Business News: New mortgage rules aim to prevent risky loans

(CNN) - New mortgage rules take effect today, which are aimed at protecting borrowers from abusive lenders.

The new federal policies are designed at reducing the risk of defaults and foreclosures.

Lenders must now determine that a borrower has the income and assets to make payments throughout the life of the loan.

But, the new rules do not require a minimum down payment. So, first-time buyers have a better chance at getting a loan.

Borrowers should contact their bank or lender with questions about the new requirements.



(CNN) - If you don't like the IRS, you're not alone.

A new report to Congress may explain why so many Americans are frustrated with the tax collection agency.

This week's study from the National Taxpayer Advocate finds the IRS "desperately" needs more funding to do its job.

The agency's budget has been cut by about 8 percent since 2010 and much of that funding once paid for employee training.

There are also about 8,000 fewer full-time workers on staff.

Agents are also taking nearly a year on average to respond to identity theft investigations.



(CBS) - It was a dismal holiday shopping season for Sears.

Sears holding, which operates sears and K-mart stores, expects a loss of as much as $316 million dollars in the fourth quarter, thanks to disappointing holiday sales.

Sears is facing increasing competition from chains like Wal-Mart.


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