Category: Insurance

7 Jan 2011

New Years Resolutions: Sticking to Them?

Admit it.  Every year we make promises to ourselves to change for the next year. We vow to make our lives better, our body healthier, and ourselves happier.  Sometimes we succeed, and sometimes we don’t —– things can often be so much easier said than done!

This year, make an easy New Year’s resolution.  Commit to getting an insurance physical!

An insurance physical is just as important as our yearly health physical—except the preventative measures protect us from FINANCIAL hardship.

9 Dec 2010

Mortgage-Interest Deduction is Safe Once Again!

A Congressional committee was recently tasked with developing ways to lower our National deficit. Similar to past actions, the proposal was to cut significantly into the mortgage-interest deduction in order to free up revenue that could help bring down the deficit. Many in Washington see mortgage-interest deduction as “low hanging fruit.”

The good news is that once again that proposal has been rejected. Your Realtors® nationwide have been diligent in fighting this on behalf of all homeowners in America. I will tell you however that this is mostly not a dead issue and will come back once again.

Let’s be really honest here, you and I as home buyers and homeowners view the mortgage-interest deduction as a big incentive for owning a home. Each year, we are able to deduct our mortgage interest from our income tax bill. It is the single largest subsidy for housing in the U.S., and is projected by some to reduce tax revenue by $131 billion in 2012.

3 Dec 2010

Time for the Holidays: Are You Insured?

It’s Party Time!  Am I covered?

The holiday season is usually filled with plenty of events to fill up your calendar and sometimes, you are the host or hostess!

It may sound silly but before you have a party or gathering at your home, check with your agent to be sure that you have the proper coverage on your insurance policy.

A homeowners insurance policy can include personal liability coverage, and most offer up to $500,000 or $1,000,000 in coverage.  It’s important that you make sure that this coverage is in place prior to having a party or holiday gathering at your home. In case something happens or someone gets hurt while they are there, it’s better to be safe than sorry!

3 Nov 2010

Teenage Drivers and Insurance

Is there any way to lower the cost of insurance for my teenager?

Let me tell you.  I’ve been there.  I have two adult children now, but I remember the insurance impact of their driving like it was yesterday!  After getting the quotes, I thought I was having a heart attack.

Luckily, I wasn’t…..but that didn’t help ease the financial stress that having a teen driver on the road imposed on us.

19 Oct 2010

Robo-Signing and the Foreclosure Scandal

Robo-signing is a new word coming from the Foreclosure Scandal that has found its way into our everyday lives. So, what does robo-signing mean exactly?

Upon initial review of the information robo-signing looked to be a result of the huge number of foreclosure documents that needed to be approved and signed off on.  What I believe is that many people thought these were qualified individuals who were overwhelmed with the amount of paperwork they needed to complete to have a foreclosure proceeding move forward. 

Now, in some recent developments, it seems as though another component of robo-signing took place.  As the servicers of the lenders tried to keep up with the paperwork they started to hire employees who did not have the correct mortgage background.  How can someone who does not have an understanding of basic mortgage terms and practices be expected to appropriately review foreclosure documents?

11 Oct 2010

A Halt In Foreclosures – How Will it Affect You?

Everyone heard the headlines last week concerning the issues that many of the large banks, including Bank of America, JP Morgan Chase and GMAC, have had with their foreclosure processes. Today that news continues.  It seems that in light of all the Government programs designed to help consumers that have issues with paying their mortgages some of these banks have not followed the steps required during the foreclosure process.

The question, or questions, on everyone’s mind are: What does this mean to me? Will it affect me? Well certain states, including North and South Carolina, have required that these Banks stop their current foreclosure proceedings until which time they can determine that they are following correct procedures.  We have also heard that some of the Banks, like Bank of America, have voluntarily stopped all foreclosure proceedings until they ensure they are following correct procedures.

By halting foreclosure proceedings, many believe that customers who are behind on their mortgage payments will be able to stay in their homes for a much longer time frame.  They may also find that their lender will make it easier to complete modifications as well.

7 Oct 2010

Condo v. Townhouse: What’s the Difference?

So often we are asked the question—is there really a difference between a town home and a condo?

The answer, especially when it comes to insurance, is YES!

A town home is typically a residence that is attached to other residences, but the buyer owns the land on which it is built.

A condo is often more like an apartment, in a building of many other residences, but the buyer does not own any of the land the condo is built on.

28 Sep 2010

What is a 4506 Tax Form?

Most every borrower will now be required to complete and sign the Tax Transcript form(4506) when they apply for a mortgage loan.  While this requirement is not a new one, borrowers should be made aware that this form will now be sent to the IRS during your application process.

The Tax Transcript form, which checks the past two years of federal tax returns, verifies to the lender that the income given to them is accurate. The IRS then confirms the information or alerts the lender to a discrepancy.  In the case of a discrepancy, the lender is given copies of the Taxes on file with the IRS.

For the borrower who is honest and submits accurate tax returns to the lender, this process should not be an issue or cause for concern.  It does have implications however, for those who submit false tax returns.

22 Sep 2010

Your New Home- Are You Protected?

The process of buying a new home is an exciting and daunting one. It can be easy to get caught up in the whirlwind of it all, especially when purchasing your new insurance coverage.  You may want to stop and think about a few things before diving in.

Your furniture, while in transit to your new home, will NOT be covered by your new home coverage.   Be sure to discuss this with your current agent.  Your moving company may provide some coverage but it will not be as broad as what can be provided under your homeowners insurance.    Can you imagine if something happens to your mother’s china and you had no coverage for breakage?   What if your antique desk was destroyed?

1 Sep 2010

Hurricane Earl and the Insurance Industry

As the fifth anniversary of Hurricane Katrina passes this week, and with Hurricane Earl on the horizon for the Carolinas, now is the perfect time to address how an impending hurricane or storm can affect insurance coverage for customers who are planning on closing on a home.

As soon as a storm is “named,” insurance companies reserve the right to temporarily revoke binding authority for the agents who sell their products and coverages until the danger of the storm has passed.  After the storm leaves the area of concern, the insurance companies reinstate their agent’s ability to offer and sell insurance.

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