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Classified Ads---Credit

    Economic Events This Week

        Bridge Capital-Third Bulletin Board Complaint

            "Looking Ahead--by Ron Caruso, EFJ

                Classified Ads—Help Wanted

Letters---We Get eMail

    Bank of the West Implements WorkforceLogic

        Greater Community Bancorp Declares Dividend

            Fitch Upgrades First Sierra Equipment

                News Briefs---

"Gimme that Wine"

    This Day in American History



########  surrounding the article denotes it is a “press release”




Classified Ads---Credit





Credit: Atlanta, GA. VP Credit/Operations/Sr. Credit Officer. 15yrs exp. in equipment leasing. Strong financial analysis and management skills. Experience developing and maintaining profitable customer/vendor relationships.


Credit: Atlanta, GA.

Senior Credit Officer in middle-market equip. finance, vendor, 3rd party, specialty, flow credit to the fortune 1000. Team builder, originations capable, strong work ethic, ability to multi-task.




Credit: Atlanta, GA.

10 yrs experience in credit/collections/recovery/documentation in the leasing industry. P&L responsibility, team builder & strong portfolio mgnt skills. email:


Credit: Boston Ma.

Challenging position where my skills, professional experience, organization, leadership, strategic thinking, creativity, energy, passion, competitive nature will enable me to define opportunities and personal development.



Credit: Corona, CA.

VP credit Consumer Credit prime/sub prime Auto lending/leasing/mortgages. 20+yrs exp. If you are looking for someone to affect the bottom line I am that person. Will relocate.  



Credit: Danbury, CT.

Skilled in team building, management & training.Seasoned credit, portfolio and risk management professional. Experienced in developing, implementing underwriting, portfolio management policies & procedures.



Credit/Documentation: Fort Lee NJ

3 Years Experience. Looking in NJ/NY. Email:


Credit: Long Beach, NY. Credit officer w/more

than 20 years of experience. Seeking position in which I can utilize my credit-collections, communication &management skills.



Credit: Los Angeles, CA

Over 15 years experience in Credit/Operations with Small Ticket and transactions up to $500,000.00. CLP, with excellent relationships with most major lenders.


Credit: Mill Valley, CA

Senior corporate officer with financial services credit background. M and A, fund raising and workout expertise.



Credit: New Jersey, NJ

Credit Analyst with 10+ years experience in small-ticket lending up to $500,000. Experience with both vendor-direct and with brokers.Email:


Credit: New York, NY

3+ years of leasing credit / contracts experience. Currently in the leasing industry and moving to NY! Exp. working at both funding source and broker. Email:



Credit: New York, NY.

V.P. Credit & Collections w/23 years exp.looking for a situation where I can utilize my varied & extensive knowledge of credit/ collections/risk-management & leasing.


Credit: New York, NY Credit officer with banking and leasing background; strong analytical and communication/PC skills with lending and portfolio management experience. Email:



Credit: San Francisco, CA. 10+ years Credit Analyst experience underwriting for a direct lessor, regional bank and vendor leasing company. Have CLP and will make decisions ( won't rely on a FICO score for enlightenment.) Email:


Credit Manager: Westlake, OH

7+ years Credit/Underwriting experience Comp lit. Please email me for copy of job description at


  Full classified Jobs wanted list at:





Economic Events This Week


  March 24


Durable Goods Orders: February

New Home Sales: February


  March 25


G.D.P.4th Quarter final

Weekly Jobless Claims


 March 26


Personal Income: February




Bridge Capital,   Lake Forest,CA---Third Bulletin Board Complaint


Two complaints have been posted after determining the complaints

were  valid.  Here is a third:




February 20, 2004


Kit Menkin

Leasing News, Inc. 346 Mathew Street

Santa Clara, CA 95050


Complaint Against:

                    Bridge Capital Leasing, Inc., Lake Forest, California

Dear Mr. Kit Menkin:

Our complaint is against Bridge Capital Leasing for violation of equipment leasing Standards of Professional Practice "We will at all times adhere to the specific terms of our funding commitments, commission agreements, and/or purchase orders." They did not meet the monthly payment terms, they did not meet the length of lease terms, they did not give us credit on advance lease payments or documentation fees from the commitment money paid to them, and they refused to refund the commitment money of $4,915.59.


Proposal: We signed a financing proposal with Bridge Capital Leasing in Sept 2, 2003 for $140,000 with terms of 36 months and monthly payments of $4,515.59, the interest rate is 9.9723%. We gave them a check for $4,915.59 for the Commitment Payment which may be applied to the 1St and documentation.


Lease #1: On Oct 9,2003 we received from Bridge Capital a lease with Axis Capital in the amount of $22,151.14 for 36 months with the following terms:


Lease amount:             $22,151.14

Monthly payment:             $ 838.90

Term:                           36 months

Interest is:                    21.382%
Advance payments (2 x 838.90): $1,677.80

Documentation fee:           $125.00

Check to Axis for:           $1,802.80


The interest is 21.382% or over twice the amount on the proposal of  9.973%.

None of the $4,915.59 was credited to the 1st payment or the documentation fee.

We signed this lease and were assured by Bridge Capital that they would finance the next one in-house with rates consistent with the proposal.


Lease #2: On Oct 23, 2003 we received a 2nd lease from Bridge Capital with Financial Pacific Leasing in the amount of $36,334.40 with the following terms:



Lease amount:                                    $36,334.40

Monthly payment:            $2,063.43


Interest is:

24 months



Advance payments (2 x 2,063.43):


The interest is 31.697% or over three times the amount on the proposal of  9.973%. None of the $4,915.59 was credited to the 1st payment or the documentation fee. The term was for 24 months and not 36 months as in the proposal.

We refused to sign this lease and requested a refund of our $4,915.59 — THEY REFUSED.


Letter to Bridge: On Nov 13, 2003 we sent a letter to Patty Warner, Comptroller of Bridge Capital Leasing requesting they return the $4,915.59, they responded with a letter dated Nov 17, 2003 and refused to return our funds.


Enclosed please find the following to support our complaint:


1)    Bridge Capital Proposal for $140,000

2)    Copy of check to Bridge Capital for $4,915.59

3)    Axis Lease for $22,151.14 and amortization chart

4)    Copy of check to Axis for $1,802.80

5)    Financial Pacific Lease for $36,334.40 and amortization chart

6)    Copy of letter to Bridge Capital to return funds

7)    Copy of letter from Bridge Capital refusing to return funds


Thank you for you help to resolve this complaint.




The interest is 31.697% or over three times the amount on the proposal of  9.973%. None of the $4,915.59 was credited to the 1st payment or the documentation fee. The term was for 24 months and not 36 months as in the proposal.

We refused to sign this lease and requested a refund of our $4,915.59 — THEY REFUSED.


Letter to Bridge: On Nov 13, 2003 we sent a letter to Patty Warner, Comptroller of Bridge Capital Leasing requesting they return the $4,915.59, they responded with a letter dated Nov 17, 2003 and refused to return our funds.


Enclosed please find the following to support our complaint:


8)    Bridge Capital Proposal for $140,000

9)    Copy of check to Bridge Capital for $4,915.59

10)           Axis Lease for $22,151.14 and amortization chart

11)           Copy of check to Axis for $1,802.80

12)           Financial Pacific Lease for $36,334.40 and amortization chart

13)           Copy of letter to Bridge Capital to return funds

14)           Copy of letter from Bridge Capital refusing to return funds


Thank you for you help to resolve this complaint.




Gary Leonhard
Tinseltown Video, Inc.




(760) 944-9808             (760) 944-9805 FAX


Here is a copy of the agreement:


In correspondence with both Bridge Capital Leasing President Paul  Behechti

and counsel Val Stiefel, they provided this letter:



November 17, 2003


Gary Leonhard


1354 North Coast Highway 101 Suite D

Leucadia, CA 92024


RE: TinselTown Video Dear Mr. Leonhard:


We are in receipt of your letter dated November 11, 2003 and wish to respond in kind.


First, your company's payment of $4,915.59 was consideration for the arrangement of financing by

Bridge Leasing. When Tinseltown accepted and agreed to the lease proposal presented via the letter agreement dated September 2, 2003 (and paid $4,915.90), all that was required in order to fulfill the agreement was full performance by Bridge Capital Leasing. Under the terms of the agreement, Bridge Capital's obligation wasto provide a final approval related to the transaction. Bridge Leasing performed and fulfilled its obligation when the underwriting department issued final approval of a financing package to Tinseltown on June 24.


Consequently, and again in accordance with the terms of the letter agreement dated September 9, once this final approval was given, "all money paid to BCL (was) deemed earned " The fact that the proposed lease applied the initial payment towards first and last months' payments does not excuse Tinseltown from performing his obligations under theagreement, nor does it allow for refund of the payment in the event Tinseltown no longer wishes to proceed with the financing.


In the course of acquiring final financing terms, based on our underwriting criteria and the overall and actual credit worthiness of your client, Bridge Capital offered available competitive lease terms issued by industry lenders, and therefore fulfilled its obligations under the agreement. At no point was Tinseltown offered or guaranteed a 10% rate.


Consequently, and as explained above, the money was deemed earned once Bridge Capital performed its obligation to present the final financing approval and terms. As such, Bridge Leasing has earned the money for services rendered, and there still stands a competitive financing package that your client is welcome to enjoy. Based on conversations with your account reps, if you were to proceed with the financing of both financings, you would enjoy a "blended rate" that would be in the 10% neighborhood. We would still be amenable to securing this or finding alternative financing packages for your client, in which case the payments already made to Bridge Leasing would apply to any other financing package we would offer.


TEL: 949.206-6855 ext. 227 FAX: 949-727-8322



The November 17th letter acknowledges the agreement, which basically states the terms and conditions, and should the lease not occur, Bridge Capital is entitled to the documentation fee.


In a telephone conversation with Mr. Paul  Behechti and counsel Val Stiefel

the November 17,2003 letter was discussed. There were several other conversations, e-mail, and fax correspondence, with the stipulation not for publication.

Since this was the third complaint, we contacted the President and CEO

of Bridge Capital,  Mike Aharmi, both by e-mail, fax, and telephone.


This is their website:

Their information:

Here is a video from Mr. Aharmi on the web site


Leasing News asked Mr. Aharmi for a statement several times, and this

is what we received:

Capital Leasing


March 18, 2004


Kit Menkin Leasing News

Via fax: 800-727-3851


RE: Complaints against Bridge Capital Leasing

Dear Mr. Menkin

It was a pleasure speaking with you on the phone today, and we thank you for bringing to our attention the complaints about Bridge Capital Leasing. In accordance with company policy, at this time Bridge Capital Leasing will make no statement regarding these complaints in a public forum. We are prepared only to discuss these matters with individuals or entities authorized by proposed Lessees, and qualified to make legal arguments on their behalves.


Furthermore, since youalso are the principal of a leasing company, we find that the publishing of complaints and "responses" hardly constitutes an unbiased forum, and may be perceived by some as a. conflict of interest in obtaining information on the inner workings of other leasing companies.


Although neither motivenor malice need to be proved in order to have a claim for slander, we will be keeping a close eye on your publication to ensure the accuracy of your reporting.


As general counsel for Bridge Capital Corporation and all its subsidiaries, I request that you direct all communiqués, including but not limited to emails, phone calls and letters, through myself only,


This letter may only be published by leasing News in its entirety without any additions or deletions.


TEL: 949.206-6855 ext. 227 FAX: 949



This is from our Leasing News Policy, stated in every newsletter,

plus on our web site:



“American Leasing is a separate company than Leasing News and

does not receive any remuneration or “leads” or “business” in any manner

from Leasing News.


“We may refer to a specific company, for instance, if they are looking

for a captive vendor program, or niche equipment. If a broker looking

for a funding source, we may make a referral, but never with any

“strings” or “benefit” to American Leasing. American Leasing is

a small lessor/broker doing business primarily in Silicon Valley.

The company does not have a “broker program” or pay fees

or referrals to a “broker.” We “bend over backwards” to keep both

companies two distinct entities to avoid any journalist conflicts.


“Mr. Menkin sits on several board of directors and advisory boards.

Should there be any conflict, it is so noted in the story. If there

is a financial interest in the company, it is also so noted in the story

as a “disclaimer.”


  from Complaints Bulletin Board:






                  By: Ron Caruso


(Every once and a while this industry leader puts his thumb on the wrist

of our industry and both feels and counts the heart beat.  Here he has

done it again with great profundity:)


As we near the end of the first quarter, this is an appropriate time to evaluate where the economy is, where capital expenditures are, and what to expect for the rest of the year. Let’s look at each subject:




It’s been a slow but steady pace for the first quarter. Consumer spending continues to sustain the so-called recovery. It in turn has been supported by low borrowing costs, significant deficit spending by the federal government and lower personal tax rates


The anticipated upturn in new hiring is still just that-anticipated. The economy shows no indication of a consistent, sustained push to increase employment. Perhaps the best summary for the first quarter is that nothing very bad occurred, but on the other hand, nothing very positive occurred.




Domestic major airlines are beginning to come back, but are facing significant competitive pressures from the so-called discount airlines. The good news is that more people are flying. The bad news is that competition is squeezing the air fares, which is wonderful for you and I, but not so wonderful for the major airlines, still trying to become cost competitive with their newer siblings. Fleet modernization is a major issue for some, but so is survival. Major upgrades must defer to this imperative.


Similarly, the manufacturing sector has not provided any clear signals of ramping up production, requiring new equipment and new hires. Office equipment has become a disposable item, but even this category does not show the dramatic growth which a vigorous economic rebound would envision.






We are in a presidential election year. This will be the center stage event for the rest of ’04, barring unforeseen circumstances. We can expect Uncle Alan to keep money costs low, perhaps not moving them for the rest of the year. Unfortunately, there is not much more on the horizon that is cause for optimism. There are, also unfortunately, some grey clouds up there. Take employment- this will be a major campaign issue. The Bush track record in this regard has not been good. Outsourcing is becoming a political punching bag in Congress, similar to what the leasing industry has encountered. The view from here is that neither Congress, nor the President will be in a pro-active mode. Getting re-elected will be paramount. Everything else will be deferred or dovetailed into this priority.




Capital expenditures have not lived up to expectations or predictions. Moreover, certain types of leasing, e.g., municipal LILO’s and SILO’s, which have sustained the big ticket sector are “persona non grata.” Where do big ticket lessors turn for volume? The answer is (probably) to other market sectors. The result: rate compression. This will be good news for those acquiring new equipment, but could lead to a fierce struggle for market share and ultimately survival. Look for some lessors to fold up their tents, especially among bank lessors. Look for others to reassess their leasing operations and perhaps change their focus to becoming a service provided to bank customers, not a separate profit center operation. This is a year of continued caution and care-survival for many could become a critical issue. Stay tuned.


Have you see the latest issue of the EFJ online?


Check out the articles and career opportunities


Please go here:




Classified Ads—Help Wanted



PricewaterhouseCoopers seeks individuals with experience in commercial equipment leasing to help clients improve their leasing businesses by designing, developing, and implementing solutions to accounting & operational issues. Email:

About the Company: PricewaterhouseCoopers, New York, NY.


Credit and Documentation Administrator


Credit & Doc. Admin. to assist with credit investigation, doc.prep., coordinate territory mgrs. Wayne, NJ fast growing lessor.
Contact: Duane E. Rouba @ 800-848-7210 X 222

About the Company:


Sales Representatives

Looking for a company change?

SCL is adding to the sales force. We are looking for 8 new sales people.  We are a vendor driven company with a large funding portfolio. High Impact commission, 50-65%! We can provide Real Estate Loans to your commercial clients. Profit sharing & Medical.  Call 714-573-9804

About the Company: 250 El Camino Real   #111 Tustin Ca. 92780. UAEL Member


Sales: Tired of working on commission and not getting your fair share of the split?
We pay up to 60% of gross margin +residuals !! Contact Michael Wagner @
949-250-0585 x222 or Fax: 949-250-8042.

About the Company: Dimension Funding, LLC Formed in 1979. Located on 17748 Sky Park Circle, Irvine, CA. 92614. Website:


Senior Sales Executive

Balboa Capital Logo
"Sr.Sales Exec. 5+yrs exp. 10-150K market. Current deal flow and superior closing skills a must. No geo. restrict./satellite office ok. Use our internal line/prefund ability, provides support you need to reach W2 goal. Our 16 years TIB stands alone."

About the Company: Balboa Capital. 2010 Main Street 11th Floor Irvine, CA. 92614



Letters---We Get eMail


I've been a member of your message board/newsletter over the past few years.
I am currently in a senior business development role with Business
Development Bank of Canada.  Obviously, most of the US-related items have
great relevance to our market as well.  Thanks for your great work.

I have been involved in the Canadian leasing industry for over 10 years
though, in various business development and management capacities.

If there is any help that I can give you on any issues, please do not
hesitate to contact me. I know most of the Leasing and Banking community in Ontario quite well.

Assets $7.8Billion
Customers 21,000
Employees 1,250
Branches 80

Our financial services group provides equipment financing, commercial real
estate financing and working capital financing to growing Canadian
companies.  We also offer venture capital, subordinated debt and consulting
services (ISO, lean manufacturing consulting, efficiency, R&D tax credits,
etc.).  Our mission statement can be found on our website.

It might be nice someday to highlight the major differences (and there are
many) between the Canadian and American equipment finance industries...


Greg Kealey
Senior Manager, Loans
Business Development Bank of Canada (BDC)
Markham, ON
Phone:     905-305-8796




(John Semon of Lessors Network  and I have been promoting each other since Leasing News started, a kind of trade agreement, but he wants us to stop

promoting his events.)



“Thanks for your continued support, but I'm going to ask you to do something you may find hard to believe. I would rather you not advertise our events as we are already having to turn away to many asking to attend.


“As you know, we have built our business catering to an ‘exclusive group’. We keep our events small to enhance the networking benefits and our "Showcase" format has proven to be very effective in identifying new business development opportunities for those lucky enough to attend.


“Feel free to continue your unbiased reporting on the Lessors Network and our events when you feel if is of benefit to Leasing News and your readers.


“On another note, how is your project to create standardized docs for the broker community coming? I may want to help you with that. Is it still moving forward? “


Thanks as always Kit,



(The leasing company generic agreement is under way with ten leasing

companies contributing their agreements, forms, and experiences, and

it is being distilled into one generic form that we hope will work

in most states---and most importantly, will allow the parties involved

to agree on what expenses or money may be kept in the process

of applying for a lease.


(Here is the official work from the Lessors Network:)


Notice: We are no longer accepting invitation request to the Lessors Network Broker Showcase. An Attendee Registration Waiting List has been established and will be used on a first come basis.


Brokers - $100*   |   Non Brokers - $400*

(Space is imited and available on a first come basis)



No Trade Show Booths - No Appointment Required


If you are a Broker or if you provide funding, products and/or services to Brokers, this is a showcase event you can't afford to miss. Lessors Network events are not a series of stuffy lectures or boorish exhibitor expos, but focus exclusively on new business development within the equipment leasing community.


This event uses a proven Lessors Network "Showcase" format to introduce Lease Brokers to Funding Sources and Service Providers active in the commercial and muni equipment leasing markets.




NAELB –“Talk the Talk, Not Walk the Walk”



--“I find the By-Line today offensive.  I have been on the Board of
Directors of the NAELB and know how hard it is to be fair and impartial
in any investigation.  I think you have not gotten all of your facts be
fore jumping on your horse and riding off in all directions and
definitely the wrong assumption.  But of course you know how to spell

John Winchester, CLP


( We will continue to print independent, unbiased, and fair

news about the leasing industry. editor )






### Press Release ################################


Bank of the West Implements WorkforceLogic to Manage Its Contingent Workforce



SONOMA, Calif.----WorkforceLogic announced it has gained its ninth major corporate client with the implementation of its web-enabled workforce management system at Bank of the West. Headquartered in San Francisco, California, Bank of the West is a full-service commercial bank with over $29 billion in assets and nearly 300 branches in six western states.


   Based on performance data from other WorkforceLogic clients, Bank of the West expects employees to realize a much more user-friendly and streamlined contingent workforce management as a result of implementing WorkorceLogic's on-site service technology solution. Over the next two years, Bank of the West predicts it will save between ten and fifteen percent of its total annual contingent workforce expense by using this solution.


   WorkforceLogic is an enterprise-wide, vendor-neutral, web-based workforce management application and service offering. This robust Workforce Management System (WMS) puts all contingent workforce management activities -- from job requisitions to payrolling -- on the desktop giving corporate users unprecedented real-time access and control over this vital supply chain, and generating substantial savings in the process. WorkforceLogic will also provide an on-site management team to facilitate the contingent workforce hiring and management process for Bank of the West.


   "Bank of the West's goal was an enterprise implementation of WorkforceLogic, including integration to all financial and HRIS business systems, in eight to ten weeks. Our implementation was successfully completed in less than nine weeks, we've been operating without a hitch ever since," explained Amy Young -- Vice President and Manager, Staffing -- Bank of the West Human Resources. "WorkforceLogic will enable the Bank to better manage our contingent workforce and annual spend in a swift and automated fashion. This new process has already been well received by our employees and contingent workers alike. This was not surprising, as the implementation of this management tool was seamless to our internal users, and will make all of our lives simpler in the long-run."


   "Bank of the West employs a large number of contingent workers to handle significant fluctuations in workload," explained Mark Robinson, COO of WorkforceLogic. "These skilled professionals are critical to the success of Bank of the West's business, and with a mandate to improve business process and better manage costs, Bank of the West was the ideal WorkforceLogic client." 


   About Bank of the West 


   With $29 billion in assets, Bank of the West ( currently operates nearly 300 branches in California, Oregon, Washington, Idaho, Nevada and New Mexico and is the third largest commercial bank headquartered in California. Bank of the West now serves 1.5 million retail and commercial customers including national specialty business lines such as equipment leasing, religious institution lending, agribusiness lending and SBA lending. 


   About WorkforceLogic 


   WorkforceLogic ( is the leader in producing e-business solutions for the staffing industry. Its corporate parent, the Nelson Family of Companies, has 34 years of knowledge and experience in providing contingent workforce solutions. WorkforceLogic combines a flexible, state-of-the-art, software application with deep on-site staffing experience to create an efficient and sustainable contingent worker procurement process within a client company.


CONTACT:WorkforceLogic David Lee, 866-296-3343 Vice President, Client Services



### Press Release ################################

Greater Community Bancorp Declares First Quarter Cash Dividend


TOTOWA, N.J.----At its regular meeting held March 16, 2004, the Board of Directors of Greater Community Bancorp (Nasdaq:GFLS) declared a first quarter cash dividend of $0.11 per share on its common stock, payable April 30, 2004, to shareholders of record as of April 15, 2004.


   Greater Community Bancorp, with $753 million in assets at December 31, 2003, is a financial holding company headquartered in Totowa, New Jersey. The Company operates fifteen branches in the northern New Jersey counties of Bergen, Passaic and Morris through its three state-chartered commercial bank subsidiaries: Greater Community Bank, Bergen Commercial Bank and Rock Community Bank. They provide traditional commercial and retail banking services to small businesses and consumers in New Jersey. The Company also owns two subsidiaries: Greater Community Financial and Highland Capital Corp., an equipment leasing and financing subsidiary.


CONTACT:Greater Community Bancorp      

         Anthony M. Bruno, Jr., Chairman and CEO

          (973) 942-1111 Ext. 1001 



### Press Release ############################


Fitch Upgrades First Sierra Equipment Contract Trusts, Series 1999-2 & 2000-2



Fitch Ratings-Chicago-Fitch Ratings upgrades the following classes of securities for First Sierra Equipment Contract Trust 1999-2 (First Sierra 1999-2) and First Sierra Equipment Contract Trust 2000-2 (First Sierra 2000-2).


In its review of the First Sierra 1999-2 transaction, Fitch noted increasing levels of credit enhancement available to all classes of notes. The continued increase in credit enhancement is a result of better than expected portfolio performance. As of January 31, 2004, 30+ day delinquencies equal 3.14%, cumulative net losses are 1.80%, and the recovery rate on previously defaulted contracts is 55.40%. In addition, all classes benefit from over-collateralization ($4,697,854), in the form of an issuer interest and a cash reserve account, and class-specific credit enhancement floors.


Similarly, in its review of the First Sierra 2000-2 transaction, Fitch noted increasing levels of credit enhancement available to all classes of notes. The continued increase in credit enhancement is a result of better than expected portfolio performance. As of January 31, 2004, 30+ day delinquencies equal 6.44%, cumulative net losses are 1.13%, and the recovery rate on previously defaulted contracts is 73.79%. In addition, all classes benefit from over-collateralization ($5,840,265), in the form of an issuer interest and a cash reserve account, and class-specific credit enhancement floors.


The underlying equipment contracts in both transactions were originated under the private label source, broker, and vendor programs of First Sierra Financial, Inc., which was later renamed Inc. Inc. was acquired by a division of American Express Company (long-term rating of 'A+') in April 2001. Consequently, both transaction have also benefited from a more financially sound servicer with increased collections and servicing-related resources.



First Sierra Equipment Contract Trust 1999-2 (First Sierra 1999-2)


--Class B Equipment Contract Backed Notes are upgraded to 'AA' from 'A';

--Class C Equipment Contract Backed Notes are upgraded to 'A' from 'BBB';

--Class D Equipment Contract Backed Notes are upgraded to 'BBB' from 'BB';

--Class E Equipment Contract Backed Notes are upgraded to 'BB+' from 'B'.

First Sierra Equipment Contract Trust 2000-2 (First Sierra 2000-2)

--Class B Equipment Contract Backed Notes are upgraded to 'AA' from 'A';

--Class C Equipment Contract Backed Notes are upgraded to 'A' from 'BBB';

--Class D Equipment Contract Backed Notes are upgraded to 'BBB' from 'BB';

--Class E Equipment Contract Backed Notes are upgraded to 'BB' from 'B'.

The class A-4 Equipment Contract Backed Notes of First Sierra 1999-2 and First Sierra 2000-2 are also affirmed at 'AAA'.



Fitch will continue to closely monitor these transactions and may take additional rating action in the event of changes in performance and credit enhancement measures.


Contact: Joseph Tuczak +1-312-368-20 83 or Du Trieu +1-312-368-2091, Chicago.


Media Relations: Sandro Scenga +1-212-908-0278, New York.


  Home | Contact | Terms of Use | Privacy Policy

Copyright © 2004 by Fitch, Inc., Fitch Ratings Ltd. and its subsidiaries.



##### Press Release ###################################


News Briefs---


Unemployment state by state


Viruses are becoming sneakier and more complex all the time






“Gimme that Wine”


Napa Valley Adds Its 14th Subappellation,1145,2388,00.html


Vintners get new name, new logo to unite programs under one banner


Wente Vineyards remains leader of the pack,1413,82~1726~2020647,00.html


Three New Master Sommeliers Earn Their Wings,1145,2387,00.html


Vintners' advocate The new Oregon Wine Board soon will pick a director to lead efforts to regain the state's cachet and uncork its full potential





This Day in American History


     1526-The first North American Slave Revolt: Nearly 40 years before the first permanent European settlement in North America, Spanish explorers bring enslaved Africans to what are now the Carolinas. The Africans escape in what is the first recorded slave revolt in North America. In 1501- Spanish settlers brought slaves from Africa to Santo Domingo (now the capital of the Dominican Republic). There was a slave revolt  in 1522 on the Caribbean island of Hispaniola, which now comprises Haiti and the Dominican Republic. Most of Columbus bounty were Indian slaves as this was large commerce for basically “free labor.”  In 1562, John Hawkins, the first Briton to take part in the slave trade, makes a huge profit hauling human cargo from Africa to Hispaniola.

    1619-Africans brought to Jamestown are the first slaves imported into Britain’s North American colonies. Like indentured servants, they were probably freed after a fixed period of service.

    1621-A peace treaty and defensive alliance between the Wampanog Indians and the Pilgrims was concluded at Strawberry Hill, Plymouth, Mass.  Arranged by Squanto, an English-speaking Indian, it was one of the earliest recorded treaties between Europeans and Indians in North America.  Squantohad been kidnapped and sold as a slave in Spain. He escaped to England, where he learned English, and lived in Newfoundland for a time before returning to Massachusetts in 1916.

    1622- The first Indian massacre, led by Powhatan’s brother, almost wiped out the settlements outside

Jamestown, Virginia, which was itself heavily fortified.  347 colonists out of a population of 1,240 were slain. In 1644, another Indian uprising, led by Opechancanough,  threatened Jamestown, but

was surprised by the colonists, and resulted in a treaty which forced the Indians to cede additional territory and effected a peace until 1675.  Remains of the successful English settlement were found in

1996, including wood stains showing where the original wall was, the skeleton of a settler, and glass beads used for trading with the local Indians.

     1630 - The first legislation prohibiting gambling was enacted in Boston, Massachusetts.

     1765- Britain enacted a requirement to buy revenue stamps for every pair of dice, every pack of playing cards, and every newspaper, document, and pamphlet.  The purpose of the tax was to raise funds to pay for the upkeep of the British army in America.  Colonists mounted a sustained boycott of British goods until the tax was repealed.1862-the Confederate cruiser built in England the Oneto, set

sail from Liverpool, bound for the Bahamas. The ship was transferred to Captain John Newland Maffitt of the Confederate Navy, who took rank as commodore.  The guns and stores were sent in another ship that followed.

    1812-Birthday of Stephen Pearl, author, born in Templeton, Massachusetts ; died in New York City, 21 May 1886. He was an ardent abolitionist, and in 1839 removed to Texas, where he converted many of the slave-owners, who were also large land-owners, by showing them that they would become rapidly rich from the sale of land if immigration were induced by throwing the country open to free labor. Here he acquired considerable wealth in the practice of his profession. He also had a dedicated  following around a “universal” philosophy and language.

    1820- Naval hero Stephen Decatur died from a duel. One of Decatur's colleagues, Commodore James Barron had been the subject of scandal in 1807 when he commanded the frigate Chesapeake and failed to prepare it for battle to British warship Leopold. Barron's disgraceful defeat lead to his court martial in 1808. One of Decatur's naval duties was to sit on the trial of Barron's court martial. Although Decatur and Barron had been friends, Decatur agreed to a verdict that expelled Barron from the Navy for five years. This event began the thirteen year dispute that would end on the dueling grounds in Maryland. Barron was overseas at the end of his five year expulsion from the Navy and did not return to help defend his country during the War of 1812. Upon Barron's return to the United States in December 1818, Decatur challenged his absence during the war. In his defense, Barron claimed he had no money, and therefore could not get back to his country. Back and forth over four years, letters were written and both men stood their ground. Eventually, the quarrel became a fatal battle of honor.
Although dueling was illegal in the city of Washington, it was still common for naval officers to challenge one another. On March 22, 1820, Commodore Stephen Decatur and Commodore James Barron met on the dueling ground in Bladensburg, Maryland. Both men were shot, but Decatur was mortally wounded. He was brought back to his home on Lafayette Square and died several hours later. The nation mourned the death of a great naval hero.

    1822- Birthday  Rosa Bonheur, born in France, her paintings were celebrated in her home country, but her paintings were the rage in the Golden Age of American History. Her father was a minor painter and by an early age, she showed an aptitude for sketching live animals. Before long she dressed in boys' clothing so she could go into the fields and stockyards to study animals (in the days of skirts to the ground). By the time she was 19, two of her paintings were exhibited in the annual Parisian Salon and at 23 she received her first medal. Although radical in the way she lived her personal life, Bonheur was politically and artistically conservative. She worked in a very traditional way, making sketches and studies in preparation for larger, final paintings. This is an oil study for her most famous painting, The Horse Fair. The study is quite small; the final painting is 8 x 16 feet. Bonheur believed in direct observation of nature and was determined to be accurate in all details. To this end, she dissected animal parts, sketched from life, and attended horse fairs, which were opportunities for dealers of horses to show off their stock to potential buyers. This was not the type of event normally attended by women. To avoid the taunts and comments a woman could receive if she were seen at a horse fair, Bonheur applied for permission from the prefecture of police to dress in men’s clothing, and received authorization to do so in 1852. She reportedly did live in an acknowledged lesbian relationship for most of her life. Her paintings were the rage of the 19th century in America. One of her finest and most famous painting, The Horse Fair (1853), was purchased by Cornelius Vanderbilt, it was brought to the U.S. (where her artistic abilities and personality "meshed with American interest in innovation and bravura") and now hangs in the Metropolitan Museum of Art

    1842-publisher / abolitionist Josiah Warren (1798-1874) opens 2nd Time Store in New Harmony. Warren founded several “equity” stores, founded three utopian colonies, and wrote True Civilization. These stores based sales on the hours of labor and worked on the trade of these goods for the time of labor, utilizing a “clock” formula. He is considered America’s first anarchist.

    1862-The Confederate cruiser built in England was the Oneto, which sailed this day from Liverpool, England, bound for the Bahamas. The ship was transferred to Captain John Newland Maffitt of the Confederate Nay, who took ran as commodore. He is considered one of the best known naval

commanders of the Confederate navy. The guns and stores were sent in another ship that followed.

Maffitt organized blockade-running operations from the West Indies. The high point of his career, however, was his captaincy of the commerce-raider C.S.S . Florida. In only two cruises, Maffitt took 57 prizes, wreaking over $4 million worth of damage to Union shipping. Reassigned to blockade-running in 1863, Maffitt continued to baffle Yankee captains and bring vital military cargoes into Southern ports until nearly the end of the war.

Maffit was a true Naval hero known for his ingenuity, courage, seamanship and high-spirited leadership.

    1872-the State of Illinois was the first to pass a law banning sex discrimination in employment: “ no person shall be precluded or debarred from any occupation or employment ( except military) on account of sex” was one of the provisions.  100 years later the Senate passed the passed a law

to prohibit sex discrimination, but it required ratification by 38 states, which even when the

deadline was extended, it never received the necessary passage so did not become the law

of the land. Ironically, only 35 states ratified the 1972 amendment.  Among the ones that ironically did not was Illinois:

North Carolina
South Carolina

     1874-The Young Men’s Hebrew Association originated in the 1840s as the Young Men’s Hebrew Literary Association. The first YMHA opened in Baltimore, MD, in 1854, but was unsuccessful The first permanent YMHA was founded this day in 1874 by a group of German-Jewish businessmen and professionals headed by Dr. Simeon Newton Leo. The first president was Lewis May. A second club was started in Philadelphia in 1875.

    1882-The Edmunds Act is passed by Congress, making polygamy a felony offense, disenfranchising polygamists and barring them from public office. Apparently the only US law to deprive citizens of their civil rights without trial. More than 1,300 men were imprisoned under the terms of this measure.

It was specifically enacted to halt the growth of the Mormon religion in Utah.

    1893-The first women's collegiate basketball game was played at Smith College at Northampton, MA. Senda Berenson, then Smith's director of physical education and "mother of women's basketball," supervised the game, in which Smith's sophomore team beat the freshman team 5-4.

   1899-Ruth Page, American dancer and choreographer Ruth Page was born at Indianapolis, IN. She was a leading figure in Chicago dance with the Lyric Opera of Chicago, the Chicago Opera Ballet and the Chicago Ballet. She died Apr 7, 1991, at Chicago, IL.

    1907-trumpter player Rex Stewart born Philadelphia, PA

    1908 --  Birthday of Louis L'Amour (1908-1988) lives. American writer of western fiction. After the 1950s L'Amour published, at the peak of his career, several westerns a year. Best known is Hondo.

    1908-guitarist/violinist Claude Williams born Muskogee, OK

    1915-tenor sax player Buddy Tate born Sherman, TX

    1919-guitarist Charlie Christian Birthday

   1922-trumpter player Joe Wilder born Colwyn, PA

    1928-guitarist Johnny “Texas” Brown born Chotaw City, MS

     1931-yesterday Day in History had James T. Kirk birthday; today is William Shatner’s birthday, Montreal, QC, Canada.

     1936 -great floods were at their crest on rivers from Maine to Ohio. Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania reached 6.1 feet, Harrisburg hit 3.5 feet, and Hartford hit 8.6 feet, a depth greater than ever before. 107 lives were lost and damage was placed at $270 million.

     1943-singer/guitars/song writer George Benson born Philadelphia, PA. Benson began as a jazz guitarist, playing and recording with organist Brother Jack McDuff, and recording a series of mainstream jazz LPs on his own for several labels. In 1975, Benson signed with Warner Brothers, where he was encouraged to sing. The result was "Breezin'," which became the biggest-selling jazz album of all time. His hit singles, all vocals in the Stevie Wonder and Donny Hathaway mold, include "On Broadway," "This Masquerade," "Give Me the Night" and "Turn Your Love Around."

1943-Birthday of Keith Relf, vocalist, guitarist and harmonica player with the legendary British band, the Yardbirds, was born in Richmond, England. The group gave birth to three major guitar heroes of the 1960's - Eric Clapton, Jeff Beck and Jimmy Page. For his part, Relf is credited with being one of the first to use guitar feedback. After the Yardbirds broke up in 1968, Relf and another member of the group, Jim McCarty, formed a duo called Together. Relf then organized a classical rock band, Renaissance, and a heavy rock group, Armageddon. In 1976, Keith Relf was found dead in his London home with a guitar in his hands. He had died of an electric shock.

     1945—Top Hits

A Little on the Lonely Side - The Guy Lombardo Orchestra (vocal: Jimmy Brown)

Accentuate the Positive - Johnny Mercer

My Dreams are Getting Better All the Time - The Pied Pipers

There’s a New Moon Over My Shoulder - Jimmie Davis

     1948- Andrew Lloyd Webber birthday, composer of such smash musicals as "Jesus Christ, Superstar," "Evita," "Cats," "Phantom of the Opera," "Starlight Express" and "Aspects of Love" was born in London. Webber, the son of a composer, studied music at the Guildhall School and the Royal College, as well as attending Oxford. With lyricist Tim Rice, Webber was asked to write a children's show for EMI Records. The result was a version of an Old Testament story, "Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat," which was a moderate success.With manager David Lands underwriting their efforts, Webber and Rice started work on a rock opera, "Jesus Christ, Superstar," which tells the story from the viewpoint of children who might have known Christ. The recording of the opera was released on two LP's in October, 1970, and four years later had sold 5.5 million copies.  "Jesus Christ, Superstar" opened on Broadway in 1971 and in London a year later. . A film version, directed by Norman Jewison, was made in 1973.

     1953—Top Hits

Till I Waltz Again with You - Teresa Brewer

Don’t Let the Stars Get in Your Eyes - Perry Como

Doggie in the Window - Patti Page

Kaw-Liga - Hank Williams

    1955-Disc Jockey Alan Freed joins the staff of Coral records as an A&R man. His two year deal calls for him to work with Coral's parent Company, Decca, as a producer.

    1956 - Sammy Davis, Jr. starred in the play, "Mr. Wonderful", in New York City. The critics were unkind, saying that they didn’t care for the production. Audiences, however, gave it ‘thumbs up’ and the show went on to be one of Broadway’s more popular musicals, catapulting Davis into the limelight. He appeared with Frank Sinatra in Las Vegas, as Sinatra was also making a comeback, having won the Academy Award in 1954 as best supporting actor in “From Here to Eternity.”  They became fast friends.  The public black and white relationship was ahead of its time.

    1956 - Perry Como became the first major TV variety-show host to book a rock and roll act on his program. The ‘Incomparable Mr. C.’ booked Carl Perkins for the show and Perkins sang "Blue Suede Shoes".

    1958 - Movie producer Mike Todd and three other passengers were killed when the Lockheed Lodestar aircraft they were in exploded while in midair. Mike Todd was Elizabeth Taylor's third husband, and she took his untimely death very hard. It was reported that Taylor had planned to be on board as well, but her husband discouraged her from the trip due to an illness she was getting over. Todd produced the Oscar- winning movie from two years earlier, Around the World in 80 Days, and introduced innovative methods of filming to the industry.

    1958- At the urging of his mother, Hank Williams Junior makes his stage debut  in Swainsboro, Georgia. he is the eight year old son of the late country singer (who past away New Year's Day 1953) and his wife, Audrey Williams. It would take years and a near-fatal accident before he could develop a style of his own and come to terms with being the son of one of country music's greatest performers

    1960-the first patent for a laser (light amplification by stimulated emission of radiation) granted to Arthur Schawlow and Charles Townes.

     1961—Top Hits

Surrender - Elvis Presley

Where the Boys Are - Connie Francis

Dedicated to the One I Love - The Shirelles

Don’t Worry - Marty Robbins

    1961- industrial designer Raymond Loewy made this sketch of a futuristic sports car at the request of Sherwood Egbert, the recently appointed president of the ailing Studebaker Corporation. Egbert charged Loewy to design a new car bold enough to capture the popular imagination and boost the company's sagging fortunes. Loewy and his team of designers produced a prototype in record time, and the Avanti debuted in the spring of 1962 to rave reviews.  My parents liked it so much they sold their Olds to get a red Avanti.

1962 - The play, "I Can Get It For You Wholesale", opened on Broadway. It featured a 19-year-old named Barbara Streisand. She stopped the show at the famed Shubert Theatre in New York City. Streisand starred as Miss Marmelstein. Audiences kept coming back for more of Barbara for 300 performances. 1969 - UCLA defeated Purdue 92-72 to win the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) basketball championship. The Bruins were the first team to win three consecutive championships -- all under legendary head coach John Wooden. UCLA went on to dominate the college basketball title through the 1973 season. 1969 - UCLA won the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) basketball championship after defeating Purdue 92-72. The Bruins were the first team to win three consecutive championships, while under head coach John Wooden. Until the 1973 season, UCLA went on to dominate the college basketball title.

1968 --  For the real trivia buffs: President's daughter, Lynda Bird Johnson, ordered off cable car for eating ice cream cone, of course, only in San


    1969—Top Hits

Dizzy - Tommy Roe

Traces - Classics IV featuring Dennis Yost

Indian Giver - 1910 Fruitgum Co.

Only the Lonely - Sonny James

    1972- the Senate passed the 27th Amendment, prohibiting discrimination on the basis of sex, sending it to the states for ratification. Hawaii led the way as the first state to ratify and by the end of the year 22 of the required states had ratified it. On Oct 6,1978, the deadline for ratification was extended to June 30, 1982, by Congress. The amendment still lacked three of the required 38 states for ratification. This was the first extension granted since Congress set seven years as the limit for ratification. The amendment failed to achieve ratification as the deadline came and passed and no additional states ratified the measure.

    1972- The Yankees trade first baseman Danny Cater to the Red Sox for lefty reliever Albert Walter Lyle. Over the next seven years, Sparky will pitch in 420 games in relief with 57-40 record and a 2.41 ERA notching 141 saves as he helps the Bronx Bombers to appear in three World Series.

1976-Presidential candidate Jimmy Carter tells the audience at the National Association of Record Merchandisers' Scholarship Foundation Dinner that Bob Dylan, the Grateful Dead, Led Zeppelin and other bands inspired him while working late nights when he was the Governor of Georgia. To prove he would never lie to them, he quoted lines from the Beatles' "Yesterday" and Dylan's "Blowin' in the Wind.

    1977-a blockbuster coastal storm lashed New York and New England. Norfolk, Connecticut was buried under 33 inches of snow. 24 inches was reported at Pittsfield, Massachusetts and 18 inches piled up at Gardner, Massachusetts. Snow amounts exceeded 30 inches in the Catskills in southeastern New York. 3 to 5 inches of rain deluged south coastal New England and wind gusts reached 60 to 90 mph. A 450 foot radio tower in Framingham, Massachusetts was toppled by the high winds.

    1977—Top Hits

Love Theme from "A Star is Born" (Evergreen) - Barbra Streisand

Fly like an Eagle - Steve Miller

Rich Girl - Daryl Hall & John Oates

Southern Nights - Glen Campbell

    1977 - Comedienne Lily Tomlin made her debut on Broadway, as "Lily Tomlin on Stage" opened in New York.

    1977-Stevie Wonder releases the single, "Sir Duke." The tune was a tribute to Duke Ellington and would spend 3 weeks at #1

    1982-Diana Ross' first solo album for RCA, "Why Do Fools Fall in Love," goes platinum less than three months after its release.

    1985—Top Hits

Can’t Fight This Feeling - REO Speedwagon

The Heat is On - Glenn Frey

Material Girl - Madonna

Crazy for Your Love – Exile

    1988 - Rain and high winds battered the Northern Pacific Coast Region, with wind gusts to 78 mph at Ocean Shores WA. The high winds uprooted trees and down power lines. Ten cities in the northeastern U.S. reported new record low temperatures for the date. Eight cities in the central U.S. reported record highs. Southerly winds gusting to 60 mph helped push the mercury at Ottumwa IA to a record warm reading of 83 degrees

    1989-Dick Clark announces he'll no longer host "American Bandstand," ending a 33-year run.

    1989 - Six cities in the Great Lakes Region, and three in southern Texas, reported new record low temperatures for the date, including Alpena MI with a reading of 9 above zero, and Brownsville TX with a reading of 38 degrees

    1999---Top Hits

Believe- Cher

Heartbreak Hotel- Whitney Houston Feat. Faith Evans

Angel Of Mine- Monica

I Still Believe- Mariah Carey

     2002- After a poor spring trying to make the Dodgers as a bench player, 38-year-old Dante Bichette (.299, 274, 1,141) announces his retirement. The four-time All-Star played with the Angels, Brewers, Rockies, Reds and Red Sox during his 14-year major league career.



 NCAA Basketball Champions This Date

     1958  Kentucky

     1969  UCLA





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