills for Sales Success: Part Six.
Territory Management: Skills for Sales Success: Part Eight.

Consumer News and Advice Archive


Can a home be sold for less than its mortgage?

Sometimes. But it is a complicated process and a lot will depend on the lender. ...


If faced with foreclosure, what are my options?

Talk with your lender immediately. The lender may be able to arrange a repayment plan or the temporary reduction or suspension of your payment, particularly if your income has dropped substantially or expenses have shot up beyond your control. You also may be able to refinance the debt or extend ...


How can I protect my home from creditors?

Check with your state. It may provide special protection through the filing of a homestead exemption, which exempts some or all of the value of your equity in the homestead - the home that you live in and the land on which it sits - from claims of unsecured creditors. ...


How bad is a previous foreclosure on credit?

Unfortunately, it is a pretty bad blemish. A property foreclosure is one of the most damaging events in a borrower's credit record. In terms of the effect on your credit history, a deed in lieu of foreclosure - where you voluntarily "give back" your property to the lender - or ...


How do you clear up bad credit?

It is not easy but certainly doable with both commitment and time. ...


How do lenders define bad credit?

It is all those things that appear on your credit report that are unflattering. They include: missing a credit card payment, defaulting on a previous loan, filing for bankruptcy in the past seven years, or not paying your taxes. ...


What if I am turned down for a loan?

Unless your credit is absolutely abysmal - with all kinds of judgements, liens, excessive delinquencies or non-payments, foreclosures and bankruptcies that show no attempt on your part to make progress - you can generally get a loan. ...


Do I have to disclose a parent’s gift to the lender?

Lenders prefer that you do. But relax, you are not penalized in any way for receiving parental help. An estimated one-third of all first-time buyers purchase homes with a loan or a money gift from parents. ...


What are the benefits of prepaying my mortgage?

You get to save thousands of dollars and shave years off the life of your loan because the additional payments made toward your monthly principal basically constitutes a partial prepayment of your mortgage. ...


What about state and local governments?

Just about every state now offers loans for renovation and rehabilitation at below-market interest rates through its Housing Finance Agency or a similar agency. Call your governor's office to get the name and phone number of the agency in your area. ...


Does the federal government offer home improvement programs?

Yes. Among the most popular: ...


What about using an unsecured loan?

The interest rates on these loans are often higher than on secured loans and you generally will not be able to get a tax deduction for the interest paid. However, the costs to obtain an unsecured loan are usually lower. And the relative ease of getting this type of loan ...


How can I finance work needed for home repairs?

According to the Millennial Housing Commission created by Congress, few lenders are willing to administer home improvement loans. Most prefer to make home equity loans or unsecured consumer loans because they are easier to manage. Home improvement loans usually require inspections and irregular draws on the loan amount as work ...


Is private mortgage insurance always required on low-down payment loans?

Lenders require private mortgage insurance (PMI) on most loans with less than a 20 percent down payment. They believe there is a correlation between borrower equity and default. They have found that the less money borrowers put down, the more likely they are to default on a loan. PMI guarantees ...


Do builders provide financing?

Many builders offer financing incentives to help move more buyers into a project. In fact, major building companies often have their own mortgage brokerage subsidiaries, while many other builders routinely refer buyers to "preferred" local lenders. If it is a buyer's market in your area, you can be sure developers ...