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News

2008

January

10
  • Taxpayer Advocate: Give apologies and $1000. The Internal Revenue Service should issue "apology payments" of up to $1,000 to taxpayers whose cases are mishandled, the National Taxpayer Advocate told Congress yesterday. Nina E. Olson, a federal official appointed by the Treasury…
08
  • Countrywide tells judge it 'recreated' letters. The Countrywide Financial Corporation fabricated documents related to the bankruptcy case of a Pennsylvania homeowner, court records show, raising new questions about the business practices of the giant mortgage lender at the center of the…
  • Foreclosure hotline looks for help. A month after the Bush Administration announced a plan to help troubled homeowners, one foreclosure counseling agency is looking for some help of its own. "[We have] plans to hire new managers, counselors and customer…
  • Business plan crucial for entrepreneurs. If you are searching for funding—whether from venture capitalists, angel investors, bankers, or even friends and family—one of the first requests you'll receive is this: "Send along your business plan." Before you hang up the…
  • New taxpayer 'un-privacy' rules condemned. Consumer group representatives condemned new taxpayer “un-privacy” rules recently issued by the IRS for expanding rather than closing “gaping loopholes” that already allow sharing and marketing based on tax records, but issued cautious support for…
07
  • To retire, or not to retire?. This year is a demographic watershed, a critical juncture for both individuals and employers. This is the year the first Boomers are officially eligible to retire. Whether you as an individual should retire when your…
06
  • Stockbroker or financial advisor? You choose. The Financial Planning Association beat the stockbrokers in the name-calling contest. It sued over whether brokers could call themselves investment advisers and run your money for a fee. A federal appeals court said no. A…
  • Ways to reduce huge school loan debt. There's student loan debt. And then there's student loan DEBT. The former is the $20,000 in loans of the typical college graduate. The latter is four or six times that amount, typically racked up by…
05
  • Too good to be true tax myths. Every year at this time, I write a series of tax-related columns. The goal is to provide guidance for homeowners preparing to file income tax returns. Normally, millions of Americans try to file well before…
03
  • Opt for credit card security measures. Credit card fraud remains the most common form of identity theft, accounting for 25% of cases in 2006, according to the Federal Trade Commission. "Credit cards have become a significant — and growing — part…
  • How much has your car depreciated?. There is a lot to think about when you are going to buy a car — safety, reliability, styling, and, of course, price. As you choose between models, you should also consider depreciation. Most buyers…
  • No insurance, poor health. The case for providing health coverage for all Americans got even more compelling in the past week when two new studies presented the most comprehensive evidence yet that the lack of health insurance is seriously…
02
  • Rein in credit card debt. We believe: Americans need to keep a close eye on how much they spend with their credit cards. If there was one overarching theme in 2007, it was debt. Americans are swimming in it, and…
  • Loss from phishing attacks on rise. An estimated 3.6 million people in the United States lost money through phishing attacks between August 2006 and August 2007, according to new research from Gartner. That’s a considerable increase from the 2.3 billion who…
  • Feds share coupons to ease TV transition. Millions of $40 government coupons became available Tuesday to help low-tech television owners buy special converter boxes for older TVs that might not work after the switch to digital broadcasting. Beginning Feb. 18, 2009, anyone…
  • Online records may aid identity theft. Colin L. Powell's Social Security number is out there. So is Troy Aikman's. The "social" of Maryland Attorney General Douglas F. Gansler (D) is xxx-xx-xx34. In an era when government officials from President Bush to…
01
  • Don't wait to wrap up holiday bill-paying. You're likely exhausted by holiday shopping and don't want to see another mall for months. Now it's time to deal with the impact of all that spending. Don't go into denial and refuse to look…
  • Navigating the deluge of credit cards. Remember to read the fine print when selecting a new credit card. Don't apply for multiple cards at one time. Creditors are wary of multiple applications, and several applications can decrease your credit score. Apply…
  • Your money: A gaze back, a look ahead. Los Angeles Times Business columnists share resolutions and admonitions for a rewarding 2008. From Kathy Kristof, David Lazarus and Tom Petruno.

2007

December

31
  • How a bank fell victim to loan fraud. Kathy Moore's loan application sailed through the mortgage desk at Lehman Bros. Bank, and little wonder. With sterling credit, deep pockets and two appraisals pegging the value of the Benedict Canyon house she wanted to…
 

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