Home-Insurance Credits The Wall Street Journal (May 4, 2008)
Homeowners often don't take time to reassess home-insurance coverage when it's time to pay the premium. But with many Americans looking for ways to save a buck these days, examining that paperwork could pay off. Learn about five home-insurance discounts you may be eligible for.
Fed to Pursue Aggressive Checks on Credit Cards The Washington Post (May 2, 2008)
The Federal Reserve and two other banking regulators are set to unveil today one of the most aggressive efforts in decades to crack down on the credit card industry, prohibiting practices such as arbitrarily raising interest rates on outstanding balances.
Consumer Bankruptcies Soar Nearly 48% in April CNBC (May 2, 2008)
Bankruptcy filings by U.S. consumers jumped 47.7% in April from one year ago as families cope with fallout from the subprime mortgage crisis, the American Bankruptcy Institute said.
Another Full Year Of Housing Pain? The Wall Street Journal (May 2, 2008)
Don't look for the housing market to improve until the daffodils bloom next spring. The continuing pain means that that homes likely won't sell unless they are well-kept, priced below the competition and are marketed aggressively. Adding incentives like seller financing or lease-options can help bring in buyers who are having trouble getting conventional financing.
Don't Wait: Mortgage Rates Unlikely To Go Any Lower CNBC (May 1, 2008)
Thinking of buying a house? Mortgage rates may not go much lower than they are right now, and are likely to start rising. And if you're looking to refinance your current mortgage, do it soon. While mortgage rates did take a dip Wednesday after the Federal Reserve announced another quarter-point cut on short-term interest rates, the drop isn't expected to last long. In fact, most experts think home loans will only get more expensive.
Loan Plan for Homeowners The Wall Street Journal (May 1, 2008)
Struggling U.S. homeowners could receive federal loans to pay down as much as 20% of their principal under a proposal introduced Wednesday by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. to help stem foreclosures.
What Fed Moves Mean for Mortgage Rates U.S. News & World Report (April 30, 2008)
Faced with a weak dollar and rising inflation, the Federal Reserve seems done with its aggressive rate-cutting campaign. Find out how this shift in monetary policy may affect mortgage rates this year.
The Road to a Jumbo Mortgage Was Supposed to Get Easier The New York Times (May 1, 2008)
The stimulus package passed by Congress that was supposed to make it easier to get jumbo mortgages - loans over $417,000 - has instead yielded frustration and disillusionment. Since the rules took effect April 1, many prospective borrowers and their mortgage brokers say the new loans are either not available or the rates are far higher than they expected.
How to Pay for Home Remodeling SmartMoney (May 1, 2008)
A couple wants to purchase a home that needs significant updates and improvements. To have cash on hand for remodeling, should they put less than 20% down, take out a home-equity loan or cash in stocks? "Ask SmartMoney" weighs in.
Money Management for Tough Economic Times ABC News (May 1, 2008)
"Good Morning America" financial contributor Mellody Hobson gives the skinny on what the Federal Reserve's rate cut means to you and your wallet. Get tips on how to get your finances in order in these difficult economic times and find out what you can do in your daily life to save big bucks annually.
Inflation Fears Push Mortgage Rates Higher TheStreet.com (April 29, 2008)
After three weeks without any movement, rates for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages rose 0.15 percentage points last week to an average of 6.03% with 0.3 point, according to the Freddie Mac Primary Mortgage Market Survey. Analysts blame the sudden jump in rates on increased concerns over inflation.
Homes Facing Foreclosure More Than Doubled in 1Q From 2007 ABC News (April 29, 2008)
The number of U.S. homes heading toward foreclosure more than doubled in the first quarter from a year earlier, as weakening property values and tighter lending left many homeowners powerless to prevent homes from being auctioned to the highest bidder, a research firm said Monday.
Home Prices Tumble Again; 'No Sign of a Bottom' CNBC (April 29, 2008)
Prices of existing US single-family homes extended their slump in February, with 17 of the 20 measured regions posting record annual declines, according to the Standard & Poor's/Case Shiller home price index released today.
"How Low Will Real Estate Go?" Forbes (April 29, 2008)
Moody's Economy.com report prepared for Forbes.com predicts that 2008 isn't going to be any gentler than last year on slumping markets like Los Angeles, Sacramento, Calif., Las Vegas and Tampa, Fla., where market weakness is expected to cause 10% to 25% drops over the next year.
Loan Industry Fighting Rules on Mortgages The New York Times (April 28, 2008)
The mortgage industry, facing the prospect of tougher regulations for its central role in the housing crisis, has begun an intensive campaign to fight back.
Homeowner Vacancies Hit Record High Reuters (April 28, 2008)
The share of vacant U.S. homes rose to a record level in the first quarter, the government reported on Monday, with homeowners finding it increasingly difficult to find buyers in a collapsed market and more homes in foreclosure.
Forget the Teardown, The 'Unbuild' Is Eco-Friendly But More Costly The Wall Street Journal (April 28, 2008)
It's now possible to carefully disassemble a home, piece by piece, and use the parts for a new house and/or donate them for reuse elsewhere. It costs more up front, but it's more eco-friendly. Plus, whatever is donated can be deducted from income tax.