Posted on June 1, 2015

Square 1 Bank holds more deposits in Raleigh-Durham than any other bank. Given that, they should be held to a high standard for their Community Reinvestment Act obligation. From a purely quantitative perspective, they have done what their regulators asked. But even a simple review of that track record shows that their impact has been minimal. Until PacWest shows that it can do better, the FDIC should block this merger.

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Posted on May 27, 2015

This week I'm hearing about some good news for MetaBank and some very bad news for ITT Tech.

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Posted on May 20, 2015

The appetite on Wall Street for foreclosures is very high. But there are fewer and fewer foreclosure filings. The smartest guys in the room have a new idea: buy non-performing loans before they go into foreclosure and then transform them into rentals.

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Posted on May 15, 2015

One week after announcing that it would sell $250 million in notes, World Acceptance changed its mind and now says that such an idea was poorly timed.

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Posted on May 11, 2015

World Acceptance's credit line just shrunk from $680 million to $430 million. TD Bank dropped out of the credit agreement. To make up for the lost capital, World says that the company will issue 5-year notes. What does it mean?

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Posted on May 5, 2015

Moody's says that it may downgrade Community Choice Financial's debt. Community Choice Financial is the parent of CheckSmart, Cash & Go, Buckeye Title Loans, and Easy Money, among others. Moody's is concerned about the headwinds facing this heavily-indebted company. Moody's says it is a function of credit costs, but reading between the lines, Moody's anxiety also reflects how decisions by banks to disinvest in commercial relationships with payday lenders can quickly lead to challenges in the ongoing short-term high-cost consumer finance business model.

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Posted on April 28, 2015

The problem with HR 650 is that it won't actually fix the problems with chattel lending. If you want to cure the ills of manufactured housing, then the solution is not to raise interest rates in the name of access to credit. The solution is to involve the GSEs. Fannie and Freddie create access for real property mortgages and they would do the same for manufactured housing if they were required to buy chattel loans as part of their duty-to-serve mandate.

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Connecting the Dots: How Wall Street Brings Fringe Lending to Main Street

"I Feel Like I was Set Up to Fail: Inside a For-Profit College Nightmare."

This story was published in Salon Magazine on January 27th, 2014. In March, Senator Richard Durbin cited this story when speaking on behalf of his bill, The Student Loan Borrowers Bill of Rights.

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