Stories

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

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

Search results for "payday" ...

  • 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. http://globalnews.ca/tag/instability-trap/
  • Payday California

    The most significant chunk of local budgets in California goes to pay government workers. Reveal from The Center for Investigative Reporting took on the task of gathering, examining and making public what we pay employees in California’s 58 counties and 482 incorporated cities. We created a website for that information, Payday California (payday.cironline.org), adding important context to the data collected by the California State Controller’s Office on as many as 700,000 city and county employees annually from 2009 through 2013. The website also features additional employee compensation records obtained through open records requests from the 10 largest counties and 10 largest cities in California. The data we requested from cities and counties was more detailed than that released by the state controller. It included employee names and more detailed pay categories. In addition, Reveal standardized job titles so that readers could better understand where their tax money was going. We also conducted statistical analyses to find communities that were clear outliers in how they paid employees.
  • Payday Nation

    A new money­making venture is on the rise among American Indian tribes, especially in isolated parts of the country: online payday lending. About 3 million Americans take out an online payday loan every year. These are small loans with extremely high interest rates—typically 400% annually—and borrowers are mainly those who can’t get loans elsewhere because of bad credit histories. Many states have outlawed or limited the practice, citing exorbitant interest rates and often deceptive contracts.
  • Payday California

    After California taxpayers discovered the tiny town of Bell had been paying enormous and illegal salaries to officials there, many people asked: How did we miss this for so long? That’s when The Center for Investigative Reporting set out to create the most comprehensive database in the country of local government salaries. Although these salaries are public records, most taxpayers know little about whether the paychecks for city and county officials are fair. No statewide standards govern how local pay is set, leaving the public in the dark about whether their city managers, for example, are paid appropriately for the job and the community. With Payday California, CIR skillfully put into context the $40 billion a year that California cities and counties spend on their employees.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Social Insecurity

    Corporate America has turned conventional uses of Social Security and pensions upside down, in some cases harming elderly and disabled retirees and in others helping to enrich Wall Street executives.
  • Perfect Payday

    A series of stories exposing a huge scandal in corporate America where stock option grants are manipulated to enrich company insiders.
  • Serious Interest

    Karen Spiller investigated short-term payday loans in New Hampshire, the only New England state that doesn't cap interest rates and thus allows them to sometimes soar as high as 500 percent.