Aug 142011

Loan ModificationMaking Home Affordable Program has a special loan modification program for people who are on the verge of losing their home to mortgage companies. This program is aimed at helping those who have defaulted on their mortgage payments and are facing the risk of foreclosure.
Under this loan program, qualifying home owners can get their homes refinanced at a lower rate of interest. Here are some important fact relating to this loan modification program that has been initiated by the United States Government on the behest of President Obama.
  • The program is being sponsored by the federal government and billions of dollars of aid has been earmarked for use in this program, including the HARP loan refinance program.
  • If you owe more than the current value of your home, pursuing a loan modification program is bound to benefit both you and your bank. You would be benefitted in the way that you would get to keep your home and the bank would be benefitted in the way that it would not lose its loan amount.
  • Not all borrowers are eligible for assistance with this mortgage relief program. While most people say that this program includes anyone who is about to lose his or her home, this is not the case. There are certain pre-conditions or qualifying criteria that needs to be met in order to avail the facilities under this program.
  • This program is a way to explain to your lender your situation and to describe the reasons as to why you have not been able to pay your mortgage on time. So it is best to attach any back up documentation that you have to show your inability to pay the mortgage on time.
  • The program would provide you with a payment program that is easier on your pocket. Your target payment needs to be calculated according to your current income and paying capacity so you need to discuss with your bank on terms that would protect you from defaulting on your loan in the future.
  • Contrary to rumors, your loan modification application would be carefully reviewed by your lender before he or she decides to include your application in the loan modification program. Hence make sure that everything has been disclosed and is correct.
  • The government or the federal system is not going to contact you to apply for a loan modification program. Also since the program is going to be offered to a limited number of people it is advisable to apply as early as possible so as to have maximum chances of being included in the program.
  • Your lender would require some proof from your side that you would be able to pay your new installments after your loan is modified by your lender. For this you would have to supply to your lender all the documentation that is required.

These are some very important facts which you need to remember before applying for a loan modification procedure under the Making Your Home Affordable Program, including both the HAMP and HARP. The program is a great opportunity for people who are on the verge of losing their homes and can be very helpful for those who have no other place to go to.

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Mar 012013


Joe Duran’s new book, The Money Code: Improve Your Entire Financial Life Right Now, might just be one of the better books on helping you take control of your financial life.

Unlike a lot of personal finance books, The Money Code avoids the usual stale tips and tidbits that you’ll traditionally find and presents a more vivid journey to help put your finances in order. It offers a personal story that engages you while helping to learn something about yourself and your relationship with money.

The book has garnered some great reviews, both in the press and on Amazon customer reviews, and has recently found itself on the New York Times bestseller list! You can buy the book here and learn quite a bit more about the book on Duran’s website:

JoeThe Money Code is Duran’s third book. Joe John Duran is CEO and founding partner of United Capital, a top-ranked and fast growing wealth counseling firm, and he has been profiled in a number of publications such as Smart Money and the NYTimes.

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Feb 032013

If you’ve been following the news lately, you’ll see that there are some good signs that the worst of our real estate woes are perhaps behind us. Generally speaking, most of the recent news includes home prices ticking up, home inventories falling, new housing starts increasing, and so forth. The news, however, is never completely straightforward and clear.  It’s obviously not on an entirely upward slope, but it’s definitely looking better.  Overall things are beginning to look up and as far as the real estate world is concerned, this is definitely a good thing.

Considering the optimistic perspective noted above, it might just be time to get back in the market again. The Sun Sentinel recently ran an article on the real estate market in South Florida, and they note that things are clearly looking up. They point out that sellers have taken “control in negotiations as bidding wars often erupted over a dwindling supply of properties.”

If you’re in the real estate market in South Florida, looking to either buy or sell in the luxury market, particularly waterfront estates and luxury condos in an area such as Palm Beach, Fort Lauderdale Beach or Boca Raton, you might want to consider finding a knowledgeable agent like Susan Rindley is focused on the South Florida area and specializes in these types of listings. She’s a native to the area and thus knows the market well and definitely has her finger on the pulse of what the area has to offer.

Since the real estate market is on the rebound, the economy is showing signs of life and buyers are really starting to enter the market, it is important to have an expert who knows exactly what is going on.  This fact is amplified in a competitive area such as the luxury market in South Florida. As the Sun Sentinel article points out: “Homebuilders grew more confident, filling orders amid increasing demand from record-low interest rates. Foreign investors helped gobble up the excess supply of condominiums built during the housing boom, prompting a new wave of condo construction across the region.”

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Dec 272012

Despite our best efforts, there are times that our finances might either get out of control or simply take a negative turn.  We certainly focus on strategies here at PFJournal to save money, make money, budget our expenses and so forth, but now and again we have to turn to a way to solve some problems. In the case of debt, it might simply be time to consider a good debt settlement  strategy.

A good place to find some useful information and seek help, especially debt settlement for Canadians, is the law office of Cockburn & Associate. As they mention on their website, the firm “understands that paying off your debts while undergoing a financial hardship can be a difficult and intimidating process. Our goal is to facilitate the settlement process while educating our clients.” With this in mind, the firm offers an abundant amount of advice on their website, laying out exactly what a debt settlement plan might look like and how it might help you.

If you’re ready pursue a debt help strategy and think debt settlement might help you, spend some time going over the resources they offer and utilize some of the expertise that Sheila Cockburn can offer.  She has nearly a decade of legal experience in the areas of debt collections, business transactions and intellectual property dealing with litigation and prosecution matters and is licensed to practice law in the United States or Canada.

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Nov 212012

With the wealth of online financial tools out there, it’s becoming easier for consumers to manage their own business interests. Accounting, investing, and tax filing software can be handy when it comes time to work out a budget or file your taxes. However, there are certain situations in which it may be beneficial to speak to a financial advisor.

Investment Management

If you’ve never invested before, putting your money in the hands of a professional is usually the best course of action. Yet many small-time investors with a bit of experience can manage their own portfolios up to a certain point. If you are starting to feel overwhelmed by your assets or are second-guessing your decision, these are good signs that you may be in need of some financial assistance. Receiving an inheritance, planning for retirement, or gaining control over a new series of accounts are all reasons to consider professional money management.

Time is another factor to consider. If you have the time to research your investment option thoroughly and have some background in this field, you may feel comfortable handling your own accounts. Yet many people don’t have the time to stay on top of their portfolio. In these cases, using a professional advisor from a firm like Lombard Odier can make sense, as they will be able to monitor and evaluate your portfolio as needed.

Tax Assistance

Most individuals with uncomplicated finances will be able to file their own taxes each year. However, if you are a small business owner, self-employed, or have a variety of assets, it’s worth hiring a tax professional to help out with your taxes. They may be able to help you with deductions that you wouldn’t otherwise know about, and will organize your finances so that you stand less of a chance of getting audited. Small business owners can benefit from filing quarterly tax estimates throughout the year, to avoid missing any payments or getting stuck with a huge bill at the end of every tax year.

Small business owners or self-employed individuals aren’t the only ones who will want to hire an accountant or tax planning expert. Those with large volumes of assets in multiple locations will need to find ways to avoid paying steep penalties. A little bit of professional knowledge can go a long way in these cases.

Estate Planning

Anyone with significant assets or minor children should think about hiring a financial professional to draw up estate planning documents. These could include a will as well as a family trust. The major advantage of choosing to use a financial professional for this purpose is that they will be able to protect you from gift, inheritance, and estate taxes which can leave your heirs with a much lower sum than what you intended to give them. Hiring a professional estate planner from Lombard Odier will help take the guesswork out of drawing up wills and trusts, so that your minor children and assets are both well looked after. However, if you don’t have any children and minimal assets, you can probably get by with a basic will. There are forms which can be downloaded online and filled out with some basic legal research.

Consumers are now in a better position than ever before to conduct their own financial research. Yet when it comes to managing more complicated financial assets, a professional opinion can be worth the cost.

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Nov 212012

Personal finance can oftentimes involve skills akin to tight-rope walking. You need to find just the right balance of saving, money management, budgeting and income to make sure you have enough to cover your expenses, save for emergencies, invest for the future and so forth. Every now and again, of course, you might find the need to acquire a new loan to cover some unforeseen expenses or other necessary expenditures.

One way to acquire some funds is to use your car’s value to obtain a car title loan. In this case, if you’re in Florida, you can contact Gainesville Title Loans and you will use your car’s title as collateral for a loan, generally a short-term, flexible one that doesn’t even require a credit check. Simply put, the value that you’ve already paid into your car is used as the equity to secure the loan.

The value of a car title loan will obviously depend on what type of car you have and the value and condition of that car. The average loan is anywhere from $500 to $15,000, and you can usually obtain the funds the same day you apply for the loan. Once you obtain the loan you can then use the funds however you choose–the money can be deposited into your bank account and used for any type of expense you might have. You may even choose to use the money you get from a car, truck or van title loan to fund an investment you have your eye on or a good stock or foreign currency trade.

The loans are certainly a convenient way to obtain some much needed capital, and Gainesville Title Loans makes the process quick and easy. The offer a short form with just the basic amount of information needed and you can get the process up and started immediately.

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Nov 212012

Consider the assorted times you have spent scouring the internet looking for a quick diversion, something to while away the time in order to find some entertainment. The truth is, personal finance reviews and managing your money is not always the most fun business to undertake. We spend quite a bit of time looking for ways to save, avenues to invest our money, ways to eliminate our debt, deals to save on our loans and so forth.

As an alternative to these more serious pursuits and past times, it’s nice to unwind and have some fun. Free slots is a great app that lets you play the slot machines on Facebook.  It is definitely okay to relax a bit and the games on Facebook are usually enjoyable. The selection can be a bit overwhelming, so it’s nice to find the free slots fever app where you know you’re going to get a high quality gaming experience.

One of the advantages to playing these types of games, especially from a personal finance point of view, is that you don’t have to spend all your money trekking to Las Vegas looking for your fix. The graphics are high quality, the sounds are just right, and the entire experience is a pretty good way to relax and enjoy yourself. Since it’s through Facebook, of course there is a great social aspect to the game and I like to play with some of my friends or family. There’s room for some friendly competition and you can team up with others to have a lot of fun.

We take our journey to financial responsibility and independence pretty serious here at, but we have to remember that there is more to life than saving money and paying bills. Sometimes unwinding with a good game helps us to focus later when we need to get down to the more serious aspects of our lives.

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Nov 072012

It has become a regular habit these past few years for people interested in the home market, both buyers and sellers, to keep a constant eye on the state of home prices. Sellers are trying to see when they might be able to find the right price to enable them to sell without losing any money, and buyers are hoping they can time the market right to buy right at the bottom.

Coupled with this interest in home prices are the figures that are released regarding new home sales. We are seeing this past month’s numbers showing about a 6% increase in this figure, a statistic that leads some to believe we’re going to see a steady uptick in both real estate and the economy at large. The might cause joy or anguish depending on the side of the market you’re in.

What does this mean for a prospective home buyer who perhaps is ready to make the plunge in the market? Well, as usual, the answer will depend on the situation and the specifics of each buyer’s position. Ideally, however, regardless of the situation of home buyers they will make sure that they are as informed as possible and educated on both the market and the builders and developments in their area.

Keeping tabs on the state of the real estate market and the economy is clearly an important step, but since buying a home involves more than just trying to time the market for the best possible prices there are other factors.  Know that all homes are not built equally. You really have to make sure you find a new home builder you can trust with a reputation that is solid and a product that they strongly stand behind. In addition to the quality of the actual home, the residential community is equally important. You ideally want to live in a community that reflects the lifestyle you’d most like to live.

So in short, keeping a constant eye on the state of the market is always an important step in buying a home, but there is more to it than trying to time the market to perfection. In today’s market, as in any other, finding quality and a home that reflects what you’re looking for will usually pay in the long run.

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Oct 022012

Economists at Nottingham Trent University and Nottingham University Business School claim that they have devised a manner in which money can be made from spread betting. The idea first appeared in a paper delivered at the Royal Economic Society’s Annual Conference by Dr Leighton Williams and Dr David Paton. The paper, entitled Forecasting outcomes in spread betting markets: can bettors use ‘quarbs’ to beat the book?, is available online. Dr Williams is Head of Economics Research at the first institution named, while Dr Paton is Senior Lecturer in Industrial Economics at the second and edited The Economics of Gambling and National Lottieries.

The method could be tested for free using a spread betting training account. The two economists studied one of the most  heavily- traded markets that of the number of bookings points of Premier League football matches. Ten points were awarded for every yellow card and 25 for every red card, which leads to dismissal from the field. In the period studied, there was an average of 40 points per match, and a maximum of 125.

The key is to take advantage of different odds offered by different spread betting companies, so it is necessary to have accounts with the companies involved. An example would be if one bookmaker offered odds of 3:1 for England to win a football match against Brazil, while another offered 3:1 on Brazil winning. This is an arbitrage position, where it is possible to buy high with one company and sell low with another, making profit certain. Spread betting companies have been known to restrict the amount of money that can be bet in such a situation and it is said that accounts have been closed as a result. Situations where prices are different but less than an arbitrage are known as quasi-arbitrages, or quarbs.

The economists say that following their method would have led to success in more than 60 percent of matches in the last two seasons: 86 out of 140. A punter betting a mere £5 per point in each case would have gained almost £5,000 in two years.

Dr Williams says that if punters bet sensibly, they can turn the odds in their favour. He adds the note of caution always seen at the websites of spread betting providers, that spread betting is infamously volatile and it is possible to lose much money in a short space of time.

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Sep 302012

We focus a lot of our attention here at PF Journal on personal finance and those types of issues and concerns that come up with one’s own or one’s household financial issues. These can span topics like investing, mortgages, credit cards, debt help, stock ideas and so forth.

Increasingly, especially considering folks are looking to start their own businesses, people are looking for information on starting a small business or, more specifically, small business credit. As larger businesses look to cut back on staff and those people affected by this shift are venturing out on their own, it only makes sense to try to address some of the financial and credit concerns facing a small business.

Entrepreneurs looking to find an informative site for information on small business financial concerns and articles on small business credit would be served well to start at The handy thing about this site is that there is a lot of information in one convenient location. You can find out why you might need business credit as well as develop an understanding on the difference between business and personal credit.

Additionally, not only is there general advice and articles, there’s a good list of small business credit cards and the advantages of utilizing credit for your small business.  It’s certainly hard enough setting up a small business and making it a success, so you want to make sure you’re conversant on thoroughly informed on the ins and outs of small business credit.

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Sep 172012

Finding a team of expert professionals is a key in just about any field if you’re looking to find the very best service, advice and expertise. This fact is pretty clear when you’re dealing in the realm of finances, investments and personal finance. There are, to be sure, areas where a little self-education is key […]

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Sep 072012

Despite all of the information about credit scores that is available and the repeated warnings about maintaining good credit, it is still sometimes befuddling for many people to fully understand what a credit score is, how it affects their finances and how to make it better (or worse).  We’ve certainly discussed it here at PFJournal […]

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Aug 242012
The New 1099K Tax Form Information

You might be starting to think a bit about the end of the year tax time paperwork, and if you’re a small business that makes payments to contractors you’re probably aware of the 1099K form. Or, perhaps you’re a self-employed person who does work for a variety of other companies. Well, you can expect to […]

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Aug 152012

By now you’ve spent some time going through the budget, recovering from summer vacations and fun, and maybe even getting ready for the holidays. First things first, though, is getting the kids back to school with a list of must-have supplies, clothing, shoes, etc. If your children wear eyeglasses then you are probably on the […]

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Aug 092012

In the course of our discussions about debt, money management and various personal finance issues, it is clear that there is a need for a brief discussion on different aspects of debt management. In particular, a good distinction should be made between debt consolidation and credit counseling, and ultimately, at least in this article, determine […]

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Jul 222012

Are you always trying to experiment with new ways to save money? Well, there are certainly a lot of things we mention on this site that do just that like efficient budgeting, saving money, investing and looking for great loan and credit deals. These personal finance methods all add up to create an overall system […]

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