AG’s Take Action on CWN Reports of Foreclosure Abuse

April 29, 2009

Several Attorneys General nationwide are taking action in response to information readers provided to Consumer Warning Network.   CWN recently reported that it sent to state prosecutors in 39 states complaints it had received from victims of mortgage fraud throughout the country. CWN asked that the fraudulent mortgage lenders be held responsible for the terrible consequences contributing to the skyrocketing foreclosure rate.

Some states have already started taking action.

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Does Buying a Hybrid Car Make Money Sense?

April 24, 2009

Toyota PriusBy John Newcomer:

Are Hybrids Worth the Premium Price?

The recent pain of $4 a gallon gas is still fresh, so fuel economy is an important factor in any car purchase. Everyone knows about hybrid cars and what great gas mileage they get.  So the question is — are they worth the premium price you must pay to own one?

A few years ago the Toyota Prius was the car to own. But a funny thing happened in the last three years.  The old internal combustion engine car improved.  Yes, the hybrid still gets better gas mileage, but not that much better.

The 2009 Prius gets an estimated 45 miles per gallon (combined city and highway) as does the Honda Civic Hybrid.  The Honda Insight Hybrid gets 43 MPG.  But comparable non hybrid cars such as the Toyota Corolla and the Ford Focus get a combined city/highway mileage of 35 MPG.

Gas Prices are a Key Factor

Leaving environmental concerns out of the equation, the question is how high must gas prices soar to justify paying the higher price a hybrid car commands?

Generally a hybrid car costs about $8,000 more than its comparable counterpart. A Prius lists for $22,700 and the Honda Hybrid Civic lists for $23,650.  A standard Toyota Corolla lists for $15,350 and the Ford Focus lists for $15,500.

Before doing the math three assumptions need to be made:

  • First is that you will keep the car for 5 years.
  • The second is that you will drive an average of 1,500 miles a month.
  • The last is that the hybrids will continue to hold their higher resale value.

This assumption may not hold true as electric and hydrogen fuel cars come to market. But for this exercise we will assume that the hybrid holds its higher resale value and that instead of having to overcome the $8,000 price difference you only will need to save $5,000 in gasoline prices to make the Hybrid a sound economical purchase.

So what is the answer?  Brace yourself. To off-set the premium price of a hybrid automobile the price of gasoline will have to increase to $8.75 a gallon just to break even!

Cost Benefit Analysis

Click here for the formula so you can compare your present car or any other vehicles to a hybrid.  Remember when you are working the equation, you have to use a common denominator (yes high school math was important).

Most people cannot justify the added cost of a hybrid.  Going green we will need government incentives like tax breaks or a more reasonable price tag to make the decision more reasonable for the average person.

“Produce the Note” – 3 Little Words to Save Your Home

April 24, 2009

By Angie Moreschi:

Using the “produce the note” strategy is something all homeowners facing foreclosure can do. If you believe you’ve been treated unfairly, fight back. We have created templates for a legal request, a letter to your lender and a motion to compel to help you through the process.  Read the step by step “how to” under the videos.

Special note:  In some states, a lender can foreclose on your home without going to court.  These are called non-judicial foreclosure states.  You can still use the “Produce the Note” strategy in these states, but it takes a few more steps on your part.

Produce the Note – Steps To Follow:

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A Sad Saga of Sallie Mae’s Servicing Skills: One Family’s Story of Enduring Loss and Harassment

April 23, 2009

At a time when Sallie Mae, the nation’s largest private student loan provider, is trying to convince our government that it should be trusted with a new ten year $2.7 billion student loan servicing contract, it is very troubling to hear stories of some of its past efforts at servicing student loans. Just ask Mr. and Mrs. Hesse of Houston, Texas.

Back in 2004, their son Sam took out a $22,000 student loan from Sallie Mae to attend college in England so he could achieve his dream of being a film critic. His mother Gretchen assisted him by co-signing the loan. When he finished his education, he came back to Texas, worked hard, and began paying back his student loan.

Sadly, on April 29, 2007, he died suddenly from myocarditis, an infection in his heart. His friends put together a moving tribute to Sam Hesse.

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Foreclosure Roundtable: Frustration Leads to Promises of Help

April 22, 2009

By Angie Moreschi:

Homeowners are quick to tell Consumer Warning Network about repeated frustrations in trying to get mortgage lenders to work with them to avoid foreclosure.  Now, the issue has the attention of a key government leader in Florida, the nation’s 2nd leading state in foreclosures. Click the story above to see Angie Moreschi’s report or click here to see that story and more.

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CWN & Jesse Jackson Join to Fight Predatory Student Lending

April 17, 2009

Consumer Warning Network recently joined the Reverend Jesse Jackson in Chicago to fight against predatory student lending.  Jackson has started a movement called Reduce the Rate to push for more affordable student loans.  Watch the story above.

AIG Denies Claims While Dishing Out Bonuses

April 17, 2009

AIG, the insurance giant that got billions in bail-out dollars, is adding insult to injury.  Not only did the company dish out millions in bonuses to top executives, while nearing collapse, it also denied claim after claim from injured people who had AIG insurance. These are the latest findings of an ABC News Investigation by Brian Ross.

ABC found that nearly one-half of AIG’S insurance claims were denied.  In a joint investigation with 20/20, ProPublica and the Los Angeles Times analyzed some 30,000 claims filed by people working for American defense contractors overseas, covered by AIG under a federally-mandated program. Almost half – 43 percent – of the most serious cases were challenged by AIG, the analysis found, particularly those where claims were made for treatment of post traumatic stress disorder.

ABC’s 20/20 will have an indepth report on their findings tonight at 10pm.

Who is MERS and Why Are They Suing Me?

April 17, 2009

The Mystery Company that Forecloses on Homes

By Terry Smiljanich:

A homeowner takes out a mortgage with Wells Fargo.  Two years later, she gets behind in payments due to unforeseen circumstances.  That’s when a foreclosure suit lands on her doorstep, but instead of Wells Fargo, someone named “MERS” is trying to take her home. Just who in the heck is this “MERS,” and who asked it to get involved?

More and more homeowners are asking this question and, in the process, successfully challenging these foreclosure suits.

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Don’t Get Spoofed! Caller ID Trick to Steal Your Identity

April 14, 2009

A new identity theft scam is giving crooks a way to scam you out of your money.  Beware of “spoofing.”  It’s a technology trick that lets a caller change the name and number displayed on your caller ID.  Some con artists have recently been putting it to a pretty dirty use.  They’re using “spoofing” to call victims, claiming that it’s their bank.  People who bite give up sensitive details, giving the crook access to their bank account.  ABC News Consumer Reporter Elizabeth Leamy did a great piece explaining the problem.  Click the video above to see how it works or below to read more.  And remember:  Don’t get spoofed!

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Fight Foreclosure: Make ‘Em Produce the Note!

April 13, 2009

By Angie Moreschi:

Using the “produce the note” strategy is something all homeowners facing foreclosure can do. If you believe you’ve been treated unfairly, fight back. We have created templates for a legal request, a letter to your lender and a motion to compel to help you through the process.  Read the step by step “how to” under the videos.

Special note:  In some states, a lender can foreclose on your home without going to court.  These are called non-judicial foreclosure states.  You can still use the “Produce the Note” strategy in these states, but it takes a few more steps on your part.

Produce the Note – Steps To Follow:

Read more

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