Tuesday, November 3, 2015

We$tern $ky

"Mass. bans online lenders, calls for repayment of $17m; 2,000 borrowers could get refunds in suit settlement" by Deirdre Fernandes Globe Staff  October 29, 2015

Daphne Stokes, a Brockton resident, was trying to pay off her credit card debt four years ago when she saw a television commercial for Western Sky Financial LLC, promising that she could quickly and easily borrow $2,500.

That loan eventually cost her nearly $4,000 in fees and an interest rate above 100 percent, forcing her to borrow money from her employer to pay it off.

“It was getting too overwhelming,” said Stokes, 40, who said she turned to Western Sky after her home was being foreclosed, her credit was in tatters, and no bank would provide her a loan. “I was desperate.”

Stokes is among the thousands of victims of suspect lending practices who will receive up to $17 million in refunds and loan modifications from Western Sky and three affiliated Internet lending companies under a court settlement reached with Attorney General Maura Healey and Massachusetts regulators. In the lawsuit filed earlier this month in Suffolk Superior Court, the state alleged the companies charged Massachusetts consumers illegal triple-digit interest rates to borrow small amounts and tried to skirt state lending laws.


The pretty squaw (with the rhythmic drum-beating in the background) lied?

“These products are potentially financially dangerous,” said Massachusetts Banking Commissioner David Cotney. “It leads to a debt trap, when at the end of the cycle you don’t have enough money to pay them back.”

Umm, excu$e me, but that is the foundation of the AmeriKan economic $y$tem. 

Western Sky was located on the Cheyenne River Indian Reservation in South Dakota, and therefore had tribal immunity from state and federal banking laws.

State regulators said that Western Sky was created to circumvent state laws and loans were sold to companies outside the tribal lands.

Oh, they al$o sold the loans as CDOs, huh? Nice!

While Massachusetts has strict restrictions on interest rates for small dollar lenders, it has been difficult to police all the companies, especially those that operate primarily online, Cotney said. Many companies are based offshore, which makes them tougher to track. And while the division regularly sends out cease-and-desist letters or requests that Internet providers remove lenders’ websites, another site can pop up soon after, Cotney said. 

Then honestly, the total $urveillance $y$tem and decades-long data collection has utterly failed, or government is complicit in the $windles as long as they get their kickback cut known as a fine. Take your pick. 

Under this settlement, Western Sky and the affiliated companies are permanently banned from advertising or lending in Massachusetts. Their principals are also barred from applying for any type of license or registration with the Division of Banks.

State regulators estimate that 2,000 Massachusetts borrowers will be get refunds totaling approximately $2.4 million. Others will receive loan modifications calibrated to the state-allowed interest rates. The entire settlement is expected to provide $17 million in debt relief, according to state officials.

The companies will also pay civil penalties of $388,231....

Will it be enough to put people's lives back in order or.... ??


I'm told “It’s a bit like whack-a-mole,” and I was surprised to see the word usury in the report.

Besides, "we(??)" owe 'em:

"US to pay tribes $940m to end tribal claim" Associated Press  September 18, 2015

ALBUQUERQUE — The Obama administration has agreed to pay hundreds of Native American tribes nearly $1 billion to settle a decades-old claim that the government failed to adequately compensate tribes while they managed education, law enforcement, and other federal services.

The Interior Department announced the proposed $940 million agreement in Albuquerque on Thursday along with leaders from the Oglala Sioux Tribe, Zuni Pueblo, and Ramah Chapter of the Navajo Nation. They were among the lead plaintiffs in a contract-dispute lawsuit filed on behalf of more than 600 tribes and tribal agencies. They brought the case in 2012 before the US Supreme Court, where justices ruled for the tribes.

They had argued underfunded federal contracts dating as far back as the 1970s often left them to face shortfalls as they tried to meet critical needs in their communities, ranging from health services to housing. The settlement still must be approved in federal district court.

Oglala president John Yellow Bird Steele said the $940 million negotiated with the government was a fair settlement for tribes.

The Interior Department’s proposed payout would represent the latest in a series of recent major settlements addressing years of legal disputes between tribes and the federal government.



For Mashpee Wampanoag tribe, a homecoming

Mashpee Wampanoag detail Taunton casino plans

A federal ruling has put the Southeastern Mass. casino license in doubt

Theology college abandons plan to sell tribal art

And off the reservation:

"A father’s apparent killing of his wife and four children with a shotgun and the grim discovery of their charred remains has shaken a rural community in South Dakota and left residents asking why."

Also see:

Dual rallies call attention to high school mascot"

College investigates ‘hate speech’ fliers
Lowell students suspended for racist texts about class president

Man charged in 1992 Lena Bruce murder case
Suspect held without bail in 1992 death of Tufts graduate

Ousted black women sue Napa train

Police officer fired over racist comments
Police say 2 officers hurt in car chase

Apple’s CEO says fight for gay rights is far from over
Obama nominates openly gay man to lead Army

Shoving it up your Fanning, so to speak.

US to begin using term ‘sexual rights’

Prima Nocta?

Domestic violence claimed lives of 334 people over a decade in Massachusetts
Why it matters that Elizabeth Warren has embraced Black Lives Matter

Because of breast cancer, right?

Detroit’s white population is on the rise, data says

Must be why the economy is doing so much better:

"Detroit’s rebounding economy poses a new set of challenges; Residents, small businesses fear being priced out" by Corey Williams Associated Press  October 30, 2015

DETROIT — Gritty residents and business owners who stuck with Detroit through the economic bad times fear they could be priced out during the city’s slow recovery as property values and rents tip-toe up. Detroit is among several large urban communities experiencing a mini-boom as developers see potential where there once was neglect and abandonment.

Less than a year after Detroit emerged from the nation’s largest municipal bankruptcy, new developments indicate a revival. Crews are completing touchups on a previously rundown 36-unit apartment building a slap-shot distance from an under-construction hockey arena and entertainment district just north of downtown Detroit. Work has also started on a $65 million retail and residential development along Detroit’s east riverfront.

And it’s not only developers with money to spend. Suburbanites are flocking downtown, and this is boosting business.

Detroit is not the only urban center being revitalized.

Abandoned buildings and old hotels along Los Angeles’ Skid Row are being repurposed as expensive lofts, condos, and apartments.

In New York City, Mayor Bill de Blasio launched a program to protect tenants from eviction in areas undergoing gentrification, including Bedford-Stuyvesant, Bushwick, and Crown Heights in Brooklyn, Jamaica in Queens, and Harlem in Manhattan....

It's a richer's world, folks.


Who do you think they are hiring as help?

"Raven-Symone is the latest panelist on ‘‘The View’’ to try to take back her words, saying her comment last week that she would not hire someone with an ethnic-sounding name was in ‘‘poor taste.’’ The former child star and new panelist on ABC’s daytime chat show was part of a discussion last Thursday about a study on people who make racial assumptions based on names. She said that she discriminated against people when it came to names. ‘‘I’m not about to hire you if your name is Watermeloandrea,’’ she said, later explaining that she heard that name online in a viral video and wasn’t targeting a specific race. ‘‘My comment was in poor taste,’’ she said. ‘‘My lack of empathy toward name discrimination was uncalled for.’’

You gotta get back to your ‘Roots,’ honey; we are all descended from beasts

Time for the sun to set on this post (it's far earlier now and that means by days of blogging are growing short as the nights are getting long).