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January 3, 2011

Expectations for the upcoming tax season at Jackson Hewitt have suddenly turned optimistic, but it remains to be seen if they will be able to realize the opportunities presented to them.

Last year, H&R Block expected that low-income households would flock to their stores. They had refund anticipation loans, but many competing Jackson Hewitt stores did not. The OCC directed Pacific Capital to cease to

January 3, 2011

I would like to begin the new year by talking about the growth in Bank Talk's readership during 2010.

In January, Bank Talk was generating about 150 hits per day.  By the end of the year, more than 2,000 people

December 20, 2010

One of the challenging issues surrounding the decision by the Wake County, North Carolina School Board to end its "Diversity Policy" is that it has done so in a community where residential housing patterns have established a de facto pattern of income segregation.

For years, Wake County's School Board had supported a system that transported students to schools. Many people didn't like that they weren't necessarily the most proximate, or that children frequently changed schools. In some instances, parents had children at different schools within the same grade sequence (elementary, middle...). Wake's goal was to insure an equitable distribution of low-income (free and reduced lunch recipients) students throughout all of the district's schools. Wake County was lauded for the idea, both by progressives in the educational community as well as by employers. Wake has been able to attract a skilled workforce. In the recent American

December 13, 2010

Time is running out for H&R Block to resolve its impasse with HSBC, USA.

One commenter on an investment board said that Block has 10 days, more or less, to settle its dispute with HSBC.  Block said the same thing on October 15th, in their filing against HSBC, USA:

Absent performance by HSBC during the next two months, Block will not be able to offer these products” during the 2011 tax season....Block’s inability to offer these

December 10, 2010

A spate of good news makes it clear that Jackson Hewitt (JTX) will live to see another tax season.

This morning, Jackson Hewitt shares are up another 35 percent. That adds to their mid-twenty percent gains yesterday.

Today, the good news follows an earnings report that is being interpreted as positive, even though Jackson Hewitt reported a quarterly loss of sixty cents per share. That is a mammoth loss for a

December 9, 2010

Santa Barbara Tax Products Group (SBTPG) has announced that it will partner with a subsidiary of University Bank to provide refund transfers for the upcoming tax season.

December 3, 2010

On Thursday afternoon, MetaBank made it official that they will not offer tax-related products for the upcoming tax season.

December 1, 2010

Many Americans are never going to retire.

On Tuesday, I laid out an argument for why most Americans cannot afford a payday loan. The main thrust of that blog focused on the "median" American household, which has about $100,000 in assets.  But what about the majority of Americans are not median, and in particular, those individuals who fall onto the low side of the bell curve?

The low-income median is much lower. According to the 2007 Survey of Consumer Finances (pdf), the lowest quartile of American households had a median of $1,200 in net worth.  That is the good news. The median is much

November 22, 2010

An associate passed along a test that he uses when he trains volunteers at Voluntary Income Tax Assistance sites: 

A refund anticipation loan is equivalent to:

November 18, 2010

Tax preparation firm Jackson Hewitt has until Saturday to meet the terms of its line of credit agreement with Wells Fargo.

Wells Fargo stipulated that JTX needed to have full funding for its refund anticipation loan (RALs) offerings for the upcoming tax season.  Currently, Jackson Hewitt has funding lined up with Republic Bank of Kentucky (RBCAA). Republic said that it expects to impose new underwriting criteria. That could mean that fewer consumers will be able to get a RAL in the first place.

The mystery in all of this is Wells. The event of default is a condition that gives Wells the ability to pull