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Author: Kathleen Michon

FHA Reduces Mortgage Insurance Premiums for FHA Loans

FHA Reduces Mortgage Insurance Premiums for FHA Loans

The Federal Housing Administration recently announced that as of January 26, 2015, it will reduce the annual mortgage insurance premiums for FHA loans by .5%.  On average, the reduction could save an FHA loan borrower about $900 per year. (Learn more about FHA Loans.) What Are FHA Mortgage Insurance Premiums? If you get an FHA-insured loan you’ll have to pay mortgage insurance (mortgage insurance protects the lender in the event you default on loan payments). There are two types of…

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Can I Extend My Chapter 13 Bankruptcy Plan Beyond Five Years to Pay a Claim?

Can I Extend My Chapter 13 Bankruptcy Plan Beyond Five Years to Pay a Claim?

ASK LEON  Bankruptcy expert Leon Bayer answers real-life questions. Dear Leon,  I have been in Chapter 13 bankruptcy for five years and just made my last plan payment. But the trustee now says I have to pay an additional $8,000 before I am done with my bankruptcy and can get a discharge. The trustee has filed a motion to dismiss my case.  I have talked to several bankruptcy lawyers, and they all agree that the trustee is correct – I…

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President Signs Bill to Extend Mortgage Forgiveness Tax Break Through 2014

President Signs Bill to Extend Mortgage Forgiveness Tax Break Through 2014

On December 19, 2014 President Obama signed H.R. 5771, the Tax Increase Prevention Act. One of the provisions of that Act extends the tax break for homeowners who have had mortgage debt canceled or forgiven in 2014. When Is Mortgage Debt Forgiven? Thousands of financially struggling homeowners had mortgage debt forgiven by their lenders in the past year.  Mortgage debt forgiveness might happen as part of a mortgage modification – lenders often forgive part of the principle in order to…

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Consumer Scams: 1971 & 2011 Comparison

Consumer Scams: 1971 & 2011 Comparison

Consumer fraud has come a long way in the last 40 years. Although scams thrived in the 1970s, the Internet brought the scamming trade to new heights in the 21st century. Let’s take a look at what the scam scene looked like in 1971 and what it looks like today – and how you can protect yourself. 1971: Spam was canned meat that looked (and some say, tasted) like cat food, phishing was something you did with your grandfather, a…

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