Interested in buying a fixer-upper? There are several different methods of acquiring a renovation loan, but two federally backed renovation mortgage programs will allow you to do a combined purchase and repair mortgage loan – the FHA 203(k) loan and the Fannie Mae Homestyle Renovation mortgage. They are perfect for rehab work on foreclosed properties,
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As the housing market recovers, many homeowners still owe more on their house than it is presently worth. In many cases, people who are “upside down” on their mortgage, as this is known, can negotiate with their lenders to sell their homes for less than what they owe, rather than go through foreclosure. These types
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To paraphrase the old adage, there are only three absolutes in life: death, taxes, and the rise of scams during tax season. A major tax scam since 2013 involves phone calls by fictional IRS agents that demand immediate payment for alleged tax debts, threatening lawsuits or even jail time to those who refused to comply.
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When it comes to financing your mortgage, trying to navigate the labyrinth of lenders can get confusing. Like any significant financial transaction, there are advantages and disadvantages that come with each type of lender. Get started by asking your realtor for referrals. With a large commission at stake, realtors have the right sort of incentive
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Many potential homeowners who are considering how to finance their dream home think of going to a bank or other type of traditional lender themselves. However, there is another option: they can hire a mortgage broker to handle the research and comparison shopping for them. These professionals have access to products, rates, and other information
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Umbrella policies are aptly named, although they have nothing to do with rain or Mary Poppins. Like an umbrella, these policies form an extra layer of broad insurance protection over and above the liability limits of your existing policies. When properly constructed, they fill coverage gaps in your existing policies and create higher limits for
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Tax filing season is upon us. Soon you will be filing your paperwork and perhaps receiving a nice check — unless thieves file a return in your name first and falsely claim your refund. Unfortunately, if a thief has your Social Security number and other relevant information, tax identity theft is very hard to prevent.
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Most credit cards have rewards programs or sign-up bonuses these days, and many of those rewards increase with your level of spending. Doesn’t it make sense to funnel your large regular expenses, such as mortgage payments, through your credit card to reap those rewards? Paying your mortgage with a credit card may be a reasonable
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The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA) limited itemized deductions and doubled the standard deduction to entice more taxpayers to skip itemizing – but money-saving deductions still remain for eligible taxpayers. Do you qualify for any of the following nineteen deductions? 1. Charitable Donations – This is one of the few deductions with
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You’ve received a phone call from a utility company demanding a payment right now or your utilities will be immediately shut off – or maybe representatives of your utility show up at your door to make the same threat. What do you do? Don’t pay them. It’s almost certainly a scam. Utility companies don’t make
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As you approach retirement, you may find yourself in need of cash to deal with certain expenses. Perhaps you have decided to address a long-delayed home remodeling, you want to travel, or you just need extra living expenses for a given period. There are several ways for you to use the equity in your home
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A reverse mortgage is an increasingly popular way for older Americans to acquire funds based on the equity in their homes. You must be at least 62 years old, use the home as your primary residence, and have at least 50% equity in it to qualify for a reverse mortgage. You are also required to
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You may have heard of reverse mortgages through Fred Thompson’s ubiquitous daytime television ads, but you may not know much about them or how they work. So let us take over for Fred and explain them in detail. In essence, the reverse mortgage is a variation of a home equity loan that is used to
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Mortgage Protection Life Insurance (MPI) is designed to cover your mortgage payments in case of a catastrophic life event. Policies can vary, but MPI generally covers your mortgage payments if you are disabled or lose your job, and will pay off the mortgage if you pass away. Note: Because of the close acronyms, people sometimes
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While most people know what a foreclosure is, a short sale is still a bit of a mystery. Short sales began to occur more frequently after the 2008 sub-prime mortgage housing crisis, as distressed homeowners found themselves unable to handle their mortgage payments. Essentially, in a short sale, the homeowner sells a home for less
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By Andrea Woroch As a new decade begins, many have their sights set on change. After what feels like a lifetime of working, though, it can be difficult to transition to a cold-turkey retirement. To stay busy and supplement income many people are “semi-retiring” instead. Folks are leaving their traditional jobs, cutting costs and
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Is it tax time already? You may not want to admit it, but tax time starts well before the filing deadline. Your important tax forms start arriving in the mail in January. If you simply let them accumulate in a pile, it will be April before you realize it, and you will be scrambling around,
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Did you have a happy New Year? We certainly hope so. Now it’s time to get back to regular routines and take care of January chores, including gathering your tax information. The 2020 Tax Season Begins on January 27 The IRS has announced that the 2020 tax season will begin on January 27th. The beginning
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Declaring bankruptcy can take quite a toll on your life, as well as your credit rating. Because of this, people tend to look at bankruptcy as the end of potential home ownership. While bankruptcy is a serious issue and should only be undertaken as a last resort, it is not the end of the world.
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Holiday Debt On the Increase Are your credit cards still smoking from holiday overuse? Based on a recent MagnifyMoney survey, it wouldn’t be surprising. Consumers who financed their holiday spending averaged $1,325 in holiday spending debt – a sharp increase from 2018’s $1,230, 2017’s $1,054 average and 2016’s $1,003 average. Increases in wages and consumer
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You probably comparison-shop for items such as shoes or computers and prioritize your choices – “I’ll buy the merchandise at vendor X if I cannot get a better deal at vendors Y or Z.” Why wouldn’t you do the same comparison-shopping for mortgage lenders on arguably the largest purchase you will make in your life?
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The Medicare Advantage Open Enrollment Period, although new to some Medicare beneficiaries, has been around before. In 2011, the Medicare Advantage Open Enrollment Period was altered and changed to the Medicare Advantage Disenrollment Period. The disenrollment period took the open enrollment period’s place from 2011 until 2018. In 2019, the Medicare Advantage Open Enrollment Period
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If imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, imitation of your credit cards must be the sincerest form of identity theft. For years, identity thieves have produced copies of credit cards (otherwise called card cloning) by stealing the information stored on a card’s magnetic stripe and transferring it onto fake cards for their own use.
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Many homeowners know to shop around for mortgages and to compare more than just the interest rate before selecting a lender, but even these borrowers may end up with a monthly mortgage payment that is higher than it could be. While smart borrowers will save money, they can save even more by following these tips:
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When preparing to select a mortgage lender, potential homebuyers should do more than simply get quotes from several different lenders. While that is a good place to start, there are other key pieces of information that a borrower needs in order to be able to fully compare the different lenders and what they offer. Firstly,
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The convenience of modern digital commerce comes with an unfortunate side effect: it makes identity theft more convenient as well. The 2019 Identity Fraud study from Javelin Strategy and Research found that 14.4 million consumers in the U.S. were victims of identity theft during 2018, to the tune of $14.7 billion. “It may seem time-consuming
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