January 2009

31 Jan Recession? Depression? Can We Call The Whole Thing Off?

A recession is loosely defined as a period of two or more financial quarters where the Gross Domestic Product declines. It is truly difficult to measure; difficult to determine when a recession starts, and difficult to determine when it ends. Until 1929, all recessions were generally known as depressions. By contrast, depressions are now measured by the Great Depression starting in 1929 when unemployment reached 25% and wages fell by as much as 42%.

Some define a depression is a sustained recessionary period in which the population is forced to dispose of tangible assets to fund every day living. So, ... sell anything on eBay lately? Check it out, people are shedding their possessions by the boatloads to raise cash to pay bills.

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31 Jan Ten Reasons to Delay Filing Bankruptcy! Reason No. 2: Debtor’s Domicile

Relocating to a new state? Then changes inthe 2005 amendments to the Bankruptcy Code, known as the Bankruptcy Abuse Prevention and Consumer Protection Act (BAPCPA) regarding State domicile requirements willbe a factor in determining whichbankruptcy exemptions you can use. Exemptions determinethe things you get to keep when...

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31 Jan Are Credit Card Offers Of Zero Percent A Good Deal?

Have you received an offer for 0% financing from your credit card lately? A careful look at the terms of such offers reveal the continuing traps of the finance industry on consumers. Time for some grade school math and a different way of looking at the world.

Consider the offer of zero percent for six months. Free money, right? Such offers usually contain a service fee of 3% of the money advanced. So a consumer who takes advantage of a $1,000 offer will pay $30 for the privilege. A three percent fee is equivalent to a 6% annual interest rate. ($1000 x 6% for one year 6 months = $30) That is to say, if you borrowed one thousand dollars for six months at six percent, you would pay thirty dollars in interest. It is one and the same.

An offer at 2.99% for the same time is not the same. If you borrowed the same $1,000 for six months, you would only pay $15.00 in interest. Which is the cheaper deal, 0% or 2.99%?

The real problem is what happens after the "special" deal ends.

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31 Jan Success For Mortgage Mediation in Connecticut?

Effective July 1, 2008, Connecticut established a mediation program for foreclosures. Statistics available for the latest period ending November 30 2008 reveal some interesting detail. Mediators are working diligently to rescue residential homes from the auctioneer. However, the program is missing important components.

In the period of July 1st to November 30th, there were 9,917 foreclosures filed in the state, an average of 450 cases per week. In that period, mediators successfully negotiated 519 cases so that homeowners got to remain in their homes. This is just slightly over 5% of all cases filed. Only 380 cases or 3.83% resulted in a modification of the mortgage terms. Despite the hard work of Connecticut's mediators, the state's residents are not being protected from foreclosure.

Is the program failing?

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