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Consumer News and Advice Archive


Breaking the Logjam on Reverse Mortgages

(MCT)—People reaching retirement age are living longer than ever, and retiring with less capacity to maintain their living standards. With good reason, this situation has been termed a “retirement funds crisis.” ...


Real Estate Q&A: Lien Filed against Wrong Homeowner

(MCT)—QUESTION: I recently learned that a company mistakenly filed a lien against our home. It’s clear that the company did not even check for accuracy. I contacted the firm, and it released the lien, but without written explanation. My wife and I ...


Hot Property: Is a Quick Sale in the Cards?

(MCT)—Constance Zimmer of “House of Cards” put her home in the Hollywood Hills up for sale at $1.175 million and in 10 days it was in escrow. ...


Steps for Battling Flu

(MCT)—It's flu season, but that doesn't mean you need to get sick. Below are several steps for battling the flu. ...


Meeting the Requirements of the Affordable Care Act

Under the Affordable Care Act, beginning in 2014, Americans who can afford to buy health insurance are required to do so or pay a penalty when they file their federal tax return. Everyone must enroll in a health insurance program by the March 31, 2014 deadline. ...


A Beginner’s Guide to Reddit

(MCT)—Reddit’s that website you’ve heard of but maybe don’t quite understand. Is it a social network? A message board? Its spare design and free-for-all culture can be intimidating, but don’t underestimate its users’ collective power—for good and, sometimes, not-so-good. The site is ...


Commercial Mortgage Lender Appetite Expected to Exceed that of Borrowers in 2014

Commercial and multifamily mortgage lending is expected to increase in 2014, as lenders’ appetites to place new loans grow even stronger, according to a new Mortgage Bankers Association survey of the top commercial and multifamily mortgage origination firms. Lenders were also polled on their expectations for borrower appetites in the ...


Housing-Related Tax Rules That Expired at the End of 2013

At the end of 2013, a number of housing-related tax provisions expired. Collectively, these housing and other tax rules are part of a set of policies known as “tax extenders,” which have traditionally been extended every year or so. ...


Hot Property: House where Perry Never Made a Grand Entrance Sells

Katy Perry has tidied up some old business, selling her fortress-like compound in Hollywood Hills West for $5.565 million. ...


Social Media 101: Hashtag Tips and Explanations

(MCT)—Hashtag #etiquette: ...


Adjustable-Rate Mortgages Regain Popularity as Prices, Rates Rise

(MCT)—When Michael Shuken recently bought his family’s first home, a four-bedroom in Los Angeles’ Mar Vista area, his adjustable-rate mortgage helped them stay on the pricey Westside. ...


Great Spaces: Comedian Curbs Price in Pacific Palisades

Comedian Larry David of “Curb Your Enthusiasm” has curbed prices, cutting more than $2 million off the listing price of his Pacific Palisades home. ...


Mortgage Applications Increase in Latest MBA Weekly Survey

Mortgage applications increased 2.6 percent from one week earlier, according to data from the Mortgage Bankers Association’s (MBA) Weekly Mortgage Applications Survey for the week ending January 3, 2014. The most recent week’s results include an adjustment to account for the New Year’s Day holiday, while the previous week’s results ...


Mortgage Rates Stay Largely Unchanged

Freddie Mac recently released the results of its Primary Mortgage Market Survey® (PMMS®), showing average fixed mortgage rates little changed amid a week of light economic reports. ...


‘Downton Abbey’ Style Comes to Modern American Homes

(MCT)—My anglophile roots are showing, but I’m not alone. Like millions of Americans, I love “Downton Abbey.” ...