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Thousands Fall Victim to Utility Payment Scam

As much as President Barack Obama wants your vote, he won't pay your electric bill. But thousands of Americans have been persuaded otherwise, falling victim to a scam that claims to be part of an federal program to help pay utility bills in the midst of this scorching summer.

Why Spirit Airlines Will Never Be Great Again

Looking at Spirit Airlines' financials, you might think the low-cost carrier is a smart buy. But don't be fooled by the balance sheets: The Spirit business model that generates profits carries the seeds of its own destruction by generating toxic ill will with its passengers.

Disney World Scammers Scored Four Years of Free Vacations

A trio of Florida men have been charged with running an elaborate free vacation scheme in the "Happiest Place on Earth," Disney World. Joseph Geiger, Robert Falk and Steven Nero allegedly spent four years living off the land in Mickey Mouse's backyard.

The 10 States That Pay Out the Biggest Lottery Jackpots

On Friday night, a Mega Millions jackpot of more than $500 million is in the offing. Somebody may win big. Now, the only guaranteed winners of lotteries are state treasuries. But we're betting you're more interested in your own odds of winning a lottery, and where the payouts are best.

America's 11 Most Miserable States Revealed

You might think that with the economy on its slow climb back to health, Americans would have gotten a little bit happier in 2011. In fact, they got a bit more miserable. And some states have more reasons to be down in the dumps than others.

U.S. Homes Lose (Only) $700 Billion in Value in '11

The year-end housing news is sobering: U.S. homes are expected to lose more than $681 billion in value in 2011. But there's an upside: That's 35% less than the $1.1 trillion lost in 2010, according to research from Zillow.

Divorced Mom: How Do I Rebound Financially?

Splitting up makes a mess of your finances,as Lynn, a nurse living in Florida knows all too well. Her 2008 divorce from her husband of 28 years left her in debt, with bad credit, and with limited financial skills. She's already begun to dig out, but she needs a better plan.

Online Pawn Shop Polishes Up an Old Lending Idea

Two-year-old Pawngo bills itself as a more upscale pawnshop for the digital age, catering to a new breed of pawn customer -- not desperate, just temporarily cash-strapped. The company wants to dispel the stereotype of sketchy storefronts dealing in fenced goods -- and so far, it has had a fair amount of success.

Jackpot! States With Biggest Lottery Payouts

Lotteries are big businesses in most states, and they can provide windfalls for both the winning ticket-holders and state coffers. But which states give the most back to ticket-holders and through government services?

False Deeds in Md.: More Foreclosure Fraud Emerges

As if we needed more proof of the outlaw actions of banks and their agents, The Baltimore Sun reports that 1,000 or more Maryland deeds are likely forgeries created by a foreclosure mill. If the accusation is true, the false deeds will create a nightmare for the innocent people who bought the homes.

HSBC's Foreclosure 'Moratorium' Has Big Holes in it

HSBC announced late last month that it had put all of its U.S. foreclosures on hold to review their documents -- back in December. So why are its lawyers still pushing cases ahead? HSBC also says it doesn't robo-sign. So why does its annual report mention foreclosure document problems that sound so much like those caused by robo-signing?

Illegal Immigrants: Moving to America's Center

Illegal immigrant populations are shrinking in New York, Florida and the Mountain West states, as undocumented workers relocate to states such as Texas, Oklahoma and Louisiana, the Pew Hispanic Center said in a report released last week.

20 Metro Areas With the Worst Credit Card Debt

Equifax has ranked the U.S. metropolitan areas that are still suffering the most from high credit card debt, and found the majority of the areas with the highest debt-to-income ratios are located in six states. But the six might not be the ones you'd guess.

Q&A With a Defender of Florida's 'Rocket Docket' Foreclosures

Lee County, Florida has become infamous for speeding foreclosure cases through its courts. The super-charged system -- or "rocket docket" -- can dispense with a foreclosure case in minutes, sometimes mere seconds. DailyFinance spoke with the Lee County Clerk who says the "rocket docket" was his idea.

Florida Is Still Letting Banks Break the Rules in Foreclosure Cases

An affidavit in a court case needs to include the documents that support its claims. Except for banks in Florida foreclosure cases. Despite the massive robo-signing scandal and evidence of errors in mortgage files, judges there still merely take the bank's word about what you owe.

N.J. Digs Out from Blizzard Without Gov. or Lt. Gov.

New Jersey residents voted in 2005 to give their state a lieutenant governor, so even though Gov. Chris Christie is on vacation in Florida while his state is getting pounded by a blizzard, the should be no leadership vacuum in Trenton. But his backup, Lt. Gov. Kim Guadagno, picked this week to go away on vacation too.

A Florida Housing Development Stalls, and the Cows Move In

Jerilee Wei never expected to be living next to a cow pasture when she bought her home in Lakeland, Fla., in 2007. In her upscale community, newly constructed houses were selling for between $300,000 and $425,000. Then one morning she woke up and found some cattle had moved in.