TitleMax

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TitleMax, Inc.
TypePrivate/Employee Owned
IndustryTitle Lending
FoundedSeptember 1998[1] Columbus, Georgia, United States
FounderTracy Young
Headquarters,
United States
Number of locations
1150 Stores [2]
Area served
Alabama, Arizona, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Mississippi, Missouri, Nevada, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia, Utah, New Mexico
Key people
president: Otto Bielss
ProductsTitle Loan
ServicesAlternative Financial Services
Websitewww.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]

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.[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]

In November 2019, the company announced the closure of all California locations by May 2020.[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]

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] In 2019, TitleMax was subject to a fine of $25,000[14] and a $700,000 refund to more than 21,000 customers to resolve allegations of excessive interest and fee charges.[15]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b "Form 10-Q". www.sec.gov. Retrieved 17 June 2019.
  2. ^ "Apply for Cash Loans Online with TitleMax - Same Day Title Loans". TitleMax. Retrieved 17 June 2019.
  3. ^ a b "Amendment No. 2 to S-4". www.sec.gov. Retrieved 17 June 2019.
  4. ^ "Form 10-Q". www.sec.gov. Retrieved 17 June 2019.
  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. ^ "Form 10-Q". www.sec.gov. Retrieved 17 June 2019.
  9. ^ Chen, Adelaide (August 15, 2016). "Judge orders thousands of TitleMax contracts be voided". Las Vegas Review-Journal. Retrieved August 23, 2016.
  10. ^ "KGET - TitleMax to close all California stores next year, including one in Bakersfield".
  11. ^ "Form 10-Q". www.sec.gov. Retrieved 17 June 2019.
  12. ^ Pope, Michael (28 November 2015). "Car Title Loan Borrowers Should Be Wary Of Requirements". NPR. Retrieved 7 April 2016.
  13. ^ "CFPB Fines Titlemax Parent Company $9 Million for Luring Consumers Into More Costly Loans". Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. Retrieved 17 June 2019.
  14. ^ "California fines title lender, says its pricing violated state law". American Banker. 2019-12-16. Retrieved 2020-04-30.
  15. ^ "DBO Continues Crackdown on Illegal Loans in Settlement with Auto Title Lender TitleMax of California, Inc". The Department of Business Oversight. 2019-12-16. Retrieved 2020-04-30.