FHA Loan Introduction

FHA guidelines provide substantial credit flexibility and other benefits to borrowers.

FHA loans are not credit score driven. Instead, they are written in a way that provides the borrower the benefit of the doubt that there had been, at some point in their past, circumstances beyond their control, and as long as the borrower has recovered from those circumstances in a reasonable manner, they’re generally going to be credit-eligible for an FHA loan. The FHA guidelines are forgiving about circumstances that many other lending programs, including conventional, are not favorable towards.The FHA states that a borrower, recovering from a Chapter 7 bankruptcy, can be eligible for an FHA loan two years after being discharged. An exception can be made after 1 year if the bankruptcy was due to extenuating circumstances that can be documented and are not likely to recur. To be eligible for an FHA loan after a foreclosure, a three-year wait time is required after being discharged. An exception to the 3 year rule can be made if the foreclosure was due to extenuating circumstances that can be documented. If the borrower has filed for a Chapter 13 bankruptcy or is in a consumer credit counseling program (where the borrower has re-established a negotiated repayment term based on their credit items), and has been on the plan for 12 months making consistent payments on time, the borrower will be eligible for an FHA loan. Continue reading

Lone accountant’s victory over IRS could spur flood of refund claims

WASHINGTON (AP) — It took seven years, but Charles Ulrich did something many people dream about, but few succeed at: He beat the IRS in a tax dispute.Not only that, but tax experts say potentially millions of other taxpayers could benefit from his victory.

The accountant from Baxter, Minn., challenged the method the IRS has used for more than 20 years to tax shares and cash distributed by mutual life insurance firms to their policyholders when they reorganize as public companies.

A federal court recently agreed with his interpretation. Continue reading

Gas prices nationally drop 15 cents in 2 weeks

CAMARILLO, Calif. (AP) — A national survey shows gas prices have dropped 15 cents a gallon in the last two weeks.The average price of a gallon of regular gasoline at self-serve stations was $3.70 Friday. Mid-grade was at $3.83 and premium was at $3.95.

That’s according to the Lundberg Survey of 7,000 gas stations nationwide, released Sunday.

Diesel was at $3.82.

The California average was $3.94, down 16 cents from two weeks ago.

Gas was cheapest in St. Louis, Mo., at $3.37 for a gallon of regular. It was most expensive in Anchorage, Alaska, at $4.34.

Despite the drop, gas nationally was almost 95 cents higher than a year ago.

Prices so far this summer peaked July 11 at $4.11 for a gallon for regular.

Oil touches 3-month low on stronger US dollar

Oil prices touch 3-month low as US dollar strengthens, demand for energy keeps falling

NEW YORK (AP) — Oil fell to its lowest price in three months Friday, briefly touching the $111 level after the dollar muscled higher and OPEC predicted the world’s thirst for fuel next year will fall to its lowest point since 2002.

Light, sweet crude for September delivery fell $1.24 to settle at $113.77 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange after falling to $111.34, its lowest price since May 2 and more than $35 — or 24 percent — below its July 11 trading record above $147. Continue reading

Home Sales Climbed in July As Discounts Lured Buyers

Sales of existing homes rose 3.1 percent in July as buyers snapped up deeply discounted properties in parts of the country hit hardest by the housing bust, a real estate trade group said.

The National Association of Realtors reported sales rose to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 5 million units. Sales had been expected to rise by only 1.6 percent, according to economists surveyed by Thomson/IFR. Continue reading

Millionaires in the making: The Rodrigueses!

Only 27 years old, prodigious savers Gina and John Rodrigues are determined to retire with a million-dollar nest egg by the time they turn 40. Here’s the odd part: They just might make it.

John and Gina Rodrigues have always been good with numbers. John is a software engineer who manages a team at Microsoft, and Gina spent years processing mortgages at Wells Fargo and Countrywide Home Loans. But the numbers they are especially good at are the kind with dollar signs in front of them.

At age 27, John and Gina already earn a combined $174,000 a year, save half of what they make and have built a formidable portfolio of $380,000 in stocks, mutual funds and cash. Their goal: to become millionaires and retire by the time they turn 40, just 13 years from now. Continue reading