edition: October 17, 2023

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Paving the Payments Future
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Financial institutions may not use immigration status to illegally discriminate against credit applicants: CFPB

CFPB and Justice Department Issue Joint Statement Cautioning that Financial Institutions May Not Use Immigration Status to Illegally Discriminate Against Credit Applicants

Borrowers report being denied loans because of their immigration status

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) and Justice Department today issued a joint statement that reminds financial institutions that all credit applicants are protected from discrimination on the basis of their national origin, race, and other characteristics covered by the Equal Credit Opportunity Act, regardless of their immigration status. The CFPB and Justice Department are issuing this statement because consumers have reported being rejected for credit cards as well as for auto, student, personal, and equipment loans because of their immigration status, even when they have strong credit histories and ties to the United States and are otherwise qualified to receive the loans.

While the Equal Credit Opportunity Act allows a creditor to consider an applicant’s immigration status when necessary to ascertain the creditor’s rights regarding repayment, creditors should be aware that unnecessary or overbroad reliance on immigration status, including when that reliance is based on bias, may run afoul of the law.

Read more at Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB)

Have a tax law question?

Our #IRS Interactive Tax Assistant has answers.

Watch this short video to learn more:

  • Child Tax Credit: This is available to parents and guardians of children under age of 17. The credit is up to $2,000 per child.
  • Child and Dependent Care Credit: This credit is available to parents and guardians who pay for childcare expenses so they can work or go to school. The credit is up to $3,000 per child under the age of 13 and up to $6,000 for two or more children.
  • American Opportunity Tax Credit: This credit is available to students who are pursuing their first four years of college. The credit is up to $2,500 per year.
  • Lifetime Learning Credit: This credit is available to students who are taking college or vocational courses to improve their job skills. The credit is up to $2,000 per year.

To learn more about the EITC and other tax credits, visit the IRS website or call

the IRS Taxpayer Assistance Center at 1-800-829-1040.

Jose L. Santiago

Public Affairs Specialist

Tax Outreach, Partnership and Education

Top 100 Banks Using Social Media in 2023

The top 100 banks using social media ranked by the aggregate size of their Facebook likes/followers, Twitter followers, YouTube Views and Instagram Followers. If you think your bank should be listed here and it isn’t, please click here.

Top 100 Banks on Facebook in 2023

The top 100 banks on Facebook, ranked by the most likes (or followers), including the number of new Facebook likes added in the previous quarter. If you think your bank should be listed here and it isn’t, please click here.

Top 100 Banks on Instagram Ranked by Most Followers

The top 100 banks using Instagram, ranked by most followers, including new Instagram followers added in the previous quarter and the number of all-time Instagram posts published. If you think your bank should be listed here and it isn’t, please click here.

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Post-pandemic poverty is rising in America’s suburbs: BROOKINGS

This is the time of year when the U.S. Census Bureau publishes its latest data on poverty in the United States, and headlines are presenting a mixed picture. One set of survey results found that the overall number of people living in poverty in 2022 was relatively unchanged from the last two years. In contrast, another survey found that America’s child poverty rate doubled between 2021 and 2022, largely due to the post-pandemic expiration of an expanded child tax credit. The divergent results reflect the fact that the Census Bureau measures poverty in more than one way.

Neither of these results, however, sheds much light on where poverty is rising, falling, or staying the same, and who is most affected. Ten years ago, our book, “Confronting Suburban Poverty in America,” chronicled the rapid rise of poverty in the nation’s suburbs during the 2000s. We showed the challenges the shifting geography of poverty posed for low-income Americans’ ability to access safety net services, transportation, and jobs.

Read more at The Brookings Institution 

Self-Service Check Cashing ATM

Amid financial stress, workers are asking for emergency savings accounts as a job benefit, survey finds

  • Employees report that building savings for an emergency and paying monthly bills are just as stressful as — if not more stressful than — saving enough for retirement, according to a new workplace survey.
  • Passage of the Secure 2.0 legislation last year gives employers more flexibility in their benefit plans.
  • Companies are looking at financial wellness benefits more holistically, with some offering emergency savings and student loan repayment plans.

Concerns about high inflation and a possible recession have not only affected the financial lives of many American workers — they're also now changing the type of workplace perks that employees say they'd value most.

Some employers are taking notice and expanding their offerings. 

Employees report that building savings for an emergency and paying monthly bills are just as stressful as — if not more stressful than — saving enough for retirement, according to the 2023 Workplace Wellness Survey by the Employee Benefit Research Institute.

Read more at NBC5

INFiN's 2023 MoneyTrends Conference, will take place this
October 29-November 1 in the heart of Music City at the JW Marriott Nashville. INFiN is excited to once again unite the entire consumer
financial services center industry at another iconic destination. 

8 Deposit-Raising Tactics You Might Not Be Trying

Are some customers leaving your institution in search of greener pastures (literally)? Many people expect to receive higher interest on their deposits these days. Paying up could retain them and even attract deposits from other banks and credit unions. But entering a rate war with an increasing number of competitors is not the only option. Review these eight steps first.

Is paying up, and up, for deposits the only way for traditional banks and credit unions to compete for deposits as rates rise?

There are alternatives to simply keeping up with aggressive offers from online banks and other competitors.

Banking experts offered the following advice on getting a handle on how to price and promote deposits and how to adjust a deposit strategy as rates rise.

Some reflect fresh thinking on familiar ideas … and a couple come out of left field.

Read more at The Financial Brand

Americans Aren’t Saving Enough for Retirement — and All Taxpayers Might End up Paying for It

Millions of Americans aren't putting away enough money for retirement, and the massive shortfall may wind up costing the country as a whole.

Right now, even millionaires fear that they'll burn through their retirement savings, and most folks are creating retirement goals off their top of their heads. A colossal shortfall in retirement savings is shaping up to be a financial burden that will ultimately affect all taxpayers.

Retirees, taxpayers and both the federal and state governments will suffer at the hands of the looming retirement crisis that research from Pew Charitable Trusts released earlier this year says will cost over $1.3 trillion by 2040.

However, the non-governmental organization suggests that there's an underutilized solution that could relieve much of the burden: state-run individual retirement accounts, or IRAs, which could help workers save for retirement and enable the government to avoid covering the hefty shortfalls.

Read more at MONEY

Managers should tackle benefits education, experts say

Employees say they want to learn about benefits from their managers. Here’s how HR can help.

In the lexicon of phrases that inspire fear and loathing in workers’ hearts, “open enrollment” may certainly be there. 

Studies show that not only is there a gap in employee understanding of benefits, but workers may be pursuing or receiving more information on the subject ineffectively. 

According to a MetLife study on employee benefits trends, 44% of workers didn’t consult anyone when they enrolled in benefits last year. As one might suspect, the study showed this group was less likely to understand their benefits packages, more prone to financial anxiety and more worried about unexpected health issues arising.

Read more at HRDIVE

Dreher Tomkies LLP

Los Angeles looking to stop businesses from banning cash payments

LOS ANGELES (KABC) -- Should restaurants and other businesses be able to turn down cash payments?

The Los Angeles City Council is saying no.

"We have so many people in the city that are unbanked or underbanked. And being a cashless business doesn't allow them to participate in the economy at all," said Los Angeles City Councilmember Heather Hutt.

According to the California Department of Financial Protection and Innovation, about 7% of Californians are unbanked - meaning someone who does not have a bank account.

The Los Angeles City Council unanimously passed Hutt's motion to ban cashless businesses.

"We are seeing that other cities have adapted, and we need to adapt it here in Los Angeles in this huge economy," Hutt said.

Read more at abc7

Federal Agencies Can Improve Access to Credit for Manufactured Home Buyers: PEW

FHA, Ginnie Mae, and Freddie Mac are well positioned to expand loan programs for certain borrowers

Personal property loans—which finance the purchase of a manufactured home but not the land beneath it—are used by more than 4 in 10 manufactured home buyers who take out a loan. These homes are constructed in a factory in one or more sections and driven to land for final installation. The affordability of these factory-built homes compared with housing built on-site has helped make them a key component of efforts to ease the national housing shortage. But the federal government currently does little to foster the availability of safe and affordable personal property loans to finance just the home and not the land beneath it.

That means many buyers face serious challenges getting access to safe and affordable financing for manufactured homes. Importantly, a quarter of personal property loan borrowers own their land, so they are not at risk for rent increases or eviction.

Read more at The Pew Charitable Trusts

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