California Attorney General Urges the CFPB to Adopt Consumer Protections Against Payday Lenders

This week, the California Attorney General, Kamala D. Harris released a letter pleading with the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) to adopt tougher regulations against harmful payday and small-dollar lending practices. In the letter to the CFPB, the AG said that she strongly supports the CFPB’s proposals to help stop the abuse stemming from traditional, high-cost payday loans and collections. (more…)

Today’s Mortgage Market: Rates End the 2015 Year Above 4 Percent

Current mortgage rates for this Thursday morning are mostly mixed, with rates going both down and also remaining fairly stable at some of the nation’s top lenders. Fixed rates for the 30-year fixed mortgage for the week ending December 31, 2015, had moved higher to 4% for the first time in five months, according to Freddie Mac’s rate survey released today.
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NAR: Pending Home Sales Decline in November

The National Association of Realtors (NAR) said yesterday that the real estate market is starting to cool down with fewer home buyers signing contracts to purchase homes.

The current index of pending home sales dropped 0.9 percent in the month of November. This is the third time in four months  that the index has gone down as home buyers deal with rising home prices and limited housing inventory available for sale. (more…)

Hanna Law Firm: CFPB Takes Action to Stop Illegal Debt Collection Practices

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) announced this week that a Georgia law firm, and its three principal partners, has agreed to pay $3.1 million to resolve allegations for operating an illegal debt collection lawsuit mill.

The law firm, Frederick J. Hanna & Associates, was accused of operating less like a law firm than a factory in its collection of consumer debt. The Hanna law firm resolved the suit without admitting wrongdoing. The proposed agreement would bar the firm from illegal debt-collection practices such as filing suits without being able to verify the debt is owed, and intimidating consumers with deceptive court filings. (more…)

Loan Modification Q’s and A’s

Everyone is well aware of loan modifications and how they are the number one way for a homeowner to avoid foreclosure and stay in there home. But, many homeowners looking for this kind of assistance find the process to be very difficult, frustrating, confusing, and just overall stressful on their daily lives. That’s why it is very important that before you begin this process you are armed with as much information as possible and present your case in a professional matter.

Below we will answer some of the most common questions homeowners have in regards to this process:

Q. What does a loan modification do? (more…)

The Mortgage Forgiveness Debt Relief Act of 2007-2016

The U.S. Government has just announced that a Bill just passed that will allow for the extension of the Mortgage Debt Relief Act of 2007 for an additional two years of protection covering tax years 2015 and 2016. This tax relief applies to qualified borrowers when a lender cancels, forgives and or reduces the mortgage debt on their primary residence through various loss mitigation methods such as a loan modification, and debt forgiven in connection with a foreclosure or a short sale.

Normally when this happens, you may have to report the cancelled or forgiven amount as income to the IRS for tax purposes because your legal obligation to pay back your lender was forgiven. However under this law, many struggling homeowners will now be able to exclude income on their taxes from the discharge or reduction of their mortgage debt. (more…)