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They tried their luck living together and lost everything | Seattle Times


For Claudia Ruffle, living in a cohousing community was a lifelong dream. She longed to connect with people who shared her values, especially around concern for the environment. But as an introvert, she found it difficult to meet people on her own.

Cohousing, a form of collaborative living that originated in Denmark, provided “a structure where I didn’t need to be outgoing and where I could still benefit from knowing people,” said Ruffle, 72, a former teacher deputy and administrative secretary. . “It made up for my lack of openness.”

She was therefore among the earliest proponents of what was envisioned as Connecticut’s first cohousing community. After more than a decade of planning, the project, called Rocky Corner, finally saw the light of day in 2018 on a 33-acre lot in Bethany, a suburb of New Haven.

Ruffle and a friend pledged to buy one of the adjoining units and sold their New Haven home in anticipation of closing in 2019. But their closing date kept getting longer. And then community members were told that the project had a cash flow problem.

“We thought, Oh, okay, we’ll give them all our money for our unit, with the understanding that once we can move in, our unit will be paid off,” Ruffle said.

But instead, the entire project was seized. And Ruffle’s dream — and his finances — were shattered.

“That money is now gone and we have no way of getting it back,” she said. “We lost about $170,000. And we both have very low incomes. Since then, we have been living in not good circumstances at all.

Members of Rocky Corner offer varying perspectives on exactly what happened. But in general, most agree that the growing complexity of the project proved to be more than the band could afford or handle.

“Mistakes were made down the line by all parties,” said Dick Margulis, a book designer and publisher who, along with his wife, was among the community’s early organizers.

What happened at Rocky Corner does not reflect the viability of cohousing in general, said Karen Gimnig, acting executive director of the Cohousing Association of America, a national nonprofit that supports newly formed communities and existing.

There are about 170 established cohousing communities in the United States, according to the Cohousing Association. There are about 30 cohousing communities in California and about 20 in Washington State. In a cohousing model, residents own their own home, but share common spaces – a structure to foster connection and community through collaborative living.

“Projects that are under construction, like any other development project, it’s imaginable that things could happen,” Gimnig said. “But it’s really, really rare.”

The association always advises people planning such communities to partner with experienced cohabitation promoters to minimize their risk, she said.

Although cohousing projects are usually built on properties with municipal water and sewer, she said, the Rocky Corner project was rural property and involved setting aside some land for agriculture.

Only about half of the planned 30 units were nearing completion when Ion Bank in Naugatuck recently took possession of the property through a limited liability company. The bank made the only $6.9 million offer at the November foreclosure sale. Ion filed for foreclosure in 2020, with outstanding loans on the project totaling approximately $6.7 million.

Housing Enterprises, a consulting firm in Enfield, helped the group secure a $2.6 million state housing grant to make some units affordable. “A lot of people have lost money,” said David Berto, president of Housing Enterprises. “There was a whole group of people who put in the money to buy the land, and some of them weren’t homebuyers. They were just people who wanted to help, including me. We’ve all lost money, and that’s how it is.

At Rocky Corner, members managed the project and their community affairs using a process called sociocracy, which organizes people into various circles to make decisions by consensus. A small group of founding members, including Brenda Caldwell of Bethany, as well as Berto, sat on the “project management” circle and consulted regularly with the construction company and the architect. Other members participated in one or more circles focusing on various other aspects, such as marketing, design and community relations.

Rocky Corner was organized around the themes of conservation and sustainability, the result of a conversation that began as early as 2006. The modestly sized homes on the property, all under 1,300 square feet, are built to exacting standards. high energy efficiency. Arranged in duplexes and triplexes, they are grouped on 5 acres near a 4,300 square foot common house designed to have a kitchen, dining room, living room, carpentry workshop and laundry room.

Organizers had hoped to grow vegetables on part of the land and preserve the rest with easements.

“We were really trying to protect the character of the land, to protect it from big ugly developments,” said Caldwell, an experienced organic farmer. “Now we’re really scared that we can’t protect him anymore, and that’s devastating.”

She blamed the accumulation of debt on a series of unforeseen costs and bureaucratic delays that extended the schedule. For example, she said, just getting the project approved by the city’s planning and zoning commission took two years, in part because it was an unfamiliar concept and sparked some opposition. local. Then, after digging into the ground, they unexpectedly ran into a large number of ledges – an underground mass of rock – which had to be removed.

And the regional water authority asked them to put in an expensive water treatment system, when they were expecting to just drill wells, she said. (Bethany has no municipal water or sewer.)

As costs rose, the group had to raise housing prices, which, combined with the slowing housing market, made it more difficult to attract the young families that the much older organizers hoped to interest.

Some would-be residents were so optimistic about the project’s success that they installed their own flooring and appliances before closing their units. (No closings ever occurred.) Some people have also paid for custom additions to their homes, such as dormers or a porch.

“Maybe in a way it was naive,” Caldwell said, “but we thought we were going to own these houses.”

She and her wife, Marie Pulito, still own their home in Bethany — they took out an equity loan in anticipation of the closure of their Rocky Corner unit. But “there are other people who have sold their homes, and now they’re living in rentals,” Caldwell said.

A professional appraisal submitted as part of the foreclosure process showed prices on expired contracts ranging from $387,000 for a T1 to $463,000 for a T3. Income-qualified housing prices ranged from about $195,000 for a one-bedroom apartment to $240,000 for a three-bedroom apartment.

The remaining members hope that Ion Bank will sell the project to a developer interested in continuing the cohabitation effort.

“A lot of us, including affordable buyers, have invested a lot of money that we don’t want to see go away if we can get a deal to buy our homes,” Caldwell said. “We still have hopes of creating a cohabitation community there.”

Margulis, one of the original organizers, still vividly remembers a meeting for the project that took place in his living room over tea and cookies 11 years ago.

“I even remember the shirt I was wearing,” he said. “I think we were naive – we probably still are. But we haven’t given up on the dream. We are always optimistic about our ability to change the world. »

Collateral Damage: High Crude Prices Weaken the Rupee (IANS Currency Forecast)


By Rohit Vaid

New Delhi, Feb. 27 (IANS): The Indian rupee is expected to weaken due to geo-economic pressures triggered by the ongoing hostilities between Russia and Ukraine.

Rising world prices for crude oil, gold and other commodities are likely to weaken the rupee.

Currently, India imports 85% of its crude oil needs. Rising crude oil prices are expected to add Rs 8 to Rs 10 in domestic gasoline and diesel selling prices.

In addition, the cascading effect of high fuel costs will trigger a general inflationary trend.

Last Friday, a rise in oil inventories in the United States as well as the assurance of energy supplies from Russia caused international crude oil prices to fall.

As a result, last Friday’s price fell to $95 a barrel after the Russian-Ukrainian war pushed Brent crude oil prices to $105 a barrel.

“The rupiah was volatile and closed at 75.29 against the dollar for the week. Rising crude and gold prices may keep it weak,” said Sajal Gupta, head, Forex and Rates, Edelweiss Securities. .

“A rise in domestic fuel prices is expected after the assembly elections, which would boost inflation and this could further weaken the rupee.”

Moreover, Gupta expects a range of Rs 74.80 to Rs 75.50 per USD for the coming week.

Last week, the currency pair (USDINR) closed at Rs 75.2950 per USD.

“The bias for the USDINR spot remains bullish

as long as it holds 74.80 while the upper side 75.75 is the hurdle,” said Devarsh Vakil, Deputy Head of Retail Research, HDFC Securities.

According to Gaurang Somaiya, Forex & Bullion Analyst, Motilal Oswal Financial Services: “The greenback has come under control recently as tensions in Ukraine have increased and fueled speculation that the US Federal Reserve may be less aggressive in policy tightening. at its March meeting.

“Next week, volatility will continue to remain elevated as more clarity is needed on ongoing tensions between Russia and Ukraine.”

In addition, Somaiya said key economic data such as Q3FY22 GDP figures and trade balance figures will be closely watched and better than expected data could limit major rupee weakness.

“We expect USDINR (spot) to trade sideways with a positive bias and range within 75.20 and 76.20.”

“To save the economy, Nigeria should stop borrowing to finance recurrent expenditure” | The Guardian Nigeria News


Chairman of Mutual Benefits Assurance Plc, Dr. Akin Ogunbiyi in this interview with ONYEDIKA AGBEDO says that allowing states to control resources in their domains will pave the way for economic growth. He also cautions the federal government against borrowing to fund recurrent spending, saying borrowing must be tied to well-priced projects that should be able to repay their costs. Ogunbiyi also points out the exit from the incessant strike by university professors and the problem of brain drain in the health sector, among other issues.

Nigeria’s inflation rate has been rising for many months but has come down in recent months, according to the latest figures from the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS). Do you think the NBS numbers reflect market prices?
When COVID-19 arrived, economic activities were not what they used to be. But now we have some stability and I think it has a positive impact on economic development and the inflation rate. What was published by the NBS is close to reality when we look at how the country’s economic activities have improved. It’s not just government spending that has an impact. When you look at individuals and various businesses, you will see that economic activities have indeed resumed and that will definitely have an impact on the economy. Look at real estate, trade and commerce, even major cities in Nigeria, economic activities have resumed except in the North where we have insecurity issues.

Can you explain how insecurity affects the business environment, as today many Nigerians who need to travel for business are afraid to hit the road due to insecurity, and traveling by air is become quite expensive?
I am satisfied with the aviation industry every time I travel and see the activities at the airport, and the response index with the level of traffic; it’s phenomenal. Airlines are buying new planes. It’s not that they’re too comfortable, but they manage themselves and they react. Why will people abandon the roads and opt for planes? This is at a big disadvantage, I must say. What is the cost of a flight from Lagos to Abuja? It’s so high. But can you blame them? Insecurity in this country has affected trade and commerce. The customs officers even bother the few people traveling by road with their goods. Customs must secure borders. But today, if the goods have passed the borders and someone is traveling inland with the goods, they have to go through several checkpoints through customs, and for each point, they have to deposit something. This will only increase the cost of goods, apart from insecurity on the roads. And in fact, you must organize your safety if you go by road. Thank goodness for information technology (IT); services can be rendered online now. But anyway, some services have to be performed physically. Apart from the security challenge, we don’t have good roads.

Nigeria spends a substantial portion of its revenue on servicing debt and continues to borrow. How sustainable is Nigeria’s growing debt?
Let the government do an analysis of the profile of the debt and tell us what it used each debt it incurred? The National Assembly will not ask questions. There is nothing wrong with going into debt. America borrows but remains the richest country in the world. They go into debt to support themselves. If you are going to borrow money, tie it to a particular project. Let the project have its life, its cash flow and the project will pay for itself. If it’s a social project like education and health, let’s see exactly what you used the money for.

I don’t subscribe to Nigeria giving more credit because they are taking that money to gratify a few. How can you go into debt to meet your recurring expenses? is that how it’s done? How sustainable is it? It is unfortunate that you transfer debts to other governments after you. I will say that Nigeria should stop borrowing to fund recurrent expenditures. Project costs awarded in this country are mostly inflated.

If you borrow money, give it to the people who will carry out the projects, but do not overcharge the cost of the projects. How many billions have they spent? They are too complacent; no one asks questions. And when our young people rose up, they killed them. I just pray that in the next elections, Nigerians will vote correctly. How can you sell your conscience because of money?

Young people have the power to change leadership in this country. Let them come together and form a party. They have the population. I challenge our young people to rise up. We have no other country. Our country is a country of which we should be proud. I challenge young people; don’t just protest. There are better ways to do it. General elections will take place in 2023; they can organize now. Let them register online now. There will be holiness in the unity of Nigeria; we should not compromise it. We can do better.

Many states have very low internally generated revenue (IGR) and rely heavily on federal allocations to meet their needs. How to solve this problem ?
One thing affects the other. How many states are viable as they are currently run? This is why I support the idea of ​​regionalization. Many of our states are not viable. If we manage federalism properly, the states should have control of all the resources that fall within their domain. Central power should be decentralized to the states.

For example, Osun State can provide resources that oil provides. We have stockpiles of mineral resources in Osun State, but what does the state get from the mining activities that the Chinese are doing there? If the federal government allows Osun State to take over the resources and manage them, you will see the development that will follow. The same applies to many other states.

It is the way we apply our federalism that is in question. We first bring resources to the center and the center takes care of it now. Look at the recent turmoil over value added tax? A state that contributes little receives more. Some states challenge the federal government. They are right! They should challenge this federalism. This is the beginning of the restructuring. States should allow the Supreme Court to rule because they are right. It takes boldness on the part of a state governor to challenge the federal government. If all can wake up and get the SANs to interpret the law, let them go challenge the FG and do the right thing.

Again, in terms of IGR, a lot of people cut corners. How many companies are registered in the states? How many companies pay taxes? Tax evasion is criminal. If you are a small trader, the business must be registered. Who enforces the laws? The laws are there. I wish and pray for good leadership to emerge in this country and in every state.

Doctors and teachers are still on strike in this country. In fact, the Academic Staff of Universities Union (ASUU) is currently on a warning strike as many home-trained doctors continue to move to foreign countries in search of greener pastures. How can the country get out of this problem?
The implication is capital flight, also known as brain drain. It is because of the insensitivity of our leaders. Tell me a hospital you can walk into and get the services you need? Is it a university hospital? They are glorified hospitals and we have a lot of people working there who wouldn’t even go to work. All doctors have their own private practices there due to the continued neglect of these facilities. You will therefore continue to strike after strike.

This is found not only in the health sector but also in the education sector. What is the budget allocated to education and health? Are the funds going to the projects for which they are intended? When you select incompetent people, they value the wrong thing. Someone spoke of knowledge, power and wealth; only a fool will go for wealth. If you have knowledge, that knowledge will give you power and you will use that power to create wealth.

We know that in the public service, when you retire, you receive your pension. The fund of the contributory pension scheme is around N13 trillion. The government borrowed almost 80% of the funds. How are they going to repay? Who cares about retirees in this country? If you retire today, you won’t even talk about a pension for the next five years and you might even be dead. It is regrettable. There has been neglect over the years, but there has to be someone who is competent to deal with it.

Until we follow the conventional path of seeking knowledge to create wealth, but just spend and spend, we will only be turning the circle. What do we produce? Isn’t it shameful that we don’t have a working refinery? Most of the funds taken overseas will be lost when the owners die, as many Nigerians do not disclose what they have to their children and wives. Even when they divulge it becomes a major problem because if you have huge sums of money and you want it back, the lawyers will want to feed you fat; and if you don’t have the money to pay the lawyers, what will happen to the money now? Many resources are lost.

In essence, you are saying that with good leadership, Nigeria will overcome all its challenges…
(cut) There are a lot of very successful business gurus. They went there to take leadership courses for this country. But the way leaders are selected in this country is a challenge. By the grace of God, I started with Mutual Benefits and we now employ over 5,000 Nigerians. The federal and state governments that are the largest employers of labor, what do they give? There are many officials who are totally unproductive; there are those who are corrupt. It’s not as if they have nothing to offer, but because the system does not encourage them. We need good leadership in this country. When you have these good qualities, you put them into practice to make this country grow.

Fannie Mae and 39 cities reach $53 million settlement over agency’s discriminatory practices | PC Weiner Brodsky Kider


According to the media, Fannie Mae recently hit $53 million regulation with 19 housing organizations across the country over what the housing organizations alleged were racially discriminatory maintenance and marketing practices of foreclosed homes.

At issue was Fannie Mae’s alleged inability to properly service and market foreclosed homes in predominantly black and Latino communities during the July 2011 to October 2015 period.

Housing organizations allege they conducted a survey of 2,300 Fannie Mae-owned properties referred to as “homeowner” properties. The investigation reportedly found that the agency had not maintained REO housing in communities of color to the same standard that the agency maintained REO housing in predominantly white neighborhoods. In Milwaukee, for example, organizations alleged that about 60% of REO properties in communities of color had five or more deficiencies or maintenance issues, compared to only one-third of REO properties in predominantly white neighborhoods.

Settlement funds would go toward revitalizing neighborhoods negatively impacted by the agency’s practices.

Decisions of the Assembly of AS PRFoods Bondholders


Per a company announcement published on 10.02.2022, AS PRFoods (registration code 11560713, registered office at Pärnu mnt 141, 11314 Tallinn, Estonia;”PRFoods“) called a meeting (the “MeetingTicket holders“) of PRFoods, maturing on January 22, 2025 and carrying the ISIN code EE3300001577 (the “Remarks), issued under PRFoods’ Secured Note Issue Terms and Conditions dated January 14, 2020 (which were amended on February 25, 2020; the “terms”).
The Meeting took place on 25.02.2022 and a total of 8 Bondholders participated in the Meeting, who hold in total Bonds with a Nominal Value of EUR 6,507,300, i.e. approximately 60% of the Nominal Value aggregate of all Bonds carrying voting rights. The Assembly was therefore competent to adopt resolutions.
During the Meeting, the Bondholders adopted a decision:

  1. to waive the sureties listed in points b) and d) of Section 4.2.1 of the Terms as a guarantee guaranteeing the claims of the Noteholders arising from the Notes, and to agree that the release of the guarantee referred to does not constitute a breach of the Conditions by the Issuer or any Collateral Provider (as defined in the Conditions), or an Extraordinary Early Redemption Event in accordance with the Conditions;
  2. to amend the Terms by: (a) omitting Section 4.2.1 items b), d) and e) and those portions of the unnumbered paragraphs following item f) that are no longer relevant to the transfer of the subsidiary of the Issuer Heimon Kala Oy; (b) replace the reference to Heimon Kala Oy with a reference to Saaremere Kala AS in point f) of section 4.2.1; and (c) amend the definition of “warranty provider” in section 17.1.9 by omitting references to items b) and e) of section 4.2.1 from item a) of the definition and adding a reference to item f) of section 4.2.1 and omitting item b) from the definition in its entirety; and to approve the new version of the Conditions reflecting the respective modifications, as attached to this notice as Schedule 1;
  3. instruct PRF Collateral Agent OÜ to definitively and irrevocably release the guarantee listed in points b) and d) of section 4.2.1 of the Conditions and to enter into transactions and take all measures necessary for such release (including, without limited to, sign, submit and accept all necessary documents), and sign the modified Terms mentioned above.

Noteholders holding in aggregate Notes with a Nominal Value of EUR 6,507,300, being 100% of the total Nominal Value of all Notes held by Noteholders present at the Meeting, voted in favor of the said decision.

In accordance with Clauses 16.1.1 and 5.5 of the Terms, the decisions described above are binding on all Holders.


Appendix 1 – Terms of the Amended Notes

Further information:

Indrek Kasela
Member of the Board of Directors
+372 452 1470
[email protected]

  • Appendix 1 – Modified Notes Terms and Conditions

Student loan borrowers lack ‘vital’ information: Warren

  • Elizabeth Warren led her colleagues to request information on the restart of student loan payments.
  • She expressed concern about the lack of clarity around the timeline for resuming payments.
  • The student loan break kicks in on May 1, and many borrowers are worried about another monthly bill.

Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren worries that 43 million federal borrowers don’t have the information they need to resume payments in just over two months.

On Wednesday, Warren, along with Representatives Lauren Underwood of Illinois and Colin Allred of Texas, led five of their fellow Democrats to send a letter to Secretary of Education Miguel Cardona regarding the date for resuming student loan payments on May 1. They wrote that they were “concerned” about the lack of clarity around the timeline for resuming payments, saying “millions of borrowers appear to be at risk of missing vital information about restarting payments.”

Lawmakers wrote in the letter that borrowers need timely and detailed information regarding their loan repayments. Specifically, they want to know when the first payments will be due and whether that date will be the same for all borrowers, as well as information about defaults and first non-payment date will affect credit score. of the borrower.

“Providing these details is essential to ensure that borrowers are properly informed of the restart and that harm to borrowers is minimized during the transition,” they wrote.

They gave the Department of Education until March 9 to respond to their demands.

President Joe Biden extended the pause on student loan payments for a third time, through May 1, marking the continuation of pandemic relief measures for federal borrowers burdened by the 1,000 student debt crisis. 7 trillion dollars. But with that restart date fast approaching, lawmakers like Warren not only want to make sure borrowers are equipped to pay another monthly bill — they want Biden to fulfill his campaign pledge and largely forgive student debt.

Insider reported in January that, according to the Government Accountability Office (GAO), 50% of federal student loan borrowers were identified as “at risk” of falling behind on payments in May. The Department of Education even acknowledged to the GAO that it would be “difficult to motivate” student borrowers to repay their debt after a two-year hiatus, and it said it would meet this challenge by increasing communications and sensitization.

Still, Warren and his colleagues believe that raising awareness is not enough, and as the resumption of payments approaches, many borrowers are worried about their financial ability to repay their debt. For example, the Student Debt Crisis Center found in a new survey that 93% of student loan borrowers are not ready to resume payments, and 61% of borrowers who could easily afford payments before the pandemic are now in trouble. .

“Our results show that the ongoing pandemic combined with unprecedented inflation are huge hurdles for borrowers who are, overall, not ready to resume payments, are struggling to meet their basic needs and are confused about their options moving forward,” Natalia Abrams, president and founder of SDCC, said.

How to lower your credit card payments by consolidating them into a personal loan


Personal loans offer a way to pay off credit card debt at a fixed interest rate and a low monthly payment. (iStock)

Making minimum payments on your credit cards can be an expensive way to get out of debt, and it’s even more frustrating when even minimum payments are unaffordable. Since credit card interest accrues daily, it can take years to pay off your balances, even if you don’t miss any payments.

Fortunately, there are faster (and cheaper) ways to pay off credit card debt, like credit card consolidation loans. It is a type of personal loan that you repay in fixed monthly installments at a lower interest rate. Consolidating into a new loan can even help you pay less than the minimum credit card payment, while getting out of debt faster and saving money over time.

Keep reading to find out how to lower your credit card payments by using a personal loan. You can visit Credible to compare personal loan rates for free without affecting your credit score.


Personal loans can help lower your credit card payments

Credit card companies may allow you to borrow money up to a certain limit while making a low minimum payment, sometimes just $25 or a small percentage of the total balance. But the more debt you have, the higher your minimum payment will be and the longer it will take you to pay off your balances.

For example, if you have credit card debt of $10,000, your monthly payment could reach $400, or 4% of the total balance. Since the average credit card rate is 16.44%, according to the Federal Reserve, it will take more than 12 years to pay off the debt with interest and fees.

It may be possible to lower your monthly payment and pay off years of debt faster by consolidating your personal loan. This is because interest rates are much lower for personal loans than for credit cards. Plus, personal loan rates are fixed for the entire term, which means interest doesn’t accrue daily.

Pay off credit card debt with a monthly savings personal loan

Paying off $10,000 in credit card debt with a 3-year personal loan can potentially lower your monthly payment by $76 per month. By refinancing a 5-year personal loan, you can save $172 per month compared to the minimum credit card payment.

Since you’re paying off debt years faster, you can save even more money in interest charges over the life of the loan. Interest rates are lower for short-term loans, which means you could save almost $3,500 over time by choosing a 3-year loan term rather than making the payment minimum by credit card. But even if you choose the 5-year personal loan term with a lower monthly payment, you can still save around $1,400 while you pay off your debt.

You can visit Credible to see the personal loan rates right for you with a soft credit check and use a personal loan calculator to estimate your new monthly payments.


How to Use a Personal Loan for Credit Card Debt Consolidation

Paying off high-interest credit card balances with a personal loan is relatively simple, and it can be done completely online without leaving the comfort of your home. Here’s what the five-step process looks like:

  1. Determine how much you need to borrow
  2. Check your credit score
  3. Choose a loan term
  4. Compare personal loan rates
  5. Formally apply for the loan

Learn more about each step in the sections below:

1. Determine how much you need to borrow

You can consolidate the balances of one or more credit cards into a personal loan. Add up your credit card balances to determine the amount of personal loan you need to borrow.

Be careful not to borrow too much, or you’ll pay interest on money you don’t need to pay off your credit card debt.


2. Check your credit score

Since personal loans are unsecured and do not require collateral, lenders determine your eligibility and interest rate based on your creditworthiness. This includes your credit score and debt-to-equity ratio, which is your debt repayments divided by your monthly income.

Applicants with very good or excellent credit, defined by the FICO scoring model as 740 or higher, will be eligible for the lowest personal loan rates available. On the other hand, borrowers with bad credit will find it difficult to qualify for a personal loan with good terms.

Personal loan rate by credit score

Knowing your credit score can help you determine if you are a good candidate for credit card consolidation. You can check your credit score and sign up for free credit monitoring on Credible.


3. Choose a loan term

Shorter loan repayment terms generally offer lower interest rates, but they come with higher monthly payments. But because you’re paying off your debt faster, you’ll save more in interest charges over the life of the loan.

Longer loan terms can help lower your monthly payments, but may come with higher interest rates. This can increase the overall cost of borrowing for the loan, although it might be worth it if your goal is to lower your credit card payments.

For example, well-qualified borrowers who used Credible to prequalify for a 3-year personal loan saw an average rate of 10.33% during the week of February 7. Average 5-year fixed rate personal loan rates were 13.17% during this time.


4. Compare personal loan rates

Most online lenders allow you to be prequalified to see your estimated personal loan rates and repayment terms. Prequalification requires a soft credit check, and it won’t hurt your credit score.

You can compare credit card consolidation loan rates between multiple lenders at once on Credible.


5. Formally apply for the loan

Once you have chosen the personal loan offer that suits your needs, you will need to complete an official personal loan application through the lender. This requires a thorough credit investigation, which will temporarily lower your credit score.

If you are approved, personal loan funds can be deposited directly into your checking account the next business day. You can then use the money to pay down your credit card balance to zero. Be careful not to accumulate new credit card debt while paying off your personal loan.

You can browse the personal loan rates in the table below and visit Credible to learn more about your debt consolidation options.


You have a financial question, but you don’t know who to contact? Email the Credible Money Expert at [email protected] and your question might be answered by Credible in our Money Expert column.

Man accused of murdering SUNY Potsdam student doesn’t have a lot of criminal history | St. Lawrence County


MASSENA — Local court documents show the man charged with the murder of a SUNY Potsdam student over the weekend doesn’t have much of a criminal history.

Michael J. Snow, a 31-year-old Massena resident, is jailed for second-degree murder. He is accused of shooting and killing 21-year-old Elizabeth M. Howell on Friday night on College Park Road in Potsdam, near SUNY Potsdam’s Crane School of Music.

Snow waived his right to a preliminary hearing, according to St. Lawrence County Public Defender James M. McGahan. He believes the next step in the case will be for the district attorney to decide whether the case should go to a grand jury for an indictment.

Along with several traffic citations that were ultimately dismissed, court documents from Massena show that Snow was charged with drunk driving, a misdemeanor and consumption of alcohol in a motor vehicle on April 4, 2019. On June 25, 2019, Snow pleaded guilty to driving. while his capacity was impaired and paid a fine of $300 with an additional $260. The plea satisfied eight counts of trafficking as well as the April 4, 2019 DWI.

St. Lawrence County District Attorney Gary M. Pasqua said he was “not aware of any other convictions in St. Lawrence County” that Snow has.

Franklin County Acting District Attorney Jonathan J. Miller said a search of Franklin County electronic records for any arrests or convictions turned up nothing.

Snow’s 2019 DWI arrest came three days after his mother, Paula N. Snow, “passed away unexpectedly,” according to her obituary.

Snow previously resided at 50 Park Ave. in Massena, a house belonging to his late mother. As of Tuesday morning, it did not appear that the police had searched the house. There was snow piled up in the driveway and there were no tire tracks. The snow piled up at the front door also had no footprints.

After his mother’s death, Snow was named administrator and beneficiary of her estate by the St. Lawrence County Surrogate Court.

According to a foreclosure action filed in the state Supreme Court in December 2020, the provider of the mortgage for the Park Avenue property claimed that it stopped receiving mortgage payments in June 2020, causing the foreclosure of property, naming Snow as the primary defendant.

Court documents show that Snow never participated in the action, his only apparent contact with the court being through a phone call to Supreme Court Justice Mary M. Farley’s office on December 3, during which he asked to be removed as administrator of his mother’s estate. . He was told he would have to accomplish this through a new substitute court order. He also told the court that he had moved to 250 Main Street.

On February 7, Judge Farley ruled that Snow was in default in the action and ordered that an arbitrator be appointed to determine the amount owed to the mortgage lender and that the terms of the pending foreclosure sale be submitted to the court. .

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Greensky Bluegrass hosts Andy Falco of the infamous Stringdusters in Cleveland


Listen to the audio from last night’s concert.

By Scott Bernstein February 23, 2022 1:28 p.m. PST

Greensky Bluegrass and The Infamous Stringdusters brought their joint winter tour to Cleveland last night for a concert at the Agora. Infamous Stringdusters guitarist Andy Falco was GSBG’s special guest for a series of songs to end their second set in Cleveland.

The Dusters kicked off the action Tuesday with a 10-song set. The staples “Fork In The Road” and “Let Me Know” were followed by “How Do You Know?” from the recently released band Towards the fray LP to start the performance. The quintet then paired “Where The Rivers Run Cold” and “Down From The Mountain” before covering The Cure’s “Just Like Heaven”. Then “Get It While You Can” turned into “Wake Me Up”. The infamous Stringdusters have returned to Towards the fray for the ensuing “I Didn’t Know”, which gave way to a “Black Rock” featuring a teaser of Phish’s “First Tube”.

Greensky Bluegrass continues to eschew covers, a trend that was evident throughout the band’s performances in 2022. Last night’s first set began with the title track from GSBG’s 2019 studio album, Everything for the money. Fan favorite “In Control” came next before the five musicians set their sights on their new LP, Stress dreams, for “Cut A Tooth”. He was then back to Everything for the money for “What you need”. From there, GSBG dusted off “Collateral Damage” for its first play since January 29, 2020 – a run of 91 shows. Oldie “Runnin’ The Briars” followed. Next up was the ‘Tuesday letter’ suited to the day, as well as a ‘courage for the road’ featuring Stress dreams standout “Streetlight” inside to end the set.

“Just To Lie” led to an extended “Train Junkie” to start Greensky’s second set in Cleveland. The quintet then followed up “New & Improved” with “Miss September” before releasing Andy Falco for “Give A Shit” by Stress dreams. Falco stayed on to contribute an adventurous version of the beloved “All Four” as well as providing double guitar action on “Wings For Wheels” and “Kerosene”. Greensky Bluegrass went it alone to cap off the night with an encore “Until I Sing”.

Listen to The Infamous Stringdusters and Greensky Bluegrass performances from last night via audience tapes recorded by Scott Plumer below:


The Infamous Stringdusters

Set: Fork in the road, let me know, how do you know, where the rivers are cold, down the mountain, just like heaven, get it while you can > Wake me up, I never knew not >Black Rock*

* – with “First Tube” teasing

Green Kentucky bluegrass (via PT GSBG)

Set One: All for the Money, In Control, Cut a Dent, What You Need, Collateral Damage, Runnin’ the Briars, Tuesday Letter, Courage for the Road > Streetlight > Courage for the Road

Set 2: Just to Lie, Train Junkie, New and Improved, Miss September, Give a Shit [1]all four [1]Fenders for wheels [1]Kerosene [1]

Again: Until I sing

[1] – with Andy Falco (guitar)

  • Paris City Hall of Vieux Forestier

    The Infamous Stringdusters

  • The Tabernacle

    The Infamous Stringdusters

  • The Tabernacle

    The Infamous Stringdusters

  • Cain’s Ballroom

With ESG Focus, sustainability-linked lending offers benefits to both borrowers and lenders


As environmental, social and governance (“ESG”) initiatives are increasingly implemented by borrowers and lenders, sustainability-linked lending offers opportunities for both.

What are sustainability-linked loans?

Sustainability Linked Lending (“SLL”) is based on the Sustainability Linked Lending Principles developed by the LMA, APLMA and LSTA. In SLLs, a borrower, together with its lender group, determines and sets certain sustainability performance objectives (“SPTs”) that the borrower must achieve, to be measured by key performance indicators (“KPIs”). ). Independent organizations, including the Sustainability Accounting Standards Board (“SASB”), provide guidance on the most relevant ESG measures for certain industry sectors. Once agreed between the borrower and lenders, the KPI/SPT benchmarks are then incorporated into the interest rate or commitment fee margin adjustments for the credit facility (i.e. ‘by reaching the KPIs, the interest rate is reduced). The credit facility documentation will also include reporting requirements for independent external verification of the Borrower’s level of performance against each SPT for each KPI, at least annually.

Benefits for the borrower

Many companies have already undertaken ESG data collection and reporting, and more will likely do so as the SEC expands its focus on ESG disclosures and more investors demand this information. While the third-party verification and reporting costs mentioned above are inherent to SLLs, borrowers who are already engaging in these efforts may find that they can effectively gain an additional economic incentive through SLL financing. Additionally, SLLs can be part of a full alignment with the borrower’s ESG strategies and policies.

Benefits of the lender

Lenders are also undertaking ESG initiatives, of which SLLs can be a component. Additionally, regulators of some lenders are communicating their plans to provide guidance on climate-related risks and incorporating these principles into their oversight expectations. Additionally, studies have shown that companies (e.g. SLL borrowers) that identify and manage their ESG risks have improved financial performance. Thus, SLL financing can benefit lenders in all political, regulatory and commercial aspects.

Current state of the market and next steps

Although SLLs are a relatively new financing concept, particularly in the United States, the volume of SLLs issued globally has quadrupled between 2020 and 2021. As ESG momentum continues to strengthen in the United States, the volume of SLL should also continue to grow. Currently, terms are negotiated on a transaction specific basis and market provisions have not been added as a result of LSTA documents. But, as SLLs become more common, the market is likely to merge on terms. Stay tuned for more updates on SLLs and other trending sustainable finance products, including Green Bonds and Commercial Property Assessed Clean Energy Finance (C-PACE).

FSU’s Mathematics Department Among America’s Top Producers of Doctoral Degrees


Over the past 20 years, the number of mathematics doctorates awarded by U.S. institutions has nearly doubled, according to data recently released by the Survey of Earned Doctorates (SED). Florida State University is one of the main contributors to this exceptional growth.

In the January edition of Notices of the American Mathematical Society, the Florida State Department of Mathematics was ranked 11th in the nation by SED for the number of doctoral degrees awarded, with a total of 342 doctoral degrees awarded from 2000 to 2019.

“It’s great to see how FSU’s Mathematics graduate program has grown and grown over the years, as evidenced by, for example, the substantial increase in the number of PhDs awarded each year” , said Washington Mio, director of the mathematics department.

In the applied mathematics category, FSU entered the top 10, ranking #5 among public universities and #7 overall in number of doctorates awarded. The SED is a joint effort of the National Science Foundation, the National Institute of Health, the Department of Education, and the National Endowment for the Humanities, and is widely considered the most comprehensive report on earned doctorates available in the United States.

“Our position in these rankings is quite a remarkable achievement, especially since the size of our faculty is about half the size of some of the top 10 math departments,” said Giray Ökten, professor of mathematics and Associate President of Graduate Studies. “It shows the productivity of our faculty and the hard work of our students. Much credit also goes to the faculty, some of whom are now retired, who developed our innovative graduate programs some 20 years ago.

In the early 2000s, Florida State experienced a surge in demand for researchers and professionals with mathematical skills in financial engineering and the rapidly growing fields of quantitative biology and medicine. and computational. In response, the department has developed and implemented new doctoral tracks in financial mathematics and biomathematics, significantly reinvigorating and expanding the doctoral program.

“We are now in the early days of a similar investment in mathematical data science and I am very optimistic about its future,” Mio said.

FSU’s interdisciplinary master’s program in data science, which welcomed its first class of graduate students in fall 2021, offers programs in mathematics as well as computer science, computer science, and statistics.

The rankings reflect progress toward the goal of academic and research excellence outlined in FSU’s 2017-2022 Strategic Plan, following concerted efforts on several fronts at once: attracting and retaining top faculty talent ; become a destination for the brightest graduate students; encourage high-impact interdisciplinary research; and develop innovative teaching strategies.

“The math teachers and students have been incredibly productive and efficient,” said Sam Huckaba, dean of the College of Arts and Sciences. “The mathematically deliberate expansion of innovative offerings, begun two decades ago, has provided a fantastic complement to our traditional tracks. And I am very proud that these achievements have occurred with a continued focus on high quality.

Mio adds that one of the department’s greatest strengths is the supportive and inclusive environment that has been created for students to develop and grow as mathematicians and citizens of the professional community. This includes student mentorship tailored to individual needs and consistent, constructive interactions between students and their homeroom teachers.

“As a department, we have played an important role in shaping many successful careers in a wide range of fields, often opening doors to life-changing opportunities for our graduates,” Mio said. “I view this as a key measure of success and the ultimate reward for our collective effort in higher education.”

The success of the math department has also made Florida State a destination for scholars from around the world, with the university regularly hosting national and international lectures and conferences. Next March, the Department of Mathematics will host the Tenth International Conference on Sensitivity Analysis of Model Outputs (SAMO), the first to be held in the United States since 2004.

To learn more about FSU’s math department, visit math.fsu.edu.

Ken Jefferson joins election to replace Jacksonville Sheriff Mike Williams


The number of candidates aiming to become Jacksonville’s next sheriff has risen to six with the arrival of Ken Jefferson two Republicans and three other Democrats in the 2023 race to lead the department.

This is the 64-year-old retired police officer’s third run for the top cop spot, his announcement coming just days after he left News4Jax as a crime and safety analyst after 11 years old.

Jefferson wants to succeed the man who defeated him in the 2015 election, Sheriff Mike Williams, whose term is now limited. Calling himself a ‘servant leader,’ Jefferson said he was making his third offer for all Jacksonville residents, many he met before deciding to run again, urging him to do so to help gather the city.

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“I’m a person of resilience, and I believe the community is calling for new transformational leadership at the sheriff’s office and I can bring that,” Jefferson said. “…I want to serve in this city. Law enforcement has been my life’s work and I want to continue, but I want to continue in a position where I can make a big difference in this community for all.”

Jefferson enters the race as a Democrat, months after the other five candidates began their campaigns. The two Republicans are Chief of Investigations TK Waters and retired Chief of Special Events Mathew Nemeth. The other three Democrats are retired Deputy Chief Lakesha Burton, former Duval County School Police Deputy Chief Wayne Clark and former Detective Tony Cummings.

Grew up in a tough part of town

Originally from Jacksonville, Jefferson is one of seven children. The family lost their home to foreclosure when he was in sixth grade, briefly living in a station wagon with the occasional bologna sandwich for dinner, he recalls. They eventually moved to public housing in Washington Heights, now called Calloway Cove.

Jefferson said he had wanted to be a police officer since fifth grade when a friendly officer came to his class and convinced him “it was the passion in me.” Living in Washington Heights, he said he was bullied and saw people being stabbed and attacked.

“At the time, I didn’t understand why I was being bullied, why was this happening, why am I surrounded by all these negative things…” he said. “What it did was it made me more resilient to pursue my passion, which is law enforcement.”

After several years of work as an insurance agent and supervisor, he was hired in 1986 by the Sheriff’s Office as a patroller, then detective in the inspections and accreditations unit. He served as a field training officer and academy instructor, and as a detective in the burglary and sex crimes units.

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He was also coordinator of the Drug Education for Youth Program, which mentored at-risk youth in the community. His last job was as a public information officer for the sheriff’s office.

Jefferson says his best qualification to be a sheriff is 24 years of experience with the department, many of them in leadership roles.

“I know this community and the community knows me. I can identify with anyone at any time, and also with my life experience,” he said, recalling his childhood at the time.

“We didn’t have much money. We were homeless, we were hungry,” he said. “I know what it’s like to be desperate in these situations. I was almost tempted to go the other way because of desperation, so I think I can bring that experience to the sheriff’s office, as well as my experience in law enforcement.”

After retiring in October 2010, he ran against incumbent Sheriff John Rutherford, gathering enough petition signatures to appear on the ballot where he received 38% of the vote. Then he became a crime analyst in local television news from 2012 to 2014 before leaving that to run again in what started as a race seven. This second campaign boiled down to Jefferson and Williams in the March 24 municipal elections. Williams, elected for the first of his two terms which now endwas a former sheriff’s director.

Florida Murder Capital:In 2021, the total number of homicides in Jacksonville dropped by 30%. But that wasn’t enough to save Robin Clemons’ son.

Jefferson said he “never really left” police work, continuing as a crime and security expert for Action News and then News4Jax, visiting numerous crime scenes. He also runs Jefferson Consulting Group, which conducts empowerment workshops and seminars.

Jefferson announced his departure from WJXT TV-4 in a Feb. 15 Facebook post, saying it was his honor to provide viewers with “an honest and unbiased perspective regarding law enforcement matters, insight into criminal investigations , helpful safety tips and much more”. Writing that he was moving on to another chapter in my life, he officially announced his campaign on Friday.

The others vying to be the new sheriff

Regarding the crowded race he entered, Jefferson said he faced six other candidates in the 2015 race. And with just over a year to go until the 2023 election, it’s the “good time” to come in, adding that he is not late in the game.

Waters, 51, announced his race in late August. The only one still active in the department, he has 30 years in law enforcement starting as a corrections officer in 1991. He received early endorsements from Williams and Rutherford, a former sheriff and current congressman.

Burton, 46, deputy chief of City Police Zone 2 in Arlington until his retirement Thursday, was the first candidate to be announced in April. She is the first black woman to run for sheriff.

Clark, 59, announced his race in early August. He is a 30-year veteran of the Sheriff’s Office who also headed the Jacksonville Airport Authority’s Aviation Security Department and recently left the Duval County School Police Department as acting superintendent.

Nemeth, 53, became the third candidate to be announced in mid-August. Beginning in 1996 with the sheriff’s office, he served as executive director of the Jacksonville Police Athletic League and chief of patrol support before being named chief of special events. He retired at the end of last year from the force.

Cummings started with the sheriff’s office in 1995, working in the patrol and detective divisions as well as an assistant professor in Keizer University’s Crime Scene Technology program. He ran unsuccessfully for sheriff in 2015 and 2019.

[email protected], (904) 359-4549

Bitengen Launches Aggregate Collateral Pool (ACP) Inspired by On-Demand Liquidity (ODL) Protocols


Bitengen Exchange supports NFT, Crypto, Fiat, Land Banking, Commodities and traditional assets/securities.

Bitengen launches Aggregate Collateral Pool (ACP) inspired by On-Demand Liquidity (ODL) protocols. Various global foundations, trusts, custodians, loan originators, asset managers and regulated/qualified institutions can now pledge their assets in the Bitengen CPA through a confidential and secure onboarding channel to the back office upon request. This feature provides innumerable benefits to clearinghouses and liquidity providers wishing to engage Bitengen as a custodian of private assets via electronic data room access.

Bitengen calls on owners of intellectual property assets, real estate assets, commodity assets, mining assets and various esoteric asset classes to consider a pledge agreement with Bitengen and enjoy several business benefits . BENG token holders can participate in the BENG DAO which allows the token holder to assess quarterly plans, budgets, financial and operational performance. BENG token holders via the DAO drive strategic initiatives and investments, monitor and oversee major capital expenditure projects, manage systemic risk frameworks, data lakes, pipelines, analytics, procurement, data warehouse management.

Bitengen Representative and Advisor Dylan Howard said, “We look forward to generational equity growth through value-added alliance priorities. A huge commercial tidal wave of support for the BENG token has come from traditional banks and asset managers eager to engage our De-Fi ecosystem. In the coming months, early partnerships with world-class institutions will be announced.”

BENG has a total supply of 3 billion tokens with an inbuilt burn plan that makes the token naturally deflationary. Every quarter, 25% of Bitengen’s profits will be used to buy back BENG tokens and permanently remove them from circulation. This will continue until 25% of the entire BENG supply is withdrawn from circulation.

BENG is available for purchase on P2PB2B.io and the Bitengen exchange.

Bitengen is a global Bitcoin-based platform offering leveraged trading across multiple digital assets including Bitcoin, Ethereum, Litecoin, Ripple, and Bitcoin Cash. We provide our clients with access to top-tier liquidity and a wide range of trading tools, while maintaining security, liquidity, enabling a safe and efficient trading environment for all. Bitengen remains committed to creating a dynamic and most innovative platform that provides users with all the necessary tools for trading activities.

Anyone wishing to trade more than 20 assets, including Crypto, can download the Bitegen app on Apple and Android.

Bitengen is located in https://bitengen.io

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Website: bitengen.io

Latitude boss Ahmed Fahour says rising rates will also increase household borrowing


Despite revenue headwinds, Latitude’s cash profit of $232 million rose 4% on lower costs and higher lending volumes, particularly in personal lending, where volumes increased by 42% by taking market share from the big banks.

Despite the focus on rising household debt as a share of disposable income, Fahour said debt as a share of asset value was at historic lows.

Ahmed Fahour: “People use rate hikes as fear. In fact, a rate hike is an indicator that life is returning to normal. Arsineh Houspian

This measure, which takes into account the rise in property prices, compares liabilities and assets, and reflects “the enormous capacity of households and businesses to absorb credit to finance growth, investments and purchases” , did he declare.

Tackle the Majors

In Mr Fahour’s three years at the helm of Latitude, it has gone from fifth-largest personal loan provider to second-largest, overtaking Westpac, NAB and ANZ, and beaten only by Commonwealth Bank. “We’re moving forward aggressively,” the former NAB executive said.

This follows the development of rapid loan approval systems and comes with Latitude’s purchase of Humm, a deal that is expected to yield $100 million in additional annual pre-tax profits and will help Latitude sell more loans. personal.

Investors seem optimistic about the deal and Mr Fahour’s strategy to pitch it to big banks.

“The company has talked about the opportunities it sees in areas where the big four banks just aren’t focused and/or can’t move fast enough and it seems to be paying off,” said Luke Cummings, Chief Investment Officer. at Harvest. Track asset management.

Harvest Lane is a shareholder of Humm and is therefore considering Latitude before potentially receiving its shares in consideration for the acquisition.

“We think Ahmed Fahour is a very good operator and the company seems to have a technological advantage over many of its competitors,” he said.

“The value of the synergies alone apparently makes Humm’s bolt-on BNPL operations appealing and the focus on funding larger ‘lifestyle’ purchases seems reasonable given consumers’ propensity to upgrade everything. , from their phone to their home, and the constant desire to consume now and pay later.

Latitude said return on equity was 17% and it had $2.3 billion of headroom in warehouse financing facilities.

It will pay a final dividend of 7.85 cents per share, bringing the full-year payout to 15.7 cents, representing a dividend yield of 7.7%.

Monday afternoon is also an important event for Latitude. Forty-two percent of the company’s issued capital, or about 430 million shares – which was 65 percent at the time of the IPO and was locked up with its shareholders KKR, Deutsche Bank and Varde – will come out of escrow. .

Mr. Fahour said he had received undertakings that the large number of shares would not be dumped in the market.

“They have told me in the strongest possible terms that they are long-term owners, that they like the business, that they have invested heavily in it and that they will do nothing to harm the course of the stock,” he told analysts on the earnings call.

“Nothing indicates to me that in the short term they intend to sell the shares at this price on the market.”

Plans are expected to be made to sell shares through an institutional bookbuild over the next six months.

🔒 Identity Theft: Take Back Control


Have a nice weekend, News4JAX insiders!

We hope you are enjoying some free time. What are you all doing this first weekend without football? 😭

We have another advanced look at a story we’ve been working on. It’s tax season and that means scammers are working hard to steal your identity and your hard-earned money. News4JAX helps you figure out if someone stole your identity, how to fight back, and how to stop thieves from taking your identity in the first place. You can watch our coverage starting Monday at 7 a.m. on The Morning Show, but get a head start with our story below:

Are you a victim of identity theft?

Since it’s tax season, if the IRS tells you that they’ve received more than one tax return in your name, that’s a key sign that someone else is using your identity. It’s called tax identity theft. A notice that you have received income from an employer you do not work for is another sign.

A d

Also, with the pandemic, many have applied for unemployment benefits. If you receive a notice from a state unemployment office or an employer about unemployment benefits that you did not apply for, this is a sign of fraud.

But if you don’t get these kind of notifications, you might still be a victim without even knowing it. To find out, there are simple steps to follow.

Check credit reports

  • Look for new accounts: Any accounts you haven’t opened, such as a new credit card, personal loan, or car loan, will appear as a new account.

  • Look for requests you don’t recognise: Items such as a new cell phone plan or a utility – like water, gas or electricity – will appear as a request.

Check invoices and statements

Along with your credit reports, you should also check your credit card statements, bank statements, medical bills, and your explanation of benefit statements. You’re looking to make sure there are no charges you don’t recognize, withdrawals you didn’t make, or medical services you didn’t receive. If you see something on your medical statements that you don’t recognizeyou could be a victim of medical identity theft.

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You think you are a victim. And now?

If you believe someone is using your personal information fraudulently, the Federal Trade Commission recommends that you go to their website IdentityTheft.gov. Once there, you will find step-by-step instructions for developing a personalized recovery plan to regain control of your identity.

You’ll answer questions and provide details about what happened and any issues you found on your credit reports.

  • The FTC will use this information you provide to create your personalized Identity Theft Report – which shows that someone has stolen your identity.

  • The FTC will also create a personalized recovery plan and walk you through tips to help you resolve any issues – including what to do first, then next steps after that.
  • You will be directed on how to close new accounts opened in your name and remove fees charged to your existing accounts.

  • You will be advised to contact all three credit bureaus – Equifax, Experianand Trans Union – on how to correct your credit file.

Protect yourself from becoming a victim

You may have heard of a credit freeze and a fraud alert. Both are free, but they do different things that can help protect your identity from theft. You can request blocks and alerts by contact all three credit bureaus.

Credit freezes

The FTC says a freezing credit is the best way to protect yourself and prevent a thief from opening new accounts in your name.

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Here’s how it works:

  • When in place, it prevents potential creditors from accessing your credit report.

  • Creditors won’t give credit unless they can check your credit report.

  • Identity thieves will not be able to open an account in your name.

The FTC says freezing credit is also helpful if you’ve ever been a victim of identity theft. or that your information has been exposed in a data breach.

And the good news, the FTC says a credit freeze won’t affect your credit score, and you can still use your existing credit cards, apply for a job, and rent an apartment. You can temporarily lift the gel and then put it back. The freeze lasts until you remove it.

Fraud Alerts

Although a fraud alert does not limit access to your credit file, it does tell a company to check with you before allowing a new account to be opened in your name. This usually means you’ll get a phone call to make sure the person trying to open a new account is you.

A fraud alert lasts for one year – but you can renew it for free. If you have ever been a victim of identity theft, you may receive an Extended Fraud Alert that lasts seven years. Additionally, credit bureaus remove you from their marketing lists for unsolicited credit and insurance offers for five years, unless you ask them not to.

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Protections for active duty military members

If you are an active service member, you can place a free, active alert on your credit file by contact all three credit bureaus.

The alert will make it harder for someone to open a new credit account in your name. It lasts for one year, but you can renew it for the duration of your deployment. The credit bureaus will also remove you from marketing lists for unsolicited credit and insurance offers for two years, unless you ask them not to.

Free electronic credit monitoring is also available to active duty military members. It can detect problems that could result from identity theft. You can register in contact each of the three credit bureaus.

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Copyright 2022 by WJXT News4Jax – All Rights Reserved.

Cheap to Incredibly Expensive Housing Industry Ratings


Rajesh Pandit/iStock via Getty Images

I have written about a number of housing stocks for Seeking Alpha. Here are their current valuations:

P/E ratio for housing stocks

Looking for Alpha

Source: Looking for Alpha

P/E ratios for these housing stocks range from 3.1 (yes, you read that right) to infinity for the two companies expected to lose money this year. How can this wide range make sense? My interpretation is that we investors at this point collectively assume that:

  • Residential construction is on the verge of a multi-year collapse.
  • A wave of mortgage foreclosures is imminent.
  • Despite these cataclysmic real estate events, the real estate industry is undergoing a major restructuring that will soon leave several players growing rapidly and profitably.

Does this wisdom of the crowd make sense? In my opinion, not even close. Therefore, I am maintaining my buying calls with home builders and mortgage insurers and my selling calls with real estate agents.

I will take the hypotheses one by one.

Is residential construction on the verge of a multi-year collapse?

This graph presents two data from 1985 to the present that are relevant to this question. One is the history of single-family home sales, the other is the homebuilding industry’s level of confidence in economic conditions over the next six months.

New Home Sales and Builder Confidence Index

Census Bureau and NAHB/Wells Fargo

Sources: Census Bureau and NAHB/Wells Fargo Housing Market Index

Sales data shows it just got back into the range before the bubble and bust from 2004 to 2012. Again:

  • Census data shows that below-average home construction for the ten years ’08-’18 has pushed the current housing vacancy rate to its lowest level in 60 years.
  • Millennials have entered their peak home buying years.
  • The phenomenon of working from home has created a demand for housing where the current supply is insufficient.

Additionally, the survey of homebuilder optimism in current sales activity and expected activity over the next 6 months is at an all-time high never. And this despite serious supply chain problems that are causing automakers to deliberately forgo their marketing efforts. And despite higher interest rates. Additionally, a close look at the chart above shows that builders are quite good at predicting near-term sales activity. So at least this year looks pretty bright.

What would it take for home sales to drop 30-50% as investors suggest and stay there for many years? I can only imagine one event: a severe and prolonged recession. If it’s around the corner, do you want to own the S&P 500 at a P/E of 19, or those homebuilders at their 3-5 P/E?

Is an increase in mortgage foreclosures imminent?

Mortgage insurers – MI – are at 8 P/E ratios, or just 40% of the S&P 500. To emphasize how cheap they are, flip the P/E ratio upside down, which displays their earnings yields, which are 13%. Let’s say IMs never increase their profits again. Would you mind having a permanent return of 13%? Personally, I would be everywhere. Investors today therefore assume that MI EPS will be down. This necessitates a sharp increase in foreclosures, which would force IMs to increase insurance claim costs. What could cause a sharp increase in foreclosures?

Overconstruction? Excessive construction is creating downward pressure on house prices. This happened during the housing bubble of ’04-’07. The average vacancy rate for single-family homes since 1965 is 1.6%. It reached 2.9% at the beginning of 2008. It has been 0.9% for two years, lowest vacancy rate since 1965. Following.

Stupid loan? Weak mortgage underwriting standards were an even bigger reason for the bubble/bust from 2004 to 2012. Let’s compare lending standards for MGIC then and now:

Underwriting standards

MGIC Financial Reports

Source: MGIC Financial Report

Literally, night and day. Getting a mortgage is harder than ever. Following.

A consumer at risk? Maybe investors are just nervous about US household debt. After all, “Consumers ended 2021 with record debt levels, which stood at $15.6 trillion, according to data released by the Federal Reserve District of New York..” (CNBC, February 8). If so, they must be really nervous about fintechs ramping up unsecured consumer loans like drunken sailors, right? Let’s take a look:

P/E ratios of Fintech stocks

Looking for Alpha

Sources: Looking for Alpha

Even though these stocks are all off their highs, they are still selling as if a lot more good news than bad is ahead. Following.

We return to the thesis of the serious recession. But apparently only for housing stocks.

Is the real estate industry undergoing a major restructuring that will soon leave several rapidly growing and profitable players?

open door (NASDAQ: OPEN) was founded in 2014. New years later, he is expected to lose more money. red fin (NASDAQ: RDFN) was founded in 2004. Nineteen years later, you always expect to lose money. Zillow (NASDAQ:Z) was founded in 2006. It wasn’t until 2018 that its core advertising business started making money, although it delayed earnings for the entire company until this year in losing $1.6 billion in a now closed “iBuying” business. So sixteen years to profitability. And its core business showed clear signs of overtaking market share three years ago.

Do these facts give you a high level of confidence that many years of profitable growth await you? I admit to being a bit skeptical.

So what accounts for biased housing industry ratings? Emotion, not reason.

I describe the emotional driver of homebuilder and mortgage insurer ratings as “housing PTSD.” Many of us remember the housing crisis of ’07-’12 very well. After decades of fairly steady house price increases, it all came crashing down, with five years of falling house prices and a massive increase in foreclosures. Then, a few months into COVID, house prices jumped. It just seemed wrong to many investors. Then mortgage rates climbed in recent months. Again, a warning sign. That PTSD came rushing back – “Sell a place before 2008 happens again!”

But I have given plenty of evidence that this time things are very different from 2008. In fact, the confluence of events that caused 2008 was last seen during the depression of the 1930s, 70 years earlier. Another 2008 is far from inevitable today. In fact, it’s almost impossible. But tell that to PTSD.

For real estate agents, we have an opposite emotional phenomenon that I’ll call “Desperately Seeking Amazon.” How could so many of us miss Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN) remarkable business history, from a small bookseller to the country’s dominant real estate agent and cloud business? Many investors suspend common sense and overlook facts to chase the next Amazon. And many companies are happy to offer this Amazon-like promise.

Take red fin for example. Here are some quotes from his Q4 21 results press release:

Facts. “[2021] Net loss per share attributable to common stock, diluted, was $1.12, compared to net loss per share, diluted, of $0.23 in 2020.”

“For the first quarter of 2022, we expect a total net loss of between $122 million and $115 million, compared to a net loss of $36 million in the first quarter of 2021.”

The promise. “Fourth quarter revenue and net profit exceeded our expectations,” said Redfin CEO Glenn Kelman… “Entering an uncertain market, Redfin’s pricing power and on-demand service will allow us to gain share and improve operating margins.”

And Zillow.

The promise. “Zillow Group’s fourth quarter results met or exceeded the company’s outlook at the consolidated level and for all three reportable segments. » (Q4 press release)

Facts. Consolidated [Q4] GAAP net loss was $261 million for the fourth quarter and net loss was $528 million for the full year 2021.” (Q4 press release)

The promise: Of his Press release Q1 ’19: “The Incredible Consumer Demand and Rapid Growth of Zillow Offers[son activité iBuying]give us the assurance that we are in the early stages of something important.[itsiBuyingbusiness)incredibleconsumerdemandandrapidgrowthgivesusconfidencewe’reintheearlystagesofsomethingimportant[itsiBuyingbusiness)incredibleconsumerdemandandrapidgrowthgivesusconfidencewe’reintheearlystagesofsomethingimportant

Facts: As I noted above, Zillow exited the iBuying business (called Zillow Offers) during the fourth quarter with a cumulative loss of $1.6 billion over 3 years.

The promise: Excerpt from Zillow’s fourth quarter conference call transcript:

“We have an incredibly strong base from which to innovate and an excellent track record of growth in our core business…We know price size matters when we become the central integrator, connecting the pieces of the fragmented process and turning dreamers into doers within the Zillow Housing Super App ecosystem… I have 100% confidence in our ability to accelerate innovation in the months and years ahead.

We will see how these new promises will materialize. But I will stick to the facts of the housing market and the actions of homebuilders and mortgage insurers.

David Post: Kiva — loans that change lives – Salisbury Post


Money makes the world go round!

If you have it, a lot of things work. If you don’t, a lot of things don’t.

Kiva, which means “unity” in Swahili, was founded as a micro-loan experiment in East Africa to help minority and women-owned small businesses get started.

The first loans were less than $500, as many are today in underdeveloped countries. Kiva is now present in 77 countries, has generated $1.7 billion in loans from 1.6 million lenders with a 96% repayment rate.

Although it works differently in the United States, Kiva is an internet-based crowdfunding platform where borrowers ask lenders for loans as low as $25. Kiva US focuses on small businesses that banks ignore because borrowers have low credit scores and no collateral. When these companies can find loans, the interest rates and fees are often exorbitant.

Kiva solved all of that. Of no interest. No charges. Low credit scores and no collateral are acceptable.

I met Kiva in 2020. It uses a three-pronged model with hubs, backers, and admins. The hub is the focal point with a manager responsible for marketing Kiva and helping borrowers navigate Kiva.org to get their loans online.

Funders support centers as needed to cover the $25,000 annual cost of Kiva and to pay the manager. Lenders also create matching funds, making it easier for borrowers to achieve their goals.

Because Kiva does not know its borrowers, it relies on trustees to “approve” borrowers and be mentors. Endorsed loans get their loans much more often than non-endorsed borrowers.

Self-Help Credit Union, a local minority-focused bank, agreed to be the hub. Salisbury gave Self-Help $20,000 to cover hub costs at Kiva. Salisbury has also set aside $60,000 for a matching fund. Kiva charges 10% per year to administer matching funds, so on a three-year contract this would reduce the Salisbury dollars available to borrowers by $18,000.

Unfortunately, there were a few hiccups in the first year, so the city council “suspended” the program. Suddenly the public became concerned and criticized the city council for taking money from small businesses. In all honesty, “pause” in government parlance can mean termination.

Not this time. The city council believed the taxpayer had received no return on his $20,000 investment and needed time to review the program with Kiva and Self-Help. Although three local borrowers had not reached their loan amount, the city was never informed of any borrower activity. Therefore, we never remitted our matching funds to Kiva. (The city does not match the loans. The backers send the money to Kiva who handles the matching.)

Last month, two borrowers were successful, one raising $6,000 and the other $15,000. The two have attracted nearly 300 lenders across the country. This is the power of Kiva. One of them complained publicly about not having access to Salisbury’s matching fund. Both loans received matching funds from other lenders, a women-focused fund, and Bank of America. So neither of them lost a single dollar because of the city’s delay.

Kiva will continue in Salisbury, but will not use the hub model. Kiva US was originally an admin-based model. Trustees take care of community outreach and help borrowers navigate the application process. (The hub model grew out of major cities organizing trustees.) Because Kiva charges no fees for a trustee model, the city can redirect those dollars to its matching fund.

Pete Teague has been my partner throughout this process. We create a non-governmental trust organization. Although we have a list of potential directors, we invite everyone to join. To save every trustee from having to learn how to navigate Kiva.org, we’re also creating a way to help borrowers referred by trustees.

To be clear, any borrower anywhere can go to Kiva.org and apply for a loan. Borrowers are not required to use a hub or trustee.

Finally, Kiva also has more than 4,000 “teams”, groups that provide loans. They range from 175,000 to a member and with loans ranging from $66 million to $25. When a team member makes a loan, the team gets credit. Hopefully Salisbury can organize some teams, for example the House Minority Affairs Council, colleges, churches and civic clubs.

Here’s the bottom line: If Salisbury is to help grow minority and women-owned small businesses, the pieces are in place to make the world go round.

David Post is a member of Salisbury City Council.

Why You Shouldn’t Get The World’s First Crypto Mortgage, Brought To You By Milo

  • Homebuyers can now get a mortgage using bitcoin as collateral.
  • Milo, a fintech company, has launched what it calls “the world’s first-ever” crypto mortgage.
  • An expert says this model may not be the best option for a typical borrower.

Buyers looking for a home in the US can now apply for a crypto mortgage, but be sure to read the fine print.

Fintech company Milo has launched what it calls “the world’s first-ever” crypto mortgage. The Florida startup says homebuyers around the world can now use its platform to finance the purchase of a home in the United States with bitcoin.

But there’s a catch: Homebuyers don’t have full control of their assets. If they want to sell their property, they will have to repay their loan – in US dollars – to Milo in full before the company releases a lien and transfers the bitcoin back. Additionally, to qualify for the mortgage, a buyer must own a bitcoin value equal to the full sale price of the home.

Milo says that by “pledge” crypto, borrowers keep their bitcoin for the duration of the loan, allowing them to continue accumulating value if their real estate and crypto investments appreciate.

“It’s a way for a consumer to continue to hold on to their bitcoin while building wealth as it appreciates,” Josop Reupena, CEO and founder of Milo, told Insider. “But at the same time giving them the advantage of buying real estate – historically that was really one type of scenario or the other.”

With mortgage rates at pre-pandemic highs, housing affordability falling, and available homes snatched up with all-cash offers, a crypto mortgage could be a tempting opportunity for a certain group of potential buyers. After all, the value of bitcoin has soared 9,000,000% over the past decade. But it is still a very risky investment.

Erin Sykes – the chief economist at Nest Seekers International, a residential and commercial brokerage firm – said this lending model may not benefit the typical borrower.

“Crypto investors tend to be high-risk, high-reward people who are relatively resilient to different market swings,” Sykes told Insider. “So I think it’s a good idea for the average person – absolutely not.”

How it works

Someone who has crypto wealth equal to the selling price of the house they want can get a 30-year fixed rate U.S. crypto mortgage from Milo. It’s a loan that uses bitcoin as collateral in the same way a homebuyer seeking a traditional mortgage might offer investment accounts, savings, or other assets.

Milo determines whether a borrower qualifies using their crypto wealth instead of a FICO score or income on a tax return. Crypto borrowers do not require a cash down payment at the time of purchase. Once approved, Milo funds 100% of the purchase and stores the crypto with an unidentified third party.

From there, Milo acts much like a traditional lender, earning money on interest and closing costs. If a homeowner goes into foreclosure, Milo sells the property to recover the amount owed by the borrower. If a homeowner wants to sell their property, they must pay Milo the full amount of the loan in US dollars.

This is where it gets tricky.

Why a Crypto Mortgage Isn’t for the Typical Borrower

While Milo says he is the first lender to use bitcoin as collateral for a mortgage, the concept of leverage against crypto is nothing new. A handful of lenders, including BlockFi, Avalanche, and Nexo, also allow borrowers to take out loans or earn a return with crypto. Milo is just one of the first companies to apply the model to mortgages.

Traditionally, those who borrow against their crypto have to continually refinance their loans, Reupena said. He said Milo’s model eliminated that need, giving borrowers more stability. “We’re giving them time to really build wealth through real estate,” he said.

But it’s not for everyone. Sykes said a crypto mortgage is best suited for an investor or someone who doesn’t have many ways to spend newly amassed crypto wealth.

“It would be for someone who has a high risk tolerance and believes in continued crypto appreciation and doesn’t want to sell yet,” Sykes said, adding that it might make “using as more attractive loan guarantee”.

Nonetheless, bitcoin’s volatile value makes crypto mortgages a risky option for typical homebuyers.

For example, if the value of bitcoin decreased after buying the house, the borrower’s interest rate on their mortgage would tend to increase.

“I think people who can access mortgages because they have the income to do so and meet the traditional criteria should definitely get a conventional mortgage,” Reupena said.

Milo declined to say how many crypto borrowers he has, but Reupena told Insider he has processed over $400 million in loans and has a waiting list of 7,000 people.

Council hears land bank update


SIDNEY — Information about the goals, events and photos of some of its Shelby County Land Bank properties was presented to Sidney City Council at its Monday evening meeting.

Doug Ahlers, director of the Shelby County Land Reutilization Corporation (commonly known as the Shelby County Land Bank) said the organization’s goal is to “stabilize property values ​​by removing and greening or rehabilitating a to four family residential properties in Shelby County”.

“Demolition is an essential part of strategies to stabilize and improve home values,” he said. “Most property is obtained through tax foreclosures, Ahlers said, deeds in lieu of foreclosures, donations and purchases.”

Funding originally came from the city of Sidney, county villages, and donations from county commissioners. Since then, Ahler said, he’s been on a Housing Improvement Program grant. This grant has now expired. It is now funded by a portion, about 5%, of the county’s Delinquent Tax and Assessment Collections Fee (DTAC), or about $55,000 to $60,000 a year, as well as money from the rollover of properties, he said.

Since 2017, the land reserve has acquired 101 properties. In the city of Sidney, they acquired 84; of these, 10 properties were sold and renovated. Many of the oldest properties are located within five blocks of downtown Sidney.

Approximately $1.2 million in grants was spent on these demolitions.

“We get referrals, look at overdue taxes and vacant properties. The problem is not so much finding the properties. It’s finding motivated people who are ready to get rid of properties. A typical question is, “What’s in it for me?” Ahler said, noting that “foreclosures are a long and expensive process.”

The land bank is not code enforcement, he said, while also praising the city’s code enforcement office for handling such issues in Sidney.

Ahler then began by posting a series of interior and exterior photos of the deteriorated properties that the land bank often takes possession of, and detailed the long and expensive process of demolishing the structures. In addition to photos, he provided the financial breakdown of properties that exceeded the $25,000 they were entitled to reimbursement for, which caused the nonprofit to lose up to $6,623.60 on a particular property. The unexpectedly high cost came from scenarios such as vertical land bank, asbestos, and tire removal costs, which resulted in lower land bank finances.

Challenges for the land bank include trying to stay on budget and trying to acquire properties at a faster pace. The biggest properties cost the most to demolish, have the most trash and have the most tires on site, Ahler pointed out. Inputs take time and capacity is limited. It’s a challenge to convince landlords to sign a “deed in lieu of foreclosure,” and it’s a challenge to acquire more properties through donations.

Among some of the donated properties was the Alpha Center. The Alpha Center is a community outreach organization aimed at meeting the basic essential needs of adults, families and children at risk. It may be the homeless, drug addicts, the disabled and mentally ill, or an elderly person on a fixed income. The land reserve continues to own this property but leases it to Center Alpha. The original structure was demolished and in its place was built “three duplexes for six unique addresses” which are located adjacent to the center on Court Street for the purposes of the Alpha Center program, Ahler said.

A big project for the land bank, which it now owns, is the ownership of the Wagner Ware manufacturing plant. Ahler said a grant application was submitted Dec. 20, 2021, for $2.8 million to demolish the property. The total cost of demolition is estimated at $4.5 million.

The Wagner Ware site was originally the former foundry of the Wagner Manufacturing Company which produced cast iron and aluminum products until 1952. The building had multiple owners until metal finishing manufacturer Master Vision Polishing closed the site in 2008. Prior to Master Vision Polishing’s withdrawal in 2008, Director of Community Development Barbara Dulworth said in 2016 that there were already issues with the building’s poor condition. Thereafter, it continued to deteriorate due to neglect and vandalism.

“It’s teamwork. The city of Sydney has been working on this for so many years. SSEP (Sidney-Shelby Economic Partnership) is on board, city, county, land bank. The land bank is just there because we had the opportunity to seize, but it will continue to do so – so the subsidy will come in and continue to be there to clean it up,” Ahlers said.

Wagner site redevelopment funds include $1 million in the State of Ohio Capital Budget which is earmarked for Sidney, the $2.8 million land bank grant, $500,000 from the City of Sidney and $250,000 from Shelby County, for a total of $4.5 million.

Deputy Mayor Steve Wagner thanked Ahler for his hard work and said he was supposed to be retired, but took on the land bank role that turned into a full-time job.

Ahler thanked Wagner for the acknowledgment and said when people asked for a timeline on the property, his response was that it would probably take a few years. Ahler said he thinks the grant will be awarded before then, but with the government things are not moving quickly.

Mayor Mardie Milligan thanked him for all his work and that she, along with everyone else, looks forward to Wagner’s redevelopment.

In other business, all present sang happy birthday to City Manager Andrew Bowsher, whose birthday was Tuesday. After receiving best wishes, he then recalled that the city’s public offices will be closed on Monday, February 21, 2022, on Presidents’ Day. Garbage pickup will be delayed one day all week.

An aerial view of the dilapidated former Wagner Ware manufacturing plant at 440 Fair Road that was taken by drone in 2018.

Securities Finance Industry News | FinClear uses Broadridge to grow its securities finance business


FinClear, an Australia-based wealth management infrastructure provider, has tapped Broadridge to grow its securities finance business.

Broadridge’s FastStart solution for Securities Finance and Collateral Management (SFCM) provides FinClear and its customers with enhanced capabilities in this business area.

SFCM is an end-to-end software-as-a-service solution for securities financing, used in the equity lending, repo and collateral trading markets.

Customers can access SFCM through the SFCM FastStart program, which provides a low-cost securities financing foundation with a minimal initial onboarding requirement.

The program is designed for gradual expansion of integration and automation as the business grows, according to Broadridge.

Darren Crowther, Managing Director, SFCM of Broadridge, comments: “In the ever-changing landscape of securities finance, financial institutions must react quickly to trade new products, access new revenue streams and serve a growing clientele.

“Fundamentally, SFCM FastStart promotes the simplification and streamlining of securities financing, enabling our customers to benefit from effortless integration and automation, with the ability to grow and scale while meeting the increased demands of the market and regulation.

Andrea Marani, COO at FinClear, adds, “Securities financing is an important hedging, liquidity and revenue-enhancing tool for many FinClear clients. Broadridge SFCM allows us to offer additional features and improved processes, providing a better experience for our customers.

Department of Education writes off $415 million in debt for 16,000 borrowers

Department of Education writes off $415 million in debt for 16,000 borrowers

Nearly 16,000 student borrowers will have their collective debts of $415million erased after the Department of Education found their universities misled them about job prospects after graduation.

On Wednesday, February 16, the Ministry of Education announced that many of the thousands of people who have filed fraud claims against their educational institutions will receive the defense of millions of borrowers – the legal provision that guarantees relief. loans to defrauded borrowers.

Among the colleges accused of lying are DeVry University, Westwood College, ITT Technical Institute nursing program, Minnesota School of Business/Globe University criminal justice programs and Corinthian Colleges, The hill reported.

An estimated 1,800 DeVry student borrowers will receive $71.1 million in borrower defense after the DOE said the school lied about its placement rate — it claimed 90% of graduates had found a job within six months of graduation when the actual rate was around 58%.

“The Department is committed to releasing borrowers when evidence shows their colleges have violated the law and standards,” the DOE secretary said. Miguel Cardona said in a statement.

“Students rely on the sincerity of their colleges. Unfortunately, today’s results show too many cases of students being misled into loans at institutions or programs that failed to keep their promises.”

Trump makes new claims about his wealth after accountants dump him


“Mazars’ decision to stand down was clearly the result of the AG and DA’s vicious bullying tactics being used – also on other members of the Trump Organization,” Mr. Trump said in his statement. “Mazars, who was scared beyond belief, in conversations with us, made it clear he was willing to do or say anything to stop the constant threat that had plagued them for years.”

He pointed out that in his letter advising the Trump Organization that its 2011-2020 financial statements “should no longer be relied upon,” Mazars also said he had not concluded that the statements, as a whole, contained “significant differences”. The company said, however, that “the totality of the circumstances”, including its own investigation of the financial statements, led it to conclude that they were unreliable.

Mazars did not respond to a request for comment.

The somewhat muddled nature of Mazars’ explanation makes it difficult to assess the motivation and potential legal implications behind his decision to part ways with Mr. Trump. Lynn Turner, the former chief accountant of the Securities and Exchange Commission, said new information Mazars has become aware of may require revision of its previous financial statements. Although these original statements contained numerous disclaimers, the taking of material new facts could leave the company vulnerable to a lawsuit.

“They won’t publish this letter otherwise,” he said.

In addition to signing Mr. Trump’s financial disclosure statements, which were used primarily when seeking bank loans or other credit, Mazars also prepared his tax returns, although the company did not raised doubts about them in his letter.

Intentionally filing false tax returns with the government is a criminal offense, and there is no evidence that prosecutors are pursuing it. As such, Mr. Trump’s tax returns have long been considered the most accurate representation of his financial situation.

The New York Times in 2020 obtained decades of information on the tax returns of Mr. Trump and his companies, which revealed that despite all his claims of business acumen and high net worth, he had in fact lost money for many years, had huge bank loans coming. and faced a long-running IRS audit that could cost him $100 million. He often paid little or no federal income tax.

RI first-generation home buyers can get cash for a down payment


Some first-generation homebuyers will be eligible for up to $25,000 for a down payment and closing costs under a new pilot program Governor Dan McKee and RIHousing announced Wednesday.

The program, FirstGenHomeRI, is currently only available to people in a few select communities – but McKee hopes the General Assembly will agree to set aside $50 million in next year’s budget so it can be expanded and extended to rest of the state.

Rhode Island has one of the lowest homeownership rates in the country, “largely because families and individuals can’t afford a down payment,” McKee said Wednesday. “We are here today to close this wealth gap and break down barriers and inequalities.”

“Housing Czar”:RI’s new housing chief sees himself more as a moderator than a ‘tsar’

Who is eligible?

Currently, eligibility is limited to people who live in urban areas considered to be in socioeconomic distress, including Central Falls, East Providence, Pawtucket, Woonsocket, parts of Providence other than the East Side, and one census tract in the north end of Newport.

Carol Ventura, executive director of RIHousing, said the agency administers the program with $1 million of its own money to start, but is “looking forward” to the $50 million McKee requested in its budget proposal.

RIHousing already offers down payment assistance for first-time buyers in the form of an “additional aid” loan, which provides up to $15,000, or 6% of the purchase price of a home, whichever is less.

However, this loan works like a second mortgage, while the new pilot program for first-generation buyers is a grant. Buyers take out a zero interest loan, which is repayable after five years of owning the house and making it their principal residence. There are no monthly payments.

IR Real Estate:What will the RI housing market do in 2022? We asked a real estate agent

Obstacles to buying a first home

“Many young people are benefiting from assistance provided by families to buy their first home,” Ventura said, noting that she was among them. “But for many first-generation owners, support isn’t an option. That’s why this program is so essential.”

Finding the money for a down payment, she added, is “usually the biggest obstacle to buying your first home.”

McKee and other officials have acknowledged that providing assistance with a down payment is only part of the picture – there also needs to be more inventory of homes available for people to buy.

“Too few units have been built over too many years,” McKee said.

Wednesday’s announcement took place at a newly built home on Middle Street in Pawtucket, where Pawtucket Central Falls Development has built five two-family units for first-time home buyers who meet certain income restrictions.

Executive Director Linda Weisinger said while the median price for a single-family home in Rhode Island was around $375,000 in January, one of the two-family units sells for $269,000.

“If we don’t have homes for families to buy, then people are shut out of the market,” she said.

She also noted that Rhode Island has significant racial disparities when it comes to homeownership.

Housing crisis in Providence:Could building houses in a school parking lot help?

More details on the deposit program

Additional details on the pilot program for Down payment assistance is available at rihousing.com/FirstGenHomeRI.

The website notes that a first-generation homebuyer is defined as “anyone whose parents or guardian never owned a home during the buyer’s lifetime or who lost the home to a foreclosure or short sale and do not currently own a home”.

Anyone raised in foster care would also be considered a first-generation homebuyer.

In order to receive funds, buyers must be approved for a mortgage by RIHousing and complete a homebuyer education course.

Bus Drivers Host Illness in East Palo Alto Amid Labor Negotiations | News


The four Ravenswood City School District bus drivers called in sick Friday morning, Feb. 11, as their representative, the California School Employees Association (CSEA), negotiates with the district over pay. Some students who did not receive the message were left waiting at bus stops, according to an East Palo Alto City Council member.

The district, which made an offer to CSEA during negotiations on Tuesday, Feb. 15, informed families early Friday morning that it would not be providing bus service to its schools in Menlo Park and East Palo Alto for the day. said Will Eger, the district’s chief business officer. Bus service returned to normal on Monday, February 14, Superintendent Gina Sudaria said in an email.

According to the district’s understanding, the drivers’ action was related to labor negotiations, Eger said. The work stoppage was not sanctioned by the CSEA, which represents approximately about 125 employeessuch as bus drivers, food service workers, maintenance staff and other non-teaching positions, administrators noted.

The CSEA chapter president could not be reached for comment.

The district granted teachers a “historic” increase of 10% in November, retroactive to July 1. The district aimed to bring educator salaries to the same level as other nearby school districts.

The starting salary for bus drivers in the district is $25.99 per hour and they can earn up to $31.38 per hour, according to the CSEA salary grid.

District bus drivers earned between $51,230 and $59,343 in 2019, with some earning around half their salary with overtime, according to Transparent Californiawhich provides information on the remuneration of state public employees.

CSEA reported earlier in the week to District Operations Manager Delma Camacho that drivers could stage an illness. This was confirmed Friday morning, according to Eger.

“The district has asked the police department to monitor students who may be waiting at bus stops if some families have not received the message,” Sudaria said. Attendance was slightly lower on Friday across the district, at 82% compared to the average daily attendance of 90%, Eger noted.

East Palo Alto City Councilman Antonio López expressed annoyance that the students were “used as collateral” in labor negotiations. Some students did not receive the message in time and were stranded at bus stops, he said.

“They’ve been through enough,” he said, adding that he understands the high cost of living in Silicon Valley and said there’s “no doubt everyone should be getting a living wage “.

“There has been so much disruption in learning (due to the pandemic) and they are doing their best to learn given the circumstances. There are wiser ways to go about it,” he said. declared. “I urge that it be nipped in the bud for the sake of the children.”

17% of Louisiana borrowers qualify for student loan forgiveness


Students who find themselves in debt with student loans may be able to free themselves from this burden depending on the career path they pursue.

The Public Service Loan Forgiveness Program allows full-time employees of nonprofit and government organizations to have the remaining balance of their federal loans forgiven after 10 years.

Applicants will be eligible once they have made 120 monthly payments under a qualifying repayment plan while working full-time for an eligible employer.

Under a one-year waiver announced last October, borrowers can receive credit for past payments that were previously ineligible for the program. This is the first time such a waiver has been issued for the PSLF program, according to Andrew Pentis, Student Loan Hero Certified Student Loan Advisor and higher education finance expert.

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, D.N.Y., speaks during a press conference on student debt outside the U.S. Capitol on February 4, 2021 in Washington, DC Also pictured, L-R , Rep.  Mondaire Jones, DN.Y., Rep.  Alma Adams, D.N.C., Rep.  Ilhan Omar, D-Minn., Sen.  Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., and Rep.  Ayanna Pressley, D-Mass.  The group of Democrats reintroduced their resolution calling on President Joe Biden to take executive action to forgive up to $50,000 in debt for federal student loan borrowers.

Student Loan Hero is a company founded in 2012 to help student borrowers organize, manage and pay off their student loan debt.

According to a report by the company, the program will allow approximately 9.3 million eligible employees to have their federal student loans forgiven, which corresponds to approximately 23% of federal student borrowers. In Louisiana, approximately 17% of federal student loan borrowers may qualify for this rebate program.

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“This has the potential to have a very large effect, and the (US) Department of Education estimates that these changes will impact approximately 550,000 borrowers,” Pentis said. “If you think of the student loan problem in this country as a kind of big bucket of water, it’s at least a cup of that water being carried around, and that’s really positive.”

Pentis said there are more than 45 million borrowers in the country, so not everyone will enjoy the benefits of this waiver. This includes borrowers from Federal Parent Plus Loans, who are not eligible for the PSLF program.

Additionally, Pentis said eligible borrowers should start investigating the PSLF program as soon as possible. Some borrowers may need to consolidate their loans to qualify, and Pentis said those steps take time.

According to the Student Loan Hero report, 109,514 of Louisiana’s 636,800 federal borrowers could qualify for this program through the waiver. This breaks down into 31,518 nonprofit employees, 32,569 local government employees, 30,626 state government employees, and 14,801 federal government employees.

The report also revealed that the total amount of debt in Louisiana eligible for the PSLF is $3.8 billion, the 27th highest figure in the country.

Pentis said one of the main reasons borrowers don’t have access to these loan relief programs is due to lack of information. For those who receive the information in time, some are discouraged by the amount of their debt and doubt that programs like this can help them.

Following:Grambling State University to Forgive $1.5 Million in Student Debt

“That’s kind of the general picture with many student loan forgiveness and repayment assistance programs,” Pentis said. “I often speak with borrowers about their repayment options, and I often say, ‘Well, you’re a nurse, so you might qualify for this state-based loan repayment assistance program, specifically for nurses,” and a lot of times what I hear back is, ‘Whoa, I didn’t know that existed.'”

To learn more about the PSLF program, visit studentaid.gov/manage-loans.

Follow Sabrina LeBoeuf on Twitter @_sabrinakaye and on Facebook at https://bit.ly/3B8sgHo.

Support local journalism by subscribing at https://cm.thenewsstar.com/specialoffer.

Legal Requirements to Mitigate Bias in AI Systems | Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati


An alphabet soup of US government agencies has taken steps to regulate artificial intelligence (AI). Last year, Congress passed the National Artificial Intelligence Initiative Act, which creates many new AI initiatives, committees, and workflows to prepare the federal workforce, lead and fund research, and identify and mitigate risks. In November 2021, the White House announced efforts to create a bill of rights for an automated society. And members of Congress are introducing bills like the Algorithmic Accountability Act and the Algorithmic Fairness Act, aimed at promoting ethical AI decision-making. At the state level, at least 17 state legislatures have introduced AI legislation in 2021.

With this flurry of activity, you might think that no legal requirements involving AI exist today. But you would be wrong. There are plenty of requirements that touch AI already in the books, and some pack a big punch. Here are some U.S. local, state, and federal requirements to be aware of:

  • National and local rules on AI in recruitment: The New York City Council has passed a measure prohibiting New York employers from using automated employment decision tools to screen job applicants unless the technology has been tested. “biased” audit during the year preceding the use of the tool. Illinois requires employers using AI interviewing technology to inform applicants of how AI works and obtain consent from the applicant. Maryland also requires consent from employers using facial recognition tools when interviewing candidates.
  • Federal laws on the use of AI for eligibility decisions: Under the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA), a provider that gathers information to automate decision-making regarding an applicant’s eligibility for credit, employment, insurance, housing, or benefits or similar transactions may be a “consumer reporting agency”. This triggers obligations for businesses that use the provider’s services, such as the obligation to provide notice of adverse action to the claimant. For example, suppose an employer purchases AI-based scores to assess whether a candidate will be a good employee. In many circumstances, if the employer denies the candidate a job based on the score, they must, among other things, provide the candidate with a Notice of Adverse Action, which tells the candidate they can access the underlying information. from the supplier and correct them. if it is wrong.
  • Civil Rights Laws: Although this does not apply specifically to AI, companies should be aware of federal prohibitions against discrimination based on protected characteristics such as race, color, sex or gender, religion, age, disability status, national origin, marital status and genetic information. These laws apply regardless of whether a human or a machine discriminates. Indeed, in 2019, the Department of Housing and Urban Development sued Facebook for breaching the Fair Housing Act, alleging that it allowed advertisers to eliminate certain categories of consumers from its advertising algorithm, which is based on racial characteristics. If your AI tool discriminates against a protected class, whether intentionally or unintentionally, you could be the subject of a civil rights investigation or lawsuit.
  • Privacy Laws: Given the possibilities of using AI in the healthcare industry, AI developers should be familiar with the requirements of the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA). When using consumer data to populate algorithms, companies must also consider federal and state privacy laws that require consumers to be informed of how their information will be used, including HIPAA, COPPA (Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act) and the Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act. Act. California privacy laws give consumers the right to be informed about how data is collected about them and the right to access, delete and opt out of certain disclosures of their data to third parties. , which may involve AI-based systems. California’s new privacy agency is tasked with issuing regulations that will require companies to provide consumers with meaningful information about the logic involved in automated decision-making processes, a description of the likely outcome of the process in terms of concerns the consumer and the right to opt out. New privacy laws in Virginia and Colorado will also require companies to offer an opt-out option for certain automated processing of consumer data. And several state laws, such as Illinois’ Biometric Information Privacy Act (BIPA), require notice and consent before collecting biometric identifiers, which can feed algorithms.
  • Prohibitions of unfair or deceptive practices: The FTC and corresponding state laws prohibit unfair or deceptive practices. For example, if you make false or unsubstantiated statements about the lack of bias in your algorithm, this could be a misleading practice. The Federal Trade Commission has also said that using an algorithm that discriminates against protected classes could be an unfair practice.

The consequences of violating these laws can be serious. For example, federal agencies can seek and obtain civil penalties for violations of HIPAA and COPPA. The Fair Credit Reporting Act, civil rights statutes, and some state privacy statutes like BIPA include private rights of action, where plaintiffs seek and often obtain significant damages.

So what should companies that create and use algorithms do now to avoid violating these requirements? At the very least, they should think about these issues, ask questions, assess the risks, and mitigate those risks. Here are a few tips:

  • Develop interdisciplinary/diverse teams to develop/review algorithms: Lawyers, engineers, economists, data scientists, ethicists and others can spot different issues. Creating diverse teams with different perspectives and life experiences is essential to any effort to reduce bias.
  • Educate your teams on the causes of biases and how to mitigate them: A cause of bias could be a lack of diverse representation in the dataset used to train the algorithm. But even if the dataset is diverse, it can reproduce historical patterns of bias. ProPublica did a study a few years ago that found that, according to an algorithm judges used to determine whether defendants should be released on bail, black defendants were twice as likely as white defendants to be ranked at wrong as having a higher risk of violent recidivism. Institutional biases in the US criminal justice system may have been responsible for this result.
  • Use a risk-based approach to determine appropriate solutions: An algorithmic decision about who receives an ad for a financial or educational opportunity should receive more scrutiny than a decision about a shoe ad. An algorithm on who gets a job or credit should receive more scrutiny than an algorithm that determines whether a customer will get a product upgrade. Indeed, if you are making eligibility decisions based on an algorithm, consider whether you need to comply with the FCRA. At the same time, even low-risk decisions deserve to be challenged and discussed internally.
  • Ask questions, develop and document programs, policies and procedures based on the answers: What will the automated decision do? Which groups are you concerned about in terms of training data errors, disparate processing, and impact? How will potential biases be detected, measured and corrected? What will you gain in developing the algorithm, and what are the potential bad results? How open will you be to the algorithm development process? A good set of sample questions can be found here.
  • Consider effective ways to test the algorithm before deploying it: If there is a disparate impact for different groups, ask additional questions. Do you need additional training data? Do you need human intervention or review before making a decision based on data?
  • Consider periodic audits: Periodic audits can reveal persistent problems with an algorithm. Depending on the risk level of the algorithmic decision, these audits can be internal or external. Companies may also consider verifying their programs with outside advocacy groups.
  • Comply with privacy laws: Be aware of the legal requirements outlined above and be sure to follow your company’s policies regarding the use of consumer data. This includes honoring the privacy statements you make to consumers.
  • Consider how you would explain any algorithmic decision: Some may say that it is too difficult to explain the myriad of factors that could affect algorithmic decision-making, but under the Fair Credit Reporting Act, such an explanation is required in certain circumstances. For example, if a credit score is used to deny credit or offer credit on less favorable terms, the law requires consumers to receive notice, a description of the score and the main factors that negatively affected the pointing. If you’re using AI to make consumer decisions in any context, consider how you would explain your decision to your customer if asked.



STATE OF SOUTH CAROLINA COUNTY OF FLORENCE HSBC Bank USA, NA, as indentured trustee for registered noteholders of Renaissance Home Equity Loan Trust 2007-1, PLAINTIFF, against Marceil E Williams and Patricia M Eaddy, and if Marceil E Williams and Patricia M Eaddy be deceased then all the children and legal heirs of the estates of Marceil E Williams and Patricia M Eaddy, distributors and legal legatees of the estates of Marceil E Williams and Patricia M Eaddy, and if any of them is deceased, all persons entitled to claim under or through them also all other unknown persons claiming any right, title, interest or lien in the real property described in the complaint herein; Any unknown adult, unknown infant, or disabled person of a class designated as John Doe, and any person in United States military service of a class designated as Richard Roe; Kay Frances Montgomery, DEFENDANT(S) AT THE COURT OF COMMON PLEAS CITATION AND NOTICE OF COMPLAINT FILING AND NOTICE OF INTERVENTION OF FORECLUSION AND CERTIFICATION OF COMPLIANCE WITH THE CORONAVIRUS ASSISTANCE AND ECONOMIC RECOVERY ACT ( WITHOUT MORTGAGE FORCLOSURE JURY) C/A NO: 2022-CP-21-00144 WAIVER TO THE DEFENDANTS, ABOVE NAMED: TO THE DEFENDANTS, ABOVE NAMED: YOU ARE HEREBY CALLED UP and required to respond to this Complaint, of which a copy is attached to you, or otherwise appear and defend and serve a copy of your response to said Complaint on Subscriber at its office, Hutchens Law Firm LLP, PO Box 8237, Columbia, SC 29202, within thirty ( 30) days after service hereof, except in the case of the United States of America, which shall have sixty (60) days, excluding the day of such service, and if you do not respond to the complaint within the aforementioned time limit, or if you appear and otherwise defend , the plaintiff in this action will apply to the court for the relief claimed therein, and default judgment will be entered against you for the relief sought in the complaint. YOU WILL ALSO BE ADVISED that if you fail to respond to the foregoing subpoena, Plaintiff will seek an order to dismiss this matter from the Master in Equity/Special Arbitrator for Florence County, which order shall, pursuant to Rule 53 of the South Carolina Civil Procedure Rules, specifically provide that said master in equity/special arbitrator is authorized and empowered to enter final judgment in this matter with appeal only to the South Carolina Court of Appeals pursuant to the SCACR Rule 203(d)(1), effective June 1, 1999. TO MINOR(S) OVER FOURTEEN, AND/OR MINOR(S) UNDER FOURTEEN AND THE PERSON WITH WHOM THE MINOR(S) RESIDE, AND/OR TO PERSONS UNDER A CERTAIN LEGAL DISABILITY: YOU ARE ALSO CONVENED AND NOTIFIED to request the appointment of a guardian ad litem within thirty (30 ) days following the service of this summons and notification ation. If you fail to do so, demand for such appointment shall be made by the applicant forthwith and separately and such demand shall be deemed absolute and complete absent your demand for such appointment within thirty (30) days of the service of the Summons and complaint against you. YOU SHALL ALSO BE ADVISED that if you fail to respond to the foregoing subpoena, the plaintiff will seek an order to dismiss this matter from the master in equity/special arbitrator in/for that county, which order shall, pursuant to rule 53 of the South Carolina Civil Procedure Rules, specifically provide that said master in equity/special arbitrator is authorized and empowered to enter final judgment in this matter with appeal only to the South Carolina Court of Appeals pursuant to rule 203 (d)(1) of the SCACR, effective June 1, 1999. NOTICE OF SUBMISSION AND COMPLAINT FILING TO THE ABOVE NAMED DEFENDANTS: YOU PLEASE NOTE that the foregoing subpoena, together with the Complaint, have been filed with the Clerk of Court for Florence County, South Carolina on January 24, 2022. NOTICE OF INTERVENTION OF FORECLUSION PLEASE NOTE, Pursuant to Administrative Order of the Supreme Court of South Carolina 2011-05-02 -01, you may be entitled to foreclosure intervention. To be considered for any available foreclosure intervention, you may contact and deal with the plaintiff through their law firm, Hutchens Law Firm LLP, PO Box 8237, Columbia, SC 29202 or call ( 803) 726-2700. Hutchens Law Firm LLP represents the plaintiff in this action and does not represent you. Under our ethics rules, we are prohibited from giving you legal advice. You must submit any request for foreclosure intervention review within 30 days of the date of this notice. IF YOU FAIL, REFUSE, OR WILLFULLY CHOOSE NOT TO PARTICIPATE IN FORECLUSION ACTION, YOUR MORTGAGE COMPANY/AGENT MAY PROCEED TO FORECLUSION ACTION. If you have already attempted to mitigate losses with the claimant, this advice does not guarantee the availability of loss mitigation options or further consideration of your qualifications. CORONAVIRUS AID, RELIEF, AND ECONOMIC SECURITY ACT COMPLIANCE CERTIFICATION of this page. I am able to do this certification. The facts stated in the certification are within my personal knowledge and are true and correct. 1. Verification Pursuant to Administrative Orders of the Supreme Court of South Carolina 2020-04-30-02 and 2020-05-06-01 and based on information provided by the Applicant and/or its Authorized Service Agent such as maintained in its case management/records database, the undersigned makes the following certifications: Applicant seeks to enter the following property commonly referred to as: 3500 East King Henry Drive, Florence, SC 29506 Address and Unit Number (if applicable ) City, State Zip Code I confirm that this property and more specifically the mortgage subject of this action: [X] is NOT a “Federally Guaranteed Mortgage Loan” as defined by § 4022(a)(2) of the Federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (“CARES”) Act . [ ] is a “Federally Guaranteed Mortgage Loan” as defined by § 4022(a)(2) of the Federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (“CARES”) Act. Specifically, the foreclosure moratorium cited in Section 4022(c)(2) of the CARES Act expired on May 18, 2020, and the property and mortgage are not currently subject to a forbearance plan such as defined only in Sections 4022(b) and (c) of the CARES Act. Please identify the database or other information you used to determine that the property does not have a Federally Backed Mortgage or Federally Backed Multifamily Mortgage: I hereby certify that I have reviewed the loan administration records and case management records/database of the applicant or their licensed mortgage agent, in digital or printed form, and that this mortgage loan is not currently under a plan of forbearance as defined only in sections 4022(b) and (c) of the CARES Act. Pursuant thereto, I certify that the facts set forth in this attestation are within my personal knowledge, except for matters based upon my information and beliefs as to said Loan Management Records and Case Management Records/Database of the applicant or mortgage manager, and these things I believe to be true. See, Rule 11(c), SCRCP; BB&T of South Carolina v. Fleming, 360 SC 341, 601 SE2d 540 (2004). 2. Declaration: I certify that the previous declarations made by me are true and accurate. I am aware that if any of the previous statements made by me are willfully false, I may be subject to contempt. NOTICE TO APPOINT COUNSEL FOR DEFENDANT(S) IN MILITARY SERVICE UNKNOWN OR KNOWN DEFENDANTS WHO MAY BE IN THE MILITARY SERVICE OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, ALL BEING A DESIGNATED CLASS AS RICHARD ROE: YOU ARE IN ADDITION SUMMONED AND NOTIFIED that the plaintiff’s lawyer has applied for the appointment of a lawyer to represent you. If you fail to request the appointment of counsel to represent you within thirty (30) days of service of this subpoena and notification, the plaintiff’s appointment shall be made absolute without further action by the plaintiff. THIS IS A COMMUNICATION FROM A DEBT COLLECTOR. THE PURPOSE OF THIS COMMUNICATION IS TO COLLECT A DEBT AND ANY INFORMATION OBTAINED WILL BE USED FOR THIS PURPOSE, except as set forth below in the case of bankruptcy protection. IF YOU ARE UNDER THE PROTECTION OF THE BANKRUPTCY COURT OR HAVE BEEN RELEASED AS A RESULT OF BANKRUPTCY PROCEEDINGS, THIS NOTICE IS GIVEN TO YOU IN ACCORDANCE WITH STATUTORY REQUIREMENTS AND FOR INFORMATIONAL PURPOSES AND IS NOT INTENDED AS AN ATTEMPT TO COLLECT ANY DEBT OR AS AN ACT TO COLLECT, ASSESS OR RECOVER ALL OR ANY PART OF THE DEBT FROM YOU PERSONALLY.

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Budget 2022

All sector indexes ended in the red with Auto, Banking, Oil & Gas, PSU Bank, Pharmaceuticals, FMCG, Metal, Real Estate and Capital Goods losing 2-6%. The BSE Midcap and Smallcap indices lost 3-4%.

Closing Bell: Nifty breaches 16,900, Sensex reaps 1,747 pts on global sell amid Ukraine-Russia tensions

  • Closing Bell: Nifty breaches 16,900, Sensex reaps 1,747 pts on global sell amid Ukraine-Russia tensions

    Closing Bell: Nifty breaches 16,900, Sensex reaps 1,747 pts on global sell amid Ukraine-Russia tensions

  • Global stocks and Wall St futures sink on Ukraine invasion fears

  • Positive buzz in the air about LIC IPO: Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman

  • The size of the LIC issue could range from Rs 53,500 crore to Rs 93,625 crore; the issue price can be from 1,693 to 2,962 rupees per share

  • Grasim Q3 Results | Profit increases by 26% year on year to Rs 1,746 crore, revenue increases to Rs 24,402 crore

  • R Srinivasan from SBI Mutual Fund is back with a new targeted program. Should you invest?

  • Pulwama Terror Attack 3rd Anniversary: ​​What Happened, When and How

  • Closing Bell: Nifty breaches 16,900, Sensex reaps 1,747 pts on global sell amid Ukraine-Russia tensions

  • Top 10 things to know before the market opens today

  • Shares in turmoil | Dr Reddy’s Labs, Ashok Leyland, TVS Motor Company and others in the news today

  • Manic Monday for Indian markets, here are 4 factors behind the sharp decline

  • Noel Tata joins two Tata trusts as trustee, signaling succession planning

  • IPO of LIC | Insurer must retain up to 10% of issue size for policyholders

  • IPO of LIC | The size of the LIC issue could range from Rs 53,500 crore to Rs 93,625 crore; the issue price can be from 1,693 to 2,962 rupees per share

  • Reliance Jio partners with SES for affordable satellite broadband services

  • Trade Setup For Today: 15 Things To Know Before The Opening Bell

  • I made few decisions on the pitch in Australia, but the credit goes to someone else: Ajinkya Rahane

  • Exclusive:

  • बाजार में गिरावट का दौर जारी, Sensex 435 अंक टूटा- Nifty 17900 के नन

  • Sensex 600 अंअं तटूट, जजननएए वजह?

  • Policybazaar Reimbursement of the IPO: कआपोो शमहींल औमलल लौटलौट हींलौट हींलौटतो लौटयहैहै ?? क्यय

  • वेक केददमद ोफडणवीोोज ोो ुपयभोड़ोड़ का ुपयमोडह༼

  • Kafeel Khan: योगी सरकार ने गोरखपुर के BRD कॉलेज के डॉ. More information

  • करंंी पप आगव् ीीीीीीयलीीीीफीफफयलफफटीफफफफटीटफ

  • SBI या Post office? जआपनो हआपहं कवववं करकववग कबबललगबबबबंंंंंंंतंं

  • nykaa IPO:

  • Yes Securities नमजोमजो तीजोंे तीजोंे तीजोंबद ीीमंटंट ीीईईईंगंगंगंगंगंगंगंगंगएए

  • MSCI

  • Kangana Ranaut: जपदनंं कयों कयोंण जौहजौह ोो हीहीही ंगंगंग ौत ौत ौत?

  • E-GCA launch: न्योतयोतरटफॉमय नेंधंधलइ न्ललटफॉटफॉ्म E-GCA कययय कलॉयय कलॉययलॉचचचचचचचच

  • एफडीएे एफडीएलग लगलगझट, ययफममम 4य 4 4 4 4 4 4य 4 4 4 4 4 4यय

  • ोवयययमह महमहमममी महे फैलफैल –

Last name Price Change % changes
Sbi 501.40 -28.20 -5.32
Indiabulls Hsg 183.05 -14.80 -7.48
ntpc 132.50 -4.65 -3.39
Rec 133.75 -5.20 -3.74




Which of these youngsters will score the most runs this ipl?


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Overview of the IPO

Equity Type Issue price Size of the problem Lot size Open issue Closing the issue
Vaidya Sane View profile initial public offering of an SME 73 20.23 1600 10-02 15-02
Equity Issue price Registration date Ad open close ad Listing Earnings % CPM Current Earnings %
quality RO 51 09-02 52.25 53.70 5.29 52.50 2.94
Safa Systems ten 09-02 4:55 p.m. 15.73 57.3 1:50 p.m. 35.00
Adani Wilmar 230 08-02 274.00 265.20 15.3 376.40 63.65
Alkosign 45 01-02 46.40 45.25 0.56 45.25 0.56
Scheme Fund category information Purchase order Opening date Closing Date
No NFO details available.
Equity Type Issue price Size of the problem Lot size Subscription Open issue Closing the issue

RO Quality View Profile

initial public offering of an SME 51 2.7 0 27-01 01-02

Safa Systems See profile

initial public offering of an SME ten 4 0 28-01 01-02

Maruti Interior View profile

initial public offering of an SME 55 11 0 03-02 08-02

Vedant Fashions View profile

Initial Public Offering 824 2996.46 – 3149. 0 2.57 04-02 08-02

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‘Space Force’ Creator Teases New Challenges (and Tim Meadows!) In Season 2


Nearly two years after launch, Space Force returns to orbit for more goofy laughs thanks to four-star General Mark Naird (Steve Carell) and his ragtag crew from the Sixth Branch of the United States Armed Forces.

Four months after ignoring an order to attack the Chinese on the moon, Naird and Co face an investigation into the events of that day.

(Credit: courtesy of Netflix)

The grumpy reunion kicks off with the serious leader offering way too much detail: “I showered and shaved. I had an English muffin with orange marmalade. No wait. We had just run out of marmalade…. He cringes but soon faces more headaches, like Russian hackers, budget cuts, and an unsupportive boss.

This would be the new Secretary of Defense (Tim Meadows), installed after a change of presidential administration. “He’s skeptical of Space Force and likes to jerk off Mark’s chain,” says creator Greg Daniels (Parks and Recreation).

See also’Space Force’ crew faces new challenges in Season 2 trailer (VIDEO)With a new POTUS jeopardizing the fate of Space Force, General Naird must prove the program’s worth.

The general is also struggling with challenges within his own team. His daughter Erin (Diana Silvers) is interning with Space Force, and chief scientist Dr. Adrian Mallory (funny John Malkovich) takes the teen under his wing.

Daniels says the dynamic leads to a “more complicated and competitive friendship” between the two men – and opportunities for slapstick humor. Think: Malkovich stuck between two vending machines!

Space Force, season 2 premiere, Friday, February 18, Netflix

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Region’s support for Yonge North subway extension sells residents as ‘collateral damage’ critics accuse


The region’s approval of the Yonge North subway extension is derailing democracy and ignoring concerns about lasting damage to the community of Royal Orchard, say residents of Thornhill who are campaigning against the road running under their neighborhood.

After more than six hours of discussions and deputations on February 3, York Region Council voted 17-4 in favor of Metrolinx’s current plan and asked the provincial transit agency to consider a compensation package “improved”.

“The only thing we haven’t said is that we’re okay with the roster, but I think Metrolinx has been saying all day that’s the roster going forward, so it’s okay. That’s where we are,” Regional Chairman Wayne said. Emerson.

The decision was met with “disappointment and disgust” by the steering committee of the campaign to keep the Yonge North (YNSE) subway extension on Yonge Street, who say elected officials have dismissed residents’ concerns; delivering them to “collateral damage”.

“By accepting Metrolinx’s alignment at face value, York Region councilors have demonstrated a flagrant disregard for their duty to protect the welfare and interests of the voters who elected them” , said steering committee co-chair Ian Reid.

He added that this goes against Markham and Vaughan Councils’ support for the originally approved alignment which continues straight up Yonge Street versus the new alignment which passes under Royal Orchard.

Reid singled out Markham Mayor Frank Scarpitti in particular for leading the decision to accept Metrolinx’s proposed route despite vowing to support residents’ concerns about “lasting harm to the community of Royal Orchard.”

Scarpitti, who has long championed the subway expansion as the region’s most important project, clarified what Reid sees as a turning point in his political stance, saying he supports the city’s official rejection of the route. from Markham in June because he came with conditions.

“This was not just a rejection of the alignment, but a request for Metrolinx to consider alternative alignments to keep the subway on Yonge as much as possible…to minimize impacts to the existing community and compensate affected property owners. “Scarpiti said. in his remarks, adding that the transit agency did.

He added that there is no greater commitment to a project than to fund it, and that is precisely what the region has done with the 1% tax increase in the December budget towards the the region’s 22% share of the Metro’s $5.6 billion fare.

Markham regional councilors Don Hamilton and Jack Heath – who voted against the motion in regional council with Vaughan member Joe Li and Linda Jackson – said it was a stretch to say the tax levy pledge amounted to an approval of the route and said more discussion was needed. with Metrolinx.

“We need to honor the residents, and the compensation program needs a lot more work,” Heath said, adding that when you invest $1.2 billion, you should have a say down the road.

County of Thornhill Keith Irish is adamant that the Yonge Street alignment is clearly the ‘better way’, just as financially viable and less risky.

Many residents who made deputations at the meeting agreed, citing concerns about vibration and noise, impacts on student learning and mental health.

This included delegates representing 350 residents of the Gazebo condominium on Yonge, who expressed vehement opposition, concerned about the devaluation of their units and, with the Florida condominium collapse last year weighing heavily on their minds, d possible structural damage to the 50 year old building. .

Students at St. Anthony’s Catholic Elementary School and at least 450 residents will see the subway pass beneath them up to 300 times a day and nearly every 90 seconds during rush hour, Reid said, adding that commuters on the metro will travel directly under the CN trucks. freight corridor.

Allowing the project to continue will have significant mental health consequences, resident Dev Chopra said, adding that it is already impacting people’s well-being.

“Do people have to die before we can get Metrolinx’s attention?” he said. “We are not sacrificial lambs for future growth.”

STORY BEHIND THE STORY: Journalist Heidi Riedner has looked at the impact of York Regional Council’s decision to back the Yonge North Underground extension into the Thornhill area which it will tunnel under.

A wave of bankruptcies and foreclosures seems to be developing


Economists and professionals in the corporate restructuring and real estate sector have been anticipating a struggling economy for 18 months. So far they have been wrong.

The public is simply confused. Many people today don’t trust their politicians, their sources of information, and surprisingly not even their health care providers and professionals. This lack of trust, coupled with the pandemic-enforced way many employees are working remotely, has caused many people to reassess their lives and where they are willing to provide their services from.

Many employees in mid- and upper-level jobs will choose to work remotely permanently and never return to the office. This change in the way people will work in the future will have a profound effect on many aspects of our economy, including the ability of landlords to keep commercial space rented.

Factors influencing the current economy

COVID-19, the Delta, Omicron and now the highly contagious BA.2 variants have rendered millions of workers unavailable for work, remote or otherwise. This created a serious disruption in the supply and distribution chain. This problem is partly due to manufacturers being unable to supply components due to work disruptions at factories. Add to this shortage of supply the fact that the disruption of personnel in the transport and delivery of products caused by COVID (i.e. the shortage of truck drivers) and we can clearly see the full picture. supply chain disruption.

The threat of a substantial new round of tariffs, embargoes, and other economic sanctions based on the political climate creates new risks of the United States becoming a struggling economy. In addition, the threat of high inflation is imminent. On the positive side, until recently the stock market and the economy as a whole were generally operating at a solid and positive pace. The stock market doesn’t always accurately represent what’s really going on in the economy, but recent market volatility can be a harbinger of troubled times.

Will the accumulation of these factors ultimately cause the ailing economy predicted? No one knows for sure, but in analyzing the situation, it may be instructive to look at the issues that prevented the expected downturn.

Banks and banking services

Since the start of the pandemic, regulators have not pressured banks to take action on delinquent loans. Historically, banks have been willing to “get off the road” on defaulted loans if they could do so without significantly harming the book value of loans relative to banks’ capital requirements. Current regulatory attitudes have allowed banks to do just that.

Although regulators’ laissez-faire attitude has had a definite positive short-term effect on the economy, at some point regulators know that the effect of their actions will lead to banks having misleading financial statements.

Regulator behavior is unlikely to change before the midterm elections later this year. At some point, however, they will have to stop allowing banks to avoid ranking loans. Otherwise, they risk allowing the banking system to continue to misrepresent the value of its loan assets, with all the risks of this affecting the credibility and stability of the banking system.

My view is that when banking regulators change their stance on their treatment of defaulted loans, an anticipated tsunami of foreclosures and bankruptcies will be upon us..

Additional factors to watch out for

Interest rates have historically had a substantial impact on the economy, particularly on the real estate sector.

The Feds kept interest rates near zero to support the economy. Now, however, the specter of high inflation will almost certainly put an end to near-zero interest rates. Annual inflation in 2022 is expected to be close to 7%. The Fed has already announced its intention to fight inflation by raising interest rates from March. The question is not whether interest rates will rise. It’s more by how much and when.

Rising interest rates hurt individuals in several ways:

  • The most obvious is that they make housing less affordable. As interest rates rise, fewer and fewer people will be eligible to buy their own homes. Current homeowners with variable rate mortgages will also be negatively affected by interest rate increases.
  • Rising interest rates also have a negative impact on corporate profits. This will impact the stock market, and therefore the value of stocks in individual IRAs and 401(k)s.
  • Major changes in the way people work will mean winners and losers. Time will tell how that plays out, but it certainly looks like the economy will be disrupted.

Pressures on businesses are piling up

The re-emergence of COVID in the form of the current variants has all but destroyed society’s timeline for returning to normal. There is no reliable way to predict the effect of this re-emergence on the country’s psyche. However, it is foreseeable that this re-emergence will have a negative impact on the economy and further delay the return to normal.

In fact, it is likely that normalcy as it existed before the pandemic will never fully return. Trends such as the shift of consumers shopping primarily online will have a negative effect on physical retail sales. The need for retail space looks set to continue to decline even more than it has already. This problem has been accelerated by the pandemic.

Shopping center and retail property owners are bracing for the wave of vacancies that is sure to be on the horizon. Individuals would be well advised to assume that inflation and higher interest rates are on the near horizon and should act in any way possible to mitigate the damage from the impending dual threat. It is unclear how federal, state and local governments will react to the situation.

Uncertainty is the enemy of business, and it’s clear that we face uncertain and unpredictable times. The general perception of all this by the public remains to be seen. There is a lot of distrust among the people of our nation. These factors will combine to create a perfect storm for businesses and real estate investors to experience increasingly difficult financial times.

Steps to consider

The best advice we can offer is for entities to deal with their distressed assets early on.

  • For owners, interest rates will almost certainly rise in the near future. If a homeowner can refinance their mortgage to take advantage of today’s low interest rates, this course of action should be considered.
  • For consumers, accelerating the timing of any major purchase will make sense since impending inflation will cause the dollar to be worth less and less and make the effective cost of an item more expensive over time.
  • Individuals should also consider exiting the stock market or minimizing their stock portfolios as soon as possible. Converting stocks to cash is not a good strategy in times when the value of the dollar keeps falling. Conventional wisdom holds that investing in precious metals, such as gold and silver, is a safe haven. So selling stocks and buying gold and silver makes sense.
  • business owners should analyze their business based on the assumption that the near future will bring high inflation, high interest rates and continued supply chain disruption. It is prudent to take steps to restructure the business in a way that mitigates the damage if these future assumptions come to pass.

The general public will be alert to inflation and rising interest rates and react accordingly. The sooner people and businesses accept and respond to these changes, and respond appropriately, the more likely Chapter 11 bankruptcies can be avoided. This not only increases the chances that companies can solve their financial problems without resorting to bankruptcy, but often reduces the need for layoffs.

Founder and Chairman, Distressed Capital Resources LLP

William N. Lobel is the founder and president of Distressed Capital Resources LLCa company that has brought together virtually every resource available to assist borrowers with financially distressed real estate or businesses, with the goal of maximizing a borrower’s leverage and options to successfully resolve financial problems of this borrower.

Borrowers release new album ahead of Winterfest performance | Local News


borrowers album songs.jpeg

The Borrowers’ latest album, Fall Out of the Sky, plunges into emotion and nostalgia. The band itself carries a strong rock influence from the early 2000s, as well as classic rock tendencies.

The Borrowers have been rocking Lake Havasu City with fresh sounds for years, and they’ve just released a brand new set of songs that continue to capture an alternative rock vibe.

“Fall Out of the Sky is a mix of nostalgic sounds and new ideas that resonate on a deep emotional level,” said The Borrowers.

The band – which includes Marin, Jacob Hoffman, Elliot Seidel and Dylan Barnick – bears a strong early 2000s rock influence with classic rock leanings and an influence from Marin’s musical theater.

“Think The Killers meets Journey meets Stephen Sondheim – never getting caught in the imitation trap,” the band said.

The album was released on Friday, ahead of their performance at Winterfest today at 11am.

Fall Out of the Sky was produced, mixed and mastered by Daryl Lamont. Marin wrote the songs, and backup vocals were provided by Grace Arts cast members Erin McIntyre and Alyson Chapin. The album will be shot by a slightly different set which will include Colton Miller on drums, Jeremy Arnold on bass and Brittany Manson on vocals.

The group has formed a strong local following and wants to share its songs with the world.

“I write music I want to hear because we’ve stopped hearing music I loved on the radio and I collaborate with musicians whose talent I respect,” Marin said. “Instead of writing mindless pop songs for quick success, I try to write deep music that connects and heals. No one is perfect and everyone has blocks. I want someone to felt like he wasn’t alone with everything he faced in life.

You can hear the band at Winterfest or on their new album, which is available on all streaming platforms. Their music can also be found on their YouTube channel, and more information about the band and their performances can be found at theborrowersmusic.com.

Los Angeles Native Celebrates Black History Month Aboard USS Dewey > US Department of Defense > Story

Los Angeles Native Celebrates Black History Month Aboard USS Dewey > US Department of Defense > Story

Los Angeles native, Navy Petty Officer 1st Class Trina Gray, is assigned to the Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS Dewey, forward deployed to Fleet Activities Yokosuka, Japan, which is currently conducting operations routine underway in the South China Sea.

Gray has served in the Navy for more than 16 years since arriving in 2005 as a journeyman machinist or auxiliary mechanic. She changed her position to operations specialist in 2009. She is now the chief petty officer of the Operations Intelligence Division aboard the Dewey and is responsible for mentoring and training 29 sailors in their day-to-day duties as operations specialists . They are tasked with defending the ship against air, surface, and subterranean threats, as well as identifying and classifying all surface and subterranean ships.

“His leadership and management skills are top notch,” said Chief Petty Officer Geraldo Anzaldo, chief petty officer of the operations department. “She leads a tight division and excels in developing our future leaders. [Gray] ensures that his team is fully qualified and that maintenance is underway, which improves our combat readiness.”

In addition to Gray’s day-to-day responsibilities as an operations specialist at the Combat Information Center, she has collateral duties that keep her busy. One of these collateral duties is the NCO’s berth, where she is responsible for assigning personnel to ensure that the berth (where many sailors sleep) is clean and that equipment is stowed properly. to maintain order and security. She is also the coordinator of the cultural committee, leading a team of sailors in planning cultural heritage celebrations each month, including Black History Month in February.

“I’ve made celebrating Black History Month a priority for the past few years,” Gray said. “This is an opportunity to share experiences with all of America, or anyone interested. This has been an opportunity for me to learn more about the influences, contributions and history that some black people have brought to America and the world. It’s about giving thanks for those contributions and sacrifices that have been made to make America a better place, even though there’s still work to be done. It’s a celebration of uniqueness, art, history, heritage and culture.

For this month of February, the Dewey’s Cultural Committee is displaying images of influential black service members around the ship with a brief history of their accomplishments to celebrate the impact others have had in the military.

“Our purpose in our research is to enlighten others, and in doing so, we enlighten ourselves,” Gray added. “He shares the belief that even if you are different, even if you are a minority, you can have an impact big enough to impact the future of the military.”

Growing up in South Central Los Angeles, Gray describes it as “rough around the edges” and says she rarely ventures outside the area. She joined the navy to earn money for college, but earned much more than that.

“My favorite part of the Navy is building relationships,” Gray added. “You meet people from all over the world; you learn about their upbringing and experiences. Our different experiences make us a more efficient navy. »

Included in those celebrated during Black History Month that made history, Gray said several of her mentors and friends aboard the Dewey had been hugely positive influences on her – helping her settle in command, providing him with insight and direction, and assisting him with command guarantees .

“I’m inspired by people who give selflessly, continually and don’t ask for anything in return,” Gray said. “I look at these people with awe and curiosity, like, ‘how do you exist in our world?'”

(Petty Officer 1st Class Lewis is with Commander Task Force 71 / Destroyer Squadron 15)

Explained: What the RBI status quo means for equity investors and borrowers


While the Reserve Bank of India emphasized growth and maintained interest rates unchanged, bond yields corrected and equity markets rebounded on Thursday. The 10-year G-Sec yield fell more than 1% to 6.72% – it was down 2.5% or nearly 20 basis points over three days – and the benchmark Sensex closed at 58,926, a gain of 460 points or 0.8%.

Why didn’t RBI raise its rates?

The Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) has deemed that continued policy support – meaning status quo on interest rates and accommodative policy – ​​is warranted for a sustained and broad-based recovery. He considered inflation and growth prospects, as well as uncertainties related to Omicron and the global fallout.

Retail price inflation for the next fiscal year (FY23) is projected at 4.5%, which is lower than previous projections. The panel said inflation is expected to moderate in the first half of 2022-2023 and move closer to the target rate thereafter, leaving room to remain accommodative.

Big borrowing in the FY23 market may also have caused RBI to delay a normalization of liquidity – an attempt to keep the cost of borrowing under control, an analyst said.

What does the status quo mean for the economy?

The market feared that rising inflation would cause the RBI to become hawkish and even take steps to withdraw liquidity from the economy. Leaving the Repo rate – at which RBI lends to commercial banks – and the reverse repo rate – at which RBI borrows from commercial banks, unchanged indicates that low interest rates will continue for the time being.

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The policy statement came as a surprise and relieved the markets. While the policy is in line with the government’s push for capital investment this year, it may also support corporate borrowing – in this sense, continued low interest rates bode well for consumer demand. and investments in the economy.

“Contrary to market expectations, RBI maintained its status quo on rates and its accommodative policy. This will accelerate the growth momentum of the economy,” said Rajiv Sabharwal, Managing Director and CEO of Tata Capital Ltd.

Economists said a key reason the RBI has kept the key interest rate at historic lows for longer is to spur a more sustainable rebound in private consumption.

“It is believed that as a strong rabi harvest boosts food supplies in April-June and supply disruptions resulting from the third wave of the pandemic ease, CPI inflation will moderate, allowing policy rates to stay lower for longer than in the developed world. This will boost equity valuations and help spur a broad-based recovery in consumption and investment,” said Prasenjit K Basu, Chief Economist, ICICI Securities.

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And what does this mean for borrowers and savers?

Borrowers, especially home buyers, will benefit as lending rates are unlikely to rise in the near future. “One of the big factors motivating people to buy a home is record low mortgage rates. With the policy rate unchanged, lenders will continue to maintain the prevailing low interest rate on home loans,” said Samantak Das, Chief Economist and Head of Research and REIS at JLL India.

The total home loan outstanding was Rs 14.90 lakh crore in November 2021, and the personal loan outstanding was Rs 29.85 lakh crore. While the RBI reduced the repo rate to 4.0% in February 2020 and the reverse repo rate to 3.35%, banks have significantly reduced their interest rates (both on deposits and loans).

Savers and depositors, meanwhile, will see their interest income unchanged. Given inflation of 5.59% in December, depositors are recording a nominal loss on one-year term deposits. The State Bank of India offers 5.10% interest on one-year term deposits.

What about debt and equity investors?

Although RBI has not followed global central banks in tightening interest rates, the market is pricing in a rate hike later this calendar year. Experts say debt investors should ideally keep their funds liquid and deploy them over the next year as interest rates rise.

“Investors looking to allocate to debt strategies are advised to look at fund segments with lower duration profiles and use target maturity strategies to lock in progressively higher rates over the 6 next 12 months,” Axis MF said in a note.

Fund managers also believe bond yields can remain volatile and investors should be vigilant. “Continued volatility in market rates remains the base case as there does not appear to be a clear fundamental reason to validate lower rates, other than continued dovishness and the absence of preemptive actions. policy normalization from the central bank,” said Rajeev Radhakrishnan, CIO-Fixed Income, SBI. Mutual fund.

As for equity investors, the continued low interest rates and dovish monetary policy stance means equity valuations will rise further for now. RBI’s focus on growth is likely to push stock markets higher.

Challenges will come, however, from rising global interest rates and outflows from Indian equities.

Your pandemic-related purchases from Klarna could end up on your credit report


Shao Hung Chen, 23, has sworn Klarna for good after he “unwittingly” dipped into his inheritance to pay late fees on an expensive mattress. He told Morning Brew that a few months into his 18-month finance plan, Klarna mistakenly charged him a late fee, driving up his monthly bill.

Frustrated by what he called “this mess”, he wrote in a post on the r/Klarna subreddit that he feared the buy now, pay later (BNPL) service would lead to collections. Instead of facing this grim possibility, he took money from his inheritance and paid the bill in full, relieved that he had “not taken credit yet”.

“I don’t do business with people who waste my money,” he told Morning Brew.

Chen’s experience with Klarna isn’t particularly unusual – r/Klarna is full of messages from confused and irritated users. BNPL’s services are largely unregulated, leaving consumers like Chen in the dark about what, if any, protection they have. This confusion became even more apparent when Klarna and its competitors, Afterpay and Affirm, exploded during the pandemic.

In 2020, Gen Z and Millennials purchased around $19 billion worth of products using BNPL, according to estimates by US credit rating agency Fitch Ratings. It was during the height of the Covid lockdowns, when Americans were buying home gym equipment and home goods, seemingly unwilling to charge a credit card for those purchases. That $19 billion represented impressive growth for BNPL, doubling 2019 figures. Fitch Ratings denounced the market’s “opaque reporting and loose regulations” in a July 2021 report.

The silver lining of Chen’s experience at Klarna is that it didn’t end up affecting his credit score, but if his account had late payments at the end of February, when new changes to BNPL services take effect, his credit score could have plunged. . Currently, what BNPL companies report to the credit bureaus differs from company to company; some disclose overdue payments to bureaus, which are reflected in credit reports, and some report absolutely nothing. Klarna said in an email to Morning Brew that it never reported anything to the three major US credit bureaus: Experian, Equifax and TransUnion.

Credit bureaus want to change that.

Once those millions of BNPL transactions start showing up on credit reports, individuals’ scores could drop if those doses of retail therapy are paid late or not paid in full. On the other hand, since many BNPL users are younger, so are their credit histories: in cases where buyers regularly pay their BNPL bills on time, this will serve to prove to the credit bureaus that one can trust them to pay. debt and will help raise their scores.

It’s not just credit bureaus that have taken notice of the BNPL industry – the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) is also paying attention to it for two reasons. First, the CFPB is concerned that BNPL companies collect data on their customers’ spending habits and fail to disclose certain fees and handle customer disputes satisfactorily. Second, they fear that consumers will take on more debt than they anticipated. BNPL apps are easy to use and attractively marketed – like Afterpay’s clean mint green and Klarna’s “pink and energetic” branding – it’s no surprise that BNPL services have found their way to websites from Nike and Urban Outfitters to even smaller Instagram stores. Additionally, with certain promotions, shoppers can get gift cards from places like Sephora or Amazon if they pay with Klarna.

Consumers can turn to Afterpay if they want to order multiple sizes of an item of clothing at once to find the right fit for dresses from Anthropologie or leggings from Fabletics. That’s what Ashley Reese, a 31-year-old Netflix writer, found herself doing when she splurged on Big Bud Press, which charges nearly $200 apiece for its trendy jumpsuits. Anything over $75 gets her thinking, “Why not just pay in segments?”

Reese told Morning Brew that since a major pay rise took effect, she’s confident she won’t be turning to Afterpay as often. She said before the pay rise she wasn’t racking up more debt than she could pay off, but conceded that “it’s getting really easy to justify yourself”.

She is currently trying to wean herself off the BNPL pathway. “I’ve been in situations where I’ve been like, ‘Wait, why do I have so much bullshit on Afterpay?’ And I’m stressed about it.

According to a November NerdWallet survey, 35% of BNPL users said they use these services as Reese did – “to spread costs over a longer period of time,” according to survey responses. NerdWallet pointed out that “some borrowers are not fully aware of the dangers of BNPL,” considering that 26% of survey respondents said they had tried BNPL to help them build their credit. (This survey predates any announcement that the credit bureaus expect more reports in this area in 2022 and beyond.)

There is also the fact that BNPL companies are likely to make money from late fees. Although Affirm says it has never collected late fees of any kind, late fees at Afterpay reached approximately $87 million in fiscal 2021, compared to $69 million in 2020. and $46 million in 2019.

Although plans for greater accountability of BNPL services are underway, there can be no assurance that the CFPB will take immediate action. March 1 is the deadline the CFPB has given companies to respond to specific questions it posed to understand how consumers are using these services: Do consumers use BNPL only for clothing and mattresses, or do they also use for pet care and insurance? The agency also wants to know the late fees and the number of buyers who actually pay their balance. Laura Udis, program manager at the CFPB, told Morning Brew that all the agency has promised so far is to release a report containing the findings of the investigation into the five BNPL operators.

Until then, it’s buyer beware.

Winston-Salem Area Begins 2022 With Slight Increase in Foreclosure Filings | Local


Until recently, most of the foreclosures that took place in 2020 and 2021 were of vacant and abandoned properties.

For the 10-county Charlotte-Concord-Gastonia metro, there were 147 filings in January, compared to 115 in December and 54 in January 2021.

For the four-county Durham-Chapel Hill metro, there were 25 depots in January, compared to 17 in December and eight in January 2021.

For the three-county Raleigh-Cary Metro, there were 27 filings in January, compared to 37 in December and 28 in January 2021.

“The increased level of foreclosure activity in January was no surprise,” said Rick Sharga, executive vice president of RealtyTrac, an Attom company.

“Foreclosures typically slow down during the holidays in November and December and pick up after the first of the year.

“This year the increases were probably a bit more dramatic than usual as the foreclosure restrictions placed on mortgage servicers by the CFPB expired at the end of December.

Sharga said foreclosure completions “are still well below normal levels – less than half the number in January 2020 before the pandemic was declared, and about 60% below the number of foreclosure completions in 2019. “.

Nigeria: Bishops alarmed by frequent government borrowing


Owerri – The Catholic Bishops of the Ecclesiastical Province of Owerri in their first plenary session of 2022 expressed concern over the frequency of borrowing by federal and state governments to fund budget deficits.

The statement signed by the President, Reverend Anthony JV Obinna and the Secretary, Reverend Augustine N. Echema said that although the government needs loans, there should be transparency on the use of the loans.

“At last count, the Nigeria Bureau of Statistics reported that Nigeria is currently in debt to the tune of N32 trillion. that every responsible Nigerian government must exercise caution in borrowing and managing these loans, so as not to mortgage the future of the nation since, overall, the loans need to be repaid.”

The Bishops also noted that the difficult economic conditions facing the country and the continuous sit-at-home order carried out every Monday in Igboland continue to have a devastating effect on the economic and social life of the people and to harm to his livelihood.

“For quite some time now, people in southeastern Nigeria have been forced to stay at home on frequent occasions. The situation has become so confusing because some of these orders and counter orders are now issued and enforced by criminal elements,” the bishops said, noting how the order has continually affected education in the region.

“Children are out of school and learning takes place in a climate of fear and uncertainty. This status quo cannot continue. We call on the government to fulfill its constitutional duty to protect lives and property and to open avenues of dialogue with agitators. We also call on all those who issue orders indiscriminately, to respect the basic human rights of those they seek to protect and for whom they fight,” the Bishops said.

The clerics also lamented that for so long the problems facing the country have remained intractable and the solutions far-fetched.

“Today in Nigeria we are witnessing terrible darkness in the form of unreasonable hatred, wickedness, brutality and bloodshed. With the collapse and failure of governance that result across the country, various militant groups, terrorists and bandits have emerged, creating a state of anxiety and anarchy, all over the nation,” they said while suggesting solutions to the violence before the start. of the next elections.

NFL culture never reformed after rice scandal, women say


Goodell sensed the gravity of the situation, she thought, when he met with about 50 women who worked at NFL headquarters, mostly to refute reports that the league had seen the video beforehand and didn’t had not acted accordingly. According to Locklear, Goodell reiterated his commitment to addressing domestic violence, but offered a few specific measures because, he said, the league was still working on solutions.

“I remember going out there and thinking nothing had changed,” Locklear said. “There was no takeout.”

Managers were asked to speak to their staff about the league’s response to Rice’s video without, Locklear said, any instructions. When Locklear met with her team, a rift developed between her and a male subordinate who she believes contributed to her eventual departure, although the NFL and the male employee disputed her account.

Locklear said that during the meeting, male employee Aaron Jones, who worked in the Culver City, Calif., office, argued that Rice’s fiancée shared the guilt in encouraging Rice. Jones replayed the video to the group, Locklear said, pointing out key moments he said supported his claim. The other men on the call, Locklear said, seemed to agree with Jones. Locklear was speechless and the meeting ended uncomfortably.

Even before that meeting, Locklear said, she had had issues with Jones’ job, and later canceled her annual bonus, although the league said personnel records did not confirm this. Jones was promoted in 2017 to director of marketing science and strategy, a position he still holds.

Senators investigate JPMorgan ‘robo-signing’ claims in debt collection


Diving brief:

  • Six Democrats on the Senate Banking Committee sent a letter to JPMorgan Chase on Monday, asking for information on recent reports that the bank has resumed “robotic signing” of legal documents to speed up the review process for credit card debt collection lawsuits.
  • The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) issued a consent order in 2015, banning Chase from signing legal documents by robots. But after the consent order expired in 2020, the bank resumed filing a series of lawsuits against credit card customers who were in arrears, ProPublica and the Capitol Forum reported last month.
  • Chase stopped pursuing such lawsuits in 2011, after regulators said the bank was filing tens of thousands of them — sometimes exaggerating what was owed — along with short affidavits from bank employees rather than billing records from bankers. customers, according to the report.

Overview of the dive:

JPMorgan on Monday refuted claims that robot– signing of documents. Such allegations are “just wrong”, Tom Kelly, a spokesman for the bank, told Bloomberg Monday. Trained employees review each affidavit before it is filed in court, and the bank is complying with all ongoing requirements from regulators, he said.

However, six Democrats on the Senate Banking Committee wrote to the bank’s CEO, Jamie Dimon, on Monday asking Chase to “provide detailed information” regarding its credit card debt collection practices.

“The potential recovery of [robo-signing] could affect tens of millions of American families who rely on Chase for financial services,” Sens. Sherrod Brown of Ohio, Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts, Tina Smith of Minnesota, Robert Mendez of New Jersey, Chris Van Hollen of Maryland and Raphael Warnock from Georgia wrote.

the CFPB estimated that Chase erred in about 9% of the cases it won, with judgments that “contain erroneous amounts greater than consumers legally owe”.

The senators cited that history of errors in their request Monday.

“Not only does this practice result in wage garnishment and the direct debiting of money from customer accounts for unwarranted debts, but these collections negatively impact consumers’ credit scores through credit reports. , making it harder for these consumers to get jobs, housing and affordable credit — all because of Chase’s mistakes,” the senators wrote.

Specifically, the senators asked how many Chase employees reviewed customer records in debt collection lawsuits and how many lawsuits the bank filed against credit card customers in 2019, 2020 and 2021.

Following the 2008 financial crisis, Chase and a number of other banks reportedly engaged in robotic signing to speed up foreclosure procedures.

In 2013, the bank was one of 13 financial institutions — including Bank of America, Wells Fargo and Citi — that were censured by federal regulators for allegedly signing erroneous input documents by robots.

The banks collectively paid $3.6 billion to 3.8 million borrowers and $5.7 billion in landlord assistance to settle the case. Chase had to pay $753 million into a fund for borrowers and $1.2 billion in other aid, MarketWatch reported.

The Office of the Comptroller of the Currency in 2016 fined Chase $48 million for failing to comply with the terms of this mortgage service regulation, Reuters reported.

The 2015 CFPB Consent Order required Chase to disclose “relevant information and documents maintained by [the bank] to support their claims” in cases where customers have failed to respond to legal action.

This provision expired in early 2020 and the bank took over regulators of the “affidavit signing assembly line” uncovered ten years ago, ProPublica reported.

Instead of providing a customer’s complete file, Chase typically submits copies “of a few credit card statements along with a two-page affidavit certifying that the bank’s file was accurate and complete,” the publication reported.

The senators, in Monday’s letter, defined robot-signing as “the practice where important documents are reviewed and signed by persons with little or no knowledge of the matter and proper procedures are not followed”.

Global Tax Alert: New HMRC Crypto Guidance “Decentralized Finance: Lending and Staking”


HMRC has expanded its in-house crypto-asset handbook released in March last year to include guidance on “decentralized finance” (or DeFi) as well as various real-world examples.

The guidelines explain that DeFi is an umbrella term covering products similar to traditional financial services via distributed ledger technology and analyze the form of transactions and the tax treatment of the parties to them, namely the “borrower”, the “liquidity provider” and the DeFi lending platform. The new guidelines apply to two types of transactions:

  • one person (lender) transfers control of tokens to another person (borrower). At the time this transfer takes place, the lender acquires the right to require the borrower to transfer to the lender control of an equivalent amount of tokens at some point in the future to satisfy the loan.
  • a person (liquidity provider) transfers control of tokens to a DeFi lending platform. (staking or providing liquidity). At the time the transfer takes place, the DeFi lending platform transfers control of one or more different tokens to the liquidity provider.

While the guidelines seek to analyze transactions and their tax treatment with reference to familiar (albeit sometimes uncertain) tax treatment, there has been some backlash within the crypto community expressing dismay at certain aspects of the guidelines. , including the implication that returns will have to make in respect of capital gains (including, potentially, in relation to past transactions) due to HMRC’s view that tokens are assets for purposes capital gains and DeFi activity involving, in some cases, the transfer of beneficial ownership of tokens.

Noting that token lending/staking via DeFi is an ever-evolving field, the new guidelines define the following five common lending types:

  • The lender provides tokens directly to the borrower
  • Lending provider provides liquidity to DeFi lending platform: Liquidity provider does not receive tokens from DeFi lending platform
  • The liquidity provider provides liquidity to the DeFi lending platform. The liquidity provider receives tokens from the DeFi lending platform at a fixed ratio for each token lent
  • The liquidity provider provides liquidity to the DeFi lending platform. The liquidity provider receives tokens from the DeFi lending platform to represent its share in the liquidity pool
  • The liquidity provider provides liquidity to the DeFi lending platform. The liquidity provider receives a non-fungible token from the DeFi lending platform that records the terms of the loan

Income or capital receipt

The guidance explains that the taxation of the return of the lender or liquidity provider will depend on its nature of capital (for example, in the case of disposal of a fixed asset) or income (for example, derived from a service) which can will depend on how the transaction is structured.

To determine whether a receipt is income or capital in nature, HMRC refers to familiar factors such as whether a return is fixed or known, whether there is an asset disposal and whether there is a recurring payment or punctual. In some cases, a lender/liquidity provider will not be rewarded by the borrower/DeFi platform for providing their services, but rather seek to profit from their activities through growth in the value of a capital.

No interest and no loan relationship

As stated elsewhere in the existing guidelines, HMRC does not consider exchange tokens to be currency or cash, which means that:

  • although a return in the nature of income from a DeFi loan may be analogous to interest, it is not actually interest and the legal provisions applicable to interest will not apply to it. (see CRYPTO61214/61110); and
  • HMRC does not expect the lending/staking of tokens by a company to constitute a lending relationship. (see CRYPTO41100).

Income tax/corporate income tax

The guidelines express the view that a lender/liquidity provider’s return on DeFi loans could be taxed as profits from a transaction, but this is likely only to be the case in exceptional circumstances (see CRYPTO20250) and that in checking whether a transaction exists, HMRC would consider factors similar to those it applies to transactions in shares, securities and other financial products (see BIM568000). Some examples are: the accuracy with which the activity is carried on and whether it is carried out in a commercial manner, the money-making strategy and any business plan, the acumen and experience of the taxpayer, the number and frequency of transactions and the record keeping.

If there is no crypto trading or the assets are held as investments outside of any trading, HMRC is of the view that income from DeFi lending or holding would be taxable as a result. under the miscellaneous income provisions of part 5 ITTOIA 2005 / section 979 CTA 2009 (the ‘sweep’ provision charge). HMRC’s view of the case law relating to these provisions is that a reward would be payable under them”if it has the character of income and results from an agreement between the two parties according to which the beneficiary will remunerate the service provider for his services, for example if there is consideration. It doesn’t matter that a formal written contract does not exist.” (see CRYPTO61212).

It does not matter if the amount to be paid by the borrower/DeFi lending platform is unknown, for example because the rate of return fluctuates or the borrowing term is indefinite. The amount to be charged against income tax would be the cash value of the receipt, which is the sterling value of the tokens received by the lender.

Capital gains tax/corporation tax on taxable gains

HMRC considers that there will be an assignment for appreciation purposes if the lender/liquidity provider effectively transfers its beneficial ownership of the tokens to the borrower/DeFi lending platform. Whether there has been a transfer of a beneficial interest should be determined by analyzing the contract and other circumstances, for example the ability of the recipient to freely manage the tokens is a key factor (see CRYPTO61620).

The legal disregard of what would otherwise be a disposal/acquisition for capital gains purposes for repurchase agreements and stock lending (Sections 263A and 263B TCGA 1992) is not reflected for crypto-assets and HMRC points out in its guidance that the existing provisions will generally not apply as tokens generally do not meet the definition of “securities” in these sections (see CRYPTO61610).

The guidelines go on to discuss and provide concrete examples of the calculation of capital gains that would arise in scenarios with different types of consideration for the disposal – deferred consideration, ascertainable or indeterminable consideration, as well as illustrating the exclusion of amounts charged to tax. as income.

The advice also covers the position of the borrower; the cost of acquiring a borrower will be equal to the value of his obligation to transfer a quantity of tokens to the lender in the future. (see CRYPTO61630). The borrower will make an assignment when it has satisfied the loan (assuming this involves a transfer of beneficial ownership).

The guidance also notes that capital gains disposals could be triggered by:

  • posting of collateral by a buyer if the DeFi lending platform acquires beneficial ownership of the tokens;
  • the borrower satisfies the loan by transferring beneficial ownership of the tokens to the lender; and
  • the liquidity provider withdrawing its staked tokens from a DeFi platform’s liquidity pool.

Of course, not all disposals will trigger a taxable capital gain (especially given the exclusion of amounts charged to income tax) but a calculation will be necessary.

Take away key

The new HMRC guidance raises several questions due to the inconsistency with the approach taken by other authorities and regulators. Taxpayers are urged to consider the potential impact of these new guidelines on their investments, particularly with respect to reporting requirements and tax compliance obligations.

Advenir and Oakley Group announce a partnership to develop a portfolio of single-family rental residences


AVENTURA, Florida–(BUSINESS WIRE)–to happen– a vertically integrated Miami-based multi-family investor, developer and operator – has partnered with Oakley Group – a Birmingham-based multi-family property investor and developer – to develop, acquire and operate a single-family rental portfolio (“SFR” ) / Built-for-Rent Properties (“BFR”). jobs, positive immigration, low taxation, an expensive housing market and local desirability.

Major foreclosures due to the Great Financial Crisis of 2007/2008 led to the emergence of a new sector: single-family homes for rent (SFR). Financial investors have had significant success acquiring, renovating and renting homes that have been subject to foreclosure and learning that there is healthy demand for the asset class. As a result, developers began exploring the operational efficiencies of building purpose-built communities with Homes for Rent (BFRs) and found great success in rentals and operations in the Southwestern United States. United. Future Oakley Capital seeks to capitalize on this emerging trend by both acquiring and developing these assets in the Southeast and Midwest.

Currently, there is an intergenerational demand for a home of one’s own. Millennials experienced stagnant real wage growth and stayed away as real house price appreciation continued. As this generation ages, the desire for a home and private space becomes increasingly important to them, but the lack of affordability of owning a home prevents homeownership. On the other end of the spectrum, empty nests and baby boomers have accumulated significant equity in their homes. Many would like to downsize, take advantage of a strong sales market, find a more efficient turnkey product, but would prefer not to move to a traditional apartment community. Advenir Oakley Capital aims to fill that missing middle ground that allows individuals to live in their own home, in a safe, well-planned community, without the hassle and expense of buying a property.

Future Oakley Capital was able to capitalize on this exciting new industry by acquiring LEO at The Sanctuary, a 208-unit community in Savannah, GA, and LEO at Augusta Commons, a 207-unit community in North Augusta, SC, in the fourth quarter. of 2021. In addition, Advenir Oakley Capital has a pipeline of approximately 3,200 units in various stages of pre-development and development across 10 different properties.

Focused on building world-class development and operations teams, Advenir Oakley Capital intends to grow its business by adhering to the same principles that have blessed both companies thus far: a sought-after product and service. outstanding customer. Striving to become a major player in the BFR sector, Advenir Oakley Capital looks forward to partnering with future investors, developers and municipalities to achieve its goal of 8,000 units by 2025.

living future

Founded in 1996, Advenir Living has historically owned over 25,000 units with an asset value of $4.2 billion. Currently, Advenir Living’s portfolio is comprised of 43 properties, over 14,000 units, and has an asset value of $2.5 billion valuation, $1 billion associated with equity under management. With five regional offices, 49 corporate employees and 317 on-site employees, Advenir Living intends to further expand its footprint in the real estate sector. www.advenirliving.com

Oakley Group

With a historic asset value of $300 million, Oakley Group is no stranger to the industry. Founded in 2007, Oakley Group has developed and owned 3,626 units in its existence, with 20 properties, 2,232 units, making up its current portfolio. www.oakleygroup.com

“The virus has hampered cancer screening. Great damage”


“We have taken a big step backwards in the early diagnosis of cancers, particularly of the breast, uterus and colorectal. With the onset of the pandemic two years ago, all cancer screenings were effectively cancelled. All medical resources have been directed to Covid care. It was no longer possible to carry out preventive tests”. The collateral damage caused by the virus in the words of Paolo Veronesi, 60, an oncologist like his father Umberto who made a change in the fight against cancer: to be confronted with the weapons of clinical practice and the humanity of those who heal who, with this infallible method, he nurtures the patient’s self-confidence. For Veronesi, there is university teaching and above all the activity and role at the European Institute of Oncology (IEO), where he leads the breast care program. You have just traced the new horizons of the fight against disease in the book “Victoire sur le cancer. On the women’s side: all the treatments to overcome breast cancer”, published by Sonzogno. Next Thursday he will be the guest of “Monitor” live at 9 p.m. on Videolina. At the center of the episode, edited and directed by Simona De Francisci, is the theme of the inequalities triggered by the Covid which has caused so many “collateral victims”.

What happened after the terrible phase of total cancellation of screenings?

“In 2020, the projections took place in spurts. People were afraid. There was still no vaccine and hospitals were considered places of possible contagion. The women skipped a year of preventive exams. In 2020, no one had an ultrasound. In 2021, with vaccinations, hospitals have become safer spaces. Now we are trying to recover”.

What are the consequences?

“Today we see tumors on average in a more advanced state than we used to see in 2019. Before the virus, early diagnosis had improved. We had reached 60% adhesions with screening mammography. We are now below 50%. We have lost thousands of cases diagnosed early. These data do not tell us that there are no tumors, but that many cases will be diagnosed at a more advanced stage, with less chance of cure and requiring more invasive surgical and medical treatments”.

What other “collateral damage” has the Covid caused?

“In 2021, we had problems related to operating theaters and the management of surgical cases. Last year, 400,000 surgeries were missed in Italy due to the virus, although in the field of oncology we tried to save the interventions in which it was necessary to intervene quickly to avoid aggravation of the clinical picture. To this must be added the fact that intensive care is still, for the most part, occupied by Covid patients, the clear majority of whom do not have vax, to understand how far the situation is still very far from normal ”.

Can we make up for lost time?

“Now we are trying to catch up. Resources have arrived, more will be available in the coming months. It is clear that this will take time. The important thing is that confident people return to prevention. Breast cancer, the most common in Italy with 55,000 new cases per year, thanks to early diagnosis, becomes an enemy that can be overcome. In this way, the chances of success increase considerably”.

What does it mean to believe in prevention?

“It is important that people have confidence and do the screening spontaneously without waiting for an invitation from the health services. I observe the specific field of my activity, but the appeal concerns all oncological pathologies: All women, even the youngest, must not neglect prevention. Prevention can make the difference. We now have the opportunity to fight cancer effectively. For cases diagnosed by preclinical mammography and ultrasound, there is an excellent chance of recovery. It is very important to perform the fecal occult blood test. Everyone after the age of 50 should receive an invitation to do this very simple examination at the pharmacy”.

Is there a risk that two years of health emergency will alter the progress that oncology has made in recent decades?

“We are backing down in prevention but, fortunately, oncological and biomedical research into new therapies has not stopped. Last fall, at the congress of the European Society for Medical Oncology, studies and research were presented that cause us to be optimistic. They show the effectiveness of innovative drugs in patients with advanced breast cancer. The research of these two years has produced interesting results not only for the treatment of breast tumors. We are in a period of great revolution on the research front. We see the possibility of curing cancers at an advanced stage, situations which previously did not give much hope. I think that in the next few years it will be possible to see even more interesting results”.

Umberto Veronesi, his father.

“A great teacher, we worked together for thirty years, side by side, until he stopped working a few months before leaving us. Until the age of 90, he never stopped a day. The lesson he left me? Beyond the technique, the surgery and the diagnosis of breast cancer, it taught me to have a good relationship with patients. They loved it. He created with them a relationship of true friendship, esteem, respect and great trust. I try to put his ideas and values ​​into practice. The patient’s trust in the doctor is the prerequisite for recovery. If a patient trusts the doctor, she gets better treatment, follows the instructions, does not seek alternative therapies which can be, as we have seen in the recent past, very dangerous”.

Trust is a recurring word in this interview.

“You have to have faith in medicine and science. It is necessary to contact the doctor immediately, at the first symptom, and it is necessary to refer to the centers of excellence for the diagnosis and treatment of cancer: the so-called “breast units” are active in all regions, certified by our health and recognized by the Ministry of Health”.

Massimiliano Rais

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Worcester anti-lockdown advocates: Moratorium debate missed the mark


WORCESTER – The City Council’s three-week discussion around the possibility of a moratorium on local evictions and foreclosures to keep more people in their homes as the omicron variant of the COVID-19 virus tore through the region has finally done his way through the subcommittee last week.

What began as a simple request for the city manager to consider implementing the moratorium quickly became a question of the financial implications of such a measure on the livelihoods of landlords.

Landlords and a few councilors argued that a moratorium on evictions/foreclosures could have unintended consequences and said that ultimately if a landlord cannot pay their bills because they have no paying tenants, he will lose his property, and those tenants will be evicted anyway.

Several owners who spoke at the debate said they, too, were struggling. They said they relied on rent to pay their bills and maintain the homes they rented, and said many of them ran very small businesses.

Instead, landlords have been pushing the city and local agencies to do a better job connecting vulnerable tenants to the rental and mortgage assistance that has flooded into the city since the pandemic began.

As judgments, legal opinions, public statements, amendments and discussions were completed, a watered down order to have a broader discussion of “all legal and financial resources available to protect tenants, landlords facing the eviction and foreclosure, recommendations to support landlords through mortgage, renovation and rent arrears resources, including a discussion of how the city can increase housing affordability for those living and work in the city” was referred to the council’s economic development committee on Tuesday, along with two other items related to rental and mortgage assistance.

“Heartbreaking” discussion

Reached on Friday, Grace Ross, founder of the Worcester Anti-Foreclosure Team, which advocated for the moratorium, said the way the discussion spun out of control was heartbreaking. He missed the point, she said.

Ross, who said WAFT has several owners among its members, said the moratorium was a sensible way to apply what has been learned about how the pandemic works and to use a moratorium to simply allow more people to stay at home, where they would be less likely to catch or transmit the virus.

Like washing hands and wearing masks, staying home has been shown to impact transmission, Ross said. But the debate over three council meetings quickly turned into something else.

“The conversation just got moved by the owners – not all of them – freaking out at the city council, making it us against them,” Ross said.

Ross said part of the Anti-Foreclosure Team’s proposal was to have a moratorium that would stop evictions in the city unless a tenant does something that puts others at risk.

The two main areas of evictions that would be covered would be those for non-payment of rent and evictions “without cause”. Instead, Ross said, the conversation immediately turned to getting rent assistance for those in arrears.

Ross said while neither evictions nor foreclosures are through the roof right now in Worcester, there are signs a wave is coming, and she said it’s already starting. She said federal assistance during the pandemic has slowed foreclosure and eviction rates, and courts have become clogged with cases that still haven’t been fully processed.

But, she said, a disturbing set of data shows that in Massachusetts right now, there are 134,000 households somewhere in the foreclosure pipeline — whether it’s a mortgage default or final stages before the auction. She said the current economy is terrible for many people, which could make the crisis worse.

“That’s a very high number of people anywhere in the pipeline at any given time,” Ross said. “How is this going to unfold? Nobody knows. »

Tenants often unaware of their rights

Ross also said that one of the reasons WAFT pushed for a moratorium was that people facing foreclosure, intimidated by the legal process and unaware of their rights, often decide to forgo the process altogether. And she said that in eviction cases, 75% of defendants in housing court eviction cases do not have a lawyer, while only 25% of plaintiffs do not have a lawyer.

Ross said with foreclosures, nearly 100% of people have no representation, while nearly all banks and third-party plaintiffs have attorneys.

“People are afraid to step out of their homes while they still have legal rights,” Ross said. “And when the issue is transmission (COVID-19), we want everyone to have one message that says, ‘Stay put’.”

Sherry Stanley is a member of the Worcester Anti-Foreclosure Team and is in the midst of a five-year foreclosure battle. The single mother of five said her Worcester home was foreclosed due to divorce in 2017, and she has been battling ever since.

Stanley said that during the pandemic, despite an open case in Housing Court, the bank unknowingly sold his house to a third-party buyer.

Stanley said she was surprised and disappointed with how the council discussion went. She said at this stage of the pandemic it shouldn’t be about money, but rather about health and safety and stopping the spread of the virus. Keeping people at home should be part of that strategy, she said.

Stanley said people are facing seizure because of real issues they are falling into, and she said a lot of people are having a terrible time right now. Combine that with rapidly rising gas, oil and food prices, and people are left trying to get by, she said.

Ross said the council ended up taking the advice of city attorney Michael Traynor, who said he was of the view that evictions and foreclosures were a matter of state law, not of local control. She challenged that notion and said there is recent case law and action that supports the idea that a municipality can essentially turn someone’s home into a hospital for quarantine purposes.

But in a broader sense, the board avoided taking a moral view of the issue, Ross said. She said a woman from the national network that WAFT works with lost five family members to COVID-19. She said she thought of the woman when a lawyer representing the owners at the council debate explained how devastating the pandemic had been for them.

“They don’t know what devastation is,” Ross said. “There are people in this pandemic who know what real devastation is.”

Contact Steven H. Foskett Jr. at [email protected] Follow him on Twitter @SteveFoskettTG

7 Best Auto Refinance Companies of February 2022 | Personal finance


Auto Refinance Company FAQs

How to refinance a car

To refinance a car loan, gather all the necessary documents. Next, assess your credit profile, car information to determine if refinancing is beneficial and if you qualify. Lenders will post their requirements online and some will even allow you to pre-qualify.

Before you begin the application process, shop around and compare offers from different lenders. When you choose the best, submit an official application and wait for the official offer from the lender. If accepted, you can finalize the document, settle the previous loan, and begin your loan repayments with the new lender.

When can I refinance my car?

You should refinance a car loan if it saves you money, if you have a good credit rating, or if your rating has improved. Refinancing your car loan with better credit can get you better interest rates and help you negotiate a shorter loan term.

You should not consider refinancing your car loan if you are financially stressed or if your loan value is underwater, which means the loan value is greater than the value of your car. This type of loan will impact your loan to value ratio and significantly reduce the chances of qualifying for favorable loan terms for a refinance.

Council plans to borrow $7.5 million to save on pensions |


Borrowing $7.5 million short-term could save the city of Meadville about $910,000 in retirement costs over the next 12 years, the city’s bond consultant told city council on Wednesday.

The city’s unfunded pension liability is 7.5% a year, according to John McShane, chief executive of Pittsburgh-based Boenning & Scattergood Inc., the law firm that handles bond underwriting for the city.

The $7.5 million bond issue would allow the city to fully fund its pension liabilities, eliminating the more than $1.1 million in pension contributions it currently pays, according to McShane. Instead, the city would make payments on the bonds. But since current interest rates are so low, the city would likely pay less than 2.5% interest on the bonds. McShane noted that these rates are subject to change and that changes in the market could also affect its investments in retirement plans, possibly even requiring additional payments to the pension fund.

Acting Chief Financial Officer Tim Groves noted that all investments carry risk as he recommended the board go ahead with the borrowing plan.

“There’s not a big downside at all,” Groves said. “If we were afraid of losing money, we should never pay into another pension fund again.”

The proposal would reduce city spending by about $70,000 to $80,000 per year starting this year and continuing through 2033. Instead of pension contributions of $9.2 million, the city would pay $8.2 million during this period.

McShane said the city had already taken similar steps in 2005 and 2010 to similarly take advantage of lower interest rates.

After $900 litigation, Venmo user has a warning for others


Many people use the Venmo payment app to send or receive money. But how protected are you in the event of a dispute? Nearly a thousand dollars unexpectedly appeared in a woman’s account, and Venmo reversed the situation by freezing her account and telling her she would have to pay. We found out it could happen to anyone.Venmo makes sending and receiving money as easy as a few taps of a phone screen: share a meal, pay someone back, but something or make a sale in an online marketplace. That’s exactly what Erika Sargent-Grasso was doing with a Facebook Marketplace post selling an old mirror in November. His asking price: $30. Sargent-Grasso says she received a response immediately and the buyer offered to send her the money via Venmo. But she got much more than she bargained for. “It was a $30 mirror that I was just trying to get rid of,” she said. “A few minutes later, I received $900.” Immediately, Erika says the alarm bells went off. The Facebook inquiry came from “Andrew”. But the Venmo payment came from someone named “Michael” and it was labeled “kitchen set.” “I thought it was very strange,” Sargent-Grasso said. But his buyer had a simple explanation. “Andrew” told him “he’s currently buying a kitchen set and his dad got the usernames mixed up.” Still, Erika had questions.” I even said to this guy, “Let me check it out.” And I said, ‘Is this a weird scam?'” Sargent-Grasso said. She checked Venmo’s website which says “If you receive a payment from a name you don’t recognize, you can simply re-send the payment to that user.” It seemed too easy, so Sargent-Grasso emailed Venmo customer service, who said they looked at his account and “it looks like this user just paid for the wrong username by mistake.” The customer service rep also told her to send the $900 back, which she did. And I thought, “It could be simple,” Sargent-Grasso said. She was wrong. A few weeks later, Venmo froze her account, emptied the money in it — around $375 — and said she still owed them $525. That’s a total of $900. Venmo said someone filed a credit card dispute over the $900 payment sent to Sargent-Grasso and she now had to pay. The company ignored that she had returned the money when they told her. The proof is right in his Venmo transaction history. “You do what the company says to do and then they don’t support it. And they somehow back off and let the credit card company sue me?” she said frustrated. These third-party payment apps are “extremely convenient for consumers. But with this convenience and speed of payments, etc., some vulnerabilities remain open,” said Barbara Anthony, former Massachusetts Consumer Affairs Undersecretary. After reviewing the documents in this case, Anthony said Venmo should back up what it tells customers, like Sargent-Grasso, to do. “You can’t have it both ways,” Anthony said. “On the one hand, they told him to send it back – the $900 – and on the other, ‘Oh, we’ve got the chargeback, we’re charging you.’ I mean you can’t do that!” In a statement to NewsCenter 5, Venmo said Sargent-Grasso’s case was not handled appropriately. In its Help Center, the company says it’s possible for a buyer to use a stolen credit card or bank account to make a Venmo payment. Then they could claim it was a mistake and when the payment is refunded they could take the money and run before it was disputed. This raises many questions about Venmo’s payment refund policy, no questions asked. Based on his experience, Sargent-Grasso had this advice: “Don’t listen to Venmo because they’ll tell you to do the wrong thing. They’ll allow the scam to happen and then they’ll blame you.” After NewsCenter 5 contacted Venmo, the company looked into the Sargent-Grasso case. They unblocked his account, apologized and refunded him the $900. Venmo told us it was a one-time error and in a statement it said it is continually reviewing its processes to ensure it is protecting its customers.

Many people use the Venmo payment app to send or receive money. But how protected are you in the event of a dispute? Nearly a thousand dollars unexpectedly appeared in a woman’s account, and Venmo reversed the situation by freezing her account and telling her she would have to pay.

We found out it could happen to anyone.

Venmo makes sending and receiving money as easy as a few taps of a phone screen: share a meal, refund someone but something, or make a sale in an online marketplace.

That’s exactly what Erika Sargent-Grasso was doing with a Facebook Marketplace post selling an old mirror in November. His asking price: $30. Sargent-Grasso says she received a response immediately and the buyer offered to send her the money via Venmo. But she got more than she expected.

“It was a $30 mirror that I was just trying to get rid of,” she said. “A few minutes later I received $900 sent to me.”

Immediately, Erika says the alarm bells went off. The Facebook inquiry came from “Andrew”. But the Venmo payment came from someone named “Michael” and it was labeled “kitchen set.”

“I thought it was very strange,” Sargent-Grasso said.

But his buyer had a simple explanation. “Andrew” told him “he’s currently buying a kitchen set and his dad got the usernames mixed up.” Still, Erika had questions.

“I even said to this guy, ‘Let me check.’ And I said, ‘Is this a weird scam?'” Sargent-Grasso said.

She checked Venmo’s website which says “If you receive a payment from a name you don’t recognize, you can simply re-send the payment to that user.”

It seemed too easy, so Sargent-Grasso emailed Venmo customer service, who said they had looked at his account and “it looks like this user just paid the wrong username by mistake. “. The customer service rep also told her to send the $900 back, which she did.

“Just simply, ‘Send it back.’ And I thought, ‘This could be simple,'” Sargent-Grasso said.

She was wrong.

A few weeks later, Venmo froze her account, emptied the money in it — about $375 — and said she still owed them $525. That’s a total of $900.

Venmo said someone filed a credit card dispute over the $900 payment sent to Sargent-Grasso and she now had to pay. The company ignored that she had returned the money when they told her. The proof is in its Venmo transaction history.

“You do what the company says to do and then they don’t support it. And they somehow back off and let the credit card company come after me?” she said frustrated.

These third-party payment apps are “extremely convenient for consumers. But with this convenience and speed of payments, etc., some vulnerabilities remain open,” said Barbara Anthony, former Massachusetts Consumer Affairs Undersecretary.

After reviewing the documents in this case, Anthony said Venmo should back up what it tells customers, like Sargent-Grasso, to do.

“You can’t have it both ways,” Anthony said. “On the one hand, they told him to send it back – the $900 – and on the other, ‘Oh, we’ve got the chargeback, we’re charging you.’ I mean, you can’t do that!”

In a statement to NewsCenter 5, Venmo said Sargent-Grasso’s case was not handled appropriately.

In its Help Center, the company says it’s possible for a buyer to use a stolen credit card or bank account to make a Venmo payment.

Then they could claim it was a mistake and once the payment was refunded, they could take the money and run away before it was disputed.

This raises many questions about Venmo’s payment refund policy, no questions asked.

Based on his experience, Sargent-Grasso offered this advice: “Don’t listen to Venmo, because they’ll tell you to do the wrong thing. They’ll allow the scam to happen and then they’ll blame you.”

After NewsCenter 5 contacted Venmo, the company looked into the Sargent-Grasso case. They unblocked his account, apologized and refunded him the $900. Venmo told us it was a one-time error and in a statement it said it is continually reviewing its processes to ensure it is protecting its customers.

Pittsfield City Council approves $1.25 million loan for capital and equipment improvement projects


PITTSFIELD — Pittsfield City Council this week agreed to borrow $1.25 million for road paving, bridge and culvert work and fire department equipment.

Council held a public hearing Tuesday on an ordinance allowing the city to borrow up to $2.09 million for capital improvement projects, including $1 million for road paving, $70,000 for bridge and culvert repairs, $600,000 to buy a fire truck, $180,000 to buy a dump truck, $60,000 to buy a truck for the city’s highway department, and $180,000 for self-contained breathing apparatus for city firefighters.

After hearing residents’ concerns about how a large loan could impact Pittsfield’s property tax rate, councilors approved the order, but agreed they didn’t want a single loan for all projects. Instead, they decided to take out a loan for road paving, bridge and culvert repairs, and firefighter breathing equipment because the projects or equipment are urgently needed.

“I want this to be done in a responsible way, where we don’t set records on our tax rates just to get the latest shiny and best things, but to do it the right way, scrappy, small , because we’re a rambling little town,” one resident said at the meeting.

By approving the overall ordinance for all projects, the other elements – the dump truck, the street truck and the fire engine – can still move forward, but would be brought back before the city council at a later date.

“Everything here would have to be re-approved by us,” Councilman Jason Hall said.

Municipal authorities plan to work on road paving and bridge and culvert work this summer, so the loan application is due soon.

Chief Bernard Williams said the fire department’s breathing equipment was in poor condition and the department was paying for repeated repairs, prompting advisers to address the issue immediately.

Advisors asked if the fire department needed 20 sets of breathing equipment and if it would be possible to stagger the purchases, buying less at a time to avoid a costly purchase.

Williams said the department needed 20 sets to comply with regulations, and the purchase cannot be staggered as equipment technology is constantly being updated, so having sets from different years could create problems. training problems and making the equipment difficult to use.

The city council chose to request a 10-year repayment period for the loan in order to reduce the city’s interest costs, and because the life of the equipment is approximately 15 years. Advisors said they did not want to pay the loan after the equipment was no longer usable.

In other areas, Mayor Michael Cianchette presented a plaque to former councilor Tim Nichols to thank Nichols for the 24 years he served on city council, making him the longest-serving councilor in city history. Pittsfield.

“It’s just a tiny piece of our appreciation for what you’ve done for this city, and we can’t put a value on it,” Cianchette said. “We cannot say how much you were appreciated, and it was an honor for me personally to serve with you.”

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Regulators review buy now, pay later plans


Buy now, pay later incentives increasingly offered on website checkout pages are attracting many customers, especially as the coronavirus pandemic has increased online shopping.

But the explosion in the use of buy-it-now, pay-later plans is also drawing closer scrutiny from state and federal authorities over concerns that the practice is not sufficiently regulated.

Plans allow customers to pay a small portion of the price upfront, receive the item, and then pay the rest in installments. Unlike credit cards, there are no upfront interest charges. But many consumers may not fully understand the implications of the plans, such as unexpected charges and possible damage to credit scores for late payments.

“Consumers can rack up a lot of debt without realizing it,” said Lauren Saunders, associate director of the National Consumer Law Center. “There’s no interest, but a lot of these plans have big late fees, and that can rack up more than just interest.”

California is leading the way in regulation and late last year classified buy now, pay later plans as loans, bringing the companies that offer them under the lending rules of the State. Using this expanded regulation, California officials have aggressively sued a few companies that the state says aren’t sufficiently disclosing terms or protecting consumers.

At least a handful of other states are considering whether expanded rules or new regulations might be needed. And the federal Consumer Financial Protection Bureau last month launched an investigation into companies offering buy now, pay later credit, seeking feedback from merchants who use the service, other types of creditors and consumers.

But regulators have struggled to categorize the type of products companies sell, and so are struggling to craft regulations.

Plans have increased exponentially. A September report from Accenture, a financial advisory and information technology firm, showed that the number of users buy now, pay later in the United States has increased by more than 300% per year since 2018. , reaching 45 million in 2021.

More than 37% of Americans had used a buy now, pay later service by July 2020, according to a survey by The Ascent, a product review service from investment advisory firm Motley Fool. This figure has risen to almost 56% in March 2021. As shopping plans have taken off online, physical retailers are also using them.

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Most buy-it-now, pay-later plans require the consumer to split the cost of their purchase into four payments, usually made every two weeks. The buyer receives his article with the first payment. No interest is charged if the consumer pays on time. Traders pay a small commission – usually between 2% and 8% – to buy now, pay later the companies that provide the short-term funding. In comparison, merchants typically pay 1.5% to 3.5% to credit card companies for using this service.

Some of the finance companies buy now, pay later charge a fee if a customer is late with a payment. Some, but not all, report transactions to the credit bureaus.

A survey conducted late last year by Credit Karma, a financial services company, found that more than a third of respondents who had used buy-it-now, pay-later plans said they had taken late in their payments.

Amanda Pires, a spokeswoman for Afterpay, one of the most used companies to buy now, pay later with around 15 million customers, said in an email response to questions that the company is not “not a loan or credit product, which means there is no revolving debt or interest charged to the consumer. We are proud to say that 95% of transactions never incur late fees.

Late fees of up to $8 per payment can be assessed, she said, but the fee is capped at 25% of the individual order amount. If customers miss payments, they are banned from the platform until they pay, she added.

But regulators and experts dispute the argument that buy now, pay later plans are not loans. The California Department of Business Oversight alleged in 2019 that Afterpay was actually a loan company and was offering illegal loans in the state. The state reached a settlement in which Afterpay had to reimburse California consumers $905,000 and pay more than $90,000 in administrative costs. The company also had to obtain a lender’s license from the state.

Afterpay disputed the state’s claims in a statement at the time, saying it was not operating illegally. Pires wrote in an email last week that the company still stands by the statement.

She and representatives from other “buy now, pay later” finance companies are insisting that consumers use the platform as a budgeting tool, as they can calculate the bi-weekly cost of the transaction and plan spending.

California decided to regulate the companies “in short, because these products are loans,” said Adam Wright, senior counsel for the California Department of Financial Protection and Innovation, formerly the Department of Business Oversight.

“They weren’t overseen by dedicated financial watchdogs like our office,” Wright said in a phone interview. “These are loans, and they should be regulated by someone like us, under a law that gives consumers more protection.”

In 2020, California regulators granted the company buy now, pay later Sezzle a lending license after initially denying the company’s application. He approved the license after Sezzle, who had previously operated in the state arguing he did not need a license, paid a $28,000 fine and reimbursed the Californians $282,000.

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Penny Lee, CEO of the Financial Technical Association, which represents a number of buy now, pay later companies including Afterpay, Klarna, Sezzle and Zip, said its members are working with regulators, both state and federal, to ” ensure that standards are met and comply with all regulatory rules.They want to ensure that there is transparency in the market.

She said the companies have safeguards in place to ensure consumers aren’t overburdened, including “suspending” their accounts or cutting them off if they fail to make payments on time. “They want consumers to have a good experience with this product,” she said in a phone interview.

Affirm, one of the biggest companies with some 17 million transactions since its launch in 2012, recently expanded its offerings beyond the standard model of four installments every two weeks. The company also offers monthly payments and charges interest on purchases of certain big-ticket items such as furniture, according to spokesman Nicholas Fisher.

Late payments are reported to credit bureaus on some of their products, he wrote in an email. “It allows consumers to build their credit history while providing information that will hopefully encourage responsible risk managers not to overstretch the consumer.”

Despite corporate efforts, several states are considering how to regulate these new products.

A spokesperson for Oregon’s Division of Financial Regulation, Mark Peterson, wrote in an email that the department continues to “monitor these types of consumer financing options and assess concerns as they arise. matters of consumer protection. We are part of many [state] regulatory bodies that are considering other actions in this space, such as creating state statutes that provide regulatory oversight for these kinds of options.

Lucinda Fazio, director of consumer services at the Washington State Department of Financial Institutions, said it’s difficult to assess whether buy now, pay later companies are lenders.

Many products circumvent a state law designed to oversee retail installment sales and contracts, such as auto loans or household loans, that contain interest charges, Fazio said in a phone interview. . “And each state enforces this law differently. In Washington State, in our agency, we don’t [use] this law” with businesses buy now, pay later.

Massachusetts requires small loan companies and retail installment finance companies to hold a state license. The state classifies Affirm as a small loan company, but had not classified the other large buy now, pay later companies in any way as of Oct. 1, the last date for which a list is available. A Massachusetts Office of Consumer Affairs and Business Regulation official would not explain why other companies that buy now, pay later don’t fit the definition.

Similar to the Afterpay case in California, Affirm entered into a consent agreement with Massachusetts regulators in July 2020 after allegations that it engaged in unlicensed lending service activity. The company paid a $2.25 million fine and agreed to register for a license.

The Consumer Finance Protection Bureau’s survey includes insight into state actions, said Laura Udis, program manager for small-dollar and installment loan markets at the agency. “These companies are now licensed as consumer credit lenders in California. I think many states look at this in terms of applying different state laws.

Hotel Santa Barbara employees are suing Ty Warner for $6 million


Ty Warner, owner of Santa Barbara’s Four Seasons Resort The Biltmore, among many others, was the subject of a class action lawsuit filed on behalf of 425 hotel employees who, until March 20, 2020, worked in the Santa Barbara’s iconic Biltmore. As of that date, all hotel employees were placed on indefinite leave due to COVID, although hotel managers reportedly informed Warner that the hotel was safe to operate again on May 1, 2020.

As furloughed employees — not working, but not laid off either — their lawyers, Bruce Anticouni and Nicole Ricotta, argued that they were effectively denied $6 million in compensation that was contractually theirs. owed as terminated employees through no fault of their own. The lawsuit argues that Warner, which contracted with the Four Seasons to run the hotel, not the hotel chain, was responsible for steadfastly refusing to turn on the lights.

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The two main plaintiffs named in the lawsuit – Andreza Holt and Christopher Martinez – had worked for the Biltmore for 22 years. Had Warner followed the hotel’s “no-fault severance pay” clause, according to the pleading, they would have been eligible for $26,644 and $22,392, respectively. The hotel’s 425 former employees, according to an official statement from Anticouni and Ricotta, had to go without millions of dollars in salaries and benefits: “A large majority have not found comparable employment, leading to expulsions , mortgage foreclosures, unpaid bills, inability to obtain health insurance and severe emotional damage.A former employee, according to lawyers, committed suicide.

Despite years of protests from former hotel employees and private negotiations with hotel and Warner representatives, no agreement was reached. Neither Warner nor the Four Seasons company responded to requests for comment from the Independent by deadline.

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CONVEY HEALTH SOLUTIONS HOLDINGS, INC. : entering into a material definitive agreement, creating a direct financial obligation or an obligation under an off-balance sheet arrangement of a registrant, disclosure of settlement FD, other events, financial statements and exhibits (Form 8- K)


Section 1.01 Entering into a Material Definitive Agreement.

At February 1, 2022, Transmit Health Solutions, Inc.a Delaware company (the “Borrower”) and an indirect wholly-owned subsidiary of Transmit Health Solutions Holdings, Inc.a Delaware company (“Convey”), made in Amendment No. 5 (“Amendment No. 5”), by and between the Borrower, as borrower, Ares Capital Corporation, as administrative agent and guarantee, and the term lenders party thereto, to the Senior Credit Agreement, dated September 4, 2019as amended on the date hereof (the “Credit Agreement”).

Amendment No. 5 amends the Credit Agreement to provide, among other things, an additional senior term loan facility (the “2022 Additional Term Loan Facility”) in an aggregate principal amount of $78,000,000. Proceeds from term loans borrowed under the 2022 Supplemental Term Loan Facility (the “2022 Supplemental Term Loans”) were used to fund the Acquisition (as defined below) and pay and related expenses. The additional 2022 term loans will mature on September 4, 2026will bear interest at an annual rate equal, at the option of the Borrower, to (i) LIBOR (as defined in the Credit Agreement) for the relevant interest period (subject to a floor of 0.75% per annum) plus 4.75% for Eurodollar rate loans (as defined in the credit agreement) and (ii) a base rate plus 3.75% for base rate loans (as defined in the credit agreement), and will be amortized at a rate of 1.00% per year.

Except as described above, all other material terms of the Credit Agreement remain unchanged and in full force and effect. The above summary of Amendment No. 5 does not purport to be complete and is subject to and qualified in its entirety by the full text of Amendment No. 5, a copy of which is attached hereto as Schedule 10.1 and is incorporated herein. by reference.

Item 2.03 Creation of a Direct Financial Obligation or Obligation Under an Off-Balance Sheet Arrangement of a Registrant.

The information in Section 1.01 of this Current Report on Form 8-K is incorporated by reference into this Section 2.03.

Section 7.01 Disclosure of FD Rules.

At February 1, 2022, Convey issued a press release announcing the closing of the acquisition. A copy of the press release is attached hereto as Exhibit 99.1 and is incorporated herein by reference.

The information in Section 7.01 of this Current Report on Form 8-K is provided pursuant to Section 7.01 of this Current Report on Form 8-K (including Exhibit 99.1) and is deemed “provided” and not “filed” to purposes of Section 18 of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended (the “Exchange Act”), or otherwise subject to the responsibilities of that section, and such information shall not be deemed incorporated by reference in any filing under the Securities Act of 1933, as amended, or the Exchange Act.

Item 8.01 Other Events.

At February 1, 2022an indirect wholly-owned subsidiary of Convey, DMS Parent Holdings, LLC (f/k/a Dragon Holdings Parent, LLC), a Delaware limited liability company, completed its acquisition of all of the issued and outstanding share capital of DMS Holdings, Inc.a Delaware company (the acquisition of such share capital, the “Acquisition”). The acquisition was made pursuant to a share purchase agreement dated January 9, 2022as previously described in Convey’s current report on Form 8-K filed with the Security and Exchange Commission to January 10, 2022.

Item 9.01 Financial statements and supporting documents.

(d) Exhibits

Exhibit No.   Description

  10.1          Amendment No. 5 to First Lien Credit Agreement, dated as of
              February 1, 2022, by and among Convey Health Solutions, Inc., as
              borrower, Ares Capital Corporation, as administrative agent and
              collateral agent, and the term lenders party thereto.
  99.1          Press Release dated February 1, 2022.
104           Cover Page Interactive Data File (embedded within the Inline XBRL

© Edgar Online, source Previews

Black Knight’s MSP loan management system aims to help managers operate more efficiently while reducing costs


For more than 50 years, the Black Knight MSP Loan Servicing System has helped service operations from sourcing, loan onboarding, payment processing and escrow administration to investor reporting, compliance management, defect handling and more.

MSP is a single, comprehensive platform used by managers of all sizes to support a wide range of lending products, including first mortgages and home equity loans and lines of credit on one system. unique.

“MSP is used to service approximately 36 million loans,” said Black Knight President Joe Nackashi. “The system’s scalability makes it suitable for portfolios of all sizes. In fact, 42% of MSP customers manage fewer than 50,000 loans. »

As rising interest rates impact origination volumes, competition for purchase refinance consumers is becoming increasingly fierce. Therefore, services need to critically focus on their customer retention strategies.

The MSP system is integrated with several tools that can help repairers increase retention, including Black Knight’s customer service solution. With this single app, reps have access to the customer information needed to quickly respond to borrower questions, resulting in faster call resolutions.

Additionally, MSP integrates with Black Knight’s Servicing Digital solution to provide customers with fast and convenient access to their loan and property information from any device. Offered as a mobile app and web-based solution, Servicing Digital delivers the self-service capabilities that today’s consumers are looking for, helping providers amplify customer experience and loyalty efforts. By empowering customers to perform tasks and access loan, home and property information on their own, Servicing Digital helps reduce the workload and stress of busy maintenance operations.

MSP also supports retention through its integration with Capture, Black Knight’s core analytics solution that proactively monitors loan portfolios that could benefit from refinancing based on an individual’s specific capital position. customer and/or the current first lien rate. Using current lender pricing and the latest market and margin structure, Capture helps generate accurate, borrower-specific pricing scenarios.

Black Knight is committed to performing regular updates to the MSP system to help customers meet their regulatory requirements. These continuous improvements help repairers stay current with ever-changing federal regulations, supporting compliance and reducing risk.

MSP offers built-in default functionality that helps with loss mitigation, as well as foreclosure, bankruptcy, claims, and billing processes. This feature is especially critical today as services help their borrowers return to active payment status after the COVID-19 pandemic.

Repairers using MSP can maximize the crew they have while reducing costs and operating at higher levels of efficiency. The system leverages features such as advanced decision-making, workflow, and integration tools to help users simplify and streamline processes and reduce costs.

“Black Knight’s MSP loan service system, combined with all the built-in functionality, provides a complete solution that our customers trust,” said Nackashi. “Black Knight is committed to advancing mortgage services with scalable and innovative solutions, backed by decades of financial stability and industry expertise.”

Anthony Jabbour, CEO

Anthony Jabbour leads the overall vision and direction of the business and is passionate about delivering innovative solutions across the loan lifecycle that help lenders and managers retain existing customers, win new customers and operate more efficiently.


Joseph Nackashi, President

Joseph Nackashi is responsible for helping Black Knight deliver integrated and innovative solutions that help transform the industry and is committed to delivering superior customer support and helping customers achieve greater levels of success.

Live Covid News Updates: Vaccine Mandate, Omicron Variant Symptoms, Home Testing, CDC…


Rogan: “If I pissed you off, I’m sorry”

Popular American podcaster Joe Rogan has apologized amid a backlash over covid-19 misinformation on his programwhile its platform, Spotify Technology SA, said it would add a “content notice” to any episode with a discussion of covid.

Rogan, a prominent vaccine skeptic, sparked controversy with his views on the pandemic and on vaccines and government mandates to control the spread of the virus.

Singer-songwriters Neil Young and Joni Mitchell announced last week that they were removing their music from Spotify to protest the misinformation about the coronavirus spread on the platform.

Young objected to his music being released on the same platform as the top-rated podcast, “The Joe Rogan Experience.”

And 270 scientists and health professionals wrote urging Spotify to stop Rogan from spreading lies.

In a 10-minute Instagram video post Sunday night, Rogan apologized to Spotify for backlash but defended inviting contentious guests.

If I pissed you off, I’m sorry“, said Rogan. “I will do my best to try to balance these more controversial points of view with the points of view of others so that we can perhaps find a better point of view.

Separately, Spotify CEO Daniel Ek posted a blog saying a notice will direct listeners to a covid-19 hub which contains information from medical and health expertsas well as links to authoritative sources.


Tired of loan sharks? Check out some CBN-approved payday loan offers


Nigerians looking for a quick influx of cash to meet their expenses have various options to purchase the best loans according to their needs from licensed commercial banks.

Rather than going to loan sharks or borrowing from bad loans application sites, these payday loans offers can be great for you, especially if you are an employee.

Nairametrics reported that the Central Bank of Nigeria has told people in need of funds torefrain from borrowing from loan sharks and go to banks rather.

To access a loan for your business, the Governor of the Central Bank said that “you don’t need to know anyone, just go to the portal, fill in the form, submit your data. If your data is correct, you will be able to access the loans.

Given Nigeria’s recent inflation figures of 15.63% (a riseohm 15.4% recorded in November 2021), it is understandable that the average salary can experience difficulty meeting day-to-day transitional obligations. Given the current economic situation situation, it would be prudent to look at loans that the average Nigerian can easily and affordably access rates.

Nairametrics reported that as many as 17 commercial bankshad approached the CBN seeking torestructure their loan portfolios due to adverse effects of the pandemic such as bank defaults. However, aAmid the risk, some banks are still giving out loans, especially payday loans.

Here are some of the loan offers in Nigeria:

GTBank Quick Credit

Guaranty Trust Bank Plc offers the lowest monthly interest rate of 1.5%. There are no hidden fees associated with this financing. In other words, there are no costs associated with this loan in terms of management, legal or insurance. Another reason why working class Nigerians prefer GTBank loans is that they do not require collateral.

Also, GTBankit is ready fast insures salaried and self-employed customers up to N500,000 to N5 million at a monthly interest rate of 1.5%. Salaried customers can borrow between 10,000 and 5 million naira, while self-employed customers can borrow between 10,000 and 500,000 naira. Clients in both groups can repay their loans in 6 to 12 months. There are no hidden fees here.


United Bank for Africa Plc announced Click on Credit in February 2020, a term loan aimed at at to helping UBA clients meet their immediate financial demands. Customers eligible for this convenient loan facility can borrow up to N5 million. According to information on the bank’s website, the loan can be repaid in 12 months at a monthly interest rate of 2.5%. There are no hidden fees associated with this financing.

It is quite simple to apply for this loan. No paper is needed. You can use the bank’s USSD code or its online banking services to apply.

Zenith Bank Term Loan

Only salaried professionals with Tier 1 bank accounts are eligible for a Credit Zenith Bank Plcnm These consumers can borrow up to 60% of their monthly salary, but at a monthly interest rate of 2.16%. Borrowers must also pay a management fee of one percentage point.

Requirements include: account opening form, a photo ID of the authorized signatory, a letter of introduction from your employer on company letterhead and a staff ID card.

Access Bank Payday Loan

For payday loans, Access Bank Plc charges an interest rate of 4%, an administration fee of 1% (fixed) and a credit life insurance fee of 0.15% (fixed). Employees with Access Bank accounts can get up to 75% of their salary, or other amounts that Access Bank may authorize.

the payday Access Bank loan has a term of 30 days. Customers can use the bank’s electronic banking channels to apply, including their USSD code. The Borrower agrees to waive the 3 day cooling-off period to allow for disbursement.


  • Receipt of monthly salary (via payroll administration). Aat least 1 month’s salary must be received in the Borrower’s account at the Bank.
  • Complete the application via the banks electronic banking platforms including but not limited to USSD *901*11# chain, ATM, mobile banking app, online banking and QuickBucks app.
  • Automated confirmation of eligibility and visibility of last month’s payroll through a separate pre-approved customer database.
  • Acceptance of the offer via his electronic banking platforms including but not limited to *901*11#, ATM, mobile banking app, online banking and QuickBucks app.
  • Acceptance of the Terms and conditions.
  • Irrevocable domiciliation of salaries at the Bank.

FCMB Fast Cash

For Ccustomers of First City Monument Bank Ltd, fast loans of N100,000 and N200,000 are available. Loans can be accessed instantly via USSD code, according to information on the bank’s website, and no collateral is required. There is an interest rate of 8% monthly, plus a 1% management fee that would be paid upfront as soon as the loan is disbursed.

Fto eat

  • Instant access to funds
  • Up to N200,000 of loan amount
  • No paperwork required, just apply via mobile app or *329*11#
  • No collateral needed
  • Interest rate for employees is 8% while non-employees are 15% upfront fee
  • 30-day terms for new customers
  • Up to 90 days cleaning cycle for loyal customers
  • The client can apply as many times a year as he is qualified.

First bank

With First Bank’s Personal Loan Against Salary Service, you can repay your loan over a period of up to 36 months, subject to a retirement age of 60 and a flexible repayment plan. You are not required to provide a guarantor, and the processing time is fast. Minimal documentation is required, but no capital contribution is required. However, for the duration of the flexible repayment structure, your salary account must be domiciled with FirstBank.

To apply for a Personal Payday Loan, you will need the following documents:

  • Letter of application
  • Personal loan application form
  • Payslip
  • Balance sheet.
  • Letter from the candidate indicating the total emolument.
  • Confirmation of applicant’s employer on NBF approved list.
  • Irrevocable salary domiciliation letter for the duration of the facility.
  • Fill out the form and submit it to the nearestFirstBank branch.

G-Sec 10-year auction: Government borrowing cost rises


The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) appears to have loosened its grip on government securities (G-Secs) yields, going through the sharp 24 basis point rise in the yield of the newly issued 10-year G-Sec in the last fortnight.

This has implications for the cost of government borrowing and corporate bond issues, which are priced at a spread to a specific G-Sec/GS along the way.

Yields on government securities rise on global signals – it is expected that rising inflation and a strong labor market in the United States could prompt the Fed to start a rate hike cycle as soon as possible. March and crude oil prices spike to around $90 a barrel due to geopolitical risks — and fears the government will borrow more in FY23 than in FY22.

RBI last year pointed out that the weighted average cost of public borrowing through primary issuances of G-Secs in 2020-21 was at its lowest level in 17 years despite an increase in net market borrowing. of the central government.

But with yields heading north, the government now has to pay more to borrow.

For example, the government raised funds in the second auction of the new 10-year G-Sec at a threshold yield of 6.784% (priced at ₹98.25) on January 28, 2022 against the threshold yield of 6 .54 percent. cent (priced at ₹100) at this newspaper’s first auction on January 14, 2022.

Thus, the yield of the aforementioned paper jumped about 24 basis points and its price fell by ₹1.75. Bond yields and prices are inversely correlated and move in opposite directions.

Therefore, unless G-Sec returns are correct, banks that bought the new 10-year G-Sec could face huge mark-to-market/MTM (investment amortisation) provisioning at the end of the day. end of the current quarter.

There might be similar MTM provisioning on other G-Secs. Mutual fund debt plans are already facing heat in the form of lower net asset values ​​(NAVs) due to rising bond yields.

“We expect gross borrowings to be in the range of ₹12-13 billion for FY23 vs. ₹12.05000,000 for FY22 (budget/BE estimate). While the repayments pile up with an amount of ₹3.8 lakh crore in FY23 from ₹2.9 lakh crore in FY22, gross borrowings are unlikely to decline,” a said Madan Sabnavis, Chief Economist and Economists Dipanwita Mazumdar and Sonal Badhan, Bank of Barode.

Yield pressure

BoB economists have observed that this should put pressure on yields (10yr yields currently at 6.7688%) which should hit the 7% mark in FY23, albeit gradually. They noted that interest cost is expected to be around ₹9.3,000,000 for FY23 compared to ₹8.1,000,000 for FY22BE.

“The market is increasing returns. The yield on the 10-year G-Sec could gradually increase to 7%. If there is an announcement about tax benefits for foreign investors to invest in G-Secs in the Union budget and G-secs are included in global bond indices, the bond market may recover and the 10-year G-Sec yield could soften to around 6.55 percent. But that might not last,” said Marzban Irani, CIO-Fixed Income, LIC Mutual Fund.

CARE Ratings, in a note, said total market borrowing by central government so far in FY22 (April 9, 2021-January 28, 2022) is ₹10.95 crore, 6 % lower than that of the corresponding period of FY21 (₹11.67 lakh crore). The amount raised so far in FY22 represents 91% of the total budgeted borrowing limit of ₹12.05 crore for the FY.

Published on

January 30, 2022

Top 10 Fintech News for the Week Ending January 29, 2022


We learned more about Walmart’s fintech plans this week, Apple decided to take on Square for merchant payments, Facebook waived Diem, UBS acquires Wealthfront, and Experian lets consumers build their own credit report. Here are what I consider to be the top ten fintech news stories of the past week.

The Walmart-backed fintech startup is acquiring two companies and a new Wall Street Journal name a neobank. And the new company will now be called ONE.

Apple to Rival Square in Turning iPhones into Bloomberg’s Payment Terminals – Apple to take on Block with upcoming iPhone update allowing any phone to be used as a payment terminal, no other hardware is necessary.

Facebook’s Cryptocurrency Business Relaxes and Sells Wall Street Journal Assets – Facebook’s ill-conceived foray into digital currencies appears to be over with the closure of the Diem Association and the sale of its assets to Silvergate Bank for $200 million.

UBS Steps Up U.S. Efforts with $1.4 Billion Purchase of Wealthfront from Reuters – Swiss asset management giant UBS, with $3.2 trillion under management, acquires robo pioneer -advisor Wealthfront, with $27 billion in assets under management, for $1.4 billion in an all-cash deal.

Experian lets consumers create their own credit reports from The Wall Street Journal – Experian gives millions of consumers without a credit history the ability to create their own from scratch using daily recurring expenses. No line of credit is required.

Plaid Launches New Privacy Platform After $58M Non-Disclosure Agreement From LendIt Fintech News – Plaid has launched a new platform, called Plaid Portal, where anyone can create an account, link their account banking and see how many places they have shared their login information.

Crypto Lending Firms Celsius Network, Bloomberg’s Gemini Face SEC Scrutiny – The SEC is stepping up its investigation into crypto platforms that pay interest on tokens, with Celsius, Gemini and Voyager all currently under scrutiny.

Esusu Goes Unicorn With SoftBank-Led $130M Vision Fund 2 From TechCrunch – The latest fintech unicorn is Esusu, a fintech that helps immigrants and minorities get credit by declaring rent payments. They closed a $130 million Series B led by SoftBank that values ​​the company at $1 billion.

LendingClub Beats Fourth Quarter Earnings and Drives Profits with LendIt Fintech News – Earnings season has begun for fintech and LendingClub is one of the first to report it. Revenues and profits were strong, but the company was punished for giving a weaker-than-expected 2022 forecast.

Robinhood Loses $423M in Q4, Shares Fall After Hours Trading Crowdfund Insider – Robinhood had a worse quarter with a big loss, much bigger than expected, and hinted at revenue numbers lower than expected for the first quarter.

Every Thursday, the LendIt Fintech News team and a special guest discuss the week’s news live on LendIt TV, YouTube, LinkedIn and Twitter. We’ve now made the show available in podcast format – just click on the audio player below.

Ready to buy a new home or need financial assistance? Here are some financial resources for homeowners


Are you preparing to buy your first home? Or are you a homeowner and need financial assistance?

Your state may be able to help! Check your state below for more information:


The US Department of Housing and Urban Development has resources for homeowners to avoid foreclosure, buy and sell a home. CLICK HERE for more information.


The Connecticut Housing Finance Authority’s three major loans offer competitive incentives that help home seekers become homeowners. CLICK HERE to find out which mortgage is right for you.
When financial hardship arises, homeowners can benefit from a variety of Connecticut Housing Finance Authority programs, from foreclosure prevention workshops and one-on-one foreclosure prevention counseling, to the Emergency Mortgage Assistance Program (EMAP) and vocational training. CLICK HERE for the programs.
If you are experiencing financial hardship due to COVID-19, the federal government is providing relief options for homeowners through the recently passed CARES Act. Additionally, for borrowers who do not qualify, many Connecticut banks and credit unions offer consumers relief to which they may be entitled. CLICK HERE to determine which option meets your needs.


The New Jersey Housing and Mortgage Finance Agency (NJHMFA) offers a variety of programs to help potential buyers. CLICK HERE to find out how to get help. And CLICK HERE for FAQs.

The Homeowners Assistance Fund (HAF) is made available through the American Rescue Plan Act, enacted on March 11, 2021. The HAF program will provide financial assistance to homeowners who have experienced a reduction or loss of income significant due to COVID-19 and have been unable to keep up with their mortgage payments. CLICK HERE to learn more about the program.


The New York State Mortgage Agency (SONYMA) offers low interest mortgages and programs to help qualified buyers buy their first home. SONYMA provides affordable home ownership by removing many of the barriers faced by first-time home buyers. CLICK HERE to learn more about the program.
The New York State Homeowners Assistance Fund (“NYS HAF”) is a federally funded program to assist homeowners at risk of default, foreclosure or relocation due to financial hardship caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. CLICK HERE for information on how to request assistance.


NYC Housing Connect is the portal for New Yorkers to find and apply for affordable housing opportunities in New York’s five boroughs. CLICK HERE for more information.

Launching Hubble Protocol and USDH on Solana Mainnet on Friday, January 28


LONDON, UK / ACCESSWIRE / January 29, 2022 / Decentralized finance (DeFi) project Hubble Protocol will launch its dApp on the Solana mainnet beta this January 28th. Friday’s launch will allow users to deposit their crypto assets on USDH, a censorship-resistant stablecoin hailing from Solana.

The launch will also allow users to stake HBB tokens and start earning rewards through the protocol. Users will be able to deposit their newly created USDH into the Hubble Stability Pool to start earning HBB as well as liquidation rewards.

Hubble closed a series of three token launches for HBB on three different launchpads (SolRazr, Solanium, and DAO Maker) in the days leading up to launch. Four million tokens priced at one dollar each were allocated to this public offering, and despite some technical difficulties due to the speed of Solana transactions, the allocation was almost exhausted.

This public fundraiser is in addition to the $10 million Hubble Protocol received in private sales. In a report on the full launch of SolRazr SOLR Community HBB, Hubble noted strong community support with 1,060 participating users and a majority of those users acquiring the smallest allocations available.

Hubble announced partnerships with Marinade Finance and Saber, two major protocols on Solana. By introducing an innovation for Collateral Debt Positions (CDP), Hubble users can choose to earn a return on their SOL deposits through Marinade while they borrow USDH. Going forward, the protocol will add additional yield strategies for other tokens accepted as collateral.

About the Hubble Protocol

The Hubble Protocol plans to continuously develop state-of-the-art DeFi services on Solana. Hubble’s first phase focuses on zero-interest multi-assets loan and the hit of USDH, a censorship-resistant crypto stablecoin. Users can deposit collateral and borrow at 0% interest while earning APY on those deposits.

Project Team Leader Marius Ciubotariu has extensive experience programming FinTech products with the London office of Bloomberg LP for eight years. The Hubble Protocol will follow a dedicated roadmap to become a Decentralized Autonomous Organization (DAO) as the protocol leaves no stone unturned in exploring the future of DeFi on the world’s fastest blockchain, Solana.

More information on the Hubble Protocol: Website, Blog, Twitter, Telegram, Discord

Press contacts

[email protected]
MarketAcross PR


See the source version on accesswire.com:

Biden can forgive up to $50,000 in student loan debt, group of 85 Democratic lawmakers say


THROUGH Lake SydneyJanuary 28, 2022, 9:43 PM

US President Joe Biden speaks on the phone with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky from the Oval Office of the White House, as seen in December 2021. (Photo by Doug Mills-Pool/Getty Images)

The countdown is officially back, as we are within the 100-day window for student loan repayments to resume. For nearly two years, federal student loan borrowers have had the choice of whether or not to make payments during the COVID-19 pandemic, but May 1 is currently the date that option will end.

The student loan forbearance has been extended several times, and President Joe Biden has announced a few rounds of forgiveness that, as of January 20, totaled $15 billion; but that’s only about 1% of federal student loan debt. With more than $1.7 trillion in outstanding federal loans held by 43 million Americans, Democrats and other advocates continue to push the administration to forgive up to $50,000 in student debt.

On Jan. 25, a group of 85 Democratic lawmakers — across the House and Senate — sent a letter to Biden urging him to direct the Department of Education to “publicly release the memo outlining your legal authority to broadly overturn the federal student loan debt and immediately forgive up to $50,000 of student loan debt per borrower.

“Given the high number of COVID-19 cases and corresponding economic disruptions, restarting student loan repayments without this blanket cancellation would be disastrous for millions of borrowers and their families,” the letter said.

The memo

In the spring of 2021, White House Chief of Staff Ron Klain said Biden had asked the Education Secretary to explore whether the executive branch had the legal authority to forgive student loan debt. At the time, the memo was promised to be released within weeks. Almost a year later, however, it’s just crickets on that front.

Although the full memo has yet to be released, the new yorker October 29, 2021 reported for the first time that a heavily redacted version exists. This version doesn’t show much other than the fact that the White House had the memo for over six months without releasing any information to the public.

What Biden thinks about canceling student loan debt

Biden doesn’t buy the idea that he has the power to cancel a federal student loan by executive order, but many Democratic lawmakers do. At the Student Debt Cancellation Town Hall hosted by NextGen America, Student Debt Crisis Center, Public Citizen and MoveOn on Thursday, several Democratic lawmakers said they believe Biden has the power to cancel student debt by decree.

“Suspending student loans is not enough,” Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer said during the town hall. “We need student debt wiped out, plain and simple.” Biden can, according to Schumer, cancel student debt with the “stroke of a pen,” and the law requires no legislation.

Democratic lawmakers and advocates are pressuring Biden to forgive up to $50,000 in student loan debt per borrower, but Biden campaigned to forgive only $10,000 per borrower. His tone changed during his year in office, however.

During a press conference in mid-January, Biden was asked this question: “You campaigned to forgive $10,000 in student loans. Do you still plan to do this, and when? He ignored the question.

Additionally, in a town hall on CNN on Feb. 17, 2021, Biden said he opposed canceling student loan debt for borrowers who attended “elite” private colleges, including Harvard University, Yale University and the University of Pennsylvania. He still held this opinion in May 2021.

“The idea that you are going to [the University of Pennsylvania] and you pay a total of $70,000 a year and the public should pay for that? I disagree,” he said. The New York Times.

Not only are Democratic lawmakers pushing Biden to write off student debt, but they’re adding pressure to the timeline. They want student debt canceled before the May 1 forbearance end date.

“We’re all looking at another ticking time bomb for student loans,” Senator Elizabeth Warren said at the town hall. “Payments will resume. It could throw millions of families into a financial cliff when it explodes.

Find out how the schools you’re considering have landed in Fortune’s ranking of top business analytics programs, data science programs and part-time, executive, full-time, and online MBA programs.

What goes into your credit score?


By Brad Wright, CFP

Good year!

Now that the celebrations and giveaways are behind us, it’s time to focus on, uh…paying the bills (and avoiding COVID). The sooner you pay off your credit card debt, the better.

Brad Wright

Whether you realized it or not, you started building your credit score with your first credit card or loan. Your score can go up or down and will follow you for life. It becomes a factor when applying for a mortgage or car loan, renting an apartment, purchasing an insurance policy, and even applying for a job. I hear more and more stories of young couples checking each other’s credit scores before getting into a serious relationship because money is a big part of divorce.

Here are five contributors to your credit score.

  • Payment history: Pay your bills on time because your history accounts for 35% of your credit score.
  • Amount: This contributes 30% to your score and refers to your credit utilization ratio: how much of your credit limit are you using? If you max out all of your credit cards, it will impact your score and lower it.
  • Length of story: The longer your credit history, the better, assuming it’s positive. The age of your oldest line of credit and the average age of all your lines of credit are added together to make up 15% of your score. Keep in mind that closing a credit card could negatively impact your credit score. In effect, your total credit limit decreases and your credit utilization ratio increases. It’s not generically true that you shouldn’t close credit cards that no longer make sense to you, but be careful when closing them. If you are about to apply for a loan, you may want to wait until the loan is approved and funded.
  • Credit mix: This data point represents 10% of your overall score. It is a combination of revolving credit, such as credit cards, and installment credit, such as mortgages and student loans. Having a bit of both can help your score.
  • New credit: This includes the last 10%. New credit is a combination of new accounts opened in the past year and the time since you opened your most recent account. New credit is tracked by the frequency of inquiries on your credit file. Each time you apply for a loan, the lender runs your report and it counts as an inquiry. For example, if you walk into five car dealerships to price your next car, each dealership will want to run your report. When you proactively check your own score on AnnualCreditReport.com or directly with the three credit bureaus, it does not count as an inquiry, and you should do so annually.

Check your credit score

It is important to sign up for a credit monitoring service with one of the three bureaus or to check your credit score annually to make sure there are no errors and no one has tried. to steal your identity. When I applied for my first mortgage in 2004, our mortgage broker called me and said I had outstanding debt on my report. When he sent me the report, I quickly noticed that the associated debts were tied to a different social security number than mine but were somehow included in my report. It was definitely a mistake and one that my mortgage broker was able to fix by calling the reporting agency. If I had kept an eye on my credit report, I probably would have found the error before applying for a mortgage, which would have made the process a little smoother.

You can check your score in the following ways:

  • AnnualCreditReport.com: Federal law allows you to obtain a free copy of your credit report every 12 months from each credit reporting agency.
  • Alternatively, you can also contact the three individual offices directly:

Understand your grade

Here is the rating that your credit score translates to:

  • Excellent: 800 and above
  • Very good: 740-799
  • Good: 670-739
  • Fair: 580-669
  • Poor: 579 and below

It makes sense (and saves money) to pay your vacation bills on time and in full if you can. Cheers to a happy and healthy New Year, and an increase in your credit score.

About the Author: Brad Wright, CFP®

Brad Wright, CFP®, is co-founder of Launch Financial Planning, LLC, a fee-based company located in Andover, MA. He is a frequent contributor to WCVB-TV and Mix 104-1 Radio. Brad is past president of the Financial Planning Association of Massachusetts. Learn more about Brad at www.LaunchFP.com

The reviews written here are for general information only and are not intended to provide specific advice or recommendations to any individual.

The foregoing information was obtained from sources believed to be reliable, but we do not warrant that it is accurate or complete. All opinions are those of Brad Wright.

Column: The housing crisis is not over | Columns


As we enter a new year amid a new wave of COVID, tens of thousands of renters and landlords are at risk of losing their homes – an unacceptable trauma for our families and communities. As a non-profit community development corporation, Lawrence CommunityWorks (LCW) develops affordable housing and helps local families gain the assets and skills they need to thrive. Since the onset of the pandemic, LCW has worked hand-in-hand with many strong and effective nonprofit partners across the city to meet community needs compounded by the pandemic. Chief among them has been the huge increase in housing instability, as people have fallen ill, lost their jobs, closed businesses, and been unable to pay rent or mortgages.

Since the end of the state’s eviction moratorium in October 2020, more than 29,000 new eviction cases have been filed in Massachusetts Housing Court, including more than 18,000 evictions for non-payment of rent. In Lawrence alone, at least 608 eviction cases have been filed, 66% of them for non-payment. As community organizations and local governments across the state have worked tirelessly to distribute the $800 million in federal rent assistance — in addition to millions donated by private philanthropy — it feels like bailing out the boat with a thimble.

It’s not just tenants who are at risk. About 30,000 Massachusetts homeowners are seriously behind on their mortgage payments and more than 200,000 aren’t sure they’ll be able to make their next payment. Forbearance programs that exist are expected to end in early 2022, if they have not already expired. Additionally, many homeowners with private lenders have never had access to relief or forbearance options.

As housing advocates and organizers, we know from experience that this housing crisis has not affected all communities equally. According to the National Equity Atlas, more than half of Massachusetts’ 109,000 rent-delinquent households identify as people of color. Additionally, the majority of Massachusetts homeowners at risk of foreclosure are people of color living in gateway cities, including Lawrence.

It doesn’t have to be that way. Since last January, lawmakers have been considering a bill that could prevent unnecessary evictions and foreclosures. We are proud that members of Lawrence’s delegation – Representatives Moran, Devers and Minicucci – are showing leadership on these critical issues, and more lawmakers need to step up. The COVID-19 Housing Equity Bill is not another moratorium. Instead, it’s designed to help protect tenants and landlords from losing their homes, while ensuring that landlords not only don’t have to evict their tenants, but are also healed – a win for all. the world. It would require landlords to apply for housing assistance before an eviction, suspend foreclosures and require forbearance in accordance with federal guidelines, and in doing so, protect vulnerable tenants and landlords from losing their homes.

We urge MA lawmakers to use all the tools at their disposal to address the state’s housing crisis, including the COVID-19 Housing Equity Bill. The bill is currently stalled at the Housing Committee, and our residents cannot afford the inaction of state leaders. We urge lawmakers across the state to act as our local leaders have done and act now to prevent further evictions and foreclosures by passing the COVID-19 Housing Equity Bill. It will help protect people’s health and promote a strong and just recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic.

Jessica Andors is the Executive Director of Lawrence CommunityWorks. Contributors to this column include: Guy Fish, CEO, Greater Lawrence Family Health Center; Evelyn Friedman, executive director of the Greater Lawrence Community Action Council; Yesenia Gil, executive director of Bread & Roses Housing; Ana Luna, Executive Director of ACT Lawrence; and Meegan O’Neill, executive director of Essex County Habitat for Humanity.

Anchor Protocol reserves head for depletion due to lack of borrowing demand


Anchor, the flagship savings protocol of the Terra Luna (LUNA) ecosystem, has seen its reserves drop by 35.7% in the past seven days, according to to Terra.Engineer. Since early December, the amount of Terra USD Stablecoin (UST) held in the “terra1tmnqgvg567ypvsvk6rwsga3srp7e3lg6u0elp8” smart contract has decreased by more than 50%, with only $35.7 million remaining.

As a savings protocol, users deposit their UST assets through their wallets and earn up to 20% return when their capital is lent to borrowers, who pay interest on the loan amount. Borrowers must post collateral to ensure that the lender can recover their money in the event of default. Additionally, Anchor stakes the collateral it receives to generate rewards for depositors.

Whenever there is a shortfall between income generated from borrower interest, posting collateral, and return expenses paid to depositors, Anchor must draw from the aforementioned TerraUSD (UST) reserves to make up the difference. Last July, its creator Terraform Labs injected 70 million UST into the reserve protocol and its value was relatively stable. But in the past 60 days, the total deposit amount has increases from $2.3 billion to $6.1 billion, while the total amount borrowed only increased from $1.2 billion to $1.5 billion.

In bear markets, investors typically shy away from volatile assets in search of stable assets, such as high-yield savings protocols. However, the growing gap between Anchor’s deposits and borrowings has put severe pressure on its reserves. If the trend were to continue, the reserve would be depleted in the coming months and Terraform Labs would have to inject another round of UST to obtain liquidity or lower the interest rate promised by Anchor sharply.

Relentless borrowing poses economic challenges, warns UNDP – Newspaper


ISLAMABAD: A new report on Pakistan’s private investments for sustainable development warns that continued borrowing from multilateral and other sources poses all sorts of economic and political challenges as external development grants rapidly dwindle.

The situation calls for exploration of resources from the private sector, as well as non-traditional regional partners, the ‘Pakistan SDG Investment Report 2021‘ published by the United Nations Development Program (UNDP). The report was launched on Wednesday at a ceremony in Islamabad presided over by Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi.

The first report of its kind on the country, the publication provides an overview of Pakistan’s policy priorities, regulatory environment and private sector development context.

The report notes that the country aims to create strategic partnerships with international investors seeking impact investments, particularly in the areas of climate change and climate finance, SMEs and industrial development, ICT, health and education, and transport and logistics.

“Although innovative partnerships appear to be the way forward, with some major new donors like China, Saudi Arabia, Qatar and the United Arab Emirates already providing funding to Pakistan’s social sectors, private investors seeking ‘Social Impact’ should therefore consider partnering with regional development partners to ensure targeted transactions and opportunities for mutual learning,” he adds.

In a message in the report, Prime Minister Imran Khan urged private investors to take advantage of the country’s competitive advantage and favorable business environment and earn good returns while supporting sustainable development and climate action.

The report suggests that risk guarantees and receivables securitization could provide additional comfort to financial market participants.

The UNDP report added that financing for development is one of the biggest challenges facing developing countries and, in the case of Pakistan, the pressure to provide jobs and quality services to a young population, as well as building safety nets for the poorer segments of society, requires a much larger pool of funding than is available through the state.

Posted in Dawn, January 27, 2022

CFPB Launches Broad Review of Consumer Banking Fees | Credit Union Journal


Rohit Chopra, the director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, has launched a sweeping review of fees charged by banks, credit unions, mortgage lenders and fintechs as part of an effort to spur competition for financial services .

Chopra said Wednesday that in many cases the total fees exceed the cost to financial institutions to provide the underlying service, indicating that companies are not just passing the costs on to consumers, but are taking advantage of a captive relationship to increase their profits.

“We are beginning the process of breaking banks’ reliance on these operating revenue streams and clarifying pricing and features from the outset,” CFPB Director Rohit Chopra said in describing his review of so-called “junk fees” charged to consumers.

Bloomberg News

Chopra specifically called on banks to raise billions in revenue each year by charging so-called “junk fees” that include penalties for late payments, insufficient funds and account maintenance.

“The big banks take huge sums in fees from retail customers,” Chopra said in a call with reporters. “When markets become dependent on these management fees, it is more difficult for families to realize the benefits of competition. Today, with our request for public comment on junk fees, we are beginning the process of breaking banks’ reliance on these operating revenue streams and clarifying pricing and features from the start. »

The CFPB cited its own research from 2019 which found that major credit card issuers charged more than $14 billion in late fee, while the bank revenues of discovered and insufficient fund charges reached $15.5 billion in the same year. Chopra also identified the closing costs and title insurance charged to homebuyers as ripe for scrutiny.

“When buying a home, there’s a whole host of closing costs where borrowers just feel ripped off,” he told reporters.

The American Bankers Association, Bank Policy Institute, Credit Union National Association and five other trade groups called the CFPB request “a misguided effort that paints a distorted and misleading picture” of the market.

The groups cited several federal laws and the CFPB’s own rules that “already require banks, credit unions and other providers of consumer financial services to disclose terms and fees in a clear and prominent manner.”

Richard Hunt, president and CEO of the Consumer Bankers Association, called on the CFPB initiative “fuzzy math at best and political theater at worst.”

“The bureau has a responsibility to communicate with clarity and precision — not with overblown rhetoric to attack an industry,” Hunt said in a press release.

He also pushed back against Chopra’s claims that banks rely heavily on fees to boost revenue, countering that overdraft fees accounted for less than 2% of banks’ overall revenue in 2019.

Banks and credit card issuers are required to comply with the Credit Card Accountability and Disclosure Act 2009, which caps late fees and other charges. Fintechs, however, are not held to the same standards as banks, Hunt said.

The CFPB has broad authority under the Dodd-Frank Act to prosecute financial firms that engage in unfair, deceptive, and abusive acts and practices, known as UDAAP violations. The bureau also has broad power under its enabling statutes to ensure markets are “fair, transparent and competitive,” according to the law.

Chopra said the CFPB plans to use the information it collects from the public in its normal monitoring and enforcement work to identify financial institutions that may be engaging in illegal practices. The information will also be used to issue rules and guidance.

The office plans to review the 19 statutes it inherited at its inception from the Federal Reserve Board to determine if changes need to be made, Chopra said. The office will also coordinate its efforts with other regulators, a senior CFPB official told reporters.

In addition, the CFPB hopes to know what fees are charged by new market entrants, which will help inform a upcoming regulations on consumers’ right to control their own financial data.

Jenny Lee, a partner at Arent Fox and a former CFPB enforcement attorney, said the bureau could take legal action depending on how much the fee is, how it is reported or collected.

“It would cover banks and non-banks, including buy-now/pay-later products and new forms of fintech credit,” Lee said. “It’s very broad covering any type of consumer credit product, including student loans, mobile apps, mortgage banks and brokers.”

She said the CFPB also has authority at the federal level to take action under the Truth in Lending Act, the Electronic Funds Transfer Act and the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act. .

“There are several outcomes that can come from this effort, including rulemaking, enforcement, public guidance, bulletins and other market research,” Lee said.

Lucy Morris, partner and president of government investigations and enforcement at law firm Hudson Cook, said many of the fees that Chopra called “unwanted fees” are actually contract fees that a consumer accepts when subscribing to a financial product. or service.

“Chopra really focuses on the issue of competition and uses the bully pulpit to drive competition,” Morris said. “In the past, the CFPB could bring complaints to fight against illegal practices, but I don’t know if these practices are illegal or undesirable charges. They try to get the market to make prices more transparent and clear so that consumers can shop and compare.

The ABC’s Hunt disputed Chopra’s view that banks are not competitive, given that there are nearly 5,000 banks in the United States. He suggested that the CFPB partner with the banks rather than attack them.

“The office should focus on seeking feedback and working in tandem with banks – the very people on the front lines who interact with customers every day – to recognize the value these products and services have in the lives of the people we serve. all working to serve,” Hunt said.

In addition to late fees, overdraft fees, and insufficient funds fees, the CFPB’s RFI lists an assortment of other fees, including ATM fees, ACH transfer fees, balance inquiry fees, cancellation of card, cash top-up, check image and inactivity fees.

Public comments on the RFI are open until March 31.

Market-priced project aims to attract residents to Walnut Circle and Josey Heights neighborhoods


Brenda Brown helps people build homes in her neighborhood. “Even if you can’t achieve your dream right now, you may be more prepared to buy your first home than you think,” she says. (Photo by PrincessSafiya Byers)

Brenda Brown and her husband, Henry, live in the only house in North 20and and West Walnut Streets for over 13 years.

After building their home in 2008, they expected more homes to follow. But the economy collapsed and new neighbors never came.

Now, Brenda Brown is part of efforts to bring people back to Walnut Circle and Josey Heights neighborhoods near downtown.

As a lender for Great Midwest Bank, Brown personally helps people prepare and begin building homes in both neighborhoods across the the city’s new homes initiative.

The market rate project is an attempt to build new homes on vacant land at 20and and Walnut and on North 12th and West Lloyd streets. The city partnered with the Emem Group, which created new home design options exclusively for these developments.

The city of Milwaukee sells 20 empty lots to qualified families for $1 and gives them a repayable $30,000 grant to build if they live in the new homes for at least seven years.

To qualify, homebuilders must earn a combined annual income of $80,000 to $90,000 per year and have a credit score of at least 620.

“It may seem expensive because it is,” Brown said. “This initiative builds dream homes.”

Brown said there were six homes under construction for the spring.

The power of perseverance

The program took years to prepare for Heidi Moore, who recently moved into her new home in Josey Heights.

Moore has been trying to make construction in Josey Heights a reality since 2014, when city of Milwaukee officials came to a parent meeting at his children’s school, the Lloyd Street campus of Milwaukee College Prep, to discuss the potential for new developments in the region.

This plan failed, but Moore persisted over the years. She contacted different organizations and banks and attended many meetings, sharing her story with people all over the city.

She said it wasn’t until she met Michael Emem, the chairman and CEO of Emem Group, that the Josey Heights building came within reach.

Moore said Emem kept her updated on what was going on.

“It was a difficult process,” she said. “But I’m glad everyone came together to make this happen.”

Kelly Carter, 50, is one of the first people to take advantage of the initiative and is currently building her dream home.

A native of Milwaukee and a nurse in the inner city, Carter felt it was important to build in Josey Heights, located at North 12th and West Lloyd streets.

“I can’t easily make money from people who live here who don’t also live here,” Carter said. “Milwaukee has only been good to me.”

She said that despite some challenges, the process was worth it.

“I don’t make a lot of money, and it wouldn’t have been affordable for me without this deal,” Carter said. “I have an 11 year old daughter and I wanted to show her everything possible.”

Brown said she was concerned about rising property taxes, but as president of the Johnson Park Neighborhood AssociationBrowns tracks available resources.

“I know most of my neighbors, and most of them have lived here for over 20 years,” Brown said. “I am ready to work and support my neighbours, so there is no displacement.”

She said she hopes the project will create a stronger neighborhood and community.

Brown said home ownership brings wealth and she wants to help others achieve their dreams.

“Even if you can’t achieve your dream right now, you may be more prepared to buy your first home than you think,” Brown said.

For more information and other resources for owners

To contact Brown, you can call 414-352-8713 or email [email protected].

Social Development Commission can help with lead, weatherization and other housing related issues. You can call 414-906-2700.

Fair Housing Council of the Milwaukee Metro Area can help homeowners protect themselves against mortgage and foreclosure prevention scams as well as predatory home lending. You can call 414-278-1240.

Housing Resources Inc. can provide advice to homeowners and has programs to help people prevent foreclosure. You can call 414-461-6330.

ACTS Housing offers realtor advice and representation to help low-income families make the transition from renting to buying a home. You can dial (414) 933-2215.

City of Milwaukee Housing Authority: The Housing Authority’s Section 32 program offers advice throughout the home buying process and sells rehabilitated homes to low-income residents. The agency offers grants and grants for down payment assistance and reimbursable second mortgages for current HACM owners. You can dial (414) 286-5405.

Bronzeville Resident Homeownership Initiative: The Bronzeville Homebuyer Assistance Program provides forgivable loans of up to $25,000 and technical assistance to meet the home improvement needs of residents who purchase city-owned foreclosed homes in the Bronzeville area. the Bronzeville Initiative.. You can dial (414) 286-5608.

Common Ground – Milwaukee Rising:

Milwaukee Rising rehabilitates and sells foreclosed properties in the Sherman Park neighborhood. Matching grants of up to $5,000 are available for homeowners to complete repairs and upgrades. Contact Bob Connolly at [email protected] for more information. You can dial (414) 751-0755

Wisconsin Housing and Economic Development Authorityor WHEDA, offer resources for homebuyers. You can call 608-266-7884.

Melania Trump’s Crypto Hat Auction Hit by Crypto Crash

  • Former First Lady Melania Trump’s hat auction may have become collateral damage in the crypto crash.
  • Trump is taking bids for crypto hat Solana, which has plunged 40% in the past week.
  • The hat was supposed to be sold with a starting bid of $250,000, but the lot currently costs just over $170,000.

Former First Lady Melania Trump’s crypto-only hat auction may have become the latest collateral damage in the cryptocurrency crash in progress.

Trump is accepting offers on his Herve Pierre white hat and other White House memorabilia at Solana — one of the cryptocurrencies hardest hit by the steep price drop this week. According to Decrypt, Solana’s value fell by more than 40%. This freefall in the value of Solana is accompanied by a broader decline in the value of various cryptocurrencies, with Bitcoin loses 20% of its value and Ethereum, 30% last week.

According to a Press release, Trump’s team asked for an initial offer of $250,000.

At some point, according to The Washington Post, Trump’s auction, which opened on January 11, soared in value to more than $275,000. But when the auction ended on Tuesday after the crypto market crashed, the hat’s highest bid was $160,218.

Perhaps due to the surprisingly low price, the auction was reopened five hours later.

At press time, The Trump Auction was still open and the highest bid was 1,800 SOL, worth $171,144.

“This is just proof that none of the cryptocurrency assets provide a good, stable enough means of payment,” said Dan Awrey, a Cornell University law professor and expert in financial regulation. The New York Times, commenting on Trump’s auction. “It’s just too volatile.”

In December, Trump ventured into the world of NFTs with a piece of digital art titled “Melanie’s view“, a watercolor representing his” cobalt blue eyes “. In January, Trump also unveiled his “Head of State” collection, which included the “iconic wide-brimmed” Hervé Pierre hat, a watercolor, and a non-fungible token.

“Importantly, Mr. Pierre designed Mrs. Trump’s inaugural dress and served as her fashion stylist and consultant during the presidency,” reads the statement. declaration announcing the auction. “Indeed, Mrs. Trump’s iconic white hat has caught the attention of media around the world.”

Trump has embraced cryptocurrencies, even paying homage to bitcoin on it Twitter in January.

“Today marks the 13th anniversary of the Bitcoin Genesis Block,” she told her nearly 2 million followers. “Happy birthday, #SatoshiNakamoto #MelaniaNFT.”

Trump isn’t the only public figure facing potential financial loss due to the crypto crash this week. New York Mayor Eric Adams also saw a possible loss of around $1,000 through Monday due to the cryptocurrency crash. In November, Adams, who took office on January 1, announcement he would take his first three paychecks in bitcoin.

FTSE 100 Live January 25: London stocks point higher after Wall Street rebound, borrowing figures revealed


Wall Street set to open lower

It looks like another tough open for US markets when trading begins in New York in about half an hour.

Futures point to a 2% drop for the Nasdaq at the open, while the S&P 500 is expected to drop 1.5% at the open. Shares sold off sharply on Monday – with the Nasdaq down 4% at one point – but miraculously reversed in afternoon trading. All three key Wall Street indexes closed slightly higher.

It’s a busy day for earnings today in the US, with major players including Microsoft, Johnson & Johnson, American Express and Verizon.

Here in the UK, the FTSE 100 is holding up despite the futures action. The index is up about 0.8%.


One of Britain’s most prominent tech backers has told investors to keep the faith despite a sell-off in the sector.

Baillie Gifford’s US Growth Trust today told shareholders to be brave and keep investing despite market volatility.

Management writes in its semi-annual report: “Investing in innovation and entrepreneurship is difficult. Bravery is needed on the part of entrepreneurs and investors alike. Uncertainty and volatility must be accepted. Opening your mind to possibilities is essential.

Scottish asset manager Baillie Gifford is one of Britain’s most prominent technology investors. Its FTSE 250-listed US Growth Trust manages £1 billion on behalf of clients. The top ten holdings include Netflix, Amazon and Tesla.

Read the full story.


Marston ignores Omicron

The Marston’s chief executive expects Brits to return to the pub now that Plan B restrictions have been lifted.

Andrew Andrea told Standard: “We know there is a demand to go to the pub. We are just starting to see the numbers moving in the right direction. You just feel the confidence coming back.

Figures released this morning revealed the impact of Omicron’s restrictions on the pub group’s business. Sales were down 3.9% from pre-pandemic levels in the 16 weeks to January 12 as the December restrictions derailed the good momentum.

Andrea called Plan B an “eight week hit” and said the Christmas performances were “probably slightly better than I thought”.

Read the full story.


The sale of arms will collapse

Nvida is quietly preparing to drop its purchase of Arm from SoftBank after making little to no progress in securing approval for the $40 billion chip deal, according to people familiar with the matter.

Nvidia told its partners it did not expect the deal to go through, according to one person, who asked not to be identified because the discussions are private.

SoftBank, meanwhile, is stepping up preparations for an Arm initial public offering as an alternative to buying Nvidia, another person said.

Read the full story.


Another setback for Credit Suisse

Credit Suisse, the Swiss bank reeling from the sudden departure of Chairman Antonio Horta-Osorio, today issued a profit warning related to legal costs.

It will barely break even for the fourth quarter after setting aside 500m Swiss francs (£400m).

The bank said: “These litigation provisions have been incurred in connection with a number of cases where the Group has more proactively sought settlements and relate mainly to litigation inherited from our investment banking business.”

Read the full story.


Rio (finally) goes underground

/ Rio Tinto

Rio Tinto has reached an agreement with the Mongolian government to finally pave the way for the start of underground operations at the Oyu Tolgoi copper project.

The FTSE 100 miner plans to start mining under the Gobi Desert within days, with full production due to begin next year.

Rio and its subsidiary Turquoise Hill have agreed to cancel £1.8bn on loan to the government to fund its share of development costs.

In return, Ulan Bator will allow Rio to import electricity from China until 2030.

When fully operational, Oyu Tolgoi will be the world’s fourth-largest copper mine, producing nearly 500,000 tonnes of the metal – a key component of electric vehicle batteries and wind farms – per year.

The deal is the first big win for new CEO Jakob Stausholm, who took over from Jean-Sebastien Jacques in the fallout from the Juukan Gorge scandal.

Stausholm now has “hope” that diplomacy can mend relations in Serbia, where the future of Rio’s £1.8 billion Jadar lithium mine hangs in the balance.


Another blow for Amigo

An advertisement for Amigo loans

The blows keep coming for beleaguered lender Amigo.

Its shares fell another 20% to 2.5 pence on news that chief financial officer Mike Corcoran had resigned after just 14 months.

On Monday, shares fell 40% after warnings that the company would collapse if a new program to repay customers and restart loans was not approved.

It provides for a capital increase that will leave existing shareholders with less than 5% of the share capital.

It needs to raise £97million to compensate customers.

Amigo was forced to act after the High Court ruled against its earlier plans to compensate victims of its high-cost guarantor loans.

The lender’s endless dispute is over loans that had interest rates that customers would never have been able to repay.

Amigo said it “will be able to announce the appointment of a replacement CFO in the near future.”


The shortage of skilled workers in factories is the worst since 1973

The shortage of skilled workers in British factories is the worst since 1973.

The Confederation of British Industry said its latest survey of manufacturers found the highest proportion of labor reports as a limiting factor in nearly half a century.

Rain Newton-Smith, chief economist at the CBI, said manufacturers were “looking to invest more in training and retraining as labor shortages continue to be felt”.

Inflation is also hitting factories, with costs rising at their fastest rate since 1980. Energy costs have soared in recent months, forcing some factories to shut down their tools during peak hours.

Newton-Smith said: “Against the backdrop of rising energy prices, which add to inflationary pressures, short-term action is needed from the UK government to find urgent solutions for businesses in In the longer term, energy market reforms are needed to build resilience to future energy price shocks and create markets for renewable technologies, thereby contributing to net zero ambitions.

Despite the pressure, production continued to grow in January, the CBI said. But growth has slowed and business optimism has plummeted.


Marston ignores Omicron’s impact

The Marston’s chief executive expects Brits to return to the pub now that Plan B restrictions have been lifted.

Andrew Andrea told Standard: “We know there is a demand to go to the pub. We are just starting to see the numbers moving in the right direction. You just feel the confidence coming back.

It came as figures revealed the impact of Omicron’s restrictions on the pub group’s business. Sales were down 3.9% from pre-pandemic levels in the 16 weeks to January 12 as the December restrictions derailed what was otherwise good momentum.

Andrea called Plan B an “eight week hit” and said the Christmas performances were “probably slightly better than I thought”.

Marstons has 1500 pubs across the UK, mostly in the suburbs.

The shares improved 1p, or 1.3%, to 79.15p.


Chancellor gets leeway on tax hikes

THE government borrowed almost £17bn in December to support the economy as Omicron struck – less than expected, suggesting UK finances are in better shape than expected.

However, rising inflation pushed interest rate payments up to £8.1bn from £5.4bn in the same month a year ago.

Part of these payments go to the Bank of England, as it holds around a third of the public debt.

Economists say the figures give Chancellor Rishi Sunak room to ease the costs of energy bills and possibly delay tax hikes.

Learn more here

FIA investigation shows how billions were embezzled

A forex trader holding Pakistani currency. -PPI

The FIA’s Commercial Banking Circle (CBC) has registered a case against 30 people, including former and current executives of NBP and Hascol, based on evidence found in an investigation into bank failure, financial fraud and money laundering of more than 54 billion rupees. by the oil company.

Speaking to The News, FIA Director Sindh Amir Farooqi said an investigation dated 7-7-2021 had been filed under the orders of the competent authority based on a source report regarding a 54 billion rupees scam/failure. The scam was allegedly committed by Hascol Petroleum Ltd (HPL) through its directors/management, in collusion with directors on behalf of its stakeholders — M/S Vito! Dubai Ltd, Fossil Energy (Pvt) Ltd, Marshal Gas (Pvt) Ltd and officials of NBP and other commercial banks – from 2015 to 2020 in the form of bank loans and funded and unfunded financing facilities, which were granted to Hascol by the NBP in violation of prudent banking laws and practices, which amounted to a criminal breach of trust, causing an unjustified loss to the NBP/State Treasury and an unjustified gain to Hascol.

HPL was incorporated by Mumtaz Hassan Khan as a limited liability company on March 28, 2001 for the supply (local/import), storage and marketing of petroleum, chemicals and LPG. It was converted into an unlisted public company on September 12, 2007 and listed on the Pakistan Stock Exchange on May 12, 2014.

The proceedings of the aforementioned investigation have substantiated the following illegalities and violations committed by HPL’s sponsoring directors and executives in collusion with NBP sanctioning, enforcement and monitoring officials, said FIA Director Farooqi . He added that the HPL’s first significant borrowing relationship was initiated with Summit Bank in 2009, which remained its main banker until the entry of the NBP.

The investigation revealed that the NBP granted its first Rs 2 billion facility to HPL on June 16, 2014, in response to HPL’s request to Mrs. Rima Ather, who had moved from the Pak Iran Investment Company (PAIR Investment ) to the NBP. as SVP Corporate Banking Group (CBG).

It should also be noted that Syed Iqbal Ahmed Ashraf, a former group leader at NBP and chairman of het Pak Iran Investment Company Limited (PAIR; an existing HPL lender) was appointed by the NBP as chairman in January 2014.

Mr. Ashraf had brought Ms. Rima Athar with him. This LC facility could not be used due to the non-perfection of the security arrangement (completed on May 15, 2015, after which BNP opened its first LC on July 3, 2015). During Ashraf’s tenure as President, HPL facilities were launched and peaked at Rs 5 billion in a short period of 18 months.

Farooqi said that later Saeed Ahmed joined the NBP as chairman on March 24, 2017, and in 18 months (from May 2017 to November 2018), the NBP increased its exposure by 313% to 15.65 billion. rupees plus an additional 4 billion rupees to Hascol. Terminal Limited (HTL) guaranteed by the HPL.

During this mandate, Ms. Rima Ather was replaced by Syed Irtiza Kazmi, SVP-CIBG. As if these quick improvements were not enough, the NBP somehow upgraded its LC facility on October 8, 2018, by another 18 billion rupees and increasing the total sanctioned limits of the NBP to 21.65 billion rupees, well before the arrival of Mr. Arif Usmani as RBA Chairman on February 12, 2019.

These two presidents, Syed Iqbal Ahmed Ashraf and Saeed Ahmed, prima facie abused their official position as civil servants, while sanctioning through their credit committees the aforementioned huge financial facilities granted to the HPL, according to the findings. of the investigation.

The FIA ​​director said the incrimination on the part of Byco would be investigated in a separate criminal investigation. This investigation determined that simple incompetence and institutional failure alone were not the sole cause of these reckless lending decisions. Evidence has been recovered that proves that the HPL used to siphon off funds through intermediaries to bribe their bankers. In just one such case, checks for Rs 117 million were issued by the HPL to Tahir Ali and his several companies without any underlying contract. These intermediaries have yet to be fully investigated and their roles will be defined in the detailed investigation report.

He added that the total default of all banks was Rs 54 billion. The NBP default was Rs18 billion on its own, and the Hascol credit line was increased by the NBP chairman and the credit group from Rs2 billion to Rs18 billion against weak securities.

Credit manager Reema Athar and Irtiza Kazmi were the main players. Reema Athar remained a director of Clover pvt Ltd, a company owned by Saleem Butt, and also remained a director on the board of Fossils Energy, a subsidiary of Saleem Butt.

In addition, the NBP opened fake LCs up to Rs95 billion for Hascol in favor of Byco Petroleum. No fuel was underlying for this quantum of LC and these were only opened to increase liquidity in Hascol. Other banks, including the NBP, have opened non-product LCs of up to Rs 540 billion for Hascol. Hascol and Vitol, by overcharging, illegally transferred $42 million out of Pakistan, according to the investigation.

FIA director Farooqi said that Hascol siphoned off funds through bogus contractors to the tune of Rs 117 million and tax evasion by Hascol also needs to be uncovered which could be around 4 to 5 billion rupees.

Additionally, Hascol CEO Saleem Butt and COO Mr. Ali Ansari of Hascol are also recorded in the purchase of millions and money transfer outside Pakistan in millions. Dumping of petroleum products by intermediaries is also recorded, which has caused a loss of Rs 9 billion to the company.

Long Branch NJ woman who robbed nonprofit convicted


FREEHOLD — A former administrator of the Neptune-based Affordable Housing Alliance has been sentenced to five years in prison for steal nearly $450,000 from the non-profit real estate developer.

Debra Agresti, 59, of Long Branch, pleaded guilty in January 2020 to a charge of theft which carried a five to 10 year prison sentence.

She admitted to making unauthorized purchases of gift cards, which were used to cover living expenses, tuition and vacations.

From August 2012 to March 2019, Agresti, then the housing alliance’s administrative director, purchased the gift cards with the organization’s credit card, authorities said.

In order to hide her thefts, Agresti intercepted monthly credit card statements and created fake invoices for the amounts she had spent on gift cards, claiming they were office supplies, the report said. Monmouth County Attorney’s Office in a statement.

Agresti stole $449,514.22 during that six-and-a-half-year period. No one else was involved, authorities said.

After sentencing her to state prison on Friday, Superior Court Judge Richard W. English, sitting in Freehold, ordered Agresti to pay restitution of $446,514.22.

Young offenders: NJ court ruling limits long sentences for youth crimes

The alliance offers rental and home ownership assistance, mortgage and foreclosure advice, utility assistance and home buying training for income earners low and medium in Middlesex, Monmouth and Ocean counties.

The Affordable Housing Alliance first hired Agresti as an administrative assistant in 2007.

In 2018, the company’s internal accounts department found evidence of possible fraud and contacted authorities, according to the housing alliance.

Corporate insurance covered all stolen money, Donna Blaze, then-CEO of the alliance, said in 2020.

Ken Serrano covers crime, breaking news, investigations and local issues. Contact him at [email protected]

Cybersecurity: 11 steps to take as threat levels rise


The UK security agency has advised organizations of steps to take to strengthen their defenses “when the cyber threat is exacerbated” by zero-day software flaws or geopolitical tensions.

The National Cyber ​​Security Center (NCSC) isn’t alone in warning companies to take action. Last week, the US Cyber ​​and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) also warned all organizations to take “near-urgent action” to mitigate critical cyber threats in response to last week’s cyberattacks on websites. and Ukrainian government computer systems. The advice comes amid growing fears of a Russian invasion of Ukraine.

CISA has sounded the alarm after Microsoft discovered wipe-out malware, dubbed “WhisperGate”, on several Ukrainian systems. CISA reminded US companies of NotPetya, the wipeout malware that targeted Ukrainian organizations in 2017 via a tainted update to a popular accounting software package, but also infected the global computer networks of US companies and European. The attack cost European and American businesses billions of dollars according to White House estimates.

SEE: A winning strategy for cybersecurity (ZDNet special report)

Rafe Pilling, senior security researcher at Secureworks’ Counter Threat unit, believes that organizations in the United States and Europe could fall victim to WhisperGate in the same way.

“While organizations outside of Ukraine are unlikely to be directly targeted, clients should consider their exposure to collateral damage via service providers or business partners in Ukraine,” said Pilling.

“Organizations must be extremely vigilant and maintain up-to-date backups of business-critical systems and data, implement recovery processes before they are needed, and ensure that backups cannot be affected. by ransomware or malware wiper attacks.”

So what should potentially affected businesses and public bodies in the UK and elsewhere do to mitigate the risk of collateral damage?

The UK NCSC says organizations must balance cyber risk and defense and notes that “there may be times when the cyber threat to an organization is greater than usual”.

Triggers for increased risk include increased adversary capability from new zero-day vulnerabilities in popular software, or something “more specific to a particular organization, industry, or even country, resulting hacktivism or geopolitical tensions”, explains the NCSC.

The NCSC’s response is to control what you can because you cannot control the threat level. And that means patching systems, verifying configurations, and protecting the network against password attacks.

“It is rare for an organization to be able to influence the threat level, so actions generally focus on reducing your vulnerability to attack in the first place and reducing the impact of an attack. successful,” says the NCSC.

Like CISA, the NCSC provided a checklist of fundamental cybersecurity actions that are “important in all circumstances but critical during times of heightened cyber threat.” It’s important to do them because organizations are unlikely to be able to quickly implement large-scale changes when threat levels rise.

The NCSC list includes:

  • Check your system for patches: Make sure your users’ desktops, laptops, and mobile devices are all patched
  • Check access controls: ask staff to ensure that their passwords are unique to your business systems and are not shared between other non-business systems
  • Make sure defenses are working: check antivirus and firewalls
  • Logging and Monitoring: Understand what logging you have in place, where logs are stored, and for how long
  • Review your backups: confirm that your backups are running correctly
  • Incident plan: Check that your incident response plan is up to date
  • Check your Internet footprint: perform an external vulnerability scan of your entire Internet footprint
  • Phishing Response: Make sure staff know how to report phishing emails
  • Third-Party Access: Have a full understanding of the level of privilege extended to your systems and to whom
  • NCSC Services: Sign up for the Early Warning Service, so NCSC can quickly notify you of any malicious activity
  • Inform your wider organization: make sure other teams understand the situation and the increased threat

Student Debt: It’s Stupid Interest


The constant, relentless, daily accumulation of interest is the beating heart of student debt. It’s time Congress took notice.

Borrowers will repay more than $240 billion in interest over the next 10 years. Getting rid of it would mean a lot of forgiveness. The COVID-19 moratorium on interest payments has provided borrowers with more than $100 billion in relief, or about $4-5 billion per month, although the relief is due to end in May (possibly ). Ask any student borrower – it’s been a big help. Permanently waiving interest would also make comprehensive student debt reform much easier. The Department of Education is working to ease the burden on students by promoting its income-based repayment plan. This plan reduces monthly principle payments by extending the time students must pay. But adding time only accrues interest that offsets the gain from reduced principal repayments.

It is also a question of fairness. Students who fall behind in their payments suffer the most. While racial disparities in student borrowing, delinquency and default are well documented, studies now show that black and brown borrowers see their student debt increase the most: just a few years after graduation , the black-white debt gap more than triples. As you read this, more than 10 million borrowers are seeing their loan balances balloon as unpaid interest accumulates. But there is one congressman who is ready to pull a stake on the beast. representing Joe CourtneyJoseph (Joe) D. CourtneyLawmakers introduce bill to examine veterans’ opioid use House Veterans Affairs GOP campaign branch expands list of targets after brutal night for panel Dems House Approves B Increase for Defense Budget MORE (d-Conn.) introduced a bill to allow student borrowers to refinance their loans at zero percent interest. Although she enjoys bipartisan support, the battle is far from won.

On the other hand, the elimination of interest deprives taxpayers of the income that is theirs by lending money to students. It is not fair. But there is another way to ensure a return to taxpayers. The government could invest the principal paid by the students to earn a return. A version of this comes from Social Security where payroll taxes are invested in treasury bills to create a return. The government could invest student payments in a bond issued by the Federal Reserve. When the bond matures, the principle of the Fed returns more interest to the government.

But why would the Fed get involved in student debt? Isn’t the mission of the Fed to promote employment and price stability? The answer is already deep in the thicket of student debt. he is responsible for the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), which protects consumers from predatory financial institutions. As such, the CFPB educates and defends indebted students. Moreover, the Fed’s research department already devotes a lot of time and data collection to aspects of student debt. It has some of the best known experts on the subject.

Recently, more than 110 student university presidents wrote to President BidenJoe BidenStudent debt: It’s stupid interest that the US keeps pressure on Russia amid fears of a possible invasion of Ukraine To stabilize Central America, the US must create better incentives to trade MORE ask for debt forgiveness. If the president gives them a meeting, zeroing interest with principal investments should be discussed. Unlike other proposals, it would protect both lender and borrower.

Robert Hildreth is a former International Monetary Fund economist whose professional job was to restructure South American debt and market sovereign debt loans. He founded the Hildreth Institute dedicated to restoring the promise of higher education.

Boris Johnson is walking a tightrope until Judgment Day


All tenants of 10 Downing Street know that British politics is driven by the fight every Wednesday during Prime Minister’s Questions. In the face of a crisis, leaders must show strength and conviction towards their friends and their enemies. Betray weakness and they are doomed. In illicit party scandal during Covid restrictions, has a scruffy Boris Johnson got what it takes?

On Monday, a dejected Prime Minister backed away from the cameras and offered his weakest excuse yet for attending a party at No 10 during lockdown: no one had explained the rules to him. His own government had designed these rules. A former Cabinet colleague and Brexit ally, Tory MP David Davis, urged Johnson to resign, quoting the words used by an ally of Winston Churchill to sack Neville Chamberlain: “You sat there too long for all the good that you did – in the name of God. name go.

Johnson bragged about all the good he had done for his country and his party – ‘getting Brexit done’, the biggest Tory majority in 35 years, and rolling out one of the Covid vaccine programs most successful in the West. But as they say in politics, if you want gratitude, get a dog.

This very morning, the Prime Minister’s future was hanging by a thread. A group of young Tory MPs, who credit their party leader with winning Labor’s former ‘Red Wall’ seats in the north of England in the last election, were plotting his downfall. Because Johnson is now a curse and not a blessing.

Many Labor voters turned to Johnson because he posed as the enemy of an empowered liberal elite who were thwarting the Brexit referendum verdict. Now he was discovered partying while their loved ones were dying. An opinion poll estimates that out of 45 Red Wall seats, only three would be held by the Tories if there were an election tomorrow.

The ‘Red Wallers’, however, backed off from calling a vote of no confidence in Johnson after one of them, Christian Wakeford, defected to Labor on Wednesday. Tribal loyalty came first. Labor didn’t care – they would prefer a weakened Johnson to stay in power as an opponent.

Now, the political class holds its collective breath, waiting for the next drama to come: the publication of the official report in the parties n°10 by a high official, Sue Gray. Will she find the Prime Minister more culpable than simply negligent? Westminster insiders are already calling this period “Waiting for Sue Gray”, in reference to Samuel Beckett’s agonizing play “Waiting for Godot”. But what if, as in Godot, no judgment ever comes?

It is claimed that Gray is not a typical tangerine. She once took time off from public service to work in a pub in her husband’s native Northern Ireland. When asked in a BBC interview why she was passed over as head of the Northern Ireland civil service, Gray boasted: “Why didn’t I get the job? I’m not sure I will ever find out. But I suspect people may have thought maybe I was too much of a challenger or a disruptor. I am both.”

Nevertheless, it is better not to have too high expectations. Civil servants called in to investigate the blunders of British prime ministers don’t usually call their heads, and even when there have been mistakes and other misdeeds, the leading head doesn’t always roll.

Take Margaret Thatcher, who won the biggest political gamble of her life in 1982 by sending a naval force to reclaim the Falkland Islands after Argentina seized them. But this invasion only took place after his government signaled that it was ready to cede sovereignty over the islands and did not want to defend them.

Lord Franks, a civil servant experienced in covering up cracks in the establishment, wrote the official autopsy of the conflict. Its introduction and conclusion noted a great British victory. Most of the report, however, cataloged the ministerial mistakes that preceded it. In their usual haste, the press and politicians ripped out the easy-to-read bits. The Iron Lady, basking in her recent triumph, jumped to the last paragraph which exonerated her and heaved a huge sigh of relief.

For Tony Blair, the investigation was about a military victory that turned sour. Three days after Baghdad fell to Allied forces in the second Gulf War, I remember having lunch with then head of the civil service, Andrew Turnbull, asking him where the weapons were. of mass destruction of Saddam Hussein, the belli ostensible case. “Why don’t you just ‘rejoice, rejoice’?” he joked, quoting Thatcher’s triumphant words during the Falklands campaign.

Two official inquiries later, into whether the government had “gendered” stories about weapons of mass destruction still missing, Blair has made up his mind. The first report, written by a judge handpicked for his work in Northern Ireland on security issues, never got to the heart of the policy at issue. The second, written by the Mandarin of the Mandarin, Lord Butler, condemned Blair’s flippant style of “couch government” and concluded that crucial intelligence used to justify the war on Iraq was unreliable. No killing punches, however, were thrown.

Blair’s unwavering belief in the righteousness of his cause and the size of his majority in the House of Commons protected him. The devil in the details of the report was never really exploited.

Some MPs believe Gray will also fail to deliver an unambiguous “guilty” verdict on the Prime Minister. What did Johnson know when he wandered for 25 minutes in the middle of a Downing Street garden party? Unless some other piece of email evidence makes it clear that he knew he was breaking the rules, it will be hard to ‘convict’ him.

Others expect the report to signal a catastrophic uprising from critics of Johnson’s party. They need 54 letters from Tory MPs to the chairman of the 1922 backbench committee to trigger a vote of no confidence in their leader.

Johnson has pledged to fight even if the signatures are secure. This commitment alone may prevent some rebels from sending their letters. They will remember that Thatcher’s successor, John Major, survived a similar challenge and ensuing leadership race, but his government was subsequently buried. Johnson hopes his vast majority will give him the springboard for recovery.

Other Tory MPs, alarmed by the chaos at No 10, are asking for reassurance. The Prime Minister’s allies have thrown ‘red meat’ at his party’s right wing – for example, attacks on the BBC are always popular – but some of the proposals, such as using the Royal Navy to intercept the migrants from France, look like waterfalls. Can the Prime Minister get back to something fundamental – or is this just a TV act?

Two years ago, Johnson won big because he invented a political platform that appealed to both affluent southern voters and northern voters who broke their traditional alignment with Labour. In a three-decade career of sparkling successes and failures, Johnson bounced back from disaster, convinced of the durability of his unique personal brand. The Gray report and its aftermath will tell us if he still has the gift of resilience – or if the great entertainer is gone altogether.


South Euclid housing director Sally Martin to become Cleveland’s building and housing director


SOUTH EUCLID, Ohio – Director of Housing Sally Martin will leave her post Feb. 4 to start a new job three days later as Director of Construction and Housing for the City of Cleveland in the new Mayor’s administration. Justin Bibb.

Martin was hired as South Euclid’s housing manager in 2008 and later earned the title of nine-person housing department manager. When Mayor Georgine Welo hired her, Martin had just come from a job at Progressive Insurance and had no prior experience in housing or city government. His work with the South Euclid Housing Department has brought the city’s attention to the entire region.

“Nearly 14 years ago, Mayor Welo took a chance and hired me to lead the housing department, with a focus on solving the foreclosure crisis,” Martin wrote in a letter from the January 7 to City Council and colleagues. new position. “During this time, South Euclid has become known statewide, and even nationally, for its innovative approach to crisis management. This would not have been possible without the leadership and commitment of Mayor Welo towards innovation.

When contacted by phone, Martin was asked what accomplishments she was most proud of while working for South Euclid.

“Building strong neighborhoods and developing good neighborhood leaders has transformed South Euclid,” she said. “And the work we’ve done to develop One South Euclid will, I think, leave a legacy for the city.” One South Euclid is the town’s community development corporation that Martin helped establish in 2009.

In his January 7 letter, Martin called One South Euclid’s “Build, Grow and Thrive” program “innovative” and explained how it has enabled the city to redevelop vacant homes and build new homes. Proceeds from the sale of these homes were then used to help homeowners and businesses with repairs and improvements through the neighborhood grant program. The programs have stimulated private investment and also raised funds to help seniors in need of snow removal and lawn mowing.

Thinking back to when she started working for South Euclid, Martin notes that the foreclosure crisis in 2008 impacted about 30% of homes in the city.

“It was an overwhelming challenge at the time,” she said. “And when you look at what the housing market is doing today, it’s such a contrast. We had one of the most spectacular recoveries of any suburb in the region. We are (now) in a seller’s market. You can’t find a house. So, no, I never thought it would transform the way he did. I am very satisfied with the diametrical change in the housing market since the beginning of my stay here.

Martin said that over the past six years, housing values ​​in South Euclid have increased by about 60%. “Now our real estate will typically be transferred for over $100 per square foot. During the housing crisis, we were lucky to get $66 per square foot. »

Speaking about Martin and his work for South Euclid, Welo, in a written statement, said: “While we are saddened to lose Sally as Housing Director, we know she will do great things for Cleveland and the Mayor Bibb and we are proud of his leadership and accomplishments at South Euclid. For more than a decade, Ms. Martin, along with Director of Community Services Keith Benjamin and Director of Economic Development Michael Love, worked as a team to deal with the recession and the housing crisis and foreclosures and create programs and innovative initiatives that have had a positive impact on our community.

“Their leadership and creativity have been essential to the re-emergence of South Euclid as one of Greater Cleveland’s most vital and vibrant communities.”

Former South Euclid Building Commissioner Paul Kowalczyk introduced Martin to Welo. “He knew me from the neighborhood,” Martin said. “We were both living in Cleveland Heights at the time. He wanted someone else with a wit for the job (housing manager). He didn’t want a typical code enforcer. .

Martin moved to South Euclid in 2001 and intends to continue residing in the town after starting his new position.

Regarding getting his new job, Martin said: “I had a few conversations with the transition team (Bibb) and that led me to want to apply for their job in construction and housing. .”

She will go from overseeing a city of 9,600 homes to a city with tens of thousands and a department of 180 employees.

“I think the biggest challenge for this position will be to address some of the inequities in the lack of recovery on the east side, where values ​​have not rebounded. They are greatly disinvested and there is a significant risk of lead poisoning in children.

“I think the city (of Cleveland) has done a good job reinstating a rental registration and doing lead inspections. It started a few years ago. And I think now, with the big cash injection that we’ve all heard about this week, with the Cleveland Clinic putting $50 million into the problem, there are resources out there to really address the lead which is found in many of these rental houses, which is poisoning children. It is therefore an important first step.

the Cleveland Clinic provides $50 million over five years to the Lead Safe Cleveland Coalition, and the city, with the approval of the Cleveland City Council, will provide $17 million over two years from American Rescue Plan Act funds to the coalition.

“Additionally, I think Mayor Bibb’s goal is to bring City Hall into the 21st century, by improving customer service,” Martin said. “And it’s a big priority for the building department to align with that goal.”

See more news from Sun Messenger here.

FCFS EQUITY ALERT: Kessler Topaz Meltzer & Check, LLP announces that a securities fraud class action lawsuit has been filed against FirstCash Holdings, Inc.


RADNOR, Pa.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–The law firm Kessler Topaz Meltzer & Check, LLP advises investors that a class action securities lawsuit has been filed against FirstCash Holdings, Inc. (“FirstCash”) (NASDAQ: FCFS). The suit accuses FirstCash of violations of federal securities laws, including omissions and fraudulent misrepresentations regarding the company’s business, operations and prospects. As a result of FirstCash’s materially misleading statements to the public, FirstCash investors suffered significant losses.




COURSE PERIOD: from February 1, 2018 to November 12, 2021


James Maro, Esq. (484) 270-1453 or toll free (844) 887-9500 or email [email protected]


FirstCash operates retail pawnshops that lend money against pledged personal property and retail goods acquired through collateral forfeitures on forfeited pawnbrokers and over-the-counter merchandise purchases directly from customers.

The Military Loans Act (“MLA”) provides protections for active duty military personnel and their dependents under the extension of consumer credit. In November 2013, Cash America International, Inc. (which later merged with FirstCash) entered into a consent order with the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (“CFPB”) to provide loans to covered service members or their dependents in violation of the MLA. (the order”).

Then, on November 12, 2021, the CFPB announced that it had filed a complaint against FirstCash for violations of the MLA and the Order. Specifically, the complaint alleged that “between June 2017 and May 2021 (the only period for which the Bureau currently has defendants’ transactional data), [FirstCash and its subsidiary Cash America West, Inc.] together have granted more than 3,600 pledge loans to more than 1,000 covered borrowers in Arizona, Nevada, Utah and Washington. The CFPB found that, for all the loans at issue, FirstCash charged interest rates in excess of 36%, with rates frequently exceeding 200%. Additionally, the CFPB found that FirstCash’s loan sharking practices had been ongoing since at least October 2016 in violation of the order. A CFPB statement outlining the agency’s action against FirstCash said FirstCash had “deceived” and “defrauded” military families and “deprived them of their right to go to court.”

Following this news, FirstCash common stock fell from $85.84 per share on November 11, 2021 to $78.64 per share on November 12, 2021, a decrease of 8%.


PremierCash investors can no later than March 15, 2022, seek to be appointed as the lead plaintiff representing the class through Kessler Topaz Meltzer & Check, LLP or another attorney, or may choose to do nothing and remain an absent class member. Kessler Topaz Meltzer & Check, LLP encourages FirstCash investors who have suffered significant losses to contact the company directly for more information.



A lead plaintiff is a representative party who acts on behalf of all class members in directing the litigation. The lead applicant is usually the investor or small group of investors who have the greatest financial interest and who are also adequate and typical of the proposed category of investors. The lead plaintiff chooses an attorney to represent the lead plaintiff and the class and those attorneys, if approved by the court, are the lead or class attorneys. Your ability to participate in any collection is not affected by whether or not to serve as lead plaintiff.


Kessler Topaz Meltzer & Check, LLP pursues class action lawsuits in state and federal courts nationwide and around the world. The company has developed a worldwide reputation for excellence and has recovered billions of dollars for victims of fraud and other malpractice. All of our work is guided by a common goal: to protect investors, consumers, employees and others from fraud, abuse, corporate and fiduciary misconduct and negligence. In the end, we were successful if the bad guys pay and you get your assets back. The complaint in this action was not filed by Kessler Topaz Meltzer & Check, LLP. For more information on Kessler Topaz Meltzer & Check, LLP please visit www.ktmc.com.

Student debt crisis hits black borrowers hardest


Dr. Richelle Brooks has between $230,000 and $250,000 in student loan debt. She says she has been in higher education since graduating from high school.

“[I have] an Associate of Nursing, a Bachelor of Behavioral Science, a Master of Sociology, a Master of Curriculum and Teaching, a Science Teaching Degree, a Mathematics Teaching Degree, a Doctor of Education, and an administrative degree,” Brooks said. “And the last program I was enrolled in was a certificate in computer science.

She says she feels compelled to stay in school because it’s the only way to delay paying off her student loan.

“As soon as I get this bill saying, ‘Hey, your student loans would be due in six months,’ I’m going to find another place to go to school in another degree to achieve,” Brooks said. “I can’t afford it.”

Brooks was raised by a single mother in a poor community, and she says she thought it was okay to take out a lot of loans because that’s how she and her mother survived.

“There was no way out but to borrow money from where I was at the time,” Brooks said. “You know, I had no direction and I think that’s common with first-gen students. There’s really no plan. There aren’t a lot of people who know what you’re doing. .

Despite the debt, she loves and values ​​her education.

“We have knowledge and access to knowledge,” Brooks said. “We are improving, which is good for society.”

Now she is a single mother and school principal. She says she doesn’t make enough money to pay off her mounting debt, but her situation is not uncommon.

Dr. Jalil Mustafa Bishop is Associate Professor of Education at Villanova University.

“I study issues of racial justice and movement building in higher education with a particular focus on the student debt crisis,” Bishop said.

Bishop recently authored a report that focuses on the experiences of black students with their student loan debt.

“Sixty-six percent of those who responded to our survey regretted their student loans, nearly half said they had not experienced a positive return,” Bishop said. “In an interview, they explained that student debt is often not an option. They felt like they had done something they were required to do if they were to experience mobility if they were to gain access to higher education and have an opportunity for some of the promises which, according to us, will come with borrowing student loans and getting your degrees.

Bishop points out that income-based repayment plans are part of the problem.

“Black borrowers were having their payments adjusted to be ‘affordable’, but their payments weren’t enough to cover both interest and principal, so they were making payments for 10 or 20 years, but still seeing their student debt balance increase. every year while struggling to manage their payments,” Bishop said.

Black borrowers refer to these payment plans as a lifetime debt sentence.

“When we look at black students 20 years from now, they still owe about 95% of the student debt balance,” Bishop said. “When we look at white students 20 years from now, they’ve actually paid off 93% of their student debt.”

Dr. Armen Henderson works with Jalil as part of the Debt Collective, a membership-based union that aims to transform the individual financial struggle.

“It was just the narrative is if you want to pick yourself up by your boots, you have to go to school and the jobs will be there, the recession will be over, etc.,” Henderson said. “And it was ‘t, it wasn’t like that.

Henderson says black communities need to work even harder to be successful.

“I worked while I was in medical school,” Henderson said. “I was on food stamps when I was in med school and, you know, my dad became homeless and my brother became homeless when I was in med school.”

He is the first in his family to become a doctor, but he also has a debt of 250,000 dollars.

He says he is unable to make significant payments on this debt because he has to support his family.

“Now when I go to apply for a loan for a house and things of that nature or to start a business and things, you know, people look at this heavy debt that I have on my shoulders,” Henderson mentioned.

Both Henderson and Brooks are asking for debt cancellation to fix what they see as racial injustice. However, none of them regret their degrees.

“There is a need, definitely, for black academics,” Henderson said. “It’s really necessary. I just think it costs too much.

CFPB to begin reviewing post-secondary schools that lend directly to students | Ballard Spahr LLP


The CFPB has announced that it will begin reviewing post-secondary schools, such as for-profit colleges, that provide private loans directly to students and/or parents to fund undergraduate, graduate, and other forms of education. post-secondary education. The announcement was accompanied by the issue by the CFPB of a an update to its Student Loan Review Procedures Manual. The update includes a new section on credits given by schools directly to students and/or parents, which the handbook calls “institutional loans.”.” even though they may in fact be installment sale transactions.

The Dodd-Frank Act gave the CFPB supervisory power over entities that issue private education loans. It also gave the CFPB supervisory authority over the servicing of student loans by major banks. In 2013, the CFPB issued a “large participant rule” that allows it to oversee any non-bank federal or private student loan servicer if the servicer’s account volume, as defined by the rule, exceeds one million accounts.

According to CFPB press releasethe decision to start looking at schools doing direct lending stems from “CFPB concern[] on the borrower‘s experience with institutional loans due to past abuse in schools, such as those run by Corinthian and ITT, where students were subjected to high interest rates and heavy-handed debt collection practices. The CFPB notes that “[s]Schools have not historically been subject to the same service and origination oversight as traditional lenders.

The update aims to require CFPB reviewers, “in addition to reviewing general loan issues, [to] examine the facts about some actions that only schools can take against their students. Specifically, the update adds a new section titled “Additional Concerns for Institutional Lenders” that asks reviewers to consider the following when reviewing schools:

  • Whether the school calculates fees and tuition in connection with the credit product and, if applicable, calculates these items in accordance with the terms of the program in which the borrower is participating
  • Whether the school accurately and timely credits account transactions, including calculations of account balances after aid is distributed or returned
  • Whether the school uses payment plans or temporary credits for all or part of its programs
  • How the school calculates and issues repayments to borrowers who withdraw from school or a program before completing the program or term for which the loans were taken
  • If and under what circumstances the school withholds transcripts or otherwise refuses to certify program completion for students who have debt
  • If and under what circumstances the school imposes enrollment restrictions on institutional borrowers based on their repayment status
  • If and under what circumstances the school imposes additional fees or raises tuition fees for institutional borrowers based on their repayment status
  • If the school uses acceleration clauses with its institutional loans in situations where a borrower who withdraws from the school or a program owes more than the proportionate cost of the time they were enrolled in the program (and if the school uses such clauses, to compare the schools’ policies to those for the reimbursement of unused federal funds for similar programs)
  • Whether a loan product is a private education loan as defined by Regulation Z and, if so, whether the school complies with the TILA prohibition on using prepayment penalties for such loans

The press release includes a reference to “kickback arrangements that induced schools to direct students into certain loans” that caught the attention of regulators in the mid-2000s and include “the maintenance of lending” as one of the issues that CFPB reviewers will be looking at. when reviewing schools. However, this is not a new line of inquiry for CFPB examiners. Prior to the update, the manual already asked examiners to determine whether a private student loan lender had established “a partnership, referral relationship, or preferred lender agreement with an educational institution regarding the [lender’s] private education loan programs” and, where appropriate, to carry out certain evaluations.

[View source.]

2021 ends with foreclosures at an all time low and near record high crime rate; Serious crime still more than twice pre-pandemic levels


JACKSONVILLE, Florida., January 21, 2022 /PRNewswire/ — Dark Knight, Inc. (NYSE:BKI) reports the following “first look” at December 2021 month-end mortgage yield statistics drawn from its loan-level database representing the majority of the national mortgage market.

U.S. Total Delinquent Loan Rate (loans 30 days or more past due but not foreclosed): 3.38%
Month-to-month change: -5.88%
Year-over-year change: -44.46%

Total pre-sale inventory rate in the United States: 0.24%
Month-on-month change: -3.80%
Year-over-year change: -27.98%

Total number of seizures in the United States: 4,100
Month-to-month change: 10.81%
Year-over-year change: -42.25%

Monthly prepayment rate (MMS): 1.65%
Month-on-month change: -7.31%
Year-over-year change: -47.60%

Foreclosure sales in % of 90+: 0.29%
Month-to-month change: 12.07%
Year-over-year change: 324.16%

Number of properties overdue for 30 days or more but not seized: 1,799,000
Month-to-month change: -107,000
Year-over-year change: -1,452,000

Number of properties overdue for 90 days or more but not seized: 946,000
Month-to-month change: -80,000
Year-over-year change: -1,200,000

Number of properties in foreclosure pre-sale inventory: 128,000
Month-to-month change: -4,000
Year-over-year change: -50,000

Number of properties overdue for 30 days or more or in foreclosure: 1,927,000
Month-to-month change: -112,000
Year-on-year change: -1,502,000

Top 5 states by non-current percentage*
Louisiana: 7.06%
Mississippi: 6.91%
West Virginia: 5.37%
Alabama: 5.11%
Oklahoma: 5.08%

Bottom 5 States by Non-Current Percentage*
Utah: 2.20%
California: 2.13%
Washington: 2.03%
Colorado: 2.02%
Idaho: 1.85%

Top 5 States by Percentage of 90+ Day Offenders
Louisiana: 3.84%
Mississippi: 3.41%
Oklahoma: 2.55%
Alabama: 2.52%
Arkansas: 2.50%

Top 5 States by 6-Month Improvement in Non-Current Percentage*
Hawaii: -46.54%
Nevada: -35.61%
California: -34.04%
Vermont: -27.62%
Washington: -27.28%

Top 5 states by 6-month deterioration in non-current percentage*
Louisiana: -4.65%
Michigan: -8.74%
Indiana: -8.97%
Ohio: -12.09%
West Virginia: -12.10%

*Non-current totals combine foreclosures and delinquencies as a percentage of active loans in that state.

  1. Totals are extrapolated based on Black Knight’s mortgage database.
  2. All integers are rounded to the nearest thousand, except for foreclosure starts, which are rounded to the nearest hundred.

For a more detailed view of this month’s “first look” data, please visit the Dark Knight Newsroom. The company will provide a more in-depth look at this data in its monthly Mortgage Monitor report, which includes an analysis of the data supplemented by detailed charts and graphs that reflect trends and point observations. The Mortgage Monitor report will be available online at https://www.blackknightinc.com/data-reports/ through February 7, 2022. For more information on accessing Black Knight’s Loan Level Database, please email [email protected].

About the Dark Knight
Black Knight, Inc. (NYSE: BKI) is an award-winning software, data and analytics company that drives innovation in the mortgage and real estate lending and servicing industries, as well as in capital markets and secondary. Businesses leverage our robust integrated solutions across the homeownership lifecycle to help retain existing customers, win new customers, mitigate risk and operate more efficiently.

Our customers rely on our proven, comprehensive, and scalable products and our unwavering commitment to providing superior customer support to achieve their strategic goals and better serve their customers. For more information on Black Knight, please visit www.blackknightinc.com.

SOURCEBlack Knight, Inc.

5 Ways an Emergency Loan Helps Manage Expenses in a Snap


Emergencies tend to come unexpectedly, catching many people off guard. Even for those who diligently set aside money in a provident fund, sometimes that isn’t enough. In such cases, emergencies will force you to dip into your savings or liquidate assets, two paths you want to avoid. Fortunately, another option available to you is an emergency personal loan. These specially designed instruments can come to your aid when you need funds in the short term.

Today, most major lenders offer this type of financing solution. You can even have personalized offers for your profile, which makes the experience much faster. The emergency personal loan is a smart solution when you are in trouble as it offers you a way to deal with the problem without jeopardizing your finances.

Look at the following pointers for a better idea of ​​how an online emergency loan can help you.

Access funds without the need for collateral

Most new-age lenders today offer an unsecured emergency personal loan. This is an important feature as it greatly simplifies access to funds for two main reasons. First, not everyone has an asset to offer. Second, pledging securities can be quite a lengthy process as it often needs to be assessed and verified. This lengthens the treatment and can lead to delays, which usually cannot be accommodated in an emergency. The collateral-free nature of an emergency personal loan is key to having a smooth experience.

Plan the loan easily and efficiently with the EMI calculator

Even when you need immediate funds, you need to plan your loan properly. Poor planning will cause you to borrow beyond your means and pay far more than you think. Fortunately, planning is relatively easy with a personal loan interest calculator. These digital provisions are free and readily available on most lender websites. They allow you to predict loan repayments, calculate the cost of the loan and find relevant terms.

Benefit from a sanction of great value

One of the main benefits of getting an emergency personal loan from the right lender is that you have access to a significant sanction. In some cases, you can get up to Rs. 25 lakh, but keep in mind that the amount entirely depends on your financial profile. Either way, using these funds provides much-needed relief as you don’t have to dip into your savings. Also, in cases where you dip into your savings, you may not have enough to fund the myriad expenses associated with emergencies. However, this is not a problem when you have an emergency personal loan because you can borrow freely, within certain limits.

Apply online for expedited processing

You can now benefit from an emergency personal loan completely online and from the comfort of your own home. Lenders no longer require you to physically visit a branch and you can start the process online. In most cases, you have to fill out an online form, upload documents and wait for approval. All of these processes are undertaken digitally, including loan disbursement. Major lenders offer approval in just minutes and disburse funds within hours. These instruments are the ideal solution in an emergency because you get money on time.

An emergency personal loan from the right lender is arguably the best tool at your disposal in difficult situations. This is mainly because you are guaranteed to have access to the funds and have complete flexibility in how they are used. With finances in order, it is much easier to deal with most emergencies. However, when you are in dire need, you must have a lender who can provide you with a solution as quickly as you need it. One option that can deliver and in an expedited manner is the Bajaj Finserv emergency loan.

Packed with features, it’s the perfect tool for you when you’re in a tight spot. Whether you need funds for a medical emergency or need to make urgent payments for your business or any other immediate obligation, you can rely on this instrument. Depending on your profile, you can get up to Rs.25 lakh as sanction and get instant approval for the same! This is possible because you only need to meet minimum criteria and submit basic documents. Plus, it offers a competitive personal loan interest rate and a range of digital provisions to make the experience quick and easy. To avail this instant emergency personal loan, apply online by filling out the easy form.

Read also :

4 easy ways to get a wedding loan to fund your big day

Are you considering taking out a loan to renovate your home? Start with these 5 steps

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Borrowing in the Bengal market increases dramatically to meet unplanned spending


By Saibal Gupta

Kolkata, Jan. 20 (IANS): A quantum leap in market borrowing by the government of West Bengal in the current fiscal year gives a strong impression that the state government is currently trying to meet the extra expenditure needed for social schemes like Swastha Sathi or Lakshmir Bhandar announced by Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee before the election.

Simple arithmetic will make this easier. During the period of April 2020 to December 2020 when state revenue dropped to an all-time high due to the lockdown, the state raised around Rs 35,000 crore from the market but it is interesting to note that in the current financial year between April 2021 and December 2021, the state has opted for a market borrowing of Rs 52,500 crore. During the same period in 2019, the state borrowed Rs 28,000 cr through a state development loan.

However, a little deeper analysis will make things clearer. According to a notification issued by the Reserve Bank of India (RBI), a total of 12 Indian states have opted for a total market borrowing of Rs 20,659 crore on January 18, 2022. West Bengal’s borrowing in this tranche will be Rs 1,000 crore.

However, the silver lining is that unlike the previous three tranches, West Bengal is not the highest borrowing state, but it is Uttar Pradesh with the borrowing figure of Rs 3,000 crore that is the highest. raised.

This is the second tranche of market borrowings by the Government of West Bengal in the current month of January 2022. Earlier on January 6, 2022, the government of West Bengal borrowed Rs 2,500 crore, being the highest state borrower in this tranche. As of this date, nine Indian states have borrowed a total of Rs 19,340 crore on the open market.

Also in the last month of December 2021, West Bengal borrowed twice on the open market. On December 14, 2021, seven Indian states borrowed a total of Rs 7,053 crore. The state borrowed Rs 2,500 crore – the highest among state borrowers in this tranche.

Again, on December 24, 2021, 16 Indian states borrowed a total of Rs 22,984 crore, with the borrowing figure for West Bengal standing at Rs 4,000 crore. West Bengal was also the highest borrowing state in this tranche. This means that in just 35 days, from December 14, 2021 to January 18, 2022, West Bengal borrowed Rs 10,000 crore on the open market.

According to experts, with the decline in revenue generation, multiple borrowing from the market has now become the key constraint for the government of West Bengal to meet its recurrent expenditures. Experts are of the view that the state is struggling with out-of-plan spending mainly to deliver on promises made by Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee during her election campaign.

After coming to power for the third time, Banerjee announced two major projects – “Lakshmir Bhandar” and “Swastha Sathi” for all – projects which require huge financial involvement. “Lakhmir Bhandar is a project where the state is supposed to give Rs 1,000 to women belonging to SC/ST/OBC and Rs 500 to women belonging to general caste. The government has allocated a budget of about Rs 12,900 crore to about 1.8 crore women who have so far enrolled in the scheme.

Initially, the government had estimated that around 2 crore beneficiaries would register for “Lakshmir Bhandar”, but so far the government has received an application for 1.63 crore of which 1.52 crore have been approved. Nearly 7 lakh requests have been canceled. The government has spent more than Rs 800 crore on the project and based on the figure, the Ministry of Finance estimates that the state government will have to shell out another Rs 5,600 crore which in turn could lead to a staggering figure over a full fiscal year.

Against the central Ayushman Bharat, the state started its own scheme – “Sastya Sathi Prokolpo” where some citizens of the state received annual medical coverage of five lakh rupees. After coming to power in 2021, the Chief Minister opened ‘Svastha Sathi’ to all citizens of the state, resulting in a surge in spending. Even a year ago when the estimated budget for this project was around Rs 925 crore, this year the allocation touched an astronomical figure of Rs 2,000 crore per annum.

As a result, the state must look to the free market to meet additional financial needs. Economists say the government’s overreliance on market borrowing is an alarming trend and if not properly regulated could lead to economic collapse.

The first is that over the past ten years, the state’s out-of-plan spending has ballooned to such an alarming level that the government has become forced to borrow in the market to meet these expenses. Second, since the state government does not have a stable and alternative source of revenue generation, it must rely on borrowing from the market.

Finally, economists fear that the state government is on the verge of falling into a debt trap, where it has resorted to new borrowing to pay off past debts. Economists also estimate that currently the ratio of debt to state gross domestic product (GSDP) in West Bengal has reached 30% and things will spiral out of control if it reaches 50%.

Economic and financial experts also believe that this borrowing trend highlights two things. According to them, in the absence of a proper revenue generation model where state excise is not the only source, there will be no choice for the state government but to opt for regular borrowings on the market. The second factor is that as a result of soaring out-of-plan spending in recent years, there has been an increased need for market borrowing to meet these expenses.

Long Beach plans to use bonds to increase housing stock for middle-income renters • Long Beach Post News


In Los Angeles County, the average median income is $80,000 for a household of four; four-person households would qualify for these units if they earned between $64,000 and $96,000 per year. (For a complete list of median incomes by household size, Click here.)

Long Beach and other cities have tried to increase the area’s housing stock for middle-income people, which often isn’t attractive to developers because it doesn’t come with financial incentives like low-income housing and does not attract high rents like luxury housing.

Last year, the city explored a pilot program with the state by issuing $144 million in bonds to buy the 216-unit Oceanaire luxury apartment building Downtown and lease its units at lower rates.

As part of the deal, Waterford, the operator of the building, remained administrator of the project and is expected to receive $11.5 million over the next 15 years through fees from rent payments, and the city could choose to buy the building at the 15 or 30 year mark.

However, Long Beach and other tax agencies will not collect property taxes on the property for the duration of the transaction, which the consultants say is one of the drawbacks of these types of transactions.

A November letter from CSG Advisors, HR&A Advisors, and the California Housing Partnership to California governments described the pitfalls of these types of deals as more deals spring up in the state:

  • The bonds issued are unrated, which means that creditors have not determined the risks and value of the bonds, as well as the probability of default.
  • Many provisions of the agreements to date are not enforceable by the local government, such as the amounts charged for rent and the duration of those discounted rents.
  • The repayment of the bonds depends on the increase in rents.
  • And there is often no entity legally responsible for the property, leaving tenants with no one to turn to with concerns over repairs and other issues are among the issues cited in the letter.

The way the bonds are structured is risky, the letter says, and points to a 2019 project in Santa Rosa that has already failed to meet revenue projections and led to talks to restructure the bonds less than two years after the start of the project.

The letter provided several examples of how financing similar to the Oceanaire deal, with more secure underwriting measures, either failed or required a government agency to step in and take over ownership. The letter noted that between 2016 and 2018, the Illinois Finance Authority purchased five existing apartment portfolios for $170 million in BBB-rated bonds or higher and all five defaulted in 2019.

Part of the problem is that the bonds being issued don’t require upfront rents to cover the repayment of the bonds and actually require affordable housing rents to increase to do so.

If rents do not increase to cover more than just the interest portion of the bonds, the property could go into foreclosure. In the case of the Oceanaire, if it falls into foreclosure, the city may have to pay off its debt before it can sell the property, which could eat away at the revenue generated from the sale that was supposed to offset decades of lost property taxes. .

“As organizations with decades of experience in housing finance throughout California, we believe that deviating from the normal underwriting standards of all major banks and federal entities creates serious risks,” the letter states. . “The bigger the gap, the bigger the risk. In particular, we believe that relying on future growth in net operating income to pay down debt is extremely dangerous.

While the Long Beach City Council voted last year to enter the pilot program with Waterford, it wasn’t the only entity that lost property tax revenue.

County, school districts and local colleges that rely on tax revenue will also lose the Oceanaire Project and others like it, the letter says, noting that the city’s share is often five to eight times less than other tax entities. who don’t. have a say in the matter. Long Beach is expected to lose $8 million during the pilot program, while other agencies will lose a total of $43 million.

Some recommendations that may eventually become part of Long Beach policy in the future would be to charge a “welcome fee” paid by bond buyers who would recoup the city’s share of property taxes.

Rents for any project acquired through this process could also be tied to state income limits, not to exceed 30% of a household’s income, which is the federal standard for rent charges, and be subject to an act restriction for 55 years. , all of whom were absent from the Oceanaire purchase.

Oceanaire rents have been standardized, with studios costing as little as $1,841 per month and three-bedroom units up to $3,941 per month.

The city may also be able to count units acquired through this process and reserved for those earning less than 100% of the area’s median income as part of their Regional Housing Needs Assessment goals.

Long Beach aims to create 26,502 total units by 2031, of which 4,158 are supposed to be for moderate-income households. Below Assembly Bill 787, which was signed into law in September, Long Beach could create 25% (1,040) of its moderate-income units through vesting and deed restrictions.

City Council is expected to receive an update on the policy in the coming months, when it may vote to approve guidelines for any future city acquisitions of new or existing rental units.

State program could ease pressure on construction of moderate-income housing

Long Beach has room for projected housing needs, but current zoning protects wealthier areas from density

Africans can now trade across the continent without worrying about the dollar


This article was contributed to TechCabal by Conrad Onyango/bird

A new pan-African payment system removes legacy complexities, including the cost of cross-border payments, boosts operational efficiency and opens a new path to more stable and stronger African currencies and is expected to boost intra-African trade.

A Kenyan customer can now pay for a product from Ghana in Kenyan shillings, while the trader receives payment for the goods in Ghanaian cedi, without annoying conversion issues, following the official launch of a revolutionary payment system in Africa.

The Pan-African Payment and Settlement System (PAPSS) which allows merchants to make real-time money transfers from one African country to another went live in Ghana last week, triggering its roll-out to other African countries.

Strengthening local currencies

The Afreximbank, Africa Union and AfCFTA initiative removes the use of the dollar and other third-party currencies from the transaction matrix, providing a new opportunity to create demand and strengthen local currencies.

Small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) will be the main beneficiaries of estimated annual savings of US$5 billion in customs clearance and transaction costs, as more people start using the new cross-border payment platform. continent.

The savings will allow small businesses to unlock billions of dollars and ease the financial burden needed for traders to expand beyond their country’s borders to access the world’s largest free trade area, the African Continental Free Trade Area, with a market value of $3 trillion. U.S. dollars.

“The commercial launch marks an important step in seamlessly connecting African markets. This will give new impetus to businesses to scale more easily across Africa and is expected to save the continent over $5 billion in transaction costs every year,” said Mike Ogbalu, CEO of PAPSS.

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Small and medium enterprises form the backbone of Africa’s economy, accounting for more than 90% of businesses and employing around 60% of workers, according to the International Trade Center.

However, at the heart of its project “Promoting the competitiveness of SMEs in Africa” report, is the revelation that African SMEs face a huge financing gap, estimated at more than US$136 billion every year.

And while the report claims that capital is the biggest obstacle to local merchants growing – due to scarcity, high interest rates, high collateral requirements and cumbersome application processes, it also reveals that women traders are the hardest hit.

“It is particularly difficult for women to obtain finance, as fewer African women have bank accounts, compared to men, and legal rights to family capital and collateral can be restrictive, given local laws and customs. on land ownership,” according to the report. .

The Executive Director of the International Trade Center, Pamela Coke-Hamilton, said African countries now have a commercially viable tool that can overcome a critical barrier preventing MSMEs from trading competitively even in times of uncertainty. indicating the end of the negative impact of exchange rate fluctuations. .

“ITC prepares businesses to benefit from PAPSS, creating new opportunities for growth in cross-border e-commerce and sustainable trade,” said Coke-Hamilton.

The new payment platform has the potential to reduce transaction time to seconds, removing a major barrier to the growth of intra-African e-commerce, services and goods.

The platform has had a successful pilot in all seven West African countries – Gambia, Gambia, Ghana, Guinea, Liberia, Nigeria and Sierra Leone – that make up the West African Monetary Zone (WAMZ).

With talks underway to integrate other African central banks, the continent could also be seen moving closer to a single currency.

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Dun & Bradstreet Announces Closing of Additional Term Loans


JACKSONVILLE, Fla.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Dun & Bradstreet Holdings, Inc. (NYSE: DNB), a leading global provider of business intelligence and analytics, today announced that its indirect wholly-owned subsidiary, The Dun & Bradstreet Corporation ( the “Borrower”), has completed the issuance of additional term loans in the aggregate amount of $460.0 million (the “Additional Term Loans”) which were incurred as a result of the exercise by the borrower of its option to request additional term loans under its senior secured credit facilities. The Additional Term Loans are secured on a senior secured basis by each of the Borrower’s Subsidiaries that guarantees indebtedness under the Borrower’s Senior Secured Credit Facilities.

The borrower used the net proceeds of the additional term loans to (i) fund the previously announced redemption of all of its outstanding 6.875% senior notes due 2026 and (ii) pay fees, costs, premiums and expenses related. The additional term loans will bear interest at a rate equal to SOFR plus 3.25% and will mature on January 18, 2029. Additional Term Loans are the same as the existing Term Loans that were in effect prior to the issuance of such Additional Term Loans.

About Dun & Bradstreet

Dun & Bradstreet, one of the world’s leading providers of business intelligence and analytics, enables companies around the world to improve their business performance. Dun & Bradstreet’s Data Cloud powers solutions and delivers insights that enable clients to accelerate revenue, reduce costs, mitigate risk and transform their businesses. Since 1841, businesses of all sizes have relied on Dun & Bradstreet to help them manage risk and reveal opportunity.

Forward-looking statements

This press release contains forward-looking statements that involve a number of risks and uncertainties. Statements that are not historical facts, including statements regarding expectations, hopes, intentions or strategies regarding the future, are forward-looking statements. Forward-looking statements are based on the beliefs and assumptions of Dun & Bradstreet’s management and information currently available to them. Because these statements are based on expectations of future financial and operating results and are not statements of fact, actual results may differ materially from those projected. Dun & Bradstreet undertakes no obligation to update any forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise. The risks and uncertainties to which forward-looking statements are subject include, but are not limited to: a global or localized disease outbreak, pandemic or health epidemic, or fear of such an event (such as the coronavirus (“coronavirus”) COVID-19 “global pandemic), including global economic uncertainty and measures taken in response; the short-term and long-term effects of the global COVID-19 pandemic, including the pace of recovery or any future resurgence; our ability to implement and execute our strategic plans to transform the business; our ability to develop or sell solutions on a timely basis or maintain relationships with our customers; competition for our solutions; damage to our brand and reputation; adverse global economic conditions; risks associated with international operations and expansion; failure to prevent cybersecurity incidents or the perception that confidential information is not secure; failure of the integrity of our data or systems; system failures and personnel disruptions that could delay the delivery of our solutions to our customers; loss of access to data sources or the ability to transfer data between data sources in the markets in which we operate; failure of our software providers and our network and cloud providers as planned or if our relationship ends; the loss or impairment of one or more of our major customers, business partners or government contracts; reliance on strategic alliances, joint ventures and acquisitions to grow our business; our ability to adequately or cost-effectively protect our intellectual property; intellectual property infringement claims; interruptions, delays or failures of subscription or payment processing platforms; risks related to the acquisition and integration of businesses and the disposal of existing businesses; our ability to retain members of the management team and to attract and retain qualified employees; compliance with governmental laws and regulations; risks relating to the ag ment voting letter entered into in connection with the IPO and registration and other rights held by certain of our major shareholders; and the other factors described in our Annual Report on Form 10-K for the fiscal year ended December 31, 2020 and our Quarterly Report on Form 10-Q for the quarter ended September 30, 2021.

What credit score do you start with?


When people start using credit, they start building both a credit history and a credit score, but what credit score do you start with? If you’ve never applied for a credit card or taken out a loan, do you at least have a credit score? If you’re new to credit, what are the best ways to quickly establish a good credit rating?

Let’s take a look at how credit scores work, including how your first credit score is calculated, how to establish good credit, and whether there is a “starting credit score.”

Where does your credit score start?

It all depends on how you start using the credit. Some people wonder if the starting credit score is zero, for example, or if we all start with a credit score of 300 (the lowest possible FICO score). The truth is that there is no “starting credit score”. We each build our own unique credit score based on how we use credit.

If you haven’t started using credit yet, you won’t have a credit score. You start building your credit score after opening your first line of credit, such as a credit card or student loan. At this point, your credit score is determined by how you use that initial credit account. As lenders report your credit activity to the three major credit bureaus (Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion), you will begin to build a credit file that will be used to determine your starting credit score.

According to FICO, the minimum scoring criteria are:

  1. At least one credit account open for six months or more.
  2. At least one credit account that has been reported to any of the three major credit bureaus within the last six months.

It is important to note that you can meet these requirements with one account or several.

When a lender or landlord investigates your credit history, they see a credit score that reflects how you use your open credit accounts. Key factors include whether you make payments on time and how much of your available credit you are using. If you use your first credit account responsibly, you might be building good credit before you know it. If you miss payments or max out your credit cards, your brand new credit score could suffer.

What is the starting credit score? This is the wrong question to ask, since the answer does not technically exist. Instead, ask yourself how you can establish the best credit score possible.

How is your credit score calculated?

If you want to establish and maintain a good credit score, you need to know how a credit score is calculated. Your FICO credit score is based on the following five factors:

  • Payment history (35%): Your on-time payment history is the most important factor that determines your score. Even if you can only make the minimum payment on your credit cards, make sure you do it on time.
  • Amounts due (30%): This is your credit usage. Try to keep the amounts you owe below 30% of your available credit. If you have a credit card with a credit limit of $1,000, for example, try to keep your outstanding balance below $300. If your balance increases, do your best to pay it off as quickly as possible.
  • Length of credit history (15%): This accounts for how long you’ve been using credit is another key role in building your credit score. If you’re new to credit, your credit history won’t be very long, but it’s only a matter of time.
  • Composition of credit (10%): The different types of credit accounts in your name also play a key role. Your credit score might improve if you have both revolving debt (like credit cards) and installment debt (like loans) in your credit history, but don’t worry if you don’t. not yet taken out a loan. You can still establish a good credit score with just credit cards.
  • New credit (10%): The final factor in your credit score is based on how often you apply for new credit. Try to wait three to six months between credit card applications to avoid lowering your credit score with too many new credit applications.

What are the FICO credit score ranges?

In addition to understanding how a FICO credit score is calculated, it’s a good idea to know about FICO credit score ranges. FICO scores range from 300 to 850 and are broken down into the following categories:

  • Exceptional: 800-850
  • Very well: 740-799
  • Good: 670-739
  • Fair: 580-669
  • Very poor: 300-579

Your goal should be to get your FICO score above 670 as quickly as possible. Once you have good credit, you can apply for some of today’s best credit cards. In addition, it will be easier for you to take out a mortgage loan, rent an apartment, buy a car, subscribe to a new smartphone plan and Suite.

Can you have a credit score without a credit card?

Is it possible to build up credit without a credit card? Yes, but you still need to have at least one line of credit associated with your name. If you take out a student loan or car loan, for example, these credit accounts become part of your credit history and help establish your starting credit score. You can also build credit by becoming an authorized user on a friend or relative’s credit card, or use a service like Experian Boost to add telecom and utility payments to your Experian credit report.

If you don’t have a credit card, where does your credit score start? It all depends on how you use other credit accounts in your name. If you’re making timely payments on your student loan, for example, you’re working hard to build up a positive credit history. If your payments are consistently late, your credit history and credit score might not be as good.

How to check your credit score

If you’re new to credit, it’s a good idea to check your own credit score before you start applying for additional credit cards or loans. This way, you won’t make the mistake of applying for a credit card designed for people with great credit when your own credit is still average.

Many banks and credit card issuers give you access to free credit scores. Credit monitoring services provide weekly credit score updates and monitor potential threats to your credit (such as identity theft attempts). You can also access your credit score through some popular personal finance apps, such as Mint.

Some free credit score services will provide you with a VantageScore instead of a FICO score. VantageScore is one of FICO’s main competitors and although its scoring system is slightly different from FICO’s, the credit ranges do overlap. If you have good credit with VantageScore, you will have good credit with FICO.

The bottom line

Your credit score doesn’t start at zero, but no matter how you choose to build a credit history, it’s imperative that you start off on the right foot. You can build good credit by selecting the right credit card to meet your financial goals and habits, making payments on time, keeping balances low, and tracking your credit history as it grows. .

These steps will help you establish a positive credit history, establish good credit, and prepare you for responsible credit card use throughout your life. There is no starting credit score, but you have a lot of control over where your credit score ends.

Coronary collaterals provide significant CAD perfusion


the to study covered in this summary was posted on medRxiv.org as a preprint and has not yet been peer reviewed.

Take away key

  • In the first study describing the extent of coronary microvascular collateral perfusion, researchers found that 60% of compromised myocardial perfusion is provided by collaterals, despite coronary occlusion and the absence of collateral vessels visible to the angiography.

why it matters

  • The presence of collaterals has been shown to be associated with better outcomes in patients with coronary artery disease. However, the extent of myocardial perfusion provided by collateral circulation during experimental balloon occlusion is described for the first time.

study design

  • In a retrospective substudy of a larger cohort, patients with no history myocardial infarction, bypass, or collaterals visible on angiography underwent elective surgery percutaneous transluminal coronary angioplasty (PTCA) to a single coronary vessel between September 1995 and April 1996.

  • 1100 MBq of 99mTc-sestamibi was injected after 3 minutes of full inflation of the intracoronary balloon, and SPECT imaging of the vessels took place within 3 hours of injection (occlusion study). A second SPECT imaging study the day after PTCA with 1100 MBq of 99mTc-sestamibi was done (control study).

  • Occlusion ratio and extent of perfusion between occlusion and control studies were calculated. Statistical analysis was performed using R software and differences between groups were tested using the Wilcoxon test. A P a value

Principle results

  • ACTP was performed in 21 patients with a mean balloon occlusion time of 5 minutes.

  • The size of the perfusion defect was 16% of the left ventricle, and the collateral perfusion in the perfusion defect was 64% of normal perfusion in this region for the entire cohort.

  • Collateral perfusion was negatively correlated with the size of the perfusion defect (R2 = 0.85; P

  • On average, despite coronary occlusion and the absence of collateral vessels visible on angiography, the collaterals provide 60% of the perfusion that reaches the compromised myocardium.


  • The study included only 21 patients but was considered adequate for a point estimate and provided sufficient variability for myocardium underpinned by an occluded coronary artery.

  • Adoption of 99mTc-sestamibi after balloon deflation could potentially falsely increase estimates of collateral perfusion. Given that the average balloon injection time was 5 minutes and that 8% of 99mTc-sestamibi remains in the bloodstream after 5 minutes, the measured infusion results might have been overestimated by 8%.

  • Angiography of the contralateral vessel was not performed during balloon angioplasty inflation in this study. It is unknown whether collateral vessels can be visualized by angiography during balloon occlusion.

  • The analysis was performed on images not corrected for attenuation, which could overestimate the perfusion defect by 3%.


This is an abstract of a preprint research study, “Coronary collaterals not visible by invasive angiography may provide more than half of normal perfusion at rest in patients with coronary artery disease”, written by Brandon Harris, Ravinay Bhindi, MBBS, PhD, Martin Ugander, MD, PhD, and Usaid Allahwala, MBBS, PhD, from the Kolling Institute at Royal North Shore Hospital and the University of Sydney, Australia. Stafford Warren, MD, of Anne Arundel Medical Center in Annapolis, MD, also contributed. Eva Persson, MD, PhD, from the Department of Clinical Physiology and Skane University Hospital in Lund, Sweden, also contributed. Michael Ringborn, MD, PhD, of the Chest Center at Blekinge Country Hospital in Karlskrona, Sweden, also contributed. This medRxiv study is brought to you by Medscape.

Central bank tightens exposure limit to single borrower


Bangladesh Bank has reduced the limit on loans made by a bank to a single person or organization to 25% of its total regulatory capital – a reduction from the previous 35%.

From now on, no bank will be allowed to extend more than 15% funded loans and more than 10% unfunded loans to any person or organization, according to a circular from the bank’s Banking Regulation and Policy Department. central published on Sunday.

Funded loans are given in cash while unfunded loans are in the form of letter of credit (LC) and collateral.

Under the previous rules, banks could lend up to 35% of their total liabilities to a single person or entity. Of this amount, 15% were funded loans and 20% unfunded loans.

However, in the case of the electricity sector, banks will be allowed to provide funded and unfunded loans worth 50% of total capital.

The circular further indicates that banks that have loans in default of less than 3% will be able to grant large loans up to a maximum of 50% of the total capital. Those with less than 5% loans in default will be able to provide up to 46% large loans, those with less than 10% will be able to provide 42% and those with less than 15% loans in default will be able to provide 38% large loans.

In addition, banks with less than 20% of loans in default will be able to grant large loans representing 34% of the capital, and banks with 20% or more of loans in default will be able to grant 30%.

The central bank issued the circular with a view to strengthening banks’ credit risk management by limiting concentrated exposures and thereby further improving the stability of the banking sector.

In this regard, an official of the BB indicated that according to the law on banking companies, in the case of a single borrower, it was indicated that it should not be higher than 25%. Following this, the central bank has now issued this instruction.

Can a gay cruise keep 4,700 people safe amid Covid?


Of the 2,700 rooms sold, Mr Campbell said only 35 had been canceled since January 1.

For guests unable to travel due to government restrictions or closures, Atlantis is showing more flexibility and issuing credits for future cruises, Campbell said. Due to the rapidly changing circumstances of the pandemic, he said, the company is addressing cancellation requests on a case-by-case basis and trying to accommodate as many people as possible.

“We are here to take care of people and we do our best,” he said. “But if someone comes to us and just says they want their money back, because they don’t feel comfortable going on a cruise, we recommend that they get travel insurance ‘cancel for any reason’ whether it be “.”

Since restarting operations in the United States in June, many cruise lines and tour operators have adopted flexible cancellation policies, offering credits or refunds to customers who wish to change their itinerary due to the coronavirus.

Prior to the pandemic, Atlantic Events welcomed over 25,000 guests each year, hosting specialist gay and lesbian events on cruise ships and resorts around the world. Last year it was forced to cancel or postpone several events, including its 30th anniversary cruise.

“We went almost two years without income and we are a self-funded small business. It was a huge challenge to survive,” Mr Campbell said.

Although the company is not offering refunds, it says the health and safety of its guests is a top priority and that it will enforce Royal Caribbean’s health and safety protocols, which include a face mask mandate. indoors, except while eating and drinking and in crowded spaces outdoors. . Royal Caribbean officials say that while the Omicron variant has increased cases aboard its ships in recent weeks, most infections have been mild and have not resulted in serious illness. Still, with a growing number of crew and passengers contracting the virus, the cruise line, like other cruise lines, canceled several trips this month in what it called “a lot of caution” due to “continuing developments related to Covid”. terms.”

Passengers booked on the Atlantis cruise are keeping a close eye on the Celebrity Millennium cruise ship, which was chartered this week by another LGBT travel company for a seven-night Caribbean cruise. This ship’s capacity is much smaller, at 2,218 passengers, but coronavirus cases have been reported to the CDC and have reached their threshold for investigation.

BCNI attempts to match Schenectady area homeowners facing foreclosure with subsidies – The Daily Gazette


SCHENECTADY — The pandemic-era moratorium on mortgage foreclosures has expired, prompting housing and neighborhood organization Schenectady BCNI to sound the alarm about grants of up to $50,000 available for struggling homeowners.

The foreclosure freeze against landlords behind on monthly mortgage payments was implemented for the same reason as the moratorium on evictions for tenants behind on their rent: to prevent a housing crisis from developing alongside the public health crisis affecting much of the state and the nation. .

However, by delaying crises for occupiers, the double moratorium created problems for lenders and for owners, especially small owners. In September 2021, both freezes were extended until January 15, 2022. They were no longer extended.

Helping people facing a housing crisis has long been a core mission of Better Community Neighborhoods Inc.

CEO Jennica Huff said the Homeowners Relief Fund is an ideal tool for this purpose.

New York got $540 million of a $10 billion federal allocation to prevent lockdowns or utility cuts. But it’s distributed statewide, not regionally, and it’s first come, first served, so BCNI is trying to spread the word. Grants can reach $50,000.

“So it’s an important resource but it’s very, very limited,” Huff said. “It is imperative that people enter one of more than 70 counseling agencies in the state.”

BCNI is the only HUD-certified housing counseling agency in the city, Huff said. It has assigned four advisors to the HAF process since the application portal opened on January 3.

BCNI housing counseling program manager Alexandria Carver said she had not received as many requests from HAF as she expected.

Maybe they were waiting for the moratorium on foreclosures to end, or they don’t know about the program, or they know but are intimidated, she said.

“I don’t know if people don’t even know it exists,” she said, or “if people disqualify themselves before they even apply.”

“The process is pretty simple and you can go through it in about 15 to 20 minutes,” Carver said.

All you need is a mortgage statement and photo ID.

“New York State made it this easy,” she said.

Until the end of the second week of applications, BCNI saw a range of applicants – young families and empty nests.

Many are people whose income or financial management issues go back years, for whom the COVID crisis has become a tipping point.

Using pending tax foreclosure lists, BCNI sent Housing Assistance Fund notices to 1,053 landlords.

“We’ve had a few calls from our shippers, so I guess our efforts aren’t wasted, but we want people to move,” Carver said. “The seniors are not coming as I expected.”

The first applicant to gain conditional approval for HAF with help from BCNI was a woman from Scotland who lost her job and fell months behind on her mortgage payments.

“I got laid off in March 2021 and was lucky enough to have severance for a few months,” she said.

In October, money was tight and something had to give.

The woman, who asked not to be identified, said: “I didn’t think I would be unemployed for so long. I have exhausted my unemployment benefits at this point.

A complicating factor is the unavailability of childcare services. She is a single mother of an elementary school student and doesn’t want her child home alone, but she can’t find after-school care and she hasn’t found a good job that would allow her to work at home. residence.

Another complicating factor for this Scottish homeowner: she bought and repaired an abandoned house with a SONYMA mortgage, which she described as more rigid than most.

The HAF approval she received on January 11 is conditional. She must prove that she has exhausted all other options before obtaining a grant.

“So I’m still uncertain as to what will be awarded if anything is awarded.”

She said her lender had been difficult to work with, but BCNI was helping her long before HAF was available.

“As far as losing my home, I haven’t let it stress me out at this point,” she added.

More from The Daily Gazette:

Categories: Business, News, Schenectady County

One-time relief for those in default


Does the program cover defaulting debtors in the personal loan, car loan and education loan segments?

No. Certain categories of defaulting loans are not covered by this Special Single Settlement Program (OTS). It includes personal loans, home loans, education loans, net overdrafts and car/vehicle loans. Even loans made on bank deposits, LIC, KVIP policies, mutual funds, stocks, etc. are also not eligible.

Is it possible for a loan defaulter who repays the loan settled by “compromise” to benefit from the advantages of this special OTS regime?

No. Non-performing loans settled through a “compromise” whose repayment has already started in accordance with the agreed terms are not eligible. However, if a defaulter has failed to meet the terms of the settlement through a “compromise”, they can go the OTS route.

It should be noted that in cases being processed through the “compromise” route and where the amount of the offer is higher than the amount of the OTS will not be eligible. Even failing units undergoing rehabilitation/restructuring do not fall within the scope of the program either. However, units whose rehabilitation/restructuring failed are eligible. There are also cases decided by the court in favor of the bank, which are not eligible for the OTS scheme.

Housing Market Fuels More Borrowing | News, Sports, Jobs


LOS ANGELES — Fierce competition, low mortgage rates and soaring prices that helped push mortgage borrowing to record highs last year are expected to drive lending even higher this year, experts say.

Banks lent about $1.61 trillion for home purchases last year, up about 9% from 2020, according to the Mortgage Bankers Association. That exceeds the $1.51 trillion lent at the height of the housing bubble in 2005, the highest since 1990.

Lenders issued 4.74 million loans to borrowers buying a home last year, up from 4.92 million in 2020, according to the MBA. Despite this, the dollar value of purchase loans rose last year as home prices soared, often when buyers agreed to pay well above the seller’s asking price to outbid offers. competitors.

“Strong housing demand, a persistent increase in housing demand, limited supply, rising prices – that’s what led to this record level of buying last year”, said Mike Fratantoni, MBA’s chief economist.

The housing market has strengthened during the pandemic as many Americans shifted to working from home, which put extra living space at a premium. Steady job growth, a stock market at all-time highs, rising rents and expectations of higher mortgage rates have also boosted homebuyers, even as soaring prices and a historically low level of homes in sell have excluded many others.

Median U.S. home prices in October were nearly 20% higher than a year earlier, according to the latest S&P CoreLogic Case-Shiller Home Price Index.

The housing market is expected to continue to sizzle this year, which is why the MBA predicts the dollar value of home purchase loans will hit a new high of $1.74 trillion.

While inventory for sale may end up being a bit better than 2021 as homebuilders create more homes, that still won’t be enough to give buyers the upper hand, Fratantoni said.

“2022 will always be a seller’s market” he said. “There is more demand than supply, and that is why we are confident that prices will continue to rise.”

Meanwhile, homebuyers will likely have less buying power this year to deal with rising home prices.

The extraordinarily low mortgage rates that have helped fuel demand in the housing market are expected to continue to climb in 2022 as the Federal Reserve gradually phased out the monthly bond purchases it has been making since the early days of the pandemic.

The central bank has already signaled that it plans to start raising interest rates as early as this spring to control the sharp rise in inflation.

The average rate on the benchmark 30-year fixed-rate mortgage has remained around 3% in 2021. The MBA forecast predicts that this average rate will rise to 4% this year.

This is close to the forecasts of other housing economists. The National Association of Realtors predicts the average rate will rise to 3.7% by the end of this year. Greg McBride, chief financial analyst at Bankrate, expects rates to peak at 4%, but end the year at 3.5%.

“It will be a bit of a roller coaster” McBride said. “The rate hike we expect in 2022 will not cut the veils on the housing market, but it will significantly alter the refinancing equation.”

Homeowners borrowed some $2.32 trillion in 2021 to refinance their mortgage, down about 12% from 2020, when refinancing hit an all-time high, according to the MBA. Taken together, mortgage refinances in 2021 and 2020 amounted to nearly $5 trillion.

The MBA predicts mortgage refinancing will fall to $870 billion this year, the lowest since 2018’s $467 billion.

Copyright 2022 The Associated Press.

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Governor Murphy takes action on dozens of bills

TRENTON – Today, Governor Murphy signed into law the following bills:

S-83/A-1580 (Bateman, Codey/Houghtaling, McKeon, Downey) – Establishes the “Jersey Native Plant Program”

S-523/A-1112 (Vitale, Cryan/Murphy, Dancer, Stanley) – Enters New Jersey into the Interstate Medical License Agreement

S-749/A-2464 (Gopal, Cruz-Perez/Benson, Murphy, Jimenez) – Provides voluntary contributions from taxpayers on gross income statements for ovarian cancer research

S-771/A-6195 (Scutari/Downey) – Extends workers’ compensation coverage to employer-provided parking areas

S-845/A-4649 (Pou, Singleton/Lopez, Wimberly, Mukherji) – Requires health professional licensing boards to use the National Practitioner Database

S-1053/A-4562 (Singleton, Sweeney, Cryan/Quijano, Mukherji, Moen) – Establishes shoreline salary standards

S-1604/A-2808 (Codey, Pou/Schaer, Reynolds-Jackson, Mukherji) – Requires certification of diligent investigation in residential mortgage foreclosure actions to be filed by attorneys

S-1790/ACS for A-1662 (Pennacchio, Diegnan/Quijano, Jimenez, Danielsen) – Revises the provisions required in the school district’s anti-bullying policy; provides for the civil liability of the parent of a minor offender tried for cyberbullying or harassment; and increases some fines against parents

S-2811/A-4838 (Singleton, Ruiz/Reynolds-Jackson, Verrelli, Vainiéri Huttle) – Requires the report card to include information regarding the number of mental health professionals and school safety specialists employed by each school district

S-2817/A-4624 (Gopal, Pennacchio/Downey, Danielsen, Houghtaling) – Allows active duty members to provide a document other than DD-214 when claiming Veterans Preference for Public Service

S-3119/A-5740 (Ruiz, Pou/Mukherji, Zwicker, Reynolds-Jackson) – Allows certain students with T, U, or O visas to qualify for in-state tuition and allows students with T or U visas to qualify for student financial aid

S-3455/A-5262 (Madden, AM Bucco, Sweeney/Murphy, Houghtaling, Timberlake) – Revises eligibility requirements for the NJ Work Ability Program and the Personal Assistance Services Program

S-3494/A-5516 (Sweeney, Weinberg, Vitale/Vainieri Huttle, Giblin, Murphy) – Adds two public members to the State Board of Chiropractic Examiners and prohibits licensing of those convicted of certain offenses

S-3501/A-5531 (Testa, Madden/Mazzeo) – Exempts certain commercial fishermen from coverage under the “Unemployment Compensation Act”

S-3632/A-5645 (Codey, Vitale/Conaway, Mukherji, Stanley) – Expands exemption from restrictions on referrals to health care professionals; requires that certain references be made in accordance with certain professional standards

S-3656/A-5583 (Ruiz/Pintor Marin) – Concerns public transport parking tax

S-3683/A-5380 (Ruiz, Gopal/Moen, Jasey, Vainiéri Huttle) – Requires higher education institutions to provide certain student loan information

S-3771/A-2256 (Oroho, Beach/Dancer, Caputo, Burzichelli) – Requires continuation of live horse racing for standard breed racetracks holding a sports betting license

S-4070/A-6153 (Sweeney, Oroho/Danielsen) – Increases thresholds for environmental assessment requirements for certain transportation projects under Executive Order No. 215 of 1989

SCS for S-4080/ACS for A-6088 (Cruz-Perez, Turner/Spearman, Moen, Reynolds-Jackson) – Authorizes municipalities to combat certain illegal uses of all-terrain vehicles and dirt bikes through the seizure and, in certain circumstances, the destruction of vehicles

S-4213/A-6169 (Pou/Swain, McKeon) – Revises current legislation to incorporate the provisions of the bilateral agreement between the United States and the European Union on prudential measures in insurance and reinsurance

SJR-75/AJR-103 (Smith, Bateman/McKeon, Vainiéri Huttle) – Designates April 22 each year as “Personal Carbon Footprint Awareness Day”

A-1194/S-897 (Zwicker, Jimenez, Mukherji/Cryan, Sarlo) – Provides a temporary travel permit to practice chiropractic

A-2264/S-4086 (Verrelli, Chaparro, McKnight/Greenstein, Sacco) – Requires electronic communications service provider to retain information reported to law enforcement regarding child endangerment for 180 days

A-2286/S-1823 (Moen, Caputo, Timberlake/Cunningham, T. Kean) – Requires higher education institutions to provide graduate students with information on income-contingent student loan repayment programs

A-3687/S-3105 (Vainieri Huttle, Verrelli, Swain/Gopal, Gill) – Requires certain family or household members and victims to be notified when firearms are returned to persons accused of domestic violence or subject to an extreme risk protection order

A-4139/S-2893 (Benson, Vainiéri Huttle, Verrelli/Pou) – Establishes requirements that copies of medical and billing records be provided free of charge to applicants and recipients of Social Security disability benefits

A-4521/S-2882 (Freiman, Benson, Mukherji/Diegnan, AM Bucco) – Allows the insurer to submit to MVC an electronically executed power of attorney for a Certificate of Ownership or a Certificate of Salvage Title by the person who has received or is to receive the total loss settlement from the insurer

A-5341/S-3438 (Lopez, Houghtaling, Benson/Diegnan, Greenstein) – Updates 2-1-1 phone system information to include all current transit modes and access and usage information

A-5549/S-4112 (Dancer, Verrelli, McKnight/AM Bucco) – Enables nonprofits to allow members to join meetings via remote communication

A-5663/S-3893 (Moen, Pintor Marin, Wimberly/Cruz-Perez, Turner) – Increases penalties for unauthorized transportation or disposal of solid waste

A-5689/S-3830 (Greenwald, Mukherji, Mazzeo/Beach, Turner) – Makes $25 million in federal funds available to the State Department for advertising and promoting travel and tourism for recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic

A-6168/S-4212 (Danielsen, McKeon/Pou) – Revises the law relating to the regimes of insurance holding companies

Governor Murphy conditionally vetoed the following bills:

S-4004/A-5950 (Weinberg, Greenstein/Sumter, Benson, Reynolds-Jackson) CONDITIONAL – Establishes a database of certain appointed positions and elected offices
Copy of declaration

S-4074/A-6000 (Ruiz, Beach/Verrelli, Lampitt, Carter) CONDITIONAL – Allows alternative assessment in place of core competency testing requirements for some teacher certifications
Copy of declaration

A-862/S-926 (Chiaravalloti, Karabinchak/Pennacchio, Pou) CONDITIONAL – Allows municipalities to refund excess property taxes paid by a taxpayer who wins an assessment appeal as a property tax credit
Copy of declaration

A-1219/S-1054 (Chaparro, McKnight/Pile) CONDITIONAL – Requires notification to owner of rabies testing protocol prior to testing owner’s pet for rabies
Copy of declaration

A-2300/S-3129 (Summer/Pou)ABSOLUTE – Requires that the distribution of members of certain regional district school boards be based on the amount of district costs allocated to each constituent municipality
Copy of declaration

A-2685/S-4209 (Armato, Mazzeo, Mukherji/Pile) CONDITIONAL – Relates to property condition disclosure statement information
Copy of declaration

A-3950/S-3180 (Verrelli, Benson, Zwicker/Greenstein, Turner) CONDITIONAL – Prohibits an employer from using an electronic tracking or communication device in a vehicle driven by an employee under certain circumstances
Copy of declaration

A-4434/S-2716 (Greenwald, Lampitt, Mukherji/Beach, Ruiz) CONDITIONAL – Establishes a student welfare grant program at the DOE
Copy of declaration

ACS for A-5075/S-4001 (Burzichelli, Dancer, Johnson/Sweeney, AM Bucco) CONDITIONAL – Removes the Fire Museum and Fallen Firefighters Memorial under DEP auspices and establishes the museum as an independent organization; made an additional loan of $200,000
Copy of declaration

A-5336/S-3441 (Benson, Freiman, Vainiéri Huttle/Diegnan, Madden) CONDITIONAL – Requires DHS to establish payment programs for the purchase of transportation services from private sector and government transportation service providers
Copy of declaration

A-6108/S-4247 (DeAngelo, Egan, Houghtaling/Madden) CONDITIONAL – Licensing updates offered by and certain licensing requirements of the Board of Examiners of Electrical Contractors
Copy of declaration

A-6206/S-4260 (Wimberly/Diegnan, Oroho) CONDITIONAL – Codifies the right of real estate brokers-sellers and sellers to define the relationship with the broker as one between the broker and the independent contractor or employee and enforces current and prior written agreements addressing the relationship
Copy of declaration

Governor Murphy has absolutely vetoed the following bills:

SCS for S-914/A-2350 (Rice, Cunningham/Verrelli, Vainiéri Huttle, Downey)ABSOLUTE – Establishes a program allowing certain applicants to perform community service instead of paying motor vehicle supplements
Copy of declaration

A-2300/S-3129 (Summer/Pou)ABSOLUTE – Requires that the distribution of members of certain regional district school boards be based on the amount of district costs allocated to each constituent municipality
Copy of declaration

A-4851/S-4268 (Coughlin/Vitale)ABSOLUTE – Concerns the use of steel slag as aggregate
Copy of declaration

A-5218/S-3404 (Freiman, Armato, Tully/Gopal, Lagana)ABSOLUTE – Allows certain taxpayers to accelerate the amortization of certain expenses for corporation tax and gross income tax
Copy of declaration

Aloft Miami-Brickell owner emerges from bankruptcy


Left to right: Pedro Villar, owner of Aloft Miami Brickell, with his attorney Joe Pack (Newstar Media)

The owner of Aloft Miami-Brickell emerged from bankruptcy after resolving a payment dispute with a New York-based lender over a $17 million loan.

U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Robert Mark on Wednesday upheld a Chapter 11 reorganization plan for Mary Brickell Village Hotel LLC, the company run by Miami developer Pedro Villar that owns the 160-key property at 1001 Southwest Second Avenue. The plan includes a settlement agreement requiring Villar’s entity to make a one-time lump sum payment of $2.5 million to a subsidiary of New York-based Torchlight Investors.

In exchange, the Torchlight subsidiary will reinstate a $17 million loan that the lender foreclosed in March last year. In a statement attached to his company’s July 2021 Chapter 11 petition, Villar alleged that Torchlight “had no sincere interest in negotiating in good faith and decided early in the process that they wanted to take the hotel.” .

Torchlight executives and the firm’s Miami attorneys, David Gay and Merrick Gross, did not respond to phone and email messages seeking comment.

Aloft Miami-Brickell’s attorney Joe Pack told The Real Deal that the hotel has remained profitable through most of the pandemic and generated cash flow to cover its debt service. However, Torchlight forced its client to file for bankruptcy protection after the lender refused to resolve its claims for default interest, special service charges and legal fees which Villar’s company disputed, it said. he declares.

In seeking Chapter 11 bankruptcy, the owner of Aloft Miami-Brickell forced Torchlight to the negotiating table, Pack said.

“This was a solvent, cash flow hotel that was using Chapter 11 as a sword against a grabbing lender,” Pack said. “All commercial real estate borrowers need to understand this is an option to protect themselves from aggressive lenders during the pandemic.”

In its foreclosure lawsuit filed in Miami-Dade Circuit Court, the Torchlight subsidiary alleged that the owner of Aloft Miami-Brickell had not made monthly payments since April 2020. The loan was taken out in 2014 .

In his statement to the bankruptcy court, Villar said Aloft Miami-Brickell suffered an initial economic hit when hotels were forced to close during the first months of the pandemic. But the loan was backed by hundreds of thousands of dollars in reserves “when Covid-19 arrived in March 2020,” Villar’s statement said.

Villar said he wanted to work out a contingency plan with Wells Fargo, which was handling the loan, in case his company misses payments. He then discovered that the Torchlight subsidiary had taken over servicing the loan and that the new lender would not help the hotel-owning entity make changes, Villar wrote.

Villar, chairman of Miami-based Sunview Companies, completed the 14-story Aloft Miami-Brickell in 2013. He bought the development site for $11.6 million in 2010, records show. The bankruptcy petition says the hotel has $34 million in assets and $18 million in liabilities.

The owner of the Holiday Inn Port of Miami-Downtown also filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy last year due to economic hardship from the pandemic. 340 Biscayne Owner LLC’s case is still pending.

Thousands of CT student loan borrowers will receive cash payments in settlement


Thousands of Connecticut student borrowers will receive cash payments as part of a $1.85 billion settlement the state reached with Navient.

In a joint statement with Consumer Protection Commissioner Michelle H. Seagull and Banking Commissioner Jorge Perez, Attorney General William Tong’s office said Thursday the settlement was part of a coalition with 39 attorneys general, who allege that the company engaged in “unfair and deceptive” student loans. practices.

“States claimed that since 2009, despite promising to help borrowers find the best repayment options for them, Navient has pushed struggling student borrowers into costly long-term forbearances and away from debt plans. more affordable income-oriented reimbursements,” the statement read.

In a statement, Mark Heleen, Navient’s chief legal officer, said the claims were unfounded and the company agreed to the settlement “to avoid the additional burden, expense, time and distraction that would prevail in court.” “.

“Navient is and has always been focused on helping student borrowers understand and select the right payment options to meet their needs,” its statement said. “In fact, we’ve increased enrollment in income-contingent repayment plans and reduced default rates, and every year hundreds of thousands of borrowers we support successfully repay their student loans.”

Connecticut officials said 1,339 borrowers in the state will receive $19 million in private debt relief, while another 4,875 borrowers will receive nearly $1.3 million in restitution. The state will also receive more than $141,000 from the settlement, which will be placed in the general fund.

“This settlement will send millions of dollars directly to thousands of Connecticut borrowers who have been deceived by Navient’s abusive practices,” Tong said in a statement, calling the settlement a “massive win for borrowers.”

But the attorney general said the billions of dollars in student loans owed by Connecticut families remain an “insurmountable obstacle” for many, and pledged to continue working on the “financial crisis” caused by the debt.

Tong’s office said it filed the settlement as a motion for stipulated judgment and complaint in state superior court on Thursday. It will require court approval.

States alleged Navient pushed borrowers toward forbearance options, where loan repayments are temporarily suspended or reduced, rather than income-based repayment plans. This meant that borrowers saw interest accrue on their loan balances, rather than getting a discount, interest rate subsidies or low payment options.

Boris Johnson should quit, top Tories say, after lockdown parties


LONDON, ENGLAND – DECEMBER 08: British Prime Minister Boris Johnson gives a press conference at 10 Downing Street.

WPA Pool | Getty Images News | Getty Images

LONDON — British Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s leadership is on a knife edge as a scandal over “parties” being held in Downing Street – and allegedly in various other government departments – during the UK’s Covid-19 lockdowns has sparked calls for his resignation.

Senior Conservative Party officials are calling on Johnson to resign after he admitted on Wednesday that he attended a garden party at Downing Street, the Prime Minister’s office, and lives next door, during the lockdown, as the public was not allowed to see more than one person in an outdoor setting that she did not live with.

Reports of parties as the British public sacrificed their freedoms and social life, not to mention time spent with loved ones, sparked widespread anger. Senior officials question whether Johnson can still command respect for the party and the country.

CNBC has a guide to “partygate” and why Johnson’s term may be coming to an end.

What is going on?

Johnson admitted he attended a party billed as a ‘bring your own booze’ rally in Downing Street Garden, to which around 100 people were said to have been invited, during the lockdown.

Addressing a packed House of Commons (the lower house of parliament), Johnson offered his ‘sincere apologies’ to the nation but defended himself, saying he only attended the party for 25 minutes in order to “thank groups of employees” for their hard work. work and that he “implicitly believed it was a work-related event”.

Addressing parliament, opposition Labor leader Keir Starmer said Johnson’s explanation for his attendance was ‘so ridiculous that it is in fact offensive to the British public’ as he called Johnson “to do what is decent and resign”.

The party Johnson attended is controversial as it took place on May 20, 2020, when the UK was in its first Covid lockdown and people across the country were only allowed to meet one another person outside their household, among other strict rules.

This is also not the first report of a lockdown party hosted by government officials.

Other parties under investigation

The emergence of details surrounding the May 20 party, hosted by the Prime Minister’s Principal Private Secretary, Martin Reynolds, comes after several weeks of reports and evidence from various parties and rallies – defended by government officials as “events of Labour” – held in Downing Street and other government offices at various times during the pandemic.

As the British media doggedly sought to expose more details of the parties, with details and photos of a number of them leaked to the press, the British public grew increasingly angry as the Gatherings invariably took place at times when people weren’t supposed to socialize.

On May 20, for example, the rules in place meant that couples or parents who lived apart were not allowed to kiss. Non-essential shops, restaurants, pubs and bars were also all closed at the time.

People who have lost loved ones during the pandemic have looked down on the government following reports from the parties, feeling deprived of precious family time while politicians flouted the rules.

Earlier this week, Johnson was asked if he and his wife Carrie Johnson attended the May 20 party, but he dodged the question, telling a reporter that an investigation into several parties allegedly held and attended by government personnel is ongoing.

The investigation into whether parties broke the rules is being led by senior official Sue Gray, who is expected to present her findings next week. Sky News has published a list of the alleged parties here.

Cabinet Secretary Simon Case was originally set to lead the inquiry but was forced out of the inquiry after it was revealed a rally had taken place in his own private office in December 2020 , also breaking the rules in force at the time.

How bad is that for Boris?

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson leaves the Houses of Parliament after weekly PMQs on January 12, 2022 in London, England. During Prime Minister’s Questions today, Boris Johnson told the House he joined staff in the garden at 10 Downing Street for 25 minutes shortly after 6pm on May 20, 2020, during the coronavirus lockdown. He said he “implicitly believed it was a work event” and returned to work at No 10 afterwards.

Dan Kitwood | Getty Images News | Getty Images

According to Sky News, letters from Conservative Party lawmakers demanding a vote of no confidence – 54 letters are needed to trigger a challenge – have allegedly been submitted to Graham Brady, who chairs the 1922 backbench committee which oversees leadership challenges .

In other bad news for Johnson, a new opinion poll by YouGov and The Times newspaper showed a sharp drop in support for the Conservatives, giving Tory lawmakers more reason to question Johnson’s future in office.

Whether Johnson will heed calls to resign is another question, with reports suggesting he still has the backing of his closest ministers, his cabinet. Johnson and his government have also weathered political storms before and gained some credit for “doing Brexit”. Despite this week’s furor, sterling was trading down 0.2% against the dollar on Thursday, with the pound trading at $1.3728 and up almost 0.2% year-to-date.

Conservative lawmakers will now weigh whether they think Johnson can win a future election, given low public confidence in him. Local elections are held in May and this will be the next test of strength of public support for the party itself. A deeper test for the Prime Minister will be the release of Sue Gray’s findings following her inquiry into government ‘parties’, which is due next week.

Rod Dacombe, director of the Center for British Politics and Government at King’s College London, told CNBC on Thursday that Johnson was “in a permanent state of crisis” during his term as prime minister, which began in 2019, first with tumultuous Brexit negotiations and a tortured deal, then with the Covid pandemic.

“The danger of election problems for the Conservative Party as a whole really hangs over its head,” he noted. “If he stops becoming electorally useful to the party, I think he will face real problems and that’s what the polling data tells us.”

Dacombe thought Johnson “is in what looks like a terminal position, I think that’s fair, but I suspect it will be a while before we see a real challenge to his leadership,” he said. he told CNBC’s “Squawk Box Europe.”

Should a challenge arise, there is speculation that Finance Minister Rishi Sunak could be on the front line. Dacombe agreed, saying that “conventionally you would think he [a challenge] would be one of the biggest names in the party…but there’s always a chance someone is slightly outside the mainstream…so that’s an open field, I’d say.

Miami Hotel Confirms Ch. 11 Plan with Mortgage Settlement

By Vince Sullivan (January 12, 2022, 7:25 PM EST) – The owner of a downtown Miami hotel received court approval Wednesday in Florida for his Chapter 11 plan that resolves the ongoing dispute with his mortgage lender that led to its bankruptcy filing last year.

In an order issued by U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Robert A. Mark of the Southern District of Florida, the court said Mary Brickell Village Hotel LLC’s plan — which leaves all creditors intact — complies with relevant sections of the Code of bankruptcy and could be confirmed.

The plan includes a settlement with his mortgage lender DF VII REIT Holdings LLC to bring the debtor…

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Ongoing court cases that could shape the future of P2P


There have been many legal cases to follow in the area of ​​peer-to-peer lending and more broadly in the area of ​​leveraged investing.

In July, the Lendy Action Group won its cascading lawsuit against the directors of Lendy RSM, with the judge ruling that Model 2 investors would have priority in distribution payments.

Also over the summer, a landmark court ruling backed a restructuring plan for Amicus Finance, which raised a total of £15,368,280 from Crowdstacker investors between 2015 and 2017, before falling into administration in 2019 .

Additionally, in August, bondholders at London Capital & Finance withdrew their judicial review appeal against the Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS) because they could not afford the £600,000 fee of the FSCS if they were to lose.

However, there are more ongoing legal actions in the sector.

Right here News Peer2Peer Finance lists ongoing court cases that have the potential to shape the future of P2P and the wider alternative finance community…

Buy2Let Cars

News Peer2Peer Finance understands that a new arrest has been made regarding Buy2Let Cars.

This follows the collapse of the companies behind car leasing provider Buy2Let Cars in March last year and the arrest of one person and the questioning of a second by police in April.

The arrests were part of a new fraud investigation into Raedex Consortium, the parent company of former lending platform Buy2Let Cars, and came after the Serious Fraud Office (SFO) launched an investigation into Raedex Consortium for having managed an unauthorized client investment program.

The SFO has launched an appeal to Buy2Let Cars investors to help them build their case by answering a questionnaire before January 31, 2022. The confidential questionnaire is accessible here.


On January 7, 2022, the city regulator filed criminal charges against Peter Currie and Andrew Currie, two former administrators of the collapsed P2P platform, with the brothers facing two charges under the Fraud Act 2006 and one charge under the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002.

It is alleged that the Currys falsely told investors that they were regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) to operate a P2P lending business. They were asked to cease all regulated activities in January 2018, but before the company went out of business, the brothers allegedly abused their positions by transferring funds to a separate company.

The P2P pawnbroking and home lending platform collapsed into administration in February 2018 and went into liquidation in April 2019.


Last May, the administrators of FundingSecure, CG&Co, halted interim payments to investors after receiving a claim from a creditor over money in the client account under a legal term called a “quistclose trust”.

Then in November, CG&Co – which was appointed administrator of FundingSecure in October 2019 following the platform’s collapse – said it had provided a significant amount of information at the request of the creditor’s lawyer.

The co-administrators said the suspension of payments to investors remained in place as long as the creditor’s lawyers continued to assert their client’s claim to the funds, and they had sought advice on the return of the investors’ funds.


According to Mouse in the yard blog, on October 28, 2021, the judge in a High Court case between Lendy administrators and claimants (including manager Liam Brooke) allowed changes ahead of a case management conference later this year.

Lendy and his co-administrators may amend their Amended Claim Form and Claim Details while the Defendants have had an opportunity to amend their written submissions.

Lendy went into administration in May 2019, leaving more than £160m of the loan portfolio unpaid, with at least £90m of those funds in default.

silver thing

MoneyThing has a court hearing scheduled for February 17, 2022, after the lenders submitted witness statements in December.

The MoneyThing action group was created in October to represent investors on the platform who are concerned about the level of costs incurred in reducing the loan portfolio. Since then, the group has grown to over 300 members.

MoneyThing initially entered into a solvency liquidation at the end of 2019, but it was placed into administration in December 2020 after announcing that it could not afford to defend itself against future litigation from a borrower.

Lenders must embrace regulatory technology


As it stands, mortgage lenders nationwide are currently faced with a mix of 7,000 state and federal laws and regulations governing their industry, with another 32,000 individual mandates flowing from them.

And that’s exactly what an industry must comply with in a total matrix of over a million federal and state laws that also face continuous updates and changes, often with little notice or consultation. .

The burden of compliance, or more specifically the effort to simplify compliance with all of this law, is why Rohin Tagra based Azimut GRC and its regulatory compliance platform codified five years ago.

“You don’t have a chance – you know, a fair and realistic chance – of making sure you’re covered if you don’t have a systematic way of doing it,” Tagra told PYMNTS.

It seems investors have also seen the value of compliance automation as Azimut announced today (January 11) that it has secured a strategic investment from Truist Ventures – the investment arm of the Sixth Plus. big lender, just two months after securing its first Series A financing round.

Comprehensive population testing with automated compliance technology

Azimuth GRC said the latest investment will be used to grow the team, product line and go-to-market efforts. Tagra said that just as Amazon has moved from selling books to selling everything, Azimut GRC’s service to the mortgage industry is just the start.

“We’re starting with the mortgage, but we can expand it to the next banking product lines – so credit cards, personal loans, automobiles,” Tagra said. “Beyond that, there is any industry. Any heavily regulated industry has the same concerns: hospitals, healthcare, pharmacy, airlines. “

Using its automated compliance technology, Azimuth GRC performs comprehensive population testing. For example, he tested over 500,000 loans for all the requirements of the CARES Act in about 20 minutes for one client.

“It would take this company 500 people and a year to do it once, and we can do it regularly,” Tagra said.

Fair and just experience for each client

Beyond compliance, this solution enables customers to deliver a fair and just experience for every customer, he added. Azimut GRC’s platform verifies that its clients have correctly reported their clients’ credit bureau and have not charged them any fees. He noted that when companies make mistakes, it means their clients may not be able to access capital or may be charged unfairly fees.

“So that’s what we solve, at the end of the day,” Tagra said.

With the latest investment, Azimuth GRC will continue to add functionality to the platform, and with the partnership with Truist Ventures, it will be able to work on other lines with them.

“We will continue to add more tests to different verticals like mortgage,” Tagra said. “We have already built 200 tests, which cover thousands of conditions, and we will add more tests based on customer demand. “

A proactive solution to prepare for a thorough examination

Demand for such a solution is likely to be accelerated by scrutiny from the Biden administration and the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), Tagra said. It is therefore all the more important to be in compliance with the regulations.

“We have already seen that there have been regulatory actions that have already come out of the new agency,” Tagra said. “If you look at the actions that have been taken and the things that they are looking at, these are the things that we are helping to proactively resolve. “



On:More than half of American consumers think biometric authentication methods are faster, more convenient, and more reliable than passwords or PINs, so why are less than 10% using them? PYMNTS, working with Mitek, surveyed over 2,200 consumers to better define this perception gap in usage and identify ways in which businesses can increase usage.

US Secretary of Agriculture pledges to help black farmers return to land during Georgia shutdown


A plan to ease the debt of black farmers championed by Senator Raphael Warnock remains in limbo, but during a trip to Atlanta on Monday, U.S. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack said he hoped that a solution would come, whether it was through Congress or the courts.

“We file briefs, we file motions, we do discovery, we move forward so that if something goes wrong in Congress, the judges will ultimately make decisions and we’ll take it from there,” he said.

Farmers are waiting for $ 4 billion in federal funds to offset decades of discrimination in USDA lending. A Florida federal court judge has suspended the grants pending legal action from groups who claim that not providing the funds to white farmers is also discriminatory.

Vilsack brushed off the claims in a news group after giving a speech at the American Farm Bureau’s national convention at the Georgia World Congress Center.

“What people don’t fully understand is that the acts of adversity that may have occurred years ago have a cumulative impact and effect, making it harder for these farmers to fully, completely benefit. USDA programs, ”he said. “And so by providing some debt relief, we’re sort of trying to level the playing field, if you will, for these farmers.”

Another solution would be to bring relief for all farmers in need, regardless of race, as part of President Joe Biden’s Build Back Better plan. But the future of the president’s spending bill is uncertain after he failed to gain enough Senate ground late last year.

“In the meantime, we want to make sure these farmers understand that no foreclosure action will be taken, that we’re going to sort of put everything on hold until we get a resolution and clarity either from the courts.” or Congress, ”Vilsack said.

Vilsack’s opening speech was largely industry-focused – he pledged federal support for farmers seeking more climate-friendly operations, pledged to put pressure on China over agricultural trade, and presented a plan to relieve pressure on the country’s supply chain.

“I think over the next year or so we’ll start to see this supply chain start to catch up with demand, and hopefully we’ll start to see more price stability, and hopefully we will be in a position to reduce these costs and continue to maintain good revenues, ”he said.

The president gave a video speech to the crowd a day before his scheduled in-person visit to Atlanta. During his three-minute remarks, Biden said he would crack down on meat packers, whose profits eat away at ranchers and raise prices at the butcher’s counter.

“Look, I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again, capitalism without competition is not capitalism, it’s exploitation,” he said. “We are investing up to $ 1 billion in US bailout funds for new and expanded meat and poultry processing. So we will strengthen the rules on packers and stockyards to protect farmers and ranchers. We have a bipartisan group of senators who are currently working on legislation to make livestock markets more transparent, because these are not Republicans or Democrats, Red States or Blue States, they are about ensure that your contributions are recognized and that your challenges are met.


After his remarks in Atlanta, the secretary made a short jaunt south of East Point to the headquarters of the Federation of Southern Co-operatives / Land Assistance Fund, a non-profit organization that supports farmers and communities. black and underserved landowners, where he participated in a panel discussion. and renewed the commitment to increase the number of minority landowners in the South.

Vilsack previously served as agriculture secretary under President Barack Obama, and his selection by President Biden has caused a stir among some civil rights leaders and black farmers who say he has failed to fight racial discrimination and which particularly underline its treatment of USDA personnel. Shirley Sherrod of Albany.

Sherrod lost her job in 2010 amid public outcry after a conservative blogging site posted deceptively edited excerpts from a speech she gave that portrayed her as being prejudiced against white farmers.

One of the roundtable participants was Amber Bell, who represents the Charles Sherrod Community Development Project, named after Shirley Sherrod’s husband, and who is part of the Southwest Georgia Project for Community Education founded by the couple.

Bell described some of the projects the group is working on to help underserved farmers in southwest Georgia, including a regional food hub and training programs to help them prepare for climate change, such as adopting new irrigation methods.

“I really like the notion of ecosystem, because that’s really what we need to develop for historically underserved producers, it’s an ecosystem that serves them,” Vilsack told Bell. “You are trying, I think, to model this, and please give Shirley my sincere regards. “

After the discussion, Bell said the network of about 160 farmers participating in their projects is very concerned about the fate of the debt relief program.

“It’s huge, and it’s really important in South Georgia because it’s a rural community where there aren’t as many opportunities or jobs in the area,” she said. . “So young people find it difficult to return to the land because they have no work off the farm, and too often farmers of color struggle to create wealth, there is therefore has no way of living off the land and feeding families. of the earth. So if they are able to alleviate the debt, it is an obstacle that they do not have to endure to try to get back to the land or to transfer the land to the next generation.

Cornelius Blanding, executive director of the Federation of Southern Co-operatives / Land Aid Fund, agreed. He said he had worked with the USDA for 25 years and saw the gap between black families who were historically denied benefits and white families who received them.

“And certainly because it was stopped because of this lawsuit, a lot of them started to really look forward to it and started planning operations around it,” he said. “So if this debt relief doesn’t go through, I’m afraid a lot of black farmers go bankrupt, a lot more will.” If this debt relief passes, we believe it will be one of those tools to help save some of these black farms, some of these black landowners.

Hertz launches two master trust issues totaling $ 800 million


Master Trust Hertz Vehicle Financing III LLC is preparing to issue approximately $ 800 million in auto asset backed securities (ABS) as part of the 2022-1 and 2022-2 issues, and will use the proceeds to support the global brand of Hertz car hire.

The collateral to repay the bondholders will include Hertz’s lease payments, the aggregate net book value (NAV) of the underlying leased vehicles that will ultimately go on sale, and any refunds receivable from incentive and refund programs. from the manufacturer.

Moody’s Investors Service has noted several credit strengths that should benefit ratings. One is the Hertz brand itself and the other is its commitment to continue paying as little as possible on its fleet of cars. In an automotive market where the supply of vehicles remains limited, and another strength is that the underlying warranty is very liquid.

Used vehicle prices have increased dramatically in recent times, due to a shortage of semiconductor chips, which has limited the supply of new vehicles and increased demand for used vehicles, the agency noted. rating.

The notes also benefit from several forms of credit enhancement, including subordination, over-collateralization and liquidity reserves, Moody’s said. The rating agency plans to assign ratings ranging from “Aaa” to Class A notes; “A2” on the course notes; “Baa2” on class C tickets and “Ba2” on class D tickets.

Hertz Vehicle Financing, 2022-1 and 2022-2 is not without its challenges. Moody’s notes that Hertz does not have an investment grade rating. The company is the sponsor of the transaction and the principal lessee. The main risk for ticket reimbursement is that Hertz will not be able to recover sufficient funds, through the sale of used vehicles, to finance the payments. Additionally, the car rental industry relies heavily on air travel, both for business and leisure.

“The spread of new variants will weigh on new bookings, temporarily slowing the pace of the industry’s recovery to 2019 levels,” Moody’s analysts wrote in the pre-sale report.

If Hertz misses a lease payment on the ABS transaction and a liquidation period ensues, the market value of the vehicles could continue to depreciate against their NBV.

Stakeholders call for reduced borrowing to finance the budget


Stakeholders in the financial sector of the national economy have urged the federal government to take structured steps to reduce the country’s inclination to borrow to finance its national budget each year.

To this end, they advised the government to turn in on itself to raise the funds needed to finance the national budget.

While they recognized that there is nothing wrong with borrowing to finance the budget, they were more concerned about the long-term ability to honor these debts without spillover effects on the country’s tax system. The fact that Nigeria is not producing much that could raise the profile of growing debt is a serious concern for stakeholders.

The CEO of the Center for the Promotion of Private Enterprise (CPPE), Dr Muda Yusuf, said, while reacting on the 2022 budget, that the sum of 3.88 billion naira budgeted as debt service is a substantial amount compared to the provision in the N5 capital budget. .46 trillion. “Paying debt service is usually a frontline charge in budget publications. The ambitious budget of N17.1 trillion and the unpredictable revenue outlook increases the risk of a larger-than-expected budget deficit. This has implications for macroeconomic outcomes of high budget deficits, a new round of deficit monetization, pressures on the exchange rate and general price level, ”he said.

Yusuf noted that the government’s growing debt profile raises serious sustainability issues, saying that although the government tends to argue that the condition is not a debt issue, but an income challenge.

“The truth is, debt becomes a problem if the income base is not strong enough to service the debt on a sustainable basis. It invariably becomes a debt problem.

“What is needed is the political will to cut spending and undertake reforms that could reduce the size of government, lower governance costs and ease the government’s tax burden. It is important to ensure that the debt is used strictly to finance capital projects that would strengthen the productive capacity of the economy. This is the position of the law on fiscal responsibility.

“In addition, the focus should be on concessional financing, as opposed to commercial debt which is usually very expensive. It is imperative that the country functions as the real federation that it claims to be. The unitary character of the country makes it difficult to exploit the economic potential of sub-nationals. It perpetuates the culture of dependence on the federal government.

For his part, the former director general of the West African Institute for Financial and Economic Management (WAIFEM) and chairman of the Foundation for Economic Research and Training, Professor Akpan Ekpo, called for the government to be cautious about external loans.

“It is true that you borrow when you do not have enough income to finance your projects, but looking at the budget, 3 trillion naira is set aside for debt service, not even for the principal payment. . Even though the government says that the GDP ratio puts us in the benchmark for borrowing, it is not the GDP that pays the debt. Income pays debt and if we look at our debt-to-income ratio, we have cause for concern.

“They’ve tried to deliver the programs within budget which is laudable, but in terms of seeing what happens the government hasn’t really done well and then there’s the issue of debt profile. We borrow a lot and the government is not as transparent about the projects financed by the loan and how far the projects have gone, ”he said.

Speaking in an exclusive interview with LEADERSHIP, renowned economist Dr Tayo Bello, while expressing his dissatisfaction with the amount the country will use to service its debts as reflected in the 2022 budget, said Called for a tax assault to ensure more taxable Nigerians pay taxes, saying tax enforcement in the country is very low compared to those who are qualified to pay taxes but do not.

He believes that increasing tax revenues could limit the country’s inclination to borrow, thereby reducing the country’s debt profile.

Stressing that it is high time for the government to collect more money from the local market than foreign loans, he said the volatility of the forex market would always put Nigeria at a disadvantage in this circumstance.

Likewise, a lecturer from Lagos Business School (LBS), Dr Frank Ojadi, said: “Overall we are going to find ourselves in a situation we find ourselves in last year again this year as the Budget execution indices in 2021 will be the same for 2022 because the 2022 budget is rushed up.

For her part, the director general of the Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI), Dr Chinyere Alumona, said the government must explore cheaper alternative sources of finance away from debt.

“In the revised budget as adopted by the National Assembly, the projected retained earnings were raised to 10.3 trillion naira against 10.13 billion naira proposed in the revised 2022 budget. -Being too ambitious when we look at the performance of budgeted revenues for 2021, ”she underlined.

Alumona noted that most of the items for which additional funding has been requested are recurring expenses, saying the government may be under pressure regarding these recurring expenses, “but it is not the best practice to borrow for consumption. “.

“Given that income fundamentals are currently weak, the ideal is to reduce the cost of borrowing, especially the high deficit and the cost of debt projected in the revised federal budget. The federal government should focus more on interest-free asset-linked securities, as these unleash income and long-term growth.

“The federal government should allow the private sector to invest in certain commercially viable infrastructure projects in order to generate revenue to finance its budget instead of debt financing,” she said.

Analysts at Cowry Assets Management Limited noted that much of the country’s growing debt was spent on recurring spending and abandoned investment projects that could have facilitated business operations and catalyzed profitability which in turn. , generate higher revenues through taxation for the government; hence the imbalance between physical infrastructure and huge debts so far.

On the 2022 budget, they said. “So we expect the federal government to tie each tranche of loan to a particular investment project, as evidenced by its Sukuk loans, which have been more effective in providing infrastructure.

“In the meantime, we welcome the positive mood coming from the executive side, as presenting the budget on time would allow swift implementation.”

Colorado Springs Plays Key Role for Cheyenne Wells Bank | Business


The small town of Cheyenne Wells remains the headquarters of Eastern Bank, but the bank is leaving an ever-growing footprint in Colorado Springs.

The Springs has become a key market for Bank of Eastern Colorado, accounting for half of the bank’s loans and housing the administrative center for much of its IT and other operations.

Cheyenne Wells Bank opened a branch in Colorado Springs in 2003 to branch out from its largely agricultural base. The bank now owns a Colorado Springs-based investment advisory firm as well as an office building, apartment building and several small residential properties in downtown Colorado Springs. Eastern Colorado Bank is one of 10 banks in rural Colorado and neighboring states that operate branches in the Colorado Springs area.

Eastern Colorado Bank was founded in 1944 in Cheyenne Wells, a town of about 750 people near the Kansas border, by Victor Weed, who had worked in several banks in Arkansas and western Kansas. His sons, Lou and Jim Weed, ran the bank until medical problems forced Jim to scale back his involvement and Lou retired, both in the late 1990s. It was then. that Jim’s son, Greg Weed, took over eastern Colorado. The bank now has assets totaling nearly $ 560 million spread across six branches in Colorado and western Kansas.

“We started talking in 2001 of an expansion in Colorado Springs as the state went through a severe drought,” said CEO Greg Weed, who runs the bank with his sister, Megan Harmon. “We were 100% based on agriculture and needed diversification. It was very clear that we had all of our eggs in one basket. Colorado Springs was a logical choice since if you were going to the mall or town, you were going to Colorado Springs. It was very familiar to us. “

Temporary closure of 9 Wells Fargo Colorado branches

The bank escaped the drought, but the risk of its dependence on farm loans remained, so eastern Colorado opened a small office in the Mountain Shadows area led by Harmon, who is now the director. bank operations. The branch initially operated as the Garden of the Gods Bank and had only four employees with no teller line, ATM, or ATM machine.

“We started with no deposits and maybe $ 1 million to $ 1.2 million in loans to existing clients.… We had some good initial clients and then we built referrals from there,” Harmon said. “We were trying to get our feet wet to determine if what we did in eastern Colorado would work in Colorado Springs, and it worked.”

The branch grew steadily and moved three years later to rent space on the third floor of an office building at the east end of downtown – still without a teller line, ATM, or ATM machine. The bank abandoned the Garden of the Gods brand in 2011 and bought the building five years later.

“We bought the building into receivership after the foreclosure and it was extremely run down. Before we bought it, we had to spend $ 100,000 on a building we didn’t own just to fix the air conditioning,” Weed said.

The bank eventually ran out of space on the third floor and renovated the first floor to make it its lobby – it still has no teller lines but has included its first entry lane and ATM. The second floor is currently being renovated to house the bank’s investment and mortgage operations.

Downtown Colorado Springs apartments bought by bank in small town for $ 12.8 million

Weed and Harmon discovered that they could hire employees in Colorado Springs much more easily than in Cheyenne Wells. As a result, eastern Colorado information technology and compliance operations are headquartered in the Colorado Springs branch, which now has 28 employees, three more than the Cheyenne Wells headquarters.

“Colorado Springs is a very popular place to live and recruit employees,” Weed said. “The CEO, President, CFO and Accountant are all at Cheyenne Wells. We think it’s always important to support this community and create as many jobs as possible. Usually we don’t care where our employees work, but lenders have to be in the area where they are lending.

While Weed and Harmon have continued to expand in Colorado Springs, they are reluctant to expand too quickly. While the branch’s deposits grew rapidly in its early years, they declined for three of the four years after the Great Recession. Deposits have grown 6% to 10% per year for three of the past four years (deposits at all financial institutions jumped in 2020 amid COVID-19 restrictions) and now total $ 77.7 million.

“If something grows too fast in eastern Colorado, it’s usually a weed. We saw a lot of our peers growing too fast before the Great Recession and now they’re not here. We’re not fans of it. ‘rapid growth,’ said Harmon. “The slow, steady (growth) and conservative nature of Colorado Springs and eastern Colorado have both served us well. “

Colorado Springs financial institutions are overflowing with cash after surge

The bank expanded into new business sectors, launching a mortgage transaction and acquiring a majority stake in Cascade Investment Group, a Colorado Springs management and investment advisory firm with nearly $ 400 million under management. Eastern Colorado bought Cascade Investment in 2020, just days before the pandemic triggered a statewide stay-at-home order and widespread trade restrictions.

“We want to offer our clients as many services as possible so that they don’t have to go elsewhere to get their bank accounts, retirement accounts and mortgage loans. It gives us a good change of long term success.” , Weed said. “These three services are among the most important and important financial decisions our clients make. We will continue to expand into new lines of business as our clients need them.”

Cascade Investment and the mortgage deal – which the bank plans to double in size over the next three to four years – will move to the second floor of the bank’s office building in downtown Colorado Springs after renovations are complete This year. The bank is also exploring locations in Colorado Springs where it could open more branches over the next three years.

In addition to its downtown offices, the bank also acquired the city center Casa Mundi apartment complex in September for $ 12.8 million from a group of investors led by resort developer Darsey Nicklasson. Eastern Colorado has provided both the construction loan and ongoing funding for the project, which opened in 2020, and will retain Nicklasson to manage the complex, Weed said.

Colorado Springs Movers & Shakers

“We were involved in the project from the start and were comfortable with people,” said Weed, who noted that the bank owns several small residential properties in and near the downtown area. “It is not (normally) our job to buy real estate, but we hope Colorado Springs will continue to prosper and we will continue to provide loans on these buildings and invest in our clients’ projects.”

The bank has achieved its diversification goal by dividing its assets between rural and urban areas – about half of the bank, by almost any measurement, is based in the Colorado Springs area, Weed said. This division means the rural side of the bank benefits from the sophisticated technology, top-notch employees and specialized operations that are located in Colorado Springs and available to all branches, he said.

“We are now more diversified with loans across multiple industries as well as to both our employees and our customers,” Weed said. “The reality is Colorado Springs is growing and rural Colorado is not. The advantage of this division between urban and rural areas is that during the Great Recession, urban areas were struggling but rural areas were booming, and then when oil and crop prices fell, urban areas were booming. It gave us the flexibility to work with clients and avoid foreclosure. “

Cheyenne Wells Bank Acquires Stake in Colorado Springs Investment Firm

Doctor, hospital seek testimony of Trevor Noah in trial


A New York hospital hit back on Thursday at a trial against the establishment and one of its best doctors by a popular comedian and host of “Daily Show” Trevor C. Noah. Along with a litany of denials, a law firm representing the doctor and the hospital demanded Noah’s deposition in early February.

that of Noah trial, which was first reported by Law & Crime on December 9, 2021, accuses the prestigious hospital of special surgery and Dr Riley J. Williams III, an orthopedic surgeon, for providing care “in a negligent and negligent manner.” This too alleged that the defendants “failed to inform” Noah “of the risks, dangers and alternatives to treatment and medical care” that he was receiving – or, in other words, the hospital would not have obtained consent enlightened. In addition, the legal claims the hospital “did not investigate the qualifications, skills, abilities, aptitudes and capabilities of” its “doctors, nurses and other employees”.

The hospital immediately said Noah’s trial was “without merit” in a December statement to Law & Crime. the hospital and Dr Williams confirmed that claim in court records this week. The two defendants – the doctor and the institution – are represented by Heidell, Pittoni, Murphy & Bach, LLP.

Besides admitting a few mundane matters (such as the hospital’s address, its corporate status, and the fact that Dr Williams is associated with the facility), the hospital in a Thursday court filing denied almost all of Noah’s factual and legal charges. Hospital noted there was insufficient information to answer some of Noah’s remaining claims. These answers and the ones that have followed are standard answers in the early stages of a civil litigation.

Closest to responnse – what is technically called a “verified answer” in New York State civil right – comes to the bottom of the case is the following missive: “the defendant answering [the hospital] and RILEY J. WILLIAMS III, MD has rendered certain professional services to and for TREVOR C. NOAH in accordance with accepted standards of medical care, and further seeks leave to refer all questions of law to court and all questions of fact to the judge of the latter. . “

The verified responnse also suggests that the damage that Noah allegedly suffered could have been his own fault – at least in part.

“[W]All damages which may have been suffered at the time and place alleged in the complaint by the plaintiff were caused, in whole or in part, by the culpable conduct of the plaintiff and without any negligence on the part of the defendant ”, the document answers. “Damages, if any, must be reduced in proportion to the plaintiff’s culpable conduct. “

This responnse thus sought to invoke the so calledpure and comparative negligence“law. In New York, offenders are responsible for the percentages of damage or harm they are deemed to have legally caused – even if the perpetrators are only responsible for 1% and the complainants are 99% responsible for what happened. (Some other states allow defendants to avoid paying damages altogether if the plaintiffs are half or mostly at fault.)

Elsewhere, the responnse suggests that Noah may have “failed to mitigate his alleged damage.” Further on, he said any “alleged damages” requested by Noah must be offset by “any collateral benefit, remuneration or compensation received”. (Below New York law, plaintiffs are sometimes prevented from obtaining double payment for the damages suffered; for example, complainants cannot recover certain insurance or disability benefits then recover the same amount of money from a defendant in court. Any legal victory is therefore reduced by the value of the defendant’s eligible insurance claims. Certain types of payments, however, do not trigger New York’s “source of collateral” rule and may result in multiple payments to an injured defendant or the defendant’s estate.)

The defendant of the hospital also invoked as a protective shield the defenses offered by New York Public Health Law for the “alleged failure to obtain informed consent” for Noah’s proceedings. In addition, the respondent hospital claimed that it had “not been properly served with a copy of the summons and complaint”.

the document later states that “Noah’s action is barred or that the defendant is entitled to compensation against any award herein because the plaintiff has previously recovered sums for all or part of the damages claimed herein.” The claim does not provide any details of the compensation – if any – that has already changed hands.

Dr Williams issued a almost identical verified answer with similar denials and defenses.

In a separate document, the defendants’ law firm requested Noah’s deposition on February 8, 2022.

“That says the party [Noah] must be examined on all the material evidence and necessary to the defense of this action ”, indicates the notice of filing.

The defendants also filed a 71-page collective series of questions and other requests was targeting Noah for details of his alleged illnesses.

that of Noah trial was short on specific facts and long on charges when he was filed late last year. He alleged that a surgery on November 23, 2020 was botched somehow – but he did not say specifically how or why. He further indicated that Noah had been a patient of the accused between August 25, 2020 and December 17, 2020.

In its closest possible disclosure of the details of the action, the original trial alleged that the defendants did not “prescribe the appropriate medications”, did not “stop certain prescription drugs” and did not “use the appropriate tests and examinations to diagnose the conditions from which” Noah “was suffering. “

Trevor Noah’s signature appears at the end of his November 2021 trial.

The original trial also alleged that Noah suffered “serious bodily harm”. He has elsewhere described his injuries as “permanent, serious and serious”. The injuries are said to have left Noah “sick, lame and disabled.”

According to trial, Noah “suffered grievous and painful bodily injuries; severe sustained nervous shock, mental anguish, severe emotional distress and great physical pain; has been confined to bed and home for a long time; was forced to undergo hospital and medical care, treatment and treatment; lost the enjoyment of life; has been prevented from carrying out his usual activity for a long period; and since some of his injuries are permanent in nature, he will continue to suffer similar damage in the future.

Justin blitz, a founding partner of New York law firm Schulman Blitz, LLP, filed the lawsuit on Noah’s behalf.

“My client and I have decided not to comment on the pending litigation at this time,” Blitz said in an email to Law & Crime shortly after filing the case.

[Photo by Rich Fury/Getty Images.]

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Today’s mortgages, refinancing rate: January 8, 2022


Mortgage rates have gone up a bit in recent months, but they are still at their lowest. Mortgage rates tend to be low when the economy is struggling and the coronavirus pandemic has taken a toll on the US economy. the

Federal Reserve

aggressively bought assets, including mortgage-backed securities, to help the economy.

But the Fed recently announced that it would start cutting its purchases to double the rate originally forecast. It also plans to triple the federal funds rate in 2022. As a result, mortgage rates will likely continue to rise gradually in 2022.

Today’s Mortgage and Refinance Rates

Mortgage rates today

Today’s refinance rate

Mortgage calculator

Use our free mortgage calculator to see how today’s interest rates will affect your monthly payments:

Mortgage calculator

Your estimated monthly payment

  • Pay a 25% higher down payment would save you money $ 8,916.08 on interest charges
  • Lower the interest rate by 1% would save you $ 51,562.03
  • Pay an extra fee $ 500 each month would reduce the loan term by 146 month

By clicking on “More Details” you will also see how much you will pay over the life of your mortgage, including the amount of principal versus interest.

How do mortgage rates work?

A mortgage interest rate is the commission a lender charges for borrowing money, expressed as a percentage. For example, you get a mortgage for $ 300,000 with an interest rate of 2.5%.

Mortgage rates can be fixed or adjustable. A fixed rate mortgage keeps your rate at the same level for the life of your loan. A variable rate mortgage locks in your rate for the first few years or so, then changes it periodically. With an ARM 7/1, your rate would stay stable for the first seven years, then change every year.

The longer the term of your mortgage, the higher your rate will be. For example, you will pay more with a 30-year mortgage than a 15-year mortgage. However, longer terms come with lower monthly payments as you spread out the repayment process.

How to get the best mortgage rate?

Here are some steps you can take to get the lowest possible mortgage rate:

  • Consider fixed rates versus adjustable rates. You may be able to get a lower introductory rate with an adjustable rate mortgage, which can be beneficial if you plan to move out before the introductory period ends. But a fixed rate might be better if you buy a home forever, because you won’t risk your rate going up later. Look at the rates offered by your lender and assess your options.
  • Look at your finances. The stronger your financial situation, the lower your mortgage rate should be. Look for ways to increase your credit score or lower your debt-to-income ratio, if necessary. Saving for a larger down payment also helps.
  • Choose the right lender. Each lender charges different mortgage rates. Choosing the one that is right for your financial situation will help you get a good rate.

How to choose a mortgage lender?

First, think about what type of mortgage you want. The best mortgage lender will be different for an FHA mortgage than for a VA mortgage.

A lender should be relatively affordable. You shouldn’t need a very high credit score or down payment to get a loan. You also want it to offer good rates and charge reasonable fees.

Once you’re ready to start shopping for homes, apply for pre-approval with your top three or four. A pre-approval letter indicates that the lender wants to lend you up to a certain amount, at a specific interest rate. When you are pre-approved, your mortgage rate is locked in for 60 to 90 days. With a few pre-approval letters in hand, you can compare each lender’s offer.

When you apply for pre-approval, a lender does a serious credit investigation. A bunch of serious questions on your report can hurt your credit score, unless it’s for the purpose of finding the best rate.

If you limit your rate purchases to about a month, the credit bureaus will understand that you are looking for a home and should not hold each individual claim against you.

Oversized Mortgages: Can You Get One & What Are The Dangers? | Mortgages


This could be the year of the giant mortgage – for some UK buyers at least – as lenders loosen their purse strings and increase the maximum amounts they are willing to offer.

Mortgage lender Habito recently announced that it will let some buyers borrow up to seven times their salary – well above the traditional maximum – to help them “secure their dream home sooner.”

In the coming months, a new lender called Perenna plans to launch mortgages of up to six times the salary, and some experts believe more similar deals will emerge this year.

Those who qualify for these mortgages could buy a property they thought was well outside their price bracket – perhaps a house costing £ 200,000 more than they thought they could afford.

Some might argue that letting people borrow more is the only realistic answer to the fact that years of soaring property values ​​have left many prices off the market. The average price of a house is now 8.6 times the average income, according to official data.

However, these new offers are only open to certain borrowers and have a number of drawbacks, probably the most important of which is that you may be able to get a much cheaper interest rate if you go for a standard offer. Just because a bank is prepared to invest heavily in its loans doesn’t mean it’s necessarily a good idea to take out an oversized mortgage.

The basics

Banks and mortgage lenders look at various aspects of people’s finances when deciding how much mortgage they think a person can afford. Traditionally, the maximum amount a person can borrow is between four and five times their salary. This is called the income multiple.

The average price of a home is now 8.6 times the average income. Photograph: incamerastock / Alamy

In the years following the 2007-08 financial crisis, the rules were tightened to prevent a repeat of reckless lending that some argued were commonplace before the crash. The Bank of England has placed limits on mortgages over 4.5 times earnings: banks can offer higher income multiples, but only on a set proportion of their loans.

Last year, a number of major lenders raised their caps to 5.5 times the salary for some borrowers.

New offers

Habito, who started as a mortgage broker in 2016 before moving into lending in 2019, offers borrowing up to an income multiple of seven times base salary, but not to everyone.

The offers are only available to people who take out one of the company’s fixed life mortgages. Launched last year under the Habito One brand, they allow borrowers to lock in their monthly payments at the same level for up to 40 years.

Habito One is open to first-time buyers, movers and remortgagers in England and Wales. You’ll need a 10% down payment (he says he hopes to kick off a deal for those who can only manage 5% soon) and there is a hefty product fee of £ 1,995 to pay.

To qualify for the largest loans available, applicants must have one of the following jobs: teacher, firefighter, nurse, paramedic, doctor, police officer, accountant, lawyer, engineer, lawyer, dentist, architect, surveyor or veterinarian. They must also earn a minimum base salary of £ 25,000 per year.

High income earners – those with a minimum base salary of £ 75,000 – who do not have one of these jobs are also eligible.

Both individual and joint applications will be considered, although if it is a couple, only one will be accepted up to seven times the salary, the other up to five times.

At the time of writing this report, Habito One no prepayment charge rates start at 2.99% (for a 15-year term where someone borrows 60% of the property’s value), rising to 5. 6% (for a period of 40 years where the applicant borrows at 90%). The rates with prepayment charges – the peg period is 10 years – are slightly lower: from 2.79% to 5.4%.

Apartments in Reading, Berkshire
Habito One is open to first-time buyers, movers and remortgagers in England and Wales. Photograph: Geoffrey Swaine / Rex / Shutterstock

Perenna, meanwhile, plans to launch her lifetime mortgages in the second half of this year and says she will allow homebuyers to borrow up to six times their income. He intends to start with a 30-year fixed rate and then roll out 40 and 50-year fixes later.

One of the big drawbacks of this new generation of mortgages offering fixed monthly payments for decades is that most people will be able to get a much lower interest rate if they go for a shorter term standard deal. like a two or five year contract. to fix. With these, at the end of the offer period, you simply switch to another competitive offer.

Elsewhere, rates for first-time buyers looking for a standard two-year solution up to 90% of the loan-to-value ratio currently start at just 1.23%, according to data provider Moneyfacts.

But the lenders behind these fixed life agreements claim that because your interest rate is guaranteed for the life of your loan, you are protected against any threat of interest rate fluctuations and you will not have keep paying expensive product fees, maybe every two or three years.


Take a couple where both earn £ 25,000: If they went for a deal where the loan was capped at 4.5 times their combined salary, they might be able to buy a house worth £ 250,000. If they accepted and qualified for the Habito One deal, they could borrow seven times one paycheck and five times the other, which would allow them to buy a home for £ 333,000.

For a solo seeker earning £ 75,000 whose loan was capped at 4.5 times income, he might be able to buy a house for £ 375,000. With this new deal, they could potentially buy a property worth £ 560,000 (in this latest example, it’s not quite seven times the total salary due to Habito’s rule that clients must have at least 10% cash in their accounts after all expenses). (All examples assume a 10% deposit).

Banks in London
Barclays and HSBC are among the big names that will increase the incomes of high-income borrowers looking for a mortgage up to 5.5 times. Photograph: Chris Ratcliffe / Rex Shutterstock

What about other lenders?

Several big names – including Halifax, HSBC, Santander and Barclays – will now reach up to 5.5 times the incomes of high-income borrowers, and generally allow those who are accepted to access their full range of standard mortgage deals. .

In Halifax, a maximum of 5.5 times the salary will apply to those earning over £ 75,000 who borrow up to £ 1million at less than 75% LTV.

HSBC requires a salary of £ 100,000 or more, and the maximum loan is 90%.

At Santander, this is a combined income for all applicants of £ 100,000 or more, with a maximum loan of 75%.

With Barclays, at least one borrower must have £ 75,000 and over, or the top two earning applicants must have a combined income of £ 100,000 or more, and the maximum loan is 85%.

The return of big credits

After the 2007-08 financial crisis, first-time home mortgage loans in particular were immediately reduced, but in recent years, many lenders have eased credit restrictions.

Further easing is on the cards: The Bank of England has announced it will consult on removing a rule that requires many borrowers to prove they can afford a steep rise in interest rates before they can get a mortgage loan. Currently, with a typical two or five year agreement, lenders must stress test an applicant’s ability to repay their home loan at 3% above the standard variable rate at which the borrower. could access the end of the initial period. . This limits the amounts that many people can borrow.

The new generation of long term fixed rate mortgages avoid these restrictions because their interest rates are guaranteed for the life of the loan. Perenna says, “There are no interest rate stress tests with long-term fixed-rate products because borrowers are protected against any rise in long-term interest rates and will not return to the market. Higher SVR of a lender.

Another Busy Year for Employment Background Checks: What Happened in 2021?


Every year, employers review and possibly change their background check policies and practices to take into account the box ban and other laws affecting background checks. Over the past year, we have seen some major developments, which are highlighted in this alert.


Illinois changed Illinois human rights law to make it more difficult for employers to reject applicants or fire employees based on their conviction history. Specifically, employers can only take adverse employment action against an individual on the basis of a conviction if the individual has a “significant connection” to the job in question or presents an “unreasonable risk” for the property or safety of others. In making this decision, Illinois employers should consider: (1) the length of time since the conviction; (2) the number of convictions in the individual’s file; (3) the nature and seriousness of the conviction and its relation to the safety and security of others; (4) the facts or circumstances surrounding the conviction; (5) the age of the person at the time of the conviction; and (6) evidence of rehabilitation efforts.

If, after performing this assessment, the employer makes a preliminary decision that the individual’s conviction record is disqualifying, the employer must provide a written notice that contains: (1) the disqualifying conviction (s) and reasoning for the employer for disqualification; (2) a copy of the conviction history report, if applicable; and (3) an explanation of the claimant’s or employee’s right to respond before the employer’s decision becomes final, including the right to submit evidence challenging the accuracy of the conviction record (s) or evidence mitigation, such as rehabilitation. The employer must wait five working days before making a final decision to allow the individual to respond to the notice and submit information for the employer’s review.

If the employer decides to go ahead with the adverse action, they must provide the individual with a final written notice, which must (again) identify the conviction at issue, explain the basis for the decision (even s ‘it has not changed from the preliminary opinion), inform of any existing domestic proceedings to request a review, and advise the individual of the right to file a discrimination charge with the Human Rights Department of Illinois.


On June 16, 2021, Louisiana passed a “Fair Chance” law, which prohibits employers (those with 20 or more employees in the state) from considering a criminal record or a charge that has not resulted in a conviction if the information has been “received”. during a background check. With respect to the review of convictions, the law enacts the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) framework as a requirement for determining whether a conviction is employment-related, as outlined in its 2012 Enforcement Guide. on the inclusion of arrests and conviction files in employment decisions under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act. Applicants also now have the right to make a written request for “any background check information used during the hiring process.” Thus, if an applicant makes such a request, the employer must provide a copy of the report and any other information that the employer took into account in making their decision (e.g. online research, public archives research, etc. .).

New York City

New York City’s amendments and guidelines for its Fair Chance Act (FCA) have received the most attention from employers. Among other things, employers may not consider non-convictions, must follow a specific process when reviewing a pending case, and may only reject an applicant for failing to disclose their criminal history if the misrepresentation of the candidate was “intentional”.

More importantly, the New York City Human Rights Commission now considers a conditional job offer to be one that can be revoked solely on the basis of the results of a criminal background check (including including sex offender registry and driving records), a medical examination as permitted by the Americans with Disabilities Act, or “[o]other information that the employer could not reasonably have known before making the conditional offer…. The Commission explains in its guidance that to comply with the FCA, employers must use a two-step background check process.

  • First, the employer must obtain and assess all non-criminal information before making a conditional offer (p.).
  • Once this is completed and the conditional offer extended, the employer may ask applicants to disclose their criminal history themselves and request a criminal background check, which includes motor vehicle records.

If an employer cannot perform a two-step background check, they must establish a system to internally separate criminal background information to ensure that it is only accessible to decision makers. after a conditional offer was made. Employers who choose to go through such a process will have the burden of proving that criminal information was inaccessible to decision makers until after a conditional offer. This can create a challenge for employers.

An employer seeking to disqualify a post-conditional offer from a candidate based on non-criminal information will need to prove that: (1) it could not reasonably have known of the information prior to the conditional offer; and (2) regardless of the results of the criminal background check, the employer would not have made the offer had it known about the non-criminal information before the offer was extended. Any non-criminal information could reasonably have been known prior to a conditional offer if the information existed before the conditional offer and could have been obtained by the employer exercising due diligence.

The Commission recommends that employers omit to mention a criminal background check when seeking consent from an applicant for a background check prior to a conditional offer, and instead use terms such as “consumer report”. Or “consumer investigation report” rather than “background check” in their disclosure and authorization forms, if used prior to a conditional offer. Of course, employers still need to comply with the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA), so they may consider using two sets of forms to inform applicants of the scope of the background check during this two-step process. .

Philadelphia cream

In early 2021, Philadelphia expanded its existing box ban ordinance, which already required employers, among others, to postpone criminal background investigations until the end of a conditional offer, not to take into account. count