Prosper Peer Lending is Back

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Prosper is back and open for business after being closed for 9 months.  They are approved in 14 states for lending and virtually all 50 states for borrowing.

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Starting today, Prosper is available to lenders in California, Colorado, Delaware, Georgia, Illinois, Minnesota, Montana, Nevada, New York, South Carolina, South Dakota, Utah, Wisconsin, and Wyoming. Borrowing is permitted in the District of Columbia and all states except Iowa, Kansas, Maine, and North Dakota.

2009 State Sales Tax Holiday Schedule

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Sales Tax brings a lot of revenue to the States but every Summer many States participate in the Sales Tax Holiday where they eliminate Sales Tax for certain items.  Usually items that are excluded are Clothing, Computers, School Supplies and Energy Star products.

The date to remember is August 7 -August 9 as majority of the States are having Sales Tax Holiday.  Though please check individually as some States start on July 31 while others start mid August 2009

Alabama Sales Tax Holiday 2009

August 7 – August 9, 2009
Covers: Clothing, Computers, School Supplies and Books
Website: http://www.ador.state.al.us/salestax/SalesTaxHol.htm

Connecticut Sales Tax Holiday 2009

August 16 – August 22, 2009
Covers: Clothing, Footwear
Website: http://www.ct.gov/

Washington DC Sales Tax Holiday 2009

August 1 – August 9, 2009
Covers: Clothing, School Supplies
Website: http://otr.cfo.dc.gov/otr/

Georgia Sales Tax Holiday 2009

July 30 – August 2, 2009
Covers: Clothing, School Supplies, Computer, Engergy and Water Efficient Products

Iowa Sales Tax Holiday 2009

August 7 – August 8, 2009
Covers: Clothing
Website: http://www.iowaccess.org/tax/

Louisiana Sales Tax Holiday 2009

August 7 – August 8, 2009
Covers: All Tangible Personal Property
Website: http://www.revenue.louisiana.gov/

Mississippi Sales Tax Holiday 2009

July 31 – August 1, 2009
Covers: Clothing, Footwear

Missouri Sales Tax Holiday 2009

August 7 – August 9, 2009
Covers: Clothing, Computers, School Supplies
Website: http://www.dor.mo.gov/tax/

New Mexico Sales Tax Holiday 2009

August 7 – August 9, 2009
Covers: Clothing, Computers, School Supplies
Website: http://www.state.nm.us/tax/

North Carolina Sales Tax Holiday 2009

August 7 – August 9, 2009
Covers: Clothing, Computers, School Supplies
Website: http://www.dornc.com/

Oklahoma Sales Tax Holiday 2009

August 7 – August 9, 2009
Covers: Clothing
Website: http://www.tax.ok.gov/

South Carolina Sales Tax Holiday 2009

August 7 – August 9, 2009
Covers: Clothing, Computers, School Supplies
Website: http://www.sctax.org/

Tennessee Sales Tax Holiday 2009

August 7 – August 9, 2009
Covers: Clothing, Computers, School Supplies
Website: http://tn.gov/revenue/

Texas Sales Tax Holiday 2009

August 21 – August 23, 2009
Covers: Clothing, Backpacks, School Supplies
Website: http://www.window.state.tx.us/

Virginia Sales Tax Holiday 2009

August 7 – August 9, 2009
Covers: Clothing, School Supplies
Website: http://www.tax.virginia.gov/

West Virgiina Sales Tax Holiday 2009

September 1 – November 1, 2009
Covers: Energy Star Products
Website: http://www.wvtax.gov/

Average Mortgage Rates for US Major Cities July 2009

Average Mortgage Rates for major US cities for July 2009.   Use the rate as an indication whether you’re getting a good mortgage rate.  The mortgage rate is as of July 2, 2009.

30 Year Fixed 15 Year Fixed 1 Year ARM
Metro Area Interest Rate Total Points Interest Rate Total Points Interest Rate Total Points
NW/National 5.81% 0.31 5.26% 0.27 4.83% 0.34
AZ/Phoenix 5.81% 0.70 5.09% 0.49 5.34% 1.22
CA/Los Angeles 5.90% 0.47 5.49% 0.51 5.88% 0.50
CA/San Francisco 5.93% 0.48 5.72% 0.24 5.00% 0.00
CO/Denver 6.01% 0.54 5.37% 0.46 3.88% 1.00
CT/Stamford 5.64% 0.11 5.09% 0.13 4.31% 0.50
DC/Washington DC 5.86% 0.28 5.47% 0.23 4.84% 0.50
FL/Miami 5.33% 0.00 4.90% 0.03 4.88% 0.00
FL/Orlando 5.61% 0.44 4.91% 0.25 5.13% 0.00
GA/Atlanta 5.76% 0.60 5.00% 0.51 4.75% 0.00
IL/Chicago 5.97% 0.24 5.46% 0.21 5.25% 0.00
MA/Boston 5.91% 0.08 5.40% 0.07 5.23% 0.00
MD/Baltimore 5.75% 0.21 5.10% 0.22 5.54% 1.25
MI/Detroit 6.00% 0.16 5.38% 0.27 5.00% 0.00
MN/Minneapolis 5.78% 0.65 5.12% 0.64 3.63% 1.00
NC/Raleigh-Durham 5.48% 0.75 4.78% 0.78 5.25% 0.00
NY/New York City 5.92% 0.31 5.43% 0.32 4.95% 0.53
OH/Cleveland 5.99% 0.18 5.35% 0.03 3.71% 0.00
PA/Philadelphia 5.79% 0.11 5.28% 0.16 5.02% 0.23
TX/Dallas-Ft Worth 6.14% 0.71 5.62% 0.53 5.00% 0.00
WA/Seattle 5.75% 0.53 5.29% 0.56 5.50% 1.00
NW/National FHA 5.50% 0.34 n/a% n/a 6.20% 1.55
Source: HSH

US Unemployment Rate for June 2009 9.5% – 26 Year High

US Dept of Labor just released their monthly unemployment report for June 2009 reached 9.5%.  As bad as it sounds, most economists expected higher rates in the future.  The unemployment report does not include people who gave up looking for jobs.  If laid-off workers or out-of-work workers were to be included, the actual unemployment rate would be a staggering 16.5% in June 2009.  In total 14.7 million people were unemployed in June.

june-2009-unemployment-rate

Warren Buffet Nets $1.68 Million for annual Ebay Charity Lunch

Warren Buffett’s annual charity auction of lunch closed on eBay at $1.68 Million on Friday.  This is the first time the actual winning price has gone down.  Last year, Zhao Danyang who runs the Pureheart China Growth Investment Fund paid $2.1 million for the winning lunch.

warren-buffett-ebay-lunch

The proceeds goes to Glide Foundation which offers services for the homeless and poor in San Francisco.

Five Banks Closed on Friday – Total of 45 Bank Failures

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FDIC announced another 5 bank failures on June 26, 2009.  Two banks were in Georgia, another two banks in California and one bank in Minnesota.  Only half way through the year, there is already 45 bank failures for 2009.

Bank Name FDIC Certificate # Closing Date
Mirae Bank, Los Angeles, CA 57332 June 26, 2009
Metro Pacific Bank, Irvine, CA 57893 June 26, 2009
Horizon Bank, Pine City, MN 9744 June 26, 2009
Neighborhood Community Bank, Newnan, GA 35285 June 26, 2009
Community Bank of West Georgia, Villa Rica, GA 57436 June 26, 2009

Complete listing of 2009 FDIC Bank Failures

Bank Name CERT # Closing Date Updated Date
Mirae Bank, Los Angeles, CA 57332 June 26, 2009 June 26, 2009
Metro Pacific Bank, Irvine, CA 57893 June 26, 2009 June 26, 2009
Horizon Bank, Pine City, MN 9744 June 26, 2009 June 26, 2009
Neighborhood Community Bank, Newnan, GA 35285 June 26, 2009 June 26, 2009
Community Bank of West Georgia, Villa Rica, GA 57436 June 26, 2009 June 26, 2009
First National Bank of Anthony, Anthony, KS 4614 June 19, 2009 June 23, 2009
Cooperative Bank, Wilmington, NC 27837 June 19, 2009 June 23, 2009
Southern Community Bank, Fayetteville, GA 35251 June 19, 2009 June 23, 2009
Bank of Lincolnwood, Lincolnwood, IL 17309 June 5, 2009 June 12, 2009
Citizens National Bank, Macomb, IL 5757 May 22, 2009 June 1, 2009
Strategic Capital Bank, Champaign, IL 35175 May 22, 2009 June 23, 2009
BankUnited, FSB, Coral Gables, FL 32247 May 21, 2009 June 8, 2009
Westsound Bank, Bremerton, WA 34843 May 8, 2009 May 12, 2009
America West Bank, Layton, UT 35461 May 1, 2009 May 18, 2009
Citizens Community Bank, Ridgewood, NJ 57563 May 1, 2009 May 7, 2009
Silverton Bank, N.A., Atlanta, GA 26535 May 1, 2009 May 7, 2009
First Bank of Idaho, Ketchum, ID 34396 April 24, 2009 May 18, 2009
First Bank of Beverly Hills, Calabasas, CA 32069 April 24, 2009 May 18, 2009
Michigan Heritage Bank, Farmington Hills, MI 34369 April 24, 2009 May 7, 2009
American Southern Bank, Kennesaw, GA 57943 April 24, 2009 May 7, 2009
Great Basin Bank of Nevada, Elko, NV 33824 April 17, 2009 May 18, 2009
American Sterling Bank, Sugar Creek, MO 8266 April 17, 2009 May 7, 2009
New Frontier Bank, Greeley, CO 34881 April 10, 2009 May 7, 2009
Cape Fear Bank, Wilmington, NC 34639 April 10, 2009 May 7, 2009
Omni National Bank, Atlanta, GA 22238 March 27, 2009 May 7, 2009
TeamBank, National Association, Paola, KS 4754 March 20, 2009 May 7, 2009
Colorado National Bank, Colorado Springs, CO 18896 March 20, 2009 May 7, 2009
FirstCity Bank, Stockbridge, GA 18243 March 20, 2009 May 7, 2009
Freedom Bank of Georgia, Commerce, GA 57558 March 6, 2009 May 7, 2009
Security Savings Bank, Henderson, NV 34820 February 27, 2009 May 7, 2009
Heritage Community Bank, Glenwood, IL 20078 February 27, 2009 May 7, 2009
Silver Falls Bank, Silverton, OR 35399 February 20, 2009 May 7, 2009
Pinnacle Bank of Oregon, Beaverton, OR 57342 February 13, 2009 May 7, 2009
Corn Belt Bank and Trust Company, Pittsfield, IL 16500 February 13, 2009 May 7, 2009
Riverside Bank of the Gulf Coast, Cape Coral, FL 34563 February 13, 2009 May 7, 2009
Sherman County Bank, Loup City, NE 5431 February 13, 2009 May 7, 2009
County Bank, Merced, CA 22574 February 6, 2009 May 7, 2009
Alliance Bank, Culver City, CA 23124 February 6, 2009 May 7, 2009
FirstBank Financial Services, McDonough, GA 57017 February 6, 2009 May 7, 2009
Ocala National Bank, Ocala, FL 26538 January 30, 2009 May 7, 2009
Suburban Federal Savings Bank, Crofton, MD 30763 January 30, 2009 May 7, 2009
MagnetBank, Salt Lake City, UT 58001 January 30, 2009 May 7, 2009
1st Centennial Bank, Redlands, CA 33025 January 23, 2009 May 1, 2009
Bank of Clark County, Vancouver, WA 34959 January 16, 2009 April 24, 2009
National Bank of Commerce, Berkeley, IL 19733 January 16, 2009 April 24, 2009

US Average Mortgage Rates for June 2009

The average mortgage rates for the top 10 US cities for June 2009.  There was a gigantic mortgage rate change compared to last month. 15 Year Mortgage rates increased by 30 basis point while the 30 Year Mortgage rates increased by 50 basis point. .  Last month, 15 Year Mortgage and 30 Year Mortgage in New York Metro were 4.74% and 5.17% respectively.  This month the rates have jumped to 5.03% and 5.80% respectively.

Average mortgage rates and points in the top 10 markets
Fixed 15-year Fixed 30-year 5-year ARM
Market Rate Points Rate Points Rate Points
New York Metro 5.03 0.20 5.80 0.19 5.73 0.39
Los Angeles 5.44 0.13 5.83 0.22 5.06 0.25
Chicago 5.16 0.13 5.72 0.31 5.48 0.64
San Francisco 5.10 0.17 5.61 0.41 4.66 0.34
Philadelphia 5.04 0.27 5.78 0.19 5.53 0.48
Detroit 5.00 0.33 5.49 0.34 5.40 0.26
Boston 4.86 0.20 5.43 0.20 4.99 0.06
Houston 5.45 0.91 6.11 0.92 5.13 0.83
Dallas 4.83 0.66 5.48 0.67 5.19 0.67
DC Metro 4.69 0.79 5.24 0.94 4.67 0.69
Brm National Index 5.06 0.38 5.65 0.44 5.20 0.44

Source: BankRate

Microsoft Money to be Discontinued

microsof-money

Microsoft will stop selling their money software, Microsoft Money, on June 30, 2009.  Most people will have to move to Intuit’s Quicken or some new online money management websites like mint.com.  Current Microsoft Money users will have until January 2011 where support ends to transfer data to new company.

Ally Bank lowers Savings Rate to 2.05% APY

ally-bank

Ally Bank lower their rates all across their products on the weekend.

Ally Bank lower their Online Savings Rate from 2.25% APY to 2.05% APY.  Ally Bank 9-month No-Penalty CD is now yielding 2.30% APY down from 2.50% APY. Other CD terms dropped at least 10 basis points.

Advanta Credit Card Closes

Advanta was supposed to close their credit cards for small business on June 10 but they send out letters and emails regarding their Credit Card accounts will be closed effective May 30, 2009.  Anybody who has Advanta business cards will not be able to their credit cards.

advanta-closes

New Credit Card Bill of Rights 2009 – Signed into Law

President Obama last week signed a bill that would create a new set of credit card laws that are aimed to help the consumers.  The new law will take go into effect on July 1, 2010.  Among the most sweeping changes are:

credit-card-rules

  1. No More Universal Default:  the practice of raising interest rates on customers based on their payment records with other nonrelated credit issuers such as utility companies and other creditors would end. 
  2. Limited Interest Rate Hikes
  3. More time to pay credit card statements: Credit card companies must give cardholders at least 21 days after the statements are mailed out.
  4. Limit on “Over-the-Limit” fees: Purchases over the credit card limit will be blocked preventing overdraft fees
  5. Highest Interest Balances are paid first: Payments above the minimum balance due goes to the highest interest balance first.  (eg. if  you $10,000 in 0% balance transfer and $2,000 in cash advance at 10%, the payment above the minimum balance will go to toward the higher interest item)
  6. Clearer due date and time: No early morning deadline or weekend/holiday due dates

FDIC Limit $250,000 Until 2013

President Obama, just signed, Helping Families Save Their Homes Act and the Fraud Enforcement and Recovery Act into law.  The law includes a provision that extends the FDIC Insurance Limit to $250,000 until year 2013.  

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BankUnited Fails – 34th Bank Failure in 2009

BankUnited FSB is the 34th federally insured institution to be closed this year, and the biggest failure this year. Florida’s largest banking institution with about $13 billion in assets as of May 2 was sold for $900 million to an investor group.  It is expected to cost FDIC $4.9 billion dollars.

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Bank of America Raising Bank Fees starting on June 1, 2009

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More bad news on the fees changed by banks.  Bank of America is set to increase  fee on ATM usuage and foreign transaction starting on June 1, 2009. If you’re looking to do a balance transfer with Bank of America, do it before June 1 as the finance fee will increase to 4%

 

Effective June 1, 2009, the transaction fee (FINANCE CHARGE) we asses on each of the transactions identified below will be equal to 4% of each such transaction (Fee: Min. $10):

• ATM Cash Advances
• Balance Transfers
• Cash Equivalents
• Check Cash Advances
• Direct Deposit Cash Advances
• Wire Transfer Purchases

Also the bank if expanding their Foreign Transaction Fee:

Amendment to Your Credit Card Agreement:
Effective on June 1, 2009 we are replacing the definition of “Foreign Transactions” in the section of your Agreement titled Words Used Often in this Agreement with the following:

• “Foreign Transaction” means any transaction made in a foreign currency, and any transaction made in U.S. dollars if the transaction is made or processed outside of the United States. Foreign transactions include, for example, online purchases from foreign merchants.

Ironically, Yesterday the Senate just passed the bill to limit amount of fees charged to cardholders.

New Credit Card Rules and Laws

On May 19, Senate passed sweeping credit card legislation that will affect every credit cardholder.  The Senate voted 90-5 in favor of new credit card measures.  President Obama is expected to sign the bill into law in stages.  

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  • Banks must wait until you’re 60 days late in making the minimum payment before applying a penalty interest rate to your existing debt
  • Card companies will have to give 45 days’ notice before raising their interest rates.
  • Banks must send out your bill no later than 21 days before the due date
  • Stopping purchases from spending over your credit limits
  • When you make a payment over the minimum balance, banks will have to apply it to the highest-interest debt first
  • If you’re a student, it will become harder to get a credit card. No one under 21 can have a card unless a parent, legal guardian or spouse is the primary cardholder.

Online Everbank increasing Fee on FreeNet Checking

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If you’re a Everbank customer you probably received their email today regarding fee changes affecting their FreeNet checking account.  Before the minimum balance needed for no monthly maintenance charge was $1,500.  Now they bump the minimum required amount to $5,000.  The new monthly fee will be between $4.95 to $8.95.  If your deposit is under $5,000 in Everbank maybe now is a good time to switch your online banking company.