Nov 17

By Karla Bowsher – Money Talks News

Foreclosure starts experienced a “dramatic” jump last month, with 34 states recording increases, according to RealtyTrac.

The housing data provider’s U.S. Foreclosure Market Report for October 2015 shows that 48,605 properties started the foreclosure process for the first time last month.

That represents a 12 percent increase in foreclosure starts from September, the largest month-over-month increase since August 2011.

The 12 percent monthly jump in foreclosure starts was also the primary cause for a 6 percent monthly increase in overall foreclosure filings — which includes default notices, scheduled auctions and bank repossessions — last month, according to RealtyTrac. [read more]

Nov 17

By Katherine Noyes – CIO

It’s a case that would seem to defy the odds many times over: Two Florida women born on the same day, in the same state, and given almost the same name. Though no one realized it at the time, it turns out they were also given the same Social Security number.

Joanna Rivera and Joannie Rivera only recently discovered the problem, according to a report this week, but in the meantime it’s caused no end of trouble for them. Credit applications have been denied; tax returns have been rejected.

Identity theft might have been a likely assumption, but in this case, it was something different.

After 25 years of confusion, the Social Security Administration reportedly has admitted its mistake at last: In 1990, two Florida hospitals created the same record for two babies with similar first names, the same last name and the same date of birth, and the administration gave them both the same Social Security number. [read more]

Nov 16

By Chris Stewart – WPTV

Dealing with debt is a problem many families face. But what if you could get out of debt without paying the bill at all?

Riviera Beach resident Tekesha Saffold has battled debt and described it as making her “miserable.”

She suffered a MRSA infection and since she didn’t have insurance, the medical bills piled up to $25,000.

She couldn’t pay it, her credit was killed, and it derailed her hopes of buying a house.

“It was stressful knowing that if this does not get removed off my credit report, I would not be able to be a future homeowner,” said Saffold.

Then she found the best way for her to get away from that bill was to not to pay it. [read more]

Nov 13

By Nicole Hensley – New York Daily News

The mayor of a Detroit metropolitan suburb was too busy to hear the desperate pleas of residents at risk of losing their foreclosed homes — he had a pizza party to attend.

Dozens of emotional Garden City residents toting babies and stacks of paperwork were ready to speak out at a Monday swearing-in ceremony, but according to local reports, re-elected Mayor Randy Walker refused to hear them out.

“We had food waiting,” Walker told the Detroit News. “We had pizza coming out of the oven.”

He claims public comment is not a feature of such ceremonies, though Michigan law requires some form of public comment where officials meet in a public capacity.

Even if Walker did take public comment, all responsibility of the properties are in the hands of a developer who bought the houses from Garden City. Homeowners had three years to pay off unpaid taxes before being served with eviction notices.

“That’s disgusting,” Andrea Rowe told WJBK-TV. “You’d rather go eat pizza than, the very people that voted you in, tell them to their face why their houses are being taken from them.” [read more]

Nov 12

By Rachel Witkowski and Rob Blackwell – American Banker

Even before the Republican presidential debate started, it made financial news – not because of what was said, but an ad that ran during the broadcast late Tuesday night.

A group called the American Action Network bought a 30-second spot that portrayed the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau as a Stalinist nightmare, complete with two large red banners portraying its director, Richard Cordray, and its founder, Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass. In the video, mindless drones in drab clothing mechanically stamp “DENIED” on consumer loans while a narrator describes the agency as “designed to interfere with your personal financial decisions.” The ad ends by imploring viewers to “Tell Congress to Stop the CFPB.”

While many bankers may cheer the ad’s portrayal of the CFPB, its gross mischaracterization of the agency is likely to backfire – and is already helping bankers’ greatest foe, Warren, raise money. [read more]

Nov 11

By Karl Bode – TechDirt

While there’s been no limit of hand wringing from the grumpy grandpa corners of the Internet about the mean old “over-reaching” FCC, the agency has actually been making some good decisions lately. Reclassifying ISPs under Title II and passing tough net neutrality rules (which, contrary to chicken littles has been a good thing so far), stopping ISPs from buying state protectionist broadband law, cracking down on cramming, thwarting convention centers from blocking personal Wi-Fi so you’ll use their pricey services; there’s a lot of pro-consumer, pro innovation, pro-competition issues the FCC has woken up to after a fifteen year slumber.

And back in May the FCC announced that it was taking aim at the number one issue consumers complain to the FCC about: robocalling. The FCC said it was considering new rules that would not only make it easier for consumers to opt out of marketing pitches via phone or SMS, but make it clear that voice and wireless carriers can offer new robocall-blocking services without violating call-completion rules. While ISPs like Sonic applauded the FCC’s plan, the agency was of course sued by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, who claimed the FCC “overstepped its authority by creating new restrictions on legitimate, good faith communications from businesses to their customers.” [read more]