Saturday, October 10, 2020

Fairfax County Virginia school system hacked with employee info PII


Hackers broke into Fairfax County VA Public Schools and stole employee names and social security numbers (and some health insurance information), according to NBC Washington.    Hackers demanded ransom to prevent release of the information.  The hack likely followed a phishing attack. 

This would put anyone on the list at risk for identity theft.  Still you wonder why lenders get duped into creating accounts for fictitious people.  I sometimes see emails for Amazon and Apple purchases that don’t show up on my own cards (the Apple purchases are in third world countries or former Russian republics).

I worked as a substitute teacher 2004-2007 but doubt they would have my info there now.

Friday, October 09, 2020

Landlords jump the gun on eviction in DC during pandemic to raise rents while people wait for Congress on stimulus


Kyle Swenson of the Washington Post reports that a relatively small number of landlords in the District of Columbia holding 21% of rental units are responsible for 50% of the eviction filings, mainly to get rent increases. 

The story is especially chilling because of inability to pay rent during the COVID pandemic and business closures.

Many of the evictions would not be legally enforceable.

Picture: recently flooded area of Hyattsville, MD

Tuesday, October 06, 2020

Trump may have reversed on stimulus (standalone); we can get the economy back safely if we really try


OK, Trump makes a turnaround after hours (like futures time) and offers to send a $1200 stimulus check no strings as stand alone, Tweet

I was going to write a different post.

Hopefully this stops some of the evictions. 

But without a turnaround, it is going to get desperate for so many people. 

I’ve written on other blogs, that combination of “rapid testing”, clear policies for how isolation/quarantine works and support for those affected, automated contact tracing on phones (cumulative over time), and strict rules on masks in businesses, could enable many more of them to reopen.  And we need to really work on indoor ventilation, in retail spaces, bars, offices, apartment buildings. 

I want to get this economy open.

Sunday, September 06, 2020

CDC actually intervenes on evictions; FICA tax deferral; so a lot of people will be in trouble by Inauguration Day


I never knew that the CDC had the authority to tell landlords they can’t evict tenants, Federal Register entry link

Yet, at the beginning of 2021 (as maybe Biden approaches inauguration) a tsunami of evictions could start, leading to new appeals to ordinary citizens for private fundraisers, I suspect.  You can quickly have an even greater homelessness crisis.

Jim Wang of Forbes talks about the status of the social security tax deferral, which is not so generous now.  If your employer participates at all, you will have to pay it back in the 1Q of 2021.  And will the economy be recovering yet?  Will we be getting going with the vaccine?

 Update: Sept 7

Vice reports on what it is like to be evicted in the middle of a pandemic (Aug 2020), in New Orleans. One of the people is a musician. 

Sunday, August 23, 2020

Evictions will explode at the end of September without more stimulus; what does the Left want to propose?


CNN and Wolf Blitzer have been warning about a cascade of evictions likely at the end of September.

What I find online varies enormously by state, but here is a story on CNET (Dale Smith, Shelby Brown)  saying that the last federal protection ends tomorrow, Monday, Aug. 24.

As of now, Trump’s latest proposal doesn’t actually stop evictions.

It’s difficult to follow this in a blog as it keeps changing every day.

This is not a good time for people who own units for rental.  We still haven't talked about national debt, or debt ceiling, or maybe emergency inherited wealth taxes? 

Monday, August 10, 2020

Trump executive order seen as kicking the can down the road, as people will remain desperate

 So, right now Trump’s XO is offering $400 a month in unemployment benefits (down from $600 which expired on July 31), and a “deferral” of social security and Medicare taxes.  But as it stands, recipients would probably owe it a year later.

 Trump had signed the order Saturday near his NJ golf course after talks broke down. 

The measure would stop evictions and remove interest on student loans.

CNN has a lot more detail in a long article by Kristen Holmes, et al. 

Permanent deferral of payroll taxes would bring the day of reckoning from Social Security sooner and stimulate problems with the debt ceiling later (maybe), and lead to calls for more immediate means testing of social security recipients.

The stalemate in Congress is getting serious, folks, and can lead to more social and street unrest.

Thursday, August 06, 2020

Media scrambles to tell people stranded now by Congress what to do about money

First of all, I started to write this blog post and discovered I had overlooked a credit card payment myself due Aug 3 on a little used account (American Airlines credit card, but for Sitelock).  So I quickly climbed on and did it, but had to pay the $29 late fee.
Ron Lieber and Tara Siegel Bernard have a complete “booklet”guide, in the New York Times, Aug. 4,  for what those stranded by all the coronavirus lockdowns can do, given that many benefits from Congress expired around July 31. It is called "Your Money, a Complete Guide for Help During the Coronavirus Crisis." 

Erica Werner and Jeff Stein describe the acrimony in the Washington Post today
Again, in my own situation, I tend to give to groups most connected to the activities in my own life (like the loss of income for musicians, restaurants and bars, and the like).  I think many people would. But there is so much call for the “basics”, and I have much less connection, say, to food pantries in terms of actual activity.