March 2, 2021
The Gateway For Payroll Data
High-interest loans have a purpose

Politicians often claim to be helping “the poor” with the policies they enact. But people with the resources to take extended time away from their work and spend months in committee hearings are inherently not “representative” of the people of New Mexico. They need to be reminded that most people live “paycheck to paycheck” and struggle to manage an expense from time to time — more so than New Mexico’s 112 legislators and governor.

People of means generally have equity in their homes or can access government-subsidized loans for college. They would not find loans with interest rates in excess of 36 percent to be attractive, but the reality is that most Americans (and an even higher proportion of New Mexicans) lack $400 in accessible savings. Whether facing a car breakdown or another unexpected expense, working people deserve access to quality credit regardless of income or credit history.

Paving the Payments Future
National Consumer Protection Week 2021 Begins Sunday, February 28

FTC, partners to share advice on scams, identity theft, and other consumer protection issues

The Federal Trade Commission and more than 100 federal, state, and local agencies, consumer groups, and national advocacy organizations, will participate in the 23rd annual National Consumer Protection Week (NCPW), held February 28 – March 6, 2021.

NCPW is a coordinated campaign designed to focus on the importance of keeping consumers informed while providing them with free resources explaining their rights in the marketplace.

This year, the FTC and its partners will participate in a series of events including webinars, Facebook Live events, and Twitter chats throughout the week. These virtual events will cover a range of topics, including avoiding coronavirus scams, government imposters, and cyber fraud. This year’s schedule of NCPW activities include:

COVID-19 paid leave tax credits for Small and Midsize businesses

Small and midsize employers can claim two NEW refundable payroll tax credits.

The paid sick leave credit and the paid family leave credit are designed to immediately and fully reimburse eligible employers for the cost of providing COVID-19 related leave to their employees.

Reduce Jail Populations, Reduce Recession Pain

Local Spending on Jails Tops $25 Billion in Latest Nationwide Data

Costs increased despite falling crime and fewer people being admitted to jail

Historically, the roughly 3,000 local jails operating in the United States have received less public and policymaker attention than prisons.1 But now, the COVID-19 pandemic has put jails—secure correctional facilities, generally operated by county or municipal governments, where people are detained before trial or confined post-conviction for periods usually lasting less than a year—under additional scrutiny.2 Jails rely on close confinement and so are high risk for disease transmission.3 Local governments are also confronting the budget implications of the pandemic and looking for potential savings, especially in costly areas such as corrections.4

New Report From Consumer Financial Protection Bureau Finds Over 11 Million Families At Risk Of Losing Housing

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) issued a report that warns of widespread evictions and foreclosures once federal, state, and local pandemic protections come to an end, absent additional public and private action. Over 11 million families are behind on their rent or mortgage payments: 2.1 million families are behind at least three months on mortgage payments, while 8.8 million are behind on rent. Homeowners alone are estimated to owe almost $90 billion in missed payments. The last time this many families were behind on their mortgages was during the Great Recession.

“We have very little time to prevent millions of families from losing their homes to eviction and foreclosure,” warns CFPB Acting Director Dave Uejio. “At the CFPB, we are working hard to help homeowners and renters as the U.S. begins to turn a painful crisis, caused by the pandemic, into a robust recovery. We know small landlords are struggling, too, with many dipping into savings or using credit cards to make it through the pandemic. We want everyone—homeowners and renters, landlords, and mortgage servicers—to have the tools they need now to avoid unnecessary evictions and foreclosures.”

New FDIC CIO: 'Technology is the best enabler of banking the unbanked'

"I think the vectors of success for dealing with the unbanked are going to be digital in nature," said Sultan Meghji, who worked on an aid mission to help implement digital banking in Africa.

The Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. (FDIC) named Sultan Meghji the regulator's first-ever chief innovation officer last week, a position FDIC Chair Jelena McWilliams has been seeking to fill since she first announced the creation of the agency's Office of Innovation in October 2018.

Meghji, who in 2016 co-founded St. Louis-based fintech Neocova — which provides artificial intelligence (AI), analytics and other cloud-based systems to financial institutions — is tasked with leading the FDIC's efforts to promote the adoption of innovative technologies across the financial services sector.

Fed says 'operational error' caused payment system outage

UPDATE: Feb. 26, 2021: A Fed spokeswoman Thursday specified the error stemmed from "an automated data center maintenance process that was inadvertently triggered during business hours." Such tasks are normally performed after-hours, she told The Wall Street Journal, adding, "This was human error."

Dive Brief:
The Federal Reserve said an "operational error" caused outages at all 14 of its services Wednesday, including Fedwire Funds and its FedACH system.

"Our technical teams have determined that the cause is a Federal Reserve operational error," the central bank said in a post on its website. The Fed said it became aware of the disruption at 11:15 a.m. Eastern time Wednesday.

Boost to household income primes US economy for stronger growth

Personal income rose 10% in January and spending grew 2.4%

The Commerce Department is set to report Friday on how much Americans earned and spent in January -- key indicators of the economy's health. Economists predict that consumer spending grew solidly last month while income soared, the latter by as much as 9.5%. Excluding last April when the first round of government aid reached households, such an increase in income would be the biggest on record dating back to 1959.

Under a $900 billion stimulus program signed by former President Donald Trump in late December, the federal government has been sending one-time cash payments of $600 to most households. It also has been paying jobless workers $300 a week on top of their normal unemployment benefits. Meanwhile, job growth resumed in January after a drop in December. And higher-income households, unable to travel or dine out, have built up a high level of savings.

$10,000? $50,000? What different amounts of student loan forgiveness would mean for borrowers

President Joe Biden has said he supports $10,000 in student loan forgiveness, but members of his own party, including Senator Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, are pushing him to cancel $50,000 per borrower.

Here’s how those different plans would impact the country’s 42 million student loan borrowers.

It remains uncertain whether student loan forgiveness will happen — and if it does, how much of borrowers’ loans will be canceled.

On the campaign trail, President Joe Biden promised to wipe out at least $10,000 for all borrowers, and more for those who attended public colleges or historically Black colleges and universities.

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