Wednesday, June 27, 2012
Archives---June 27, 2002
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Archives---June 27, 2002
“You can make all the assumptions you want, but just leave me out of this!” Gordon Roberts, president of Centerpoint exclaimed.” I have a business to run!”
That was exactly the question Leasing News was going to ask. “Is the company still operating?” We understand Chuck Brazier has not been on the “payroll,” but has been working at the behalf of John Otto. When we called the Denver office, we were told he was no longer there. Leasing News then asked to speak to Gordon Robert, who we have been trying to get a comment for over a month. The operator did not ask our name, so we got through. Gordon Roberts was not a happy camper.
Reportedly several companies had been talking to John Otto, the major investor, regarding buying the portfolio, servicing the portfolio, helping out with leases not funded, the return of advance rentals, but it appears Gordon Roberts is still at the helm.
March, 2002, Leasing News reported difficulties with the portfolio and relationship with their, bank, but denied by both John Otto and Gordon Roberts. Thirty days ago they stopped funding approved leases “in house. “ They then told brokers they could not fund their deals that were approved or were in the process of funding. . Chuck Brazier sent out faxes and faced the situation forthright as Director of Marketing.
For the full story, go to (1)
Many people expressed support for the way Chuck Brazier handled the situation.
Here are additional comments that were received after the series of stories:
“I have been out of the office and wanted to respond to the Centerpoint situation.
“I have also had the privilege of knowing Chuck Brazier for over 18 years from our days at CPLC. He has always been a person of high character and integrity, and having been through a business closing myself, I know how hard it is to step up and put the needs of others, before your own.
“I also have known Gordon Roberts for many years. Though not a lot of information has been released regarding this situation, I do hope he will be able to "set the record straight" in the near future. These situations do not always allow immediate disclosure or statements to be released, so we need to exercise patience. The real story will always come out in the end---good or bad.
“Finally, I would like to comment on how the small ticket lessor and broker community has stepped in and funded/placed some of the already sactions and backlog from Centerpoint. Even though it is a source of new business for many, this willingness to "step-in" displays this industries long-running commitment to providing the highest level of customer service, even in not so positive circumstances.
How an industry reacts when times are "tough" reflects their commitment towards service and performance.”
John Rosenlund, CLP
“I have known Chuck Brazier for nearly 20 years who is one heck of a guy. A true leasing professional! While others might not or did not return calls, Chuck made sure to call, e-mail & fax updates. I wish him the best of luck & hopefully he will stay in an industry that he is well respected and admired.”
“Ditto to all the positive comments about Chuck Brazier. He's a class act!”
I was in the leasing industry for 27 years before I decided to pursue another venue of business. During that time, I met and established business acquaintances, friends and perhaps some enemies.
The one thing I can emphatically say with certainty and forthrightness, is Chuck Brazier is perhaps the most honest and sincere person I have ever met in the business and leasing world. I can say with certainty his efforts to arrange alternative financing for the brokers in the market for whom Centerpoint has approved a deal is limitless.
“I have known Chuck for many years. I worked with him at Colonial Pacific Leasing. Chuck was my boss at one point and he is one of the most professional and honorable men I know. I respect him a great deal and am very pleased to have worked with him.“
Renée Johnson CLP
Eventually what had happened resulted in:
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Fort Collins, Colorado Fire
It has been an interesting couple of weeks with what has turned out to be our states most destructive fire...about 90,000 acres and over 250 homes lost and latest reports had the fire about 50% contained.
The photos attached I took this past weekend. The first is several miles SW of Fort Collins which shows the plume of smoke coming from the mountains and settling down into town and surrounding area.
The 2nd photo is about 2 miles due west of our office just over the nearest foothills. The body of water is Horsetooth Reservoir and marked as far east as the fire could come.
While it looks like a fog settled in the hills, that's actually smoke from the smoldering fires from the previous days as far, looking north (to the right in the photo), as we could see. There's no expected danger to Fort Collins and the fire area growth is only expected to be away from our community at this stage.
Unfortunately, Mother Nature is not cooperating as we're experiencing record heat with numerous consecutive days over 100 degrees, no rain and little let-up in sight.
Operation Lease Fleece---
This has been going on for over four years, with many sentences, but a few left, including the key players, founders of CapitalWerks/Preferred Leasing: Mark McQuitty, sentencing re-set for September 24, 2012 and James Reader re-set for September 10, 2010.
This would be the most requested for latest information, much of it from "victims" as well as past employees, who tell me things like:
"1. I did a lease for $150,000 promotional trailer for a company and it was supposed to have a 10% option. I was given the packet to go get it signed and didn't really review it. The customers really liked me, were young and we got along great. We had lunch, they signed and when I got back Mark told me they had slid in a 100% PUT instead of the 10% buyout because they knew the clients liked me so much. Before I could say or do a thing, he took the Put, placed it in his desk and said, ‘I can’t wait to see the prick’s face in five years’
"2. One of the sales people made a fake fire alarm and above it the note said ‘In case of 60 Minutes Please Pull Here’ so if anyone ever tries to tell you that they were an innocent party they may not have done a crooked deal but they sure knew that there were a lot going on, and I guarantee you everyone pushed the envelope at least once.
"Again, please keep my name out of this but I appreciate the news."
Sheldon Player--Equipment Acquisition Resources
Vendors who were not paid call the most to find out what is happening, as well as readers wondering why Sheldon Player is not in jail. In the last installment, the founder of Equipment Acquisition Resources, Palatine, Illinois, Sheldon Player, had a judgment against him from the bankruptcy trustee in the amount of $18,323,404 plus costs of $275.00 against for his failure to appear and to file responsive pleading to Plaintiff's Complaint, and for any additional relief this Court deems necessary.
It was suspected he was still at Twin Mountain River Ranch, Wyoming, serving breakfast at this "Bed and Breakfast" small resort. The trustee could not find him to serve him, and the address on the court records of 454 N. Aberdeen St. Apt. 2S, Chicago, IL 60642 is a condo address.
Real estate records show that Sheldon sold it to E.A.R. in October 27, 2009. E.A.R. filed for bankruptcy on October 23, 2009. I doubt the trustee is going to let Sheldon stay in that condo? But it does show they are still the owners on upper right hand corner. And that is the legal address on the E.A.R. bankruptcy filing.
What makes it stranger is all the other condo's both he and Donna Malone owned, some sold, some still in tack:
The bankruptcy itself has been settling claims, and regarding the dispute with the IRS over taxes paid, but the trustee says owed to the E.A.R. and therefore to the creditors, has a July 30, 2012 status hearing.
IFC Credit---Rudy Trebels aka Rudolph Trebels
Most calls are to let me know he is still in the leasing business, and putting deals together.
As to the bankruptcy two cases, looks like they may be merged:
IFC Credit Corporate and Leibowith and Trebels;
The other active case naming Trebels as an individual basically appears to be waiting for the outcome of the bankruptcy:
Coactiv Capital Partners, Inc.
HL Leasing/John Otto
The http://johnottohlleasing.blogspot.com/ blog started May 14, 2009 has 1097 comments, most from the first two years, and even the emails and telephone calls to Leasing News have fallen off to zero. The last on the blog was May 21 as most of the communication in 2012 has been about the tax consequences, problems with the IRS, IRA accounts.
The two class action cases were won in Fresno, California, for those who joined. The judgment is against Heritage Leasing, MAC dba Heritage Leasing, Kathleen Otto and Air Fred for $114.5 million, plus $46.5 million against both Dan Ramirez and Andy Fernandez; $720,000 on top of that against Dan Ramirez.
Wednesday, May 9, 2012, Ara Jabagchourian and Aron K. Liang of Cotchett, Pitre & McCarthy, LLP and Donald Fischbach of Dowling, Aaron & Keeler, Inc began search for the assets. They are not only interested for those in the class action suit, but that is the basics of how they are being paid for their work for the trail and then finding what assets are available.
I should add not only are those involved in the IFC Credit and HL Leasing losing their interest in what is happening, but readers of Leasing News have the same attitude, as the stories are not well read in 2012 as they were in previous years. Player, yes, and McQuitty-Raeder, more seem to want to know what is going on.
Operation Lease Police news articles:
Sheldon Player news articles:
IFC Credit news articles:
HL Leasing/Heritage Leasing news articles:
New Leasing Business Steady
Despite the lack of confidence from Equipment Leasing and Finance Association (ELFA) member companies, as evidenced by the Equipment Leasing and Finance Foundation (ELFF) Report as well as the ELFA May, 2012 business report, leasing business has held steady as indicated by the above chart.
The ELFF Confidence level went from the last period in May of 59.2 to 48.5, quite a jump. Some of the comments in the press release:
Independent, Small Ticket
“[We’re] concerned about what impact Europe's problems and their banks may have on the U.S. economy.”
William H. Besgen,
Bank, Middle Ticket
“The future of the industry is good even with the changes on the horizon. The next few months will be challenging due to the political and global economic conditions.”
Independent, Large Ticket
“[It is] still to be determined. JP Morgan did us no favors. Europe [is] still choked with debt [which] will have a major impact on the U.S. The fast approaching budget/year end crisis for the U.S. will be last year all over again. Regardless of who is in the White House, the problem will not be dealt with.”
“MCI survey respondent Harry Kaplun, President, Frost Equipment Leasing and Finance, offered comments shared by others responding to the MCI survey, ‘Uncertainty is becoming more pronounced in the economy. International economic problems, U.S. unemployment, and potential political changes all contribute to a hesitancy to make major capital expenditures’.”
Perhaps the most optimistic came from
Independent, Micro Ticket
“The Equipment Leasing & Finance industry is doing well. However, the macroeconomic climate is unsettled which is muting our industry's growth.”
The ELFA May survey of its 31 member companies showed business was steady and as important, average losses were down, credit approvals were up, and the group reporting only had lost 21 employees.
ELFA May Charts
(Year Over Year Comparison)
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CRE loans break downward streak
By Robert Clark and Harish Mali
U.S. commercial banks have broken their 13-quarter-long streak of falling commercial real estate loans. The industry saw an increase of $17.2 billion in CRE lending during the quarter ended March 31. Moreover, the delinquency rate continued to improve. Delinquent loans accounted for 6.25% of total CRE loans at March 31, compared to 9.09% a year ago and 6.74% at Dec. 31, 2011.
SNL examined 20 holding companies with greater than $100 million in CRE loans that had the highest CRE growth during the past year. Interestingly, several of the companies are not core-CRE lenders. Also, none of them had CRE concentration of greater than 300% of risk-based capital at March 31, so much of the CRE growth is coming from players with capacity to make more such loans.
Chicago-based BMO Financial Corp., a unit of Toronto-based BMO Financial Group, topped the list, as it more than tripled its CRE portfolio in the last 12 months to $8.2 billion. The company also has the largest CRE portfolio on the list.
The largest company by total assets is New York-based Goldman Sachs Group Inc. CRE loans, which account for less than 2% of its total loan portfolio, were $1.1 billion compared to $428 million a year ago. Most of that growth came from non-owner-occupied CRE and to a lesser extent, multifamily loans.
Asset quality is an issue at some of the CRE lenders. Mount Olive, N.C.-based Southern BancShares (N.C.) Inc. has the highest delinquency rate in its CRE portfolio among the holding companies on the list. More than one-third of those loans were delinquent at the end of the first quarter.
Gulfport, Miss.-based Hancock Holding Co. stands out among the CRE lenders, as a significant portion of its growth was purchased. The company completed its acquisition of New Orleans-based Whitney Holding Corp. in June last year.
Another high-growth CRE lender, Bond Street Holdings Inc Belmont, Mass.-based BSB Bancorp Inc. more than doubled its CRE portfolio compared to last year. It completed a mutual-to-stock conversion in October 2011.
The 7 Safest Banks in America
24/7 screened for banks with a market capitalization of more than $2 billion. We further screened for banks whose share value is be less than 14 times earnings (P/E ratio). The share price to book value had to be less than 2.0. The bank had to have a minimum return on equity of 8%. To demonstrate how confident a candidate bank is, it had to pay its common holders a dividend yield of 2.0% or higher.
We also only chose financial institutions with an investment grade credit rating by ratings agencies, and Wall St. analysts had to value the bank’s share price above the current price. We also did not consider regional banks with fewer than 100 branches. All but one stock of the banks on our list trade above $10.00 per common share. We also gave preference if Warren Buffett and Berkshire Hathaway Inc. (NYSE: BRK-A) is an owner of the common shares.
Wells Fargo & Company (NYSE: WFC) is the undisputed safest bank in America, now that JP Morgan Chase & Co. (NYSE: JPM) has come under scrutiny — even if Chase has about $1 trillion more in assets. Wells Fargo has branches in almost every state in the United States, with some 6,200 storefront branches and more than 12,000 ATMs. The bank has an asset base of over $1.3 trillion. To prove how safe this bank is, Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway Inc. (NYSE: BRK-A) owns close to $13 billion worth of the common stock, and that stake keeps rising. The market cap is a whopping $171 billion. The shares trade at less than 9 times earnings and at almost 1.2 times book value. The return on equity is just above 12%, and the bank offers a 2.7% dividend yield to the common holders. While shares trade at around $32.50, Wall St. values the top bank at almost $38.00 per share.
Despite the media attention surrounding the JP Morgan Chase & Co.’s (NYSE: JPM) multibillion dollar trading loss, the firm is still in good shape compared to many of its peers. It has a fortress like balance sheet, with about $2.3 trillion in assets, and CEO Jamie Dimon said the only risk to the bank’s failure is a collision of the earth and moon. Despite the share price decline following the trading loss, the company still has a sizable market cap of $135.17 billion. JP Morgan shares trade at less than 8 times earnings and only about 0.7 times book value. The return on equity is 9.8%, and the company pays a dividend yield of 3.4% on the common stock. While the bank shares are trading at just over $36, analysts value the company at $47 a share.
U.S. Bancorp (NYSE: USB) is often overlooked as a money-center bank because it is a super-regional located in Minneapolis. It is the fifth-largest commercial bank in the U.S. and caters to millions of consumers. U.S. Bancorp has $341 billion in assets, more than 3,000 branch locations, more than 5,000 ATMs and its operations spread out over 25 states in America. Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway Inc. (NYSE: BRK-A) owns some 69 million shares worth more than $2.1 billion. The bank’s market cap is $59 billion. It is worth about 10 times earnings and 1.6 times book value. The return on equity is very high at 16%, and it offers a 2.5% dividend yield to the common holders. Shares are trading around $31.50, and Wall St. analysts have a target of about $34.25 on this great safe bank.
M&T Bank Corporation (NYSE: MTB) is based in Buffalo, N.Y., and now has more than $79 billion in assets. Excluding any small purchases made recently, M&T had nearly 700 branches, 2,000 ATMs and a presence in eight states. The market cap is $10.12 billion, its P/E ratio is 12.7 and its price-to-book value is only 1.07. M&T has a return on equity of 9.5% and pays out a dividend of 3.5% to common stockholders. The stock is trading just north of $80 a share, but analysts have set a target price of about $90. Berkshire Hathaway Inc. (NYSE: BRK-A) owns almost 5.4 million M&T Bank common shares worth more than $400 million.
PNC Financial Services (NYSE: PNC) is based in Pittsburgh and has almost $300 billion in assets, with more than 2,500 branches and almost 7,000 ATMs in 14 states. It has a market cap of $31.01 billion, and its stock is valued at 10.6 times earnings and at less than 0.9 times book value. The return on equity is 8.9%, and the company pays out a 2.73% dividend. Shares are trading at under $59, but Wall St. is eyeing a price of $70.50. PNC was even strong enough financially to close its National City acquisition at the end of 2008 when there was so much risk in the financial markets. PNC owns almost one-fourth of the great asset management firm of BlackRock Inc. (NYSE: BLK).
KeyCorp (NYSE: KEY) is the one exception to our rule about share prices under $10.00. Its other metrics more than make up for this exception. It has a market cap of just $7.12 billion against some $87 billion in assets. It operates in 14 states throughout the Rocky Mountain states, Northwest, the Great Lakes and the Northeast. It is impressive that KeyCorp is on the list, considering that it is headquartered in Cleveland, where many troubled loans arose. The bank has a return on equity of 9.2% and pays out a 2.7% dividend yield. Shares trade around $7.50 but have a target price of $9.00 from Wall St.
BOK Financial Corporation (NASDAQ: BOKF) is the smallest bank on the list, with a $3.8 billion market value and $26 billion in assets. The bank holding company is based in Tulsa, Ok., and its common branch names in other states are Bank of Albuquerque, Bank of Arizona, Bank of Arkansas, Bank of Kansas City, Bank of Oklahoma, Bank of Texas and Colorado State Bank and Trust. BOK is worth about 12.5 times earnings and is valued at 1.3 times book value. The return on equity is 11%, and it offers a 2.7% dividend yield to the common holders. Shares are trading around $56.00, and Wall St. analysts have a target above $59.00.
-Jon C. Ogg and Samuel Weigley
#### Press Release #############################
Anixter Inc. Chooses US Capital Corporation
CRYSTAL LAKE, Ill. –- United States Capital Corporation, provider of innovative commercial equipment financing and leasing solutions to businesses, is pleased to announce that Anixter has chosen US Capital to be its preferred leasing partner to offer innovative financial products to their customers in North America.
Anixter is the world’s leading distributor of communication products, electrical and electronic wire and cable and a leading distributor of fasteners and other small components. This publicly traded company provides over 450,000 products to its diverse customer base through a network of 225 strategically located distribution facilities worldwide.
"Having innovative financing and leasing programs is an important component of our customer experience because it offers flexibility for businesses to grow in these challenging times." said Steve Balk, Anixter’s Vice President of Global Shared Services. "By having these leasing solutions for our customers, we can better help them focus on making relevant purchasing decisions around topics which matter most ─ technologies, applications, and deployment considerations." With annual sales exceeding $6 billion, Anixter serves over 100,000 customers in over 50 countries.
"US Capital is proud to support Anixter’s sales efforts by providing a variety of financial products including commercial equipment leasing" says John Hofmann, CEO of US Capital. "Since its founding in 1957, Anixter has had one common mission, which is to provide customized solutions that meet their customers’ diverse needs. US Capital has a similar mission, which is to provide a variety of custom financing solutions to help our customers achieve their growth objectives. Financial products are an important contributor to those objectives in any economic environment; today more than ever."
Since 1989, US Capital has been providing businesses with the financing they need for the equipment they want to operate their business. US Capital also provides custom finance programs to help companies sell their equipment to their customers. To follow US Capital online, visit their website: www.uscapcorp.com, visit their Facebook page, follow them on Twitter: www.twitter.com/uscapcorp, connect with them on LinkedIn or subscribe to their blog: www.uscapcorpblog.com.
About US Capital Corporation
Direct Capital Passes $225 Million Mark
$225 million in new business volume in 2011. Direct Capital also earned the greatest year-over-year growth among the top five companies, with a 56.7% jump in new business volume.
“2011 was a terrific year for our company,” said Direct Capital CEO James Broom. “We placed extraordinary focus on providing a remarkable experience for our customers and partners and the net result was very strong growth in what is still a very challenging economic environment. I am proud of what our company has accomplished and we look forward to continuing to improve on our success.”
About Direct Capital
The company is headquartered in Portsmouth, N.H. and operates offices in New York, California, and Georgia.
You can follow Direct Capital on Twitter at http://twitter.com/DirectCapital or subscribe to its PointBlank blog at http://blog.directcapital.com/
#### Press Release ##############################
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