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Law & Accounting

Threats, lies get debt collection company in very hot water

We all know how cunning and deceiving debt collectors can be. They’ll rely on intimidation and, on occasion, outright lying in their quest to collect tardy debts. An Atlanta collection agency engaged in the practice far too frequently for far too long. Now it must give up attempts to collect on more than 31,000 accounts it purchased for collection purposes. ...

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‘Catholic Day’ or not, Bryant to vow immigration crackdown support

By Ted Carter Gov. Phil Bryant will gather in the Capitol Wednesday with Tea Party allies to detail progress on giving Mississippi an “Alabama-style” law to keep undocumented immigrants from working in the state. The 1:30 p.m. joint press conference with the Mississippi Federation for Immigration Reform and Enforcement and the Mississippi Tea Party could present some awkwardness because of ...

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Some states to use foreclosure settlement money to patch budgets

Seeing a chance to plug budget holes in their states, three governors are laying claim to portions of a recent $25 billion mortgage foreclosure settlement to be paid by five of the nation’s largest banks. Where authority for use of the money rests is not entirely clear. Some media reports say U.S., Attorney General Eric Holder and the 49 attorneys ...

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Hood details spending of state’s $47.1M share of foreclosure settlement

A proposed national foreclosure fraud settlement provides an estimated $47.1 million in direct relief to Mississippi homeowners and addresses future mortgage loan servicing practices, Attorney General Jim Hood said Friday in announcing Mississippi’s participation in the $25 billion joint federal-state agreement with the nation’s five largest mortgage servicers over foreclosure abuses and fraud. The five lenders — Bank of America, ...

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Foreclosure fraud deal offers payments to displaced homeowners

Up to two million Americans could benefit from mortgage relief from the nation’s biggest banks under a foreclosure fraud settlement of $25 billion announced Thursday. Mississippi and 48 other states signed on to the deal with Bank of America, Citigroup, JPMorgan Chase, Wells Fargo and Ally Financial. The only remaining holdout is Oklahoma. The deal settles charges of systemic and ...

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UPDATE: DEAL IS DONE … Foreclosure settlement said gaining key state support

WASHINGTON — U.S. states have reached a $25 billion deal with the nation’s biggest mortgage lenders over foreclosure abuses that occurred after the housing bubble burst. Federal and state officials announced the deal Thursday. It is the biggest settlement involving a single industry since a 1998 multistate tobacco deal. Under the agreement, five major banks — Bank of America, JPMorgan ...

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Do Barbour's pardons stem from Southern religious, cultural practices?

ABC News has an interesting look at the South’s tradition of prisoner pardons, a practice it says is rooted in the region’s religious practices and culture. ABC asks whether those practices influenced former Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour’s controversial decision to grant more than 200 pardons on his way out of office. Here is the introduction and link to the story: ...

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In the middle of long lineage of CPAs

Despite good salaries and job prospects in the field, sometimes college students are less than keen about going into the field of accounting. It might not be seen as exciting as some other career choices. But Mississippi State University accounting director Dr. Jim Scheiner sees it differently. “My father was a CPA and I saw how serving clients was an ...

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Public retirement system study panel urges cost-of-living freeze

A three-year moratorium on cost of living allowances, or COLAs, for Mississippi’s retired public employees is a key recommendation of a report that will be released by Gov. Haley Barbour Wednesday. The moratorium recommended by a Barbour-appointed study commission could save the Public Employees Retirement System of Mississippi about $40 million annually for three years but would deprive about 80,000 ...

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A different kind of merger

JACKSON — Brunini Grantham Grower and Hewes has proven there is more than one way to merge. In fact, the venerable Jackson law firm has pulled off a “non-merger merger.” Last month, it was announced that Brunini, founded in 1903, had been invited to join Meritas, a global network of independent, full-service law firms. The network currently encompasses 7,265 experienced ...

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