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September 12, 2012

In conjunction with today's meeting of its Economic Inclusion Committee meeting, the FDIC released its 2011 Survey of Unbanked and Underbanked Households. This survey is the most complete research available on households in the United States with limited access to mainstream transaction accounts and one of the best resources for uptake in the usage of alternative financial service products.

September 11, 2012

Maybe it is time to re-write some of the assumptions (examples of scapegoating are here and here and here) about which kinds of borrowers were culpable for the scores of foreclosures that have undermined our housing markets in the last few years.

It is worth a moment to check out some of the highlights from a new paper. In "Complex

September 10, 2012

Schear Lending will not offer tax advance products for the upcoming tax season.

In conjunction with Atlas Financial, Ohio-based Schear Lending had offered a tax advance product last year in a small number of states. As a non-bank, Schear was able to operate outside of the jurisdiction

September 7, 2012

Green Dot is sending the account holders of the Green Dot Premier card a new VIP card which will offer more services at the same price as the old card.

The VIP card is no different from the old Premier card with regard to price. It costs an

August 30, 2012

Republic Bank and JTH Financial, the corporate umbrella organization above Liberty Tax, have terminated their agreement to provide tax refund checks.

Last spring marked the end for Republic's refund anticipation loan but it had been assumed that the bank would

August 27, 2012

What does NBA basketball in Charlotte have to do with private for-profit colleges and universities?

A lot. In fact, it is safe to say that one might never have existed without the other.

The Charlotte Hornets franchise was born from the efforts of George Shinn. George Shinn was a true Horatio

August 23, 2012

The Discover network says that it will allow the non-bank lender Continental Finance to use its network to offer a sub-prime credit card.

The new Continental Discover card has a $300 line of credit with a first-year fee of $75 and an APR of 29.99 percent.

August 20, 2012

Meta Financial Group (ticker: CASH) said that it will sell 1.56 million shares of its common stock to several private investors. While the business community seemed to focus on the fact that the shares were going to be sold at a discount to the current trading price, the bigger story for those within the universe of alternative financial services might be about who is doing the buying. It looks like two of the buyers will be NetSpend

August 16, 2012

Last week I penned a blog critical of the new idea percolating up from municipalities in Chicago and San Bernardino which would use the power of eminent domain to refinance homes with negative equity into new mortgages at no more than 97 percent LTV.

August 15, 2012

The Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia's Payment Cards Center has released a new report that gives concrete answers to one of the least understood topics in the prepaid sector.

The report, "Consumers’ Use of Prepaid Cards: A Transaction-Based Analysis," uses a data set 280 million payments by 3 million card holders on 15 different card brands. The records gave the analysts the ability to track