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Bob Sullivan

Contributor |  In Personal Finance, Identity Theft

Bob Sullivan is author of the New York Times best-sellers Gotcha Capitalism and Stop Getting Ripped Off. His stories have appeared in The New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, and hundreds of other publications. He has appeared as a consumer advocate and technology expert numerous times on NBC’s TODAY show, NBC Nightly News, CNBC, NPR’s Marketplace, Terry Gross’ Fresh Air, and various other radio and TV outlets. He helped start MSNBC.com and wrote there for nearly 20 years, most of it penning the consumer advocacy column The Red Tape Chronicles. See more at www.bobsullivan.net. Follow Bob Sullivan on Facebook or Twitter.

Renting: The New American Dream?

Mortgages

Renting: The New American Dream?

Renting: The New American Dream?

Is renting a home the new American dream? A report by the Urban Institute projects that even after the housing crash and the Great Recession are a distant memory, homeownership rates in America will continue to decline. The report estimates that between 2010 and 2030, the majority (59%) of the 22 million new households that… Read More

A Bad Habit From the Real Estate Bubble Resurfaces

Mortgages

A Bad Habit From the Real Estate Bubble Resurfaces

A Bad Habit From the Real Estate Bubble Resurfaces

During the heyday of the housing bubble, mortgage sellers made a killing via kickbacks. They often got bonuses for steering borrowers toward more expensive mortgages. Financial reform, including a strict rule that took effect in 2011 from the Federal Reserve known as the “Compensation Rule,” banned the practice of giving mortgage brokers or loan officers… Read More

The Gender Gap You Haven’t Heard Of

Personal Finance

The Gender Gap You Haven’t Heard Of

The Gender Gap You Haven’t Heard Of

While many Americans are ill-prepared for a financial disaster, women are far worse off than men, according to a new study by BMO Harris Premier Services. The financial services firm says that men with any emergency savings have an average of $58,061 put away to deal with the situation, compared with only $33,558 for women. In other words, women… Read More

Can You Spot an Email Scam? (Most People Can’t)

Identity Theft

Can You Spot an Email Scam? (Most People Can’t)

Can You Spot an Email Scam? (Most People Can’t)

Plenty of folks think they could never be outsmarted by a hacker; plenty of them are wrong. In fact, perhaps 97% are wrong. Two new studies make this point, and show the devastating consequences of being wrong. Security firm McAfee has created a tool that lets consumers test their ability to distinguish between real emails… Read More

IRS Says ID Thieves Stole Info on 100K Taxpayers

Identity Theft

IRS Says ID Thieves Stole Info on 100K Taxpayers

IRS Says ID Thieves Stole Info on 100K Taxpayers

Identity thieves used the IRS’ own systems to steal personal information from about 100,000 taxpayers, the agency said on Tuesday, according to the Associated Press. Criminals already armed with some data on the taxpayers used the IRS “Get Transcript” website to obtain even more data on their victims, the IRS said. Get Transcript gives taxpayers… Read More

Are Debt Collectors Sending You Texts? Here’s What You Need to Know

Managing Debt

Are Debt Collectors Sending You Texts? Here’s What You Need to Know

Are Debt Collectors Sending You Texts? Here’s What You Need to Know

Debt collectors reportedly have a new strategy to get consumers’ attention: text messages. “YOUR PAYMENT DECLINED WITH CARD ****-****-****-5463 . . . CALL 866.256.2117 IMMEDIATELY,” reads one such text, according to the Federal Trade Commission. The agency has temporarily halted three debt collection operations that allegedly misused texts and is attempting to permanently ban the activity… Read More

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