December 11, 2014 |
Responding to housing-industry concerns that tightened mortgage-credit rules would hamstring the critical first-time-buyer market, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac will offer 3 percent down-payment loans to qualified borrowers. Fannie's My Community Mortgage program, open to first-time buyers with a 620 minimum credit score, starts this week. Freddie's Home Possible Advantage, available to all qualified buyers, begins in March. Andrew Bon Salle, a Fannie Mae executive vice president, said his program's goal was to help qualified borrowers gain access to mortgages, but added that it would not "solve all of the challenges around access to credit.
December 4, 2014 |
When Carl Lewis needed a refrigerated dessert display case for his 48th Street Grille in West Philadelphia, he applied for a $5,000 zero-interest loan from crowdfunding website Kiva.org. "I envisioned opening this restaurant. I applied to several banks for a loan, and they all turned me down," said Lewis, whose Kiva Zip loan was underwritten by 185 lenders as far away as Sweden and Australia. The money-raising initiative will now be available to more small-business owners and aspiring entrepreneurs with the launch of Kiva City Philadelphia on Tuesday.
November 11, 2014 |
THERE ARE SOME things you want to run long. I like two-week vacations so I can have time to wind down. A week is just not enough. If you're an investor, the best thing going is that you have a long time to let your money work for you. But the one thing you don't want to be too long is your auto loan. An increasing percentage of car buyers are opting to stretch their monthly car payments far longer than the traditional four-year loan. Edmunds.com noted that in October, the average new car loan was 67 months, making it the second-highest average term on record.
October 17, 2014
WHEN LAST WE heard from Hohenadel Brewery, the 19th-century East Falls landmark was wincing under the weight of a wrecking ball. It was 1997. Just one look at the stubborn but crumbling brick structure at Conrad Street and Indian Queen Lane told you it was time to pull the plug. The brewery that once proclaimed its "Well Earned Supremacy" could only sigh as it joined the likes of Gretz and Esslinger and Erlanger in the great Philadelphia pile of brewery dust. Indian Queen Ale . . . Rival Porter . . . Trilby Export - the brands that Hohenadel brewed till it closed in 1952 were gone and mostly forgotten.
October 16, 2014 |
WASHINGTON - Rep. Chaka Fattah's new chief of staff comes from a familiar place. He is the former chief operating officer of a nonprofit that Fattah founded - and that federal prosecutors say was at the center of a scheme to help the congressman repay an illegal campaign loan. Fattah, a Philadelphia Democrat, said he hired Roger Jackson, whom he has known for close to 30 years, because he was "a great guy who has done extraordinary work for a number of organizations. " Among the groups Jackson has played a top role in was the Educational Advancement Alliance, a charity Fattah created to help boost educational opportunities among people in need.
October 9, 2014 |
A Philadelphia loan broker responsible for lining up funding for some of Center City's most high-profile recent developments was sentenced Tuesday to 16 years in prison for his role in a $26 million fraud that bilked nearly 2,000 hopeful entrepreneurs out of money they gave him to secure small-business financing. As part of an agreement with prosecutors, Matthew McManus, a former co-owner of Remington Financial Group, agreed to pay back $17.7 million to his victims. He said Tuesday that he was "truly and painstakingly sorry" for his crimes - an admission that left U.S. District Judge William H. Yohn Jr. puzzled.
September 30, 2014 |
In a modest Northeast Philadelphia house, Masha Lipkovsky, an immigrant from Ukraine, thinks big - in terms of tiers, pounds of butter and flour, and elaborate decorative finishes involving rhinestones, wings, and even a teapot made of sugar. To say that Lipkovsky bakes cakes would grossly understate an artistic prowess behind an award-winning six-tier stunner inspired by the wedding dress of Katniss Everdeen in Hunger Games: Catching Fire , and an Alice in Wonderland creation that weighed more than 80 pounds and took three people to carry.
September 29, 2014 |
He can afford to hire salespeople. But Jack Dorsey , who owns a billion dollars' worth of stock in the last company he started, Twitter Inc. , plus another billion in his current company, the smartphone-based payment system Square Inc. , was in Center City last week doing the job himself. The soft-spoken, self-taught programmer, 37, recalled two months he spent in Philadelphia, between dropping out of colleges elsewhere, as a contract coder for medical-device companies.
September 24, 2014
YOU'RE 62 or older, and life has derailed your plans. You didn't save nearly as much as you wanted to retire - but you had to stop working because of health issues. You'll receive a Social Security benefit and a monthly pension. But there's a financial gap because of unexpected expenses. You need a new roof and other necessary home repairs. Then you see a late-night television commercial about something called a reverse mortgage. "You know some people have told me reverse mortgages sound too good to be true," the actor and former Sen. Fred Thompson says.
September 10, 2014 |
WASHINGTON - U.S. Rep. Chaka Fattah (D., Pa.) defended his accomplishments in Congress Monday and said he had not done anything illegal, though he declined to address the actions attributed to him in a top political aide's guilty-plea deal over misusing federal funds. Instead, Fattah said he would focus on the positive work he was doing - including helping millions of students prepare for college and providing billions of dollars in foreclosure relief - and argued that news media should do more of the same.