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"Even when a lender records its mortgage lien prior to the "first actual improvement", there are still potential hurdles for the lender to overcome..."

Protecting the Priority of Mortgage Liens

Vol. 27

No. 1

January

2015

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Your Money, Your World: Things You Should Know, Things You Should Do

Top Mobile Bank Apps Ranked By Features

Mobile banking apps have become common among leading financial institutions, but the apps themselves are not all the same. To compare the breadth of service offered by the largest banks' apps, SNL Kagan looked at the features available on each banking app and found the ones with the highest number of features.

Read the full report here.

Seven Factors That Determine Your Mortgage Interest Rate

If you’re like most people, you want to get the lowest interest rate that you can find on your mortgage loan. But how is your interest rate determined? That can be difficult to figure out for even the savviest of mortgage shoppers. Your lender knows how your interest rate gets determined, and we think you should, too. That’s why we’ve created a new interactive tool that lets you explore the factors that affect your interest rate and see what rates you can expect. Armed with information, you can have confident conversations with lenders and ask questions to make sure you get a good deal. Here are seven key factors that affect your interest rate that you should know. read more...

CFPB Report Finds Nearly Half of Borrowers Do Not Shop for a Mortgage

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) has released a report finding that almost half of consumers do not shop around for a mortgage when purchasing a home. As part of its Know Before You Owe mortgage initiative, the CFPB is releasing “Owning a Home,” an interactive, online toolkit designed to help consumers as they shop for a mortgage. The suite of tools gives consumers the information and confidence they need to get the best deal. read more...

WalletHub Report: Does Banking Locally

Save You Money?

Most people expect small community banks to operate a bit differently than big national banks. There’s certainly rhyme to that reason, but we also tend to assume those mega-banks offer standardized national rates, regardless of where their customers happen to live. That part, interestingly enough, isn't quite true.  read more...

8 Things Cyber Criminals Don’t Want You to Know

“As online and mobile banking become increasingly popular, it’s critical that customers work in tandem with banks to keep their money and information secure,” said Frank Keating, ABA President and CEO. “Banks continue their fight against cybercriminals, but the more precautions we all take, the safer our accounts will be.”  read more...

When is an IRA No Longer Considered

Retirement Funds?

In June, the US Supreme Court issued a unanimous decision that will have a great effect on the rights of bankrupt heirs who inherit an Individual Retirement Account.  read more...

The AIDS of Ransomware: VirRansom

Who Offers the Best Deal on Credit Card

Balance Transfers?

With consumer credit scores and debt levels both rising, it’s primetime for balance transfers. But while a balance transfer could save the average consumer more than $1,000 on fees and finance charges, a general lack of understanding prevents most people from achieving the best possible results. In order to help consumers save money and free themselves from debt, CardHub has released its 2015 Balance Transfer Study, which compares the balance transfer policies of 15 major credit card issuers and identifies their best balance credit cards.

Read the full report here.

2014 Checking Account Cost Comparison Report

2014 Checking Account Cost Comparison Report

With all the current costs associated with a basic checking account — from monthly maintenance fees to ATM withdrawal charges to money transfer costs — one can hardly keep track of their growing structural complexity. These days, a customer could even be assessed a fee just for speaking with a bank teller. And those costs can vary by hundreds of dollars depending on several factors, including one’s usage habits and banking institution. read more...

Help is Available for Financially Troubled

Military Personnel

A recent NFCC survey of financial literacy among the US military revealed some troubling financial behaviors, underscoring the need for increased financial education to this group. Help, however, is ready and waiting. read more...

According to the CFA, debt settlement companies have been severely criticized by federal and state government agencies, by financial columnists, and by consumer advocates, yet continue to market dubious services to consumers desperate for debt relief. While these companies offer the promise of substantial reductions in a consumer’s debt load, they also require consumers to default on all these debts. read more...

CFA: Debt Settlement Agencies Do More Harm

Than Good

Student Loan Borrowers Driven to Default

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) Student Loan Ombudsman has released a report highlighting complaints by struggling private student loan borrowers who describe being driven into default. Distressed borrowers report that they receive very little information or help when they get in trouble, that there are no affordable loan modification options available, and that the alternatives to default are temporary at best. read more...

The Michigan Economic Snapshot
Consumer Expenditures for the Detroit Metropolitan Area: 2012-2013 read more...
 
Changing Compensation Costs in the Detroit Metropolitan Area – September 2014
read more...
 
Consumer Price Index, Detroit-Ann Arbor-Flint – December 2014  read more....
 
Consumer Price Index, Midwest Region – December 2014  read more...
 
Detroit Area Employment – September 2014
read more...
 
Employer Costs for Employee Compensation for the Regions – September 2014 read more...
 
Average Energy Prices, Detroit-Ann Arbor-Flint – November 2014 read more...
 
County Employment and Wages in Michigan – Fourth Quarter 2013 read more...
 
Occupational Employment and Wages in Warren-Troy-Farmington Hills, Mich. Metropolitan Division – May 2013 read more...
 
Occupational Employment and Wages in Detroit-Livonia-Dearborn, Mich. Metropolitan Division – May 2013 read more...
 
Occupational Employment and Wages in Grand Rapids-Wyoming, Mich. MSA – May 2013 read more...
 
Alternative Measures of Labor Underutilization, Michigan – 2013 read more...
 
Union Membership in Michigan – 2013
read more...
 
Fatal Work Injuries in Michigan — 2012
read more...
 
Occupational Employment and Wages For Selected Engineering Occupations in Michigan’s Metropolitan Areas – May 2012 read more...

Looking for ways to save money? Consumers Energy has put together a list of more than 100 things you can do to make your home more energy efficient, and lower your energy costs without sacrificing your comfortable lifestyle. It’s simple: When you use less, you’ll pay less. read more...

Put Money in Your Pocket by Lowering Your

Energy Costs

CardHub’s Credit Predictions for 2015

While 20-20 vision is ultimately reserved for hindsight and no one can actually predict the future, we can indeed make some educated guesses as to what the coming months will hold for our wallets. With that in mind, CardHub’s editors have consulted a number of prominent financial experts in making predictions for what 2015 has in store for the credit markets, from debt levels to interest rates. read more...

KnowBe4 CEO Stu Sjouwerman has issued a warning against a scary new strain of ransomware, one with a difference. This one is a true, self-replicating parasitic virus called VirRansom, a new hybrid strain that combines CryptoLocker and CryptoWall functionality with an active, self-replicating virus that infects all the files it can find. Like the cybercrime Reveton family of malware, it locks the PC's main screen demanding 0.619 Bitcoin to let you back in.  read more...

DOL Launches PEATworks.org

The US Department of Labor's Office of Disability Employment Policy has launched PEATworks.org,  a comprehensive Web portal spearheaded by ODEP's Partnership on Employment & Accessible Technology. From educational articles to interactive tools, the website's content aims to help employers and the technology industry adopt accessible technology as part of everyday business practice so that all workers can benefit. read more...

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