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Showing posts from July, 2010

What Financial Reform Means to You

The Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act, otherwise known as Financial Regulatory Reform, will soon be signed into law by President Obama. The bill is 2,319 pages long -- there's no single article that can fully explain every way in which this sweeping legislation will ultimately impact your life, but it's important to understand at least the basics.

Let's take a look at exactly how this reform bill will impact your life in the coming months and years.

Mortgage Lending
The changes made to mortgages will help assure that consumers are less likely to get nailed with high fees and bad loan terms. The days of the "liar loan" are now officially over. Lenders will now be required to fully document a borrower's income before agreeing to provide a mortgage loan. They will also be required to determine that the borrower can otherwise repay the loan.

The bill also prohibits lenders from offering incentives (called yield spread premiums) to mortgage …

You Don’t Have to Pay for Cable TV

You might not know it, but you can watch HDTV with an antenna.

Over 99% of U.S. TV households can receive at least one local station over the air, while 89% can watch five or more. The picture is perfectly clear thanks to the switch to digital TV completed on June 12, 2009. You’ll either see a crisp, beautiful image or no image at all (static is a thing of the past). And the best part? All your favorite programming will still be in HD.

HDTV is more expensive for local stations to produce, so it’s common to see a station broadcast in regular standard definition during the day, but switch their signal to high definition for prime time. So while the local news may not be in HD, your favorite shows like Glee, America’s Got Talent, and The Bachelorette will be.

Of course, you will need an antenna to make this work, but your HDTV will also have to have an “HDTV tuner” built in. This is sometimes referred to as “integrated HDTV”. If not, you’ll need to buy a separate HDTV tuner that connects…

TPS Extension for Salvadorans

WASHINGTON—U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) announced today that the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) will extend Temporary Protected Status (TPS) for eligible nationals of El Salvador from the current expiration of Sept. 9, 2010, through the new expiration date of March 9, 2012. During the past year, DHS and the Department of State have reviewed the conditions in El Salvador. Based on this review, Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano has determined that an 18-month extension is warranted because the conditions that prompted the 2001 TPS designation of El Salvador following a series of severe earthquakes persist and temporarily prevent El Salvador from adequately handling the return of its nationals.

Under the extension, individuals who have been granted TPS are eligible to re-register and maintain their status for an additional 18 months. There are approximately 217,000 nationals of El Salvador (and people having no nationality who last habitually res…