January 2013

Documents Reveal The Fed Refused to Admit to Recession

Economists agree that the US recovery is now in progress, spurred largely by the momentum in housing and by stronger consumer credit.  Much of the improvement is attributed to the actions of the Federal Reserve, which dramatically cut interest rates in response to the recession.  However, new documents released at the end of last week reveal that the Fed withheld the truth about the economy in 2007.

Supreme Court Grants Equal Rights to Floating Home Owners

The US Supreme Court issued a ruling this week that affects over 500 people in Sausalito, a community north of San Francisco’s Golden Gate Bridge.  The decision found that floating houses in Sausalito are considered to be homes under the law, and as such are entitled to the same insurance and mortgage financing laws.

Housing Recovery Saves Homeowners, Improves the Market

The US housing recovery is still considered lukewarm by many experts, and most suggest the turnaround is unlikely to become a full-on housing boom in the short term.  Nevertheless the recovery has reportedly saved over 4 million homeowners over the last year from being ‘underwater,’ where borrowers owe more on their mortgage than their home is worth.

New Bill Removes Mandatory Health Insurance for New Jersey College Students

A controversial bill could eliminate mandatory health insurance for college students in New Jersey.  The legislation has divided the state into groups promoting affordable higher education, and supporters of the current health care laws.  College affiliates argue that the cost of student healthcare could triple beginning next year, while health officials warn if students are uninsured it will overburden the public system.

Body Snatching Physicians Sentenced for Insurance Fraud and Unnecessary Surgeries

Patients who received surgery at the Unity Outpatient Surgery Centre in Buena Park, Orange County may not have actually needed the operations.  Two healthcare administrators from the facility were sentenced to five and six years in state prison this week, in what has been categorized as a rent-a-patient scheme that resulted in unnecessary surgeries meant to defraud medical insurance companies.

Workers Relocating to Williston Find No Homes, Turn to Salvation Army

The Williston Salvation Army helps hundreds of Americans who arrive in the North Dakota community to find jobs, housing, or pay for a trip back home.  Jobs are readily available, but housing is so scarce that buying or renting a property is unaffordable for many. 

One Third of Americans Paid More for Insurance in 2012

Many Americans paid more money for their insurance coverage over the course of 2012, according to a new study.  While industry experts are divided over the reasons for the increased costs, they agree that consumer behavior is a major contributor to the rate hikes.

Using Crowdfunding for Medical Treatments

Crowdfunding websites have become increasingly important for families coping with unexpected expenses, particularly those arising from health troubles.  The Human Tribe Project, co-founded by Matthew Foutz, is one of these crowdfunding sites.  Foutz saw the opportunity for friends and their networks to help people in need.  But the site became even more personal for Matthew when his daughter was diagnosed with a brain tumor and health insurance would only pay for a small part of the treatment – as a result, he reached out to people for help.

Mother Sentenced for Using Children in Car Insurance Scam

A South Florida mother convicted on counts of mail fraud will spend more time in prison for willingly placing her children in harm’s way.  Ana Ovando, of Lake Worth, deliberately got into car accidents with her children in the vehicle to acquire additional cash from insurance companies.  Palm Beach County prosecutors argued Ovando’s willingness to use her children to fund her criminal activity warranted an extended sentence, and the presiding judge agreed.

Zombie Titles are the New Financial Horror

Joseph Keller, a 58 year old former social worker, lived in a three story house on Avendale Avenue in Columbus, Ohio until JP Morgan Chase filed a notice of foreclosure in 2008.  Keller had missed some mortgage payments, forcing he and his wife Jennifer to move in with their daughter and leave behind their home of 13 years.