| February 21, 2013

Many Americans Get Above Water on Mortgages in 2012

Nearly 2 million homeowners returned to positive equity in 2012.

With home prices plummeting after the financial crisis, many homeowners found themselves underwater on their mortgage. However, prices have been on the rise in the past year, which has helped many people return to positive equity.

According to the fourth quarter Zillow Negative Equity Report, nearly 2 million Americans were freed from negative equity in 2012. At the end of the year, 27.5 percent of homeowners with a mortgage were underwater compared to 31.1 percent at the same time a year ago.

However, approximately 13.8 million homeowners with a mortgage were still underwater as of the end of the year, which could be a problem moving forward. This was improved from the 15.7 million in negative equity at the end of 2011.

“As home values continue to rise and more homeowners are pulled out of negative equity in 2013, the positive effects on the housing market will be numerous, said the firm’s chief economist Stan Humphries. “Freed from negative equity, homeowners will have more flexibility, and some will likely choose to list their home for sale, helping to ease inventory constraints and moderating sometimes dramatic, demand-driven price increases in some markets.”

With more money available to homeowners who have gotten above water on their mortgages, they may be able to improve their financial situations.

Pay down credit card debt People who have a significant amount of credit card debt could benefit from paying this down. It is recommended to start with the card that has the highest interest rate or is costing the most money and moving down the priority list. Eliminating debt can have many benefits, including more financial freedom and an improved credit score.

Create an emergency fund – Another possible use of the extra money could be to start an emergency fund. This type of savings can help protect people’s finances if they ever face an unexpected expense, such as a trip to the emergency room or home repair.

Save for retirement – With the costs of retirement always increasing, having extra money to put in your nest egg is never a bad thing. People should consider increasing their contribution to their 401(k) plan or putting more money in an IRA or other retirement account. This can help ensure that they have enough money to live on when they leave the work for good.

"We are really proud to recommend Consolidated Credit" Kathleen Cannon, President & CEO of United Way of Broward County. Consolidated Credit Counseling Services, Inc. is pleased to announce our partnership with the United Way as a United Way Chairman’s Circle Organization.

"We are really proud to recommend Consolidated Credit" Kathleen Cannon, President & CEO of United Way of Broward County. Consolidated Credit Counseling Services, Inc. is pleased to announce our partnership with the United Way as a United Way Chairman’s Circle Organization.

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Consolidated Credit is honored to receive the 2012 Excellence in Financial Literacy Education (EIFLE) Nonprofit Organization of the Year award. The EIFLE awards acknowledge innovation, dedication and the commitment of organizations that support financial literacy education worldwide. See what Consolidated Credit can do for you.

Consolidated Credit is honored to receive the 2012 Excellence in Financial Literacy Education (EIFLE) Nonprofit Organization of the Year award. The EIFLE awards acknowledge innovation, dedication and the commitment of organizations that support financial literacy education worldwide. See what Consolidated Credit can do for you.

The National Industry Standards for Homeownership Education and Counseling are a set of guidelines for quality homeownership and counseling services. Industry professionals who adopt these standards can be trusted to provide consistent, high quality advice.
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Time tested and customer trusted. Consolidated Credit Counseling Services has been a BBB Accredited Business since 1998 and has a current A+ rating. Call us today and see what we can do for you.

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Consolidated Credit is proud to be an ANAB accredited member. Accreditation by a recognized and respected body such as ANAB ensures the impartiality and competence of our company. To see what we can do for you, give us a call.

U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development - HUD's mission is to create strong, sustainable, inclusive communities and quality affordable homes for all. Consolidated Credit is proud to be a member of HUD and also part of the Hope Now Alliance.

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