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NEWS THAT IMPACTS YOUR BUSINESS

Updated April 12, 2007 --  Scroll down to read all stories

SOME GOOD NEWS April 12, 2007.  See this article from the Wall Street Journal regarding payday lending.  It's good.  The news has most definitely improved on many fronts since the launch of the CFSA campaign.

STATE BANKING SUPERINTENDENT APPEARS ON ALABAMA PUBLIC TELEVISION April 9, 2007.  One of our members alerted us to the appearance by the State Banking Superintendent on Alabama Public Television a couple of weeks ago.  Click here to see his interview in which he discusses, among other things, payday lending and title lending.

SESSION NEARING HALF-WAY POINT April 9, 2007.  The legislature is nearing the half-way point.  They will convene this week, but will be off next week for break.  When they return, the session will be at the half-way point.  So far, there is no additional news to report on the bills that affect us as described below.  For the most part the Senate seems to be bogged down on internal political issues.

UPDATE ON RECENT BILLS TO SHUT DOWN THE INDUSTRY  April 2, 2007.  There is no news of any significance to report on the proposed legislation.  A committee has been formed that includes the Senators who introduced the legislation, the payday and title industry representatives (which includes us) and consumer group representatives.  The committee has held meetings which are essentially to provide the Senators with feedback on the impact of their legislation.  The focus of the committee, at the moment, seems to be on the payday legislation.  The committee plans to address the title bill after the payday issues are resolved.  At the moment we do not have any timeframes on when that will occur.

UPDATE ON RECENT BILLS TO SHUT DOWN THE INDUSTRY  March 24, 2007.  We are working on the three Senate bills through our lobbyists that would shut down our industry.  There is no news to report (good or bad) at the moment.  We expect to see more activity in the press over the next week or so and we expect that legislation may be introduced in the House that would be similar to that in the Senate.  Many of you have contacted us wanting to know if there is anything you can do.  The only thing you can do at the moment is to make sure you are a member of our association.  We will soon need all the support we can muster.  Your support will be critical when the time comes.

BILLS INTRODUCED IN ALABAMA SENATE WILL SHUT DOWN OUR INDUSTRY!!  March 10, 2007.  The Senate introduced three bills that for all practical purposes will shut down the industry.  To those who have attended our meetings this should come as no surprise.  Your association is working diligently on this situation.  We do not have much to report at the moment.  Many of you have asked if we need to begin contacting our local representatives.  The short answer, is not yet.  At the proper time, we will most definitely let you know we are ready to begin an intense, grass-roots effort to present our side of the story.  Rest assured, we are monitoring and tracking this situation hourly throughout every day.  We will soon get back with more information.  Also, rest assured this is the most significant threat against our industry since we formed TPCA six years ago!

See the press articles here, here and here.

NEW WEB SITE IN THE MAKING.  March 10, 2007.  We are working on a new web site and it should be completed in the next month or so.  There will be many new features and more information available to our members.  For the most part, the new site will be for TPCA members only through a registration process.  If you are not a member of TPCA, you may want to consider joining now.

A NEW LOW COST, LIMITED TIME INTRODUCTORY TPCA MEMBERSHIP IS NOW AVAILABLE.  March 10, 2007.  The Board of Directors has approved a new, limited time introductory rate for TPCA membership which is substantially lower than our current dues.  Go here for our current dues.  This new dues arrangement has not been added to any other location on this site yet.  The annual cost under the new plan is $350 for your first store and $100 for each additional store up to a maximum of 10 stores.  We will bill this on a quarterly basis.  If you are not member and have never been a member, now is the time to join.  Especially now, with what we are facing!  Hurry, though this offer will expire soon.  Drop us an email or call at 205-733-9926 for more information or to join under this new low rate option.

TPCA WILL HELP ORGANIZE A NEW ASSOCIATION TO PROMOTE TRUTH ABOUT THE TITLE AND PAYDAY LENDING INDUSTRY.  February 11, 2007.  At our meeting on January 31st we discussed an exciting new concept to promote "good news" about our industry (title pawn and payday advance).  Due the constant attacks by the press in which the press virtually never, ever bothers to tell the other side of the story, we all agreed it was time someone spoke out for our industry.  We plan to do this!  You will hear much more about this later.

SUPREME COURT CASE HAS NEW INTERVENER IN TITLE PAWN LAW SUITE.  January 9, 2007.  The Southern  Poverty Law Center has filed a brief in the Supreme Court case against us.  Here is a link to their web site.  They are an "activist" organization.  It is probably fair to say their agenda is opposed to ours!

SENATE COMPLETES ORGANIZATION SESSION.  January 9, 2007.  The Alabama Senate completed their organization session today.  It did not go as everyone expected (including us).  Here is the story.  Now that this task is complete, the TPCA Board of Directors will meet to map out our strategy for t his session.  This is shaping up to be a very trying period for us.  The session begins in early March but bills can and most likely will be filed any time between now and the end of the session.

SENATE ORGANIZATION SESSION BEGINS THIS WEEK.  January 7, 2007.  The Alabama Senate meets this week to decide the leadership roles for the next session.  The outcome of this will be very important to our members.  Go here for the story.

BIRMINGHAM NEWS & TV STATIONS BASH PAYDAY LENDERS AS PREDATORY  December 2, 2006.  A spate of articles appeared this week bashing payday lenders as predators.  Clearly, this is timed to influence legislation -- both local and national!  Read much more about this here.

REGIONS BANK ADOPTS AMSOUTH "BANK CLOSING POLICY" November 8, 2006.  We have been advised by the Modern Financial folks (payday association) of new bank closings.  We hate to say we told you so -- BUTSee our news article from several months ago regarding the AmSouth - Regions merger.  Actually, we thought the issue was put to bed at the end of last year, but apparently that is not the case.  Go to the bank closing link on the left and read all about this problem.  This is not a local issue.  There have been hearings in Washington to resolve this problem.  We thought those efforts had paid off and the problem was resolved.  That does not now appear to be the case.  This latest round of problems is most likely linked to the merger of AmSouth and Regions.

If you are contacted by Regions about your banking account you will have no other choice but to find another bank.  We do not know of anyone who has convinced AmSouth (now Regions) to change their mind.  We suggest you try local community banks.  We don't know if it will work, but it is about your only option.  None of the major banks seem willing to accept new business from our industry.  We will keep you appraised of the situation.

WE MADE OUR CONTRIBUTION GOAL  November 8, 2006.  Go here to see the latest.

WE ARE WAY SHORT OF OUR CONTRIBUTION GOAL  October 20, 2006.  Go here to see where we stand and to see those who are standing with us!

IS THIS A NEW COMPETITOR? (THE STATE & CREDIT UNIONS) October 20, 2006.  See this article regarding a new approach to payday loans.  Looks like the State and Credit Unions are moving into the business.

JUDGE RULES PAWNSHOP LAW INVALID  October 20, 2006.  As discussed at our meeting in September (and reported here) this is an issue the association will deal with and will follow closely.  We will certainly keep our members informed on this important issue.  The Defendant in the case has now filed a motion for appeal, which was fully expected.  The association has agreed to file a brief on behalf of our members and we expect to do so at the appropriate time.  Many have asked about the timing.  You can go here for a general timeline of the events.

BOARD MEETS - APPOINTS NEW DIRECTOR  October 20, 2006.  The Board of Directors met yesterday and appointed Mr. Bob Reich with Community Loans of America to the Board of Directors.  We are excited about having Bob join us.  He has a broad range of experience in the industry which will be a very important asset as we face multiple challenges in the months ahead.  Community Loans operates in Alabama as Alabama Title Loans and as US Title Loans.  They are one of the largest title loan operators in the state and in the country.    Please join us in welcoming Bob to the Board of Directors.

The Board also agreed to focus on positioning the association to meet the challenges ahead by bringing on new members and expanding the leadership of the association.  You will hear more about this is the weeks ahead.

GREAT AARP STORY  October 12 2006.  This article appeared in a South Carolina paper.  Maybe we are beginning to see more clearly the AARP motives in attacking us so aggressively.  Just what's in it for them?  Read the article and see.

POLITICAL CONTRIBUTIONS. October 11 2006.  At our meeting a few weeks ago many of you pledged to contribute to the PAC.  If you have not already done so, please get your checks in ASAP.  We will post the list of contributions here in a few days.  As you can see from the news below, we will surely need to help our friends in hopes they will stay in Montgomery!

Click here for instructions on making your contributions.

JUDGES RULING APPEALED. October 11 2006.  The defendant in the recent case that declared the pawn statute invalid has this week filed their intention to appeal that decision as required by the appeal process.  TPCA also plans to file an appeal on behalf of our members.

US CONGRESS PASSES MILITARY LENDING LEGISLATION October 11 2006.  The US Congress has passed and sent legislation to the President that shuts down lending to military personnel and their dependants.  Go here or our association's attorney assesment  and go here for Modern Financial's (payday association) attorney's assessment. 

SENATOR BARRON GETS SLAMMED FOR PAYDAY LOANS. October 11 2006.  As we predicted the press and political candidates are turning up the rhetoric and we are right in the crosshairs.  This will clearly turn out to be a very bad situation in the next legislative session.  Click here or below and see the latest on Senator Barron.

See What They Have To Say About Us

MORE ON SENATOR BARRON'S PLANS FOR THE INDUSTRY. September 14, 2006.  For those who do not know of Senator Barron, he is President Pro Tem of the Senate.  That is the top office in the Senate and one of the most powerful positions in our government.  Senator Barron was key in getting the payday legislation passed a few years ago.  He also had an ownership position in several payday loan stores.  That is HAD.  The news article indicated he has disposed of his interest and is no longer in the payday loan business.  In sum, here is what he wants to do in new legislation he plans to introduce in March:  

  • Stop payday roll-overs

  • Set up a single database controlled by State Banking to monitor payday loans

  • Establish a cooling off period for renewal of payday loans

  • Only one payday loan in a 60 day period per customer

  • Place title loans under the Small Loan Act at 24% to 36% APR

Read All About It Here.

SENATOR LOWELL BARRON PLANS TITLE & PAYDAY LEGISLATION. September 14, 2006.  We have just learned from a front page article appearing in the Huntsville Times that Senator Barron plans to introduce legislation that will dramatically effect the title and payday industry!  Check back later and we will have more information.  Here is the article.

JUDGE RULES PAWNSHOP LAW INVALID.  September 9, 2006.  On August 25th St. Clair County Circuit Judge Charles Robinson Sr. struck down a provision of the Alabama Pawn Shop Act in a summary court ruling, saying it violates the Equal Protection Clause of the 14th Amendment of the Constitution.  Click here to download the decision (this is a .pdf file and it may take a moment to load).  We will hold a meeting to discuss this unprecedented ruling and how it will impact our industry.  Click here for meeting information.

REGIONS ACQUIRES AMSOUTH BANK.  May 25, 2006.  AmSouth bank has been acquired by Regions Bank's.  Some reports show it as a merger.  This is not good if you have a bank account at Regions. As we reported at length last year, AmSouth was the main cause of bank discontinuance in our region.  We do not know of any of our members who had an AmSouth bank account who did not have their account closed.  Stated another way, everyone who had an account at AmSouth had their account closed  Many of those who could not find bank accounts moved to Regions.  Oh well.

If you have a problem, click here and read our reports from last year.  Quite frankly, if you encounter problems with Regions we do not of know much you can do except to locate another bank.

JUDGE MAY RULE PAWNSHOP ACT INVALID.  May 18, 2006.  A few days ago we sent a notice regarding a circuit judge in St. Clair county who we expect to rule that the Alabama Pawnshop Act is invalid.  We now have additional information.  The original lawsuit was brought against a title operator in Pell City, AL.  We just discovered the operator is a member of TPCA.  The operator has been in this business for a many years and they operate by the books.  The original lawsuit goes back almost four years.  We understand the judge does not think much of our industry and has not apparently found a violation of any existing statute.  So, this move is apparently his solution.  We are not making this up, promise.  

If the judge makes this ruling, it will most certainly be appealed to the Alabama Supreme Court.  This means between twelve and eighteen months before anything would be decided.

WELCOME NEW MEMBERS.  May 18, 2006.  Please join us in welcoming two new members -- Community Loans of America, one of the largest title lenders in the country (operating as Alabama Title Loans in Alabama) and Speedy Cash with several stores in south Alabama.  Together these companies represent 40 new stores who are now members of TPCA.  We don't know how many title stores there are in the state, but we believe there are between 500 and 600 (there are about 900 total pawnshop licensees, but many are traditional pawnshops only).  With these new members, we believe well over 50% of the operators in, terms of stores, are members of TPCA.  Why is that important, you ask?  There are many good reasons, but two that come to mind immediately are: 1) We clearly have more clout in Montgomery (a pretty important reason) and 2) If we can continue to grow, at some point we will be able to address our dues structure, which will help all of us.

NEWS FROM GEORGIA NEIGHBOR.  May 18, 2006.  On March 25 (see the article below) we wrote about the situation in Georgia.  Thanks to the hard work of many industry folks nothing happened -- this year.  Our president, Jimmy Wiggins, is close to the situation in Georgia and reports that this was a major battle.  He fully expects the issue to be on the agenda at the next legislative session.  

SB501 WILL BRING BIG CHANGES FOR TITLE OPERATORS.  March 25, 2006.  Now comes new legislation in the Senate to monitor our industry with a state-wide database and require us to charge additional fees for every transaction.  We believe this is bad legislation and we are working against it.  Click on Legislative for more information.

NEWS FROM NEIGHBORS.  March 25, 2006.  We have our own battles here (as noted above). Our industry is under constant attack.  If gone unchecked, the outcome will not be good.  Consider just the states that border Alabama:  Florida; title loans were outlawed years ago -- NO MORE TITLE LOANS IN FLORIDA,  Mississippi; among other changes they implemented a few years ago customers are required to pay a portion of their principal every month,  Tennessee; just this year implemented changes similar to MS.  And now comes Georgia.  Read what the Atlanta Journal has to say about it by clicking here.  The outcome under pending legislation in Georgia could be like Florida or like Tennessee (let's hope it is TN).  Don't think we are immune in Alabama.  This is the reason for your association and the primary reason we exist.  Our number one job is to look after our interest and to do all we can do to be sure what has happened to our neighbors does not happen to us here.  We need everyone's help in order to succeed.  If you are not a member, please stand with us by joining today. 

LICENSES MAY NOT BE RENEWED.   December 28, 2005.  There is a glitch in the new internet license renewal system for pawnbroker and deferred deposit licenses. The error occurs only if you have multiple licenses.  If you used the “back” button on your browser after you completed your first license application to then enter another license application the system only processed the first license.  All applications after the first application were not processed by the system.  Click here to read the entire article.

MEETING WITH NEW STATE BANKING HEAD.   December 12, 2005.  Last week JImmy, Max & Michael Sullivan (our lobbyiest) met with the new superintendant of the State Banking Department, Mr. John Harrison.  Click here for Jimmy's report.

ASSOCIATION ATTORNEY REVIEWS SUPREME COURT RULING.   December 2, 2005.  Our association attorney, Jeff Ingram of Galese and Ingram, has completed his review of the recent Supreme Court ruling.  We have faxed and emailed his assessment to all members.  If you have not received yours, please drop us an email (click here) and we will get it out to you right away.  His review is quite interesting and you will not want to miss it.

ALABAMA SUPREME COURT RULES AGAINST PAYDAY LOAN INDUSTRY.  November 22, 2005.  The Alabama Supreme Court ruled on a lawsuit against the payday loan industry on Friday.  This lawsuit has been around for years.  It appears to affect only operators who made loans prior to the deferred deposit legislation that passed in 2003.  We are not yet sure what the impact of this will be.  Our association attorney is researching the issue and we will get his assessment to our members in the next few days.  Click on the link below to read the story as it appeared in the Birmingham News.

Court rules against payday loan industry.

POLITICIANS IN VIRGINIA TO GO AFTER PAYDAY LOANS IN NEXT SESSION. November 17, 2005.  It's just not safe anywhere -- at least without a good association behind you!  We have talked at length how several of our neighboring states have hit a brick wall with regard to title and payday loans.  Florida did away with title loans and then they hit payday loans with big changes (none of them good).  Georgia outlawed payday loans and now are trying the same with title loans.  Tennessee has just made big changes in title loans (guess how many changes help the operators?).  And now comes Virginia wanting to eliminate payday loans (like North Carolina has).  Read the story by clicking the link below.

There may be a message here.  If you do not have a strong association in this industry working for you, you may become TOAST!  Make sure you support your association if you want to have a chance.

VA wants to pull the plug.

TITLEMAX SAYS, "PLEASE DON'T PUT US OUT OF BUSINESS."  August 1, 2005.  See this article published today (click link below).  This is not looking good!

  AJC -- More Title Pawn Hearings

 

GEORGIA TITLE LOAN PROBLEMS WORSEN July 27, 2005.  Georgia has turned out to be a bad state for payday loans, mortgage loans and now maybe title loans!  As a result of an assault by the Atlanta  paper (Atlanta Journal Constitution) the Georgia legislature introduced adverse title pawn legislation in the last session.  It did not pass.  BUT, they agreed to hold hearings over the summer and address title pawn again in the next legislative session.  Now, this may not seem like an Alabama problem, but it could very easily spill over.  Remember the horrible bills introduced by the Alabama legislature when title pawn was outlawed by our other neighbor (Florida) a few years ago?  That was certainly no coincidence.

Click on the link below to read what Georgia (and maybe us) are up against.

AJC -- Title Pawn Articles       AJC Hypocrisy & Bias

 

PAYDAY SCAM ALERT July 27, 2005.  The Modern Financial group (payday loan association for Alabama) has advised us there is a payday scam making the rounds in the state.  So far as we know it has only affected payday loans.  But, the group could easily expand into title loans.  Here is the information provided to us by the Modern Financial Group:

A GSA employee has been to many check cashing stores in Alabama and used more than one social security number.  We have a special investigator for GSA working on this.  The names used by the perpetrators are  Keshia Horton and Carla Neal.  The following are stores that have been affected that we ARE AWARE OF; AAA Between Pay Day, Check N GO, Cash Back, The Money Store, Approved Cash Advance, 500Fast Cash, United Cash Loans, AmeriLoan, Cash Advance Plus  Paycheck Today, Oneclickcash, Check Into Cash, Easy Money, Ez Pawn, Cash Mart, Fast Cash, Talking Cash, Advance America, Cash Advance Plus.  The GSA investigator needs our help.  They want to get this message to our members to help identify how many other locations are involved.  This appears to be a ring and they have stolen thousands of dollars.  In order to get Federal help the amount must be 10,000.00.  Otherwise, this puts it back to local  jurisdictions. Please let us know if you have any information about this group.

If you have any information, please send an e-mail or fax (205-444-9606) with the details. Or you can give Max a call at 205-733-9926.  We will get it to the Modern folks right away.  We have been able to help in robberies with our alerts, maybe we can help here as well.

 
 

Title Pawn Council Of Alabama

PO Box 361782

Birmingham, AL  35236

tpca@mindspring.com

 

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The Genesis Group, Inc.

Birmingham, AL

Payday & Title Loan Software

205-733-9926