Apple Virus, South African Consumer Debt, DocX Racketering, UK Debt Relief

Fake Apple Emails Lead to Computer Virus Infection

Online criminals targeting exploits is nothing new, but they are now taking a multi-pronged approach to compromising your security.

They are not just exploiting unpatched flaws in your applications; when that fails they convince you to infect yourself.

Take, for example, this email I received today pretending to be an invoice from Apple for a $699.99 postcard.

If you click any of the links, you are taken to an unrelated page proclaiming to be the IRS and saying you are not using a supported browser.

Read the rest of the article here.

South African Consumer Debts Mount as Economy Grows

As South Africa’s economy has grown, so has consumer debt. Forty-seven percent of South Africans with credit have impaired records. A substantial amount of that bad credit is tied up in high-interest, unsecured loans.

Imagine you want to get a quick infusion of cash, but your income isn’t enough and you don’t have the savings.

Enter the unsecured loan. Without money down, you can get an unsecured loan, meaning you’re taking out money without collateral.

For the average consumer, this kind of loan is tempting but can be a handful once repayment begins.

Louisa Hetisani, manager for Credit Information & Research at the National Credit Regulator, said these loans pack a high interest rate.

“Currently the highest rate that can be paid for these unsecured personal loans is higher than any other kind of credit,” said Hetisani. “It’s 31 percent.”

Read the rest of the article here.

Michigan attorney general charges ex-president of mortgage documents processor with racketeering

Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette on Monday said he had charged Lorraine Brown, former president of mortgage document processor DocX, with racketeering for her alleged role in authorizing the fraudulent signing of mortgage documents filed in Michigan.

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The felony charge comes as the result of an ongoing investigation into questionable mortgage documentation filed with Michigan’s Register of Deeds offices during the foreclosure crisis.

“Shortcuts like robo-signing are just one piece of the mortgage foreclosure crisis,” said Schuette. “Our investigation remains ongoing, and we will bring to justice every lawbreaker we find.”

Lorraine Brown has been charged with one count of conducting criminal enterprises (racketeering), a 20-year felony, in Kent County’s 61st District Court. Arrangements are being made for Brown to surrender to Michigan authorities, and arraignment will be scheduled at a later date.

Read the rest of the article here.

UK Consumer Debt Relief Market Growing

Analysis of both company revenues and insolvency statistics suggest that the industry is now approaching £400m in size. It grew strongly during the period up to 2010, as expanding consumer lending led to high personal debt levels. Since then, despite a harsher economic climate with increased unemployment, low wage growth and high borrowing costs which has led to ever more people falling into insolvency, market growth has been checked.

While the enduring recessionary environment currently being experienced is a particularly potent one for DMPs, the factors behind the slowing of the market include pressure on fees, changes in product mix and the tighter consumer credit market: levels of unsecured debt in 2011 fell below what they had been in 2005 hence fees related to repayment levels were correspondingly lower.

New financial products, such as payday loans, now have an important role in the marketplace with some consumers using them to service other debts. However, high interest rates – and the possibility of regulation – mean this may not be sustainable.

The market is served by large players, such as Think Money, Paymex and Fairpoint, sometimes referred to as ‘factories’, as well as a long tail of smaller practitioners and a significant not-for-profit sector. In recent years, leading providers have expanded their product ranges, sometimes by acquisition, to increase their chances of being able to provide a solution to every potential customer, and reshaped their businesses to respond to take advantage of growth segments and fee

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The outlook for the industry is complex with uncertainty over when the economy will recover, what impact the recovery will have on the market – as it could ease pressure on debtors but also allow them to run up bigger debts – and also regulation: the OFT is currently looking at Payday Loans and DMP regulatory power moves to the new FCA in April 2014.

Read the rest of the article here.

The items above caught my attention and I thought I should share them with you. To read the full articles, click on the links at the end of the excerpts.

Steve Rhode is the Get Out of Debt Guy and has been helping good people with bad debt problems since 1994. You can learn more about Steve, here.
Steve Rhode

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