deBanked’s Most Popular Stories of 2018

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Five of the top 10 most read stories of 2018 were related to the saga of 1st Global Capital; The bankruptcy, SEC charges, the revelation that they had made a $40 million merchant cash advance, and finally the devastating news of that deal falling apart. We decided to lump all of them together in our #1 slot, but first, the following story was the most independently read of 2018:

The Saga of 1st Global Capital

1. Largest MCA Deal in History Suffers Multiple Closures was picked up by ABC News in California, placing deBanked’s website on TV for the first time.

ABC News

These were the other most read stories related to 1st Global Capital

Bloomberg Businessweek began publishing a series in November about the allegedly scandalous merchant cash advance industry. An initial review by deBanked uncovered questionable holes in their reporting, but when the series’ senior editor thanked a state senator for proposing legislation in response, suspicious ties were uncovered, followed by one Bloomberg reporter wiping his twitter account clean. Bloomberg’s exaggerated series dubbed #signhereloseeverything has spawned a highly popular counterseries that has challenged Bloomberg’s reporting. We call it #tweetherewipeeverything. The following stories were all in the year’s top 12 most read, but we’ve lumped them together here at #2.

The Bloomberg Blitz

2. Multimillionaire CEO Claims Predatory Lenders are Causing Him to Sell His Furniture for Food

The other two were:

Arrested for Data Theft

3. CAUGHT: Backdoored Deals Leads to Handcuffs was the year’s third most read story.

MCAs are Not Usurious

4. It’s Settled: Merchant Cash Advances Not Usurious came in at #4 this year, ending the debate that has persisted in hundreds of cases at the trial court level in New York State.

In October 2016, the plaintiffs sued defendant Pearl in the New York Supreme Court alleging that the Confession of Judgment filed against them should be vacated because the underlying agreement was criminally usurious. As support, plaintiffs argued that the interest rate of the transaction was 43%, far above New York State’s legal limit of 25%. The defendant denied it and moved to dismiss, wherein the judge concurred that the documentary evidence utterly refuted plaintiffs’ allegations. Plaintiffs appealed and lost, wherein The Appellate Division of The First Department published their unanimous decision that the underlying Purchase And Sale of Future Receivables agreement between the parties was not usurious.

Debt Settlement Company Sued

5. ISOs Alleged to Be Partners in Debt Settlement “Scam” in Explosive Lawsuit was #5 in 2018. The lawsuit ultimately settled and resulted in a big payout to the MCA companies.

A Broker’s Bio

6. The Broker: How Zach Ramirez Makes Deals Happen was #6. deBanked interviewed Zachary Ramirez to find out what makes a successful broker like him tick, how he does it, and what kinds of things he’s encountered along the way.

Ban COJs?

7. Senate Bill Introduced to Ban Confession of Judgments Nationwide was #7. Although this is related to the Bloomberg Blitz, the introduction of this bill fits more neatly into a category of its own.

Who’s Funding How Much?

8. A Preliminary Small Business Financing Leaderboard was #8. Despite this being published early in the year and offering detailed origination volumes for several companies all in one place, it wasn’t as well-read as all the drama that unfolded later in the year. Unsurprisingly, a chart of The Top 2018 Small Business Funders by Revenue ranked right behind this one, but we’ve lumped it in with #8 since it’s related.

Thoughts by Ron

9. Ron Suber: ‘This Industry Will Look Very Different One Year From Now’ was #9. Known as the Magic Johnson of fintech, the 1-year prediction by former Prosper Marketplace president Ron Suber, originally captured in the LendAcademy Podcast, resonated all throughout the fintech world. Will he be proven correct?

A Rags to Riches Tale

10. How A New Hampshire Teen Launched A Lending Company And Climbed Into The Inc. 500 was #10.

Josh Feinberg was not a complete newbie when he started in the lending business in 2009, but he also had a long way to go to find success. His dad had been in the business for 15 years and shortly after graduating high school, Josh started to work in equipment financing and leasing at Direct Capital in New Hampshire, his home state. He then had a brief stint working remotely for Balboa Capital, but he wasn’t sure that finance was for him.

He was 19, with a three year old daughter, and he took a low paying job working at a New Hampshire pawn shop owned by his brother and a guy named Will Murphy.

“I was making $267 a week at the pawn shop and I was having to ask friends to help me pay my rent for a room,” Feinberg said. “So at that point, I realized that something needed to change.”


Last modified: December 23, 2018
Sean Murray

Category: Business Lending, Fintech, Industry News, merchant cash advance

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