Mortgage Rates, IHOP: Hot Trends

'Mortgage rates,' IHOP, foreclosures, 'fuel-efficient cars,' Blackberry, Meg Whitman, retirement income and Elizabeth Warren are the trending topics on Google and Yahoo.
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(New information on Freddie Mac's weekly mortgage rate survey and IHOP's lawsuit against the IHOP church group added to the Google Trends Article.)

NEW YORK (

TheStreet

) -- "Mortgage rates" is a trending search topic today after

Freddie Mac

(FMCC)

released its

weekly survey showing that the average 30 year fixed mortgage rate rose

for the second week in a row. The

30 year fixed rate came in at 4.37%

this week, up from last week's 4.35%, but down from 5.04% a year ago.

"Interest rates on 30-year fixed mortgages have remained below 5% for the last 19 weeks giving people ample opportunity to refinance their existing mortgage debt," said Frank Nothaft, vice president and chief economist of Freddie Mac. "Currently, four out of five mortgage applications are for refinancing existing mortgage debt, based on figures by the Mortgage Bankers Association."

The average 15 year fixed mortgage rate dropped to 3.82% from last week's 3.83%. This is the lowest 15 year fixed rate since 1991.

"IHOP" is a popular topic on the Internet today following news that the pancake house is suing the International House of Prayer for illegally using its famous acronym.

The pancake chain, which has been using the acronym "IHOP" since 1973, filed a lawsuit against the Kansas City, Mo. church group earlier this month in a federal court in Los Angeles, Calif.

The lawsuit stated that the group "selected and adopted the International House of Prayer name, knowing it would be abbreviated IHOP," and that "IHOP-KC intended to misappropriate the fame and notoriety of the household name IHOP to help promote and make recognizable their religious organization."

DineEquity

(DIN) - Get Report

is involved in the operation and franchising of IHOP.

"Foreclosures" is a hot topic on the Internet today following reports from RealtyTrac that foreclosure activity was up 4% in August. One in every 381 U.S. homes received a foreclosure filing.

>>Foreclosures Rise; Bank Repos at New High

"The trend lines of decreasing default notices and increasing bank repossessions converged in August, with virtually the same number of new default notices and bank repossessions for the month -- a clear indication that the clogged foreclosure pipeline is being carefully managed on both ends by lenders and servicers," said RealtyTrac CEO James Saccacio.

Nevada had the nation's highest foreclosure rate for the 44th month in a row with a 1.2% foreclosure rate. One in every 84 homes in the state received a foreclosure filing in August. Florida trailed Nevada with a 0.6% foreclosure rate, and Arizona had the nation's third highest foreclosure rate.

"Fuel-efficient cars" is a popular search phrase today following the news that

Edison2's "Very Light Car No. 98"

was one of the $10 million winners in the Automotive X contest to develop highly efficient vehicles.

The vehicle's lightweight materials advanced aerodynamics helps it get over 100 miles per gallon. Edison2 founder Oliver Kuttner said he is looking to sell the car for $20,000.

The No. 98 is made of mainly aluminum and weighs 830 pounds.

"Blackberry" is a trending topic on

Yahoo!

(YHOO)

after yesterday's announcement that

the BlackBerry Curve 3G 9330 will be available with Verizon (VZ) - Get Report

starting on Sept. 16

and on the

Sprint

(S) - Get Report

network on Sept. 26.

The 3G smartphone will run the BlackBerry 5 operating system and will be equipped with WiFi, a 2 megapixel camera, and a QWERTY keyboard. The device will come in gray or purple.

The phone will be available through Sprint's direct-ship sales on Sept. 26, and will be in stores on Oct. 10. The phone, made by

Research in Motion

(RIMM)

, will sell with Verizon for $49.99 with a $100 mail-in-rebate and a 2-year contract.

"Meg Whitman" is a popular search topic today following reports that the former eBay executive has spent $119 million on her campaign for California governor. She has spent more on her campaign that any other American political candidate in history.

Meg Whitman

In a letter to her "fellow Californians"

posted to her campaign Web site

, Whitman said "I am running to rid our state government of waste, duplication and inefficiency so we can get control of runaway spending and create long-term fiscal stability."

Whitman has contributed millions of dollars to her campaign in an effort to beat out Democratic Attorney General Jerry Brown and has beaten the political spending record set by New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg who spent $109 million in his campaign last year.

"Retirement income" is a popular search topic after a recent survey showed that many adults feel they

won't have enough money to pay for basic needs

.

The

June 2010 AARP Closer Look Survey

polled American adults 45 years or older across a range of socioeconomic backgrounds.

The survey found that 60% of American adults who make below $25,000 a year said they are not confident that they could afford basic needs such as food and utilities, and 36% of adults who made more than $25,000 a year said the same.

Almost 20% of respondents said they have had difficulties with expenses related to health care and 33% admitted to postponing needed health or dental care.

"Elizabeth Warren" is a hot search topic following reports that the Harvard law professor will be appointed by President Obama to oversee the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.

Warren inspired the agency, which came to life on July 15 this year with the approval of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act of 2010. One of its major goals is to protect consumers by regulating consumer financial services.

Warren will be appointed assistant to the president, as well as special adviser to Treasury Secretary Timothy F. Geithner. Obama is expected to make an official announcement this week.

The chatter on Main Street (a.k.a. Google) is always of interest to investors on Wall Street. Thus, each day, TheStreet compiles the stories that are trending on Google, and highlights the news that could make stocks move.

-- Written by Theresa McCabe in Boston.

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