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  • Are the Deregulators Trying to Destroy the Economy?Government, Banking, Consumer Protection, Blog, Money

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    I understand that deregulators are committed to an ideology. We all need something to believe in, after all, and they believe in the power of markets to both create growth and self-regulate. That’s all very nice and looks good on paper, but given the past few years, that argument simply doesn’t pass the straight face test. I mean, let’s be real, deregulation nearly destroyed our economy as the past few years clearly demonstrate. But the […]

  • Financial Responsibility: A Reaction or A Reality?Financial Literacy, Blog, Personal Finance, Money

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    In five short years we’ve gone from no borrower left behind, to no borrower left standing… and even those borrowers who somehow managed to claw their way back onto the train were often unceremoniously flung back off the trestle. It seemed that no one, except for a few dozen guys at Goldman Sachs, was safe. While most financial reports are exhausting, terrifying and uncertain, the only thing we seem to be able to count on […]

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    Your Credit Report: A Resume, Not a Rap SheetFinancial Literacy, Blog, Personal Finance, Money

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    As long as I can remember, most consumers have regarded credit as the destroyer of worlds—a scary black cloud hovering over us all—and the credit reporting agencies as the institutional manifestation of Darth Vader. I must admit, the concept of busy little gnomes tracking every credit transaction, inscribing each in an individual’s discrete financial book of life and then publishing, for good measure, a GPA-like number next to their name—which can determine whether, and at […]

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    Your Credit: A Million Little Pieces?Blog, Personal Finance, Money

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    All those unwanted credit card applications arriving in your mailbox, would you ever consider just handing them out to strangers so they, too, can take advantage of your good credit? Of course you wouldn’t. But if you’re ripping up your credit card applications – even into tiny little pieces – and throwing them in the trash, you may as well be handing them out. Earlier this year, one man documented online how he tore up […]

  • Give Us Your Tired, Your Poor… And Their Serious Home-Buying PowerMortgages, Blog, Money

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    The Seattle Times reports the story of a man and his family who moved to the Emerald City and bought a house there. A simple American tale, but not quite: the man was an undocumented immigrant, without a credit report or a social security number. Seem like that should be a problem? Well, no. Lately, more and more lenders have begun offering mortgages – knowingly – to undocumented immigrants. Through one of these lenders, the […]

  • Credit Freeze – An (Intentionally) Inconvenient Process?Government, Blog, Money

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    So, you live in one of the 20 states that allow all consumers – not just victims of identity – the right to freeze their credit. And, you’re thinking of taking advantage of the opportunity to protect yourself from identity theft. It should be easy, right? Well, not exactly… The St. Paul (MN) Pioneer Press reported on October 23 that one of its readers, anxious to take advantage of the new credit freeze law, tried […]

  • Credit Freeze – An (Inconvenient) Ounce of Prevention?Government, Consumer Protection, Blog, Money

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    If you asked identity theft victims whether they would have preferred to protect themselves before or after their information was stolen, there’s a good chance they would opt for “before.” Take, for instance, the story of Dawn Higgins, of Arlington, VA. This week, The Daily Times of Salisbury, MD reported the devastating effects of identify theft on Higgins’s finances. She had purchased rental property in another state and entrusted the property management to friends. Unbeknownst […]

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