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Happy April Fools’ Day

A friend on Facebook tricked me with with a tale of a move across the country, a new line of work, and a rural lifestyle. I thought, wow, that’s an interesting thing to do. Then, it dawned on me, April fools. I don’t know how I feel about being tricked on social media. I usually write about a few of my favorite April Fools’ Day jokes on April 1. Read more →

Best wishes on Easter Sunday

Planning ahead, I decided to try to see what I could find that was new for an Easter lunch that with fit in my new, low-fat Dean Ornish meal plan. I found Chicken-less Mandarin Orange Morsels, mashed potatoes, and green beans at Trader Joe’s. At Safeway at the end of a long shopping trip, I found some hot cross buns. Read more →

Realtors’ group agrees to pay $418 million to settle lawsuits on high commissions

Homeowners could pay less to sell their homes after a realtors’ group agreed to cut commissions to settle lawsuits filed against it. On Friday, the National Association of Realtors agreed to pay $418 million in damages and to eliminate its rules on commissions. The $418 million agreement will make it easier for home buyers to negotiate fees with their own agents. Read more →

After winter storms, watch out scams

Winter is far from over with heavy rains causing extensive damage in California and Nevada this week. At least three people died from fallen tree incidents in northern California on Sunday and more than 200,000 households remained without power Monday night. Dealing with the aftermath of flooding, wind damage, or other storm destruction isn’t easy. Read more →

Inflation eases, despite corporate price gouging

It's amazing that as we’re all suffering from inflation so little is said about corporate price gouging and the role it’s playing in price increases. Fortunately, there’s a watchdog group that keeps researching inflation. Here’s the latest from Accountable.US: The increase in basic prices having risen at the smallest rate since September 2021. Read more →

Irritated over ‘junk’ fees? Let the FTC know the details

Junk fees – those hidden and bogus charges that have found their way into a wide variety of transactions – are on consumers’ minds. After receiving more than 12,000 comments about how these fees impact consumers and businesses, the FTC announced on Oct. 11, a proposed rule on deceptive fees. It's now looking for further feedback. Read more →

Free credit reports now permanently available each week

Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion – the three national credit reporting agencies – are permanently extending a program that lets you check your credit report at the agencies once a week for no cost. Visit to request free copies of your credit reports, the Federal Trade Commission advises. Other sites may charge you or be fraudulent. Read more →

Roomster settles with FTC and six states for $1.6 million for tricking renters with fake reviews and unverified listings

When searching for a place to live and roommates, it’s important to get accurate information. And reviews from platforms that can help you in your search need to be honest and trustworthy. But according to the FTC and six states suing Roomster and its owners, the room and roommate finder platform posted reviews and other information that wasn’t accurate. Read more →

Too many real estate agents comes with costs for consumers and the industry, report says

Does it matter that there are too many residential real estate agents? Yes, says a consumer group. More than 1.5 million residential agents, including brokers, compete for home sales usually totaling 5 to 6 million annually. The plethora of real estate agents comes with costs, according to a study by the Consumer Federation of America, that include: Read more →

AIG is third major insurer to stop selling homeowners insurance in vulnerable areas

American International Group is planning to curb homeowners insurance sales for owners at high risk of floods, storms, or wildfires in 200 zip codes across the United States, according to a report in the Wall St Journal. AIG is the third major insurer in recently to announce cuts to homeowners insurance.  Read more →