If you planned on retiring soon you’ve probably had to readjust your expectations. But even if you’re still on target to take it easy soon, you should reconsider until you’ve paid off your mortgage.
Regulating consumer predators is a bit like Whac-a-Mole. No matter how many times you put the bad guys out of business, they keep popping up again and again. Maybe it is time to consider a lifetime ban from financial services for the worst offenders. The Consumer Financial Protection Agency proposed by the President may be just the right watchdog for the job of handing out such banishments.
Silpa had the bad fortune of renting a house from a deadbeat owner who let the property go into foreclosure. Now that $2,200 security deposit could be lost forever amid the turmoil. Silpa’s story:
If you’re saddled with a Wells Fargo mortgage, now would be a good time to slash your rate and payment through little effort by hitting up the bank’s streamlined refinancing program, which under certain circumstances lets you refi without being gouged for closing costs.
So the latest solution to the problem of these toxic assets on the banks’ books is a “public-private partnership” between the government and the private sector…yawn what is he going on about, I wish I had a pancake…oh wait! Here’s Paddy Hirsch from marketplace drawing stick figures on a whiteboard and explaining it all. Now we’re talking.
Our sister publication, Consumer Reports, put together some video interviews with people who, for one reason or another, are facing foreclosure. They are the human side of this financial meltdown.
The Countrywide Foreclosures Blog keeps a running tally of the amount of repossessed or REO (Real Estate Owned) properties Countrywide has for sale on their website.
A new study says that 86,000 mortgage related jobs were cut due to the weakening housing market, says CNNMoney. Diabolical mustache-twirling evidence-forging lender Countrywide unburdened itself of the most workers, cutting 11,665.
Fewer borrowers will qualify for mortgage insurance, due to tightened restrictions following the subprime…
A contributor to Kevin Kelly’s “Cool Tools” site writes that they saved $15,000 on a recent home purchase in California by using Redfin, an online real estate broker that lets you do most of the grunt work of finding a new house, then steps in to help with the paperwork at the end for a greatly reduced fee. We’ve discussed Redfin before, but thought it was interesting to read a user’s personal experience with it.
Now you can follow the subprime meltdown around the world with this handy interactive graphic from Financial Times. It’s grimly amusing to click the “show all” radio button and then drag the slider back and forth from “Pre-Jun 25” to “Week of Aug 6”.
Panic! Burn down your house! Ha ha, just kidding. Actually, you shouldn’t let your mortgage lender’s death pangs interfere with your payments, says Gerri Willis of CNNMoney, because your loan will just be sold to another lender. However, make sure you review the details of your mortgage agreement; the terms should remain the same no matter who buys your loan, and you have a 60 day grace period to get your payments to your new mortgage lender.
Uh, no. Although people do have “Mortgage Burning Parties.” In fact, take, for example, this little tale from the LA Times:
When he was a kid in Elmira, N.Y., title attorney James Wytock lived near a church that decided to hold a combination service-ceremony to commemorate paying off its mortgage.
• Nah nah nah, kids are circumventing anti-Myspace filters by setting up their own proxy servers from home and accessing them at school.
We haven’t been able to determine to what degree the identify theft letters from mortgage companies are legit. But thanks to an astute reader ‘fotonique,’ we’ve discovered what might be the source of the letters being sent out from other mortgage companies, including ABN-AMRO.
This is potentially heinous. Ed writes:
Attached is a copy of a letter sent to me most recently by Countrywide, my mortgage holder for some years now, but also by another company, a mortgage broker, from NJ with whom I am not affiliated (they implied I was a customer). [Ed’s qualified with us that he got the exact same letter from two separate companies. -Other Ed.] I unfortunately threw the other one away in disgust after calling them and finally harassing them until they admitted that it was just a marketing ploy. The fact is that their claim that one of their employees ripped off identities of applicants is a complete fabrication and a scam to get you to sign up for their identity theft insurance products (the first year is free, oh yeah I’m sure). The fact that large financial services companies are blatantly lying to their own customers is mind boggling even in this day and age. Try calling the number here and speaking to the Zuckerman woman, or ask the name of the law enforcement agency they reference. What blatant bullshit.
We did call the company, but they wouldn’t give us any details about which organization they were working with to solve the ‘problem.’ We were told that if we had an account with Countrywide, they could look at our account to see if we had been affected by the (presumably apocryphal) rogue employee.