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Texas woman hit with a gun by tax filing company owner Latunya Wright, police said

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Moments later, Wright allegedly snatched the phone from her hands and deleted the recording. Then Wright hit her on the head with her gun, Boyle said, before she managed to retrieve her phone and flee.

“That could have ended very differently: [With] Harris County going to my house and telling my son that I wasn’t coming home,” Boyle, 36, told The Washington Post.

Wright, 46, has since been charged with aggravated robbery with a deadly weapon and aggravated assault, court records show.

“[Our] investigation revealed that she struck the victim with a firearm that she brandished during the altercation,” Mark Herman, a Harris County constable, said Friday in a statement.

Neither Wright nor her attorney immediately responded to messages from The Post early Monday.

The incident isn’t Wright’s first brush with the law.

In 2012, a Missouri judge sentenced her to 51 months in federal prison for helping move and hide millions of dollars taken in a 2010 heist of an ATM sales and services company. According to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, the FBI found hundreds of thousands of dollars hidden in the attic of Wright’s St. Louis home, only a fraction of millions she had already moved to a storage facility.

Years after completing her sentencing, Wright moved to Houston and opened MZBIZ Tax Services, which according to their website, offers accounting, credit repair, and business planning services.

Boyle, a new business owner who moved to Texas from Louisiana two years ago, said she normally files her taxes herself. But this year, worried she might make a mistake in her filings because of her new venture, a family member referred her to a tax preparer who works for Wright.

On March 9, a little over a month after Wright’s employee filed her taxes, Boyle said she received a letter from the Internal Revenue Service requesting that she send more information “to process the return accurately,” citing discrepancies in her filing. Wright’s employee later allegedly admitted making a mistake, Boyle said.

Boyle spent weeks contacting the IRS and attempting to get the missing documentation from Wright’s staffer, she said. But after getting nowhere on her own, she decided to visit MZBIZ personally in search of an answer.

On March 25, Boyle arrived at their offices around 12:30 p.m., she said. But she soon noticed she was not the only one there trying to complain about their filings. According to Boyle, a conversation between Wright and a couple who were there to contest extra fees allegedly taken from their tax return got heated after both Wright and the clients began cursing at each other.

About 15 minutes later, Boyle said, the couple stood up from Wright’s office and stepped aside while awaiting another document. Wright soon began yelling at them to “get the hell out.” The woman eventually left, but her husband stayed behind waiting for the paperwork, Boyle said.

That’s when Wright pulled out a gun and brandished it as she argued with the man, the witness said. “At that point, that’s when I started recording,” Boyle said.

The video she shot shows Wright walking to her desk, waving the gun. Another couple sitting in front of Wright’s desk tried to calm her down before she walked up to Boyle and asked her to stop recording. At that point, a struggle ensued and, according to Boyle, Wright violently pulled her phone away.

“When she snatches the phone she says … ‘You can leave. You can get the hell out,’ ” Boyle said. “This is my first interaction with Latunya Wright. I hadn’t even sat down.”

Then, Boyle said, Wright hit her in the head with an object she couldn’t see. Police later said that Wright had hit Boyle on the head with the gun. Wright deleted the video before throwing Boyle’s phone to the ground, shattering its screen, Boyle said.

“I turn around after picking up the phone and she has the gun in her hands,” Boyle said. “At this point she cocks the gun to put a bullet in the chamber but there is already a bullet in the chamber, so the bullet pops out of the side of the gun.”

By then, around 2:30 p.m., clients and staff had called police and Boyle said she walked out of the store, fearing for her life. Harris County police arrived moments later and soon arrested Wright.

Boyle was later transferred to a hospital to treat a head injury. Wright was charged on March 26 and booked into Harris County jail. She was released after posting her $70,000 bail. She is due back in court on Monday.

She has since posted a Facebook message from her business account, writing, “I have always helped other people #always There are some truly evil selfish people in the #world these days.”

Boyle said she was later able to recover the video and turned it over to police. She is so rattled by the incident, she said, that she still hasn’t told her two sons; her parents found out through news reports.

“I’m going to have to work with a therapist,” Boyle told The Post. “I’m shocked. I’m hurt. I’m mad about it. I went to clarify an issue going on with my taxes and ended up with a horrible life experience.”

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Are Sallie Mae Student Loans Federal or Private?

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When you hear the name Sallie Mae, you probably think of student loans. There’s a good reason for that; Sallie Mae has a long history, during which time it has provided both federal and private student loans.

However, as of 2014, all of Sallie Mae’s student loans are private, and its federal loans have been sold to another servicer. Here’s what to know if you have a Sallie Mae loan or are considering taking one out.

What is Sallie Mae?

Sallie Mae is a company that currently offers private student loans. But it has taken a few forms over the years.

In 1972, Congress first created the Student Loan Marketing Association (SLMA) as a private, for-profit corporation. Congress gave SLMA, commonly called “Sallie Mae,” the status of a government-sponsored enterprise (GSE) to support the company in its mission to provide stability and liquidity to the student loan market as a warehouse for student loans.

However, in 2004, the structure and purpose of the company began to change. SLMA dissolved in late December of that year, and the SLM Corporation, or “Sallie Mae,” was formed in its place as a fully private-sector company without GSE status.

In 2014, the company underwent another big adjustment when Sallie Mae split to form Navient and Sallie Mae. Navient is a federal student loan servicer that manages existing student loan accounts. Meanwhile, Sallie Mae continues to offer private student loans and other financial products to consumers. If you took out a student loan with Sallie Mae prior to 2014, there’s a chance that it was a federal student loan under the now-defunct Federal Family Education Loan Program (FFELP).

At present, Sallie Mae owns 1.4 percent of student loans in the United States. In addition to private student loans, the bank also offers credit cards, personal loans and savings accounts to its customers, many of whom are college students.

What is the difference between private and federal student loans?

When you’re seeking financing to pay for college, you’ll have a big choice to make: federal versus private student loans. Both types of loans offer some benefits and drawbacks.

Federal student loans are educational loans that come from the U.S. government. Under the William D. Ford Federal Direct Loan Program, there are four types of federal student loans available to qualified borrowers.

With federal student loans, you typically do not need a co-signer or even a credit check. The loans also come with numerous benefits, such as the ability to adjust your repayment plan based on your income. You may also be able to pause payments with a forbearance or deferment and perhaps even qualify for some level of student loan forgiveness.

On the negative side, most federal student loans feature borrowing limits, so you might need to find supplemental funding or scholarships if your educational costs exceed federal loan maximums.

Private student loans are educational loans you can access from private lenders, such as banks, credit unions and online lenders. On the plus side, private student loans often feature higher loan amounts than you can access through federal funding. And if you or your co-signer has excellent credit, you may be able to secure a competitive interest rate as well.

As for drawbacks, private student loans don’t offer the valuable benefits that federal student borrowers can enjoy. You may also face higher interest rates or have a harder time qualifying for financing if you have bad credit.

Are Sallie Mae loans better than federal student loans?

In general, federal loans are the best first choice for student borrowers. Federal student loans offer numerous benefits that private loans do not. You’ll generally want to complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) and review federal funding options before applying for any type of private student loan — Sallie Mae loans included.

However, private student loans, like those offered by Sallie Mae, do have their place. In some cases, federal student aid, grants, scholarships, work-study programs and savings might not be enough to cover educational expenses. In these situations, private student loans may provide you with another way to pay for college.

If you do need to take out private student loans, Sallie Mae is a lender worth considering. It offers loans for a variety of needs, including undergrad, MBA school, medical school, dental school and law school. Its loans also feature 100 percent coverage, so you can find funding for all of your certified school expenses.

With that said, it’s always best to compare a few lenders before committing. All lenders evaluate income and credit score differently, so it’s possible that another lender could give you lower interest rates or more favorable terms.

The bottom line

Sallie Mae may be a good choice if you’re in the market for private student loans and other financial products. Just be sure to do your research upfront, as you should before you take out any form of financing. Comparing multiple offers always gives you the best chance of saving money.

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Tips to do some fall cleaning on your finances

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Wealth manager, Harry Abrahamsen, has five simple ways to stay on top of the big financial picture.

PORTLAND, Maine — Keeping track of our financial stability is something we can all do, whether we have IRAs or 401ks or just a checking account. Harry J. Abrahamsen is the Founder of Abrahamsen Financial Group. He works with clients to create and grow their own wealth. Abrahamsen shares five financial tips, starting with knowing what you have. 

1. Analyze Your Finances Quarterly or Biannually

You want to make sure that your long-term strategy is congruent with your short-term strategy. If the short-term is not working out, you may need to adjust what you are doing to make sure your outcome produces the desired results you are looking to accomplish. It is just like setting sail on a voyage across the Atlantic Ocean. You know where you want to go and plot your course, but there are many factors that need to be considered to actually get you across and across safely. Your finances behave the exact same way. Check your current situation and make sure you are taking into consideration all of the various wealth-eroding factors that can take you completely off course.

With interest rates very low, now might be a good time to consider refinancing student loans or mortgages, or consolidating credit card debt. However, do so only if you need to or if you can create a positive cash flow. To ensure that you are saving the most by doing so, you must look at current payments, excluding taxes and insurance costs. This way you can do an apples-to-apples comparison.

The most important things to look for when reviewing your credit report is accuracy. Make sure the reporting agencies are reporting things actuary. If it doesn’t appear to be reporting correct and accurate information, you should consult with a reputable credit repair company to help you fix the incorrect information.

4. Savings and Retirement Accounts

The most important thing to consider when reviewing your savings and retirement accounts is to make sure the strategies match your short-term and long-term investment objectives. All too often people end up making decisions one at a time, at different times in their lives, with different people, under different circumstances. Having a sound strategy in place will allow you to view your finances with a macro-economic lens vs a micro-economic view. Stay the course and adjust accordingly from a risk and tax standpoint.

RELATED: Financial lessons learned through the pandemic

A great tip for lowering utility bills or car insurance premiums: Simply ask! There may be things you are not aware of that could save you hundreds of dollars every month. You just need to call all of the companies that you do business with to find out about cost-cutting strategies. 

RELATED: Overcome your fear of finances

To learn more about Abrahamsen Financial, click here

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How to Get a Loan Even with Bad Credit

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Sana pwedeng mabura ang bad credit history as quickly and easily as paying off your utility bills, ‘no? Unfortunately, it takes time. And bago mo pa maayos ang bad credit mo, more often than not, kailangan mo na namang mag-avail ng panibagong loan. 

Good thing you can still get a loan even with bad credit, kahit na medyo limited ang options. How do you get a loan if you have bad credit? Alamin sa short guide na ito. 

For more finance tips, visit Moneymax.

 

 

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