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FinReg: The new Financial Reform Legislation

The sweeping financial reform bill is now a law. While most people know what it’s supposed to mean for Wall Street banks, fewer, perhaps, understand what it will mean for consumers.

The bill includes measures that will provide the Feds with new power, allow the government to shut down large financial companies on the verge of failure, change the rules on how financial firms engages risky and speculative behavior and give shareholders a greater voice in executive pay, writes Miranda for Financial Highway.

Additional measures that could impact the ways Americans spend include:

  • The creation of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau will bring regulation of consumer financial products and services under one agency. Private student loans will also be under the supervision of the CFPB.
  • New mortgage lending rules that will dissuade lenders from lending to people who can’t afford the loan and stop predatory practices seen before the housing bubble.
  • All accounts will be permanently insured by the FDIC for up to $250,000. Additionally, consumers are entitled to a free credit score.
  • The SEC may decide to force brokers to adhere to the same fiduciary requirements as financial advisors.
  • Merchants can now put in place a $10 minimum for credit card purchases and require them to pay cash for small ones.

Source: www.seekingalpha.com

Medi-Cal Vision Care benefits

New vision care benefits are available. See http://www.dhcs.ca.gov/individuals/Pages/VisionCareFAQs.aspx

New Blog: Tips from NAPFA Financial Advisors

FiGuide and the National Association of Personal Financial Advisors (NAPFA) have teamedd up to provide a great, up-to-date resource addressing common financial issues. See http://www.figuide.com/napfa

FDIC Insurance on CDs Goes to $250,000 Permanently

Press Release

Basic FDIC Insurance Coverage Permanently Increased to $250,000 Per Depositor

July 21, 2010
Media Contact:
Andrew Gray (202) 898-7192
Email: Angray@fdic.gov

On July 21, 2010, President Barack Obama signed the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act, which, in part, permanently raises the current standard maximum deposit insurance amount to $250,000. The standard maximum insurance amount of $100,000 had been temporarily raised to $250,000 until December 31, 2013. The FDIC insurance coverage limit applies per depositor, per insured depository institution for each account ownership category.

The temporary increase from $100,000 to $250,000 was effective from October 3, 2008, through December 31, 2010. On May 20, 2009, the temporary increase was extended through December 31, 2013.

“With this permanent increase of deposit insurance coverage to $250,000, depositors with CDs above $100,000 but below $250,000 will no longer have to worry about losing coverage on those CDs maturing beyond 2013. We strongly encourage all bank depositors who have questions about their insurance coverage to go to our Web site at www.fdic.gov and use our Electronic Deposit Insurance Estimator (EDIE) or call our toll-free number at 1-877-ASK-FDIC. Insured deposits provide the comfort and peace of mind to depositors that their money is 100 percent safe – provided they keep their deposit balances within the insurance limits,” said FDIC Chairman Sheila C. Bair.

To help consumers, bankers and others understand how the new law affects deposit insurance coverage and to help consumers verify whether their deposit accounts are fully protected, the FDIC provides the following resources:

  • Information on deposit insurance on the FDIC Web site: Updated brochures on deposit insurance coverage (including the basic guide, Deposit Insurance Summary, and the more comprehensive guide, Your Insured Deposits) and a new version of the “Electronic Deposit Insurance Estimator” (EDIE), an interactive service that allows consumers to quickly and easily check whether their accounts are fully protected, are now available on the FDIC’s Web site (www.fdic.gov).
  • A toll-free consumer assistance line: Help and information about deposit insurance and other matters of interest to bank customers are available at 1-877-ASK-FDIC (1-877-275-3342) Monday through Friday from 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m., Eastern Time. For the hearing-impaired, the number is 1-800-925-4618.

# # #

Congress created the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation in 1933 to restore public confidence in the nation’s banking system. The FDIC insured deposits at the nation’s 7,932 banks and savings associations and it promotes the safety and soundness of these institutions by identifying, monitoring the addressing risks to which they are exposed. The FDIC receives no federal tax dollars – insured financial institutions fund its operations.

FDIC press releases and other information are available on the Internet at www.fdic.gov, by subscription electronically (go to www.fdic.gov/about/subscriptions/index.html) and may also be obtained through the FDIC’s Public Information Center (877-275-3342 or 703-562-2200). PR-161-2010

Financial Tips from the FDIC

The following site offers weekly practical financial tips to consumers:


What Motivates Low Income Earners to Save Money?

The following is a fine new report published by Earned Asset Resource Network (EARN)http://www.earn.org/files/EARN_Saver_Study_Jan_2010.pdf

ARRA: American Recovery & Reinvestment Act of 2009

For a discussion of this new legislation, see http://www.recovery.gov/?q=content/frequently-asked-questions

Credit Card Accountability, Responsibility & Disclosure Act of 2009

A Press Release from the White House on this new law increasing protection of credit card holders:


Refinance Rules Expanding to 125% Loan-to-Value

Homeowners taking part in the Obama administration’s housing rescue program through Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac will now be eligible even if their loan-to-value ratio is up to 125 percent. That means they can have up to 25 percent negative equity and still get a refinance.


The rule changes, part of the government’s attempts to restore housing affordability and stem the foreclosure crisis, apply to loans backed up by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.

Previously, homeowners could borrow up to 105 percent of their home’s value. The new loan-to-value ratio is set up at 125 percent in a further effort to address those mortgage holders who owe more than their homes are worth.

“By expanding refinance eligibility, we can bring relief to more struggling homeowners more quickly,” Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner said in a statement.

Source: CNBC.com July 1, 2009