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NEWS
October 23, 2013
THERE'S BEEN a lot of talk lately about debt. Most of it has been about the federal-debt burden. I want to shift the discussion to individuals, particularly those with private student loans. The student-loan ombudsman for the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau has just released a report analyzing complaints the watchdog agency has received from private student-loan borrowers. Not surprisingly, the chief gripe concerned payment issues. But it's not what you might think. Many borrowers said they encountered problems trying to pay off their debt early.
BUSINESS
September 21, 2013 | By Erin E. Arvedlund, Inquirer Columnist
If you think you have been scammed in a fraudulent investment, Ingrid Robinson has advice for you. Start building your case right away, and don't give up. The U.S. Attorney's Office in Philadelphia in May indicted Matthew McManus, of Glenside, and Andrew Bogdanoff, and his son, Aaron, on federal fraud charges connected with their Remington Financial Group loan brokerage. The Bogdanoffs have pleaded guilty. McManus has pleaded not guilty and is scheduled for trial Oct. 28. Robinson, 67, who resides in California, invested with Remington in 2007 and didn't realize the outfit was a fraud until she arranged for a loan.
BUSINESS
September 20, 2013 | By Joseph N. DiStefano, Inquirer Staff Writer
Jerry Schiano was driving to work Monday at New Penn Financial , the Plymouth Meeting home-loan company he heads, when he heard economist Larry Summers had asked President Obama not to make Summers the next chairman of the Federal Reserve. "We'll have a good day!" Schiano exulted. Summers' withdrawal meant investors would bid down interest rates, expecting current Fed chair Ben Bernanke's cheap-money policy will last longer without Summers' restraining hand.
NEWS
August 25, 2013 | By Alfred Lubrano, Inquirer Staff Writer
Nine members of an Albanian-run gang from Northeast Philadelphia that specialized in loan-sharking and illegal gambling - backed by intimidation with a gun and a hatchet - were arrested Friday morning, federal officials said. All nine appeared in federal court Friday afternoon in front of U.S. Magistrate Judge Lynne A. Sitarski, who set an arraignment for Wednesday. The men were to be held in custody until then. The defendants, allegedly led by Northeast residents Ylli Gjeli, 48, and Fatimir Mustafaraj, 41, were indicted on racketeering, extortion, and other charges and are accused of running a criminal enterprise that federal authorities said thrived for more than a decade.
NEWS
August 25, 2013 | BY MENSAH M. DEAN, Daily News Staff Writer deanm@phillynews.com, 215-568-8278
THEY TOOK in stacks of untraceable money running a loan-sharking and gambling organization that bullied its customers into paying up by threatening to break their legs and to have them and relatives killed, officials say. But the business is now closed, and the nine people alleged to have run it were indicted yesterday on a slew of racketeering charges, federal officials in Philadelphia announced. "We will not tolerate this type of criminal activity that preys upon financial weakness and threatens the physical safety of the individuals in debt and their innocent family members," U.S. Attorney Zane David Memeger said.
NEWS
August 8, 2013 | By Rita Giordano, Inquirer Staff Writer
Hey, New Jersey businesses, still feeling the wrath of Hurricane Sandy? Still footing the bills for all those post-storm repairs? The state wants to hear from you. Hint: There could be cash in it. Really. The New Jersey Economic Development Authority has $260 million in grants and $100 million for loans for businesses that qualify - and, believe it or not, not nearly as many takers as you might expect. "I'm not sure that businesses know we have millions of dollars of grant funding and loan funding available," said the authority's chief executive officer, Michele A. Brown.
NEWS
August 2, 2013 | BY CHRIS BRENNAN, Daily News Staff Writer brennac@phillynews.com, 215-854-5973
A JUDGE yesterday rejected a bid by former state Sen. Vince Fumo to put a friend of 50 years in charge of a trust fund set up for two of his three children. Common Pleas Judge Joseph O'Keefe voided Fumo's appointment of Dr. Anthony Repici, once his personal physician, as trustee for the fund. He also rejected a request from Fumo's attorney to keep the case open long enough for the former Democratic power to testify. Fumo is due to be released from federal prison on Tuesday. Fumo's daughter, Allison, 23, had asked the court to either dissolve the trust or name as trustee Sylvia DiBona, her godmother and widow of Independence Blue Cross chief executive G. Fred DiBona Jr. O'Keefe appointed DiBona yesterday, ordering "that all property, books, accounts, papers and moneys belonging" to the trust be delivered to her. "We're very sorry that it took litigation to get to this point," said Don Foster, Allison Fumo's attorney.
NEWS
July 19, 2013 | By Philip Elliott, Associated Press
WASHINGTON - Heading off a costly increase for returning college students, a bipartisan group of senators reached a deal Wednesday that would offer students better rates on their loans this fall but perhaps assign higher rates in coming years. The deal would offer students lower interest rates through the 2015 academic year, but then rates were expected to climb above where they were when students left campus this spring. The interest rates would be linked to the financial markets, but Democrats won a protection for students that rates would never climb higher than 8.25 percent for undergraduate students.
NEWS
July 19, 2013
D EAR ABBY: We have a grown son who is married with his own family and home. He and his wife have jobs. My husband and I are semiretired - not rich, but we live comfortably. Our credit score is great. My son wants us to co-sign a loan for him. I know his credit is not good because I get phone calls from collection agents looking for him. We really don't want to co-sign. How do I explain this to him? I feel that because I'm his mother it obligates me. I am also afraid he will stop letting us see the grandkids if I refuse.
NEWS
July 17, 2013
WE KNOW THAT many students have to borrow in order to attend college. On top of that, the interest rates on many new federal student loans doubled on July 1 from 3.4 percent to 6.8 percent. There are congressional efforts to lower the rates. But regardless of whether Congress finds a compromise on the student-loan interest rate, the bigger issue is curbing the cost of college so that interest rates don't matter as much. This is particularly important, because a large number of students borrow and then don't finish college.
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