February 15, 2001

 

LEASING NEWS   02/15/2001 

            to regularly receive Leasing News   kitmenkin@leasing news.org

            ---also ON LINE  ( to be posted soon ).

 

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Headlines----

           Sierra Cities/Amex---More Like Christmas!!!

            Rodi Doesn't Take it Standing Down-----Hits Back

             United Capital---Leasing News Would like to hear from Steve Dallas

                ( We have e-mail, phone messages to his cell phone, plus have

                  spoken to United Capital attorney to obtain a comment, verify

                  or deny the many broker complaints we are receiving.editor )

             "Smartmoney" Expects Finova to Fold along with other large leasing companies )

                  " the truth is no one really knows how bad the credit-quality issues are

                       at the nation's banks ( leasing companies)."

              "DowJones" Sees It the same way as "Smartmoeny" re: Finova

                  ( "When Will the Bad News End???" )

              Lyons Capital--Remembered ( List to be Corrected )

             U.S.Capital, Santa Barbara--makes "Customer Complaint" List

                  http://www.leasingnews.org/bulletin_board.htm

               Bay View Capital Reports fourth quarter 2000 net loss of $92.5 million

                CIT Freezes Broker Business--But They Want the Fashion Industry: 

                   7thOnline Provide Financial Services to the Fashion Industry via CIT

                 Sterling Bancorp Declares 221st Consecutive Quarterly Cash Dividend          

                   Penske/Rollins Truck Merger Deal Gets Clearance

 

 

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      Not a Valentine Day Massacre!   More Like Christmas!!!

\

                  First Sierra---Amex Merger   

 

 

You have to be kidding. This is the best possible news I can think of.

What, exactly, is American Express buying? Are they buying

SierraCities' proprietary software? American Express already offers

leases to customers holding their corporate card., so I assume they have

their own software. Is American Express buying Sierra Cities' customer

list? How many of SierraCities' customers already have American Express'

corporate card? Is American Express buying SierraCities' lease

portfolio? As far as I am aware the portfolio has already been

securitized.

 

As far as I am concerned SierraCities, far from becoming more formidable as

part of Amex, is in fact being taken "off the table." SierraCities has a

good group of inside sales people. Is Amex going to let them sell?

If not what do they have to sell?

 

I see this climate as being similar to the climate in 1997. In 1997, and

into 1998, all the small leasing companies were getting bought up by First

Sierra, UniCapital, and the other "roll ups," taking these lessors off the

table. It made it that much easier for new companies to get up with

funding sources that either might not have looked at a new company, or

would not have wanted to upset one of their existing brokers.

 

Far from being the St. Valentine's Day Massacre for leasing companies I

think it is more like Christmas.

 

(name withheld)

 

 

                    +             +           +

Regarding the First Sierra Purchase by American Express:

I don't think anyone needs to worry about AMEX. All you have to do is take a

look at what they did when they purchased Rockford Industries several years

ago. At the time, there were over 50 top leasing reps with solid vendor

relationships who were all producing big numbers. AMEX came in and tried to

turn leasing into a credit card process and all the reps left taking their

vendors with them. We have been very successful when competing against an

AMEX approval and I think anyone reading your newsletter will find what we

have found. They know credit cards, they don't know leasing.

 

Regards

Chris Aragon

caragon@mpcleasing.com

 

 

              +             +              +

 

American Express' current attempts at small ticket leasing have been

very clumsy.  It is very hard to get a quote from them and if you can the

rates haven't been anything special.  Wasnt there a major overnight carrier

getting into leasing?  I haven't run into them either.  First Sierra aka

Sierracities' back room was never very impressive.  The only deals I lost

were ones I tried to fund through FirstSierra.  Bigger is not better and

there will be plenty of room below their radar for quality service at

competitive products.  Bring it on!

Paul Knowlton

Bank of Walnut Creek

<knowlton@bowc.com>

 

                 +       +             +

 

Knowing First Sierra has lost all of its legs over the past 12 months, I

find the "Massacre" theme comical.  Which Baccarro wrote the piece?  This is

still a viable market for all of us.  Bring it on baby!!!Knowing First Sierra has lost all of

its legs over the past 12 months, I find the "Massacre" theme comical.  Which Baccarro wrote the piece?  This is still a viable market for all of us.  Bring it on baby!!!

 

 name with held

 

              +            +            +

 

 

I agree that money is tighter along with credit criteria in general.  I also

agree that the strong brand name, ample cash, and customer base that

American Express enjoys is a competitive advantage.  However, we compete

with AMEX now in several markets and have competed with BTOB in the past.

We have won and lost both deals and vendors from each.

 

You are correct that BTOB/AMEX will be a competitive force to be reckoned

with.  They will be a player, but will not (in my opinion) provide the

proverbial straw breaking the brokers back.  If brokers can still thrive in

the face of competitive giants like GE/Colonial and flash in the pans like

Bankvest, we'll still be around after BTOB/AMEX.

 

My point(s)...    1. Competition is a part of the industry, it keeps us

sharp.  2. Seasoned brokers have the tools to thrive in the face of even the

largest competitors.  3.  I don't agree that this merger spells a massacre

for the broker, use it to enforce your existing relationships.  4. There is

a long journey between hype and facilitation (e.g. LeaseExchange,

UniCapital).

 

Kit, my comments are global in scope and are/were not directed to how you

conduct business at American Leasing.  Nor was my intention to "bury my head

in the sand".  My intention was to provide a reinforcing viewpoint to the

many brokers receiving your newsletter.

 

Finally, Kudos to Mr. Depping for a strong comeback.  Even if he is a

competitor, you've got to admire his business acumen.

 

 

Andrew S. Nere

<ils@ilslease.com>

Innovative Lease Services, Inc.

(800)438-1470 Ext. 216

 

  +               +                +

 

 

 

Is this not a similar press release that they came out with

when VerticalNet was going to buy them? At this point the deal is not inked

yet. Many things could happen before the close date. Although I must admit it

appears to be pretty firm at this point. The next question is if there will

be consolidation and where, which could result in the loss of key employees

and the ability to provide quality service.

 

name with held

  

 

  ( We print all comments.  The press release was issued by American Express.

    That is one major different than the VerticalNet. Another is the marketplace

    squashed that deal.  It was really never a good one, in my opinion. The

    American Express makes a lot of sense, solid logic, and yes, I have lost

    deals as a broker to UPS Leasing, American Express Leasing, Sierra Cities,

    among others.  The pie is smaller and any loss is a loss, even if one deal.

    I am telling you to be prepared for stiffer competition from the surviving

    leasing companies, brokers, and customers who are more rate conscious than

    ever.  Now is the time for relationship salesmanship. editor.

 

 

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

           Hello, Steve Dallas. Leasing News Calling!

 

 ( We have e-mails, phone messages to his cell phone, plus have

                  spoken to United Capital attorney to obtain a comment, verify

                  or deny the many broker complaints we are receiving.editor  )

 

  Another Ex-United Capital Broker Complaint

 

When United Capital shut down it's broker operations, it cost us $4K to $5K

in unpaid commissions (by way of canceled checks).  Not a lot of money by

any means - so we consider ourselves lucky.

 

We did not pursue this by legal means for 2 reasons:

1. we honestly wanted to see United come back from the dead and felt we

could absorb this opportunity cost with the idea they might make it up to us

if they survived.

2. if they did not make it, we would be wasting our time filing.

 

Now, it appears that they might make it - but at our expense.

 

If you are able to confirm that they are soliciting our lessee/vendor

database, please make it publicly known.  At that time we will pursue United

Capital for these unpaid commissions by every legal means available.

Further, I invite other brokers to contact me so we can combine our efforts

on this.

 

Hopefully there are people at United who keep up with your newsletter and

might think twice if they see a grassfire starting.  Then again, they might

not care.

 

Christopher Simpson

chris@creditleaseonline.com>

CreditLease, Inc.

800/398-4067

fax 888/436-0386

 

While you, and almost everyone else, wants desperately to see a silver lining in at least one

leasing cloud, it is dangerous to interject you personal hopes when reporting a

conversation, in this case, the conversations with Steve Dallas.  I remember

your comments asking readers to give Mr. Dallas the benefit of the doubt when

he claimed he was working hard to dig United out of the hole they were in. 

As it turns out, apparently, he and his team were maneuvering to fund deals

behind the backs of his brokers.  As things continue to deteriorate for

lenders and brokers, and they will I think, you might want to be extra

careful not to buy into the spin doctoring that you'll hear almost daily. 

Finally, here's the bottom line on United:  They have no lender, with Old

Kent Leasing Services exiting the market.  Their last, best hope, at least at

this point in time, is to broker business through their retail company.

 

Name With Held

 

 ( Steve Dallas had a leasing company with his brother in Santa Clara, where we

   are located.  I tried to get them in the Chamber of Commerce, but they moved

   to San Jose.  I think his brother still runs a leasing company there.  And yes,

   I think Steve Dallas is remise in not actively doing "damage control."  I am

   sure he is not having a happy time, and I can tell when I call that his voice

   box is full on his cellular telephone, meaning he probably doesn't have time

  even return his wife's telephone calls. It appears things are getting "out

  of his control" at United Capital. editor ).

 

   

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

      Lyons Capital

 

In your list of demised leasing companies you show that Lyon Credit

Corporation was acquired by Hudson United Bancorp in September, 1999. I was

with Lyon Credit at the time of the sale. Hudson renamed Lyon Credit

Corporation as "United Capital, A Division of Hudson United Bank". (Not to

be confused with the Steve Dallas United Capital operation located in

Austin, Texas.)

 

Operations continued normally as "United Capital" until June 2000 when the

bank demanded that United cut its overhead. United did that by laying off

all of the personnel in its Irvine, California and Atlanta, Georgia regional

offices on August 4, 2000. The Dallas office, where I was located, was to

remain open until October 27, 2000. However, the company offered a severance

package to any Dallas personnel who wanted to leave early. Come August 7 and

it was only myself and my region manager (who was responsible for marketing)

left in Dallas and one person who also stayed on in Atlanta to handle the

portfolio collections.

 

I left the company October 27. My region manager left in January, 2001 and

the fellow in Atlanta left the company February 9, 2001. The company

president (and founder of Lyon Credit Corporation), John Bowes, left the

company February 2, 2001.

 

The remaining corporate staff from the Stamford United Capital headquarters

moved into one of Hudson United Bank's office buildings in Westport,

Connecticut at the end of January of this year.

 

>From what I hear, the bank is now trying to force the remainder of the

executive staff to resign and is trying to renege on the balance of their

employment contracts, which have about two years to run. One EVP, as I

understand it, was offered six months severance (vs. the 24 that would be

due under the contract) and the rest of the corporate clerical staff, not

covered by an employment contract, if and when they are let go, will not get

the more lucrative severance package myself and others received (three

months) but rather the bank's severance package of one week for each year of

service.

 

Although the company technically is still in business, they have not

accepted any new business since last August, they honored existing

commitments through December 31, 2000 and the remaining few personnel are

running off the portfolio at the present time.

 

I'd say, "Stick a fork in 'em; they're done."

 

And, as Paul Harvey says, "That's the rest of the story."

 

Ronald J. Brodt

National Equipment Capital

ronbrodt@nationalecapital.com

 

 

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

 

 

One item in your Today In history section that was left out.

Irv Ellis

irv@leasecor.com

 

 

  ( Did not mean to overlook Arizona, especially since you now will

    have a new stadium for Cardinals. editor ).

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

     Rodi Doesn't Take it Standing Down-----

 

Dear Mr. Goodman,

 

I sincerely doubt that I would ever have to worry about "outselling" you.

I'm fairly certain that my customers don't travel anywhere near the same

circles that yours do.  You are right about one thing, however.  My

customers don't care about customer service because when they deal with our

company it's a given. You are also the one who's lost touch with reality.

If "price" were the only issue those dot.com companies would have had a much

more prosperous run. Their entire business plan revolved around getting the

lowest price.  We all now know how effective that strategy was.

 

With respect to my tenure as the UAEL president it is now obvious to me that

you harbor some bad feelings toward me since I emphatically declined to let

you teach your fee income "tactics" to the UAEL membership.  Sorry Mr.

Goodman, but I'm one of those "holier than thou" types that actually

believes in the UAEL standards, and I'm damn proud of it. We do our best to

operate within the context of those standards.  You don't think that would

have anything to do with the fact that we've prospered somewhat in this

industry, do you?

 

By the way, when my bank recently began collecting a "fee" for a service

they performed, we were notified as to the nature of the fee, why it was

being added, and the amount of the fee.  The explanation and reason made

sense therefore I had no quarrel with it.  It was all above board and yes,

it was done in an ethical, up front manner. It's fairly obvious from your

comments that you would prefer to generate fee income in whatever

clandestine manner you can fabricate. If the customer complains or refuses

to pay it, then you can employ "scare" tactics and threaten them with

collection activity.

 

I dare say Mr. Goodman, that you are a dinosaur in this industry. As such it

won't be long until your species is totally extinct.  Incidentally, I think

you spelled "guerilla" wrong.  You meant "Gorilla", didn't you?

 

Bob Rodi

 <drlease@leasenow.com>

 

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------

 

  no dates on these changes:

 

We keep reducing this list, thanks to readers.  Anyone who has approximate

dates on these changes, please let us know.

 

American Business Leasing ( gone )

The Bancorp Group, Inc. (Southfield, MI) (Not accepting news business. The BOD of the parent          bank is assessing what to do with the leasing subsidiary.....currently servicing portfolio

      but not originating. no longer in business )

Imperial Credit Industries (ICII) ( sold portfolio )

Merit Leasing ( gone )

Prime Leasing, Minnesota ( no longer doing business )

 

 

 

 

--------------------------------------------------------------

  Up-Date to our Bulletin Board: Customer Complaints

 

                    http://www.leasingnews.org/bulletin_board.htm

 

 Customer Complaints

    ( We have received many complaints from many brokers and super brokers about

      this company.  This is only one of the many we have received. editor ).

 

 

   U.S. Capital, Santa Barbara, California  2/14/2001

 

A short while ago JDR Capital Corporation received a faxed communication from U.S. Capital

Corporation of Santa Barbara, California in which the latter was informing the leasing community of a new program it was offering. In its correspondence it described a leasing line of 30

million dollars which it was offering to brokers to fund their leases. It included full details

as to credit criteria and rates.

 

For a period of years prior to the receipt of the aforesaid fax  JDR had received a great deal

of business from U.S. Capital. Its representative, Ken Nelson, never demonstrated any cause for

concern. When the fax arrived, updated due diligence was performed which also did not indicate

any cause for concern. Consequently, JDR offered the program to its customers.

 

Not long after JDR received numerous approvals and, in some cases, had documents prepared and

forwarded to U. S. Capital for funding, U. S. Capital and Ken Nelson appeared to drop off the

face of the Earth. Although we were able to leave voice-mail messages we had no success in

speaking to a live person. We  received no return phone calls or any other communication. As

quickly as possible we notified our broker customers that a problem appeared to exist and we

suggested that they try to get their deal funded elsewhere. As we have many other funders we are in the process of attempting to find alternative financing for those transactions

 

In the last week or so we have received numerous calls from other super brokers and brokers that are experiencing an identical problem with U.S. Capital. It seems that they have created a very

widespread problem in a very short period of time. We are sure that there are a great many

brokers and/or vendors that have been affected by this. The leasing community should be aware of the problem. As to JDR we are doing our best to assist those that we dealt with.

 

If you desire further information please feel free to contact me.

 

Very truly yours,

 

Don Forman

JDR Capital

 <dforman@jdrcapital.com>

 

note: Please do not confuse Lease Capital, Inc of Alabama, Bo Bohannon, with Lease Capital,

California, Martin Baraeske. They are not affiliated

 

 

               ----Lease Capital---Martin Bareske Complaint

 

Mr. Marteske---

This came to us originally as a complaint on November 28 for the Leasing News Bulletin Board.

You responded by e-mail on several occasions, the last being December 2, that the funds would be returned. Here it is 13 days later, and according to lessee, the money has not been returned.

Here is what Keith Ahearn as to say.

They are again asking me to post this, from very beginning, and I would like to know if there is anything new you would like to add before posting this on LeasingNews, which we will do after

January 2 as 30 days from your promise date is a reasonable period of time.

Mr. Menkin,

I would like to inform you of the status of my failed sales / leaseback commitment with Mr.

Barteske. I realize that Sheila has been corresponding and has informed you of all of the lies

and misdirection that Lease Capital has done. Realizing that not doing the proper research

caused the majority of my problems. When I was contacted by Mr. Barteske, on the footer of his

fax was , Member of the NAELB and even the last fax received still has it . Below this is the

Better Business Bureau of So. Cal.

Atleast when you pull them up on their web site they inform you that doing business with Lease

Capital is pretty risky. As of this date I have not received the $3,825.00 and it looks like I

never will. Meanwhile I watch my business slowly slipping away, not just from the loss of

revenue but from losing 6 weeks of valuable time. Most of my vendors have had enough of waiting

for me to find the funding necessary to continue on. I'm getting close to losing every thing

i've worked for and pretty much lost hope. I don't intend on this letter to sound like I'm

crying the blues, quite the contrary. It's a shame that a piece of "work" like Barteske can

topple small business owners with cash flow problems so easily while riding on the coattails of

brokers who work hard at their profession.

Thank you,

Keith Ahearn

1unicorn2@PRODIGY.NET

Precision Diagnostics Plus Inc.

Kit, As of today, Jan 6, 2001, We have not heard or received any of the money that we were

supposed to have returned to us from Mr. Barteske. He last told us that he was looking into the

situation and would let us know something, but we have not heard a thing. He can write a good

letter when he needs to cover his butt, but when it comes down to it he just a bunch of lies and excuses.

Keith Ahearn

1unicorn2@PRODIGY.NET

 

NAELB Expels Lease Capital Corporation/Principal Martin J. Barteske

( PLEASE PLACE A NOTE IN YOUR LETTER THAT LEASE CAPITAL, INC OF ALABAMA , BO BOHANNON PAST BOARD MEMBER AND VICE-PRESIDENT OF NAELB, IS IN GOOD STANDING WITH NAELB AND IS NOT AFFILIATED WITH

LEASE CAPITAL OF CALFORNIA .

THANKS

BO BOHANNON, PRESIDENT )

 

 

Martin Barteske, CEO

20902 Brookhurst Street, Suite 204,

Huntington Beach, CA 92646-6637

Toll Free Phone: (866) 836-5600 (866) 964-8350

Toll Free Fax: (866) 834-5600 (800) 964-2140

www.LeaseCapital.net / ceo@leasecapital.net

TO: ALL MEMBERS OF THE NAELB

FR: JOE BONANNO, ESQ., NAELB LEGAL COUNSEL

DT: NOVEMBER 15, 2000

To All Members of the NAELB:

This correspondence is to advise all members of the NAELB that the Board of Directors, in

conjunction with the NAELB Ethics Program, has taken action against a member of the NAELB. The

Board of Directors takes this action after there is a process of a complaint being filed against a member, a response process taking place, a review by the NAELB Ethics Committee and a referral by the NAELB Ethics Committee to the Board of Directors. Therefore, this is a process whereby

there is ample time for the resolution of the matter, review by multiple individuals and finally a review by the Board of Directors. Every benefit of the doubt is extended to the parties

involved and there is a specific procedure that is followed along the way.

A matter that did reach the Board of Directors involving a company called Lease Capital

Corporation located at 20902 Brookhurst Street, Huntington Beach, CA of which an individual

known as Martin J. Barteske is the principal. The Board of Directors, in accordance with the

Ethics Procedure voted in place by the voting membership of the NAELB, has voted to expel Lease

Capital Corporation from membership in the NAELB effective immediately.

As always, the NAELB encourages our members to conduct business with members and in the event

there is difficulty between members, the NAELB can attempt to resolve the matter or in the

extreme case, expel a member from membership.

We at the NAELB are hopeful that our members find the ethics program to be a great member

benefit.

( We had a posting regarding an incident with Lease Capital Corporation and Martin Barteske with much documentation, but believe we were successful and the sender asked us to withhold the

information. Much of the "complaints" we get are settled by others, such as the National

Association of Equipment Lease Brokers. The $295 membership fee is the lowest in the industry

and you not only get help such as above, but the naelb post, ability to instantly contact fellow members on line for help in finding a source, or answering a question, is worth much more than

the membership fee, believe me. Having access to both Barry Marks and Joseph Bonnano---that's

priceless. www.naelb.org.----editor )

FMC Leasing Confirms Gibraltor Financial Complaint 10/05/2000

I don't doubt Paul Von Bruck's story regarding Gibraltar Financial. We have had a similar

experience. They accepted up front lease payments and then declined the deal. They then refused

to return the payments with the justification that they had to work on the deal; therefore, they had earned the money. There is no up front disclosure. We only became aware of their questionable

practices after they had accepted funds.

I'm sure this won't be the last email you'll receive regarding Gibraltar.

 

Ron Jupka

FMC Leasing Corp

;fmcsales@mt.net

Gibraltor Financial Complaint 10/04

We brokered a transaction to Gibraltar Financial recently and suffered serious problems. It

started when they requested we obtain a signed commitment letter. We did. Cliff Wagner, Beth,

Donna and Todd told me they were funding the deal. This was a lie. No big deal however as long

as the deal get's done. Our customer then received a letter from Ford saying they were declined. Given Gibraltar's good standing among the various leasing organizations(UAEL etc..), I gave

them the benefit of the doubt. They stated, we have someone who will do this deal. We delayed

the vendor and lessee for 75 days as we received the same statement over and over from Cliff,

Beth, Donna and Todd. Then they stopped returning calls from us the vendor and lessee. After

dozens of calls Cliff finally informed me that they "could not get the deal done". We

immediately requested a return of the customers commitment fee. We overnighted our portion(2k).

We felt so sorry for this guy we could do no less. It has now been 135 days apx. 60 apx days

since the decline. When I contacted Cliff and asked why he had not returned the deposit, he

stated "Oh, I forgot about that. I'll get it taken care of." 20 days later I got a call from the vendor's Attorney. They are threatening us since we put the deal together and since Gibraltar

will not return their calls. (The vendor and lessee have known of Gibraltor through the whole

deal) So I called Cliff again. He stated, " Oh wow, they are still pursuing this, I'll get there money out ASAP." 30+ days later nothing has been sent. Cliff Wagner refuses to return any calls.

Every time we call, he is on the line. They must have a call identifier. This assumption is

backed by some evidence. He refuses to return messages. Based upon his comment "they (the

lessee) are still pursuing this?" as if he is confused why a customer would want their $5,000

back, I believe Gibraltar wants to keep this person's money. If any of you can help this lessee

with a lease feel! free.

I thought they were reasonably solid. They are called Cap of MB out of South Carolina. My number is 888-468-5822 x 208 Paul von Bruck Capital Funding Group.

P.S: I have Gibraltor's messages saved on our message machine if any of you doubt this message

 

BSB Leasing Complaint

Hello Kit - After reading your note from BSB LEASING, I found myself unable to sit still and not submit this to you. At this moment I do not desire to get this too complicated ~ however, I do

wish to put on record in your newsletter, that some folks in the leasing industry speak from

several sides of their mouth. I have worked hard to quietly maintain dignity, integrity and

decorum in this industry since I started in it in 1979. Over the last two years, I have had

clients contacted directly by BSB LEASING in Denver, and other 'competitors' salespersons or

account persons or whatever politically correct title they wish to have assigned to them - In

any event, MY clients have been told, upon being telephoned by before mentioned competitors that LJR LEASING was "OUT OF BUSINESS" when my dear clientele inquired of my where-abouts. And, by

the way, these competitors somehow managed to access private client data from some of the

largest DIRECT LENDERS there are. Just wanted to make myself heard.

thanks.

Lori Reicheg -

We have never had Lori or LJR Leasing as a broker with BSB Leasing. I challenge her to show how

we could have contacted her customers when we have never dealt with her. We do have in house

sales people that compete for business with the leasing world but our broker side acts as a

separate unit and no information is shared. If she did do business with us she would know how

honorable a company BSB Leasing is. Please feel free to give her my phone number. I would be

more than happy to talk with her about it. We have been in business for close to 20 years,

funded almost 400 million dollars in

leases, dealt with almost 400 brokers, if we were stealing brokers customers I think it would

have surfaced by now at NAELB or UAEL. If you check the record we have never had a single

complaint in our history.

Bruce Zwillinger

Vice President

BSB Leasing

I have never been a broker that used BSB or any other source to fund a transaction. I have been

a DIRECT BROKER since 1979. In 1998 I was forwarded a letter from a client who had been

contacted weekly by telephone after receiving a letter from BSB Leasing. That letter was

forwarded to Stephanie Desparois at GE Capital/Colonial Pacific Leasing. The letter said

something to the effect of "BSB is now the designated leasing source for COLONIAL PACIFIC

LEASING CORP". My client was told by whomever from BSB then began a weekly telephone

solicitation, that LJR was either out of business or likely out of business. That particular

letter was the beginning of a rather nasty and unpleasant series of events at GE/CPLC for me,

where I had been a DIRECT BROKER since 1983 with an OUTSTANDING portfolio w/under 1%

delinquency. In addition to BSB, another 'source' in Southern California named Alliance Funding

managed to access my Client Portfolio information maintained at CPLC - and began an extensive

and exhausting solicitation of my clientele - so much so that I was again told by Ms Desparois

that they were also sent a "Cease & Desist" letter - this information was told to me by Ms

Desparois as instructed by Curt Lysne.

The 'challenge' from Mr Zwillinger will not be responded to. It is a nasty 'game' that is played in an industry that is unregulated and unchallenged, and I have never, nor will I ever

participate in the play. Since around the time of the buy-out of CPLC from Pitney Bowes by GE

there has been a great deal of unprofessional activity and behavior. Perhaps it started by

unscrupulous activity 'on the inside' for financial gain. I have as I stated, maintained a quiet dignity about the manner in which I have provided my service. My vendors and clients, tho fewer

in number than BSB I'm sure, have remained loyal to my service thru these nearly 17 years,

knowing that I did not engage in the oft-engaged practice of deception or other abominable

behavior to earn my living.

Sincerely,

Lori Reicheg

TommyLori@cabomagic.com

Leasing Network Purchase Option Problems

Notice: Received reports from three brokers now about leases they put together through network

group to funding source has fmv not 10% purchase options. Disputes trying to be resolved. Any

broker experiencing the same, please notify Leasingnews.org. All information will be kept

confidential and will not be published without your specific permission.

7/26

Universal Capital Services

Kit, my company, Citation Financial Group located in Fair Oaks, CA (Sacramento) is one of the

companies having a problem with Universal Capital Services. They have not returned a Lessee's

advance payment nor have they paid us our commisssion on a brokered transaction. I have sent

documents to the

NALEB attorney, who is following up on our complaint with UCS. We have also contacted a

collection attorney in Florida. If you know of others who have been wronged by these people,

please have them contact me. If you want all of the details I will be happy to e-mail them to

you. We need to stop co

mpanies who make a bad name for the industry.

Thanks,

Allen Greenberg

Citation Financial Group

(916)535-7710

ag-cfg@pacbell.net

Bruce Zwillinger, BSB, cuts off Universal Capital Service

Bruce Zwillinger, BSB, cuts off Universal Capital Service, Springhill, Florida informs NAELB of

their action. This company not returning money to lessee from deal funding by BSB. Many attempts to get money returned to lessee, but many broker promises by Universal Capital Service.

7/12

Universal Capital Services

Source states Universal Capital Services, Springhill, Florida, took up-front fees on deal and

has not returned to lessee. Lessee is complaining to funding source. This is the third complaint received on this. Source is trying to find out more and request this be posted on bulletin

board. Source will allow us to state name, if this is not resolved.

7/5

Parker Leasing

$25,000 SD $29,000 first and last three months did not return money Parker Leasing and

Financing, Ft. Lauderdale, Florida no web site, no district attorney complaints, advised to pull a D&B, find out who the secured parties are and if I can identify them, will give them the

person to call at the funding source to hear the full story about what is happening. Parker

Leasing and Financing refuses to return commitment fee and first and last.

6/16

Dodson Group - Delivery Charge

We had been using the Dodson Group for overnight (Airborne) until recently. They were charging

us $8.75 per overnight (their cost to Airborne is $7.61, who cares, they deserve a profit). But, in auditing our bills for the last 2 years we kept noticing that we were being repeatedly

charged $12.00 to $18.75 for overnight on about 1/3 to 1/2 of the over nights. Initially, Dodson claimed "overweight", so we researched further and discovered that most of the overcharges were

on checks going out overnight to vendors and brokers - no way this could be "overweight". For

the past year we have faxed and called Dodson repeatedly to get corrected invoices - no one

would even respond! So, we put them on notice that we would not pay any more invoices until they corrected their over billing problem - they never did. Their response was to turn us over to a

collection agency! We are convinced they purposely overcharged us, and probably every other

client! Dodson does a lot of biz with NAELB brokers, don't these brokers need to know about

Dodson's policy of quoting one price and charging another?

6/15

Universal Finance / Universal Manufacturing

Avoid this company like the plague. I believe that if it is the same one they also run companies under the name(s) Universal Manufacturing -(Vendor) & Universal Finance (Credit repair company). I'll look up the e-mail I received on this a while back. I think what the story was is that

Universal Capital would submit a deal to funding source, then if declined due to personal

credit, Universal Finance would repair credit then resubmit elsewhere. The vendor would be

Universal Manufacturing who would sell $2,000 computers for $40,000 invoice (just under F/S

disclosure). Then they split excess with lessee. Though I'm not sure about the Florida part.

I'll get back with the additional info ASAP.

6/12

Universal Capital

Do you know anything about Univerasl Capital Services, Inc., in Spring Hill, Florida 34606. One

of the lease brokers I work with is having trouble getting paid on a deal. He thinks the company is owned by Jim and Anita Koper. Please let me know if you hear anything. Thanks.

6/12

Metropolitan Mortgage

Metropolitan Mortgage and Sec in Washington had a division that funded the lesser credits. Well

they have stopped and are not honoring their approvals if they don't already have signed docs.

This was told to me by a broker in Arizona who has 10 deals sitting with them and she is now

scrambling to replace them.

6/12

 

 

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    Bay View Capital Corporation Announces Fourth Quarter Results

 

 

SAN MATEO, Calif., Feb. 14 /PRNewswire/ -- Bay View Capital Corporation (NYSE: BVC) (the

"Company") today reported a fourth quarter 2000 net loss of $92.5 million, or $2.83 per share,

as compared to a net loss of $234.5 million, or $7.18 per share, for the third quarter of 2000

and net income of $5.3 million, or $0.19 per share, for the fourth quarter of 1999.

 

Bay View took further steps during the fourth quarter to restructure its balance sheet and

position itself for 2001. Fourth quarter pre-tax results included $59.4 million in charges

associated with the revaluation of franchise-related assets, $52.1 million in net losses

associated with asset sales, and $32.1 million of additional loan loss provision related

primarily to franchise loans. The revaluation included a $50.7 million mark-to-market valuation

adjustment on the Company's $379.4 million portfolio of franchise loans classified as

held-for-sale, reflecting conservative bulk-sale pricing. The revaluation also included $8.7

million in adjustments to other franchise-related assets. Net losses on asset sales included a

previously announced $26.4 million loss on the sale of $256.4 million of low-yielding

franchise-related asset-backed securities and an $18.2 million loss related to the sale of

$244.0 million of high loan-to-value home equity loans. In December, the Company also sold

$232.3 million of lower-yielding fixed-rate mortgage-backed securities. During 2001, the Company recognized $10 million in gains relating to the December sales of asset-backed securities and

high loan-to-value home equity loans.

 

"Although 2000 was a very difficult year, we are optimistic about the future of our core

businesses, led by the continued strength of our deposit franchise," said Edward H. Sondker, Bay View's President and Chief Executive Officer. "After shutting down our franchise lending

division last quarter, our focus this quarter was on restructuring our balance sheet. Our

actions during the fourth quarter have substantially reduced our exposure to franchise and high

loan-to-value home equity asset concentrations. These actions should also enhance our

marketability as we continue to pursue our strategic options."

 

Bay View's retail deposits grew $68 million during the quarter, reflecting the continued

strength of Bay View Bank's deposit franchise. Wholesale borrowings, including brokered

certificates of deposit, were reduced by $656 million from the prior quarter-end. The increase

in retail deposits was primarily related to the Company's marketing and promotional efforts.

These deposits are a significantly lower-cost funding source relative to wholesale borrowings.

Bay View remains committed to expanding its deposit base by growing both consumer and business

accounts and building on the success of its internet banking program.

 

Loan originations totaled $168.6 million for the quarter. Originations of retail loans were

$90.5 million while originations of commercial loans were $78.1 million. These originations were more than offset by loan sales totaling $433.9 million during the fourth quarter, including the

sale of $95.9 million of franchise loans, the aforementioned sale of $244.0 million of high

loan-to-value home equity loans, $49.1 million of auto loans, and $44.9 million of

lower-yielding single-family mortgage loans. Although these loan sales reduced the Company's

credit risk profile and generated regulatory capital, they also reduced net interest income.

 

The Company's net interest income and net interest margin for the fourth quarter of 2000 were

$37.4 million and 2.95%, as compared to $41.7 million and 3.09% for the prior quarter.

Normalized net interest margin, which the Company defines as net interest margin adjusted to

include the net rental income from its auto leasing activities and the expenses related to its

Capital Securities, was 3.21% as compared to 3.32% for the previous quarter. The decrease in net interest income was primarily due to lower average interest-earning asset balances. The Company

expects its net interest margin to improve during 2001 reflecting the benefits associated with

the recent sales of lower-yielding assets, anticipated declines in market interest rates, and

further reductions in wholesale borrowings.

 

"Our efforts during 2001 will continue to focus on selling our remaining held-for-sale franchise loan portfolio," commented Mark E. Lefanowicz, Executive Vice President and Chief Financial

Officer. "We are encouraged by the sale of over $95 million in franchise loans during the fourth quarter at no significant gain or loss. We currently have multiple parties looking at a

substantial portion of the remaining held-for-sale portfolio."

 

Credit quality continued to be impacted by the performance of franchise loans, which is evident

when comparing the Company's credit quality statistics with and without its franchise lending

activities. Various sectors of the franchise market have been impacted by market pressures,

specifically certain fast food restaurant brands. Nonperforming assets were $101.7 million at

December 31, 2000 as compared with $48.8 million at September 30, 2000. Loans and leases

delinquent 60 days or more at December 31, 2000 were $84.8 million as compared with $34.8

million at September 30, 2000. Net charge-offs as a percentage of average loans and leases

improved to 0.31% for the fourth quarter as compared with 1.29% for the third quarter.

 

Nonperforming assets excluding franchise-related assets were $17.5 million as compared with

$15.9 million for the prior quarter, while non-franchise delinquencies were $23.3 million as

compared with $23.5 million for the prior quarter. In addition, nonperforming assets included

approximately $23 million of franchise loans that are technically performing as agreed but

require classification as nonperforming assets according to regulatory guidelines. During the

course of this past year, the Company was able to cure over $48 million of classified franchise

assets and nearly $32 million of nonperforming franchise assets at no loss to the Company. The

only charge-off the Company has incurred since its 1999 acquisition of Franchise Mortgage

Acceptance Company was a $7.9 million write-down of non-franchise funeral home loans. Otherwise, the Company has had net recoveries on franchise loans. Despite this, the Company has reserves

totaling approximately 10% of its franchise loan portfolio classified as held-for-investment.

 

Excluding net losses on sales of assets, noninterest income was $32.8 million for both the third and fourth quarters of 2000. During the fourth quarter, increases in loan fees and charges and

loan servicing income were offset by lower income related to auto leases, which the Company

ceased purchasing in June 2000.

 

General and administrative expenses were $35.7 million for the fourth quarter of 2000 as

compared with $38.8 million for the third quarter of 2000. The decrease in general and

administrative expenses from the prior quarter was primarily due to the impact of the shutdown

of the franchise production unit as of September 30, 2000. This was partially offset by higher

professional and legal fees as the Company continues to explore its strategic options, as well

as higher marketing expenses related primarily to its deposit franchise.

 

During the fourth quarter, the Company established a $26 million valuation allowance against

approximately $68 million in net deferred tax assets generated in the fourth quarter, a

significant portion of which represents net operating loss carryforwards.

 

Liquidity & Regulatory Capital -- At December 31, 2000, Bay View Bank had liquidity levels with

cash and overnight deposits in excess of $700 million, representing over 20% of total retail

deposits. Further, the Bank's regulatory capital continued to meet the minimum regulatory

requirements to be deemed adequately capitalized at December 31, 2000. As previously announced,

the Company and Bay View Bank have filed capital plans pursuant to the terms of regulatory

agreements. The Company is currently in the process of updating these plans to reflect fourth

quarter results.

 

As of December 31, 2000, the Parent Company had approximately $11 million in cash and cash

equivalents. This cash, combined with earnings generated from the Parent Company's

interest-earning assets, continues to be sufficient to service the Parent Company's debt.

Although Bay View again deferred the dividend on its Capital Securities (NYSE: BVS) and cannot

predict when regulatory approval will be obtained for payment.

 

Bay View Capital Corporation is a diversified financial services company. The Company's

principal subsidiary is Bay View Bank, a nationally chartered commercial bank which is the

largest deposit franchise exclusively serving the San Francisco Bay Area with 57 full service

branches. Bay View offers a full array of retail and commercial banking products and services to customers throughout the nation.

 

Forward-Looking Statements  

 

This press release contains forward-looking statements which describe the Company's future

plans, strategies and expectations. All forward-looking statements are based on assumptions and

involve risks and uncertainties, many of which are beyond the Company's control and which may

cause actual results, performance or achievements to differ materially from anticipated results, performance or achievements. Factors that might affect forward-looking statements include, among

other things: 

 

-- the demand for the Company's products;  

 

-- actions taken by the Company's competitors;  

 

-- tax rate changes, new tax laws and revised tax law interpretations;  

 

-- adverse changes occurring in the securities markets;  

 

-- inflation and changes in prevailing interest rates that reduce margins  

 

or the fair value of the financial instruments held;  

 

-- economic or business conditions, either nationally or in the Company's  

 

market areas, that are worse than expected;  

 

-- legislative or regulatory changes that adversely affect the Company's  

 

business;  

 

-- the inability to sell or securitize assets;  

 

-- the timing, impact and other uncertainties of asset sales or  

 

acquisitions and the Company's success or failure in the integration of  

 

their operations;  

 

-- the ability to enter new geographic and product markets successfully  

 

and capitalize on growth opportunities;  

 

-- technological changes that are more difficult or expensive than  

 

expected;  

 

-- increases in delinquencies and defaults by borrowers and other loan  

 

delinquencies;  

 

-- increases in the provision for losses on loans and leases;  

 

-- the inability to sustain or improve the performance of subsidiaries;  

 

-- the inability to achieve the financial goals in the Company's strategic  

 

plans, including any financial goals related to both contemplated and  

 

consummated asset sales or acquisitions;  

 

-- the outcome of lawsuits or regulatory disputes;  

 

-- credit and other risks of lending, leasing and investment activities;  

 

and  

 

-- the inability to use net operating loss carryforwards currently held by  

 

the Company.

 

As a result of the above, the Company cannot assure that future results of operations or

financial condition or any other matters will be consistent with those presented in any

forward-looking statements. Accordingly, the Company cautions you not to rely on these

forward-looking statements. The Company does not undertake, and specifically disclaims any

obligation, to update these forward-looking statements, which speak only as of the date made.

 

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Sterling Bancorp Declares 221st Consecutive Quarterly Cash Dividend

 

 

NEW YORK, Feb. 15 /PRNewswire/ -- Sterling Bancorp (NYSE: STL), parent company of Sterling

National Bank, today declared a quarterly dividend of $0.16 per common share, payable March 31,

2001, to shareholders of record on March 15, 2001. The dividend is the 221st consecutive

quarterly cash dividend paid by the Company and its predecessors since it became a public

corporation 1946.

 

Sterling Bancorp (NYSE: STL) is a financial holding company with assets of $1.3 billion,

offering a full range of banking and financial services products. Its principal banking

subsidiary is Sterling National Bank, founded in 1929. Sterling provides a wide range of

products and services, including commercial lending, asset-based financing, factoring/accounts

receivable management, international trade financing, commercial and residential mortgage

lending, equipment leasing, trust and estate administration and investment management services.

Sterling has operations in the metropolitan New York area, as well as Virginia and other

mid-Atlantic states and conducts business throughout the U.S. More information is available on

the company's Website, http://www.sterlingbancorp.com.

 

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Moody's Expects Finova to File for Bankruptcy

By Matthew Goldstein, Smartmoney.Com

As if a slumping economy wasn't bad enough, bankers are getting awfully jittery these days about little-known Finova Group, an Arizona-based financial-services company that specializes in

lending to midsize companies.

Why the anxiety? Moody's Investors Service, the credit-rating agency, expects Finova to file for bankruptcy any day now in order to restructure or eliminate the estimated $11 billion in debt it owes to banks, bondholders and other creditors. If that were to occur, it would be one of the

biggest debt restructurings ever. And the fallout could spell trouble for the banking industry,

since nearly $4.7 billion of the debt is in the form of bank loans. That isn't nearly enough to

cause problems for the banking system all by itself, but it underscores the nasty problems

lenders are faced with these days.

It's difficult to determine which banks are on the hook. Multimillion-dollar commercial loans

like the ones made to Finova are often "syndicated," meaning several banks buy a portion of the

loan in order to spread the risk of a default. But experts say the banks that originated these

massive loans are the ones most likely to carry the highest percentage of Finova's bank debt in

their portfolios. Assuming that's true, the list of suspects is a Who's Who of the nation's

biggest banks: Wells Fargo, Bank of America, Bank One, First Union, Citigroup's Citibank, J.P.

Morgan Chase and FleetBoston Financial's Fleet Bank, according to industry analysts and Loan

Pricing, a research firm.

Creditors usually get paid something when their customers go bankrupt, but sometimes it's just

pennies on the dollar. And when banks are the ones left holding the bag, they usually write off

the uncollected portion of the loan - an event that results in a charge against earnings. For

instance, Wells Fargo recently classified a $122 million commercial loan - believed by some to

belong to Finova - as a bad, or nonperforming, loan. (Wells Fargo, which declined to comment on

the situation, hasn't yet taken a charge on the loan.) Needless to say, the more bad debts a

bank has in its portfolio, the more hits it'll have to take against earnings.

Perhaps the most alarming aspect of the Finova situation is how fast things careened out of

control. In the first nine months of last year, the dollar value of its bad loans rose nearly

140%, to $421 million. (Finova has yet to report financial results for its last fiscal quarter.)

 

The list of losers includes a $117 million loan to Sunterra, a bankrupt time-share resort

company; a $31.7 million loan to an unnamed wireless-messaging company; and loans to the

now-defunct airline Tower Air.

Finova went to sleep in Wall Street's penthouse and woke up in its doghouse. In the early years

after it went public in 1992, the company wowed analysts with its fast growth and dependable

earnings results. The firm's assets - loans under management - grew from just over $2 billion in 1992 to $14 billion in 2000, as it became an important lender to midsize businesses.

But all the goodwill Finova had built up on the Street began unraveling after the company made a series of stunning announcements last March. With little warning, it announced it was writing

off a $70 million loan to an unnamed computer distributor and was taking a big charge against

earnings. It also announced the hasty and unexpected retirement of longtime Chief Executive

Samuel Eichenfield.

The analysts were surprised, to put it mildly. A formerly fawning Robertson Stephens analyst

responded by saying, "a loss of this magnitude must force investors to question the company's

overall credit quality." A year ago, more than a dozen analysts followed the company; now

there's just one.

The company's stock, meanwhile, has taken a year-long pounding, falling from around $32 on March 24, 2000 to just $1.14 on Feb. 14. Shareholders are hopping mad. A class-action suit filed in

federal court in Arizona alleges that Finova's management concealed the $70 million bad loan as

long as possible, and identifies the defaulting borrower as Supercom, a privately owned

California computer company. (Finova has never publicly named the borrower.) Meanwhile, value

investors and workout artists are squabbling over the remains. There's now a complex battle

underway for control of Finova that involves GE Capital, Goldman Sachs and Warren Buffett, among others.

While there's no reason to believe there's a minefield of Finovas out there, the truth is no one really knows how bad the credit-quality issues are at the nation's banks. Ruchi Madan, a banking analyst at Salomon Smith Barney, estimates that some $51 billion in problematic loans sits in

the portfolios of the nation's big banks. Of course, not all those loans will fall into the

nonperforming category. And some banks - like Bank of America - have more problems than others.

Like most banking analysts, Madan predicts the bad-loan problem is a manageable one now that the Federal Reserve is cutting interest rates.

But that prediction relies on a couple of assumptions - that the economy won't slip into

recession despite the Fed's actions, and that there aren't a lot of other Finovas out there

getting ready to blow up in their lenders' faces. It's probably a safe bet - but the suddenness

with which Finova crumbled shows it's far from a sure one.

Are you a bargain hunter with a taste for the unusual? If so, you may want to check out "The

Finova Store." On Finova's Web site, shoppers can buy assets that Finova has taken from some of

its borrowers who've defaulted on their loans. There's some unusual stuff there you can make a

bid on. Are you in the market for a jumbo jet? Well, Finova has a bunch of them.

How about some lodging? Finova has a 179-room hotel in Texas for sale.

Best of all, Finova says prices are negotiable.

 

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Finova Parties Get Organized as Bankruptcy Looms

 

By Joe Niedzielski, Dow Jones Newswires

 

Finova Group's bondholders, lenders and equity investors are getting organized as the

Scottsdale, AZ-based financial services firm attempts to restructure its huge debt load.

The parties' discussions thus far are said to be informal. And according to a lawyer

representing bondholders and shareholder documents filed with the Securities and Exchange

Commission, neither the bondholders nor an ad hoc committee of equity holders are currently in

possession of nonpublic information about the company.

But the organization of the various interests in recent weeks underscores the dire nature of

Finova's financial condition. Several analysts who follow the company and specialists that

invest in distressed debt agree that Finova may have already violated the terms of its bank

agreements as of the end of the fourth quarter.

Finova hasn't yet released its year-end financial results and an official declined comment on

whether it was in violation of its bank agreements.

Finova has about $4.7 billion of bank debt and $6.3 billion of bonds outstanding. The company

faces $2.1 billion in bank debt that comes due this May. Absent a debt restructuring agreement

with its creditors, rating agency officials say Finova may face a Chapter 11 bankruptcy filing.

Already, Goldman Sachs Group and GE Capital, a unit of General Electric, have offered to take

effective control of Finova through the purchase of about $2 billion face amount of its debt and a management contract to run the firm.

A bankruptcy filing would represent one of the largest in recent memory. Signs that groups

representing bondholders, lenders and equity investors have organized indicate that the

framework for a prepackaged Chapter 11 filing could be in the works, said one distressed debt

analyst, who declined to be identified.

An unofficial committee of bondholders has retained the New York-based firm of Wachtel Lipton

Rosen & Katz, an attorney there confirmed. Sources say banks have hired Shearman & Sterling,

which also has offices in New York. That firm declined comment.

Last year, Finova hired Credit Suisse First Boston to explore strategic alternatives. The

company has also retained the law firm of Gibson Dunn & Crutcher, the Finova official confirmed.

The bank loans and bond debt are on equal standing, potentially giving holders equal treatment

in getting repaid in bankruptcy court proceedings. One caveat, though, is that provisions within some of the bank loan agreements may allow banks to seize a certain amount of collateral in

event of default, one debt analyst said.

If that were to happen, the banks would have some seniority over bondholders in the sense that

they might have additional collateral, the analyst said.

Equity investors have also been asked by Finova to form an "ad hoc" committee of institutional

holders of its common stock, according to a form 13D filed with the Securities and Exchange

Commission by James D. Bennett.

Bennett, an investor in distressed companies, runs two restructuring funds set up as limited

liability companies in Delaware and an offshore restructuring fund that is a Cayman Islands

exempted company, according to the SEC filing.

He reported a 5.66% stake in Finova's shares in the filing. The filing said the committee's

purpose is to obtain information about Finova's options for a financial restructuring and to

"facilitate communication" among its members, the company and other shareholders.

The Finova official referred calls about the filing to Bennett, who didn't return calls.

It's fairly common for bondholders and lenders to organize ahead of a possible restructuring or

Chapter 11 filing, since these creditors would have priority over a company's assets if it were

to liquidate. Shareholders, on the other hand, are often left with nothing in the event of a

bankruptcy.

In Finova's case, however, some maintain there may be residual equity value left in the firm

after creditors are paid out in a potential liquidation and restructuring.

The distressed securities analyst said initiating discussions with equity investors has a

"certain rationale" since a potential prepackaged filing from Finova could need the consent of

some of the equity holders to gain approval from a bankruptcy court judge.

 

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      CIT Freezes Broker Business--But They Want the Fashion Industry:

 

CIT And 7thOnline in Alliance to Provide Financial Services to the Fashion Industry

 

 

NEW YORK--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Feb. 15, 2001--CIT (NYSE: CIT; TSE: CIT.U), a leading global source

for financing and leasing capital, and 7thOnline, a major B2B provider of web-based

merchandising technology and services for the fashion industry, today announced an alliance to

provide online credit protection and receivables financing to fashion industry vendors and

retailers.

 

Under the agreement, CIT's Commercial Services unit will issue credit to buyers to purchase

goods on the 7thOnline Web site and at the same time provide credit protection and receivables

financing to the sellers. According to the credit protection program, CIT will assume the

buyer's financial ability to pay its debts on all approved orders through 7thOnline's Web site.

Under the receivables financing program, CIT will offer advanced payment to the seller on a

buyer's payment expected in the near future.

 

As the premiere B2B site in the fashion apparel sector, 7thOnline provides Web-based

merchandising services to the global fashion industry. Explaining why the company chose to

partner with CIT, CEO Max Ma said: "We turned to CIT because they are the leader in providing

financing to the fashion industry. This alliance will offer our customers real-time access to

CIT's services, which will help simplify the financing component of the buying process," added

Ma.

 

"CIT is committed to supporting B2B e-commerce," said John F. Daly, president of CIT Commercial

Services. "Partnering with 7thOnline will provide fashion industry vendors and retailers with

financing for their on-line transactions. As the retail industry shifts towards on-line

procurement, we are putting our financial resources and broad range of services to work for the

new economy," added Daly.

 

7thOnline's Web site is tailored for the fashion industry. Fashion vendors create secure online

product showrooms that can be accessed by retailers to facilitate the entire merchandising

process--including shopping, assortment planning, order placement, and store presentation. By

streamlining buying, selling and merchandising activity, the online service helps retailers and

vendors increase communication efficiency and reduce operational expenses.

 

About 7thOnline

 

7thOnline is the premiere web-based merchandising technology and service provider for the global

fashion industry. 7thOnline has developed proprietary technology that enhances communication and

operational efficiency for both retailers and vendors. 7thOnline streamlines the business of

fashion. www.7thonline.com

 

About CIT

 

CIT Commercial Services is the nation's largest provider of factoring, accounts receivable

management and lending services. It is a business unit of CIT Commercial Finance, one of six

operating groups of The CIT Group, Inc. (NYSE: CIT; TSE: CIT.U).

 

CIT is a leading, global source of financing and leasing capital for companies in more than 30

industries. Managing more than $50 billion in assets across a diversified portfolio, CIT is the

trusted financial engine empowering many of today's industry leaders and emerging businesses,

offering vendor, equipment, commercial, factoring, consumer and structured financing

capabilities. Founded in 1908, CIT operates extensively in the United States and Canada with

strategic locations in Europe, Latin and South America, and the Pacific Rim. For more

information on CIT, visit the Web site at www.cit.com.

 

CONTACT: 

 

CIT

 

Ann-Margret Crater, 212/536-9310

 

ann.crater@cit.com          

 

or

 

Clifford Public Relations (For 7thOnline)

 

Christian Nelson, 212/358-0800 x 26

 

christian@cliffordpr.com

 

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Penske/Rollins Truck Deal Gets Clearance

 

Penske Truck Leasing received Federal Trade Commission antitrust clearance for its $13-a-share

proposal to acquire Rollins Truck Leasing.

Penske said its Sun Acquisition unit's cash tender offer for Rollins is scheduled to expire on

Feb. 21, unless extended. The offer commenced on Jan. 24.

Penske agreed to acquire the truck leasing and rental company for about $754 million on Jan. 15.

 

 

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