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Mortgage and Credit Card Companies Under the Spotlight on Consumer Charging
For the first time since May 1996 reports have indicated that wage increases have risen faster than house price inflation. According to Nationwide, "The overall picture remains one of a gently softening market".
The signs indicate that the housing market activity is finally starting to pick up, with estate agents reporting that buyers have begun returning to the market and sellers are more willing to negotiate on prices, however transaction levels are still reported to be low compared with last year. This represents good news for buyers looking to get a property, however it stands in stark contrast to findings from the Council of Mortgage Lenders (CML) showing that the number of homes being repossessed has risen for the first time in seven years, from 3,070 six months ago up to 4,640 for the first half of 2005.
The sharp rise in home repossession applications by lenders adds to growing concerns that consumers are struggling with debt. Ed Stansfield of Capital Economics, said, "Today's figures show that for a small but growing minority of borrowers levels of debt have become a problem, despite historically low interest rates." These figures for repossessions were still, according to the CML, "extremely low" compared with the early 1990s; however adverse credit, arrears and repossessions look set to rise.
Richard Brown, Chief Executive of personal finance comparison site Moneynet is disappointed to recently see, in light of a possible base rate cut, which would help to ease the burden of mortgage debt within the housing market that, "many lenders are taking this opportunity to increase their margins at the expense of their loyal savers by reducing their fixed savings rates by more than the mortgage rates".
The personal debt problems of the nation have also not been helped by the punitive charging activities of several of the major lenders.
The Office of Fair Trading (OFT) has warned eight of the major credit card firms regarding their activities towards customers who miss payment deadlines or exceed credit limits, and ordered them to reduce their "excessive" and "disproportionately high" charges, usually in excess of £20 per transgression, to consumers or face being taken to court.
There are currently 30.6 million people in the UK possessing at least one credit card, with a total of almost £60 billion owed on them.
The credit card firms have defended the need for late payment charges claiming that their use was fair, "Only a very small proportion of customers attract a default charge and as a responsible lender we must have a process in place to manage late payments," a spokeswoman for RBS maintained. Which? have determined that as many as one in four cardholders have been subject to some form of default charge being imposed on them within the past six months. With the number of people accruing charges, the credit firms have admitted they are able to make £400 million a year from default charges alone, and Barclaycard has admitted that 43 per cent of its operating income is generated from these fees.
The OFT have said that the sum being charged by companies is far in excess of the actual costs to the card firms, for late payment. "The levels of the default charges imposed by the credit card companies need to be reduced in order to be fair".
Which? have seen the announcement by the OFT over the credit card penalty charges not being fair, and the threats of court action as, "great news", but also wants other situations where banks hit customers with unfair charges to also be looked into.
The Chief Executive of Money Advice Scotland, Yvonne Gallacher, said of the prospect of reduced credit card fees: "This would make a big difference to the thousands of low-income credit cardholders who struggle to pay off these fees and charges."
Moneynet is not so optimistic for consumers, and advises for caution following the OFT announcement, warning that credit card companies may be looking to increase their profits via alternative 'stealth' charges, "We are concerned that credit card providers may simply attempt to recoup their lost income via higher charges for all?Moneynet recommends credit card customers consider their options before taking out a card -and take into account all charges as well as the headline interest rate", said Richard Brown.
Some moves seem to be getting made to help those most at risk, but these measures seem to be mainly driven by increased levels of consumer dissatisfaction, and while house prices still look expensive compared with incomes, the worst off may not feel a huge change in their circumstances for some time to come.
Government - Office of Fair Trading
Mortgage and credit card comparisons - Moneynet
FHA Mortgage: Whats the Best Way to Show an Underwriter that Youre Ready to Buy a House?
Mortgage underwriters can be a suspicious bunch. If you have bruised or even bad credit, you have your work cut out for you. Many loan programs have guidelines that set a minimum FICO score of 620. FHA does not allow lenders to reject a loan based solely on FICO scores, but if yours is less than 620, there are probably other reasons the underwriter will find in your file to say no.
Mortgage After Bankruptcy
Most people probably assume that obtaining a mortgage to purchase a home, refinance or to consolidate debt after a bankruptcy is out of the question. In fact, many people are able to obtain these mortgage services, even 1 day after a bankruptcy discharge in some cases. Loan programs and lenders are available that require little or no time after the discharge of a bankruptcy. Here are a few tips to speed up the road to credit recovery and the mortgage services you desire.
Home Equity Loans Can Provide Cash in a Hurry
Think About the Long Term. Estimate how long you expect to stay in your current house. Depending on the severity of your situation and the real estate market at the moment, you might even want to considering selling your home altogether and taking on a short term rental in your new locale. If you expect to stay in your current home for a few more years, the flexibility of a home equity loan may work for you.
To Refinance or not to Refinance -- Here is the Answer
I have written many articles on refinancing a fixed rate mortgage to an adjustable rate mortgage. I have helped people cut as much as $800 off their monthly payments by turning their high fixed rate mortgage loan into a much lower ARM. This may be the time, however, to put the strategy in reverse, especially if your adjustable rate mortgage is coming up on the adjustment period.
Total Cost Of Credit vs Monthly Payments
I read a press release the other day which points to the fact we need to be very careful with our finances. The subject of the release was home mortgages. A company was announcing the availability of 40 year mortgages for its customers. The stated purpose was to lower the monthly payments to make buying a home more affordable.
Types of Mortgage Interest Rate
Here is a useful guide to the different types of Mortgage Interest Rates that are available. Mortgage Lenders offer all kinds of different deals when it comes to the interest you pay on your mortgage. Sometimes you may have a choice, sometimes you may not.
Remortgage ? When Monthly Mortgage Payments are Touching New Heights
Current economic scene has hinted towards a fall in the Bank of England base rate from a three and a half year high of 4.75%. 78% of the property investors are contemplating refinancing their home loans. Are you thinking the same? This is the appropriate time for remortgage and moving to competitive interest rates. Remortgage is indeed a very cost effective option.
5 Ways to Use Your Home Equity Line of Credit
Your home is a source of pride and accomplishment. Did you know that your home can also be an affordable source of income? As your home appreciates and you make your monthly mortgage payments you build what's called equity. You can access this equity at attractive interest rates using a home equity line of credit (HELOC).
What is a Commercial Mortgage?
A commercial mortgage is a loan that uses commercial property as collateral. A commercial mortgage is a business loan which is secured against a commercial property.
Secured Loans For Home Improvement ? When You Can?t Buy A Luxury Home
A house is just perfect with chipped walls and broken taps. Is it? If you don't think so, then home improvement loans is what you should be looking for. Home improvement is the resort for you, if your home is your personal hideout. Home improvement loans can aid you realize this plan. Home improvement usually takes a back seat due to lack of finances. If finances are an impediment, get secured home improvement loans. Secured loans for home improvement are a way of increasing home equity which is one of the most important added benefits. This implies not only your home will be comfortable but also its market cost is increased.
Bad Credit Home Financing - Get The Mortgage Loan You Want Even With Poor Credit
Having poor credit alone cannot hold you back from getting the home loan you want. Buying a home that is everything you want in a home, is a very exciting experience. The blemishes on your credit history will not alone keep you from getting the home you want and the home you deserve.
How Not To Be Ripped Off By Mortgage Brokers
One of the things that bothers me about the mortgage industry is the number of unscrupulous brokers that operate in this market.
Who Could Benefit From A Reverse Mortgage?
What is a "Reverse Mortgage?"
Doing a California Refinance Online
Californians are passionate people. I know. I have lived in California my whole life: From the smoggy basins of Los Angeles, to, well, the smoggy basins of Sacramento. I've traveled highway 101, I've smelled the glory of the Redwoods, and I've experienced the confusion of the Terminator becoming governor. Without turning into a pop-song, I've done it all California-style, and that even includes, moving through the exciting process of doing a California Refinance Online!
Mortgage Information for the First Time Homebuyer
Inflation in the United States is increasing rapidly and home prices are soaring! There are millions of american families that are unaware of the many mortgage programs that are available for first time homebuyers.
Buying A Home After Bankruptcy - Get A Mortgage Loan After Bankruptcy
If you have a recent bankruptcy on your credit and are looking to get financing for a home, there is hope. Buying a home with bad credit will just put more emphasis on the other two factors needed to get a mortgage loan, which are; income verification and a down payment.
Which is Better? Fixed-Rate or Adjustable-Rate Mortgages
The answer depends on several factors including your financial situation. Lets take a look at the main differences between the two types of mortgages.
Home Equity Loan Considerations
In other words, the benefit of the loan must outlast the loan period. Taking a loan for financing that elusive vacation is a strict no-no. Moreover, home equity loans must also never be taken for day-to-day expenditures. This option should be saved for emergency needs only.
Kings Bay Saint Marys & Kingsland Georgia Real Estate - Getting a Home Loan with Damaged Credit
So, you have made the decision that you would like to become a homeowner. As lenders, we have to perform a credit check. The credit we review are provided by all three reporting agencies. Equifax, Experian and Transunion are the three agencies lenders use. The middle of all three beacon scores is the one used to qualify a borrower for a mortgage.
Stock Market, Bonds, Deposit Account, Cash, Equities, Unit Trusts - Few, Just Few of the Ways of Sav
Man has been known for continually simplifying things in his own interest. First he devised mortgages then several sub categories under it like buy to let mortgage, council right to buy, reverse mortgage. Then we devised remortgage. Then as the intricacies increased and the payment of interest and the loan amount became difficult, he devised interest only mortgage. Interest only mortgage is a very attractive term for someone who is just contemplating mortgage. Interestingly and very significantly an interest only mortgage requires you to pay the loan amount eventually. Individual savings account mortgage is a kind of interest only mortgage. Here the monthly payment is used to pay the interest and to build an individual savings account which is finally used to pay off the mortgage.
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