Author: Helen


Shocking fraud has Durham police issuing a warning

July 30, 2014

Prepaid Credit Cards

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In several instances, suspects have been calling citizens or business owners and saying they are from Veridian Connections or other legitimate electricity distributors, police note. People are being told they are more than $1,000 behind in their bills and the power would be shut off if the bill isnt paid immediately.

People are told to make a credit card payment or use prepaid credit cards from stores and forward the numbers to the caller. Down payments of hundreds of dollars are also encouraged.

The callers have set up an answering machine and a toll-free number to make it appear its a legitimate hydro company.

Anyone with similar experiences is asked to contact the DRPS at 1-888-579-1520.


Northbrook Police Warn of Phone Scams

July 30, 2014

Prepaid Credit Cards

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The following is from the Northbrook Police Department:

The few minutes you take to read this and share with your friends,
family and co-workers may save you $$$!

Scams, Frauds and Con Artists…. A few new facts to know:

There has been a recent flood of phone scams
in our area and throughout the country. If you did not initiate the contact,
don’t give any personal information over the phone, online or let someone into
your home.

A common scam that has been reported to Northbrook Police, as well as in
surrounding area communities, involves a caller claiming to be with an agency
or utility such as the IRS, ComEd, ATT or another common business. They will
advise that there was an error in your taxes or a late bill, and that you need
to get a prepaid credit card and give them the access code immediately to avoid
penalties, disconnection of the utility or even jail. The caller instructs the
victim to put money on a debit/gift card or free pay card such as a GreenDot
Card and provide the card number and access code as payment. (Another popular
phone scam is when an unknown caller tells you that you won a prize but you
just have to pay for the taxes prior to receiving the prize. In addition, be
weary if you receive a telephone call from someone claiming to be a family
member asking for money to be sent to them.)

No one from any legitimate agency would ever ask you to purchase and pay
with prepaid credit cards. If you are ever requested to pay a bill over the
phone with a debit or Green Dot Card – STOP – and disconnect the call
immediately. Once the card information is given to a scammer there is NO
getting the money back or canceling the card, the money is gone!

This is
happening to both residents and businesses. Most recently to two local businesses.

Any questions or concerns can be directed to the Northbrook Police Department
Crime Prevention Unit at 847/664-4427.

Remember…Unless you initiate the call or contact with a bank, credit
card company or any other service provider, do not give any information when an
email or phone call is received. More often than not these are
#34;Phishing#34; attempts.

Phishing is the act of attempting to acquire information such as usernames,
passwords, credit card details, and personal information by masquerading as a
trustworthy entity in an electronic communication.


The PrivateBank Announces $10 Million in Financing for Rehab, Purchase of …

July 30, 2014

Personal Financial Services

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The PrivateBank will also provide funding to administer the program, and will work with the CCLBA and nonprofit organizations to identify prospective buyers and provide required home buyer counseling. Under the program, rehab services will be provided by pre-qualified contractors, with an emphasis on supporting small businesses in the communities where the properties are located. Eligible properties are those owned by the CCLBA, which acquires the parcels through purchase or donation.

The PrivateBank will provide construction financing for the rehabilitation work, which will have the homes move-in ready upon completion. Additionally, borrowers will be eligible to apply for a SMART Affordable Mortgage from The PrivateBank for the home purchase. The SMART Affordable Mortgage offers low down-payment options, does not require Private Mortgage Insurance (PMI) and has attractive rates.

As the economic recovery has been slow to reach some of the areas with the most need and many of our neighborhoods continue to recover, The PrivateBank is proud to make this $10 million, multi-year commitment to support efforts that will create sustainable housing in our communities, said

Larry D. Richman, President and Chief Executive Officer, The PrivateBank. By providing responsible financing options, educational opportunities and community support, we have made an important commitment that will help improve the pace of the recovery with a particular emphasis on affordable housing and small business development. Vibrant neighborhoods contribute to economic sustainability through job growth and education. And strong neighborhoods make for a stronger Cook County for all of us.

To support its commitment to creating stronger neighborhoods, The PrivateBank has:

  • Provided over $1.5 billion toward community development lending since 2010. This financing supports affordable housing, community services, economic development and revitalization in the communities we serve.
  • Committed $1 million in grants in 2014 to strengthen low- and moderate-income communities, including $250,000 to support affordable housing efforts in Chicago, Detroit and St. Louis.
  • Created its Entrepreneurial Loan Fund, which provides up to $10,000 in financing to start-ups and up to $25,000 in financing to established small businesses participating in select entrepreneurial training programs in Chicago and St. Louis.
  • Created a $500,000 program that provides qualified borrowers with closing cost assistance, down payment assistance and other attractive terms.
  • Conducted homebuyer seminars in partnership with nonprofits in several communities to educate prospective homebuyers on the requirements of responsible home ownership.
  • Recorded over 45,000 volunteer service hours since 2007 in areas such as financial literacy and tax preparation as well as providing specific expertise to organizations devoted to underserved communities.

About The PrivateBank

PrivateBancorp, Inc., through its subsidiaries, delivers customized business and personal financial services to middle-market companies, as well as business owners, executives, entrepreneurs and families in all of the markets and communities we serve. As of June 30, 2014, the Company had 33 offices in 10 states and $14.6 billion in assets. Our website is www.theprivatebank.com.

Logo – http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20140717/128451

SOURCE The PrivateBank


Aust Unity bids for Premium Wealth Management

July 30, 2014

Personal Financial Services

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Financial planning dealer group, Premium Wealth Management has confirmed that its shareholders are considering a bid from financial services group, Australian Unity.

The companies announced they had executed a non-binding indicative offer under which Australian Unity Personal Financial Services would acquire all the shares in Premium Wealth Management.

Money Management understands that the approach from Australian Unity has been under consideration by Premium Wealth Management for a number of weeks.

Money Management understands that Australian Unity has been looking to sustain growth in its wealth management business on the back of the positive contribution reported in the companys half-year result, lodged with the Australian Securities Exchange in February.

Premium Wealth Management describes itself as being wholly-owned by its members.

Commenting on the potential acquisition, Australian Unity Personal Financial Services chief executive, Steve Davis said the addition of Premium would increase Australian Unitys financial advice capability and its exposure in the accountants space.

Premium Wealth Management chairman and founder, Simon Wu, said his board was attracted to Australian Unity for many reasons, including their long term involvement in the accountants market and that they clearly see the value of Premium and recognise the quality of their practices.


Small-business resources

July 29, 2014

Understanding Your Credit Report

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Tuesday

Build Your Own Website Using WordPress: Hosted by SCORE Houston. 9 am-1 pm, Palm Center Technology Center, 5330 Griggs Road. Cost $49. Registration: www. scorehouston.org.

What You Need to Know Before Buying a Franchise: 9-11:30 am, UH SBDC, 2302 Fannin, Suite 200. Cost: $29. Registration: www.sbdc.uh.edu.

Starting Your Business: 9 am-4 pm, UH SBDC, 2302 Fannin, Suite 200. Cost: $25, including lunch. Registration: www.sbdc.uh.edu.

QuickBooks Pro 2014: July 15 and July 17, 9 am-1:30 pm, UH SBDC, 2302 Fannin, Suite 200. Cost: $129. Registration: www.sbdc.uh.edu.

Wednesday

Houston Minority Supplier Development Council Minority-Owned Business Certification: 9-11 am, UH SBDC, 2302 Fannin, Suite 200. Cost: No fee. Registration: www.sbdc.uh.edu.

State and Federal Taxes for Sole Proprietors: 9-11:30 am, UH SBDC, 2302 Fannin, Suite 200. Cost: $19. Registration: www.sbdc.uh.edu.

Doing Business With Japan: 10 am-noon, UH SBDC, 2302 Fannin, Suite 200. Cost: $19. Registration: www.sbdc.uh.edu.

Thursday

Getting Started With Inter- net Marketing and SEO: 9 am -noon, UH SBDC, 2302 Fannin, Suite 200. Cost: $29. Registra- tion: www.sbdc.uh.edu.

Choosing a Legal Entity: 10 am-12:30 pm, UH SBDC, 2302 Fannin, Suite 200. Cost: $19. Registration: www.sbdc.uh.edu.

Friday

Capital One Straight Talk Workshop Series: Hosted by SCORE. Noon-3 pm, Wesley Community Center, 1410 Lee St. Topics: Understanding Your Credit Report; How To Legally Operate Your Houston-based Business; and 7 Ingredients for Creating Great Customer Experiences. Cost: Free. Registration: www.scorehouston.org.

Saturday

QuickBooks for Intermediate Users: Hosted by SCORE Houston. 9 am-1 pm, Palm Center Technology Center, 5330 Griggs Road. Cost $99. Registration: www.scorehouston.org.


New London to question Carter further

July 29, 2014

Chapter 7 Bankruptcy

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New London Before the Board of Education meets Thursday night to vote on a contract for Terrence P. Carter, its unanimous selection as the citys next superintendent of schools, it will hold a closed-door conference call to question him further about his academic record.

On Monday, the Board of Education canceled its scheduled meeting to vote on Carters contract in order to provide Board of Education members with the opportunity to fully clarify and consider recent statements and assertions concerning Terrence Carter, according to a press release issued by the school system.

The Hartford Courant reported Friday that Carter is listed as PhD or Dr. Terrence P. Carter on numerous documents over the past five years, including book jackets, programs for symposiums and Chicago Board of Education publications. Carter has not yet received a doctorate in educational studies.

And, according to court documents, Carter has a history of defaulting on financial obligations and has filed for bankruptcy in two states. His claims, though, were dismissed because he failed to appear at a court-scheduled meeting or file required paperwork.

In a Feb. 3, 2012, filing for Chapter 13 bankruptcy, Carter claimed a total of $768,649 in liabilities, including $211,224 in student loan obligations, and reported $338,654 in assets. He listed his average monthly income as $7,134.53 and claimed $4,758 in monthly household expenses, according to documents filed in the US Bankruptcy Courts Northern District of Illinois.

Chapter 13 bankruptcy allows a debtor who earns a regular income to propose a plan to repay debts over a three- or five-year period, according to court documents.

Carters filing lists 14 creditors, including American Express, Citibank, Sallie Mae and the US Department of Education.

Panos Brothers Construction and Painting, an Illinois-based company listed as a creditor in Carters 2012 bankruptcy filing, placed a contractors lien on Carters Chicago condo in January 2012.

According to forms filed by the companys attorney, Carter hired the company to renovate and paint his Chicago condo but never paid the $18,512 bill.

A copy of the signed contract, which was included in court filings, details the anticipated prices for painting and carpeting three bedrooms, installing engineered wood flooring in a handful of rooms, and other work.

The contract was signed June 30, 2011, and Panos Brothers completed the work by Sept. 8, 2011, documents show. On Nov. 29, 2011, Panos Brothers sent Carter an invoice for the outstanding $18,512.

The bankruptcy case was dismissed by the judge on July 19, 2012, because Carter failed to file the required documents, according to the court order. Carters repayment plan was not confirmed by the court and appears to be unfeasible as the debtors disposable income is less than the proposed plan payments, according to the order.

The contractors lien on Carters property was released on Sept. 25, 2013, after he and Panos Brothers agreed to a settlement, according to records from the Cook County Recorder of Deeds.

And in 1999, while Carter was living and working in California, he filed paperwork in the US Bankruptcy Courts Northern District of California for Chapter 7 bankruptcy, the chapter of the bankruptcy code that allows for the liquidation of the debtors property to repay creditors.

Court documents show that Carter filed for bankruptcy on Oct. 4, 1999, and was indebted to a number of banks, student loan companies and Saks Fifth Avenue.

On Dec. 22, 1999, the California judge dismissed the case because Carter had failed to appear at a meeting with his creditors, according to the court documents.

In an email Monday, Carter said, These events are of a personal family matter, and have been settled. They were disclosed to the search and selection committees, and Board of Education.

Board President Margaret Mary Curtin confirmed Monday night that the board was aware of Carters financial history before selecting him for the superintendents position.

We cannot not hire him because of that, she said. There is a law against that.

When asked if Carters financial records gave her any cause for concern, Curtin replied that they did not. When pressed further, Curtin declined to comment.

Other Board of Education members on Monday night declined to comment and referred inquiries to Curtin.

On Thursday, the board will meet in executive session at 6:30 pm to speak with Carter by phone and then will convene a special meeting at 7:30 pm to consider further action on the superintendents contract, according to the press release.

c.young@theday.com


The Sukuk Financing Model for Green Projects

July 29, 2014

Financial Topics

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By Michael Green, Head of Derivatives and Structured Finance in the Treasury Department of the World Bank.

Surveying the available financing models in the Middle East for sustainable infrastructure projects, Sukuk appears as a viable option to match the regions growth.

Three trends are discernible in the current global financial market:

1. Banks are reluctant to commit long-term capital to infrastructure finance due to stricter capital requirements;

2. An increasing number of investors are interested in environmentally sustainable investing, in other words, investing to promote activities that are seen as being positive for the environment;

3. The market for sukuk, the Islamic financial instrument most similar to a conventional bond is growing significantly.

While these three trends are distinct and not obviously related, taken together, they create a market opportunity for sukuk to be used as a tool to finance environmentally sustainable infrastructure projects.

The need tor significant infrastructure spending is obvious in both developed as well as developing countries. From crumbling transportation infrastructure in the United States to inadequate power generation capacity in India, the evidence is clear that improving infrastructure is a global priority. At the same time, popular concern about climate change and the detrimental impact of increasing greenhouse gas emissions has made improving infrastructure in an environmentally sensitive manner a priority also.

Banks, the traditional providers of debt finance for infrastructure projects have been pulling back from this type of lending due to regulatory changes that have decreased bank appetites for longer dated risk. Capital markets investors are in theory, well-placed to replace banks as the providers of debt finance for infrastructure, given that many projects offer relatively high yields with low correlation with other types of fixed income instruments.

However debt financing of infrastructure projects would be an entirely new and unfamiliar asset class tor most capital markets investors. As a result, intermediaries will need to engage in considerable marketing efforts to interest capital markets investors in infrastructure and the investments will need to be packaged in a manner that appeals to such investors.

One potential means of attracting capital markets investors interest in infrastructure finance is to combine the two other trends described above — the expanding markets for both environmentally sustainable investing and sukuk. Although, to date these two markets have been geographically distinct – with environment-focused investors mainly found in Northern Europe, North America and Japan and sukuk investors concentrated primarily in the Persian Gulf and Malaysia — the two markets do share a strong commonality.

Both environmentally sustainable investors and sukuk investors aim to use their money in a manner that conforms to their values and beliefs. Whereas traditionally finance has been solely driven by the effort to maximise risk-adjusted returns, these types of investors have added an additional qualitative objective for financial market activity– compatibility with the investors ethics.

A sukuk in which the proceeds are used to fund a specific environmentally sustainable infrastructure project such as the construction of renewable energy generation facility, could appeal to both sukuk investors and conventional environment focused investors. Combining these two distinct investor bases would be a novel development for the capital markets.

While some conventional investors, mainly bank treasuries and hedge funds purchase sukuk, the vast majority of conventional investors [including virtually all environmentally sustainable investors] have no experience at all with these instruments. However, there is nothing intrinsic to sukuk that make them inappropriate for conventional investors. Although the structures and terminology will be unfamiliar at first sukuk should be attractive to conventional investors if they offer reasonable risk-adjusted returns and are properly marketed.

A sukuk that meets those criteria and provides funding for an environmentally sustainable project could be particularly attractive to environment-focused investors for two principal reasons. First, sukuk provide investors with a high degree of certainty that their money will be used for a specific purpose. In order to comply with the underlying Shariah principles, the funds raised through the issue of a sukuk must be applied to investment in identifiable assets or ventures. Therefore, if a sukuk is structured to provide funds for a specified infrastructure project, such as a renewable energy project, there is little chance the investors’ money will be diverted and used for another purpose.

Second, many more environment-focused investment products exist on the equity side of the capital markets than on the fixed income side. The reason for this lack of supply is that the majority of corporate and sovereign bonds are general unsecured obligations of the issuer, meaning the use of the proceeds of the bonds is not restricted to a particular purpose. Since most environmentally sustainable investors want to know precisely how their money will be used, bonds that are general obligations of an issuer have limited appeal unless all of the activities of the issuer meet the investors environmental standards.

Sukuk, which are most similar to a conventional fixed income securitie could help fill the fixed income supply gap for environmental investors to the extent the proceeds of a sukuk are earmarked for a particular environmentally beneficial purpose.

ln the conventional capital markets, environment-focused bonds have begun to appear in recent years. The World Bank, for example has issued since 2008 a type of bonds called World Bank Green Bonds’. Rather than funding all of the activities of the World Bank, the proceeds of World Bank Green Bonds only go to support certain projects that meet pre-determined criteria for low carbon development. These bonds have been very well-received by environmentally sustainable investors, and the structure has become a model for other supra-national, corporate and sub-sovereign issuers. Green sukuk have the potential to further broaden this market as well as to help to bridge the gap between the conventional and financial worlds.

ABOUT MICHAEL BENNETT
He is the Head of Derivatives and Structured Finance in the Treasury Department of the World Bank which includes responsibility for the World Banks transactional capital markets work in the area of Islamic finance. He is a graduate of Columbia University Law School in New York and has published numerous articles on financial topics including Islamic finance, structured products and derivatives regulation in Asia.

This article was originally published in the State of Energy Report, Dubai 2014 1st Edition, an initiative of the Supreme Council of Energy and co-sponsored by UNDP and Dubai Carbon.


Local restaurant files Chapter 7

July 29, 2014

Chapter 7 Bankruptcy

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A recently shuttered Shockoe Bottom restaurant has declared bankruptcy.

Arcadia at 1700 E. Main St., which operated through Arcadia Partners LLC, filed Chapter 7 bankruptcy on July 11, according to federal court records.

Arcadia shut down on June 22, the filing shows.

The business closed with $264,000 in debt. It owed $14,000 to its landlord, and other creditors include food and equipment vendors and utility providers. It also owed $12,000 in Richmond city meals taxes and more than $14,000 in state and federal taxes.

Its assets consist of about $44,000 in restaurant equipment.


Safe Money Resource Grants Wealth Planner Andrew Heese ‘Safe Money …

July 29, 2014

Financial Topics

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PR Web

Cherry Hill, NJ (PRWEB) July 17, 2014

Safe Money Resource has given its Safe Money Approval to another expert wealth planner who has a strong record of empowering people to achieve financial security through education.

Andrew Heese, a gifted professional with over 15 years of business experience, is the latest independent advisor to be recognized by Safe Money Resource for his lasting commitment to responsible advisement and investor education.

With deep roots in business, Andrew leverages extensive knowledge gained from prior experience as an institutional investment and private investment professional. He draws upon a diverse background, which includes work experience at some of the largest firms in the financial services industry over a five-year period. These distinctive professional experiences give him a rare, insightful perspective into the financial services space, which he taps into today for full client benefit.

At Safe Money Resource, we understand that theres no one-size-fits-all solution to peoples different needs. Instead, people should receive guidance from educationally-minded professionals who take time to explain all thats involved with different investor options. Andrew is the epitome of that philosophy, and were privileged to have such a capable, client driven professional as part of our team, said

Brent Meyer, President and co-founder of Safe Money Resource. He is truly a 100 percent investor advocate, in every sense of the word.

In line with his commitment to financial education, Heese offers a free, in-depth resource about annuities and other timely information on his website. This guidebook has been packed with up-to-date, easy-to-understand content on the different kinds of annuity options, as well as lots of other need-to-know information. This informative resource can easily be accessed at: http://www.safemoneydenver.com/.

Because of his commitment to professional integrity and expert guidance, Heese serves as President of Safe Money Denver. In addition to his professional experience, he has academic credentials which increase his bullion to investors. He is a proud graduate of Colorado State University, from which he holds a degree in Finance and International Business.

To qualify for Safe Money Approval, an independent advisor goes through a careful, in-depth vetting process for a track record of success and clients first minded service. Safe Money Approved wealth planners are known for their steadfast commitment to client needs, unconditional integrity, and respected professional record.
Andrew is a leader in the human side of financial advisement, in that he takes painstaking steps to ensure his clients understand the advantages and downsides of every financial strategy. At Safe Money Resource, we believe that financial prosperity begins with proper understanding of what different strategies entail and how they fit in with ones own objectives, continued Meyer. To that end, we have started a helpful website, SafeMoney.com, where enterprising individuals can quickly access helpful information on many important financial topics.

SafeMoney.com holds a plethora of helpful articles, detailed guidebooks, and other informative content, all accessible for free. There, information seekers can receive timely information on annuities, life insurance, long-term care insurance, and other vehicles for a guaranteed lifetime income. There are several articles and resources on other important topics as well, including Social Security, IRAs, retirement income planning, and estate planning.

Were committed to partnering with our clients and helping them become knowledgeable about the various options available to them. People can count on our trusted team to equip them with the insight-fulness and financial savvy needed to make the right financial decisions, said Heese. Should you want expert financial guidance from non-biased professionals, were only a phone call away. It would be my sincere pleasure to help you however I can.

Read the full story at http://www.prweb.com/releases/2014/07/prweb12025455.htm


Could gift cards ease the problems of the homeless?

July 29, 2014

Prepaid Credit Cards

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When police are called to help with a disruptive or unruly homeless person, there are only a few places an officer can take the person.

You can either take them to the hospital, if they meet that criteria, or they end up, unfortunately, incarcerated, Officer Matt Tinney told Action 7 News.

Now, police have a new tool.

Tinney co-founded the nonprofit, Crisis Intervention Team, Inc. with psychiatrist Dr. Nils Rosenbaum.

The two recently launched Helping Hands.

The program works by giving prepaid credit cards are to Albuquerque Police supervisors, who can then use the cards to help a homeless person in crisis. The credit cards can allow officers to help the homeless by checking them into a hotel room for the night, or helping them get food or medicine.

Certain programs in the city provide hotel vouchers, but they are only available during daytime hours, Tinney said.

We can provide you with a room and board for one night, and that way officers can follow up and send off your information to follow-up services through APD or other nonprofit organizations in the community, he said.

The program also hands out Walmart gift cards to as many APD officers and Bernalillo County Deputies as possible.

The cards are loaded with $10 — money that can be used to buy bread or peanut butter, or what Tinney said most homeless people request: new socks.

Tinney is trained in crisis intervention, and believes the offer of a few bucks, or the promise of a night in a warm bed, can help keep tense situations from boiling over.

Because if we can stop the crisis then we can prevent the tragedies down the line, he said.

Plus, he believes this program speaks to the core values of what police do.

Officers, in general, go into law enforcement to help people, he said.

If youre interested in donating, learn more about the program at www.gocit.org