Archive for June, 2016

Most Consumers Will Take Business Elsewhere if Hacked

Posted on June 30, 2016 by Laura Lam

A recent study commissioned by Centrify found that 66% of adults in the U.S. are at least somewhat likely to stop doing business with a company that has suffered a cyberbreach. Less than half of Americans are very satisfied with how corporations handle cyberbreaches. The study surveyed people across the U.S., UK, and Germany and also found that most consumers believe businesses are almost entirely to blame for corporate hacks: 41% of adults in the U.S. hold corporations fully accountable and feel they are not taking enough responsibility when data breaches do occur. To some degree, most adults accept hacking…

Bank Reputation: Regionals Score Tops; Big Banks Improve

Posted on June 29, 2016 by Laura Lam

The reputation of the banking industry as a whole nudged up to 67.1 on a 100-point scale, helped by an improving economy. The score is just average, by the Reputation Institute’s reckoning, but that is not so bad for an industry devastated by the financial crisis in recent memory. “We’ve seen some improvements broadly around financial services, but there’s still a hangover effect from the Great Recession,” said Stephen Hahn-Griffiths, a vice president at the Reputation Institute.  To put things in perspective, banking is still below other industries the Reputation Institute tracks, including health care and energy.  But it has…

Housing Still Faces Obstacles; Could Be ‘Engine of Growth’

Posted on June 28, 2016 by Laura Lam

The Joint Center for Housing Studies (JCHS) at Harvard University released its 2016 report on The State of the Nation’s Housing. Calling the housing sector “an engine of growth,” the study found that the need to replace old housing and to meet demand for vacation homes and other units, new housing construction should average “at least” 1.6 million units annually for the next decade. New home building faces some headwinds however. Tighter lending rules are one serious issue. Mortgage lenders have made essentially no loans to potential buyers with subprime credit scores (below 620) and have cut back sharply on loans to applicants…

Home Prices Rise Faster Than Expected

Posted on June 27, 2016 by Laura Lam

Home prices nationwide in March were just 3.8% down from their June 2006 peak, according to the Home Price Index from Black Knight Financial Services.  The company reported hat the U.S. HPI in March was $257,000, up 1.2% from the previous month. March’s HPI also represented a 5.3% increase from 2015, same as the previous two months. Washington continued to lead the country in price appreciation, with 2.1% growth. The Pacific Northwest state was followed by Illinois, Oregon and Colorado, which all posted 1.9% gains. Similarly, 4 cities in Washington cracked the top 10 list of metropolitan areas with the highest…

Raising Rich (Unspoiled) Kids

Posted on June 24, 2016 by Laura Lam

Ever wonder how to set you your kids to be financially successful adults without spoiling them?  The financial advisors at the Daily Worth have put together the lessons they’ve learned through life as well as additional strategies that can make an even bigger difference. Start Early – The sooner kids learn the value of money and how to manage it, the better. An allowance is a good teaching tool, but it can also be pointless if you don’t have a plan and clear rules.  Try one of these tactics: Give your children a certain amount each week (something reasonable for…

A Mortgage for Debt-Ridden Millennials?

Posted on June 23, 2016 by Laura Lam

The extent to which student debt is keeping Millennials from buying homes is debatable. But for high-earning young professionals who are saddled with such loans, a Florida investment advisor says he has devised a path to homeownership.  This summer, John Burkey will launch the BurkeyLoan, which combines borrowers’ student loans and their mortgages.  According to Burkey, “they will be refinancing their school loans into their mortgages.” Initially, BurkeyLoans will be aimed at college graduates with “top-tier work and academic profiles” who seek jumbo mortgages in the $425,000 to $600,000 range. But by year’s end, Burkey said, the new mortgage product…

Presidential Candidates Should Focus on Housing

Posted on June 22, 2016 by Laura Lam

Nearly two-thirds of Americans think that something can be done to address problems related to housing affordability – and they want the presidential candidates to talk about it.  According to the 4th annual How Housing Matters survey from the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, 63% of adults believe that candidates for president have not spent enough time discussing housing affordability.  The survey also found that 81% of adults believe that housing affordability is a problem in America today. Results from the survey suggest that Americans’ optimism toward the economy’s recovery from the financial crisis is waning. This year,…

Longest Time to Break Even on a Home?

Posted on June 21, 2016 by Laura Lam

It takes nearly 4 years to get to the point where it makes more sense to buy than rent a home in San Diego County, the longest time of any metro area in the nation, according to a recent Zillow study.  The real estate website ranked the top 35 metro areas for the time it takes to hit a break-even point – the number of years you need to own and live in a home until it becomes more financially advantageous than renting the same house. The average for the nation, in the first quarter of this year, was 1…

Small Banks Band Together to Fight Fraud

Posted on June 17, 2016 by Laura Lam

As the song goes, “I get by with a little help from my friends.”  That sentiment is truer than ever for banks, particularly when it comes to detecting fraud.  For instance, The Fauquier Bank in Warrenton, Va., was able to identify a customer tied to a check-kiting scheme thanks to a bank in Oregon. The customer had opened accounts and intentionally written bad checks at various small banks across the country.  The Fauquier Bank and the bank in Oregon are both part of the FRAMLxchange, an information-sharing network created last year by Verafin, a compliance vendor.  “We were then able…

Mortgage Write-Offs Hit 9-Year Low

Posted on June 16, 2016 by Laura Lam

According to data from the April 2016 Equifax National Consumer Credit Trends Report, the total balance of write-offs year-to-date in March for first mortgages, home equity lines of credit (HELOCs), and home equity loans is $9.5 billion, a 9-year low for Q1 and a year-over-year decrease of 22.7%. Homeowners are in the best financial shape they’ve been in since well before the start of the Great Recession,” said Amy Crews Cutts, Senior Vice President/Chief Economist at Equifax. “Total mortgage debt is down over $1 trillion, owner’s equity is up to $12.5 trillion, nearly double the amount held in 2011, and low inventories of homes for sale…