Commerce – Insite Website Design Wed, 12 Jan 2022 11:29:35 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Commerce – Insite Website Design 32 32 New York City sues T-Mobile for scamming THOUSANDS of customers with bad credit Thu, 11 Mar 2021 06:19:21 +0000

T-Mobile stores in New York City sold old cell phones to ‘thousands’ of locals, claiming the devices were new and causing customers with low credit to pay extremely high interest rates without leave, according to a new trial.

The city’s Department of Consumer and Worker Protection has filed a lawsuit against T-Mobile USA, Inc., its subsidiary, Metro PCS New York, LLC and a total of 43 of the companies’ New York cell phone resellers. .

The lawsuit accuses the company of targeting underprivileged New Yorkers with T-Mobile’s contractless wireless brand “Metro by T-Mobile” and profiting from it with “predatory sales tactics” at Metro stores.

‘At least several dozen [Metro stores] have sold used phones to consumers as if they were new, charged consumers bogus taxes and unwanted services, or enrolled consumers in expensive financial plans without their consent, ”the lawsuit said.

New lawsuit claims T-Mobile stores in New York City sold old cellphones to ‘thousands’ of residents, claiming the devices were new and prompting low-credit customers to pay for expensive financial plans without their consent

The New York City Department of Consumer and Worker Protection said several dozen New York City T-Mobile and Metro stores

The New York City Department of Consumer and Worker Protection said several dozen T-Mobile and Metro stores in New York City “sold used phones to consumers as if they were new.”

The complaint also accuses T-Mobile’s Metro website of misleading customers about its “stingy” return policy, which the lawsuit says advertises a “30-day guarantee” on any purchase from cell phone, but the policy notes in the fine print that returns or exchanges “are only available for a small sub-category of transactions, and only within seven days of purchase.”

“This illegal activity is ubiquitous, spanning 56 locations in New York’s five boroughs, and includes both ‘authorized resellers’ and stores directly operated by T-Mobile’s subsidiary, Metro PCS NY,” the lawsuit says, while noting “deception costs consumers considerably.

Several examples of New Yorkers being abused by T-Mobile or Metro merchants are cited in the lawsuit. T-Mobile customer Kathy Johnson once attempted to return what she believed to be a new iPhone 6 with a broken button to authorized reseller T-Mobile Wireless Broz Inc. in Staten Island, according to the complaint.

Representatives of the store traded in the broken phone for another allegedly new iPhone. But when Johnson brought the device to an Apple store, he was told that he had been given a used phone, not a new one.

Lawsuit accuses T-Mobile Wireless Broz Inc.'s authorized dealer in Staten Island of giving customer a used phone instead of a new one and telling them to 'get the hell out' when she found out and complained

Lawsuit accuses T-Mobile Wireless Broz Inc.’s authorized dealer in Staten Island of giving customer a used phone instead of a new one and telling them to ‘get the hell out’ when she found out and complained

Department of Consumer and Worker Protection Commissioner Lorelei Salas (pictured) said Metro by T-Mobile stores put New Yorkers on board

Department of Consumer and Worker Protection Commissioner Lorelei Salas (pictured) said Metro by T-Mobile stores enroll New Yorkers in financing “that destroys their credit, then traps them with their policy of misleading return and their incomplete receipts “

T-Mobile said it

T-Mobile said it “takes the allegations very seriously” and “continues to investigate so that we can respond to the city”

“When Ms. Johnson confronted Wireless Broz Inc., the salesperson told her to take the f ** k out of the store,” the lawsuit said.

DCWP Commissioner Lorelei Salas said the city’s Metro by T-Mobile stores are recruiting New Yorkers to finance “it destroys their credit, then traps them with their deceptive return policy and incomplete receipts.”

“T-Mobile’s widespread and repeated deception is all the more troubling given that these tactics are particularly harming consumers who are simply looking to find an affordable wireless plan,” Salas told the New York Daily News in a written statement.

T-Mobile did not immediately respond to a request for comment sent by email on Thursday.

The company told the New York Daily News it “takes the allegations very seriously” and “continues to investigate so that we can respond to the city.”

“While we cannot comment on specific claims at this early stage, what we see here allegedly is completely at odds with the integrity of our team and the commitment they have to taking care of our customers every day. “the company said. .

Staples-Office Depot merger: will the third time be the charm? Thu, 11 Mar 2021 06:19:21 +0000

The Staples motto must be “If you don’t succeed at first, try again.” For the third time, the office supplies giant is trying to acquire its rival Office deposit (NASDAQ:ODP), this time offering $40 a share, or $2.1 billion, or about a third of what it was offering six years ago.

The last time – the last two times, in fact – the merger was rejected by the Department of Justice on antitrust grounds, as the agency rejected the threat of rivals like (NASDAQ:AMZN), walmart, Where Target posed to the two retailers.

Even before the COVID-19 pandemic, the two office supply companies were damaged due to their separation as competition ate away at customers and their financial performance.

Staples ended up being private, and at the end of 2019, Office Depot saw its sales drop nearly 10%, and its inventory lost two-thirds of its value.

Since history indicates that regulators aren’t particularly good at picking winners and losers in the market, investors might wonder whether this time around they’ll let Staples and Office Depot merge.

Image source: Getty Images.

Too many stores, too much market share

The problem the two office supply rivals faced in 2016 was that they were overstretched, as many retailers discovered when consumer preferences shifted to online shopping. Staples had over 1,300 locations, while Office Depot had over 1,500 after its merger with OfficeMax several years prior. Both, however, had pledged to close sites.

Today, Staples has 1,068 locations and Office Depot has less than 1,250.

However, the issue that blocked their merger with the regulators was the commercial contract market, from which the two retailers each derived about 40% of their revenue. The government said Staples had 47% of the business-to-business market for Fortune 100 companies, while Office Depot controlled 32%, and it feared the world’s biggest companies would have to pay more for paper, pens and ink if the case is over.

Staples argued that 99% of customers would not be affected by the merger, but the government insisted that megacorporations would be harmed.

The elephant in the room

As expected, however, Amazon turned out to be the significant threat that retailers feared. In 2017, for example, Amazon won a five-year contract with US Communities, a buying cooperative that negotiates on behalf of municipalities and government agencies. The value of the contract was estimated at around $500 million and took business away from Staples and Office Depot as well as independent retailers.

NPD Group estimated that $200 million in sales in the office supplies industry went online in 2019, double the amount from the previous year. While retail stores still provided 85% of the $12.8 billion total, it was e-commerce that saw growth, and which undoubtedly grew last year.

Now Staples and Office Depot are in a much weaker state than they were in the last round, but Staples has said it is ready to sell Office Depot’s business-to-business operations to any Federal Trade Commission-approved buyer and it is qualified to close the deal.

Office Depot, however, said it was not entirely on board with a merger anyway. The Wall Street Journal reported early Tuesday that the retailer rejected Staples’ offer but was open to considering a new deal. Rather than agreeing to a takeover of the entire company, Office Depot may prefer a merger of just the two companies’ retail operations.

A new reality

the retail world is in a completely different place than it was six years ago, a much bleaker landscape than the last time these two companies considered merging. Even though they were considered essential businesses during the pandemic, with much of the business world initially shuttered, Office Depot sales fell 17% in the second quarter of last year.

It announced a reorganization plan that would see it close or consolidate distribution facilities and retail stores while reducing the number of its employees by around 13,100 positions by the end of 2023.

Given that Staples was prepared to eject the B2B portion of Office Depot’s business in the event of a merger, and Office Depot says it is prepared to sell the rest of the business other than the B2B business, but not to merge, this could be a case where third time is the charm and antitrust regulators can finally sign the deal.

This article represents the opinion of the author, who may disagree with the “official” endorsement position of a Motley Fool premium advisory service. We are heterogeneous! Challenging an investing thesis — even one of our own — helps us all think critically about investing and make decisions that help us become smarter, happier, and wealthier.

NBKC Mortgage Review for 2022 Thu, 11 Mar 2021 06:19:20 +0000

NBKC mortgage rates

Looking at the 2019 data, NBKC appears to be offering mortgage rates significantly lower on average than some other major lenders.

And rates have come down a lot since 2019, so your rate is likely to be even lower than shown.

But remember, the rates always vary depending on the person. You will need to get custom estimates to find out which lender is actually the cheapest for you.

30-year average mortgage rates at major banks


Wells fargo

Quicken Loans

chase away

30-year average interest rate, 2019

3.96% 4.22% 4.16% 4.22%

Monthly P&I payment *

$ 950 $ 980 $ 973 $ 980

Median loan costs, 2019

$ 2,865 $ 3,484 $ 5,075 $ 3,440

Median original costs, 2019

$ 275 $ 1,199 $ 2,085 $ 1,279

NBKC makes it easier to preview your mortgage rate than many other lenders. Just answer a few general questions, including:

  • The state where you buy
  • Your probable credit score
  • Type and price of the house
  • Deposit amount

You will typically see five different rates for each type of loan, so you can explore your rate and fee options without having to speak to a loan officer.

Data on average rates and fees comes from public records on rates and fees required by the Home Mortgage Disclosure Act (HMDA).

* Monthly payment of principal and interest based on a house price of $ 250,000, with a down payment of 20%, at each company’s 30-year average interest rate for 2019. Your own rate and your monthly payment will vary.

Check your new rate (January 4, 2022)

NBKC Mortgage Review for 2022

Some mortgage lenders have lots of dissatisfied customers and some relatively few. NBKC is in the second group.

Wherever you look for customer reviews online, NBKC fans are out in force. Its winning formula may be due to a combination of efficient technology and strong human support. Certainly, many noted the efficiency and helpfulness of the NBKC loan officers.

This lender does not have too many disadvantages. But it should be noted that NBKC might not be useful if you have below average credit. This bank generally only accepts mortgage borrowers with a credit score of 620 or higher.

And if you want to speak to a mortgage advisor in person, you might be out of luck. NBKC only has branches in Kansas City.

NBKC charges a standard original fee of $ 675 alongside other third-party closing costs. However, it waives these fees for clients eligible for VA loans.

Work with NBKC

If you’re tech-savvy, working with NBKC should be easy. Its computer systems seem intuitive, easy to use and very efficient. And they come with all the features you would expect from a digital lender.

NBKC has an application for mobile devices, electronic signature capability to sign documents remotely and secure messaging.

These systems are supported by proactive loan officers who are available by telephone to provide information, advice and guidance.

If you prefer, you can call a loan officer early on. They will then send you a loan application form for you to complete and return. And you can do the whole process by phone and mail.

Only those who live near Kansas City are likely to have access to a brick and mortar location.

NBKC Customer Service Reviews

NBKC obtains an A + rating from the Better Business Bureau. This is not very unusual for a good lender, although many are not enough.

What is rare is that NBKC has also received a five out of five star rating in the customer reviews section on BBB.

Mortgage complaints with major lenders


Mortgage arrangements 2019

CFPB 2019 complaints

Complaints for 1,000 mortgage loans

JD Power Rating 2019


22,800 0 0.0 N / A

Wells fargo

1,026,800 342 0.33 837/1000

Quicken Loans

774,900 187 0.24 880/1000

chase away

527,600 188 0.36 850/1000

And it’s not just the BBB site where NBKC shines. It gets the same top rating on the Zillow and Credit Karma websites. It even gets four out of five stars on Yelp.

Unfortunately, it is not possible for us to rank NBKC customer satisfaction side by side with other lenders. This is because he was too small to appear in JD Power Mortgage Client Satisfaction survey.

No customer complaints for NBKC?

A search of the consumer complaints database maintained by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) did not discover any complaints under the names “NBKC”, NBKC Bank “or” National Bank of Kansas City “. Nor has there been any success under “Ameri-National Corporation”, of which the bank is a subsidiary.

Because not a single customer out of several thousand to have filed a complaint with the CFPB seemed incredible.

So we checked with NBKC. And a spokesperson confirmed he was not aware of it. So we have to assume that this lender is truly remarkable (and perhaps unique) in this regard.

Mortgage products at NBKC

If NBKC has a specialty, it’s probably VA loans. VA mortgages are available to veterans and current service members, and offer no down payment and competitive rates.

But NBKC also has a large portfolio of other mortgages. Chances are, you can find what you want among them.

NBKC’s comprehensive mortgage portfolio includes:

  • Fixed rate loans – NBKC offers Fixed Rate Mortgages (FRMs) that last 10, 15, 20 or 25 years – as well as the most popular 30-year choice
  • Adjustable rate loans – Lock in an interest rate lower than standard market rates for the first few years. After that, your interest rate may increase or decrease each year. Most people lock out for five years, known as 5/1 ARM
  • VA loans – Supported by the Department of Veterans Affairs, these zero-down payment loans are available to eligible military and veterans
  • FHA loans – Backed by the Federal Housing Administration, FHA loans have more flexible credit requirements but often require you to pay mortgage insurance
  • Jumbo loans – Allows you to borrow more than most mortgages allow. The current limit for non-jumbo loans is $

Those who are not eligible for a VA loan but have relatively small savings may find an FHA loan attractive. These government guaranteed mortgages require a down payment of as little as 3.5% of the purchase price.

And for buyers who qualify for a conventional loan (a loan guaranteed by Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac), NBKC offers standard fixed rate or variable rate mortgages. Terms of 10 to 30 years are available and NBKC mortgage rates are often competitive.

NBKC does not offer USDA mortgages. These loans, backed by the US Department of Agriculture, provide a zero down payment in qualified rural and suburban areas. If this is right for you, you will need to check with other mortgage lenders.

Find out which loan program you are eligible for today (January 4, 2022)

NBKC Mortgage FAQs

What does NBKC mean?

NBKC stands for “National Bank of Kansas City”. As the name suggests, NBKC only has local physical locations in Kansas City. But mortgage customers can get a loan from NBKC in any state, by applying online or by phone.

Is the NBKC FDIC insured?

NBKC has been insured by the FDIC since its inception in 1999. FDIC insurance protects customers’ deposits with banks like NBKC in the event that the bank goes bankrupt.

Is NBKC Bank legitimate?

It may seem strange to get a mortgage from the National Bank of Kansas City if you live outside of Kansas. But NBKC is worth a visit no matter where you live. It is licensed to lend in all 50 states and has an excellent reputation for customer service and affordable rates. NBKC is especially useful for people who love tech because it has great digital features for bank and loan customers.

What is a good mortgage rate right now?

Mortgage rates today fluctuate much more than usual. But overall, they have hovered at or near historical lows. In this environment, the key is knowing when to lock. If you want to find the lowest rate, keep an eye on the news and get your quotes on a day when the averages are low. Then choose the best quote and lock in with that lender.

What are the points on a mortgage?

Points on a mortgage, also known as “discount points” or “mortgage points”, allow you to reduce your interest rate. One point typically costs 1% of the loan amount, paid at closing, and reduces your mortgage rate by about 0.25%. So, for example, if NBKC offered you a mortgage rate of 3.5% on a loan of $ 250,000, you might be able to buy a point for $ 2,500 and lower your rate to 3.25%.

Where can you get a mortgage with NBKC?

National Bank of Kansas City NMLS ID: 409631

You can apply for an NBKC mortgage anywhere in the United States. It is licensed in all 50 states.

However, you will only be able to get a mortgage in person if you live near Kansas City. This is the only place where NBKC operates physical branches.

Otherwise, you will have to use either online technology or telephone and courier services.

Fortunately, NBKC’s online technology is excellent. And it’s backed by the same helpful loan officers you’ll deal with on calls no matter how you apply.

Is NBKC the Best Mortgage Lender for You?

We always look for the pros and cons when considering a mortgage lender. But it’s rare that we can find so little to criticize in this review of NBKC Mortgage Lenders.

Unless you’re determined to have in-person borrowing experience and don’t live near Kansas City, odds are NBKC could be a good mortgage lender for you.

But as always, be sure to compare the custom rates of a few different lenders before you choose. As you can see above, each lender charges different rates for the same type of loan.

Find your lowest rate using the link below.

Show me today’s rates (January 4, 2022)

Source link

England’s COVID-19 levels, as of December 19 – Forbes Advisor UK Thu, 11 Mar 2021 06:19:20 +0000

The government has announced the results of its first review of its three-tier system of COVID-19 restrictions. The changes will take effect across England from Saturday 19th December. The levels are 1 – Medium, 2 – High and 3 – Very High Alert.

The government says it will step up allocations every 14 days.

Changes from Saturday December 19

The following areas will change level from Saturday 19th December.

The areas that will go from level 2 to level 3:

East of England
  • Bedford, Central Bedfordshire, Luton and Milton Keynes
  • Peterborough
South East
  • Berkshire (all remaining local authorities that are currently still at Level 2: Reading, Wokingham, Bracknell Forest, Windsor and Maidenhead and West Berkshire)
  • Buckinghamshire
  • Hastings and Rother
  • Gosport, Havant and Portsmouth
  • Hertfordshire (all remaining local authorities are currently still at level 2)
  • Surrey (except Waverley)

The areas that will go from level 3 to level 2:

South West

The areas that will go from level 2 to level 1:

West Midlands

Current situation in England

The current situation (December 17th) for the whole of England is as follows. We have indicated the changes that will take effect on Saturday.

Level 1: Medium alert

South East
South West

Level 2: High alert

East of England
  • Bedford, Central Bedfordshire, Luton and Milton Keynes (will upgrade to level 3 from the start of Saturday 19 December)
  • Cambridgeshire
  • Certain local authorities in Essex (Colchester, Tendring and Uttlesford)
  • Some local authorities in Hertfordshire (Dacorum, East Hertfordshire, North Hertfordshire, St Albans, Stevenage, Welwyn Hatfield) will be upgraded to level 3 from the start of Saturday 19th December.
  • Peterborough (will upgrade to level 3 from the start of Saturday, December 19)
  • Norfolk
  • Suffolk
East Midlands
North West
  • Cumbria
  • Liverpool City Area
  • Warrington and Cheshire
South East
  • Brighton and Hove
  • Berkshire (currently all of Berkshire except Slough is at level 2. As of Saturday 19th December all of Berkshire will be at level 3)
  • Buckinghamshire (will upgrade to level 3 from Saturday 19th December)
  • East Sussex (currently all of East Sussex is at level 2. Starting Saturday, December 19, Hastings and Rother will be upgraded to level 3)
  • Hampshire (currently all of Hampshire is at level 2. From Saturday 19th December Gosport, Havant and Portsmouth will be upgraded to level 3)
  • Oxfordshire
  • Surrey (all local authorities except Waverley will be upgraded to level 3 from the start of Saturday 19th December)
  • West Sussex
South West
  • Bath and North East Somerset
  • Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole
  • Devon, including Plymouth and Torbay
  • Dorset
  • Gloucestershire (Cheltenham, Cotswold, Forest of Dean, Gloucester, Stroud and Tewkesbury)
  • Somerset (South Somerset, Somerset West and Taunton, Mendip and Sedgemoor)
  • Wiltshire and Swindon
West Midlands
  • Herefordshire (will upgrade to level 1 from Saturday 19 December)
  • Shropshire, and Telford and Wrekin
  • Worcestershire
  • City of York
  • North Yorkshire

Level 3: Very high alert

East of England
  • certain local authorities in Essex (Basildon, Braintree, Brentwood, Castle Point, Chelmsford, Epping Forest, Harlow, Maldon, Rochford, Southend-on-Sea and Thurrock)
  • some local authorities in Hertfordshire (Broxbourne, Hertsmere, Three Rivers and Watford)
East Midlands
  • Derby and Derbyshire
  • Leicester and Leicestershire
  • Lincolnshire
  • Nottingham and Nottinghamshire
  • The 32 boroughs plus the City of London
  • North East Combined Authority (this area includes the local authorities of County Durham, Gateshead, South Tyneside and Sunderland)
  • North of Tyne Combined Authority (this area includes the local authorities of Newcastle-upon-Tyne, North Tyneside and Northumberland)
  • Tees Valley Combined Authority (this area includes the local authorities of Darlington, Hartlepool, Middlesbrough, Redcar and Cleveland, and Stockton-on-Tees)
North West
  • Greater Manchester
  • Lancashire, Blackburn with Darwen and Blackpool
South East
South West
  • Bristol (will upgrade to level 2 from the start of Saturday 19 December)
  • North Somerset (will upgrade to level 2 from Saturday 19th December)
  • South Gloucestershire
West Midlands
  • Birmingham, Dudley, Sandwell, Walsall and Wolverhampton
  • Staffordshire and Stoke-on-Trent
  • Warwickshire, Coventry and Solihull
Yorkshire and the Humber
  • East Riding of Yorkshire
  • Kingston sur Hull / Hull
  • North East Lincolnshire
  • North Lincolnshire
  • South Yorkshire
  • West Yorkshire

What are the levels in England allowed


Rules for all levels

Certain rules will apply at all levels. You:

  • must wear a face cover in most indoor public places, unless they have an exemption
  • should follow the rules for meeting others safely
  • should attend school or college as usual, unless they are isolating themselves. Schools, universities, colleges and early childhood institutions remain open at all levels
  • should walk or cycle whenever possible, plan ahead and avoid rush hours and routes when traveling
  • must respect the collection limits at their level, except in specific contexts and circumstances.

Exceptions to the rules on gatherings

Gatherings will be allowed:

  • as part of a single household, or a support bubble
  • for work or the provision of voluntary or charitable services, including in the homes of others
  • for child care, education or training – that is, education and training provided as part of a formal program
  • for supervised activities planned for children, including wrap-around care (before and after school daycare), groups and activities for children under 18 and children’s play groups
  • for formal support groups and parent and child groups – up to 15 people aged 5 and over
  • allow contact between birth parents and children in care, as well as siblings in care
  • for arrangements where the children do not live in the same household as their parents or guardians
  • for prospective adoptive parents to meet one or more children who could be placed with them
  • for birth partners
  • attend a funeral – in the presence of a maximum of 30 people – or a commemorative event such as a vigil for a deceased person – in the presence of a maximum of 15 people
  • seeing a terminally ill or dying person
  • attend a wedding or civil partnership – with a maximum of 15 people present
  • provide emergency aid
  • to avoid injury or illness, or to escape the risk of injury
  • fulfill a legal obligation, such as attending a court or jury
  • providing care or assistance to a vulnerable person or providing respite for a caregiver
  • to facilitate the move

Home visits

Visits to nursing homes will also be permitted until Christmas, provided the correct infection control measures are in place, such as heavy personal protective screens and regular testing that will allow two family members or friends to visit regularly and have contact with a resident.

Businesses and services

Most essential and non-essential businesses and services across the tiers will be allowed to remain open to some extent if they follow COVID-19 Secure Guidelines.

This includes essential and non-essential retail businesses such as indoor and outdoor markets and yard sales.

Some leisure and sports facilities such as gymnasiums, sports grounds and facilities, recreation centers, fitness and dance studios, golf courses, swimming pools, equestrian centers and outdoor playgrounds will be open to the public. public subject to social contact rules in each level.

Group activities and classroom lessons should not take place at level 3.

Personal care and close contact services such as hairdressers and barbers will be open, as will public buildings, such as libraries, community centers and halls – although they are not expected to host events for rent. , such as birthdays or most other social activities at Level 3.

In addition, public facilities such as allotment gardens, recycling and waste centers, public toilets and car parks and essential public services such as the NHS and medical services, courts and employment sites will be available.

Places of Worship – Community worship will resume, subject to relevant social contact rules at each level.

Work at home

Anyone who can work from home is encouraged to do so, if possible. Those who cannot – including, but not limited to, people who work in critical national infrastructure, construction or manufacturing – are allowed to continue to their place of work.

Public sector employees working in essential services, including educational institutions, should continue to work as necessary.

Source link

Jasper Co.mum opens up about daughter’s death as questions remain Thu, 11 Mar 2021 06:19:20 +0000

JASPER COUNTY, Mississippi (WDAM) – Dominique Henry was shot and killed on November 20, 2019.

Her mother, Annie Rutledge, said the past seven months have been difficult without her.

“I mean, it’s just depressing, like I said, most of the time when someone mentions their name I usually cry,” Rutledge said.

Jasper County Sheriff’s Deputies responded to a house near the intersection of State Route 528 and County Road 29 and found the body of the 30-year-old man inside a vehicle in the House.

The case is being handled by the Mississippi Bureau of Investigation because it occurred at the home of a part-time Jasper County dispatcher.

“It’s hard for me to go back to her room because that’s where all of her belongings are and I just take something that she was wearing, hold it and cry,” Rutledge said. “It’s sad, it’s just too sad.”

Many questions remain unanswered as MBI prepares the case for court.

“She never bothered anyone, she always laughed,” Rutledge said. “She had that goofy old laugh that she always used to give and she never bothered anyone, she had a heart of gold. She would give you the shirt on her back.

MBI did not respond to repeated requests for information from WDAM.

“I’m the only voice he has left, and I’m going to push my limits,” Rutledge said.

The next step for the case is for it to go to a grand jury, who will decide whether an indictment will be made.

Copyright 2020 WDAM. All rights reserved.

Source link

2 dividend-paying stocks you can keep safe for decades Thu, 11 Mar 2021 06:19:20 +0000

Looking back on the year, it was quite remarkable. The coronavirus has wreaked havoc on people’s health and has prompted governments to issue widespread shutdown orders.

Certainly, some companies have been more affected than others. Fortunately, there has been some positive news lately about vaccines, although the timing and distribution remain uncertain. With cases on the rise and authorities reimposing restrictions, now is a good time to look for stocks that pay reliable dividends and which can provide you with a regular income During a very long time.

Here are two companies worthy of a buy and hold strategy, giving you peace of mind.

Image source: Getty Images.


Colgate-Palmolive (NYSE: CL) sells products such as toothbrushes, toothpaste, soaps, dishwashing liquids and deodorants. Its popular brands like Ajax and Speed ​​Stick hold strong positions in the market. There is also a division of pet nutrition products for cats and dogs.

The company has built a range of products including demand does not fluctuate with the economic cycle. This has enabled it to pay a dividend since 1895, increasing it for 57 consecutive years.

It may not generate much enthusiasm, but the business is generating a lot of money. For the first nine months of the year, Colgate’s operating cash flow was $ 2.8 billion. Its capital expenditure stood at $ 249 million, leaving a good cushion to pay out $ 1.2 billion in dividends.

Kimberly clark

Kimberly clark (NYSE: KMB) is known for its layers; feminine care products; and paper articles, such as tissues, toilet paper and paper towels. When you walk down the aisle of a supermarket, you’ll recognize its brands, including Huggies, Depends, and Kleenex.

The company organizes these products into its personal care and consumer fabrics divisions, and they account for over 80% of sales. This is good if you are looking to hold the stock for a long time, as these products have stable demand.

It also produces good cash flow. For the first nine months of 2020, free cash flow was close to $ 2 billion, handily covering the $ 1.1 billion in dividends.

Kimberly-Clark has paid a dividend for 86 remarkable consecutive years. The board of directors showed their confidence by increasing the company’s October dividend from $ 1.03 to $ 1.07. That made it 48 years in a row with increased payouts.

When it comes to securing the inventory you can store, these two do the trick. Their products are popular with consumers and they are necessities. Both companies have also increased their dividends every year for decades. Stocks might not grow fast, but the consistent approach of proven winners will allow you to build wealth over time as the dividends pile up.

This article represents the opinion of the author, who may disagree with the “official” recommendation position of a premium Motley Fool consulting service. We are motley! Challenging an investment thesis – even one of our own – helps us all to think critically about investing and make decisions that help us become smarter, happier, and richer.

Source link

Credit counseling: how it can help you Thu, 11 Mar 2021 06:19:19 +0000

My readers know that I often suggest credit counseling to help them manage their financial problems.

A nonprofit credit counseling agency serves as an objective resource to help you view your situation dispassionately. He can offer individualized solutions to resolve your credit and debt issues. This is especially useful in difficult to understand situations such as:

  • Mortgage defaults: The rules are complex, the dates inflexible and the servers often inefficient. A HUD-certified credit counseling agency (not all are) can walk you through the complex process and can help you gain privileged access to decision makers.
  • Multiple collection accounts: The contradictory demands of several collectors may make it impossible to accept all of them.
  • Joint credit issues: Although they are not marriage counselors, an impartial outside perspective can help you find clarity and a solution.
  • Bankruptcy: Credit counseling is required by law as part of the bankruptcy process. A counselor can help you understand what really happened and avoid these problems in the future.

Let’s dive a little deeper into this industry this week and answer a few questions you might have.

Discover all the answers from our credit card experts.

Ask Steeve a question.

Credit counseling: what you need to know

What does a credit counselor do?

First and foremost, a credit counselor will give you a complete analysis of your entire financial situation to help you find the best solutions for you. Second, an advisor recognizes that whatever plan is ultimately recommended, it must work for you and your creditors.

No, that doesn’t mean they work for the creditors. They work for you. But the reality is that creditors have certain rights and remedies, and you took on certain repayment obligations when you turned the credit they gave you into debt that must be repaid. Finding a workable solution that benefits both parties while trying to preserve your credit is the Solomon-type task that these nonprofits have undertaken.

A good advisor will want to know how much money you are making home, how much money you are spending, and how much money you owe. While it may sound simple enough, not everyone knows these basic facts.

While your rent and car payment will likely be easy to figure out, how easy will it be for you to remember how much your license plates cost you each year? Do you know (or at least have a pretty good idea) how much you spend each year on birthdays and holidays? What about car maintenance? Go out to eat?

Whatever you spend money on will be important in helping your advisor get a good idea of ​​the discretionary income you need to work with.

What to expect from a credit counselor

Your first call to a credit counselor can take anywhere from an hour to an hour and a half, because the best counselors will want to make sure that you and your creditors are a good fit, and it will take details… lots of details. When it comes to your debts (like credit cards), your advisor may want to get your permission to retrieve your credit report.

This is not a requirement, but just to let you know it is a gentle inquiry it will not impact your credit score. However, it can save you some time going over your account details with your advisor. For the rest, a great way to prepare for a call to credit counselor is to review your spending for a month.

Check your credit card statements, checking account statements and ATM withdrawals. The idea is to record your salary as much as possible. Even then, expect to hit only around 80%!

At the end of your first consultation, your advisor will present your options to you. These can include references to additional resources, a debt management plan (DMP), a debt repayment plan with debt forgiveness, or even bankruptcy. But it could also just involve suggestions for generating additional income or reducing your budget to align with your current income.

See linked:
How does debt forgiveness work?

Is Hiring a Credit Counselor Hurting Your Credit?

Talking to a credit counselor will have no impact on your credit rating, one way or another. In fact, unless you choose to enroll in a DMP to manage your credit card debt, no one can know that you are working with a credit counselor unless you choose to disclose that information. Your credit score won’t care one way or the other.

The only thing that could lower your score is if the debts or credit cards that you put on a DMP are still open. Most plans require cards to be closed, which will affect your available credit and your credit usage, which is a big factor in your credit score. (That’s why I recommend that you don’t close cards even if you don’t use them a lot.)

But the benefits of a DMP might be worth the initial blow you take, especially if you already have a history of late payments. A DMP is set up to get you out of debt in five years or less and requires regular monthly payments. That alone will improve your score if you have to take a hit early on, because payments on time are the # 1 factor in your FICO score.

When to use a credit counseling service

If you’re struggling to make ends meet on a regular basis, a call to a credit counselor can help. Ideally, I would like you to make the call before you become seriously past due on any of your accounts, as you will usually have more options available before you start to default.

This is especially true for mortgages. Your first call will only cost you your time. You will most likely walk away with a better understanding of your financial situation and a valuable credit education.

But it’s never too late to try credit counseling before moving on to other more drastic solutions (like bankruptcy) or giving up.

I suggest calling a credit counselor who offers the bankruptcy certificate you will need before you make the final decision to file. If, after your consultation, you decide to go ahead with bankruptcy, you will have already met this requirement.

See linked:
What to do if bankruptcy is not an option

How Much Does It Cost To Use Credit Counseling?

Your first call is free. Bankruptcy certificates typically cost around $ 50. If you choose to sign up for a DMP, you will be charged a nominal monthly fee and you may need to pay a one-time setup fee.

These fees are regulated by your state, but the monthly fee is typically $ 20 to $ 75 and the installation fee is typically $ 30 to $ 50 (although some may charge up to $ 75). However, one of the best things about a DMP – besides stopping collection calls – is reducing interest rates and eliminating delays and beyond the limits costs.

These discounts are usually much higher than the fees charged to you. This makes it a win-win in my book.

See linked:
How to Avoid Common Credit Card Fees

How do you find a good credit counselor?

Everything I have said about credit counseling here is about the “good guys” who are nonprofit and independently accredited with Certified Financial Advisors. They are mission-driven professionals who will only act in your best interests (not theirs).

That being said, you can find one of the good guys at National Foundation for Credit Counseling, the country’s oldest credit counseling organization, with nearly 100 nonprofit member agencies across the country. You can also check this item of the Federal Trade Commission to help you find a reputable advisor.

Remember to keep track of your score!

Editorial disclaimer

The editorial content on this page is based solely on the objective evaluation of our editors and is not motivated by advertising money. It was not supplied or ordered by the credit card issuers. However, we may receive compensation when you click on links to products from our partners.

Source link

Tlaib and Ocasio-Cortez propose bill to create national public banking system Thu, 11 Mar 2021 06:19:18 +0000

Democratic representatives. Alexandria Ocasio-CortezAlexandria Ocasio-Cortez Sixteen Hispanic House Democrats Call on EPA for Stricter Methane Rule Citizenship Before Partisanship: Is Manchin the Perfect Candidate for 2024? Progressives seek to regroup after Build Back Better explosion (New York) and Rashida TlaibRashida Harbi Tlaib The memo: Biden seeks path through growing gloom Juan Williams: McCarthy’s inaction is a disgrace AIPAC launching super PAC before mid-term MORE (Michigan) introduced a bill on Friday to create a federally chartered and supported public banking system.

Called the Public Banking Act, the bill would develop a system by which the Federal Reserve System and the Treasury Department would recognize, offer grants, and open credit facilities for nonprofit banks. These banks would be intended to compete with the commercial banking sector and would not have the right to charge fees on checking or savings accounts, requiring minimum balances and charging interest rates above 15%.

Tlaib and Ocasio-Cortez said the bill aims to expand access to financial services in areas where large parts of the population cannot afford conventional banking services. Almost 30% of people without a bank account cited the inability to meet minimum balance requirements as the main reason they did not use a bank, according to a June 2019 survey conducted by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp., and nearly 49 percent said it was at least a contributing factor.

“From overdraft fees to billing a checking account period, the banks run by Wall Street are putting key financial services out of reach for many of my residents who are struggling to make ends meet,” Tlaib said in a statement.

“It is high time to open the doors to people who have been systematically excluded and to provide a better option for those who are struggling with the costs of simply trying to participate in an economy that they have perfectly well. right, but that was rigged against them. “

Tlaib and Ocasio-Cortez said the bill also aims to give local governments, community development projects and small businesses easier access to federal loans and financial assistance programs as they fight against damage caused by the coronavirus pandemic.

“The creation of public banks will also facilitate the use of public resources to build a myriad of public goods, including affordable housing and local renewable energy projects” Ocasio-Cortez said in a statement. “Public banks allow states and municipalities to establish new channels for public investment to help resolve systemic crises. “

The bill by Tlaib and Ocasio-Cortez, both members of the House Financial Services Committee, is the latest move by Progressive Democrats to create federally funded and supported alternatives to the financial sector.

President of the House Financial Services Committee Maxine WatersMaxine Moore Waters The truth of January 6 is revealed: the responsibility will lie with the courts. (D-Calif.) Introduced a bill in June that would order banks in the Federal Reserve system to offer “federal accounts” with terms similar to those specified in the Public Banks Act.

A working group set up by the Democratic presidential candidate Joe bidenJoe BidenGOP’s Rice says he regrets the Jan.6 vote against Biden’s election. and sen. Bernie sandersBernie Sanders Citizenship before partisanship: Is Manchin the ideal candidate for 2024? Progressives seek to regroup after Build Back Better explosion Republican Senator text Joe Manchin to join GOP MORE (I-Vt.) In July also called for the creation of a banking system set up by the Federal Reserve and the US Postal Service.

Source link

Modern Homes: The Style Millennials Love Thu, 11 Mar 2021 06:19:18 +0000

Origins of the modern house

These houses were built from new ideas, mentalities and an avant-garde style that arose after the Second World War. The war brought new materials, such as steel and plywood, to the forefront of architecture, making these simplistic and fluid designs possible.

Many see this modern style as a reaction to the eclectic and ornate styles of the Victorian era and, later, Art Nouveau. The first wave of modern homes, known as Mid-Century Modern, are characterized by flat plans, floor-to-ceiling windows, and open spaces that perfectly integrate nature into the design.

Early greats like Joseph Paxton and Frank Lloyd Wright undoubtedly inspired modern homes today. Modern homes can adopt many different looks and incorporate clean, clean designs with large windows and open spaces.

Ready to buy a home? Start here. (December 25, 2021)

Advantages of modern houses

These unique building styles can take on many different aspects. People are drawn to the mix of historical elements and the attention to current lifestyle trends that these homes offer.

The spacious design of modern homes is one of their main attractions. Modern homes pay special attention to using space as efficiently as possible. This attention to detail considers the structure as a whole, including ceiling space, hallways and hallways, maximizing airflow and minimizing wasted space.

Modern homes seek to balance the use of space with the overall size of the home and its place in the environment. They are designed to blend in with neighboring homes and natural open spaces, while respecting city zoning laws. This concern for creating a balance between design, structural efficiency and overall aesthetic value leads to very attractive homes.

Modern homes are known to emphasize natural light. Large south-facing windows are usually combined with smaller windows to flood the space with natural light while still maintaining privacy. Maximizing natural light helps reduce energy costs, requiring less light in the summer or trapping heat in the winter.

Customization of modern homes

Another advantage of owning a modern home is the ability to customize the space.

Since modern homes rarely use a symmetrical design, it is easy to make transparent changes to it. This leaves plenty of room for future expansions or upgrades – it’s not uncommon to downsize and add more exterior features.

Modern homes are environmentally friendly

Modern homes tend to emphasize sustainability, energy efficiency, and the use of recycled, non-toxic materials.

This focus on reducing waste extends to building materials, appliances, water efficient plumbing, air conditioning and energy efficient lighting. Modern house plans emphasize energy and environmental efficiency, maximizing and recycling energy wherever possible.

This is in addition to natural light and efficient airflow which saves money and the planet.

These are important features for millennials entering the home buying market. Contemporary homes are a smart option: sleek and stylish designs with low energy and maintenance costs.

Show me today’s rates (December 25, 2021)

The information on The Mortgage Reports website is provided for informational purposes only and does not constitute an advertisement for any products offered by Full Beaker. The views and opinions expressed herein are those of the author and do not reflect the policy or position of Full Beaker, its officers, its parent company or its affiliates.

Source link

When you should and shouldn’t be maxing out your 401 (k) Thu, 11 Mar 2021 06:19:18 +0000

A 401 (k) is an employer-provided retirement account that you can contribute to with pre-tax dollars.

In 2022, you can contribute up to $ 20,500 (compared to $ 19,500 in 2021) to your 401 (k) if you are under 50. If you are 50 or older, you become eligible for catch-up contributions valued at $ 6,500. This means that you can contribute a total of $ 27,000 (up from $ 26,000 in 2021). These limits may change each year and they do not include any matching funds provided by your employer.

If you have enough money to do this, you will need to decide whether you should maximize your 401 (k) or whether it would be smarter to do something else with your money. There are advantages and disadvantages to both options.

When should you maximize your 401 (k)

Maximizing your 401 (k) can be a smart financial decision under certain circumstances. You should consider contributing the maximum to this account if the following conditions apply to you:

  • You are financially stable: It doesn’t make sense to put thousands of dollars into a 401 (k) if you’re struggling with basic financial tasks like paying your bills on time or keeping a roof over your head and food on the table.
  • You don’t have high interest debt: Your 401 (k) returns rarely, if ever, exceed the interest rate you would pay on credit cards or payday loans. If you have debt with an interest rate of around 10% or more, you should generally only contribute enough money to your 401 (k) to earn your employer maximum. Next, focus on paying off your debt with your extra cash.
  • You have an emergency fund: You need accessible cash in an emergency to avoid going into debt when faced with unforeseen expenses. You don’t want to be forced to withdraw funds from a 401 (k) to cover emergencies, especially since you could incur penalties for withdrawing funds before age 59 1/2 or you could be forced to sell 401 (k) investments at an inconvenient time. time. Save at least a small emergency fund before you contribute anything to your 401 (k), then contribute enough to earn the maximum from the employer. After that, divide your available money between 401 (k) contributions and building an emergency fund with enough money to cover three to six months of living expenses.
  • You have considered other types of tax-efficient accounts: Rather than devote all your retirement money to the max of your 401 (k), you should consider whether some of your funds should go into a traditional system or Roth IRA or a health savings account. These accounts can offer different tax advantages and, in some cases, more flexibility in the assets in which you invest.

If you have the money to maximize your 401 (k) and have considered the opportunity costs using your funds for this instead of other financial goals, then spending the money to maximize that tax-advantaged retirement account can make sense.

You will enjoy the ease of contributing directly through your paycheck and the tax breaks offered by 401 (k). Plus, having most or all of your retirement money in one place can make it easier to track your portfolio and ensure you maintain the right asset mix.

When you shouldn’t be maxing out your 401 (k)

There are also circumstances in which you should not be maximizing your 401 (k). You probably shouldn’t be contributing the maximum to this account in the following situations:

  • You are struggling to make ends meet: If you’re living paycheck to paycheck or can’t pay your bills, you need to deal with other pressing financial priorities first.
  • You may benefit from allocating some of your money to other retirement investment accounts: If you are eligible for a health savings account, for example, you might want to put money into this type of account because it offers even better tax benefits than 401 (k). Or, if you’d rather withdraw money tax-free in retirement, putting money into a Roth IRA might be a better choice.
  • You are not prepared for financial emergencies: Prioritizing an emergency fund is probably more important than maximizing your 401 (k). Otherwise, unexpected charges could leave you in debt.
  • Your employer’s 401 (k) plan isn’t very good: If your plan charges a high administration fee or has a limited number of investments with high fees, you may want to invest enough in your 401 (k) to earn the maximum from the employer, and then invest the remainder of your retirement money elsewhere.

Even if you don’t want to max out your 401 (k), you shouldn’t miss a match with an employer. This is guaranteed free money that you cannot get under most other circumstances.

Where to invest after maximizing your 401 (k)

If you’ve reached the maximum of your 401 (k), there are other types of tax-advantaged accounts that you might be interested in investing in. These include the following:

  • Traditional or Roth IRAs: These accounts have a lower contribution limit than a 401 (k). There are income limits for making deductible IRA contributions or for investing in a Roth IRA, but they provide more flexibility in what you invest in. In addition, Roth IRAs allow you to invest with after-tax dollars and make tax-free withdrawals, which provide more tax savings than a 401 (k) if you expect your rate. tax is higher upon retirement.
  • Health savings accounts: These are only open to people with eligible high-deductible health insurance plans. You contribute with pre-tax funds, the money grows tax-free, and withdrawals for qualifying health care expenses are tax-free as well. These are the only accounts offering a triple tax advantage. Seniors can also make withdrawals without penalty for any reason after turning 65, but they would be taxed on those withdrawals at their regular tax rate.

You can invest in these accounts after reaching your maximum 401 (k) if you are eligible for them. You can also choose to split your contributions between your 401 (k) and these other types of accounts after you put enough in your 401 (k) to get the maximum employer match – even if you haven’t yet put all of the $ 20,500 or $ 27,000. on your 401 (k) account.

Source link