New York Rules That It Is OK To Resell Life Insurance Benefits

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New York’s top court ruled Wednesday that state law allows people to buy life insurance policies and immediately sell them to investors who make money when the insured person dies. The Court of Appeals, in a 5-2 ruling, said the practice is legal in New York even where the policy was obtained solely for that… Read more »

Google’s Questionable Algorithm

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Any publicity, even negative publicity, means a win with Google’s ranking algorithms. This New York Times story details a retailer known as DecorMyEyes.com who first hired a search optimization company to burnish the site’s reputation by writing positive things about the company, but then stumbled on a better “free” success strategy of providing poor customer… Read more »

U.S. Loan Auditors Scam

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     U.S. Loan Auditors and similar outfits are promising to conduct “forensic audits” of mortgage transactions to find evidence of “predatory lending” and fraud, and use that evidence to haul lenders into court and obtain new mortgages at far more favorable interest rates, officials say.      In October, California Attorney General Jerry Brown sued U.S…. Read more »

Medical Tourism

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South Korea is trying to position itself as the destination of choice for medical tourists.  Dr. Won Jin Park does cosmetic surgery in South Korea at prices 30% cheaper than in Japan or the U.S. While South Korea’had about  60,000 medical tourism patients last year, Thailand had 1.5 million patients during the same period. Questions:… Read more »

Bad Business through Facebook

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A Florida woman who fell behind on her car payments is suing the company she claims has been using Facebook to contact her family members in a campaign to embarrass and intimidate her into paying the debt. Melanie Beacham of St. Petersburg alerted the company, Mark One Financial, had to take a medical leave of… Read more »

SWAT (Successful Whistleblowers Advocating Against Tax Payer Fraud)

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A group of elite whistleblowers met in Washington, D.C. There was no media coverage of these men and women whose exploits have been heralded on 60 Minutes and Dateline, and, not incidentally, helped enrich the U.S. Treasury by more than $16 billion since 1986. This particular group known as SWAT (Successful Whistleblowers Advocating Against Tax… Read more »

Amazon.com Must Anticipate Profits in Diapers & Baby Care Products

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Amazon.com Inc. agreed to buy Quidsi Inc., the owner of Diapers.com and Soap.com, for $500 million in cash, expanding in baby-care products and gaining merchandise- management expertise. Amazon will also assume about $45 million of closely held Quidsi’s debt and similar obligations, according to a statement from the companies today. They expect to close the… Read more »

Mortgage Buybacks

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Mortgage Buybacks According to Standard & Poor’s, the top U.S. banks could face up to $31 billion in losses from buying back bad mortgages. Bank of America Corp and JPMorgan Chase & Co have the most exposure to such potential repurchase obligations, followed by Wells Fargo & Co, Citigroup Inc, US Bancorp and PNC Financial… Read more »

Citibank under the Microscope

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The SEC has probed certain Citigroup Inc debt funds to assess whether the bank made adequate disclosure to investors about the funds’ risk levels. Three California-based brokers, who worked for the then Citigroup unit Smith Barney, concluded the bank did not adequately disclose the funds’ risks and had also mismanaged them, the newspaper said, citing… Read more »

Credit Scores Matter: Changes Taking Place

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Each financial action a consumer takes may affect their credit score, causing it to constantly change.  The economic downturn has put Americans’ credit scores in the limelight, especially as more homeowners struggle to stave off foreclosure by refinancing or modifying their mortgage loans. Although a large majority of Americans are working to improve their scores,… Read more »