September 21, 2021
The Gateway For Payroll Data
Cash Is Disappearing, Stranding the Unbanked in Crisis

An assuring legend is printed on U.S. bills: “This note is legal tender for all debts, public and private.” I have always been glad to know that Uncle Sam is there for me; got my back, so to speak.

But for 14.1 million American adults, that statement is a lie because bills are being pushed aside by bank cards, credit cards, and online payment systems like PayPal. The stranded are the unbanked, the unplasticized.

The unbanked aren’t axiomatically the homeless, the undocumented immigrants, or those who have fallen through the cracks. They are also people with jobs who pay their taxes, and many of whom live exemplary lives but don’t have bank accounts.

That may be because they don’t trust banks or — and this is a big factor for the working poor who are unbanked — they feel having a bank account is too expensive. They have been charged disproportionate fees for bouncing a check, for late payments, or for any of the other creative ways banks go after fees to enhance their earnings, like the high ones for using an ATM.

Paving the Payments Future
Trade groups file appeal from federal district court’s award of summary judgment to CFPB in challenge to payday loan rule. Ballard Spahr LLP

The two trade groups challenging the payment provisions in the CFPB’s 2017 final payday/auto title/high-rate installment loan rule have filed an appeal with the Fifth Circuit from the Texas federal district court’s final judgment granting the CFPB’s summary judgment motion and staying the compliance date for the payment provisions until 286 days after August 31, 2021.

The trade groups have also filed a motion asking the district court to extend its stay of the compliance date until 286 days after the appeal is fully and finally resolved in order to maintain the status quo pending appeal. They ask the district court to rule on their motion at its earliest convenience, and no later than September 27, 2021. In the motion, the trade groups state that they have conferred with counsel for the CFPB and that the CFPB’s counsel has indicated that the CFPB opposes the stay.

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Nonprofits teach financial literacy, which they say is lacking for those in many walks of life

More than 50 percent of those coming through their door “never budgeted and never saved money in their whole life,” according to a nonprofit providing financial literacy education in Springfield.

After a turbulent year-and-a-half pandemic, the importance of budgeting for hard times has never been greater. 

“You hear it out there that you need to have three months or six months of savings put away in order to be able to manage in case of some type of major catastrophe, and I think with the pandemic we sort of saw that... if you didn't have any anything to back up your income, you're going to be in danger of possibly experiencing homelessness and losing your house,” said CPO Vice President of Community & Neighborhood Development Patricia Deck. 

Free to the public and open to those of any income level, CPO’s Making Sense of Money series can give those in Springfield the tools to understand their relationship to money.  

Deadline approaches for taxpayers who requested extensions to file 2020 tax returns
Tax pros: Remind your clients who requested extensions to file their 2020 tax returns of the upcoming Oct. 15 due date. People who asked for an extension should file on or before the extension deadline to avoid the penalty for filing late.

Expanded tax benefits help individuals, businesses give to charity during 2021; deductions up to $600 available for cash donations by non-itemizers.
Borrowers must arbitrate 'rent-a-tribe' payday lending case, 9th Circuit rules

(Reuters) - A divided federal appeals court on Thursday ruled that a private equity investor in an online payday lending enterprise could force borrowers to arbitrate claims they were charged illegal annual interest rates of more than 400% via a so-called "rent-a-tribe" scheme.

The 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals' 2-1 ruling for Haynes Investments, which provided capital to lender Think Finance capital, diverged from decisions by three other appeals courts that have declined to compel arbitration in similar tribal internet payday loan cases.

U.S. Circuit Judge William Fletcher noted that fact in a sharply worded dissent, saying the majority's first-of-its-kind reading of payday lending arbitration agreements will "improperly force vulnerable borrowers into arbitration."

The US cities with the highest loan approval rates

Pent-up demand from the pandemic, low interest rates, and a shortage of properties have created a booming housing market with near record levels of refinance activity. The housing market is expected to stay hot in many cities through the end of the year and into next.

Pent-up demand from the pandemic, low interest rates, and a shortage of properties have created a booming housing market with near record levels of refinance activity. While typical home values have increased by 15% from a year ago, the housing market is expected to stay hot in many cities through the end of the year and into next. According to the most recent loan-level mortgage data from the Home Mortgage Disclosure Act, there were 12.1 million mortgage loan applications approved in 2020 with an overall approval rate of 83.6%.

Mortgage loan approval rates vary by purpose of the loan. Refinancing applications for conventional, single-family loans without a cash-out option, had the highest approval rate, at 86.9%. Home purchase loans had a nearly identical approval rate at 86.3%, and cash-out refinancing applications were just slightly less likely to be approved, with an approval rate of 84.9%. In comparison to these types of loans, home improvement loans were the least likely to be approved—just 61% of home improvement loans were approved in 2020.

Intrusive new plan gives Uncle Sam access to your pocketbook

Never let a crisis go to waste. For years, this has been the model used by power-hungry governments to restrain liberty and limit individual rights.

In the midst of the COVID pandemic, the Biden Administration is hoping the public will be too consumed by dealing with battles over health and safety issues to notice one of the largest, and most intrusive, power grabs in recent memory.

As part of its efforts to “find” funds for his most recent multi-trillion dollar government expenditure package, President Biden and his allies, namely Sen. Elizabeth Warren, are trying to force financial institutions to report on all withdrawals and deposits by individuals.

A provision in the American Families Plan proposed by the President requires your personal bank or credit union or even platforms such as Venmo, Paypal or Facebook, to send a report to the IRS every year with detailed information on how and where you receive and spend your money. The security concerns alone with the wholesale sharing of customers’ financial information to comply with this legislation should be enough to sound the alarms.

Equifax will now offer credit reports in Spanish

Equifax will offer Spanish-translated credit reports for free, both online and via mail, the credit reporting company said Monday.

The move will help more than 62 million Spanish speakers in the U.S. Equifax is the first credit reporting firm to offer the service.

“We recognize there is a clear demand for broader availability of information in Spanish, and we created this Spanish-language report to meet the growing demands,” said Beverly Anderson, president of global consumer solutions at Equifax, in a statement. “We want to expand access to and understanding of credit, especially to vulnerable and historically underserved communities, so that they are empowered to move forward in all aspects of their financial journey.”

The importance of a credit report
Access to your credit report is important in the U.S. as it’s one of the few ways to get any insight into your credit score.

A credit report, issued by credit companies such as Equifax, Experian or TransUnion, is an overview of how you’ve managed and repaid debt. It’s used in calculating your credit score and is needed to secure loans, rent an apartment, buy a house or car, and even be hired for certain jobs.

Renting affordability in the U.S. for minimum wage workers

ALEXIS CHRISTOFOROUS: Florida is set to hike its minimum wage to $10 an hour at the end of this month, bringing it closer to the $15 national minimum wage that many progressive groups have been calling for. But a new report reveals that even $15 may not be enough for a worker to cover their basic living costs, as inflation pushes costs higher across the board. Aarthi Swaminathan, here now, has a story out about how minimum wage workers have been able to afford things like rent, at this point. Aarthi?

AARTHI SWAMINATHAN: Hey, Alexis. Yeah so basically, we were trying to understand if $15 is enough, because in many states that we have seen more than $15 or $16, in certain cities in California, for minimum wage, but we found through this report by LendingTree that is just not enough for people to rent a home. But when you use data from the Department of Labor and Census Bureau data to sort of estimate, if you are paid minimum wage, and you spend about 30% of your monthly income on housing, how much would that let you afford?

Congress Might Allow Frustrated Landlords to Seek Rent Relief

A measure moving through the U.S. House of Representatives would allow landlords to apply without tenant approval for federal aid to cover back rent they are owed.

The bill also would use best practices from states and programs that have successfully curbed evictions to set a national standard for how applications for the federal aid are processed. That would force states to follow U.S. Treasury Department recommendations that some programs have ignored, such as the use of alternative documents to prove income and eligibility.

The main purpose of the bill, supporters say, is to speed up payments from the federal Emergency Rental Assistance Program, which has handed out only 11% of the available funds in six months of operation.

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