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December 5, 2012

Mo' Money Taxes, along with partner subsidiaries and their owners, face a lawsuit from the Illinois Attorney General which could lead to their corporate extinction, owing to alleged practices at the company which were unfair and deceptive.

Lisa Madigan, the AG of Illinois, contends that Mo' Money Taxes ("MMT") and its related entities (Money

December 3, 2012

In an October 29th filing in the Southern District of Ohio, the Department of Justice filed a preliminary injunction against various parts of the Instant Tax Service chain which could threaten the future of the company.

The injunction says that the US will ultimately seek to permanently prevent Fesum Ogbazion, ITS

November 29, 2012

It should catch your attention when a rent-to-own store sells a previously rented white 17.6 square foot Whirlpool refrigerator for more than the price of a new 22.6 square foot stainless steel French door Frigidaire with an automatic ice maker and an external water dispenser.

People vary greatly in their feelings about rent-to-own. Some people think it costs too much, but others like the flexibility, the low (if long) stream of payments, and the lack of a credit check. I am going to stay agnostic and instead break it down into a discussion of economics.

November 27, 2012

People in prepaid often extol the virtue of innovation, but sometimes we forget that these new ideas are only an enhancement to the product if they help consumers.

Chase just announced one of those "innovations" this week. It is going to put an "instant issue" machine in its branches which can create a personalized card in seconds. Think about that for a second, because it is pretty big. With this technology, Chase can put a fully functional prepaid card in the hands

November 27, 2012

This is a reprint of my editorial in this week's American Banker.

"Startup's Demise Shows Regulatory Perils in Unbanked Market" (Nov. 13), about TandemMoney's end, should spark a discussion of the most contentious issue in the prepaid market: The idea of

November 21, 2012

White River Capital, the corporate parent of a large subprime automobile finance company, has announced that it will be acquired by California private equity firm Parthenon Capital Partners.

White River Capital owns Coastal Credit. Based in Norfolk, Coastal focuses on making car loans to

November 19, 2012

River City Bank (Louisville, Kentucky) will offer a new bank product to tax preparers for the upcoming tax season.

The new product, known as the Fee Forward, can advance the preparer fifty percent of the outstanding preparation fees charged to a filer.

Fee Forward is free to qualified preparers when used in conjunction with processing services. This year, River City will

November 16, 2012

A new report out today updates some data on the scope of the under-banked marketplace.

I am consistently surprised by number of people that do not understand the scope of this trend. Everyone probably knows someone that does not have a checking or savings account or who goes to some kind of provider of an alternative financial

November 14, 2012

In a transaction that probably reflects the increasing priority for prepaid card program managers to lower their customer acquisition costs, AccountNow has announced that it intends to buy nFinanSe. Most likely, the key value for AccountNow, a mid-sized prepaid PM whose cards are marketed over the internet, is to gain the foothold established by nFinanSe in several national retail stores.

nFinanSe is a small prepaid card program manager whose relative anonymity obscured its excellent offering. AccountNow, by contrast, is a relatively large PM whose stumbling block to gaining market share has been its lack of presence in any

November 13, 2012

Given that a number of people have reacted with - let's nicely call it curiousity - to the news about Republic's proposed credit product, I want to spend a few moments going over details in their October 18th filing which

should add some clarity to their business plans.

Setting Up the Background