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Appeal Your House’s Assessment to Lower Your Property Tax Bill

by Luke Landes

The comparison of owning a home in New Jersey or Long Island with owning a home in New York City shows that the city has one financial advantage: property taxes. In New Jersey, it’s hard to discuss the cost of owning a home without talking about property taxes. With high property tax rates, it’s worthwhile ... Continue reading this article…

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$1.2 Trillion in Secret Fed Loans

by Luke Landes

We know about TARP, the program that used taxpayer money to lend to the biggest Wall Street banks tin an effort to prevent the collapse of the financial industry. The Federal Reserve loaned more money to Wall Street, however, in secret. The details are only coming out now thanks to the Freedom of Information Act ... Continue reading this article…

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Bank of America Shedding 6,000 Jobs So Far This Year

by Luke Landes
Bank of America

Financial giant Bank of America is eliminating 3,500 more employees. With this addition to the 2,500 already lost this year, the score is up to 6,000. The bank is trimming the workforce to sell of businesses, like global credit cards and life insurance portfolios. The company’s profits overall aren’t growing fast enough, particularly due to ... Continue reading this article…

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Platinum Card from American Express Review

by Luke Landes

Charge cards have always had a reputation of being not for the average middle-class credit card user, primarily because many come with high annual fees and offer perks that the typical American consumer can’t afford or doesn’t want to pay. While this may be true for most charge cardholders, as long as a consumer doesn’t ... Continue reading this article…

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Are Credit Card Annual Fees Worthwhile?

by Luke Landes

The best credit card deals are often spoiled by an annual fee. Annual fees can range from about $50 to $2,500, with the high end reserved for the super-select American Express Centurion Card (the “black card”). In return for this fee, credit card issuers provide a range of benefits beyond what typical no-fee cards offer, ... Continue reading this article…

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Credit Market Improving, Will Economy Follow?

by Luke Landes

The Federal Reserve Bank of New York released their quarterly evaluation of the credit markets, and they are reporting some good news for consumers. Total consumer debt dropped $50 billion since last quarter, ending at $11.4 trillion on June 30. Mortgage balances and home equity credit balances declined, contributing to the overall decrease. Debt not ... Continue reading this article…

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Podcast 121: Adam Levin, The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau

by Luke Landes

Today on the Consumerism Commentary Podcast, Tom Dziubek speaks with Adam Levin, co-founder of Credit.com and former director of the New Jersey Division of Consumer Affairs about the new federal Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. Adam discusses the goals of the bureau, how it’s an improvement over what was in place before, and some of the ... Continue reading this article…

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Starwood Preferred Guest Business Credit Card from American Express Review

by Luke Landes

American Express continues to top J.D. Power & Associates’ list for best credit card issuers for customer satisfaction, thanks mainly to its strong rewards programs like the one that accompanies the Starwood Preferred Guest Credit Card. The rewards program and top-ranked customer service from American Express continues to foster appreciation among personal card owners, and ... Continue reading this article…

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