Archive for October, 2015

By the Numbers: Halloween 2015

Posted on October 30, 2015 by Saldutti

Halloween is right around the corner, and while you frantically look for a costume or the perfect party (it falls on a Saturday this year, so you have no excuse), you’re joining millions of Americans as they put their consumer dollars to use. The National Retail Federation projects we’ll be spending a solid $6.89 billion on Halloween this year on everything from paper ghosts and Snickers bars to costumes for our kids and dogs. Here are your Halloween ’15 facts by the numbers: $6.9 billion: Total Halloween consumer spending in the U.S. expected for 2015 64%: Americans who plan to celebrate Halloween this year…

Vacant ‘Zombie’ Foreclosures Down 43%

Posted on October 29, 2015 by Saldutti

RealtyTrac released its Q3 2015 U.S. Zombie Foreclosure and Vacant Property Report, which shows 20,050 residential properties in the foreclosure process – but not yet repossessed by the foreclosing lender – were vacant “zombie” homes as of the end of the third quarter of 2015, down 27% from the previous quarter and down 43% from a year ago. Vacant residential properties in the foreclosure process accounted for 1.3% of all vacant U.S. residential properties, with bank-owned homes (REO) accounting for another 1.9% of all vacant properties as of the end of the third quarter. The report shows a total of…

Consumer Loan Delinquencies Decline Sharply

Posted on October 28, 2015 by Saldutti

Consumer loan delinquencies fell sharply in the second quarter ended June 30, thanks to large drops in home loan-related delinquencies, according to the American Bankers Association (ABA).  Delinquences fell in seven of the 11 loan categories, according to a recent ABA Consumer Credit Delinquency Bulletin.  The composite ratio, which tracks delinquencies in eight closed-end installment loan categories, dropped 17 basis points to 1.36% of all accounts – well under the 15-year average of 2.27%. Bank card delinquencies rose by three basis points to 2.52% of all accounts, also well below their 15-year average of 3.74%. Home equity lines of credit delinquencies…

New EMV Credit Cards Causing Problems for Some

Posted on October 27, 2015 by Saldutti

Millions of Americans are getting new credit and debit cards with more secure chip technology, and that’s already leading to headaches for companies that rely on working cards to charge their customers every month.  Video and music streaming companies, dating websites, gyms and other subscription-based companies can take a hit when customers don’t update their accounts after receiving a new card with a new number or new expiration date. It’s always been a hassle, but with millions of cards carrying the new chip technology being mailed out all at once, it’s creating bigger problems. Netflix said that large numbers of…

The Most Expensive Place to Raise a Family

Posted on October 23, 2015 by Saldutti

The amount that a 2-parent, 2-child family needs just to pay the bills (but not have money left over for savings) ranges from about $50,000 to more than $100,000 depending on where a family lives, according to data released by Economic Policy Institute.   “This does not mean a middle-class lifestyle,” says Elise Gould, a senior economist with EPI. “This is just living, no savings.” The study looked at 618 metro areas and calculated the cost of living in each based on the costs of housing, child care, food, transportation, health care and other necessities (such as school supplies and clothing), as well as…

Nationwide Report Finds Housing Stable

Posted on October 21, 2015 by Saldutti

Despite a slowdown of home sales nationally in August, the U.S. housing market continues to look bright, according to Nationwide’s quarterly Health of Housing Markets Report. The report uses employment, demographic, housing and mortgage data to gauge the underlying health of housing, with any score above 100 considered healthy. The current score is 109.1. According to the report, “most U.S. housing markets are healthy with little chance of a downturn in the near term.”  Nationwide did, however, downgrade the health of several communities, notably in states that rely on the oil and coal industries, such as Texas, Louisiana, Wyoming and…

Late Payments on Home Equity Loans Hit Post-Crisis Low

Posted on October 20, 2015 by Saldutti

U.S. homeowners continue to take advantage of rising house prices to dig themselves out of the hole created by the Great Recession.  In the second quarter, the 30-day delinquency rate on home equity lines of credit dropped to 1.34%, its lowest mark since the third quarter of 2008, according to a new American Bankers Association survey.  Late payments were down from 1.42% in the first quarter.  Similarly, the rate of late payments on closed-end home equity loans dropped to 1.36%, which is another post-recession low. The comparable delinquency rate during the prior 3 months was 1.53%. The S&P/Case Shiller index,…

Banks Plan to Spend More on Tech in 2016

Posted on October 19, 2015 by Saldutti

Driven by the need to secure computer systems, develop analytic capabilities and enhance customer-facing platforms, most banks are planning substantial increases in spending across a wide spectrum of technology in 2016, according to SourceMedia poll of chief information officers.  Anticipated increases in spending on security are particularly intense, with most executives forecasting jumps in budget allocations of at least 10%. By contrast, banks are finding little to cut in the technology arena, with desktops 1 of just 2 categories where more CIOs forecast decreases than increases in spending next year. Besides security, most bank CIOs plan to spend more next…