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Johannesburg A consumer credit boom in South Africa has trapped millions in swirling debt. The countrys debt problem came to a head in August when the Central Bank and commercial lenders had to rescue African Bank from a flood of bad debts – mostly racked up on risky unsecured loans. The bailout placed a spotlight on the rapid growth of unsecured lending in South Africa.

Under apartheid, racial inequality left the majority of South Africans without access to banks. The 1994 transition to democracy set off a boom in consumer credit as many banks, most notably African Bank, offered loans to blacks for the first time.

But 20 years...

The New York Times is again on the warpath against what it calls predatory lending.

Just what is predatory lending?

It is lending that charges a higher interest rate than people like those at the New York Times approve of. According to such thinking — or lack of thinking — the answer is to have the government set an interest rate ceiling at a level that will be acceptable to third parties like the New York Times.

People who believe in government-set price controls — whether on interest rates charged for loans, rents charged for housing or wages paid under minimum wage laws — seem to think that this is the end of the story. Yet there is a vast literature...

HOUSTON, Oct. 15, 2014 /PRNewswire/ –Nearly 150 high school juniors and seniors from six area high schools got a lesson in financial education and learned about careers in sports management during a Business of Sports event at BBVA Compass Stadium yesterday.

The Business of Sports program, sponsored by BBVA Compass, Junior Achievement, the Houston Dynamo and Dynamo Charities, educates students about workforce readiness and financial literacy. A team of bank and Dynamo executives, Dynamo goalkeeper and BBVA Compass brand ambassador Tally Hall and Dynamo midfielder Tony Cascio used their own experiences to demonstrate how students can pair a passion for sports with a career.


For years, the conventional wisdom on housing was simple: Never rent when you can buy.

Then came a little thing called the crash of 2008, when housing values plummeted, thousands of
homeowners faced foreclosure and a lot of credit was destroyed.

“It used to be a foregone conclusion that you buy a house at X, and it will be worth Y in five
or 10 years,” said Jeffrey Lichtenstein, executive vice president with Market Mortgage Co. in
Worthington. “That’s not the case anymore.”

The recession, in fact, scared many young people away from homebuying.

But now, with rents rapidly rising and mortgage rates remaining low,...

Repo man is now a heartless robot

YOU get into your car, turn the ignition key and nothing happens. Cursing the unpredictability of your Chrysler minivan, you suddenly remember you have neglected to pay your car loan for the past month. Somewhere, your lender has just flipped a switch to remotely cut off your ability to turn on the engine and, unless you pay soon, they will be coming for your car. The repo man dispatched to knock loudly at your door will be a heartless robot.

This is the nightmare scenario outlined in a recent New York Times article on the use of new technology to repossess the cars of delinquent borrowers. Using global positioning systems (GPS) to track your vehicle, lenders are now able to deactivate...

NY probes short-term, high-interest secured loans

ALBANY, NY (AP) — New York regulators have begun investigating short-term, high-interest loans secured by borrowers homes or other real estate to determine if they violate state laws against predatory lending.

The Department of Financial Services says Tuesday it has issued subpoenas for information from nine companies involved in so-called hard money lending.

Under the deals, a borrowers ability to repay typically is unexamined and loans may be structured with an expectation of foreclosing on property.

Superintendent Ben Lawsky says such loan to own schemes are unconscionable.

Regulators are investigating whether the companies intentionally set onerous terms...

FARMINGTON, CT, United States, via ETELIGIS INC., 10/08/2014 – –
Horizon Technology Finance Corporation (NASDAQ:

HRZN) (Horizon), a leading specialty finance company that provides capital in the form of secured loans to venture capital backed companies in the technology, life science, healthcare information and services, and
industries, today provided a portfolio update for the third quarter of 2014.

During the third quarter, we capitalized on strong and consistent demand for our growth capital as we funded nine venture loans to new and existing portfolio companies, said Gerald A. Michaud,...

Starwood, Sankaty Snap Up €800M Spanish Loan Portfolio

By Andrew Westney

Law360, New York (October 24, 2014, 4:22 PM ET) — Starwood Capital Group and Sankaty Advisors LLC, the credit arm of private equity firm Bain Capital LLC, have acquired a portfolio of Spanish hotel and corporate loans with a par value of euro;800 million ($1 billion) from BFA-Bankia Group, they said Friday.

The portfolio of secured and unsecured loans, acquired by Sankaty and Starwood through a controlled affiliate, is comprised of two types of loans, the companies...

It’s Time To Rein In Shady Small Business Loan Brokers

Ask any small business owner about finding a loan, and it won’t take long for them to tell you: it’s hard work. Applying for a loan is needlessly time-consuming, from navigating the labyrinth of lenders to the three-inch thick paperwork. The process is often so complex thatdata from the Federal Reserve suggests small business borrowers spend over four full days of man hours searching for a loan. To make matters worse, most lenders market themselves in exactly the same way. JustGoogle “small business loan,” and you’ll see advertisements from lenders that all pretty much say the same thing: “fastest underwriting time!”, “most competitive interest...

LOS ANGELES, Sept. 29, 2014 /PRNewswire/ — In a recent article, Inc. reported that a study last month found small business owners are increasingly optimistic about their economic future. Since a healthy small business sector is essential for any robust economy, this is good news. However, to some analysts, its also surprising. After all, employment growth has been moderate at best, and even as the economic recovery continues to gradually take hold, traditional lenders and big banks have stubbornly refused to offer easy business loans to promising small businesses. All of which begs the question why are small business owners so optimistic? The answer may come largely from alternative...