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Updated June 30, 2012 --  Scroll down to read all stories.




The passing of HB213 (click here) in the last session was quite an accomplishment.  Basically, it gives those of us in our industry the same rights to dispose of vehicles that banks and credit unions have had for many years.  That is, banks and credit unions are not required to be motor vehicle dealers in order to dispose of their vehicles.  By the way, for us, it is practically impossible to obtain such a license due to the insurance requirements -- no carrier will write insurance for a title pawn lender.  And, even if they do it is incredibly expensive.  

On the surface and for some this may not have been a problem, but for many others it was a serious problem.  It came in the form of a requirement that you have a motor vehicle license when applying for a county pawn license.  And it also came in the form of visits by the local country revenue collectors who badgered many of us in the industry by requiring us to obtain a motor vehicle license and oh, by the way while your at it, to pay for the years in the past when they did not have a license.  Now, we are free to dispose of vehicles without the requirement to obtain such a license.  It took a while to get this done but we finally managed to pass it thanks to the effort of our lobbyist Michael Sullivan.  When you see Michael, say "thanks!"



The Senate has just passed the massive new “Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act" and it will become the law of the land very shortly.  The legislation will have a dramatic impact on how we conduct our business. Click here to read our frank assessment and thoughts of what we know about this massive and far reaching legislation at the moment.  The full impact of this massive bill (over 2,000 pages) will not be known until the new CFPB agency is in operation and begins to create regulations.  The new agency will most likely appear within the next six months or so and it may take another year or so before they get into the rulemaking business. 

Click here to view the CFPB portion of this legislation (400 pages) that directly impacts us.  This is a pdf file and may take a moment to load.


NEW TITLE PAWN LEGISLATION DRAFTED.  March 31, 2010 Click here to see legislation drafted by Representative Rod Scott.  Michael Sullivan, TPCA's lobbyiest, and Easy Money's lobbyist have worked directly with Rep. Scott.  This legislation will not go anywhere in this session, but certainly has the potential to come back next year.  By the way, the introduction of this legislation was stopped primarily by our Borrow Smart relationship with the Black Caucus.  As a result of our Borrow Smart relationship the request was routed to Michael Sullivan and to Easy Money's lobbyist who has a close relationship with Rep. Scott.  They had discussions with Rep. Scott about ways this legislator might solve this problem without legislation.

We fully understand this legislation could most likely be "managed" through the normal process in Montgomery.  But the Borrow Smart relationship was brought to this legislator's attention by his own peers who are very familiar with Borrow Smart before it ever spun out of control.  And, it was done so in a positive way that could only be done by a "consumer based" organization like Borrow Smart as opposed to the industry.  The Borrow Smart relationship in this example is not unlike a similar experience with a key legislator at the unprecedented national Alabama Arise assault panel against our industry last fall.  It was the Borrow Smart consumer program that convinced an Alabama Arise legislative ally, who sat on the Arise panel, to listen to our side.  So, don't ever think that Borrow Smart is not working.  It is working and in ways you may never know.

ROY HUTCHESON HAS AN IMPORTANT NATIONAL UPDATE AND OPPORTUNITY FOR US TO MAKE A BIG DIFFERENCE!  September 18, 2009.  The American Association of Responsible Auto Lenders (AARAL) is working hard to protect our interest on a national level.  But, they need our immediate help by supporting a fundraiser for the Ranking Member of the Senate Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs Committee -- our own Senator Richard ShelbyClick here and download a special message from Roy Hutcheson who is a founding member of TPCA and of AARAL about how you can become involved and help in this battle and at the same time learn first hand about the issues we face.  This is a pdf file and may take a moment to download to your computer.

NATIONAL LEGISLATION IS INTRODUCED. March 2, 2009.  As we reported here, two bills were introduced on the same day last week against our industry.  Isn't that strange?  Two bills -- same day - different houses of Congress.  You don't think our adversaries had any input in this do you?  Read here and here about what our adversaries think about it and then answer that question.  And don't forget the incredible political connections of our "friends" over at CRL, as you can clearly see here.  That's just one example.  We already know how effective the CRL has been in over 15 states in less than 18 months.  And now, all of this is unfolding on their own home turf.  Remember, they are headquartered in Washington, DC for a good reason.

Our first thought and comment about this is that it should not come as a surprise to anyone who visits this site.  We have been posting about this issue for a couple of months (go here and read more).  Second, we do not have any representation in Washington, at the moment, and so we must rely on our members and others who have direct knowledge.  We believe we have some incredibly well informed readers and members and we very much appreciate their responses and input on this issue.  Please continue to reply if you have direct knowledge about this issue or if you know what others in the industry (FISCA, CFSA, AARAL, etc.) may be doing or saying.  We will not disclose any names, unless the person providing the information wishes us to do so.

So, what is the bottom line?  In a few short words we will state the obvious, our situation is clearly worse than it was one week ago!  How much worse?  From our members responses, it is not clear.  But at the moment, we do not believe the votes are in the Congress to pass the bills.  Please keep in mind, this situation is very fluid and can change in a moment.  This assessment is from about seven or eight replies from some smart, very well placed members.  Many of us have talked amongst ourselves and may have developed many scenarios on why or why not these bills may pass.  There are all kind of dynamics that affect this and there are all kinds of lobbyist working this issue in Washington.  So, for any of us to venture a guess where this may end up is pure speculation.  Maybe it makes you feel better, but that is about the only value as best we can tell.  Speculation is okay if you are on the floor everyday, but for us out here in the hinterlands, it is futile and probably useless -- expect for the moment and the associated "feel good" benefit.

There is one thing that we are quite sure of, though.  This makes our move to launch a national initiative even more compelling.  Our belief is that our local groups (TPCA, Modern Financial, Borrow Smart and even individual local companies) alone can not make any serious impact on this issue.  At the moment, we must rely on and believe that others are working as hard and as smart as they possibly can in Washington to save us.  Our plan is to launch an effort that will not duplicate anything they are doing.  It will be designed to support their effort with a well coordinated, professional grass-roots initiative not unlike the same effort that went into the very successful Borrow Smart program launched over a year ago by payday and title lenders in our state -- except this will be a national effort.  There are plenty of lobbyist in Washington DC and we hope to provide them with valuable tools that will work to the benefit of all of us.  In doing so, we will partner with them for feedback on steps we can take in our home states to further our cause in coordination with their efforts.   More on that later.

In the meantime, check here often.  We will keep you all posted on any new developments as soon as we hear of them.

A NATIONAL UPDATE. February 8, 2009.   The report that we passed along here at the national page is really all that we know for a fact -- at the moment.  But, for our members we want you to know that we are working hard on this issue.  It is not a passive project.  Our goal, as we stated previously, is to establish a national effort.  We have held several meetings with industry groups from Mississippi and Tennessee and had discussions with other states and we believe we are very close to announcing a plan of action.  That plan will be launched through our affiliate organization at The Council For Fair Lending.  It will be a national effort with a national focus.  That is all we can tell you at the moment.  It will be at least a couple of weeks before we are ready to make any announcement, but you will be one of the first to know.

In the meantime, from what we can gather at the moment we don't believe ANYONE knows where this might end up.  The general thought is that the 36% cap will not be passed this year, but something that might have a major impact on our industry will most likely be introduced in the next thirty to sixty days.  We don't know what that will be and we don't believe anyone else does with any degree of accuracy, either.  Frankly, this is all we know for the moment.  As this is written, we believe anyone who tells you they know with 100% certainty what is coming down is either badly misinformed or does not have a clue.  Stay tuned and check back here often.  We will keep you abreast of information as it is learned. 

WACHOVIA CLOSES ACCOUNTS. December 1, 2008.  A TPCA member has reported that Wachovia is closing 30 of their bank accounts.  They have given our member until January 31 to find another bank.  We first reported on this problem at another site almost four years ago (click here).  We no longer update the site, but it will give you background information on the issues.  If you know of anyone who has had success in reversing Wachovia's decision, please drop us an email or call (205-733-9926).  For some strange reason, I don't expect any replies.

EZ CORP ANNOUNCES NEW TITLE LOAN PRODUCT. December 1, 2008.  EZ Corp, a publicly held pawn and financial services company, has announced their entry into the title lending business.  This is interesting because anyone who has been in the business for more than a few years may remember they fought against title lending aggressively for many years.   You can click here to read a summary of the report or click here to read the full report which is included in their financial analyst conference call announcing their quarterly earnings.

LEGISLATIVE REPORT FOR WEEK ENDING MAY 3rd. May 3, 2008.  Here is Michael's legislative report from last week.  No change, but if you make consumer loans there is a new bill you may want to look into.  Click here for the report.

TITLE PAWN LAWSUIT ISSUE. May 1, 2008.  Our TPCA attorney, Jeff Ingram, has alerted us to a potential issue as it relates to bankruptcy filings and possible lawsuits.  Click here to read his update.

GOOD NEWS, AS IN LEGISLATIVE NEWS. April 28, 2008.  Go to the Legislative section and read a full report or click hear and read Michael's summary from last week.  As you can see from Michael's report the last legislative threat of this session, Senator Barron's bill, is projected to die.

LEGISLATIVE UPDATE FOR WEEK ENDING APRIL 19th. April 21, 2008.  It turns out nothing has changed since the last two weekly reports. That is good.  You may be thinking these reports are starting to sound like a broken record.  You may be right.  We sure hope so.

Here is Michael's report from last week. This session is winding down and the likelihood becomes less and less with each passing legislative day (two of which occur this week) that Senator Barron's bill will come out of the Senate this session.  If anything breaks this week, we will notify you immediately.

LEGISLATIVE UPDATE FOR WEEK ENDING APRIL 13th. April 13, 2008.  Again, we are pleased to report there was no action on our issues in the legislature last week.  But, as we have been reporting for several weeks, we fully expect Senator Barron's bill to begin making its movements very soon.  And when it does, it has high likelihood of being passed out of the Senate.  To read Michael's report from last week click here.

LEGISLATIVE UPDATE FOR WEEK ENDING APRIL 5th. April 7, 2008.  There was no new action in the legislature last week that would effect us.  This week we anticipate Senator Barron will hold a press conference to announce his new payday legislation.  Actually, we expected it last week, but it never happened.  Through our Borrow Smart affiliate we will attend the press conference and will make a public statement and distribute a press release after Senator Barron's press conference.

You can click here (or here) to read Michael's full legislative report from last week.

NEW PAYDAY LOAN LEGISLATION WAS INTRODUCED TODAY. March 27, 2008.  New payday lending legislation was introduced today by Senator Lowell Barron.  As we indicated in the last report, this legislation was expected.  You can find a full copy of the bill here.  Below is a brief summary of the more significant points in the proposed legislation:

  • A 24 hour right of recession

  • A new extended payment option

  • Ban on certain military lending

  • A discount/rebate for early payment (within ten days)

  • A prohibition against targeting those on fixed income

We do not have much more to report on the legislation at the moment except to say that we believe that Senator Barron, who is chairman of the rules committee, does plan to work the bill through the Senate.  Michael Sullivan will work with Senator Barron and others for the best possible outcome.

LEGISLATIVE REPORT FROM WEEK ENDING MARCH 15th. March 17, 2008.  To sum it up quickly, nothing has happened since the last report.  We last reported that we expected payday legislation from Senator Barron.  For several reasons that has not happened.  We still rate it as likely this session -- at the moment.  Each passing legislative day makes it less likely, though.

So, where do we stand in the session? For the most part, pretty well --  at least today.  The legislature is out this week and will reconvene again on March 25th.  That will place us at the half-way point of the session.  If we get past the first couple of weeks in April, we will have dodged the bullet for another year.  "Dodged the bullet" is probably not a good choice of words.  A better choice might be a lot of hard work on the part of Michael Sullivan and all the planning and effort (including Borrow Smart) that went on well ahead of this session.  If you look around us it is pretty obvious when you see where we stand relative to other states.  States like, VA, OH, CO, VT, DC & AR who all are under major attacks and are on the loosing side or very close to it.  Think back now to the dollars we spent on lobbying, on hosting and sponsoring events and to our very successful Borrow Smart program.  We are now seeing returns on our investment.  Clearly, these efforts are paying dividends. 

It is, however, not over yet.  We still have plenty of legislative days for things to go south.  We will be watching and will keep you posted.

LEGISLATIVE REPORT FROM MARCH 1st. March 3, 2008.  We have reports that Senator Barron may be ready to introduce legislation to "reform" the Deferred Deposit Act.  Until we see the legislation we cannot be sure what it may contain.  We believe it may be similar to his effort last year.  We will advise as soon as more information is available.

The other big news, of course, was the recent report that State Banking would pull their proposed legislation.  As mentioned above, we know there are others in the legislature who are interested in introducing legislation, but so far they have not surfaced.  By the way, we are about one-third of the way into the session so there is still plenty of time for something to happen.  Of course the deeper we get into the session, the "safer" we become.  Although the session ends officially around mid to late May, by about the first of May any new legislation introduced has almost zero chance of passing.

Clearly, we are faring much better than some of our peer states.  See these stories, AR, VA, CO and NH for the bigger picture.  That is in addition to OR, PA and DC that all went away last year.  Clearly our industry is under a frontal assault.  Although these attacks are, for the most part, payday lending many of the above already disallow title lending and it should be very obvious that title lending would follow close on any payday ban.  That's why we must stand together and fight to preserve our businesses on very front.

STATE BANKING WITHDRAWS LEGISLATION. February 20, 2008.  Scott Corscadden advised the Title Pawn Council of Alabama (TPCA) yesterday that they plan to withdraw their proposed legislation -- pawn and title pawn legislation.  We also believe it includes the deferred deposit proposed changes as well.  This came as a surprise.  We have met twice with the Superintendent and with Scott.  At the last meeting we presented a proposal that if they would drop the legislation we would negotiate with them and work toward the goal of introducing legislation next year jointly with State Banking.

Frankly, we suspect the reason for their decision is they were just not able to find support for this legislation.  By support, we mean finding someone to sponsor the bills.  If true, this is just another good example of the relationship we have with the key leaders.  Thanks to Michael Sullivan and the others who have worked very hard on this!

Over the course of the next few weeks we (TPCA) need to decide what our next step might be and begin planning for next year.  We believe there are some changes that may be needed.  The board will work on this and get back to you all soon.

By the way, this does not mean there may not be other legislation introduced against us this session by any means.  Just that it will not be State Banking.

TPCA MEETS WITH STATE BANKING. February 1, 2008.  Representatives of the Title Pawn Council of Alabama (TPCA) met yesterday with the State Banking Department to discuss their proposed title pawn legislation.  Here is a link to their proposed legislation and here is a link to the full report of our meeting.  Be sure you spend the time review this important information.

SUMMARY OF BILLS PROPOSED BY STATE BANKING. January 22, 2008.  We have obtained a copy of a letter in which State Banking summarizes the changes they want to impose on the industry.  They have sent this legislation to several legislators and are actively looking for a sponsor.  This is not a pretty picture!  Read it here.  After you open the document and if you wish to print it, use the print icon in the upper right corner of the web page.  The regular Internet Explorer print button does not do the trick.

UPDATE January 24th:  We were told by Scott Corscadden that State Banking was willing to talk with us before sending over legislation.  So much for that commitment from Mr. Corscadden!  Further, we sent this letter which they received almost a week ago.  So far -- no response at all.

THE LATEST ON THE STATE BANKING TITLE LENDING PROPOSAL. January 21, 2008.  We previously reported on title lending legislation that State Banking is proposing (see below on January 2nd).  It is terrible legislation.  Last week we sent Scott Corscadden this letter requesting a meeting with him and the Superintendent, Mr. Jack Harrison.  As of this report, we have not heard back from Scott about our request.  The purpose of our meeting will be to determine why they are doing this and why now.  We met with Mr. Harrison last year and he emphatically told us that the purpose of his department was to support and enforce the statutes passed by the legislature.  This action clearly goes well beyond that effort.  We want to know what has changed since then!

When have more concrete information, we will hold a conference call for our members to discuss this situation in detail and to answer any questions you may have.  We expect this to be within the next ten days.  In the meantime, if you have not already read this full report from CFL regarding the 08 outlook, you may want to check it out now.

UPDATE: We have just learned that State Banking has forwarded their package of legislative proposals to each of the committee chairs in the house and senate.  They are Representative Mike Hill and Senator Bobby Singleton respectively.

INDUSTRY GETS COVERAGE IN DECATUR. January 21, 2008.  The media reports as a result of Borrow Smart Alabama continue to come in.  Here is the latest from an article in the Decatur Daily.

INDUSTRY GETS POSITIVE TV COVERAGE IN BIRMINGHAM. January 7, 2008.  Most often when we see something on TV or in the paper about title or payday lending it is terribly bad.  Go to www.councilforfairlending.com and click on the Media Report button in the middle of the page to see what one local TV station in Birmingham has to say about us.  Based on the article below, we may need much more of this in the upcoming legislative session!

LEGISLATION ON THE HORIZON -- IMPORTANT UPDATE!  January 2, 2008. We discovered just before Christmas that the State Banking department plans to propose new legislation for both the pawn and deferred deposit statutes.

First, the pawn statute proposal (click here to read).  We sent our members a notice with a very brief summary of the proposed legislation a week or so ago.  We have since spoken with Scott Corscadden.  Scott indicated he wants our input in helping to craft a final bill.  In our previous notice we indicted the proposed legislation was similar to Mississippi and Tennessee.  That, in fact, was confirmed by Scott.  He indicated it was patterned after the MS legislation which he believes has worked well for all parties.  This proposed legislation is significant and could have a major impact on how we operate.  If both or either the pawn and/or deferred deposit legislation passes, we believe it would have a very negative impact on our business.   

By the way, we have preached that we don't live in a vacuum in the state as it relates to what our neighbors do.  Well, this is a perfect example.  State Banking went straight to Mississippi for the new model!  I guess the good news is they did not go to Florida!

Second, regarding the deferred deposit changes, State Banking wants to change the statute to provide for a single state-wide database that State Banking essentially controls.

We plan on meeting with State Banking officials in the weeks ahead and before the next session begins to discuss these issues in much greater detail.  At the present, we plan to work directly with State Banking to manage this matter and we will keep all of our members posted on the status of our meetings.

IS THERE LEGISLATION ON THE HORIZON?  November 26, 2007 The short answer is we don't see any at the moment.  Read through the news here and over at the CFL site and you can see we've worked double overtime this year to help preserve our business.  We hope and expect the hard work pays off this year.  This is not to say that legislation may not be introduced, just that we are not aware of any at the moment.  Certainly our situation is not anything like it was this time last year.  And, if and when something appears on the radar screen we are much better equipped to deal with it than we ever have been before.  Let's all hope we don't need to use our newfound capabilities.  Actually, part of our newly implemented CFL program is preventive in nature.  So, we'll see.

We will keep you posted of any new developments that occur, but so far so good!

MEETING WITH SENATE LEADERS.  August 1, 2007.  Michael Sullivan has arranged an extended meeting with the leaders of the Alabama Senate.  It turns out this will be a three day golfing trip with Senators Lowell Barron, Zeb Little, Senate Majority Leader and Hinton Mitchem, President Pro Tem of the Senate.  This will give us plenty of face time with those who help decide our fate in the Senate!

The trip is sponsored by several members of TPCA and CFL.  Click on the picture below to see who sponsored this event and helped make it possible.

List updated 8/7/07


By the way, this is confidential information for members only.  We should not publicize this event.

STATE OF ALABAMA SETTING UP A NEW ONLINE SYSTEM FOR AUTO TITLES.  August 1, 2007.  We all know the problems with filing a lien in Alabama.  It's manual and it takes six to eight weeks.  Not good!   Now comes the State of Alabama with their new ETAPS system. At the moment it is only available for Designated Agents (which excludes us).  However, it will be available soon for non Designated Agents for the purpose of filing liens.  This will significantly reduce the turn-around time from many weeks to just days. 

TPCA met last week with the State to discuss how we can participate in the new system.  The State expressed a high level of interest in working with us to be sure pawnbrokers have a system that works for them.  Through August and September the State will be working on the development of the new system and they have invited us to work with them -- which we will do.  This new system will not be a full blown Designated Agent system, but a system primarily for filing liens.  The State also expressed an interest in attending one of our future meetings to discuss this and to discuss other issues connected with title transfers. 

We don't know when the final ETAPS system will be available to us, but our guess is about six months (maybe less).  We will keep you all informed about this great new service.

SUPREME COURT MAKES DECISION ON WAITES CASEJuly 6, 2007. Our association attorney, Jeff Ingram, has informed us that the Alabama Supreme Court has made their decision regarding the Waites case.  You may recall, this is the case that would have invalidated the pawn statute.  The Supreme Court has reversed the decision which is a big ruling in our favor.  We do not have any further information at this moment.  Please check back here later for more information.

Updated July, 7th -- You can now go here to download the decision.  Jeff Ingram indicated there were several significant issues about this case; 1) It was decided much sooner than expected, which may be an indication of the merits (an easy decision), 2) There were no dissenters (this is unusual) and 3) there were several arguments in the case but the only one addressed in the decision was the standing of the plaintiff which turned the case.  Read this decision.  It is good.  Jeff and the other attorneys deserve "big time kudos" for this job!  Had the decision gone the other way, we would have BIG problems on this day.

IMPORTANT ARBITRATION DECISION.  June 20, 2007. Our association attorney, Galese & Ingram, has informed us that the Alabama Supreme Court has handed down an important decision with regard to an arbitration case involving TitleMax and a wrongful repossession case.  This is quite an interesting case.  Issues relating to repossession are probably the single most common legal issue our members face.  Not to have a legally well drafted arbitration agreement in place on every single customer can be a very real and serious threat to your business!  Read and download the decision here.

SUPREME COURT TITLE PAWN CASE UPDATE May 18, 2007.  Our attorney, Jeff Ingram, has advised there is nothing new to report on this important case.  Further, he does not expect any decision until much later in the year.  We will keep you posted.


PAYDAY BILL MEETING IN SENATE COMMITTEE TODAY! May 15, 2007.  Read the good news at the legislative site here.


NEW ACTION ON PAYDAY LENDING BILLS IN THE SENATE. May 10, 2007.  Michael Sullivan, our TPCA lobbyist, reported yesterday that the special Senate committee chaired by Sen. Byrne planned to introduce his legislation next Tuesday to the committee.  The main provisions of this legislation are:

  • 2% rate per month on payday loans

  • 30 maximum term for loan

  • Maximum of three loans in any twelve month period

  • Next business day right of rescission

  • Allow for extended payment with no fees

  • No rollovers or renewals

  • Ban on military lending

We now learn that Senator Byrne will be the new chancellor of the two year college system.  We hope and expect this may effectively stop this legislation.  We will get you more information after the committee meets next Tuesday.


HB-769 IS INTRODUCED WITH CHANGES TO THE PAWN STATUTE.  May 3, 2007.  See the details here at our legislative page regarding this bill.


SOME GOOD NEWS. April 12, 2007.  See this article from the Wall Street Journal regarding payday lending.  It's good.  The news has most definitely improved on many fronts since the launch of the CFSA campaign.


STATE BANKING SUPERINTENDENT APPEARS ON ALABAMA PUBLIC TELEVISION. April 9, 2007.  One of our members alerted us to the appearance by the State Banking Superintendent on Alabama Public Television a couple of weeks ago.  Click here to see his interview in which he discusses, among other things, payday lending and title lending.


SESSION NEARING HALF-WAY POINT. April 9, 2007.  The legislature is nearing the half-way point.  They will convene this week, but will be off next week for break.  When they return, the session will be at the half-way point.  So far, there is no additional news to report on the bills that affect us as described below.  For the most part the Senate seems to be bogged down on internal political issues.


UPDATE ON RECENT BILLS TO SHUT DOWN THE INDUSTRY.  April 2, 2007.  There is no news of any significance to report on the proposed legislation.  A committee has been formed that includes the Senators who introduced the legislation, the payday and title industry representatives (which includes us) and consumer group representatives.  The committee has held meetings which are essentially to provide the Senators with feedback on the impact of their legislation.  The focus of the committee, at the moment, seems to be on the payday legislation.  The committee plans to address the title bill after the payday issues are resolved.  At the moment we do not have any timeframes on when that will occur.


UPDATE ON RECENT BILLS TO SHUT DOWN THE INDUSTRY.  March 24, 2007.  We are working on the three Senate bills through our lobbyists that would shut down our industry.  There is no news to report (good or bad) at the moment.  We expect to see more activity in the press over the next week or so and we expect that legislation may be introduced in the House that would be similar to that in the Senate.  Many of you have contacted us wanting to know if there is anything you can do.  The only thing you can do at the moment is to make sure you are a member of our association.  We will soon need all the support we can muster.  Your support will be critical when the time comes.


BILLS INTRODUCED IN ALABAMA SENATE WILL SHUT DOWN OUR INDUSTRY!!  March 10, 2007.  The Senate introduced three bills that for all practical purposes will shut down the industry.  To those who have attended our meetings this should come as no surprise.  Your association is working diligently on this situation.  We do not have much to report at the moment.  Many of you have asked if we need to begin contacting our local representatives.  The short answer, is not yet.  At the proper time, we will most definitely let you know we are ready to begin an intense, grass-roots effort to present our side of the story.  Rest assured, we are monitoring and tracking this situation hourly throughout every day.  We will soon get back with more information.  Also, rest assured this is the most significant threat against our industry since we formed TPCA six years ago!

See the press articles here, here and here.


NEW WEB SITE IN THE MAKING.  March 10, 2007.  We are working on a new web site and it should be completed in the next month or so.  There will be many new features and more information available to our members.  For the most part, the new site will be for TPCA members only through a registration process.  If you are not a member of TPCA, you may want to consider joining now.


A NEW LOW COST, LIMITED TIME INTRODUCTORY TPCA MEMBERSHIP IS NOW AVAILABLE.  March 10, 2007.  The Board of Directors has approved a new, limited time introductory rate for TPCA membership which is substantially lower than our current dues.  Go here for our current dues.  This new dues arrangement has not been added to any other location on this site yet.  The annual cost under the new plan is $350 for your first store and $100 for each additional store up to a maximum of 10 stores.  We will bill this on a quarterly basis.  If you are not member and have never been a member, now is the time to join.  Especially now, with what we are facing!  Hurry, though this offer will expire soon.  Drop us an email or call at 205-733-9926 for more information or to join under this new low rate option.


TPCA WILL HELP ORGANIZE A NEW ASSOCIATION TO PROMOTE TRUTH ABOUT THE TITLE AND PAYDAY LENDING INDUSTRY.  February 11, 2007.  At our meeting on January 31st we discussed an exciting new concept to promote "good news" about our industry (title pawn and payday advance).  Due the constant attacks by the press in which the press virtually never, ever bothers to tell the other side of the story, we all agreed it was time someone spoke out for our industry.  We plan to do this!  You will hear much more about this later.


SUPREME COURT CASE HAS NEW INTERVENER IN TITLE PAWN LAW SUITE.  January 9, 2007.  The Southern  Poverty Law Center has filed a brief in the Supreme Court case against us.  Here is a link to their web site.  They are an "activist" organization.  It is probably fair to say their agenda is opposed to ours!


SENATE COMPLETES ORGANIZATION SESSION.  January 9, 2007.  The Alabama Senate completed their organization session today.  It did not go as everyone expected (including us).  Here is the story.  Now that this task is complete, the TPCA Board of Directors will meet to map out our strategy for this session.  This is shaping up to be a very trying period for us.  The session begins in early March but bills can and most likely will be filed any time between now and the end of the session.


SENATE ORGANIZATION SESSION BEGINS THIS WEEK.  January 7, 2007.  The Alabama Senate meets this week to decide the leadership roles for the next session.  The outcome of this will be very important to our members.  Go here for the story.


BIRMINGHAM NEWS & TV STATIONS BASH PAYDAY LENDERS AS PREDATORY  December 2, 2006.  A spate of articles appeared this week bashing payday lenders as predators.  Clearly, this is timed to influence legislation -- both local and national!  Read much more about this here.


REGIONS BANK ADOPTS AMSOUTH "BANK CLOSING POLICY".  November 8, 2006.  We have been advised by the Modern Financial folks (payday association) of new bank closings.  We hate to say we told you so -- BUTSee our news article from several months ago regarding the AmSouth - Regions merger.  Actually, we thought the issue was put to bed at the end of last year, but apparently that is not the case.  Go to the bank closing link on the left and read all about this problem.  This is not a local issue.  There have been hearings in Washington to resolve this problem.  We thought those efforts had paid off and the problem was resolved.  That does not now appear to be the case.  This latest round of problems is most likely linked to the merger of AmSouth and Regions.

If you are contacted by Regions about your banking account you will have no other choice but to find another bank.  We do not know of anyone who has convinced AmSouth (now Regions) to change their mind.  We suggest you try local community banks.  We don't know if it will work, but it is about your only option.  None of the major banks seem willing to accept new business from our industry.  We will keep you appraised of the situation.


WE MADE OUR CONTRIBUTION GOAL  November 8, 2006.  Go here to see the latest.


WE ARE WAY SHORT OF OUR CONTRIBUTION GOAL  October 20, 2006.  Go here to see where we stand and to see those who are standing with us!


IS THIS A NEW COMPETITOR? (THE STATE & CREDIT UNIONS) October 20, 2006.  See this article regarding a new approach to payday loans.  Looks like the State and Credit Unions are moving into the business.


JUDGE RULES PAWNSHOP LAW INVALID  October 20, 2006.  As discussed at our meeting in September (and reported here) this is an issue the association will deal with and will follow closely.  We will certainly keep our members informed on this important issue.  The Defendant in the case has now filed a motion for appeal, which was fully expected.  The association has agreed to file a brief on behalf of our members and we expect to do so at the appropriate time.  Many have asked about the timing.  You can go here for a general timeline of the events.


BOARD MEETS - APPOINTS NEW DIRECTOR  October 20, 2006.  The Board of Directors met yesterday and appointed Mr. Bob Reich with Community Loans of America to the Board of Directors.  We are excited about having Bob join us.  He has a broad range of experience in the industry which will be a very important asset as we face multiple challenges in the months ahead.  Community Loans operates in Alabama as Alabama Title Loans and as US Title Loans.  They are one of the largest title loan operators in the state and in the country.    Please join us in welcoming Bob to the Board of Directors.

The Board also agreed to focus on positioning the association to meet the challenges ahead by bringing on new members and expanding the leadership of the association.  You will hear more about this is the weeks ahead.


GREAT AARP STORY  October 12 2006.  This article appeared in a South Carolina paper.  Maybe we are beginning to see more clearly the AARP motives in attacking us so aggressively.  Just what's in it for them?  Read the article and see.


POLITICAL CONTRIBUTIONS. October 11 2006.  At our meeting a few weeks ago many of you pledged to contribute to the PAC.  If you have not already done so, please get your checks in ASAP.  We will post the list of contributions here in a few days.  As you can see from the news below, we will surely need to help our friends in hopes they will stay in Montgomery!

Click here for instructions on making your contributions.

JUDGES RULING APPEALED. October 11 2006The defendant in the recent case that declared the pawn statute invalid has this week filed their intention to appeal that decision as required by the appeal process.  TPCA also plans to file an appeal on behalf of our members.


US CONGRESS PASSES MILITARY LENDING LEGISLATION October 11 2006.  The US Congress has passed and sent legislation to the President that shuts down lending to military personnel and their dependants.  Go here or our association's attorney assessment  and go here for Modern Financials (payday association) attorney's assessment. 


SENATOR BARRON GETS SLAMMED FOR PAYDAY LOANS. October 11 2006 As we predicted the press and political candidates are turning up the rhetoric and we are right in the crosshairs.  This will clearly turn out to be a very bad situation in the next legislative session.  Click here or below and see the latest on Senator Barron.

See What They Have To Say About Us


MORE ON SENATOR BARRON'S PLANS FOR THE INDUSTRY. September 14, 2006.  For those who do not know of Senator Barron, he is President Pro Tem of the Senate.  That is the top office in the Senate and one of the most powerful positions in our government.  Senator Barron was key in getting the payday legislation passed a few years ago.  He also had an ownership position in several payday loan stores.  That is HAD.  The news article indicated he has disposed of his interest and is no longer in the payday loan business.  In sum, here is what he wants to do in new legislation he plans to introduce in March:  

  • Stop payday roll-overs

  • Set up a single database controlled by State Banking to monitor payday loans

  • Establish a cooling off period for renewal of payday loans

  • Only one payday loan in a 60 day period per customer

  • Place title loans under the Small Loan Act at 24% to 36% APR

Read All About It Here.

SENATOR LOWELL BARRON PLANS TITLE & PAYDAY LEGISLATION. September 14, 2006.  We have just learned from a front page article appearing in the Huntsville Times that Senator Barron plans to introduce legislation that will dramatically effect the title and payday industry!  Check back later and we will have more information.  Here is the article.


JUDGE RULES PAWNSHOP LAW INVALID.  September 9, 2006.  On August 25th St. Clair County Circuit Judge Charles Robinson Sr. struck down a provision of the Alabama Pawn Shop Act in a summary court ruling, saying it violates the Equal Protection Clause of the 14th Amendment of the Constitution.  Click here to download the decision (this is a .pdf file and it may take a moment to load).  We will hold a meeting to discuss this unprecedented ruling and how it will impact our industry.  Click here for meeting information.


REGIONS ACQUIRES AMSOUTH BANK.  May 25, 2006.  AmSouth bank has been acquired by Regions Bank's.  Some reports show it as a merger.  This is not good if you have a bank account at Regions. As we reported at length last year, AmSouth was the main cause of bank discontinuance in our region.  We do not know of any of our members who had an AmSouth bank account who did not have their account closed.  Stated another way, everyone who had an account at AmSouth had their account closed  Many of those who could not find bank accounts moved to Regions.  Oh well.


If you have a problem, click here and read our reports from last year.  Quite frankly, if you encounter problems with Regions we do not of know much you can do except to locate another bank.


JUDGE MAY RULE PAWNSHOP ACT INVALID.  May 18, 2006.  A few days ago we sent a notice regarding a circuit judge in St. Clair county who we expect to rule that the Alabama Pawnshop Act is invalid.  We now have additional information.  The original lawsuit was brought against a title operator in Pell City, AL.  We just discovered the operator is a member of TPCA.  The operator has been in this business for a many years and they operate by the books.  The original lawsuit goes back almost four years.  We understand the judge does not think much of our industry and has not apparently found a violation of any existing statute.  So, this move is apparently his solution.  We are not making this up, promise.  

If the judge makes this ruling, it will most certainly be appealed to the Alabama Supreme Court.  This means between twelve and eighteen months before anything would be decided.


WELCOME NEW MEMBERS.  May 18, 2006.  Please join us in welcoming two new members -- Community Loans of America, one of the largest title lenders in the country (operating as Alabama Title Loans in Alabama) and Speedy Cash with several stores in south Alabama.  Together these companies represent 40 new stores who are now members of TPCA.  We don't know how many title stores there are in the state, but we believe there are between 500 and 600 (there are about 900 total pawnshop licensees, but many are traditional pawnshops only).  With these new members, we believe well over 50% of the operators in, terms of stores, are members of TPCA.  Why is that important, you ask?  There are many good reasons, but two that come to mind immediately are: 1) We clearly have more clout in Montgomery (a pretty important reason) and 2) If we can continue to grow, at some point we will be able to address our dues structure, which will help all of us.


NEWS FROM GEORGIA NEIGHBOR.  May 18, 2006.  On March 25 (see the article below) we wrote about the situation in Georgia.  Thanks to the hard work of many industry folks nothing happened -- this year.  Our president, Jimmy Wiggins, is close to the situation in Georgia and reports that this was a major battle.  He fully expects the issue to be on the agenda at the next legislative session.  


SB501 WILL BRING BIG CHANGES FOR TITLE OPERATORS.  March 25, 2006.  Now comes new legislation in the Senate to monitor our industry with a state-wide database and require us to charge additional fees for every transaction.  We believe this is bad legislation and we are working against it.  Click on Legislative for more information.


NEWS FROM NEIGHBORS.  March 25, 2006We have our own battles here (as noted above). Our industry is under constant attack.  If gone unchecked, the outcome will not be good.  Consider just the states that border Alabama:  Florida; title loans were outlawed years ago -- NO MORE TITLE LOANS IN FLORIDA,  Mississippi; among other changes they implemented a few years ago customers are required to pay a portion of their principal every month,  Tennessee; just this year implemented changes similar to MS.  And now comes Georgia.  Read what the Atlanta Journal has to say about it by clicking here.  The outcome under pending legislation in Georgia could be like Florida or like Tennessee (let's hope it is TN).  Don't think we are immune in Alabama.  This is the reason for your association and the primary reason we exist.  Our number one job is to look after our interest and to do all we can do to be sure what has happened to our neighbors does not happen to us here.  We need everyone's help in order to succeed.  If you are not a member, please stand with us by joining today. 


LICENSES MAY NOT BE RENEWED.   December 28, 2005.  There is a glitch in the new internet license renewal system for pawnbroker and deferred deposit licenses. The error occurs only if you have multiple licenses.  If you used the “back” button on your browser after you completed your first license application to then enter another license application the system only processed the first license.  All applications after the first application were not processed by the system.  Click here to read the entire article.


MEETING WITH NEW STATE BANKING HEAD.   December 12, 2005.  Last week Jimmy, Max & Michael Sullivan (our lobbyist) met with the new superintendent of the State Banking Department, Mr. John Harrison.  Click here for Jimmy's report.


ASSOCIATION ATTORNEY REVIEWS SUPREME COURT RULING.   December 2, 2005 Our association attorney, Jeff Ingram of Galese and Ingram, has completed his review of the recent Supreme Court ruling.  We have faxed and emailed his assessment to all members.  If you have not received yours, please drop us an email (click here) and we will get it out to you right away.  His review is quite interesting and you will not want to miss it.


ALABAMA SUPREME COURT RULES AGAINST PAYDAY LOAN INDUSTRY.  November 22, 2005.  The Alabama Supreme Court ruled on a lawsuit against the payday loan industry on Friday.  This lawsuit has been around for years.  It appears to affect only operators who made loans prior to the deferred deposit legislation that passed in 2003.  We are not yet sure what the impact of this will be.  Our association attorney is researching the issue and we will get his assessment to our members in the next few days.  Click on the link below to read the story as it appeared in the Birmingham News.

Court rules against payday loan industry.


POLITICIANS IN VIRGINIA TO GO AFTER PAYDAY LOANS IN NEXT SESSION. November 17, 2005It's just not safe anywhere -- at least without a good association behind you!  We have talked at length how several of our neighboring states have hit a brick wall with regard to title and payday loans.  Florida did away with title loans and then they hit payday loans with big changes (none of them good).  Georgia outlawed payday loans and now are trying the same with title loans.  Tennessee has just made big changes in title loans (guess how many changes help the operators?).  And now comes Virginia wanting to eliminate payday loans (like North Carolina has).  Read the story by clicking the link below.

There may be a message here.  If you do not have a strong association in this industry working for you, you may become TOAST!  Make sure you support your association if you want to have a chance.

VA wants to pull the plug.


TITLEMAX SAYS, "PLEASE DON'T PUT US OUT OF BUSINESS."  August 1, 2005.  See this article published today (click link below).  This is not looking good!

  AJC -- More Title Pawn Hearings


GEORGIA TITLE LOAN PROBLEMS WORSEN July 27, 2005.  Georgia has turned out to be a bad state for payday loans, mortgage loans and now maybe title loans!  As a result of an assault by the Atlanta  paper (Atlanta Journal Constitution) the Georgia legislature introduced adverse title pawn legislation in the last session.  It did not pass.  BUT, they agreed to hold hearings over the summer and address title pawn again in the next legislative session.  Now, this may not seem like an Alabama problem, but it could very easily spill over.  Remember the horrible bills introduced by the Alabama legislature when title pawn was outlawed by our other neighbor (Florida) a few years ago?  That was certainly no coincidence.

Click on the link below to read what Georgia (and maybe us) are up against.

AJC -- Title Pawn Articles       AJC Hypocrisy & Bias


PAYDAY SCAM ALERT July 27, 2005.  The Modern Financial group (payday loan association for Alabama) has advised us there is a payday scam making the rounds in the state.  So far as we know it has only affected payday loans.  But, the group could easily expand into title loans.  Here is the information provided to us by the Modern Financial Group:

A GSA employee has been to many check cashing stores in Alabama and used more than one social security number.  We have a special investigator for GSA working on this.  The names used by the perpetrators are  Keshia Horton and Carla Neal.  The following are stores that have been affected that we ARE AWARE OF; AAA Between Pay Day, Check N GO, Cash Back, The Money Store, Approved Cash Advance, 500Fast Cash, United Cash Loans, AmeriLoan, Cash Advance Plus  Paycheck Today, Oneclickcash, Check Into Cash, Easy Money, Ez Pawn, Cash Mart, Fast Cash, Talking Cash, Advance America, Cash Advance Plus.  The GSA investigator needs our help.  They want to get this message to our members to help identify how many other locations are involved.  This appears to be a ring and they have stolen thousands of dollars.  In order to get Federal help the amount must be 10,000.00.  Otherwise, this puts it back to local  jurisdictions. Please let us know if you have any information about this group.

If you have any information, please send an e-mail or fax (205-444-9606) with the details. Or you can give Max a call at 205-733-9926.  We will get it to the Modern folks right away.  We have been able to help in robberies with our alerts, maybe we can help here as well.



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