Politicians Make The Right Move For Kansas City Royals

Jackson County politicians have avoided a big hurdle regarding the Kansas City Truman Sports Complex renovations. The Truman Sports Complex, home of the Kansas City Royals, almost lost hundreds of thousand of dollars due to an unfavorable choice in surety companies while shopping for surety bonds to renovate the stadium. According to Jackson County, they have discovered the lowest expense solution to the dilemma relating to the surety bonds used to revamp the Truman Sports Complex.

The surety company who wrote the original $22 million bond for the job went into bankruptcy, which caused the surety to lose its required AAA rating. The county was then going to be forced to look elsewhere for the surety bond which would end up costing roughly $200,000 in additional premium with a new surety company. But on Monday, the Jackson County Legislature authorized the waiving of the original AAA credit rating requirement that the surety company was to uphold avoiding the extra premium.

“This looks like a wonderful resolution,” said Dennis Waits, the new chairman of the Legislature.
The reasoning for the AAA credit rating requirement was to guarantee the financial strength of the surety company backing the bonds they wrote which protected public money. Obviously the surety company is not in great financial shape considering their bankruptcy so the county just modified the criteria the surety must meet. Normally, removing the AAA rating requirement negates the point of having the bond in the first place because now that the surety’s financial strength is more than questionable there is absolutely no guarantee that they can pay any claims that may arise. Being that much of the work is already complete, the risk that a claim will arise is minimal which makes this a reasonable solution. This resolution works out for the Royals because more time will be spent completing the stadium job as oppose to raising more funds to pay the additional premium of a new bond. The Kansas City Royals will now be playing ball in their new home sooner than later.

This is a perfect example of why it is so important to carefully choose the surety company that is backing your bonds. Most of the time it would be very risky to modify the financial requirements sureties must meet mid job, but in this case the majority of the work is done and there is a small possibility for a claim. Hopefully all goes well with the rest of the Truman Sports Complex project.

Connecticut Dissuades Fraudulent Debt Consolidators In Down Economy

There will always be dishonest people looking for an easy buck in this world, which means there will always be scams right around the corner that you should watch for. One of the most popular scams being perpetrated this past year in the tough economy is deceitful debt settlement companies offering their “services” to escape debt. These shifty companies are capitalizing on vulnerable homeowners by offering them a quick fix to eradicate their debt.

“There is no such thing as a quick
fix,” said Senator Bob Duff (D-Norwalk) co-chair of the General Assembly’s Banks Committee. “These debt settlement companies prey upon the vulnerability of desperate homeowners, using a variety of tactics to coerce homeowners in distress to trust that their foreclosure or debt worries will disappear if they pay a fee.” Duff went on to say, “In 2009, we passed legislation with the support of then-Attorney General Richard Blumenthal that targeted these types of companies. Under our law, for-profit and nonprofit debt negotiation companies are required to register with the state Department of Banking, pay a license fee and post a surety bond. Consumers in Connecticut who are struggling with their debts should check that any company that promises help is properly licensed and registered before entering into any sort of arrangement.”

The new Connecticut law debt settlement companies must abide by now hinders the deceptive companies by requiring them to be licensed with the state which also requires a surety bond. This will curtail many shady companies right off the bat because most are not willing to pay the license or bond fee in order to operate legally. The surety bond will also guarantee that the company obtaining the bond will follow the rules and regulations that are set by the state. If the debt settlement company does not honor the regulations set by the state, a claim will go out on the bond which will be paid by the surety company who issued the bond.

“These services can entail so much more than a ‘payment plan.’ They can involve complicated financial arrangements that directly affect our personal financial health and security, and our ability to pay our bills and honor our most basic commitments”, said William Tong (D-Stamford), who is also co-chair of the General Assembly’s Banks Committee.

The new law, Public Act 09-208 also forbids up-front fees and requires settlement companies to assess and inform the client of the probability of success in salvaging their home or decreasing their debt. A contract is also required detailing all fees and provides a client the right to withdraw their contract within three days.

This enactment requiring a surety bond to be filed with Connecticut benefits both the clients looking for financial aid and legitimate debt settlement companies running an ethical business. Other top scam businesses this past year according to the Better Business Bureau (www.bbb.org) include job hunter, work-from-home, lottery and sweepstakes, and advance fee loan scams.