Monthly Archives: June 2014

Judge Lets Christie Cut Pension Payment This Year

His revised payment covers pension costs accrued during the current fiscal year, but not the unfunded liability that has accumulated over time, which the governor has referred to as the “sins of the past.” The fiscal crisis emerged after tax revenue in April fell short of the Treasury Department’s projections. Unions said Christie could not dip into the funds budgeted for the pension. They pointed to a provision in a 2011 law that gave union members a contractual right to statutorily mandated payments by the state. The law was part of a broader change of the pension system, beginning in 2010, that required the state to phase in larger payments over seven years in exchange for increased employee contributions. There are about 800,000 active and retired employees in the pension system. The unions filed suit this month seeking a preliminary injunction either to compel the Christie administration to make the full payment or to allocate $300 million in surplus for the next fiscal year to the pension fund. They also asked Jacobson to freeze the state’s remaining nonessential appropriations.
For the original version including any supplementary images or video, visit http://www.philly.com/philly/news/local/20140626_Calling_budget_gap__staggering___judge_backs_Christie_s_decision_to_cut_pension_payment.html

General Liability Insurance: 3 Costly Mistakes To Avoid | Fox Small Business Center

Insurance experts discussed some costly mistakes that small business owners frequently make concerning their general liability insurance, and what you can do to make sure your business is fully protected. Thinking you don’t need insurance One of the worst assumptions a business owner can make is that he or she doesn’t need any insurance coverage. While you may not have a lot of room in your budget, the price you’ll pay for a lawsuit if something goes wrong is far greater than any monthly premium for basic liability insurance. [Small Business Insurance: Where to Start] “By not properly assessing their risks, small business owners may conclude that they do not need insurance,” said Stephen Leveroni, executive vice president and general business practice leader at insurance and financial services firm The ABD Team. “Those that start in their homes may have the false assumption that their homeowners’ insurance policy provides coverage [for their business].” Leveroni also pointed out that structuring your company as a corporation, LLP or LLC does not mean you don’t need a general liability policy. “While [the structures of] these entities do help, they are not substitutes for liability insurance,” he told Business News Daily. Assuming your policy covers everything While general liability coverage does address the most common business risks, it’s not necessarily a catch-all for every possible scenario.
For the original version including any supplementary images or video, visit http://smallbusiness.foxbusiness.com/finance-accounting/2014/05/07/general-liability-insurance-3-costly-mistakes-to-avoid/

Hud Commissioner Wrong About Fha Mortgage Insurance – Forbes

PMI (Private Mortgage Insurance) is in fact risk based and the costs are scaled based on risk layers, with the riskiest borrowers paying significantly less than comparable FHA borrowers. Consider the PMI costs for the riskiest borrowers of a minimum down-payment conventional loan of $200,000. Private sector mortgage insurance would cost $217/month, while public sector FHA MIP would cost $3,500 up front and $225/month forever. Comparable monthly costs but $3,500 up front, for what?! And oh by the way, that $3,500 is added to the $200,000 loan and the FHA borrower pays interest on it for 30 years. According to the Commissioner, MIP pricing is risk based and appropriate, when in fact FHA MIP premiums fund government initiatives that have nothing to do with mortgage financing, and as a result, these premiums factor more than just borrower risk in the equation. Right now in our nations capital, the OMB (Office of Management and Budget) is dancing with the CBO (Congressional Budget Office), trying to estimate revenues from FHA MIPs to craft a spending bill for transportation and housing programs that are funded by FHA Mortgage Insurance Premiums. Yet we are to believe that these premiums are strictly risk based and appropriate. As a mortgage originator on the front lines and somebody that actually works with FHA borrowers, I can argue with credibility that these premiums are not priced appropriately and do not reflect taxpayer risk, and that they have in fact, priced buyers out of the housing market. I am certain there is a blockbuster body of reasoning that the HUD team confidently parades to justify raising FHA MIP to where it is now, and I will bet that it sounds logical and well thought out. But it is wrong, FHA loan volume is dropping dramatically, and oh, by the way, that means fewer people are buying houses, ergo, overpriced FHA MIP is negatively impacting the housing market. I am calling on the Commissioner to lower FHA MIP, to accelerate loan volume (see The Law of Demand), and let market forces bring the housing markets up to full throttle.
For the original version including any supplementary images or video, visit http://www.forbes.com/sites/markgreene/2014/05/08/hud-commissioner-wrong-about-fha-mortgage-insurance/

What To Do About The Pension System: Letters | Nj.com

Chris Christies statement in The Star-Ledger (N.J. budget panels OK tax hikes on wealthy, June 25) that the state pension system is bloated and broken and therefore should not be rescued. I worked for Morris County for 32 years, retiring 15 years ago. We earned modest salaries and got modest raises. Double- or triple-dipping wasnt allowed.
For the original version including any supplementary images or video, visit http://www.nj.com/opinion/index.ssf/2014/06/what_to_do_about_pension_payments_letters.html

Court Judgments For Debt: Your Options After The Gavel | Fox Business

Debt judgments often trigger bankruptcies, especially if multiple debts are unpaid. Bankruptcy provides a partial shield against collectors, but carries its own costs and risks that must be weighed against what you stand to gain. Stay judgment-proof. People with few assets and modest income may be “judgment-proof,” because legal protections exempt them from collection. But that does not mean you can ignore a judgment. It takes work to determine that your wages and belongings are protected from seizure by a complex web of state and federal exemptions. And you should take steps to head off wrongful collection attempts on your exempt property before they happen, consumer attorneys say. Judgment’s consequences The worst choice to make about a judgment is to ignore it, experts say. Many people do so out of fear of the court process, but the consequences get ugly.
For the original version including any supplementary images or video, visit http://www.foxbusiness.com/personal-finance/2014/05/06/court-judgments-for-debt-your-options-after-gavel/

The Most Important Liability Insurance Coverage Judge – Law360

So if there were a ranking of important liability insurance coverage judges in America, someone would have to hold the top spot. If such a list really did exist, I believe that Texas Supreme Court Justice Don R.Willett would be deserving of it. Obviously, this is an incredibly subjective and unscientific conclusion on my part. And, when I say my part, I really mean… To view the full article, take a free trial now.
For the original version including any supplementary images or video, visit http://www.law360.com/articles/534823/the-most-important-liability-insurance-coverage-judge

Pension Fund Pares Em Etf Holdings – Yahoo Finance

A link has been sent. Done Pension Fund Pares EM ETF Holdings By ETFtrends.com May 9, 2014 11:53 AM 0 shares Content preferences Done The New Jersey Pension Fund, previously one of the largest holders of emerging markets exchange traded funds, is reducing its exposure to ETFs tracking developing world equities. New Jerseys pension plan, which has 767,000 beneficiaries, has slashed its stake in the Vanguard FTSE Emerging Markets ETF ( VWO ) , the largest emerging markets ETF by assets, to $109 million from $1.9 billion in 2012. Emerging-market equities made up 6.56 percent of the pension funds assets as of February, down from 7.65 percent four months earlier and under its target of 8 percent, Boris Korby reports for Bloomberg . New Jerseys departure from emerging markets ETFs comes as the group has been rebounding. [Emerging Markets ETFs Gain New Cash] Over the past 90 days, VWO and EEM are up an average of 8.5% as stocks from Brazil to India have surged. Performances by those emerging markets ETFs and others are made all the more impressive when considering the struggles of Chinese equities and increased geopolitical volatility courtesy of Russia.
For the original version including any supplementary images or video, visit http://finance.yahoo.com/news/pension-fund-pares-em-etf-155302453.html

Pennymac Mortgage Investment Trust Becomes Oversold – Forbes

We define oversold territory using the Relative Strength Index, or RSI, which is a technical analysis indicator used to measure momentum on a scale of zero to 100. A stock is considered to be oversold if the RSI reading falls below 30. Click here to find out what 9 other oversold dividend stocks you need to know about, at DividendChannel.com In the case of Pennymac Mortgage Investment Trust, the RSI reading has hit 27.6 by comparison, the universe of dividend stocks covered by Dividend Channel currently has an average RSI of 56.3. A falling stock price all else being equal creates a better opportunity for dividend investors to capture a higher yield. Indeed, PMTs recent annualized dividend of 2.36/share (currently paid in quarterly installments) works out to an annual yield of 10.12% based upon the recent $23.33 share price. A bullish investor could look at PMTs 27.6 RSI reading today as a sign that the recent heavy selling is in the process of exhausting itself, and begin to look for entry point opportunities on the buy side. Among the fundamental datapoints dividend investors should investigate to decide if they are bullish on PMT is its dividend history. In general, dividends are not always predictable; but, looking at the history chart below can help in judging whether the most recent dividend is likely to continue.
For the original version including any supplementary images or video, visit http://www.forbes.com/sites/dividendchannel/2014/05/08/pennymac-mortgage-investment-trust-becomes-oversold/

Four In Ten Rely On Credit To Pay Their Bills: Personal Debt Now Stands At £139billion | Mail Online

Kevin Mountford, head of banking at moneysupermarket.com, said the figures should make people question the economic recovery Head of banking at the website, Kevin Mountford, said: Last week figures revealed the British economy expanded by 1.9 per cent in 2013 the fastest GDP growth since the first quarter of 2008. While this is positive news, and highlights that consumer spending is on the up, it is worth drawing a parallel to the fact that we should stop and think about how much of this spending is in the form of borrowing on unsecured credit. As our report shows, two thirds of consumers have some form of unsecured debt, and as such, it makes me question how much of a real recovery we are actually seeing if people are spending on credit rather than using money they actually have. Some 60per cent of those with unsecured debts said they were expecting to clear them within a year, while a further 12per cent thought it would take two. However, if they are to stick to these plans, it will take a huge slice out of their income. Mr Mountford said: With such a large proportion of people owing money on credit cards, loans, overdrafts and many other unsecured credit vehicles, it should be noted that while rates are low at the moment, and the cost of borrowing is the cheapest it has been in a very long time, rates will go up at some point. Those who have fixed rate products are in a more fortunate position, however their fixed rate wont last forever. Regardless of whether you have fixed or not, I would suggest trying to pay down as much debt as you can now before rates do start to climb.
For the original version including any supplementary images or video, visit http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2553514/Four-ten-rely-credit-pay-bills-Personal-debt-stands-139billion.html

Pension Expert Offers Five-step Plan For Reform – News – News Item

Another legislative proposal calls for borrowing $9 billion in pension obligation bonds to refinance a portion of the nearly $50 billion long-term debt for the State Employees Retirement System and Public School Employees Retirement System. Dreyfuss strongly opposes such pension loans, which he says transfer debt from one source to another and gives further incentives to underfund pensions. “We have not put in the proper (pension contribution) amounts and there’s really no appetite to do so” in Harrisburg, he said. – Adopt funding reforms consistent with Government Accounting Standards Board requirements requiring unfunded liabilities to appear on employers’ balance sheets. – Modify “unearned” pension benefits by redefining early and normal retirement benefits, increasing member contributions, eliminating annual cost of living adjustments and deferred benefits, and revising other post-employment benefits such as retiree health care. – Consider other reforms only after the prior four steps are achieved, preferably without increasing taxes or through new borrowing. Dreyfuss also is an associate of the Pennsylvania Economy League, which is an Act 47 distressed municipalities coordinator for the state. He also spoke Wednesday at Genetti Hotel in Wilkes-Barre at a PEL Northeast Issues Forum titled “Pennsylvania’s Public Pension Crisis: Causes, Costs, Challenges and Solutions,” and co-sponsored by the Greater Wilkes-Barre Chamber of Business and Industry. “It’s very easy to look at this, as some do, as ‘the taxpayer against the union,’ but my point is that the pension system is an institutional problem,” Dreyfuss said.
For the original version including any supplementary images or video, visit http://newsitem.com/news/pension-expert-offers-five-step-plan-for-reform-1.1682773