The IRE Resource Center is a major research library containing more than 27,000 investigative stories.

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Search results for "lenders" ...

  • Sign Here to Lose Everything

    How predatory lenders have turned New York's court system into a high-speed debt-collection machine that is destroying small businesses nationwide.
  • Instability Trap

    Years after supposedly emerging from the recession unscathed, Canadians are tapped out and falling off the radar: Participation rates have hit historic lows, especially for working-age men; many people who've found themselves out of work have given up on looking. Others find themselves in increasingly precarious work – bouncing from contract to contract, juggling multiple gigs without benefits. Our research revealed for the first time the way asset poverty is making households vulnerable to sudden economic shocks, and the way payday lenders and cheque-cashing outlets continue to proliferate in the poorest urban areas of the country. The response to our series was resounding: We were inundated with personal stories from people across the country who'd struggled with precarious work, penurious social assistance restrictions and predatory lending. For months we followed up our revelatory reporting with new information and reality checks on political claims and promises. We continue to do that.
  • The Man Behind the Closing Curtains

    A six-month Naples Daily News investigation exposed the dark past of theater creator James Duffy. An analysis of media reports, court records, company filings and interviews linked Duffy to 88 theaters in 26 states. Fifty-eight of the theaters either never opened or were open less than three years. A nationwide court case search found James Duffy or his companies have been sued at least 69 times and been ordered to pay at least $24.6 million in judgments since 1982. Duffy’s business convinced property owners to pay millions of dollars up-front for the construction or renovation of their theaters. His companies raked in ticket and concession sales from theaters that did open, but didn’t pay rent or other bills and abandoned theaters as lawsuits were filed. Contractors that should have been paid with the fronted renovation money went unpaid, as did investors, lenders, film distributors and even the lawyers who represented Duffy or his companies when they were sued. Numerous employees have also complained of not being paid.
  • Florida’s Foreclosure Crisis

    Florida homeowners are being steamrolled through foreclosure courts by overzealous judges, while others are left holding the bag for abandoned and unlivable homes, because state officials have placed expedience over the right to due process in an effort to clear a perceived backlog in court cases. The Center for Public Integrity interviewed dozens of homeowners, lawyers, judges and public officials, observed courtrooms, and examined databases and documents to paint a picture of a foreclosure crisis that persists years after the financial crisis. The project resulted in Wells Fargo, one of the biggest mortgage lenders, rehabbing dozens of abandoned homes it owns, and state officials looking at ways to make the state courts more responsive to the needs of homeowners.
  • Unforgiven: The Long Life of Debt

    The way lenders and collectors pursue consumer debt has undergone an aggressive transformation in America. Collectors today don’t give up easy, often pursuing debts for years. It’s now routine for companies to sue debtors, then seize their wages or the cash in their bank accounts. For many people, these changes have profoundly affected their lives.
  • A High Price to Pay: How property tax lenders prey on the state's most vulnerable homeowners

    The story began as a class assignment at Columbia Journalism School and we continued work on it for about a month after we had graduated. This was the first in-depth examination of property tax lending, a kind of predatory lending unique to Texas.
  • Debt Inc., Lending and Collecting in America

    Payday loans represent only one part of a high-cost lending industry that targets lower income consumers, trapping many in deep debt. When regulators and lawmakers try to crack down, lenders tweak their products to get around the law.
  • Breaking the Banks

    An investigation of community banks in Florida revealed that executives broke the law, looted their own institutions and got away with serious crimes that would have landed ordinary citizens in prison. The Herald-Tribune became the first American newspaper to obtain secret bank documents, built a database of 400,000 real estate records and profiled each of the 69 lenders that collapsed in the state. The series led to three indictments and prompted a pair of ongoing federal law enforcement investigations.
  • Foreclosure middleman overcharging public

    In Oregon, where foreclosures largely take place outside of courtrooms, many big banks hire a Washington state-based family of companies to handle the nitty-gritty of the foreclosure process. The companies are owned by two attorneys. We discovered that these foreclosure middlemen inflated their costs along the way, passing along marked up bills to lenders, government agencies and homeowners for reimbursement.
  • Bad Neighbor Banks: How Big Lenders Spread Blight

    Across South Florida, on block after block, homes abandoned in the foreclosure crisis have become eyesores, depressing property values, and posing health and safety hazards for nearby families. The Sun Sentinel investigated and found who was responsible for letting these homes rot: some of the world’s largest banks.