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Food for Thought..

'Without debate, without criticism, no administration and no country can succeed; and no Republic can survive.' 

John F Kennedy, 35th President
Assassinated 1963

ACCESS Guard My Credit File News
Disturbing DHS Program Designed to Assign Risk Scores to American Social Media Users
In The News

June 8, 2023 - In 2018 the Department of Homeland Security started program they code named Night Fury. The program, which DHS contracted with the University of Alabama to build, used AI to assign risk scores to social media users. Its purpose was to find people with criminal intent or who were potential terrorists. That may sound fine and dandy until you stop to think about it. Within the past couple of years, the Justice Department and other government agencies have called parents expressing their opinions at school board meetings terrorists. Night Fury is a very slippery slope that the government has no business engaging in.

Student Loan Repayment and the Debt Ceiling Agreement - What You Need to Know
Federal Issues

May 31, 2023 - Much has been made of the bill passed by the House of Representatives that tentatively approved an increase in the debt ceiling. That bill included a provision that would have stopped the Biden plan for student loan forgiveness. But that bill was passed without any agreement from the Bident administration, and it isn't the same deal that is being debated in Congress today. The new deal that was announced between House Speaker McCarthy and Joe Biden over the weekend does include language on Student Loans, but it has been watered down considerably.

Californians Take Largest Losses on Residential Real Estate Over Past Year
Personal Finances

May 30, 2023 - It is no secret that California's real estate prices are among the highest in the nation. So it only stands to reason that when real estate prices start to fall, California homeowners are going to take a few lumps. A new survey from Redfin is quantifying this. Of the ten markets nationwide that have seen the largest reduction in home prices over the past year, three of them are in the Golden State. 

SCOTUS Issues Major Ruling on Property Rights and Civil Asset Forfeiture
Your Rights

May 28, 2023 - Late last week the US Supreme Court ruled a Minnesota law that allowed counties to foreclose on homes for unpaid taxes, and then keep the excess proceeds from the sale of those homes is unconstitutional. The case involved a 94-year-old homeowner whose home was seized by Hennepin County for unpaid property taxes. The homeowner owed $15,000 in back taxes. The county sold her home for $40,000 but refused to return the excess $25,000 to the former owner.

Large Company Bankruptcy Filings at Fastest Pace Since 2010
In The News

May 27, 2023 - Large corporate bankruptcy filings have hit their fastest pace since 2010. And the filings aren't just hitting one market sector. It’s just another sign of a faltering US economy and one of the clearest signals yet that the United States in in the midst of a recession.

California Program to Assist New Home Buyers Ran Out of Money Fast
State Issues

May 18, 2023 – It's no secret that purchasing a home in California is an expensive proposition. Down payments in areas like San Francisco and Los Angeles frequently require buyers to have socked away well over $100,000, and that isn't for a mansion and probably doesn't come anywhere close to 20% down. We're actually talking about the proverbial "starter home." So legislators in the State decided to see if they could help out with a new down-payment assistance program for first time buyers. It was a well-meaning idea but it wasn't well thought out. And it ran out of money in about ten days.

Elon Musk Issues Privacy Warning About WhatsApp
In The News

May 12, 2023 - Twitter's Director of Engineering happens to be a user of WhatsApp - one of the worlds most used instant messaging platforms which is now owned by Facebook. Earlier this week, he posted a tweet that showed the microphone on his phone had been accessed multiple times by WhatsApp, while he was sleeping. His conclusion was that the app was listening in on him without his knowledge. After he made his post, Elon Musk weighed in on the topic by saying that, "WhatsApp cannot be trusted."

Home Foreclosures Skyrocket
In The News

May 8, 2023 - In the first quarter of 2023, the rate of home foreclosures increased by 22% when compared with the same period of 2022. Nearly 96,000 homeowners lost their homes in the first quarter of this year. It's a troubling sign for the economy and there is currently no end in sight.


Shoppers Claim to Have Been Charged by Tap-to-Pay Terminals for Purchases They Haven't Made
Credit Issues

April 30, 2023 - A growing number of shoppers are complaining of being charged for purchases they haven't made via tap-to-pay terminals that are now present in most major retail establishments. Those chip terminals use chip readers that are supposed to require cards to be in close proximity to the terminal at the time the charge is made. That means that the card should be within an inch or two of the terminal for it to be read. But some people are now complaining they have been charged when they never removed their credit card from their wallet.

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