close

March 2021

Book credit

Exclusive: Major US Airlines Consider Government Loans After Grants – Sources

(Reuters) – Several major U.S. airlines are preparing to apply for a $ 25 billion U.S. government loan program this week after winning billions in federal wage subsidies, people familiar with the matter said, as the industry is bracing for a slow recovery from the coronavirus pandemic.

FILE PHOTO: Delta Air Lines passenger jets are parked due to flight cuts made to slow the spread of coronavirus disease (COVID-19), at Birmingham-Shuttlesworth International Airport in Birmingham, Alabama, United States, March 25, 2020. REUTERS / Elijah Nouvelage / File photo

United Airlines Holdings Inc UAL.O, which unlike other major carriers had yet to disclose its allocated payroll relief, said on Wednesday it would receive around $ 3.5 billion in direct subsidies and around $ 1.5 billion loan dollars at low interest rates and issue treasury warrants to buy approximately 4.6 million common stock shares.

While some airlines originally planned to use only the $ 25 billion in federal wage subsidies, there is now a growing realization that the terms of the separate $ 25 billion loan program could be significantly reduced. better than those available in the capital markets, people said.

The Treasury gave its agreement in principle on Tuesday to grant wage aid to airlines but will not release the funds all at once.

He asked airlines to apply by Friday if they want the loan deal to be given priority consideration, according to documents posted on his website, and by April 30 to be assured. If there is money left over, late applicants may receive funds at a later date.

Freight carriers are also facing the same timeline to apply for a $ 4 billion pooled fund.

An airline official told Reuters most airlines had to apply, in part because they would not be required to withdraw the loan until the end of September and because conditions are favorable. Airlines will have to offer collateral such as planes, spare parts and routes in exchange for loans and warrants equivalent to 10% of the loan value.

The expected candidates are added to American Airlines Group Inc. AAL.O, who on Tuesday confirmed plans to apply for a $ 4.75 billion loan before Friday’s deadline for priority review. Alaska Airlines Inc [ALKAIR.UL] also said he would seek $ 1.1 billion in federal loans.

Among other major carriers, Southwest Airlines Co LUV.N will likely apply, while United and Delta Air Lines DAL.N were still considering, people said.

Spirit Airlines Inc SAVE.N is considering applying for the loans, a spokesperson said. The budget carrier said on Tuesday it expected to “agree soon on the terms” of the payroll assistance subsidies.

Airlines shares closed mixed on Wednesday, with American ending up 2.9% and United up 3.1%, while Southwest closed down 5.6% and Delta down 0. 8%.

Large airlines must repay 30% of grant funds provided in the form of 10-year low-interest loans and issue treasury bills equivalent to 10% of the value of the grants.

American, which will issue payday loan warrants for the federal government to buy 13.7 million shares at the closing price of $ 12.51 on April 9, said Wednesday it would also issue warrants. underwriting related to the separate loan of $ 4.75 billion for approximately 38 million shares at the same price as of April 9. The warrants do not have any voting rights, he said.

On the loan application due by April 30, airlines must describe any changes they plan to make to employment levels through the end of the year. Under payroll assistance, airlines are required to retain their workforce until September 30.

Airlines must refrain from paying dividends or repurchasing shares and set limits on executive compensation for up to one year after full loan repayment.

“These are absolutely right things that we have been asked to do and we are certainly not complaining about them,” US chief executive Doug Parker told CNBC on Wednesday.

Reporting by Tracy Rucinski in Chicago and David Shepardson in Washington; Editing by Sonya Hepinstall, Matthew Lewis and Peter Cooney

read more
Book credit

How a Catholic parish used its Paycheck Protection Program loan

Looking back over the past four months offers an astonishing perspective. I have done a lot of travel in my life, including a five week pilgrimage on foot, but nothing compares to the journey of being a church worker right now. It’s hard to remember everything, and looking to the future comes with its own challenges. What a reminder to stay grounded in the present moment with God.

When the Covid-19 shutdown began, the parish where I work in upstate New York entered a period of uncertainty. It is an active and prosperous parish, and as a pastoral associate for administration, I am keenly aware of our budget and what it takes to make the parish work. Aside from wages, there are utility bills, regular maintenance of several buildings, parking lot repairs and more. The costs of catechetical materials, technology for daily operations, and liturgical and office supplies add up over time. I was sure that a layoff or a leave was coming.

But despite the suspension of masses, our phones continued to ring. The people had both spiritual and material needs. Sometimes they just sought the comfort of knowing that a light was always on in church for them. But would we be able to continue to be a refuge?

People sought the comfort of knowing that a light was always on in church for them. But would we be able to continue to be a refuge?

Now I can see that the grace of God includes many things, like the generosity of our parishioners. It also includes the federal government’s paycheck protection program. When the opportunity to apply for loans presented itself, I first felt appalled and did not want to pursue it. I was concerned that this was somehow unethical. Yet as the process progressed, and as the person responsible for collecting information and documentation, I began to see things in a new light.

Last week, an Associated Press article spread many misconceptions about the PPP and the Catholic Church. Its headline screamed: “Catholic Church Lobbyed For Taxpayers’ Money, Got $ 1.4 Billion. An accompanying photo of the lavish interior of St. Patrick’s Cathedral in New York City implied that the church was taking funds meant to support small business employment and instead using it for other purposes.

[Breaking news. Award-winning analysis. Spiritual reflection. Sign up for America’s newsletter]

The visceral reaction to the church receiving such funds was understandable, but the reality is another story. The PA’s false claims resulted in a puzzling article that could only fuel the fires of anger. The author asserted that a typical diocese should not be eligible for the program because as a single entity (which supposedly includes “head offices, parishes and other branches”), its membership exceeds 500 employees. This claim helped create a highly clickable story, but it was inaccurate. In fact, not-for-profit and faith-based groups have been granted a waiver of the 500-employee cap that still applies to private sector companies requesting assistance. Additionally, each parish was eligible to apply for PPP funds individually. I estimate that the majority of parishes in the Diocese of Albany have fewer than 20 employees each. If the purpose of the AP article was to inform, it failed.

The visceral reaction to the church receiving such funds was understandable, but the reality is another story.

The anger generated by the article exposed the misunderstanding of the church’s financial structure and management. The lack of clarity on these things is often due to the fact that the church is not clear about its structures and finances, but the journalist’s job was to reveal the truth, and it was not.

What happened at the diocesan level is unknown to me, but I can explain how an individual parish requested the loan and use it wisely. We worked closely with our small local bank to apply. Our diocesan finance office made sure we had all the information we needed to proceed with the loan, but it was up to us to handle the details. The bank clearly explained the program’s requirements, which included documenting a month’s salary costs. (This was so that no candidate could extract a number from nothing and claim that amount.) The loan was 2.5 months’ salary. I can tell you, at least in our case, that this amount was not sufficient to be considered a financial drain.

Would it be better for our staff to go without pay and add to the current woes? Would it be better if we weren’t there to do God’s work?

When our pastor signed the request, he agreed to meet the loan requirements. This meant that anyone who had been put on leave or fired due to the pandemic had to be reinstated. Any funds not used for salaries could be used for utilities. Using the funds for mortgages or rent was also allowed (but we don’t have any of those costs). The money couldn’t be allocated to anything non-essential.

It is important to consider the greater value of this loan for our parish and the community at large. We can be there for those who call on us in need, which is not a trivial number.

Lonely, sad, scared, or grieving people can find someone to talk to. We wrote notes and letters to encourage those confined to the house, a term that took on greater meaning when almost everyone had to be there. We have launched an initiative where we call to verify all registered parishioners with the help of staff and volunteers. It was something we were worried about bothering some people, but we learned that it is great to hear from us.

If anyone needs more than pastoral assistance, we offer material support in the form of food, gas cards or various other goods. We broadcast Mass four days a week and featured live events on Facebook. During Lent, we offered a weekly soup lunch, with contactless delivery. Our city management asked us to coordinate a meal program with them. With generous donations to this effort, we purchased gift cards from local restaurants. These gift cards are used to help feed the elderly and homebound, and they help local businesses keep going in an uncertain environment.

If this was all just a scam or scam to use funds for something bad, I can’t imagine how it would be done. Before criticizing the inclusion of religious organizations in the PPP, our true catholicity calls us not to assume the worst. There are many reasons to be cynical or angry about the state of our world and our church, but this shouldn’t be one of them.

Would it be better for our staff to go without pay and add to the current woes? Would it be better if we weren’t there to do God’s work? Given the great needs of our time, I am grateful beyond measure for the PPP With the generous members of our community, it has kept us going.

Editor’s Note: America Media has applied for and has been approved for a paycheck protection loan in the amount of $ 314,000.

[Breaking news. Award-winning analysis. Spiritual reflection. Sign up for America’s newsletter]

read more
Book credit

Taxi Medallion crisis puts Queens Council candidate in danger of losing his home

Felicia Singh’s parents. Her father’s inability to repay a loan for a taxi locket could see them evicted from their Ozone Park home (Instagram)

February 10, 2021 By Allie Griffin

A Queens resident running for city council is at risk of losing her family home due to her father’s inability to repay a taxi locket loan he took out years ago.

Felicia Singh, a teacher candidate for the District 32 seat of the council representing South East Queens, said she was horrified to learn that a bankruptcy court had authorized a “For Sale” sign to be put up. “in front of her parents’ house in Ozone Park on Friday – without Attention.

“We were in shock,” Singh told the Queens Post. “The way we [first] discovered that someone had rang the doorbell asking for a registration fee.

Bank administrators told her family on Friday they had 86 days to find more than $ 100,000 or else the house would be sold, leaving her parents, brother, sister and herself homeless, said Singh.

Singh’s father, 66, an Indian immigrant and a 32-year taxi driver, was forced to file for bankruptcy due to his inability to repay the loan. More than 950 taxi medallion owners have filed for bankruptcy, according to a 2019 New York Times article.

Her father fell victim to the taxi locket crisis, Singh said, in which many New York immigrants bought the wanted lockets with money borrowed from dubious lenders. Medallions, which were once considered good investments, allow a driver to own a yellow cab and be their own boss.

Singh said his family’s plight “illustrates how the city has been neglected to deal head-on with the medallion crisis.”

“This is where it leads people to be homeless,” she added.

The medallion crisis was covered in depth by The New York Times in 2019 after scores of yellow cab drivers took their own lives. The newspaper found that much of the devastation was caused by a handful of taxi company owners – in concert with unscrupulous lenders and city officials – who artificially increased the price of medallions year after year.

The city, Singh said, has done little to help drivers since the predatory practices were discovered.

“It has been going on for so many years and my story shows that nothing has changed,” she said.

Her situation is not an anomaly, she added, and will continue to happen unless the mayor grants debt relief to taxi drivers and their families.

Candidate Felicia Singh (via felicia2021.com)

Singh is urging city hall to adopt a debt cancellation plan developed by the union representing taxi drivers, the New York Taxi Workers Alliance (NYTWA). The proposal has the Support New York Attorney General Letitia James; and City Comptroller and Mayoral Candidate Scott Stringer.

However, Mayor Bill de Blasio said the city needed federal help to pass a debt cancellation plan.

“If we get money from Congress, I want to find a way to help these pilots,” de Blasio said last week on the Brian Lehrer show. “I don’t have a specific proposal yet… But it depends on getting the relief we need. “

The NYTWA plan is expected to cost the city $ 75 million over 20 years, according to the union.

Singh said that if his family’s misfortune could bring any good, it would be to help others facing similar issues.

Singh will testify this morning at a city council hearing on taxi driver debt – around the same time a broker shows his family’s home.

“I plan to make as much noise as possible about this and not just for my family, but for all the taxi drivers, all the essential workers who are facing the same terrible system,” she said.

Singh is one of 10 candidates for council seat representing the neighborhoods of Belle Harbor, Breezy Point, Broad Channel, Howard Beach, Lindenwood, Neponsit, Ozone Park, Richmond Hill, Rockaway Park, Roxbury, South Ozone Park, West Hamilton Beach and Woodhaven.

The District 32 Council seat is currently occupied by the only member of the Queens Republican Council, Eric Ulrich, with a limited tenure.

Other candidates vying for the seat include Kaled Alamarie, Joann Ariola, Ruben Cruz, Raimondo Graziano, Bella Matias, Michael Scala, Shaeleigh Severino, Helal Sheikh and Kenichi Wilson, according to the New York City Campaign Finance Board.

no comments yet

read more
Book credit

Liverpool youngster Harvey Elliott retains superb form on loan at Blackburn with a thunderous finish but the Rovers are beaten by Watford

Harvey Elliott continued his sparkling form on loan with Blackburn with a superb goal, but the Rovers couldn’t stage a comeback as they lost 3-2 to Watford at Ewood Park.

The Hornets maintained their promotional load by securing four straight championship victories.

Characteristics of Rex

Elliott has been brilliant for Blackburn this season

Liverpool, meanwhile, will be delighted that Elliott continued his good form by scoring in defeat.

The 17-year-old had a superb finish in the roof of the net shortly before half-time.

He now has five goals and nine assists in his 26 league appearances this season.

You can check out its superb finish, below…

Joao Pedro’s skillful lob – his third goal in as many games – gave Watford the lead before Ismaila Sarr’s point blank shot doubled the advantage.

Elliott’s spectacular strike gave Blackburn hope ahead of the break, but the Hornets regained control just past the hour thanks to the precise arrival of Ken Sema.

Ben Brereton made a nervous finish but Watford should have had the game sewn up by then, with Sarr thwarted by Thomas Kaminski, and one cleared the line at 3-1.

But they held on and left a sign to the rest of the promotion candidates that they were serious.

read more
Book credit

Middletown man admits to fraudulently seeking millions of PPP loans

A Middletown man currently serving federal supervised release after being convicted and jailed for robbing four banks, admitted in a federal court in Providence on Tuesday to fraudulently asking for more than $ 4.7 million in forgivable loans guaranteed by the Small Business Administration under the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act.

According to the US Department of Justice, Michael C. Moller, 41, admitted to applying for and receiving nearly $ 600,000 in PPP loans which he said was to be used to pay employees at a business he operated. in Fall River, Massachusetts, “Top Notch Tile.” FBI and IRS criminal investigation officers determined that “Top Notch Tile” was not incorporated with the Massachusetts Secretary of State, and investigators were unable to locate any tax or banking records for. the society.

Moller admitted that he applied for a PPP loan in his name and had other applications filed on behalf of his father and his girlfriend’s brother. As a result of these fraudulent bank loan applications, financial institutions provided Moller with a total of $ 599,251 in stimulus PPP loans that he was not entitled to receive.

Further, Moller admitted that by acting alone or with family members and business associates, he had 11 fraudulent PPP loan applications filed on behalf of his girlfriend’s son. The money was to pay the employees of “Alves Top Notch,” a Fall River-based company for which investigators could not find any records. Of the eight applications, three almost identical were filed with different financial institutions, each asking for $ 734,300 in SBA-guaranteed PPP loans. None of the eleven fraudulent claims filed on behalf of Moller’s girlfriend’s son resulted in the disbursement of PPP loans.

The CARES Act was passed by Congress to help businesses affected by the pandemic.

Moller, who remains in federal custody, is expected to be sentenced on January 19, 2021.

According to court records, Moller was convicted in the District of Massachusetts in 2010 for fraud and received a 24-month sentence on probation. During his period of supervised release, Moller was convicted of four counts of bank robbery and sentenced to 108 months in prison and three years of supervised release. His supervised release mandate is expected to end in July 2022.

read more
Book credit

Norwich City: Tottenham’s Olly Skipp is a gem for Daniel Farke

Olly Skipp has shown why he is Daniel Farke’s main target for Norwich City.

The Tottenham lender has been a revelation on a one-season loan that could end with a promotion to the league for the 20-year-old.

Farke insists it’s too early to talk about trying to bring Skipp back, if Norwich returns to the Premier League, but the England Under-21 international is assured of a glowing benchmark.

“It was one of my biggest wishes last summer, so kudos to Stuart Webber for making this possible,” Farke said. “I can only congratulate Olly and Tottenham. It was a perfect deal. The best deal is always a permanent move, when you are fully convinced and commit to the future of the club for a player, and so do they.

“A loan is tricky. But if you’re lucky enough to bring in someone who can be a major boost to the team, then maybe a loan is the only way to make it happen. would never be able to sign a highly rated player like Oliver Skipp Not on a standing deal.

“It would be an incredible amount of money for our club.

“When you bring in young players from the best clubs in the world, there is always a risk. We saw the potential, we studied his character a lot and we knew that he would be fully convinced to give it his all, not thinking that I don’t need to work to prove that I am the best at my job.

“Oliver is a perfect boy. So humble. He’s a brilliant loan maker.”

Skipp will again be the key to Norwich City on Sunday against Wycombe after a historic first goal for the seniors in the 3-1 midweek victory at Birmingham.

“A fantastic boy. He reminds me a bit of Max Aarons in his debut season, who also delivered with incredible consistency, flawlessly, never injured, never sick, ”said Farke. “I actually said before Birmingham that there was one or two areas where he could still improve, like the attacking side, and then in the very next game he scores in Birmingham.

“It’s a good sign that he’s listening to what I’m asking. I think he was too surprised to celebrate.

“Guys make jokes in practice when he tries to shoot and when he scores they celebrate like they’ve won the World Cup. Even though I don’t remember him scoring too many times in the training.”

read more
Book credit

Federal government detains woman for allegedly obtaining COVID-19 relief loan

CHICAGO (AP) – An Illinois woman threatened with jail for stealing millions of dollars through her boyfriend’s business credit card was in federal custody on Tuesday for allegedly obtaining a COVID relief loan 19 as she was preparing to report to prison.

Federal prosecutors on Monday asked a U.S. district court judge to revoke bail for Crystal Lundberg, who they say illegally obtained a $ 150,000 loan to fight the pandemic. Lundberg, 34, is being held at the Metropolitan Correctional Center in Chicago, according to records from the United States Bureau of Prisons. No new charges against Lundberg have been announced.

Lundberg was due to report to prison on December 31. But in a court case on Monday, prosecutors asked a federal judge to revoke her bond, claiming she had lied about federal paycheck protection loan applications and failed to disclose her fraud conviction or that she was about to start serving a sentence of 52 months in prison.

The paycheck protection loan, which was disbursed in September, was to be used to keep a Lundberg-owned beauty salon solvent during the COVID-19 pandemic. However, Lundberg spent the money on travel, electronics, clothing and legal fees, prosecutors said.

Lundberg was sentenced to jail last year for racking up nearly $ 5.8 million in luxury items charges on a boyfriend’s business credit card.

read more
Book credit

Best hiking shoes for women and men: September 2020

Having fun looks different this summer, thanks to the coronavirus. But hiking is still something you can do at a safe distance from others. Just make sure you have the right shoes.

“A lot can go wrong during the thousands of steps you take, but one thing in your control is giving your feet a quality boot from the start,” says Chad Lubinski, a hiker writing to Hiker Trash Nation who plans to face the John Muir Trail next month and the Pacific Coast Trail next year.

Good hiking shoes will alleviate blisters, inflammation, ankle problems and more. They’ll keep you on the trail longer and can be the difference between being a lifelong hiker and never coming back to hiking again, adds the McMinnville, Oregon-based hiker.

When shopping for hiking boots, it’s important to match the boot to the terrain, conditions and activity, says David Dicerbo, based in Catskill, New York, and co-owner of the adventure travel company. Destination Adventures in the backcountry, which specializes in hiking and backpacking in upstate New York.

“The best day hike boot for the Catskills would be different from the best day hike boot for the Utah desert,” he adds. Likewise, the best hiking boot for the Catskills would be different from the best hiking boot for the Catskills.

Dicerbo says there are three things to consider when looking for hiking boots:

  • Building material: Most boots are a combination of a thin waterproof and breathable membrane called Gore-tex (or something similar to Gore-tex) and panels of suede, nubuck or leather. There are also full grain leather boots that are waterproof. Water resistant boots are suitable for the majority of hikes, but if water crossings and muddy trails are a big part of your plan, fully waterproof boots are a good choice. But there’s a trade-off: Waterproof boots have less breathability and therefore can be warmer (and more fragrant) because while moisture can’t get in, it can’t get out either, says Dicerbo.
  • Ankle height: The higher the ankle of the boots, the more support is important. This is an example of how the boot adapts to your terrain – if you plan to walk on rocky, rugged trails, a taller boot can help avoid crooked ankles. But the trade-off here is that they’re a bit heavier, he adds.
  • Sole and Traction: While a thicker, harder sole is more durable, it is also heavier. Some heavier hiking or backpacking boots have a metal or plastic upper in the sole, which is great for rough terrain but also adds weight, Dicerbo says.

So what are the favorite boots of experienced hikers who have walked the trails around the world? We asked around, and there are their recommendations.

Best Hiking Shoes for Women and Men: Updated September 2020

Merrell Moab 2: From $ 80 to Amazon or $ 110 at Merrell

DiCerbo recommends the Merrell Moab 2 fan as “a great boot for day hikes on any terrain, hikes with moderate weight.”

Julien Heron – who launched the blog Outdoor generations with his dad after years of hiking together – says the Merrell Moab 2 are the best value boots. The shoe’s foam tongue keeps moisture and debris at bay while the sole, depth, and toe cap provide durability to handle whatever the trail throws in your way, he adds.

“The performance suede and mesh upper offers protection and durability without sacrificing breathability and comfort,” says Heron, based in Montreal, Canada. “Plus, this shoe is available at a fraction of the price of many competitors.”

The Merrell Moab 2 boots are available in waterproof and non-waterproof models.

ColuMbia Newton Ridge Plus II Waterproof Boots: From $ 66 to Amazon or $ 79.95 at Colombia

Lubinski loves the Columbia Newton Ridge Plus II waterproof boots.

They worked well for him on trails that are not well maintained as well as during the winter months and are extremely light. That’s important for people who want ankle and foot protection, as well as waterproofing, but still want the boots to be lightweight, he says.

Lubinski says he’s never twisted his ankle (which he can’t say for all of his hiking boots). He has had them for 2.5 years and there have been “no durability issues and no cosmetic damage whatsoever,” he adds. “Even the tread was not worn out.”

Salomon OUTline Mid GTX: From $ 112.50 to Amazon or Solomon

If you’re looking for a sleek, stylish and lightweight shoe, take a look at Salomon’s OUTline Mid GTX, suggests Kate Ayoub, a 15-plus hiker who is also a physical therapist, endurance coach and health coach with Master your movement. The liner gives you protection against water and the reinforced toe and ankle support keeps your feet safe in the woods, she adds.

“This hiking boot fits and feels like a sneaker, which makes it incredibly comfortable right out of the box,” says Ayoub, who lives in Washington, DC.

Asolo Powermatic GTX: From $ 310 to Amazon or $ 176 to Asolo

Matthew Usherwood, the founder of Book my route – a travel company specializing in walking vacations – has been trekking Central America, India and the UK in Asolo Powermatic GTX boots.

These are sturdy trekking boots for long distance hiking and trekking, with a molded sole and excellent foot support.

The durable interior liner “has never failed once after 10 years of use,” adds Usherwood, based in Nottinghamshire, UK.

La Sportiva Trango TRK GTX: From $ 99.98 to Amazon or $ 110 at La Sportiva

Diane Vukovic, an American expat in Belgrade, Serbia, has been hiking since her father brought her to the Adirondack Mountains when she was 6 years old. Now she takes her own daughters hiking and blogging at Mom is going to camp. She recommends the La Sportiva Trango TRK GTX boots, which she says are lightweight while providing good ankle support.

The waterproof liner also keeps your feet dry when hiking in inclement weather, she adds. Vukovic is also vegan, so find these animal friendly boots was a must!

Lowa Sassa GTX Mid Hiking Shoes: From $ 158 to REI

When your foot isn’t securely on the sole of a boot, you can have pain and blisters, says Durham, NC-based Alison Watta, who leads hiking trips and shares her advice at Solo exploration. But that’s not a problem with the Lowa Sassa GTX Mid hiking shoes.

These boots are narrower around the toe box but have a wider midsection than the others, which helps keep her foot on the sole, she says. With this design, her toes don’t slip and it prevents calluses from forming behind her big toe, which she says is common in other boots.

“The support they provide helps me walk in privacy and my feet feel good at night,” Watta adds.

Talus Ultra Dry washbasin: $ 149.99 at Amazon or Washbasin

Kim Hefner, an avid hiker from Denver, Colorado, loves the Vasque Talus Ultra Dry hiking boots, which she has hiked several 13 and 14 (mountains over 13,000 or 14,000 feet).

This is a great boot for beginners or experienced hikers, with strong ankle support that is useful on rocky trails. In addition to being waterproof, they are comfortable with soles designed to last, she says.

“I have probably covered 200 miles with these boots, and they are still in great condition,” adds Hefner, owner of Wild and found photography.

SALEWA Mountain Trainer Lite mi GTX Boots: From $ 199 to Amazon or Salewa

Ben Vaughan is currently riding the 3,100 mile Continental Divide Trail and is more than happy with his SALEWA Mountain Trainer Lite mid GTX boots. In fact, he just ordered a second pair, to help him complete the trip.

The instep area is connected to the heel pocket, which makes the shoes strong and stable on all mixed terrain, he says. They also combine leather with an abrasion resistant fabric, which provides superior durability, he adds.

The liner kept his feet “dry and comfortable for miles,” says Vaughan, who is based in Fraser, Colo., When he’s not on the trails.

More money :

The best running shoes for your money, according to experienced marathoners

The best treadmills for your money, according to fitness professionals

12 glorious low-risk, low-cost things to do this summer

read more
Book credit

How to bet on the Super Bowl

We want to help you make more informed decisions. Certain links on this page – clearly marked – may direct you to a partner website and earn us a referral commission. For more information, see How we make money.

Super Bowl LV was perhaps the biggest event in American sports history in one category: legal sports betting.

This year, no less than 23 million Americans have bet on the Kansas City Chiefs or the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, according to the American Gaming Association. Bets on underdogs and eventual Buccaneers winners or defending champions, Chiefs – and many other aspects of the game – have exceeded the staggering sum of $ 4 billion.

But being able to legally bet on sports is a relatively new development in most of the United States, where sports betting was only legal in Nevada until 2018.

It was then that the United States Supreme Court declared unconstitutional a federal law – the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act, or PASPA, of 1992 – that restricted regulated sports betting in Nevada. It’s now legal in 20 states, and many more are pushing to legalize it.

The growth of legal sports betting has been “extraordinary” since then, a ESPN story mentionned.

“In 2019, over $ 13 billion was legally wagered,” said Casey Clark, senior vice president of strategic communications at the American Gaming Association. “When all the numbers are counted for 2020, that number will exceed $ 21 billion. ”

The sports betting capital of the United States is no longer Nevada: This is New Jersey where people have placed $ 6 billion in bets last year compared to $ 4.3 billion in Nevada, according to sports betting expert Darren Rovell.

With people confined to homes due to the pandemic, 80% of games nationwide are played on mobile devices, Clark says.

“Almost all Americans will have a casino in their back pocket at all times,” says Marc Edelman, a sports law expert who teaches at the Zicklin School of Business at Baruch College, New York. It’s reasonable to expect a majority of states to legalize online sports betting within the next five years, Edelman says.

Pro tip

If you want to bet on big game, experts recommend that you only bet what you are looking to lose and treat it as entertainment only.

With the increasing ease of legally betting on sports, you might be asking yourself: should I participate?

There are people who chose their bets correctly and made millions, Edelman says, but they are rare. “For most people, betting is meant to be an entertainment activity rather than an investment,” he says.

In fact, if you think you have what it takes because you’re a huge sports fan, you might want to think twice: Sports betting is a game for number geeks. According to Edelman, those who have traditionally been most successful are those with strong mathematical skills and who can envision complex analyzes.

For these enthusiasts, there are two main players in the sports betting industry, websites FanDuel and DraftKings. They dominate the market in states that have what is called “full online sports betting with multiple options” – Colorado, Iowa, Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Virginia and West Virginia, according to the sports betting information and analysis site Action Network.

In most states today, sports betting is still illegal. The others fall into three groups. In one, as in New York, sports betting is legalized in a small number of physical casinos. In another group, such as Tennessee, online sports betting is allowed, although sports betting in casinos is not. In the fourth group, like New Jersey and Pennsylvania, sports betting in casinos and online is legalized and regulated.

Wherever you are, however, sports betting remains betting, with all its risks. You shouldn’t bet more than you can afford to lose.

Clark notes that his organization developed a PSA earlier this year, Have a game plan, for punters to educate themselves on how to bet responsibly. They can also use a interactive map for more information on the types of sports betting legal in their country.

For people who want to bet on sports, Edelman suggests wagering a small amount of money, and doing it only for entertainment: “Don’t put yourself in the kind of position. [where] losing will take a toll on your daily life, ”he says.

You should stick with a licensed bookmaker like Points bet, as well as FanDuel or DraftKings, advises Edelman. This will ensure that your potential winnings are paid to you and minimize the risk of identity fraud.

If you prefer to bet in person, “make sure you do it in a fun and social way with people you know and trust,” he says. (In addition to respecting social distancing and any COVID-19 guidelines from local authorities, of course.)

Super Bowl or not, sports betting can be a fun way to make some extra cash if it’s safe to do so, but we certainly don’t recommend participating as a short or long term financial strategy. If you are looking to grow the money in your bank account in a low risk way, you had better put it in a high yield savings account and, when the next Super Bowl rolls around, enjoy it like most Americans: focus on the commercials, not the bets you may have made.

If you or someone you love needs help with a gambling problem, the National Council on Problem Gambling offers a phone or text help line at 1-800-522-4700, as well as support. by chat to ncpgambling.org/chat.

read more
Book credit

Businesses and executives allegedly defrauding $ 15.6 million student loan borrowers will pay $ 103,000 in penalties

As consumers across the country worry about how they will afford next month’s bills amid the coronavirus pandemic, executives accused of stealing an estimated $ 15.6 million from student loan borrowers are granted leniency because of their financial situation.

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau recently announced agreements with actors in two schemes accused of illegally charging borrowers to help them manage their student loans. Through an audit of the defendants’ financial documents, the agency determined that the defendants in the schemes had a limited ability to pay the full amount that the agency said was owed to consumers. Instead, they’ll pay a fraction of what borrowers have lost in settlements.

In a case announced last week, the agency determined that more than 7,300 consumers were billed $ 3.8 million in illegal fees, but the company and two of its executives will pay a total of $ 22,000.

In the other set of colonies The CFPB said on Monday that the program cost borrowers $ 11.8 million in illegal fees. A judgment has been issued against one of the owners of the companies for the full $ 11.8 million, but as part of the deal he will pay $ 25,000. In total, a group of four people allegedly involved in the program will pay around $ 81,500.

In addition, the regulations prohibit people allegedly involved in the schemes from working in the debt relief industry in the future.

It is not uncommon for regulators or state attorneys general to allow a suspended payment as part of an enforcement action. It can be difficult to draw blood from a stone, as the saying goes.

And while the gap between how much borrowers lose and what executives will pay is large, borrowers will likely get relief from the CFPB’s civil sanctions fund – a safe deposit box the agency can use to pay for redress. to consumers in cases where the agency may have difficulty collecting from an insolvent defendant. By imposing a civil fine of $ 1 on each of the agents allegedly involved in the schemes, the CFPB can access this fund to help borrowers.

Yet critics say the contrast between how those accused of these crimes and their victims are treated is stark. Borrowers Falling behind on Student Loans Have Few Options – Getting Rid of Debt is Hard even bankrupt. Perhaps one of the most extreme examples of student loan rigidity: borrowers who incurred their student loan debt to attend for-profit colleges who allegedly tricked them into attending under false pretenses about their prospects. future jobs. They struggled under the Trump administration to get their loans canceled, despite a law entitling them to relief.

“This is yet another reminder to the millions of Americans who receive a student loan bill each month that in each turn the Trump administration has chosen predatory student loan companies above their interests,” he said. said Seth Frotman, executive director of the Student Borrower Protection Center, an advocacy group, and the former CFPB student loans ombudsman.

“Just as the Trump administration demands that borrowers scammed by predatory schools pay off every penny of illegally incurred debt, it is giving student loan crooks a free pass every turn.”

In cases where the CFPB imposes a penalty of $ 1 and a remedy together, the additional remedies are applied “for the purpose of providing the maximum remedy to the aggrieved consumers in a given case”, wrote a spokesperson for the CFPB in a press release sent by email.

“In actions where the business or person alleged to have caused harm to consumers cannot pay the full amount of redress to consumers, the Bureau will seek to obtain the greatest possible redress from that business or person and may then couple this repair with a symbolic sum. $ 1 penalty, ”the statement read.

It is not uncommon for those accused of financial crimes to pay less than what consumers have lost

Other agencies sometimes allow defendants to pay less than the cost of their illegal activity in financial insolvency. Of the 722 financial penalties imposed by the Securities and Exchange Commission in fiscal 2019, the agency waived some or all of the financial penalty due to the poor financial condition of the defendants in six cases, according to an analysis by Urska Velikonja, professor at Georgetown. University Law Center.

In these cases, the defendants must prove not only that they have no money or property, but that they have no hope of making any money in the future, Velikonja said. “It’s more common for the SEC to launch fundraising efforts and then fail because they can’t find any assets than to say up front ‘we’re not even going to care’,” he said. she declared.

The conditional sentence approach is typical in certain types of Federal Trade Commission enforcement action, said Prentiss Cox, a University of Minnesota law school professor who has tracked these issues. These deals at CFPB are a signal to Cox that the agency is moving towards a more similar enforcement model to that of the FTC.

In 2014, the CFPB never agreed to suspend the sanctions to resolve the enforcement measures related to the law on unfair and deceptive practices, according to an analysis of the application of the UDAP in the agencies that year. published in 2017 by Cox and other authors. During this year, two of the FTC’s six cases with nominal civil penalties saw those penalties fully suspended and one was partially suspended.

“Tackling big entities is more the kind of thing you would see from an aggressive Democratic date, it is what you see most from an aggressive Democratic elected state. [attorneys general]”Cox said.” When you change direction which is generally more aligned with the industry, you tend to see the app disappear or move to smaller, more rogue entities. ”

Student Debt Relief Scams Have Been Hard to Eliminate

Student debt relief scams like the ones the subject of recent CFPB settlements have has been around for years and despite the efforts from a variety of government agencies, they have been difficult to eliminate. Even if some are closed, others appear. These companies charge borrowers for help managing their student loans, often providing services that borrowers can access for free.

In the case of one company, Timemark Solutions, with which the CFPB settled last week, the company and its executives allegedly used Google GOOGL,
+ 0.74%
advertisements, YouTube, and other resources to advertise services they believe would help federal student loan borrowers enroll in forgiveness and repayment programs – apps they can make for free by them – same.

When borrowers called to inquire about these services, representatives allegedly received some or all of Timemark’s payment amount, which ranged from $ 99 to $ 699, before the Department of Education approved the request. of a borrower for a change in payment plan or before a borrower pays on the modified debt. This is a violation of the telemarketing sales rule.

Timemark’s lawyers did not respond to a request for comment.

The CFPB announced on Monday an agreement with the actors of another student debt relief program. In this case, two companies, GST Factoring Inc. and Champion Marketing Solutions, allegedly orchestrated a program in which borrowers received flyers in the mail announcing debt relief assistance for federal student loans. If borrowers called the advertised phone number and said they had private student loans, they would be encouraged to register with a lawyer to alleviate their debt, according to the complaint.

These services generally did not require legal expertise and borrowers would be encouraged to stop paying their student loans to make lenders more likely to agree to a settlement, the CFPB alleged. The borrower would sign an agreement over the phone that typically required them to pay a fee upon enrollment or soon after, in other words, before the debt was settled in violation of the telemarketing rule. .

Three of the four people allegedly involved in the scheme who settled with the CFPB did not provide comments at press time. The fourth could not be reached.

Although CFPB regulations mean that these companies and individuals can no longer participate in debt relief activities, Dalié Jiménez, a professor at the University of California-Irvine School of Law, said this approach of performance does not deter other bad actors.

“It’s just sending a message of ‘you can do it, it’s going to cost you a few thousand dollars,'” said Jiménez, who was on the founding staff of CFPB. “It sounds like opening the box of worms to make people who do these kinds of scams get more daring.”

read more
1 2 3
Page 1 of 3