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Feds’ Consumer Watchdog Agency Is Legal, Ninth Circuit Rules - Courthouse News Service

(CN) – An agency with limited quasi-judicial powers is constitutional, despite having a director – currently President Donald Trump appointee Kathy Kraninger – who can only be removed by the president for inefficiency, neglect of duties or malfeasance, the Ninth Circuit ruled Monday.   At issue is the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, which was created in 2010 through passage of the Consumer Financial Protection Act by Congress. The bureau is housed in the Federal Reserve, but has the authority to investigate and administratively punish financial wrongdoing.


Soaring bankruptcies in Farm Belt force banks to boost defenses - American Banker

Banks that serve U.S. farmers are increasingly restructuring existing loans and boosting the collateral needed for new ones as the numbers of late and missed payments have risen. While regional banks are healthy, they're clearly boosting their defenses against the risks they face. In March, a report by First Midwest Bank in Chicago showed past-due agricultural loans up 287% in 2018 over the previous year. Meanwhile, cases handled by the Iowa Mediation Service involving farmers unable to make payments rose 20%. Farmer bankruptcies in six Midwest states rose 30% to 103 in 2018, according to the Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis. To hold back the tide, Farmers National Bank in Prophetstown, Illinois, is restructuring more and more loans to keep growers solvent while trimming the bank's own risk.


Fintech Based Debt Collection Startups Help In Increasing Recovery Rate - Techie Expert

This might be the first time ever when you are hearing about the term Fin tech debt collection startups. These forms of startup companies are actually transforming the entire dated industry, which was actually relying on the archaic methods of the practice over here. There are some of the industrial based disruptors, which have seen some of the dramatically increased form of recovery rates while just trying to offer one of the most pleasant experiences for not only the debtor but even for the creditors, at the same time.


39 Million Americans Can’t Afford a Summer Vacation - ABI

According to a new Bankrate survey, an estimated 39 million Americans won’t be taking a summer vacation this year because they can’t afford one, Yahoo Finance reported. While just over half of American adults are planning to take some sort of trip during the summer months, a whopping 48 percent are either definitely not taking one or haven’t decided yet. The biggest factor is cost. Vacations typically cost just under $2,000 on average. One of five of those who say they can’t afford a vacation explain that paying down debt is the biggest thing standing in their way. So racking up more debt for a little R&R is clearly not a good idea. While the national average for summer vacation spending is $1,979, that number varies depending on where you call home. Those living in the western part of the U.S. can expect to spend more at $2,265 on average, while Midwesterners are looking at a much lower average of $1,607. The Northeast, at $2,079, and the South, at $1,943, hew a bit closer to the national average. Age is also a factor. For millennials between the ages of 30 and 38, the average shoots up to $2,366, while those between the ages of 23 and 29 are expected to spend just $1,297 on average. As for older adults and retirees, a smaller share of adults over the age of 55 are planning to take a vacation, with just 47 percent gearing up to his the road this summer, and 55 percent of those not taking a vacation say that it's because they can't afford it, while 26 percent cited health concerns as the main deterrent.


Social Security Costs to Exceed Income in 2020, Trustees Say - ABI

The Social Security program’s costs will exceed its income in 2020 for the first time since 1982, forcing the program to dip into its nearly $3 trillion trust fund to cover benefits, the Wall Street Journal reported. The shortfall comes two years later than projected last year — when the program was expected to dip into the fund but ended up in the black. But by 2035, those reserves will be depleted and Social Security will no longer be able to pay its full scheduled benefits, according to the latest annual report by the trustees of Social Security and Medicare released yesterday. “Both Social Security and Medicare face long-term financing shortfalls under currently scheduled benefits and financing,” the trustees wrote, urging lawmakers to take action sooner rather than later to give policy makers enough time to phase in changes and shore up the programs.


CFPB May Allow Debt Collectors to Send You Texts, Emails - Savannahnow

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau will unveil new debt collection rules in a few weeks, the agency’s director said Wednesday, potentially unleashing a battle over the industry’s tactics and consumers’ rights. The proposal, which would be the first update to the Federal Debt Collection Practices Act in more than 40 years, will address how often debt collectors can call someone and the industry’s use of emails or text messages, said CFPB Director Kathy Kraninger. The CFPB will “modernize the legal regime for debt collection,” Kraninger said in her first major speech since becoming the bureau’s director in December.


Treasury yields fall as Fed Beige Book shows a tight labor market and a growing economy - CNBC

U.S. government debt prices rose on Wednesday as the Federal Reserve said the economic activity grew at a slight-to-moderate pace in March and early April. The Fed’s Beige Book report, a region-by-region assessment of the U.S. economy based on anecdotal information collected by the 12 regional Fed banks, found that the U.S. economy continues to grow and labor markets remains tight across the country.


Survey: Consumers Around the World Are Spending Less on Almost Everything - ABI

Consumers around the world are likely to spend more cautiously in the coming months amid political and economic uncertainty, according to a new report that surveyed shoppers in 64 countries, the Washington Post reported. Shoppers said that they have cut back on clothing and entertainment costs in the past year, and have taken measures to save on gas and electricity, according to the Conference Board Global Consumer Confidence Survey, conducted in collaboration with Nielsen. Consumers in Europe and Latin America are buying cheaper alcohol and groceries, while Asian shoppers are scaling back their annual vacations. Consumers in more than half of the 64 countries surveyed said they expect economic conditions to worsen in the coming year, the survey found. Uncertainty over international trade negotiations, as well as Brexit and whatever President Trump might do or say next have taken a toll on how much people plan to spend, particularly in North America and Europe, Dahlhoff said. Overall, the Global Consumer Confidence Index slipped one point to 106 in the first quarter of 2019. “Despite the high levels of confidence globally, consumers in different markets have different views about where the economy is heading in 2019,” said Bart van Ark, global chief executive of The Conference Board. “The majority of global consumers do not expect conditions to become more favorable over the next twelve months."


PayThink Generation Z’s taste for digital payments makes open banking vital - PaymentsSource

Generation Z, whose older members are already entering the workforce, is using digital technology more than any other age group — including millennials. Gen Z’s preferred digital technologies include P2P and B2C digital payments, as opposed to more traditional payment methods. And further, one-third of the Gen Z consumers polled in the survey have never even used a paper check. This group sends and receives money digitally, uses digital apps to manage their budgets and financial accounts, and rarely steps foot inside a brick-and-mortar branch.


Senators Introduce Bipartisan Legislation to Help Small Businesses Restructure Debt - ABI

Senate Judiciary Committee members Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa), Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I.), Thom Tillis (R-N.C.), Amy Klobuchar, Joni Ernst and Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.) on Tuesday introduced S. 1091, the "Small Business Reorganization Act" (SBRA), according to a press release from Sen. Grassley's office. The bill streamlines existing bankruptcy procedures and provides new tools to improve small businesses’ ability to restructure. Representatives Doug Collins (R-Ga.) and David Cicilline (D-R.I.) are working to introduce companion legislation in the House of Representatives. “Our bankruptcy system is designed to help highly complex businesses reorganize after falling on hard times, but for many small businesses going through bankruptcy, these requirements can create unnecessary burdens that stall recovery," Grassley said. "The ‘Small Business Reorganization Act’, takes into account the unique needs of small businesses and streamlines existing reorganization processes. The legislation adds a new subchapter V to chapter 11 to streamline the bankruptcy process for small business debtors. By reducing liquidations and increasing recoveries to creditors, the bill will lead to more successful restructurings. Specifically, key provisions of the Small Business Reorganization Act will increase debtors’ ability to negotiate a successful reorganization and retain control of the business, reduce unnecessary procedural burdens and costs, and increases oversight and ensures quick reorganization. The SBRA was crafted in consultation with ABI, the National Bankruptcy Conference and the National Conference of Bankruptcy Judges, and it incorporates input from numerous stakeholders ranging from commercial lenders to U.S. Trustees.