Weekly Wrap: Debt Collection Changes, Pay Raises All Around, and Virtual Real Estate Boom
Debt Collection Changes
How many times do you question a friend request on social media? Of course, you always should, but do you?
Now, along with perverts and other weirdos, debt collectors can contact you on social media, through text messages and emails. However, there are rules they must follow. In addition, you can block them.
It is important to know those rules when dealing with an industry notorious for misrepresentation.
What Is New
The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau CFPB) updated provisions of the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act last year and those changes recently went into effect.
The new regulations clarify how debt collectors can contact consumers. They also spell out how consumers can limit the ways collectors can contact them.
You can now unsubscribe from text messages and emails sent by collectors, according to the CFPB. The update also prohibits collectors from contacting you on public venues. For example, a debt collector can only contact you on Facebook through direct messaging.
“We are finally leaving 1977 behind and developing a debt collection system that works for consumers and industry in the modern world,” wrote Kathleen L. Kraninger, the former CFPB director last year.
What You Should Know
- All contact from a debt collector must be private. In addition, messages from a collector can not be accessible by the general public, your friends, or followers on a public platform. That includes your profile.
- Collectors must identify themselves as debt collectors in all contacts. That includes contacts via telephone and social media, according to the CFPB.
- In addition, the debt collector is required to give you a simple way to opt-out of receiving unwanted messages.
Your Next Raise
Congratulations! Next year, American workers will get their largest pay hike since 2008.
The pay hike will average 3.9 percent, according to The Conference Board’s Salary Increase Budget Survey. The study was conducted in November following a previous survey in April. The November figure is up almost a point from April’s 3 percent figure.
“Growth in wages for new hires and accelerating inflation are the main causes of the jump in salary increase budgets,” stated the report. “The November Salary Increase Budget Survey shows that almost half of respondents (46%) said that the increase in wages of new hires played a factor in salary increase budget estimates for 2022, and 39% said that increased inflation played a factor.”
Projection Follows Real World Trend
Actual wages increases are a precursor to the projection for next year.
Hourly wages bounced 4.8 percent from November last year to November 2021, according to the U. S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. In addition, the average business has increased its budget for salaries by three percent so far this year.
The current labor shortage has led to higher wages, according to the report. That comes after decades of wage stagnation.
In addition, layoffs and early retirements brought on by the pandemic have contributed to the labor shortage. Not to mention the great resignation.
Further, inflation has contributed to the rise in wages.
Inflation rose to 6.8 percent in November.
Can It Last
Many economists see the labor shortage lasting well into the next year or longer. Consequently, wages are expected to continue upward.
The Land Grab Is On
Last month two of the largest ever purchases of raw land were made. They occurred back-to-back. One purchase set a new record and the second one broke it almost immediately.
However, both transactions went virtually unnoticed. It did not make television news. There were no headlines in newspapers about it. The internet was not abuzz about it.
The only place the buys were noticed was where they took place – in the metaverse. Specifically, the deals were made on the Sandbox and Decentraland platforms.
Decentraland and Sandbox are virtual worlds where users can buy and sell virtual assets, such as real estate, and interact with others through avatars. Both platforms say they will limit land purchases. In addition, Sandbox says 65 percent of its land has already been acquired.
The Sandbox Deal
Republic Realm purchased land in Sandbox from gaming giant Atari for $4.3 million.
The purchase is equal to 1,200 city blocks, according to Republic Realm.
The virtual real estate firm plans to develop the property in cooperation with Atari.
“Republic Realm is excited to co-develop real estate with Atari, one of the most iconic gaming brands in the Sandbox, one of the most exciting metaverse platforms in existence today,” said Janine Yorio, managing director of Republic Realms.
The Decentraland Deal
Tokens.com’s $2.5 million land purchase transaction was made through its subsidiary Metaverse Group. As a result, the firm now owns prime real estate in the heart of Decentraland’s fashion district.
The purchase was for 116 parcels. Each parcel is equivalent to 52.5 square feet. As a result, the acquisition is equal to 6,090 square feet.
Metaverse Group plans to partner with established fashion brands to curate fashion events at their new virtual location.
“These assets will complement the existing portfolio of metaverse real estate already held at Metaverse Group,” said Tokens.com CEO Andrew Kiguel. “We are excited to have our subsidiary successfully close this landmark digital real estate transaction.”
Kiguel told The New York Times that the metaverse real estate is guided by the same concept as real-world real estate.
“It’s location, location, location,” he said. “A parcel of land in the downtown core, which has a lot of visitor traffic, is worth more than a parcel of land in the suburbs. There’s a scarcity value.”
Kiguel also told the Times that Tokens.com’s real estate acquisitions in the metaverse are now worth 10 times their original purchase prices.
Perhaps the best know metaverse real estate developer is rapper and entrepreneur Snoop Dog. He has created Snoopverse on the Sandbox platform.
Snoop has recreated his California mansion on his land. For a price, you can take a tour. In addition, you can purchase an early access pass for about $3,000 which allows you to help Snoop develop the virtual world.
One investor paid Snoop about $450,000 earlier this month to be his next-door neighbor.
How You Get In
Buying virtual land is similar on all platforms. However, they may use different tokens. To make it simple, let’s look at how you buy on Decentraland. It uses ethereum or its own token – MANA.
Each property is represented by an NFT. You can buy through Decentraland or Open Sea, an NFT marketplace. However, buying through Decentraland gives you more property information.
Once you are signed up with Decentraland, you can browse for properties. It is important to note that you need to have a virtual wallet. In addition, your wallet must be connected to your Decentraland account. That way the NFT can be transferred to you.
Hit the buy button once you have selected your property. You can confirm your purchase in your wallet.
In Trust Wallet, your acquisition will appear under collectibles. MetaMask will show the property under NFTs.
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