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Bob and Maureen McDonnell, businessman bonded over financial needs ...
Bob and Maureen McDonnell, businessman bonded over financial needs ... Behind the scenes, Star Scientific desperately needed validation and trust in its new product line. And the McDonnells needed a financial patron, as they privately struggled with mounting debt and clung at times to a luxury life beyond the means of a

Voters tire of wait for Lucinda's new party
Support for the creation of a new political party has fallen dramatically – down 11 points – since the country exited the bailout programme, the latest Sunday Independent/Millward Brown opinion poll reveals.

Mortgage king Pero believes work ethic is key
Mortgage king Pero believes work ethic is key His mortgage broking and real estate businesses have made Mike Pero one of the most recognisable businessmen in the country. But his success has not changed his views on money and I started the mortgage business in 1990. It was a small one-man band

8 Reasons to Get Your Mortgage From a Banker
Have you ever wondered what the Building and Loan Bank in "It's a Wonderful Life" would be like in real life? Steve Habetz Jr., the Steve sent me some feedback on my article, "7 Reasons to Get Your Mortgage From a Broker," and suggested that since

Busted: Life Inside the Great Mortgage Meltdown

The fiasco that sank millions of Americans, including one journalist, who thought he knew better. A veteran New York Times economics reporter ...

Detroit property tax relief plan gets new life

An unprecedented property tax break that would forgive poor Detroit homeowners their past delinquent bills is getting new life after stalling in Lansing three years ago.

Today the city can't wipe away old property tax debt, even if the owner could have qualified for a little-known poverty exemption  that the state allows cities to grant on a yearly basis. 

Proponents say the law needs to change: The application process for the exemption was convoluted and inaccessible in Detroit, which at the same time was overtaxing owners with admittedly  inflated assessments . 

The move could help thousands who have been on repayment plans, paying for inflated property taxes that could have been exempted. 

"There is no way we should not be doing more to help," said Willie Donwell, who heads the Detroit board that decides who gets the exemption. "The homeowner who loses their house to tax foreclosure, what is the cost to the city? The city still loses the money and the city has a blighted property.

Why do we have a 30-year mortgage, anyway?

The average interest on a 30-year, fixed-rate mortgage rose just a hair this week, to 4.86 percent. That’s almost a full percentage point higher than this time last year, according to Freddie Mac. Higher interest rates are changing the home-buying equation as people weigh the costs of borrowing. In some markets, prices have even started to dip — sales, too . But one thing remains constant: The vast majority of new mortgages in this country are of the 30-year fixed variety. Ever wonder why?

“The 30-year term did not come down on a tablet, engraved, that says 30 years is the right number,” said Edward Pinto with the American Enterprise Institute’s Center on Housing Markets and Finance.

So much for the biblical explanation. The 30-year mortgage actually came about because of a housing crisis. Yeah, not that housing crisis. One in the last century. Back in the 1920s, said Cornell University historian Louis Hyman, a typical mortgage was for three to five years, with a variable interest rate, and payments covered only the interest.

Is it possible to move city, start afresh buy getting a new job, getting a mortgage and just building a life?

It's good that you have the spirirt, but if you have been sheltered, you were not given any favors by it. I was not sheltered and life is hard enough. Life is hard. You need to expect to fight respectfully for what you want in life.