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Monday, April 22, 2013

Be Ware of Financial Scams

Bogus Weight-Loss Products, Fraudulent Prizes Top List Of Biggest Scams

By Chris Morran

More than 1-in-10 American adults fall victim to some sort of fraud, according to a new report from the Federal Trade Commission. And scams related to fraudulent weight-loss products are by far the most prevalent.
The FTC has just released a detailed survey [PDF] of consumer fraud in the U.S. for 2011. The agency found that in that year alone, 25.6 million adults (10.8% of the adult population) were victims of fraud. In total, the FTC knows of 37.8 million fraud incidents in 2011, meaning some folks were duped at least twice.

Not surprisingly, the most popular medium for luring in consumers was the Internet, where 1-in-3 victims got hooked into a scam. That’s up from 1-in-5 victims back in the FTC’s most recent survey in 2005. The Internet was also where an even larger percentage — 40% — of all fraudulent purchases made.

---After diet and anti-aging products, the rest of the list:

Here are the rest of the top categories, with the estimated number of incidents in parentheses:
-Unauthorized Billing for Buyers’ Club Memberships (1.9 million)
-Unauthorized Billing for Internet Services (1.9 million)
-Work-at-Home Programs (1.8 million)
-Credit Repair Scams (1.7 million)
-Debt Relief (1.5 million)
-Credit Card Insurance (1.3 million)
-Business Opportunities (1.1 million)
-Mortgage Relief Scams (800,000)

Read the full article at

Friday, April 19, 2013

Friday Rate Update

Mortgage Rates Edge Lower

The average rate for a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage was 3.41 percent, Freddie Mac reported yesterday. The rate is down slightly from 3.43 percent last week. This time last year, the rate averaged 3.90 percent.

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Bankers, Lawmakers Push Back Against Community Bank Regs

Lawmakers joined community bankers on Tuesday to argue that small banks deserve simpler and less restrictive regulations than major financial institutions. In a hearing, the House Financial Services Committee's Financial Institutions and Consumer Credit subcommittee hosted four community bank leaders to hear their complaints and problems in dealing with rules on capital and lending requirements. The bankers, representing their own banks and national groups, claimed that the increased burden of new regulations leads small banks to focus their attention on compliance instead of serving their customer base, and they warned that community banks could be forced to consolidate to stay alive.

From "Bankers, Lawmakers Push Back Against Community Bank Regs"
The Hill (04/16/13) Hattem, Julian

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

St Casimirs' thoughts and prayers are with the people of Boston.

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Keating: Banks of All Sizes Play Key Role in U.S. Economy

Banks of all sizes play a key role in supporting and growing the $16 trillion U.S. economy that is the envy of the world, ABA President and CEO Frank Keating said yesterday in an op-ed piece in The Hill newspaper, a publication widely read by policymakers.

"Thanks to community banks, which typically spearhead development efforts in their towns and make 46 percent of small loans to businesses and farms, Main Streets across the country are surviving and thriving," Keating wrote.

He explained that regional banks project the benefits of community banking onto a larger screen. "Their scale allows them to make bigger loans and help local businesses expand into new communities. They also account for 675 million jobs, $4 trillion in deposits and 43 percent of loans to individuals," Keating said.

He noted that the largest banks, which employ more than 1.2 million Americans, also do all of those things while filling a unique niche. "Their credit capacity and array of financial services support the operations of America’s globally active businesses, which in turn employ 20 percent of U.S. workers," Keating said. He added that large banks also created and operate the modern payments system, which keeps commerce turning.

"Banks of all sizes play a critical role in maintaining and growing the country’s economy, and this banking diversity should be supported by policy, not undermined by it," Keating said.

"That’s worth remembering the next time someone contemplates imposing crushing new compliance burdens on community banks, regulating regional banks as if they were global, or dismantling the nation’s largest banks."

Read more here.

Friday, April 5, 2013

Friday Rate Update

Mortgage Rates Fall

The average interest rate on 30-year, fixed-rate mortgages dropped to 3.54 percent this week from 3.57 percent last week, Freddie Mac reported yesterday. A year ago, rates for 30-year mortgages averaged 3.98 percent.

Monday, April 1, 2013

Mortgage Rates Increase Slightly

The average interest rate on 30-year, fixed-rate mortgages inched up to 3.57 percent this week from 3.54 percent last week, Freddie Mac reported yesterday. A year ago, rates for 30-year mortgages averaged 3.99 percent.