World War II Members of the Civil Air Patrol Receive Congressional Gold Medal

by Shelton on December 26th, 2014

filed under Personal Funding

WASHINGTON, Dec. 10, 2014 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ — A Congressional Gold Medal was awarded collectively today to the World War II members of the Civil Air Patrol (CAP) during a ceremony in Emancipation Hall in the US Capitol Visitor Center.

The medal, designed and struck by the United States Mint, recognizes the organization for their humanitarian, combat, and national services during a critical time for our nation.

The CAP began operations under the Office of Civilian Defense on Dec. 1, 1941, one week before the United States entered World War II. Within a few months, the unpaid volunteers became involved in military operations by assisting the US Army and the US Navy. Using privately owned aircraft and personal funding, the CAP members performed numerous essential tasks in support of the military and the nation, including armed convoy and antisubmarine patrols off the Atlantic and Gulf coasts.

The CAP served the nation from March 1942 to August 1943. The heroic aircrew is credited with escorting more than 5,600 convoys, reporting 173 U-boats and attacking 57, flying 86,685 total missions, logging 244,600 total flight hours, and flying more than 24 million total miles.

The medals obverse (heads side) was designed by United States Mint Artistic Infusion Program designer Donna Weaver and sculpted by United States Mint Sculptor-Engraver Don Everhart. The design features two CAP volunteersone male and one femalewatching the skies. In the background, a tanker is escorted by CAP planes overhead. Inscriptions are CIVIL AIR PATROL and 1941-1945.

The medals reverse (tails side), designed by Weaver and sculpted by United States Mint Sculptor-Engraver Michael Gaudioso, features a partial laurel wreath representing honor and service, surrounding CAP insignias. Inscriptions are HONOR, CIVILIAN VOLUNTEERS WHO FLEW ARMED amp; HUMANITARIAN MISSIONS, and ACT OF CONGRESS 2014.

A digital image of the medal is available at http://www.usmint.gov/pressroom/?action=Photo.

Public Law 113-108, which requires the United States Mint to strike the Congressional Gold Medal for the World War II members of the CAP, also authorizes the bureau to strike and sell bronze reproductions of the medal. The three-inch medal (product code CR4) will be priced at $39.95 and the 1.5-inch medal (product code CR5) will be priced at $6.95. Orders will be accepted starting noon Eastern Standard Time on Dec. 11, 2014, via the bureaus online catalog at http://catalog.usmint.gov/ and at 1-800-USA-MINT (872-6468). Hearing- and speech-impaired customers with TTY equipment may call 1-888-321-MINT (6468).

About the United States Mint
The United States Mint was created by Congress in 1792 and became part of the Department of the Treasury in 1873. It is the Nations sole manufacturer of legal tender coinage and is responsible for producing circulating coinage for the Nation to conduct its trade and commerce. The United States Mint also produces numismatic products, including proof, uncirculated, and commemorative coins; Congressional Gold Medals; and silver and gold bullion coins. The United States Mints numismatic programs are self-sustaining and operate at no cost to the taxpayer.

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  • For information about the United States Mint, please visit http://www.usmint.gov/about_the_mint/.
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For more information:
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SOURCE United States Mint

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High Construction Cost, Unskilled Labour Bane Of Affordable Housing

by Shelton on December 25th, 2014

filed under Personal Funding

Housing is one of the most important human needs. The sector, according to experts could be a prime driver of socio-economic development in terms of employment creation if its potentials are fully harnessed.

In Nigeria, the federal government is saddled with the provision of housing for over 160 million Nigerians. The country is estimated to have a housing deficit that ranges between 16 to 17 million. The huge deficit exist because of challenges plaguing the sector such as high cost of buying land and houses; the low and no-income earners are the highest hit by this factor, poor mortgage system, non availability of lands, double taxation, difficulty in getting titles, cost of cement, lack of trained artisans, to mention a few.

Some developers over the years have constantly cried over the non availability of land and lack of fund to carry out a desired project. Most times getting mortgages is cumbersome so some resort to personal funding which may not be much. Other means fund were raised where through Joint Venture Partnership (JVP). Joint venture partnership is collaboration between real estate firms and land owners. In the process the land is given to the developer by the JVP as their equity contribution to mass housing development. As such the cost is pushed to the end user making it difficult for the low and no-income earner to own a house. Others that sort operate the joint venture partnership are left with no option than to buy land at very high rate making the end cost very unrealistic for the average Nigerian.

Reaffirming the difficulty presently experienced in the provision of affordable housing, the minister of housing Mrs, Akon Eyakenyi recently stated that to build a house in Nigeria is a very expensive task due to the high cost of building materials, prevalence of unskilled labour, unnecessary bureaucratic bottlenecks and high cost of provision of enabling infrastructure. She noted that affordable housing cannot be achieved without a drastic reduction in the cost of housing construction and other associated costs which invariably determine the selling price. “Consequently, for affordability to thrive, emphasis must shift to reducing the cost of housing construction in order to promote access to affordable homes to the vulnerable segment of our national population,” She added.

Eyakenyi also noted that providing affordable housing for the low and middle income earners cannot be achieved without the support of government and the provision of incentives to encourage the participation of the private sector. She therefore said that, ” This has brought to the fore the call in many quarters for the intervention of Government in the forms of concessions and waivers, especially on building materials as well as the establishment of factories for the production of building materials by offering incentives to investors and building materials manufacturers. This is even more compelling in view of the reality that that the provision of affordable homes for 167 million Nigerians is an arduous task that cannot be left for the Government alone, especially now that the Government’s revenue is dwindling. It is, therefore, important for all stakeholders to partner with the Government for the realization of the vision of Mr. President that all Nigerians deserve to be adequately housed.”

The federal government in a bid to ensure that housing is available to both the low and no-income earners set up the Nigeria Mortgage Refinancing Company (NMRC). The NMRC is working to enhance the enabling environment for mortgage market growth and increase home ownership by partnering with state governments through a pilot state scheme.

However, Nigerians through union associations have argued that fund from the NMRC should not be placed in the hands of private developers who are profit driven if affordable housing is to be achieved but instead should be given to the Federal Housing Authority (FHA) which has the mandate of delivering housing to Nigerians.

The Senior Staff Association of Communications, Transport and Corporations (SSACTAC) observed with dismay subtle moves by some highly placed people to take over the Federal Housing Authority. The association noted that FHA is saddled with the dual role of providing social and commercial housing and therefore strongly disapprove the privatization of the authority.

SSACTAC president comrade Mohammed Yinusa explained that the FHA has the statutory duty of providing affordable housing but with the constraint of fund has not been able to deliver on its mandate.

Smart Money: Secured credit card doesn’t require poor credit

by Shelton on December 25th, 2014

filed under Secured Credit

DEAR BRUCE: Does a person have to have bad credit to get a secured credit card? — Avid Reader

DEAR AVID READER: It is absolutely not a requisite that you have bad credit to get a secured credit card. But if you don’t have bad credit, then I don’t see any reason to get a secured card. It’s generally going to cost you more than the card issued to a person with good credit, and I see no advantage to you.

As long as an individual has good credit, the best deals will be available to him/her. For people with poor credit or no credit, the secured card is a good way to get back on track for a traditional card.

DEAR BRUCE: I heard from a friend that you have to be in the military to open an account at a credit union. Is this true? — JC

DEAR JC: I think what you have confused is that if you have a credit union established, for example, for members of the Air Force, then you must meet that qualification in order to become a member of that credit union. But a credit union can be established for other affinity groups, say, for people who share a specific occupation, such as accountants. There is absolutely no reason for military preference unless the credit union has been established to benefit military members and perhaps former military members.

o Send questions to bruce@brucewilliams.com. Questions of general interest will be answered in future columns. Owing to the volume of mail, personal replies cannot be provided.

Superior Industries Announces Closing of $100 Million Senior Secured …

by Shelton on December 25th, 2014

filed under Secured Credit

VAN NUYS, Calif. Superior Industries International announced that it has successfully closed a $100 million senior secured revolving credit facility.

As previously announced on Nov. 3, Superior entered into a commitment letter with JP Morgan Securities LLC, JPMorgan Chase Bank NA and Wells Fargo Bank, National Association, pursuant to which, subject to the terms and conditions therein, the Lead Arranger agreed to structure and arrange a senior secured revolving credit facility in an initial aggregate principal amount of $100 million. On Dec. 19, Superior entered into a senior secured credit agreement that consists of a revolving credit facility in an initial aggregate principal amount of $100 million and which has a term of five years, expiring on Dec. 19, 2019. The facility also contains an expansion feature providing for additional revolving credit or term loans in an amount up to $50 million, which remain uncommitted to by any lenders.

Superior said it intends to use the borrowings to finance the working capital needs, and for general corporate purposes, including, among other things, to pursue future opportunities and projects to support profitable growth and create shareholder value.

World War II Civil Air Patrol Congressional Gold Medal

by Shelton on December 24th, 2014

filed under Personal Funding

At a ceremony held on December 10, 2014 in Emancipation Hall at the US Capitol Visitor Center, a Congressional Gold Medal was collectively awarded to the World War II members of the Civil Air Patrol (CAP). The medal recognizes the organization for their humanitarian, combat, and national services during a critical time for our nation.

The unpaid volunteer civilian members of the Civil Air Patrol had used their own aircraft and personal funding to perform a myriad of essential tasks for the military and the Nation during World War II. From March 1942 to August 1943, the heroic aircrew is credited with escorting more than 5,600 convoys, reporting 173 U-boats and attacking 57, flying 86,685 total missions, logging 244,600 total flight hours, and flying more than 24 million total miles.

Under Public Law 113-108, enacted on May 30, 2014, a single Congressional Gold Medal was authorized to be awarded to the World War II members for the Civil Air Patrol in recognition of their exemplary record during World War II.

The obverse design of the medal features a depiction of two CAP volunteers looking towards the skies. In the background, a tanker is escorted by CAP planes overhead. The inscriptions read Civil Air Patrol and 1941-1945. The obverse was designed by United States Mint Artistic Infusion Program designer Donna Weaver and sculpted by United States Mint Sculptor-Engraver Don Everhart.

The reverse features a partial laurel wreath representing honor and service surrounding CAP insignias. The inscriptions include Honor, Civilian Volunteers Who Flew Armed amp; Humanitarian Missions, and Act of Congress 2014. The reverse was designed by Donna Weaver and sculpted by United States Mint Sculptor-Engraver Michael Gaudioso.

The United States Mint has made available for sale to the public bronze duplicate versions of the medal. A 3-inch medal is priced at $39.95 each and a 1.5 inch medal is priced at $6.95. These medals went on sale December 11, 2014 at 12:00 Noon ET.

Smart Money: Secured credit card only involves poor credit

by Shelton on December 24th, 2014

filed under Secured Credit

Dear Bruce: Does a person have to have bad credit to get a secured credit card? #x2014; Avid Reader

Dear Avid Reader: It is absolutely not a requisite that you have bad credit to get a secured credit card. But if you dont have bad credit, then I dont see any reason to get a secured card. Its generally going to cost you more than the card issued to a person with good credit, and I see no advantage to you.

As long as an individual has good credit, the best deals will be available to him/her. For people with poor credit or no credit, the secured card is a good way to get back on track for a traditional card.

Dear Bruce: I heard from a friend that you have to be in the military to open an account at a credit union. Is this true? #x2014; JC

Dear JC: I think what you have confused is that if you have a credit union established, for example, for members of the Air Force, then you must meet that qualification in order to become a member of that credit union. But a credit union can be established for other affinity groups, say, for people who share a specific occupation, such as accountants. There is absolutely no reason for military preference unless the credit union has been established to benefit military members and perhaps former military members.

Dear Bruce: I have a question about putting rental properties in an LLC. I own three rental properties in Las Vegas; one has $150,000 in equity and the other two are underwater. I also have two rental properties in Florida; both have no mortgages. Should I put each property in its own LLC, or all five in one LLC? #x2014;#xa0;JM

Dear JM: First, lets put everything in order. The property that you own free and clear in Las Vegas is no problem. Also, the rental properties in Florida have no mortgages. If you wish to put each in its own LLC, and frankly, that would be my choice, no problem.

Then there are the two you say are underwater. To be technically underwater, they would have to be mortgaged, so I am assuming that they are mortgaged. I cant imagine why the mortgage company would allow you to take your name off of them, given the fact that the company is better protected having the property in your name and you having the responsibility of paying the obligation.

I will tell you that the separate properties I own and have owned in the past have all been in a separate corporation. An LLC would be my choice.

Dear Bruce: How come mortgage companies can trade your mortgage to other companies? #x2014;#xa0;RT

Dear RT: The answer is simple. The mortgage obligation that is owed to a mortgage company may be traded as long as someone else is willing to purchase it. Whether its a profit or loss has absolutely no bearing. If the two parties #x2014; the buyer and the seller #x2014; come to an agreement, it can be bought and sold.

I can understand how you might be a little uncomfortable having someone other than the people you chose holding your mortgage, but uncomfortable or not, its a perfectly proper proposition. There is no reason for you to worry. The second holder is bound by all of the terms in the original mortgage.

Send questions to bruce@brucewilliams.com.

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2014 a watershed year for alternative funding

by Shelton on December 23rd, 2014

filed under Unsecured Finance

The terms ‘challenger bank’ and ‘alternative funding’ were virtually unheard of before 2007. However, in recent years they have started to receive considerable attention, and their importance amp; influence on today’s financial landscape is undeniable.

So, what has happened to raise the profile of this ‘new’ market? Well, quite a lot really.

In 2008 Lehman Bros fell over and the world changed. Who had ever heard of Quantative Easing? Who thought HBOS and RBS would have to be rescued? It goes on.

And yet the sky did not fall in. Small British businesses kept on trading, kept on cutting hair, servicing cars, selling beer and wine, doggedly kept their retail premises open and provided holiday lets in those quintessentially gorgeous parts of the UK. Yes there was also failure – but in truth there always is.

From late 2008 and well into 2010, it was rather grim for business. It was grim for everyone. But it did start to get better. During this time the crowd funding amp; peer to peer lending industry started. New banks opened their doors to the SME sector. Specialist Invoice discounters appeared and cash advance was created. The alternative funders had arrived.

This “alternative” industry came about to fill the vacuum left by the major high street banks as they re-evaluated their own industry and were no longer all things to all businesses.

Rather than “bashing banks” amp; pointing the finger, it needs to be understood that these banks are providing a good service but have moved on. In the modern age traditional banks are never going to take a corner shop to a national high street chain, providing every conceivable financial service along the way. This is the vacuum the alternative funders have filled – especially for small to medium sized businesses looking for shorter term unsecured finance.  

In 2014 the alternative funding industry is reported to stand at £1.8billion and likely to double in 12-18 months. The UK is showing better growth than any other country in Europe. The Small Business Enterprise amp; Employment Bill is expected to come into force in early 2015. New businesses are being created at record levels. Funding is required to fuel growth.

Will we look back at 2014 and say was that the year when alternative funding became mainstream? Yes.

By Ian Morrison, director of underwriting and risk at Liquid Finance

liquidfinance.co.uk

#National

#banking
#finance
#funding

Leo Ledohowski of Canad Inns fires back against sexual harassment claim

by Shelton on December 22nd, 2014

filed under House Loan

The couple is seeking unspecified damages, including punitive and aggravated damages.

They also allege that Ledohowski and Canad engaged in a course of reprisal after the woman rejected his advances and fired them.

Ledohowskis lawsuit describes how Canad hired Ventresca in March of 2010 with an annual salary of $150,000 and living accommodations until Aug. 31 that year at one of Canads facilities. Ventresca was also given an expense account of $6,000 a year for business purposes.

The agreement also said Ventresca could be fired at any time. If the company let him go without just cause, it would provide notice in writing or payment in lieu, according to the provinces employment standards code.

Ledohowskis lawsuit denies Ventresca was hired for a five-year term.

The lawsuit alleges Ventresca failed to perform the requirements of his job and was paid according to the contract, $11,538.02, which Ventresca accepted.The lawsuit argues that his acceptance of the money precludes any further payment.

Ledohowski also alleges Ventresca improperly used his expense account and privileges as COO by racking up costs of $99,594 between 2010 and 2012 for hotel bills for himself and his and his wifes family members at a number of the companys hotels, including the Garden City Canad Inn, Polo Park and Grand Forks, ND, as well as at the Radisson Hotel.

Food and beverage charges were also charged to the expense account, Ledohowski alleges.

Ledohowski also claims Ventresca acted towards other Canad employees with a lack of civility and respect.

He said Ventresca had been warned a number of times his behaviour was inappropriate.

Couple missed deadline to pay back house loan

Ledohowskis lawsuit says after Ventresca started his job as COO, he asked the company to help him buy a house in Winnipeg, and the company lent him $423,963.94 that was to be repaid within a month, by the end of January 2011.

But it claims the couple failed to meet the deadline.The lawsuit claims costs of $132,929.84.

Ledohowskis lawsuit says OReilly was hired as corporate trainer for $52,000 a year and gave her a vehicle allowance of $300 a month.

But it alleges she did not develop the training program she was hired to do, didnt come to work despite demands to do so, used some of Ventrescas expense account funds improperly and made aggressive and untoward comments to colleagues.

It says when she was fired, OReilly accepted a payment of $2,069.91, which waives the companys obligation to pay her any further.

The lawsuit also says proof that the company treated Ventresca and OReilly with respect is contained in an email OReilly sent on Aug. 20, 2012, in which she thanks Ledohowski for being so kind and respectable to her and her husband.

The email also said, You are a great man. I value you and everything you have done for us very much.

The lawsuit also says the couples claim of sexual harassment is refuted by this email and thatthe allegations are outrageous and without any foundation whatsoever, and that the companys human resource department investigatedthe allegations and found them to be untrue.

The lawsuit is suing the couple for approximately $233,000 in total.

The couples lawyer declined comment.

None of the claims has been proven in court.

Usher And Hon. Boots Square Off On Sidewalk

by Shelton on December 22nd, 2014

filed under House Loan

Gilroy Usher Senior has been making a name for himself in the media recently. We wouldnt say hes a nationally known figure but with the egg
throwing stunt he pulled in early October, he certainly earned some recognition after all nobody had thrown egg at the Guatemalan Embassy before.

And today, he turned his focus from national issues to the division where he is running. Thats Port Loyola where he is challenging incumbent Anthony
Boots Martinez for a second time.

Todays protest was designed to challenge Martinez as the Minister of Poverty Alleviation but it ended up in a sidewalk face that will make you need
laughter alleviation. And while it ended in comic relief it started on a confrontational note:hellip;.

This morning at 9:30. a few dozen supporters gathered under the bus shed on Central American Boulevard.

They had music, placards and attitude.

But what we didnt see were any elected PUP representatives.

And we can see why it was kind of amateur hour with Usher publicly rehearsing the responsorial:

Gilroy Usher – Std. Bearer Port Loyola

When I say no house loan no, you say no christman money. Then we will say, tired of paying and you say, house rent.

They picked up the lines quickly enough and so did Ushers supporting cast:

Yasmin Shoman – Std. Bearer – Collett

Theyre talking about Petrocaribe money, well roll the houses Mr. Prime Minister, roll the houses.

Lennox Tambran Young – City Council Canddiate

People cant eat streets, people need better housing. People need to feed their children, people need to send them to school.

Gilroy Usher, Std. Bearer Port Loyola

Despite a billion dollar budget in addition to millions of dollars in separate loans, there is absolutely no proper low income housing. I want to
assure you that this demonstration today is just the start of the resistance in Port Loyola to get the government to address our needs with jobs, land,
better education and proper streets and drains among other things. Let the word go forth, let the word go forth.

And the crowd went forth though a recently paved Jane Usher Boulevard. Only two southside PUP politicians joined usher but the crowd was almost one
hundred.

They marched through the area eventually going off the beaten path into some areas with housing problems.

We werent there but area representative Boots Martinez lined up to watch them at one point and he told us he counted 7 actual Port Loyola voters in the
crowd.

That became the subject of an ugly but entertaining street side dispute where both politicians went after each other for 15 solid minutes much to the
amusement of a crowd that gathered around.

And it got personal too: Martinez lectured Usher about the 25% interest rate at his pawnshop while Usher challenged him about his many private
properties.

At one point they even started arguing about who had the better failed newspaper! Akebulan or Liberty.

Folks, it was a heavyweight fight alright, but there were only low blows in this one!

And the winner? Well that will be decided a few years from now.

The drumming went on for minutes after that and in the end no blows were thrown but after all the finger pointing, heres a tally of the damage done:
Boots Martinez one torn short pocket after Ushers pointing finger got stuck in there; Gilroy Usher one twisted glasses frame after Martinez knocked
his off doing the same thing, pointing.

But the good news is both men left the argument still laughing at each other.

City Business Solutions: 5 Valuable Tips for Budding Entrepreneurs

by Shelton on December 21st, 2014

filed under Personal Funding

After dropping everything to start a company, an entrepreneur must define his or her limits. Create a detailed business plan and dont stop there. City Business Solutions says that entrepreneurs should create a detailed plan for themselves. They should outline how much personal funding they will put into the company, set a budget for personal expenses and give themselves a deadline.