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There’s Some Orange in Your Pocket – Capital One Gains Approval to Acquire ING Direct USA

This story didn’t make front page headlines in the financial media but behind the scenes, a battle took place with Capital One emerging as the winner.

Capital One, well known for their “what’s in your wallet” commercials agreed to purchase ING Direct USA for $9 billion paving the way for Capital One to become the 5th largest bank in the United States based on total deposits.

This acquisition faced tougher than expected scrutiny by Federal Regulators although they recently approved the deal.

By banking standards, this was not a large deal so why did it face such tough headwinds? Continue Reading

How to Deduct Your Moving Expenses

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According to the U.S. Census bureau, up to 40 million people move from their current residence each year.

That represents just over 14% of the population and as everybody knows, moving is expensive, stressful, and back breaking.

For those who are moving because of a new job, the IRS softens the blow by allowing a portion of those moving expenses to be deducted on your tax filing– but be careful.

In order to deduct your moving expenses, you have to pass two important IRS tests.
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Save on College Costs by Attending a College with Free Tuition

Attending a college without paying any tuition sounds too good to be true, but it is not

There are a handful of colleges that are tuition-free, but as you can guess, they are extremely competitive to get into.  If you would like to send your child to a tuition-free school, the early high school years are not too early to begin to prepare to apply for these schools.

Specialty Tuition-Free Colleges

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Alternatives to Foreclosure

If you are concerned that your home might become a foreclosure risk, you are probably casting about for other options.

Foreclosure can impact your credit score, and make it difficult for you to purchase a home in the future — at least for the next two to four years.

When you are trying to avoid foreclosure, you do have some options.

However, it’s important to realize that you will have to meet certain requirements in order to qualify for some of these options.  Additionally, some of your foreclosure alternatives will impact your credit score, even if it isn’t impacted as much as it would be with a foreclosure.

Here are some of your alternatives to foreclosure:

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Is a Used Car Really a Better Value?

We’ve heard it so many times.

As soon as you drive the car off the lot, it loses 25% of its value and why do you want to pay the depreciation costs?

If you purchase a used car, somebody else already paid the costs and you can get a better deal.

On the surface, the logic behind that makes a lot of sense but is it actually true that purchasing a used car is a better value than a new car?

First, let’s remember that getting the most value doesn’t necessarily mean paying the least.  Sometimes it works out that way but as we’ve all found in our day-to-day lives, buying the cheapest items may not save us money in the long run. Continue Reading

Mortgage Plan to Help Homeowners – $26 Billion Settlement with Big Banks

If you’re wondering when help will arrive for your underwater home, on February 9th, 2012, a giant step forward was taken on your behalf.

The Obama Administration announced a settlement with five of the largest banks, Bank of America, JPMorgan Chase, Wells Fargo, Citigroup and Ally Financial, and attorneys general in all states with the exception of Oklahoma.

The $26 billion foreclosure settlement brings to a close the litigation surrounding the use of robo-signing in the foreclosure process and may provide much needed relief for many of the nation’s underwater homeowners.

Background

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Cost Basis Reporting – How it Affects Your Taxes

When you sell an investment, your gains or losses depends on your cost basis.

If you sell for more than your cost, you end up owning capital gains taxes on the increase.  If you sell at a loss, you don’t have to pay taxes on the difference; instead, you might be able to claim a tax deduction for your investment loss.

What is Cost Basis?

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