Ilyce Glink Show Notes

Credit card rules, mortgage interest rates fall to record lows again, more retirement savers tap 401(k) for loans and hardship withdrawals, 8 more banks fail.

This week financial news:

New credit card rules go into effect today, Sunday August 22, 2010.

*Here are some of the highlights: *

  1. Fees for late payments and other “transgressions” will be capped at the amount of the violation up to $25. Banks who want to impose higher fees will have to provide some sort of explanation.

  2. Banks must review interest rate hikes every six months. If the factors that prompted the rake hike no longer apply, the bank must roll back at least some of the hike – just don’t expect your interest rate to fall back to where it was.

  3. Inactivity fees will be banned. But banks may step up the closure of what they call inactive accounts. So, make sure you use your account.

  4. Gifts cards issued after today (Aug 22, 2010) must have an expiration date at least 5 years into the future. But, this doesn’t apply to gift cards issued as part of a rewards or liability program.

Want more information? My friend, and fellow CBS blogger Kathy Kristof has been following the changes in the credit card rules on her “Devil in the Details” blog.. This link has details for gift cards.

Mortgage interest rates fell again to record lows, bringing a 30-year loan to 4.4 percent (or less) and I was able to get a 15-year loan quoted at 3.75 percent.

We had a number of questions from listeners who have FHA loans who want to refinance. One woman was quoted a fee of $10,000. REALLY!!! I thought mortgage lenders had already learned this lesson.

Try to get your lender to do an FHA streamline refinance. You can contact a HUD-certified housing counselor to chat about which lenders might be willing to assist you. If you don’t have an FHA loan, and you have equity in your home and a good credit score (above 760), you should be able to refinance at these insanely low rates.

Just imagine what would happen if everyone was able to refinance. Should the government do a massive refinance? It’s an idea being floated out there.

Fidelity Investment released a new study showing more retirement savers are tapping into their 401(k) either for a loan or hardship withdrawals, a record last matched 10 years ago.

According to Fidelity Investments latest study on 401(k) participant investing behavior, loan and hardship withdrawals are at their highest pace in 10 years, and are especially heavy among those between 35 and 55 years old.

“The majority of participants continue to make saving through their workplace plans a priority,” said James M. MacDonald, president, Workplace Investing, Fidelity Investments. “However, the current economy has forced some workers to borrow from their 401(k) accounts in order to pay for critical living expenses, ultimately jeopardizing their future retirement.”

The average 401(k) account balance as of the end of the second quarter was $61,800, up 15% from the same time last year, but down from the end of the first quarter of 2010. The average deferral rate, which refers to the percentage of a participant’s salary saved, held steady during the quarter at about 8% with one-in-three (32%) participants deferring at 10% or higher. Similar to the first quarter, more
participants increased their deferrals (5.3%) than decreased (2.9%) in the second quarter.

Here’s a link to the press release announcing the study results..

And, 8 more banks failed on Friday, including ShoreBank in Chicago.

Nearly 120 banks have failed in 2010, including the 8 banks that failed on Friday. The largest failure was ShoreBank, which had $2.16 billion in assets. But ShoreBank’s management team raised enough capital to buy all the assets and agreeing to share in 20 percent of the liabilities out of the failure, leaving the FDIC on the hook for the rest. The new bank will be called Urban Partnership Bank of Chicago. The FDIC said if it hadn’t received the offer from Urban Partnership Bank, it would have been on the hook for $700 million in losses. The FDIC estimates the total cost to the deposit insurance fund will be about $367.7 million, just for the ShoreBank’s losses.

Welcome to our new listeners at 95.5 FM NewsTalk WSB.

It’s going to take me a few shows to finally say it right (“Welcome to AM 750 and Now 95.5 FM Newstalk WSB), but I’ll get there. If you haven’t already signed up for our free weekly newsletter, it’s your roadmap to all of the free content, news, and information available from Just sign up on any page on our website.

How To Profit From Foreclosures and Other Real Estate Investments

On the flip side of the coin, for every house that goes into foreclosure, there’s a real estate investor waiting to scoop it up and turn it around for profit. That’s why we’re holding our next event, How to Profit from Foreclosures, this fall. Atlanta is one of the top cities for foreclosures in the nation, and prices are dropping. If you’ve ever thought about investing in real estate (single family homes, condos, townhomes, office buildings, strip centers, warehouses, etc.), now will probably be the best time in a generation.

Our How to Profit From Foreclosures event is designed to provide you with up-to-the-minute knowledge from the very best real estate investment professionals who do this every day for a living.

They’ll share their secrets, their tips, their insider information to help you make a smart investment decision. DON’T MISS THIS!

The ticket window is open. Just click on the Buy Tickets window and you’ll get to the right place. Use the “2for1” discount code for 50% off the ticket price.

We have some terrific people signed up as speakers and sponsors, including:

WSB’s Wes Moss

The Georgia Association of Enrolled Agents

Real Estate Attorney Eric Weiss

RE/MAX of Greater Atlanta

Top Atlanta Financial Planner Kay Shirley

…and others

We’ll be announcing new speakers and sponsors in the coming week. Check out the blog at to read Q&As with our speakers for this exciting event.

Come ready to learn about buying and profiting from foreclosures.

Our 2for1 (50% off) discount won’t be available for long!

Use the discount code 2for1 to get 50% off one ticket or 100 tickets!

The 2for1 discount will expire in the next two weeks. Don’t wait until the last minute to lock in your savings on a ticket to this terrific event.

Wondering if it’s worthwhile to attend the event? Wondering if you’ll get your money’s worth. Here’s what past attendees say about ThinkGlink/RealWorldSeminars events.

Free Books and Ebooks from THINKGLINK

Get your FREE copy of my books: 50 Simple Steps You Can Take To Disaster-Proof Your Finances and The REALLY Useful Guide to Working Smarter Not Harder

You pay the shipping, and we’ll send you as many copies of each book as you want. They’re a great gift! If you want to buy more than 20 copies, contact for a special deal on the shipping.

Buy 3 Get 1 Free EBOOK deal. You buy 3 ebooks at the store and receive 1 of those for FREE when you use the code freeebook

Buying a House? Pick up your copies of Ilyce’s books, 100 Questions Every First-Time Home Buyer Should Ask and Buy Close Move In!


The Equifax Personal Finance Blog looks at the five pillars of personal finance: Credit, tax, insurance, investing/retirement, and real estate. Follow us on Twitter or pull the RSS feed at the Equifax Personal Finance Blog into your Google reader.

This week on the Equifax Personal Finance Blog:

10 Golden Rules ALL Investors Should Follow

How To Save More Money At Home

New Tax Increase For Wealthy Americans: Will You Pay More?

Insuring A Vacant Home

This topic came up a couple of times with callers who have moved out of their primary residences but can’t sell them. If you don’t change your insurance, you could wind up without any coverage in the event of a catastrophe. Read Linda Rey’s story for more information.

Credit Report FAQs: What Do I Do When a Family Member Dies?

Bonus Material – My Podcast Interview with Jonathan Miller, Appraiser Extraordinaire

But we didn’t talk much about home values. Instead, we talk about content and how ThinkGlink is able to create valuable content for you and for businesses nationwide.

Tune in. It was a LOT of fun!

And check back with the blog for more great information.