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February 2013 Archives

New watchdog group to crack down on creditor harassment

Are you tired of dealing with collection agencies? If so, you're not alone; more than 30 million consumers in the U.S. are the targets of collection agencies. As you may already be aware, some of their tactics go beyond annoying: Many bill collectors have been known to use aggressive and abusive tactics.

High student loan rates can make paying down debts difficult

People in Florida who struggle with credit card debt and pay lots of interest in other types of loans may have had the opportunity to refinance their debt -- sometimes avoiding personal bankruptcy in the process. But while people in Fort Lauderdale and around the country have been able to refinance mortgages, car loans and other types of debt, one common -- and very large -- kind of debt generally has stayed at the same rate: student loan debt.

Florida highest in growing identity theft problem

With so many people still facing serious financial challenges in this economy, criminals are getting bolder and more creative in their methods of stealing money and personal information. According to Equifax, identity theft is a growing problem that's only expected to get worse.

Old law makes squatting tempting for some Florida residents

A U.S. law hundreds of years old may be a tempting option for some enterprising Floridians hoping to gain ownership of abandoned properties. With the highest foreclosure rate in the nation, hundreds of homes facing foreclosure are being abandoned, possibly for years, while banks go through the process of repossession.

The "working poor" status is a growing problem in Florida

If you've been struggling to pay your bills like many Floridians, especially if you feel your situation has been growing worse for months, you may fit into a classification that economists call the "working poor." This wage bracket includes low-income families with one or more people in the household who work, but as a whole the family still doesn't make a living wage. According to U.S. Census data, Florida is one of the states with a percentage increase of five points or more of families who are considered to be part of the working poor.

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