How Does a Reverse Mortgage Work? (Solved)

November 14th, 2010 Comments off

Reverse MortgageHow does a reverse mortgage work? The reverse mortgage is a fairly newer national program that allows individuals to take the cash out of their home for personal use. Because this is home equity you already own, the program allows you to take this money out of your home while never having to make a house payment ever again!

The program is mostly available to senior citizens who are 62 years or older, but private banks and lenders are now offering their own reverse mortgage program. Many of these private programs have made them available to younger groups of people as well.

How Does a Reverse Mortgage Work?

In a nutshell, the reverse mortgage program works like this…

  1. The homeowner is interested in accessing the cash they have being held up in their home
  2. The homeowner applies for a reverse mortgage to take the equity out of their home
  3. Once approved, decide how to accept payments: all at once in a lump-sum, in monthly installments, or a credit line
  4. The funds obtained don’t have to be repaid until you sell your home, at which point you’ll most likely have the cash to repay the loan from the sale of your house.

Qualifying for a Reverse Mortgage – Requirements

Qualifying does not have high credit score or income standards. Even if you have a bankruptcy on your record or your home is in foreclosure, you may still be able to qualify for a reverse mortgage. This is because the cash being acquired is taken from the equity that you already own in your home. It’s like borrowing against yourself, and a reverse mortgage is tax free!

In order to qualify for a reverse mortgage and maintain a good record, you must keep you home in good condition and keep your real estate taxes and homeowners insurance payments current. This also includes any assessments that may be due, particularly if you are a condo owner. Lastly, you must continue to live in the dwelling, otherwise you will likely be expected to repay the loan.

In order to get approved for a reverse mortgage, you must not have any liens on your home. If you do, just be sure to pay those off before closing on the loan.

It is also not necessary to own your house free and clear in order to qualify for a reverse mortgage. Any outstanding balance of your mortgage can be paid off with your loan, but if the funds are inadequate you can use additional funds from any other account you own. That way you will still be able to take advantage of the program, get the cash equity out of your home, and never have to make another house payment again.

What Can Money From a Reverse Mortgage Be Used For?

One of the greatest benefits of this program is that there are very few limitations on what the funds of your loan can be used for. Here are some of the common uses for a reverse mortgage:

  • Pay off your existing mortgage
  • Supplement your retirement income
  • Pay for home improvements and remodeling
  • Take the vacations you’ve always wanted
  • Pay off medical bills
  • Buy a new car
  • Put it into a savings or investment account
  • Pay off taxes
  • Pay off student loans or school expenses

Applying for a reverse mortgage loan is easy. Typically the information you need is just your personal information (DOB, SSN, address, etc), the value approximate value of your home, the location of your home, the amount you owe on your current mortgage (if any). That is typically it to get started!

For more information, visit:

HUD Reverse Mortgage FAQ

Wikipedia: Reverse Mortgage

How Debt Relief Counseling Can Wipe Out 67% of Debt

November 8th, 2010 Comments off

Debt Relief CounselingGetting debt relief counseling can be one of the smartest things a person can do to wipe a majority of the debt clean. Individuals who have over $10,000 in debt can often find that more than half of it can be eliminated right off the bat. Debt relief counseling with an experienced expert can make this happen swiftly, while helping your become completely debt free.

Its typically a short, pain-free process that can quickly fix an otherwise stressful situation by getting rid of bill collectors, negotiating payments down to just pennies on the dollar, and making and greatly reducing the amount of money that you owe… regardless if your debt is a result of:

  • Credit Card Debt
  • Mortgage Loans
  • Student Loans
  • Unpaid Bills

Debt relief counselors are experts at taking all of your bills and reducing the amount you own to next to nothing. While you could go through this process yourself by trying to negotiate with your banks and credit card companies, debt counselors handle all of the leg work for you. Because they are experts at reducing debt, they know exactly who to talk to, what to say, and how to eliminate the most amount of debt possible.

How Debt Relief Counseling Works

The first step is to fill out an online application to see if you qualify for any kind of debt reduction or financial assistance. If you qualify, a debt counselor will contact you to let you know the options available. In most cases, in order to qualify for debt assistance or counseling, you must have at least $10,000 in debt or outstanding bills. The more debt you have, the more they are able to negotiate it down so you only end up paying a fraction of the amount you owe. In most cases, whatever amount that they come up with can be paid back over a length of time, such as 10 years.

Once the debt counselor negotiates your bills down, they will often pay off remaining amount in full. That way the counselor now owes the debt, and you pay them back. The benefit of this is you no longer have multiple bills to pay. There’s just one bill withe the debt relief counselor, who will help and guide you on improving your overall financial health.

The ultimate goal of the debt relief counselor is to:

  1. Eliminate and Wipe Clean as Much Debt as Possible
  2. Make Any Remaining Debt Minimal and With Tiny Payments
  3. Advise You On Increasing Your Wealth Once You Are Debt Free

To begin right away, see if you qualify for debt relief counseling by fill out an online application. If you qualify, a debt counselor will call you to discuss options. However, they will most likely want to go over your credit report with you. Be sure to have a copy hand, which you can get for free here.

Find Unclaimed Checks – Lost Money

November 2nd, 2010 Comments off

unclaimed checksEver year, the amount of unclaimed checks and lost money continues to grow. Millions of dollars in property goes missing and completely unnoticed. Fortunately, it has become easier to find unclaimed checks and retrieve lost money without much hassle. With online databases and new resources to contact property that rightfully belongs to you, claiming what is yours is just a matter of searching for that money owed to you.

Interestingly, nearly 80% of those how have found unclaimed checks never knew there was money owed to them to begin with. But those individuals who perform a simple online search for missing money are often surprised to see cash and other property just waiting to be collected.

Just think of the number of times you have moved in your life, canceled a service or subscription that you pre-paid for, jobs you left, and cash you’ve earned through rewards programs. Many times these groups that owe you a check are not going to do it willfully, and they hope you don’t ask for the money you’re owed.

Common Unclaimed Checks, Lost Money and Missing Property:

Some of the most common types of things that go unclaimed are…

  • Un-cashed checks and wages
  • Bank accounts and safe deposit box contents
  • Stocks, mutual funds, bonds, and dividends
  • Insurance policies, CD’s, trust funds
  • Utility deposits, escrow accounts

These are all things may have been based down to you, either legally or through a will, that may be owed to you. But nobody’s taken the time to search for outstanding money or thought about how to retrieve it.

How to Find Missing Money

The first step is to perform a search by using your name, address and previous addresses you lived in. The more accurate the information you provide, the better the search results will be. This is particularly true if you have moved states and may have outstanding debts owed to you from your previous residence, such as an old employer or utility bill.

Once you find missing money or property and you submit your claim, the state will do some basic research to make sure you are who you say you are before rewarding you with your possessions.

In some cases, there may be items owed to you from a deceased relative as a result of being the rightful heir. It is not uncommon for someone to have bank accounts, stocks, real estate, and other assets that family members do not know exist. Unfortunately, when that person passes away the money is often unclaimed and eventually becomes property of the bank… unless you can get to it first.

In the end, it is your responsibility to find and acquire unclaimed checks, missing money and lost property. Rarely is somebody going to go out of their way to make sure it is delivered to their rightful owner, and in many cases they hope you never come calling. After all, it could be a lifetimes worth of savings that can be useful for a very long time.

How to Stop Forclosure on Your Home

November 1st, 2010 Comments off

stop home foreclosureIf you’re falling behind on your mortgage payments and at risk to having your home foreclosed, there are steps you can take to stop home foreclosure and having the bank take your house back. As bad as things may seem, the bank does not really want to kick you out of your house. But they will unless you stop them.

Banks are in the business of lending money, but they are caught in situations where they have to repossess homes and cars from people who do not pay their bills. After all, when you have a mortgage with a bank they actually own the property. They are just lendingĀ  you the money as a finance institution. But because banks are lenders and not real estate companies, they do not want your house. It costs them money to go through the legal process and then try to sell your home in order to recoup their funds… generally at a loss.

But realized another thing. Many home owners are purposefully foreclosing in their home because they just don’t want it anymore. They figure its better just to give it back to the bank than to try to sell it.

Knowing this, you can use this information to your advantage and keep your home. In many cases when you demonstrate to the bank that you want to keep your house and that you want to continue to make payments, they will work out some sort of an agreement with you. Thus allowing you to keep your home and avoid foreclosure with your bank. This is typically done through a loan modification.

How to Stop Foreclosure on Your Home

If you make an arrangement with your bank or mortgage lender in order to stop foreclosure on your home, you accomplish a number of goals. The first, of course, being that you get to keep your home. You don’t have to go through the physical and emotional process of being removed from your home and trying to find a new place to live.

The second advantage is saving your credit. A foreclosure puts a big black mark on your credit report, which will not only make it difficult to buy another home, but can prevent you from getting a job, stop landlords from renting to you, and have your credit cards closed on you without notice (see your current credit score here).

Here’s how to avoid foreclosure and prevent the bank from taking your home back…

  1. Figure out how much you can realistically afford to pay
  2. Go to Foreclosure Fighters to lower your mortgage
  3. Keep your home and sleep well

After you have made new arrangements with your mortgage lender, you’ll want to continue concentrating on ways to improve your personal finances by finding additional ways to save money, cut unnecessary expenses, and increase your income. That way you are well prepared financially and can avoid the threat of having your home foreclosed on in the future.

25 Largets Banks in the United States

October 26th, 2010 Comments off

In the United States, big banks are taking over. Small private banks and credit unions that offer a personal relationship are far and few between, as the big banks gobble them all up. At some point or another you will need a loan, whether it be a home mortgage, auto loan or a personal loan, and chances are you’ll be working with the large banks and there terms.

The good news is that big banks have the resources to make things pretty much automated. If you want a new credit card or a loan, just fill out an online application and you’ll find out instantly how much you’re approved for. Need to transfer cash from your account to your kids’ account? No problem. That can be done in seconds.

The 25 Largest Banks in 2010

This list of the largest banks is ranked by the banks with the largest dollar value of consolidated assets, as compiled by the Federal Reserve.

  1. JP Morgan Chase – 5,143 domestic branches
  2. Bank of America – 6,012 domestic branches
  3. Citibank/Citigroup – 1,025 domestic branches
  4. Wells Fargo – 6,519 domestic branches
  5. US Bank – 3,050 domestic branches
  6. PNC – 2,596 domestic branches
  7. FIA Card Services (BOA) – 0 domestic branches
  8. HSBC – 482 domestic branches
  9. Bank of NY Mellon – 4 domestic branches
  10. Suntrust Bank – 1,724 domestic branches
  11. State Street – 2 domestic branches
  12. TD Bank – 1,091 domestic branches
  13. Branch BKG&TC/BB&T – 1,790 domestic branches
  14. Citibank SD NA/Citigroup – 0 domestic branches
  15. Chase Bank/JP Morgan Chase – 1 domestic branches
  16. Regions Bank – 1,769 domestic branches
  17. Capital One – 991 domestic branches
  18. RBS Citizens Financial Group – 1,118 domestic branches
  19. Fifth Third Bank – 1,364 domestic branches
  20. Goldman Sachs – 3 domestic branches
  21. Keybank – 1,041 domestic branches
  22. Union Bank – 401 domestic branches
  23. Captial One Bank – 0 domestic branches
  24. Manufacturers & Traders TC/M&T Bank – 792 domestic branches
  25. Northern Trust – 15

This list is current as of June 30, 2010.

For those interested in keeping there savings diversified, these banks may be some obvious institutions that you could safely hold your money while providing competitive savings or Money Market rates.