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YouTube Comedy Star Pays Off Parents' $340,000 Mortgage

iStock/Thinkstock(PARAMOUNT, Calif.) -- How does a popular YouTube star who calls his six-figure comedy talents "obscene" spend his money?

Timothy DeLaGhetto typically entertains his 2.5 million subscribers with sex jokes and television parodies. By contrast, his latest video is a real tearjerker.

The comedian and rapper's real name is Tim Chantarangsu, and he's the son of parents who immigrated from Thailand. Chantarangsu said his income is primarily driven by advertisements from his YouTube channel called Timothy DeLaGhetto.

His videos include satire, including a raunchy take on the popular Snuggie blanket. He also writes and produces skits, including a recent video that mimics the MTV reality show Catfish.

"Not a lot of people do what I do, especially as an Asian American guy. My comedy is pretty obscene and I'm pretty blunt with the jokes I make, so I stick out from the norm. I've built a pretty strong following of people who enjoy what I do," he said. "I try to have a strong message of positivity and spreading joy and love to the world."

This week, he posted a YouTube video in which he surprised his parents with $340,000 to pay off their home mortgage.

Chantarangsu, who lives not too far from his folks in Paramount, California, told ABC News that he cranks out YouTube videos, at least one a week, so that his parents don't have to work so hard. He also is a regular on MTV2's improvisation show, Wild 'N Out, hosted by Nick Cannon.

In his newest video, he presents a check to his parents, who own a restaurant. The generous gift -- $210,000 to the loan company and $130,000 to the bank -- brings his mother to tears.

While his parents have always supported him, they were initially cautious, especially when he left college in 2010 to pursue a career in entertainment.

"I was going to college for my parents, but eventually I got to the point where I was doing all right at both -- college and Internet stuff. I realized I needed to pick one if I wanted to excel at something, so I stopped going to school," he said.

He said his mother occasionally asks him if he is going to return to school.

"I would tell her, 'Do you want me to go back to school or pay your bills?'" Chantarangsu said with a chuckle.

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What Is the Cost-Benefit of Pricey Colleges?

iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- Student debt may be at a record high, but in many cases, a college degree will improve your chance of getting a good job.  

A new survey by Money magazine looked at the cost-benefit analysis of colleges, and found that number one was Babson College in Massachusetts, a school that specializes in entrepreneurship and business.

While the school is expensive, within five years graduates are on average reporting earnings of about $60,000.

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One in Three Americans Have Debts Reported to Collection Agencies

iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) --  More than 35 percent of Americans are facing debt collectors.

A study by the Urban Institute suggests that more than one in three Americans have debts and unpaid bills that have been reported to collection agencies, as consumers fall behind on payments including credit cards, hospital bills, mortages, and student debt.

Even past-due gym membership fees or cell phone contracts can end up with a collection agency, potentially hurting credit scores and job prospects.

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Modeling Shoot Brings Fast Cash, Then Decade of Aggravation

iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- Victoria Bond once received a call from her husband's parents asking if she knew she had been featured in their local Midwestern penny saver as the face of Dulcolax, a laxative for women. She did not.

Bond spent one day in 2003 modeling for a stock photo company and her photos continue to pop up in the most unexpected ways.

"They keep popping up in random places," Bond, a professor of English at John Jay College of Criminal Justice told ABC News.

Bond said she had been working her way through graduate school when she landed the gig, receiving a flat rate of $2,500 for a full day of modeling for random photos.

With a studio set-up she recalled as being reminiscent of an Ikea store, Bond jumped from room set-up to room set-up, posing in all different scenarios: a kitchen, a living room, a bathroom, and even with a fake husband and children in different shots.

"I've seen myself in a bank, happy at home at a computer, as a happy mom in a Walmart, and even as a happy mom to a completely different set of kids," said Bond, who reported having bumped into different versions of herself at least 15 times over the years.

"They just don't stop," Bond said, "and it's weird because you have no memory of that stuff."

Though Bond only modeled for the company for one day, she estimated 500-600 photos, possibly more, were taken of her and continue to be sold for various ads and campaigns. Bond signed a release form, giving away all rights to the photos, the only stipulation being that the snaps could not be used in HIV or STD medication ads. Besides those two exceptions, Bond says companies not only have permission to use the photos, but also to edit them, which she believes is how the box of Dulcolax was shown in her hands.

Though she signed the proper releases, Bond said she was too young to really understand what she was signing up for.

"You don't realize that your image is going to be sold and you're not going to receive any money for it," said Bond.

Bond, who said she lived above a travel agency for three years before recognizing herself as the woman in the background of the travel billboard near her apartment, said the experience of continuously seeing herself in the ads is "shocking and annoying."

"It's very disorienting," said Bond. "It alienates you from yourself. It makes it hard to recognize yourself."

Bond said she frequently is sent photos of herself in random ads by friends and family, whether it be her and her happy fake family in Walmart or a shot of her in a doctor's office, informing the public about how important it is to prevent diabetes.

As a professor, Bond will also get sent photos by her students. Though the pictures have popped up in strange places, Bond has taken it all in stride, though she fears what the future might hold for the shots taken so long ago.

“My worst fear would have to be showing up on some sort of skeevy dating site or phone sex promotion,” said Bond, “but I guess you never know."

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Housing Prices Up More than Nine Percent

iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- Home prices are going up, but not as fast as they were rising last year.

According to the S&P Case-Shiller Home Price Indices released Tuesday, house prices rose by just over 1% in May from the month before, and are selling more than 9% higher than this time last year.

Both the S&P/Case-Shiller 20-city index and the 10-city index showed slowing price growth in May with price increases of 1.1%, but declines of 0.3% after seasonal adjustments.

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What Petra Ecclestone Would Lose If She Sells $150 Million Mansion

Eamonn McCormack/WireImage(LOS ANGELES) -- The word on the high-end realty block is that Formula One heiress Petra Ecclestone is ready to sell the nearly 57,000-square-foot Hollywood mansion she purchased from Candy Spelling in 2011.

Ecclestone, 25, called it a "great investment" when she purchased the 7,000-square-foot master suite home for $85 million three years ago. She is now quietly shopping around the home with an asking price of $150 million, Spelling's original price before the home languished on the real estate market.

"It's definitely worth the money and I think someone will buy it," Kurt Rappaport, a Los Angeles real estate agent who recently sold the nearby Fleur de Lys mansion for $102 million, told ABC News.

If Ecclestone, whose Italian wedding to businessman James Stunt in 2011 included a performance by the Black Eyed Peas, does sell the Bel Air, Calif., mansion known as the Manor, she will leave behind a reported $25 million renovation that took a fleet of 500 workers just nine weeks to complete.

"I've got quite masculine taste. I don't like a lot of pattern," Ecclestone told W magazine in a 2012 profile that described the home as having been transformed from, "an old Dynasty-like set to a massive VIP lounge."

Ecclestone kept the home's two-lane bowling alley, but turned Spelling's doll collection room into an in-home spa and a customized 20-seat cinema.

The bowling alley is located in the basement level of the home, along with a bar and pool room all designed to resemble a nightclub, according to W.

In addition to the fun and games, a $150 million sale means Ecclestone would also leave behind the 7,000-square-foot master suite that, as she showed W, includes its own kitchen, living room and his-and-hers bathrooms and closets.

Ecclestone's closet, according to the magazine, features a pair of staircases to reach the second level and two "glass-top center islands."

When Ecclestone purchased the home in 2011, she described it to ABC News' Nick Watt as being her second home, since she already owned one of Britain's most expensive homes, a Georgian mansion in Chelsea, valued at an estimated $90 million.

"I wanted to move to L.A. I wanted to have an amazing home. Hopefully in the future I'll be raising a family," she told Watt in July 2011. "My family from London will be coming to visit, so I need loads of space. But it really was a great investment. ... I've got a house in London and I just kind of buy prime real estate that I know hopefully won't go down in value."

Aaron and Candy Spelling spent a reported $45 million building the mansion in the 1980s. In addition to the interior, the 6-acre compound has a pool, tennis court and exquisite gardens, and is one of the largest single-family homes in California.

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Wall Street: Dow, Nasdaq and S&P All Close Down

iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- The markets moved lower on Tuesday as investors  wait for a batch of key economic reports later this week.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average lost 70.48 points, closing at 16,912.11. The Nasdaq fell 2.21 points to 4,442.70, and the S&P 500 lost 8.96 points, ending the day at 1,969.95.

The government's latest gross domestic product figures will be released on Wednesday and the July employment numbers will be released on Friday.

Twitter's second quarter numbers, reported after the bell on Tuesday, were better than expected.  The company reported revenues of $312 million, up 124% from the same quarter a year ago.

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Airlines Report Strong Second Quarter Earnings

iStock/Thinkstock(WASHINGTON) -- The airline industry is making more money after several difficult years during the recession. United Airlines, Delta and American Airlines all reported record second quarter profits, thanks to increased fares and fees.

“It is hard to believe that less than eight months ago, American [Airlines] was in bankruptcy yet today we are reporting record profits, prepaying debt, making additional pension contributions and declaring dividends to shareholders,” said the company’s CEO Doug Parker in a message to employees.

Major mergers could mean less competition on many routes, potentially leading to more fare increases as the economy improves.

A number of other U.S. carriers also posted strong second quarter earnings.

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Gas Prices Continue Decline Through Summer Driving Season

iStock/Thinsktock(WASHINGTON) -- For many Americans, a long distance car trip is a cheaper option than flying as gas prices are falling quickly across the country.

The U.S. Energy Department says the average price of regular gas fell 5 cents a gallon last week to a nationwide average of $3.54.

For Midwesterners, prices are down 8 cents, while Californians, for the first time in months, are paying less than $4 a gallon for regular unleaded gas.

One expert says these late season low prices are rare.

“You know it’s something that’s relatively rare to see a price decline go this late into the summer months,” says senior GasBuddy analyst Patrick DeHaan.

But DeHaan adds that the U.S. is producing more oil and getting it from other sources.

He says this is good news "as long as we don't see a hurricane enter the Gulf."

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What Happened When 3 Politicians Tried a Minimum Wage Budget?

McDonald's press photo(WASHINGTON) -- Have you ever seen a congressman snacking on a measly tin of sardines? Or maybe a governor ordering a McChicken off the Dollar Menu?

In Washington this week, that scene was reality for three Democratic politicians who are taking the "Live the Wage" challenge.

Reps. Tim Ryan and Jan Schakowsky joined former Ohio Gov. Ted Strickland in taking the challenge and are each living on a budget of $77 for the week -- the same amount that a minimum wage worker typically has to spend on food, transportation, and day-to-day expenses, after factoring out major costs such as rent and utilities.

"I basically had a couple bags of peanuts in the cloakroom -- and there was a little fruit in the office that I ate yesterday," Rep. Ryan told ABC News. "I spent about seven bucks last night on a couple cans of sardines and a bag of crackers from the convenience store up the street."

The congressman began the Live the Wage challenge last week with hopes of bringing attention to the hardships facing minimum wage workers around the nation.

Rep. Jan Schakowsky also began the challenge Thursday telling ABC News, "It totally changes your perspective. Even the shopping experience -- I make a shopping list when I go to the store usually. I think about what I need -- what I want -- and I put it in the cart. I truthfully rarely think about how much it costs."

"I'll walk down the aisle and I'll see something you know, that would be great and I throw it in the cart. There's just none of that when you're on that kind of budget. There's no spontaneity whatsoever," Schakowsky added.

Strickland even took a trip to McDonald's to try out the fast food chain's dollar menu. Strickland posted a photograph of his $2.20 meal on Twitter noting that the workers at McDonald's -- a company known for paying the legal minimum -- "deserve a raise."

In a Politico op-ed, Strickland explained that he was unable to complete the week-long challenge with a budget of just $77. One particularly difficult aspect the governor discussed was eating a healthy diet while living on a $7.25 hourly wage.

"Because fresh fruits and vegetables are hard to find at a price within a minimum wage budget, I turned to bread, peanut butter, bananas and bologna more than anything else. That was what I could find when I took this budget to the grocery story last Sunday. And that's why I ate lunch from the McDonald's dollar menu."

and Ryan have also taken to social media in recent days to share their message about the challenges facing minimum wage workers.

"There are a lot of people out there who do this for extended periods of time -- years -- so the idea is to get the message out and raise awareness about some of the difficulties that can happen to you," Ryan told ABC News. "We realize it's not going to be exactly like the challenges that a minimum wage family faces, but the country is talking about the minimum wage right now. And I think that's exactly what we want to do."

Schakowsky said, "I'm not going to pretend that now I understand what it's like to live on the minimum wage. I think it's a taste of it. But for anyone who thinks it's a gimmick, my suggestion would be try it."

Ryan and Schakowsky were co-sponsors of the Fair Minimum Wage Act of 2013. Their goal is to increase the federal minimum wage from $7.25 to $10.10. The push to increase the national minimum has steadily intensified in the past year as the minimum wage has remained unchanged since 2009.

Last week marked the five-year anniversary since Congress last passed an increase to the national minimum, while the wage for tipped workers has remained at $2.13 an hour since 1991.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the minimum wage doesn't get you very far: "On average, a single-parent household (one parent, at least one child under 18) will spend $5,457 per year on food, or about $105 per week."

That's $28 above what a minimum wage worker has to live on for a week.

When asked about plans for reintroducing minimum wage legislation, Schakowsky was optimistic, but expressed concerns over whether Speaker of the House John Boehner would bring the bill to a vote.

"We're hoping that we're going to see another vote on it in the Senate and that there will be more pressure," Schakowsky said.

"I fully believe that if Speaker Boehner were to call an increase on the minimum wage that it would pass. It's a matter of making sure that we just get more Republicans over this recess to ask the speaker to just call the bill."

Ryan, however, was not as optimistic about the bill's prospects before the midterm elections.

"I doubt it. The speaker's holding the line on this. And I hope it's a rallying call for the 65,000 minimum wage workers in my district and the million and a half across the country," Ryan said.

"Let's increase the minimum wage and get people to work and make sure work pays. That’s ultimately the conversation we want to have."

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FAA: Southwest Didn't Comply with Safety Regulations During Plane Repair

Southwest media / Stephen M. Keller (NEW YORK) -- The Federal Aviation Administration is reporting that Southwest failed to comply with federal safety regulations while making repairs to its Boeing 737's.

Starting in 2006, Southwest gave 44 of its planes what the FAA calls "extreme makeovers" to eliminate the potential for cracking on the aluminum skin.

But according to the FAA, a contractor did not follow proper procedures, and Southwest flew the planes despite knowing they were not in compliance.  

The FAA wants to fine Southwest Airlines $12 million. 

Southwest says it has since resolved the repair issues and will respond to the FAA allegations in accordance with procedures.

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OkCupid Experimented on Users, Then Blogged About It

iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- In the wake of Facebook's recent admission of toying with users' emotions, another site revealed Monday that it, too, likes to "experiment on human beings" -- and lie to them.

OkCupid founder Christian Rudder published a blog on Monday detailing three recent experiments the online dating site performed that manipulated users' perceptions, including telling a "small sample" of couples that they were highly compatible when they actually were not.

"The ultimate question at OkCupid is, does this thing even work?" wrote Rudder, referring to its algorithm for accurately calculating match percentage. "In the back of our minds, there's always been the possibility: maybe it works just because we tell people it does. Maybe people just like each other because they think they’re supposed to?"

To test the theory, Rudder and colleagues "took pairs of bad matches (actual 30 percent match) and told them they were exceptionally good for each other (displaying a 90 percent match.)" As hypothesized, the couples initiated contact with one another because they believed what the site told them.

But it didn't end there. The experiment also determined that users were more inclined to actually like each other when told to, exchanging four or more messages, even if they wouldn't normally.

"The four-message threshold is our internal measure for a real conversation," wrote Rudder. "And though the data is noisier, this same 'higher display means more success' pattern seems to hold when you look at contact information exchanges, too."

Rudder did not immediately respond to ABC News' request for comment on the size of the sample tested, how long the experiment lasted and whether any couples notified of it had reacted positively or negatively.

But readers were quick to respond to the blog post, comparing it to Facebook and drawing their own conclusions.

"Facebook secretly manipulated the users of the site, attempting to alter their emotions ... quite possibly at the behest of creepy interests sponsoring this experiment," commented one user identified as SteveRestless. "All I can see here is honest curiosity and a desire to improve the site."

Others were not as forgiving.

"I hope you didn't cause me to miss out on a relationship while playing around with the data," wrote another. "It is hard enough for me as it is. Also, people trusting your match percent is what you want, so don’t lie to them about it."

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Virgin America Files for IPO

Virgin America Press(NEW YORK) -- Virgin America is coming to Wall Street.

Virgin America has filed for an initial public offering of its shares.

The California-based airline flies to 22 airports in the United States and Mexico. Its fleet of 53 planes has perks including including live TV, movies, leather seats, and purple mood lighting.

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Stock Market Tries to Break Recent Losing Streak

iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- The stock market is trying to recover after last week's losses.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average climbed 21.77 points ending the day at 16,982.34 and the S&P 500 went up .55 to 1,978.89. Nasdaq fell 4.65 points on Monday, ending the day at 4,444.91.

Dollar Tree is buying rival discount store Family Dollar in a cash-and-stock deal valued at about $8.5 billion, while real estate website Zillow is buying competitor Trulia in a $3.5 billion, all-stock deal.

Fewer Americans signed contracts to buy homes in June, as the real estate market cooled off this summer. The National Association of Realtors says pending home sales slipped 1.1% last month. Realtors blame meager wage growth as well as rising home prices and mortgage rates.

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Zillow Plans to Buy Trulia

Zillow/Trulia(NEW YORK) -- Zillow says it plans to buy its online real estate rival, Trulia, for $3.5 billion in an all-stock deal.

“Consumers love using Zillow and Trulia to find vital information about homes and connect with the best local real estate professionals,” said Zillow CEO Spencer Rascoff. “Both companies have been enormously successful in creating compelling consumer brands and deep industry partnerships.”

The deal is expected to close in 2015.

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