FUNDING

California Mortgage Relief Program Begins Accepting Applications for Homeowners

California Mortgage | January 06, 2022

California_Mortgage_Relief
California’s mortgage relief program for homeowners is now easily accessible as it started releasing and accepting applications online. The program will benefit tens of thousands of struggling homeowners. The program is arranged to repay overlooked mortgage payments or reverse mortgage arrearages during the COVID-19 pandemic. Homeowners can obtain information on eligibility requirements and apply methods at CaMortgageRelief.org.

The California Mortgage Relief Program aims to provide support to forty thousand residents who fell behind housing payments during the pandemic.

Governor Gavin Newsom puts out a statement on this event. He says,

“Californians made incredible sacrifices throughout the pandemic; some falling behind on mortgage payments due to no fault of their own. We stepped in early to prevent foreclosures, but that debt didn’t disappear. Now, California is here to help by keeping families stably housed continues to be a critical public health measure, and with today’s announcement, we are helping them keep roofs over their heads.”

Altogether, California homeowners ranging from low to moderate-income lapsed at least two mortgage payments before the launch of this program. As a result of this, their household income went below 100% of their country’s Area Median Income, which is based on the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development’s 2021 Homeowner Assistance Fund Income Limits.

Now applicants under the program must own a single-family home, condo, or permanently affixed manufactured home in California. By introducing the program California has set a series of requirements for residents eligible to receive funds under the program.

After President Biden was elected and Democrats secured control of the House and Senate, I was able to secure $10 billion in the American Rescue Plan to create a national Homeowner Assistance Fund to help homeowners stay stably housed during these difficult times. These funds will help Californians fully reinstate their mortgages and avoid foreclosure to remain stably housed. I am very pleased that California received over $1 billion of this funding and has begun to help homeowners with the launch of its state program today."

Congresswoman Maxine Waters 

Finally, to apply under the program applicants will need to upload documents to determine eligibility. For this, they may include bank statements, mortgage statements, income documentation, and utility bills. Therefore, a high volume of applications is expected for applications.

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FINANCIAL MANAGEMENT

Sun Life named a Top Workplace by the Hartford Courant for third consecutive year

Sun Life | September 26, 2022

Sun Life has been named a Top Workplace by the Hartford Courant for the third year in a row, a recognition based on employee surveys conducted by Energage, as well as information about Sun Life's employee programs and benefits. "We believe in creating a workplace that fosters support, flexibility, collaboration and camaraderie, no matter where an individual employee might be based, Our employees have continued to show commitment to and passion for their work, and it brings us pride to know they have responded favorably to surveys that result in Sun Life receiving this recognition in Hartford." -Dan Fishbein, M.D., president of Sun Life U.S. In early 2023, Sun Life's Connecticut office will be moving into downtown Hartford's "Gold Building." The new office space is currently under renovation to reflect Sun Life's Future of Work approach, which prioritizes group collaboration spaces, state-of-the-art design, and technology solutions that make virtual and in-person work more seamless and efficient – while also giving employees the choice of whether to work from an office or home each day. Sun Life will continue leveraging the talented pool of professionals in and around Hartford and other offices, as well as virtual talent throughout the U.S. During the pandemic and beyond, Sun Life has emphasized flexibility, encouraging employees to step away from their at-home workstations and prioritize work/life balance. With caring support as a core part of Sun Life's culture, employee engagement has reached its highest levels in the last few years and continues to thrive. When you support employees and prioritize their wellness, they deliver above and beyond, We believe in a workplace where everyone can be their authentic selves and truly belong. Through our Inclusion Networks, discussion forums, introspective work, and building a caring, empowered culture, we have made sustainable progress toward a more inclusive and diverse workplace,said Tammi Wortham, senior vice president of Human Resources at Sun Life U.S. Sun Life has also received the Top Workplaces U.S.A. recognition for two consecutive years, and has been named a Top Workplace by the Boston Globe for four consecutive years, making the top ten for the region's largest companies in 2020 and 2021. The company has also received recognitions as a top place to work from Forbes, Ingram's Business Magazine in Kansas City and the Human Rights Campaign Corporate Equality Index, as well as recognitions for its paid leave program from Bloomberg and the National Partnership for Women and Families. Sun Life launched expanded paid family and medical leave in 2020, offering generous paid leave for all employees, whether they are welcoming a new child, recovering from a health issue, or taking care of a loved one, including chosen family. Employees have shared stories of taking leave without the stress of job concerns, and the positive impact it has had on their families and their health. Sun Life also offers a sabbatical program that gives employees an opportunity to disconnect and spend time on personal and/or professional growth. Sun Life's Future of Work approach also includes new ways of addressing issues around diversity, equity and inclusion (DE&I). Formed in 2020, Allies Acting for Change (AAC) is a group of Sun Life employees that serve as an extension of the leadership team, assess business practices and recommend actions to make lasting progress on DE&I at the company. AAC's work has resulted in more inclusive hiring and retention practices, including the implementation of "stay" conversations, and coaching and development for Black and other professionals of color. About Sun Life Sun Life is a leading international financial services organization providing asset management, wealth, insurance and health solutions to individual and institutional Clients. Sun Life has operations in a number of markets worldwide, including Canada, the United States, the United Kingdom, Ireland, Hong Kong, the Philippines, Japan, Indonesia, India, China, Australia, Singapore, Vietnam, Malaysia and Bermuda. As of June 30, 2022, Sun Life had total assets under management of C$1.26 trillion. Sun Life Financial Inc. trades on the Toronto (TSX), New York (NYSE) and Philippine (PSE) stock exchanges under the ticker symbol SLF. In the United States, Sun Life is one of the largest group benefits providers, serving more than 55,000 employers in small, medium and large workplaces across the country. Sun Life's broad portfolio of insurance products and services in the U.S. includes disability, absence management, life, dental, vision, voluntary and medical stop-loss. Sun Life and its affiliates in asset management businesses in the U.S. employ approximately 8,000 people. Group insurance policies are issued by Sun Life Assurance Company of Canada (Wellesley Hills, Mass.), except in New York, where policies are issued by Sun Life and Health Insurance Company.

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PAYMENTS

Aliaswire DirectBiller Modernizes Billing and Payment for Utilities

Aliaswire, Inc. | September 02, 2022

Aliaswire, a provider of bill payment and credit solutions for businesses and banks, today announced new capabilities for utility clients in its DirectBiller platform and reported impressive growth in the number of payments being processed by utilities. The new features address the growing need for utilities to meet customer expectations for more modern and convenient payment methods, while also reducing their operating costs. The company saw a 337% increase in the number of payments processed by utility companies on its DirectBiller platform over the last 12 months, with one natural gas provider processing over one million payments per month and continuing to grow volume at 12% month-over-month. “When you have recurring billing relationships like utilities, the billing and payment experience becomes a critical touchpoint. In many cases, it may be the only one a utility has with a customer each month, Not only does that experience have a huge impact on customer satisfaction, but it can also create big operational inefficiencies without proficient systems and processes in place, as finance teams are then forced to manually handle payment receipt and reconciliation.” -Jed, Rice, CEO of Aliaswire DirectBiller optimizes the billing and payment experience for residential, commercial and non-consumption utility customers. The platform manages the entire end-to-end process from billing through payment reconciliation and encourages on-time payments by providing easy and secure ways for customers to receive and pay their utility bills. DirectBiller enables utilities to consolidate all payment channels on a single platform and integrates seamlessly with utilities’ ERP systems and their banks’ treasury management systems to streamline payment reconciliation. Key features in DirectBiller for Utilities Bill Payment Members of the same household can log in separately to make payments against their shared account Multiple payment options (web, mobile, text, CSR, IVR, kiosk) One-time payment and auto pay Automated payment reminders Multilingual IVR service that follows the same payment flows as web and mobile experiences CSRs can provide one-time payment links via text or email to unenrolled customers Customers can pay directly on DirectBiller’s hosted payer portal, or the payment experience can be embedded within a utility’s existing payment site via single sign-on or API Real-time posting lets the utility and customer know immediately when payments have posted to better manage service levels and terminations Support for Multiple Divisions For utilities with multiple lines of business, DirectBiller can support separate payment flows and websites. Reporting can be provided at the division level as well as a single consolidated view at the corporate level. Flexible Card Processing and Fee Management Support for different fee models for residential, commercial and non-consumption lines of business Patented technology streamlines daily net settlement of surcharges, convenience fees. Competitive “cost plus” interchange pricing, including Level 2/3 processing Support for Non-Consumption Business Full PDF presentment of complex and multi-page invoices Multiple invoices can be grouped into a single payment transaction or processed individually Payers can apply credit memos to invoices and pay net balance due About Aliaswire, Inc. Aliaswire is a fintech company based in Boston with a history of innovation in payments. The company supports leading financial institutions and merchant services providers with bill pay through DirectBiller® and small business credit solutions through Payvus®.

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FINANCIAL MANAGEMENT, FINTECH

Illuminate Financial Announces Strategic Partnership with SGX Group to Advance Asia-Pacific FinTech Innovation

Illuminate Financial Management | November 30, 2022

Illuminate Financial, the specialist venture capital investor dedicated to early-stage FinTech and enterprise software companies, today announced a strategic partnership with Singapore Exchange (SGX Group), Asia's leading international multi-asset exchange. In connection with the partnership, SGX Group will become a limited partner in Illuminate Financial's latest venture capital strategy, which backs early-stage FinTech and enterprise software companies globally driving innovation in the financial services industry. "As a pioneering innovator in Asia's capital markets infrastructure, SGX Group has invested in digital solutions and technology that capture the future of capital markets across asset classes. We look forward to partnering with Illuminate Financial, and to connecting with FinTech players globally that are at the forefront of innovation." -Amit Kedia, Head of Strategic & Fintech Investments, SGX Group Luca Zorzino, Head of Asia Investments at Illuminate Financial said: We are excited to work with SGX Group as our first strategic partner in Asia to continue driving the FinTech innovation agenda in Asia-Pacific. This expansion marks a natural progression in Illuminate Financial's evolution as a global investor in B2B FinTech companies. Southeast Asia remains attractive for FinTech funding investments despite external pressures. Singapore accounts for a lion's share of ASEAN FinTech investments, securing more than half of the total 163 deals, amounting to US$1.8 billion, and 43% of total funding in the first three quarters of 2022, according to a UOB report. Illuminate Financial is led by Mark Beeston, Founder and Managing Partner, alongside partners Alexander Ross and Rezso Szabo. The venture firm, which operates out of London, New York, and Singapore, has to date invested in more than 30 late-Seed to Series A companies addressing core challenges across financial services. Investment themes within enterprise FinTech include Digital Assets Infrastructure, Climate and ESG, Data and Private Markets, as well as Tech Infrastructure that targets the financial services industry. About Illuminate Financial Management Illuminate Financial Management (Illuminate Financial) is a thesis-driven venture capital firm focused on FinTech and enterprise software companies defining the future of financial services. With offices in London, New York, and Singapore, Illuminate Financial's deep networks and trusted partnerships with key industry participants provide real insight into what the industry needs and helps their portfolio companies achieve their full potential.

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FINTECH

Saphyre Nominated for "Fintech of the Year" 2022 Award by The Trade

Saphyre and The Trade | October 06, 2022

Saphyre, a fintech company using patent-approved AI technology to solve pre-trade setups and post-trade issues, has been nominated by The Trade for their annual "Fintech of the Year" award. The Trade will hold their awards ceremony in-person at The Savoy in London on November 3, 2022, honoring their "Leaders in Trading 2022," where past winners went on to shape the face of trading and execution in both material and measurable ways. "We are extremely honored to have The Trade, one of the leading publications in the finance industry, consider us for such an award. Saphyre has revolutionized the speed of bringing "Ready-To-Trade" for new and existing funds to front office traders. In cases of interest rates and credit, we can eliminate the typical 10–15-minute delay in RFQs due to our patented AI that automates compliance checks and risk, based on account onboarding and maintenance data. Being formally nominated for this award is a testament to the positive change we're bringing to the market space." -Stephen Roche, President & Co-Founder, Saphyre Saphyre's Founder & CEO, Gabino Roche Jr. will also be at a Sibos FinTech roundtable at the Hotel Okura in Amsterdam on October 11, 2022. He will be joined by several other top B2B fintech leaders to discuss the "survival of the fittest" journey, where now only the best-of-the-best remain. About Saphyre: Saphyre leverages patented AI technology to digitize all pre-trade data and activities across multiple counterparties: from asset owners to investment managers, hedge funds to prime brokers, any client firms to broker-dealers and custodians, and much more. Saphyre's platform maintains memory of data and documents, resulting in clients not having to search or resubmit information, and expedites flow in a digitally structured manner so that it can be consumed and understood by any permissioned counterparty in the finance industry. This allows firms not only to assess risk faster, but they can speed their onboarding processes, get real-time ready-to-trade statuses per account, and eliminate 70%-75% of redundant or inefficient post-trade activities. About The Trade: The TRADE delivers insight to trading professionals at the world's largest asset managers and investment banks and boasts an audience that includes buy-side dealers, high frequency traders, fund managers, sell-side brokers, FinTech innovators and regulators. Our content focuses on the day-to-day responsibilities of our readership, comprised of informed editorial on regulation, corporate innovation, peer group analysis and insights from industry luminaries.

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Spotlight

No organization wants to maintain the status quo, but many lack a plan for managing expansion. Planning for growth is essential to keeping everyone focused on the ultimate goal — be it expanding into new markets, introducing new products, or broadening the customer base. The role of the CFO is to ensure that the company manages

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