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IN THE MIX: US Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky, and New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, above, are Republicans who could face off against Elizabeth Warren.

Folks have been lamenting the commercialization of the holiday season for years, but the outcry this year about shopping on Thanksgiving indicates a rebellion of sorts.

Christmas decorations pop up in stores in September; relentless television advertising pushes consumers to empty wallets for a #x201c;perfect#x201d; holiday; the irony of rushing around buying gifts right up until Dec. 24, only to see prices deeply discounted on Dec. 26; the economic hardship so many dealing with the season of pressured spending #x2014; all this contributes to a collective spirit of de-emphasizing materialism in lieu of meaning.

I#x2019;ve...

Overstating income on a credit application is not only fraudulent, buyers who do this can end up with a car payment they cannot afford

Income and Credit Repair

As weve stated before, filling out an auto loan application is not the time to begin a career in creative writing and accuracy is especially important for buyers with bad credit. Lenders not only use income to qualify buyers for a loan, they also used it to compute a debt-to-income ratio as well as determine the maximum monthly payment amount.

However if a dealer falsifies income on an application is also considered fraud and can result in a finance contract being denied by the lender and returned to the dealer....

Cameron reveals discount for home buyers

First-time home buyers under the age of 40 are set to receive a 20 per cent discount as part of an initiative to help people onto the housing ladder, David Cameron has announced.

#x201c;Southern California home sales are closing on a low note in 2014,#x201d; Andrew LePage, data analyst for CoreLogic DataQuick, wrote in a statement. #x201c;Inventory still lags demand in many markets, and traditional buyers haven#x2019;t filled the void left by the investors who#x2019;ve pulled out.#x201d;

Buyers remain challenged by affordability and mortgage availability and concerned about job security and the direction of the housing market.

But there are reasons to expect more housing demand and better sales next year, LePage said, noting that recent data from the federal government show growth in jobs and incomes.

Also, many people who became...

Over the last several years, the subtle changes to the tax code has made tax planning more important to help you keep more of what you earn. Yesterday’s practice of simply dropping your documentation off to your CPA to complete your taxes is not sufficient. Technically speaking, this is historical reporting, not planning. Planning actively looks forward. Do you fall into the reporting “trap?”

To adequately plan, there are a couple of key concepts one needs to realize as they will most likely affect you for the rest of your life. First and foremost, taxes pay for the interest on the national debt, which is currently $17.9 trillion and estimated to be $21.897 trillion by the end of 2015.[i]...

In case you missed our coverage this week inThreatWatch,Nextgovsregularly updated index of cyber breaches:

ER Nurse Canned for Racking Up Charges with Patients Cards

Authorities found a fraudulently obtained item and a handwritten ledger listing personal information and credit card numbers for approximately 20 patients in the Florida health workers home.

Incognito Hackers Filched Mobile Payment Processor for Almost Five Years

Compromised firm Charge Anywhere warned thatsome of the card data it sends and receives appears in plain text, allowing attackers to copy it and use it in fraudulent transactions.

Spammers Possibly Breached BT-owned Email Provider

A...

Cash-strapped first-time home buyers caught a big break this week. Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac announced that they are adopting programs that will allow first-time home buyers to put as little as 3 percent down towards the purchase of a home. Similar programs are offered through the FHA, but the backing of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac will make the terms much more favorable for well-qualified first-timers. This new 97 percent loan-to-value program officially becomes available on December 13, 2014.

#x201c;First-Time#x201d; Home Buyers?

Government-sponsored enterprises (GSEs) Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac are allowing #x201c;first-time#x201d; home buyers to qualify for their...

A year ago, Jim made the decision to file for Chapter 7 Bankruptcy. During the process, he chose to reaffirm his auto loan. His original loan was taken out a year prior to the Bankruptcy proceedings, when his credit wasnt great. While he was relieved that he was able to keep his car, he knew that he wanted to do something about that high interest rate on the loan after he got the discharge from the court.

In the time between his 341 hearing and receiving his discharge papers, Jim got a better paying job. He and his family were thrilled, as it seemed like things were on the up and up. Once he had his discharge papers in hand, he decided to put his plan to refinance into action.

Jumping...