TitleMax

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TitleMax, Inc.
Private/Employee Owned
Industry Title Lending
Founded September 1998[1] Columbus, Georgia
Founder Tracy Young
Headquarters Savannah, Georgia
Number of locations
1150 Stores [2]
Area served
Alabama, Arizona, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Mississippi, Missouri, Nevada, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia, Utah, New Mexico, California
Products Title Loan
Services Alternative Financial Services
Website www.titlemax.com

TitleMax, Inc. is a privately owned title lending business with corporate offices in Dallas, Texas and Savannah, Georgia. The company has more than 1,100 stores in sixteen states. TitleMax serves individuals who generally have limited access to consumer credit from banks, thrift institutions, credit card lenders, and other traditional sources of consumer credit.[3] TitleMax offers title loan and title pawn products which allows customers to meet their liquidity needs by borrowing against the value of their vehicles while retaining use of their vehicle during the term of the loan.[3] Many locations are in former fast food outlets which the company renovates.

History[edit]

On September 1, 1998, TitleMax opened the first location in Columbus, Georgia.[1] In October 1998, TitleMax opened its second location in Savannah, Georgia. Many Savannah locations were then established, and later that year, TitleMax opened the first out-of-state store in Phenix City, Alabama. Over the next ten years, the company continued expanding, eventually growing to over 500 locations by the end of 2007, and surpassing $200,000,000 in account receivables.[4] In 2008, TitleMax expanded into Virginia. In April 2009, TitleMax Holdings, LLC, filed for chapter 11 bankruptcy.[5] According to TitleMax’s lawyer at the time, the cause of the default was attributed to “the maturity of an estimated $165 million loan from Merrill Lynch & Co.”[5] In 2008, Bank of America acquired Merrill Lynch & Co..[6] The attorney of DLA Piper LLP in New York City was quoted in an interview conducted by Bloomberg as saying, “It’s a solvent company, there’s a significant amount of equity over the debt.”[5] In April 2010, nearly one year after the bankruptcy filing, TitleMax Holdings LLC won court approval for reorganization and was able to exit bankruptcy status.[7] Since reorganization, TitleMax continued expanding into other states.[8]

A TitleMax location in Savannah, GA, where the company is based

On August 12, 2016, a judge in Nevada ordered over 6,000 TitleMax contracts to be voided.[9]

On July 2018, An arm robbery incident occurred at Spartanburg TitleMax Location, and the employees of TitleMax have been robbed at gunpoint by two armed men.[10]

Sister Companies[edit]

TitleMax’s parent company, TMX Finance, changed its name from TitleMax Holdings, LLC to TMX Finance LLC as of June 21, 2010.[11] TMX Finance controls over 1450 stores and employs over 3,300 people nationwide. TitleBucks and EquityAuto Loan are the sister companies to TitleMax. In 1150 stores, TMX Finance operates as TitleMax; in 130 stores, the Company uses a TitleBucks brand. TMX Finance also offers a second-lien automobile product in Georgia under the EquityAuto Loan brand, with operations conducted within 122 TitleMax stores and through 4 standalone stores.

Criticisms[edit]

Titlemax has received criticism for predatory lending.[12] However, they generally offer rates lower than their competitors, and offer credit to consumers who otherwise would not have availability.

TitleMax was subject to a fine of $9 Million by the CFPB for unlawful debt collection practices and for luring consumers into expensive renewals of their existing loans. A Nevada Court Judge ordered TMX Finance to void over 6,000 loans due to these unlawful practices.[13]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b TMX Finance LLC. Amendment No. 2 to form S-4, Filed April 19, 2011, “Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations”, p. 29.
  2. ^ https://www.titlemax.com/
  3. ^ a b TMX Finance LLC. Amendment No.2 to Form S-4, Filed April 19, 2011, “Summary: The Company”, p. 1.
  4. ^ TMX Finance LLC. Form S-4, Filed February 11, 2011, “Summary Historical Financial and Operating Data”, p. 9.
  5. ^ a b c Larson, Eric. “Titlemax Seeks Bankruptcy Protection in Georgia (Update2)”, “Bloomberg,” April 20, 2009, accessed August 3, 2011.
  6. ^ Bruno, Joe (September 15, 2008). "Bank of America buys Merrill Lynch". The Washington Times. Retrieved August 3, 2011. 
  7. ^ Jeffrey, Donald. “TitleMax Reorganization Plan Confirmed by Bankruptcy Judge, Attorney Says”, "Bloomberg," April 12, 2010, accessed August 3, 2011.
  8. ^ TMX Finance LLC. Form 8-K, Filed July, 19, 2011, “Recent Results”, p. 2.
  9. ^ Chen, Adelaide (August 15, 2016). "Judge orders thousands of TitleMax contracts be voided". Las Vegas Review-Journal. Retrieved August 23, 2016. 
  10. ^ Robbery in Spartanburg TitleMax – Police Seek Help Apprehending Suspects, retrieved August 9, 2018 
  11. ^ TMX Finance LLC. Form 10-Q, Filed May 27, 2011, “Nature of Business”, p. 6.
  12. ^ Pope, Michael (28 November 2015). "Car Title Loan Borrowers Should Be Wary Of Requirements". NPR. Retrieved 7 April 2016. 
  13. ^ https://www.consumerfinance.gov/about-us/newsroom/cfpb-fines-titlemax-parent-company-9-million-luring-consumers-more-costly-loans/