Houston City Council To Consider Raising Limits On Personal Campaign Loans

An empty Houston city council chamber

Under the current ordinance a candidate for mayor cannot be reimbursed for personal loans to their campaign in excess of $75,000. Those seeking a city-wide office (controller and at-large council offices) are limited to reimbursement for personal loans in excess of $15,000, while district office candidates are limited to $5,000 personal loan repayments.

Though the request for increased limits came from current council members, Mayor Sylvester Turner said it will have little effect on the current council.

It doesnt impact the overwhelming members of the city council thats being considered, Turner said. It doesnt apply to the Mayor Pro Tem (Councilmember Ellen R. Cohen, District C). It doesnt apply to me, the mayor added.

Following Wednesdays council meeting Mayor Turner was hesitant to disclose which members of the current council suggested altering the ordinance, or discuss concerns that raising the loan limits would benefit wealthier candidates. He did say that there is no intention to raise the $75,000 limit for mayoral candidates.

Thursdays meeting will take place in the City Council Chamber at 2:00 pm

Taking out personal loans in 2016 – Essential tips you need to follow

Personal loans are a great avenue to explore especially when you’re going through some dire financial issues during the middle of the month. We all face various monetary problems but we all don’t end up getting personal loans as most of us are not aware of the ways in which we should get one and others are confused about the right step to take. Nevertheless, it is a fact universally acknowledged that personal loans actually help cash-strapped people stay on top of their finances by boosting their reserve for a fixed time period. If you too have been thinking of taking out personal loans, here are some tips that you need to take into account so that you don’t fall into trouble in the near future.

  • Ensure that the personal loan is the best option for you: There are many different purposes of using personal loans. For instance, you could use them for combining your high-interest unsecured debts, for purposes of home improvement or for investing in your business. Hence the first thing that you should do is to check out whether or not the personal loan that you’re looking for serves your needs. There are secured personal loans and unsecured personal loans and you can choose anyone between them.
  • Select the right lender: Financing sources which offer personal loans include credit unions, banks, and online lenders. Each of them offers a wide range of interest rates and their terms and conditions vary from one another. You should choose the best lender who will offer you the most comfortable terms and conditions in accordance with the loan amount that you take out.
  • Don’t forget to read the fine print: You should be sure about reading the fine print of the loan agreement as there is the most confusing information which you should be aware of. If by mistake, you forget to read the fine print, you might end up signing on a paper which doesn’t have anything favorable for you. The lender will always try to deceive you and get more money from you but you shouldn’t allow them to do so.
  • Ensure having a good credit score: Your credit score is the most important number that is to be checked by your lenders before giving you personal loans. If you think you don’t have a good credit score which can help you qualify for a loan, you should immediately opt for credit repair. Ultimately you have to approach the lender with a good score so that he doesn’t turn down an offer on your face.
  • Don’t take more than what you can afford: Before you apply for a personal loan, you should take a look at your present financial situation to know how much loan you can comfortably afford. There are some lenders who can give you more than what you can afford. Don’t fall into this trap.

To know more on loans and its kinds, you may check out CashFloat so as to learn more about such loans. Try and manage your finances in the best way possible so that you can pay off the loan on time.

Look who takes out personal loans

Perception — mine, at least — appears to be trailing reality.

I know the market has changed for personal loans. Yes, there are still high interest loans offered to low credit score borrowers, but many consumers with solid credit have won some really good deals in recent years.

And yet I was surprised by results of a poll about who takes out personal loans.

The survey of 2,000 adults commissioned by Discover Personal Loans found that about 60% of consumers who have taken out a personal loan self-identify as being in good or excellent financial health. A nearly identical percentage of consumers who have never taken out a personal loan also indicate theyre in fine financial shape.

Of course, one persons notion of good financial health might not match anothers. Even so, the fact that both groups are feeling fine is worth noting.

RATE SEARCH: Let Bankrate help you find the best personal loan rates today.

More life experience

So, who exactly takes out a personal loan?

The Discover survey conducted by Rasmussen Reports found that personal loan borrowers skew older. While just 36% of adults ages 18 to 34 indicate they have taken out a personal loan, 49% of adults ages 35-54 and 54% of adults 55 and over say they have.

Those results track with a Bankrate survey taken in January that showed the older you are the more likely you are to have taken out a personal loan.

Dan Matysik, Discover’s vice president of personal loans, says awareness of loan options might play a role in why borrowers tend to be older.

I do think that the financial experiences of the borrowers come into play, Matysik says. As people have different financial needs over time, they become aware of the different financial products.

What matters when shopping for a loan

Discover also asked borrowers what matters most when taking out a personal loan. More than 6 in 10 borrowers said interest rate was the top consideration. I tip my hat to you, survey takers, because thats the No. 1 thing I suggested borrowers should look at, too.

CarMax turns to online financing as used-car sales hit a bump

n>CarMax Inc (KMX.N), the biggest US used-car dealer, is rolling out a new online financing initiative that could help offset sluggish demand as cheaper gas prices and a stronger job market drive sales of new cars.

The company is rolling out an online financing offering this year to customers at 10 stores in the United States to help them pre-qualify for a loan before a store visit, hoping to improve customer conversion rates.

Many customers want to understand their financing options during their online research process, prior to coming into the store, CarMax Chief Marketing Officer Jim Lyski told Reuters.

Richmond, Virginia-based CarMax reported on Tuesday lower-than-expected first-quarter revenue and profit as store traffic dropped and comparable unit sales at its used-car stores slowed to a near halt.

The company has been fighting slowing growth in sales largely due to weakness in used-car pricing as new-car sales gain steam.

Being pre-qualified for financing before the store visit helps build the customers confidence …, CarMax President Bill Nash said on a post-earnings call on Tuesday.

CarMax is late to the online financing party, however.

AutoNation Inc (AN.N), the largest US new-vehicle dealer, launched an online financing offering in late December, allowing its customers to value a trade-in vehicle, determine car payments and apply for credit online.

While it may be too early to gauge if CarMax can get enough benefit from the latest offering, Wall Street analysts have broadly welcomed the initiative.

People want to be able to buy a car similar to how they buy other retail goods. Thats the kind of convenience CarMax needs to offer, MorningStar analyst David Whiston said, adding that it would lead to higher conversions for CarMax longer term.

CarMaxs shares were down 2.6 percent at $46.87 in late-afternoon trading on Wednesday. Up to Tuesdays close, the stock had fallen about 11 percent this year, compared with little change in the Dow Jones US Specialty Retailers index .DJUSRS.

(This story corrects to rolling out a new online financing initiative from is banking on a new online financing process in paragraph 1. Also removes paragraph 9, which referred to Beepi, Carvana and Vroom denting Carmaxs online traffic, as the information could not be verified)

(Reporting by Ankit Ajmera in Bengaluru; Editing by Sweta Singh and Sriraj Kalluvila)

You may not be able to get a co-borrower for your personal loan

Bankrate reviewed the personal loan applications of nearly a dozen banks and credit unions. In each instance, the institution allows for joint applications on personal loans. But a number of online lenders explicitly forbid co-borrowers.

This may be an important consideration for people with damaged credit.

Often a (joint borrower) can make the difference between getting approved and getting rejected, says Bruce McClary, vice president of public relations and external affairs with the National Foundation for Credit Counseling. Taking on a (co-borrower) can not only help you get approved when otherwise you might not, but you might also qualify for better rates.

RATE SEARCH: Need a personal loan? Let Bankrate help you find the best loan rates today.

Settlement brewing in Pfister’s wrongful-death claim

The wife of William Styler, convicted of killing Aspen native Nancy Pfister, has yet to respond to a wrongful-death claim against her because a settlement is pending.

That’s according to court documents filed last week in plaintiff Juliana Pfister’s claim against Nancy Masson, who previously went by Nancy Styler, in her personal bankruptcy case. Juliana Pfister, the daughter of Nancy Pfister, filed the adversary action Feb. 26 in the US Bankruptcy Court of the Eastern Division of Massachusetts, the venue for the case.

“The parties have reached an agreement in principle that is expected to lead in a few weeks to the parties being able to dismiss this adversary proceeding,” said a brief filed Monday by attorneys for both Pfister and Masson.

Neither returned phone messages this week. Pfister’s Aspen attorney, David Bovino, declined comment, as well.

This week’s brief was the fifth motion filed by Pfister and Masson seeking to extend filing deadlines in the case.

Masson declared bankruptcy in July. On Aug. 6, William Styler, whom she divorced earlier in 2015, hanged himself in a Canon City prison. Styler, 67, was serving a 20-year sentence for the second-degree murder of Nancy Pfister, who was slain at her Buttermilk Mountain home in February 2014.

Styler’s death triggered a $1 million life-insurance payment to Masson. The bankruptcy court approved $150,000 of those funds to be managed by the case’s trustee. But in March, after Juliana Pfister filed the adversary action to the bankruptcy case, Judge Joan N. Feeney froze the remaining $850,000 that Masson collected pending the outcome of the wrongful-death claim.

Bovino called the judge’s order a “huge win” at the time.

Masson, once charged in Nancy Pfister’s murder before her then-husband confessed to authorities in June 2014 that he acted alone, introduced a sworn affidavit in March saying she did not “participate in any way in the murder of Nancy Pfister.”

Juliana Pfister’s wrongful-death action contends Masson did, arguing that her then-husband wasn’t physically equipped to pull off the murder by himself. Nancy Pfister was found beaten to death from hammer strikes to her head. Her body, which was placed in a closet, was wrapped from the neck down in a heavy-duty trash bag. Her neck was wrapped with an electrical extension cord, her head shrouded in kitchen trash bags, the suit says. She was 57.

Juliana Pfister originally filed a wrongful-death lawsuit in January against Masson in Pitkin County District Court. That case, however, was put on hold after she filed an identical claim in Masson’s Chapter 7 case.

rcarroll@aspentimes.com

Puerto Rico’s debt, humanitarian crises focus of briefing, prayer service

Eric LeCompte, director of Jubilee USA, spoke briefly about the urgency of Puerto Ricos situation, and introduced Father Enrique Camacho, director of Caritas Puerto Rico.

Father Camacho described his work with the poor, providing food, aid, shelter, emergency relief and help for the sick and elderly left behind by young people fleeing high income taxes.

Five times more people need help now than they did in 2011, he said, citing a 12 percent unemployment rate and a 56 percent poverty rate for children. Even professionals are in personal bankruptcy are coming to my office asking for help.

Father Camacho discussed families divided by the migration of young people to the mainland United States.

We have a lot of elderly people living alone because their sons live in the US, he said. He described a common situation for many on the island: a grandmother who fell and waited in the hospital from 2 pm to 6 am before getting help from the only doctor.

We are sad, Father Camacho concluded, because we dont see a solution.

In 2014, Puerto Rico tried to enact legislation that would allow them to restructure their $72 billion debt that has been keeping them out of the market for prospective investors. The Supreme Court ruled this legislation, called the Puerto Rico Public Corporation Debt Enforcement and Recovery Act, unconstitutional on the basis that because Puerto Rico is not a state, it is exempt from Chapter 9 of the federal Bankruptcy Code, which authorizes states to restructure their debt.

US Rep. Pedro Pierluisi, a Democrat who is Puerto Ricos sole member of Congress, also known as the Resident Commissioner of Puerto Rico, tried in 2015 to introduce a bill that would allow Puerto Rico to file for Chapter 9 bankruptcy, but the bill failed to pass the House of Representatives.

Now, in 2016, US Rep. Sean Duffy, R-Wisconsin, has introduced a new bill titled commonly called PROMESA, Puerto Rico Oversight, Management and Economic Stability Act, will set up a seven-member advisory board to oversee Puerto Ricos budgets and financial plans for at least four consecutive fiscal years, or whenever criteria outlined by the measure are fulfilled. In addition, PROMESA allows employers to reduce their workers salaries to below the national minimum wage. The bill also will also authorize Puerto Rico to use some debt relief to revitalize their public utilities to help their citizens who are without food, water, and power.

Overall, PROMESA seeks to establish a process for the gradual and constitutional restructuring of Puerto Ricos debt while providing the island with the necessary funds to continue running. The bill has passed the House, and must pass the Senate before July 1 to become effective in time to help Puerto Rico.

How Investors Can Benefit From Financing Their Next Car

By Eric Jorgensen

Learn more about Eric on NerdWallet’s Ask an Advisor 

When buying a car, you have two options: take out a loan to finance the purchase or pay for it in cash. There are pros and cons for each approach, and as with any financial decision, it ultimately depends on what works best for your situation.

But one notable benefit of financing is that it frees up money for investing. So if you have good credit and plan to buy soon, while rates are low, financing your purchase could be the smarter move.

Lets look at how financing and investing could be more profitable in the long run.

How financing works

When you apply for a car loan, lenders will look at your credit score to determine how much of a risk you are as a borrower. The interest charged on the loan is driven by your credit score: The better your score, the lower the interest rate and the lower your payment. If you have an above-average credit score  — say, over 750 — it’s likely that you can get a very low interest rate; in some instances, it could be as low as 0%.

You also have to decide how long you want to make payments. Typically, the range is from three to six years, but it’s best not to go over five years. The longer you stretch out your payments, the lower the monthly payment will be — but note that longer terms can also carry higher interest rates.

Your monthly payment is also based on how much money you pay upfront as a down payment. For example, if you buy a $30,000 car with no money down, financed for five years at 3.5% interest, you can expect to pay approximately $550 a month. However, if you put $10,000 down and everything else stays the same, your payment would drop to approximately $370 a month.

So how much should you pay each month? (Note that I did not ask how much you could afford.) In reality, it’s best to keep your monthly payment below the amount you can technically afford based purely on your expenses and income. Just think of all the other costs of owning a car like maintenance, insurance, fuel and other expenses that may come up.

I recommend keeping car payments below 5% of your net income after taxes. As a financial advisor, the last thing I want to hear is that someone can’t save money because they are “car poor.”

Biggest benefit of financing: Investing

Paying cash requires disciplined saving in low-risk buckets — perhaps bond funds or high-yield savings accounts. To buy a $30,000 car, you’d need to save about $470 a month over five years, assuming a 3% rate of return, or $500 a month with a 0% interest rate. For many, that’s a pretty high amount considering other savings needs.

New cars depreciate quickly, some estimate by as much as 20% when you drive off the lot, 30% by the end of the year, and 50% within three years. It’s not a good idea to take a large amount of cash and sink it into an asset that is going to immediately lose value.

Today’s low-interest-rate environment makes financing, rather than paying cash, an attractive option.

Assume you have determined the amount you can spend each month and can purchase a car by putting down no money, or the bare minimum amount. This allows you to instead invest, or keep investing, the money you could have used as a down payment.

Using the above example: If instead of using it as a down payment, you invested $10,000 for five years at an average annual rate of 6%, your funds would grow to nearly $13,400, a potential $3,400 gain. If you used the $10,000 as a down payment on the car and then invested the $180 a month difference in your car payment ($550 $370) under the same conditions, your funds would grow to just about $12,400, a gain of $2,400 over the original down payment amount.

Note that when you invest, theres no guarantee that the market will do well and your money will grow. But the longer you keep your money invested, the better are your chances of seeing positive returns.

At the five-year mark, interest on the auto loan could cancel investment gains. However, if you withdraw $10,000 from your investment account for a down payment, youll forfeit any gains over five years and much more over your lifetime. During low interest rate environments, like the one we are currently in, it makes more sense to minimize the down payment and let your investments compound.

If you paid 100% cash, you miss out on the opportunity to invest and grow those funds and you’d have to build up new savings.

Drawbacks to financing
Interest

Besides the purchase price, the other cost to consider when you finance a car is how much money you’ll pay in interest over the years of your loan. With a five-year loan, no money down and a rate of 3.5%, you’re paying about $2,750 extra over the life of the loan, making the total cost of the car $32,750; this increases to about $6,900 at an 8.5% interest, making the total cost $36,900.

And note that if you are purchasing a new car before your old car is paid in full, in most cases you end up rolling your remaining debt into the new loan, increasing what you owe, and subsequently increasing the amount you pay each month. It also means there is the potential for a significant gap between the new car’s value (what you’ll get from insurance in the event of an accident) and what you owe. Say you buy a $30,000 car and you still owe $7,500 on your old car. This means you finance $37,500, but the best you can hope to be covered by insurance is $30,000.

Insurance costs

Also know that when you have a loan, you may be required to get complete auto insurance coverage, even for a used car that may not be worth it. When you own a car outright, you decide what amount and types of insurance to purchase. This means you don’t have an opportunity to decrease your monthly spending by purchasing insurance based on your needs rather than what the loan terms dictate.

Rate fluctuations

However, it’s also important to remember that interest rates won’t stay low forever. This means payments will be higher in the future and could make financing the more expensive option. And remember, if you don’t have a high enough credit score, you also won’t have the benefit of getting a low rate on your loan. In these cases, you will need to put more money down to drive the monthly payment down, making financing less attractive.

There are many variables to consider when deciding how to buy a car, and it ultimately depends on your situation and how much you can realistically afford. By financing your car and investing the amount you would have used as money down, you could potentially make more than if you pay part or all of it upfront. However, this only works if you actually invest the money and don’t spend it on something else.

Eric Jorgensen is a fee-only financial planner with MainStreet Financial Planning in Silver Spring, Maryland.

This article also appears on Nasdaq.

The not-so-cheap UK Personal Loans

The not-so-cheap UK Personal Loans
Personal_Finance / Debt Loans
Jun 20, 2016 – 10:07 AM GMT

By: MoneyFacts

Unsecured personal loans can be ideal for people who have debts to consolidate or who want to make a purchase with a fixed repayment plan. Its not surprising, therefore, that in the current low interest rate environment this type of finance is proving to be popular with many borrowers.

However, these loans are not always the best option, and the latest research from Moneyfacts.co.uk reveals that anyone looking to take out a smaller loan may be shocked by how much they will be charged in interest compared to alternative forms of borrowing.

What You Should Know About Caesars Enjoyment” s Claim Currently

Caesars Palace in Southern nevada, among Caesars Amusements.
flagship residential properties. Picture resource: Caesars.com.

The drama surrounding.
Caesars Amusement.

( NASDAQ: CZR) and also its legal fight with shareholders remains to.
progress. Although the presiding judge recently gave Caesars a.
trial expansion to proceed settlements, it looks as if completion.
of this expensive video game might be coming soon.

The result could possibly mean a personal bankruptcy declare Caesars.
Enjoyment, however if it doesnt, Caesars can be in a terrific.
place to dump most of its responsibilities as well as come back on track. Or.
rivals might pick up some excellent buildings if its forced to.
market them. Either way, it could be an interesting opportunity for.
capitalists.

Exactly how did Caesars enter this debt dilemma?

In 2008, 2 investment company purchased what was then called.
Harrahs in a leveraged buyout that swelled the now-private.
firms financial obligation to virtually $24 billion. That buyout occurred.
right before the 2008 financial accident, which left Harrahs with a.
debt-heavy annual report as well as inadequate leads moving forward throughout.
the economic downturn that complied with.

The firm presumed the name Caesars Enjoyment Corp. in.
2010 and also underwent an IPO in February 2012. Its destiny really did not.
enhance a lot after going public, however, as it uploaded bottom lines.
of $2.9 billion in 2013 and $2.7 billion in 2014, with over $28.
billion in total obligations. Administration began to caution of.
financial trouble in late 2014, and also in January 2015, it put its.
biggest subsidiary, Caesars Enjoyment Operating Co.,.
right into personal bankruptcy.

Great Caesars, Bad Caesars.

Caesars gradually began evasion possessions as well as obligations around.
its numerous subsidiaries starting in 2013, relocating most of the.
less desirable obligations to its subsidiary Caesars.
Amusement Operating Co. (CEOC) while transferring more.
beneficial as well as quality properties, such as the effective online.
gambling segment, to various other subsidiaries. When that begun.
happening, the writing was on the wall surface for a coming personal bankruptcy.
applying for CEOC, which then contained most of the most awful components of.
the company, in addition to much of its debt.

After putting CEOC right into an $18.4 billion Chapter 11 bankruptcy.
protection properly seeking to eliminate parent-company.
responsibility to numerous debtholders, which now were primarily.
huge and also effective hedge funds those detrimentally impacted by the.
step started strongly fighting the activities in court. The.
plaintiffs stated Caesars asset-shuffling developed an excellent Caesars.
that the company would certainly keep and also a bad Caesars that it would let.
declare bankruptcy.

In March of this year, a bankruptcy-court-ordered.
investigation ended with pungent comments about Caesars actions.
Not just did the file claim that the shareholders remained in reality.
damaged by Caesars activities and were most likely owed greater than exactly what.
the personal bankruptcy court initially asserted, yet it additionally discovered.
some unsavory activities from individuals overseeing the CEOC activities,.
such as text messages where elderly leaders essentially called.
CEOC useless while publicly proclaiming a prospective IPO.

Where points stand currently.

Former court Joseph J. Farnan Jr. has come on as an arbitrator to.
help browse arrangements with Caesars as well as its bondholders. In.
its latest effort toward negotiation, Caesars offered $4 billion.
in a structured offer that would repay senior loan providers as well as.
senior bondholders initially, and also junior shareholders with exactly what was.
left over. Those talks seemed to have damaged down as of June.
6, when.

The Wall Road Journal.

[registration needed] reported Farnan saying, I think that.
there is currently no possibility of product progress in the.
conversations in between the [Caesars] parties and also the noteholder.
committee..

The test was intended to begin in late June.

However, on June 15, the judge managing the case released an.
injunction that will certainly delay the situation up until Aug. 29, specifically.
to allow even more time for settlements. Caesars stock leapt almost.
10% on the news, possibly because investors have new hope that a.
settlement will be struck and also Caesars will certainly come out of this legal.
fight active.

If Caesars could prevent a personal bankruptcy.

If a settlement is accepted, or the judge in the event finds.
Caesars liable for an amount that it could deal with, the company may.
have the ability to continue its course of dumping financial obligation and also preventing total.
personal bankruptcy. If that takes place, Caesars still has plenty of.
residential properties as well as operations that could be very valuable going.
forward. With much less debt expenditure and new management, Caesars could.
be back on a development course, which could ensure its present stock.
cost, below its preliminary IPO rate, resembles a steal.

The business is absolutely confident regarding its very own future. In a.
current 8-K file, it stated it sees annual earnings increasing.
to $ 9.19 billion in 2017 and around $10.47 billion by 2020,.
with EBITDA climbing from $ 1.87 billion in 2017 to $2.43.
billion by 2020.

An interesting prospect.

However even if Caesars can not prevent this crushing financial obligation worry and.
eventually does go bankrupt, or is forced to begin selling some.
of its more than 50 properties worldwide to pay shareholders, that.
could possibly additionally be an interesting scenario for financiers. For example,.
if.
MGM Resorts International.

( NYSE: MGM) had the ability to acquire Caesars Royal residence on the Las Vegas.
Strip, helping MGM to proceed dominating the Strip, that could.
be an important play.

Caesars loyalty program, called Total amount Benefits, which keeps.
data on a reported 45 million consumers, would certainly also be unbelievably.
attractive to competitors. This and many various other lucrative assets.
were not in the initial for-sale plan when CEOCs bankruptcy.
started, but in a complete business personal bankruptcy, they most likely would.
be. So whether your home can win in this wager or not, its.
something for financiers to take a close eye on.

A secret billion-dollar stock possibility.

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