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Wedesday, September 14, 2011
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Archives---September 14, 2009
ELFA President Bentsen Ensuring the Transition Is Smooth
While originally announced that he was leaving around Labor Day, Ken Bentsen, is still at work at the Equipment Leasing and Finance Association, though now spending time also at his new office at the Securities Industry and Financial Markets Association (SIFMA) in Washington, DC. He says everything is going smoothly; the team, the multiple boards, committees, staff, and Interim President Ralph Petta, all "top notch, dynamic."
"Even though there is a lot of stress today," he told Leasing News, "this asset class is a survivor and a necessity in the financial economy."
In making the original announcement, SIFMA President and CEO Timothy Ryan, said, "With his breadth of financial experience in both the private and public sector, Ken understands our members' public policy goals and business interest and will help drive our efforts to play a proactive, constructive role in the ongoing regulatory reform debate."
"In his role at SIFMA, Mr. Bentsen will be responsible for SIFMA's legal, governmental, and legislative affairs and advocacy initiatives. Mr. Bentsen's career at SIFMA will begin in September. Mr. Bentsen will report directly to Mr. Ryan."
When he was initially interviewed three years ago by then ELFA chairman Paul Larkins, the search committee, and the board, Bentsen said he knew he was following a person who had built the foundation, Michael Fleming, CAE, and he would take the Association to the next step, with the understanding that this was not his "last stop."
He said when he took the position he knew very few of the participants, but leaves with a great deal of respect and knowledge. In the varied positions he has held since college, he says this was one of the best jobs he has ever had. He has enjoyed working with people for whom he has a great deal of respect, were dynamic, entrepreneurial in nature.
At 50, he has a daughter in college and a teenager at home. The commute and hours, 60 plus a week, will continue, including travel, as his new company has an office in New York and London. He is very much looking forward to his new position as his background has certainly given him the experience for it. Whether the former congressman will ever get back into a political office, he said, "Never say never," but he has no plans except to be of help in public policy, especially necessary in these critical times.
Reactions to Bentsen leaving ELFA
"Ken Bentsen has been a change agent and champion of transparency and advocacy for the Equipment Leasing and Finance industry. His contributions will live on long after he moves to his next assignment. Ken's bias for action and strategic focus have been extremely beneficial to the companies who enjoy Association membership. Ken was an absolute pleasure to work with."
"I had the pleasure of working with Ken during my Chairmanship. His professionalism, knowledge and dedication to our industry played an important role in giving the ELFA a stronger identity in the world of commercial finance.
"The ELFA was fortunate to have Ken's leadership and vision as we have experienced these challenging times.
"I wish him all the best in his new endeavor.
"I have worked with Ralph Petta for over 20 years. Ralph has extensive knowledge and experience in this industry and I have full confidence in his ability to guide and lead the association through this next chapter."
Valerie Jester, President
"Ken Bentsen's resignation as President of the ELFA is unfortunate but not completely unexpected. Ken has the good fortune to be moving on to a bigger role with a larger trade association affiliated with an industry segment he knows and loves. Ken is very talented leader who accomplished a great deal in his three years with the ELFA. Ken brought new ideas and renewed energy to the ELFA while increasing our industry profile in Washington and in the financial press. The industry and the Association are better off due to Ken's involvement over the past three years. I will miss working with Ken but take comfort knowing there will most likely be issues impacting both ELFA and SIFMA where we will have the opportunity to partner with Ken in his new role.
"ELFA leadership had the foresight to develop a transition plan several years ago which allows Ralph Petta to step in as Interim President. I have worked closely with Ralph over the past 20 years and have great confidence in his knowledge and dedication to the equipment finance and leasing industry. We should thank Ken for everything he accomplished over the past three years, and offer Ralph a hand as he steps into a difficult role in very challenging times
"I don't think anyone is surprised by this news. We were fortunate to have Ken this long. He's a born leader with the kind of experience, track record, and clout that keeps opportunity knocking. He's done a fine job repositioning the ELFA and leaves with few regrets if any at all. These are difficult times but Ralph is more than capable of running the show. Aside from the economy being what it is the ELFA structure is on as solid ground as can be expected."
(name with held)
"Two years ago I interviewed Ken Bentsen shortly after he joined ELFA. I was impressed by his interest, his focus and his willingness to consider different concepts. He has proved himself to be an extremely effective resource for the equipment leasing and finance industry, and we will miss his very valuable contributions." "
Bob Teichman, CLP
(Bob is Leasing News Person of the Year for 2008, plus past president
"Dancing with the ELFA"
"Thank you Ken for the wonderful work you have done with our association. Working with you has been an honor. I'm sad to see you go.
"Best of luck and prosperity to you in the future!
"Congratulations Ralph! I'm confident you will do great things while at the helm.
"ELFA has come a long way from the days of befriending the big boys (and why not, they paid the bills) to being a organization serving the industry as a whole. Membership is down, less is being contributed, and the economy has yet to show consistent trends that this mess is over. It appears our industry will shrink, the industry organizations will shrink as the number of employees in our industry has and will continue to shrink. Ken came in when focus and direction was needed. He made everyone feel valued, explored new directions, and got many involved that were once outsiders. He moved from a single focus organization with historic repeated direction to a name changed group (ELA to ELFA), and sent a more meaningful message to members and to the political community (where he is certainly at home). He did what was needed and it is now up the organization to keep it going, not lose focus, and continue to be meaningful for the entire lease/finance community.
"So a debt of gratitude to Ken for coming into an organization with a long history of tradition and forging a new path. Good organizational leaders are rare. I am sure we all wish Ken well and thanks for taking ELFA to the top.
(Al Levine interviewed Ken Bentsen when he addressed the
"I have followed all of the media on Ken Bentsen since he took over the presidency of the ELFA. I have watched his leadership with such admiration. He has fought with Washington DC to open their eyes to our industry and the damage the tightened flow of funds has created.
"He has been a true advocate of our industry.
"I would love to meet him in person and shake his hand some day. I wish him all the best in his new role at SIFMA."
Rosanne Wilson, CLP
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Who Has Not Responded on Evergreen Clauses
Regular Leasing News readers know we have been editorializing for over five years, and in 2011 started a more active campaignregarding the practice of Leasing Companies not notifying lessee regarding the end of their original leasing contract, often charging extra payments, and others using the “Evergreen Clause” to extend payments four to twelve months automatically.
The issue has been regarding the notification of the lessee, and in that regard have asked Leasing Companies for their policy.
These companies responded that they always notify their lessee and require their discounter, if applicable, about the end of the original term of the contract:
These are the Equipment Leasing and Finance MFLI-25 Participants, who Leasing News has not only contacted, noted they were on the board of directors or an active committee, and so reported in several MFLI-25 reports, asking them about the ELFA policy regarding notifying lessee about the residual in advance of the contract expiring (one responded, one is on the list of invoking Evergreen Clauses without notification).
ADP Credit Corporation
This group Leasing News has sent up to six emails, as well as telephoned several, some more than once, and actually talked to over six of the officers on several occasions, but no formal response:
Atel Capital Group
There are others Leasing News has contacted, but the above companies more than once.
After publishing the list of companies who specifically do not notify lessees, and/or do not require their discounts to so notify their lessee, it was sent to one trade association.
Leasing News has asked to send to other trade associations, and this is being discussed, as well as naming those who have not responded--as well as those who have responded.
Companies Who Do Not Notify Lessee regarding termination
Full List of those who notify lessees:
Equipment Protection Services joins "Site Inspection List"
Full Site Inspection List:
Douglas Guardian Services Signs Hitachi Capital America
Douglas Guardian Services, Houston, Texas, the largest site inspection company on the Leasing News Site Inspection list with 300 employees, has announced an inventory inspection service agreement with Hitachi Capital America inventory finance business, including their light and medium duty truck financing business segment.
Chris Petersen, Vice President Collections and Asset Management for Hitachi Capital America stated "The combination of Douglas Guardian's technology, product expertise, risk mitigation tools and experience made them the best choice for Hitachi Capital."
Headquarted in Norwalk, Connecticut, Hitachi Capital America Corp. was incorporated in October 1989 and commenced business operations in April 1990.
“On behalf of Douglas Guardian, we are extremely pleased to have been selected as Hitachi Capital’s inspection service provider,” states Bruce Lurie, Douglas Guardian’s President and Owner. “This partnership is a significant win for Douglas Guardian and is a perfect complement to our existing book of business”.
More information is available from Darren McCarthy at 916-457-2627 or e-mail email@example.com.
SSR Recovery added to "Repossession" Classified
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Full service repossession agency. All vehicles, big rigs, boats, heavy equipment and machinery. Licensed and insured 818-786-7376. www.simonsrecovery.com. firstname.lastname@example.org
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Evaluating Credit Reports
By Richard Bostwick, Senior Investigative Consultant
Score Range Score Description
Commercial Credit Reports
Commercial credit reporting has changed dramatically over the last 35 years. Gone are the days of relying on credit references provided by the company in question or waiting days or weeks for a response. (Besides, who would provide a vendor that wasn’t paid promptly as a reference?).
Using standard credit applications is always recommended to obtain the proper billing address, contact person and phone number of the new customer; however, to make a truly informed decision more efficient options are necessary and readily available. Computer databases now gather, compile, classify and present pertinent credit data, allowing businesses to anticipate future payment behavior of their customers based on historical information. Thousands of companies across the country in a wide variety of industries contribute accounts receivable information monthly to various credit bureaus, including terms, recent high credit, current balance and aging.
This accounts receivable data is typically broken down by industry and credit activity level so only the most current data is used in calculating the current days beyond terms. By reviewing this past payment behavior, identifying trends and cycles, future behavior may be anticipated. Many commercial collection agencies submit information to commercial credit bureaus about debtors placed, commonly the first step taken by a business in seeking outside help with outstanding accounts.
The presence of recent collection activity can indicate that a company is experiencing cash flow problems.
Consumer Credit Reports
While commercial credit reports may be requested for any business entity without the knowledge or consent of the business, consumer credit information is protected by the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) and requires a signed authorization by the individual.
Consumer credit reports provide a complete history of an individual’s credit activity including mortgage, automotive, medical, credit card and revolving accounts, as well as personal judgments, tax liens, bankruptcies and collection activity. All the information is used to generate a score between 350 and 850 with relative risks outlined below:
Score Range Score Description
Consideration must be applied to all scores for the relative size, activity levels and end results for the reported details. A collection issue from years past may have been the result of a dispute or medical insurance issue that should not be used as the basis for denying open terms. Using credit reports to gain valuable insight on the history of a potential new customer (or on existing customers requesting higher credit limits) leads to more informed decision-making. Access to past payment, legal and collection information will help increase confidence in extending open terms to those companies that add more to the bottom line. Combining the speed and accuracy of 3rd party verified information with the minimal costs of the reports; the credit inquiry process is now fast and affordable.
* Excerpt from original article titled “How Far Out on a Limb are You Willing To Go? By Richard Bostwick, Senior Investigative Consultant for NCO Financial Investigative Services.
NCO Financial Investigative Services (FIS) is a worldwide commercial due diligence firm, providing in-depth background investigations, public record research and detailed analysis to the global business community. Special thanks to Christina Grenga, Vice President - Business Development Ph: 914.213.1698, Christina.Grenga@ncogroup.comwww.ncofis.com
1977 Menkin-Kalinski Laws
### Press Release ############################
International Decision Systems Now Offers InfoLease
Industry-leading asset finance software now available
Minneapolis, MN – International Decision Systems® (IDS), the leading provider of asset finance software, has announced a Software as a Service (SaaS) offering for its leading asset finance management solutions.
The SaaS model is appealing to smaller and mid-size asset finance companies that want the functionality of industry-leading software, and an easier-to-implement and maintain solution. The SaaS approach lowers the barrier to entry and shortens implementation times for start-up companies or those in growth mode in that they pay monthly instead of making major upfront investments in hardware and software. Other benefits include
• Outsourcing of systems management and ongoing maintenance
• Increased scalability due to the low overhead and flexibility as they grow
• Accelerated feature delivery with IDS handling software installation
This new offer gives access to an InfoLease® or a combined Rapport®/InfoLease® solution. The SaaS option is now available in the U.S. via a monthly subscription based upon the number of users. IDS provides the delivery platform, ongoing software updates, and infrastructure all within a highly secure, state-of-the-art environment with 24x7 monitoring.
“By moving into the world of cloud computing, we are able to address the needs of smaller and mid-size companies who tell us they want IDS’ industry-leading products in a structure that works for their business,” said IDS CEO Michael Campbell. “Offering InfoLease and Rapport in the SaaS model gives users access to powerful software that is able to handle all of their asset finance business complexities without compromise.”
With millions of assets and more than $250 billion of financed goods currently processed, the IDS InfoLease back-office portfolio management solution delivers reliable and flexible financing operations, rich functionality for leases and loans, and regulatory compliancy—all scalable to the needs of each company. The IDS Rapport front-office origination business solution delivers smooth automation of origination processes with access to key analytics for more incisive decision-making.
The capabilities of InfoLease continue to expand to support market needs today and in the future. “We are committed for the long term to keeping InfoLease as the industry-leading asset finance platform,” said Campbell. Details of IDS’ product roadmap will be communicated at its ConnectionPoint annual user conference on October 12, 2011.
International Decisions Systems (IDS) is the leading provider of software and solutions for the asset finance market. For over 30 years, the company has offered integrated solutions from origination through disposition and asset management, supported by an ongoing research and development effort unrivaled in the market space. Customers include approximately 50 percent of the largest leasing companies in the United States, and an increasing number of the largest global players. In addition to offering powerful, flexible software, IDS provides the industry experience and expertise to assure successful, complete solutions. Headquartered in Minneapolis, MN, the company also has offices in the United Kingdom, India, Singapore and Australia. For additional information, visit www.idsgrp.com.
International Decision Systems®, InfoLease®, and Rapport® are registered trademarks of International Decision Systems, Inc.
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False Tax Returns get 18 months plus $89,833 restitution
Daniel Blake Harris, 26, was sentenced to 18 months in federal prison for conspiring with others to file false claims against the United States before Judge Margaret M. Morrow.
He was also sentenced to two years of supervised release following imprisonment and ordered to pay $89,833.85 in restitution and a $100 assessment.
Harris previously pleaded guilty to conspiracy to filing false claims against the United States. According to the plea agreement, Harris conspired with another to file false claims for tax refunds with the Internal Revenue Service, for which Harris was not entitled to receive.
As a part of the scheme to defraud the IRS, between 2006 and 2009, Harris and a co-conspirator prepared false income tax returns erroneously claiming that a refund was due. Specifically, Harris and the co-conspirator would prepare and file fraudulent tax returns that falsely claim that federal income taxes had been withheld in an amount exceeding the amount of taxes owed. After the fraudulent returns were filed, a tax refund would result, which Harris and the co-conspirator agreed to share. Harris agreed that he filed false tax returns seeking over $120,000 in false tax refunds.
The investigation of Harris is the result of the combined investigative efforts of IRS - Criminal Investigation and the United States Attorney’s Office in Los Angeles.
#### Press Release #############################
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