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December 2012 Archives

Federal lawmakers consider expanding mortgage refi program

Commentators who watch the housing market say that the number of homes that are underwater on the mortgage has fallen in the past year, according to Reuters. An underwater mortgage is one in which the homeowner owes more than the house is worth on the open housing market. The number of underwater mortgages nationwide has fallen from more than 12 million recorded last year to around 10.8 million homes today, according to CoreLogic.

Homeowners associations begin foreclosing on bank-owned properties

A new trend seems to be emerging in at least one state in the wake of the foreclosure crisis. This blog has reported stories about the issues Ohio homeowners have faced in foreclosure proceedings. Other discussions on these pages have covered stories about homes being razed after foreclosure. But there is a recent wave in Florida where homeowners and condo associations have been turning the tables on lending institutions.

Debt-collector settles robo-signing lawsuit

This blog recently discussed the "Rolling Jubilee" idea that a group of people started as an offshoot to the Occupy movement. In that plan, the group has been purchasing debt on the open market and forgiving the debt to raise awareness of the nature of the debt collection industry. Buying debt is a huge industry in this country. Companies can buy blocks of debt for pennies on the dollar and seek to collect the money from the debtors.

Older Americans facing foreclosure at growing rate

Commentators say that homeowners over the age of 50 are facing foreclosure at a higher rate than any other age group. The commentators believe that one of the reasons that people over 50 are running up against foreclosure is that many women outlive their spouses. A portion of women who are over the age of 50 were never added to mortgage documents, which commentators say is creating a problem for people that can lead to foreclosure.

Fannie, Freddie and some banks to briefly stop evictions for holidays

Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac combined own roughly half of all single-family homes across the country. The two companies announced that they will put a brief halt to evictions in foreclosure proceedings during the holidays this year. Fannie Mae will suspend evictions from December 19 through January 2, 2013, while Freddie Mac says it will suspend eviction beginning December 17.

Lenny Dykstra sentenced in bankruptcy fraud case

In April 2011, this blog reported that former baseball star Lenny Dykstra had been arrested on charges of bankruptcy fraud related to his 2009 bankruptcy case. Some baseball fans in Cincinnati may remember who the centerfielder ran into the wall while the Phillies were playing the Reds in 1991. Dykstra broke his collarbone in the game. More Ohio residents may remember the years the roamed centerfield with both the Mets and Phillies, appearing in several All-Star games and even playing for a World Series champion.

Credit card debt rises in third quarter, P. 2

In the last entry, this blog opened a discussion of a recent analysis of consumer credit card debt released by the credit reporting agency, TransUnion. The agency says that during the third quarter, the average credit card debt held by American consumers rose nearly 5 percent, while delinquencies showed a slight uptick.

Credit card debt rises in third quarter, P. 1

Americans pulled out the plastic at a higher rate this summer when compared to last year. After the Great Recession hit, many Americans reined in their use of credit cards to make purchases or pay other bills. But a recent report indicates that between July and September, American consumers turned to credit cards, with the average credit card balance rising 4.9 percent over the amount of debt consumers held one year earlier.

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