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Why Choose a Personal Loan: How to Get a Loan Online

Why Choose a Personal Loan: How to Get a Loan Online

The term “personal loan” refers to a personal loan allows you to borrow money from a lender to fulfill any need usually with a fixed-term and an interest rate that is fixed and a month-to-month payment schedule. The collateral is usually not required.How do I utilize a personal loan? You can utilize the personal loan for almost any need, with some exceptions. LendingClub Bank members often use personal loans to pay off credit cards at a lower interest rate as well as consolidate debts, or cover emergencies with home repairs and medical expenses. Some of the ways personal loans are not able to be used personal loan cannot be used are for education-related matters following high school, the making of investments (such as crypto or securities) or illegal.Will I be eligible for a personal loan? To qualify to receive an personal loan from you must be an U.S. citizen at least 18 years old and have an account at a bank that is verified. (We take applications from every state, with the exception of Iowa as well as the U.S. territories.)

The loan application you submit is evaluated on various factors, such as the information you supply to the lender as well as the credit bureaus as well as the quality of your credit score, and capacity to pay back. To get the lowest rate it’s best to have a better that average credit score as well as a low ratio of debt to income and an good credit history. Sometimes, partnering with another person could aid you in getting higher rates and/or a larger loan amount.

Find out how adding a borrower will help you qualify for an individual loan.How do I apply for a personal loan? The majority of applicants are approved in less than 24 hours and can receive their funds within 24 hours. 2. Help get things moving by reviewing Your To-Do List and making sure you’ve provided all documents and other information needed.

You can submit your application and complete the application online at the convenience at home with your computer, smartphone or tablet. After your financial information is confirmed, we’ll use our marketplace to search for potential investors to finance the loan. If the loan is approved and, based on the terms you select the funds will be transferred directly to your creditor or transferred to your bank account.Will the rate I check affect my credit score? Getting your rate from LendingClub Bank has absolutely no impact on your credit score since the process is low credit pull is performed. The hard credit pull that might affect your score only occurs when you keep your loan , and your money is transferred.

The positive side is that the personal loan could positively impact your credit in the future in the event that you’re able to demonstrate an history of timely payments and a reduction in your overall debt (that implies no new debts, like more credit balances on your credit cards). 1

Find out More about the credit score and ways to safeguard the credit health.What happens when I have checked my credit score?

Select your offerIf your loan application is approved and you’ll be able to look over your loan amount, interest rate APR, monthly installment and loan duration.

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We’ll need information about your Social Security number, and regarding your income and work. If we require additional documents or data we’ll inform you on the form of your To-Do List. Keep your fingers crossed as we search for investors on our marketplace , and close your loan.

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After your loan has been approved, we’ll transfer the funds directly into your bank account and/or pay your debtors directly in the event that you select this option. This will happen within several days.

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California doesn’t have enough doctors. To recruit them, the State repays the debt of the faculty of medicine

Bryan Ruiz’s hands were still shaking an hour after learning that the $300,000 in medical school loans he took out to become a dentist were being wiped out by California taxpayers.

A year out of medical school, Ruiz thought it would take decades to pay off the debt, especially since he had accepted a less lucrative position at a community health clinic that primarily serves low-medical Cal patients. revenue.

“It’s really life changing,” he said.

Ruiz was among the first doctors and dentists told this month that their medical school debt was being paid off by the state. In exchange, physicians must commit that at least 30% of their workload will be devoted to Medi-Cal patients for five years.

“He’s dedicated his life to this type of service, and that’s what our loan repayment program is all about,” Gov. Gavin Newsom said of Ruiz at a news conference. last week, touting health care investments in the new government. California budget. “If you support providing quality care to Medi-Cal patients, we’ll support your journey by offering some relief on these loans.”

Federal, state and local governments have increasingly turned to loan forgiveness programs as competition for doctors has grown more aggressive nationwide. According to a 2019 survey by physician recruiting firm Merritt Hawkins, two-thirds of physicians completing training said they had been contacted more than 50 times by recruiters.

California will spend $340 million to pay off doctors’ debts using Proposition 56 tobacco tax revenue. This month, the state offered its first awards – 40 dentists received $10.5 million in debt relief while 247 doctors received $58.6 million.

The California program aims to increase the number of doctors who see Medi-Cal patients in a state experiencing a shortage of health care providers. The number of doctors accepting Medi-Cal patients — and the low reimbursement rate that comes with them — hasn’t kept pace with the rapid expansion of the state’s health care program for the poor, which covers 1 in 3 residents in the state.

“The loan repayment program is huge,” said Sandra R. Hernández, physician and president of the California Health Care Foundation. “You have a lot of young doctors graduating from medical school with huge debt. We think this is a good long-term win for getting doctors to work in underserved areas.

As California’s doctor shortage has grown, the state’s residents are aging, with an aging baby boomer population increasing the need for healthcare workers. And a third of the state’s doctors and nurse practitioners are baby boomers reaching retirement age, further draining the workforce.

These trends led health, education, and business leaders to form the California Future Health Workforce Commission in 2017 to study the state’s situation. impending health crisisthe task force eventually coming up with a $3 billion plan over the next 10 years to fix it.

Newsom included $300 million in new money to address supplier shortages in the budget he signed last month for the fiscal year that began July 1. Much of that money was allocated to training and recruitment programs recommended by the commission, including an additional $120 million for loan forgiveness incentives to ensure doctors and dentists care for patients. Medical.

But some costly and politically heavy committee recommendations will not be addressed this year, which could slow the state’s efforts to close the gaps in access to health care. Among the commission’s recommendations was legislation allowing nurse practitioners, who undergo more extensive training than registered nurses, to care for patients on their own without the supervision of a doctor.

Member of the Commission Assemblyman Jim Wood (D-Healdsburg) drafted the bill that would have allowed nurse practitioners more autonomy. But it stalled in May amid pushback from the California Medical Assn., the state’s physician lobbying arm. Wood said he would revive the bill next year.

The commission’s report said the state would have seen an immediate and substantial increase in the number of nurse practitioners working in rural areas in 2020 had the bill moved forward and, over time, would have saved hundreds of millions of dollars treating conditions that would otherwise result in trips to the emergency room.

“California is facing a perfect storm – seniors who will need care and a lack of health care providers,” said Karen Bradley, president of the California Assn. for nurse practitioners. “This bill would have made nurse practitioners part of the solution.

Many more doctors will need to be trained in California if the state is to meet residents’ health needs, said Janet Coffman, a professor at UC San Francisco’s Philip R. Lee Institute for Health Policy Studies.

More than 60% of California students who attended medical school in 2017 left the state for their studies, according to the commission’s report. The national average of medical students per 100,000 population is 30.3; California has 18.4 students per 100,000. This is the third lowest rate among the 45 states that have at least one medical school.

Despite this, California has made relatively little investment in increasing medical school enrollment in the state. The only new public medical school to open in California in the past four decades is at UC Riverside.

“And it’s relatively small,” Coffman said. “We have expanded class sizes at other medical schools, but not by much.”

State Sen. Richard Roth (D-Riverside) introduced a bill this year giving UC Riverside $80 million to build a new facility for its medical school, allowing the campus to double its enrollment by 250 students at 500 students. But the money was not included in the recently signed budget, and the bill was amended to exclude the funds. Instead, the budget only promises a future obligation to pay for construction.

Lawmakers approved spending about $115 million on residency training positions, which the health commission said have historically been underfunded. That includes $33 million for California’s Song-Brown Program, which funds residency programs that increase diversity among students studying to become doctors or serving high-needs areas of the state.

The budget made funding for this program permanent for years to come, a key priority for the commission.

“A significant down payment has been made with this budget,” said David Carlisle, president of Charles R. Drew University of Medicine and Science in Los Angeles and a member of the health care commission. “This represents a significant achievement and response to the challenges that exist. We must continue to work on this subject, because there is still work to be done.

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Zambia’s dependency ratio points to future debt crises

With a population that includes more children and older people, Zambia finds itself with an insufficient number of workers. Its dependency ratio makes it vulnerable to too much indebtedness in the future, regardless of the post-default restructuring solution.

Zambia is far from alone. A report by Charles Robertson of Renaissance Capital in November advises investors to be wary of countries with current account deficits combined with fertility rates that are expected to remain high until 2040.

High fertility rates combined with large cohorts of old people create a low dependency ratio, where there are relatively few people of working age to generate enough money to support the young and old. These countries, writes Robertson, will need high interest rates and will be under the greatest pressure to take on too much debt, as happened in Latin America in the 1970s and 1980s.

READ MORE Zambia default shows new approach needed for Chinese debt

The dependency ratio can be used as an indicator of likely future debt crises – and the likelihood that a country will want to look to China for borrowing. Countries most at risk of excessive indebtedness in Africa over the next 20 years include Zambia, Nigeria, Democratic Republic of Congo, and Angolathat is in danger of failing, writes Robertson.

  • He gives Morocco and Mauritius as examples of countries with fewer children and higher levels of private savings.
  • According to the World Bank, Zambia’s dependency ratio, defined as the number of people under the age of 15 or over the age of 64 per 100 people of working age, was 87 in 2019. This is the same what about Nigeriaand compares to 96 in the ground floor and 95 in Angola.
  • African countries with fewer dependents per 100 people of working age include Morocco and South Africa the 52, Algeria the 59 and Tunisia the 49.

“A high fertility rate associated with low levels of schooling and a disproportionate burden for adults in the formal and informal labor force suggests a high pressure on available human and financial capital resources of households, structural pressure on personal income tax and less potential to improve household spending capacitysays Irmgard Erasmus, senior financial economist at NKC African Economics in Cape Town.

  • In these countries, she says, the fiscal account “will remain under pressure due to high recurrent spending and personal tax revenues below potential, which could leave a structural deficit that will need to be filled by borrowing.”
  • One consequence of too many dependents, according to Erasmus, is to distort the results of borrowing, even for capital investment. The basic principle of borrowing for energy and transport infrastructure projects is that future revenue streams will repay the project loan.
  • “The low disposable income capacity of households limits the extent to which households can be taxed for the use of these public goods,” says Erasmus. It shifts the burden to businesserodes their profitability and lowers corporate income tax revenues, she adds.

Elections in Zambia

Zambia faces a long road back to economic stability after defaulting in November. Its current account deficit and debt problems, Robertson notes, have worsened despite copper prices near five-year highs.

The short-term economic outlook is poor. According to RMB Markets Research, the economy will contract by 4.8% in 2020, while inflation will average 15.2%. The kwacha, now at 20.94 per US dollar, is expected to continue to weaken and end 2021 at 32.5. This will push inflation up to 18.7% next year, according to the RMB.

READ MORE Zambia’s call for debt relief raises fears of a domino effect across Africa

With elections scheduled for August 2021the short-term chances of bold economic reforms are slim.

  • Hakainde Hichilema, leader of the opposition United Party for National Development (UPND), may have a chance of victory if he presents himself as capable of delivering macroeconomic and debt stability, said Zaynab Mohamed, a political analyst at the NKC.
  • If President Edgar Lungu wins again, Western lenders and corporations are likely to stay away unless a bailout is agreed with the IMF or there is a leadership change within the Front. patriotism in power, she adds. “The government’s international reputation has been badly damaged.
  • Any long-term outcome for Zambia, says Erasmus, hinges on achieving a higher national savings rate. This could be done by increasing productivity by expanding the formal labor market and accelerating skills development, she says.

At the end of the line

The dependency ratio gives an idea of ​​which African countries are best positioned for a sustainable recovery once the worst of COVID-19 passes.

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Income-based repayment is the best solution to student debt — Quartz

Here’s the problem with student debt: It’s only a problem for some people. Americans of all ages to have to nearly $1.5 trillion in student loans and so many Americans are in debt, it’s politically popular for a candidate like Elizabeth Warren to chat for the drastic action to erase student debt and provide free college. The problem with his plan – in addition to the possibility of paying for it with a wealth tax – is that it is regressive. This is a bailout for Americans who should be the highest earners, those who have a college education. The most indebted Americans tend to have higher income.

For some borrowers, student debt can be paralyzing, especially for college dropouts or graduates of for-profit schools that grant degrees of dubious value, but for many others it’s a wise investment that will yield future income over decades. A better policy would target those who need debt relief, rather than all borrowers, regardless of their needs.

One idea is income-contingent debt repayment, where a borrower is only required to repay a set fraction of their income – say 15% – and only if they earn above a certain threshold of revenue. This government program exists in America, and although it is not highly publicized, 28% of borrowers with federal student loans take advantage of it. Anyone who has federal subsidized loans could be eligible, depending on the program to which they are applying. But in the UK, this is how most student debt is repaid. UK universities only started charging fees in 1998, but they quickly rose from around £1,000 ($1,279) in 1998 to £9,000 in 2012. Today, 85% of UK students take out loans to pay for their studies.

In the UK system, borrowers only repay their loans if their income exceeds a floor, currently set at £18,395 a year (it was originally £10,000). For any income above that, 9% is used to pay off the student loan and is automatically deducted from the borrower’s paycheck, like a payroll tax. After 25 years, any remaining balance is forgiven. This program has the advantage of ensuring that student loans do not overwhelm borrowers and high earners do not receive a huge subsidy from taxpayers.

But economists and policy makers (pdf) fear that such a program will encourage borrowers to earn less and borrow more. What’s the incentive to earn over £18,395 when you have to pay 9% on every pound above it? But a new search An article by economists Jack Britton and Jonathan Gruber argues that the income floor does not discourage work. If payment schemes reduced the incentive to earn more, then there would be plenty of borrowers with incomes just below £10,000, which was the income threshold for most of the period studied. They do not observe this and found that even though the threshold income level was adjusted over time, there was not much clustering at the threshold. Economists say the income distribution looks similar for non-borrowers.

Their study suggests that income-tested loan programs may be a better solution than general debt relief. While it’s important to note that while nearly all borrowers in the UK take part in the loan-based scheme, Americans have to opt for the less popular US scheme, which suffers from poor awareness and a poor process. tedious registration. The problem with an opt-in program is that high earners would prefer a more traditional loan repayment program because their payments would be lower if they didn’t pay a fixed percentage of their (high) income. If only low-income people choose income-based loan repayments, the program may not be sustainable. To break even, some high-income borrowers are needed to offset low-income borrowers who pay little or nothing. Success may require full participation.

The study also only considered incomes around the threshold at the start of borrowers’ careers. It is unclear whether an earnings-based program would encourage people to pursue less lucrative studies and take lower-paying jobs that lead to lower lifetime wages. No student debt relief program is perfect, but income-contingent loan repayments can still be better than blanket debt forgiveness.

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Chinese lenders freeze $2.1 billion in debt repayments for poor countries

Chinese lenders have suspended $2.1 billion in debt repayments from nearly two dozen countries, while the country’s finance minister has called for a multilateral debt relief facility to ease the burden of the world’s poor. world amid the coronavirus pandemic.

Chinese Finance Minister Liu Kun said official creditors from the China International Development Cooperation Agency and the Export-Import Bank of China had suspended payments of $1.353 billion from 23 countries. The China Development Bank, which Beijing considers a commercial lender, froze $748 million, it said in a statement.

Yet the deferral represents less than a third of the estimated $7.2 billion owed to Chinese lenders by poor countries eligible for a payment moratorium between May and December this year, according to World Bank data.

The Group of 20 major economies, including China, agreed in April to temporarily suspend debt payments for 73 of the world’s poorest countries. The G-20 extended debt relief until at least the first half of 2021 and agreed on a common framework to rework the debt of countries suffering the most from the effects of the pandemic.

Read more: Faced with tsunami of defaults, G-20 agrees to step up debt relief

World Bank President David Malpass has publicly questioned China’s participation in the debt suspension initiative and called on Beijing to offer more relief as the world’s largest official creditor. Other Western governments have also expressed doubts about China’s commitment to a common strategy to overhaul billions of dollars in sovereign debt.

In his statement, Liu hit back and called on the World Bank to help indebted countries by setting up a multilateral debt relief facility to which China will consider contributing.

“The World Bank, as a major multilateral creditor, should participate in debt treatment and explore various options to further help poorer countries ease their debt burdens,” Liu said. “If the World Bank participates in debt treatment through the establishment of a multilateral debt relief facility, China will positively consider contributing to the facility.”

This story was published from a news feed with no text edits.

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ANALYSIS-‘Bond vigilantes’ eased on record debt as central banks govern

By Sujata Rao and Dhara Ranasinghe

LONDON, December 8 (Reuters)An explosion in global crisis borrowing has yet to give so-called ‘bond vigilantes’ sleepless nights or incited them to fight with all-powerful central banks.

According to forecasts by the Institute of International Finance, global indebtedness is expected to reach $277 trillion by the end of the year. Including government, corporate and household debt, that figure has risen by $15 trillion this year.

Governments that turned on the taps to offset the damage caused by the pandemic to economies accounted for 60% of the increase.

Another estimate from S&P Global puts global debt at $200 trillion by the end of the year.

But investors speaking at the Reuters Investment Outlook summit last week took a relaxed view of this mountain of debt.

Bond market vigilantes — a term from the 1990s for investors who punish profligate governments by demanding higher yields — seem calm in the face of record high debt and rock-bottom bond yields.

The main reason is simply that the central bank’s buying of bonds maintains long-term borrowing rates, ensuring that governments can borrow more at affordable rates. And as long as inflation stays below around 2%, as it has for a good decade, central banks will continue to buy.

For many asset managers, much of the debt — especially bonds issued to fight the pandemic — will never reappear in the market again, as central banks simply hold them to maturity.

Jim Leaviss, director of public bond investments at M&G Investment Management, predicts that this type of “deficits don’t matter” worldview will become increasingly common.

“On the face of it, bond vigilantes should be worried. One of the reasons we’re not doing that is because debt servicing costs are incredibly low,” Leaviss said at the summit.

“But I would also be surprised if, over the course of my career, we ever see bonds bought by the BOE, the Fed and other central banks being voluntarily released into the market,” Leaviss said. He expects bonds to “disappear on central bank balance sheets and quietly mature there.”

Going forward, central banks could choose not to reinvest the proceeds of maturing bonds, a first step towards withdrawing liquidity. But that would change if there was persistently high inflation, as evidenced by recent increases in US Treasury yields.

But that’s unlikely for many years. Meanwhile, the lines between monetary and fiscal policy continue to blur.

NN Investment Partners CIO Valentijn van Nieuwenhuijzen noted that many central bank officials have made it clear they see lowering debt costs as part of their financial stability role.

“Government debt will stay with us forever. It doesn’t have to be repaid. They can (refinance and refinance) given the cost of servicing debt and the current mindset of central banks.”


For junk bonds and emerging markets, which lack strong central bank support, some defaults and requests for debt relief seem inevitable.

IIF data shows more than $76 trillion in debt has been racked up in emerging markets, a sector where there have already been several defaults and debt relief exercises this year.

Corporate and household debt, excluding the financial sector, stands at $80 trillion and $50 trillion respectively.

Even in the West, there are growing calls to cancel student loans, for example. Italy’s 5-Star Movement co-leader in a blog post said the European Central Bank should write off Italy’s COVID-era debt it owns.

Rome was quick to reject that suggestion, showing that policymakers are reluctant to advocate outright debt monetization — essentially printing money to buy government bonds.

But then they may never need it.

“If the BOE says it’s canceling its QE gilts, markets will say ‘wait, has the UK become a banana republic?’ Whereas if you put it on the balance sheet forever, no one will ever notice,” M&G’s Leaviss said.

But as government borrowing and spending increases, so does the pressure on central banks.

Markets, which previously panicked at any hint of stimulus withdrawal, could react even more furiously if central bankers talk about offloading their bond holdings or simply decide to stop reinvesting the proceeds.

Mike Riddell, head of unconstrained macro at Allianz Global Investors, said the US Federal Reserve began unwinding its balance sheet in 2017 but stopped after a year as 10-year yields hit lows. highs in seven years.

“It’s the world we live in,” Riddell said, noting Japan’s experience. Decades of bond buying left the BOJ with about 45% of the market and buying stocks. “That’s the future direction of all other central banks.”

Central bank holdings of government bonds

Global debt on the rise

Central bank balance sheets are swelling

(Additional reporting by Ritvik Carvalho in London and Megan Davies in New York. Editing by Jane Merriman)

(([email protected]; +44 207 542 6176;))

The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

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Thousands of former students seek debt relief

In 2007, Pamela Hunt had just finished her bachelor’s degree at the University of Connecticut when she saw an ad online for Everest University.

“You know, if you were a single mom, underemployed, that would be perfect,” she recalls. “They had a great internship.”

Hunt, who has five children, wanted to be a probation officer. Two years later, she had a master’s degree in criminal justice from Everest’s online program, but all those job placement promises boiled down to little more than a few emailed links to job search websites. Everest’s parent company, Corinthian Colleges, was later fined $30 million for inflating its placement figures. Last spring, the company was forced to close due to accusations of widespread fraud and deception.

“Needless to say, I’ve never worked in my field of study,” Hunt said.

Now Hunt makes less than $15 an hour as a home health aide. Between her two degrees, she said she had student loan debt of $159,000.

Last May, she requested the cancellation of her Everest loans, through a little-known part of federal law.

“If the college lied about anything related to the loans or the education, the loans could potentially be canceled,” said financial aid expert Mark Kantrowitz with “It’s incredibly vague.”

The government has agreed to forgive about $28 million in debt for some former Corinthian students, but thousands of other borrowers, like Hunt, are still waiting for answers.

According the Debt Collective, a borrower advocacy group, alumni of other for-profit colleges, like ITT Tech and the Art Institutes, have also filed claims. About 50 DeVry University students applied through the Debt Collective website, according to the group’s legal coordinator, Luke Herrine. On Wednesday, the Federal Trade Commission announced that it is suing DeVry for allegedly inflating its placement and graduation rates.

For many borrowers, the higher education law’s so-called “repayment defense” provision may be the only hope of escaping crippling debt, Herrine said.

“Student loans are almost never dischargeable in bankruptcy,” he said. “Even if you took out a loan for a fraudulent product, you can’t get away with it unless the repayment defense clause actually works.”

The Department of Education has begun a months-long process to negotiate clear rules to determine who is eligible for relief, said Robyn Smith of the National Consumer Law Center.

“We envision a very lengthy process for students, which is why we are asking the department to immediately stop collecting student loans once students assert a defense to the claim, regardless of the school in which they went,” she said.

More than 7,500 students have applied for debt relief in the past six months, according to the department. If that sounds like a lot, Smith said, hundreds of thousands should be eligible.

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Cancellation of student debt already at the center of concerns as part of President-elect Biden’s transition

President-elect Joe Biden has made a campaign proposal for erase $10,000 for an estimated 37 million Americans who owe federally-backed student loan debt, and experts are divided on whether the new president will be able to deliver on that promise.

“Just erasing student debt…that was one of the more left-leaning ideas that won’t be feasible given that the Republicans really fought the Democrats to lure” Congressman Michael Petrilli, chairman of the think tank Thomas B Fordham Institute, told Yahoo Finance.

There are two avenues that could theoretically cancel student debt: either through legislation or through executive action.

In practice, student loan forgiveness could either be included as part of a new stimulus package passed by Congress or signed into law by a President Biden asking his education secretary to forgive the debt.

“We are committed to fighting to ensure that student debt relief is included in any future stimulus agreement,” said Natalia Abrams, executive director and co-founder of Student Debt Crisis.

US President-elect Joe Biden with his wife Jill Biden, give a thumbs up on stage after delivering a speech in Wilmington, Delaware on November 7, 2020 being declared the winner of the US presidential election. (Photo by Roberto SCHMIDT/AFP) (Photo by ROBERTO SCHMIDT/AFP via Getty Images)

The decree route is based on the Higher Education Act, which grants broad authority to the president (through the Secretary of Education) to cancel the debt.

“I have a proposal with Elizabeth Warren that the first $50,000 in debt be defeated,” said Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY). affirmed recently, “and we think Joe Biden can do it with the pen as opposed to legislation.”

The Biden administration would have ‘the power and legal authority to order its Department of Education to cancel millions of student debts from day one of its administration,’ the loan project’s legal director says. Predators, Eileen Connor.

“Cancellation will not necessarily happen overnight”

The stock of student debt in the United States is nearly $1.7 trillionaccording to the New York Fed.

“This is something that has dashed the hopes and dreams of too many Americans for too long,” former presidential candidate Andrew Yang pointed out on Yahoo Finance Live (video above). “I met people on [campaign] trail who were in their 50s and 60s and were still struggling with some of the $1.6 trillion in student loan debt.

About 7% of this debt was seriously overdue as of July 2020. Amid the coronavirus pandemic, the federal government government payment break on federal loans has helped many borrowers avoid default.

(Graphic: David Foster)

(Graphic: David Foster)

It’s unclear whether Biden’s team will pursue the executive’s argument, and experts are cautious about the idea that debt cancellation would happen anytime soon.

“Voiding won’t necessarily happen overnight,” said Ashley Harrington, director of federal advocacy at the Center for Responsible Lending at Yahoo Finance, adding that the process included taking the first steps to understand the legal arguments to be made. forward and coordinate with agencies like the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) to ensure the debt is not taxable.

At the same time, the National Student Defense Network noted that the education secretary can quickly take “administrative proceduresenshrined in the Higher Education Act to cancel borrowers’ student loans.

The Predatory Lending Project argued that a Executive Decree could be a real solution to Obama-era borrower defense regulations protecting defrauded borrowersthat the Trump administration tried to dismantle despite court decisions favoring borrowers.

Economic activity would in turn be stimulated.

Debt cancellation could have ripple effects, experts have previously said.

A report by Moody’s Investors Service said canceling student loans could stimulate the economy in the short term by serving as a “tax cut-like stimulus.”

A graduate student wears a silver lei, a necklace made of US dollar bills, during Pasadena City College's graduation ceremony on June 14, 2019, in Pasadena, California.  - With 45 million borrowers owing $1.5 trillion, the student debt crisis in the United States has exploded in recent years and has become a key electoral issue in the run-up to the 2020 presidential elections.

A graduate student wears a silver lei, a necklace made of US dollar bills, during Pasadena City College’s graduation ceremony on June 14, 2019, in Pasadena, California. (Photo: ROBYN BECK/AFP/Getty Images)

“Partial or full cancellation of student debt would increase household disposable income by the amount of debt service saved,” the report said. “Economic activity would in turn be boosted by the portion of these savings on debt service being channeled into other current and investment spending. At the same time, some households could potentially increase their spending beyond their savings on debt service if their improved net financial worth encourages them to save less and spend more overall, which will further stimulate the economy.

And since more than 90% of student debt is in the hands of the US government, the report notes, forgiving that debt isn’t all that different from cutting government taxes.

A separate report by Bard College’s Levy Economics Institute added that debt cancellation “could raise real GDP by an average of $86 billion to $108 billion a year” and reduce unemployment.

And apart stimulate economic growthforgiveness also frees Americans from debt, allowing them to increase expensesimprove their credit scoresand spend more on consumer goods.

“The cancellation will disproportionately impact black and brown borrowers, low-income borrowers and female borrowers,” Harrington noted, stressing that it is especially true for black borrowers “Because of the history of discriminatory policies…in the financial market which continue to this day.”

This post has been updated with a tweet from Senator Elizabeth Warren.

Aarthi is a reporter for Yahoo Finance. She can be contacted at [email protected] Follow her on Twitter @aarthiswami.

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Church and nonprofit eliminate $46.5 million in medical debt for thousands of people in the three states

CINCINNATI (FOX19) – Thousands of families in Cincinnati and across the tri-state have had their medical debt eliminated thanks to a local church.

Crossroads Church worked with a national nonprofit to repay $46.5 million owed.

The lucky recipients began receiving letters in the mail over the weekend.

A woman says she threw her letter in the trash but dug it up, read it again and still thought it was a hoax.

“My main focus was how I was chosen. It was random,” said the Williamsburg mom, who wishes to remain anonymous.

“It was nameless and faceless from our perspective. We just wanted to help people even though we didn’t know who they were and didn’t choose,” said Brian Tome, senior pastor of Crossroads.

In Ohio, church officials say they have abolished $42. 8 million debts in 41,233 households in 103 postcodes.

But the church went beyond state lines, eliminating $1.9 million in debt from 2,974 Kentucky households, $1.5 million from 503 Tennessee households and $200,000 from 136 households. from Indiana.

Pastor Tome spoke about getting involved in the community during Sunday’s sermon.

He mentioned a previous sermon where parishioners had to pay tithing. Tithing is a contribution that a parishioner makes to the church. The money raised is used to meet the needs of the church.

Tome challenged parishioners to donate to an organization that was not affiliated with Crossroads.

The challenge led to the partnership with a non-profit medical debt relief organization called RIP Medical Debt and church members donating $465,000 to the cause.

According to the association websitefor every $100 donation, $10,000 of medical debt is erased.

“We really like not only being able to help people, but being a role model for people. We’re here to bless people, not to have big meetings. So to be able to have an impact, a huge impact on normal people in Cincinnati, it’s really rewarding for us,” Tome said.

The impact of debt relief is now causing a ripple effect of goodwill in Cincinnati and beyond.

“I don’t even go to church here, so I’ll definitely pay it forward,” the Williamsburg mother said.

RIP Medical Debt claims this is the largest amount of medical debt they have ever helped pay off.

Church officials say those whose medical debt has been paid off are currently receiving notices by mail that are enclosed in bright yellow envelopes.

For more information, Click here.

Want to know why the church decided to help so many people eliminate their medical debt? Look here :

Copyright 2020 WXX. All rights reserved.

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Democrats run for digitization of Circuit Court clerk’s vows, accountability and debt relief

Updated Wednesday at 7:23 a.m.

The four Democrats running for Cook County Circuit Court clerk all pledged Tuesday night to reduce punitive fines and improve accountability and public access in an office long plagued by patronage allegations, corruption and inefficiency – an office where carbon copies remain a central record-keeping tool.

In their first face-to-face meeting ahead of the March primary, the candidates also tried to sort out their priorities and experience, vying to replace Dorothy Brown, who announced last August that she would step down after her current term. , which ends in December.

Michael Cabonargi of Wilmette, commissioner of the Cook County Board of Review, has repeatedly stressed the need to digitize the clerk’s mountains of paper documents.

“We have warehouses across the county full of data that can help working families and that can help the people of Cook County, but it’s on paper,” said Cabonargi, who received Party endorsement. Cook County Democrat in the race.

Illinois State Senator Iris Martinez of Chicago said she would hire interpreters and other knowledgeable people to augment the office’s non-English language services.

“There is an opportunity to make changes in this office based on the fact that we have people who speak more than one language,” Martinez said. “That’s going to be one of my priorities there.”

Chicago attorney Jacob Meister, who challenged Brown to a three-way race in 2016, vowed to expand the bureau’s enforcement of the state’s open records law, saying it would help investigators and academics to obtain data for criminal studies and to measure litigation trends and the economy.

“These are things the clerk’s office hasn’t cooperated with,” Meister said.

Former Cook County Commissioner Richard Boykin of Oak Park, who lost his county board seat in 2018 to Presidential ally Toni Preckwinkle after leading the charge against his tax on sodas in 2017, promised to erase the debt of the poor who owe the clerk’s office for fines and unpaid fees.

“I’m the only candidate here who grew up in Englewood,” Boykin said, referring to a low-income neighborhood on Chicago’s South Side, “and I understand what it’s like to struggle.”

“I will be working with people on Day 1 to make sure we wipe the slate clean so individuals don’t have to worry about paying those fees,” Boykin said.

Brown, the circuit court clerk since 2000, has long faced accusations of mismanagement.

The Clerk’s Office has also been the subject of a six-year-old investigation into gambling pay allegations involving jobs and promotions. As part of this investigation, two former employees of the office were found guilty and sentenced.

Martinez, Meister and Cabonargi all criticized Brown’s tenure, but Boykin defended her.

“I’m sick of people talking about Clerk Brown,” Boykin said. “I think she did a good job. You can badmouth her all you want, but Clerk Brown is not on the ballot. You are on the ballot. Talk about your vision. Don’t talk of the past The past is history.

The winner of the March 17 primary will face Republican Barbara Bellar of Burr Ridge in November. Bellar, a physician, ran for state senate in 2012.

Tuesday’s forum, organized by a downtown Chicago law firm, was moderated by Maya Dukmasova, editor of the Chicago Reader. More than 100 people took part.

Chip Mitchell reports from WBEZ’s West Side studio on the police. Follow him on @ChipMitchell1.

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Debt hits hundreds of Milton Keynes residents

Charity Citizens Advice has raised concerns that more people have run up arrears over the past year due to the financial impact of the coronavirus pandemic.

People who take formal insolvency action, such as bankruptcy or a voluntary arrangement to repay their debt, are added to the individual insolvency register, which means they are formally indebted.

Insolvency Service data shows 519 people ran into debt in Milton Keynes in 2019.

Hundreds of people in Milton Keynes are going into debt, figures show.

At last count, the insolvency rate for men was 25.7 per 10,000 adults, higher than the rate of 25.6 for women.

This contrasted with the picture for the whole of England and Wales, where the rate was higher for women – 27.8 – compared to 24.1 for men.

Of those in debt in Milton Keynes, 387 entered into an individual voluntary agreement with their creditors to repay their debts, while 70 went bankrupt.

Another 62 people applied for a debt relief order, at a rate of 4.7 women per 10,000 adults versus 1.4 men.

A debt relief order can be used by people who owe up to £20,000 and have no assets of value. It allows those who cannot afford to pay their debt to stop paying it for a period, usually 12 months, after which the debt is forgiven.

In England and Wales, 121,900 people were insolvent in 2019, which equates to a rate of 27.8 insolvencies per 10,000 adults for women and 24.1 for men.

And Citizens Advice estimates that around one in seven people across the country have fallen behind on their bills during the pandemic.

A spokesperson said: “The number of people Citizens Advice is helping to pay off debt is growing as economic hardship worsens and protections for those unable to pay essential bills have weakened since the first lockdown. .

“The government should focus on council tax and rent arrears where the consequences of non-payment are most severe and debt levels the highest.”

Dr. Mary-Ann Stephenson, director of the Women’s Budget Group, said that nationally, women are at greater risk of experiencing poverty.

She said: “The reason why a higher proportion of women were insolvent is because women do the majority of the unpaid work, which means they have less time for paid work, so they earn less, own less and are more likely to be poor.

“In particular, women make up 90% of single parents who are particularly likely to live in poverty.”

She added that women were more likely to have been affected by the pandemic as they were at greater risk of being furloughed or working in sectors hard hit by job losses, such as retail. in the shopping streets.

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UAE Central Bank doubles stimulus package and extends client debt relief until end of 2020 – News

Dubai – The Central Bank previously announced a 100 billion dirham stimulus package.

By Waheed Abbas

Published: Sun 5 Apr 2020, 09:53

Last update: Tue 7 Apr 2020, 3:04 PM

The Central Bank of the United Arab Emirates on Sunday doubled the size of its stimulus package to 256 billion dirhams and authorized the country’s banks and financial companies to extend deferrals of principal and interest payments to their customers until December 31, 2020.

On March 15, the Central Bank announced a 100 billion dirham stimulus package, which allowed banks to provide temporary relief to individuals and businesses for loan repayments for up to six months.

The regulator also took another major step on Sunday, halving reserve requirements for demand deposits for all banks from 14% to 7% to boost liquidity in the banking sector and mitigate the impact of the coronavirus. This step will release MAD 61 billion of additional liquidity for the banking sector.

The regulator has also doubled its stimulus package from 126 billion dirhams to 256 billion dirhams since March 15. The new funds now consist of 50 billion dirhams from relief banks, 50 billion dirhams funds available at zero cost to expand funding, 95 billion dirhams to ensure there is sufficient liquidity in the market and the reduction of 61 billion dirhams in compulsory cash reserves.

It also extended the MAD 50 billion zero-cost funding facility available to banks from mid-September to December 31, 2020.

Abdulhamid Saeed, Governor of the Central Bank of the United Arab Emirates, said the additional measures announced will effectively ease the pressure on financial institutions, allowing them to continue playing their crucial role as the backbone of the economy while providing the required relief and continued access. financing businesses and households.

“The actions taken by the Central Bank of the United Arab Emirates are forward-looking, targeted and diversified, demonstrating that we are exploiting the full potential of the tools at our disposal. The Central Bank expects banks and financial companies to use actively installing Tess, for the benefit of their customers and the UAE economy,” he added.

AbdulAziz Al Ghurair, Chairman of the United Arab Emirates Banking Federation (UBF), said that by increasing liquidity in the banking sector, it will bring greater stability in these uncertain times and allow banks to offer loans and additional support for critical sectors of the economy.

“To help the country through the temporary difficulties we are facing, UBF, in coordination with the Central Bank of the United Arab Emirates and its member banks, remains committed to supporting businesses and advancing economic development and sustainability. “, said Al Ghurair.
Dr. Khalid Maniar, Founder and Managing Partner of Crowe Mak, said these central bank economic stimulus programs are a positive step for the long-term sustainability and economic growth of the economy.
“The UAE management continues to take numerous security and support measures that would provide financial liquidity for business sustainability and growth opportunities. What until recently were low risk accounts according to the ‘IFRS 9 that were recoverable or properly managed may now be in doubt due to revenue slumps, going concern doubts or balance carryover due to government action to protect businesses,’ said said Maniar.
However, he noted that businesses and companies must report on how the economic stimulus and support plans issued by the respective countries would be implemented as part of the application of IFRS 9.
“Delaying the implementation of certain Basel III capital standards to March 2021 for all banks would minimize the operational burden and banks would welcome this decision. The application of the prudential filter to provisions for expected losses of IFRS 9 and these will be phased in over a five-year period ending December 31, 2024,” Maniar said.
Dr Yaqoub Mousa, Chairman of Bu Abdullah Group of Companies, said the move will further mitigate the impact of the Covid19 pandemic on the UAE economy.
“This decision will boost the morale of the business community in the UAE,” he said. “The latest decision by UAE leaders to step up precautionary measures to contain the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic is aimed at protecting people’s health and safety and ensuring business continuity across all sectors. “The country’s visionary leaders are positively responding to challenges with grace and resilience,” he added.

Basel III conditions postponed

The Central Bank said it was working with other regulators to issue guidance on the IFRS 9 financial reporting standard for banks and financial companies. It postponed the implementation of certain Basel III capital standards to March 31, 2021 for all banks, in order to minimize the operational burden for lenders.

Importantly, guidance has also been issued for banks and financial companies on the implementation of the IFRS 9 financial reporting standard. The guidance has been issued for public consultation and is expected to be finalized d here on April 8, 2020.

It also issued a new requirement for all banks to apply a new filter to IFRS 9 expected loss provisions. The filter aims to minimize the effect of IFRS 9 provisions on regulatory capital, given the volatility expected due to the Covid-19 crisis.

Any increase in provisioning compared to December 31, 2019 will be partially added back to regulatory capital. He said the provisions of IFRS 9 will be phased in over a five-year period, ending on December 31, 2024.

The Dubai Financial Services Authority also believes that local financial institutions should take advantage of the flexibility built into the IFRS 0 framework to deal with the current crisis.
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The ‘painful truth’ of City Bakery: Debt could force it to close

UNION SQUARE, NY – City Bakery shared a “painful truth” with its followers this week, announcing that the company has racked up mountains of debt and may be forced to close its famous Manhattan store, the owners announced this week.

Celebrity Bakery Owners caught on Instagram on Wednesday announce the City Bakery on West 18th Street near Fifth Avenue would face major changes.

“We can relocate. We can only serve. We can only wholesale. We can transform and partner with another food business in town,” the owners wrote. “There is also a strong possibility that we will close entirely, and soon.”

The owners revealed that they had been looking for a solution to the company’s financial problems for more than a year, but had accumulated debts that had become like “quicksand”, the Instagram post reads.

“Incredibly, regardless of whether we are a two-generation favorite in New York, normal debt relief from a normal bank has not been an option,” the owners wrote.

“People think that rent is the ultimate retail killer in New York, but it’s fair to say that if a normal bank loan had been available to City Bakery a few years ago, we wouldn’t be anywhere near the danger in which we find ourselves today.

town bakery has been serving frothy hot chocolate and buttery croissants near Union Square for nearly 29 years, according to the company’s website.

The bakery took over the old Vesuvio storefront in SoHo, renaming it Birdbath Green Bakery, about ten years ago. But Maury Rubin, owner of City Bakery announced that the SoHo site would close after the end of its lease in August.

City Bakery did not immediately respond to comment on the future of its Union Square location or details of its financial troubles.

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Proposals to help more people in over-indebtedness presented by the government

More people in serious financial difficulty could be helped to get a fresh start under the government’s proposals to widen the eligibility criteria for Debt Relief Orders (DROs).

ROs are a type of formal personal insolvency in England and Wales, alongside bankruptcies and IVAs (individual voluntary arrangements).

DROs tend to be a low-cost solution for people who have smaller debts but have no realistic prospect of paying them off. They protect people from actions of creditors and after 12 months the debts within the order are cancelled.

  • £20,000 currently
  • £30,000 as part of the proposals

The government is consulting on proposed changes to DROs which would increase the maximum total amount of debt allowed from £20,000 to £30,000.

The maximum value of assets that someone could own under the DRO’s eligibility criteria would be doubled from £1,000 to £2,000.

People could also be allowed to have more excess income under the eligibility criteria, at £100 a month instead of the current £50.

The government said research indicates that demand for debt advice could increase by up to 60% by the end of 2021 and that around three million more people than before the coronavirus pandemic will have need help with problematic debt by the end of 2021.


debt relief orders are a valuable tool to help vulnerable people deal with their debt problems (Aaron Chown/PA)” srcset=” 620w, 1240w” data-sizes=”auto”/>

Business Secretary Kwasi Kwarteng said debt relief orders are a valuable tool to help vulnerable people deal with their debt problems (Aaron Chown/PA)


Business Secretary Kwasi Kwarteng said debt relief orders are a valuable tool to help vulnerable people deal with their debt problems (Aaron Chown/PA)

Business Secretary Kwasi Kwarteng said: “Suffering from financial hardship puts a huge strain on people’s mental health and wellbeing – that’s why we’re committed to giving to more people struggling with debt. a chance for a fresh start.

“Debt relief orders are a valuable tool to help vulnerable people deal with their problematic debts. Our plans to increase eligibility criteria will mean that many thousands more could benefit from this aid.

Phil Andrew, chief executive of StepChange Debt Charity, said: “Low-income households with few assets are among the most deeply affected by debt during the pandemic.

“Expanding eligibility for debt relief orders will help give more people a chance to avoid the long-term misery of being trapped in debt they can’t afford to repay. over a reasonable period.”

The consultation will last six weeks and any potential changes are expected to be in place in spring 2021.

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Kenya in an abyss, says Mudavadi on debt burden

Politician Musalia Mudavadi said the regime that succeeds the Jubilee administration after the 2022 general elections should prepare for the Herculean task of resuscitating an economy ravaged by huge public debts.

National Congress leader Amani is among those seeking to succeed President Uhuru Kenyatta, who is in his second and final five-year term.

He spoke to reporters at his office on Monday, just days after Treasury Cabinet Secretary Ukur Yatani told the National Assembly’s Finance and Planning Committee that public debt was rising. now at 7,120 billion shillings.

If the government’s insatiable appetite to borrow continues, it means it is likely to breach the 9 trillion shillings debt ceiling enacted by parliament last year through amendments to debt regulations. public financial management (national government).

“Terrible miscalculation”

The ANC boss said the Jubilee administration, which came to power in 2013, miscalculated and drove Kenyans into poverty when it opted for expensive business loans with short repayment periods.

“We are in crisis. The economy is not in good shape, largely due to the accumulation of huge expensive loans that have to be repaid. This means that the little the government collects after taxing Kenyans too much committed goes to repaying the debt,” he added. Mr. Mudavadi noted.

The ANC boss has been consistent with his concerns about government borrowing behavior since 2015, after proceeds from the 250 billion shilling Eurobond loan could not be properly accounted for.

When the Jubilee administration took power in 2013, the country’s public debt was just 1.6 trillion shillings.

But five years later, the country surpasses the 7 trillion shillings mark.

“What the government needed to do was give incentives to SMEs and use agriculture to stimulate the economy. It failed miserably,” he said.


Under Article 203(1) of the constitution, the public debt is the second charge of the Consolidated Fund after the national interest, followed by the needs of the national government and those of the counties, among others.

This means that with the revenue the government collects through taxation and aid appropriation, among others, paying down public debt is the second priority.

But even as Mr Mudavadi spoke, the government is still required to borrow more from the local and foreign market to finance the 841 billion shilling shortfall in this year’s 3 trillion shilling budget.

“Wakati mkenya wa kawaida anafuliza madeni madogo madogo kushughulikia mahitaji yake kwa sababu ya uchumi dhaifu, serikali nayo inafuliza madeni makubwa makubwa ambayo yana madhara makubwa sana kwa ukuzi wa uchumi wetu,” the ANC boss said.

This roughly translates to “when Kenyans are busy seeking out exploitative digital lenders because of poverty, the government is busy with commercial lending which has adverse effects on the economy.”

IMF Terms

Fears that the country may not be able to meet its repayment obligations have led the International Monetary Fund (IMF) to propose conditions to access its accreditation and revive the economy.

The conditions include the undertaking of layoffs as well as the freezing of employment in the public service.

“What the IMF is telling us is that you have dug yourself a huge hole and you may not get out of it. The only thing waiting for you is to die in the abyss.”

Through MP Nambale Sakwa Bunyasi, Mr. Mudavadi’s party sponsored the Public Management Bill 2020, currently before the National Assembly.

The bill aims to regulate borrowing by creating an autonomous body – the Debt Management Authority.

Currently, the government manages its debt situation through a national treasury department, but it lacks the independence to advise the government appropriately.

“The National Treasury cannot check itself. We need an independent office to properly advise the government and not one who takes instructions from the Treasury because this is clearly a conflict of interest The hope for a better Kenya lies in the proposed law,” Mudavadi said. .

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Former ITT Students in Indiana to Get $10 Million in Debt Relief

More than 140 ITT sites have closed following the collapse of the for-profit university chain.  - FILE PHOTO: Dwight Burdette/Wikimedia Commons

More than 140 ITT sites have closed following the collapse of the for-profit university chain.

FILE PHOTO: Dwight Burdette/Wikimedia Commons

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — More than 1,000 students who were enrolled at the now-closed ITT Technical Institute campuses in Indiana are eligible for nearly $10 million in student loan forgiveness, the attorney general announced Tuesday. the state.

Indiana’s share of a $330 million nationwide settlement follows investigations by multiple attorneys general into student loans offered by the for-profit school. Attorney General Curtis Hill said 1,354 former Indiana students will receive debt relief.

The 47 attorneys general and the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau reached an agreement with PEAKS Trust, which operated a private lending program for ITT Tech. Under the agreement, PEAKS admitted coercing students into high-interest loans, agreed to cancel outstanding loans and terminate operations.

“This settlement ensures that former ITT Technical Institute students are no longer subject to PEAKS Trust’s abusive lending practices,” Hill said in a statement. “We hope this result will alleviate the financial stress that so many former students have undoubtedly endured.”

ITT Tech filed for bankruptcy and closed its campuses in 2016, including in Indianapolis, South Bend, Fort Wayne and Newburgh. The college chain’s parent company, ITT Educational Services Inc., was based in Carmel.

Curtis said students didn’t have to do anything to receive the aid.

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Thai chamber leaders call for extension of stimulus packages and debt relief

Suphan Mongkolsutee, president of the Federation of Thai Industries, said successful phase 3 trials of several vaccines and the loss of President Donald Trump in the US election have boosted financial markets, giving the world a boost in 2021.

Business associations are predicting brighter days for Thailand’s economy in 2021, buoyed by the release of a coronavirus vaccine, a weaker baht and an increase in domestic tourism.

Suphan Mongkolsutee, president of the Federation of Thai Industries, said at the annual joint chambers of commerce seminar on November 26-27 in Bangkok that although Thailand is still in recession, the decline in gross domestic product each quarter has decreased from -12% in the second quarter to -6.4% in the third quarter.

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He said successful phase 3 trials of multiple vaccines and the loss of President Donald Trump in the US election have boosted financial markets, giving the world a boost in 2021.

He said Thailand’s economy will definitely improve, although the four engines of its economy – exports, tourism, investment and consumption – will not fully recover. The first half of next year still requires the government to take economic stimulus measures, such as the expansion of the successful co-pay program and the less successful subsidized tourism campaign.

Tourism promotion is particularly needed for second-tier cities, Suphan said, and should be expanded to include foreign expats.

He said the government also needed to open borders more widely to foreign tourists, allowing them to travel to smaller towns where they can more easily be monitored for illnesses and support tourism supply chains there.

Exchange rates also remain a concern, Suphan said, with the baht’s appreciation this year (8%) far outpacing rivals such as Vietnam (1%).

Business associations are predicting brighter days for Thailand’s economy in 2021, buoyed by the release of a coronavirus vaccine, a weaker baht and an increase in domestic tourism.

Kalin Sarasin, president of the Thai Chamber of Commerce, agreed that the government should continue economic stimulus programs until the end of 2020.

He said campaigns to boost domestic tourism can generate more than 1 trillion baht in revenue for the country.

Warodom Pitakanon, president of the Chiang Mai Chamber of Commerce, said the “We Travel Together” scheme has boosted the northern city’s economy, even as it faltered nationwide. Yet, he said, domestic tourism cannot replace the income of foreigners, who spend 200% more.

“Next year, if tourism promotion measures continue, vaccine development is successful and foreigners can come to Thailand in the middle of 2021, the economy will be better,” Warodom said. “However, financial assistance from banks is needed at the same time for debt repayment issues.”

Thanawat Poonsilp, vice president of the Songkhla Chamber of Commerce, said his organization sees the country’s reopening to tourism as the most important issue and believes Thailand must accept more coronavirus risks.

“In 2021, the effects on large businesses, such as autos, real estate, furniture, etc., will feel the impact of unemployment and workforce reductions. Therefore, the government must devise measures to support for companies to avoid unemployment and, for example, suspend the repayment of the principle of the loan and interest,” he said.

Kamolpong Sanguantrakul, chairman of the Khon Kaen Chamber of Commerce, said the province’s third-quarter GDP was almost back to normal and many businesses rebounded in the fourth quarter. He said he also wanted the co-pay and travel programs to continue, but grant allocations to be redistributed to provide more aid to the northeastern provinces.

Rayong Chamber President Noppadol Tungsongcharoen also said his province’s purchasing power was better but had not recovered to pre-Covid-19 levels. But the economy is being pulled by government stimulus measures as mass tourism has not resumed. He reiterated calls for continued stimulus and debt relief, as well as direct grants to small businesses.

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Montgomery Religious Coalition Helps Clear Medical Debt for River Area Families

MONTGOMERY, Ala. (WSFA) – More than 3,100 River Area families have had their medical debt forgiven thanks to a coalition of Montgomery faith communities and a New York-based charity.

First Christian Church on Taylor Road, Agudath Isreal Etz Ahayem Synagogue on Cloverdale Road and Community Congregational United Church of Christ on South Court Street have worked with RIP Medical Debt to settle medical debts for low-income families.

Through an online campaign and an interfaith talent show, the faith coalition raised $23,600. RIP Medical Debt used these donations to purchase pooled medical debt portfolios and canceled over $3.4 million in debt.

In Montgomery County alone, the coalition was able to clear $1.7 million in debt, helping 1,974 beneficiaries. The remaining funds targeted debt in the river region and smaller pockets of debt in the state, affecting 51 counties in total.

Recipients of this debt forgiveness began receiving notification letters this week, according to the coalition.

According to RIP Medical Debt, for every dollar collected, it can eliminate an average of $100 in medical debt. Debt relief is random and based on debts available for cancellation. It cannot be requested.

Copyright 2020 WSFA 12 News. All rights reserved.

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Don’t bail out for-profit colleges. Cancel all student debt instead.

The more than 40 million Americans who have lost their jobs due to the pandemic include many struggling with college debt. And yet, Congress has done nothing to reduce the $1.68 trillion in student debt. Meanwhile, for-profit colleges that have burdened students with a heavy debt burden are reaping taxpayer-subsidized emergency aid.

The $2.2 trillion CARES Act passed in March includes hundreds of billions of dollars in business assistance. Good jobs first followed the beneficiaries of these billions, and among them are 10 of the largest for-profit universities. Together, they have received over $32 million in direct cash assistance.

The list includes the infamous University of Phoenix, which received $3.2 million in taxpayer relief – despite racking up hundreds of millions of dollars in penalties for its deceptive practices in recruiting students. The University of Phoenix is ​​owned by the huge private equity firm Apollo Global Management.

The largest recipient among for-profit colleges is Grand Canyon University, with $11.1 million. It is an evangelical Christian college with a reputation for allowing conservative branding like Ben Shapiro speak on campus. He was also accused of fraud his students.

These schools also received an equal amount for student emergency aid for eligible students. However, this cash assistance was a one-time payment to compensate for disruptions due to campus closures. None has been allocated to help students who may have lost their jobs or housing.

Compared to payments to for-profit colleges, the CARES Act was far less generous with student debt holders, only allowing federal student loan interest and payments to be deferred until September 2020. That just kicks the box out on the road, rather than providing a real debt relief. The HEROES Act proposed by House Democrats would go one step further by canceling $10,000 in federal loans to economically distressed borrowers.

A more sensible and fair approach, especially in the midst of an economic crisis, would be to cancel all student debt. It would help people survive with a roof over their heads during the economic crisis and reduce the crushing financial stress caused by student loans.

Senator Bernie Sanders and Representative Ilhan Omar introduced a bill to cancel all student debt last year, and Representative Omar recently highlighted its importance during this pandemic: “Student debt was a crisis before the coronavirus. And it’s an even deeper crisis now… We must not force Americans to choose between putting food on the table and paying off exorbitant student loans.

Canceling student debt would also stimulate the economy as a whole by creating a huge financial boost. This would free up money that people could spend on housing and goods to kick-start the economy.

Unlike proposals that limit debt relief to those who fall below certain income thresholds, the Sanders-Omar plan would erase all outstanding student debt. In the future, they would make public college and university education free for all. Proponents argue that this one-size-fits-all approach would build broader political support and reinforce the principle that education, like health care, is a human right.

The benefits of student debt cancellation would be particularly significant for people of color and women. First, as Tressie McMillan Cottom illustrates, these for-profit universities target and recruit specifically people of color, using euphemistic language to suggest they can fix inequality in nonprofit higher education. Second, blacks are struggling with higher levels of student debt than other races, and women – of all races –have more student debt only men.

These are the same segments of the American population that have been most affected by the Covid-19 pandemic. Black people are dying twice as fast as other races, Latinx and black people are more likely to have faced job and wage losses due to the pandemic, and women are both more likely to lose their job and have jobs deemed essential.

Over time, canceling student debt could also help reduce racial disparities in home ownership. Student loan repayments are a major obstacle when buying a home – in addition to the many forms of systemic racism that make it more difficult to accumulate the wealth needed to buy a home. Experts believe that 300,000 more homes would be sold each year if student debt were eliminated.

Why should a “school” like the University of Phoenix receive government aid when struggling students get no real relief?

Let’s level the playing field. Let’s cancel student debt.

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CANADA FX DEBT – Canadian dollar remains on track for its best week since June

* The Canadian dollar falls 0.2% against the greenback * Canada adds 83,600 jobs in October * The loonie gains 1.9% since the start of the week * Canadian bond yields rise on a steeper curve TORONTO , Nov 6 (Reuters) – The Canadian dollar weakened against its U.S. counterpart on Friday but held steady for its strongest weekly gain since June as the greenback fell broadly and domestic data showed that the economy created new jobs in October. The Canadian dollar was trading down 0.2% at 1.3067 against the greenback, or 76.53 cents US, coming back from its highest intraday level in more than two months on Thursday at 1.3024. For the week, it was on track to gain 1.9%. The U.S. dollar depreciated against a basket of major currencies as investors bet that a divided U.S. Congress would hamper government borrowing and potentially pave the way for even more stimulus from the Federal Reserve. Statistics Canada reported 83,600 new jobs in October. That was less than expected as coronavirus-related shutdowns began to bite, but analysts said the gain reflected welcome signs of resilience in the economy. Investors also digested U.S. jobs data, which showed employers hired the fewest workers in five months in October. It was the clearest evidence yet that the end of fiscal stimulus and the explosion in new COVID-19 infections were undermining the momentum of economic recovery. The price of oil, one of Canada’s top exports, fell as new lockdowns in Europe to halt a spike in COVID-19 infections raised concerns about the outlook for demand. US crude prices fell 1.9% to $38.05 a barrel. Yields on Canadian government bonds were higher on a steeper curve in sympathy with US Treasuries. The 10-year rose 4.9 basis points to 0.663%. (Reporting by Fergal Smith; Editing by Alex Richardson)

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BoT readies debt package as second phase nears expiry

The Bank of Thailand plans to implement an additional debt restructuring program using targeted measures to help borrowers during the pandemic when the second phase debt relief program expires.

There have been two phases of debt relief measures. The first started in April and the second from July. The first phase program is due to expire on October 22, while the second phase program will expire at the end of this year.

The additional package aims to improve the effectiveness of existing measures and address borrowers’ problems in a targeted manner, said Mathee Supapongse, deputy governor for monetary stability.

The package will include debt suspension, subsidized loans and other related measures, Mathee said.

For the central bank’s 500 billion baht subsidized loan program, relevant regulators will consider adjusting the terms of the program to allow borrowers better access to funding sources, he said.

An interest rate inconsistent with banks’ financial costs is the main reason why the Bank of Thailand’s subsidized loan program failed, according to an unnamed source from a public financial institution.

The central bank is also evaluating the concept of asset warehouses, but the idea has not yet been finalized.

Mr Mathee said the central bank had discussed with financial institutions the debt servicing capacity of borrowers, particularly small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) and retail customers, to assess the outlook after the phase two debt relief measures will soon end.

Based on the discussions, approximately 60% of all SMEs and individual borrowers who applied for the debt relief measures were found to be able to resume normal debt servicing.

While the economy continues to experience an uneven economic recovery, the debt repayment capacity of low-income people, SMEs and tourism operators is still fragile.

The central bank encourages financial institutions to help customer segments restructure their debt and the central bank will provide incentives for this assistance.

The central bank is also requiring banks to conduct an updated stress test and capital planning for an outbreak scenario over the next three years, which is expected to be reported later this month.

Amid signs of rising non-performing loans attributed to the pandemic and deteriorating revenues, rising bad debts will affect the capital adequacy ratio (CAR) of the banking sector.

“The RCA for the entire banking sector could be below pre-pandemic levels. But the central bank is not assessing the ratio within the framework of the existing strong cushion,” Mathee said.

“Despite the country’s good financial stability, it could face higher risks amid growing uncertainties.”

Don Nakornthab, senior director of financial stability and corporate group, said the central bank expects Thailand’s economic recovery to take at least two years and the momentum for the recovery is about to be uneven.

The slow economic recovery will mainly affect the tourism and export sectors.

“Thailand’s economic recovery will not be in tandem with the global economic recovery if we cannot reopen the country to foreign tourists as usual, while a recovery in Thai exports is expected to be slower than that of its peers. regions,” Don said.

With limited space for fiscal and monetary policies, a targeted policy framework is needed to balance economic growth and financial stability, he said.

Targeted policies should be implemented directly for low-income people, the labor market, SMEs and the tourism sector, Don said.

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IMF says working intensely with Sudan to move towards debt relief – SABC News

The International Monetary Fund is working “very intensively” with Sudan to put in place the preconditions for broad debt relief and will assess the progress of a staff-monitored program in March, the IMF’s managing director said Monday. Kristalina Georgiava.

She told reporters in an online press conference that she was encouraged by the strong support from the United States, Britain and other member countries for Sudan’s debt relief in the framework of the Heavily Indebted Poor Countries (HIPC) initiative, and by the determination of the Sudanese authorities. .

“We hope to present members with a strong case on Sudan for the HIPC Initiative as soon as possible so that this country can reintegrate into the international community,” Georgieva said. “I think in March we will have more to tell you.”

The United States, the IMF’s largest shareholder, last month reinstated Sudan’s sovereign immunity and the US Congress passed legislation formalizing the move, after Sudan’s designation as a state sponsor of terrorism ended.

The state sponsor of the terrorism designation, which had been in place for nearly three decades, had weighed on the Sudanese economy and limited its ability to receive aid.

Under US law, Washington will authorize $111 million to pay off part of Sudan’s bilateral debt, and $120 to help repay its debt to the IMF while making an additional $700 million available through September. 2022, which will allow it to release $1 billion in arrears to the World Bank.

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Universal Card Debt Relief Program for Small Borrowers

NEW DELHI: India has started work on a universal debt relief program for small borrowers for micro-enterprises, small-scale farmers and artisans, which should be ready for implementation when the next government will be in place.

People below a specified income and asset threshold will be eligible for debt relief. Individuals with an annual income of Rs 60,000 or less, outstanding loans of Rs 35,000 or less and assets worth Rs 20,000 or less may be eligible.

“It will be a well-structured loan relief scheme across all sectors for small farmers, artisans, micro-enterprises or other individuals,” General Affairs Secretary Injeti Srinivas told ET. “It will be a universal debt relief program for the poor.”

The scheme, which is being developed by the Ministry of Corporate Affairs (MCA), will be one of the main features of changes being considered for the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code (IBC). The cost of the scheme is unlikely to exceed Rs 20,000 crore but will benefit millions in the ultra low cost loan category, Srinivas said.

Srinivas pointed out that the IBC does not provide any special exemption for small borrowers and that the chapter on personal insolvency needs some modifications.

“There are people who are really poor and the law as it is today provides that the process (for them) is as rigorous as the process for resolving business insolvency,” he said. declared. “Into this category you will now have millions and millions of people coming in…No system will be able to deliver.” The Ministry of Corporate Affairs is confident to finalize the program within a quarter, keeping it ready for the rollout of the next government, he said.

This could be an online system within the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Board of India (IBBI) with a dedicated team to review and respond to requests. “We can create a personal insolvency cell or division within IBBI to handle debt relief only,” Srinivas said.

Withdrawal flexibility

“If you can establish that your income is below this (specified threshold) and your assets are below this (specified threshold), you will receive debt relief and can start afresh.”

The program will also allow flexibility so individuals can opt out to protect their credit history.

“We will allow someone who does not wish to avail themselves of the program to waive themselves because the debt relief will stigmatize you or limit your future credit,” Srinivas said, noting that individuals will have the option of opting into insolvency. .

“In a case like Bhushan Steel, we got Rs 34,000 crore but even in this case there was a haircut of Rs 20,000 crore,” he said. “It was for a company… There will be millions of people benefiting from this program and maybe you will get a haircut like this.”

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Tax deadlines, federal checks, debt relief, paid sick leave and other coronavirus measures | COVID-19[feminine]

Tax deadlines, federal checks, debt relief, paid sick leave and other coronavirus measures |  COVID-19[feminine]

As new coronavirus patients multiply, job losses mount and economic losses continue, South Carolina and the federal government have made significant changes aimed at providing some relief.

Here is an overview of what has already happened, and some proposals that are still in the works:

Income taxes

The deadline for filing federal income tax returns will move to July 15 The reported Associated Press on Friday after Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin announced the change in a tweet. For those who owe money the payment deadline had already been extended April 15 through July 15—including estimated quarterly payments—as long as the amount owed is less than $1 million. See for more details.

The deadline for returns to South Carolina, and other taxes administered by the State Department of Revenue, is now June 1 for filing and payment. See for more details.

So there’s more time to file and if you expect to owe money, you get an extra three months to pay the feds – or 2.5 months for SC filings. If you are expecting a refund, file it as soon as possible.

Credit cards, banks

Many credit card issuers and banks have responded to COVID-19 by relaxing terms.

If you need more time to pay, want a bigger line of credit, need a lower interest rate, or want to be waived of fees, pick up the phone and call the number toll on the back of your credit card or contact your bank.

More often than you think, all it takes is a call to get some relief.

Paid vacation

The Families First Coronavirus Response Act, signed by President Donald Trump on Wednesday and effective April 2, provides paid sick and family leave for employees of businesses with up to 500 workers and the self-employed.

Coronavirus (copy) (copy)

A vendor had hand sanitizer on hand on a table in Charleston’s City Market on Wednesday morning, March 18, 2020. Brad Nettles/Staff

The details are unfortunately too long to be given here. If you are in a company with less than 500 employees, find out from your employer. If you are self-employed, you may be able to get federal tax credits if COVID-19 takes you away from work because you are sick or caring for family members.

In a summary of the provisions The New York Times reported: “It grants skilled workers two weeks of paid sick leave if they are sick, quarantined or seeking a diagnosis or preventive care for the coronavirus, or if they are caring for members of It provides 12 weeks of paid leave for people caring for children whose schools are closed or whose childcare provider is unavailable because of the coronavirus.”

SC Republican Senator Tim Scott votes against coronavirus stimulus package

Checks by mail

As of Thursday night, a $500 billion proposal to send money directly to taxpayers was under consideration in Washington. The plan requests that checks be mailed in early April and again in mid-May. Details are yet to be determined.

Putting money directly into people’s hands, rather than cutting taxes, would help some people with immediate needs, like paying rent. Ugly could rise to $1,200 per adult, and more for those with dependent children, under a Senate Republican plan introduced Thursday night.

Above certain income levels, the checks would be smaller or eliminated, and those with little or no tax payable would receive half the amount, under this plan. Low-tax adult retirees, for example, could get $600 each instead of $1,200.

Rent and mortgages

The SC Supreme Court on Thursday ordered a halt to foreclosures statewideincluding an indefinite moratorium on foreclosure hearings, sales of seized property and other court orders forcing people to leave their homes.

Chief Justice Donald Beatty’s edict follows a freeze on all evictions in South Carolina through May 1.

The federal government also announced on Wednesday a 60-day moratorium on foreclosures and evictions involving all single-family mortgages insured by the Federal Housing Administration.

Additionally, through Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac — which underwrite about half of all home loans in the United States — federal regulators have ordered lenders to reduce or suspend mortgage payments for up to 12 months for borrowers who have lost income, NPR reported Thursday.

State and federal orders could give people who can’t pay their rent or mortgage some time to seek financial solutions. The time, for example, to wait for those checks that the government could send.

Unemployment assistance

Southern states have the least generous unemployment benefits in the country, and South Carolina is no exception, with a maximum weekly benefit of $326. This is pre-tax, for no more than 20 weeks – less if an employer claims the displaced worker is in any way responsible for their job loss.

SC unemployment claims skyrocket 400% with coronavirus job losses

The state unemployment system was designed for years to cut costs for employers, making it a weak safety net for employees. It’s better than nothing, and if you’re one of the many suddenly unemployed, apply as soon as possible at

One bright spot is that the one-week waiting period to file unemployment claims in South Carolina has been removed. Additionally, businesses will get a break, with no unemployment tax due until June 1.

What restaurateurs and employees need to know about claiming unemployment

Under the Coronavirus Response Act, the federal government provide money to states who are seeing large increases in jobless claims. The money can be used by eligible states to provide extended benefits, paid for 100% with federal funding.

Student loans

Friday the US Department of Education announced“All borrowers with student loans held by the federal government will automatically have their interest rates set at 0% for a period of at least 60 days. In addition, each of these borrowers will have the option of suspending their payments for at least two months to allow them greater flexibility during the national emergency. This will allow borrowers to temporarily stop their payments without worrying about the interest to be paid.”

For more details, visit

The best in South Carolina health, hospital, and science coverage, delivered to your inbox weekly.

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Markets slip as fears grow that Greece is on the verge of defaulting on its debt | Eurozone crisis

Fears that Greece is on the verge of defaulting on its debt swept through European prosecutors on Monday morning after talks between Athens and its creditors broke down on Sunday.

Greece’s stock market tumbled nearly 7% in early trading as traders worried a deal won’t be reached before the country’s bailout package expires on June 30.

Despite growing pressure, the Greek Prime Minister, Alexis Tsiprasrefuses to agree to further spending cuts and tax hikes to achieve the budget surpluses demanded by Greece’s lenders.

“One can only see political intent in creditors’ insistence on further pension cuts after five years of looting in bailouts,” Tsipras told Greek newspaper Efimerida Ton Syntakton on Monday morning.

“We will patiently wait for institutions to achieve realism,” he said. “We have no right to bury European democracy where it was born.”

The war of words between the two sides has continued, with Jens Weidmann, the head of Germany’s Bundesbank, saying time is running out for Greece.

Greek financial stocks were routed Monday morning, with Piraeus Bank tumbling 18% and Eurobanks 15%, dragging the Athens market to its lowest since mid-April.

The Athens Stock Exchange over the past three months. Photography: Thomson Reuters
Athens Stock Exchange's Biggest Drops, June 15, 2015
The biggest falls in the Athens Stock Exchange on Monday morning. Photography: Thomson Reuters

The price of two-year Greek government bonds fell sharply as investors rushed to sell in case Athens defaulted on its debts.

— Holger Zschaepitz (@Schuldensuehner) June 15, 2015n","url":"","id":"610350884690755584","hasMedia":true,"role":"inline","isThirdPartyTracking":false,"source":"Twitter","elementId":"901edeef-23d0-472c-ac70-fdc9197f76b4"}}'>

Analysts have warned that the collapse of talks on Sunday, after just 45 minutes, has pushed Greece closer to default and a potential exit from the single currency.

“Even if the parties involved reach an agreement in the near future, it will probably only be a short-term agreement,” said Gary Jenkins of LNG Capital. “Indeed, the lack of confidence suggests that funds will be trickled into Greece and that a longer-term deal will be very difficult to achieve.”

According to local media, Tsipras called an emergency meeting with key ministers to discuss the situation, including chief negotiator Euclid Tsakalotos, Deputy Prime Minister Yannis Dragasakis and Minister of State Nikos Pappas.

The talks are now in limbo until Thursday, when eurozone finance ministers gather for their scheduled Eurogroup meeting.

This is likely Greece’s last chance to broker a deal to release the €7.2bn (£5.2bn) in bailout funds frozen for months, said Peter Rosenstreich, head of the market strategy at online banking Swissquote.

“We expect the markets to feel the heat this week as the odds of a Greek default have increased significantly,” Rosenstreich added.

All major European markets fell on Monday morning, with the German DAX index down 1.1%. In London, the FTSE 100 index of blue chip stocks fell 37 points or 0.5% to 6746.

How the talks fell apart

On Sunday evening, the European Commission warned that: “Although some progress has been made, the talks have not been successful as there remains a significant gap between the plans of the Greek authorities and the common demands of the commission, European Central Bank and the IMF.

In tax terms, the differences amount to 2 billion euros per year of permanent budgetary savings.

The rift between the parties prompted the IMF’s chief economist to ask the two sides to make more compromises. Olivier Blanchard said Brussels should be prepared to further delay Greek debt repayments, accept only limited reforms and reduce interest charged on debt relief loans, while Tsipras should propose further pension reforms and accept that certain VAT exemptions be removed.

“On the one hand, the Greek government needs to come up with really credible measures to achieve the lower target budget surplus and it needs to show its commitment to the more limited set of reforms,” ​​Blanchard wrote in his economics blog. “On the other hand, European creditors should accept significant additional financing and debt relief sufficient to maintain debt sustainability.”

Blanchard’s intervention late on Sunday will be widely seen as support for Greece’s position, albeit with the sting of Athens in its call for pension reform, which Yanis Varoufakis, Greece’s finance minister, repeated on Saturday. was a dealbreaker.

As Greece’s future in the euro zone hangs in the balance like never before – and now is the time for Athens to honor the repayment of a 1.6 billion euro debt to the IMF on June 30 – the scale of the moment did not escape Greek officials. or the Prime Minister’s radical left Syriza party.

Dragasakis, who flew to Brussels to lead the talks, said Athens remained ready to conclude negotiations “with a mutually beneficial deal”, suggesting there was still room for compromise.

Blaming foreign lenders for the breakdown of the talks, he said the Greek government had submitted complementary proposals that “fully cover” the fiscal gap and the primary surplus – the two main sticking points between the two sides.

Creditors, he said, had insisted on pension cuts and VAT increases worth 1% of GDP – or 3.6 billion euros – to close the planned gap, measures that Athens considers untenable for a population already impoverished by five years of biting austerity. This was the second package of economic reforms proposed by the Greek government and rejected by creditors in June.

“Despite the presence of the Greek delegation in Brussels, there was no response from the institutions [European commission, ECB and IMF] to discuss at the same time [political] level or permissions that would resolve the issues that remain open,” Dragasakis said in a statement.

Tsakalotos said it was clear “the opposing side had no mandate to negotiate”. He told the Guardian in a text message: ‘We made huge efforts to meet them halfway but they insisted on both the pension cuts and the restaurant VAT hike and would not accept to close the gap even partially through administrative measures to reduce tax evasion, even though this is a central element of our electoral platform. Moreover, they told us in no uncertain terms that they had no mandate to discuss a compromise! So much the worse for the negotiation.

With events taking such a dramatic turn, opposition parties urged Prokopis Pavlopoulos, the head of state, to call an emergency meeting of political leaders. “The country must remain intact within Europe and this must be understood by everyone,” said the centrist To Potami party. “We expect a responsible response from the country’s political leaders.”

Failure to keep Greece in the euro, after years of arduous negotiations and two emergency rescue packages totaling 240 billion euros, would send it into the dark and mark a historic blow for the most ambitious project in the EU.

Greek officials flew to Brussels after Tsipras signaled he would soften his stance and agree to painful compromises in return for promises to relieve the country’s staggering debt.

Government sources had said Athens was ‘very close’ to striking a deal that would free up more than €7 billion in bailout funds the country desperately needs to avoid defaulting on IMF and ECB loans during the summer. Creditors have refused to disburse financial aid since August, with the two sides squabbling over reforms.

A move on the still contentious Greek debt issue would also allow Tsipras to sell a deal to hardliners Syriza, which was catapulted to power in January on a promise to end five grueling years of austerity.” self-destructive”, and to the Greeks at large.

With more than 320 billion euros, equivalent to 180% of the country’s total economic output, Greece has the highest debt-to-GDP ratio in the EU, with economists agreeing that it is not viable. Following the breakdown of the talks, left-wing activists implored the government not to back down on any measures that would lead to “the extinction of the Greek people”.

Fears now abound that Greece could be heading for a Cypriot outcome with the ECB ending the emergency liquidity assistance (ELA) it was dribbling to Greek banks. The Frankfurt-based institution has come under increasing pressure to make such a move in recent weeks.

Indicative of the growing tensions between Athens and Berlin, the biggest contributor to Greece’s bailout program to date, Sigmar Gabriel, German vice-chancellor and leader of the country’s Social Democratic party – who has long been considered a friend of Greece – criticized the Greek government’s negotiating tactics in an article in the daily Bild on Monday.

“Greek government game theorists are gambling the future of their country,” he wrote in an excoriating critique of Varoufakis, whose academic expertise includes game theory. “Europe and Germany will not allow themselves to be blackmailed. And we will not let the exaggerated electoral promises of a partly communist government be paid for by German workers and their families.

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Amid suicides and debt, farmers demand action | Agriculture

New Delhi/Mumbai – On Wednesday, thousands of farmers, laborers and rural laborers from across India boarded trains to the capital to take part in a two-day ‘Dilli Challo’ (Let’s Go to Delhi) march.

They gather in central New Delhi on Thursday to prepare for their march to parliament on Friday and call on lawmakers to address the many challenges facing the agrarian society.

They will demand the passage of two bills – one to relieve farmers of their debts and the other to guarantee minimum prices for their crops.

Takadya Tapar, 41, is from Dhamangaon village in the coastal district of Palghar, Maharashtra, and like most people in the area, she is a subsistence farmer from the Scheduled Tribe community.

She is attending the New Delhi event to protest her land acquisition for the 508 km high-speed rail corridor linking Mumbai to another state capital, Ahmedabad.

Folk songs spoke of their collective resistance against slavery. Gulamgiri la devu ya maat, Adivasi na devu ni saath (We will end slavery, we will lend a hand to the Adivasi) [Shone Satheesh/Al Jazeera]

A favorite project of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, the train will cut travel time between the two cities from eight hours to two hours. But it will affect the lands and livelihoods of 195 Scheduled Tribe households in Palghar district alone.

“Over 100 people…received acquisition notices. We protested against this at [grassroots] level but nothing came of it. So we are going to Delhi,” says Tapar.

For hundreds of women, undertaking a 28-hour train journey to reach New Delhi involves a good deal of sacrifice. Indeed, their absence will be sorely felt during the crucial harvest season here.

“It’s a question about our existence. If we don’t go now, how will our children survive,” she said.

Unlike farmers who cultivate cash crops on relatively larger tracts of land in the rest of Maharashtra, Scheduled Tribe farmers in Palghar, Thane, Nashik and Nandurbar districts engage in farming for personal consumption.

Their farms are small – two acres (0.8 hectares) on average, on which they grow vegetables, rice and millet – but crucial for their survival. In 2016, the district recorded 557 child deaths due to malnutrition.

Jitendra Ibadh took out a loan to build a boundary wall to prevent stray cattle from destroying his field.  Like thousands of others, he joins the protest march in New Delhi to demand a waiver [Shone Satheesh/Al Jazeera]
Jitendra Ibadh took out a loan to build a boundary wall to prevent stray cattle from destroying his field. Like thousands of others, he joins the protest march in New Delhi to demand a waiver [Shone Satheesh/Al Jazeera]

Jitendra Ibhad, 54, is a board member of a local farmers’ union in Dhamangaon, a village. He majored in history and geography, but after unsuccessful attempts to get a job with the state electric utility and the local school, he turned to farming.

“The last two years have seen a period of very dry rain, so my crops have been ruined. Four months a year, we depend on rain for irrigation. The rest of the year we have to manually water the crop, which can cost up to 300 rupees ($4.25) per session.

Ibhad also spent money to build boundary walls for his vegetable field because of stray cattle.

“Since the government banned beef, and [briefly] the sale of cattle, the number of cattle on the roads has increased exponentially. Like thieves, they plunder our fields at night. I took out a loan of 30,000 rupees ($425) to build a boundary wall to keep the cattle out. I doubt I will be able to repay it.

He joins the march to demand loan waivers and reduced prices for inputs such as seeds, fertilizers and irrigation equipment.

Neelam Prakash Ravate is one of thousands of women taking part in the march [Shone Satheesh/Al Jazeera]
Neelam Prakash Ravate is one of thousands of women taking part in the march [Shone Satheesh/Al Jazeera]

One of the most pressing demands of this group of farmers in Palghar is for their land title, called 7/12, to be granted under the Scheduled Tribes and Other Traditional Forest Dwellers Act 2006 ( recognition of forest rights).

Under the law, they are entitled to ownership of forest lands which they use for cultivation, grazing and foraging.

For HD Karbat, a 65-year-old farmer from Jamset village in Palghar, getting the title deed means being eligible for various government programs and benefits.

“We want the government to declare our region affected by drought, which they don’t want. The rains have constantly failed our crops over the past two years. But when the government itself denies there is a problem, how will it help us? he asks.

Karbat refers to a controversial change in the central government’s definition of drought in 2016. By measuring drought-affected areas on the basis of districts rather than sub-divisions, the total number of drought-affected regions has been significantly reduced.

Previous farmers' marches turned violent [Shone Satheesh/Al Jazeera]
Previous farmers’ marches turned violent [Shone Satheesh/Al Jazeera]

Ashok Dhawale, president of the All India Kisan Sabha farmers’ union, which has led the protests, said the pressure on agricultural workers and businesses had been made worse by the policies of the Modi administration.

It specifically refers to demonetization, a November 8, 2016 decision, in which banknotes of 500 rupees ($7.16) and 1,000 rupees ($14.31) were declared null and void.

“In a recent report, the Ministry of Agriculture admitted that demonetization had badly affected farmers, which we were saying on our own,” says Dhawale.

“Then there is the issue of farmer suicides, which rose by 42% in the first two years of Modi’s government.”

In 2016, the National Crimes Record Bureau stopped publishing farmer suicide rates, which Dhawale says is an attempt to erase the government’s track record.

Protesters are expected to take to Parliament on Friday to demand support and action [Shone Satheesh/Al Jazeera]
Protesters are expected to take to Parliament on Friday to demand support and action [Shone Satheesh/Al Jazeera]

The past three years have seen more farmers’ marches across the country.

In some cases, they have become fatal.

In June 2017, police fired on a group of farmers in Mandsaur, killing at least six people.

In August 2017, farmers in the southern state of Tamil Nadu went on a hunger strike in Jantar Mantar, New Delhi. Infuriated by what they saw as government indifference, they escalated their protest by holding human bones and dead rats in their mouths, even threatening to ingest excrement if their demands were not met.

In November 2017, over 180 protesting farmer groups joined to form the All India Kisan Sangharsh Coordination Committee (AIKASCC).

The Dilli Chalo march is organized under the same banner.

Protesters want two bills passed, one to settle farmers' debts and the other to set minimum prices [Shone Satheesh/Al Jazeera]
Protesters want two bills passed, one to settle farmers’ debts and the other to set minimum prices [Shone Satheesh/Al Jazeera]

Sudhir Kumar Suthar, an assistant professor at Jawaharlal Nehru University’s Center for Policy Studies, says Dilli Chalo’s march expands the definition of a farmer.

“If you look at the two bills they are asking to pass in parliament, that includes landless laborers, artisans and women, in addition to the farmer.”

He thinks the support the march has garnered from the urban population is a new phenomenon.

“People’s perception of rural and urban is changing. Living in our cities with its pollution and shrinking job prospects, people want to reinvent the rural world.

“Therefore, rural distress is not just farmers’ problem, it’s everyone’s problem.”

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China has just canceled part of Cameroon’s debt. So why the secrecy?

But while the report was wrong, its publication forced the Chinese government to speak publicly about the kind of deal that had been reached.

Last week, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying told CNN: “China has agreed to waive the interest-free intergovernmental debt that Cameroon failed to repay at the end of 2018.” .

This debt was worth $78.4 million. Cameroon’s total debt is 5.8 trillion Central African CFA francs ($10 billion), of which about a third is owed to China, according to the International Monetary Fund.

In short, it was a tiny slice of Cameroon’s responsibility to China.

So why the initial secrecy?

African debt backlash

Debt cancellations for developing countries are generally greeted with great fanfare, such as the IMF and the World Bank’s Heavily Indebted Poor Countries (HIPC) Initiative, or the historical cancellation of the Paris Club debt in the early 2000s.
In China, it is more complicated: African debt has become more and more controversial at home.
When President Xi Jinping pledged a $60 billion package of aid, investment and loans to Africa last september during the Triennial Forum on China-Africa Cooperation, angry messages emerged on the Chinese Internet. Critics have wondered why China – or at least 30 million people still live in poverty, defined as an annual income of less than 2,300 yuan (about $340) — gave money to Africa. The censors quickly deleted the complaints.
There is also this to consider: African nations have borrowed $143 billion of China since 2000, according to CARI figures. Beijing’s leniency towards Cameroon could prompt other heavily indebted countries, such as Ethiopia, Djibouti and Zambia, to expect similar treatment.

China may also have sought an under-the-radar arrangement due to political unrest in Cameroon.

Last week the police arrested Maurice KamtoCameroon’s opposition leader who claims to have won last year’s elections, along with several staff supporters, amid protests that are fueling political instability.

The West African nation is battling a Boko Haram insurgency in the north, while a secessionist movement destabilizes the two English-speaking regions of the majority French-speaking nation born from the unification of a former British colony and a former French colony .

Due to the unrest, Cameroon has been stripped of the right to host the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations, the continent’s biennial football championship, which will now be held in Egypt.

From a human rights perspective, the bar for Chinese political partners in Africa is set low. Beijing supported Zimbabwe during some of the darkest years of dictator Robert Mugabe’s rule and poured money into Angola under former President Jose Eduardo dos Santos, an authoritarian figure associated with large-scale corruption.

But Biya, 85, who has ruled Cameroon for 36 years, is looking increasingly like an “unsuitable partner” from a business perspective as China faces growing scrutiny on the continent, says Chris Roberts, political scientist at the University of Calgary. .

“Cameroon in every aspect, shape or form is getting worse day by day in every metric,” Roberts says. “This regime has dismantled all the foundations it had for a stable economy.”

Deep pockets, deep carry

China established diplomatic relations with Cameroon in 1971. Their economic partnership grew after Nicolas Sarkozy became President of France in 2007 and oversaw his country’s dwindling engagement with its former colonial territory, leaving a void for Beijing to fill.

Since the beginning of the century, China has granted Cameroon debt relief: In 2001 it wrote off $34 million of debt, then in 2007 it waived another $32 million and $30 million was written off in 2010.
These figures are in fact derisory compared to the $227 million Canada forgave in 2006, for example, notes Roberts.
But it was in 2011 that China has made a real commitment to Cameroon by agreeing to build and finance a new port in the fishing town of Kribi. It seemed like a stable place to invest: Cameroon was seen as a relatively peaceful nation in a war-torn region.

The current port of Douala in Cameroon was overcrowded, dilapidated and limited by its location on a sediment-filled estuary.

When completed in 2035, Kribi will be the largest deep-water port in the region. It will handle exports of bauxite, iron ore and other minerals from Cameroon and could also serve the Chad-Cameroon Petroleum Development and Pipeline Project, which pumps oil from landlocked Chad.

The first two stages of the project, built by China Harbor Engineering Company, were worth $1.2 billion. CHEC is also building a $436 million highway to connect the new port to Douala and agreed to build a railway to an iron ore deposit. Other Chinese companies have erected concrete towers around Kribi, in anticipation of its transformation into a thriving regional trading hub.

The Port of Kribi will also extend the reach in West Africa of China’s Maritime Silk Road, an initiative Senegal signed on to last year. It is an important part of President Xi’s broad multinational One Belt One Road economic development plan.

“The Gulf of Guinea is strategic for China”, explains Xavier Auregan, specialist in Sino-African relations in French-speaking countries, explaining that a foot there strengthens its interests in West Africa, from the Côte d’ Ivory in Gabon.

“Cameroon is one of the countries that can federate the energy infrastructures of… West Africa.”

China’s activity in Cameroon is not limited to the new port: it was responsible for 90% construction and restoration of roads in the country from 2014, and Chinese companies have built dams and hydroelectric plants there.

China has also undoubtedly benefited from these developments, with many of the contracts going to its companies.

But the Cameroonian government has contracted considerable loans to finance them and debt repayments seem increasingly problematic in the current context. faltering economy.

“If you say we lent this money to this development project or effort, and we’re just canceling it because we know we’ll never get it back,” Roberts says, “that has a national effect, but it has also international implications.

One of the big concerns about Chinese lending to Africa is debt trap diplomacy – the idea that Beijing will pressure countries that can’t repay their loans to hand over key assets.

Last December, Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta denied that the huge port of Kilindini in Mombasa, East Africa’s biggest port, had been listed as collateral for a multibillion-dollar Chinese loan to fund railway. China also denied the report. In Djibouti, similar concerns have been raised over China’s recent acquisition of a stake in a port there.

Tensions in the gold mines

China’s decision to grant Cameroon debt relief also comes at a difficult time between the country’s traditional mining community and Chinese mining companies.

Eastern Cameroon is rich in gold. Justin Kamga, coordinator of the Forestry and Rural Development Association (FODER) in Yaoundé, says Chinese companies operate illegal mines throughout the region and have little respect for the land.

A Chinese mining site in Cameroon.  Industrial machinery is used to excavate the site.

China’s Foreign Ministry did not respond to CNN’s request for comment.

Local Cameroonian miners generally use artisanal mining methods that do not harm the environment, says Kamga. Chinese companies use heavy machinery that often digs villages with multiple holes 30 meters deep, destroying agricultural land.

Between 2012 and 2015, Kamga said more than 250 excavations were abandoned, mostly by Chinese companies. From 2015 to 2018, he said, more than 100 people died in such holes, which trigger landslides and spark local outrage against Chinese companies. In December, nine people died in such an incident, according to FODER.

Artisanal gold miners in Eastern Cameroon.
Regulations state that operators must cover holes safely, but Kamga says the Cameroonian military protects Chinese mining companies, meaning they often face little legal retaliation. Cameroon is ranked 152nd out of 180 countries in the ranking Corruption Perceptions Index 2018.

The Cameroonian government did not respond to emails from CNN seeking comment.

Auregan says that while reckless mining has tarnished China’s image, it is unlikely to be the reason for the 2018 debt cancellation.

“China sees the geo-strategic and long-term vision of Cameroon’s importance in this region,” Roberts said.

In short, as long as China needs a maritime foothold in West Africa, Cameroon’s debt burden could ease a little further.

CNN’s Steven Jiang also contributed to this report from Beijing.

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IMF will refuse to join Greece bailout until demands for debt relief are met | International Monetary Fund (IMF)

The International Monetary Fund will refuse to participate in a new rescue plan for Greece until there is an “explicit and concrete agreement” on debt relief from eurozone creditors, an IMF official confirmed.

Without IMF intervention, Greece’s eurozone partners will have to find more funds to meet Athens’ short-term financing needs, which raises the question of whether the €86bn (£60bn) rescue package debated earlier this month will prove to be achievable.

As Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras struggled to win the support of his radical party Syriza Partying for the austerity program demanded by the rest of the eurozone, an IMF official, speaking from Washington, said the fund would not get involved until there was “an explicit agreement and concrete between Greece and its eurozone partners on how to provide debt relief”.

The IMF has insisted it also expects tough economic reforms from Athens in return for a reduction in its debt burden. “There is a need for tough decisions on both sides. There should be no illusion that only one party can solve the problem,” the official said.

Meanwhile, the IMF team in Athens, which is helping craft a third bailout, would “not sit on the sidelines”, the official said. But he will not subscribe to any formal support program for the country in difficulty. “We will actively participate in policy discussions over the coming weeks.”

On Wednesday, Christine Lagarde told the IMF’s board of directors, made up of representatives of its member countries, that an IMF team should be sent to Greece. But the official said: “The board would not support a program that did not meet medium-term sustainability.”

Greece’s debt-to-GDP ratio has soared to 175% from 120% when it first received a bailout from the ‘troika’ of the IMF, European Central Bank and European Commission in 2010.

News of the IMF board’s hard line came as Tsipras challenged Syriza members to back the decision to sign further spending cuts and reforms demanded by the country’s creditors.

At a meeting of Syriza’s national council in Athens on Thursday, Tsipras offered party members two options: an internal “referendum” on Sunday to review the terms of the deal reached earlier this month; or an extraordinary party meeting in September. By a show of hands, the assembly opted for the latter.

Tsipras managed to push through the latest austerity measures with the support of opposition MPs, allowing talks on a new bailout to begin. But he has yet to win the support of many members of his own party.

Speaking at Syriza’s rally in a former cinema, Tsipras reiterated that giving in to the country’s creditors was “not of our choice”, but the only alternative was to leave the euro zone.

Details of the third bailout have yet to be finalized, but the IMF appears to be challenging Greece’s other creditors, led by Germany, to soften their opposition to substantial debt relief.

The rocky deal struck by eurozone leaders earlier this month delivered on the promise of debt restructuring if Athens passes further economic reforms, but did not provide any details.

The IMF’s own debt sustainability analysis, published in the aftermath of negotiations between Tsipras and his euro zone partners earlier this month, suggests that the country’s debt burden will quickly become unmanageable without a long moratorium on repayments, of up to 30 years, or a reduction in the nominal value of the debt. The IMF official said the fund stands by that analysis.

With talks just getting started in Athens – and particularly given the IMF’s decision to avoid getting involved immediately – analysts say it is increasingly unlikely that a deal can be reached in time for August 20. It was then that Greece had to repay 3.4 billion euros to the European Central Bank.

Observers had expected Greece to seek a short-term bridge loan from its eurozone partners to cover the ECB payment. But without the intervention of the IMF, the amount of financing needed in the coming months is likely to be considerably higher.

The IMF’s role in eurozone bailouts has been controversial since Greece’s first bailout in 2010. However, the European Commission and the ECB felt that the credibility of the bailouts had been enhanced by the presence of the IMF, due to the stringent conditions that the fund attaches to financial assistance.

Asked if it had been a mistake to get involved in the first place, the IMF official said: “We are learning as we go, in changing circumstances, and the experience we have will be integrated into all the new discussions that we will have. This is of course one of the reasons why we say that this requires difficult discussions on both sides.

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UK bolsters IMF Disaster Relief Fund with £150m

UK bolsters IMF Disaster Relief Fund with £150m

March 11, 2020

Washington, DC – March 11, 2020
The UK today announced a package of measures to respond to the economic challenges of coronavirus, including that it will pay £150 million to the International Monetary Fund

Disaster Relief and Containment Trust

(CCRT), which provides debt relief for countries affected by catastrophic events, including public health disasters. The contribution will take the form of a £75m grant directly to the trust, plus an additional £75m allocated to the budget and based on demand.

“I welcome the economic and fiscal measures announced in the UK government’s budget statement to address the economic impact of the coronavirus outbreak. Coordinated monetary and fiscal policy measures will help alleviate health concerns and help people households and businesses to overcome the economic challenges facing the country,” said IMF Managing Director Kristalina Georgieva. The Managing Director also welcomed the announcement that HM Treasury would conduct a review of the fiscal framework. from the United Kingdom.

The Director General particularly welcomed the support of the United Kingdom to the CCRT. “This contribution represents a most welcome response to

the call of the International Monetary and Financial Committee (IMFC) to members

provide the support needed to mitigate the impact of the coronavirus crisis, especially for the poorest and most vulnerable countries. I urge other member countries to follow the UK’s leadership in contributing to the CCRT. By working together, we can overcome the global challenge we face and restore growth and prosperity for all.

The CCRT enables the IMF to support international debt relief efforts when poor countries are hit by natural disasters and to help poor countries struggling with public health crises – such as epidemics like the coronavirus – with grants for debt service relief. Last week Mrs Georgieva called the

international community to help rebuild the CCRT
which only had $200 million for the world’s poorest countries.

IMF Communications Department

PRESS OFFICER: Andreas Adriano

Call: +1 202 623-7100E-mail: [email protected]

@IMF Spokesperson

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Morris Brown College moves closer to reaccreditation after settling $4 million debt with AME Church

Morris Brown College

There is light at the end of the tunnel for Morris Brown College after settling a $4 million debt with the African Methodist Episcopal Church Monday night. The AME Church General Council Executive Committee’s vote to cancel the debt, along with the interest owed, improves HBCU’s chances of recovering its credential, who was revoked in the early 2000s following financial mismanagement.

The relief is part of an agreement that will require Morris Brown College to create a $1.5 million scholarship program for members of the AME church. The scholarship criteria have not yet been finalized, but AME scholarship students are expected to start enrolling in 2021.

“An integral part of the credentialing process is going through our audits, and this debt was hindering audits, so this discount definitely affects the credentialing process in a positive way,” said Kevin E. James, acting president of Morris Brown College. .

The 139-year-old college has continued to educate graduate students despite losing accreditation nearly two decades ago, but with students unable to receive federal financial aid, enrollment has plummeted and the school struggles with debts, filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in 2011. James said financial assistance from the AME Church is essential. “We wouldn’t be open without the church,” James said. “Debt forgiveness is an essential part of the accreditation process.” The school began seeking accreditation from the Transnational Association of Christian Colleges and Schools (TRACS), a national education accrediting agency based in Virginia, in early 2019.

Morris Brown College Dr. Kevin E. James
Dr. Kevin E. James

Photo courtesy of Morris Brown College

“With AME Church being one of the largest black denominations in the world, this will help us rebuild our registration. It’s a huge win for both parties,” says James, who has made restoring accreditation a priority since taking office in March last year.

Morris Brown received more good news last fall when the National Park Service awarded the school a $500,000 grant to renovate Fountain Hall, a tower on campus that once housed the office of the historian and civil rights activist WEB Du Bois.

Restoring the school’s accreditation will allow many more students to graduate according to James, who said there are currently 35 students taking courses on campus and online. The school recently launched a call for volunteer teachers via Facebook, the only criteria being advanced degrees, and has since received hundreds of emails and resumes from alumni and non-alumni looking to help.

“I anticipate that once we apply for accreditation and eventually get accredited, more students will come,” says James.

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Trump announces $2.4 billion sale of F16 fighter jets to indebted Greece | Greece

President donald trump reaffirmed the United States’ commitment to Greece’s economic recovery at the White House on Tuesday, a meeting that allowed the country’s prime minister to brush aside crude comments he made about Trump during the 2016 campaign.

Trump, along with Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras, said Greece had “been through a lot” during its long period of economic hardship, but vowed the United States would stand firm as the country carries out its debt relief plan.

“The American people stand with the people of Greece as they recover from the economic crisis that has recently afflicted their nation,” Trump said alongside Tsipras in the Rose Garden. He added, “A strong and thriving Greece offers immense opportunities for American trade, investment, and job creation.”

Greece has relied on international bailouts since 2010 to deal with the difficulties encountered during the recent economic downturn. In return, the country imposed painful spending cuts, tax hikes and reforms.

Eurozone officials said Greece and its European creditors were on track to complete bailout talks for a “clean exit” from tight fiscal watch.

At a joint press conference, Tsipras was asked about his scathing statement about Trump during the 2016 presidential campaign, when the leftist Greek leader warned that Trump represented a set of “evil” ideas.

Tsipras smiled and laughed after being asked about his comments, prompting Trump to joke: “I wish I had known that before my speech.”

The talks focused heavily on economic ties, energy and defence. Tsipras said his country had made economic progress and was “leaving behind the economic model that led to the crisis”.

Trump, for his part, noted that Greece is among NATO members spending at least 2% of its gross domestic product on the military, a key request from the US president. He also cited a potential $2.4billion (£1.8billion) aircraft sale to Greece to upgrade its F-16 fighters, which he said would generate thousands of jobs for the states -United.

Greece is emerging from an eight-year financial crisis, with the International Monetary Fund, the European Union and others forecasting a return to growth this year. With major privatizations still on the government’s agenda and a gradual return to bond markets expected over the next year, Greece is keen to attract US investors.

The meeting allowed the two leaders to put aside the past. Asset tweeted in 2012 that Greece should leave the euro and return to its own currency, adding: “They are just wasting time”. But this time he praised Greece’s efforts to recover: “They are doing a great job of coming back.”

Greece should exit the euro and return to its own currency – it’s just wasting time.

— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) October 9, 2012

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7 Steps to Repaying Debt in Retirement

If you entered retirement with mortgage, credit card balance, or car loan, tackling debt on a fixed income can seem overwhelming. Your advantage is time: you can use free hours to improve your financial situation. Make a plan and follow it to clear your debts. Here are some steps you can take to pay off your loans and enjoy the rest of your retirement days debt-free.

Look at your accounts. If you’re not sure how much you owe, start by adding up all the loans, mortgages, and credit card bills. Then check the interest rates attached to each balance. “The first thing to remember is that debt isn’t always bad in retirement,” says Andrew Zimmer, certified investment management analyst at Overland & Shanahan Wealth Advisors in San Diego. “For example, if you have a 0% interest car loan, don’t pay it off to get out of debt, just keep making minimum payments.” Another good potential debt is your mortgage, as you may be able to take advantage of the interest deduction on your tax return.

Credit cards generally have the highest interest rates, while other loans may have lower rates. “If the interest rate on your debt is 1-3% and the expected annual rate of return on your investment portfolio is 4-6%, you may consider making payments to allow investments to grow,” says Zimmer. “If the interest rate on the debt is comparable to or higher than the expected annual rate of return on the investment portfolio, it’s probably better to pay off the debt.”

Make sure you have a budget. If you already have a budget in place, look for ways to start investing money to pay off one of your debts each month. And if you I don’t have a budget, now is a good time to create one. Start with what you bring in each month. “Once you retire, your budget is set,” says Tony Drake, CEO of Drake & Associates in Waukesha, Wisconsin. “You know how much you receive each month in the form of Social Security, pensions and your retirement savings.” Next, look at the expenses for each month. Use a spreadsheet, pen and paper, or an app to create a monthly budget that can be tracked.

Understand your options. Once you have a budget in place, make sure it covers your needs each month. With the remaining funds, consider one of these two repayment strategies:

  • Avalanche method: This consists of making minimum payments on each debt except the one with the highest interest rate. To tackle the debt with the highest interest rate, pay off as much as you can each month. Once that debt is cleared, focus on the balance with the next highest rate. Continue this strategy until all debts are paid off.

  • Snowball method: For this strategy, you pay the minimum on all balances. With any additional funds, you pay off the smaller balance first. Then you pay off the second smallest debt. The idea is that you gain momentum along the way, much like a snowball rolling down a hill, and eventually pay off the biggest debt.

Select a plan. To decide which repayment strategy will work best for paying off your debts, consider your balances, interest rates, and preferred approach. “Unless there is a very large disparity in your interest rates, I recommend using the snowball method,” says Drake. “Focus on your lowest balance, paying that bill first. Once it’s cleared, move on to your second-lowest balance, and so on.

Be careful with retirement funds. After looking at the numbers and putting together a repayment plan based on your monthly fixed income, you might want to look at other sources to tap into to pay off your debts. If you have money in the bank, an investment account, and an IRA, any debt repayments must generally be made in cash first. “The liquidation of investment accounts will result in tax gains and losses,” says Blake Christian, a chartered accountant and partner at HCVT in Long Beach, Calif. Money withdrawn from traditional retirement accounts will almost always trigger income tax.

Look for extra money. Instead of taking more money out of your retirement accounts, think about ways to cut expenses and allocate the freed up money to debt. “If you just don’t have enough money, there’s no quick fix,” says Kevin Gallegos, vice president of Phoenix operations at Freedom Debt Relief. “That may mean starting a recall career or taking a part-time job.” You might find advice or part time opportunities at your old workplace. Other cash generating activities Things to consider: Putting things you don’t use on eBay, hosting a garage sale, or selling a second car you don’t use anymore.

Look ahead. If you are able to repay all your debts during the first years of your retirement, you will be able to spend the remaining decades without lingering borrowings. In addition to looking forward to more available cash that isn’t tied to debt repayment, consider using this time to establish new financial habits. “You don’t want to get out of debt only to fall back into the trap,” says Drake. “Treat every purchase as an investment.” Be comfortable living within your budget and write down your future goals, such as a trip or new furniture to buy when you are debt free.

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Definition of debt restructuring

What is debt restructuring?

Debt restructuring is a process used by companies, individuals and even countries to avoid the risk of default on their existing debts, for example by negotiating lower interest rates. Debt restructuring offers a less costly alternative to bankruptcy when a debtor is in financial difficulty, and this can benefit both the borrower and the lender.

Key points to remember:

  • Debt restructuring is available to companies, individuals and even countries.
  • The process of debt restructuring can reduce interest rates on loans or extend the terms for repaying them.
  • A debt restructuring can include a debt-for-equity swap, in which creditors agree to cancel some or all of the outstanding debt in exchange for equity interests in the business.
  • A nation seeking to restructure its debt could shift debt from the private sector to public sector institutions.

How Debt Restructuring Works

Some companies seek to restructure their debt when faced with the prospect of bankruptcy. The process of debt restructuring typically involves lenders agreeing to reduce interest rates on loans, extend the dates by which the company’s debts are due, or both. These measures improve the company’s chances of repaying its obligations and staying in business. Creditors understand that they would receive even less if the company were to declare bankruptcy or liquidation.

Debt restructuring can be a win-win situation for both parties, as the company avoids bankruptcy and lenders usually receive more than they would have received in bankruptcy proceedings.

The process works much the same for individuals and for nations, although on very different scales.


People hoping to restructure their debts can hire a debt relief company to help with the negotiations. But they need to make sure they are dealing with a reputable one, not a scam.

Types of debt restructuring

Debt restructuring for companies

Companies have several tools to restructure their debts. One is one debt-for-equity swap. This occurs when creditors agree to cancel some or all of a company’s outstanding debts in exchange for shares (ownership) in the company. The swap is usually a preferred option when the company’s outstanding debt and assets are large and forcing the company out of business would be counterproductive. Creditors prefer to take control of the troubled business, if necessary, as a permanent concern.

A company seeking to restructure its debt could also renegotiate with its bondholders to “take a Haircut“- which means that part of the unpaid interest payments will be written off or part of the balance will not be refunded.

A company will often issue callable bonds to protect himself from a situation in which he cannot make his interest payments. A bond with a callable feature can be redeemed early by the issuer in times of falling interest rates. This allows the issuer to restructure debt in the future, as existing debt can be replaced with new debt at a lower interest rate.

Country debt restructuring

Countries may face payment defaults on their sovereign debt, and this has been the case throughout history. In modern times, some countries choose to restructure their debt with bondholders. This may mean transferring debt from the private sector to public sector institutions that may be better able to handle the impact of a country’s default.

Sovereign bondholders may also have to accept a discount by agreeing to accept a reduced percentage of what is owed to them, perhaps 25% of the total value of their bonds. The due dates on the bonds can also be extended, giving the government issuer more time to secure the funds it needs to repay its bondholders.

Unfortunately, this type of debt restructuring is not subject to much international scrutiny, even when restructuring efforts cross borders.

Debt restructuring for individuals

People facing insolvency can try to renegotiate terms with their creditors and the tax authorities. For example, someone unable to continue making payments on a $250,000 mortgage could make an agreement with the lending institution to reduce the mortgage to 75%, or $187,500 (75% x $250,000 = 187 $500). In return, the lender could receive 40% of the sale proceeds of the house when it is sold by the mortgagor.

Individuals can attempt to negotiate on their own or with the help of a reputable debt relief company. This is an area rife with scams, so they need to make sure they know who they are implicating. Investopedia publishes a regularly updated list of best debt relief companies.

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Cincinnati church clears $46.5 million in medical debt for 45,000 families

NEWYou can now listen to Fox News articles!

A Cincinnati megachurch announced on Sunday that it was paying off $46.5 million in medical debt for more than 45,000 families.

Crossroads Church has partnered with RIP Medical Debt, a non-profit medical debt relief organization, to erase the debts of people from Ohio, Kentucky, Tennessee and Indiana. They will receive bright yellow envelopes this week informing them of the good news.


“Churches are at their best when we are a blessing to real people in our communities,” Senior Pastor Brian Tome told Fox News on Thursday. “We’re not here to have big meetings on Sundays.”

Crossroads Church pastor Brian Tome made a big announcement on Sunday, helping thousands of people in the tri-state area clear $45.6 million in medical debt.
(Courtesy of Crossroads Church)

Tome spoke to his congregation about “the opportunity to multiply our impact” during a November 23 Sermon“They’ll get a letter saying, ‘Congratulations, your debt has been paid because someone loves you and there’s a God who hasn’t forgotten you.'”

On Sunday, the pastor read aloud a message from one of the lucky recipients.


“I got this mail in this bright yellow envelope and started throwing it away,” the pastor read. “But when I saw that it said your medical debt was paid, I thought, ‘seriously, wait a minute.’ When I read it, I was moved – the person continued – because I needed a break so badly to collect my credit. I really appreciate the gift.

The church erased the debt of 41,233 households in Ohio for a total of $42.8 million, 2,974 households in Kentucky canceled $1.9 million in debt, 503 households in Tennessee for $1.5 million dollars and 136 Indiana homes for $200,000. FOX 19 reports.


For every $100 donated to RIP Medical Debt, $10,000 of medical debt is erased, according to the New York-based organization.

Crossroads Church’s recent act constitutes the largest amount of medical debt eliminated in the nonprofit’s history.

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Debt relief charity founder passionate about financial justice takes a step back

The founder of debt relief charity Christians Against Poverty (CAP) takes a step back, 25 years after the organization was founded.

The Archbishop of Canterbury, patron of the charity, described CAP founder John Kirkby as having a “passion for financial justice”.

The organization was founded in Bradford, Yorkshire in August 1996 and works with a network of churches.

It undertakes that its services are accessible to all, without distinction of religion or belief.

Over the past decade, the charity has helped more than 20,000 people pay off their debts. In addition to the United Kingdom, the organization is also established in Australia, the United States and Canada.

Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby has paid tribute to Christians Against Poverty founder John Kirkby stepping down from his role (Gareth Fuller/PA)

Mr. Kirkby had worked in the financial sector before founding CAP and was able to use his expertise to help people trapped in debt, negotiate with creditors and set up budgeting systems.

The charity now offers debt advice, money management, job clubs, life skills groups and support for people breaking the habits that control their lives.

Mr. Kirkby will officially step down at the end of June.

He and his wife Lizzie are expected to take a sabbatical over the summer as they consider possible future projects.

The Very Reverend Justin Welby said, “John’s religious conviction and passion for financial justice has been the driving force behind an organization that has grown exponentially since its inception and has helped thousands of people break free from poverty. debt jail.

He added: “I would like to offer my prayers and warmest wishes to John as he leaves office with Christians Against Poverty, which he founded 25 years ago this year. I hold both John and Lizzie in my prayers as they embark on their next call and I remain honored to be part of the organization.

Mr Kirkby said: “I am delighted to see the organization that CAP is today and know wholeheartedly that I have fulfilled the role I was called here to perform.

“I see an organization made up of people strong in mission and faith, ignited with passion and overflowing with compassion for those they help.”

Paula Stringer, CAP’s UK Managing Director, said: “There is no doubt that John’s personal commitment and sacrifices over the past 25 years have truly saved the lives of countless people in the UK and around the world. of the.

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The hidden cost of South Africa’s new debt relief law

South Africa’s new National Credit Amendment Act will have an unforeseen impact not only on the banking industry but also on consumers.

In an interview with CNBC Africa, FNB Wealth’s Wayne McCurrie said those who request debt forgiveness will also have their credit history wiped.

“The problem is that you will never get credit again in your life from the formal sector if you go that route,” he said.

“This need for credit is not going away, which means (those consumers) will go into the loan shark industry.”

Despite these concerns and any hit South African banking stocks might take, McCurrie said the bill’s actual impact will be relatively marginal.

“There’s not a lot of physical money in this, and you can’t just sign a form and get debt relief. It’s actually quite a long process that you have to go through – it’s not an automatic thing.

“A few people won’t bother to go through the whole process of getting relief because they understand that once they do, they won’t be able to access credit.”

Debt relief

Enacted earlier in August, the National Credit Amendment Act will allow some applicants to have their debt suspended in part or in full for up to 24 months.

This debt can then be completely extinguished if the applicant’s financial situation does not improve.

Criteria for meeting this debt cancellation include:

  • When the unsecured debt does not exceed R50,000;
  • Where the unsecured debt has been incurred through unsecured credit agreements, unsecured short-term credit transactions or unsecured credit facilities only;
  • When the person has not earned more than R7,500 per month in the past six months.

Lily: Capitec says it is preparing for new debt relief law

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Zambia: Reprieve for debt-ridden Zambia as China Development Bank agrees to loan moratorium

The Zambian government has announced an agreement with the China Development Bank (CDB) to defer repayment of a loan that matured in October 2020. The terms of the agreement provide for a suspension of interest payments for six months, the interest payments due to resume in April. 2021. The principal due has also been deferred and will be rescheduled over the entire term of the loan. Chinese lenders aren’t known for their flexibility, so the deal comes as a welcome shock.

I am happy to hear that the China Development Bank has entered into a debt deferral agreement with Zambia. This fully shows that in addition to official creditors, other Chinese financial institutions are also actively solving the debt problem of Zambia and other African countries.

The government, however, did not disclose the extent of the debt or the amount involved. There is still uncertainty as to whether this agreement covers the entire CBD loan or a percentage of it.

China is one of Zambia’s largest creditors with 25% of Zambia’s debt owed to China.

This year has been particularly stressful for Zambia as it also missed a deadline for the repayment of the $42.5 million Eurobond debt. The country is currently in a 30-day grace period. The country’s government is appealing to Eurobond holders for a similar deferment deal, but there is no joy in that regard yet.

The meeting at which Eurobond holders are expected to vote on the Zambian debt postponement is set to take place on Nov. 13 after last month’s postponement. At the last meeting, 40% of Zambia’s creditors chose to abstain from voting. Some analysts believe the secrecy surrounding China’s debt is a major contributing factor to Zambia’s failure to secure a reprieve for Eurobond holders. More clarity on the amount and interest of Zambia’s debt to China in order to have a clear picture of the risks involved. Bondholders are wary of a suspension only to find themselves funding Zambia’s repayments to China.

To compound the country’s woes, last month Zambia’s currency rating was downgraded by S&P to “selective default”.

The country, on the brink of crisis, owes nearly US$12 billion. Of this figure, US$3 billion includes Eurobonds while US$3.5 billion is owed to bilateral lenders. In addition, there is US$2.9 billion in commercial debt and multilateral lenders owe US$2.1 billion.

Zambia in crisis as debt rises as GDP stalls

The country’s president, Edgar Lungu, reportedly told the media that he was having sleepless nights because of the debt situation.

Zambia’s debt crisis further highlights the problem associated with the high cost of borrowing associated with an African label. Furthermore, Chinese loans, which in some quarters have been described as a debt trap, create an additional problem in the debt market as they have not been fully disclosed. The COVID pandemic has accelerated Zambia’s debt dilemma by putting unexpected pressure on government spending.

Zambia’s aggressive debt-financed campaign to improve infrastructure may have failed. As the country continues to find solutions to its debt crises, it remains to be seen whether debt relief of this nature can prove to be a solution to the country’s debt crisis.

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DC Attorney General Sues Student Debt Relief Company Caught in Federal Regulator’s Crosshairs

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District Attorney General Karl A. Racine on Wednesday filed a court case against Student Aid Center, a Florida-based debt relief company, and its owners for misleading area residents about the company’s ability to cut student loan payments and illegally charge up-front fees before providing the service.

Racine found evidence that the company charges fees between $600 and $1,000 in exchange for simply mailing documents that borrowers can obtain and submit for free through the federal government. Telemarketers went so far as to promise full refunds if customers did not receive debt relief. But when people asked for their money, the student support center didn’t return the full amount or any money at all, according to the complaint.

To hook consumers, telemarketers hinted or told them that the Student Help Center was affiliated with the Department of Education, a relationship that could help expedite loan forgiveness requests or reduce monthly payments, depending on the complaint. This type of misleading advertising violates consumer protection laws, as does charging an upfront fee for debt counseling.

There’s a way to drastically reduce student debt repayment, but hardly anyone uses it

Businesses must, by law, renegotiate, settle or reduce at least one debt before collecting fees for the service. They are also not allowed to promise results that they have no means of accomplishing, such as prompt repair of a default or wage garnishment.

“Residents who work hard often go into debt to continue their studies. They should be able to take advantage of the many tools available to help ease their debt burden, without falling prey to fraudsters,” Racine said in a statement.

The Chief District Attorney is asking the court to end the student aid center’s illegal practices as well as seeking consumer restitution and civil penalties. Lawyers for the student support center did not immediately return calls for comment.

Racine coordinated his investigation with Florida authorities and the Federal Trade Commission, which on Wednesday filed a separate lawsuit against the Student Aid Center. The federal agency accuses the company of using false claims and misleading advertising to lure consumers, including advertised promises such as “Get your student loans forgiven now!” and “$17,500 in immediate forgiveness?” These claims have helped the company earn more than $36 million in revenue from unwitting consumers.

“Consumers should be wary of any company that claims to be able to eliminate or significantly reduce their debt, especially if they ask for money up front,” said Jessica Rich, director of the FTC’s Consumer Protection Bureau, in a press release.

This is not the first time that the Student Support Center has clashed with the authorities. Minnesota Attorney General Lori Swanson filed a similar lawsuit against the company in July, which has also been sued by consumers across the country.

There is no definitive data on student debt relief scams. But government agencies say they have noticed an increase in the number of complaints following the expansion of reimbursement options and federal forgiveness plans. In some cases, the same companies accused of mortgage fraud have reinvented themselves as student debt relief counselors, according to the FTC.

Advocacy groups and attorneys general have blamed inadequate student loan servicing for the rise in debt relief scams. They argue that if managers, the intermediaries who collect and apply payments, helped borrowers better, fewer people would turn to debt relief companies. Industry groups, however, say legitimate debt consultants offer the convenience of navigating an often complex and confusing system.

There are warning signs that a company offering student debt relief may be a scam. People should avoid companies that require upfront payment, bank account information, or access to their Federal Student Aid PIN, an ID that would give a company the power to take action at name of a consumer, according to notices issued by the CFPB and the Department of Education.

Want to know more about student debt scams? Check out these stories:

Government agency shuts down student debt relief company

Student debt relief scams are on the rise. Here’s how this government official plans to stop him.

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G5 Sahel-EU summit: debt cancellation is now a “necessity”, according to Mohamed el-Ghazouani

(Agence Ecofin) – On November 30, the organization of the G5 Sahel countries held a summit by videoconference with the European Union (EU) to discuss the problems of the region. The meeting was also attended by the UN and the African Union.

On the program were mainly the covid-19 pandemic and its impact on populations, the issue of debt, and the eternal security problem that undermines the region.

Welcoming the opening of discussions with the EU within the framework of its new strategy for the Sahel, the various Heads of State of the five member countries (Burkina Faso, Mali, Mauritania, Niger and Chad) pleaded for an intensification the efforts of European countries to set up various military programs to secure the Sahel. The new Takuba mission is included. Burkinabé President Roch Kaboré has called for its full operationalization.

G5 Sahel leaders also recalled how their economies have been affected by covid-19. There are at least 19,166 cases in total, according to the latest WHO assessment.

In line with their April appeal, they called on foreign countries, especially those in the EU, to improve their support to G5 Sahel governments through debt relief initiatives. In this regard, Mauritanian President Mohamed Ould Cheikh el-Ghazouani, also current president of the G5 Sahel, recalled “the need to cancel the debt of the G5 Sahel countries, the weight of which is becoming too heavy”. […] and which is a real socio-economic imperative, as we strongly underlined in the Nouakchott Appeal of last April.

According to Nigerien President Mahamadou Issoufou, “support from the European Union in this area will be a strong signal to other bilateral and multilateral partners who will not hesitate to follow suit”.

Moutiou Adjibi Nourou

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Factory worker describes his family’s student debt nightmare

Student debt is not just a student problem. In the United States, many parents are also struggling with the burden of student loans.

A recent survey by Freedom Debt Relief found that 37% of 1,506 American adults said the cost of their children’s college education made them feel financially overwhelmed. And 20% said stress contributed to mental or emotional health issues.

More than 40% said education costs had affected their retirement plan, with 31% saying they had “given up on retiring when they initially wanted to”.

Yahoo Finance spoke with a relative in a particularly difficult student loan situation: a 60-year-old factory worker from Scranton, Pennsylvania, who had co-signed a loan for his son. (The man, who we’ll call Frank, requested anonymity to protect his son.)

A father and his son doing bills. (Getty)

“It’s not nice for a hard-working middle-class family”

Frank’s student debt experience began when his son entered college. As a “working-class, middle-class family” earning around $75,000 a year, Frank and his son began borrowing.

The son fell seriously ill after attending school for a year and a half and dropped out. After his health improved, the son decided to resume his studies at another school. All the while, father and son continued to borrow.

Expenses began to mount: the family had a refinanced mortgage and credit card debt, as well as home and auto insurance to pay. On top of that, they had recurring medical bills. And there was the possibility of more children going to college.

“[With] some of my bills, I was barely able to help myself,” Frank said.

(Source: Liberty Street Economics)

In the second quarter of 2019, student loans exceeded mortgage debt in terms of the amount of highly derogatory loans. (Source: Liberty Street Economics)

Eventually the son dropped out of the second school due to a combination of illness and circumstances. But the lenders were at the door: Frank’s son owed more than $100,000 in federal and private student loans.

“So here we are, he’s out of school, Sallie Mae and everyone else wants their money,” Frank said. “Without a diploma, and without going to school full time, there is no longer any delay. No chance of consolidation, nothing.

Frank’s credit rating has suffered since he used his credit cards to pay for his son’s college expenses. And every loan he took out came with a higher interest rate – from 9% to 12% – making the situation even worse. Frank began withdrawing money from his 401k, sacrificing his own retirement fund to ease the pressure of student debt.

He described the burden as both financial and emotional. The son is “so depressed and [we] are heartbroken for him,” he said. But “I think now I work until I’m 75. … It’s not nice for a hard-working, middle-class family.”

The bulk of delinquent student loans are borne by the 40-49 age group.  (Source: New York Fed)

The bulk of delinquent student loans are borne by the 40-49 age group. (Source: New York Fed)

“Go to a school you can afford”

It’s not just parents: Parents are also being dragged into student debt, according to Tayne Law Group founder Leslie H. Tayne.

“I also see a lot of people co-signing loans for other family members thinking they’re trying to do the right thing and help them with their education,” Tayne said, relying on on his experience in New York and Florida, at Yahoo Finance. “And it’s uncles, cousins, friends or relatives or boyfriend, girlfriend, things like that. And these are people who really have their hearts in the right place, and they’re trying to help.

While Tayne has sympathy for family members in sticky situations like Frank, she pointed out that sometimes parents have to avoid going into debt to fund a child’s college.

“Student loans are not predatory,” she said. “They don’t come after you to give you the loan – you go to them because you want to go to a school you can’t afford. And by choosing to go to a school you can’t afford, you have to borrow money. There are plenty of options for going to a school that you can afford.

Aarthi is a writer for Yahoo Finance. Follow her on Twitter @aarthiswami.

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Kiatnakin Phatra mulls NPL increase after end of debt program

A Kiatnakin Phatra Bank logo on display. KKP aims to control troubled debt to less than 4.5% of total outstanding loans this year. Patipat Janthong

Kiatnakin Phatra Financial Group (KKP) expects its non-performing loan (NPL) ratio to rise this quarter after the expiry of the Bank of Thailand’s debt restructuring measures in October.

The NPL ratio is expected to increase significantly this quarter given the lag following the end of the first phase of the central bank’s debt relief measure for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), the director said. General of KKP, Aphinant Klewpatinond.

The central bank implemented large-scale debt relief measures on April 23 to help SMEs recover from the fallout of the pandemic, but the measures expired on October 22.

The Bank of Thailand has also put in place targeted debt moratorium measures to help SMEs in financial difficulty, which are due to end on June 30, 2021. This program is intended for SMEs with a credit line of less than 100 million baht who are having difficulty repaying loans to financial institutions because their operations have collapsed.

KKP will continue to help customers restructure their debt this year, especially retailers, as its retail loan portfolio accounts for the largest portion of the bank’s total outstanding loans, Aphinant said.

A man walks past a branch of Kiatnakin Phatra Bank on Ratchadaphisek Road. KKP aims to control troubled debt to less than 4.5% of total outstanding loans this year. No photo credit

KKP’s gross NPL ratio stood at 2.9% of total outstanding loans at the end of 2020, compared to 4% recorded in 2019. KKP aims to control distressed debt at less than 4, 5% of total outstanding loans this year, despite a second wave of the pandemic in Thailand.

“Although NPLs are expected to increase, the bank does not need to set a large amount of loan loss reserves as we have a strong cushion from previous provisions,” he said.

Around 200,000 retail customers applied for the bank’s debt restructuring program in 2020, with the combined loans accounting for 40% of KKP’s total loan portfolio. All candidates managed to exit the system in December, in line with a gradual economic recovery.

With the second wave at the end of last year, around 10,000 retail customers applied for the second phase of debt restructuring starting in January.

KKP has reserved a total loan portfolio of 268 billion baht in 2020, of which 168 billion or 62.7% were retail loans. The bank recorded total loan expansion of 12.4%, including 15.8% for retail loan growth, while the NPL for retail loans stood at 1.6%.

Given the higher downside risks and low interest rates, KKP expects to balance banking, wealth management and investment banking this year.

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Church bodies forgive millions in medical debt for 5,888 Chicago families

CHICAGO, October 20, 2019 /PRNewswire/ — Local, regional and national leaders of the United Church of Christ announcement October 20 that church donations have wiped out $5.3 million medical debt for 5,888 South Side Chicago families. Families in three postcodes now receive letters telling them that their debt, on average $907has been forgiven.

During a press conference and a celebration in Trinity UCC which included national and UCC Conference representatives, church leaders said the project focused on ZIP Codes 60621, 60628 and 60636. Church bodies raised $38,000 during the summer, then worked with the New Yorknon-profit RIP medical debt to buy the debt at pennies on the dollar. In addition to Trinity UCC and two larger UCC agencies — Justice and local church ministries and the Illinois Conference — generous contributors included UCC of Saint-Paul of Chicago, UCC Pact of South Holland, Illinois.and The network of leadersa consortium of Baptist churches serving Chicago neighborhoods on the west side.

The urban neighborhoods were chosen because of their demographics, the Reverend said. Traci BlackmonUCC National Assistant General Minister for Justice and Local Church Ministries.

“Today we thank all supporters of this beautiful vision,” said Reverend Dr. Otis Moss III, senior pastor of Trinity UCC, major contributor to the congregation. “Thanks to your generosity, thousands of families in Chicago will now be free to pursue their dreams and celebrate this holiday season without the weight of medical debt.”

“When medical debt piles up, families have to make difficult financial decisions, sometimes cutting back on food, clothing or other basics,” said Reverend Justo González II, acting minister of the Conference of Health. ‘Illinois.

“The talent, time and treasure of the church have touched a basic need of people without means, or an impossible outcome,” said Reverend Dr. Ozzie Smith Jr., Senior Pastor of Covenant UCC. “Praise God for faithful collaborative efforts!”

“Saint Pauls is so happy to be a part of this effort,” said its lead pastor, the Rev. Matt Fitzgerald. “It’s like Jesus feeding thousands of people with a few loaves of bread and two fish. We just watched $38,000 become more than $5 million.”

Blackmon also announced that the UCC is planning a similar campaign across the denomination on Giving Tuesday, December 3. Updates on this project are available at this page on the UCC website.

“Our efforts in the Chicago serve as the launch pad, in conjunction with all 38 UCC conferences and nearly 5,000 congregations, of medical debt relief efforts for those living in poverty or below in the 44 states we currently serve Blackmon said. “We view this ministry as one that also embodies what it means to love God, to love our neighbors and to proclaim the Good News to the poor, whether they worship in our churches or not.”

Fact sheets on the impact of medical debt relief are available this section from the UCC website.

The United Church of Christ, a primary Protestant denomination, has nearly 900,000 members and 5,000 congregations nationwide. Based at Cleveland, it is a church of many firsts: the first major denomination to ordain a woman, the first to ordain an openly gay man, and the first predominantly white denomination to ordain an African American. More information on the UCC Ministries of Justice is here.


  • Connie LarkmanUCC news director, Cleveland216-736-2196, [email protected]
  • Donna L. HammondUCC Trinity, Chicago773-738-7989, [email protected]
  • On October 20: Hans HolznagelUCC news team, 216-375-8776, [email protected]

SOURCE United Church of Christ

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Absa explains COVID-19 debt relief program

Bank spokesperson Songezo Zibi says customers who have not received the SMS can call the bank directly.

Absa has joined other banks in offering payment holidays to its customers.

In a statement on Sunday, the bank said the comprehensive program for customers, businesses and businesses incorporated a three-month payment holiday and allowed customers in need of short-term financial relief to lower their monthly payments. .

Speaking to Eusebius McKaiser, Absa’s head of communications, Songezo Zibi, said they were sending batch SMS to their customers.

RELATED: “We need a response and intervention from the banking sector in the face of COVID-19”

What we have decided to do is recognize all forms of our customers’ debt and not limit it to a certain income group of certain types of products.

Songezo Zibi, Communications Manager – Absa

RELATED: “It appears that the COVID-19 pandemic has triggered a global recession”

If you are affected by COVID-19, you would likely qualify for debt relief where you would be able to pay less for the next three months or pay nothing for the next three months.

Songezo Zibi, Communication Manager – Absa Bank

The idea is that we text you and you sign up, so if you feel you can handle it for now, you can just ignore the text. You can also call us if you can’t wait for the SMS.

Songezo Zibi, Communications Manager – Absa

Listen to the full interview below…

More information on the Covid-19 coronavirus

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AOC thinks McConnell is holding back COVID-19 relief bill as part of ‘poison pill’ scheme

Four months have passed since the first — and possibly the last — federal stimulus package during the COVID-19 crisis, Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez warns Mitch McConnell’s usual Senate politics threaten further relief from Washington.

At a press conference on Thursday, Ocasio-Cortez suggested there should have been multiple stimulus bills at this point in the crisis to bring local economies to their knees, but she believes the majority leader in the Senate, Mitch McConnell, has extra help to coerce Democrats into doing something they might not otherwise favor.

“Right now we’re on the edge of a precipice, if we think things are heating up right now in New York in terms of crime, the $600 pandemic unemployment benefit should expire in about two weeks. It’s a ticking time bomb,” Ocasio-Cortez said. “My reading of the tea leaves is that Mitch McConnell is intentionally waiting for Pandemic Unemployment Assistance to expire to increase his influence on people’s lives.”

According to the Queens/Bronx Democrat, the Republican senator from Kentucky has given no indication to other political leaders in the nation’s capital about when he plans to introduce the HEROES Act in the Senate, and under what circumstances he would agree to do so. TO DO.

In the past, McConnell has called the HEROES Act a “blue state bailout” due to New York, New Jersey and other Democratic states posting high numbers of COVID-19-related hospitalizations and deaths.

Since then the numbers have changed as Arizona, Texas and Florida are epicenters of the virus along with California which has returned to lockdown orders.

Without additional help from Washington, the AOC believes the state must then step in and provide it — and should tax the wealthy to pay.

“If Mitch McConnell and Donald Trump choose to starve the American people in the midst of a pandemic, I believe the state has a responsibility to act. We should raise taxes on our millionaires in New York State to raise the crucial funds needed to provide needed relief,” she continued. “Now we’re in a situation where we really, really have to get something done in the next two weeks. He may be trying to position the Democrats to swallow some poison pill he wants to push through.

That poison pill could take a form similar to the corporate bailout that was attached to the CARES Act toward the end of March, Ocasio-Cortez said.

While $292 billion of the $2 trillion CARES Act went to individuals in the form of $1,200 and unemployment assistance, up to $257 billion went to companies such as Boing and major banking institutions.

The Metropolitan Transportation Authority, for example, received $3.8 billion; only about half of what they need to get through 2020 at this rate to avoid a $10 billion deficit.

Meanwhile, local governments such as New York City were forced into deep budget cuts while the state offered them permission to take out loans to cover operating costs.

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Brooklyn’s undocumented immigrants see little relief from high exposure rates


Undocumented immigrants in Brooklyn face high rates of exposure to the novel coronavirus and few options for financial assistance as their conditions worsen amid the ongoing pandemic.

“This is already a very vulnerable and disenfranchised population,” said Janet Perez, program director at Mixteca Organization Inc, which works with immigrant families. “With the coronavirus and the spread, especially for people who have been deemed essential workers, I think a lot of conditions have been exacerbated.”

The Greenwood Heights community organization has been supporting undocumented immigrants in the area for years – but has since expanded its coverage area to serve families as far away as Connecticut and New Jersey due to the growing situation. more disastrous caused by the pandemic.

Undocumented immigrants make up about 6.3% of Brooklyn’s population, immigration research group says Partnership for a New American Economy, and many are employed in industries deemed essential, such as delivery people, catering and construction, which puts them at increased risk of contracting the virus.

“A lot of community members work in delivery,” Perez said. “For public companies, they have to deal with the new conditions because it is their only means of income.

Compounding the problem, Perez said many of the city’s undocumented immigrants don’t have proper insurance and don’t have easy access to a doctor in case they have serious symptoms.

“A lot of the families we’re seeing right now are already underinsured and uninsured,” Perez said. “Even being able to provide or have access to a doctor is already a huge hurdle for them to start with.”

Perez and his team advise families to consult the city’s hotline, 311, which can connect individuals with a NYC health clinician and hospitals – but that hotline is overwhelmed. , leading to excruciatingly long waits for help, she said.

“The 311 line is heavily, heavily saturated right now,” Perez said. “And so it definitely becomes a waiting game for them to get their hands on the doctor or some kind of commission that will be able to help them manage the symptoms or get their questions answered.”

Some families served by Mixteca who have visited hospitals have been turned away for not showing sufficiently severe symptoms and are instead treating themselves at home — where they often succumb to the disease, Perez said.

“A lot of them have decided to self-medicate and try to manage at home,” Perez said. “It has created a domino effect, as many fail to take care of their condition and die at home.”

In some situations, infected family members choose to isolate themselves from the rest of their family. This often means finding alternative housing, as immigrants’ often cramped quarters — which can span multiple generations, even multiple families — don’t provide appropriate distancing space.

“Many undocumented families find ways to survive, they rent rooms,” Perez said. “There can certainly be several families in the same place, often multi-generational. We see a lot of it. »

To make matters worse, many undocumented immigrants are spending the rest of their savings to survive, according to Perez, who noted that non-citizens are not eligible for unemployment benefits, as well as $1,200 stimulus checks. granted by the federal government. coronavirus relief package.

“Many families use their savings as a last resort,” Perez said. “They’re not eligible for any relief, any stimulus package, which puts them at an even greater disadvantage because they’re not getting any kind of help.”

Perez said many organizations like his are preparing relief funds in an effort to provide support to families suffering during the pandemic.

“A lot of local nonprofits have tried to step up. A lot of them are trying, like us, to set up emergency relief funds,” Perez said. there is no type of relief fund at the state, city or federal level, we found ourselves organizing to get at least some sort of economic support for them.

Donations can be made to the Mixteca Organization Emergency Relief Fund here. Families in need of economic support can apply for assistance here.

This story first appeared on

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Siem Offshore seeks debt relief in struggling offshore market

(file photo)

Posted on May 29, 2020, 7:14 p.m. by

The Maritime Executive

After years of battling oversupply and weak demand, businesses in the OSV market are now being further challenged by the economic downturn due to the global pandemic.

Siem Offshore, which operates a fleet of 35 vessels serving the oil and gas industry, announced that it has reached a standstill agreement with its secured lenders in Europe and Norway to defer payments until April 30, 2021, as first step towards improving cash flow and liquidity to sustain operations.

In February, Siem warned that in the fifth year of a depressed market, and with increasing pressures resulting from the impact of COVID-19, the company’s existing agreements with its lenders for repayment of debt were “unsustainable under current market conditions and with the level of revenue expected in the future.

Although it has taken significant steps to reduce its debt over the past five years, Siem warned that with a recovery in its market taking longer than expected, “it is very uncertain when rates will chartering will provide sufficient revenue to service the debt in full”. They said they were seeking relief from lenders on servicing its debt for the next two years.

The agreement reached with executives in Europe and Norway provides for an 11-month deferral of principal and interest payments, includes a waiver of financial covenants and loan-to-value provisions.

The deal, however, is only a first step as it is conditional on similar ongoing discussions with secured lenders in Brazil and Canada. Siem must also obtain approval from its bondholders to defer payments and suspend their acceleration rights.

According to the company, the standstill agreement will improve its cash flow and liquidity and ensure sufficient liquidity to continue operations during the current offshore market downturn.

Siem Offshore’s fleet includes large anchor handling tug supply vessels, platform supply vessels, multi-purpose field and ROV support vessels and offshore subsea construction vessels.

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Reviews | Why the G20’s failure on debt cancellation is bad news for women

Last weekend, the Group of 20 (G20) held its Mountain peak in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. Leaders of the world’s biggest economies have met virtually to discuss the global response to the Covid-19 pandemic, which triggered the worst recession since World War II. The meeting followed the announcement by the G20 of new lame proposals to respond to the impending debt crisis.

The economic fallout from the pandemic has pushed many countries with already unsustainable debt levels to the brink of default – where governments are unable to repay creditors. The sovereign debt burden has exploded in recent years, reaching unprecedented levels before the pandemic.

For wealthier countries like the UK, current levels of borrowing and debt are No problem – a large part of the debt of the United Kingdom is due to himself or institutions in the UK and he can borrow at low interest rates. But the countries of Global Southwhere most debt is owed to foreign creditors, including multilateral institutions, private banks, investment funds and wealthy countries, face a much higher risk of default.

The current economic recession, with strong currency devaluationshas driven down the incomes of these countries at a time when government spending is greater than ever.

But ask creditors to cancel the debt have been met with resistance from rich countries and private lenders. Instead, many countries in the South have been faced with a stark choice: prioritize reimbursements over vital healthcare and emergency needs or risk default.

In recent years, the Zambian government has been forced to cut spending to reduce its debt, even though it has one doctor for 12,000 patients. Zambia spent four times more on paying the debt than on public health throughout the pandemic.

Despite these measures, earlier this month Zambia became the latest in a country string this year to default on its debt. Private lenders rejected the government’s request for a temporary suspension of debt payments and it simply could not afford to keep paying.

Save time – at whose expense?

In April, the G20 launched the Debt Service Suspension Initiative (DSSI) to temporarily suspend debt repayments. But the scheme alone postpone reimbursement to 2022as countries will likely have taken on even more debt to save lives amid the pandemic.

Only a limited number of developing countries can participate in the status quo, while multilateral development banks, such as the World Bank, and private creditors have refused to participate voluntarily.

According the European Network for Debt and Development, $5.3 billion in debt payments have been suspended so far, but the 73 developing countries eligible for the program have continued to pay a whopping $37 billion to private, multilateral and domestic creditors throughout 2020.

Ahead of the November 13 G20 finance ministers meeting, activists hoped that leaders would announce a new framework providing a solution to the crisis – in the form of debt cancellation and including at least private creditors and multilateral lenders. But again he has disappointed.

His “Common Framework for the Treatment of Debt” said that “in principle, debt treatments will not be carried out in the form of debt write-offs or write-offs”, although he did not rule out the possibility. Instead, he focused on tinkering with debt payment terms, such as increasing the repayment term.

While the new framework stipulated that countries requesting public debt relief would be required to seek redress from private creditors as part of the process, this puts the responsibility on the countries themselves and does not prevent private actors from refusing their requests for relief. Any debt relief given to developing countries by rich countries will probably always go straight into the pockets of their private creditor counterparties.

Meanwhile, the G20 had only “meaningless words” offer on multilateral debt cancellation, according to the Jubilee Debt Campaign. Within the G20, Western countries are slow to participate in the World Bank despite a China’s concerted push.

This leaves countries with no choice but to keep borrowing from lenders, piling up more and more debt on a growing pile. When the due date arrives for payment, it will hurt the marginalized the most.

The new framework is far from long time calls for a multilateral sovereign debt restructuring mechanism which resolves countries’ debts through a fair and transparent process.

Debt injustice is a women’s rights issue

The impacts of the Covid-19 pandemic have been rapid, uneven and sexed. As schools closed and nationwide shutdowns cut off access to essential services, women were forced to fill gaps in childcare and caring for sick family members. women and girls unpaid and underpaid care and domestic work, long exploited, exploded during the pandemic but still remain largely unknown.

Women, especially in the Global South, bear the brunt of the economic damage of the pandemic and a jobs crisis which has hit the retail, hospitality and tourism sectors the hardest. Women are more likely to have lost their jobs and less likely to have access to vital social protection like sick leave.

As Zambia shows, when governments are forced to spend more revenue on debt repayment, it is often crucial public services, such as health, education and childcare or social protection that are cut first. This has a ripple effect on women’s access to vital servicesfurther increasing unpaid care work and impacting women’s employment in the public sector.

In 2018, Women’s Rights Activist and Director of Policy and Communications at Womankind Worldwide Dinah Musindarwezo warned“The costs of servicing this debt are borne disproportionately by women, while borrowed funds are rarely spent in a way that prioritizes women’s rights.”

The new G20 framework requires countries seeking debt relief to apply for an IMF loan program. These programs are notorious for imposing brutal austerity measures to reduce the deficits that exacerbate gender inequalities. Ecuador faces new cuts in the public sector as part of its debt restructuring process after years of severe austerity that prompted protests by indigenous women’s groups Last year.

It is therefore not surprising that women’s movements are calling for a ‘feminist rescue’ and feminists in Chile, Argentina, Spain and Puerto Rico were debt strike. This year celebrates its 25th anniversary since the adoption of the most progressive plan to realize women’s rights at the Beijing conference. But the United Nations has warned that the pandemic is likely to set back decades of women’s rights. Without debt justice action to address debt crises now and in the future, it will be a shameful legacy of the pandemic.

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Churches erase millions of medical debts for others

(Dreamstime/Nuthawut Somsuk)

Leaders at Pathway Church on the outskirts of Wichita, Kansas, had no idea the $22,000 they already had on hand for Easter would have such an impact.

The non-denominational suburban congregation of about 3,800 people had the sole purpose of helping nearby people pay off medical debt, said Larry Wren, Pathway’s executive pastor. After all, the core membership of Pathway’s three sites is made up of middle-income families with school-aged children, not big-budget philanthropists.

But then they learned that, like a modern tale of loaves and fishes, that smaller amount could wipe out $2.2 million in debt for not just the Wichita area, but all of the debt available to every Kansan facing impending insolvency due to medical bills they could not afford — 1,600 people in all.

As Wren pondered the Easter message, things clicked. “Being able to do this provides an opportunity to illustrate what it means to have a debt paid that they could never pay themselves,” he said. “It was just a good fit.”

Churches in Maryland, Illinois, Virginia, Texas and elsewhere have come to the same conclusion. RIP Medical Debt, a Rye, New York-based nonprofit organization that arranges such debt repayments, reports a recent increase in participation from primarily Christian places of worship. Eighteen have worked with RIP over the past year and a half, said Scott Patton, the nonprofit’s director of development. More churches are joining as word spreads.

The mountain of bills they are trying to pay is high. Medical debt contributes to two-thirds of bankruptcies, according to the American Journal of Public Health. And a 2018 Kaiser Family Foundation/New York Times poll showed that of the 26% of people who reported problems paying their medical bills, 59% reported a major impact on their lives, such as taking on extra work, reducing other household expenses or use their savings. (Kaiser Health News is an independent editorial program of the foundation.)

The federal Consumer Financial Protection Bureau proposed a rule last month to limit debt collectors’ ability to bother those with unpaid bills, and some states have tried various measures, such as limiting interest rates. that debt collectors can charge. But until a global solution emerges, churches and others are trying to lighten some of the load by jumping into the debt market.

Much of RIP’s appeal comes from the impact even a small donation can have, leaders of participating churches say. When a person cannot pay a bill, that debt is often combined with other people’s debt and sold to debt collectors for a fraction of the total bill amount. These debts usually come from people with low incomes and are more difficult to collect.

RIP Medical Debt buys debt portfolios on this secondary market for pennies on the dollar with money from its donors. But instead of collecting the debt, RIP forgives her.

To be eligible for RIP reimbursement, the debtor must earn less than double the federal poverty level (about $25,000 per year for an individual), have debts that represent 5% or more of their annual income, and have more debt than than assets.

Because hospitals and doctors are eager to get these hard-to-collect debts off their books, they sell them off. That’s how, Patton said, these 18 churches have been able to write off $34.4 million in debt since the start of 2018.

Working in this way puts a high-cost project within reach of even small churches. Revolution Annapolis, a nondenominational church in Maryland with about 200 Sunday attendees and no permanent building, cleared $1.9 million in debt for 900 families in March. Total amount raised: $15,000.

Revolutionary leaders heard about RIP Medical Debt in a segment of John Oliver’s “Last Week Tonight” in 2016, senior pastor Kenny Camacho said. But at the time, they didn’t think they had the resources to make a splash.

After hearing about another church that paid millions last year, Revolution leaders decided to give it a try. At most, they hoped to make an impact in their region, Camacho said. But the money went much further, eventually covering 14 counties in eastern and central Maryland.

Emmanuel Memorial Episcopal Church, a congregation of about 175 families in Champaign, Illinois, had a similar experience. The original idea was to try to make an impact just in Champaign County, said Reverend Christine Hopkins. But their $15,000 wiped out $4 million in debt for the entire diocese, which spans the southern half of the state.

“We were knocked down, actually,” Hopkins said. “It was on the verge of tears.”

In many cases, churches did not have to fundraise because their contribution came from money already available. Emmanuel Episcopal, for example, had remnants of a campaign set up a year ago to celebrate the centenary of his church.

Fincastle Baptist Church, with 1,600 members in the Roanoke, Virginia area, used money it budgeted for an annual “Freedom Fest” event to honor first responders, then partnered with local TV channel WSLS in a telethon to raise more. This effort has cleared more than $2.7 million in medical debt owed to veterans.

The nonprofit RIP allows donors to choose the geographic areas they wish to reach and can identify veterans as beneficiaries. But beyond that, no restrictions are allowed, Patton said. A church can’t specify what kinds of medical procedures might be paid for or anything about recipients’ backgrounds.

That didn’t bother church leaders contacted for this story. But it’s a topic that has been broached by donors of all types in the past, Patton said.

“Sometimes the most powerful spiritual message is when you’re able to do something for someone you’ll never meet.”

—Larry Wren

Tweet that

For example, some potential donors have asked to exclude people from different faiths or from certain political parties, he said. “It’s just nonsense. It’s not a revenge tactic,” Patton said. “People asking for these things really don’t understand philanthropy.”

Churches do not necessarily experience a direct return in the form of new members. All processing goes through RIP Medical Debt, which sends letters notifying recipients that their debts have been cancelled. Donors can have their names inscribed on these letters, but not everyone chooses to do so.

The new membership wasn’t the point for Pathway Church in Kansas, Wren said. “Sometimes the most powerful spiritual message is when you’re able to do something for someone you’ll never meet.”

The Church of the Revolution decided not to put its name on the notification letters, Camacho said, because it didn’t want recipients to feel obligated. “When someone sees their debt forgiven, we want them to experience it as a sort of unconditional gift,” he said. “We don’t want there to be the feeling that because we did this now, they should visit our church or something.”

Additionally, he said, the donation covered an area large enough that some recipients lived hours away. “I would much rather they think more positively of the church down the street where they live.”

Donors sometimes hear from people whose debts they have paid, but not often. Many do not expect it.

“I guess that’s a Bible story too. Jesus forgave 10, and only one said thank you,” Hopkins said.

Churches have plenty of choice when it comes to charity, but issues of medical debt and affordability often resonate with parishioners. Some churches are concerned enough about their members’ medical bills to subscribe to cost-sharing nonprofit organizations, in which members pay each other’s medical bills.

Medical missionary work has long been an important form of outreach for the Fincastle Baptist Church in Virginia, Associate Pastor Warren King said. The church runs a free clinic, and mission trips to other countries usually include a medical component.

Paying off medical debt is an extension of this line of thinking. “We have to do not just this thing, but a lot of things that practically show the love of God,” King said. “It’s hard to tell someone God loves you if they’re starving and you’re not trying to fix the problem.”

Hopkins said debt awareness was a satisfying project for his Illinois congregation because it could solve a problem for recipients. “We do a lot of outreach related to food and housing. It was something different,” Hopkins said. “You help feed someone, and you feed them again the next day. That was something that could have an impact.”

[Kaiser Health News is a nonprofit news service covering health issues. It is an editorially independent program of the Kaiser Family Foundation, which is not affiliated with Kaiser Permanente.]

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Warren urges Biden to cancel billions in student debt without Congress

  • Senator Elizabeth Warren on Thursday called on President-elect Joe Biden to write off much of the student debt without Congress.
  • “This is the most effective executive action available for massive economic stimulus,” she wrote in a tweet.
  • Warren and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer presented a plan in September that the president had the power to write off student debt by directing the education secretary to do so.
  • Visit the Business Insider homepage for more stories.

Senator Elizabeth Warren said Thursday that President-elect Joe Biden should write off a significant portion of student debt without Congress, arguing it could be a powerful economic stimulus.

“Biden-Harris can write off billions of dollars in student loan debt, giving tens of millions of Americans an immediate financial boost and helping to close the racial wealth gap,” the Massachusetts senator wrote in a tweet. “This is the most effective executive action available for massive economic stimulus.”

The tweet was one of many identifiers executive actions that the new Biden administration could take on on its own. Other measures she identified were:

  • Lower drug prices by using federal authority to circumvent patents to produce drugs such as insulin.
  • Stricter workplace safety regulations.
  • A $15 minimum wage for federal contractors.

Warren said in a Washington Post op-ed published on Thursday that the success of several progressive ballot initiatives such as Florida’s $15 hourly wage indicated that large swathes of the public support the measures.

“Bold policies aimed at improving opportunities for all Americans are widely popular,” she wrote. “Voters recognize that these reforms are needed to fix what is broken in our country.”

A pair of Senate runoff races in Georgia in January will decide which party controls the Senate. If Republicans retain control of the chamber, it may be difficult for Biden to achieve many elements of his platform, such as tax increases for the wealthy and businesses. That prospect has raised concerns among Democrats that Republicans could thwart Biden’s leadership next year.

Warren and Senator Chuck Schumer of New York, Senate Minority Leader, sketched out a plan in September, which indicated that the president had the power to cancel up to $50,000 in student debt per borrower. Schumer stated in a recent interview that the move could be part of Biden’s first 100 days in office.

During this year’s Democratic primaries, Warren said she could use executive power start canceling student debt if she won the presidency. She cited an analysis Harvard University researchers indicating that the president could direct the Secretary of Education to cancel student debt on a “broad or categorical basis”.

Biden has offered to forgive $10,000 in student debt for borrowers under coronavirus relief package.

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University of Phoenix reaches $191 million settlement with FTC, including debt relief

University of Phoenix is ​​paying a record $191 million to settle a Federal Trade Commission lawsuit accusing the for-profit university of using deceptive ads to lure students with the promise of future job opportunities with major companies such as AT&T, Adobe, Twitter, Microsoft and Yahoo.

The settlement includes a plan to cancel $141 million in student debt owed to the school by people who enrolled from October 2012 through the end of 2016 — the period in which the FTC says prospective students could have been fooled.

Court documents establishing the settlement give the University of Phoenix and its parent company, Apollo Education Group, 15 business days to send an email and letter to eligible students, informing them that they are covered by the agreement. . The second paragraph of the letter reads as follows:

“You no longer owe the University of Phoenix any more money. You don’t have to do anything to get this relief. Your account balance will be cleared within 45 business days.”

The letter also says the school has 55 business days to tell credit reporting agencies to remove the debt from student credit reports.

The FTC says the university incorrectly suggested it worked closely with leading companies to develop its courses. And it is said that the school’s “Let’s Get to Work” advertising campaign was an example of how it fostered relationships with potential employers.

In one video from this campaign, a UOP student is seen driving through a school parking lot, passing spots filled with the iconic logos of successful businesses.

The FTC accused the university to “give the false impression that UOP has worked with these companies to create employment opportunities for its students and to tailor its curriculum to those jobs”.

The remaining $50 million in the settlement will be paid in cash, which the FTC says “will be used for consumer redress.”

The University of Phoenix has successfully targeted minorities, military veterans, service members and their spouses for enrollment, the FTC said, calling the University of Phoenix “the biggest recipient of benefits from the GI Post bill. -9/11 since the inception of the program”.

“The University of Phoenix once had nearly half a million students,” reports NPR education correspondent Anya Kamenetz, “but enrollment has fallen sharply over the past decade amid several investigations, lawsuits and controversies”.

The University of Phoenix says it enrolled nearly 100,000 students in 2018.

Kamenetz adds that while the FTC settlement includes debt forgiveness, it only covers debts owed to the college — not money students owe on federal or private loans. To clear these balances, students should apply for loan forgiveness through the borrower defense repayment program.

As part of the settlement, the university has neither admitted nor denied any wrongdoing alleged in the federal complaint.

This is the most significant settlement the FTC has obtained against a for-profit school, said Andrew Smith, director of the FTC’s Consumer Protection Bureau. In a statement announcing the deal, Smith added, “Students making important decisions about their education need facts, not imaginary job opportunities that don’t exist.”

In response to the FTC settlement, the University of Phoenix released a fact sheet touting both its accomplishments and its commitments to improve. In it, the school says it spent 17% of its total fiscal year 2018 expenses on marketing expenses. The fact sheet ends with a section titled “We are committed to responsible marketing”.

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“More women in debt in Southampton than men”

MORE women in Southampton have found themselves in formal debt than men, the figures reveal.

The Women’s Budget Group think tank says women are at a greater risk of experiencing poverty because they do more unpaid work, which reduces the chance of earning an income.

People who take formal insolvency action, such as bankruptcy or a voluntary arrangement to repay their debt, are added to the individual insolvency register, which means they are formally indebted.

Data from the Insolvency Service shows 571 people went into debt in Southampton in 2019.

At last count, the insolvency rate for women was 32.3 per 10,000 adults – higher than the rate of 24.6 for men.

Of those who were in debt in Southampton, 379 entered into an individual voluntary agreement with their creditors to repay their debts, while 90 went bankrupt.

Another 102 people applied for a debt relief order, at a rate of 7.5 women per 10,000 adults versus 2.7 men.

A debt relief order can be used by people who owe up to £20,000 and have no assets of value. It allows those who cannot afford to pay their debt to stop paying it for a period, usually 12 months, after which the debt is forgiven.

In England and Wales, 121,900 people were insolvent in 2019, which equates to a rate of 27.8 insolvencies per 10,000 adults for women and 24.1 for men.

Dr Mary-Ann Stephenson, director of the Women’s Budget Group, said: ‘The reason why a higher proportion of women were insolvent is that women do the majority of the unpaid work, which means they have less time for paid work, so they earn less, own less and are more likely to be poor.

“In particular, women make up 90% of single parents who are particularly likely to live in poverty.”

She added that women were more likely to have been affected by the pandemic as they were at greater risk of being furloughed or working in sectors hard hit by job losses, such as retail. in the shopping streets.

The charity Citizens Advice estimates around one in seven people across the country have fallen behind on their bills during the pandemic.

A spokesperson said: “The number of people Citizens Advice is helping to pay off debt is growing as economic hardship worsens and protections for those unable to pay essential bills have weakened since the first lockdown. .”

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US Congress remains stuck on virus relief as time is running out

US lawmakers wrap up another week of work on Capitol Hill without reaching an agreement on a second round of coronavirus aid. Leaders of both parties warned Thursday that time is running out to break the impasse over expanding programs that are helping millions of Americans weather the economic impact of shutdowns due to the coronavirus pandemic.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, a California Democrat, told reporters negotiations that had dragged on for several months were now making “great progress.”

Lawmakers will give themselves an extra week to negotiate a deal on coronavirus aid by passing a one-week extension of government funding that was due to expire on December 11. With time running out before the recess and the start of a new Congress in early January, lawmakers are expected to combine any agreement reached on aid with a longer-term extension of government funding.

“We can’t leave until the package is ready and both are there,” Pelosi said, leaving open the possibility that Congress might need time after the 18th to craft the two pieces of legislation.

According to data released Thursday, 1.4 million Americans filed new unemployment claims last week, bringing the total number of unemployed workers receiving assistance to 19 million. If lawmakers fail to reach an agreement, around 12 million people will lose their aid on December 26. Student debt relief and expulsion moratoriums affecting about 40 million Americans are also set to expire at the end of the month.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky speaks to the media after the weekly Senate Republican luncheon on Capitol Hill in Washington on Dec. 8, 2020.

“We should be doing everything we can to prevent layoffs, create jobs where possible, and race for the vaccines that will end this nightmare,” Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, a senior aide, said Thursday. Kentucky Republican.

Earlier this week, McConnell offered to set aside the two elements that have prevented the parties from reaching an agreement in order to break the deadlock. Noting that lawmakers expect to work on a new round of aid in January when the new Congress enters session, McConnell said Republicans’ insistence on liability protections for businesses, schools and churches could to be sidelined with Democrats’ pleas for help for the state. and local governments.

“As Democrats hold the Paycheck Protection Program hostage to controversial state government bailouts, family businesses are shutting down. As Democrats resist the kinds of common-sense legal protections we have put in place in past emergencies, our reopening and recovery is threatened by – by one estimate – more than 6,500 lawsuits and counting,” McConnell said.

Congressional Democrats rejected that offer, saying that without help to cities and states, emergency workers could be laid off.

FILE - Senate Minority Leader Senator Chuck Schumer of NY speaks on Capitol Hill in Washington, December 1, 2020.

FILE – Senate Minority Leader Senator Chuck Schumer of NY speaks on Capitol Hill in Washington, December 1, 2020.

“Each side wants something the other side doesn’t want to accept,” Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer said in the Senate Thursday. “It’s a false equivalence — incredibly false — for two reasons. First, state and local aid has broad bipartisan support, unlike the Republican leadership accountability provision which is expressly partisan.

US Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin on Tuesday proposed a $916 billion aid package that has the backing of President Donald Trump and congressional Republicans. Pelosi and Schumer said a bipartisan $908 billion proposal released last week should be the starting point for negotiations.

Lawmakers on both sides of the aisle have called for an additional round of direct payments to offset the impact of business closures and restrictions. Earlier in the year, many Americans received up to $1,200 in direct payments after the first round of shutdowns to limit the spread of the pandemic.

The number of coronavirus infections has risen sharply in recent weeks, with the United States reaching more than 200,000 cases a day for the first time this year. The so-called third wave of infections could jeopardize the gains made by the US economy in recent months, in part because of the first round of aid measures passed by the US Congress in late March. The $3 trillion bipartisan CARES Act was the largest aid package in US history.

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Obama offers Greece debt solidarity as police clash with protesters –

Barack Obama offered his solidarity with Greece over its debt and migrant crisis yesterday (November 15) during his final trip to Europe as US president before handing over power to Donald Trump.

Obama delighted his Greek hosts by backing debt relief for the recession-hit country, which has seen its economy shrink by a quarter in just seven years, but riot police have had to use tear gas to quell the protests. anti-American protesters in central Athens.

Greece hopes that Obama will be able to convince its foreign creditors to restructure part of its debt, which represents nearly 180% of national production.

“We can’t just see austerity as a strategy,” Obama said after talks with Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras.

“Our argument has always been that when the economy is contracting so quickly, when unemployment is so high, there also has to be a growth agenda to go with it and it’s very hard to imagine the kind of growth strategy necessary debt-free relief mechanism,” Obama said.

Athens signed a third economic bailout of up to €86 billion in mid-2015, but says it needs long-term debt restructuring to get out of the crisis – a message repeated on Tuesday by Tsipras, a leftist whose popularity is in decline.

Obama, who said the United States would be “neck to neck” with NATO ally Greece, was due to visit Germany, Europe’s main champion of economic austerity, on Wednesday.

Obama on farewell tour of Europe fears ‘Trump effect’

Barack Obama travels to Greece and Germany today (14 November) on a final official visit designed, in a bizarre political contortion, to reassure worried Europeans about a man he once warned was was “unfit” for the presidency: Donald Trump.

“The Yankees Go Home”

Left groups are angry that Obama, the first US leader to visit Athens since Bill Clinton in 1999, is visiting just two days before the anniversary of a bloody 1973 student uprising that helped topple a junta Greek military backed by Washington.

The clashes, just a few miles from where Greek leaders were greeting Obama at a state dinner, broke out after around 7,000 people, some of them wearing hoods, marched through central Athens and attempted to reach the parliament and the embassy of the United States.

The demonstrators held up banners that read: “We don’t need protectors! and “Yankees go home!”

In addition to its economic difficulties, Greece, a country of 11 million people, is grappling with a migration crisis that is engulfing Europe. More than 60,000 people are stranded in Greece after their journey to Europe was sealed off this year as borders were closed in the Balkans.

“It’s important that no country bear the full burden of these challenges,” Obama said.

Humanitarian organizations have called on Obama to insist on the need for a European response to the problem and to demand that the richest countries take in a greater share of refugees.

Obama, who is in Athens until Wednesday afternoon, was staying at a luxury resort on a peninsula south of Athens, less than 15km from a disused airport that is temporarily housing hundreds of migrants and refugees .

Children played outside the abandoned terminal through clotheslines covered in laundry. Some sat on a battered old sofa as Obama’s motorcade passed them.

“We want Obama to come see us here, how we live like prisoners,” said Hatzi Naser, 42, from Afghanistan, still mired in conflict more than a decade after US forces toppled the Taliban following the September 11 attacks. United States.

“He’s the reason we’re here, because of his army’s war. We want him to come and see the filth we live in.

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Warren launches student debt plan calculator

Senator Elizabeth Warren is promoting an online calculator that shows voters how much — exactly — they would benefit from her proposal to forgive outstanding student loans.

Speaking at Iowa State University on Friday, the Massachusetts Democrat and 2020 presidential hopeful asked people to pull out their phones and plug the amount of their debt into the

calculator, which is available on his campaign website.

“Anyone here has student loan debt? Does anyone here know anyone with student loan debt? Okay, I think we have almost everyone,” the Massachusetts Democrat said.

The calculator, she added, is “a way to make real for people what it means to talk about canceling student debt.”

Warren freed

his loan cancellation plan

last week, which she said would be paid by her

wealth tax bill. His campaign estimates that the one-time debt cancellation would cost $640 billion.

Warren’s plan would forgive up to $50,000 in student debt for anyone in households earning less than $100,000 a year. For these Americans, the math is simple.

But the amount of relief gradually decreases as the level of income increases. Households earning more than $250,000 would not qualify for debt relief.

Warren also proposes making tuition free at public two- and four-year colleges for all students, regardless of family income. She wants to increase federal funding for Pell Grants, which are given to low-income families, as well as invest more money in historically black colleges and universities. The senator also calls for a ban on for-profit colleges from receiving federal funding.

There is broad support

among Democratic presidential candidates for making college more affordable, though they differ on how to achieve that goal.

The senses. New Jersey’s Cory Booker, California’s Kamala Harris and New York’s Kirsten Gillibrand — along with Warren — are all co-sponsors of Hawaii Sen. Brian Schatz’s Debt-Free College Act. It would establish a matching grant for states that pledge to help students pay full tuition without taking out a loan.

Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders, who helped popularize the idea during his 2016 presidential bid, introduced his own bill that would make tuition and fees free at public colleges for students whose families earn less than $125,000.

But other candidates — including Sen. Amy Klobuchar and South Bend, Indiana, Mayor Pete Buttigieg — have held back on embracing a free college platform.

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Debt relief for poor countries key in global fight against coronavirus – Oxfam NZ

Oxfam New Zealand is calling on the New Zealand government to free up spending for global public health, advocating for the immediate cancellation of all external debt payments due in 2020 by developing country governments.

Joanna Spratt, Advocacy and Campaigns Director for Oxfam New Zealand, said: “Countries around the world need to massively increase their health budgets to tackle the coronavirus crisis. But the poorest countries are expected to spend US$40 billion to pay down their debt in 2020 alone.

“World leaders are meeting this week to talk about debt cancellation at the spring meetings of the IMF and the World Bank. While the G20 has already agreed to a suspension, this only throws the problem on This unprecedented moment of need requires at least a cancellation of all debt payments due this year, so the money can instead help save millions of lives.

“Many of our neighbors in the Pacific region are already at high risk of debt distress. Countries like Papua New Guinea, where they have just 14 ventilators for their eight million people, are currently spending more on debt repayment than on public health. Until we are all safe, no one is safe.

“New Zealand can be an advocate for debt cancellation at World Bank and IMF meetings – as an aid donor who does not give loans, our position on this is strong. We have a responsibility to defend our neighbors in the face of this intolerable situation. »

Oxfam’s recent report
Dignity not misery highlights how the coronavirus and disruption to the global economy could push up to half a billion more people into poverty. It also shows that 46 countries were spending an average of four times as much money to pay their debts as they did on public health services earlier this year when the coronavirus was spreading.

“This pandemic will require a massive injection of resources to sustain economies, so it makes no sense for poorer countries to transfer vital resources to the rich world. The costs of the debt burden are being paid by the poorest, in cuts to public services, and women are the hardest hit.

More than 200 organisations, including Oxfam, have signed a statement
calling for the cancellation of all debt payments owed by developing countries to bilateral, multilateral and private creditors. In addition, more than 750,000 people have signed a petition
calling for urgent debt relief.

The international aid agency is also advocating for the New Zealand government to provide NZ$25 million in immediate additional humanitarian funding under a coronavirus emergency response program for people living in the world’s worst crises and emergencies; and for the protection and maintenance of existing aid and climate finance budgets so that fewer people are pushed into poverty by the global pandemic.

© Scoop Media

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Every American is $240,000 in debt from overspending

As Americans, we are greatly indebted not only to the men and women who fought and died for our country, but also to the thinkers, statesmen, innovators and ordinary people who gave us our founding principles.

This debt is not repaid with money, but with a commitment to the active and vigilant self-government of our republic, in accordance with the principles and virtues of our ancestors.

Yet our ancestors would shudder at our current $22 trillion in the gross national debt. By the end of 2019, the debt will reach nearly $23 trillion. That equates to a $69,200 credit card bill for every man, woman, and child in America.

But this is only the money that the government has explicitly borrowed. It does not include any measure of “unfunded obligations” – money the government does not have but has promised to spend nonetheless.

>>> Reform reckless government spending

Unfunded obligations are often seen as problems for future citizens, but with Medicare and Social Security both cash-short and cash-strapped in 2026 and 2035, respectively, these future obligations are become a current burden.

Unfunded Social Security obligations alone represent $13.9 trillion. This means that over the next 75 years the government has promised to pay out $13.9 trillion more than it expects to collect in payroll taxes.

At $42,200 per person, the Social Security shortfall alone is about as much as the average person earns in a year. Just buy one new sedan and pay a the year of rent in a two-bedroom mid-rent apartment.

If the Social Security shortfall wasn’t bad enough, it pales in comparison to Medicare’s $42.3 trillion in unfunded bonds. At $128,500 per person, or $514,000 for a family of four, America’s Great Society program, hailed by socialists as a model for the future of health care, is already breaking America’s bank.

All combined, each American effectively owns $240,000 of US debt and unfunded bonds – an amount equal to the average US home price Just imagine having to pay two mortgages instead of one just to cover the excess government past.

While some politicians will be quick to blame this gargantuan bill on recent tax cuts, it is overspending — not a shortage of taxes — that is fueling America’s deficits and debt.

After all, tax cuts represent a much smaller percentage of gross domestic product than growing Social Security deficits.

A tax aimed at making Social Security solvent, by covering its annual cash balance and gradually increasing it to a point of sustainability, would require annual increases in payroll taxes for the foreseeable future. This year alone we would need an immediate increase to 13.5% from the current level of 12.4%, and in 2035 it would exceed 15.5%.

For a worker earning $50,000 a year, that’s an additional $1,550 (and $7,750 in total Social Security taxes) that she could have taken home and spent or saved as she wished. And that 15.5% would be enough just to cover Social Security’s unfunded liabilities for that year. Covering Medicare costs would require much larger tax increases.

Paying for the government services workers receive as well as the interest on the debt – which will soon exceed spending on national defense – would require crippling levels of taxation for all workers, not just the wealthy.

Instead of calls for caution and accountability, we’re calling for major expansions of programs like Social Security, Medicare, and Obamacare, and unprecedented discretionary grants like student debt relief and a “Green New Deal”.

Raise taxes enough to cover current excesses and also finance a socialist regime spending spree would simply be impossible: the cost per household of the Green New Deal alone would exceed $165,000 by 2040regardless of rising electricity costs and the costs of a declining economy.

And like a new report according to The Heritage Foundation, it would be mathematically impossible to fund the progressive agenda by taxing the rich. Even confiscating every dollar earned by taxpayers with incomes over $200,000 would not come close to paying for the left’s agenda.

Instead, the progressive agenda would demand between 200% and 900% in middle-class tax increases or radically higher and unsustainable federal borrowing.

Ultimately, tax hikes and government expansion are not a viable option for solving America’s rights problem.

Once Americans recognize that the entitlement programs they paid into are really just generational transfers of wealth, with no real money in their notional trust funds, perhaps we can seriously consider reforming the programs in a way that protecting those who need it most while allowing everyone to keep more of their hard-earned paychecks.

By social Security to its anti-poverty roots and by modernizing program rules and requirements, Congress could reduce payroll taxes and give workers more control over their incomes and savings.

And by capitalizing on the free market – instead of government intervention – to reduce health care costs and drive innovation, we can avoid the health care rationing that exists in other countries.

The Heritage Foundation “Balance Plan” The chapter on health care and rights proposes changes that would accomplish just that, if policymakers are willing to put our nation’s future ahead of current, excessive spending.

Raising taxes and making individuals and families more dependent on government programs is not just bad policy; it’s totally un-American.

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Chapel Hill ‘Debt Fund’ set up to ease burden of legal costs

A new pilot program designed to help stop the ‘criminalization of poverty’ has been successfully adopted by Chapel Hill City Council. The Criminal Justice Debt Fund will establish funding for unpaid criminal justice debt – in hopes of reintegrating those in tax debt into the community.

The idea for the scheme began last spring when some Chapel Hill City Council members realized they were reluctantly fueling what they called an “unfair system.”

At their last meeting, council member Karen Stegman said it was wrong for the Chapel Hill Courthouse to collect revenue from courthouse costs and fees, especially when those fees are collected from of deprived people.

“Chapel Hill values ​​being a welcoming community with a place for everyone,” Stegman said. “The imposition of these court fees and costs creates significant barriers to justice for indigent community members seeking to reintegrate into our community.”

In order to offset the negative impact of these court fees on part of the community, a $20,000 Criminal Justice Debt Fund was passed by the council.

The program will be administered by the Chapel Hill Police Crisis Unit and is intended for residents of the city who have committed non-violent criminal or traffic violations. VSertain criteria must be met before a person can apply for this financial assistance. Each person must be a resident of Chapel Hill, cannot be currently incarcerated, and must have an outstanding Orange County criminal justice or traffic debt.

Nominations will be nominated once every three years and each recipient must demonstrate that they are on the ‘path of stability’ – whether through treatment, employment or raising children .

“Tonight, we have the opportunity to take meaningful action to address the systemic injustice affecting our community while providing concrete and desperately needed help to residents who are grappling with the very real financial impacts of legal costs. “Stegman said.

Retired Orange County public defender James Williams contributed to the city council’s discussion. He said poverty is an important factor in people’s ability to successfully reintegrate into society. Williams also said these fees and court costs have a more direct impact on poor people of color, which can prevent them from reintegrating into society and contributing.

“A hundred dollars might not seem like a lot to you and me, but for people navigating the system, it can be the difference between being able to stay in an apartment or being able to buy food for the kids.”

This Criminal Justice Debt Fund aims to “fill the gap” and help eligible low-income people access debt relief opportunities.

Council member Allen Buansi worked with Stegman on this proposal. He said he was proud to have grown up in Chapel Hill as he saw the town as a whole continually working to serve the most vulnerable members of the community. He says this fund is another opportunity to serve.

“At Chapel Hill, we value empathy,” Buansi said. “We appreciate forgiveness. We value love, we value inclusion, and we value equality. Ultimately, the price associated with this program is low compared to the need that exists not only in Chapel Hill, but throughout North Carolina.

With the one-year pilot program passed unanimously, it is hoped that similar programs can be adopted in other parts of North Carolina. Once implemented, there will be a 6 month audit with City Council to quantify the success of the program.

(Photo courtesy of the North Carolina Judiciary)

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REUTERS NEXT-World Bank Economist: China must learn how to restructure emerging market debt

Band David Lawder and Karin Strohecker

January 12 (Reuters)Rising emerging market debt distress means China, now the world’s biggest official creditor, will have to start restructuring its debts in the same way Paris Club lenders have done in past crises, said World Bank chief economist Carmen Reinhart at the Reuters Next conference on Tuesday.

“What I think China will have to do to deal with this is what other previous creditors have done in the past, which is you have to restructure. And deep restructure, that which means either lower interest rates, longer maturities, write-off of principal, or some combination thereof,” Reinhart said during a panel discussion on economic inequality.

She said that during the COVID-19 pandemic, China should take on a “new role” that was an “old role” for Paris Club lenders, as Beijing now faces wider gaps for the first time. and difficulties in countries. ability to service debt on a large scale.

China has signed a G20 debt suspension initiative that allows up to 73 of the world’s poorest countries to suspend payments on official bilateral debts to help fund critical health initiatives, and it has agreed a new G20 debt restructuring framework.

“The real challenge is this, when we get to the stage where you have real write-downs to deal with,” Reinhart said.

Reinhart, a Harvard economist who joined the World Bank in June 2020, has researched and written extensively on financial crises. Last year she co-wrote a scientific paper paper on China’s overseas loans which revealed that up to 50% of these are not declared to the World Bank or the International Monetary Fund.

World Bank President David Malpass has warned that without permanent debt relief, more people in developing countries will fall back into poverty and the disorderly defaults of the 1980s could be repeated. He pressured China to fully participate in debt relief efforts, including on debt issued by state-owned enterprises.

Emerging market failures in Latin America and East Asia led to large-scale debt cancellation efforts such as the Brady Plan in the late 1980s and the Very Poor Countries Initiative. debt (HIPC) in the 1990s.

When asked if another such HIPC initiative was needed, Reinhart replied, “I don’t think we’re there yet,” noting that the G20 common framework for debt restructuring takes more of a case-by-case approach.

“Whether at a later date we can get creditors to sign off on another initiative, whether it’s HIPC-type or Brady-type or whatever form it takes, I don’t see that happening at very short term.”

She said Paris Club creditors and China could struggle with such a broad initiative, which has cleaned up countries’ balance sheets but allowed them to increase borrowing again.

“You ask what it takes to get rid of these cycles – I’d like to know,” she said, noting that her 2009 book with Harvard economist Kenneth Rogoff, “This Time Is Different: Eight Centuries of Financial Folly” chronicles the repeated cycles of boom and bust in dozens of countries.

For more coverage of the Reuters Next conference, please click here or

To watch Reuters Next live, visit

(Reporting by David Lawder and Karin Strohecker; Editing by Lisa Shumaker and Rosalba O’Brien)

(([email protected]; +1 202 354 5854; Reuters Messaging: [email protected]))

The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

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Debt relief: Supreme Court asks RBI to solve power companies’ problems

Even though the Center and the RBI show reluctance to expand the scope of post-pandemic loan relief to borrowers and banks seem reluctant to artificially shed their stressed assets, the Supreme Court is still considering whether hard-hit industrial sectors could receive more relief. The Supreme Court on Thursday ordered RBI to respond to requests from power producers for various benefits, including the restructuring of their loans, under the central bank’s recent circular on debt overhaul.

Lead attorney Abhishek Manu Singhvi, representing the Power Producers Association, made it clear that he was not seeking cash injections or any specific tax or other relief. “As the electricity sector is an essential and abused segment, it is enough to fine-tune the RBI circular to make it inclusive so that the sector can reap the benefits of the scheme,” he said. Singhvi further said that power sector NPAs were the result of non-payment by consumers (discoms). Stating that the production companies, who are suffering the most, he said the total debt had risen to Rs 1.2 lakh crore.

The supreme bench of the court consisting of Justices Ashok Bhushan, R Subhash Reddy and MR Shah also ordered the power producers to submit their suggestions to RBI. He also asked the Center and RBI to file short submissions/suggestions and released the case for rehearing next week.

Power producers said the banks were not collecting the loans but then wanted to collect the collateral. While the moratorium applies to the principal loan, banks are taking enforcement action on collateral and other aspects, Singhvi said, on their behalf, adding that it was an “ongoing subterfuge”.

“A larger part of the loans cannot be restructured due to certain exclusions. Much of the borrowing comes from LICs and alternative investment funds, REITs and foreign private banks. Allow us to restructure loans from these lenders. Moreover, the RBI circular provides for restructuring at the request of the lender and not the borrower, which defeats the purpose of the circular. These shortcomings must be corrected by RBI. He needs to review the circular and make those changes,” he added.

The RBI program which covers 26 sectors, including electricity, is modeled on the proposals of the Kamath Committee.

Power producers had moved the Supreme Court, urging it to order the Union government to order lending institutions not to charge interest on accrued interest during the moratorium period. Since the compound interest relief unveiled by the government is only for loans up to Rs 2 crore, power companies have hardly benefited.

The power companies also want to extend the moratorium period on interest and principal for another six months, ending on March 31, 2021, and have asked the court to order the government to provide specific guidelines for banks to convert the accrued interest on term loans and principal works over the one-year deferment period into a funded interest term loan (FITL) which will be repayable in equal monthly installments over the remaining term of the loan.

During the hearing, Judge Shah asked the central government why credit card users should qualify for the benefit of compound interest relief under the RBI loan moratorium scheme as they do not were not loan borrowers but only used the card to purchase goods. The sighting came after Solicitor General Tushar Mehta told judges that even credit card users would receive gratuitous payments.

The RBI informed the High Court that it has instructed all banks, financial institutions and non-banking financial institutions to take “necessary steps” to ensure that the amount is released to eligible borrowers on time. Mehta also said the Ministry of Finance has released a plan that credit institutions will credit this amount to borrowers’ accounts. However, the government has said that the banking sector cannot bear any new financial pressure. “This is a matter of fiscal policy and the government is above it,” Mehta said.

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Pakistan and Norway agree to work closely together on debt relief initiative amid coronavirus crisis

The development comes after FM Qureshi had a phone conversation with his Norwegian counterpart Ine Eriksen Søreide


Sharing their concerns over the negative impact of Covid-19 on the economies of developing countries, Pakistan and Norway agreed to work closely together on Prime Minister Imran Khan’s global debt relief initiative and stay engaged.

The development comes after Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi had a phone conversation with his Norwegian counterpart Ine Eriksen Søreide on Wednesday.

FM Qureshi also offered his condolences for the loss of life in Norway due to the coronavirus outbreak. He gave a briefing on the measures taken by the Pakistani government to contain the pathogen and “stressed the need for solidarity among the international community in these difficult times”.

Bill Gates hails Pakistan’s efforts against Covid-19 outbreak

According to the official statement, the foreign minister also stressed the importance of Prime Minister Imran’s global initiative on debt relief for developing countries to enable them to devote their resources to the fight against the pandemic. of Covid-19 and mitigate its economic fallout.

“The Global Debt Relief Initiative will bring stakeholders together on a platform to promote a coordinated response to debt issues. The initiative envisions providing developing countries with fiscal space and financial relief and other additional measures that could help them manage the current crisis,” he added.

The Foreign Minister also expressed concern over continued communication and movement restrictions in Indian-occupied Jammu and Kashmir (IOJ&K) which hamper the dissemination of information and the unimpeded supply of medicines and other essentials needed to fight the pandemic. He also highlighted his concern over the demonization of Muslims in India amid Covid-19.

Coronavirus cases 30-35% lower than projections, says Asad Umar

The Norwegian Foreign Minister thanked Qureshi for his expression of solidarity and agreed with him on the importance of international cooperation to deal with the pandemic.

Søreide shared Pakistan’s concern over the negative impact of Covid-19 on the economies of developing countries.

Both parties agreed to work closely together on the debt relief initiative and to remain committed, the statement added.

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Ecuador pushes ahead with $17.4 billion debt reform with backing from major creditors

LONDON/QUITO (Reuters) – Ecuador pushed ahead with its debt overhaul plans on Monday, seeking a vote among its creditors on reconfiguring the terms of $17.4 billion of its external bonds, its largest group of creditors supporting the proposal.

Under the proposed deal – unchanged from the government’s previous proposal – 10 existing bonds maturing between 2022 and 2030 would be swapped for three bonds maturing in 2030, 2035 and 2040, as well as an interest-bearing bond in suffering expiring in 2030.

This would provide more than $10 billion in debt relief over the next four years and another $6 billion between 2025 and 2030, and offer a nominal haircut of 9%.

“This restructuring, if accepted, will bring significant relief to the country and allow more resources to be devoted to managing the health crisis and reactivating and reviving the economy,” the Ecuadorian Ministry of Health said on Monday. Finances in a press release. .

A spokesman for the International Monetary Fund said the group “welcomed” Ecuador’s restructuring proposal.

Bondholders will have until July 31 to vote on the deal.

Two groups of creditors, who in recent weeks have been calling for better terms, rejected the new proposal, saying it did not represent Ecuador’s best efforts to reach a fair deal.

The group’s steering committee, which includes Amundi, Contrarian Capital Management and T Rowe Price Associates, represents more than 25 institutional investors and an ad hoc group of bondholders due 2024.

They own more than 25% in some series of bonds and more than 35% in others, according to earlier statements.

The groups did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

Ecuador’s largest creditor group, the Ad Hoc Group, including asset managers such as AllianceBernstein, BlackRock and Ashmore, backs the plan.

The group, which collectively owns over 53% of Ecuador’s total sovereign bond outstanding and close to or over 50% of nearly all individual bond series, said it believes the plan will bring ” a substantial contribution to guaranteeing the sustainability of Ecuador’s external debt in the medium term.”

In response to questions about Monday’s proposal, Tiago Severo, vice president of economic research for Latin America at Goldman Sachs, said: “It seems like a somewhat risky strategy to us, and it could lead to a temporary blockage of the process”.

“However, we remain of the view that the parties will eventually find common ground and that a full restructuring will be carried out in the next/several weeks,” he said.

The government has said it needs support from creditors holding at least 80% of the aggregate principal of all bonds except the 2024 issue. The latter, which has different terms, requires support 75% according to legal experts.

Reporting by Karin Strohecker and Tom Arnold in London and Alexandra Valencia in Quito, Editing by Karin Strohecker, Hugh Lawson, Chizu Nomiyama and Timothy Heritage

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Illinois Governor JB Pritzker signs Consumer Fairness Act offering high-interest debt relief

CHICAGO (WLS) — Illinois Governor JB Pritzker signed into law consumer debt legislation on Monday.

“Consumer debt is at an all-time high across the United States, and there are millions of people, including too many Illinois families, struggling in unconscionable circumstances,” Governor Pritzker said.

The new bill, the Consumer Fairness Act, will relieve Illinois from high interest on its debt.

“Under this new law, families will now pay a lower post-judgment interest rate for sums of $25,000 or less, and we are reducing the time in which a collection judgment can be reinitiated,” said Governor Pritzker.

According to the Heartland Alliance, one in three Illinoisans is in the debt collection process.

Governor Pritzker said the new legislation will lower post-judgment interest rates from 9% to 5%. He also said the bill would reduce the collection window from 26 years to 17 years.

“The number represents the lives of real people. These are seniors who haven’t been drowning in debt for decades. These are families who are able to build financial stability for their children, who are no longer trapped in a circle vicious in debt,” Governor Pritzker said. .

HB 88 passed unanimously without opposition from debt collectors and other financial institutions, according to the governor’s office.

The bill signing took place at Chicago Volunteer Legal Services at 33 N. Dearborn St. at 9:30 a.m.

The Consumer Fairness Act will come into force on January 1, 2020.

Copyright © 2022 WLS-TV. All rights reserved.

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1 Million New Yorkers Carry $35 Billion in Student Debt

If misery loves company, the more than one million New Yorkers collectively carrying $35 billion in student debt can rest assured they are not alone.

The New York City Department of Consumer and Worker Protection (DCWP) says about 14% of city residents with student debt are 90 days or more behind on loan payments, according to its commissioner, Lorelei. Salas.

“I care about that a lot,” Salas said. “I graduated from law school with $150,000 in student debt. So I know what it does to people’s finances and to their stress levels.

“It’s a long process,” added Salas, who still has nearly $50,000 in student debt. “There were times when I thought, ‘I’ll never stop paying until I die.'”

Borrowers have taken to social media and advocacy organizations like the non-profit Student Debt Crisis to share their stories of woe (and also their accomplishments if they managed to repay or repay their debts ).

“For the past three years I’ve had a pretty solid job at a top university,” one New Yorker wrote on

“I make a pretty decent salary and get a free MBA. I have a 401(k) and a Roth IRA and I put 25% of my salary in my savings account every month. I have about $45,000 student debt — $15,000 private loan and $30,000 federal loans I’m trying to contribute $600 a month to these loans.

“Last year I contributed $1,762.12 to a large chunk of federal loans totaling $25,000. Over the past year, that total debt has gone down by $415. I invested $300 there I’m seven days old and I already owe $20. I burst into tears when I realized this. For years, my student loan debt has been this shadow hanging over me.

Indeed, a Moody’s report released in January found that slow repayments have become a key driver of what has been the fastest growing type of household debt over the past decade.

Student loan debt soared to $1.6 trillion in the fourth quarter of 2019, according to the Federal Reserve. One in five adults – 45 million Americans – contributes to the total.

Over the past decade, the overall annual net repayment rate (or the amount of existing balances eliminated each year) for U.S. student loans has averaged just 3%,” and many recent graduates have not repaid their balance at all,” Moody’s said.

Meanwhile, the student debt clock on has topped $1.7 trillion, and the issue looms large as the presidential election approaches.

The student loan woes put education concerns ahead of job loss and market downturn fears to become the No. 1 financial disruptor in a recent Harris poll on behalf of TD Ameritrade.

The results came in a time of low inflation, record employment, a rising market (pre-coronavirus), noted Tom Butch, general manager of retail distribution at TD Ameritrade.

In five years, education concerns have risen slightly, with student debt jumping more than 25% in that time, he said, especially for millennials.

The NYC DCWP, formerly the Department of Consumer Affairs, released three reports on student debt, including one in 2017 with the Federal Reserve Bank of New York looking at student loan default and delinquency rates in different neighborhoods, a study that has been replicated in other cities.

The DCWP held debt clinics in targeted areas in 2018 based on the findings of the Fed’s joint report – delinquency and default rates are higher in lower median income neighborhoods.

He offers counseling for student borrowers at and provides free counseling at Financial Empowerment Centers in all boroughs.

There are many resources available across the country, but borrowers should be sure to find one that offers student loan expertise, whether it’s a financial advisor, CPA, or attorney, said Bruce McClary, vice president of communications at the National Foundation for Credit Counseling, which runs

Try to avoid for-profit debt relief companies, he warned.

“Clients pay a lot of money up front and in many cases end up worse off than when they started,” he said.

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UCC Members and Congregations Abolish $5.2 Million in Medical Debt for Kansans, Oklahomans

Financial donations from 20 United Church of Christ congregations to the denomination’s Kansas-Oklahoma Conference, as well as several religious individuals and organizations, have forgiven $5.2 million in medical debt in those two states. More than 3,200 households in 76 counties in Kansas and 60 counties in Oklahoma will soon receive letters telling them that their medical debt has been forgiven.

In an online press conference Nov. 24, local, regional and national UCC leaders announced that a Conference-wide fundraising campaign, born before the coronavirus pandemic, as well a contribution from a UCC national ministry, raised $40,000. The gifts were sent to New York-based nonprofit RIP Medical Debt, which redeemed the debt for pennies on the dollar in October.

The purchase erased $5,211,729 in medical debt for 3,234 households. The average amount remitted per household was $1,612.54. Campaign contributors are listed here.

“Medical debt is something that you don’t think will affect you personally,” said Lori Herpich, a member of Plymouth Congregational UCC, Lawrence, one of the contributing congregations. Although she herself did not receive debt relief through this project, she said she was “delighted to hear that UCC was helping families pay off their medical debt” because “I really know what it’s like to have medical debt.

“A few years ago I had to have several surgeries, and the bills that came with it were just huge,” Herpich said. “It caused stress, it was overwhelming and it looked like it was never going to end. Just knowing that there are families who are going to be contacted, that their debt has been eliminated, that it has been resolved, that’s going to be huge, believe me.

“Medical debt is just another expression of the unjust systems that are so deeply rooted in our country,” said Kansas-Oklahoma Conference Minister Edith Guffey. “We are a small Conference; 53 churches. We have a handful of larger congregations, but we are mostly made up of small churches, a mix of urban and rural, located in mask-wearing and mask-resisting communities. We have done this important ministry together, in two states, because medical debt doesn’t care who you are, how you vote or where you live. The only thing that matters is if you can pay. Love of neighbor is easy to say, but it doesn’t pay the bills. What a gift for our members to have the opportunity to make a tangible difference in the lives of thousands of families across Kansas and Oklahoma.

“One of the roles of the church is charity, but another equally important and different role is that of justice,” said the Reverend Chris Moore, pastor of Fellowship Congregational UCC, Tulsa. “During a pandemic, it becomes even more important for the church to intervene, disrupting unjust systems like those that subject people to financial ruin simply because they have become ill or injured. If mobilizing our resources for the relief of medical debt is not ‘being the church’, I don’t know what it is.”

Specific criteria were used when purchasing. Eligible debtors were those earning less than twice the federal poverty level; in financial difficulty, with out-of-pocket expenses that represent 5% or more of their annual income; or facing insolvency, with debts exceeding assets.

The debt purchase was made anonymously; the UCC does not know who specifically benefited. Thanks to RIP Medical Debt, a yellow envelope bearing a UCC logo is on its way to each beneficiary family, along with a letter naming the contributing congregations and organizations. It reads: “You may never walk through the doors of one of our churches, but we are the United Church of Christ and we love you. More importantly, you are loved by God and your debt has been forgiven.

Other speakers at the press conference include:

• Bobbie Henderson, Fellowship member in Tulsa and Conference President. “People don’t take on medical debt on a whim,” she said. “It is forced on them – most of the time, unexpectedly. They end up in dire health care situations that are compounded by the mountains of bills they face — all too often, due to our society’s failure to ensure that all Americans have access to quality health care. quality.

• Reverend Lori Walke, senior pastor of Mayflower Congregational UCC, Oklahoma City, who contributed part of her charitable fund to the effort.

• Rev. Church. Gage, pastor of Central Congregational UCC, Topeka, who raised $3,140 for the effort through his annual chocolate sale and other donations.

• Reverend Michael Vollbrecht, pastor of Peace UCC, Alma, a “small” congregation that contributed the money collected from his Lenten suppers last winter.

• The Reverend Sekinah Hamilton, Minister for Economic Justice in the UCC National Framework, who said: “We will continue our efforts to cancel the debt, but neither will we rest until predatory financial products will no longer prey on families, unjust burdens of debt will no longer prevent individuals from creating wealth, and ultimately the economic systems of this country no longer have the stench of racism that fuels despair and despair. ‘iniquity.

• The Reverend Traci Blackmon, UCC Assistant General Secretary, who called the Kansas-Oklahoma effort “nothing short of stunning.” “This effort on behalf of The United Church of Christ is not just about charity, and it’s certainly not for us to congratulate each other on,” Blackmon said. “It’s our way of bringing attention to a justice issue that’s deeply ingrained in the fabric of our United States. It’s our way of saying that the gospel we believe in and promote compels us to fight and defend health care for every citizen.

To date, $57 million in medical debt has been forgiven by United Church of Christ.

The UCC Medical Debt Project began with a 2019 purchase in Chicago, where church donations removed $5.3 million in debt for 5,888 families on the city’s South Side.

In January 2020, the effort shifted to St. Louis, where $12.9 million in medical debt was eliminated for 11,108 households in that city and St. Louis County.

In the summer of 2020, nine California congregations in the East Bay area cleared $7.4 million in medical debt for 3,539 households across the state.

In October, a collaborative effort of 122 United Church of Christ congregations, four associations and more than 100 New England Southern Conference homes wrote off $26.2 million in medical debt in two separate purchases. The beneficiaries were families from seven states in and around New England and first responders across the country who benefit from RIP’s Helping COVID Heroes Fund.

The campaign will continue throughout the summer of 2021, reaching low-income Americans in each of UCC’s geographic regions. A sixth purchase is underway at UCC’s Mid-Atlantic Conference, covering Maryland, Virginia and the District of Columbia.

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Households urged by MAS to remain cautious when going into debt or buying real estate

SINGAPORE: Most Singaporean households remain financially resilient amid the COVID-19 pandemic, although those heavily in debt or employed in hard-hit sectors may be more vulnerable as economic uncertainties persist, the bank said center of the country on Tuesday (December 1).

In its annual Financial Stability Review, the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) also urged households to exercise caution when taking on new debt or engaging in property purchases.

He noted an uncertain outlook for Singapore’s economy which “could have dampening effects on revenue flows”. He also expects resident unemployment to “remain high” next year and the labor market recovery to be prolonged.

READ: Singapore businesses, households and banks must remain vigilant amid uncertain outlook: MAS

MAS said it recognizes some homeowners may struggle to pay their mortgages and worked with the financial industry to roll out relief measures earlier this year. These measures have been recently extended to support cash-strapped individuals and businesses until next year.

Approximately 36,000 applications for mortgage relief were approved and 8,700 people received relief from their revolving unsecured debt in the third quarter.

“Given the uncertain economic outlook, households should resort to these support measures as necessary and take into account the potential volatility of future income streams when considering large purchases and loans,” the central bank said in its statement. report.

“Where possible, they should also continue to insure or consolidate their existing obligations to build resilience to unexpected shocks.”

READ: TOP FEATURE: After COVID-19, where is Singapore’s economy, labor headed?


The report said Singapore’s household balance sheets were “relatively healthy” at the start of the pandemic, reflecting the financial reserves built up over the years.

Household net wealth reached 4.4 times gross domestic product in the third quarter, up from 3.8 times a year ago, he cited as an example.

“While the increase is partly due to falling GDP, asset values ​​have continued to hold up despite the economic downturn,” MAS said.

“Furthermore, liquid assets such as cash and deposits continued to exceed total liabilities, providing households with a financial buffer against income shocks.”

READ: Singapore revises growth outlook again as third-quarter GDP contracts at 5.8% slower pace amid COVID-19

Its simulations also suggest that the debt service burden of Singaporean households remains manageable in a crisis situation.

Government transfers and relief measures softened the impact of a sharp fall in employment and incomes in the first half, the central bank added.


But the risk of indebtedness has increased slightly even if the growth of overall household debt has moderated.

The MAS said overall household debt had continued its downward trend since the introduction of cooling measures in July 2018, but nominal GDP had fallen by a larger margin due to the pandemic.

As a result, household debt as a percentage of GDP rose from 63.1% in the first quarter to 65% from April to June, before reaching 67.1% in the third quarter.

READ: COVID-19 downturn will be more prolonged than past recessions, slow job market recovery: MAS

Other indicators mentioned include the credit risk profile of home loans. This remained solid, with macroprudential measures encouraging prudent borrowing and improving the capital buffer.

But since household resilience is linked to employment and income, credit risk for home loans could increase further if the economic downturn persists, the central bank said.

The unsecured loan cancellation rate – a leading indicator of the credit quality of home loans – rose in the third quarter, suggesting that more households may be struggling to pay for their homes, he added.

“Close monitoring of housing loans to the most vulnerable households is needed in the coming months as the labor market recovery is expected to be prolonged.”

Turning to the real estate market, the report notes that rents for private homes have moderated alongside rising vacancy rates.

READ: Real estate firms expect more transactions as physical viewings of resale apartments, showrooms resume in Phase 2 reopening

Comment: Wondering what the decline in private home sales means? Market fundamentals paint a different story

The vacancy rate for private residential properties rose from 5.4% in the second quarter to 6.2% in the third quarter. Rents fell for the second consecutive quarter in the July-September period, as the rental price index for private residential properties fell 0.5%.

Low rents were observed for both land and non-land properties.

“If demand for rental properties continues to decline, borrowers who rely on rental income to meet their investment property mortgage payments could experience repayment difficulties,” MAS said.

“Prospective buyers should therefore consider the possibility of further weakness in rental income when committing to the purchase of investment properties.”

In the 112-page report, the central bank also urged businesses and local banks to remain vigilant and cautious as an uneven economic recovery “will affect jobs and corporate profits”.

“The risk of financial stress remains during this long period of recovery. Continued vigilance and caution therefore remain warranted,” he wrote.

MARK THIS: Our comprehensive coverage of the coronavirus outbreak and its developments

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MacKenzie Scott donates $4 billion to COVID-19 relief efforts

Over the past four months, Jeff Bezos’ ex-wife, MacKenzie Scott, has make a donation more than $4 billion to hundreds of humanitarian and charitable organizations, including food banks battling the impact of the pandemic. Scott has a personal net worth of over $60 billion, making him the 18th richest person in the world. Last year, she vowed to give away much of her wealth following her divorce settlement with Bezos.

In July, Scott announced that she had donated $1.7 billion to 116 charities. She then decided to “accelerate” her donations. In the past four months, it has donated an additional $4.15 billion to 384 organizations in the United States and Puerto Rico, bringing its total contributions this year to $6 billion.

Scott wrote in a blog post:

This pandemic has been a wrecking ball in the lives of already struggling Americans. Economic losses and health problems have been worse for women, people of color and people living in poverty. During this time, he significantly increased the wealth of billionaires.

Bezos, who was married to Scott for 26 years, is the richest person in the world. According to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index, Benzos’ fortune before the pandemic was estimated at $113 billion, and now it has risen to around $185 billion.

Scott took a “data-driven” approach to selecting donation recipients. His team primarily focused on “those operating in communities facing high food insecurity, high measures of racial inequality, high local poverty rates, and low access to philanthropic capital.”

MacKenzie Scott. (Credit: Getty Images)

Some of his donations have targeted basic needs, such as emergency relief funds, food banks and support for the most vulnerable. Others were aimed at long-term issues that the pandemic has made worse, including debt relief, legal defense funds, civil rights groups, job training and education for “people historically marginalized and underserved”.

Overall, his team looked at 6,490 organizations and selected 822 for “further research”. Scott’s list of organizations that will receive funds include Meals on Wheels, the YMCA, the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People and the Global Fund for Women.

Last year, Scott became involved in the Giving Pledge Initiative, set up by Bill and Melinda Gates and Warren Edward Buffett, which encourages exceptionally wealthy people to donate much of their wealth to charitable causes. .

The Gates have committed $305 million to Covid-19 vaccines and development of diagnosticsas well as $3.7 million for Covid-19 relief efforts. Other significant donations made during the pandemic include:

  • In March, fame Rihanna donated $5 million to Covid-19 relief efforts through her Clara Lionel Foundation.
  • In April, Twitter co-founder Jack Dorsey announced he was moving 28% of his wealth ($1 billion) to Covid-19 relief efforts and other causes.
  • In April, Estée Lauder donated $2 million for Covid-19 relief efforts to “Médecins Sans Frontières”, also known as Médecins Sans Frontières – to support deeply affected and underfunded countries in the fight against the spread of Covid-19 .
  • In June, basketball legend Michael Jordan announced he would donate $100 million to Black Lives Matter and other social causes over the next ten years.
  • In August, the British rapper Stormzy donated £500,000 finance scholarships for students from underprivileged backgrounds.
  • In February, Bezos said he was contributing $10 billion to fight climate change through his philanthropic project called “the Bezos Earth Fund”. In November, Bezos announced the first of these grants, awarding nearly $800 million to sixteen groups.
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Don’t Pay Upfront for Student Loan Debt Relief

Attorney General Andy Beshear has issued a scam alert to warn former and current students about companies offering student debt relief for a fee.

Beshear’s office and the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) say it’s illegal for companies to charge upfront fees before providing debt relief services.

Kentuckians from Allen, Breckinridge, Clark, Daviess, Fayette, Jefferson, Kenton, Mason and Warren counties recently reported receiving strange calls and voicemails from a woman saying she needed to discuss new repayment options federal student loan. Many people who receive calls say they don’t even have a student loan, but have been provided with a callback phone number and a reference number.

The third-party companies behind the calls claim to offer document preparation services and claim they can help you qualify for a loan forgiveness program – but they may want upfront fees and personal and financial information.

“Far too many Kentuckians are already struggling to repay their student loans and I don’t want them to get tricked by scammers and go into even more debt,” Beshear says. “The truth is, there is no service these scammers can offer that you can’t do yourself for free.”

According to the FTC and the Attorney General’s Office, some companies that promise debt relief are scams. To spot them, follow these tips:

• Never pay in advance

Federal debt consolidation with the United States Department of Education is free, and reputable private lenders do not require any upfront payment.

• Beware of imposters

Beware of scammers claiming to be federal government employees. Contact the Department of Education directly at or 800-433-3243, or independently contact your private loan officer through a verified number or website.

• Resist pressure

Know that no company can promise quick loan forgiveness and never rush to qualify for repayment plans, loan consolidation or loan forgiveness programs.

• Beware of legal tricks

Beware if a company asks you to sign a “power of attorney”, “third party authorization” or other similar agreements that give third parties legal permission to talk to your student loan officer and make decisions in your name.

• Never provide sensitive information

Never provide your FSA ID or PIN or other personal and financial information to anyone who randomly calls you by phone or contacts you by email.

The Beshear Consumer Protection Office urges current and former students who feel victimized by questionable service to complete a complaint form.

Students having problems with their student loan agent or collection agent should contact the US Department of Education’s Student Loan Ombudsman at 877-557-2575.

Since taking office, Beshear and his team have worked to protect students from predatory colleges and for-profit lenders.

Last week, Beshear’s Consumer Protection Bureau secured $2.2 million in debt relief for former Kentucky ITT Tech students under pressure from deceptive lending practices.

To date, nearly 8,000 Kentucky students have received more than $8 million in student debt relief or restitution from for-profit colleges that Beshear has held accountable.

(provided by the Commonwealth of Kentucky Attorney General’s Office)

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Debt relief for the poorest countries will not penalize MDBs’ “preferred creditor” status – Moody’s

LONDON, May 14 (Reuters) – The world’s major development banks will not see their coveted credit ratings penalized for providing temporary debt relief to the world’s poorest countries during the coronavirus crisis, it said on Thursday. rating agency Moody’s.

Plans by the G20 group of major economies to allow around 76 countries in Africa and other parts of the world to suspend debt payments for the rest of the year have raised potential rating issues for all parties. concerned.

The worry is that it could put countries themselves in default, shutting them out of borrowing markets.

It was feared that this would undermine the “preferred creditor” status enjoyed by multilateral development banks (MDBs) such as the World Bank, African Development Bank or European Investment Bank, which also lend to Africa.

This status – where they are paid off before a country or company’s commercial lenders – helps underpin what are in many cases highly prized triple A ratings. These higher ratings enable the MDBs to obtain the best rates for borrowing money from the international credit markets, which is then lent to countries in need.

“The way we see this is not really debt relief, but debt deferral for a relatively short period of time,” Moody’s Senior Vice President Kathrin Muehlbronner said.

The banks themselves have yet to declare whether they will provide the debt relief advocated by the G20.

“We would not consider an extended debt suspension offer at the discretion of an MDB affecting our view of preferred creditor status.”

Moody’s estimates that around a quarter of the 40 MDBs it tracks have preferred creditor status in their ratings.

A broader look at the potential impact of coronavirus on development bank ratings showed that the big ones were likely to be protected by strong financial buffers while smaller ones that focus on Africa could be downgraded. .

However, performance and asset quality will deteriorate for all, with private and public borrowers finding it harder to meet their financial obligations and non-performing loans likely to rise from generally very low levels.

Development bank debt ratios are also expected to rise as they expand their balance sheets in response to the pandemic.

The largest response in nominal terms is expected to come from member institutions of the World Bank Group (WBG), totaling up to $160 billion over the next 15 months.

The European Investment Bank is creating a new €25 billion ($26.95 billion) COVID-19 guarantee fund, which aims to mobilize up to €200 billion.

Others are also primarily redeploying their planned lending programs. For example, the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development said that all of its planned loans for the two-year period 2020 and 2021 – a total of 21 billion euros – will be spent to counter the economic shock.

The Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) Group will reallocate resources of $18.35 billion this year and the African Development Bank Group’s Covid-19 Rapid Response Mechanism – which totals $10 billion – will mainly accelerate its planned lending for the year.

“We expect the credit profiles of highly rated MDBs to withstand the pandemic-induced shock to many of their borrowers…But some of the lower rated MDBs may come under greater credit pressures,” Moody’s said. . (Reporting by Marc Jones Editing by Alexandra Hudson)

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Norcross among congressional group proposing major breakthrough on college debt and affordability

Credit: Twenty20
More than one million people had $43 billion in student loans outstanding at the end of last year in New Jersey.

Undertaking a major rewrite of higher education law is one way to address concerns about college affordability and student debt, according to a group of federal lawmakers that includes a congressman from South Jersey.

The group introduced legislation in the U.S. House of Representatives earlier this month that called for increased student tuition subsidies and increased federal aid to states like New Jersey that fund programs free at community colleges, among other proposed policy changes.

New efforts would also be made to help those who already have significant college debt, including establishing more generous repayment terms for low- and middle-income borrowers. The legislation also calls for the expansion of a program that offers loan forgiveness to those entering a public service field after graduating from college.

The introduction of the “College Affordability Act” by a group of sponsors that includes U.S. Representative Donald Norcross (D-1st) comes as new alarms are speaking out about the impact of high student debt on the economy. It also aims to make college more affordable as tuition fees continue to rise nationwide.

“The College Affordability Act invests in America’s schools, teachers and students, makes college more affordable, alleviates student debt and prepares graduates for meaningful careers,” said Norcross, who serves on the college’s committee. Education and House Labor.

“We need to provide every student with the tools to learn and the opportunity to succeed in their careers and this bill does just that,” Norcross said.

Fewer people are signing up as costs rise?

According to recent estimates from the New York Federal Reserve, more than 40 million people across the country have taken out a total of $1.6 trillion in student loans, including more than $106 billion borrowed in 2017 alone. The record for single-year borrowing by students was $125.6 billion in 2010, according to the US Chamber of Commerce. But experts attribute the decline to fewer people enrolling in colleges and universities as tuition fees have risen.

In New Jersey, more than one million people had outstanding student loans totaling more than $43 billion at the end of last year, according to the nonprofit Student Borrower Protection Center. And the average loan balance was nearly $40,000.

Earlier this year, a survey of New Jersey accountants suggested student loan debt was impacting the state’s economy, including preventing those with outstanding loans from saving for retirement or to buy a house. The NJCPA has created a task force take a closer look at the issue of student debt.

Meanwhile, a poll study published last week by The Pew Charitable Trusts found that nearly 70% of respondents believed the difficulties of those facing student debt were weighs on the national economy. Another 80% said the federal government should do more to help borrowers repay their loans.

More generous conditions for borrowers

the law Project revise the law on higher education – which is more than ten years old – by establishing new repayment plans with more generous conditions for borrowers. The measure would also make it easier for borrowers to refinance their debt, in particular by lowering interest rates. It also calls for an expansion of the federal Civil Service Loan Forgiveness Program, which helps forgive outstanding student loans for those entering professions such as teaching and law enforcement.

Other policy changes proposed in the bill are intended to help students directly, including increasing the amount of tuition assistance grants known as Pell Grants that income-qualified students can receive from federal government. The availability of these scholarships would also be expanded to include more students participating in short-term programs, according to the bill.

States would also be encouraged to establish tuition-free community college programs by receiving more federal assistance once they do. Governor Phil Murphy established such a program in New Jersey last year, and earlier this year, state lawmakers renewed its funding in the state budget for fiscal year 2020. The bill would also allow for increased assistance to states investing sustained manner in public colleges and universities.

Additionally, the bill calls for greater federal oversight of the federal college accreditation process and seeks to close a loophole in current law that gives underperforming for-profit schools a financial incentive to enroll veterans. .

Although it has received far less attention than other more high-profile issues that have made headlines in recent weeks, the legislation is being watched closely by groups that represent students, colleges and veterans.

“We look forward to working further with lawmakers on this comprehensive and much-needed legislation to reauthorize the Higher Education Act,” the American Association of Community Colleges said in a statement.

“We are grateful to the House for its comprehensive bill that addresses most of the concerns expressed by the military-affiliated community,” said Veterans Education Success, a Washington, D.C.-based group that advocates for opportunities education for veterans and military service members.

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World Bank’s Malpass says G20 could agree to debt relief extension of just six months

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Some G20 creditor countries are reluctant to expand and extend coronavirus-related debt service relief for the world’s poorest countries by a year, so a six-month compromise could emerge this week, World Bank President David Malpass said Monday.

FILE PHOTO: World Bank Group President David Malpass attends a news conference after a meeting at the Chancellery in Berlin, Germany October 1, 2019. REUTERS/Hannibal Hanschke/File Photo

Malpass, speaking to reporters at the start of the virtual annual meetings of the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund, said the G20 debt working groups failed to reach an agreement on the two institutions’ efforts for a one-year extension of the G20 Debt Service Suspension Initiative (DSSI).

“I think there can be compromise language that can be a six-month extension (and) it can be renewed depending on debt sustainability,” Malpass said.

Finance ministers and central bank governors from major G20 economies are due to meet via video conference on Wednesday. In May, they launched an initiative to allow poor countries to suspend payments on official bilateral debt owed to G20 creditor nations until the end of 2020, which Malpass says has so far freed up $5 billion. dollars to strengthen coronavirus responses.

Malpass and IMF Managing Director Kristalina Georgieva have warned that much more debt relief is needed for poor and middle-income countries, including principal reduction, to avoid a “lost decade” as the pandemic destroys economic activity.

Malpass said the two institutions would come up with a joint action plan to reduce the debt stock of poor countries whose debt is unsustainable.

But he said debtor countries were too “deferential” to creditor countries and needed to demand a lower debt burden more forcefully. “That dialogue has not yet been as strong as I think is necessary to move this process forward.”

A new World Bank debt study released on Monday showed that among countries eligible for the G20 debt relief program, external debt soared 9.5% in 2019 to $744 billion before the pandemic does not strike.

The official bilateral debt of the poorest countries to G20 countries reached $178 billion in 2019, with 63% of the total owed to China. The study says China’s share of that debt stood at 45% in 2013, the year Beijing launched its global Belt and Road infrastructure campaign.

Malpass said the debt service suspension initiative has accelerated more slowly than expected because “not all creditors are fully participating,” including China.

He said he wanted to see China’s participation in the debt service suspension initiative expanded to more state-sponsored creditors, adding that many of those already participating had no deferred repayment of the principal but still received interest.

Reporting by David Lawder in Washington; Editing by Richard Chang and Matthew Lewis

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Biden officials consider action on student debt relief

(AP) – The Biden administration is considering whether it can take steps to provide student debt relief through executive action, even as it continues to ask Congress to pass legislation to help borrowers and their families .

A tweet from White House press secretary Jen Psaki appeared to go further than her comments during a briefing earlier Thursday, when she said President Joe Biden was counting on Congress to act next. on student loan relief. Biden said he supports up to $10,000 in student loan forgiveness per borrower.

“The President continues to support student debt cancellation to provide relief to students and families,” Psaki tweeted. “Our team is looking at whether there are any steps he can take through executive action and he would be happy to sign a bill sent to him by Congress.”

It came hours after a group of Democrats urged Biden to use executive action to forgive $50,000 in federal student debt for all borrowers. The group, which included Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer of New York and Senator Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts, said it would boost the economy and help close the country’s racial wealth gap.

Biden has previously said he supports erasing up to $10,000 in student debt through legislation, but he has not expressed interest in pursuing executive action. In a briefing before posting his statement on Twitter, Psaki appeared to reject the idea of ​​using presidential powers to wipe out debt, saying Biden had already suspended student loan repayments during the pandemic.

“He would look to Congress to take the next steps,” she said.

Legal scholars have fallen back and forth over whether Biden has the power to deal with loan relief himself, with some saying the move is unlikely to survive a legal challenge.

The Trump administration moved to block broad debt cancellation in early January, issuing an Education Department memo concluding that the secretary had no authority to provide such assistance and that it would be up to Congress.

Schumer said he and Warren researched the matter and concluded “it’s one of those things the president can do on his own.” Past presidents have written off debt, Schumer said, but not on the scale proposed.

Democrats are pushing the issue as a matter of racial justice and as relief from COVID-19. They rely on statistics showing that black and Latino borrowers are more likely to go into debt and take longer to repay their loans.

Rep. Ayanna Pressley, D-Mass., said the student debt crisis “has always been an issue of racial and economic justice.”

“But for too long, the narrative has excluded Black and Latino communities, and how this debt has exacerbated deep-rooted racial and economic inequalities in our country,” she said.

Rep. Ilhan Omar, D-Minn., who also supports the measure, said it would help millions of Americans who have suffered financial loss during the pandemic. “The last thing people should worry about is their student loan debt,” she said.

Calls for debt forgiveness are growing after years of tuition hikes that have contributed to rising national student debt. More than 42 million Americans now hold federal student loans worth a combined $1.5 trillion, according to Department of Education data.

In an effort to provide relief soon after the pandemic hit last year, the Trump administration suspended federal student loan payments and set interest rates at zero percent. Upon taking office, Biden extended the moratorium until at least September 30.

Some Democrats say that’s not enough, and Schumer said he recently met with Biden to advocate for broader relief.

Canceling $50,000 in student debt would cost about $650 billion, Warren said. She argues it would be a “big positive” for the economy by allowing more Americans to buy homes and start businesses.

Republicans have pledged to fight any attempt at blanket debt cancellation, saying it unfairly shifts the burden from borrowers to taxpayers.

During a Wednesday hearing with Biden’s nominee for education secretary, Sen. Richard Burr, RN.C., urged the White House to reject calls for mass pardons and pass legislation aimed at simplify loan repayment options.

Copyright 2021 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.

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Medical debt nonprofit RIP promises to erase thousands of debts for a penny on the dollar

CHICAGO (CBS) — Some Chicago-area families have begun begging for help in recent days — a young father with leukemia, a teacher with breast cancer and a shooting victim.

On Tuesday, CBS 2’s Lauren Victory got to the bottom of a program that promises to erase thousands of medical debts for a dime on the dollar.

Inside Trinity United Church of Christ, Pastor Otis Moss III reaches 6,000 people a week.

“We are called to stand up for those who have their backs against the wall,” Moss said.

On a recent Sunday, he praised God and his own followers.

Their donations to a non-profit organization based in Westchester County, New York called RIP medical debt helped strangers pay bills for ambulances, hospital stays and medications, and more.

“He’s a quiet, quiet dream destroyer,” said Pastor Moss. “We brought together several other churches and, and we were able to raise about $38,000. That bought about $5.3 million in debt.”

Victory must have figured out how $38,000 turned into over $5 million in bills. So she Skyped with Craig Antico, co-founder of RIP Medical Debt, and got the rough math.

“You just add two zeros to your donation, and that tells you how much money you can take away — $1, of course, equals $100, and so on,” Antico said.

He explained that medical providers will accept offers from his nonprofit organization to reimburse patient expenses if bills are aggregated in the thousands. Many outstanding debts are years old.

“It’s like getting money now instead of getting it later in the next three or four years from people who can’t really afford it,” Antico said. “TransUnion, which is right there in Chicagoland, they give us debt at a really good price and they’re able to help us find people who need help.”

One of those people was Dianna Western from downstate Belleville. She was stricken with breast cancer, a heart attack and personal expenses.

“Financially, we found ourselves strapped for cash,” Western said.

She has health care coverage, but the coinsurance payment for the procedures totaled $1,412.

But then a letter arrived from RIP, telling him that the debt was gone.

“You’re kind of in shock, you know, and you’re happy,” Western said.

RIP begins to make headlines across the country.

In Collin County, Texas, Elevate Life Church worked with RIP Medical Debt to cancel a $2.2 million debt. The Grand Rapids Church in Wyoming, Michigan also worked with RIP Medical Debt to forgive nearly $2 million to nearly 2,000 families.

Higher Vision Church in Santa Clarita, California has partnered with RIP Medical Debt to raise $16,000 and clear $1.6 million in medical debt. City Church in Russellville, Arkansas worked with the nonprofit organization to pay off $3 million in medical debt for 1,589 local families.

And it’s not just the churches. Atlanta Hawks star Trae Young also canceled more than $1 million in medical debt for Atlanta residents with the help of the organization. And in Murchison, Texas, fifth-grade teacher Reagen Adair had a $3,100 debt erased using RIP medical debt.

Donors can’t choose specific people to help, but Trinity was able to target Cook County – eliminating medical debt for 5,888 families.

“We were going to do blind generosity,” Pastor Moss said.

RIP Medical Debt’s Antico said his nonprofit tries to tailor fundraisers to specific diseases like cancer or diabetes.

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The courts paved the way for DeVos to grant student debt relief. So why are 180,000 people still waiting for an answer?

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Updated with comments from the US Department of Education.

Courts have repeatedly sided with student borrowers demanding that the US Department of Education process their requests for debt relief, but more than 180,000 people are still awaiting a decision. Now some of them are turning to the courts again for help.

On Tuesday, seven borrowers sued Education Secretary Betsy DeVos and her agency after the department failed to act on their claims, some of which have been dragging on for years.

The Department of Education has not approved or denied a request for debt relief in a year. People familiar with the process, who spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to comment publicly, said more than 180,000 applications for debt relief are pending at the ministry. Nearly 10,000 of them were filed more than three years ago.

“It’s not like they’re working on the backlog and it just takes time. The department doesn’t think it has to do anything with these claims, and that’s why people are coming forward,” said Eileen Connor, an attorney representing the borrowers. “What they want is for the court to say to the ministry, ‘You have to do something. You can refuse them. You can grant them. But you have to do something.

Department of Education spokeswoman Liz Hill said the federal agency is resolving claims before court rulings stall the system and is continuing to review claims.

“The only thing holding the department back from finalizing thousands of these claims is the steady stream of litigation brought by ideological special interests, so-called student advocates,” Hill said.

A 1995 law known as the “Borrower’s Defense of Repayment” gives the Department of Education the power to write off federal debt for students whose colleges defrauded them. The Obama administration has updated regulations to shift more of the cost of forgiveness onto schools, after the closure of for-profit giant Corinthian College sparked a flood of claims.

DeVos delayed and then suspended implementation of the rule. The Education Secretary had said of the rule: “You only had to raise your hand to get what’s called free money.” Then the department began using earnings data to provide partial loan forgiveness to former Corinthian students.

These actions resulted in federal prosecutions and subsequent legal reprimands from the Department of Education. Yet the court orders blocking the Trump administration’s approach have yet to pay off much for borrowers.

Instead, the department is using one of those orders as justification for not moving forward with the increased claims. Diane Auer Jones, the department’s principal deputy assistant secretary, told lawmakers in April that a court ruling banning the use of earnings data to award partial aid to former Corinthian students had crippled the agency.

“We are unable to determine the level of harm or the level of relief a borrower should obtain because the methodology we used is blocked by a California court,” Jones told a deputy hearing. House Oversight and Reform committee.

As a result, Jones said, the department could not commit to a timeline for processing applications. People familiar with release requests say nearly 23,000 are awaiting loan cancellation.

Connor, director of litigation at Harvard Law School’s Project on Predatory Student Lending, argues that the court injunction does not prevent the Education Department from creating a new methodology for denying claims or granting full relief. The Predatory Student Loans Project took the California case.

Hill of the Department of Education said “courts have found the tiered redress methodology to be appropriate and lawful. Such an approach has always been part of the borrower’s defense review, and it was included in the 2016 regulations enacted by the previous administration.

Candidates have endured long waits, which for many began under the Obama administration. One of the plaintiffs in the case, Jessica Jacobson, filed her lawsuit against the for-profit New England Institute of Art in 2015. The school has been the subject of state investigations over sales tactics allegedly deceptive and aggressive before it stopped enrolling students in 2015.

Another plaintiff, Tresa Apodaca, submitted her request for debt relief a month after Corinthian closed in April 2015. She raised $30,000 in federal loans to attend Corinthian’s Heald College, where she said that he had been told that 98% of graduates had landed jobs in their fields. The Department of Education cut Corinthian’s access to federal funds because the school lied about placement rates.

There are consequences for those languishing in debt relief limbo. Although the federal government is supposed to grant a temporary deferral of loan repayments while applicants wait for a decision, Connor said some of his clients are still getting bills or having their wages garnished.

Even if the Ministry of Education began to seriously deal with the backlog of applications, the agency would need significantly more staff to handle the volume. The Borrower Defense Unit, responsible for reviewing claims, had six full-time staff in June 2018, when there were nearly 100,000 claims pending review, according to court documents. There are a handful of contractors helping out, but their tasks are limited.

State attorneys general who provided some of the evidence needed to address the claims against Corinthian say the Department of Education no longer consults with them. They say the department could process applications more quickly if it restored lines of communication. But for now, everything is on hold.

“It’s outrageous that the department is ignoring these claims,” ​​Connor, who works alongside Housing and Economic Rights Advocates, a nonprofit legal service, said during Tuesday’s trial. “Borrowers have rights. They invoke their rights and the government does not respond to them.

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New ‘debt trap’ concerns over China’s lending to Africa – Analysis

By Adrian Stones and Yigal Chazan*

As China moves to tackle an ongoing financial crisis among coronavirus-hit African members of its flagship Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), or new ‘Silk Road‘, some in the West, skeptical of the company’s stated development goals, will be alert to countries that might hand over project stakes in return for loan repayment concessions.

Beijing has long denied claims that investments in the BRI, a trillion-dollar infrastructure project boosting trade ties between China and much of the developing world, risked overwhelming beneficiaries of a so much debt that they have little choice but to cede majority stakes in assets and/or agree to give China excessively long leases – the so-called debt trap diplomacy.

President Xi Jinping and his officials have sought to highlight the BRI’s contribution to economic development. And while Chinese funds are helping to build vital transport links and boost industrial activity in low-income countries, the debts they are incurring in the process seem increasingly unsustainable.

This seems to be the case in Africa, where China is seen as the biggest creditor. Johns Hopkins University identified some $152 billion in Chinese loan financing provided to 49 African countries between 2000 and 2018. Their ability to service Chinese loans – in 2018, an estimated debt of $64 billion – could now be seriously compromised by the fall in commodity prices and the recession. IMF predicts sub-Saharan African economies will contract 3.2% this year, “considerably worse than expected in April”.

In recent years, BRI countries have canceled or renegotiated projects due to debt problems, but with pandemic-related financial difficulties, others are now asking China for flexibility on their repayment schedules, and several are considered African states, according to the FT. China has signed to a G-20 commitment in April suspend debt service until the end of the year, potentially freeing up 76 of the poorest countries, including 40 in sub-Saharan Africa, to spend scarce funds to deal with the economic damage caused by the health crisis.

But according to the trade publication Eurocurrency, China added caveats that would effectively exclude hundreds of large loans made through the BIS. An opinion piece in the Atlantic Council Public Policy Blog pointed out that Chinese officials distinguish between interest-free, government-to-government credits and preferential loans from the China Export-Import Bank and the China Development Bank which “account for the largest share of Chinese lending to the foreign”.

In June, President Xi says to African leaders that he would cancel the interest-free loans due this year, but these are supposed to account for less than 5% Chinese loans to Africa. Worryingly for the continent – 39 of which are part of the BRI program – it appears that Beijing does not see preferential loans as tradable. An article from the Chinese state corporation world times said the loans are “not applicable for debt relief” due to the commercial nature of the projects they fund.

The article, however, pointed out that the repayment problems could be solved by several approaches, such as the addition of subsidies by China to help revive the projects; use of Chinese companies to help operations; or by swapping debt for equity.

For those who view China as a predatory lender, the potential offer of debt-for-equity swaps bodes ill. In 2017, Sri Lanka granted the Chinese a 70% stake in – and a 99-year operational lease for – the port of Hambantota, after struggling with debt service. When he came to power, former Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad pledged to cancel or renegotiate “unfair” BRI projects accepted by his predecessor.

The opacity of many BRI transactions means that it can be difficult to determine the nature of the risks countries are taking. While President Xi promised last year to make plans more transparent and financially viableCritics will nonetheless be alert that Beijing may be exploiting the financial weakness of its African partners to seek larger stakes in BRI projects during bilateral debt relief talks.

Faced with its own economic difficulties, China’s generosity in rescheduling debt service may be limited. Beijing will, however, be well aware that its critics will seize on any evidence that it is exploiting its influence in the negotiations. Yet there is another factor that likely militates against the latter. For the BRI to work, China needs the developing world to see it as an economic partner. A hardline attitude towards debt relief undermines this perception, especially in the eyes of African countries, as their economies have been among the hardest hit by the pandemic. This could deter them from future BRI projects.

Those are the calculations Chinese officials are likely to make, but these days it’s hard to guess Beijing given its conduct in Hong Kong. In its defense, China would say that in the past it has shown flexibility on debt servicing, including its decision in 2018 to extend loan repayment by Ethiopia for a railway linking Addis Ababa to neighboring Djibouti within 20 years. Additionally, researchers at Johns Hopkins University revealed that in the cases they examined of African countries facing debt difficulties, there had been no seizures of assets.

Yet critics of Beijing would point the finger at Tanzanian leader John Magufuli indefinite suspension last year of a port project agreed by its predecessor, which gave China a 99-year lease for the facility, as evidence of the tough terms Beijing is believed to be negotiating. And there have been lingering concerns than Djiboutiwhich reportedly received nearly $1.4 billion in Chinese funding for projects, may fall victim to the “debt trap.”

With some BRI projects likely on hold due to the pandemic, Beijing has tried to build trust and renew faith in the company by supporting health services in partner countries. The initiative could also serve to sweeten the pill it might ask loan recipients to swallow when discussing repayments, or simply distract from tough negotiations.

nicknamed the “Health Silk Road”, a redesign of an earlier initiative, it is difficult to assess the effectiveness of the measure. China’s partners, especially those in Africa, will no doubt welcome any medical aid they receive, but hope they emerge from the shadow of the pandemic with their strengths intact.

*Adrian Stones is Director and Yigal Chazan Head of Content at Alaco, a London-based business intelligence consultancy. This article was published by Geopolitical

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Debt swaps could free up funds to tame climate, biodiversity and virus threats

LONDON (Thomson Reuters Foundation) – In Kenya, the coronavirus pandemic has dried up ecotourism, cutting off sources of funding that help protect wildlife and pay income to communities working to preserve nature.

But canceling some of Kenya’s heavy external debt, in exchange for the government devoting those resources to tackling the threats of climate change and biodiversity loss, could tackle several big problems in the future. time, researchers said Tuesday.

“Under pandemic economic bailouts, governments have an opportunity to simultaneously address the crises of debt, climate and biodiversity destruction,” wrote researchers from the International Institute for Environment and Development (IIED) based in London in a report.

It ranks the countries that would benefit the most from these “debt swaps” according to their vulnerability to climate change, biodiversity richness, indebtedness and creditworthiness.

Topping the list are Cape Verde – an island nation off the coast of West Africa – Vietnam, Honduras, Kenya, Nicaragua and Papua New Guinea.

In Vietnam, for example, swapping debt for nature and climate protection could help farmers in the Mekong Delta – an important food-producing area at high risk of sea-level rise – transition to salt-tolerant crop varieties, said report co-author Paul Steele. .

Opening up fiscal space could also expand a government effort that pays farmers, especially in poorer indigenous communities, to plant trees and conserve forests, he said.

Most of the $8 trillion in debt owed by developing countries in 2019 – before the virus crisis – is held by wealthy countries in the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development, China and big money managers. assets, Steele said.

All might have good reason to consider such exchanges, he told the Thomson Reuters Foundation.

China, for example, is hosting the upcoming Convention on Biological Diversity summit, now postponed to 2021, which aims to increase funding for nature conservation, among other goals.

As the largest holder of bilateral debt with developing countries, China could lead by example in testing debt swaps, and recently mentioned them at a meeting of the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank, Steele said.

Asset managers facing debt write-offs following the coronavirus downturn could choose to use them for productive purposes – which could both support struggling economies and reduce the need for additional debt relief. debt in the future, Steele said.

Some investors who have committed to net-zero emissions by 2050 might also consider debt swaps as part of their broader mission, he added.

Debt-for-nature and debt-for-climate swaps are a relatively new idea. In 2018, Seychelles signed a $27 million deal brokered through The Nature Conservancy, with the money released going to create a large marine reserve, Steele said.

Similar agreements could be particularly suitable for other small island developing states in the Caribbean or the Pacific with high debt, high climate vulnerability and rich biodiversity, he said.

In all exchanges, money would be made available for climate and nature protection under a “results-based” payment system, in which the debtor nation must do what it promises to get debt relief, he said.

While Britain no longer holds much developing country debt after forgiving most of it decades ago, as host of the major UN climate summit next year, it could put pressure on creditors in the London financial center to participate in such exchanges, he said.

These deals could become more attractive — and important — as debt rises in developing countries grappling with the coronavirus pandemic and economic downturns, the researchers noted.

Developing country debt was already at record highs before the COVID-19 crisis, rising from 110% in 2010 to 170% of gross domestic product across all countries in 2019, according to the International Monetary Fund.

Reporting by Laurie Goering @lauriegoering; edited by Megan Rowling. Please credit the Thomson Reuters Foundation, the charitable arm of Thomson Reuters. To visit

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Kenya eyes action from China after Paris Club debt relief


Kenya eyes action from China after Paris Club debt relief

Treasure CS Ukur Yatani. FILE PHOTO | NMG



  • The Paris Club – which includes Belgium, Canada, Denmark, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the Republic of Korea, Spain and the United States – said on Monday that it accepted a request from Kenya to suspend debt service from January to the end of June.
  • The country has also requested relief under the G-20 Debt Service Suspension Initiative (DSSI) estimated at 40.6 billion shillings from January 1 to June 30 from non-Club creditors. Paris.

Kenya is considering debt service waivers by more lenders after the Paris Club of international creditors granted it a 32.9 billion shillings loan repayment suspension to help ease pandemic-related financial difficulties of Covid-19.

The Paris Club – which includes Belgium, Canada, Denmark, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the Republic of Korea, Spain and the United States – said on Monday that it accepted a request from Kenya to suspend debt service from January to the end of June.

“Kenya is committed to using the resources freed up by this initiative to increase spending to mitigate the health, economic and social impact of the Covid-19 crisis,” the Paris Club said in a statement released. on its website.

The country has also requested relief under the G-20 Debt Service Suspension Initiative (DSSI) estimated at 40.6 billion shillings from January 1 to June 30 from non-Club creditors. Paris.

“The Government of the Republic of Kenya is also committed to requesting from all its other official bilateral creditors debt service treatment in accordance with the agreed term sheet and its addendum,” the G20 countries said.

Kenya is expected to pay its biggest bilateral lender, China, 109.4 billion shillings this year, including loan installments for the second phase of the standard gauge railway to Naivasha.

Last year, China announced it would suspend payments from 77 developing countries to complete the G20 offer, which is proving more attractive to countries heavily indebted to Beijing.

Treasury Cabinet Secretary Ukur Yatani said the government was already in talks with China and expected a similar deal to be finalized within weeks.

“China is also generally on board with that, but we will get tougher in the coming weeks,” Yatani said.

Kenya initially resisted the suspension of G20 debt repayment, fearing it would limit access to Eurobonds and lower the country’s credit rating.

Moody’s has previously placed Kenya in B2 with a negative outlook, citing huge external debt, falling revenues and currency risks.

Mr Yatani flip-flopped on his stance on G20 debt relief, saying pressure from the World Bank and International Monetary Fund (IMF) had forced the Treasury to seek debt relief.

The two Bretton Woods institutions have pledged to give Kenya low-cost concessional loans on the condition that it accepts the suspension of G20 debt repayments.

This now paves the way for Kenya to secure approval for a $2.3 billion (250.4 billion shillings) loan facility for budget support from the IMF Board of Directors due to meet in february.

The country plans to borrow an additional $1.5 billion (150 billion shillings) from the World Bank in 2021.

Kenya is grappling with high debt payments which have soared to 7.1 trillion shillings or 69.2% of GDP at a time when revenues have fallen following the coronavirus pandemic

Tax collections by the Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA) fell by 15.03% or 33.27 billion shillings in the first two months of this fiscal year to 188.08 billion shillings due to the effects extended training periods of Covid-19 containment measures on economic activity.

This means that Kenya will need more debt to fill the fiscal hole or turn to lenders to restructure debt or offer debt forgiveness to reduce loan repayment expenses.

The country’s deteriorating cash position, marked by declining revenues and worsening debt service obligations, forced it to revert to these conditional loans.

Kenya has pledged to reform its state-owned enterprises, which will raise taxes, cut subsidies and put some people out of work.

Kenya had steered clear of direct budget financing from institutions such as the IMF and World Bank under the administration of former President Mwai Kibaki, preferring project support.

Kenya joined Tanzania, Uganda and Burundi who took the Paris Club freeze.

Rwanda, whose over-indebtedness is considered moderate, does not have as much as South Sudan and Somalia, which are both already in difficulty.

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‘The Squad’ steps up pressure on Biden to write off student loan debt

Democrats and “Squad” members have revisited the issue of student debt forgiveness, saying it’s time to help their fellow Americans.

In a tweet Tuesday, Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez rejected arguments against writing off heavy debts accumulated in continuing education.

“‘Things were bad for me, so they should stay bad for everyone’ is not a good argument against canceling debt – student, medical or otherwise. #CancelStudentDebt,” Ocasio-Cortez wrote.

“Things were bad for me, so they should stay bad for everyone else” is not a good argument against debt cancellation – student, medical or otherwise. #CancelStudentDebt

— Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (@AOC) November 16, 2020

Rep. Ayanna Pressley also contributed to the debate, adding, “Cancelling student debt will ensure a fair economic recovery from COVID-19, revive our economy, and close the racial wealth gap. One more thing,” a- she declared.

Cancel the rent.
Cancel the mortgage.
Cancel student debt.

— Congresswoman Ayanna Pressley (@RepPressley) July 21, 2020

Rep. Ocasio-Cortez supports the long-term goal of having tuition-free public colleges to avoid huge debt in the first place. She believes the current education system is “financially decimating [people in] every generation.”

We should also push for public colleges to be free to prevent this massive debt bubble from financially decimating people in every generation. It is one of the easiest progressive policies to “pay for”, with multiple possibilities ranging from a Wall St transaction tax to a wealth tax to cover it.

— Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (@AOC) November 16, 2020

The “Squad”, made up of four young and diverse women elected to the House of Representatives – Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York, Ilhan Omar of Minnesota, Ayanna Pressley of Massachusetts, and Rashida Tlaib of Michigan — strongly supported the write-off of $30,000 in student loan debt, which they outlined in their Student Debt Emergency Relief Act in March.

The bill aims to provide immediate monthly payment relief to those who have taken out federal student loans and crucially prevent those with student debt from having to make involuntary payments during the coronavirus pandemic.

Congressmen Ayanna Pressley and Ilhan Omar said the legislation would provide much-needed debt relief to some 45 million workers and families, who they say are “crushed by student debt during the COVID-19 pandemic. “.

Rep. Pressley said in a statement: “During this unprecedented crisis, no one should have to choose between paying their student loan, putting food on the table, or protecting themselves and their families.

“Our $1.6 trillion student debt crisis stands in the way of any meaningful economic stimulus efforts during and after this pandemic, which is why we need to cancel student loan debt in order to get the economy moving again. bring immediate relief to workers and families crushed by the financial and emotional burden of massive student debt. We must prioritize debt cancellation for the 45 million student borrowers who are struggling to repay their debt during this difficult time.

KEEP my beloved, departed mother (whom you would not have been able to tie) out of your ignorant mouth.

— Ayanna Pressley (@AyannaPressley) November 17, 2020

As part of the President donald trump, a six-month suspension of student loan repayments has been put in place until September 30. In addition, no interest has been added to the debt. Collection appeals were also put on hold, while borrowers who had defaulted would not be denied their tax refunds. The relief was later extended until December 31 as the pandemic continued. But Democratic representatives want to go further with a more permanent solution: erase up to $30,000 in unpaid student debt, which will help “to restore economy”.

Debt cancellation critics say a bailout will simply redistribute the debt to other Americans and largely benefit those who can afford to go to college, disproportionately helping a wealthy segment of society at the expense of the taxpayer. Texas representative Dan Crenshaw called the proposal to write off the debts “immoral”, in response to the senator. Bernie Sanders saying Wall Street should help foot the bill.

“During the financial crisis, Wall Street received the largest taxpayer bailout in American history. Now it’s Wall Street’s turn to help rebuild the vanishing middle class,” Senator Sanders said. in June.

Senator Crenshaw replied: “When you say #cancelstudentdebt you are saying that a minority of people who have had the benefit of graduating should have their debt paid off by hard working taxpayers, 2/3 of whom n ‘have not graduated themselves, or have already paid off their own student debt.

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez once spoke about being personally affected by student debt, “I also have student loans, and I think it’s so funny, a year ago I was serving tables in a restaurant” , she said in 2019, “and it was literally easier for me to become the youngest woman in American history to be elected to Congress than to pay off my student debt.”

Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez has personally been bothered by student debt.
Tom Williams-Pool/Getty Images

Rep. Ocasio-Cortez made a payment on her outstanding balance during a 2019 congressional hearing. “I literally made a student loan payment while I was sitting here in this chair, and I watched my balance and it was $20,237.16,” she said. at the meeting on student debt.

“I just made a payment that brought me down to $19,000 (£15,412) so I feel really accomplished right now.”

At the start of the pandemic, Reps Ocasio-Cortez, Omar and Tlaib were paying off all of their student loans.

Rep. Rashida Tlaib believes the student loan problem is tied to a larger issue of racism. “I truly believe that canceling student debt is about racial justice,” she said.

“Even though some middle-class and wealthier families have a lot of student debt, low-income people, especially black and brown people, have higher balances and are more likely to drop out of school because “they can’t pay. Canceling all student debt would restore access to education as a right.”

Senator Elizabeth Warren and Senate Democratic leader chuck schumer put pressure on the president-elect Joe Biden to “provide meaningful relief to struggling Americans and globally forgive up to $50,000 in student loan debt”.

Senator Warren called on Biden last week to “cancel billions of dollars in student loan debt, giving tens of millions of Americans an immediate financial boost and helping close the racial wealth gap. This is the most effective executive action available for a huge economic stimulus.”

1. Biden-Harris can write off billions of dollars in student loan debt, giving tens of millions of Americans an immediate financial boost and helping close the racial wealth gap. This is the most effective executive action available for massive economic recovery.

— Elizabeth Warren (@SenWarren) November 12, 2020

Some 45 million people in the United States have outstanding student loans and owe an estimated total of $1.56 trillion, making it the second largest consumer debt after mortgages.

The average student loan for those who graduated in 2018 was $29,200.

The Congressional Budget Office estimates that the US deficit will total $4 trillion this year.

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Pakistan asks G-20 members for debt relief

Islamabad: Cash-strapped Pakistan has asked members of the G-20 countries for debt relief with a commitment not to take on new non-concessional loans except those permitted by IMF guidelines and from the World Bank, according to a media report.

The official requests were sent to individual countries on Friday as part of the G-20 COVID-19 debt service suspension initiative, a senior Economic Affairs Ministry official told the Express Tribune on Monday.

On April 15, the Group of 20 major economies announced a freeze on debt repayments for 76 countries, including Pakistan, for the period from May to December 2020 as they struggle to cope with the coronavirus pandemic, under subject to each country making a formal declaration. request.

However, one of the eligibility criteria was that the recipient country would not incur any new non-concessional debt during the suspension period, other than agreements under this initiative or within agreed limits under IMF debt limitation policy (DLP) or WBG policy. on non-concessional borrowings.

Read also:For a broke Pakistan, Bahawalpur was the kingdom that kept on giving. Then he disappeared

The Pakistani government did not mention the debt relief in the request letters, although it assessed the cumulative amount of relief at $1.8 billion for the period May to December 2020.

Pakistan has also notified the IMF, World Bank and Paris Club of its decision to formally request debt relief.

Last month, the IMF’s resident representative in Pakistan, Teresa Daban, said that Pakistan had not formally made any request to G-20 countries for debt relief.

Pakistan owes $20.7 billion to 11 members of the Group of 20 major economies. Of this amount, $1.8 billion would fall due by December 2020, including interest payments, according to the Ministry of Economic Affairs.

During these eight months, Pakistan will have to reimburse 1.8 billion dollars to its 11 members. That includes $1.47 billion in principal repayments and $323 million in loan interest, according to the daily.

In addition, $613 million in Saudi debt and $309 million in Chinese debt will come due, according to the Ministry of Economic Affairs.

During this period, Pakistan is also required to return $23 million to Canada, $183 million to France, $99 million to Germany, $6 million to Italy, $373 million in Japan, $47 million to South Korea, $14 million. to Russia, 1 million USD to the United Kingdom and 128 million USD to the United States.

According to an IMF condition, the $7.5 billion loans that the Imran Khan government had obtained from China, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and Qatar cannot be repaid during the period of the program. IMF, according to the report.

These loans were only guaranteed for one year to avoid default on international debt obligations, but the IMF had made it a condition that this money would be renewed each year until the program ended in 2022.

If the G-20 member countries agree to the request, Pakistan will have four years to return the amount, including a one-year grace period.

Pakistan has assured G-20 members that it will not incur new non-concessional debts during the suspension period other than agreements concluded under the initiative or in accordance with limits agreed under the policy of IMF debt limitation or World Bank Group policy on non-concessional lending. ready.

An IMF report had estimated Pakistan’s post-COVID-19 external financing needs at $25.8 billion with a financing gap of $2 billion.

For the next fiscal year, the IMF has projected Pakistan’s gross financing needs at $29.3 billion and a financing gap of $1.5 billion.

The IMF had approved emergency loans of $1.4 billion, which more than filled the projected financing gap, but the amount fell short of overall needs.

G-20 countries have announced debt relief to help poorer countries use the fiscal space created to increase social, health or economic spending in response to the coronavirus crisis. A monitoring system was to be put in place by the international financial institutions.

The debt relief will last until the end of 2020, but G-20 countries could consider a possible extension, taking into account a report on the liquidity needs of eligible countries by the World Bank and the IMF .

Read also : IMF mulls $1.4bn loan to Pakistan to help deal with economic impact of Covid-19

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Coalition of progressive groups — and some Quinnipiac students — call on Biden to forgive student debt – The Quinnipiac Chronicle

There are 45 million borrowers who owe $1.6 trillion in student debt, according to Forbesand Quinnipiac University students are calling on President-elect Joe Biden to lighten the load in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic and economic downturn.

“Students shouldn’t worry about school debt when they turn 50,” said Jennifer Guzman, a first-year psychology student. “There are so many students who are working double duty just to try and pay their school debt and barely make a dent. There are other students who are first-generation Americans, and their parents don’t even earn half of their school dues.

Students like Guzman are not alone in their frustration. A coalition of 236 mostly progressive groups called on Biden on Nov. 18 to use his executive powers to cancel student debt on his first day as president.

During the campaign trail, Biden promised to immediately forgive $10,000 of each borrower’s debt as part of his COVID-19 response.

Ricardo Bernabe Torres, a finance professor at Quinnipiac, said a student he spoke to about his student loans told him Biden’s plan wouldn’t be enough.

“The $10,000 wouldn’t make much difference to her, but she said she was happy for everyone that it would help,” Torres said.

Torres said he supports student loan debt forgiveness because of conversations like these he had with students.

“It’s good for the economy,” Torres said. “I don’t think it’s going to solve everything, but we have a different generation than we had before. It is the first generation that is poorer than previous generations. There is less home ownership. There are delays in retirement.

The pandemic is only exacerbating existing trends, Torres said.

“The looming feeling of these debts can set people back,” Torres said. “When they want to take a risk or make a big financial decision like buying a house or having kids, the impending gloom has an impact.”

Sumer Perratti, a junior media studies student, said student debt relief would give her time to explore her areas of interest without worrying about paying off student debt.

“Cancelling student debt would give me the opportunity to freely explore the field of communications and follow my passion without worrying about college expenses,” Perratti said.

Critics of canceling student loans argue that it is unfair to people who have already paid off their loans and would cost too much. Perratti said each family’s financial situation is different and reviews should be more understanding.

“I think people need to understand that a lot of us come from low-income or working-class households and going to a very reputable university is often a risk,” Perratti said. “We must bank on the success that our schools promise us to pay to avoid living in debt for the rest of our lives. College is so expensive now, and it’s unfair that my life is at a disadvantage because my family doesn’t make enough money.

As someone who doesn’t have kids and has never had his own student debt from scholarships, Torres said he always feels empathy for those who owe her. refund.

“We all benefit from a more educated society,” Torres said.

Due to a concept Torres called “degree inflation,” an increasing number of careers require not just a bachelor’s degree, but also a master’s degree. More degrees mean more money and fewer opportunities for those with less money.

“We all impose this as a society and so not everyone is in the position of being able to go to school without going into debt,” Torres said. “Are we going to stop these people from getting a degree?”

For many students and activists, the answer is no.

“Every year, student debt increases and hits a new high,” said Collin Doria, a sophomore in health sciences. “The pandemic is not improving anything, so the debt should be cancelled.”

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Puerto Rico Debt Relief Act Stirs Colonial Resentment

The American flag floated above the courthouse and its huge parking lot. Just outside a fence and a guard post, protesters had pitched tents, hoisted a small Puerto Rican flag and hung banners saying, “The problem is not the junta, it’s the colony.

Ms Sánchez said protesters converged on the spot at 6 p.m. Wednesday, as soon as they learned that Promesa had passed the Senate. She said she was angry at, among other things, a provision to lower the minimum wage here to $4.25 an hour for young workers and the government’s announcement not to test supply in water.

“We’re looking at, basically, the next Flint,” she said, referring to the struggling Michigan town where high levels of lead have been found in drinking water. Flint’s deeply troubled finances are controlled by a state-appointed emergency officer, under an arrangement similar to what is now expected for Puerto Rico.

As if to embody the emotional whirlwind here, the governor, Mr. García Padilla, reversed his allegiance on the issue of federal intervention, making a 180-degree turn at the very last minute. A staunch opponent of federal surveillance, in early June he became the first sitting governor in Puerto Rico’s history to visit Cuba, where he attended a Caribbean summit as an observer, spoke with President Raúl Castro and laid the foundations for a commercial office in Havana.

The move stunned policymakers in Washington, who had pushed Promesa’s sensitive dossier for months and expected the governor to join them in the latest lobbying offensive on Capitol Hill.

This week, García Padilla traveled to Washington, where he dutifully accompanied Treasury Secretary Jacob J. Lew to lobby for the bill.

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The Containment and Disaster Relief Trust

Containment and Disaster Relief Trust

April 9, 2021

The Catastrophe Containment and Relief Trust (CCRT) enables the IMF to provide grants for debt relief to the poorest and most vulnerable countries affected by catastrophic natural disasters or public health disasters. The relief from debt service payments frees up additional resources to meet the exceptional balance of payments needs created by the disaster and for containment and recovery. Created in February 2015 during the Ebola epidemic and modified in March 2020 in response to the Covid-19 pandemicCCRT grants complement donor funding and IMF concessional loans Trust for poverty reduction and growth (PRGT).

Purpose of the CCRT. In February 2015, the IMF transformed the Post-Catastrophe Debt Relief Trust into the Catastrophe Containment and Relief Trust (CCRT), expanding the the range of situations covered by IMF disaster assistance to include rapidly spreading epidemics. In March 2020, the IMF adopted a set of reforms to the CCRT to enable the Fund to provide immediate debt service relief to its poorest and most vulnerable members affected by the current COVID-19 pandemic and any future pandemic. the trust provides grants to pay debt service due to the IMF to eligible low-income member countries that are affected by the most catastrophic natural disasters or are struggling with public health disasters, such as epidemics or global pandemics. The objective of debt relief under the CCRT is to free up resources to meet the exceptional balance of payments needs created by the disaster rather than having to allocate these resources to debt servicing.

Eligibility. Assistance through the CCRT is currently available to countries eligible for concessional borrowing through the Poverty Reduction and Growth Trust (PRGT) and whose per capita income is below the operational threshold of International Development Association (IDA) (currently US$1,185) or, for small states with a population of less than 1.5 million, a per capita income below twice the IDA threshold (currently $2,370).

Structure. The CCRT has two windows: (i) a Disaster Containment window, to help contain a public health disaster; and (ii) a post-disaster relief window, to provide exceptional assistance following a catastrophic natural disaster. Windows have different purposes, qualification criteria, and support requirements.

Disaster containment the window:

  • Qualification. There are two alternative qualifying cases of public health disasters. The first concerns a life-threatening epidemic that has spread to several regions of the affected country, causing significant economic disruption, and has the capacity to spread or is already spreading to other countries. A significant economic disruption is defined by at least: (i) a cumulative loss of real GDP of 10%; or (ii) a cumulative loss of revenue and an increase in expenditure equivalent to at least 10% of GDP. The second case involves a potentially deadly global pandemic that inflicts severe economic disruption on all IMF members and creates balance-of-payments needs on such a scale that it warrants a concerted effort to support the poorest countries and the most vulnerable through substantial additional subsidies. and debt service relief. To qualify for assistance, the affected country must put in place appropriate macroeconomic policies to meet balance of payments needs.
  • Debt service relief. Eligible low-income countries that are affected by public health disasters as defined above may receive initial grants covering eligible debt owed to the IMF within a period not exceeding two years from the date of the initial decision. (i.e. until April 2022), provided that the CCRT has sufficient means.

Post-disaster relief window:

  • Qualification. A catastrophic natural disaster that has (i) directly affected at least a third Population; and (ii) destroyed more than a quarter of the country’s productive capacity, as estimated by early indications such as destroyed structures and impact on key economic sectors and public institutions or caused greater estimated damage 100% of GDP.
  • Debt flow relief. Eligible low-income countries affected by catastrophic disasters as defined above would receive debt stream relief on the servicing of their IMF debt falling due within two years of the disaster.
  • Relief of outstanding debt. Full cancellation of a country’s outstanding debt to the IMF is also possible in cases where the disaster has created substantial and long-lasting balance of payments needs and where the resources freed up by debt relief Outstanding debt is essential to meet these needs. This would generally only be the case if the country was faced with very high debt. Relief of outstanding debt would be conditional on concerted debt relief efforts by the country’s official creditors and the availability of resources within the CCRT.

CCRT funding. The CCRT was initially funded with the balance of the former Post-Disaster Debt Relief Trust and the remaining accounts of the Multilateral Debt Relief Initiative funding. In response to the covid19 pandemic, the IMF has launched an urgent fundraising effort that would allow the CCRT to provide debt service relief for the entire two-year period, while leaving the CCRT sufficiently funded for future needs. This will require a commitment of approximately $1.4 billion

Use of the CCRT. To date, three tranches from April 2020 to October 2021— have been approved for the 29 eligible countries with eligible debt. In previous cases, three Ebola-affected countries (Guinea, Liberia, and Sierra Leone) received nearly US$100 million in aid from this trust in February-March 2015. The previous debt relief trust post-disaster was used to provide assistance to Haiti July 2010 of approximately US$270 million, eliminating all of Haiti’s debt to the IMF

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Banks write off debt worth MAD 869.85m from 1,607 Emiratis

Several banks across the UAE have canceled the debts of 1,607 Emiratis, totaling more than Dhs 869.85 million, the Non-Performing Debt Relief Fund announced on November 30.

Participating lenders included: First Abu Dhabi Bank, Abu Dhabi Commercial Bank, Al Hilal Bank, Mashreq Bank, Emirates NBD, Abu Dhabi Islamic Bank, Standard Chartered, RAKBANK, Commercial Bank of Dubai, Dubai Islamic Bank, Emirates Islamic, NBQ and the Arab Bank for Investment and Foreign Trade (Al Masraf).

This decision was implemented in accordance with the directives of the President of the United Arab Emirates, Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan.

“Since its inception in 2011, under the guidance of President His Highness Sheikh Khalifa, the fund has undertaken many important initiatives to address the issues and concerns of citizens and provide them with the means for a decent standard of living, in cooperation with national banks and the Central Bank,” said Jaber Mohammed Ghanem Al Suwaidi, Director General of the Court of the Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Chairman of the Supreme Committee of the Non-Performing Debt Relief Fund.

Al Suwaidi also expressed his thanks to all the banks that have been part of this initiative, the official news agency W.A.M. reported.

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US says ready to extend G20 debt framework to other countries

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The United States is open to extending a joint framework for debt treatment agreed on Friday by G20 finance officials for the world’s poorest countries to include countries with middle income and small island states, a senior US Treasury official said.

However, this view is not shared by all members of the Group of 20 major economies at this stage, the official said.

“We are very open to extending this to other countries,” the official told reporters. “It’s a framework that we believe could apply to low-income countries, as well as middle-income countries, small island states.”

On Friday, G20 countries agreed for the first time on a common framework for restructuring public debts as the COVID-19 pandemic exacerbates problems for poor countries that were already facing high levels of debt. overwhelming before the outbreak.

The World Bank, International Monetary Fund and finance ministers from many middle-income countries have argued that the G20 debt relief initiative must be expanded to include countries that are not currently eligible.

US approval marks a substantial step forward in this push.

The senior US official called the joint framework a historic achievement that brought creditors such as China, India and Turkey into a coordinated debt restructuring process, alongside the Paris Club of official bilateral creditors.

But he said the United States would carefully monitor its implementation, with a focus on China, which has increased its lending sharply over the past 20 years. Estimates of total Chinese loans ranged from $350 billion to more than $1 trillion, the official said.

“We will certainly be watching closely how it works in practice, and with a particular eye on Chinese participation,” the official said. “It’s really the lack of transparency on Chinese debt that allows them, in some cases, to game the system and avoid full participation.”

Reporting by Andrea Shalal and Rodrigo Campos; Editing by Kirsten Donovan and Steve Orlofsky

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Victims of local student debt relief society speak out

SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) — Nakeia Warren and Andre Archibald are just two of more than 2,000 consumers who have contacted the Federal Trade Commission to complain about Ameritech Financial, a student debt relief company.

According to the FTC, between 2014 and 2018, consumers paid Ameritech Financial $60 million in fees in exchange for Ameritech Financial submitting documents on their behalf to loan repayment plans.

RELATED: Ameritech Financial employee claims struggling student debt relief company was helping people

Warren and Archibald thought the money they paid to Ameritech Financial was going towards their student loans, but the FTC says that was not the case.

“I felt humiliated. I was very angry about it,” Warren said.

Archibald served in the military for 19 years and now works in counterintelligence.

“It makes you feel like an idiot,” Archibald said.

The two paid thousands of dollars up front, followed by recurring monthly fees.

The FTC says this upfront fee should serve as a wake-up call to consumers.

RELATED: Sonoma County CEO charged under student debt relief program to be released under house arrest

“Asking you for a fee before we do anything for you and in doing anything, what I mean is actually providing you with the debt relief services that you sign up for and that are illegal,” said FTC staff attorney Michelle Grajales.

Consumers also say Ameritech Financial encouraged them to exaggerate their family size to qualify for loan forgiveness programs.

In February, the FTC filed a lawsuit against Ameritech Financial and CEO Brandon Frere outlining the alleged deceptive practices.

“I would have kept paying out of ignorance if it hadn’t been for the legal notice I received,” Warren said.

In Ameritech Financial’s offer letter, there is a disclosure at the bottom in fine print. It explicitly says that the company does not assume or pay consumer debts. It also states that there are many free government programs and this is not a government program. It’s information that Warren says she only noticed after the FTC contacted her.

She then contacted the Ministry of Education.

“When I said Ameritech the woman on the phone finished the finances for me – she already knew who the company was, she said I had spoken to so many people like you and unfortunately you were taken advantage of as many more,” Garenne said.

On November 29, the FTC filed an injunction shutting down Ameritech Financial. Brandon Frere also faces a charge of wire fraud for transferring company money to personal and offshore accounts.

Frere’s attorney did not respond to a request for comment today, but has already spoken to ABC7 News outside of court.

“There are an awful lot of issues in this case that will emerge as the case progresses,” attorney Ed Swanson said.

RELATED: Sonoma County leader arrested over student debt relief program

Meanwhile, Warren and Archibald have several thousand dollars more student loan debt than when they started paying Ameritech Financial because of the interest that continued to accrue on their loans.

the The FTC has a list of companies and those barred from debt relief.

Copyright © 2022 KGO-TV. All rights reserved.

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G20 strikes historic debt pact to help poorer states hit by Covid

PARIS/TOKYO/WASHINGTON: G20 countries agreed for the first time on a common restructuring framework government debtin anticipation of the coronavirus crisis leaving some poorer nations struggling to pay and in need of relief.
With the Covid-19 pandemic straining the finances of some developing countries, G20 finance ministers said on Friday that more help was needed than a current temporary debt freeze, which will be extended until June 30, 2021.
Major creditors, including China, will have to follow common guidelines agreed by the G20, which specify how debt deemed unsustainable can be reduced or rescheduled.
Non-governmental groups said the deal should have gone further by including middle-income countries and forcing private investors accept cancellations.
The coronavirus crisis has exacerbated the problems of the poorest countries, 50% of which are currently in debt distress or at risk of debt distress and, in an early sign of its impact, Zambia is on the verge of becoming Africa’s first sovereign default in the world. COVID era.
managing director of the imf Kristalina Georgieva Last week, African states alone faced a funding gap of $345 billion through 2023 to deal with the pandemic and its economic impact.
“I count on the constructive spirit of everyone to ensure a rapid and cooperative implementation of the common framework, while several countries are already asking for debt treatments, particularly in Africa,” said Bruno Le Maire in French finance. G20 counterparts in an online meeting.
China, which accounted for 63% of the total debt owed to G20 countries in 2019, has been reluctant to acknowledge the need for outright debt cancellation or reduction.
Under the new framework, creditor countries will negotiate with a debtor country, which will have to seek the same terms of treatment from private sector creditors.
The regime borrows heavily from the rules established by the Paris Club, an informal grouping of governments of mainly wealthy countries created in 1956, which was until now the only common forum to negotiate debt restructurings.
G20 finance ministers said in a joint statement that the new framework aims to “facilitate the rapid and orderly processing of debt” for countries eligible for the debt payment freeze put in place in April, but which does not only included private sector creditors on a voluntary basis.
“From now on, all interested parties must ensure that the common framework is implemented. Debt transparency is extremely important,” Japanese Finance Minister Taro Aso told reporters after a G20 conference call, calling the deal “historic.”
Wave of crises
The new framework also goes further by requiring the participation of all public creditors, after China was criticized by G20 partners for not including debt owed to its state-owned banks.
Wary of debt cancellations, Beijing has defined the state-owned China Development Bank as a private institution, resisting calls for full participation in debt relief.
Although China signed the framework, it was still unclear how it would implement the measures, a source familiar with the negotiations told Reuters.
Tim Jones, head of policy at Jubilee Debt Campaign, said in a statement that the G20 announcement enabled but discouraged outright debt cancellation, and did not create a mechanism to compel the participation of the private sector.
“This announcement falls far short of what is needed to tackle the wave of debt crises in the poorest countries,” he said.
“With many countries facing debt crises and Zambia today on the brink of default, the G20 must stop kicking the road,” he added.
Eric LeCompte, UN debt adviser and executive director of Jubilee USA Network, said including private sector creditors was an important step, but criticized the G20 for not including middle-income countries.
“Unfortunately, middle-income countries that will see some of the biggest increases in poverty due to the crisis, are being left out of this process,” LeCompte said.
The Paris Club, which is organized by France’s finance ministry, and G20 countries had already agreed last month to extend this year’s debt freeze under which they were postponing $5 billion in debt service to help the world’s poorest countries.
G20 leaders are expected to endorse the common framework at a virtual summit meeting next week.
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Pakistan signs $1.7 billion debt relief deal


ISLAMABAD: Pakistan has secured a $1.7 billion debt relief deal to help offset financial headwinds caused by the coronavirus pandemic, officials said on Monday.

The deal, after months of negotiations with creditors, will provide a moratorium on debt payments for large swaths of the current financial year and help ease the cash-strapped country’s massive financial obligations.

“The Pakistani government has successfully negotiated and concluded rescheduling agreements with 19 bilateral creditors, including members of the Paris Club,” Pakistan’s Ministry of Economic Affairs said in a statement.

The ministry went on to describe the deal as “timely” which will help save “the lives and livelihoods of millions of people”.

Pakistan’s economy was already on life support before authorities began shutting down large segments of the economy in the spring as a series of lockdown measures were rolled out to combat the spread of the coronavirus.

Prime Minister Imran Khan has repeatedly called for international donor debt cancellation as tax revenues soared, inflation soared, the currency devalued and budget deficits widened.

Earlier this year, the G20 and the Paris Club agreed to waive most debt payments for the world’s poorest countries in 2020 as sweeping virus lockdowns rocked the global economy.

In June, Pakistan was named as one of the few countries to secure a moratorium on Paris Club debt repayments in a bid to mitigate the economic impact of the coronavirus crisis.

To add to the country’s woes, Pakistan is also facing growing questions over the huge debt it has incurred in recent years from Chinese-funded infrastructure projects.

Beijing has steadily poured money into Pakistan, investing more than $50 billion under the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor which has improved infrastructure, electricity and transport links across the country.

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G20 offers poorest countries no assurance on extended debt relief | Business and economy

The World Bank, IMF and Oxfam have all called on the G20 to extend the debt suspension of the poorest countries battling coronavirus.

By Bloomberg

The Group of 20 major economies will make a decision on extending the current suspension of debt repayments for the poorest countries towards the end of the year, postponing assurances of further relief as the global pandemic ravages nations of the whole world.

All member countries have started implementing the Debt Service Suspension Initiative which is currently only expected to run until December and the G-20 expects the status quo to put $14 billion dollars available to fight the virus, said Finance Minister Mohammed Al-Jadaan of host Saudi Arabia. told reporters on Saturday after a virtual meeting of ministers and central bankers. So far, 42 countries have requested assistance under the plan, resulting in the suspension of $5.3 billion in repayments.

The decision to consider extending the debt suspension follows calls from the World Bank, the International Monetary Fund and charities such as Oxfam. The rate of Covid-19 infections is rising in many countries, and even with the April G-20 agreement to waive bilateral debt payments for vulnerable countries, the cost of servicing bonds is crowding out the health and social expenditure.

The World Bank last month forecast emerging market output will decline for the first time in at least six decades.

The virus and global recession will lead to increased poverty in poor countries and some countries’ debt burdens are reaching crisis levels, World Bank President David Malpass said in prepared remarks for the meeting of Saturday. He urged the G-20 to extend the status quo until the end of 2021 and expand the scope.

“More and more desperate”

“The situation in developing countries is increasingly desperate,” Malpass said. “Time is running out. We need to act quickly on debt suspension, debt reduction, debt resolution mechanisms and debt transparency.”

Al-Jadaan said the G-20 will receive a progress report from the IMF and World Bank ahead of the annual lenders’ meetings in October to help decide on next steps.

IMF Managing Director Kristalina Georgieva said in a statement that she hoped the G-20 would consider an extension of the debt moratorium, without giving a specific timeline. The IMF is stepping up action to make better use of existing special drawing rights, or reserve assets, she said.

After Saturday’s meeting, French Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire said France supported extending the debt service suspension until the end of 2021 and that nations were on track to achieve this. to an agreement. He said European countries were continuing to discuss work to establish a digital business tax by the end of the year and a minimum business tax to tackle evasion.

However, the commitments made at Saturday’s meeting may not yet go far enough, according to Jubilee USA Network, a nonprofit group that advocates for debt relief for small economies.

“Given the severity of the current crisis, we were hoping to see more action,” Jubilee’s Eric LeCompte said in a statement.

-With help from Vivian Nereim, Reema Alothman and Matthew Martin.

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India in talks with Sri Lanka over request for debt relief: MEA

India said on Thursday it was in talks with Sri Lanka over its request for a debt repayment deferral.

“The file has progressed and discussions at the technical level are currently underway,” said Foreign Ministry spokesman Anurag Srivastava.

He was responding to a question about the issue during an online press conference.

Sri Lanka is reeling from a major economic crisis and has asked several countries and international donors, including India, for debt relief.

Asked about reports of Chinese envoy to Nepal Hou Yanqi meeting with several leaders in Nepal and whether she was meddling in the country’s political turmoil, Srivastava declined to comment.

I have no comment to make on the internal political situation in Nepal, he said.

Responding to a question on the Enrica Lexie case, Srivastava said the Foreign Ministry was quick to inform the Supreme Court and the government of Kerala of the verdict of an international court on the matter.

In its ruling, the court said two Italian sailors who shot down two Indian fishermen cannot be tried in an Indian court.

He did, however, confirm the conduct of Indian authorities following the 2012 incident.

India has accused two Italian marines, Salvatore Girone and Massimiliano Latorre, aboard the MV Enrica Lexie, an Italian-flagged tanker, of shooting dead the two Indian fishermen who were on a fishing boat off Kerala in the exclusive economic zone (EEZ) of India.

The incident happened off the coast of Kerala on February 15, 2012.

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TVA offers a $200 million customer credit to relieve COVID-19

This story was updated at 8:45 p.m. on Thursday, August 27, 2020, with more information.

For the second year in a row, the Tennessee Valley Authority is reducing the price of its electricity through rebates or credits to its customers after reducing its own debt and spending.

The federal utility said Thursday it will provide a special coronavirus pandemic relief credit of $200 million next year, equal to a 2.5% reduction on its base electricity rates. One year ago, VAT announced its intention to try to keep its electricity rates stable for the next decade and offered a 3.1% rebate to local power companies that signed long-term contracts with the utility.

TVA Chairman Jeff Lyash said Thursday that the credit aims to help communities and businesses recover more quickly from the current crisis. COVID-19[female[feminine pandemic and reflects TVA’s improved performance.

“The continued impact of this pandemic on our communities is unprecedented and creates continued economic uncertainty,” Lyash said. “The TVA team has just done a great job of constantly looking for ways to reduce costs and improve reliability, and they are poised to deliver a year of outstanding performance in fiscal year 2020 despite the challenges presented. by COVID-19[female[feminine.”

The virus forced costly changes to how TVA fueled its nuclear reactors and recovered from storm damage and is expected to cut the agency’s power sales this year by $300 million or more and limit sales again in the coming year.

But Lyash said TVA decided to offer the $200 million credit to distributors, in addition to providing ongoing support for its community assistance program and a special return-to-business credit, due to its better results. than expected this year and its long term. partnerships with most municipalities and electric cooperatives that distribute electricity in the TVA seven-state area.

With lower borrowing costs and debt reducing interest charges and more rainfall this year spurring cheaper hydroelectric generation, TVA has been able to deliver electricity at lower prices than there were. is ten years old while maintaining sufficient reserves to provide the additional credit, Lyash said. Over the past six years, TVA has cut annual operating expenses by more than $800 million through cuts to staff, programs and technology, he said.

TVA reported net income of $652 million in the first nine months of the fiscal year while paying down debt to the lowest level in 30 years, TVA chief financial officer John Thomas said.

The credit for the coming year has been welcomed by local power companies, who will determine how the rebates will be spent to lower prices, offset higher expenses or extend utility cut-off moratoriums passed by the government. most utilities this spring during the worst of the pandemic. slow-down.

Doug Peters, president of the Tennessee Valley Public Power Association — which represents TVA’s 154 distributors — welcomed the TVA credit and flexible regulations on how the money will be spent.

“We commend TVA’s leadership for easing the financial strain this pandemic has placed on TVPPA members by supporting them with the Pandemic Relief Credit,” he said. “We further commend TVA for entrusting the decision-making regarding the use of these funds to local power companies so that they can make decisions based on their unique knowledge of the needs of their business and community. .”

In Chattanooga, EPB used its refund last year to begin pursuing construction of a battery storage or solar farm on the northern edge of its service territory. EPB Chairman David Wade said the new VAT credit underscores the value of America’s largest public service.

“Actions like these set TVA and the public energy model apart by demonstrating a clear and responsive commitment to join local power distributors in putting people and communities first,” Wade said.

The EPB has suspended power cuts for non-payment and waived its late fees since March due to financial hardship caused by the pandemic. EPB matched donations from TVA to also support local efforts to help those injured or threatened with eviction from their homes due to the economic downturn.

“Throughout this time, we have worked with nonprofit and public partners to identify sources of assistance, including special programs that have been put in place to help people cope with the COVID-19 crisis. COVID,” EPB Vice President J. Ed. dit Marston said. “We have also partnered with Centraide and engaged TVA in a campaign to support the United Way Restore Hope fund to provide financial assistance to those impacted by the COVID crisis, many of whom had never asked for help before.

While EPB has suspended power cuts, other TVA distributors have or soon plan to reinstate power cuts for those who do not pay their electricity bills.

A coalition of environmental groups wants TVA to act as a regulator of local distributors to suspend any customer cuts. In a petition delivered to TVA this month, dozens of climate justice organizations called on the agency to impose a moratorium on power cuts in the region and fund debt relief for its clients.

“Faced with a health, environmental and economic crisis unprecedented since the Great Depression, we are asking TVA to return to its original mission of improving the quality of life here in the Tennessee Valley,” said Brianna Knisley, coordinator of the Tennessee campaign. with the voices of Appalachia. “TVA can and should protect vulnerable communities from power outages.”

The petition urges TVA to reallocate its resources to help customers pay their bills and fund a fair economic recovery through clean energy and energy efficiency programs.

“In the midst of a pandemic, when people are unemployed and without basic needs like electricity, food, water and broadband services, TVA has a responsibility to support its customers by establishing a moratorium on closures service provider, confirming its original mission to serve the people of the Tennessee Valley,” said Isabella Killius of Sunrise Tennessee.

Lyash said local power companies, which are governed by locally elected or appointed trustees who are closest to each community and its needs, should have the flexibility to determine how best to spend the $200 million credit. dollars.

In addition to the pandemic relief credit, TVA is making another contribution of $2 million to the Community Relief Fund set up in April. Similar to the initial contribution, these funds will be matched by local power companies and other community groups for the benefit of local organizations that help families and businesses most in need. Earlier this year, similar matching funds eventually provided more than $4.5 million to nearly 300 groups in the region, TVA Vice President Buddy Eller said.

Contact Dave Flessner at [email protected] or 423-757-6340.

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AFCC Debt Settlement Market Share, Analysis by Product, Application, End Use, Regional Outlook, Competitive Strategies and Forecast to 2025

AFCC Debt Settlement Market Share, Analysis by Product, Application, End Use, Regional Outlook, Competitive Strategies and Forecast to 2025

The report on AFCC Debt Settlement Market provides a comprehensive overview of the business scenario, with emphasis on the various growth drivers, bottlenecks, challenges, and opportunities defining the growth matrix during the forecast period.

According to the study, the AFCC debt settlement market is expected to register a CAGR of xx% over the period 2020-2025.

It further draws on expert knowledge to analyze various market segments and provide readers with insights into regional outlook and competitive scorecard. The report also explains the impact of COVID-19 on industry trends and suggests action plans to make the most of the situation.

Request a sample copy of this report @

Market Overview:

Regional range:

  • The business intelligence document divides the AFCC debt settlement market into regions, namely Americas, APAC, Europe, and Middle East & Africa.
  • Factors influencing regional growth and each geography’s revenue contribution to the overall industry assessment are involved.
  • Projections on the growth rate and market share held by various regions over the analysis period are presented.

Product scope:

  • Various products being considered for AFCC debt settlement market research are Credit card debt, student loan debt, medical bills, apartment leases and more.
  • The consumption pattern for each type of product is revealed in the report.
  • Additionally, data related to sales volume, revenue generated, and industry share represented by each product segment are elucidated.

Scope :

  • The range of applications, based on the product offerings of the AFCC Debt Settlement market, is Business and Personal.
  • The product consumption volume and value for each application segment are detailed in the report.
  • It further reveals the market share achieved by each type of application in the past and predicts the same for the coming years.

Competitive hierarchy:

  • The report conducts an in-depth survey of AFCC debt settlement market giants including National Debt Relief, American Debt Solutions, Rescue One Financial, Freedom Debt Relief, Pacific Debt, ClearOne Advantage, Guardian Debt Relief, Accredited Debt Relief, America Debt Resolutions, CuraDebt Systems, Consumer First Financial, CreditAssociates, Americor Financial , Century Support Service, Beyond Finance, Consumer Debt Help Association, and Atlas Debt Relief, which define the company’s competitive dynamics.
  • Basic information such as profiles and product offerings of each company are provided.
  • Figures related to unit price model, sales volume achieved, gross profit and company industry are included.
  • Knowledge regarding areas of operation and distribution channels deployed by industry competitors is disclosed.
  • An update on the latest happenings in the market, such as mergers and acquisitions, collaborations and partnerships, and new launches, is also on display.

Summary of key indicators

  • Competitive Scoreboard: The study documents the business profiles of major players, while focusing on the products offered by these companies, product specifications, production capacity, sales data, gross margin and revenue generated during the the forecast period.
  • Global and Regional Market Research: Dominant trends and projections on the valuation along with growth graph of global and regional market size over the analysis period are enlisted, based on export and import patterns and production trends and of consumption for each specified country and region.
  • Product land: The report brings together different product segments and provides information about their specifications, as well as sales volume and value.
  • Application spectrum: Several applications of the products are mentioned in the report, which further elucidates the market share held by each type of application and their revenue contribution in the subsequent years.
  • Additionally, the report leverages expert opinion to inform the reader on existing market trends, drivers, opportunities, and challenges influencing company sizing, and Porter’s Five Forces Analysis on the competitive landscape.

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Thousands of scammed student loan borrowers have filed for debt relief — the feds haven’t approved any in over a year

Over the past year, the Department of Education has received tens of thousands of applications for student debt relief from borrowers who say they were scammed by their schools.

The agency has not approved any.

That’s according to data obtained from the Department and released Wednesday by the office of Senator Patty Murray, the ranking Democrat on the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee, which oversees the Department.

Between June 30, 2018 and March 31, 2019, more than 74,000 requests for debt relief poured into the agency.

As of March 31, 2019, the Ministry has received 239,937 requests for debt relief from these borrowers with 179,377 requests pending. As of that date, the agency had approved 47,942, a number that hasn’t budged. since June 30, 2018. The number of refusals has also not increased since the end of June 2018.

But the number of applications received by the Department during this period has steadily increased. Between June 30, 2018 and March 31, 2019, more than 74,000 requests for debt relief poured into the agency.

Murray derided the Department’s inaction on the claims as “shameful,” in a statement. “There is nothing stopping Secretary DeVos from immediately approving the claims except her apparent disdain for borrowers, and I will continue to urge her to provide students who have been cheated or defrauded by predatory for-profit colleges the relief that they are entitled.”

Critics of the Trump administration have derided the Department’s approach to the borrower advocacy process and say it’s part of a larger DeVos-era agency scheme favoring college interests. for profit relative to the borrowers. Earlier this year, the agency repealed a rule developed by the Obama administration that was intended to ensure that graduates of vocational training programs – which are mostly at for-profit colleges – earned enough to repay their loans.

The data is the latest development in a battle over the fate of borrowers who have been scammed by their schools.

The fight over the future of for-profit colleges even reached the Democratic debate stage in Detroit on Tuesday night. In response to a question about why he does not support Sen. Bernie Sanders’ proposal to write off all student debt, South Bend, Indiana Mayor Pete Buttigieg said that if he were to write off the debt, it would “start with for-profit colleges.” that took advantage of people, especially veterans.

“Under President Obama, they were held accountable for their results,” he said. “President Trump, under the direction of a Secretary of Education who, unfortunately, is from this state, removed these rules,” he said. “There is no accountability.”

The data released by Sen. Patty Murray exclusively to MarketWatch is the latest development in a years-long battle over the fate of borrowers who have been scammed by their schools into debt. Under a law, known as the repayment defense, these borrowers have the right to have their federal student debt forgiven.

But the law, which has been on the books since the 1990s, was only widely used in 2015, when former students from the now defunct for-profit chain Corinthian Colleges, organized by activists, started asking for help under the law. This pressure helped convince the Obama administration to create a more formal process that borrowers could use to file claims for relief.

The Department of Education under Education Secretary Betsy DeVos tried unsuccessfully to rewrite the rules. The agency and DeVos are also facing a class action lawsuit from borrowers, accusing officials of unlawfully blocking their decision on their claims.

Borrowers describe how their debt has prevented them from buying homes, and even delayed marriage or children.

In nearly 900 affidavits submitted as part of the lawsuit earlier this month, borrowers describe how their debt prevented them from buying homes or cars and delayed major life events, such as marriage or children. . They allege for-profit colleges tricked them into attending and going into debt to pay for it with the promise of a better future. In fact, many say they are worse off than before their participation.

Liz Hill, a spokeswoman for the Department, wrote in an emailed statement that ongoing litigation has prevented the agency from adjudicating the claims. The agency was sued last year over a plan to use a formula to determine whether certain borrowers who attended Corinthian colleges and filed borrower defense claims might be eligible for a partial discharge from their loans instead of a complete discharge.

A federal district court judge ruled last year that the Department’s approach violated the Privacy Act and ordered the agency to stop collections on former Corinthian students while legal issues are settled. The government appealed the decision, Hill noted. But with the Department’s process for determining a borrower’s level of harm “held in court,” Hill wrote, the agency cannot move forward with assessing claims.

“The department has a duty to protect students from fraud while safeguarding taxpayer dollars,” she wrote.

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Debt and the Economy – Journal

Most national debt indicators are worrying. Significantly reducing the national debt over the remaining two-and-a-half years of the PTI government appears difficult in the wake of the global economic downturn triggered by Covid-19, domestic political instability and worsening geopolitical challenges. That means the economy, which is already struggling to recover from last year’s 0.4% contraction, could continue to suffer from anemic growth.

This is something that policy makers have apparently understood. After resorting to large net foreign and domestic borrowing during the first two years of the PTI government, they are now also trying to raise financial resources which have little or no impact on the level of debt. national. Attracting diaspora income through both remittances and portfolio investments, privatizing state-owned enterprises (EPs), encouraging foreign direct investment (FDI) and attempting to increase tax and non-tax revenue are efforts centered around this objective.

But the volumes of debt are huge and servicing them is expensive. These efforts also require additional debt relief and support from international creditors in the event of external debt and a cautious use of new borrowing in the event of domestic debt.

The economy grew only 1.9% in 2018-19, the first year of the PTI government, compared to 5.5% in 2017-18, the last year of the PML-N government, shared by the interim configuration put in place. in place to organize the general elections of July 2018. .

Debt servicing cost expected to remain lower than last year due to relatively stable exchange rate and lower interest rates

But even this weak growth of 1.9% came at the cost of a 34.6% year-on-year growth in the country’s debt and total liabilities (external and internal), which rose from 29.88 trillion rupees in 2017-2018 to 40.22tr in 2018. -19.

Such weak growth amid a massive accumulation of national debt betrayed the quality of economic management, especially since it all happened before the emergence of Covid-19. What has been more disappointing is that a sharp increase in the government’s domestic and external debt – and not in other components – contributed strongly to this expansion in total national debt and liabilities. This worsened the economic situation in 2019-20, especially after the pandemic hit Pakistan. (The government’s domestic debt rose to Rs20.73tr in 2018-19 from Rs16.41tr in 2017-18 and the rupee equivalent of its external debt also rose to Rs11.05tr from Rs7.79tr.)

This was bound to increase the total debt service need in 2019-20 and it did. In 2019-20, Pakistan had to devote 55% of its tax revenue to servicing domestic and external debt alone. Even in 2018-19, 47% of tax revenue was spent on this, according to budget documents.

When debt service absorbs the bulk of tax revenue, policy trade-offs become limited and painful. The development agenda cannot be pursued well, unemployment cannot be contained, industrial growth cannot be accelerated, agriculture cannot be sufficiently supported, and the service sector must be left to fend for itself. This all happened in 2018-19 and with heightened intensity in 2019-20 – as the first wave of Covid-19 hit the country in the final four months of the fiscal year.

At the start of 2019-20, the PTI government approached the International Monetary Fund (IMF) for balance of payments support after more than a year of dithering. The economic discipline imposed by the IMF has helped the government to limit the growth of its external and internal debt.

As a result, the annual growth rate of total external and domestic debt and liabilities fell to 10.8% in 2019-20 from 34.6% in 2018-19. The government’s external debt (less that of the IMF) increased only slightly from Rs 11.05 tr in 2018-19 to Rs 11.82 tr in 2019-20. Even a huge net increase of around Rs 3.1 trillion in domestic debt in 2019-20 was less than its net domestic borrowing of Rs 4.3 trillion in 2018-19.

Although some national debt indicators showed signs of improvement in the first quarter of 2020-2021, it is too early to predict whether the trend will be able to continue throughout the year. A simple thing to remember is this: the growth of domestic debt can be contained if the tax base widens, if sufficient tax revenue is generated and if current expenditure remains under control. An expansion of external debt can be controlled if foreign exchange earnings from exports, remittances and FDI grow quickly and quickly. An expansion of the tax base and increased tax revenue generation seem less likely due to slow economic growth amid the second wave of Covid-19.

Political instability can also weigh heavily on exports and FDI. Remittances to countries of origin may, however, continue to increase for some time, thanks to effective controls on illegal money transfers and incentives for the Pakistani diaspora to use remittances to invest in securities. government debt and housing programs. Overall, the government’s external and domestic borrowing stock will not decline significantly during the current fiscal year.

But the cost of debt service will certainly remain lower than last year due to a relatively stable exchange rate and the decline in interest rates from 13.25% to 7% between mid-March and the end of June 2020.

The rupee had lost 34.2% in value against the dollar in 2018-19 and another 3.1% in 2019-20. This massive depreciation in 2018-19, followed by a further marginal decline in the value of the rupee in 2019-20, significantly increased the cost of servicing external debt compared to the previous two years, namely 2016-17 and 2017-18.

By contrast, lower interest rates kept domestic debt service costs under control in 2019-20 and the first half of 2020-21.

Debt concerns persist and may even worsen if the rupee begins to decline and its full depreciation over the next two quarters becomes significant. Or if interest rates start to rise and hit double digits. But there is no indication that such things can happen during this exercise.

Posted in Dawn, The Business and Finance Weekly, December 14, 2020

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Chinese media welcome PM Imran’s call for debt relief

Pakistan’s envoy to Beijing hopes world leaders will avoid isolationism for good


Prime Minister Imran Khan’s call for a debt relief initiative for heavily indebted developing countries served as a rallying call for the world to unite in the pursuit of mitigating the negative impact of the Covid-19 crisis, China Global Television Network (CGTN) reported Wednesday.

In a video message posted on Twitter over the weekend, Imran called on the international community to launch a debt relief initiative to help developing countries prevent the negative impact on their people as subsequent humanitarian consequence of the pandemic.

Chinese media noted that there was a precarious situation in the South Asia region, not only in Pakistan, but also in India and Bangladesh as well as other developing countries elsewhere in the world.

74 million people in Arab world lack handwashing facilities: UN

These people obviously need food, but unfortunately cannot afford it. Their governments, saddled with heavy debt, may struggle to help everyone on the scale required. “Therein lies the significance of Prime Minister Imran Khan’s appeal to the international community,” the report added.

Pakistan’s Ambassador to China Naghmana Hashmi said in an interview with On Wednesday, international financial institutions, with the coordination of developed countries, were to offer emergency grants and soft loans to cushion the developing country from the ensuing economic crisis.

“The present situation [virus-induced shut down of economic activities]therefore calls for greater international coordination and cooperation within the global community to curb and completely eliminate this threat,” Ambassador Hashmi said.

“Perhaps this crisis, colossal as it is, reaffirms our resolve in multilateralism and gives world leaders the clarity and courage to avoid isolationism for good and renew faith in joint efforts for a shared and prosperous future for all,” she added.

Japan urges citizens to self-isolate as reports warn of 400,000 deaths

“This crisis should be a moment of reflection for us to revisit and revise our previous concepts on transnational health, environment and economic issues and reform them in light of emerging realities for the benefit of all humanity” .

Hashmi said China’s success against the virus was a source of inspiration and hope for all countries battling Covid-19. “China has become the only country in the world that has effectively curbed this disease,” she said.

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Angola cuts oil shipments to China as it pushes for debt relief

LUANDA: Angola has cut the number of oil shipments it will ship to Chinese state-owned enterprises to repay debt to Beijing as it seeks to renegotiate repayment terms to deal with pandemic fallout, officials said three sources familiar with the matter.

Angola said this week it had requested G20 debt relief and was in advanced talks with some oil-importing countries on adjusting financing facilities, but did not expect any further debt review is needed beyond that.

The global economic downturn due to the coronavirus pandemic pushed Brent oil prices to their lowest levels since the late 1990s and U.S. oil futures into negative territory for the first time in history.

Falling prices have put heavily indebted Angola in a fragile state as it derives a third of state revenue from oil.

By far, its biggest creditor is China. Analysts say Angola has more than $20 billion in bilateral debt, with the lion’s share owed to China. Much of the money was borrowed to build roads, hospitals, houses and railways across the African country.

In addition to its Chinese debt, Luanda secured a $3.7 billion loan from the International Monetary Fund last year and state oil company Sonangol borrowed $2.5 billion from banks between late 2018 and mid-2019. , the IMF said.

A global oil production cut deal led by the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) has compounded Luanda’s woes.

As a member of OPEC, Angola has come under pressure to cut its oil exports from May. The result left the country with fewer and less valuable shipments to divide between paying off its Chinese debt and filling its depleted coffers.

The sources said China’s state-owned Sinochem will receive five shipments in July, up from the usual seven or eight, while Chinese giant Sinopec’s trading arm, called Unipec, will receive none. Unipec usually receives two to three shipments for debt repayment.

Sonangol, the Angolan Ministry of Finance, Sinopec and Sinochem did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

China’s Foreign Ministry said on Wednesday that relevant departments are in contact with Angola over its request.

“These oil-backed loans create a stronger interdependency (between lender and borrower) than traditional financing. This cargo diversion tactic is not new as seen elsewhere,” said David Mihalyi, senior economic analyst at the Natural Resource Governance Institute.

Angola is not the only African country heavily indebted to China. The IMF and ratings agency Moody’s have raised concerns about debt levels in sub-Saharan Africa, particularly vis-à-vis China.

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Many countries may need debt restructuring after pandemic fallout: IMF chief economist

FILE PHOTO: International Monetary Fund Chief Economist Gita Gopinath answers questions during the IMF and World Bank annual meetings in Washington, U.S., October 18, 2019. REUTERS/James Lawler Duggan

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Many countries may need debt restructuring in the wake of the global coronavirus pandemic and its economic fallout, the International Monetary Fund’s chief economist said on Tuesday.

Gita Gopinath told an online event hosted by Oxford University that there was no debt crisis at the moment, but there would be a “much more persistent need for debt relief for the world’s poorest nations” in light of the pandemic.

Given that around 40% of low-income countries were already in debt distress or at high risk of becoming so, with growing numbers, she said there may well be “a need for debt restructuring in many country”.

The comments came a day before the Group of 20 major economies and the Paris Club of official creditors are organizing a high-level conference on debt, capital flows and sustainable finance in the context of the economic crisis triggered by the pandemic.

G20 finance ministers, IMF and World Bank leaders and private sector creditors will discuss options for responding to capital outflows from emerging markets, debt challenges and how best to foster strong growth and sustainable.

Gopinath and other international financial experts have said they believe the freeze on debt service payments offered by G20 countries to the poorest countries until the end of the year should be extended.

They have also repeatedly called for increased private sector participation in the G20 debt moratorium.

The World Bank’s new chief economist, Carmen Reinhart, told the online event that the original timeline for the G20 debt initiative should be reviewed and the debt restructuring process should become more fast and faster.

“The main constraint is to make sure everyone is on board, which hasn’t been the case,” she said, noting that private sector involvement “didn’t happen.” .

Reporting by Andrea Shalal; Editing by Chizu Nomiyama and Jonathan Oatis

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How COVID-19 relief and expense bills will help Delaware

The most direct impact Americans will see from COVID-19 recovery plan signed by President Donald Trump on Sunday evening will be payments of $600, which will be sent in the coming weeks.

And while there was some debate about whether that amount should have been higher, President-elect Joe Biden said any aid approved by Congress in his lame session before his inauguration would only be a “down payment” on additional assistance would offer his administration.

The $600 payouts have gotten the lion’s share of the attention, but plenty of other funding is coming to the first state.

This includes an additional $300 per week for people receiving unemployment benefits through March 2021. Businesses hit hard by the pandemic will be able to apply for a second round of the Paycheck Protection Program to continue paying their workers. The small business debt relief program is also being extended. Nationally, more than $8 billion in debt relief has been distributed, with approximately 900 small businesses participating in the initial program.

“This package will provide quick relief to our small businesses, especially those hardest hit by this pandemic,” said U.S. Senator Chris Coons of Delaware, “Delaware workers who have been laid off through no fault of their go; and to our families struggling to pay rent and put food on the table.

Coons echoed Biden in suggesting more relief should come from the new administration in 2021.

“This may not be the last relief bill,” Coons said, “but it is a solid compromise that will bring relief to Delawares who need it before the holidays.”

The additional help is long overdue, Coons added. “The support we provided through the CARES Act in March had to be extended months ago,” he said. “We’ve expanded SNAP benefits, we’ve expanded help for food banks and for hungry Americans, but there are far too many hungry Americans.”

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Governor signs vet debt relief bill

Above: Governor John Hickenlooper signs the Veterinary Education Loan Repayment Program on June 5, 2017, as Dr. Lora Bledsoe, Dr. Mark Stetter, Rep. Joann Ginal, Dr. Sam Romano and Leo look on. Boyle. (Photo provided by Richard Schweigert)

A survey of CSU veterinary graduates reveals that they tend to stay in the West. (Map by CSU DVM Services)

Signed into law by Governor John Hickenlooper on June 5, 2017, the Veterinary Education Loan Repayment Program paves the way for veterinarians to work in rural communities where large and small animals and their owners need services. professionals.

Like most accomplishments in rural Colorado, the passage of the bill is the result of the hard work of a group of people deeply attached to agriculture. With bipartisan support from Representative Joann Ginal (D-Fort Collins) and Senator Jerry Sonnenberg (R-Northeastern Colorado), and contributions from the State Department of Agriculture, the Colorado Cattlemen’s Association and the Colorado Veterinary Medical Association, Dr Mark Stetter and leaders of the College of Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Sciences successfully pushed the bill through the governor’s office.

“Dr. Mark Stetter, Dr. Ashley Stokes and their team have a comprehensive and holistic view of the state that has really inspired people to work together,” said Dr. Sam Romano, Chairman of the Colorado Veterinary Medical Association and a 1983 alumnus of the CSU veterinary program. “The folks at CSU are doing a wonderful job putting their efforts where they are, helping people and animals.”

Intern Daniel Jackson and fourth-year veterinary students Jennifer Milner (blue) and Katie Powell (pink) visit Morning Fresh Dairy during their weekly visit to the primary care ward.  Local commercial dairy farms are used as teaching laboratories for 3rd and 4th year veterinary students.  The College of Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Sciences' Outpatient Dairy Service works with commercial, on-farm and hospital dairy farms, providing a comprehensive primary care veterinary service, January 26, 2015.
Jennifer Milner and Katie Powell, veterinary students at Colorado State University, visit Morning Fresh Dairy during their weekly visit to the primary care ward. Local commercial dairy farms are used as teaching laboratories for third and fourth year veterinary students. (Joe Mendoza/CSU Photography)

With more than 34,000 farms on nearly 32 million acres, Colorado agriculture consistently ranks among the state’s top three industries, providing more than 173,000 jobs, contributing more than $40 billion to the state economy every year and fueling the world with nearly $2 billion. in exported products, according to the Colorado Department of Agriculture.

But there is a serious shortage of large animal veterinarians in rural communities. “I hope this loan repayment program will provide students with additional opportunities to ease their debt burden and move forward in helping our agricultural producers meet their veterinary needs,” the state said. Agriculture Commissioner Don Browna third-generation farmer in Yuma, Colorado.

Trusted professionals

Like their counterparts in human medicine, veterinarians are trusted professionals who help bond a community by caring for animals, supporting their owners, and protecting the food supply. “Vets work very closely with doctors, communities rely on them. This bill helps hold the fabric together in rural Colorado and keeps it from fraying even further,” Romano said. “Beef production and agribusiness are important to this state. Meat and milk don’t appear in King Soopers by accident.

Mark Stetter, Dean of the College of Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Sciences, Colorado State University, October 26, 2016
Dr. Mark Stetter, Dean, CSU College of Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Sciences

Speaking from his experience running his family farm in Sterling, Colorado, Sonnenberg saw the need for veterinary care first hand.

“Rural Colorado and agriculture are highly dependent on veterinarians,” he said. “It takes a special person to practice in rural areas and many choose another option due to financial obligations after university. I can’t wait to see how many students this will inspire to practice in rural communities.

After the governor appoints a board to review applications, veterinary graduates beginning in 2017 can apply for up to $70,000 in student debt relief. Here’s how it works:

  • They must be licensed by an accredited veterinary doctor
    medicine School
  • Currently live in Colorado or at one time lived in
    Colorado for at least 3 years
  • Agree to practice veterinary medicine for up to four years in
    a rural area of ​​the state that is experiencing a shortage of
    veterinarians appointed by the board to participate in
    the program

“One of the things I’ve learned through this process is that young vets’ debt is almost $150,000, and what’s holding them back from working in rural areas is the need to pay that off. debt,” said Ginal, who earned her doctorate. D. in Reproductive Endocrinology from Colorado State. “There are a lot of farmers and ranchers who need vets, and that’s an incentive for those who want to practice in rural Colorado. I am really proud that we passed this bill.

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SEC orders finance companies to extend debt relief to customers

Since the start of the lockdown in March, the government has ordered lenders to extend debt relief to help struggling borrowers during the economic downturn. — PHILIPPINE STAR/EDD GUMBAN

FINANCING COMPANIES, loan companies and microfinance non-governmental organizations (NGOs) are required to implement a one-time 60-day grace period for all loans due within the year.

In a notice dated September 21, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) reminded finance and loan companies and microfinance NGOs to comply with Republic Act No. 11494 or the Bayanihan to Recover As One Act (Bayanihan II), which provides a one-time, 60-day grace period for all loans maturing on or before December 31, 2020.

The law, signed by President Rodrigo R. Duterte on September 11, includes a provision to help borrowers who may have difficulty repaying their loans due to the coronavirus pandemic.

The 60-day grace period will be granted for the repayment of all types of loans, whether single or multiple.

Lenders cannot charge borrowers interest on interest, penalties, fees or other charges during the 60-day period. Lenders are also required to invalidate any waivers that may be signed regarding the implementation of a grace period for Covered Loans.

“The parties may agree to a grace period in excess of 60 days and/or to payment of accrued interest on a staggered basis beyond December 31, 2020,” the SEC said.

Even with debt relief, borrowers can choose to pay accrued interest for the one-time grace period on a staggered basis until the end of the year.

In addition to SEC-supervised lenders, other financial institutions such as banks, quasi-banks, real estate developers, insurance companies, provident companies, in-house finance providers, and asset management companies assets and liabilities are required to implement the 60-day grace period. Government institutions such as the Utilities Assurance System, Social Security System, and Pag-IBIG Fund are also covered.

Since the widespread lockdown began in March, the government has repeatedly ordered debt relief from lenders to help struggling borrowers during the economic downturn.

Some of the lenders that have implemented loan repayment grace periods are BDO Unibank, Inc.; Metropolitan Bank & Trust Co.; Bank of the Philippine Islands; Rizal Commercial Banking Corp.; UnionBank of the Philippines; East West Banking Corp.; China Banking Corp.; CIMB Bank Philippines; and the Philippine Savings Bank. — Denise A. Valdez

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US Treasury to push COVID stimulus, Chinese debt attendance at IMF meeting – official

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The U.S. Treasury will urge countries to keep the coronavirus stimulus going at annual meetings of the International Monetary Fund and World Bank next week and will urge China to participate fully in debt relief for poor countries , said a senior Treasury official.

Brent McIntosh, general counsel, U.S. Department of the Treasury, speaks at the 2019 Milken Institute Global Conference in Beverly Hills, California, U.S., April 29, 2019. REUTERS/Lucy Nicholson/Files

In a video interview recorded Tuesday and released Friday, Treasury Undersecretary for International Affairs Brent McIntosh said a strong recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic depended on continued political support.

“We can’t declare victory at this point, we have to keep pushing for reactive measures,” McIntosh said. here Mark Sobel, US Chairman of the Official Monetary and Financial Institutions Forum, a London-based think tank. “So I think our first message at the meetings will be that countries should not withdraw their support prematurely.”

McIntosh said in Tuesday’s interview that he hopes U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi can reach an agreement on a new U.S. coronavirus aid package.

Finance officials from the 189 IMF and World Bank member countries will meet virtually next week to discuss the global response to the pandemic and prospects for economic recovery. They will also try to negotiate new measures to strengthen debt relief in order to avoid default crises in poor and highly indebted countries.

IMF Managing Director Kristalina Georgieva said $12 trillion in fiscal stimulus, along with massive monetary easing, made the outlook “less dire” than in June, but the global economy is still facing a difficult exit from a pandemic-induced recession.


McIntosh said he would pressure Chinese officials to “fully, faithfully and transparently respect” the G20 freeze on official bilateral debt service for the world’s poorest countries implemented this year. .

“China is the biggest bilateral lender here. And so what we need to see from official bilateral lenders is transparency, not imposing non-disclosure agreements, not using secured funding.

He said China should adhere to mutually agreed definitions of official bilateral creditors to include any entity “working at the request of the government”, including government ministries, development finance institutions and credit agencies. export, among others.

McIntosh said the Trump administration still opposes a blanket allocation of new IMF special drawing rights — a move akin to “printing” hundreds of billions of dollars in foreign exchange reserves for all members — because it is not a “targeted or temporary” measure.

But he said the Treasury was encouraging wealthier countries to contribute unused SDRs to an IMF fund to help poorer countries. The Treasury is working with the White House Office of Management and Budget to determine what U.S. assistance package might be offered in this area, he said.

Reporting by David Lawder; Editing by Chizu Nomiyama, Andrea Ricci and David Gregorio

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Credit card debt and the COVID-19 pandemic Pushing BC

VANCOUVER, British Columbia, Jan. 11, 2021 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Sands & Associates, British Columbia’s largest licensed insolvency trustee firm serving individuals and small businesses, today released results from the 2020 BC Consumer Debt Study. This unique annual study surveyed more than 1,800 consumers across the province who have declared bankruptcy or consolidated their debts through a consumer proposal.

In addition to examining the causes of debt and the often serious repercussions for British Columbians struggling with debt, the 2020 BC Consumer Debt Study found that:

  • More than 55% of BC residents surveyed who eventually consolidated their debts with a consumer proposal or filed bankruptcy for debt relief said credit card debt was the main type of debt they had – well ahead of other types of debt such as lines of credit (11%) and tax debt (10%).
  • the The COVID-19 pandemic was a contributing factor for more than half (54%) of plan members who have filed for insolvency since BC’s major lockdown in March 2020. 58% of these consumers noted that the pandemic has caused a loss of income, making unmanageable pre-existing debts.

Other notable findings from the 2020 BC Consumer Debt Study include:

  • Debt problems may disproportionately impact BC renterswith less than 6% of respondents describing their housing situation as “owner”.
  • More … than two-thirds (66%) of people worried about meeting their basic needs before formally settling their debt.
  • Despite the severe repercussions of uncontrollable debt, 95% of participants did not immediately seek professional help.

The complete and detailed study report and infographic of the main results can be viewed here.

PDFs are available here:

Perhaps one of the most important insights uncovered in the 2020 British Columbia Consumer Debt Study highlights some alarming realities for consumers in debt. Some critical highlights include:

  • More than 3 in 4 respondents said their debt-related stress had led to anxiety or depression.
  • About 1 in 6 people said the stress of debt caused them to have suicidal thoughts.
  • More than 3 in 5 participants said “overwhelming stress” was the indicator of how they knew their debts were a problem.
  • More than two-thirds of study participants said their self-esteem had suffered because of their debt, and 65% said their health had suffered.
  • Nearly 70% of respondents indicated that their relationships with family and others were negatively affected by being in debt.

According to Sands & Associates Senior Vice President and Licensed Insolvency Trustee Blair Mantin, “The COVID-19 pandemic has hit some already vulnerable consumers like a freight train. Although payment deferrals and income replacements like CERB mitigated the initial impact, it was surprising to learn that the pandemic was a factor in more than half of the insolvencies filed since March 2020. Unfortunately, one should not not much to push people into financial crisis where they can no longer repay their debts, or into situations where they feel they have to choose between paying their debt or meeting basic living expenses. As the deferrals come to an end and government income replacements are made more restrictive, we expect to see a wave of consumers who are barely hanging on now take the necessary step to restructure their debts in 2021.”

“Too often people focus on the numbers and not enough on the issues that cause and accompany debt. We want consumers to know they have support, where qualified solutions are, and most importantly, that there is light at the end of the tunnel.

Highlighting the emotional and psychological impacts of debt, he notes:

“This study is in its eighth year, and every year we hear that people simply didn’t know what their options were – or where or how to get help without fear of judgment or shame. Debt still brings a lot of shame and confusion for consumers. If a friend came to you and told you that he was suffering from anxiety and depression, that he was having trouble paying a credit card he used to make ends meet, or because his partner or his child was sick, or that he had lost his job, would you react? with judgment or criticism? No of course not.

Normalizing the conversation around debt and its impacts is essential here. Accepted silence allows negative self-talk to overwhelm people, and on top of that, confusion allows noise from the unregulated debt industry to clutter access to legitimate legal debt solutions. We have to keep trying to get the message out, we have to do a lot better for British Columbians.

He urges consumers, “Don’t wait until you’re constantly in debt and anxious about your financial situation to seek advice. I really encourage everyone to explore their legal debt options with a Licensed Insolvency Trustee – and above all know that you are not alone.

Click here to read the full report of the 2020 British Columbia Consumer Debt Study in PDF format.

PDFs are available here:

Sands & Associates is British Columbia’s largest licensed insolvency trustee firm focused exclusively on debt relief services for individuals and small businesses. A multi-year Consumer Choice Award recipient and industry leader, Sands & Associates takes a caring and caring approach to debt relief services, with a focus on improving the knowledge and personal empowerment of consumers.

Sands & Associates’ Annual studies of consumer debt in British Columbia aim to provide insight into the financial challenges faced by people across the province and highlight the human elements of a debt problem, which are too often overshadowed by numbers and statistics. The annual studies continue to aim to dismantle misconceptions of “who has a debt problem” and work to de-stigmatize conversations about debt and financial literacy.

Blair Mantin, Licensed Insolvency Trustee
[email protected]

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Pennsylvania is sitting on billions in coronavirus relief money. What is the delay? PA projector

PA projector is an independent, nonpartisan newsroom powered by The Philadelphia Inquirer in partnership with the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette and PennLive/Patriot-News. Sign up for our free weekly newsletter.

Update, May 28: On Thursday, lawmakers approved the use of $2.6 billion in discretionary federal stimulus dollars for a variety of purposes, including providing relief to hard-hit counties and long-term care facilities. Read more.

HARRISBURG — After enduring more than two months of the coronavirus pandemic and with state revenues continuing to fall, Pennsylvania has yet to spend $3.9 billion in discretionary federal stimulus dollars intended to help the relief effort.

The kitty is by far the largest available to the state and the most valuable. And while it currently cannot be used to offset lost revenue – which is expected to reach $5 billion by next June – there is hope in some corners that the rules could change.

The second unknown is whether Congress and President Donald Trump will agree on another stimulus package that would provide direct cash assistance to state budgets, which could change how Pennsylvania chooses to spend the round of current cash.

Those unknowns could make it beneficial for state officials to take their time allocating the money, but some Democratic lawmakers are fussing to move faster. That includes Sen. Vincent Hughes (D., Phila.), who wants to use $550 million to small business grants.

“Money sat in the Pennsylvania account for six weeks,” he said in a statement. “The question is: why are we waiting?

The funding was provided through the CARES (Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security) Act, a $2 trillion package hastily written by Congress with money for small businesses, workers recently unemployed and industries affected by the pandemic.

The act created a $150 billion coronavirus relief fund for states and localities “to address unforeseen financial needs and risks created by the COVID-19 public health emergency,” according to the U.S. Treasury. . Of that amount, $4.9 billion was for Pennsylvania, with $1 billion going directly to the seven largest counties in the state.

Gov. Tom Wolf has the power to decide how the remaining $3.9 billion is spent, but he has pledged to work with the legislature, and there has been some movement.

The State House and Senate are proposing separate versions of the legislation to harness the cash for the first time, largely to provide millions of dollars in relief to hard-hit nursing homes and other long-term care facilities in across the state.

On Wednesday, nearly 15,000 nursing home residents fell ill with the virus and more than 3,000 died. State officials have announced plans to increase testing at these nursing homes, but some facilities have backed down, saying they need more cash assistance.

The Senate bill would earmark $538 million for frontline industries and workers, with the bulk — $507 million — going to long-term care facilities through the Department of Human Services. Fire companies would also receive $26 million in funding and first responders would receive $4 million.

The measure only specifies that funds should be used for coronavirus-related expenses, although there is no language requiring the Department of Social Services or recipients to report how they were spent.

A House version, developed by Chairman Mike Turzai (R., Allegheny) in consultation with UPMC and health care experts in Pittsburgh, would spend $500 million to create regional health collaborations and entrust centers medical academics the responsibility of assisting long-term care. facilities.

Funding would be allocated to each facility based on their proposal, which would outline how supplies, staff, testing and protective equipment would be provided to nursing homes in need of assistance, with an emphasis on increased testing and infection control.

The Department of Social Services would be responsible for implementing the plan. Turzai’s bill includes an additional $767 million in CARES dollars for the department to distribute to long-term care facilities and other providers, bringing the total price to $1.3 billion.

Turzai said academic medical institutions are the only entities with the expertise to intervene.

“They should have consulted with these experts early on,” he said of the state. From now on, “the legislator must take the lead, and we are doing it”.

The only lawmaker to oppose the House bill, Rep. Pam DeLissio (D., Phila.), said on the floor last week that the legislation doesn’t provide enough accountability for how funds can be spent – ​​like capping how much can be used for administrative salaries.

“With this kind of large, meaningful and substantial resources, I would like to see those resources applied in the most effective way possible,” she said. “Unfortunately, I will be a ‘no’. And if anyone doubts my passion for this sector, they would be grossly mistaken.

Mike Straub, spokesman for House Republicans, said he disagreed that the bill is weak on accountability.

“The [Department of] Social services would collect proposals from the collaborations on how best to effectively support COVID-19 preparedness and response in facilities, improve quality of care, and expand testing for facility staff and residents. long-term care,” Straub said. “Employees are also required to perform daily facility reviews.”

In one report last weekthe U.S. Department of the Interior has warned that “accurate and timely review of performance and financial reports” will be key to keeping CARES Act money in check.

“Awards made as part of an emergency response are riskier than normal because they are awarded quickly and often without competition, and have a higher purchase threshold than other acquisitions,” officials wrote. the agency.

Lyndsay Kensinger, spokeswoman for Wolf, said the governor supports the Senate bill in its current form, but not the House legislation.

What Wolf and the legislature will do with the other discretionary funds remains to be seen. The General Assembly is expected to adopt a short-term budget this week that will fund the government and its services for the next five months. House Republicans say it will buy time to get a clearer picture of the strain on Pennsylvania’s finances from the state’s efforts to slow the spread of COVID-19.

It could also buy time for more clarity on how the stimulus money can be spent and what more could come from the federal government.

Right now, the u.s. treasury says none of the discretionary CARES dollars can replace state or local tax revenue that has been lost due to the pandemic, although the funds can be used to pay workers who are “essentially dedicated” to the coronavirus response.

Some federal legislators, including members of the Pennsylvania Republican delegation, are to push to allow money to be spent on lost revenue.

Meanwhile, state Senate Democrats have stepped up pressure to start spending the discretionary dollars. Previously, the caucus had published a list priorities for the CARES Act funding appropriation, with most of the money going towards housing assistance, student debt relief, aid for veterans and schools.

In addition to discretionary funds, state agencies also received $2.5 billion in earmarked federal dollars, according to a breakdown provided by the Wolf administration.

The Department of Health, the agency at the center of the state’s response, received $72.8 million for several purposes, including epidemiology and laboratory surveillance and response. The Department of Education received $523.8 million to relieve schools, while the State Department received $14 million to cushion costs related to the 2020 election.

So far, $653.6 million has been appropriated or committed by state agencies or offices.

In total, the federal government injected $78 billion into the state’s economy in response to the coronavirus pandemic, according to a report by the Independent Fiscal Office. That number includes forgivable loans given to small businesses through the Paycheck Protection Program and $1,200 stimulus checks sent directly to residents.

Rebecca Moss of Spotlight PA contributed to this article.

100% ESSENTIAL: PA projector based on funding from foundations and readers like you who are committed to responsible journalism that produces results. If you enjoy these reports, please make a gift today to

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Global debt on the rise, Africa hardest hit | News | DW

The “Debt Report 2019”, presented on Wednesday in Berlin by Jubilee Germany, paints a bleak picture of global debt. The organization, which is made up of civic and religious groups, is engaged in efforts to end the problem.

The report argues that low interest rates and cheap credit are pushing poorer countries to borrow beyond their means, trapping them in a debt trap from which they can never escape.

Read more: Global Wealth Report: The Rich Are Getting Richer Again

Of the 154 countries analyzed by Jubilee, 122 are seriously indebted, three more than in 2017.

The organization called for debt moratoriums and even debt relief for the most indebted countries, as well as an international bankruptcy plan. In addition, he calls for a public register listing the debt of each country, its creditors and the cost of servicing this debt.

Speaking in Berlin, Klaus Schilder of the Catholic aid organization Misereor said “the situation is really dire”.

The tragic example of Mozambique

Schilder used Mozambique as an example of what can happen to debt-burdened countries in the event of a disaster. Mozambique was hit by a cyclone following rising waters in mid-March, but due to its dire financial situation, it does not have sufficient funds to help the 1.85 million people affected by the devastation.

Asian countries such as Mongolia and Bhutan and some Middle Eastern countries such as Bahrain and Lebanon are heavily indebted, but the report says Africa is the continent hardest hit by the crisis.

Almost all African countries are heavily indebted, with the report classifying the situation in several countries as critical or very critical.

Angola, Gambia, Eritrea, Sao Tome and Principe, Somalia, South Sudan and Sudan are in such dire straits that they have simply stopped paying their debts.

Although corruption is one of the causes of indebtedness, the report points directly to predatory lending practices.

Read more: Africa’s debt crises are not the fault of creditors alone

“China is not the bad guy”

Although China often gets a bad rap for creating debt traps when funding infrastructure projects, Jubilee has come to Beijing’s defense.

From 2000 to 2017, China extended some 143 billion euros ($161 billion) in credit to African nations and businesses, but Jubilee’s Jürgen Kaiser said, “China is not the bad guy.” He also noted that China had canceled large debts in the past.

The report made it clear that the much larger problem of predatory lending was posed by institutions such as the World Bank or European development funds.

“Initiatives like the ‘Compact with Africa’, created while Germany held the G-20 presidency, can also pose a very high debt risk depending on the funding model used,” according to Klaus Schilder of Misereor.

The German government is currently planning a new €1 billion African investment fund.

Ultimately, Schilder said, it is citizens who suffer when countries run into debt: “When a large portion of a country’s budget is spent servicing debt, it becomes impossible for governments to govern. – and they cannot allocate sufficient funds to sectors like health and education.”

Daniel Pelz contributed to this story.

Every evening at 6:30 p.m. UTC, DW’s editors send out a selection of the day’s news and quality journalism. You can sign up to receive it directly here.

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Argentina announces debt restructuring agreement with its creditors

BUENOS AIRES, Argentina (AP) — Argentina said on Tuesday it had reached an agreement with its major creditors to restructure $65 billion in foreign debt, offering some relief to a country dogged by recession long before the pandemic hit. .

The agreement will allow creditor groups “to support Argentina’s debt restructuring proposal and grant Argentina significant debt relief,” the economy ministry said in a statement. He said certain payment dates would change without increasing the total amount of principal and interest payable “while enhancing the value of the proposal to the creditor community,” according to the statement.

The reported deal follows seven months of talks and shifting timelines, and coincided with another long period of economic misery in Argentina, where unemployment and inflation have been stubbornly high and the peso has been falling for decades. years. The pandemic made matters worse, as Argentina imposed a lockdown that helped curb the spread of the novel coronavirus but crippled large sectors of the economy.

“We solved an impossible debt during the worst economic crisis in living memory and in the midst of a pandemic,” said President Alberto Fernández.

Argentina has also been involved in talks with the International Monetary Fund over the restructuring of $44 billion in debt owed to the lender. The deal Argentina announced on Tuesday was seen by analysts as a welcome step forward that could pave the way for progress with the IMF, even though Argentina’s economic fortunes look fragile in the long term.

Kristalina Georgieva, managing director of the IMF, praised Argentinian officials for reaching an agreement “in principle” on the national debt.

“A very important step. Let’s expect a successful conclusion for the benefit of all,” she said on Twitter.

“Today’s sovereign debt restructuring agreement between the Argentine government and private creditors allays fears of another debilitating legal waste, similar to what followed the country’s default in 2001,” he said. said Capital Economics in an analysis.

“However, we doubt that the agreement will be sufficient to ensure the sustainability of Argentina’s public debt in the medium and long term,” the London-based consultancy said.

Fernández won elections last year, capitalizing on discontent over former leader Mauricio Macri’s handling of the economy. Macri was determined to impose fiscal discipline and revive the fickle economy, but conditions deteriorated further and he ended up turning to the IMF for a record financing deal.

Opponents had linked Fernández to the left-wing populism past of his vice president and former president, Cristina Fernández de Kirchner (the two are unrelated), although her tenure has so far been dominated by efforts to avoid a default. and reach an agreement with creditors.

The agreement with the groups of creditors that was announced on Tuesday changes the payment dates for the new bonds to January 9 and July 9, 2021, instead of March 4 and September 4 of the same year as previously proposed, according to the ministry of l ‘Economy. These bonds “will begin to amortize in January 2025 and mature in July 2029,” its statement said.

Argentina will also modify certain legal clauses in the new bond documentation to respond to proposals from creditors “which aim to strengthen the effectiveness of the contractual framework as a basis for the resolution of sovereign debt restructurings”, the ministry said.

Creditors have until August 24 to formally accept the deal, the ministry said, extending the deadline from its previous expiration date on Tuesday.

A Citi analysis noted that creditor groups had yet to issue a statement backing Argentina’s changed terms, but said the latest economic terms from both parties appeared close. He noted that Argentine bonds soared on news of the deal.

“With this uncertainty removed and potential engagement with the IMF, we believe further upside is likely in the coming weeks,” Citi said. He added that local assets are likely to “temporarily benefit” from the announcement.


Torchia reported in Mexico.

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Why Student Debt Will Continue to Rise Despite Loan Forgiveness Programs Proposed by Lawmakers in Congress

A graduate student wears a silver lei, a necklace made of US dollar bills, during Pasadena City College’s graduation ceremony on June 14, 2019, in Pasadena, California. ROBYN BECK/AFP via Getty Images

  • US lawmakers are debating student debt relief proposals, seeking help for people struggling with loans.

  • But the proposals on the table right now aren’t a one-size-fits-all solution, experts say.

  • The problem is a cycle of student loan accumulation and little education about how that debt works.

  • Visit Insider’s Business section for more stories.

It’s a familiar sight every year: a sea of ​​future college graduates, seated in their caps and gowns, with families and friends watching proudly as they parade, one by one, onto the stage to receive their awards. hard earned. degrees.

But for many of the 35 million student borrowers in the United States, the celebration is short-lived. Months after college, their debts become due and payable, and for some this will be a heavy burden.

Since taking office, President Joe Biden has come under immense pressure to aggressively tackle the student loan crisis.

Democratic Sens. Elizabeth Warren and Chuck Schumer announced in February a plan to eliminate up to $50,000 in student loans per borrower. But Biden rejected him.

“I’m not going to make that happen,” he said. “I’m ready to write off $10,000 in debt, but not $50,” he said. “I don’t think I have the power to do that.”

Student debt relief is supported by all parties. According to a national survey conducted by the Harris Poll in December, 55% of Americans are in favor of the total cancellation of student loans. And about 64% of respondents said they were in favor of writing off a fixed amount, like $10,000.

Education debt has been rising steadily for about a decade, experts told Insider. It also held people back.

“Students who graduate with debt may postpone important life milestones such as buying a car, owning a home, getting married, or entering certain low-paying professions like teaching. or social work”, a 2006 report of the American Association of State Colleges and Universities says.

The problem persists and only escalated during the COVID-19 pandemic, which has shuttered businesses across the United States and eliminated millions of jobs over the past year.

“Former students have been unable to get out of debt,” said Andrew Pentis, Certified Student Loan Counselor at Student Loan Hero by LendingTree. “So it grows with interest, sometimes multiplying over the years, even decades.”

Bad education on the dangers of debt

Too often, first-generation American families who review college and university financial aid programs fail to realize that the loans they see offered must be repaid with interest.

Other times, families view student loans as “good debt.” They see it as “the price of investing in one’s future, sometimes graduating from a prestigious but more expensive school in order to move up the social ladder,” Pentis said.

The government also doesn’t do enough to explain its federal student loan options. “A large cohort of borrowers leave school without fully understanding their debt burden or their options for paying it off,” Pentis said. “The government needs to take a more direct role in educating students on how to avoid federal student loans, not just offering them without explanation.”

High schools also tend to gloss over the subject, he said.

“The family who are determined to pay six figures to send their child to the prestigious university,” he said, “may not have considered spending two years at a community college before moving on to this best four-year school could reduce his costs and borrowing significantly.”

Student debt is rising because college education is an industry in the United States, experts tell Insider.

“Higher education operates like a free market,” said Chris Mullin, strategic director of data and measurement at the Lumina Foundation, an organization committed to expanding access to higher education.

“As a result,” Mullins said, “the cost a student pays can be set at what the market will bear.”


Peter Cade/Getty Images

The cost of schooling depends on several factors

College tuition fees are not federally regulated, and there are distinctions between how private and public universities set them, which directly affects how much students and their families will pay. Private university tuition fees are decided by the institutions themselves, student debt experts told Insider.

“Private schools obviously have more leeway when it comes to setting tuition and fees,” Pentis said.

This is one of the reasons why private institutions like New York University set much higher “sticker prices” on their tuition than public colleges. The price displayed is the cost of tuition a student can expect to pay before grants, loans, and other types of financial aid kick in, which means not everyone not pay the full amount or the same amount for higher education.

And because private institutions have more say in setting tuition fees, the underlying decision-making process varies from institution to institution. This can cause differences between the listed price and the net tuition price, with the net price being what a student ultimately pays for their education after financial aid is applied.

Donna Desrochers, senior researcher for the American Research Institutes Education Program, says higher-cost private universities may simply set these prices in an effort to subsidize tuition for students receiving financial aid.

“It is possible that [for] NYU, or any other school, the higher price takes some of those full-salary dollars from full-salary students and tries to reallocate them to provide aid to other students,” Desrochers said.

Meanwhile, public university tuition, which is generally more affordable, is set by the states.

“Maybe they have a lower sticker price, and maybe they don’t reallocate as much aid to students,” Desrochers said.

Thumbnail prices are a type of ‘complex marketing’, says Desrochers

“It’s kind of like an airline, isn’t it? And people compare it to that, sometimes. You pay different prices for different seats, depending on when you bought it. And so, it’s pretty similar,” she said. “They try to attract the class they want.”

Sticker prices also help institutions maintain operating costs, Desrochers said. Public colleges benefit from rising sticker prices, especially when states contribute less money to higher education budgets.

“It pays less for the establishment,” Desrochers explained. “It actually ends up shifting those costs onto the students.” Due to the recession caused by the coronavirus, Desrochers expects states to invest less in higher education, which will cause institutions to pass these costs on to students instead of trying to minimize their expenses.

“We see it every time after a recession,” she said.

A good portion of students do not pay the full sticker price for tuition. According to a National Association of College and University Business Officers studytuition fees were reduced by an average of 46.3% for all undergraduate students from 2018 to 2019.

This means that, overall, the institutions are “making substantial grants,” said Mullin, director of strategy for the Lumina Foundation.

Student debt relief measures are still needed

Collectively, student borrowers in the United States owe more than $1.7 trillion. Billion with a T. So the conversations about how to deal with this debt will continue.

They will go a long way to helping borrowers “who don’t have much luck ending their debt on their own,” Pentis said.

But no relief measures will tackle the source of the problem: the newest student loans.

Unless students and their family members recognize the dangers of racking up large amounts of debt at high interest rates, the upward trend in student debt will continue, experts warn.

Although tuition is not a federal decision, the government has two levers to pull to encourage colleges to change tuition rates, Mullin said.

The government can change the amount of money it makes available to a single student or change who is eligible for financial aid. This way, students will have fewer restrictions like part-time or full-time status to receive federal aid. Schools could then give greater aid to students, Mullin said.

Additionally, the government may “provide consumer information” for the purpose of disclosing data and providing benchmarks to help students make informed decisions about their college education.

“He can inform the public by effectively placing a warning on institutions, like the United States Surgeon General’s warning on a cigarette pack,” Mullin said.

“This type of ‘warning’ can take the form of a requirement, for example, that institutions make public the results of their programs in the labor market,” he said, effectively showing students the type return on investment they can expect after graduating from college.

Read the original article at Business Intern

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AFCC Debt Settlement Market Segmentation, Analysis by Recent Trends, Development and Growth by Regions to 2025

the AFCC Debt Settlement Market The research report offers a holistic view of key trends and aspects positively and negatively impacting the growth of this vertical, to help stakeholders make informed decisions. Also, it provides figures related to the future growth of this field by comparing the past and current business scenario. Additionally, the document contains a description of the shares and size of the market and its segments, while exploring the lucrative prospects that promise success in the coming years.

According to analysts, the AFCC debt settlement market is expected to gain momentum during the period 2020-2025, registering a CAGR of XX throughout.

Impact of Covid-19

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The Covid-19 epidemic in December 2019, which took over the whole world in 2020, left several economies in a dire state. With the WHO issuing a public health emergency and more than 40 countries declaring states of emergency, industries including the AFCC debt settlement market face a plethora of challenges. Travel bans and quarantines, cessation of indoor/outdoor activities, temporary halt in business operations, fluctuations in supply and demand, stock market volatility, decline in business insurance and many uncertainties have a negative impact on business dynamics.

Additionally, the Business Intelligence report highlights the implications of COVID-19 on the industry, elaborating on the challenges faced by businesses such as supply and demand flows, management costs and digitization of operations. In this context, he offers solutions that will guarantee profits in the years to come.

  • COVID-19 footprint on industry compensation.
  • Estimated growth rate of the market and submarkets.
  • Main market trends.
  • Opportunities for growth.
  • Positives and negatives of indirect and direct sales channels.
  • Main dealers, traders and suppliers.

AFCC Debt Settlement Market Segments Covered in the Report:

Regional bifurcation:

  • North America (United States, Canada and Mexico)
  • Europe (Germany, France, UK, Russia, Italy and Rest of Europe)
  • Asia-Pacific (China, Japan, Korea, India, Southeast Asia and Australia)
  • South America (Brazil, Argentina, Colombia and rest of South America)
  • Middle East and Africa (Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates, Egypt, South Africa and Rest of Middle East and Africa)
  • Inspection of each regional market at the national level.
  • Total income of each area.
  • Market share captured by each geography.
  • Estimates of the growth rate of each regional market over the forecast period.

Type of product : Credit card debt, student loan debt, medical bill, apartment leases and more

  • Market share held, revenue and sales of each product type.
  • Price model of each product category.

Application spectrum: Business and Personal

  • Overall revenue and sales generated by each type of application.
  • Product pricing based on application spectrum.

Competitive Dashboard: National Debt Relief, Guardian Debt Relief, Freedom Debt Relief, Rescue One Financial, CuraDebt Systems, ClearOne Advantage, America Debt Solutions, Accredited Debt Relief, Pacific Debt, America Debt Resolutions, Consumer Debt Help Association, Americor Financial , Consumer First Financial, Century Helpline, Atlas Debt Relief, CreditAssociates and Beyond Finance

  • Products and services offered by the main players in the industry.
  • Manufacturing facilities of major competitors in areas served.
  • Summative revenue, price patterns, market share, gross margins and total sales of listed companies.
  • SWOT analysis of top players.
  • New and emerging players in the industry.
  • Detailed information about popular trading strategies, market concentration rate and marketability rate.

Key indicators analyzed

  • Global and regional market analysis: The report details the current global and regional market status and outlook for 2020-2025. It does this through a top-down assessment of the trade landscape in each region and country with respect to consumption, production, import and export, sales volume, and revenue forecast.
  • Product Type Analysis: The report hosts a granular assessment of the majority of product types in the AFCC Debt Settlement market, including product specifications by each key player, volume, as well as sales in terms of volume and value (Mn USD).
  • Application type analysis: Major application segments are covered along with their respective market size, CAGR, and forecast.
  • Market Players and Competitor Analysis: Major players are examined based on their business profiles, specifications, production/sales capacity, price, revenue, sales and gross margin over the period 2015-2025 by product types .
  • Market trends: Key industry trends, including continued innovations and increasing competition, are comprehensively reviewed.
  • Drivers and opportunities: Identification of growing demands and new technologies.
  • Porter’s Five Forces Analysis: The level of competition is assessed on the basis of five fundamental forces: the threat of substitute products or services, the bargaining power of suppliers, the bargaining power of buyers, the threats of new entrants and the existing rivalry in the industry. .

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Developing countries need debt relief in virus fight, says WHO | Coronavirus pandemic

The World Health Organization says it supports debt relief for developing countries with the IMF and World Bank.

The head of the World Health Organization (WHO) has expressed deep concern over the rapid escalation and global spread of COVID-19 cases of the novel coronavirus, which has now reached 205 countries and territories.

WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said on Wednesday his agency, the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) supported debt relief to help developing countries cope with the social and economics of the pandemic.

Tedros hailed India’s $22.6 billion economic stimulus package – announced after a 21-day lockdown imposed last week – to provide free food rations to 800 million poor people, cash transfers to 204 million poor women and free cooking gas to 80 million households for the next three months.

“Many developing countries will struggle to implement social protection programs of this nature,” Tedros said during a virtual press conference at the organization’s headquarters in Geneva.

“For these countries, debt relief is essential to enable them to take care of their people and avoid economic collapse. This is a call from the WHO, the World Bank and the IMF – debt relief for developing countries,” he said.

Corn debt-relief the processes are long, Tedros said.

“Over the past five weeks there has been near exponential growth in the number of new cases and the number of deaths has more than doubled in the past week,” he said.

“In the next few days, we will reach one million confirmed cases and 50,000 deaths worldwide,” he added.

China, where the coronavirus outbreak first emerged in December, reported a decline in new infections on Wednesday and revealed the number of asymptomatic cases for the first time, which could complicate reading trends in the epidemic.

Asked about the distinction, Dr Maria ver Kerkhove, a WHO epidemiologist who was part of an international team that visited China in February, said the WHO definition includes laboratory-confirmed cases” regardless of the development of symptoms.

“From the data that we’ve seen from China in particular, we know that individuals who are identified, who are listed as asymptomatic, about 75% of them actually develop symptoms,” he said. she said, describing them as having been in a “pre-symptomatic phase.” The novel coronavirus causes the respiratory disease COVID-19.

The outbreak continues to be driven by people showing signs of illness, including fever and cough, but it is important that the WHO captures this “full spectrum of illness”, she said. added.

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Debt relief improves psychological and cognitive functions, enabling better decision-making

While many poor people are burdened with debt, helping them financially is controversial because their debts are often thought to be the result of bad habits.

A new study from the Center for Social Services Research (SSR) at the National University of Singapore (NUS) demonstrates that reducing the number of debt accounts reduces the mental burden of the poor, thereby improving psychological and cognitive performance. This allows for better decision making. Therefore, poverty interventions must be structured to improve psychological and cognitive functioning in addition to meeting the financial needs of the poor.

The study was co-authored by researchers from NUS and the Singapore University of Social Sciences (SUSS). A field study was conducted between January 2015 and August 2017 by Dr Ong Qiyan and Associate Professor Irene Ng from the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences at NUS, in collaboration with Associate Professor Walter Theseira from SUSS School of Business. The research results have been published in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

Ease the debt burden of low-income people

Dr Ong explained: “One of the challenges of poverty reduction policies is the fundamental belief that the poor are indebted because of their personal failures. According to this view, those trapped in poverty are believed to lack desirable qualities such as motivation and talent that most people in Singapore possess and value. However, our study shows that because debt impairs psychological functioning and decision-making, it would be extremely difficult for even motivated and talented people to escape poverty. Instead, the poor must either have exceptional qualities or be exceptionally lucky to rise out of poverty. It’s hard to be poor, harder than we thought.

The study looked at 196 chronically indebted low-income people who benefited from the Getting Out of Debt (GOOD) program run by the Singapore-based charity Methodist Welfare Services. It is a one-time debt relief program for households with a monthly per capita income of less than S$1,500 and who had chronically outstanding debt for at least six months. These debts included mortgage or rental, utilities, municipal taxes, telecommunications bills and hire purchase debts. Prior to debt relief, the average per capita monthly household income of participants was S$364.

The research team designed a comprehensive household financial survey that measures participants’ anxiety and cognitive functioning as well as financial decision-making. The survey was conducted before participants received debt relief and three months after debt relief.

Positive effects of debt relief

The study, which is the first of its kind, found that participants experienced less anxiety and improved cognitive functioning, and were able to make better financial decisions three months after receiving debt relief. Between two participants receiving the same amount of debt relief, the participant with more debt accounts eliminated showed more psychological and cognitive improvements.

These results confirm that chronic indebtedness impairs psychological functioning and decision-making. The findings also imply that people view each debt as a separate “mental account” and being “in the red” in many debt accounts is psychologically painful. Thus, thinking about these stories consumes mental resources, increases anxiety and deteriorates cognitive performance. This psychological impact can prevent the poor from making the right decisions to get out of poverty, further contributing to the poverty trap.

Professor Assoc Theseira pointed out that there are differences in the way the poor and the non-poor manage their debts and that the poor need more help. He said: “Although our study is based on the poor, many non-poor Singaporeans also have debt. Why are some people able to easily manage their debts, while others find them stressful and taxing? difference is that the non-poor have the financial resources to manage their debts conveniently and cheaply. We do not hesitate to consolidate our bills on a credit card and pay them automatically. We know that we have enough savings to be able to afford an unexpected expense or the occasional splurge. So we have a lot of resilience to the vagaries of life that the poor simply do not have. Therefore, we should not assume that just because we find that It’s easy to manage debt, we could do the same if we were poor Our mental debt accounting costs are simply lower than debt. you are poor.”

Actionable evidence to reduce poverty

Professor Assoc Ng concluded: “The results of this study open a pragmatic case for designing good debt relief programs for low-income households. First, they help. In fact, not helping households to low-income indebtedness is counterproductive because not doing so leaves them with suboptimal functioning and high anxiety.Secondly, the design of the intervention is critical.As it is the accumulation of debt accounts (more than the amount of debt) that affects functioning, interventions should focus on decreasing the mental burden on low-income households, whose minds are already highly stressed.”

Researchers suggest that policy interventions that rationalize debt would significantly improve cognitive and psychological functioning and reduce counterproductive behaviors. For example, debt restructuring or consolidation could be a more sustainable policy because it is less costly and more effective than simple debt clearance. More generally, poverty reduction interventions should target and reduce the factors that contribute to the mental burdens of the poor.

Researchers are now examining the longer-term effects of debt relief and applying the study’s findings to find innovative solutions that can help the poor.

This research project exemplifies what the NUS SSR aims to achieve – policy-relevant research that collaborates with the social service community to find solutions to Singapore’s social needs. The research team thanks Methodist Welfare Services and participating agencies for their contribution to this important study.

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Argentina extends deadline for debt restructuring deal

Argentina on Saturday extended its debt restructuring offer until Monday, after creditors largely rejected the proposal to avert the country’s ninth sovereign debt default.

President Alberto Fernández said Argentina’s goal was to make “commitments we can keep” after the government failed to garner enough support for its bid to restructure $65 billion of external debt before Friday’s original deadline.

“It’s a negotiation with very unique characters from the world of finance. Now let’s see how many accepted the offer, if there are any counter offers. I heard there might be some counter offers in the next few days. The negotiation continues, nothing is closed,” Fernández told a local radio station on Saturday morning. “Nobody wants to fall into default.”

The country had given bondholders until Friday to accept a restructuring proposal which calls for interest payments to be deferred until 2023 and principal payments until 2026.

Most foreign bondholders rejected Argentina’s offer, according to people familiar with the matter, and turnout was so low that the government chose not to announce the results in an official statement.

“It’s a pretty big fail,” said one investor.

Martín Guzmán, Argentina’s economy minister, said on Friday that dialogue remained open with creditors.

“We appreciate the fact that there are creditors who enter into the proposed exchange, choosing the path of a lasting relationship,” he told El Cronista, a newspaper. “If creditors who have not yet entered have other ideas consistent with the capacity to pay identified in the government’s and IMF’s debt sustainability analysis, then we are prepared to consider them.”

Bondholders have said they are now considering making a counter offer, although many are reluctant to do so until the government admits its offer and the assumptions on which it is based are not acceptable, according to an investor participating in the negotiations.

The main Argentine bondholders have remained firm in their opposition to the deal since the government introduced it last month. Three creditor groups – whose members include BlackRock, Fidelity, T Rowe Price, GMO, VR Capital Group and other major institutional investors – immediately rejected the terms. Earlier this week they double over their critics, saying in a joint statement that they would not support the Buenos Aires proposal.

Without the support of these creditors, Argentina will struggle to avoid another default. The group which includes BlackRock, Fidelity and T Rowe Price says its members own more than 25% of the country’s bonds issued since 2016, and more than 15% of previously restructured bonds issued in 2005 and 2010 – the so-called bonds of exchange . Another group representing swap bond holders claims to hold more than 16% of the bonds outstanding.

Depending on the bond, Argentina needs the approval of between 66 and 85 percent of creditors. While the three groups remain separate, they have aligned more in recent weeks, according to a person familiar with the matter.

“[Guzmán’s] the intransigence brought all bondholders together,” the person said.

Bondholders have disputed that under the current proposal they will see no payout for three years. When coupon payments begin in 2023, they say, the proposed initial size of 0.5% on most bonds is simply too low.

Members of the creditor groups have also hit back at Argentina for its handling of the negotiations so far. Many investors ignored recent meetings with Guzmán and his team, citing that the deal was being framed as a “take it or leave it” offer.

“The old strategy of using harsh rhetoric to drive prices down so they can come back to make it look okay won’t work,” said a member of one of the groups. “Many of these investors bought the bonds when they were issued.”

On current terms, analysts see an average recovery value of 32 cents on the dollar for bonds issued after 2016, and about 35 cents on the dollar for exchange bonds.

Investors said they are now looking to May 22, the end of a 30-day grace period for payments they have already missed. Some see the way to an agreement, with Argentina showing some flexibility, especially given the risks in the event of another default by the country.

“It doesn’t benefit anyone to get into a protracted situation,” said a person familiar with the negotiations. “We know what it looks like. Argentina spent a decade in financial isolation” after defaulting in 2001, the person added.

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G20 to discuss post-pandemic world and support debt relief

Leaders of the world’s 20 largest economies (G20) will debate this weekend how to deal with the unprecedented COVID-19 pandemic that has caused a global recession and how to handle the recovery once the coronavirus is under control. control.

Top of the list is the procurement and global distribution of vaccines, drugs and tests for low-income countries that cannot afford such expenses themselves. The European Union will ask the G20 on Saturday to invest $4.5 billion to help.

“The main theme will be to intensify global cooperation to deal with the pandemic,” said a senior G20 official taking part in preparations for the two-day summit, chaired by Saudi Arabia and held virtually due to the pandemic.

To prepare for the future, the EU will propose a treaty on pandemics.

“An international treaty would help us react faster and in a more coordinated way,” EU leaders Chairman Charles Michel told the G20 on Sunday.

As the global economy recovers from the depths of the crisis earlier this year, momentum is slowing in countries where infection rates are resurfacing, the recovery is uneven and the pandemic is likely to leave deep scars, said the International Monetary Fund in a report for the G20 Summit.

Poor and heavily indebted countries in the developing world, which are “on the brink of financial ruin and escalating poverty, hunger and untold suffering”, are particularly vulnerable, the UN Secretary General said on Friday. United, Antonio Guterres.

To address this, the G20 will approve a plan to extend the moratorium on debt servicing for developing countries by six months until mid-2021, with the possibility of a further extension, according to a draft communiqué from the G20 seen by Reuters.

European members of the G20 are likely to push for more.

“Additional debt relief is needed,” Michel told reporters on Friday.

Debt relief for Africa will be a major theme of Italy’s G20 Presidency in 2021.

Europe’s G20 nations will also seek to inject new momentum into the stalled reform of the World Trade Organization (WTO), hoping to capitalize on the upcoming change in the US administration. Outgoing President Donald Trump preferred bilateral trade agreements rather than going through international bodies.

The change in American leadership also gives hope for a more concerted effort at the G20 level to fight climate change.

Like the European Union, already half of the G20 members, including Japan, China, South Korea and South Africa, plan to become climate or at least carbon neutral by 2050. or soon after.

Under Trump, the United States withdrew from the Paris Agreement to fight climate change, but the decision is expected to be reversed by President-elect Joe Biden.

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In new lawsuit, borrowers accuse Navient of obstructing student debt forgiveness

Potentially millions of teachers, social workers and other public servants wasted money repaying loans because a major student loan company blocked access to debt forgiveness to which they were entitled, according to a new lawsuit.

The class action filed Wednesday against Navient by borrowers eligible for civil service loan cancellation, says the company provided these civil servants with incorrect information, extending the time they would need to wait before their loans were canceled in under the program and causing them to spend money unnecessarily on their debt.

The borrowers also allege that Navient’s corporate policies encouraged this behavior. The lawsuit, funded by the American Federation of Teachers, says Navient encourages its employees to spend a few minutes on the phone with borrowers, but advising borrowers of their options can take significantly longer.

The lawsuit also alleges that Navient had reasons to make it harder for borrowers to qualify for the PSLF — once a borrower is deemed eligible for the program, their loan is transferred to another company — and that Navient wanted to ensure that he continued to receive the money. associated with the account.

Navient “deliberately and systematically trapped teachers, nurses and other public service workers under a mountain of student loan debt rather than offering them the opportunity to reduce that debt through the public service loan forgiveness program. public,” said Randi Weingarten, chairman of the AFT. during a conference call with reporters.

A representative for Navient declined to comment on the allegations.

The public loan cancellation program got off to a rocky start

The lawsuit is the latest indication of the challenges borrowers face in accessing the PSLF. So far around 28,000 borrowers have applied for the release of their loans and only 96 have been approved.

The program, which was enacted in 2007, allows civil servants to have their loans canceled after 10 years of payments. But it appears that at least thousands of borrowers have been fooled by the eligibility criteria, which require borrowers to have the right kind of federal student loan, work in the right kind of job (the government at all levels and only certain nonprofits), are in the correct repayment program and make 120 qualifying payments.

Moreover, this lawsuit is just one of many allegations by borrower advocates that student loan servicers have put roadblocks in the way of officials’ forgiveness.

Seth Frotman, the student loans ombudsman at the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau until August, told reporters on the call that during his work at the office he had met countless borrowers hoping to qualify for the PSLF, whose dreams had been dashed by “inexcusable service failures”. and “the lies told to them by their loan officer”.

“I didn’t need any help – I needed a little advice”

Kathryn Hyland, a New York-based public school teacher, said in the lawsuit that she believed she was on track to get loan forgiveness for three years, thanks to information she received from Navient. She later learned that the payments she made during that time did not count for cancellation because she had the wrong type of federal loan — a problem she could have solved had she known.

Melissa Garcia, another New York-based public school teacher, claims in the lawsuit that she was misled by Navient on multiple occasions. At one point, the company advised him to consolidate his student loans, which restarted the clock towards debt cancellation and caused him to lose 37 payments that would have counted towards that goal. Additionally, she alleges that Navient advised her to participate in a repayment program that was not eligible for PSLF, despite her appeal to ask her to stay on track for a pardon.

Megan Nocerino, a college teacher from Florida, told reporters on the call that she reached out to Navient to help her manage her debt while she cared for her sick son and was oriented. towards forbearance – a status that temporarily halts payments and progresses towards forgiveness and during which interest continues to grow. This happened even though she was eligible for PSLF and there are repayment plans available that would maintain her eligibility and make her monthly payments more manageable.

“At that time, I just needed a little help – I didn’t need help – I needed a little guidance and a little understanding,” he said. she said on the call.

A symptom of a larger problem

The types of challenges officials face in accessing the PSLF provide a window into broader systemic issues with the student loan program that may become more pronounced as more borrowers become eligible for other relief programs. less tight debt, said Persis Yu, the director of the Student Loan Borrower Assistance Project at the National Consumer Law Center.

“The utility loan portfolio is kind of like the canary in the coal mine,” Yu said. Many of these borrowers may have advanced degrees and maybe even received counseling from their schools or their employers about accessing the program and yet they still struggle. This indicates that as borrowers with perhaps fewer resources become eligible for debt relief, they also may not receive it when they qualify, Yu said.

“The fundamental confusion about the student loan program runs much deeper than someone hasn’t read the fine print,” she said. “To access many programs under the federal loan program, all you have to do is harass your servicer.”

Although advocates have complained under the Obama administration that services aren’t doing enough to help borrowers, Weingarten told reporters on the call that the Betsy DeVos-led Department of Education is only doing worsen the situation.

During DeVos’s tenure, the Department worked to protect student loan companies from state consumer protection laws. In addition, the agency tried to block the implementation of Obama-era rules aimed at protecting predatory college borrowers and trying to make them whole when they are misled by their schools.

“In every angle they operate from, they are effectively a friend to lenders and an enemy to borrowers,” Weingarten said.

The Department of Education did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

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$5.4 Million Awarded by FTC to People Who Paid for ‘Worthless Student Loan Debt Relief’

The Federal Trade Commission is sending more than $5.4 million to nearly 40,000 people who lost money to a student debt relief scam. The defendants behind the scam had to hand over the money as part of a 2018 settlement with the FTC.

Defendants’ Los Angeles-based companies used the following names: Alliance Document Preparation, LLC; EZ Doc Preps; Help for graduates; Help with the first document; SBS Capital Group, LLC; Release of United Graduates; CFF Holdings, LLC; preparation of allied documents; Postgraduate services; United Legal Center, LLC; Post-graduation aid; Help for graduates; United Legal Disclaimer; United Legal Center, Inc.; Grads Doc Prep, LLC; Academic Help Center; academic protection; Doc Prep Academy; and academic release.

The FTC alleged that the defendants’ companies defrauded millions of people trying to reduce or eliminate their student loan debt. The defendants marketed on social media platforms, including Facebook. According to The FTC Complaint, they falsely stated that they were affiliated with the United States Department of Education or loan officers, and falsely claimed that consumers who paid upfront fees of up to $1,000 were qualified or approved for monthly payments permanently reduced or loan forgiveness. In fact, according to the complaint, the defendants had no affiliation with the US Department of Education and operated a service that offered no relief.

Like part of the settlement, the FTC sends 39,734 checks, averaging $136.48, to people who lost money. Checks will expire after 60 days as indicated on the check. The FTC urges people to cash them in before they expire. The FTC never requires consumers to pay money or provide account information to cash a refund check.

Consumers with questions about refunds should contact the refund administrator, Analytics, at 1-877-270-9672.

Consumers who wish to avoid falling victim to such fraud can visit to learn more. Consumers may also apply for loan deferral, forbearance, repayment, and forgiveness or discharge programs directly from the US Department of Education or their loan officers, free of charge; these programs do not require the assistance of a third-party company or the payment of an application fee. For federal student loan repayment options, visit For private loans, contact the loan manager directly.

The Federal Trade Commission works to promote competition and protect and educate consumers.


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A lifeline for consumers burdened with high-interest debt

“After serving more than 12 million visitors looking for help resolving their debts, we launched Project Debt Box as a secret weapon to help families better manage their credit and reduce their debts,” said Ellis Houck, editor of “These tools were designed to educate and motivate consumers to tackle debt with confidence,” Houck added.

Twelve user-friendly debt assistance tools available upon request

Project Debt Box offers twelve specific tools to help individuals and families budget, manage debt, protect their rights with creditors, and get out of debt. “It even provides valuable debt relief tips that anyone can use on their own – to lower interest rates, reduce payments and resolve debt more cheaply through structured debt programs. debt relief for struggling families,” Houck continued.

“Life Happens” and the Stats Tell the Story

Having served over 12 million people in debt, feedback from visitors to the Debt Relief Center makes it clear that while overspending can lead to unmanageable debt, it is often “life events” that trigger over-indebtedness. “In the past 90 days, of those who have contacted than 37% reported job loss or reduced income, while more than 20% said the debt was due to personal, family or medical difficulties,” Houck added.

When debt becomes too much to handle on your own

Clearly, regardless of life situations or events that trigger debt, Project Debt Box is an idea whose time has come. “It’s actually empowering for people when they finally say ‘enough’ and summon the courage to ask for help, kill the monster and put the worries of debt behind them,” Houck said.

For more information about Project Debt Box and how consumers can get help with overwhelming debt, go to

MEDIA CONTACT: For press inquiries, Walter Burch(818) 208-1492

SOURCE Debt Relief Center

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IMF right to maintain Covid support, but on debt relief it’s crumbs | Larry Elliot

go there and spend. Don’t worry about accumulating debt. You will make a mistake if you remove support from your savings too soon. This is the message of Kristalina Georgievathe managing director of the International Monetary Fund, to finance ministers as they consider how to deal with the economic damage caused by Covid-19.

Well, some of them at least. Finance ministers such as Rishi Sunak definitely get the green light to spend more. This is sound advice and should be heeded, not least because rock-bottom interest rates mean debt servicing costs go down even as borrowing goes up.

The IMF is taking a tougher line on countries that might ask for emergency bailouts. The government of Argentina, for example, will find that any aid it receives will come with strings attached that are sure to be painful and unpopular.

Finally, there are the poorest countries in the world, those which lack the capacity to provide unlimited stimulus to their economies and which, in many cases, are struggling with unpayable levels of debt.

Georgieva and the President of the World Bank, David Malpassboth know that a comprehensive debt relief program is needed for these countries, a program that involves all bilateral creditors and both the private and public sectors.

Unfortunately, that won’t happen at this year’s IMF annual meeting. All that is offered to the 70 or so poorest nations is a six-month extension of the G20 debt suspension plan agreed to in the spring. This does not represent the significant reduction that Malpass was talking about. It simply represents the brushing of a few crumbs from the rich man’s table.

Biden, not just coronavirus, could upend China’s recovery

For Xi Jinping, there will have been quiet satisfaction seeing the value of China’s stock market soar above the previous record high of $10.05bn (£8.06bn). Earlier this year, that other self-proclaimed strongman, Donald Trump, imagined a record run on Wall Street would propel him to a second term in the White House.

Now, unless he pulls off one of the most remarkable comebacks of all time, Trump is on his way to a big defeat at the hands of Joe Biden. A pandemic that started in China is going to be a deciding factor in determining the outcome of the US presidential election.

Stock prices have hit high levels in China before, and five years ago they came back to Earth with a bump. They could do it again if Covid-19 causes another deep fall in the global economy, stifling demand for Chinese exports.

But there are reasons why the Chinese stock market is rising high. Beijing has been content to use authoritarian measures to control the pandemic and recorded no cases in its latest daily report to the World Health Organization.

Control of the virus means the economy has recovered faster than expected. China’s growth rate, according to the IMF, will drop from 6.1% to 1.9% this year, but at least it remains positive, which is more than can be said for the United States , which are expected to contract by 4.3%.

Moreover, with Trump seemingly on his way out, investors believe the Cold War between Washington and Beijing will unfreeze. True, but probably not very much. Biden should be bad for the US stock market. It might not do much for China either.

£800million is the first – but won’t be the last – draw on the HS2 overrun fund

The least surprising title winner of the day goes to ‘Cost of HS2 high-speed rail line rises by £800m’. Apparently the cost of improving Euston station will cost at least £400m more than expected, while the discovery of more asbestos than expected will add another £400m to the bill.

Although there is a provident fund to cover overspending, it is only £5.3bn. And one thing is certain: £800m is the first draw on that reserve. It won’t be the last.

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Debt relief boosts Myanmar’s COVID-19 recovery

Author: Sean Turnell, Macquarie University

On July 1, 2020, the European Union and six of its member governments announced a moratorium on the repayment of debt owed by Myanmar. The deal allows Myanmar to “focus its efforts on post-COVID-19 economic recovery” and is worth nearly $100 million, or 20% of Myanmar’s current debt repayment schedule.

Widely relayed in the Burmese press, this gesture reinforces a relationship that has been strained over the past few years. atrocities in Rakhine State and elsewhere, and the possibility that EU trade privileges – vital to Myanmar’s rapidly growing garment sector – could be withdrawn.

The public health impact of COVID-19 in Myanmar has, in fact, been much milder than expected. Infection and death rates are low and more or less in line with the country’s peers in Southeast Asia. Despite early estimates that Myanmar could suffer 2 million deaths and 10 times as many people infected, as of mid-July the country had recorded only six deaths, 341 total confirmed cases and 278 recovered cases.

Given the state of Myanmar’s health administration, these figures almost certainly underestimate the true extent of cases. Yet such an undercount is not likely to be of a large magnitude. The author’s surveys of various hospital and health officials (and funeral associations) reveal that Myanmar really seems to have escaped the worst of the pandemic so far.

But while the health impact of COVID-19 on Myanmar has been relatively light, the same cannot be said for the economic damage. Exports, commodity prices, remittances and tourist arrivals were hit first, followed quickly by just about every other sector of the economy as the government implemented various strict containment measures (if necessary).

Once predicted as Asia’s second fastest growing economy with 6.7% GDP growth forecast in 2020, Myanmar’s economic growth will now fall to just 0.5%. Any comfort in the idea that this is still a positive number is tempered both by the high degree of uncertainty about these estimates and by the sheer magnitude of the growth reversal.

Non-farm employment takes a hit, with up to 5 million jobs lost. Many of these losses occurred in the formal economy, including a significant number in the critical garment sector. Surveys of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) suggest that around half of them fear that their survival is at risk.

In the face of the economic damage of COVID-19, the government of Myanmar is acting with (perhaps surprising) speed and policy coherence. He enacted a series of relief measures centered on the US$2.2 billion “COVID-19 Economic Relief Plan” (CERP), the product of key economic reformers in the Ministry of Planning, Finance and of Industry and endorsed by the new Project Bank facility.

Monetary and financial initiatives will include interest rate cuts, debt rescheduling, new loan programs for SMEs and farmers, prudential bank forbearance and credit guarantees. The plan will also significantly increase health spending, food and cash transfers to the most vulnerable and village-based employment programs and accelerate various infrastructure projects.

One of the most innovative plans is to further boost Myanmar’s digital economy – which is already fueled by high mobile phone penetration rates – by bringing as many government services online as possible. Despite some implementation issues with CERP, it appears to have been effective in countering what might otherwise have been a near collapse in aggregate demand.

Financing these stimulus measures is difficult. The current government has been extraordinarily successful in cleaning up Myanmar’s public finances, which means that much of the spending is made possible simply by increasing budget allocations. Aided by surprisingly resilient bond and gilt markets, a modest reliance on central bank funding (while sticking to the government’s strict timetable to phase out such funding eventually) is also smoothing the way. .

In addition to European Union debt relief, other sources of international aid also play a role in financing Myanmar’s recovery. Under the Debt Service Suspension Initiative (DSSI) supported by the G20 and the Paris Club of creditor countries, Myanmar has received “additional” financial resources amounting to approximately $1.2 billion. dollars. Myanmar also accessed $357 million through the IMF’s Rapid Credit Facility – an amount representing 50% of the country’s IMF quota, leaving an additional $357 million still available for drawdown.

Interestingly – both for this moment and for the longer term relationship – China has offered little aid to Myanmar during COVID-19, though it has lobbied for approval of various Belt and Road Initiative projects. By far Myanmar’s largest creditor, China has so far been singularly insensitive to the needs of a country it so often presents as its “little brother”.

Sean Turnell is an Associate Professor in the Department of Economics at Macquarie University. He is also a Special Economic Consultant to the State Councilor of Myanmar and Research Director of the Myanmar Development Institute.

This article is part of a EAF Special Feature Series on the new coronavirus crisis and its impact.
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Global debt expected to reach nearly 100% in 2021 amid COVID-19 crisis, says International Monetary Fund (IMF)

Global public debt is expected to fall from 98% of GDP in 2020 to 100% of GDP in 2021

Global public debt is expected to hit 98% of GDP by the end of 2020, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) said in its latest fiscal monitor update on Thursday, saying public debt in India is expected to remain high at 83% percent. of GDP. The COVID-19 pandemic has posed a severe challenge to public finances, the report said, noting that the resulting contraction in output and lower incomes, as well as emergency lifelines, have pushed up deficits and public debts beyond the levels recorded during the global financial crisis.

Vitor Gaspar, director of the IMF’s fiscal affairs department, told reporters that government revenue had fallen everywhere, government debt had climbed to 98% from 84% before COVID-19. “From 2021, debt stabilizes at a high level and remains well above pre-COVID-19 levels until the end of the forecast horizon,” he said.

According to the Fiscal Monitor report, public debt is expected to remain high at 83% of GDP, underscoring the need for a credible medium-term fiscal framework to build confidence, anchored on revised fiscal targets and revenue mobilization.

Noting that global public debt is expected to increase further – from 98% of GDP in 2020 to almost 100% of GDP in 2021 – driven by advanced and emerging market economies, Paolo Mauro, Deputy Director of the Department of Public Finances of the IMF said with the pandemic still out of control and economies growing below potential, additional fiscal support will be needed in 2021, to protect livelihoods.

“High public debt need not raise immediate concerns about debt sustainability, but highly indebted emerging markets and developing economies may find it difficult to borrow more. market are good, but short-term debt vulnerabilities remain elevated in some developing countries,” he said in response to a question.

To cope with a sharp increase in public debt in developing countries, the international community – including the IMF – provided grants, concessional loans and debt relief in 2020, including for 38 countries considered as “high risk”.

Fiscal adjustment and, in a few cases, debt restructuring should contribute to debt reduction. Almost everywhere, credible medium-term strategies must be developed, with the aim of stabilizing and gradually reducing debt to safer levels over time, supported by pro-growth and inclusive policies, he said. declared.

Gasper said low-income developing countries urgently need funding for social services, health and education, COVID-19 control measures and support for food programs in countries facing the risk of COVID-19. malnutrition. The IMF, he said, is helping and remains committed to providing additional support. Since the start of the pandemic, it has provided financing totaling approximately $105 billion to more than 80 countries, five of which are low-income developing countries. More than $285 billion is committed in total out of a lending capacity of $1 trillion.

Many poor countries need additional support in the form of grants, concessional loans and debt relief. This includes the debt service suspension initiative, but on a case-by-case basis, deeper debt treatments may be needed, including restructuring, Gasper said.

Affirming that the international community must act together to foster inclusive growth, Gasper called for the universal availability of effective vaccines. “Health must come first, and the lifeline must be targeted when needed. COVID-19 will not be under control anywhere until it is under control everywhere. The sooner that happens, the sooner the economic activity will pick up, the sooner the jobs will come back,” Gaspar told reporters.

“Making effective vaccines universally available is the number one priority, Lifeline should be targeted to the most vulnerable and maintained based on developments in the spread of the virus,” he said. In releasing the annual budget monitor update, Gasper called for facilitating the transition to a smart, green, resilient and inclusive growth model. “This applies to support today and becomes even more important as the recovery takes hold,” he said.

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New Chapter 12 Bill Would Offer Debt Relief to More Family Farmers

The recently introduced Family Farmer Support Act 2019 (S.897) will help family farmers reorganize after facing difficult times, which more and more of them are experiencing due to the uncertainty of some export markets, lower prices for some farm and ranch products. and other factors.

Recognizing the unique challenges faced by family farmers, Congress in 1986 established Chapter 12 of the US Bankruptcy Code, which removes some costly reorganization requirements for large corporations.

“Our farmer members have experienced consecutive years of low commodity prices and the consequent low profitability and low farm incomes. As a result, farmers and ranchers are seeing their equity eroded as their debt ratio rises and debt financing hits a 30-year high. The double whammy of record farm debt and poor economic conditions has led many farmers to file for Chapter 12 bankruptcy as an option for debt relief and restructuring,” said Zippy Duvall, president of the American Farm Bureau Federation.

While Chapter 12 has helped many family farmers, its $4.1 million debt limit has kept many others from using it. The Family Farmer Assistance Act of 2019 would allow more family farmers to apply for relief under the program by raising the cap on Chapter 12 operating debt to $10 million.

‘Removing the liability cap and giving more farmers the opportunity to qualify for Chapter 12 bankruptcy provides the restructuring and seasonal repayment flexibility that many farmers need in today’s lagging farm economy’ today and will help align bankruptcy law with the scale and credit needs of American agriculture,” Duval said.

The bipartisan bill, backed by the Farm Bureau, was introduced by Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) and co-sponsored by Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.), Ron Johnson (R-Wis.), Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), Thom Tillis (RN.C.), Doug Jones (D-Ala.), Joni Ernst (R-Iowa) and Tina Smith (D-Minn.).

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Bipartisan COVID Relief Bill to Provide $13 Billion in Farm Aid | 2020-12-09

A bipartisan group of senators negotiating a $908 billion coronavirus relief package is circulating a summary of the plan that says $13 billion would be allocated to the agricultural sector.

the abstract, obtained by Agri Pulse, does not specify how the money would be spent, except to allocate $600 million for disaster relief in the fisheries sector.

The outline of the proposal only indicated that $26 billion would be allocated to agriculture and nutrition.

According to the new summary, the plan would temporarily increase the Individual Monthly Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program by 15% for four months and provide funding for the Emergency Food Assistance Program to help food banks and pantries.

It would also temporarily increase the value of the benefits of the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children (WIC), allowing participants to purchase additional fruits and vegetables.

Speaking to reporters Wednesday afternoon, a senator leading the negotiations, Sen. Joe Manchin, DW. Va, said lawmakers are making progress on state and local funding, as well as liability protections.

These two issues have been two major sticking points among Republicans and Democrats over the past few months, which is why they have yet to reach an agreement on COVID relief.

Interested in more coverage and information? Receive a free month of Agri Pulse.

“Hopefully we’ll finish our language by tonight,” Manchin said. “That’s what we’re aiming for.” He said he understood there was agreement Tuesday night on state and local funding and believed lawmakers were reaching agreement on liability protections.

When asked if Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., and other GOP leaders were taking the bill seriously, Manchin replied, “They don’t another on the table”.

The bipartisan package would provide about $10 billion for broadband needs, including $6.25 billion that would go to state broadband rollout and broadband connectivity subsidies. The grants are intended to ensure “affordable broadband access” during the pandemic, the summary says.

An additional $3 billion would be allocated to the Education Connectivity Emergency Fund. This money would be given in priority to rural areas that need it most to help education and distance education providers distribute hotspots, devices and other connected devices.

The Federal Communications Commission would receive $475 million for its COVID-19 telehealth program to bolster the efforts of healthcare providers to fight the coronavirus. There would be 20% reserved for small rural suppliers.

The agricultural section of the summary also indicates that USDA Rural Development would obtain funding for water and wastewater programs. The amount was not specified.

For more news, visit

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Biden says he won’t back $50,000 student loan debt forgiveness plan – WSOC TV

Regarding the cancellation of student loans for millions of Americans, the president said he would not support a proposal that top Democrats want him to support.

President Joe Biden wants to forgive $10,000 of student debt per borrower in response to the COVID-19 crisis, which could wipe out debt for 15 million Americans and reduce balances for millions more.

Federal data shows that more than a third of federal borrowers could see their balances drop to zero if $10,000 were forgiven.

Prominent Democrats, however, want the president to do more. They said canceling $50,000 per person would eliminate debt for 36 million Americans.

They urge the president to take executive action as the economy and Americans battle the coronavirus pandemic.

But Biden said he wouldn’t.

“I’m not going to make that happen,” Biden said. “It depends on whether you go to a private university or a public university.”

Biden and former President Trump have suspended federal student loan payments during the coronavirus pandemic. This suspension will last until the end of September.

For more information, you can go to in line or call the Federal Student Aid Information Center at 800-433-3243.

Biden officials consider action on student debt relief

The Biden administration is considering whether it can take steps to provide student debt relief through executive action, even as it continues to ask Congress to pass legislation to help borrowers and their families.

A tweet from White House press secretary Jen Psaki appeared to go further than her comments during a briefing earlier Thursday, when she said President Joe Biden was counting on Congress to act next. on student loan relief. Biden said he supports up to $10,000 in student loan forgiveness per borrower.

“The President continues to support student debt cancellation to provide relief to students and families,” Psaki tweeted. “Our team is looking at whether there are any steps he can take through executive action and he would be happy to sign a bill sent to him by Congress.”

It came hours after a group of Democrats urged Biden to use executive action to forgive $50,000 in federal student debt for all borrowers. The group, which included Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer of New York and Senator Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts, said it would boost the economy and help close the country’s racial wealth gap.

Biden has previously said he supports erasing up to $10,000 in student debt through legislation, but he has not expressed interest in pursuing executive action. In a briefing before posting his statement on Twitter, Psaki appeared to reject the idea of ​​using presidential powers to wipe out debt, saying Biden had already suspended student loan repayments during the pandemic.

“He would look to Congress to take the next steps,” she said.

Legal scholars have fallen back and forth over whether Biden has the power to deal with loan relief himself, with some saying the move is unlikely to survive a legal challenge.

The Trump administration moved to block broad debt cancellation in early January, issuing an Education Department memo concluding that the secretary had no authority to provide such assistance and that it would be up to Congress.

Schumer said he and Warren researched the matter and concluded “it’s one of those things the president can do on his own.” Past presidents have written off debt, Schumer said, but not on the scale proposed.

Democrats are pushing the issue as a racial justice issue and as COVID-19 relief. They rely on statistics showing that black and Latino borrowers are more likely to go into debt and take longer to repay their loans.

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G7 supports extension of G20 debt freeze and calls for reforms

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – G7 finance ministers on Friday backed an extension of the G20’s bilateral debt relief initiative for the world’s poorest countries, but said it needed to be revised to address shortcomings. shortcomings that hinder its implementation.

In a lengthy joint statement, ministers from the Group of Seven advanced economies said they “deeply regret” the decisions of some countries not to participate by classifying their public institutions as commercial lenders.

Two officials from G7 countries said the benchmark was clearly aimed at China, which declined to include loans from the state-owned China Development Bank and other government-controlled entities in the total official of its bilateral debt when dealing with countries seeking debt relief.

Ministers also acknowledged that some countries will need further debt relief in the future and urged the Group of 20 major economies and Paris Club creditors to agree on terms by the meeting. G20 finance ministers next month.

“Everyone was disappointed with China’s lack of transparency and engagement,” said an official, who asked not to be named.

In an online meeting hosted by US Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, ministers underlined their commitment to working together to support the poorest and most vulnerable countries, which have been hit hard by the coronavirus pandemic.

They called on the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank to provide regular updates on the financing needs of low-income countries and to propose solutions to expected financing gaps, including through instruments to leverage advantage of access to private finance.

They said the Debt Service Suspension Initiative (DSSI) endorsed in April by G20 countries, including China, had helped 43 countries defer $5 billion in official debt service payments in order to release money to respond to the pandemic.

But the total is well below the $12 billion in savings originally projected and represents just over half of the more than 70 eligible countries.

Ministers said the initiative should be expanded, “in the context of a request for IMF financing”, and called for a new condition sheet and memorandum of understanding to improve its implementation.

The ministers said that claims classified as commercial under the DSSI would also be treated as such in future debt treatments and for the implementation of IMF policies, sternly reminding China and other countries that do not have not been fully transparent about the scope and terms of government loans to the poor. countries.

Ministers also called again on private lenders to implement the on-demand debt relief initiative, noting that the lack of private sector participation has limited the potential benefits for several countries.

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Direct Relief to get a slice of MacKenzie Scott’s billions

From its warehouse near the Santa Barbara airport, Direct Relief distributes COVID-19 medicine and other supplies around the world. (Lara Cooper/Direct Relief)

When MacKenzie Scott announced recently that she had donated nearly $4.2 billion to charities in the United States, one of the 384 recipients on her list was Direct Relief, the non-profit organization based in Santa Barbara which distributes medical aid all over the world.

Direct Relief plans to disclose both the exact amount of the donation and the specific program it will fund in the coming weeks. Tony Morain, the nonprofit’s vice president of communications, said it was “a historic amount for Direct Relief”, one of the largest cash donations in the organization’s history.

Direct Relief learned of Scott’s gift like the rest of the world, Morain said, when the Amazon billionaire posted “384 ways to help” on Medium.

“It was a surprise, and we were grateful and humbled,” Morain said. “She did her due diligence; she researched each of the organizations independently. For Direct Relief, it was a good surprise in a difficult year. … The manner in which she made the donation was inspiring, that someone would choose to give an unprecedented amount of philanthropic dollars at a rate that had never been done before, without asking for anything in return.

Since divorcing Amazon founder Jeff Bezos last year, Scott has become one of the world’s biggest philanthropists. The new $4.2 billion round comes on top of the $1.7 billion she gave in July to 116 organizations, including major gifts to historically black colleges and universities.

Scott’s new round of donations is focused on helping those impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic and “long-term systemic inequalities that have been deepened by the crisis,” she wrote on Medium. Beneficiaries include healthcare providers, food banks, civil and legal advocacy funds, as well as groups that provide debt relief, education, job training and financial services to underserved communities. .

Scott wrote that she used a team of advisors this time around, and they took “a data-driven approach to identifying organizations with strong leadership and results teams, with a focus on those operating in communities facing high food insecurity, high measures of racism, inequality, high local poverty rates, and low access to philanthropic capital.

Direct Relief is the largest non-profit organization in the tri-county area and one of the largest in the country. A recent Forbes report placed it third nationally with $2 billion in private donations, behind only United Way and Feeding America.

Most of this income comes from donations of medicines and other supplies. Cash donations like Scott’s accounted for $171 million in the 2019-20 fiscal year, while goods and services donated to Direct Relief were worth $1.82 billion.

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