Ten years ago, the collapse of Lehman Brothers signaled that the U.S. was hurtling toward a financial crisis. In the years that followed, consumers faced difficulty managing debt as the economy contracted, unemployment accelerated and incomes stagnated. The Federal Reserve enacted extraordinary monetary policy to stem the decline, lowering interest rates to near zero to ease the burden of debt and buying securities to support the credit markets. These actions, along with initiatives from the Department of the Treasury, helped borrowers and lenders weather the Great Recession. Treasury, with other regulators, created programs to assist borrowers with their mortgage debt, including homeowners who found themselves "underwater" -- owing more on their mortgage than their homes were worth -- as home prices fell. Congress crafted more stringent capital rules to shore up banks. So where are we 10 years later? Consumer debt has increased to levels higher than those prior to the crisis. This … [Read more...] about 10 years after Lehman, is another crisis brewing?
A new report by congressional investigators details how hackers broke into Equifax last year in a breach that exposed the financial information of more than 140 million Americans. The lawmakers who requested the report say they'll press the Trump administration on the lack of enforcement actions against the giant credit-reporting agency. Shares of Equifax plunged by about one-third last year after news broke about the massive breach. Since then, the stock has recovered to about $10 below its peak before all the bad news and closed Monday at $134.56 a share. The company has reported a profit of $236 million this year, and second-quarter profit was down just 12 percent from the same period last year despite the breach. Here's what you need to know about the breach and events since then: How did the hackers break in? The Government Accountability Office, the investigative arm of Congress, confirmed that a server hosting Equifax's online dispute portal was running software with a known … [Read more...] about Equifax data breach was a year ago – what has DC done about it?
Susan Tompor Detroit Free Press Published 10:00 p.m. UTC Sep 6, 2018 Just one year ago, consumers woke up and discovered that hackers had one heck of a field day with their Social Security numbers and other information in a massive data breach at Equifax. Equifax's screw-up would forever leave millions just that much more vulnerable to ID theft. Face it, it's not like you can change the locks on the side door. Once hacked, your Social Security number is out there indefinitely. Beginning Sept. 21, though, a new federal law will help consumers stop intruders in their tracks. The three big credit reporting agencies — Equifax, Experian and TransUnion — will be required to offer you a credit freeze, free of charge. Such a freeze will restrict access to your credit file and help stop crooks from opening credit cards in your name. Also starting Sept. 21, parents across the country will be able to get a free credit freeze for children under … [Read more...] about Credit freeze: A misunderstood freebie that you actually want
By Katherine Feser Published 1:49 pm CDT, Tuesday, August 28, 2018 Residential values in Houston, Dallas, Austin and San Antonio total $1.38 trillion, according to LendingTree. San Francisco has a value of $1.249 trillion. Click through the slides to see the most valuable markets. less Residential values in Houston, Dallas, Austin and San Antonio total $1.38 trillion, according to LendingTree. San Francisco has a value of $1.249 trillion. Click through the slides to see the most valuable ... more Photo: Gavin Hellier / Robertharding/Getty Images/Robert Harding World Imagery No. 1: New York Total Residential Real Estate Value: $2.549 trillion Median Home Value: $454,000 Country Equivalent: France Source: LendingTree No. 1: New York Total Residential Real Estate Value: $2.549 trillion Median Home Value: $454,000 Country Equivalent: France Source: LendingTree … [Read more...] about Where does Houston rank among the most valuable U.S. cities?
Susan Tompor Detroit Free Press Published 2:42 p.m. UTC Aug 10, 2018 Going out to buy a new or used car later this summer? Ever imagine that you might want to refinance that car loan soon after you buy a car? Most of us only think about refinancing when it comes to a mortgage. But credit unions and banks will give you a chance for a re-do on a car loan, too. Maybe, you didn't shop around for a car loan — as you should — before you headed to the car lot. Maybe, your credit isn't great and you're stuck with a double-digit rate on a car loan and wondering if, somehow you'd be able to save some money. Maybe, you're kicking yourself now and wondering why you didn't take a second look car loan rates on your own before agreeing to a loan at the dealership. On average, consumers saved $52 a month by refinancing car loans when they wanted to reduce their payments, according to a TransUnion study of 1.5 million refinanced car loans in 2013 and 2014. On … [Read more...] about Refinancing your car loan could save you this much money a month