16 Stories

Here's Why More Women Are Robbing Banks

These days robbers pass notes to tellers and often don't even brandish weapons

(Newser) - "You have 30 secs to empty all draws no pack/no dye. Give me all of it." The note was handed to a teller at a Capital Bank location in Lighthouse Point, Fla., in September 2015. The somewhat unusual part was who wrote it: a woman. More and more... More »

Dial-up Customer, 83, Hit With $24K Bill

AT&T told Ron Dorff he had to pay up after modem problem

(Newser) - "Bill shock" doesn't just happen to cellphone users: Ron Dorff, an 83-year-old Los Angeles man driven to despair by a $24,298.93 bill for a dial-up Internet service that usually costs him $51 a month, was initially told he would have to pay up, according to Los ... More »

Guy Hit With Shocking Toll Bill

Washington state driver planned to pay later

(Newser) - A Washington state man received a wee shock when he saw his outstanding toll-bridge bill: more than $18,000. His dad, Tom Rose, says the young man was working his first job and crossing the 520 bridge daily without a Good to Go pass—figuring he'd pay later, KING-TV... More »

Christianity's 'Holiest Site' May Close Over Unpaid Bills

Water company says Jerusalem church owes it $2.1M

(Newser) - Can we call this an unholy water dispute? The Greek Orthodox Church is threatening to shut down the Church of the Holy Sepulchre—the most revered site in Christendom—over unpaid water bills, the AFP reports. An Israeli water company says the church owes $2.1 million in back bills,... More »

GOP Bill Would Can Welfare Work Requirements

Republicans have slammed Obama for "gutting" welfare reform

(Newser) - Republicans have criticized President Obama for "gutting" welfare reform, but now they're working on a House bill that could gut welfare reform, Talking Points Memo reports. Introduced by Rep. Virginia Foxx, the bill would let states simplify workers' training by cutting and consolidating redundant programs. That means work... More »

Scam Convinces Thousands Obama Is Paying Their Bills

Tricksters launch door-to-door campaign

(Newser) - Don't let the heat get to your brain: Thousands from New Jersey to North Carolina to Indiana have been taken in by a scam suggesting the federal government is oh-so-graciously willing to cover your out-of-control utility bill. In addition to electronically communicating with victims, scammers are sending associates door... More »

Congress' Productivity Plunges

Hill approving fewer bills, fewer laws being signed

(Newser) - Non-election years are typically productive times for Congress, but not this year. As of last week, the House had passed 326 bills, its fewest in the last 10 non-election years, while the Senate had green-lit 368, its lowest total since 1995, the Washington Post observes. (For comparison, the House passed... More »

Special Interests Write Laws, States Fill In Blanks

Bill templating an increasingly common practice

(Newser) - There’s a decent chance your state lawmakers aren’t writing the bills they’re sponsoring—they’re pulling them off the Internet and filling in the blanks. Bill templates are becoming an increasingly common way for special interests from both sides of the political spectrum to influence local legislatures,... More »

Dems Chip Away at Agenda, One Bill at a Time

GOP keeps its eye on the prize, lets smaller bills sail through

(Newser) - Health care reform may not be sailing through Congress, but a wave of smaller bills that Democrats have been eying for years have done so under President Obama—in most cases without much fanfare or objection. Republicans, focused on bigger fish, are giving a pass to legislation they once forcefully... More »

Quaids' Wild Ride a Tale of Drugs, Paranoia

Texas arrest for stiffing hotel bill is just the tip of the iceberg

(Newser) - The arrest of Randy and Evi Quaid in Texas for stiffing a California hotel is only the latest twist in a bizarre tale of unpaid bills and paranoid fantasies. A private investigator hired by the Quaids—she’s out $17,000—tells Diane Dimond the actor and his wife owe... More »

Poll: Few Plan Splurges With Tax Refunds

More people than ever are just paying off bills

(Newser) - Taxpayers’ refund checks are starting to arrive, but this year the economy might not see much of a boost from that money, an AP poll finds. More people are planning to spend their refunds in some way, but 54% say they’ll pay off existing bills rather than go on... More »

Green Homes Gain Heat in Cool Housing Market

Buyers willing to pay for eco-upgrades, survey says

(Newser) - Eco-friendly homebuilders are faring well despite the plunging US housing market, Newsweek reports. With home sales at a 15-year low, a national survey showed that buyers last year were ready to spend an extra $8,964 on a home that cuts utility bills. "It's taken almost as a fait ... More »

Retail Scores Big on Unused Gift Cards

$7.8B in cards unused annually; some states want cut of profit

(Newser) - Retailers are likely rubbing their hands with glee after shoppers snapped up $97 billion in gift cards this year, up from $83 billion in 2006. Why the excitement? The industry makes billions each year from “breakage," or gift card money that is never spent. Lost, discarded, or under-used... More »

10 Ways Smart People Are Stupid About Money

Wise up and hand on to your hard-earned cash

(Newser) - Hey, smarty. You went to an Ivy League school and you have a respectable job, so why are you broke? The Consumerist points out 10 money-suckers that plague otherwise intelligent people:
  1. Paying your bills late
  2. Overdrafting and ATM fees
  3. Traffic and parking tickets
More »

Service Lets Parents Watch Kids' Cells

New AT&T interface includes limits on mobile minutes, texting, downloads

(Newser) - As cell phones become ever more an extension of kids' ears and thumbs, AT&T is helping bill-paying parents avoid the sweaty-palmed opening of the monthly bill. For $4.99 a month, Smart Limits lets parents have some say in who and when their children call, and how many texts... More »

AT&T Slims Down Mammoth iPhone Bills

Online summaries will replace hefty paper records

(Newser) - AT&T will no longer mail out meticulously itemized iPhone bills after receiving a wave of complaints from consumers, some of whom had received bills tens—or even hundreds—of pages long. The bills listed each and every data transfer charge, the Times reports, even though iPhones come with an... More »

16 Stories