Payday Loan Petition Initiative

An initiated petition regarding payday, title, consumer credit and installment loans have passed the circulation standards.

Robin Carnahan, the Secretary of State, shared the petition’s ballot title as follows:
Shall the law of Missouri be changed to put limitations to the yearly rates on interest, finance charges and fees for payday, title, consumer credit and installment loans and disallow lenders to utilize other transactions in order to avoid the cap in rates?

Entities of the state government could have a yearly revenue loss amounting to about $2.5 million to $3.5 million. These amounts can be partially offset by reducing expenditures for industry compliance monitoring. Entities of the local government could have a total lost profit associated with licenses and operating fees of businesses if the proposal leads to the closures of businesses.

The petition, which would change both chapters 367 and 408 of the Missouri Revised Statutes, was passed by Mr. James J. Bryan with the address of P.O. Box 154, Glasgow, MO 65254.

Before raising any statutory amendments to the voters in Missouri in the elections of November 2012, registered voters must sign. The number of voters should reach at least 5% of the total number of votes made in the governor’s election of 2008 coming from six out of the nine districts of Congress.

Signatures representing all the initiative petitions for the ballots in 2012 must be submitted to the office of the Secretary of State by 5 P.M of May 6, 2012.

Before moving around any petition, the law of the state requires that the petition’s form is approved by both the Attorney General and Secretary of State. A summary statement is then prepared by the State Secretary. The statement should contain up to a maximum of 100 words. After which, a fiscal impact statement is made by the State Auditor. Both summary and fiscal impact statements must be approved by the Attorney General. Once approval is given, they officially become the ballot title.

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Should I Refinance My Home Mortgage Loan?


Why is it Time to Refinance? Is it the best time to get a Mortgage Refinance?

Interest rates on mortgages have continuously declined to reach its lowest level in recorded history. This is a strong proof that it is already the best time for homeowners to consider refinancing in order to generate some savings.

The rate for a 30-year fixed mortgage was at an average of 4.39% during the end of the Aug 4 week. Similarly, the rate for a 15 year fixed mortgage decreased to 3.54% despite the reduction in bond yields and signs that show a weaker economic standing than what is expected said the Primary Mortgage Market Survey of Freddie Mac.

The president of Metropolitan Boston Real Estate, Nebury Street brokerage, said that this is good news because this will serve as a motivation for anyone who is considering refinancing knowing that the low rates won’t stay very long.

Here are the possible savings that homeowners can generate: for a mortgage of $250,000 with 5% interest, they could save about $160 monthly and $2,020 yearly if they refinance the loan for 4.39%. These savings provide a guaranteed cash in the bank during these present times when traditional savings account have nearly zero percent in returns and the gyrations in the stock market have exhausted the investment accounts.’s senior financial analyst Greg McBride said that anybody who decides to refinance at these very low rates are sure beneficiaries of the economic concerns and Wall Street challenges.
The three lenders listed in that offers 30 year fixed loans with less than 4.39% interest are at 4.19%, Loan Depot at 4.25% and American at 4.35%. All three are offered with zero points.

Albano said that even if the low rates are great news for most mortgage owners who pass the requirements of credit and equity to qualify for refinancing, potential buyers will still not leave the sidelines. He thinks that people who are observing the rates and decides that they are not ready to purchase at 4.5% will change their mind when the rates fall at 4.3%.

If you are looking to refinance your mortgage, then you may want to consider doing it soon. As you may know, last Friday, Standard and Poor’s downgraded US treasuries from AAA to AA+. This is the first time in history that the U.S. has had a downgrade.

Then, on Monday, Standard and Poors also downgraded Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. While it is unclear as to the final effects of the downgrade, many financial experts are prediciting that the cost of money will go up, effectively raising interest rates.

If this happens, it could be problematic for an already sluggish economy,a nd could further depress the already lagging housing market. Higher interest rates would effectively make home ownership more expensive.

As for those with bad credit or poor credit, these changes could put you completely out of the market. While the agencies push to regain their credit ratings, they may be forced to be even more conservative with lending practices, and that would make credit or loans for people with bad credit almost out of reach.

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Increases in Consumer Spending May Point to Better Economy

Increase in US Consumer Spending

Consumer borrowing in the United States had its highest increase in three years during the month of July. At the top of the list is the rise in non-revolving credit which consists of student loans.

According to the Federal Reserve, the increase in credit amounts to $12 billion after an amended rise of $11.3 billion in the month of June. In a Bloomberg news survey, economists predict a gain of $6 billion. The growth in the number of non-revolving loans was the highest since the month of November back in 2001.

There is a huge decline in revolving credit. This shows that Americans may not be purchasing non-essential materials because of the lack of consumer confidence as the rate of employment stays low and income growth continuously declines. Increase in job availability and income may be needed to push household spending as well as recovery.

The gain in July was the highest since April of 2008 according to the figures of the Fed. The approximation of 32 economists in the Bloomberg survey stated that the gains will be at $1 billion to $17 billion after reporting a previous increase to $15.5 billion in June. The report of the Fed does not include debts taken by real estate which comprise of lines of credit for residential mortgages and home equity.

Economic Outlook
Chief Rupkey, Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi UFJ Ltd.’s chief financial economist said that the consumer is trapped in the middle of a hard position which is not beneficial for the economic outlook. The total credit increase showed a non-seasonally adjusted rise of to $385.7 billion from $15.6 billion in the borrowing category of the federal government including school loans. The unadjusted figures also reflected minimal increases in non-revolving borrowing at finance companies, commercial banks and credit unions which may show an improvement in vehicle sales in this month.

Americans increased car purchasing in July. The sales in vehicles rose to 12.2 million yearly for that month from 11.41 million according to the data of the industry.

In the economic survey of the Fed’s Beige Book, the economy is growing at a slower pace in several regions because shoppers are limiting their spending and factories are restricting production.

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Interest Rates May Increase Affecting Mortgage Rates

Despite the struggle of European countries to control their debts, the European Central Bank increased their interest rate by 25%. This is for the purpose of fighting the escalating inflation. Many are questioning whether or not this will soon affect the United States.

If interest rates do go up, they may affect mortgage rates and any interest rates on loans. If interest rates do go up, then you may also see a negative effect on anyone who is trying to get loan approval with bad credit.

After Portugal requested for an international bailout, ECB increased its refinancing rate from 1% to 1.25%. This move shows the problem of the central bank to establish one monetary policy for a region consisting of 17 economies.

Portugal is joining Greece and Ireland in asking for a rescue package. Spain is facing challenges with a high unemployment rate of 20%. On the contrary, Germany is not feeling the struggle of the other countries because of their economic growth, strengthened exports and increasing employment rate.

According to ECB’s president Jean-Claude Trichet, controlling inflation is beneficial for all its member countries including those experiencing financial challenges. The bailout agreement requires that the struggling countries must fix their government funds and find ways to improve their economies.

The increase in interest rates is not final according to Trichet. Its further increase or decrease will be based on the inflation rate in order to stabilize price changes. ECB is worried that inflation rate may remain at its high level of 2.6%. This rate began in March and is far from the bank’s goal of a maximum of 2%. According to critics, increased inflation is caused by the rise in oil and food prices. These are factors that ECB’s policies cannot control because it is external to them. Trichet further added that the ECB is taking pre-cautionary measures to control the increasing prices from affecting wages and price increases.

ECB is tightening their monetary policies even if this puts more pressure on consumers struggling with mortgages in the collapsing real estate market. Many people tend to compare this with the U.S Federal Reserve’s policies and say that the U.S’ policies are more flexible. But, ECB is treading a different path than the U.S Federal Reserve. Unlike ECB, the U.S. Reserve has not yet shown any signs of increasing their rates from the current 0 to 0.25%.

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Three Simple Money Management Tips

A lot of people have made various attempts to fix their financial situation. However, majority of these people failed. This is because financial resolutions need a long-term behavioral change which is very difficult but not impossible to do. There are other things that can be done to fix one’s finances aside from saving and spending less. Here are three tips to try to be able to manage your money better.

First, obtain a free copy of your credit report. The legislation in 2003 entitles all Americans to an annual free copy of their credit report. Each of the three credit bureaus must provide this copy. It can be obtained via

Despite this privilege, survey shows that almost 2/3 of Americans do not order a copy of their report. Getting hold of one’s report is important because it allows you to understand your credit score. It also helps in identifying errors and disputing them so that changes can be made that will help you obtain loans and additional credit for purchasing your needs. Aside from this, credit ratings these days determine employment. If you are planning to apply for a job, you must know your credit standing to see if it will affect your job application.

Second, go through a medical exam. This is a preventive measure rather than a direct solution to a financial challenge. By going through a medical exam, health care expenses are significantly reduced. This is because minor health problems are addressed early on before the condition gets worse.

Finally, update your beneficiaries. Deaths are inevitable and there are plenty of cases wherein the insurance proceeds go to someone else. Sometimes, this is not the intention of the bereaved family member but since the update was not made prior to death, there is nothing he or she can do about it. Remember that the name indicated as the beneficiary will be the person who will be receiving the proceeds of the insurance.

This holds true even if the will of the dead family member states that it must go to his or her spouse or children. Updating of beneficiaries should be done every time a major life change such as marriage, divorce, child birth or spouse’ death occurs. Accounts that usually need beneficiary designations include the following: 401k, 403, 457 plans, retirement plans for the self-employed, individual retirement accounts or IRAs, credit union plans, disability and life insurance policies and annuities.

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