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Friday, January 16, 2009

War Hero Get's Reverse Mortgage

By Johnwahn Vanrock

I'm going to take a break today from my normal article writing. My usual article consists of some beneficial learning material concerning the reverse mortgage.

Not today. I had a brush with someone last night that made me feel just damn good about my country and my business.

About me real quick. I'm 40 and have love for history of all kinds, particularly 20th century history. Of course, the History Channel was my favorite spot until they abandoned their former programming to speculate about UFOs.

Fortunately I'm in the reverse mortgage business. If I wasn't I wouldn't have talked with the man I spoke to yesterday. We talked for at least a half hour about him getting a reverse mortgage.

Most was about business until he said something about where the Navy stationed him in 1949. Being a history guy I thought he probably served in the war. So, I asked.

He said, yes, he was stationed at Pearl Harbor the day of the attack.

You know how you have double take? I had a triple take. Wow! I'm talking to one of last remaining human beings with a first hand account.

It gets even better. It wasn't like he was in some obscure part of Pearl. He was actually on the USS West Virginia when it was struck by multiple torpedos. He could hear the whine of the torpedos before they hit.

In one of the explosions from a torpedo he was hit hard and blacked out. In all the confusion in the hours and days thereafter he was listed as dead. And his family was notified.

The family memorialized his death as well.

Skeptical me... When I left the call I Googled his name and Pearl Harbor. Sure enough, there he was with story he just told me.

If you came to this article or blog site looking for good mortgage info, I'm sorry to disappoint. I just had to relate my great phone call with an important man.

From my perspective the reverse mortgage business was the conduit for a shlub like me to speak to the last of a dying bread. It was a great experience.

How to File Your Business Name to Maximize Business Credit

By Susan Carter

The old say anything worth doing well is worth doing right is so true in todays economy " especially when it comes to your business. If you file your new companys business name correctly it make is so much easier to obtain business credit. If its done wrong, you could inadvertently give someone else access to your business name and they might even take it from you. That would be a terrible loss.

There is always paperwork involved in this type of process, and it needs to be done right. This is one of those times when you want to make sure you have double checked everything to verify its accuracy.

The first thing you want to do is make sure youve got what you need to set up your business. This is a handy checklist you should use to be sure your company looks like a real business and not just a hobby.

1. Company Name " Your company must use a name that is available in your State. You cant register your entity if someone else has already chosen and is using the name you picked. You should find out - before you begin - if your name is available. To onto your States website and do an entity name search. In Michigan, for example, website is Once you verify that your business name is available, then you must make the decision at this point what business structure is going to be best for your business (i.e. corporation, LLC, partnership, etc.). Generally, most States will allow you to obtain the necessary forms you need to register directly from their website and will allow you to down-load them for free. 2. Address " Your business must have a real, physical address - not a P.O. box or UPS address. If you wish, you can use your home address. The main idea is that your address needs to be a physical address that can accept mail for your business. The address you register with the State must also be the same address you use when you apply for business lines of credit or vendor credit (like a Home Depot card). 3. Tax Payer ID Number " After youve registered your business with your State, you must get an Employer ID number, or EIN, from the Internal Revenue Service. This EIN is what you use when you apply for business credit or lines of credit. You should not use your social security number on business applications unless you are applying as a sole proprietor. 4. Phone Number - Once youve registered with your State, and obtained your EIN, you should next get a dedicated telephone number for your business. This number must be listed in the national 411 directories. It must have the same name and address that you registered with your State. Be sure your use your EIN and not your social security number when you call to set up your new phone line. You definitely should never use a cell phone number as your primary business number. Banks and lending institutions will generally call 411 to verify that the name and phone number you list on your application matches the data they find on your States website where you are registered. If there are discrepancies, you may not be able to obtain business credit.

Dont forget to consult a professional. Its always in your best interest to consult with a tax professional or an attorney before you begin any new business venture. There are possible tax implications that could hurt you or your business if you set up your company incorrectly. A tax professional may also offer the benefit of being able to discuss with you the advantages and disadvantages of each of the business structures that are available and can help you decide which one is the best for you financially.

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Home equity line of credit: Do you really want one?

By Doc Schmyz

If you own your home you have a financial resource available to you that can help you with your financial needs or concerns. What is it? HOME EQUITY!

Equity is the value of your home minus the remaining mortgage balance which is outstanding. While you live, eat and sleep in your home worrying about debts or wishing you could refurnish the living room you may be sitting on the cash that will grant your wishes.

Why Would You Want an Equity Line of Credit?

With a normal loan, which deposits a set amount of money in your account and begins charging you interest and payments at a fixed rate until repaid, a line of credit acts sort of like a credit card account. You do not need to pay interest on the full amount you have access to -- only on the amount you have used. (And in some cases you then have access to the account again.)

Using an equity line of credit (also known as a Home Equity Line of Credit or HELOC) gives you greater flexibility with the least cost. Not only can you access the credit only as you need it, but your monthly payments will reflect only the balanced used. The less used the lower your payment.

A HELOC is a great his if you don't want to spend a large amount in one well as if you want access to that credit agian, once it has been repaid, without asking for another loan.

What can the HELOC be used on??

So you have the loan...not what can you use it on. Here are some examples.

Consolidate Debts

Using your equity line of credit to consolidate other debts can not only eliminate the stress of multiple bills but can also give you a more favorable interest rate or tax benefit.

Take care of your "second" on your home.

Use your line of credit to pay off the existing mortgage for better interest rates.

Travel, remodel, or Addon

Go on a vacation, re-do a room, or buy a car...all with a interest rate that is far lower then most credit cards. This fact alone makes it ideal for large cost purchases.

When Should You NOT Use a Line of Credit?

Now it isn't just 'easy money'. It does have risk to it.

Some types of debt wont allow you to use a HELOC on them. Some student loans...or small business loans.

Other items like cars and vacations may seem like a good idea to buy with your home equity line of credit, but with the ability to pay only the interest you may find the motivation to pay off the debt is lacking and end up owing for items that have lost their value or were consumable. Plan to pay off the debt quickly for the most advantage.

A Second mortgage (or refinancing) may or may not be a good idea depending on interest rates and your repayment terms. While lines of credit take advantage of current low interest rates you may find that your regular loans protect you better from fluctuating rates if you will not be paying the loan down in the next few years.

We all understand the freedom and relief that comes from having access to extra funds. For both those emergencies, as well as last minute purchases. However its important to understand the risks as well as benefits.

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Home loan

By Tom Martens

Before starting the homeownership or monthly mortgage installment ; take a minute to find out what goes into an installment since majority of the people this kind of knowledge is vast. Without carefully noted the rules of the mortgage installment it can quickly grow beyond our budget.

A monthly home loan installment contains three parts. First is your monthly repayment loan amount with capital and interest payments. Second is their monthly administration charge. Third is the insurance premium of the homeowner and sometimes life insurance premium also.

To start manipulating your expenses, you can contact house credit calculators or actual domain websites. This will be your initial starting point. Considering that your home loan part payments cannot surpass 25% of your gross basic earnings if you are solo or 30% of a mutual earnings.

Interest rates impact your installment payments significantly. Home loan base rate is the term used for the basic rate the average person pays. It is linked to the prime rate. The bank will take your risk profile into account when quoting your rate, so the better your credit history, the better rate youll be offered. If youve done business with a certain bank and have several products with them, you can also qualify for a reduced rate. But dont be afraid to shop around and negotiate a lower rate wherever you apply.

Monthly installments are also heavily affected by repayment terms. Even though the normal period is 20 years you can choose to extend that period by 5 or 10 years more. When you do this your monthly payment will be less but you will pay significantly more money in interest over time. By using an online payment calculator you can get help deciding which route will be the best for you to take.

Administration fees payable every month differs with each loan, so check what amount applies for you before agreeing on the loan.

Because of the National Credit Act, borrowers are no longer obliged to purchase homeowners insurance from the bank that provided money for their home loan. Individuals can now shop around and select one that suits your requirements. You will nonetheless be expected to surrender the policy to the bank financing you. Also buying a policy with another carrier will increase your monthly administration fees. If indeed you opt to buy insurance from your lender, the premium will be added to your monthly payments.

Your banker may or may not require you to purchase life cover to pay off your home loan in the event of your death. The premiums can be added to your installment. Even if your bank does not require this additional step, it is wise to consider it for your familys peace of mind.

A great way to determine your monthly installment payment is to get a pre-qualification certificate before you start house hunting. Getting this certification will let you know exactly how much you qualify for and what you will pay. It will also indicate to sellers that you are making a serious offer and help speed up the final mortgage process once youve found that perfect home.

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Bankruptcy Assistance Tips

By Jon Pete

With the economy in the state that it is has been in, and with little sign that things are going to change any time soon, many of us have had to manage our finances and we may not like what we see! The truth of the matter is that you may very well find yourself in financial debts and do not have the ability to making repayment. Usually, one of the first solutions that should come to mind is bankruptcy. Keep in mind, though, that it is not really as simple as it may sounds. When considering bankruptcy, keep in mind that bankruptcy assistance is an area that you need to consider.

When you are contemplating bankruptcy assistance, keep in mind the idea that bankruptcy is actually a fairly complicated matter. There are six different chapters of bankruptcy that are delineated under the New Bankruptcy Laws, and althought you will usually find that you are in a position to file for a Chapter 7 Bankruptcy or Chapter 13 Bankruptcy, there are still many areas to consider. Unless you have some bankruptcy assistance on your side, you may still be stuck with long term payments and be forced to be tied in deeper financial woes; all this, and your credit will drop drastically too!

If you are do want to go with bankruptcy , remember that you do not necessarily want to go ahead on your own. Many people who file without professional help, and in many ways, they regretted not looking for assistance. When you are in a position where you are looking to move forward and to make sure that you are getting the results that you need from your bankruptcy, don't leave it to chance.

When you can get reliable bankruptcy assistance, you will be in a position to stop and really consider what your options may be. Are you going to be able to get out from under all of your debt free and clear, or will you look at what are the different payment plans? This is something that can mean a great deal when you are looking at filing, and at the end of the day, you will find that most amatuers are not in a favorable position to make these decisions on their own.

Whether you understand that bankruptcy assistance is something that needs to happen, or still delaying on the idea if bankruptcy is for you, you will find that this is not a decision that you want to go through by yourself. Hiring a local specialist who can make you make the right choices at this critical position is something that is quite significant, and if you want to make sure that this is the resolution that you don't come to disappointment, it is essential to find assistance soon.

Finding professional bankruptcy assistance can assist you get around this difficult time and come through it relatively unscathed.

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Potect Yourself From Identity Theft

By Landon McGehee

Immediately upon becoming aware that your identity has likely been stolen, it's easy to begin to panic. This is the wrong reaction and should be repressed. Calm yourself down and consider your options. You'll need a clear head to minimize the damage done to your finances and credit. Here are the steps to take, one at a time, to stop the theft from getting out of hand:

First, contact your local police department to report the crime. Give them all the information you can. They will likely refer you to the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) to continue your report. File with both of those agencies as well. This allows the police on a local level to look into the matter while coordinating with the federal authorities. The FBI and FTC will likely want your local police's case number, which you should have received when you first reported to them.

In addition, reporting to the FTC (or their Consumer Alert website) will alert the three credit bureaus and put a Fraud Alert on your reports, which means that no new credit cards or other lines of credit can be obtained on your account for three months. Fraud Alerts are non-specific, however, and merely note to creditors that something illegal has happened involving your credit-whether that illegal activity otherwise involved you or not is left up to question. This is not a total blockade either and still allows a thief to use your existing credit.

Often the FTC requests that you change the passwords and access information for your accounts, but leave them open so they can monitor for thieves. While this seems like a good idea and it will help them catch the thief, it also leaves your accounts open to more fraud that you may or may not get reimbursed for. Most people opt to close their accounts and open new ones instead. It is your choice to do so and you are not required to cooperate with the FTC's investigation.

Now that you've gotten your financial life started back towards normal, it's time to get the rest of your identity secured as well. Contact the Department of Motor Vehicles for your state and request a new driver's license number, explaining the situation. Usually they will be happy to do this without any questions if you can present your original license and other proofs of your identity. Contact the Social Security Administration for the same purpose, to change your Social Security Number. This is trickier and often takes much more time, but it can also be done and is a good step towards renewing your broken life.

Now be prepared for a real battle to restore your identity, finances and life. Often, victims of identity theft find themselves battling for years over issues on their credit reports, bank accounts, and more.

Since identity theft continues to go on the rise as thieves utilize new technologies, the World Wide Web, and other techniques to find new victims, government and law enforcement have little chance of stopping the phenomenon. Repairing the effects of identity theft is difficult as well. It's up to individuals to take charge of their private information, be it their personal information or their bad credit history - and keep it safe from thieves, so that they will pass you by looking for easier targets. This includes family and friends as often, victims of identity theft find out that it's those closest to them that are doing the crime.

So take charge of your life and, if you find yourself a victim of identity theft, don't panic.

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Make Good Use of a Retirement Planning Calculator

By Michael Geoffrey

Calculating your necessities during retirement can be much easier with a retirement planning calculator. It can help you determine how much money you will need each month of your retirement years. Then you will be able to plan accordingly when preparing for retirement. That means that once you reach retirement age you will not be worrying about whether you have enough money to care for your needs and maintain your standard of living.

Most people looking forward to retirement do not want to go from one job to another because they find out that they do not have the necessities to retire on time. Early in their careers people should find a good retirement planning calculator, and they should take the information from this device seriously.

Where can you find this useful tool? You can find them online possibly on your bank's website or other financial institutions. You can also visit your bank or as the human resources representative at your place of employment to see if they can provide one for you.

Of course the retirement planning calculator will only be useful if the information entered is accurate. Also, once the information is entered the direction given by the retirement planning calculator must be followed in order to maximize your savings for retirement. So once you locate your retirement planning calculator you must give some serious thought to how you will use it.

A Retirement Planning Calculator Provides Figures For The Future

There are so many factors that should be considered when planning for retirement. People need to decide where they want to live when they do not have to hold down a permanent job any more. Many people choose the location of their home based on their job. After retirement, the possible places to live increase considerably. People can choose the location of their home based on the weather, the taxes or the services available.

Also during years in the workforce we generally have to consider our family and their needs. It is important to live in an area where your children can get a good education. However, once the children have grown up and have home and families of their own that is no longer something you need to be concerned about. Again, this offers opportunities for you to expand your horizons a bit and base your decisions what is best for you financially and otherwise.

A retirement planning calculator will help you factor in the cost of health insurance during your retirement. If you are in a financial position to take an early retirement but you have not yet reached the age where you are eligible for Medicare you will need to consider how you will pay for the health insurance you need during the interim.

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UK Best Loan Payday

By Allan Marked

This article looks at the way banks exploit customers with NSF and overdraft fees. It contrasts this with the other option known as payday or cash advances and proposes that these are in fact cheaper than bank fees. It goes on to show how banks lobby aggressively against the payday industry fearing cuts in there fees. The findings are based on a US study by the federal government and is freely down loadable.

An independent agency of the federal government, the FDIC was created in 1933 in response to the thousands of bank failures that occurred in the 1920s and early 1930s. The commission is managed by 5 people who constitute a board of directors. They are all appointed by the President and confirmed in the Senate. No more than three can be from he same political party.

In 2006 legislation allowed banks to apply automated overdraft programs - much to the detriment of consumers. This is a system where the bank honors customers obligations using computer rules to determine non-sufficient qualification for overdraft coverage. Data and information were gathered through a survey of a sample of institutions representing 1,171 FDIC-supervised banks, and a separate data request of customer account and transaction-level data from a smaller set of 39 institutions.

FDIC publishes the results of a 2 year study on the banking systems use of overdraft programs. The study found that a typical NSF check can result in overdraft fees and interest in excess of 3,500 percent APR. In addition, the study found that customers in low-income areas (median annual income of less than $30,000) were nearly twice as likely to incur these charges.

This study confirms the argument made by the payday industry. That is short term payday loans are much less expensive than using a bank and incurring bank overdraft fees. The other major difference is than banks are automatically enrolling customers in programs that carry APRs and other fees that are in fact far more expensive than a payday loan. Namely 75% of banks did this.

The study concluded that a typical customer would incur fees of $27- for each $20 overdraft over a 2 week period. A $60- ATM overdraft in 2 weeks would incur an APR of 1,067 percent. A customer repaying a $60 ATM overdraft in two weeks would incur an APR of 1,173 percent and a customer repaying a $66 check overdraft in two weeks would incur an APR of 1,067 percent. Surprisingly, the study also concluded that the faster a customer repays an overdraft, the higher the resultant APR.

Some consumer advocacy groups like the CRL are lobbying to ban payday loans. This leaves customers with no option than to pay overdraft fees to the banks. CRL and others recently led the charge to pass HB 545, a law effectively banning payday lending in Ohio . In 2006, Ken Compton, CEO of Advance America, said, "Contrary to the CRL's spin, responsible uses of the payday product provides consumers firm footing to overcome unexpected financial circumstances".

Some key findings;

Over 90% of banks completed overdraft fees without informing the customer.Very few banks (less than 8%) inform customers that they are about to incur insufficient funds. There is little opportunity to cancel the transaction so avoiding the fee.

Bank customers complaints about overdraft fees were received by twelve percent of banks.

Almost 9 percent of consumer accounts had at least 10 NSF transactions during a 12-month period. 4.9 percent had 20 or more NSF transactions.Clients of banks with 20 or more NSF transactions are charged $1,610 per year.

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