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City OKs loan application for auto water meters

City OKs loan application for auto water meters

Great Bend City Council meeting at a glance:

Here is a quick look at what the Great Bend City Council did Monday night:

The agenda includes:

• Held a public hearing for property at 205 Frey. After which, the property was deemed an unsafe and dangerous.

• Approved an ordinance granting a temporary premises extension for Dry Lake Brewing to allow them to utilize the city alley lot behind the brewery for its one-year anniversary May 14 and serve alcohol on public property.

• Opted not to act on the approval of a bike rack installation for Dry Lake Brewing and related changes in the ordinance regulating the operation and parking of bicycles and micro-mobility devices.

• Approved a rezoning request for Todd Anspaugh at 6003 10th St.

Anspaugh has purchased the real estate. The structure was operated as a business and Anspaugh requested rezoning from C-2 (General Commercial) to R-1 (Single-Family) for him to move into the structure and permanently live there, Building Inspector Logan Burns said.

A public hearing was held on March 28 before the Planning Commission. There were two parties that attended with their concerns on property ownership, which Planning Commission agreed were beyond their scope and duties and would not effect the rezoning, Burns said.

• Approved a rezoning request for David Tabrizi at 1801 Patton Rd.

• Approved a rezoning request for Carole Harris at 1809 at Patton Rd.

• Approved a rezoning request for Keller Real Estate at 1815 at Patton Rd.

• Approved a funding request from RSVP/VIA Director Linn Hogg for the Medical Transportation Program in the amount of $3,000.

• Approved Cinco De Mayo permissions. The event is set for Saturday, May 7, on the Courthouse Square.

• The expansion of Great Bend Alive Plaza on Forest Street.

• Approved an Events Center billboard update.

• Approved the expansion of a street chip seal project that was originally planned for 2021.

• Approved a bid from Venture Corporation for $1,079,640.50 for the mill and overlay of approximately 13 blocks of Broadway between Polk and Morton streets, as well as the reconstruction of the intersection at 19th and Harrison.

• Authorized Mayor Cody Schmidt to sign the Kansas Public Water Supply Loan Fund agreement with the Kansas Department of Health and Environment as part of the automated meter reading project for the city’s water system.

• Approved a request for unlicensed businesses to serve complimentary alcohol on their premises for the Art & Wine Walk event held on May 6. It runs from 4-7 pm

• Heard a report from City Administrator Kendal Francis.

• Heard a report from Christina Hayes, community coordinator and Convention and Visitors Bureau director.

• Approved abatements for trash and refuse violations at: 806 Odell St., WHB Inc.; 812 Odell St., Laurencio and Rosa Poblano; 501 Odell St., Scott Thein; 313 Maple St., Christopher Madrid; and

201 Chestnut St., Cecilia Obregon and Hector Lopez.

• Approved an abatement for a motor vehicle nuisance at 3137 Stone St., Elizabeth Hartshorn.

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Republicans race to face Abigail Spanberger in Virginia’s 7th District

Republicans race to face Abigail Spanberger in Virginia's 7th District

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Determining who the Republican front-runner may be in Virginia’s crowded 7th Congressional District primarily largely depends on how one wants to define “front-runner.”

If it comes down to money, Stafford County Board Chair Crystal Vanuch is declaring herself a front-runner in the competitive six-way race. She noted in a message to supporters this month that she had raised nearly half a million dollars in just 45 days — a huge sum in a short period that led one GOP campaign strategist in the 7th District to tell The Washington Post that if that was the case, everyone else should just quit now.

But there’s a catch. According to her campaign finance report released Friday, the vast majority of the $483,000 Vanuch raised comes from one person: herself.

Vanuch, the CEO of her own public affairs firm, raised $83,000 from donors while lending her campaign $400,000. In a crowded race where candidates with similar platforms are vying to reach as many voters as possible, that large infusion of personal cash could certainly make a difference in getting her message out, said Zack Roday, a Virginia-based Republican campaign consultant.

Go. Republican congressional hopefuls pull from Youngkin playbook on education

“The main point is resources — how they come matters, but at the end of the day, a resource advantage is still a resource advantage,” Roday said. “Every campaign looks to get every advantage they can, however they can, and in [Vanuch’s] case, the ability to do that creates more uncertainty in the field. If someone can do $400,000, what else can they do? That adds a level of uncertainty to the race that other campaigns have to take into consideration now.”

Still, Roday said he doesn’t think “anybody is the front-runner” in the primary. Of the top Republican contenders to challenge Rep. Abigail Spanberger (D), no one candidate is clearly running away with the grass-roots fundraising lead.

Prince William Board of County Supervisors member Yesli Vega (R), a sheriff’s deputy who led Gov. Glenn Youngkin’s (R) Latinos for Youngkin campaign, raised more than $350,000 this quarter and has nearly $294,000 on hand. Derrick Anderson, a lawyer and former Green Beret, is neck-and-neck with state Sen. Bryce Reeves (R-Spotsylvania). Anderson raised $231,000 this period, with $371,000 on hand, and Reeves — a veteran, former narcotics officer and an insurance salesman — hauled in $268,000, with nearly $390,000 on hand.

Ginni Thomas endorses Yesli Vega in crowded Virginia GOP primary

Infusing campaigns with large personal loans is not uncommon for candidates with resources, including Youngkin, a former private-equity executive, as Vanuch’s campaign noted in a statement to The Post. He poured $20 million of his own fortune into his campaign for governor last year — a race that smashed fundraising records — and, in messages to supporters, heralded his fundraising edge just as Vanuch did this month.

Vanuch’s campaign said in the statement that entering in February, much later than the other candidates, left her with only 45 days to ramp up her campaign as she focused on traveling the district and building grass-roots support.

“As a small business woman, Crystal understands that significant personal investment – ​​both time and money – is required to be successful in a campaign, and as evidenced by our Q1 fundraising report, she is fully committed to winning this seat,” the statement said , noting that she now has $450,000 — “significantly more than any of her opponents” — on hand heading into the final two months of the campaign.

Whoever wins the 7th District Republican primary June 21 will find a formidable opponent in Spanberger, the two-term Democrat and former CIA officer. Spanberger, who has a nearly $4 million war chest, flipped the district blue in 2018.

Rep. Abigail Spanberger: A moderate Democrat working to survive in the AOC era

While Republican candidates both have similar resources and similar policy platforms — “parental rights” in education, election integrity, the Second Amendment and national defense, among other things — Roday said the primary race will come down to the strongest grass-roots game.

“Who’s able to create separation?” he said. “This fundraising report shows they’re all going to have the resources to stay about even on where they spend, so who’s going to have the grass-roots campaign and win over, room by room by room, the people who are listened to in their community or sphere of influence?”

National Republicans are targeting all three of the seats Democrats flipped in 2018, including Rep. Elaine Luria, in the Virginia Beach-anchored 2nd District, and Rep. Jennifer Wexton, in the Loudoun-anchored 10th. In a midterm election expected to be a referendum on President Biden and the economy, Republicans are most hopeful in the 2nd and 7th districts, where Biden won in 2020 but Youngkin won in 2021.

In the 2nd District race, state Sen. Jen A. Kiggans (R-Virginia Beach) is widely considered the leading contender to face Luria. Kiggans, a geriatric nurse practitioner and former Navy helicopter pilot, ramped up her fundraising, pulling in more than $400,000 this past quarter and surpassing $1 million in total. She has $592,000 on hand — but must contend with Luria’s $3.1 million war chest.

Eleven contenders, meanwhile, are seeking the GOP nomination in Virginia’s 10th District, the bluest of the three Republicans are hoping to flip.

Explore the major changes to Maryland’s congressional map

Jeanine Lawson (R), a Prince William supervisor, raised just over $308,000 in the last quarter and has $545,000 on hand, more than double that of her nearest competitors. But Hung Cao, a retired Navy captain who came to the United States after his family escaped Vietnam before the fall of Saigon, edged out Lawson with $314,000 this quarter, with $223,000 on hand. That fundraising performance, Roday said, could allow the lesser-known Cao to gain some momentum.

Brandon Michon, a Loudoun County parent whose heated address to the school board last about school closures led to appearances on Fox News, raised about $235,000 this quarter and has $205,000 on hand.

Another 10th District candidate, Mike Clancy, has $286,000 on hand. Nearly $100,000, though, was from a personal loan.

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Top San Diego Mortgage Brokers Now Offering Fast Loans

Top San Diego Mortgage Brokers Now Offering Fast Loans

“San Diego Mortgage Brokers”

Meet Equis Mortgage Group and the San Diego mortgage brokers offering fast home loan approvals and today’s low rates.

We’ve been on the hunt for San Diego mortgage brokers who offer fast home loan approvals, coupled with great terms and today’s low rates, and we stumbled upon Equis Mortgage Group, LLC, and San Diego mortgage broker, David LePari.

As a professional mortgage broker, Mr. LePari originates, negotiates, and processes residential mortgage loans on behalf of the client. Below is a six-point guide to the services one should be offered, and the expectations one should have of a qualified mortgage broker representing a new local San Diego mortgage company:


This includes most common mortgage types like Conventional, FHA, Jumbo, VA, Reverse and Refinance loans, as well as other Qualifying and Non-Qualifying loan products, listed under Additional Loan Types on their website.


Solid and reputable San Diego mortgage brokers represent one’s interests rather than the interests of a lending institution.

They should act not only as one’s agents but as a knowledgeable consultant and problem solver.

With access to a wide range of mortgage products, Mr. LePari is able to offer someone the greatest value in terms of interest rate, repayment amounts, and loan products.

Top mortgage brokers will interview to identify one’s needs and short and long-term goals.

Many situations demand more than the simple use of a 30-year, 15-year, or adjustable-rate mortgage (ARM), so innovative mortgage strategies and sophisticated solutions are the advantages of working with an experienced mortgage broker and Mr. David LePari fit that profile spot on.


When one makes Equis Mortgage Group their new San Diego mortgage company, one can expect a broker that navigates the client through any situation, handling the process and smoothing any bumps in the road along the way. For example, if borrowers have credit issues, the broker will know which lenders offer the best products to meet their needs.

Borrowers who find they need larger loans than their bank will also approve benefit from a broker’s knowledge and ability to successfully obtain financing, for nearly any type of home and circumstance.


With Equis as one’s San Diego Mortgage Broker, one only needs one application, rather than completing forms for each individual lender. Mr. LePari and his team can provide a formal comparison of any loans recommended, guiding one to the information that accurately portrays cost differences, with current rates, points, and closing costs for each loan reflected.


A reputable mortgage broker will disclose how they are paid for their services, as well as detail the total costs for the loan.


Personalized service is the differentiating factor when selecting a mortgage broker like Mr. David LePari and his team.

One should expect one’s mortgage brokers in San Diego, to help smooth the way, be available to one’s needs, and advise one throughout the closing process.

We checked the qualifications, experience, and GMB reviews of these San Diego mortgage brokers, and asked for references, in the end, we found a friendly Broker and fast-acting team who will match one to the right lender and loan with the best terms , and today’s low rates so one can successfully and swiftly get approved for a home purchase or mortgage refinance.

Equis Mortgage Group, LLC NMLS #2009443 / DRE #01438695

David LePari, Broker NMLS #2027739

Company Name: Equis Mortgage Group, LLC
Contact Person: David Leparis
E-mail: Send Email
Phone: (619) 368-0941
City: San Diego
Status: California
Country: United States
Website: equismortgagegroup.com/

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SBI hikes MCLR by 10 bps on all types of loans

SBI hikes MCLR by 10 bps on all types of loans

State Bank of India, the country’s biggest mass lender by assets, has raised its marginal cost of lending rate (MCLR) on all types of retail and institutional loans – for homes, vehicles or corporate purposes – by 10 basis points, marking the start to an upward cycle in borrowing costs in nearly three years. The lender has funded more than a fifth of all outstanding loans in the country.

One basis point is equivalent to a hundredth of a percentage point.

Almost all lenders are now likely to follow the SBI in raising their benchmark rates, with the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) likely tightening monetary conditions to restrain inflation. Banks and non-bank lenders have raised lending rates by up to 15 basis points over the past one month on tightening liquidity conditions and higher deposit costs.

Lending Rates Raised Again in Less than 6 Mths

More than 53% of all outstanding bank loans are linked to MCLR.

A note on the State Bank website said the one-year MCLR rate has been raised to 7.1% from 7%, effective April 15. The rates have been raised on tenors ranging from overnight borrowing to three-year loans. Nearly half of the lender’s portfolio is linked to MCLR and 22% to T-bills under the external benchmark linked rate (EBLR).

“Banks are going on the basis of their own assessment of the credit cycle picking up and the cost of funds. The lending rate revisions have come accordingly,” said Madan Sabnavis, chief economist, Bank of Baroda. “Going by the bond yields, we are definitely moving in the upward direction. It’s the case of banks not waiting for the RBI to raise the repo rate but doing something on their own.”

This is the second time in less than six months that the biggest government lender has raised lending rates. In December 2021, the lender had raised the base rate by 10 basis points. Earlier, Bank of Baroda had raised the MCLR by five basis points across tenors. For the lender, its one-year MCLR is now 7.35%. Private lender Kotak Mahindra Bank, too, raised its MCLR by five basis points across all tenors. Its one-year MCLR is now 7.4%.

Cost of Fresh Loans Up

To be sure, lending rates on outstanding loans have continued to dip, although the cost of fresh loans has increased, indicating that rates have bottomed out. “The recent spike in benchmark yields lays bare the growing disconnect and divergence between benchmark yields and bank lending rates, with banks entering a new territory where lending rates are now effectively lower than yields, thereby taking the sheen off risky lending for banks,” said Soumya Kanti Ghosh, group chief economic advisor, State Bank of India.

India’s benchmark 10-year bond yield recently spiked to its highest level in nearly three years to 7.19%, a tad higher than what banks are charging on loans.

In its latest monetary policy announcement, the RBI had signaled a clear intent to rein in surging prices. The central bank raised its FY23 inflation estimate by 120 basis points to 5.7% and lowered the growth projections.


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NC voters on education, student loans

An exclusive Spectrum News/IPSOS poll looks at education questions, including school mask mandates, teaching critical race theory and forgivign federal student loans.

Some of the most heated debates over the past year have involved education: the teaching of critical race theory, mandating face masks in schools and questions over requiring COVID vaccines.

School board meetings have become the center of attention for these contentious issues, with protests across North Carolina over masks in the classroom and how schools can teach about certain subjects, like gender identity and the legacy of racism in America.

A new Spectrum News/IPSOS poll, released Monday, surveyed 1,158 registered voters in North Carolina between March 31 and April 12. It has a margin of error of 4.2%. It included questions about the economy, the coronavirus pandemic, the war in Ukraine, education and inflation.

What You Need To Know

  • A new Spectrum News/IPSOS poll found many in North Carolina supporting teaching critical race theory and the legacy of slavery and racism in the United States
  • The poll, released Monday, surveyed more than 1,100 registered voters in North Carolina and has a margin of error of 4.2%
  • Spectrum News 1 will be diving into issues in the poll all week, on television and on the Spectrum News 1 app and website
  • Read the full results from the Spectrum News/IPSOS poll here

North Carolina voters said the most pressing issues facing the state are inflation, raising prices and affordable housing, according to the poll.

Diving into issues of education, the new poll found more nuanced opinions about critical race theory than some might presume from news coverage over school board protests.

RELATED: Spectrum News Poll: How do the people of North Carolina feel about the economy?

“In our current era of banning books and talk about critical race theory and parental choice, there’s still this overwhelming sense, more than half, 57%, that say it really should be up to educators,” said Mallory Newall with IPSOS, the company that conducted the poll.

“When you force people to choose, the majority still think that it’s educators and administrators that should have the say on what is taught in the classroom, rather than parents having the power to push back,” she said.

Despite the vocal protests, there is support for teaching students about the history and legacy of slavery and racism in the United States, the poll found.

“Critical race theory is kind of a buzzword. When you ask people if they support banning the teaching of the history and the impact of slavery and racism, explaining a little bit of what that actually might entail, just about one in 10 support it, there is overwhelming opposition,” Newall said.

“When you just say, ‘Do you support banning the teaching of critical race theory?’ Even using that charged buzzword, about one in three support that,” she said.

When asked if they support “banning the teaching of critical race theory in North Carolina public schools,” about 26% said they strongly support that and another 7% said they “somewhat support” the ban.

But 27% said they “strongly opposed” a ban on teaching critical race theory, and 8% said they “somewhat opposed.”

Asked a different way, only 12% said they support “Banning the teaching of the history and impact of slavery and racism in North Carolina public schools.” Almost 80% said they opposed banning those lessons, according to the poll.

A majority of voters in North Carolina opposed any new statewide mask mandate in schools, according to the Spectrum News/IPSOS poll. But more than half supported requiring school teachers and staff to get a coronavirus vaccine.

The poll found that 41% would support a new statewide classroom mask mandate, while 53% would oppose it. Six percent said they did not know.

On requiring teachers and school staff to get vaccinated, 56% said they supported a vaccine mandate while 38% opposed, according to the poll.

When it comes to making decisions about COVID-19 restrictions, more than a quarter said it should be up to local school boards and 17% said it should be left up to parents. The poll found 13% said it should be left up to the governor and another 13% said it should be up to the federal government.

The new poll found strong support with registered voters in North Carolina for the federal government forgiving student loan debt.

“But there’s a little bit of nuance there,” said IPSOS’s Newall. “Support is actually higher for the federal government forgiving a portion but not all of people’s student loan debt.”

A majority of voters in the poll, 52%, said they supported the federal government forgiving all student loans debt. An even bigger majority, 60%, supported the federal government forgiving some but not all student loan debt.

While there is at least some agreement from North Carolina on student loan forgiveness, divisive issues like the teaching of critical race theory are not going away.

With every seat in the North Carolina General Assembly up for election this year, the debates over things like COVID-19 restrictions and critical race theory likely are not going anywhere. They may even get more intense as the campaigns ramp up after the primaries in May.


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350,000 student-loan borrowers with disabilities have gotten $7 billion in debt wiped out under Biden. Here’s how to qualify.

 350,000 student-loan borrowers with disabilities have gotten $7 billion in debt wiped out under Biden.  Here's how to qualify.

  • 350,000 student-loan borrowers with disabilities have gotten $7 billion in relief under Biden.

  • This is partly because the Education Department waived burdensome paperwork.

  • Here’s how to find out if you qualify, and what to do next to receive loan forgiveness.

President Joe Biden has taken steps to reform the student-loan forgiveness process for borrowers with disabilities, and so far, thousands have reaped the benefits.

There’s a system in place for borrowers with disabilities to receive student-loan forgiveness, known as the total and permanent disability (TPD) discharge — but actually getting that forgiveness has proven to be difficult. Established under former President Barack Obama, anyone determined permanently disabled by a physician, the Social Security Administration, or the Department of Veteran Affairs was eligible for loan forgiveness, but a requirement to submit documentation during a three-year monitoring period, to verify that income did not exceed the poverty line, was burdensome.

That’s why Biden’s Education Secretary Miguel Cardona waived the requirement to submit documentation, which in the past has resulted in loans being reinstated if borrowers did not respond, and those changes have resulted in $7 billion in relief for 350,000 borrowers to date.

“Working together with @SocialSecurityFederal Student Aid has provided much-needed relief for 350,000 borrowers with approximately $7 billion in student loans,” Federal Student Aid head Richard Cordray wrote on Twitter.

As Cordray noted, Student Aid has worked with Social Security to use data matching in identifying borrowers who should qualify for relief, and the agency will continue to go through that process to deliver TPD discharges for about 15,000 to 20,000 borrowers each quarter.

In the meantime, here’s how to know if you qualify for a TPD discharge:

How to prove your eligibility

If you need to prove you are eligible for a TPD discharge, you must have one of these three documents of proof, according to Federal Student Aid:

  1. VA documentation: Veterans can qualify if they have proof from the VA that states you have a service-connected disability that is 100% disabling, or you are totally disabled based on an unemployability rating.

  2. SSA documentation: Those eligible for Social Security Disability Insurance or Supplemental Security Income can qualify for TPD discharge if they provide a copy of SSA benefits.

  3. Physician’s certification: A physician can also confirm TPD eligibility if they can certify you are unable to engage in “any substantial gainful activity” due to a physical or mental impairment that can be expected to result in death, has lasted continuously for at least 60 months , or can be expected to last continuously for 60 months.

Once you have one of the required documentations, here’s what’s next:

How to apply for TPD discharge

To apply for loan forgiveness, you must complete the TPD application and submit it to Nelnet — the company that manages TPD discharges — along with your supporting documentation. There are three ways to apply:

  1. Submit the application online at this link

  2. Download and print a blank TPD discharge application to mail in at this link

  3. Or request an application by phone (888-303-7818) or email (DisabilityInformation@Nelnet.net)

What’s next

After you submit your application, a number of things could happen. If your discharge has been approved, you will be notified of your discharge and your loan servicer will be instructed to return any loan payments made after your documentation was submitted.

If your discharge request is denied, Nelnet is required to notify you of the reason for your denial. If you want Nelnet to reevaluate your application, you can submit new information within the first 12 months of your denial that support your eligibility, and if more than 12 months pass, you can submit a new application.

Borrowers should also note that if they were granted a TPD discharge after January 1, 2018, they will not have to pay taxes on the discharged loan amount.

Read the original article on Business Insider

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Santa Clarita Man Sentenced to Nearly 3½ Years in Federal Prison for Fraudulently Obtaining COVID-Relief Loans | USAO-CDCA

 Two Men Sentenced For Paycheck Protection Program Loan Fraud |  USAO-WDMI

LOS ANGELES – A Santa Clarita man was sentenced today to 41 months in federal prison for attempting to steal millions of dollars in Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) COVID-relief loans for his companies by submitting fraudulent applications that included fake tax documents and information for non-existent employees.

Raymond Magana, 41, was sentenced by United States District Judge Stanley Blumenfeld Jr., who ordered him to pay $360,415 in restitution. At today’s hearing, Judge Blumenfeld called Magana’s crime “a despicable offense” and noted that Magana exploited a “national emergency” in order to “line his own pockets.”

Magana pleaded guilty in January 2021 to one count of fraud in connection with major disaster or emergency benefits.

In May and June 2020, Magana submitted to banks PPP loan applications that contained false statements about the number of employees and the amount of payroll expenses. Specifically, on June 3, 2020, Magana submitted a PPP loan application to Customer’s Bank for $940,416 for The Building Circle LLC, a company registered in his name.

In that application, Magana falsely claimed the company’s average monthly payroll was $376,167 for 40 workers. Magana admitted to submitting fraudulent tax documents that reported $4,402,000 in annual wages paid to 40 employees in 2019 and $852,000 paid in employee wages during the first quarter of 2020.

IRS and California Employment Development Department records showed that the company never reported paying any employees, and the underwriting packet also did not include a list of employees or associates for the company, according to an affidavit filed with a criminal complaint in this case.

Investigators later determined that the Pico Rivera address given as The Building Circle’s headquarters was a 980-square-foot, single-family home that appeared to be a residence, not a business. Ultimately, the loan application was approved and $940,416 was funded to Magana’s company on June 4, 2020, the affidavit states.

Magana also applied for and received a PPP loan of $360,415 for Forward Builders LLC, another company, using fake tax documents and false employee information, and falsely claiming $1.73 million in employee wages.

When a bank manager contacted Magana after one of the business accounts receiving PPP funds had been frozen because of suspicious activity, he told the bank “We have all the documents, we got approved,” and he refused to agree to return the improperly obtained PPP funds, the affidavit states. The bank nevertheless kept the $940,416 in Magana’s bank account frozen, and he could not access it.

The actual loss from the two loans that were approved and disbursed was $360,415. Prior to today’s sentencing hearing, Magana deposited with the court $360,415 as his restitution payment.

Magana’s business partner, Steven R. Goldstein, 37, of Northridge, is serving a one-year federal prison sentence for committing fraud in connection with major disaster or emergency benefits. Goldstein pleaded guilty in December 2020 to a federal fraud charge and admitted in his plea agreement that he fraudulently obtained $655,000 in PPP loans for his companies by submitting false tax documents and fake employee information.

IRS Criminal Investigation and the Small Business Administration’s Office of Inspector General investigated this case.

Assistant United States Attorney Charles E. Pell of the Santa Ana Branch Office prosecuted this case.

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These Student Loans Are Excluded From Biden’s Loan Forgiveness And Relief Programs — Here’s Why

These Student Loans Are Excluded From Biden's Loan Forgiveness And Relief Programs — Here's Why

The Biden administration has enacted billions of dollars in student loan forgiveness, cancellation, and other relief during the course of the last several months. But one particular type of student loan has been consistently left out: private student loans.

Federal Student Loans vs. Private student loans

By most estimates, there is approximately $1.8 trillion in outstanding student loan debt in the United States. The vast majority of that debt consists of federal student loans, which are loans either issued directly or guaranteed by the federal government. But a sizable portion of outstanding student loan debt consists of purely private student loans — approximately $136 billion, according to NerdWallet and MeasureOne.

As a general rule, federal student loans have many more options for repayment, default resolution, and loan forgiveness. For example, income-driven repayment programs, loan rehabilitation programs, Public Service Loan Forgiveness, and school-based administrative discharges are generally only available for federal student loans, as provided by federal law. Private student loans are typically governed only by the terms and conditions of the underlying loan promissory note, which usually does not provide many options to the borrower.

Biden’s Student Loan Forgiveness and Relief Initiatives

In the course of the last few months, the Biden administration has used executive action to provide both widespread and targeted relief to student loan borrowers:

  • In June, Biden expanded relief for borrowers who had been granted only partial loan forgiveness through the Borrower Defense to Repayment program, which was established to cancel federal student loan debt for borrowers defrauded by their schools. That relief will result in $500 million in student debt cancellation for 18,000 borrowers.
  • On August 6, the Biden administration announced an extension of the current pause on federal student loan payments, interest, and collections to January 31, 2022. That relief had originally been scheduled to expire in September.
  • On August 9, the Department of Education announced a series of public hearings that mark the initial phase of a process to overhaul key federal student loan forgiveness and repayment programs.
  • On August 19, the Biden administration announced it would be automatically discharging $5.8 billion in federal student loan debt for over 300,000 disabled borrowers through the Total and Permanent Disability (TPD) discharge program.
  • On August 20, The Department of Education announced that it would be retroactively waiving interest for 47,000 current and former active-duty military service members who were entitled to, but not granted, an interest waiver due to serving in dangerous combat zones.

These initiatives will bring relief to millions of student loan borrowers. But importantly, this relief is limited to federal student loan borrowers only. Borrowers with purely private student loans that were issued by a private lender and are not guaranteed by the government are excluded from all of this relief.

Why Are Private Student Loans Excluded From Biden’s Relief Programs?

The answer is simple: Biden’s legal authority is limited to federal law, and he must act under existing federal statutes and accompanying regulations. Federal student loan programs are governed by statutes such as the Higher Education Act and the HEROES Act of 2003, as well as the CARES Act that was enacted last year. But these statutes do not empower Biden to provide any relief to private student loan borrowers.

Even widespread student loan cancellation — which student loan borrower activists and advocacy organizations have been urging President Biden to enact — would have similar limitations. Legal scholars advocating on behalf of borrowers have argued that the President has legal authority to enact broad student loan forgiveness. Biden himself has expressed reluctance and skepticism about doing so. But scholars have specifically pointed to authority provided by the Higher Education Act and the HEROES Act; thus, even if Biden were to decide to wipe out student loan debt on a mass scale, it would almost certainly have to be limited to federal student loans only.

What Does This Mean For Private Student Loan Borrowers?

It ultimately would require an act of Congress to meaningfully change the landscape for private student loan borrowers. Members of Congress have proposed some private student loan relief bills in the past. For example, a proposed stimulus bill in 2020 would have canceled up to $10,000 in private student loan debt for borrowers experiencing economic distress. This year, Democrats in Congress have filed bills that would provide private student loan disability discharges and a private student loan rehabilitation program, similar to programs offered for federal student loan borrowers.

But so far, these bills have gone nowhere. And even a bipartisan initiative to make it easier to discharge student loan debt in bankruptcy, which could actually pass Congress given its bipartisan support, limits bankruptcy reform to federal student loans only.

Absent meaningful action by Congress, private student loan borrowers will continue to be left out of relief programs designed to alleviate the burdens of student debt.

Further Reading

Biden To Automatically Cancel $5.8 Billion In Student Loans For Over 300,000 Disabled Borrowers

Biden Wants ‘Targeted’ Student Loan Cancellation — But What Does That Mean?

Biden Administration Starts Overhaul Of Student Loan Forgiveness, Income Based Repayment Programs

Biden Administration To Cancel Student Loan Interest Retroactively For 47,000 Military Service Members


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Cornerstone Home Lending Debuts New Mortgage Loan Servicing Operations

Cornerstone Home Lending Debuts New Mortgage Loan Servicing Operations

Cornerstone Home Lending, Inc. has launched its full service, in-house mortgage loan servicing operation for new loan originations, combining its 34-year tradition of superior customer care with industry-leading loan servicing technologies.

Cornerstone has made significant investments to build an elite team of servicing professionals led by Toby Wells, Cornerstone’s Managing Director of Loan Servicing, elevating every aspect of the loan servicing process to raise the bar for customer satisfaction.

The selection of Black Knight’s cutting-edge servicing technology platform, together with caring and highly trained Cornerstone team members, creates a top-of-class loan servicing experience for Cornerstone customers for the life of their loan.

“Providing a remarkable customer experience remains one of Cornerstone’s key Core Convictions since our founding 34 years ago, and we are excited to offer our mortgage loan servicing customers the same standard of excellence that has long defined Cornerstone’s loan origination operations,” said Adam Laird, President of Cornerstone.

“Our caring hearts, service-driven culture, entrepreneurial spirit, and passionate commitment to excellence set Cornerstone apart, with innovative technologies working in tandem with our team members to maximize customer satisfaction. Fulfilling our corporate responsibility to provide a remarkable customer experience in the mortgage servicing function requires Cornerstone to take full ownership and daily control of the entire servicing process. Cornerstone customers will remain in the superior care of Cornerstone team members during the loan origination and closing process, and now through the entire life of their loan.”

Customers are offered a suite of online tools to easily access and manage their mortgage account anytime, anywhere. Cornerstone’s user-friendly loan servicing website and mobile app provide timely information, such as billing statements, escrow activity, and a variety of payment options and payoff calculators.

Self-service capabilities enable Cornerstone customers to quickly enroll for services such as autopay, biweekly payments, and paperless statements. Customers can also message with Cornerstone team members and access helpful educational resources, disaster information, and more.

Cornerstone will also transition its existing mortgage loan servicing portfolio to the company’s in-house system in the coming months. “Cornerstone’s robust servicing platform supports and streamlines all facets of Cornerstone’s loan servicing operations from loan boarding to payoff, enabling our team members to focus on what matters most: a remarkable customer experience. Cornerstone’s dedicated loan servicing team will continuously elevate every aspect of the loan servicing process to raise the bar for customer satisfaction,” said Wells.

Additionally, Cornerstone’s servicing platform optimizes complex internal processes, such as oversight and monitoring of escrow and tax activity, to enable proactive management of customers’ escrow accounts. Extensive cross-platform analytics provide actionable insight to help streamline processes, manage and reduce risk, and refine the customer experience. Cornerstone will continue to roll out new loan servicing features and options for customers as it expands its in-house servicing operations.

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BofA says strong consumer loan demand has legs

BofA says strong consumer loan demand has legs

Bank of America said consumer spending and borrowing continues to power the US economy, even amid soaring inflation, festering uncertainties imposed by the pandemic and Russia’s destabilizing invasion of Ukraine.

During the first quarter, strong consumer banking results helped BofA to weather a sharp decline in investment banking fees. The Charlotte, North Carolina, banking giant reported 4% growth in consumer loans, in contrast with JPMorgan Chase and Wells Fargo, both of which posted declines.

“This quarter, our resilience was tested,” Chairman and CEO Brian Moynihan said during a call with analysts Monday after the company posted its first-quarter earnings. “We earned our way through the turmoil.”

Moynihan acknowledged concerns caused by the pandemic’s impact on supply chains and business opportunities, coupled with inflation and sky-high energy costs. But he said BofA does not anticipate a recession this year or next.

“Right now, the size of the economy is bigger than prepandemic levels,” he said. “Consumer spending remains strong, unemployment is low and wages are rising.”

Economists warn that with inflation at a 40-year high, Federal Reserve policymakers may have to boost rates aggressively though this year. With this change in policy — which started with a rate hike in March — comes the risk of overreachingraising rates so much that spending stalls and the economy dips into recession.

Historically, when the Fed has raised rates, the economy has often cooled quickly. Over the last 35 years, the Fed engineered five rate-tightening cycles, and the US economy went into a recession on four of those occasions, according to Wedbush analysts. Loan losses tend to pile up when the economy falters.

But BofA said Monday that it expects 3% economic growth this year and 2% growth in 2023, with pent-up consumer demand after the pandemic caused changes to spending behavior overpowering both inflation and higher rates.

The $3.2 trillion-asset bank said spending among its consumer clients — BofA has the largest consumer customer base of any US bank — reached $980 billion in the first quarter, up 14% from a year earlier. Credit and debit card spending increased across various categories — travel, entertainment, retail and food. As gasoline prices reached record levels this year, spending on fuel also rose.

BofA’s average total loans and leases rose 8% from a year earlier to $978 billion. Consumer rose loans 4% to $435 billion after the bank posted notable gains in each of the three prior quarters.

Moynihan said that borrowing likely would have been even stronger if not for the savings that Americans amassed during the pandemic. As consumers burn through that cash, many of them could turn to credit, driving continued loan demand throughout 2022, he said.

“What it means is a long tail to consumer spend growth,” Moynihan said. “And in April through the first two weeks, spending is growing faster at 18% over April 2021.”

Wells Fargo and JPMorgan Chase last week also reported strength in consumer spending. But both megabanks also posted modest declines in consumer lending, due to pullbacks in mortgage loans.

At BofA, commercial loans also bounced higher during the first quarter, mirroring a trend that peers such as US Bancorp and Wells Fargo reported a week earlier. BofA said average business loans for the first quarter reached $543 billion, up 11% from a year earlier.

Dave Wagner, portfolio manager at Aptus Capital Advisors, said asset-sensitive banks such as BofA have cause to be mindful of inflation, but are nonetheless likely to reap significant benefits from the Fed’s actions to tame rising prices.

As the Fed raises rates, most banks can charge more for loans, he noted, driving up bread-and-butter interest income.

“Inflation — and higher rates to contain it — is actually good for banks in the near term,” said Wagner, whose firm invests in BofA.

BofA posted net interest income of nearly $11.7 billion during the first quarter, up 13% from a year earlier.

Meanwhile, credit costs remained low. First-quarter net charge-offs declined 52% from a year earlier to $392 million. The company released $362 million in reserves, reflecting executives’ confidence in borrowers’ ability to repay their loans throughout the year.

BofA reported first-quarter net income of $7.1 billion, down 12% from a year earlier. Amid market concerns about the war in Ukraine and rising rates, investment banking fees fell 35% from a year earlier to $1.5 billion.

Still, BofA’s net income of 80 cents per share exceeded the 75 cents that analysts polled by FactSet Research Systems had expected.


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