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Mortgage rate trends this week

Thirty-year fixed mortgage rates rates decreased, down from an average of 6.99% last week, to 6.95%. “Mortgage rates continued to fall back this week as incoming data suggests the economy is cooling to a more sustainable level of growth,” says Sam Khater, chief economist at housing giant Freddie Mac. “Top-line inflation numbers were flat but shelter inflation, which measures rent and homeownership costs, increased showing that housing affordability continues to be an ongoing impediment for buyers on the house hunt.”

By Leslie Kennedy | 06.13.24

Thirty-year fixed mortgage rates rates decreased, down from an average of 6.99% last week, to 6.95%. “Mortgage rates continued to fall back this week as incoming data suggests the economy is cooling to a more sustainable level of growth,” says Sam Khater, chief economist at housing giant Freddie Mac. “Top-line inflation numbers were flat but shelter inflation, which measures rent and homeownership costs, increased showing that housing affordability continues to be an ongoing impediment for buyers on the house hunt.”

By Leslie Kennedy | 06.13.24

USAA members speak out on fraud

Curtis Murrah says he’d been a loyal customer with USAA for 28 years — until his wife rang him up one day saying she couldn’t make their mortgage payment because there wasn’t any money in their account. Murrah, who’s based in Georgia, says he took a closer look at his accounts and discovered someone was making deposits in and out of his accounts. “It was like they were playing mind games,” he told News 4 San Antonio. “They would deposit $9,800 then turn right around and withdraw $9,800. They would deposit $4,000, turn right around and withdrew it.” Murrah contacted USAA and convinced the institution to conduct an investigation — but USAA allegedly told him there was no evidence of fraud, despite a $14,174 loss across two of his accounts, including his emergency savings. Then, the bank unexpectedly closed his account. “The transactions were taking place in totally different states, they could see everything,” Murrah said. “They knew it wasn’t me, but for some reason they said it wasn’t fraud.”

By Serah Louis | 06.13.24

Curtis Murrah says he’d been a loyal customer with USAA for 28 years — until his wife rang him up one day saying she couldn’t make their mortgage payment because there wasn’t any money in their account. Murrah, who’s based in Georgia, says he took a closer look at his accounts and discovered someone was making deposits in and out of his accounts. “It was like they were playing mind games,” he told News 4 San Antonio. “They would deposit $9,800 then turn right around and withdraw $9,800. They would deposit $4,000, turn right around and withdrew it.” Murrah contacted USAA and convinced the institution to conduct an investigation — but USAA allegedly told him there was no evidence of fraud, despite a $14,174 loss across two of his accounts, including his emergency savings. Then, the bank unexpectedly closed his account. “The transactions were taking place in totally different states, they could see everything,” Murrah said. “They knew it wasn’t me, but for some reason they said it wasn’t fraud.”

By Serah Louis | 06.13.24

US economy ‘ready to crack’: Former Home Depot CEO

The U.S. economy may soon enter a perilous phase, according to Bob Nardelli, former CEO of Home Depot and Chrysler. In a May 20 interview with Fox Business, Nardelli used a metaphor to illustrate the state of the country since President Joe Biden took office. “What I've seen over the past three and a half years is a series of debacles and missteps have created a tremendous pressure on the fault lines, if you will, of our economy and they're about ready to crack,” he said. With the presidential election approaching, Nardelli believes the next president will face significant challenges. “Whoever gets the next step in the White House is going to be hit with a wrecking ball in trying to correct the missteps and the overspending of this current administration,” he stated, adding that “we're in for a rough time.” Here’s a look at what he means by that.

By Jing Pan | 06.12.24

The U.S. economy may soon enter a perilous phase, according to Bob Nardelli, former CEO of Home Depot and Chrysler. In a May 20 interview with Fox Business, Nardelli used a metaphor to illustrate the state of the country since President Joe Biden took office. “What I've seen over the past three and a half years is a series of debacles and missteps have created a tremendous pressure on the fault lines, if you will, of our economy and they're about ready to crack,” he said. With the presidential election approaching, Nardelli believes the next president will face significant challenges. “Whoever gets the next step in the White House is going to be hit with a wrecking ball in trying to correct the missteps and the overspending of this current administration,” he stated, adding that “we're in for a rough time.” Here’s a look at what he means by that.

By Jing Pan | 06.12.24

Harry Dent warns of 'a bigger crash' than 2008

Many investors still remember what it was like during the 2008 financial crisis, when panic swept through the markets and wiped out trillions of dollars in wealth. The fear and uncertainty led to massive sell-offs, plummeting stock prices, and a severe liquidity crisis. Many individuals saw their retirement savings decimated, homes lost value, and unemployment rates soared as businesses closed or downsized. It’s a chapter that no one wishes to revisit. However, economist Harry Dent foresees an even more severe crisis on the horizon. In a recent interview with Fox News Digital, Dent highlighted that the U.S. has been experiencing an extended bubble, which poses a significant threat to the stock market. “This bubble has been going [for] 14 years. Instead of most bubbles [going] five to six, it’s been stretched higher, longer. So you’d have to expect a bigger crash than we got in 2008 to ’09,” he explained. Just how significant could this crash be? Massive, according to Dent. “I think we’re going to see the S&P go down 86% from the top, and the Nasdaq 92%. A hero stock like Nvidia, as good as it is, and it is a great company, [goes] down 98%. Boy, this is over," Dent predicted. Given the extensive exposure many people have to the stock market through their retirement savings, a severe downturn in these benchmark indices could be devastating. During the market sell-off in 2022 — which pales in comparison to Dent's projections — CBS News reported that 401(k) and IRA plan participants experienced an estimated loss of around $3 trillion. It's worth mentioning that this isn't new for Dent. As an October 2023 article from ThinkAdvisor noted, "For several years now, Dent has been forecasting 'the crash of a lifetime.' Now, he says, 2024 will be the year it hits — 'two years later than it should have,' according to his calculations. But 'it’s starting now,' he insists."

By Jing Pan | 06.12.24

Many investors still remember what it was like during the 2008 financial crisis, when panic swept through the markets and wiped out trillions of dollars in wealth. The fear and uncertainty led to massive sell-offs, plummeting stock prices, and a severe liquidity crisis. Many individuals saw their retirement savings decimated, homes lost value, and unemployment rates soared as businesses closed or downsized. It’s a chapter that no one wishes to revisit. However, economist Harry Dent foresees an even more severe crisis on the horizon. In a recent interview with Fox News Digital, Dent highlighted that the U.S. has been experiencing an extended bubble, which poses a significant threat to the stock market. “This bubble has been going [for] 14 years. Instead of most bubbles [going] five to six, it’s been stretched higher, longer. So you’d have to expect a bigger crash than we got in 2008 to ’09,” he explained. Just how significant could this crash be? Massive, according to Dent. “I think we’re going to see the S&P go down 86% from the top, and the Nasdaq 92%. A hero stock like Nvidia, as good as it is, and it is a great company, [goes] down 98%. Boy, this is over," Dent predicted. Given the extensive exposure many people have to the stock market through their retirement savings, a severe downturn in these benchmark indices could be devastating. During the market sell-off in 2022 — which pales in comparison to Dent's projections — CBS News reported that 401(k) and IRA plan participants experienced an estimated loss of around $3 trillion. It's worth mentioning that this isn't new for Dent. As an October 2023 article from ThinkAdvisor noted, "For several years now, Dent has been forecasting 'the crash of a lifetime.' Now, he says, 2024 will be the year it hits — 'two years later than it should have,' according to his calculations. But 'it’s starting now,' he insists."

By Jing Pan | 06.12.24

Many GOP voters now identify as 'lower class'

Democrats have long been known as the party of the working class, but the GOP may be taking over that title — at least according to Gallup poll data. Since 2022, Republicans have been more likely than Democrats to identify as working or lower class while the majority of Democrats now put themselves in the middle or upper-middle class. So, how did the party known for its billionaires and hedge fund executives replace the “party of the common man,” as the working class favorite? There's a lot of factors, ranging from an increase in college attendance to a decrease in union membership to an unusual billionaire named Donald Trump who stepped off an escalator and shook up politics like no one else could. Here are the big three shifts that have led to major changes in the political landscape.

By Christy Bieber | 06.11.24

Democrats have long been known as the party of the working class, but the GOP may be taking over that title — at least according to Gallup poll data. Since 2022, Republicans have been more likely than Democrats to identify as working or lower class while the majority of Democrats now put themselves in the middle or upper-middle class. So, how did the party known for its billionaires and hedge fund executives replace the “party of the common man,” as the working class favorite? There's a lot of factors, ranging from an increase in college attendance to a decrease in union membership to an unusual billionaire named Donald Trump who stepped off an escalator and shook up politics like no one else could. Here are the big three shifts that have led to major changes in the political landscape.

By Christy Bieber | 06.11.24

Legendary Applebee's franchisee on dining trends

From headlines about $18 Big Mac meals to $24 Five Guys combos, Americans are finding rising fast food prices hard to swallow. Consequently, many are rethinking their dining choices. According to legendary Applebee’s franchisee Zane Tankel, the restaurant industry is divided into three segments: fine dining, casual dining, and quick serve (fast food). While fast food was once popular for its low cost, that may no longer be the case. “They're abandoning fast food, quick serve more and more and ironically, going to casual dining,” the Apple-Metro Chairman and CEO, which operates a number of Applebee’s restaurants in the New York City area, said in a recent interview with Fox Business. To address the controversy of $18 Big Macs, McDonald's USA president Joe Erlinger recently wrote an open letter to the company’s American “fans.” “I can tell you that it frustrates and worries me, and many of our franchisees, when I hear about an $18 Big Mac meal being sold — even if it was at one location in the U.S. out of more than 13,700,” he wrote.

By Jing Pan | 06.10.24

From headlines about $18 Big Mac meals to $24 Five Guys combos, Americans are finding rising fast food prices hard to swallow. Consequently, many are rethinking their dining choices. According to legendary Applebee’s franchisee Zane Tankel, the restaurant industry is divided into three segments: fine dining, casual dining, and quick serve (fast food). While fast food was once popular for its low cost, that may no longer be the case. “They're abandoning fast food, quick serve more and more and ironically, going to casual dining,” the Apple-Metro Chairman and CEO, which operates a number of Applebee’s restaurants in the New York City area, said in a recent interview with Fox Business. To address the controversy of $18 Big Macs, McDonald's USA president Joe Erlinger recently wrote an open letter to the company’s American “fans.” “I can tell you that it frustrates and worries me, and many of our franchisees, when I hear about an $18 Big Mac meal being sold — even if it was at one location in the U.S. out of more than 13,700,” he wrote.

By Jing Pan | 06.10.24

California homeowners scammed by Solar Mosaic

Sacramento homeowner Andrea Bokreta recently received an invoice billing her $11,640 for solar panels she claims she never signed off on nor received. "I thought ‘that's a mistake’ because I knew I didn't sign anything," Bokreta told CBS13’s Call Kurtis. A year ago, she had met with a representative for solar company Freedom Forever, but ultimately decided against getting the solar panels for her home. She was told she needed to give the company her Social Security number to get an estimate. Aside from the loan, CBS13 discovered lender Solar Mosaic filed a lien against Bokreta's home last year as well, unbeknownst to her.

By Serah Louis | 06.07.24

Sacramento homeowner Andrea Bokreta recently received an invoice billing her $11,640 for solar panels she claims she never signed off on nor received. "I thought ‘that's a mistake’ because I knew I didn't sign anything," Bokreta told CBS13’s Call Kurtis. A year ago, she had met with a representative for solar company Freedom Forever, but ultimately decided against getting the solar panels for her home. She was told she needed to give the company her Social Security number to get an estimate. Aside from the loan, CBS13 discovered lender Solar Mosaic filed a lien against Bokreta's home last year as well, unbeknownst to her.

By Serah Louis | 06.07.24

Estate of Cali woman, 91, sues over solar panels

Phyllis Simmons was 91 years old when she signed up for solar panels — a $35,000+ project she’d apparently pay off when she turned 114. But Simmons died mere months after the solar panels were installed and her family is now suing for elder financial abuse. Daniel Lessard, the salesman listed on the 2019 contract for the Freedom Forever solar panels, says Simmons' estate served him with a lawsuit claiming elder financial abuse years after he left Apricot Solar, the company that conducted the solar panels business. "I've never met Simmons a day in my life," Lessard told CBS13’s Kurt Investigates. "I learned about Ms. Simmons when I got the complaint."

By Serah Louis | 06.07.24

Phyllis Simmons was 91 years old when she signed up for solar panels — a $35,000+ project she’d apparently pay off when she turned 114. But Simmons died mere months after the solar panels were installed and her family is now suing for elder financial abuse. Daniel Lessard, the salesman listed on the 2019 contract for the Freedom Forever solar panels, says Simmons' estate served him with a lawsuit claiming elder financial abuse years after he left Apricot Solar, the company that conducted the solar panels business. "I've never met Simmons a day in my life," Lessard told CBS13’s Kurt Investigates. "I learned about Ms. Simmons when I got the complaint."

By Serah Louis | 06.07.24

Buffett is holding $182B in cash — here's why

In the world of investing, few have achieved a track record as remarkable as Warren Buffett. From 1964 to 2023, he steered Berkshire Hathaway (BRK.B) to a staggering total return of 4,384,748%, far surpassing the S&P 500's already impressive gain of 31,223% during the same timeframe. Despite his knack for making savvy investments, the Oracle of Omaha doesn’t always go all in on the markets. In fact, Berkshire’s latest quarterly report reveals that as of the end of Q1 2024, Buffett's company was holding more than $182 billion in cash. Don't miss Commercial real estate has beaten the stock market for 25 years — but only the super rich could buy in. Here's how even ordinary investors can become the landlord of Walmart, Whole Foods or Kroger Cost-of-living in America is still out of control — use these 3 'real assets' to protect your wealth today, no matter what the US Fed does or says These 5 magic money moves will boost you up America's net worth ladder in 2024 — and you can complete each step within minutes. Here's how In Berkshire’s latest annual shareholders meeting, Buffett addressed the question of why the company is maintaining such a substantial cash position. “I don't think anybody sitting at this table has any idea of how to use it effectively, and therefore we don't use it,” he stated, emphasizing that “we only swing at pitches we like.” Some view Buffett’s massive cash position as a sign that he is bearish on the stock market. And Buffett has voiced concerns about future complexities, noting, “As the world gets more sophisticated, complicated and intertwined, more can go wrong.” He added that the company aims to be prepared to “act when that happens.” If you share that cautious outlook, here are a few ways to diversify your investments beyond the stock market.

By Moneywise | 06.07.24

In the world of investing, few have achieved a track record as remarkable as Warren Buffett. From 1964 to 2023, he steered Berkshire Hathaway (BRK.B) to a staggering total return of 4,384,748%, far surpassing the S&P 500's already impressive gain of 31,223% during the same timeframe. Despite his knack for making savvy investments, the Oracle of Omaha doesn’t always go all in on the markets. In fact, Berkshire’s latest quarterly report reveals that as of the end of Q1 2024, Buffett's company was holding more than $182 billion in cash. Don't miss Commercial real estate has beaten the stock market for 25 years — but only the super rich could buy in. Here's how even ordinary investors can become the landlord of Walmart, Whole Foods or Kroger Cost-of-living in America is still out of control — use these 3 'real assets' to protect your wealth today, no matter what the US Fed does or says These 5 magic money moves will boost you up America's net worth ladder in 2024 — and you can complete each step within minutes. Here's how In Berkshire’s latest annual shareholders meeting, Buffett addressed the question of why the company is maintaining such a substantial cash position. “I don't think anybody sitting at this table has any idea of how to use it effectively, and therefore we don't use it,” he stated, emphasizing that “we only swing at pitches we like.” Some view Buffett’s massive cash position as a sign that he is bearish on the stock market. And Buffett has voiced concerns about future complexities, noting, “As the world gets more sophisticated, complicated and intertwined, more can go wrong.” He added that the company aims to be prepared to “act when that happens.” If you share that cautious outlook, here are a few ways to diversify your investments beyond the stock market.

By Moneywise | 06.07.24

Woman, 94, fights eviction from home of 80 years

A 94-year-old San Francisco woman recently faced a heart-breaking predicament: leave the apartment she’s called home for more than 80 years or fight her landlord’s eviction notice in court. Helen Byrne, who spends most of her time bed-ridden after suffering a fall last year, has lived in the same quadplex since age 12. Her dream is to live out her final years in a place full of happy memories of family and friends. But that dream was put in jeopardy when Byrne’s rent-controlled apartment building was sold in 2020 and the new owner seemingly tried to kick the tenants out in order to reach the full income potential of the property. “It’s wrong that this is happening,” Byrne’s local priest, Father John Jiminez, told NBC Bay Area. “You shouldn’t have to lose the home you’ve lived in all your life and you’ve paid your rent and done all the responsible things." He added: "People aren’t just numbers to be discarded.” Here’s why the building's new owner — identified by NBC Bay Area as Cesar Chavez LLC, managed by Daniel Mytels — tried to evict the tenants and what ultimately happened.

By Bethan Moorcraft | 06.07.24

A 94-year-old San Francisco woman recently faced a heart-breaking predicament: leave the apartment she’s called home for more than 80 years or fight her landlord’s eviction notice in court. Helen Byrne, who spends most of her time bed-ridden after suffering a fall last year, has lived in the same quadplex since age 12. Her dream is to live out her final years in a place full of happy memories of family and friends. But that dream was put in jeopardy when Byrne’s rent-controlled apartment building was sold in 2020 and the new owner seemingly tried to kick the tenants out in order to reach the full income potential of the property. “It’s wrong that this is happening,” Byrne’s local priest, Father John Jiminez, told NBC Bay Area. “You shouldn’t have to lose the home you’ve lived in all your life and you’ve paid your rent and done all the responsible things." He added: "People aren’t just numbers to be discarded.” Here’s why the building's new owner — identified by NBC Bay Area as Cesar Chavez LLC, managed by Daniel Mytels — tried to evict the tenants and what ultimately happened.

By Bethan Moorcraft | 06.07.24