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April 24th, 2010
08:12 PM ET

Did you hear?

Rod Blagojevich, the governor fired by the Illinois legislature, wants President Obama to testify at his corruption trial.  He  claims President Obama could clear up conflicting statements about his vacated Senate seat.

CNN's Fredricka Whitfield talked about this and other legal cases of interest with our legal experts.  Avery Friedman is a civil rights attorney and law professor in Cleveland, Ohio.  Richard Herman is a New York criminal defense attorney and law professor.

Filed under: CNN Newsroom • Fredricka Whitfield • Josh Levs
April 24th, 2010
08:01 PM ET

Immigration Showdown

The nation's toughest new immigration law is under fire.  Arizona's governor signed the controversial legislation Friday amid protests.

Advocacy groups are already planning legal challenges.

The new statute authorizes police to check whether someone is in the country illegally.  Arizona officials say they must do what the federal government won't do.

But critics are vowing to fight the new law in court.

CNN's Fredricka Whitfield checked with legal experts,  Richard Herman and Avery Friedman, to find out if they think the new law will pass legal muster.


Filed under: CNN Newsroom • Fredricka Whitfield • Josh Levs
April 24th, 2010
07:51 PM ET

A$k the Dolans

"Join us, don't fight us."  That's the message President Obama is sending Wall Street.  Earlier this week he urged big banks to get on board his financial reform plan.

CNN's Fredricka Whitfield asks personal financial experts, Ken and Daria Dolan, to tell us what financial regulation reforms are meant to accomplish.

Filed under: CNN Newsroom • Fredricka Whitfield • Josh Levs
April 24th, 2010
02:56 AM ET

Is the Tax Credit Over?

From housing and finance expert Clyde Anderson:

It's been a huge boost to the housing market, but it's almost over. Yes I'm talking about the now famous Housing Tax Credit made available by the Obama Administration. It's been a great ride, but as the saying goes, "All good things must come to an end." The question a lot of people are asking…Will the government extend it?

Potential homebuyers have the opportunity to receive an $8,000 incentive to purchase a home if they were a first time buyer, while $6,500 was made available for repeat buyers were both designed to help provide a renewed sense of homeownership. Both were designed to stimulate the housing market and it succeeded in doing just that. The program aided many people that were on the fence about purchasing view the tax credit as that nudge that pushed them over into the land of homeownership.

The tax credit was designed to give homebuyers who sign a property contract prior to April 30, 2010 and close prior to June 30, 2010 a huge incentive. The big questions as of lately is how do I get my money? Well, when you file your 2009 taxes you should include a copy of your HUD-1 Settlement Statement and complete the IRS form 5405. The IRS will send you a check for the amount of the credit you qualified for based on your housing ownership status. Uncle Sam will then send you a check for the amount of the credit you qualified for $8,000 or $6,500. If you have filed tour 2009 Tax Returns already you can file an amended return to show that you have actually purchased and closed on a property in order to get your credit this year.

It's a great incentive to get a check from the government for do something you have been debating about for years or better yet, for doing something you were going to do anyway. I caution buyers not to use the tax credit as the main thing to help them decide to buy or cause them to feel rushed to purchase in fear that they are going to miss out on the funds. Remember, you will still be paying for the maintenance, upkeep, mortgage, insurance on that property that far exceeds the tax incentive over time.

Watch for Clyde Anderson's Home School segments Saturday mornings with TJ Holmes in the CNN Newsroom.

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Filed under: CNN Newsroom