Archive for February, 2015

Grupo Elektra Announces 7% Increase in EBITDA to Ps.2298 Million in 4Q14

Saturday, February 28th, 2015

Consolidated revenue increases 9% to Ps.20,510 million, supported by a 29% solid expansion of the commercial business

19% growth in consolidated deposits to Ps.93,147 million generates solid perspectives in the financial business

Grupo Elektra surpasses 7,000 points of sale milestone in eight countries

MEXICO CITY, Feb. 24, 2015 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Grupo Elektra, SAB. de CV (BMV:ELEKTRA*) (Latibex:XEKT), Latin Americas leading specialty retailer and financial services company and the largest non-bank provider of cash advance services in the United States, reported today its financial results for the fourth quarter, and 2014.

Consolidated fourth quarter results

Consolidated revenue totaled Ps.20,510 million, 9% higher than the Ps.18,881 million of the same period last year. Costs and operating expenses were Ps.18,212 million, from Ps.16,732 million for the same period of 2013.

As a result, Grupo Elektra reported EBITDA of Ps.2,298 million, 7% higher than the Ps.2,150 million of the previous years quarter; EBITDA margin was 11% this period, same as the previous year.

The company reported net income of Ps.6,785 million, from net income of Ps.1,863 million a year ago.

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Financial resolutions on Dist. 205 agenda

Friday, February 27th, 2015

GALESBURG #x2014; The District 205 School Board is meeting Monday for what appears to be a fairly routine meeting.

The biggest items on the agenda are three resolutions related to loans and taxes.

The board will discuss whether to authorize a $1.85 million working cash loan. It also will discuss two resolutions that will abate some of the taxes levied for 2014 from bonds issued in 2011 and 2014.

As always, the board will have a time for public comments. Since the teachers strike, fewer community members have attended each meeting.

The board is also in the middle of its superintendent search. It met Jan. 27#x2013;29 for first interviews with superintendent candidates, and plans to meet next week for more interviews. The board hopes to announce by late February or early March who the new superintendent will be.

At a previous board meeting, board members said they would like to make site visits and have community members involved in the interview process.

Superintendent Bart Arthur is retiring at the end of the school year.

The school board meets at 7 pm Monday at the Lincoln Education Center, 932 Harrison St.


Ben Zigterman: (309) 343-7181, ext 255;; @bzigterman

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Thirty Best Merchant Cash Advance Services Revealed in February 2015 by …

Thursday, February 26th, 2015

NAPLES, FL–(Marketwired – February 22, 2015) – The thirty top merchant cash advance services have been named by for the month of February 2015. Each month of a team of researchers spend time benchmarking and reporting the top merchant cash advance services around the world to assist businesses in selecting the best service to assist them. The key goal of is to assist buyers in looking for strong services based on established standards created by the independent research team. The resulting standards are used to identify which solutions produce the best experience for clients in credit card processing.

The 30 best merchant cash advance services for February 2015 are:

1. BankCard USA

2. Fidelity Advance, LLC

3. CAN Capital

4. Finical Inc.

5. Rafter J Funding Services

6. Merchants Advance Network

7. Credit Card Processing Specialists

8. BC Funding

9. Swift Financial Corp.

10. ICBA Bancard

11. Merchants Choice Payment Solutions

12. CardPayment Solutions

13. Reliant Services Group

14. AmeriMerchant

15. Direct Capital Corporation

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Push on Again to Limit Payday Loans in KY

Wednesday, February 25th, 2015

February 9, 2015

FRANKFORT, Ky. – There is no limit in Kentucky on how much interest payday lenders can charge, but an effort is underway to change that.

Congregations and religious groups across the state are among those pushing lawmakers to cap payday loans at 36 percent. Jason Hall, executive director with the Catholic Conference of Kentucky, says the loans are a debt trap.

It is a trap where people are forced to roll over one loan after another and it drains them of what resources they have.

A bill filed in the Kentucky Senate (SB 32) proposes to cap interest and fees at the same level Congress has capped loans to military families.

The 36 percent cap is also where Kentucky law sets the ceiling for other types of small loans.

In Louisville, a group of congregations has banded together to push for the cap. The coalition calls itself CLOUT, short for Citizens of Louisville Organized and United Together. Jimmy Mills, vice president of CLOUT, attends Mosaic Methodist Church and says the lending rates boggle the mind.

Its just outrageous, its usury, it is overcharging, Mills says. Its just taking too much money out of people who have the least amount of money.

But the Kentucky Deferred Deposit Association, an advocate for the industry, says its a myth payday lenders prey on the disadvantaged. On its website, the association claims most payday advance customers are working adults from the middle class.

The trade group says regulating payday lenders would hurt consumers. Mills doesnt buy that.

They wont do anything unless they are forced to, he says. Because they are making too much money the way it is.

Mills says hes for the cap on interest rates, in part, because hes had a personal experience. He says he bailed out a family member who turned to payday loans because she was too embarrassed to ask anybody for help.

Greg Stotelmyer , Public News Service – KY
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Rules readied to shield borrowers from payday loans

Wednesday, February 25th, 2015

Troubled by consumer complaints and loopholes in state laws, federal regulators are putting together the first-ever rules on payday loans aimed at helping cash-strapped borrowers avoid falling into a cycle of high-rate debt.

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau says state laws governing the $46 billion payday lending industry often fall short, and that fuller disclosures of the interest and fees — often an annual percentage rate of 300 percent or more — may be needed.

Full details of the proposed rules, expected early this year, would mark the first time the agency has used the authority it was given under the 2010 Dodd-Frank law to regulate payday loans. In recent months, it has tried to step up enforcement, including a $10 million settlement with ACE Cash Express after accusing the payday lender of harassing borrowers to collect debts and take out multiple loans.

A payday loan, or a cash advance, is generally $500 or less. Borrowers provide a personal check dated on their next payday for the full balance or give the lender permission to debit their bank accounts. The total includes charges often ranging from $15 to $30 per $100 borrowed. Interest-only payments, sometimes referred to as rollovers, are common.

Legislators in Ohio, Louisiana and South Dakota unsuccessfully tried to broadly restrict the high-cost loans in recent months. According to the Consumer Federation of America, 32 states now permit payday loans at triple-digit interest rates, or with no rate cap at all.

The CFPB isnt allowed under the law to cap interest rates, but it can deem industry practices unfair, deceptive or abusive to consumers.

Our research has found that what is supposed to be a short-term emergency loan can turn into a long-term and expensive debt trap, said David Silberman, the bureaus associate director for research, markets and regulation. The bureau found more than 80 percent of payday loans are rolled over or followed by another loan within 14 days; half of all payday loans are in a sequence at least 10 loans long.

The agency is considering options that include establishing tighter rules to ensure a consumer has the ability to repay. That could mean requiring credit checks, placing caps on the number of times a borrower can draw credit or finding ways to encourage states or lenders to lower rates.

Payday lenders say they fill a vital need for people in a financial rough spot. They want a more level playing field of rules for both nonbanks and banks, including the way the annual percentage rate is figured.

We offer a service that, if managed correctly, can be very helpful to a diminished middle class, said Dennis Shaul, chief executive of the Community Financial Services Association of America, which represents payday lenders.

Maranda Brooks, 40, a records coordinator at a Cleveland college, says she took out a $500 loan through her bank to help pay an electricity bill. With no threat of loan sharks coming to my house, breaking kneecaps, she joked, Brooks agreed to the $50 fee.

Two weeks later, Brooks says she was surprised to see the full $550 deducted from her usual $800 paycheck. To cover expenses for herself and four children, she took out another loan, in a debt cycle that lasted nearly a year.

It was a nightmare of going around and around, said Brooks, who believes that lenders could do more to help borrowers understand the fees or offer lower-cost installment payments.

Last June, the Ohio Supreme Court upheld a legal maneuver used by payday lenders to skirt a 2008 law that capped the payday loan interest rate at 28 percent annually. By comparison, annual percentage rates on credit cards can range from about 12 percent to 30 percent.

Members of Congress also are looking at payday loans.

Sen. Sherrod Brown of Ohio, the top Democrat on the Senate Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs Committee, plans legislation that would allow Americans to receive an early refund of a portion of their earned income tax credit as an alternative to a payday loan.

Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., wants the US Postal Service to offer check-cashing and low-cost small loans. The idea is opposed by many banks and seems unlikely to advance in a Republican-controlled Congress.

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Advance Financial, optics company moving into Wedgewood-Houston …

Tuesday, February 24th, 2015

A Nashville developer has landed two more tenants as it continues revitalizing a former boot factory in the Wedgewood-Houston neighborhood, near the Tennessee State Fairgrounds.

The payday lender Advance Financial is moving its headquarters — and 100 employees — into The Boot Factory, so-named by developer Chas. Hawkins Co. Inc.

Advance Financial currently is based at 1901 Church St., in Midtown, with about 60 locations in the region. The companys new space at The Boot Factory covers about 22,000 square feet, and will include a training center, fitness room and a health clinic for employees.

In addition, Nashville-based MSS Inc. has signed a lease for 46,000 square feet of offices, a showroom and warehouse space at The Boot Factory. MSS makes makes automated optical equipment used for sorting various materials, such as at recycling facilities.

The Boot Factorys first tenant was Weld, a company that provides communal workspace for creative types.

Combined, those three tenants have leased 70 percent of the 127,000 square feet of office and warehouse space at The Boot Factory. That means about 38,000 square feet remains available. Chief operating officer Lewis Agnew said negotiations are ongoing for part of that space.

The Boot Factory is located at 90 Oceanside Drive, just on the other side of Interstate 65 from an increasingly transforming stretch of Franklin Pike.

A group of local investors, using the name Oceanside Investors, owns The Boot Factory. The Chas. Hawkins company is developing, leasing and managing the property for those investors.

Chas. Hawkins brokers Tee Patterson and Clancy Hoban represented the company in the Advance Financial lease. Bo Tyler, of the firm Jones Lang LaSalle, and Charles Warner, of Baker Storey McDonald Properties Inc., were the brokers who represented Advance Financial.

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Adam covers commercial real estate and manufacturing.

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Police response to intrusive crime must improve

Monday, February 23rd, 2015

Police response to intrusive crime must improve

Recently the police were applauded for their speedy response to a cash loan raid in Kanye by armed robbers. They shot and killed one, while unfortunately a brave police officer lost his life after being wounded during the gunfire. May his soul rest in peace.

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City Council Votes 5-4 For Cash Advance Moratorium Until Vote On New …

Sunday, February 22nd, 2015

The City Council on Tuesday night voted 5-4 for a moratorium on new payday loan and cash advance permits until a vote the following week on an ordinance limiting clusters of the businesses.

Voting in favor were Chris Anderson, Carol Berz, Moses Freeman, Russell Gilbert and Yusuf Hakeem.

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Moody’s assigns provisional ratings to UtoPure alpha Series1502, credit card …

Sunday, February 22nd, 2015

JPY7.5 billion in Debt Securities affected

Tokyo, January 28, 2015 — Moodys SF Japan KK has assigned provisional ratings to
the UtoPure alpha Series1502 ABS, backed by credit card receivables.

The ratings address the expected loss posed to investors by the final
maturity date. The structure allows for timely payments of interest
(dividend) and ultimate payment of principal by the final maturity date.

Moodys issues provisional ratings in advance of the final sale of securities.
These ratings, however, represent Moodys preliminary credit
opinions only. Upon a conclusive review of the transaction and
associated documentation, Moodys will endeavor to assign definitive
ratings to the securities. Definitive ratings may differ from provisional

The complete rating action is as follows:

Transaction Name: UtoPure alpha Series1502

Class, Scheduled Dividend/Interest Rate, Rating

alpha Series1502 Beneficial Interests, Fixed, (P)Aaa (sf)

alpha Series1502 Trust ABL, Fixed, (P)Aaa (sf)

Total Issue Amount: JPY7.5 billion

Closing Date: February 25, 2015

Revolving Period: From February 2015 to January 2016

Final Maturity Date: January 31, 2022

Underlying Asset: Credit card receivables (cash advance receivables
and card purchase receivables)

Total Amount of Receivables (Principal Amount): JPY27,016,102,017

Arranger: Mizuho Securities Co., Ltd.


The seller, being both originator and initial servicer, entrusts
a pool of eligible credit card receivables and cash to the asset trustee,
who then issues the alpha Series1502 Beneficial Interests (Series
Beneficial Interests), the Subordinated Beneficial Interests,
the Sellers Beneficial Interests, the Reserve Beneficial Interests
and the Reserve Trust Subordinated Beneficial Interests.

Entrustment of the receivables is perfected against third parties under
the Perfection Law. Perfection against obligors is not made unless
certain events occur.

The asset trustee receives a limited recourse loan (alpha Series1502 Trust
ABL, hereafter Series Trust ABL) from the investors.
The funds are used to redeem a part of the Series Beneficial Interests.

The rest of Series Beneficial Interests is transferred to the investors.
The transfer is perfected against the relevant obligors and third parties
under Article 94 of Japans Trust Law.

The Series Beneficial Interests and the Series Trust ABL are structured
pari-passu in the principal and dividend/interest waterfall under
the trust agreement.

The seller holds the Subordinated Beneficial Interests, the Sellers
Beneficial Interests, the Reserve Beneficial Interests and the Reserve
Trust Subordinated Beneficial Interests.

Credit enhancement is provided by the senior/subordinated structure and
available excess spread. Subordination comprises approximately
15.5% of the initial principal balance of the Series Beneficial
Interests, the Series Trust ABL and the Subordinated Beneficial
Interests at the closing date.

The Series Beneficial Interests and the Series Trust ABL are redeemed
in a monthly, scheduled amortization after a revolving period.
If the Subordinated Beneficial Interests amount exceeds the required amount
and certain conditions are met, then the excessive
portion can be transferred to the sellers portion.

Defaulted receivables in the underlying pool are used as payment in kind
for dividends on the Subordinated Beneficial Interests, while cash
in an amount equivalent to the principal balance of the defaulted receivables
is transferred from the interest collection account to the principal collection

Additional enhancement is built up in accordance with the deterioration
in the performance of the pool through a dynamic reserve mechanism.

If any early amortization events occur, the dividend waterfall to
the Subordinated Beneficial Interests in the series is suspended,
and the excess spread is used to redeem the Series Beneficial Interests
and the Series Trust ABL. Key early amortization events include
the default rate exceeding its trigger level.

If any servicer replacement events occur, the asset trustee can
dismiss the servicer and have a back-up servicer take over the
servicing operations. A back-up servicer is appointed at

In preparation for servicer replacement, liquidity is provided in
the form of a cash reserve at closing. This reserve covers the
dividend payments on the Series Beneficial Interests, the interest
payments on the Series Trust ABL, trust fees, and fees relating
to start back-up servicer operations, etc.

Commingling risk is covered by the Sellers Beneficial Interests and advance
payment of collections.

The ratings are based mainly on the credit quality of the receivables,
the transaction structure, and the servicers experience.

Moodys estimated the annualized expected default rate (charge-off
rate) of the underlying assets at approximately 4.35%,
after taking into consideration receivable attributes, historical
data on the sellers entire pool, performance data on existing
securitization pools, and industry trends.

Moodys also believes that the base scenario of the monthly principal
payment rate is at approximately 5.3% and the annual yield
at approximately 15.2%. (These parameters are based
on Moodys definition for analytical purposes, and thus may
not be comparable to other data).

Stress Scenarios:

To determine the rating, Moodys also conducted a cash flow
analysis by adding stress consistent with the assigned rating on these
parameters. Moodys Aaa LGSD and the Aaa CE for the transaction
are 15.5% and 10.6% respectively. In
this transaction, the available credit enhancement is no less than
the Aaa LGSD at the closing. Aaa LGSD refers the level of credit
enhancement in the maximum stress scenario without considering the originators

Moodys assumes that, given the structure of the transaction
as well as other factors, the risk of interruption to the cash flow
from the assets in the event of the sellers or the asset trustees
bankruptcy is sufficiently minimized to achieve the rating assigned.

Moodys considers the seller sufficiently capable of servicing the pool,
having taken into account the sellers business experience and the servicing

The principal methodology used in this rating was Moodys Approach to
Rating Credit Card Receivables-Backed Securities (Japanese) published
in October 2014. Please see the Credit Policy page on
for a copy of this methodology.

Factors that would lead to a downgrade of the rating:

The primary factor that could lead to a downgrade of the rating is worse
performance of the underlying assets than Moodys expected.

Loss and Cash Flow Analysis:

In rating this transaction, Moodys uses a cash flow model
to determine the collateral losses in a maximum stress scenario.
As a second step, Moodys haircuts such collateral losses based
on the sponsors credit quality. Finally, Moodys
compares note available credit enhancement with the collateral losses,
taking into account loss allocation and other structural features,
to derive the expected loss for each rated instrument.

If the transactions annualized expected charge-off rate
and expected long-run charge-off rate used in determining
the initial rating (4.35%/8.0%) were changed
to 6.5%/10.0% or 8.7%/12.0%,
the model output in these two scenarios would be Aaa and Aa1 respectively
(the parameter sensitivities).

Parameter sensitivities are not intended to measure how the rating of
the security might migrate over time; rather, they are designed
to provide a quantitative calculation of how the initial rating might
change if key input parameters used in the initial rating process differed.
The analysis assumes that the deal has not aged, and does not factor
structural features such as sequential payment effect. Parameter
sensitivities reflect only the ratings impact of each scenario from a
quantitative/model-indicated standpoint. Qualitative factors
are also taken into consideration in the ratings process, so the
actual ratings that would be assigned in each case could vary from the
information presented in the parameter sensitivity analysis.


For further specification of Moodys key rating assumptions and sensitivity
analysis, see the sections Methodology Assumptions and Sensitivity
to Assumptions of the disclosure form.

Moodys did not receive or take into account a third-party
assessment on the due diligence performed regarding the underlying assets
or financial instruments in this transaction.

Moodys describes its loss and cash flow analysis in the section
Ratings Rationale of this press release.

Moodys describes the stress scenarios it has considered for this
rating action in the section Ratings Rationale of this press

For ratings issued on a program, series or category/class of debt,
this announcement provides certain regulatory disclosures in relation
to each rating of a subsequently issued bond or note of the same series
or category/class of debt or pursuant to a program for which the ratings
are derived exclusively from existing ratings in accordance with Moodys
rating practices. For ratings issued on a support provider,
this announcement provides certain regulatory disclosures in relation
to the rating action on the support provider and in relation to each particular
rating action for securities that derive their credit ratings from the
support providers credit rating. For provisional ratings,
this announcement provides certain regulatory disclosures in relation
to the provisional rating assigned, and in relation to a definitive
rating that may be assigned subsequent to the final issuance of the debt,
in each case where the transaction structure and terms have not changed
prior to the assignment of the definitive rating in a manner that would
have affected the rating. For further information please see the
ratings tab on the issuer/entity page for the respective issuer on

For any affected securities or rated entities receiving direct credit
support from the primary entity(ies) of this rating action, and
whose ratings may change as a result of this rating action, the
associated regulatory disclosures will be those of the guarantor entity.
Exceptions to this approach exist for the following disclosures,
if applicable to jurisdiction: Ancillary Services, Disclosure
to rated entity, Disclosure from rated entity.

Regulatory disclosures contained in this press release apply to the credit
rating and, if applicable, the related rating outlook or rating

Moodys SF Japan KK is a credit rating agency registered
with the Japan Financial Services Agency and its registration number is
FSA Commissioner (Ratings) No. 3. The Financial Services
Agency has not imposed any supervisory measures on Moodys SF Japan KK
in the past year.

Moodys SF Japan KK is a registered credit rating agency
under the Financial Instrument and Exchange Act but not a Nationally Recognized
Statistical Rating Organization (NRSRO). Therefore the credit
ratings assigned by Moodys SF Japan KK are Registered
Credit Ratings to the FSA, but are not NRSRO Credit Ratings.

Please see for any updates on changes to
the lead rating analyst and to the Moodys legal entity that has issued
the rating.

Please see the ratings tab on the issuer/entity page on
for additional regulatory disclosures for each credit rating.

Atsushi Karikomi
VP – Senior Credit Officer
Structured Finance Group
Moodys SF Japan KK
Atago Green Hills Mori Tower 20fl
2-5-1 Atago, Minato-ku
Tokyo 105-6220
JOURNALISTS: (03) 5408-4220
SUBSCRIBERS: (03) 5408-4210

Yusuke Seki
Associate Managing Director
Structured Finance Group
JOURNALISTS: (03) 5408-4220
SUBSCRIBERS: (03) 5408-4210

Releasing Office:
Moodys SF Japan KK
Atago Green Hills Mori Tower 20fl
2-5-1 Atago, Minato-ku
Tokyo 105-6220
JOURNALISTS: (03) 5408-4220
SUBSCRIBERS: (03) 5408-4210

Moodys assigns provisional ratings to UtoPure alpha Series1502, credit card receivables ABS

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TA Opens South Carolina Location off I-20

Saturday, February 21st, 2015

A new TA location openedin Columbia, South Carolina, announced truckstop chain TravelCenters of America, operator of the TA and Petro Stopping Centers brands.

The new truckstop is located in Columbia, off of Interstate 20, Exit 71, 7400 Wilson Blvd. It is the 254th TA and Petro Stopping Center location.

The location includes driver amenities including 11 showers, a laundry room, truck parking, and truck scales. It also includes a convenience store, Subway, ATM, cash advance, check cashing and Western Union services.

Upgrades in the near future are expected to include a TA Truck Service facility, Reserve-It parking, and an additional quick-service restaurant.

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