Monthly Archives: July 2011

Facebook foreclosures may soon reach US

Close-up of a sticker bearing the Facebook logo.

When it comes to Facebook, people expect pokes, polls and pictures. But for those facing foreclosure, Facebook users may soon be receiving notice by online social network. According to Time magazine, the “Facebook foreclosure” is coming soon to a financially depressed neighborhood near you.
Facebook foreclosure began in Australia
In 2008, an Australian court ordered a mortgage lender attempting foreclosure on a home to serve the defaulting owner via Facebook. Only a backup copy of the notice was required at the physical address in Canberra. This court ruling set a precedent. Facebook foreclosures followed in New Zealand, Canada and England, particularly in [...]

Beware of timeshare scams promising easy sales

Owning a timeshare can be a blessing or a burden, depending on the point of view of the person involved. Though many companies involved in the timeshare industry are perfectly reputable, there are a fair number of bad apples, so people should be careful who they deal with.
Structures vary from company to company
Buying the right timeshare can give a person access to vacation spots around the world with comparable amenities to some of the best hotels. However, not every timeshare is the same. Units called deeded timeshares are essentially vacation homes. The unit itself is partially owned by multiple people, [...]

IRS offers open house for those facing tax lien

IRS bricks

Many Americans are bogged down with liens from past due taxes. New collection policies give delinquent taxpayers a way to get out from under their liens. The IRS will be holding open houses around the country Saturday to answer questions and help those with tax lien issues.
A tax lien can be devastating
When the IRS places a lien on an individual for back taxes owed, it can be devastating.  The IRS has the legal right to freeze assets and to make claims against them. Payments made to the taxpayer can be rerouted directly to the IRS. Furthermore, a tax lien lowers [...]

How to save money on baby items

A smiling female baby in a pink outfit rests on a pillow, eyes closed.

According to a survey commissioned by Redbook and Visa, 76 percent of soon-to-be parents say they feel confident that they’re financially ready for a baby. Yet any experienced parent knows one can never be fully prepared for the expenses of parenthood. That’s why understanding how to save on baby items is important.
Budgeting for baby: Don’t buy early
While things like onesie outfits, bibs, blankets, diapers, wipes, waterproof bedding and an infant-rated car seat do need to ready for duty before baby leaves the hospital, the rest of the shopping can wait until after baby is born. By waiting, the temptation to [...]

Recession does not hurt wedding industry

The recession of the past few years has brought about stories of people putting things off like having children or buying homes until economic conditions are right. Regardless of the fact that many people are tightening their belts, the wedding industry is still going strong.
Trip down the aisle still draws out the checkbook
There have been plenty of stories in the media about the recession killing industries, but one industry is still going strong — the wedding industry. Weddings, according to MyFoxNY, are a $74 billion industry. Not only that, but the industry has been growing in the past few years. [...]

US credit rating will fall if debt ceiling is not raised

National debt clock

The United States risks losing its triple-A credit rating if it fails to raise the debt ceiling and defaults on national obligations. A downgrade in rating will cause a ripple in the economy that will affect the average citizen.
Moody’s warns of a possible downgrade
Moody’s Investors Service, the largest of the “big three” credit rating companies that analyzes the nation’s credit worthiness, announced Wednesday that there is a chance of a downgrade in the nation’s top-notch credit rating if the U.S. defaults on any of its debts. The Obama administration has warned that if the national debt ceiling is not raised [...]

How to finance a foreclosure property

Close-up of the foreboding sign in front of a foreclosure property.

Foreclosure rates remain astronomical and tragedy continues to hit families across the U.S. Yet one man’s tragedy can be an innocent investor’s opportunity. If you’re looking to snag an affordable home for cheap, learn how to finance a foreclosure property.
Foreclosures and REOs await
Thankfully, financing foreclosures and Real Estate Owned (REO) is an option that anyone who can come up with the money and is willing to bid can pursue. It is important to note that if you do attend a foreclosure property auction, you may have to bid against seasoned pros, which can drive up prices. If you keep your [...]

Surviving the Netflix price increase

A chewed-up Netflix DVD mailer envelope.

The recent 60 percent Netflix price increase has fans of the online streaming and DVDs by mail service up in arms, as the “Dear Netflix” Facebook page proves. For those who depend upon Netflix as the cornerstone of their personal entertainment routines, some tough budgeting decisions are coming. With just a bit of analysis, it’s easy to see which Netflix plan is best for you.
Netflix price increase: For a few dollars more
Netflix currently has more than 23 million active subscribers who pay approximately $10 per month or more for access to streaming video on demand and DVDs by mail. That [...]

Homeowners associations losing money and initiating foreclosures

Many people across the country live in neighborhoods governed by a homeowners association, a group that sets rules for living in an area. HOAs, as they are called, serve an essential purpose in many ways, but homeowners’ groups are coming under fire for ridiculous rules and foreclosing on residents.
Formerly booming homeowner boards losing money in recession
Thousands of residential neighborhoods and condominiums across the country are governed by homeowners associations. In fact, according to USA Today, approximately one in five homeowners in America belongs to an HOA, as they are often referred to. Of every 10 newly constructed homes, eight of [...]

Americans won’t give up technology to save money

cell phone and computer

According to a new poll, technology is the one luxury people are not willing to forgo in order to save money in the recession. Cell phones and Internet services are the new necessities in our modern age.
‘The last thing I would give up’
The National Foundation for Credit Counseling (NFCC) hosts a monthly Financial Literacy Opinion Index poll on its website. The June poll question was: “In order to save money, the last thing I would give up is…” The categories participants were given to choose from were cell phones, cable TV, designer coffee, eating out, catalog shopping (including online shopping) [...]

Recession makes stocks rise in some industries

As the recession continues stocks rise in industries that profit from hard times such as pawn brokers, payday lenders, and debt collectors.

Ways for bookworms to save money on summer reading

Its the summer reading season, but that doesn't mean bookworms have to dish out a lot of cash to keep themselves in books.

How to find the best credit card

Close-up of the logo on a VISA credit card.If you're choosing a credit card, understand what's important. Learn how to find the best credit card for your financial situation.

Walmart combats lower sales with coupons and samples

Walamrt in ChinaWalmart has been losing customers in the U.S. To get shoppers back, Walmart is using heavy coupon promotions and free samples on its website.

USDA announces cost of raising a child is growing up

The USDA has just released its annual report on the cost of raising children, and they are getting more expensive every year.

How to have fun and save money

A young boy enjoys being sprayed by a lawn sprinkler on a summer's day.With a little imagination, you can learn how to have fun during summer without spending money – or not very much money.

Automatic 401(k) enrollment plans less effective than opt-in

Automatic enrollment of employees into 401(k) plans don't, as it turns out, guarantee that they will contribute as much as they could.