140320-Home-Equity-Loans

We’ve always heard that owning a home is a great investment. The problem is, barring a plumbing catastrophe, that investment is not liquid. Your home’s value is locked up and hidden deep inside those four walls. Before 1997, due to stringent homestead protections, Texans weren’t able to tap the equity in their home, but since then the laws have changed and you can gain some liquidity from your most precious investment, with some limitations.

Texas protects homeowners

In an effort to protect homeowners, the Texas Constitution lays out some stringent rules for lenders in regards to home equity loans and lines of credit. Continue reading

Tax-Scam

Last month, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) published its yearly list of the most prolific tax-related scams. The 2014 list contains a number of scams including some that taxpayers attempt to use to evade taxes. But the list also includes several that criminals use to try and scam taxpayers out of money. Here, you’ll find summaries of those scams. You can also view the full list on the IRS website.

Identity Theft

Identity theft, where thieves use stolen personal information to commit crime, is a year-round problem. During tax season, thieves use this information to file fraudulent tax returns and claim refunds. This will create problems when you go to file your legitimate tax return. See the identity theft section of the IRS website for tips and assistance related to identity theft issues. Continue reading