Kit Menkin’s Leasing News  www.leasingnews.org   Thursday, January 10, 2002

 

 

Headlines----

 

Leader of Multi-Million Dollar Leasing Fraud Scheme Sentenced to Prison

  No Break in Definition of Taxable Software Issues

        Flex Lease, Plano, Texas Bulletin Board Complaint

          Health Insurance –for small businesses      

               Helios Marketing / Communications Announces "Verticalize!"

                     Tyco Capital Renames CIT Small Business Lending Corporation

                        WiredCapital Names Richard Stubblefield to Board Of Directors

Retailers are expected to continue with zero-percent financing deals


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1pm, California, tune into www.leasingnews.org/newsmaker.htm

 

 Our first Live---Meet the Leasing News Maker

 

    Bill Hansen, Commercial Money Center

 

He will have a major announcement to make.

 

                           

                                 Instructions On How to Get On Line

 

www.leasingnews.org/newsmaker.htm

 

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Log on with any name and password.  If another person is using the name,

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right you will see “rooms” available.  Meet the Leasing News Maker

has its own room. Click on the first room, which is Meet the Leasing

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On the tool bar, you have the ability to change your own size of text, color,

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The program supposedly will allow up to 500 users. We have never tested it

over ten people, so we don’t know how many will be accommodated in

this beta test run.  We expect 25 to 50 readers this first time, but have no

idea.

 

It may be more comfortable for the Newsmaker to make this a “private session,
and if he does, you will only be able to answer questions he chooses.  More

importantly, the only way you can ask him a question is to the go the top of

your tool bar to “room” and choose Ask Question “Interview Session”

 


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The moderator and “speaker” have the ability to expel you for improper

behavior or language.  They may give you a warning. Or they may just

expel you.  You will not be able to enter back into the program for

one hour, if expelled.  It will expel your IP address.

 

We also can block IP addresses permanently. News reserves the rights to expel anyone from participation without notice, if need be.

 

If the program is in an “interview” mode, the speaker receives the questions

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When you want to leave the room, exit, go to the tool bar for room

and choose “ leave/exit.”

 

We will be making adjustments after we all learn how this works, hopefully

to bring a Leasing News Maker once a week for up to 500 readers.

 

 

Re:  Health Insurance –for small businesses

 

 Tell Mr. Leslie that he'll always have a problem as

long as he has a "group" of less than 10 people.  In our 15 years in business

our corporation (my wife and I) have had several instances of insurance

companies ceasing to do business in Arizona or ceasing altogether.  Then you

have to start the search for insurance all over again, and the older you get

the harder it is to qualify (to put it in credit terms, the older you get the

lower your "score")

 

Or, the insurance company that you do have raises your premium 20% or 30% per

year.

 

I would suggest that you find a local insurance agent (broker) who LIKES to

do health insurance, and can help you shop the market.

 

We are a very few years away from Medicare, and currently pay about $9,000

per year for health insurance for this corporation's employees (a group of

two).  This year's rates, recently announced, are only about 3% higher than

last year.  This insurance is with HealthNet (formerly Intergroup), and is

our choice from about 20 different plans that they offer, and gives very

comprehensive coverage.

 

Again, we got a lot of help from a very capable insurance agent that we have

known for years (name on request - she is in Tucson)

 

There are a lot of parallels between qualifying for health insurance and

qualifying for an equipment lease.  Are you an "A" risk or are you "B" or

(God forbid) a "C"?

 

Good luck!

 

Charlie Meaker

Lease Financing, Inc.

800-478-2330  - 520-398-2650 - Fax 520-398-2652

Since 1987 - Financing for Business Equipment and Modular Buildings

 

 

 

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Leader of Multi-Million Dollar Leasing Fraud Scheme Sentenced to Prison and Ordered to Pay More Than $12.5 Million in Restitution, Reports U.S. Attorney

 

 

BOSTON, / -- A Framingham man was sentenced today in federal court to a term of imprisonment and ordered to pay more than $12 million following his conviction for his involvement in a massive leasing fraud conspiracy.

 

United States Attorney Michael J. Sullivan and Charles S. Prouty, Special Agent in Charge of the Federal Bureau of Investigation in New England, announced today the sentencing of STEPHEN CHAN, age 30, of Framingham, by U.S. District Judge George A. O'Toole to 4 years and 3 months' imprisonment, to be followed by 3 years of supervised release.  CHAN was also ordered to pay restitution in the amount of $12,596,298.  CHAN pleaded guilty on September 3, 2001 to one count of conspiracy to commit fraud and one count of mail fraud.

 

The Court found that from January, 1997 through August, 1998, CHAN and others, in order to obtain loans, falsely represented to lenders, including GE Capital corporation, that two companies called Multinational Systems Corporation ("MSC"), located in Boston, and Advanced Risc Corporation ("ARC"), located in Marlborough, were multi-million dollar enterprises.  In fact, the Court found, these "companies" were essentially sham enterprises that conducted little business other than to attract lease financing from the lenders. From approximately Spring, 1997 through 1998, several private financing companies loaned MSC and ARC, which appeared, at least on paper, to be highly successful and lucrative businesses, in excess of $20 million to fund the lease/purchase of computers, furniture and related equipment.  The loan packages supplied to the lenders by ARC and MSC were replete with false statements and misrepresentations.

 

Once the lease financing had been arranged, ARC/MSC were to purchase the equipment specified in the leases from independent venders.  In fact, some of the vending companies, including Finishing Impressions which was originally owned by another individual and then purchased by ARC, were not independent of ARC/MSC.  Typically, once these venders received the loan funds, they returned a substantial percentage of the money to CHAN, through ARC/MSC, and retained a percentage of the loaned funds. The Court further found that as a result of the fraud scheme, the lenders suffered losses of over $12 million.

 

CHAN oversaw all of the leasing activities at ARC and MSC and was largely responsible for drafting and distributing the false leasing packages and providing lenders with misleading materials designed to lure them into believing that MSC and ARC were highly successful disaster recovery companies. The fraud ended when the FBI searched ARC's offices in August, 1998, pursuant to a federal search warrant.

 

The case was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Allison Burroughs of Sullivan's Economic Crimes Unit and Assistant U.S. Attorney Alex Whiting of Sullivan's Public Corruption and Special Prosecutions Unit.

 

SOURCE  U.S. Attorney  

 

CO:  U.S. Attorney

 

ST:  Massachusetts

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No Break in Definition of Taxable Software Issues

 

Katherine Breaks reports in E-TaxNews Flash from KPMG that no consensus was reached during a Tangible Personal Property (TPP) subgroup teleconference for the Streamlined Sales Tax Project (SSTP) on Tuesday, January 8th.  Breaks notes the SSTP subgroup has not reached consensus on whether prewritten software will be included in the definition of tangible personal property.  This deliberation is expected to continue during a TPP Subgroup meeting in New Orleans on Thursday afternoon, January 24.  The outcome of this debate will most likely determine these provisions in the model legislation due out this summer and could significantly affect the tax base of many states that tax TPP but not intangible property or most services.

 

Dennis Brown

DBROWN@ELAMAIL.COM

 

 

Flex Lease, Plano, Texas Bulletin Board Complaint

 

December 18, 2001

 

Our client (name withheld) has completed documents with Flex Lease in

Plano, Texas.  On the go-ahead of Jeff Wetter, President of Flex Lease, we

ordered and installed the software expecting payment upon installation.

 

We have been calling him since December 5 for this payment that is due

to us.  He rarely returns calls or emails but the few times he has

called was to give us three false promises of payment dates.  Last

Wednesday he told us the check would be delivered to us on Monday

(Yesterday).  I called twice on Friday to confirm that everything looked

good, but he didn't return my calls. 

 

I called three times yesterday; leaving voice mails, and sent a follow

up email.  He didn't take or return any of my calls yesterday or send me

a reply email.  I see he checked email on Friday and even replied to

someone on your site on Friday.  He appears to be avoiding my emails and

phone calls.

 

I called him this morning; I had to leave another voice mail, and told

him I would advise our client if I didn't hear back from him by noon.

Noon has come and gone.  I advised my client that she would be liable for

the payment because Flex Lease is not returning calls or sending a

check.  She in turn has called him and he didn't pick up the phone for

her either.  I just spoke with her and he hasn't returned her call yet,

either.

 

What do you know about this company?  Do they fund the leases

themselves?  Are they always so evasive?  This is our first and only

encounter with this company.  I know we will never work through them

again because of their lack of enough professionalism to return a phone

call or fund a check for that matter.

 

Just to let you know, I've tried his assistant Janie each time also in

case he was just busy, except yesterday and today.  But with the

pattern, it just appears he is choosing not to take or return my calls.

 

 

Best Regards,

 

Alicia Paul, NCR

Office Manager

Sim Crest, Inc.

12222 Merit Dr., Suite 1850

Dallas, TX  75251

972-770-4651

 

Leasing News attempted to contact Flex Lease, Plano, Texas to confirm, deny, or explain their side of this complaint. We sent several e-mails.  Here is one of them:

 

Re: Bulletin Board Complaint

 

 We started this process with this complaint and have been trying

to resolve this as it appears to be a legitimate complaint.

 

If they have delivered and installed and the lease was signed off

on December 5, they are concerned when they will be paid.

 

I don't know if you are a broker on this and it was assigned elsewhere,

but am trying to resolve this peaceable.

.

 

We next received.

 

December 20,2002

 

I heard back from Jeff Wetter, Flex Lease, today.   Here is an overview of

our conversation.

 

He was less than professional, again.  He asked me why I was harassing him. 

I said "I will not take blame for your lack of communication.", he said

"shut up and let me say one damn thing." I said, "You will not address me

like that."  Then he raised his voice and said quite nastily, that we  are

the lowest on his list of priorities now and he doesn't t intend to give us

payment any time soon nor does he care if we get payment at all.   I told

him, "Do not raise your voice at me.  It's this whole lack of

professionalism that is seeing to the fact that you will never work with us

or any of our clients again."  He said, still in a loud voice, "I don't give

a damn!  You listen to me!"  I said, "Who do you think you are?  I will be

hanging up now."  Click.

 

I m really interested in knowing what you know about this person and this

company.  In the five years that I have worked with leasing companies to

finance software for my clients, I ve never even once had an experience like

this.

 

 

Best Regards,

 

Alicia Paul

Office Manager

SimCrest, Inc.;

 

Leasing News continued to follow this, asking for a comment to the Bulletin

Board Complaint.

 

In following up the original complaint, we informed Flex Lease, Plano, Texasing that we were going to state they had "no comment". in the Bulletin Board Posting:

 

January 10

 

You obviously feel very empowered in your position.  Once again, for the

record, my comment/response to the vendor's complaint is that I do not

comment to LeasingNews.org.  I feel that it is none of LeasingNews.org's

business.  Any of your reader's are welcome to e-mail me if they would like

my side of this complaint.  This is my comment, do not print that I have no

comment.

 

All you have to do is print the vendor's complaint then state, "Jeff Wetter

at Flex Lease stated that he does not comment to LeasingNews.org as he feels

it is none of our business.  He stated that readers can e-mail him directly

if they would like his side of the complaint".  There, I've written it for

you.  Please publish it like this.  Couldn't be easier for you.

 

I you publish the complaint then state that I have no comment, your readers

will interpret this as a defacto admission of guilt on my part.  This will

harm my business and my reputation.  My competition will use the article

against me to win lessees and vendors we both compete for.  Please don't do

this to me.

 

Why are you so afraid to print that I do not comment to LeasingNews.org?

Afraid of others doing the same?  Afraid of losing illegitimate power?

 

I have saved every e-mail between us.  They make it very clear that I have

told you repeatedly what my comment and response to your inquiry is.  If you

publish the complaint then state that I have "no comment" as you say you

intend to do, I will sue you for intentionally attempting to defame my

business.

 

Thank you.

 

Jeff Wetter

jwetter@flexlease.com

www.flexlease.com

 

 

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Helios Marketing / Communications Announces

"Verticalize!" PR Program for Commercial Lenders and Lessors

 

Program Gives Lenders and Lessors the Tools, Strategies and Expertise to Gain

Exposure in Vertical Industry Media Markets

 

Moorestown, NJ - January 10 - Helios Marketing / Communications announced the

launch of a new public relations program, "Verticalize!"  The program enables

commercial lenders and leasing companies to gain media exposure in vertical

industry markets, as well as build an internal public relations function.

 

Holly Winzler, president of Helios Marketing, explains, "Within trade

publications, there's a real editorial need for financial education that

isn't being met.  Editors want to know: how can our readers use various

financial tools to optimize their businesses and succeed in a difficult

economy?   Lenders and lessors just aren't taking advantage of the

opportunity for editorial coverage. It's too bad, because this type of

exposure is the ultimate in credibility and value.  Yet many organizations

can't -or won't -- justify the cost of retaining a public relations firm on a

monthly basis.   Verticalize! offers commercial lenders the best of both

worlds.  We'll help them set up a public relations 'department' and show them

how to develop positive relationships with the vertical industry media."

 

Winzler continued, " We'll show companies how best to leverage their

intellectual capital for maximum exposure in industry publications - whether

it's agribusiness, high-tech, healthcare, manufacturing and anything in

between."

 

The "Verticalize!"  package, which is customized for each client, addresses

the following issues:

 

* Why pursue vertical media?

* Debunking the "If our competitors read this, they'll steal our

customers/ideas/employees" myth

* Crafting messages and positioning for various audiences

* The opportunity for coverage

* Developing coverage tools (news releases, surveys, bylined articles, case

studies, etc.)

* How to "repurpose" content for editorial purposes

* Creation of media and industry influencer databases

* Creating editorial and speaking opportunity plans

* Development of supporting materials such as press kits

* Media coaching and training for key spokespeople

* Why non marketing-driven PR is important, too

* Agency or in-house? The case for smart partnering; and doing it yourself

for best results

 

About Helios Marketing/Communications

Helios/ Marketing Communications is based in Moorestown, NJ. The firm,

founded in 1993, offers a broad scope of business-to-business marketing

communications services including: strategic planning, creative development,

competitive intelligence, conference and editorial development, marketing

research, public relations and writing workshops.  The firm's clients have

included Advanta, Dow Jones, DuPont, The CIO Forum: Financial Services,

Harte-Hanks, Morgan Stanley Dean Witter, Richmond Events and UPS Capital. 

For more information on Outsource/Insource, contact Helios

Marketing/Communications at 856-234-2700 or heliosmc@aol.com.

 

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

Holly A. Winzler, President  

Helios Marketing/Communications

heliosmc@aol.com

vox: 856-234-2700

fax: 856-802-9211

snail: 214 West Main Street, Suite 202, Moorestown NJ 08057

 

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Tyco Capital Renames CIT Small Business Lending Corporation

 

 

Announces New Web Site To Facilitate Loans For Women-Owned Businesses 

 

LIVINGSTON, N.J., / -- Tyco Capital Corporation, a subsidiary of Tyco International Ltd. (NYSE: TYC, LSE: TYI, BSX: TYC), officially renamed its Small Business Lending subsidiary Tyco Capital Small Business Lending Corporation (Tyco Capital SBL) today.   In an additional move to broaden its reach to women-owned businesses, Tyco Capital SBL unveiled a new Web site  -- www.LoansToWomen.com -- to facilitate loan submissions by women-owned businesses, according to John Canning, President of Tyco Capital Small Business Lending Corporation.

 

This name change is a further outgrowth of the June 2001 acquisition of CIT by Tyco International and CIT's recent name change to Tyco Capital.

 

"The decision to change our name is a reflection of our strategy to become an even more integral part of the Tyco family," said Canning.  "With our leadership team, sales force and processing centers remaining in place, this name change can only strengthen our position as the nation's Number One SBA lender.  The creation of our LoansToWomen.com Web site should enable us to broaden our reach to women-owned businesses."

 

"During 2001, Tyco Capital SBL provided hundreds of loans to women entrepreneurs and their businesses, amounting to nearly $200 million in fundings.  With a new Web site tailored to this target group, we believe we can significantly increase the number of loans we'll process in 2002, " added Canning.

 

According to the Center for Women's Business Research, by 2002 the number of privately held, majority owned firms by women will grow by 14 percent (compared to 7 percent nationwide) to reach 6.2 million.  "Launching this targeted Web site should enable us to tap into a larger portion of this important segment of the small business community," Canning added.

 

About Tyco Capital Small Business Lending Corporation  

 

Tyco Capital Small Business Lending, a subsidiary of Tyco Capital, offers Small Business Administration (SBA) loans. Recognized as the nation's number one lender by the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) for total loan volume, the company offers franchise financing, construction lending and equipment financing through a network of field representatives.  The company's Web site and online SBA loan application are located at www.smallbizlending.com 

 

About Tyco Capital  

 

The Tyco Capital family of companies are subsidiaries of Tyco International Ltd. Tyco Capital is a leading, global source of financing and leasing capital and advisor for companies in more than 30 industries. Managing more than $50 billion in assets across a diversified portfolio, Tyco Capital empowers many of today's industry leaders and emerging businesses offering vendor, equipment, factoring, consumer, and structured financing capabilities.  Tyco Capital operates in the United States and Canada with strategic locations in Europe, Latin and South America, and the Pacific Rim.

 

About Tyco International Ltd.

 

Tyco International Ltd. (NYSE: TYC, LSE: TYI, BSX: TYC) is a diversified manufacturing and service company. Tyco is the world's largest manufacturer and servicer of electrical and electronic components; the world's largest designer, manufacturer, installer and servicer of undersea telecommunications systems; the world's largest manufacturer, installer and provider of fire protection systems and electronic security services and the world's largest manufacturer of specialty valves. Tyco also holds strong leadership positions in medical device products, financing and leasing capital, plastics and adhesives.  Tyco operates in more than 100 countries and had fiscal 2001 revenues in excess of $36 billion.

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WiredCapital Names Financing Veteran, Richard Stubblefield, to Board Of Directors

 

 

IRVINE, Calif.,  -- WiredCapital, Inc., a provider of enterprise software solutions to automate the front office operations of equipment leasing and financial service organizations, announces the appointment of Richard Stubblefield, Founder and Managing Director of Lighthouse Capital Partners, to the company's board of directors.  Mr. Stubblefield brings to WiredCapital's board significant insight and perspective in all phases of the equipment finance business.

 

"Having managed large financial transactions my entire career, I am all too familiar with the difficulties and inefficiencies of managing the front office operations of a financial services business," said Rick Stubblefield. "The many disparate systems make obtaining a real-time unified view of all mission critical transaction, customer and portfolio performance information next to impossible.  Providing a collaborative workflow platform to automate the origination and management of these processes, while also providing a single real-time view of key information is an enormously complex task, but I'm convinced that WiredCapital is the right platform at the right time.  I am excited to work with such an incredibly talented team at the forefront in financial front office automation."

 

Mr. Stubblefield is responsible for managing the day-to-day operations at Lighthouse Capital Partners, a firm he co-founded in 1994.  Lighthouse is a leading provider of debt related products to early stage venture capital backed startup companies.  Prior to co-founding Lighthouse, Stubblefield spent 10 years at Comdisco most recently as the Senior Vice President responsible for the West Coast activities of Comdisco Ventures.  Earlier, Stubblefield spent 5 years at GATX Capital in a variety of operational and management positions.

 

"We continue to solidify a world-class Board of Directors and are delighted to welcome Rick to our Board," said Kevin Riegelsberger, president and CEO of WiredCapital.  "His many years of experience in equipment leasing and financial operations combined with his expertise in venture capital finance and technology investment will provide invaluable insight both operationally and strategically."

 

About WiredCapital  

 

WiredCapital, based in Irvine, Calif., develops enterprise software solutions for financial service organizations that enable front office salespeople, credit analysts and contracts managers to identify new revenue opportunities and quickly convert them into sales through rapid origination of new business transactions.  WiredLeasing, WiredCapital's flagship software suite, is an innovative solution that automates the equipment lease and loan origination process from sales to booking and provides a single access point for the information the front office needs to get a complete view of the customer relationship. WiredCapital is backed by Mobius Venture Capital.  For more information visit www.wiredcapital.com .

 

About Lighthouse Capital Partners  

 

Lighthouse is a private venture capital partnership specializing in providing debt financing to technology based start-up companies. Since its formation in 1994 Lighthouse has provided more than $600 million of financing to over 250 private companies. Lighthouse has provided debt financing to many outstanding young companies including Ariba,  Broadvision, Centillium Communications, Corvis, Excite, Foundry Networks, Millennium Pharmaceuticals, MMC Networks, nVidia, Octane Software, Portal Software, Power Integrations, RedBack Networks, Sirocco Systems, and StorageNetworks.

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Retailers are expected to continue with zero-percent financing deals

By Anne D'Innocenzio, Associated Press,

 

NEW YORK (AP) It might be too late to get zero-percent financing on a new car, but consumers should continue to get interest-free deals on computers, furniture, TV sets and other big-ticket merchandise, a long-standing tradition in the retail industry.

 

But merchants are unlikely to be as generous as they were this past holiday season, when stores including Home Depot Inc. extended the terms on no-interest loans and made them available on a wider selection of merchandise.

 

''There is a lot of hope and expectation that the economy will improve by mid-2002,'' said Pat Fitzpatrick, principal at Kurt Salmon Associates Inc., a retail consulting firm. ''Retailers are buying more carefully and trying to be smarter with promotions. They don't want to extend themselves.''

 

Meanwhile, some manufacturers, including Dell Computer Corp., have recently offered no-interest loans to corporate customers as a way to boost corporate business in a recessionary environment.

 

The latest is Sony Electronics' Broadcast and Professional Co., which sells such offerings as video conferencing equipment and digital photography products to large and small businesses, as well as techno-savvy consumers. It said Monday it is offering for the first time a no-payment, zero-percent financing plan until Jan. 1, 2003 on products of $2,000 or more that are purchased by March 29.

 

The offer, which Sony acknowledged was borrowed from the auto industry, is aimed primarily at jump-starting sales to small business customers that were hurt by the Sept. 11 terror attacks.

 

''A lot of companies have been delaying their purchase plans,'' said Robert Christy, a Sony spokesman. ''This is an opportunity to help our customers in these tough economic times.''

 

As for any risks to the bottom line, he responded, ''We're looking to sell volume.''

General Motors Corp. was the automaker first to offer zero-percent interest in September with its ''Keep America Rolling Program,'' a way to boost sales that were already weak before the attacks. Ford Motor Co., the Chrysler Group of DaimlerChrysler AG and Toyota Motor Corp. followed within days.

 

The programs were set to expire at the end of October, but were so successful that GM, Ford and Chrysler extended them twice. GM's expired on Jan. 2 and was replaced with a $2,002 rebate program that is expected to cost GM less than the no-interest loan.

 

Chrysler's program ended Jan. 8, but the automaker was expected to announced a new incentive plan that will feature $2,000 in cash back on 2002 Dodge Durango sport utility vehicles. The Ford program ends Jan. 14.

 

Burt Flickinger, III, managing director of Reach Marketing, a consulting firm in Westport, Conn., said zero-percent interest come-ons from the auto industry were successful in the short term, but too costly for companies in the long term.

''They have to protect themselves,'' he said, noting that automakers feared they would lose sales in 2002 and 2003 because consumers moved up their purchases to take advantage of the incentives.

 

For consumer electronics and home furnishings retailers, no-interest loans are less risky, given the constant change in technology and seasonality of the product mix.

But, Flickinger warned, ''companies really want to direct consumers and corporate clients on a new line of products, rather than subsidizing sales on existing products.''

 

Merchants said they were pleased with the success of their financing deals last year, but would not comment on their strategy this year due to competitive reasons.

 

Home Depot, the nation's largest home improvement chain, which had always offered an everyday no-payment, no-interest loan for six months on purchases over $299, was more generous this past holiday season, applying the zero-percent financing to all merchandise and extending it to 12 months.

 

''It helped sales. It did very well for us,'' said Heather Wilson, director of credit marketing, who didn't want to discuss any new enticements for this year.

 

 

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