Windsor Family Credit Union enters payday loan market

A local credit union is offering an alternative for people borrowing high interest payday loans.

Windsor Family Credit Credit Union has introduced SmarterCash: A Pay Day Loan Alternative. It offers loans ranging from $500 to $2,000, with fees of $1.42 for every $100 borrowed.

Pay Day Loan companies in Ontario can charge up to $21 per $100 borrowed.

To access the payday loan, customers must have an account with WFCU, which will cost you $5.

We need to educate users of payday loan entities that they are paying too much for short term financing when there is an alternative, said Eddie Francis, President, WFCU Credit Union in a statement.

He believes this is a smarter and responsible solution to high interest payday loans. A local financial adviser said her industry calls payday loans a necessary evil, because its the only way for some to access credit.

Were not happy that they exist, said Wendy Dupuis, executive director at Financial Fitness.

She want to remind people that payday loans should be for emergencies. But theyre often used by people on low incomes to get by.

The debt spirals and gets out of control and people are in trouble very quickly, said Dupuis.

She thinks the WFCU loan could be a better alternative.

Its not going to serve everyone, simply because the interest rate is still there, said Dupuis, Its still high. We have to remember these are the people who can least afford to borrow money. I know that theyre in a high risk category but they are the people that are generally not able to access any other form of credit. And for credit to be that expensive for them, especially for small amounts is really harmful.

Thats something Elijah Cadarette knows well. Hes borrowed from payday loan companies before. Cadarette said one lender charged him 49 per cent interest. He has advice for anyone thinking of using them.

I would say you have to consider the rating, said Cadarette, What you have in terms of income. I think payday loans are bad news regardless.

WFCU also offers a Step Up loan program for those using the SmarterCash loans. It will offer members who have a successful credit history lower interest rate, higher limits, one-year terms and cash advances.

Dupuis offers another solution. She recommends those who are stuck in the cycle of using payday loans to get back to go to a reputable non-profit credit counseling agency.

There is help available in the community, she said.

JG Wentworth Co (NYSE:JGW) Receives Average Recommendation of "Hold" from Brokerages

Shares of JG Wentworth Co (NYSE:JGW) have received a consensus recommendation of Hold from the six analysts that are currently covering the stock. One investment analyst has rated the stock with a sell recommendation, three have assigned a hold recommendation and two have given a buy recommendation to the company. The average 1-year target price among analysts that have issued ratings on the stock in the last year is $2.80.

Shares of JG Wentworth (NYSE:JGW) remained flat at $0.45 during midday trading on Wednesday. The firm has a 50-day moving average of $0.69 and a 200-day moving average of $1.17. JG Wentworth has a 1-year low of $0.39 and a 1-year high of $10.41.

Separately, Jefferies Group reaffirmed a hold rating and set a $1.00 price target on shares of JG Wentworth in a research note on Wednesday, May 11th.

The JG Wentworth Company is a diversified financial services company. The Company focuses on providing solutions to consumers in need of cash. The Company conducts its operations through two segments: Structured Settlements and Annuity Purchasing (Structured Settlements), and Home Lending. The Structured Settlements segment provides liquidity to individuals with various financial assets, such as structured settlements, annuities, and lottery winnings, by either purchasing these financial assets for a lump-sum payment, issuing installment obligations payable over time, or serving as a broker to other purchasers of those financial assets.

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Nova Scotia writes off $8M in bad business loans

Nova Scotia wrote off nearly 10 times more in bad loans in the last fiscal year compared to 2014-2015.

Almost all of the $8 million written off by the province in 2015-16 is attributable to a failed venture capital investment in Origin BioMed Inc. totalling $7,878,219.

There was a small loss $91,767 on L amp; S Lumber Limited.

The final write-off total amounted to $7,969,986, up sharply from $818,215 booked as a loss on three investments in 2014-2015.

Nova Scotia Business Inc. CEO Laurel Broten defended the Origin BioMed loan Thursday.

That company is an investment the province made some time ago through NSBI and it went into receivership, she said.

Nova Scotias venture capital portfolio was valued at $13,055,000 as of March 31 2016, down by more than $2 million from last years total of $15,452,000. This marks a 15.5-per-cent decrease from the previous fiscal year.

However, the 2015-16 year was not all bad news for Nova Scotia, as the province, through NSBI, managed to attract 20 companies to either set up shop or expand their existing operations. This is a 11.1-per-cent increase over the previous fiscal year.

Broten told the Chronicle Herald that these companies were not necessarily serving the local market but rather using Nova Scotia as a base to export their products and services elsewhere.

Exporting and trade in general is an important component of the path to sustainable economic growth in Nova Scotia, and we are committed to supporting businesses here and around the globe, said Broten in a release Thursday.

Looking ahead, the province will continue prioritizing exports from Nova Scotia and targeted investment attraction to help stimulate economic growth.

Having helped seven new companies reporting their first export sale in this fiscal year, NSBI aims to work with a minimum of 15 companies across Nova Scotia to become first-time exporters in 2016-17.

In addition, the NSBI approved 15 film and television productions in its first year of administering the Nova Scotia Film and Television Production Incentive Fund.

There is still much to be done so our client firms can thrive, and not just survive, in our ever-changing global economy, said Broten.

Our plans are built based on the conversations we have had with businesses across the province and from the lessons we learned in 2015-2016.

1MDB: We never offer business loans

1MDB has never offered business loans nor has it ever authorised any party to collect payment or charge fees for processing any application relating to the company.

In a statement, the company said it has been informed that certain individuals were posing as 1MDB officials to offer business loans and collect processing fees.

A police report has been lodged on this matter, said 1MDB.

We request anyone who has been approached in relation to this matter to immediately lodge a police report, it added.

– Bernama

America’s cash-strapped teachers are a target for predatory lenders

If you are feeling the pain, though, you can be fairly sure that your child’s teacher is reeling. Cutbacks to school funding mean that budgets for items like markers, staplers and construction paper have been slashed to the bone. One Connecticut teacher reported that her funding per child for the entire school year is now $1.60, down from $15 about a dozen years ago.

While teachers beg parents for help, and make pitches for support for specific projects from the general public on DonorsChoose.org, they inevitably end up dipping into their own pockets to fill in the gaps. The average teacher forks over $500 of his or her own money every year, with 10% spending more than $1,000 on their students, for a total of $1.6bn nationwide.

Meanwhile, there’s new evidence that teachers are making an ever greater financial sacrifice in other ways. We’re still prone to argue that while teachers tend to collect relatively small paychecks, relative to their levels of education and experience, their benefits help to compensate for that. That long summer holiday? The healthcare and other benefits? The pension?

Well, a new report from the Economic Policy Institute tells us that it’s time to re-evaluate our assumptions. In 1996, in absolute terms, teachers earned 4% less than workers with the same kinds of education and credentials. Today, that wage penalty is 17.3%. Adjusted for benefits, they are still 11% underpaid, compared to a 2% wage gap back in 1996.

The report notes that this is most dramatic for women, for whom teaching was once a way to earn better wages than they could anywhere else. In 1960, the EPI notes, women teachers had a 14.7% wage gap in their favor. Today, they earn 13.9% less than they could, on average, by taking their skills elsewhere.

Some teachers have done the math and are leaving the profession. One Florida woman wrote about what she described as the heart-breaking decision to do just that in the Palm Beach Post. She calculated that, at the age of 32, if she wanted to stop living with her parents and keep her teaching job, her current salary would leave her with about $200 a month for food, gas, cell phone, and any entertainment expenses.

“Could I count my pennies and scrape by? Barely,” she wrote. “But what kind of life is that? And should I have to, with a college degree, after ten years of service, in a career that impacts the lives of our future leaders?”

It’s a reasonable question.

Sadly enough, the cash-strapped position in which many teachers find themselves leaves them in the low- to middle-income part of the economy that is targeted by the same kind of lenders that seek to do business with people with poor or no credit, the underemployed, those without bank accounts or those with spotty work histories.

Last month, the 600,000 or so members of New York State United Teachers, which includes classroom teachers as well as college and university faculty, staff and support staff, received a catalog from MyPaycheckDirect. Endorsed by the union’s benefits department, the company – a division of Bluestem Brands, whose other businesses include the better-known Fingerhut – offers recipients the opportunity to buy a whole array of consumer goods and pay for it in a series of installments. The company minimizes its own risk by capping the amount that someone can buy based on salary and years of experience (if you’re a teacher with only two years of experience, earning only $20,000, you can buy only $500 worth of goods; if you’re making more than $34,000 a year and have been a member of the union for more than 20 years, you’re eligible to spend up to $2,500). And of course, it also will have access to your paycheck, as its moniker implies.

The company trumpets the ease and convenience of the plan. No credit check is required; you can make 26 biweekly payments or 12 monthly payments; best of all, it announces, there are no interest fees!

The problem? Instead of paying interest, a teacher who opts for these installment purchase plan will end up paying a higher price for their new consumer item – often significantly higher – than they would if they had chosen to shop around and been in a position to pay conventionally, whether by using a credit card (even if it took a few months to pay off the full bill, meaning that they would end up paying a few dollars in interest as well as the principal).

I conducted a completely random test of some 30 items, and discovered that every one of them carried a hefty premium price tag. The worst was an Ameriwood Cosco Leni Crib, priced at $659.99 (or $55 a month). For less than four monthly payments, a teacher could have purchased precisely the same crib from Amazon and several other sites; MyPaycheckDirect charged a 266.15% premium for the “convenience” of the 12 monthly payments and no credit check.

Anyone wanting to buy the Rockland three-piece metallic luggage set also faced an outsize premium (183%); they could have paid only $169.49 to Amazon for items for which MyPaycheckDirect are asking $479.99 (or $40 a month).

Most of the other premiums are less extraordinary, but still hefty, especially when put in the context of a teacher’s already limited budget. A 16-cup rice cooker, $40 at Kohl’s, is $60.99 in the catalog; a Hoover cordless handheld vacuum that can be bought for $84.20 at Amazon is $159.99 here. An 80″ cat tree for your resident felines, $142.99 at Target, is $199.99 at MyPaycheckDirect. Interested in a LeapFrog LeapPad3 WiFi Learning Tablet? (It is back to school season, after all…) Toys R Us and Walmart will both sell you one for about $90, but MyPaycheckDirect wants $129.99, 44.4% more.

The icing on the cake: while many of those retailers also offer free shipping for big-ticket items, MyPaycheckDirect doesn’t seem to do so.

This online retail campaign isn’t targeting the classic subprime consumer: people who have made poor financial choices and are suffering as a result. Instead MyPaycheckDirect appears to be directing its catalogs at civil servants and other individuals who earn less than other members of society simply because they’ve chosen to put their personal wealth behind other considerations – like educating our children. The company clearly hopes that they’ll throw financial caution to the wind, and overpay simply in exchange for the ability to pay a manageable amount each month.

Carl Korn, a spokesman for NYSUT, says that inside every catalog there’s a letter from the union’s Member Benefits Department advising the recipient “to shop and compare before making a purchase with PayCheckDirect and consider this program as an alternative to using their credit cards”. The union also offers members an array of voluntary financial programs, including financial planning and credit counseling.

“In a perfect world, consumers would always budget carefully, carry no credit card debt and save until they have enough money to purchase what they want,” Korn adds. “In the real world, PayCheck Direct is an appealing option for some of our more than 600,000 members, especially those who might not have the means to purchase products like computers or refrigerators.”

Still, it’s hard to imagine a case, based on the 30 or so items I looked at – other than an emergency replacement of a broken fridge or a dead laptop – where making a purchase from these catalogs is a better option than using a conventional credit card or simply saving a little bit from a paycheck each week or each month until they could purchase it outright.

In the aftermath of the 2008 financial crisis, we’re all alert to the risks associated with predatory lenders. But what about a different kind of profiteer? Firms like Paycheck Direct are all too aware that teachers and others have fallen behind financially; that creates a great new market for them. The only way to fix that is to pay teachers what they’re worth.

Asta Funding Announces Results for Three and Nine Months Ended June 30, 2016

  • $18.8 million in revenue for the three months ended June 30 th, an increase of 87% over the prior year
  • $3.2 million in net income attributable to Asta Funding for the three months ended June 30 th
  • Diluted EPS rose to $0.26 for the three months ended June 30 th
  • $79.9 million investment in Structured Settlements and $43.7 million investment in Personal Injury Claims
  • $73.9 million cash amp; securities as of June 30th

ENGLEWOOD CLIFFS, NJ, Aug. 09, 2016 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Asta Funding, Inc. (NASDAQ:ASFI) (the “Company”), a diversified financial services company, today announced results for the three and nine months ended June 30, 2016.

Gary Stern, Asta chairman, president and CEO said, “Investments made over the last few years in each of our business segments are gaining traction. Results in the third quarter were driven by the strong performances of those investments.

Mr. Stern continued, “Looking forward, we are committed to investing in our areas of focus for growth, including personal injury claims, structured settlements and international distressed consumer assets, while remaining focused on cost savings, balanced growth and value creation for shareholders.”

Fiscal Third Quarter 2016 Results

For the three months ended June 30, 2016, net income attributable to Asta Funding, Inc. was $3.2 million, or $0.26 per diluted share, as compared to net income attributable to Asta Funding, Inc. of $0.2 million, or $0.01 per diluted share for the three months ended June 30, 2015.

For the three months ended June 30, 2016, net income was $4.7million as compared to net income of $0.3 million for the three months ended June 30, 2015.

Total income for the three months ended June 30, 2016 increased $8.8 million to $19.0 million, compared to $10.2 million for the three months ended June 30, 2015. Total revenue included in the three months ended June 30, 2016 is approximately $3.2 million in revenue from CBC Settlement Funding, LLC on structured settlements, as compared to $2.6 million for the three months ended June 30, 2015. Also included in total revenues for the three months ended June 30, 2016 is approximately $9.8 million from Pegasus Funding, LLC, the joint venture in the personal injury finance industry, as compared to $1.7 million for the three months ended June 30, 2015. Disability fee income for the three months ended June 30, 2016 was up by $0.6 million to $1.2 million as compared to $0.6 million for the three months ended June 30, 2015.

Finance income from the distressed receivable business was down by approximately $0.6 million to $4.6 million for the three months ended June 30, 2016, as compared to $5.2 million for the three months ended June 30, 2015.

General and administrative expenses were $10.6 million for the three months ended June 30, 2016, as compared to $9.2 million for the three months ended June 30, 2015. The increase for the three months ended June 30, 2016 was primarily attributable to an increase in legal fees, as well as increased operating costs for GAR Disability Advocates relative to the growth in the segment.

Interest expense was $0.8 million for the three months ended June 30, 2016 as compared to $0.6 million for the three months ended June 30, 2015.

Year-to-Date Results

For the nine months ended June 30, 2016, net income attributable to Asta Funding, Inc. was $3.2 million, or $0.26 per diluted share, as compared to net income attributable to Asta Funding, Inc. of $0.9 million, or $0.07 per diluted share for the nine months ended June 30, 2015.

For the nine months ended June 30, 2016, net income was $5.3million as compared to $1.1 million for the nine months ended June 30, 2015.

Total income for the nine months ended June 30, 2016 was $42.3 million, as compared to $31.5 million for the nine months ended June 30, 2015. Total revenue included for the nine months ended June 30, 2016 is approximately $9.1 million in revenue from CBC Settlement Funding, LLC on structured settlements, as compared to $7.6 million for the nine months ended June 30, 2016. Also included in total revenues for the nine months ended June 30, 2016 is approximately $14.8 million from Pegasus Funding, LLC, as compared to $6.1 million for the nine months ended June 30, 2015. Disability fee income for the nine months ended June 30, 2016 was up by $1.8 million to $2.7 million, as compared to $0.9 million for the nine months ended June 30, 2015.

Finance income from the distressed receivable business was down by approximately $1.0 million to $14.7 million for the six months ended June 30, 2016 from $15.7 million for the nine months ended June 30, 2015.

General and administrative expenses were $32.0 million for the nine months ended June 30, 2016, as compared to $27.8 million for the nine months ended June 30, 2015. The increase for the nine months ended June 30, 2016 was primarily attributable to expected settlement costs of $2.0 million in connection with an expected legal settlement and a $1.0 million loss reserve related to a reduction in the carrying value of one of the Company’s investments, as well as increased operating costs for GAR Disability Advocates relative to the growth in the segment.

Interest expense was $2.3 million for the nine months ended June 30, 2016, as compared to $1.7 million for the nine months ended June 30, 2015. The increase in interest expense is related to the growth in our structured settlement business segment, CBC Settlement Funding, LLC. As of June 30, 2016, CBCs invested balance in structured settlements has increased 23% and 90% since September 30, 2015, and 2014, respectively.

Balance Sheet Review

As of June 30, 2016 the Company had approximately $73.9 million in cash and cash equivalents, $176.5 million in stockholders equity, and a net book value per share of $14.91. At June 30, 2016, the Company had an invested balance of $79.9 million in structured settlements and $43.7 million in personal injury claims.

As part of its tender offer, on May 12, 2016, the Company repurchased 274,284 shares of its common stock at a price of $10.25 per share. Total shares repurchased by the Company as a part of its previously terminated Shares Repurchase Plan and tender offer during the nine months ended June 30, 2016 was 1,258,484 at an average price of $8.86.

Investor Call Information

A conference call for investors to hear and discuss results for the three and nine months ended June 30, 2016 will be held on Tuesday, August 9, 2016 at 10:00 am EDT.

Toll-free dial-in number (US and Canada):
(800) 668-4132

International dial-in number:
(224) 357-2196

Conference ID:
60869283

Phone Replay:
Toll-Free #: (800) 585-8367
Toll #: (404) 537-3406
Conference ID # 60869283
Recording will be available for replay two hours after the calls completion through 11:59 pm, EDT on 8/15/16.

About Asta

Asta Funding, Inc. (NASDAQ:ASFI), headquartered inEnglewood Cliffs, New Jersey, is a diversified financial services company that assists consumers and serves investors through the strategic management of four complementary business segments: Personal Injury Claims, Structured Settlements, International Consumer Debt and Disability Advocacy.

Founded in 1994 as a sub-prime auto lender, Asta now manages business units that include funding of personal injury claimsthrough an 80percent owned subsidiary,Pegasus Funding LLC;structured settlements through its wholly owned subsidiary,CBC Settlement Funding LLC; acquiring andmanaging international distressed consumer receivables through its wholly owned subsidiary,Palisades Acquisitions LLC;andbenefits advocacythrough its wholly owned subsidiary,GAR Disability Advocates, LLC.For additional information, please visit our website athttp://www.astafunding.com.

Forward-Looking Statements

All statements in this new release other than statements of historical facts, including without limitation, statements regarding our future financial position, business strategy, budgets, projected revenues, projected costs, and plans and objectives of management for future operations, are forward-looking statements within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Forward-looking statements generally can be identified by the use of forward-looking terminology such as may, will, expects, intends, plans, projects, estimates, anticipates, or believes or the negative thereof, or any variation thereon, or similar terminology or expressions. We have based these forward-looking statements on our current expectations and projections about future events. These forward-looking statements are not guarantees and are subject to known and unknown risks, uncertainties and assumptions about us that may cause our actual results, levels of activity, performance or achievements to be materially different from any future results, levels of activity, performance or achievements expressed or implied by such forward-looking statements. Important factors which could materially affect our results and our future performance include, without limitation, our ability to purchase defaulted consumer receivables at appropriate prices, changes in government regulations that affect our ability to collect sufficient amounts on our defaulted consumer receivables, our ability to employ and retain qualified employees, changes in the credit or capital markets, changes in interest rates, deterioration in economic conditions, negative press regarding the debt collection industry which may have a negative impact on a debtors willingness to pay the debt we acquire, and statements of assumption underlying any of the foregoing, as well as other factors set forth under Item 1A. Risk Factors in our annual report on Form 10-K for the year ended September 30, 2015 and other filings with the SEC. All subsequent written and oral forward-looking statements attributable to us, or persons acting on our behalf, are expressly qualified in their entirety by the foregoing. Except as required by law, we assume no duty to update or revise any forward-looking statements.

National Debt Relief Shares How Credit Counseling Works

National Debt Relief recently shared in an article published July 19, 2016 some very useful insight on credit counseling. The article titled What You Need to Know About Credit Counseling and Debt Consolidation aims to help consumers who are trying to manage their debt payments understand how credit counseling and even debt consolidation works.

Dallas, TX (PRWEB) August 15, 2016

National Debt Relief recently shared in an article published July 19, 2016 some very useful insight on credit counseling. The article titled What You Need to Know About Credit Counseling and Debt Consolidation aims to help consumers who are trying to manage their debt payments understand how credit counseling and even debt consolidation works.

Debt is deeply embedded in the lives of consumers and it has already been a part of life. From a mortgage loan to get a house to a car loan to buy a car and even student loans to go to college – these debts has formed a way of life. But these should not define or even prohibit a way of life. This is why there are credit counseling options for consumers but it is important to have an understanding of how they work.

The article starts off by pointing out to consumers that not all credit counseling companies are the same. When choosing one, it is recommended that consumers look for either Financial Counseling Association of America (FCAA) or the National Foundation for Credit Counseling (NFCC) accredited companies. This is because this and other association require their member to adhere to strict standards aimed to protect the public.

The article also explains how credit counseling companies consolidate their debts which is essentially a debt management plan or DMP. The way they work is that once a consumer agrees with the service, the credit counseling company will reach out and talk to the consumers lenders about rates and waiving fees. They then process the payments where the consumer just makes one payment to them a month.

But the article also shares that consumers might not automatically need a debt management plan. It is the job of the credit counselor to look at the specific situation of the consumer and be able to propose options so they can manage their debts. To read the full article, click https://www.nationaldebtrelief.com/8-things-need-know-using-credit-counseling-agency/

For the original version on PRWeb visit: http://www.prweb.com/releases/understanding/credit_counseling/prweb13568013.htm