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contractors hit hard by housing slump

Forget the domino effect. Lately, it's starting to feel like the boulder effect: Financial headlines from Experts on Credit highlight how contractors are feeling the pain of the recession and how companies are becoming more big brother-ish when it comes to 401(k) plans.

Experts on Credit is part of Experian Interactive Media. Experian, well-known as one of the three "big" credit bureaus, also has several sister companies including,,, and my favorite,


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hiring the right collections agency for your company

The other day, I got a call from the Justice Department. I had a moment of sheer panic before I remembered, I contacted them first. For over a year, I’ve been getting harassed by a collections agency. A dim-witted collections agency that thinks that I am someone else. Yup, they had the wro-o-o-ong number. A fact that I had repeatedly explained to the half-wit who called me the most frequently: “Dude. The only Nellie Oleson I’ve ever heard of was on the Little House on the Prairie.”

Clearly, there was some kind of mix-up. Someone was playing a joke on the debt collections agency. But no matter how many times I explained myself over the phone, they refused to believe me. Highlights from the phone calls I received include the collections agency (later revealed to be Northland Group) calling me a liar, calling me very late at night and oh yes, refusing to identify the name of their company. For a year, I was unable to report them because they had a blocked number. But they started calling…