Filmmaking fund – Taking Sides http://taking-sides.com/ Sun, 25 Sep 2022 17:03:17 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=5.9.3 https://taking-sides.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/10/icon-26-120x120.png Filmmaking fund – Taking Sides http://taking-sides.com/ 32 32 The Recorder – My Turn: Canceling student debt is bad policy https://taking-sides.com/the-recorder-my-turn-canceling-student-debt-is-bad-policy/ Sun, 25 Sep 2022 17:03:17 +0000 https://taking-sides.com/the-recorder-my-turn-canceling-student-debt-is-bad-policy/ Posted: 09/25/2022 12:58:28 Modified: 09/25/2022 12:57:39 This column will present my objections to President Joe Biden’s executive order canceling all or part of college loans for approximately 40 million people. Let’s quickly run through the basics: the order forgives $10,000 of federal student loan debt ($20,000 for Pell Grant recipients) for people with incomes up […]]]>

Posted: 09/25/2022 12:58:28

Modified: 09/25/2022 12:57:39

This column will present my objections to President Joe Biden’s executive order canceling all or part of college loans for approximately 40 million people.

Let’s quickly run through the basics: the order forgives $10,000 of federal student loan debt ($20,000 for Pell Grant recipients) for people with incomes up to $125,000 a year or for couples with incomes up to $250,000. If you’re wondering why the president set income caps so high when the average family income in our country is $88,000, so do I. It is important to realize that this debt cancellation is not an act of Congress. Rather, it is by executive order of the president, officially known as an executive order.

Here are my objections:

1. The cancellation is unjustified. The average borrower owes about $37,000 to repay over 20 years. How is that an insurmountable burden, not to mention the “national emergency” that Biden cited as the legal basis for his executive order? Emergency powers serve a limited role in our constitutional system. Their purpose is to give presidents a short-term boost to manage a sudden, unforeseen crisis (the definition of “emergency”) that is moving too quickly or unpredictably for Congress to deal with.

While the COVID-19 pandemic was a sudden and unforeseen development, COVID-19 itself has been with us for 2½ years. Indeed, this may well be our “new normal”. Student loan debt has been a reality for decades. In addition, unlike previous student loan deferrals and waivers, this debt forgiveness is a permanent act and not a temporary measure.

It should be noted that college graduates got something for their money, namely an education. Moreover, university graduates taken as a whole will earn more money during their working life than non-graduates. Remember that those who took out these loans promised in writing to repay them.

2. The cost of cancellation is huge and will be paid by other American families.

The revised budget model from the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania estimates that student loan forgiveness will cost at least $300 billion. Depending on future details of the Comprehensive Individual Debt Reduction (IDR), the cost could reach $469-1 trillion over a 10-year fiscal window.

Even at the lowest cost, debt cancellation equates to $2,000 per filer. The highest estimate would be over $6,000. Is it fair to the 100 million Americans who file taxes and whose loans are not reduced or completely forgiven?

It’s worth mentioning that reducing student debt means that hundreds of billions of dollars will go unpaid to the US Treasury. It follows that either other spending will be reduced, taxes will be increased, or the national debt, which currently stands at $30 trillion, will increase.

3. Mass cancellation of debt by decree sets a dangerous precedent.

If a president can spend between $30 billion and $1 trillion of taxpayers’ money without the explicit approval of elected members of Congress, doesn’t that open the door for future presidents to usurp power from wallet and unilaterally spend billions more? Our Constitution has established a separation of powers (executive, legislative, judicial) which must not be ignored.

4. It is unfair for the many students who attended colleges that were more affordable for their families and/or worked several hours a week to reduce the amount they would need to borrow in the first place. Likewise, many people have diligently repaid their debt in full. Making responsible choices about what you can afford and/or paying off your debts on time shouldn’t work against you.

5. Moral hazard: If people considering going to college believe that their student debt will be reduced or even eliminated in the future, they will have an incentive to borrow more than they otherwise would have. Colleges will be incentivized to increase tuition in the belief that increased costs will not significantly reduce applications.

6. Student debt cancellation can be inflationary. “Student loan debt relief is an expense that increases demand and increases inflation,” according to Obama-Biden administration Treasury Secretary Larry Summers. Jason Furman, the Obama-Biden chief economist, said “To pour about half a trillion dollars worth of gasoline on the inflationary fire that is already burning is unwise.”

In short, the cancellation of the student debt is an unjustified act of our president. It is a financial boon for those who borrowed money to go to college and failed to repay the full amount of the bond they signed to repay the education they received . The cost will be borne by millions of other Americans. Biden’s executive order is a misuse of presidential power and sets the stage for more abuses in the future. In short, it is bad policy.

Richard Fein holds a Master of Arts in Political Science and an MBA in Economics. He can be reached at columnist@gazettenet.com.

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What is FAFSA Dependency Replacement? https://taking-sides.com/what-is-fafsa-dependency-replacement/ Fri, 23 Sep 2022 22:30:35 +0000 https://taking-sides.com/what-is-fafsa-dependency-replacement/ When you complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), you will be considered a dependent student or an independent student, which determines whether your parent’s income and assets are considered in calculating your financial aid. Students under the age of 24 are generally considered dependent, which means parents’ financial details will be taken […]]]>

When you complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), you will be considered a dependent student or an independent student, which determines whether your parent’s income and assets are considered in calculating your financial aid. Students under the age of 24 are generally considered dependent, which means parents’ financial details will be taken into account – but there are certain situations where students can apply for a dependency waiver to be considered independent students. This can open up more opportunities for financial aid.

The FAFSA considers you an independent student if you answer “yes” to any of the questions outlined in section three of the application:

  1. Will you be 24 or older on January 1 of the school year for which you are applying for financial aid?
  2. Are you married or separated but not divorced?
  3. Are you going to work towards a master’s or a doctorate?
  4. Do you have children who will receive more than half of their support from you during the school year for which you are requesting financial aid?
  5. Do you have dependents (other than children or a spouse) living with you who will receive more than half of their support from you during the school year for which you are requesting financial aid?
  6. Are you currently on active duty in the United States Armed Forces for purposes other than training?
  7. Are you a veteran of the United States Armed Forces?
  8. At any time since you turned 13, were both of your parents deceased, were you in foster care, or were you a ward or dependent of the court?
  9. Are you an emancipated minor as determined by a court?
  10. Are you under legal guardianship as determined by a court?
  11. Are you an unaccompanied homeless or self-reliant youth at risk of homelessness, as determined by a School District Homelessness Liaison, an emergency shelter funded by the U.S. Department of Housing and urban development or a grassroots center for homeless youth?

Answering yes to any of these questions makes you self-employed, which means you will only use your income and assets on the FAFSA, not your parents’.

If you answered “no” to all of these questions, you are considered an addict and will need to complete the parent information sections of the FAFSA, unless you qualify for an addiction waiver.

A dependency waiver is a status granted by a school’s financial aid office that allows you to exclude your parents’ information from your FAFSA even if you are initially considered dependent. This may entitle you to much greater financial assistance if your parents have income and assets that would make you ineligible.

The conditions required to benefit from a dependency exemption are very strict. A dependency waiver may be granted if:

  • Your parents are incarcerated.
  • You left home due to an abusive home environment.
  • You don’t know where your parents are (and you weren’t adopted).
  • You are homeless or at risk of homelessness and are between the ages of 21 and 24.

Your situation will need to be verified and approved by your school’s financial aid office; the school’s decision is final and cannot be appealed.

To get a dependency replacement for the FAFSA, you’ll complete the form as usual, but skip steps four and five. Once submitted, your FAFSA will not be processed; you should contact your school’s financial aid office immediately to begin the addiction waiver application process.

Each school has its own documentation requirements and application steps. The documentation you may need to provide depends on the reason for your dependency override:

  • Incarcerated parents: Documentation of the parents’ incarceration, such as prison records, sentencing hearing documents, or an inmate log.
  • Location unknown to parents: Police reports, missing person’s reports, and signed statements from a professional third party such as a landlord or former employer stating that they cannot locate your parents.
  • Roaming between 21 and 24 years old: Records from homeless shelters, help from a program like Section 8, food stamps you received based on experiencing homelessness, and signed statements from professionals such as counselors and teachers who can verify that you are homeless. Remember, if a school district homelessness liaison, emergency shelter funded by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, or grassroots homeless youth center has determined that you are homeless or at risk of becoming homeless, you can qualify as an independent student without applying for a dependency replacement.
  • Abusive family: Court records, medical records, child protection records, police reports, and signed statements from professionals like former teachers, social workers, and counselors. Remember that if you were in homestay even one day after turning 13, you may be considered an independent student without a dependency waiver.
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VA Loan Vs. Conventional Loan: Your Guide https://taking-sides.com/va-loan-vs-conventional-loan-your-guide/ Thu, 22 Sep 2022 05:11:10 +0000 https://taking-sides.com/va-loan-vs-conventional-loan-your-guide/ What are the main differences between VA loans and conventional loans? Conventional loans generally have stricter loan requirements than VA loans and other government-backed loans — such as FHA and USDA loans — because lenders assume most of the risk with conventional loans. Let’s dive deep into the different requirements for VA and conventional loans […]]]>

What are the main differences between VA loans and conventional loans?

Conventional loans generally have stricter loan requirements than VA loans and other government-backed loans — such as FHA and USDA loans — because lenders assume most of the risk with conventional loans.

Let’s dive deep into the different requirements for VA and conventional loans so you can decide which mortgage product is best suited to your home buying needs and goals.

VA Loan Vs. Conventional Loan: Property Type

One of the biggest differences between VAs and conventional mortgages is the type of property you can finance with each type of home loan.

  • VA Loans: According to the VA loan occupancy requirements, if you are financing with a VA loan, the home or property must serve as your primary residence. Although you cannot use a VA loan to directly purchase a second home, investment property, or vacation home, you can purchase a multi-family property of up to four units for rent – as long as you occupy one of the units as Principal residence. .
  • Conventional loans: Conventional loans do not require you to occupy the home you are buying as your primary residence. This means you can use a conventional mortgage to buy a second home, vacation home, rental home, or other investment property with no strings attached, as long as your lender approves it.

VA Loan Vs. Conventional Loan: Credit Score

Because your credit score represents how well you’ve managed your debt, mortgage lenders rely on this three-digit number to assess your risk as a borrower.

And while the VA doesn’t set a minimum credit score requirement, you’ll still need to meet your lender’s minimum credit score requirement, no matter what loan product you’re applying for.

Here are the credit score requirements for conventional and VA loans:

  • Conventional loans: The minimum benchmark credit score varies by lender, but in general you will need a score of at least 620 to qualify for a conventional loan.
  • VA Loans: Since the government insures VA loans, lenders may offer lower credit score requirements than conventional loans. Some lenders may still require a score of 620 credits, but a score of 580 may qualify you for a VA loan with Rocket Mortgage®.

VA Loan Vs. Conventional Loan: Down Payment

One of the coolest features of VA loans is that they generally don’t require a down payment, although some lenders may require a small down payment if your credit rating is low.

For conventional loans, most lenders will require you to pay at least 3% of the purchase price, depending on your financial situation and credit score. However, if you make a down payment of at least 20%, you can also waive paying for private mortgage insurance (PMI) at the start of your loan term.

VA Loan Vs. Conventional Loan: Mortgage Insurance

Depending on your loan type, down payment amount and other factors, lenders may charge you mortgage insurance to offset the risk of default. Mortgage insurance can be a one-time cost you pay at closing, a regular fee built into your monthly mortgage payment, or both.

Let’s look at the mortgage insurance requirements for conventional versus VA loans:

  • Conventional loans: Lenders will require you to pay private mortgage insurance (PMI) on a conventional loan until you reach 20% of the equity in your home. Although the exact amount varies from lender to lender, the PMI is generally 0.1% to 2% of your loan amount per year. Once you reach 22% of your home’s equity, your lender should automatically remove PMI from your monthly payments, but you can ask them to do so once your home’s equity reaches 20%.
  • VA Loans: Although VA loans do not require mortgage insurance, they do require you to pay a VA financing fee, which is an upfront cost of 1.4% to 3.6% of the loan amount. Like mortgage insurance, finance charges offset the potential risk of default and can be rolled into the total loan amount.

PV Loan Vs. Conventional Loan: Debt to Income Ratio (DTI)

Your debt-to-income ratio (DTI) is a percentage representing the portion of your gross monthly income spent on recurring monthly debts such as rent, student loans, auto loans, and credit card payments.

Your lender reviews your DTI to determine how likely you are to make your mortgage payments on time each month. The lower your DTI, the less risk you pose to your lender.

  • VA Loans: Although VA loans do not have specific requirements for DTI, most lenders prefer a DTI of 41% or less. Lenders are also required to review compensating factors — such as your credit score, cash flow, or military benefits — so you can potentially qualify with a DTI above 41%.
  • Conventional loans: While most lenders prefer your DTI to be below 40%, you could qualify for a conventional loan with a DTI as high as 50% – although your lender will likely increase your mortgage interest rate to compensate for the risk that your high DTI may pose.

VA Loan Vs. Conventional Loan: Mortgage Rates

Housing market conditions, inflation and even the Federal Reserve are all factors that affect current mortgage rates. The interest rate on your personal mortgage will also be influenced by the amount of your loan, your down payment and your credit score, as well as whether you are applying for an adjustable rate mortgage (ARM) or a fixed rate mortgage. fixed.

VA mortgages generally offer lower interest rates than conventional loans, with a percentage difference of 0.25% to 0.42%. For example, for a 30-year fixed rate loan ending at the end of July 2022, the average mortgage rate for a VA loan was 5.375% compared to 5.5% for a conventional loan of the same duration.

However, if you took out a 15-year fixed-rate conforming loan at the end of July 2022, you might have locked in an interest rate as low as 5.125% in exchange for a higher monthly payment.

VA Loan Vs. Conventional Loan: Loan Limits

For a single-family home in most US counties in 2022, you can use a conventional loan to finance a home for up to $647,200. The conforming loan limit increases to $970,800 for high-cost areas in California, Alaska, Hawaii and other states. If your property exceeds the conforming loan limits for your area, you will need to use a jumbo loan – a type of conventional non-conforming loan.

VA loans technically have no loan limits. Instead, they have VA loan rights. If you’ve never used your VA loan benefit — or if you’ve fully repaid a VA loan — you’re fully entitled, which means the VA will repay up to 25% of any loan amount you’re approved for. .

However, if you are making payments on a VA loan or have defaulted on a VA loan, you have partial entitlement. You can still buy a home with a VA loan using a partial entitlement. The VA, however, will only guarantee your loan up to the conforming loan limit minus the entitlement you are using.

VA Loan Vs. Conventional Loan: Closing Costs

Closing costs are various fees you pay to your lender to process your loan. These costs include origination fees, home appraisal fees, title search fees and more.

While VA loans cap their origination fees at 1% of the total loan amount, those fees also tend to range only from 0.5% to 1% for conventional loans. Appraisal fees for conventional loans are generally lower, typically ranging from $300 to $400 for a single family home versus $425 to $875 for a VA appraisal. It is important to note that the appraisal fee for a loan financed home can cost north of $600 or even $2,000 depending on where you live, the size of your home, etc.

Overall, you’ll typically pay 3% to 5% of your loan amount to close your VA loan, and you’ll likely pay 2% to 6% to close your conventional loan.

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I’ve paid off student loans, but I support help for those who can’t https://taking-sides.com/ive-paid-off-student-loans-but-i-support-help-for-those-who-cant/ Tue, 20 Sep 2022 18:04:29 +0000 https://taking-sides.com/ive-paid-off-student-loans-but-i-support-help-for-those-who-cant/ In December 2019, my husband submitted his final student loan payment. From the time we got married and started attacking those student loans as a team, it took us 18 months to pay off $51,234.51. Of this debt, $34,134.51 was federal loans and $17,100 was private. There’s not a part of me that blames the […]]]>

In December 2019, my husband submitted his final student loan payment. From the time we got married and started attacking those student loans as a team, it took us 18 months to pay off $51,234.51. Of this debt, $34,134.51 was federal loans and $17,100 was private. There’s not a part of me that blames the millions of Americans who are about to receive $10,000 to $20,000 in student loan relief.

From the outside, it looks like my husband and I “got off the hook” to pay off that debt and heck, if we did, all student borrowers should too. But that’s just not a practical, kind, empathetic, or, frankly, reasonable answer.

When it comes to the “bootstraps” story, it’s important to recognize that my husband and I were collectively earning in the six figures and had no other debt besides his student loans. Granted, we live in one of the most expensive cities in the country, but during this time we still had enough flexibility in our budget to aggressively pay off student loans and live our lives. There was no rice or beans. We still took vacations, went out to dinner, invested in our retirement plans, and had a healthy emergency savings account.

However, this strategy of accelerated earning while balancing a well-balanced life would not have been possible without getting married. Well, that’s not entirely true – I could have helped pay off his debt as an unmarried couple, but I didn’t and I’m not advising anyone to do so. My husband could not have afforded such an aggressive repayment strategy, even living a modest life, on his salary alone, which included overtime. In fact, getting married had a negative impact on her monthly payments.

My husband, like many others with federal student loans, followed an income-based repayment plan, which caps your monthly payments based on a percentage of your discretionary income. This means that those who do not earn a high salary but have large loans will have an affordable payment relative to their income. However, filing a joint tax return meant that my income was factored into the calculation and his minimum monthly payment had increased significantly.

We made the decision to aggressively repay student loans based on what was in our best interests as a family and our sanity. Wiping off his private loan made mathematical sense, but giving up federal student loan debt at a rapid pace didn’t make much sense on paper, especially since my husband was eligible for two different forgiveness programs through his work as a student. ‘teacher. Forgiveness programs, depending on the type, eliminate some or all of the remaining federal student loans after a certain number of services.

If we had chosen not to repay his federal loans aggressively, we could have paid down debt slowly on his income-driven repayment plan, and then we ended up enjoying 2 and a half years of a break on payments during the pandemic that would still have counted towards his pardon eligibility. That would have been thousands of dollars back in our bank account with a credit for the remaining balance canceled – plus the $10,000 relief.

But for me, there are no regrets.

We decided not to pursue forgiveness programs given the restrictions that would have kept my husband’s career in a particular type of waiting pattern for five years to a decade, depending on the program. For example, the civil service forgiveness program requires you to work for a government or non-profit organization for a decade before your loans can be forgiven. This means that if you have the ability or desire to enter the private sector before the end of your ten-year commitment, you will forfeit the ability to have your federal loans forgiven. This is a significant request that could have long-term consequences for someone’s career and potential earnings.

Then, at the start of the pandemic, my income started to hit rock bottom, and it was a huge relief to be at least debt-free at a time when everything seemed so unstable. Once the income issues passed and financial stability returned, I still felt grateful that we were able to get rid of debt anxiety.

Listen, I know some may still have problems – and my anecdotal story probably won’t change your mind – but this is a nuanced problem with no perfect solution. The decision to provide one-time lump-sum relief may be a flawed option, but it will provide a much-needed financial lifeline for many Americans, some of whom did not fully understand the consequences of taking out tens of thousands of dollars in student loans.

Historically, little or no meaningful education was provided to student borrowers. It was simple for people to access thousands of dollars in loans and not fully understand how much interest would accrue or even the true likelihood of gainful employment upon graduation. You could have made an informed decision based on the data and your employment situation might not have resulted in the salary you needed to stay on top of your student loans.

It’s easy to put a 2022 target on this, but I signed up in 2007 – before the financial crisis – and I’m in the middle of millennials. How many millennial seniors were sold a bill about career opportunities and the need for college only to end up being part of the mass layoffs and bottoming job market during the Great Recession? Then, when they finally started to feel some level of respite and financial stability, they were hit in the mouth by the pandemic.

Of course, there is plenty of information and resources available for someone to be proactive and do their own research. But we have to be realistic about whether the average 18-year-old makes rational, practical decisions rather than emotional ones. Even parents can push to go to the most prestigious school, no matter the cost. It’s also frustrating how many people point to “useless degrees” and “fancy schools” as if they’re the only graduates who will get help. It’s not just liberal arts majors who struggle with the burden of student loans. It is also irrational to expect everyone to be a STEM major.

For many, the concern is who will bear the financial burden of this student loan relief. Will it be the average taxpayer who did it to pay off student loans or never even accepted them? It’s unclear right now, and it’s understandable that people are concerned about their own wallets being hit to help someone else. However, there are many ways in which people’s taxes support systems where they receive little or no personal benefit, but help the community at large.

It’s always been strange to me how a contingent of people feel determined to make those who come behind them struggle in exactly the same way. We all know that life isn’t fair, and some of us will have breaks at certain times in our lives or receive moments of luck that others simply won’t. But it’s a strange phenomenon to want people to struggle just because you had to too. It is also a mistake that the next generation even has the opportunity to follow in the footsteps of its predecessors.

Will there be some of the relieved people who maybe could work harder? Sure. But will millions of Americans have a lifeline who have worked overtime or multiple jobs or had unfortunate situations that cost money? Certainly. Just because some people haven’t “deserved” relief from your personal metric doesn’t mean the many hard-working, struggling people shouldn’t get help.

This column does not necessarily reflect the opinion of the Editorial Board or of Bloomberg LP and its owners.

Erin Lowry is a Bloomberg Opinion columnist covering personal finance. She is the author of the three-part “Broke Millennial” series.

More stories like this are available at bloomberg.com/opinion

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Homeowners in These States Get the Highest Rate of Home Improvement Loans https://taking-sides.com/homeowners-in-these-states-get-the-highest-rate-of-home-improvement-loans/ Sun, 18 Sep 2022 17:37:00 +0000 https://taking-sides.com/homeowners-in-these-states-get-the-highest-rate-of-home-improvement-loans/ PHOENIX (Stacker) – The number of home improvement projects increased in the United States during COVID-19 as people stayed home more often and needed extra space, according to Harvard’s Joint Center for Housing Studies. In fact, Americans spent $367 billion on home improvement projects in 2021. Whether building a new home office, replacing the roof, […]]]>

PHOENIX (Stacker) – The number of home improvement projects increased in the United States during COVID-19 as people stayed home more often and needed extra space, according to Harvard’s Joint Center for Housing Studies. In fact, Americans spent $367 billion on home improvement projects in 2021. Whether building a new home office, replacing the roof, upgrading the plumbing, or creating an oasis in the backyards can require substantial funds. their projects.

A home improvement loan is money obtained from a lender to be used to repair, remodel or improve personal property. It is different from a home equity loan in that it is not based on the value a homeowner has accumulated in their home. Home improvement loans are not tied to a home’s equity, so interest rates are generally higher than on a home equity loan, and homeowners typically pay them off in five years or less.

This gives new homeowners – and those who haven’t paid off much of their mortgage – the chance to borrow money to tackle renovation projects. Home improvement loans also tend to get approved faster, so homeowners with a big emergency repair can take advantage of this type of loan to get the job done. Home improvement loans have been an essential financial tool during this home improvement boom. More than one million home improvement loans were taken out across the country in 2021, totaling $131 billion in borrowings.

Portland Real Estate analyzed loan origination data from the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau to see which states had homeowners who took out the highest rate of home improvement loans in 2021, the latest information available. The share was determined by dividing the number of owner-occupied homes in each state by the number of home improvement loans issued. The average loan size was calculated by dividing the total dollar amount of home improvement loans taken out in each state by the number of loans taken out.

#15. New Jersey

  • Number of loans: 32,745
  • Share of houses with loans: 1.0%
  • Total amount lent: $4.44 billion
  • Average loan amount: $135,664

#14. Vermont

  • Number of loans: 2,687
  • Share of houses with loans: 1.02%
  • Total amount lent: $286.9 million
  • Average loan amount: $106,764

#13. Ohio

  • Number of loans: 48,502
  • Share of houses with loans: 1.03%
  • Total amount lent: $4.0 billion
  • Average loan amount: $82,464

#12. Florida

  • Number of loans: 82,289
  • Share of houses with loans: 1.04%
  • Total amount lent: $10.02 billion
  • Average loan amount: $121,751

#11. Pennsylvania

  • Number of loans: 60,798
  • Share of houses with loans: 1.19%
  • Total amount lent: $5.52 billion
  • Average loan amount: $90,860

#ten. Delaware

  • Number of loans: 4,528
  • Share of houses with loans: 1.22%
  • Total amount lent: $434.8 million
  • Average loan amount: $96,020

#9. Arizona

  • Number of loans: 33,798
  • Share of houses with loans: 1.28%
  • Total amount lent: $4.39 billion
  • Average loan amount: $129,895

#8. Massachusetts

  • Number of loans: 33,986
  • Share of houses with loans: 1.28%
  • Total amount lent: $5.32 billion
  • Average loan amount: $156,645

#seven. Oregon

  • Number of loans: 21,394
  • Share of houses with loans: 1.30%
  • Total amount loaned: $2.74 billion
  • Average loan amount: $128,013

#6. Washington

  • Number of loans: 39,108
  • Share of houses with loans: 1.35%
  • Total amount lent: $5.45 billion
  • Average loan amount: $139,358

#5. New Hampshire

  • Number of loans: 7,419
  • Share of houses with loans: 1.38%
  • Total amount lent: $856.1 million
  • Average loan amount: $115,387

#4. Colorado

  • Number of loans: 31,069
  • Share of houses with loans: 1.45%
  • Total amount lent: $4.16 billion
  • Average loan amount: $133,884

#3. Rhode Island

  • Number of loans: 6,518
  • Share of houses with loans: 1.57%
  • Total amount lent: $707.7 million
  • Average loan amount: $108,582

#2. Idaho

  • Number of loans: 14,160
  • Share of houses with loans: 2.18%
  • Total amount lent: $1.88 billion
  • Average loan amount: $132,540

#1. Utah

  • Number of loans: 25,227
  • Share of houses with loans: 2.51%
  • Total amount lent: $2.97 billion
  • Average loan amount: $117,877

This story originally appeared on Portland Real Estate and was produced and distributed in partnership with Stacker Studio. This article has been republished under a CC BY-NC 4.0 license

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What Employers Should Consider With Upcoming Student Loan Relief https://taking-sides.com/what-employers-should-consider-with-upcoming-student-loan-relief/ Fri, 16 Sep 2022 23:11:54 +0000 https://taking-sides.com/what-employers-should-consider-with-upcoming-student-loan-relief/ Related practices and jurisdictions Friday, September 16, 2022 The Biden Administration announcement several student loan debt relief measures on August 24, 2022, including an extended moratorium on loan repayment until December 31, 2022 and debt cancellation which will be available towards the end of the year. Pell Grant recipients will receive $20,000 in student loan […]]]>

The Biden Administration announcement several student loan debt relief measures on August 24, 2022, including an extended moratorium on loan repayment until December 31, 2022 and debt cancellation which will be available towards the end of the year. Pell Grant recipients will receive $20,000 in student loan forgiveness. Other borrowers are eligible for $10,000 in student loan debt forgiveness, if they earn $125,000 or less ($250,000 or less for married filers and heads of household). In light of these changes, employers may want to consider reassessing the benefits of their existing educational assistance program.

Future relief measures proposed by the Biden administration included a new revenue-based repayment program and a restriction on unpaid interest. Under these proposals, borrowers who have paid off loans for ten years and have a remaining balance of $12,000 or less would qualify for a forgiveness at that time. Currently, borrowers are only eligible for forgiveness after twenty years of repayment. The proposal would also limit accrued interest for borrowers who make monthly payments, so the total loan amount would actually be reduced by repayments. Borrowers earning less than 225% of the federal poverty level (that is, earning about the federal minimum wage) would be exempt from repayment and accrued interest.

Therefore, now is a good time for employers to consider reviewing all of the Education Assistance Program benefits that are currently offered, and any corresponding changes for the coming year. The rules of the education assistance program have undergone some changes in recent years. In a private decision in 2018, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) allowed employers to tie 401(k) plan matching contributions to employee student loan repayments. bill, the Securing a strong 2022 retirement law (HR 2954), often referred to as the “SECURE Act 2.0”, has been passed by the US House of Representatives and is under consideration by the US Senate and contains a similar mechanism. Additionally, in 2020, the CARES Act (Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act) allowed employees to exclude from income up to $5,250 if their employers made interest or principal payments on loans. eligible students through educational assistance programs that meet the requirements of Section 127 of the Internal Revenue Code. The Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2021 extended this exclusion until December 31, 2025.

Employers may consider building flexibility into their education assistance programs and any matching contributions offered by coordinating such a program and a 401(k) plan benefit. While the Biden administration’s announcement refers to the repayment moratorium ending Dec. 31, 2022, as a “permanent” extension, the status of federal student loan repayments has been uncertain during the years of the national emergency. COVID-19. Additionally, if the proposed measures go into effect, more people will be eligible for $0 monthly income-based payments in the future. Finally, employers who do not currently offer education assistance programs may consider adding one by January 1, 2023, as the priorities of many borrowers will then shift from saving for retirement to paying off loans. students.

© 2022, Ogletree, Deakins, Nash, Smoak & Stewart, PC, All rights reserved.National Law Review, Volume XII, Number 259

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USAID chief urges crisis-hit Sri Lanka to tackle corruption https://taking-sides.com/usaid-chief-urges-crisis-hit-sri-lanka-to-tackle-corruption/ Sun, 11 Sep 2022 14:54:38 +0000 https://taking-sides.com/usaid-chief-urges-crisis-hit-sri-lanka-to-tackle-corruption/ Colombia, Sri Lanka — A visiting US diplomat on Sunday urged Sri Lankan authorities to tackle corruption and introduce governance reforms alongside efforts to revive the country’s economy as a way out of its worst crisis in recent memory. USAID Administrator Samantha Power told reporters that such steps will build international and local confidence in […]]]>

Colombia, Sri Lanka — A visiting US diplomat on Sunday urged Sri Lankan authorities to tackle corruption and introduce governance reforms alongside efforts to revive the country’s economy as a way out of its worst crisis in recent memory.

USAID Administrator Samantha Power told reporters that such steps will build international and local confidence in the government’s intentions.

“Aid alone would not end the woes of this country,” Power said. “I emphasized to the Sri Lankan President during my meeting earlier today that political reforms and political accountability must go hand in hand with economic reforms and economic accountability.”

She said international investor confidence will increase as the government tackles corruption and carries out long-awaited governance reforms. “As citizens see the government visibly following through on its commitment to make meaningful change, this in turn increases societal support for the tough economic reforms ahead,” she said.

During his two-day visit, Power announced a total of $60 million in aid to Sri Lanka. After meetings with farmer representatives at a paddy field in Ja-Ela, outside the capital Colombo on Saturday, she announced $40 million to buy agrochemicals in time for the next growing season.

Agricultural yields have more than halved in the past two growing seasons because authorities banned imports of chemical fertilizers ostensibly to promote organic farming. She said that according to the World Food Programme, more than 6 million people – nearly 30% of Sri Lanka’s population – currently face food insecurity and need humanitarian assistance.

On Sunday, she said an additional $20 million would be given to provide emergency humanitarian aid to vulnerable families.

Sri Lanka faced its worst crisis after defaulting on foreign loans, causing shortages of essentials like fuel, medicine and some food items.

It has reached a preliminary agreement with the International Monetary Fund for an envelope of 2.9 billion dollars to be disbursed over four years. However, the program relies on Sri Lanka’s international creditors providing assurances on loan restructuring. Sri Lanka’s total external debt stands at over $51 billion, of which $28 billion is due to be repaid by 2027.

Power said the United States was ready to help with the debt restructuring and reiterated that it was imperative that China, one of the island nation’s biggest creditors, cooperate in the endeavor.

Infrastructure like a seaport, an airport and a network of highways built with Chinese funding but failed to generate revenue and are partly responsible for the country’s woes.

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Dallas County hopes to get approval for low-interest SBA loans to help flood-affected people https://taking-sides.com/dallas-county-hopes-to-get-approval-for-low-interest-sba-loans-to-help-flood-affected-people/ Sat, 10 Sep 2022 01:10:58 +0000 https://taking-sides.com/dallas-county-hopes-to-get-approval-for-low-interest-sba-loans-to-help-flood-affected-people/ BALCH SPRINGS, TX – The damage from last month’s flooding in Dallas County was not enough to qualify for a federal grant to help victims rebuild. But those who need help can still get cheap loans to rebuild. Dallas County leaders went door-to-door in southeast Dallas County on Friday to see who might qualify for […]]]>

The damage from last month’s flooding in Dallas County was not enough to qualify for a federal grant to help victims rebuild.

But those who need help can still get cheap loans to rebuild.

Dallas County leaders went door-to-door in southeast Dallas County on Friday to see who might qualify for these loans.

Some people in the area said they struggled to figure out how to repair the damage.

Dallas County is now waiting to see if the damage qualifies Balch Springs residents for low-interest loans from the Small Business Administration.

But many owners said they couldn’t keep waiting and had been working to rebuild their lives for weeks.

“Bills don’t wait. Debts and bills pile up,” said Vanessa Villas.

Garbage has also been piling up on Villas Street for three weeks.

From sunrise to sunset, she and her husband set out to repair their flood-damaged home themselves.

The Balch Springs couple don’t have insurance.

On Friday, they finished painting the children’s rooms.

“We still have to put in the floors, the trim,” Villas said.

RELATED: Flooding forces residents of Balch Springs to evacuate their homes

On August 22, historic flooding forced homeowners in some Balch Springs neighborhoods to evacuate.

Some residents were trapped and had to be rescued from high water.

Once the water receded, the Villas began to rebuild and have not stopped since, but they are now awash in debt.

“It’s like everyone’s life is going on and our lives are freezing. We’ve been stuck here,” Villas said.

City, county and state emergency management officials visited Balch Springs on Friday.

“In the entire state of Texas, we only had 70 homes destroyed or damaged. The majority were in Dallas County,” Dallas County Judge Clay Jenkins said.

Jenkins was also part of Friday’s storm assessment, now hoping Balch Springs flood victims will qualify for low-interest disaster loans under the SBA program.

Despite its name, the SBA also offers low-interest disaster loans to homeowners.

Gov. Greg Abbott issued a disaster declaration for 23 counties to attempt to qualify for FEMA assistance, but Judge Jenkins said FEMA’s threshold for uninsured losses had not been met.

“We all after listening to the state, and FEMA agreed that SBA was the way to go,” Jenkins said. “I’m disappointed that we can’t get individual help for those affected and only get these low interest loans for them.”

If approved, Jenkins thinks people will be on the ground processing low-interest loans over the next week.

But some don’t wait.

Oscar Rodriguez has been doing some work, still awaiting a final estimate from his insurance.

His 21-year-old house is now completely empty.

“Everything in the house is not well,” he said.

Across the street, the Villas want to reach halfway this weekend to hopefully have some sense of normalcy.

“We had to cut our drywall. That side of the house was untouched,” Villas said. “We had to start. We have three children that we have to bring home.”

If Dallas County is approved for these low-interest loans from the SBA, anyone with flood damage in surrounding counties, such as Tarrant, Ellis, or Collin counties, may also be eligible.

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It’s a housing crisis, not a crisis https://taking-sides.com/its-a-housing-crisis-not-a-crisis/ Wed, 07 Sep 2022 16:19:01 +0000 https://taking-sides.com/its-a-housing-crisis-not-a-crisis/ Comment this story Comment I am in the process of building a house, so I recently met with the manager of a real estate agency to discuss the sale of my current house in about a year. Knowing that I worked in finance, he asked for my views on the housing market as he said […]]]>

Comment

I am in the process of building a house, so I recently met with the manager of a real estate agency to discuss the sale of my current house in about a year. Knowing that I worked in finance, he asked for my views on the housing market as he said he saw a lot of unhappiness on the internet.

First, all real estate is local. The housing market where I live in coastal South Carolina is still strong. Although transactions are down from a year ago, it is because there are very few homes on the market. Lots of people – many of whom have money and aren’t affected by rising interest rates – are coming from other parts of the country, and I’d have no problem selling my house today if I wanted to. . He accepted.

He also agreed when I told him that you can’t randomly scroll through Twitter these days without falling into predictions of an impending housing bust. Jeff Weniger, head of equities at WisdomTree Investments, recently posted a Twitter thread titled “Housing is in trouble” that has gone a bit viral. The thread was well-researched with charts and data to back up each of its points, such as how the supply of new homes has exploded, as have monthly mortgage principal and interest payments. As a result, the National Association of Home Builders’ Housing Market Index fell. Sales of new and existing homes fell sharply and affordability fell to 2005 levels.

Some people take these facts and extrapolate them into a thesis, that a housing crisis is coming that will be equal to or greater than the one we had in 2008. In fact, judging from what I read online, that seems to be the prevailing opinion. I guess some of that is understandable. The Federal Reserve is raising interest rates like never before, and I guess in a nightmare scenario, higher borrowing costs will stifle demand for credit. But I doubt it will go that far, given the importance of the housing market to the economy, accounting for between 15% and 20% of gross domestic product.

There are two main reasons why we are not going to experience another housing crisis. The first is that housing is financed very differently from the years before the collapse of subprime mortgages and the resulting financial crisis. You had no money on mortgages, “liar” loans, NINJA loans, interest only mortgages, negative amortization mortgages and many financial innovations on top of these – which have all facilitated by poor underwriting standards. Then, these mortgages were bundled into bonds with the best AAA credit ratings. These bonds were then grouped into higher risk securities called secured debt securities which were also assigned the highest credit ratings. Finally, Wall Street has created many hundreds and hundreds of billions of dollars worth of risky credit default swaps tied to all of these bonds and CDOs. It was a virtual daisy chain of leverage, and when people stopped paying mortgages they shouldn’t have had first place, there was a domino effect that led to the bailout of some of the biggest major financial institutions in the country.

Today, there is no market to speak of for subprime mortgages or related bonds, CDOs and credit default swaps. What exists is negligible and certainly not a threat to the financial system. I’m not a huge fan of regulation, but clearly things like the Volcker Rule, the Dodd-Frank Act, and Basel III have made the financial system safer by limiting excessive risk taking. In fact, it can be nearly impossible to have a housing crisis again. I recently got a construction loan for my new home and I can assure you the underwriting standards were the opposite of lax. At the very end of the process, my lender demanded a 30% deposit instead of 20% to be on the safe side.

The second reason is that consumers have massively deleveraged. Nearly half of mortgaged properties were considered equity-rich in the second quarter, meaning owners had at least 50% equity, according to real estate data provider Attom. Bloomberg News reported that this was the ninth consecutive quarterly increase, helped in part by an increase in deposits from recent buyers. Nationally, the share of equity-rich mortgage homes hit a record 48.1% last quarter, up from 34.4% a year earlier. Meanwhile, the share of homes considered seriously underwater – where the mortgage is 25% higher than the property’s estimated market value – has fallen to a low of 2.9%.

Something else to consider: the debt service ratio of US households has fallen from around 13% during the last housing crisis to less than 10% today, according to the Fed. The amount that households spend to service their mortgage debt has been reduced by nearly half, from 7.18% in 2007 to 3.89% recently. It wasn’t house prices that killed us in 2008, it was leverage. Sure, it’s possible to have a bear market without leverage, but you’re not going to have a generational bear market without leverage.

The other thing people forget is that real estate is a very good place to invest in inflationary environments. It is a traditional store of value. And there are certain demographic factors that could push housing higher – much higher. Only 48.6% of Millennials own a home, which is 20% less than Gen X. Like baby boomers, Millennials represent a huge demographic bulge and they’re not done buying. Sometimes I wonder if housing will do over the next decade what Canadian housing has done over the last, and that is continue to grow despite the odds.

Let’s not get caught up in a whirlwind of real estate misfortune. I promise it will be fine. I predict we will have a small price correction of around 10% with limited fallout, and then the housing market will resume its upward march.

More other writers at Bloomberg Opinion:

• Don’t sweat a housing crash as long as wages go up: Conor Sen

• Resist the siren song of 40-year mortgages: Alexis Leondis

• Will housing prices simply flatten or collapse? :Jonathan Levin

This column does not necessarily reflect the opinion of the Editorial Board or of Bloomberg LP and its owners.

Jared Dillian is the editor and publisher of Daily Dirtnap. Investment strategist at Mauldin Economics, he is the author of “All the Evil of This World”. He may have an interest in the areas he writes about.

More stories like this are available at bloomberg.com/opinion

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UK taxpayer clinging to billions lost on Covid business loans https://taking-sides.com/uk-taxpayer-clinging-to-billions-lost-on-covid-business-loans/ Mon, 05 Sep 2022 19:32:01 +0000 https://taking-sides.com/uk-taxpayer-clinging-to-billions-lost-on-covid-business-loans/ More than £1billion in taxpayer-funded loans made under the UK government’s Covid ‘bounce-back’ scheme have been identified as potentially fraudulent, official data showed on Monday. UK banks have also claimed or received £3.8billion in public funds to cover defaults under the scheme – a sign of the vast sums that will be needed to cover […]]]>

More than £1billion in taxpayer-funded loans made under the UK government’s Covid ‘bounce-back’ scheme have been identified as potentially fraudulent, official data showed on Monday.

UK banks have also claimed or received £3.8billion in public funds to cover defaults under the scheme – a sign of the vast sums that will be needed to cover emergency loans to small businesses in the during the first months of the pandemic.

The data, part of a new bank performance dashboard on bounce back loans, revealed for the first time which banks were most at risk of default and fraud under the scheme. This will raise new questions about whether they should have done more to weed out fraudsters before granting state-guaranteed loans.

As new Prime Minister Liz Truss prepares a massive financial support package to help struggling households cope with soaring energy bills, the scale of the losses is also a reminder that the government is still covering the costs of the pandemic. .

Under the rebound scheme, government-backed loans worth more than £46billion have been given to businesses with only light eligibility checks to encourage banks to lend quickly.

You see a snapshot of an interactive chart. This is probably because you are offline or JavaScript is disabled in your browser.

However, it is now feared that billions of pounds could be lost to fraudsters, with official estimates as high as almost £5billion.

Banks have come under fire from ministers for not doing more to stop fraud in the system and, more recently, for not suing businesses to recover taxpayers’ money.

Bank executives deny the charges, arguing they were simply following rules set by the Treasury to lend to troubled businesses as quickly as possible.

Of the £3.8bn earmarked to cover defaults, £1.2bn has already been paid out to banks by the Treasury, including around £263m covering suspected fraudulent loans.

Lenders have reported that loans worth a further £3.2bn are overdue and a further £1.4bn is now in default.

Government data also showed that £28.3bn of loans were repaid on time, while a further £4.7bn had been fully repaid.

Last weekend, Government Efficiency Minister Jacob Rees-Mogg wrote to Starling Bank asking how it would recover money lost under the scheme. Starling’s total value drawn under the scheme was £1.6 billion, of which more than £600 million is overdue, defaulted or has been claimed and settled. He identified £92m of suspected fraud.

Starling said he “has taken a strong and proactive stance to protect taxpayers’ money, as well as to support our customers and help them repay their loans.” He described “direct comparisons between Starling Bank and other lenders” as “difficult, given data limitations and the different characteristics of each lender’s customer base.”

Nearly a third of loans made by Tide, another online bank, have also been repaid under the guarantee, while around half of New Wave Capital’s loan portfolio has been settled.

More than £450m of the £1.4bn loaned by Metro Bank is also overdue, in default or has been claimed and settled.

Metro said that “although it is too early to draw concrete conclusions, we can see the data beginning to normalize and we expect Metro Bank’s position to align with our overall contribution to the BBLS program in the over time”.

He added that he “understands [its] responsibilities within the framework of the program and at all times respected the spirit and the rules of the program [taking] a rigorous approach to detecting fraudulent BBLS loan applications.

The largest amounts of suspected fraud were reported by Lloyds and Barclays, at £304m and £259m, respectively, but those banks also have two of the biggest lending books with rebound at £8.5bn of pounds sterling and 10.7 billion pounds sterling. Barclays, the biggest lender under the scheme, has also claimed or had its claims settled on more than £1bn of loans.

“We continue to proactively tackle BBLS fraud, and we are committed to identifying, escalating and recovering fraud within the programs – in line with government lending program requirements,” Barclays said.

Tide, Lloyds and New Wave Capital did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

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