Employer Notification Sample Form

Healthcare Notices – Must be provided to employees by Oct. 1st, 2013.

Notice for Employers with Plans

Notice For Employers Without Plans

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“The market should determine which businesses thrive and which businesses disappear.”

An editorial of note published in the Tuscaloosa News last week entitled, “City shouldn’t block legal businesses” made some interesting points. 

The best quote was:

“But as a rule, the market should determine which businesses thrive and which businesses disappear. Legal enterprises shouldn’t be driven from the city limits for subjective reasons.

 

The full editorial can be found here.

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Be On The Lookout for This Type of Scam

A story from Ohio sheds lights on a new scam impacting customers.  One customer, according to the Salem News:

 

“received a call from a person claiming to be an attorney for a payday loan company. He was advised to make a payment arrangement or face thousands of dollars more in attorney fees and arrest by local police.

Babb was directed to purchase a Green Dot MoneyPak, a re-loadable prepaid money card, after which he provided more than one person with the pin number.

Babb was then advised the money had been picked up by the wrong person and he was asked to send a new card.

Green Dot officials looked into the matter and believe this to be a fraud but were able to recover a portion of Babb’s money.”

 

The full article from the Salem News in Ohio can be found here.

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Pierce County Herald (WI) – Scam Alert Editorial

An editorial titled “Don’t fall prey to scammers” appeared in today’s Pierce County Herald  (WI) and it does a good job of detailing the different financial scams that consumers should avoid. You can read the editorial here.

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Another Phone Scam to Watch Out For

This time from an article in the  St. Augustine Record (Florida):

“A man was the victim of an apparent “payday scam” last week, according to a St. Johns County Sheriff’s Office report.

The man said he lost nearly $1,000 over the course of a couple of phone calls.

The first call he received was from a woman who claimed to be from the legal department at Payday Loans, he said. She told him that he owed the company almost $1,000 and had 30 minutes to pay or a warrant for his arrest would be issued.

Scared of being arrested, the man got prepaid cards and put the money on the cards as he was told to do, he said. He spoke with the woman again and gave her the numbers.

After the cards had been depleted, she said he hadn’t moved fast enough so he owed her another $1,000 to prevent an arrest, he said.

He got another call that evening from someone who claimed to be from the Los Angeles Sheriff’s Department, he said. That person said a warrant for his arrest was being issued.

A St. Johns County deputy called the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department and found that no one called the victim, according to the report.

The victim said he had taken loans from Payday before, but he hadn’t missed any payments. The deputy he spoke with said that several similar cases have been documented.”

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People with financial struggles — not just “the poor” — sometimes need to take out a loan

letter to the editor in Missouri’s Springfield News-Leader today tells of the need for small dollar, short-term loans.

Some of the key points include:

“The U.N.’s definition of poverty includes lack of access to credit, and this “payday” initiative would discriminate against the poor by blocking access to the small loans they need — while conveniently leaving access to the big loans that only the rich can afford.”

…..

“People with financial struggles — not just “the poor” — sometimes need to take out a loan to steady themselves during a rough patch. Protecting their access to safe credit is an issue of financial freedom.”

The entire letter can be read here

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Clergy Letter Describes Need for Short-Term Credit Options

Below is a letter printed in the Kansas City Star, written by a member of the clergy, that reviews the need for short-term credit options in our communities.

 

As a pastor of a mostly African American congregation, I don’t understand why Lewis Diuguid in a Feb. 20 column, “Payday lending too often hurts KC’s people of color,” would want to further restrict access to credit among minorities already “experiencing the biggest drops in access to mainstream credit.”

He suggests that payday lenders have targeted minority communities and exacerbated their financial struggles, but a recent study by the Federal Reserve Board of New York refutes Diuguid’s contention.

The report found no evidence that payday lenders target minorities and concluded that “blacks and Hispanics are not significantly more likely than whites to use payday credit.”

While the rate cap as proposed by the ballot initiative sounds great, in reality it would eliminate this credit option in Missouri.

We have seen it happen in other states. Consumers turn to more costly and credit damaging substitutes.

I agree with Mr. Diuguid that minority communities should have greater access to fair and reasonable credit options, and everyone should concentrate on that objective.

But eliminating this existing credit option will only hurt minorities, leaving them with more costly and credit-damaging options.

Bishop James D. Tindall Sr.

Metropolitan Spiritual

Church of Christ

Kansas City

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Fake Debt Collection Scam Alert

The Federal Trade Commission has received permission from US Federal Court to shut down a debt collection scam that the FTC alleges “collected phantom payday loan “debts” that consumers did not owe. Consumers received millions of collection calls from India, and that since January 2010 the operation took in more than $5 million from victims, according to the FTC.”

The FTC has a webpage dedicated to helping consumers figure out if the calls they are receiving are in fact a scam.  Please go to the FTC’s website and become educated on this issue.

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Consider the Consequences

A letter recently published by Christopher Donegan in the Kansas City Star outlined what could happen to his area if steep rate caps to short-term lenders become law and drive them out of business:

“If Missourians cannot qualify for a traditional loan and do not have the option of taking out a non-existent alternative loan, consider the consequences. Landlords, utility companies, assistance agencies and churches will all feel the economic effects.”

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WSJ: Payday fees reasonable compared to credit-card & bounced check fees

Today’s Wall Street Journal had a great Editorial that outlined how misguided government targeting of the payday loan industry is when it serves so many Americans.

Some excerpts:

“Payday lenders charge around $15 for a two-week $100 loan to their typically high-risk borrowers, which equates to a 390% annual interest rate. Consumer groups like the liberal Center for Responsible Lending call this “predatory,” but the terms are reasonable compared to an average credit-card fee, which can exceed 900%, or a bounced check fee, which can top 1,500%.”

The column also illustrated the important point on what happens when payday lenders are regulated out of business:

“A clutch of Internet lenders base their businesses offshore or on Indian reservations to evade state regulators, and that’s where many abuses occur. By contrast, large, publicly traded companies belong to industry associations and don’t want to court bad publicity with bad practices. Advance America, one of the largest lenders, had about 100 complaints filed with state regulators in 2011—out of more than 10 million transactions.”

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