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Consumer Confidential: Mortgage defaults, MasterCard app, free e-books

July 9, 2010 | 10:20 am

Here's your superfreak-Friday roundup of consumers news from around the Web:

-- Which group of homeowners is defaulting most on mortgages? Turns out it's the rich. A review of market data by the New York Times finds that one in seven homeowners with loans topping $1 million is seriously delinquent on mortgage payments. By contrast, homeowners with cheaper digs are more likely to be up to date with payments. Only about one in 12 mortgages below the million-dollar mark is delinquent.

-- MasterCard has a new iPhone app that steers cardholders to the credit card company's deal of the day. After downloading the app, you'll receive an alert at 8 a.m. Pacific time every morning letting you know about some gotta-have bargain, such as a discounted vacation package or concert tickets. An hour later, you'll get a chance to actually pay for the deal, of which supply is limited. Then the lucky winners get to pay more money on their next MasterCard statement. Is there an app yet for bankruptcy filings?

-- Borders is giving away books. The company says it will give out five free books to anyone who downloads its e-reader software, which works with most smartphones and other gadgets. The titles on tap include "Frankenstein: Prodigal Son" by Dean Koontz; "One Shot" by Lee Child; "The Alchemyst" by Michael Scott; Julia Child's "Julia's Kitchen Wisdom"; and "Master your Metabolism" by Jillian Michaels. You can also get a chapter of Danielle Steel's new novel, "Legacy." The offer ends July 14.

-- David Lazarus

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