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  • 10 Ways to Prevent Non-Essential Spending

    In a world where it is drummed into us to buy things and that doing so even makes us happier, non-essential spending can play havoc with our finances. What is non-essential spending? It is spending money for...

    • Posted April 4, 2018
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  • New Medicare Cards Coming Soon

    New Medicare cards are coming soon. Here’s what you need to know about your new card. Plus, how to avoid related scams. Starting in April 2018, Medicare will begin mailing new cards to everyone who gets Medicare...

    • Posted April 3, 2018
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  • The Heartbreak of Spousal Identity Theft

    It’s Valentine’s Day and you and your spouse are enjoying a candle lit dinner at your favorite restaurant. Everything feels picture perfect as you end your evening sharing a heart-shaped chocolate dessert. When you try to pay...

    • Posted April 2, 2018
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  • Why Millennials Should Stop Shunning Credit Cards

    Apparently many in my generation — albeit a bit younger than I am — are ditching credit cards. That’s the conclusion Fortune came to based on data that finds only one-third of Millennials utilize credit cards, the majority of...

    • Posted March 30, 2018
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  • People Harmed by the RushCard Outages in October 2015 May be Eligible to Receive Compensation

    Today, people who weren’t able to access the money on their RushCards in October 2015, but no longer have an active RushCard account, will have redress checks mailed to them.  And earlier this month, people who were...

    • Posted March 30, 2018
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  • Got Toys”R”Us gift cards?

    If you’ve been following the news, you’ve probably seen that the iconic Toys”R”Us is winding down its business operations in the U.S., and closing its stores across the country, including stores in Puerto Rico. At this time,...

    • Posted March 29, 2018
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  • 7 Tips for Saving Money on Your Disney Parks Vacation

    This might seem random coming from a personal finance enthusiast, but I love the Disney theme parks. The reason this may seem strange is because resorts like Disneyland and Walt Disney World are famously expensive and continue...

    • Posted March 29, 2018
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  • FTC to Begin Mailing Checks to Victims of Tech Support Scam

    The Federal Trade Commission will begin mailing 36,830 checks totaling $10,158,601, to consumers who lost money to a technical support scam. Inbound Call Experts, LLC, doing business as Advanced Tech Support, along with other defendants, agreed to...

    • Posted March 28, 2018
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  • Bitcoin + Online Chain Referral = Illegal Scheme

    Ever get a chain letter in the mail or online? Then you know the drill — you send money to a person at the top of the list, then take their name off and add yours to...

    • Posted March 28, 2018
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  • Surviving a Cash Crisis

    At one time or another, we are all faced with a crisis wherein we need cash quickly. Depending on how desperate for cash you may find yourself, the list below explores a few ways to raise money...

    • Posted March 28, 2018
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  • Does Your Kid Owe Taxes?

    It seems inconceivable that something as innocent as a lemonade stand could rouse the interest of the IRS. Believe it or not, though, there are a number of entrepreneurial activities your kids might try which would yield...

    • Posted March 27, 2018
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  • The True Cost of March Madness… for the Fans

    March Madness. The NCAA Playoffs. The World Cup. The World Series. These are just a few of the major sporting events that Americans spend lots of time and money on… and it’s usually seen as worth it...

    • Posted March 27, 2018
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  • Get-Rich Scheme Sold to Wannabe Amazon Sellers

    “Get started selling on Amazon and make $5,000 – $10,000 in the next 30 days… even if you’ve never sold anything online before.” That’s one of the pitches the promoters of a large get-rich scheme used to...

    • Posted March 26, 2018
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  • Western Union Refunds Scam Alert

    We’ve heard that people are getting official-looking emails about the Western Union settlement. The thing to know is that you cannot apply for a refund by email. The scam emails we’ve seen ask for information about your...

    • Posted March 26, 2018
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  • What the Latest Fed Rate Hike Means for You

    The Federal Reserve on Wednesday hiked its benchmark interest rate from 1.5% to 1.75%, the highest its been since 2008. The central bank also suggested that additional rate increases are coming later this year. So what does...

    • Posted March 26, 2018
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  • How to Prep Your Credit for Whatever’s on Your Financial Wish List

    Back in San Francisco in 2012, I was one of many NYC transplants desperately trying to find an apartment in a city that just didn’t have enough to go around. So many people were in the same...

    • Posted March 23, 2018
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  • 5 Ways to Reduce the Cost of Operating Your Car

    Buying a car is expensive enough, but most people would agree that owning a car is far more taxing on one’s finances, with unexpected repairs, gas money, parking fees and traffic summons quickly adding up. In this...

    • Posted March 23, 2018
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  • Defendants Settle FTC Charges in ‘Money Now Funding’ Credit Card Laundering Scheme

    Michael Abdelmesseh and KMA Merchant Services LLC have agreed to settle a Federal Trade Commission lawsuit for laundering credit card charges for Money Now Funding (MNF), a business opportunity scheme that falsely promised consumers they would make...

    • Posted March 20, 2018
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  • Watch Out for These New Tax Scams

    They’re at it again… tax scammers scheming new ways to steal personal information and money. In the first scenario, identity thieves file a fake tax return and have the refund deposited into your bank account. The thieves...

    • Posted March 20, 2018
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  • Durham North Carolina Tax Return Preparer Sentenced to Prison

    A Durham, North Carolina, tax return preparer was sentenced to 20 months in prison today for aiding and assisting in the preparation of false tax returns, announced Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General Richard E. Zuckerman of the...

    • Posted March 20, 2018
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  • FTC Sending Refund Checks Totaling More Than $437,000 to Consumers Who Bought Bogus Weight-loss Products

    Defendants bombarded consumers with illegal spam email pitching supplements The Federal Trade Commission is mailing 18,301 refund checks totaling more than $437,000 to people who bought bogus weight-loss products from Colby Fox, Christopher Reinhold and their companies,...

    • Posted March 19, 2018
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  • Retirement and Your 401k

    How will my money be given out to me from my 401k when I retire? Will a portion be given monthly or will it be given in a lump sum? I would like to get a big...

    • Posted March 19, 2018
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  • Be Radical, Get Rich!

    Have you ever noticed that lots of “radical people” get rich, while lots of average people just stay average? And in our economy, average usually means in debt, living paycheck to paycheck, and on the verge of...

    • Posted March 16, 2018
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  • The Keys to a Good Car Deal

    Buying a new (or new-to-you) car from a dealership can be a harrowing experience. Your money is on the line, your ego takes a beating, and you worry about getting stuck with a lemon. It doesn’t have...

    • Posted March 16, 2018
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  • Catholic Priest Sentenced to Prison for Tax Evasion and Bank Fraud

    A priest for the Roman Catholic Diocese of San Jose was sentenced to 36 months in prison, announced Acting Deputy Assistant Attorney General Stuart M. Goldberg of the Justice Department’s Tax Division and U.S. Attorney Brian J....

    • Posted March 15, 2018
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  • CFPB’s First National Survey on Financial Well-Being Shows More Than 40 Percent of U.S. Adults Struggle to Make Ends Meet

    The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) released the results of a first-of-its-kind national survey on the financial well-being of U.S. consumers that showed that more than 40 percent of U.S. adults struggle to make ends meet. The...

    • Posted March 15, 2018
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  • Seven factors that determine your mortgage interest rate

    If you’re like most people, you want to get the lowest interest rate that you can find for your mortgage loan. But how is your interest rate determined? That can be difficult to figure out for even the savviest...

    • Posted March 15, 2018
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  • The Right and Wrong Kinds of Side Hustles

    These days it seems the term “side hustle” is everywhere you look. This might lead some to assume that — as this Uber commercial proclaims — everyone needs one. However the truth, as it tends to be,...

    • Posted March 14, 2018
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  • Bankruptcy Law and Student Loans

    Private Student loans are very dischargeable in bankruptcy and I’m going to show you are.   These types on loans can be as dischargeable as a credit card.  Let’s take a look at the Bankruptcy Code. Section...

    • Posted March 14, 2018
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  • Want to See Where You Stand Financially? Start With These 10 Questions

    When it comes to money, there are lots of numbers to tell you how you’re doing, like how much you have in the bank, your credit score, or the number of months left on your mortgage or...

    • Posted March 13, 2018
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  • Out of Reach Financial Goals

    According to John Greenleaf Whittier, “For all sad words of tongue and pen, the saddest are these, ‘It might have been.’” I disagree. The saddest words are “I can’t.” How often do we hear that phrase employed,...

    • Posted March 13, 2018
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  • CFPB Takes Action Against Top Notch Funding for Lying in Loan Offers to NFL Players, Deepwater Horizon Victims, and 9/11 First Responders

    The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) took action against Top Notch Funding and two individuals associated with the company for lying in loan offerings to consumers who were awaiting payment from settlements in legal cases or from...

    • Posted March 12, 2018
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  • Court Finds Defendants Lied to Consumers When Selling Legal Services for Mortgage Relief

    Falsely claimed ‘mass joinder’ lawsuits would void mortgage or get consumers $75,000 cash A federal court has found that Jeremy Foti and Charles Marshall, acting through Brookstone Law and Advantis Law, “made numerous false and/or misleading material...

    • Posted March 12, 2018
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  • Understand your Options: Tips for student loan borrowers with disabilities

    Student loan borrowers with disabilities face unique challenges when repaying student loan debt. Borrowers with disabilities complain to the Bureau about servicing breakdowns and debt collection obstacles. These breakdowns can increase borrowers’ financial distress. Servicing breakdowns that...

    • Posted March 12, 2018
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  • What’s Affiliate Marketing? Should I Care?

    Many of the ads you see online are created by marketers who are paid each time you click on their ad. And if that click takes you to a website where you sign up to try a...

    • Posted March 9, 2018
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  • You Can Better Understand Affiliate Marketing in Online Advertising

    A “free” trial offer may be tempting, but it could be a scam out to get your money. The Federal Trade Commission wants consumers to be aware of affiliate marketing in online advertising. Affiliate marketing is a...

    • Posted March 9, 2018
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  • Security Smarts for Smartwatches

    Smartwatches have quickly gone from sci-fi to commonplace, and it’s easy to see why. Users can conveniently manage messages, music, fitness, and more right from their wrists as they go about the day.  But enjoying the convenience...

    • Posted March 8, 2018
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  • Justice Department Will Not Challenge Proposed Real Time Payment System

    The Justice Department announced that at this time it will not challenge a proposal by The Clearing House Payments Company LLC (“TCH”), a joint venture of 24 U.S. banks, to create and operate a new payment system...

    • Posted March 8, 2018
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  • Does Your College Sponsor an Affordable Bank Account?

    When you started or returned to college this year, you may have heard a lot around campus about making smart financial decisions. Paying for college is more than just applying for scholarships, grants, and student loans. Part...

    • Posted March 8, 2018
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  • Fraud Alert or Credit Freeze – Which is Right for You?

    Considering a fraud alert or credit freeze? In the aftermath of the Equifax data breach, many people are. You don’t need to be an identity theft victim to use them – but it’s helpful to consider your...

    • Posted March 7, 2018
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  • Do You Have a Relationship With Debt?

    Do you have a relationship with debt? You hate it, but feel helpless to stay away from it? If so, you’re not alone. According to a New York Fed report, U.S. households have $12.3 trillion in debt....

    • Posted March 7, 2018
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  • Justice Department Secures $907,000 from Citifinancial for Illegally Repossessing Active Duty Servicemembers’ Vehicles

    The Justice Department previously announced that CitiFinancial Credit Company, as successor to CitiFinancial Auto Corporation, has agreed to pay $907,000 to resolve allegations that it violated the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act (SCRA) by repossessing 164 cars owned...

    • Posted March 6, 2018
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  • Top 10 Ways to Protect Yourself in the Wake of the Equifax Data Breach

    Whether or not you are among the millions of people affected by the recent Equifax data breach, there are several steps you can take to respond when your personal information is exposed in a data breach.  We...

    • Posted March 6, 2018
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  • How to Save for Emergencies and the Future

    If your car broke down or you had an unexpected trip to the hospital, would you be able to cover the costs? If you don’t have savings, you could wind up borrowing money at high interest rates,...

    • Posted March 5, 2018
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  • PayPal Settles FTC Charges About Venmo

    The Federal Trade Commission has reached a settlement with PayPal, Inc. over allegations that the company told users of its Venmo peer-to-peer payment service that money credited to their Venmo balances could be transferred to external bank...

    • Posted March 5, 2018
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  • Could You Be Causing Your Spouse to Overspend?

    Oh no! It’s the end of the month and you are running short of money again. You blame it on your overspending spouse, fuming that if only he would stop wasting money your budget would be fine....

    • Posted March 5, 2018
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  • Tips for Using Peer-to-Peer Payment Systems and Apps

    Online peer-to-peer, or P2P, payment systems let you send money to people quickly. I’ve used them to collect money from the parents on my daughter’s soccer team and to send money to my brothers when we’ve bought...

    • Posted March 2, 2018
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  • The Top Frauds of 2017

    The numbers are in, the counts have been made, and today the FTC announced what we heard from you during 2017. Here are some highlights: This year’s top fraud is again Imposter Scams, with nearly 350,000 reports....

    • Posted March 2, 2018
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  • Reinventing Your Career in Your 50’s or 60’s

    Although he began serving food out of his gas station twenty years earlier, it wasn’t until age 65 that Harlan Sanders began franchising Kentucky Fried Chicken. While it might have been unusual to think of reinventing yourself...

    • Posted March 2, 2018
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  • TPD Recipient Got a Second Miracle – IRS Won’t Be Taxing Discharge of Student Debt

    CONGRATULATIONS “AGAIN” Last week my blog was giving congratulations to my friend Pam for the complete discharge of her Student Loans! My friend Pam in her mid 50’s has three adult children, is divorced, and because of...

    • Posted February 27, 2018
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