Blogs

16 hours 52 min ago

Consumer Financial Protection Bureau – pros and cons of Supreme Court decision
The question – can a President remove the Director of Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) ‘just because’?
The answer – yes.  But then it gets a little more complicated.  The bottom line – The director of the CFPB is exposed to the whim of a president who wants everyone to do their bidding, no matter the consequences to the consumer.  If the president cares about you and me more than big business, that is good.  But, if the president cares more about big business than you and me, that is bad.  The goods news – CFPB is still alive and kicking.  For those late to the party – the CFPB is one of the few organizations designed to protect you and me (the consumer).
The CFPB core functions:
According to the CFPB website, the CFPB was created to provide a single point of accountability for enforcing federal consumer financial laws and protecting consumers in the financial marketplace. Before, that responsibility was divided among several agencies. Today, it’s our primary focus.
Our work includes:

  • Rooting out unfair, deceptive, or abusive acts or practices by writing rules, supervising companies, and enforcing the law
  • Enforcing laws that outlaw discrimination in consumer finance
  • Taking consumer complaints
  • Enhancing financial education
  • Researching the consumer experience of using financial products
  • Monitoring financial markets for new risks to consumers

Sheila Law v. CFPB: Winners and Losers (a reprint from Credit Slips) July, 2020
posted by Adam Levitin (see some great quotes at the end of Mr. Levitin’s entire post – ‘Read More’)

CFPBThe Supreme Court’s long-awaited decision about the CFPB’s constitutionality is out. It’s a tricky opinion to parse politically. The Court, in a 5-4 partisan decision, held that the CFPB’s structure violates the separation of powers because of the for-cause only removal provision for the CFPB Director in conjunction with the Bureau’s other features. Accordingly, the Court found that the Director must be removable at will. Here’s my attempt to lay out the winners and losers. As you’ll see, they do not track with the headlines of the CFPB losing—the CFPB was actually the winner here for most purposes. 
Winner:  The CFPB

The CFPB walks away from Seila Law still standing tall and able to do everything it could the day before the decision. Don’t lose sight of that. You can see this in part by counting the votes. While it was 5-4 (with conservatives in the majority) that the CFPB is unconstitutional, it was 5-4 (liberals + Roberts) on the severability issue, which keeps the agency alive. While the case was a tactical loss for the CFPB, it was actually a strategic victory. If there’s one big picture take away, that’s it. The CFPB functionally won here.  
Winner:  A Biden Administration
The most immediate practical effect of the decision is that a President Biden can fire CFPB Director Kraninger on Day One of his administration. That’s a good thing for those who want to see a more active CFPB right now. In the short term, the Supreme Court might have given a Biden administration a real gift. Indeed, I found it very strange to see the Kraninger CFPB send out an email scheduling an event for March 2021. That might be optimistic in light of the decision. 
Possible Loser:  CFPB Independence 
cfpbWhile the CFPB did score a general win, the decision might affect how the CFPB behaves in the future. The lack of a for-cause-only removal protection might have a chilling effect on future CFPB Directors. If a future CFPB Director is too aggressive, the financial services industry will surely lobby the President to fire the Director. Whether the industry will have enough pull with a future administration to actually get a Director removed or for the White House to get involved is far from certain, however. In other words, the trade-off here is that there’s a possibility of putting in a more active Director in January 2020, but that such Director and any future Director will face a political constraint of some type going forward. 
CFPB

MUSINGS FROM DIANE:

Politics and politicians can be bullies.  “Bullying is the use of force, coercion, or threat, to abuse, aggressively dominate or intimidate. The behavior is often repeated and habitual.” (Wikipedia).  As soon as Trump got in the White House he started attacking the CFPB.  Why you ask?  Because he is not a champion of consumer rights (don’t trust me – look at his history).  The CFPB was born out of a group, lead by Elizabeth Warren, who were tired of consumers (that you and me) getting ripped off by big business – such as banks, mortgage companies, credit card companies, payday lenders, shady student loan companies, etc.  Richard Cordray was the first Director (under Obama), later Trump put his own shills in as directors –  Mick Mulvaney (as Acting Director), then Kathleen Kraninger.
From its creation until 2017, the CFPB “has curtailed abusive debt collection practices, reformed mortgage lending, publicized and investigated hundreds of thousands of complaints from aggrieved customers of financial institutions, and extracted nearly $12 billion for 29 million consumers in refunds and canceled debts.”

The post Supreme Court Decision – Consumer Financial Protection Bureau appeared first on Diane L. Drain - Phoenix Arizona Bankruptcy & Foreclosure Attorney.


16 hours 52 min ago

If you are filing bankruptcy, Get Your Money Out of Wells Fargo. People filing bankruptcy get kicked when they are down, if they bank  at Wells Fargo. Wells Fargo sees your bankruptcy on your credit report and they freeze your checking and savings account.  At least they do if you have more than five thousand […]
The post Get Your Money Out of Wells Fargo by Robert Weed appeared first on Northern VA Bankruptcy Lawyer Robert Weed.


1 day 16 hours ago

July 5, 2020
Yahoo News

  • The application deadline for the Paycheck Protection Program was extended on Saturday after President Donald Trump signed the extension bill that Congress passed into law.
  • Potential applicants now have until August 8 to request federal relief funds under the program intended to help businesses affected by the coronavirus pandemic.
  • Around $130 billion in funds were left over when the original deadline came on June 30, with some businesses not knowing they are eligible for the program.
     
  • Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories.

President Donald Trump on Saturday signed into law an amendment to the Paycheck Protection Program that gives businesses affected by the coronavirus pandemic more time to apply for federal funds.

The law extends the deadline to apply for the federal government's loan-based relief program to August 8. The original deadline to apply for the loans was June 30, but Congress moved quickly to extend the deadline after around $130 billion was left over from the initial $660 billion pot, NPR reported.

The Senate initially approved the extension on Tuesday with unanimous consent, and the House of Representatives followed suit the next day. Trump signed the bill on July 4, giving potential recipients just over a month to apply for the remaining funds.

As of June 30, more than 4.8 million loans have been approved totaling $520 billion, with the average loan amount around $107,000, according to the Small Business Administration.

Here's what potential applicants should know before applying.
What are Paycheck Protection Program fundsPaycheck Program Funds are federally backed loans that businesses can apply for to help cover expenses and maintain worker levels. Though they start as loans, businesses that meet specific criteria from the SBA can apply to have their loans forgiven so that they don't need to be paid back.

Part of the program is that no fees will be attached to the loans for small businesses, no collateral is required, and repayment starts after six months. Interest rates are also set at 1%, according to the SBA.
Who can apply for Paycheck Protection Program FundsWhile the program is intended for small businesses, that title covers more than just family-owned hardware stores and ice cream shops. As Business Insider's Dominick Reuter reported, freelancers and self-employed workers including gig-workers can also apply for funds.

Businesses with more than 500 employees can also access funds if they meet the SBA's size standards. Business owners who are unsure of whether their enterprise counts as a small business can use the SBA's size standards tool, located on its website.
What July and August applicants need to knowLoan applicants completing the process after June 5 are subject to new loan maturity guidelines. The SBA said recipients who applied before June 5 will be subject to a two-year maturity timeline while those applying after June 5 will have a five-year maturity timeline.

Loans are also processed through local banks and lenders to streamline the process as opposed to having the federal government do it. The SBA provides a list of which lenders can process applications for and issue PPP loans on its website.
How to get loans forgiven by the federal governmentThe SBA's website says loan forgiveness will be based on "employee retention criteria" and only be given if the funds are spent on "eligible expenses." The Payroll Protection Flexibility Act recently amended the program's rules so that only 60% of funds received have to go to payroll expenses in order for loans to be forgiven, as Business Insider's Joseph Zeballos-Roig reported.

Even if borrowers don't use 60% on payroll, they can still apply for partial forgiveness. Businesses seeking this option need to fill out a five-page form that can be found on the SBA's website to apply for forgiveness after reviewing the rules for forgiveness.


1 day 16 hours ago

We may tell our children in years to come that there was a time, especially if it was during rush hour on a rainy day, when you couldn't get a cab in New York City for love or money.  These days, the streets are mostly empty. It's estimated that 90% of the taxi business has dried up.

That's part of the reason why the city, with help from the National Guard, started a program that pays cab drivers to deliver food to low-income housebound residents.

Mouhamadou Aliyu, a yellow cab driver of many years standing, gets up before dawn to participate. He knows there's a health risk: "But this is my home, and yellow is what I do," he explained. "Right now, there is a pandemic. Our people, they are suffering. The city call us.  We are answering the call."

mouhamadou-aliyu-b-620.jpg
Yellow cab driver Mouhamadou Aliyu.  CBS NEWS
Drivers earn $53 a route. Each route entails about six deliveries, and it means waiting in line for hours to get fully loaded; lugging boxes of food up into crowded apartment complexes; and then cleaning up for the next run.

"It's very hard. It's very tough. Very challenging," Aliyu said.

Nine hours, most of it waiting; two delivery runs = $106 for a day's work. Not even close to the amount he needs to pay even a fraction of his monthly expenses. 

"But, we're still hopeful," Aliyu told "Sunday Morning" special contributor Ted Koppel. "We're New Yorkers. We don't give up!"

As a young immigrant from West Africa back in 1994, Aliyu saw Manhattan through rose-colored glasses: "I came here with nothing, nothing at all. This was my dream. As a yellow cab driver, to hold a medallion is like being on top of my game. This is where I want to be. This is the American dream."

In 2003, he became an American citizen. By 2004, Aliyu had learned that you don't get rich just driving a cab; to make money, he was told, you need to own the taxi – and to own it, you need a special license: a medallion.

taxi-medallion-620.jpg
 CBS NEWS
The city paid for ads promoting the deal as essentially risk-free; and it was New York City that has made literally billions of dollars selling these medallions at auction. When there are more buyers than medallions, the price goes up. That, in theory, is where even an immigrant cab driver could get rich: "So I said, 'Why not?' But, in order for me to place a bid to go for the medallion, I have to raise $20,000. But I have only $7,000. So, I apply for credit card. I get approved. I call them, I say, 'Can I use it for anything I want?' They say, 'Yes, it's your money. You can do whatever you want with it.'"

Koppel said, "Then you had $13,000 that you had on your two credit cards. $20,000 cash down, on a $331,000 bid."

"Yes, that would be a loan. And you have to pay for the car, gas, maintenance, all that. But still, life was good. Even I would say life was great."

Within about a year Aliyu's medallion had appreciated more than $100,000, and remarkably, the value kept rising. "Lucky me, I was able to buy a house here in the Bronx, a three-family house," He said. "So, things was good. And then, moving forward, the medallion value was going up. In 2013 the city auctioned medallion at $1,350,000."

Seven years ago – in theory, on paper – Aliyu was a millionaire.

taxi-medallion-headlines-620.jpg
 CBS NEWS
"The only reason that it was worth over a million dollars was that there was some other immigrant who could be taken advantage of to pay that amount," said New York Times reporter Brian Rosenthal. "And not really even pay that amount, but be trapped in a loan that would shackle them in debt for the rest of their lives."

Rosenthal won a Pulitzer Prize for his series exposing the taxi medallion scam. As he explained in the Times' documentary series "The Weekly," those medallions were money-makers … just not for the drivers.

"There was the city which sold the medallions, the brokers who collected commissions, and the bankers who wrote the loans and sold some of them for profit," he said. "And what we found in our reporting was that the value of the medallion went from $200,000 to over a million dollars, when the revenue that it had to bring in did not change at all.n Eventually, you realize that this wasn't by accident. Many insiders knew that the whole thing was a house of cards.

"The loans were never stable," Rosenthal said, "they were never sustainable, and they were always going to be a burden that was unpayable after this bubble popped. And that's what happened."

Last summer, the New York City Council held a hearing on what was called the owner-driver crisis.  Mouhamadou Aliyu was one of the witnesses:

"Every single day, every single hour, I think about taking my own life," he told city officials. "I think about suicide. The only thing that stops me is my four kids. If I do so, what's going to happen to them? I'm supposed to be a millionaire today, and I'm proud of it. And you guys are trying to take that away from me. It's not acceptable. I'm calling on you: Please! Please! Have mercy on us. Help us."

Koppel said of Aliyu's testimony, "He speaks rather plaintively of his status as a millionaire: I'm a millionaire. He's never gonna see that day again, is he?"

"No, he's not," Rosenthal said. "I mean, he deserves it. He works very hard. I've met hundreds of these cab drivers, and they all work extremely hard."

Many of the drivers are convinced that ride-share companies – like Lyft and Uber – ruined their business. Even without them, though, said Rosenthal, the medallion bubble had to burst.

Six months ago, said Aliyu, the medallion was worth less than $100,000. What he still owes on that medallion, however, is more than $600,000. The chances that he'll ever be able to pay that off? Slim and none.

One slender ray of sunshine: New York State's Attorney General is preparing to sue the City of New York to the tune of more than $800 million for misleading medallion owners. It could take years, and even that sum wouldn't make the drivers whole again.

And then, of course, there's the pandemic. Well over 50 cab drivers have died from the virus since March. Most drivers these days are staying home; the few available fares just aren't worth the health risk.

Aliyu said, "There is no more sleep. There is no night. At night we chat on the WhatsApp group, we're so worried. If nothing is done, when this pandemic will be over, the yellow cab industry will be over, too, will be finished."


2 days 10 hours ago

Broken Promises: Teachers Sue U.S. Over Student Loans That Weren’t Forgiven
Law suit against Department of Education – loan forgiveness program for millions of public service workers is in such a shambles that it violates federal law and the Constitution.
public service student loan
July 11, 2019 – Article by National Public Radio: Debbie Baker (not the lady in the picture) thought she qualified for a federal program that helps teachers such as her, as well as nurses, police officers, librarians and others. The Department of Education program forgives their federal student loans if they make their payments for 10 years and work in public service.
For 10 years, Baker, who was a public school teacher in Tulsa, Okla., checked in with loan servicing companies and was told she was on track.
“I said, ‘I’m qualifying for public service loan forgiveness,’ and they said, ‘OK, great,’ ” she says.
But it turns out that her $76,000 in student loans didn’t get forgiven. Baker was finally told she was in the wrong type of loan. If she’d known that at the beginning, she could have switched loans and ended up qualifying. But she says nobody ever told her.
public service student loans

MUSINGS FROM DIANE:
bankruptcyI have to ask – how many of you believe the bank’s excuses? Personally, I think Wells Fargo believes no regulator can reach them and that it can bully anyone – consumer or politician. It has gotten away with this type of behavior for so many decades that it was certain no one could touch them. I support Senator Elizabeth Warren’s attempt to make Wells Fargo accountable for their outrageous actions. Enough is enough. I moved all our accounts, both personal and business, out of Wells Fargo.

How Can I Help You?
The post Don’t Be a Victim – Learn Your Rights. appeared first on Diane L. Drain - Phoenix Arizona Bankruptcy & Foreclosure Attorney.


4 days 20 hours ago

SCAMS ABOUND – NEVER BELIEVE WHAT SOMEONE TELLS YOU, UNLESS YOU CHECK IT OUT. Here are some Arizona resources to help you find accurate information.

With every crisis comes thousands of scams trying to steal your money or your rights.  Do your homework before believing anyone, including friends or family (they may have also been scammed and not know it yet).
virus
1)Community Legal Services, Arizona:

Community Legal Services (CLS) is dedicated to providing legal assistance, advice or representation, self-help materials and legal education so people can know their rights. We focus on helping survivors of domestic violence; assisting victims of consumer fraud and abuse, protecting tenants from unlawful/unfair practices by landlords, foreclosures, legal problems affecting agricultural workers, wage claims and other employment matters, and federal and state programs affecting peoples’ health and economic stability.
COVID-19 and Cares Act Information
CLS has a great library of articles, videos and links to information about COVID-19 and your rights.  There are weekly Friday webinars on topics ranging from tenants rights, eviction, subsidized housing, employment protecting your finances, Medicaid, domestic violence, family law, federal student loans, scams and fraud.  Check them out because you can be assured there is no intent to scam you of your hard-earned money.

COVID resources

2) AZLAWHELP
The State Bar of Arizona Foundation AZLawHelp is a great resource for information about your legal rights, not just COVID related.  You will find unemployment benefits, housing, employment, family law, domestic violence, finances, courts, small business and finding help.
For bankruptcy information on AZLawHelp – check out this link. There are lots of questions and answers, plus you can find other resources, such as articles, hotlines, and organizations.
COVID resources

The post Resources for Consumers – COVID-19 appeared first on Diane L. Drain - Phoenix Arizona Bankruptcy & Foreclosure Attorney.


5 days 2 hours ago

“Bankruptcy” is a legal proceeding in which a person who cannot pay his/her bills can get a “fresh start”. In Texas, the bankruptcy code is a federal law, meaning it applies uniformly nationwide. Filing for bankruptcy immediately stops creditors from collecting debts from you until the debts are sorted out through an “automatic stay.” Each state, as well as the federal government, have enacted legislation that dictates what property debtors can keep through the bankruptcy process. These laws are known as “exemption laws”.
Exemption Laws
An exemption limit applies to any equity you have in the property. Equity pertains to the difference between the value of the property versus what is owed of the property. If the property is secured by a loan, such as a house or a car, you may choose to keep making payments on the loan and keep this property through bankruptcy.
Texas exemptions:

  • For homestead, the property cannot exceed 1 acre in town, village, or city or 100 acres (200 acres for families) elsewhere; sale proceeds exempt for 6 months after the sale which need not occupy if not acquire another home. Home declaration may also be filed.
  • For personal property, this includes athletic or sports equipment, home furnishings, food, clothing, jewelry (not to exempt 25% of total exemption), 1 motor vehicle per member of the family who holds a driver’s license, livestock, and pets.
  • For insurance, life insurance current value if the beneficiary is a debtor or debtor’s dependent. It also includes retired public school employees group insurance, Texas employee uniform group insurance, and Texas state college or university employee benefits.
  • Pensions of law enforcement officers survivors, municipal employees, police officers, retirement benefits to tax-deferred, state employees, and teachers.
  • Public benefits such as medical assistance, public assistance, unemployment compensation, and workers’ compensation.
  • Tools of the trade such as farming or ranching vehicles and implements.
  • Earned but unpaid wages or commissions to 75%

Chapter 7 Bankruptcy
 Bankruptcy in TexasThis is a “liquidation” where the trustee collects all your assets which are not exempt. The trustee will sell the assets and pay the debtor. The net proceeds are then distributed to the creditor with a commission taken by the trustee overseeing the distribution. Alimony, child support, fraudulent debts, student loans, and certain items charged cannot be discharged in a Chapter 7 bankruptcy. In most cases where the debtor has a large credit card debt and other unsecured bills and very few assets, Chapter 7 is able to completely eliminate all of these debts. 
To declare bankruptcy, you must sign a voluntary “reaffirmation agreement” should you decide to keep your house, car, or furniture. If you do so, you cannot wipe-out that debt again for eight years. You will still owe that debt and obligated to continue paying it as you did before filing bankruptcy. In order to reaffirm the debt, you must make it current, which means, if you are months behind, you need to pay the back payments which are due. You can selectively state what you wish to keep and give back to their respective creditors. Reaffirmation agreements can be set aside during the earlier 60 days after the filing date or upon the court’s order of discharge.
Chapter 11 Bankruptcy
Often called the “reorganization bankruptcy”, it is for businesses that want to continue operating but need time to restructure their finances. Filing for bankruptcy can be done voluntarily or forced on a business if three or more creditors file a bankruptcy petition with the bankruptcy court. After filing, the creditors are temporarily prohibited from taking any action. The business has 4 to 18 months to come up with a plan of restructuring. After that, the creditors can propose their own plan of reorganization. A plan is a contract between the debtor and creditor on how the business will operate to pay off its financial obligations. 
Chapter 13 Bankruptcy
Sometimes called the “wage earner’s bankruptcy”, it is for individuals with enough income to repay all parts of their debts an alternative to liquidation. This is for those who can afford to pay their debts but unable to pay immediately. You can use this to prevent foreclose of your house, update missed mortgage payments, pay back taxes, and keep valuable non-exempt property. If you follow your payment plan, all of your dischargeable debt will be released at the end of the plan. The amount to be repaid depends on the debtor’s disposable income. This is generally used by individuals who want to keep secured assets such as a home or car. It allows them to make up for their overdue payments over time and reinstate the original agreement.
Getting a Lawyer
While you can proceed to file for bankruptcy alone, availing the services of an experienced lawyer will be a great help to you because the bankruptcy laws can be quite complicated and costly. We, at Allmand Law Firm, PLLC, are well versed in bankruptcy cases and will keep you informed of everything you need such as the types of bankruptcy options and the chapter that best fits your situation. We may also help with impending foreclosures and other proceedings even after bankruptcy. Call us now for a free legal consultation.
The post Bankruptcy Chapter 7, 11, & 13 in Texas appeared first on Allmand Law Firm, PLLC.



6 days 23 hours ago

June 29, 2020
Marketplace

Many economists and bankruptcy lawyers expect a wave of bankruptcies coming this year.

Giant bankruptcies of companies that owe more than $100 million, are up 40% from a year ago, which means they are up 120% from 2018.  Chapter 11 bankruptcies of all kinds have increased 20% since last year. This is obviously traumatic for the people who work at those companies but there is a silver lining.

“It’s an overstatement to say that bankruptcy is this deeply undesirable thing,” said Jared Ellias, professor of law at UC Hastings College of Law.

“One of the great things that happens after bankruptcy is a company leaves, and they’re hopefully positioned to thrive,” he said.

The post COVID-19 economy is going to be very different and a lot of businesses will need to radically reinvent and reinvest in themselves in order to adapt. Chapter 11 bankruptcy lets companies do that. Which is why Ellias and a group of academics are concerned that if there are too many bankruptcies, the courts might get overwhelmed and companies won’t get the help they need.

“When a company is in financial trouble, they can’t invest, they can’t hire, they can’t give people pay raises, they can’t do the things that businesses need to do to be attractive places to work,” Ellias said.

So if you slow down the process of transformation, it slows down the entire economy.

“There have been proposals to bring back some retired bankruptcy judges, recently retired bankruptcy judges, and you also would need to add personnel at the clerk’s office level as well,” said Robert Keach, an attorney who specializes in business restructuring and insolvency at the Bernstein Shur law firm.

Congress also made it a lot easier, faster, and cheaper for small businesses to go through the bankruptcy process through reforms in 2019 and through the CARES Act, according to Keach. But judges take time to hire, and there is only so much you can do, he said, so a lot will depend on just how bad the bankruptcy wave will be.


1 week 2 days ago

The IRS Won’t Call You About Your Stimulus Money
IF YOU GET A CALL FROM SOMEONE SAYING THEY ARE FROM THE IRS – STOP!!!! IT IS A SCAM!!!!
June 24, 2020 – The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) issues a warning that scammers are pretending to be from the government.  They can set their phones to appear on caller ID that the call is coming from the government. NEVER give out any personal information without confirming who is calling and why.
The Scammers pretend to be from the IRS, Medicaid, Medicare, Social Security.
stimulus moneyLook, scammers like to pretend to be from the government to get your money or information. They’ll say they’re from Medicaid or Medicare, offering help getting medicine or equipment, or asking to “verify” your information. They pretend to be from the Social Security Administration, saying there’s been fraud or another problem with your Social Security number and — again — needing to “verify” your number. And scammers love to say they’re from the IRS demanding payment or they’ll arrest you. 
But remember: if you get a call or email from the IRS or any government agency asking you for personal information or money, that’s a scam. Hang up the phone or delete the email.
To check the status of your coronavirus payment, visit irs.gov/coronavirus. Learn about scams related to COVID-19 at ftc.gov/coronavirus/scams. And, if anyone tries to trick you into giving up your information — or if you’ve already experienced a scam — report it to the FTC.
stimulus money

MUSINGS FROM DIANE:

stimulus money

Your phone rings, the caller id has a name and number of a federal agency.  You immediately panic.  You give the caller any information they want, with the hope that whatever problem they are referring to will go away.  You just opened the door for financial fraud which could last years or decades.

Technology provides scammers with tools to fake a legitimate phone number (like the IRS).  This technology helps the scammer clone your attorney’s own phone number. Email addresses are spoofed thousands of times a day.  Many times from people or companies in other countries.  You heard about the scams coming from Nigeria (just one of a many countries) purporting to be from your best friend who desperately needs some money.  They are traveling and lost their wallet.  All are scams.  All are difficult to diagnose.

Your only defense – use your common sense and check out the caller.  Never use the same phone number they called on or a phone number or email they gave you.  Look up the agency (say IRS) on-line and call them directly.  There are resources that help you check out scammers.  The Federal Trade Commission, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, your local Attorney General’s Office and local consumer protection agencies.  Be careful out there.

How Can I Help You?
The post The IRS Will Not Call You About Your Stimulus Money – It Is Scam appeared first on Diane L. Drain - Phoenix Arizona Bankruptcy & Foreclosure Attorney.


1 week 2 days ago

ALERT FOR SMALL BUSINESS OWNERS NEEDING PPP LOANS
Law suit against Ponte Investments, LLC, promoted their “SBA Loan Program” and website “SBAloanprogram.com

PPP loan fraud
April 17, 2020 – Alert from FTC for small business owners needing PPP loans
This is an alert for small business owners who are looking to apply for the Paycheck Protection Program (“PPP”) loans offered by the U.S. Small Business Administration (“SBA”). The loans help alleviate the economic impact of the Coronavirus pandemic, but there are bad actors trying to get business owners to apply for the wrong program. Today, the FTC announced that it filed a case against a company that allegedly claimed to offer PPP loans — but, in reality, the company is not affiliated with the SBA and, the FTC says, it has been deceiving hundreds, if not thousands, of business owners.
According to the FTC, the defendants, Ponte Investments, LLC, promoted their “SBA Loan Program” and website “SBAloanprogram.com” by calling business owners and following up with emails that say things like “We are the SBALoanProgram.com and as mandated by the SBA, getting approved is easier than ever!” The callers claim to be representatives of the SBA working with the business’s bank and urge the business owners to apply for a PPP loan right away. 
If you’re a business owner, go to sba.gov/coronavirus to find information about PPP loans. Once at sba.gov/coronavirus, go to Click here to learn more about available SBA loan and debt relief options.
Sign up for emails from the FTC: Federal Trade Commission
PPP loans

MUSINGS FROM DIANE:
PPP loan fraudAs people and technology gets smarter, the scum of the earth (frauds) also get smarter.  They take advantage of anyone looking for help, a quick fix or just to be their advisor.  No one is immune.  Not the young.  Not the educated.  Not the professional.

The problem with chasing and stopping the frauds is they are slippery.  They don’t care if they go to jail.  They don’t care that they harm people and businesses.  They are quick to jump on any opportunity (like the rebates funds from the federal government).  They take advantage of their anonymity.

My point?  The best defense is a good offense.  Do not trust anyone, even those that your best friend referred.  Don’t assume that because they are “big companies” they will not mislead you (just look at all the Wells Fargo scams).  Do your own due diligence.  If it sounds too true, IT IS!!

How Can I Help You?
The post COVID-19 Scams – Warnings from FTC appeared first on Diane L. Drain - Phoenix Arizona Bankruptcy & Foreclosure Attorney.


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