Vital Financial Updates Credit – Is it good or bad?

Lubbock bucking statewide homebuyer trends

The Texas Association of Realtors has released its annual report looking at who is buying and selling homes.

The average buyer in Texas is 45 years old, an increase of two years since the last report. Seventy-two percent of buyers are married.

Younger people right now are having difficult really because of college loans, because of college debt. Thats the large part, and then of course credit card debt as well, said Rusty DeLoach, President of the Lubbock Association of Realtors.

First-time buyers in Texas account for 29 percent of all homebuyers, a little below the national average.

Theyre moving into apartments, rental properties, DeLoach said.

According to the report, 28 percent of all homes purchased in Texas between July 2013 and June 2014 were new, a decrease of one percent. In Lubbock, things are a little different.

Realestate is local, so whats happening in Texas is not necessarily whats happening in Lubbock, said Ron Betenbough, Vice President of Betenbough Homes.

It seems like Lubbock is pretty isolated and insulated as far as home sales, said Jeff Seal, home builder with Ventura Homes. We dont have a lot of the upward ticks and also we dont have a lot of the valleys that you see in other markets as far as home sales.

Home builders say more new homes are being purchased in Lubbock.

People see the value and they also see the fact that theyre getting something new instead of something existing, Seal said.

A big reason is the rapid development the city has seen in recent years.

Were selling homes, our sales are up from this time last year, so were pleased with what we see in this market, Betenbough said.

Guest Banker

Rory McGhie, Dime Bank manager for the Carbondale Office, was a recent guest speaker in the financial algebra classes of Nancy Osborne and David Borosky.

The class had just finished a simulation booklet presented by Dime Bank called “How to Do Your Banking.” In this pamplet, the students were introduced to topics like car purchases, investments, budgets, megabyte money, checking accounts, credit ratings and credit and loans and mortgages.

McGhie gave the students lots of real-life information on all of these topics, as well as going into much detail on establishing credit, FICO scores and school loans.

From left: Divine Cintron, Craig Huston, Brad Kerl, Kayla Price, Jeff Arthur, Mackenzie Mancuso, Bob Segeda, Mike Andrews, Steve Wittenbreder, Dan Colachino, Bruce Monestime, Nate McAndrew, Darren Lilly, Paloma Sanchez, Rory, Brianna Whritenhour, Mikayla Lawson, Mackenzie Mang and Alex Wayman.

Share your strategies for saving money on groceries as part of our series on …

Share your strategies for saving money on groceries as part of our series on combating high food prices

FTC Names Two New Defendants in Debt Relief and Credit Repair Scam

Two new defendants have been named in a Federal Trade Commission case against a phony debt relief and credit repair scheme that allegedly deceived consumers about non-existent federal programs to pay off their bills and fix poor credit.

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FTC Files Lawsuit To Shut Down Deceptive Payday Loan Debt Relief Operation

Its probably safe to assume that consumers stuck in the payday loan debt-trap have enough financial issues without being deceived by a company promising to make their debts disappear. There may be one less unsavory debt relief company around after the Federal Trade Commission sued to stop an operation that targeted millions of consumers.

The FTC announced today that it filed its first complaint against an operation that deceptively promised to provide debt relief to consumers with multiple payday loans.

According to the complaint [PDF], starting in 2012 Payday Support Center, LLC also known as PSC Administrative, LLC –┬ábegan using Internet, radio, and telemarketing to entice consumers into enrolling in their financial hardship program by claiming they could negotiate with lenders to reduce payments or eliminate debts.

Advertisements often included statements such as:

“Are payday loans ruining your life? Do you have more payday loans than you’re able to pay back right now? If you have two or more payday cash advance loans, listen closely…”

“All you need is two or more payday loan cash advances to qualify. Even if you’re behind, in collections or have bad credit. We’ll even help you with your internet payday loans…”

During telemarketing calls, operators often told consumers they had been put through a qualifications check and were being allowed to participate in a special financial hardship program.

The FTC complaint describes the following as a typical telemarketing interaction from the company:

Telemarketer: We make sure that they were licensed to do business and we get the loans settled and paid off for you.

Caller: Okay. So, you guys pay my loans for me or do I pay these people?

Telemarketer: Now, you’ll make your payments through our company. The funds that you provide by going through the program will go towards settling and paying off your loan[s] (sic).

Once consumers enrolled in the program, the company would advise them to stop making direct payments to their lenders and instead make payments through the debt relief company.

According to the FTC, consumers were then promised that their debt would be paid off within four to six months if they made bi-monthly payments between $98 and $160. In some cases, the company charged consumers an additional fee of $38 for their services.

While the company allegedly told consumers they could negotiate interest free payment on the loans, the FTC says in reality the company provided little or no debt relief to clients.

Based on PSCs conduct the FTC charged the company with violating the FTC Act, which prohibits deceptive acts and practices, and violating the Telemarketing Sales Rule, which prohibits abusive and deceptive telemarketing practices.

Named defendants in the suit include: PSC Administrative, LLC, formerly known as Payday Support Center, LLC; Coastal Acquisitions, LLC, doing business as Infinity Client Solutions; Jared Irby, individually and as an officer of PSC Administrative, LLC; and Richard Hughes, individually and as an officer of PSC Administrative, LLC.

By filing the complaint, the FTC is seeking to permanently top the operations illegal conduct and an order requiring the company to provide refunds for affected consumers.

FTC Sues to Stop Deceptive Debt Relief Operation [Federal Trade Commission]

County board mulls debt relief

An early Friday morning meeting of the Limestone County Schools Board of Education turned into an early start on the discussion of debt relief for school projects.

Board members had scheduled the emergency meeting to accept bids on an Internet service provider and accept a resolution to hire a construction company to renovate the Clements High School field house, but also ended up contemplating how to move forward with such construction projects in the future.

Debt Relief: Government Sanctions Rs 3.38 cr

The State Government has sanctioned around Rs four crore as debt relief to farmers, except those in the districts of Kottayam, Pathanamthitta and Thrissur.

The amount was sanctioned, the order for which was issued on Friday, was in tune with the proposal submitted by the State Farmers’ Debt Relief Commission which had furnished 12 proposals for releasing the amount recommended as debt relief on individual applications of farmers in the 11 districts.

The total debt relief recommended came to Rs 3,38,87,191 and the government accorded sanction to the director of Agriculture to disburse the same amount. ”The fund is being sanctioned from the non- Plan head. The debt relief fund vary as per the recommendations of the Debt Relief Commission,” said director of Agriculture R Ajith Kumar.

The amount will be deposited in the Special TSB account of the registrar of Cooperative Societies. The registrar will then disburse the amount to the concerned cooperative banks/ societies subject to certain conditions.

“The proposal is being prepared after direct verification of the details furnished by the farmers. In the last budget there was an allocation of Rs 20 crore for providing debt relief to farmers and a portion of the amount is still pending,” said Debt Relief Commission chairman K R Udayabhanu.

Service Charge Dispute leading to Bad Credit

Service Charge Dispute leading to Bad Credit

Money-Saving money

WELCOME BACK, EVERYBODY IT IS MONEY SAVING MONDAY IN OUR LAST HOUR AISHA SHOWS US WHERE SHE GETS HER COUPON. IN THIS HOUR WERE TALKING STRATEGY. I THINK THIS IS PROBABLY THE MOST IMPORTANT THINGS YOU CAN REVIEW, BECAUSE THIS IS WHERE PEOPLE GET OVERWHELMED. THIS IS WHERE PEOPLE GET OVERWHELMED AND ONE OF THE THINGS I LIKE TO DO IS, I LAY OUT DIFFERENT STRATEGIES IN THE WORKSHOP FOR YOUR LIFESTYLE, BECAUSE THIS IS NOT — COUPONING AND SAYING MONEY HAS TO BE CONDUCIVE TO YOUR LIFESTYLE AND ANYBODY CAN DO IT. YOU DONT HAVE TO DO EXTREME AS EXTREME COUPONING. THAT IS REALITY BUT NOT REALITY. YOU CAN DO IT IN SEGMENTS. IT IS VERY IMPORTANT TO KNOW THAT THERE ARE GOING TO BE A LOT OF OPPORTUNITIES TRY DIFFERENT AND NEW THINGS IN ORDER TO MAG YOUR — MANAGE YOUR COUPONS. I TEACH THOSE DIFFERENT WAYS IN THE WORKSHOP. IT COULD BE A FOLDER LIKE THIS A BIGGER FOLDER OR THIS GIANT BOX. OR CAN BE SOMETHING AS SMALL AS, YOU KNOW THIS ONE RIGHT HERE OR IT COULD BE A LITTLE SMALL ACCORDION, SOMETHING YOU CAN STICK IN YOUR PURSE. THERE ARE A LOT OF OPPORTUNITIES FOR YOU TO SAVE AND IT DOESNT HAVE TO BE GUY GANTIC JIESH GIGANTIC. DO YOU RECOMMEND ONE WAY TO SECTION EVERYTHING, THOUGH? AND REALLY THAT DEPENDS ON WHAT METHOD YOU DECIDE TO USE. OKAY, SO FOR INSTANCE, THIS ONE RIGHT HERE, YOU HAVE TO HAVE A LOT OF TIME ON YOUR HANDS BECAUSE YOUR COUPONS HAVE TO BE CUT WEEKLEY WITH THE ONE OVER HERE WHERE YOU JUST HAVE THE FOLDERS YOURE BASICALLY FILING AND THEN YOURE GOING TO CUT AS YOU NEEDED, OKAY. I DO A HYBRID METHOD AND THIS IS MY LITTLE BOX DOWN HERE THAT SOMETHING THAT I DO DOWN HERE WHICH I FILE SOME OF MY INSERTS AND THEN SOME OF THEM I CUT SO THAT I CAN BE PREPARED OR READY FOR THE WEEKLY GROCERY TRIPS THAT I TAKE DURING THE WEEK THAT I CAN GO AHEAD AND BE READY AND HAVE COUPONS IN MY LITTLE CONTAINER. SO AISHA SAYS ALL OF RUSS MAKING ONE BIG MISTAKE WHEN THE WEEKLY COUPONS COME AND YOU CLIP THEM, WERE GOING TO TELL YOU

County educators weigh in on AP bill

“It allows them to take a university level class while still in high school and to be tested for college credit. If they pass the test, it allows them to save on college tuition. It allows them to jump start their college requirements which reduces student debt to repay college loans, which is at an all time high. AP classes are one of the smartest things we have done in education,” Linihan said. “A student who passes the AP test in Oklahoma should demonstrate the same knowledge over the same standards that a student in another state demonstrates, so colleges can gauge their aptitude in granting them the credit.”

Proponents of the bill have lumped AP History curriculum in with the highly-criticized Common Core curriculum.

“To try and tie AP course into the Common Core curriculum argument is ridiculous. It is another attempt by the legislature to write school curriculum without having the experience or knowledge to do so,” Linihan said.

He said if this bill passes it would mean “thousands of students will not be able to earn college credit via AP courses, which could lead to costing them and their families thousands of dollars in tuition that would have otherwise been negated by passing an AP exam.

“Additionally, Rep. Dan Fisher, when asked what the financial impact of the bill would be should it pass, stated it would have no impact. However, the House budget office did a study and concluded that to fulfill the entirety of the bill, should it become a law, would cost nearly $4 million, at a time when the state has a $611 million budget shortfall,” Linihan said.

Adair AP History teacher Drew Cummings called the bill poorly devised and written.

“The current AP US History framework allows for much greater flexibility on the part of the APUSH (AP US History) teacher in the classroom. Instead of having an exhaustive list of details for teachers to teach and students to memorize and regurgitate, the new framework allows teachers to choose important events through US History that satisfy the concept outline and gives them more time to focus on the critical thinking aspect of the class,” Cummings said.

Cummings said HB1380 and SB650 provide a “laundry list” of material “which could never be covered adequately in a single school year to pass an AP exam.”

The new framework, he said, stresses important themes in American history, allowing the teacher to choose what best fits those themes for his/her classroom and students. This, he added, allows the entirety of United States history, from pre-Columbian to present, to be covered while training the students on the ability to analyze primary and secondary sources and synthesize the information into a coherent argument.

“The ability to think critically about a given problem or situation or public policy, and to argue your point of view in a cogent manner backed up with evidence is the underpinning of not only APUSH but any history class, AP or otherwise,” Cummings said.

Kenny Mason, Chouteau Public School Superintendent, is also a supporter of the APUSH course as it is.

“AP courses are also a vital component of the A-F report card that is currently used to grade high schools in our state,” Mason said.

Pryor Public School Superintendent Don Raleigh also called these bills poorly conceived and a “threat to solidly built curriculum.”

Raleigh added that the course is an elective so if any parent found the curriculum questionable they could opt out of the course.

He too said the AP courses provide students an opportunity to earn gain a college-level advantage.

“Anything that threatens that opportunity I would hesitate to embrace,” Raleigh said. “These courses encourage critical thinking and analysis of good and bad parts of history.”

Since all APUSH students take the same course, he said, colleges can better judge student aptitude.

Raleigh said, “What worries me is what could happen next. After we threaten the AP History course, what’s next? The entire AP program?”

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