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Susan Tompor: Struggling to pay student loans? You could be targeted by scammers

Consumer / Home and Consumer News /

Get a robocall lately from Jonathon or someone else saying that your student loans have been flagged for a student loan forgiveness program?

"If you owe more than $10,000 and are not currently enrolled in school, you could qualify for a reduced monthly payment and a large portion of your balance to be forgiven," one caller said.

"To redeem ...Read more

Bay Area renters' giant game of musical chairs plays out online

Consumer / Home and Consumer News /

SAN JOSE, Calif. -- Driven by steadily increasing rents, apartment dwellers are far more likely to seek housing on the other side of the bay, creating a huge game of musical chairs, according a recent survey.

The study this month by Apartment List describes a curious ping-pong-like phenomenon where renters, often forced to move by rising rents,...Read more

California is requiring firms to offer retirement plans for workers. N.J. and Pa. are still pondering it.

Consumer / Home and Consumer News /

Are you a worker worried you won't have enough money to retire?

Are you an employer who doesn't offer either a pension or a 401(k) to your workers?

If so, CalSavers is aimed at you.

On July 1, California launched an ambitious state-sponsored retirement program for the private sector. All employers with five or more workers will be required to...Read more

Susan Tompor: Consumers lose thousands to fake credit repair scheme

Consumer / Home and Consumer News /

No doubt, it's tempting to sign up for a "quick fix" to clean up your credit. Who wouldn't want to instantly find a way to add 100 or more points to a credit score to qualify for a rewards-packed credit card? Or maybe, finally, qualify for a great deal on a car loan?

But the Federal Trade Commission and others are warning that any company that ...Read more

Hot Property: Playing musical chairs in Encino

Consumer / Home and Consumer News /

LOS ANGELES -- Half a decade is plenty for Pete Wentz, who has put his Encino home of five years on the market for $2.395 million.

The house has been a hot spot for musicians over the years; Wentz bought it from R&B singer-songwriter Eric Benet for $1.965 million in 2014, records show. That was around the same time Wentz sold his old place in ...Read more

Rents on controlled apartments in Los Angeles can now rise 4%. Blame inflation

Consumer / Home and Consumer News /

As of this week, landlords of Los Angeles rent-controlled buildings can raise rent by 4%, the first time in a decade the annual cap isn't 3%.

The larger increase reflects higher inflation levels and comes as rising rents have been blamed for crimping household budgets and driving people into homelessness. Across Los Angeles and Orange counties,...Read more

San Diego home for sale includes 'Harry Potter room' under stairs

Consumer / Home and Consumer News /

SAN DIEGO -- Harry Potter's legendary cupboard under the stairs could be the next hot feature in California real estate.

A home seller in San Diego's Logan Heights has listed her nearly 100-year old, 1,322-square-foot home with a unique feature: A Harry Potter-style storage room underneath the stairs. The asking price for the property is $425,...Read more

Nearly half of renters wish they owned, study says (They also want to pay less rent)

Consumer / Home and Consumer News /

Homeownership may be famed for its headaches, from bidding wars to get in the door to the constant drumbeat of repairs around the house, but renters don't have it easy either. In fact, renters are the ones with more regrets, according to a recent Zillow Housing Aspirations Report.

One of their biggest regrets is being a renter in the first ...Read more

LA's new Airbnb rules bar short-term rentals of second homes and some apartments

Consumer / Home and Consumer News /

L.A.'s new Airbnb rules bar short-term rentals of second homes and some apartments

New restrictions on Airbnb and similar services in Los Angeles went into effect this week, driven by complaints that an explosion of short-term rentals has turned apartment buildings into hotels and pinched the city's already tight housing supply.

In a 2017 ...Read more

Real estate Q&A: Do I have to pay landlord for leaving rental before lease was up?

Consumer / Home and Consumer News /

Q: I rented a condo and moved out early because I bought a condo of my own. The lease stated that if I moved out early, I would be responsible for three months rent. The owner is now demanding that I pay him the three months. I know he rented the place out two weeks after I left. Do I need to pay him? -- John

A: You owe him some money, but not ...Read more

It would be cheaper to buy coastal homes than to keep fighting nature, new report says

Consumer / Home and Consumer News /

RALEIGH, N.C. -- Coastal towns may be better off buying out beachfront property owners than spending years trying to protect those homes from floods, erosion and shifting sands, a study of North Topsail Beach, N.C., concludes.

The Western Carolina University Program for the Study of Developed Shorelines, in a study released Sunday, found that ...Read more

Big home, big deal: The Manor in Holmby Hills sets an LA County price record at $119.75 million

Consumer / Home and Consumer News /

LOS ANGELES -- Los Angeles' ailing luxury real estate market just received a shot in the arm: The Manor, a 56,500-square-foot chateau in Holmby Hills, has sold for $119.75 million -- the highest home price in Los Angeles County history.

The astronomical sale closed Tuesday, according to the Multiple Listing Service. It represents another notch ...Read more

College bills coming due? Here are some smart tips before you pay

Consumer / Home and Consumer News /

With the cost of college rising each year, we did the math to see if it's possible for students to pay their own way through school.

In Pennsylvania, the worst state for affordability, students have to work 120 hours a week to cover in-state tuition and housing, according to price data from College Tuition Compare and labor/wage data from the ...Read more

College bills coming due? Here are some smart tips before you pay

Consumer / Home and Consumer News /

With the cost of college rising each year, we did the math to see if it's possible for students to pay their own way through school.

In Pennsylvania, the worst state for affordability, students have to work 120 hours a week to cover in-state tuition and housing, according to price data from College Tuition Compare and labor/wage data from the ...Read more

Your student loan servicers — Navient, Nelnet and FedLoan — pay big bucks to CEOs and lobbyists

Consumer / Home and Consumer News /

There's big money in America's $1.5 trillion in student loans -- and a lot of it doesn't go just to students.

Much like Wall Street, the student loan financing industry is an interlocking web of well-paid CEOs and lobbyists who move easily among the U.S. Department of Education, student loan servicing firms, and the halls of Congress.

With ...Read more

The Journey: Unretired at 65 and beyond

Consumer / Home and Consumer News /

Older workers blasted through another milestone recently.

The civilian labor force participation rate among people 65 and older stood at 20% in May, according to an analysis last month of Bureau of Labor Statistics data by advocacy group AARP.

That's up from just 10.8% a little more than a generation ago in 1985. The last time the ...Read more

Young and affordable, Columbus now sports larger population than iconic San Francisco

Consumer / Home and Consumer News /

San Francisco has the Golden Gate Bridge. The sunsets. The bay.

Columbus has the Scioto River, the Rich Street Bridge and sculptures of deer posing like humans.

OK, San Fran might be cooler, but CBus now has the bragging rights that it has more people. And the numbers also suggest Columbus has become much younger and more affordable for those ...Read more

Hot Property: For 'This Is Us' star, this pad is it

Consumer / Home and Consumer News /

LOS ANGELES -- Actor Chris Sullivan, best known for playing Toby on NBC's "This Is Us," has found a hip spot on L.A.'s Westside, paying $2.333 million for a modern home in Venice's Oxford Triangle neighborhood.

A few blocks from the marina, the two-story home dates to 1956 but was extensively remodeled about four years ago.

Among features are ...Read more

Susan Tompor: I pay my bills on time. Why is my credit score falling?

Consumer / Home and Consumer News /

Who would have imagined a day when a credit score could be as mystifying as an SAT or ACT score? But if you're looking for an elite credit card with amazing rewards or the best rate on a mortgage, you're hyper-focused on getting the best credit score. Sort of like trying to get into college.

But instead of improving over time, consumer ...Read more

Real estate Q&A: Can my condo security refuse to let visitor in because she has a support animal?

Consumer / Home and Consumer News /

Q: I live in a condominium. Recently a disabled friend was coming to visit with her emotional support animal. The front desk would not let her up, stating that because she was not a resident, they did not have to allow her in with her dog. Is this legal? -- Toni

A: No, your association violated the law when the front desk blocked your friend. ...Read more

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