September 28, 2021
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Household net worth rises above $141 trillion, but debt up sharply as well

Household net worth at the end of the second quarter was $141.7 trillion, the Fed reported.

Household debt rose 7.9% as well, while the federal government’s red ink also ballooned.

American households saw another significant jump in net worth as well as hefty increases in debt and credit, the Federal Reserve reported Thursday.

Thanks in good part to a big surge in stock market earnings, total household net worth rose to $141.7 trillion through the second quarter of 2021, the central bank’s Financial Accounts of the United States report showed.

That was good for a $5.85 trillion increase, or 4.3% from the first quarter. Looking back to a year ago, when the nation was in the early days of the Covid-19 pandemic, the net worth total represents a 19.6% increase.

A large chunk of the new wealth came from stocks, which accounted for $3.5 trillion of the gain, while real estate appreciation was responsible for $1.2 trillion.

Paving the Payments Future
Job Growth Lags in State and Local Governments

State and Local Government Job Growth Lags as Economy Recovers

While private employers add workers, multiple factors hold back return of public noneducation jobs

More than a year after the sharpest monthly decline in state and local government employment on record, the return of jobs in much of the public workforce is lagging as the economy recovers from the pandemic-induced recession. Although the private sector and hard-hit public school systems are now regaining lost positions, employment growth in state and local government outside of schools has withered.

The number of noneducation state and local jobs, which make up about half of the public sector and include workers in areas ranging from city parks and city halls to police forces and correctional facilities, is down by more than 400,000 since the pandemic struck, according to the latest federal Labor Department estimates for August. The current total is about equal to the low point after the Great Recession. Surprisingly, employment in this sector has dipped slightly even as the recovery lengthens, down 0.6% since December.

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States with the highest, lowest credit scores

This Midwest state holds top spot for the highest average credit score

Despite Americans facing many challenges due to the coronavirus pandemic, consumers are said to be managing their credit quite well, which comes as a surprise.

Experian, which recently conducted their 12th annual State of Credit report, found that the average U.S. credit scores rose seven points since 2020 to 695, which is the highest point in more than 13 years.

The report explained that many consumers were managing their credit relatively well before the pandemic hit. With the addition of Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act, consumers still seemed to be in good condition in terms of financial well-being.

Also noteworthy, many Americans were ordered to stay home at the beginning of the pandemic, resulting in record savings levels and lower unsecured and total debt levels, as well as lower credit utilization rates and fewer missed payments.

Child Tax Credit Update Portal: The IRS upgraded the Child Tax Credit Update Portal to enable families to update their bank account information so they can receive their monthly Child Tax Credit payment.

Tax relief for employer leave-based donation programs due to COVID-19 pandemic: The IRS extended the tax relief provided in Notice 2020-46 for calendar year 2021 for employers whose employees forgo sick, vacation or personal leave because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
CFPB Nominee Rohit Chopra Could Soon Gain Senate Approval

Rohit Chopra, President Biden's nominee to lead the Consumer Finance Protection Bureau (CFPB), looks to be close to approval by the Senate, The Wall Street Journal reported.

The Senate's 49-48 vote on Tuesday (Sept. 21) for Chopra’s nomination to finally get out of the Senate Banking Committee signals a win over Republican opposition. Chopra’s nomination had been sitting in the Senate Banking Committee since March without being voted on. Chopra is now expected to be nominated finally by next week, WSJ predicts.

Tuesday's vote came down party lines, showing that the CFPB, which was created after the financial crisis of 2008 to 2009, is still a partisan arena. Democrats have hoped for the agency to fight excesses in the finance industry, while Republicans and Wall Street businesses have seen the agency as holding too much influence over the economy and wielding an overabundance of government regulation.

Bank Of America Survey Highlights The Necessity Of Financial Wellness Benefits

Workers are faced with a variety of challenges arising from the COVID-19 pandemic and they want their employers to help them more than ever.

Bank of America released its annual Company Achievement Report, in which the bank surveyed employers and employees to assess how companies are contributing to the general well-being of workers and how benefits are performing to improve employee well-being.

Sixty percent of workers say their mental, physical (54%) and financial (46%) health significantly affects their overall wellbeing, but only a third of employers communicate, according to the Bank of. America survey on these topics more than twice a year.

“Now employers are saying, ‘I have a far greater responsibility here than just offering retirement plans,” says Crain. “Employers are responsible for making savings in healthcare and for delivering more immediate education and programs to help employees in a holistic way.”

How to Think About Credit Invisibility. from Canadian Lenders Association

Recent research by PERC has highlighted the issue of credit invisibility in Canada, defined as “persons with either no account payment history in their credit report (referred to as “no files”) or fewer than three accounts in their credit report (referred to as “thin files);”

In Canada, credit scores are calculated using payment history, outstanding debt, credit account history, recent inquiries and types of credit. However, according to research from Cornerstone Advisors, the ‘on-ramps’ to being credit visible are limited and come with challenges. The most common paths are:

Credit cards:
In general, Canadians under 25 tend to use credit cards at far lower rates. Those in that age group who do have a credit history have the highest percentage of credit scores below 520, according to Equifax Canada.

Collections as a point of entry into a credit system immediately sets the consumer at a disadvantage, since the first thing to identify them is a negative characteristic.

CFPB Report: Consumer Complaint Submission Patterns Vary by Demographic Characteristics of Census Tract

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) today released its first in-depth report analyzing complaint submission patterns by U.S. Census tract. The report, “Consumer complaints throughout the credit life cycle, by demographic characteristics,” finds that the complaints from wealthier communities and communities with higher percentages of white, non-Hispanic residents were more frequently about loan origination and performing servicing, while the complaints from communities of color and lower income communities were more frequently about credit reporting, identity theft, and delinquent servicing. The findings are based on the nearly 1 million consumer complaints submitted to the CFPB between 2018 and 2020. The report uses a novel approach to classify complaints by matching the relevant consumers to census tract-level U.S. Census demographic data. Today’s report highlights the value of consumer complaint data for understanding the varied experiences of consumers using consumer financial products and services.

“Today’s report confirms that the experiences and concerns of communities, with consumer financial products and services, vary by race and wealth,” said CFPB Acting Director Dave Uejio. “Our consumer complaint data is a crucial tool for understanding varying consumer experiences, including across racial and economic divides.”

Democrats eye $10K threshold on IRS data reporting boost

Trade groups and Republican lawmakers have argued the compliance costs and security and privacy risks of the tax-collection measure outweigh the windfall.

Democrats have agreed to taper President Joe Biden’s proposed plan to force banks to report to the IRS inflows and outflows on accounts holding more than $600.

“We’ve reached an agreement to not have the $600,” House Ways and Means Chairman Richard Neal, D-MA, said Thursday, according to Bloomberg. The new figure attached to the reporting requirement may be raised to $10,000, a Democratic aide said.

Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen, in a letter this month, took care to note that the target of the tax-collection effort would be the wealthy.

To that end, “You want to make sure it doesn’t hit the unintended. You don’t want to hit people at the lower end,” Neal told the wire service Thursday.

The Fed is evaluating whether to launch a digital currency and in what form, Powell says

The Fed is pushing ahead with its study into whether to implement its own digital currency and will be releasing a paper on the issue shortly, Chairman Jerome Powell said Wednesday.

No decision has been made on the matter yet, he added, and said the Fed does not feel pressured to do something quickly as other nations move forward with their own projects

The Federal Reserve is pushing ahead with its study into whether to implement its own digital currency and will be releasing a paper on the issue shortly, Chairman Jerome Powell said Wednesday.

No decision has been made on the matter yet, he added, and said the Fed does not feel pressured to do something quickly as other nations move forward with their own projects.

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