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How to collect on a customer debt

Businesses need to get paid to stay afloat, and it’s no fun to spend a lot of time collecting a debt from a customer. When someone doesn’t pay and you need to collect, here are some tips for doing it: Be sure you know the rules where you live. State law debt collection rules vary. While the federal Fair Debt Collection Practices Act applies only to third-party debt collectors and lawyers, some state laws apply to

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Can noncompete be enforced against independent contractor?

A noncompete clause in an employment contract can be an effective way to keep a worker from leaving to work for a competitor for a defined period of time after he or she stops working for you. Sometimes independent contractors have as much, or nearly as much, company-specific knowledge as employees. So the question is whether you should include a noncompete clause in your independent contractor agreement. If you require independent contractors to sign a noncompete

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EEOC requires businesses provide pay info by Sept. 30

All businesses with 100 or more employees and federal contractors with 50 or more employees must submit their 2018 pay data to the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) by Sept. 30, a federal judge in Washington, D.C., has decided. The information, which must include how much each employer paid workers of various sexes, races and ethnicities last year, is intended to be part of the EEOC’s ongoing collection of demographic data. Businesses must submit the

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Protect against possible hacking of company car GPS

Businesses that insert GPS trackers in their employees’ cars tend to see improved productivity, efficiency and safety. These devices also come with concerns over employee privacy, but the benefits often trump the risks. However, a recent report brought to light a measurable hacking risk with GPS trackers. The report in Motherboard stated that a hacker known as L&M has hacked into more than 7,000 iTrack accounts and more than 20,000 ProTrack accounts. Companies use these apps

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Should you accept Venmo, PayPal & Zelle? Pros and cons of digital payments for businesses, landlords

Pros and cons of digital payments for businesses, landlords Many people are exchanging money these days with new, electronic payment options such as Venmo, PayPal and Zelle. These online and app-based services make it easy to pay a friend for dinner or a roommate for half of this month’s bills. Many customers and renters don’t have checking accounts, or prefer using digital payments, so the question of whether to accept these payments is arising regularly for

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Landlords sued and fined for housing discrimination

A New York landlord must pay a $15,000 settlement after refusing to let a mentally ill tenant keep her emotional support dog in her apartment, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development has announced. This is an important issue for all landlords and homeowners across the country to keep on their radar. HUD regularly takes enforcement actions in situations involving discrimination against tenants. For example, earlier last year, the agency filed charges of housing discrimination

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Rise in home prices slowing down

The most recent data on home prices in 20 U.S. cities showed the slowest rise in four years, according to the S&P CoreLogic Case-Shiller index of property values. The data for the 20 cities covers eight months in row as of November 2018. The index increased 4.7 percent year over year. In the prior month, the rise in prices over the prior 12-month period was 5 percent. Despite the slowdown in the rise, all 20 cities

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When your neighbor’s vacation rental becomes a problem

Your neighbors are using their home as a vacation rental. That means you “enjoy” a steady stream of rotating people moving in and out next door. These short-term guests like to stay up late, party in the backyard, and play loud music. What can you do? Talk it over As with any dispute, begin by having a conversation with the property owner. They may not be aware their guests are regularly being disruptive. Offer to help monitor guest

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Where one-third of millennials get the money for a down payment

It’s no secret that the housing market is competitive, especially in big metropolitan areas. Winning a bidding war for the home you want can mean making a bid above the asking price, too. Where do young, millennial homeowners find the money for a down payment? According to a recent Bank of the West survey of more than 600 adults ages 21-34, one-third of homeowners either withdrew from or took a loan against their retirement savings. The

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Bias continues even with online mortgage lenders

It would seem that online mortgage lending would reduce discrimination against minorities, but a new study from the University of California, Berkeley, found otherwise. The study showed that both in-person and online lenders charge black and Latino buyers higher interest rates. People of color and other minorities end up with up to half a billion dollars more in interest than white homebuyers, the study found.

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