July 28, 2020
AFSPA Partner


Congress should consider forgiving all 'small' PPP loans, Mnuchin says

  • U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said Congress should consider automatic forgiveness of the smallest loans made under the Small Business Administration's Paycheck Protection Program (PPP), during testimony Friday in front of the House Small Business Committee.
  • "We should consider forgiving all small loans, but would need fraud protection," Mnuchin said when Rep. Steve Chabot, R-OH, asked how the process could be streamlined. Mnuchin, however, did not suggest a threshold that constitutes "small."
  • Mnuchin's comments come as trade groups, including some representing the nation's largest banks, have called for blanket forgiveness for PPP loans under $150,000.

Read more at BANKINGDIVE

AFSPA Partner


Senate passes bill to prevent debt collectors from garnishing stimulus checks

The Senate on Thursday passed bipartisan legislation that would protect coronavirus relief payments from being garnished by banks and debt collectors.

The Senate passed the bill by unanimous consent.

Legislation Congress passed in March, known as the CARES Act, authorized payments for most Americans of up to $1,200 per adult and $500 per child. The CARES Act prevented the payments from being reduced because of unpaid taxes or other debts owed to state and local governments.

However, it did not prevent private debt collectors from garnishing the payments. The bill the Senate passed on Thursday would protect the stimulus payments from being garnished by banks, similar to how Social Security payments are protected from garnishment.
Read more at THE HILL


More than 11 million Americans could be evicted over next 4 months, analysis shows

It was 9:07 a.m. when Cammessia Mitchell started banging on a courtroom door in Southwest Houston.

She thought she was early for her June eviction hearing. Minutes later, she learned that her landlord had already won the case. She is appealing the decision next month, but if she loses Ms. Mitchell could be kicked out of her home of 14 years because of the rent payments she has missed during the pandemic after losing her job.

"The fight started when I said 'Can you have a little more compassion,'" said Ms. Mitchell.

With expanded unemployment benefits and a federal eviction moratorium covering millions of apartments both expiring Friday, more than 11 million Americans could be served with eviction papers over the next four months, according to global advisory firm Stout Risius Ross, LLC, which analyzed Census data on unpaid rent.
Read more at FOX BUSINESS

Dreher Tomkies LLP

Credit Unions Accelerate Modernization With FinTech Collabs

Credit unions continue to drive modernization efforts, often with a focus on their growing business member segment, and often with a FinTech as a co-pilot. This week's look at bank-FinTech collaboration finds more credit unions embracing the collaboration trend to accelerate innovation, while a legacy financial institution turns the traditional bank-FinTech tie-up model on its head.

While FinTechs are often the ones to drive Banking-as-a-Service innovation, Goldman Sachs has recently taken steps to broaden its own BaaS offering as a legacy financial institution.

Earlier this year reports said Goldman was collaborating with technology giants like Amazon to offer financial services to sellers on the platform. Now, reports in ZDNet said Goldman is looking to broaden that effort to roll out a small business lending program in partnership with Amazon and the Apple Card. Read more at PYMNTS.COM


CFPB Consumer Complaints Up 50 Pct During Pandemic

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) has recorded record-high numbers of complaints every month since the pandemic hit in mid-March, according to a press release from the U.S. PIRG Education Fund.

However, according to an analysis from the PIRG Fund released Friday (July 17), the CFPB has shirked its duty somewhat during the pandemic by weakening protections against predatory payday lenders.

"The CFPB was off to a good start after the last economic crisis," said Mike Litt, U.S. PIRG Education Fund's consumer campaign director, according to the release. "But it's looked the other way during the current one."

CFPB complaints during the pandemic are up 50 percent compared to the same time last year, March to June 2019. Read more at PYMNTS.COM


CFPB Takes Action to Help Employers Develop Emergency Savings Programs to Boost Worker Financial Resilience

WASHINGTON, D.C. - The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (Bureau) today announced that it issued a Compliance Assistance Statement of Terms Template (CAST Template) under its Compliance Assistance Sandbox (CAS) Policy to Build Commonwealth, Inc (Commonwealth). Employers interested in creating an automatic savings (Autosave) program as a way for employees to build emergency savings and increase their financial resiliency would then be able to use the CAST Template as the basis for an application to receive approval from the Bureau to create such a program.

Under an Autosave program, new and existing employees would be able to build emergency savings by directing a portion of their earnings to an existing account at a financial institution of their choice. If an employee does not designate an account, the employer would create an Autosave account for the employee at an institution designated by the employer. Autosave programs would be structured similarly to automatic 401(k) retirement savings programs and employees would receive certain advance notice, and have the right to not participate.
Read more at CFPB


Banks are closing credit cards and slashing credit limits amid the pandemic, survey finds

As the economic fallout of the pandemic continues to unfold, banks are rushing to close credit card accounts or slash credit limits to curb their risk.

One in 4 Americans with credit cards said they had an account involuntarily shut down from mid-May to mid-July, while 1 in 3 said their credit limit was reduced, according to a new report from that surveyed 1,003 credit cardholders.

This follows a similar rate of reductions in April and comes as many Americans battle joblessness and uncertain economic futures, but now with reduced access to credit.

"These are really big numbers," said Matt Schulz, chief industry analyst at CompareCards. "It means that an awful lot of Americans had one of their financial security nets taken out from under them in one of the most difficult economic times in American history."
Read more at YAHOO MONEY


45 states just started a new fiscal year. None are celebrating.

In 45 states, you can wish state officials a happy new year. That's because they started new fiscal years a week ago, on July 1. All of them are heading into this new year with reduced revenue, shaky budgets and a lot of uncertainty.

What a difference six months make. Urban Institute fellow Kim Rueben said when the calendar year started, states were feeling optimistic.

They were "predicting more money coming in, then they were forecasting more money possibly than the year before," Rueben said. "And then March happened, and the bottom dropped out."
Read more at MARKETPLACE


Microsoft's work-from-home study learned what you already knew: Meetings are too long and people are working more during the pandemic

Microsoft analyzed the remote work habits of more than 350 of its employees during the pandemic, and published the results of its study last week in the Harvard Business Review.

Microsoft's researchers found that employees' overall time in meetings each week went up by 10% but that they took more short meetings and fewer long ones.

Employees are also working through lunch breaks and later in the evening than they were before.

Microsoft's findings reaffirm that remote employees' schedules are becoming increasingly fluid as the line between work and life gets more blurry.



Fraud concerns loom over move to forgive small business loans

Critics argue that there's not enough information available to vet the proposal and that it could heighten the risk of scams.

The banking industry is pressing Congress to convert millions of emergency small business loans into grants with minimal paperwork - an idea that some lawmakers and watchdog groups warn could expose the government to massive fraud.

The banks are pushing the issue because businesses that took the so-called Paycheck Protection Program loans are beginning to file applications to have the loans forgiven, a time-consuming and confusing process for both lenders and borrowers. The $670 billion program stipulates that the loans can be forgiven if employers kept workers on payroll, a key incentive for businesses to participate. Read more at POLITICO


Existing home sales surge nearly 21% in June - the highest monthly gain on record

  • Sales of existing homes jumped nearly 21% in June compared with May, according to the National Association of Realtors.
  • This is the largest monthly gain since the Realtors began tracking the data in 1968.
  • It came after sharp declines over the previous three months due to the coronavirus pandemic. Sales were still 11.3% lower annually.

Read more at CNBC



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