Wednesday, May 16, 2012
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######## surrounding the article denotes it is a “press release” and was not written by Leasing News nor information verified, but from the source noted. When an article is signed by the writer, it is considered a “by line.” It reflects the opinion and research of the writer. It is considered “bias” as it is the writer’s viewpoint.
Archive May 16, 2007
In early March of this year, Leasing News congratulated one of its founding advisory board members on his engagement, after receiving this news:
"On Valentine’s Day, I asked Debbie, who I have been dating for a year and a half, to marry me. She said YES!!
"Debbie is the credit manager for NACM St Louis region."
Bob’s first wife, Melissa, died of cancer, and he then had a stroke, with a recovery that affected his movement and speech. He worked very hard to overcome these handicaps. Life was moving ahead for him when he had a second very serious stroke on Monday.
Bob underwent a brain surgery procedure at St. Luke’s Hospital in Chesterfield, Missouri. He was having drainage issues, according to a nurse. He was still unresponsive and listed in critical condition.
“We are expecting a full recovery, “Mona James, CLP, Executive Vice President of Wildwood Financial Group, told Leasing News. “Bob is a pretty tough person...
“As you must know, Bob has a trained, competent staff to run the company until his return. We invite you to keep Bob and his family in your thoughts and prayers. It is business as usual at Wildwood; Bob wouldn’t want it any other way.”
(Bob never made it out of his coma and passed away May 23, 2007. He is well remembered by his friends and acquaintances.
(Here is more about him, for those that did not know him
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Hudson Buying His Way Back into Leasing
While Toronto, Canada based Element Financial reports new business jumped in Canadian dollars from $16.8 million to $156.6 million in its three month period, it also reported a net loss of $261,000 compared to a loss of $936,000 in the prior year, Canadian dollars.
The company is still in a start-up mode, raising money, and purchasing other leasing companies, including the most recent, acquiring the vehicle fleet business from Scotiabank for $146.7 million, plus debt, and he receives a report $430 million of lease assets. Founder Steve Hudson took his company public in December, 2011. The actual financial filings, rather than the press release, may tell more about what is really happening.
While this latest move makes the Element Financial Canada's largest lease company, with approximately $1 billion in assets, it is buying itself into the marketplace, with the core business apparently vehicle financing.
In returning to the leasing market place, Element Financial founder Steve Hudson said he was interested in the transportation marketing place, and his other acquisitions for Element Financial have been in the healthcare, manufacturing, construction, and golf industries.
Hudson said his company plans sell 16,595,900 special warrants at C$5.25 per share, raising about C$87 million in proceeds that will go toward the future growth of the company. GMP Securities, Barclays Capital Canada Inc. and BMO Capital are the lead book runners on the offering, which Element expects to complete by May 31, 2012.
Previously he created the entity with $10 million from Cameron Capital Corp, which he named for his son, and $75 million private placement stock. It seems one of his first moves was paying book value for the assets of Montreal-based Alter Moneta, a leasing firm that was started in 1998 with money from National Bank of Canada and the Caisse de depot et placement due Quebec.
Hudson reportedly paid book value for the assets of Montreal-based Alter Moneta, a leasing firm that was started in 1998 with money from National Bank of Canada and the Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec. It now has about $180-million in lease assets. In 2007, Bear Stearns Merchant Banking bought a controlling stake in Alter Moneta, and when Bear Stearns subsequently collapsed in 2008, Alter Moneta’s funding dried up as banks avoided anything that was affiliated with Bear Stearns.
He built Newcourt Credit Group from $500,000 and sold to CIT in a stock swap for $2.8 billion in 1999, but by the time the transaction closed in August, 1999, Newcourt posted unexpected losses and took a $1-billion write down.
Hudson made an entrance into the US Market place with Alta Moneta, but perhaps too late as not only are the established companies back in performance, such as CIT, Key Equipment Finance, but a host of banks including EverBank, Huntington, United Bank in the same marketplace, but also new ones in the same marketplace, such as Ascentium, Mazuma, Panthera, Signature, to name just a few of the more active.
The turmoil in Europe should bring back more leasing and finance company involvement in the United States, while the top international companies continue to expand in India and Asia, primarily China.
Competition will get keener as the economy here continues to improve, even though at a much slower pace than most would like to experience.
Of course, if you keep buying portfolios, it makes the balance sheet look impressive to investors, but it takes about 18 months before the real devils pop-up in what is on the books, so the sales have to exceed the problems before the investors understand the quality.
Can Steve Hudson do it again? Can Tom Depping do it again with Ascentium? Looks to me like they are already building to be major players in the leasing marketplace. We’ll see about Signature and a few others, some smaller ones, who are getting bigger. But looks like the middle-market is back!!!
Why I Became a CLP
Terey N. Jennings, CLP
Terey joined Financial Pacific in 1986 and has held various positions within the sales and marketing area. Mr. Jennings is active in a number of equipment leasing associations and is a past President of the United Association of Equipment Leasing ((now National Equipment Finance Association (NEFA)). He serves on the Pierce County Board of Directors of Junior Achievement of Washington. He earned a degree in Business Administration from Pacific Lutheran University.
He received his Certified Lease Professional (CLP) designation. Terey and Shannon Green, CLP (now with Orion First Financial), were the first two employees at Financial Pacific to receive their CLP designation which currently has 17 CLPs in good-standing. The following is an excerpt of an interview regarding his experience with the CLP program, and background on why Financial Pacific so strongly supports the designation.
“Over the past 13 years Financial Pacific has sponsored 30 employees who have obtained their CLP designation," he said. "This is a very proud accomplishment for us. As a company, we include the CLP program in our training strategies and employees who meet the minimum requirements for the CLP designation strive for this goal. When they see their peers successfully navigate through the process, it takes away some of the fear associated with the exam, and provides a comfort level as being an achievable goal. We also have mentors available to provide support. We’ve been fortunate to have UAEL now NEFA provide 'Institute for Leasing Professionals' annually in our area and are thankful for that convenience.
“I’ve always felt that the process I went through to prepare for the exam has benefited me over the years in many ways. Because it was such a wide range of relevant information, I not only learned some new and interesting things but it also reinforced things I already knew. I’ve had many opportunities to refer back to the material over the years, and it’s been a rewarding experience to teach classes for new CLP candidates.”
“I’ve always believed the process of studying and preparing for this is exam is valuable to anyone in our industry. It doesn’t matter what anyone’s job responsibilities are - the information is so broad. I sometimes think, 'If everyone in our company went through the process, would it make us a better company?' The answer is always 'yes'.”
Why I Became a CLP series:
Mark McQuitty Sentencing Operation Lease Fleece
Readers following the sentencing dates: Mark McQuitty, co-founder CapitalWerks, Preferred Lease, sentencing set for May 14th re-set for September 24, 2012 at 09:00 AM before Judge Cormac J. Carney. The photo above is perhaps over ten years old. Public Records find he has been arrested three times for D.U.I. Reportedly, he was administrating the portfolio, although prohibited from engaging in new financing or leasing.
It appears to the writer that the major players have been postponed as their testimony will be made public in their sentencing, as the case has been considered "on going," meaning others as well as Vartanian Brothers and who is connected with them. A plea hearing is set for May 18, 2012 at 4:00pm.
Operation Lease Fleece Story:
Letters?---We get eMail
(Mostly in Chronological Order)
May 11, 2009 Archives
"Your story today reminded me of the scam run by Jonathan Lampel (LeasEquip) who, as you may remember, got convicted of 4 counts of State of Ca. securities fraud for doing pretty much the same thing that Otto is accused of doing. I worked for Lampel for a short period in the early 1990's, and testified against him in one civil trial and in his 2nd criminal trial (the one where he got convicted after a hung jury on the first one).
"Apparently Jon is still 'out there.' You should Google him. Why the LA County DA is not shutting him down and throwing away the key as a repeat offender is beyond me. If you mention Lampel in a "Leasing News" article, please, PLEASE, do not use my name. I have had my "Lampel experience." He hasn't bothered me for almost 10 years, and I'd like to keep it that way.
"I don't think the FBI can file charges in the Heritage Pacific case, even if they wanted to. Heritage Pacific does not have a national bank charter, thus it is not a Federal matter. The Feds didn't file charges against Lampel, for the same reason; LeasEquip did not have a Federal charter. It was the State of California that got him."
(Name With Held)
(Google search finds: “The Successful Co-founder (LeasEquip)” /http://jonathanlampel.professionaljournalonline.com/
(As for the FBI, if there is interstate commerce, they can get involved, as well as the postmaster for interstate, and both have in many cases, working together. Many of them are convicted for “wire transfer.” The FBI has a minimum of $1 million in alleged fraud to get involved, otherwise they leave it up to the state, county, or city authorities, depending on the dollar amount, Leasing News was told.
(The case with HL Leasing, the founder committed suicide and who is left to prove they were involved in the Ponzi scheme. Even the President and Vice-President say they invested and were fooled, as all the accounting was done out of Otto’s home. Otto kept a tight control of what was going on and handled the flow of cash. Editor)
Operation Lease Fleece--Updates
"I am an attorney in Tucson and represent a Preferred Lease/CapitalWerks customer who has been fleeced. I have seen your articles on this subject and thought you might have some thoughts.
“In this scenario, the client lad what he thought was a triple net lease to buy equipment with a $1 buyout at the end of the term. This is the form that was sent to him, which he signed and returned but never got back from Preferred. At the end of the lease term, when he wanted to do the buyout, that form had disappeared and Preferred had the title sent to them and are claiming the lease he signed was a FMV lease. They do have a Guaranty, which was signed by Melinda (formerly Castro) Catale that you wrote was offering to sell her story.
“Preferred has now repo’d the equipment. Have you heard of this happening to other Preferred customers?
“I would appreciate any thoughts you might have.”
(The problem is the company is in a wind down mode and most likely is about out of their portfolio, as they have not added anything in almost five years.
(This is a common complaint to Leasing News, I hate to tell you, primarily coming from companies in Southern California who have appeared in the Leasing News Bulletin Board. I have even received complaints of the original purchase option sent to the lessee, but not signed when the documents sent back and the claim it was either a forgery or then one that it was not the deal that was finally agreed to. This appears on the Complaint Bulletin Board about Balboa Capital:
(Jim Raeder, the co-owner of CapitalWerks is now in the business of taking assets off lease and selling them, he told Leasing News. He says he bids on “off lease” equipment, mostly repo’s, and then re-sells them on line, often not even taken possession of the equipment. He may also be getting equipment from his own company."
(You could write the US Deputy Attorney about the situation you encountered would be my only suggestion. Editor)
JENNIFER L. WAIER
"It is interesting that the felons have to pay 10% of future earnings to those they fleeced. I hope that decree is for their natural lives. Hypothetically speaking, I wonder if some had the foresight to squirrel away money and if they did a calculated they could live comfortably on those funds while paying 10% of minimal future income.
"As for their inability to do equipment leasing in the future I wonder if they are also forbidden from all financial activities in the future. I personally know of one case where the fastest growing mortgage company in the 80s was located in Thousand Oaks, California (a salesman was making $2mm a year!). The owner and his wife were prosecuted and he was given four years in prison. After prison, a new career…in equipment financing.
“I received a flyer touting the lowest rates in the industry and an address in a hi rise in Ventura. I called the DA and an attorney from his office paid me a visit. It turns out the guy could not go back into any occupation related to real estate but nothing prevented him from going into other financial areas. My question to the DA was where did the guy get the money to open an office in an expensive location almost immediately after release from prison?
"I am not convinced that prison serves no purpose, especially in the case of a $20mm scam. While I agree there are too many in prison and too many incarcerated for minor infraction, think of the guy who stole a loaf of bread, incarceration can still be a deterrent. As in the case above, a short stint in prison (much shorter than the four year sentencing I am sure), and therefore having a record, did not bother nor prevent that felon from going directly back into business. And conceivably doing leasing scams in his new line of work."
(They all become felons who plead or were found guilty. In all the sentencing in Operation Lease Fleece, they all cannot transact finance or leasing business for the rest of their lives. They are all on probation, having to report in, go through that process for a period of time. Some are ordered to return the money and if they don't have it, pay 10% per year of what they owe. This is common, such as in the RW Professional. Whatever they make, at least 10% goes to what they owe. Most will never pay back much of what they stole as they either spent it on attorney’s fees and court costs, or on assets that were taken when they filed bankruptcy.
(Putting them in jail for a long period of time is costly for the state, and what purpose does it have, once they have the above on their record for their life? So giving them a year, four years, or even a week, is not as important than their life has changed---and if they get caught again, they go through the costs of defending themselves in money, to their family, to their friends, and to whatever business they have built up. Editor)
"I have a question for your readers and wanted to ask for your help to get the word out. This question might lead to a wider discussion of specific documents that are used in some states but not others. Your discussion and highlighting of the licensing requirements in the various states were very valuable in this regard:
"For about 10 yrs. I have been using a document called "Time Price Differential Rider" for lease & EFA transactions in TX. It sets forth the difference between the cash price for the equipment and the total pmts to come up with the "Time Price Differential". I am a credit & ops person & not an Attorney, but was told this was o protect us against treble damages if the rate was found to exceed the max allowed in TX. Do any of you use this doc in TX (or other states)? Does anyone know the case precedent that was the reason for this?"
Nine Lawyers Against Evergreen Clause Abuse
"As you will recall, I wrote to you a couple of years ago regarding this issue and my concerns. I have seen many abuses of the automatic renewal or evergreen clause over the past 35 years.
I do think that the issue is more complicated than can be answered by simply requiring notification and I lean toward to the Lessor’s side where true leases involving residual exposure is concerned. Unfortunately, creating this industry standard can work AGAINST the industry if judges look to the standard and penalize honest lessors who cannot prove that notices went out properly or question the means selected for notification. Much as I would like to punish the CROOKS
(and that is what they are) who use auto renewals to trick lessees into overpaying in $1-out leases or leases where there is no exposure, I am concerned with the proposed fix.
"That said, at least you are proposing something that will help in many cases and I suppose the cure is no worse than the illness here. Count me in, with stated reservations, and thanks for your continuing efforts for our industry."
BARRY S. MARKS
(Barry, thank you for joining the group. The fact is Leasing News is not against Evergreen Clauses, just the non-notification, especially abused in the small ticket industry. Those companies on our list supporting it are only required to notify the lessee, which can be by telephone, by email, by letter, and not even a time limit. All on the list don't automatically impose the extra payments, want the customer to return, and try to work with them, giving them advance notice if a residual is due. I also can tell you in the complaints we get and they come from one of the four states who have regulations, the money is quickly returned when this fact is brought to their attention. Editor)
"Agreed. Legislation pending in several states. Much of it is overkill. We did this to ourselves. Old Southernism: 'Pigs git fat....hogs git slaughtered.' "
BARRY S. MARKS
New Lawsuit—from $180 Million to $10 million +
Northwestern Responds re: $10 New York AG Suit
"...in New Jersey, Golden Eagle Credit Corp., then a startup started by two shysters (I later learned) -- Len ****** and Larry ******, brought us a deal in which we bought the remaining receivables of a $13MM small-ticket portfolio from Sequa Credit Corp. We had a separate agreement with Golden Eagle that at the end of the term of each lease, Advanta would assign the lease to Golden Eagle.
"The portfolio was mostly dollar-out, and so initially we were perplexed why Golden Eagle would want to take an assignment of a $1.00 asset. ******* said he wanted the dollar-outs back so that he could try to lease new equipment to the customer. Oh, OK, we said. Go for it.
"Over the next few years, we learned why ******* and his cohort, *****, REALLY wanted the dollar-outs back: Many of the customers (who, of course, had been our former customers prior to our assignment of the residuals to Golden Eagle) called us and reported that they were being scammed. Golden Eagle was billing these customers following their lease maturity, and many of the customers were paying because they had lost track of when their leases expired.
(The practice, I later learned, is sometimes referred to as "BAM-ing" or "Billing After Maturity"). Worse, if a customer called and complained about having overpaid, Golden Eagle would tell them that their leases had auto-renewed for a 1-year period because they hadn't given notice of their intent not to renew. (Some of these customers actually didn't learn until 2 or 3 or more years after their leases had expired -- Golden Eagle had auto-renewed them for 2 or 3 or more one-year periods!)
"Well, as you know, auto-renewing a dollar-out is illegal because a dollar-out is a loan and a loan, by definition, has a fixed term, a fixed principal amount and a fixed rate of interest.
"Separately, and perhaps even more egregious, is the practice of BAMing. That is just plan stealing by deceit of the worst type. The portfolio had an average ticket size of maybe $10K and consisted mainly of blue-collar working people -- dry cleaners, gas station owners, lawn care services, etc. All while ***** and ******** raked in millions in ill-gotten gains."
(Name With Held)
NorVergence’s Tom Salzano on Trial in Louisiana
“Set for trial Nov. 5”
Rosanne Wilson, CLP
"I am so honored and humbled by this award. It is the highlight of my career next to becoming a CLP. I shall cherish this always. This lovely crystal piece sits on my credenza at my office and each time I glance at it, I am reminded of the wonderful people in the NAELB. I am still on cloud 9 since the Denver Conference. I send my love to you all."
" Great wrap-up by Gary. I wanted to confirm the surprisingly positive outlook of the attendees. Since our return to funding (you made the announcement last summer) we have had very positive results but continue to hear how weak the industry was and will be. This conference was a breath of fresh air."
Senior V.P. Broker Operations
"Hey Kit, its been sometime since we spoke but I just wanted to get you over some information on this vendor. I tried signing up with Lease police to report them but never heard back.
"We ran into the owner of this Company Zerick Ragin's because he found us through Google. We have never funded a deal with them because we found the 2 links with the same address.
"Recently a friend of mine ran into the same vendor so I just wanted to get his name out there.
“It's the same old stuff about invoicing old equipment on the floor to get cash back for their clients.
"The info is below. Let me know if you need anything from me!
Affordable Computer Repair
(These next two emails concern the April 25, 2012 "Letters---We get Email” as well as the editor's response, reprinted here because it was not a story in Leasing News but from a reader:))
National Association of Equipment Lease Brokers
"In my opinion NAELB's lineup of funding sources for their 2012 Annual Conference in Denver represents just how misguided and broken that organization has become. In the last ten years, the Leasing Industry has undergone major structural changes and NAELB's inability to change with the times has resulted in an event with very limited appeal to the independent broker.
“Let's be frank, the majority of NAELB's Gold Level Sponsors represent the armpit of the Leasing Industry. I can count on one hand the number of deals I have funded with the likes of many of these companies in five years as an independent and contend that any broker whose book of business is predominated by many of these lenders has (had) a very limited shelf life in this business. I have a ton of respect for Financial Pacific Leasing and their role in the Industry and new guys RLC Funding are worth a look. Regardless, NAELB's lineup of sub-prime credit sponsors offers no value to those whose portfolio is predominantly "A" and "B" paper. It is very difficult to sell leases with cost of funds in excess of 25%, many with a fair market value, too, in a world where Ten Year yields are below 2%.
“Whatever happened to quality and professionalism rather than cash advance and high rate business loans?”
David Manzari - President
“(Leasing News received many such letters, but Mr. Manzari was the only one who agreed to sign his name. It shows courage to make his opinion known publically. I wish more people would follow his example. Whether you agree or disagree with the opinion, it brings the subject out on the table.
“According to Monica Harper, Executive Administrator, NAELB, the Denver Conference exhibitors were originally sold out, but they were able to negotiate extra an extra room with the hotel, so could accommodate more exhibitors that originally scheduled, which Mr. Manzari may not have seen. It looks pretty good to me. Editor)
“360 Equipment Finance
“Pre-Registration has ended. To register on site, download the printable registration form and bring it with you to the NAELB registration desk at the Sheraton Denver Downtown Hotel on April 26.
“(Note: Gary Greene, CLP, of Lease $mart, will be reporting for Leasing News about the NAELB Denver Conference.)”
eMails in response to letter in We get eMails:
"As a long time member and past president of the NAELB I would like to respond to Mr. Manzari’s 'holier than thou' missive to Leasing News. I have to admit I’m a bit envious of the fact that the credit worthiness of his applicants and clients has not dropped over the past several years, but I know that many of mine and others have. An 'A' client we had completed several transactions for needed a new piece of equipment, but their credit profile had dropped appreciably. They no longer fit the credit profile of the original lender and they had to pay a higher rate. The good news is they’re still in business and appreciative of the fact that we had other options for them.
"The role second tier lenders play is vital to our industry. Take for instance the startup company that needed 25K for a used paving machine or the Spanish speaking radio station that needed audio equipment. To refer to the firms who financed these transactions as 'armpit' lenders is beyond disrespectful. I guess that makes me an 'armpit' broker!
"There are quite a few 'A' lenders exhibiting at the conference such as RLC, Bryn Mawr and First Federal (I know I’m omitting others, so please forgive me) who have competitive rates for 'app only' transactions as well as several 'full disclosure' lenders.
"The editor of Leasing News may think it takes courage to disparage a fine association such as the NAELB or call lenders names, but personally I think it shows a lack of class.
Bob Bell, CLP
(For the record, if you read my comments, did not agree with the writer and have promoted NAELB and conferences for quite some time. My comment of “courage” was he was willing to sign his name to his opinion while the other six, who had the similar opinion, were not. In this instance, Leasing News would not print their opinion without permit their signing their name. Mr. Manzari showed courage compared to the others, and whether you agree or don't agree with him, he has the right to his opinion. Editor)
"I cannot offer constructive critique on David’s characterization of the funding source scheduled to show at the upcoming NAELB Conference, but I would like to say that Commerce National Bank is fully committed to booking 'A' paper involving primarily California borrowers/lessees. While limited in geographical scope, we are driven to be an engaged funding source, with an app-only program for $20,000 to $100,000 and a full-financial package program from $50,000 to $1,000,000, and we encourage all those who can benefit from our service to come see us in our booth."
Steve Tidland, SVP/Manager
Archives April 30, 2001
"I like your salesperson pay article.
"Here are my thoughts:
"You can not motivate a sales person to work. They either got it or they are lazy. A good sales person can not be knocked down, get disappointed, and have a bad attitude. A great sales person understands that the check book is open and they insert how much they take home.
"Most sales people have gotten so lazy in this recession. They need to remember that 'Yesterday does not count anymore'--- That tomorrow is our future.
"There is so much business out there so for those who want to work, keep a good attitude and stop blaming others for why they are not successful.
"Most sales people will fail because they have gotten lazy and that is OK because: a new broom sweeps cleaner!"
The State of the Leasing Industry by its Associations
"You always do a great job with the news and the analysis. This piece gives us all as good a perspective as we could get about the ‘State of the Industry’ in the U.S.A.
"I must add, as most readers know, whilst the mature leasing markets are experiencing tepid volume growth, the decoupling continues in markets such as China, India and Russia (alas, not Brazil).They continue to surge.
"The next World Leasing Convention, which I am privileged to chair, will see 80% of the delegates from emerging lease economies. This event will be held in St.Petersburg, Russia next month."
(Thank you. Also Congratulations. It has been four years since this story ran in Leasing News:
Sudhir with two ex-Monitor staff starts WLN
(Those who want to learn more about the World Leasing Convention:
Fastest Dying Jobs/Fastest Ones Replacing them
Open Positions at Leasing Funders/Various Locations
(Most of the listing have "open positions." While you may find ones that do not, check back later, as they may have added an opening.)
Bank of America
Bank of Ozarks
Bank of the West
CIT Job Openings
De Lage Landen Financial
Home Savings Bank
Northern California Farm Credit (office listings)
People's United Bank
Prime Alliance Bank
Leasing News invites other employers to list their "open positions." The listing is free.
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