Finance Globe

U.S. financial and economic topics from several finance writers.

Mary Tomkins is a freelance writer located in Spartanburg, SC, with emphasis on economic news and research on the financial industry.

April Housing Starts Drop 10.6%

Housing starts fell 10.6% in April from the previous month, the Commerce Department and the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) said in a jointly released statement on Tuesday. The unexpected drop was mainly due to the 28.3% plunge in volatile multi-family housing (homes with five or more units). Single-family home starts fell 5.1%. The seasonally-adjusted annual pace of 523,000 homes in April was also 23.9% below the level from a year ago - back...
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The Student's Guide to Money Management - Controlling Debt

The Student's Guide to Money Management - Controlling Debt
Live within your means and avoid credit card and other bad debt. Live within your means, don't spend more than you make, don't buy it if you can't afford it - it all means the same thing and goes hand-in-hand with developing your budget. Some debt is good, such as a student loan that will help you get your degree and a better career, thus leading you to make more money than if you didn't get...
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The Student's Guide to Money Management - Budgeting

The Student's Guide to Money Management - Budgeting
College is a financially difficult time for many full-time students. You probably have significant education expenses, are likely to work a limited number of hours at a relatively low-paying job, and may often be tempted to splurge on the fun that's a natural part of college life. Money management can be challenging for people of all income levels, but the less money you make, the more important it becomes to stay in control of your money...
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Unemployment Rate Drops

Most U.S. cities have seen a drop in the unemployment rate over the past year, a government agency reported on Thursday. The unemployment rate dropped in 317 of the 372 metropolitan areas surveyed by the Labor Department’s Bureau of Labor Statistics in the twelve-month period beginning in March 2010. It was higher in 44 metros, and remain unchanged in 11 areas. The national average unemployment has dropped 1 percentage point in that same time period -...
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Bankruptcy Eligibility

Bankruptcy Eligibility
If you are overwhelmed with debt and feel that it’s impossible to ever pay it all back with your current income, you may be considering bankruptcy. There are two types of bankruptcy: Chapter 7, also known as straight bankruptcy or liquidation, is the type which clears the filer of all qualified debts. Chapter 7 filers must meet certain income criteria. Chapter 13, also known as a reorganization or payment plan bankruptcy, is a court-ordered structured repayment...
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Chapter 7 Bankruptcy

It’s tough if you’re at a point where you’re considering bankruptcy - it can be really disheartening to realize you’ve been swamped by your debts. And you probably already know that bankruptcy has serious long-term consequences to your credit history. But in certain situations, bankruptcy may be the best way to get that fresh start you desperately need. The U.S. Supreme Court said this about the purpose of bankruptcy law back in 1934, “It gives to...
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Tax Deadline Today!

Just a heads up if you haven’t already filed your income tax return - today is the last day to get your taxes paid on time. Your mailed return must be postmarked or your e-filed return (with payment) must be electronically delivered by midnight to be considered on time by the IRS. Failure to pay the entire balance due can result in a late payment penalty. This year’s April 18th due date comes three days later...
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Tax-Related ID Theft

Unfortunately, tax season is when many Americans find out that their identifying information was fraudulently used by a crook. An unexpected message from the Internal Revenue Service could be a warning sign that your Social Security number is being misused by an identity thief, warns the Federal Trade Commission. Consumers should always be alert to signs of identity theft, and that includes tax-related identity theft. If you receive a notice from the IRS that more than...
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Obama Deficit Reduction Plan

Obama Deficit Reduction Plan
In his budget speech today at George Washington University, President Obama said that his goal was to cut the federal debt by $4 trillion over the next twelve years, phased in over time to avoid hampering the economic recovery. To deal with the nation’s $14 trillion deficit, Obama said he would not extend Bush-era tax cuts for high earners - set to expire at the end of 2012. “In the last decade, the average income of...
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Renters Insurance

Do you need renters insurance? If you’re renting a place to live - whether a house, townhome, or apartment - you may have wondered if you need to have renters insurance. Or you may be just starting out or otherwise feel that you own very little worth insuring. But you probably have much more than you realize. It’s unlikely that you went out in one day and purchased every single thing you need to make your...
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