Help Wanted: First-time home buyers

by admin

First time home buyers, we need you. It was a presidential priority as 2015 kicked off, and today lower mortgage insurance premiums from the Federal Housing Administration go into effect. The lowered rates for premiums is part of the plan President Obama introduced in early January to jump-start first-time home buying. On Friday, the National…

Paying less than $16 per hour not fair: Aetna CEO

by admin

Aetna (AET) raised employees’ wages to a base of $16 per hour because paying them less was not fair, Chairman and CEO Mark Bertolini told CNBC on Wednesday. “Here we are a Fortune 50 company and we’re about to put these people into poverty, and I just didn’t think it was fair,” he said during…

IRS warns of delayed refunds, long waits for taxpayers and possible shutdown

by admin

With a week to go before tax season opens, taxpayers were already bracing for a potentially “miserable” filing season. It turns out that it could live up to the hype. Internal Revenue Service (IRS) Commissioner Koskinen has advised employees that the budget cuts will result in reduced services to taxpayers. In an email to employees sent…

Social Security won’t seize tax refunds to collect old debts

by admin

WASHINGTON (AP) — People who owe old debts to the Social Security Administration are getting a reprieve this tax season: The federal government won’t be seizing their tax refunds. Acting Social Security Commissioner Carolyn Colvin suspended a debt collection program last spring in which thousands of people had tax refunds seized to recoup overpayments that…

5 ways to cure a holiday debt hangover

by admin

That queasy feeling in the pit of your stomach after the holidays may have more to do with your credit card bill than all that Champagne you knocked back on New Year’s Eve. In a recent Yahoo poll, nearly 70% of readers said they used credit cards to pay for their holiday shopping this year.…

The Most Completely Depressing Stat About Americans’ Debt

by Joshua Friedman

Consumer confidence may be up, but the picture changes when Americans think about their debt load and the likelihood they’ll ever dig out from it. In a new CreditCards.com survey, 18% of Americans with debt say they won’t eliminate those debts in their lifetime, double the number who said the same in a 2013 survey.…

Older Americans Buoy Housing With High Ownership Rate

by Joshua Friedman

Bill Braswell is staying put in his Virginia home even though he could sell it for 10 times what he paid in 1980 and some of his retired friends are moving to warmer climates. “I’m on boards and commissions and I enjoy that brain activity, so no, I don’t want to move to South Carolina…

Prisoner Tax Fraud Now a $1 Billion Problem

by admin

The Internal Revenue Service has long-struggled with weeding out prisoner tax fraud—an issue that costs taxpayers tens of millions of dollars every year. Despite the IRS’s efforts, the problem is getting worse. Tax fraud committed by incarcerated people has skyrocketed in the last few years. Fraudulent refund claims by prisoners ballooned to more than $1…

Jobless Claims in U.S. Increase to Almost Three-Month High

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More Americans than forecast filed for unemployment benefits last week, a possible sign the pace of improvement in the labor market has cooled. Jobless claims increased by 21,000 to 313,000 in the week ended Nov. 22, the highest since early September, from 292,000 in the prior period, the Labor Department reported today in Washington. It…

What recovery? A look at those left behind

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In college, English major Michael Greene planned to pursue a career in advertising. He built a portfolio and had several interviews. But when he graduated in 2008, the recession was in full swing. Now, six years later, he’s held a handful of jobs in various fields—telemarketing, office administration and now information technology—but not advertising. While…