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Memorial Day

Memorial Day

On this Memorial Day let’s take a moment to remember those who served in the Armed Forces in past years and those who serve today. For most Americans the history of a lifetime is marked by its wars and battles. Since the Second World War, US military personnel have been involved in major conflicts in […]

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VA Governor Declares May “Nazi History Month”

VA Governor Declares May “Nazi History Month”

Virginia Governor Bob McDonnell has declared that May will be “Nazi History Month” in his state. The Republican governor said May was the right month for such an event because it marked the end of hostilities in Europe. “It’s important to understand that there were acts of valor and bravery on both sides and that […]

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The Mortgage Modification That Hurts Borrowers

The Mortgage Modification That Hurts Borrowers

Our lender has modified our mortgage. That sounds pretty good because mortgage modifications are in the news and some people very much need new rates and terms. But in this case, what’s happened is this: Out of the blue and without any other notice our lender has cut off our home equity line of credit […]

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Bankruptcies Rise 32% in 2009, 1.5 Million Went To Court

Bankruptcies Rise 32% in 2009, 1.5 Million Went To Court

Almost 1.5 million bankruptcies were recorded in 2009, a number up 32 percent from 2008 — and a number that was not supposed to happen. Huh? How come there were not supposed to be so many bankruptcies. Well, to put this as nicely as possible, the so-called Bankruptcy Abuse Prevention and Consumer Protection Act of […]

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FHA To Borrowers: Gimme More!

FHA To Borrowers: Gimme More!

The FHA has announced higher mortgage insurance premiums,stiffer downpayment standards for those with weak credit and more oversight for FHA-approved lenders. What’s going on here? A few things: First, FHA reserves are falling. The insurance program needs more money. What happens when insurance programs need cash? They raise premiums. In the case of the FHA […]

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Can A Condo or Co-op Go Bankrupt?

Can A Condo or Co-op Go Bankrupt?

Can a condo or co-op go bankrupt or be foreclosed? The answer is you bet — but the good news is that such financial disasters are rare. In general terms a condominium is a property where there are units with individual title and financing as well as common areas which are owned by the condo […]

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Holiday Eviction Bans Versus Foreclosure Moratoriums

Holiday Eviction Bans Versus Foreclosure Moratoriums

In the past few days there have been a flurry of lender announcements promising that this holiday season there will be an eviction ban for 2009. Nobody says so, but the eviction suspension differs greatly from the foreclosure moratorium offered in 2008. Let’s see: Fannie Mae has announced that it will suspend all foreclosure evictions […]

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How America Got Its First Christmas Tree

How America Got Its First Christmas Tree

Christmas trees now sparkle in millions of homes, but did you ever wonder how the tradition began? No doubt there are several stories regarding the start of this custom, and here’s one I’d like to pass along. “It’s now been more than 150 years since Professor Charles Minnigerode decorated Williamsburg’s first Christmas tree,” says Robert […]

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Real Estate Brokers Versus Salespeople — What’s The Difference?

Real Estate Brokers Versus Salespeople — What’s The Difference?

A “broker” can be seen as someone licensed by the state and who works for another and for a fee. In effect, a broker is an “agent– who works for a “principal,– say a buyer or seller. As an agent, a real estate broker must uphold certain duties and obligations or his or her license […]

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A Basic Guide To Real Estate Taxes

A Basic Guide To Real Estate Taxes

Let’s be honest: April 15th is a day of reckoning, the moment when we find out what we really owe for taxes. In households nationwide wallets are drained and many who were rich on the 14th are greatly impoverished by the 16th. But for those with real estate the load is made lighter by tax […]

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