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Leasing News is a web site that posts information, news, and
entertainment for the commercial alternate financing,
, finance and leasing industry

Credit Analyst
Anaheim,CA; Federal Way, WA; Tigard, OR

$150K -$500k equipment leases, financing (recourse/non-recourse lines of credit)
Requires five or more years of credit underwriting. Work with third party originators, brokers, as well as clients & vendors of Umpqua Bank
Please click here for more information.
A subsidiary of Umpqua Bank


Monday, December 28, 2015

Today's Equipment Leasing Headlines

Position Wanted – Credit
Work Remotely or Relocate for Right Opportunity
Top Stories December 21
(Opened Most by Readers)
Mar Vista Financial No Longer Active
A Subprime Operating Lease Company
No Longer taking Broker/Discounting Business
  Plus Leasing Companies Out of Business - Updated
Kit Menkin’s Salvation Army Kettle
  Reaches $3,532
New Hires---Promotions in the Leasing Business
     and Related Industries
“New Year---New Career?”
Career Crossroad---By Emily Fitzpatrick/RII
Leasing Industry Ads---Help Wanted
This Way Up/Credit Analyst 3 Locations
November, 2015 -The List
—History of Leasing from 1998
Leasing 102 by Mr. Terry Winders, CLFP
“Obtaining Vendor Business”
Asset-Based Capital Conference Jan 26 -27
  Commercial Finance Association, Las Vegas
Commercial Finance Association Skip Tracers Held to be Collector for Purposes of Fair Debt Collection Practices Act
  By Tom McCurnin, Leasing News Legal Editor
Credit/Collections #102 by Ben Carlile
    Annual Employee Reviews are Toast!
Best Movies of 2015
 by Leasing News Reviewer Fernando Croce
Siberian Husky
Moreno Valley, Riverside County, California  Adopt-a-Dog
News Briefs---
‘Total devastation’: Texas storms leave 11 dead,
    hundreds without homes
Owners of failed Premier Bank found guilty of fraud
   Defrauded Another Local Bank to Obtain $8.1 Million Loan
After Subprime Collapse, Nonbank Lenders Again
     Dominate Riskier Mortgages and Not Regulated
First Hawaiian Bank May Go Public with Stock Offering
  $19 billion assets. 57 branches Hawaii, 3 Guam, 2 Saipan
Banker of the Year: BB&T's Kelly King
   American Banker Magazine

Broker/Funder/Industry Lists | Features (writer's columns)
Top Ten Stories Chosen by Readers | Top Stories last six months (Be Careful of Doing Business)
Leasing News Icon for Android Mobile Device

You May have Missed---
   SparkPeople--Live Healthier and Longer
    Sports Briefs---
      California Nuts Brief---
       "Gimme that Wine"    
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           Daily Puzzle
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                 Traffic Live----

######## 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.

Please send to a colleague and ask them to subscribe.



Position Wanted –Credit
Work Remotely or Relocate for Right Opportunity

Each Week Leasing News is pleased, as a service to its readership, to offer completely free ads placed by candidates for jobs in the industry.  These ads also can be accessed directly on the website at:

Each ad is limited to (100) words and ads repeat for up to 6 months unless the candidate tells us to stop. Your submissions should be received here by the end of each week.

Please encourage friends and colleagues to take advantage of this service, including recent graduates and others interested in leasing and related careers. 

Will relocate for the right opportunity and can work remotely. I have (25+) years in making credit decisions, as well as helping sales team and third party originators close more transactions via understanding their applicant's financial abilities. I can create alternative or additional opportunities (and income) by knowing which type of loan is best for the borrower

Orlando, Florida
As a Commercial Credit Analyst/Underwriter, I have evaluated transactions from sole proprietorships to listed companies, across a broad spectrum of industries, embracing a multitude of asset types. Sound understanding of balance sheet, income statement and cash flow dynamics which impact credit decisions. Strong appreciation for credit/asset risk.
407 430-3917

(Leasing News provides this ad as a trade for appraisals and equipment valuations provided by Ed Castagna)


Top Stories December 21
(Opened Most by Readers)

(1) Great News! Section 179 Signed into Law
      Applies to 2015, if Delivered this Year

(2) Navitas Lease Corp. CA Lenders License Policy
         Issues Policy to All Third Party Originators

(3) “California Sucks for Merchant Advance”
     Response to Editor Sean Murray,
              By Tom McCurnin
Leasing News Legal Editor

(4) Top Stories December 14-December 18
          (Opened Most by Readers)

(5) Position Wanted---Risk Management
  Seeking New Opportunities

(6) ELFA Continues Down Report of New Business
         November MLFI-25 Report Down 21% from October

(7) “Why I left my previous employer...”
       Career Crossroad---By Emily Fitzpatrick/RII

(8) Leasing #102 Mr. Terry Winders, CLFP
                Community Banks

(9) Free State UCC Searches
     Compliments of

(10) Dave Gilbert Sponsors his Alma Mater Holiday Bowl
              “Go Trojans!" He Shouts.


(Leasing News provides this ad as a trade for investigative
reporting provided by John Kenny)


Mar Vista Financial No Longer Active
A Subprime Operating Lease Company

The website has been down for several months, many employee telephone lines are no longer working, telephone calls to Jamie Chisick, founder and president of Mar Vista Financial, Villa Park, California, have not been returned. Sources, including an ex-employee, state the company is no longer active. Leasing News was told by an ex-salesman that the company was primarily acting as a broker in the last few years, not a funder.

The company had many complaints from operating leases to subprime companies, as the company was unable to obtain a California Lenders License. Jamie Chisick, along with his brother, Brad Chisick, of Nationscapital Mortgage, found guilty in 2005 in Olympia, Washington and ordered to pay $712,527.19 in restitution to 120 Washington state consumers.

The Department of Financial Institutions "found that Nationscapital conducted business from unlicensed locations, used bait and switch tactics, violated trust account requirements, and failed to maintain books and records.” In many cases borrowers believed they had obtained low rate, fixed mortgages at little or no cost. In fact, they had purchased high rate, variable mortgages at substantial cost.

"The court found Nationscapital's owner Jamie Chisick and corporate managers Michael Buff, Kevin Kraus and Darin Williams guilty as charged. They failed to provide required disclosures and misled consumers about their loans.” In his oral ruling, Judge Hicks stated, "...I come away with a strong feeling that Mr. Chisick is like the Typhoid Mary of the brokerage industry and it's his kind of behavior that is exactly why we have regulations in the state of Washington. It's abominable.

"Jamie Chisick is banned from the industry in Washington State for 20 years and must pay fines totaling $292,800.00. Michael Buff, Kevin Kraus and Darin Williams are each banned from the industry for five years." (1)

Another firm involving Jamie Chisick, First Alliance Mortgage, went bankrupt. (2) In this case, an appeal was made regarding baring the FTC and other state agencies from taking action:

"...the governmental actions could bind First Alliance's officers and directors in ways that the bankruptcy proceeding does not. Only the corporate entities are debtors; the officers and directors are not parties to the bankruptcy proceeding. Some of these individuals are named defendants in Florida's action. In addition, injunctive relief obtained in any of the governmental actions against First Alliance itself would run to those in active concert or participation with it and also possibly successors and assigns, thus reaching the individuals even after a demise of First Alliance. The potential need for relief against these individuals is demonstrated by recent actions taken by them. In addition to the lawsuit filed by Brian Chisick in Washington State, within a month of the petition date, Jamie Chisick, the son of Brian Chisick and the former director of First Alliance's Loan by Mail Division, incorporated a new lending company, Mar Vista Financia1." (3)

Interview with Jamie Chisick, June, 2010:

(1) State Wins case against Nationwide Press Release
(2) Alliance Mortgage
(3) Alliance Mortgage

(Leasing News provides this ad “gratis” as a means
to help support the growth of Lease Police)


No Longer taking Broker/Discounting Business
plus Leasing Companies Out of Business - Updated

Companies with an * are no longer in business. The others are companies that were taking broker business, but announced that they no longer are accepting broker business. Many have also down-sized or are managing an existing portfolio.

More details are available in this list by company name:

*ABCO Leasing Inc., Bothell, WA
*ACC Capital, Midvale, Utah (lenders running off portfolio residuals, Leasing News receiving Evergreen non-notification complaints, demanding 12 more monthly payments)
Advantage Business Capital, Lake Oswego, Oregon
AEL Financial, Buffalo Grove, Illinois
(No longer taking new broker business)
Allegiant Partners, San Rafael, California 
Alliance Financial, Syracuse, New York
*Alternative Capital, Apollo Beach, Florida 
*AMC Funding, Charlotte, North Carolina
American Bank Leasing, Alpharetta, Georgia
*American Equipment Finance, Warren, New Jersey
Balboa Capital, Irvine, Ca
Bank of the West Leasing Indirect, San Ramon, California
    (Require high volume, successful brokers only) 
*Bank Midwest Leasing, Overland Park, KS 
Bankers Healthcare Group, Weston, FL
*Blackstone Equipment Financing, Orange, California 
*Capital One Equipment Finance, Towson, Maryland 
*CapitalSource Healthcare Finance, Chevy Chase, Maryland
*CapNet, Los Angeles, California
*C and J Leasing Corp, Des Moines, Iowa
*Carlton Financial Corporation, Wayzata, Minnesota
*Chase Industries, Inc., Grand Rapids, Michigan 
*Chesterfield Financial, Chesterfield, Missouri
CHG-MERIDIAN U.S. Finance, Ltd, Woodland Hills, CA
(Sales Management focuses very selectively on certain brokers.) 
*Churchill Group/Churchill Leasing, Jericho, NY
CIT Group (limited)
Columbia Bank Leasing, Tacoma, WA
*Columbia Equipment Finance, Danville, California 
Commercial Equipment Lease, Eugene, Oregon 
Concord Financial Services, Long Beach, California
*Court Square, Malvern, Pennsylvania
*Creative Capital Leasing Group, LLC, San Diego, CA
Crossroads Equipment Lease & Finance, Rancho Cucamonga, Ca 
Direct Capital, Portsmouth, New Hampshire
Diversified Financial Service, Omaha, NE
* Dolsen Leasing, Bellevue/Yakima, Washington
Equipment Finance Partners, a division of Altec, Birmingham, Alabama 
Evans National Leasing, Inc., Hamburg, NY
Enterprise Funding, Grand Rapids, Michigan
* Evergreen Leasing, South Elgin, Illinois
*Excel Financial Leasing, Lubbock Texas
*First Corp.(IFC subsidiary), Morton Grove, Illinois
First Federal Financial Services, Inc., Menomonee Falls, Wisconsin
First Republic Bank, San Francisco, CA
Frontier Capital, Teaneck New Jersey 
*GCR Capital, Safety Harbor, Florida 
GE Capital, Conn (limited)
Global Funding LLC., Clearwater, FL
*Greystone, Burlington, MA
*Heritage Pacific Leasing, Fresno, CA
*Hillcrest Bank Leasing, Overland Park, KS (Parent bank sold)
Huntington Equipment Finance, Vendor Finance Group, Bellevue, Washington
*IFC Credit Corp., Morton Grove, Illinois
Irwin Financial (Irwin Union Bank), Columbus, Indiana 
Irwin Union Bank, F.S.B. (Louisville, Kentucky)
Lakeland Bank, Montville, NJ
LaSalle Systems Leasing
*Latitude Equipment Leasing, Marlton, New Jersey 
*Leaf Specialty Finance, Columbia, South Carolina
*LEAF Third Party Funding, Santa Barbara, Ca.
Lombard, part of Royal Bank of Scotland, worldwide
M&T Credit (Bank)
*MarVista Financial, Villa Park, California 
*MericapCredit, Lisle, Illinois
*Meridian Healthcare Finance, San Diego, California 
Merrill Lynch Financial
Midwest Leasing Group, Livonia, Minnesota
National City, Cleveland, Ohio
*Navigator (Pentech subsidiary) San Diego, California
OFC Capital, Roswell, Georgia
Old National Bank, Evansville, Illinois
Pentech Financial, Campbell, CA
*PFF Bancorp, Inc, Pomona, CA
Pinnacle Business Finance, Fife, Washington
*Pioneer Capital Corporation, Addison, Texas
PredictiFund, a subsidiary of Capital Access Network, Inc
Popular Finance, St. Louis, Missouri
Puget Sound Leasing, Seattle, Washington 
Radiance-Capital, Tacoma, WA
Rational Technology Solutions, Rolling Meadows, IL
*Reliant National Finance, Jacksonville, Florida
Sandy Springs, Olney, MD
* Securities Equipment Lsg. (SEL, Inc.), Glendora, CA 
Sovereign Bank, Melville, New York
Specialty Funding, Albuquerque, NM
*Studebaker-Worthington Leasing, Corp., Jerico, NY
(part of sale from Main Street Bank to Ascentium Capital) 
Sun Trust Equipment Finance & Leasing, Baltimore, Maryland 
*SunBridge Capital, Mission, Kansas
Suncoast Equipment Funding Corp., Tampa, Florida
TCF Equipment Finance, Minnetonka, Minnesota 
TechLease, Morgan Hill, California
*Tennessee Commerce Bank, Franklin, Tennessee 
Textron Financial
*Triad Leasing & Financial, Inc., Boise, Idaho
*TriStar Capital, Santa Ana, California 
*Union Capital Partners, Midvale, Utah
US Bank, Manifest Funding, Marshall, Minnesota
(new requirement: large yearly funding) 
US Bank, Middle-Market, Portland, Oregon 
Velocity Financial Group, Rosemont, Illinois
VenCore, Portland, Oregon (former company Len Ludwig)
*Vision Capital, San Diego, California
Wachovia Bank Leasing
*Warren Capital, Novato, California
*Washington Mutual Financial
Western Bank, Devils Lake, ND
*Westover Financial, Inc., Santa Ana, California

(Note: Should a company policy have changed, please contact

Funders looking for new Brokers:



Kit Menkin’s Salvation Army Kettle
Reaches $3,532

Contributors at press time: Jeffrey Allard, Larry Armstrong,  Andrew Bender, Paul Burnham, Bruce Cady, Brian Carey, Ed Castagna, Richard Cohen, Clay Conner, Don and Bonnie Dulmage, Richard Galtelli, Shawn Halladay,  Randy Haug, Lee Herndon, Theresa Kabot,  Sheri Kluga, Jule Kreyling, Bruce Kropschot, Eli Kowalsky, Allan Levine, Bruce Lurie, Barry Marks, Esq., Tom McCurnin, Robert Misheloff, Dean Morrison, Gerald Oestreich, Klaus Pache (in honor of Yvonne Pache), Portfolio Financial Services Company, Tim Rahmanian, Chris Raley, Reid Raykovich, Dean Rubin, Susan Robert, Jeff Rudin, Brian Sardina,  David Silverman, Robert Teichman, Robert VanHellemont, VFI Corporate Finance, Barbara Walker, David Wiener,  Rick Wilbur, Rosanne Wilson.

Thank you very much for your support.
     Kit Menkin

(Click on Kettle for more information or to donate)



New Hires---Promotions in the Leasing Business
and Related Industries

David Clouse was hired as Sr. Account Manager at BridgePoint Capital, Irvine, California. Previously, he was Managing Member, Capital Business Funding, LLC (August, 2014 – November, 2015); Senior Account Executive/Sales Mentor, Capital Alliance Group (July, 2013 – March, 2014); Sales Manager, Mar Vista Financial (July, 2011 – July, 2013). Education: Chapman University, Bachelor of Arts (B.A.), Criminal Law (1996 – 2000).

Michael Gabell was hired as Senior Credit Underwriter at Element Financial; based in the Greater Philadelphia area.  Previously, he was Senior Credit Analyst, Royal Bank America (June, 2015 – November, 2015); Senior Credit Officer, De Lage Landen (October, 2013 – June, 2015). He joined TD Bank May, 2009, as Small Business Underwriter Lead, promoted July, 2010 to VP & SB Credit Administrative Manager. Prior, he was Senior Risk Analyst, GE Capital (July, 2005 – December, 2008); Vice President, Commercial Lending, TD Bank (September, 2004 – July, 2005); Vice President, Risk, De Lage Landen (July, 2003 – August, 2004. He joined Volvo Financial Services, November, 1996, as Senior Credit Analyst; promoted July, 1998, Construction Credit Manager; promoted, July, 2001, Fleet Credit Manager. Prior, he was Senior Credit Analyst, GE Capital (December, 1993 – November, 1996); Credit Analyst, Wells Fargo f/k/a Fidelity Bank (December, 1987 – December, 1993). Volunteer: Assistant and Head Coach, Audubon Recreation Association (January, 2011 – Present). Worked with youth from 8-14 coaching softball and basketball. Education: Temple University, Fox School of Business and Management, MBA, Finance (1991 – 1995). (Open) 1 course. Drexel University, LeBow College of Business, B.S., Operations & Human Resource (1983 – 1986). Glendale High School (1978 – 1981).

Fiorella Roseras was hired as Funding Coordinator at Banc of California, Irvine, California. Previously, she was Funding Coordinator, SCL Equipment Finance (July, 2014 – December, 2015); Escrow Assistant, Security National Escrow (September, 2009 – June, 2013); Languages: English. Spanish. Education: Saddleback College (2008 – 2009. Irvine Valley College, Associate of Science (A.S.), Real Estate (2007 – 2009).

Victoria Terekhova was promoted to Vice President of Sales, Healthcare, Key Equipment Finance, Superior, Colorado.  She is based in the Cleveland/Akron, Ohio area. She joined the firm January, 2006 as Sr. Product Manager, Healthcare Industry; promoted December, 2010, to VP, Enterprise Healthcare Strategy. Prior, she was Project Manager, IT Development, PR Newswire (April, 2001 – April, 2003); Project Manager, Software Development, BDO Seidman (February, 1998 – March, 2001); Senior Consultant, Software Development, Accenture (August, 1994 – January, 1998); Intern, The Economist (1992 – 1993). Languages: English. Russian. Volunteer: Counselor for Rape Crisis/Domestic Violence Victims, Mount Sinai Beth Israel (January, 2000 – January, 2002). Education: Case Western Reserve University - Weatherhead School of Management, Master of Business Administration (M.B.A.) (2014 – 2015). Case Western Reserve University, Bachelor of Arts (BA)




“New Year---New Career?”
Career Crossroad---By Emily Fitzpatrick/RII

Question: New Year – How should I go about thinking about my career?

Answer: There is a DEFINITE distinction between those who have successful and gratifying careers as opposed to those who never seem to get ahead and “hate” their jobs.

Successful people have the desire to make it … they want to be proficient at their work not ONLY for financial rewards but perhaps more importantly, for the evidence that they are good at what they do.

Those who seem to flounder through their careers see their jobs merely as “work”. They have to do it to survive; they derive little pleasure from doing it well. I assume you share the characteristics of successful people … you care about your career and want it to be more than a job, more than a means of subsistence. Do not minimize this quality, without it; you do have much of a chance to succeed.

Evaluate if your current job is what you had foreseen for yourself. Are you enjoying your work? If not, use your favorite past job as a frame of reference.

We tend to gravitate to and be interested in areas that are consistent with our personalities. If this is not in sync, it may be time to re-evaluate your current position / employer.

Take the steps to make sure you will be going in the right direction for your future. Don’t put it off, as this is the start of a new year, and you may find out the start of a new search for a job you look forward to coming to every morning!

Happy New Year - We wish you a Successful & Prosperous 2016!  

Emily Fitzpatrick
Sr. Recruiter
Recruiters International, Inc.
Phone:  954-885-9241
Cell:  954-612-0567
Invite me to Connect on LinkedIn
Also follow us on Twitter #RIIINFO

Career Crossroads Previous Columns



Leasing Industry Ads---Help Wanted
Time to apply is today


Credit Analyst
Anaheim,CA; Federal Way, WA; Tigard, OR

$150K -$500k equipment leases, financing (recourse/non-recourse lines of credit)
Requires five or more years of credit underwriting. Work with third party originators, brokers, as well as clients & vendors of Umpqua Bank
Please click here for more information.
A subsidiary of Umpqua Bank


For information on placing a help wanted ad, please click here:

Please see our Job Wanted section for possible new employees. 



November, 2015 -The List
—History of Leasing from 1998


Capital One Commercial Leasing, McLean, Virginia (11/15)
Confirmed—Capital One Equipment Finance Corp. Exiting the Marketplace – and Why

On Deck, New York, New York (11/15) OnDeck Generates $11 Billion in Economic Impact and 74,000 Jobs Nationwide

Northern Leasing Systems, New York City (11/15) Attorney Finds 33,000 Northern Leasing Lawsuits Legal Experts Say the Business are Victims of a scam

Marlin Leasing, Mount Laurel, NJ (11/15) Marlin Cites Third Quarter Net and Originations   Announces Thrust into Commercial Truck and Specialty Vehicles    

First American Equipment Finance, Fairport, NY (11/15) RBC Completes Acquisition of City National, Parent of First American Equipment Finance

Ascentium Capital, Kingwood, Texas (11/15) Ascentium Capital Announces $281 Million Securitization, Fourth Securitization

Chronological List

History - Alphabetical by Company



(Terry retired January 1, 2015. For the last year, to honor him and his many years of writing for readers of Leasing News, his columns that are still meaningful have been reprinted. Many of his previous columns
are still current today. Here is March 7, 2011.)

Obtaining Vendor Business

One of the main sources of business for leasing business is from a vendor or manufacturer of equipment. The recent trend has been more to emphasize seeking such business rather than calling on directly on prospects in person, by internet, mail, telephone, or even soliciting business supplied by independent leasing brokers.

By utilizing a vendor, it accomplishes two major things: acceptance of your involvement, and perhaps as important, contacting the customer at the time they are obtaining equipment instead of calling on the end users and hoping they are in the market for lease financing. However, a long term relationship with a vendor or manufacturer requires a lot of hard work. Established vendors with multiple offices and long time being established are the most difficult to obtain. Even the smaller vendors, new to the field, want a lot, even ask for referral fees and expect the leasing expert to jump through a lot of hoops and take a lot of risks, plus get every deal approved. New salesmen sometimes go overboard and accept week credits to worm into a new vendor. This rarely works and becomes a “lose-lose” proposition. The oldest first words are often, “If you can do this deal, I’ll give you all my business.”

The best way to win a vendor is to bring them some leads, and if you have business from a current customer, be sure to deliver the check when the deal is funded. It will make you certainly welcome to speak to the sales manager or owner of the dealership.

If you have done some business with a vendor and want to establish a more permanent relationship, you might want to make it formal. It will then become more difficult for a new person delivering a check to steal from you.

Most lessors have some limitations from rates, territory, or credit requirements so it is wise to be up front about them so the vendor knows when to look elsewhere for funding. Problems arise and cool a vendor relationship when a lessor promises that he can do more that is possible and fails to perform. Most vendors understand that weak credits require a modification of the lease arrangements, but they get very angry when turndowns take a long time. It’s always best to be upfront.

In today’s world a fast turndown is almost as good as an approval. Slow turndowns are like starting a fire and watching it grow out of control. Many lessors know that a weak credit is going to require enhancements or vendor support so it may make sense to address the shortcomings before too much time, energy and money is spent looking for a miracle, especially in today’s marketplace.

It is so hard to find vendors in this market that we tend to go to extremes to try and make the vendor use our services. However, there is a reality and there are bad vendors just like there are bad customers so you need to check out the vendors you want to do business with and keep a sharp eye out for fraud. Make sure the vendor is in good graces with the manufacturer and his local bank. Make sure that the equipment is supported by the vendor and the manufacturer. Does it have a good reputation in the marketplace and check the guidebooks to see how much a two or three year old piece of their equipment is selling for to see how much its value falls off. The faster a piece of equipment is devalued has a lot to do with its quality. Leasing poor quality equipment is like trying to walk across quicksand. It will get you in the end.

It’s also a good idea to have knowledge about your vendor’s product so you not only can discuss promote it with your prospective lessee, but also promote its use and benefit to your credit manager.  All you really need to do well is have three to four good vendors sending you business and building up your repeat customer portfolio.

Previous #102 Columns:


Asset-Based Capital Conference Jan 26 -27
Commercial Finance Association


Jan 26 - Jan 27
Commercial Finance Association
Asset-Based Capital Conference 2016
Four Seasons Hotel
Las Vegas, Nevada





Skip Tracers Held to be Collector for Purposes
of Fair Debt Collection Practices Act

By Tom McCurnin
Leasing News Legal Editor

Skip Tracers Have Traditionally Been Under the Radar.  Case Holds That Skip Tracer Which Indirectly Assists in the Collection of a Debt Are Collectors and Liable for Violations of the FDCPA

Shannon v Windsor Equity Group  2014 WL 977899 (S.D. Cal. 2014)

Skip tracers have been largely immune from the threats of lawsuits under the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, due mainly to the fact that they act behind the scenes. However, in today’s case, the skip tracer, in an effort to locate a late model Cadillac Escalade, actually telephoned the individuals who were in possession of the vehicle, making repeated and annoying calls to the individuals at their employment, even when asked to stop. The court held that the skip tracer, when he or she actually communicates with the debtor, has become an indirect collector of the account and is liable for violations of the FDCPA. The facts follow.

Ina Bragg financed a late model Cadillac and ultimately loaned it to Shaun Shannon. Windsor Equity Group was is a “loan servicing company” based in Dallas, Texas and provides auxiliary services to lenders such as skip tracing, repossession, and remarketing services. One of Windsor’s agents, Patrick Cannon, in an effort to locate and repossess the vehicle, contacted both Bragg and Shannon. Cannon allegedly made a series of phone calls to Shannon’s employment and was told that he could not take personal phone calls.  Cannon also allegedly contacted Shannon’s co-workers. Mr. Cannon then responded by yelling, and using profanities and threats that he would “make sure” that Mr. Shannon would get fired, arrested, and sued. Pretty over the top.

Shannon sued Windsor for violations of the Fair Debt Collections Practices Act (FDCPA) and Windsor argued in a motion for summary judgment, that it was not a debt collector, and was merely a skip tracer. Shannon argued that the abusive calls made Windsor a debt collector, whether or not Windsor’s agent demanded money from Shannon. 

The Court held that although guidance regarding this issue is sparse, if an entity has engaged in indirect debt collection activities, it may be considered a collector. Indirect debt collection ranges from litigating and filing warrants on behalf of creditors to simply retrieving phone numbers for creditors and debt-collection agencies. The Court held that taking an active role such as repeated phone calls to the borrower or the person to whom the car was loaned makes the skip tracer a collector for purposes of the FDCPA. 

Therefore the Court denied Windsor’s motion for summary judgment.  The borrower won, and the skip tracer lost. The case will now proceed to trial.

What are the lessons here?

First, for those readers engaged in equipment recovery or skip tracing, placing calls to the borrower will inject you into the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, if the obligation is a consumer debt. 

Second, I was a little surprised at the alleged conduct of the skip tracer. I realize these guys are hired to be aggressive, and the job is frustrating.  That is no excuse for not acting professionally. Hopefully, there is another side to this story, and the calls were recorded and the skip tracer didn’t say any of that stuff.

The bottom line is that equipment lessors must realize that they can be drawn into the FDCPA through their vendors. 

Shannon v Windsor Equity Group Inc.

Tom McCurnin is a partner at Barton, Klugman & Oetting
in Los Angeles, California.

Tom McCurnin
Barton, Klugman & Oetting
350 South Grand Ave.
Suite 2200
Los Angeles, CA 90071
Direct Phone: (213) 617-6129
Cell (213) 268-8291
Visit our web site at
Previous Tom McCurnin Articles:

Previous Tom McCurnin Articles:



Credit/Collections #102 by Ben Carlile

Annual Employee Reviews are Toast!

Yes, you heard that right! There is a slow-growing movement to eliminate the annual employee performance review in the workplace. Here is a partial list of companies that have recently made structural changes to their review processes:

















Motorola Solutions




New York Life


Why did these entities change their review procedures? For these organizations, the once-per-year meetings no longer address the real-time challenges they face in their businesses. The nature of work is changing and the pace of business is accelerating. These days, workplace assignments often change throughout the year as more companies accomplish their goals through a series of projects and ever-changing teams. The old command-and-control hierarchies have given way to more flexible and collaborative matrix-style organizations where employees have multiple reporting lines and cross-functional responsibilities.

In many workplaces, the annual review is a charade-like process that still involves tedious, time-consuming paperwork, limiting and uninspiring software, irrelevant evaluation criteria, and simplistic quota-driven employee rankings. This annual or semi-annual routine is often dreaded by both rater and ratee. Managers hate doing such formal catch-up reviews−especially during a busy year-end period−and many employees experience substantial trepidation, loss of morale and disengagement−hardly the best recipe for inspiring high-level creativity and breakthrough performance.

Research shows that annual reviews are far from objective as their content often has more to do with the rater than the ratee. One such study was conducted by Maynard for the Journal of Applied Psychology in 2000. Their inquiry−which examined the ratings of 4,492 managers−showed that up to 62% of the variance in ratings was due to the individual raters’ personal incentives, recent memories and unconscious biases … and only 25% was due to actual differences in ratee performance. The management research firm, CEB, found that two-thirds of employees who receive the highest scores are not actually the organization’s highest performers. According to Brian Kropp, an HR practice leader at CEB, “Employees that do best in legacy performance management systems tend to be the employees that are the most narcissistic and self-promoting” not necessarily the highest performing employees in their roles.

And the costs add up. Deloitte was spending 2 million hours per year on employee evaluations. CEB estimates that an average manager spends up to 200 hours per year on performance review activities−almost $3,500 per employee. Thus, the annual review process can be costly in terms of misspent management time, loss of employee productivity and the opportunity cost of not retaining and promoting the best performers. Annual reviews have simply not produced a good return on investment for many firms. So many companies are asking, “How do we get the most value out of the time and money we’re spending on employee management?”.

A Better Way
Companies are answering that question by experimenting with various techniques. Some see their review process as basically sound so they are making small changes and training their managers to execute more effectively. Others, such as Deloitte, have replaced the annual review with a brief exercise in which managers respond to four succinct statements at the conclusion of every project. These are future-focused assertions such as "Given what I know of this person’s performance, I would always want him or her on my team". On a five-point scale, managers rate how much they agree with each statement.

Alternatively, Adobe’s new practice involves the manager and employee sitting on the same side of the table, setting mutual expectations together. Feedback flows in both directions. Regular informal check-ins happen throughout the year.

It is unlikely that there is a “one size that fits all” solution that works well for all entities and for all departments within each entity. Company culture, operations, and goals play a large role in determining what an organization will do. That said, there are some common themes that have appealed to many firms that are looking for a better way:

  1. Create a workplace culture that values feedback and encourages clear communication. In your organization, are you consistently encouraged to be respectfully candid about performance issues, whether speaking upward, downward, or sideways? Are processes transparent and expectations clear? These attributes allow groups to be nimble and effective in meeting changing demands. And many Millennials see these values as essential for them to be engaged and do their best work.
  2. Provide frequent and timely feedback. Research shows that frequency and consistency are crucial. Connection, then direction. This helps employees understand their goals, feel valued and appreciate being part of the team. Managers get a better idea of employees’ capabilities and how they can help employees do their best. Problems and opportunities are identified on a real-time basis, allowing for quicker course changes and better results.
  3. Make it more positive than negative. Make it more forward-looking than backward-looking. Be less judgmental. Coach more than criticize. Develop employee strengths instead of focusing on weaknesses. Motivate and incent team collaboration rather than positioning employees against each other.
  4. Use technology and data appropriately. Future performance will be measured with massive amounts of data and specialized algorithms. While those may provide opportunities for more timely and objective evaluations, they are not substitutes for the influence of a great organization culture and the power of a talented and wise leader to inspire high performance in employees and teams.


Ben Carlile

Credit and Collections 102 Previous Articles



Best Movies of 2015

As the year winds down and movie lovers eagerly look forward to more discoveries in 2016, let us take a moment to look back at ten exceptional 2015 releases. Check Netflix for their availability.

About Elly: Made before his Oscar-winning "A Separation" but only released this year, Iranian director Asghar Farhadi's multilayered ensemble drama charts the personal intrigues of three vacationing couples. Ranging from seasoned to newly married, the characters go on a picnic that goes from breezy to urgent over the course of a couple of days. With an eye for telling human interaction and mounting intensity, Farhadi crafts a dense, incisive character study that's also a gripping tale of suspense.

The Assassin: Taiwanese master Hou Hsiao-hsien returns to the screen for the first time in nearly a decade with this visually intoxicating martial-arts drama. Set in China during the 9th-century Tang Dynasty, the story follows the winding journey of a deadly young assassin whose latest mission assigns her with eliminating out her own cousin. Though the flashes of swordplay suggest “Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon,” the meditative Hou is less interested in action and intrigue than in moments of intricate, exquisite beauty.

Blackhat: A specialist in bringing bold, stylistic imagination to action movies, Michael Mann enters the cyber age in this terrific global thriller. As its plot bounces around the world following a young computer mastermind (Chris Hemsworth) working with the FBI to track down a mysterious, deadly hacker, the film combines startling visual confrontations with flashes of surprising delicacy, mingling slickness and poignancy the way only Mann can. One of the year's most purely thrilling releases.

Bridge of Spies: Continuing his engrossing look at America's past, Steven Spielberg shifts his focus to the Cold War in this beautifully crafted, fact-based drama. Tom Hanks stars as a New York lawyer recruited by the CIA as a negotiator in political negotiations involving a captured Russian spy (Mark Rylance). Working from a script co-written by the Coen Brothers, Spielberg weaves a consistently absorbing account of human lives tangled in a volatile international scene much like our own today.

The Duke of Burgundy: Peter Strickland examines an unusual relationship in this provocative, stylish drama. Unfolding mostly in a sumptuous country home, the film traces the ups and downs in the intense bond between a haughty lecturer with an interest in insects and her seemingly shy housekeeper. Slowly and tantalizingly, the boundary-pushing games and rituals they play are revealed, hinting at the fierce pull between the characters. With frankness, delicacy, and healthy doses of dry humor, Strickland paints on a mesmerizing canvas of desire.

Hard to Be a God: The final film completed by the late director Aleksei German, this one-of-a-kind Russian sci-fi epic is the final film takes viewers to a faraway planet that resembles a harsh medieval land. Chronicling the misadventures of a batch of scientists from Earth conducting a study, the story burrows deeper and deeper into a mesmerizingly bizarre world. The result is an unforgettably visceral universe mixing past and future in a vision worthy of Russian sci-fi classics like "Solaris" or "Stalker."

The Hateful Eight: Quentin Tarantino gathers many of his favorite actors and sharpens his trademark provocative dialogue for this viciously entertaining blend of Western and whodunit. When a group of bilious strangers (played to the hilt by the likes of Samuel L. Jackson, Kurt Russell and Jennifer Jason Leigh) are stranded in a snow-bound chalet in the Old West, all bets are off on who will be left standing at the end. Brutal as it often is, this is a masterfully assembled genre piece that doubles as an acidic American broken mirror.

Jafar Panahi's Taxi: Being officially forbidden from making movies by the government hasn't kept Jafar Panahi from being one of Iran's most vital directors, as evidenced in this reflexive mix of documentary and drama that takes place entirely inside a taxi. As Panahi himself occupies the driver's seat and rides around Tehran, he comes into contact with a wide array of residents. Expanding the claustrophobic setting with insight and humor, he uses his camera as a gesture of defiance in a mosaic of outrage, revelation and, ultimately, hope.

Jauja: Taking place in the Argentine pampas in the 19th-century, Lisandro Alonso’s mesmerizing mood piece gives Viggo Mortensen a wonderfully offbeat role. Playing a Danish engineer in a military camp who must venture into the wilderness and track down his missing daughter, Mortensen falls into a metaphysical whirlpool in which the lines between civilized mores and mysterious landscapes become increasingly blurred. A tantalizing enigma for cinephiles to lose themselves into.

Mad Max: Fury Road: Movie buffs complaining about disappointing action fare should check out George Miller's return to the relentlessly exciting post-apocalyptic future that first made him famous. In a futuristic wasteland ruled by violence, a loner known as Max (Tom Hardy) takes up with a gang of rebels led by the fierce Imperator Furiosa (Charlize Theron) against vicious marauders. A blistering master-class in pure action that makes most other blockbusters look downright anemic.



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News Briefs---

‘Total devastation’: Texas storms leave 11 dead, hundreds without homes

Owners of failed Premier Bank found guilty of fraud
   Defrauded Another Local Bank to Obtain $8.1 Million Loan

After Subprime Collapse, Nonbank Lenders Again, Dominate Riskier Mortgages and Not Regulated

First Hawaiian Bank May Go Public with Stock Offering
  $19 billion assets. 57 branches Hawaii, 3 Guam, 2 Saipan

Banker of the Year: BB&T's Kelly King
   American Banker Magazine




--You May Have Missed It

The 10 biggest US bank failures of all time


SparkPeople--Live Healthier and Longer

Is It a Cold or the Flu?
Cold and Flu Prevention, Treatment and Symptoms


Silver Lining to the Clouds of Doubt
When things go wrong, as they sometimes will,
When the road you're trudging seems all up hill,
When the funds are low and the debts are high,
And you want to smile but you have to sigh,
When care is pressing you down a bit,
Rest if you must, but don't you quit.

Life is queer with its twists and turns
As every one of us sometimes learns,
And many a failure turns about
When he might have won had he stuck it out;
Don't give up though the pace seems slow-
You might succeed with one last blow.

Often the goal is nearer than
It seems to be to a faltering man.
Often the struggler has given up,
When he might have captured the victor's cup.
And he learned too late, when night slipped down,
How close he was to the golden crown.

Success is failure turned inside out.
The silver lining to the clouds of doubt-
And you never can tell how close you are,
It may appear when it seems afar;
So stick to the fight when you're hardest hit-
It's when things seem worst that you mustn't quit!




Sports Briefs----

49ers mistakes costly in 32-17 loss at Detroit

Patriots made a huge mistake to start OT

Streaks fall in Steelers' embarrassing loss to Ravens in Week 16

Chip Kelly: Eagles' failures 100 percent on me

All NFL Scores

Panthers’ Run of Perfection Ends Against the Falcons

Washington Redskins QB Kirk Cousins' time has arrived

Nebraska beats UCLA 37-29 to win the Foster Farms Bowl

Grand Prix organizers will pay for all race costs, clearing path for IndyCar



California Nuts Briefs---

New California laws 2016:
  What to expect in the new year

Things You'll Never See in San Francisco


“Gimme that Wine”

Wine Spectator Top 100 Wines

Northwest wines strong in Wine Enthusiast top lists

Historic New Jersey winery works to stay open

Free Mobile Wine Program

Wine Prices by vintage

US/International Wine Events

Leasing News Wine & Spirits Page


This Day in American History

     1722 - Birthday of Eliza Lucas Pinckney (d. 1793), Antigua, British West Indies.   She was left to manage her father's three plantations in the Carolinas when he was called back to Antigua as military lieutenant general. Not only did she experiment with various crops trying to produce one that would increase the plantations' income - plantations being agricultural businesses, not family farms - she developed a method whereby the touchy indigo plant could be raised in the harsher Carolina climate. The English government was enthusiastic and subsidized its growing as the U.S. government would later subsidize tobacco. Export reached in excess of one million pounds and was a major income source for the entire region. After her marriage, she developed a method for growing silkworms in the Charleston area and manufacturing silk. As a widow, she would return to her family's plantations and manage them - successfully, as usual. Two of her sons were prominent in the new United States politics. Her first shipment of 17 pounds of indigo dye caused a furor in London as merchants found it equal to the dye from the French colonies. The English Parliament gave the South Carolina growers a subsidy. France made it a major crime to export indigo seeds but it was too late. Then she did the most unusual thing ... and perhaps the most feminist thing: she distributed the seeds from her crop to any colonist planter who wanted them instead of keeping the magic seeds to herself for her other gain. Within five years, the 17 pounds of dye had increased to 40,000 pounds. This output increased in time and became a major source of income for the fledgling United States that desperately needed cash. President George Washington served as one of the pallbearers at her funeral.
    1732 - The Pennsylvania Gazette carried the first known advertisement for the first issue of Poor Richard's Almanack by Richard Saunders (Benjamin Franklin) for the year 1733. The advertisement promised "many pleasant and witty verses, jests and sayings . . . new fashions, games for kisses . . . men and melons . . . breakfast in bed, &c."  America's most famous almanac, Poor Richard's was published through the year 1758 and has been imitated many times since. From The Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin: "In 1732 I first publish'd my Almanack, under the name of Richard Saunders; it was continu'd by me about twenty-five years, commonly call'd Poor Richard's Almanack. I endeavor'd to make it both entertaining and useful, and it accordingly came to be in such demand, that I reap'd considerable profit from it, vending annually near ten thousand. And observing that it was generally read, scarce any neighborhood in the province being without it, I consider'd it as a proper vehicle for conveying instruction among the common people, who bought scarcely any other books; I therefore filled all the little spaces that occurr'd between the remarkable days in the calendar with proverbial sentences, chiefly such as inculcated industry and frugality, as the means of procuring wealth, and thereby securing virtue; it being more difficult for a man in want, to act always honestly, as, to use here one of those proverbs, it is hard for an empty sack to stand upright."
    1793 - Thomas Paine is arrested in France for treason. Though the charges against him were never detailed, he had been tried in absentia on December 26 and convicted. Before moving to France, Paine was an instrumental figure in the American Revolution as the author of “Common Sense”, writings used by George Washington to inspire the American troops. Paine moved to Paris to become involved with the French Revolution, but the chaotic political climate turned against him, and he was arrested and jailed for crimes against the country. While in prison, he continued to work on “The Age of Reason” and began an affair with actress Muriel Alette, who had been sentenced to death for being the mistress of a nobleman. Paine's imprisonment in France caused a general uproar in America and future President James Monroe used all of his diplomatic connections to get Paine released in November, 1794. Ironically, it wasn't long before Paine came to be despised in the United States, as well. After “The Age of Reason” was published, he was called an anti-Christ, and his reputation was ruined. Thomas Paine died a poor man in 1809 in New York.
    1832 - The first Vice-President of the United States to resign was the famous John C. Calhoun, who had served under two Presidents (John Quincy Adams and Andrew Jackson), Mar 4, 1825-December 28, 1832). Finding himself in growing disagreement with President Jackson, he resigned the office to fill the vacancy in the Senate caused by the resignation of Robert Young Hayne, senator from South Carolina. He spent most of his subsequent political life as a US Senator from South Carolina, a strong states right and pro-slavery advocate, where he felt he was more effective than being a vice-president under a man he “despised”.
    1832 - In Missouri, St. Louis Academy (founded in 1818) was chartered as St. Louis University. It was the first Catholic university established in the U.S. west of the Allegheny Mountains.
    1837 - John A. Pitts and Hiram Abial Pitts of Winthrop, ME, received a patent for a “machine for threshing or cleaning grain” employing steam.   The machine separated grain from the straw and chaff.
    1839 - The third storm in two weeks hit the northeastern U.S. It brought two more feet of snow to Hartford, CT and Worcester, MA. Whole gales swept the coast causing many wrecks
    1846 - Iowa becomes 29th state. The 29th state's name is derived from an American Indian word meaning ‘the beautiful land'. It is widely thought that Iowa's nickname, the Hawkeye State, is in honor of Black Hawk, the famous Indian chief who led the Sauk and Fox tribes against the Iowa area settlers in the Black Hawk War of 1832. Iowa City was the first capital of Iowa. 11 years later, Des Moines, the state's largest city, became the permanent capital. The Iowa state bird is the eastern goldfinch, the state flower, the wild rose, and the state motto: “Our liberties we prize and our rights we will maintain.”
    1848 - Gaslight was turned on in the White House. James Knox Polk was the President.
    1851 - The Young Men's Christian Association was organized in the United States in Boston.  It was patented after a similar organization started in London on June 6, 1844. The first gymnasium was opened in New York City in 1869, and in the same year, the first separate boys' department was opened in Salem, MA.   The first YMCA branch for African-American members was organized in Washington, DC in 1853 by Anthony Bowen and Jerome Johnson, who served respectively as president and secretary.
    1856 - Thomas Woodrow Wilson (d. 1924), 28th President of the US was born at Staunton, Virginia. Twice elected (1912 and 1916), it was Wilson who said, “The world must be made safe for democracy”, as he asked the Congress to declare war on Germany, April 2, 1917. His first wife, Ellen, died August 6, 1914, and he married Edith Bolling Galt, December 18, 1915. He suffered a paralytic stroke, September 16, 1919, never regaining his health. There were many speculations about who (possibly Mrs. Wilson?) was running the government during his illness. His second term of office ended March 3, 1921. Wilson was the last president to be born in Virginia, the state where the most presidents of the US were from: George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, James Madison, James Monroe, William Henry Harrison, John Tyler, Zachary Taylor and Woodrow Wilson.
    1867 - David Groesbeck and Company, a member of the New York Stock Exchange, became the first stock brokerage to use a telegraph ticker. It was installed by the Gold and Stock Telegraph Company, New York City on a lease of $6 a week from Daniel Drew, who also provided maintenance. It is considered the first “maintenance lease” in America. (no option to purchase and it is not known if there was an evergreen clause).
    1869 - Labor Day was inaugurated by the Knights of Labor, a workers' organization formed in Philadelphia.   The first states to declare Labor Day a state holiday were Oregon (February 1887); Colorado (March 1887); and New York (May 1887). The annual nationwide observance of Labor Day was sponsored by the American Federation of Labor, which resolved in convention at Chicago, IL, On October 7, 1884, “ that the first Monday in September be set aside as a laborer's national holiday.” On June 28, 1894, Congress designed the first Monday in September a legal holiday for federal employees and for the District of Columbia. The first Labor Day parade was held in New York City on September 5, 1882, under the auspices of the Central Labor Union. It featured musical bans and 10,000 marchers who carried placards reading “Less Work and More Pay”,  “Less Hours, More Pay”,  “Labor Pays All Taxes”, “Labor creates All Wealth”,  “To the Workers Should Belong the Wealth” and “The Laborer Must Receive and Enjoy the Full Fruit of his Labor”.
    1869 - William Finley Semple of Mount Vernon, Ohio, patents chewing gum
    1881 - Jess Willard, Boxer (d. 1968) was born at Pottawatomie County, KS.  The towering Willard, 6' 6 ¼” tall, took the heavyweight title from Jack Johnson in a fight at Havana, Cuba on April 5, 1915. He defended his title only once in four years and then lost it to Jack Dempsey on July 4, 1919. 
    1891 - Thomas Alva Edison of Menlo Park, New Jersey received a patent for a “means of transmitting signals electrically.” In the patent, he stated that “signaling between distant points can be carried on by induction without the use of wires connecting such distant points”.  Marconi in 1894 experimented with hertzian waves to communicate wireless telegraph and Nathan Stubblefield, claimed he invented it earlier.
    1897 - The temperature at Dayville, OR hit 81 degrees to establish a state record for December. 
    1902 – The first indoor pro football game, Syracuse beat Philadelphia, 6-0, Madison Square Garden, NYC.
    1903 - Birthday of Fanny "Bobbie" Rosenfeld (d. 1969) in Ukraine.   A celebrated Canadian track and field athlete, she was named Canada's woman athlete of the half-century. In the 1928 Olympics, she won a silver and gold. She excelled in almost every sport from hockey to softball and did it on her own since there were no coaches for women at the time. She became a sports columnist.
    1903 - Legendary jazz pianist Earl (Fatha) Hines (d. 1983) was born in Duquesne, PA. Hines, whose complex rhythms influenced musicians for five decades, began his career in the 1920's. Jazz took a revolutionary turn in that decade because of the recordings he made, both as a solo artist and with Louis Armstrong's Hot Five combo. In the 1930's and '40s, Hines led his own big band, and among those he helped to stardom were Dizzy Gillespie, Sarah Vaughan, Charlie Parker and Billy Eckstine. A forgotten figure in the 1950's, he reappeared in the following decade for concerts and recordings, even turning up on rock guitarist Roy Cooder's album "Paradise and Lunch”.
    1908 - Otto Zachow and William Besserdick of Clintonville, WI obtained a patent for a four wheel brake for cars, calling it a “power applying mechanism”, quickly adopted by the car industry who were employing a hand brake against one wheel.
    1912 - Guitarist Billy Markel born Baltimore.
    1921 - Singer/Band Leader/Disc Jockey/Musician/Politician Johnny Otis (d. 2012) was born Ioannis Alexandres Veliotes in Vallejo, CA. I listened to him with "Willie and the Hand Jive" as a disc jockey as I grew up in West Los Angeles  and saw many of his small and large bank performances, the last at the San Jose Fairmont Hotel. He had begun recording in the late 1940's. Otis was also responsible for discovering such artists as Little Esther Phillips, Jackie Wilson, Little Willie John and Hank Ballard. He had a hit radio show in Los Angeles in the late 1950's and 1960's.
    1924 - Iowa experienced it coldest December morning of record. Morning lows averaged 25 degrees below zero for the 104 weather stations across the state
    1932 - Birthday of actress Nichelle Nichols, born Grace Dell Nichols in Robbins, IL, first black woman regularly featured on a weekly TV show, activist of great force in NASA's first recruitment drive of minorities and women.  Better known to Trekkies as Uhura of the “Star Trek” series.  Whoopi Goldberg in the eulogy of Star Trek originator Gene Roddenberry's funeral, with whom Nichols had been lovers, said that 25 years earlier she was a kid from the projects who saw Uhura as "The only vision of black people in the future".  Autobiography “Beyond Uhura: Star Trek and Other Memories” (1995).
    1934 – Actress Maggie Smith was born in England.  Smith has won two Academy Awards, winning Best Actress for “The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie” (1969) and Best Supporting Actress for “California Suite” (1978). She is one of only six actresses to win the in both Best Actress and Best Supporting Actress categories. 
    1938 - Ziggy Elman cuts “Fralich in Swing.”
    1938 - Birthday of Charles Neville (d. 2015) of The Neville Brothers, New Orleans.
    1940 - Herb Jefferies cuts “Flamingo” with Duke Ellington Band, Chicago
    1944 - Leonard Bernstein scores his first big hit when his musical On the Town, featuring the song "New York, New York," opens on Broadway. 
    1945 - The US Congress officially recognized the Pledge of Allegiance and urged its frequent recitation in America's schools. The pledge was composed in 1892 by Francis Bellamy, a Baptist minister. At the time, Bellamy was chairman of a committee of state school superintendents of education, and several public schools adopted his pledge that year as part of the Columbus Day quadricentennial celebration that year.   In 1955, the Knights of Columbus persuaded Congress to add the words “under God” to the pledge.
    1949 - Top Hits
“I Can Dream, Can't I?” - The Tommy Dorsey Orchestra (vocal: Jack Leonard)
“A Dreamer's Holiday” - Perry Como
“Dear Hearts and Gentle People” - Bing Crosby
“Mule Train” - Tennessee Ernie Ford
    1952 - The Sonotone Corporation, Elmsford , NY , offered for sale a hearing aid using transistors. It weighed 3.5 ounces and was three inches long.
    1954 - Denzel Washington actor ("St. Elsewhere," Glory, Malcolm X), born Mount Vernon, NY.
    1955 - Anchorage, AK was buried under 17.7 inches of snow in 24 hours, a record for that location.     
    1957--Top Hits
“Jailhouse Rock” - Elvis Presley
“At the Hop” - Danny & the Juniors
“Great Balls of Fire” - Jerry Lee Lewis
“My Special Angel” - Bobby Helms
    1957 - "At the Hop" by Danny and the Juniors reached the top of the U-S charts. The song by the Philadelphia street-corner group was originally called "Do the Bop," but the title and lyrics were changed at the suggestion of Dick Clark. 
    1958 - Chipmunks (Alvin, Simon & Theodore with David Seville) hit #1
    1958 - Albuquerque, NM, received 14.2 inches of snow to establish a 24 hour record.
    1959 - Frankie Avalon's "Why" hits #1 
    1961 - The first airline to carry 100 million passengers was American Airlines, New York City, which selected pioneering aviator Lieutenant General James Harold Doolittle, chairman of the board of Space Technology Laboratories, Los Angeles, as the national symbol of the 100,000,000th passenger and presented him with a crystal bowl.
    1963 - The single "Dominique" and its companion LP "The Singing Nun" top the Billboard singles chart and album chart respectively. So far, the 45 has sold over 700,000 copies and the LP, 670,000.
    1963 - A quartet from Minneapolis, Minnesota who called themselves The Trashmen saw their first release, "Surfin' Bird", enter the Billboard Hot 100 where it would reach #4 during the first week of February, next year. The song is a combination of two R&B hits by The Rivingtons: "Papa-Oom-Mow-Mow" and "The Bird's the Word".
    1963 – “The New Yorker” publishes an interview with Beatles manager Brian Epstein in their "Talk of the Town" column about the band's upcoming Ed Sullivan gig -- the first major press the group has received in the US.
    1964 - Trumpeter Hugh Masekela is a featured guest on CBS-TV's game show “To Tell the Truth”.
    1965 - Top Hits
“Over and Over” - The Dave Clark Five
“I Got You (I Feel Good)” - James Brown
“The Sounds of Silence” - Simon & Garfunkel
“Buckaroo” - Buck Owens & The Buckaroos
    1967 - Muriel Siebert pays $445,000 plus $7515 initiation fee to become the first woman to own a seat on the New York Stock Exchange.
    1968 - The (double) album named "The Beatles" (called by most, "The White Album") was #1 in the U.S. It was the Beatles' first album on their own Apple label and was #1 for nine weeks. The tracks: "Back in the U.S.S.R.", "Dear Prudence", "Glass Onion", "Ob-La-Di Ob-La-Da", "Wild Honey Pie", "The Continuing Story of Bungalow Bill", "While My Guitar Gently Weeps", "Happiness is a Warm Gun", "Martha My Dear", "I'm So Tired", "Blackbird", "Piggies", "Rocky Raccoon", "Don't Pass Me By", "Why Don't We Do It in the Road", "I Will", "Julia", "Birthday", "Yer Blues", "Mother Nature's Son", "Everybody's Got Something to Hide Except for Me and My Monkey", "Sexy Sadie", "Helter Skelter", "Long, Long, Long", "Revolution I", "Honey Pie", "Savoy Truffle", "Cry Baby Cry", "Revolution 9", and "Good Night".
    1968 - The Doors' "Touch Me" is released. With a guitar intro strongly influenced by The Four Seasons' "C'mon Marianne", the song would reach #3 on the Billboard Hot 100, #1 in Canada, #10 in Australia.
    1968 -  The first major rock concert on the East Coast, the Miami Pop Festival, takes place, a three-day affair featuring Chuck Berry, Marvin Gaye, The Turtles, Joni Mitchell, Procol Harum, Steppenwolf, Canned Heat, Iron Butterfly, The McCoys, Fleetwood Mac, The Box Tops, Three Dog Night, Pacific Gas and Electric, and The Grateful Dead.
    1973 - Top Hits
“The Most Beautiful Girl” - Charlie Rich
“Goodbye Yellow Brick Road” - Elton John
“Time in a Bottle” - Jim Croce
“If We Make It Through December” - Merle Haggard
    1974 - Helen Reddy's "Angie Baby" hits #1
    1978 - Ohio State University football coach Woody Hayes punched a player from Clemson University during Clemson's 19-15 victory in the Gator Bowl. Hayes was upset that the Buckeyes were losing, but OSU official were upset, too. They fired Hayes for the incident.
    1978 - 30th hat trick in Islander history (Mike Bossy)
    1981 - The first child born in the United States through in vitro fertilization was Elizabeth Jordan Carr, born at Norfolk Hospital, Norfolk, VA.
    1981 - Top Hits
“Physical” - Olivia Newton-John
“Waiting for a Girl like You” - Foreigner
“Let's Groove” - Earth, Wind & Fire
“Love in the First Degree” – Alabama
    1981 - Warner Brothers Records, which includes Elektra and Asylum, follows the lead of RCA and raises its price for 45 rpm singles to $1.99.
    1984 - Singer Michael Jackson won a record eight Grammy Awards at the presentation ceremony in Los Angeles. But he lost the best song award to "Every Breath You Take," written by Sting for the Police. Jackson's Pepsi commercial - the one in which he was injured when his hair caught fire - premiered that day on MTV.
    1987 - A winter storm produced heavy snow in the Upper Mississippi Valley and the Upper Great Lakes Region. Up to twenty inches of snow buried southern Minnesota and 20 to 40 mph northwesterly winds produced snow drifts six feet high, and reduced visibilities to near zero at times in blowing snow. There were a thousand traffic accidents in Michigan during the storm, resulting in thirty-five injuries.
    1989 - Top Hits
“Another Day in Paradise” - Phil Collins
“Don't Know Much” - Linda Ronstadt (featuring Aaron Neville)
“Rhythm Nation” - Janet Jackson
“A Woman in Love” - Ronnie Milsap
    1996 - Canadian singer Alanis Morissette won four major Grammy Awards, including album of the year and rock album of the year for "Jagged Little Pill." She also picked up trophies for best rock song and best female rock vocal performance, both for her single "You Oughta Know." Canadians picked up a total of 11 Grammys, including two by Joni Mitchell for her album "Turbulent Indigo." Faith Hill won the best country album Grammy for "The Woman in Me."
    2000 – US retail pioneer Montgomery Ward & Company announced it was closing after 128 years.
    2003 - A severe snow storm hit northern California and southern Oregon. As much as 2 feet of snow fell along Interstate 5 closing a 150-mile stretch of the interstate, stranding hundreds of travelers. Winds from the storm caused power outages to more than 200,000 customers in California and Oregon. One man died of a heart attack after helping other drivers.
    2004 - Los Angeles (downtown) broke a daily rainfall record for the month of December (5.55 inches). This was the third wettest calendar day in Los Angeles since records began in 1877.
    2014 - The United States and allied forces end the combat mission in Afghanistan, which began in 2001 after the 9/11 terrorist attacks on the U.S.; about 13,000 troops will stay to train Afghan police and military forces in their fight against the Taliban



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