Bank economists are predicting improvements at many levels of the U.S. economy in 2014, including the gross domestic product, housing market and unemployment rate. The improvements are expected as private-sector demand accelerates and fiscal drag eases, the American Bankers Association’s Economic Advisory Committee reports.
The committee projects GDP growth, adjusted for inflation, for 2014 to be 3 percent, compared to 2.3 percent each year since the end of the recession in mid-2009. The highest GDP since the recession was 2.8 percent in 2010.
"This will be the strongest economic growth since the expansion began in 2009, and the committee’s strongest forecast since 2005," said chairman Christopher Low. "We expect faster growth in business investment and stronger job creation as the economy improves," he said.
Housing market growth is expected this year as wages increase and the unemployment rate continues to decline. Nationwide, home prices are expected to rise with residential investment increasing 12.3 percent in 2014.
The committee reports consumers are more confident about their finances in the new year and that spending will support economic growth during the coming months. That trend is expected to influence growth outside of the housing market and consumption for stronger business spending and exports in 2014.
The upcoming approval of a two-year federal budget agreement without significant tax increases or spending cuts will also benefit the economy, according to Low.
"For the first time since 2009, businesses and consumers can plan with much less worry about disruptive policy battles," he said.
Jobs and consumer credit are also expected to improve in 2014. Job growth could increase to more than 200,000 each month this year, according to the committee. The members also predict loan delinquencies will be at low levels in 2014 and 2015.
"Banks will continue to meet the needs of their consumers as we work to make the loans that help drive our economy forward," Low said."
Written by ACA International
Economists with the New York Federal Reserve are monitoring student loan debt trends as the amount of money people owe for their education continues to grow, according to a recent Moneynews article.
The Fed economists are researching the trends to determine if high student loan debt will damage U.S. growth, in part by limiting sales of houses and cars.
Education debt was more than $1 trillion in the third quarter of 2013, and the amount of loans in delinquency for 90 days or more increased to 11.8 percent, according to article.
Mortgage, credit card and auto debt loan delinquencies have all decreased from their peak levels.
According to the Fed, 43 percent of 25-year-old Americans had student debt in 2012 compared to 25 percent in 2003. The average loan balance increased 91 percent to $20,326 from $10,649.
The Fed is not the only source of data about student loan debt trends, but economists did find there are gaps in how often that information is released and the type that is available.
The Department of Education releases information on federal loans, not private loans, once per year for borrowers who have missed payments for at least 270 consecutive days, according to Moneynews. Its data is released during two- and three-year periods after students graduate or drop out.
Private student loans make up about 15 percent of the market.
“Our job is to really understand what’s happening in the financial system,” said New York Fed President William C. Dudley in the Moneynews article. “People can have trouble with the student-loan debt burden—unable to buy cars, unable to buy homes—and so it can really delay the cycle,” he said.
Written by: ACA International
"Student lending practices at for-profit colleges are under investigation by state attorneys general and the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, The Wall Street Journal reports.
States and the CFPB are working to uncover “deceptive” student lending and other practices, Kentucky Attorney General Jack Conway told the Journal.
Conway is leading 32 state attorneys general in the investigations. “I expect in 2014 you’ll see action by the CFPB in coordination with states in coming months,” Conway told the Journal.
The investigation includes student loans from outside investors issued through the colleges and the promise of job placement for their students.
The for-profit college industry is under overall scrutiny from the Obama administration and Democratic lawmakers for allegedly issuing student loans with high interest without providing complete information about the lending terms.
CFPB may take legal action against Corinthian Colleges Inc. and ITT Educational Services Inc. because of their lending practices.
The Securities and Exchange Commission and the Education Department are working on a plan to not issue federal student aid to for-profit and community colleges if past students had high loan default rates or debt levels after graduating, according to the Journal.
Corinthian and ITT are under investigation by the SEC. Additionally, Corinthian is part of a Justice Department review to determine if they changed attendance records to keep federal education aid.
ITT and Corinthian have lending agreements to help comply with federal requirements that private colleges have at least 10 percent of their revenue from sources other than federal education aid.
However, critics say the colleges will take losses on student loans to meet the requirements and keep the federal revenue coming in.
For-profit colleges take in approximately $30 billion in federal grants and loans, supported by taxpayer dollars, each year.
Read more about the CFPB and states’ investigation in The Wall Street Journal. (Subscription required).” - ACA International
Question: How can I find out if the debt collection agency I’m speaking with is a legitimate company?
Answer: The most effective way is to go to website of the Secretary of State’s office in which the debt collection agency is located and see if they agency is registered as a business in that state.
In response to recent news reports about debt collection scams, ACA International offers the following tips for consumers to identify legitimate collection activities.
“Unscrupulous scams hurt consumers and unnecessarily impedes legitimate debt collection efforts,” said ACA International CEO Pat Morris. “The recovery of consumer debt is vitally important to our local, state and national economies. Those who purposely violate the law to exploit consumers should be held fully accountable for their actions.”
In addition to federal and state regulatory oversight of the debt collection industry and state law, the federal Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) outlines several important items that consumers can use to discern a legitimate attempt to recover a debt. Generally:
Consumers should also take great care when giving out personal information including a credit card, bank account or Social Security number until certain of the authenticity of the other party. Consumers should monitor his/her credit report, as well as accounts and immediately report any suspicious or unauthorized purchases to the bank or credit card provider. If a consumer believes his/her identity has been stolen, [s]he should contact the local police department and visit www.ftc.gov/idtheftfor information on what to do.
“Debt collectors are not an enemy of consumers,” Morris said. “We are advocates for protecting consumer rights while balancing the ability to recover rightfully owed obligations that maintain America’s credit-based economy.” For more information about working with a debt collector visitwww.askdoctordebt.org.” - ACA International
New FCC rules provide more stringent regulations on telemarketing calls.
In February 2012, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) issued new rules under the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) that further distinguish between telemarketing calls and non-telemarketing calls. One of the main amendments will soon become effective, but will primarily impact telemarketers, not debt collectors.
Effective Oct. 16, 2013, persons must obtain a consumer’s “prior express written consent” in order to make telemarketing calls to a wireless number using an automatic telephone dialing system or prerecorded voice, or to residential lines using a prerecorded voice. Notably, this new prior express written consent requirement does not apply to non-telemarketing calls(such as debt collection calls). Although debt collectors still need “prior express consent” to use an automatic dialing system or prerecorded voice to call a consumer’s wireless number, such consent is not expressly required to be in writing.
The 2012 FCC ruling also eliminated the established business relations exemption for calls to residential lines, which allowed for prerecorded calls to residential lines without obtaining the consumer’s express consent. However, debt collection calls that are made to residential lines will still fall under an exemption for calls that are “made for a commercial purpose but that do not include or introduce an unsolicited advertisement or constitute a telephone solicitation…” Therefore, debt collection calls to residential lines should not be impacted by the change—debt collectors may continue to make prerecorded voice calls to a consumer’s residential line without obtaining the consumer’s prior express consent.
Overall, the new regulations essentially leave the collection industry in the same place it was before the new rules. Debt collectors are still permitted to use automated dialing systems or prerecorded messages to call a consumer’s residential line without obtaining the consumer’s prior express consent, but still need the consumer’s prior express consent to call a wireless phone using an automatic telephone dialing system or prerecorded voice.
For more detailed information on the TCPA and the new restrictions, members are encouraged to review the following Fastfaxes: An Overview of the TCPA and the FCC’s Regulations, Fastfax #9515; and Autodialers and Prerecorded Messages, Fastfax #9518. Members can access ACA’s Fastfax library on the Fastfax page of ACA’s website.” - ACA International
Fred Stamey, Director Truck Driver Program, Sampson Community College received a call from a man calling himself Michael Davis from Martin Transport. Mr. Davis called the school looking for students drivers.
He indicated that he is a recruiter for Martin Transport. (HE IS NOT) and once he has access to the students, he instructs them to wire funds to him for orientation and transportation. He assures them that the student will be reimbursed upon arrival. He is asking for $150 - $175.
The number he is providing is a throwaway phone so it can’t be tracked.
Please be sure to warn all your staff and students that Carriers do not require funds up front for a job.
Thank you Mr. Stamey for the heads up!
3rd Party Collection Agency in Fenton, MO 63026
- Collection and Loan Servicing Accounts
* MUST have 2 YEARS 3rd-party debt collection experience
* Typing speed at least 45 wpm
*Knowledge of FDCPA, FCRA, TCPA
* MONTHLY BONUS potential
* NO WEEKENDS and NO LATE NIGHTS
M-TH 8-6, F 8-4:30
* Vacation & Benefit package
* Casual attire
PLEASE INCLUDE ANSWERS TO THE FOLLOWING QUESTIONS IN YOUR REPLY EMAIL:
1) What is your average monthly bonus?
2) What is the average number of your daily outbound calls?
3) What is your collection style?
4) What is a high point of your collection career?
To be considered you MUST REPLY WITH YOUR RESUME’ & ANSWERS TO THE QUESTIONS
APPLY & RESPOND HERE: http://stlouis.craigslist.org/csr/4105145175.html