August 31, 2021
The Gateway For Payroll Data
Banks see nearly 40% uptick in overdraft fees year over year: S&P

Banks took in nearly 40% more in overdraft fees in 2021’s second quarter than they did in the same three-month span a year earlier, S&P Global Market Intelligence reported Wednesday.

However, that total — $1.97 billion — is still 32.8% less than banks lined up in 2019’s second quarter. The banking industry saw a dip of around 50% in overdraft fees during the first half of 2020 as consumers spent markedly less during the COVID-19 pandemic’s early days, S&P Global said.

The uptick comes as several banks have launched products meant to serve as overdraft alternatives, or have eliminated the fees altogether. A pair of congressional hearings in May furthered the fees’ status as a hot-button issue.

Paving the Payments Future
What The Pandemic Continues To Teach Us About The Financial Needs Of The Underserved

Month after month over the past year-plus, we’ve seen, heard and read about the hardships so many people and businesses have endured due to Covid-19. Many people lost their jobs, many companies went out of business and countless lives were upended because of the virus. Meanwhile, U.S. households added $13.5 trillion in wealth last year – the biggest increase in three decades – with more than 70% of that increase going to the top 20% of earners.

This is indicative of a deep-seeded issue that’s been further illuminated by the pandemic: Access to wealth, opportunity and overall financial well-being is reserved for the few, not the many. As the country reopens, leaders in banking and fintech have the opportunity (and, in my opinion, the responsibility) to explore and challenge ourselves to think and design differently, to deliver financial tools and technologies that serve and empower the underserved, and to level the financial playing field. Allow me to break it down.

What people should and should not do if they get mail from the IRS

Every year the IRS mails letters or notices to taxpayers for many different reasons. Typically, it’s about a specific issue with a taxpayer’s federal tax return or tax account. A notice may tell them about changes to their account or ask for more information. It could also tell them they need to make a payment. This year, people might have also received correspondence about Economic Impact Payments or an advance child tax credit outreach letter.

Here are some do's and don'ts for anyone who receives mail from the IRS:
Population Trends Can Affect State Economies

Population Growth Sputters in Midwestern, Eastern States
Over the past decade, population nationally grew at its slowest rate since the Great Depression, though only three states—Illinois, Mississippi, and West Virginia—lost residents. The slowdown was especially pronounced in the Northeast and Midwest, while the South and West were home to the fastest-growing states. Population trends are tied to states’ economies and government finances and are therefore useful for understanding both.

Results from the once-a-decade official count released this year show that growth was slower in the 2010s than in the 2000s in 38 states—and eight states experienced their most sluggish decade of growth ever.

Regional patterns followed historical trends. Nine of the 15 states with the slowest population growth were in the Northeast and Midwest, while 13 of the 15 states with the fastest population growth were in the South and West. For a half-century, people have gravitated toward Sun Belt states because of employment opportunities, lower costs of living, and warmer climates.

Restrictions on payday loans will hurt low-income borrowers in Golden Valley

Just recently, the Golden Valley City Council took the effort to enact measures that if approved will restrict payday lending.

The Golden Valley City Council took action Aug. 17 to safeguard its community against “predatory lenders” via zoning regulations. An amendment to the city code, which will undergo a second hearing and final round of approvals at an upcoming meeting, will restrict where payday lenders, currency exchanges, pawnshops and precious metal dealers can set up shop.

The new code is the result of a year-long moratorium that prevented new business from the three specialty areas, in an effort to research whether the business types had an effect on crime, safety, and customer health. It restricts the businesses to commercial zones only, and prohibits them from being established within 750 feet of each other. Other parts of the code require visibility of entrances from right-of-way and into store windows.

Optimism turns around for Black small-business owners in Bank of America survey

About 95% of Black business owners reported the pandemic added stress to normal business operations, but about 84% said they expect revenue to increase over the next 12 months.

Black Business Month is wrapping up, and Bank of America recently released the results of its Summer 2021 Black Business Owner Spotlight study, which evaluates the consequences of the pandemic for Black small-business owners (SBOs) and their outlooks regarding economic recovery.

The pandemic has disproportionately affected Black business owners. The Federal Reserve Bank of New York last August released a study that indicated Black-owned businesses were almost twice as likely to shut down as American small businesses, on average. The New York Fed study also revealed that "Black-owned firms are more likely to be located in COVID-19 hot spots" than White-owned ones.

The Bank of America survey was conducted online between March 11 and May 1, based on responses from 300 Black SBOs. The survey reflects some of the hardships the pandemic poses to the African-American community. About 95% of Black business owners reported the pandemic added stress to normal business operations, and 64% said their mental health has been impacted.

Not All Debt Is Bad: 3 Times Getting a Loan Is a Smart Idea

Can debt really be a good thing?

In many cases, borrowing money is considered something to avoid. After all, if you take out a loan, you have to pay interest -- which is an added cost. You're also committing future income to making payments, which gives you less flexibility going forward.

But despite the common misconception that borrowing is always bad news, the reality is that there are situations when getting a loan is a good thing. Here are three of them.

1. When your loan improves your net worth
Sometimes, you can borrow for something that will actually make you wealthier over the long-term.

One of the best examples is a mortgage. A mortgage comes with a very affordable interest rate, and interest can even be deducted from taxes if you itemize when filing returns. Plus, it allows you to buy a house, so you can start building equity, stop wasting money on rent, and hopefully benefit from rising property values.

Millions of tenants face eviction as Supreme Court strikes down moratorium

The Supreme Court ruled against the latest eviction moratorium extension on Thursday, setting up a potential tidal wave of evictions that could put millions of renters on the street. In a 6-3 decision, the court said that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention did not have the authority to continue prohibiting landlords from evicting tenants who are behind on rent.

The Biden administration directed the CDC to extend the ban last month in areas with “substantial” or “high” coronavirus spread. It was originally set to expire nationally on July 31. But the court’s conservative majority held that only Congress could provide that kind of continued relief.

Renters, who are disproportionately lower-income workers, face a precarious situation if Congress does not respond to the ruling.

“Back rent is piling up, rental assistance has been slow to get out, and mom-and-pop landlords that have been on the hook for a year or more may have to make the difficult decision to evict,” said Greg McBride, Bankrate’s chief financial analyst.

Student debt is so inescapable that even those who made payments during the pandemic freeze still owe more money than they originally borrowed

The Education Dept. released data on Navient borrowers who made voluntary payments during freeze.

It found that 63% of them are "underwater," meaning they aren't even $1 less in debt.

Democrats say the student-loan-payment pause isn't enough, pushing for $50,000 in debt cancellation.

President Joe Biden recently extended the freeze on student-loan payments that was set to expire in September to give borrowers an additional four months of pandemic relief.

But for those who used the freeze to pay off their debt, many of them couldn't even make a dent in the amount they initially borrowed.

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