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Why Are Banks Randomly Forgiving Six Figure Mortgage Debt?

I read an article this week that really got my attention. The story revealed that select banks are randomly contacting mortgage customers and offering them loan modifications. The modifications in some cases include forgiveness of a substantial portion of the outstanding mortgage balance. One of the individuals featured in the story had a principal reduction of $150,000 on her mortgage. What is really surprising about all of this is that these individuals have not asked for a loan modification and were not behind on their payments! At Christian we are inundated with e mails from individuals who have not... Read more →

American Express, once known as a yuppie status symbol, introduced a prepaid debit card this week with hopes of reaching a new demographic. Prepaid debit cards were once considered a financial tool for the lower tier of consumers, but not so much anymore. Many people have made the decision to make life simple and do most (if not all) of their financial transactions using a prepaid debit card. Prepaid debit cards are reloadable cards that can be used anywhere that major credit cards are accepted. They are also convenient to use for using to making online purchases. They are generally... Read more →

Most people use credit and debit cards far more than cash. When a merchant swipes our card and process our transaction, their are substantial costs. Banks that process these charges take 1–2 percent on debit card purchases and 2–3 percent when a consumer uses a credit card. Last year banks raked in $48 billion dollars in so-called ‘swipe fees.’ This is all about to change on debit card transactions (or maybe not). The History Behind The Changes The Dodd–Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act was signed into law in July of 2010 by President Obama. The law applies... Read more →

Christians Struggle With Strategic Default

We receive countless e mails at from Christians struggling with the moral and spiritual implications of strategic default. What is it? The decision to walk away from your house when the value has dropped below the outstanding mortgage balance. When you own a house that is upside down or under water, how do you manage the situation while still living up to your Christian values? A story in the Orlando Sentinel this week caught my eye. An employee of Wycliffe Bible Translators in Orlando is getting nowhere trying to work out a mortgage modification with his lender (a story... Read more →

Final Phase Of New Credit Card Law Takes Effect

President Obama signed major credit card reform into law in March of 2009. The initial elements of the new law were phased in last year. In February, I wrote a comprehensive article addressing many of the details of the new credit card law. This week marks the third and final phase in of the law. 1. Late Payment Fees Late payment fees will generally be capped at $25 and cannot be higher than the minimum required payment. This means that you can’t be hit with a $25 late fee for making a $10 payment late. Under the new rules, consumers... Read more →

The Great Bank Robbery

Several weeks ago I wrote an article about bank fees. I stirred up a hornet's nest and have received countless e mails from individuals that are very upset about problems with their bank. Today, I want to do a follow up on my prior article and also address some new issues on this topic. 1. Debit Card Overdraft Fees This is by far the number one topic of complaints I have been receiving. Without telling you, most banks will put in place an overdraft ‘benefit’ on your debit card. What this does is allows charges to go through when you... Read more →

How To Stop Your Bank From Ripping You Off

In this difficult economy, businesses have had to become very creative to stay profitable. Perhaps none have become as creative as the banks. At Christian Money we have been receiving a growing number of complaints from people that feel that they have been ripped off by their bank. The latest "scam" is what is known as automatic overdraft enrollment. Sounds like a good thing, right? After all, wouldn’t it be a great thing to have your bank cover any shortfall in your account from time to time? Imagine this scenario; you set up a checking account and add a debit... Read more →

Is Your Bank Safe? The Feds Take Over 7 More Banks Just Last Week

Last week Federal Regulators took over another 7 banks, brining this year’s total to 52. This is already double the number of bank closings from all of last year. FDIC Failed Bank List According to news reports, the FDIC had to pay out over 300 million just to keep these 7 banks from becoming insolvent. Watch This Shocking 60 Minutes Report After the stock crash of 1929 and over a thousand bank failures, President Franklin D. Roosevelt and the Congress created the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) in 1933. The purpose was to provide a federal government guarantee of deposits... Read more →

Is Your Bank Safe? Find Out For Free

*** Check out Jim’s latest podcast which includes an interview with stock market expert Robert Yetman on the banking crisis and business coach Glory Borgeson on success in business – Click Here After the stock crash of 1929 and over a thousand bank failures, President Franklin D. Roosevelt and the Congress created the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) in 1933. The purpose was to provide a federal government guarantee of deposits and maintain stability and public confidence in the banking system of the United States. Is your bank safe? Is any bank really safe these days in light of the... Read more →

Jim, My Wife And I Need For You To Settle A Disagreement. I Want To Use Only A Debit Card And Online Bill Pay and Discontinue Using Checks. She Wants To Keep Using Checks. Which Is Better?

I hope I don’t upset my women readers, but I have to side with the husband on this one. In fact, I don’t see checks even being around for more than five years. In an electronic banking economy, why write a check? Almost everything can be paid for using a debit card or alternatively online bill pay through your bank account. Banks love checking accounts because they generate massive amounts of fees. Have a single check bounce, and you may end up owing $50 to $100 or more. Yes, I know some may insist this would never happen to them,... Read more →

Due To A Recent Disagreement With My Bank I Am Considering Getting A Wal-Mart Cash Card And Not Having A Bank Account At All, What Do You Think?

Jim, I am so upset I can hardly type this e mail. Due to an automatic deposit hitting my account one day late during the holidays, my bank is charging me almost $200. Each fee is for something different. There are two checks that were paid, so they added overdraft fees. Next, they added NSF fees, and then a low account balance fee. I am ready to just give up on banks altogether. A friend suggested that I go with the Wal-Mart Cash Card, and just have my paycheck cashed and placed as a credit on the card, what do... Read more →