Installment loans are typically, shorter-term, high-interest, loans to borrowers with severely damaged credit. These loans usually have longer terms than the 2-3 week turnaround for payday loans, and the borrower agrees to pay the money back in equal, monthly installments, but some of those who have worked at installment lenders say these loans are laden with charges aimed at getting around interest-rate rules and keeping the borrower in a cycle of indebtedness. [More]
Hey, remember the Rhode Island lawyer who was charged with wire fraud and identity theft for using strangers’ deaths as an investment vehicle? As his sentencing date approaches, he’s filed papers to rescind his guilty plea and request a new trial. His guilty plea came with a maximum sentence of ten years in prison, but he maintains his innocence. [More]
Want to know if your doctor is receiving free lunches and other perks from Pfizer, GSK or some other huge player in the pharmaceuticals or medical device business? Starting in Sept. 2014, that information will be made available to consumers courtesy of the federal government. [More]
In the last few years of the aughts, while many of us privileged jerks were whining about how our iPhones kept dropping calls, and the national mobile network couldn’t handle the call volume generated by our data-slorping smartphones, a hidden army of workers were there for us, risking their lives so that we could download podcasts on the bus. These dudes (they’re all dudes) scale towers to fix and upgrade equipment, working for subcontractors and receiving relatively low pay of $10-$11 per hour. And some of them fall and die.
In order to put together its awesome “Dollars for Docs” database that let readers search to see if their doctor had received pharma company payments ProPublica had to convert data from all sorts of Websites, PDFs, Excel docs and even Flash sites into one system. Not an easy task, but that kind of data wrasslin’ is key for modern investigative journalism, and ProPublica have put together tutorials to show you how you can do it too.
For the first time ever, patients can have access to previously secret government information about survival rates at specific dialysis clinics. ProPublica got the info through a Freedom of Information Act request and has put it together in an easily searchable database. This is important because some of these places, especially if they’re for-profit, have pretty bad track records at keeping their patients alive.
Twelve doctors at Stanford University Medical School are under investigation by the school’s disciplinary board after their names cropped up in a database of docs getting paid big bucks by pharmaceutical companies for speaking gigs, a violation of school policy.
Just how big exactly was the bailout? And which banks got which kinds of loans? And how many did they get? It’s been hard to figure out, but now the Fed has released deep data on the over 21,000 different loans it made during the financial crisis—loans that were supposed to help encourage the banks to resume lending again. ProPublica has put all the numbers together into a searchable and filterable database so you check and see what kind of treasure chest your bank got.
Newly released court documents indicate that over a half-dozen companies knew about the rotten egg smells exuding from Chinese drywall since 2006, but they stayed quiet and kept selling the junk.
Do you like farts? Documents and depositions unearthed by ProPublica and the Sarasota Harold-Tribune show exchanges between homebuilder WCI Communities and drywall distributor Banner that reveal the sulfur-emitting drywall problem was known as far back as 2006, and yet customers and authorities were not notified. In one deposition, a Banner executive refuses to admit that sulfur-stinking drywall might bother others, seeing as he himself, on certain occasions, enjoys the sweet aroma of another man’s butt gas: