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Today’s Top Story – Consumer Archive


Homebuyers Face Hardship as Tighter Lending Rules Keep Them from Mortgages

RISMEDIA, March 26, 2009-(MCT)-Even with interest rates at historic lows and billions of new government dollars flowing into the financial system, getting a mortgage isn't as easy and smooth a process as it used to be. The difference between wishing ...


How to Tell Clients What’s Affordable

RISMEDIA, March 25, 2009-Traditionally, real estate and mortgage professionals have encouraged homeowners to stretch - to shop for homes at the upper end of their affordability range. We wanted them to maximize their investment, and we were seeing property values ...


4 Ways to Protect Your Personal Data when Filing Taxes Online

RISMEDIA, March 24, 2009-(MCT)-As April 15 approaches and taxpayers scramble to complete their tax returns, it's critical that they take extra care to guard their personal information. Consider what's exposed and vulnerable: your Social Security number, address, name and financial ...


Mortgage Rates Dip in Response to Fed’s Decision to Buy Treasury Bonds and Mortgage Securities

RISMEDIA, March 23, 2009-(MCT)-Mortgage rates are again dropping to near-record lows - below 5% - in the wake of the Federal Reserve's decision to buy up Treasury bonds and mortgage securities. Lower rates may help spur home sales, but analysts ...


Reverse Mortgages Serve as Lifeline for Seniors

RISMEDIA, March 20, 2009-In the midst of the current credit crunch, we tend to overlook the financial needs of senior homeowners, especially those who own their homes free and clear or are pretty close to being debt free. However, these ...


Homeowners Hit the Road in Hopes of Mortgage Relief

RISMEDIA, March 19, 2009-(MCT)-Homeowners across the country are losing out on the American Dream as they find themselves faced with out-of-control mortgage rates they can't afford to pay. The third installment of The Neighborhood Assistance Corporation of America's Save the ...


Fed Chairman Believes Recession Will End by Year End

Ben Bernanke sits down for rare interview with CBSNews' 60 Minutes, discusses, banks, unemployment, American's frustrations over bailout money, and how we will avoid the next Great Depression ...


A Sinking Feeling: One-in-Five Homeowners Feels ‘Underwater’ on Mortgages

RISMEDIA, March 21, 2009-The latest survey by the Pew Research Center for the People & the Press finds that 20% of all homeowners-or 30% of mortgage holders-say that if they had to sell their home right now, it would sell ...


DTI Ratios: What Homeowners Need to Know

RISMEDIA, March 13, 2009-Ask homeowners about their DTI (debt-to-income) ratios, and they're likely to respond with something like, "My what ratios?!" However, when distressed homeowners are sizing up their foreclosure options, they need to brush up on DTI ratios. Lenders ...


Do You Understand Your Credit Report?

RISMEDIA, March 21, 2009-Over 70% of consumers identify errors on their credit report. Twenty-five percent of those are serious enough to deny consumers and business owners access to credit, preferred interest rates or even a job. With over 54 billion ...


Upgrades to Home Mean Extra Cash Now, Tax Breaks Later

RISMEDIA, March 11, 2009-(MCT)-Part of the president's stimulus package will allow homeowners to save money on energy and on their tax filings. That's good news, not only for homeowners, but for businessmen such as Steve Plumley of Thermal Specialties and ...


Can a Year-Old Rescue Plan Help the Current Crisis?

RISMEDIA, March 10, 2009-(MCT)-It's coming. But will it help? The long-awaited federal program to try to get up to $1 trillion in loans flowing into the hands of consumers and small businesses is ready to be launched March 17, but ...


Home Buyer Tax Credit Website Attracts More Than 840,000 Visitors

RISMEDIA, March 9, 2009-A record 844,000 prospective home buyers visited NAHB's FederalHousingTaxCredit.com website in February to learn about the new $8,000 tax credit for first-time home buyers that was enacted last month as part of the landmark $787 billion economic ...


Homeowners Stand to Gain from Energy-efficiency Stimulus Funds

RISMEDIA, March 6, 2009-(MCT)-In Santos Espinosa's small beige house near Arden Fair mall last week, a crew installed fluorescent lightbulbs, swapped out an old water heater and filled drafty gaps beneath doors. For thousands of Sacramento-area households, this sort of ...


Shelters Stand Guard for Pets Abandoned by Desperate Homeowners

RISMEDIA, March 5, 2009-(MCT)-She was all ribs, except for a bloated stomach filled with babies. In her back yard, she and her two playmates waited. The September days stretched into a week. They were hungry, thirsty and flea-bitten. The dogs ...