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Best of Our Blogs: Tear-downs in SoSo; Credit agency complaints


During the housing bubble, McMansions began replacing starter homes in West Palm Beach’s South of Southern neighborhood. The tear-down trend halted during the crash, but it’s back with a vengeance.

Among the new breed of houses, prices rise as high as $2 million — for properties not on the water or on Flagler Drive. Some examples:

  • 146 Seville Road. This freshly built 5,300-square-foot house is asking $1.995 million.
  • 151 Seville Road. Also newly completed, this 5,200-square-foot spread comes with an asking price of $1.975 million.
  • 201 Santa Lucia Drive. This 2,500-square-foot house includes green features such as solar panels and rain barrels. Asking price: $1.595 million.
  • 234 Gregory Road. Not technically a teardown, this is a renovation of a 1950s home. Asking price: $975,000.

— Jeff Ostrowski, RealTime

Data safe this holiday? Credit report firms lead agency gripe list

You might like to think credit reporting companies Equifax, Experian and TransUnion are the folks who are supposed to protect and keep your consumer data straight this holiday shopping season. But they lead all companies in the latest quarterly complaint list released Tuesday from the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, outpacing banks led by Citibank.

Complaints from Florida increased 14 percent for June through August 2016, compared to same quarter a year earlier, ranking it among the top 20 states with the biggest increases in gripes.

Credit reporting firms compile information on more than 220 million U.S. consumers that can play a critical role in determining if people get favorable terms when they apply for loans and charge cards, apartments or even jobs or insurance. Some complaints are to be expected, but problems that consumers face in challenging or clearing up mistakes have proved persistent.

As The Palm Beach Post reported, the annual cost of ID theft has been tallied near $25 billion, more than burglary, vehicle and other forms of property theft combined.

Florida led the nation in identity theft complaints in 2015 to another federal agency, the Federal Trade Commission. The region including Miami and West Palm Beach topped the nation in reported identify theft per capita in 2014 and remained in the top three last year.

The Consumer Data Industry Association, whose members include big credit reporting companies, had no immediate comment.

Most Complaints by Company

1. Equifax

2. Experian

3. TransUnion

4. Citibank

5. Bank of America

6. Wells Fargo

7. JPMorgan Chase

8. Capital One

9. Ocwen

10. Navient Solutions Inc.

— Charles Elmore, Protecting Your Pocket


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