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Government and regulators quiz payday industry at summit – Press …

Today government Ministers and regulators will meet with payday lenders and consumer groups to discuss concerns about payday lending.

Consumer Minister Jo Swinson will chair a panel with:

Economic Secretary to the Treasury Sajid Javid Minister for Welfare Reform Lord Freud Office of Fair Trading Chief Executive Clive Maxwell and Financial Conduct Authority Chief Executive Martin Wheatley.

The summit will also be attended by interested parties including chief executives of the payday lending trade associations, heads of a number of major payday lenders, heads of consumer group organisations including Which? Citizens Advice and Stepchange, and heads from the Advertising Standards Authority, Financial Ombudsman Service and Money Advice Service.

Government will make clear at the summit that there remain serious concerns about payday lending, that these loans are not right for a majority of people and that they result in many people not getting a fair deal.

The summit will consider what measures the FCA could introduce to reduce consumer harm in the industry when they become the regulator in 2014. Key areas of payday lending, including advertising, rollovers and affordability checks will also be up for discussion.

Ministers and regulators will set out where we go next to address these concerns and will also make clear that we expect the industry to tackle criticisms and do more to protect consumers.

Consumer Minister Jo Swinson said:

Evidence of significant widespread problems in the payday market is concerning. Earlier this year we and the regulators announced a strong action plan with immediate and longer term measures. Today we will be taking stock of progress and looking at what we do next to better protect consumers and address these problems.

I have long had specific concerns about the advertising of payday loans and my department has commissioned research to look into the effect of payday lending advertising on consumer behaviour. My department will be publishing the research in the autumn.

The Office of Fair Trading will update the summit on the tough enforcement action they have been taking including the referral to the Competition Commission which highlights the widespread nature and seriousness of these problems. Also the Financial Conduct Authority will give a flavour of what their rulebook might contain and how they might regulate the market from 2014.

But the industry needs to do so much more to get its house in order, particularly in terms of protecting vulnerable consumers in financial difficulty. I am concerned that the lenders are not living to the spirit or the letter of the codes of practice that they signed up to last year. This is why I will be launching at the summit a survey to review the effectiveness of the industry codes and customer charter. I expect to hear more on what they are doing to make sure consumers aren’t taking out loans that aren’t right for them.

Economic Secretary to the Treasury, Sajid Javid:

From 1 April next year consumer credit will be overseen by the Financial Conduct Authority. This marks a step-change to how the whole market, and payday lenders in particular, are regulated.

The FCA’s role will be to ensure that consumers are fairly treated and are able to reap the benefits of a competitive market.

Today’s summit will be invaluable in helping to shape the FCA’s thinking on future rules and interventions on payday lending that it might implement next April.

Lord Freud, Minister for Welfare Reform, said:

The unscrupulous practices of some payday lenders can place vulnerable people at risk.

I am concerned about some companies using Continuous Payment Authority (CPA) to access borrowers’ bank accounts inappropriately and excessively. I am determined that payday lenders should not be able to misuse this system to recoup funds from vital benefit payments that should be used for essential spending, such as utility bills and rent.

We are working hard to end financial exclusion, which is often the reason people turn to payday lenders. We are investing £38m in credit unions to provide a good value alternative to help people save and access loans if they need them.

I hope this summit will address some of the problems with the industry, so lenders can meet their obligations to their customers.

Notes to Editors

1.The summit will be held at BIS Conference Centre in London.

2.On 6 March, government and regulators announced a series of actions to tackle poor compliance in the payday lending industry:

The OFT now, and the FCA from April 2014, are clamping down on irresponsible practices and in some cases blatant non-compliance by lenders. They have suspended licences of two payday lenders so far. The OFT have put 50 lenders on notice, demanding they fix the problems within 12 weeks or face consequences. Twenty responses to these letters have been received to date. Five of these twenty lenders have left the payday lending market. The OFT have announced that they will refer the payday lending market to the Competition Commission. Government is working with the OFT, the Advertising Standards Agency and industry to look at advertising and tougher codes of practice as soon as possible. The ASA have recently banned two payday adverts for misleading consumers. The FCA will have strong new powers to restrict the form and content of advertising, and has committed to use these powers promptly when it takes charge next year. The government last week laid secondary legislation which will underpin the FCA’s regulatory powers on consumer credit before Parliament. The FCA has committed to consider whether there are gaps in the regulation of payday lending that need to be addressed by the FCA from April 2014.

3.The government’s economic policy objective is to achieve ‘strong, sustainable and balanced growth that is more evenly shared across the country and between industries’. It set four ambitions in the ‘Plan for Growth’, published at Budget 2011:

to create the most competitive tax system in the G20 to make the UK the best place in Europe to start, finance and grow a business to encourage investment and exports as a route to a more balanced economy to create a more educated workforce that is the most flexible in Europe.

Work is underway across government to achieve these ambitions, including progress on more than 250 measures as part of the Growth Review. Developing an Industrial Strategy gives new impetus to this work by providing businesses, investors and the public with more clarity about the long-term direction in which the government wants the economy to travel.

[…]

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Pawnbrokers thriving as poorest hurt in slowdown

On a sidewalk in Sydney’s Bankstown neighborhood, where unemployment is more than double Australia’s average, Dave Cox pulls the starter cord of an edge trimmer to prove it works as he tries to sell it to pawnbroker Cash Converters International Ltd.

“The economy is pretty crap right now,” 38-year-old truck driver Cox, who’s between jobs, said after he offloaded the snipper for $30. In the past month, he sold an iPhone and got a loan at Cash Converters, whose sales last year grew faster than any other Australian retailer that didn’t make a major acquisition. “It just feels bad out there.”

While a mining-investment boom has sustained Australia’s growth and employment, many like Cox have missed out and instead seen finances stretched by high housing costs, driving them into the arms of pawnbrokers. Central bank efforts to plug the gap with record-low interest rates are bypassing lower-income households, which account for just 6 per cent of the nation’s home buyers, while government and opposition pledges to return the budget to surplus mean support for the most marginalized has declined as welfare payments stagnate.

“I’m not surprised,” Bernie Fraser, whose tenure as Reserve Bank of Australia governor from 1989 to 1996 included the last recession in 1991, said of the increasing use of pawnbrokers. “I think that’s pretty heavily correlated with a lot of people doing things tough, and that’s going to continue I believe.”

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Gillard Ousted

The economy switched from a strength to a liability for the ruling Labor Party, which last week dumped Julia Gillard as leader in favor of Kevin Rudd. The new prime minister, who reclaimed the post after he was ousted by Gillard three years ago, signaled economic management will be central to his bid to reel in an almost two-year lead in polls for the opposition.

Cash Converters — which offers pawnbroking, payday loans, goods sales and installment loans — recorded the fastest growth of any Australian retailer with more than $100 million in sales last year that didn’t see revenue boosted by a major purchase, data compiled by Bloomberg show. Revenue jumped 26 per cent in 2012. In contrast, sales at the country’s largest electrical- goods retailer, Harvey Norman Holdings, fell 7.6 per cent.

“Part of why we’ve got that growth could well be the economy,” said Peter Cumins, managing director at Perth-based Cash Converters, who added that store locations are chosen for proximity to households with stretched finances. “Certainly, we are recession proof in that regard.”

Australia has posted the developed world’s quickest growth rates as demand from China fueled a once-in-a-century mining- investment boom. That’s souring as China’s outlook deteriorates and the Aussie dollar’s strength forces companies including Ford Motor Co. to cut workers and close plants.

Aussie QE?

Economists at Macquarie Group Ltd., Australia’s largest investment bank, see a 40 per cent chance of recession in the next 12 months — defined locally as two consecutive quarters of contraction — even after the central bank cut rates to a record-low 2.75 per cent. Saul Eslake, chief Australia economist for Bank of America Merrill Lynch in Melbourne, projects a 25 per cent chance for 2015.

“We expect the RBA to cut further — to as low as 1 per cent in the event of a recession — and it may need to undertake a ‘Down Under QE,’” Eslake wrote in a June 14 note to clients, referring to a local version of the Federal Reserve’s quantitative-easing policy to support economic growth.

South of Melbourne, Victoria’s state capital, some of pawnbroker Joe Yammouni’s customers are coming to his store, Cash Deal, on the Mornington Peninsula for the first time since he opened in 2001.

‘Unexpected Bills’

“I’m talking your average family members who you wouldn’t have seen before, who come in and say ‘I’m so embarrassed for being here,’” he said. “Things are tight at the moment; they just get unexpected bills or payments come through and they have to use our services.”

A decline in new electronic product prices is compounding difficulties for people selling goods for cash, said Yammouni, 41, who has worked in the industry since 1994. A $3,000 TV that could be resold for $1,000 five years ago now retails for about $400, and as a reseller today, “you’d take whatever you could get,” he said.

One in eight Australians and one in six children live below the poverty line, according to a report last year by the Australian Council of Social Service. The group defines the level as 50 per cent of median disposable income, a standard measure of financial hardship in wealthy countries, it says.

Jobless Payments

That was $358 per week for a single adult in 2010 and $752 for a couple with two children, the October 2012 Acoss report showed. Australia’s unemployed receive $248.50 a week for as long as they demonstrate an active search for work, a payment that’s been indexed to inflation for more than 30 years.

An increase beyond consumer-price growth is unlikely as Australia’s slowdown curbs tax revenue and both major political parties vow to return the budget to balance.

“The existing government, and even more so the incoming government, are making it clear they’re not going to use that fiscal-policy instrument, which is crazy really,” said Fraser, 72, who was also secretary to the Treasury from 1984 to 1989. “Monetary policy doesn’t have any distributional consequences.”

While a home owner with a $300,000 mortgage is about $300 a month better off since the RBA started cutting rates in November 2011, few lower-income households are benefiting. The proportion of Australian homebuyers in the bottom 40 per cent of incomes is just 6 per cent, according to the Australian Housing and Urban Research Institute.

More Loans

Cash Converters also has outlets in the UK, Spain and Dubai, where it targets arriving and departing expatriates trading second-hand goods. Its personal-loan book in Australia increased by 25 per cent in the six months through December to $84.2 million. Its cash-advance business rose 7.1 per cent to $126.5 million loaned, while the number of active customers climbed 16 per cent. Store sales grew 6.5 per cent.

Cash Converters shares have jumped 71 per cent in the past 12 months, versus a 48 per cent gain for the S&P/ASX 200 Retailing Index.

Australia’s economy grew 2.5 per cent in the first quarter from a year earlier, the slowest pace in almost two years. While unemployment was 5.5 per cent in May, it was 10 per cent or higher in 9.6 per cent of the nation’s 1,402 regions during the fourth quarter, according to government data. The level was 14 per cent for Bankstown in Sydney’s west.

Mortgage arrears rose in March — indicating lower borrowing costs aren’t sufficient for some households — and a record number of the nation’s companies went bust in April.

Businesses Squeezed

Grant Russell has had “quite a lot of business people who are literally financing their staff” by pawning personal possessions such as family jewelry during the past 12 months at his Cash Centre store in the outer Melbourne town of Frankston.

Russell, who also heads the Victorian Independent Pawnbrokers Association and is a 24-year industry veteran, said the value of items is “dropping quite rapidly,” and stores are becoming more selective in what they’ll accept. Many are so full of power tools from tradesmen waiting on delayed payments that they will no longer offer credit on the equipment, he said.

The practice of hocking goods shot to prominence in the past five years with the advent of television programs such as “Pawn Stars,” which first aired in 2009 as the US economy struggled to emerge from the deepest recession since the 1930s. It was followed a year later by “Hardcore Pawn,” set in Detroit, a city that’s battling potential bankruptcy.

Russell said the American programs fueled misconceptions in Australia that people offered “weird and wonderful things” to hock. “It’s bread and butter items that people bring in: video games, flat-panel TVs, laptop computers, always there’s a few power tools,” he said.

Outside Cash Converters in Bankstown, Cox said he wasn’t surprised to learn the pawnbroker is Australia’s best-performing retailer. A staff member told him during the sale of the edge trimmer that the iPhone he brought in the prior week had been sold for almost double what he was paid.

“That’s business and they do it well,” Cox said.

BLOOMBERG

[…]

Pawnbrokers Thriving as Poorest Aussies Bear Brunt of Slowdown

On a sidewalk in Sydney’s Bankstown neighborhood, where unemployment is more than double Australia’s average, Dave Cox pulls the starter cord of an edge trimmer to prove it works as he tries to sell it to pawnbroker Cash Converters International Ltd. (CCV)

“The economy is pretty crap right now,” 38-year-old truck driver Cox, who’s between jobs, said after he offloaded the snipper for A$30 ($28). In the past month, he sold an iPhone and got a loan at Cash Converters, whose sales last year grew faster than any other Australian retailer that didn’t make a major acquisition. “It just feels bad out there.”

While a mining-investment boom has sustained Australia’s growth and employment, many like Cox have missed out and instead seen finances stretched by high housing costs, driving them into the arms of pawnbrokers. Central bank efforts to plug the gap with record-low interest rates are bypassing lower-income households, which account for just 6 percent of the nation’s home buyers, while government and opposition pledges to return the budget to surplus mean support for the most marginalized has declined as welfare payments stagnate.

“I’m not surprised,” Bernie Fraser, whose tenure as Reserve Bank of Australia governor from 1989 to 1996 included the last recession in 1991, said of the increasing use of pawnbrokers. “I think that’s pretty heavily correlated with a lot of people doing things tough, and that’s going to continue I believe.”

Gillard Ousted

The economy switched from a strength to a liability for the ruling Labor Party, which last week dumped Julia Gillard as leader in favor of Kevin Rudd. The new prime minister, who reclaimed the post after he was ousted by Gillard three years ago, signaled economic management will be central to his bid to reel in an almost two-year lead in polls for the opposition.

Cash Converters — which offers pawnbroking, payday loans, goods sales and installment loans — recorded the fastest growth of any Australian retailer with more than $100 million in sales last year that didn’t see revenue boosted by a major purchase, data compiled by Bloomberg show. Revenue jumped 26 percent in 2012. In contrast, sales at the country’s largest electrical-goods retailer, Harvey Norman Holdings Ltd. (HVN), fell 7.6 percent.

“Part of why we’ve got that growth could well be the economy,” said Peter Cumins, managing director at Perth-based Cash Converters, who added that store locations are chosen for proximity to households with stretched finances. “Certainly, we are recession proof in that regard.”

Australia has posted the developed world’s quickest growth rates as demand from China fueled a once-in-a-century mining-investment boom. That’s souring as China’s outlook deteriorates and the Aussie dollar’s strength forces companies including Ford Motor Co. to cut workers and close plants.

Aussie QE?

Economists at Macquarie Group Ltd., Australia’s largest investment bank, see a 40 percent chance of recession in the next 12 months — defined locally as two consecutive quarters of contraction — even after the central bank cut rates to a record-low 2.75 percent. Saul Eslake, chief Australia economist for Bank of America Merrill Lynch in Melbourne, projects a 25 percent chance for 2015.

“We expect the RBA to cut further — to as low as 1 percent in the event of a recession — and it may need to undertake a ‘Down Under QE,’” Eslake wrote in a June 14 note to clients, referring to a local version of the Federal Reserve’s quantitative-easing policy to support economic growth.

South of Melbourne, Victoria’s state capital, some of pawnbroker Joe Yammouni’s customers are coming to his store, Cash Deal, on the Mornington Peninsula for the first time since he opened in 2001.

‘Unexpected Bills’

“I’m talking your average family members who you wouldn’t have seen before, who come in and say ‘I’m so embarrassed for being here,’” he said. “Things are tight at the moment; they just get unexpected bills or payments come through and they have to use our services.”

A decline in new electronic product prices is compounding difficulties for people selling goods for cash, said Yammouni, 41, who has worked in the industry since 1994. A A$3,000 TV that could be resold for A$1,000 five years ago now retails for about A$400, and as a reseller today, “you’d take whatever you could get,” he said.

One in eight Australians and one in six children live below the poverty line, according to a report last year by the Australian Council of Social Service. The group defines the level as 50 percent of median disposable income, a standard measure of financial hardship in wealthy countries, it says.

Jobless Payments

That was A$358 per week for a single adult in 2010 and A$752 for a couple with two children, the October 2012 Acoss report showed. Australia’s unemployed receive A$248.50 a week for as long as they demonstrate an active search for work, a payment that’s been indexed to inflation for more than 30 years.

An increase beyond consumer-price growth is unlikely as Australia’s slowdown curbs tax revenue and both major political parties vow to return the budget to balance.

“The existing government, and even more so the incoming government, are making it clear they’re not going to use that fiscal-policy instrument, which is crazy really,” said Fraser, 72, who was also secretary to the Treasury from 1984 to 1989. “Monetary policy doesn’t have any distributional consequences.”

While a home owner with a A$300,000 mortgage is about A$300 a month better off since the RBA started cutting rates in November 2011, few lower-income households are benefiting. The proportion of Australian homebuyers in the bottom 40 percent of incomes is just 6 percent, according to the Australian Housing and Urban Research Institute.

Debt Trap

Fiona Guthrie, executive director of Financial Counselling Australia in Brisbane, Queensland’s state capital, said the use of short-term loans is spreading. While industry rates vary, interest charges and fees can equate to as much as 912.5 percent annualized, according to the Melbourne-based Consumer Action Law Centre. That compares with about 15 percent for an unsecured personal loan from one of the nation’s biggest banks.

“Payday loans just defer an inevitable financial crisis,” Guthrie said. “They trap people in debt” and aren’t “a benefit to them.”

The Australian government, responding to criticism of the payday-loan industry, introduced a cap beginning today that prevents lenders from charging more than 20 percent upfront and 4 percent a month in fees for the life of the loan.

More Loans

Cash Converters also has outlets in the U.K., Spain and Dubai, where it targets arriving and departing expatriates trading second-hand goods. Its personal-loan book in Australia increased by 25 percent in the six months through December to A$84.2 million. Its cash-advance business rose 7.1 percent to A$126.5 million loaned, while the number of active customers climbed 16 percent. Store sales grew 6.5 percent.

Cash Converters shares have jumped 71 percent in the past 12 months, versus a 48 percent gain for the S&P/ASX 200 Retailing Index.

Australia’s economy grew 2.5 percent in the first quarter from a year earlier, the slowest pace in almost two years. While unemployment was 5.5 percent in May, it was 10 percent or higher in 9.6 percent of the nation’s 1,402 regions during the fourth quarter, according to government data. The level was 14 percent for Bankstown in Sydney’s west.

Mortgage arrears rose in March — indicating lower borrowing costs aren’t sufficient for some households — and a record number of the nation’s companies went bust in April.

Businesses Squeezed

Grant Russell has had “quite a lot of business people who are literally financing their staff” by pawning personal possessions such as family jewelry during the past 12 months at his Cash Centre store in the outer Melbourne town of Frankston.

Russell, who also heads the Victorian Independent Pawnbrokers Association and is a 24-year industry veteran, said the value of items is “dropping quite rapidly,” and stores are becoming more selective in what they’ll accept. Many are so full of power tools from tradesmen waiting on delayed payments that they will no longer offer credit on the equipment, he said.

The practice of hocking goods shot to prominence in the past five years with the advent of television programs such as “Pawn Stars,” which first aired in 2009 as the U.S. economy struggled to emerge from the deepest recession since the 1930s. It was followed a year later by “Hardcore Pawn,” set in Detroit, a city that’s battling potential bankruptcy.

Russell said the American programs fueled misconceptions in Australia that people offered “weird and wonderful things” to hock. “It’s bread and butter items that people bring in: video games, flat-panel TVs, laptop computers, always there’s a few power tools,” he said.

Outside Cash Converters in Bankstown, Cox said he wasn’t surprised to learn the pawnbroker is Australia’s best-performing retailer. A staff member told him during the sale of the edge trimmer that the iPhone he brought in the prior week had been sold for almost double what he was paid.

“That’s business and they do it well,” Cox said.

To contact the reporters on this story: Michael Heath in Sydney at mheath1@bloomberg.net; David Fickling in Sydney at dfickling@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Stephanie Phang at sphang@bloomberg.net

[…]

The Dark Side of Credit – A Million New Payday Loans Every Month …

One million families are being forced to take out payday loans every month as they struggle to meet the rising cost of living, new research reveals today.

A poll for Which?, the consumer organisation, shows that nearly 400,000 of them use the high-cost loans to pay for essentials such as food and fuel, while 240,000 need the money to pay off existing credit. Half of the people who take out payday loans find they can’t cover the cost of repayments – which can attract interest rates of more than 5,000 per cent – which means they are forced to take out new credit and spiral further into debt.

The figures are revealed ahead of a summit tomorrow between ministers, lenders and consumer organisations designed to tackle the problem. But the Government is refusing to push for a cap on the total cost that a person can owe a firm, one of the key demands by Stella Creasy, the Labour MP who has gone to war with Wonga and other “legal loan sharks” in the £2bn sector.

Ministers insist that research shows a cap could actually punish people borrowing money because loan firms would simply increase their repayment charges, using the capped figure as a target. Despite her campaigning efforts, Ms Creasy has not been invited to the summit in Whitehall tomorrow, which is being hosted by Jo Swinson, the Consumer Affairs minister. There were suggestions that Ms Creasy’s vocal support for the cap, which is against the Government’s policy, lay behind her being excluded from the talks.

Last week George Osborne was accused of pushing people into the arms of Wonga and other payday lenders after he announced plans to force the unemployed to wait seven days before claiming benefits.

The poll by Which? found that 4 per cent of people, equivalent to one million households in the UK, said they had taken out a payday loan in the last month. Some 38 per cent of people who do so use them to pay for food and fuel, while 24 per cent repay existing payday loans. A total of 79 per cent of people, about 38.5 million adults, use some form of credit, while 44 per cent are worried about their household level of debt.

Seven in ten of payday loan users regret taking out credit in the past, while 49 per cent found they couldn’t meet the high cost of payments, and 28 per cent said that, while they don’t like being in debt, they saw it as a necessary part of their life.

Nine out of ten people believe payday loan companies should always include the cost of borrowing in advertising, while 87 per cent think the ads should make clear that it is possible to get free help from a debt advice organisation.

A spokesman for the debt charity StepChange said: “These findings are alarming and reflect what the charity is seeing. Credit should never be used to pay for essential living costs, and the fact that so many are using it this way points to a wider problem in the economy.

“This is particularly the case with high-cost credit and underlines why action is needed to tackle the problems in the payday loan industry.”

Richard Lloyd, executive director of Which?, said: “Payday lending is dogged by poor practice yet people are increasingly turning to this very high cost credit to cover essentials or pay off existing debts.

“A clear message has been sent to lenders to clean up their act, but the regulator must back this up by enforcing proper affordability checks and punishing lenders who flout the rules. We also want more action from the Government to tackle this toxic market.”

At tomorrow’s summit, Which? will ask for new rules banning excessive charges, a restriction on the number of times a payday loan can roll over, and clearer advertising to help people struggling with spiralling debt.

Read More: Here

[…]

Rosen Law Firm Announces Class Action Deadline in Lawsuit Against The Cash Store Financial Services, Inc. — CSFS

NEW YORK, June 29, 2013 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — The Rosen Law Firm, P.A. announces that a class action lawsuit has been filed on behalf of purchasers of The Cash Store Financial Services, Inc. (CSFS) stock during the period between November 24, 2010 and May 13, 2013, seeking to recover damages for violations of the federal securities laws. The deadline for shareholders to seek appointment as lead plaintiff is August 26, 2013.

To join the Cash Store class action, visit the firm’s website at http://rosenlegal.com, or call Phillip Kim, Esq. or Kevin Chan, toll-free, at 866-767-3653; you may also email at pkim@rosenlegal.com or kchan@rosenlegal.com for information on the class action.

NO CLASS HAS YET BEEN CERTIFIED IN THE ABOVE ACTION. UNTIL A CLASS IS CERTIFIED, YOU ARE NOT REPRESENTED BY COUNSEL UNLESS YOU RETAIN ONE. YOU MAY ALSO REMAIN AN ABSENT CLASS MEMBER AND DO NOTHING AT THIS POINT. YOU MAY RETAIN COUNSEL OF YOUR CHOICE.

The Complaint asserts violations of the federal securities laws against Cash Store and certain of its officers and directors for issuing materially false and misleading statements about the Company’s true financial condition. According to the lawsuit, Cash Store overvalued a major loan portfolio it had acquired, failed to properly account for a lawsuit settlement, and had material internal control deficiencies. As a result, the value of Cash Store stock fell, damaging investors.

If you wish to serve as lead plaintiff, you must move the Court no later than August 26, 2013. A lead plaintiff is a representative party acting on behalf of other class members in directing the litigation. If you wish to join the litigation, or to discuss your rights or interests regarding this class action, please contact Phillip Kim, Esq. of The Rosen Law Firm, toll-free, at 866-767-3653, or via e-mail at pkim@rosenlegal.com. You may also visit the firm’s website at http://rosenlegal.com.

The Rosen Law Firm represents investors throughout the globe, concentrating its practice in securities class actions and shareholder derivative litigation.

Contact:

Laurence M. Rosen, Esq.
Phillip Kim, Esq.
Kevin Chan
The Rosen Law Firm P.A.
275 Madison Avenue 34th Floor
New York, New York 10016
Tel: (212) 686-1060
Toll Free: 1-866-767-3653
Fax: (212) 202-3827
lrosen@rosenlegal.com
pkim@rosenlegal.com
kchan@rosenlegal.com
www.rosenlegal.com

[…]

BBB says look ahead before leaping into a reverse mortgage

With the cost of living on the rise, some senior citizens are finding themselves on shaky financial ground.

This trend has led to companies offering reverse mortgages — where lenders loan people money based on the equity built up in their homes — as a way for seniors to “cash in” on their homes to pay other bills. However, the Better Business Bureau of Minnesota and North Dakota (BBB) warns these types of mortgages are not for everyone and should be researched carefully to ensure your short-term and long-term needs will be met.

“Reverse mortgages are sometimes touted as a cure-all,” said Dana Badgerow, president and CEO of the BBB of Minnesota and North Dakota, in a news release. “However, as with all investments, people need to make sure they understand how these mortgages work, as well as ensure they’re clear on the benefits and possible risks.”

Reverse mortgages allow you to convert part of the equity in your home into cash without having to sell your home. The cash may be paid to you in installments or a lump sum, so typically you don’t need to pay anything back so long as you live in your house.

Consumers should understand, however, that because they’re deferring repayment of the reverse mortgage — until they move out of their home or die — the amount they owe will grow substantially over time. Interest charges are added to the loan each day it’s held, so it’s possible the reverse mortgage may grow to equal the value of the home, leaving them, and their heirs, with nothing. People who take out reverse mortgages are also still responsible for property taxes, insurance and maintenance costs.

To qualify for a federally insured reverse mortgage, you must live in your home and be at least 62 years old. Factors such as: your age, the type of product, the value of your house and how much you owe on your house all contribute to the amount of money you may borrow.

The BBB advises the following when considering a reverse mortgage loan:

• Research the company you’re considering working with at bbb.org.

• Weigh your options carefully. Reverse mortgages are not for everyone. The Minnesota Attorney General’s Office reminds people that due to the high cost of these mortgages there may be better options if you only need to borrow a small amount of money for a short period of time.

• Be cautious of salespeople who try to sell you predatory loans or seek to tie up reverse mortgage proceeds in long-term deferred annuities or questionable investments.

• Don’t be intimidated by fear-based sales tactics or allow yourself to be pressured into a deal you don’t fully understand.

• Do not deal with individuals or firms that charge a loan “finder’s fee.”

• Move slowly and review all documentation closely. If the offer sounds too good to be true, it probably is.

For more information, visit www.ag.state.mn.us/Brochures/pubReverseMortgages.pdf.

[…]

CASH STORE SHAREHOLDER ALERT BY FORMER LOUISIANA ATTORNEY GENERAL: Kahn Swick & Foti, LLC Reminds Investors With …

NEW ORLEANS, LA–(Marketwired – Jun 28, 2013) – Kahn Swick & Foti, LLC (“KSF”) and KSF partner, the former Attorney General of Louisiana, Charles C. Foti, Jr., remind investors that they have until August 26, 2013 to file lead plaintiff applications in a securities class action lawsuit against The Cash Store Financial Services, Inc. (NYSE: CSFS), if they purchased the Company’s securities during the period between November 24, 2010 and May 13, 2013, inclusive (the “Class Period”). This action is pending in the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York.

What You May Do

If you purchased shares of Cash Store and would like to discuss your legal rights and how this case might affect you and your right to recover for your economic loss, you may, without obligation or cost to you, call toll-free at 1-877-515-1850, or email KSF Managing Partner Lewis Kahn (lewis.kahn@ksfcounsel.com) or KSF Partner Melinda Nicholson (melinda.nicholson@ksfcounsel.com). If you wish to serve as a lead plaintiff in this class action, you must petition the Court by August 26, 2013.

About the Lawsuit
Cash Store and certain of its executives are charged with issuing a series of materially false and misleading statements during the Class Period, in violation of federal securities laws.

On December 10, 2012, the Company revealed that it needed to restate its financial statements and that it had inappropriately accounted for the acquisition of a large loan portfolio. On February 13, 2013, Cash Store announced that it would again have to restate financial statements because the previous annual and interim financial statements improperly calculated the losses accrued due to a lawsuit settlement. Then, on May 14, 2013 trading in Cash Store stock was halted pursuant to an order of the Alberta Securities Commission.

About Kahn Swick & Foti, LLC

To learn more about KSF, whose partners include the Former Louisiana Attorney General, Charles C. Foti, Jr., and other lawyers with significant experience litigating complex securities class actions nationwide on behalf of both institutional and individual shareholders, you may visit www.ksfcounsel.com.

Contact:

Kahn Swick & Foti, LLC
Lewis Kahn
Managing Partner
lewis.kahn@ksfcounsel.com

Melinda Nicholson
Partner
melinda.nicholson@ksfcounsel.com
1-877-515-1850

206 Covington St.
Madisonville, LA 70447

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SHAREHOLDER ALERT: Levi & Korsinsky, LLP Notifies Investors With Losses on Their Investment in Cash Store Financial …

NEW YORK, June 28, 2013 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Levi & Korsinsky announces that a class action lawsuit has been commenced in the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York on behalf of investors who purchased The Cash Store Financial Services, Inc. (“Cash Store” or the “Company”) (CSFS) stock between November 24, 2010 and May 13, 2013 (the “Class Period”).

Click here to learn more about the investigation http://zlk.9nl.com/cash-store-financial-services-csfs/, or call: 877-363-5972. There is no cost or obligation to you.

The complaint alleges that, throughout the Class Period, defendants made materially false and misleading statements regarding the Company’s financial condition. In particular, it is alleged that the Company overstated a major loan portfolio it had acquired, and understated its liabilities in association with a class action settlement.

On December 10, 2012, the Company announced it would restate its financial statements, had inappropriately accounted for the acquisition of a large loan portfolio, and that it would restate the fair value of the loans acquired. In addition, the Company announced that its provision for loan losses for the three month periods ending March 31, 2012 and June 30, 2012 were understated by millions. Then on February 13, 2013, Cash Store announced the further restatement of financial statements due to improperly calculated losses related to a lawsuit settlement.

If you suffered a loss in Cash Store you have until August 26, 2013 to request that the Court appoint you as lead plaintiff. Your ability to share in any recovery doesn’t require that you serve as a lead plaintiff. To obtain additional information, contact Joseph E. Levi, Esq. either via email at jlevi@zlk.com or by telephone at (212) 363-7500, toll-free: (877) 363-5972, or visit http://zlk.9nl.com/cash-store-financial-services-csfs/.

Levi & Korsinsky is a national firm with offices in New York, New Jersey, and Washington D.C. The firm has extensive expertise in prosecuting securities litigation involving financial fraud, representing investors throughout the nation in securities and shareholder lawsuits. Attorney advertising. Prior results do not guarantee similar outcomes.

Contact:

Levi & Korsinsky, LLP
Joseph Levi, Esq.
Eduard Korsinsky, Esq.
30 Broad Street - 24th Floor
New York, NY 10004
Tel: (212) 363-7500
Toll Free: (877) 363-5972
Fax: (212) 363-7171
www.zlk.com

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