Personal Finance

Financial News Roundup: Banks Tack On Home Insurance, Unemployment Adversely Impacts Housing Industry

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More homeowners see mortgage bills rise as banks tack on flood insuranceToday’s top news headlines shed light on new obstacles homeowners are facing and the ways in which high unemployment rates are contributing to the housing market slump. Plus, consumers are urged to take a day to organize their finances.

Banks Impose Costly Flood Insurance Policies on Mortgage Loan Borrowers
The New York Times

Many homeowners who have lived in their homes for years without carrying a flood insurance policy are now being forced by their banks to do so – a mandate that significantly increases their monthly mortgage payment. This phenomenon is largely due to recent re-drawing in the nation’s flood maps. Thousands of Americans who argue they are not in a flood zone are forced to pay for a surveyor to analyze their property, and even then, this action may not result in their removal from the flood plain. Borrowers are advised to read all correspondence and notices from the bank about additions, such as flood insurance, so that they may react quickly.

Take a Day to Organize Finances
The New York Times

Most Americans take an entire day to organize their tax forms and documents, and industry professionals say consumers should also apply this method to their finances. Taking a day to go through bank and credit card statements, portfolio information, retirement data and the details of their debt can help individuals gauge where they are financially, and if they are on track to accomplish their savings goals.

Unemployment Rate Drags Down Housing Market
The Huffington Post

High unemployment is not only affecting the millions of Americans struggling to make ends meet, but the overall housing market as well, a new analysis shows. Economists explain that while jobless individuals are less likely to be in the market for a home, leading to a decline in home sales, the problem runs even deeper because it’s coupled with other factors. In addition to falling home sales, retirees are looking to downsize, tight lending restrictions shrink the applicant pool and young adults carrying heavy student debt are not looking to purchase a house.

Mortgage Servicer Reforms on Shaky Ground

A new set of reforms that would place more regulation on the mortgage service industry, following the most recent foreclosure controversy, may be in jeopardy, as four of the 50 attorneys general who drafted the proposal have backed out. The individual say they fear enacting these reforms may give state regulators too much authority in controlling the activities of lenders.

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