Beware of UDAAP

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) continues to exercise its authority to crack down on banking practices it views as unlawful under the Dodd-Frank Act’s regulations on unfair, deceptive or abusive acts or practices (UDAAP). In one recent enforcement action, for example, the agency entered into a $28.5 million settlement with the Navy Federal Credit […]

Don’t Compare Apples to Oranges – Evaluate Borrowers Accurately by Normalizing Financial Statements

In evaluating their borrowers, lenders need to use all the tools at their disposal — including an accounting tactic called “normalizing.” Normalizing involves adjustments to income statements and balance sheets to compensate for companies’ differing accounting methods. Because borrowers’ accounting practices vary widely, comparing them without adjusting their financial statements is like comparing apples to […]

New Rules on Customer Due Diligence

Beginning on May 11, 2018, financial institutions will be required to verify the identities of the beneficial owners of their legal-entity customers when those entities open new accounts. This is the result of an action in May 2016 by the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN), which issued its “Customer Due Diligence Requirements for Financial Institutions” […]

Cybersecurity Takes the Spotlight

Cybersecurity is a key issue for banks today, so it’s no surprise that federal and state regulators have been scrutinizing banks’ information security (IS) efforts. Recently, several federal and state regulatory agencies have taken some new steps in the ongoing effort to protect sensitive account information. In light of the heightened scrutiny — and the […]

Boost Retirement Benefits with a Cash Balance Plan

Construction business owners may not be able to set aside as much as they’d like in tax-advantaged retirement plans. Typically, they’re older and more highly compensated than their employees, but restrictions on contributions to 401(k) and profit-sharing plans can hamper retirement-planning efforts. One solution may be a cash balance plan. Defined benefits with a twist […]

Zero Net Energy Building: Hot Trend Getting hotter

Zero net energy building — both residential and commercial — are a sustainable construction approach in which the building has a much smaller energy impact. Zero net energy buildings have continued to show significant growth in recent years. In fact, the increase prompted the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) to release a common definition for […]

Stopping the Scourge of Profit Fade

Profit fade — a gradual decline in expected gross profits over the course of a project — can be the bane of many contractors’ existences. This scourge may not only hurt your financial performance, but also may raise a red flag with sureties and lenders. To avoid profit fade, you’ll need to identify its causes, […]

The New Rule on Overtime – Implications for Construction Companies

In May 2016, the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) finalized its controversial “overtime rule,” which doubles the minimum salary an employee must receive in order to qualify for the “white collar” exemption from overtime pay. Many construction companies employ relatively low-paid managers who will lose their exempt status under the rule, currently scheduled to take […]

New York State Tax Return Update: Driver’s License Requirement for Tax Year 2016 Tax Returns

Beginning in Tax Year 2015 – following the lead of the Internal Revenue Service – New York began to capture taxpayer’s driver’s license or state-issued ID (non-driver ID) information for their electronically-filed personal income tax returns as an additional verification device to detect fraud.  Providing this information was optional for Tax Year 2015. Beginning with […]

Forensic Experts Can Find Hidden Cash and Unreported Income

As lawyers who handle family law cases know, divorce can be ugly — particularly when it comes to money. One of the greatest challenges for attorneys and their clients is when one spouse hides cash or underreports income to deprive the other spouse of his or her equitable share of the marital estate or to […]

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