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16
Feb

Should I File a PPI Claim?

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file8391306993784Financial institutions around the UK have already paid out billions of pounds to people who were mis-sold Payment Protection Insurance (PPI) and it’s even possible that you’ve been bombarded with calls, texts and even TV advertisements to reclaim your PPI.

PPI was supposedly a good product, sold to customers who took out a loan, mortgage, credit card, car loan or store card that if the customer were unable to make payments since they fell ill and can no longer work, they would still be covered to meet the repayments of the loan they took out.

What was the big deal? The PPI became a scandal because banks were found to have sold this policy to people who are not qualified and in some cases, other sellers did not disclose all the information needed to the person taking out the loan.

It still makes sense to make a claim for a mis-sold PPI. If you feel that you don’t qualify for the claim or you don’t remember any PPI on the financial product you took out, it’s best to think again. Here are several reasons why you file for a PPI claim:

  1. It’s not as difficult as it may seem. This is one of the reasons why people put off filing a claim, especially if they think that they are not qualified for a PPI refund. You may also be put off by the stories you’ve heard of court cases or even reaching the Financial Ombudsman and it sounds stressful and difficult for you. If you’d rather have this taken care of, here’s how you can find a ppi claim company that can assist you in making your claim.
  1. It is still possible you were mis-sold PPI even if you had wanted it. When you took out a loan and you have agreed to also have the PPI included, there is a chance it was still mis-sold to you if it wasn’t explained to you properly. Some examples are:
  • You should have been asked if you had any prior medical condition that could lead you to be unable to work in the future
  • If you were self-employed, unemployed or over the age limit of the clause of the policy
  • The seller told you it was mandatory or you could only get the loan if you also took the PPI
  1. You have PPI and you didn’t realize it. This product wasn’t only sold along with credit cards or loans by banks – it was also sold along with mortgages, secured loans, store cards or with car loans too. If you had borrowed money in the past, it is possible that you were charged with PPI without knowing it. Check your credit report or other paperwork that you have and you could be entitled for a claim.
  1. You can still make a claim even if you had the account closed or it defaulted. When you realized that you were being charged on a product you took out or you had PPI canceled or you have already paid off the loan, it is still possible to reclaim the PPI on it. If the lender doesn’t exist anymore or has gone bankrupt, then you can still make your claim through the Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS).

You could be a victim of this scandal. Keep in mind that there are funds allocated in order to repay those that have been mis-sold PPI and you need to be compensated. Don’t have the time to do all these? There are PPI claim companies that can make the process easier for you to succeed in getting what was owed to you.

1
Feb

What to do if You Were Mis-Sold PPI

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file8391306993784Mainstream media has been covering a lot about PPI claims recently so you may have heard about this and also about how it was mis-sold to people who aren’t eligible for this type of insurance in the first place.

PPI isn’t at all bad – it was an insurance policy created to assist you cover payments on loans you took out if you’re unable to work in case of unexpected emergencies such as unemployment, accident or sickness. This was intended to give you peace of mind through tough times. The issue that came along with PPIs is the way it was sold to people who were unaware that it wasn’t compulsory or those who aren’t eligible.

Do you feel that you were mis-sold on PPI?

There must be a good reason why you feel you’re mis-sold on this insurance policy. Here are a few reasons for a complaint against PPIs:

* It was added on your loan without your knowledge.

* It was forced for you to get by a salesperson.

* You were told that it was compulsory.

* You informed the salesperson on your pre-existing medical condition but you were not warned that it could affect your insurance.

* You were informed that you could not cancel the PPI policy at all.

* You were informed that you couldn’t cancel the insurance without taking a new type of credit agreement.

Once you have checked that you can make a valid PPI claim, you have to prove that you have been mis-sold. You have to go back and get all the paperwork from old loans and other financial agreements you have made. In cases where it was lost or gone missing, it can get quite difficult to track down and get solid evidence to send.

You can then make your claim and choose from two available options: write your own letter to make your complaint and explain your case or you cause use a PPI claims service for handling the entire process for you for a minimal fee.

Have you applied for a PPI refund and you’re not sure whether the amount you got is a correct compensation, all is not lost. Check the factors that can affect the amount you will get. You have to consider if you owe money to the bank or you can make a claim on the policy. If the bank has made an offer to make the calculations, these should have been explained to you in the letter. If you feel that there is still some information that is incorrect or if you feel that you have unfairly treated, the first thing you should do is call your bank.

You also have the right to contact the free Financial Ombudsman service to ask questions or challenge your bank’s decision if you still feel that the amount in the final offer of the bank is not fair. There isn’t a cost in doing this however keep in mind that due to the volume of PPI complaints – it can take a while and even in some cases, it could take more than a year for a decision to be made.

31
Jan

5 Loans for Home Renovation

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engineerrenovateHomes aren’t usually one-size-fits-all. Even when you find your dream house, you must complete a few odd jobs to make the space absolutely perfect for you and your family. Plus, renovations typically add value to your home, increasing its price if you decide to sell. Though renovating often feels inconvenient and time-consuming, it is a smart practice for all homeowners looking to increase their equity.

Even better, some homeowners can obtain funding from banks to repair and update their homes. Lenders offer various loan options to help you achieve the home of your dreams, so it is important to understand your selection thoroughly before you knock down any walls.

EZ C

When you are just about ready to buy a home, but you know the house could use a few cosmetic updates to make it fit your dream, you need an EZ Conventional loan (or EZ C, for short). EZ Cs allow you to roll your mortgage and renovation loan into a single account, which makes for a simple repayment process.

By necessity, you must apply for this type of renovation loan before you sign papers acquiring your new home; you should have a list of necessary updates, compiled by you or an appraiser, to inform your lender of renovation-related costs. You and your lender agree on a contractor, and the lender pays the costs directly. The primary limitation on EZ Cs is the type of update: You can make only non-structural, cosmetic changes to the home. Therefore, any changes that require knocking down walls will need a different loan.

FHA 203k

Many young homebuyers dream of transforming a fixer-upper into a personalized paradise. The primary reason the dream is so widespread is the misconception that renovating a house is cheaper than buying a turnkey option – but that isn’t always true. On a dime, a fixer-upper can turn into a money pit, so it is better to use a renovation loan than sink untold amounts of savings into refurbishing an older home.

If you plan on making significant renovations, the FHA 203k loan is the best option for you. There are a few different options to suit your remodeling needs, including:

  • 203k Full: best for older properties that require structural updates; boasts low down payments, low refinancing interest rates, and fewer costs.
  • 203k Streamline: appropriate for homes with cosmetic damage; limits repairs to $35,000, but can be acquired much faster than full loans.

HomeStyle

Providing a comfortable middle between the extremes of most renovation home loans – i.e., minor cosmetic updates and significant remodeling – HomeStyle loans can be used for changes that will add value to your home and alter it to suit your needs and wants. Most HomeStyle borrowers use an appraiser to determine what changes will be most beneficial, and lenders use these suggestions to determine potential costs.

The primary limitation on these renovation loans is that all changes must be attached to the property. Therefore, you cannot use your HomeStyle loan to purchase appliances, like refrigerators, dishwashers, and stoves – unless your renovation makes it so that the appliances cannot be removed when you leave.

HUD REO With Repair Escrow

Though few homebuyers know it, the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) has a listing of homes available for purchase. These properties failed to sell during a foreclosure auction, so they are now available without liens and at prices well below market value – making them extremely attractive. However, many foreclosed homes also require extensive renovation – which is where the HUD REO with Repair Escrow loan comes in.

Dedicated to HUD REO listings that can claim the required number of repairs, these loans are not widely obtainable. Most HUD REO properties meet or exceed HUD’s standards for living spaces, but those that don’t are eligible for repair escrow accounts. If you are considering purchasing one of HUD’s REO options, you should consult with a real estate agent or lawyer to determine your fitness for this loan program.

Jumbo Renovation

A jumbo home loan is one used to acquire large, luxury homes valued over about $417,000. If you want to buy an expensive home, but you also want to complete costly renovations, you also need a jumbo renovation loan. This loan option gives you up to $250,000 to make structural and cosmetic repairs to your home, but you can only obtain it when your home’s value is already immense.

30
Jan

What is Participatory Budgeting?

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What is Participatory BudgetingGood morning. Have you ever heard of participatory budgeting before? Most people probably haven’t. A couple of days ago, I hadn’t heard of it either. According to Wikipedia participatory budgeting is a process of democratic deliberation and decision-making. Ordinary people decide how to allocate part of a municipal or public budget. Participatory budgeting allows citizens to identify, discuss and prioritize public spending products. Participatory budgeting sounds good so far.

How does participatory budgeting work?

PB involves meetings and votes. Each cities PB is adapted to its particular needs, but it generally follows these steps.

Design the process

The first step is to design the process. A committee and a representative of the community create the rules in partnership with the city officials to make sure the process is inclusive and meets the needs of the locals. This process shouldn’t take too long.

Come up with ideas

The next step is to come up with ideas. The city residents will brainstorm ideas. They will have the chance to share them through meetings in person and virtual. They will discuss ideas for the different projects.

Proposals

The third step is to develop proposals. Volunteers usually called budget delegates, develop the ideas into actual proposals. Once the proposals are developed, city experts then take a look at them.

Cast votes

Next, the residents of the communities vote to divide the available between the proposals. It is a direct democratic voice in the city’s future.

Fund the winning projects

After the votes are cast, the winning projects will be financed. Examples of winning projects are safety improvements for the city, Wi-Fi in public parks and improvements on the conditions of roads.

PB was first developed in the 1980’s in Brazil. By 2016, thousands of cities have implemented participatory budgeting. People get excited about it for several different reasons. Below are three of the most common reasons.

Community Building

Because of the regular meetings, people get to their neighbors. They feel more connected to their city. The local organizations spend less time lobbying and more time deciding policies. The budget meetings help to connect community groups and help them bring in more members.

Public education

Participants become more active and informed citizens. That’s good for any community. Community members, officials, and staff learn democracy by doing it. There is no better way to learn something than by doing it. They gain a deeper understanding of complex political issues and community needs.

Deeper Democracy

The people of the community have a real say. They get to make real political decisions. What community wouldn’t like that? Because of that participation budgeting tends to engage many people who typically don’t care about the government. Politicians also have the chance to build close relationships with the community members.

Preparatory budgeting sounds interesting, to say the least. It seems to be working pretty good in some places. I wonder what the effect of it would be if more cities in the US attempt to try it.

Do you think PB would work nationwide?