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Why do you suppose most bankers aren't trying as hard as these Texans to modify troubled mortgages?

By Karen Datko Apr 19, 2010 8:14AM

This post comes from Marilyn Lewis of MSN Money.

 

You get the impression from reading the news that banks and loan servicers -- the companies that collect payments -- are resisting demands and pleas from homeowners and the government (and common sense) to get moving on modifying failing mortgages.

 

Banks seem to drag their feet. Currently, about 6 million homeowners are behind on their payments and banks have modified only a fraction of them (and even “permanent” modifications aren’t really permanent). Banks foreclosed on 2.8 million homeowners last year.

 

So it’s kind of amazing to read, in this report from HousingWire reporter Diana Golobay, how some servicers are pulling out all the stops to button-hole delinquent homeowners and get them into mortgage modifications.

 

With enrollment mostly flat, many camps are holding the line on prices.

By Karen Datko Apr 16, 2010 12:41PM

This Deal of the Day comes from Elizabeth Trotta at partner site SmartMoney.

 

Want to send Junior to camp this summer but worry about high fees?

 

The good news is you probably won’t have to pay more, or at least not much more, than last year. Enrollment for 2010 looks steady, at about 11 million campers, according to the American Camp Association. (In the ACA’s most recent survey, three-quarters of participating camps said enrollment this year would be the same or higher than last summer.) So, without a surge of new business, many camps are simply holding the line.

 

Free fries, BOGO meals and coupons for free drinks among the offerings. Don't forget free entry to national parks.

By Teresa Mears Apr 16, 2010 11:49AM

It’s finally Friday, and it’s time for food deals and freebies.

The Earth Day deals we posted about are still on, including free admission April 17-25 to all national parks that charge an entry fee. This is also the weekend for lots of free local Earth Day events.

 

Even though April 15 has come and gone, a few of our Tax Day deals are still valid, including free HydroMassage and a BOGO coupon from Boston Market, both good through April 18. And don’t forget that some of last week’s deals are still good.

 

Everyone grumbles about the boredom and the bad coffee. Ever thought about the financial hardship?

By Donna_Freedman Apr 16, 2010 11:24AM
Earlier this week I dodged the jury-duty bullet. Ordered to report for two days, I was selected for one pool but let go. It may have been because I explained that I'm a freelance writer who cannot afford to be cooped up in a courtroom for weeks. But it may also have been because:
  • I've been injured in an auto accident. (The case we were to have looked at involved lost income and "enjoyment of life" after a crash.)
  • I write for MSN Money. (The guy doing the suing was in the securities industry.)
  • The guy's attorney just didn't like my face. A friend of mine joked, "You look like you’re ready to acquit."
 

The mortality wall might be looming, but the discounts await.

By Karen Datko Apr 16, 2010 11:06AM

This guest post comes from Buck Weber at The Buck List.

 

We all remember how anxious we were as kids to grow up. You hit the double digits at 10, teenhood at 13, get a driver’s permit at 14, a license to drive at sweet 16, reach adulthood at 18 and finally, the all-powerful 21.

What’s next?


Well, usually your car insurance will lower a little at 25. As 30 looms you might quietly reflect on your soon-to-be- forever-gone 20s, but once it hits and you start cruising through your 30s you might get to thinking, hey, this aging thing isn’t as bad as it sounded.

The wall

 

An offer of 10% off and 0% financing nearly sucked him in, but his adult voice prevailed.

By Karen Datko Apr 16, 2010 7:39AM

This guest post comes from Jason at Frugal Dad.

 

On a recent night I was mowing when the lawn tractor died. This wasn’t the first time it had failed me mid-mow, but the new-to-me symptoms of this latest casualty had me thoroughly angry. The mower is only seven years old, but has had one problem after another.

 

I pushed the mower back into the garage and went inside to vent. My wife agreed that maybe it was time to look for a new mower. The next day I spent my lunch hour “test driving” a Toro zero-turn model that boasted reduced cutting time, better maneuverability, and other such marketing speak.

 

The summer between freshman and sophomore years of college I worked for a landscaper running a crew to mow residential and commercial lawns. He had one of these mowers and I always thought it would be “cool” to own one. Red flag No. 1. 

 

If you can't afford high tuition, you're the very person who should be applying to expensive, top-tier colleges.

By Karen Datko Apr 15, 2010 5:47PM

This guest post comes from Ramit Sethi at I Will Teach You To Be Rich.

 

When it comes to student loans, financial aid, and higher education, everyone’s got an opinion. They just usually happen to be wrong.

 

When I was in high school, it drove me crazy to hear people saying things like, “Oh, I’m not going to apply to Harvard. Even if I could get in, there’s no way I could afford the tuition.”

 

This is wrong.

 

Focus on deals could lead to overspending, especially if you buy products you don't use just because they're on sale.

By Teresa Mears Apr 15, 2010 2:21PM

We read a provocative post over at Frugal Dad: Not only does clipping coupons not save you money, it makes you poorer.

 

Guest blogger Neil Frankle of Wealth Pilgrim writes:

In fact, for many people, browsing for coupons is part of an overspending ritual. This may not describe you, but I’ll guarantee that people who spend lots of time looking for coupons spend much more time thinking about spending than they spend time thinking about saving and investing.

What do you think? Does looking for savings actually lead you to spend more in the long run than you would otherwise? Would your grocery and sundries spending actually be less if you ignored coupons and merely bought what you needed when you needed it?

 

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