Debt Agency – CTXETG http://ctxetg.com/ Tue, 22 Nov 2022 14:28:02 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=5.9.3 https://ctxetg.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/06/icon-150x150.png Debt Agency – CTXETG http://ctxetg.com/ 32 32 Newell Brands debt ratings revised to stable https://ctxetg.com/newell-brands-debt-ratings-revised-to-stable/ Tue, 22 Nov 2022 13:57:41 +0000 https://ctxetg.com/newell-brands-debt-ratings-revised-to-stable/ Moody’s Investors Service changed its rating outlook for Newell Brands Inc.’s debt to positive from stable. At the same time, the rating agency confirmed the Ba1 Corporate Family Rating (“CFR”), Ba1-PD Probability of Default Rating (“PDR”), Ba1 senior unsecured debt instrument and NP (non-prime) rating of the commercial paper. The outlook for its Speculative Liquidity […]]]>

Moody’s Investors Service changed its rating outlook for Newell Brands Inc.’s debt to positive from stable.

At the same time, the rating agency confirmed the Ba1 Corporate Family Rating (“CFR”), Ba1-PD Probability of Default Rating (“PDR”), Ba1 senior unsecured debt instrument and NP (non-prime) rating of the commercial paper. The outlook for its Speculative Liquidity Rating (“SGL”) has changed from SGL-2 to SGL-2.

The assertion reflects Newell’s large scale, good, albeit weaker, operating performance and strong operating profit margin.

Moody’s said: “While the company has successfully executed on its strategic objectives and its commitment to return to organic growth, the weaker economic environment and inflationary pressure on consumers create elevated risks over the next 12 to 18 months. . These factors move the outlook revision to stable, as an upgrade in investment grade is not likely when earnings weaken. Moody’s expects demand for discretionary products such as home fragrances, small appliances, household food storage, and outdoor and leisure products to remain under pressure, particularly following a surge demand during the global pandemic. Additionally, the company’s ability to take pricing action to offset volume declines will be limited during this time as retailers become more order-timid and push back on suppliers to reduce prices. Inflated inventory levels at Newell may lead to discounts in order to move products more quickly through the channel and retain market share in a competitive environment. Despite the weaker economic outlook, Moody’s affirmed Newell’s Ba1 CFR as any cyclical weakness is likely to be temporary and the company remains focused on maintaining moderate financial policy. However, uncertainty and downside risks remain high during this period.

“Moody’s expects financial leverage to remain elevated at approximately 4.0x to 4.5x debt to EBITDA over the next 12-18 months, compared to 4.7x as of September 30, 2022, the decrease in indebtedness being largely due to the repayment of debt.Given the weak economic environment, it is unlikely that the company will be able to significantly reduce its indebtedness during this period, all the more so that it is also focused on paying a significant dividend to its shareholders Newell has a reported target net debt to EBITDA leverage ratio of 2.5x (based on the company’s calculation), which is quite modest compared to its leverage ratio of 3.9x as of September 30, 2022. Moody’s expects free cash flow (which counts for the dividend) to total $225-275 million over the next 12-18 months as higher than normal working capital is reduced Moody’s expects equal that the company uses this free cash flow to repay debt, given its current debt target.

“The downgrade to SGL-2 reflects earnings pressure over the next 12 months and the fact that the heavy use of working capital in 2022 will take time to subside, resulting in higher than expected revolver borrowings. The SGL-2 nonetheless reflects that Newell’s liquidity remains good with expected cash of $400 million by December 31, 2022, spare capacity on the $1.5 billion unsecured revolving credit facility expiring in August 2027 (unrated) and $375 million under the accounts receivable securitization facility expiring October 2023. The company had $1.1 billion in bonds that were due to mature in April 2023, but they were redeemed in October 2022.”

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2022 Third Quarter Report: Agency mergers and acquisitions saw a year-over-year decline https://ctxetg.com/2022-third-quarter-report-agency-mergers-and-acquisitions-saw-a-year-over-year-decline/ Thu, 17 Nov 2022 05:04:35 +0000 https://ctxetg.com/2022-third-quarter-report-agency-mergers-and-acquisitions-saw-a-year-over-year-decline/ Interest rates have risen significantly over the past year, from 0.08% at the end of 2021 to 3.08% at the end of Q3 2022. (Credit: Murrstock/Adobe Stock) Agents and brokers saw their first dip in organic growth in nearly two years in the third quarter of 2022, according to Reagan’s Quarterly Market Update, but growth […]]]>
Interest rates have risen significantly over the past year, from 0.08% at the end of 2021 to 3.08% at the end of Q3 2022. (Credit: Murrstock/Adobe Stock)

Agents and brokers saw their first dip in organic growth in nearly two years in the third quarter of 2022, according to Reagan’s Quarterly Market Update, but growth still held steady at 9.5%, well below above the 4.7% growth seen in the third quarter of 2020. The third quarter of 2022 also ranked as the quarter with the second highest reported organic growth since Growth and Profitability Survey started in 2008. The highest organic growth of this period was recorded in the second quarter of 2022 (10.2%).

Commercial lines saw stronger growth (11.8%) in the third quarter of 2022 than personal lines, but personal lines posted its highest quarterly organic growth rate (5.9%) since the first quarter of 2022. start of the investigation. The report attributes this increased growth in personal lines to brokers working to complement accounts and build stronger relationships with clients.

Merger and acquisition (M&A) deals saw a year-over-year decline, with 369 in 2022 (through September 30) versus 631 in 2021. However, it’s important to note that 2021 saw a record merger and acquisition activity, which may have contributed to the sharp drop.

Private equity-backed brokers accounted for more than half of reported M&A deals in the first three quarters of 2022. The report hypothesizes that since the cost of debt rises each time interest rates rise, the percentage of these transactions backed by private equity could decline. .

Interest rates have increased significantly over the past year, from 0.08% at the end of 2021 to 3.08% at the end of the third quarter of 2022. Despite inflation and economic volatility, Reagan reports private agency valuations remain at record highs, with the typical guaranteed valuation multiple increasing by more than 100% from 2010.

Related:

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Rise in RSV infections not due to ‘immune debt’, but failure to protect public health https://ctxetg.com/rise-in-rsv-infections-not-due-to-immune-debt-but-failure-to-protect-public-health/ Mon, 14 Nov 2022 17:22:47 +0000 https://ctxetg.com/rise-in-rsv-infections-not-due-to-immune-debt-but-failure-to-protect-public-health/ Blaming the rise in pediatric respiratory viruses on stay-at-home orders is an erroneous guess, not based on science The increase in pediatric respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) infections and associated hospitalizations is not due to an “immunity debt” created by masking and stay-at-home orders issued during the Covid-19 pandemic . The so-called immunity debt is a […]]]>

Blaming the rise in pediatric respiratory viruses on stay-at-home orders is an erroneous guess, not based on science

The increase in pediatric respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) infections and associated hospitalizations is not due to an “immunity debt” created by masking and stay-at-home orders issued during the Covid-19 pandemic . The so-called immunity debt is a mistaken guess that is not based on science.

“RSV and other respiratory viruses are significantly more severe this year due to a complete abandonment of public health measures that have helped protect the public from Covid-19 and other respiratory illnesses,” said Deborah Burger. , RN and President of National Nurses United (NNU). “The lack of public health protections and the impact of Covid infections, reinfections and long Covid likely contribute to the significant impact of RSV on young children and infants. Promoting the idea of ​​“immunity debt” is not only unscientific, it is also harmful to public health. »

Articles stating that children have not been exposed to RSV since the start of the Covid-19 pandemic due to stay-at-home orders are inaccurate. Many children have already been exposed and infected with RSV in 2021. In fact, the RSV positivity rate were higher in 2021 than they are now in the United States. Additionally, RSV infections provide only partial immunity and individuals remain susceptible to repeated infections throughout their lives.

Unfortunately, the CDC seems to be promoting this idea of ​​“immune debt” as the reason for the current spike in respiratory viruses and hospitalizations, especially among children. During the CDC’s Nov. 4 media advisory, the agency explicitly stated that due to a lack of immunity, “these kids, if you will, need to be infected to move forward because it’s a disease [RSV] very common in children. However, asserting that children must be infected to clear their “immunity debt” offers little benefit to children, ignores individual risks of serious infections (especially in immunocompromised children), and ignores science. on the virus.

“There is no evidence that the increase in pediatric RSV is due to so-called immune debt,” Burger said. “Our immune system works constantly to protect us from infection and disease, even in the absence of exposure to pathogens. But some infections, like Covid, can disrupt the immune system, even with an initially mild or asymptomatic case. We know that children and adolescents can also develop long Covid.”

For example, a study published in Natural immunology in January 2022, found that immunological dysfunction can persist for more than eight months following mild to moderate Covid infection. In April 2022, the American Academy of Pediatrics noted that at least 75% of children and adolescents have had at least one Covid infectionalmost a third of which occurred during the Omicron surge last winter.

“To protect public health, we need a multi-layered approach to infection control,” Burger said. “Since the start of the pandemic, National Nurses United has advocated for multiple levels of infection control, including masking, social distancing, vaccination, testing, contract seeking, staying home when sick, and time off. sickness paid for workers.”

“We know we’re not safe until everyone is safe,” Burger continued. “We continue to fight for the strongest protections for health care and other frontline workers. We need the Occupational Safety and Health Administration to issue a permanent Covid standard to protect nurses and other healthcare workers.


National Nurses United is the largest and fastest growing union and professional association for registered nurses in the United States, with nearly 225,000 members nationwide.

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Cartel-linked drug dealers sentenced to prison; Lewis County among the areas where the group operated https://ctxetg.com/cartel-linked-drug-dealers-sentenced-to-prison-lewis-county-among-the-areas-where-the-group-operated/ Sat, 12 Nov 2022 00:07:31 +0000 https://ctxetg.com/cartel-linked-drug-dealers-sentenced-to-prison-lewis-county-among-the-areas-where-the-group-operated/ By The Staff of The Chronicle Two men who served as drug traffickers for a Jalisco New Generation Cartel (CJNG) drug trafficking organization were sentenced to prison on Tuesday following an extensive wiretap investigation, U.S. Attorney Nick Brown said in A press release. In sentencing Armando Fierro-Ponce, 28, to eight years in prison, U.S. District […]]]>

By The Staff of The Chronicle

Two men who served as drug traffickers for a Jalisco New Generation Cartel (CJNG) drug trafficking organization were sentenced to prison on Tuesday following an extensive wiretap investigation, U.S. Attorney Nick Brown said in A press release.

In sentencing Armando Fierro-Ponce, 28, to eight years in prison, U.S. District Judge John C. Coughenour noted that he acted as a debt collector for the organization, obtaining firearms and making threats of violence against those who owed the group money.

“A wiretap investigation captured the criminal conduct of these two defendants and the roles they played in the organization. Fierro-Ponce discussed getting guns and threatening people indebted to the organization,” Brown said. “Fortunately, law enforcement was listening and able to intervene before the threats of kidnapping and assault became a reality. Now the pair are headed to jail for their roles in an organization that trafficked potentially deadly quantities of methamphetamine, heroin and fentanyl pills into King, Snohomish, Lewis and Pierce counties.

Fierro-Ponce was among 19 people charged in July 2020 following an 18-month investigation into the drug trafficking organization, according to the news release. The drug smuggling group disguised the meth as candles to smuggle it into the Pacific Northwest. When the candle wax was melted, the methamphetamine was then turned into crystal meth and sold.

In the two months law enforcement officials monitored the drug organization’s phones, Fierro-Ponce was heard repeatedly discussing guns and violent debt collection activities. , according to the press release. Law enforcement responded to these threats by flooding the area near the potential victim with law enforcement, warning the potential victim, and making arrests to prevent violence.

A second drug trafficker for the organization, Edgar Luna-Garcia, 27, was sentenced to five years in prison. Luna-Garcia was handed large charges of methamphetamine by the organization and was called in to clear a hideout following a shooting, according to the news release.

Neither Fierro-Ponce nor Luna-Garcia have legal status in the United States and will likely be deported after their prison sentences, according to the press release.

The investigation was conducted by the Tacoma Resident Office of the United States Drug Enforcement Administration in partnership with the Tahoma Counter-Narcotics Team, Kent Police Department, Homeland Security Investigations, the SeaTac Police Department, Thurston County Narcotics Squad, Federal Bureau of Investigation, Bureau of Alcohol Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, and Internal Revenue Service Criminal Investigation.

This lawsuit is part of an investigation by the Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force, which identifies, disrupts and dismantles drug traffickers, money launderers, gangs and transnational criminal organizations in highest level that threaten the United States using a prosecutor led by an intelligence officer. multi-agency approach focused on federal, state and local law enforcement against criminal networks, according to the press release.

The case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorneys Amy Jaquette and C. Andrew Colasurdo.

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Services Australia handed over $5.6 million in extra work to robodebt collector Panthera following ACCC lawsuits https://ctxetg.com/services-australia-handed-over-5-6-million-in-extra-work-to-robodebt-collector-panthera-following-accc-lawsuits/ Wed, 02 Nov 2022 22:24:55 +0000 https://ctxetg.com/services-australia-handed-over-5-6-million-in-extra-work-to-robodebt-collector-panthera-following-accc-lawsuits/ A controversial debt collection firm that won major government contracts under the illegal robodebt scheme despite being sued and fined for impermissible conduct on tactics in other markets has secured two more lucrative contract renewals from Services Australia before the federal elections. ARL Collect, a wholly-owned subsidiary of private debt collection company Panthera Finance Group, […]]]>

A controversial debt collection firm that won major government contracts under the illegal robodebt scheme despite being sued and fined for impermissible conduct on tactics in other markets has secured two more lucrative contract renewals from Services Australia before the federal elections.

ARL Collect, a wholly-owned subsidiary of private debt collection company Panthera Finance Group, secured new contracts from Services Australia totaling $3.96 million in August 2021, according to official contract notifications, more than doubling of his previous contract of $1.65 million for the 12 months until June 30, 2021.

The 2021 deals, for debt collection services, were in addition to the $3.3 million awarded to ARL Collect in July 2019, about four months before the government threw in the towel to admit its automated collection practices. debt creation at Service Australia were not legal in November 2019.

The three Services Australia contracts combined are worth a total of $8.91 million, with the latter two certainly raising questions about how a company that had been sued and admitted to harassing consumers and destroying their credit records was assigned more work by Services. Australia.

In its successful 2019 lawsuit against Panthera (the owner of ARL Collect), the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission alleged that in the case of one victim, “Panthera used coercion, made false statements and engaged in impermissible conduct in his dealings with the consumer, even though he knew the consumer urgently needed an incorrect credit default listing removed to obtain financing for a new car.

In March 2020, Panthera was ordered in federal court to pay $500,000 in fines for its coercive and illegal collection tactics for debts that were simply not owed by those sued by the company. The company admitted the illegal actions in the case.

Despite the ACCC’s ostensibly mediated lawsuits, the Panthera subsidiary has continued to garner business from Services Australia, again raising questions about why the public procurement and probity processes have not eliminated a recognized rogue operator when awarding work often prosecuting vulnerable people.

“The use of third-party debt collectors in the Robodebt scheme” is included as a specific mandate of the Royal Commission into the Robodebt scheme which is currently underway and is taking evidence from witnesses called before it.

ARL Collect Pty Ltd managing director Robert Whelan is one of the witnesses called to testify this week, as is Christopher Ross, chief compliance officer at Illion Australia Pty Ltd as Milton Graham.

The role of outsourced debt collectors in collecting alleged debts, since illegally discovered by the former Department of Social Services (now Services Australia), has never been far from controversy, particularly around alleged pressure tactics used to get people to pay.

One of the most visceral moments of the robodebt scandal ahead of the royal commission occurred on August 17, 2020, when Labor Senator Deb O’Neill finally secured a reluctant public admission from the secretary of the Department of Social Services of At the time, Kathryn Campbell on the robodebt human toll extracted from those targeted by the program.

“Do you deny that people died as a result of the robodebt scheme, Mrs. Campbell?” Senator O’Neill asked Campbell during the Community Affairs Committee of References investigation into Centrelink’s compliance program .

“And I continue to believe and consider that mental health is a very complex situation,” Campbell replied.

At the same hearing, O’Neill explained to Campbell that “…the last time we met, Mrs. Campbell, you also disputed that people died because of Robodebt. I mentioned that people died because of Robodebt and you disputed it. Do you stand by this statement? to elicit responses from Campbell that “mental health is a very complex environment.”

Campbell’s response to the question of whether robodebt had contributed to the suicides eventually prompted O’Neill to produce and read a letter from the mother of a man who, although his mental health was known to Centrelink, was sued by debt collection agency Dunn and Bradstreet, and later committed suicide.

Like Panthera subsidiary ARL Collect, Dunn and Bradstreet were also hired as debt collectors for robodebt; however, he was not being prosecuted for inadmissible conduct.

As the royal commission continues to record the human misery, suffering, and bureaucratic shortcomings of the robodebt program, Panthera appears to have been one of its few material beneficiaries.

In October, the Australian Financial Review (AFR) reported that Canadian private equity firm Brookfield invested $150 million in Panthera Finance to “finance the company’s expansion and refinance its existing credit facilities”.

The AFR reported that “Panthera boss and co-owner Jamie Hough” said the investment would help “consolidate our position as one of the biggest players in Australia’s purchased debt ledger (PDL) sector. “.

CHAMP Private Equity also took a stake in Panthera in 2017, according to AFR.

The investment in Panthera comes amid an upheaval in the local debt management and debt collection industry after COVID-related measures imposed collection moratoriums on many arrears and prevented creditors from taking on debtors to the wall or to liquidate them.

Immediately before the budget, the Australian Taxation Office warned that it expected its tax collection efficiency, previously quoted at 93%, to decline as COVID restrictions on arrears collection were eased.

The ATO is by far the largest purchaser of commercial debt collection services from the federal government and is known to have been concerned about both building and running the now illegal robodebt program that abused data on ATO revenues to mistakenly tally up millions in social benefits. for the differences.

Tax authorities had previously challenged the idea that Centrelink and Human Services could simply interpret a debt on the basis of a calculation that applied average annual income to fortnightly social benefits, a method the royal commission heard on Wednesday was considered legally indefensible with the Department of Social Services.

In 2017, ATO Deputy Debt Commissioner Robert Ravanello (since retired) told the Senate Community Affairs Committee that Tax’s involvement in robodebt essentially stops at the provision of annualized earnings data.

“We focus on people, not debt,” Ravanello said in 2017. “Debt doesn’t just magically appear.”


READ MORE:

“Debts don’t magically appear”: ATO defends its reputation against robodebt

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30-year-old with $110,000 student debt wanted PSLF; The balance keeps growing https://ctxetg.com/30-year-old-with-110000-student-debt-wanted-pslf-the-balance-keeps-growing/ Sun, 30 Oct 2022 12:36:52 +0000 https://ctxetg.com/30-year-old-with-110000-student-debt-wanted-pslf-the-balance-keeps-growing/ Kjerstin Laine, 30, owes more than $110,000 in student debt to undergraduate and graduate programs. Laine’s career in the nonprofit sector, in theory, offers a path to forgiveness. But the interest means she barely paid it, and Biden’s pardon is just a drop in the bucket. Loading Something is loading. Thank you for your registration! […]]]>
  • Kjerstin Laine, 30, owes more than $110,000 in student debt to undergraduate and graduate programs.
  • Laine’s career in the nonprofit sector, in theory, offers a path to forgiveness.
  • But the interest means she barely paid it, and Biden’s pardon is just a drop in the bucket.

Like millions of student borrowers, Kjerstin Laine is in loan relief limbo.

For Laine, a 30-year-old woman who has more than $110,000 in student debt, the $20,000 forgiveness she’s about to get from President Joe Biden’s plan is just a straw of water in the ocean. As a first-generation college student whose debt has shaped the trajectory of her career, she fears her balance will swell even further after pandemic-era payment pauses end and interest will start to rise again. accumulate.

“I never miss a payment, always on time, and yet my balances never go down,” Laine told Insider. “I don’t understand how people can’t see that there is something wrong with this photo.”

Although she worked in college and took steps to cut costs, Laine graduated in 2014 with a total debt of $98,000 from her undergraduate and graduate studies. Over the next eight years, accrued interest brought his balance down to what it is today, despite his constant repayment.

Laine chose her job in communications for an education advocacy nonprofit because it was a good fit with her skill set — and because it could set her up for public service loan forgiveness, which cancels student debt for government and nonprofit workers after 10 years of qualifying payments.

But that program has always been riddled with flaws, and she recently interrupted that strategy to take a job at a marketing agency with a salary that brings her much closer to the $90,000 the federal government estimated she should be earning. a year to pay it back. debt. It also pays off medical debt.

“I also had to leave the nonprofit sector to get close to it, obviously,” she said. “So that’s how it is Catch-22.”

Laine is one of many millions of American borrowers stuck in an untenable situation. She’s grateful for the relief she’s about to get — though the legality of Biden’s pardon is still under scrutiny — but isn’t sure she’ll be able to afford the monthly payments when they come up. will restart in January.

His situation highlights the larger structural issues underlying the student debt crisis, where first-generation, low-income students take on huge debts to advance and increase their incomes, but still find themselves buried under ever-increasing sales. Many, like Laine, have shaped their lives around the hope of help – now that it’s there in one form or another, it may not be enough.

“The hard part is that I trusted this system that I was told from a young age was going to be my path to prosperity or a decent life – nothing exorbitant – but a decent middle class life where I could give back to the community that helped raise me and supported me through education programs, meal programs, etc.” Laine said. “And it looks like that’s a big broken promise now.”

Interest on student loans can balloon, which means balances aren’t going down — and could be going up

As a college student in California, Laine worked multiple jobs at places like restaurants and grocery stores. She took classes at her local community college and university in the summer and winter to try to keep her expenses down. She graduated in 2012, a semester early to cut costs, racking up nearly $18,000 in total debt for her undergraduate degree in journalism.

She went to a “dream school” for a master’s degree in journalism, still working part-time and coming away with an additional $80,000 in debt in 2014. Upon graduation, she was hospitalized with dehydration after saying that she had run. tattered.

Despite steady payments, the years since graduation have seen Laine’s debt mount. It boils down to the issue of capitalization of interest, which is when accrued interest adds to a borrower’s principal balance and can lead to much more indebtedness than was originally borrowed.

The Biden administration has taken steps to prevent capitalization of interest. In July, it released a proposal to end the practice in all cases not required under the Higher Education Act, such as abstention periods, but those changes will not be implemented. work before next year. And borrowers are still struggling to stay on top of their payments.

For borrowers like Laine, interest in a few years could negate any Biden relief she received.

“I was paying $300 until the pandemic hit. I was paying $300 a month, I think, for three to four years, and my balances never went down,” she said. “They were still going up.”

Officials like Laine can get their debts forgiven, but many can’t even get in touch with their loan officer

Although Laine is a big supporter of the cancellation of civil service loans, she said she “has been plagued by her own problems”.

The company that handles the entire civil service loan forgiveness portfolio – MOHELA – is not making it easy. After a number of loan companies terminated their federal contracts last year, all borrowers enrolled in the PSLF were transferred to MOHELA, and the process was not seamless.

Insider has already spoken with two borrowers who wanted simple questions answered about their PSLF payments, but ended up spending hours on the phone and never even being connected with a representative who could answer their questions.

“I’m really concerned about MOHELA as a total fixer,” Laine said.

Student loan borrowers rally to tell President Biden to cancel student debt

Student borrowers gather near the White House to demand debt forgiveness on May 12, 2020.

Paul Morigi/Getty Images for We The 45 Million



Although MOHELA has never commented on the hour-long wait times, Scott Buchanan, executive director of the Student Loan Servicing Alliance — a group that represents federal loan officers — previously told Insider that the Department of Education used to decide how many resources it gives to loan companies, which affects how many customer support employees they can hire.

But with the PSLF waiver expiring on Monday, which allows previous payments, including those previously deemed ineligible, to count toward forgiveness progress, borrowers are pressed for time to access the expanded relief. The department recently introduced permanent PSLF fixes after the waiver expires, but that doesn’t eliminate the confusion some borrowers may be having with their payment history.

“I would love nothing more than to be able to dedicate my entire career to serving this industry,” Laine said. “All of my career choices are sort of centered around that debt, and it’s a really tough and not fun place to be.”

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GOP campaigns against IRS, vowing to cut funding https://ctxetg.com/gop-campaigns-against-irs-vowing-to-cut-funding/ Sun, 23 Oct 2022 03:37:49 +0000 https://ctxetg.com/gop-campaigns-against-irs-vowing-to-cut-funding/ A sign is displayed outside the Internal Revenue Service building on May 4, 2021 in Washington. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky, File) WASHINGTON (AP) — The IRS’ calls for more funding from Congress — made over the years by one leader after another — finally paid off this summer when Democrats added $80 billion to the agency […]]]>

A sign is displayed outside the Internal Revenue Service building on May 4, 2021 in Washington. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky, File)

WASHINGTON (AP) — The IRS’ calls for more funding from Congress — made over the years by one leader after another — finally paid off this summer when Democrats added $80 billion to the agency in their landmark climate and health care law.

Armed with a new stream of funding, the IRS plans to eliminate a massive backlog of unprocessed tax returns, upgrade decades-old outdated technology and, yes, hire more auditors.

But, as GOP candidates across the country make clear, the battle over IRS funding has only just begun. They are making attacks on a larger IRS a central part of their midterm campaign pitch to voters, warning that Democratic legislation will fund an army of auditors who will harass middle-class taxpayers rather than help them.

“If you pull it off, they’ll come – after you,” says a commercial in an Iowa House run that parodies a scene from the movie “Field of Dreams.” Instead of baseball players emerging from a cornfield, they are IRS agents in black suits.

GOP warnings are generally alarmist and misleading. The agency isn’t hiring an army of 87,000 “new agents” to target lower- and middle-class Americans. Many hires will be used to replace some 50,000 retiring IRS employees in the coming years. Others will become customer service representatives answering telephone calls from taxpayers.

Some of the IRS hires will be added to the ranks of sophisticated audit teams that spend thousands of hours poring over complicated returns, but the Biden administration has also made it clear that small businesses or households earning $400 $000 per year or less will not see an increase in their chances of being audited.

“The purpose of the funding is to modernize a severely underfunded agency to provide the American people with the customer service they deserve,” said Natasha Sarin, Treasury Advisor for Tax Policy and Enforcement.

But campaign politics has a way of becoming politics. With GOP ads against the airwaves of the IRS cover campaign, agency funding looks far from secure and could be in jeopardy as soon as the next Congress is sworn in.

House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, the speaker-in-training, has promised that if Republicans win a majority, passing a bill repealing new IRS funding will be their first piece of legislation.

While such a bill is unlikely to become law — President Joe Biden will retain the veto even if the GOP takes control of Congress — Republicans are unlikely to drop the issue. Their greatest leverage over IRS funding will come when Congress passes must-have spending bills to fund government agencies or to avoid a government default on its debt.

Douglas Holtz-Eakin, an economist and president of the American Action Forum, a center-right think tank, doubts lawmakers will go so far as to force a government shutdown in a demand for less funding from the IRS.

“If it was big enough to shut down government on this, government would be shut down,” Holtz-Eakin said. He noted that lawmakers passed a short-term measure last month to fund the government through December and largely ignored the fight against the IRS.

Still, some proponents of additional IRS funding are concerned about the Democratic response to GOP ads, or to be more precise, the lack thereof. Instead, Democratic groups and candidates largely focus their campaign ads on non-economic issues such as abortion rights.

“There are crickets, that’s exactly the word, a cricket response from Democrats on this issue,” said Frank Clemente, executive director of Americans for Tax Fairness, a liberal-leaning advocacy group.

“It’s a messaging thing,” Clemente said. “…Candidates need to talk about it. They have to run ads on it. They need to tell people how they are going to benefit, not just personally from an improved IRS, but how the wealthy and tax cheats are going to have to pay the taxes they owe.

The IRS is still working out the details of how it would spend the additional $80 billion, but it stressed that the resources would be devoted to improving customer service and top-down scrutiny. income.

Among other things, the IRS says its new funding will go toward solving long-standing customer service issues, like answering the phone. The problem is so widespread that a bipartisan group of lawmakers wrote to the IRS last November complaining that phone calls were answered only 9% of the time during the 2021 filing season.

The IRS will also be tasked with figuring out how to move forward with an expanded system of free files for taxpayers.

Nina Olson, former head of the Office of the Taxpayer Advocate, said if funds were cut, taxpayers who hoped for better customer service would be hit hardest.

“If you don’t want the IRS to handle 85% of incoming calls, then cut funding — if you want the IRS to continue to have technology that comes from the 1960s, definitely cut their funding,” said Olson.

Democrats provided the increased funding to the IRS to help pay for other health and climate priorities, like helping millions pay their health insurance premiums over the next three years and capping the costs of insulin at no more than $35 per month for Medicare beneficiaries.

Of the additional $80 billion in IRS funding, the legislation allocated $46 billion to tax enforcement. The rest goes to other activities such as taxpayer services, operations support and updating business systems.

The agency’s additional funding has been politically contentious since 2013, when it was found that the IRS under the Obama administration used improper criteria to review tea groups and other organizations applying for exempt status. tax.

In the years that followed, the IRS was mostly the loser in Congressional funding fights, though a later 2017 report found that conservative and liberal groups were singled out for scrutiny.

In April, IRS Commissioner Charles Rettig told members of the Senate Finance Committee that the agency’s budget had shrunk more than 15% over the past decade when adjusting for inflation. and that the number of full-time employees at 79,000 in the last fiscal year was close. at 1974 levels.

Vanessa Williamson, senior fellow at the Urban-Brookings Tax Policy Center, said if Republicans succeed in cutting funding for the IRS, “it will seriously harm a fundamental function of government,” she said, “that which is really disturbing.”

“The reality is that the government, through the IRS, plays a crucial role in the lives of Americans every day,” she said. “Pretending that role doesn’t exist to score political points is destructive.”

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An introduction | phenomenal world https://ctxetg.com/an-introduction-phenomenal-world/ Thu, 20 Oct 2022 18:33:09 +0000 https://ctxetg.com/an-introduction-phenomenal-world/ What crisis? A year ago, you might think there had been a moment of relative calm for rich countries: a year of vaccinations had dampened the pandemic, inflation had yet to cause interest rates to rise and labor markets were strong. In the climate world, the energy transition is progressing and, after years of struggle […]]]>

What crisis?

A year ago, you might think there had been a moment of relative calm for rich countries: a year of vaccinations had dampened the pandemic, inflation had yet to cause interest rates to rise and labor markets were strong. In the climate world, the energy transition is progressing and, after years of struggle within the framework of UN climate diplomacy, some signs have even appeared in rich countries that the poorest and most vulnerable states could be compensated for loss and damage caused by climate change. disasters.

In reality, all was not well. As predicted at the start of the pandemic, dozens of low-income and small middle-income countries continued to rush into sovereign debt crises triggered by a sudden drop in foreign income and rising healthcare costs. . The creditors (rich Paris Club countries, multilateral banks, bondholders and China) had failed to stem this debt crisis. Meanwhile, vaccines have remained unavailable to many people in poorer countries. Energy costs were rising.

Then, Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and historic economic sanctions coordinated by Western governments made everything worse, in ways that even the world’s wealthiest countries couldn’t avoid.

Energy costs in Europe were already high heading into winter 2021. This is partly due to the reduction of China’s coal-fired generation resulting in increased demand for imported gas. In 2022, it has spread to other countries: Europe and wealthier countries in East Asia are now in a bidding war for limited gas supplies. Others have been completely eliminated from the market. Pakistan had power outages lasting several weeks; while Bangladesh’s gas rationing was not enough to prevent a grid collapse earlier this month, leaving more than one hundred million people struggling with power outages.

Last week, the IMF predicted a slowdown in global growth in 2023 and a “material worsening” of global financial stability. The devastation in the real world is pushing a financial crisis in wealthy economies, which in turn will exacerbate real suffering, as imports of food and energy are pushed further beyond the reach of countries struggling to afford products denominated in US dollars.

In the background of all this are more and more frequent and severe weather disasters caused by global warming and the pressing and continuing imperative to eliminate greenhouse gas emissions. Nature does not stay at home.

The climate crisis cannot be resolved without a thorough examination of the relationship between the Global South and the Global North. While the United States enjoys primacy in the global financial architecture and other rich countries have outsized influence, developing countries are not without agency. Middle-income powers were either excluded or unenthusiastic about the first coordinated G7 sanctions against Russia. They are now using strategic misalignment – playing one bloc against another – to secure resources and industries, such as transition minerals and chips.

The countries of the North do not seem prepared for the economic and geopolitical agency exerted by the large middle-income countries. Nor do they cater to smaller and poorer nations. The IMF’s new long-term facility, the Resilience and Sustainability Trust, pales in comparison to the needs of its target beneficiaries: vulnerable countries struggling with the pandemic and climate change. But these countries too are finding ways to make themselves heard. In September, Prime Minister of Barbados and recent World Bank/IMF Development Committee Chair Mia Mottley released the “Bridgetown Agenda,” calling for debt reform, reorientation of SDRs, and multilateral loans. (Mottley was the subject of a lengthy New York Times article about how she secured IMF support to restructure the tiny country’s US dollar bonds to accommodate hurricane losses, while avoiding IMF’s traditional austerity prescription.)

The Agenda calls for “urgent and decisive action” in the face of an “unprecedented combination of crises”, and is likely to generate great interest at COP27 in Egypt next month. But he will have to grapple with the contentious issue of the $100 billion in climate finance previously pledged for the Global South, and the thorny issue of loss and damage. India and Indonesia, developing countries that have weathered recent shocks with relative resilience, take the helm of the G20. But the possibility of even modest progress in this forum is slim, with geopolitical tensions with Russia making a statement unlikely.

The increasingly widespread calls for the term “polycrisis” are not a free get-out-of-jail card for powerful interests, which must make principled decisions in the midst of systemic crises. None of this will work out.

The polycrisis aims to unravel the Gordion knot of security, climate, economic and political dilemmas. Stay tuned here, pass this first edition on to three new readers to help us grow our audience, and write to us to continue the conversation.

Postscript: Why “The Polycrisis?”

Over the past year, historian Adam Tooze has popularized the term “polycrisis.” Previously deployed by Jean-Claude Juncker to describe the Eurozone-Brexit-climate-refugee crises in 2016, and initially attributed to French complexity theorist Edgar Morin, Tooze explored it again in June with his crisis images of overlapping emergencies – pandemic, sovereign debt, inflation, GOP risk, hunger – in which the whole becomes more dangerous than the sum of the parts.

We would also like to thank the economic analyst Nathan Tankus, who explained the interdependence that we want to follow in our project, pointing out that his newsletter was called Crisis Notes, “for the simple reason that it is not the only crisis we will encounter in the coming decades.

Our goal is to explore these connections and identify and amplify those who do the same.

Email us to join the discussion.

The Polycrisis is a publication focused on macroeconomics, energy security and geopolitics.

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Police chief recounts arrest of serial murders, end of CA COVID state of emergency and cancellation of student debt https://ctxetg.com/police-chief-recounts-arrest-of-serial-murders-end-of-ca-covid-state-of-emergency-and-cancellation-of-student-debt/ Tue, 18 Oct 2022 13:47:00 +0000 https://ctxetg.com/police-chief-recounts-arrest-of-serial-murders-end-of-ca-covid-state-of-emergency-and-cancellation-of-student-debt/ KCRA 3 brings together all the information you need to get a head start on your day. Here you’ll find what you missed overnight, what’s happening throughout the day, forecasts and how your journey is progressing. You can also watch our morning newscasts live from 4am to 10am here. WHAT HAPPENS IN NORCALStockton Police Chief […]]]>

KCRA 3 brings together all the information you need to get a head start on your day. Here you’ll find what you missed overnight, what’s happening throughout the day, forecasts and how your journey is progressing. You can also watch our morning newscasts live from 4am to 10am here. WHAT HAPPENS IN NORCALStockton Police Chief Recounts Arrest of Suspected Serial Killer | Chief Stanley McFadden said Wesley Brownlee, 43, was driving a teal or green van when officers made a traffic stop around 2 a.m. near Village Green Drive and Winslow Way in Stockton on Saturday. Police are currently reviewing videos of the shootings they believe Brownlee is responsible for to see if that same vehicle was filmed at those crime scenes. Learn more here. Pedestrian fatalities account for more than 25% of all road deaths in California, officials say | According to the California Office of Traffic Safety, pedestrian fatalities account for 25.6% of all road fatalities in the state. Data from the agency’s 2020 data show that across the country, 6,516 pedestrians were killed in traffic crashes, up nearly 4% from the previous year. To learn more, click here. NAACP Calls for Investigation into Video Showing Yuba City Students Acting Out at Slave Auction | The Sacramento branch of the NAACP is calling for an investigation after a video of students acting out at a slave auction surfaced at a high school in the city of Yuba. Learn more here. California’s COVID-19 state of emergency will end in February, Governor Newsom says | California’s COVID-19 state of emergency will end at the end of February, Governor Gavin Newsom’s administration announced Monday. Newsom administration officials said Monday’s announcement was intended to give state and local governments and businesses across California time to prepare. Learn more here. WHAT’S ELSEWHEREBiden’s Student Debt Cancellation Application Site Opens | President Joe Biden officially launched the application process for his Student Debt Cancellation Program on Monday and announced that 8 million borrowers had already applied for loan relief during the federal government’s soft launch period over of the weekend. He encouraged the tens of millions of people eligible for potential aid to visit studentaid.gov. Read more here. Elon Musk Says SpaceX Withdrew Pentagon Request to Fund Starlink in Ukraine | SpaceX founder Elon Musk said Monday afternoon that the company’s request for funding from the Pentagon to start paying the bill for satellite internet services for Ukraine had been withdrawn. Read more here. Kevin Spacey gets partial rejection of Anthony Rapp’s claims | Kevin Spacey testified in a New York court on Monday that he never made a sexual pass at actor Anthony Rapp, who sued, claiming the Oscar-winning actor tried to take him to bed when he was 14 years old. calls Trump’s Secret Service bills ‘exorbitant’ | Donald Trump’s private company has arranged for the Secret Service to pay for rooms at its properties above government-approved rates at least 40 times during his presidency, including two charges of over $1,100 per night, according to documents released Monday by a congressional committee. Learn more here. TODAY’S WEATHER OUTLOOK Meteorologist Melanie Hunter says some cloud cover that pushed through overnight helped keep temperatures a bit warmer. We will maintain this cloud cover throughout the day, but temperatures will continue to rise. Temperatures will be in the mid 50s around 8am, hitting the mid 70s by lunchtime before peaking in the low 80s by 4pm. 30:00 a.m. to speak on topics related to oppressive heat and available solutions. App users, click here to see our interactive traffic map.)FIRE THREAT INDEXDOWNLOAD OUR APP FOR THE LATESTHere is where you can download our app.

KCRA 3 brings together all the information you need to get a head start on your day.

Here you’ll find what you missed overnight, what’s happening throughout the day, forecasts and how your journey is progressing.

You can also watch our morning newscasts live from 4am to 10am here.

WHAT HAPPENS AT NORCAL

Stockton police chief recounts arrest of suspected serial killer | Chief Stanley McFadden said Wesley Brownlee, 43, was driving a teal or green van when officers made a traffic stop around 2 a.m. near Village Green Drive and Winslow Way in Stockton on Saturday. Police are currently reviewing videos of the shootings they believe Brownlee is responsible for to see if that same vehicle was filmed at those crime scenes. Learn more here.

Pedestrian fatalities account for more than 25% of all road fatalities in California, officials say | According to the California Office of Traffic Safety, pedestrian fatalities account for 25.6% of all road fatalities in the state. Data from the agency’s 2020 data show that across the country, 6,516 pedestrians were killed in traffic crashes, up nearly 4% from the previous year. Learn more here.

NAACP Calls for Investigation into Video Showing Yuba City Students Acting Out at Slave Auction | The Sacramento branch of the NAACP is calling for an investigation after a video of students acting out at a slave auction surfaced at a high school in the city of Yuba. Learn more here.

California’s COVID-19 state of emergency will end in February, Governor Newsom says | California’s COVID-19 state of emergency will end at the end of February, Governor Gavin Newsom’s administration announced Monday. Newsom administration officials said Monday’s announcement was intended to give state and local governments and businesses across California time to prepare. Learn more here.

WHAT HAPPENS ELSEWHERE

Biden’s Student Debt Cancellation Application Site Opens | President Joe Biden officially launched the application process for his Student Debt Cancellation Program on Monday and announced that 8 million borrowers had already applied for loan relief during the federal government’s soft launch period over of the weekend. He encouraged the tens of millions of people eligible for potential aid to visit studentaid.gov. Learn more here.

Elon Musk says SpaceX withdrew request to Pentagon to fund Starlink in Ukraine | SpaceX founder Elon Musk said Monday afternoon that the company’s request for funding from the Pentagon to start paying the bill for satellite internet services for Ukraine had been withdrawn. Learn more here.

Kevin Spacey gets partial rejection of Anthony Rapp’s claims | Kevin Spacey testified in a New York court on Monday that he never made a sexual pass at actor Anthony Rapp, who sued, claiming the Oscar-winning actor tried to take him to bed while he was 14 years old. Learn more here.

House panel calls Trump’s Secret Service bills ‘exorbitant’ | Donald Trump’s private company has arranged for the Secret Service to pay for rooms at its properties above government-approved rates at least 40 times during his presidency, including two charges of over $1,100 per night, according to documents released Monday by a congressional committee. Learn more here.

TODAY’S WEATHER OUTLOOK

Meteorologist Melanie Hunter says some cloud cover pushing through overnight helped keep temperatures a bit warmer. We will maintain this cloud cover throughout the day, but temperatures will continue to rise. Temperatures will be in the mid 50s around 8am, hitting the mid 70s by lunchtime before peaking in the low 80s by 4pm.

WHAT IS TODAY

  • State agencies are hosting an Extreme Heat Symposium in California today from 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. to talk about topics related to extreme heat and available solutions.
  • The man arrested in connection with the serial murders in Stockton, Wesley Brownlee, 43, is due for arraignment at 1.30pm today.

REAL-TIME TRAFFIC MAP

(App users, click here to see our interactive traffic map.)

FIRE THREAT INDEX

DOWNLOAD OUR APP FOR THE LATEST

This is where you can download our app.

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What you need to know about medical debt and credit scores https://ctxetg.com/what-you-need-to-know-about-medical-debt-and-credit-scores/ Sun, 16 Oct 2022 12:00:54 +0000 https://ctxetg.com/what-you-need-to-know-about-medical-debt-and-credit-scores/ Dear Liz: I disputed medical expenses of approximately $350. A few months later, I received a collection notice. I then called the medical provider, who said they would suspend collections while the dispute was pending. There was no further communication for over a year, then out of the blue I received a disparaging remark from […]]]>

Dear Liz: I disputed medical expenses of approximately $350. A few months later, I received a collection notice. I then called the medical provider, who said they would suspend collections while the dispute was pending. There was no further communication for over a year, then out of the blue I received a disparaging remark from the collection agency. I monitor my credit scores through my credit card accounts. Two cards are driven by data from TransUnion. One reported a drop from 802 to 706 while the other reported a drop from 809 to 774. My other chart provides a score driven by Equifax and this remained unchanged at 822. I’m curious about the discrepancies in those scores, and also how long it will take for my credit rating to recover if I don’t try to resolve the disparaging remark or disputed medical bill.

Answer: Credit score formulas vary widely in how they deal with medical debt. Some older scoring models treat unpaid medical bills the same as any other collection account. The new formulas may deal with medical debt less harshly, reflecting research that shows these bills aren’t as reliable an indicator of creditworthiness as other collection accounts. Some of the newer formulas ignore paid medical debt entirely.

Earlier this year, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau debated whether medical debt should be included in credit reports. Less than three weeks later, the three credit bureaus announced that nearly 70% of medical debt would be removed from credit reports by the middle of next year.

Paid medical collections have already been wiped from people’s credit reports, and unpaid bills will not be reported to the bureaus for 12 months (an increase from the current six months). By June 30, 2023, offices will also stop reporting any medical debt under $500.

You can wait for that to happen next year, or you can pay the bill and have it removed from your credit reports sooner.

Dear Liz: What are the implications for social security if you plan to work after 70? If you start at age 70, are your benefits reduced because you are working? Do you benefit from delaying the past 70 years?

Answer: Your benefits cap at age 70, and your income won’t reduce your checks, so there’s no reason to delay your claim beyond that point.

You cease to be subject to income testing once you reach full retirement age, which is currently between 66 and 67. If you apply before then, the earnings test reduces your benefits by $1 for every $2 you earn over a certain amount ($19,560). in 2022). That money isn’t gone for good – withheld benefits are gradually added to future checks once you pass full retirement age.

The big incentive for delaying your claim beyond full retirement age is the Deferred Retirement Credit which increases your benefit by 8% each year you defer your claim until age 70. And as mentioned in previous columns, benefits also incur increases in the cost of living whether you started them or not. Those who choose to delay the start of their benefits will not miss the 8.7% increase for 2023.

Dear Liz: I looked up the name of my financial advisor in the link you provided to verify someone was a Certified Financial Planner (cfp.net/verify-a-cfp-professional), and he wasn’t there. I went back to his bio and he says he pays and is an AIF (Accredited Investment Fiduciary). Is it the same? Or roughly the same?

Answer: An AIF designation indicates that the advisor has been trained to act as a fiduciary, that is, someone who is committed to putting the best interests of their clients first. Most advisers are held to a lower “suitability” standard that allows them to recommend investments that are more expensive or perform worse than available alternatives, simply because the recommended investments pay the adviser more.

However, an AIF is not equivalent to a Certified Financial Planner credential. All CFPs are held to a fiduciary standard, but they have also been trained to offer comprehensive financial planning. Coursework, testing, and experience requirements are much more rigorous for a CFP.

A similar title to the CFP is the Personal Finance Specialist, which is a designation earned by Certified Public Accountants. A CPA-PFS has extensive training in comprehensive financial planning, in addition to tax expertise.

Liz Weston, Certified Financial Planner, is a personal finance columnist for NerdWallet. Questions can be sent to him at 3940 Laurel Canyon, #238, Studio City, CA 91604, or by using the “Contact” form on asklizweston.com.

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