D.K. Foreman – Personal Blog

Archive for July, 2014

Set Thy House In Order: A third of Americans delinquent on debt

by on Jul.30, 2014, under Financial

More than a third of the country is in trouble when it comes to paying debts on time; 35% of Americans have debt in collections, according to a study out Tuesday from the Urban Institute, which analyzed the credit files of 7 million Americans.

That means the debt is so far past due that the account has been closed and placed in collections. This typically happens after the bill hasn’t been paid for 180 days. It also means the debt has been reported to credit bureaus and can affect someone’s credit score.

Average Debt By State….

Average Debt By State….

Southern states especially stand out with the highest concentration of people delinquent. In 13 states — Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Texas, Nevada, New Mexico and West Virginia — and Washington, D.C., more than 40% of the population with a credit file has debt in collections. Nevada, one of the states hardest hit by the housing crisis and recession, has the highest share, at 46.9%.

The 77 million Americans with debt in collections owe an average of $5,200. That includes debt from credit card bills, child support, medical bills, utility bills, parking tickets or membership fees.

The share of delinquent households is “pretty disheartening,” says Josh Bivens, research and policy director at the Economic Policy Institute. He calls the data a “powerful” reminder of the fact that many Americans are still battling for economic stability since the end of the recession.

“This is yet another really bad legacy of the Great Recession that we’re just nowhere near climbing all the way out of,” he says.

At the same time, a significant number of people with debt in collections aren’t aware of the bill and may otherwise have great credit, especially when it comes to medical bills that patients often think were picked up by insurance, says Greg McBride, chief financial analyst for Bankrate.com.

“The numbers don’t necessarily speak to the percentage of households that haven’t been paying their obligations,” he says of the data.

The research only draws on data from Americans with a credit file, so the researchers say lower-income consumers are underrepresented, and alternative forms of debt such as payday loans aren’t included.

When it comes to overall debt levels, most comes from mortgages, which make up 70%, on average, of Americans’ debt load. Wealthier states tend to have the highest amount of debt and percentage of debt held in mortgages, but the researchers point out that Americans with higher debt may also have higher incomes and better access to credit.

Hawaii tops the list with an average debt of $83,810; 80% of that is held in mortgages. States along the West and East Coasts follow closely behind. Those areas also have the highest housing prices.

“Total debt really mimics mortgage debt,” says Caroline Ratcliffe, a senior fellow at the Urban Institute and one of the authors of the report. Ratcliffe classifies mortgage debt as what’s generally considered “productive debt.”

“We talk about credit and access to credit as a good thing, but debt as a bad thing,” she says. “Access to credit can result in productive debt that moves us forward.”

Among Americans with credit history, the average total debt load is nearly $54,000. But that number is significantly skewed once you factor in debt from mortgages. Americans with a mortgage have an average overall debt of about $209,000 compared with about $11,600 for those without a mortgage. Twenty percent of Americans with a credit report have no debt.

McBride cautions that mortgage debt isn’t necessarily a negative financial indicator.

Percent of Collections By State.

Percent of Collections By State.

“Somebody with $400,000 in mortgage debt and no other debts could be in much better financial shape than the person with no mortgage debt but $10,000 in consumer debt,” he says.

The states with the highest share of people with debt in collections are ranked relatively low when it comes to average mortgage debt, the data show. The researchers found mortgage debt is concentrated in high-cost, high-price areas, Ratcliffe says. The top 20% of areas with the highest mortgage debt account for almost half of all mortgage debt.

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Protecting The Lambs: Hundreds gather to pay respects to slain 11-year-old Shamiya Adams

by on Jul.26, 2014, under Uncategorized

Wearing a sparkling tiara and carried to her grave in a horse-drawn hearse, little Shamiya Adams was given a burial fit for a princess Saturday.

A week since the 11-year-old was killed by a stray bullet while playing at a West Side sleep over, a thousand mourners gathered to remember the happy girl Shamiya was before she became the latest innocent poster child of Chicago’s chronic gun crime problem.

Tierra Goodloe, walks with her hand on the green casket carrying the body Shamiya Adams as it carried by a horse drawn carriage to Forest Home Cemetery, as her mother Shaneetha Goodloe and twin brother Jeremiah walk behind with Rev. Jesse Jackson, Saturday July 26, 2014. | Jessica Koscielniak / Chicago Sun-Times

Tierra Goodloe, walks with her hand on the green casket carrying the body Shamiya Adams as it carried by a horse drawn carriage to Forest Home Cemetery, as her mother Shaneetha Goodloe and twin brother Jeremiah walk behind with Rev. Jesse Jackson, Saturday July 26, 2014. | Jessica Koscielniak / Chicago Sun-Times

“Now Shamiya, it’s time for you to go to the front of the class in the best school ever — Heaven University,” Tiffany Tillman, Shamiya’s principal at Melody Elementary School, said at the girl’s funeral at Living Word Christian Center in west suburban Forest Park.

A few feet away, surrounded by flowers, a Hello Kitty adornment and balloons in her favorite shade of green, Shamiya lay in green gown in her bright green coffin.

Dignitaries including Gov. Pat Quinn and a representative of Mayor Rahm Emanuel listened as nearly a dozen speakers used the sad occasion to address the city’s ongoing and senseless gun violence.

But Tillman seemed to capture the essence of a girl who loved to dance and help her mom around the house when she told the mourners that Shamiya was “a beautiful child, a cheerleader, bop queen, peacemaker, respectful to all and most remembered as a best friend.”

Shamiya was generous and had the patience of an adult, she said. She’d sit for hours while her hair was braided and “never complain.”

“You shared every piece of your happiness. You even had to share your birthday with your twin,” Tillman said, as Shamiya’s twin, Jeremiah, looked on.

Nicknamed “Queen” by her grandmother, Shamiya was a keen volunteer who baby sat kindergartners at her school and recently helped raise funds for library books.

Her funeral came just a day after her alleged killer made his first appearance in court, charged with her murder.

Tevin Lee, an 18-year-old gang member, allegedly fired into a crowd of people last Friday afternoon in the West Garfield Park neighborhood. It was retaliation for an earlier fist fight between two 14-year-old boys, police said.

But an errant bullet flew through a window into the home where Shamiya and her friends were preparing to make s’mores during a slumber party in the 3900 block of West Gladys Avenue. The bullet passed through a wall, and struck Shamiya in the head as she sat on the floor.

Hundreds of mourners gathered Saturday at a Forest Park church to say goodbye to 11-year-old Shamiya Adams. She was struck and killed by a stray bullet while at a sleepover with friends last weekend.

Hundreds of mourners gathered Saturday at a Forest Park church to say goodbye to 11-year-old Shamiya Adams. She was struck and killed by a stray bullet while at a sleepover with friends last weekend.

She died the next day.

“One year it’s Hadiya, the next year it’s Shamiya,” the Rev. Jesse Jackson said at the funeral Saturday, referring to Hadiya Pendleton, the innocent 15-year-old whose 2013 murder so shocked Chicago.

Giving a rousing eulogy, the Rev. Oscar Crear, of New Tiberia Baptist Church, then condemned what he called “pandemic street violence.”

“What a tragedy it is that our children cannot come together at a slumber party,” Crear said. “Where little girls are giggling and smiling and telling jokes and braiding hair and doing double Dutch.

“It’s a sad day when our little girls cannot be little girls for fear of stray bullets coming through a window.”

Shamiya’s mom, Shaneetha Goodloe, did not speak at the funeral. She hid her eyes behind sunglasses, leaned on relatives and dabbed her face with tissues as she listed to speaker after speaker remember her joyful daughter.

Jackson said Goodloe recently told him, “You know reverend, when the other peoples’ children were shot, I wept for them. I did not know mine would be next.”

After the two hour ceremony, Goodloe and hundreds of others followed Shamiya’s casket on foot as it was taken about a mile by a horse-drawn hearse to its final resting place at Forest Home Cemetery.

At the grave site, 11 white doves were released, along with the green balloons.

The girl’s mother clung on to her boyfriend and held her hand, with green painted fingernails, to her mouth.

Email: bschlikerman@suntimes.com

Twitter: @schlikerman

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Popular Rapper Who ‘Found God’ Says He ‘Fell Out’ in Profanity-Laced Video

by on Jul.24, 2014, under Leadership, Music, Protecting the lambs

Marcus Jamal Hopson, better known to fans as “Hopsin,” raps in a new song called Ill Mind of Hopsin 7. “I hopped to Christianity so strongly, then I fell out. Now I’m avoiding questions like a scared dog with his tail down.”

Marcus Jamal Hopson, better known to fans as “Hopsin,” raps in a new song called Ill Mind of Hopsin 7. “I hopped to Christianity so strongly, then I fell out. Now I’m avoiding questions like a scared dog with his tail down.”

Popular rapper who admitted to being worshiped by fans and once claimed to have ‘found God’ and professedly ‘hopped to Christianity’ has released a profanity-laced video claiming that he has fallen away from the faith.

“If Hell is truly Your pit of fire and I get thrown in it, I’ma probably regret the fact that I ever wrote this [expletive],” Marcus Jamal Hopson, better known to fans as “Hopsin,” raps in a new song called Ill Mind of Hopsin 7. “I hopped to Christianity so strongly, then I fell out. Now I’m avoiding questions like a scared dog with his tail down.”

In 2012, during an interview with HardKnock TV, Hopsin stated that he had turned to God and wanted to follow a path of holiness.

“I feel like God is just telling me what I need to do and He’s showing me the light,” he explained. “I’ve been working on my relationship with God … [and] it gets to a point where you don’t want to walk down the sinful road anymore.”

“I have found God and I see things differently,” Hopsin continued. “I feel like God is going, ‘No, don’t lose hope ’cause these humans are driven by the ways of the flesh and they are all brainwashed.’ God is saying, ‘Just stick with Me, Marcus, and everything is going to be good. Just follow My lead and everything is going to be good.’”

But he also commented on how he had been taken by the adoration of the youth as he performed on stage.

“They praised me,” Hopsin said. “They almost worshiped me, and it threw my mind off because I’ve never been in that type of situation or position in my whole entire life.”

He outlined that although he did not plan to perform Christian music, he wanted to help those that were lost find the pathway to happiness and success. His music, while proceeding to denounce drug use, immorality and other sins that entangle much of America’s youth, remained heavily laden with profanity and other explicit language.

In February, Hopsin shared on Twitter that being in the limelight had adversely affected his faith.

“Being so heavily involved with this industry made me lose touch with God,” he Tweeted. “I don’t even know if I believe in Him anymore.”

In his new music video, which has gone viral since its release last Friday—gaining over 2 million views, Hopsin expresses doubt in God, declaring, “I don’t know if You do or don’t exist; it’s driving me crazy.”

“My gut feeling says it’s all fake,” he raps. “I hate to say it, but [expletive] I’ve lost faith.”

“This isn’t a small phase, my perspective’s all changed,” Hopsin announces. “My thoughts just keep picking [expletive] apart all day and in my mind I make perfect sense.”

He states that he can’t believe the Bible anymore because of his conclusion that it was written by man. Hopsin screams at God that He can’t believe that He is real until He shows him the evidence, declaring that he is “done” with Christianity.

With over 27,000 YouTube comments over the new video, Ill Mind of Hopsin 7 has stirred significant controversy.

“He just changed my whole perspective on God,” one commenter wrote.

“Somebody tell me what has happened to him,” another lamented.

But others state that they lovingly fear for Hopsin, noting that the enemy is seeking his soul.

“I’m more scared for him if anything, because Jesus ain’t a joke, and Hop will have to answer for this,” one viewer wrote. “[W]e can’t forget that Satan is out here working, too. He don’t want Hop to be saved. Lord, have mercy.”

Rapper Hospin's Twitter Page.

Rapper Hospin’s Twitter Page.

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Satan’s Altar Call: Former Secular Rapper Abandons the Call of God on his life To Return Back to his Worldly Roots

by on Jul.23, 2014, under Music, Religious Cults, World News

Foremer Rapper Turned Pastor Ma$e Abandons the faith and returns back to the world of Hip-Hop Music

Foremer Rapper Turned Pastor Ma$e Abandons the faith and returns back to the world of Hip-Hop Music

Ma$e has cut all ties with the church and is now devoting all of himself to music. TMZ reports that the Harlem rapper is no longer leading the El Elyon International Church, months after filing for divorce from wife Twyla Betha. The 36-year-old has been in a similar predicament before. In 1999, he left the music industry in order to work in the church. Throughout that time, he amassed a large following at churches in Atlanta and Phoenix, preaching relationship and family values. In 2004, Mase announced his return by way of the gold-selling album Welcome Back, but it wasn’t until recently that he apparently decided to make the full move back into music.

After his marriage crumbled, Mase’s followers left, since he wasn’t exactly living the life that he was preaching about, according to TMZ. In the end, Mase was able to settle his divorce after he dropped the fight for full custody of the couple’s two children. He was ordered to pay Twyla $6,000 a month in spousal and child support, while she was ordered to return all of his music. Mase’s new album will feature Kanye West, Rick Ross and Diddy, and will be released in October.

The Apostle Paul spoke in 2 Timothy 4:10 about Demas going back to his old life in the world.

“For Demas hath forsaken me, having loved this present world, and is departed unto Thessalonica; Crescens to Galatia, Titus unto Dalmatia.”

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