Category Archives: Blog with BEBdata

Facebook Recommendations

Facebook has introduced a new template for business manager pages effective August 22nd 2018.

The new template will allow people to easily connect with your business. You can choose your business’ new template based on your business goals and priorities. For example, if your business is a restaurant there are templates available that prioritizes restaurant goals. If you choose a template for businesses, sales goals are prioritized. Template options consist of services, venues, movies, nonprofit, politicians, and the list goes on. Each template is prioritized to show what your viewers and/or customers find most important.

The new template allows you to customize how your page layout appears to users. You can easily rearrange sidebar tabs prioritizing what you think is most important to users and your business, hopefully improving conversion rate.

Another new twist is that Ratings are now Recommendations. While it is still under the “Review” section, you can no longer rate a business on 1-5 star scale. When customers want to write a review, they can choose to recommend or not recommend your page.

Recommendations are powerful endorsements. 2 in 3 Facebook users visit the page of a local business at least once a week. 1 in 3 people on Facebook use the platform to look for recommendations and reviews. When customers publicly recommend you in a group or to their friends, it appears on your page for all to see. Therefore, recommendations are essential to your business in order to drive more sales and to, obtain a positive reputation.

Any Facebook user can easily report content that you believe is unfair, fraud, spam or paid for. This feature will benefit your business by keeping your businesses reputation true.

Customers can now easily share important details through tags and photos. In order to leave a recommendation, locate the recommendations on the left side of a page. Click YES to recommend or NO to not recommend. Write your custom recommendation or you can choose from auto tags (friendly staff, slow service, etc.)

Facebook is testing a new rating and recommendation system. Facebook currently uses a scale of 1-5 stars as an overall rating for your business. A new system is currently being tested to replace the 5-star scale with a rating scale from 1-10. Sentiments within reviews as well as recommendations and response times to private messages will be considered when calculating the overall rating of a business.

We’ll keep you posted as things continue to change within the FB platform.

DMA ANNUAL EVENT & THEN

We are getting fired up about attending this year’s DMA & Then Conference.  Each year, &THEN becomes the global HQ for the data-driven marketing industry. It’s a place where ideas take root and business gets done.

This year’s conference looks fantastic.  Sessions on Blockchain Marketing, Print and Digital Integration, and Internal Data strategies are only a few highlights.

We hope to you see there.

New Vehicle Sales Up 1%

The Graph above shows sales volume of new vehicles, month-to-month from 2017 and 2018.  Overall, new car sales are up 1% YTD.  June numbers rose by 7% with an increase of over 100K vehicles sold.  March finished in a close second for highest increase of sales  with a 6.3% up tick or 97,000 more sold than in March last year.

July and April bring up the rear with April showing a decrease of 5.3% and July at -3.2% compared to last year.

US Trustee & Bankruptcy

The vast majority of bankruptcy cases are filed by consumers rather than businesses. Most consumer cases are filed under either Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 of the federal Bankruptcy Code. Approximately 70 percent of cases are Chapter 7 liquidations filed by consumers, and nearly 30 percent are Chapter 13 wage-earner repayment cases. This fact sheet describes the United States Trustee’s primary responsibilities in Chapter 7 and Chapter 13 consumer bankruptcy cases.

Chapter 7 Cases
In Chapter 7 cases, the United States Trustee litigates issues that affect the integrity of the bankruptcy system. For example, the United States Trustee might:

  • Argue that granting the debtor a bankruptcy discharge would constitute a “substantial abuse” of the bankruptcy process.
  • Object to excessive fees requested by the debtor’s attorney.
  • Take action against unlawful practices by bankruptcy petition preparers–generally, non-lawyers who receive a fee to prepare a consumer debtor’s bankruptcy papers.

The United States Trustee also appoints and supervises the Chapter 7 trustees who administer consumer debtors’ bankruptcy estates. In most Chapter 7 cases, no assets are available for distribution to creditors. However, if a Chapter 7 debtor has property that is not exempt from creditors’ reach under state or federal law, the trustee may sell that property and distribute the money to creditors.

The United States Trustee appoints each Chapter 7 trustee to a panel for up to one year, renewable at the United States Trustee’s discretion; these “panel trustees” are then assigned to Chapter 7 cases on a blind rotation basis. The United States Trustee supervises the panel trustees’ administration of individual debtor estates; monitors the trustees’ financial record-keeping; and imposes other requirements to ensure that the trustees carry out their fiduciary duties.

Chapter 13 Cases
In Chapter 13 bankruptcy, the United States Trustee supervises the private trustees who administer Chapter 13 cases. In this chapter, the trustee does not liquidate the debtor’s assets, but instead evaluates the debtor’s financial affairs and makes recommendations to the court regarding the debtor’s proposed repayment plan.

A Chapter 13 debtor must propose a plan that devotes all disposable income to debt repayment over a period of up to five years. Most Chapter 13 cases are administered by “standing trustees” appointed by the United States Trustee to administer all cases filed in a particular geographic area.

As with Chapter 7 panel trustees, the United States Trustee supervises the Chapter 13 standing trustees’ administration of individual bankruptcy estates; monitors the trustees’ financial record-keeping; and imposes other requirements to ensure that the trustees carry out their fiduciary duties. The United States Trustee’s supervisory actions include:

  • Periodically reviewing the trustees’ case reports, budget reports, bank account information, management skills, court performance, and similar information.
  • Ensuring that trustees are bonded.
  • Ensuring that trustees are independently audited.
  • Determining trustees’ maximum annual compensation and actual necessary expenses.
  • Providing training for trustees.
  • Monitoring trust account funds.

From The United States Department of Justice website: THE U.S. TRUSTEE’S ROLE IN CONSUMER BANKRUPTCY CASES

Baby Boomers & Bankruptcy

Since 2010, bankruptcies have declined by 50.7%, the second lowest number since 1990. Recent research published by The Economist suggests that this overall decline masks significant trends among age groups. BK rates among those over 55 are rising. There are a number of factors behind the trend, one being that the generation now reaching retirement (baby boomers) have always been prone to “going bust.”

Findings from the University of Idaho show that the proportion of all bankruptcy filings made by people over the age of 65 has climbed from 2% in 1991 to 12% between 2013 and 2016. The bankruptcy filing rate has declined over these two decades for those aged 54 or younger.

Across all age groups, job losses, income declines, and medical expenses have long been leading reasons for bankruptcy. Researchers site less generous Social Security, riskier pension plans and higher out-of-pocket spending on medical care as leading reasons for this emerging trend.

Many Americans have no way of supplementing Social Security through savings or private pensions. According to the Employee Benefit Research Institute, in 1979 84% of private sector employees with a pension had at least some element of guaranteed retirement payment in their plan. By 2014, only 28% had any level of defined benefit while the rest were completely reliant on plans that contributed to investment funds with payouts dependent on fund returns. This change significantly shifted investment risks from employer to employee as well as leaving retirees with complex decisions about how rapidly to spend down their retirement accounts, both of which increased the risk of financial misfortune.

As well as smaller and less reliable income flows, older people are facing rising costs for health care. Despite public support from the Medicare program, the Medicare and Medicaid spending report shows that out of pocket spending averaged $2,938 a year in 2012 for those over 65 –that compares to an all-age average of $1,016 and is 20% higher than the figure in 2002.

But while tougher circumstances may play the major role in the greying of American bankruptcy, the data also points to a generational effect at work. In 1991, data from the Consumer Bankruptcy Project suggests the highest bankruptcy rates were among those aged between 25 and 44. In 2001, the highest rates involved the same generation of Americans, now aged 35 to 54. In the period between 2013 and 2016, a little more than ten years later again, the highest rates of bankruptcy were amongst those aged 45 to 64. The trend seems to follow the Baby Boomers generation.

Dodd-Frank Update

Last week The House voted to give final congressional approval to a major rewrite of banking rules that would revoke key elements of Dodd-Frank Act but still leaving most of it tact.

The President is expected to sign into law the “Economic Growth, Regulatory Relief and Consumer Protection Act,” which won House approval 258-159 as 33 Democrats and 225 Republicans voted for the bill. Officials say that it recalibrates regulation and risk in the financial services sector while promoting economic growth and new jobs.

The Senate Banking Committee Chairman said that the bill “right-sizes” regulations for smaller financial institutions, allowing community banks, credit unions and mortgage lenders to grow.

Key provisions of the legislation include:

  • Increasing banks’ asset threshold from $50 billion to $250 billion for extra regulatory scrutiny by the Federal Reserve.
  • Streamlining capital requirements and other exemptions from mortgage-lending rules for community banks.
  • Amending the Volcker rule for banks with less than $10 billion in assets in an effort to bolster market liquidity and decrease risk to the financial system in economic downturn.
  • Repealing the Department of Labor’s fiduciary rule, which aimed to minimize supposedly conflicted investment advice given to retirement savers.

Although Republicans claim the bill is a deregulatory effort, GOP lawmakers weren’t able repeal Dodd-Frank in its entirety. Key provisions remain, including the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau and Washington’s authority to unwind failing large banks.

Car Subscriptions? Yes!

Of the 17 million cars expected to be sold in the U.S. this year, about a third are leased. The rest are purchased. But there’s a new option for drivers coming on strong in 2018 – car subscriptions.

There are several companies offering drivers a monthly fee to access a variety of vehicles they can change up when they want. The fee varies depending on the company, and range from $400 to as much as $3,700 per month!   The fee usual includes maintenance, insurance, roadside assistance, pickup and drop-off. And in most cases the subscription can be ended at any time.

Cadillac, Volvo, BMW, and Mercedes are all offering subscriptions today.  In an interview with David Liniado of Cox Automotive (part owner of Flexdrive), he said that the market is tiny today (subscriptions between 100K – 150K) but anticipates it growing into the millions within the next 12 months!  Read more about this new concept here.

NIADA Applauds Repeal of CFPB

Read NIADA’s Press Release here:

The U.S. House of Representatives voted today to repeal the Bureau of Consumer Financial Protection’s controversial 2013 guidance on indirect auto lending, a move praised by the National Independent Automobile Dealers Association.

The National Independent Automobile Dealers Association (NIADA) is among the nation’s largest trade associations, representing the used motor vehicle industry comprised of more than 38,000 licensed used car dealers.