Finance & Accounting

Half of Americans Don’t Make Regular 401(k) Contributions

April 18 — Despite the consistent advice of financial experts, 50 percent of 18- to 60-year-olds do not make regular contributions to a 401(k) account. In addition, the 2018 Financial Literacy and Lifestyle Survey from First National Bank of Omaha found that 75 percent of Americans do not have a monthly budget that they adhere to, and 46 percent falsely believe that checking their own credit hurts their credit score.


Credit Card Processing Fees

What banking executives need to know to generate income.

By Patrick O’Boyle, Michael Higgins and Steven Beene


Credit cards are a convenient and increasingly ubiquitous means of making payments. Today, credit card acceptance has passed far beyond the simple consumer purchase at a retail store or restaurant. In fact, credit card use has permeated almost every industry, with an estimated 30 million businesses accepting credit cards worldwide.


Housing: Then, Now … and Mortgages

By Kevin Doyle


Then: Ten years ago the U.S. housing boom was transitioning to a housing bust, thanks to the subprime mortgage meltdown that produced record foreclosures and a chaotic financial crisis. Lehman Brothers was forced into bankruptcy in 2008, while Countrywide Financial, Bear Sterns and Merrill Lynch were forced into emergency liquidations.  FNMA and FHLMC were placed in conservatorship and the troubled asset relief program (TARP) purchased $700 billion of toxic assets to strengthen the financial sector.  Millions of over-leveraged borrowers lost their homes, as housing prices tumbled more than 25 percent on average. Millions of equity investors lost half their holdings, as $10 trillion of market capitalization evaporated from global markets in a single month, October 2008.  Economic growth in the U.S. turned negative and unemployment spiked to 10 percent. The Great Recession lasted 17 months, officially ending in June 2009.


OCC Encourages Higher Loan-to-Value Lending for Distressed Communities

August 22 — The Office of the Comptroller of the Currency recently issued a bulletin providing guidance to spur community revitalization through prudent higher-loan-to-value mortgage lending in targeted areas. (more…)

Freddie Mac Rolls Out Automated Appraisals

August 21 – Freddie Mac is offering an automated appraisal alternative that it says can help consumers who are buying homes or refinancing existing mortgage loans. Borrowers may be able to save about $500, and closing times may be reduced by as many as seven to 10 days in cases where Freddie Mac’s innovative new capability determines a traditional appraisal isn’t needed. (more…)

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