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Eleventh Circuit Holds Transmission of Consumer Information to Third Parties Exposes Debt Collectors to Liability Under FDCPA | Burr & Forman



In a decision that could shake up the debt collection industry, on April 21, 2021, the Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeal issued its opinion in the case Hunstein v. Favorite collection and management. Serv., Inc., n ° 19-14434, 2021 WL 1556069 (11th Cir. April 21, 2021). The gist of the opinion is the court ruling that a debt collector incurs potential liability under the FDCPA for transmitting a consumer’s personal information to all third party not expressly designated by law. The potential implications of this decision are considerable.

The facts underlying Hunstein will be familiar to anyone familiar with the day-to-day operations of many debt collectors. A debt collector electronically transmitted information about the consumer (including the consumer’s name, debtor status, entity to which they owed the debt, and the outstanding balance) to their third-party dunning provider, Compumail. Compumail used this information to create, print and send a consumer follow-up letter. The consumer brought an action against the debt collector, alleging a violation of 15 USC § 1692c (b), which prohibits debt collectors from disclosing consumers’ personal information to third parties “in connection with the collection of any debt.” .

The court ultimately ruled that the transmission by the debt collector of the consumer’s information to its stimulus provider was a prohibited communication under § 1692c (b) because the communication was made “in connection with the collection of any debt. And that the recipient of the communication was not one of the six legal exceptions: the consumer, his lawyer, a consumer information agency, the creditor, the creditor’s lawyer or the collector’s lawyer. debts. The practical outcome of the decision seems clear: to transmit all consumer information to all a third party other than the six listed above potentially exposes a debt collector to liability under the FDCPA.

The implications could be huge and, frankly, the ruling raises more questions than it answers. While the underlying facts of Hunstein involve a follow-up letter from a third party, it is not difficult to extrapolate the reasoning behind the court’s opinion and potentially apply it to a number of scenarios. For example, can a mortgage owner contact the loan manager? What limits are there on communications between affiliates of debt collectors? Is there a responsibility for communicating consumer information to a processing server? In addition, many government debt collection laws are modeled on the FDCPA and give weight to decisions interpreting the provisions of the FDCPA. Debt collectors could potentially face additional liability under these state laws due to the interpretation given by the Eleventh Circuit in Hunstein.

An additional consideration with these state laws is the potential new liability of First party debt collectors. While the FDCPA generally only regulates third-party debt collectors, some state laws do not make this distinction. For example, the Florida Consumer Collection Practices Act (FCCPA) applies to all party trying to collect a debt; there is no distinction between owner and third party collectors. The FCCPA also has prohibitions regarding the disclosure of a consumer’s information to third parties. State courts may begin to interpret their debt collection laws in accordance with this notice and potentially find first-party collectors responsible for disclosing consumer information to third-party sellers.

At the end of the opinion, the Court recognized the box of verses it opened “We are aware that our interpretation of § 1692c (b) risks upsetting the status quo in the debt collection industry. We assume that, in the normal course of business, debt collectors share consumer information not only with stimulus providers like Compumail, but also with other third party entities. Our reading of § 1692c (b) may well force debt collectors (at least in the short term) to outsource many of the services they had previously outsourced, potentially at a high cost. We also recognize that these costs may not buy much in terms of “real” consumer privacy, as we doubt the Compumails of the world regularly read, care or abuse the information that debt collectors pass on to them. Nonetheless, our obligation is to interpret the law as it is written, whether or not we believe the resulting consequences are particularly reasonable or desirable. Needless to say, if Congress thinks we’ve misread 1692c (b) – or even read it correctly but should be changed – they can say so.

Any collection agent who discloses consumer information to third parties should assess their business practices in light of this decision.

[View source.]


Historical study of the credit card default rate in the United States



Credit card default rates, as measured by the Federal Reserve Bank of New York for accounts overdue 90 days or more in payments, have fluctuated with economic conditions over the decades, but have peaked history during the financial crisis of the fourth quarter. of 2009 when they reached a staggering rate of 11.0%.In the wake of this grim financial chapter, Americans gradually deleveraged (paid off their credit card balances) for several years, from a brief high of just over $ 1 trillion before the start of the crisis in December 2008 to less than 800 billion dollars in the years that followed. .

According to our research, outstanding card balances have remained relatively stable over the intervening years, but have started to steadily rebuild as the economy slowly rebounded from 2014, reaching $ 975 billion in the fourth quarter of 2020.With increasing credit card balances, default rates began to climb in the middle of the decade, although they are well below the alarming levels seen in the previous decade. However, delinquency rates have dropped dramatically over the past year due to the pandemic.

Key points to remember

  • Americans’ credit card debt and defaults increased between the third quarter of 2016 and the first quarter of 2020 after falling sharply in the years immediately following the financial crisis.
  • Delinquency rates peaked in the fourth quarter of 2009 before falling to their lowest point in the second quarter of 2016.
  • Credit card spending declined for most of 2020 due to the pandemic, and defaults declined as a result for most of the year.

Card failures decreased during the pandemic

Contrary to the upward trend in the delinquency rate in recent years, which began to strengthen in mid-2016 after reaching a low of 3.5%, the latest data from the Federal Reserve shows that the delinquency rate Overall delinquency declined from the first quarter of 2020, when it stood at 5.3% and ended the year at 4.1% (probably due to the decrease in spending by card for things such as travel and entertainment during the pandemic).

Older Americans experienced the lowest delinquency rates

The recent trend reversal in the percentage of accounts considered seriously overdue is encouraging news for U.S. consumers, given that credit card defaults can have an extremely damaging effect on personal credit scores as they he payment history accounts for over a third of FICO scores. Based on the age cohort, however, it is evident that different age groups experienced varying rates of delinquency, largely favoring increasingly older Americans depending on the degree of severity. The lowest delinquency rates since 2000 were in the 60-69 age group. Notably, those over 70 had slightly higher delinquency rates than the next cohort of younger baby boomers, possibly due to the inability to pay unforeseen medical bills or the inflexibility of living. with a fixed income in retirement.

Young adults have been disproportionately affected

Not surprisingly, given the lower income rates, the youngest cohort has consistently experienced the highest credit card default rates over time, with their all-time peak occurring several times over. years before the financial crisis, in the fourth quarter of 2002 to 14.5%. While maintaining delinquency rates well above other age groups over the past two decades, 18-29 year olds saw the biggest decline in 2020, encouragingly, from 9.2% to the first quarter to 5.7% in the fourth quarter. Young adults likely have a higher proportion of travel and entertainment spending that has been blunted by COVID-19 restrictions over much of 2020.

Final result

While overall credit card defaults have remained well below levels recorded a decade ago, their percentage increase in total outstanding balances between 2016 and 2019 is a worrying symptom of consumers living above them. of their means, perhaps using credit cards as an extension of their income to make ends meet, or exhausting themselves buying goods and services they cannot afford to pay off immediately. The dramatic drop in severely overdue accounts in 2020, while encouraging, is however likely a temporary result of discretionary spending displaced by the pandemic. Hopefully a reborn economy following large-scale vaccinations will improve the financial situation of consumers and allow for better long-term debt service trends as bad credit card balances likely increase.


Historical credit card default rates in the United States were compiled in total and by age cohort by the Center for Microeconomic Data at the Federal Reserve Bank of New York and referred to a statistically significant sample of accounts in past due for 90 days or more, as reported by the credit reporting company Experian.


US consumer credit soars again in March



Numbers: Consumer borrowing remained strong in March after rising sharply the month before, according to Federal Reserve data released on Friday.

Total consumer credit increased by $ 25.8 billion to $ 4.2 trillion. This is an annual growth rate of 7.4%, down only a fraction of the 7.5% gain of the previous month. February’s gain was the largest percentage increase since December 2019.

There have not been two consecutive gains in consumer credit above 7% since 2017.

Economists had expected a gain of $ 20 billion, according to forecasts by the Wall Street Journal.

What happened: Revolving credit, like credit cards, rose 7.9% in March after gaining 10.4% the month before.

Non-revolving credit, typically car and student loans, rose 7.2% after gaining 6.7% in February. This category of credit is much less volatile. It only declined briefly at the start of the pandemic before resuming steady growth.

The Fed’s report does not include mortgages, which are the largest category of household debt.

Big picture: The Fed’s Financial Stability Report, released Thursday, indicates that overall financial strains on households have eased since last fall. The share of overdue or loss-mitigating auto loans fell to 4.5% in February from 9% last June. Consumer credit card balances have contracted sharply due to lower consumer spending, lower card use and lower new card creations, according to the report.

Market reaction: DJIA actions,
+ 0.68%

+ 0.85%
were trading higher on Friday despite the weak employment report for April.


Slave State to US Debt: Fed ‘Confused’ as it Pays Credit Cards, Other High Interest Debt, and HELOCs



Forbearance Effect: Severe mortgage and student loan defaults plunge to all-time highs as overdue loans in forbearance do not count as past due.

Through Wolf Richter for LOUP STREET.

Our ever-amazing American debt slaves are still borrowing, mind you, but much to the dismay of the Fed, they’re reducing their debt where the banks and shadow banks are making a big pile of their money: credit cards and other rates. high interest debts such as personal lines of credit.

Total household debt – mortgages, HELOCs, credit cards, car loans, student loans, and other debt – rose $ 85 billion in the first quarter to $ 14.6 trillion, according to the New York Fed. Household debt and credit report Wednesday afternoon, based on data from Equifax.

But the point is, Americans paid off their credit cards in the first quarter of the second-largest amount on record, at $ 49 billion, behind just the $ 76 billion they paid in the second quarter of 2020. “The one of the most baffling changes in debt balances, “the New York Fed called it in a blog post. In the five quarters since the fourth quarter of 2019, the last full quarter of The Good Times, Americans have paid off their credit cards by $ 157 billion.

In the wake of the financial crisis, credit card balances also plunged, but they took much longer – four years, from Q4 2008 to Q4 2012 – and it’s not because consumers paid them off. , but because consumers defaulted, and those balances were written off.

This time around, there are waves of stimulus money, PPP loans, additional unemployment benefits, eviction bans, moratoriums on foreclosures, rent subsidies, and more. The government took a fire hose and sprayed the ground with cash, and suspended collection of some debts.

Many consumers have received the series of stimuli, starting in April 2020. For many of them it was extra money that suddenly appeared, and instead of putting it in a checking account where it didn’t. no use, some people have used it to pay off debt at usurious interest rates – a smart thing to do.

Some of the stimuli were also spent on merchandise as retail sales declined glorious unpublished WTF peak despite declining credit card balances:

The people who used their stimuli to pay off their credit cards and those who used their stimmies to help the WTF surge in retail sales may have been two separate groups of people with partial overlap.

People living in high-income zip codes paid off their credit cards more than people living in low-income zip codes, the New York Fed found, based on IRS data on tax levels. income by postal code and Equifax credit card balance data for those postal codes.

In high income postal codes (over $ 79,000), average credit card balances fell 19% over the year; in the lowest income postal codes (less than $ 46,000), average credit card balances declined by 15%:

The fact that the Fed is trying to disentangle this phenomenon of Americans actually paying off their usurious interest debts and depriving the banks of serious moolah shows just how serious this situation is.

Despite the stimuli and other public funds that are sweeping over consumers, the rate of serious delinquency (over 90 days late) has been high and in the first quarter reached 10% of total credit card balances, the highest rate. highest since 2013, according to data from the New York Fed. . But it remains well below the peak of the financial crisis of almost 14%:

Debt balances of “other” consumers have also declined.

The balances of personal loans, lines of credit and other loans from banks, shadow banks, peer-to-peer lenders, and payday lenders declined during the pandemic, after rising for years. This too was an effect of stimuli and other measures. In the first quarter, balances fell $ 6 billion from the previous quarter and $ 19 billion from the fourth quarter of 2019, to $ 413 billion:

Serious defaults over 90 days past due accounted for 7.7% of total balances, having risen steadily since the recent low in 2017, but remain below the peak during the financial crisis:

HELOC sales decline on a ten-year trend.

This is a long-term phenomenon that started in 2009 when people defaulted heavily on their HELOCs during the mortgage crisis, and it has continued unabated as people moved on to refits. withdrawal to take advantage of their home, rather than relying on HELOCs.

Balances fell $ 14 billion in the first quarter from the previous quarter and fell more than half since the 2009 high to $ 335 billion, the lowest since the first quarter of 2004:

Mortgage debt swells with house prices.

Mortgage debt jumped $ 120 billion in the first quarter, following a jump of $ 182 billion in the fourth quarter, fueled by record levels of mortgage originations and soaring prices for homes that require rising mortgages :

No mortgage at work: Serious delinquency drops to an all-time high.

Mortgage loans over 90 days past due declined to 0.59% of total mortgage balances, a new record high in the data.

This is because 2.2 million mortgages are still in arrears, according to the Mortgage Bankers Association, and those that are past due don’t count as delinquents in this data here, which comes from Equifax. The abstention programs have been extended.

Forbearance is also the reason credit scores rose during the pandemic: Credit bureaus do not count overdue debts that are past due as past due.

Also posted: HELOC (green line) delinquency rate climbed to 1.18%, but remains in the lower 12-year range:

Auto loans and rentals.

Soaring prices for new and used vehicles are causing soaring loan balances. Auto loan and lease balances rose $ 8 billion in the first quarter after jumping $ 14 billion in the fourth quarter and $ 17 billion in the third quarter, from a record over time except in the second quarter when loan balances fell while auto sales briefly collapsed:

Badly overdue auto loan balances have plummeted during the pandemic as stimuli have been used to catch up on car payments, but after rising for years, they remain high at 4.8% of total balances. At the height of the financial crisis, overdue balances peaked at 5.3%:

The student loan quagmire.

Last year, all government-backed student loans were automatically put into forbearance programs which have now been extended. And everyone is hoping for a loan forgiveness. As a result, few borrowers pay off their student loans.

And even like New student loans declined last year as many colleges could not charge for room and board, and some had to repay amounts already paid for room and board, student loan balances continued to rise, but at a slower pace. Then in the first quarter, student loan balances jumped $ 29 billion, in line with the first quarter of 2019.

Repayments were already minimal and had been declining for years. These low repayment rates in the past, based on the many programs available to borrowers to slow or delay repayments, have largely contributed to the increase in student loan balances even as college enrollment has declined every year since 2011.

Student loans that are automatically forborne do not count as past due in the Equifax data here, and so the severely past due student loan rate plunged in the second quarter of last year, when the The forbearance went into effect, and continued to decline, and the first quarter hit a record 6.2%, even as loan repayments stalled:

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CFPB will look into racial issues; Examines demographics at the county level



The CFPB has announced that it will address racial issues and play an active role in addressing issues of pervasive racial injustice and the long-term economic impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on consumers. On April 28, 2021, the CFPB issued a Press release announcing that it has analyzed county-level demographics from racial disparity complaints. In addition, on June 3, 2021, Acting Director Uejio published this video discuss CFPB’s intentions to take action against racial injustices towards consumers.

Where does it come from?

While the complaint form linked in the CFPB press release does not state the specific reason for the CFPB’s focus on race, it notes that the CFPB has received over 700,000 consumer complaints since the declaration of the COVID-pandemic. March 19, 2020.

The video linked above provides additional insight. At the start of the video, Acting Director Uejio is of the opinion that “Our nation is in the middle of a long overdue conversation about race.” Then, after citing his personal experiences with racism, mentioning the widely publicized racial issues that have taken place over the past year, and noting that other members of the board know what it is to be faced with. discrimination, Acting Director Uejio unequivocally states that the CFPB “works hard to protect all consumers from discrimination. The video ends with a pledge from Acting Director Uejio that “CFPB will take action against institutions and individuals whose policies and practices prevent fair and equal access to credit or benefit poor, underserved and disadvantaged communities “.

How did the CFPB analyze the data and what did it show?

Although the CFPB does not collect information on race and ethnicity as part of the complaint process, consumers provide their mailing addresses. To assess the communities that filed the most complaints, the CFPB used race and ethnicity estimates from the U.S. Census 2019 American Community Survey coupled with the consumer’s mailing address to aggregate each of the more than 3,000 counties in the United States. United in five distinct categories. The categories were 1% -20% minority, 21% -40% minority, 41% -60% minority, 61% -80% minority and 81% -100% minority. The CFPB has called counties where minority populations (non-white or Hispanic) make up more than 61% or more of the total population as “majority minority counties”.

According to CFPB’s analysis, it received more complaints per capita from consumers living in minority counties, and the largest rate of increase between 2019 and 2020 was from minority counties. These results did not change depending on the product line; all product lines, including credit reports and debt collection, have followed these trends. Additionally, from 2019 to 2020, complaints grew at a higher rate in predominantly minority counties than in predominantly white, non-Hispanic counties.

The graph below shows the percentage increase in the volume of complaints by minority volume category, indexed to the average of complaints for 2018.

Regarding the analysis, CFPB Acting Director Dave Uejio said: “Consumer complaints support and inform the work of CFPB and provide key information on emerging trends in the financial market. … Today’s report shows that although everyone across the country faces financial hardship, a significantly higher complaint rate comes from ethnically diverse communities. The data raises concerns that merit our further study and as such we will keep a spotlight on any trends or abuses we see. “

What will the CFPB do?

To explore these issues and attempt to understand the experiences of various communities in the consumer market, CFPB plans to improve the consumer complaint form to allow consumers to enter information on household size and income. The CFPB will also explore additional demographic information that may be appropriate to collect through the complaints process, such as race and ethnicity. The CFPB believes these improvements will help them better understand who files complaints today and how that changes over time. Additionally, CFPB expects this work to help illustrate the consumer credit life cycle, from origin to collections and credit reports, in order to understand the diverse experiences of consumers in the marketplace.

InsideARM perspective:

Although the complaint bulletin acknowledges that the demographic analysis at the county level provides only a “high level overview” and has certain limitations, it appears that the CFPB considers its analysis to show a trend. We don’t yet know exactly what that means for those working in the accounts receivable space, but when CFPB says it will pursue a specifically targeted initiative like this, entities that interact with consumers should lend a helping hand. Warning. We will bring you more information on this emerging CFPB initiative as it develops.


Public college is expensive too. My son has $ 27,000 in debt – from UMass



The envelopes started coming in the spring of my son’s freshman year of college: Citizens Bank, Wells Fargo, Sallie Mae.

“Find your perfect student loan! One proclaims – as if there is such a thing – or “Know that they are covered from orientation until graduation …” They don’t mention what happens after graduation of the diploma. I hid them from my child, who graduated from UMass Amherst this month with $ 27,000 in federal student loans. He already has enough debt.

In the United States, 45 million borrowers now have more than $ 1.7 trillion in student debt, second in total consumer debt after mortgage loans. Almost two decades ago, graduates of Massachusetts public universities had the 49th lowest student debt in the country, but by 2016 debt levels had reached 10th highest, an average of $ 30,248 per borrower.

The author’s son, the day he graduated from UMass. (Courtesy)

And no wonder. Commonwealth cut funding for higher education 30% per student, in inflation-adjusted dollars, between 2001 and 2019, largely due to tax cuts which have cost the state over $ 4 billion a year and massively favor the wealthiest in the state. In 2001, Massachusetts supported families about 32% of the costs of a public university education; by 2018, that figure had nearly doubled, to 62%, as our public colleges and universities saw some of the highest tuition fees increases in the nation.

Without some financial help, my child and many others across the state simply would not go to college. Tuition and fees for state students at UMass’s flagship Amherst campus this year are $ 16,439, not including books or other necessities – out of reach for many families. And the full price of the sticker to live? On $ 31,000 per year. When grants, salaries and scholarships are insufficient, as is almost always the case, students turn to loans, which can have negative long-term effects. Student debt is associated with worse physical and mental health outcomes and lifestyle choices of delayed adults such as marriage, child rearing and home ownership.

“I’m not taking a second mortgage so you can go to college,” I told my son, his last year of high school, after the college acceptance records and college rolled over. financial aid. The private colleges where he had been accepted were immediately dismissed; even the one who claimed they “met every need” cost $ 25,000 more per year, after financial assistance, than UMass. Our public college system was clearly the best option.

I tiptoed through my son’s college years, fingers crossed. In the precarious single parenting calculations that I always make, we have managed to meet our financial obligations with the help of a dizzying array of scholarships, federal student loans, study jobs, and off-campus jobs – until three at a time for my child – and the scholarships my son laboriously applied for during long winter nights. I didn’t need to find a third job in addition to the two I already have. My son did not suffer from food or housing insecurity, like an extraordinary 56% of Massachusetts public college students.

I tiptoed through my son’s college years, fingers crossed.

In many ways we were lucky, but despite everything I held my breath every July, waiting to see the tuition / aid fee for the coming year, and therefore the tally. final. For the second year, the tuition contained an increase of $ 844, an increase described at the time – by men who probably always had lucrative jobs – as “moderate” (UMass Board of Trustees Chair Rob Manning) and like one who “Minimizes the impact on students and families” (President of UMass Martin Meehan). The following year saw another increase of $ 877. It took a pandemic to stop the cost increases for my son’s last year.

In a state renowned for education, it’s time to reinvest in our students. Senate Bill 824, known as the CHERISH Act, would reduce funding for public higher education in Massachusetts to 2001 levels, while freezing tuition and fees for five years. The Massachusetts Fair Share Amendment, known as the Millionaires Tax, is a proposed constitutional amendment that will tax income over $ 1 million by 4%, resulting in a $ 2 billion in annual revenues that will be used for education, infrastructure and transportation needs in the Commonwealth.

But investing more public funds in higher education is not only good for starving and cash-strapped university students; it is good for the state. Research shows that college graduates are both healthier and much less likely to need public assistance in their lifetimes. Compared to high school graduates, those with a college degree bring more than 2.5 times the tax revenue to state and local governments, an average of $ 137,000 per person.

Such an investment is a win-win written all over the place. It is high time to make access to affordable higher education a right, not a privilege.

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Disney, Netflix and WarnerMedia claim new abortion law could push their films out of Georgia



new York
CNN Affairs

Three of the world’s largest entertainment companies – Netflix, Disney and WarnerMedia – say they could stop producing movies and TV shows in Georgia if the state’s new abortion law comes into effect.

And a fourth, Comcast’s NBCUniversal, claims that the spread of these anti-abortion bills, if upheld by the courts, “would have a significant impact on our decision-making as to where we produce our content at. the future”.

The state is a production hub for the entertainment industry, in part because of the generous tax breaks Georgia offers to filmmakers and producers.

But companies warn they may have to forgo those tax incentives and leave the state – showing their financial muscles in a way that will ensure they get the attention of local political leaders.

Earlier this month, the Governor of Georgia, Brian kemp, signed a bill that would ban abortions if a fetal heartbeat can be detected, usually around six weeks pregnant.

The restrictive new law, if it survives legal challenges from the ACLU and women’s rights groups, is set to take effect January 1st.

As a result, celebrities and some production companies have vowed to boycott Georgia. But the deep pockets of Netflix

and disney

means businesses have louder voices. They cite the concerns of liberal-leaning stars and producers who make their comedies, dramas and other productions.

Disney CEO Bob Iger was asked about the situation on Wednesday. He told Reuters it would be “very difficult” for the studio to shoot in Georgia if the new law goes into effect.

“I think a lot of people who work for us will not want to work there, and we will have to take their wishes into account in this regard. Right now we are watching him very carefully, ”said Iger.

He was interviewed at the opening of the new Stars Wars: Edge of the Galaxy land at Disneyland California. But the question has been hanging over Hollywood studios for several weeks now.

When the bill was enacted, the executives of several production companies said they would not shoot in the state. They included Christine Vachon, CEO of Killer Films; David Simon, creator of “The Wire” and “The Deuce” who runs Blown Deadline Productions; and Marc Duplass by Duplass Frères Productions.

Director Morano reed canceled plans to find locations in Georgia for an upcoming Amazon series. And actor Kristen Wiig has said a comedy project has pulled out of the state.

Then came Netflix’s statement on Tuesday.

“We have a lot of women working on productions in Georgia, whose rights, along with millions of others, will be severely restricted by this law,” said Netflix’s chief content officer. Ted sarandos says Variety. “That’s why we will work with the ACLU and others to fight it in court. Since the legislation has not yet been implemented, we will continue to tour on it, while supporting partners and artists who choose not to. But – here’s the but – “if that were to come into effect, we would rethink our entire investment in Georgia.”

AT&T’s WarnerMedia, which is the parent company of HBO, TNT, TBS, CNN and other brands, also said the company could stop producing “new productions” in the state if the bill goes into effect. force.

“We operate and produce work in many states and in multiple countries at one time and while this does not mean that we agree with every position taken by any state or country and their leaders, we respect the due process, ”WarnerMedia said. “We will be monitoring the situation closely and if the new law is in effect, we will reconsider Georgia as the hotbed of any new production. As is always the case, we will work closely with our production partners and talents to determine how and where to shoot a given project.

WarnerMedia has thousands of employees in Georgia, most notably at CNN’s headquarters in Atlanta.

A distinction between existing operations and one-off film and television productions is that employees are generally eligible to vote and engage in state politics, while actors and producers who travel a few months to shoot a film are not. are not.

Former candidate for governor of Georgia Stacey Abrams tweeted on the issue Wednesday night after Iger’s comments were posted.

“Georgia is in danger of losing Netflix and Disney. This means lost jobs for carpenters, hairdressers, food workers and the hundreds of small businesses developed here. Billions of economic investments are directed to states eager to welcome cinema + protect women. She added a hashtag: “Consequences”.

Strict anti-abortion bills were passed this year by Georgia, Mississippi, Ohio, Georgia, Kentucky, Missouri and Louisiana. The bills are designed in part to provoke a legal battle, potentially leading to a Supreme Court review of abortion rights.

NBCUniversal cited this legal reality in its statement on Thursday.

“We expect Heartbeat bills and similar laws in various states to face serious legal issues and will not come into effect while the process unfolds in court,” the company said. “If any of these laws are followed, it would have a big impact on our decision making about where we will produce our content in the future.”


Trump administration limits fetal tissue research to win over abortion groups



The Trump administration said on Wednesday it would ban scientists in federal agencies from pursuing research using fetal tissue and add new barriers for researchers on college campuses to renew funding for research using the materials. He also said he would drop a contract with the University of California, San Francisco, to test for HIV infection using the tissue.

Funding for other non-governmental research laboratories is not affected by the decision. But the announcement is a clear victory for anti-abortion groups that have been pushing the Trump administration for months to restrict scientific work on fetal tissue from elective abortions.

He also warns university researchers that they may face other hurdles in the future in securing federal support for such work.

“I think anyone who has an existing grant will be thinking very strategically about their future steps,” said Joanne Carney, director of government relations at the American Association for the Advancement of Science. “Are you taking the risk of seeking federal funds, or are you looking to the private sector or international collaborations?

Future grants for research that proposes to use fetal tissue will also have to go through an ethics advisory committee which could also slow down the award process. It could also mean slower development of breakthroughs for vaccines or other research with a public health imperative, said Lizbet Boroughs, associate vice president for federal relations at the Association of American Universities.

The Department of Health and Human Services, after pressure from anti-abortion groups and members of Congress, launched a review last year of all federal fetal tissue research. Soon after, he said he would prevent the National Institutes of Health from acquiring new fetal tissue.

In a statement on Wednesday, the HHS said the review contributed to further restrictions on federal research and the termination of a contract with the University of California, San Francisco to study potential therapies for HIV. The long-term status of that contract was questioned last year after the Trump administration began granting 90-day extensions instead of the typical one-year renewal.

“Promoting the dignity of human life from conception to natural death is one of the top priorities of President Trump’s administration,” the agency statement said. “The audit and review helped inform the political process that led to the administration’s decision to let the contract with UCSF expire and to cease intramural research – research conducted within National Institutes of Health (NIH) – involving the use of human fetal tissue from elective abortion. Intramural research that requires new acquisition of fetal tissue from elective abortions will not be conducted. “

UCSF Chancellor Sam Hawgood Recount The Washington Post that the university viewed the decision “as politically motivated, short-sighted and not based on sound science.”

Doug Melton, president of the International Society of Stem Cell Researchers, said in A declaration that the new restrictions issued on Wednesday had no scientific or ethical basis and will delay the development of new medical treatments.

“Research using fetal tissue has saved millions of lives through the development of vaccines against diseases that once ravaged communities around the world,” said Melton. “Polio is now almost eradicated and rubella, measles, chickenpox and rabies are all preventable diseases thanks to research on fetal tissue. “

Marjorie Dannenfelser, chair of the Susan B. Anthony anti-abortion list, called the announcement a “major pro-life victory” in A declaration.

“Taxpayer funding is best used to promote alternatives that are already being used in the production of treatments, vaccines and drugs and to expand approaches that do not depend on the destruction of unborn children often through a late abortion, ”she said.

Scientific groups, however, say that no suitable alternative to fetal tissue exist.

After the HHS announced the review of fetal tissue research last year, academic groups and scientific organizations said they were optimistic their voices would be heard. The administration had not released its findings before the announcement on Wednesday, however, and several panels said they had not seen the final review.

The impact of the new requirements for scientists studying fetal tissue will not be clear until the next round of research grant renewal. But academic groups expect the imposition of new ethics review boards to seriously block this process.

“Were concerned. We think there are already all kinds of ethical guidelines that researchers need to follow,” Boroughs said. “We think this is an unnecessary hurdle for researchers and for patients.”


New state laws impact health and safety in 2021



New health laws passed before the pandemic will take effect Friday and throughout the year.

INDIANAPOLIS – Health and safety were ‘hot’ issues this year in Indiana even before COVID-19.

In fact, new health-related laws passed before the pandemic will take effect on Friday and throughout the year.

Colon projections

IndyCar driver John Andretti crossed the ultimate finish line on January 30, 2020, after a valiant three-year battle with colon cancer. His diagnosis led tens of 50 years to get tested.

From January 2021 Indiana insurers must extend coverage for colon tests starting with people aged 45. The law will help doctors find and treat potential problems sooner.

Ultrasound before abortion

The New Year will bring a major change to abortion clinics across the state. Women who request abortion services should have an ultrasound at least 18 hours before a procedure. This is part of an agreement resulting from a lawsuit between the state and Planned Parenthood. Clinics were given more time to train staff in the use of ultrasound equipment.

The state calls the new requirement “informed consent counseling” and says it protects women’s health and the sanctity of life.

Nicole Erwin, communications manager for Planned Parenthood, told 13 News:

“This medically unnecessary law … is only intended to shame, stigmatize and restrict access to abortion.”

Erwin said Planned Parenthood will “be able to maintain the same level of access to patient care.”

RELATED: Law Requiring Pre-Abortion Ultrasound Comes into Force Jan. 1

Protect pregnant workers

At the same time, Gov. Eric Holcomb again pledges to protect the rights of pregnant workers despite the legislation being rejected in the 2020 session. He pledges to create better workplace accommodations, such as breaks longer and more frequent for pregnant women. The issue is at the top of its legislative program for 2021.

In prepared statements, the governor said:

“I believe women shouldn’t have to choose between a paycheck and a healthy pregnancy … I remain committed to improving the health of infants and mothers in Indiana so that more mothers and their babies take a best start. “

No prescription for insulin

At the drugstore, getting insulin will be easier for the Hoosiers. The Senate inscribed Bill 255 paved the way and a prescription will no longer be needed to purchase insulin in Indiana.

Transparency of healthcare prices

Soon there will be more transparency in healthcare pricing.

Hospitals, day surgery centers, and emergency care clinics will all need to post costs for their most frequently used services on their websites. Pricing must be in place by the end of March.

Vaping age

State lawmakers are trying to reduce the impact of vaping on minors. From January 1, those children under 21 are prohibited buy or own cigarettes, e-cigarettes, and vaping equipment. Indiana is also taking a tougher stance against retailers by doubling fines. Those who sell to underage consumers could pay up to $ 2,000.

Retail stores cannot sell materials within 1,000 feet of a school.

RELATED: Here Are 10 Heartwarming Stories You May Have Missed In 2020

Medical debt

If you have outstanding medical debts and need to go to Small Claims Court Indiana rose the claim limit of $ 6,000 up to $ 8,000.

Student income

Student income earned through paid internships or work-based learning programs will no longer affect their families’ eligibility for certain benefits under another new law coming into force.

The income will no longer be deducted from families accessing the supplementary nutritional assistance program or temporary assistance benefits for needy families.


Judge Trump tries to stop consumers from recovering damages for harassing debt collection phone calls: judges upheld, fears upheld



Judges confirmed, fears confirmed”Is a series of blogs documenting the damaging impact of President Trump’s judges on the rights and freedoms of Americans. Cases in the series can be found by number and by judge at this connect.

Trump’s Sixth Circuit Judge John Nalbandian wrote a dissenting opinion trying to overturn a damages judgment in favor of consumers who had been harassed by debt collection phone calls more than 300 times in violation of federal law. The majority, which included a judge appointed by President George HW Bush, rejected this view and upheld a judgment in favor of consumers in the July 2020 case of Allan v. Pa. Higher education. Assistance agency.

Jessica Wilson, with her co-signer Susan Allan, took out a student loan managed by PHEAA. After asking for loan repayment relief, which automatically consents to debt collection phone calls, Wilson and Allan asked the PHEAA to stop calling them in October 2013, as federal law allows. The PHEAA nonetheless continued to make robocalls, leaving messages for Wilson and Allan a total of 353 times without consent, sometimes multiple times a day. The PHEAA was able to do this by using a call list of stored numbers which would then be used to generate daily call lists.

Wilson and Allan filed a lawsuit in district court claiming that the PHEAA violated federal Consumer Protection Act by Telephone (TCPA). After the discovery, the court ruled in favor of Wilson and Allan on summary judgment and awarded them $ 176,500 in damages. The PHEAA appealed, alleging that its system did not constitute an Automatic Telephone Numbering System (ATDS) as prohibited by the TCPA.

Writing for the majority which included Eugene Siler, George HW Bush’s candidate, Judge Karen Moore upheld the district court’s ruling. She explained that TCPA’s ban on debt collection calls using an ATDS covers an automatic numbering system using a “stored list of numbers” like that used by the PHEAA, based on the text of the law and its “structure and context”. This was in accordance with the decisions of the Second and Ninth Circuits, she continued, although the Seventh and Eleventh Circuits disagreed. She carefully analyzed these four decisions and concluded that the second and ninth circuits were correct. If the law only applied to randomly generated calls as the other two circuits had suggested, Justice Moore noted, the TCPA’s exception for calls made in advance would have made no sense. A party consenting to a call must “give its number” to the calling party, she explained, which means that the calling party “dials a stored number” as opposed to a “number it has generated in a way. random”.

Judge Trump Nalbandian harshly expressed his dissent. His view, consistent with the Seventh and Eleventh Circuits, was that the TCPA only covers devices that “randomly or sequentially generate numbers” to call. But if that were the case, the majority replied, the ATDS definition would simply include devices that produce such numbers, “not to mention devices that store them,” as the statue explicitly does. Nalbandian’s interpretation is a “tense reading”, continued the majority, which “wrongly introduces the superfluous into the law”.

Therefore, following the majority decision, Wilson and Allan’s rights to avoid automated debt collection calls were upheld, along with damages in excess of $ 176,000. If it had been in Nalbandian, however, the decision to recognize and remedy the violation of those rights would have been overturned.

Note: The initial version of this blog post was prepared by PFAW Legal Intern Oliver Telusma.


Kevin Thomas: a balanced look | Herald Community Newspapers



Levittown Democrat Kevin Thomas was never supposed to win. The 34-year-old appeared in the 6th Senate District last November against 15-term holder Kemp Hannon. Still, he won it, with just 50.6% of the vote in a squeaker that solidified the Democrats’ majority in the state Senate and bolstered their presence in the Long Island delegation to six of the nine seats.
Even Hanno didn’t seem to see Thomas as a threat. Although Hanno had over $ 400,000 in his campaign war chest, until October he had spent little more than Thomas, according to media reports.
But the $ 100,000 Thomas raised was clearly enough. He knocked on thousands of doors and pushed his candidacy through social media to become the first South Asian member of the Senate.
He is now its resident expert in consumer protection, an issue close to his heart. Fresh out of Thomas M. Cooley Law School at Western Michigan University in 2008, Thomas went to work for the New York Legal Assistance Group. “We provided a free lawyer or law student for people sued for consumer debt, like credit card debt or student loans,” he explained.
Thomas worked for the organization for almost a decade. While there, he was appointed to the New York State Advisory Board of the United States Civil Rights Commission. “One of the things we did,” he said, “was investigate the NYPD and their excessive police use of“ broken windows ”- the practice of disrupting serious crime by actively investigating crimes, such as jumping turnstiles or smoking marijuana.

According to Thomas, the broken window policy is also “a process in which many children go through the criminal justice pipeline – in particular, children of color.”

Thomas never wanted to be a politician. “But that was the Trump administration, and they were just dismantling consumer protection,” he said. For example, “The Department of Education just closed the offices that protected student borrowers. . . [and] they were reversing their application for predatory payday loans, ”he added.

When Thomas saw the Department of Education side with student loan companies and opposed student borrowers, he said, “I decided to go into politics.”

He initially wanted to run for the seat of the 2nd Congressional District held by veteran representative Peter King, a Republican from Seaford, but instead chose to challenge Hanno.

Senate Majority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins ​​has named Thomas chairman of the consumer protection committee, and he has already sponsored a number of consumer protection measures. “There is a bill regulating these student loan services,” he said. This would require lenders to obtain licenses from the state’s Department of Financial Services and amend several sections of existing banking law that cover student loans.
Student debt in New York state stands at more than $ 82 billion, according to the bill. And “nobody tells them, ‘Hey, you can’t defraud borrowers,'” Thomas said.
His second bill arose out of the recent federal government shutdown, in which federal workers missed two paychecks. “It meant they were already behind on their bills,” he said. When Thomas realized that borrowers may have missed student loan payments, he decided to draft legislation that would place a moratorium on reporting any defaults that occurred during the shutdown.
The bill would give borrowers a 90-day grace period to update their accounts. After that, lenders could send negative reports again when warranted. The onus would be on borrowers to prove they were state residents as well as federal employees on leave, Thomas said.
Thomas is also concerned about social media providers who collect users’ personal data and sell it. “It’s another industry that is not regulated,” he said. “And there is so much private information compared to ten years ago. I want to be sure. . . we have no other situation where all of our data is available and people can manipulate it to make us do whatever they want.
Thomas said he hopes to establish a minimum threshold of security, similar to privacy laws that prevent banks from disclosing personal information.
Balance is the word he uses in both of these scenarios to describe the desired outcome. “I’m not against companies making money,” he said, but not at the expense of the individual consumer.

In majority
The new Democratic majority meant the reintroduction of measures Republicans let die in previous sessions, including voting reforms, the child victims law and the reproductive health law, Thomas said. “The leadership has pushed these bills forward to show that we are serious,” he said, calling the bills “simple.”
The setback has been rapid and brutal, especially with regard to the law on reproductive health. “People believe that a woman in labor, if she tells her doctor to abort the baby, the doctor will abort the baby,” he said.
According to Thomas, the main provision of the law would move abortion from the penal code to the health law. He would also add a provision present in Roe v. Wade but so far absent from abortion law in New York. “Late abortions – after 24 weeks – are allowed when the health of the mother is threatened or the fetus is not viable,” he said. “And these represent less than 1% of all abortions.”
Although senators’ jobs are considered part-time, Thomas says he regularly works 12-hour days or more. “I have to be everywhere if I want to serve my constituents,” he said, adding that he didn’t want to be the kind of lawmaker voters only see during an election period.
His wife, Rincy, a pharmacist, makes his job possible, he said: “I couldn’t do it without her.” The couple have a 12-week-old daughter, Layla, and her father, the first-year senator, clearly has a full plate.


Georgia’s “Heartbeat Bill” officially abortion law



Governor Kemp enacted the controversial “heart rate bill” on Tuesday morning.

ATLANTA – ATLANTA (AP) – Georgia Republican Governor Brian Kemp on Tuesday signed a law banning abortions once a fetal heartbeat can be detected. It can take up to six weeks before many women know they are pregnant.

Kemp said he was sign the invoice “Ensure that all Georgians have the opportunity to live, grow, learn and prosper in our great state”. He also stressed that “Georgia is a state that values ​​life”.

The signing ends weeks of tensions and protests on the state capitol, and the start could be a long and costly legal battle over the constitutionality of the law.

But a legal showdown is exactly what the fans are looking for, and Kemp said “we will not back down. We will always continue to fight for life.” He went on to say “We protect the innocent, we stand up for the vulnerable, we stand up and speak for those who are unable to speak for themselves.”

Governor Kemp enacts “heart rate bill”

Anti-abortion activists and lawmakers across the country, energized by the new conservative majority at the U.S. Supreme Court, which includes President Donald Trump’s appointees Neil Gorsuch and Brett Kavanaugh, are pushing abortion bans in an attack on the Roe v. Wade of the High Court in 1973, which legalized abortion nationwide until a fetus was developed enough to live apart from a woman’s. uterus.

Staci Fox, CEO of Planned Parenthood Southeast, said she had “a message for Governor Kemp: we’ll see you in court.”

The Planned Parenthood statement says the bill “criminalizes life-saving physicians” and “allows the state to investigate women who miscarry.” The organization pledged on Tuesday to campaign to overthrow lawmakers who backed it, saying “they will be held accountable for playing politics with women’s health.”

ACLU Georgia legal director Sean Young told The Associated Press that “under 50 years of Supreme Court precedent, this abortion ban is clearly unconstitutional.”

“Every federal court that has heard a challenge to a similar ban has ruled it unconstitutional,” Young added.

Under current law, women in Georgia can request an abortion during the first 20 weeks of pregnancy. If not blocked in court, the new ban would come into effect on January 1, 2020.

HB 481 makes exceptions for rape and incest – if the woman files a police report first – and to save the mother’s life. It would also allow abortions when it is determined that a fetus is not viable due to serious medical issues.

The bill also deals with child support, child support and even fetal tax deductions, stating that “the full value of a child begins when a detectable human heartbeat exists.”

Republican Representative Ed Setzler, the author of the bill, called it a “common sense” measure that seeks to “balance the difficult circumstances in which women find themselves with the basic right to a child’s life. “.

But Democratic Senator Jen Jordan said “there is nothing balanced about it: it is a total ban on abortion.”

The “heartbeat bill”: winners and losers in the fight against abortion

Jordan said she was particularly concerned that the new law would move obstetricians away from the practice in Georgia, worsening health care outcomes for women in a state that already has one of the worst maternal mortality rates in the country.

“These are the unintended consequences,” Jordan said. “They are making political choices that will ultimately result in the deaths of women, and these are preventable deaths.”

In the first months of 2019, “heartbeat abortion” bans were enacted in four states: Mississippi, Kentucky, Ohio and now Georgia. Lawmakers in several other states, including Tennessee, Missouri, South Carolina, Florida, Texas, Louisiana and West Virginia, are considering similar proposals. A bill recently passed by Alabama House would ban abortions at any stage of pregnancy, with a few exceptions.

Kentucky’s law was immediately challenged by the ACLU after it was signed in March, and a federal judge temporarily blocked it.

According to the Guttmacher Institute, a research group that supports abortion rights, approximately 33,000 abortions were performed in Georgia in 2014.


Household debt ratio reaches 170.7%, according to StatCan



OTTAWA – Canadian households owed an average of $ 1.71 for every dollar of disposable income in the third quarter, Statistics Canada said on Friday.

In other words, Statistics Canada said, household debt as a percentage of disposable income reached 170.7% in the third quarter, compared to 162.8% in the second quarter.

The ratio was still below the $ 1.81 seen in the fourth quarter of 2019.

“With more money and less spending, households were able to repay part of their consumer debt. And while there has been a recent recovery, it remains below levels seen earlier this year, ”said a client note from Priscilla Thiagamoorthy, economist at BMO Capital Markets. .

The Statistics Canada report says that while credit market debt rose 1.6% in the third quarter, household disposable income fell 3.1% as Canadians recover from job losses for the COVID-19 pandemic. Low-income households tend to have a higher debt-to-disposable income ratio, the agency said.

While employment was below 3.7 percent of its pre-pandemic levels in the quarter, that was not enough to offset the gradual reduction in government supports as benefits from Employment insurance fell nearly 50 percent in the quarter, according to the report.

But with COVID-19 restrictions keeping people close to home, household savings remained high in the quarter at $ 56.8 billion, from a record $ 90.1 billion in the second quarter, a indicated the agency.

Households also benefited from the rebound in mutual fund stocks, returning 3.9% on the Toronto Stock Exchange in the three-month period. Overall, Canadian household net worth rose 3% to over $ 12.3 trillion.

“The distribution of wealth tends to be very unequal across income groups. As a result, recent net worth gains have disproportionately benefited Canadians who were already better off, ”in a note to clients on household wealth, Ksenia Bushmeneva, economist at TD Economics. report.

“In general, wealthier people saw larger increases in their savings, as they were more likely to keep their jobs while cutting back on discretionary spending such as travel and dining, which remains largely unavailable. “

Meanwhile, there has been a record increase in mortgage borrowing and investment in housing hit an all-time high as the cost of borrowing hovered at record highs, StatCan reported. Mortgage debt hit nearly $ 1.63 trillion as mortgage demand hit a new high of $ 28.7 billion.

“Obviously, money isn’t always king, and having wealth – (be it) financial or real estate assets – has really paid off this year with the rise in stocks and real estate prices, ”Bushmeneva wrote.

Other key changes tracked in the report include the household debt service ratio, which measures income spent on paying interest and principal. The household debt service ratio rose to 13.22% from 12.36%, after falling earlier in the year as part of debt deferral programs linked to the COVID-19 pandemic. Many of those programs ended at the end of the third quarter, Statistics Canada said.

“Canadian household finances are healthier this year thanks mainly to unprecedented government transfers that have increased overall incomes,” Thiagamoorthy wrote.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published on December 11, 2020


Northern District of California grants permanent injunction to National Abortion Federation – Litigation, Mediation and Arbitration



United States: Northern District of California grants permanent injunction to National Abortion Federation

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Judge William H. Orrick III granted the National Abortion Federation’s (NAF) motion for summary judgment on his breach of contract claim and issued a permanent injunction preventing the broadcast of videos illegally obtained by anti-abortion extremists.

“It has been a privilege to represent NAF in this long-standing lawsuit and we are delighted to have obtained a permanent injunction as a result,” said Derek Foran, Morrison & Foerster partner at San Francisco Commercial Litigation + Trial, who heads the team since the start of the case in July 2015.

Morrison & Foerster filed a complaint on behalf of the NAF in July 2015 after defendants assumed false identities, barged into NAF meetings, videotaped participants, and posted deceptively edited videos purporting to show participants discussing the sale of fetal tissue. On February 5, 2016, the company obtained a preliminary injunction against the publication of the videos as the defendants signed confidentiality agreements before entering the meeting. The Ninth Circuit upheld the preliminary injunction in March 2017. After two of the defendants’ lawyers violated the preliminary injunction in May 2017, the team obtained civil penalties for contempt of $ 195,000 plus interest.

NAF filed its motion for summary judgment on its breach of contract claim and the registration of a permanent injunction in October 2020. Justice Orrick found that NAF was entitled to summary judgment on its breach of contract claim because the defendants were excluded by a judgment in a related case. Case brought by Planned Parenthood, in which the defendants were found to have violated confidentiality agreements with NAF. Judge Orrick concluded that the NAF was entitled to a permanent injunction preventing the videos from being broadcast, as earlier versions of these videos resulted in harassment, threats and violence against the NAF, its members and abortion providers in general. Defendants are required to leave the attached documents in the custody of their attorneys while they separately face criminal prosecution by the state of California for violating California’s bipartite registration consent laws.

In addition to Derek, Morrison & Foerster’s pro bono team representing NAF included San Francisco partner James Sigel and associates Spencer McManus, Randy Zack, Karen Leung, Christina Dierolf and Mason Willis.

Due to the generality of this update, the information provided here may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

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Functional hybrid witnesses

Wilson Elser Moskowitz Edelman & Dicker LLP

Unlike other litigation experts, hybrid witnesses testify both facts and opinions based on their first-hand knowledge of the relevant facts as well as their training and experience.


Catholic Church to clarify position on abortion, politicians say



The bishops will decide in June whether or not to send the message to politicians: do not receive communion if you persist in publicly defending abortion rights.

WASHINGTON – When America’s Catholic bishops hold their next national meeting in June, they will decide whether to send a harsher message than ever to President Joe Biden and other Catholic politicians: don’t receive Communion if you persist in publicly defending the right to abortion.

This is a document that will be prepared for the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops by its Committee on Doctrine, with the aim of clarifying the Church’s position on an issue that has repeatedly irritated bishops. over the past decades. It takes on a new urgency now, in the eyes of many bishops, because Biden – only the second Catholic president – is the first to hold the post while espousing clear support for abortion rights.

Such a position, taken by a public figure, is “a grave moral evil,” according to Archbishop Joseph Naumann of Kansas City, Kansas, who chairs the USCCB’s committee on pro-life activities and believes he is. necessary to publicly reprimand Biden on the matter.

“Because President Biden is Catholic, this presents a unique problem for us,” Naumann told The Associated Press. “It can create confusion. … How can he say that he is a devout Catholic and does these things that are contrary to the teaching of the church?

The document, if approved, would make it clear the USCCB’s view that Biden and other Catholic public figures with similar views should not show up for communion, Naumann said.

RELATED: Biden Begins to Rescind Trump’s Ban on Abortion Referrals

RELATED: FDA Says Women Can Get Abortion Pill Through Telemedicine

In accordance with existing USCCB policy, it would still leave the decisions to refuse Communion to individual bishops. In Biden’s case, the leading prelates in the jurisdictions where he frequently venerates – Bishop W. Francis Malooly of Wilmington, Delaware, and Cardinal Wilton Gregory of Washington, DC – have made it clear that Biden is welcome to receive fellowship in the churches they oversee.

The document under development results from a decision taken in November by the president of the USCCB, Archbishop José Gomez of Los Angeles, to form a working group to address the issue. “Complex and difficult situation” posed by Biden’s positions on abortion and other issues that differ from official church teaching. Before disbanding, the group proposed drafting a new document addressing the issue of communion – a project entrusted to the Doctrine Committee.

The committee did not disclose details of its work. Naumann said the issue will be discussed at the USCCB meeting in June and the bishops will vote on whether the committee should continue working on the document so that it can be made public later.

A two-thirds majority would be needed for work to continue, Naumann said. But even critics of the initiative, such as Bishop John Stowe of Lexington, Ky., Predict the company will gain overwhelming approval.

Stowe is one of a relatively small group of American bishops who fear that the USCCB’s focus on abortion will undermine Pope Francis’ exhortations to the church to also focus on issues such as climate change, immigration and inequalities. Stowe is also concerned that the American bishops may miss a chance to find common ground with Biden on such issues.

“If a politician is targeted as a negative example by his own church, it creates a sad context in which the church can deal with that Catholic president,” Stowe said. “It contributes to the polarization of the church and of society.

Bishop Robert McElroy of San Diego expressed similar concerns.

“I do not see how depriving the president or other political leaders of the Eucharist on the basis of their public policy position can be interpreted in our society as anything other than a militarization of the Eucharist… an online forum in February.

Nonetheless, the bishops wishing to send a harsh message to Biden are determined to move forward.

“There is a growing sense of urgency,” Archbishop of San Francisco Salvatore Cordileone said. “Abortion is not just one problem among many. … It is a direct attack on human life.

Cordileone contemplates a statement from the USCCB to Biden and others “that moved them in their consciousness.”

“They need to understand the scandal that is caused when they say they are faithfully Catholic and yet oppose the church on such a fundamental concept,” he said.

The American Cardinal Raymond Burke raised the possibility of an ultimate sanction of Catholicism. He says politicians who “publicly and stubbornly” support abortion are “apostates” who not only should be banned from receiving Communion but deserve excommunication.

Bishops already troubled by Biden’s stance on abortion became more dismayed by three measures by his administration in mid-April.

He lifted restrictions on federal funding for research involving human fetal tissue. He repealed a Trump administration policy prohibiting organizations such as Planned Parenthood from receiving federal family planning grants if they also refer women for abortions. And he said women looking for an abortion pill won’t be forced to visit a doctor’s office or clinic during the COVID-19 pandemic, allowing women to get a prescription via telemedicine and receive the pill by mail.

Naumann, who issued heavily worded denunciations after each action, told AP he was frustrated that Biden could allow them while identifying himself as a devout Catholic.

“He does not have the power to teach what it means to be Catholic – it is our responsibility as bishops,” Naumann said, “whether he is intentional or not, he is trying to usurp our authority.

The Vatican has not ruled on the specific issue of fellowship and politicians supporting abortion in a major teaching document, although internal church canon law says people with persistent sin should not. not be allowed to receive Communion. He also issued guidelines for the behavior of Catholics in political life, urging them to uphold principles consistent with Church doctrine.

Former Vatican Doctrine Bureau Chief Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, future Pope Benedict XVI, told American bishops in 2004 that priests “must” deny the sacrament if a politician is going to receive Communion despite “stubborn persistence. in manifest grave sin, ”including the sin of constantly campaigning for permissive abortion laws.

Ratzinger wrote a confidential letter outlining the principles to American bishops in response to their question of whether to deny Communion to John Kerry, who was the Democratic presidential candidate. In the end, the bishops ignored Ratzinger’s advice and instead voted for the policy currently in place allowing the bishops to decide for themselves whether to withhold it.

The document being drafted by the doctrine committee may contain guidance for bishops, Cordileone said, but it will not seek to strip their decision-making authority.

“This will put the burden of responsibility on Catholics who occupy an important place in public life,” he said.

Archbishop Samuel Aquila of Denver, who has sharply criticized Biden’s stance on abortion, told the AP he supported the creation of a national policy on fellowship, as opposed to the current “patchwork approach”. He said bishops should first have a private conversation with someone considered to be in a state of sin and refuse Communion if they persist.

Edward Peters, who teaches canon law at the Sacred Heart Major Seminary in Detroit, said the USCCB would have the option of seeking Vatican approval for a unified fellowship policy that applies to all bishops. But he doubted that such a request would be made.

“The bishops’ conference has a great responsibility to speak out on issues that impact the effectiveness and clarity of the Church’s mission,” Peters said via email. “The bad example set by some high profile Catholics who consistently fail to protect innocent human life is certainly one of those issues. “

Some Catholic academics are not comfortable with the document.

“Are you really going to deny the President of the United States Communion?” asked Margaret McGuinness, professor of religion at La Salle University in Philadelphia. “I don’t think it’s going to shake his faith. … I don’t see anything constructive coming out of it.

She noted that a majority of American Catholics, according to polls, say abortion should be legal in at least some cases.

Steven Millies, professor of public theology at the Catholic Theological Union in Chicago, said the Catholic Church has received significant financial support in recent years from conservative philanthropists who are skeptical of Francis and have favored Donald Trump versus Biden in the 2020 election.

“What we are seeing now is an effort to please donors who want a church that will wage a culture war,” Millies said.

Associated Press writer Nicole Winfield in Rome contributed to this report.


Anti-abortion group pledges to appeal video blocking order – Government, public sector



United States: Anti-abortion group pledges to appeal prescription blocking video

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Derek Foran spoke to Bloomberg Law about the decision of Northern District Judge William H. Orrick III, which permanently bans an anti-abortion group from releasing hundreds of hours of tapes the group has secretly made at national conferences.

Derek said he was happy with the move, adding that MoFo was “proud to stand with the NAF and its members in the fight against anti-abortion extremists, who have put providers at risk. abortion, simply for ensuring the constitutional right of women in this country to make their own reproductive choices. “

Read it full article (subscription required).

Originally posted by Bloomberg Law

Due to the generality of this update, the information provided here may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

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Company pays FINRA fees for deficiencies in anti-money laundering program

Cadwalader, Wickersham & Taft LLP

One company paid FINRA fees for failing to have a reasonable AML program designed to report suspicious transactions and for failing to reasonably respond to red flags associated with China-based accounts.


Access to medical abortions through telehealth varies by state and here’s why



Telehealth is becoming more and more important in our lives. These visits are also used for abortions, but the rules vary from state to state, and even at the federal level.

“In March of last year in 2020, at the height of the pandemic, I found out I was pregnant in the state of Ohio,” Larada Lee explained.

Soon after, she made the decision to have an abortion.

“I also had to go to three different dates and it was really, really difficult because people couldn’t come with me,” she explained.

Telemedicine appointments were not an option in her condition.

“I kind of had to risk my life to go get abortion pills when I was going to do the other half of the procedure at home anyway,” she said.

It’s a state-by-state decision, and in Ohio, as in other states, laws prevent medical professionals from prescribing abortion pills through telehealth.

“I got the first half of my abortion pill at the clinic and took the other half home,” Lee said.

Nineteen states require the clinician providing a medical abortion to be physically present when the pill is administered, meaning there is no telehealth to prescribe remotely.

Last year, as the pandemic spread, a federal judge blocked the FDA’s federal requirement that a patient meet with a doctor in person before being given abortion pills. Then, in January, the Supreme Court restored those federal rules. However, in April, the FDA announced a temporary halt to law enforcement.

“The FDA released this letter saying it will exercise its discretion in enforcing the in-person dispensing requirement,” said Dr. Daniel Grossman, director of Advancing New Standards in Reproductive Health and professor at the ‘University of California at San Francisco. “A letter from the FDA does not take precedence over any state law.”

This puts many states, like Ohio, in the middle of the debate.

“Telemedicine is extremely helpful in many ways, but dangerous drugs like the abortion pill are not one of those things that should be distributed remotely,” said Allie Frazier of the Ohio Right to Life pro-life organization.

“We believe that no woman should run the risk of having to go through the agonizing process of chemical abortion on her own, perhaps within hours of the doctor who prescribed these drugs for her,” she said.

“There are just a lot of things that this in-person visit with the doctor could avoid a lot of trouble and definitely help this woman,” said Carol Tobias, chair of the National Right to Life Committee.

Pro-life representatives have said this lack of in-person communication, coupled with the fact that women may live far from emergency medical care, is dangerous. However, Dr. Grossman disagrees.

“We have 20 years of safety data in the United States and this is a very well researched product. It’s very, very safe, ”he said.

And in areas where access is possible, demand is increasing.

“In Illinois, we have been able to use telemedicine in different ways over the past six to nine months,” said Dr. Colleen McNicholas, chief medical officer of Planned Parenthood in the St. Louis area.

“We have certainly seen the number of medical abortions increase,” she said.

In Illinois, the pills can even be shipped directly to a woman’s home.

“People are increasingly choosing drugs over suction procedures,” said Dr. McNicholas.

Each state is looking at different regulations when it comes to telehealth abortion appointments. For clinicians like Dr. McNicholas, this is just another avenue a woman can take to make a decision.

“For some people, a demedicalized abortion experience from their couch is exactly what they need and want. For others, they want to be at the health center and be able to physically get their hands on a provider. Both of these options are important. So this is just another way to open access consistent with what drugs and scientific evidence shows us to be safe, ”said Dr McNicholas.

“The lifting of the telematic ban on the abortion pill does a lot for accessibility, I mean we are not just talking about the barriers that previously existed in terms of abortion, we are also talking about a pandemic,” said Larada Lee. .


I’m 63, recently divorced, and have $ 130,000 in debt. How am I ever going to retire?



I am 63 years old and recently divorced. I earn $ 68,000 a year and had always planned to retire when I reach my full retirement age in March 2025. However, following the divorce, I now have $ 100,000 in debt. in unsecured consumer and $ 30,000 in student loans, and about $ 170,000 in my 401 (k).

It takes every penny I earn to get by and pay off the debt service. My payment history is considered “outstanding” on all accounts (in Experian parlance), but due to overextension my FICO score is only around 650. If I were to retire today , I would draw $ 1,200 per month in Social Security, or $ 1,400 per month if drawn on my ex-husband’s account (we had been married for 23 years). If I wait for my FRA, those numbers will drop to $ 1,500 and $ 1,800.

Do you have any advice for me?

To see: Confused about Social Security including spousal benefits, claim strategies, and how death and divorce affect your monthly income?

Dear reader,

I am sorry to hear that you are in this stressful situation. A divorce can wreak havoc on a person’s retirement security, not to mention their finances in general.

Debt management should be the top priority right now, financial advisers said. “His first step would be to try to get his debt under control,” said Michael Resnick, chartered financial planner and senior wealth management advisor at GCG Financial. “She might want to try refinancing her debt or, if it’s credit card debt, she might try to find a card that will take her balance at a lower interest rate.”

There is a a few ways to meet your debt. One strategy is to pay off debts with the highest interest rates, so as to pay the least amount of interest required. Another choice is to pay minimums on all accounts except the card or the account with the smallest debt – this is where you would put the extra money. When that account is paid off, move that extra cash flow to the next smallest debt, and so on. This is called the “snowball effect”.

Credit cards with balance transfer, like the one suggested by Resnick, might have an introductory rate of 0%, which would be a great way to eliminate interest payments entirely and get the most out of your repayments. But these cards usually have a specific time frame for that 0% rate, such as 15 or 18 months, until they skyrocket. If you go this route, it’s essential to have a repayment plan in place and a back-up plan if you can’t pay it off before the 0% promotion ends.

Another option is personal bankruptcy, Resnick said. This route requires serious consideration, however, as there are consequences by declaring bankruptcy. Bankruptcies stay on your credit report for up to 10 years, and many lenders may require people who file to wait four years before trying to get a home loan. The most common type of bankruptcy, known as Chapter 7, allows individuals to keep certain assets, such as wedding rings, some home and auto equity, and business tools (but the rules vary depending on the type of bankruptcy). the states). The good news: Credit scores begin to recover soon after filing for bankruptcy, and this route will help protect the retirement assets of your qualifying plan.

If the bankruptcy option doesn’t sound appealing to you, don’t worry. Matthew Benson, chartered financial planner and owner of Sonmore Financial, suggests setting a goal of paying off debt in two to three years, which may require earning extra income through overtime, temporarily taking a side job, or getting out of business. postpone your planned retirement date. pull back a bit (which “would also boost retirement savings,” he said).

It sounds exhausting, maybe even a little overwhelming I’m sure, but Benson said he’s seen clients sacrifice that kind of time and energy to pay off massive debts. “It takes a goal to start snacking on it,” Benson said.

Read the MarketWatch column “Retirement Hacks” for practical advice for your own retirement savings journey

Remember, these are just suggestions: you need to do everything you can to improve your situation and not burn yourself out even more.

Now let’s move on to Social Security. When to apply for Social Security is a very personal decision, but there are a few ways to think about it for you. On the one hand, if you delay until at least your full retirement age, you’ll get more money on your check each month, Benson said.

On the other hand, if you can’t increase your short-term income until you reach full retirement age, claiming early wouldn’t be the worst thing – and it would help you pay off your debt faster, a. said Resnick.

“I guess the interest rate on her consumer debt is higher than the growth factor of her Social Security, so if she can’t eliminate or refinance the debt, the early deposit might make sense,” he said. -he declares.

Try to keep contributing to your 401 (k), but maybe just focus on meeting any employer and spending the rest of the money on debt, Benson said.

“It’s a scenario where it’s very difficult to see your long-term goals through the weight of debt,” he said. “I’m less concerned with the cost of debt and more focused on how she can get out of debt so that she can have a realistic picture of what the future would look like. ”

A financial advisor could help you navigate this new way of life – Resnick said he often recommends that people speak to a financial planner before finalizing a divorce to find strategies to ease the transition.

And remember, don’t be too hard on yourself during this difficult time. Divorce later in life has become much more common, and legal paperwork isn’t the only costly aspect of it. “It’s more expensive to live apart than together, which throws a big wrench into a financial plan,” Benson said. “A lot of times the two people going through a divorce have to make significant changes to their current lifestyle and future goals to be able to make things work. ”

Have a question about your retirement, including where to live? E-mail [email protected]


Sound Point Capital acquires the U.S. direct lending unit of CVC Credit



NEW YORK–() – Sound Point Capital Management, LP, a credit-focused investment management firm overseeing approximately $ 25 billion in total assets, is pleased to announce that it has acquired the U.S. lending platform direct from CVC Credit.

Terms of the transaction were not disclosed. As part of the deal, Sound Point hired a team of nine investment professionals from CVC Credit who together manage a portfolio of approximately $ 1 billion in assets. The team primarily provides senior and unitranche credit facilities to mid-market US companies. Borrowers have included businesses in a wide variety of industrial sectors, including consumer services, business services, healthcare, pharmaceuticals, hospitality, telecommunications, industries, and other sectors.

“We are delighted to add this investment portfolio and team of talented individuals to our organization,” said Stephen Ketchum, Founder and Managing Partner of Sound Point Capital. “This transaction brings another dimension to our already successful lending platform and positions us for future growth. ”

The nine-person CVC team is led by Tom Newberry, Global Head of Private Debt at CVC Credit, and David DeSantis, Head of US Private Debt at CVC Credit. MM. Newberry and DeSantis have each been named co-lead direct loans at Sound Point.

“Sound Point’s credit platform is the perfect home for a band like ours,” commented Newberry. “We see this as a way to accelerate the growth of our business and expand our underwriting capabilities through future expansion. ”

DeSantis added, “The combination of our team’s proven track record and Sound Point’s deep connectivity among institutional investors makes for a powerful alliance. ”

New York-based Sound Point launched its “Strategic Capital Fund” in May 2018 with approximately $ 500 million in committed capital from investors. This fund has mainly focused on highly structured tailor-made financing for private and public companies in times of transition and recovery. CVC Credit’s U.S. direct lending platform, which focuses on providing growth capital and acquisition finance to proven mid-market companies, will complement these efforts.

“The prevalence of ‘non-bank loans’ in recent years is well known,” Ketchum continued. “As traditional banks have shifted away from certain areas of the market, companies like Sound Point have been able to successfully deploy capital with strong capital protection, providing attractive floating rate returns to investors. Adding Tom, David and their entire team to our 100-person firm will help us boost our efforts in this industry.

Ken Young, President of CVC Credit, commented: “Following a strategic review in 2020, we have decided to sell our direct lending business in the United States. We are delighted to announce the sale at Sound Point and we wish Tom, David and the whole team the best. Following this sale, we are strongly focused on accelerating the growth of CVC Credit in our three key areas: Performing Credit, European Direct Lending and Capital Solutions to ensure that CVC Credit is always more aligned with the CVC network.

In total, CVC Credit’s U.S. direct lending platform absorbed by Sound Point has deployed more than $ 1.7 billion across 88 transactions. The management team has approximately 70 years of collective experience, having completed over $ 18 billion in loan commitments during this time. The main members of the senior team have worked together or have known each other for over 20 years.

Berkshire Global Advisors acted as financial advisor to CVC Credit in connection with this transaction.

About Sound Point Capital Management, LP

Sound Point is an alternative asset management company founded in 2008 with particular expertise in credit strategies. Based in New York, with offices in London, the company manages funds on behalf of institutional investors, including leading pensions, foundations, insurance companies, wealth management companies and family offices. . Sound Point’s strategies span the spectrum of liquid and illiquid credit alternatives and include funds and managed accounts focused on leveraged loans, special situations, distressed debt, structured loans, direct loans and lending. commercial real estate. Sound Point currently manages around $ 25 billion in assets. Five executives from Stone Point Capital LLC, as well as Dyal Capital Partners, a division of Blue Owl Capital Inc. [NYSE: OWL], are strategic investors in our company. For more information, please visit the Sound Point website at www.soundpointcap.com.

About HVAC Credit

CVC Credit is the credit management business of CVC. CVC Credit is a global credit asset manager with offices in the United States and Europe, over 60 investment professionals and $ 28 billion in assets under management. The platform seeks to generate positive absolute returns and attractive risk-adjusted returns on capital for its investors throughout the credit cycle. CVC Credit has built a diverse business that creates significant synergies between its investment strategies. For more information on CVC credit, please visit: www.cvc.com/credit.


Esoteric ABS Market Offers Strong Post-COVID Liquidity



The asset-backed securities (ABS) market has proven to be remarkably resilient in the months following the initial COVID-19 crisis. CFOs may be familiar with traditional ABS asset classes like credit cards, student debt, and auto loans and rentals. But there is a subset of the ABS industry – “esoteric ABS” – that offers executives with unique asset classes non-recourse financing at relatively low interest rates.

This market includes everything from solar consumer loans and 5G spectrum licenses to rental car fleets and cargo planes. It often offers companies their cheapest financing solutions. Any business with strong cash assets, regardless of its balance sheet or credit profile, should be able to access the market at premium prices.

The esoteric ABS market has come a long way since David Bowie hired an insurance company to raise $ 55 million in royalties from his music catalog in 1997.

This article explores three issuers that entered the esoteric ABS market before and after COVID.

Recovering from problems in aviation ABS

Global Jet Capital is one of the main financiers and lessors of business jets. In June 2019, Global Jet issued its third ABS transaction. The $ 417 million senior bond rated “A” priced at 4.25%, about 230 basis points above the benchmark swap rate at the time.

The company was the first to test the post-COVID environment for aviation risk in October 2020. With more than 30 accounts having placed orders, the senior bond traded at 3.00% or 265 basis points compared to benchmark rates.

By March 2021 – and with more than 15 new capital providers buying bonds, new issue spreads for its senior tranche had fallen to 155 basis points (2.16% all-in coupon) – well below the levels of ‘before COVID (when benchmark rates were significantly higher). Global Jet’s customer base has proven to be remarkably resilient in 2020, and capital markets have taken notice.

Solar rebound ABS

Sunnova Energy is one of the country’s largest financiers in home solar storage solutions and batteries. Sunnova is an engaged user of ABS financing and has raised over $ 1.6 billion in solar ABS since 2017.

In June 2019, before the market imposed a COVID risk premium, Sunnova issued its senior debt tranche at 3.75% or 190bp against benchmark rates. A June 2020 deal priced at 260 basis points over benchmark rates, or 3.00% all-in. But a February 2021 deal came out at 120 basis points on swaps (1.80% all-in).

In just over six months, credit spreads have more than halved, erasing any COVID risk premium. This helped Sunnova, like many retail solar financiers, to see its lending performance remain strong in 2020 as more of its clientele worked from home. Sunnova showed how quickly debt markets rebounded as US homeowners continued to pay off their solar loans on time.

Litigation Finance ABS Yields

Finally, we are witnessing a resurgence of liquidity even with “niche” balance sheet assets such as litigation financing. Oasis Financial is one of the nation’s leading lenders to crime victims. It grants loans to litigants and their medical providers. Oasis issued its first securitization in February 2020, another at the height of the COVID crisis in June, and again in February 2021. It provided a succinct summary of the capital market’s appetite for esoteric ABS during the pandemic.

Its first “single-A” bond rated $ 122 million was issued with a spread of 225 on swaps, or 3.85% all-in. Four months later, the company paid a 400 basis point spread on swaps (4.25% all-in) to clear a much smaller $ 68 million bond. By February 2021, however, that COVID bounty had all but disappeared. With benchmark rates still low, the company issued a bond of $ 112 million at 2.60% all-in or a 240 basis point spread from benchmark rates.

The COVID-19 pandemic has presented enormous challenges to the market as a whole. For a few weeks at the start of the COVID crisis, the show practically came to a halt. With the Fed’s rate cut to offset economic dislocation, strong performance from underlying asset classes, and esoteric disaster-proof ABS bond structures, capital markets have made a comeback. Although investors initially demanded a premium, these spreads quickly narrowed.

The resilience of the ABS market, particularly with respect to “esoteric” or “out of the race” asset classes, can be a boon to private issuers. If a borrower has assets with a history of stable cash flow and a balance sheet not suited to a corporate revolver or traditional term debt, or if a company is looking to diversify its sources of cash, that borrower should consider this corner. of US capital markets. The esoteric ABS market is very open for business.

Fouad S. Onbargi is responsible for structured finance and assets at EA Markets.

Spreads and benchmarks for returns throughout this presentation have been provided by FinSights and Bloomberg.

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New law blocks recovery fund collectors



A new state law approved Thursday by Gov. Andrew Cuomo will bar debt collectors from accessing stimulus funds in bank accounts, a move that had been requested by consumer groups.

The law would cover federal stimulus measures approved in 2020 and earlier this year, prohibiting debt collectors from taking that money in summary judgments, debt collection and other forms of asset foreclosure.

“New Yorkers across the state have felt the effects of the COVID pandemic, many have lost their jobs through no fault of their own and are struggling to support themselves and their families,” Cuomo said. “This essential legislation will help ensure that relief payments to New Yorkers are protected from unscrupulous debt collectors so that the money can be used as intended – to help make individuals and families whole. as they continue to recover from the economic impacts of the pandemic. “

The problem for lawmakers who lobbied for the bill in New York was inconsistent language in federal law to protect stimulus funds when they are sent to individuals.

“Federal relief payments were intended to be a lifeline to help families and individuals struggling to make ends meet during these exceptionally difficult times,” said Sen. Kevin Thomas, a Democrat who sponsored the bill and New York City comptroller candidate this year. .

The new law also includes an exception provision to ensure that funds raised would pay child and spousal support, as well as to collect payments in the event of fraud.

Last year, Congress approved thousands of dollars in direct payments to Americans as part of the economic shutdown due to the COVID-19 pandemic, as millions of jobs were cut by businesses and Tax revenues have dried up for local and state governments. Subsequent stimulus measures sent more money to Americans in an attempt to jumpstart an economic recovery.

“Federal aid was intended to help families struggling to make ends meet during this unprecedented time,” said MP Helene Weinstein, sponsor of the bill. “This legislation ensures that families are able to use this safety net funding as originally intended, to provide for basic needs of families and away from the hands of debt collectors.”


Bankruptcy spike expected as Covid eviction halt nears end

Bankruptcy spike expected as Covid eviction halt nears end


An unprecedented amount of unpaid rent makes bankruptcy a more attractive option for millions of Americans struggling with paying homeowners as Covid-19 relief measures end.

Renters generally cannot use bankruptcy to avoid eviction unless they can work out a plan to pay off the rent accrued. But for tenants willing to give up their leases, the process can slow down an eviction and leave them off the accumulated rent debt. And this feature is expected to gain more tenant attention as the federal government’s moratorium on evictions is due to expire on June 30.

Nearly 7 million Americans said they were behind on rent at the end of April, according to the US Treasury Department. Some 5 million more tenants were not convinced they could cover future payments.

“Until the pandemic, unpaid rents weren’t really a reason people went bankrupt,” said consumer bankruptcy lawyer Jay Fleischman of Shaev & Fleischman PC. “With so many people behind on their rent payments, I expect a dramatic change.”

People don’t usually go bankrupt to pay off a single debt, such as overdue rent, or to delay eviction proceedings. The process does not automatically void a landlord’s right to dismiss delinquent tenants.

Most often, it is used as a last resort for homeowners facing foreclosure or those burdened with a multitude of different debts.

But eviction protections established last year at the federal and state levels have helped create a “unique situation” for people who owe more than they can repay and are able to relocate, said John Rao, lawyer at the National Consumer Law Center. .

“It is certainly expected that deposits will increase once these moratoriums are no longer in place,” US Bankruptcy Court Judge Kathy A. Surratt-States for the Eastern District of Missouri said at a virtual conference in the month. latest.

Bankruptcy should give delinquent tenants the opportunity to move out on their own terms and eventually pay off the debt that has accumulated, she said.

Difficult process

Tenants who want to keep a residential lease in bankruptcy typically file Chapter 13 to develop a multi-year plan that pays past debts over time. But avoiding bankruptcy eviction can be difficult, lawyers say.

If a landlord has already obtained an eviction order, a bankrupt tenant who wants to keep the lease may only have 30 days to be completely caught up with payments, or may be out of luck, depending on the state.

If bankruptcy precedes the eviction process, a tenant who wishes to keep the lease must have a repayment plan and make timely payments in the future.

“The higher the amount owed, the harder it is to enter into these kinds of plans,” Rao said.

Despite its shortcomings, bankruptcy could be an attractive option for tenants with large debts that accumulated during the pandemic.

Chapter 7 in particular may appeal to troubled tenants who are willing to quickly give up their leases instead of developing repayment plans, as it allows for simple debt payment without a repayment proposal.

“You have this confluence of events that just might lead to bankruptcy court at some point,” Fleischman said.

Housing insecurity

The national moratorium on evictions from the Centers for Disease Control, put in place last September to prevent the spread of Covid-19, is expected to expire at the end of the month.

A federal court ruled in May that the moratorium exceeded the authority of the CDC, but the decision was prevented from coming into effect.

With the decline in Covid-19 cases, the days of the moratorium are numbered regardless of the court ruling.

About 14% of all renters in the United States are currently behind on monthly payments, up from 19% in January, according to National Equity Atlas, a partnership between nonprofit research organization PolicyLink and the Equity Research Institute. from the University of Southern California. People of color, who have been disproportionately affected by the pandemic, account for 64% of those behind in rent, data shows.

Despite the drop, rental default rates are double what they were in 2017, according to data from the US Census Bureau. National Equity Atlas calculates that 54% of delinquent tenants are unemployed. And 68% of those tenants lost income during the pandemic, which contributed to rising levels of housing insecurity.

American households behind on rent owe $ 3,200 on average, and half are three months or more late, the organization said.

“Because the moratoriums have been going on for so long, people are way behind,” said Edward Boltz, consumer bankruptcy lawyer at the law firm of John T. Orcutt.

Government lifeline

The federal government has earmarked more than $ 46 billion in rent assistance to avert an eviction crisis that could result from the end of the moratorium.

“There is enough money to cover the rent deficit by all estimates I’ve seen,” said Eric Dunn, director of litigation at the National Housing Law Project.

But those funds cannot prevent an increase in bankruptcy filings for people who have accumulated debt in other areas in order to stay on top of rent payments, he said.

“I have no doubts that the landlords are going to be healed” with federal rent assistance, Dunn said. “I am less convinced that this will not leave people insolvent.”


FTC Settles Claims With Student Loan Debt Relief Companies Goodwin



[author: Samantha Becci]

On May 17, 2021, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) announced a settlement with several student loan debt relief companies and their respective owners. The settlement stems from a complaint filed in 2019, in which the FTC alleged that companies charged illegal upfront fees and led consumers to believe the fees went to consumer student loans in violation of Section 13 (b) and 19 of the Federal Law on Commerce. Commission Act (FTC Act), 15 USC §§ 53 (b) and 57b, the Telemarketing and Consumer Fraud and Abuse Act (Telemarketing Act), 15 USC §§ 6101-6108, and the Truth in Lending Act (TILA), 15 USC § 1601-1666j. The FTC further alleged that the companies falsely promised that their services would permanently eliminate or reduce balances or loan payments to consumers.

Under the terms of the settlement, companies and their owners will no longer be able to provide debt relief services and are prohibited from violating the Telemarketing Selling (TSR) rule. The stipulated orders also impose a pecuniary judgment against certain defendants totaling more than $ 24.5 million, the majority of which was stayed due to their inability to pay, and require the defendants to pay $ 11,500 in consumer redress. In addition, the orders prohibit defendants from collecting additional payments from consumers who have purchased their debt relief services.


Klarna pledges to be transparent about customer debt as she reflects on public announcement



Klarna’s boss has pledged to release figures on the number of UK clients referred to debt collection agencies by his company as she considers a possible public listing.

Speaking to the PA news agency, the boss of the later now-pay buyout, Sebastian Siemiatkowski, said it would reflect recent disclosures the company had made in his native Sweden.

He also said that potential rule changes designed to encourage companies to list in the UK, which would allow founders to maintain better control under dual-class structures, could make the London Stock Exchange more attractive to Klarna.

“At least for me as a co-founder, the idea of ​​being able to have double classes is obviously an idea that I know a lot of companies and founders care about,” Mr. Siemiatkowski said.

Relaxing the rules about the number of shares that must be sold when a company is listed in London – something called free float – could prompt the company to choose a UK listing.

The traditional way to trust is to put a white man in a marble office in a suit and then try to appear very complex and difficult to understand.

Sebastien Siemiatkowski

Yet while an initial public offering (IPO) may be “the natural next step for the business”, it is not imminent. And other places could be chosen, including the United States.

“We’re not doing it right now, but it’s not like it’s unthinkable that this will happen within a year or two.”

If listed, Klarna will likely face questions about his future as UK authorities appear poised to introduce more stringent regulations in his industry.

In an effort to allay fears in Sweden, Klarna released a wealth of data two weeks ago, including trends in the recalls she sent to clients and the number of clients who were referred to the official collection agency. debt of the country.

The data also disaggregated debt collection referrals by age group, showing that men aged 18 to 25 were the most likely to be referred to debt collectors.

Mr Siemiatkowski said Klarna wanted to release the same information in the UK

“We have this ambition, it’s just a work in progress,” he said.

“This level of transparency is what builds trust.

“The traditional way to trust is to put a white man in a marble office in a suit and then try to look very complex and hard to understand,” said the boss wearing a t-shirt from his bedroom. hotel in London where he was in quarantine. after arriving from abroad.

Klarna allows customers to purchase items from any of its partner websites, including ASOS and Gymshark, but wait 30 days before paying.

The company does not charge customers any interest for this and customers are not subject to late fees. Instead, the business makes money by taking a share of the retailer’s stock.

Although of no interest, consumer champions Citizens Advice have warned that such programs can be a “slippery slope to debt.”

Mr Siemiatkowski said he supported the regulation, but said there were “a lot of misconceptions” in the UK, including comparisons with payday lenders, which he said were the fault of the company for not having communicated well enough.

He called for “results-based regulation” that favors the best types of credit – like Klarna, he said – over the worst forms, including credit cards.

The regulation in favor of Mr. Siemiatkowski would examine the number of customers who go into debt and the cost of credit.

“What you need is both competition and consumer protection. And that can be accomplished by not being restrictive and saying, you have to ask this question or do this and that, but saying that your losses cannot be greater than that, or the number of people going into debt. or your prices cannot be higher. expensive than that, ”he said.


How Do Credit Card Debt Management Plans Work?



SAN JOSE, California, May 11, 2021 / PRNewswire / – When you’re struggling with credit card debt, increasing balances on your monthly statements and collection calls can increase your anxiety. However, you are not alone with your creditors. Many credit counseling agencies offer Debt Management Plans (DMPs), which allow an advisor to act as an intermediary on your behalf.

For more information on loans and credit, visit the myFICO blog at https://www.myfico.com/credit-education/blog

How Do Debt Management Plans Work?

Credit counseling agencies offer many services aimed at helping consumers manage their personal finances. A DMP is specifically intended to help people overwhelmed by unsecured debt. Secured debts, such as car loans and mortgages, generally cannot be part of a DMP.

  • A single, consolidated payment. After you start a DMP, you will make a one-time payment to the credit counseling agency, who will then pass the appropriate amounts on to your creditors.
  • Potentially lower payments and fees. Your advisor may be able to negotiate lower interest rates, lower monthly payments, and fee waivers for your enrolled accounts.
  • Bring up-to-date accounts. Your creditors can also agree to update overdue accounts without you having to pay the entire balance at once. You can then make on-time payments that help your FICO® Scores over time and debt collectors may stop contacting you about these accounts.
  • A plan to pay off the debt. The goal is to make your monthly payments more manageable and pay off included debts within three to five years.

You may need to agree to certain conditions to be eligible for a DMP. For example, you may need to close or stop using all of your credit cards while you are enrolled in DMP. Although, sometimes you can keep a card open for emergencies.

There is also often a one-time setup fee and a monthly fee to participate in a DMP. Fees can vary depending on the agency and your state, and could be more than offset by the savings your advisor negotiates. Agencies may also offer waivers to low-income applicants.

When Should You Consider a Debt Management Plan?

A DMP might be a good choice if you’re struggling to pay your credit card bills and living expenses, but can afford to pay something every month. There is no income or FICO® The score requirement, and you might consider contacting a credit counseling agency to discuss a DMP if:

  • You are late or have problems with credit card bills
  • You don’t know how to manage your living expenses and debt
  • You want help negotiating with your creditors
  • You can’t afford the lump sum payment to settle overdue accounts
  • Collection agencies won’t stop calling you

How Debt Management Plans Can Impact Your FICO® Notes

Once you’ve signed up for a DMP, your creditors can add a note to your account that says you’re working with a credit counselor. The notation will have no impact your FICO® Scores, although other creditors can see it on your credit reports.

In addition, the actions you take while participating in the DMP may have an impact on your FICO.® Scores in different ways:

  • It may be easier to make payments on time, which can help you create a payment history.
  • Updating overdue accounts could help you avoid new late payments that could otherwise hurt your FICO® Scores.
  • Closing your revolving accounts may have an impact on your rate of use of revolving accounts.

In the long run, paying off your balances may also be better for your FICO® Scores that settle a debt for less than the full amount.

How to get started with a debt management plan

If you think a DMP could help you better manage your credit card debt, the first step is to contact a reputable credit counseling agency.

You could look for an agency it’s part of the FICO® Score Open Access for Credit and Financial Advisory Program, which allows your advisor to share your FICO score with you for free. the National Foundation for Credit Counseling can also be a good starting point.

You will then have a one-on-one meeting with a credit counselor from the agency to review and discuss your personal finances. The initial meeting is often free, and you may want to meet with counselors from multiple agencies to compare their DMP suggestions and cost. After careful analysis, the advisor can share the pros and cons of different options, including budgeting, bankruptcy, or a DMP.

When a DMP is right for you, you will work with your advisor to determine which accounts to include. Your advisor will then contact your creditors with a proposal. Creditors are not required to accept a DMP, but they may be open to it if you are unable to pay your payments otherwise.

You will then set up your payment with the credit counselor, as you will now be paying them rather than your creditors directly. However, you may need to contact your creditors to change your account due dates to align them with your DMP payment.

Once you leave, your consolidated monthly payment could stay the same for the duration of the DMP. As you pay off your accounts, your advisor can redistribute the money to your other creditors, helping you get out of debt sooner and pay less interest overall.

Ideally, you can stay the course and pay off your debt in five years or less. However, contact your advisor immediately if you have difficulty affording a DMP payment. Your advisor can also help you review your debt management options that are not included in the debt management plan.

About myFICO
myFICO makes it easier to understand your credit with FICO® Scores, credit reports and alerts from the 3 bureaus. myFICO is the consumer division of FICO – get your FICO scores from the people who do the FICO scores. For more information, visit https://www.myfico.com.


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Confidentiality Considerations In Debt Refinancing And Seed Financing – Are You Prepared? | Ankura Cybersecurity and Data Privacy



In an era of increasing M&A transactions, organizations need to understand the risks and potential liabilities associated with the personal information they obtain about their customers, suppliers and employees. Investors are increasingly turning to data protection advisers in the due diligence process. Organizations looking to form a strategic alliance, refinance their debt, or secure their next round of seed funding will need to be able to answer very specific questions about their data privacy program before the deal closes.

If you are responsible for data privacy in your organization, whether in the legal function or in some other cross-functional role, consider the following requests that we have seen during the due diligence process and how you would respond to a potential investor.

  • Provide an overview of the company’s privacy compliance program.
  • Provide approved and actual privacy program budgets for the past three years.
  • Provide details of the organization’s due diligence on third-party service providers.
  • Identify the extent to which the organization hosts customer data, whether on its cloud instance or on on-premises servers.
  • Describe the measures taken by the organization to ensure compliance with marketing laws such as CAN-SPAM and TCPA.
  • Describe the actions taken by the organization following Brexit.
  • Provide copies of internal data protection policies, including employee privacy policy, retention and deletion policies, information security policy, incident response policy, consumer complaint response procedure and data protection impact assessments.
  • Confirm whether the organization’s data processing agreements include the contractual provisions of Article 28 GDPR and the cross-border transfer mechanism.

Is your data inventory in good enough condition to be turned over to an investor for review? Do you have a procedure for responding to consumer complaints? Do you have a privacy budget and plan for your privacy program?

If you are planning mergers and acquisitions in your future, now is the time to make sure that you have a budget to meet privacy requirements. Whether starting from scratch or building on an existing privacy program, your budget should take into account the volume and sensitivity of the data you process, the size of your business and the industry in which you operate, the maturity of your current privacy program and any planned IT projects. and investments in privacy tools.

The larger and more data-intensive a business, the more likely it is to have a managed privacy program in place. In this case, you will need to plan for the costs of running the program as well as future changes, such as handling consumer complaints, operationalizing data retention policies, and pre-checking third-party vendors. If you don’t have a formal privacy program, you will need to plan for one, including hiring staff and investing in technology to support the program.

If your data privacy budget needs to be increased, think about your M&A strategy and what criteria your new investor might consider for your next equities event.


Your employer may be able to help you save for health care, pay off student debt, and manage caregiving



We all “put money aside for a rainy day” which can often be called “emergency savings”. Few people will say it doesn’t matter, especially for the past year.

COVID-19 has highlighted these needs – as more than half (53%) of Americans plan to make saving more for a possible emergency a priority in 2021 compared to 2020. But, as for the savings, the reality is that the financial demands of many people today compete with the financial results of their future. So, a popular question among those who are faced with competing priorities is, how do I find a way to save and where should I spend my next best dollar?

Finding the right support can play an important role in helping you achieve your goals and, increasingly, the answers can often be found with your employer. Here are some common challenges and areas in which to seek help.

Health savings, short and long term

COVID-19 has underscored the need for U.S. workers to be better prepared for health care spending. A health savings account (HSA) can offer several benefits for both short and long term health care savings. For anyone enrolled in a High Deductible Health Care Plan (HDHP), HSAs can help you meet immediate health care costs as well as those you will have later in life when you retire.

When faced with an unforeseen short-term need, such as a high deductible for a trip to the hospital, many people are often forced to dip into their retirement savings. Fortunately, the funds in an HSA can double as an emergency savings account. HSAs have the potential to offer a triple tax advantage: contributions, investment gains and withdrawals are not taxed, if the distribution criteria are met. In addition, when you are enrolled in an HDHP and an HSA, you can choose to leave your funds in your HSA and, instead, cover a medical bill “out of pocket”. This strategy is one way HSAs can serve as a potential emergency savings vehicle for unanticipated health care costs. Since HSA funds are renewed every year, many HSAs also offer investment options that can give you the opportunity to invest in long-term investment funds, such as stocks.

Pay off student loan debt

According to recent data from the Federal Reserve, US student borrowers owe a total of $ 1.7 trillion in student debt. Now considered one of the highest categories of consumer debt – next to mortgage debt and higher than credit cards – the latest statistics show just how bad the student debt crisis has become for students. borrowers, including those nearing retirement. On total student debt, a recent AARP analysis showed that at the end of 2020, borrowers aged 50 and over owed an estimated $ 336.1 billion, showing that the impact of debt student payroll can really prevent individuals from saving not only for emergencies also putting a dent in a retirement plan.

To help offset the costs of student debt, one place working people should seek support is their employer. Today, many companies offer support in this area, with assistance for the repayment of student loans. In this model, employers make after-tax contributions or direct loan payments to their employees’ student debt managers. This solution can help individuals pay off their debt faster and, in turn, allow them to save more for short-term needs, such as emergency savings.

Care during COVID-19 and beyond

For many caregivers, the routine tasks they perform on behalf of their loved ones have become more complex – and expensive – in recent months. According to the National Alliance for Caregiving and AARP, about 19% of Americans serve as unpaid caregivers for another adult – and of those unpaid caregivers, 61% are employed. With the increased demand on the type of care provided, COVID-19 has caused even more stress for these people.

For those facing caregiving issues, seeking employer support may be overlooked, but many companies have realized that this strain could have a huge impact on productivity and mental health and provide resources for help them. Employee Assistance Programs offer help for a variety of personal situations such as flexible work schedules and stress management seminars. Additionally, working with a finance professional can provide insight into financial solutions that can help address multiple and unique challenges.

More than ever before, individuals are focusing on the importance of emergency savings and continue to turn to their employers for advice on how to prioritize spending and manage debt.

Emergency savings, HSAs, student loans, and even caregiver support services are all examples that are growing in popularity today given the complex and increasingly holistic wellness needs of individuals. When these cornerstones of a budget are under control, you’ll be better prepared to meet your health and wealth needs in the short and long term.

Charlie Nelson is Vice President and Chief Growth Officer of Voya Financial, Inc., which provides healthcare, wealth and investing solutions to individual, professional and institutional clients..

The data presented in this press release, unless otherwise indicated, is based on the results of a financial survey of Voya conducted by Ipsos on the online omnibus platform Ipsos eNation with approx. 1,005 adults aged 18 and over in the United States Research was conducted December 17-18, 2020. This material is provided for general and educational purposes only; it is not intended to provide legal, tax or investment advice. All investments are subject to risk. Please consult an independent legal or financial advisor for specific advice on your individual situation. Products and services offered by the Voya® family of companies. Registered Representative of Voya Financial Partners, LLC (SIPC Member).


How much debt Americans have at each age



© Shutterstock.com / Shutterstock.com

Borrowing increases purchasing power. Without credit and loans, the vast majority of Americans would not be able to afford a house, a car, or even a large appliance like a refrigerator or washing machine. The trade-off for this purchasing power, however, is debt – and debt is a fact of life for most families in the United States.

Read more: 30 Ways to Get Yourself Out of Debt

According to the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, America has a combined personal debt of $ 4.13 trillion, of which more than two-thirds goes to non-housing debt and the remainder to mortgage lenders.

Check Out: 10 Things To Do Now If You Have A 500 Credit Score

Your age, however, often has a lot to do with what and to whom you owe. Using data from Experian’s 2019 Consumer Debt Study, GOBankingRates looked at the amount of debt of average U.S. consumers at each age. The results are ranked from youngest to oldest and include data on credit card debt, mortgage debt, auto loans, student loans, personal loans and HELOCs. It also lists the US average in each category for context.

Last updated: June 8, 2021

Sideview, laptop, sitting, young woman, student, campus, outdoors ,.

Sideview, laptop, sitting, young woman, student, campus, outdoors ,.

Generation Z (18-23)

  • Average debt 2019: $ 9,593

  • 2015-2019% change in debt: 22%

  • Average credit card balance: $ 2,230

  • Average mortgage balance: $ 142,600

  • Average car loan balance: $ 14,272

  • Average personal loan balance: $ 4,526

  • Average student loan balance: $ 12,495

  • Average HELOC balance: $ 32,854

In the News: Gen Z and Millennials are leading the trend in ‘retail investing’ – owning up to 25% of the stock market

Millennial woman working in a coffeeshop.

Millennial woman working in a coffeeshop.

Millennials (24-39)

  • Average debt 2019: $ 78,396

  • 2015-2019% change in debt: 58%

  • Average credit card balance: $ 4,889

  • Average mortgage balance: $ 224,500

  • Average car loan balance: $ 18,201

  • Average personal loan balance: $ 11,819

  • Average student loan balance: $ 34,795

  • Average HELOC balance: $ 41,239

Read more: 17 Steps Millennials Can Take Right Now to a Brighter Financial Future

Middle aged Asian man looking out a window, sipping coffee and using ideas.

Middle aged Asian man looking out a window, sipping coffee and using ideas.

Generation X (40-55)

  • Average debt 2019: $ 135,841

  • 2015-2019% change in debt: ten%

  • Average credit card balance: $ 8,215

  • Average mortgage balance: $ 238,344

  • Average car loan balance: $ 21,570

  • Average personal loan balance: $ 17,175

  • Average student loan balance: $ 39,981

  • Average HELOC balance: $ 49,221

Related: Why Gen X Is Feeling The ‘Financial Squeeze’ – And What To Do About It

Seniors, tax return and home banking.

Seniors, tax return and home banking.

Baby boomers (56-74)

  • Average debt 2019: $ 96,984

  • 2015-2019% change in debt: -7.5%

  • Average credit card balance: $ 6,949

  • Average mortgage balance: $ 175,865

  • Average car loan balance: $ 18,759

  • Average personal loan balance: $ 19,253

  • Average student loan balance: $ 34,957

  • Average HELOC balance: $ 45,006

Read more: 10 Easy Ways Baby Boomers Can Catch Up With Their Retirement Savings

Happy senior couple sitting in cafe and talking.

Happy senior couple sitting in cafe and talking.

Silent Generation (75+)

  • Average debt 2019: $ 40,925

  • 2015-2019% change in debt: -7.7%

  • Average credit card balance: $ 3,715

  • Average mortgage balance: $ 132,025

  • Average car loan balance: $ 14,498

  • Average personal loan balance: $ 17,067

  • Average student loan balance: $ 25,332

  • Average HELOC balance: $ 38,767

Read: 50 Best Cities For Job Seekers Over 50

US averages

  • Average debt 2019: $ 90,460

  • 2015-2019% change in debt: N / A

  • Average credit card balance: $ 6,194

  • Average mortgage balance: $ 203,296

  • Average car loan balance: $ 19,231

  • Average personal loan balance: $ 16,259

  • Average student loan balance: $ 35,620

  • Average HELOC balance: $ 45,191

More from GOBankingTaux

Methodology: GOBankingRates used data from Experian’s 2019 Consumer Debt Study to determine how much debt Americans have at each age. Experian’s data breaks down debt across generations with the following age groups: Gen Z 18-23, Millennials 24-39, Gen X 40-55, Baby Boomers 56-74, and Silent Generation 75-plus. For each generation, GOBankingRates found (1) the average total debt balance, (2) the percentage change in the average total debt balance between 2015 and 2019, (3) the average credit card balance, (4 ) average mortgage balance, (5) average auto loan balance, (6) average personal loan balance, (7) average student loan balance, and (8) average home equity line of credit balance (HELOC) of Experian.

This article originally appeared on GOBankingRates.com: How Much Debt Americans Have at Each Age


Average credit card debt by age



Select’s editorial team works independently to review financial products and write articles that our readers will find useful. We may receive a commission when you click on product links from our affiliate partners.

Consumers of all ages have credit cards, but some generations have larger outstanding balances than others.

Gen Xers have the highest average credit card debt at $ 7,155, followed by baby boomers and millennials, according to the latest findings from the Experian credit bureau.

With an average credit card balance of $ 1,963, Gen Z consumers have the lowest credit card debt. Younger, newbie credit cardholders typically have lower credit limits than their older cohorts, so it’s not unusual for Gen Z to have the lowest credit card debt.

Here is the average credit card debt broken down by generation:

  • Generation Z: $ 1,963
  • Millennials: $ 4,322
  • Generation X: $ 7,155
  • Baby boomers: $ 6,043
  • Silent generation: $ 3,177

While credit cards help pay for your daily expenses and sometimes reward you for spending, keeping a balance is expensive, no matter how old you are.

Most card issuers charge noticeably high double-digit interest rates every time you keep a balance. The average APR for credit cards is 15.91%, according to the most recent data from the Federal Reserve. And because the majority of credit card issuers compound interest daily, your balance grows a little bit each day it’s not paid.

Fortunately, cardholders in debt can get help paying off their balance permanently, either through a credit card with balance transfer or a personal loan.

How Balance Transfer Credit Cards Can Help

Balance transfer cards allow you to transfer your existing credit card debt to a new card with a 0% APR introductory period. This period can range from six to 20 months, depending on the card you choose. During the introductory period, you can take the time to make payments on your credit card debt without worrying about accumulating additional and costly interest. This helps you catch up by allowing all the payments you make to go to your principal balance (instead of principal plus interest charges).

We’ve done the work for you, analyzing over 100 popular balance transfer cards to find the best of the best based on the spending habits of the average American. (See our methodology for more information on how we choose the best cards.)

Our top pick is the US Bank Visa® Platinum card, which offers 0% introductory interest for the first 20 billing cycles on balance transfers and new purchases (after, 14.49% to 24.49% APR variable). This is a long period of time during which you can reduce your credit card debt without it increasing month by month (as long as you don’t put extra charges on the card).

American bank Visa® Platinum card

On the secure site of US Bank

  • Awards

  • Welcome bonus

  • Annual subscription

  • Intro APR

    0% for the first 20 billing cycles on balance transfers and purchases

  • Regular APR

  • Balance transfer fees

    Either 3% of the amount of each transfer or $ 5 minimum, whichever is greater

  • Foreign transaction fees

  • Credit needed

Make sure you have a repayment plan in place before you complete your balance transfer, so that you know you can pay off your credit card debt before the 0% annual interest period ends. Otherwise, you will end up paying interest again on the lingering balances.

How Personal Loans Can Help You

As an alternative option to a balance transfer card, a personal loan is a good way to get a lower interest rate on your credit card debt – and you can even find loan amounts that can cover your credit card debt. ‘full credit card balance.

Personal loans differ from balance transfer cards in that they give you more time to pay off your debt and allow more debt. With balance transfer credit cards, issuers often limit the total balance (s) you can transfer to a percentage of your credit limit or to a specific dollar amount. You probably need good or great credit to qualify for a balance transfer card, but with personal loans there are some if you have bad credit.

Personal loans provide you with a lump sum of money, then you are responsible for repaying a fixed amount of money, over a fixed period of time and at a fixed interest rate, which is often lower than the rate you pay in keeping a balance on your credit card.

When looking to refinance high interest credit card debt, SoFi is an ideal lender. They offer personal loans of up to $ 100,000 based on your creditworthiness, and you can choose between a variable or a fixed APR (which not all personal loans have). Signing up and applying is easy, and its app makes it easy to manage your payments, wherever you are. And if you automate your payments, you’ll get a 0.25% interest rate discount. Read our full SoFi personal loan review to find out more.

SoFi personal loans

  • Annual percentage rate (APR)

    5.99% to 18.85% when you sign up for automatic payment

  • Purpose of the loan

    Debt consolidation / refinancing, home renovation, moving assistance or medical expenses

  • Loan amounts

  • terms

  • Credit needed

  • Original fees

  • Prepayment penalty

  • Late charge

Our methodology

To determine which credit cards offer the best balance transfer deals, Select analyzed 101 of the most popular credit cards that offer no interest on balance transfers issued by top banks, finance companies, and credit unions. that allow everyone to register.

We compared each card on a range of features including: annual fee, balance transfer fee, rewards program, introductory and standard APR, welcome bonus, and overseas transaction fees, as well as factors such as credit requirements and customer reviews when available.

For balance transfer cards, we used a calculator from Bankrate to calculate the interest rates and fees you might incur if you transfer $ 5,313, the average balance Americans carry on their credit cards. in 2020, according to Experian.

If the average consumer with a $ 5,313 credit card balance pays $ 200 each month, they’ll spend about $ 1,320 in additional interest, assuming an average APR of 16.28%, according to the Fed. And it will take them 34 months – almost three years – to pay off that debt.

With many cards on this list, if you take full advantage of the APR introductory period and pay $ 200 per month, you’ll pay less than $ 400 in interest and fees. It is a significant saving.

For cards that offer a rewards program, we’ve also estimated the amount of cash back you could earn over a five-year period. Select has partnered with location intelligence firm Esri. The company’s data development team has provided the most recent and comprehensive data on consumer spending based on the 2019 Bureau of Labor Statistics Consumer Spending Surveys. You can read more about their methodology here.

Esri’s data team created a sample annual budget of roughly $ 22,126 in retail spending. The budget includes six main categories: groceries ($ 5,174), gasoline ($ 2,218), restaurants ($ 3,675), travel ($ 2,244), utilities ($ 4,862) and general purchases ($ 3,953). General purchases include items such as housekeeping supplies, clothing, personal care products, prescription drugs and vitamins, as well as other vehicle expenses.

Select used this budget to estimate how much the average consumer would save over the course of one, two, and five years, assuming they were trying to maximize their rewards potential by earning all of the welcome bonuses offered and using the card. for all applicable purchases. All total reward estimates are net of annual fees.

It is important to note that the value of a point or mile varies from card to card and depending on how you redeem them. When we calculated the estimated returns, we assumed that cardholders were redeeming points / miles for a typical maximum value of 1 cent per point or per mile. (Extreme optimizers might be able to get more value.)

When choosing the best balance transfer card, we focused on the card that gives consumers the cheapest way to pay off their debt rather than how many rewards they could potentially earn. When you’re in debt with your credit card, your primary goal should be repayment. Earning rewards should be seen as a bonus, and you don’t want to spend beyond your means to earn points.

The five-year rewards total and estimates of interest rates and fees are derived from a budget similar to the expenses and debt of the average American. You can get a higher or lower return depending on your consumption habits.

Editorial note: Any opinions, analysis, criticism or recommendations expressed in this article are the sole responsibility of Select’s editorial staff and have not been reviewed, endorsed or otherwise approved by any third party.


Attorney General’s lawsuit orders debt collectors to compensate Washington consumers



On Tuesday morning, Attorney General Bob Ferguson’s office announced that debt collectors Machol & Johannes, LLC were to reimburse Washington consumers approximately $ 475,000. A consent decree states that Machol & Johannes must also forgive up to $ 250,000 in fees and costs to consumers, and pay the Ferguson office $ 414,000. Money donated to Ferguson’s office will cover the costs of the investigation and fund the continued work of the office’s consumer protection division.

The Attorney General filed a complaint in April 2020 against Machol & Johannes. According to Ferguson’s office, Machol & Johannes were suspected by King County Superior Court for filing large amounts of garnishment claims. A judge informed Ferguson, who then filed a complaint.

The trial specifies:

“Machol & Johannes violated garnishment law by routinely submitting affidavits to Washington courts falsely stating that required proof of consumer shipment was attached to the return when it was not , then by obtaining or attempting to obtain garnishment orders based on the false statements. Machol & Johannes submitted thousands of these false statements to Washington courts between 2015 and at least April 2019. “

Ferguson’s office said it uncovered more illegal practices on the part of the company, including unlawful valuation of fees and failing to properly inform consumers that they can protect some of their assets. accounts against garnishments.

Ferguson commented:

“Washingtonians in Debt Have Rights – Debt Collectors Aren’t Allowed to Take Every Dime You Have”

“Debt collectors must obey the law. This resolution will be unanimous in the Washingtonian and guarantees that Machol & Johannes will respect the rules.

Ferguson’s office press release details the trial resolutions:

  • Machol & Johannes failed to offer legally required garnishment exemptions to hundreds of Washingtonians. In Washington State, consumers have the right to exempt money from garnishment. Until 2019, Washingtonians were allowed to protect $ 500 against bank account garnishments. For student loan debts, Washingtonians had the right to protect $ 2,500 from garnishment. Collection agencies are required to offer these protections to consumers via an exemption request form before funds are seized. As part of today’s resolution, Washington consumers who have not been granted exemptions will receive refunds for the money collected up to the exempt amount. The attorney general’s office estimates that this will total about $ 100,000.
  • Machol & Johannes added fees to around 1,000 consumer debt accounts, even when they didn’t raise funds. Washington law allows collection agencies to add fees and costs to consumer debt only when the debt collector is able to collect the money. Machol & Johannes will reimburse approximately $ 100,000, plus a total of approximately $ 32,000 in interest to consumers from whom the company collected these charges.
  • For about 500 additional consumers whose debts have not been collected, the company will waive fees from their unpaid debt accounts, amounting to about $ 250,000 waived.
  • Machol & Johannes was not licensed to operate as a collection agency in Washington from August 2011 to October 2012. Due to its failure to obtain a license, Machol & Johannes will pay $ 238,000. The attorney general will return this money to approximately 4,000 consumers the company has initiated collections against during this period.

Legislation passed in 2019 allows consumers to exempt up to $ 2,000 from garnishment for consumer debt in Washington state. A bill passed in 2021 will automatically exempt $ 1,000 of the $ 2,000 allowed for consumers without them needing to apply for the exemption.

Machol & Johannes, LLC is headquartered in Colorado, has an affiliate office in Bellevue, and operates under a license from Washington as Machol & Johannes, PLLC. According to Ferguson’s office, Machol & Johannes operated in Washington state without a license in 2011 and 2012.

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Americans Can’t Get Enough Consumer Debt



Interest rates are on the rise, but that hasn’t dampened Americans’ appetite for consumer debt.

On the contrary, consumers borrow more on credit cards or through auto loans than they have in years, and growth-seeking lenders are happy to oblige them.

Abe Schilling, a 33-year-old car salesman in Great Falls, MT, said he has taken out more than five credit cards in the past year, with issuers such as Capital One Financial Corp. and Discover Financial Services, after receiving offers. in the mail. He also took out a loan of $ 36,000 to purchase a new Jeep Grand Cherokee.

Mr Schilling, who is currently renting out his home, said the offers are coming in as his credit rating improves. He previously had dozens of collections and other negative ratings on his credit reports after failing to pay his bills. With a stable income and months of debt counseling behind him, Mr. Schilling says he feels confident in his ability to pay his debts.

The same goes for many other Americans. In the fourth quarter, consumer debt, excluding mortgages and other home loans, increased 5.5% from a year earlier to $ 3.82 trillion. This is the highest amount since the Federal Reserve Bank of New York began tracking data in 1999. In addition, non-housing debt of consumers accounted for just over 29% of their overall debt, too. the highest amount ever.


Redefining Student Debt | Regulatory review



Experts urge the government to treat student loans like scholarships and collect taxes.

Over 45 million Americans owe an estimated “$ 1.6 trillion in student loan debt.” But the real problem with America’s higher education funding system is not the size of the debt but the lack of relief for distressed borrowers, according to a recent article by two law professors.

John R. Brooks and Adam J. Levitin of Georgetown University Law Center conclude that if the government applied existing protections to all qualified borrowers, it could make student loans more affordable for borrowers as well as for the government. However, implementing the necessary changes would require an existential change in the way the federal government regulates these loans, argue Brooks and Levitin.

A fundamental principle of the current federal education financing system is that a student loan is indeed a loan. But Brooks and Levitin argue that student debt works unlike regular consumer debt. Conventional understanding misses the “economic reality” of student loans.

Brooks and Levitin suggest that, realistically, student loans function as government grants “coupled with progressive income tax.” Unlike borrowers who take out mortgages and auto loans, the vast majority of student borrowers owe their debt directly to the US Department of Education, not to private lenders. Additionally, unlike consumer borrowers, student borrowers receive loans regardless of their ability to repay, which can lead to higher default and default rates than other loans.

Federal student loan borrowers have access to a variety of protections that most consumer borrowers do not. Most of these federal student loan borrowers can opt for “income-based repayment” plans, which write off any debt remaining after borrowers have paid off a percentage of their discretionary income over a specified period of time. Some borrowers can pay off their debt in full if they can prove they are “totally and permanently disabled”. Others can pay off their loans if their schools close before graduation or if they are employed in the public service for a specified period.

These protections are essential because, if borrowers do not repay their student loans, they usually cannot pay off their debts in bankruptcy. The government also has several collection tools that private lenders do not have. For example, the government can seize wages without a hearing by withholding tax refunds or seizing social security benefits. Unlike private lenders, the government can sue defaulting borrowers for the rest of their lives to collect outstanding debts.

Although they have access to a variety of unique protections before default and relatively little post-default, student borrowers underuse these protections. Brooks and Levitin argue that the government could solve this service problem by “abandoning the debt paradigm” in favor of a “subsidies and taxes” model. While the federal government would still treat student loans “like a loan program” to the Department of Education for budgeting, Brooks and Levitin suggest that the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) – not the Department of Education – should be responsible for collection operations.

Brooks and Levitin propose that the federal government implement “a phased and progressive schedule of marginal repayment rates” for payroll deductions and borrower tax returns. Instead of providing an income-based repayment option that borrowers must apply for, this would be the default repayment plan for all borrowers.

If the government were to collect repayments through a progressive tax, Brooks and Levitin argue that it could limit the amount borrowers owe on principal by reducing interest rates to the rate of inflation, as is currently the case. ‘Australia. To subsidize this interest rate reduction, Brooks and Levitin would ask the IRS to remove the loan forgiveness currently offered as part of the income-tested repayment.

Eliminating loan cancellation may appear to place an additional burden on borrowers, but Brooks and Levitin argue that doing so while reducing interest rates to inflation would reduce the total amount borrowers pay more than n ‘. any current income-based repayment plan. Borrowers would need less loan cancellations after a set period of time because the total amount they owe would increase more slowly with the proposed interest reduction and because their monthly payments would be determined by income.

Additionally, since taxes do not appear as liabilities on consumer credit reports, income-based repayment would not affect people’s access to consumer credit. As a result, borrowers could take much longer to repay their loans without incurring the financial damage typically associated with longer repayments, including lower credit scores.

In an age when the public debate over student loans tends to focus solely on whether and to what extent President Joseph R. Biden should pursue student loan cancellation, Brooks and Levitin offer a separate point of view. on the root causes of the problem. “Subsidies and taxes” may elicit less enthusiasm from some than “write off the debt,” but the reforms proposed by Brooks and Levitin can be just as powerful and perhaps more appealing to a president who is wary of him. ‘a more dramatic intervention.


South Africans’ ability to repay their debt is about to worsen



New data from Transaction Capital shows South African consumers’ ability to repay their debt has deteriorated as around eight million South African employees’ are not working ‘, increasing the risk of rising unemployment .

Transaction Capital’s Consumer Credit Rehabilitation Index (CCRI) for the second quarter of 2020 sampled approximately four million credit defaulted consumers from its proprietary database.

The index measures the prospects for rehabilitation of consumer credit using an algorithm that estimates their propensity to repay their debts and to progress positively towards financial rehabilitation.

The results showed that the propensity of consumers to repay their debts worsened by 2.6% compared to a year earlier (Q2 2019) and by 2.5% compared to the previous quarter (Q1 2020).

The Financial Services Group noted that of the 25.2 million South African consumers active in credit as of December 31, 2019, more than 40% (10.7 million) had impaired credit records.

He said long-standing weak economic conditions have been exacerbated by the Covid-19 crisis, further straining consumers.

The unemployment rate rose to 30.1% in the first quarter of 2020 (from 29.1% in the fourth quarter of 2019) and household debt levels are now expected to be even higher than the 72.8% recorded in the fourth quarter 2019, contributing to a deterioration in the propensity of consumers to repay their debts.

“Despite the relief from falling fuel prices and the pension interest rate to a record 3.75% since 1973, with around 8 million South Africans currently out of work and further job losses anticipated, the pressure on consumers will intensify in the short term, ”said David Hurwitz, Managing Director of Transaction Capital.

“The consumer’s propensity to repay debts is strongly correlated with employment levels. Consumer sentiment is weak; employment remains under pressure; and major consumer support measures (such as the Temporary Employee Relief Program and Debt Repayment Holidays) will expire in the coming months, which will have a negative impact on the consumer’s ability to repay debt. “

Deputy Minister of Employment and Labor Boitumelo Moloi said on Wednesday (July 22) that the Covid-19 Employer / Temporary Employee Relief Fund, set up to help those who have found themselves out of work in due to the lockdown, would be extended until August.

Read: Big changes proposed for credit and debt during lockdown


U.S. Household Debt Declines Amid COVID-19 Spending Cuts



FILE PHOTO: A woman wearing a face mask walks past a mural honoring healthcare workers in Manhattan, New York, US August 3, 2020. REUTERS / Shannon Stapleton

(Reuters) – U.S. households cut debt for the first time in six years in the second quarter, dragged down by a record drop in credit card balances as consumers cut non-essential spending during coronavirus lockdowns and pay it off that they owed, a New York Federal Reserve survey showed Thursday.

The $ 34 billion decline in aggregate household debt to $ 14.27 trillion in the quarter ended June 30 was the largest since the second quarter of 2013, according to the New York Fed’s quarterly report on household debt and credit.

By far the main factor was falling credit card balances: The drop from $ 76 billion to about $ 820 billion – the lowest since the first quarter of 2018 – was more than double the previous record set in the first. trimester. The series dates from 2003.

Combined with the $ 34 billion reduction in the first quarter, consumers reduced their credit card debt by an unprecedented $ 110 billion, or about 12%, in the first six months of 2020. About a third of the decline in credit card debt is attributable to the sharp decline in consumer spending in the second quarter, with the remainder coming from households paying off their balances.

Meanwhile, record interest rates fueled a mortgage refinancing boom that pushed mortgage debt to $ 63 billion to $ 9.78 trillion, the highest on record. Mortgage originations totaled $ 846 billion in the quarter, the largest since 2013, with almost all of the increase coming from refinancings and most of that associated with borrowers with the best credit scores.

Foreclosure proceedings also almost came to a halt in the second quarter, and delinquency rates declined due to the forbearance provisions of the CARES Act passed by Congress in March to provide relief to consumers during the outbreak as tens of millions people were made redundant because of stay-at-home orders.

Reporting by Dan Burns; Editing by Paul Simao


What Biden’s blockbuster budget means for inflation



US President Joe Biden announced a budget of $ 6 trillion for the coming year on Friday.

Inflation has been the biggest threat lurking in the minds of investors in recent months.

Biden’s budget shouldn’t reassure them …

Spending will increase to higher levels than during WWII

The US budget proposal is Biden’s first. It includes spending in areas such as climate change, education and infrastructure. In total, Biden is targeting a spending of $ 6.01 trillion in fiscal 2022.

To be clear (because there have been a lot of numbers and in-flight plans), this includes previously announced spending on two flagship infrastructure proposals – the $ 2.3 trillion for the “U.S. Plan for the Air.” jobs ”and the $ 1.8 trillion for the“ United States Plan for Families ”. . The budget also provides $ 1.5 trillion for operating expenses for the US Department of Defense, the Pentagon.

How is he going to pay for everything? The president also proposed a 39.6% tax rate on capital gains and dividends for millionaires in the budget, an idea he has launched in recent weeks. The increase in the maximum capital gains tax rate is proposed to fund the American Families Plan.

Overall, the plan would put the world’s largest economy on track to cope with its highest levels of taxation and spending in peacetime history, with national debt expected to rise to 117 percent of the world. GDP by 2031, even surpassing the levels seen during WWII. .

The adoption of large spending marks a very clear change in your policy. While former President Donald Trump also ran deficits for every year of his tenure, even over that and taking into account the additional spending brought on by the pandemic, to call Biden’s proposals onerous would be an understatement.

Biden’s US employment plan, first announced in April, focuses on vital physical infrastructure such as broadband, water pipes and roads; while the American Families Plan provides money to improve the quality of life for Americans in areas such as child care.

Will Biden’s budget exceed Congress?

This is the big question. Republicans, who are generally opposed to tax increases in most cases, and oppose increased spending when done by the other team, backed down to the $ 6 trillion figure by Biden.

Given the tight division in Congress, Biden is unlikely to succeed in securing the $ 6 trillion figure in its entirety.

It’s not just Republicans. Biden also faces the specter of a backlash from centrist members of his own Democratic Party, as his budget did not include the Hyde Amendment. This is the first time in 30 years that the Hyde Amendment – an anti-abortion law that prohibits the use of taxpayer funding to support abortions (except rape and incest) – was absent from any budget announced by an American president.

Biden backed the Hyde Amendment just last year, but changed his mind on the matter. As Ethan Adams, senior analyst at BlondeMoney, points out: “President Biden will have to bargain with members of his own party if he is to move forward on any of his legislative goals.

Biden succeeded in pushing the $ 1.9 trillion Covid-19 stimulus package – known as the grand bailout – by 51 to 50 votes in a process known as “budget reconciliation” earlier this year without any Republican support. “Democrats have one last chance to move their agenda forward before midterm, which they will use on this infrastructure bill,” Adams said.

But after that, “the American government will indeed be paralyzed.”

What is the likely impact on inflation?

With all of this in mind, how will the plan affect investors? The level of public spending is nothing new, but it remains very high. Inflation is already on the rise. The Core Personal Expenditure Index, an inflation indicator closely watched by the Federal Reserve, rose 3.1% in May from a year ago, marking the largest increase since the 1990s.

Consumer prices also rose 4.2% in April from the previous year, marking the largest such increase since September 2008. Core inflation in consumer prices (which excludes volatile food and energy prices), increased 3% year-on-year and 0.9% monthly, the highest since 1981.

Yes, this all makes sense given the slippage we saw last year, but there is no guarantee that it will be “transient,” as the Fed continues to hope. For example, commodity prices are breaking new records. It’s also worth noting that Biden’s budget assumes the Fed won’t be raising interest rates anytime soon – as the Wall Street Journal noted, the budget assumes “real” interest rates will be negative. (i.e. below inflation) for the next ten years. years.

It’s another sign that governments are seeing “financial crackdown” as part of the solution to our post-Covid debt problems. Investors should keep this in mind when planning their asset allocation.


Spinwheel Banks $ 11M for Consumer Debt Management Platform – Crunchbase News



Tomas Campos and Tushar Vaish co-founded Spinwheel in 2019 after Campos saw how student loan debt affected his sister, who graduated from college over ten years ago, and his niece, who graduated in 2019. .

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“When she graduated we thought it was a big step, but she was upset about how she would pay off her student loan debt,” Campos told Crunchbase News. “My sister, who worked for the government, was turned down for a student loan forgiveness and had to take all of her savings and spend them on student debt. She had saved up for a house.

It is this financial shock that Spinwheel tries to help avoid. It raised $ 11 million in its first round of funding to help Americans get out of debt faster by providing an application programming interface to integrate loan management tools into the apps people use the most.

The financing was led by QED Investors with participation from Core Innovation Capital, Fika Ventures and Firebolt Ventures.

Arjan Schütte, founder and managing partner of Core Innovation Capital, said his company invests in fintech companies and is particularly interested in student debt.

After reviewing over 100 apps in this space, Core speculated that there must be a student loan debt payment as a service. They found this in Spinwheel, he says.

“If you do it just straight away you won’t get traction, but if you integrate it into existing channels, such as banks, grocery outlets, or airline outlets, it will be more successful. “, added Schütte. “Financial services are complicated, and Tomas and Tushar have an extraordinary motivation to get up in the morning. We were moved by what we thought was an authentic story and a reason to reduce student debt. “

Spinwheel begins with student loan debt, for which the Federal Reserve estimates that $ 1.7 trillion in US student loan debt is owed. Students, on average, graduate with $ 29,000 in private and federal loan debt and default on their loans at a 15% rate.

The new funding will be used to evolve the company’s product roadmap and double its team of six people over the next six months. It will also allow the business to quickly expand into other categories of debt, such as credit cards, cars and mortgages, over the next 12 months, Campos said.

“We see ourselves as the modern API infrastructure to help Americans understand, manage and pay off their debt,” he said. “We want to start with student debt with people and grow with them as they make big purchases throughout their lives. “

Its clients include loan service providers, benefits, points and cash back providers, as well as fintechs and banks looking to add these tools to their tech stack. Customers can use Spinwheel’s low-code or no-code API and be up and running in under an hour.

While there are a number of fintech startups dealing with the student loan space, Campos believes Spinwheel’s differentiator is its holistic approach to the entire industry rather than focusing on one aspect, such as point solutions, payments or data.

“We have found pent-up demand in the market, especially because processing student loan data is the most complex part,” Campos added. “When we thought about the use cases, we knew we had to put them all together. Our approach is to deliver data, information and payments in a single integration.

Illustration: Li-Anne Dias

Keep up to date with the latest rounds of fundraising, acquisitions and more with Crunchbase Daily.


Overhaul Secures $ 35 Million Series B Funding to Accelerate Growth



AUSTIN, Texas, June 8, 2021 / PRNewswire / – Revision, the industry’s first and only supply chain visibility, integrity and security software solution for the world’s largest brands, announced its $ 35 million Series B financing today. The current round is led by Macquarie Capital, with participation from Edison Partners and Avanta Ventures (venture capital arm of CSAA Insurance Group). Overhaul will use this investment to accelerate its roadmap by continuing to optimize its current category building products.

Founded in 2016, Overhaul has grown into a trusted supplier of supply chain technology to Fortune 100 companies that move freight globally for a variety of industries including pharmaceuticals and healthcare, technology, logistics and food and beverage, having covered billions of dollars in freight in recent years. In 2020, the company announced a $ 17.5 million Investing in Series A growth stocks, led by Edison Partners, which laid the groundwork to triple its success from the previous year, despite the pandemic. Combined with previous cycles, the funding led by Macquarie Capital Principal Finance brings the total funding of Overhaul to $ 55 million.

“The partnership with Macquarie Capital, a leading global investor and advisor, consolidates our position as a leader in supply chain technology solutions,” said Barry conlon, CEO and Founder of Overhaul. “Macquarie will allow us to significantly expand our global presence with an innovative partner who shares our vision for the digital transformation of the supply chain, which is precisely why we have chosen them as an investment partner. “

Focused on the innovation of a $ 19 billion Global supply chain market, Overhaul plans to optimize the supply chain industry with transformative software solutions that will deliver visibility and security in a post-pandemic era. The past year has brought a great deal of insight into the supply chain, including the need for organizations to establish and maintain effective and proactive risk management solutions as part of their resiliency and resilience toolkit. business agility. Most recently, Overhaul announced its new offering, “TruckShield ™“, a leading-edge risk management technology solution for North American motor carriers that uses existing fleet hardware to identify unsafe or illegal driving practices in real time, while implementing corrective actions to avoid situations expensive.

“Overhaul’s ability to create full visibility, security and connectivity in the supply chain marketplace is truly differentiated and is positioning itself to digitize what has always been a physically documented space,” said Jared doskow, Managing Director of Macquarie Capital Principal Finance, who joined Overhaul’s board of directors in connection with the investment. “We are proud to work with Barry and his team and believe Macquarie can help accelerate the growth of Overhaul by leveraging our global experience and relationships in supply chain technology and related areas. “

Over the next few months, the company will expand its global team with many key hires in its software development, product, sales, marketing and talent development teams, across United States, Mexico, and Ireland, while continuing to innovate on its two flagship products: Review Sentinel ™ and TruckShield.

About the revision:
Founded in 2016 and based in Austin, Texas, Overhaul is the industry’s first and only end-to-end holistic solution that optimizes supply chain visibility, integrity and security for global businesses. Its software approach delivers high configurability and an efficient time to value for supply chain organizations without the heavy technological debt found with hardware vendors. Additionally, Overhaul’s team of logistics experts partner with every customer to create a fully customized and comprehensive solution for the entire supply chain, not just parts of it. As such, Overhaul has quickly become a trusted supplier to Fortune 100 companies transporting goods globally in industries such as pharmaceuticals and healthcare, technology, logistics and food. and drinks. Customers include Microsoft, Bristol Myers Squib, Gordon Food Service, and many more. For more information visit over-haul.com and the Review blog, and follow them on LinkedIn, Twitter, and Facebook.

About Macquarie Capital:
Macquarie Capital is the advisory, capital markets and principal investment arm of the Macquarie Group. Our capabilities encompass corporate advisory and a full range of capital solutions, including capital raising services in equity, debt and private equity markets and major Macquarie own balance sheet investments. These offers are reinforced by our in-depth sector expertise in: aerospace, defense and government services, consumer, games and leisure, financial institutions, health, industry, infrastructure and energy, real estate, resources, services, technology and telecommunications and media. Macquarie Capital Principal Finance, the principal investment arm of Macquarie Capital Advisory and Capital Solutions, provides flexible primary finance and secondary market investment solutions for corporate and commercial real estate clients across North America, Europe and Australasia. Since 2009, the company has invested more than $ 35 billion on more than 580 investments. For more information visit: https://www.macquarie.com/au/en/about/company/macquarie-capital/advisory-and-capital-solutions.html

Revision of the SOURCE


Year of COVID-19 Led to Record Consumer Debt and Collection Complaints | Covid 19



After more than a year of COVID-19, the country’s collective ability to cope with the dual health and economic crisis has diminished the ability of many consumers to remain financially stable. While the February National Employment Report from the Bureau of Labor Statistics showed a net gain of 379,000 jobs and white unemployment fell to 5.6%, there was no corresponding improvement. for black and Latino workers. Instead, unemployment was higher at 9.9% and 8.5% respectively.

Unemployed workers generally receive unemployment benefits, the amount and duration of which vary from country to country. Although the United States Department of Labor estimates the 2021 national average for state unemployment benefits to be $ 346.46, fifteen states have weekly benefits below $ 300 and include localities with large workers. color, including: Arizona ($ 238.23); Florida ($ 233.59); Louisiana ($ 192.98); Mississippi ($ 190.27); Missouri ($ 253.87); North Carolina ($ 222.14); and Tennessee ($ 222.89).

Moreover, since most workers receive their health insurance through their employers, the unemployed often lose this insurance as well as their income. It is one thing to get sick, but it is an aggravated difficulty when you are sick and unemployed at the same time.

As black America faces yet another uneven economic recovery, a recent annual report to Congress on the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) corroborates this claim. This consumer law governs debt collection practices, legally prohibiting debt collection companies from using abusive, unfair or deceptive practices to collect overdue bills for mortgages, credit cards, medical debts. , personal debts or other household debts. It does not include protections for commercial debts.

Released in early March, the 2020 report, jointly prepared by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) reveals striking findings on consumers’ financial stress. In the first quarter of last year, consumer debt reached $ 14.3 trillion. In the 3rd and 4th quarters of 2020, non-housing debt increased by $ 15 billion and $ 37 billion respectively.

Complaints about credit and consumer reports made up over 58% of complaints received, followed by debt collection (15%), credit cards (7%), checks or savings (6%) and mortgage loans (5%).

As of April 2020, consumers began submitting more than 3,000 complaints with keywords related to coronaviruses almost every month. Consumers submitted around 32,100 complaints mentioning the coronavirus or related keywords in 2020. In total, 70 million consumers – one in three with a credit report – have been contacted by at least one creditor or collector trying to collect one or more debts.

The 2020 tally for all CFPB complaints – across all credit areas – was around 542,300, an increase of almost 54% from the roughly 352,400 complaints handled in 2019.

“The pandemic has been one of the most disruptive long-term events we will see in our lifetimes,” said Dave Uejio, acting director of CFPB. “Not surprisingly, the shockwaves it sent across the globe were deeply felt in the consumer financial market… In 2020, the Bureau received more than 540,000 consumer complaints. For seven of the nine months since March 2020, the Bureau has handled a record volume of complaints. ”

Acting FTC President Rebecca Kelly Slaughter also characterized her agency’s efforts over the past year. “The FTC has moved quickly to root out a number of illegal COVID-related scams, has sued to block or unwind an unprecedented number of mergers, and has taken a number of other tough enforcement actions across the board. of his assignments, ”Slaughter said.

Last year, the FTC filed or resolved seven debt collection cases against 39 defendants and obtained $ 26 million in judgments. Likewise, two CFPB judgments ordered nearly $ 15.2 million in consumer redress and $ 80,000 in civil fines.

In addition to the CFPB and the FTC, the Asset Funders Network (AFN), an alliance of philanthropists dedicated to equitable wealth creation and economic mobility, also recently released a guidance note that one third of households having medical debt also have student loan debt. and 43% of families with legal debts also have medical debts.

Entitled “Medical Debt and Its Impact on Health and Wealth: What Philanthropy Can Do to Help,” the brief takes a close look at medical debt and who is most affected by it. The AFN has also identified three specific drivers of medical debt: unpredictable medical emergencies, insufficient health coverage and high personal expenses.

According to the AFN, more than one in five adults experiences unforeseen medical expenses in a year. When medical emergencies arise, household expenses average $ 3,000 per person per year, with more than a third of these expenses attributable to the insured’s medical expenses. For the uninsured, medical debts pile up even faster, and often in states that haven’t extended Medicaid coverage to low-wage workers.

The brief states in part that “medical debt has a disproportionate impact on communities of color, perpetuating and exacerbating the racial wealth gap by draining cash flow that other households without medical debt can save or invest. Racial inequalities in income, wealth and insurance coverage play a role in the prevalence and burden of medical debt… Non-elderly black adults are 1.5 times more likely, and non-elderly Latin adults are Americans and Native Americans are 2.5 times more likely to be uninsured than uninsured white adults. With less access to insurance, people of color are more likely to face higher medical bills and difficulty paying their medical bills. “

“In many southern states, people of color disproportionately lack health insurance coverage, in large part because their state has not implemented the Medicaid expansion,” the brief continues. “Individuals in the South are also more likely to work in agriculture or other low-paying jobs that do not provide employer-sponsored health insurance… Of the 13 states where more than one in five adults has of medical debts in collection, seven states have not implemented the Medicaid expansion, and in 11 states, people of color make up more than a quarter of the population.

Earlier this year, the Center for Responsible Lending (CRL) also took a public position on debt collection – specifically wage garnishment and direct debit protection.

“Systemic racism has fostered a debt collection landscape in which people of color are more likely to be contacted by collectors and more likely to be affected by lawsuits resulting in wage garnishment and bank withdrawals.” , says CRL. “State laws differ in terms of how much money is ‘protected’, or cannot be seized by a debt collector, to leave money for a family’s basic needs. Federal protection is urgently needed.

The current federal poverty line of $ 17,240 for a single adult with a dependent child has not changed since 1969. This official poverty line also does not take into account regional differences in the cost of living or cost. childcare services which represent a significant budgetary cost for all working parents.

To remedy debt collection foreclosures of all available financial resources, CRL advocates that families be protected from debt collectors by allowing consumers to keep $ 12,000 in a bank account over a three month period to cover food, housing, transport and medical care.

“The COVID-19 crisis has resulted in high levels of unemployment across the country and the recovery will take months, if not years,” says CRL. “The federal government must protect $ 12,000 in a bank account and approximately $ 1,000 in wages per week, to help families establish and strengthen their financial security. “

Charlene Crowell is a senior member of the Center for Responsible Lending. She can be contacted at [email protected]


MNP consumer debt index hits lowest ever



Impact of the pandemic: Declining financial confidence and increasing concerns about debt among Canadians

  • Four in ten are not convinced that they can cover their living expenses this year without taking on more debt (+4).
  • Four in ten are concerned about their current debt (+1).
  • They are less likely to be confident in their ability to meet unforeseen expenses without taking on more debt (29%, -3).
  • Almost half say they could be in financial difficulty if interest rates rise (+1).
  • Three in ten say they have incurred more debt as a direct result of the pandemic.

CALGARY, Alta., Jan. 18, 2021 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) – As the economic pain and loss of wages associated with the pandemic continues, there are signs that the financial stressors of 2020 will continue to wreak havoc on the economy. new Year. Now in its fifteenth wave, the MNP consumer debt index has hit its lowest point since its inception. Conducted quarterly by Ipsos on behalf of MNP LTD, the index tracks Canadians’ attitudes towards their debt situation and their ability to meet their monthly payment obligations. Compared with September, it lost 5 points to 89 points, the lowest level on record and the largest quarterly decline since the index was created in June 2017. The record low was fueled by Canadians’ negative perceptions of their personal finances, current household debt levels and their concerns about the possibility of overcoming unexpected financial setbacks without taking on more debt.

“Almost a year after the onset of the coronavirus crisis, the financial confidence of Canadians has hit a low point. The virus has naturally created much more financial anxiety for those directly affected by job losses, falling wages and business closures. The index shows that financial pressure is increasing for much of the country, ”said Grant Bazian, president of MNP LTD.

Four in ten Canadians (43%) say they are not convinced they can cover their living expenses for the next year without taking on more debt, a four point increase from September. About the same number feel concerned about their current level of debt (42%, +1) or regret the amount of debt they have taken on (45%, -1).

“Financial comfort and preparedness are key aspects of an individual’s overall well-being. When we see so many Canadians feeling like they can’t afford living expenses without taking on more debt, it signals that more financial upheaval could be on the horizon – especially with so much uncertainty yet to come. », Explains Bazian.

No more than three in ten (29%, -3) are confident in their ability to cope with life-changing events without increasing their debt load. Only one in four Canadians (25%, -4) is confident in their ability to cope with a job loss or a change in salary or seasonal work. Fewer Canadians are confident in their ability to financially cope with the death of an immediate family member (23%, -5) and a change in their marital status (29%, -3) without increasing their debt load.

“The main cause of serious financial problems can be an unexpected crisis. And the pandemic was the crisis that sparked many unexpected, life-changing financial disruptions that no one had prepared for. For Canadians who are already in debt, any reduction in household income or an increase in unforeseen spending can snowball debt, as many take out more credit to stay afloat, ”says Bazian.

The survey found that up to three in ten Canadians (28%) have taken on more debt as a direct result of the pandemic. This includes using credit cards (15%) or lines of credit (8%) to pay bills, borrow money from friends or family (10%), take out a loan bank (3%) or use a payday loan service (3%).

With interest rates low, six in ten respondents (61%) feel now is the time to buy things they might not otherwise have been able to afford. Almost half (47%) say that with current interest rates so low, they are more relaxed than they usually are to take on debt. Perhaps this is the reason why fewer (22%) report losing sleep due to economic problems related to COVID-19 (-12 since June) or the recession (20%, -5 since June).

“Low interest rates can provide unwarranted comfort. Some risk being lulled by a false sense of security that will put them in the debt trap, ”warns Bazian. “When people with financial difficulties try to manage them by taking on more debt, the results can be disastrous. They end up trying to fill one hole by digging another, ”Bazian explains.

The survey highlighted the risks of heavy credit dependency: almost half of Canadians (47%, +1) fear that if interest rates rise, they could find themselves in financial difficulty. The build-up of personal debt also prevents some of it from sleeping at night, with one in four (24%) indicating that their debt keeps them from worrying, up 3 points since June. Likewise, many who stay up at night wonder how they are going to pay their bills (20%, -2 pts) or be able to afford the essentials for their family (19%, unchanged).

Bazian says that shame and pride often cause deeply indebted individuals to prolong their predicament for far too long. Some may face aggressive collection activity or debt relief scams resulting in more stress and sleepless nights.

Licensed Insolvency Trustees are the only federally regulated professionals who can provide legal protection against creditors and help people make informed choices about dealing with their financial difficulties.

“A consumer proposal or bankruptcy may be a necessary step for some, but others just need reliable advice to develop a budget and a plan to deal with their debt. Everyone’s situation is different, which is why they need the personalized and impartial advice of a professional, ”explains Bazian.

To help seriously indebted Canadians understand their rights and determine the best course of action, MNP’s National Team of Licensed Insolvency Trustees offers free consultations.


MNP LTD, a division of the national accounting firm MNP LLP, is the largest insolvency firm in Canada. For more than 50 years, our experienced team of Licensed Insolvency Trustees and Advisors have worked with individuals to help them recover from a period of financial distress and regain control of their finances. With more than 230 Canadian offices from coast to coast, MNP helps thousands of Canadians with an overwhelming amount of debt each year. Visit MNPdebt.ca to contact a Licensed Insolvency Trustee or use our free do-it-yourself (DIY) debt assessment tools. For regular in-depth debt and personal finance information, subscribe to the MNP 3 Minute Debt Break podcast.

About the MNP Consumer Debt Index

The MNP Consumer Debt Index measures the attitude of Canadians towards their consumer debt and assesses their ability to pay their bills, incur unexpected expenses and absorb fluctuations in interest rates. without approaching insolvency. Led by Ipsos and updated quarterly, the Index is an industry leading barometer of financial pressure or relief among Canadians.

Now in its fifteenth wave, the index currently sits at 89 points, the lowest reading on record, on the heels of a record low in March and September this year. Visit MNPdebt.ca/CDI to learn more.

The latest data, representing the fourteenth wave of the MNP Consumer Debt Index, was compiled by Ipsos on behalf of MNP LTD between December 1 and 3, 2020. For this survey, a sample of 2,000 older Canadians aged 18 and over was interviewed. The weighting was then used to balance the demographics to ensure that the composition of the sample reflects that of the adult population according to census data and to provide results intended to approximate the universe of the sample. The accuracy of Ipsos online surveys is measured using a credibility interval. In this case, the survey is accurate to ± 2.5 percentage points, 19 times out of 20, if all Canadian adults had been surveyed. The credibility interval will be wider among subsets of the population. All sample surveys and polls may be subject to other sources of error, including, but not limited to coverage error and measurement error.


Angela Joyce, Media Relations

p. 1.403.681.9286
e. [email protected]

A photo accompanying this announcement is available at https://www.globenewswire.com/NewsRoom/AttachmentNg/ddab19ff-12d0-40b1-b417-ed747da3ad62


Tivity Health Announces New Senior Secured Credit Facilities | state



NASHVILLE, Tennessee., June 8, 2021 / PRNewswire / – Tivity Health, Inc. (Nasdaq: TVTY) (the “Company”), a leading provider of healthy life-changing solutions, including SilverSneakers®, today announced that it has launched the syndication of new senior secured credit facilities, comprising a senior secured revolving facility and a senior secured B term loan facility (the “Senior Secured Credit Facilities “). The closing of the proposed term facilities and the terms thereof are subject to the obtaining of commitments from the lenders, as well as to market and other conditions. The Company intends to use the proceeds of the credit facilities to repay all amounts outstanding under its existing credit agreement and for general corporate purposes. The credit facilities are expected to enable growth-friendly investments while improving financial flexibility through lower interest expense, reduced mandatory amortization and term extension.

Morgan Stanley, Credit Suisse and Truist Bank are acting as co-arrangers and bookrunners for the transaction.

About Tivity Health, Inc.

Tivity Health® Inc. (Nasdaq: TVTY) is a leading provider of healthy life-changing solutions, including SilverSneakers®, Prime® Fitness, WholeHealth Living® and Wisely WellMT. We plan to become the modern destination for a healthy lifestyle through our cutting-edge fitness offerings and enhanced digital engagement platform. We are continually expanding the SilverSneakers suite of digital offerings and services to provide seniors with everything they need to maintain and improve their health, including physical activity, social connections, community engagement, opportunities to volunteering and mental enrichment. Our goal is to partner with payers and service providers to enable a personalized, interactive and intuitive experience to deliver the right solutions to every member. We provide solutions that help adults feel better, work better and live better, and improve health outcomes while reducing health care costs. Learn more at www.tivityhealth.com.

Caution regarding forward-looking statements

This press release contains certain statements that are “forward-looking” statements within the meaning of federal securities laws, including Section 27A of the Securities Act of 1933, as amended, and Section 21E of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended. These forward-looking statements are based on current expectations and include all statements that are not historical statements of fact and those concerning intention, belief or expectations, including, without limitation, statements accompanied by words. such as “will”, “will expect,” “prospect”, “anticipate”, “intend”, “plan”, “believe”, “seek”, “see”, “would like”, “target “, or other similar words, phrases or expressions and variations or negatives of such words. These forward-looking statements include, without limitation, statements of the Company concerning its future financial performance. Readers of this press release should understand that these statements are not guarantees of performance or results Many risks and uncertainties could affect actual results and cause them to differ materially from forward-looking statements.

These risks and uncertainties include, among others: the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic (including the response of government authorities to combat and contain the pandemic, the closure of fitness centers in the Company’s national network (or operational restrictions imposed on such fitness centers)), closures and potential additional closures following increases in positive COVID-19 cases) on the Company’s business, operations or liquidity; risks associated with changes in macroeconomic conditions (including the impacts of any recession or changes in consumer spending resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic), generalized epidemics, pandemics (such as the current COVID-19 pandemic ) or other disease epidemics, geopolitical unrest and the persistent threat of national or international terrorism; the Company’s ability to collect accounts receivable from its customers and amounts due under its subleases; market acceptance of the Company’s new products and services; the Company’s ability to develop and implement effective strategies and to anticipate and respond to strategic changes, opportunities and emerging trends in the industry and / or business of the Company, as well as to accurately forecast the related impact on the Company’s revenues and profits; the impact of any impairment of goodwill, intangible assets or other long-lived assets of the Company; the Company’s ability to attract, hire or retain key personnel or other qualified employees and to control labor costs; the effectiveness of the reorganization of the Company’s activities and the Company’s ability to achieve the expected profits; the Company’s ability to compete effectively with other entities, whose financial, research, personnel and marketing resources may exceed its resources; the impact of legal proceedings involving the Company and / or its subsidiaries, products or services, including any claims relating to intellectual property rights, as well as the Company’s ability to maintain insurance coverage in respect of such legal proceedings and claims on terms favorable to the Company; the impact of severe or adverse weather conditions, the current COVID-19 pandemic and the potential emergence of additional health pandemics or infectious disease outbreaks on member participation in Society programs; the risks associated with deriving a significant concentration of income from a limited number of the Company’s clients, many of which are health plans; the Company’s ability and / or the ability of its clients to enroll participants and accurately forecast their level of enrollment and participation in the Company’s programs in a manner and within the timeframes provided by the Company; the Company’s ability to sign, renew and / or maintain contracts with its customers and / or the Company’s fitness partner sites under existing conditions or to restructure these contracts on conditions that would not have a negative impact material to the results of operations of the Company; the ability of clients of the Company’s health insurance plans to maintain the number of covered persons enrolled in these health insurance plans during the term of the Company’s agreements; the Company’s ability to add and / or retain active subscribers in its Prime Fitness program; the impact of any change in tax rates, the enactment of new tax laws, revisions of tax regulations or any claim or dispute with the tax authorities; the impact of reduced reimbursement rates for Medicare Advantage health plans or changes in plan design; the impact of any new or proposed legislation, regulations and interpretations relating to Medicare, Medicare Advantage, Medicare Supplement, and privacy and security laws; the impact of health care reform on the Company’s activities; risks associated with potential failures of the Company’s information systems or those of its third-party vendors, including due to telecommuting issues associated with staff working remotely, which may include non-execution of policies and processes in a work from home or remote model; risks associated with breaches of confidentiality or data security, hacking, network penetration and other illegal intrusions into the information systems of the Company or of third-party suppliers or other service providers. services, including risks resulting from an increase in staff working remotely, which may result in unauthorized access by third parties, loss, misappropriation, disclosure or corruption of information about customers, employees or the company, or other data subject to privacy laws and may result in an interruption of the company’s activities, costs of modification, improvement or remedying its cybersecurity measures, enforcement actions, fines or litigation against the Company, or damage its commercial reputation; risks associated with changes to traditional office-centric business processes and / or the conduct of out-of-office operations in a work-from-home or remote model by the Company or its third-party vendors during adverse situations (e.g. , during a crisis, disaster, or pandemic), which may result in additional costs and / or have a negative impact on productivity and cause other disruptions to the activities of the Company; the Company’s ability to enforce its intellectual property rights; the risk that the Company’s indebtedness limits the Company’s ability to adapt to changes in the economy or market conditions, exposes the Company to interest rate risk for variable-rate indebtedness and requires that a substantial portion of cash flow from operations be dedicated to the payment of debt; the Company’s ability to service its debt, make principal and interest payments as such payments become due and remain in compliance with its covenants; the Company’s ability to obtain adequate financing to provide capital that may be required to support its current or future operations; the counterparty risk associated with the Company’s interest rate swap contracts; and other risks detailed in documents filed by the Company with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

For more information on factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from those described in forward-looking statements, please refer to the documents filed by the Company with the SEC. Except as required by law, the Company assumes no obligation to update these forward-looking statements to reflect new information, subsequent events or circumstances.

View original content to download multimedia: http://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/tivity-health-announces-new-senior-secured-credit-facilities-301307310.html

SOURCE Tivity Health, Inc.


Merchant acceptance to unlock crypto spending



Bitcoin can get a lot of attention, but it’s only part of the larger digital currency equation.

In the drive to bring crypto into the wallets of consumers and, in turn, into the tills of merchants, it will be essential to expand acceptance while increasing the ease of use of spending.

To that end, BitPay CEO Stephen Pair, Fancy CEO Greg Spillane, and Jomashop VP Alex Sternberg said in the latest On the Agenda that the shift from hype to daily commerce will unlock billion dollars in purchasing power.

It’s been an intoxicating race for cryptos, to put it mildly, as their price has rocked wildly – largely thanks to a stream of Elon Musk’s tweets and emojis on Bitcoin or Dogecoin.

Cryptos have captured the public imagination so much that, as PYMNTS discovered, only 8% of the population has do not heard of bitcoin or its peers.

Spillane noted that “there is so much buzz. There are so many different types of coins, and every day it seems like there is new hype and buzz surrounding another coin coming out. “

Beyond speculation lies the prospect of expenses cryptos, in a way that integrates digital offerings into mainstream use cases.

The desire is there, and the advance towards the general public is there too. As PYMNTS research has shown, 16% of the US population – roughly 30 million consumers – own cryptocurrency, and around 24 million consumers plan to acquire crypto in the future.

A significant number of consumers – 45 million of them, or 18% of the population – have used bitcoin and its brethren to make purchases. Said Pair of these numbers: They are not all this surprisingly, and the intention to buy and use crypto cuts among young and old, as well as in industries ranging from traditional retail to car dealerships.

“Over the past couple of years, we’ve been really talking about the number of crypto users that number in the tens of millions, and for traders who use our platform, our goal is to help them reach this new demographic. users and make their products and services known to these new consumers, ”said Pair.

Consumers willing to spend

Panelists noted that individuals want to find a way to spend “dry money” – a euphemism for the savings and money they have amassed during the pandemic – in new digital ways, especially as the value of their crypto holdings increases. They want to spend their capital gains, said Pair.

This brings us to an age where, for example, Dogecoin can move from a coin to an alternative payment method (Pair said that Doge, in recent months, has gone from 2% of transactions on the platform to about 12% in a matter of a few weeks). And that’s why, as PYMNTS discovered, 64% of customers say they bought crypto with the intention of being able to spend it.

Jomashop’s Sternberg said consumers were increasingly interested in leveraging their crypto into their daily spending, with money stored in digital wallets, going beyond P2P activity. Purchases on Jomashop run the gamut, from $ 100 sunglasses to watches retailing for thousands of dollars, according to data from PYMNTS which shows a range of purchases bundling under $ 100.

Fancy’s Spillane noted that the biggest crypto purchase to date was for a $ 27,000 Hermes bag – although the average order size was around $ 100. Volumes increased as average order volumes for items purchased with crypto quintupled.

“So there is tons of money out there,” he said. don’t grasp that. “

Traders would do well to consider accepting crypto, the panel said, because 51% of crypto owners would be more likely to shop from a retailer that accepts it.

Acceptance can be seen as a form of competitive advantage, at least for now, Sternberg said. “But at the end of the day, as cryptos become more mainstream, they will just be another form of alternative payment that will look like a credit card,” he told Webster. “It’s going to become something like an Apple Pay transaction.”

Anti-fraud incentive

Spillane said about 30% of his own company’s customer base is international, with consumers in more than 140 countries. An increasing percentage of purchases are made with cryptos, prompting traders to accept them.

But there is another incentive that will broaden acceptance, he said: Cryptos have strong anti-fraud characteristics in place, especially with cross-border transactions, which have been marked by relatively high fraud rates. (Pair said that just a few years ago, up to one in 50 card transactions made internationally were fraudulent, a number that has increased as commerce has moved online.)

Pair also noted that crypto payments are akin to cash or wire transfer transactions. They are immutable (moving like they do on blockchains), eliminating the specter of chargebacks (or friendly fraud), which reduces the cost of doing business for merchants.

These benefits, Pair claimed, make cryptocurrency at the register the leading form of alternative payment in some verticals, rapidly rising from single-digit percentages to 10% or more in cash volumes in a short period of time.

B2B, too

The appeal of crypto is also becoming apparent in B2B, said Pair, where businesses have found it attractive to be paid in digital currencies rather than going the bill / check or card route, where transactions take days or months to resolve.

“In parts of the world where the banking system is more developed, they don’t realize that there are parts of the world where there just aren’t great payment options,” said Pair.

Traditional payments are slow, expensive, or both. In this context, stablecoins are proving to be a wise choice for companies that don’t want fluctuations in bitcoin and other cryptos to impact their balance sheets.

“We really want buyers to be able to pay in whatever currency they want to pay in and recipients to be able to settle in whatever currency they want. they or they prefer, ”said Pair of these B2B transactions.

Eliminate friction

In consumer-led commerce there are always inherent frictions in the process, of course, where in most cases it has been necessary to put fiat in a digital wallet. Buy cryptos on an exchange and have those cryptos converted to fiat at the merchant as the transactions are completed.

Pair noted that there have always been crypto users who want to use crypto, “and just crypto. They want to live their whole lives with it,” he said – and in some cases, they might even consider getting their wages paid in crypto if that was an option. These users are looking for traders who will accept cryptos as direct payments – and if they can’t do that directly, they’ll link debit cards (a Mastercard debit card, for example) to wallets and wallets to platforms, and will follow this route.

As with any online transaction, friction can be the deciding factor in adopting or rejecting crypto as a payment method. In other words, or they buy business.

As Pair said: Where they make that first purchase could be the difference between them and keep making that purchase over and over – or not. “If they have a good experience with that first payment, then they’re more likely to do it again,” he noted.

Sternberg of Jomashop said the payment mechanisms are getting simpler as consumers can cash out digital wallets, plug in different cryptos, and verify with just a few clicks, a process that appeals to both the consumer and the merchant. The fewer steps there are in the payment process, he said, the more transactions there will be.

Looking ahead, Fancy’s Spillane said crypto will become a “de facto” payment choice. “There’s a lot of money these young consumers have ‘locked away in crypto,’ he noted, ‘and they’re looking for ways to spend almost turnkey. It’s exciting.’



About the study: The AI ​​In Focus: The Bank Technology Roadmap is a research and interview report examining how banks are using artificial intelligence and other advanced IT systems to improve credit risk management and other aspects of their operations. The Playbook is based on a survey of 100 banking executives and is part of a larger series assessing the potential of AI in finance, healthcare and others.


New York Fed: mortgage abstention distorts credit rating



The pandemic is ebbing and the US economy – lumpy, of course – is reigniting.

This means that forbearance programs are due for an outcome. During the pandemic, lenders offered these programs to borrowers to ease the burden of payments on credit cards, student loans and mortgages in the face of job loss, illness and economic upheaval.

In an interview with Karen Webster, economists at Liberty Street Economics – the Federal Reserve Bank of New York’s blog – said the mortgage industry may have a role to play in distorting credit ratings. And now, more than ever, it is important to have a holistic view of the consumer / borrower.

Interviewees included Andrew F. Haughwout, senior vice president of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York’s research and statistics group; Donghoon Lee, a head of the bank’s research and statistics group; Joelle Scally, senior data strategist in the bank’s research and statistics group; and Wilbert van der Klaauw, senior vice president of the bank’s research and statistics group.

In a report titled “What Happens During Mortgage Forbearance?” The agents found, through their research, that since March 2020, more than 6.1 million mortgage borrowers have gone into forbearance. These forbearers were “much more likely” to be delinquent before the pandemic than was observed in the general population of mortgage holders. About 8 percent of borrowers were in delinquency before entering forbearance programs. About a third of previously overdue accounts were still withheld.

This raises the question of the impact of credit scores – and whether we need a new credit scoring system.

At a high level, Scally said, the forbearance program has been “very successful, in that it has protected consumers’ credit reports from widespread damage and allowed people to stay up to date on their loans. “.

Risk signals for lenders

But that’s where lies what, on the surface, seems like an enigma. Data shows that around 4% of mortgage borrowers could become severely delinquent – less than what was seen during the Great Recession, but still troublesome as their status has yet to impact credit reports. So lenders may not yet see the risk signals associated with these borrowers, as forbearance is a neutral event in terms of credit and can lend money where they shouldn’t.

But as Scally noted, many mortgage borrowers, without having to make payments on their properties, were able to save funds (the stimulus payments helped) and, in the process, reduce other debt. Thus, all other things being equal, they should be able to assume the repayments when they exit forbearance.

There has been a tailwind of rising credit scores due to non-mortgage debt. Lee pointed out that credit rating increases seen in the midst of the pandemic are due, in large part, to federal student loan debt (about 85% to 90% of the total amount outstanding) on ​​the way to forbearance.

But there are enough signals that lenders can see post-pandemic risks clearly enough.

The sticking points are that at least some borrowers, before the pandemic, already had at least one account in collection, and as Lee put it, “if you have 10 negative records and one goes, nine negatives will remain. records. “

The eventual exit

As for the possible exit from forbearance in the mortgage sector, we will see two “tracks” of activity.

At least some of these borrowers leave the program by selling their properties, eliminating these borrowing entirely. Lee noted that lenders have worked with borrowers amid forbearance to structure the exits that make the debt still on the books more manageable. In many cases, payments that were skipped, Lee said, are “added” to the end of the mortgage, so in a general illustration, a 15-year term would become a 16-year term.

Don’t expect refinancing to make a comeback, warned van der Klaauw. People who struggled to make their mortgage payments before the pandemic are unlikely to suddenly be eligible for refinancing because of their credit rating rise due to forbearance.

“We haven’t really seen any evidence of an increase in claims just because people’s credit scores are going up. They may not even know that their credit rating has gone up a bit, ”said van der Klaauw.

Haughwout added, at least this time around, the traditional FICO score may not reflect – at least, “not very well” – what happens during a pandemic, as it’s not a typical recession.

As he told Webster about those who went for forbearance and the FICO score: “Does that give a lot of information about their future ability to pay off their debt? I am not sure this is the case.

Credit scores, Lee said, are evolving and can be adjusted (with new algorithms) to reflect the times (and as has been widely reported, banks are reducing credit rating requirements for some loans). The old 620 isn’t the new 620, after all.

As for what lies ahead: more data points will help lenders make more informed decisions. Haughwout said research shows investors in the housing market at the turn of the millennium had high credit scores – as they reaped and paid off dozens of mortgages. But of course they were burned down in the real estate crash (and didn’t have the motivation to pay back because they didn’t live in the houses with their families).

“It’s important for the lender to look at the entire credit report, not just the credit score,” he told Webster.



About the study: The AI ​​In Focus: The Bank Technology Roadmap is a research and interview report examining how banks are using artificial intelligence and other advanced IT systems to improve credit risk management and other aspects of their operations. The Playbook is based on a survey of 100 banking executives and is part of a larger series assessing the potential of AI in finance, healthcare and others.


SLR Credit Solutions Agents Term loan of $ 130,000,000 for Revlon



BOSTON–(COMMERCIAL THREAD) – SLR Credit Solutions (“SLR”) announced the closing of a $ 130,000,000 senior secured term loan for Revlon (the “Company”). Founded in 1932, Revlon is a leading global beauty company offering innovative and trendy products in color cosmetics, skin care, hair coloring, hair care and perfumes under brands such as Revlon, Elizabeth Arden, Almay, CND and American Crew.

The proceeds from the transaction were used to refinance existing debt and provide the Company with increased liquidity and flexibility to continue to grow the business.

“We are delighted with our partnership with SLR Credit Solutions,” said Victoria Dolan, Chief Financial Officer of Revlon. “SLR was able to secure a term loan of $ 130,000,000 as part of the recent refinancing process and worked very effectively with our revolver lender, MidCap Financial, to quickly complete the transaction. Their extensive experience in consumer products and their ability to work collaboratively with MidCap were instrumental in our decision to work with the SLR team.

Tyler Harrington, Managing Director of SLR Credit Solutions, added: “It was a pleasure working with the management team of Revlon and MidCap Financial to execute this transaction. Revlon has successfully weathered a very difficult business environment throughout 2020 and is now well positioned for growth. We are looking forward to a long-term and mutually beneficial partnership.

About SLR credit solutions

SLR Credit Solutions (f / k / a Crystal Financial), a holding company of Solar Capital Ltd., is a leading provider of direct private credit focused on the creation, underwriting and management of asset-based finance and cash flow of $ 25 million to $ 125 million to mid-market companies. Since its inception in 2006, its team of experienced and responsive professionals has provided over $ 4 billion in secured debt commitments across a wide range of industries. For more information, please visit www.slrcreditsolutions.com.

About Revlon

Revlon has built a long-standing reputation as a color authority and beauty trendsetter in the world of color cosmetics and hair care. Since the revolutionary launch of the first opaque nail polish in 1932, Revlon has provided consumers with innovative products of high quality, performance and sophisticated glamor. In 2016, Revlon acquired iconic Elizabeth Arden company and its portfolio of brands, including its core designer, heritage and celebrity fragrances. Today, Revlon’s diverse portfolio of brands are sold in approximately 150 countries around the world in most retail distribution channels including prestige, salon, mass and online. Revlon is one of the world’s leading beauty companies, with some of the world’s most iconic and sought-after brands and product offerings in color cosmetics, skin care, hair coloring, hair care. and fragrances under brands such as Revlon, Revlon Professional, Elizabeth Arden, Almay, Mitchum, CND, American Crew, Creme of Nature, Cutex, Juicy Couture, Elizabeth Taylor, Britney Spears, Curve, John Varvatos, Christina Aguilera and AllSaints.


Troutman Pepper’s COVID-19 Consumer Financial Services Weekly



Like most industries today, consumer finance service companies are significantly affected by the novel coronavirus (COVID-19). Troutman Pepper has developed a COVID-19 Resource Center to guide clients through this unprecedented global health challenge. We regularly update this site with COVID-19 news and developments, recommendations from leading healthcare organizations, and tools businesses can use for free.

Our banking and loan clients are also facing new challenges affecting their industry as a result of COVID-19, especially the ever-changing rules and regulations around evictions and foreclosures. We are following these updates closely and have assembled an interactive tracking tool containing state orders and guidance material regarding residential lockdowns and eviction moratoria. You can access this interactive tool at https://covid19.trutman.com/.

To help you stay on top of relevant activities, below is a breakdown of some of the biggest COVID-19-related events at the federal and state levels that have impacted the fundraising services industry. consumption last week:

Federal activities

Federal activities:

  • On May 13, the United States House of Representatives passed the Comprehensive Debt Collection Improvement Act, a package of bills aimed at reforming the way debt is collected. The bill is now sent to the Senate for consideration. For more information, click here.
  • On May 14, the Federal Reserve Board (Board) announced the third extension of a rule to strengthen the effectiveness of the Small Business Administration’s Paycheck Protection Program (PPP). Like the previous extensions, this will temporarily change the rules of the Board so that certain directors and shareholders of banks can apply to their banks for PPP loans for their small businesses. For more information, click here.
  • On May 13, the US Department of the Treasury announced that it had distributed $ 742 million to 42 states and three territories through the Homeowner Assistance Fund (HAF). As part of the US bailout, HAF seeks to prevent mortgage defaults and defaults, foreclosures, loss of utilities or home energy services, and displacement of homeowners facing financial hardship due to the pandemic of COVID-19. For more information, click here.
  • On May 12, the Senate Trade Commission (FTC) voted in favor of appointing Lina Khan as Commissioner of the Federal Trade Commission. Previously, Khan served as legal counsel to former FTC commissioner Rohit Chopra. For more information, click here.

State activities:

  • On May 13, the California Senate passed a bill that will require the original creditor or owner of a debt to notify a consumer within five days of selling or assigning the debt to someone else. other, while also giving consumers the right to request certain information. Debt collectors, such as debt status or date of last payment, among other pieces of information. For more information, click here.
  • On May 13, the Nevada Financial Institutions Division (NFID) extended its temporary guidelines allowing employees of licensed collection agencies to work from home until July 31. The directives were previously scheduled to expire on May 31. For more information, click here.
  • On May 12, a bill was introduced in the New Jersey Senate that would provide financial relief to homeowners and tenants in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Among other measures, the bill “would prohibit a landlord from providing information on non-payment or late payment of rent accrued during the period covered, or other legal records or proceedings relating to non-payment or payment. late payment of the rent accrued during the period covered. period, directly to another homeowner, or to a debt collection or credit reporting agency. For more information, click here.
  • On May 12, Oregon HB 2009 passed through the Housing and Development Committee. The bill “establishes temporary limitations on the remedies of lenders in the event of non-payment by borrowers of obligations secured by mortgages, deeds of trust or contracts for the sale of land for certain real estate” because of “the loss of income related to the COVID-19 pandemic. “For more information, click on here.
  • On May 10, the Nevada Assembly Committee on Commerce and Labor submitted recommendations to SB 248, which limits a collection agency’s ability to collect medical debts. The proposed changes include changing the definition of medical debt, allowing medical debtors to establish contacts and make voluntary payments, and prevent certain written communications from being sent by certified mail. For more information, click here.
  • On May 10, the Maine Senate Committee on Credit and Financial Affairs received a bill establishing a homeowner’s assistance fund program using funds received under the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 to “prevent payment defaults and defaults, foreclosures, loss of utilities or household energy services. and travel by owners in financial difficulty. The bill invokes an emergency clause which takes effect upon approval. For more information, click here.

Privacy and cybersecurity activities:

  • On May 10, California Attorney General Rob Bonta joined a coalition of 43 state attorneys general to sign a letter to Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg urging Facebook to abandon plans to launch a version of Instagram for children under 13. . The letter notes that Facebook has historically failed to protect the welfare of minors who use its products. The coalition’s action shows the growing trend to add additional privacy protections for minors. For example, this trend can be seen in the California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA) – see Troutman Pepper’s series on CCPA compliance, including provisions on minor privacy protections, available here.
  • On May 14, US Secretary of Commerce Gina Raimondo and US Secretary of Homeland Security Alejandro Mayokras co-wrote an editorial in CNBC, detailing the impact of the Colonial Pipeline ransomeware attack and how this attack creates a learning opportunity for organizations to improve their cybersecurity defenses. The editorial states that more than $ 350 million in ransom was paid to attackers in 2020 – an increase of over 300% from the previous year – with an average payment of over $ 300,000. Further, the editorial noted that according to a 2021 report, the highest number of casualties in 2020 by industry were in manufacturing, professional and legal services, and construction. The co-authors also discussed the practice guidelines and linked to a Guide from the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) of the Department of Commerce to help fight ransomeware attacks. In our article here, Troutman Pepper explains how business leaders can reduce the cyber risks of their organizations.
  • On May 12, President Joe Biden signed a decree intended to improve cybersecurity practices in the United States and protect federal government systems. The executive order calls for collaboration between the federal government and the private sector to address the “persistent and increasingly sophisticated malicious cybercampaigns” that threaten the security of the United States. Some specific steps outlined by the decree include:
    • Create a standardized manual for federal responses to cyber incidents;
    • Establish a “Cyber ​​Security Review Board” composed of public and private sector officials, which should meet after major cyber attacks to provide analysis and recommendations; and
    • Improve the security of software sold to the government, including by requiring developers to share certain security data with the public.


Two large banks resume their political donations, interrupted after the riot on the Capitol.






Biden praises May’s job gains

President Biden on Friday praised the job growth in the United States last month, attributing the progress to his US bailout and Americans’ willingness to adhere to pandemic measures.

This morning we learned that in May our economy created 559,000 new jobs. The unemployment rate fell to 5.8% and wages rose for American workers. This means that we have now created more than two million jobs in total since taking office. No other great economy is gaining jobs as quickly as ours. And none of this success is an accident. It is not luck. This is due in large part, first of all, to the cooperation of the American people in responding to my efforts to bring Covid under control, wear masks initially, and get vaccinated. And that’s not a small part of the bold action we took in adopting the US bailout.

President Biden on Friday praised the job growth in the United States last month, attributing the progress to his US bailout and Americans’ willingness to adhere to pandemic measures.CreditCredit…James Estrin / The New York Times

The Ministry of Labor signal that the economy added 559,000 jobs in May, an acceleration from April, Democrats and the Biden administration argued on Friday, adding new fuel to the president’s claims that vaccinations and his economic agenda are starting to put the economy back on track. rails after an interrupted recovery from the pandemic recession.

“This is historic progress,” Biden said in remarks from Rehoboth Beach, Del. “Progress that brings our economy out of the worst crisis it has seen in 100 years.”

He then claimed credit for these advances, both for his administration’s campaign to increase vaccine production and distribution in the United States and for the $ 1.9 trillion economic aid legislation he enacted in March.

“None of these successes are an accident. This is not luck, “Biden said, praising” the cooperation of the American people in responding to my efforts to bring COVID under control, wear masks initially and get vaccinated. “

But the report, which fell short of analysts’ expectations for the second month in a row and showed a slight contraction in the workforce, also fueled Republican criticism of the president. They say improved unemployment benefits – which were extended by Mr Biden’s aid legislation in March – are discouraging workers from returning to work and holding back what could be an even faster recovery.

“Long-term unemployment is higher than at the start of the pandemic, and labor force participation reflects the stagnation of the 1970s,” said Representative Kevin Brady, the top Republican on the Ways and Means Committee, in a press release. “It’s time for President Biden to abandon his attack on American jobs, his tax hikes, anti-growth regulations and his obsession with more emergency spending and endless government controls.”

After the April report fell significantly short of expectations, Republican governors across the country decided to prematurely end the additional $ 300 per week unemployment benefits that began under President Donald J. Trump and are expected to end. continue through September as part of Mr. Biden’s aid package.

Mr Biden said on Friday that these benefits had helped Americans weather the crisis, but noted that they expire in 90 days. “It makes sense,” he said, “it expires in 90 days. “

White House economists said last month that there was no evidence yet in the numbers that the supplement discouraged work, instead highlighting constraints such as school closures and childcare issues. children preventing women with children from returning to work, as well as a large number of people of working age. Americans who had not been fully immunized. Administration economists doubled that reading on Friday.

“It is too early to conclude that labor supply issues are slowing down the long-term trajectory of the recovery,” White House Council of Economic Advisers Chairman Cecilia Rouse wrote in an article. blog Friday morning.

Democratic leaders in Congress have continued to push for unemployment benefits to continue as planned and for lawmakers to adopt the rest of Mr. Biden’s $ 4 trillion economic program.

“The American people need all the support they can get, especially the black and Hispanic communities that have been among the hardest hit by the pandemic,” said Representative Don Beyer of Virginia, Chairman of the Joint Economic Committee. , in a press release. “Lawmakers must intervene. This includes continuing to improve unemployment insurance to support workers seeking employment and the passage by Congress of President Biden’s employment and family plans.

(Due to an editing error, an earlier version of this briefing incorrectly rendered President Biden’s comments on the factors driving the improvement in the economy. The article has been updated with correct quote.)


Study: 62% of shoppers who have trouble completing their purchases abandon their cart



Dive brief:

  • According to a goMoxie survey emailed to Retail Dive, 40% of consumers struggle with simple tasks on retail websites. More than half of consumers (62%) who find it difficult to complete an online transaction abandon their shopping cart, according to the survey.

  • The survey found that Gen Z consumers had the highest percentage (46%) of respondents who had difficulty transacting with an online retailer, followed by Millennials (41%), Generation X (40%) and baby boomers (33%). .

  • Survey results indicate that consumers are more likely to seek out competitors than ask for help if they are having difficulty on retail websites. Only 26% of those surveyed said they contacted customer service with a problem, but 52% of digital consumers left to buy from a competitor.

Dive overview:

As the COVID-19 pandemic has forced non-essential retailers to close their doors, some stores, such as Kohl’s and GameStop, saw a spike in their e-commerce operations. The coronavirus pandemic reinforced the importance of e-commerce as well as highlighted its constraints.

As the holidays approach, retailers love Best buy, Walmart and Target, have introduced their own online sales days mirroring that of Amazon Prime Day, which was moved in October. In a season expected to be largely online, recent findings from goMoxie indicate that retailers need to improve their online presence or they will lose customers. And this could be one of the biggest seasons for retailers. A recent PayPal survey have found that retailers depend on holiday sales to be able to continue in the future, and they are implementing security measures and planning to sell on social media platforms and digital marketplaces as a result.

“Consumers shouldn’t have to struggle to do business online. Unfortunately, many do and end up leaving,” goMoxie CEO Rebecca Ward said in a statement. “We have already seen that retail customer interaction volumes more than doubled year over year leading up to the peak holiday shopping season. Retailers should take action now to guide every customer to success in order to increase transactions, boost satisfaction, and make the most of the sales opportunities during the 2020 holiday season and beyond. ”


Trudeau will accumulate record debt to pull Canada out of pandemic



Justin Trudeau is set to unveil a vision for Canada’s post-pandemic recovery that will also serve as an election platform, fraught with new spending and ensuring that growing debt is affordable.

The April 19 budget, the Prime Minister’s first comprehensive budget plan since before the Covid-19 coup, is an opportunity to lay out longer-term aspirations on which he can campaign in a nationwide vote that could allow it to regain its parliamentary majority.

The Trudeau government has announced up to $ 100 billion (US $ 80 billion) in additional money over the next three years for initiatives ranging from child care to green energy. Expectations are so high that an even more ambitious plan cannot be ruled out. Finance Minister Chrystia Freeland described the budget as “one of the most important of our lives”.

To help businesses as the pandemic continues to rage, the government will extend wage and rental subsidies until September and implement a new program to temporarily subsidize new hires, at $ 1,100 per month for each new employee, according to someone familiar with the contents of the budget who requested anonymity before its release.

The budget will contain more than $ 2 billion for child care, the person said, and will impose new taxes on digital services, which the government has already promised.

“Full of firsts”

He lands at a tense moment. The economy is healing faster than expected, but a recent increase in cases of the virus is forcing Canada’s largest province, Ontario, to impose the toughest movement restrictions yet. Delays in delivery hampered the nationwide immunization effort.

“Monday’s budget is full of firsts – the first federal budget in over two years, the first federal budget for Chrystia Freeland and the first federal budget for a female finance minister,” said Elliot Hughes, former adviser to Freeland’s predecessor who now works at Summa Strategies, an Ottawa-based consulting firm.

“And if that hasn’t helped raise the stakes, it comes as Canada is in the midst of the third and deadliest wave of the Covid-19 pandemic,” Hughes said via email.

The documents will be released around 4 p.m., when Freeland is expected to begin delivering his budget speech to Parliament.

The new spending will add to the record debt levels the country is already taking on debt.

Canada is likely to report a budget deficit of $ 363 billion, or 17% of gross domestic product, in the fiscal year that ended March 31, according to the federal spending watchdog. Another $ 150 billion budget gap is expected this year, according to an average forecast from a Bloomberg survey of economists.

By the time all the money is out, Trudeau will likely have racked up more debt than the 22 prime ministers who came before him put together. But he always bet Canadians are in the mood to think big.

Freeland and other members of the government are constantly discussing the vulnerabilities exposed by the pandemic. Recently, she said Covid-19 has opened a “political window of opportunity” to tackle child custody.

The Globe and Mail reported on Sunday evening that the funding is going to the provinces under a $ 10-a-day child care model – part of the additional spending that will reach $ 100 billion. The newspaper, citing anonymous sources, said there would also be small business funding for e-commerce and a venture capital fund to support sectors hard hit by the pandemic, as well as funding or credits. tax for housing and renovations.

The CBC, unnamed a senior government official, said the deficit for the fiscal year just ended would not exceed $ 400 billion. The extension of income supports for Covid-19 was first reported by the Toronto Star and the digital services tax by Reuters, which also said the government would impose a tax on luxury items like cars valued at over $ 100,000, private planes and yachts.

With the Canadian economy doing much better than expected, there will be a pullback against deficit spending – with leading opposition Conservatives warning of an “avalanche” of red ink.

Despite the pandemic’s toll, the economy is poised to fully recover from last year’s losses as early as this year. This means that the government’s narrative of the additional spending will have to go beyond starting the expansion. Cabinet ministers have already started drawing comparisons between their efforts and President Joe Biden’s infrastructure plan, which aims to support long-term U.S. growth.

But politics can be the main reason why ambitions are high. Trudeau’s Liberals retained power but lost their parliamentary majority in 2019. Polls suggest they have a good chance of winning him back, which is why an election is expected soon.

There is, however, a risk that voters will punish Trudeau if he is seen as reckless. Deficits are large in Canada, with a collective aversion to debt that cemented in the mid-1990s amid rating downgrades, a declining currency and a unity crisis national.

Soaring spending forced the government to abandon its latest fiscal rule at the onset of the crisis. But Trudeau formally asked the finance minister to restore a “fiscal anchor” and avoid creating new permanent spending.

Increase in income

One of the benefits of the stronger-than-expected recovery is improved tax revenues. Nominal output is now expected to reach about $ 100 billion more this year than forecast in the government’s last fiscal update in November, which means about $ 15 billion more in annual revenue than forecast at the time. This boon gives Freeland a cushion to spend.

Some warn that Canada must start considering new taxes to bring the budget closer to balance. The CD Howe Institute, an influential think tank, recommends that Trudeau increase the national sales tax.

The Prime Minister gradually increased taxes during his five years in office. Very early on, he increased the marginal tax rate on top incomes. In November, Freeland unveiled plans for new taxes on global tech giants. The government has said it is considering a tax on foreigners who buy homes in Canada but leave them empty.

Beyond that, taxation can be a non-starter, for now. Trudeau has long pledged not to raise taxes for middle-class Canadians, choosing instead to rely on debt to fund his ambitious agenda.

– With the help of Erik Hertzberg


Has Sweden just defined the next big trend in e-commerce payments?



Designed to increase consumer protection for online shopping and curb the growing indebtedness of Swedish households (currently increasing at a rate of 7% per year), the Swedish Parliament approved an amendment to the Swedish Payment Services Act (2010: 751).

Effective July 1, 2020, the new provision requires PSPs to ensure that their online merchants operating in Sweden prioritize debit payment options over credit payment options at checkout. Accordingly, the online merchant’s payment page must:

1) Present the debit payment options to the customer first, when available

2) Make sure the credit options are not preselected

These measures aim to ensure that consumers do not automatically use credit payment options without also considering debit options; the customer must now actively choose to use a credit payment option. By law, debit options include bank transfers and debit cards. Credit options are credit cards, bills, and installment or subsequent payment methods. Interestingly, for payment cards that support both debit and credit, the debit and credit options should either be separated or treated together as a single credit-based payment method. .

It is important to note that Swedish consumers have welcomed this announcement. Recent Trustly Research, the popular Swedish payment method, revealed that 70% of shoppers are in favor of the new checkout legislation. Coupled with another finding that 60% of Swedes prefer to pay for their purchases immediately with existing funds, it’s pretty clear that Swedish consumers want more control over their finances and overall payment experience.

Could this be the next big thing in online payment?

As many economies around the world turn to recession, will more regulators insist on making debit payment options a priority at checkout? We believe the answer is a definite yes. Sweden is probably the first of many governments to care about consumers in this way. However, with the increase in the use of bank transfers and e-wallets, we believe consumers’ payment preferences are moving in this direction.

For many westernized markets – but certainly not all – credit and debit cards have been popular payment methods for consumers. However, alternative payment methods such as bank transfers, e-wallets, cash payments, and other types of payment currently constitute the vast majority of e-commerce transactions globally; they should go from over 65% to over 72% by 2023. Indeed, the language has evolved within the industry in recent years towards “local” payment methods, as these types of payment are no longer the alternative; they are the norm. Acceptance of local payment methods is vital to boost cross-border business and buyer conversion rates.

As a trend that we are seeing emerging globally, wire transfers are already the primary form of payment in Europe. Bank transfers are the preferred payment method in European countries as in the Netherlands (which represent 65% of e-commerce transactions), Finland (57%), Germany (52%), Poland (47%) and Austria (46%). In fact, 24% of Swedes prefer to pay by wire transfer when shopping online, and in the UK – typically a card-centric payments market – wire transfers have doubled in popularity over the past three years. Even through the APAC market, wire transfers are popular in Malaysia (46%) and Indonesia (29%).

It’s no surprise that many consumers around the world prefer to pay by wire transfer when shopping online. It is generally a very smooth user experience: Consumers pay directly and instantly from their bank account by manually entering payment information. And this method has many advantages for consumers over card payments. Buyers don’t need to enter sensitive financial data, they receive instant payment confirmations, and can feel confident making purchases without accumulating credit.

The experience is just as fluid for traders; they can enjoy guaranteed payment and no risk of chargebacks. And above all, in light of the new Swedish regulations, this is a debit payment.

Accept bank transfers to increase conversion rates

The new Swedish legislation and the general trend towards paying online by bank transfer in real time is good news for consumers and merchants. After all, providing a simple payment experience for consumers benefits merchants in the long run.

The new PPRO study found that 44% of UK consumers would abandon a purchase if their preferred payment method was not available. This rises to 51% for Millennials. Any breach of consumer preferences during the checkout process means that many customers will abandon their carts at the very last hurdle.

With cart abandonment rates as high as 80% on average, providing the correct payment methods at checkout is mission critical. And for European consumers and emerging global markets, any optimized payment mix must include wire transfers.

James Booth, Vice President, Head of Partnerships, EMEA at PPRO


No, Facebook’s win doesn’t mean the TCPA litigation is over



On April 1, 2021, the Supreme Court issued its unanimous decision in Facebook vs. Duguid, whereas to be considered an “automatic telephone numbering system” (automatic dialer), the equipment must have the capacity to: (1) store numbers using a random or sequential number generator; or (2) generate numbers using a random or sequential number generator. While this new clarity regarding the definition of an autodialer will help reporting entities ensure compliance with the Consumer Protection Act by Telephone (TCPA), it does not mean the end of TCPA litigation, and no one should throw it out. its TCPA policies and procedures just yet.

The status and history of the Facebook affair

The TCPA prohibits “any call (other than a call made for emergency purposes or made with the prior express consent of the called party) using any automatic telephone numbering system or an artificial or pre-recorded voice. To cell phones. 47 USC § 227 (b) (1) (A) (iii). An automatic dialer is defined as “equipment which has the capacity (A) to store or generate telephone numbers to be called, using a random or sequential number generator; and (B) to dial these numbers. Identifier. in § 227 (a) (1)

The Facebook case was the result of unwanted text messages. Facebook has a security feature where users can choose to receive text messages when they attempt to log into the user’s account from a new device or browser. Facebook sent such text messages to Noah Duguid, but Mr. Duguid never had a Facebook account. After an unsuccessful attempt to stop spamming, Mr Duguid filed an alleged class action lawsuit against Facebook, alleging that Facebook violated the TCPA by storing numbers and programming its equipment to send automated text messages. Facebook replied that the TCPA did not apply because its technology does not use a “random or sequential number generator.”

The Northern California District agreed with Facebook and dismissed Mr. Duguid’s amended complaint with prejudice. The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals disagreed and held that in order to be an automatic dialer, the equipment only needs to have the capacity to store the numbers to be called and to dial those numbers automatically. This decision was consistent with the decisions of the Second and Sixth Circuits, but unlike the decisions of the Third, Seventh and Eleventh Circuits. The Supreme Court agreed to hear the case to resolve the division between the courts of appeal.


Unlike so many previous TCPA decisions, the Court wasted no time dissecting the meaning of the word “automatic” or analyzing how much human intervention was the right amount of human intervention. Instead, Justice Sotomayor’s opinion focused on statutory language, rules of statutory interpretation, and the intent of Congress when it enacted the TCPA in 1991.

Beginning with the text of the law itself and the rules of statutory interpretation, Judge Sotomayor held that there was no grammatical basis for arbitrarily extending the expression “using a generator of random or sequential numbers ”to apply it to the word“ produce ”but not to the word“ shop ‘. So, Judge Sotomayor reasoned, to be an automatic dialer, in any case, whether he stores or produces numbers to call, the equipment in question must use a random or sequential number generator.

Regarding Congress intent, the Court noted that in 1991 Congress targeted a unique type of telemarketing equipment that risked dialing emergency lines at random or tying up all numbered lines. sequentially to a single entity. In light of the precisely defined intent, Justice Sotomayor explained: “Expanding the definition of an autodialer to encompass any equipment that only stores and dials phone numbers would take a chainsaw to these nuanced issues when Congress only intended to use a scalpel ”. She added that under the broad definition proposed by Mr. Duguid, even an ordinary cell phone could be considered an automatic dialer in everyday use.

Mr. Duguid argued that cell phones are not automatic dialers according to his legal theory because they rely on human intervention. The Court expressly rejected this proposal, finding that all devices require human intervention and that the TCPA does not require such a difficult line-drawing exercise. Instead, the Court held that “a necessary feature of an automatic dialer under Section 227 (a) (1) (A) is the ability to use a random or sequential number generator to store or generate telephone numbers to call ”.

No, the TCPA litigation is not dead

While it is certainly a win for the industry and hopefully a catalyst for a reduction in TCPA litigation, the Facebook The decision does not exclude all avenues of recovery under the TCPA. In footnote 7, the Court provided an example where the equipment could still be considered an automatic dialer if it uses a random number generator to determine the order in which to select phone numbers from from a pre-produced list and stores these numbers to dial later. time. Additionally, the suspension still allows TCPA plaintiffs to make capacity arguments and does not affect the separate prohibition of laws on appeals that use an artificial or pre-recorded voice.

As Dave Schulz, partner at Hinshaw & Culbertson law firm, said, “The ruling is very much within the text of the law, and it is consistent with what a number of circuit courts have ruled. It (the ruling) is expected to have a significant impact on TCPA litigation. Not all of our accounts receivable clients use [Autodialer] in accordance with the decision of the Court. Calls from these companies to customer numbers will not violate the law. The ruling does not affect whether a pre-recorded message was left on a cell phone without consent. These are pretty common claims and we always see them. “

Additionally, there is an open question as to what, if anything, Congress will do in response to the Facebook decision. As Eric Troutman of TCPAWorld pointed out, Facebook’s move could provide a window for the industry to show it can self-regulate on this issue.

InsideARM perspective

Accounts receivable entities should proceed with caution. While the decision is positive, it does not provide a basis for abandoning the security measures that have been so painstakingly put in place. Because TCPA attorneys can dress old TCPA claims in different legal theories or pursue perceived holes left in the Facebook decision, industry players should continue to rely on their current equipment, processes and procedures. In addition, entities should verify that their equipment does not have the capability of storing numbers using a random or sequential number generator or producing numbers using a random number generator or sequential. Since the ruling does not affect the prerecorded messages, reporting entities should continue to seek consent before leaving the prerecorded voicemail messages.


It’s time to abandon monetary policy on autopilot



U.S. Interest Rate Updates

The author is the founder and chief investment officer of Washington Peak Investment Advisors

US Federal Reserve Chairman Jay Powell comes across as a measured and cautious decision-maker. But beneath the gray suit and gentle manners hides a man who is pursuing one of the riskiest political experiments in economic history.

Powell is betting that economic growth will return later this year as the economy reopens, but inflation, after briefly exceeding the target, will obediently drop to around 2% and stay there. So there is no need to increase rates this year, or next year, or the year after. It wasn’t until 2024 that Powell predicted the need for the first hike.

In Powell’s outlook, a growth rate of 6.5% in 2021 and unemployment of 4.5% coexist with a full monetary stimulus, with zero interest rates and annual Fed asset purchases of $ 1.4 billion. If this political position seems incongruous, it is because it is.

Powell’s political gamble encompasses four distinct flaws in reasoning.

First, the risk-return ratio of his experience is completely asymmetric, strongly biased downwards. If Powell is right, we don’t know what the payoff will have been. The downside, however, is incalculable: entrenched inflation like we haven’t seen in decades and the need to curb with aggressive rate tightening. Given asset price inflation, the ensuing collapse would likely be exceptionally severe and prolonged.

Second, the level of vigilance on inflation on the part of a Fed chairman is critical to keeping inflation expectations firmly anchored. An old Wall Street adage is that when the Fed chairmanship starts to panic, investors can relax. Here we have the reverse. Powell’s relaxed stance on inflation shifts concern in the markets.

Not surprisingly, in reaction to Powell’s blustery rejection of inflation risk, inflation expectations (as measured by the spread between nominal 10-year Treasury bonds and debt indexed to inflation). inflation) reached a new high following this monthly policy meeting and press conference.

Third, Powell has repeatedly stated, to justify his relaxed stance, that inflation has surprised lower since the 2008 collapse. This, of course, is true, but perhaps not so relevant. Economists have only recently understood how fiscal policy has been a drag on both growth and inflation in the decade following the financial crisis.

In contrast, total pandemic-related spending, including the just-adopted $ 1.9 billion package, now exceeds $ 5 billion, five times the amount of budgetary outlays for the 2008 recession. -2009.

How do you factor in the impact of the largest peacetime fiscal stimulus in American history, equal to 25% of gross domestic product, into the forecast? Because there is no precedent, it is extremely difficult to do with precision. Common sense suggests the risk of a strong inflation boost, well above the Fed’s 2.4% forecast for 2021.

Doesn’t this incredibly high level of economic uncertainty call for maximum political flexibility?

Fourth and finally, Powell should be especially wary of himself and his own judgments, as he has direct experience of applying the wrong policy prescription. It’s worth revisiting his late-2018 policy blunder to get a glimpse of the current situation.

Powell inherited an interest rate tightening cycle from his predecessor, Janet Yellen, who first hiked rates in December 2015, then waited a full year to pursue three more quarter-point tightening before stopping again. It was a gentle tightening cycle. In October 2017, Yellen estimated that the economy was strong enough to replace the reduction in Fed asset purchases with an outright monthly sale of Fed bond holdings.

But Yellen’s tightening became aggressive under Powell, who became president in February 2018. He hiked rates at each of his first four political meetings and told reporters in December 2018 that the bond sale program was in progress. Classes. “Automatic pilot”. The markets then went into a spin.

What Powell looked like a threat of inflation in 2018 turned out to be a mirage. The lesson learned should have been how hard it is to spot changes in economics, how fallible we are all, how obscure the field of economics is.

The point is not to rub the 2018 policy error in Powell’s face. Misinterpretations of economics are common, which comes back to my main point. With so little knowledge about the dynamics of consumer price changes, there is no need for the Fed to make multi-year promises to keep rates at zero. It’s time to start the conversation about monetary tightening.