Tag Archives: Debt
The recession has taken a toll on the finances of many Americans, and not just those of limited or moderate means.
With continuing job cuts, tightening credit, a down market and falling home values, even affluent families may find it difficult to meet financial obligations.
As many as one in four homeowners has a mortgage that is under water, with a principal balance that exceeds the home’s market value―and an increasing number of them are simply walking away. Nearly one in (continue reading…)
Neither a lender nor a borrower be, said Shakespeare―but for many of us, that’s just not practical advice.
Jack’s son, Liam, is buying a vacation home―a rambling place on a lake that’s big enough for their large extended family. Liam’s been looking for the perfect place for awhile. Now that he’s found it, in the current financial climate, he’s having trouble finding a lender. Jack would like to loan his son the money.
Mia’s company is experiencing the credit crunch (continue reading…)
Only interest on debt grows without rain, according to an old proverb―although the same might be said of credit card fees and minimum payment requirements.
Maybe you’re one of the millions of Americans with credit card interest rates that just increased for no apparent reason, despite the fact that payments were always made on time. Or your credit card’s minimum payment amount just shot up, as the issuer raised the minimum payment requirement from two percent to five percent. Perhaps your (continue reading…)
“Today does not mark the end of our economic troubles. But it does mark the beginning of the end.” With that comment, President Obama signed American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009.
At an estimated cost of $787 billion, the American Act is perhaps the most significant economic package of our generation. It will create or save between three and four million jobs over the next two years―75,000 of them in Washington State―according to the Council of Economic Advisors.
To create these (continue reading…)
The Dow Jones Industrial Average has fallen almost 500 points. (Gee, you say, that could be any four or five days in the last couple of weeks.)
Banks are having a hard time getting money, so they are not overly generous in their lending processes.
Money is becoming harder and harder to get for expansion, for development―even for working capital.
People are using the “d” word (depression) and gallows humor is beginning to develop: In London they are producing a chocolate bar called (continue reading…)
It’s been called the most important housing bill in a generation. President Bush signed the Housing and Economic Recovery Act of 2008 (Housing Act) into law on July 30, 2008.
Although enacted in July, the Housing Act actually went into effect on October 1―after a delay necessary to satisfy the Congressional Budget Office and other rule-makers.
There are also specific provisions triggered based on the day the legislation was formally signed into law.
The Housing Act’s primary purpose was to rescue (continue reading…)
Expect the best, plan for the worst, and prepare to be surprised―or so the saying goes.
In the face of higher gas and food prices and a shaky housing market, it is increasingly likely that we face an economic slowdown this year.
Although economic conditions typically vary by region and sector of the economy, preparing for the possible financial and operational consequences of a downturn just makes good business sense.
The need for advance planning is particularly critical for small- and medium-sized businesses, (continue reading…)
Unfortunately, their home was the most valuable asset that Laura and Sam owned.
I say unfortunately because a house isn’t a particularly liquid asset–even if you want to sell. And they don’t.
The couple bought their family home in Seattle in 1966 and the value has increased steadily over the years. Today, it is worth many times the price Sam and Laura paid for it and they hope the view home will remain in their family long after they no longer occupy (continue reading…)
Across cultures, the new year has been a time to establish personal goals. We refer to them as New Year’s resolutions, but the tradition extends back centuries.
According to Money Magazine, more than one in three people intend to make a New Year’s resolution for 2007 that involves their finances.
The most common of these resolutions are, not surprisingly, to increase savings and to reduce debt. But there are a broad range of other actions you can resolve to undertake in 2007 (continue reading…)
The 2004 American Jobs Creation Act authorized the IRS to use private firms to collect certain outstanding federal tax debts.
Forty thousand taxpayers with delinquent federal tax accounts will be assigned to private collection agencies by the end of this year.
Congress authorized the IRS to implement this new program, which began September 7, 2006, in an effort to free the agency to focus on more complex tax issues.
The private collection agencies will only be assigned cases where the taxpayer has not (continue reading…)