March 12, 2020
AFSPA Partner
REPAY ensures payment processing is simple, transparent and reliable for every industry we service.

US Treasury likely to push back April 15 tax filing deadline, Report

Tax filing extension would be part of broader fiscal stimulus effort

The Trump administration is likely to extend the April 15 tax deadline as part of an effort to mitigate the effects of the novel coronavirus on U.S. households and businesses, according to an administration official and another person familiar with the matter.

Neither the decision to extend the deadline nor the mechanics of how such an extension might work are yet final.

Normally, individuals must pay their prior year's taxes by April 15 or face penalties and interest charges. People can already get extensions through mid-October to file their returns as long as they have paid on time by mid-April. This decision would go further than that.

Normally, individuals must pay their prior year's taxes by April 15 or face penalties and interest charges. People can already get extensions through mid-October to file their returns as long as they have paid on time by mid-April. This decision would go further than that.
Read more at FOX BUSINESS

AFSPA Partner 
Small-Dollar Loans Offer a Valuable Service; Banks and Credit Unions are No Substitute

When developing policy, it's common sense to listen to those who stand to be the most impacted. Yet attempts to enact a 36 percent annual interest rate cap on short-term, small-dollar loans are being guided by outside interest groups with little regard for the consequences or the financial realities of many Americans. Policymakers should examine history and reflect on how their proposals will impact those who use these loans, rather than let themselves be guided by those with no experience with the product.

Consumer financial services providers serve tens of millions of Americans every year, offering access to a broad range of credit products and financial services that customers value, including short-term, small-dollar loans. Regulating the annual percentage rate (APR) of these loans, which often have terms of two to four weeks, is misguided, as APR is a measure of annual interest and therefore is only meaningful for longer term loans of a year or more.

In addition, efforts to impose a 36 percent annual interest rate cap on these types of loans will restrict access to legal and responsible lenders, while at the same time doing nothing to address the underlying need for them or tackling the very real problem of unlicensed, illegal or otherwise unscrupulous lenders trying to take advantage of consumers. In fact, such poorly written proposals could have the unintended consequence of forcing millions of people to seek out dangerous alternatives from these unregulated lenders. Read more at CFSA


UTAH: Collection agencies would get special treatment under revised Utah bill

A bill in the Utah Legislature this year started out as a plan to stop a high-interest lender that had found a way to jail some borrowers who default on loans and then seize their bail money.

Proposed changes to that bill almost allowed the lender, and some others, to continue the practice - and instead aimed to prevent the state's payday lenders from starting to do the same thing.

Ironically, those payday lenders - often criticized for charging more than 500% annual interest - had testified that the new loan practice is so predatory that even they oppose it. But they came close to becoming the only ones banned from using it. But because of their protests, it appears that now everyone but collection agencies and lawyers seeking collections may be banned.


NEVADA: More details emerge as state's first payday loan database takes shape

A statewide database tracking high-interest, short-term payday lending is beginning to get off the ground and possibly start documenting such loans by summer.

Nevada's Financial Institutions Division - a state regulatory body charged with overseeing so-called payday and other high-interest lenders - published draft regulations last month that flesh out details of the database and what kind of information it will and can collect. In addition to the data, creation of a database will for the first time provide a full assessment on the scope of the industry in Nevada.

Nevada law subjects any loan with an interest rate above 40 percent into a specialized chapter of state law, with strict requirements on how long such a loan can be extended, rules on grace periods and defaulting on a loan and other limitations. The state has no cap on loan interest rates, and a 2018 legislative audit found that nearly a third of high-interest lenders had violated state laws and regulations over the last five years.
Read more at The Nevada Independent


Why lenders still love retail, bankruptcies and all

Asset-based loans are a safe and popular form of financing for lenders. But for distressed retailers it can be a "trap."

In 2019, Barneys New York faced a familiar set of problems for department stores. It had been hit by price wars, e-commerce penetration, declining customer traffic and sales, and increasing rents. Many of its stores were unprofitable, and others were falling short of projections.

By June, revenue was down $34 million year over year, the retailer's restructuring officer said later in court papers. In response to the sales skid, the lenders behind Barneys' asset-based credit facility reduced the amount the retailer could borrow by $5 million. The move was meant to protect the lenders from losses. It also suddenly downsized Barneys' operating funds.
Read more at BANKINGDIVE

Portfolio Acquisitions & Sales by National Debt Holdings

National Debt Holdings works with our creditor partners to acquire, manage, and sell receivables portfolios. We offer comprehensive and data-driven solutions that enable creditors to create immediate cash for their accounts receivable at all stages of the account lifecycle from performing through charge-off.

Portfolio Review and Valuation
National Debt Holdings offers creditors a no-obligation portfolio review and valuation to help them understand their options for debt sales and portfolio servicing. Our team will review accounts, stratify portfolio data, review documents, and conduct due diligence on the portfolio to compile a report that outlines the suggested sale or recovery strategy and provides expectations for liquidating the accounts. Our portfolio review provides creditors with context to their discussions about selling portfolios or placing accounts with agencies and law firms for servicing.

Acquiring Receivables Portfolios
When creditors need to strengthen their financial position or create immediate cash flow, National Debt Holdings offers customized solutions that create a faster cash cycle. Our team quickly reviews portfolios, conducts due diligence on sellers, and creates cash for our creditor partners, all within just a few days. Through our proprietary tools and processes, we make the review and transaction execution process easy and straightforward.
Read more at National Debt Holdings


U.S. banking regulators urge banks to help borrowers struggling due to coronavirus

WASHINGTON, March 9 (Reuters) - U.S. banking regulators said in a joint statement on Monday they would not penalize banks that help borrowers struggling to repay loans due to the coronavirus outbreak, and vowed to provide "appropriate regulatory assistance" to affected institutions.

The statement from the Federal Reserve and others urged banks to work constructively with customers in affected areas, and urged institutions to continue to meet their financial needs. Prudent efforts to provide loan relief would not be criticized by bank examiners, they said. (Reporting by Pete Schroeder; Editing by Leslie Adler and Tom Brown)
Read more at REUTERS


PRO as a service

ValidiFI's Payment Risk Optimizer (PRO) is a platform as a service (PaaS) that scrubs payment files for ACH and card payments, using proprietary payment instrument data services to assess the likelihood of a successful payment.

The safer, easier way to process ACH, RCC, and Card. The PRO is the best software platform for avoiding unnecessary payment declines, interruptions, and the cost associated with contacting customers for new information.
We handle billions of dollars every year for forward thinking businesses and processors to reduce friction, minimize cancellations or non-payment.

Ensuring a payment attempt was valid and would go through successfully used to be a hard and laborious process including, verifying funds, just-in time rescheduled payments, verifying ownership, funds availability, compliance, and presentment timing. So, we made PRO to provide ALL the tools you need to increase your payment processing success rate.

We have built the most powerful pre-processing tool for financial institutions and merchants. Whether you are scheduling recurring payments for your customers, creating a subscription service, an on-demand marketplace, a retail store, gateway, or a FinTech, PRO's simple APIs and unmatched functionality help you validate the money is in the bank before you process a payment, so you create the experience for your users. Companies scale faster and more efficiently by ensuring they receive more of their payments by integrating the PRO.


Here's why you should worry about the turbulent stock market... and why you shouldn't

New York (CNN Business)It's been a wild couple of weeks for investors. Deciding whether to remain calm or freak out about the new normal of thousand-point selloffs isn't easy.

Here's what you need to know:
Stocks are inching closer to bear market territory, having dropped nearly 20% from their record highs in February as the market tries to price in the risk of the global coronavirus outbreak. Sandwiched between the bad days have been sharp rebound rallies that included the Dow's best three days in history in terms of points gained.

So what gives?
Read more at CNN BUSINESS


Coronavirus fears hit the market hard. How much did ordinary Americans lose?

NEW YORK (Reuters) - The deep declines in the U.S. stock market over coronavirus fears the last three weeks have left a dent in retirement portfolios and brokerage accounts, costing on average each person in the United States around $16,000 as of Monday's close before a rebound Tuesday erased some of those losses.

Americans are mostly exposed to stocks via their 401(k) retirement plans.

That does not account for wealth disparity and spread of ownership of stock. According to an analysis of 2016 Federal Reserve data by Edward Wolff, an economics professor at New York University, 84% of stocks owned by U.S. households are owned by the wealthiest 10% of Americans.
Here is a breakdown of stock ownership and how much risk ordinary investors face:
Read more at REUTERS

Dreher Tomkies LLP

Wells Fargo CEO: 'Broken' culture led to consumer abuse scandals

  • Wells Fargo CEO Charlie Scharf said the bank's widespread consumer abuses were the result of the institution's "flawed business model" and "broken" culture during a four-hour congressional hearing on Tuesday.
  • Scharf's hearing in front of the House Financial Services Committee was the first of three this month that focuses on the scandal-plagued bank.The institution has been under scrutiny from lawmakers and regulators since 2016, when Wells Fargo employees were found to have created roughly 3.5 million fake accounts to receive sales-based incentives.
  • Scharf, who joined the bank in October, told lawmakers Wells Fargo's structure was "problematic," and the company's leadership failed its stakeholders. "Our culture was broken, and we did not have the appropriate controls in place across the company," he said.

Read more at BANKINGDIVE


Report: Banks risk 5% loss in revenue to fintechs if they don't change

Banks' use of hidden fees that leverage consumers' money mismanagement is hurting them on trust, but they have an opportunity to change that.

Banks stand to lose 5% of their fee income on average in the years ahead as consumers switch to digital competitors who present themselves as more transparent and mission-oriented, a report by consulting firm Accenture says.

Banks have done a good job offering customers digital options for managing financial transactions and are seeing customers use their apps regularly, but that success is not translating into trust, the report says.

"There is no lack of engagement with banks," Alan McIntyre and Julian Skan, Accenture senior managing directors, say in the report. "The reality is that transaction features are becoming table stakes. Not only is there very little evidence that these innovations build trust in banks' advisors; they are also easily replicated by competitors."
Read more at BANKINGDIVE


Alternative Financial Service Providers Association

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