College renovates Le Mans Hall

first_imgAfter several pipes broke in Le Mans Hall over winter break, Saint Mary’s College has decided to accelerate renovation plans  originally intended to begin after the spring semester.  During winter break, a small leak in the Le Mans attic caused a flood in a resident’s room and the Financial Aid Office. Pipe replacements in Le Mans began at the end of January and will continue throughout the spring semester.  Bill Hambling, director of Facilities at Saint Mary’s, said the new pipes will not only have a longer life history but will save the College time and money.  “The pipes are from the early 1900s and are getting pretty old,” Hambling said. “What we are trying to do with these repairs is replace the pipes with new … plastic pipes that will ease both the repair and overall maintenance of pipes throughout the building.” The project was originally planned to commence this summer, but Hambling said one of the reasons they began the repairs earlier was to complete renovations before students returned for the fall semester. “With all the other renovations taking place this summer and with the different summer activities happening around campus, we needed to get a jumpstart on the Le Mans renovations,” Hambling said. “This is a very aggressive project of high magnitude and needed to be pushed up.” Hambling said students have been notified that construction will take place in the public bathrooms daily from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. “Emails have been sent out to all students regarding the renovations and when certain bathrooms will be unavailable,” Hambling said. “There are also floor plans and schedules of when certain bathrooms will be unavailable posted throughout all halls of Le Mans.” Hambling said students have been cooperative with the project so far, and that it is important to remember that these renovations will improve accommodations for all residents. “Student cooperation is never a problem,” he said. “These renovations are to take care of old issues to make it more habitable for all students.”last_img read more

Floating along in social media? 3 tips on swimming in the right direction

first_img 22SHARESShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblr Your boss told you it’s time to start “doing” social media, so you enrolled in a Social Media Boot Camp and learned the basics. Now you are wondering if this is time well spent. Are you making an impact, or floundering? Feeling overwhelmed? Good – that’s normal.At first, diving into social media is kind of like real life diving. Suddenly you’re surrounded – not by water and underwater creatures, but a stream of tweets and posts coming at you constantly. Are they friendly? Or will they bite? It’s overwhelming in the first few days/weeks, so you come up for air, unsure of any of it.Hang in there! What you are experiencing is a normal response to navigating the social media waters. Here’s a few tips on swimming in the right direction rather than simply floating:Take a deep breath and relax. You will NOT be able to consume every post and tweet so don’t even try. Once you accept that, you will relax. continue reading »last_img read more

The BEST Facebook pages for credit union marketing ideas [Top 10]

first_img 10SHARESShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblr Disclaimer #1: These Facebook pages are NOT other financial institutions, as we often like to take inspiration from other industries and then use those ideas for the betterment of CUs.Disclaimer #2: Some of the Facebook pages might have content you don’t like, or perhaps find offensive. Truth be told, I have a foul mouth and what I think is a well-developed, if juvenile, sense of humor. So, proceed with caution! ?With that all in mind, in no particular order, here are the 10 best Facebook pages for content inspiration. Credit Union marketing ideas, here you go! On your mark, get set, go….1. Zappos – (https://www.facebook.com/zappos/) continue reading »last_img

How the election will impact 2021 payments strategy

first_imgLet’s begin by stating the obvious: This will not be a normal election season. As it has for so many aspects of everyday life, COVID-19 has radically altered the basics of voting—from a huge uptick in advance and absentee ballots to the near-elimination of traditional campaign rallies.We know that markets hate uncertainty—and that’s one thing in ample supply these days. Uncertainty creates hesitancy to invest in initiatives that could be upended based on the election outcome. This is especially problematic in our current environment, with so many critical issues clamoring to be addressed.While attempting to avoid the partisan fault lines, let’s consider how November’s election results could alter the payments landscape for banks and credit unions in 2021 and beyond.In a Highly Regulated Industry, Regulation MattersIt seems clear that the coronavirus pandemic will prompt some form of legislative and/or regulatory action impacting financial services. Bear in mind that the Federal Reserve has already restricted dividend payouts and share buybacks for the nation’s largest banks in an effort to preserve capital. Recall also that the Dodd-Frank Act was passed in response to our last economic downturn. Some type of banking reform almost certainly would have been passed in 2009 even if the GOP had controlled Congress and the White House, but it might have looked quite different. This post is currently collecting data… This is placeholder text continue reading »center_img ShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblrlast_img read more

At Capital One, Easy Credit and Abundant Lawsuits

first_imgBy Paul Kiel ProPublicaThis story was co-published with The Daily Beast.Several years ago, Capital One gave Oscar Parsons, 46, his first credit card. At the time, he didn’t need a loan. But he banked at a Capital One branch near his Bronx apartment, and when it was offered, he thought, “Why not?”Initially, he had little problem keeping up with the payments. But after a run of construction jobs came to an end, he fell behind and found himself ducking the bank’s collections calls, he said. Each time the company’s TV commercials popped up, asking, “What’s in your wallet?” Parsons thought: “It’s not enough to pay you back.”This year, Capital One provided Parsons with another first: his first lawsuit. For failing to pay his $1,800 debt, the company took him to court. Currently on public benefits and in a job training program, Parsons has nothing Capital One can take. But should Parsons find work, Capital One could use a court judgment to seize money from his bank account or take a portion of his wages.It was a hard lesson — one learned by hundreds of thousands of the bank’s cardholders. No lender sues more of its customers than Capital One, according to ProPublica’s review of state court data.Over the past year, ProPublica has sought to illuminate the scope of debt collection lawsuits, which, though they are often filed by public companies in public courts, are a largely hidden part of the nation’s financial life. The suits hit workers who earn below $40,000 a year the hardest and federal garnishment laws provide scant protection. Even workers near the minimum wage could have a quarter of their take-home pay taken or their bank accounts cleaned out. State laws typically offer little more protection.To identify which companies file the most collection suits, ProPublica obtained and analyzed court data from 11 states. In every state, Capital One stood out.During the years of the recession, particularly 2008 through 2010, when the number of credit card defaults surged, many banks filed more lawsuits. But Capital One dwarfed them all, reaching levels never matched by any company before or since, according to ProPublica’s review of data going back to 1996.By our estimate, the suits exceeded half a million per year nationally during those peak years.Since 2011, Capital One’s suits have dropped considerably, though they have continued to far exceed the totals of any other bank. For example, in Indiana counties for which court data is available — home to about two-thirds of the state’s population — the bank filed about 3,360 suits in 2014. That’s about a quarter of the suits Capital One filed in 2010, but still more suits than all other national banks combined in 2014. In Clark County, Nevada, which includes Las Vegas, Capital One’s suits comprised about 40 percent of all suits by major banks. In Miami-Dade County, Florida, the tally was about the same.Because court data is often kept at the county level, ProPublica combined data to compile numbers for entire states when possible, including New Jersey and Missouri. In some states, data was limited to major metropolitan counties. The time periods also varied, from a couple decades to only a few years, but the trends involving Capital One’s suits were consistent.The suits, often over debts as small as $1,000, reveal a largely hidden side of Capital One’s business. The bank has only the fourth largest credit card portfolio (as measured by both numbers of cardholders and balance size), but such a large portion of its cards are held by those with poor credit that it is the country’s largest subprime lender. With those loans comes a high risk of default, and the company is particularly aggressive at recouping losses.Capital One’s subprime borrowers live life on the edge, said Steve Brobeck, executive director of the Consumer Federation of America. “A large majority of these cardholders carry balances from month-to-month,” he said, because they can’t afford to pay off the balance.The “disturbing” volume of suits filed by Capital One should prompt regulators to investigate whether the perils of subprime credit cards outweigh the benefits, Brobeck said.A Capital One spokeswoman said the bank serves an important function by providing credit to large numbers of borrowers who might be unlikely to get it from other banks. When customers fall behind on payments, she said, the bank makes every effort to work with them.“We will not sue anyone working with us, no matter how small the payment,” said spokeswoman Tatiana Stead. But when customers don’t pay, she said, “we have an obligation to recover some of our losses so we can offer the best pricing to our customers.”Capital One’s suits are notable not just for how common they are. The company also files suits over much smaller debts than other banks.In 2013, the typical debt in a Capital One suit filed in New Jersey was about $1,500, according to ProPublica’s analysis of state court data. The typical debt in a suit brought by other major issuers like Citibank or Bank of America was more than three times as high. ProPublica found a similar gap in other states.Capital One offers cards with a credit line often as low as a few hundred dollars to customers with poor credit. On the bank’s website, the cards carry annual interest rates as high as 25 percent. After making payments for five months, customers’ credit limits can increase.Kevin Thomas, an attorney with the nonprofit New York Legal Assistance Group, often represents clients sued in Bronx Civil Court by Capital One. He said his clients frequently started with low-limit cards, but after Capital One raised their credit limits, their balances grew, the interest mounted and they lost control. Then, although their debts were not large, typically between $1,000 and $1,500, they ended up in court, he said.Debt collection lawsuits are especially prevalent in black neighborhoods, as ProPublica reported in October, where suits over smaller debts are more common. Capital One obtained judgments in mostly black neighborhoods at nearly twice the rate as in mostly white neighborhoods, a larger disparity than the other major card issuers, we found. Capital One’s spokeswoman said the bank did not take race into consideration when making a loan or filing a suit.Lawsuits over even small debts can provoke a crisis for low-income debtors. Patricia Boglin, 51, of Woodbridge, Virginia, works as a school bus driver, earning about $26,000 a year. When Capital One sued her over a $1,878 debt late last year, she said, she panicked. Would the bank try to foreclose on her house to force repayment? “It just terrified me,” she said.That a collection lawsuit could lead to foreclosure is a common fear among defendants, said Jay Speer, executive director of the nonprofit Virginia Poverty Law Center, even though it’s extremely unlikely. Of course, the realistic consequences of a suit — garnishment or a lien being placed on the debtor’s home — are serious.Boglin did not want to risk it, so she filed for bankruptcy under Chapter 13.How banks handle delinquent accounts is largely shielded from public scrutiny. They aren’t required to disclose how many suits they file. And the role of debt buyers — companies that purchase accounts from banks at a steep discount, then try to collect — further obscures what happens to customers who don’t pay.To generate a national estimate for Capital One’s suits, ProPublica looked to Encore Capital Corp., the nation’s biggest debt buyer, which voluntarily disclosed the number of suits it had filed nationally until 2010. That year, the company reported having filed 517,000 suits.Capital One filed about 40 percent more collection suits than Encore in 2010 in the states for which ProPublica has data, indicating that the bank filed at least half a million suits that year nationally and potentially hundreds of thousands more. Our data showed even more suits in the two preceding years.Capital One declined to respond to this comparison or provide a count of its suits.After 2010, Encore Capital, under scrutiny for its litigation practices, stopped disclosing the number of suits it had filed. A spokesperson for Encore did not explain the decision beyond saying, “as we have diversified and grown as a company, we continue to evaluate what disclosures are appropriate for our investors.”Because some banks sell their defaulted accounts to debt buyers like Encore, it is impossible to determine how many of their customers were ultimately sued. The three largest card issuers, Citibank, Bank of America, and JPMorgan Chase, have sold accounts to debt buyers in the past, according to court filings.Capital One has also sold debt in the past. Stead, the bank’s spokeswoman, declined to provide detail on its debt-selling practices, but said the bank’s “strong preference” is to do its own collecting.The lack of transparency leaves both borrowers and policymakers in the dark, said April Kuehnhoff, an attorney at the National Consumer Law Center. “We need more data about debt-collection practices by both debt buyers and original creditors so that we can improve debt collection laws,” she said.ProPublica contacted the six largest card issuers for this story, and all were guarded when it came to details about their approach to collections.Citibank and Bank of America declined to respond to questions. Chase stopped filing lawsuits or selling its debt in 2011, after a whistleblower identified flaws in the bank’s collection practices. Those problems led to a consent agreement with regulators in 2013.Discover filed the second-most suits, according to ProPublica’s analysis. It, too, declined to comment. Like Capital One, Discover’s volume of suits was also disproportionately large given the bank’s relatively small market share — Discover is the sixth-largest card issuer.American Express, the fifth-largest issuer, filed relatively few suits. Spokeswoman Sonya Conway said the bank has not sold its debt in the past six years and had no plans to do so.Federal regulators say they are alert to the potential for abuse through debt collection lawsuits, but it’s unclear that consumers should expect any more transparency in the near term.Banks should “consider the risks of excessive litigation,” said Bryan Hubbard, spokesman for the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency. The regulator has also publicly urged banks, when selling debts to buyers, to “consider selecting debt buyers who limit their use of litigation.”While the agency says it closely monitors banks’ collection practices, that scrutiny does not extend to tracking the number of lawsuits each bank files. Hubbard said the agency does not consider the number of lawsuits “an effective indicator of bank safety and soundness or compliance.”The federal Consumer Financial Protection Bureau is in the process of writing new rules for debt collection that are expected to cover a wide range of activities, including the filing of lawsuits. A spokeswoman declined to comment on whether the CFPB tracked the number of collection lawsuits filed by banks or planned to in the future.A number of the bureau’s past enforcement actions have centered on debt collection litigation practices. It filed suit against the largest collections firm in Georgia, Frederick J. Hanna & Associates, which counts Capital One among its clients. Calling the firm a “debt collection lawsuit mill,” the CFPB alleged attorneys often filed suits with faulty information. The law firm disputes the allegations, and the suit is ongoing.ProPublica is a Pulitzer Prize-winning investigative newsroom. Sign up for their newsletter. 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‘Enough is enough’: Endicott MMA gym reopens for business in defiance of executive orders

first_imgHe says the gym will use social distancing such as having each student use a designated space, no physical contact and a temperature screening before students enter. When that didn’t happen, and the governor excluded the facility from reopening, the owner said he had no choice but to open. The mixed martial arts facility believed it would be allowed to open as part of phase three, and then again as part of phase four. “This is what I use to feed my family, this is what I use to stay in shape,” said Marcos Ithier, a three-time world champion in jiu-jitsu who has practiced martial arts since he was 5. “There’s people here, I have students that suffer from social disorders, anxiety and stuff; they can’t come in.” ENDICOTT (WBNG) — One Southern Tier business has defied New York Governor Andrew Cuomo’s shutdown orders. Xtreme Ambition MMA on Washington Avenue in the village of Endicott is officially back open for business as of Monday. As far as potential consequences go, the gym could be fined, or even have its license to operate removed. Ithier said this doesn’t bother him because if he doesn’t open within the month, he will lose everything he has worked to build anyway.last_img read more

Claisse planning BHA discussion following light issue | Racing News

first_imgOfficials at Cheltenham will consult with the British Horseracing Authority to see if anything can be done to prevent a repeat of the light issues that affected the final race on Saturday’s card.The closing mares’ bumper was staged in murky conditions and following a thrilling finish, a dead heat was called between Harry Fry’s Ishkhara Lady and the Dan Skelton-trained Elle Est Belle.- Advertisement – – Advertisement – However, the dwindling light at the course made the official photo hard to read, prompting some outcry about the result on social media, and clerk of the course Simon Claisse is keen to avoid a repeat of the situation if possible.“The judge can only do so much in those conditions,” he said.“We’ll be looking to see if there’s anything we can do to help minimise the risk to stop these things happening.- Advertisement – He told Racing TV: “There are all sorts of factors to bear in mind and betting turnover increases throughout the afternoon. It’s not as simple as saying ‘why don’t you start earlier’.“We’ll take a look at it with the British Horseracing Authority in the weeks to come. If there’s anything we can do to reduce the risk of these things happening, we’ll certainly look at it.“The race times are set by the BHA, in conjunction with the racecourses, but if we started earlier, someone else would be going later, so you may end up just pushing the issue from one racecourse to another.” “Our race schedule is really based around ITV and we’re very lucky to have them here – it’s not the simple matter of starting earlier and getting the racing under way and finished before sunset.“At the minute the rules say 15 minutes before sundown, which was 4.18pm yesterday, so we were in plenty of time. It was just one of those unfortunate sets of circumstances when it turned very dark because of the heavy rain.”Claisse said there are a number of issues preventing them from just starting at an earlier time.- Advertisement –last_img read more

Trump suspends all travel from Europe to US to fight coronavirus

first_imgUS President Donald Trump announced on Wednesday the United States will suspend all travel from Europe to the United States for 30 days starting on Friday in order to fight the coronavirus.Trump said the travel restrictions do not apply to the United Kingdom.The restrictions, meant to combat the spread of the coronavirus, do not apply to legal permanent residents of the United States, nor does it generally apply to immediate family members of American citizens, DHS said in a statement. DHS acting Secretary Chad Wolf said in the statement he plans to issue a notice in the next 48 hours that would require U.S. passengers who have been in Schengen Area countries to travel through select airports with enhanced screening.The White House at dusk ahead of U.S. President Donald Trump’s address to the nation in Washington, U.S., March 11, 2020. (REUTERS/Tom Brenner)Furthermore, Trump emphasizes that trade will not be affected by the 30-day restrictions on travel from Europe, apparently rolling back on comments he made in a speech earlier in the evening.”The restriction stops people not goods,” he said in the tweet.In the speech about an hour earlier, Trump said: “These prohibitions will not only apply to the tremendous amount of trade and cargo but various other things as we get approval. Anything coming from Europe to the United States is what we are discussing.”U.S. President Donald Trump has canceled events planned this week in Colorado and Nevada “out of an abundance of caution from the coronavirus outbreak,” White House spokeswoman Stephanie Grisham said in a statement.Topics :last_img read more

Swiss pension funds produce 0.7% median return, says ASIP

first_imgThe median return for Swiss pension funds stood at 0.7% last year, according to pension fund association ASIP.As at the end of 2015, the allocation of ASIP’s sample portfolio, as calculated by Towers Watson, stood at approximately 10% domestic equities, 20% foreign equities, 37% bonds and 20% real estate.Real estate was the chief driver of returns, with direct Swiss property returning 5.3%, indirect Swiss property 5.1% and foreign real estate 3%, respectively, ASIP said.Commodity investments, accounting for 3% of portfolios on average, fared worst over the period, producing a 23% loss in ASIP’s sample portfolio. Domestic bonds returned just under 2%, while foreign bonds lost 3.7%, with both asset classes accounting for roughly 18% of ASIP’s model portfolio.The Swiss pension fund association said many schemes were thinking to increase exposure to equities, real estate and “even alternatives such as infrastructure”, given the investment market for bonds.It also pointed out that some Pensionskassen had divided their liquidity holdings among various banks to avoid having to pay a negative interest rate, which some banks are demanding above a certain threshold.ASIP said 2015 would be the last year for which it would calculate an average return, as “there is now a large number of other performance information available”.For example, the Credit Suisse Pensionskassen index, based on a portfolio of Credit Suisse custodial clients, returned 0.95% over the same period, again due mainly to the performance of real estate, which accounted for 22.37% of the overall portfolio, a record high.According to calculations made by UBS based on its client sample, the average return for 2015 was 0.7%.In its sample, real estate was also the best performer and accounted for 27% of the overall portfolio.Pictet’s 2015 index returned between 0.11% and 0.48%, with higher returns achieved by the portfolios with a lower equity exposure.last_img read more

Four Area Seniors Honored As Regional Academic All-Stars

first_imgForty high school seniors from throughout Indiana have been named 2020 Indiana Academic All-Stars, a program of the Indiana Association of School Principals (IASP). In addition, 50 other students were recognized as Academic All-Star Regional Honorees.Four area seniors were honored as Region Academic All-Stars. William Hartwell – Milan, Erin Batta – Batesville, Olivia Vanderbur – North Decatur, and Allison Furnish – Switzerland County.The students were selected from a field of 280 outstanding nominees from the state’s private and public accredited schools.Academic All-Star distinction recognizes seniors who excel in the classroom first and foremost, but who also are actively involved in their schools and communities, and take on leadership roles in those activities. The program is produced by the Indiana Association of School Principals, with support provided by DePauw University, Indiana University Bloomington, and Purdue University, along with corporate partner Herff Jones. Student awards will be awarded at a later date by DePauw University, Indiana University- Bloomington, Purdue University, and the Indiana Association of School Principals. Herff Jones provides the plaques awarded to the 40 Indiana Academic All-Stars and their Influential Educators.last_img read more