The CFPB - Where do they stand now and what does it mean to you?

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s (CFPB) indirect crusade against dealers has been ongoing for several years now. For those who are not familiar with the auto dealership model, dealer participation is a method whereby a dealer arranges a wholesale rate of financing for a customer and then marks it up to a rate equal to that which the customer could find in the retail marketplace. As the NADA describes in their article, “The Fallacy of Flats” , the CFPB has essentially claimed that this provides the dealer with a level of pricing discretion that creates a “significant risk” that certain groups of consumers will pay a higher interest rate (due to more dealer participant) than other groups of similarly situated consumers in violation of the federal Equal Credit Opportunity Act. Although auto lending policies strictly prohibit gathering information on ethnicity, the CFPB has claimed evidence of this violation as a result of its efforts to categorize borrowers into ethnic groups based on the borrower’s name and the zip code in which they reside. The accuracy of the CFPB’s categorization has come under question on many fronts but it has not deterred them from their crusade.

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Seven Make-or-Break Year-End Tax Moves - Top Strategies for Individual Taxpayers

As another year draws to a close, the tax moves you make, or don’t make, can have a significant impact on your 2015 tax return. Fortunately, there are plenty of tax-saving opportunities available to individual taxpayers, even if certain tax provisions are not resolved until the waning days of the year. Here are seven ways you may be able to reduce your tax bill for 2015.

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Feeling Good About a Crummey Trust - Consider this Estate Planning Technique

Despite its off-putting name, a “Crummey trust” can provide favorable results for individuals who have a significant amount of assets. This device might be incorporated into a comprehensive estate plan.

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Mapping Out Deductions for Business Travel - How to Maximize the Tax Benefits of Business Trips

Are you planning a business trip to a distant city? If the destination is known for its cultural attractions or recreational activities, you might want to combine your business with a little pleasure. In fact, this could be a chance to get away after the children have gone back to school or to just spend some quality “alone time” with your spouse.

The good news is that the bulk of your expenses are deductible if you handle things the right way. However, if you are not careful, you could run afoul of some tricky tax rules.

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