26 September 2014
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Benjamin Flores

First comes financial stability, then comes marriage, say young adults

A substantial number of young people are bucking tradition and putting off marriage until they feel more financially secure, according to a new study from the Pew Research Center.

In a poll published Wednesday, 34 percent of unmarried 25- to 34-year-olds said financial instability was one of the primary roadblocks keeping them from walking down the aisle. Just 20 percent of singletons over the age of 35 said the same. The study also found the percentage of Americans who have never said “I do” is at an all-time high.

In an interview with The New York Times, Pew Research Director Kim Parker said the group’s latest findings on declining marriage rates are especially striking considering the tendency of previous generations to get married well before their finances were set.

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25 September 2014
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Kristin Edwards

Fosun ups bid for Portugal’s Espirito Santo healthcare unit

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Fosun ups bit to 4.82 euros/shr or 460.5 mln euros in total

Regulator CMVM also extends rival Grupo Angeles offer

ESS shares closed on Friday at 4.87 euros

LISBON, Sept 27 China’s Fosun International Ltd has upped its bid for Portugal’s Espirito Santo Saude to 4.82 euros a share or 460.5 million euros in total, stepping up the battle over the hospital business of the indebted Espirito Santo family.

Portugal’s CMVM market regulator said late on Friday it registered the allcash offer by conglomerate Fosun’s Portuguese insurance unit Fidelidade, while also extending by a week to Oct.

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23 September 2014
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Daniel Nelson

Auto Loan Provider Accused of Giving Incorrect Information to Credit Bureaus

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau recently reached a settlement with First Investors Financial Services Group, an auto finance company based in Texas. As part of the agreement, First Investors will pay a $2.75 million fine for illegal credit reporting practices.

First Investors deals in auto loans, primarily lending to subprime borrowers either directly or through arrangements with auto dealerships.

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16 September 2014
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Kristin Edwards

Consumer Confidence Is on the Rise in the U.S.

According to the Conference Board Consumer Confidence Index, consumer confidence improved for the fourth straight month in August. The new confidence total is the highest the monthly index has found since October 2007, indicating a growth in positive financial sentiment across the United States.

The survey, based on a sampling of Americans, offers more positive news for those weary of gloomy reports and poll results. A secondary highlight of the Conference Board’s findings is a rise in the number of consumers who see jobs as “plentiful.” While the fact that just 18.2 percent of respondents see jobs as plentiful may seem meager to some, this is the highest total since 2008. This finding coexists well with recent data from the U.S. Labor

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15 September 2014
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Benjamin Flores

The Four Stages of Your Finances

We take for granted that there are stages of our lives we each go through, such as childhood, youth, middle-aged and elderly. So it is with our financial life, which also has, or should have, at least four major stages. Not everyone completes all four, but each of us should be aware of what those stages are, what is required to reach them, and the financial goals we should be pursuing at each stage.

Stage One Survival

Most of us have been in this simplest financial stage at some point in our lives. In fact, some people never leave it. For many this is often the beginning stage of financial life, when we are first starting out and trying to make it in the world of money. The focus of this first phase is to put together the financial means to be able to survive in the world without enduring major hardships.

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13 September 2014
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Benjamin Flores

Report slams Education Deparment use of debt collectors

Are debt collectors all wrong for the job of pursuing unpaid student loans?

The U.S. Education Department uses 22 collection agencies to pursue $89 billion in overdue student loans, paying them $1 billion in commissions in 2014, according to a report by the National Consumer Law Center, “Pounding Student Loan Borrowers: The Heavy Costs of the Government’s Partnership with Debt Collection Agencies.” The tab is set to rise to $2 billion in 2016.

The department does little about the complaints that collectors generate, the study found. The department tracks complaints poorly, and hands out bonus payments without regard to companies’ complaint records. Weak oversight of collectors was previously documented by the Government Accountability Office in a March report.

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12 September 2014
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Daniel Nelson

First-time buyers in July at highest level since 2007

The number of first-time buyers reached a seven-year high in July. Photograph: Manchan/Getty Images

More than 30,000 first-time buyers took out mortgages during July – the highest number since before the credit crisis hit, and a 25% jump on the same month last year.

The Council of Mortgage Lenders (CML) said 30,200 home loans worth £4.6bn were advanced to first-time buyers during July, the highest number since 2007.

But buyers are having to take on record-sized loans to afford a home. Th

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