Beware of cheap knock-offs like the fake Apple store

Reports have exploded in the press about a fake Apple store in China that is a near carbon copy of real Apple stores. Though it is an aggressively brazen act of replication, there is a large black market of knock-off consumer products. Fake store just part of an entire line of iRipoffs There has been
Independent Contractor

How to price your independent contracting time

In the face of a weak job market, many are turning to independent contracting. Businesses like contracting work because it is less of a commitment than hiring a full-time employee; contractors like it because it offers flexibility. If you are considering doing independent contract work, pricing your time correctly can make the difference between making

Banks pay major settlements in suits over mortgage malpractice

There have been many instances over the past few years in which major banks were negligent in how mortgages were lent to consumers. Many of the nation’s largest home loan lenders, including Bank of American and Wells Fargo, have been opening their checkbooks to pay back wronged consumers. Bank of America shelling out for disgraced

Walmart begins caravan into food deserts

Walmart plans to open 300 new stores in oppressed areas known as food deserts. Two other major retailers also plan to expand into those areas. This announcement comes as part of Michelle Obama’s campaign for healthy eating choices to combat childhood obesity. What is a food desert? The U.S. Department of Agriculture defines a “food
The Google corporate logo.

Google offers credit card for vendor financing

Reuters reports that search giant Google Inc. is introducing a Google credit card exclusively for advertising customers. The AdWords Business credit card is one of Google’s many efforts to outpace the competition in the online ad market. Interest rates will reportedly be competitive and there will be no annual fee, but the card can only
A broken down clothes washing machine on a city sidewalk.

How to decide whether to repair or replace that broken appliance

The majority of modern consumer appliances are built to break or become obsolete within a few years. Computers, lawnmowers, washing machines and refrigerators are a few examples. Rather than automatically springing for the latest, greatest model, do your budget a favor and seriously consider whether you should repair or replace that old appliance. Should you
CFPB formation

What the CFPB will do for you

Thursday, July 21, the new Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) goes into full operation. The bureau was established specifically to protect the consumer from predatory lending practices. But how will it affect the daily financial life of an average consumer in this stale economy? The Dodd-Frank Act The CFPB is one of the cornerstones of

CFPB blasts credit report practices just before official opening

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau finally has a director, and just a day before it officially begins operations, the organization has released a report blasting credit score reporting practices. The CFPB blasted credit rating agencies for providing credit reports to consumers that don’t contain the same information lenders see. New regulatory agency hits the ground

More businesses, smaller businesses selling this year

Starting a small business can be a lot of work and often a labor of love. Some entrepreneurs choose to start their businesses by purchasing a business that someone else has done the hard work of starting. These sales of small businesses have, according to some reports, been improving in the last few months. Business

Borders liquidating after 40 years in business

The Borders Group, a 40-year-old book retailer giant, announced Monday that it has decided to close its remaining 399 stores for good. The retailer had been facing bankruptcy and was hoping that a buyer would step up before liquidation became necessary, but no savior arrived. Borders employed nearly 11,000 people nationwide. Bankruptcy auction canceled Borders

Cost of private school would increase at Hogwarts, too

Students from Lehigh University in Pennsylvania calculated what one year of tuition would cost at the fictional Hogwarts school from the “Harry Potter” series. The school devoted to teaching witchcraft and wizardry would cost more than a year at Harvard University, and real private schools are becoming more expensive, too. Witch-hazel League versus Ivy Fans
A man lying on the floor as he fills out important tax papers.

Prepare the documents you need before you die

Never assume that matters of your estate – however humble – will sort themselves out before you die. It is your responsibility to navigate the maze of legal documents before your demise. Learn about the documents you need before you die. Sign and ensure your heirs are aware Preparing an advance directive, qualified domestic relations

Retail firms begin backlash against extreme couponing

Over the past few months, there has been a lot of buzz about “extreme couponing.” Shoppers obsessively clip coupons and buy large amounts of goods for pennies. Large retail firms are taking notice, and there is a growing backlash against copious quantities of coupons. Coupon use skyrocketing thanks to dour economy and reality television Throughout
Nancy Pelosi and Elizabeth warren

Cordray named as director of Consumer Financial Protection Bureau

President Obama has named former Ohio Attorney General Robert Cordray to the top position in the new Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.  Elizabeth Warren, who set up the agency, was passed over because the administration believes she would have trouble passing the Senate appointment process. Senate Republicans still threaten to block any appointee, however, without significant
Close-up of a sticker bearing the Facebook logo.

Facebook foreclosures may soon reach US

When it comes to Facebook, people expect pokes, polls and pictures. But for those facing foreclosure, Facebook users may soon be receiving notice by online social network. According to Time magazine, the “Facebook foreclosure” is coming soon to a financially depressed neighborhood near you. Facebook foreclosure began in Australia In 2008, an Australian court ordered

Beware of timeshare scams promising easy sales

Owning a timeshare can be a blessing or a burden, depending on the point of view of the person involved. Though many companies involved in the timeshare industry are perfectly reputable, there are a fair number of bad apples, so people should be careful who they deal with. Structures vary from company to company Buying
IRS bricks

IRS offers open house for those facing tax lien

Many Americans are bogged down with liens from past due taxes. New collection policies give delinquent taxpayers a way to get out from under their liens. The IRS will be holding open houses around the country Saturday to answer questions and help those with tax lien issues. A tax lien can be devastating When the