- Kirk HaverkampDecember 17, 2011 - MortgageLoan.com
Friday, Dec 16, 2011
Books are always a popular item at Christmas. Since we’re all about mortgages and personal finance here, we thought we’d put together a list of some of the more popular mortgage-related books for consumers this year.
You can give them to someone on your list who’s thinking about buying a home or refinancing a mortgage, or even pick up a couple for yourself. They cover a fairly broad swath, from financial advice to looking at the causes of the subprime mortgage crisis, that address various aspects of mortgages, real estate and debt.
The following are some of the most popular titles this year:
The Mortgage Encyclopedia: The Authoritative Guide to Mortgage Programs, Practices, Prices and Pitfalls, Second Edition. Jack M. Guttentag. (McGraw-Hill, $24.95)
Although this came out in 2010, we’re including it because it’s one of the most comprehensive consumer guides to mortgages that’s out there. The author is Jack Guttentag, aka “The Mortgage Professor,” a nationally syndicated mortgage columnist and retired professor of economics at the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania. The Book offers clear explanations of common mortgage terms and concepts, practical advice on obtaining a mortgage, clears up common misconceptions about home loans and refinancing, and includes various tables to help sort out the financial ins-and-outs of getting a mortgage.
Save Your Home: Without Losing Your Mind or Your Money. Anna Cuevas. (Volition Press, $14.95)
Author Anna Cuevas is an award-winning former bank executive turned blogger and consumer advocate known as “America’s Loan Modification Guru.” In this book, she reaches out to financially pressed homeowners who have been led to believe foreclosure is their only option with practical advice on how to fight back to retain their homes. Included are the Five Biggest Pitfalls awaiting homeowners seeking loan modifications and how to avoid them, as well as other advice on how homeowners can be their own best advocate when dealing with their lenders.
The Essential Handbook for Buying a Home. Karen Rittenhouse. (Southeastern Investments LLC, $9.95)
A short (160 pages) guide to the fundamentals of buying a home. Provides the information the buyer needs in a concise “Just the facts” format that takes the mystery out of homebuying. Includes advice on determining property values, improving your chances of getting a mortgage, understanding closing costs and many other aspects of the homebuying process you may not have considered.
The 10 Commandments of Money: Survive and Thrive in the New Economy. Liz Pulliam. (Hudson Street Press, $25.95)
Liz Pulliam, personal finance columnist for MSN Money, lays out a road map for financial success coming out of the Great Recession. Her “commandments” include advice on such things as creating a realistic budget, smart ways to pay off debt, preserving the equity in your home, the sensible way to embrace financial risk, saving for retirement and defending yourself in the war on consumers. With an occasional humorous touch, the book offers a solid yet readable primer on personal finance for those who are concerned about successfully managing their finances in an uncertain economic environment.
Credit Repair. Robin Leonard and Margaret Reiter. (Nolo, $24.99)
Written by two attorneys, this book provides a straightforward, step-by-step approach to fixing your credit in the shortest possible time after a financial calamity. Explains why quick-fix approaches don’t work and warns against illegal and unsafe tactics that are often suggested to debtors, as well as further credit traps that may be set for the unwary. Clears up common misconceptions about credit and provides advice on how to save money and get out of debt. Includes a CD with dozens of form letters for submission to creditors and credit bureaus to clear up credit problems.
Upside Down: How We Survived 7 Short Sales. Greg Pechmann. (Pechmann Coaching, $17.97)
For homeowners facing bankruptcy or foreclosure, the author tells of how he went from being a mortgage broker making $750,000 a year to losing everything. In the process, he and his family ended up having to sell not just one, but seven homes that were headed for foreclosure. Not a guide to “gaming the system,” but rather how to handle the emotional side of the crisis and keep a level head amid the chaos. The book addresses breaking down problems into manageable pieces, coping with crushing debt and how to find allies such as a good real estate agent who can help you.
The Subprime Virus: Reckless Credit, Regulatory Failure and Next Steps. Kathleen Engel and Patricia McCoy. (Oxford University Press, $34.95)
A sharp, but accessible, look at how consumer abuses in a formerly obscure corner of the mortgage market led to worst economic crisis since the Great Depression. The authors, experts in law and the economics of financial regulation and consumer lending, look at the role of regulators who were aware of how far lenders and Wall Street were going in financing risky mortgages, but did little to rein them in until the whole system of subprime mortgages imploded. An informed look at the political and financial missteps that led to the crisis and what can be done to prevent a repeat in the future.