There are many taxpayers who have found themselves on the wrong side of the IRS because they used the services of unscrupulous tax preparers. There are also others who have had their refunds embezzled by preparers. It is therefore, important that you research a tax preparer before signing up for his or her services. Below are some tips that will help you spot a crooked preparer:
Here are 7 tips on to save on interest by paying your home loan faster.
Owning a home is one of the most common aspirations among people from all walks of life. No matter what his status in life is, every person will give anything just to be able to build a home for his family.
There are people who have been blessed with a fortune so they can easily build not one but even two or more homes for their families. Some people who have made it their life aspiration to own their own homes manage to fulfill their dreams by availing of a home loan.
Owning a home through a loan is not an easy task because first of all, the person has to have a good credit history. He has to find a suitable mortgage provider that can give him the amount he needs to buy or build his home. Not only that; he also has to choose the best home mortgage he can get to maximize his financial resources.
Before finalizing his application for a home loan, any borrower should evaluate his capacity to pay off his loan for a specific period. Loan providers prefer to give long term loans because this is how they make money. Every borrower should choose a pay-off period that is advantageous to him.
There are advantages and disadvantages to getting a long term home loan. A long term long can be beneficial to the borrower because he can negotiate minimal monthly payments for his home loan. This would be advantageous for him especially if he can negotiate a home loan with a fixed or locked interest. However, this can also be disadvantageous for him if the interest rates go down.
On the other hand, a long term loan can be disadvantageous for the borrower if the interest rate is not fixed and sudden economic factors cause a notable increase in interest rates. Getting a long term home loan can also be more expensive because while the repayment term is long, the total amount mortgaged can be twice or even thrice the principal amount loaned depending on the terms of the lender.
In general, paying off a home loan the soonest possible time would be more beneficial to the borrower. For one, he is assured that he owns his home without worrying about the property being forfeited and in effect losing all his investment.
1. Read and review the terms of the home loan agreement, Check all the
Financial and pay off terms to make sure the loan is not totally onerous for the borrower. Calculate the total amortizations you have to pay and choose a term that you can easily pay off in a monthly or quarterly period.
2. Always make the home loan amortization a priority when it comes to budgeting. When the family income comes in, the borrower should always deduct that amount needed to pay off the home loan amortization to make sure it is not spent on other expenses.
3. Ask the loan provider if a rebate is given for early or on time payments. Some lenders give a rebate every time the amortization is paid on or before the cut off date. The savings you will get from paying early can be given to the lender as an advance home payment. The amount may be meager but it will add up and will later lessen the paying period.
4. Allot a percentage or better yet, apply all the bonuses and other financial gains to the home loan payment. This will be considered as an advanced payment and will get you a breather in case there is an emergency and the money for the home loan is used for a more important expense like health emergencies.
5. Always be vigilant abut how the interest rates go up and down. When the interest rates fall down substantially, refinancing the home loan may just be the best option. However, make sure that the refinancing scheme will lessen the financial burden on your part.
6. Encourage family members to take on extra work or projects to add to the family income. The benefits of owning a home will redound to the whole family so it is important to make the members aware that pitching in home loan payment will always work for the benefit of the whole family. Each member who gets and extra income can allot a portion of that income to paying off the home loan. No matter how meager that extra income may be, it will add up and will help in paying off the home loan the soonest possible time.
7. Save, save and save. Owning a home is a project that requires the head of the family and even the family members to save and scrimp to pay off the loan fast. The family can help by saving on energy consumption or other household expenses. The savings from other household expenses can be used to add to the home loan payment.
For average income earners, only a home loan can make the dream of owning a home a reality. No matter how meager the monthly income is, there is always a chance of owning a home. However, the family should find ways to pay off the home loan fast so they can finally and totally own their home.
If you need fast money, you must first check your resources. If you need money fast and need money now, you must first check yourself to see what you and are not willing to do. Thanks to the internet, if you need fast money, and legally, the means are ever available to you.
There are numerous ways to earn if you need fast money. One of the fastest and easiest ways to make money fast is to sell a gig on any of these popular gig sites, such as Fourerr, Fiverr, and Uphype, etc. I posted one gig and made my first sale less than two hours later, literally.
Now I do not want to come off as some salesman or turn this into some spammy brochure, nor do I want to seem like some sort of schemer, but one of the best ways to earn if you need fast money is utilize social networks such as Facebook and Twitter. The thing with these social networks is that they are familiar to everyone, and everyone who is friends has some sort of credibility with each other. If you lightly promote some sort of product, program or system to your friends on these social networks, especially those who you know need money fast and need money now like you do, you will make money fast. As it has been said though, it is not what you do it is all in how you do it.
If you need fast money, the best way to go is online. Your first step is to pick a niche. Find out what your friends are looking for. Find out who needs what. If you choose to go the gig route, you can almost create your own market for whatever you are selling. However, when dealing with the social networks, just ask. You will find that there is an existing market already at your reach that you can quickly bank from.
To be honest with you, the making money niche is a great niche to profit from, but the internet is saturated with these kinds of offers and programs. So your chance of getting enough traffic from Google to any affiliation you make with any of these offers, without knowing how exactly, will not turn you a profit fast. However, you know your own circle. You know how to speak to them. You know how to press their buttons. So do it!
If you need money fast, sift through the resources that are available to you now, and go for it. Find an offer or system that is appealing, and simply suggest them to your friend list. Them knowing you personally alone will give you a jump start in getting them to come out of their own pockets for you. The key is to not try to sell them anything, just ask them to simply check it out, and let the product or system do the rest for you. If they ask you about your own results, embellish a little. Do not blatantly lie, but stretch your truth some. You make up for this when you help them out or direct them to where their questions will be answered, and you stay in a good light.
If you need fast money and look hard enough, you will usually find that you have exactly what you need already to make that money you need now. It is a classic situation. You steadily search outward for something that you had all along. Look at what is in front of you right now!
One of the keys to becoming successful in the stock market is by getting access into the inside stories, trends and updates regarding the country’s economy. One of the show’s in America that has all these information is Fast Money Recap. If you are serious about making tremendous amounts of money, then you can get insights from this show.
Undeniably, Fast Money Recap is one of the most watched American programs when it comes to money matters. This stock trading talk show will show you everything from financial trends, investment techniques and stock predictions. If you miss an episode you can always watch it again through this program, even get updates via your mobile phone and make use of their widgets if you are into affiliate marketing.
All you need to know about stock trading is in this program. Well-known experts in this field talk about the trends and how to invest well in the trade. They also divulge secrets on who to make it well in Wall Street. Produced by CNBC, it deals with topics like technical analysis on the stock market movements, commodities, stock exchange options, and the basics of investing.
Providing information for six years now, fast money has all the details that will arm you for success. In any other venture it is important to have an in-depth knowledge in what you are getting yourself into. This program caters to various third-party companies like the NASDAQ, American Stock Exchange (AMEX), Reuters and the New York Stock Exchange. With these date collated from these companies you will get an overall picture on how the economy works.
So why watch Fast Money Recap? As shown via live telecast from NASDAQ Market Site, New York City, the program brings you the latest and most credible information about the stock market. They have blogs to keep you in the know, and have updates from their show. For sure these programs will not only educate you into the financial trends and how to invest well but it will also inculcate passion and motivation in making money.
In the fast paced internet age getting updates and latest news for your line of business and information from the stock market is important so that you can make accurate predictions and investments. Fast Money Recap has everything that a trader needs to know, and to always keep in touch with financial news it is advised to register and stay informed.
Income tax preparation is an important aspect of everybody’s life. Each April 15th, United States citizens scramble to get their tax return preparation completed in time for the deadline. In order to make income tax preparation easier, there are many tools available to help make the process smoother. Free income tax preparation and online income tax preparation are methods that are readily available to help make tax season a bit easier.
Free income tax preparation is often available as an incentive for refund anticipation loans. A tax specialist will analyze your finances and prepare your taxes. If it is determine you are entitled to a refund, they take a percentage of that refund.Consequently, the tax preparation service makes money, but not until your refund comes through. There is no out-of pocket expense to you, plus you get the added assurance that your tax preparation is done thoroughly and accurately.
Online income tax preparation is available at many locations to assist you with your filing. The income tax preparation software usually consists of an easy-to-use interface which asks a series of questions. You will answer each question then move to the next screen. Some questions will not be applicable to your particular situation so you will choose the “not applicable” option and continue. The professional income tax preparation software thinks of everything for you. You do not have to be familiar with tax laws or the complexities of tax preparation. Instead, the software will cue you to the possible deductions you may be allowed to take.
Simply answer all the questions on the tax preparation software as completely as you can and your tax refund or payment will be automatically calculated for you. You will then have the option to print out the forms for your signature and submission. If you choose this option, print all the necessary forms that the tax preparation software informs you that you will need. Sign all the forms where appropriate, and attach any supporting documentation. Most income tax preparation software will generate a checklist that you can use to ensure all supporting documentation and forms are properly enclosed.
Many online income tax preparation software systems have electronic submission capabilities. This way, you can file all the necessary tax paperwork without having to go to the post office to wait in long lines. This is especially useful when it gets closer to the tax deadline and many people are rushing to get their taxes posted. The lines can be outrageous and being able to file your return from the comfort of your own home is much more convenient.
Tax preparation help can be found on numerous websites and at the Internal Revenue Service website. If you have a question about the proper way to complete your tax preparation or what forms to file, the Internal Revenue Service website is a great place to look for tax preparation help. Income tax preparation software also often has available tax help files and links for resources.
Tax preparation services are another useful option for tax preparation. Tax preparation services can often be found in kiosks in shopping centers or malls as well as in stand-alone offices. Tax preparation services work for a fee, but they hire highly skilled accountants and tax specialists who will know exactly how to most effectively prepare your taxes to get the maximum amount of deductions. The person who prepares your taxes will walk you through a series of questions and will possibly ask to see certain types of documentation. This process will assist them in developing the most thorough and accurate tax return possible.
Federal and state income tax preparation can often seem like a daunting task. Free tax preparation is available for those who are concerned about their budget. Any fees that are applicable are generally deducted from your refund so there are no up-front costs. Online income tax preparation is available for those who want the convenience of preparing and filing taxes online. You can avoid the long lines and hassle of the post office by choosing this option and you can generally get your refund, if there is one, directly deposited into your checking account. Income tax preparation services are also available at a fee, and are generally used for more complex tax returns. All options are readily available and easy to use. Any of these options will make your tax preparation much easier and less stressful.
In December 2003 Mzwimbi went on a well deserved family vacation to the United States, satisfied with the progress and confident that his sprawling empire was on a solid footing. However a call from a business magnate in January 2004 alerted him to what was termed a looming shake- up in the financial services sector. It appears that the incoming governor had confided in a few close colleagues and acquaintances about his plans. This confirmed to Mzwimbi the fears that were arising as RBZ refused to accommodate banks which had liquidity challenges.
The last two months of 2003 saw interest rates soar close to 900% p.a., with the RBZ watching helplessly. The RBZ had the tools and capacity to control these rates but nothing was done to ease the situation. This hiking of interest rates wiped out nearly all the bank’s income made within the year. Bankers normally rely on treasury bills (TBs) since they are easily tradable. Their yield had been good until the interest rates skyrocketed. Consequently bankers were now borrowing at higher interest rates than the treasury bills could cover. Bankers were put in the uncomfortable position of borrowing expensive money and on-lending it cheaply. An example at Royal Bank was an entrepreneur who borrowed $120 million in December 2003, which by March 2004 had ballooned to $500 million due to the excessive rates. Although the cost of funds was now at 900% p.a., Royal Bank had just increased its interest rates to only 400% p.a, meaning that it was funding the client’s shortfall. However this client could not pay it and just returned the $120 million and demonstrated that he had no capacity to pay back the $400 million interest charge. Most bankers accepted this anomaly because they thought it was a temporary dysfunction perpetuated by the inability of an acting governor to make bold decisions. Bankers believed that once a substantive governor was sworn in he would control the interest rates. Much to their dismay, on assuming the governorship Dr. Gono left the rates untamed and hence the situation worsened. This scenario continued up to August 2004, causing considerable strain on entrepreneurial bankers.
On reflection, some bankers feel that the central bank deliberately hiked the interest rates, as this would allow it to restructure the financial services sector. They argue that during the cash crisis of the last half of 2003, bank CEOs would meet often with the RBZ in an effort to find solutions to the crisis. Retrospectively they claim that there is evidence indicating that the current governor though not appointed yet was already in control of the RBZ operations during that time period and was thus responsible for the untenable interest rate regime.
In January 2004, after his vacation, Mzwimbi was informed by the RBZ that Royal had been accommodated for $2 billion on the 28th of December 2003. The Central Bank wanted to know whether this accommodation should be formalized and placed into the newly created Troubled Bank Fund. However, this was expensive money both in terms of the interest rates and also in terms of the conditions and terms of the loan. At Trust Bank, access to this facility had already given the Central Bank the right to force out the top executives, restructure the Board and virtually take over the management of the bank.
Royal Bank turned down the offer and used deposits to pay off the money. However the interest rates did not come down.
During the first quarter of 2004 Trust Bank, Barbican bank and Inter-market Bank were identified as distressed and put under severe corrective orders by the Central Bank.
Royal Bank remained stable until March 2004. People who had their funds locked up in Inter-market Bank withdrew huge sums of funds from Royal Bank while others were moving to foreign owned banks as the perception created by Central Bank was read by the market to mean that entrepreneurial bankers were fraudsters.
Others withdrew their money on the basis that if financial behemoths like Intermarket can sink, then it could happen to any other indigenous controlled bank. Royal Bank had an advantage that in the smaller towns it was the only bank, so people had no choice. However even in this scenario there were no stable deposits as people kept their funds moving to avoid being caught unawares. For example in one week Royal Bank had withdrawals of over $40 billion but weathered the storm without recourse to Central Bank accommodation.
At this time, newspaper reports indicating some leakage of confidential information started appearing. When confronted, one public paper reporter confided that the information was being supplied to them by the Central Bank. These reports were aimed at causing panic withdrawals and hence exposing banks to depositor flight.
In March 2004, at the point of significant vulnerability, Royal Bank received a letter from RBZ cancelling the exemption from statutory reserve requirements. Statutory reserves are funds, (making up a certain percentage of their total deposits), banks are required to deposit with the Central Bank, at no interest.
When Royal Bank began operations, Mzwimbi applied to the Central Bank – then under Dr Tsumba, for foreign currency to pay for supplies, software and technology infrastructure. No foreign currency could be availed but instead Royal Bank was exempted from paying statutory reserves for one year, thus releasing funds which Royal could use to acquire foreign currency and purchase the needed resources. This was a normal procedure and practice of the Central Bank, which had been made available to other banking institutions as well. This would also enhance the bank’s liquidity position.
Even investors are sometimes offered tax exemptions to encourage and promote investments in any industry. This exemption was delayed due to bungling in the Banking Supervision and Surveillance Department of the RBZ and was thus only implemented a year later, consequently it would run from May 2003 until May 2004. The premature cancellation of this exemption caught Royal Bank by surprise as its cash flow projections had been based on these commencing in May 2004.
When the RBZ insisted, Royal Bank calculated the statutory reserves and noted that, due to a decline in its deposits, it was not eligible for the payment of statutory reserves at that time. When the bank submitted its returns with zero statutory reserves, the Central Bank claimed that the bank was now due for the whole statutory reserve since inception. In effect this was not being treated as a statutory reserve exemption but more as a penalty for evading statutory reserves. Royal Bank appealed. There were conflicting opinions between the Bank Supervision and Capital Markets divisions on the issue as Bank Supervision conceded to the validity of Royal’s position. However Capital Markets insisted that it had instructions from the top to recall the full amount of $23 billion. This was forced onto Royal Bank and transferred without consent to the Troubled Banks Fund at exorbitant rates of 450% p. a.
When FML was demutualising, the executives were concerned about the possibility of being swallowed by its huge strategic partner, Trust Holdings. FML approached Royal Bank and other banks to act as buffers. The agreement was that FML would fund the deal by placing funds with Royal Bank so that Royal would not fund it from its balance sheet.
Consequently FML would leave the deposits with Royal Bank for the tenor of the loan. The deal was consummated through Regal Asset Managers and was to mature in December 2004, at which time it was anticipated that the share price of First Mutual would have blossomed, allowing Royal Bank to harvest its investment and exit profitably. The deal resulted in Regal Asset Managers owning 57 million FML shares. Royal Bank gave FML some securities in the form of treasury bills as collateral for the deposit.
The Reserve Bank and the curator wrote off this investment because at that time FML was suspended at the ZSE. However the fact that it was suspended did not invalidate its value. Recent events have shown that this investment has generated huge capital value for Regal Asset Managers as the ZSE rebounded. Yet the curator valued this investment negatively. Around March 2004 there had been a contagion effect at FML due to the challenges at Trust Bank. This resulted in the forced departure of the FML CEO and chairman. FML was suspended from the local bourse as investigations into the financing structure of Capital Alliance’s acquisition were carried out. Because of the pressure brought to bear on FML, it wanted to withdraw the deposits held by Royal Bank, contrary to the agreement. FML could not locate and return the treasury bills that had been provided as collateral by Royal. Royal Bank suspected that these had been placed with ENG, another asset management company which collapsed in December 2003. A public row broke out. Royal Bank executives sought counsel from Renaissance Merchant Bank, which had brokered the deal, and the Chairman of the ZSE, who both agreed with Royal that the deal was legitimate and FML had to honour the agreement. At this stage FML sought court intervention in an attempt to force Royal Bank into liquidation. Even the curator contested the FML position resulting in his taking it for arbitration. Royal’s position remained that if FML fails to return the securities then it will not get the funds.
Royal bank directors claimed political interference on the issue. The Royal Bank executives believe that the governor, against his better judgment, decided to act against Royal Bank under the pretext of the political pressure. In retrospect, the political support for cracking the whip at Royal gave credence to the rumour that the governor had an underlying agenda in taking Royal and merging it into ZABG because of its strong branch network.
Royal Bank had been warned by friendly RBZ insiders that if it ever accessed the Troubled Bank Fund it would be in trouble, so it sought to avoid this at all costs.
However on 4th August 2004, Royal was served with papers that effectively placed it under the curator. Interestingly, the curator’s contract was signed two days earlier. Until this time no depositor had ever failed to withdraw his deposits from Royal Bank.
The lack of credibility of the Reserve Bank in handling this case is exposed when one considers that some banks were given more than eight months to stabilize under curators, e.g. Intermarket and CFX Banks, and were able to recover. But Royal and Trust Bank were under the curator for less than two months before being amalgamated. The press raised concerns about the curators assuming the role of undertaker rather than nurse, and hence burying these banks.This seemed to confirm the possibility of a hidden agenda on the part of the Central Bank.
Chando was an excellent financial engineer who set up Victory Financial Services after a stint with MBCA. He had been the brains behind the setting up of the predecessor of Century Discount House which he later sold to Century Holdings. Royal Bank initially had an interest in discount houses and so at inception had included Victor as a significant shareholder. He later acquired Barnfords Securities which Royal intended to bring in-house.
Victory Financial Services was involved in foreign currency dealings, using offshore companies that bought free funds from Zimbabweans abroad and purchased raw materials for Zimbabwean corporations. One such deal with National Foods went sour and the MD reported it to the Central Bank. On investigations the deal was found to be clean but the RBZ went ahead to publish that he was involved in illegal foreign currency transactions and linked this to Royal Bank. However this was a transaction done by a shareholder as an account holder, in which the bank had no interest. What confused matters, was that Victory Financial Services was housed in the same building as Royal Bank.
After failing to nail Chando to any criminal charges, the Central Bank issued an order for Royal Bank to force him out as a shareholder and board member. It is ridiculous that the Central Bank would vet who is a shareholder or not in banks – particularly when the people had no criminal records.
Negotiations with OPEC were underway for it to take over Chando’s shareholding. The Reserve Bank was aware of these developments. OPEC would then help in the recapitalization as well as open up lines of credit for the bank.
In September 2004 the executive directors of Royal Bank, Mzwimbi and Durajadi, were arrested on five allegations of fraudulently prejudicing the bank. One of the charges was that they fraudulently used depositors’ funds to recapitalize the bank.
Three of the charges after police investigations were dropped, as they were not true. The two remaining charges were:
a) a conflict of interest on loans that were made available to the directors. The RBZ alleges that they did not disclose their interests when companies controlled by them accessed loans at concessionary rates from the bank. However the enterprising bankers dispute these charges, as they claim the Board minutes prove that this interest was disclosed. Even the annual financial statements of the bank acknowledge that they accessed loans as part of their employment contract with the bank.
b) money was owed to Finsreal Asset Management. However Mzwimbi argues that Finsreal actually owes them money and not the other way round. Royal Bank shareholders needed to inject money for recapitalization of the bank and were requested to deposit their funds with Finsreal Asset Management. Since some had not paid their portion of the recapitalization by the due date, Royal Financial Holdings, which had an account with Finsreal, paid the money on behalf of the shareholders – who were then indebted to Royal Financial Holdings. Somehow the RBZ confused this transaction as the bank’s funds and therefore accused the
shareholders of using depositors’ funds to recapitalize.
By retrospectively analyzing the court case wherein the Royal Bank executive directors are accused of defrauding the bank it appears that the RBZ created a falsehood in order to frustrate the bankers. The curator who initially refused to take a stand before the RBZ appointed Independent Appeal, has in court clearly testified that no monies were stolen from the bank by the directors and that the curator did not (contrary to RBZ assertions) recommend charges against the bankers. In January 2007 the former executive directors of Royal Bank were acquitted by the High Court on the remaining criminal charges after the prosecution failed to present a convincing argument.
Royal Bank assets were sold by the curator to ZABG barely two months after being placed under the curator, without any audited financial statements. The speed at which an agreement of sale was reached is astonishing. The owners of Royal Bank went to court and, after a protracted legal struggle, the court ruled that the assets were sold illegally and hence the sale was “illegal and of no force or effect and therefore null and void”. The court then directed that the owners should appeal to the Central Bank for a determination of the actions of the curators. The Central Bank begrudgingly set up an “independent panel” to adjudicate the case. Strangely ZABG continued to trade on the illegal assets.
The panel advised that the appeal by Royal bank be rejected as it would be difficult to disentangle it from ZABG. They also cited the fact that ZABG had some contractual obligations with third parties who may not want to do business with Royal bank. This strange ruling fails to explain why these considerations were not made when the amalgamation was done. The ruling also redefined the agreements between the curator of Royal bank and ZABG as not being an “agreement of sale” even though the parties which entered into the agreement clearly intended it to be viewed as such. This was a way of circumventing the Supreme Court ruling that the agreement of sale was null and void.
But the panel did not explain how this disposal of the assets should be considered if it was not a sale.
Consequently the major shareholders of Royal appealed to the Minister of Finance who upheld the RBZ decision. Mzwimbi and his colleagues have therefore appealed to the courts. In the meanwhile there was a failed attempt to sell the disputed assets by ZABG despite the outstanding legal challenge. Just ice delayed is justice denied.
Mzwimbi and his team have been denied access to all bank records and yet are expected to defend themselves. As he characteristically puts it, “We are going into this fight blind folded and our hands bound, while fighting someone who has armour and a sword.”
Banking Fraud is posing threat to Indian Economy. Its vibrant effect can be understood be the fact that in the year 2004 number of Cyber Crime were 347 in India which rose to 481 in 2005 showing an increase of 38.5% while I.P.C. category crime stood at 302 in 2005 including 186 cases of cyber fraud and 68 cases cyber forgery. Thus it becomes very important that occurrence of such frauds should be minimized. More upsetting is the fact that such frauds are entering in Banking Sector as well.
In the present day, Global Scenario Banking System has acquired new dimensions. Banking did spread in India. Today, the banking system has entered into competitive markets in areas covering resource mobilization, human resource development, customer services and credit management as well.
Indian’s banking system has several outstanding achievements to its credit, the most striking of which is its reach. In fact, Indian banks are now spread out into the remotest areas of our country. Indian banking, which was operating in a highly comfortable and protected environment till the beginning of 1990s, has been pushed into the choppy waters of intense competition.
A sound banking system should possess three basic characteristics to protect depositor’s interest and public faith. Theses are (i) a fraud free culture, (ii) a time tested Best Practice Code, and (iii) an in house immediate grievance remedial system. All these conditions are their missing or extremely weak in India. Section 5(b) of the Banking Regulation Act, 1949 defines banking… “Banking is the accepting for the purpose of lending or investment, deposits of money from the purpose of lending or investment, deposits of money from the public, repayable on demand or otherwise and withdraw able by cheque, draft, order or otherwise.” But if his money has fraudulently been drawn from the bank the latter is under strict obligation to pay the depositor. The bank therefore has to ensure at all times that the money of the depositors is not drawn fraudulently. Time has come when the security aspects of the banks have to be dealt with on priority basis.
The banking system in our country has been taking care of all segments of our socioeconomic set up. The Article contains a discussion on the rise of banking frauds and various methods that can be used to avoid such frauds. A bank fraud is a deliberate act of omission or commission by any person carried out in the course of banking transactions or in the books of accounts, resulting in wrongful gain to any person for a temporary period or otherwise, with or without any monetary loss to the bank. The relevant provisions of Indian Penal Code, Criminal Procedure Code, Indian Contract Act, and Negotiable Instruments Act relating to banking frauds has been cited in the present Article.
EVOLUTION OF BANKING SYSTEM IN INDIA
Banking system occupies an important place in a nation’s economy. A banking institution is indispensable in a modern society. It plays a pivotal role in economic development of a country and forms the core of the money market in an advanced country.
Banking industry in India has traversed a long way to assume its present stature. It has undergone a major structural transformation after the nationalization of 14 major commercial banks in 1969 and 6 more on 15 April 1980. The Indian banking system is unique and perhaps has no parallels in the banking history of any country in the world.
RESERVE BANK OF INDIA-ECONOMIC AND SOCIAL OBJECTIVE
The Reserve Bank of India has an important role to play in the maintenance of the exchange value of the rupee in view of the close interdependence of international trade and national economic growth and well being. This aspect is of the wider responsibly of the central bank for the maintenance of economic and financial stability. For this the bank is entrusted with the custody and the management of country’s international reserves; it acts also as the agent of the government in respect of India’s membership of the international monetary fund. With economic development the bank also performs a variety of developmental and promotional functions which in the past were registered being outside the normal purview of central banking. It also acts an important regulator.
BANK FRAUDS: CONCEPT AND DIMENSIONS
Banks are the engines that drive the operations in the financial sector, which is vital for the economy. With the nationalization of banks in 1969, they also have emerged as engines for social change. After Independence, the banks have passed through three stages. They have moved from the character based lending to ideology based lending to today competitiveness based lending in the context of India’s economic liberalization policies and the process of linking with the global economy.
While the operations of the bank have become increasingly significant banking frauds in banks are also increasing and fraudsters are becoming more and more sophisticated and ingenious. In a bid to keep pace with the changing times, the banking sector has diversified it business manifold. And the old philosophy of class banking has been replaced by mass banking. The challenge in management of social responsibility with economic viability has increased.
DEFINITION OF FRAUD
Fraud is defined as “any behavior by which one person intends to gain a dishonest advantage over another”. In other words , fraud is an act or omission which is intended to cause wrongful gain to one person and wrongful loss to the other, either by way of concealment of facts or otherwise.
Fraud is defined u/s 421 of the Indian Penal Code and u/s 17 of the Indian Contract Act. Thus essential elements of frauds are:
1. There must be a representation and assertion;
2. It must relate to a fact;
3. It must be with the knowledge that it is false or without belief in its truth; and
4. It must induce another to act upon the assertion in question or to do or not to do certain act.
Losses sustained by banks as a result of frauds exceed the losses due to robbery, dacoity, burglary and theft-all put together. Unauthorized credit facilities are extended for illegal gratification such as case credit allowed against pledge of goods, hypothecation of goods against bills or against book debts. Common modus operandi are, pledging of spurious goods, inletting the value of goods, hypothecating goods to more than one bank, fraudulent removal of goods with the knowledge and connivance of in negligence of bank staff, pledging of goods belonging to a third party. Goods hypothecated to a bank are found to contain obsolete stocks packed in between goods stocks and case of shortage in weight is not uncommon.
An analysis made of cases brings out broadly the under mentioned four major elements responsible for the commission of frauds in banks.
1. Active involvement of the staff-both supervisor and clerical either independent of external elements or in connivance with outsiders.
2. Failure on the part of the bank staff to follow meticulously laid down instructions and guidelines.
3. External elements perpetuating frauds on banks by forgeries or manipulations of cheques, drafts and other instruments.
4. There has been a growing collusion between business, top banks executives, civil servants and politicians in power to defraud the banks, by getting the rules bent, regulations flouted and banking norms thrown to the winds.
FRAUDS-PREVENTION AND DETECTION
A close study of any fraud in bank reveals many common basic features. There may have been negligence or dishonesty at some stage, on part of one or more of the bank employees. One of them may have colluded with the borrower. The bank official may have been putting up with the borrower’s sharp practices for a personal gain. The proper care which was expected of the staff, as custodians of banks interest may not have been taken. The bank’s rules and procedures laid down in the Manual instructions and the circulars may not have been observed or may have been deliberately ignored.
Bank frauds are the failure of the banker. It does not mean that the external frauds do not defraud banks. But if the banker is upright and knows his job, the task of defrauder will become extremely difficult, if not possible.
Detection of Frauds
Despite all care and vigilance there may still be some frauds, though their number, periodicity and intensity may be considerably reduced. The following procedure would be very helpful if taken into consideration:
1. All relevant data-papers, documents etc. Should be promptly collected. Original vouchers or other papers forming the basis of the investigation should be kept under lock and key.
2. All persons in the bank who may be knowing something about the time, place a modus operandi of the fraud should be examined and their statements should be recorded.
3. The probable order of events should thereafter be reconstructed by the officer, in his own mind.
4. It is advisable to keep the central office informed about the fraud and further developments in regard thereto.
Classification of Frauds and Action Required by Banks
The Reserve Bank of India had set-up a high level committee in 1992 which was headed by Mr. A… Ghosh, the then Dy. Governor Reserve Bank of India to inquire into various aspects relating to frauds malpractice in banks. The committee had noticed/observed three major causes for perpetration of fraud as given hereunder:
1. Laxity in observance of the laid down system and procedures by operational and supervising staff.
2. Over confidence reposed in the clients who indulged in breach of trust.
3. Unscrupulous clients by taking advantages of the laxity in observance of established, time tested safeguards also committed frauds.
In order to have uniformity in reporting cases of frauds, RBI considered the question of classification of bank frauds on the basis of the provisions of the IPC.
Given below are the Provisions and their Remedial measures that can be taken.
1. Cheating (Section 415, IPC)
The preventive measures in respect of the cheating can be concentrated on cross-checking regarding identity, genuineness, verification of particulars, etc. in respect of various instruments as well as persons involved in encashment or dealing with the property of the bank.
2. Criminal misappropriation of property (Section 403 IPC).
Criminal misappropriation of property, presuppose the custody or control of funds or property, so subjected, with that of the person committing such frauds. Preventive measures, for this class of fraud should be taken at the level the custody or control of the funds or property of the bank generally vests. Such a measure should be sufficient, it is extended to these persons who are actually handling or having actual custody or control of the fund or movable properties of the bank.
3. Criminal breach of trust (Section 405, IPC)
Care should be taken from the initial step when a person comes to the bank. Care needs to be taken at the time of recruitment in bank as well.
4. Forgery (Section 463, IPC)
Both the prevention and detection of frauds through forgery are important for a bank. Forgery of signatures is the most frequent fraud in banking business. The bank should take special care when the instrument has been presented either bearer or order; in case a bank pays forged instrument he would be liable for the loss to the genuine costumer.
5. Falsification of accounts (Section 477A)
Proper diligence is required while filling of forms and accounts. The accounts should be rechecked on daily basis.
6. Theft (Section 378, IPC)
Encashment of stolen’ cheque can be prevented if the bank clearly specify the age, sex and two visible identify action marks on the body of the person traveler’s cheques on the back of the cheque leaf. This will help the paying bank to easily identify the cheque holder. Theft from lockers and safe deposit vaults are not easy to commit because the master-key remains with the banker and the individual key of the locker is handed over to the costumer with due acknowledgement.
7. Criminal conspiracy (Section 120 A, IPC)
In the case of State of Andhra Pradesh v. IBS Prasad Rao and Other, the accused, who were clerks in a cooperative Central Bank were all convicted of the offences of cheating under Section 420 read along with Section 120 A. all the four accused had conspired together to defraud the bank by making false demand drafts and receipt vouchers.
8. Offences relating to currency notes and banks notes (Section 489 A-489E, IPC)
These sections provide for the protection of currency-notes and bank notes from forgery. The offences under section are:
(a) Counterfeiting currency notes or banks.
(b) Selling, buying or using as genuine, forged or counterfeit currency notes or bank notes. Knowing the same to be forged or counterfeit.
(c) Possession of forged or counterfeit currency notes or bank-notes, knowing or counterfeit and intending to use the same as genuine.
(d) Making or passing instruments or materials for forging or counterfeiting currency notes or banks.
(e) Making or using documents resembling currency-notes or bank notes.
Most of the above provisions are Cognizable Offenses under Section 2(c) of the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973.
FRAUD PRONE AREAS IN DIFFERENT ACCOUNTS
The following are the potential fraud prone areas in Banking Sector. In addition to those areas I have also given kinds of fraud that are common in these areas.
Savings Bank Accounts
The following are some of the examples being played in respect of savings bank accounts:
(a) Cheques bearing the forged signatures of depositors may be presented and paid.
(b) Specimen signatures of the depositors may be changed, particularly after the death of depositors,
(c) Dormant accounts may be operated by dishonest persons with or without collusion of bank employees, and
(d) Unauthorized withdrawals from customer’s accounts by employee of the bank maintaining the savings ledger and later destruction of the recent vouchers by them.
Current Account Fraud
The following types are likely to be committed in case of current accounts.
(a) Opening of frauds in the names of limited companies or firms by unauthorized persons;
(b) Presentation and payment of cheques bearing forged signatures;
(c) Breach of trust by the employees of the companies or firms possessing cheque leaves duly signed by the authorized signatures;
(d) Fraudulent alteration of the amount of the cheques and getting it paid either at the counter or though another bank.
Frauds In Case Of Advances
Following types may be committed in respect of advances:
(a) Spurious gold ornaments may be pledged.
(b) Sub-standard goods may be pledged with the bank or their value may be shown at inflated figures.
(c) Same goods may be hypothecated in favour of different banks.
LEGAL REGIME TO CONTROL BANK FRAUDS
Frauds constitute white-collar crime, committed by unscrupulous persons deftly advantage of loopholes existing in systems/procedures. The ideal situation is one there is no fraud, but taking ground realities of the nation’s environment and human nature’s fragility, an institution should always like to keep the overreach of frauds at the minimum occurrence level.
Following are the relevant sections relating to Bank Frauds
Indian Penal Code (45 of 1860)
(a) Section 23 “Wrongful gain”.-
“Wrongful gain” is gain by unlawful means of property to which the person gaining is not legally entitled.
(b) “Wrongful loss”
“Wrongful loss” is the loss by unlawful means of property to which the person losing it is legally entitled.
(c) Gaining wrongfully.
Losing wrongfully-A person is said to gain wrongfully when such person retains wrongfully, as well as when such person acquires wrongfully. A person is said to lose wrongfully when such person is wrongfully kept out of any property, as well as when such person is wrongfully deprived of property.
(d) Section 24. “Dishonestly”
Whoever does anything with the intention of causing wrongful gain to one person or wrongful loss to another person, is said to do that thing “dishonestly”.
(e) Section 28. “Counterfeit”
A person is said to “counterfeit” who causes one thing to resemble another thing, intending by means of that resemblance to practice deception, or knowing it to be likely that deception will thereby be practiced.
BREACH OF TRUST
1. Section 408- Criminal breach of trust by clerk or servant.
2. Section 409- Criminal breach of trust by public servant, or by banker, merchant or agent.
3. Section 416- Cheating by personating
4. Section 419- Punishment for cheating by personation.
OFFENSES RELATING TO DOCUMENTS
1) Section 463-Forgery
2) Section 464 -Making a false document
3) Section 465- Punishment for forgery.
4) Section 467- Forgery of valuable security, will, etc
5) Section 468- Forgery for purpose of cheating
6) Section 469- Forgery for purpose of harming reputation
7) Section 470- Forged document.
8) Section 471- Using as genuine a forged document
9) Section 477- Fraudulent cancellation, destruction, etc., of will, authority to adopt, or valuable security.
10) Section 477A- Falsification of accounts.
THE RESERVE BANK OF INDIA ACT, 1934
Issue of demand bills and notes Section 31.
Provides that only Bank and except provided by Central Government shall be authorized to draw, accept, make or issue any bill of exchange, hundi, promissory note or engagement for the payment of money payable to bearer on demand, or borrow, owe or take up any sum or sums of money on the bills, hundis or notes payable to bearer on demand of any such person
THE NEGOTIABLE INSTRUMENTS ACT, 1881
Holder’s right to duplicate of lost bill Section 45A.
1. The finder of lost bill or note acquires no title to it. The title remains with the true owner. He is entitled to recover from the true owner.
2. If the finder obtains payment on a lost bill or note in due course, the payee may be able to get a valid discharge for it. But the true owner can recover the money due on the instrument as damages from the finder.
When an Instrument is obtained by unlawful means or for unlawful consideration no possessor or endorse who claims through the person who found or so obtained the instrument is entitled to receive the amount due thereon from such maker, accept or holder, or from any party prior to such holder, unless such possessor or endorse is, or some person through whom he claims was, a holder thereof in due course.
Cheque payable to order.
1. By this section, bankers are placed in privileged position. It provides that if an order cheque is endorsed by or on behalf of the payee, and the banker on whom it is drawn pays it in due course, the banker is discharged. He can debit his customer with the amount so paid, though the endorsement of the payee might turn out to be a forgery.
2. The claim protection under this section the banker has to prove that the payment was a payment in due course, in good faith and without negligence.
Section 87. Effect of material alteration
Under this section any alteration made without the consent of party would be void. Alteration would be valid only if is made with common intention of the party.
Section 138. Dishonour of cheque for insufficiency, etc., of funds in the account.
Where any cheque drawn by a person on an account maintained by him with a banker for payment of any amount of money to another person from out of that account for the discharge, in whole or in part, of any debt or other liability, is returned by the bank unpaid. either because of the amount of money standing to the credit of that account is insufficient to honor the cheque or that it exceeds the amount arranged to be paid from that account by an agreement made with that bank, such person shall be deemed to have committed an offense and shall, without prejudice.
Section 141(1) Offenses by companies.
If the person committing an offense under Section 138 is a company, every person who, at the time the offense was committed, was in charge of, and was responsible to, the company for the conduct of the business of the company, as well as the company, shall be deemed to be guilty of the offense and shall be liable to be proceeded against and punished accordingly.
SECURITY REGIME IN BANKING SYSTEM
Security implies sense of safety and of freedom from danger or anxiety. When a banker takes a collateral security, say in the form of gold or a title deed, against the money lent by him, he has a sense of safety and of freedom from anxiety about the possible non-payment of the loan by the borrower. These should be communicated to all strata of the organization through appropriate means. Before staff managers should analyze current practices. Security procedure should be stated explicitly and agreed upon by each user in the specific environment. Such practices ensure information security and enhance availability. Bank security is essentially a defense against unforced attacks by thieves, dacoits and burglars.
PHYSICAL SECURITY MEASURES-CONCEPT
A large part of banks security depends on social security measures. Physical security measures can be defined as those specific and special protective or defensive measures adopted to deter, detect, delay, defend and defeat or to perform any one or more of these functions against culpable acts, both covert and covert and acclamation natural events. The protective or defensive, measures adopted involve construction, installation and deployment of structures, equipment and persons respectively.
The following are few guidelines to check malpractices:
1. To rotate the cash work within the staff.
2. One person should not continue on the same seat for more than two months.
3. Daybook should not be written by the Cashier where an other person is available to the job
4. No cash withdrawal should be allowed within passbook in case of withdrawal by pay order.
5. The branch manager should ensure that all staff members have recorder their presence in the attendance registrar, before starting work.
Execution of Documents
1. A bank officer must adopt a strict professional approach in the execution of documents. The ink and the pen used for the execution must be maintained uniformly.
2. Bank documents should not be typed on a typewriter for execution. These should be invariably handwritten for execution.
3. The execution should always be done in the presence of the officer responsible for obtain them,
4. The borrowers should be asked to sign in full signatures in same style throughout the documents.
5. Unless there is a specific requirement in the document, it should not be got attested or witnessed as such attestation may change the character of the instruments and the documents may subject to ad volrem stamp duty.
6. The paper on which the bank documents are made should be pilfer proof. It should be unique and available to the banks only.
7. The printing of the bank documents should have highly artistic intricate and complex graphics.
8. The documents executed between Banker and Borrowers must be kept in safe custody,
CHANGES IN LEGISLATION AFTER ELECTRONIC TRANSACTIONS
1. Section 91 of IPC shall be amended to include electronic documents also.
2. Section 92 of Indian Evidence Act, 1872 shall be amended to include commuter based communications
3. Section 93 of Bankers Book Evidence Act, 1891 has been amended to give legal sanctity for books of account maintained in the electronic form by the banks.
4. Section 94 of the Reserve Bank of India Act, 1939 shall be amended to facilitate electronic fund transfers between the financial institutions and the banks. A new clause (pp) has been inserted in Section 58(2).
RECENT TRENDS OF BANKING SYSTEM IN INDIA
In the banking and financial sectors, the introduction of electronic technology for transactions, settlement of accounts, book-keeping and all other related functions is now an imperative. Increasingly, whether we like it or not, all banking transactions are going to be electronic. The thrust is on commercially important centers, which account for 65 percent of banking business in terms of value. There are now a large number of fully computerized branches across the country.
A switchover from cash-based transactions to paper-based transactions is being accelerated. Magnetic Ink character recognition clearing of cheques is now operational in many cities, beside the four metro cities. In India, the design, management and regulation of electronically-based payments system are becoming the focus of policy deliberations. The imperatives of developing an effective, efficient and speedy payment and settlement systems are getting sharper with introduction of new instruments such as credit cards, telebanking, ATMs, retail Electronic Funds Transfer (EFT) and Electronic Clearing Services (ECS). We are moving towards smart cards, credit and financial Electronic Data Interchange (EDI) for straight through processing.
Financial Fraud (Investigation, Prosecution, Recovery and Restoration of property) Bill, 2001
Further the Financial Fraud (Investigation, Prosecution, Recovery and Restoration of property) Bill, 2001 was introduced in Parliament to curb the menace of Bank Fraud. The Act was to prohibit, control, investigate financial frauds; recover and restore properties subject to such fraud; prosecute for causing financial fraud and matters connected therewith or incidental thereto.
Under the said act the term Financial Fraud has been defined as under:
Section 512 – Financial Fraud
Financial frauds means and includes any of the following acts committed by a person or with his connivance, or by his agent, in his dealings with any bank or financial institution or any other entity holding public funds;
1. The suggestion, as a fact, of that which is not true, by one who does not believe it to be true;
2. The active concealment of a fact by one having knowledge or belief of the fact;
3. A promise made with out any intention of performing it;
4. Any other act fitted to deceive;
5. Any such act or omission as the law specially declares to be fraudulent.
Provided that whoever acquires, possesses or transfers any proceeds of financial fraud or enters into any transaction which is related to proceeds of fraud either directly or indirectly or conceals or aids in the concealment of the proceeds of financial fraud, commits financial fraud.
513(a) – Punishment for Financial Fraud
Whoever commits financial fraud shall be: (a) Punished with rigorous imprisonment for a term, which may extend to seven years and shall also be liable to fine.
(b)Whoever commits serious financial fraud shall be punished with rigorous imprisonment for a term which may extend to ten years but shall not be less than five years and shall also be liable for fine up to double the amount involved in such fraud.
Provided that in both (a) and (b) all funds, bank accounts and properties acquired using such funds subjected to the financial fraud as may reasonably be attributed by the investigating agency shall be recovered and restored to the rightful owner according to the procedure established by law.
The Indian Banking Industry has undergone tremendous growth since nationalization of 14 banks in the year 1969. There has an almost eight times increase in the bank branches from about 8000 during 1969 to mote than 60,000 belonging to 289 commercial banks, of which 66 banks are in private sector.
It was the result of two successive Committees on Computerization (Rangarajan Committee) that set the tone for computerization in India. While the first committee drew the blue print in 1983-84 for the mechanization and computerization in banking industry, the second committee set up in 1989 paved the way for integrated use of telecommunications and computers for applying technogical breakthroughs in banking sector.
However, with the spread of banking and banks, frauds have been on a constant increase. It could be a natural corollary to increase in the number of customers who are using banks these days. In the year 2000 alone we have lost Rs 673 crores in as many as 3,072 number of fraud cases. These are only reported figures. Though, this is 0.075% of Rs 8,96,696 crores of total deposits and 0.15% of Rs 4,44,125 crores of loans & advances, there are any numbers of cases that are not reported. There were nearly 65,800 bank branches of a total of 295 commercial banks in India as on June 30, 2001 reporting a total of nearly 3,072 bank fraud cases. This makes nearly 10.4 frauds per bank and roughly 0.47 frauds per branch.
An Expert Committee on Bank Frauds (Chairman: Dr.N.L.Mitra) submitted its Report to RBI in September 2001. The Committee examined and suggested both the preventive and curative aspects of bank frauds.
The important recommendations of the Committee include:
o A need for including financial fraud as a criminal offense;
o Amendments to the IPC by including a new chapter on financial fraud;
o Amendments to the Evidence Act to shift the burden of proof on the accused person;
o Special provision in the Cr. PC for properties involved in the Financial Fraud.
o Confiscating unlawful gains; and preventive measures including the development of Best Code Procedures by banks and financial institutions.
Thus it can be concluded that following measures should necessarily be adopted by the Ministry of Finance in order to reduce cases of Fraud.
o There must be a Special Court to try financial fraud cases of serious nature.
o The law should provide separate structural and recovery procedure. Every bank must have a domestic inquiry officer to enquirer about the civil dimension of fraud.
o A fraud involving an amount of ten crore of rupees and above may be considered serious and be tried in the Special Court.
The Twenty-ninth Report of the Law Commission had dealt some categories of crimes one of which is “offenses calculated to prevent and obstruct the economic development of the country and endanger its economic health.” Offenses relating to Banking Fraud will fall under this category. The most important feature of such offenses is that ordinarily they do not involve an individual direct victim. They are punishable because they harm the whole society. It is clear that money involved in Bank belongs to public. They deposit there whole life’ security in Banks and in case of Dacoity or Robbery in banks the public will be al lost. Thus it is important that sufficient efforts should be taken in this regard.
There exists a new kind of threat in cyber world. Writers are referring it as “Salami Attack” under this a special software is used for transferring the amount from the account of the individual. Hence the culprits of such crimes should be found quickly and should be given strict punishment. Moreover there is requirement of more number of IT professionals who will help in finding a solution against all these security threats.
When tax season rolls around each year the are a number of individuals who need to decide how their tax returns will be prepared and filed. Each taxpayer has a number of tax preparation options. These tax preparation options can include self preparation or hiring the services of a tax professional.
Individuals who makes the decision to hire the help of a tax professional are likely to hire an accountant or professional tax preparer. The majority of professional tax preparers are employed by a large company that specializes in tax preparation. Taxpayers are often required to take the necessary documents to a tax preparation office. Popular professional tax preparation companies include H&R Block and Jackson Hewitt. There are likely to be other smaller or locally owned tax preparation companies located in cities or towns throughout the United States.
Taxpayers also have the option of hiring an accountant to prepare and file their taxes. Many individuals who have complicated financial records are likely to hire the services of an accountant because accountants are not only trained in tax preparation, but bookkeeping as well. When choosing a tax accountant to do business with taxpayers are encouraged to ask an accountant about their qualifications or relevant business experience. There are two main types of accountants. One is a person that may just have previous accounting experience and then there are certified public accountants (CPAs). Certified public accountants (CPAs) are required to take a set number of college credits and pass a CPA exam before becoming certified. Certified public accountants are likely to charge their clients more money; however, they tend to offer better results due to their large amounts of training and experience.
The only downside to hiring a professional tax preparer or an accountant to do your taxes is that they are likely to cost a large amount of money. The majority of accountants and other professional tax preparers charge their clients based on the number of state and federal forms that need to be filled out and how complicated they all are. It is not uncommon for an individual to pay over one hundred dollars to have their taxes professionally prepared. For this reason there are many individuals who decide to prepare their own taxes.
When an individual decides to prepare their own taxes they have a number of different tax preparation options. Until recently the majority of taxpayers who prepared their own taxes relied on paper tax forms to file their taxes. Paper forms are not as popular as they used to be; however, there are still many individuals who use them. The majority of taxpayers have federal and state tax return forms mailed to their residence. This is a convenient option that is given to all previous taxpayers. Other taxpayers can obtain federal and state tax forms and their instruction booklets by visiting their local library, post office, or bank.
The reason why paper forms are not as popular as they used to be is because of the development of tax software programs. Tax software programs are available for purchase online or in most retail stores. They are designed to allow individuals to prepare and file their taxes accurately and quickly. There are many tax software programs that transfer a taxpayers information from one form to the next. All tax software programs have a mathematical checker that prevents a number of errors from being reported on a tax return. Tax preparation software programs often come in a standard, deluxe, or premium version. The deluxe and premium versions are likely to include both federal and state tax return forms while the majority of standard versions only include federal tax return forms.
Once a taxpayers make the decision to have their taxes professional prepared or self prepared there are still more decisions that need to be made. Individuals are encouraged to examine their situation and decide whether they should hire an accountant, take their takes to a tax preparation office, file paper tax returns, or use a tax preparation software program. Each taxpayer is likely to make a different selection based on different circumstances. What are yours?
In Texas you can refinance your home as well as your investment property. And with today’s low mortgage rates, lots of people are doing just that using home equity loans
Plus some are doing the two-birds-one-refinance-approach: Refinance the home and pull cash out.
When it comes to refinancing, you have two options. A “rate and term” refinance or a Texas home equity loan “cash out” refinance.
With a home equity loan you pull equity out of your home or investment property.
Most people refinance to get a lower rate; this is called a “rate and term” refinance. One is keeping the same loan amount, they are just lowering or changing the rate or term of the mortgage.
Maybe they are moving out of a 30 year note to a 15 year note. This is called a rate and term refi because they are just changing the rate or the term of the original loan.
Lower mortgage rates do mean lower payments. But some clients choose a “cash out” refinance (Home Equity loan)- which means they pull equity (cash) out of their homes or investment properties for other purposes …like paying off debt or buying additional property.
For example, let’s say a family has a $450 car payment where they owe $15000. If they have enough equity in their home, it’s common for a family to refinance the home and pull enough cash out of their home to pay off other costly debt; like credit cards, cars, etc. The house payment might go up $50 but the car payment is eliminated. So a family has $400 more each month.
Some suggest against home equity loans to pay off debt stating it’s not wise to take a 3-5 year debt and spread it across 15-30 years. And these people are right. However, when I help a client save $400-500, sometimes $1000/month now these families can afford to pay extra on their 30 year mortgage and pay it off in 12-15 years.
In fact, most of the time a family will pay their home off earlier-after a home equity loan-than they would have before.
You can always call us to see if Texas home equity loan cash out refinance makes sense for you.
Home Equity Rules
Home equity loans have slightly higher rates than traditional rate and term refinances because one is raising the original loan amount. Plus when one pulls cash out of a home or investment property this is a higher risk loan. Higher risk = slightly higher rate.
And in Texas you are limited to 80% of your home’s value. Meaning if your home is worth $200,000, the most your new loan could be is $160,000. If you owe 100K, you could take out 60K or up to 80%
Then there’s the 3% home equity rule: This means the total fees associated can’t exceed 3% of the loan amount. This mostly effects those with smaller home loan balances. For example, if your home is only worth 75,000 and we are limited to 80%-your loan could only be 60K. 3% of 60k is $1800. So if your title company charges $700 for the title policy and your appraiser charges $325 and the bank charges $500 to underwrite your loan it’s not hard to be over 3%. This would mean the mortgage company could only charge $275 to be under the 3% rule.
12 day Home Equity Rule, 3 day wait-until-we-fund rule:
In Texas we have to wait at least 12 days from mortgage application to close. I even have to get a special 12 day letter signed. Then once we close, we then can’t fund the home loan for 3 days. Texas has weird home equity refinance rules so you want to work with an experienced mortgage company who does a lot of these type of loans. If you have additional questions, please call us at 512-996-8194, we help people all over Texas.
For many people home equity refinances can be a great way to jump start a new financial plan. I offer them to my clients to help them: Get out of debt, pay off bills, have more money to save and invest. My clients have saved hundreds each month by paying off high interest credit cards. My personal record is saving a family $1000/month using a home equity loan.
Once they save this money they plan to pay extra on their mortgage so they pay a 30 year note in 15 years. So used correctly, a home equity mortgage is a great way to move forward financially.
After 5 years in the mortgage business I’ve come up with my personal lending philosophy. Because anyone can do a home loan. However, my business is helping move people forward financially-starting on the mortgage level; the biggest expense for a family.
Most of my clients know my personal philosophy with mortgage lending. There are lots of mortgage people out there who promise “the lowest 30 year mortgage rate or the “best Texas 15 year mtg rate”-but this isn’t really my approach. I tend to favor what is best for the client’s short and long term. If one needs a 15 year mortgage with low closing costs, let’s use this program. Need to consolidate debt, let’s use a home equity loan.
I just don’t believe in one-size fits all mortgage plans. As soon as my clients all look the same, have the same income/debt, goals, then I’ll become a one-size fits all mortgage guy. But for now, I work with low income people, millionaires, investors, first time home buyers, second home mortgages, etc.
One’s mortgage can be either a debt instrument or a better financial tool, it’s really up to you and your mortgage professional. And in today’s economy where the realities of $5 gas aren’t really unreasonable you should work with a professional who will take the time to listen and bring the right mortgage plan to the table. Because once a mortgage is in place you must live with it.
Some questions you should ask yourself when buying or refinancing a home or investment property:
1) How much debt do I currently have? How much debt am I currently servicing each month?
2) How much in liquid savings do I currently have? Could I choose a mortgage that will help (a) lower my bills and (b) help me to save more money each month? Rate is important but now the only thing to consider. Who cares if the 15 year mortgage rate is the best rate, if it’s not affordable to you-it’s not the wise loan. Go with the 30 year rate.
3) How long do I plan to keep this home? Is this home appreciating?
4) What is my long term financial plan, and how does this new mortgage help me accomplish this plan?
#4 is where the rubber meets the road. And this is where I spend the most time with my clients; constructing the long term plan and then customizing the mortgage to fit this plan. Most people chase the lowest rate when getting into homes however without a mid-long range goal they usually end up paying more in the long-term.
Take the sub-prime meltdown. There’s nothing wrong with sub-prime loans. Sometimes things happen that cause people’s credit to go in the trash. Divorces do happen and sometimes medical bills come out of no where and people have a lot of collections. Jobs are sometimes lost and savings are use up before they were originally intended. The problem with sub-prime loans is not that they are bad, but that they need to be on Fixed rates. Not adjustable. This country has lost billions of dollars during the sub-prime meltdown for one reason: People chased the lowest rate when they bought the home and ARMs have lower rates than FIXED rates. And since ARMs had lower rates people chose ARMs over Fixed rates.
So thousands of people with bad credit bought homes on ARMs and today we have a major problem: Because people chased the lowest rate.
Having a long term financial plan. Example, let’s say you’re self employed and don’t have a company retirement plan-401k-to rely on. One approach in solving the “no 401K/IRA” problem is to own real estate. The goal is to own a few choice properties so when you do retire you will have these properties paid off and creating passive retirement income. Imagine if your mortgage broker took the time to understand your long-term goals and structured the new loan around these goals. Funny thing, most people are 15-30 years from retirement and the typical home loan is paid off in 15-30 years. Bottom line: The home you buy today could help you retire tomorrow-and you need the right home loan to go along with it.
Remember, most mortgages are based on a 15 or 30 year basis, why not structure your first home to help you retire in 30 years. I know this seems unrealistic because most people don’t keep homes that long, but going into a mortgage with a plan is better than just going into a mortgage.
Most people don’t want to take the time to think about money-but in the end-the lack of money causes a lot of other challenges in life.
This is how I’m different from the other Texas Mortgage Loan people. I believe I can either help people move forward financially or I can just get them into debt. Sure it’s easier to “sell low rates” but not at the expense of helping a client in the long term.
PMI (just so no-or at least try to get out of it.)
My clients avoid PMI when possible. But to do an 80/15 or 80/10 or an 80/10/10 one’s mortgage rate is slightly higher but the benefit is avoid pointless PMI and having lower closing costs. This is another example of why “chasing the lowest rate” isn’t always the best. Loans with PMI are better than loans without. But the benefit of not have PMI is huge. Not only will you pay less when your home loan doesn’t have PMI but your closing costs are less too.
Right now I want to touch briefly on these 3 issues and why one should be thinking of them when you buy or refinance a home. Actually, your mortgage person should customize your loan around these three points for you. If they don’t-run. If all they sell is a mortgage rate did they really serve you?
Mortgage brokers and banks love to advertise low mortgage rates. “We have the lowest rates in Texas!” But let’s think about the loan like this: “How much did it cost you to get this rate.” Because low mtg rates are one thing, but how much did it cost to get the rate?
Let’s look at one of Today’s Mortgage ads. (April 17) They are advertising a 4.87% rate.
Funny. The real 30 year rate is around 6% but they know people want “low rates” so they advertise a great rate. But when you look at the points it will take to get this rate, you’ll see there’s more to getting a mortgage than just rate. Closing costs.
For example, if you’re buying a $200K home should you really “buy the rate down” with points to get a good rate? To buy this low, low rate, it will cost $6,000 just for discount points. And yet people do this all the time. Mortgage people advertise low rate because people want low rates.
Sorta reminds me of when I bought my Toyota Tundra. I wanted to save a nickel so I went for the 2×4 instead of the 4×4 all-wheel drive. I was so proud of getting the “lowest price in town” but when it snowed or iced I had to ask my wife to drive her front-wheeled drive Honda Accord.
This is one reason why I suggest working with a mortgage broker (like me) who approaches mortgage lending from a total financial planning perspective. Because if I notice a client has a ton of credit cards and misc. debt-this 6K should not go towards a new (tax deductible) debt but towards paying off old, high interest debt that’s not tax-deductible.
Or to use real numbers, if you have the $6000 to pay towards debt, retire 15% interest debt that’s costing you $500/month instead of trying to save $200 on your mortgage. Then pay $100 extra and you’re still saving $300. Use this $300 for savings, investing or having fun.
But what about all the interest I’ll save by having a low rate? Shouldn’t I try to get the best rate so I can have lower monthly bills? Yes. Once you’re out of consumer debt-and you no longer have to pay $500 out, begin to apply $100-$200 extra on your mortgage payment. This will take years off your mortgage, usually taking a 30 year mortgage to a 12-15 year. This will save you tons in interest and give you lower payments.
When you buy or refinance any property take the time to look at the bigger picture because a mortgage or refinance can either help move you forward financially or just get you into debt.
Staying in own home is a dream of everyone. People see dreams of owning home at their own choice, but everybody doesn’t able to afford that. Nowadays in the country like India, money is not a barrier of the dream of owning a home. Because all the government and on-government banks in India offer Home loan. These loans are specially given to those people who wants to build-up their own home or purchase a home.
Indian banks offer home loan under different categories, these include:-
Home Purchase Loans – This kind of basic loans are being provided for purchasing a new home.
Home Construction Loan: Banks provides this kind of loan for construction of home.
Home Extension Loan: One can get the loan for expanding or extending his existing home.
Home Improvement Loans: People can avail these loans if they have the requirement for implementing repair works and renovations of their existing home.
Bridge Loans: This loan is the best loan for those people who wants to sell his existing home and wish to purchase a new home. Banks help people by giving this loan to finance the new home.
Balance Transfer Loans: This kind of loan is given to pay off an existing home loan and avail the option of a loan with a lower rate of interest..
Home Conversion Loan: Banks provide this kind of loan to those people who has already purchased home by taking home loan and then wants to move on to another home and for that he requires some extra money. Under this category of loan the existing loan is being transferred to the new home and the extra amount is to be included.
Land Purchase Loans: One can avail these loans for purchasing land. The bank will give the loan without checking whether the borrower taking the loan for construction his home or using it for some other purposes.
Refinance Loans: Those who have taken loans from their friends or relative to purchase their homes, this kind of loan helps them a lot to repay that debt amount to them.
Stamp Duty Loans: To purchase a property, stamp duty is essential. This kind of loan helps people to pay for the stamp duty.
In India, banks provide home loans against fixed and floating rate of interest. Under the fixed rate home loans the interest rate remains fixed for the whole period of the loan. By taking loan under this category the borrower will get the facility of getting a fixed interest rate. But in this case they have to pay a higher rate of interest. On the other hand, under the floating rate loans the rate of interest fluctuates accordingly. The borrower will get the facility of getting a low interest rate. But the interest rate can rise any time and the borrower has to pay a much higher interest rate than the fixed rate of these loans. The repayment of home loans are to be given through Equated Monthly Installment (EMI). The home loan EMI depends on the amount and the repayment period one takes.
In this age of technology, one can apply for the home loan Online. By applying online one gets relief from the lots of hassle like visiting to the lenders, seeking for the best home loan deal, do the huge formalities and fulfill the long paper works. By availing these loans online one just has to sit on a Internet enabled computer, make a search for the best home loan deal and after choosing one just has to fill a form, that’s it. By doing some simple procedures you dreams can come true.
There are many types of FHA Home Loans and you can get many types of homes with them. Getting a home loan can come about for many reasons. Most of the reasons to get a home loan, or even a FHA Home Loan include one or more of the following. Often if you are a first time home-buyer you may need a mortgage loan. But if you are looking to buy a manufactured home you will have a hard time finding a loan program to finance it. There is a good loan program for financing the purchase of manufactured homes and it is the FHA Manufactured Home Loan.
If you do not have a lot of money to put down on a manufactured home, you can often qualify for a FHA Manufactured Home Loan. The current FHA down payment amount is just 3.5% of the purchase price. While down payment for mortgage loans is 20% or more.
It is very difficult to find a lender that will do a traditional conventional loan on a manufactured home. One of the reasons is that it much easier to move a manufactured home. This type of home will have a steel beam down the middle of the home making it easier to relocate. This increases the risk for the lender.
If you are a new home buyer and you are looking at a manufactured home, you will want to keep your monthly payments as low as possible. This is the reason manufactured homes are popular, they are less expensive to buy. Now you have to find a loan program to finance the purchase. You may want to apply for a FHA Manufactured Mortgage Loan.
If you do not have the best or perfect credit, or are worried about even qualifying for a mortgage, chances are now you can qualify for a FHA Manufactured Home Loan now. With the economy as it is now, although it is improving, some new home owners and buyers may often worry about what will happen to them or their homes if they fall behind on their payments on their homes.
With a FHA Manufactured Home Loan many of the worries about falling behind on their payments, qualifying for a loan if they do not have the best credit, or any of the usual concerns for first time home buyers are gone. More and more people qualify for FHA Home Loans each day. Getting a mortgage for home is much easier, faster, and often you qualify much easier and faster with more protection than with other home loans.
You will find that with FHA Home Loans there are lower rates. If you have less than perfect credit you can also still get a FHA loan. There are much more protections for your home with an FHA Manufactured Home Loan than you will find with other home loans.
There are also many types of FHA Home Loans as well. You can get a fixed rate loan, adjustable rate home loans, and you can even get a FHA Loan to purchase a rehab home. This means that you have found a house you like, but it needs fixing up or repairs. There are even special FHA Loans for these types of homes as well.
With lower down payment and lower credit requirements, the FHA Manufactured Loan is not only the best loan program but it may be your only choice to finance your home purchase. It is great loan program and you should contact a FHA lender now to get more information.
The topic of offshore internet banking is a hot one and one that is increasingly growing in popularity not only within the consumer banking community, but also the business or corporate banking sector.
The beauty of offshore online banking is that in addition to enabling you to conduct banking activities allowed by traditional and local brick and mortar businesses, it allows you more variety and flexibility in terms of your banking needs. For example, if you travel often, offshore online banking gives you the flexibility to conduct business on to go from anywhere, while ensuring that you have access to the type of currency if you need at a time you need it.
Having said that, not all banks offer online or internet banking services as this service costs the banks a significant amount of money. Programming sophisticated and secure systems require the effort of several full time computer engineers, full security and compliance departments, as well as heavy overhead to support the service on an ongoing basis.
Because there are so many variables involved in offering this service, offshore internet banking services vary from one financial institution to another. Some have better systems while others have work to do. A lot of this is predicated on the resources the bank has dedicated to this initiative, both in terms of quantity and quality.
Opening an Offshore Bank Account
Before diving further into this topic, I want to clarify that engaging in offshore internet banking is not about evading taxes. It is about mitigating risk of capital loss due to no fault of your own. So when considering a foreign jurisdiction in which to establish an offshore bank account, consider one that is politically stable and financially strong. In addition, it helps to select a jurisdiction that pays an attractive interest rate and has low to no income tax. Some of the most preferred jurisdictions over the years have been Switzerland, Cayman Islands, Singapore, Hong Kong and the United Arab Emirates (UAE).
Opening a personal bank account is usually a very personal activity. With offshore internet banking however, there are ways you can get started remotely without having to show up to the bank’s local office, saving a ton of time, money and mainly frustration.
One such way is by visiting a local bank’s branch in your domicile state, or home country. Many big banks that offer internet banking have a multi-national presence. Chances are good that your selected bank has a local branch near where you live, despite being headquartered in another offshore jurisdiction.
In other cases, there are international banks that may not have local branches near where you live, but are willing and able to establish an offshore bank account for you through email, snail mail, fax and telephone. There are usually a set of documents required by banks in order to execute this process. Therefore you can still open a foreign bank account with an offshore bank without having to leave your country, but it may come with a little more effort, and sometimes the struggle involved in communicating with someone overseas.
The Advantages of Offshore Internet Banking
Here are some advantages of offshore internet banking that you should know about.
Protection from sovereign risk – as mention already above, parking funds in foreign bank accounts mitigates the risk of loss of capital resulting from freeze or confiscation of funds by Governments without any fault of your own. This risk is less of a concern in a developed economy with a solid banking infrastructure such as the United States, but it is nonetheless an inherent risk that exists.
Tax benefits – many offshore jurisdictions have low to no income tax implications on interest income, or income from business activities.
Higher Interest Rates – because many offshore banks operate with low costs, they can afford to offer higher interest rates compared to larger multi-national names. In fact, in developed economies like in Europe and North America, regulatory compliance requirements is seen by many as form of taxation on banks, thereby increasing overhead costs and lowering interest rates.
On Demand Access to Statements – offshore internet banking gives you instant access to your statements where you can view your activities on a real time basis. This includes past and pending deposits and withdrawals. You can therefore access your account balance at anytime.
Money Management – with offshore internet banking you can transfer funds between accounts across the globe instantly. Offshore banks have inventories of various currencies and can help you fulfill banking transactions in multiple countries. You can schedule automatic payments to vendors to release automatically.
There are several other advantages to offshore internet banking. You can open offshore trading accounts and establish offshore brokerage accounts to conduct trading and investment activity (there can be tax advantages to this). Conducting transactions online is not only mostly free, but also very efficient. Transaction time online is simply much less. You can also have streams of income potentially directly deposited straight into your offshore online bank account.
From a personal finance perspective, downloading banking activity from your offshore online bank account is easy and can be done instantly. Most online banking platforms are designed to feed information into financial or personal accounting software or to spreadsheets like Excel. Individuals can save a significant amount on accountant fees just by utilizing this feature. Not to mention more intimate knowledge and management of their own finances.
For those looking for anonymity, offshore online bank accounts also allow you to conduct banking anonymously as per bank secrecy guidelines.
The Disadvantages of Offshore Internet Banking
Merely establishing an offshore bank account can be a reason for the Government to put more focus on your activities. After all, many use offshore internet banking as a mechanism to conduct illegal activity and evade taxes. Some specific disadvantages of offshore internet banking as a result of conducting business through foreign bank accounts are the following:
Knowledge of Internet – There is a certain level of internet savvy required to be able to navigate your way through offshore internet banking platforms to ensure you are getting exactly what you want. This is a big reason why some elderly shy away from conducting banking online.
Deposit Timeline – Because many banks do not have the technology to be able to collect deposits remotely, you may have difficulty depositing all your proceeds. While many banks have developed electronic scanning technology, others have yet to catch up. There is no consistency to say the least.
Security / Fraud Implications – because banking is conducted online, offshore internet banking exposes you to the risk of network intrusion or breach. Because information is transferred electronically and stored in various databases, breaches can cause private and sensitive information to leak out into the wrong hands. But then again, this is no different than losing your check book if compared to traditional brick and mortar banking.
Spam Mail – offshore online banking also means that you will receive emails from the foreign bank you have your offshore bank accounts with. Internet predators recognize this as an opportunity for phishing, or fish for private and sensitive information. Many times you may see an email in your inbox from what seems like your foreign banking institution. However it is not. These are phishing emails hoping for you to login and enter your personal information such as login and password.
TIPS: Here are a few tips to avoid falling for phishing scams. First, when you receive an email from your bank, call them to verify that they sent the email. Second, instead of opening the email they sent you, visit the bank’s website directly and see if you can conduct what’s asked of you on their site by you logging in directly rather than clicking a login link in an email message.
Third, if you were to open the email and click on any link in it for whatever reason, once the link takes you to a website where you are required to enter personal information, look for security symbols such as an https URL address or a padlock on the lower right hand side corner of the web browser. There are other security measures as well that can be visible spotted. Read online for more on this topic.
Financial Security – some offshore bank locations are not very financially secure or stable. For example, during the global economic crisis of 2008, many savers lost money parked in offshore bank accounts in some destinations such as Iceland. I don’t mean to scare you by any means as this situation is rare, and in most cases those who suffer losses are compensated in some way over time. However, know that this inherent risk exists. Always look for deposit insurance. The bigger the allowance the better.
Credibility by Association – as I’ve already mentioned, offshore internet banking has negative connotations attached to it, often associated with money laundering, use of illegal monies, in-taxed monies and support of illegal causes. Offshore bank accounts at times are tied to crime rings and terrorists. What does this mean for you? Although you may engage in offshore banking legally and legitimately, understand that there will be closer scrutiny over you by the Governments.
Access Restrictions – offshore banks are in destinations far away from you, therefore more difficult and expensive to access. In many countries, communication in person is preferred to communicating over phone, email and snail mail, therefore internet banking can get a bit difficult and frustrating. I see this trend slowly changing with banks understanding the need to communicate at all levels and mediums to satisfy a global audience.
Expensive – offshore internet banking is usually more expensive to set up and administer and thus more accessible and feasible for those more affluent or high income earners. It’s not so much that it is expensive to open a foreign bank account. It is not. However, many times you will need to go through a firm that specializes in helping expatriates establish and manage foreign bank accounts. All these activities cost money.
The United States government provides many benefits to the members that are now serving or have serve in the past in the US military. Active and former members of the United States military can take advantages of benefits ranging from education incentives to compensation for disability occurred while in the military to even life insurance programs. One of the most used and most important is the Veteran Home Loan Program that provides assistance in financing a home loan.
There are currently over 23 millions living veterans and just little less than 10% of these veterans have taking advantage of this great benefit. But there is also another government backed home mortgage loan that veterans may want to consider also. This government backed loan is the FHA Home Loan Program.
So if you are an active member of the military, a veteran, or even a surviving or current spouse of a veteran you may want to compare the advantages and disadvantages of both the VA Home Loan Program and the FHA Home Loan Program.
You need to be fully informed before you buy a home because it is a huge decision and making the wrong decision can cost you thousands of dollars in the future.
VA Home Loan Program VS FHA Home Loan Program
VA home mortgage loans are similar to many conventional home mortgage loans but they do have many great benefits that are not found in conventional loans such as: you do not need a down payment, your credit scores can be lower than what is required for conventional loans, and you can “rolled” the closing and loan fees back into the mortgage thus making it a 100% financing loan.
The FHA Home Mortgage Loan Program is the most popular of mortgage loan programs for non-veterans and is growing in popularity because of the tight mortgage market today.
They have some of the same advantages of the VA home mortgage loans such as: they are easier to refinance, more lenient on the credit scores to qualify, and certainly lower down payment than conventional loans. The FHA home mortgage loan down payment is currently 3.5 of the purchase price of the home.
VA Home Mortgage Loan Eligibility Requirements
A veteran will have to get a Certificate of Eligibility that is issued to by the military to qualified veterans. The Certificate of Eligibility will also include the entitlement amount, which is the portion of the mortgage loan that the VA will guarantee. You can get the Certificate of Eligibility from the VA or you can have your mortgage lender get it for you on the Internet.
One big difference from a VA mortgage loan and a FHA mortgage loan is almost anyone can get a FHA mortgage loan, only people that are or have been in the military can be a VA mortgage loan.
There are no income limits for FHA loans, but there are limits on how much a person can borrow and it varies from each county in the country. You can find out from your mortgage lender what the limit is in your area.
VA home mortgage loans do have limits on how much you can borrow but the limits can currently go up to $729,000 in some parts of the country.
Another difference from FHA loans and VA loans is VA does not require a mortgage insurance premium called a PMI. FHA loans do require mortgage insurance (MIP). By getting a VA home mortgage loan you will save this expense which can be quite costly over the years.
VA home loan makes sense if you are a qualifying member or veteran of the military and they will allow you to take advantage of today’s very low interest rate plus you can buy a home with 100% financing.
If you don’t want to tackle the slight hassle of dealing with the VA or you do not have available VA entitlement then a FHA home loan will make the most sense.
Whether you choose the Veteran Home Loan Program or the FHA Home Loan Program you will need to work with an approved mortgage lender who will help you through the mortgage and closing process.
Owning a home is still the American dream and the government has two great programs to help you to achieve that dream, so get more information on the Veteran Home Loan Program and the FHA Home Loan Program and make that American dream happen for you!
1. Payday loans trap consumers in “cycle of debt”
Although the phrase “cycle of debt” is a favorite among industry critics, it is not based on the truth. Researchers and American state regulators consistently report that 70-80% of customers use payday cash advances between once a year and once a month.
It is important to understand that a payday advance is not meant to be a long term loan. What a payday loan has done is assist millions of families with emergency needs. This means that a payday advance is given only under the agreement that it will be paid off on the applicant’s next payday (hence the term, payday advance). Short-term loan providers also operate a rollover service to help keep the payday advance applicant from being stuck in a long term, high interest rate loan.
2. All operate as loan sharks
A payday loan provided by a reputable payday loan or cash advance company does not take advantage of people. It is meant to be used only for a short term emergency situation by employed persons who need a little bit of help between paydays for emergencies. This is a very common occurrence when most families live pay check to pay check and may not be financially prepared for emergency repairs, travel or medical expenses. In reality, quick payday loans fill a necessary component in the economic world.
3. Rude employees
Payday loan companies do not compete on the price of their loan, therefore it is important for them to compete on other aspects of the service to create a competitive advantage. One of these ways is through customer service and to ensure all employees are financially knowledgeable and are fully qualified for the job to certify their customers are given an excellent customer service. This is further enhanced through the recording and monitoring of telephone calls in and out of the company.
4. Target vulnerable people, the poor etc
Payday advances are marketed toward subprime clients without a distinction in employment or culture. In fact, payday loans are marketed toward those people earning between £10 000 and £25 000 per year. Most payday advance members are under 45 years old and all applicants are currently employed with a steady income and have an active checking account. In reality, payday advances are meant for working adults with an immediate emergency need that cannot be satisfied through bank and union loans.
5. Hide fees and have high interest rates
The payday cash loan facility is required by law to disclose any application fees, interest rates and other fees. In accordance with OFT guidelines, it is a legal requirement that all fees and rates must be clearly outlined and disclosed to the customer.
A payday loan does have high interest rates. This is not because the lender is trying to take advantage of emergencies, but because they are a short term lender. The payday loans are meant to be short term loans, not long term loans that are constantly refinanced with monthly statements. This means that the payday loan company assumes greater risk at the same profit level as other financial institutions.
6. Threaten customers with coercive collection practices
Short-term loan providers are committed to collecting past due accounts in a professional, fair and lawful manner involving no criminal actions. In accordance with BBCA’s guidelines, companies in the UK may not pursue criminal actions against a customer as a result of the customer not repaying their loan. If absolutely necessary and after all other approaches have been tried, the lender may turn the issue over to a collection agency.
7. Operate outside the OFT guidelines
All short-term loan lenders should follow OFT guidelines and are dedicated to practicing all practices and collections in the best way possible. The company strives to educate the consumer and to make sure that our borrowers clearly understand the payday loan process. This is in accordance within the customer selection criteria in a Responsible Lending policy.
Many posts have been written on consumer forums about how payday loan lenders are unethical and immoral for taking money from people who need it the most. This is not the objective of payday advances; these short-term loans are meant to tie over consumers until payday and be paid back on time. One loan provider operate a ‘Responsible Lending’ policy, listed in this policy are guidelines stating that the company’s charges are transparent and only lend to customers who can pay the loan back. The company also offers a payment plan option if customers are unable to pay back the loan on time; this allows them to pay back a small amount per week which the customer can afford.
Short-term loan lenders who offer payday advances have also been seen to partner with a charity to match customer donations made through the website. For example, one lender has partnered with Starlight Children’s Foundation to match the 50p donation, customers can choose to make on their interest payment.
9. Adds unauthorized charges to accounts
Payday loan providers only charge customers what they owe, and do not want to charge customers more for their loan. All companies ethical practices and responsible lending policy ensures customers only pay back the interest payments and charges which are relevant to their account.
10. Employees are trained to set hooks
Employees from payday loan providers are trained purely for business purposes, and to help customers as much as they can. Employees from short-term loan providers pride themselves on excellent customer service and helping customers out. To employees from this short-term loan lender happy customers mean increase commission.
This is a critical time for CNBC Fast Money with initial tests being conducted. It was noted that the CNBC rating has plummeted in the past years as cynical stock traders tried to escape the slowly crumbling industry. However, CNBC executives believe that the market is reviving to its old glory, even with the verge of new competition. How can we say that this US financial investing TV programis profitable?
Even though CNBC ratings might have been suffering from negatives, the network is still in high-revenue tier. Take note of its pretax income of about $ 270 million. With the US reserves and economic monitoring will continue to be the meat of financial talk shows, which is really the nature of the network’s plan to entice its viewers. However, this financial TV program is seen to be more appealing to a more natural type of consumerists or those traders who doesn’t give so much fuss about the weak points but just want to try venturing out with stocks and try to be rich. Is stock-picking important to CNBC?
The answer is yes. The kind of stock-picking in CNBC Fast Money is quite sensitive. In the past trading years in 1990s, CNBC received criticisms for including too many members in the panel who sometimes crazily peddling on stocks even without careful analysis. But CNBC defended that they had found a way to offer new responsible programs. However, the primary idea of the show will still revolve around turning money in the shortest period of time. What are expected changes in CNBC Fast Money?
Since news and analysis on financial trends have turned into measly commodity of the financial world, the network has to consider presenting news and financial information in the most innovative way without compromising responsible programming. The executive producers also want to include cultural relevancy on the program by providing access to the viewers and teaching them how to use such information for their stock trading. How could this happen?
Perhaps the secret of CNBC Fast Money is to widen its appeal without compromising its reputation among its advertisers. The network targets Class A and B market to maintain its standing as a major player in the business world. Fast Money TV program is indeed a primary network asset of CNBC. However, programming is in constant change with new ideas cropping up to develop the program and to implement changes. Talk shows and late night shows could be a challenge yet Fast Money is still a major TV phenomenon.
Surprising, but true – Internet-based activity is not the preserve of the young “digital native” generation alone. A 2008 survey says that Generation X (those born between 1965 and 1976) uses Internet banking significantly more than any other demographic segment, with two thirds of Internet users in this age group banking online.
Gen X users have also professed their preference for applications such as Facebook, to share, connect and be part of a larger community.
This is some irony in this, since online banking, as we know it today, offers minimal interactivity. Unlike in a branch, where the comfort of two way interaction facilitates the consummation of a variety of transactions, the one way street of e-banking has only managed to enable the more routine tasks, such as balance inquiry or funds transfer.
It’s not hard to put two and two together. A clear opportunity exists for banks that can transform today’s passive Internet banking offering into one that provides a more widespread and interactive customer experience.
It is therefore imperative that banks transform their online offering, such that it matches the new expectations of customers. Moreover, Internet banking must journey to popular online customer hangouts, rather than wait for customers to come to it.
There are clear indications that the shift towards a “next generation” online banking environment has already been set in motion. It is only a matter of time before these trends become the norm.
Leveraging of Social Networks
Forward thinking banks are leveraging existing social networks on external sites to increase their visibility among interested groups. They are also deploying social software technology on their own sites to engage the same communities in two way discussions. Thus, their Internet banking has assumed a more pervasive persona – customers are engaging with the bank, along with its products and services even when they’re not actually transacting online.
Heightened visibility apart, banks can gain tremendous customer insight from such unstructured, informal interactions. For example, a discussion on the uncertain financial future among a group of 18 to 25 years old could be a signal to banks to offer long term investment products to a segment that was previously not considered a target. Going one step further, a positive buzz around a newly launched service can create valuable word-of-mouth advertising for the business.
Collaborating through Web 2.0
The collaborative aspect of Web 2.0 applications has enabled banks to draw customers inside their fold more than ever before. Traditional methods such as focus group discussions or market research suffer from the disadvantages of high cost, limited scope and potential to introduce bias. Feedback forms merely serve as a post-mortem. In contrast, Web 2.0 has the ability to carry a vast audience along right from the start, and continue to do so perpetually. Thus, an interested community of prospects and customers participate in co-creating products and services which can fulfill their expectations.
The pervasiveness of Web 2.0 enables delivery of e-banking across multiple online locations and web-based gadgets such as Yahoo!Widgets, Windows Live or the iPhone. This means next generation online banking customers will enjoy heightened access and convenience
A New York based firm of analysts found that 15% of the 70 banks tracked by them had adopted Web 2.0, a number of them having done so within the last 12 months.
Standard Chartered Bank employees connect with their colleagues through Facebook and use the platform to share knowledge, clarify questions and participate in discussions on ongoing company activities.
Bank of America, Wachovia Bank and Commonwealth Credit Union have built a presence within interactive media to create awareness and keep up a dialogue with interested communities. They have employed a variety of methods, ranging from creating YouTube communities to launching campaigns on Current TV, a channel in which viewers determine content.
Personalization of Online Banking
Vanilla e-banking divides customers into very large, heterogeneous groups – typically, corporate, retail or SME, with one type of Internet banking page for each. That’s in sharp contradiction to how banking organizations would like to view their clientele. Banks are moving towards customer-specificity, almost viewing each client as a “segment of one”, across other channels, and online banking is set to follow suit. For instance, a specific home page for home loan customers and another for private banking clients could well be a possibility in future.
Interestingly, National Bank of Kuwait had the foresight to do this several years ago – they enabled customers to determine which products they would view and access, and were rewarded with a dramatic increase in online transactions.
Money Monitor from Yes Bank allows customers to choose their landing page – for example, they can set “all transactions”, “net worth” or “portfolio” as their default view. Other features include the ability to categories transactions as per customers’ convenience and the printing of custom reports.
Beyond doubt, Internet banking has created a more informed, empowered class of customers. This is set to climb to the next level once customers are allowed to proactively participate in many more transaction-related processes. The Internet has already made it possible for customers to compare product loan offerings, simulate financial scenarios and design custom retirement portfolios. Going forward, they would be able to consummate related transactions – which means, after comparing interest rates, they could originate a loan online, and once secured, they can begin to repay it online as well.
The emergence of Web 2.0 technology coupled with banks’ desire to personalize their e-banking to the highest degree is likely to result in “portalization” of Internet banking. The idea of banking customers being able to create their own spaces online, filled with all that is relevant to them, is not that far-fetched. Customers can personalize their Internet banking page to reflect the positions of multiple accounts across different banks; they could include their credit card information, subscribe to their favorite financial news, consolidate their physical assets position, share their experiences with a group and do more – all from one “place”.
Money Monitor enables customers to add multiple “accounts” (from a choice of 9,000) to their page. Accounts could be savings or loan accounts with major Indian banks, or those with utilities providers, credit card companies, brokerage firms and even frequent flyer programs. Users can customize their pages as described earlier.
As banks seek to develop their Internet banking vision for the future, in parallel, they will also need to address the key issues of security and “due defense”. While it is every marketer’s dream to have customers work as ambassadors, adequate precaution must be taken to prevent the proliferation of malicious or spurious publicity. Therefore, before an individual is allowed to participate in a networking forum, he or she must have built up a favorable track record with the bank. The individual must be a recognized customer of the bank, having used a minimum number of products over a reasonable length of time. Qualitative information about the person’s interaction with the bank’s support staff (for example frequency and type of calls made to their call center, outcome of such interaction and so on) may be invaluable in profiling the “right” type of customer who can be recruited as a possible advocate.
Collaborative Web 2.0 applications may necessitate opening up banks’ websites to outside technology and information exchange with third party sites, raising the spectre of data and infrastructure security. A robust mechanism of checks and balances must be built to ensure that the third party sites are secure, appropriately certified and pose no threat to the home banks’ sites. Likewise, before a third party widget is allowed to be brought on to a site, it must have passed through stringent security control.
Due diligence must be exercised before permitting users to place a link to another site to guard against the possibility of inadvertent download of malicious software, which could, in the worst case, even result in phishing originating from the banks’ sites.
It is equally important for a bank to guard its customers against invasion of privacy, data theft or misuse. The concept of portalization envisages deploying technology to bring information from other banks’ or financial service providers’ websites into the home bank’s site. The home bank must ensure that its customers’ personal or transaction related information, which may be shared with the other providers, is not susceptible to leakage or outright misuse.
Banks will do well to partner with an Internet banking solution provider which has not only the expertise to translate their vision into a cutting edge e-banking experience for the user, but also the foresight to define boundaries for safety. With security concerns adequately addressed, next generation Internet banking is full of exciting possibilities. Banks that seize the opportunity may find that Internet banking can become a means of differentiating themselves from competitors, rather than a mere cost cutting tool. Clearly, providing a more powerful and interactive e-banking experience, is the way forward.
At least once in life everyone thinks about moving. Either to a bigger home if the family is growing; or to a smaller one, if the kids are leaving and the actual home is going to be too big for you. Whatever your reason may be, selling a house is always an opportunity.
Home loans, if well used may help you to make a good deal from your property’s sell. There are many suitable options, depending on your situation and what you are looking for. Even with bad credit, and also if you are still repaying your home mortgage.
Types Of Home Loans
There are many options to be evaluated within home loans, you should start evaluating first what is that you want to do. If you want to switch to a bigger home, to a smaller one, and how would you like to invest the extra benefit obtained from the selling, if any.
There are two important home loan categories that you should look at when thinking about moving. Those are, home purchasing loans and home improvement loans.
Home improvement loans point to, as their name says, improve your current home. Either if there are any reparations to be done, or if you would like to make your home look better before selling it, these kinds of loans may be a good help. If you do the right modifications, your home value could be increased by the time you find a buyer. Financial companies will also approve loans for landscape improvements, such as constructing a swimming pool, if that is favorable to increase the property’s value.
Home purchasing loans, in the other hand, are meant to help you on your new home’s purchasing.
You will find a wide range of loans within both, home improvement and home purchasing loans.
Home purchasing loans will vary according to what do you intend to do. In example, if you had purchased your actual home whit a home loan which you are still repaying, and the home you are willing to move to will also need extra finance, you could get a home conversion loan. These kinds of loans, place your actual loan into the new home, including the extra amount you need. If you do not have any previous home loan, you can have a mortgage loan or a home equity loan, just over the extra amount you need to buy your new home.
You will also find many options on home improvement loans, the most common are unsecured personal loans for home improvements, home mortgage refinancing, first mortgage loans and second loans.
Unsecured personal loans may be a little more expensive than secured loans since they represent more risk for the lender, but you will not need to have equity in your property or any other collateral to apply. Credit score may be a limitation for the borrowed amount, but you are still eligible even if you have bad credit.
Home mortgage refinancing and first mortgage loans, are good options to evaluate if you have purchased your home with a mortgage loan. First mortgage loans are offered by your current lender, to finance your home improvements over your existent mortgage. With home mortgage refinancing your actual mortgage loan will be refinanced. You will not be borrowing more money, but refinancing will lower your home mortgage monthly payments leaving you extra money to invest on improving your home.
Second loans are suitable if you have an equity in your property to justify the loan.
All these options, if well used may help you to obtain the best of your property’s sell. Try to search and compare as many lenders as you can before you decide to apply for any loan.
Loans culture has grown considerably in recent times. Like any growing industry, loans industry has healthy competition. This competition has furthered the cause of finding cheap loans in UK. Cheap loans are not offered on platter. There are tricks to the trade of finding cheap loans.
Though borrowing money is not always an easy decision but there are times when loans are a necessity. Cheap loans are provided for every circumstance and reason – Personal loans, secured loans, unsecured loans, mortgage, car loans…….
When looking for cheap loans pay attention on various aspect of loans – interest rates, loan term, monthly payments are all instrumental. Interest rates are an obvious way to start your cheap loan search. Find out the lowest interest rates that are offered for your particular loan. Cheap loans are not the first loan you stumble upon while searching for loans or the first loan that is offered to you. There is always a scope for finding a cheaper loan than the one you found in loans market.
You will have to research for finding cheap loans. This may not be your favorite job but will be certainly active in locating cheap loans. For cheap loans you will have to go to various lenders and ask for quotes. Quotes give an idea of the loan cost to the borrower. After taking quotes compare the loan quotes to settle on cheap loans. Online the chances of finding cheap loans are doubled.
The terms and conditions for cheap loans are quite flexible. This has lead to those with imperfect credit also qualifying for cheap loans. In fact a separate category of bad credit loan ensures that cheap loans are a viable possibility for every borrower.
Getting cheap loans also depend on collateral and equity. Secured loan will always be a cheaper option than unsecured loans. Equity will sanction the amount you can borrow. If you have ample equity than you can qualify for larger amounts at cheap interest rates.
Your employment record will also affect your chances of finding cheap loans. A borrower can qualify for cheap loans if he or she has a stable income with a good employment record. You can find cheap loans for bad credit history but a good credit score is integral in finding cheap loans. Every lender will be looking at credit score before extending cheap loans. A good credit score will make you a primary contender for cheap loans.
If you want to borrow large amounts then mortgage is the best and cheapest loans option. Mortgage will be available at the lowest interest rates and terms at all the leading finance companies. It is a cheap way of borrowing money and considerable types of mortgages exist keeping in mind the requirements of borrowers.
If you are having more than two unpaid debts then debt consolidation is a cheap loans option. Debt consolidation loans are cheap way of uniting unpaid debt at low interest rates and low monthly payments. It is a cheap way of becoming debt free.
Student loan is an extremely cheap way of paying for college education. All students are eligible to apply for student loans and it is in fact the cheapest loan in the market. The interest rate for student loan is fixed. But you obviously have to go to a university for it and there is a limit to how much you can borrow.
Another way of procuring cheap loan is shortening the loan term. Shorter the loan term is the lesser will be what you pay as interest rate and it will be prove cheaper to your pocket. A shorter loan term will be less expensive and it is always such a pleasure to pay the loan in shorter time span.
There is no single cheap loan for everyone. In fact cheap loans are in accordance to your financial condition. If you are looking for cheap loans then you can get extensive information on the net. Read it all, explore your options and then settle on cheap loans. Cheap loan is all about finding a loan and then finding another one to beat that loan.
From different surveys, it is seen that the number of customers taking payday loan as well as payday lending companies are increasing frequently. If you are a person taking the payday loan for the first time or want to gather information regarding payday loan, then this article will be of great help to you.
Definition of payday loan:-
Payday loan is a very short term loan. Usually the term is 1-2 weeks. There are other names of payday loan like – “Cash Advance”, “Paycheck loan”, “Check loans”, and “Payroll advance loans”. After you get your paycheck, the loan is to be repaid. If you can not repay the loan amount plus lender’s charges for payday loan on your payday, you can rollover the loan amount by paying extra fees to the lender plus you have to pay the interest along with for the rollover period. So, payday loan can be termed a “Loan Sharking”.
Necessity of payday loan:-
By the end of the month, you may face some problems in maintaining some urgent family expenses like paying off your Medical Bills, Phone Bills, and Electric Bills, House Rent or some other utility bills. These things usually happen when you fail to maintain a proper budget at the time of getting your paychecks or not keeping your expenses up to your income limit. Hence in order to meet such urgent expenses you need a payday loan.
Payday loan companies:-
There are so many companies who are promoting check cashing facilities online. Besides some banks and other financial institutions also provides you with a payday loan. You can apply online for a payday loan or you can visit physically to an institution to avail a payday loan.
Conditions to be satisfied to get an instant payday loan:-
The criteria of different payday loan companies are-
1. You must have a job or there should be a regular source of income.
2. You should have a Checking A/c in a bank.
3. You should be an US citizen.
4. You should be at least 18 years of age.
5. Your monthly income should be at least $1000 Per Month.
Best application time of payday loan:-
If you apply for the loan from Monday to Thursday, you will get the loan on the next working day, i.e. Tuesday to Friday. If you apply for the loan on Friday, then you will get the loan on the next Monday, and if you apply on Saturday or Sunday, you will get the loan on Tuesday.
So the best time to apply for the loan is Monday to Thursday.
When will you get the money?
As the process is very simple to get the loan amount, in general you will get your loan amount within 24 hours of application. Company will check your documents and verify your data with an automated system named as VPN Based software, and then approve your loan. The entire process of verification of your identity and depositing the money to your Checking A/c takes 24 hours of time. There are some companies who will deposit the loan amount in less than 24 hours.
Costs of payday loan:-
Usually a payday loan company charges 15 to 30 USD per $100 borrowed. So, if you borrow $100, you will have to pay 115 to 130 USD on the very next payday. The APR of payday loan cash advance interest boosts up to 391%.
Maximum limit of payday loan:-
If you are taking a payday loan for the first time, you may get up to $500 for the first time. After you repay back your first loan amount in time, you can avail more than $500 when you revisit the company for another payday loan.
Think before taking a payday loan:-
1. You should keep in mind the APR factor of the loan before taking it. You should find the company which is charging a lower APR than its competitors.
2. You should take care about the privacy of your document and information. So, if the tendency of the company is to process applicant’s information in an encrypted page, you should think that your information will not be licked out, and then you can proceed on.
3. You should read the company policy and legal matters complied with before submitting an application form to them.
Repayment of payday loan:-
The lender company will take the money off from your checking A/c on the date of your payday. You should be ready and aware about your payday and the amount to be repaid. If you fail to repay the loan on the scheduled date then you may have to ask the lender to rollover your loan amount.
Alternatives to payday loan:-
1. In order to avoid taking such high interest loan like payday loan cash advance, you should make an appropriate budget which is according to your income.
2. You may also save certain amount of money from your paycheck every time you get it.
3. Before taking a payday loan cash advance, you should be looking for a loan from a friend or relative as they will not take any interest for lending the money to you. Another thing is also involved here that if you not be able to repay the money in future, you may not have to run away from your creditors.
Where should an individual taxpayer deduct tax preparation fees? The obvious answer might be on Schedule A of Form 1040 as a miscellaneous deduction. Are tax preparation fees deductible only on Schedule A for all taxpayers? Thankfully, the answer is no.
Deducting tax preparation fees on Schedule A will provide little or no benefit for most taxpayers because the total miscellaneous deductions must exceed two percent of the taxpayer’s adjusted gross income to provide any benefit. In addition, the taxpayer’s total itemized deductions must usually exceed the standard deduction amount to provide any tax benefit.
The IRS ruled in Rev. Rul. 92-29 that taxpayers may deduct tax preparation fees related to a business, a farm, or rental and royalty income on the schedules where the taxpayer reports such income.
A taxpayer who is self-employed may deduct the portion of the tax preparation fees related to the business, including schedules such as depreciation schedules, on Schedule C of Form 1040 as a business expense. The tax preparation fees deducted on Schedule C save the taxpayer income tax and self-employment tax.
A taxpayer who is self-employed as a farmer would deduct the portion of the tax preparation fees related to the farm on Schedule F of Form 1040. The tax preparation fees deducted on Schedule F save the taxpayer income tax and self-employment tax.
A taxpayer who has rental and/or royalty income reported on Schedule E of Form 1040 would deduct the portion of the tax preparation fees related to the rental and/or royalty income on Schedule E. The tax preparation fees deducted on Schedule E save the taxpayer income tax. However, the tax preparation fees deducted on Schedule E do not save the taxpayer any self-employment tax because the rental and/or royalty income reported on Schedule E is not subject to self-employment tax.
A taxpayer may not deduct all of the tax preparation fees on Schedules C, E, and F of Form 1040. The tax preparer should provide a statement to the taxpayer that indicates how much of the tax preparation fee was related to the taxpayer’s business, farm, and/or rental and/or royalty income. The taxpayer may deduct the remainder of the tax preparation fee only on Schedule A.
If the tax preparer does not provide the taxpayer with a detailed statement showing how much of the tax preparation fee was for the taxpayer’s business, farm, and/or rental and/or royalty income, the taxpayer shoud ask the tax preparer for an itemized statement. If the tax preparer will not provide an itemized statement, the taxpayer should use a reasonable allocation. In that case, the taxpayer should seriously consider using a different tax preparer next year.
Here is an example. Assume that the taxpayer is self-employed and also owns rental real estate. The tax preparation fee for the taxpayer’s Form 1040 and related schedules for 2005 was $600. The tax preparer states that of the $600 total fee, $300 was related to the taxpayer’s business, $200 was related to the rental real estate, and the remainng $100 was related to other parts of the taxpayer’s income tax return. The taxpayer paid the $600 in February 2006.
On the taxpayer’s income tax return for 2006, the taxpayer may deduct the $600 tax preparation fee as follows: $300 on Schedule C, $200 on Schedule E, and $100 on Schedule A as a miscellaneous deduction.
Any loan resulting in a release of cash during times of immediate financial crises would be termed as best payday loan. It is only after the purpose for which the loan was taken gets satisfied that we start thinking critically of the loan. It will be wrong to term this tendency as selfishness. Payday loans are actually made dearer by loan providers. Many borrowers actually decide to take loans at any terms stated by the lenders because of the urgency involved in the situation. Lenders will not miss to profit of this opportunity. Thus, we find best payday loans costing dearly to its borrowers. High rates of interest and large fees are often appended to the payday loan, thus increasing the cost of the payday loan.
However, this was not what you had expected of the best payday loan. High interest rates were expected, but not of the extent that adorns your payday loan now. Neither had you expected that the lender would charge as high a fees. It is when the payday loan comes over for repayment that the expensiveness of the loan comes into view.
Though it may be too late to think of this now, this serves as a lesson for the next time that you plan to take a payday loan again. Proper planning ensures that the payday loan can be conveniently termed as a best payday loan.
Firstly, borrowers need to understand that payday loans differ from the other regular loans in terms of the purpose to which they are employed. The needs to which the payday loan is employed are characterized with urgency. These are generally routine monthly expenses, requiring only a small amount towards their disbursal. Thus, regular loans, where large amounts are exchanged, may not be appropriate. Moreover, regular loans that take several weeks to be approved and sanctioned may not be appropriate for these expenses because of the urgency involved.
Individuals, who may have ended their monthly paycheque before the next paycheque becomes due, find themselves hapless in making any extra payments.Best payday loans provide access to funds at a very short notice. Through payday loans, borrowers can draw funds in the range of £80 to £400. Depending on the needs of the borrowers and the lending policy adhered to by the lender, the borrowable amount may further go upwards. These funds will be used by borrowers to expend with ease.
Payday loans are short-term loans. The amount has to be returned with the interest within a month; sometimes within weeks. Lenders may employ different methods to get back the money. The most popular of these is the post-dated cheque system. The cheque is dated for presentation on the desired date. On the specific date, the amount is automatically cut from the borrowers account. For this purpose, some loan providers would require the borrower to have a checking account.
The post-dated cheque may also serve as collateral. In this sense, Best payday loans may also be regarded as secured loans. Borrowers, who desire to have best payday loans without the clause of collateral, will have to further search the UK financial market. The concept of unsecured payday loans is fast catching up with lenders in the UK, and it may not be much difficult to have best payday loans without collateral.
There are certain essentials that the borrower needs to have in order to become eligible for best payday loans. The borrower needs to be employed with a regular income that is transferred directly into his bank account. The borrower must have a chequebook and a checking account as mentioned before.
An important advantage of best payday loans is that credit history will not be checked. Borrowers with bad credit history will specially find the clause beneficial. Many loan providers may not even require borrowers to present their social security number.
Online application and online processing suit best payday loans. Best payday loans need to be approved fast in order to meet the immediate needs. Online applications transfer personal and loan details quickly to the loan providers. Thus, online application contributes towards a faster approval of best payday loans.
Though best payday loans present a convenient method of drawing cash during emergencies, they must not be misused. Expert advice ensures that borrowers have enough knowledge to make a proper use of payday loans.
my personal payday loan story that can help you
the term payday loan starts with the letter “p” which is the same letter that starts off the words pain, penalty, poor and poverty. Both the internet and the physical world are full of places where you can get a loan with bad credit, no credit check, and no employment verification but what these modern day loan sharks don’t tell you is that their interest rates are so high that one day you may end up with the payday loan mafia coming after you!
Sure, these loans look very attractive to those in financial need that are unable to get a loan by conventional means but when the facts are presented what you have to pay back just isn’t worth it. This fictional character that we all refer to as “guido” which is the person that comes to break your arms and legs when you don’t pay a loan shark back is in existence in a different way when it comes to payday loans. Instead of your arms and legs the payday loan guido comes after your heart, soul and peace of mind.
Payday loan places make their offerings look so attractive but it is all an illusion because who can really see when they are desperate? What you don’t want to happen is for what appears to be a temporary solution to become a long term problem and many times that is exactly what happens.
I’ve been caught in the payday loan otherwise known as payday advance web many times. Sometimes life’s circumstances leave us very few choices and we decide to do what we feel like we have to do to buy gas and put food on the table. Like I said, I’ve been there before and as a survivor of payday loan debt I have knowledge that can help you.
I want you to ask yourself a question which is, “if you don’t have enough money to get by what makes you think you can payoff a loan with 300%- 700% interest?” You might as well sell your first born child. Payday loans may seem good in the short run and you may get instant gratification and even a rush when you hold that cash in your hands or see it in your bank account but in the long run it is a race that many can’t win.
My story, like many, was that I obtained payday loans to cover immediate expenses I needed cash for but didn’t have money to pay the loans back so I got extension after extension paying out ungodly amounts of money. Before long I was getting new payday loans just to pay the other payday loans I had received. I was trapped in a vicious cycle with no way out and a ton of stress upon me. I became a needy fly caught in the payday loan web, especially since most of my loans were online loans; I was literally in a virtual web. The payday loan spider sucked the life blood out of my bank accounts and I didn’t know what to do.
Please understand that you can’t solve a problem with a problem and you can’t come out debt by creating more debt. The solution to your debt starts with gaining additional income sources and paying off existing debt little by little so you can be free. In my own personal payday loan crisis I got up to almost $7, 000 worth of payday loans and when renewal payment time came my entire paycheck was gone. This is a miserable experience that I pray you can avoid. You might already be at this state but even if you are I have some suggestions for you that will offer hope.
The first thing you have to do is to make a conscious decision to get out of this situation. Decide to change and become a butterfly rather than a fly caught up in the payday loan web. When a caterpillar is going through the metamorphosis in the cocoon in order to become a butterfly there is a struggle. The struggle is in fact what makes the butterfly great because the struggle to get out of the cocoon transformed actually pushes fluid from the butterfly’s body into its wings so that it can emerge in beautiful flight. This process may be a little painful but it will help you fly and be what you were made to be.
One thing that I did was to become an affiliate for payday loan companies so that I could get paid from other people acquiring payday loans. Some people are just going to get them so there is no reason why you shouldn’t get paid from the process that made you pay so much. The second thing I did is what really helped me which was to get a payday loan consolidation company to take on my debt at a reduced amount and pay the payday loans back for me on my behalf. It was one of the best choices I ever made and it was a way out of the payday loan web.
You can do a Google search to find companies that will represent you in this way but do your research and make sure that the company you choose is credible. I used pdl assistance, inc. They require an upfront fee to take your case but they will work with you on paying it and it is around $200. Next you set up a plan to pay them a monthly amount on your payday loan debt and they pay your debtors directly. They will give you different term options to pay the debt off and they will deal with the payday loan companies for you. Doing this took a huge weight off of me. I got a 12 month term to repay my payday loan debt at 35% of what I owed the payday loan companies. The $400 a month I was paying on this plan was much better than the $700 plus every two weeks I was paying for all the loans I had.
One important thing to know when you start a payday loan consolidation program is that the payday loan companies are going to call you to collect. When they call just give them the information for the company that is representing you and let them know that the debt is going to be repaid to them as part of a loan/debt consolidation program you have initiated. I obtained the fax numbers to my payday loan companies and sent them notification on who to contact regarding the repayment of my loans. If you do this make sure to include your account number and social security number so they can properly locate your account.
Some companies will continue to try and collect from you in spite of this so I have another suggestion if this happens. If you get numerous collection calls after you have informed them about your debt consolidation you need to fax and/or send them a cease and desist letter. You can get a template off the internet and submitting this letter will stop the collection calls while your debt consolidation program is in the works.
Another tip is to close the bank account you have the loan fees being deducted from if possible. You will want to start a new account before you close your existing account and under no circumstances get payday loans under the new account. You have to treat the payday loan habit like an addiction. If you are going to stop it then stop it because replicating the mistake will only make things worse for you.
If you need money then get bad credit credit cards and pay them on time to build your credit. Pay more than the minimum payment and use them to pay bills so you can pay what you need to pay while building your credit. No debt consolidation company can legally advise you to close your account but sometimes it is the only way to keep the payments from being processed and causing you hundreds or even thousands of dollars in overdraft fees. For me this was the easiest way because I had so many loans and it would have cost me a $25 fee for every stop payment processed plus the bank could have missed some.
I also want you to know that the cease and desist letter can be used for any type of debt collection and not just payday loans. It is important to know your rights and you can find them out online at the federal trade commission’s website where you can learn about the fair debt collection act. You will learn what creditors can and cannot do regarding the collection of your debts and how to stop inconvenient and harassing behavior.
I do not encourage anyone to get a payday loan because it can get out of control so easily. If you must get a payday loan be sure to get one with low fees well below the normal $30 per $100 borrowed.
Banks manage financial assets and the success of that management is dependent on the capabilities of the persons who manage those assets.
Therefore growth in this sector is dependent on effective management and leadership capacity and dominance in retail services is directly related to the expansion of the branch network through which the bank’s retail products and services are distributed.
The central departments or bank headquarters form the nerve center of the bank by providing direction, developing new products and services, handling high value investments, treasury management and credit activities. However, it is through the network of bank branches that the retail services developed by the central marketing function are distributed. The network of branches acts like the five senses as well as the arms and the legs of the body by sending critical information from the field to the central departments and executing the corporate strategy by successfully linking the needs of the public to the products and services developed to meet those needs.
The quality and the quantity of that exchange between the branches and the central departments have a great impact on the ability of the bank to leverage its products and services in the market. Simply put, the branches are the points of sales for all the retail products and services developed by the bank. Even though sophisticated, high-value products and services are facilitated by the central departments concerned, the ‘retail services’ are the ‘Cash Cow’. A bank’s ability to expand its branch network through which its products and services are distributed is therefore critical to its growth and profitability.
The question arises – “What is that growth dependent on? And the answer is – “It is dependent on the human capabilities available in the form of individuals who have the skills, the knowledge, the experience and the personality to successfully manage newly established branches. Herein lies one of the major challenges faced by many banks: Their need and their readiness to open new branches both in the home country and abroad is frustrated by the scarcity of individuals who are genuinely capable of successfully launching a new branch or ‘turning-around’ an existing branch.
The purpose of this article is to explore some of the reasons for the scarcity and to suggest some things that can be done about it the in the short term and in the longer term.
8 Challenges and 8 Possible Solutions
Challenge 1: There is no training and development program designed specifically to prepare individuals to move from ‘competent employee’ to ‘competent branch manager’ with the requisite leadership skills.
Solution: Identify individuals with leadership potential as early as possible in their careers through various activities and through multiple sources and methods. For example, if ‘leadership’ is identified as one of the core competencies of the bank and it is fully integrated into the appraisal system at all levels, there will be regular feedback through the performance appraisal system. This feedback can be further validated through regular Assessment and Development Centers designed to identify talent in various areas. Once identified, a clear career path should be presented to these individuals and a systematic development program applied to ensure that we not only identify capable individuals but that we retain them. A clear career path with well defined requirements for moving from one position to another contributes very strongly towards the retention of ambitions and talented leaders. When linked to ‘Succession Planning’ there will also be a timeline that ensures adequate preparation for successors and minimal disruption of work due to sudden departures.
Challenge 2: The competition for talented individuals who have the potential to lead is very high because the demand far exceeds the supply. This increases cost because salary levels have to be raised in order to attract and hopefully keep the best talent.
Solution: Recognize that intelligent and talented individuals are looking for something more than just the salary. So make your bank one that attracts the kind of people you want. Intelligent individuals with leadership capability are looking for a credible organization where they can grow and where they are given the opportunity to contribute as well as enjoy the fun and challenge of working in that place.
Challenge 3: The type of person who is good at managing the branch operations and attending to all the administrative details may not necessarily be good at leading and managing a bank branch from a commercial perspective. Therefore the assumption that it is possible to promote the operations manager to branch manager and then bring someone up from the ranks to handle operations is simply not valid.
Solution: Recognize that ‘Work Preferences’ are an even more powerful predictor of job satisfaction and productivity than academic qualifications and experience. ‘Work Preferences’ must be measured, understood and built into career management and staff retention programs. A person who is good at one thing may not necessarily be good at another. The ‘Work Preferences’ that make a good operations manager are the exact opposite of those that make a good branch manager. When Operations Manager and Branch Manager positions are filled with individuals whose ‘Work Preferences’ are congruent with their skills and their roles it leads to complementary. This increases to a high degree the potential for a great performance. Therefore ‘Work Preferences’ should be factored into the recruitment, selection, career planning, talent management, and succession planning and retention programs of the bank.
Challenge 4: The ‘Critical Success Factors’ for the position of Branch Managers need to be redefined so they reflect current market realities. The branch manager certainly needs to have a solid foundation in the banking know-how that brings the highest revenues to the bank – Credit and Trade Finance. There are far too many branch managers that are not really able to discuss business affairs with their more sophisticated clients in a satisfactory manner. Moreover, many are also unable to adequately coach their staff on the effective preparation of credit files or trade finance documentation and credit.
Solution: Develop a rigorous testing and evaluation system in these areas and use it as a pre-requisite for promotion to the position of Branch Manager. In other words, if candidates for promotion to the position of Branch Manager are unable to pass a knowledge test and a practical skills assessment, they will have to develop their abilities and pass the tests and assessments in these areas before their promotion can go through.
This will contribute to building a sense of professionalism in the sector.
Challenge 5: There is little or no emphasis on the essential ‘soft skills’ for branch management. This includes the effective management of people – inspiring, motivating, developing and challenging them to get the best results. The soft skills are underrated in comparison with banking techniques, whereas they are equally important. Here there are a wide range of skills that are vital to success; the least of which are customer relationship management that goes beyond dinners and lunches or funerals and weddings. Business Ethics is another critical area that must receive attention in light of the recent global economic crisis.
Solution: Develop a set of corporate values and a clear set of interpersonal and managerial competencies that are ingrained into the psyche of every employee through an ongoing coaching and mentoring program. Train and develop your managers so that coaching and mentoring is part and parcel of their daily routine. As they communicate these values and build the competencies into daily behavior, they will contribute to the creation of a new corporate culture where those who do not fit will move out and those who do will move up. This will increase the supply of better qualified candidates for leadership and managerial positions.
Challenge 6: Many think of the Branch Manager as a Public Relations Officer or a Liaison Officer facilitating the exchange of documents and information between the central departments and the branch. In fact many banks have designed the job of the branch manager so that he or she is no more than an informed ‘button clicker’ authorizing transactions through the bank’s operating system. Certainly the ‘control’ function is a very important one and one that cannot be relinquished. However, it has to be considered in light of the role of the branch manager and the optimal utilization of capacity.
Solution: Answer the question of what exactly is the role of the branch manager and what is the most valuable contribution that such a manager should be making. Unless this question is discussed in depth and in light of the future strategy of the bank the role of the branch manager will remain vague and will by necessity be defined by the personal preferences of the individual occupying that position. Those who like dealing with people will become Public Relations Officers, those who like dealing with things and with numbers will become Controllers, those who like ‘challenges’ will become Demanding Bosses. Each role has its merit but the bank needs to decide which role it wants to emphasize and to select its managers accordingly. The important thing is that the decision must be aligned with the banks corporate strategy for growth and expansion.
Challenge 7: From the branch manager’s perspective the question always arises: “Do I have any real power or authority within this centrally controlled structure?” There is no doubt that there are those who will take charge and confidently communicate with the central departments and get the support they need and there will be those who perceive themselves as waiting for orders and are therefore not really responsible in the final reckoning.
Solution: This relationship needs to be considered and clearly defined including the identification of the inevitable ‘grey areas’. Some individuals will be able to rise to the occasion but are waiting to be invited or to be told that they do have permission of the ‘powers that be’ to interact assertively and openly with the Central Departments. They are on the same side.
Challenge 8: Branch Managers also ask: “Where do I go from here? What is my future? Do I remain a Branch Manager for the rest of my life?”
Solution: The answers to these questions are critical to attracting suitable candidates for the position. This is also linked to the role we want our branch managers to play. Are we looking for ambitious entrepreneurs with a solid ethical grounding who are prepared to go after promising opportunities? Or are we looking for ‘button clickers’ who will scrutinize the details, follow the rules and religiously adhere to procedures? Or are we looking for someone who enjoys being a Public Relations officer and gets along really well with people but lacks the solid banking knowledge that will yield high returns from these customer relationships?
This is an important decision as it will determine who you get to fill the position. If you don’t want to settle for taking the first ‘okay’ candidate, a decision must be taken.
Looking at these Human Capital challenges and solutions leads us to propose two main courses of action. One is to make the most of the current situation and the other is to be better prepared for the future. Below are the details on both approaches.
Short Term Human Capital Investment:Take advantage of the current crisis to recruit the talent you really want and to build a pool from which to choose in the future. In the Harvard Business Review you will find steps of consideration to ensure that when you do hire, you hire the right person, at the right time, with the right skills to ensure that when you need specific outcomes, your people are able to deliver.
Hiring Top Executives: A Comprehensive End-to-End Process
1. Anticipate the Need
- Conducting ongoing, proactive analysis of future needs.
- Continually evaluating the pool of potential talent.
- Developing rigorous periodic forecasts of the company’s talent needs.
2. Specify the Job
- Defining the specific demands of the job.
- Specifying which skills and experience are relevant.
- Identifying the team the candidate will need to work with or recruit.
3. Develop the Pool
- Developing a large pool.
- Including insiders, outsiders, insiders, outsiders, and outside-insiders.
- Considering people on the periphery of the organization (employees in remote offices, consultants, suppliers, customers).
- Tapping your networks and involving the right external partners.
- Asking candidates’ peers for nominations.
4. Assess the Candidates
- Using a small number of high-caliber, well-trained, properly motivated interviewers.
- Employing rigorous behavioral event interviews.
- Conducting detailed reference checks.
- Including top stakeholders in candidate assessment.
5. Close the Deal
- Demonstrating active support for the candidate’s interests.
- Describing the job realistically.
- Involving the hiring manager personally, not just HR, in closing the deal.
- Ensuring that compensation is fair to other employees.
- Involving C-level for top positions.
6. Integrate the Newcomer
- Using veteran top performers as mentors.
- Making sure the newcomer checks in regularly with boss, mentor, and HR even when no problems have arisen.
7. Audit and Review
- Removing bad hires within the first year.
- Regularly reviewing recruiting practices.
- Identifying and rewarding excellent interviewers.
- Holding all assessors accountable for the quality of their evaluations.
Source: Fernandez-Araoz, C, Groysberg, B and Nohria, N 2009, ‘The Definitive Guide to Recruiting in Good Times and Bad’, Business Harvard Review, vol. 87, no. 5, pp.79.
Long Term Human Capital Investment:
Identify, develop and retain top talent by using a number of structured and unstructured innovations in ‘Talent Management.’
Build Your Own Talent Pool
Forward-looking Banks today realize that what limits their ability to expand and develop retail operations is the availability of qualified managers to head new branches. The absence of an effective second or third line management layer within a bank means that the bank will face a succession crisis if there isn’t a swift and effective response to this reality.
The challenge is how to make sure that the right persons have been selected and that the path of their development and training will be one that properly prepares them to carry the bank into the 21st century. More importantly, will these individuals be ready to respond to the impact of the political, legal / regulatory, environmental and social changes in the world and in the region? Will they be prepared to handle the reality of borderless financial markets and the ever-increasing pace of technology driven change?
There is no doubt that banks already have or are actively recruiting high potential individuals to lead their banks into the future. The problem, however, is how to accurately identify and accelerate the development of these high potential people so that they can get to where you need them to be in 1 or 2 years instead of five or ten. The second challenge is how to retain them.
These are the challenges that this Bank Branch Manager Accreditation program addresses.
CRITICAL PROGRAM SUCCESS FACTORS
This is an ambitious program and dictates that we proceed with full awareness of the necessary conditions to ensure success.
- Full support and or commitment from top management.
- Selection on merit and competence so that the investment is made in the right people and the program is perceived as credible.
- Selection on merit and competence so that the investment is made in the right people and the program is perceived as credible.
- Address the expectations of all stakeholders to prevent misconceptions regarding the outcomes of the program.
- Develop a supportive succession and retention plan for those in the program and those directly impacted by them.
- Set a realistic budget for this project and demonstrate the high return on investment.
- Give the program the optimal time for successful implementation.
The main purpose of this program is to prepare successful individuals to fit smoothly into the role of future Branch Manager of fast-growing banks that have a regional and or international client base. This will involve a number of subordinate objectives:
- Train and develop future Bank Branch Managers quickly, effectively and economically.
- Use techniques that will bring out the best in your staff and help you decide, without a doubt, where each one will perform best.
- Ensure that the development program is totally targeted to your bank’s culture and business strategy.
- Identify those who can deal with high change and high stress business environments.
- Differentiate the true team players from those who do better alone.
- Change your corporate culture to reflect the values and competencies that are vital to the future success and sustainability of your business.
- Provide real management experience at low risk to you and your staff.
- Involve more than one group in the change process to ensure maximum ‘buy-in’ or ownership of the development process.
- Increase the supply of qualified candidates and so reduce the risk of poaching by competitors.
The more we know of human nature and the workings of the human brain, the more we realize that the story of our lives is written in every cell of our body and shaped by every significant relationship. The importance of getting the right people in the right place and the right group of people working together cannot be overestimated. The right outcomes will seem to come as if by magic.
With the rising commodity prices throughout the globe, everyone needs some kind of legal financing when they purchase something big like a home or a car. There are all kinds of financing options available in the UK. Only getting a loan that helps you meet your financial needs is not enough. You also need to save considerable amount of money on your loans so that you can repay them in simple affordable monthly payments. Getting a cheap and affordable loan in accordance with your financial affordability is not as simple as it may seem. Have a look at the ways in which you can easily secure loans at a cheap rate.
- Make a comprehensive market research: Comparison shopping is the most important step that can help you save a lump sum amount of money. If you’re in the market for credit of any kind, stay sure that there will be hundreds of companies that are waiting for selling their financial products to you. Therefore, you need to take a step after considering the rates and charges offered by all lending companies. If you’re taking out a home loan or a debt consolidation loan, you need to make sure that you compare the services offered by various companies.
- Check your credit rating: Today’s lending industry is entirely based on your credit score. As your credit report reflects your financial history, the lenders always check the score before lending you a new line of credit. A person with a good credits core will certainly secure a better rate than a person who has a poor credit score. Therefore, if you want to obtain loans at a cheap rate, make sure you repair your credit before applying for a loan. Order a free copy of your credit report and dispute all errors and negative listings so that you can boost your credit score.
- Take the loan out for a short term: When taking a loan out it is important that you first calculate the monthly amount that you can afford to repay each month. If you are armed with this information you are then able to reduce the term of the loan until the repayments meet what you can afford. Taking a loan out for a shorter term will make quite a big difference in the amount of interest that you are charged.
- Look for bad credit lenders: If you have exhausted all the above mentioned options and have no other option left to secure a cheap loan for yourself, you can look for a bad credit lender. Bad credit lenders usually lend loans to people with bad credit and therefore they will give you a loan at a low rate. If you want to get a cheap loan, go and apply to a bad credit lender.
The entire process of getting cheap loans will become fuss-free if you follow the points mentioned above. Gain peace of mind while getting your loan so that you need not worry about the monthly loan obligations and lead a life free of financial burden.
CNBC Fast Money is a financial talk show in the US mainly discussing stock trading. Since 2007, it is aired every night at 5 pm or an hour after the conclusion of the NYSE. But in 2011, this financial investing TV program was moved to Mondays to Thursday to give way to special programs and forex trading on Fridays. The show is taped in NASDAQ headquarters in New York. After Dylan Ratigan, who is now the host of Fast Money?
Vibrant and dynamic, the panel referred to as the Fast Money Five and host Melisa Lee offers an interactive stock trading talk show. When the trade is closed, Melissa and the Fast five provides input about the significant financial trends and how viewers can gain profit. How can you gain fast cash with this program?
Often visited by experienced traders and panelists, CNBC Fast Money offers valuable insights for viewers who are interested in stock trading and individual or corporate investors searching for crucial information. With interesting segments and program features that provides marker for the most significant pops, drops and notable players in the stock market, this program is directed to the financial world and catered to help traders in the succeeding days. What about the program’s ratings?
The first 13 episodes of CNBC Fast Money in 2006 at Wednesdays 8 pm were very low at estimated 110,000 viewers a week. The program was moved to a new timeslot at 5 pm resulting to its better reception and higher ratings. Viewership has doubled within a few weeks. Then after this 5 pm test, the network re-launched the program back at 8 pm hoping it might have gained footing after the amplified viewership. It failed. Ratings plummeted again. Fortunately CNBC retried the program at 5 pm and had gained its intended viewership for good. What about the Halftime Report?
CNBC Fast Money Halftime Report has similar format but airs after noon. This show debuted in 2010 and was initiated from the segment on CNBC power Lunch. This special edition is hosted by Scott Wagner and airs live from Global HQ in New Jersey. Initially aired as a 30-minute talk show, the halftime Report became a one-hour TV program in 2011 and moved up to the noontime programming. This is the replacement of the cancelled show “The Strategy Session,” which suffered from very low ratings. Individual and corporate traders and investors can watch this show to monitor current trends in the stock trade and get the latest insights from the experts.
Government-Backed Loans – Government loans refer to those loans that are guaranteed by one of two federal agencies. The two types of government loans are: Federal Housing Administration (FHA) loans, and Veterans Administration (VA) loans. The advantage of financing using FHA loans are that they are easier to qualify for and allow a borrower to finance more of the loan amount than non-government loans. Whereas with a Conforming loan a borrower may only be able to finance 80% of the loan amount, a FHA loan allows a borrower to finance 97% of the loan amount. FHA loans are recommended for those borrowers who are first-time buyers, have little money to put down, have a short credit history, or are having trouble qualifying for a Conforming loan. The two main advantages of financing using VA loans are that the VA allows borrowers to finance 100% of the loan amount, and that, the VA only requires proof of veteran status to qualify for the loan. The only drawback to government loans is that mortgage insurance is required at all loan to values (LTV), unlike Conventional and Jumbo loans where payment of mortgage insurance is determined by the amount of equity a borrower has in his home.
VA Loan Information
VA loans are designed to provide assistance in purchasing a home for United States Veterans. A benefit of a VA loan is that you can purchase a home with no down payment. In addition, it is slightly easier to qualify for a Veterans Affair loan when compared to a regular loan.
Many people for who actually qualify for a VA Loan are not aware of it.
Who qualifies for a VA Loan?
The following table shows what type of service (and for what duration is required in order to be eligible for a VA Loan:
Service during:WWII-09/16/40 to 07/25/47 Korean-06/27/50 to 01/31/55 Vietnam-08/05/64 to 05/07/75 Persian Gulf-8/2/90 to undetermined. You must have at least 90 days on active duty. Plus, you must have been discharged under other than dishonorable conditions. If you served less than the standard 90 days, you may be eligible if discharged for a service connected disability.
Service during periods:-07/26/47 to 06/26/50 & 02/01/55 to 08/04/64 & 05/08/75 to 08/01/90To qualify for a VA Loan, you must have served at least 181 days of continuous active duty. Plus, you must have been discharged under other than dishonorable conditions. If you served less than the standard 181 days, you may be eligible if discharged for a service connected disability.
Other questions about VA Loans:
1) Is the spouse or children of a veteran eligible?A spouse is eligible if the veteran died as a result of a service connected disability or died while on active duty. The children are not eligible. 2) Who makes the loans?Private lenders make the loans. However, the VA guarantee protects these lenders against loss. The guaranty will allow lenders to make loans without other requirements (for example, a down payment). 3) Can I get a VA loan if I have been foreclosed on in the past?Yes. The best way to find out how to qualify for this is to contact a mortgage specialist. They can give you advice on what you can do to ensure you can qualify for a loan.If you are considering a VA Loan, remember that there are still a variety of different mortgages. A mortgage broker can be a useful tool to help find the most appropriate mortgage for your purchase. If you plan on living in your home for a long period of time, you may want to consider the traditional fixed-rate 15- or 30-year loan. Another option is to choose an adjustable rate mortgage and consider refinancing again in a few years. Short-term mortgages include balloon mortgages and one-year adjustable rate mortgages.
Is an FHA loan the best home loan for my situation?
You have many decisions when choosing which type of loan is best for your situation. Is the FHA loan the best? What about a VA loan? When is a Conventional loan better than an FHA loan?
A mortgage specialist can analyze your situation, and help you determine which loan is best for you. In many cases, there are other loans more beneficial than an FHA loan. Although in some situations, FHA loans are the best choice.
About the FHA Loan program. With an FHA Loan, your home loan is insured by HUD. The FHA Program is designed to help give home buyers the opportunity to qualify for a mortgage, when they may not otherwise qualify. HUD assumes some of the risk on the loan. The requirements are not as high for an FHA loan as they are for Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac Loans. Plus, a borrower can purchase a home with only 3% down. In some cases a borrower can qualify for gift programs which allow them to purchase a home with no money out of pocket. There are a variety FHA loan programs that you can take advantage of. A mortgage specialist can give you advice as to which is best for you.
There are several legal and regulatory compliance implications with offshore banking that I’d like to cover in this article. However, please don’t construe information on this site as legal guidance. I am providing this information for free based on my own experiences. Please consult your professional attorney or CPA (accountant) before you get involved with offshore internet banking.
What is an Offshore Bank
To be over simplistic, an offshore bank is a financial institution outside the shores of your country. If you are in Australia, a bank in the United States is an offshore bank to you. If you are in the United States, a bank in Singapore is an offshore bank to you. Therefore, the idea of offshore banking is relative.
A business or an individual, in this case you, may select an offshore bank account in a jurisdiction that is typically favorable in terms of taxes (often referred to as a tax haven by media), as well as in terms of legalities. In addition to choosing a jurisdiction with no to little income tax, for many, privacy and “secrecy” of banking activities are two of the bigger key considerations.
It goes without saying that access to your funds is important, as well as protection from corruption and stability in terms of certainty.
List of Common Offshore Online Banking Services
This is a brief list of services offered by offshore banks. This list is by no means a full comprehensive list of an offshore bank’s offerings, but rather a list of some of the most common offshore online banking services that businesses and individuals are offered:
- Remote Deposits of funds
- Direct Deposits of funds
- ACH / Wire Transfers / EFT – Electronic Fund Transfers
- Consumer and Commercial Lending
- All Basic Credit Activities
- Access to Capital – Offshore Debit Cards
- Forex – Currency Exchange
- Wealth Management
- Offshore Trading Account
- Offshore Brokerage Account
- Administrative Services
- Trustee Services
Note: Offshore banks typically tend to focus on either consumer or commercial banking. Within consumer, banks differentiate between retail consumer (the average individual) or private banking (meant for high net worth individuals).
Because each concentration involves a different cost structure from the bank’s perspective, when selecting an offshore bank for yourself, be clear on what type of consumer you are and what offshore online banking services you need. Gaining this clarity will ensure you are not disappointed in your choice.
List of Common Offshore Banks
No doubt the two most common names in offshore online banking are Switzerland and Cayman Islands. Just pick up any business journal or pop in a business based Hollywood flick. There is likely a mention of a Swiss bank account somewhere.
This is because as of at least 2012, these two jurisdictions held the most number of total deposits amongst all offshore online banks. Some other jurisdictions that offer offshore online banking are the following:
- Cook Islands
- Saint Kitts and Nevis
- New Zealand
- British Virgin Islands
- Cook Islands
- Channel Islands
- Hong Kong
- Regulating Offshore Online Banking
With complexity comes increasing regulation. The regulation around offshore online banking activities has steadily increased over the years, but according to many of its supporters it is still not enough. This means much more is in the pipelines. Regulation has particularly increased significantly after the significant events of September 11, 2011.
Regulatory guidance is issued and monitored by global bodies such as the International Monetary Fund or the IMF, who require financial institutions worldwide to maintain a certain level of operating or performance standard, specifically in terms of capital adequacy and liquidity. These key performance indicators are to be reported by banks on a quarterly basis to its designated regulator (such as the Fed or the FDIC in the United States).
The list of regulations is endless and quite comprehensive to say the least. Some notables are the Anti Money Laundering (AML) regulation and the Bank Secrecy Act (BSA). These acts require banks and financial institutions to immediately report suspicious activity resembling money laundering to local government authorities despite stepping out of the BSA jurisdiction.
Another example is the information sharing requirements between a certain group of countries with regards to capital flow and taxation which was initiated by members of the European Union. On the other side of the pond, the taxing body of the United States, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) requires financial institutions to report to it names of businesses and individuals who benefited from interest income resulting from deposits in US based institutions.
The most notable in my opinion of recently enacted regulations is the US Patriot Act, which permits the US Government to seize all assets of a financial institution if it suspects that the institution holds assets that belong to a potential criminal. Several other countries have since followed suit.
I personally feel these regulations strengthen the global banking infrastructure. But then again I am just one person. There are others who feel in all sorts of ways about offshore online banking.
Interesting Fact: Did you know that just until the 1990s, individuals were allowed to create their very own offshore banks. This practice was stopped and now only large institutions are allowed to do so.
Connotations and Implications of Offshore Online Banking
It is not illegal to conduct offshore online banking, but such activities tend to carry with them a certain set of connotations and legal implications that you must be aware of and comply with. There can be severe fines, penalties and legal repercussions if you fail to comply with the legal and regulatory requirements.
Why you must be thinking? Because offshore banking historically has been used and abused by those who intended to evade taxes, as well as those that used funds for illegal causes. For example, organized crime networks heavily use offshore online banking to launder money.
But like I said, conducting offshore online banking isn’t an illegal activity. All persons conducting offshore online banking are required by most countries (depending on their residency) to disclose the activities and the outcomes, such as interest income for example.
Specifically in the United States for example, a US resident’s income is taxed on a global basis. This means that even interest earned overseas is subject to taxation by US authorities. Now although financial institutions are not required to disclose this information to countries of interest due the bank secrecy guidelines, individuals are required to disclose this information.
Similarly, one can legally avoid taxes in certain situations. For example, a resident of Country X living and working in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) may not have to pay taxes if Country X does not tax the individual’s global income.
Because there is no taxation on income earned in many Arab nations, interest income earned from deposits in a UAE bank account is not subject to tax. Further, the income is also not taxed in Country X. This is a common reason why so many affluent folks change residency and citizenship status, one that resonates most with their financial goals and objectives.
It’s a very interesting dynamic and there is a ton of opportunity for strategics as you can imagine.
Dollar Concentration in Offshore Online Banking
Although offshore online banking is not a subject delved into by the average individual, the numbers involved (concentration of wealth and financial activity) are quite significant. You may find a lot of these simply fascinating.
For example, specialized banking economists and analysts indicate that half of the global capital (money) flows through one of the many offshore banks out there. The so called Tax Havens (think Switzerland) have over a quarter of the global wealth (think high net worth individuals and big companies). These Havens also hold over 30% of profits generated by companies based in the United States.
And that’s not it. Over 6 trillion US dollars owned by high net worth individuals are also reported to be held in offshore bank accounts in one shape or another.
Illegal Monies in Offshore Bank Accounts
Opportunists have identified weaknesses in the offshore banking system and thus have taken advantage of the systems to launder monies generated through illegal means and used for illegal purposes. According to the IMF, this amount is as large as 1.5 trillion US dollars on an annual basis. To put things in perspective for you, this is roughly 5% of the world’s total Gross Domestic Product (GDP).
In addition to illegal monies, there are also monies that have evaded taxation as well as monies that were generated through fraud, graft and corruption. All in all, the amounts are super significant. And as I stated above, the two jurisdictions with the biggest concentration of these amounts are the Cayman Islands and Switzerland (as of 2012).
Offshore Internet Banking for Corporations of All Sizes
I have already stated this earlier, but offshore online banking is not only for large companies, but companies of all sizes as well as individuals. There are a certain set of requirements that any institution, an individual or a company have to meet in order to open and maintain an offshore bank account.
In fact, it is easier for individuals to open and maintain an offshore bank account before companies are required to complete additional forms in a specific manner when establishing an offshore internet bank account.
Corporations typically engage in offshore online banking when they contemplate one or any mix of the following purposes.
- Cost containment (bank fees and charges)
- Paying and receiving payments from vendors and customers in local jurisdictions
- Asset protection strategies
- International acquisitions and investments
- Compensating local employees in an offshore jurisdiction
- Political reasons – Stability and predictability
- Establishing a local business presence
- Again, this is not a comprehensive list of why companies engage in offshore online banking. There are several other reasons why a company may decide to establish an offshore bank account. The only true way to find out the best offshore bank for you, and whether your objectives will be met through offshore internet banking is by speaking to a professional who can walk you through the entire process.
Concluding Thoughts on Offshore Internet Banking
I gave you a ton of information to read and digest in this article. As you have read, offshore internet banking is used by several different constituencies for several different purposes with several different intentions.
There are some significant advantages that can be derived from opening an offshore bank account such as entering new global markets and some serious offshore tax planning. I obviously recommend opening an offshore bank account for the right reasons, with full compliance with laws and regulations. For those contemplating abusing the system, understand that bank secrecy is a weakening concept, and one that will continue to weaken over the years.
Countries are increasingly sharing information, some voluntarily and some while succumbing to pressure by more powerful nations such as the United States.
If you see an advertisement for a cheap loan which seems too good to be true, it may well be. Here are some top tips for spotting the potential pitfalls of loan offers and finding the right cheap loan for you.
DO: Compare loans
Lenders often categorize their loan offers as excellent deals, when in fact you could do a lot better if you took the time to compare loans across a range of different providers before choosing one, supposedly ‘cheap’, loan.
DON’T: Mistake ‘typical APR’ for a fixed rate or average rate
APR is an acronym for ‘annual percentage rate’, meaning the interest rate for the whole year. It’s easy to make the mistake of assuming the ‘typical APR’ is the precise interest rate you will pay on your cheap loan. In fact, this term refers to the interest rate offered to at least 66 per cent of applicants for that particular loan. Due to your own personal circumstances and credit history, you may be offered a higher rate than the ‘typical APR’, or you might not be able to take out the loan you want at all.
DON’T: Ignore the other charges
While the ‘typical APR’ is a good place to start when searching for cheap loans, there are often other charges involved when taking out a loan, and you also need to consider payment protection insurance. Take all of these things into account when you compare loans and you will get a much clearer picture of what the different lenders are offering.
DO: Check your credit card report
Take a look at your credit card report before embarking on a cheap loan agreement. Your credit card report will reveal how you will look to lenders when applying for a loan. You will also benefit by seeing if there are any errors and correcting them before you make an application. This will give you the best possible chance of being approved for a cheap loan.
DON’T: Be taken in by ‘payment holidays’
Sometimes, lenders will offer a ‘payment holiday’ which allows you to start paying off the loan later, perhaps after three months, instead of having to start making payments straight away. Unless this is really necessary, it tends to be better to turn down this offer, because future repayments will become larger to compensate for this initial holiday, and your total amount payable will also be higher.
DO: Read the small print
Before entering into a loan agreement, you need to know exactly what you are signing up for, and banks are required to tell you all the important terms and conditions. You should read through these carefully and not be afraid to ask as many questions as you need, to help you understand exactly what your ‘cheap loan’ will mean for you.
DO: Look out for ‘delivery charges’
In order to secure your business, certain lenders offer a service where they can send a cheque straight to you by courier, or transfer the loan into your account instantly or by the end of the day. However, this will often mean you have to pay an extra ‘delivery charge’, so unless you really need the loan immediately it might be better to say ‘no’ and keep your ‘cheap loan’ as cheap as possible.
In my experience as President of SmartServ Solutions, I come across many new clients each year. Most new come to us as a result of my snazzy advertising or through a referral from one of our existing clients. Still others come because they are looking to get a bigger tax refund. I am all for getting the most money back from Uncle Sam. That is, the most legal money. In recent weeks, I have come across a large number of previously filed fraudulent tax returns from 2005. It is a very disturbing trend occurring in the tax preparation business. Before I explain what is going on with the fraudulent tax returns, I would like to give a brief overview of the different types of tax preparation companies. I would classify the tax preparation business into three major categories:
The large faceless tax franchises
Most of the large franchise tax places hire seasonal part time workers who are moonlighting for extra money. They receive training each year from their corporate offices on the new tax laws, but tax preparation is not their primary profession. This leads to in many cases sloppy work and missed deductions. Most of the franchise tax places close down after April 15th.
Independent tax preparation and accounting firms
Independent firms are typically small firms where tax preparers work year round and additional support staff is hired during tax season. Many of these types of firms stay open all year and supplement the rest of the year after tax season with related financial service businesses like accounting, mortgages, investments or insurance.
The “guy” or “girl” who gets big tax refunds
These people are everywhere. They typically work out of an apartment or small store. Their reputation for getting extremely large tax refunds has spread like wildfire. Everybody either knows this person or someone who goes to someone like it. Their offices or apartments are usually standing room only and people will wait hours and hours just for a chance to get their taxes prepared here. There is an unfortunate reality about this type of outfit. An income tax return can be easily manipulated to create a large “temporary” tax refund. I will get in to the reason why I say “temporarily” shortly. Some people actually get and deserve tax refunds upwards of $10,000, $15,000 or even $20,000. The right combination of children, babysitting, mortgage interest and taxes, large withholdings and education expenses will in many cases create such a large tax refund that is legitimate. However, there are many unscrupulous tax preparers in this category who illegally add some or all of the above deductions and credits to anyone’s tax return.
The sad truth is that the IRS will send you the money if you file a fraudulent return claiming an undeserving refund. The IRS is a slow moving big government bureaucracy. They may move slowly, but they do move. They have the capabilities of catching up with most of the tax fraud that is out there. It usually takes them a year or two or three after a tax return like this is filed, but they do catch those involved. What most people who utilize these types of tax preparers fail to realize is that they are completely responsible for the tax return that they file. A defense of “my tax preparer did it” or “I didn’t know” isn’t good enough for the IRS. Once you are caught filing such a tax return, you will be subject to pay back all of the money that you received illegally plus penalties, plus interest and possibly fines. And the IRS will get their money. They will use their power to place a tax levy against fraudsters which will give them the right to freeze assets like bank accounts and garnish salary. This is why I call an undeserving tax refund a “temporary” one. The IRS or State Department of Taxation also has the power to seek jail time if they find that there was fraud committed. Obviously, the unscrupulous tax preparers don’t tell this to their unsuspecting clients. I truly feel bad for these people. Most of them don’t understand the implications of filing a false tax return. I have met many people who have had their lives ruined by such circumstances. Life is too precious and it is not worth ruining your life for an extra couple of thousand dollars on your tax return that you don’t deserve. One tell tale sign that your tax preparer may be committing fraud on your tax return is that they refuse to sign the preparers part of your return. A tax preparer is required by the IRS to sign your tax return if they prepared it for you.
I want to personally caution all taxpayers of filing such a fraudulent tax return in order to receive an unjust refund. There are many legitimate deductions and credits that are available that can be found if you look hard enough. Please choose a tax preparation company who will go the extra mile for your interests while not putting your financial future in jeopardy by getting you in trouble with the IRS.
Paysaver Payday Loans makes Internet Lending “Easy”
Paysaver Payday Loans offers payday loan, cash advance loans and fast cash services for whatever you need.
At PaySaver Payday Loans we promote honesty and integrity and we were proud to have been named as “The Australian Payday Loans Specialists” by our peers. We were given this title because we were one of the first to perfect the payday loans business in Australia.
We recognised the need for people to have a safe, secure, simple & fast way of obtaining payday loans of small amounts of money without the hassles, delays and costs associated with formal bank applications.
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Ever run a little short of cash before your next payday?
It happens to most of us at some stage. A night out with friends, registering your car or maybe just paying a couple of bills? Nothing a few hundred dollar payday loans won’t fix.
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We all use furniture in our house, but only few of us know how to arrange the furniture for perfect appearance. Here, I am going to discuss some tips on how to arrange home furniture.
Measurement: Before going to arrange the furniture, first you need to measure the room and hallways, stairs, etc. Measurement tapes can be used for it, but if you do not have it, you can measure by your foot. This thing must be taken in consideration even before the purchase of the furniture.
Variety: Though many people do not agree it, but I would say that adding different variety furniture in single space gives it a more pleasant look. It actually adds a visual interest to the space. You can try variety in colors, shapes of furniture, etc.
Use of Scaled Pieces: Scaled pieces are good to create balance. When used together, they not only add serenity in the room, but also help in creating a harmonious atmosphere in the room.
Furniture Balance: Balance within furniture items are generally of two types: symmetric and asymmetric. Symmetric arrangement means the use of similar kind of furniture together while asymmetric arrangement is the use of two different kinds of furniture next to each other.
Think like an Artist: Use an artistic approach to design the room. Think like a painter, make a rough sketch of the room as you want to see it, and process to design. For help, you can visit the internet for some good interior design pictures that will help you in creating an imagination.
Analyze the Depth in Artwork: This is also an important factor that can be used to choose the proper interior of the room. Take your room as an artwork and analyze its depth. To do that, you can stand at the room entrance and then look into the room near-to-far. This will give you an analysis of the depth of the room.
Divide and Arrange: if your room is much bigger, you can take it as smaller parts and then design each part separately. You can arrange furniture in each part according to need, but you should make sure the completeness of the room when different parts are viewed together.
Completeness: While making furniture arrangement, you must also make sure the completeness of the arrangement. Your furniture must perfectly comply with the interior of the room and they must form a completeness altogether.
It is undoubted that a fantastic purse can help to set a woman apart from the others in the crowd in a great way. Usually, the most suitable purse for us is not necessarily the most fabulous one, but the one that agrees with our own styles and personality. With an ideal purse, we can be inspired to create various fashion styles, exploring as many possibilities in the purse as possible. Thus, it is vital to select the right purse.
Considering the relationship between the purse and your body figure, you should pay attention to the shape and size of a purse to see whether it can flatter your body figure well or not. Generally speaking, a wide purse with a long strap can be an ideal choice for women who have big breasts and hope to draw attention away from the chest. For petite women, small sized round purse can be great. On the other hand, the way you carry the purse can also affect how your body shape look like. For example, if you want to look taller, then you should choose a bag that hangs lower than your waist.
The color is also a key factor that you should think about when choosing a right purse. If you are good at color matching, you must have paid great attention to the choice of accessories’ colors, which play an important role in creating a wonderful fashion style. When you pair the same clothes with purses in different colors, as a result, you can get all kinds of interesting and exciting styles.
You can get a lot of fun by exploring the many possibilities of the purse in creating various great fashion styles. However, not every purse can display the potential to match all kinds of ensemble, but only the one that suits you most can provide such a potential.
Assessing the values of delicate home furniture
Sometimes the home owner might make the decision to purchase some modern home furniture such as the supremely elegant black dining room dinette set that is available in home furnishing shops and on the internet. This piece of furniture will make meals the occasions that they need to be. That means that if you are entertaining there is no need to worry about the kinds of things that you are going to use. The efforts can be saved for the other items such as cutlery and cooking utensils. The use of the supremely elegant black dining room dinette set that is available in home furnishing shops and on the internet is therefore a great achievement for the home owner.
This type of furniture will cost somewhat more than the standard items that you use in the home. It is an investment in the kind of lifestyle that you wish to create for your family. It is reasonable to expect that you will get the best quality when you decide to go for the supremely elegant black dining room dinette set that is available in home furnishing shops and on the internet. In the true style of the age, this is a system that tends to work very well with modern settings. You simply configure your home in the way that you want it and then wait for the results. You are almost guaranteed satisfaction when you purchase the supremely elegant black dining room dinette set that is available in home furnishing shops and on the internet.
The homes that decide to buy the item will be please by their purchase of the supremely elegant black dining room dinette set that is available in home furnishing shops and on the internet. It is a delicate balance that includes looking at the item and then trying to fit it within the home settings. If it appears that the furniture is not going to make the grade then the clients can try to find alternative solutions. The end result is that the furniture is merely one of the choices that they can make. Using this sort of set will ensure that you are well served by the supremely elegant black dining room dinette set that is available in home furnishing shops and on the internet.
Some people might be concerned about using the item because they believe that purchasing the item will cost them too much. For it is not worth it to buy the supremely elegant black dining room dinette set that is available in home furnishing shops and on the internet. They would rather spend the money on alternative projects from which they can expect some sort of compensation in the long run. This might be the wrong way to go about things because the purchase of the item is not about money. Cost are not too important when buying the supremely elegant black dining room dinette set that is available in home furnishing shops and on the internet.
Get ready for the newest hip hop releases. Summer 2013 has officially arrived and we’re gearing up to give you the business of the new music artists’ releases!
Now before we continue, let me just make clear that a lot of rumors have surfaced as to exactly what is about to go down during this hot, sticky, and sexy season.
For starters, Lil Wayne’s songs and other new hip hop music releases will be served handsomely on a platter via your local favorite Summertime radio station, that is. Besides, who would’ve really doubted Lil Wayne songs as yet another regulatory bypassing of judgmental fodder for submissive temporary airplay? Not us.
Besides, the boy has been among the top hip hop artists since he killed audiences with those none other than dare I say who? If you guessed TT Boi a.k.a. Sir 2 Chainz, then you guessed right my friends. Remember back in the Spring of ’07 when we all couldn’t wait for the newest hip hop releases? Ever since that historic mind-blowing period for Playaz Circle, 2 Chainz has gone on to become seemingly out of nowhere literally one of top music artists to date.
But that’s not all, because my sources inside tell me that this summer’s newest hip hop music will be an ever so eventful one considering the likes of the classic duo even once more collaborating.
Just in time. Right on the money, huh? Pssst… we hear this one’s aiming to be a classic.
In other rumors of new hip hop music, Rocko’s not at all in any type of a hurry to take a break thus far in getting off of his wave. After all, so is everyone else riding it out along with him. Definitely be on the heavy lookout for one of his brand new music releases around midway through this hot Summer season.
Oh yeah, and for all you doubters and forgetful types out there, guess which hip hop music artist is making a steady and long-awaited comeback? Younger shorties prepare to pinch yourselves accordingly, for you may not know who this is.
Just not too long ago, the former Cash Money record label signee, known to other artists as Young Turk, was released from prison on what had foully appeared to be trumped up felony-related charges upon him and other music artists as of late.
We hear that Turk is currently back in the lab perfecting and fine-tuning his “oh so” Lil Wayne-ish like craft effortlessly for a sharp and secondarily memorable return.
We wish him well.
*On a sidenote, we also heard unconfirmed rumors of Young Turk once again collaborating with his former group mates Weezy and Juvenile for an official Hot Boy’s reunion.
Hip Hop music artists Hot Boys Young Turk and B.G. were both incarcerated due to what apparently led to the former groups fallout, among other unsolved issues. The new hip hop music releases that are slated for this year’s Summer should be on smash to say the least.
Without giving away all of the goods, I must say that fellow west coast artists will become very active once again this Summer in the newest hip hop music scene. Big up to all of the new music releases coming from up out of the new west. As fans, we need a breath of fresh air, for sure and most certainly.
Well, that about wraps up the lowdown on this year’s Summer 2013 annual music artists and upcoming new music releases. Definitely keep an eye out for the west coast as mentioned for the west will certainly provide this Summer’s classic club bangers and newest hip hop music. Turn up!
What we do about our body hair changes with the trends and fashion just like the length of our skirts. The seventies, it was way cool to just leave your hair natural. If you had a lot of pubic hair, so be it. It was considered sexy. Now, though, it is becoming more fashionable to have less hair – less on your bikini area, especially. And not only is it more common to get rid of hair, there are now several acceptable bikini waxing styles – waxing trends and fashions – from which to choose.
You can choose to keep most of your pubic hair and simply wax the hair that grows beyond the part of your body that is covered with your bikini bottom. This is, of course, the easiest, quickest, and least painful bikini waxing style.
You can also choose to keep just a small strip of hair running right up the middle of your triangular private area. This simply involves waxing more of the area. Because you are getting into a more sensitive area, this can be a bit more uncomfortable than just waxing the bikini line.
You can also choose a Brazilian wax. The Brazilian waxing trend and fashion is becoming more and more common; it’s always been common in Brazil – hence the name – but lots of American women are opting for this, too. A Brazilian wax is the bikini waxing style that removes all the pubic hair. You can get it done at a salon or do it yourself with a kit you can buy at the drugstore.
Probably the most interesting bikini waxing trend and fashion, though, is creating designs in the pubic hair area. You can get a template of a simple design such as a heart and either wax only the heart shape or wax every bit of hair except the heart shape. If you wax the hart itself, you will have a heart in the middle of your hair. If you wax the rest of the hair, you will have a little heart hair and no other hair in the bikini area.
You must be the change you wish to see in the world
1869-1948, Preeminent leader of Indian nationalism
Trend #1 – The Internet
Everybody knows that the internet has changed virtually everything… especially the Travel Industry. Online giants like Hotels.com, Expedia, Travelocity, and Orbitz have revolutionized travel. Even Travel Agents & Agencies are booking online while the general public searches and buys their own vacations online. In fact, it’s estimated that 82% of all travel is now being booked online. Travel is one of the most researched topics on the internet… and also the most profitable.
The internet is simple, seamless and the perfect medium for the travel industry. We just point, click, and pack our bags. Before the internet, however, an agent’s bread & butter was commissions earned with business travelers… predominantly flights. American Airlines was the first to pull the plug on paying commissions on flight purchases as the internet started coming into its own and more business travelers were finding better deals online.
Since 1997 well over 200,000 agencies went out of business. Over 1 million travel agents lost their jobs to the internet. That number grew after 9/11. The days of brick & mortar very quickly got taken over by click & order, making for a far more efficient system. However, those very few agents & agencies that could foresee the positive impact the internet could have for them, jumped right into the explosive opportunity that the internet introduced, to maintain as much of their client base as possible. Very few, a decade ago, opted to go with the flow of change. Today, everyone understands that the internet is here to stay. When we are adaptable to change, we flourish… and profit.
Because of the internet, the online travel agent is also home-based. Because of the tremendous opportunity, continuous industry growth, and #1 industry training, today’s travel agent is your mother, cousin, aunt, neighbor, best friend, etc. and earning 60-100% of the vendors commission. It’s for everyone.
Trend #2 – Word-of-Mouth Marketing
Word-of-mouth marketing has been and always will be the best way to market anything. Statistics prove that 80% of all vacations (most anything really) are taken because of a recommendation from a friend, family member or co-worker. Think about the last time you came home from a vacation. Did you keep it a secret? No way! We talk about it for 2 months before leaving and talk about it for 2 months after we get back! And we show everyone pictures and videos! And we recommend the destination and hotel to everyone (or not) and tell them where we bought our terrific deal!
Familiarization trips (FAMs) play a huge part in word-of-mouth marketing. The only way for agents to really learn about what they sell is to experience it first hand. FAMs are put together by cruise lines, hotel chains and destinations worldwide. They usually include accommodation, tours, meals, shows, transportation, etc. Prices are slashed making it affordable for agents to travel multiple times a year… VIP!. The vendors roll out the proverbial red carpet for agents when they arrive. They’re given the most exclusive experience possible because vendors know that when agents return home… they’re going to talk about it!
The average person will purchase his vacation online at retail, once a year.
Agents will travel multiple times a year, all over the world as far and wide as they want to go, for pennies on the dollar. For this, FAMs continue to be one of the major perks today for agents in the industry.
Which takes us to…
Trend #3 – Home Based Business
Travel students, Baby Boomers and everyone in between are bringing travel home!
Leading agencies smart enough to follow the internet trend, have gone online and now offer just about anyone the opportunity to be professionally trained to operate and sell travel from home!! Woohoo!! That’s right! YOU can sell travel from the comfort of your own home and get paid!
Doesn’t it make sense that if you’re going to travel anyway (especially as much as the Boomers), that you buy it from yourself and get paid? Or get paid commissions on the trips your friends, family, neighbors and co-workers are taking already? Of course! Most people will do business with someone they know & trust. You may as well be that person, right?
Agencies quickly caught on to the franchise phenomena online and have opened up the opportunity to just about anyone with a valuable work ethic who is willing to learn. Coupled with word-of-mouth marketing… you’ve got a winning combination! The more knowledgeable you become, the more perks, FAMs, FREE trips, upgrades, etc, become available to you… cha-ching!
I’ve been selling travel for years. Everyone who knows me knows that I’m a travel industry professional. For more than two decades I’ve been asked “How did you come by this work?”
But I also get asked, “What’s the best place to go for our honeymoon?” or “Can you recommend a Caribbean cruise itinerary?” or “What hotel should we stay at in the Mayan Riviera?”
Hey, it’s not rocket science!! If I have the answers and I can get paid for the sale… Hello??
The internet made it possible for me to have my own online agency and benefit even more from the extraordinary perks available to travel professionals! Being online means I don’t really even have to be home. Because my business is online, I am accessible to the world, 365 days of the year, 24/7! Friends and family can book all by themselves while I’m hiking with my dog! I can even book flights or all-inclusive vacations right from my BlackBerry!! WOW! So my home-based travel business is really my mobile travel services!! Super cool!!
We must not forget the amazing benefits that come with owning a business from home as well!
Aside from the obvious travel perks, just about every family vacation now becomes a FAM. As professionals, when we take a few minutes to inspect and ask questions about the accommodations, tours, restaurants that we ourselves are experiencing while on vacation, we’re really educating ourselves for our customers. So our personal vacation now becomes classified as a business trip… and an expense that we can write off! Super cool, again!
On a personal note, I’m only 45 seconds from my bedroom to my office!
It’s a beautiful thing to be able to work from home, anywhere in the world, to have your own business and to qualify for such incredible travel-insider perks. Retirees, at-home-moms, students on the run… it’s available to just about anyone with a can-do attitude, has a strong work ethic, loves to learn, and is highly self-motivated. A few hours a day can earn hundreds to thousands of dollars! No bosses, no limits!
Albert Einstein’s theory of general relativity suggests that time travel to the past is possible via rotating wormholes and/or black holes. The actual technical practicality of actually carrying out such journeys need not concern us since this essay is in the realm of the thought experiment. Now Stephen Hawking says time travel to the past is not possible because he proposes that there is such a thing as a yet undiscovered Chronology Protection Conjecture that prevents this and thus makes the world safe for historians. I’ve come up with a unified theory of time travel into the past that incorporates Einstein’s general theory of relativity; Hawking’s Chronology Protection Conjecture, along with other assorted bits like parallel universes that are thrown into the mix.
Time travel is a staple in sci-fi stories, novels, films and TV series. And, time travel is possible – in theory. We all know about journeying to the future which we do at the rate of one second per second whether we like it or not. Apart from that, if one travels at close to light speeds relative to your place of origin then you can travel to the distant future (with respect to that place of origin) without aging an equivalent number of years (the twin paradox). Travel to the past is apparently allowed too, via the weird physics inherent in rotating worm holes and maybe Black Holes which is where Einstein’s general theory of relativity comes into play. The problem there is that relativity theory predicts worm holes, if they exist at all, will exist for nanoseconds and be very tiny to boot, and thus not very useful in the foreseeable future for the purposes of time travel. Because we don’t know exactly what the inside of a Black Hole is, and where it leads, if anywhere, current thinking suggests that jumping into Black Holes are a more useful means for committing suicide than for traveling to the past, but the jury is still out on that one.
Anyway, the fun bit about time travel is the various paradoxes that arise, the most famous one being the grandfather paradox. That is, what if you travel back in time and kill your grandfather before he sired your father (or mother). If you did that it means that you could never have been born, but if you were never born you couldn’t go back in time to kill your ancestor. This is the sort of stuff sci-fi authors (and philosophers) love – ditto physicists! My favorite time travel paradox however is the one where you get something for nothing. Say you have this edition of “Hamlet”, and you want Shakespeare to autograph it. So back you go in time to Shakespeare’s era. You knock on his door, but the housekeeper says he’s out for the day but if you leave the book he’ll autograph it and you can come by and collect it next morning. When Shakespeare comes home, he sees the book, reads it, and is so impressed he spends the night making a copy. You come back the next morning, collect your now autographed edition of “Hamlet”, and return to the present day with your now very valuable book. The question now becomes, where did the original “Hamlet” come from? You didn’t write it; but Shakespeare didn’t either as he plagiarized your copy which he then passed it off as his own work.
Another favorite is you meeting yourself. Say you’re 50 and not all that well off. You get the brilliant idea to travel back in time and convince your younger self to invest in some stocks you know will pay off big time later on down the track. And so it comes to pass that your younger self so invests, and becomes filthy rich, only, in leading such a high life, dies of a heart attack at the age of 45! Or you always regretted not proposing to the love of your life when you were young, and thus go back and convince your younger self to muster up the courage and do so. He does, but as they fly off on their honeymoon, the plane crashes with no survivors. Sometimes you don’t know when you’re well off.
Or if you can travel back in time, then of course others can to. Naturally there’s going to be lots of people interested in particular events, maybe even at the time, seemingly trivial events (yet which turn out in the long run to have had major impact(s)). And so you might have any number of people going back to particular historical focal points, each with their own particular agenda (most of which will be mutually exclusive), and ultimately causing havoc. I mean if person one goes back and influences an event producing a new outcome, then person two might go back and has a go at that result and things get altered again, which will then prompt person three to go back and influence things more to his liking, etc. In other words, history would never be fixed, rather always be fluid. The world is not safe for historians. Since we believe that history (or the past) is fixed, then that what’s written on your history book page today will not alter overnight. Thus, you have probably concluded that time travel cannot happen, will not happen, and has not happened, however much you yourself might wish to go back in time yourself and change something. (Don’t we all really wish some past something, personal and trivial, or perhaps something of major significance could be changed and you’d be that instrument of change?)
Its paradoxes and situations such as the above that prompted Stephen Hawking to postulate that there is as yet an undiscovered law or principle of physics which prohibits time travel to the past – he calls it his ‘Chronology Projection Conjecture’. Since we have never seen, according to Hawking, to the best of our knowledge at least, any time travelers – tourists or historians – from our future, he’s probably right.
So, putting it all together, here’s my theory of time travel: my unified theory of time travel, at least to the past.
Relativity theory has passed every experimental test thrown at it, so the theory isn’t in much doubt and one can have a high degree of confidence in what it predicts, even if that prediction is currently beyond any experimental test. Relativity theory allows for time travel into the past, but, IMHO, only to parallel universes (otherwise known as alternative or mirror or shadow universes) where no paradoxes can happen.
Why only parallel universes? The ways and means by which you can use relativity theory to time travel backwards involves rotating Black Holes or wormholes. There are serious reasons behind the speculation that what’s on the other side of a Black Hole and/or wormhole is another universe. So, therefore it’s relativity’s time travel allowance, but probably to another universe. The Black Hole or wormhole ‘exit’ isn’t within our Universe.
Whatever you do in that parallel universe is predetermined. It’s fate. It’s destiny – all because causality rules. Therefore, there are no unexpected ripple effects other than what was destined to happen. You were meant to be there and do what you do. Therefore, there will be no paradoxes arising.
Astrophysicist Stephen Hawking has proposed his Chronology Protection Conjecture that prohibits time travel to the past within your own universe because of the possible paradoxes that could arise. Why can’t you go back in time in your own universe? That would mean that at a specific time and place you both were not (originally) and were (as a result of going back) present. That’s a paradox. And if you were to travel back in time to a set of time and space coordinates you were actually originally at, then there would be two copies of you occupying the same space at the same time – also a paradox.
But take the grandfather paradox. If you go back in time and kill your grandfather, but your grandfather in a parallel universe, then you don’t prevent your existence, just the eventual existence of yourself, your other self, in that parallel universe. In the case of Shakespeare and “Hamlet”, you gave your copy to a parallel universe Shakespeare. In your original (our) Universe, Shakespeare is still the legitimate author.
Once you time travel from your universe A, to parallel universe B, you can’t return again to universe A because of Hawking’s Chronology Protection Conjecture – paradoxes could arise. However, you could go from parallel universe B to parallel universe C, but, hence never return to either universe A or B – Hawking’s Chronology Protection Conjecture again.
Perhaps some people you’ve seen or known or heard about might be time travelers from a parallel universe’s future. If they then time travel to another parallel universe, then that might account for some missing persons’ cases!
In short, we can time travel to other parallel universes but not to our own; entities from other parallel universes can visit our Universe. No paradoxes need arise. Both Einstein (relativity) and Hawking (Chronology Protection Conjecture) are satisfied and happy campers.
Is that right? No, it’s wrong!
There’s still one very nasty loose end here. What’s to prevent those from a parallel universe meddling and altering our time stream? It’s not enough for them to have a Prime Directive against that – we all know Prime Directives are meant to be broken! So, it looks like Hawking’s Chronology Protection Conjecture must apply to those visitors from parallel universes to our Universe as well. I mean what difference does it make to your existence whether you travel back in time within your own universe and kill your mother before you were conceived, or some serial killer escaping from a parallel universe to our Universe who kills your mother before you were conceived – even though in the latter case there’s no paradox, you still wouldn’t have been conceived of here in anyone’s philosophy!
OK, so relativity allows time travel back in time, but only to parallel universes. The Hawking Chronology Protection Conjecture not only prevents time travel paradoxes in general, but it also prevents parallel universe time travelers meddling and altering our timeline; ditto we humans time traveling to someone else’s parallel universe. But how would the Hawking Chronology Protection Conjecture actually accomplish this? My best guess is that parallel universes aren’t in phase – they aren’t polarized or synchronized in-phase like a laser beam, or the light that passes through your polarized sunglasses – otherwise we’d have some rather hard evidence of them; certainly way more than we do now.
So, if we go to parallel universe B or those from parallel universe B visits us, we’ll, or they’d be respectively out of phase with respect to the universe they are now in. Translated, they, or we, could look, but not touch for all practical purposes. I say for all practical purposes as now and again what’s out of phase (high probability – the usual state of affairs) will sync into phase (that’s rare). But the in-phase times are so few and far between, and last for such a brief duration that it’s unlikely to result in any inadvertent or deliberate timeline alterations. That’s my rendering of the Hawking Chronology Protection Conjecture – he could well have other ways and means in mind.
So another way of putting this is that time travelers would be spectral or ghost-like in their host universe, and maybe that’s where our traditions of ghosts and other things that go bump in the night come from! This is much like the parallel universe ghost or shadow photons that are conjectured to explain some highly mysterious aspects or phenomena contained within the famous quantum double slit* experiment. Now an obvious question is how do all the parallel universe ghost photons get into our physics labs where double slit experiments are carried out? I mean there are no local macro Black Hole or wormhole exits present – are there? Yes in fact there are! Not a macro wormhole, but a micro wormhole – actually wormholes. Theoretically, micro wormholes should exist all around you. It’s just that they are at quantum levels – incredible tiny; way subatomic in size. And they exist for just nanoseconds before collapsing. They are just part of the quantum foam** reality at super microscopic levels, a reality at the level where all things exhibit the quantum jitters or quantum fluctuations. Thus, every second of every day, everywhere, there are little quantum gateways – quantum sized wormholes connections between universes which quantum sized particles – like photons – can traverse! From the standpoint of the double slit experiment, it doesn’t matter whether the parallel universe’s ghost photons came from the past, future or present – just as long as they are, indeed, present!
Now you may think it would be easy to detect these ghostly photons. Just put a photon detector in a totally dark and sealed room. Well, not quite so easy. Some photons can pass through ‘solid’ matter. X-Ray photons anyone? Radio wave photons pass through the walls of your home. If you look at a bright light, you’ll still see light even if you close your eyes. So, your photon detector in your dark and sealed room could easily detect our local variety.
The ghostly bits aside, parallel universe time travelers (or even ordinary time travelers from within our Universe assuming Hawking is wrong)) might explain the sometimes uncanny, often incredible look-a-likes that we all seem to have. A long shot to be sure, but something interesting to ponder.
There’s still one more problem on the horizon. Just because a macro Black Hole or wormhole plunks you into a parallel universe (and of course you’ve got to be able to survive the trip itself which might be problematical), doesn’t mean you’re going to be with spitting distance of your ultimate destination(s) – say a parallel Earth(s). So, time travelers might also need more conventional transport – like Flying Saucers (okay, forget the saucers – like spaceships with fins and rocket motors). But then what’s really there to distinguish a visiting time traveler from a parallel universe from say a run-of-the-mill extraterrestrial from within our own Universe? Maybe you could just put out the welcome mat for both options!
One final thought. Could there be a Clayton’s time travel? – Time travel without traveling in time? At the risk of making Einstein turn over in his grave; I’m going to propose a universal NOW across all universes. Now I know that NOW, when it comes to observers, is a relative thing. An observer in Martian orbit sees Mars’ NOW somewhat before you on Planet Earth sees the same Mars’ NOW because the speed of light is finite. And relative motions and velocities complicate what is NOW. But, I propose (a thought experiment remember) to instantaneously freeze-frame the entire collection of universes’ NOW. Everyone and everything everywhere comes to an instant standstill. Right! We now have a universal NOW that we can study at our leisure (the freeze doesn’t apply to you and me – we’re outside the space-time continuum).
Let’s focus on that subset of all parallel universes – all parallel Earths and time travel between them. Now there’s no reason to assume that all parallel Earths are identical in all aspects. Indeed, some parallel universes may not even contain a parallel Earth! There maybe some parallel Earths identical or so close to identical to our Planet Earth as makes no odds – abodes you’d feel right at home in. Other Earths would differ in various ways, some minor, some major. Still others might be really weird and alien, as in having evolved a dinosaur society, civilization and technology. There was no parallel asteroid impact 65 million years ago; thus no human beings around the traps 65 millions later.
Your subset of parallel Earths would show near infinite diversity in infinite combinations. I say ‘near’ because you can only stretch the term ‘Earth’ or ‘Earth-like’ so far and no farther, before it’s not Earth or Earth-like. A 100% oceanic world is not Earth. If a parallel ‘Earth’ has Venus-like temperatures, it is not Earth-like. If it has a density approaching that of a neutron star, it is not Earth-like. If it has no life on it, even though in all other respects it is a near carbon copy of our Earth, it is not Earth-like.
Now it’s back to the NOW subset of parallel Earths and Earth-like abodes. There’s no reason to assume that evolutionary development; that evolutionary development rates would proceed in each and every case in an identical fashion. Some parallel Earths would still be in the dinosaur era (if they had dinosaurs of course). In some parallel Earths, cavemen and saber tooth tigers rule. In others, it’s Biblical times, or Medieval times or the era when Britannia ruled the waves. Others in our absolute NOW, on yet other parallel Earths, or parallel earthlings, might have just invented the wireless or landed on their Moon (if they have one). On some parallel Earths it may already be what to us will be the 23rd or 24th Century with interstellar warp drive capabilities at hand – and even way beyond that. So, you could seemingly travel to the past and future while actually remaining in our NOW. You’ve traveled in time without really traveling in time, or, time travel without the paradoxes – but maybe that spoils all the intellectual fun of contemplating time travel in the first place!
*The problem solved here is how can you get a classic wave interference pattern behind two slits you fire photons through; even when you fire the photons at say a rate of one per hour? Who you gonna call – ghost photons of course to the rescue.
**Quantum foam – the world may look pretty smooth from a distance, but as you keep magnifying the finer details, the micro world gets ever so slightly bumpier. Close in some more and things get rougher still, until at quantum level everything is a seething cauldron of tumultuous activity. It’s like the sea that looks perfectly smooth and tranquil from Earth orbit, but at rowboat level, you’re terrified as that 50 foot wave comes crashing down on you.
The earliest known residents of what is now Miami were the “Tequesta” Indians. Little is known of the Tequesta Indians other than they resided along the banks of the Miami River over twelve hundred years ago. Believe it or not there was a small natural rapid a few miles upriver from where it emptied into Biscayne Bay. The Tequesta Indians hunted and fished along the banks of the River. In the 16th and again in the 18th century the Spanish established a few small missions along the banks of the Miami River. Spain originally possessed the area now called “Florida”, but ceded Florida and of course Miami to the British in later years. The first American Settlers began arriving in Miami Florida sometime in the early to mid 19th century and settled in and around the River. Agriculture in addition to fishing was one of the few economic mainstays of the area. The River’s water source was the Everglades and it was believed that the wetland could be drained by removing the rapids. Thereby providing additional cultivatable land for the new arrivals to settle and develop as farms. I am very sure that real estate sales and potential profits were a motivational factor as well. Real Estate in Miami has been a motivation from the beginning to present. Regardless of the reason(s) a decision to remove falls by dynamiting was made and implemented in mid to late 1800s. Other than during those years of the Seminole Indian wars the population steadily increased as did the real estate industry.
In the beginning Dade County was a huge track of land that extended from the southern tip of Lake Okeechobee (Fort Worth Florida) south to Key West Florida. Indian Key was the the seat of Dade County until sometime between the years 1860 and 1870. Prior to these years residents of the Florida Keys, other than those at Indian Key were counted as residents of Dade County.
MY RECOLLECTIONS AND REFLECTIONS
Once upon a time there was a little fishing village located in Dade County, towards the southeastern tip of Florida. The name of this village was Miami. Many people living in Miami at the time, pronounced the name “Miama”.
I offer these remembrances’ as one born in the Biltmore Hotel; a land mark hotel in Coral Gables Florida, a town located in Miami-Dade County and a veteran’s administration hospital during the years of WW II. If my stories and recollections seem somewhat disjointed to the reader I beg forgiveness. They are all or at least most inscribed from memories. My only reason for attempting to write this article at all is to impart a few of my impressions/reflections to an interested reader regarding the conception of, development of, metamorphosis of and transformation that has occurred to the area that is today Miami-Dade County and the Florida Keys. My intention is to offer the reader a comparison of sorts to the areas mentioned, the inhabitants, their way of life compared to then and likewise now. I have no intention of smearing of chastising any particular group of people but too simply record the facts as I believe-remember them to be. I will leave it to the discretion of the reader which Miami, Florida Keys he/she prefers to relate. The then version 1945 to 1970 or the now version 2010, in order to provide a comparison between the two I will offer, in addition to my recollections, a few bygone happenings and circumstance conveyed to me by my predecessors on my mother’s side of the family, all residents of the Keys and Key West dating back 150 plus years ago, some still living there. To do this I am going to begin with my earliest recollections following WW II living first in Hamburg Germany, my father was an officer in the Air Force during the war and was at the time stationed there. Since he had not received his discharge my mother and I joined him, I think, sometime in the year 1946.
KEY WEST CONCHS
They Don’t Call Them Conchs For No Good Reason! (yes I know that’s double negative but I use it for emphasis)
Those that have eaten conch can relate to what I mean by this statement. Conk is a very tough marine mollusk. Rumor has it that in the early 1800s the doctors of Key West prescribed for new born babies, that they be set out on the porch to allow mosquito bites. The reason for this was to make the baby immune to the bite of a mosquito. What does this have to do with conch; man those people had to be tough to live in that environment during those very early years. Screens for windows did not happen until late in the 1800s so it is safe to say that these early Keys inhabitants did not have such luxuries. Don’t forget they had no present day amenity such as air conditioning either.
WALTER C MALONEY, JR.-KEY WEST FLORIDA
The Economies of Key West-1800s
It is a fact that at one time Key West was not only the most populated city in Florida but also had the highest per capita income in Florida and rivaled that of many other US cities. The economy was driven by numerous industries during this period of time.
My relatives speak of one, Mr. Walter C. Maloney Jr. (Maloney was my grandmother’s maiden name). The story goes that at some point in time, during the year 1885, Walter left Key West to travel to what was then known as the Gainesville Land Office in Gainesville Florida. There under Grover Cleveland’s land act, I think for the price of fifty cents per acres, he purchased 67 acres of property in what is now known as Marco Island, Collier County Florida. In reality the land he purchased was located on “Horr’s Island”, AKA “Marco Key”, located a mile or two west of Marco Island, Florida. Mr. Maloney’s purpose was to plant, grow, harvest pineapples on this island and sell his produce to the Key West market. To me it’s amazing that a man in his late forty’s’ and then fifty’s would board a sailboat in Key West and navigate his way across one hundred miles of Florida Bay to sell pineapples in Key West. The reader should understand that the waters of Florida Bay are prone to sudden violent storms during much of the year. In addition there were no cell phones or GPSs.
My granddad once told me of a relative, I believe last name “Hart” that would travel from Key West to Chokoloskee Florida to hunt. Chokoloskee is an island located south of Everglades City. This was also a very long boat ride from Key West. Chokoloskee boasts an elevation of 20 feet above sea level. Rumor has it that the reason for its’ elevation was discarded shells of various types deposited by the Indians of the “Ten Thousand Islands”, living in the area many years ago.
Obviously these were a different breed of people during that time in our history.
The Keys and Key West produced other crops in addition to pineapples, tomatoes, I call charcoal another because of the process used to produce it. Hookie-Pokee Ice Cream, made in the shad and sold in the sun, if you aint gotta nickel you cain’t have none. Yes with the heat and humidy ice cream was big in Key West. Cigar factories were also big in Key West.
Like Miami, the fishing industry was and still is a driving economical force. Florida lobster (commonly called crawfish) is still a big ticket industry. In early times turtle and conk were plentiful; today these are for the most part protected throughout the state. I will offer additional experiences I had as youngster with the seemingly unlimited conk and spiny crawfish that could be easily taken from the waters surrounding Key West and Miami Florida.
THE NATURAL SPONGE INDUSTRY
Before the invention of synthetic sponges, sponges were harvested from the sponge beds located in the waters surrounding Key West.
The waters surrounding Key West also had arguably the most treacherous reefs of any found elsewhere in the world. The history books are full of accounts of ships hitting these reefs and sinking, Spanish galleons loaded with gold taken by force from the natives of North and South America crashed on the reefs and sank with unbelievable regularity.
One of the better known salvage operations of recent times was that of Mel Fisher’s. He and his team of researchers and divers located the long lost “Atocha”. The Atocha crashed and sank on a reef west of Key West in the early 18th century and was loaded with over 400 million dollars worth of gold, silver, precious gems and other valuable artifacts. Most of which stolen by Spanish missionaries and Conquistadors (conquerors) from the Aztecs of Mexico and Incas of South America among many others.
During the 1800s, ships were still crashing on these same reefs. The series of light houses now erected on the reefs were not there during most of the 19th century. This resulted in a very lucrative salvage business during the 1800s. I have heard family members mention that years later, after the warning lights were built on the reefs some residents of the Keys would either allow them to burn out or manually extinguish them for the purpose of causing shipwrecks on the reefs to promote their salvage businesses. All productive salvage operators and operations were required by law to register their salvage ships and any salvaged items with the authorities in Key West which of course served to boost the local economy.
Prior to the erection of light houses on the reefs in an effort to reduce the number and severity of ship wrecks in these waters, the federal government commissioned “light house ships”. These ships and their captains were charged with the task of anchoring on the reefs, 24/7/365 to keep and maintain warning lights. One such ship was captained by another relative of mine Captain Whalton (my mother’s maiden name). Drinking water and other supplies were brought to land locations of these ships and deposited on shore. The crews would then leave the ship in a row boat, get the supplies and row back to their ship. The story goes that one night Captain Whalton and one sailor traveled to shore to transport the supplies back. For some inexplicable reason they traveled ashore unarmed, a war part of Seminole Indians waited, hidden in the bush. Both the captain and the sailor were killed.
FROM HAMBURG GERMANY TO KEY WEST and Back to Miami-THE YEAR 1947-1950 +/-
During my time in Germany but sometime after my Dad was discharged from the Air Force. My Grandfather Whalton called and suggested to Dad that together they should open a hardware store in Key West. At the time Key West did not have a hardware store. Purchasing a “Western Auto” Franchise they opened for business at 515 Duval Street directly across the street from the San Carlos Theater, now a land mark, in Key West Florida. The family remained in Key West for about 2-1/2 years, while Dad and Granddad operated the hardware store. The year was 19850 maybe 1951. The commercial passenger airline industry was stirring-ready to be born in earnest. National Airlines called my Dad and asked him to fly for the airline. Flying being my Dad’s first love, we moved from Key West to Miami, Florida. My parents rented a little house near the main hanger for National. The hanger was located on the east side of Lejune Road but Miami International Airport was located on the west side. We had one car; so when it was time for my Dad to fly, my mother and I would take him to the hanger. There he would board a two engine aircraft renamed for it new purposes a DC 3. The same plane, a C-47, Dad flew during the war with some seats bolted to the floor and some paint applied to the fuselage. A policeman would stop the automobile traffic on Lejune Road and my Dad would taxi his plane across the road and onto the end of the only runway that the airport possessed at the time, which was runway 9. For those of you that have passed through MIA recently I know this seems a bit bizarre, but as was Miami the airline industry was in its infancy. During this time 1950-1955, I would be surprised to learn that Miami Florida’s population exceeded 300 thousand.
After we moved to Miami, I for many years thereafter traveled from Miami to Key West. During summer vacations I worked in the store that my granddad still owned and operated. He had left the Western Auto Franchise and then operated the store as “Walton’s Auto Toys and Hardware.”
Each summer for about 5-6 years my mother would put me on a “Greyhound Bus”. Greyhound ran regularly between Miami and Key West. The bus station as I recall was in Downtown Miami, 8th street, AKA the Trail, AKA US-41. The driver would take a route west on 41 to US-27 or Krome Avenue, turning south on Krome proceeding through Homestead Florida and then left to US-1. Within a few minutes of entering US-1, we would be traveling at rate I believe to be over 80 miles per hour. I feel comfortable that this was so because the land distance from Miami to Key West is 160 miles and the trip never took more than 1 hour and 45 minutes. Folks on a trip today from Miami to Key West by car, you cannot do 35 miles per hour once entering the upper keys.
During the years that I worked in this store, the store would open for business 5-/12 days per week. On Thursdays the merchants of Key West would close at noon. My Granddad, my Grandmother and I would travel out “Overseas Highway”, US-1. With a “four pronged gig” and a bucket walking into the Mangroves that lined both sides of the highway, we could gig enough crawfish (Florida Lobster) for crawfish enchilada to be served at dinner that night, conch style with black beans, rice and fried plantain. During that time, Florida Lobster was plentiful in the Keys; there were no restrictions against harvesting them. Today, first you cannot use a four pronged gig without the risk of incarceration; second harvesting Florida Lobster is restricted to certain times of the year. This is also true of conk that could be taken a few yards off the beaches of Key West and sea turtle cannot be taken at all.
My point is, the quality of life in south Florida has been reduced by the influx of too many people from all over the US, south America and Cuba. I don’t believe that State and Federal authorities have done their jobs in protecting the things that were here when I was young and growing up. I believe that some measure of prudence could have and should have been applied a long time ago. The experiences that I had my children will be denied they will never have the opportunity to know the area the way I knew it.
As one that makes his living as a builder and General Contractor in the State of Florida but has known this area intimately for so many years, I have a number of questions in mind that I deal with on a daily basis, the questions are, 1. What could we have done previously to reduce the impact of uncontrolled influx here and thereby preserve more for future south Florida generations. 2. Is there a possibility of regaining some measure of the resources that were here in the earlier years?
I do believe that these are questions that some of the Florida agencies and law makers now deal with on a daily basis as well. But I’m not certain that the legal vehicle and money resource is available to accomplish the task if so be it possible.
But then with similarity to some higher mathematical problems, I think that the only constant is change and the only variable is time. Is this not also a statement of the development-over development and maybe the resurrection, restoration of south Florida?
Being a traveling nurse has many attractive benefits over regular nursing Firstly, nurses are in demand constantly not only in the US but worldwide. For a nurse that has the desire to travel and earn money, becoming a traveling nurse would be ideal. Of the hospitals and medical facilities rely on traveling nurses to fill roles when staffing levels are lower than normal, but further than that to bring a new level of expertise that may be lacking in the nursing in the respective hospital. So now for the advantages and benefits of becoming a traveling nurse.
Money, like most things in life, would be one of the main reasons someone would choose to become a traveling nurse. Traveling nurses, make considerably more money than their full-time counterparts. For a start the basic wage will be higher for a traveling nurse, when this is combined with overtime or penalty rates such as night shifts- the earnings can become quite substantial. The pay and calculations are performed by the traveling nurse agency and are therefore much more effectively managed. Becoming a traveling nurse is a great way to save money.
Traveling can be a major part of being a traveling nurse. If a nurse wants to see the world- there is no better way than becoming a traveling nurse and seeking work in the areas they want to see. If the traveling nurse is a native English speaker, there will always be a high demand in the US, UK, Canada and Australia (Specifically as they are experiencing a shortage of nurses). Traveling nurse agencies will actively seek nurses, and will assist in organizing visas, accommodation and appropriate work.
Harmony in the work environment for a traveling nurse is not as important as it would be for a full time nurse. The traveling nurse may only be working in the respective environment for a month before moving on to the next assignment. For this reason workplace politics will play a lesser role than in other professions.
The social benefits for a traveling nurse are massive as well. They will get to meet new people regularly and benefit from constant social interaction and communication- which is a large part of being a nurse.
In most cases a traveling nurse will also receive generous health benefits. In most situations agencies that specialize in traveling nurses offer these medical and dental benefits to entice new traveling nurses to them. Some nursing agencies also have 401K plans, which is obviously fantastic.
Working as a traveling nurse, is a fantastic way to quickly build an impressive resume. The experience a traveling nurse receives could be argues that in a shorter period of time the experiences will amount to much more than would be learn via all time position in the one hospital. It will prove to prospective employers that you have life experience, and are mature to deal with all scenarios and situations.
Certain traveling nurse agencies will also offer incentive bonuses for referrals’ to their agencies- recommend a friend and receive a payment. As a traveling nurse is constantly working at new locations with equally new nurses, the opportunities for referrals are high. Further to this, some agencies also offer a completion bonus simply for completing the assignment or placement.
Traveling nurses often travel in pairs or groups. It is a great way to travel obviously, and will also provide a support network for less confident individuals.
Traveling nurses also have the opportunity to assist in the case of natural disaster’s and missionaries where medical attention is urgently required. This may not be for everyone, but the opportunity to be involved tin the rehabilitation of such an event could be considered an honor by some.
One should never rush into the purchase of a large piece of furniture. It’s important to assess the room, think about all the possibilities and potential arrangements, and really get a feel for the space before making any large renovations.
The entertainment wall unit is the perfect instance of such a purchase. This can be an absolutely expansive piece of furniture, dominating an entire wall if you allow it or it can take up an entire corner of your room. On the other hand, you may not want such an enormous piece of furniture to completely change and dominate the look of your room so you may instead opt for a smaller simpler console design. TV wall units are versatile pieces of furniture, coming in all varieties of styles, shapes, and colors. These options should all be taken into careful consideration before going ahead and making any purchase.
Ignoring for now the varieties of styles, materials, or size, let’s examine the most integral part of your purchase: the space for your television. Entertainment wall furniture is designed to house your home theater, with the television as the crown jewel. You want this piece of furniture to compliment your television perfectly. It shouldn’t overwhelm the TV or make it look too small, but rather highlight all of its assets. Take careful measurements of your television before looking at any of these units to make sure you’re going to purchase a unit that will be the perfect fit for your TV as well as the wall space and size of your room.
Now, with that piece of advice out of the way, it’s important for you to select the entertainment center that will really make your home pop. Your existing furniture may already demand that you choose a particular style or manufacturer. For example, a contemporary unit might look out of place in a traditional home and vice-versa. At the same time, purchasing such a large and dramatic piece of furniture may be the perfect time to alter your existing style and give your home a new and up-to-date look. The choice is all yours.
When selecting an entertainment center, you’ll notice that they come in a variety of materials and color combinations. You can buy any design you’d like, all the way from incredibly futuristic designs made entirely of glass and metal to a solid wood piece that looks like it’s from another century. The variety of centers on the market allows you to make any choice that you desire.
One last bit of criteria you should definitely take into account is the size of your room. If you’re furnishing a small room, you should probably purchase a smaller entertainment wall unit so that it doesn’t monopolize your room. These units come in all different sizes, so it’s easy to find the perfect size for any space. If you have a huge room, you may want to think about buying a unit that extends all the way to the ceiling just to break up your room and provide a dramatic and eye-catching focal point.
It’s also important to pick your storage. Cabinets and shelves, closed or open; these are all additional considerations you have to think about when deciding how to store your equipment and accessories. Some units have a combination of cabinets and shelves and are now being sold as sets, which may include a TV nook, two side units and an upper shelf called a bridge. This provides an extra degree of flexibility for homeowners who would like their entertainment unit to double as a bookcase so that they can display books, collectibles and other personal treasures.
When selecting a TV wall unit keep in mind that little details can make a big difference.. Before purchasing, carefully consider everything you’re looking for and start out your search with a well thought out idea and a solid plan. From there, locating the perfect entertainment wall unit should be a breeze.