AFSPA
ALTERNATIVE FINANCIAL SERVICE PROVIDERS ASSOCIATION
December 19, 2019

Democratic Senators tell CFPB's Kraninger to 'do your job' in scathing letter

Lawmakers berated Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) Director Kathy Kraninger over her failure to do her job overseeing student loan servicers and blamed her for allowing the massive problems in the student loan system to "fester."

In a new letter seen by Yahoo Finance, Senators Bob Menendez (D-NJ), Sherrod Brown (D-OH), Jack Reed (D-RI), Tina Smith (D-MN), Chris Van Hollen (D-MD), Catherine Cortez Masto (D-NV), and Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) chided Kraninger for her handling of federal student loans and student loan servicers, telling her that after two years of "widespread reports of mistakes and mismanagement by federal student loan servicers, it is time that you accept responsibility, stand up to Secretary DeVos, and do your job."

Kraninger had previously indicated that she had tried to oversee the servicers but was stopped by the Department of Education (ED). On Tuesday, the senators pushed her to challenge Education Secretary Betsy DeVos on that decision.
Read more at YAHOO

INSIDECREDIT

Survey: 69% of Americans Have Less Than $1,000 in Savings

Despite a strong economy, a majority of Americans seem to be struggling to save money, according to GOBankingRates' sixth annual savings survey.

Since 2014, GOBankingRates has polled Americans to find out how much they have in a savings account. This year, GOBankingRates asked more than 800 adults from across the U.S. six questions to learn about their savings habits and what obstacles are keeping them from saving more. The results show that, compared with previous year's findings, there's a growing percentage of people with little to no savings. In 2019, 69% of respondents said they have less than $1,000 in a savings account compared with 58% in 2018.

"It's puzzling to me that if the economy is doing so well and that we're so close to full employment, that consumer confidence is up ... that we haven't seen the numbers move much in people's ability to save," said Bruce McClary, spokesman for the National Foundation for Credit Counseling, which conducts an annual financial literacy survey.
Read more at GOBankingRates


Repay


Over 40% of Consumers in Some States Have Delinquent Household Debt, Data Indicate

Financial stress from debt has subsided somewhat since the Great Recession, but remains high in some places. New data provides insight into how it looks at the state and county level.

Nearly one-third of American consumers have delinquent debt and in some states and counties the share of people with overdue bills is even higher, according to estimates a think tank released on Tuesday that are based on information pulled from millions of credit records.

Nationwide, 31% of people with credit bureau records had debt in collections last year, according to the 2018 figures, which were published by the Urban Institute. The median amount of that debt was $1,639. "The share of consumers with financial distress, despite the fact it's going down since the Great Recession, is still quite high," said Breno Braga, a researcher who worked on the project.

Braga noted that 16% of consumers last year had medical debt in collections based on the analysis. "It's going down, but not going down fast enough," he added, referring to the level overdue medical debt. Read more at ROUTE FIFTY


NDH


Hiring Initiatives, Funding Windfalls and Other Major Takeaways for Federal Agencies in the 2020 Spending Bills

Two bills setting the line-by-line allocation of $1.4 trillion are set to become law later this week.

The House on Tuesday passed two spending bills that would set line-by-line funding levels for agencies across government, allocating $1.4 trillion in all.

The Senate is expected to pass the measures later this week and the White House has said President Trump would sign them into law to avoid a shutdown Friday evening. Under a two-year budget deal Trump signed earlier this year, both defense and non-defense agencies are set to receive significant funding increases for the current fiscal year. A slate of policy changes that will impact federal employees and operations across government also made their way into the final appropriations language, including a 3.1% pay raise for the entire workforce.

Below are 10 major impacts of the funding bills, including hiring pushes, administration proposals accepted and rejected and agencies that will make out particularly well once the measures are signed into law. Read more at GOVEXEC

Alchemy
Payliance

To support our local community this holiday season, the Payliance team donated over 40 toys to the Toys for Tots donation drive this year. A huge thanks to the team for their generosity.
PAYLIANCE 


ValidiFI


How Payments Trends Will Shape Retail In The 2020s

The combination of smartphones and apps have changed how consumers shop and pay over the past decade. But in many ways, the 2010s were the warmup act for the transformation yet to come. Seven trendlines will influence the direction of the new decade, including the rapid acceleration of cash to digital payments, the rise of on-call commerce and the global game-changer of voice. All this, Today in Data.

Data:
  • 370M: Number of new mobile users expected in Southeast Asia in the next five years.
  • $341: Average worldwide cost of a smartphone today.
  • 30 percent: Minimum share of consumers who report owning a voice-activated speaker.
  • 25B: Minimum number of devices that will be capable of interacting with the internet by 2025.
  • 5.1B: Number of people in the world who have a smartphone.

Read more at PYMNTS.COM

Dreher Tomkies LLP

These popular tax breaks were just renewed

The tax breaks that were set to expire include deductions for mortgage insurance, college tuition and big medical bills

WASHINGTON (AP) - A raft of expired and expiring tax breaks, including deductions for mortgage insurance premiums, college tuition and large medical bills, would be renewed under a massive government-wide funding bill approved by the Democratic-controlled House.

The action comes a few days before the second anniversary of passage of President Donald Trump's massive 2017 tax law, his signature legislative achievement. The package of individual and corporate tax cuts that the Republicans muscled through Congress was the most extensive rewrite of the U.S. tax code in three decades, adding an estimated $1.5 trillion to the ballooning deficit.

It provided steep tax cuts for corporations and the wealthiest Americans, and more modest reductions for middle- and low-income individuals and families. While the law slashed the corporate tax rate permanently from 35% to 21%, its tax cuts for individuals expire in 2026.
Read more at MARKETWATCH

Trust Science

Payment Instrument Risk Score from ValidiFI

Analyzing risks
Payment Instrument (PI) Risk Score identifies good and bad borrowers, as well as the compliance risks associated with processing payments.

This non-credentialed service analyzes thousands of attributes to enhance the financial profile of the consumer, helping to mitigate fraud, reduce defaults and reduce returns. The attributes evaluated include transactions, behaviors, and characteristics associated with debit cards, pre-paid cards, credit cards, bank accounts, contributory databases, payment platforms, and payment processors.
Bank Account Validation

The Bank Account Validation Suite
Bank Account Validation (BAV), a comprehensive suite of instant and near real-time data services, assists financial institutions with identity validation, fraud detection, compliance and risk. The suite offers the ability to establish account ownership, current balance, status and the funds availability of a consumers' bank account. Financial institutions use the BAV suite in application, underwriting and ongoing customer management, to improve their payment processing KPI's and ensure regulatory compliance. Read more at ValidiFI

TransUnion
  • Almost half of respondents - 45% - said they have $0 in a savings account. Another 24% said they have less than $1,000 in savings.
  • The top reason respondents said they weren't saving more was because they were living paycheck to paycheck. Nearly 33% said this obstacle was keeping them from saving, and about 20% said a high cost of living prevented them from saving more.
  • The most common place where those with savings put their cash is in a savings account. Although 33% of respondents said they take advantage of a savings account to store their cash, 29% said they don't have any savings.
  • Nearly 70% of Americans Have Less Than $1,000 in a Savings Account
  • Cost of Living Is Keeping Americans Down

microbilt
Advance Financial

Advance Financial: We are in the business of serving others and we are proud to be part of the communities we serve. Every year, our employees visit their local fire or police stations and deliver some holiday treats and cheer! Thank you all for what you do and your service!
Advance Financial

PAYLIANCE

Technology Changing the Skip Tracing Game. Dec 17, 2019 MicroBilt News

Skip tracing has been made more difficult in recent years by a public that has largely left landline phones behind. This makes it infinitely more difficult for skip tracers to track them by old phone numbers and requires new methods to locate phone numbers, addresses, etc. of people who do not necessarily want to be found.

Mobile phones, text messaging, and social media have created new challenges for those in the skip trace industry to overcome. However, a new technology that speeds up the data mining process allows skip tracing to occur faster, deliver more relevant information, and provide results.

MicroBilt offers a variety of products to aid in the skip tracing process so that businesses can go about their debt collection processes quickly and efficiently in an increasingly digital age. Software products that assist in these efforts include:
Read more at MICROBILT


MaxDecisions


The best investment of the decade turned $1 into $90,000

New York (CNN Business) The decade is almost over - and one incredibly volatile investment stood out from all the rest as the best of the 2010s. Want to guess what it was?

Bitcoin.
According to a recent report by Bank of America Securities, if you invested $1 in bitcoin at the start of the decade, it would now be worth more than $90,000.

A bitcoin (XBT) is currently valued at about $7,000. While that's still significantly below its peak price of just under $20,000 two years ago, it's substantially higher than the fractions of a penny that one bitcoin cost at the beginning of the Twenty-Teens.

Bitcoin remains a highly speculative investment, but it has soared during the past decade as it emerged as the most-popular and widely accepted cryptocurrency.
Read more at CNN BUSINESS

LeadSherpa

Banking automation's potential can unlock more than $70B in value by 2025
  • Automation could help North American banks unlock up to $71 billion in value by 2025, according to an Accenture study released last week. That breaks down to $59 billion in tasks that can be augmented by advancing technology and $12 billion in cost savings from tasks that can be fully automated, the study shows.
  • In today's tight labor market, companies can save time by retraining employees rather than recruiting new ones, said Cathinka Wahlstrom, head of Accenture's financial services practice in North America. "This isn't about cutting costs to improve the bottom line, it's about embracing technology to transform the workforce," she said in a press release accompanying the report.
  • The study surfaced as at least two systemically important U.S. banks - BNY Mellon and JPMorgan Chase -? announced public commitments to boosting technology.

Dive Insight:
Banks were projected to invest more than $5 billion in artificial intelligence in 2019, according to a September report by International Data Corp., up from $4 billion last year. Meanwhile, technological advances could cost the banking sector more than 200,000 jobs over the next decade, Wells Fargo Securities predicted in a report the following month.
Read more at BANKING DIVE

LoanPaymentPro

How Payments Trends Will Shape Retail In The 2020s

The combination of smartphones and apps have changed how consumers shop and pay over the past decade. But in many ways, the 2010s were the warmup act for the transformation yet to come. Seven trendlines will influence the direction of the new decade, including the rapid acceleration of cash to digital payments, the rise of on-call commerce and the global game-changer of voice. All this, Today in Data.

Data:
  • 370M: Number of new mobile users expected in Southeast Asia in the next five years.
  • $341: Average worldwide cost of a smartphone today.
  • 30 percent: Minimum share of consumers who report owning a voice-activated speaker.
  • 25B: Minimum number of devices that will be capable of interacting with the internet by 2025.
  • 5.1B: Number of people in the world who have a smartphone.

Read more at PYMNTS.COM

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AFSPA
ALTERNATIVE FINANCIAL SERVICE PROVIDERS ASSOCIATION

Alternative Financial Service Providers Association
757.737.4088

315 Tuscarora St., Lewiston, NY 14092
dan@afspassociation.com
www.afspassociation.com