December 21, 2015 | By Alan J. Heavens, Inquirer Real Estate Writer
As with so many things, it all depends on whom you ask. The National Association of Realtors says the number of first-time buyers in the U.S. market declined a full percentage point between July 2014 and June 2015. In its annual "Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers," the Realtors' group places the blame on prospective home buyers' continued difficulty in obtaining mortgages. The Realtors' call for looser lending standards is nothing new. It echoes the National Association of Home Builders' complaint that tight credit is keeping construction at very low levels.
December 12, 2015 | By Marc Narducci, Inquirer Staff Writer
Earnie Stewart has recently started in his position as sporting director of the Union, and since the Major League Soccer offseason is so short, he has hit the ground running. The Union made a few trades this week and are also preparing for the Jan. 14 MLS SuperDraft, in which they will be selecting third and sixth overall in the first round. "There aren't enough hours in the day," Stewart said at an introductory news conference at Talen Energy Stadium (formerly PPL Park). The Union went 10-17-7 and missed the playoffs for the fifth time in their six seasons.
December 7, 2015 | By Anna Maria DiDio, For The Inquirer
What could you do with $217? It is certainly not an insignificant amount of money, but would it change your life? That's what I intended to find out during my trip to the Dominican Republic with Women International Leaders (WIL) of Greater Philadelphia. WIL members contribute time, knowledge, and money to raise women's economic and social status, promote self-determination, and help them become community leaders. Early in the week, we toured the lush region of Monte Plata, the future site of Schools for Sustainability, which will teach and model green technology.
December 5, 2015 | By Diane Mastrull, Inquirer Staff Writer
Since its launch last December,, the crowdfunded small-business, no-interest lending program, has funded 57 loans totaling $261,000. Fund-raising is underway for an additional eight loans totaling $40,000, said Kiva spokesman Jason Riggs. Of the Philadelphia businesses that have received funding, 59 percent are owned by ethnic minorities, Riggs said. To qualify, small businesses create a profile at, where they outline their business plans and crowdfunding loan goals.
November 29, 2015 | By Jan Hefler, Inquirer Staff Writer
Habitat for Humanity of Burlington County has received a low-interest $420,000 loan from the New Jersey Economic Development Authority to purchase the building that houses its administrative offices and its ReStore center in Maple Shade. EDA chief executive officer Melissa Orsen held a press event at the center this week to raise awareness of the financing that the EDA offers to small businesses and nonprofits. "Organizations like Habitat for Humanity serve a dual purpose in our state's economy," Orsen said in a statement.
November 5, 2015 | By Jacob Adelman, Inquirer Staff Writer
An investment fund operated by New York's Square Mile Capital Management has originated a $26.8 million mortgage loan for the Penrose Plaza shopping center in Southwest Philadelphia, the company said in a release on Tuesday. Square Mile Capital Partners is funding the center's recent acquisition and planned capital expenditures by a joint venture of Onyx Properties, Abrams Realty & Development, and Siguler Guff. The 261,000-square-foot property at 2900-3000 Island Ave. is anchored by a ShopRite supermarket.
November 3, 2015 | By Susan Snyder and Jonathan Lai, Inquirer Staff Writers
Abigail Anderson had it all figured: With multiple loans, a work-study job and scholarships, she could pay for Immaculata University for all four years. Not anymore. Anderson, a freshman majoring in fashion merchandising, found out recently that after this year she will lose her federal Perkins loan, which amounts to almost $2,000. "It changes everything," said the Magnolia, Del., native, who will have to look for other scholarships, or turn to her parents, whom she said can't afford it. "Every little amount counts.
October 22, 2015 | By Jeremy Roebuck, Inquirer Staff Writer
Words such as silly and facade were deployed Tuesday by prosecutors and their witnesses as they continued to sketch the business portfolio of Chaka "Chip" Fattah Jr. But for Matthew Amato - Fattah's onetime business partner and former roommate at Drexel University - one word was enough to sum up his experience working closely with the son of a longtime Democratic congressman: ridiculous. "It was all from our minds - made up," Amato testified Tuesday, the third day of Fattah's federal bank- and tax-fraud trial.
October 2, 2015
IF YOU LEAVE college with student loans, there's a good chance you'll end up feeling that your education wasn't worth the liabilities you'll have to carry. Gallup recently teamed up with Purdue University and the Lumina Foundation to conduct a national poll of more than 30,000 college graduates. The study, called the Gallup-Purdue Index, or GPI, found some not-so-surprising results along with a few depressing revelations. Among participants who graduated between 2006 and 2015, 63 percent borrowed to help pay for college.
September 25, 2015
D EAR ABBY: Your advice to "Poor Birth Mother in Georgia" - "Because the college-loan agreement with your daughter was verbal and wasn't put in writing, you don't have a legal means to force her to assume the loan payments" - was wrong! Verbal agreements are enforced if they can be proven to be true. Even if the daughter didn't promise to make the payments, she may be held liable for them because money provided for the benefit of another gives rise to an implied and enforceable obligation to repay it. If the statute of limitations has not run out, I think she's got a pretty good case.
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