29 MarHow to help a loved one with debt stress

Watch for other signs. I remember walking into my dads house and seeing a list of dunning credit card notices and bills next to his computer. Worry is difficult to hide.

2. Using credit to pay for credit

When your loved one uses one credit card to make minimum payments on another, or takes a cash advance on a card to make a payment, there are multiple problems. Making minimum payments usually doesnt reduce a cards balance significantly; the lions share just whittles interest and adds to the total debt.

3. Frequently borrowing money – sometimes from you

The request always sounds like a great chance to help. The loan will solve all problems and take the pressure off, allowing him or her to consolidate bills into one payment. Problem is, it rarely works out that way.

I once lent my dad $8,000 to help him pay off debt. Not only did he run up new debt as fast as he paid off the old, but when he realised that he couldnt pay me back, he took out a life insurance policy with me as the beneficiary. Instead of eliminating debt, he added another monthly payment.

If a close friend or relative shows the above symptoms, there are a few things you can do:


1. Gently yet clearly express concerns

Do your best to keep from sounding judgmental; emphasise that you are worried about the stress that the persons financial habits put on your relationship, and, more importantly, the health dangers. Be honest.

2. Stop enabling debt

When my grandmother died, both dad and I inherited money. True to form, dad wanted to borrow my share to pay off his debts and planned to pay me back in monthly installments.

My girlfriend – later my wife – confronted me as I knew I needed to confront my dad. It wont help him, and it wont help you, she said bluntly. She was right, and I knew it.

That was the first time I ever told dad no – the hardest thing I ever had to do. I had to say it for his sake and for mine.

Learn to say no. Dont even co-sign a loan: Youll only add to the problem.

3. Offer real help

This might be as involved as helping organise bills or developing a detailed plan to reduce debt (and getting that person to stick to it). At the very least, you can introduce a financial adviser to help get things under control.

Dont wait or sit back silently, hoping something will change. Above all, offer encouragement and support.

I wish Id spoken to my dad early on. I never did, but I do believe that I learned from both our mistakes.

- Jeff Rose is a US-based financial advisor and founder of the website Good Financial Cents and Life Insurance by Jeff.

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29 MarLosers To Keep Eyes On: Aoxing Pharmaceutical Company, (NYSEMKT:AXN …

National Bank of Greece SA (NBG), dipped in the course of Wednesday trading following the news that Greece and its creditors hit a rough patch in their crucial technical talks. According to the Wall Street Journal, Official said Wednesday that the talks are going poorly and each side is holding responsible the other for the problems.

The European Commission, the European Central Bank, and the International Monetary Fund, all of which are in Athens, are getting hardly any information on the Greek government’s finances and other important subjects, two European officials said.

National Bank of Greece SA, together with its auxiliaries, offers diversified financial services primarily in Greece. The corporation is involved in retail and commercial banking, investment administration, investment banking, insurance, investment activities, and securities trading activities. It offers demand deposits, savings deposits, and time deposits, and current accounts; investment products; consumer loans, personal loans, mortgage loans, automobile loans, overdraft facilities, and foreign currency loans, in addition to letters of credit and guarantees; credit cards; currency swaps and options; and ATMs.

Celladon Corporation (NASDAQ:CLDN)

Celladon Corporation (CLDN), declared that on March 9, 2015 the Compensation Committee of the Corporation’s Board of Directors approved the grant of inducement stock options to purchase a total of 40,000 shares of ordinary stock to three new employees, with two of such grants having a grant date of March 9, 2015 and the third having a grant date of March 11, 2015, with each such grant date corresponding to the employees’ respective hire dates.

Each of the March 9 Grants has an exercise price per share equal to $24.89, the fair market value on the grant date of the March 9 Grants. The March 11 Grant has an exercise price per share equal to $25.99, the fair market value on the grant date of the March 11 Grant. Each stock option vests over the course of four years, with 25% vesting on the one-year anniversary of the employee’s first day of employment with the Corporation and 1/48 of the shares vesting monthly thereafter, subject to the new employee’s continued service relationship with the Corporation on each such date. Each stock option has a ten year term and is subject to the terms and conditions of the Corporation’s 2013 Equity Incentive Plan and applicable stock option contract.

Celladon Corporation, a clinical-stage biotechnology corporation, focuses on developing treatments for heart failure, diabetes, and neurodegenerative diseases.


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29 MarMagic City Marketplace

| 2013-03-11 — Its generally understood that a crash in the housing market help usher in the great recession. But now five years later, home lending around Birmingham still hasnt returned to pre-recession levels. We hear more in this weeks Magic City Marketplace.

29 MarVoya Foundation Announces First Quarter 2015 Grant Recipients

NEW YORK, March 19, 2015 /PRNewswire/ –Voya Financial, Inc. (NYSE: VOYA), announced today that eight nonprofit organizations located throughout the country will receive grants in the first quarter of 2015 through the companys charitable giving arm, the Voya Foundation. This quarter, Voya has initiated two new relationships which support its ongoing giving priorities of childrens education and financial literacy. YouthLink provides homeless youth with financial literacy training and Clarifi delivers a debt education program for low-income women. Below is an overview of first quarter 2015 grant recipients:

  • Youthlink (Minneapolis) Voya has partnered with YouthLink in support of the organizations Financial Literacy for Homeless Youth program, which provides homeless, transition-age youth with a financial literacy curriculum taught by Voya Financial employees. Topics include budgeting, credit cards, credit and banking, interest, and setting basic savings goals.
  • Clarifi (Coatesville, Pennsylvania) Clarifi is a nonprofit devoted to improving financial literacy through educational programming, regardless of economic status. Voya will support the organizations Debt Boot Camp, a six-month intensive financial education program for low-income women. Key topics include reducing or eliminating debt; developing and maintaining a budget to reduce unnecessary spending; and establishing long-term savings goals.
  • Cristo Rey New York High School (New York) Voya will sponsor Cristo Reys Summer Academy and Business Boot Camp, a three-week program that prepares incoming students for success in the Cristo Rey school system. The program includes a rigorous curriculum and work experience with partnering organizations. Classes focus on English and math skill development along with the training needed to work in professional environment, to interact with adults and to navigate Manhattan.
  • WJCT Public Broadcasting (Jacksonville, Florida) For the past 15 years, PBS Ready to Learn educational workshop has used electronic media to help millions of young children learn basic reading and math skills. Voyas grant to WJCT will build out this national program at the local level in Jacksonville. Programming will include the creation of a series of workshops for parents and guardians to promote parental involvement in childrens education.
  • Connecticut Science Center (Hartford, Connecticut) The Connecticut Science Centers Women in Science lecture and program series is designed to raise the profile of women in science and to promote science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) careers among young girls. Voyas grant will fund speakers and educational events including leadership awards, weekend programming and the museums first ever Girls Hackathon.
  • Chester County Futures (Exton, Pennsylvania) Chester County Futures Passport to College program provides motivated, disadvantaged Chester County youth with real-world learning and student advisors. Instruction is provided on a variety of relevant, grade-appropriate topics such as financial literacy, study skills, career exploration, college exploration and application, and 21st-century skill development.
  • Medgar Evers College (Brooklyn, New York) The Elite Scholars program provides scholarships and educational materials to the most qualified Medgar Evers College (MEC) students studying business, finance and related fields. MEC is the only historically black college within the City University of New York system, with a vast majority of students coming from disadvantaged backgrounds and being the first in their families to attend college.
  • Peoples Light (Malvern, Pennsylvania) Voyas funding will support the Peoples LightArts Discovery program, which is designed to complement curriculum at local schools. The program uses theater arts to enhance literacy and language arts skills for a diverse set of students from Bucks, Chester, Delaware, Montgomery and Philadelphia Counties in Pennsylvania.

Through charitable giving, the Voya Foundation focuses on exemplary programs in the areas of financial education and childrens education to help build an educated workforce. One of the foundations signature programs, the Voya-Girls Inc. Investment Challenge, provides high school girls with practical, hands-on investing experience, while allowing them to keep a portion of their gains in the form of college scholarships. At the core of the Voya Foundation is the belief that education is the key to healthy communities, which foster the sustainability and growth of the economy.

As an industry leader and advocate for greater retirement readiness, Voya Financial is committed to delivering on its vision to be Americas Retirement Company and on its mission to make a secure financial future possible one person, one family and one institution at a time.

Media Contact:
Nicole Vasile
Voya Financial
Office: (860) 580-2690
Cell: (860) 839-1589

About the Voya Foundation

The Voya Foundations mission is to improve the quality of life in communities where Voya Financial operates and its employees and customers live. The VoyaFoundation provides grants and establishes signature partnerships in the areas of financial literacy and childrens education and fosters employee engagement to deepen our positive impact on the community. For more information, visit www.voyafoundation.com.

About Voya Financial

Voya Financial, Inc. (NYSE: VOYA), is composed of premier retirement, investment and insurance companies serving the financial needs of approximately 13 million individual and institutional customers in the United States.The companys vision is to be Americas Retirement Company and its guiding principle is centered on solving the most daunting financial challenge facing Americans today retirement readiness. Working directly with clients and through a broad group of financial intermediaries, independent producers, affiliated advisors and dedicated sales specialists, Voya provides a comprehensive portfolio of asset accumulation, asset protection and asset distribution products and services. With a dedicated workforce of approximately 6,500 employees, Voya is grounded in a clear mission to make a secure financial future possible one person, one family, one institution at a time.For more information, visit voya.com or view our Voya Financial Interactive Company Profile.Follow Voya Financial on Facebook and Twitter @Voya.

Logo – http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20150206/174115LOGO

SOURCE Voya Financial, Inc.


28 MarTwo Convictions in Luxury Car Loan Fraud Scheme

A federal jury convicted two men last week for running a luxury car loan fraud scheme that led to more than $850,000 in losses at three Illinois credit unions and one in Virginia, Chicago federal prosecutors said.

Precious W. House, 47, of Chicago, was convicted by a federal jury Thursday on five counts of bank fraud. Brian K. Hughes, 41, of Homewood, Ill. was also convicted on four counts of bank fraud and one count of making false statements on a loan application.

From February to November 2013, House and Hughes recruited individuals seeking loans and agreed to find loans for them in exchange for a fee of 20% to 30% of the loan. They obtained at least 36 automobile loans of the 51 total sought on behalf of the applicants, and fraudulently obtained approximately $1.12 million of the total $1.6 million for which they applied, according to court documents.

Federal prosecutors said House and Hughes stole $853,000 in fake car loans from the $639 millionGreat Lakes Credit Unionin Bannockburn, Ill., the $17 billion Pentagon Federal Credit Unionin Alexandria, Va., the $20 million Sherwin-Williams Employees Credit Union in South Holland, Ill., and the $746 million Credit Union 1 in Rantoul, Ill.

House and Hughes coerced loan applicants to make false representations in documents such as loan applications, vehicle purchase orders and employment verifications. The false statements concerned the applicants income, employment, credit history, intent to use the loan proceeds to purchase automobiles and the existence of contracts obligating the borrowers to purchase vehicles from House.

Federal prosecutors said the purchase orders falsely represented that the loan applicants had contracts to purchase various luxury vehicles made by BMW, Chevrolet, Jaguar, Lexus, Mercedes-Benz, Nissan and Porsche from Houses dealership.

If the applicants refused to cash checks obtained in the fraud scheme, Hughes threatened them with civil lawsuits and criminal prosecutions. House then deposited the loan funds into bank accounts he controlled in Illinois, California and Georgia.

Two other defendants who were involved in the loan scheme pleaded guilty earlier.

Keith B. Foster, 46, of Harvey, Ill. pleaded guilty in October 2014 to one count of making false statements on a loan application. He was sentenced to 12 months in prison. Crystal Williams, 31, of Decatur, Ga., pleaded guilty in September 2014 to one count of bank fraud. She will be sentenced later, according to federal prosecutors.

28 MarUS Banks Witness Highest Post-Recession Growth In Loans Over 2014

Data compiled by the Federal Reserve regarding the assets and
liabilities of US commercial banks shows that 2014 was the best
period for the banking sector since the economic downturn in terms
of loan growth.((
Selected Assets and Liabilities of Commercial Banks
in the United States

, Federal Reserve Website)) Banks saw their loan portfolios grow
6.8% over the year, as prevailing low interest rates and growing
optimism about the strength of the economy coaxed individuals as
well as businesses to tap into available credit lines. The loan
portfolio grew at a strong 8.2% (annualized) in Q2 2014 before
slowing down to 5.4% by Q4. But the demand for commercial loans as
well as personal loans (including automobile loans, student loans
and other loans for discretionary-spending) remained notably high
throughout the year.

28 MarFlatout Inc. of Saline sold to T. Marzetti Company for $92 million

Flatout Bread founders Mike and Stacey marsh were recently bestowed with a Saline Business Enterprise award.

28 MarAuthorities keeping watch on home loan risks

The prudential banking regulator has raised concerns about mortgage borrowing, although it is not looking at property prices.

APRA chairman Wayne Byres told the House of Representatives Standing Committee on Economics that the regulator is ready to take further action against lenders if needed.

“I would like to emphasise that, in alerting [banks] to our concerns in this area, we are seeking to ensure emerging risks and imbalances do not get out of hand,” Mr Byers said.

“We are not targeting house price levels – as I have said elsewhere, that is beyond our mandate – and we are not at this point asking banks to materially reduce their lending.

“We have identified some areas where we have set benchmarks that we think will be useful indicators of where risk could be building, and in doing so will help reinforce sound lending practises among all [banks].”

Mr Byres said that APRA was looking at the practices of individual banks and would consider over coming months whether supervisory action is needed.

APRA’s discussions with major lenders have suggested it recognises it is in everyones interests for sound lending standards to be maintained, Mr Byres said.

“But we shall see – we are ready to take further action if needed.”

[Related: Is APRA’s restriction on home lending necessary?]

28 MarCapital adequacy critical for bank investors

The banking regulator has raised doubts over banks ability to pass on the costs of higher capital requirements to consumers, a key threat lenders have made in recent policy debates.

Capital looms as a critical issue for bank investors, with regulators threatening tougher capital rules for lenders taking too much risk in home lending, and the financial system inquiry recommending local banks capital ratios be in the top quartile of banks globally.

At various times bankers have argued that pushing up capital levels -a protective buffer to guard against shocks -will result in higher interest rates for borrowers.

But on Friday Australian Prudential Regulation Authority chair Wayne Byres said fierce competition in home lending would make it very difficult for banks to completely pass on any additional capital requirements imposed by regulators to contain the housing market.

27 MarJG Wentworth acquires WestStar Mortgage for $54M

The JG Wentworth Co, a purchaser of structured settlement payments, annuity payments, lottery payments and other receivables, has signed a stock purchase agreement to acquire WestStar Mortgage Inc. for $54 million.

WestStar is a privately-held residential mortgage company specializing in conforming mortgage lending. The deal amount represents J. G. Wentworth Class A Common Stock and a minimum of 75% of the transaction in cash.

Headquartered in the Washington, DC suburb of Woodbridge, Virginia, WestStar specializes in originating Conventional, VA, and FHA loans and is licensed to operate in 40 states. The firm was founded in 2000 and has over 300 employees in 15 states across the country.

In 2014, WestStar closed $1.5 billion of new loan originations, and the company sold or securitized approximately half of the loans it originated to government backed organizations and half to third party institutional investors in the secondary market. JG Wentworth said it believes that the transaction will be accretive to adjusted net income by 15-20% on an ongoing basis.

Our acquisition of WestStar represents the next major step in our strategy to become a more diversified financial services company, and it provides an exciting opportunity to expand our brand and product suite to a new customer base, Stewart A. Stockdale, CEO at JG Wentworth, said. Together, we will leverage the core competencies of JG Wentworth, including our national brand, direct marketing abilities, call center excellence, information management and digital capabilities to drive additional mortgage originations.

This is an exciting step forward in the evolution and growth trajectory of our company, Walter Jones, Chairman and CEO of WestStar Mortgage Inc., added. Working together with the management team and capabilities at JG Wentworth provides an exciting vision for the future.

WestStar will join The JG Wentworth Co. as a newly rebranded division under the name JG Wentworth Home Lending, and the division will remain in the companys current headquarters in Woodbridge, Virginia.

The current management team, led by Walter F. Jones, Roger W. Jones, and Kathy Zimpel will focus on leveraging the many assets of JG Wentworth to drive growth and innovation in the mortgage business.

The acquisition is subject to customary closing conditions and regulatory approvals and is expected to be completed in the third quarter of 2015. Advisors to JG Wentworth were Kamp;L Gates, KPMG and Reed Smith LLP. Firms advising WestStar were Houlihan Lokey and SheppardMullin.