Friday, June 3, 2005
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State Court Dismisses Florida Attorney General's Unfair Trade Practices Suit Against Equipment Finance Companies
TALLAHASSEE, Fla., -- In a case with national ramifications, the Honorable Russell A. Cole Jr., a State of Florida Circuit Judge in Tallahassee, Florida, rejected a lawsuit filed by the State that had accused twelve national finance companies of violating the Florida Deceptive and Unfair Trade Practices Act.
Albert F. Tellechea, the Akerman Senterfitt shareholder in charge of the case for Popular Leasing U.S.A., Inc., a subsidiary of Banco Popular North America, explained that Judge Cole's ruling upholds three of the four pillars relied on by the commercial equipment leasing sector: the unconditional obligation to pay or "hell or high water" clause, the waiver of defenses and warranties clause, and the law and forum selection clause. "An adverse ruling would have had a chilling effect on the secondary financing market and increased the amount businesses would pay for new leases in Florida," Tellechea explained. "This is the first definitive ruling in the country involving the leasing companies as defendants that deals squarely with the equipment leases sold to third parties." Tellechea also stated that Judge Cole's ruling was significant because the Attorney Generals in other states had been monitoring the outcome of this case.
The case arose out of the sale of discounted phone services to businesses throughout the United States by NorVergence. NorVergence leased telephone equipment to these businesses. After the equipment leases were signed, NorVergence sold and assigned only the payment stream but none of its obligations and warranties (these remained with NorVergence) to Commerce Commercial Leasing, LLC, Court Square Leasing Corp., Dolphin Capital Corp., IFC Credit Corp., National City Commercial Capital Corp., Irwin Business Finance, Patriot Leasing Co., Inc., Liberty Bank Leasing, Popular Leasing U.S.A., Inc., Preferred Capital LLC, Sterling National Bank, most of which are subsidiaries of large national banks. Different from the other defendants, Wells Fargo Financial Leasing, Inc. contracted directly with the Florida businesses. Patriot Leasing Co., Inc. and Wells Fargo settled with Florida and were not covered by Judge Cole's dismissal.
In June 2004, NorVergence filed bankruptcy in New Jersey and ceased phone service. The leased telephone equipment remained with its customers. After the bankruptcy filing, the State of Florida filed the now dismissed law suit seeking to invalidate the leases purchased by the ten remaining defendants, have them disgorge all the payments received, and impose treble damages and penalties and attorneys' fees and costs. The complaint asked the Court to rule that three major clauses in the lease agreements (the unconditional obligation to pay known as the "hell or high water" clause, the waiver of defenses and warranties clause, and the law and forum selection clause) signed by NorVergence's customers made these leases unconscionable and contrary to public policy.
In dismissing the case with prejudice, Judge Cole ruled that the three clauses attacked by the State were specifically authorized by the laws of the State of Florida and therefore not unconscionable or contrary to public policy. The Court also ruled that because the defendants are regulated by federal and state agencies, Florida's unfair trade practices law does not apply to them. The Court found the equipment leases in question were not consumer leases.
"NorVergence's clients voluntarily signed contracts that clearly spelled out these terms and their obligations," said Tellechea. "The defendant equipment finance companies that purchased these contracts from NorVergence are entitled to rely on the written word and representations contained in the contracts. Without those protections, the secondary equipment financing market would dry up or interest rates would soar to compensate for the higher risk."
According to Tellechea, the value of the contracts Popular Leasing is seeking to enforce amounts to approximately $3 million in Florida and $30 million nationally. The other defendants covered by Judge Cole's ruling have an estimated $250 million in equipment lease payments at risk nationally. At the time of its bankruptcy, NorVergence still had in its possession a portfolio of equipment leases amounting to $50 million not sold to third parties.
The Akerman Senterfitt team of shareholders representing all the defendant finance companies was composed of Bruce Culpepper in Tallahassee and Albert F. Tellechea and William C. Turner in Orlando.
Judge Cole's dismissal with prejudice means that the State cannot file another amended complaint.
With more than 400 attorneys, Akerman Senterfitt has offices in Orlando, Miami, Fort Lauderdale, Tampa, Jacksonville, West Palm Beach, Tallahassee and Washington, D.C. The firm represents private and public companies, governmental entities, educational establishments and high net-worth individuals in a wide range of practice areas. Please visit our website at http://www.akerman.com .
Source: Akerman Senterfitt
Ameriana Bancorp to Recover Approximately $1,000,000 from Commercial Money Center Bankruptcy
NEW CASTLE, Ind.---Ameriana Bancorp (NASDAQ/NM:ASBI) said it has reached a settlement with the Bankruptcy Trustee in the Commercial Money Center, Inc. ("CMC") bankruptcy proceedings, which has now been approved by the bankruptcy court. The agreement will result in a recovery of approximately $1 million. The Company expects to receive the money within the next 10 days.
The anticipated settlement amount reflects actual collections to date on leases that were part of two pools of equipment leases, the income streams of which were purchased by Ameriana in 2001 for approximately $12 million. CMC, an equipment-leasing company, originated and sold the lease pools. The initial servicer of the lease pools was Commercial Servicing Corporation ("CSC"). Each lease in the two pools was backed by a surety bond issued by either American Motorist Insurance Company ("AMICO") or RLI Insurance Co. ("RLI"), guaranteeing payment of all amounts due under the leases in the event of default by the lessee.
CMC and CSC declared bankruptcy over two years ago, resulting in a $10.9 million charge-off by Ameriana on its remaining investment. Ameriana subsequently filed claims in the CMC/CSC bankruptcies, and the Trustee in bankruptcy filed adversary proceedings against Ameriana. The agreement announced today to settle the litigation involving Ameriana, together with approximately 18 other banks, and the Trustee, will dismiss all adversary proceedings against Ameriana and will pay to Ameriana all funds collected from the RLI lease pool by the current servicer, U.S. Bancorp .
In late 2004, Ameriana settled its litigation against AMICO with respect to the pool it had guaranteed, recovering $2.3 million. Ameriana continues to pursue its litigation against RLI to collect on the surety bond it issued on the other pool.
Ameriana Bancorp is a bank holding company. Through its wholly owned subsidiary, Ameriana Bank and Trust SB, the Company offers an extensive line of banking services and provides a range of investments and securities products through branches in the central Indiana area. As its name implies, Ameriana Bank and Trust SB also offers trust and investment management services. The Bank has interests in Family Financial Holdings, Inc. and Indiana Title Insurance Company, and owns Ameriana Insurance Agency, a full-service insurance agency.
CONTACT: Ameriana Bancorp , New Castle
Jerome J. Gassen, 765-529-2230
SOURCE: Ameriana Bancorp
LeaseNOW, Inc. Releases RAPIDTrack
LeaseNOW, inc., a well known technology innovator in Equipment Leasing and Franchise Finance announces the release of its new web enabled processing platform, RAPIDTrack® which incorporates SmartScore® technology, a proprietary combination of algorithms, developed after years of testing.
RAPIDTrack is built on the Microsoft “dot net” platform using an XML interface to Fair,Isaac and Company's Liquid Credit®, web enabled scoring platform. SmartScore® uses SBSS Credit Desk® scoring models but weights the characteristics of each principal to render a blended score that has proven highly predictive in validation tests conducted by LeaseNOW, Inc. Included in the LeaseNOW SmartScore® is a new Algorithm from Genesis Analytics, Toronto, Ontario that was designed to predict the likelihood of a business surviving in its first four years of existence. The model uses demographic and census data and was designed to rank order risk for start-up and newer businesses. When combined with FICO and other proprietary data developed by LeaseNOW over the past decade, SmartScore® has proven to be a powerful technology platform for pre-screening and underwriting franchise industry applicants. Future SmartScore® development will include GIS (geographic information system) technology that will allow users to rank order business location risk which is particularly valuable for franchise underwriting.
Once logged into the system, users will have the ability to enter, credit score, track and document transactions. Users will simply click on a “generate documents” button that will merge all data from the transaction file into the required documents. The documents are produced instantaneously as .pdf files and can be e-mailed whenever the customer is ready to review and sign. Sales people and affiliates will also be able to scan additional documents directly to a file or simply attach a scanned file, text or spread sheet directly to a file through the RAPIDTrack® Interface.
LeaseNOW is also developing a lender module. The new module, called DEALvue® will allow a lender to log in and review transactions that have been funded into LeaseNOW's warehouse lines. If a lender is interested in a particular transaction the lender can view a transaction synopsis, credit scoring summary, and financial summary if appropriate. The lender may then indicate their interest in the transaction and even make an offer to purchase one or more transactions from the DEALvue® center.
Bob Rodi, CLP and president of LeaseNOW commented stating, “This new system is the culmination of years of work converting our old client/server platform to a web enabled system. With the ability to scan and attach a complete credit file, we save an entire day on credit turnaround, not to mention that overnight mail expense is virtually eliminated. Incorporating census, demographic and geographic data with proven behavioral scoring technology allows us to vertically integrate and offer fee based ASP (application service provider) services as well as our current lending and leasing services to the franchise industry. As the franchise industry continues to grow and trend toward multi-unit development, the ability to rank and evaluate the ability of franchise applicants to succeed, and, more importantly secure the necessary capital to insure success, will be an invaluable service to not only franchise systems but finance companies, banks and institutional investors who are becoming increasingly interested in franchising.”
About LeaseNOW, Inc.
LeaseNOW, Inc., headquartered in Warrendale, PA., is an independent finance and leasing company that is primarily engaged in franchise finance. Positioned as an alternative to SBA financing, LeaseNOW offers highly competitive, fixed rate financing to 46 brand name franchise systems. Unlike the SBA, no additional collateral is required. LeaseNOW is also an innovative developer of “front end”, application tracking systems that are designed to automate origination, credit scoring and documentation.
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Lease securitization: New challenges for issuers
By Peter Humphreys and Howard Mulligan, partners at McDermott
Will & Emery LLP
In the period beginning with the first quarter of 2002, issuance of securities backed by equipment-lease receivables had dropped off due to a number of factors, including a general downturn in the post — 9/11 economy and, more to the point, a plethora of consolidation among lessors and buy-outs of equipment originators by larger entities that, for various reasons, did not pursue securitization as a financing vehicle.
Yet, lease-backed issuances have gradually escalated over the past three quarters and recently a number of first time issuers have set their sights on entering the market. Consequently, all of the current indicators point to heightened issuance of lease-backed securities during the second half of 2005 and into 2006.
Of all the issues of which new and experienced lessors must be cognizant, securities regulation issues stand out as significant in the current corporate governance and disclosure-minded business environment.
Securities regulation issues
The offering and sale of lease-backed securities must be registered with the Securities & Exchange Commission unless an exemption applies. Common exemptions include the “private placement” exemptions and the commercial paper exemption. Of particular concern for a new issuer are the disclosure requirements, particularly those involving a description of its business and the way in which it underwrites and services leases.
New issuers also must consider the requirements of the securities laws. Many new issuers of lease-backed paper find their way into securitization by selling assets to a conduit or the provider of a warehouse line. This generally involves only talking to the sponsor of the financing and requires disclosure only to that entity.
The next step is usually entering the private placement market, where fairly substantial disclosure must be given, but where the recipients can be limited and carefully targeted. Eventually, however, the originator will think about issuing in the public market. This raises a new range of problems.
Disclosure is publicly available and, through EDGAR and certain other Internet-based outlets, is more generally accessible than ever. The originator is required to widely disseminate not only the way its leases are underwritten and the means of implementing its collection and foreclosure procedures, but also any unusual characteristics of its leases or lease-servicing methods. Moreover it may have to be regularly updated through filings under the securities laws, all of which are publicly available.
Thus, the originator must determine whether it is ready to disclose information on its business regularly to outsiders and competitors. Given the contraction in the number of players in the leasing industry resulting from recent consolidations, disclosure requirements are often a daunting prospect for new issuers.
Last December, the SEC adopted a massive set of new rules — dubbed Regulation AB — relating to the issuance of asset-backed securities under the Securities Act of 1933 and the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, that directly impact public issuances of lease-backed securities. In particular, public issuers must be aware of the ongoing reporting requirements under the Exchange Act.
While there is a fairly lengthy transition period for compliance with the new rules and old deals will be grandfathered in for reporting purposes, the new requirements will apply to new offerings of lease-backed securities and the Exchange Act reporting which is required thereafter. Thus, by the end of 2Q05, frequent issuers should be actively involved in the process of preparation for the new reporting regime.
The general thrust of the new Exchange Act periodic reporting obligations imposed by Regulation AB is the recognition that asset-backed securities and issuers of asset-backed securities differ from corporate securities and operating companies. Many of the existing reporting obligations were designed for corporate issuers and have not operated to elicit relevant information for asset-backed transactions and investors in those transactions. The new rules codify and consolidate many existing staff practices relating to asset-backed securities that had been established through a myriad of SEC no-action letters and also add extensive additional requirements.
Although lease-backed issuers had been required under existing rules to make periodic reports, the new mandates imposed by Regulation AB have expanded the scope of such reporting in a number of ways, including requirements of a filing of a new form 10-D and periodic distribution reports as well as establishing minimum general servicing standards and mandating the filing of reports attesting to compliance with such servicing criteria.
The new rules specifically impact the issuer of lease-backed securities in changes to the treatment of residuals. The new regulations also clarify which entities must file reports and which reports must be filed. Regulation AB generally codifies the June 2003 SEC statement regarding certifications under the Sarbanes-Oxley Act for asset-backed issuers. In particular, with respect to the servicing criteria set forth therein, the party signing the certificate must certify that the reports and related attestation reports have been submitted by all parties participating in the servicing function or disclosing those that have not been submitted, as well as disclosing any material instances of noncompliance.
Treatment of residuals
In general, in securitizations, a distinction is made between an operating lease (or true lease) and a finance lease. The general distinction being that a finance lease is essentially a secured loan or a “lease intended for security.” Operating leases often have a residual value and this may be taken into account in determining the amount of money, which may be raised in a securitization. In the case of operating leases, the servicer should be able to demonstrate that historically it has been successful in recovering an amount equal to the assigned value when it sells the residual. Reliance on residual value may be impacted if weakness on the part of the servicer compromises the servicer's ability to recover value of the residuals. One issue of importance therefore — assuming residual value is to be taken into account — is whether the back-up servicer or trustee has sufficient experience in dealing with the type of asset (i.e., copy machine, computer, etc.) being leased so as to ensure recovery of the assigned residual value.
By application of Regulation AB, the definition of asset-backed security has been expanded to include lease-backed securitizations where a portion of the securitized pool balance is attributable to the residual value of the physical property underlying the leases. However, Regulation AB sets limits on the percentage of the securitized pool balance attributable to residual values. With regard to motor vehicle leases (including trucks and motorcycles, but not leisure craft such as snowmobiles), residual values must not constitute 65% or more, as measured by dollar volume, of the securitized pool balance, as of the measurement date. For all other lease-backed issuances, residual values must not constitute 50% or more of the securitized pool balance as of the measurement date. In order to be eligible for a shelf registration under Form S-3, residual values of lease-backed securitizations, other than those backed by motor-vehicle leases, are further restricted to less than 20%, as measured by dollar volume, of the securitized pool balance as of the measurement date. For purposes of determining residual-value thresholds, residual values need not be included to the extent that a separate party is obligated for the residuals (e.g., through a residual value guaranty or where the lessee is obligated to cover any residual loss). In typical lease-backed issuances, it is rare that the value of the residual component would ever approach these levels.
In addition to satisfying the foregoing tests, lease-backed issuers must provide additional disclosure regarding residuals, such as statistical information on historical realization rates, the manner and process in which residual values will be realized and the entity that will convert the residual values into cash. New requirements to explain the methodology of residual valuation may cause problems for issuers.
Any company contemplating the public issuance of lease-backed securities must be aware of the vexing issue of the application of the term “financial assets,” which are defined for securities law purposes as assets that “convert into cash within a finite time period.” This has an impact on how the securities are to be registered for a public offering and how an exemption may be obtained from registration under the Investment Company Act of 1940.
But it also has wider implications. If the financial asset requires some future performance by an originator or by a third party, payment on the financial asset is subject to that third party's performance and bankruptcy risk. Thus a lease dependent on performance by the lessor raises significant questions. Other assets that have been securitized, such as lease residual interests, may not turn to cash automatically, but may be packaged and used to raise capital or provide credit support, even though they will have to be liquidated. Historical information on the amount of cash realized on equivalent assets is important in this context.
Given the escalating use and increasing sophistication of securitization techniques with regard to leases and lease payments over the past decade, it is safe to say that equipment lease-backed securitization is no longer a novel technique in the capital markets. The past few years of experience have demonstrated that structured financing offers many benefits to both lease originators and investors alike and that the mechanics, enhancements and structural integrity of the transactions have been validated. Lessors considering this form of financing should explore the myriad of options available to the potential new issuer in order to effectively identify, structure and implement the structured finance paradigm that best suits the expectations and vision of their own business models.
Weekly Bulletin Board Complaint
Most of the smaller complaints, meaning under $5,000, usually are taken care within ten days of receiving all the documentation to substantiate that the broker should return the “advance rental” or “commitment fee.” Most stem from the lease not getting approved. Second would be to a “major” change in the the terms and conditions. Another factor is the length of time from when the applicant starts to when they realize the lease is not going to happen.
Most of the brokers do not want to appear in a Bulletin Board Leasing News complaint.
There seems to be more so-called dealers working with brokers to leasing company's with “liberal” vendor programs. In the last quarter, new complaints are coming from vendors who have not been paid.
“Do you know about ********* in *********? The last two checks they sent him have been returned NSF.
“Do you know if ******* is a broker or carry their own receivables?
Can you help me?”
Our procedure is to obtain a copy of all the documents signed, and in this case, the purchase order and copy of the “NSF” check.
Early this year we had a similar complaint where it was not until Leasing News got involved was a $75,000 check replaced with a “wire transfer.” The company is evidently experiencing problems, as evidenced by this new complaint:
“We are a small ********. The package of equipment we offer retails for about $30,000. We financed a couple of deals through **** in April. Typically we receive a check for equipment right away or within a week of when it was installed. This time **** gave us a terrible run around. Telling us all sorts of lies about how the deals were messed up, they needed to do verbal confirmations etc etc...Weeks later we still had not received any money. I called on average 10-20 times per day and was constantly put on hold sometimes for hours without anyone ever answering. Their president, ****, was NEVER available to speak with me which was terribly frustrating. Their managers **** and **** were constantly "in meetings" or out of the office.
“Finally after days of hounding them I talked to a secretary who said she was sending a check for one of the deals, this was about 2 weeks ago. The check for $29,980 bounced. We got our attorney involved and continued to call and hound them. Finally I was able to get in touch with **** who gave me a sad story....... He also told me that they were switching their corporation over to ******* and they had to switch banks and funds were not available yet. (I had to get out a calculator to keep track of the bullshit at this point)
“A few days later we got in touch with him again and he said he was going to send out a replacement check for the one that bounced as well as a new check for the deal we had yet to be paid on. The original check he sent was dated 5/18 I believe, the new checks were dated 5/9 and 5/24. Also, the check numbers were over 100 apart, so there are a LOT of bad checks out there somewhere They were all written from the same bank that the first one bounced from. When we received them we called our bank and they called ****'s bank to verify funds availability. Both checks were no good and would bounce if we deposited them. Now we are up to about $90,000 in bad checks.
“I spent much of last week and this week we trying to get in touch with them to get an answer, no luck, nobody answered the phone. Yesterday I got sick of this so I sent one of my reps to **** to visit their office in person. He met with **** and was basically told that they are broke. He asked them how they fund their deals and he said that they do very little in house, apparently they sell the payments off to a bank and the bank gives them a check for the full amount. He asked them what they did with the checks the banks gave him for our deals and he said he used them for payroll. I gave my guy instructions not to leave that office without a cashiers check or cash, so he sat there in ****s office most of the day. I spent much of the day on the phone with the **** District Attorneys office. They are very interested in prosecuting the case and said they could have an arrest warrant issued for him within a few days. Apparently when **** heard that he suddenly came up with his personal American Express card and that is where we stand now. We charged $10,000 on it yesterday another $10,000 on it today and will continue until our $60,000 is recovered (we have to limit it to $10,000/day or our bank puts the funds on hold for an extended period of time)”
There is a second complaint from another vendor about the same company who funded a lease with HP Financial for around $40,000, the vendor never paid, but the lessee making payments to HP Financial.
“The customer is already making their lease payments to a third party, Hewlett-Packard Financial Corporation for the software and hardware purchased by *****.
We have really been burned on this. We are a small company and it is a big deal to us.”
When Leasing News contacted the president of the company, he if HP heard about the complaint, it would put him out of business.
He paid the vendor within ten days by cashier's check via Federal Express.
April 11 th , another vendor contacted Leasing News about the same company.
“I was referred to you by ********* of **********.
“We are a reseller of point-of-sale equipment to restaurants.
“*******acted as a lease broker for this transaction. Our customer has all their equipment and “******* was funded by the funding source (**********).
“******* has not paid us since December, 2005. Each contact with CEO, ********* has resulted in false promises of when we were to get paid.
“We are a small business and need to get funded. I have all back up documentation regarding this matter.
“Please let me know how we can proceed.”
April 18 th Leasing News received all the documents by fax, which were all dated in October, 2004. Again, we contacted the president of the company, who replied by e-mail right away:
“We deeply regret this situation and plan to have it totally resolved by next week.”
According to the vendor, the leasing company was also told it would be taken care of. May 30 th , we asked if the check had been received.
“On 5/27 we got a fax saying that ****** would fedex the pymt. on 6/2 for Friday delivery. ****** wants to wait and see if we get it. I will keep you posted.”
This situation is very reminiscent of leasing companies who filed bankruptcy or were closed down by the FBI, district attorney, or postal authorities. Our fear was that the money should have been returned within ten days, not 18 days---if then.
Where does Leasing News responsibilities lie in this circumstance?
The ombudsman program works to negotiate money to be returned or the complaint posted. Certainly there will be some vendors, some lessees, and funding sources who will be eventually be burned by this company. If the check is not received on Friday, perhaps the vendor will then allow us to share the company's name with all our readers.
U.S. Economy...”Solid Territory,” claims NACM Press Release
The May, 2005 National Association of Credit Manager's (NACM) Index claims...”The US economy: well-entrenched in solid territory. It goes on to also report the economy “.... recently encountering a minor “soft patch,” and then mentioned bankruptcy.
If you missed the Equipment Leasing Association good news yesterday, please go here:
The press release continued: “While the CMI survey reflects solid conditions overall, the economy will continue to face some headwinds in the form of higher energy prices, weakness in Europe, and continued interest rate hikes by the Federal Reserve.”
Of more concern was the NACM comparison of May 2005 to May 2004.
Perhaps the view is considering the last quarter of 2004 along with the first quarter, so the second quarter looks better, but not from the previous year. In the comparison with the previous year by the CMI survey itself, “solid territory” does not appear to match the verbage:
Here is the complete press release with all the graphs. If readers have a different interpretation, we certainly would like to hear from you and share your opinion with other readers.
Streamlined Sales Tax Study Released by ELA
The Equipment Leasing Associaton has released a study analyzing rental and lease provisions in 22 states adopting the Streamlined Sales and Use Tax Agreement. States were assigned as "in compliance" or "not in compliance" indicating they have adopted, by statute or regulation, the uniform "lease or rental" definition and destination lease sourcing provisions. The analysis by Ernst & Young found three states in full compliance: Arkansas, Kansas and Tennessee.
ELA State Government Relations Committee Chair Valerie Pfeiffer, CIT Group, observes the study "is intended to establish a leasing industry benchmark for analyzing compliance of states with leasing provisions that must be implemented to enter the Streamlined Sales Tax System. The most common failure to comply is the absence or incomplete enactment of a provision declaring the lease definition only be implemented prospectively. States may not retroactively apply the new definition to existing lease contracts."
A copy of the ELA study can be accessed at: http://www.elaonline.com/GovtRelations/State/PDFs/
To receive email updates on Streamlined Sales Tax send a request with complete contact information to firstname.lastname@example.org
Eric Ratner Joins Boston Financial & Equity
Boston, Ma.; Boston Financial & Equity Corporation announces the expansion of its sales team. Eric L. Ratner has joined the company as Vice President of Business Development. Rick's previous positions were with Atel Ventures, Inc, and TransAmerica Technology Finance. Ratner will be responsible for identifying opportunities for both BFECs “high risk” equipment leasing and working capital loan business.
2005 National Vehicle Leasing Association Annual Conference
LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla.------The 2005 National Vehicle Leasing Association (NVLA) Annual Conference held May 18th - 21st, 2005 at the Wyndham Palace Hotel in Lake Buena Vista, Florida, was an outstanding success. Attendees from all segments of the vehicle leasing industry met to determine effective ways to interact and improve the future of vehicle leasing. Attendance at the NVLA Annual Conference is open to all vehicle industry lessors, manufacturers, and suppliers of goods and services.
DaimlerChrysler, Ford, and General Motors all made their 2006 Fleet Product and Program presentations during breakfast general sessions, which were highly effective in this new format. NVLA Past President Jerry Duffy of Jefferson Leasing stated, "The manufacturers' breakfast sessions were great. All of the leasing companies were able to get all the information from DCX, Ford, and GM in a fast-moving and graphic manner." Product information and NVLA member programs were announced during these three sessions.
Details of the newly launched NVLA online educational program, Certified Vehicle Leasing Administrator (CVLA) were announced and demonstrated during the conference. CVLA education training and certification testing is now available online at www.nvla.org, under the education tab, to any individual who wants to acquire state of the art training specific to the vehicle leasing industry. Tarry Shebesta, Second Vice President and Electronic Communications Chair of the NVLA explained, "Online CVLA training is a great way for any leasing operation to get excellent training without the expense of travel or time away from the office. Now, at a very reasonable price, a lessor or a financier can get their key staff specifically educated to perform their administrative duties at their own pace."
NVLA Conference attendees achieved a milestone to benefit their chosen charity, Make A Wish Foundation of Orlando. Funds in excess of $10,000 were raised during the conference through donations and an auction, which will grant the wishes of chronically ill children from the Orlando Area.
Annual Elections were held for the national officers of the NVLA at the Annual Meeting on May 19th. Officers elected by the members are: President - Dale Davis of Republic Fleet Services; First Vice President - David Blassingame of AutoFlex Leasing; Second Vice President - Tarry Shebesta of ACS Sales & Leasing; Third Vice President - Michael Wood of Auto One Lease, Inc.; Secretary/Treasurer - Tad Yoder of Marple Fleet Leasing; Director at Large - Scott Crawford of Wilmar, Inc.; Director at Large - Jim Moscatello of USA Financial Services LLC; Associate Director - Kathleen Everhart of GMI Insurance. When passing the gavel to the new President, immediate Past-President Rob Rogers of Vanguard Lease Company noted, " I am excited to serve in the coming year with such a dedicated and multitalented team of people, to continue the battle for prosperity in the vehicle leasing industry."
For more information on the National Vehicle Leasing Association, contact NVLA headquarters at (215) 564-3484, or email@example.com, or visit the NVLA website at www.nvla.org.
About the National Vehicle Leasing Association (NVLA)
NVLA provides educational opportunities, promotes responsible legislation and communicates with members regarding developments and trends in vehicle leasing. NVLA promotes the independent leasing industry while encouraging the highest ethical and professional standards.
NVLA Headquarters Ken Hutton or Lindsay Groff, 215-564-3484
PENTECH FUNDING SERVICES SPEEDS TRANSACTIONS AUTOMATICALLY WITH AMERICAN LEASE INSURANCE AND McCUE'S LEASEPAK.
CAMPBELL, CA – Pentech Funding Services (Pentech) is reporting an increase in funding speed and customer satisfaction as a result of adopting the American Lease Insurance (ALI) Program. According to Pentech Vice President and General Manager Ron Wagner, “It's a great convenience that makes life easier for our broker customers by streamlining the funding process.”
The ALI Program provides automatic comprehensive property and liability coverage on eligible leases for equipment valued up to $250,000 from the day they become effective, eliminating the need to procure evidence of coverage prior to funding. Lessees may use ALI coverage or arrange their own insurance: the ALI Program tracks alternate coverage to ensure sufficient coverage is maintained throughout the term of each lease. Superior coverage, competitive pricing and meticulous follow-up have resulted in the highest lease insurance acceptance rates in the industry.
Wagner observes “Our brokers have quickly recognized that the ALI Program is actually a selling tool for them.” Brokers can direct lessee prospects to the ALI Web site where they will find an easy-to-use calculator to determine the cost of ALI coverage and compare it to coverage they can arrange on their own. Wagner comments, “Lessees respond to the fact that premiums are well-priced, and appreciate that they can satisfy their insurance requirement without additional effort.”
The ALI Program is automated and integrated with Pentech's
enterprise lease portfolio management system, LeasePak, from McCue Systems Inc. McCue Systems founder and CEO John McCue remarks, ”We are constantly developing new ways to add value and functionality to our equipment leasing solutions. Interfacing with ALI has provided us a significant additional feature – and multiple end-user benefits – that we can now offer LeasePak users at no additional cost to them.”
Pentech Vice President of Operations Doug Barnard agrees with McCue's assessment: “This is a value-added program that enhances our ability to serve all of our customers.” He also notes the involvement of Steve Dinkelaker, president of ALI. “Steve is a terrific resource for us. He helps to keep us up-to-date on current issues in the insurance industry.”
Pentech Funding Services is a division of Pentech Financial Services, Inc., based in Campbell, California. Focusing on the needs of leading-edge technology companies in the Silicon Valley and the Pacific Northwest, Pentech has provided well over a billion dollars in debt and lease financing to the equipment leasing industry since 1978.
With over 30 years experience in developing business solutions for the equipment leasing industry, McCue Systems is a leading provider of lease portfolio management solutions for banks, leasing companies and manufacturers. McCue's flagship solution, LeasePak, simplifies and streamlines finance administration and asset management from origination through end-of-term and disposition. For more information, see www.mccue.com .
American Lease Insurance was founded in 2000 by Steve Dinkelaker, a licensed insurance agent and broker who created, implemented, and managed lease insurance programs for almost all of the major small-ticket leasing companies. ALI currently provides comprehensive coverage, systematic tracking, full collections follow-up and claims processing to 20 lessor clients from its new headquarters in Sunderland, Massachusetts, 45 minutes north of Hartford, Connecticut. An active member of all major equipment leasing associations, ALI has been the corporate sponsor of the Equipment Leasing and Financing Foundation's annual Industry Future Council since 2003. For more information, go to www.aliac.net .
Republic Financial Corporation Promotes Weinroth
Aurora, Colorado –— Republic Financial Corporation announced today the promotion of Stuart Weinroth to Head of Transactions to assist the acquisition, marketing and financial analysis teams for the company's Aviation & Portfolio Group. He joined Republic in February 2003 as Managing Director Capital Markets, supporting the Aircraft & Portfolio Group in structuring transactions, credit analysis and capital raising for $112 million in acquisitions, including 30 aircraft and 7 spare engines.
Mr. Weinroth came to Republic with over 10 years of aviation-related finance and transaction structuring experience. From 1997 to 2002, he served as Vice President Financial Planning and Controller, and as interim Chief Financial Officer for the NYSE-listed freighter aircraft leasing firm Atlas Air. Prior to this, he had financial analysis and treasury management responsibilities at United Airlines from 1995 to 1997, and also has 7 years of public sector finance experience with the City of Chicago, including Director of Finance for O'Hare and Midway Airports. Immediately prior to joining Republic, he served as Chief Financial Officer for a Denver-based technology start-up HyperSpace Communications, implementing pricing policies, sourcing equity and venture capital, and positioning the company for its successful IPO. Mr. Weinroth holds a BA in public policy from the University of Chicago received his MBA from the University of Denver.
“Stu's broad aviation experience and insight into the market have been invaluable to the group from day one,” commented Paul Mason, president of Republic's Aviation & Portfolio Group. “He has been a pivotal member of the team and this is the right time to leverage his experience and expertise as we develop new markets and business opportunities.”
About Republic Financial Corporation
Republic Financial Corporation, located in Aurora, Colorado, is a privately held investment company with ownership interests in operating companies in commercial roofing, promotional products, corporate staffing, and the Internet and data services sector. The company also invests in distressed commercial debt, aviation, equipment lease portfolios, private equity and structured finance transactions and has invested in assets worth $1 billion. Republic was founded in 1971 and has achieved commercial success by structuring creative financial solutions and employing intensive due diligence and asset management to generate exceptional returns.
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Top Event in Today's History
1886 - Grover Cleveland became the first U.S. President to get married in the White House. He exchanged vows with his bride, Florence Folsom. His bride was 27 years younger than he. While he ran for a second term, he did not campaign, but stayed in the White House with his young bride. He lost. But he ran again in 1892, this time, he campaigned, and he won. The only president to lose his office and then win it back again.
This Day in American History
1770-Mission San Carlos Borromeo de Carmelo: the second California mission to the Indians.
This day in 1888 the famous comic baseball ballad “Casey at the Bat” was printed in the Sunday San Francisco Examiner. Appearing anonymously, it was written by Ernest L. Thayer, Recitation of “Casey at the Bat” became part of the repertoire of actor William Dwalt Hopper. The recitation took five minutes and 40 seconds. Hopper claimed to have recited it more than 10,000 times, the first being at Wallack's Theater at New York, NY, in 1888.
The Story Behind the Poem Casey at the Bat
By R. J. Brown
When he went to California to edit the Examiner he took along with him three members of the Lampoon staff; Eugene Lent, F. H. Briggs, and Ernest L. Thayer. Each had nicknames -- Thayer's was "Phin." He wrote a humorous column on a regular basis for the Examiner and signed his columns with his nickname.
In the spring of 1888, Thayer wrote Caseyand submitted it for publication. It appeared in the Examiner in the June 3, 1888 edition and was signed "Phin" as usual.
When Casey made its first appearance, nobody hailed it with shouts of joy or suspected that it would become immortal. A few weeks later, (exact date unknown) the New York Sun published the last 8 stanzas of the poem -- but signed its author as "Anon." Other than the Sun, it was just plain ignored by the public.
To become immortal, everyone (or thing) needs a press agent. Archibald Clavering Gunter, an author of novels, was "Casey's" press agent. Always on the look out for incidents to base some of his novels on, Gunter, living in New York, sought and actively read newspapers from around the country on a regular basis. When he read Casey for the first time, he clipped it out to save. He wasn't sure just what he would do with it, but he clipped and saved it anyway.
Many weeks later, in August of 1888, Gunter read that both the New York and Chicago baseball clubs would be attending the performance of the comedian De Wolf Hopper at the Wallack Theater in New York. Upon reading the announcement, Gunter instantly knew what he wanted to do with the clipping of Casey he had saved.
Gunter approached Hopper, a good friend, and offered the poem for him to recite as he felt the baseball teams would enjoy a comic baseball recitation. Hopper agreed and recited it that night. The rest, as they say, is history. From that point forward in time, Casey become immortal -- while a good poem to begin with, it took a recital before a group of "famous" baseball players by a professional comedian to bring it to life.
After reviews for Hopper's performance were published, three people came forward to claim authorship and demanded Hopper pay a royalty to use "their" poem. None could prove authorship, so Hopper kept it in his repertory.
Four or five years later, Thayer, living in Worcester, Massachusetts at the time, attended a performance of Hopper in Worcester. After the show, Thayer sent a note backstage requesting to meet Hopper. Thayer gave him the rights to perform it without paying any royalties.
Newspaper collectors should check their issues of New York papers for August, 1888 (exact day unknown) for reviews of Mr. Hopper's performance of Casey -- You may have an issue almost as important as the first printing of the poem in the June 3, 1888 San Francisco Examiner.
Casey at the Bat
A straggling few got up to go in deep despair.
But Flynn preceded Casey, as did also Jimmy Blake,
But Flynn let drive a single, to the wonderment of all,
Then from five thousand throats and more there rose a lusty yell;
There was ease in Casey's manner as he stepped into his place;
Ten thousand eyes were on him as he rubbed his hands with dirt;
And now the leather-covered sphere came hurtling through the air,
From the benches, black with people, there went up a muffled roar,
With a smile of Christian charity great Casey's visage shone;
"Fraud!" cried the maddened thousands, and echo answered "Fraud!"
The sneer has fled from Casey's lip, his teeth are clenched in hate;
Oh, somewhere in this favored land the sun is shining bright;
— Ernest L. Thayer