Issued Debt – HHQH http://hhqh.net/ Fri, 13 May 2022 00:28:29 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=5.9.3 https://hhqh.net/wp-content/uploads/2021/07/icon-2-150x150.png Issued Debt – HHQH http://hhqh.net/ 32 32 CFPB Orders Debt Relief Payment Processors to Pay Over $11 Million, Imposes Industry Bans | Hudson Cook, LLP https://hhqh.net/cfpb-orders-debt-relief-payment-processors-to-pay-over-11-million-imposes-industry-bans-hudson-cook-llp/ Fri, 13 May 2022 00:28:29 +0000 https://hhqh.net/cfpb-orders-debt-relief-payment-processors-to-pay-over-11-million-imposes-industry-bans-hudson-cook-llp/ STRONG POINTS: The CFPB announced an $11 million resolution of Telemarketing Sales Rule and Consumer Financial Protection Act claims against debt relief payment processors and two individuals for allegedly collecting fees inappropriate to consumers, misleading consumers about when fees would be paid to debt relief companies, forwarding fees to debt relief companies before they are […]]]>

STRONG POINTS:

  • The CFPB announced an $11 million resolution of Telemarketing Sales Rule and Consumer Financial Protection Act claims against debt relief payment processors and two individuals for allegedly collecting fees inappropriate to consumers, misleading consumers about when fees would be paid to debt relief companies, forwarding fees to debt relief companies before they are legally allowed to do so, and not return funds to consumers who have canceled debt relief agreements.
  • The Respondents neither admitted nor denied the allegations, but consented to an injunction involving an industry ban for one Respondent Company and the two individuals, corrective action for the other Respondent Company (including being subject to the supervisory authority of the CFPB during the term of the consent order), and $8 million in restitution plus a fine of $3 million.

CASE SUMMARY:

On May 11, 2022, the CFPB issued an order against providers of account maintenance and payment processing services to consumers enrolled in traditional student loan and debt relief programs for marketing these services in violation of the telemarketing sales rule and consumer financial protection. Law.

Specifically, the Bureau alleged that the respondents unlawfully collected, processed and disbursed fees from consumers before the consumers’ debts were actually renegotiated or a new payment was made, as required by law. The CFPB further alleged that the defendants misled consumers into believing that they would not pay fees until the debt relief companies they worked with earned them, but did not not confirmed that these fees were actually earned before they were paid. Additionally, the Bureau alleged that the Respondents paid illegal commissions to third-party merchants in exchange for client referrals. The CFPB argued that these practices constituted violations of the Telemarketing Sales Rule, as well as unfair and deceptive acts or practices under the Consumer Financial Protection Act.

The respondents did not admit these allegations, but to resolve the case they accepted an injunction imposing industry bans and remedies, as well as $8,676,180 restitution to consumers and a civil penalty. of $3 million. The order bars one business defendant from the payment processing and account maintenance industry for debt relief while imposing remedial action and oversight authority from the CFPB on the second business defendant. It also imposes industry bans on the two individual defendants for providing “substantial assistance” in prosecuting the alleged violations.

RESOURCES:

You can view all relevant court documents and press releases at The CFPB Application page.

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Annual report on government fragmentation, overlap and duplication flags billions of dollars in potential savings https://hhqh.net/annual-report-on-government-fragmentation-overlap-and-duplication-flags-billions-of-dollars-in-potential-savings/ Wed, 11 May 2022 14:02:04 +0000 https://hhqh.net/annual-report-on-government-fragmentation-overlap-and-duplication-flags-billions-of-dollars-in-potential-savings/ Washington, DC (May 11, 2022) – The United States Government Accountability Office (GAO) today released its 12and Annual Report identify opportunities to reduce fragmentation, overlap and duplication within the federal government and potentially save billions of dollars. The new report outlines 94 new corrective actions in 21 new and nine existing areas that Congress and […]]]>

Washington, DC (May 11, 2022) – The United States Government Accountability Office (GAO) today released its 12and Annual Report identify opportunities to reduce fragmentation, overlap and duplication within the federal government and potentially save billions of dollars. The new report outlines 94 new corrective actions in 21 new and nine existing areas that Congress and the administration could take to save money and improve the efficiency of government programs and operations.

“GAO’s ongoing work on fragmentation, overlap, and duplication has helped bring to the attention of Congress and agencies a number of ineffective or unnecessary practices in government,” said Gene L. Dodaro, Comptroller United States general and head of the GAO. “Our latest annual report provides a list of targeted actions that could potentially save billions of dollars and significantly increase revenue.”

Notable suggestions from the latest report include the following:

  • The Department of Energy could seek less expensive disposal options for nuclear and hazardous waste, such as immobilizing the waste in grout, which could help save tens of billions of dollars.
  • Federal agency contracting managers should use metrics that measure cost reduction or cost avoidance to improve the performance of their procurement organizations, a metric that could save billions of dollars a year.
  • Congress should consider asking the Department of Health and Human Services to further reduce payments to skilled nursing facilities with high rates of potentially avoidable hospital readmissions and emergency room visits, which could save hundreds millions of dollars in Medicare costs.
  • The Internal Revenue Service could improve service to taxpayers and better manage interest refunds, which could save $20 million or more each year, by establishing a mechanism to identify, monitor and mitigate issues contributing to repayment of interest payments.
  • The Social Security Administration could potentially save millions of dollars by identifying and addressing the causes of overpayments to disability recipients in its Ticket to Work program.
  • The Department of Defense could improve various administrative services, for example by addressing the fragmentation of its food program and strengthening ongoing initiatives to reduce inappropriate defense travel payments, which could save millions of dollars.

Although more needs to be done, Congress and executive branch agencies have made progress in addressing many of the 1,299 actions proposed by the GAO from 2011 to 2022 to reduce costs, increase revenue and improve the efficiency of agency operations. These efforts have generated approximately $552 billion in financial benefits, an increase of $35 billion from the last GAO report on fragmentation, overlap and duplication.

The status of GAO’s proposed changes can be tracked on its Action trackingan online tool that monitors the progress of Congress and federal agencies.

For more information, contact Chuck Young, GAO’s Managing Director of Public Affairs at youngc1@gao.gov or 202-512-4800.

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The Government Accountability Office, known as the investigative arm of Congress, is an independent, nonpartisan agency that exists to help Congress fulfill its constitutional responsibilities. The GAO also works to improve the performance of the federal government and ensure its accountability to the American people. The agency examines the use of public funds; evaluates federal programs and policies; and provides analysis, recommendations, and other assistance to help Congress make informed oversight, policy, and funding decisions. The GAO provides Congress with timely, objective, factual, non-ideological, fair and balanced information. GAO’s commitment to good government is reflected in its heart values ​​of responsibility, integrity and reliability.

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Jordan: End Debt Imprisonment | Human Rights Watch https://hhqh.net/jordan-end-debt-imprisonment-human-rights-watch/ Sun, 08 May 2022 04:00:01 +0000 https://hhqh.net/jordan-end-debt-imprisonment-human-rights-watch/ (Amman) – Jordan should commit to fully ending debt imprisonment before the current moratorium expires in June 2022, Human Rights Watch said today. Parliament passed amendments to the main law that makes imprisonment for debt mandatory in Jordan. Although the amendments are an improvement, they do not end debt imprisonment, which is prohibited under international […]]]>

(Amman) – Jordan should commit to fully ending debt imprisonment before the current moratorium expires in June 2022, Human Rights Watch said today. Parliament passed amendments to the main law that makes imprisonment for debt mandatory in Jordan. Although the amendments are an improvement, they do not end debt imprisonment, which is prohibited under international law.

Jordan is one of the few countries in the world that still allows people to be imprisoned for debt. As of April 1, at least 148,000 people were wanted to serve prison sentences for unpaid debts, according to the Department of Justice. Human Rights Watch has documented how, in the absence of an adequate social safety net, tens of thousands of Jordanians took out loans to cover their basic needs only to end up in jail or wanted for default.

“By allowing imprisonment for debt, Jordan puts tens of thousands of people at risk of being sent to prison not for any crime, but for taking out loans to cover essentials like rent, food or medical care,” said Sara Kayyali, senior Middle East researcher. at Human Rights Watch. “Jordan should end imprisonment for debt without delay.”

The outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic has exacerbated the economic and socio-political challenges facing Jordan. On March 28, 2021, in response to pressure to end debt imprisonment, Prime Minister Bisher Khasawneh declared a moratorium on arresting people solely for non-payment of debts. the end of moratorium in June.

Several legislative instruments can lead to prison sentences for debt, among which the penal code and the law of execution. In a positive move, on April 26, the House of Representatives approved an amendment to the penal code that struck down imprisonment for bad checks, which will take effect three years after it was passed.

In October 2021, the Ministry of Justice submitted a draft amendment to the so-called Enforcement Act, the main piece of legislation that imposes a prison sentence for non-payment of debts. On April 28, the Jordanian House of Representatives approved the proposal Amended Enforcement Act 2021.

The Amended Enforcement Bill prohibits imprisonment for debt for any amount less than JD5,000 ($7,052) and caps the term of imprisonment at 60 days per debt, not to exceed 120 days at total. It also sets out the conditions under which imprisonment for debt is not permitted, including if the person is bankrupt or insolvent, or has sufficient funds to repay debt that authorities can confiscate.

If due process issues are resolved, so that authorities do not arbitrarily seize these funds, this can be a positive development. The law also recognizes the dangers that imprisonment for debt poses to families, for example prohibiting sending both members of a married couple to prison at the same time.

While the proposed changes are a significant improvement and reflect a better balance in the fight against debt default, they do not unconditionally end debt imprisonment. Imprisonment for debt is a flagrant violation of international human rights obligations, and Jordan should immediately end this practice, Human Rights Watch said.

Under Article 11 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR), which Jordan has ratified and published in Official Gazette“No one may be imprisoned for the sole reason that he is unable to fulfill a contractual obligation”, which includes the prohibition of the deprivation of personal liberty either by a creditor or by the State for default payment of a debt.

The issue of imprisonment for debt has been particularly controversial for the Jordanian public. Creditors and their lawyers say that without the threat of imprisonment, there would be no way to recover the loans. Human Rights Watch research in Jordan shows, on the contrary, that imprisonment for debt is one of the least effective ways to collect debts, especially from an indigent person. Instead, imprisonment for debt contributes to endless cycles of debt and prevents the person from earning an income or finding ways to repay the debt.

Most countries have abolished imprisonment for debt, not only because it violates international human rights law, but also because it does not facilitate debt repayment. Instead, countries have put in place personal insolvency and bankruptcy laws that provide alternatives to detention and have measured plans in place for loan repayment.

Jordan should completely end debt imprisonment and ensure that rights-respecting alternatives are available. The Senate should return the enforcement bill to the House of Representatives and ask lawmakers to pass new amendments to abolish debt imprisonment altogether.

Donors and international financial institutions, such as the World Bank and the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, should help Jordan end debt imprisonment. They should ensure that the institutions they publicly fund commit to not seeking to send people who are unable to repay their loans to prison and to reassess their practices to ensure that this commitment is met.

“Instead of this piecemeal approach that serves no one, the government has an opportunity to put things right by abolishing debt imprisonment altogether and fully embracing proven alternatives,” Kayyali said.

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Fitch raises Illinois credit rating two notches https://hhqh.net/fitch-raises-illinois-credit-rating-two-notches/ Fri, 06 May 2022 14:30:41 +0000 https://hhqh.net/fitch-raises-illinois-credit-rating-two-notches/ Rating agency cites ‘fundamental improvement’ in government fiscal outlook SPRINGFIELD – Fitch Ratings on Thursday raised the state of Illinois’ rating for general obligation bonds by two notches, to BBB+, making it the second rating agency to do so in recent weeks and marking the fourth time the state has received a credit upgrade in […]]]>

Rating agency cites ‘fundamental improvement’ in government fiscal outlook

SPRINGFIELD – Fitch Ratings on Thursday raised the state of Illinois’ rating for general obligation bonds by two notches, to BBB+, making it the second rating agency to do so in recent weeks and marking the fourth time the state has received a credit upgrade in the past year.

“The upgrade to ‘BBB+’ reflects fundamental improvements in Illinois’ fiscal resilience, including the full pandemic-era unwind and some pre-pandemic one-time tax measures, meaningful reserve contributions and enduring evidence of more normal budget decision-making,” the agency said in its announcement.

Fitch is one of three major credit rating agencies that rate government-issued debt. Moody’s Investors Service raised the rating of Illinois April 21. The third rating agency, S&P Global Ratings, has raised the rating of Illinois in July 2021, a week after Moody’s gave the state its first upgrade in more than 20 years.

Prior to these changes, Illinois had suffered several credit downgrades, many of which were due to the two-year budget stalemate from July 2015 to August 2017, leading the state to the lowest investment grade rating available.

Fitch’s decision puts the Illinois bond rating three notches above “junk grade,” or what is commonly referred to as “junk” status. Bonds in this category generally cannot be held by institutional investors such as mutual funds or pension schemes and, therefore, are subject to higher interest rates.

At the same time, Fitch upgraded the state’s general bond bond rating, it also upgraded the state’s Build Illinois Sales Tax Revenue Bonds to A, from “BBB+” .

In its analysis, Fitch noted that Illinois’ financial performance has recently improved but remains weaker than other US states. He thanked the state for bolstering its cash reserves, reducing its backlog of overdue bills, paying off some unpaid debts and “facilitating budget decision-making.”

But he also noted that the state continues to face large unfunded pension liabilities, currently estimated at more than $130 billion.

Fitch made his announcement moments before Governor JB Pritzker held a press conference to announce the signing of a bill to reduce those pension liabilities. House Bill 4292 authorizes $1 billion in borrowing to extend a program that allows workers in the state’s five retirement systems to take early buyouts of their benefits.

This program, first launched under former Republican Governor Bruce Rauner, was due to expire in 2024. New legislation extends it until 2026.

“Today, I am very proud to sign another bill to complement Illinois’ significant tax progress,” Pritzker said during a bill signing ceremony at the Statehouse. “Once again, we’re saving taxpayers hundreds of millions of dollars.”

Pritzker said the recent ratings upgrades were the result of passing four consecutive balanced budgets, including the one just passed for the upcoming fiscal year that spends $1 billion on the so-called state “rainy day fund” and an additional $500 million above what is required by law. to reduce the state pension burden.

He said the buyback program has so far reduced that liability by more than $1.4 billion and that extending the program for another two years would reduce it even further.

“I believe in fiscal responsibility and responsible fiscal management,” he said. “That means taking every step possible to meet our retirement obligations while honoring the promises made to current and retired workers, promises made by governors and lawmakers on both sides of the aisle.”

The bill passed with bipartisan support, 108-2 in the House and 52-1 in the Senate.

Rep. Mark Batinick, R-Plainfield, who is leaving the General Assembly this year, was one of the bill’s co-sponsors and a key sponsor of the original legislation.

“I said in 2018, when the ‘Batinick takeover’ was first passed by the General Assembly, that we needed to make changes to our pension system if we were to solve our long-term tax problems in Illinois,” he said in a statement. “I am thrilled to see this program extended after a successful implementation that saved the state over $1 billion in our unfunded retirement liability. I can’t wait to see how much more we can save to finally overcome and move beyond our state’s longstanding pension crisis.

Illinois Comptroller Susana Mendoza also hailed the legislation as another move to stabilize the state’s fiscal situation.

“The state is making monumental progress in getting our finances in order. And it’s just one more step, but it’s a huge step, in that direction,” she said at the press conference.

Capitol News Illinois is a nonprofit, nonpartisan news service covering state government and distributed to more than 400 newspapers statewide. It is funded primarily by the Illinois Press Foundation and the Robert R. McCormick Foundation.

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Masonite International (NYSE:DOOR) Reports Results https://hhqh.net/masonite-international-nysedoor-reports-results/ Wed, 04 May 2022 17:20:49 +0000 https://hhqh.net/masonite-international-nysedoor-reports-results/ Masonite International (NYSE: GATE – Get a rating) released its quarterly results on Tuesday. The company reported earnings per share (EPS) of $2.89 for the quarter, beating the Zacks consensus estimate of $1.97 by $0.92, MarketWatch Earnings reports. Masonite International had a return on equity of 27.40% and a net margin of 3.64%. The company […]]]>

Masonite International (NYSE: GATEGet a rating) released its quarterly results on Tuesday. The company reported earnings per share (EPS) of $2.89 for the quarter, beating the Zacks consensus estimate of $1.97 by $0.92, MarketWatch Earnings reports. Masonite International had a return on equity of 27.40% and a net margin of 3.64%. The company had revenue of $726.00 million in the quarter, versus a consensus estimate of $690.03 million. In the same quarter a year earlier, the company had earned earnings per share of $1.93. The company’s quarterly revenue increased by 12.3% compared to the same quarter last year.

Shares of NYSE DOOR opened at $80.67 on Wednesday. Masonite International has a 1-year minimum of $72.86 and a 1-year maximum of $131.38. The stock has a 50-day moving average of $87.00. The company has a debt ratio of 1.24, a current ratio of 2.95 and a quick ratio of 2.05. The stock has a market capitalization of $1.82 billion, a P/E ratio of 21.34 and a beta of 1.71.

A number of equity research analysts have published reports on the company. Zacks Investment Research moved Masonite International from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and set a price target of $90.00 for the company in a Tuesday, April 26 research report. JPMorgan Chase & Co. lowered its price target on Masonite International from $110.00 to $90.00 and set an “overweight” rating for the company in a Wednesday, April 20 research report. StockNews.com began covering Masonite International in a research report on Thursday, March 31. They issued a “maintaining” rating for the company. TheStreet downgraded Masonite International from a ‘b’ rating to a ‘c’ rating in a Friday, February 18 research report. Finally, Stifel Nicolaus reduced his target price on Masonite International from $150.00 to $130.00 in a Wednesday, February 23 research report. One research analyst gave the stock a hold rating and four gave the company a buy rating. According to MarketBeat.com, Masonite International currently has an average rating of “Buy” and an average target price of $113.00.

In other Masonite International news, Director Jay Ira Steinfeld bought 1,000 shares of the company in a transaction that took place on Thursday, February 24. The shares were acquired at an average price of $85.80 per share, for a total transaction of $85,800.00. The purchase was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, accessible via this link. 1.00% of the shares are held by insiders.

Several large investors have recently increased or reduced their stake in the stock. California State Teachers Retirement System increased its stake in Masonite International shares by 0.5% in the fourth quarter. California State Teachers Retirement System now owns 32,282 shares of the company worth $3,808,000 after acquiring 168 additional shares in the last quarter. LPL Financial LLC increased its stake in shares of Masonite International by 4.0% in the third quarter. LPL Financial LLC now owns 6,214 shares of the company worth $659,000 after acquiring an additional 240 shares in the last quarter. Janus Henderson Group PLC acquired a new stake in Masonite International during the third quarter valued at approximately $243,000. Stifel Financial Corp increased its stake in Masonite International by 31.2% during the fourth quarter. Stifel Financial Corp now owns 11,324 shares of the company valued at $1,336,000 after buying an additional 2,694 shares last quarter. Finally, Virtu Financial LLC acquired a new stake in Masonite International during the fourth quarter valued at approximately $368,000.

Masonite International Company Profile (Get a rating)

Masonite International Corporation designs, manufactures, markets and distributes interior and exterior doors for the new construction and repair, renovation and remodeling sectors of the residential and non-residential building construction markets worldwide. It offers molded panel, flush, stile and track, steel and fiberglass residential doors, as well as medium-density fiberboard (MDF) and architectural interior doors.

Further reading

Earnings history of Masonite International (NYSE: DOOR)



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Westfield City Council Member Says ‘Grand Park Doesn’t Make Money’ • Current Publications https://hhqh.net/westfield-city-council-member-says-grand-park-doesnt-make-money-current-publications/ Mon, 02 May 2022 17:46:54 +0000 https://hhqh.net/westfield-city-council-member-says-grand-park-doesnt-make-money-current-publications/ Patton Troy Patton, a member of Westfield City Council, gave a presentation on Grand Park’s finances at the council’s finance committee meeting on May 2 and acknowledged what many ratepayers have questioned since the opening of the fleet in 2014: when depreciation is taken into account, the fleet does not bring in any money. Patton […]]]>

Patton

Troy Patton, a member of Westfield City Council, gave a presentation on Grand Park’s finances at the council’s finance committee meeting on May 2 and acknowledged what many ratepayers have questioned since the opening of the fleet in 2014: when depreciation is taken into account, the fleet does not bring in any money.

Patton showed Grand Park’s assets, revealing revenue was $6.14 million and expenses were $3.37 million in 2021, so his earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and other expenses was $2.76 million for 2021. But Patton said the park’s depreciation was about $2.9 million in 2021.

“It’s something we always like to brag about, ‘Oh, we make money at Grand Park,'” Patton said. “I don’t care if we make money or not, it’s supposed to. be an economic driver and it does, but if you don’t even mention the $2.9 million writedown, it’s not making money. taxpayers to understand that Grand Park doesn’t make money. That’s OK, but we have to stop saying it makes money.

Since the city issued a RFP March 3 for a new park owner and/or operatorPatton said the board was inundated with questions, which is why he made the presentation at the finance committee meeting. He says he compiled information from the DP and the Clerk-Treasurer’s office for income and expenses. The Westfield Redevelopment Authority owns the park.

“People want to know what Grand Park is worth and what it generates,” Patton said. “We’ve never seen that in black and white numbers. Something taxpayers pay for is something they should know what it brings to the city, what its expenses are, what its balance sheet and balance sheet look like, what we are responsible for, and what our intentions are. I think Grand Park is succeeding in some aspects, like building a tax base, but I think we need to look at it more from a bigger picture perspective.

Patton said area businesses, such as restaurants, depend on Grand Park for their sales.

“There are already people who said, ‘Hey, we’re going to build a Grand Park in our state,’ or in the states around us,” Patton said. “Some have abandoned these ideas because the cost is too high. If our asset is getting old and tired and we don’t control it, who’s to say Auburn isn’t building the next one and pulling everyone from there? »

Another concern expressed by the finance committee about a possible sale of Grand Park is that some of its debt cannot be assumed by a new owner.

“Why even issue a request for proposals if the debt cannot be assumed?” said Westfield City Council member Joe Edwards. “It sticks us with a hell of a load with no way to remove it. I hadn’t realized that the debt was impossible to assume.

Lollar

Westfield chief of staff Jeremy Lollar said if the city sold Grand Park, it would use the proceeds to pay off the park’s debt. The city still owes nearly $80 million for Grand Park, and Patton said if the city had to settle for anything less than that, it would be a burden on taxpayers.

“Grand Park’s cash flow is negative,” he said. “The city claimed she had a net worth of $200 million, and I think that’s probably a bit of a stretch.”

Finance committee members expressed concern that any of the interested buyers might buy the park for far less than it’s worth, but Lollar said legally the city couldn’t sell the park for unless he evaluates it.

“The law wouldn’t allow us to sell it for less than the average appraised value of the assets,” Lollar said. “We ordered these two (appraisals) and we don’t know what they are, but we wouldn’t sell them for $20 million. We would not be legally allowed to do so.

Patton doubts the park will sell for his estimated $200 million net worth.

“If anybody’s willing to pay $200 million, throw them in my house,” Patton said. “I’m pretty comfortable knowing that no one is going to pay $200 million for the asset or even $100 million for the asset unless we plan to raze the place and put something else in there. , which I think would be a mistake.”

If Grand Park receives adequate payment from a buyer, Patton hopes some of the proceeds will be used to repay Westfield City Council the $6 million owed to it. In 2014, a resolution was approved whereby the council loaned $6 million of the proceeds from the sale of utilities to the city for use in Grand Park. Cindy Spoljaric, Westfield Council Member, voted against the resolution, which passed, and said she had never received a report on where the money was spent.

Spoljaric

Spoljaric

“Nowhere does it appear on Grand Park’s debt that this $6 million is owed,” Spoljaric said. “It’s a loan. It is to be reimbursed. »

Spoljaric said the council had not received any repayment of the loan, even though the resolution stated that the money would be repaid as revenue became available. Patton said he hopes the council gets its due as many projects in the city, such as infrastructure, could benefit from the money.

“If we’re going to go out and talk about bidding, let’s get to the $6 million and work out a payment plan,” Patton said. “There are a lot of things we could do with that $6 million. No interest has accrued on it. We haven’t recovered the $6 million. It’s a bit of a slap in the face for a lot of people that this hasn’t been addressed. »

Lollar said 16 candidates have expressed interest in posting a proposal for Grand Park.

“Make no mistake, if someone buys Grand Park, they buy it so they can invest in it and grow this business. Maybe they don’t make much more money from events and tournaments, but maybe they make money from their development around the park,” Lollar said.

Edwards said he hoped the city had enough financial information for Grand Park because the council never received it.

“Anyone (who) is going to buy this is going to say, ‘I want to see the books.’ It’s a normal question if you’re considering buying a large business,” Edwards said. “Hopefully we have enough information because (the board) never got it, that’s for sure. whether it’s profitable or not, they’re going to make the same decision themselves, they’re going to want to see the books.

Patton also expressed concern that the city is issuing a request for proposals as a trial balloon to see what private investors could pay for Grand Park.

“We shouldn’t be bidding for the sake of bidding just to test the waters,” Patton said. “When you do that, it’s like putting your house up for sale just to see what you can get, but you’re not interested in selling it, you just want to see. After a while people will say, ‘These people are just kicking the tire, they’re not even serious.’ If we’re going to go out and tender, we should be serious about it and at least have an analysis to say, “It’s not even generating $200 million. If someone comes and offers 200 million dollars, I’m gonna sit here and eat crow all day.

Lollar assured the finance committee that the RFP was not just an exercise.

“We’re serious about this, assuming the right proposal aligns with our plan, which would leave Grand Park as Grand Park and it would still be the economic engine for the town of Westfield,” Lollar said. “It would just be able to flourish with private capital investment, that’s the intention.”

The deadline for proposals is June 22. Lollar said a proposal review committee is being set up. To learn more, visit westfield.in.gov.

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Unlock rural broadband | Mitchell, Williams, Selig, Gates & Woodyard, LLC https://hhqh.net/unlock-rural-broadband-mitchell-williams-selig-gates-woodyard-llc/ Thu, 28 Apr 2022 20:55:21 +0000 https://hhqh.net/unlock-rural-broadband-mitchell-williams-selig-gates-woodyard-llc/ Download PDF Statewide, the consensus is that broadband is the tool to transform Arkansas’ rural economies, but the question has been how to deploy it cost-effectively. There is a perception that the US federal bailout and bipartisan infrastructure law, along with state grant funds, provide sufficient funding to fund universal rural broadband deployment. The truth […]]]>

Download PDF

Statewide, the consensus is that broadband is the tool to transform Arkansas’ rural economies, but the question has been how to deploy it cost-effectively. There is a perception that the US federal bailout and bipartisan infrastructure law, along with state grant funds, provide sufficient funding to fund universal rural broadband deployment. The truth is that these resources are probably insufficient.

However, there could be an existing tool, used as part of a capital stack, with private sector investment, federal funds, and grants, to more quickly fund universal rural broadband infrastructure in Arkansas. . Recent legislation may have cracked the code on cost-effective broadband deployment in rural Arkansas. Bill 795 of 2021 (Bill 795), sponsored by Rep. Lanny Fite (R-Benton) and Senator Kim Hammer (R-Benton), authorized the creation of “Broadband Improvement Districts.”

Law 795 allows improvement districts, horizontal property regimes, and rural development authorities to enter into public-private partnerships with experienced private entities to form broadband improvement districts. Law 795 also allows broadband improvement districts to fund public facilities or capital projects, including broadband Internet service. The concept of creating Broadband Improvement Districts is an innovative idea and the inclusion of Rural Development Authorities as participants in Broadband Improvement Districts in Law 795 could be a real game-changer.

Rural Development Authorities are entities created under Arkansas law to assist rural areas with a wide range of economic development projects. The legislature declared economic development to be a public objective and granted rural development authorities wide powers to achieve this objective.

Several factors make rural development authorities a compelling option for broadband projects. Rural development authorities generally have broader powers than other entities authorized to establish broadband improvement districts under Law 795. In addition, these rural development authorities generally cover larger geographic areas. Last but not least, rural development authorities have a proven track record as there are numerous rural development authorities operating across the state.

A notable power of rural development authorities is their ability to finance public capital or projects with bonds. These obligations are secured by the revenues and assets of a project and are not considered a debt of another entity, such as a city or county. Rural development authorities also have the option of leasing the built broadband infrastructure to a private partner to repay the debt. In a nutshell, the rural development authority could issue bonds, as part of an equity stack, to fund broadband infrastructure, leasing that infrastructure to an ISP or other private entity, using these lease payments to pay the debt.

Rural development authority bonds have several potential benefits for investors. First, there is a significant possibility that the interest component of bonds issued by a rural development authority for a broadband project may be exempt from tax for the investor in those bonds. Generally, under federal tax law, bonds that fund projects with a substantial private interest would be taxable for federal income tax purposes. But a key provision of the bipartisan infrastructure law allows qualified broadband projects in rural areas to be funded with bonds on a tax-free basis. There are requirements and restrictions that must be met, but many broadband projects across the state will likely qualify for tax-exempt financing.

With the rise in interest rates, the possibility of a tax increase at the federal level and the desire of investors to finance projects with an Environmental, Societal, Governance (ESG) connotation, the debt issued by a rural development authority for broadband projects could be attractive.

Harnessing the power of rural development authorities and broadband improvement districts could be a key element in achieving the goal of universal rural broadband. Connecting rural Arkansas to the rest of the world would provide citizens with more health care options, opportunities, and access to education, while providing local businesses with resources for economic growth.

Republished with permission. Originally published on Let’s talk business and politics website.

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Illinois schools push district consolidation to address teacher shortage https://hhqh.net/illinois-schools-push-district-consolidation-to-address-teacher-shortage/ Wed, 27 Apr 2022 18:52:44 +0000 https://hhqh.net/illinois-schools-push-district-consolidation-to-address-teacher-shortage/ School board members in rural Illinois said consolidating districts will reduce staffing shortages exacerbated by the pandemic. A statewide review of district consolidation could reduce administrative overhead and pump an additional $732 million into classrooms. Somonauk School Board Chairman Mike Short said it’s a disservice to students that a statewide teacher shortage, compounded by the […]]]>

School board members in rural Illinois said consolidating districts will reduce staffing shortages exacerbated by the pandemic. A statewide review of district consolidation could reduce administrative overhead and pump an additional $732 million into classrooms.

Somonauk School Board Chairman Mike Short said it’s a disservice to students that a statewide teacher shortage, compounded by the COVID-19 pandemic, has forced Somonauk High School offer online science lessons instead of hands-on experiences.

“We are able to provide students with an online curriculum for science courses,” Short said. “But doing a science experiment virtually where you click with your mouse and move this beaker to this beaker and pour this flask into that one and watch the reaction happen on a computer screen in a cartoon? That’s far from to be the same.”

At nearby Leland High School, students cannot earn college credit through advanced placement courses, also due to a lack of staff. Leland School Board President Claire Anderson and Short agree that consolidating school districts would solve both districts’ problems and are asking voters to make the change in June.

School district consolidation is a problem throughout Illinois, which has 852 school districts and nearly half of those districts serve only one or two schools. Because of all these duplications, Illinois leads the nation in administrative overhead.

If Illinois matched the national average, it would have 220 districts, a drop of 25%. This would save nearly $732 million in unnecessary overhead, which could instead be used to hire teachers and boost academics or used to slow the nation’s growth. second highest property tax burden.

Illinois has a plan to get there, but it takes political will.

The first classroom law was introduced by state Rep. Rita Mayfield, D-Waukegan, in 2019. Members of the Illinois House of Representatives passed it unanimously, but she never received a full vote at the State Senate.

The law would create the Effective School District Commission, tasked with making recommendations to consolidate 25% of the districts. Each recommendation would then be approved by local voters, with each district agreeing to the mergers.

Somonauk and Leland are good examples of how this could work to give students greater academic offers and taxpayers a break. Both schools would use the same buildings and no one would lose their jobs, but Short and Anderson said the benefits would quickly be apparent.

“There are going to be quick wins. But in 10 years, in 20 years, what kind of neighborhood can we be proud of offering excellent student and university life, while remaining very tax-friendly with our taxpayers? Anderson said.

If voters approve, the new district would begin in the 2022-23 school year.

Giving voters the choice to reduce administration costs and invest more money in classrooms is simply smart. Pumping $732 million a year into classrooms or cutting property taxes would benefit all Illinois.

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Luxfer (NYSE:LXFR) Releases Fiscal 22 Earnings Forecast https://hhqh.net/luxfer-nyselxfr-releases-fiscal-22-earnings-forecast/ Tue, 26 Apr 2022 01:39:43 +0000 https://hhqh.net/luxfer-nyselxfr-releases-fiscal-22-earnings-forecast/ Luxfer (NYSE:LXFR – Get a rating) released an update to its FY22 earnings forecast Monday morning. The company provided EPS guidance of $1.35 to $1.50 for the period, compared to the consensus estimate of Thomson Reuters EPS of $1.37. Luxfer also updated its guidance for fiscal 2022 to $1,350-$1,500 EPS. NYSE:LXFR traded at $0.03 during […]]]>

Luxfer (NYSE:LXFRGet a rating) released an update to its FY22 earnings forecast Monday morning. The company provided EPS guidance of $1.35 to $1.50 for the period, compared to the consensus estimate of Thomson Reuters EPS of $1.37. Luxfer also updated its guidance for fiscal 2022 to $1,350-$1,500 EPS.

NYSE:LXFR traded at $0.03 during Monday trading hours, hitting $17.08. 72,323 shares of the company were traded, against an average volume of 139,568. The company has a market capitalization of $470.21 million, a P/E ratio of 15.96, a price/earnings growth ratio of 1.04 and a beta of 1.01. Luxfer has a 12-month low of $15.34 and a 12-month high of $23.91. The company has a quick ratio of 0.87, a current ratio of 1.95 and a leverage ratio of 0.29. The company’s 50-day simple moving average is $17.58 and its two-hundred-day simple moving average is $18.76.

Luxfer (NYSE:LXFRGet a rating) last released its results on Monday, February 21. The industrial products company reported earnings per share of $0.27 for the quarter, beating the Zacks consensus estimate of $0.20 by $0.07. The company posted revenue of $98.70 million in the quarter, compared to $89.17 million expected by analysts. Luxfer achieved a net margin of 7.99% and a return on equity of 17.79%. During the same period last year, the company posted earnings per share of $0.25. As a group, sell-side analysts expect Luxfer to post 1.26 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

The company also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Wednesday, May 4. Investors of record on Thursday, April 14 will receive a dividend of $0.13. This is a positive change from Luxfer’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.13. The ex-dividend date is Wednesday, April 13. This represents a dividend of $0.52 on an annualized basis and a yield of 3.04%. Luxfer’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is currently 48.60%.

A number of research companies have published reports on LXFR. B. Riley raised his price target on Luxfer shares from $26.50 to $27.00 and gave the stock a buy rating in a Wednesday, Feb. 23 research report. Zacks Investment Research downgraded Luxfer shares from a hold rating to a sell rating in a Tuesday, March 1 research report. To finish, StockNews.com began covering Luxfer shares in a research report on Thursday, March 31. They issued a buy rating for the company.

A number of hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently bought and sold shares of LXFR. Dimensional Fund Advisors LP acquired a new stake in Luxfer in Q3 worth $739,000. Millennium Management LLC acquired a new stake in Luxfer in Q2 worth $648,000. Morgan Stanley increased its position in Luxfer shares by 1,323.4% during the second quarter. Morgan Stanley now owns 26,375 shares of the industrial products company valued at $587,000 after acquiring an additional 24,522 shares last quarter. Barclays PLC increased its position in Luxfer shares by 175.0% during the 4th quarter. Barclays PLC now owns 33,445 shares of the industrial products company valued at $645,000 after acquiring a further 21,281 shares last quarter. Finally, Bank of America Corp DE increased its position in Luxfer shares by 132.7% in the 4th quarter. Bank of America Corp DE now owns 30,667 shares of the industrial products company valued at $593,000 after acquiring 17,491 additional shares last quarter. Institutional investors hold 98.69% of the company’s shares.

About Luxfer (Get a rating)

Luxfer Holdings PLC, together with its subsidiaries, designs, manufactures and supplies high pressure gas containment materials, components and devices for defense and emergency response, healthcare, transportation and general industrial applications of the end market. It operates in two segments, Gas Cylinders and Elektron.

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Meeting of the African Consultative Group: Statement by the Chairman of the African Caucus and the Managing Director of the IMF https://hhqh.net/meeting-of-the-african-consultative-group-statement-by-the-chairman-of-the-african-caucus-and-the-managing-director-of-the-imf/ Sun, 24 Apr 2022 09:21:28 +0000 https://hhqh.net/meeting-of-the-african-consultative-group-statement-by-the-chairman-of-the-african-caucus-and-the-managing-director-of-the-imf/ Download logo The Moroccan Minister of Economy and Finance, Ms. Nadia Fettah, Chair of the African Caucus, and Ms. Kristalina Georgieva, Managing Director of the International Monetary Fund (IMF), co-chaired the meeting of the African Consultative Group on Thursday, April 21, 2022. They issued the following statement after the conclusion of the Group meeting in […]]]>

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The Moroccan Minister of Economy and Finance, Ms. Nadia Fettah, Chair of the African Caucus, and Ms. Kristalina Georgieva, Managing Director of the International Monetary Fund (IMF), co-chaired the meeting of the African Consultative Group on Thursday, April 21, 2022. They issued the following statement after the conclusion of the Group meeting in Washington DC:

“Our discussions on Africa’s recovery challenges and prospects were very fruitful. Today, the green shoots of the recovery started in 2021 are threatened by the war in Ukraine at a time when the war against COVID-19 is still not over.

“Vaccination rates on the continent remain low and patchy, although some progress has been made in recent months. At 13.2 percent of its population, sub-Saharan Africa remains the region with the lowest vaccination rates in the world, and at 28.1 percent, North Africa’s average rate is also still below the world average.

“The spike in commodity prices triggered by the war in Ukraine has destabilized global commodity markets, exacerbating both inflationary pressures and food security concerns, especially for the most vulnerable who are already scarred by the pandemic. . Several countries in North Africa and the Sahel are among the most vulnerable in the world to price increases or wheat shortages because they are heavily dependent on imports from Russia and Ukraine.

“Although the continent’s fuel and commodity exporters will benefit from a windfall gain, the positive fiscal impact could be largely offset by additional energy and food subsidies. By contrast, high food and energy prices are weighing on the external and fiscal balances of commodity importers. Capital flows are also likely to be disrupted.

“We agreed that the top priority must be to protect the most vulnerable households from the impact of high food and energy prices. But the external shock is hitting the continent at a time when most countries have limited fiscal space, with high debt vulnerabilities and heightened risks. In this difficult context, targeted, temporary and transparent support to vulnerable households using and further developing social safety nets would be the most appropriate solution.

“For this effort to succeed, governments in the region, the international community and the private sector must make concerted efforts to mobilize additional revenue and financing to support the recovery and implement the reforms needed to promote inclusive and sustainable growth. sustainability, achieving diversification, tackling the climate crisis and transitioning to a green economy.

“The IMF has played its part and reformed its concessional lending toolkit for low-income countries to provide greater flexibility in access levels. It provided emergency financing to countries with urgent balance of payments needs, debt service relief under the Catastrophe Containment and Relief Trust (CCRT) to the most vulnerable countries, and enacted an allocation Special Drawing Rights (SDR) history. The allocation of SDRs boosted liquidity and reserves around the world. About $34 billion has been allocated to African countries, which in some countries is equivalent to 6% of GDP.

“The IMF has just created a trust fund for resilience and sustainability, which will be operational later this year, financed by SDRs voluntarily channeled by donor countries. It will complement the IMF’s existing lending toolkit by providing longer-term affordable financing to address longer-term challenges, including climate change and pandemic preparedness. The ACG welcomed the initial pledges of around $40 billion for RST funding and encouraged other contributors to make additional pledges to ensure that the RST is well placed to help African countries meet their long-term challenges and build their resilience.

“The group also underscored the need to address the growing debt vulnerabilities of developing countries, particularly in Africa, and find effective ways to ease the debt service burden. He also stressed the need to continue working together to strengthen the debt resolution architecture, including by improving the common framework for debt treatment and technical assistance under the multi-pronged approach ( MPA) to meet remaining capacity needs.

Distributed by APO Group on behalf of the International Monetary Fund (IMF).

This press release was issued by APO. Content is not vetted by the African Business editorial team and none of the content has been verified or validated by our editorial teams, proofreaders or fact checkers. The issuer is solely responsible for the content of this announcement.

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