August 24, 2021
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Banks, finance firms brace for 'recharged' U.S. consumer bureau; fintech, pandemic abuses are priorities

The U.S. Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, “recharged” under a new administration, has more on its agenda than its prominent attention to pandemic abuses and racial inequality in consumer finance. Less noticed in the changeover is the stepped-up focus on fintech practices that could have far-reaching impacts on financial services firms.

The agency, held in check during former President Donald Trump’s administration, has been staffing up its enforcement unit to take on what it termed a “tidal wave” of distressed homeowners. It has issued a series of alerts and reports documenting a surge in consumer-finance abuses in areas such as lending, debt collection, student loan practices and the disbursement of relief funds.

CFPB acting director Dave Uejio said in a staff memo that the agency’s two priorities are “consumers facing hardship due to COVID-19 and the related economic crisis, and racial equity.”

Paving the Payments Future
The Financial Goals of Underbanked and Unbanked Americans

Morning Consult financial services analyst Charlotte Principato delves into the different financial goals of unbanked and underbanked U.S. adults, as well as the alternative financial services each group uses

A plurality of both unbanked and underbanked adults cite creating an emergency fund as an important financial goal to them. 

One in 5 unbanked adults, when presented with a list of financial goals, said none were important to them.

Underbanked and unbanked individuals are often studied together, but new analysis shows just how distinct the groups’ financial goals and usage of alternative financial services are — important information for financial services leaders seeking to serve these communities.

Although creating an emergency fund was the top financial goal for individuals in both groups, underbanked adults are more likely in general to have financial goals than unbanked adults — and to actively be working towards those goals. Twenty-one percent of unbanked adults said they’re not aiming to accomplish any of the 13 financial objectives listed in the survey, compared to 4 percent of underbanked adults.

Families are now receiving August #ChildTaxCredit payments. #IRS reminds families who don’t need to file tax returns to use the Non-filer Sign-up tool to register now.

Understanding Your IRS Notice or Letter

Topic No. 651 Notices – What to Do
Elon Musk says we need universal basic income because 'in the future, physical work will be a choice'

Elon Musk said that with the rise of robots, universal basic income will be necessary in the future.
Musk is working on creating a robot that would do mundane tasks so humans don't have to.
This would take away a lot of service jobs, though, which is why humans would need guaranteed income.

Tesla CEO Elon Musk is stepping behind the universal basic income movement because of the potential rise of robots - in fact, he's working on one himself.

During a Thursday presentation on artificial intelligence (AI) hosted by Tesla, Musk said he is working on creating a "Tesla Bot," or a robot that would do "dangerous, repetitive, and boring tasks" so humans don't have to. But Musk recognized that the creation of this robot might take the place of jobs that people are currently getting paid for, which is why he said a guaranteed income will likely be necessary in the future.

What Income Level Is Considered Middle Class in Your State?

What is considered middle class? It might take more money than you think to reach this income tier. The Pew Research Center defines middle class, or middle-income households, as those with incomes that are two-thirds to double the U.S. median household income.

However, because the cost of living and average income varies so widely from state to state, the income needed to be "middle class" in one state could be much more or less than what it takes to be middle class in another. Using Pew's definition of middle class, GOBankingRates analyzed data from the U.S. Census Bureau's 2018 American Community Survey to determine how much two-, three- and four-person families need to earn in every state to qualify for this classification.

Treasury Plans Permanent Mobile-Friendly and Multi-Lingual Sign-up Tool for Non-Filers, Announces New Sign-up Tool Created by Code for America

FDIC initiative targets unbanked consumers

Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) officials said eight teams have been selected to participate in an endeavor they said seeks to aid banks in meeting the needs of unbanked consumers.

The tech sprint explores new technologies and techniques to attract unbanked consumers to the banking system while sustaining continual relationships.

“As we work to build the banking system of the future, one of our most important challenges is to make certain that banking is open and accessible to every family,” FDIC Chief Innovation Officer Sultan Meghji said. “We look forward to evaluating the ideas of these eight teams as we work to reach that last mile of the unbanked.”

The FDIC’s tech lab, FDITECH, will host a demonstration day next month, with selected teams being slated to make presentations to judges evaluating submission creativity, impact, and market readiness. Submissions will be publicized, and it is anticipated top entries will be selected in several categories. Officials noted the FDIC is not offering monetary prizes associated with the tech sprint.

How COVID Has Changed the Way Americans Shop

Some habits picked up during the long lockdown are likely to continue, experts say

As the nation recovers from the COVID-19 pandemic, it’s baby boomers—not teenagers—who want to hang out at the mall.

“The boomers very much are looking to get back in the stores,” says Greg Mishkin, a vice president at Escalent, a human behavior and analytic advisory firm. "But they’re also the most cautious about doing so because they’re still very concerned about COVID.”

At the same time, “younger generations have less of that concern about the safety behind it, but they don’t have that need to be in the store,” Mishkin says. “So they’re more likely to take the convenience of having things shipped to home. If they need something right away, they’ll get something with curbside delivery.”

COVID-19 changed the way many Americans do things, including shopping. During the more than year-long lockdown, most people got used to ordering nearly everything online, having it delivered, or picking it up at the store. And as the country slowly gets back to normal, some of those habits are likely to continue.

How To Cash a Check Without a Bank Account

According to the latest figures from the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp., over 7 million U.S. households are “unbanked.” That means that no one in the household has a checking or savings account at a bank or credit union. This rate is the lowest since 2009, when the FDIC started tracking the figure.

Millions of Americans don’t have a bank account yet sometimes still need access to banking services, including check cashing. Keep reading to learn how and where to cash a check without a bank account.

How To Cash a Check Without a Bank Account
Even if you don’t have a bank account, that doesn’t mean you won’t be able to cash a check. Here are several options that are available.

The Issuing Bank
You can try to go to the bank that issued the check and see if they will cash it for you. You can go to the nearest branch and go up to the teller and ask.

Home loan sizes remain near record highs

Mortgage rates increased to their highest levels in about a month

The latest statistics show people in the housing market have decided to go big in order to go home.

The size of loans that people are seeking is near record highs.

Overall, demand for mortgage applications declined 3.9% from the prior week as mortgage rates increased, according to the latest survey from the Mortgage Banker's Association.

The seasonally adjusted Purchase Index decreased 1% from one week earlier.

"Despite a second-straight weekly decrease, average loan sizes remain close to record high," said Joel Kan, MBA’s associate vice president of economic and industry forecasting. "This is a continuing sign that sales prices are still elevated, driven by stiff competition leading to accelerating home-price growth."

Alternative Financial Service Providers Association
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