Concentrations of risky FHA-backed mortgages in poorer neighborhoods are damaging to borrowers and the nation, a researcher says.
This post comes from Marilyn Lewis of MSN Money.
The American Enterprise Institute dropped a bomb on federal housing policy recently with a report charging that Federal Housing Administration-backed loans hurt, rather than help, working-class Americans.
The FHA was created in the midst of the Great Depression to help Americans own homes affordably. But, after analyzing 2.4 million FHA mortgages, researcher Ed Pinto wrote that lax FHA lending policies create pockets of foreclosures in poor neighborhoods in some cities.
The FHA insures mortgages. This guarantee gives lenders the assurance that, in following more liberal FHA eligibility guidelines, they'll be covered in case of default.
Concentrations of risky loans
Pinto, a fellow at the conservative American Enterprise Institute, predicts that in 9,000 ZIP codes -- about 20% of the country's roughly 44,000 -- foreclosures on FHA mortgages issued in 2009 and 2010 will reach 10% or more.
A new Denny's in downtown Las Vegas will open a wedding chapel next year. Is that your idea of a suitable location?
It's no big deal that a brand-new, huge Denny's restaurant in downtown Las Vegas will open a wedding chapel next year, right? Vegas is well-known for such things.
But do you know anyone who would want to get married there? With so many chapel options in Vegas to choose from, including one dedicated to vampires and assorted gore, and a truck that brings a wedding to any location, would Denny's be near or at the top of your list?
"Nothing says 'our special day' quite like the drab late-night diner I go to expecting and consistently receiving the worst service and most pedestrian food possible," says a post on Retail Hell Underground. The post is called "Denny's with wedding chapel -- when you have to elope and everywhere else is closed."
Some say the cost-of-living adjustments to Social Security are too generous and should be reduced.
This post comes from Matthew Heimer at partner site MarketWatch.
In the latest round of fiscal cliff give and take, House Speaker John Boehner has made the most recent big move -- agreeing to accept an increase in tax rates on millionaires. In return, he's looking for a commitment to at least $1 trillion in spending cuts, including reductions in big entitlement programs.
And to help get there, according to The Wall Street Journal, he and other Republican leaders are putting a new emphasis on "a proposal to slow the growth of Social Security benefits by deploying a new formula for cost-of-living increases."
That formula is known among economists as the "chained consumer price index," or chained CPI, and it actually isn't especially new: Boehner and President Barack Obama were kicking it around during the 2011 budget talks as well, and it has support on both sides of the aisle.
Advocates of using chained CPI argue that the measures the government currently uses to measure inflation, and to set Social Security cost-of-living adjustments or COLAs, are actually too generous.
Before you give one as a gift this season, think about all the things that could go wrong.
This post comes from Amanda Geronikos at partner site Money Talks News.
Let's count the ways:
You can use the last days of 2012 to save a lot of money and reduce your stress in 2013 -- assuming, of course, there is one.
This post comes from Brandon Ballenger at partner site Money Talks News.
- Breaking out your bucket list and doing as much as possible before we all die.
- Buying lots of alcohol and waiting in a fog for the end.
- Celebrating this holiday season like any other.
If you picked the first or second choice, you probably saw the film "2012," based on the idea that the end of a 5,125-year period in the Mayan calendar means the world will end with a bang on Dec. 21 this year.
That said, I'm about to lay out some simple personal finance tasks that will help you greet the New Year with confidence. Ordinarily, I'd suggest starting right away. But this year, perhaps it's better to wait until Dec. 22. Because while odds are the world won't be ending, if it does, you certainly don't want to be wasting time with this stuff.
The annual online shopping event will be held on Dec. 17 this year.
This post comes from Karla Bowsher at partner site Money Talks News.
The annual retail event, created in 2008 by the people behind FreeShipping.org, was designed for those who have put off their holiday shopping and want their online purchases for Christmas to arrive on time.
Here's how to make the most of this event:
- Double-check participants. Many of the stores participating in Free Shipping Day are already listed on FreeShippingDay.com, but others -- and the deals they're offering -- won't be revealed until 12:01 a.m. on Dec. 17.
- Double-check cutoff dates. If you buy a gift online any day between now and Christmas, confirm that the retailer's holiday shipping cutoff dates guarantee your purchase will arrive on time without added fees.
- Think outside the (gift) box. Free Shipping Day isn't just a potential savings opportunity for procrastinating holiday shoppers. If you ever buy anything online -- even if it's groceries or personal care items like shampoo -- this retail holiday could be a great day to stock up.
At what age should you stop putting presents under the tree for nieces, nephews and other young extended family members and close friends?
This post comes from Len Penzo at partner site Len Penzo dot Com.
She didn't listen.
The truth is, kids are always in a hurry to grow up.
Unlike many adults, who prefer to stop counting at 39, kids proudly embrace every new candle on their birthday cake as a badge of honor.
Why else would they typically go out of their way to volunteer that they're not just, say, "six" --but "six and a half"?
Nina officially became a teenager last summer. Never mind that she had been telling anybody who would listen that she was "almost 13" only a few months after celebrating her 12th birthday. (For Nina, getting to her 13th birthday was especially important because that was the milestone we established she had to reach before she could have her own Facebook account.)
Of course, every kid also looks forward to their 18th birthday because that's the day they officially become adults.
Teaching kids and adults about personal finance doesn't have to be boring or dull.
This post comes from Rob Berger at partner blog The Dough Roller.
With the holidays approaching, it seems we're all in a mad dash to our favorite retailers. Between figuring out what to buy for those on our list, to buying the gifts and then wrapping them, there's no time to enjoy the season.
On top of that, how many gifts will we buy that end up at the bottom of a closet, only to be found when a recipient appears on an episode of "Hoarders"?
Instead of maxing out credit cards this holiday season, why not give a different kind of gift? I have in mind the gift of financial advice. Here are five ways to give it in a way that your friends and family just may enjoy.
A single share of stock in a company is an ideal gift for young children. While they may not fully appreciate the gift immediately, over time they will. Had you bought a single share of Apple 15 years ago, a $1 investment would be worth more than $500 today. What a great way to teach a teenager about the value of long-term investing.
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More than half of online shoppers say they've purchased from sites whose security seemed questionable, and most said they would provide personal data not normally needed for a transaction.