Bank money markets get FDIC protection

DEAR BRUCE: I have $100,000 in a bank account and $30,000 in a mutual fund from the same bank. The bank is FDIC insured. What happens if the bank goes under? — Janice, via e-mail

DEAR JANICE: Your $100,000 is perfectly safe. The FDIC insurance has been temporarily raised to $250,000 a depositor. As to the $30,000, I think you must mean a money-market fund, since banks customarily do not issue mutual funds. A money-market fund is just another name for a bank account, which will be fully covered as well since you are well under the $250,000 maximum.

DEAR BRUCE: My bank refuses to renew my home-equity line of credit because half of the home is in my family's name and is in an irrevocable trust. I was told I could Quitclaim the home into the survivors share (revocable) temporarily then switch it back after the home equity line of credit is granted. Is this legal? — Maureen, via e-mail

DEAR MAUREEN: You might want to run this past an attorney, but I seriously doubt that you'll be able to do this.

Once the home-equity loan has been granted — which is in essence a mortgage — the title on the property may not be changed without the banks permission as long as the mortgage is in effect.

DEAR BRUCE: My mom, who is 82 years old, recently sold her house and moved into a senior community. What is the best way for her to invest the money from the house, which will also give her a monthly allowance? — Kay, Washington

DEAR KAY: Things get complicated as soon as you put the word "best" in the equation. There are many ways to invest money, but for a person who is your mom's age, you want to risk very little to nothing. That reduces your options.

At this writing, longer-term CDs (over one year) are paying in excess of 4 percent. That is probably the best way to go. You may buy an FDIC-insured CD at any bank, which will cover $250,000.

If the amount invested exceeds $250,000, use another bank and get another $250,000 in coverage.

Send your questions to: Smart Money, P.O. Box 2095, Elfers, FL 34680. E-mail to: Questions of general interest will be answered in future columns.

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