Archive for February, 2013

Northport may extend moratorium on certain businesses

Thursday, February 28th, 2013

According to Northport Retail Development Director Alan Harper, the extended time is needed so that a joint study can be completed on the impact of select businesses in the city.

In November, the City Council voted to move ahead with the study, which will also examine the impact on the city of Tuscaloosa. The study is being done by Cooper Consulting Co. for $40,540, and the cost is being split evenly ­between the two cities.

The study will examine what impact pawn shops, payday advance businesses, tattoo parlors, title loan stores and similar businesses might have on the cities.

We’d like to extend (the moratorium) until June 17, which will give us ample time to study the results, Harper said.

There will be no change otherwise to the moratorium, he said. The original moratorium banned the opening of any new tattoo and piercing parlors, pawnshops, title loan shops, payday loan operations, cash-and-go businesses, check-­cashing stores, tobacco shops, adult bookstores, sex item shops and hand car wash businesses. The city permanently banned fireworks stands within city limits last month.

The joint study is currently underway and started in January and should be done by the end of March or early April, Harper said. But, one thing is clear — Northport has more of its fair share of those certain types of businesses, Harper said.

There are roughly 40 businesses in the group in Northport, Harper said, adding that there are about the same number of those types of businesses in Tuscaloosa, even though the population of Tuscaloosa is more than triple that of Northport.

Northport’s original moratorium was in response to Tuscaloosa City Councilman Kip Tyner’s proposal to ban similar businesses within the city of Tuscaloosa’s mixed-use zones, which already limit the number of businesses that can operate as check-cashing operations, pawnshops, payday loan services, sexually oriented or adult-based entertainment stores, tattoo or body piercing parlors, title loan businesses, tobacco shops or vehicle repair services.

Once Northport took action, the Tuscaloosa City Council considered banning the same types of businesses out of concern that Northport’s ban would push them across the river. However, the Tuscaloosa City Council opted not to pursue the ban on Oct. 9, and instead decided conduct a study on the effects of these businesses.

The Northport City Council will vote on the moratorium extension at its next meeting on Feb. 18.

Reach Lydia Seabol Avant at 205-722-0222 or

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Austin American-Statesman editorial: Texas needs tougher payday lending laws

Wednesday, February 27th, 2013

Two years ago, state lawmakers passed a couple of timid rules regulating businesses that make short-term, high-interest loans. Going where the Legislature failed to go, Austin, San Antonio, Dallas and El Paso since have passed rules more tightly restricting so-called payday lenders whose fees and charges have earned them a predatory reputation.

Payday lenders want the Legislature to pass additional regulations during the current session because, they say, they need the consistency that comes with statewide rules. And, they argue, cities don’t have the legal right to regulate their fees and charges.

Some of the rules cities have passed are zoning rules that restrict where payday lenders can do business. Zoning regulations are a matter for local governments, not the Legislature. But, yes, when it comes to regulating terms offered by lenders, statewide rules would be better, and not just for the industry but for consumers throughout Texas.

So the Legislature should give payday lenders the statewide rules they say they want, but not as the industry would prefer — as weakened versions of the measures that have passed locally. The regulations passed by the Legislature in 2011 required payday lenders to register with the state and to post their fees and terms of service. They were a start but were insufficient.

Tougher restrictions failed in 2011. They should pass this session, starting with lawmakers closing the loophole in the state’s usury law that allows payday lenders to charge exorbitant fees and interest rates. Legislators also should limit the number of times a payday loan can be rolled forward to break the cycle of debt that traps too many borrowers.

Payday lenders loan small cash amounts, often less than $1,000, that typically must be paid back in two weeks. A fee is charged on the loan, and if it can’t be paid back on time, lenders extend the loan, adding another fee when they do so. Fees on payday loans equate to usurious annual interest rates of several hundred percent, and a loan of a few hundred dollars can turn quickly into a debt two or three times the amount of the original loan.

Auto-title loan companies operate similarly to payday lenders. Borrowers put up their car title as collateral for a cash loan and either pay off the loan with fees and interest in a short period of time or roll the balance into a new loan with new fees. Again, loan charges amount to usurious annual interest rates.

The Austin City Council, following examples set in other Texas cities, passed an ordinance in August 2011 that requires payday lenders to register with the city, caps cash advances and restricts the number of times a borrower can refinance a loan. Last year, the council used the city’s zoning authority to limit where lenders can operate.

The payday lending industry counters criticism leveled against it by saying it fills a need among consumers — who are often low-income and minority — who need quick cash but might not qualify for traditional loans from banks or credit unions. The industry says the vast majority of borrowers repay their loans on time.

To try to protect themselves from state regulations, payday lending companies have contributed heavily to lawmakers. A 2011 report by Texans for Public Justice, a legislative watchdog group, found that payday and auto-title lenders had donated $1.4 million to state lawmakers in the 2010 election cycle and had spent up to $8.4 million on lobby contracts between January 2009 and March 2011.

In an editorial published as the Legislature’s first state payday regulations took effect, we wrote, “The modest reforms that survived the 2011 session despite the sums of money spent in opposition should be considered a warning shot.” It seemed more regulations were a matter of time. The time has come. This session should finally see the passage of rigorous payday rules.

This editorial was published in the Thursday edition of the Austin American-Statesman.

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Payday cash advance store opens new location in Flint

Tuesday, February 26th, 2013

FLINT, MI A payday loan service has opened in Flint.

Check n Go, a national chain that provides loans and financial services, has opened a new store location at 3538 Miller Road. The store held its grand opening on Monday, Feb. 4, at the new location.

The Check n Go will offer retail and online loans, check cashing and online bill payment.

The Check n Go franchise now operates more than 100 stores in Michigan and a company spokesperson said they are excited to extend our operations in this new location.

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US Plains Farmland Up More Than 20 pct, Sets Records

Tuesday, February 26th, 2013

What really stuck out in the survey was the difference between irrigated and non-irrigated cropland values…irrigated land is a way to protect from the possibility of these droughts, said Nathan Kauffman, a KC fed economist and one of the authors of the survey.

Persistent drought sparked a rush in irrigated farmland sales during the fourth quarter of 2012. Stronger sales vaulted irrigated cropland values in the District 30 percent above year-ago levels, with a 13 percent jump in the fourth quarter alone, the Fed said of its survey, which draws on comments from 232 district bankers.

Non-irrigated cropland and ranchland posted strong annual gains of between 20 and 25 percent.

The KC Fed district stretches across major wheat, corn and cattle states of Colorado, Kansas, Nebraska, Oklahoma and Wyoming along with parts of New Mexico and Missouri.

US Plains Farmland Values

Farmland values are closely tracked by government economists as a gauge of the US economy and health of the banking system. In recent years both crop prices and farmland prices have set records as the burgeoning biofuels industry and record food exports spotlighted the value of hard assets.

In turn, farm income has also set records. But skyrocketing land values have stirred banker fears about the possibility of a ruinous farmland bubble like the one seen in the 1980s US farm crisis, when over-leveraged farmers lost their land when interest rates jumped.

Farm prices are high, but so are commodity prices and interest rates are very low. Those are the two biggest determinants of what farm ground should sell for, said Phil Burns, chief executive of Famp;M Bank in West Point, Nebraska. The question becomes how sustainable are either or both looking longer term? In the short term everything looks fine.

The Kansas City district survey comes after fourth quarter surveys earlier this week from the St Louis and Chicago Fed banks. The latter two surveys covered the northern Corn Belt and central Delta states, with both reporting similar results – strong farm income aided by crop insurance and strong farm spending for land and equipment, partly due to year-end doubts about higher taxes in 2013.

Farmers remain the predominate land buyers, accounting for three-fourth of the sales in the Plains in the fourth quarter. Bankers said farmers used more cash to finance purchases compared to a year ago. Nonfarmers continued to buy land for investment purposes.

Almost all recent auctions were sold to the largest farmers in the area wanting to get bigger. The buyers are strong and most are cash sales, said one banker from northwest Missouri.

Cash rental rates also surged in the quarter, with irrigated cropland up 20 percent and non-irrigated rising more than 14 percent.

Farm Income Strong Despite Drought

Farm incomes rebounded in the quarter despite expectations that drought would hurt profits, the KC Fed said.

Crop incomes remained high, as farm operations with irrigated cropland had less yield loss and sold crops at high prices, while many farm operations without irrigation received crop insurance payments, mitigating losses, the bank said.

Following the autumn harvest crop prices eased back as export demand weakened and ethanol production slowed, providing some relief to livestock producers through lower feed costs. Significantly, cattle and hogs firmed in the quarter improving profits in the livestock sector toward the end of 2012. The district contains the top cattle feedlot states, with the exception of Texas.

Higher farm incomes boosted capital spending and led to improved agricultural lending conditions, although overall loan demand remained low with many grain farmers flush with cash. Loan repayment rates increased at a pace on par with a year ago while interest rates for operating and real estate loans edged lower, the bank survey said.

Although fourth-quarter incomes were better than expected, bankers expressed concerns that drought could affect some areas further in coming months. Farm incomes were expected to drop in Kansas and Oklahoma, as pasture conditions generally remained poor due to ongoing drought. But strong farm incomes were expected to continue in areas with sufficient water availability, the Fed said.

Water scarcity led to differing farm incomes and farmland-value gains by state, the bank added.

(Reporting by Christine Stebbins)

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Monday, February 25th, 2013 Helps Borrowers with Cash Advance Even Before the Expected Time

Sometimes, a person finds themselves in a financial situation where a small amount of cash is necessary before the next paycheck arrives. Whether its a medical emergency, a credit card payment or an emergency travel cost that needs to be taken care of, everyones been in a situation where a bit of cash would help immensely in tiding them over till the next paycheck arrives to take care of things.

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Police arrest 2 for armed robbery

Sunday, February 24th, 2013

DNA evidence and cellphone technology helped the West Lafayette Police Department build a case against two men accused of holding up a payday advance store last October.

The suspects, 36-year-old Malcolm M. Smith of Indianapolis and 36-year-old Landon T. Harbert of Marion, were formally charged Thursday in Tippecanoe Superior Court 2 with two counts each of robbery by means of a deadly weapon, a Class B felony, and theft, a Class D felony.

Smith was being held Thursday in Tippecanoe County Jail on a combined $100,000 surety and $10,000 cash bond.

Harbert was being held in Grant County Jail on unrelated charges of domestic battery. He’s expected to be returned soon to Tippecanoe County.

Lt. Troy Harris, commander of West Lafayette’s investigations division, said Friday that Harbert used to live off-and-on with a woman in West Lafayette.

The armed robbery took place midday on Oct. 24 at Check Into Cash, 1056 Sagamore Parkway West. Smith and Harbert are accused of threatening employees with a handgun and demanding cash.

The suspects fled the scene in a stolen Dodge Durango, which investigators found about nine hours later in Hancock County.

According to a probable cause affidavit filed with the charges, the Durango belonged to a local woman who was dating Harbert. She initially lied to detectives but later provided Harbert’s cellphone number, along with numbers for Harbert’s brother and mother.

Investigators then got Smith and Harbert’s cellphone records, which showed numerous contacts between them prior to the robbery. Their cellphones also “pinged” off cellphone towers in Tippecanoe County at the time of the Check Into Cash holdup.

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Study: Almost Half of Americans Live on Edge Of Financial Ruin

Saturday, February 23rd, 2013

According to a new report released by the Corporation for Enterprise Development, almost half of US households dont have enough savings for emergencies, college tuition, health care and housing, reports

The report, entitled Assets amp; Opportunity Scorecard, says that 132.1 million people wouldnt last three months if their income stopped. The report also said more than 30 percent of Americans dont even have a savings account.

More than 25 percent of families earning $55,465 – $90,000 annually have less than three months of savings, while another 25 percent of households are considered net worth asset poor, meaning their assets (a home, business or car) are worth far less than their total debt amount.

The household median net worth has declined by more than $27,000 since 2006, while the cost of housing, food, and education have soared.

To make matters worse, whenever consumers cant cope with costs, they rely on credit cards. The average borrower carries more than $10,700 in credit card debt, and one in five households rely on high-risk financial services such as payday advance.

When Americans do not have money to spend, businesses have to lay off more workers, who become unemployed and cannot spend as much money as they normally would on goods and services. So it becomes a repeating cycle of money receding away from the marketplace. When money recedes from the economy like this, it is called a recession.

Source: BusinessInsider

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Ten Best Merchant Cash Advance Services Named by topcreditcardprocessors …

Friday, February 22nd, 2013

(PRWEB) February 05, 2013

The independent authority on credit card processors,, has named the ten best merchant cash advance service providers for the month of February 2013. Each of the companies named in the rankings offer a service to help merchants receive cash from expected and scheduled payments in order to expand or improve their offerings for their clientele. Each month the latest developments and offerings in the industry are inspected in order to revise the rankings if needed to help businesses find the top performing service providers in the industry.

The Ten Best Merchant Cash Advance Services for February 2013 are:

1)Swift Financial Corp.

2)Rapid Capital Funding

3)BankCard Central, Inc.

4)BC Funding LLC

5)Paramount Merchant Funding


7)Shield Funding Corp.

8)On Deck Inc

9)Merchants Capital Access, Inc.

10)Yellowstone Capital LLC

The process for evaluating and ranking the top merchant cash advance services in the industry involves a meticulous look at the level of service provided by each merchant service. Five areas of evaluation are used in order to benchmark the provided services which include competitive rates, reliability, efficiency, availability, and customer support. Client references are also contacted in order to learn more about how the service provider interacts with their clients and the types of practices which each service provider promotes.


The independent authority on credit card processing,, is a research firm dedicated to identifying and ranking the best credit card processors in the United States. These payment service providers are able to provide national services with flexible payment terms and service offerings for your small, medium, or enterprise business.

Merchant cash advance companies interested in being evaluated and ranked can visit:

To find the best merchant cash advance services visit:

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12 ON YOUR SIDE: Warning about loan offer text message

Friday, February 22nd, 2013


Not every text that shows up on your phone is legit. Some messages come with potential danger.

12 On Your Side investigates a text that appears to be from an international financial institution -but its not.

If you get a text directing you to a company promising cash right now, and bad credit is ok, delete the message and spare yourself the trouble.

It may not be a scam, but you could wind up paying a lot for a small loan.

Mary Presley had suspicions from the start that the text on her cell is a bait-and-hook fraud. It claims to come from Wells Fargo Bank – thats the bait.

Wells Fargo has approved you for a $1000 cash loan wired to your account in 24 hours!

It instructs Presley, whos been looking for a job since she got laid off in December, to apply for the fast cash advance from her mobile phone online at Thats the hook – Presley did not grab.

People have a hard enough time now, said Presley.If these people that do this kind of thing, would work as hard at a legitimate job, they could be millionaires.

When you click on, payday lending options pop up. A long list of short-term loan offers entice people desperate for emergency cash.

Filling out the application means giving up personal and banking information.

The same text thatPresley reported,I forwarded to Wells Fargo Corporate Communications.

That text message is not endorsed by Wells Fargo, said Kristy Marshall. We do not contact our customers in that form.

Also, online payday loans are illegal in Virginia. Its ok to search for a lender online, and even fill out an application, thats all legal – butthe deal must be closed face-to-face.

These type messages are prevalent and have many different company names and numbers attached.

Its one of the hardest crimes to track down, so thats why we just encourage our customers to not give out any information and to come and verify it.

Icalled the number on the text and got a not in service message. An internet search didnt turn up much, except the mystery number is out of Tampa, Florida, Hillsborough County.

Presleyfollowed her instincts and is now focused on alerting others.

Ijust… just need a job.I just want people to be aware because lifes too hard to be cheated. We work to make a living, not to be cheated.

Copyright 2013 WWBT NBC12. All rights reserved.

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Businesses Can Now Turn to Pinnacle Merchant Advance for Cash Advances in …

Thursday, February 21st, 2013

Philadelphia, PA — (SBWIRE) — 02/01/2013 — With 2013 in full swing, many businesses continue to struggle as owners carry the weight of the world on their shoulders to find working capital. However, Pinnacle Merchant Advance has had many businesses turn to them seeking a cash advance lender to alleviate any concerns during the continuing trying economic times. They understand that many businesses don’t have the extra funds to pay off current bills, expand, upgrade, or even advertise their business. Whether it is a restaurant, boutique, or any small business Pinnacle Merchant Advance can help those in need by now offering cash advances for businesses in 2013.

Some business owners on the east coast have had detrimental damage done to their place of business along shore lines in New Jersey and up through New York due to Hurricane Sandy. Small business owners know that even during thriving times, running a place of business can be challenging to operate. Pinnacle Merchant Advance provides cash advances for businesses that may be in need of assistance for getting it back up and running after Hurricane Sandy hit a few months ago. One may never know what is going to come up whether it is natural disasters, or a dip in sales making business cash advance companies sought out.

This can be a great time for businesses that are extremely seasonal or fluctuate throughout the year to inquire about cash advance lenders. Pinnacle Merchant Advance understands that businesses go through their ups and downs and won’t just give up on those who are in great need. Their professionals will be sure to evaluate all the needs to make sure businesses are reliable to pay back a cash advance. With their simple and easy process, Pinnacle Merchant Advance is known for their high approval rate and giving businesses a hassle free means to an end.

About Pinnacle Merchant Advance
Pinnacle Merchant Advance was founded the savvy financial professionals with a history of owning successful businesses. They understand how important it is for businesses to obtain loans and how important it is to have working capital. Pinnacle Merchant Advance designed the best alternative to a traditional business loan. So, for those looking for a small business loan can obtain cash advances with a simple process.

To learn more visit

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