Google Blog: Find helpful information on the mortgage process in Search

Google Blog: Find helpful information on the mortgage process in Search. “Buying a house is a big financial decision and having clear, trustworthy information is important. To help people better understand the mortgage process, we collaborated with the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) to create a new mobile experience in Search. When you search for ‘mortgage’ on your phone, you’ll find a feature that breaks down the complex mortgage process into easy-to-follow steps to help guide you, wherever you may be in the process. It also connects you to a set of useful resources, including news articles, industry definitions and terms, a calculator to assist with payment plans and average mortgage rates. And for those looking for relief and refinance information, we’ll show some of the options available to you.”

New York Times: Federal Aid Has So Far Averted Personal Bankruptcies, but Trouble Looms

New York Times: Federal Aid Has So Far Averted Personal Bankruptcies, but Trouble Looms. “As of mid-June, the Treasury Department had issued nearly $270 billion worth of stimulus payments to some 160 million people. Unemployment benefits, which normally average about $340 a week, were temporarily increased by $600 a week. Some unemployed people now have more income than when they were working. But those benefits are set to expire this month.”

Consumer Financial Protection Bureau: Consumer Financial Protection Bureau Releases Online Tool to Help College Students Determine How to Pay for College

Consumer Financial Protection Bureau: Consumer Financial Protection Bureau Releases Online Tool to Help College Students Determine How to Pay for College. “‘Your Financial Path to Graduation’ helps students turn financial aid offers into plans to pay for school step-by-step. Along the way, it explains terms, offers money saving tips, and tracks uncovered costs. Once students finish making a plan, the tool estimates the total debt at graduation and offers information to help the student evaluate whether that debt is affordable in the long run. Students can save their plans and revise them if their circumstances change.”

Security Magazine: FTC launches new online tool for exploring military consumer data

Security Magazine: FTC launches new online tool for exploring military consumer data. “The Federal Trade Commission launched a new tool that explores data about problems military consumers may experience in the marketplace. For the first time, data about reports the FTC has received from active duty service members and veterans will be available online in an interactive dashboard.”

CNN: Utility shutoffs threaten a fresh crisis for low-income and Black families as Covid surges again

CNN: Utility shutoffs threaten a fresh crisis for low-income and Black families as Covid surges again. “As coronavirus cases surge across the US and states throttle back on economic reopenings, experts and advocacy groups are warning that low-income families could face utility shutoffs as moratoriums on disconnections lift — with Black families especially at risk.”

Newsweek: Family of Man Who Died of Coronavirus Hit With $1 Million Hospital Bill

Newsweek: Family of Man Who Died of Coronavirus Hit With $1 Million Hospital Bill. “Florida family received a claims summary from a hospital totaling more than $1 million over a relative who died from the novel coronavirus. A picture of the claims summary was posted to an Instagram account June 28. The account holder, workshoppgh, wrote a lengthy post about the $1,123,600 bill and said: ‘No one should have to face this virus alone and make it out to get bills like this.'”

MSN Money: Banks Have No Idea Who’s Creditworthy Anymore

MSN Money: Banks Have No Idea Who’s Creditworthy Anymore. “Lenders that are having a tough time spotting risky loan applicants are approving fewer borrowers for credit cards, auto loans and other consumer debt. They are also hunting for new data sets that could indicate who is in financial trouble and how much they need to set aside to cover soured loans. The Federal Reserve last week said the biggest U.S. banks could be saddled with as much as $700 billion in loan losses in a prolonged downturn.”

Route Fifty: How Did Americans Spend Their Stimulus Payments? New Data Offers Clues.

Route Fifty: How Did Americans Spend Their Stimulus Payments? New Data Offers Clues.. “More than two-thirds of people living in households where someone has received or expects a cash payment under a federal coronavirus relief program have used the money mostly for expenses—particularly costs like housing, utilities and food, according to new survey data.”

Daily Journal: Reports show COVID-19 hits housing costs

Daily Journal: Reports show COVID-19 hits housing costs. “Historically hot housing markets may be feeling a little under the weather amid the pandemic which is seemingly pushing down real estate prices throughout the Bay Area, according to recent reports. Rent costs are down in San Mateo, Redwood City, San Bruno, South San Francisco and other Bay Area locales from the year prior, according to a June report from online database Zumper.”

EXCLUSIVE: Bankruptcy cases plunge during coronavirus pandemic (WXII)

WXII: EXCLUSIVE: Bankruptcy cases plunge during coronavirus pandemic. “The number of bankruptcy filings nationwide during the coronavirus pandemic has actually plunged, down 34 percent for individuals and down 28 percent for businesses. Some states saw even steeper drops, including reductions of filings by individuals of 46 percent and 54 percent in Massachusetts and New York, respectively…. At first glance, it’s a counter-intuitive finding during the worst economy since the Great Depression. But Chris Mayfield, a business manager at Fitch Solutions for the PacerMonitor product, says trillions in federal stimulus and aid programs are temporarily keeping families and businesses afloat and out of bankruptcy court.”

BNN Bloomberg: Richest 25% of Americans cut spending the most during pandemic

BNN Bloomberg: Richest 25% of Americans cut spending the most during pandemic. “The richest quarter of Americans cut their consumer spending more than any other income group during the height of the pandemic, according to a study by a group of Harvard University researchers. As a result of high-income earners sharply reducing their expenditures, the revenues of businesses that cater to affluent households suffered, the study from Opportunity Insights, a Harvard research group led by Raj Chetty, John Friedman and Nathaniel Hendren, found.”

CNET: Price gouging persists during pandemic, despite push to stamp it out

CNET: Price gouging persists during pandemic, despite push to stamp it out. “We’re three months into the pandemic, but it’s still easy to find examples of price gouging on Amazon. Last Friday, within five minutes, CNET found Cottonelle toilet paper listed on Amazon for $57.42 (price for the same item on Target: $21.49), and a two-pack of 28-ounce jars of Rao’s marinara sauce for $29.04 (an adjacent listing of 24-ounce jars from Amazon-owned Whole Foods would cost you $10.78). The problem isn’t confined to Amazon’s massive digital storefront. It’s pretty much everywhere.”

New York Times: Most Coronavirus Tests Cost About $100. Why Did One Cost $2,315?

New York Times: Most Coronavirus Tests Cost About $100. Why Did One Cost $2,315?. “In a one-story brick building in suburban Dallas, between a dentist office and a family medicine clinic, is a medical laboratory that has run some of the most expensive coronavirus tests in America. Insurers have paid Gibson Diagnostic Labs as much as $2,315 for individual coronavirus tests. In a couple of cases, the price rose as high as $6,946 when the lab said it mistakenly charged patients three times the base rate.”

Coronavirus: The first thing I bought when the shops reopened (BBC)

BBC: Coronavirus: The first thing I bought when the shops reopened. “As stores across England selling non-essential goods opened their doors for the first time since the lockdown began, shoppers arrived early to centre:mk in Milton Keynes. Some were picking up goods they had been waiting months to buy, such as baby clothes and home furnishings. Others were here for the sales. These shoppers told us what they bought – and why.”

Best free video streaming services in 2020: Crackle, IMDb TV, Pluto TV, and more (ZDNet)

ZDNet: Best free video streaming services in 2020: Crackle, IMDb TV, Pluto TV, and more. “There are currently 11 good free services to try, and good old-fashioned over-the-air (OTA) antenna TV. Yes, you do have to put up with commercials on all of these — and there’s not a DVR features to be seen — but they are free. With so many selections to choose from, I can guarantee you’ll find something to watch that won’t hurt your pocketbook by even a single penny.”