Today’s top news headlines feature fears of a double dip in the housing market and a bleak outlook for the long-term unemployed. Plus, find out why many retirees are handing control of their finances to their children.
Checking Accounts Becoming More Expensive
The Boston Globe
A number of banking services that were previously free now impose a fee, as banks struggle to remain profitable amid new financial restrictions. Some banks are charging for paper statements, stop payments and print summaries at the ATM. Others require customers to make a certain number of deposits to avoid a fee.
Long-Term Unemployment Rate Holds Steady
A recent study shows the number of Americans who, as of December, have been unemployed for more than a year grew by 25 percent, totaling 4.2 million individuals. Further, federal funding of unemployment insurance is expected to decline over the course of 2011.
For Many, Debt Exceeds Retirement Savings
The New York Times
More retirees may find themselves in financial straits as evidenced by new data, which shows 30 percent of jobless Americans 55 and older carry credit card debt loads that exceed their nest egg savings. Many turned to credit during the economic downturn to pay for basic needs such as gas, food and bills. In response to overwhelming credit card balances, more older Americans have handed over the financial reins to their children.
Analysts Fear Double Dip In Housing Market
The Huffington Post
The most recent housing market data has brought more bad news than good, and instigated fears among analysts of a double dip in the real estate sector. Although new housing sales increased in December, a separate report shows home values declined throughout the country and mortgage applications have fallen.
New FTC Study To Shed Light On Credit Report Errors
The Federal Trade Commission has been charged with conducting a new report to determine the frequency of credit report errors, and how they impact consumers’ credit scores. The report will be largely reliant on Americans’ participation, and the FTC will be sending out invitations to individuals to take part in the study.