For Ransom: Your Medical Records

Identity Theft

For Ransom: Your Medical Records

For Ransom: Your Medical Records

It started out as a data breach like many others. The hackers penetrated the computer network of a small medical practice in a wealthy suburb of northern Illinois, The Surgeons of Lake County, and broke into a server containing email and electronic medical records. But instead of sneaking out undetected and selling the stolen data… Read More

The Wisconsin Department of Revenue: A Bargain for the Identity Theft Collective

Identity Theft

The Wisconsin Department of Revenue: A Bargain for the Identity Theft Collective

The Wisconsin Department of Revenue: A Bargain for the Identity Theft Collective

Scott Walker has earned a national reputation for his hack-and-slash approach to government spending. Working hand-in-glove with both Houses of the GOP-controlled legislature, the Wisconsin Governor gutted the collective bargaining rights of public sector unions. While tight with the purse strings when it comes to public employees and a self-proclaimed advocate for small business (though… Read More

5 Ways to Become a Credit Adult

Credit Score

5 Ways to Become a Credit Adult

5 Ways to Become a Credit Adult

Let’s word associate: Banks, mortgage brokers, credit card companies, credit reporting agencies, debt collectors, payday lenders…. Words like “daunting,” “challenging,” “black box,” and “scary” come to mind. Most consumers I speak to express fear of the unknown — and fear of being humiliated at the checkout counter, the restaurant, in front of friends and family…. Read More

210 Million Reasons to Love the CFPB

Personal Finance

210 Million Reasons to Love the CFPB

210 Million Reasons to Love the CFPB

During the endless hearings leading up to the passage of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform Act, which has its two-year anniversary this week, and an even more taxing series of hearings defending its existence, Elizabeth Warren, the Harvard Professor who can rightly be called the birthmother of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, said “America needs… Read More

The Obamacare Scare: Medical Debt Collectors in Scrubs?

Managing Debt

The Obamacare Scare: Medical Debt Collectors in Scrubs?

The Obamacare Scare: Medical Debt Collectors in Scrubs?

Do you remember where you were last Thursday morning when every network interrupted its regular programming to announce the most anticipated Supreme Court decision since Bush v. Gore? It was not in the same category as the Kennedy assassination or Neil Armstrong’s “giant leap for mankind” moment, but when it was reported that Chief Justice… Read More

The Downgrades: Forget the 1%, It’s the 9%, Stupid

Personal Finance

The Downgrades: Forget the 1%, It’s the 9%, Stupid

The Downgrades: Forget the 1%, It’s the 9%, Stupid

Well kids, summer is here again — time for sun, fun and debt downgrades. And in a related downgrade story, according to a recent Harris poll, just nine percent of Americans gave Congress positive job ratings.  A low number, indeed, but it still feels wildly optimistic. Last summer, August 5 to be exact, Standard & Poor’s… Read More

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