Today’s Top Financial News Headlines from Around the Web
Forecasters hold dim view of economic growth
The economy is not expected to show any significant improvement through the first few months of 2011, as forecasters predict growth will be “sub par,” CNN Money reports. The National Association for Business Economics projections show a likely growth of 2.7 percent, a decline from the May projections of 3.2 percent. Although high unemployment, expiring government stimulus packages and a lack of consumer confidence will continue to play a role in the sluggish economy, analysts say business spending and the housing market will yield slow improvements.
Foreclosure hits children hard
The results of a study by First Focus and the National Association for the Education of Homeless Children and Youth shows more than 40 percent of school districts name foreclosure the No. 1 reason for an increase in homeless children, the Washington Post reports. The disruption to young children’s stability has led to emotional, social and academic problems that often results in children acting out at school and home, the study also reveals. Therapist Mindy Thiel told the Post children who face foreclosure may also “internalize the feelings of insecurity,” subsequently carrying these feelings throughout their adulthood.
Many for-profit colleges at risk of losing federal funding
The Department of Education is considering a measure that would make providing incentive compensation to college recruiters illegal, putting many for-profit institutions at risk of losing federal funding, Bloomberg reports. For-profit colleges, which receive about 23 percent of all federal aid, have come under attack recently for their recruiting practices, often paying recruiters for the number of students who enroll. Most recently, the high student loan default rate has caught the Education Department’s attention, leading them to create the Gainful Employment regulation, which would require for-profit colleges to prove its programs prepare students for a recognized occupation or risk losing student aid.
Medicare open enrollment period takes center stage
The open enrollment period for Medicare insurance has prompted many health professionals to encourage beneficiaries to take a closer look at their plan this year, as new provisions of the healthcare reform law will take effect, New York Daily News reports. Medicare beneficiaries are advised to determine which preventative services are covered and how often they may seek these services, as specific time periods may apply. More importantly, consumers are encouraged to pay close attention to their enrollment and disenrollment periods to ensure they understand the terms and secure adequate coverage.
Illinois Sheriff takes a stand against foreclosure evictions
Cook County Sheriff Tom Dart has been forced to resume evicting homeowners who face foreclosure, after refusing to do so due to faulty bank paperwork, according to the Huffington Post. The sheriff has said his hands are tied, after county prosecutors told him he is legally required to evict foreclosed homeowners. However, Dart stated he will continue investigating into improper foreclosure proceedings and may bring about lawsuits on banks that carry on with unfair practices, namely Bank of America, JP Morgan Chase and Ally Financial.