Borrowing – Fast Paths http://fastpaths.com/ Wed, 22 Sep 2021 05:52:35 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=5.8 https://fastpaths.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/05/default.png Borrowing – Fast Paths http://fastpaths.com/ 32 32 How To Work With A Student Loan Ombudsman https://fastpaths.com/how-to-work-with-a-student-loan-ombudsman/ https://fastpaths.com/how-to-work-with-a-student-loan-ombudsman/#respond Wed, 19 May 2021 06:22:56 +0000 https://fastpaths.com/?p=632 Contacting your student loan lender is usually the first step in resolving an issue. But what if it gets you nowhere? Last year, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau received about 5,800 student loan complaints, and 65% of them related to dealing with lenders or loan servicers. Sometimes you need to call in some extra help. […]]]>

Contacting your student loan lender is usually the first step in resolving an issue. But what if it gets you nowhere? Last year, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau received about 5,800 student loan complaints, and 65% of them related to dealing with lenders or loan servicers.

Sometimes you need to call in some extra help. That’s where a student loan ombudsman comes in. Here’s what they do and how they can help you handle your loan issues.

What Is a Student Loan Ombudsman?

At Oak Park Financial a student loan ombudsman is an independent and confidential resource that helps you with student loans and sometimes federal financial aid concerns.

The ombudsman can help you:

• Resolve disputes. If you’re struggling with student loan balances, interest rates and payments or Pell Grant disbursements, you can reach out to the ombudsman for help. They can explain how interest rates and charges work and answer questions about how student loans work.

• Review collections. If you’ve missed payments for long enough, your loan might be in default. If your original loan servicer has sold or assigned your loan to a collections agency, an ombudsman can detail what that means for your repayment plan.

• Explain repayment options. If you’re looking into consolidation, deferment, forbearance, cancellation or discharge, an ombudsman can look over your loans to see what you’re eligible for.

While an ombudsman serves as an informal resource for federal aid and loan help, they shouldn’t be your first stop. The ombudsman should be one of your last stops—after your student loan servicer or lender—when it comes to handling your loans.

Types of Student Loan Ombudsmen

There isn’t one ombudsman that rules them all. There are dozens of different types that exist based on your needs. For instance, there are ombudsmen in banks, hospitals, universities and other agencies. For student loan ombudsmen, you may look into:

• Federal Student Aid. The Federal Student Aid Ombudsman Group handles disputes for federal student aid, including loans and grant programs.

• Private lenders. Many lenders have their own ombudsmen that serve to settle student loan issues. Most banks, credit unions and online lenders should have these departments, but they might not be easily accessible. Do an online search, like “your lender + ombudsman,” to find them.

• State agencies. Some states have their own ombudsperson that serves in a state-level capacity, rather than institutional. Each state classifies them differently, whether it’s within the Department of Consumer Credit Protection or Office of Financial Services. Since there’s no universal state agency that houses the student loan ombudsman, you might need to do a bit of digging. You may also have luck looking into student loan ombudsman services through your state Attorney General’s office.

• Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB). The CFPB has its own private student loan ombudsman. Through its “Submit a Complaint” service, the CFPB handles both federal and private student loan disputes.

How to Work With an Ombudsman on a Student Loan Complaint

Reaching out to an ombudsman isn’t your first step—it’s usually one of your last. You can expect the process to go something like this:

1. Get Your Records in Order

The ombudsman is going to ask you questions about your account information and dispute. Make sure you have detailed records to share with the ombudsman before you get started. This will save you a lot of time when the process starts. This might also be the point where you realize you’re not ready to reach out to an ombudsperson yet.

2. Keep Detailed Accounts

Take notes of every interaction with your loan servicer, ombudsman or anyone else related to your student loans, including the time, date, customer representative’s name and the nature of your interaction. Good records will only help your case. Make sure your messaging is consistent. If your story changes, you might not get your problem resolved the way you hope to.

3. Complete Necessary Forms

Depending on your needs, each ombudsman might have a different process for filing disputes and complaints. For instance, before you file with the Federal Student Aid Ombudsman Group, there’s a checklist to complete. It outlines your dispute, what you’ve done to resolve the problem, your evidence and any contact you’ve made with your servicer.

This form helps you determine if you’re ready to contact the ombudsman or you need a little more time to work it out with your lender.

4. Stay Updated

If you’ve submitted a complaint or dispute to an ombudsman, they’ll be able to tell you how to work through your issue going forward. Sometimes it gets resolved on a phone call. Sometimes they’ll provide the next steps. Depending on your needs, make sure to stay in communication until the dispute is resolved.

What to Expect When Seeking Outside Help with Student Loan Issues

Reaching out to your lender to problem-solve is a great first step, but that doesn’t mean your issue will get fixed right away, or at all.

An ombudsman is a good neutral resource for fixing your student loan concerns. But that doesn’t mean your concerns will get resolved. Ombudspeople don’t have the capacity to process loan changes or requests for deferment, forbearance or forgiveness. All those are handled through your loan servicer. An ombudsman isn’t your advocate; they don’t work for you. They work for a fair and just process.

But they will help you sort out loan discrepancies and help you find other resources for your student loan problems. While they can’t enroll you in a new repayment plan, they can point you in the right direction of how to make those changes. Sometimes, it may seem like your lender does not have your best interest in mind. Talking with an ombudsman gives you an independent way to figure out your student loan options.

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My boyfriend doesn’t like my kids, and more advice from Dear Prudence. https://fastpaths.com/my-boyfriend-doesnt-like-my-kids-and-more-advice-from-dear-prudence/ https://fastpaths.com/my-boyfriend-doesnt-like-my-kids-and-more-advice-from-dear-prudence/#respond Wed, 19 May 2021 03:52:55 +0000 https://fastpaths.com/?p=488 Dear Prudence is online weekly to chat live with readers. Here’s an edited transcript of this week’s chat. Danny Lavery: More problems in search of a solution today. Let’s chat! Q. My boyfriend doesn’t like my kids: I’m a single mom of two (6 and 8), and my boyfriend of a year and a half opened […]]]>

Dear Prudence is online weekly to chat live with readers. Here’s an edited transcript of this week’s chat.

Danny Lavery: More problems in search of a solution today. Let’s chat!

Q. My boyfriend doesn’t like my kids: I’m a single mom of two (6 and 8), and my boyfriend of a year and a half opened up to me that he thinks I have great kids, but he doesn’t enjoy spending time with them. He’s great with them and does things with us out of love for me. We were about to move in together until he told me this. I’m glad he told me, but now I’m hesitant. Is this normal? If we were to continue, is this a relationship bound for resentment and failure?

A: It may very well be normal to not like someone else’s kids, but I don’t think “normal” is an important framework here. “Is it a good idea to move in with a man who told me he doesn’t like spending time with my kids?” is the question to ask yourself, and it seems pretty clear that the answer is “Hell no.” I’m glad he told you before you moved in together, and I don’t fault him for not liking children, but this should immediately and drastically affect your plans. Don’t move in with him! It will be hard for your kids, because kids are pretty good at intuiting when an adult finds them tolerable at best and doesn’t really want them around. It will be hard for him, living with a couple of kids he doesn’t especially like but who still need to be raised and cared for pretty much 24/7. And it will be hard for you, feeling at odds.

That doesn’t mean you have to break up immediately—or necessarily at all!—or that the time he does spend with your kids is necessarily fraudulent or worthless. Maybe in a few years you’ll be in a different position; maybe you’ll decide this is too serious an incompatibility and end up splitting anyway. But living together is a serious commitment that will affect your kids’ daily lives, and you shouldn’t move ahead with this plan now that you’ve learned this.

How to Get Advice From Prudie:

• Send questions for publication here. (Questions may be edited.)

• Join the live chat Mondays at noon. Submit your questions and comments here before or during the discussion.

• Call the voicemail of the Dear Prudence podcast at 401-371-DEAR (3327) to hear your question answered on a future episode of the show.

Q. Estranged brother wants to un-estrange: Last year, my brother announced to my parents and my sister that he no longer wanted anything to do with any of us. My brother was formally diagnosed with narcissistic personality disorder after years of narcotics and alcohol addiction and a suicide attempt. He said his reason for wanting to cut ties is that he is angry with us for making him quit opioids—he was handling them fine. The date he chose to announce his estrangement was the anniversary of our other brother’s death; he died when he was 10 from cancer, and the date is always a tender one for us. It felt clear he chose the date for maximal pain for our parents. Then, a year later, just this week, he sent us all an email saying that he feels like we don’t love him or care about him at all, and wants us all to do family therapy with him.

I love my brother. I wish him only the best, and I’m really glad that the therapy he has been working through has been helpful. However, I have come to realize that I like being estranged from him. He is mean, manipulative, and the things he did to me, my family, and my kids while in his addiction are not things I’m ready to revisit. I’m worried I might say something unkind and I don’t want to hurt him or cause him any setbacks. I replied to his email saying that I’m happy he is doing well, that I love him and I wish him the best, but I’m not interested in going to therapy with him. He responded saying that if I loved him, I would do what he wants, which is family therapy. This feels like the manipulation I’m used to from him, and I don’t want to respond. Am I being cruel? What’s the best way to protect myself without hurting him?

A: There’s an important distinction to be drawn here, I think, between cruelty and noncompliance. You can take your brother’s feelings seriously without committing to doing whatever he wants you to do on demand. “If you don’t commit to going to family therapy with me after we haven’t spoken in a year, it’s an indicator that you don’t really love me” is not a solid foundation for trying to repair your relationship. Nor does it sound like your brother is ready to hear about how his behavior might have affected you in the past, or to treat therapy as a two-way street.

Saying no to his request might feel painful because you wish it were possible to relieve some of his pain, or to relate to one another differently, but it is not cruel to say “I can’t try to rebuild our relationship under these conditions, where you unilaterally decide when and whether to speak to me, then tell me I don’t really love you unless I agree to therapy right away.” That might feel sad, painful, or like a new kind of loss, but it doesn’t rise to the level of cruelty. You’re choosing not to oblige to your brother’s wants because you believe it would likely lead to further alienation and hostility. That strikes me as both a prudent and painful position to take—but keep in mind that the pain already exists. You’re not creating it by saying no; you’re merely acknowledging it’s already there. Avoiding a path where you’re likely to say something hurtful in anger is a good choice, as is refraining from trying to rebuild a relationship with someone you don’t believe is prepared to maintain their own “side of the street,” so to speak.

None of this means you have to resign yourself to never speaking to your brother again; it’s possible that some day in the future, you might reconnect under different conditions. Nor does it mean you have to choose your pain over his, dismiss his experience wholesale, or think of yourself as solely harmed by him and never having caused pain yourself. But wishing him the best and enjoying your own peaceful existence is not cruel, and I think you’re right not to respond, painful though it may feel.

Q. No good deed: Since the pandemic, we’ve been having more items delivered to our home. I know delivery drivers are subject to difficult working conditions, so I created a treat box filled with water and snacks that I set on our porch. I also left a couple cash tips around Christmas when we got a lot of deliveries, some very heavy. We’ve received a couple thank-you notes from drivers, and they use the treat box frequently.

However, our recent meal-service delivery driver wrote “My birthday is 4/24. Happy Saturday! Thanks for the treats.” I feel he’s put us in a very awkward position. If I provide a gift, then I’ll be setting an expectation for other drivers to receive the same. If I do nothing or decline his request, then I fear that I may suddenly start losing packages or receiving damaged items. The note was written on the box in Sharpie, so I can’t pretend I just didn’t see it either. What’s my best course of action here?

A: I think it’s a stretch to assume your driver is going to start “losing” your packages (which would probably jeopardize his own job) if you don’t buy him a birthday present. Everyone who’s participated in your informal arrangement seems to have behaved appropriately for the past year, so you have good reason to think they’ll continue doing so, even if all you do is say “happy birthday” should you happen to run into that particular delivery driver on the 24th.

If you would like to leave something special for him that day, it doesn’t have to be an elaborate gift, nor do you have to commit to buying birthday presents for everyone who drops a package on your front doorstep. It’s a little strange that he left you a note about his birthday, but it doesn’t place you under a new obligation, and I don’t think you need to take it as a threat. Based on the dynamic you’ve described here, it seems likelier that he simply appreciates your consideration and wants to occasionally leave a friendly note of his own.

Q. Expiration date: I’m currently in the second romantic relationship of my life, and like my first relationship, it has a mutually agreed-upon expiration date. This isn’t due to dysfunction or self-sabotage, but rather a combination of me being something of a planner and the many life changes in one’s early 20s. The arrangement is working really well for both of us—it allows us to treasure the time we have together without making any ill-fated long-term commitments.

However, I’ve noticed that people who aren’t in this relationship get really upset about the idea of expiration dates. It feels like every time I’ve brought it up, people are quick to start suggesting scenarios in which my partner and I don’t have to break up and instead live happily ever after together. I find this really frustrating! Is there anything I can say to assure people this isn’t a tragedy and make them more comfortable with the idea that I can be happy in a relationship that I know won’t last forever?

A: I can appreciate why your friends might feel slightly at a loss, since it’s a little unusual to announce “My partner and I are very happy together, and we’ll be breaking up on Labor Day 2023.” To that end, if you’re bringing it up often or repeatedly, especially to people whose input you’re not interested in hearing, I think it might be best to drop the topic for now and treat it as a “need-to-know” conversation. When you two do eventually break up, and your friends need to know about it, you can discuss it in greater detail then. That doesn’t mean you have to keep completely silent on the subject, of course, nor that you should apologize for having brought it up in the first place, just that it’s probably the easiest way to avoid further discussion. Beyond that, if you want to simultaneously reassure and preempt your friends, go with something like this: “I realize this might sound a little unusual, but we both feel really good about this, and don’t see it as a problem to be solved. I don’t want any suggestions about how we might avoid breaking up in the future, so I’d appreciate it if you stopped offering them.”

Q. Is my boyfriend still in love with his ex? I’ve been with my boyfriend for about two years and things are pretty good. One of the things that has always bothered me, though, is his relationship with his ex-girlfriend. They are like best friends and message each other multiple times a day, every single day. I’m friends with all my exes, so I like that they have a good relationship, but sometimes it seems that they would be better off together. They have way more things in common and “get” each other. I get lost (and bored …) sometimes when he talks about things he’s really into, but I know she’s into the same things and would love to be involved in those conversations. When they got together, they moved way too fast and moved in together almost immediately, and they were both going through depressions and didn’t have a good relationship. But they’ve both changed and grown since then (about three years ago), and maybe if they got together this time, things would be different or better? When I’ve brought this up (in a genuinely curious, not accusatory or insecure, way), my boyfriend insists that they’re not interested in each other that way anymore. But seriously, this guy would drop everything and do pretty much anything she asked him to at any time. His behavior toward me also changes when she’s around. He’s more accommodating to her feelings than mine, and I’ve felt left out sometimes and more like a friend than a girlfriend.

I love the man but I’m not really in love with him. It’s been more of a companionate (yet very fun!) relationship, but I truly think they would be a much better match and think he’s just not being honest with himself or me. I’m wondering if I should ask his best guy friend, who is also really good friends with this woman, if he thinks they’re delaying the inevitable and are meant to be together. What do you think I should do?

A: I think you should probably break up with your boyfriend! I’m not sure what information you might be able to wrest from your boyfriend’s best guy friend that you don’t already have, especially since you’d just be asking for his subjective impression of what he thinks might happen in the future. The salient point in your letter is not whether your boyfriend might ever formally get back together with his ex, but that you’re “not really in love with him.” You also tend to get bored when he talks about his interests and you’re uncomfortable with the way he prioritizes his relationship with his erstwhile ex. Those are excellent reasons to pursue an amicable, friendly breakup, and you don’t need to make sure he “admits” to himself that he really wants to be with her in order for you to move on. Maybe he will end up dating her again someday! Maybe he simply wants to be close friends with her, and his next girlfriend will be fine with their relationship; maybe his next girlfriend will find their relationship irritating and will decide to break up with him over it. Let whoever that next girlfriend may be solve her own problems. You just have to worry about yours. You have sufficient reason to end this relationship right now, not in a fit of pique or because you think he’s a bad person, but because you’ve reached the end of the road and spend a lot of time thinking how much better off he’d be dating someone who isn’t you.

Q. How do I get my parents to recognize my needs? I’m 33, formally unemployed, and living at home for the past four years since I lost my job. I was a history and English teacher until I decided it was no longer financially a good idea, and decided not to pursue it after my contract was non-renewed. I am looking at a career change into something more financially rewarding, and I have started an online 1920s–1970s vintage clothing business. I am responsible for every part of the business, and it is a lot to strategize, plan, and get done.

I am grateful to be able to live at home while I do this, but my parents don’t seem to understand that I have obligations and financial needs. They constantly demand that I do things for them at the last minute, and get angry if I don’t. These are the types of things they could easily ask somebody else to help out with, yet they don’t appear to be making any real effort to do so. Attempts at setting boundaries have led to them verbally attacking me. The kicker is I have a brother who has been living at home since he was 18, and is worth hundreds of thousands of dollars in Bitcoins. But he simply does not seem to get the same verbal attacks when he refuses to do things.

A: The double standard between you and your brother sounds genuinely frustrating, and I don’t wonder that you chafe at your parents’ habit of not discussing their expectations in advance, instead frequently making last-minute requests and getting upset when you’re working on something of your own. But you have relatively little leverage in this situation, and I think your best strategy in the long run will be moving out and getting a place of your own.

To that end, you say that you’ve started an online vintage clothing business in the hopes that it would be more financially rewarding than teaching, but you don’t say whether you’re anywhere near being able to live independently and support yourself on the strength of that income. It’s not clear whether you’ve been working on this business for the last four years or whether it’s a more recent venture, but if it’s not getting you close to being able to schedule a move-out date, it might be time to look for work that will get you there, so you don’t have to spend the next four years in a similar position.

In the meantime, since you won’t be able to move out next week even if you managed to score a full-time job tomorrow, look for ways to make things as easy as possible for yourself. Yes, your brother gets away with things that you can’t—but it seems unlikely that you’re going to be able to convince your parents to start treating him differently after years or even decades, so focus your energy on husbanding your own time rather than trying to intervene in how your parents treat him. If even simple requests like “Can we set aside some time on Sunday to talk about what you need help with this week? That will help me arrange my own work schedule so I’m available when you need me” are met with verbal attacks, it might be that these frequent interruptions are the rent your parents are charging you instead of money. Sometimes paying money ends up being easier in the long run, so at that point, you might want to prioritize finding a job with more reliable income and put your vintage clothing business on hold, or at least demote it to a side gig until you’re in a better place.

Q. Skipping out on a bachelorette weekend: A friend of mine is getting married this fall and asked me to be a bridesmaid. I was ecstatic. I love weddings and I know hers is going to be fun. I got laid off a couple months ago and am having trouble getting approved for unemployment. Money is tight, and I may have to borrow money from my mother to be in the wedding. I’m fine with that—weddings are one of the few things I am willing to spend money on because I love them so much. Normally, I wouldn’t borrow money for something like this, but after this year, I’m willing to do so.

The only problem is, the bride wants a bachelorette weekend on a lake instead of a pub crawl because of COVID. I don’t think I can afford this. What’s more, I really just don’t want to go. I have health issues that leave me tired for most of the day, and I don’t have the energy to do all the activities she wants. Is it appropriate to not do the weekend? I could maybe spend one of the afternoons or evenings there, but I just don’t think I can financially swing an entire weekend.

A: Of course it’s appropriate! Agreeing to be a bridesmaid does not mean you just signed a contract to take out loans on vacations you can’t afford. If a bride wants to go above and beyond the traditional bachelorette party evening and turn it into a full weekend or longer trip, that’s lovely—but she must also be flexible and understanding if not everyone in her bridal party has the time or money to do the same. Just tell her it’s not in your budget. Only offer to come out for one evening if you really think you can do so without coming up short on rent, and have a great time at the wedding.

Q. Re: My boyfriend doesn’t like my kids: Your kids do not deserve this and do not have a say. Don’t push this onto them, please.

A: I think that’s the right perspective here. Moving in with a partner when your kids are that young is a big commitment! If the balance is working right now, where he sees them on occasion and can muster up the energy to be warm/friendly/attentive, then by all means keep seeing each other. But living with kids that young is such an investment in their care and upbringing, and I just don’t think it would be good for them. It probably wouldn’t be much fun for the adults either, but that’s secondary.

Q. Re: Estranged brother wants to un-estrange: Therapist here. I think some way of coming to terms with his destructive behavior (both personally and to his/your family of origin) would be helpful for all of you, but I wouldn’t go to family therapy without a clear indication that he is in individual therapy, has been for a while, and this is something that his therapist thinks is a good idea. The way he chose to announce his estrangement was unnecessarily cruel, and in addition to all of the other work he has to do to acknowledge his responsibility in all of this, he needs to reassure everyone that any shared therapy would not just be a venue for him to continue to be cruel and destructive.

A: I think that’s useful, and I also think that it would still be fine for the letter writer to decide they’d rather have a peaceful distance from their brother, even if he was able to provide that reassurance. But I agree that reappearing after a year and demanding everyone “prove” their love by going to therapy with him right off the bat does not bode well.

Discuss this column on our Facebook page!

Classic Prudie

Q. Complicated family issues: My husband was estranged from his parents for many years. He reached out to them when he was diagnosed with a terminal illness. They didn’t have enough time to discuss and resolve their past, but they were at peace with each other when he died. Now my husband’s parents wish to keep in touch with me and my toddler-age son, as he is the only link they have to their only child.

The problem is that my son is not my husband’s biological child. I had an affair, the biological father dumped me upon realizing I was pregnant, and my husband (to cut the complicated story short) decided to raise the baby as his own. He didn’t legally adopt our son—we simply put his name on the birth certificate and that was that—or tell anybody other than our marriage therapist. It was a painful, regretful, and humiliating episode of my life and I do not wish to tell even my own parents. But I feel incredibly guilty whenever my in-laws talk to me about how grateful they are to have a grandchild to remember their son, or make comparisons between my son and my husband when he was at a similar age. I feel like I need to come clean with them before they develop a strong attachment to him. They are already talking about changing their will to include their “grandson.” What should I do?

Now available in your podcast player: the audiobook edition of Danny M. Lavery’s latest book, Something That May Shock and Discredit YouGet it from Slate. 

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Why the ExxonMobil share rallied today https://fastpaths.com/why-the-exxonmobil-share-rallied-today/ https://fastpaths.com/why-the-exxonmobil-share-rallied-today/#respond Wed, 07 Apr 2021 23:17:24 +0000 https://fastpaths.com/why-the-exxonmobil-share-rallied-today/ What happened Actions of ExxonMobil (NYSE: XOM) rose just over 5.5% early in today. It’s a notable move for this massive company, and it doesn’t seem to have anything to do with oil prices. In some ways, what was announced today could be much more important than that. So what For better or for worse, […]]]>

What happened

Actions of ExxonMobil (NYSE: XOM) rose just over 5.5% early in today. It’s a notable move for this massive company, and it doesn’t seem to have anything to do with oil prices. In some ways, what was announced today could be much more important than that.

So what

For better or for worse, Exxon is one of the best-known oil and gas companies in the world. This has long put him in the crosshairs of proponents of clean energy. To make matters worse, the company has stuck steadfastly on its long-term goal of carbon-based fuels, although some competitors have recently started talking about a transition to clean energy. While Exxon has clean energy initiatives, such as using algae as a substitute for petroleum, its efforts so far have simply not been enough to quell the growing calls for change. .

Image source: Getty Images.

This prompted a large number of foreigners to call on the company for more action. The list includes environmental groups and politicians, but now it’s also starting to fill up with investors. Some of these investors are ready to buy stocks and push for change, including striving to get new faces on the board. Earlier this year, Exxon added a new director, but that was not enough to appease its dissident investors. He has now added two more, including Jeff Ubben, a recognized supporter of environmental, social and governance (ESG) investments. Wall Street clearly liked the choice.

Now what

Exxon is expected to hold its investor day on Wednesday, so there will likely be more clean energy news from the oil company in the coming days. But the addition of new board members, notably one with Ubben’s ESG focus, seems to be leading investors to believe the company is starting to take calls for change more seriously.

While today’s payoff is nice to see, most long-term investors should probably wait for the clean energy details likely to be revealed on March 3 before betting on where Exxon is heading on the market. ESG front.

This article represents the opinion of the author, who may disagree with the “official” recommendation position of a premium Motley Fool consulting service. We are heterogeneous! Challenging an investment thesis – even one of our own – helps us all to think critically about investing and make decisions that help us become smarter, happier, and richer.

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Laney Noreika continues to lead Big Spring basketball after devastating knee injury https://fastpaths.com/laney-noreika-continues-to-lead-big-spring-basketball-after-devastating-knee-injury/ https://fastpaths.com/laney-noreika-continues-to-lead-big-spring-basketball-after-devastating-knee-injury/#respond Wed, 07 Apr 2021 23:17:21 +0000 https://fastpaths.com/laney-noreika-continues-to-lead-big-spring-basketball-after-devastating-knee-injury/ While it is true that character is best revealed when pressure is applied, Laney Noreika, the student athlete and teammate, is someone to admire. Wednesday night will mark another big moment for Big Spring’s junior forward and coach Randy Jones’ women’s basketball team. The Bulldogs have six straight wins and the road trip south to […]]]>

While it is true that character is best revealed when pressure is applied, Laney Noreika, the student athlete and teammate, is someone to admire.

Wednesday night will mark another big moment for Big Spring’s junior forward and coach Randy Jones’ women’s basketball team. The Bulldogs have six straight wins and the road trip south to Shippensburg means a rematch with the last team to defeat the Newville team.

Essentially, the A Mid-Penn Colonial Division title depends on the outcome.

These are the times when Big Springs leader and top scorer Noreika fought like hell to come back. They were swept away for almost 12 months by an all-too-familiar knee injury that sometimes rocked her confidence, but never lingered.

Noreika would not allow it.

“It’s going pretty well. I finally feel like I’m finally back to normal, ”said Noreika on Tuesday, hours before Big Spring’s victory over Boiling Springs.

“I watched a video from the AAU season last summer and you can still see I was hesitant. Now I can say I’m 100 percent.

Noreika immediately entered the high school scene as an athlete of two sports.

The talented field hockey midfielder, just months into her freshman year, helped the Bulldogs carry a 13-5 delay behind 27 goals and 25 assists, fueling a Colonial Division title and a place in the district tournament 3.

She also shone on the basketball court at the start of the winter sports season, raising many expectations ahead of her second campaign. That summer, Big Spring hosted a handful of regional shows for a day of filming and light scrums.

In Big Spring’s second scrum, against Greenwood, everything changed for Noreika.

“Coached called the room up, so I cut the paint like I should and grabbed the ball,” she said.

“When I got down I pretty much knew it wasn’t good. It was non-contact, an abnormal accident is how my surgeon rated it. I still describe it as if my kneecap is on the inside of my leg.

Noreika suffered an ACL tear in her left knee and also sprained her MCL and partially tore her meniscus. A severe bone contusion also caused increased swelling and delayed the MRI results which revealed the severity of his injury.

The surgery would take at least a month with a rehabilitation schedule of at least nine months.

“I had teammates and people I grew up with, so it was no stranger to me. I never thought that would happen to me, ”Noreika said.

Rehabilitation, despite physical therapists, doctors and trainers, can be a lonely task.

But, the support of her family and all ends of the Bulldogs community, especially her teammates, pushed Noreika when she needed a boost. His training did the rest.

The worst thing, she noted, was having to watch the games play out without her.

“I was away for about a year, which was extended by the pandemic,” she said. “I would say the hardest part was when I started to feel better, I felt more normal but still not ready to play. I felt good physically, but I knew I couldn’t play outside.

Well, Noreika has come back.

You could say that the character and a great supporting cast brought Noreika to where she wanted to be. The AAU Tour, where she played about 30 games for Mid-Penn Motion, began her second career.

“My first back layer, I was taken off and pulled up straight away, but my mom was panicking. I was like ‘mom, relax, stay off the pitch,’ ”Noreika joked.

“It’s more difficult for my parents than for me, I think. They keep telling me not to touch the ground. I was always the one diving for loose bullets, doing the dirty work. I still do, but I’m a little more careful now.

Running through another successful field hockey season in the fall – Noreika got another star nod from Mid-Penn – brought her to this basketball season. His favorite sport.

Laney Noreika, Big Spring, blocks Lauren Pool, Greencastle-Antrim, but Greencastle-Antrim leads the Big Spring girls 19-9 at halftime in Newville, Pa on February 5, 2021. Mark Pynes | mpynes@pennlive.com

Noreika has a team record of 14 points per game and leads the Bulldogs 13-2 with 101 rebounds. His presence, of course, means even more.

“She has made giant strides in her leadership. She always had it in her, but now she’s demonstrating it, showing it and expressing it, ”Jones said.

“Inside or outside the locker room, she sets an example in training. She is first in the sprints. We never question his efforts. Girls obviously respect her, respect her talents. It was a blessing for her to be back on hardwood, not only for the players but for our coaching staff.

Follow Eric Epler on Twitter – @threejacker

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Former Irish striker makes bold POTY claim for Jesse Lingard https://fastpaths.com/former-irish-striker-makes-bold-poty-claim-for-jesse-lingard/ https://fastpaths.com/former-irish-striker-makes-bold-poty-claim-for-jesse-lingard/#respond Wed, 07 Apr 2021 23:17:19 +0000 https://fastpaths.com/former-irish-striker-makes-bold-poty-claim-for-jesse-lingard/ “He was incredibly exceptional. Former Republic of Ireland striker Tony Cascarino believes Jesse Lingard could become a player of the year contender if he continues in his rich vein. Lingard joined West Ham United on a six-month loan from Manchester United in January. The Englishman managed to start at his new club with his impressive […]]]>

“He was incredibly exceptional.

Former Republic of Ireland striker Tony Cascarino believes Jesse Lingard could become a player of the year contender if he continues in his rich vein.

Lingard joined West Ham United on a six-month loan from Manchester United in January. The Englishman managed to start at his new club with his impressive performances.

Jesse Lingard.

Lingard emerged from Man United’s youth academy after joining the club at the age of seven. He rose through the ranks before making his competitive debut for the team against Swansea City in the Premier League in 2014.

The England international has been in more than 200 games for the Red Devils and has contributed 33 goals and 20 assists during that span.

Jesse Lingard

However, this season Lingard had struggled to gain playing time at Old Trafford under Ole Gunnar Solskjaer. This prompted the England international to move to West Ham on loan until the end of the campaign.

Lingard has become a valuable asset to David Moyes’ team. The 28-year-old has managed six goals and four assists in 11 appearances for the Hammers in all competitions.

“I don’t know what he meant by that” – Jesse Lingard on the bust with Wolves star Pedro Neto

Cascarino on Lingard.

Cascarino spoke to talkSPORT and compared Lingard’s influence at West Ham to that of Bruno Fernandes when he arrived at Man United.

“If you go back to last season, Fernandes came to Manchester United in January,” Cascarino said.

“He played half a season, then there was the debate as to whether he should be a candidate for Player of the Season.

“A lot of fans, probably mostly United fans, felt it with the impact it had. It got me thinking, could you make the same point for Jesse at West Ham?

“But you can’t deny that he was incredibly exceptional. I would just say that as a candidate you could certainly make your case (for Lingard).

Find out more about: Jesse Lingard, Manchester United, ole gunnar solskjaer, tony cascarino, West Ham

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Coronavirus Corporate Liability Shield a ‘Non-Starter’ in New Stimulus Bill Discussions https://fastpaths.com/coronavirus-corporate-liability-shield-a-non-starter-in-new-stimulus-bill-discussions/ https://fastpaths.com/coronavirus-corporate-liability-shield-a-non-starter-in-new-stimulus-bill-discussions/#respond Wed, 07 Apr 2021 23:17:17 +0000 https://fastpaths.com/coronavirus-corporate-liability-shield-a-non-starter-in-new-stimulus-bill-discussions/ The American Courthouse, New Haven Washington – As the US Senate returned to work this week, an issue emerged as an obstacle in negotiations on a massive new coronavirus stimulus bill: whether businesses are to be protected from federal lawsuits whether their customers or workers contract COVID-19. As states reopen or plan to reopen their […]]]>

The American Courthouse, New Haven

Washington – As the US Senate returned to work this week, an issue emerged as an obstacle in negotiations on a massive new coronavirus stimulus bill: whether businesses are to be protected from federal lawsuits whether their customers or workers contract COVID-19.

As states reopen or plan to reopen their economies, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., With White House backing, insists employers be shielded from liability.

Still, Democrats, including Sen. Richard Blumenthal, D-Conn., Who has become a key critic of the plan, say they will oppose such protections. “An absolute shield against legal liability will be a non-starter,” said Blumenthal.

The battle sparked a lobbying frenzy, with large industrial groups and insurers on one side, unions and plaintiff lawyers on the other.

On the business and insurer side, Republicans are looking for ways to protect businesses and healthcare providers from coronavirus-related claims while making exceptions for gross negligence. They are also considering protections for manufacturers of protective equipment.

Several bills that would protect businesses from lawsuits circulated on Capitol Hill on Monday, with a proposal from Sen. John Cornyn, R-Texas, garnering the greatest force and attention.

Cornyn is trying to craft a bill that would protect businesses from coronavirus claims as long as they comply with government guidelines. Cornyn also suggested the possibility of establishing a federal fund that would pay the claims.

Senator Richard Blumenthal said that a general legal shield for business could result in “recklessness and even breaking the law”.

For Blumenthal, the question of responsibility “confuses and diverts the real and urgent task of overcoming this insidious disease and reopening the economy”.

He said business interests and their allies in Congress “are using the pandemic pretext” to pursue their goals of limiting prosecutions, which supporters say is necessary “tort reform.” This effort, Blumenthal said, “has been on the Republican agenda for a long time.”

“I see no reason at this point to extend the protections,” he said. “The absence of any liability encourages recklessness and even violation of the law.”

Blumenthal also said businesses had “nothing to fear” if they followed health safety guidelines wisely when they opened.

As national organizations representing the industry lobby on Capitol Hill, Connecticut businesses are also supporting the accountability shield.

Timothée Phelan, p.rA member of the Connecticut Retail Merchants Association and a member of the Reopen Connecticut Advisory Group works council, said the issue has been discussed among member companies in that group. The idea of ​​a state liability shield was brought up, “but we were told it was a matter of Congress,” he said.

Businesses say they need protection to avoid the exhausting costs of responding to “nuisance lawsuits” from people who insist they are to blame for new contagions without adequate proof.

Companies are also fighting workers ‘efforts to include COVID-19 infections as a work-related illness that would be covered by workers’ compensation policies.

Meanwhile, Democrats say making more money for state and local governments should be high on their agenda for the next stimulus bill.

More money for individuals, businesses

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., Said she will push for nearly $ 1 trillion over three years in the next relief plan to help states and local governments hit hard by the pandemic.

“We’re not going to be able to cover everything, but to the extent that we can keep states and localities sustainable, that’s our goal,” Pelosi said.

Blumenthal thinks aid to states and local governments should be even more generous, “in the order of $ 1 trillion over two years.”

States like Connecticut say they need more federal help as unexpected coronavirus spending and lost tax revenue drive budget deficits. Connecticut projected a deficit of nearly $ 1 billion in this year’s budget and even larger deficits over the next two years.

But Republicans in Congress oppose giving more money to state and local governments, saying the $ 150 billion they received in the latest massive stimulus bill should be enough. There is also resistance from the GOP to allow states more flexibility to use this money to help them try to rebalance their budgets.

McConnell suggested that the liability issue should be resolved before Congress grants additional financial relief to states.

But Blumenthal said resistance to giving states and local governments more stimulus money is likely to dissipate. “I think the drumbeat of the states, both ‘red’ and ‘blue’, will increase the pressure,” Blumenthal said.

Democrats are also pushing for more stimulus money for individuals, another federal unemployment benefit extension, increases to the food stamp program, and additional funding for the Paycheck Protection Program, a loan-grant program of the Small Business Administration.

The SBA said Monday that 29,559 Connecticut small businesses had been approved In the second round of PPP loans last week and these loans totaled over $ 2.5 billion.

That means nearly 48,000 Connecticut businesses have received PPP loans, which are designed to help businesses keep their employees on the payroll during the coronavirus pandemic.

PPP loans generally go to businesses with 500 or fewer employees. Their interest rate is 1% with a term of two years and the full amount is forgivable under certain circumstances.

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What documents do you need for a mortgage pre-approval? https://fastpaths.com/what-documents-do-you-need-for-a-mortgage-pre-approval/ https://fastpaths.com/what-documents-do-you-need-for-a-mortgage-pre-approval/#respond Wed, 07 Apr 2021 23:17:14 +0000 https://fastpaths.com/what-documents-do-you-need-for-a-mortgage-pre-approval/ Our goal is to give you the tools and the confidence you need to improve your finances. While we do receive compensation from our partner lenders, whom we will always identify, all opinions are ours. Credible Operations, Inc. NMLS # 1681276, is referred to herein as “Credible”. Before shopping for a home, it’s a good […]]]>

Our goal is to give you the tools and the confidence you need to improve your finances. While we do receive compensation from our partner lenders, whom we will always identify, all opinions are ours. Credible Operations, Inc. NMLS # 1681276, is referred to herein as “Credible”.

Before shopping for a home, it’s a good idea to get mortgage pre-approved. While not required, it will help you budget for the purchase of a home, strengthen your offer to purchase, and prepare for the official mortgage application later.

There is a stack of documents needed for mortgage pre-approval, which a lender will use to check your financial health.

Find out what documents are needed to start shopping for your dream home sooner:

  1. Identification
  2. Income verification
  3. Debt statement
  4. Proof of assets
  5. Other documents

1. Identification

Everyone on the home loan will need to show government issued ID. Acceptable forms of identification may include:

  • Driving license
  • Social security card or individual tax identification number (ITIN)
  • Passport
  • Identity card issued by the state or the federal government

2. Income verification

For employees

If you work for an employer, it should be relatively easy to get these pre-approval documents:

  • W-2 forms from the last two years
  • Pay stubs for the last 30 days
  • Last two bank statements
  • Personal tax declarations for the last two years
  • Your most recent year-end pay stub if your earnings include overtime or bonuses

For the self-employed and independent contractors

Self-employed borrowers do not receive W-2 forms or pay stubs from an employer, so they will need to produce the following pre-approval documents to show that they have earned a stable income for at least the past two years:

  • Tax returns for businesses and individuals for the past two years
  • A copy of current state or business licenses, if applicable
  • IRS Form 4506-T, which allows lenders to access your tax records
  • An income statement
  • A review
  • Asset account statements, such as retirement or investment accounts
  • Any additional income, such as Social Security or disability

For owners and investors

If you rent an investment property, rent payments from your tenants may count towards your income. This can help you qualify for the new mortgage.

For documentation, you will need to provide a current lease showing the amount of the rent.

Credible’s pre-approval process is faster than most – it only takes a few minutes – and can help you easily compare pre-qualified rates online from all of our partner lenders.

Credible makes getting a mortgage easier

  • Instant simplified pre-approval: It only takes 3 minutes to see if you qualify for an instant streamlined pre-approval letter, without affecting your credit.
  • We keep your data private: Compare rates from multiple lenders without your data being sold or spammed.
  • A modern approach to mortgage loans: Supplement your mortgage online with banking integrations and automatic updates. Only speak to a loan officer if you want to.

Find rates now

Check out: How long does it take to get pre-approved for a mortgage?

3. Debt statement

Your DTI ratio helps the lender determine if you will qualify for the mortgage and how much you can afford.

A lower DTI ratio is desirable, but the requirements vary depending on each type of loan. Here’s what mortgage lenders typically want to see:

Type of loan Frontal DTI DTI back-end
FHA 31% to 33% 43% to 45%
USDA 29% 41%
Virginia N / A 41%
(but lenders are free to go higher)
Conventional 36% 45%

Look for your most recent statements if you have any unpaid debts, which may include:

  • Auto loans
  • Student loans
  • Other types of installment loans
  • Tax privileges
  • Credit card statements

Learn more: 10 Ways to Pay Off Your Debt Quickly

4. Proof of assets

Lenders will want to consider the following assets when you apply for your pre-approval:

  • Bank statements: Two months of bank statements for each account whose assets you will use for the loan
  • Retirement and brokerage accounts: Two most recent retirement and investment account statements, such as IRAs, 401 (k), and CDs

5. Other documents

Here are some examples of other documents a lender might request:

  • Rental history: If you’ve rented out your home, you’ll need to show rent payments for the past 12 months – usually in the form of voided checks – along with your landlord’s contact information.
  • Divorce decision or court decision: If alimony and child support payments make up a large portion of your income, you will need to show a copy of your divorce decree and / or relevant court orders.
  • Bankruptcy and foreclosure: After certain negative credit events, you may need to meet a waiting period before you can take out a new mortgage. If you’ve filed for bankruptcy or foreclosure in the past few years, ask your lender about the waiting period and the documents you need for a mortgage pre-approval.
  • Deposit Gift Letters: In some cases, borrowers can use the gift funds for down payment or cash reserves. The person giving you the money will likely need to provide bank statements showing where the money came from. Then they will have to sign a letter stating that the money is not a loan. Depending on the lender, this may not be required for pre-approval, but it will be part of the documents needed for a mortgage loan.

Credible makes it easy to get a pre-approval letter from our partner lenders, and it only takes a few minutes.

Traditional lenders Credible
How long does it take? 1 to 3 days 3 minutes
Credit check Difficult credit draw
(negative impact on your credit)
Soft credit draw
(no impact on your credit)
Online process Usually minimal; instead handled via an in-person visit to a branch or a phone call with a licensed loan officer 100% online
Compare multiple lenders? No, visit multiple lenders to receive multiple pre-approval letters Yes, pre-approved by several lenders at the same time
Several pre-approval letters to make additional real estate offers? No, you must submit another request to the lender for a new pre-approval letter Yes, instantly generate additional letters with a personalized loan amount

Ready to be pre-approved through Credible?
Generate a pre-approval letter instantly

Start now

Learn more:

About the Author

Kim porter

Kim Porter is an expert in credit, mortgages, student loans and debt management. She has been featured in US News & World Report, Reviewed.com, Bankrate, Credit Karma, and more.

Read more

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Bad weather closes freeways in Pennsylvania and New Jersey https://fastpaths.com/bad-weather-closes-freeways-in-pennsylvania-and-new-jersey/ https://fastpaths.com/bad-weather-closes-freeways-in-pennsylvania-and-new-jersey/#respond Wed, 07 Apr 2021 23:17:12 +0000 https://fastpaths.com/bad-weather-closes-freeways-in-pennsylvania-and-new-jersey/ A major winter storm continues to spread heavy snow and large accumulations of ice to the southern plains and the Ohio Valley to the northeast, prompting the National Weather Service to issue warnings and advisories on winter weather conditions that impact 150 million Americans. The weather service is warning that additional winter conditions are expected […]]]>

A major winter storm continues to spread heavy snow and large accumulations of ice to the southern plains and the Ohio Valley to the northeast, prompting the National Weather Service to issue warnings and advisories on winter weather conditions that impact 150 million Americans.

The weather service is warning that additional winter conditions are expected in the Pacific Northwest on Monday, extending south and east through Tuesday. Frigid arctic air and dangerously cold wind chills are expected to linger in the Heartland for much of the week.

Beginning at 6 p.m. on Monday, February 15, the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation and the Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission will be implementing Level 1 restrictions on trucks and other vehicles. The inclement weather restrictions affect the following roads:

  • Interstate 70 from the West Virginia border to the PA Turnpike.
  • Interstate 76 (PA Turnpike mainline) in both directions from the Breezewood Interchange (Exit 161) to the Ohio border.
  • I-79 (full length).
  • Interstate 80 from Interstate 99 to the Ohio border.
  • I-86 (full length).
  • I-90 (full length).
  • I-279 (full length).
  • I-376 (full length).
  • I-579 (full length).

The following vehicles are not permitted on the above roads until further notice:

  • Tractors without trailers.
  • Tractors pulling unloaded or lightly loaded closed trailers, open trailers or tank trailers.
  • Closed freight delivery trucks that meet the definition of a CMV.
  • Tractors towing unloaded or lightly loaded tandem trailers.
  • Passenger vehicles (cars, SUVs, vans, etc.) towing trailers.
  • Recreational vehicles / motorhomes.
  • School buses, commercial buses and coaches not wearing chains or alternative traction devices (ATD).
  • Motorcycles.

For up-to-date travel information, visit 511PA.com.

In New Jersey, the state Department of Transportation announced inclement weather travel restrictions that went into effect at 8 a.m. Monday morning.

Traffic restrictions for commercial vehicles are in place along the entire length of the following highways:

  • I-78, from the Pennsylvania border to I-95 (New Jersey Turnpike).
  • I-80, from the Pennsylvania border to I-95 (New Jersey Turnpike).
  • I-280, from I-80 to I-95 (New Jersey Turnpike).
  • I-287, from NJ Route 440 to the New York State border.
  • NJ Route 440, from Outerbridge Crossing to I-287.

Vehicles affected by the inclement travel restrictions include all semi-trailers, empty CDL weighted trucks, passenger vehicles pulling trailers, recreational vehicles and motorcycles. The following roads and motorists are not affected by the travel restrictions:

  • The New Jersey toll highway.
  • The State Garden Walk.
  • Atlantic City Freeway.
  • I-76.
  • I-195.
  • I-295.
  • I-676.
  • Public security vehicles, sworn and civilian public security personnel; as well as other staff directly supporting health facilities or critical infrastructure such as the provision of fuel or food.

More information can be found at 511NJ.org.

Extremely freezing temperatures have broken daily records in many parts of the country. Ice and snow fell as far south as Galveston, Texas, with the beach covered in snow Monday morning after temperatures hit 21 degrees at 8:30 a.m.

On February 12, Governor Greg Abbott issued a declaration of disaster affecting all 254 counties in Texas. The statement was a direct response to the severe weather that affected the state. Texas approved a federal declaration of emergency on Sunday.

While no restrictions are in place, the Texas Department of Transportation urges motorists to stay off the road. In the El Paso area, Transmountain is closed at least until Tuesday. The TxDOT teams are focusing their attention on Interstate 10, parts of Loop 375, and US 54.

Similar conditions and warnings from state departments of transportation are occurring in other parts of the country, including Arizona, Louisiana and Missouri. State transportation services encourage drivers to check conditions before traveling. LL

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186 loans for falsified gold; ED attaches 5 properties https://fastpaths.com/186-loans-for-falsified-gold-ed-attaches-5-properties/ https://fastpaths.com/186-loans-for-falsified-gold-ed-attaches-5-properties/#respond Wed, 07 Apr 2021 23:17:08 +0000 https://fastpaths.com/186-loans-for-falsified-gold-ed-attaches-5-properties/ New Delhi, March 24: The Directorate of Execution (ED) has attached five Bengaluru-based real estate assets valued at Rs 4.83 crore to SK Subramanya Reddy, chairman of the Shri Gokulam Educational Trust, and others as part of a bank fraud case under investigation since 2019.The ED opened an investigation on the basis of the First […]]]>

New Delhi, March 24: The Directorate of Execution (ED) has attached five Bengaluru-based real estate assets valued at Rs 4.83 crore to SK Subramanya Reddy, chairman of the Shri Gokulam Educational Trust, and others as part of a bank fraud case under investigation since 2019.
The ED opened an investigation on the basis of the First Information Report (FIR) filed by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) against TL Praveen Kumar, then branch manager of the Bank of Baroda, Kengeri branch in 2019 .
Kumar, in collusion with Reddy and others, had sanctioned 186 gold loans against the pledge of false gold ornaments to 57 borrowers for an amount of Rs 12 crore. All borrowers were associated with Reddy and the loans were sanctioned between December 2017 and July 2018.
ED’s money laundering investigation revealed that Reddy had used the loan money to settle his outstanding loans or overdraft facilities at Syndicate Bank.
So, the ED said, Reddy got his mortgaged properties released, then bought another property and paid EMI on other mortgaged properties, projecting those properties as untainted.
As a result, assets identified to the tune of Rs 4.83 crore in the form of real estate have been provisionally seized under the PMLA. The loans benefited 57 borrowers and caused a loss of Rs 10.68 crore to the bank.
The CBI FIR was based on a complaint filed by Lalit Tyagi, deputy managing director of Bank of Baroda.
In sanctioning the loans, the CBI FIR said Kumar “exceeded and violated his discretionary lending authority of Rs 10 lakh on 44 accounts”.
Kumar is also accused of forging the signatures of the bank’s chartered appraiser and joint custodian on the loan documents. Signatures are essential to sanction loans. He “abused his official position and sanctioned 186 gold loans for false gold ornaments with bad faith intent” and caused the bank to lose Rs 10.68 crore for personal gain, added the FIR.
The defendants were convicted of criminal conspiracy, criminal breach of trust by an official, cheating and forgery under various articles of the IPC and the Corruption Prevention Act.(IANS)

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Even Silicon Valley startups are struggling during the pandemic https://fastpaths.com/even-silicon-valley-startups-are-struggling-during-the-pandemic/ https://fastpaths.com/even-silicon-valley-startups-are-struggling-during-the-pandemic/#respond Wed, 07 Apr 2021 23:17:05 +0000 https://fastpaths.com/even-silicon-valley-startups-are-struggling-during-the-pandemic/ Obviously, Sri Ramaswamy was doing everything right. She founded an AI company in Silicon Valley when she had one of the hottest economies in the world to help insurance companies with fraud detection and litigation. In early March, she had three clients and was about to raise her first outside funding, $ 1 million from […]]]>

Obviously, Sri Ramaswamy was doing everything right. She founded an AI company in Silicon Valley when she had one of the hottest economies in the world to help insurance companies with fraud detection and litigation. In early March, she had three clients and was about to raise her first outside funding, $ 1 million from angel investors.

But when the pandemic struck, investors pulled out and two of its clients went bankrupt. She asked for $ 40,000 in PPP funds for Infinilytics, her San Jose company, and got half of it, she said. Now the money is exhausted.

“I live on my personal IRA retirement account,” Ramaswamy said. “I don’t have much time. In fact, I had to sell my second car to pay the rent last month.

Despite $ 659 billion in federal assistance to small businesses, the loans may have simply delayed a closing apocalypse, as businesses hit by lockdowns attempt to navigate the worst economy since the Great Depression.

Four months after the coronavirus lockdown in the Bay Area, business owners say they have used up their federal paycheck protection program loans. And many are still closed now that California has reimposed restrictions as the number of cases rises. Unemployment remains at historic levels and for those who have managed to indulge in outdoor activities, winter is approaching.

Next month is critical for Ramaswamy. She needs to sign new clients, which would allow her to attract new investors. If she doesn’t, she may have to lay off her remaining seven U.S. employees and only keep her India-based tech workers until she can find more business.

“Silicon Valley is a mirage. People think there is a lot of money, but there are only certain people, certain companies, who have access to that money, ”said Ramaswamy, a woman of color with no Ivy League credentials in a male dominated industry often driven by personal connections. “People said to me, ‘Why don’t you have a white man as your CEO? “”

Ramaswamy’s financial problems are not unique. Small Business Majority, a national advocacy group based in the Bay Area, found that among those able to get a loan, nearly one in four received less than what they had applied.

Bianca Blomquist, group outreach manager in Northern California, said many of the smaller businesses, which typically don’t have access to legal experts or accountants, were more likely not to receive a loan and to be underfunded if they did. The problem was particularly serious for black business owners. According to the group’s survey, 76% of white business owners who applied received a P3 loan, compared to 49% of black business owners. Black entrepreneurs were also more likely say they would lay off staff when their loans ran out, and 68% said they had difficulty making commercial mortgage or rent payments, compared with 48% of white respondents.

If these businesses close, it could have devastating implications for their communities, especially communities of color already hit hard by unemployment.

“Everyone is affected by the closure of a small business, not just the workers they employ, the family of the workers, the neighborhood,” Blomquist said. “We have a long way to go. “

Community is everything to Maria Gastelumendi, a Peruvian immigrant who has run the Rising Loafer Cafe in Lafayette with her Jordanian husband for almost 18 years. She buys ingredients for her fresh nine-grain wheat, country oats and garlic basil breads from local suppliers. Signs on its walls and windows encourage shopping and local consumption. And it does banking locally, with the Patelco credit union, which is headquartered in Dublin.

“It’s more the way I see life and that’s what drove me to do what I do,” she said. “I come from the Andes, where the communities are small like that of Lafayette where I live now. “

During closings, she was limited to outdoor seating for breakfast and lunch, as well as a take-out dinner for two – platters of Peruvian chicken, Mediterranean chicken, and lasagna that customers order. in the morning and pick up in the afternoon. Her owner gave her a break from the start, she said, charging her around $ 600 for insurance, property taxes and maintenance of the common areas of the mall where her cafe is located – which is down from her usual rent of about $ 3,000.

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