March 2014

Janet Yellen Wants More Americans Back To Work

Janet Yellen succeeded Ben Bernanke as Chairman of the Federal Reserve earlier this year.  Yellen supported the stimulus program and aggressive low mortgage interest rate plan championed by Bernanke since the recession, and is expected to slowly pull the Fed out of the program, known as QE3.


Credit Monitoring Firms Profit from Increase in Data Breaches

Ever since the Target hacking fiasco late last year, the phrase “credit card data breach” seems to be popping up everywhere.

After millions and millions of people have had their credit card data and personal information compromised, and huge retailers have succumb to hackers’ attacks, it’s understandable that the public needs something to turn to. Right now, that something seems to be the credit monitoring industry.


New Details Still Emerging In Target Data Breach

This past Wednesday, Target’s chief financial officer John Mulligan revealed new details from the ongoing investigation into the retailer’s infamous data breach.

Although only three main points were raised by Mulligan, his testimony nonetheless sheds more light on the data breach that affected tens of millions of Americans late last year.


Pending Home Sales Continued to Slide in February: NAR

Pending home sales fell for the eighth-straight month in February, according to the latest report from the National Association of Realtors(NAR). The declines were most pronounced in the Northeast and South, while the West saw a modest increase in home sales.

Continued weakness in home sales is starting to raise eyebrows among housing analysts – the pending sales index has dropped 10.5 percent year-over-year, and is at its lowest level since October 2011.


Housing Analysts Report Weaker Activity In February, But Blame Weather

Higher mortgage rates and a surprisingly long, bitter winter are slowing down housing from the strong start that kicked off the beginning of 2014.  The Mortgage Bankers Association and the National Association of Realtors agree that the number of loan applications and sales agreements declined throughout February, which is also extending into March.

How Much Do Work Commutes Affect Mortgage Applications?

Location is a prominent factor to consider when buying a home.  For many buyers, be it first time or experienced, an ideal location may trump all other factors like the budget, which could unexpectedly increase the monthly cost of a mortgage.

Hawaii Woman Nearly Loses Her Car Insurance And $10,000

A senior citizen’s story in Hawaii is a reminder for all Americans to double check that car insurance payments are actually submitted and processed by their providers.

Cipriana Luczon is an 84 year old retiree living in Hawaii, and was recently required to renew her car insurance.  Rather than sending a check in the mail as she has in the past, Luczon decided on a more convenient approach by calling her provider to make the renewal.

California DMV Reports Possible Credit Card Data Breach

Drivers who applied for, or renewed their licenses with the California Department of Motor Vehicles may have their identities exploited publicly.  The DMV is investigating if its credit card processing service was attacked by a similar malware that compromised credit card accounts used at Target and other retailers.


The Next Step in Ride-Sharing: Uber & Lyft Expanding Drivers’ Coverage

As regulators’ concerns over ride-sharing services like Lyft and Uber reached a new high, it seems like these pioneers in the new sharing economy have taken concrete steps to dispelling the controversy.  

Within a day of each other, both ride-sharing start-ups announced that they will be providing liability coverage for their drivers who aren’t carrying passengers at the time of an accident, but are in fact using the companies’ smartphone apps.

Controversy Still Surrounds Obamacare Four Years Later

On March 23, 2010, the Affordable Care Act was signed into law in the United States. Four years later, in 2014, it’s clear that Obamacare – as it has been nicknamed – is still surrounded by controversy and debate.

Even President Obama himself admits that the law is a “tough sell”. And now that it’s already near the midpoint of his four-year term, and midterm elections will be taking place, that tough sell is made even tougher.