debt

Government aid doesn’t always go where it’s supposed to. Foster care agencies team up with companies to take disability and survivor benefits from abused and neglected children. States and their revenue consultants use illusory schemes to siphon Medicaid funds intended for children and the poor into general state coffers. Child support payments for foster children and families on public assistance are converted into government revenue. And the poverty industry keeps expanding, leaving us with nursing homes and juvenile detention centers that sedate residents to reduce costs and maximize profit, local governments buying nursing homes to take the facilities’ federal aid while the elderly languish with poor care, and counties hiring companies to mine the poor for additional funds in modern day debtor’s prisons.

In The Poverty Industry, Daniel L. Hatcher shows us how state governments and their private industry partners are profiting from the social safety net, turning America’s most vulnerable populations into sources of revenue.

  Corporate attorney, Rich Honen, pays us a visit once a month with some thoughts on headlines from the business world.

Today he is here to talk about the rise in American consumer debt. To help us sort this all out – we welcome Rich Honen - with Phillips Lytle LLP, where he is the partner in charge of the Albany office.

9/18/14 Panel

Sep 18, 2014

  Today's panelists are WAMC’s Alan Chartock, University at Albany Journalism Professor and Investigative reporter, Rosemary Armao and Times Union Associate Editor, Mike Spain.

Topics include:
House ISIS Vote
Times Poll on Obama Security Plan
Times Square Security
Debtor Rules
Health Stories

Post University in Connecticut

New York and 12 other states have settled an investigation into improper lending with a court agreement to shut down the company and expected to provide $92 million in debt relief for 17,800 U.S. military personnel.

New York's Attorney General Eric Schneiderman says deceptive practices by Rome Finance Co. based in California and Georgia included failing to accurately disclose charges and interest rates and helping retailers inflate prices, with repayments taken from soldiers' paychecks.

WAMC Photo by Dave Lucas

A federal judge has ordered Buffalo-based debt collectors to stop telling borrowers they face prison for check fraud and making other false threats. 

The injunction, sought by New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman and the Federal Trade Commission, freezes assets of the collection operation and gives temporary control to a court-appointed receiver.

The defendants agreed to the injunction without admitting wrongdoing.

The New York attorney general has settled investigations of two debt collectors with civil penalties and agreements they stop pursuing default judgments on claims that are legally too old to collect.

New York's statute of limitations to collect is generally six years.

Authorities say nearly 3,000 improper judgments for about $16 million will be vacated.

7/12/13 - Panel

Jul 12, 2013

  Today's panelists are WAMC's Alan Chartock and Ray Graf. Joe Donahue moderates.

Topics:
Farm Bill
Fillibuster Limit
Debt Collection
Bulger Trial
Student Loan Snag

7/10/13 - Panel

Jul 10, 2013

  Today's panelists are WAMC’s Alan Chartock, our News Man, Ray Graf, and the CEO of Proctor’s Theatre in Schenectady, NY – Philip Morris.

They discuss upstate tourism, the arts, and the impact of casino gaming in NYS.

House GOP seeks to defuse debt crisis

Jan 23, 2013
Gage Skidmore / Flickr

WASHINGTON (AP) -- With tacit support from President Barack Obama, House Republicans are moving to try to defuse a potential debt crisis with legislation to prevent an economy-rattling fiscal crisis for at least three months.

The GOP legislation marks a tactical retreat by House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, who is eager to avoid a potential first-ever default on U.S. payment and debt obligations as he wrestles with Obama and his Democratic allies over taxes, spending and the deficit.

Office of the State Comptroller

ALBANY, N.Y. — The New York comptroller says the state government's debt has topped $63 billion, with New York on track to approach its borrowing limit in early 2014.

Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli says Monday the debt burden, averaging $3,253 per resident, is almost three times the national median. New York's debt is second only to California's $96.4 billion in state-funded debt and 80 percent higher than New Jersey, which is in third place.

Vermont's U.S. Representative Peter Welch is compiling stories about student debt.  WAMC's North Country Bureau Chief Pat Bradley reports... 

Welch was at the University of Vermont on Monday where he met with students, some of whom are working multiple jobs and studying full time as they accumulate student loan debt.

Vermont's U.S. Representative Peter Welch is going to be compiling stories about student debt.

Welch is going to be at the University of Vermont on Monday where he will launch an initiative to compile stories from Vermont students and families about the burden of student loan debt.

In Vermont, almost 70 percent of college graduates have an average of $30,000 in debt.

Student debt is topping $1 trillion dollars, exceeding credit card debt.