Today's Equipment Leasing Headlines
Ability Capital Solutions, Long Beach, California
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Ability Capital Solutions, Long Beach, California
As part of the process, Leasing News provides other sources to contact such as BBB, local, state, or federal authorities, if appropriate, as well as associations or groups that also may be of assistance.
This is a follow-up to a complaint from Bryan Kastleman of Kastleman & Associates, Inc., regarding $9,594.36 not returned by Ability Capital Solutions, Long Beach, California founder Brian Acosta, CLP, who's company Blue Star Capital, Inc. Subsidiaries of Blue Start include Matrix Business Capital and Ability Capital Solutions (1).
The National Association of Equipment Leasing (NAELB) Brokers reportedly has received both the complaint from Mr. Kastleman and Mr. Acosta's response as coordinated by their legal counsel, and NAELB board member, Joe Bonanno, Esq., CLP. According to the long time NAELB procedure, the complaint and response are sent to two anonymous brokers and two anonymous NAELB funders for their opinion. The members of the committee do not know each other's identity and the only interact with Mr. Bonanno, CLP, who then will inform both parties of the opinions of the Ethics committee. If the issue is not resolved at this point, it then proceeds to the NAELB Board of Directors for the Board for whatever action it may deem appropriate in the matter.
In the past, members have been expelled and/or when their membership comes up for renewal, they have not been renewed. These actions are considered officially confidential.
Leasing News is aware of several of these actions and can testify the association is very active in keeping members to their code of ethics.
Note: Brian Acosta, CLP, Best Practices Broker, was included in the NAELB Workshop “Marketing Best Practices: Repeat Clients and Vendor Referrals:”
In the Certified Leasing Professional Foundation, Leasing News was told Mr. Bonanno, CLP, also a past CLP board member, has been asked for assistance, but due to his involvement in a complaint at NAELB, it was decided it would not be "appropriate," so Rosanne Wilson, CLP, president, asked attorney Tom McCurnin for his assistance in putting together a presentation for the CLP Board to determine if a hearing should be held. Supposedly in addition to documents, there are over 200 emails regarding the complaint as well as recorded telephone voice messages.
In the past, CLP members who do not follow the code of ethics have been asked to leave, as well as not renewed, and action taken to those who continue to use the designation. Such was the case with Rudy Trebels, president of the bankrupt IFC Credit Corporation (2). These actions are considered officially confidential. Leasing News is aware of several of these actions and can testify the CLP code of ethics is considered very important to its members and board of directors.
Mr. Kastleman contacted Gerry Egan, Executive Director, National Equipment Finance Association regarding making a complaint and told Leasing News: "FYI- they don’t have a formal complaint process. They made a note of my complaint and said that they will contact the member only if they receive a few complaints."
Mr. Egan responded to Leasing News:
“NEFA's procedures for lodging complaints against a NEFA member are posted on our website:
“A careful reading of them will show that my response to Mr. Kastleman's call was exactly in keeping with our policy for handling complaints from non-members.
“I explained to Mr. Kastleman that, in accordance with our policies as spelled out in Section 3, Paragraph (b) on page 11, I would make a note of his complaint. I also explained to Mr. Kastleman that, in accordance with Section 9, Paragraph 9b on page 14, our possible actions can only deal with a Member's membership standing and I explained that our policies and procedures were not intended for, nor do they offer, any avenue of redress to Mr. Kastleman or any other non-member. He said he understood.
“I apologize to Mr. Kastleman if my explanation on the phone wasn't clear and I appreciate this opportunity to clarify it.
“I will be out of the office traveling to one of our regional events for the balance of this week.
(1) Ability Capital Solutions, Long Beach, California
(2) Rudy Trebels Claiming a CLP
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Over Half of U.S. Adults Bank Online
Pew Research reports that 51% of adults in the United States do their banking online. According to a Millionaire Corner study, 74% of investors pay most of their bills online. 54% of investors pay some of their bills using a smartphone.
35% reportedly connect using their cell phone or mobile device.
The report states 85% of U.S. adults use the Internet, although it goes down to 56% of U.S. adults over the age of 65. Although there are 61% of Internet users banking online, 67% of U.S. adults between the ages of 18 and 29 bank online.
71% with household income of $50,000 to $75,000 bank online, and 75% of those with $75,000 and above household income bank online. Millionaire Corner reports 74% of investors with net worth of $1 million (not including primary home) pay bills on line.
Reportedly cellphone banking is more popular among African-Americans and Hispanics, up to 41%, while 32% of Caucasian cellphone users report banking on their phones.
[I would urge caution not to intertwine smartphones, online and mobile payments. Since smartphones began to overtake feature phones, simultaneous with tablet adoption, all of which have combined to accelerate mobile financial transactions that include deposits, payments, balances, filing insurance claims, broker transactions and the like. Let me add, the current terminology is not only smartphones, but connected devices, meant to include any device...e-reader, x-box, nook, tablet as well. Ralph Mango, editor.]
More and More Leases are being paid by ACH
More businesses are paying their bills with ACH (Automated Clearing House), the nationwide electronic funds transfer (EFT) system that provides for the inter-bank clearing of credit and debit transactions and for the exchange of information among participating financial institutions.
At one time, the ACH system was being required by leasing companies for companies with a slow history of payment, or were subprime credit or marginal but with ACH requirement, the deal went through. Today it is becoming more of a standard feature, as well as businesses also are using ACH themselves to place orders with cash, take discounts, or to pay their bill right before the last day avoid a late charge.
Businesses are finding it not only faster but cheaper than processing paper checks as well as using wire transfers. It takes a very simple form to sign up to receive money into your bank account:
(Form used by Channel Partners to pay for their display advertising
It is different than mobile banking as most providers are members of NACHA, the Electronic Payments Association.
The ACH Network processes two types of transactions: Direct Deposits via ACH and Direct Payments via ACH.
Direct Deposit via ACH is the deposit of funds for payroll, employee expense reimbursement, government benefits, tax and other refunds, and annuities and interest payments. It includes any ACH credit payment from a business or government to a consumer.
According to NACHA:
Top 10 ACH Providers
topcreditcardprocessors.com, an independent research firm, has revealed the rankings of The 10 best ACH processing services for the month of August 2013, according to topcreditcardprocessors.com:
(click image to view larger)
About topcreditcardprocessors.com: “The main ambition of topcreditcardprocessors.com is to decide and release those individuals or companies offering top payment processing services available. ACH processing companies are put through a systematic examination to ensure the ratings contain the absolute best companies the payment processing industry has to offer.”
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Brican America Case Moves Ahead
In one of the last scandals still remaining, not settled, this concerned over 4,000 dentists who signed agreements for a large television screen in their waiting office that ran advertisements for products and the dentists services. The advertisements came from a Brican America advertising company and maintenance for the computer and the actual ads were from Brican America who told dentists by running the ads, it would make the payments on the display screen and computer.
The problem is Brican America ran out of advertising and was not providing the money to the dentists for the lease payments. During this time long time leasing executive Chuck Brazier was trying to sell off the Brican America’s portfolios, as the company was having difficulty "laying off the paper."
The difficulty came to Leasing News attention, who quickly learned the founder of the company had done the same before and sent out an alert. It brought a threatening letter from attorney Charles H. Lichtman, who has been involved in such letters with Leasing News (1)
The dentists got involved in their dental associations, created a Yahoo blog and joined together, especially the 1,672 lessees of NCMIC Finance Corporation dba Professional Solutions Financial Services (PSFS), Clive, Iowa, regarding $38 million. Many other dentists were left to hang with other leasing companies as they did not join the class action suit. One just emailed Leasing News they were notified of a lien on their house and wanted to know what they should do.
The case went around and around, then class actions, a consolidation, plus moving from Iowa to Flordia, primarily under the direction of attorney Ronald P. Gossett of Gossett & Gossett, P.A., Hollywood, Flordia (the name may be familiar as he was quite active in the NorVergence scandal. He was the first plaintiff attorney to prove that leasing companies were aware of the telephone service. Simply: the involvement was in the PowerPoint presentation submitted to the leasing companies and banks, as it explained the relationship and separate service. Once the attorneys for the leasing companies saw the PowerPoint, quick settlements with Attorney General offices happened.
Leasing News last reported on July 31, 2013, the plaintiffs were awaiting a ruling on the cross-motions for a summary judgment. The Florida U.S. District Court Judge Patricia A. Seitz, Senior Judge of the United States District Court for the Southern District of Florida, daughter of the late and revered Lt. General Richard J. Seitz, former commanding general of the 82nd Airborne Division and the XVIII Airborne Corps., requested the plaintiffs whether "this is a 'paper case" limited to the alleged misrepresentations in the various versions of the Advertising Agreement, including Plaintiffs' reasoning in support of this position."
The decision on the cross-motions has been made. Gossett states, " Basically, except for legally construing one clause in one contract, everything goes on to trial."
So after an October 5, 2009 alert by Leasing News, almost four years later, the matter may go to trial this year.
(1) Letter from Brican America Attorney Charles H. Lichtman
Brican America/Brican Financial Lawsuits
(Leasing News provides this ad as a trade for investigations
Aggregate Funding Sources
The companies were contacted for additional information, but did not supply them.
Capital Relay states on their web site they have 637 brokers and 115 lenders on their network.
Ecologic states on their web site they were founded in 2000 as "e-leasinghub.com, name changed, then March, 2003 a management team led by Michael Keeler, CEO took over. In 2008, they acquired Captara, a competitor, they note." In 2008, Ecologic renewed agreements with all of Captara's clients and ported their software capabilities, data, and lessor network to Ecologic's software services platform, LeaseAccelerator 5.0...Today, Ecologic has executive offices in metropolitan Washington, DC, Montreal, QC, and San Francisco, CA. However, most of Ecologic's employees work out of their home offices."
In-A-Jiffy is a relatively new company, less than two years old, noted as a member of the National Association of Equipment Leasing Brokers. Listed on the web site are many funders such as Allied Funding, Marlin, Direct Capital, United Capital among others. They also appeal to “buyers, vendors, brokers, and funders.”
Top eLeasing companies as ranked by employees and volume
Why I became a CLP
Joe Schmitz. CLP
In 1990 I decided I wanted to work for a bank. I had been working in the transportation industry for a small, slightly crazy, family owned company and I wanted to work for a stable, secure company and thought I wanted to be in finance. I was hired by Ginny Young (Leasing News Advisory Member) at a Thrift & Loan that had been in business for 72 years; however 6 months after hiring me they closed. So much for security. Ginny then helped me get a job at one of the Thrift’s customers, a leasing brokerage named Nova Leasing that was owned by Steve O’Neill. I was a straight commission salesperson. After a rocky start, business started growing and we had a great time until 1998 when Steve passed away.
Upon Steve’s passing, I arranged to buy the company from his family in the beginning of 1999. That’s when I decided to get my CLP. Prior to that I had handled the sales and marketing side; now I owned the company and realized that my knowledge base was way too limited. I believed getting the CLP would help make up for the gaps. Also, I felt it would equip me for the biggest change in my roles, that of working with our lenders. Prior to that we had a classic inside/outside role, I brought the transactions in and Steve dealt with our lender relationships. I did not have his 20 years of history with the principals of these funding sources so it seemed to me that being able to show them that I was serious about the profession of leasing and dedicated to following a professional code of conduct would help them trust our company and the transactions we brought them.
Shortly after I bought the company, a multi-day Master Review class was being held at Pacifica Capital. It was a 3 day intensive class followed by a full day test. While it wasn’t cheap, it took time away from my business and was pretty intimidating; it seemed like the best way to get the process done. Since the class was held at Pacifica Capital, I had a chance to get to know the others taking the test including Bette Kerhoulas, CLP, Amy Spragg, CLP, and Jaime Kaneshina, CLP. It was a great group of people to study with. Johnnie Johnson, CLP, led the class (on his own time) and he was an outstanding teacher.
So for three days, I was stuffed full of leasing information. History, law, pricing, structure, collections; by the end I couldn’t wait to take the test, just so I could be finished. As you might imagine the test was intimidating and pretty exhausting. I was pretty sure I passed, but they didn’t have the results on the spot so you just didn’t know. I was very relieved when they notified me that I passed and pleased that everyone in our group also passed.
So what’s been the benefit? Since I was self-employed, it wasn’t that I got an automatic raise for earning the CLP, but unquestionably it profited me. Of the thousands of people in the equipment leasing industry, less than 1% have achieved this designation. That gives you a level of confidence. I know that if I am interacting with a CFO of a large corporation I can properly address any question or concern he or she might have about leasing as it relates to tax, accounting or legal.
The CLP knowledge base means I can read with understanding some of the in-depth articles on Leasing News written by Terry Winders, CLP, such as how a fair market purchase option may still be considered a “bargain” (and what a “bargain” means!) when the cost to return equipment exceeds its value. Or a post by Tom McCurnin about how amendments in Article 9 of the UCC can affect secured creditors. Lastly having the CLP has been an enormous benefit in developing relationships with funding sources as it lets them know I’m serious about being a professional in this industry.
I highly encourage you to consider getting your Certified Leasing Professional designation. You’ll be glad you did.
Why I Became a CLP series:
Leasing News Advisory Board Chairman
Bob was appointed by Kit Menkin as chairman May 8, 2005, primarily to recognize him as our number one good will ambassador. Kit has known him for over forty years since the early 1970's when he was President of Dividend Leasing, Santa Clara, and Bob was the champion salesman, just out of Crocker Bank Leasing. Later roles were reversed when Kit sold him deals at various funding companies he represented. He also tutored him to pass the Certified Leasing Professional test, but could never get Kit to run the HP calculator correctly.
Bob joined the Leasing News Advisory Board July 7, 2000. He was actually involved in the "perception" of the newsletter before this date, making many contributions before we went “on line.”
He is the one readers call with the most complaints, or wanting the editor to print a press release or explain what was written. Perhaps he started to get the calls as at one time he wrote about all the leasing conferences for Leasing News, wrote many articles, "pal'd around" with Kit at conferences, where many learned he was a very close friend.
Many don't know Bob is quite a musician, a dancer, and choral singer.
Robert Teichman, CLP
Bob Teichman, CLP, was born in New York City. After attending the High School of Music & Art and the New York College of Music, he received his undergraduate degree from Columbia College.
“I studied music for a lot of years. I even played piano professionally while in college (local 802, American Federation of Musicians, James C. Petrillo presiding!), “he added. “I have kept up my interest in music by singing in a local chorus for the past 30 years. There are about 100 of us and we give concerts several times a year, mostly pre-20th century composers like Bach, Haydn, Mozart, Beethoven. But we do get away from the 18th and 19th centuries. At a recent concert we performed 15th and 20th century music.” He pursued his graduate studies in Geneva, Switzerland.
"In 1956, when I was a graduate student in Geneva, I met my wife Patricia," he wrote. "She was working at the UN and she and I were members of a group of expatriates- Americans, British, Russians, Swedes, mid-Easterners- who all hung around the same cafes"
"It was the late 1950's and Switzerland was affordable for students like me. The ski slopes were close and most of the rest of Europe was less than a day’s drive away.
"But sooner or later reality sets in. More than fifty years ago we married in New York and came to California; driving cross-country in a 1957 Bristol sedan my father had picked up on one of his many trips. The car had right-hand drive, so it was a real challenge maneuvering on the two-lane roads (yeah, they were paved; it was the middle of the 20th, not the 19th, century.) Still, it was an adventure when we had car trouble on a couple of occasions.
"Patty is an avid gardener and an excellent watercolorist. The two interests coincide in her botanical paintings. Here is an example of her painting of a flower from our garden:
"We spend our vacations at a small and very primitive cabin in the Sierra backcountry. Summers only; the roads aren't plowed in the winter. Nice country in summer, though. Pines, firs, granite outcrops, streams, meadows. Also coyotes, bears and deer. We don't bother them, they don't bother us. A bear did chew on my neighbor's cabin. Probably liked the taste of the wood stain.
"Thanks for your friendship over all these years. After having been in the leasing business for over 50 years, I really appreciate all the wonderful people I have met, and the lasting friendships I have formed. I still enjoy the business immensely. There is always something new around the corner."
Bob started in automotive leasing in 1963 in sales, then moved into equipment leasing in the late 1960's. For over 20 years he provided funding for leasing companies as an officer of both bank and non-bank lenders. Along the way, he started several successful leasing companies. His company, Teichman Financial Training, located in Sausalito, California, was founded in 1998 and provides lease education and consulting services to lessors, funders, brokers, government and international agencies, and other members of the financial community.
He is active in leasing associations, having served on the Board of Directors of the United Association of Equipment Leasing (UAEL) for four years. For three years he was the Chairman of their Education Committee with responsibility for the Certification Program and Educational Programs. He was also a member of other committees including the Standards Committee.
Bob is a frequent speaker at leasing industry events, and has written articles for UAEL's Newsline and other industry publications. He is a co-author of the Certified Lease Professional's Handbook and a co-author of the World Bank’s Global Leasing Toolkit.
He is currently Chairman of the CLP Foundation Board, as well as has served two years as President, and a number of years as Chairman of the Education Committee. He is also a member of the National Association of Equipment Leasing Brokers and the National Equipment Finance Association.
The QRS 15 Top Franchisor Contenders
July 31st the "Top 50 Quick-Service/Fast-Casual Restaurants" were chosen by QSRmagazine.com.(1) Here are the 15 that barely missed the cut:
Full 15 Article:
(1) Top 50 Quick-Service/Fast-Casual Restaurants
#### Press Release ############################
Element Reports Strong Volume Growth in Q2-2013
After tax adjusted operating income increases 21% over Q1 to $10.5 million or $0.08 per share
TORONTO, Ontario - Element Financial Corporation (TSX:EFN) (“Element” or “the Company”), one of North America’s leading independent equipment finance companies, today reported financial results for the three and six month periods ending June 30, 2013 showing strong growth in origination volumes across all of the Company’s business verticals. New originations increased 34% to $397.9 million for the three month period versus $296.3 million in the previous period.
Financial revenue increased to $33.96 million versus $31.84 million in the previous period generating net financial income of $24.7 million versus $22.8 million in the previous period. Adjusted operating expenses were $10.3 million for the period versus $10.8 million in the previous period resulting in adjusted operating income of $14.5 million for the current three month period versus $12.0 million for the previous period. After tax adjusted operating income was $10.5 million or $0.08 per share for the current period versus $$8.6 million or $0.08 per share for the previous period. Total assets increased 43% to $2.5 billion at the end of the period versus $1.8 billion at the end of the previous period and book value per share increased to $5.67 versus $4.75 reported at the end of the previous period.
Element Finance accounted for $230.9 million or 58% of the $397.9 million originated during the period. Element Capital accounted for $86.6 million or 22% of the new business volume while Element Fleet originated $80.4 million or 20% of the period’s new business volume. The acquisition of the GE Fleet portfolio also added a further $488.7 million to the Company’s portfolio of finance assets during the period. Finance receivables increased 45.9% to $2.1 billion at the end of the period versus $1.5 billion reported at the end of the previous period. Average finance receivables for the period were $1.5 billion versus $1.4 billion for the previous period. The slight increase resulted from the acquisition of the GE Fleet portfolio on the last day of the quarter.
On June 18th, the Company closed a $300.6 million private placement bought deal equity financing and on June 28th used proceeds from this financing to close the acquisition of GE Capital Canada’s Canadian fleet management business and portfolio (the “GE Fleet portfolio”) of $488.7 finance receivables. During the period the Company also announced that it had commenced funding through the previously announced Element Equipment Finance Fund with the purchase of US$48.5 million of unrated notes by a US-based investment management firm.
“We’ve seen strong originations across all our business verticals during the period with a notable increase in our US business which originated $64.2 million of new business volume in Q2,” said Steven Hudson, Element’s Chairman and CEO. “Even after backing out approximately $7 million of volume related to one-time transactions, I’m pleased to see that this business, which we acquired in December of last year, is tracking in line with expectations. We are also on track with our plans for the integration of the Canadian fleet management business that we acquired from GE Capital during the period and continue to expect to deliver on the anticipated earnings accretion from this transaction,” noted Mr. Hudson.
Delinquencies continue to perform as expected and represented 0.15% of total finance receivables as at June 30, 2013 compared to 0.28% as at March 31, 2013. The improvement resulted from the acquisition of the GE Fleet portfolio which had lower delinquency rates than the average portfolio.
Element’s financial leverage ratio increased slightly to 1.75:1 at the end of the second quarter from 1.73:1 at the end of the previous period. Average leverage during the period declined from 2.36:1 in the first quarter to 1.72:1 in the second quarter resulting mainly from the issuance of additional equity in two separate tranches in March and June of this year. “We remain focused on delivering the continued quality growth to our balance sheet that will bring us in line with our target leverage ratio,” said Steven Hudson.
The weighted average number of shares outstanding during the period, including special warrants, increased to 129.4 million from 107.7 million in the previous period. At the end of the period, the company had 155.1 million shares outstanding including special warrants.
Full Eight Page Press Release with Financial Statements:
##### Press Release ######################
Cocker Spaniel/German Shepherd Mix
"I am a female, black and brown Cocker Spaniel and German Shepherd Dog.
For more information about this animal, call:
Adopt-a-Pet by Leasing Co. State/City
Adopt a Pet
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August 14, 2003--Dedicated to Lawrence Faber
Larry is on the left in the picture, and Walt is on the right
(From 8/15/03 Leasing News)
Larry would have gone to the 49ers-Raiders pre-season game with Walt and I yesterday late afternoon, but it was Cal Camp week. He was a UC Berkeley graduate. He and his family never missed it. He saw his fraternity buddies, and he was a Cal fan, going to all the football games, basketball games, and he would argue with anyone, especially a Stanford alumni.
I started doing business with his company Input/Optics about twenty-five years ago as American Leasing, writing leases for over 500 dentists, and did their up-grades and other equipment after being introduced by Larry.
He turned 56 years old on Sunday. On Wednesday, he said he felt ill, tired, and went to the infirmary. He was not over weight, physically very active, and in generally very good health. They found nothing. He felt a little better, but cold and clammy, so Dr. Budack, a dentist, took him to his tent, where he laid down, and then made a gasp, and was dead. He tried CPR. There was a physician nearby who also tried to revive him. But he had died. It was quick.
I was in shock. I decided to go ahead and go to the game, as I was meeting Walt, his youngest son, and a friend, both had taken the day off from work, and I had the tickets. Larry went to a few 49er games with us. We went to all the Raider games usually with four to six other friends, where we all sat together. We did wine tasting, sometimes blind, in the Oakland Coliseum Parking lot, sometimes across the way in a building parking lot, or whatever was available. Larry and I often went, just the two of us, to afternoon or night games. For years, he was a guest of mine at the Santa Clara Wine Society dinners. He knew his wine.
He and his wife have been to our house many times, in fact, Larry installed the first computer at my house, and originally did all the computers at our office in 1984. I believe. We had lunch at least two to three times a month, often more when we had leases going on, as well as I was involved in his business expansion on his board of directors. We talked on the telephone all the time. His was building up a practice of computers systems for attorneys and we had many leases with attorneys from advertising in the bar association news : "We are not afraid of leasing to attorneys!"
I always enjoyed his wit, his profound intelligence, his different way of looking at things, and spoke his mind. He was very funny, too. He was an avid golfer, won many software trophies at Twin Creeks in his late thirties and forties, then became captain of the team which was composed mostly of San Jose policemen. To say the lease, Larry was in very good physical shape. He was married to Michelle with two teenage children---actually one is at college now. I certainly will miss him. I wanted to share this with readers as leasing has made many friends for me, and Larry was one of the best ones I had.
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