Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Debt Help and Debt Solution

The Economy is in a bad place. This is the result of careless and irresponsible lending and borrowing.

The major banks and financial institutions are gasping for cash simillar to a smoker gasping for air. This cancer like smokers fit is causing financial ruin. The worst part of this idea is that it may only be half way through.

At the pit of this massive mess of financial hardship is the American consumer and the American dream. Both exist with the risk of becoming a history lesson.

Both businesses and consumers, are being bled to death through fees and hiked interest rates and at the same time there borrowing limits and lines of credit are being strangled and terminated left and right.

Is There Debt Solution for Those in Need of Debt Help?

The economy, the consumer, the banking system, the small, large, new, and old businesses as well as almost every industry are all in desperate need of debt solution.

What are Debt Solutions?

Debt Solutions are as the term implies a solution or "fix" to a "broken" or problematic debt scenario, agreement, or situation. For instance say a credit card consumer has lost a job and thus financed three months of living expenses on that shiny old master card and now this poor consumer who still has no job and now no credit left, has no money to make credit card payments. This consumer has just developed a debt problem via Credit Card Debt for both himself as well as the lender. Also created here is a need for debt help. The Consumer may seek out a debt settlement service or some similar form of debt help as a means to obtaining a favorable debt solution. At the same time Master Card or the bank lending the money may seek out the services of a debt collector.

There is some more that I would like to add about debt settlement, debt help, debt collections, creditors, and regulatory bodies such as the FTC.

Late summer of 2010 the FTC announced that they have created some new regulations and FTC debt settlement laws that will create some difficulity for existing debt settlement firms. They will no longer be able to collect upfront fee's and there are some other restrictions that they will have to take in to account. The real damage is done through the campaign the media has taken against the debt settlement companies that are for profit entities. There is some real wrong and manipulation being thrown at the American consumer who needs debt help. That link will go to a more recent post on this finance blog that goes into more detail. I encourage all to take a look.

Debt Solutions will play a big part in the economic recovery effort.

Basic Forms of Debt Solution
  • Debt Settlement
  • Debt Management
  • Debt Relief
  • Bankruptcy
  • Debt Collection
  • Debt Mitigation
  • Debt Resolution 
  • Loss Mitigation

Related Articles and Resources

Simple DIY Debt Management Plan 

How to Get a Mortgage Modification

Prioritize Bills and Debt - What to Pay First?

HAMP - The Basic Qualifications for the Obama Mortgage Assistance

Restructured Mortgage Agreements 3 Times More Likely to Reduce Principle

HAMP Modifications Drying Up

    Thursday, December 24, 2009

    Economic Growth - GDP 2.2% - Is It Real?

    The final numbers are in for the third quarter and the numbers show a 2.2% growth in the Gross Domestic Product, also referred to as GDP. Now this figure can be good or bad news depending on who you talk to.

    If you ask me any positive growth is great news. I mean things have seemed so bad that the notion that economic activity is on the rise is extremely appealing.

    On the other hand the expectations were set for about 3% so many investors were spooked when they saw a figure that was about 30% or so lower then they were thinking. Though other figures that came out along side these numbers helped ease the pain. For instance existing home sales, as well as home prices were both very positive.

    I for one am just glad to see things going the right direction. But I can no help but to feel a bit skeptical of the numbers.

    When I am out and about in the real world things just don't match the financial head lines. For instance, I noticed that the trick or treat tradition no longer exists in any comparative form to just 10 years ago. Though this is an observation of a local area, and hardly a sophisticated indicator, it does tell me that if there is growth, then the lack of trick or treaters must be accounted for some where. But where? I also noticed that there were no xmass tree dealers in town this year. They use to pack each and every parking lot. Where did they go?

    I have seen little reason to believe that there has been any sort of growth. All I have witnessed, for my self, is less.

    A little less of everything.

    Any Thoughts?

    Wednesday, December 16, 2009

    Brian T. Moynihan - A New Year and A New CEO for Bank of America

    Come December 31st when Ken Lewis steps down as the Chief Executive officer of Bank of America Brian T. Moynihan will take over as CEO and will have a seat on the Board of Directors.

    Who is Brian T. Moynihan?

    He is and has held positions as a major decision maker and leader with Bank of America. As of now he is the the president of consumer and small business banking.

    He is a 50 year old male.

    He started with Fleet Boston Financial in the early 1990's and by 2004 when Bank of America acquired Fleet Boston Financial he had risen to the top of their senior management team.

    He was the selected candidate of a extremely large and far reaching search that considered both internal and external candidates for the CEO position.

    “I am honored to have the opportunity to lead this important company,” said Moynihan.

    Ken Lewis the one who took a tiny bank in North Carolina and made it into a financial institution that continues to be the first of its kind in both size and scope says that he has full confidence in Brian's ability and work ethic.

    I can't imagine anyone who is up for that task besides Lewis but then again what the hell do I know... well, besides the notion that I would not touch that position with a 100 foot pole.

    This tells me that Big Man Brian does have one obvious qualification...

    Balls, and obviously big ones.

    Best wishes Brian!

    Tuesday, December 15, 2009

    Mortgage Modification - No Easy Task

    Obtaining a loan modification is hard. The lenders are overwhelmed with calls and mortgage defaults. It seems as if the only tactic they have to deal with the overwhelming volume of calls is the run-around and what a run it is. Homeowners, loan modification service reps, attorneys, nonprofit advocates, and even politicians have no luck with the dreaded call centers of the typical mortgage lender.

    Don't take my word for it....

    If she can't get these things through then who else is going to be able to obtain a loan modification?

    Learn More -

    Mortgage Modification Three Times More Likely to Reduce Principle

    HAMP Qualifications - Obama Mortgage Help

    Debt Solutions

    Thursday, November 19, 2009

    Fonar Corporation (FONR) - A Play On MRI's and Sitting Down

    Young Finance Guy's Speculative Picks - 

    • Fonar Corp; Ticker Symbol FONR
    Fonar is a medical company in both the Physician management and servicing industry as well as (and more so) the medical equipment industry. More specifically Fonar creates, develops, and sells MRI equipment. Not just any MRI equipment but cutting edge, innovative, and better performing MRI scanners such as their patented Upright MRI.

    First of all so we are all on the same level an; MRI is Magnetic Resonance Imagery. Typically when one thinks of an MRI one thinks about that big machine that the patient while laying down on a mechanical stretcher is slowly consumed by a room wide monster of a machine which looks more like an alien regeneration machine from some marvel comic writer's nightmare. It's scary looking, and the fact that all the doctors and technicians take cover behind some sort of bullet proof glass in a separate room for viewing the patient from a safe distance does not help the situation.

    Fonar has a new and innovative product and solution they call it the Upright MRI.

    What is the Upright MRI?

    Well in a nut shell it is a MRI that allows the patient to set down comfortably and in the company of people while getting an MRI. The patient can even watch TV! Though these are the aspects that really stood out to me the real value is apparently in the results and quality of results that the Upright MRI produces compared to the traditional MRI Machine.

    Stock Specs and Quote

    price per share $2.35

    Share Statistics
    Average Volume (3 month)3:96,921.2
    Average Volume (10 day)3:15,387.5
    Shares Outstanding5:5.29M
    % Held by Insiders1:2.51%
    % Held by Institutions1:7.20%
    Shares Short (as of 27-Oct-09)3:66.05K
    Short Ratio (as of 27-Oct-09)3:1.2
    Short % of Float (as of 27-Oct-09)3:1.30%
    Shares Short (prior month)3:66.03K
    Dividends & Splits
    Dividend Rate4:N/A

    Ex-Dividend Date4:18-Mar-99
    Last Split Factor (new per old)2:1:25
    Last Split Date3:17-Apr-07

    Why I Say Buy

    I am not a financial adviser nor an expert of anything medical. I am however a share holder (though rather small).

    These guys have a product that is very expensive. These guys have a product that is better performing and much more patient friendly. These guys have a product that sells but on a very limited basis due to price and market demand. If this product catches on and becomes half a standard then this stock will let you retire with even a modest investment. It will explode!

    This is why I say buy. There is little downside when compared to the upside. Also the head honcho and inventor of the MRI and the Upright MRI are all one and the same. That's right, a gentlemen named Raymond V Damadian who as recently as 2007 was awarded the Inventor Of The Year Award, Raymond is the guy behind this and from what I have seen thus far he is absolutely dedicated and on a mission to make this thing work and to do so under the Fonar name.

    Earlier in the year he turned down a 5 dollars per share offer and this came at a time when the stock was half or so of what it is today.

    I am sold.

    Related Articles

    Innovative Investing

    Thursday, November 12, 2009

    S&P Efforts to Predict Mortgage Bonds Potential Losses

    Earlier in the week Standard & Poors announced that they will be analyzing and reporting on the potential losses to come on existing mortgage backed bonds and securities. You may not be surprised to hear that the Bond Rating industry and the firms it is composed of have caught some serious heat for doing more then just being inaccurate. S&P as well as all other major bond rating industries have been accused by many to have some faulty business and compensation models.

    The problem is pretty straight forward. These firms are paid by issuers of securities to rate securities issued by these same issuers. It does not take rocket science to deduce the potential pitfalls of this model. These speculative potential problems are no longer speculative. This has been the catalyst for some... do-overs announced by all the major rating agencies.

    Standard & Poors will post the reports free to all on their website and will sell more in depth analysis for a fee. It will be interesting to see the aggregate results and the influence it will have on the markets. I think an interesting and perhaps an ironic outcome of the rating industry mess is that these up coming forecasts will arguably be biased on the conservative side of things. This of course is only my own speculation but it makes great sense. Just imagine the mess they would be in if they over estimate!

    Tuesday, October 27, 2009

    Big Money Put Up by Ad-Networks and Tech Firms

    For the most part tech firms and the tech industry as a collective whole are used to seeing rising tides of cash and spending from businesses large and small. This has held true over the short history of the existence of the mainstream tech industries and tech firms. Of course we all remember the tech bubble but that and the recent economic turmoil that we have all suffered through on planet Earth has been the only down side.

    Yahoo is spending big bucks to capture the attention of marketers and advertisers. From what I can gather from such sources as IDC, Method Inc., and the Wall Street Journal, it looks as if Yahoo will be committing 100 million or so dollars in aid to their efforts. I wonder if the notion that they will not have to spend on  search engine research and development has some motive behind this since they are still "use to" the financial burden.

    I personally think that they should focus on a publishers network separate from search. Yahoo is, but suspiciously slowly if you ask me.

    Others spending include... well almost everyone such as Microsoft's 300 million, Google is in on the action and I have even noticed a sharp increase in their own ads on their own ad network.

    The motive to rush out and expedite the ad dollars is the tech industry's assumption that the spending is coming back and everyone wants to be front and center as it comes time for these penny pinching firms to unleash the cash that has been sitting on the sidelines.

    Wednesday, October 21, 2009

    Interesting Quarterly Results Announced By Yahoo

    Yahoo, a Internet search engine, advertising, and content provider, announced some very interesting results for their quarterly earnings.

    Here are some Highlights From Yahoo's Quarterly Earnings:

    • For starters, some bad news, revenues were down 12% (to 1.54 billion) compared to the same quarter last year.
    • Earnings However, some great news, tripled up more then 300% to 186 million approximately or .13 cents a share. That compared to 4 cents a share.

    So you may be asking yourself how is that even possible given that revenue was down so steeply? Well the answer in short is simple, at least in my opinion. I believe the shift in management is 100% of the efficiency and effectiveness of the operations and business model improvements which I also suspect has just begun. More specifically the brains behind all this is none other then Carol Bartz.

    Ms. Bartz is a proven CEO who was made Yahoo's Chief Executive at the start of the year. I can only imagine her first reactions to the horrifying mess and chaotic operations model of the Internet giant in early January. But being the dignified all business executive that she is it seems as if she is whipping yahoo operations into shape. She has been cutting expenses left and right. She is selling parts of yahoo that don't fit the overall corporate objectives and model. Carol seems determined, and I see no signs of her stopping, as she will drop kick anything or anyone who stands in the way (inside joke).

    On another note i wanted to let all my readers know that I am working on a article about the search advertising agreement between Yahoo and Microsoft's Bing.

    Saturday, October 17, 2009

    Bank of America Posts a Loss for the Quarter

    The North Carolina based lender Bank of America posted a billion dollar loss for the last earnings quarter. This perhaps may not sound surprising to many but if you consider that Citi posted a profit and Goldman Sachs was confused when someone mentioned something about a recession...ha.

    But seriously Goldman Sachs is right back on top posting some real impressive numbers.

    Here is the thing that really gets me... Lewis retiring? Just doesn't add up to me. I know the guy... he has never considered not working, he was made for this stuff. I mean the guy came into the Bank at a entry level job and works his way up to the top and next thing you know half of all American Homeowners have a bank account with Bank of America, literally.

    Now I have zero proof or even a perspective motive of deceit but I really think things got messed up over there on the top floor amongst all that beautiful furniture that he got in all that trouble for buying.

    Something has to be up.

    Or perhaps he is really just in risk management mode because he can smell the anger coming from the American people and he knows that even if he turned out be Santa in disguise he is still a public target. A scape goat of the highest pedigree. Lord knows the government wouldn't take a lick of blame for any reckless or neglectful actions that may have adversely effected the American economy or anything near main street even if they had some sort of driving force in the matter.

    who knows... But I will say this, he is not just wanting to call it quits. He may be in trouble or he may just want to say "see I told ya, you shouldn't have given me any crap" (not a real quote). Because I know one thing for absolute truth... No one can handle that job to anywhere close to the level of Lewis.

    No One.


    Related Article

    Thursday, October 15, 2009

    Obama Loan Modification - From 1 to 500,000 Mortgage Modifications

    The Obama Loan Modification program known as the making home affordable plan has been a success! Mortgage Lenders finally got the hint from President Obama and his administration, They are now clearly headed in the right direction and offering Homeowner Hope to those in financial distress.

    Large lending institutions such as Saxon, Bank of America, Wells Fargo, and many others have really cam through this last month or so and have done their part in America's collective effort to Make Home Affordable by restructuring Home Mortgage loans under the Obama specified guide lines. In fact the mortgage lenders have even one upped Obama by completing the goal of 500,000 loan modifications by November 1st. They completed this feat with ease and plenty of time to spare as of early this month on October 6th.

    Thursday, October 8, 2009

    Australia Interest Rates Increased - Stock Market Soars

    Australia raised their interest rates or rather the cost to borrow money. Investors took this as a sign of hope and the stock market rallied on the news release of Australia's interest rate hike.

    Why does the Interest Rate Increase Executed by the Reserve Bank of Australia Boost Investor Confidence and Hopes of Recovery?

    If the derived confidence from this seemingly rise in cost to do business in the world of borrowing money seems a bit bizarre or counter intuitive you are correct. Under traditional market circumstances the rise in interest rates which directly correlates or even directly causes the cost of borrowing to increase. But even so, we are not operating under normal market conditions.

    Investors see this as a sign that markets are stabilizing. Here is the reasoning:
    • Governments have kept interest rates or the cost of borrowing down to record low levels because they want to inject supply into the credit or capital markets.
    • The Australia Government's decision to raise interest rates signals the confidence of improving markets in Australia and thus part of the international economy in which all investors are a part of.
    The US interest rates or cost of debt has remained and is expected to remain at very low levels.

    Tuesday, September 29, 2009

    Citi Bank Scales Back Retail Banking Operations

    Citi Bank which is one of the largest financial institutions in the world and in to a little bit of everything and a little bit too much, has announced plans to scale back their retail banking operations and has said it will be reducing the number of branches.

    They will keep the operation going for the long term but will focus only on the cities that they have a strong and secure presence.

    Cities of Focus for Citi Bank:

    • Chicago
    • Washington
    • New York
    • L.A.
    • San Fransisco
    Citi Bank has tried over the years to establish a retail and community banking presence such as their counter parts Bank of America and Wells Fargo who each have 6000 locations a piece. Citi has never been able to capitalize on the market with only 1000 branches of their own and they will be closing many of those.

    Overall this is probably a good move by the board over their in the struggling land of Citi Group. Their operations have been spread all over the place over the last decade and have failed to manage any sort of synergy such as Bank of America.

    Monday, August 31, 2009

    Disney Buys Super Heroes and The rest from Marvel Comics

    Marvel Comics, the creator of comic book legends such as the X-Men, Spider-Man, and the other 5000 super heroes and evil doers, will be part of the Mickey Mouse family. That's right, Disney has acquired the rights of the Marvel Comic Book Characters and it only cost them 4 Billion dollars. That comes to just under a million dollars a character. Though obviously the value of each character varies considerably.

    It is no wonder these marvel comic movies have been coming out by the cluster and in record time over the past few years. I honestly think that all the block buster hits hitting the big screen falsely increases the perceived value. The earnings potential, over the next decade or less, may be over estimated. None the less this is still an excellent buy for Mickey and the Disney Family for the long term.

    I think another issue this brings up is the flood of weird financial garage sales of "name and labels" even Dow Jones Industrial Average is up for grabs. That just seems insane.

    Saturday, August 1, 2009

    Ben Bernanke to serve another term as the Chairmen of the Federal Reserve

    August 2009

    President Obama interrupted his vacation this late August to publicly announce that he is appointing Ben Bernanke to serve another term as the Chairmen of the Federal Reserve.

    Obama did not shy from elaborating on his reasoning or feeling towards Ben Bernanke's work, He had more then enough praise for the current and future Chairmen of the Federal Reserve to hold a few press conferences. Obama was sure to lay claim to the fact that it was bernanke's extraordinary effort, quick and innovative thinking and problem solving that prevented the American Economy from spiraling down into a second great depression.

    Congratulations to Ben Bernanke on his appointment to serve a second term as the Chairmen of the Federal Reserve. Let us all support his efforts to steer us back on the road to financial prosperity and away from that horrible world of foreclosure and mortgage default.

    Wednesday, May 13, 2009

    GM Insiders bail out - Idiot Investors buy Pink shares over the counter

    May 2009

    This post is just to share the sec fillings of 6 insiders at GM who have bailed on there own company as they see there stock holders getting wiped out. The six insiders dumped all there shares entirely. If you own this stock sell it.

    I am not sure why folks seem to feel the need to speculate amongst the pink slip shares that barely exist for a company that is being split up and left with debt while the business side of the company becomes a new entity... yet people still want to buy the over the counter mucus for a dollar or so a share... I don't get it.

    That is simply not smart finance.

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