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Local Address: April 12, 2009 - April 18, 2009

Vacation Homes And the Weekend Poll

I've been thinking about second homes for years now, and there have always been two things keeping me from jumping on one. First, of course is the money. But a close second is traffic.

By Elizabeth Razzi  |  April 17, 2009; 6:00 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (1)
Categories:  Buying , Poll , The market  | Tags: Weekend Poll, buying, investment, second home, traffic, vacation, vacation home  
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Long & Foster Adds Job-Loss Protection

Long & Foster Realtors is trying to coax the employed-but-worried into the market with a new job-loss protection program. Agents throughout the company are just getting training on the new "Buy Confident" program, which will be rolled out shortly through all of Long & Foster's offices in the mid-Atlantic. Some new-home builders have started offering such protection on their sales, but it's rare for the coverage to be offered on resales marketed through a giant brokerage such as Long & Foster.

By Elizabeth Razzi  |  April 16, 2009; 6:00 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (7)
Categories:  Buying , Mortgages , Selling , The market  | Tags: employment, home buyers, home buying, home sellers, job loss, mortgage, selling  
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Update: More Guilty Pleas in Mortgage Scheme

Michael K. Lewis, 57, and Earnest Lewis, 52, both of Takoma Park, have pleaded guilty to charges associated with a foreclosure-prevention scheme marketed through television ads, according to an announcement from Rod J. Rosenstein, U.S. Attorney for the District of Maryland. As reported in my earlier posting, Cheryl Brooke, 52, of Upper Marlboro, and Winston Thomas, 43, of New Carrollton, pleaded guilty this week to charges associated with the same foreclosure-prevention plan.

By Elizabeth Razzi  |  April 15, 2009; 5:45 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Tags: equity, foreclosure, foreclosure-avoidance, fraud, homeowners  
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Guilty Pleas in Foreclosure-Avoidance Scheme

If anyone doubts there are "smooth-talking con artists who take advantage of people who fall behind on their mortgage payments," to quote Rod J. Rosenstein, U.S. Attorney for the District of Maryland, consider the story of two locals who appear to have prison sentences of up to 20 years in their futures--and that's on just one of the charges. They also agreed to forfeit more than $2.2 million in proceeds from criminal activity. Yesterday Cheryl Brooke, 52, of Upper Marlboro and Winston Thomas, 43, of New Carrollton, pleaded guilty to participating in a foreclosure-avoidance scheme that defrauded homeowners and mortgage lenders, according to an announcement from Rosenstein's office.

By Elizabeth Razzi  |  April 15, 2009; 6:00 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Foreclosure , Mortgages  | Tags: bankruptcy, equity, foreclosure, foreclosure-avoidance, fraud  
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Book Review: Reduce Debt, Reduce Stress

I'm happy to recommend a new book full of detailed advice on solving credit problems, Reduce Debt, Reduce Stress: Real Life Solutions for Solving Your Debt Crisis, by Gerri Detweiler, Marc Eisenson and Nancy Castleman.

By Elizabeth Razzi  |  April 14, 2009; 6:00 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (1)
Categories:  Book review , Foreclosure , Loan modifications , Mortgages  | Tags: credit, credit cards, credit repair, debt, debt consolidation, foreclosure, mortgage  
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Complete this Sentence Game, Realtor Edition

Today's question is not whether it's a good time to buy a home. Real estate agents spout the line so consistently, it's become kinda funny. Instead we have little game of Complete this Sentence: It's a great time to buy a home because...........

By Elizabeth Razzi  |  April 13, 2009; 6:00 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (6)
Categories:  Buying , The market  | Tags: Realtor, great time to buy a home, housing market, real estate  
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