Tag Archive | "Financial Services"

Steps to take if you lose your Debit Card

Steps to take if you lose your Debit Card

7123758 0475304ba3 m Steps to take if you lose your Debit Card
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Did you recently lose your debit card? Did you have a scare that makes you think this could happen to you in the future? Losing your debit card is a big deal for many reasons. Although this may never happen, it is good to be prepared for the worst.

Here are several steps to take if you lose your debit card:

1. Call your bank as soon as possible. It is common to wait a few days, hoping that your card turns up. While this could happen, it is better to be safe than sorry. Remember, the longer you wait to report your debit card missing the more chance there is that somebody will use it in a fraudulent manner. Are you really willing to take that risk?

2. Mail your bank a letter reiterating the information that you already spoke about on the phone. This may seem like a waste of time, but it is beneficial for many reasons. Above all else, this gives you a record of what you are requesting. If the rep on the phone does not cancel everything properly and in a timely manner, you can use the letter as proof of what you requested.

3. Request a new debit card. Since your old card has been canceled you are no longer able to use it. In turn, you need to make sure you receive a new debit card from your bank as soon as possible. After all, you do not want to go to long without one.

4. Remember to change any automatic payments that you have setup with your old debit card. Since your number and expiration date have changed, you will no longer be able to use the card for automatic payments – until you update your account, of course. This is one step that many people forget to take upon receiving their new debit card.

Tip: you can usually change your account information online.

5. Watch your account for fraudulent charges. From the time you lost your debit card until the time it was canceled, there is a chance that somebody used it to make fraudulent purchases. Keep an eye on your account, and if something looks suspicious make sure you immediately contact your bank.

One final tip: don’t make the same mistake twice. Losing your debit card can cost you a lot of time and money. Do whatever it takes to keep your card safe and secure at all times.

If you lose your debit card make sure you follow the steps and advice detailed above. It will help get you back on track soon enough.

 Steps to take if you lose your Debit Card

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Debit Card Pros and Cons

Debit Card Pros and Cons

There are many pros and cons that go along with using a debit card. It is important to be aware of both the good and bad. Once you know the benefits and drawbacks, you can do what you can to avoid the bad and focus on the details that will better your financial situation.
Pros
1. Convenience. With a debit card you never have to use cash or check again. Instead, you can use it just like a credit card – except the money coming out of your checking account. Not only is it convenient to use a debit card at local stores, but the same holds true with online purchases.
2. Speed. Have you ever taken the time to write a check at a grocery store or retail outlet? This can take a couple minutes when you factor in the time it takes the cashier to “do their thing.” You can swipe your debit card and be on your way within a matter of minutes.
3. Easy to get cash. With a debit card you can visit any ATM and receive cash out of your checking account. Along with this, most stores can give you cash back after you make a purchase with your card.
Cons
1. Fees can sneak up on you. Just like credit cards, when you use a debit card there are fees that can come up from time to time. Some of the most common include: ATM fees, point of sale fees, and over limit fees.
2. No reward program. Although some banks are implementing these with debit card users, they are few and far between. A credit card reward program can eventually lead to everything from cash back to free plane tickets and much more. With a debit card you are simply taking money out of your checking account, with nothing coming to you in return.
3. Difficulties resolving disputed charges. When you use a debit card, as opposed to a credit card, resolving disputed charges can be a hassle. The reason for this is simple: the money spent comes out of your account almost instantly. This makes it hard to dispute the charge if the item is defective or never delivered.
With millions upon millions of people using debit cards it goes without saying that the pros outweigh the cons. As a user, you want to be 100 percent aware of the benefits of your debit card. At the same time, make sure you know the drawbacks so you can hedge against them.
With this information you should find it easier to take full advantage of your debit card, while avoiding compromising situations.

 Debit Card Pros and Cons

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I Need A Debt Management Expert!

I Need A Debt Management Expert!

751221191 fdb8eae75c m I Need A Debt Management Expert!
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In today’s world there are no shortage of people with debt management issues. So where do you go for debt management help? Here are a few quick tips from the debt management expert…

1) Go to Debt Management Expert web sites: This site is organized to give you helpful advice on a variety of debt management issues. We are specifically looking at large issues involving your home and credit. We also recommend that you look to other debt management sites to get helpful tips. There is no substitute for reading up on the issues that you face and looking at how different experts recommend you approach those issues.

2) Talk to people who may be in similar debt management situations: They may not be debt management experts but they certainly will give you another perspective. It may be uncomfortable but it is highly likely that someone in your situation has tried something to help their situation that may actually help your situation. If you don’t know anyone directly join a debt forum and learn in a more anonymous fashion.

3) Explore debt management and debt settlement companies as potential debt management experts: These companies can help but there a both pros and cons to working with them. Make sure you really understand what you get out of this before taking the dive. Many are debt management experts but they are also trying to make a buck. For more information on this read our recent post: Enrolling in a Debt Management Plan to Help Your Monthly Budget and How Debt Management and Debt Settlement Companies Can Simplify Your Financial Life.
4) Attorneys as debt management experts: Talk to a bankruptcy attorney or a loan modification attorney. Attorney’s can be a good solution if you need to modify your loan or if you are considering bankruptcy, but again this comes down to your specific situation. Don’t limit you conversation to one attorney. Talk to several if you go this route and then toughly reference them to make sure that they are debt management experts with good track records.

If you spend the time to do all these well, the next time you look in the mirror you may see a Debt Management Expert.

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 I Need A Debt Management Expert!

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Mortgage Trouble? Short Sale or Loan Modification – Which Is a Better Option?

Mortgage Trouble? Short Sale or Loan Modification – Which Is a Better Option?

Description: This article describes the pros and cons of short sales and loan modifications. It offers some useful tips for deciding which would be the best option for you.

When you agree to enter into a mortgage on a home, you are agreeing to abide by specific terms set out in a loan agreement. You agree to a payment schedule and a payment amount, based on the amount of the mortgage loan and the interest rate offered by the mortgage company. But what are your options when you find that you can no longer abide by the terms of the agreement? For whatever reason, if you find yourself unable to meet your mortgage payments, there are several options available.

Loan Modification
The first thing you should look into would be a loan modification. A loan modification is simply the process by which the terms of the original mortgage agreement are changed. In a mortgage agreement, the mortgage lender holds a lien on the property until the mortgage is paid off. Loan modifications that benefit the borrower are typically changes in the interest rate, or to change from a variable to a fixed interest rate. Changes could be made in the accrual of late fees and penalties or could even be in the length of the loan. A fifteen-year mortgage could be lengthened to a thirty-year mortgage. The borrower can be in default, in bankruptcy or in foreclosure when these loan modifications take place. The modifications take place at the discretion of the mortgage lender. Often, it is their financial best interest to modify the terms of the loan because it would ensure that the buyer would continue to pay the mortgage, which would be more valuable to the lender than foreclosure.

Certain criteria must be met in order for a loan modification to be considered. Those criteria can change, so it’s good to check with your lender or with your attorney to find out if you qualify for a loan modification. Loan modification is a good option for people who are basically financially stable, but who need the mortgage to be restructured in order to keep current.

Short Sale
A short sale, in real estate, occurs when the property sells for less money that the borrower owes on the home. A short sale is usually done to avoid foreclosure on a property, something a mortgage lender usually wants to avoid. In a short sale, the mortgage lender agrees to discount a loan balance because of some financial hardship on the part of the borrower. Most of the time, the mortgage lender agrees to take the entire proceeds from the sale of the home as payment on the mortgage, agreeing to forgive the outstanding difference owed by the borrower. This usually occurs when the borrower cannot afford to pay the mortgage anymore and the bank does not want to foreclose.

What’s best for you?
• Saving your home and avoiding foreclosure is the primary goal in deciding what the next step is for you and your family. If you are experiencing a temporary

 Mortgage Trouble? Short Sale or Loan Modification – Which Is a Better Option?

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Should I Trust My Bank or Hire a Negotiator To Modify My Mortgage?

Should I Trust My Bank or Hire a Negotiator To Modify My Mortgage?

loan modification should i trust my bank Should I Trust My Bank or Hire a Negotiator To Modify My Mortgage?If you’re having trouble keeping up with your mortgage payments, then perhaps a mortgage loan modification might be the answer. A loan modification can reduce your monthly mortgage payments and help you keep current with your mortgage based upon your financial means. However, when you talk to your bank or mortgage lender about a modification, are your or the bank’s best interest involved?

The bottom line is the answer to this question. The bottom line for the lender is to make income in the form of interest on money they lend to others. If a borrower fails to make payments as agreed in the mortgage terms, then the lender may have no choice but to foreclose on the home and recoup their losses on the resale of the home. Usually a foreclosure is a great expense to the lender in attorney’s fees, filing fees, and losses incurred while holding the property for sale. All efforts to avoid foreclosure should be taken by the lender, including modifying the loan in extreme cases to help a borrower repay the loan.

Getting Professional Modification Help

Although foreclosures are not desired by lenders, they still have many strict guidelines in making and modifying mortgages to suit the owners and investors of the lending company. Subsequently, it may appear ironic that lenders want to avoid foreclosure, but are also not willing to work with borrowers to negotiate a reasonable settlement for both parties.

A professional foreclosure help specialist company can help you with a loan modification by talking to your bank directly and working with them on your behalf to resolve a mortgage into more affordable terms. These companies are usually run by experts in the mortgage finance industry and present many advantages over a DIY endeavor:

Experience – Many of these professional modification negotiators have been operating for years and have extensive experience in negotiating new mortgage terms. They are familiar with the foreclosure and loan modification process and know what it takes to reach a deal, with even the most stubborn lenders.

Contacts – Foreclosure help specialists usually work with the biggest loan mortgage companies in the country and have many contacts within each. By having and continuing good relations with lenders, they have an upper hand in renegotiating your contract.

Results – In most cases, foreclosure help can secure an agreeable mortgage modification that is acceptable by both lender and borrower. If not, then they can work with the lender on an exit plan to avoid foreclosure by a short sale. In a short sale, you may end up selling your home for less than is owed on the mortgage, but the lender accepts the short amount and writes off the balance. This bodes much better for your credit report than foreclosure.

 Should I Trust My Bank or Hire a Negotiator To Modify My Mortgage?

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The Do’s and Don’t of Loan Modification

The Do’s and Don’t of Loan Modification

dos and dont of loan modification The Do’s and Don’t of Loan ModificationWhat is a Loan Modification?
Loan modification is a process whereby a homeowner’s mortgage is modified and both lender and homeowner are bound by the new terms.
A loan modification is a process where one or more of the characteristics of a loan and/or its terms are adjusted because the homeowner is unable to make payments under the original terms or because the value of the property is worth less than the borrower owes.
Great I know what a Loan Modification is. What are the things to watch out for?


The Do’s
• If you work with a loan modification service, Do MAKE SURE YOU CHECK THEM OUT. Go to the better business bureau site www.bbb.org and research the company. Also asking for references is a good idea.
• If you are going to attempt to do your loan modification yourself, Do make sure you have all of your documents collected prior to talking with the bank.
• If you are going to attempt to do your loan modification yourself, do make sure you understand the loan modification process prior to contacting your bank.
• Do make sure you spend the time to write a convincing Hardship Letter. See Tip on How to Write a Hardship Letter.
The Don’t
• Don’t contact your bank’s collection department. They are only interested in collecting payment not helping you with modifying your loan. You must contact the loss mitigation department in the bank.
• Don’t stop making payments on your loans even if a loan modification advises you to. A reputable company will tell you to continue to make payments for as long as possible.
• Don’t rush through your loan modification application. It is critical that you do not make errors and that all forms you submit are correct.

 The Do’s and Don’t of Loan Modification

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Tips on How to Prepare for a Loan Modification

Tips on How to Prepare for a Loan Modification

tip on loan modification Tips on How to Prepare for a Loan ModificationBefore you get started on the process of attempting to get your loan modified you must first understand that you will need a little patience. The typical time line for a loan modification is between 60 and 90 days.

The second thing you must understand is that you need to be very open in terms of your current financial and personal situation. Not disclosing information to your bank or third party negotiator will only lead to disappointment down the road for your loan modification.

Third, you must collect a number of documents. You should have them ready before you start the process so that the process can be expedited. You will need: Last years taxes, your original loan documentation, recent pay stubs, and recent bank statements. The information you provide for a loan modification is very similar information you provided when you received your loan in the first place.

Forth, you will need to write a hardship letter detailing why the bank should provide you a loan modification. For more information on hardships letters go to: Tips on How to Write a Hardship Letter and Sample Hardship Letter.

Fifth, be clear on what you actually can pay when it comes to your loan modification. Understand what new terms for your loan you can live with. Getting your loan modified but not being able to afford the new terms of the modified loan does not help anyone.

Finally, decide if you want to go it alone on your loan midifcation and negotiate with your bank all by yourself or hire a professional negotiator or attorney who has done a significant number of loan modifications. The banks do not want to end up with your home if they can help it but they will have their own interest at heart rather than yours. If you do decide to go with a third party to help you make sure you check references and make sure that the operation is a legitimate one.

 Tips on How to Prepare for a Loan Modification

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Tips on How to Write a Hardship Letter for a Loan Modification or Short Sale

Tips on How to Write a Hardship Letter for a Loan Modification or Short Sale

foreclosure lg1 Tips on How to Write a Hardship Letter for a Loan Modification or Short SaleA hardship letter is a letter written to your bank or mortgage company telling them why you can no longer afford to make the payments on your home. This letter describes your hardships and specifically what has happened that caused you to fall behind.

Based on the current credit environment, hardship letters are being used as a tool to help homeowners avoid foreclosure on their homes. The result can be a modification of the loan or the acceptance of a real-estate short sale by the bank.

Some basics to remember in writing your hard ship letter are to:
• Write the letter in your own words with feeling. Also show your appreciation for their time. A real person will be reading this.
• Be specific on your hardship. Good examples of hardships would be: A significant cut in pay or loss of employment, a medical issue that prevents you from working, or becoming a single parent with out child support.
• Provide the reason you fell behind on your monthly payments. Detail each delinquency with specific dates.
• Provide an offer to resolve the debt issue and show a willingness to cooperate in a solution to retain your home.
• Provide documents that show that your are having financial hardship. Examples could be recent late notices on bills, your taxes from the previous year and your bank statements.

For specific examples of a hardship letter you can use click here:  Sample Hardship Letter For Loan Modification

 Tips on How to Write a Hardship Letter for a Loan Modification or Short Sale

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How Specifically Do Lenders Modify My Loan?

How Specifically Do Lenders Modify My Loan?

how do lenders modifiy loans How Specifically Do Lenders Modify My Loan?Overview
If you are a homeowner interested in and qualify for a loan modification, it is important to keep in mind that the lender is forgiving a portion of your debt. There are several types of loan modifications that a lender can offer you: interest rate, length of amortization, principal balance reduction for a first mortgage as well as for a second mortgage. Principal balance reduction is the most coveted approach of all loan modifications. Make sure to avoid quick fix loan modifications that may be offered to you such as a simple forbearance, short sale, deed in lieu, or temporary interest rate reduction. These types of loan modifications may seem appealing at first, but they will generally hurt you in the medium- to long-term.

While your home can be repossessed through foreclosure if payments are not made, the lender or the loan modification company cannot make any changes unless all individuals on the mortgage agree. Your notarized permission must be received to implement any changes.

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Interest Rate
The simplest feature in a loan modification that can be adjusted by a lender is the interest rate. If the interest rate is lowered, so is the mortgage payment.

If you are a homeowner who originated a sub-prime short term adjustable rate mortgage several years ago at 5% and then saw it adjust to 9%, for example, you probably are having quite a bit of difficulty making the additional monthly payment. Now that loan modifications are more available from lenders, you have another option.

All lenders are willing to aggressively lower interest rates for loan modifications to qualified applicants when they are not requesting a reduction of the balance reduction of the mortgage or an increase in the length of amortization. A lower interest rate on the mortgage is the simplest, safest and most cost effective loan modification for lenders.

Length of Amortization
Length of amortization refers to how many years a borrower will be paying back the mortgage. The most typical timeframe is 30 years. The amortization does not reflect the length of time that the interest rate is fixed, just the total years that the mortgage will be repaid. For example, if you have a five-year adjustable rate mortgage amortized over 30 years, the interest rate will adjust after five years and can adjust up or down for the remaining 25 or until refinanced. In order to make payments more affordable, a lender may offer you the option to stretch out the loan modification payments over 40 or 50 years. This will lower your monthly payments considerably since you would now have an extra 10 or 20 years to pay off the loan modification. Any recalculation of the amortization is always done using round numbers. The options for loan modification are 30, 40 and occasionally 50 years.

Stretching out the amortization in a loan modification does not help the higher interest rates nearly as much as it helps the lower rates. During the mortgage boom, sub-prime lenders were much more inclined to offer longer amortization for loan modifications since they were qualifying the borrower with around the same payment as the 30-year loan but they were collecting 10 more years worth of interest.

Stretching out the amortization for a loan modification has additional benefits. Borrowers who paid interest only payments for the first few years were not paying down any principal. That means that your loan lost a year of amortization each year. Therefore, if you were to have kept your loan, it would have converted after the interest only period into a fully amortized fixed loan of usually 20 or 25 years. Those payments are enormous compared to the new 40- or 50-year term. Lengthening the years of repayment in a loan modification might be helpful but usually not enough to turn around a troubled homeowner’s financial situation.

Principal Balance Reduction
The principal balance reduction is the most coveted of all loan modifications. The lender is forgiving a portion of your debt. Simply speaking, you just do not owe that money any more. Banks and lenders are very reticent to do this because this is a loss that is not recoverable and therefore not given away easily.

When banks or lenders do grant a principal balance reduction, it is because the value of the property is so much less than the balance owed that there is no reason for the homeowner to remain. If you owe $500,000 on a $400,000 property, would you want to pay those huge mortgage payments only to realize that you are still upside down? Even if you were to wait it out until the market recovers, you would not know how long it would be until the property value appreciates to $500,000 again. It would be wiser to walk away from the home, take the credit hit, and rent a very similar house down the street for half the monthly payment.

Principal balance reductions help in more ways than just reducing your debt. It also reduces your payments and the amount of interest you pay over the life of the loan.

Principal Balance Reduction involving a 1st and 2nd Mortgage
Principal balance reductions are much easier to get when you have a first and a second mortgage because in the instance of a foreclosure, the lender of the second mortgage is likely to get nothing. The proceeds from a foreclosure will result in the first mortgage getting paid off first. Then whatever is left over goes to the holder of the second trust. Holders of second mortgages are absorbing massive losses while recuperating nothing. Since lenders realize this, they are much more likely to grant a reduction. The banks or lenders would rather get 10 to 20 cents on the dollar rather than nothing. If you cannot make your payments, you are going to lose your house. Lenders are going to do what it takes to prevent that. If the same lender owns your first and second mortgages, you are in the overall best position for a principal balance reduction.

 How Specifically Do Lenders Modify My Loan?

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Why loan modification is a hot topic

Why loan modification is a hot topic

loan modification a hot topic Why loan modification is a hot topicOverview
Loan modification is not a new practice, however it is more common now due to the mortgage crisis, declining home values and the economic recession. When property values are remaining consistent or are rising, your ability to get a loan modification tends to be very difficult. When a home facing foreclosure has equity, the bank takes a minimal loss or no loss at all. With nothing to gain the bank has no interest in approving a homeowner for loan modification with a track record of financial difficulties. The lender can place the property in foreclosure, find a new homeowner who can make the payments on time and remain profitable. Banks do not want to engage in loan modifications or deal with a risky borrower in a stable economy.

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Declining property values combined with tougher lender guidelines and adjusting interest rates have resulted in the loan modification boom. No one is going to buy a home for 15%-30% above market value and no lender is going to refinance that property. Your mortgage, or mortgage-backed security, is the collateral for the note that a bank lends a borrower.

In the current economy, equity in homes has dwindled and, in many cases, has become negative. In lieu of foreclosure, banks would rather reduce the borrower’s mortgage payments and/or balance. Neither banks nor borrowers have power in these difficult times. In fact, banks and borrowers must work together to avoid foreclosure to not only keep families in their homes but also turn this recession around. Loan modification might mean immediate financial losses for our banking institutions, but the long-term mortgage payment losses are minimized versus mass foreclosures.

Millions of Americans have taken out high home equity loans against their mortgages in markets that were at the time appreciating but now have rapidly depreciated. Then, when the homeowner’s adjustable-rate mortgage (ARM) changes and the payment can no longer be made a bank will try to refinance the mortgage, only to discover there is little chance. Most homeowners believe their only option is foreclosure. Since they cannot make the payments, sell, or refinance, are there other options other than foreclosure? The first options that a bank gives are a short sale, deed in lieu of foreclosure, or forbearance agreement.

With so many homeowners wanting to keep their home and a vast supply of empty homes, the banks are forced to revisit their loan modification strategy. In today’s economy, banks are willing to engage in loan modification to keep people in their homes. They can reach many more homeowners by doing so and continue receiving monthly mortgage payments.

 Why loan modification is a hot topic

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