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With cash tight, Sears REIT deal takes on new importance

By Nathan Layne

Feb 26 (Reuters) – Weak sales and tight cash levels at Sears Holdings Corp have added urgency to Chief Executive Eddie Lampert’s plan to generate cash by spinning off stores into a trust.

The retailer announced on Thursday that it would go ahead with the plan to sell 200 to 300 stores to a real estate investment trust in May or June, raising at least $2 billion. It was the first time it put a figure or timetable on the move.

Some investors were disappointed that Sears didn’t announce a definitive launch for the REIT, floated as an idea by the company in November. They were also spooked by weak sales during the holiday season and its cash balance, which halved from a year earlier to $250 million, a level one analyst called “grossly inadequate” for a retailer of its size.

The stock slid 4.8 percent to $36.05.

“Everyone knew they were sort of running out and that’s why they are going to do the REIT. They need the money and that’s really the only other place they can raise a significant amount,” said Chad Brand, head of Seattle-based Peridot Capital Management, which holds Sears bonds.

Sears says it has ample financial resources to meet its obligations, with $1.2 billion in available liquidity including a revolving credit line. Outside of the REIT, it has indicated it could sell other assets, such as its auto centers business, and is cutting subleasing deals with retailers to raise cash.

Still, a lot is riding on the REIT. While most analysts say it should be able to pull it off, there are some complicating factors such as setting fair purchase and leasing terms and working around U.S. tax rules designed to prevent small groups from having voting control of a REIT. This is an issue because Sears is closely held by a few large investors, including Lampert and his hedge fund.

Sears has yet to disclose a cash flow statement, expected when it files its annual report. Brand estimates that it burned through about $1.2 billion in the fiscal year ended Jan. 31, including operating losses, pension costs, capex and interest.

At that rate, $2 billion from the REIT could tide Sears over for two years while it shrinks its store network further and pursues its “asset-light” strategy centered on growing its online business and a loyalty program called ShopYourWay.

There are other options besides the REIT. For an immediate infusion of cash it could draw down on the revolver. It could also unload assets or sell stock or loans in deals anchored by Lampert, as it did multiple times last year.

‘BURNING THE FURNITURE’

But conditions are tight. On Thursday it announced that it would repay half of one such financing, a $400 million loan to Lampert’s hedge fund, and extend the remaining $200 million until June 1 or until it can close on the REIT deal.

And while its earnings showed some improvement in the latest quarter, with a measure of profit excluding pension and other costs turning positive for the first time in two years, the outlook remains uncertain. On a net basis it booked its eleventh straight quarterly loss and sales fell sharply at Sears stores.

Evan Mann, a credit analyst at Gimme Credit, said the company would need to sell other assets if it can’t launch the REIT as planned this year.

“A billion dollars probably isn’t going to be enough for the year,” said Mann, referring to the available liquidity. “My assumption is they are going to keep burning the furniture to keep the store open.” (Reporting by Nathan Layne; Editing by Cynthia Osterman)

FinanceInvestment & Company InformationEddie Lampertreal estate investment trust […]

The Wall Street Journal: Sears borrows $400 million from CEO’s hedge fund

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Bloomberg

Sears Holdings Corp. is borrowing $400 million from Chief Executive Edward Lampert’s hedge fund, giving the retailer an infusion for the holidays after it burned through cash over the summer.

The loan is being made by entities affiliated with Lampert’s ESL Investments Inc. and secured by 25 of the company’s properties, Sears SHLD, -2.19% said in a securities filing on Monday.

The loan will mature on Dec. 31, though that could be extended until Feb. 28, assuming Sears doesn’t violate the terms of the loan.

The arrangement underscores the deep and unusual relationship between the hedge fund and the brand. Sears has shed sales, staff and market value amid what critics say has been a lack of investment by Lampert.

Sears recorded a loss of nearly $1 billion in the six months through Aug. 2, extending a string of losses, as revenue fell more than 8%.

Sears had said it planned to raise $1 billion this year, a goal that it has now met with the $400 million ESL loan plus $665 million that the retailer had raised by spinning off its Lands’ End division to shareholders and selling some real estate.

An expanded version of this report appears on WSJ.com

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Payday Loans Cash Advance Service Advances … – Peak Running

Payday Loans Cash Advance Service Advances Cash

If a debtor struggles to repay that loan at the scheduled period, the actual loan company may agree to roll-over the credit enabling more time with regard to repayment. The problem witing a loan above is that additional fees are usually included with your. For instance, in the event the payment to gain access to $100.00 is $15.00 as well as the customer thrown over the mortgage loan thrice, then this brand new charge could be $60.Double zero. That is the initial $15.Double zero fee plus 3 times that charge themselves included with each $100.00 lent.

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Payday Loan In Ohio Wood County | Abigai Blog – Abigailsandiegoz

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Payday Loan In Ohio Wood County

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Payday Loan In Ohio Wood County

Payday Loan In Ohio Wood County : Whether or not your credit is usually good, bad, or non-existent you will end up approved as long as you meet our minimum requirements. Your loan will be automatically deducted from a account upon the next payday so you do not have anything further to worry about. If you need more time repaying your loan, contact your lender representative previous to your loan due date and they’re going to be happy to work out a new payment plan together with you. If you’ve at any time tried to have a small loan having other lending companies, you know accomplishing this can be painful. Once you include jumped through their many hoops in addition to completed stacks of forms, then you wait days or weeks to discover whether you be eligible. Meanwhile, your bills keep mount. With our payday cash advance program, the entire method – application, review and electronic money transfer — requires about 24 a long time.



Payday Loan In Ohio Wood County

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3 in 4 payday loans could have cause for complaint to the …

Like Share… Email page Print page To email address: (required)Your name: (required)Your email address: (required)SendCancel Close 3 in 4 payday loans could have cause for complaint to the Ombudsman5 August 2013Citizens Advice urges payday loan customers to fight back against unscrupulous lenders
Three in four payday borrowers who got advice from the Citizens Advice consumer service had been treated unfairly by their lender and could have grounds for an official complaint to the Financial Ombudsman Service, says the national charity.
Citizens Advice’s in depth analysis of 665 payday loan cases, reported to its consumer service between 1 January and 30 June 2013, finds that at least 76% could have grounds for an official complaint to the Financial Ombudsman including:
1 in 5 were possible cases of fraud – where a person was chased for a loan they hadn’t taken out. More than a third involved issues with continuous payment authorities including money that was not authorised to be taken. 12% involved harassment whereby lenders pester people with phone calls and text messages rather than accept affordable repayment offers. 1 in 10 were about lenders’ unfair treatment of people in financial difficulties.
Latest figures from the Citizens Advice payday loan tracker reveals that 4 out of 5 were not told by their lender how to complain if there is a problem.
Today (Monday 5 August) Citizens Advice launches a month-long campaign urging payday loan customers not to let predatory lenders get away with treating them unfairly.
Consumers who are finding it difficult to raise their payday loan problem with their lender can contact the Financial Ombudsman who will help them through the complaint process. There were 160 complaints made to the Financial Ombudsman between April and June this year about payday loans, with 72% upheld in favour of the consumer.
If a complaint is upheld by the Financial Ombudsman – and the consumer has lost out as a result – the lender can be ordered to put things right. Consumers could get a refund on loan repayments, interest or default charges or compensation for any inconvenience caused.
Citizens Advice payday loan tracker also found that 71% of payday loan customers felt they were put under pressure to rollover their loan and 3 in 4 people had repayment problems.
Citizens Advice Chief Executive Gillian Guy said:
“The level of debt and hardship caused by some payday loans is absolutely scandalous and people often feel completely powerless to do anything about it. But consumers can fight back. If you are struggling to pay back the loan Citizens Advice can help you sort out a reasonable repayment plan and if you make a successful complaint to the Financial Ombudsman service you could find you get a refund for an unauthorised payment or compensation for unfair treatment.
“By making your voice heard you will expose the bad behaviour of lenders and put pressure on them to clean up their act which could help stop similar problems happening to other people.”
As part of the campaign Citizens Advice has launched a new online animation to help people get on top of their payday loan problems. It explains that payday lenders aren’t allowed to take money from your bank account without you knowing, nor should they put pressure on to borrow more money or contact you at all hours of the day. Citizens Advice is also taking to Twitter with the hashtag #paydaywatch as bureaux from across the country tweet about payday loan cases they are helping with.
In May, evidence from Citizens Advice revealed that payday lenders are breaking 12 out of 14 promises they made to treat customers fairly. Earlier this year the OFT reported in its payday lending compliance review that 38 of the 50 lenders it inspected failed to comply with at least one of the complaint handling rules of the Financial Ombudsman Service.
Advice tips if you’re struggling to repay a payday loan:
Your payday lender should accept a repayment offer which is reasonable. Don’t be pressurised to extend your loan – it will cost you more. It’s not ok for your lender to ring you during the night or more than once a day chasing you for money, or to contact your employer. You should be able to get in contact with your payday lender. If you are having these problems you can do something about it. Make a complaint by filling in our simple checklist at www.adviceguide.org.uk. Get advice from adviceguide.org.uk, from the Citizens Advice consumer service (08454 04 05 06 or 08454 04 05 05 for Welsh language line) or your local bureau. Make a complaint about a payday loan direct to the Financial Ombudsman Service consumer helpline on 0300 123 9 123 or 0800 023 4567 or via email complaint.info@financial-ombudsman.org.uk.Advice tips if you are in financial difficulty and considering a payday loan:
Get help with your money troubles. Your local Citizens Advice can provide debt advice and help you sort out your finances. By making a few changes you may be able to avoid taking out a short-term loan. It is important to consider all the other options available to you before taking out a payday loan as they are expensive and could make your money problems worse. Pay day loans can be a costly way to deal with short term financial problems and are not suitable for long term money troubles. A loan from a credit union is more affordable – check if there’s a credit union in your area. If you have a bank account, you may be able to agree an overdraft. But be careful of going overdrawn without permission and make sure you understand any fees and charges. If you are thinking about taking out a payday loan to pay off other debts, don’t. Instead, speak to the companies you owe money to and agree a repayment plan. You can get help with debts from www.adviceguide.org.uk or your local Citizens Advice Bureau.
Citizens Advice

Notes to editors

How to make a complaint
Step 1 – write to your lender

The first thing to do is contact your lender and try to sort things out with them. You’ll need to do this before taking the complaint further. In your complaint, list all the ways in which you think your lender hasn’t followed its commitments laid out in the industry Good Practice Charter. Work out what you want your lender to do about your problem and include this in your complaint. If you want to come to a repayment agreement, work out how much you can afford to pay and how often. The lender must acknowledge your complaint within five days of receiving it. If they decide to investigate the complaint further, they should tell you and keep you regularly updated. You can download a template letter from Citizens Advice to help you write your letter of complaint

Step 2 – Complain to the Financial Ombudsman Service (FOS)

You must give your lender eight weeks to respond or to sort the problem out. If you’re not happy after this, you can complain to the Financial Ombudsman Service. If your complaint is upheld, this may result in some compensation. The FOS will look at your complaint and advise you how it could be sorted out. If you don’t get the result you want, the FOS will start a formal investigation. The final decision given at the end of this investigation is binding on your lender. However, if you don’t agree with it, you can take your lender to court. There is a time limit for making the complaint. This is six months from when you get a final decision from your lender about how it is going to deal with your complaint. If you haven’t had a response from them at all, the deadline is six months from the end of the eight week period. To make a complaint to the FOS, you can download a complaint form from their website at: www.financial-ombudsman.org.uk The Citizens Advice service comprises a network of local bureaux, all of which are independent charities, and national charity Citizens Advice. Together we help people resolve their money, legal and other problems by providing information and advice and by influencing policymakers. For more information in England and Wales see www.citizensadvice.org.uk The advice provided by the Citizens Advice service is free, independent, confidential, and impartial, and available to everyone regardless of race, gender, disability, sexual orientation, religion, age or nationality. For online advice and information see www.adviceguide.org.uk Citizens Advice Bureaux in England and Wales advised 2.1 million clients on 6.9 million problems from April 2011 to March 2012. For full 2011/2012 service statistics see our quarterly publication Advice trends Out of 22 national charities, the Citizens Advice service is ranked by the general public as being the most helpful, approachable, professional, informative, effective / cost effective, reputable and accountable (nfpSynergy’s Brand Attributes survey, May 2010). Most Citizens Advice service staff are trained volunteers, working at around 3,500 service outlets across England and Wales. […]

Citizens Advice calls for tough new rules on payday loan advertising

Like Share… Email page Print page To email address: (required)Your name: (required)Your email address: (required)SendCancel Close Citizens Advice calls for tough new rules on payday loan advertising1 July 2013Speaking ahead of a government summit looking at widespread problems in the payday loans industry, Gillian Guy, Chief Executive at Citizens Advice, has called for tough new rules to stop irresponsible advertising and end celebrity endorsement of financial products.Gillian Guy said:“We need to see tough action on advertising, with new rules brought in which would end wall-to-wall advertising on daytime TV and stop the use of glossy celebrity endorsements which conceal the misery of life in debt. Much more needs to be done to make the cost of loans and consequences of late repayments clear, and to end the focus on speed rather than affordability. “Every day, Citizens Advice Bureaux help people who have been pushed into serious financial trouble by the reckless actions of the payday loans industry. Our evidence shows that payday lenders are failing to treat people fairly, breaking 12 of the 14 promises they laid out in their customer charter. “It’s good that the Financial Conduct Authority has already said that high-cost and payday lenders will be a priority when it takes over its new role. The FCA must have robust powers to tackle irresponsible practice where it is found, and this summit is a welcome opportunity to hold payday lenders to account and look at problems. “While times are tight the demand for small, short-term loans will remain high. The blizzard of benefit changes coming up could mean a jump in the number of people turning to payday lenders, and we want to see high street banks step up and offer micro-loans with clear, fair conditions to fill this gap in the market.”Citizens Advice

Notes to editors

  1. The Citizens Advice service comprises a network of local bureaux, all of which are independent charities, and national charity Citizens Advice. Together we help people resolve their money, legal and other problems by providing information and advice and by influencing policymakers. For more information in England and Wales see www.citizensadvice.org.uk
  2. The advice provided by the Citizens Advice service is free, independent, confidential, and impartial, and available to everyone regardless of race, gender, disability, sexual orientation, religion, age or nationality. For online advice and information see www.adviceguide.org.uk
  3. Citizens Advice Bureaux in England and Wales advised 2.1 million clients on 6.9 million problems from April 2011 to March 2012. For full 2011/2012 service statistics see our quarterly publication Advice trends
  4. Out of 22 national charities, the Citizens Advice service is ranked by the general public as being the most helpful, approachable, professional, informative, effective / cost effective, reputable and accountable (nfpSynergy’s Brand Attributes survey, May 2010).
  5. Most Citizens Advice service staff are trained volunteers, working at around 3,500 service outlets across England and Wales.

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Ding Ding. Google v Payday Loans SERPS in the UK

Google has declared they are rolling out more changes to combat ‘spammy’ SERPS (Search Engine Results Pages) like “payday loans”. What’s interesting is Google doesn’t often tell us a specific SERP is getting cleaned up. It’s a bit like a fight after school. It’s worth watching I think if you are interested in SEO.

Google needs to be seen to be sorting out these type of SERPS because the payday loan seo (or spammers if you were a Google tshirt) basically illustrate clearly everybody the lie that is good content ranks above spam. It definitely does not (at the moment – and never has done).

Google has done a decent job of cleaning up certain types of ‘webspam’ in the last few years,but how would you even begin to clean up such a spammy serp? Get media sites writing about it, give them a boost, and delete your entire index for payday loans? Google loves filling the natural listings of transactional serps with big media sites these days. Put everything that ranks above wikipedia in the bin? An informational website at the top of a transactional serp is always a safe move. Basically turn up the brand algo to 11 in this serp?

Obviously, that’s a little too simplistic, I am just thinking about how Google crowds out other easier-to-handle serps at the moment.

Will they actually change the algorithms to handle brute force ranking signals (like redirects, link velocity, hacking, parasites…whatever)? Hmm. The question would have to be “why now”, if not before, if they can win these ‘webspam’ fights. If they want to win these fights (at this moment in time).

Will they really address the issues that allow a talented person to brute force a ranking without creating a negative seo or hacking explosion?

It’s interesting times to be working in online marketing. Google’s never won this particular fight before and normally i would put my money on the other guys. Google’s kind of putting it out there that they can handle this. Egg on the face sort of thing if it fails. Unless something dramatic changes in the way Google handles links, how can they win? If they can, then what does that mean to other serps in the future? Will they roll out what they deployed in ‘spammier’ serps to other serps?

I wonder how much of this is algorithmic or manually reviewed.

Anyway – more interesting than the usual seo crap so I thought i’d let you know – no doubt we’ll get some answers or at least gossip in the near future. Ding ding!

UPDATE – Google’s Matt Cutts talks a lot about the “Payday Loan Update” here. Interestingly, mentioned illegal quite a bit at the beginning.

UPDATE 2

Problems Ranking?

Lost rankings in Google on May 24 2013? Fix an unnatural links penalty Website traffic down every month? Tell Google your rankings have dropped Negative search engine optimisation Find a negative seo attack on your blog Keyword stuffing penalties Google penalties for linking to bad sites Can buying links can lead to ranking problems? Google Penguin 1.0 Penalty April 24 2012 Bringing back a page with a Google penalty What is Google’s definition of a spammy page? Google penalises itself for paid blog posts Google classes sites differently for ranking in listings Why do I need to vary anchor text in link building? Tell the world about your site, but keep it under the radar An example of how I got a top ranking back after I lost it How I got top rankings back in Google after I lost them Some examples of high profile Google penalties Is comment spamming killing your blog rankings? Do you have the type of site Google doesn’t want at the top of it’s listings? Building low quality links leads to penalties Be careful you are linking to If your page is classified as a doorway page, it won’t rank high in Google Google de-indexes pages from websites because of spammy links

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First Person: Where to Find Small Cash Infusions for a Small Business

One of my business mentors provides alternative small business financing for companies that have been rejected by traditional financial institutions. I learned early on that obtaining funding for a business applies to more than a start up. Sometimes a cash infusion can help take a business to its next level of expansion. For example, you may need a new piece of equipment, software or a larger office space. None of these items warrants applying for a full-fledged commercial loan, but you still need a little financial assistance to get over the “hump.”

Who to ask?

Already having a track record for viability and growth puts you in a good light when you reach out for a small business loan. For lenders, it’s all about the risk. You are considered a better risk if your books show you have been managing your money. Consider reaching out to the following sources for smaller sums of cash:

Advisors. Most members of an advisory board recognize their interest in your company is more meaningful once they are financially invested. This is a great place to start when you only need a few thousand dollars. Your advisors are prone to giving you clear cut guidance and even sharing contacts in their own networks when they have money in your company.

Friends and Family. This type of loan can be risky to personal relationships if you business does not go as planned. Go back and talk to the people that said “no” when you needed start up funding. Once again, if your track record proves your ability to maintain profitability, people you are close with are more willing to say “yes.” Just be very clear in a legal agreement regarding the conditions of the loan.

Crowdfunding. This is an online method of acquiring cash from multiple “donors”, usually in exchange for some form of perk. These individuals are donors in the sense that they give the money with no expectation of interest or investment in your company.

Credit Cards. It’s never a good idea when you are building a strong credit rating to use more than 40% of your available credit. Sometimes maxing out a credit card is the moat practical way to get what you need to move your business forward. Do your best to avoid paying fees and interest.

Working with smaller investors allows you to maintain more equity control over your business, and implement growth strategies at a pace you can handle with confidence.

*Note: This was written by a Yahoo! contributor. Do you have a story that you’d like to share? Sign up with the Yahoo! Contributor Network to start publishing your own finance articles.

More from this contributor:

Effective Email Campaigns

Increase Brand Loyalty through Social Media

The Small Business Owner’s Guide to Effective Networking

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