Administration Ups Pressure on Banks To Help Homeowners Help With Loan Modifications

The Obama Administration invited leading mortgage servicers and lenders to the Treasury Dept. this morning for an early meeting on ways they can improve the assistance they give borrowers. If they don’t do it, lenders may find themselves embarrassed publicly, penalized or sanctioned by the government.

Are you in Loan Modification Hell? Join The Club

Bank of America Will Clearly Spell Out Credit Card Terms

Bank of America is sending its credit card customers a one-page letter with a simple explanation of the interest rates and fees they’re being charged starting today. The letter is being sent to 40 million card holders. Acccording to Ric Struthers, president of global card services, the letters are intended to improve financial literacy, and provide simplicity and clarity for card holders.

Home Sales Rose Last Month To Highest Level in 2.5 Years. Will It Last?

Last week, the National Association of Realtors said that existing home sales rose 10.1 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 6.1 million in October, from a downwardly revised pace of 5.54 million in September. New home sales had dropped in September, but had started rising again in October.

What’s going on? In a word, it’s all about the $8,000 first-time home buyer tax credit and the $6,500 trade-up buyer tax credit.

These tax credits have been extended until June 30, 2010. So, home sales are rising. Will it last? We’ll have to see, but I’d say not until the jobs market improves.

Are You In Loan Modification Hell? Here’s How To Find The Company CEO

If you’re in loan modification hell, you need to write a letter to the CEO or president of your loan servicing company or mortgage lender. Write a letter like this one and send it to the CEO.

Here’s how to find the CEO of your mortgage lender:

Go to Yahoo Finance and click on the investing button at the top. When you get to the investing home page, find the search box and type in the name of the company in the “Get Quotes” search box.

On the left navigation (blue bar on the left side of the page) look for Company and then choose profile.

Under Profile will be the company headquarters. Middle of the page, on the right, will be Key Executives. You should address your letter to the President and CEO of the company.

Send your letter overnight, or some way you can get a return receipt. Let me know what happens.

New ThinkGlink Ebooks About Investing in Real Estate Are Now Available

We created five new ebooks that together provide you with more than 100 pages of important, money-saving information about investing successful in real estate. here are the five topics:

  1. 1031 Tax-Deferred Exchanges. Everything you need to know about 1031 Exchanges (also known as Starker Trusts) and how to use them to defer capital gains and recapture taxes.
  2. LLCs, Corporations, And Other Ways Of Holding Title To Real Estate. The time to start thinking about you’re going to hold title is BEFORE you buy an investment property. This ebook walks you through the different ownership options and what you need to know.
  3. How to Profit From Foreclosures: 9 Top Tips From Investors. Avoid the most common and most devastating mistakes real estate investors make by reading this ebook.
  4. Finding Great Tenants And Profitably Managing Real Estate Investments. If you don’t have good tenants, you’ll wind up with losing money with your real estate investment – or perhaps destroying your credit. This ebook tells you how to find great tenants, how to price your unit to rent, and how to manage your property effectively and efficiently.
  5. The Successful Real Estate Investors Guide: Top Tax Tips. Investing successfully means you’ve got to keep your expenses low. That means, watch what you pay in taxes. This book walks you through the major tax areas you’ll encounter with real estate investing.

We also have FREE BOOKS and other ebooks in the store.

You can get a FREE copy of my book 50 Simple Steps You Can Take to Disaster Proof Your Finances” or “The REALLY Useful Guide to Working Smarter Not Harder” at the store. You pay the shipping and we’ll send you any number of books for free!

Order Your ThinkGlink Ebook or Free Book Today!

Buy 3 Ebooks and Get 1 Free Ebook DEAL!

If you select 3 ebooks from our store and enter the discount code “freeebook” (no quotes), you’ll get one of those ebooks for free. It works with all of our ebooks. Just use the code to get the discount. It will show up when you check out of the ThinkGlink store.

Low Speed Vehicle Tax Credit Information

Here’s what we pulled off of the IRS website about the current Low Speed Vehicle Tax Credits that are currently available:

Plug-in Electric Drive Vehicle Credit (Section 1141): The new law modifies the credit for qualified plug-in electric drive vehicles purchased after Dec. 31, 2009. To qualify, vehicles must be newly purchased, have four or more wheels, have a gross vehicle weight rating of less than 14,000 pounds, and draw propulsion using a battery with at least four kilowatt hours that can be recharged from an external source of electricity. The minimum amount of the credit for qualified plug-in electric drive vehicles is $2,500 and the credit tops out at $7,500, depending on the battery capacity. The full amount of the credit will be reduced with respect to a manufacturer’s vehicles after the manufacturer has sold at least 200,000 vehicles.

Plug-In Electric Vehicle Credit (Section 1142): The new law also creates a special tax credit for two types of plug-in vehicles — certain low-speed electric vehicles and two- or three-wheeled vehicles. The amount of the credit is 10 percent of the cost of the vehicle, up to a maximum credit of $2,500 for purchases made after Feb. 17, 2009, and before Jan. 1, 2012. To qualify, a vehicle must be either a low speed vehicle propelled by an electric motor that draws electricity from a battery with a capacity of 4 kilowatt hours or more or be a two- or three-wheeled vehicle propelled by an electric motor that draws electricity from a battery with the capacity of 2.5 kilowatt hours. A taxpayer may not claim this credit if the plug-in electric drive vehicle credit is allowable.

Find out more at the website

Donating A Van

Wendy called the show today. She works for a company that adopts a family for the holiday every year. The daughter of the family her company adopted this year has had a severe brain injury and the family needs a van that can be retrofitted to accommodate her needs. Wendy wants to know if there is any company that might have access to low-cost vans or might be willing to donate the vehicle. Wendy’s company will pay for all the retrofitting.

If you know of a company that can help, please leave a comment here or email me at Thanks.

UPDATE: Here’s some additional information from Wendy:

This will follow up my call with Ilyce on Clark Howard’s show this afternoon. I asked if she had any recommendations to help a family we are sponsoring for Christmas; we are trying to get them a van. They are a family of 5. Their middle daughter suffered a brain injury earlier this year and they desperately need a retrofitted van to transport her. (The family has a blog chronicling their past 2 years, and I can forward that if you need it.) Their current van is on its last legs. They are swamped by medical bills and cannot afford to purchase one on their own. Our company can arrange for the retrofit, but we do not currently have a van. We appreciate the help.