Finance Globe

U.S. financial and economic topics from several finance writers.

U.S. Government Plans to Aid Fannie Mae & Freddie Mac

The Federal Reserve and Treasury announced plans on Sunday to lend a hand to mortgage giants, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, by temporarily extending their long-standing credit lines if needed. The two companies would be able to borrow funds from the Fed at a rate of 2.25%, the same rate given to commercial banks and big Wall Street Firms. The Fed said that this should helps the companies' ability "to promote the availability of home mortgage...
Continue reading
  701 Hits
  0 Comments
701 Hits
0 Comments

Escrow Payments - Mistakes Can Happen

Escrows basically force a homeowner to budget for those pesky property taxes, hazard insurance premiums, and mortgage insurance. It's commonly understood that the mortgage lender collects a prorated amount each month along with the loan payment, and then pays those bills directly when they are due. Homeowners can make mistakes, causing errors in escrow payments . But even though the lender takes on the responsibility of ensuring on-time tax and insurance payments, the homeowner should always...
Continue reading
  3469 Hits
  0 Comments
3469 Hits
0 Comments

Federal Reserve Sets New Mortgage Rules

The Federal Reserve has tightened lending standards with new rules for home mortgages. These new mortgage rules are meant to protect American consumers from the types of irresponsible mortgage lending practices that have been blamed for leading us to the country's worst real estate market crisis in decades. "The proposed final rules are intended to protect consumers from unfair or deceptive acts in mortgage lending, while keeping credit available to qualified buyers and supporting sustainable home-ownership,"...
Continue reading
  1454 Hits
  0 Comments
1454 Hits
0 Comments

Causes for Change in Your Escrow Payment

Escrow payments will occasionally change. If your house payment consists of PITI (principal, interest, taxes, and insurance), then part of your monthly payment is going into an escrow account. Accurate escrow payments ensure that taxes and insurance are properly budgeted for. The amount of the escrow payment can change if you or the lender realize that too much or too little is being collected for those expenses. The escrow payment can also change if the property...
Continue reading
  2645 Hits
  0 Comments
2645 Hits
0 Comments

Mortgage Escrow

What is Escrow? Escrows are used in other circumstances, but the most widely known types of escrows are mortgage-related. The escrow account is managed by the mortgage lender. The lender collects escrow payments from the borrower, and keeps the money in an escrow account until the tax or insurance payments are due. The lender takes care of paying those bills, and the borrower usually doesn't have to do anything else. When you hear about principal, interest,...
Continue reading
  2374 Hits
  0 Comments
2374 Hits
0 Comments

Preventing Unauthorized Use of a Credit or Debit Card

Electronic payments are safer than cash. Credit and debit cards are such a convenient way to pay that many consumers use a card for nearly every purchase. And not only are cards convenient, but they're safer than carrying around lots of cash. A cautious person whose paying at the register, with a wallet full of cash, instinctively looks around to make sure nobody has noticed how much money they're carrying. You never see that from a...
Continue reading
  2528 Hits
  0 Comments
2528 Hits
0 Comments

Red Flag Rules - A Standardizing of Identity Theft Prevention Programs

Consumers and businesses suffer from identity theft Identity theft is a major threat for consumers. Often, a consumer doesn't even realize their identity has been stolen until they've been denied credit and then find the delinquent accounts on their credit report. Then, the consumer may have to write letters, make phone calls, and file police reports to clear up the defaulted accounts that were opened or stolen by the thief. Sometimes it is difficult to prove...
Continue reading
  1754 Hits
  0 Comments
1754 Hits
0 Comments

26 "Red Flag" Guidelines for the Identity Theft Prevention Program

Creditors and financial institutions are required to develop and implement an Identity Theft Prevention Program by November 1, 2008. The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has issued a list of 26 red flags to help give businesses a starting point in developing their program; this is not meant to be an all-inclusive checklist, but rather as a guideline to aid establishments in developing their program to suit the type, size, and complexity of their business. A fraud...
Continue reading
  1592 Hits
  0 Comments
1592 Hits
0 Comments

The Effect of the Housing Bust in My Neighborhood

Unfinished business in the wake of the housing bust My neighborhood is still under construction. The back of the subdivision has unfinished gravel roads, and some of them are still dirt. Empty, weed-grown lots abound, scattered with a few finished houses on a few paved roads. "Lot available" signs dot the land on what used to be acres and acres of cornfields. There were supposed to be three phases of construction, but this third phase has...
Continue reading
  1797 Hits
  0 Comments
1797 Hits
0 Comments

Credit Limit Reductions

Credit cards issuers have reacted to the credit crunch by slashing credit limits. As credit cards issuers position themselves to prevent further long-term losses originating from the sub-prime mortgage mess, card holders should prepare for the possibility of some unwelcome changes in their credit cards. Card issuers are tightening their lending standards, even with consumers who have responsibly managed their debts in the past. Your FICO score and whether you have the income to support your...
Continue reading
  1650 Hits
  0 Comments
1650 Hits
0 Comments