Monday, September 24, 2012

How Misselling Has Endured Within The Uk

HIGH RISK BONDS:Otherwise known as Precipice Bonds or high income bonds which originally surfaced around 2000. Lloyds TSB again faced a substantial compensation bill of 98 million GBP, 44% of the policies sold being unsuitable for those individuals. The FSA also fined Lloyds TSB 1.9 million GBP in 2003. The product was designed by the Scottish Widows Group who were acquired by Lloyds TSB in March 2000. In total, 51,00 policies were sold. In 2004 the FSA also fined Capita Trust (formerly Royal & Sun Alliance Trust Company Ltd) 300,000 GBP and compensation to customers was put at around 3.5million GBP. The marketing of precipice bonds potentially placed a significant number of customers at risk of loss. Higher risk complex products should be promoted with care. Reasonable steps to ensure consumers understood the nature of the risks involved in precipice bonds were not taken.

ENDOWMENTS:Perhaps along with pensions the most widely recognised of mis-selling issues. Once again Lloyds TSB was fined a record 1million GBP in December 2002 by the FSA with the bank setting aside 165 million GBP to compensate between 42,000 and 46,000 policy holders (averaging 4000 GBP per policyholder). The mis-sold endowment mortgages occurred between 1995 and 1999. As well as the Abbey Life arm of Lloyds TSB also involved were other providers identified by the FSA such as Royal London Group, Royal Scottish Assurance (part of RBS), Scottish Amicable, Royal and Sun Alliance and Winterhur. An estimated 430,000 home buyers were in receipt of a total of 1billion GBP in compensation. In June 2005, the Financial Ombudsman Service (FOS) revealed it was receiving 1,300 endowment mis-selling claims a week. Widespread unsuitable recommendations of mortgage endowments were made to unsuspecting consumers, again this advice being driven by large commissions.

PPI (Payment Protection Insurance):In 2004 it was revealed that margins on PPI made by Barclays Bank was a profit of 240 million GBP on a turnover of 350 million GBP from such policies. Across the loans industry it was estimated that lenders made 5bn a year. It was also estimated that around 2 million people may hold policies which they are not able to claim on. PPI policies bought from lenders at point of sale can cost up to 28 GBP for every 100 GBP covered, however standalone policies cost less than 3 GBP per 100 GBP. Amongst those firms fined were Alliance and Leicester (7million GBP), Liverpool Victoria (840,000 GBP) and Egg (721,000 GBP) being the 20th company to be fined by the FSA. The Competition Commission has now banned PPI from being sold alongside credit cards and personal loans. PPI sales were driven by large commissions estimated at around 65% of the total premium.

MORTGAGE MIS SELLING:The most recent case of mis-selling concerns a precedent involving mortgage mis-selling. The issue concerned a housing association tenant, who had suffered the Trauma of repossession. A valuable promise of a rent fixed for life was in place. However, a mortgage adviser persuaded him to buy the property and failed to consider the consequences when the discounted mortgage rate ended. albeit recent, could well be the tip of a very large iceberg. The associated facets of regulated mortgages will no doubt prompt a flurry of activity within self certification and the more vulnerable borrowers. Council right to buy tenants have always been heavily canvassed. The Mortgage Code of Business along with The Financial Services act is there to protect consumers.

CREDIT CARD CHARGES:In 2006 The Office of Fair Trading advised that credit card default charges were unfair and that these charges had generally been set at a significantly higher level than is legally fair. These charges had netted in excess of 300 million GBP a year. Where credit card default charges are set at more than 12 GBP, the OFT will presume that they are unfair. A default charge is not fair simply because it is below 12 GBP. A default charge should only be used to recover certain limited administrative costs. Card issuers were required to confirm their response to the OFT statement by 31 May 2006 in response to fair and appropriate charge. A fair default charge should not exceed a reasonable estimate of certain limited administrative costs which the credit card issuer reasonably expects to incur as a result of default.

BANK CHARGES:In February 2009 banks had been urged by consumer groups to throw in the towel, after losing an appeal over unauthorised overdraft charges. Seven high street banks and one building society (Abbey, Barclays, Clydesdale, HBOS, HSBC, Lloyds TSB, RBS and Nationwide) were engaged in the test case, led by the Office of Fair Trading, to assess whether overdraft and unpaid item charges, which can be as much as 38 GBP, are excessive. Banks had already paid out 560 million GBP to thousands of customers who claimed they had been subjected to unfair charges. Charges represent 2.5 billion GBP each year to the banks. assessed for fairness.

PENSIONS:Began on or around 1980 but surfaced around 1994 when it emerged that many consumers, acting on flawed advice from salesmen motivated by huge commissions, had swapped their occupational schemes for private policies leaving them worse off. The FSA admitted that 11 billion GBP seemed inadequate and after 15 years to put right the cost was nearer 15 billion GBP, the final cost being compounded by interest rates and inflation along with revised life expectancy. Lloyds TSB alone set aside over 800 million GBP for compensation for around 100,000 people. The FSA spent 10 million GBP on an advertising campaign in an attempt to draw the issue to a close throughout early 1999 and reinforcing direct mailings from firms to their customers.

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Buy Austin Homes For Investment Through Reliable Real Estate Agents

Many people who visit Texas enjoy the warm climate and look for Austin Homes to purchase as investment or for setting up residence. Austin is the capital and fourth largest city in Texas. The real estate market is booming in Austin as many people are focusing on investment opportunities in this beautiful state where the scenery is magnificent and the weather is warm and inviting. Values of homes are now skyrocketing and people realize the necessity of building up a good investment portfolio. Investors can own homes with owner financing in Austin or the surrounding areas such as Round Rock or West Lake Hills, RX.

When the industry starts shrinking, the demand automatically goes up and this is exactly why the current sales are steadily rising since 2012. Anyone interested in learning what is owner financing, when buying properties or Austin homes, should contact the best real estate agency in the area that is qualified and experienced to handle the entire transaction. You can look for these service companies in your area through the internet. Read the testimonials and review the feedback to be assured of their quality service. The real estate agent should be able to discuss financial strategies to help you invest without using your own credit or cash. They should also be able to help you purchase home spending less cash on the dollar. They should be able to enlighten you on the way it works.

Owner financing proves beneficial to the sellers because they are able to make money upfront without the need to become a landlord. Buyers also are able to obtain loans for houses with this type of financing. Since there are many non-licensed investors who do not complete the process properly, they may put buyers and sellers at high risk by trying to cut corners because they are not 100% sure of the legal processes. Owner financing is a legitimate way to see real estate when it is difficult to get convention financing.

What is Owner Financing? The buyer makes an offer through an agent or on their own when the owner advertises his house for sale. Instead of the buyer trying to get a bank loan, the seller carries back the amount agreed upon which includes a 10% down payment on the total amount. This balance is taken back by the seller as a note and mortgage. It could also be a real estate contract or a deed of trust depending on the documents that are customary for that state. A title company carries out the closing transaction and a real estate attorney drawn up the legal documents.

An agreement is made for the amount of interest that has to be paid by the buyer per month. He will expect the entire payment to be paid within a certain period. This is referred to as owner financing, private mortgage or seller carry-back. The seller has the same rights of foreclosure if the buyer is unable to make the payments. This type of transaction is popular in Texas when you are looking to buy beautiful Austin homes in Texas.

Friday, September 14, 2012

Should I be taking out a loan?

A loan, if done under the right circumstances and for the right reasons, can be a good thing.

Here's why:

If you take out a loan and you are diligent when it comes to making your monthly repayments, you will establish what's known as a good credit history. Your credit history is established based on the number of credit accounts you have. An account could include a clothing account at a retail outlet or a credit card from a bank.

So the answer to the question should I be taking out a loan' is simple:

You should only be lending money in situations where you really need it and not to buy things that you want.

This is where the line definitely becomes blurred for a lot of people. Many people get stuck in a vicious circle of debt because they start using their credit cards for luxury items and ultimately overspend. To make matters worse, the more you spend on your credit card, the higher your credit limit goes, giving you leeway to spend even more.

A credit card can be a valuable asset if you use it in the right situation. Let's say you earn R5000 a month. R1500 of that goes toward groceries and toiletries. R2000 goes toward rent, and you've got R1500 left to save or do whatever you wish. During one particular month your car breaks down, you don't have insurance and the repairs to the vehicle are going to cost R3000.

You only have R1500 to spare- what now? You've got your credit card right? So all you need to do is use your R1500 spending money and the R1500 you would have spent on groceries to pay for the repairs to your car. Then you use the credit card to pay for your groceries. This is an effective compromise because you will only be putting R1500 through on your credit card instead of the full R3000, so you'll end up paying back less.

Why would I ever need a good credit history?

Well besides having a credit card to bail you out of situations like the one described above, having a good credit history comes in handy when you make one of the biggest purchasing decisions of your life -buying a house. Houses are expensive, which means that you'll have to lend from the bank. In the last couple of years lending criteria have become stringent, making it much harder for the average person to take out a loan.

Banks take a number of factors into consideration when assessing loan applications, including monthly income and credit history. If the bank can see that you've made an effort to pay your account on time each month there's a much greater chance that they'll approve your loan.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

How To Remove Late Payment From Your Credit Score

Unexpected expenses and sudden loss of job are the main reasons a person ends up missing on their monthly loan or credit card payment. In such cases, you end up with a late payment mark in the credit rating which can prove to be derogatory to your credit score. However there is hope to improve your credit rating by working to remove late payment from the credit card.

Basically, different types of late payments are not termed equally. Being late by a month or two will not damage your credit report much, and can be removed easily. However if you fail to make a payment by 3-4 months, it can cause significant damage to your credit score.

It is up to the lender toe decide whether to mention late payment on your credit score or not. It is not always that the lender will immediately announce late payments of 1-2 months as they work and want to keep your business.

You may have to send a dispute letter to the credit bureau

However if you know that you will be late with your payment by a few months, it is suggested to make a phone call or send a letter to the lender explaining the reason for your late payment. By adding that you would be grateful for them for not including your late payment status to the credit report, most lenders work to remove late payment from your credit rating.

However before you actually ask the lender to remove the late payment; it is better to ensure that your account is up to date. It is based on your payment history and the number of late payments that you have made that the lender decides to remove late payment or not.

If your letter or phone call is not effective in getting the lender to remove late payment, the next thing you have to do is to send a dispute letter to the credit bureau. Mention the reason for your late payment, show that you are otherwise up to date in your payments and you may get the credit bureau carry out an investigation and help to remove late payment.

Sunday, September 9, 2012

A Simple Guide before Acquiring a Holiday Loan

A Simple Guide before Acquiring a Holiday Loan
We are all very excited as the holiday season is nearing. However, many feel anxious spending for presents, party, a new home project, or even for a holiday vacation especially when the budget is tight during this time of season. Not wanting to spoil the joyfulness of the holidays because of lack of funds, holiday loans are being offered here and there by a lot of companies. Before you can be drawn quickly in getting one, here are three simple things you have to remember:
First, think of your holiday goals in terms of your personal and family's needs. Jot down what you really want to have or do during the holidays. If you plan to have a vacation break with your family or be alone if you're single, make sure you have a clear plan where to go and how much you would want to spend for it, or research on places you want to go to set a clear budget. But if this coming holiday season, you wish to have something to buy or something to organize within your homes, then still list down the items and how much each item cost. Visit places where you can find shops that offer pre- holiday sale or special holiday coupons. Knowing your wishes or goals for the Christmas season will help you make a decision if you need to grab a holiday loan for that matter.
Second, assess your current financial status. One question you can ask yourself is, "Would I be able to give the monthly pay-off if I acquire a holiday loan?" It is very important that you could do a simple addition and subtraction of your monthly income. Is it visible to you and viable on your finances that you can live after the holidays with another additional outlay? Undoubtedly, the status of your finances should be clear so that you can decide suitably if you will acquire a holiday loan.
Lastly, do a research on companies offering holiday loans (even when you are still contemplating on getting one). In order to have a better insight if a loan for the holidays is a good step for you, give yourself time to research on the different offers by the different companies. Get the disadvantages and advantages to enable you have better options or best deals when you decide to have a go with it. It is good that you personally visit the business office of the company that offer such loans and spend time with their representatives so they can directly answer questions you have in mind. You can research on the internet to get a listing of companies offering holiday loans and check if they are within your area so you can pay a visit. Compare them based on the quality of service they provide, flexibility of loans, payment options, good feedback by customers, and a reputable market position.
So before you really have to settle on a holiday loan, consider these things out and it might help you have a rewarding and a happier holiday season.

Sunday, September 2, 2012

Garnishing A California Bank Account

I am not an attorney, I am a Judgment and Collection Agency Broker. This article is my opinion, based on my experience in California. If you need legal advice, you should contact a lawyer.

Of the articles I have written so far, this late 2011 article is most likely to become outdated, because banks merge and change policies often. Make sure you verify the policy of the bank before you levy a bank account.

Historically, the laws covering California bank levies were drafted in the days of typewriters, when people had to visit the branch where they opened their bank account at, to withdraw funds.

Such laws became obsolete, as one may withdraw funds at countless of locations, including certain grocery stores. Around 2009, California Code of Civil Procedure 704.140 specified that banks can decide where they will allow a levy - at some, one, or all branches.

When a bank or a brokerage account (cash only) has an agent for service of process, and is registered in California, one may serve a garnishment on the California address and levy debtor cash bank funds in any state, thanks to long-arm statutes. If you can't take advantage of long-arm statutes, you must domesticate judgments to where the debtor's assets reside.

Some California banks require you to levy the branch where the debtor opened or maintains an account. Each California bank has its own policies on the way levies can be served on them. Outside of California, generally, any bank branch in the state, is ok to levy. (To determine where to serve subpoenas, check out .)

This is a synopsis of a few California bank levy information:

Ameriprise - (cash funds only without a court order) Serve any branch.

Ameritrade - (cash funds only without a court order) Serve on any branch.

Arrowhead Credit Union - Serve any branch.

Bank Of America (BOA) - For Now, you must serve the branch where the account was opened or where it is now maintained. If you know the judgment debtor's account number, the first four digits of the account number indicates the branch number. Call, and ask the bank "what is the address for the branch?" and the first 4 digits of the account number. Their California legal department is at: 45 Fremont Street, SF, 94105, 800-283-4262.

Bank Of The West - Serve any branch.

Cal-Fed Bank - policy changing, their legal processing department # is 916-374-5945.

California Bank and Trust (California Bank and Trust) - Serve any branch. (They are a California subsidiary of Zion's National Bank) Their levy department # is 858-514-2592. Charles Schwab - (cash funds only without a court order) - Serve on any branch. Their California legal department is: Office Of Corporate Counsel, 101 Montgomery St., San Francisco, CA 94104, # 877-243-9263.

Chase (JP Morgan Chase Bank, N.A.) - Serve on any branch. Their levy department is at 800-869-3557, extension 818.

CitiBank - Serve on any branch - to reach judgment debtor accounts in any state (wow). They are slower because they forward levies to New York, then to Texas. To speed things up, some enforcers arrange to fax their Texas office immediately after the levy is served, to freeze the judgment debtor's account faster. Litigation Support, 866-582-6249, their levy department is: 916-374-6100 (Option 8), 830 Stillwater Road/D-1, West Sacramento, CA 95605.

Comerica - Currently, you must serve the branch where the was opened or where it is now maintained. However, if you garnish the wrong branch, the bank writes down the correct branch on the memorandum of garnishee form. This is good, however they notice the judgment debtor, giving them a chance to move funds. Their levy department in California is 408-556-5479 or 408-573-2111.

Community Bank - For Now, you must serve the branch where the account was opened or where it is now maintained. Their levy department # is 800-788-9999 x 1256. If you garnish the wrong branch, the bank writes down the correct branch on the memorandum of garnishee form.

ETrade (cash funds only without a court order) - cash accounts are held at Discover Bank. Customer service is at 800-717-9833, PO Box 30416, Salt Lake City, UT 84130.

Merrill Lynch (cash funds only without a court order) - Serve any branch. Their custodian of records is: Merrill Lynch, Pierce, Fenner, and Smith, Inc, care of CT Corporation System, 818 West 7th Street, Los Angeles, CA 90017.

Navy Federal Credit Union - Serve on any branch. Their levy/legal contact number is 888-503-7105, option 4.

Schoolsfirst Credit Union - Serve on any branch.

Scottrade - (cash funds only without a court order) Serve on any branch.

Umpqua Bank - Serve on any branch. Their levy department # is 866-486-7782.

Union Bank - Currently, you must serve the branch where the was opened or where it is now maintained. However, if you levy the wrong branch, they write down the correct branch on the memorandum of garnishee form.

USAA Federal Savings Bank - based in Texas. They have two offices in California: Oceanside and San Diego. They accept levies by mail.

US Bank Calif - Serve on any branch.

Wachovia (now Wells Fargo) - Serve any branch.

Washington Mutual (Now Chase) - Serve any branch.

WestAmerica - Serve any branch.

Wells Fargo - Serve any branch. Their levy department is at 480-724-2000 (press 9, then 1) PO BOX 29779 - Phoenix, AZ 85038. World Savings (Now Wells Fargo/Wachovia) - Serve any branch.

Hard to believe, however there is a strong suspicion that many banks, particularly Chase, are quietly offering "levy proof" accounts to some customers. They call them "client trust accounts". The bank writes "no funds" on the memo of garnishee. This is illegal and immoral. However, I see reports of this at least once a week.

When a bank writes "no funds" and you know there was money in the account, you may subpoena their records (with a debtor exam) or sue them. In small claims court, they will probably pay you rather than show up in court. On larger amounts, they will probably respond.

Saturday, September 1, 2012

Benefits Of Sweat Equity

We paid ,000 for a fixer-upper 3 years ago. We put ,000 into it. 3 months ago, it appraised for 1,000. Magic? No, Sweat Equity!

Financial Benefits:

Sweat equity isn't just for resale value. It also helps with refinancing. That ,000 I mentioned in the last paragraph was all on high-interest credit cards. When our renovations were complete, we refinanced our home and paid off all of our credit cards, reducing our monthly payments by 30%. That still leaves us with 50% equity in our house.

When you have a mortgage, you want at least 20% equity in your home. Not only could this make a difference in your interest rate, or even just qualifying for a loan, but having 20% equity should eliminate that nasty little PMI (Private Mortgage Insurance) that nibbles away at your principal payment each month, if you have a 90% or 100% mortgage. A few good sweat equity projects could be just what you need to refinance your house and get a better deal. Note: be sure your renovations are 100% finished before trying to re-finance. Appraisers don't want to see any work in progress.

If you have a good 1st mortgage, no second, and carry any other kind of debt, like car payments or credit card balances, sweat equity can help you qualify for a home equity line of credit. We found one with Bank of America (who holds our first mortgage) with no fees of any kind. It's completely free unless we use it. If we don't use it, we pay nothing, just like a credit card. Now, if we need a new roof or a new truck, it's already financed, at a low rate of interest, which is also tax deductible. If you like your new mortgage company, a good plan is to make 3 or 4 payments on time with your new loan, then apply for the line of credit. This way, they still have current credit and appraisal information to make the loan process go more smoothly. Ours was handled with just a couple of phone calls.

The psychic rewards of sweat equity:

Being able to show off a home improvement project that you did with your own two hands, is a great feeling. Not only will you have the satisfaction of accomplishing something, but the results will be unique. Your project will never turn out exactly the same someone else's.

Another benefit is having something custom, so the result enhances the original space, accommodates your furniture or collectors' items, and compliments your taste. One of our favorite projects was adding custom cabinets to a finished garage. Instead of trying to squeeze our treasures into pre-existing cubbyholes, we measured our stuff and built the cabinets to suit. Then we truly had a place for everything and everything in its place.

Finally, you'll get to enjoy the results and know that the project cost way less than if you had hired someone else to do the work. If you're on a budget, this could mean the difference between having what you want and doing without.