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Police Looking for Suspect in Cash Store Armed Robbery



Corpus Christi police are on the lookout for a man that allegedly robbed a cash loan business on South Staples Street Monday afternoon.

The robbery took place at around 3 p.m. at the cash store located in the 4200 block of South Staples Street. The suspect told employees that he had a gun, but never displayed the weapon. He got away with an undetermined amount of cash.

The suspect is described as a Hispanic male in his mid-30s. If you have any information about this crime, please call Crime Stoppers at 361-888-8477.


Cash-strapped Latino biz booms

Biz2Credit announced last week the average annual revenue for Latino-owned businesses was $69,518.56, while for non-Latino-owned businesses, the figure was $86,501.47, a nearly $17,000 difference. Meanwhile, the average credit score for Latino-owned businesses was 611.7, compared to 622.3 for all others.

Interestingly, the average operating expenses for Latino-owned companies were lower ($20,981.19) than for non-Latino businesses ($29,455.54). On the surface, this seems like good news. However, many of these companies are operating out of homes rather than offices, which add to overhead. This may be fine for a landscaping company or catering business, for instance. But if an entrepreneur realistically plans to take his or her business to the next level, it is important to have an infrastructure in place and accurate accounting records. This can be a struggle for many business owners.

Because of their lower credit scores and revenue, Latino entrepreneurs face greater scrutiny from banks. The impact of these financial realities is that Latinos often must turn to high-interest, non-bank lenders. These so-called alternative lenders include firms that provide payday loans and cash-advance companies. In some cases, these lenders charge interest rates as high as 30 percent to 40 percent.

Read MoreSBA administrator kicks off Hispanic Heritage Month


Auto lending giant Ally Financial agrees to pay $98 million to settle bias charge

The settlement resolves allegations by federal officials that Ally and its sister company, Ally Bank, discriminated by charging 235,000 minority borrowers higher rates than whites in the year following April 2011. On average, black, Hispanic and Asian American customers paid between $200 and just over $300 more for auto loans than whites who were equally creditworthy, federal officials charged.

“With this largest-ever settlement in an auto-loan discrimination case, we are taking a firm stand against discrimination in a critical lending market,” Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr. said in a statement.

The alleged discrimination took place as part of a common industry practice that is invisible to borrowers but allows auto dealers to mark up interest rates offered by finance companies such as Ally, federal officials said.

Finance companies such as Ally set an interest rate based on objective criteria — including a borrower’s credit history and the size of his or her down payment — and then dealers are free to increase the interest rates within certain limits. The finance companies and the dealers then split the extra profits.

The system “creates financial incentives for dealers to mark up borrowers’ interest rates above those established based on the consumers’ creditworthiness,” according to the complaint filed Friday in federal court in Detroit.

Ally was known as GMAC before rebranding itself and receiving a $17. 2 billion bailout from the federal government’s Troubled Assets Relief Program during the height of the financial crisis. As auto lending and sales have surged in the years since the crisis, the company has repaid all but $4.9 billion, Gina Proia, Ally’s chief communications officer, said.

Although the company agreed to the settlement, it said that it does not receive information about borrowers’ race or ethnicity, and, consequently, does not discriminate.

“Ally does not make loans directly to consumers, but rather, it purchases installment contracts originated by auto dealers,” Ally said in a statement. “Ally assesses these contracts and sets pricing based solely on a consumer’s creditworthiness and contract characteristics.”

The company added that its own analysis found no evidence that the thousands of dealers through which it makes auto loans discriminated. “Regardless, Ally takes the assertions by the CFPB and [Justice Department] very seriously and has agreed to the terms” of the settlement, it said.

Federal officials said that despite the indirect nature of Ally’s lending, it has not done enough to ensure that dealers do not discriminate.

“Ally fails to adequately monitor its interest rate markups for discrimination or require dealers to document their markup decisions,” according to a statement released by the Justice Department and the CFPB. “Ally’s first effort to monitor for discrimination in interest rate markups began only earlier this year after it learned of the CFPB’s preliminary findings of discrimination.”

Beyond the $98 million in settlement payments and a requirement that Ally refund any future discriminatory interest rate charges, the deal requires Ally to better monitor how its loans are made.

The investigation into Ally’s loan practices involved a statistical analysis of the surnames of 800,000 auto loan customers, since auto loan data are not collected by race. The surnames were linked to race through a technique widely used by social scientists, according to the government complaint.

Through that process, investigators found that Ally charged African American borrowers interest rates that were 29 basis points — just over a quarter of a percentage point — higher than those charged to equally qualified white borrowers. That difference, on average, cost black borrowers more than $300 in additional interest charges over the life of a loan.

For Hispanics, the disparity was 20 basis points, which cost them on average $200 more in interest charges than equally creditworthy white borrowers. For Asian Americans, the disparity with whites was 22 basis points, which resulted in additional interest payments of more than $200 a month, the government charged.

“Discrimination is a serious issue across every consumer credit market,” CFPB Director Richard Cordray said in a statement. “We are returning $80 million to hard-working consumers who paid more for their cars and trucks based on their race or national origin.”


PAYDAY LENDING: Roth, Hueso swings vote in Wednesday … – blog

Image payday.jpg

PAYDAY LENDING: Roth, Hueso swings vote in Wednesday hearing

Posted on | April 17, 2013 | Comments

A pair of senators representing parts of Riverside County could be swing votes on legislation intended to restrict the use of high-interest payday loans.

Supporters of the measure, SB 515, have lobbied state senators Richard Roth, D-Riverside, and Ben Hueso, D-San Diego, leading up to Wednesday’s hearing of the Senate Banking and Financial Institutions Committee. Hueso’s district includes part of the Coachella Valley.

Deferred-deposit loans typically involve a customer writing a postdated check that includes the fee and principal. They receive cash in return.

The legislation would limit the number of payday loans to any one borrower in a year. It also would require lenders to review borrowers’ ability to pay off their loans and to let borrowers pay off the loans with an installment plan, among other provisions.

Supporters of the bill, including the Oakland-based Center for Responsible Lending, say the measure would make the loans safer for consumers and help prevent a “payday debt trap” of repeated loans.

Opponents of the bill, including the Greater Riverside Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, say the rules would would ruin the industry and take away a source of credit used by millions of customers. It would drive people who need money to unregulated online sites, critics claim.

By: Jim Miller

Category:Cal Senate


Jim Miller


Political Empire Blog: PE Politics Team


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Payday loan business robbed

St. Joseph police are looking for a suspect in an armed robbery over the noon hour at a Belt Highway payday loan business.

A man entered Check Into Cash, 2115 N. Belt Highway, at about 12:24 p.m. and displayed a handgun to the one employee on duty at the time, police said.

The suspect put the employee, who was unharmed, into the bathroom and left with an undisclosed amount of cash from either the cash register or safe.

The suspect is described as a Hispanic male, 5-foot-5 to 5-foot-6, with a slender build. He was wearing a black ball cap and black T-shirt. He left on foot out of the back of the building.

Check Into Cash is described as a company that offers payday loans or in-store cash advances.

Police are asking the public, including any customers or employees at nearby businesses, to call 238-TIPS with any information on the case.

Crews battle Purina blaze

Fire crews responded to a local business Friday afternoon.

Heavy smoke could be seen in the area of the South Belt Highway and Interstate 29. At least one fire truck, emergency personnel and an ambulance were on the scene at the Purina Mills facility, 4225 S. U.S. Highway 169.

The smoke appeared to be coming from one of the buildings to the far north of the Purina complex but there is no word on the extent of the fire or damage.

A fire inspector was called to the scene.