Posts Tagged 'mortgage'

Stimulus bill Q and A

The New York Times has a fairly comprehensive question-and-answer post on the stimulus bill President Obama signed into law earlier this week.

While there are tons of possible questions and scenarios that could apply to you and your family, the Q and A gives broad answers to help make sense of the whole thing. It covers everything from Cobra to the new tax credit and changes to the Alternative Minimum Tax.

If you’re feeling really brave, you can read the stimulus bill in its entirety on House of Representatives’s site.


Can’t make your car payment? Don’t torch it.

From the Washington Post, it seems people who can’t keep up with their auto loan payments will do anything – torching their vehicle included – to keep from being reposessed:

Investigators estimate that hundreds of such crimes occurred in the Washington area in the past two years, although the exact number is unclear, and experts predict the number will increase because of the worsening economy. Many offenders have fallen behind on payments to car dealerships. This year, more people are behind on such loans than in nearly two decades.

Amazing. Please (please!) don’t try this at home.

Sadly, people are having to choose between making payments on their house or their car. But setting fire to your vehicle is a big-time crime, and very (very!) dangerous.


Financial news you can use.

It seems everyday we learn something new about credit crunches, commercial paper, financial markets, and all those fun money terms we’re just now learning.

Being a news junkie, it’s hard to pry myself away from all the updates. I’ve found a few resources to help make sense of everything:

  • Bankrate.com – for nitty-gritty news
  • This American Life has two great hours of plain-talk radio programming – one on the mortgage crisis and one on the credit crunch. Must-listens if you want the full scope of the problem explained in ways anyone can understand. Download the free podcast version to listen to it at your leisure, either at your computer or on an iPod.

Where do you get your financial news?


How are credit unions doing? Hunky dory, thanks.

Someone wrote into the Washington Post:

Q. What is the impact of the government’s financial rescue plan on credit unions?


A. The impact on credit unions seems quite minimal. These nonprofit cooperatives do not hold many of the investments that are poisoning other financial institutions, so they have weathered the crisis fairly well. Credit unions have kept about 70 percent of their mortgage loans on the books, meaning that they did not sell them off to other institutions, according to the Credit Union National Association. The group said that less than 1 percent of credit union mortgages were in delinquency at the end of the first quarter. Delinquencies on other loans have edged up to 1 percent. “If they’ve got their money in a federally insured credit union, they’re just hunky dory,” CUNA spokesman Patrick Keefe said.

Hear that? Hunky dory!


Your money is safe with us.

Your money is safe at American 1

Lots of news, and worries, surrounding California’s IndyMac Bank’s meltdown.

The Detroit News ran an article addressing concerns here in Michigan, and pointed out that because Michigan is so conservative in its banking outlook, things aren’t as bad as people think.

That’s especially true here, where we’ve been lucky enough to witness growth and success.

As the Detroit News points out, even if credit unions do face trouble, members will be safe:

Even if banking institutions face financial stress, customers’ savings are not in jeopardy.

“People who have deposits under $100,000 need not worry, the FDIC has always paid out their deposits,” said Donald Mann, a private banking consultant and former state banking regulator. The FDIC insures bank deposits.

Credit union deposits are insured by the National Credit Union Administration (NCUA), which is just like the FDIC. You might notice all the NCUA stickers and signs covering our branches; that’s to ensure you that your deposits are safe no matter what happens.

After the IndyMac collapse, people were thinking about withdrawing all their money from their bank or credit union and stuffing it in their mattress. This kind of hysteria is why banks and credit unions fall apart. There’s no need to withdraw all your money and bury it in the back yard: American 1 is doing just fine.

We don’t do mortgages, for one thing. That means we’ve avoided all the pitfalls of “sub prime” and “adjustable rate” mortgages that are grabbing so many headlines lately. By staying out of the mortgage business, we’re less likely to be affected by drastic swings in the marketplace.

So relax. Your money is safe, your loans are safe, and we’re not going anywhere.


Home ownership information available

Facing a foreclosure? Having trouble making your mortgage payment? Fall for a sub-prime mortgage? Help is on the way, thanks to two resources who offer housing counselors. Visit these web sites for more information on how to avoid or live through a foreclosure.

> “Save the Dream” – State of Michigan

> Homeownership Preservation Foundation

We’ve had a few members speak highly of the “Save the Dream” initiative from the state.




American 1 Federal Credit Union