Barton, Nelson Promoted at Missouri Department of Insurance
News from Insurance Journal:
Two veteran insurance regulators at the Missouri Department of Insurance have been appointed to division director positions.
Matt Barton was picked to lead the Consumer Affairs Division and Angela Nelson is now director of the Market Regulation Division
Barton has worked at the department since 2005, serving as public information officer, manager of the licensing section and as a regulatory projects manager, where he led successful implementation of technology to make numerous areas of the agency more effective and efficient.
Barton’s division, Consumer Affairs, is responsible for handling consumer complaints against insurance companies and agents. Thanks to the division’s efforts, consumers who filed complaints against their insurance companies have received more than $ 40 million in additional payments since 2009.
In his role as the department’s regulatory project manager, Barton also had leadership roles on committees through the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC). He previously chaired the State-Based-Systems product steering committee and currently serves on the Producer Licensing Working Group and the International Regulatory Cooperation Working Group.
Nelson has worked at the department since 2002, and for the past two and a half years directed the Consumer Affairs Division.
As div…………… continues on Insurance Journal
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Consumers Step Up Their Borrowing
News from consumer affairs.com:
As consumers geared up for the holidays, they borrowed more money. That’s the bottom line of a report from the Federal Reserve that shows consumer debt rose 9.9 percent on a seasonally adjusted basis in November.
The report is in marked contrast to consumer behavior over the last three years as consumers made a conscious efforts to avoid new debt and pay down existing obligations. In some cases consumers were no longer able to get credit as many credit lines were reduced and some accounts closed altogether by credit card lenders.
The Fed report measures borrowing on credit cards, car loans, school loans and other installment debt.
Economists generally welcome the news that consumers are borrowing more, pointing out that the economy will never really achieve robust growth until consumers start spending again. But consumer advocates worry that consumers could be falling back into the same old debt trap, and this time without the rising incomes to help them keep pace with payments.
Why the surge?
There’s also the reason consumers are borrowing. Is it because they are feeling more confident? If so, that could indeed be a healthy sign, showing that consumers expect to be able to pay back the money they owe.
But if they are borrowing more because they are desperate, and have no other alternatives to meet rising expenses, that coul…………… continues on consumer affairs.com
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