Predatory Lenders, MCA Lenders, Only One Person Wins, the Lender…. The AG is Catching On

letitia james

Dear Reader:

We have written about predatory lenders many times. They are one of several pet peeves of ours. Most are merciless, without any compassion and a mantra: “it’s all about money not mizvas [good deeds].” We hope to see the entire business get tanked. In our opinion, the merchant cash advance business is nothing more than vultures eating the carcasses of poor and unsuspecting victims, sometimes threatening their families and often destroying their lives and others. It is a scheme of epic proportions, with intertwined credit card swiping businesses, investment businesses, brokers, lawyers and collection agents.

There is nothing worse than the financial havoc they wreak, all under the guise of quick and easy loans. They destroy small businesses but make a huge fortune in the process.

And, behind the scenes, the investors in many of the MCA loan companies are interrelated groups of people who hire the same attorneys, use the same brokers, have access to the same personal information of the Borrowers, have a network of go-to persons and politicians, judges and jurists, it is big business. The entire structure is not for the financially faint of heart.

Let’s start by taking you back on a walk down memory lane, our explanation of how the whole scam works.

First, the merchant banks convince a company (Company A) to use their credit card swiping system (thereby giving the merchant bank access to Company A’s receipts and invoices). Then, they share your information with potential “funding groups” all hidden under the same umbrella. Next, Company A has a bad month or two, Covid-19 strikes, who knows? Those behind the scenes at the merchant cash advance company notice that Company A is getting charge backs or business has slowed. In other words, the merchant cash advance company sees that their credit card swiping client is becoming vulnerable to liquidity problems. 

So, the merchant cash advance company sends a broker in to offer assistance, not effectively a loan but a purchase of invoices. In other words, the broker suggests that Company A borrow money against the receipts, selling it as quick and easy cash. It is characterized not as a loan, but as a purchase of receipts, thereby avoiding any and all usury laws, banking laws, regulators and the list goes one. Company A is desperate.

Cash-poor Company A needs the money and a conventional bank loan will not work. The merchant cash advance company offers “low interest” rates (not actually low interest but Merchant A is too cash-strapped to chart the numbers). The merchant cash advance company promises quick money, no credit reports, a few days from application to cash, all fees get tagged to the Loan (increasing the principal amount) but the draw of few out-of-pocket fees are weighed against desperation. So, Company A takes the bait.

What poor Company A does not know is that the fees tagged (or capitalized) to the principal amount increase the loan by about 20% (another 20% for interest purposes). There is a daily or even a weekly draw and there are fees each time a draw is made, directly from the merchant company, increasing payments.

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“Shalom Bayit” Gel… Bnei-Brak Israel – Is this Legal? – A Good Laugh – NOT an Endorsement!

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Even if Playground Wrongfully Locked, Politicians Should not Be Cutting Gates – Covid-19

Dear Reader:

Given the freedom of protesters to march in NYC, many without masks and without deference to Covid-19 and social distancing, we cannot really understand the decision to weld Brooklyn parks closed. Parents and children within those neighborhoods should be afforded a place to go out and children, a place to play.

Having said that, breaking into them and trespassing on the part of politicians is nothing short of illegal, should not be tolerated and those who had the audacity to cut the chains should be arrested and charged. This is no way to set an example from New York’s respected lawmakers. This is not a form of social peaceful disobedience, it is simply breaking the law.

Worse still, there are many more videos showing a veritable form of F-U to the decision-makers who welded those gates shut, something that also should not be tolerated.

At a time where this entire country is preciously long on lawlessness and defiance, it might be time for our Jewish lawmakers to be setting a good example. This is apparently not such a time.

We do not believe that the gates should have been closed. Instead, rules of social distancing and mask wearing should have been enforced. We recognize the paradigm: if it is not enforced at protests, why should it be enforced in parks? It should be enforced equally.

But, more to the point, perhaps the enforcement of social distancing should come to to someone stepping up and doing the right thing. Only one man in the picture is wearing a mask (beside the paid fence-cutter) which is also unacceptable.

This was a poor example of defiance and one that sets the stage for the entire neighborhood to break the law. It is sad, unfortunate, and those who cut the gate open should be prosecuted as lawbreakers.

Councilman Kalman Yeger, Assemblyman Simcha Eichenstein, Senator Simcha Felder and an unidentified worker cut the lock at a Brooklyn playground.
Councilman Kalman Yeger, Assemblyman Simcha Eichenstein, Senator Simcha Felder and an unidentified worker break the lock at a Brooklyn playground. NY Assembly

A group of Brooklyn politicians representing orthodox Jewish neighborhoods have defied Mayor Bill de Blasio’s coronavirus closure of playgrounds and staged a series of protests this week in which they broke the locks and attempted to open various playgrounds.

That group, which includes State Senator Simcha Felder, Assemblyman Simcha Eichenstein, and Councilman Kalman Yeger gathered at Dome Playground in Borough Park and Kolbert Playground in Midwood this morning to break the chains at both places. They were joined by radio host Heshy Tischler, who declared at Kolbert, “Welcome to our park everybody. Come on in. We’re going to open up every single park in the entire city, no matter if you’re Jewish or not.” (City parks have remained open during the coronavirus PAUSE, but playgrounds were closed.)

“The only way you’re getting these chains back Mr. Mayor, is if you’re coming to get me,” Tischler said after they opened up Dome Playground.

“The only way you’re getting these chains back Mr. Mayor, is if you’re coming to get me,” Tischler said after they opened up Dome Playground.

Asked about the playground protests at a press conference Tuesday morning, de Blasio said, “We’re not going to allow people to take the law into their own hands, it just doesn’t work. So people are not allowed to open up a playground that is not yet available to the public. It’s for a reason.”

While the mayor said he was sympathetic to parents dealing with kids who have been cooped up for months because of the coronavirus pandemic, he said there would be no changes in policy with playgrounds until phase two begins. Phase two could start as early as next week (June 22nd), although he cautioned that he thought it would take longer than that.

One reporter pointed out that many children are already playing together out in the streets, so wouldn’t it be safer if they were able to do so in playgrounds? De Blasio stressed that kids should not be playing with other kids who aren’t in their households, and reiterated that the playgrounds would be figured out in phase two. “I’m hopeful we’ll be able to open things up, but we’re not there yet,” he said. “The minute you say okay, let’s open the playgrounds, then a lot of kids come in contact with a lot of other kids, and adults come in contact with other adults, then the disease starts spreading, and that’s what we don’t want, this is the thing that’ll take us backwards.”

Felder, Eichenstein and Yeger released a joint statement attacking the mayor for not opening playgrounds despite their pleas, and vowed to continue cutting locks as long as they had to.

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Civil Immunity to Nursing Homes- A Blank Check for Abuse and Neglect, Covid-19

The following is an OPINION from Patricia Barnes at Forbes. We could not agree with the opinion more.

The Folly Of Granting Civil Immunity From Lawsuits To Nursing Homes

Granting broad immunity to nursing homes that failed to put in place reasonable protections for vulnerable residents during the pandemic represents an appalling abuse of the rule of law.

About 20 states already have granted nursing homes immunity from civil lawsuits stemming from the coronavirus pandemic and now the U.S. Congress is poised to do so. What’s the rush?

There has been no serious investigation into how nursing homes performed in the pandemic and there is plenty of reason for concern.

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services reported Friday that 31,782 nursing home residents have died from COVID-19 as of May 31, which is about 33% of the nation’s known coronavirus deaths. The highest number of deaths occurred in New York, New Jersey and Connecticut, which were among the first to grant civil immunity to nursing homes.

A grant of immunity effectively eliminates civil legal redress for and on behalf of nursing home residents who died due of COVID-19 due to negligence and abuse.

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The Abuse of Nursing Home Patients from the Bottom to the Top – No Oversight, Covid-19

Nursing homes receive defective equipment as part of Trump administration supply initiative

Nursing homes with urgent needs for personal protective equipment say they’re getting gowns that look more like large tarps — with no holes for hands — and surgical masks that are paper-thin as part of the administration’s initiative to bolster supplies for vulnerable populations amid the pandemic.

“It would be funny if the stakes weren’t so high,” a Washington state official told CNN.

In late April, President Donald Trump announced an effort to shore up supplies to nursing homes, whose residents and staff have been among those most at risk of Covid-19. The Federal Emergency Management Agency was at the helm of the effort to send additional shipments to nursing homes.

For weeks, nursing home associations have tried to call attention to the elderly population and the lack of supplies to properly care for them.

“Too often, the only signs of FEMA’s much-hyped promise of PPE shipments—an allotment of gowns, gloves, masks and goggles based on staffing size of the provider—are scattershot delivery with varying amounts of rag-tag supplies,” said Katie Smith Sloan, president and CEO of LeadingAge, an association of nonprofit providers of aging services, in a statement.

“As FEMA’s own deadline for shipment approaches, many nursing homes still don’t know if and when they’re going to receive anything,” she added. Sloan was among the attendees at the event where Trump initially announced the FEMA shipments.

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Anti-Semitism and Bigotry, Should Protesters and Party-Goers be Compliant? KJ Wedding and Covid-19

kj wedding

Kiryas Joel wedding calls into question state’s order on large gatherings, religion

A high-profile wedding celebration is calling into question the state’s executive order when it comes to large gatherings and religion.

Thousands of people packed inside the Village of Kiryas Joel’s main synagogue on Garfield Road last Tuesday.

Video of the event given exclusively to News 12 shows people sitting shoulder to shoulder and without masks, on rows of bleachers and on the floor, during a Hasidic custom called a mitzvah dance, following the wedding of Grand Rabbi Aron Teitelbaum’s granddaughter.

Catering halls statewide have not yet reopened, causing many people to postpone their weddings, but Village Administrator Gedalye Szegedin says the event was held at a synagogue and falls under Phase 2 guidelines, allowing houses of worship to reopen.

Szegedin also compared the event’s size to recent protests saying, “Sometimes social gatherings are unavoidable and spontaneous as we’ve seen the multiple large protests all over the streets of the U.S.”

According to the New York state website, whether protesting or at a wedding, New Yorkers are required to wear masks and maintain a 6-foot distance in public.

Places of worship are permitted to reopen – but at 25% occupancy – with all social distancing protocols in place.

Village officials say despite the turnout, the synagogue was at 25% capacity and that masks – whether worn or not – were made available to everyone.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo has repeatedly said it’s up to local officials to enforce the executive order, which can include misdemeanor charges and fines up to $10,000.

County officials say it’s up to state police to investigate and that the governor has been notified of the apparent loopholes.

News 12’s calls to state police have not been returned.