Lending – PSP Book http://pspbook.com/ Fri, 28 May 2021 08:14:39 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=5.7.2 https://pspbook.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/05/default1-150x150.png Lending – PSP Book http://pspbook.com/ 32 32 Houston’s Top Real-Estate Pros Reflect on the Dynamic 2021 Market – OutSmart Magazine https://pspbook.com/houstons-top-real-estate-pros-reflect-on-the-dynamic-2021-market-outsmart-magazine/ https://pspbook.com/houstons-top-real-estate-pros-reflect-on-the-dynamic-2021-market-outsmart-magazine/#respond Thu, 06 May 2021 04:27:13 +0000 https://pspbook.com/?p=437 Of all the businesses that were hit hard by the pandemic over the last year (and again by the deep freeze earlier this year), the real-estate industry has perhaps seen the strongest rebound and actual strides forward in 2021. Houston’s real-estate market has shown incredible stability throughout the coronavirus pandemic. According to the Houston Association […]]]>

Of all the businesses that were hit hard by the pandemic over the last year (and again by the deep freeze earlier this year), the real-estate industry has perhaps seen the strongest rebound and actual strides forward in 2021. Houston’s real-estate market has shown incredible stability throughout the coronavirus pandemic.

According to the Houston Association of Realtors’ February-to-February market report,
sales of single-family homes increased 1.2 percent even as the pool of available homes shrank. February 2021 marked the ninth straight month of sales increases, and while all price ranges showed a major uptick, it was the sale of luxury homes that skyrocketed.

So what’s fueling this real-estate boom, and what can we expect in the coming months? We asked some of the area’s top Realtors and brokers to share their insights.

Becky Wheeler


I believe historically low interest rates are a factor [in the booming market, despite] the limited housing supply.

The pandemic was definitely challenging, [but I saw] an increase in my business because people decided they wanted to relocate due to the pandemic. My brightest high point over the past year has been helping my clients turn their dreams into reality!

Technology has made things easy for me to market my listings online and target areas to search for homes for my clients. Plus, I sold a home during COVID via a FaceTime virtual showing to clients who were moving here from out of state.

The hottest-selling homes right now are those with a great patio or outdoor space. Also, home-office space is in demand. I predict a robust market for 2021. —Becky Wheeler

Brooks Ballard


Sales are up in different markets and price points, and a lot of it is attributed to people seeing the stability in owning a home. Also, the low interest rates allow for the purchase of a larger home with a home office or more green space.

I’m truly, truly enthusiastic about empowering our clients and advisors with the opportunities that we bring to purchase real estate in Houston, or anywhere in U.S. and globally.

Based on all of the information I know after 25-plus years in the industry, real estate will be the fastest-growing industry. Residential and commercial sales are at record levels because, in part, there is so much available capital in the market and low interest rates. —Brooks Ballard

Cody Grizzoffi 


Over the past year, more people have been working from home, so they are realizing that they want something newer, bigger, and updated, since they have spent more time in their home than they normally would.

For me personally, the challenge was home-schooling with my kids and having my partner working from home, too. I have worked from home myself for years, and am used to it. However, I was not used to having multiple people at home with me. But everything has worked out just fine as we all learned to adapt.

Rates are on the rise, and expected to go up more by the end of the year. But even if they do, they are still lower than they have been in the 18-plus years I have been in the mortgage industry. More people are realizing the cost of rent continues to go up, and they could get into a home of their own to start building their own equity in real estate. I have also had more repeat clients start investing in the real-estate market this past year. —Cody Grizzoffi 

Dan Ritchel


With this being such a seller’s market, one of my worst challenges is seeing some of my buyers lose out on the property of their dreams because of a bidding war. It’s hard to let them know that even though they offered more than list price on the home, they lost out on the deal to someone willing to pay even more. But on a positive note, I am pleased that several of my buyers were able to afford more house for their money, given the rates, and more of my sellers were able to sell their homes at top dollar.

I have found that the broader Montrose area has been a hot spot of activity in the past year, primarily driven by its diversity and uniqueness, its walkability to local restaurants, bars, art studios, and cultural spots, and its close proximity to downtown Houston, the Texas Medical Center, and the Energy Corridor.   

Over the past year, I had five close family members, including my husband of 30 years, contract COVID-19, resulting in extended stays in the ICU. I am thankful my husband survived, as well as two other family members, and I am blessed and comforted with the memories of the two we lost. I am thankful for all the efforts of the healthcare providers, and my many friends and clients who have supported us through these difficult times. —Dan Ritchel

David Batagower


Last year forced us to spend more time in our homes during the lockdowns. For many, this resulted in wanting more space, amenities, or functionality out of our homes. Also, record-low interest rates increased the purchasing power for many home buyers, and a surge of buyers relocating to Houston from both the east and west coasts. Where $1 million is “entry level” in some of those markets, it gets you into the luxury market in many parts of Houston. Who wouldn’t want to spend $2 million rather than $5 million for a new luxury home—and avoid state income taxes! 

The inner loop is hot! The Heights and surrounding pockets continue to see very few days on the market, and multiple offers for homes that are priced right. 

I see a strong sellers’ market in many areas of Houston that will continue throughout 2021. Despite increases in interest rates, I expect buyer demand to remain steady as we still have a large number of people upgrading or looking to get into their first home. With several pockets around the inner loop experiencing rapid revitalization, it’s also a great time to consider getting into some form of real-estate investing—even something as simple as buying and holding land. 

I had the opportunity to help over 50 clients in 2020, from multi-million-dollar buyers to first-time buyers or sellers, and everything in between. It’s truly been fulfilling to be a part of everyone’s journey. There are so many moving parts during the sale or purchase of a home. There is nothing more rewarding than getting that thank-you at the closing table, with everyone taking a deep breath and just soaking it all in—before the move starts! —David Batagower

David Bowers


It is interesting that home sales seem to have nothing to do with COVID, but perhaps they had everything to do with COVID. People may have decided to go for their ideal home (or a home they could make ideal), because where they live matters. Your home is important, and if you thought you wanted to live someplace, then you were going to do it now because COVID has made sure you got your priorities right. And with interest rates so low, you almost couldn’t afford not to go for the dream property.

In Galveston, lots of people bought cottages and Victorians to use as vacation rentals. People wanted someplace close they could go to without being on a plane. They could not get on a cruise ship, but if they wanted to be on an island, here we are in Galveston.

The hottest places for sale are renovated properties that are ready to go and priced right. There are a lot of overpriced houses sitting out there, and they could have sold if they were priced right. Cottages and Victorians are the hot ticket in my part of Galveston. We have houses that did not flood in Ike or Harvey, and did not lose power in the February freeze (but not all houses, though).

With the Biden rollout of the vaccine, I predict 2021 is going to become an amazing year for all businesses. We need more appraisers! —David Bowers

Debbie Levine


People realize, now more than ever, that their home is their most prized possession. Low interest rates are also very appealing for buyers wanting to make a change.

The current inventory is extremely tight, and buyers are often having to compete in multiple-offer situations. There is nothing more satisfying than to win a multiple-offer situation and see a client obtain the house of their dreams.

Technology has made the real-estate process much easier, as consumers can see a home virtually and make an offer without ever having to step foot inside. I have sold homes over the past year sight-unseen.

Consumers still love a walkable neighborhood, which includes many inner-loop areas such as Montrose, Upper Kirby, EaDo, and the Heights.

I predict that the real-estate market will stay strong and competitive throughout the year as we deal with low inventory and historically low interest rates.

I was in a panic over the real-estate market when the pandemic began, but I soon came to realize how much people love and appreciate their homes. Whether making improvements to an existing home, upsizing, or downsizing, it is quite clear that owning a home remains the American dream. —Debbie Levine

Doug Smith


The biggest challenge we’ve encountered has been our general inability to meet with and borrow from the bankers who issue rural land loans. We couldn’t meet with them in person due to the virus, and we’ve had a hard time borrowing from them because they’ve been busy with pandemic-related PPP loans for businesses. Another issue we had early on pertained to collecting mortgage payments from our borrowers. Many of them were able to pay, but they had heard or read that they didn’t need to pay their mortgage during the pandemic. Fortunately, we were able to work through those issues and get them back on track. On the bright side, rural land has been unbelievably hot over this past year. I’d say that demand for it has been right up there with toilet paper and bicycles. It seems as if everyone wants a little slice of the country these days, and we’re happy to provide that to them.

At Hawthorne Capital, we’re in the business of buying rural land and selling it on owner financing. The entire niche of rural land is hotter than ever right now, but we’re seeing more demand for properties that are about 60 minutes from downtown Houston, as opposed to 90. Many people prefer to live or play in the country, but they don’t want to lose easy access to all that the big city provides. As for the Houston housing market, home sales are hot across the board, but that’s especially true for homes priced at $250,000 or less. There’s a limited supply of those properties, and the demand is high because that price point is within most people’s budget. The high-end market is also doing surprisingly well, in spite of not only the pandemic but also the prolonged downturn in the oil and gas industry. Recent data shows that most high-income earners have not been severely affected by the pandemic, as they’ve been much more able to retain their jobs and transition to remote work. It’s clear that many of them are taking advantage of this good fortune by entering the housing market. Like the buyers at lower price points, they’re also faced with limited supply and thus higher prices.

My company has been fortunate enough to be in real estate, and specifically the rural land business, during the pandemic. As a result, we were able to set several company records. Over the last twelve months, we sold 69 ranchettes comprising 830 acres for a total of $10.7 million. That’s nearly double the $5.9 million in sales from the preceding 12-month period. Even more importantly, we were able to generate $765,000 in returns for our investors, many of whom are LGBTQ+ Houstonians. It’s inevitable that some of those funds will find their way into the coffers of the many organizations that do so much good for our community. —Doug Smith

Janet Friedman


A combination of reasons contribute to the [rise of] luxury home markets. One main reason is that interest rates are low, allowing for more borrowing power. Buyers are looking for larger homes that have more room, since they are working from home. Buyers want more physical room to spend more time at home with their family. There is a pent-up demand, as many people were waiting to see what happens with COVID. Those who were waiting to make a move are now very ready.

Moving all [office] operations to our homes was initially a challenge. The best outcome was learning how well we work [virtually] together. Our pandemic plan worked well, but we now realize that our technology and hardware needs were not as developed. The [pandemic’s long duration] was not anticipated. We planned for a hurricane or a flood with no electricity, but we did not foresee the longevity of this pandemic. We have learned that we are quite effective at working together with remote home offices. The best outcome is that we have not only survived but thrived, and our relationships are better than ever. I see the rest of the year being steady and consistent, and improving in all ways.

I have really, really enjoyed working from home, and spending more time with family and pets. I became much more productive, and learned how to be resourceful. [I also saved money], as I didn’t go out to restaurants or theaters, and movies, and I didn’t travel. I also learned that I need more hobbies before I retire! —Janet Friedman 

Jeremy Fain


The inventory is down across the board—about 45 percent from this time last year. That, coupled with the extremely low interest rates, has created a feeding frenzy of sorts. [I see] multiple-offer scenarios much more frequently.

This past year was the complete opposite of what I thought it was going to be. I thought the whole industry was going to shut down, and it ended up being my best year ever in the business. The challenge was keeping up with the demands of handling so many listings and buyers—69 closings last year, to be exact. Technology has impacted my business in a very positive way. Knowing how to utilize social media has been priceless. It’s something that you can use greatly to your advantage at literally no cost. I think it’s extremely underutilized.

The Heights is hot—you can’t keep something on the market for more than a day! The high end in River Oaks has been very active, as well. It has been really neat to watch. West University, Southampton, and the Museum District are quite active, as per usual.

As for the coming year, I think it’s going to be survival of the fittest. I think that both the inventory and the interest rates are going to remain quite low. The good listings are going to go quickly, and the aggressive buyers are going to win the bids. This is typical Houston real estate—resilient as ever! —Jeremy Fain

Karen Derr


My sales are great, mostly thanks to relocating buyers from California. Also, the continued low interest rates mean that loans are enticing, and real estate as an investment is looking good.

We have always utilized technology when it makes sense, and also kept a personal touch when it’s best for our clients. We are now selling homes without the buyers having to make an in-person visit—something I would have discouraged in the past. But now we’ve learned how to make the “virtual visit” experience real and accurate with technology. Going up against multiple offers with other buyers is challenging, but it feels so good when I gather the intel and write the winning offer for my buyers.

Country acreage is hot right now. City buyers are snapping it up for the future. As in past times, a place in the country resonates with buyers during these uncertain times. 

Seeing my team members reach and surpass personal business goals is always high on my list as a broker. I also was diagnosed with (and recovered from) breast cancer in 2020. I got a cute new hairdo and lost 20 pounds out of the deal, so I’m feeling better than ever.

My husband, Bob, and I would also like to express our sadness at the recent loss of our friend and fellow Realtor Terri Coffman. She was a great professional and a friend to the community. We will miss her. —Karen Derr

Thomas Phillips


The low mortgage rates are one of the reasons the luxury market has increased. The buyers of these properties are finding their money now has more purchasing power, and they can get more for their money, especially compared to markets in California. I’ve seen very high demand in the suburbs, and vacation properties on the beach and lake. The suburbs are popular because everyone is working from home, and homeowners now realize they need more space. Vacation property is also in high demand since most people are not traveling as they used to.

One of my high points for 2020 was being able to take the time to make care calls to my current and past clients. I did this to let them know I was here for them if they needed a grocery run or anything during the lockdown. This helped me reinforce that they are not just a transaction to me, but friends that I really care about.

2021 will be another record year. The interest rates will tick up, but not enough to impact the demand. Also, oil prices should start to make a comeback, and that is always good for Houston as a whole. —Thomas Phillips

Tom Eickleberry


Highly skilled professionals are choosing to call Houston home. The other attribute is the investors who are choosing Houston as the market to buy in. Home prices and rental rates equate to a desirable return on investment for investors in residential and commercial properties.

Technology has allowed the sale of real property to continue with little to no slowdown. Zoom meetings and virtual closings, as well as notaries and wire transfers, have allowed us to continue with business as usual. Virtual tours of homes have become somewhat the norm.

Conroe, and north of Conroe, is selling like wildfire. Texas City is seeing surges in sales, too. All of the Greater Houston area is doing very well, but to see sales growing north of Conroe and south of Clear Lake is a great sign of Houston’s expansion and growth.

I think 2021 will continue as it has been for the last several years. Interest rates at historic lows will keep consumers borrowing. Even if rates went up one or two percent, the market will still continue to grow. Population growth in Texas will keep the housing market humming along. —Tom Eickleberry

Tom Schwenk


In the last month of 2020, we saw a number of million-dollar-plus homes sell in Galveston, and throughout the year sales at all price levels were strong. At Tom’s Galveston Real Estate (TGRE) our 2020 revenue was up over 20 percent from 2019. Analyzing the statistics also shows that Galveston house prices are increasing. From an economic standpoint, there are many contributing factors, including folks valuing the stability of real estate in uncertain times. Galveston has always been a destination town, and from a real-estate perspective we offer houses unlike any others. Our East End Victorians rival San Francisco and Charleston, our Gulf Coast beach cottages are chic and open to nature, and we have downtown lofts and condos where you can walk to art galleries, boutiques, restaurants, and more. Then you have incredible waterfront properties near our beaches and bayous, with amenities that give owners a resort-style lifestyle. During the pandemic, people have been attracted to Galveston because of our beautiful environment and outdoor lifestyle. We have 32 miles of beach, and plenty of bayous where people can easily socially distance while enjoying the beauty and tranquility of nature.

Most of Galveston Island has had strong sales, as people choose different neighborhoods for different reasons. Beach and waterfront property is always popular, but I think more people are starting to appreciate the East End and downtown Galveston due to its walkability and proximity to the beach.

Business has been great, so TGRE can offer a referral service for agents from out of town that provides local expertise. I support more than 50 local nonprofits, and it has been incredible to see the resilience in these organizations and how they’ve helped the community through a tough year. I’m proud of my team at TGRE. We’ve always gone the extra mile for our customers, and in 2020 we rose to all the challenges and helped even more people buy, sell, and lease Galveston. I love my island home, and it’s always a real high point to help people move here. As I always say, those of us lucky enough to live by the sea are lucky enough. —Tom Schwenk

This article appears in the April 2021 edition of OutSmart magazine.

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The concentration of multi-family loans is not a weakness, according to this bank https://pspbook.com/the-concentration-of-multi-family-loans-is-not-a-weakness-according-to-this-bank/ https://pspbook.com/the-concentration-of-multi-family-loans-is-not-a-weakness-according-to-this-bank/#respond Wed, 07 Apr 2021 23:16:16 +0000 https://pspbook.com/the-concentration-of-multi-family-loans-is-not-a-weakness-according-to-this-bank/ Malaga Financial in Palos Verdes Estates, Calif. Is comfortable going against the grain. At a time when many community banks are determined to diversify their loan portfolios to avoid mergers, Malaga’s $ 1.2 billion assets stick to a business model heavily focused on multi-family lending. These loans, which are largely for low- and middle-income properties, […]]]>

Malaga Financial in Palos Verdes Estates, Calif. Is comfortable going against the grain.

At a time when many community banks are determined to diversify their loan portfolios to avoid mergers, Malaga’s $ 1.2 billion assets stick to a business model heavily focused on multi-family lending. These loans, which are largely for low- and middle-income properties, made up almost 85% of Malaga’s $ 1 billion portfolio as of June 30.

While Randy Bowers, president, president and CEO of Malaga, has said he is open to other categories of loans, including mortgage banks, he has yet to find anything that he is passionate about.

He thinks of new lines of business “periodically,” Bowers said. “We haven’t seen anything attractive enough.”

Highly concentrated business models like the one in Malaga have become atypical in the banking sector.

In recent years, regulators have sought to limit the exposure to commercial real estate, including multi-family loans, although they have been willing to make concessions for lenders who demonstrate a strong track record. In December, they lifted a key concentration limit for New York Community Bancorp in Westbury which had limited the $ 53 billion multi-family loan portfolio and CRE to 850% of total risk-based capital.

Malaga, which regularly responds to questions from its regulators, “was able to make them understand our model and appreciate what we do,” said Bowers. “They don’t give us passes, anyway, but we’ve worked well with them.”

A big challenge for Malaga is low cost financing at a time when banks are placing more emphasis on liquidity.

The company’s total loans grew 18% over the four-year period that ended June 30, outpacing deposit growth by 2% during that time, according to data from the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. . As a result, Malaga’s loan-to-deposit ratio fell from 117% to 135%.

The company is making the difference with wholesale financing.

“The third quarter continued to be difficult” for deposit collection, Bowers said. “Competition for deposits has intensified as rates on loan receivables have continued to decline.”

Multi-family lenders face barriers linking deposits to their loans, said Bryan Shaffer, senior director and general manager of George Smith Partners, a real estate capital advisory firm in Los Angeles.

Because the rents for the buildings in the Malaga portfolio are paid mainly by check or money order, “owners feel more comfortable most of the time that their property managers deposit them in a bank where they can walk”, he said. -he declares. More often than not, this leaves Malaga, with a small network of agencies, out of the picture.

Even when lenders can attract the deposit account, they aren’t particularly lucrative because homeowners also use them to pay investors and operating expenses, Shaffer said.

Bowers’ commitment to multi-family projects also comes at a time when the industry faces challenges from a new state law limiting annual rent increases to 5%, plus the local inflation rate. California voters rejected an even stricter rent control measure last fall.

The law has created uncertainty over investor appetite for multi-family development, said Tom Bannon, CEO of the California Apartments Association.

“There is now a cloud as to whether people are going to invest in rental housing,” Bannon said. “The only way to remove this cloud is if California, the state legislature and city councils make new housing a priority. And currently, this is not the case.

Bowers, for his part, said Malaga was equipped to handle statewide rent control, noting that severe restrictions were already in place in several jurisdictions in the Los Angeles area. He said rent control could benefit lenders by controlling overall rents.

Shaffer agreed, noting that higher rents in new buildings, which are not covered by either state or local rent control laws, push people to older, rent-controlled buildings where costs are inferior. As a result, their occupancy rates are between 95% and 100%.

New York Community expressed similar confidence in July, after New York City enacted a rent control law with similar restrictions. In a recent presentation to investors, the company called its $ 30 billion multi-family asset portfolio “well protected from recent changes to rent regulation laws.”

An advantage for Malaga was the quality of the credit.

The company had a loan – totaling $ 321,000 – that was 90 days or more past due as of September 30.

Bowers attributes this to Malaga’s ability to “pick” the best deals. The results have been substantial. the asset until September 30 is 1.30%

Bower’s biggest concern is increased competition for these deals, fueled by a decision by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac to increase purchases of multi-family loans. The number of lenders competing for multi-family transactions in the Malaga market has grown from a dozen a few years ago to around 40 today, he said.

“A lot [of lenders] saw that it’s a good asset class and jumped in, ”he said.

It’s not just the increase in the number of competitors, Shaffer said. Malaga could also be affected if one of the market’s heavyweights, like JPMorgan Chase, decides he wants a slice of the smaller loans that make up Malaga’s bread and butter.

Despite this, Malaga does not plan to adjust its strategy or enter new markets.

“We’re not going to allow the competition to influence us,” Bowers said. “And I don’t see how you can get acquainted with [other markets] from a base in California. “

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Tornos News | Greek PM: 330 million euros in support funds for bars, cafes and restaurants https://pspbook.com/tornos-news-greek-pm-330-million-euros-in-support-funds-for-bars-cafes-and-restaurants/ https://pspbook.com/tornos-news-greek-pm-330-million-euros-in-support-funds-for-bars-cafes-and-restaurants/#respond Wed, 07 Apr 2021 23:16:05 +0000 https://pspbook.com/tornos-news-greek-pm-330-million-euros-in-support-funds-for-bars-cafes-and-restaurants/ The food sector will be boosted with a working capital of 330 million euros to buy raw materials when it reopens, Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis said after a meeting held Thursday at Maximos Mansion, reports the ANA. The cafes, bars and restaurants will be funded under the EU’s 2021-2027 National Strategic Reference Framework (NSRF), pending […]]]>

The food sector will be boosted with a working capital of 330 million euros to buy raw materials when it reopens, Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis said after a meeting held Thursday at Maximos Mansion, reports the ANA.

The cafes, bars and restaurants will be funded under the EU’s 2021-2027 National Strategic Reference Framework (NSRF), pending approval from the European Commission, and will help these companies purchase supplies over the two or the first three months after reopening, he said.

Thousands of companies – including, for the first time, franchisees – will each receive a non-refundable capital increase of up to 100,000 euros. “The sector has already received nearly € 1 billion in funding,” Mitsotakis said, while at least 65,000 of the 77,000 companies in the sector have received support loans. In addition, he said, “of the 410,000 workers in the sector, nearly 260,000 whose contracts were suspended were reimbursed by the government with 720 million euros to supplement their wages.”

The Prime Minister acknowledged that the government is not yet ready to propose a reopening date, but understands that the sector may be able to recover some of the lost income “because there is a great need for people to go out, have a good time, to eat and have another drink. “The industry has made door-to-door deliveries or kidnappings during the country’s five-month nationwide lockdown, but customers are not allowed to sit down .

“We do not plan to cover losses with the plan we are announcing today,” Mitsotakis said, “because all sectors of the Greek economy and businesses have suffered losses. But we are here to provide the fund turnover for the purchase of supplies. ”

The online application platform will remain open until July 31, and funding must be used by December 31. Assessments will be processed quickly and funding disbursed quickly, the ministers said.

RELATED TOPICS: Greece, Greek tourism news, Tourism in Greece, The greek islands, Hotels in Greece, Travel to greece, Greek destinations, Greek travel market, Greek tourism statistics, Greek Tourism Report

Photo source: pixabay.com

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Bethania volunteers honored to serve community for over a year https://pspbook.com/bethania-volunteers-honored-to-serve-community-for-over-a-year/ https://pspbook.com/bethania-volunteers-honored-to-serve-community-for-over-a-year/#respond Wed, 07 Apr 2021 23:15:52 +0000 https://pspbook.com/bethania-volunteers-honored-to-serve-community-for-over-a-year/ Every Tuesday dozens of volunteers, some affiliated and some not affiliated with the Lutheran Church in Bethania, are there, rain or shine. Photo by Raiza Giorgi Despite COVID-19 vaccines and lifting restrictions, the need for food and supplies remains great By Raiza Giorgi publisher@santaynezvalleystar.com What the volunteers thought was just a few weeks of hardship […]]]>
Every Tuesday dozens of volunteers, some affiliated and some not affiliated with the Lutheran Church in Bethania, are there, rain or shine. Photo by Raiza Giorgi

Despite COVID-19 vaccines and lifting restrictions, the need for food and supplies remains great

By Raiza Giorgi


What the volunteers thought was just a few weeks of hardship has now passed the one-year mark as people still struggle to make ends meet during the COVID-19 crisis.

“I was scared the first week that no one would come after we had received a lot of food donations,” said Elizabeth Breen, a volunteer with the Bethania Lutheran Church weekly food distribution. “Boy, I’ve never been wrong, and week after week we see a majority of the same families and others who are barely managing. COVID aside, there is a great need for assistance here and we will continue to make sure that happens even after all restrictions are lifted.

Every Tuesday dozens of volunteers, some affiliated and some not affiliated with the Lutheran Church in Bethania, are there rain or shine to distribute food and other essentials like diapers, wipes, sanitary napkins and hope.

Sometimes the queue twice wrapped around the church building and spanned another street of people waiting to find food and supplies.

Juan, whose last name is not disclosed, has started coming to Bethania with his wife and 1 month old daughter, and they come almost every week when the restaurant he works at is not closed.

“I don’t know where we would be without Bethania and all these great people helping us,” Juan said. “Fortunately, we live as a family, otherwise we probably would have had to move out of the region.”

In the first week, Bethania served 64,407 people with an average of 320 households per week, according to volunteer Linda Marzullo.

Marzullo keeps track of all the numbers as they are required by several of the food distributors to count and make sure they have enough for everyone.

“The majority of people who come are usually from the hospitality industry and there are some who are homeless and mostly from the valley,” she said. “We receive people from Lompoc and field agents from Santa Maria.”

The highest number of households served was in week 19, with 413.

The Santa Barbara County Food Bank recently released its one-year statistics with 19,549,119 pounds of food distributed in the county from March 9, 2020 to March 8, 2021. The previous year, the food bank distributed 9,708,944 pounds. of food.

“More than usual of the total food we distributed was provided to community members in the South County,” wrote Judith Smith-Meyer, communications manager for the food bank. “Normally, the northern county receives 75 percent of the total food distributed in the county. Over the past year, 37 percent of the food we provided to the community has been distributed in South County. ”

Check out the list of places available for county residents to pick up food.

“We have a lot of people who come looking for other families who don’t have transportation or who are themselves quarantined. You would think that since there are vaccinations now, they would start to decrease, but they don’t, ”Breen said. “The need was there even before COVID, especially with the housing and rental market being so high here, people are barely getting by.”

Volunteers prepare bags of food to give to families in need at the Lutheran Church in Bethania. Photo by Raiza Giorgi

The average rent in Santa Barbara County is $ 1,660 according to the Numbers Department, and the average rent for a one-bedroom apartment in Solvang is $ 1,800, according to the Numbers Department. RentCafe.com. Houses cost between $ 3,000 and $ 5,000 depending on the area of ​​the valley and the size of the land.

“The rental market is booming, and I think as a community we need to take a serious look at affordable housing and its lack here in the valley,” Breen said.

Breen said they were in constant contact with People Helping People and the Small Business Administration and other resources to help people tackle not only food insecurity but also unemployment and find loans and support. subsidies.

“People are just told they have to go online, but a lot of people don’t know how to navigate government websites or can’t log in because the library has been closed for a while and the computer access was not available, ”Breen said.

Breen said that although people struggle and have to come every Tuesday to eat, she is happy to see them and many have become friends with the volunteers and friends of the church.

“We also have the opportunity to celebrate milestones with people, we threw a little party for a little girl who just turned 6 and we gave her some gifts and a treat,” said Breen.

There are over 60 volunteers who now work in two shifts to collect all the bags in the morning and then those who distribute them in the afternoon. There is a walk-in line and a drive-thru line. Santa Ynez Valley Union High School’s AVID students also come weekly to volunteer and help with distribution.

Food is donated to Bethania weekly from various sources such as the US Department of Agriculture, Santa Barbara County Food Bank, Veggie Rescue and the church spends approximately $ 2,000 per week from donations to supplement with canned meats and other products such as diapers, wipes, toilet paper, paper towels and laundry detergent.

The church is also home to the Solvang Blessing Box, which is filled and emptied more than 10 times a day. There is another blessing box in Buellton located in the parking lot at Crossroads Church which is also refilled several times a day.

“We are so grateful to the community who regularly come to donate food and other essentials to their neighbors,” said Breen. “It’s a grassroots movement and I’m very grateful to everyone who comes together to help others.”

Breen wanted to push those who needed to come forward, and the rumors about the food stopping being dispensed were not valid.

“We will be here as long as there is a need,” she said. “Even when the COVID restrictions are lifted and people can return to work and school full time, we will still be there for people. It might look a little different by a line every week, but we’ll be there. ”

For those interested in making a donation, visit www.bethanialutheran.net and click on Donate. Make sure the Food Distribution tab is also clicked.

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Manchester City follow loan star Herrera as Premier League rivals watch Granada midfielder https://pspbook.com/manchester-city-follow-loan-star-herrera-as-premier-league-rivals-watch-granada-midfielder/ https://pspbook.com/manchester-city-follow-loan-star-herrera-as-premier-league-rivals-watch-granada-midfielder/#respond Wed, 07 Apr 2021 23:15:20 +0000 https://pspbook.com/manchester-city-follow-loan-star-herrera-as-premier-league-rivals-watch-granada-midfielder/ The Venezuela international has been in excellent form for the Spanish club ahead of their Europa League quarter-final against Manchester United Manchester City are keeping track of Granada star on loan, Yangel Herrera, with the possibility of integrating him into Pep Guardiola’s first team next season. Premier League rivals Southampton and West Ham and a […]]]>

The Venezuela international has been in excellent form for the Spanish club ahead of their Europa League quarter-final against Manchester United

Manchester City are keeping track of Granada star on loan, Yangel Herrera, with the possibility of integrating him into Pep Guardiola’s first team next season.

Premier League rivals Southampton and West Ham and a number of La Liga clubs are also monitoring the situation for the Venezuelan midfielder, whose two-year loan expires this summer.

The 22-year-old has been in exceptional form for the Spanish club this season and has the chance to show his potential when Granada take on Manchester United in the Europa League quarter-finals.

Why could he go back to City?

With Brazilian veteran Fernandinho out of contract at the end of the season and no confirmation as to whether he will get a new deal, City could be looking for a new defensive midfielder this summer.

Like all clubs across Europe, City has been financially affected by the impact of the coronavirus pandemic and Tuesday posted losses of £ 126million ($ 173million) for the 2019-20 season.

City are expected to be on the hunt for a new striker this summer after confirmation that Sergio Aguero will leave at the end of the season thus keeping Herrera could potentially reduce transfer costs.

How did his career go so far?

Herrera was spotted playing for Atletico Venezuela as a teenager, joined City in February 2017 and was loaned out to sister club New York City FC and SD Huesca before spending two seasons in Granada.

After signing a contract extension with City until 2024, he has become a key part of the Granada squad, helping them establish themselves in the top half of La Liga after their promotion in 2019.

Comparisons have been made with Douglas Luiz, who left City due to work permit issues but showed his quality against Premier League rivals Aston Villa.

What was said?

Former Arsenal and City player Patrick Vieira is considered one of the best defensive players in Premier League history and praised Herrera when he was his coach at New York City FC.

“He’s a tactically intelligent midfielder who is strong in tackling and reads the game well,” said the Frenchman. “Yangel also has good passing range and a good spatial awareness which is crucial for a player in his position.”

More reading:

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County Approves Loan for Purchase of Golf Cart | News, Sports, Jobs https://pspbook.com/county-approves-loan-for-purchase-of-golf-cart-news-sports-jobs/ https://pspbook.com/county-approves-loan-for-purchase-of-golf-cart-news-sports-jobs/#respond Wed, 07 Apr 2021 23:15:20 +0000 https://pspbook.com/county-approves-loan-for-purchase-of-golf-cart-news-sports-jobs/ Golf field Lycoming County Commissioners voted 3-0 to approve the loan agreement for the purchase of golf carts for the White Deer Golf Resort. The fleet of trolleys, intended to replace aging and worn out trolleys, will cost $ 41,525, a savings of over $ 60,000 over the initial cost. The county loan is to […]]]>

Golf field

Lycoming County Commissioners voted 3-0 to approve the loan agreement for the purchase of golf carts for the White Deer Golf Resort.

The fleet of trolleys, intended to replace aging and worn out trolleys, will cost $ 41,525, a savings of over $ 60,000 over the initial cost.

The county loan is to be paid by the golf course at an interest rate of 2% over the next eight years, according to Commissioner Rick Mirabito.

The carts are expected to arrive later this month.

Commissioner Tony Mussare said the golf course was no longer a financial burden on the county.

“It was a total loss,” he said.

Mirabito said the golf course can now be seen as an asset to the region.

Jason Yorks, director of resource management services for Lycoming County, reported to commissioners that many people continue to put bad items in recycling bins.

“The abuse is unreal,” he said.

Cat litter and other disgusting types of debris or materials are being placed in the trash cans, he noted.

Yorks noted that people should not force plastics that are too large for the holes in plastic bins.

“Maybe we need to educate on what we can and cannot recycle”, Said Mirabito.

York said such efforts had been made.

Commissioner Scott Metzger said he had received phone calls regarding recycling issues.

“A few ruin for the majority”, he said.

Commissioners approved a request for proposal of $ 298,918 from Daley Tower Service, Inc. for steel hardware for two radio towers.

The 250 foot towers are to be located in the Hughesville and Hesker Hill areas of the county.

With regard to personnel, the Commissioners approved the following personnel to fill the vacant posts:

• Mark L. Haas, Subdivision and Land Use Planning Administrator, Community Planning and Development, $ 38,933 per year.

• Kaitlin N. Lunger, Crew Foreman, Pre-Release Center, $ 18.26 per hour.

• Timothy P. Leibensperger, Resident Supervisor, Pre-Release Center, $ 16.76 per hour.

• Corrina Schaefer, clerk, district attorney’s office, $ 14.09 per hour.

The commissioners approved the reclassifications of Joseph W. Hope, part-time director of central processing, district attorney’s office, $ 23 per hour, and of Timothy B. Nelson, part-time deputy director of central processing, office of the district attorney, $ 21 an hour.

Commissioners approved a grant and follow-up agreement with Central Pennsylvania Gold Star Family Monument for the Gold Star Families project at Lycoming County Veterans Memorial Park.

A professional services agreement with Suzanne Mannes was approved as needed for the Office of the Public Defender at a cost of $ 20,000.

The Commissioners approved the following requests for discharge:

• Purchase of tarps and chains for waste cover from Southwestern Sales Co., $ 13,431.

• Purchase of a Ford F-550 truck, $ 124,333.

• Truck repair needs, $ 27,088.

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Best Full Coverage Auto Insurance for 2021 https://pspbook.com/best-full-coverage-auto-insurance-for-2021/ https://pspbook.com/best-full-coverage-auto-insurance-for-2021/#respond Wed, 07 Apr 2021 23:15:20 +0000 https://pspbook.com/best-full-coverage-auto-insurance-for-2021/ Full coverage auto insurance means your car will be protected in the event of an accident or other events that could damage it. While state law generally only requires liability coverage, if you are financing your car, the lender may want you to have a policy with full coverage. The most reliable full coverage auto […]]]>

Full coverage auto insurance means your car will be protected in the event of an accident or other events that could damage it. While state law generally only requires liability coverage, if you are financing your car, the lender may want you to have a policy with full coverage.

The most reliable full coverage auto insurance isn’t always the cheapest. Find auto insurers that will best meet your insurance needs, we have also focused on customer and claims satisfaction, service area and available discounts.

Best Full Coverage Auto Insurance

Auto insurance company JD Power Customer Satisfaction Score Average annual premium for full coverage
Allstate 876/1000 $ 1,921
Erie Insurance 880/1000 $ 1,233
Farmers 872/1000 $ 2,000
In all the countries 876/1000 $ 1,485
State farm 881/1000 $ 1,457


Allstate policies can cost more on average, but the carrier offers plenty of discounts and potential benefits for auto insurance. The company offers new car replacement, which will pay the actual cost of replacing your car after an accident, as well as accident forgiveness this will keep your premiums at the same rate. If you don’t like the way your complaints process is handled, Allstate offers a claim satisfaction guarantee who can reimburse part of your premiums.

Erie Insurance

Erie Insurance is highly rated by JD Power and offers reliable comprehensive insurance at a low average rate. Erie Lock in rates can guarantee that your insurance premium stays the same, and the company also offers the First Accident Discount to eligible policyholders after you’ve put your premium in place for a few years. The main strike against Erie is that it operates in limited states. Check your state availability before delving too deeply into this carrier’s auto insurance offers.


The farmer has the highest average annual cost on our list, but this carrier offers a wide range of potential discounts like paperless billing, a safe driver, a good student and an owner. Farmers are even offering discounts for alternative fuel vehicles in California. The supplier has many coverage options to choose from, such as replacing a new car and accident remission.

In all the countries

Nationwide includes all the usual options that come with full coverage, as well as some useful offers like towing and labor coverage and gap coverage. This carrier also offers high tech discounts like the SmartRide program that uses telematics to track your driving and SmartMiles (pay-per-mile) which reduces premiums if you don’t use the car much. Nationwide has many types of insurance available, so this carrier is also good for bundling insurance policies.

State farm

State Farm is a big name in the insurance world because of its size and options. This insurer’s policy add-ons, such as rental car insurance, are useful for people on the go. For policyholders under 25, State Farm offers a Steer Clear reduction program that can reduce monthly premiums for completing a driving course, which can help offset the often higher cost of insurance for young drivers. . The State Farm mobile app allows you to submit claims, get new quotes, and view your insurance profile.

What is full coverage auto insurance?

Full coverage auto insurance refers to a common set of benefits included in a single policy. Generally speaking, all drivers should have liability coverage, which covers medical bills and car repairs for other drivers. Comprehensive coverage, although not usually required by law, covers medical bills, car repairs, and other expenses of the policyholder.

All insurers offering full coverage will generally include collision coverage and full coverage in the policy. Collision coverage pays for damage to your car in a moving accident, and comprehensive coverage pays for damage to your car in other events, such as theft, vandalism, and natural disasters.

While full coverage pays for damage to your car, you will usually need to pay a deductible before coverage takes effect to pay the rest. Additionally, all coverages in a policy always have a coverage limit, which is the maximum amount that the policy will cover. Many insurers allow you to increase coverage limits for an additional fee.

Most personal auto insurance policies does not cover commercial useTherefore, if you are using your car for a delivery business or rideshare service, you may need to purchase additional coverage.

Is Full Coverage Auto Insurance Worth It?

When deciding whether the additional cost of full coverage Auto insurance is worth it, it often helps to think about what would happen if your car was damaged or totaled. Could you pay for repairs or a replacement out of pocket? If your car is older and less valuable, some people may decide that full coverage isn’t worth the money for their needs. However, if you used an auto loan to purchase your car, full coverage may be required in the contract with the lender.

Frequently Asked Questions

Which auto insurer is the best?

The best auto insurer depends on the insurance needs of the individual. To find the auto insurance company that’s best for you, we recommend that you shop around for quotes from a few providers so you can compare.

Does my liability coverage pay for repairs to my car?

Liability coverage under your policy will not cover damage to your car. This coverage will only cover damage to other people and their vehicles, so you’ll need full coverage if you want your own car repairs to be covered under your policy.

What is the difference between collision coverage and comprehensive coverage?

Collision coverage pays for damage to your car in a moving accident. Comprehensive coverage covers damage to your car that occurs during other events, such as theft, falling limbs, or fire. Both of these coverages are included in most full coverage policies.


Bankrate uses Quadrant Information Services to analyze rates for all postal codes and carriers in all 50 states and Washington, DC Rates shown are based on a 40 year old male and female driver with a clean driving record , good credit and the following comprehensive coverage limits:

  • $ 100,000 of civil liability per person
  • Civil liability of $ 300,000 per accident
  • Civil liability of $ 50,000 per accident
  • $ 100,000 of uninsured bodily injury by a motorist per person
  • $ 300,000 in uninsured bodily injury by a motorist per accident
  • $ 500 collision deductible
  • Full $ 500 deductible

To determine the minimum coverage limits, Bankrate used minimum coverage that meets the requirements of each state. Our example drivers own a 2019 Toyota Camry, commute five days a week, and travel 12,000 miles a year.

These are sample rates and should only be used for comparison purposes. Your quotes may be different.

Rates are determined based on data from Quadrant 2020 Information Services.

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Ben Slater: Ready to Leicestershire the best thing that ever happened at the opening of Notts https://pspbook.com/ben-slater-ready-to-leicestershire-the-best-thing-that-ever-happened-at-the-opening-of-notts/ https://pspbook.com/ben-slater-ready-to-leicestershire-the-best-thing-that-ever-happened-at-the-opening-of-notts/#respond Wed, 07 Apr 2021 23:15:20 +0000 https://pspbook.com/ben-slater-ready-to-leicestershire-the-best-thing-that-ever-happened-at-the-opening-of-notts/ The 29-year-old was walking the water at Trent Bridge heading into the 2020 season before a last-minute loan deal saved his season and revitalized his career. When Ben Slater last spoke The cricketer in August 2020, his future was uncertain. Following a successful loan in 2018, he left Derbyshire to Nottinghamshire, swapping the comforts of […]]]>

The 29-year-old was walking the water at Trent Bridge heading into the 2020 season before a last-minute loan deal saved his season and revitalized his career.

When Ben Slater last spoke The cricketer in August 2020, his future was uncertain.

Following a successful loan in 2018, he left Derbyshire to Nottinghamshire, swapping the comforts of home to be a little fish in a big pond.

Unfortunately, as he himself admits, his first full season at Trent Bridge did not go as planned. He scored just 471 points in 13 County Championship games, passing 50 just once, and his first-class average fell to 20.47 – his lowest since his first season in 2013.

Heading into the 2020 campaign, his poor form showed no signs of slowing down and after registering three single-digit hits in Nottinghamshire’s pre-season matches he was replaced by new signing Haseeb Hameed in the eleven starting and left out of the squad for their Bob opening of the Willis Trophy against Derbyshire.

Making the decision to go in search of first-team opportunities, Slater found himself on loan for the second time in his career – not as an exciting talent with nothing to lose, but as an outside player. of form with a point to prove. And he thinks he is taking the plunge and moving on Leicestershire days before the start of the season was the best decision he had ever made.


Ben Slater plays for Nottinghamshire in the County Championship (L) and One-Day Cup (R) in 2019

“2019 didn’t quite go as planned in the red ball after my debut when I came on loan the previous year from Derbyshire,” he honestly admits. “I did well in the 50-point white ball competition in 2019, but you want to do well in the first class game, and it didn’t go as planned.

“I was disappointed not to be part of this first team. I thought I had played well in the preseason, I didn’t score a lot but how I had managed and how I was in the middle of training, I thought I had played well enough to deserve a place in the team. It’s professional sport, you have to face the rough with the soft.

“I was lucky to be able to make a loan, I knew a few guys [at Leicestershire] of my time in Derbyshire – Tommy Taylor, Will Davis and Cal Parkinson – and as soon as that was confirmed on both sides I really pulled their hand off. Better to play first class cricket than just train and play for my team on the weekends.

“And, looking back, it’s probably the best thing that ever happened to me, to go to Leicestershire and score the points I made in the first two games I was there and force myself to return to Nottinghamshire. “

2021 County Championship Team Guide: Nottinghamshire

Slater made an immediate impact in Leicestershire, scoring a daddy hundred in the opening innings of his debut – a career high score of 172 – and contributing with 25 of 23 deliveries in the second as his new team chased 150 in 16 assists to win the game.

“To score a hundred in that first game, it was special,” he recalls. “It was almost just to say, that’s what I can do, and the win that followed in that game, beating Lancashire like we did, was probably one of the best wins of my time. career, so it was a special week. “

His next appearance didn’t quite go as planned – two ducks against Derbyshire – but Nottinghamshire liked what they saw from their opener. He was called back to his home county for their clash against Lancashire and pushed straight into the starting XI where, to the horror of Lancashire bowlers, he marked another century.

He followed with a gritty 86 against Leicestershire before ending 2020 with a six-ball duck at Durham. But it didn’t matter. With half a century, two centuries, and 425 red ball races – the competition’s fourth largest – to his name, he won the Nottinghamshire Red Ball Player of the Season award and perhaps became the first player of this millennium to hit a first-class century for two different counties against the same opponent in one season – a niche statistic, but one that he will take.


“It’s really a little ridiculous,” he laughs. “How many people would play for two teams in the space of two weeks against the same team and score two hundred? It’s kind of crazy, isn’t it?

“I think it was two hundred, a fifty, three ducks and a twenty-something, which showed that when I get in my place, I get big. Two hundred, a fifty and three ducks in seven innings, that’s about as ridiculous as the year really was! “

“But I was delighted to score the points I made after being ruled out in Game 1 and to win the Red Ball Player of the Year was an honor. I am happy with how it all turned out. . If you had told me that when I was locked out in March and April playing Football Manager, I would have ripped your hands off. “

And, despite his struggles over the past two years, he doesn’t regret his decision to move to Trent Bridge: “I don’t regret it. There is one aspect of my game that has improved and probably as a person also – if I I had not taken this step and lived this experience.

County Cricketer Podcast Preview: Nottinghamshire

“Obviously there was a point where I was left out where you think if I was there I would play but I don’t think I would ever have regretted it. I think the greatest regret at the end of my career would be if I hadn’t taken that step and tried to push myself into a club like Nottinghamshire. “

As the new season approaches, Slater’s morale is high: he has signed a new contract, securing his future at Nottinghamshire until the end of 2023, has recovered from minor wrist surgery to the fall and marked a century of preseason against Oxford UCCE.

“I feel good, I feel good,” he says. “I have a hundred [in pre-season] and starting the season with a hundred only puts you well. I spent time in the middle – for that hundred, I faced about 140 balls, which probably equates to about a week in the net! The time spent against the opposition, the confidence you get from it – it’s good to enjoy the season.

“My game is feeling great after a winter of hard work and I’m just good to go.”


Nottinghamshire start their home season against Durham on Thursday and, although Slater is keen to consolidate his position in the Red Ball camp, he is also looking to become a three-format player and enter the T20 side – not an easy task given Notts Outlaws won two T20 explosion titles since 2017.

“[I want] to start the season the best I can, establish myself at the top of the four-day competition and score some points, “he said.” Obviously you want to start well, grab some wins early in the season and that will hopefully snowball.

“Personally in the 50s competition I want to continue as I have in my career and get into the T20 team if I can. Their track record for making it to the finals day is probably the one of the best of all 18 counties so it will be tough but it’s one of my ambitions and i will work hard to try to get there.

“Those are the goals I set for myself. I want to score as many points as possible. If you gave me a hundred in each round, I would take it. You strive for perfection and you don’t go. . out there and try to settle for less than 100. That’s the mindset I take in every game. “

He also has confidence in his team’s red ball ambitions. In recent years, their dominance of the white ball has not translated into the County Championship – Nottinghamshire failed to win a match in the Bob Willis Trophy – but, after a promising winter, Slater believes their colleagues in group 1 should write them off at their peril.

“If you look at how we did in 2020, we can take positive results from what we have done,” he says. “I think we’ve scored the most bonus batting points in the entire country and previously we’ve had a lot of criticism for our red ball stick so we can get some positives from that.

“We’re a fairly new team and with all the new players we’ve brought in, it takes time to gel and get to know each other’s games. With white ball cricket you can put a team together and c It’s easy to go out there and perform at a high level, but with red ball cricket it’s a tough game to do and it takes time to gel and start winning steadily. Watch Somerset and the ‘Essex, they have a team, they know how they play and that’s why they’ve been at the top for a few years.

“I think we’re now in the position where we’ll come back to winning in this format. I think we all understand each other a lot better, and I think we might surprise a few. [teams] this year.”

And speaking of surprises, after leading them to the Championship in the first lockdown, Slater secured a promotion to the Premier League with Chesterfield on Football Manager over the Christmas period: “My greatest sporting achievement” – so far .

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RBI Repo Rate | RBI keeps repo rate unchanged for 5th time: what it means for home borrowers, auto loan borrowers, FD investors https://pspbook.com/rbi-repo-rate-rbi-keeps-repo-rate-unchanged-for-5th-time-what-it-means-for-home-borrowers-auto-loan-borrowers-fd-investors/ https://pspbook.com/rbi-repo-rate-rbi-keeps-repo-rate-unchanged-for-5th-time-what-it-means-for-home-borrowers-auto-loan-borrowers-fd-investors/#respond Wed, 07 Apr 2021 23:14:18 +0000 https://pspbook.com/rbi-repo-rate-rbi-keeps-repo-rate-unchanged-for-5th-time-what-it-means-for-home-borrowers-auto-loan-borrowers-fd-investors/ Representation image New Delhi: On Wednesday April 7, 2021, the Reserve Bank of India decided to keep policy rates – rates for pensions and reverse repurchase agreements – at 4% and 3.35% respectively for the fifth time in a row, given the recent surge in Covid business, which created significant uncertainty. With the repo rate […]]]>

Representation image

New Delhi: On Wednesday April 7, 2021, the Reserve Bank of India decided to keep policy rates – rates for pensions and reverse repurchase agreements – at 4% and 3.35% respectively for the fifth time in a row, given the recent surge in Covid business, which created significant uncertainty.

With the repo rate remaining at the lowest level of the past two decades, this bodes well for borrowers, but for savers it is certainly not good news.

Here’s How RBI’s Decision Will Affect FD Borrowers and Investors

1) House linked to pension, auto loans: With the RBI having decided to keep the repo rate unchanged, mortgage and auto loan rates tied to the repo rate will likely remain unchanged unless the bank decides to increase or decrease its risk premium or margin on the loan. The loan EMIs of these borrowers are therefore likely to remain the same.

It should be mentioned here that the State Bank of India, the largest lender in the country, from April 1 ended the special concessions offered on home loans during the holiday season. As a result, the original interest rates from 6.95% were restored on home loans.

2) House linked to MCLR, auto loans: MCLR is decided by individual banks based on its internal cost of funds. As the cost of a bank’s fund changes, banks increase or decrease their MCLR rate. So even though the RBI has maintained the status quo on the repo rate, banks can change their MCLR. It should be mentioned here that while most public sector banks passed the rate cut fully on to borrowers, private lenders have been slow to fully benefit from the 115 basis point repo rate cut announced by the RBI since. March 2020 in their MCLR rates. . Banks’ MCLR rates could therefore fall in the near future despite the absence of repo cuts.

It should be noted that even if a bank reduces its MCLR immediately, borrowers with loans linked to MCLR may not benefit immediately because the rates linked to MCLR are reset by lenders every 12 months or every 6 months. So there are EMI reduction possibilities for borrowers with MCLR related loans.

3) Fixed deposit rate: As the RBI has kept the repo rate unchanged, there may be no further reduction in FD rates through tenures by banks. But some banks may change the specific tenure FD rates depending on demand and supply. Analysts say that with FD rates already at an all-time low, there may be no further reduction in FD rates, as real rates have turned negative amid high inflation. On the contrary, some lenders may increase the rates of their FDs. Earlier in January, the SBI hiked the FD interest rate with a mandate of more than a year but less than two years. Other banks could raise FD rates as well, as bond yields recently climbed due to the government’s massive borrowing program for the current fiscal year.

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If a stranger offers you a student loan discount, hang up https://pspbook.com/if-a-stranger-offers-you-a-student-loan-discount-hang-up/ https://pspbook.com/if-a-stranger-offers-you-a-student-loan-discount-hang-up/#respond Wed, 07 Apr 2021 23:14:18 +0000 https://pspbook.com/if-a-stranger-offers-you-a-student-loan-discount-hang-up/ Anna helhoski | Nerdwallet Student loan fraudsters have a whole new hook: “Biden student loan forgiveness” or “stimulus discount”. Behind the pitch is the same old scammers playbook, which persuades federal student loan borrowers to pay for services they could get for free or to share personal account information in exchange for a pardon. The […]]]>

Student loan fraudsters have a whole new hook: “Biden student loan forgiveness” or “stimulus discount”.

Behind the pitch is the same old scammers playbook, which persuades federal student loan borrowers to pay for services they could get for free or to share personal account information in exchange for a pardon.

The prolonged hiatus on federal student loan repayments and relaunched discussions in Congress on debt cancellation make these deceptions more believable.

“Debt relief scams proliferate when there is great financial suffering or a lot of confusion, and we have both right now,” says Persis Yu, an attorney at the National Consumer Law Center and director of its student borrower. Assistance project.

To be clear, there is no new large-scale loan forgiveness program available beyond existing options, which are often difficult to obtain, such as utility loan forgiveness or borrower defense against. reimbursement. There is also no application or fee necessary to receive the federal suspension of student loan payment which is in effect since March 13, 2020 and will continue until September 30, 2021.

About this “ empowering forgiveness ”

It’s safe to reject any unusual offer to pay off debt, consolidate loans, or change your repayment plan like a scam.

“There isn’t a person or entity on the planet who can get you a better deal on your student loan or access a program that you can’t get yourself by working directly with your service agent,” says Betsy Mayotte, president and founder of the Institute of Student Loan Advisors.

Mayotte says it has seen an increase in complaints from borrowers about “Biden Relief” and COVID-19 student loan scams.

In one case, a borrower sent Mayotte a transcript of a fraudulent voicemail message making a tempting offer: “It looks like your student loan has been declared eligible for the recent remission and stimulus relief law, but your request must be completed. “

The caller appeared legitimate (she provided an agent name and ID number) and expressed the urgency to call back on a “dedicated eligibility line”. Then the appellant put more emphasis on time sensitivity, saying the dump would be first come, first served.

“What’s interesting is that this number came in as a DC number, which I’m sure only adds credibility to their scam,” Mayotte says.

Borrowers must continue to be on guard as student loan scams proliferate, in large part due to the “whack-a-mole” effect: As soon as one business is closed, another pops up in its place. , says Michelle Grajales, attorney at the firm. Federal Trade Commission Consumer Protection Office.

Red flags to watch out for

The maxim “If it sounds too good to be true, it is” goes hand in hand with spotting scams.

But the most effective often mix fact and fiction, says Grajales. Tactics like using phrases of the moment or pretending to work for the federal government make false promises more attractive to financially vulnerable people.

“They heard something about forgiving loans,” Grajales says. “They heard something about the CARES Act. Scammers try to sound legitimate by throwing words that are very popular with the public. “

The basic structure of student loan scams has remained the same for years, says Yu: Companies promise some kind of rebate in a short period of time, charge and pocket a large upfront fee, and then access a borrower’s account. to consolidate their debt and put them on an income-driven repayment plan.

“If they even do something (with the debt), that’s what they tend to do, or they just take the borrower’s money,” Yu says.

Experts say it’s essential to avoid handing over money up front or your Federal Student Aid credentials, or your FSA ID, which allows fraudsters to act on your behalf. last name.

“What they do is get in between you and your service agent,” says Scott Buchanan, executive director of the Student Loan Servicing Alliance. “A lot of times they will change your mailing address, your email address so that all communications from the service agent go to these scammers. Then when they don’t do what they’re supposed to, you won’t know until it’s too late.

Be careful if a business expresses an urgency to “apply now” or offers to provide a service you could do yourself, such as taking out an income-based repayment or requesting a utility loan discount.

If in doubt, contact your repairer directly using a phone number on their website – not a number given to you by a third party.

What to do if you’ve been scammed

If you’ve been defrauded, remember that you are not the first student borrower to fall victim to predatory tactics.

“It has nothing to do with your intelligence; it has more to do with how good they are at their scam and how vulnerable you are the moment they reach you, ”Mayotte says.

Taking back control of your account is the most important first step to take if this happens, experts say. Here’s how:

– Cut all ties with the crook.

– Contact your server to report the account violation. You may need to apply for a new FSA ID.

– Check the contact information on your account and ensure that all open correspondence reaches you.

– Contact your bank to stop any automatic payment to the scammer.

– Freeze your credit.

– Seek legal assistance for help in recovering money.

– Report the scam to law enforcement agencies.

How to complain about a scam

You can and should report fraudulent correspondence to multiple sources. The more complaints these agencies receive, the more ammunition they will have to take legal action against fraudsters. Scams can be reported and tracked by:

– Your federal student loan manager.

– The Federal Trade Commission.

– The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.

– Your attorney general’s office.

– The FSA Feedback Center of the US Department of Education.

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