Tag Archives: Finance

Judgment is the name of the game

Like all businesses, we generate questions that don’t have easy or obvious answers. The competition is always innovating and that creates pressure from the market to adapt, copy or justify sticking to our guns. For us, we’ve talked on this blog about staged funding and other consumer protection-related issues. We’ve taken a strong position on […]

Choosing between indirect and direct lending

Though a fairly narrow specialty, there are two types of lenders in home improvement financing. The majority by volume are indirect lenders, a list of banks and finance companies that includes Medallion Bank. The majority by numbers are direct lenders. Direct lending is what most people think of when talking about lending. A direct lender works directly […]

Headed down the rabbit hole (again)

Where were you in 2008? There are several narratives for what happened leading up to the Great Recession. On the left you’ll hear that the banks forced innocent and unsuspecting borrowers to take out mortgages they couldn’t afford. On the right you’ll hear that the Community Reinvestment Act became the driving force for loan growth at banks, […]

Automation: Friend or Foe?

As both a medium-sized business and nationwide lender, we sometimes find ourselves choosing between providing service in an automated or personal way. While we have consistently hired competent, hard-working people that make a smaller team possible, it’s occasionally tempting to save time with greater automation. In theory, automation can allow a company to conserve time […]

When smaller gives way to bigger

Hester Pierce and Robert Greene at the Mercatus Center published a report showing the relative concentration of large banks vs. small banks in the US.  Small banks (banks with $10 billion in assets or less) are becoming a smaller part of the banking landscape. The authors note the correlation of this change with the Dodd-Frank Act […]

Improving our Business

Our business is constantly a work-in-progress. We are never satisfied with the way things are and always want to improve our process, program, and service for our contractors. This isn’t necessarily a unique position—most companies, when asked, would claim to strive to be “better”. Several weeks ago, we asked ourselves if we were only talking […]

It’s 3am and you wake to the sound of glass breaking

Many of us think about crimes in a personalized way. Crimes are unexpected, painful, and often feature an identifiable human perpetrator and an identifiable human victim. But the crimes we most often experience in finance are much more impersonal. They are the seemingly minor transgressions by one person directed at an entity, which makes it seem victimless. “It’s OK,” […]

Operating on a level playing field

Whether we admit it or not, we all subscribe to some concept of “fair”.  However, just as beauty is in the eye of the beholder, fair is also largely subjective.  What is fair to me may not seem fair to you. For example, it is well-known in financial circles that banks are not fond of […]

Home Improvement Industry Forecasts for 2014

Now that we’re past the first quarter of 2014, numbers and predictions for the rest of the year are aplenty. I’m sure you’ve heard general optimism for 2014 as a whole. In early May, Metrostudy released their latest Residential Remodeling Index (“RRI”) for the first quarter of 2014. The RRI is used to “provide the […]

Interview with Diana Blood, Finance Manager for Statewide Remodeling

Recently, we sat down with Diana Blood, finance manager at Statewide Remodeling, to discuss a variety of industry issues. Diana speaks about her role in building a successful, profitable business. MB: Diana, thank you for meeting with us. Can you share how long you’ve been a Home Improvement finance manager and what kind of changes […]