November 7, 2019

IRS releases updated income tax brackets for 2020

The IRS on Wednesday released the updated tax brackets for the 2020 filing season, which have been modified to keep pace with inflation.

The 2020 filing season refers to taxes that need to be filed in April 2021.

Single filers
  • 10 percent for incomes up to $9,875
  • 12 percent for incomes over $9,875
  • 22 percent for incomes over $40,125
  • 24 percent for incomes over $85,525

Read more at FOX BUSINESS


Tribal Lending Provides More Opportunities For America's Indigenous Peoples. by Mary Jackson, Forbes Councils Member

For some Native American tribes, online lending has become a critical part of their economic development efforts. Unlike the federal, state and local governments, which fund operations through levying taxes, Native American tribes rely on economic development enterprises to provide essential government services to their members.

Many tribes are also located on geographically isolated reservations that are far from urban population centers. For these tribes, on-reservation business activity is difficult to build and harder still to sustain. With traditional forms of commerce largely unavailable, the internet and e-commerce have emerged as lifelines to them, and Tribal Lending Enterprises (TLEs), specifically, have been a major asset in helping generate revenues to fund their governments and provide for their members.

Lending revenues increase funds for the tribes' operating budgets, helping them to provide essential services like health care, elder care, infrastructure and education. In addition, these businesses create jobs in areas where unemployment has long been rampant, providing meaningful opportunity to tribal members in their own communities. In short, they allow tribes to be more independent and self-reliant, and tribes have created their own enforcement practices and regulatory bodies to ensure they are in the driver's seat. Read more at FORBES


Bank failure in New Jersey is nation's third in a week

Regulators have now closed three banks in the span of a week with the failure late Friday of City National Bank of New Jersey in Newark.

City National Bank of New Jersey was shuttered by the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, which appointed the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. as receiver. City National's operations were sold to Industrial Bank in Washington, D.C. Industrial is a unit of IBW Financial.

City National, a minority depository institution, had about $120.6 million in assets and $111.2 million in deposits on Sept. 30, according to the FDIC.

Industrial, which is also a minority depository institution, agreed to buy essentially all of City National's assets and assume all of the failed bank's deposits.


Bank of America boosts its minimum wage to $20 per hour a year early

  • Bank of America is bumping up by a year the timeline by which it will raise its minimum wage to $20 per hour.
  • The bank raised its minimum hourly wage from $15 to $17 in May and announced it planned to further raise it to $20 by 2021. The $20 rate will now go into effect by the end of the first quarter of 2020.
  • Minimum wage has become a hot-button topic in Washington. The House passed a bill in July to raise the federal minimum wage to $15 per hour. And in April, Rep. Katie Porter, D-CA, took big-bank CEOs to task over pay disparity at financial institutions.

Dive Insight:
Many of the country's largest banks have pledged to raise their minimum wages in recent years. Citigroup boosted its minimum wage in the U.S. in June to $15 per hour. JPMorgan Chase in 2018 agreed to lift its minimum wage to $18 per hour in such cities as New York, San Francisco, Boston and Washington.

However, when asked at the April hearing on Capitol Hill if he would match Bank of America's $20-per-hour pledge, JPMorgan Chase CEO Jamie Dimon defended his bank's $16.50-per-hour minimum wage outside of major cities, saying it's not an "arms race."
Read more at BANKING DIVE

Dreher Tomkies LLP

What is an ACH return? How do I prevent them?

An Automated Clearing House (ACH) return is the equivalent of a bounced check. An ACH return occurs when a registrant provides bank information in order to make a payment; however, the payment is returned by the bank for one of many reasons, the most common of which include:
  • Insufficient funds
  • A stop payment
  • Incorrect account information

To back up a little, ACH payments or eChecks are a form of electronic payment that enables merchants and consumers to send funds between one another.
ACH payments are regulated by the National Automated Clearing House Association (NACHA), which handles the administration and governance of the ACH network. NACHA is also responsible for the set of rules to be followed anytime an ACH payment fails, otherwise known as an ACH return.

As an example, let's consider the case of a consumer that wants to use ACH to pay a utility bill each month. This requires the utility company (the Originator) to authorize its merchant bank (the Originating Depository Financial Institution or "ODFI") to initiate an ACH debit from the customer's bank account. The data for this debit entry is sent through an ACH Operator (usually the Federal Reserve Bank) as part of a batch transfer, usually at the end of the day.
Read more at PAYLIANCE


IRS hikes 401(k) contribution limit for 2020

The IRS on Wednesday issued updated guidelines regarding how much individuals can stash away in qualified retirement plans, like 401(k) accounts.

Each year, these limitations are updated by the Treasury Department to account for cost-of-living increases.

For 2020, the contribution threshold for 401(k) accounts rises to $19,500. That's up from $19,000 in 2019.

Andrew Meadows, senior vice president at Ubiquity Retirement + Savings, told FOX Business that the extra $500 can be really helpful for savers, especially when the benefit of compounding interest is taken into account. Read more at FOX BUSINESS


Online Lenders Alliance Releases New White Paper Outlining The Role Fintech Innovation Plays In Driving Credit Inclusion

Today, the Online Lenders Alliance (OLA) released its latest white paper, which highlights how innovation in the financial technology space is playing a role in driving credit inclusion for the approximately 100 million Americans who currently fall into the non-prime credit category. OLA is the center for lending, technology, and innovation representing the growing online lending industry, which serves consumers who, while creditworthy, lack access to credit options.

The report details the vital role that online lending plays in the economy and in individual consumers' lives, and is guided by the idea that increased innovation, access, and inclusion should be societal goals. When innovation and access are nurtured as key economic values, online lending flourishes. This, in turn, allows more people to be included in the economic activity of the United States and pursue the American Dream.

"This report shows that expansion in fintech also expands the reach to help underserved communities," said Mary Jackson, CEO of the Online Lenders Alliance. "With 100 million Americans currently considered non-prime and nearly four out of every ten Americans unable to cover a $400 emergency expense out of pocket, credit options for these consumers are vitally important."
Read more at Online Lenders Alliance (OLA)

Behind the _Apply_ button

Behind the "apply" button - Weekend Edition - "Build vs. Buy? It's all about Talent, Cost and Infrastructure." by Tim Li

Hello new readers and welcome back to those that follows this blog series. My name is Tim Li, founder the a fan of all things fintech related. My background has been in banking and lending technology for the past decade and a half and I've worked at a few interesting places including big banks and small fintech startups.

Most of the places I've been to struggles with building and maintaining high performing lending platform. There are several reasons why this was and still is the case.

Read more at ALCHEMY


Jobs: Companies struggle to find skilled cybersecurity workers as attacks intensify
  • Cybersecurity firms are having trouble attracting and keeping skilled workers to help protect networks.
  • Some 2.8 million professionals work in cybersecurity, but an additional 4 million trained workers would be needed to close the skills gap and properly defend organizations, according to one study.
  • The labor market is a challenge, and mentality among workers has shifted, with many candidates wanting to work as contractors instead of full-time staff.

WASHINGTON - As internet crimes and abuse stalk the globe, cybersecurity firms are having trouble attracting and keeping skilled workers to help protect networks.

Today some 2.8 million professionals work in cybersecurity around the globe, but an additional 4 million trained workers would be needed to close the skills gap and properly defend organizations, according to the 2019 ISC2 Cyber Security Workforce Study. The global nonprofit is the largest association of certified cybersecurity professionals. The data reveals that in the U.S. alone, nearly a half million workers would be needed to fill the shortage.
Read more at CNBC


Dreher Tomkies LLP is a law firm concentrating in the areas of banking and financial services law.

The Firm routinely advises clients on consumer lending, commercial funding, emerging and mobile payments, Peer-to-Peer/online marketplace lending, home equity lending, motor vehicle lending, first and second mortgage lending, private label and general purpose credit card lending, student lending, retail sales financing, wholesale financing, inventory financing, health care financing, deposit taking, prepaid and smart cards, mobile banking, annuity and insurance sales, debt cancellation and suspension, debt collection compliance, money transmitting, state and federal regulatory compliance, virtual currencies and the licensing and chartering of institutions. Such counseling can include the rendering of advisory opinions, state law outlines and summaries, product design and development and the identification of appropriate product delivery vehicles, as well as program planning, implementation and maintenance.
Read more at Dreher Tomkies LLP


Amscot Financial Gives $20,000 to Support the Take Stock in Children Scholarship Program

Tampa, FL - (October 14, 2019) - Amscot Financial, a leading provider of convenient, consumer-oriented financial services, has donated $20,000 to the Take Stock in Children Scholarship Program, which annually awards thousands of scholarships to under-privileged students throughout the state of Florida.

The Take Stock in Children, Inc. mission is to help low-income children by providing college and vocational opportunities through scholarships, as well as mentoring, tutoring, and long-term support services.    Read more Here


Here's How Much the US Minimum Wage Has Changed Since the Year You Were Born

Although minimum wage is not nearly what it used to be, America still has a long way to go when it comes to compensating its workers. The federal minimum wage is currently at $7.25, a number that has stayed the same since 2009.

But even with no recent changes from the federal government, things appear to be moving in the right direction. In July, the U.S. House passed a bill that would raise the minimum wage to $15 per hour by 2025, which could increase the incomes of 17 million to 27 million minimum wage workers, according to Bloomberg. The rise in the minimum wage seems hopeful, however, due to inflation and the rising cost of living, that amount might not be enough in the future.

While the U.S. government might be working toward increasing the minimum wage, take a look at how minimum wage has dramatically morphed throughout the years.
Read more at GOBankingRates


Millennials are earning 20% less than baby boomers at the same age

The Great Recession was largely to blame.

Despite being better educated, a new study says millennials aren't getting their bang for their buck.

The nonprofit New America published a report that found that the Great Recession was largely to blame in the generational wealth divide.

The report says 18- to 34-year-olds earn less than that age group in the 1980s and a "volatile" flow of income could be why, reports the New York Post.

Read more at FOX BUSINESS



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