Resource Center

Stories

The IRE Resource Center is a major research library containing more than 26,000 investigative stories.

Most of our stories are not available for download but can be easily ordered by contacting the Resource Center directly at 573-882-3364573-882-3364  or rescntr@ire.org where a researcher can help you pinpoint what you need.



Search results for "loans" ...

  • Phantom Debt Collectors

    Hundreds of thousands of cash-strapped Americans were being targeted by abusive debt collectors operating out of overseas call centers, part of what authorities were calling a massive scam that targeted struggling Americans -- especially those who have gone online to apply for payday loans. Armed with personal information from those pilfered applications, the threatening callers, who claimed to be debt collectors poised to initiate legal action, managed to pry loose millions of dollars from their victims -- even when the victims never owed money in the first place. It's what the Federal Trade Commission calls a "phantom debt collection scam." An ABC News investigation pried into the scam and found that, working through call centers in India, the fake debt collectors had dialed at least 2.5 million calls, persuading already cash-strapped victims to send them more than $5 million. Some reported receiving dozens of calls per hour. ABC News tracked down the man to whom FTC officials say all roads led from the scam. For the first time, the most prolific scam to hit Americans in years finally had a face.

    Tags: debt collectors; payday loans; call centers

    By Brian Ross

    ABC News

    2012

  • Indentured Students

    In a year-long series, Bloomberg detailed how the $1 trillion in outstanding student loans has imprisoned borrowers in a lifetime of debt, enabling a host of predatory collections practices, misleading financial-aid offers and out-of-control college spending -- while politicians for decades ignored mounting danger signals.

    Tags: Student loans; debts; financial aids; college expenses; politicians

    By John Hechinger; Janet Lorin

    Bloomberg News (New York)

    2012

  • Profiting from the Auto-Bailout

    September, 2012 the Obama campaign launched television ads blasting Romney’s November 2008 New York Times op-ed, “Let Detroit Go Bankrupt.” In an article for The Nation Magazine, funded by The Nation Investigative Fund we discovered that Ann Romney, personally gained at least $15.3 million from the bailout—and a few of Romney’s most important Wall Street donors made more than $4 billion. Their gains, and the Romneys’, were astronomical—more than 3,000 percent on their investment. It all starts with Delphi Automotive, a former General Motors subsidiary whose auto parts remain essential to GM’s production lines. No bailout of GM—or Chrysler, for that matter—could have been successful without saving Delphi. So, in addition to making massive loans to automakers in 2009, the federal government sent, directly or indirectly, more than $12.9 billion to Delphi—and to the hedge funds that had gained control over it. One of the hedge funds profiting from that bailout— $1.28 billion at the time of publication — was Elliott Management, directed by Romney supporter, Paul Singer.

    Tags: Bailout; political campaign; Obama; Romney; Paul Singer

    By Greg Palast, writer/research; Zach D Roberts, research

    The Nation Magazine

    2012

  • The Columbus Dispatch: Credit Scars

    The Dispatch documented the plight of thousands who, through no fault of their own, have been denied the chance to buy a home or a car, take out a loan for college, rent an apartment, land a job, join the Armed Forces, receive medical care or even open a checking account.

    Tags: Credit cards; credit reports; checking accounts; banks

    By Jill Riepenhoff; Mike Wagner

    The Columbus Dispatch

    2012

  • Inside Fannie Mae

    Internal documents obtained by the Free Press showed that contrary to Fannie Mae's public statements that it was doing everything possible to help struggling borrowers keep their hopes, it was quietly denying homeowners' requests to modify their loans if they were more than 12 months behind in their payments.

    Tags: Fannie May; borrow; homeowner; foreclosure

    By Jennifer Dixon

    Detroit Free Press

    2011

  • Culture of Corruption in the California National Guard

    The series showed that up to $100 milion in illegal or improper incentive payments were made to California National Guard members. The reporter found that funds meant to repay student loans and give cash bonuses to draw new recruits and entice Guard members to sign on for another stint went to soldiers who didn't qualify for the benefits.

    Tags: National Guard; military; California National Guard

    By Charles Piller

    Sacramento Bee

    2011

  • Pay Day Lenders Skirt Law

    The story revealed how a high end race car driver who is also a convicted felon is partnering with an Indian tribe to run a multi-million dollar payday loan business. By partnering with the tribe the lenders do not have to follow any state laws. The lender is currently under multiple investigations by attorneys general.

    Tags: payday loan; Better Business Bureau; property tax records

    By Armen Keteyian; Laura Strickler; David Heath; Keith Summa; Patricia Shevlin; Scott Pelley

    CBS News

    2011

  • Grave Mistakes

    An investigation showing how the database of deceased Americans created in 1980 under the Freedom of Information Act accidentally lists thousands of Americans as deceased, suffering frozen bank accounts, refused credit cards, denied student and mortgage loans, or arrests for suspected identity theft. It also exposes how identity thieves have learned to use the filed to commit numerous acts of identity theft for tax fraud.

    Tags: identity theft; deceased; federal records; tax fraud

    By Thomas Hargrove; Isaac Wolf; Lee Bowman

    Scripps Howard News Service

    2011

  • The Fed's Trillion-Dollar Secret

    "Bloomberg News sued the Federal Reserve under the FOI Act, seeking disclosure of its loans to banks during the financial crisis. The central bank fought the release of the data for more than two years, during which time congress and the courts both weighed in on Bloomberg's side."

    Tags: FOIA; Federal Reserve; foreign banking; central bank

    By Bradley Keoun; Phil Kuntz; Bob Ivry; Craig Torres; Scott Lanman; David Yanofsky; Donal Griffin; Greg Stohr; Christopher Condon

    Bloomberg Business News (Princeton, N.J.)

    2011

  • Fast and Loose

    Stories told how millionaire real estate developer Rusty Hyneman and partner Michael Bourne benefited from sweetheart bank loans. The stories illustrated wide-open bank practices that helped trigger the housing crisis and the Great Repression.

    Tags: Recession; housing crisis; banks; loans; developer

    By Marc Prususquia

    Commercial Appeal (Memphis, Tenn.)

    2011