Credit bureau: Americans’ delinquency rates improved in 2011

U.S. debtors delinquency rates improved significantly, credit bureau Equifax reported. Among the most significant statistics, 60-day deliquescence on credit card bills fell by 29 percent.

The reduction in late payments has in turn led to increased credit, according to Equifax. Credit card originations for consumers with subprime credit scores (below 660 points) increased 48 percent from January through October.

Among other types of debt, 60-day delinquencies among auto loans financed by dealers decreased by 19 percent. Auto loans financed by banks fell 23 percent in 2011.

Mortgage payments delinquent by 30 days declined by 13 percent last year, according to Equifax.

California Attorney General announces Brazilian Blowout settlement

Attorney General Kamala Harris announced a settlement with the manufacturer of Brazilian Blowout hair products that will require disclosures to consumers and stylists that the hair smoothing products emit formaldehyde gas.

The manufacturer, GIB, LLC must stop describing its products as formaldehyde free and safe. The firm, which does business under the name Brazilian Blowout, must also pay $600,000 in fees, penalties and costs.

Harris’ office also reported the settlement is the first law enforcement action made under the 2005 California Safe Cosmetics Act. The settlement came as the result of a lawsuit her office filed in November 2010.

Women’s construction group to talk mentoring

The Inland Valley chapter of National Association of Women in Construction plan to welcome project manager Christopher M. Myers as the featured speaker at the group’s February meeting.
Myers is a project manager for C.W. Driver Builders, which is based in Ontario.

The U.S. Small Business Association’s Mentor-Protg Program is scheduled as the meeting’s featured topic. The program is designed to help small companies bid for federal contracts by allowing those companies to partner with larger firms.

The Mentor-Protg Program is open to minority business owners and others who meet the government’s criteria for being a “socially and economically disadvantaged individual”.

Admission will cost $25. RSVPs are requested by Feb. 7.

Information: 909-982-7911 or call Deloris Whelchel at 909-987-5575. Email reservations may be sent to nawic140@msn.com.

San Bernardino mall is “Sweet on Soldiers”

Inland Center, along with Touch of Home-Support 4R Military Inc., is collecting supplies and Valentine’s Day cards for servicemen and women overseas.

After they are collected, Valentines and much-needed supplies will be packaged and shipped by Touch of Home to soldiers overseas for Valentine’s Day.

Goodies will be collected through Feb. 5 at the mall, 500 Inland Center Drive.
“We’re Sweet on Soldiers” has helped thousands of soldiers know that we have not forgotten them and appreciate everything they do.

Requested supplies include white tube socks, foot powder, packages of batteries, toothbrushes and toothpaste, deodorant, nonperishable food, single-serve drink mixes and snack bars.

Information, visit www.inlandcenter.com.

University of Redlands to offer joint engineering program with Columbia University

University of Redlands announced a new engineering program that will enable students to earn a bachelor’s degree at Redlands while also obtaining a bachelor’s of science degree in engineering from Columbia University.

The program will require students to spend the first three years of undergraduate study at University of Redlands. Students would be able to apply to Columbia University’s School of Engineering and Applied Science during their junior year.

Students who are accepted at Columbia would then spend two additional years studying engineering at that school’s campus in New York City.

Information: http://www.redlands.edu/engineering3-2.

Altura credit union reports $8.43 million profit

Altura Credit Union, which is based in Riverside, reported an $8.43 million profit for 2011.

The amount signifies an improvement over the credit union’s $5.8 million loss in 2010.

“After the economic turmoil of the past few years, 2011 was our best year since 2006,” Altura Credit Union CEO Mark Hawkins said in a statement. “Although we continued to deal with a difficult economy, 2011 was the year in which we finally saw the marketplace begin to firm up. Unemployment is settling down and foreclosures and delinquencies have eased substantially.”

Altura Credit Union ended 2011 with a 7.84 percent net worth ratio, well above the 5.81 percent ratio at the end of 2010. The National Credit Union Administration considers an institution with a ratio of at least 7 percent to be well capitalized.

Ontario martial arts academy wins “Small Business of the Year” honor award

San Bernardino County Supervisor Gary Ovitt named Team 3 Fight Academy as the “Small Business of the Year” for his district.

Army veteran and Sergio Marchado is a part-owner of the martial arts school, which offers lessons in mixed-martial arts, Brazilian jiu jitsu, krav maga and other fighting and self-defense disciplines.

Machado served three tours of duty in the Iraq War and received a Bronze Star, according to Ovitt’s office. Machado also started a clothing company called Recon Fight Gear and donates 10 percent of clothing sales to support military personnel overseas and at home.

Ovitt represents San Bernardino County’s Fourth District, which includes the Ontario and Chino areas. His office honors a Fourth District business each month, and nominations can be sent by telephone or email to 909-465-1895 or supervisorovitt@sbcounty.gov. or call my district office at (909) 465-1895.

Nominations should include the name of the business, business owner’s name, address, and reasons for the nomination.

Team 3 Fight Academy is at 2502 S. Euclid Ave, Suite C, Ontario.

Information: www.team3fightacademy.com

Rancho Cucamonga financial services firm crests 200 million transaction mark

CO-OP Financial Services, based in Rancho Cucamonga, processed more than 200 million electronic payments in December, the company reported.

It was the first time the company ever processed more than 200 million transactions in a single month.

CO-OP Financial services provides payment processing and other services to credit unions. The company processed some 2.2 billion payments in all of 2011.

The company first crested the 1 billion mark in 2004.

Chase to open about 60 Southern California bank branches in 2012

J.P. Morgan Chase & Co. plan to about 60 Southern California branches this year.

The anticipated openings are part of the banking firm’s plan to open
nearly 100 branches up and down California and about 175 branches
nationwide.

A bank spokesman said he could not identify where the new Chase bank
branches will open, but did say most of the Southern California branches
will be in the Los Angeles and Inland Empire areas.

Chase has 930 branches in California.  J.P. Morgan Chase & Co. acquired Washington Mutual in 2008.

Index Fresh hires new representative for avocado growers

Index Fresh, a Bloomington-based avocado distribution company, has hired T.J. Salinas as the company’s new Southern California field representative.

Salinas is a graduate of Cal State San Marcos and has previously worked in the fertilizer industry.

Index Fresh is a grower-owned company that packs, markets and ships avocados grown domestically and abroad.