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Consumer News and Advice Archive


Obama Administration Kicks Off Mortgage Modification Conversion Drive

RISMEDIA, December 2, 2009—The U.S. Department of the Treasury and Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) recently kicked off a nationwide campaign to help borrowers who are currently in the trial phase of their modified mortgages under the Obama Administration's Home Affordable Modification Program (HAMP) convert to permanent modifications. ...


2 Million Americans Expected to Take Advantage of Extended, Expanded Homebuyer Credit

RISMEDIA, December 2, 2009—More American homebuyers will get tax relief thanks to changes made to the First-Time Homebuyer Credit. H&R Block advises the popular credit is now more accessible to existing homeowners and first-time homebuyers in three ways: ...


Are You a Victim of Predatory Lending?

RISMEDIA, December 1, 2009—Back in the day, predatory lending was pretty much confined to grifters combing poorer neighborhoods looking for elderly or ignorant homeowners with substantial equity. Oh, they’re still out there. ...


Regional Spotlight: Florida’s Existing Home, Condo Sales Up in October 2009

RISMEDIA, November 25, 2009—Florida's existing home sales rose in October 2009, marking 14 months that sales activity has increased in the year-to-year comparison, according to the latest housing data released by Florida Realtors. October's statewide sales also increased over sales activity in September in both the existing home and existing ...


The Foreclosure Crisis: Navigating Mortgage Payment Difficulties

RISMEDIA, November 24, 2009—If you or someone you know has fallen behind on their mortgage, take heart; there is hope. Not from the government though; you’ll have to fight this one on your own, but you are not alone. And soon, your numbers could grow into a powerful ...


Existing-Home Sales Record Another Big Gain; Inventories Continue to Shrink

RISMEDIA, November 24, 2009—Driven by the first-time buyer tax credit, existing-home sales showed another big gain in October 2009 with a strong uptrend established over the past seven months, while inventories continue to decline, according to the National Association of Realtors. ...


Marketing Strategies: 7 Tips to Make Public Speaking Easier

RISMEDIA, November 24, 2009—A survey was recently released showing that the top fear among individuals is public speaking, while the fear of death was later on down the list. Do you know what that means? It means most people would rather die than speak in public. ...


Most Landlords Renovating Vacant Properties in Still-Difficult Market

RISMEDIA, November 21, 2009—More than half of smaller, independent landlords who expect the difficult rental market to continue (52%) are renovating their vacant properties, says The National Association of Independent Landlords. ...


Housing Starts Fall Back to Lowest Level in Six Months

RISMEDIA, November 20, 2009—Nationwide housing production fell 10.6% to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 529,000 units in October 2009 as builders awaited word on whether an important home buyer incentive would be extended, according to data recently released by the U.S. Commerce Department. ...


Homeowner Confidence Inconsistent as Home Values Fluctuate Regionally

RISMEDIA, November 18, 2009—Homeowner confidence was all over the map in the third quarter, as home values in some parts of the country stabilized while other areas saw continuing declines. Homeowners in the Northeast were the most cynical about their own homes’ values over the past 12 months, although the ...


The Problems with Mortgage Modifications

RISMEDIA, November 18, 2009—If you have applied for a mortgage modification, I wish you luck. It seems so simple on the surface, but as many a frustrated homeowner has learned, the Cavalry isn’t coming and neither is your loan modification. ...


Podcast Your Way to Today’s Tech-Savvy Buyer

RISMEDIA, November 17, 2009—Today, buyers and sellers are turning to the Internet for more information than just housing listings. They want to stay abreast of what is happening in the areas where they are buying and selling with the latest localized housing market information. ...


Sellers Gain Tiny Bit of Traction in September; Buyers Still Negotiating Thousands Off Home Prices

RISMEDIA, November 17, 2009—The negotiating power of homebuyers slipped a tad in September 2009, but buyers in most markets were still negotiating thousands of dollars off the last listing price of homes. Buyers nationally negotiated a median 2.9% off the final listing price, down from 3% in August 2009, according ...


Planning Year-End Tax Strategies in a Down Year

RISMEDIA, November 17, 2009—(MCT)—Year-end tax planning this year will be different from years past, largely because of the recession. For many taxpayers, the year has meant a job loss, a job with less income or perhaps a home foreclosure. ...


10 Things to Consider when Hiring a Move Management Company

RISMEDIA, November 16, 2009—While moving can be a tedious process, working with a reputable move management company can make the difference between a successful or frustrating move. Here, Erin Mitchell, director of program development, The Move Advocate discusses what you should consider when you are referring your clients to a ...


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