** Defined as properties in negative equity or within 5% of being in a negative equity position.
CoreLogic data includes 48 million properties with a mortgage, which accounts for over 85 percent of all mortgages in the US** CoreLogic used its public record data as the source of the mortgage debt outstanding (MDO) and it includes first mortgage liens and junior mortgage liens and is adjusted for amortization and home equity utilization in order to capture the true level of mortgage debt outstanding for each property. The current value was estimated by using the CoreLogic Automated Valuation Models (AVM) for residential properties.#xA0; The data was filtered to include only properties valued between $30,000 and $30 million because AVM accuracy tends to quickly worsen outside of this value range.
The amount of equity for each property was determined by subtracting the propertys estimated current value from the mortgage debt outstanding. If the mortgage debt was greater than the estimated value, then the property is in a negative equity position. The data was created at the property level and aggregated to higher levels of geography.
** Only data for mortgaged residential properties that have an AVM value is presented. There are several states where the public record, AVM or mortgage coverage is thin. Although coverage is thin, these states account for fewer than 5 percent of the total population of the US
The data provided is for use only by the primary recipient or the primary recipients publication or broadcast. This data may not be re-sold, republished or licensed to any other source, including publications and sources owned by the primary recipients parent company without prior written permission from CoreLogic. #xA0;Any CoreLogic data used for publication or broadcast, in whole or in part, must be sourced as coming from CoreLogic, a data and analytics company. For use with broadcast or web content, the citation must directly accompany first reference of the data.#xA0; If the data is illustrated with maps, charts, graphs or other visual elements, the CoreLogic logo must be included on screen or web site.#xA0; For questions, analysis or interpretation of the data contact Lori Guyton at email@example.com or Bill Campbell at firstname.lastname@example.org. Data provided may not be modified without the prior written permission of CoreLogic. #xA0;Do not use the data in any unlawful manner. This data is compiled from public records, contributory databases and proprietary analytics, and its accuracy is dependent upon these sources.
CoreLogic (CLGX) is a leading provider of consumer, financial and property information, analytics and services to business and government. The company combines public, contributory and proprietary data to develop predictive decision analytics and provide business services that bring dynamic insight and transparency to the markets it serves. CoreLogic has built one of the largest and most comprehensive US real estate, mortgage application, fraud, and loan performance databases and is a recognized leading provider of mortgage and automotive credit reporting, property tax, valuation, flood determination, and geospatial analytics and services. More than one million users rely on CoreLogic to assess risk, support underwriting, investment and marketing decisions, prevent fraud, and improve business performance in their daily operations.#xA0; The company, headquartered in Santa Ana, Calif., has more than 5,000 employees globally.#xA0; For more information visit www.corelogic.com.
CORELOGIC and the stylized CoreLogic logo are registered trademarks owned by CoreLogic, Inc. and/or its subsidiaries. No trademark of CoreLogic shall be used without the express written consent of CoreLogic.
 This inherently assumes that bank portfolios are representative of the market, however given that bank portfolios have a lower proportion of subprime and alt-a loans that disproportionately have high negative equity shares, this estimate could be elevated.
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Here are 5 stocks in the Consumer Finance industry ranked by performance. We compiled the trading activity from yesterday and then analyzed the industry looking for stocks that were underperforming. This is what we found:
First Cash Financial Services (NASDAQ:FCFS) ranks first with a loss of 2.05%; Discover Financial Services (NYSE:DFS) ranks second with a loss of 1.81%; and Cash America (NYSE:CSH) ranks third with a loss of 1.38%.
SLM (NYSE:SLM) follows with a loss of 1.31% and American Express (NYSE:AXP) rounds out the bottom five with a loss of 1.00%.
First Cash Financial Services, Inc. operates pawn stores. The Companys stores lend money on the collateral of pledged personal property, and retail previously-owned merchandise acquired through loan forfeitures. First Cash also operates check cashing stores and provides software to third-party operators in the check cashing industry.
We are going to accept each of the car loan credit inquiries our staff members end up with.
Credit scores are an important fact of life: they dictate whether you can borrow funds, and what interest rates youll be offered for credit you qualify for. But, how does your credit rating affect your life without you knowing – and should it scare you?
Your credit rating, or FICO score, is based on information in your credit report. You probably know that your credit score comes into play when you apply for a credit card, loan or mortgage but it impacts your life in other significant ways:
Insurance When you apply for an insurance policy, your credit score and credit report do play a role in determining your risk, but its one small part of a much larger scoring system. Ultimately, whether an insurer decides to extend coverage to you depends on your credit-based insurance score. Every insurer uses a different formula to arrive at the insurance score, but it is essentially a statistical analysis tool that calculates risk based on lifestyle, location, employment and many other factors. From that analysis, insurance premiums (or, what you pay for coverage) are determined.
Employment Employers sometimes use credit reports when making hiring and promotion decisions, especially for positions that involve financial transactions. However, the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) mandates that employers obtain written consent from the employee or prospective employee before checking your credit rating. If the employer does pull your credit rating, he or she must provide you with written notice that it has been accessed. If the employer decides not to hire or promote a candidate based on information in the credit report, he or she is legally required to notify the candidate of the adverse action, either verbally, electronically or in writing. The candidate then has the legal right to request a free copy of the credit report within 60 days.
Pre-Approved Offers of Credit If youve received mail telling you that you qualify for a specific credit card, personal loan, mortgage, offer to refinance or switch insurers, youre credit rating has likely been scanned by the person sending you the offer. How does a company youve never done business with know so much about your finances?
The practice of pre-approval screening is perfectly legal and not at all uncommon. According to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), you end up on the senders list because they have identified a minimum credit score prospective customers must meet and had a consumer reporting company provide a list of customers who meet that criteria, or they provided a prospect list to a consumer reporting agency and asked who on it matched certain criteria.
Though prescreened offers dont impact your credit score, you will see inquiries that were made and by whom, when you review your credit report. If you dont like the idea of a company snooping around in your credit, opt out of prescreen offers at optoutprescreen.com.
Knowledge Is Power The best way to ease fears about your credit rating is to educate yourself on how credit works. By law, you have the right to access a free copy of your credit report once every 12 months at annualcreditreport.com.
Its also important to understand what behaviors and events positively or negatively impact your credit. FICO scores are based on this simple formula:
Your payment history makes up 35% of your credit score. If you have ever had late or missed payments, or account delinquencies, theyll influence your score the most. Instances that happened two years ago or less drag your score down the most.
The amount you owe compared to your credit limits dictates 30% of your credit rating. Stay away from charging balances that are close to the credit limit even if you pay your credit card bills in full each month. For example, if your credit limit is $6,000 and youre charging $4,000 each month, from a credit rating standpoint, youre 80% utilized in your credit at any given point in time, even if you pay the balance in full.
Your credit history length is determines 15% of your score. There is a false belief that closing accounts will raise a credit score. In fact, doing so might lower the score.
New credit is 10% of your score. Avoid applying for too many cards, even if you intend to use it only once for a discount and destroy it. According to Credit Cards Canada, a card is recognized on your credit report when the issuer approves it, even if you never use it again.
The number of credit card accounts is 10% of your rating. Store-issued credit cards do less to boost your credit than a Visa, MasterCard, American Express or Discover Card.
The Bottom Line While your credit rating can make or break your life, it isnt something to fear. When you understand how to use credit responsibly, youll eventually earn a solid credit score and save yourself precious percentage points in interest payments.
Original story – Should Your Credit Rating Scare You?
Copyright (c) 2011 Investopedia US. All rights reserved. Investopedia.com is a division of ValueClick, Inc.
United Car Loan can give completely new or previously owned car loans and bad credit car loan solutions in the United States.
We recently went through a Chapter 7 Bankruptcy. We lost everything and decided to try to keep one of our vehicles. Our attorney was not on board with us keeping the vehicle, and he refused to sign a reaffirmation agreement. We decided to keep it and continued to make payments. But when we recently checked our credit report, it showed the lender is reporting that the loan was included in our bankruptcy, even though we have been paying great on the loan for the past two years.
My question is: If I decide to give this vehicle up, how is that going to affect us? Yes, it was included in our Chapter 7, but we are trying to rebuild our credit. Why keep paying on something thats not helping us at all? – Angie
Dear Angie, I agree with your attorney. Although you can still file the reaffirmation agreement on your own, I never want my clients to sign reaffirmation agreements. A reaffirmation agreement is a legal enforceable contract filed with the bankruptcy court stating your promise to repay all or a portion of a debt that may otherwise have been subject to discharge in your bankruptcy case.
Some lenders have a mandatory reaffirmation or repossession policy. That means you must sign the agreement to keep your car post-bankruptcy filing. But when the agreement is not mandatory, I always tell the client the risks outweigh the benefits.
From my experience, about 50% of lenders have a mandatory reaffirmation agreement policy. These lenders will repossess the car once the bankruptcy case ends — in some cases even while the case is still open.
When the lender has a reaffirm or repo policy, the loan balance, car mileage, make and model become the decision-making factors. A good, reliable car with low mileage is a good car to reaffirm. A car with high mileage, negative repair history and high balance is not.
I understand you want your post-filing payments to appear on your credit report. And it is true that those payments will help improve your post-bankruptcy payment history and credit score. And even though the lender will not report post-filing payments to the credit bureaus without a fully executed reaffirmation agreement, there are other reasons to keep a vehicle.
Once the balance is paid, you will eliminate one more monthly expense while being able to keep a reliable car. These are two great reasons to keep the vehicle.
This is where reaffirming your car loan can be tricky. If you have a high balance owed on an unreliable car, if the car breaks down in six months or so, you must pay for the repairs and continue making the monthly car payment. By not reaffirming the loan, if the car should break, you can just surrender the car to the lender.
Know that surrendering the vehicle even had you not reaffirmed the car loan will have negative consequences. The lender will report the surrender as a repossession on your credit report. The upside is that the lender could not sue you for a deficiency balance.
You should avoid any unnecessary post-bankruptcy risks since you are unlikely to file bankruptcy more than once. Reaffirming the debt on an unreliable car is an unnecessary risk.
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Below are the three companies in the Consumer Finance industry with the lowest enterprise value to EBITDA (EV/EBITDA) ratios. EV/EBITDA is an important metric used in valuing comparable companies. It is capital structure neutral and generally the lower the ratio, the more undervalued the company is believed to be.
Discover Financial Services (NYSE:DFS) is lowest with an EV/EBITDA ratio of 4.47. Discover Financial Services is a credit card issuer and electronic payment services company. The Company issues credit cards and offers student and personal loans, as well as savings products such as certificates of deposit and money market accounts and operates an automated teller machine(ATM)/debit network, which includes ATMs, aswell as POS terminals nationwide.
Discover Financial Services has overhead space with shares priced $22.77, or 23.5% below the average consensus analyst price target of $29.75. The stock should find initial resistance at its 200-day moving average (MA) of $23.95 and further resistance at its 50-day MA of $24.23.
Following is Advance America Cash Advance (NYSE:AEA) with an EV/EBITDA ratio of 4.52.
In the past 52 weeks, Advance America Cash Advance share prices have been bracketed by a low of $4.70 and a high of $9.32 and are now at $7.87, 67% above that low price. Over the past week, the 200-day moving average (MA) has gone up 0.6% while the 50-day MA has remained constant.
Finishing up the bottom three is Capital One Financial (NYSE:COF), with an EV/EBITDA ratio of 4.56. Capital One Financial has traded 1.0 million shares thus far today, vs. average volume of 5.5 million shares per day. The stock has outperformed the Dow (1.3% to the Dows 0.6%) and outperformed the Samp;P 500 (1.3% to the Samp;Ps 0.5%) during todays trading.
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Car dealers in the US are starting to worry about the hit they might take after the largest mandatory fuel economy increase in history is finalized, but they’re not going down without a fight. According to a report by Reuters, a recent meeting with the National Automobile Dealers Association (NADA) shed light on how individual members are scrambling to have the new fuel rules reevaluated.
Set to be officially proposed in the coming weeks, the new Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFE) standards call for automakers to raise the average fuel economy of their future products to 54.5 mpg by 2025, which is significantly higher than the 35.5 mpg that is currently enforced under the mandate that Obama reset for the 2012-2016 time frame.
Essentially left out the talks among the White House and car executives (who were also reportedly reluctant about the 2025 deal), car dealers are fighting the standards on their own by supporting a Republican measure that would essentially nix the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the state of California from establishing any national mileage standards. So far, a similar legislation has not been introduced in the Democrat-controlled Senate, but Reuters reports that if the legislation is not taken up in Congress, “Dealers are also weighing a lawsuit.”
The main concern over the new standard is that dealers are afraid sticker prices will skyrocket and hurt sales, but also because hybrid and electric cars account for less than 3 percent, and 0.12 percent of overall US sales, respectively. On the other side of the spectrum, 9.4 million cars and trucks were sold overall through September of this year.
Dealers ultimately want things to go back to the way they were, when the Department of Transportation alone set fuel economy targets. It will be a long road until then, but for now, members are just focused on just getting the House bill passed.
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Austerity Is Bad for Us and No Fun (Part 1): James Livingston November 28, 2011, 7:06 PM EST
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By James Livingston
(This is the first of two excerpts from James Livingston’s new book, “Against Thrift: Why Consumer Culture is Good for the Economy, the Environment, and Your Soul.”)
Nov. 28 (Bloomberg) — A poll conducted by the New York Times and CBS News in 2009 tells us what is wrong with the debate on how to deal with the economic crisis.
When asked about President Barack Obama’s plan to increase taxes on personal incomes of more than $250,000, 74 percent of respondents approved. Then they were “presented with the possibility that taxing those in the higher income brackets might hurt the economy.” Only 39 percent still backed the plan. These results were reproduced almost exactly in another poll published by the Times on May 2.
Now where did this notion of hurting the economy come from? Most of us have been trained to believe it is common sense: Everybody knows you have to provide incentives to the wealthy in the form of lower taxes if you expect them to invest properly and create jobs. And everybody knows that if you redistribute income by taxing the wealthy, their incentives disappear, they stop investing, unemployment rises and a bad situation gets worse.
This “common sense” tells us that growth requires private investment. After all, everybody knows that an unequal distribution of income is a requirement of comfortable existence for the masses.
As British author John Lanchester explained, when the “jet engine of capitalism was harnessed to the oxcart of social justice” after World War II, the lives of ordinary people got better, and the “most admirable societies that the world has ever seen” were born. Everybody knows that “the prosperity of the few is to the ultimate benefit of the many.” To which I say, baloney.
Growth has happened precisely because net private investment has been declining since 1919 and because consumer expenditures have, meanwhile, been increasing. In theory, the Great Depression was a financial meltdown first caused, and then cured, by central bankers. In fact, the underlying cause of this disaster wasn’t a short-term credit contraction engineered by bankers. The underlying cause of the Great Depression was a fundamental shift of income shares away from wages and consumption to corporate profits, which produced a tidal wave of surplus capital that couldn’t be profitably invested in goods production — and wasn’t invested in goods production.
In terms of classical, neoclassical, and supply side theory, this shift should have produced more investment and more jobs, but it didn’t. Paying attention to historical evidence allows us to debunk the myth of private investment and explain why the redistribution of income has become the condition of renewed, balanced growth. Doing so lets us see that public-sector incentives to private investment — say, tax cuts on capital gains or corporate profits — are not only unnecessary to drive economic growth; they also create tidal waves of surplus capital with no place to go except speculative bubbles that cause crises on the scale of the Great Depression and the recent catastrophe.
Robust, balanced growth requires a more equitable distribution of income that favors consumers over investors, with all that implies for public policy, social theory, and, yes, moral philosophy. But to see this last requirement clearly, we have to rid ourselves of the conventional wisdom on the heedless extravagance of consumer culture.
Why do we accept the commonsense notion of how growth happens? The short answer is that the mainstream theories of prominent economists and the conventional wisdom of serious journalists constantly reinforce the myth. But the culprits are not just the supply-side insurgents who stormed the Keynesian citadel in the 1970s, then planted their flag inside the Beltway. The Democratic Party that reinvented itself in the 1990s now shares the same assumptions that guide the Republican Party — the same assumptions that let the liberal New York Times scare its poll respondents off taxing the wealthy.
This collaboration of mainstream economic theory, conventional journalistic wisdom and political expedience has installed a common sense that bypasses reality. Good examples of how the three converge are on display every day in the media, from the manic talking heads at CNBC to the dignified pollsters at the Times. Here is an example from the Wall Street Journal.
On Oct. 23, 2008, the editorial board of the Wall Street Journal forewarned its readers against the policies of an Obama administration by touting the results of George W. Bush’s tax cuts: “After the dot.com bust, President Bush compromised with Senate Democrats and delayed his marginal-rate tax cuts in return for immediate tax rebates. The rebates goosed spending for a while, but provided no increase in incentives to invest. Only after October 2003, when the marginal-rate cuts took effect did robust growth return. The expansion was healthy until it was overtaken by the housing bubble and even resisted recession into this year.”
But even leading advocates of capitalism such as commentator Martin Wolf and former Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan have shown, much to their own dismay, that rising corporate profits and higher incomes for the wealthy didn’t flow into the sacred precinct of “productive investment” after 2001. Instead, they flowed into the speculative channels offered by the housing bubble. Wolf noted in 2007 that a “household deficit” of consumer debt “more than offset the persistent financial surplus in the business sector,” where, for six years, corporations “invested less than their retained earnings.” Greenspan concurred the same year in his book, “The Age of Turbulence”: “Intended investment in the United States has been lagging in recent years, judging from the larger share of internal cash flow that has been returned to shareholders, presumably for lack of new investment opportunities.”
Now Wolf and Greenspan, two advocates of free markets, free trade and vigorous growth, treated this absence of investment as a deviation from an unstated norm — as something to be repaired. Both have urged less consumer debt, more personal saving and increased private investment as cures for what ails us. In this respect, they, too, are peddling the common sense that bypasses economic reality.
But you don’t have to be an advocate of free markets to peddle this product. Take, for example, Joseph Stiglitz, a proud liberal critic of both the financial sector and globalization, and — not incidentally — a Nobel Prize-winning economist. In 2009, he told National Public Radio that we need more consumer spending to increase aggregate demand and cause a proper economic recovery, but then reiterated received wisdom by saying that in the long run we need a fundamental shift in priorities, away from consumption, toward saving and investment.
David Brooks, a moderate conservative, exactly echoed Stiglitz on the following day in his regular op-ed column for the New York Times. Here he wrote that “indulgence and decline,” the disappearance of “the country’s financial values,” and a “slide in economic morality” are all attributable to an eclipse of “personal restraint.” According to Brooks, that eclipse was plainly visible in the explosion of “personal consumption” sustained by debt. Brooks called for a new era of “public restraint,” maybe even a new culture war on behalf of less spending, more saving, in a word: austerity.
In fact, if we want to create the conditions of robust, balanced growth rather than suffer through serial crises on the order of the Great Depression and the Great Recession, we need to empower consumers, and, by the same token, embrace consumer culture. More consumption is the key to balanced growth. That’s right: We need to save less and spend more.
Just to begin with, a much larger dose of consumer spending is absolutely necessary to prevent the kind of economic catastrophe that still racks the domestic and international economies. That new dosage requires a redistribution of national income away from profits, which don’t always get invested, toward wages, which almost always get spent. This treatment does more than invert the supply-side cure for our ailments; it assumes that profits won’t be productively invested. That’s right: Higher profits almost never lead to more investment, more jobs, and more growth. In fact, there’s no demonstrable link between private investment and economic growth, so cutting taxes on corporate profits is pointless at best, and destructive at worst.
But, as the chastening of Brooks and Stiglitz makes clear, consuming goods is frightening to our conventionally cautious souls. This is indisputable, despite the fact that work as such is less important than, say, buying and driving a car, or choosing and wearing that little black dress. We have reached the point where we have to confront our fears about consumer culture, because the renunciation of desire, the deferral of gratification, saving for a rainy day — call it what you want – - has become dangerous to our economic health.
(James Livingston is a professor of history at Rutgers University and the author of four books. This is the first of two excerpts from “Against Thrift: Why Consumer Culture is Good for the Economy, the Environment, and Your Soul,” just published by Perseus Books. The opinions expressed are his own.)
–Editors: James Greiff, David Henry.
To contact the writer of this article: Livingston at email@example.com
To contact the editor responsible for this article: James Greiff at firstname.lastname@example.org
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Zoot, a leading provider of advanced instant credit decisioning and loan origination solutions and CoreLogic (NYSE: CLGX), a leading provider of information, analytics and business services, today announced an integrated service. Zoot clients can now easily access alternative credit information from CoreLogic Teletrack for risk mitigation and fraud detection to make more informed credit decisions, particularly for high-risk and underbanked consumers.
Adding Teletrack to our network of data service providers gives our clients greater options for assessing credit risk, predicting fraud and qualifying more credit applicants, said Dennis Dixon, president of Zoot Enterprises. Credit decisions are returned in seconds, providing a competitive advantage and great customer experience.
Teletrack data is a valuable supplement to traditional credit bureau data. Teletrack gathers information from payday loan companies, rental purchase stores, credit card companies, consumer finance businesses, non-prime auto lenders and credit unions. When this data is integrated with Zoots decisioning platforms it provides credit issuers with a more comprehensive picture of consumers.
Were pleased to partner with such a well respected company as Zoot to broaden the access to our data, said Dale Williams, president of CoreLogic Teletrack. With more than 40 million unique consumers in our database and a growth rate for adding new contact records at 17 percent per month, we have a wealth of information to provide to credit issuers. Zoots decisioning infrastructure allows quick access to our data and the ability to make more informed credit decisions.
CoreLogic (NYSE: CLGX) is a leading provider of consumer, financial and property information, analytics and services to business and government. The company combines public, contributory and proprietary data to develop predictive decision analytics and provide business services that bring dynamic insight and transparency to the markets it serves. CoreLogic has built the largest and most comprehensive US real estate, mortgage application, fraud, and loan performance databases and is a recognized leading provider of mortgage and automotive credit reporting, property tax, valuation, flood determination, and geospatial analytics and services. More than one million users rely on CoreLogic to assess risk, support underwriting, investment and marketing decisions, prevent fraud, and improve business performance in their daily operations. The company, headquartered in Santa Ana, Calif., has more than 6,500 employees globally with 2010 revenues of $1.6 billion. For more information visit www.corelogic.com.
CoreLogic is a registered trademark of CoreLogic.
Bozeman, Mont.-based Zoot Enterprises, Inc. provides comprehensive credit decisioning, loan origination and credit risk management solutions to enable clients unique business objectives, leading to long-term relationships with top US banks. Zoots rapid, high-volume processing environment has the capacity to process billions of transactions per year. Visit http://www.zootweb.com or call 406.556.7555 for more information. Zoot thought leaders are now featured on http://www.zootweb.com/blog/.
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As the United Auto Workers gears up to try to unionize foreign auto assembly plants in the South, the union has begun training regional organizers to focus on the dealerships of whichever automakers it decides to target.
The unions idea would be to use informational picketing aimed at educating customers as they enter car dealers storefronts. Union officials say the picketing wouldnt be as intense as the UAW might use at a strike-bound auto plant, which typically aims to deter people from entering the factory gates.
But UAW officials do concede that union sympathizers, such as truck drivers who are Teamsters members delivering new vehicles to dealerships, might balk at crossing the picket lines.
Dealers worry that any picketing could hurt their businesses, and they say the UAWs campaign should be aimed at manufacturers rather than the independent dealerships.
Chattanooga plant, other possible targets
Although the union has yet to announce its first target among the various transplant manufacturing sites in the South (operated by German, Japanese and South Korean automakers), Volkswagens new plant in Chattanooga has been mentioned as a prime candidate.
Other possibilities include Hyundai/Kia facilities in Montgomery, Ala., and West Point, Ga.; Nissan plants in Smyrna, Tenn., and Canton, Miss.; Toyotas new assembly operation in Blue Springs, Miss.; a Mercedes-Benz factory near Tuscaloosa, Ala.; and a BMW plant in Greer, SC
As far as organizing of the transplants, I think its been widely known thats one of the goals of (UAW President) Bob King and this administration, and we are in discussions on organizing a transplant, Joe Ashton, a UAW vice president, said last week during a visit to the General Motors plant in Spring Hill.
Informational picketing is one of the things were looking at, Ashton said. Not actually picketing a dealership, but giving out information about why it would be important for that particular transplant to be union.
We havent picked the target yet, but were very close to doing that. When we pick the target, there is the possibility we will look at the dealerships of that particular target. Weve been training organizers for some time now, and were now training in the regions.
That training has begun at the UAW Local 1853 headquarters in Spring Hill, said Michael Herron, chairman of the local, which represents workers at the GM plant there.
There have been several training sessions at the union hall, Herron said. One of the things they talked about is that (the picketing) would be an awareness campaign at the dealerships. Its not intended to disrupt business.
Still, the UAWs efforts would be misplaced if aimed at dealerships, said Rocky Hendrickson, owner of Hallmark Volkswagen, which has stores in Madison and Cool Springs.
It would be intimidating, he said. No one wants to cross a picket line. In todays society, we see violence with protesters of any kind of thing.
Hendrickson called the possible strategy an attack on small businesses that employ local workers.
We are franchises; we are not the manufacturer, he said. The jobs of our people are going to be threatened.
Hendrickson noted that workers at Nissan, Toyota and other transplant automaker operations in the South have rejected UAW organizing efforts in recent years, including two such campaigns against Nissan in Smyrna.
Those employees so far have chosen not to be unionized, but instead of presenting a better program, the union wants to go put pressure on local small businesses, he said.
Dave Harris, owner of Signature Volkswagen/Hyundai in Murfreesboro, said he believes most of his customers would ignore the picketers, but the UAW plans worry him some.
I dont think people would pay too terribly much attention to that, he said. You cant stop these people from doing it. We have Occupy people everywhere now; its just one of those things. Well have to see how it goes.
Were all just trying to make a living, and I havent cut back or laid off any of my workforce the past three years like many companies have had to do, Harris said. Were creating jobs, and (the UAW) is trying to make it so small-business people cant operate. They shouldnt have an issue with me.
The National Automobile Dealers Association and the American International Automobile Dealers Association, which oppose the unions picketing plans, are urging the UAW to direct its efforts elsewhere.
While details of the UAWs dealership campaign are not public, the National Automobile Dealers Association would have serious concerns about any efforts that interfere with the car-buying process or frustrate customer satisfaction at dealerships, the association said in a statement.
The national association said any picketing could backfire on the union.
Attempting to disrupt new-car sales by targeting small businesses whose employees and families are dependent on those sales could create a public backlash and be counterproductive for the entire industry, said the association, which represents nearly 16,000 new-vehicle dealerships employing about1 million people.
But Herron said he thinks a union campaign aimed at the dealership level would be beneficial.
I believe it will be an educational process, he said. Its good for the UAW and allows the union to educate the American public about the value of unions and the core brand image of the UAW. The message is that when you see UAW, you know you have a high-class workforce building a high-quality product.
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Debt Collectors Battling State Regulations Aimed at Stopping Abuse
Complaints of creditor harassment have prompted many states to pass laws to regulate the industry more to prevent abuse. Debt collection companies have begun organizing to fight new legislation.
November 24, 2011 /24-7PressRelease/ — According to the US Federal Trade Commission (FTC), the number of consumer complaints against third-party debt collectors rose to 108,997 in 2010, up from about 90,000 in 2009. Federal Reserve data show that complaints rose even though consumer debt for the country overall fell to its lowest levels since 2005.
Debt collection companies have gotten more aggressive in their collection efforts in recent years. Complaints of creditor harassment have prompted many states to pass laws to regulate the industry more to prevent abuse.
In response, debt collection companies have begun organizing to fight such legislation. These companies, who often purchase credit card debt and other unsecured debt for pennies on the dollar, do not want to lose profits.
Tougher State Laws
Many states have tried to pass more stringent laws governing what debt collectors need to do before they can sue to collect a debt. One of the most notable examples is a 2009 North Carolina law requiring debt collectors to provide the original contract for the debt and the entire account history when bringing a lawsuit to collect on a debt. The law provides for penalties of $10,000 for those who bring suits without the proper documentation.
Massachusetts, Florida, Oregon and California have also proposed similar laws.
Minnesota does not have any legislation governing purchased debt. In 2009, a bill was proposed in Minnesota that would have required debt collectors to provide either a copy of the original agreement signed by the debtor or an affidavit substantiated by the creditor selling the debt accompanied by an affidavit of the date and time the debt was last received. The bill became engrossed in the house in March of 2010. No action has been taken on it since that time.
Reasons for the Laws
Consumer advocate groups cite the number of mistakes and fraudulent acts that debt collectors commit when pursuing debtors as reasons for the laws. When consumers cannot see documentation of the debt, they have no idea where the debt collection companies are getting their information about the debt and cannot refute false allegations.
Many consumers end up paying just to stop creditor harassment. For example, the FTC alleged that a debt collection company, Capital Acquisitions and Management (CAMCO), collected 80 percent of its money from people who never incurred the debt. The FTC fined the company $300,000 in 2004 but the company continued its fraudulent practices and the FTC eventually shut down the company.
People facing debt problems in the Twin Cities have a number of options, including bankruptcy. Bankruptcy can stop collection calls permanently. In addition to offering protection from creditors, bankruptcy has a number of other advantages, which may make it an attractive option.
Debt Collectors Mobilizing
Debt collection was a $17 billion in the US in 2010, according to the consulting firm Kaulkin Ginsberg. Debt collection companies fear that stricter regulations will eat into their profit margins, and many in the industry believe that if states pass laws similar to North Carolinas many of the smaller debt collection firms will go out of business.
Debt collection companies have rallied together to stop new state laws. They lobbied against proposed bills in Oregon and Florida, helping to kill both of the proposals in committee. The debt collection company trade association, DBA International, hired former Georgia attorney general Thurbert Baker to build relationships with state regulators in the larger states in order to be involved in the legislative drafting processes when state legislatures reconvene in 2013.
Debt collection companies are doing all they can to prevent stricter regulations of their activities. Many of the companies have demonstrated that they stoop to unscrupulous activities to get money, if not outright fraud. If you are facing creditor harassment, contact an experienced Twin Cities debt problems lawyer today who can advise you of your options.
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