Higher rates not bad for economy: Fed’s Bullard

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Don’t fear the hawk. That’s what St. Louis Fed President James Bullard told CNBC on Friday-saying a tighter tack on Fed monetary policy does not have to be bad for the economy. “It means the committee could be more confident that the economy is going to improve in the future and handle the higher [interest]…

Home builder confidence surges despite slower sales

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After leaping decisively into positive territory in July, home builder sentiment pulled another surprise in August. A monthly index from the National Association of Home Builders measuring confidence among single-family home builders rose 2 points to 55; analysts had expected the index to hold unchanged at its July level, after steep drops in new home…

Economists raise third-quarter U.S. growth forecasts: Philly Fed survey

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NEW YORK (Reuters) – Economists raised their forecasts for U.S. economic growth in the third quarter but trimmed their estimates for the balance of 2014, though the outlook for both job growth and lower unemployment was strengthened. Analysts see the economy growing at an annual rate of 3.0 percent in the current quarter, up from…

Can I Be Sued Even If I’m Trying to Pay Back a Debt?

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Every day, across America, hundreds of lawsuits are filed against consumers who owe debts they haven’t been able to pay. Consumers who learn they are being sued sometimes scramble to work out a payment arrangement in the hope of keeping the matter out of the courts. Does it work? Not always, as one of our…

Justice Department’s “New Toy” Could Cost Wall Street Big Bucks

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The Department of Justice has taken a lot of flak for its response to the mortgage crisis that helped lead the U.S. into the Great Recession in the middle of the last decade. Criminal prosecutions have been few, and settlements with large banks, such as B of A and JP Morgan Chase have taken years…

Millennials are dragging down homeownership

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Homeownership continues to fall, and younger Americans will push it even lower. Rising home prices, skyrocketing student loan debt, rising mortgage rates and changing life choices-any one factor would affect how and when people make the single largest investment of their lives. But add them up and the results are striking. The nation’s homeownership rate…

How My Student Loans Ballooned From $8K to $36K

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Confusion over student loan payments left an Arizona woman owing nearly five times the amount she took out to finance her education, though she insists she repaid the balances years ago, KTVK-3TV reports. Michelle Hudman took out three loans totaling $8,400 in the 1980s. As she explained to a local reporter, Hudman repaid one loan and her mom…

After Detroit, another city ponders bankruptcy

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FLINT, Mich. — As Detroit struggles to climb out of bankruptcy, another Michigan city with strong ties to the auto industry may be about to fall into the same hole. Flint, the birthplace of General Motors that once had 200,000 residents, has also endured a spectacular drop in population and factory jobs and a corresponding…

Your 401(k) Plan May Provide a False Sense of Security

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The 401(k) landscape is definitely improving. But with this improvement comes a new danger: Your plan may be giving giving you a false sense of security. According to a report on 2013 defined contribution plan data, “How America Saves 2014,” recently published by Vanguard, more than 88 million Americans participate in defined contribution plans. The…

Jobs, cars seen cementing U.S. spring rebound

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BRUSSELS (Reuters) – The United States can firmly consign its weather-beaten start to the year to history this week with June vehicle sales and jobs data expected to show a strong end to the second quarter. The U.S. economy contracted at a 2.9 percent annual rate, the sharpest decline in five years, in the Jan-March…