Organization company – Ron Bercume http://ronbercume.com/ Wed, 11 May 2022 13:14:08 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=5.9.3 https://ronbercume.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/10/icon-23-120x120.png Organization company – Ron Bercume http://ronbercume.com/ 32 32 Stripping Wealth on Purpose: The Impact of Predatory Lenders in Memphis – Non Profit News https://ronbercume.com/stripping-wealth-on-purpose-the-impact-of-predatory-lenders-in-memphis-non-profit-news/ Wed, 11 May 2022 13:14:08 +0000 https://ronbercume.com/stripping-wealth-on-purpose-the-impact-of-predatory-lenders-in-memphis-non-profit-news/ Photo by Avel Chuklanov on Unsplash Memphis, according to the 2020 census, is home to approximately 633,000 people, of which 64.5% are African American. As a new report from the Memphis Black Clergy Collaborative (BCCM) and Political Institute of Hope—the political arm of Hope Credit Union, a Delta-based Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI), demonstrates Memphis […]]]>
Photo by Avel Chuklanov on Unsplash

Memphis, according to the 2020 census, is home to approximately 633,000 people, of which 64.5% are African American. As a new report from the Memphis Black Clergy Collaborative (BCCM) and Political Institute of Hope—the political arm of Hope Credit Union, a Delta-based Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI), demonstrates Memphis is also home to an astounding 114 storefronts of predatory lenders. That’s more than one showcase for 6,000 people.

Those 114 storefronts, the report’s authors point out, represent “more than double the number of Starbucks and McDonalds combined” in the entire city (2). This is just one of the conclusions of the two organisations’ new report, entitled High-Cost Debt Traps Widen Racial Wealth Gap in Memphis, which examines at the micro level how the daily extraction of wealth from black Americans occurs in the city of Memphis, Tennessee.

Memphis, as census data also shows, is tied for being the second poorest major city in the nation (500,000 or more), with a 2020 poverty rate 24.6%. By depriving working-class and especially black neighborhoods of assets, predatory interest rates reinforce this poverty. In Memphis, 45% of black households and more than 50% of Latinx households are unbanked or underbanked, compared to 15% of white households (6). People without full banking services are of course most likely to turn to other sources of finance, including predatory lenders.

Memphis in Context: The National Reach of Predatory Lending

To NPQ we have written regularly about the racial wealth gap. Often the focus is on how to build BIPOC wealth. But no one should lose sight of the fact that BIPOC’s wealth is being stripped from communities every day. As Jeremie Greer of Liberation in a Generation wrote in Refuge Strength earlier this year: “The racial wealth gap is a systemic problem, not a product of the personal choices of black people. And no matter how many wealth-creating opportunities we create for black people and other people of color, those efforts will never be effective if we leave the processes of wealth stripping intact.

One of the processes described by Greer is predatory lending – loans with three-digit interest rates. According to a article published by the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, the “payday loan” represents a market of 9 billion dollars. As an economist Jeanette Bennett writes, on average “the typical $375 loan will incur $520 in fees due to repeated borrowing”. If check cashers and related businesses are added, the size of the predatory lending industry is even greater. An estimate puts the number at $19.1 billion. Black and Latino families are disproportionately affected. And as a recent study by Jim Hawkinsprofessor of law at the University of Houston, and Tiffany Pennerrecently graduated from law school, published in the Emory Law Review documents, marketing is biased to attract borrowers of color.

In their paper, Hawkins and Penner found that in Houston, “while African Americans make up only 15.6% of auto title lender customers and 23% of payday lender customers, 34.8% of photographs on the websites of these lenders represent African Americans”. They add that 77.3% of ads in physical locations they surveyed targeted borrowers of color.

How predatory lending extracts wealth from communities

Predatory lenders go by many names, with payday loans, car title loans, and flex loans being the most common. Whatever their name, they have in common three-digit interest rates and coercive repayment mechanisms. In their report, Hope Policy Institute and BCCM describe how these lending mechanisms work:

Payday Loans: In Memphis, under Tennessee state law, a borrower can charge an annual percentage rate (APR) of 460% on a two-week loan. Some states allow even higher interest rates; Texas has the highest in the country, with a 664 percent APR.

What does 460% translate to bi-weekly? In fact, this equates to a fee of just over $17.50 per $100 borrowed. As the report’s authors explain, “Payday lenders gain access to a borrower’s bank account by requiring a post-dated paper check or electronic banking authorization (ACH) as part of the loan transaction. This means that the day a borrower receives their income – whether it is their paycheck, stimulus check, or Social Security check – the payday lender is first in line for repayment” ( 8). These loans can – and of course are regularly – rolled over for a certain price; more than 75% of payday lenders’ fees are generated by people who borrow for 10 consecutive periods of two weeks or more.

Car title loans: These are not guaranteed by a paycheck, but by a vehicle. According to the report’s authors, a typical loan of $300 will incur fees of $66 for 30 days, an effective APR of 267%. Like payday loans, these loans are typically rolled over, according to national data, an average of eight times. In Tennessee, in 2019, the most recent year for which data is available, 45% of car title loans issued that year defaulted and more than 11,000 cars were repossessed (9). Notably, 2019 was, relatively speaking, a good year for car title borrowers in Tennessee. In the six-year period from 2014 to 2019, title lending companies repossessed more than 101,000 cars statewide, an average of nearly 17,000 repossessions per year.

Flexible loans: These were created in Tennessee in 2014 and act like an open-ended line of credit that can be secured by a paycheck or a car. While payday loans are capped at $500, flexible loans allow you to borrow up to $4,000.  Tennessee state law sets the interest rate for flexible loans at 24%; however, borrowers must also pay daily port charges, or “usual charges,” of up to 255%, resulting in an effective combined annual rate of 279% (9).

The geography of lending

As noted above, the marketing efforts of predatory lenders are aimed at attracting borrowers of color. What’s more, when you look at a map of Memphis’ 114 predatory lending storefronts, it’s clear that the location of these storefronts is anything but random, almost all located in neighborhoods heavily populated by people of color.

In addition to tracing the geography of storefront physical location, the report’s authors also trace the geography of storefront ownership. As the report details, 74 of the 114 storefronts are owned by companies headquartered outside of Tennessee, 52 of which are owned by just two companies: Ace Cash Express (Populus Finance Group) of Texas and Title Max (TMX). Financing) of Georgia. This means that more than half of the profits generated by payday lenders, title companies and flex lenders are extracted entirely from the Memphis community and instead end up in the hands of out-of-state investors and managers.

Political solutions

There are many complex issues regarding economic policy. However, the end of three-digit interest rates is not one of them. As BCCM President Reverend J. Lawrence Turner puts it in the report, which he co-authored, the impact of charging interest of up to 460% on loans serves to “effectively entrap workers poor in webs of long-term debt” (7).

It should be noted that today’s predatory lending is a relatively recent development. Like Pew Charitable Trusts has documentedalthough he may appear payday lenders have always been with us, this is not the case. Beginning in 1916, and for many decades, states limited monthly interest rates to 3.5%; annual APR ratings ranged from state to state from 18 to 42 percent. This changed with consumer protection deregulation in the 1970s and 1980s. As Pew puts it, “As this deregulation continued, some state legislatures sought to act in kind for lenders based in the state by allowing deferred presentment transactions (loans made against a post-dated check) and three-digit APRs. These developments set the stage for state-licensed payday loan shops to flourish.

Even today, only 18 states and the District of Columbia cap loans at annual rates of 36% or less. They include many Northeastern states (Vermont, New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Connecticut, New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and Maryland). But many others have also taken action. For example, in the South, Arkansas, West Virginia, North Carolina and Georgia have passed similar laws. In the West and Midwest, similar laws exist in Illinois, Montana, South Dakota, Nebraska, Colorado, and Arizona. A recent American banker The article adds that similar legislation is currently being debated in four other states: Michigan, Minnesota, New Mexico and Rhode Island. There is also pending federal legislation introduced by Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-OH) that would create a maximum rate of 36% nationwide.

The report’s authors add that even if the Senate blocks legislative action, the federal Consumer Financial Protection Bureau could use its regulatory authority to act. “The CFPB,” the authors insist, “has the ability to enact new rules that ensure high-cost lenders, like those in Memphis, don’t endlessly trap people in cycles of unaffordable debt like they currently doing” (7).

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Tip recap: Nothing goes beyond the money: City to launch guaranteed income pilot program – News https://ronbercume.com/tip-recap-nothing-goes-beyond-the-money-city-to-launch-guaranteed-income-pilot-program-news/ Fri, 06 May 2022 17:00:38 +0000 https://ronbercume.com/tip-recap-nothing-goes-beyond-the-money-city-to-launch-guaranteed-income-pilot-program-news/ City Council approved a pilot program at its Thursday, May 5 meeting to provide monthly payments of $1,000 to 85 households for an entire year. Once people are accepted into the guaranteed income pilot, they won’t have to “prove” they still need the help, as many government-run financial aid programs normally require. The pilot project […]]]>

City Council approved a pilot program at its Thursday, May 5 meeting to provide monthly payments of $1,000 to 85 households for an entire year. Once people are accepted into the guaranteed income pilot, they won’t have to “prove” they still need the help, as many government-run financial aid programs normally require.

The pilot project will cost $1.18 million, with $152,000 going to TogetherTogether, a California-based nonprofit that the city has partnered with to administer the program. The remaining funds, which were approved by the Board as an addendum to the fiscal year 2022 budget, will go to eligible families. UpTogether has experience administering direct cash assistance in Austin under the COVID-19 relief efforts in 2020 (when the group was known as Family Independence Initiative), and also works with the St. David’s Foundation on a similar guaranteed income pilot program.

These programs are guided by two fundamental principles: that the poor know better where to spend the money they have and that their needs can change more quickly than traditional public assistance programs (rent assistance, food allowances, childcare subsidies children, etc.) at the top. Austin Equity Director Brion Oaksin a memorandum to Council, referred to research by the city Innovation Office who found that these quick-breaking “financial shocks” are “the main drivers of displacement” because they come on top of other financial pressures – such as overdue bills that rack up late fees or payday loans that generate interest – which can lead to eviction. Unrestricted income support, Oaks wrote, should not be seen as a “gift” of public funds, but as an “essential investment in families and individuals” that can improve their health and wealth to the point where they need less public sector support for the long term.

Mayor Steve Adler alluded to these ideas in his comments before the Board approved the program. “I just think [it’s] so misleading and so false” for people to call government aid programs “gifts,” the mayor said. “The concept being tested is: what if you actually trusted people to get a dollar and spend it in the most meaningful way for their family?” Adler also tied the guaranteed income program, which he hopes staff can expand and sustain in the coming years after the pilot, to the city’s broader effort to reduce homelessness.

Mayor Pro Tem Alison Alter voted against the program, explaining in remarks before the vote that it was a complex decision for her. Alter acknowledged that the program would help families in need, but given the scale of need in the city and the limited financial resources the city can deploy to meet that need, she felt that guaranteed income was not not the right type of program for the city. undertake. “When I look at all the levers I have to help families meet basic needs,” Alter said. “I have not been able to conclude that this investment, at this time, is the best way for me to meet those needs.” Council Members Pool Leslie and Mackenzie Kellywho both have similar reservations about guaranteed income (and, in Kelly’s case, the appropriate role of government), did not attend the May 5 meeting.

Guaranteed income programs have ambitious goals, and although similar programs exist in about 50 US cities, they remain largely untested as a means of reducing poverty. The Council’s vote to create the Austin pilot was postponed from its April 21 meeting in part because of questions about how to gauge its effectiveness; staff intend to work with Urban Institute, a DC-based think tank, to assess the success of the program. This analysis will include interviews with participants and stakeholders to identify potential improvements for future iterations of the program, as well as a “quasi-experimental quantitative analysis” comparing results for program participants and non-participants. Some suggested measures include the ability to cover an emergency expense of $400; the ability to access preventive health care and maintain a healthy diet; and the “ability to live life to the fullest,” which could be measured by how often caregivers prepare meals for children or have time for hobbies and interests.

The CMs are also concerned that Texas law authorizes a guaranteed income program that is not intended to address the specific public policy issues facing the city. Staff intend to focus on qualifying indicators to select participants, such as households at risk of eviction, utility customers who consistently miss payments, or people transitioning from homelessness to housing. with support services.

At present, all the data we have on the success of UpTogether comes from the nonprofit organization itself. At a press conference earlier today, Ivanna Neri, director of UpTogether’s South West Partnership, said preliminary results from the St. David’s Foundation pilot project showed that all 125 program participants used the money to pay for basic necessities like housing, food, clothing and gasoline. Independent analysis of a publicly funded pilot project could go a long way to testing the underlying theory of guaranteed income – that empowering people with unlimited financial assistance can be both an effective and more worthy of reducing poverty.

Do you have something to say ? the the Chronicle welcomes opinion pieces on any topic from the community. Submit yours now at austinchronicle.com/opinion.

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Kansas baseball dominates Omaha as record-breaking Jayhawks program wins No. 2000 https://ronbercume.com/kansas-baseball-dominates-omaha-as-record-breaking-jayhawks-program-wins-no-2000/ Thu, 05 May 2022 12:06:18 +0000 https://ronbercume.com/kansas-baseball-dominates-omaha-as-record-breaking-jayhawks-program-wins-no-2000/ Kansas baseball dominates Omaha as record-breaking Jayhawks program wins No. 2000 Details Kansas Jayhawks Athletics Baseball May 05, 2022 Kansas Baseball won its 2,000th game in program history Wednesday against Omaha by a score of […]]]>

Kansas baseball dominates Omaha as record-breaking Jayhawks program wins No. 2000

Kansas Baseball won its 2,000th game in program history Wednesday against Omaha by a score of 11-3 at Tal Anderson Field. Head coach Ritch Price has led 580 of those 2,000 program wins.

RECORD PITCHERS
Victory: Stone Hewlett (2-1)
Final line: 2.0 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 2 SO

Defeat: Parker Weddle (0-1)
Final line: 2.0 IP, 5 H, 5 R, 2 BB, 3 SO

HOW DID IT HAPPEN
• Omaha (20-22) took a 3-0 lead in the first inning when Eduardo Rosario hit a three-run homer.
• Kansas scored nine runs in the third inning to take a 9-3 lead. KU sent 15 batters to the plate and scored all nine runs on seven hits.
• With the bases loaded and no outs, Caleb Upshaw and Nolan Metcalf each delivered RBI singles to close the gap to 3-2.
• Jack Hammond and Ryan Callahan would then have their own RBI singles before Jake English hit a sacrifice fly to give the Jayhawks a 5-3 lead.
• Payton Allen then hit a two-run single down the middle before Dylan Ditzenberger ended the inning with a two-run double to make it 9-3.
• The Jayhawks added two runs in the fourth inning on RBI singles by Hammond and English.

GAME PLAYER
Caleb Upshaw: After being named Co-Big 12 Player of the Week and Newcomer of the Week, Upshaw went 2-for-4 with an RBI, a run scored and a walk.

GAME NUMBER
2000: In Kansas’ 132nd baseball season, the Jayhawks win their 2,000th game. The program’s first season was in 1880, but KU did not field a team for several years.

CITABLE
“I think everyone who has coached at KU is really proud of the accomplishment that happened today. Two thousand wins for a program, that’s incredible. When you factor in the weather in Kansas when Coach Temple and the young men in front of him were the coaches when they had no indoor facilities at the
time and no grass you must have been tough playing in Kansas at that time I’m just proud of to be associated with it and proud to be part of the program. I would like to commend all the previous coaches and certainly the players because it’s a players game. It’s an incredible achievement. – Head Coach Ritch Price

REMARKS
• Kansas’ nine runs in the third inning were the most in an inning this season.
• Tavian Josenberger extended his scoreless streak to 22 games.
• Upshaw has had at least two hits in six of the last seven games. He has 15 multi-efforts this season.
• Allen had his first career multi-hit match.
• Metcalf went 2 for 4 with one RBI, two runs scored and one walked. He now has 14 multi-hit matches this year.

NEXT
Kansas (19-27) travels to Manhattan for the Dillons Sunflower Showdown against Kansas State beginning Friday at 6 p.m. CT. All three games will air on Big 12 NOW on ESPN+ and live audio will be available on Jayhawk Sports Network.

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Being in debt for years can harm your heart health https://ronbercume.com/being-in-debt-for-years-can-harm-your-heart-health/ Wed, 04 May 2022 17:26:18 +0000 https://ronbercume.com/being-in-debt-for-years-can-harm-your-heart-health/ Share on PinterestStudents on the campus of George Washington University in Washington, DC, U.S., Thursday, Sept. 9, 2021. Stefani Reynolds/Bloomberg/Getty Images Long-term student debt is linked to a higher risk of cardiovascular disease and higher levels of chronic inflammation. In 2020, the average US student debt upon graduation from university or college ranged from $18,350 […]]]>

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Students on the campus of George Washington University in Washington, DC, U.S., Thursday, Sept. 9, 2021. Stefani Reynolds/Bloomberg/Getty Images
  • Long-term student debt is linked to a higher risk of cardiovascular disease and higher levels of chronic inflammation.
  • In 2020, the average US student debt upon graduation from university or college ranged from $18,350 in Utah to nearly $40,000 in New Hampshire.
  • Over-indebted people in their 40s were 90% more likely to have a psychiatric disorder and 31% more likely to have high blood pressure.

Student debt, like other financial stressors, can impact a person’s mental health and well-being and reduce life satisfaction.

But consistently having unpaid student debt — or taking on new student debt — between young adulthood and midlife also increases the risk of cardiovascular disease, a new study has found.

On the other hand, researchers found that adults who could repay their student debt had similar or better heart health than people who had never faced student debt.

“As the cost of college has risen, students and their families have taken on more debt to get to and stay in college,” study author Adam M. Lippert, PhDassistant professor in the Department of Sociology at the University of Colorado at Denver, said in a Press release.

In 2020, the average US student debt at the end of a university or college ranged from $18,350 in Utah to nearly $40,000 in New Hampshire, according to The Institute for College Access and Success.

This is the average, so some students go into much more debt to pay for their studies.

“Unless something is done to reduce the costs of going to college and cancel outstanding debt, the health consequences of rising student debt are likely to grow,” Lippert said.

The researchers used data from the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent to Adult Health (also known as Add Health), which included more than 20,000 adolescents in grades 7 through 12.

Participants were first interviewed in 1994-95 and four more times between then and 2018.

In the last round, around 4,200 people – now aged between 33 and 44 – underwent medical examinations, including providing blood samples.

The researchers calculated each person’s risk of cardiovascular disease based on several factors: gender, age, blood pressure, use of high blood pressure medications, smoking, diabetes, and index of body mass.

This provided an estimate of a person’s risk of developing cardiovascular disease – such as heart failure, heart attack, stroke and coronary death – over the next 30 years.

The researchers also used participants’ blood samples to measure C-reactive protein (CRP), a biomarker of inflammation in the body. This has been linked to continuous or chronic exposure to stress.

In addition, participants answered questions about their student debt in the third and fifth rounds of interviews.

Of these, 37% reported no student debt at these times; 12% had then repaid their student loans; 28% took out student loans during these periods; and 24 percent had lifelong student debt.

The researchers found that people who constantly had student debt or who had taken on debt had higher cardiovascular risk scores than people who had never had student debt or had paid off their loans.

Additionally, people who consistently had student debt had higher measures of chronic inflammation than those who had never had student debt. And those who took on debt had higher levels of inflammation than those who had paid off their loans.

In contrast, people who could repay their college debt had lower cardiovascular risk scores than those who had never incurred university or college debt.

The study was published on May 3 in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine.

Joseph D. Wolfe, Ph.D.associate professor in the Department of Sociology at the University of Alabama at Birmingham, said the findings of the new study are consistent with other research on the impact of debt on health.

“In the work that I have carried out, we see that the health problems linked to over-indebtedness [owing more money than you own in assets] are often due to unsecured debt,” he said.

Unsecured debt is any debt that is not attached to an asset. The most common types are credit cards, payday loans, and medical debt.

This differs from secured debts such as a mortgage or car loan, which are tied to a physical asset.

In a study published last year in Gerontology journals: series BWolfe and his colleagues found that over-indebted people in their 40s were 90% more likely to have a psychiatric disorder and 31% more likely to be diagnosed with high blood pressure.

“Health problems are usually linked to unsecured debt by the stress and worry of financial hardship,” he said.

Taking out a large loan to buy a home may not produce the same stress.

“In my research, I found that [secured] debt is tied to the high value of individuals’ assets,” Wolfe said. “In these cases, debt may even have a positive association with health.”

However, even people with secured debt can experience financial difficulties, such as when they cannot pay their mortgage payments.

In another study, Adrianne Frech, PhDassociate professor at the University of Missouri School of Health Professions, and his colleagues found that having long-term unsecured debt was linked to poor physical health later in life.

In particular, they found that people with persistent debt were 76% more likely to have pain later in life that interfered with their daily activities compared to those without unsecured debt.

This level of pain can even interfere with their ability to work, making it harder for them to pay off their debt.

“The most surprising finding,” Frech added, “is that people who pay off debt earlier in adulthood continue to experience more pain around age 50 than people who had no debt. not guaranteed.”

“So just having had that debt in the past was associated with higher pain,” she said.

This research was published last year in the journal MHS – Population Health.

Although student loans aren’t generally considered unsecured debt, Frech said, for those who don’t finish school, these loans can look like credit card debt or medical debt.

“You have this massive debt that’s not tied to any degree assets,” she said. “So student debt can put someone in a very precarious position if they don’t finish college.”

However, some people who finish university or college still find it difficult to repay their student loans, which has a negative impact on their health.

Wolfe does not view student debt as inherently harmful to health. Instead, he said it depends on the amount of debt and how long people carry that debt.

Similarly, Lippert and his colleagues write that the results of the new study suggest student debt is a “double-edged sword.”

Taking out student loans gives people access to college and university, which can improve heart and overall health — at least for those who can repay their loans.

Other research shows that having a four-year degree is linked to better health and reduce inflammation.

Lippert and his colleagues write that in general, the health benefits of earning a college or university degree outweigh the risks of student loans.

“The negative effects of poverty or not having a college degree outweigh the influence of student debt on cardiovascular health,” Lippert told Healthline.

However, for people who are struggling to repay their debt, these health benefits may be reduced.

“Our results show that those with a college degree had better cardiovascular health than those without a four-year degree,” Lippert said, “although these benefits were weaker for those with a college degree. who manage student loan debt over several years”.

This suggests that helping people maximize the benefits of their time at university or college could reduce the negative health effects of student debt.

“We could solve this problem by making higher education more affordable and improving the pathway between academia and the workforce,” Wolfe said.

Further, “we can create policies that regulate companies that trap individuals for decades of [student] debt,” he added.

Frech believes more needs to be done to help students make the most of the student debt they incur.

“Universities make money by having high enrollments, so they will do whatever they can to get the student to enroll initially,” she said.

“But they won’t always do enough to make students successful or to weed out students who might not be doing the way they should,” she added.

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The biggest pitfalls, mistakes and how to get out of them https://ronbercume.com/the-biggest-pitfalls-mistakes-and-how-to-get-out-of-them/ Mon, 25 Apr 2022 10:45:00 +0000 https://ronbercume.com/the-biggest-pitfalls-mistakes-and-how-to-get-out-of-them/ Consumer debt hit $14.56 trillion after the fourth quarter of 2020, according to the New York Federal Reserve. TEMPLE, Texas — Debt remains a major problem in America, according to the New York Federal Reserve and debt.org, which showed consumer debt in 2020 sitting at nearly 14.5 percent. Lourdes Zuniga, Executive Director of Financial health […]]]>

Consumer debt hit $14.56 trillion after the fourth quarter of 2020, according to the New York Federal Reserve.

TEMPLE, Texas — Debt remains a major problem in America, according to the New York Federal Reserve and debt.org, which showed consumer debt in 2020 sitting at nearly 14.5 percent.

Lourdes Zuniga, Executive Director of Financial health journey of Austin, said the biggest mistake people make is overspending and urges people to know what you have and spend less, even if it makes life a little uncomfortable for a while.

“I think people think I have a credit card and so I’m going to use it and so they manage it,” she said. “Try not to do that. The biggest mistake people make is spending too much and living beyond their means.”

Bill Fay, who writes for debt.org, wrote in a updated part 2021 for the debt site in four main areas:

  • Residence – Total mortgage debt rose to $10.4 trillion, an increase of $1 trillion from the same time in 2017. Fay called the increase in this type of debt overall good.
  • Automatique – Total auto debt in the fourth quarter of 2020 is $1.37 trillion, a jump of $100 billion from the same period in 2018.
  • Student loansThey continue to rise, hitting a record $1.56 trillion in the fourth quarter of 2020, up $100 billion from the same time in 2018. The average student debt in 2020 was $38,792.
  • Credit card – Credit card loans stood at $820 billion in the fourth quarter of 2020, reflecting a drop in consumer spending during the pandemic after this category of debt peaked at $930 billion a year earlier. The good news is that credit card debt actually fell in 2020, the first drop in a major category of consumer debt in seven years.

Zuniga, who has helped many low-income families find financial freedom, gave his biggest advice to anyone in difficulty, avoid predatory lenders at all costs, even if it means you have to buckle up for a longer road. difficult.

“Avoid going for payday loans, avoid predatory loans and some auto loans because these products are designed to never have an end of day,” she said. “Read the fine print and everything they do, you’ll be in this cycle forever.”

The Pew Charitable Trusts, a organization aimed at informing public by providing useful data that illuminates the issues and trends shaping our world, said most payday loans are unaffordable for most borrowers and tied to their pay cycle.

“The average personal loan requires a lump sum repayment of $430 the next payday, consuming 36% of an average borrower’s gross pay,” the organization said on its website. “However, research shows that most borrowers cannot afford more than 5 percent while covering basic expenses.”

According to PEW, the average payday loan borrower is in debt for five months of the year, spending on average $520 fee repeatedly borrow $375. The average fee at a storefront lending business is $55 per two weeks.

Texas does not have maximum loan amount specified that borrowers can take. There is also no fixed maximum financing fee with an APR that can exceed 400%.

Although Zuniga has already urged many people to stop payday loans, she also said people need to stop running away from their financial problems, ask for a free credit file every year and make a plan with who you owe money to.

“People are very forgiving and I don’t think we see that from collectors, but when you contact them and often show good faith, they’re often willing to negotiate with you as long as you’re willing to commit. to them and I will pay you,” she said.

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NYC fights for more land trust community funding https://ronbercume.com/nyc-fights-for-more-land-trust-community-funding/ Thu, 21 Apr 2022 10:01:25 +0000 https://ronbercume.com/nyc-fights-for-more-land-trust-community-funding/ City Council Introduces Series of New Bills Aimed at Improving Access for Nonprofits to Buy Affordable Housing Dressed in bright yellow t-shirts and carrying signs that read “our land, our homes, controlled by us” and “public land for the public good”, several dozen members of New York City’s Community Land Trusts (CLTs) marched staged a […]]]>

City Council Introduces Series of New Bills Aimed at Improving Access for Nonprofits to Buy Affordable Housing

Dressed in bright yellow t-shirts and carrying signs that read “our land, our homes, controlled by us” and “public land for the public good”, several dozen members of New York City’s Community Land Trusts (CLTs) marched staged a rally at City Hall on April 14. They were pushing for Mayor Eric Adams and the New York City Council to add $3 million for CLTs to the city budget for fiscal year 2023. They were joined by elected officials, including City Council members Carlina Rivera, Tiffany Caban, Sandy Nurse and Carmen De La Rosa, as well as controller Brad Lander.

“A lot of our neighborhoods are being swallowed up by these LLCs and corporations,” council member Sandy Nurse said at the rally. “It’s a tool we have and a tool we need and we need to fund it,” she said.

Hannah Anousheh is the only person on staff at East New York CLT, which was trained in the early months of the pandemic, when the recession was increasing foreclosures in the neighborhood. “As we like to say, we were born on fire,” Anousheh told Next City.

The community land trust model keeps land ownership in the hands of a non-profit organization. The non-profit organization typically enters into a 99-year ground lease with residents, who then join a council where they have a say in CLT rules, such as admissions criteria, maintenance fees and resale values. Residents can also build capital while paying the ground lease, but this capital is limited because the resale value of the home is usually capped to keep it affordable for the next resident.

Anousheh says each of the city’s CLTs received about $98,000 in fiscal year 2022. That was not enough to hire several staff members while covering other administrative costs. That’s why last Thursday’s rally calling on the city to double its CLT funding highlighted representation from four of the city’s five boroughs, including the East Harlem El Barrio CLT and the Cooper Square CLT, the city’s first. .

They also include Western Queens CLT, which seeks to reclaim a building originally planned to become Amazon’s headquarters in Long Island City. The Department of Education-owned building could be a hub for local businesses, manufacturing jobs and low-cost artist spaces, say members of the Western Queens CLT. Rally attendees also included the Bronx CLT, an offshoot of the nonprofit Northwest Bronx Community and Clergy Coalition (NWBCCC). East Bronx CLT work to earn the vacant Kingsbridge Armory, among other spaces.

“CLT’s efforts are actually the result of tenant organizing efforts to make sure we don’t just fight back, we think of ways to take control of the buildings,” said Edward Garcia, a NWBCCC community organizer in Next City.

Anousheh says the Eastern New York CLT has yet to acquire land but has been involved in actions to acquire more properties for the land trust, including the Cancel the Tax Lien Sale campaign, which has pushed to the acquisition of tax-delinquent properties by non-profit organizations. . (While legislation allowing the sale of the city’s tax lien for another four years has not been renewedAdams did not commit to transferring indebted properties into land trusts, as East New York CLT wanted.) With additional funding, Anousheh says they could hire more administrative staff, including a director of the organization and a director of operations, to interest more neighbors. CLT.

“In order for each CLT group to independently hire a staff member, we need that,” she told Next City. “It’s on par with other organizing coalitions.”

Carmen De La Rosa is a council member representing District 10, which covers Marble Hill, Washington Heights and Inwood in Upper Manhattan. She told Next City that many longtime members of her district’s predominantly Latino community are hungry for solutions that will stabilize their neighborhoods, which face continued displacement risks. She says the risk has been heightened by controversy rezoning 2018 of Inwood, one of nine city neighborhoods that had been rezoned during Bill de Blasio’s mayoralty. This rezoning was intended to increase housing production by allowing developers to build taller apartments in return for a mandate that 25% of all units remain affordable. But one report of the Association of Neighborhood and Housing Development found that these types of neighborhood-wide rezoning did not produce as high a ratio of affordable units as non-rezoned neighborhoods.

“One of the things that seems really palpable to me is the lack of affordability, especially when rezonings come into play,” De La Rosa told Next City. “So I support the community land trust model because I believe we are returning ownership to our communities.”

While there is sometimes skepticism about community land trusts from communities that have been cut off from formal means of wealth creation like home ownership, De La Rosa says people in her community are more focused on the short-term project of stabilizing their neighborhoods.

“The conversations that are more pronounced in my district are conversations about displacement and gentrification, and not necessarily the conversation about generational wealth creation,” says De La Rosa. “Most people in our community are heavily burdened with rent and can’t even think beyond their homes. They can’t even afford the apartments they live in.

The rally took place on the same day that council member Carlina Rivera presented legislation intended to support community land trusts. Among those bills was the Community Opportunity to Purchase Act, citywide legislation that would alert nonprofits when buildings were being sold and give them the first opportunity to purchase them. Another bill would exempt CLTs from having to advertise on the city’s affordable housing portal, a mandate that has been criticized as costly and burdensome. Because of a 2018 straightunits that are not registered on the housing portal within 18 months are subject to fines of $2,000 per month.

“Local Law 64 imposed a ‘one size fits all’ admissions process that is costly, punitive and inconsistent with CLTs,” Cooper Square Mutual Housing Association director Dave Powell said in a statement supporting the Rivera’s bills.

Last year, the city’s CLTs asked for $1.5 million to be added to the fiscal year 2022 budget, which they has received. While $3 million would allow the city’s CLTs to significantly increase their staff, that money would not be set aside to acquire new properties. Proponents hope to increase their demands in future budgets. Councilman Charles Barron, whose district covers eastern New York, said at Thursday’s rally the real demand should be $1 billion, to laughter and agreement.

“I think we should at least start with $10 million. After getting the $10 million, then the billion dollars. And we can do that because there’s a municipal budget of $104 billion, a state budget of $220 billion,” Barron said. “Damn, you can give us a billion dollars.”

Roshan Abraham is Next City’s housing correspondent and a former Equitable Cities Fellow. He is based in Queens. Follow him on Twitter at @roshantone.

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Fast Loans Hit Class Action Against High-Interest Loan Program “Rent-a-Tribe” https://ronbercume.com/fast-loans-hit-class-action-against-high-interest-loan-program-rent-a-tribe/ Wed, 20 Apr 2022 20:15:28 +0000 https://ronbercume.com/fast-loans-hit-class-action-against-high-interest-loan-program-rent-a-tribe/ New to ClassAction.org? Read our newswire disclaimer Fast Day Loans is facing a proposed class action lawsuit that claims the payday lender violated Indiana law by providing high-interest loans to residents of the state while claiming to be shielded from liability by the sovereign immunity of a Native American tribe. The 17-page lawsuit alleges defendants […]]]>

Fast Day Loans is facing a proposed class action lawsuit that claims the payday lender violated Indiana law by providing high-interest loans to residents of the state while claiming to be shielded from liability by the sovereign immunity of a Native American tribe.

The 17-page lawsuit alleges defendants – WLCC Lending FLD (doing business as Fast Day Loans); Lake Wakpamni Community Society; Wakpamni Lake Community Corporation II (doing business as WLCC II); and three people – set up what is now called a “rent-a-tribe” system.

According to the lawsuit, these types of operations involve a payday lender claiming to be operated by a Native American tribe — in this case, the Oglala Sioux tribe — in order to take advantage of the group’s tribal immunity. In reality, according to the lawsuit, the lender pays the tribe only a small percentage of its revenue in exchange for the use of its name, while being entirely funded and operated by non-tribal members.

The lawsuit claims that the defendants are not, in fact, a “legitimate arm of the tribe” and instead acted “contrary to the wishes of the tribal authorities”. The lawsuit alleges that when two of the individual defendants approached the Oglala Sioux Tribe’s economic development office with a proposal to enter into a high-interest consumer loan business, the tribe refused to do so. It was only after this event that the individuals formed WLCC and WLCC II, the case relays.

According to the complaint, since Fast Day Loans’ operations were conducted on non-tribal lands, including Utah, Texas, Canada and Belize, by non-tribal entities and individuals and did not provide any benefit to the Oglala Sioux Tribe, the Lender is not protected from liability under the Tribe’s Sovereign Immunity.

“Where non-tribal individuals and entities control and manage the substantial lending functions, provide the loan capital necessary to support the operation, and bear the economic risk associated with the operation, they are in effect not being ‘exploited’ by Native American tribes and, therefore, are not protected by sovereign immunity,” the complaint argues.

The lawsuit alleges that Fast Day Loans nonetheless provided loans to Indiana residents at over 700% interest and in violation of state usury laws.

The lawsuit seeks to represent anyone with an address in Indiana who was issued a loan in the name of Fast Day Loans at more than 36% interest on or after the date two years before the lawsuit was filed ( April 19, 2022), or on or after a date four years before the filing of the complaint.

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Some struggle to pay property taxes and turn to high-interest lenders https://ronbercume.com/some-struggle-to-pay-property-taxes-and-turn-to-high-interest-lenders/ Wed, 20 Apr 2022 10:00:00 +0000 https://ronbercume.com/some-struggle-to-pay-property-taxes-and-turn-to-high-interest-lenders/ The surge in property valuations released this month has left many homeowners reeling. As some struggle to pay taxes, 2022 could bring revival to a controversial industry. Property tax lenders offer to help desperate homeowners and businesses protect their properties from foreclosure by offering immediate loans at high interest rates. After years of steady growth, […]]]>

The surge in property valuations released this month has left many homeowners reeling. As some struggle to pay taxes, 2022 could bring revival to a controversial industry.

Property tax lenders offer to help desperate homeowners and businesses protect their properties from foreclosure by offering immediate loans at high interest rates. After years of steady growth, the pandemic has cut its fortunes short, but some see the conditions ripe for a comeback.

“It’s definitely been a good year after a few pretty tough years before,” said Andy Cahill, president of Johnson & Starr, an Austin-based property tax lender that serves homeowners across the state. “I suspect this will be the best year we’ve seen in a long time.”

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How to Live on $15/Hour in Austin https://ronbercume.com/how-to-live-on-15-hour-in-austin/ Thu, 14 Apr 2022 07:00:00 +0000 https://ronbercume.com/how-to-live-on-15-hour-in-austin/ When Ben Patterson, a student at the University of Texas, graduates this spring, he will join the large group of Austinians who earn $15 an hour at their primary workplace. Once the ‘living’ wage that thousands across the country have fought for make the national minimum wageliving on $15/hour is now an almost insurmountable task […]]]>

When Ben Patterson, a student at the University of Texas, graduates this spring, he will join the large group of Austinians who earn $15 an hour at their primary workplace.


Once the ‘living’ wage that thousands across the country have fought for make the national minimum wageliving on $15/hour is now an almost insurmountable task in many urban metros, including Austin’s burgeoning tech hub, where the the median home price has exceeded $600,000 in March.

Charles Mitchell, owner Capital Budgeting Strategies, knows only too well the dangers of recent college graduates. He’s worked with clients with as little as $67 to their name and says living alone is doable, if you’re willing to sacrifice time or luxury.

Here’s the key to budgeting for that $15/hour income in Austin, according to Mitchell:

Find your hidden accommodation gem

In addition to paying off debt early, avoiding high-interest loans like payday loans and sacrificing some of life’s luxuries, Mitchell told Austinia the key is finding cheap housing.

Affordable housing might seem like a piece of old Austin legend, and it would be hard to find housing in Mitchell’s sweet spot – one that costs less than 28% of your monthly budget. For a full-time employee earning $15 per hour, this income amounts to $2,217 per month.

This allocates $620 per month for rent. Selections can be slim — only two resorts offer four-bedroom apartments for this range in Austin on ApartmentFinder.com– but with enough flatmates, some promotions and the help of apartment locators, this is still very little possible in the city.

The more likely scenario, like Patterson’s, could be to find other budget areas to cut. Mitchell recommends skimping on luxuries, like payments for nicer cars, and cutting back on savings if necessary.

“I’ll be able to more or less prioritize paying ‘X’ amount for rent each month,” Patterson said. “Trying not to just spend exuberantly or be impulsive with buying habits…just knowing that in the next few months I have to start being able to dish out an extra $1,000 every month just to live. “

But $15 an hour isn’t enough anymore, even for Austin homeowners. Fae, an Amazon and Whole Foods employee who uses a pseudonym since going against the company media policyhas owned a house in Pflugerville for 20 years, when it was worth half its current value.

But like virtually every other co-worker she knows, Fae has landed several extra jobs in order to make a living in her town.

Get a scramble

Fae recently had a bittersweet celebration as her hourly wage rose to $15.25, a 25-cent increase after three years with the company. Salaries like his put the median salary for Amazon employees at just over $31,000 in Austin, less than half the median salary at Google, Meta and Apple.

“Even full-time (employees), it doesn’t matter, they can’t rely on Amazon as a living job,” Fae told Austinia. “Everyone I know has a side job.”

Even before stepping out on his own, Patterson is preparing to work more for a second stream of income that works with his hours at his current job at Austin FC’s Q2 stadium without spending his energy on the ground.

A side hustle can be essential to pay off loans early and start saving for retirement (Mitchell recommends a high-interest IRA), but it doesn’t have to be too taxing: Mitchell said everything from taking food delivery shifts to having a garage sale could re-energize your budget.

Find a sustainable employer

Patterson didn’t take his current job for the money – rather he hopes his current gig at the stadium could lead to his breakthrough in the sports industry.

Accepting a job with clear upward mobility is key, says Mitchell, and bonuses like matching 401(k) plans or other perks are a huge plus. If your job offers neither and still doesn’t pay enough, it might be time to consider moving to a more sustainable job.

Mitchell said many people don’t learn the financial literacy tools needed to make a living in Austin, and many other people are never informed about available job options. Although Austin hasn’t received much praise for its affordability in recent months, it boasts a booming job market, with more than 58,000 additional jobs created from February 2020 to February 2022.

If your debt is low and you have more time, it is always advisable to invest in a marketable skill online or at a local community college. And while it may not be as desirable, some restaurants and entry-level positions, including McDonald’s, have increased starting salary for some positions over $15 per hour.

Stay or go?

Even with that guidance in place, Fae and Patterson agree that their current salary is hardly achievable in Austin.

“The way rents and real estate keep getting more and more expensive…I don’t think it’s in a sustainable place,” Patterson said. “Even today it’s a bit on the fringes with people still managing to make ends meet.”

“There probably isn’t a week that goes by that I don’t guess if I’m making the right call,” Patterson said. “But I’m also pretty confident, just knowing myself as a person, that I’ll be able to… sort myself out and find a way to make things work.”

Fae plans to stay too, even if other Austinites she knows could be kicked out, as she collects workplace horror stories – and unlivable wages – at Amazon before her line of products from home care does not take off.

“Everybody who’s originally from Austin can’t even afford to live in Austin (anymore) and they’re just moving out,” Fae said. “My question is, how do they get out of this?”

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It’s 2022 and Texas remains one of the worst states for consumers to borrow from payday lenders https://ronbercume.com/its-2022-and-texas-remains-one-of-the-worst-states-for-consumers-to-borrow-from-payday-lenders/ Wed, 13 Apr 2022 12:02:42 +0000 https://ronbercume.com/its-2022-and-texas-remains-one-of-the-worst-states-for-consumers-to-borrow-from-payday-lenders/ Need a $500 loan to hold out until your next paycheck drops? In Texas, the average consumer will have to repay that amount, plus an additional $645 in interest. This is according to a new Pew Charitable Trusts analysis payday loans which ranks Texas among the most expensive states for consumers to borrow money. The […]]]>

Need a $500 loan to hold out until your next paycheck drops? In Texas, the average consumer will have to repay that amount, plus an additional $645 in interest.

This is according to a new Pew Charitable Trusts analysis payday loans which ranks Texas among the most expensive states for consumers to borrow money.

The report is an update of a national analysis of payday loans conducted by the research center eight years ago. Texas state payday loan practices have changed little during this time, Pew’s previous discoveries Pin up.

“We have an extremely expensive payday loan and auto title market,” said Texas Appleseed director Ann Badour. Texas apple seed is a nonprofit advocacy organization that advocates for equitable policies in Texas.

“People make these payments and they never progress in paying down the principal,” Badour said. “Or if they do, it’s insignificant progress. And then they get to a point where they just can’t take it.

Sometimes called small dollar loans, payday loans target Americans who live paycheck to paycheck or are in financial difficulty. Critics of high-cost payday loans say the loans can trap low-income Americans in a cycle of debt.

Pew’s updated analysis of Texas payday lending practices draws on state regulatory data as well as products advertised by the six largest payday lenders in the country. Texas consumers paid $1.5 billion in fees on payday loans in 2021, the analysis found.

The average consumer in Texas who took out a payday loan had to pay 527% of the loan amount in fees and interest on a four-month installment plan. The only states with higher average rates were Utah, Nevada and Idaho.

Pew found that payday lenders tend to charge the maximum amount for loans under state law and only charge lower rates when required to do so.

the payday loan industry and critics of the regulations say they provide vital access to credit where banks choose not to, and that the high fees they charge are appropriate given their customers’ credit histories.

Over the past decade, states like Colorado, Hawaii, Ohio, and Virginia have passed laws strengthening consumer protections accessing payday loans.

In some of those states, pro-consumer protections enacted by lawmakers mean borrowing from the same payday loan companies can cost the consumer up to four times less, according to Pew.

Washington, DC, and 16 states have already ceilings adopted on the loan rates charged by payday lenders.

Dozens of Texas municipalities have taken action to combat predatory lending practices over the past decade, including Houston and Dallas.

Dallas’ law was the first in the state. Passed in 2011, it required payday loan companies to register with the city, prevented them from paying preload fees and limited the number of times a loan could be refinanced.

In response, payday lenders have introduced new types of loans called unsecured personal loans and signature loans with fees similar to those targeted by local regulations.

And in 2019, Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton issued an advisory saying these loans were legally different from loans regulated by local ordinances, such as in Dallas, and that local laws did not apply to them.

In 2021, Dallas tightened its laws include even more types of loans and close the gaps created by the 2019 notice.

In Dallas, payday loan businesses remain commonplace in communities of color and in areas like South Dallas with lower median incomes. A WFAA-TV Survey (Channel 8) recently counted 88 payday lenders south of Interstate 30.

Local ordinances have been somewhat effective in regulating the industry, but payday lenders have continued to introduce new types of loans to evade the rules, Badour said.

Statewide attempts to create broader regulations have failed. In 2013, legislation that would preempt local ordinances and impose caps on payday lenders lack because state legislators could not agree on how to write the regulations.

“It’s true that people need access to credit, and we need to think and be more creative. But a bad product is not the solution,” Badour said.

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