Personal Finance

Financial News Roundup: Maintain Life Insurance, Bank Failures Rise

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Bank failings continue to rise as FDIC shuts down more institutionsToday’s top news headlines feature a new investigation into military foreclosures and a statement from the Fed about the state of economic progress. Plus, find out why experts are encouraging Americans to hang on to life insurance policies.

Re-Evaluate Life Insurance
The Wall Street Journal

Many experts are urging Americans to think twice before cancelling their life insurance policies, noting the coverage will allow individuals to leave a larger estate to heirs. This is especially true for Americans with health problems or limited savings who still want to leave something to their beneficiaries. Currently, more Americans are reconsidering their coverage due to the new estate tax rules, which raised the exemption to $5 million.

New Investigation Reviews Military Foreclosures
The New York Times

The U.S. Department of Justice is exploring the actions of Saxon Mortgage Services, a Morgan Stanley subsidiary, which is accused of violating laws that shield active duty military servicemen and women from foreclosure. The group is believed to have foreclosed on more than two dozen military members’ homes between 2006 and 2008.

Bank Failures Continue to Climb
The Associated Press

The Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. closed two more financial institutions last week, bringing the number of failed banks to approximately 25 in 2011. Closures have slowed since 2010, with the FDIC shutting down 30 banks this time last year. The group said 2010 would be the peak of bank closings.

U.S. Recovery Still Has A Long Way To Go, Fed Says

Federal Reserve official William Dudley says the group is still “very far away” from seeing price stability and high employment in the U.S. economy, noting that the Fed is unlikely to change its current monetary policies until significant improvements are made. A rise in energy costs coupled with food inflation has created problems for both the Fed and consumers’ budgets.

Fewer Americans Use Credit Cards, TransUnion Study Reveals

The number of inactive U.S. credit cards currently sits at eight million, the results of a recent TransUnion study reveal. The results may be rooted in Americans turning to cash and debit, rather than credit, and reduced spending overall.

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