May 30, 2016 |
When weighing whether to take out a home equity conversion mortgage (HECM), the reverse mortgage offered through the Federal Housing Administration, there are three key decisions to consider. The first applies to the draw options - the combination of up-front cash, monthly payment, and credit line that best meets the borrower's needs. Though this is the least challenging of the three decisions - I have addressed it before and won't go into it here, because most borrowers understand their needs better than anyone else - this decision may influence the two others.
November 4, 2015 |
Two weeks ago, the School Reform Commission warned that without a state budget it would be forced to borrow hundreds of millions of dollars just to keep schools open through the end of December. On Monday, it did just that, authorizing the borrowing of $250 million and shifting $40 million from its capital funds to pay for everyday costs. In all, if the Philadelphia School District needs to use all of the funds now allowed, the state budget stalemate will cost the district $2.5 million in interest and fees.
October 23, 2015 |
THE PHILADELPHIA School District will be forced to borrow millions of dollars to meet payroll through the end of the year because of the state budget impasse, officials said yesterday. With no end in sight to the stalemate between Gov. Wolf and Republican lawmakers in Harrisburg, the cash-strapped district - by far Pennsylvania's largest - is seeking a short-term loan to pay administrators, teachers and staff through December, according to spokesman Fernando Gallard. The size of the loan is unclear, Gallard said, as the district is still negotiating with lenders to determine its capacity to borrow.
October 23, 2015 |
Close to broke, the Philadelphia School District will soon have to borrow money to make payroll through the end of the year, officials confirmed Wednesday. The School Reform Commission is to meet in coming days to authorize temporary borrowing that will allow the district to function until a state budget stalemate is resolved. Superintendent William R. Hite Jr. said that if there was no Pennsylvania budget by the end of the calendar year, he could not keep schools open even with the temporary borrowing.
August 15, 2015 |
We hear so much about the uneasy relationship across the Israeli-Palestinian divide that we tend to forget that fully 20 percent of Israeli citizens are Arab. What does it mean to be an Israeli Arab (or Arab Israeli)? Is that an identity - or a recipe for inner discord? These are just some of the tantalizing questions raised in the Israeli import A Borrowed Identity , an extraordinary coming-of-age story about Eyad, a Palestinian boy from a small village who grows up to become a cosmopolitan Israeli.
July 29, 2015 |
Financial decisions can have consequences that outlive the people who make them. In the case of three women, two in South Philadelphia and one in Delaware County, the decision to take out a reverse mortgage - a special kind of loan that allows borrowers 62 and older to convert a portion of their home's equity into cash - has made their lives a nightmare. All three were younger than their spouses and not yet 62, which meant they did not qualify for these mortgages and could not be co-borrowers.
June 21, 2015 |
Based on what readers have been telling me since 2009, the federal government's Making Home Affordable Program - better known by the acronyms HAMP and HARP - hasn't been all it could be. In HAMP, qualified borrowers seek to have their mortgage payments modified so they can afford them. HARP does the same thing through refinancing qualified loans. It has been a while since I wrote about these programs, unveiled in February 2009 by the Obama administration in an attempt to keep millions of borrowers from losing their homes through foreclosure.
June 17, 2015
AS CLERGY, our lives revolve around the religious calendars. For our Jewish brothers and sisters, September's Yom Kippur is a time of quiet reflection and atonement, followed by the celebration of Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish New Year. Christians follow the familiar rhythms of the liturgical calendar, celebrating Christmas every December and Easter every spring. And nearly every spring for the last three years, clergy from across Pennsylvania sent urgent pleas to Harrisburg to stop predatory payday lenders who are seeking permission to charge usurious, triple-digit interest rates in the Keystone State.
May 17, 2015 |
Question: Lenders made bad loans during the years prior to the financial crisis because the loans could be sold as securities to unwary investors. Would most mortgage borrowers be better off if there were no secondary market in which to sell mortgages? Answer: Some might, but most would not. Largely because of secondary markets, a knowledgeable and creditworthy home buyer in the United States pays a rate only modestly higher than that charged to the U.S. government. The rate spread between home mortgages and government bonds is lower in the U.S. than anywhere else in the world, with the possible exception of the U.K. and Denmark, which also have secondary mortgage markets.
March 22, 2015 |
Borgata Hotel Casino & Spa sued Friday to block Atlantic City from borrowing $43 million in the bond market to repay a state loan due March 31. The lawsuit, filed in Superior Court in Atlantic County, claims that the borrowing plan, endorsed by Atlantic City Council on March 4, violates a September ordinance allowing the city to borrow up to $140 million to pay property-tax refunds, such as $88.25 million owed to Borgata. The Borgata lawsuit came just days before the city's emergency manager, appointed Jan. 22 by Gov. Christie, is expected to issue recommendations on stabilizing Atlantic City's finances, and it sets up a three-way fight among the state, the city, and Borgata, Atlantic City's most successful casino.