Taxes done with twist
DANBURY, Conn. - FreeTaxPrep.com Inc., a new company in Danbury, Conn., aims to connect auto dealers to taxpayers with refunds due. As the name implies, FreeTaxPrep.com provides free tax preparation.
But the company doesn't stop there. Customers with refunds of at least $500 can opt to spend it with any of 336 auto dealers that have signed up for the program. FreeTaxPrep.com later collects the refund, instead of the taxpayer. Dealers pay FreeTaxPrep.com for leads, but only for those that generate a sale, according to Owen Evans, vice president of development. If the customer backs out of a deal, the customer loses $10.
Lender concludes litigation
SOLAN, Ohio - Ex-subprime auto lender National Auto Credit Inc. last month settled its marathon litigation with former chairman and majority owner Sam Frankino. The company bought Frankino's shares for $35.5 million. 'These transactions mark the end of an arduous and troubled era for the company,' said James McNamara, chairman and CEO.
The company's independent auditors resigned in January 1998, saying they could no longer 'rely on the representations of the management of the company.' The company restated its fiscal 1995, 1996 and 1997 financial statements, and a new management team blamed Frankino. Frankino sued the company to regain control - and won - only to sue the company again, when his hand-picked board of directors quit the auto lending business last April.
First Investors hit hard
HOUSTON - Reflecting lower acquisitions of loans from auto dealers, First Investors Financial Services Group Inc. in Houston said net income fell 35 percent to $504,963 in the fiscal quarter ended Oct. 31. For the fiscal year to date, First Investors was off 32 percent to $999,560 after six months. The company bought $31.2 million worth of loans for the quarter, down from $34.2 million a year earlier.
Auto lender changes name
FALLS CHURCH, Va. - Cap One Auto Finance Inc. is the new name for the former Summit Acceptance Corp., a subprime auto lender, according to a Dec. 8 report from Moody's Investors Service. Capital One Financial Corp. of Falls Church, Va., bought Summit in July 1998, but it had kept the name.