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January 7, 2013

Wells Fargo has announced a new agreement with Dollar Financial (DFC Global Corp a/k/a Dollar Financial Corp.) to provide a non-recourse line of credit to support the firms global payday lending operation.

Dollar Financial ("DLLR") is the parent of National Money Mart Company, Instant Cash Loans Limited, and Dollar Financial, U.K.

Wells Fargo is the bank at the heart of the contract. Wells is acting as not only the

January 3, 2013

New rules placed on California Buy Here Pay Here dealers go into effect this week. The legislation will enhance consumer protections through better disclosure, limit costs on car repossessions, put limits on the use of GPS trackers and starter interrupters, and force dealers to get licenses.

The Buy Here Pay Here business model is relatively simple: sell older cars at high mark ups, charge

January 2, 2013

My least favorite part of the new tax bill: NASCAR successfully lobbied for special tax treatment. Under the law, NASCAR can apply the cost recovery method for investments it makes in race tracks. Cost recovery means that a firm does not have to can shield revenue from taxes on money spent for some

December 31, 2012

While a lot of the discussion surrounding the fiscal cliff has focused on how much the rich should have to pay, the consequences reach farther and deeper. For the poor, the prospect is not just that fewer will receive entitlements. Yes, cuts to all kinds of benefits programs are possible. But tax increases would be spread to the poor, as well.

The negotiations in Washington over our tax code could have wide-reaching consequences for the tax preparation firms that serve low-income consumers. Many filers that might have qualified for a tax refund in years past

December 21, 2012

The impact posed by the sustained shortage of jobs is taking a toll on the mental health of some people.

"The constant drain and sense of defeat is creating a crisis, a mental health

December 20, 2012

Recently it was suggested to me that search engine customization could bring about the unintended effect of sorting the channels through which borrowers shop for loan products.

Even if the name is unfamiliar to you, you probably know of the idea. Most likely, you are aware the Google tends to rank its pages according to search history. If you are someone who has searched for

December 17, 2012

In a sector where the pace of change is moving quickly, both in the makeup of the products that it offers and with the regulatory system that governs it, it goes without saying that things will look different one year from now. The question is not "if," but how.

Five questions that could be answered in 2013:

December 14, 2012

Some interesting pieces of information from this week's investor presentation made by JTH Holding, the corporate parent of Liberty Tax:

1) JTH says that three funds own approximately half of their shares:

  • DataTax Business Services owns 33.4 percent of common stock. DataTax is located in Virginia Beach, Virginia.
  • EnVest II, LLC, located in Hampton Roads, holds 10.3 percent.
  • Edison Venture Fund IV owns 6.4 percent. Edison Venture's various funds hold positions across the financial services, health care, e-commerce, and information technology sectors.

2) Without RALs, Liberty rolled out the Instant Cash Advance ("ICA") product in 2012 in seven states. The company reports that the

December 12, 2012

The Department of Justice is going to bring a civil action against the owner of a Mo' Money Taxes franchise in Nashville, Tennessee and against his girlfriend who worked in his store as a tax return preparer.

The prosecution says that they initially took notice of the work of Toney Fields and Trumekia Shaw when they learned that 100 percent of the 1,218 and 1,131 returns filed from their office in 2010 and 2011 claimed a refund. In 2009,

December 10, 2012

I think it is fair to say that while innovation is a prepaid buzzword - most recently to lend support for a plan to shield prepaid products defined as such from regulatory scrutiny - it is time to push back with a critical framework for gauging new ideas.

I like to see innovation provided that it provides value to consumers. This week, there is a new development in payments that merits attention.