Republic Bank Steps Up with RAL Funding for Liberty and Jackson Hewitt

... which is kind of ironic, considering both chains were founded by the same man and now are bitter rivals.

Progressive Accountant reports today:

In the wake of the exit of Santa Barbara Bank and Trust from the refund loan business, tax services company Jackson Hewitt has reached an agreement under which Republic Bank & Trust would increase the amount of funds it provides for financial products to 45 percent in the 2010 tax season, up from 25 percent a year ago. The terms extend through Oct. 31, 2012.

The deal follows Santa Barbara's announcement it was selling its business after the Office of the Comptroller refused to approve its lending as part of any financial product program offered by tax preparation companies. Santa Barbara had been expected to provide 75 percent of the capital for products such as refund anticipation loans.

Meanwhile, Liberty reports:

Liberty Tax Service (Liberty) today announced that they have signed a three year agreement with Republic Bank (Republic) (NASDAQ:RBCAA) to have Republic provide tax refund products for over 90% of Liberty’s locations.

“I am pleased to announce we have strengthened our relationship with Republic by entering into a three year agreement that makes Republic the primary originator of tax refund products for our offices,” said John T. Hewitt, Chairman and CEO of Liberty Tax Service. “This agreement ensures Liberty offices will be able to facilitate Refund Anticipation Loans and Electronic Refund Checks for the upcoming season for those customers who want a tax refund product.”

Liberty Tax Service is the fastest growing retail tax preparation company in the industry’s history. Founded in 1997 by CEO John T. Hewitt, a pioneer in the tax industry, Liberty Tax Service has prepared over 7,000,000 individual income tax returns. With 41 years of tax industry experience, Hewitt stands as the most experienced CEO in the tax preparation business, having also founded Jackson Hewitt Tax Service (NYSE:JTX).

At the same time Brandweek is reporting that Jackson Hewitt is planning a big ad push starting Jan. 11:

A new push from Jackson Hewitt, however, is all about the joy of a big refund check.

The TV, print, outdoor and online campaign from Zimmerman Advertising illustrates the notion of large refunds by showing consumers toting around giant checks (like the kind presented at charity events) after visiting Jackson Hewitt. The approach contrasts with rival H&R Block's ad campaign, which touts the firm's ability to answer tough tax questions.

Client marketing chief Debra Dowd, who joined Jackson Hewitt a year ago after serving as head of marketing for Almay Cosmetics at Revlon, among other posts, said that emphasizing refunds was a "really obvious place to go," since research showed that many Americans actually look forward to tax time.

"It's one of the largest checks you'll get this year," she said, noting that the sour economy puts people even more in the mood to get some cash back. A radio ad emphasizes the joy of refunds with cries of "Let's go to a ball game!" and "Let's go to our favorite restaurant!"

Ads breaking on Jan. 11 will also be tagged to show Jackson Hewitt's affiliation with Walmart. Earlier this month, the tax firm announced it was expanding its in-store footprint at the retailer to 1,800-1,900 locations, vs. the previous estimate of 1,500-1,750. Dowd said the Walmart association dovetails neatly with Jackson Hewitt's demographic target: "Main Street Americans."


29 Responses to “Republic Bank Steps Up with RAL Funding for Liberty and Jackson Hewitt”

  1. Genee' C.

    My problem is a little different I got my refund back and I went to Walmart to cash it and they tell me that they do not cash checks over $4999.00. I do not have a bank account and I really don’t want to get one to cash this check and close it, plus I have bad credit. They don’t even have any Republic Banks out here in Sacramento Calfornia. Does anyone know if they have any sister banks out here or at least somewhere cheap that cashes checks over $5000.00. This is ridiculous and frustrating because I’m broke but I’m not because all my money is on this little piece of paper that I can’t do anything with. I need help PLEASE HELP me someone!!!!

  2. john doe

    Lies, lies, on top of more lies!! Never be back!

  3. Tony R. Woodfill

    Let me enlighten some of you about “RAL”s. The IRS used to provide income tax preparation companies that offer “RAL”s a form called the DEBT INDICATOR NOTICE. If a customer owed money to the IRS for outstanding tax bills, or to the individuals state for overpayment of unemployment compensation, outstanding hospital bills from hospitals that recieve some state funding, college grants that an individual was awarded, but, either failed classes or just dropped out, or to the tax prep company for outstanding prep fees that the individual skated out on. etc. With this form avail, the banks that would offer these RALs to tax prep could be pretty sure that they would be paid back for these short term, high interest loans.(GREEDY BANKERS)Now, since the IRS does not provide them. Banks are reluctant to loan against the anticipated refund. Now they do a credit check, if you have any late payments showing you will be denied. Plus, no one offers true instant money. It is at least 1 to 2 days, before you will see a partial of your return. Usually, it will be in the range of $1500.00 to $1700.00. Then on top of this, they take out your tax prep fees, bank fees and interest on the the total refund amount.Yes, I said the total of your refund. That is if you are in the 25 to 30% that are approved. The others that are not approved are locked into that tax prep company then. You can’t file the return anywhere else. So if you are part of that 75% that were promised fast money, you are going to wait 8 to 15 days at least. Remember to ask questions, honest tax prep companies are upfront about fees and services they offer. Its your money.

  4. shana

    this is sum bullshit how can they take $$$ for sevices not provided if we cant get the loan jus say that. Then ppl like myself would not be looking for the money..lies lies lies lies!!!!!
    Just keep it real

  5. mark

    Doing sum looking on the web i found out that in all the past years. The irs had a deal with the banks that they will give the bank the ok or a red flag to approve u for a ral. But ther not doing that this year, so the banks have to go off credit. So like me and most people that always got a ral, u wont get it this year. And its a shame bacause they keep ur 29 dollar fee but give u back the 69 dollars. They making money off of us. So basically if u didnt owe the irs, child support, or stae u would get it. But now that dosent matter. U have to have good credit. The irs stop helping the bank because people were getting money back to fast for them to catch the people who owed.

  6. Fallon

    I had the same problem and got scared so i looked for information on how to see if you have a judgment on my refund. Call the offset program number at 1-800-304-3107 …. it changes everyday but is very accurate:) good luck!

    Read more:

  7. sara

    I am having a similar problem. I filed with Jackson Hewitt yesterday and like everyone else got that call this morning saying i was denied for the RAL. But they couldn’t tell me why. On the IRS web site it says they can’t find my refund. And i checked on-line to the only place that could have a hold on my refund and it showed i didn’t owe anything. I called the offset phone number and it says they are haveing technical difficulties. I don’t understand and can’t get any answers. Is that the only way you get denied is because your taxes are being offset. Cause being denied is making me think that my refund is being taken and i can’t find out yes or no. This is some bull ****

  8. Anonymous

    I have been on the phone with the IRS all morning…they have assured me the funds were deposited to Chase Bank. Jackson Hewitt is telling me there is no record of any deposit. I called several sister offices and I am being told they only release checks every Friday and I probably missed the cut off. I paid to have this done in a certain amount of time and now I am being told at least another week. I could have done this myself, saved all the fees and had my refund back by now. The office I filed in keeps saying they do not know anything, is this how poorly trained these people are? I will be filing a complaint with my local BBB. What a scam!!!!

  9. denise

    I seriously doubth that jackson hewitt worker cause i live in a small town and about 3/4 of the people that used you were denied and i know that most of them do not have one reason to be denied so why don’t you guys lie to someone else

  10. Anonymous

    I work for Jackson Hewitt and we are giving out more rals than what are denied.

  11. meli

    I wish I had looked this website before going to Liberty Tax Service. I went to file on Feb 1, 2010. I went in thinking that I would just have my tax refund deposited to my bank accout. The lady who helped me do my taxes had worked for Jackson Hewitt for 10 years. She told me that I could get my Tax refund in 24-48 hours for an extra 29.95. Then when I was doubting it because it cost 333.00 just to file with them. I asked why and she said it was because she filed 8 forms. Then she proceeded to tell me that only one RAL to that office had been denied. She told me there should be no problem. I went into the republic website and it stated I was denied because I didn’t meet the under writing criteria. I am mad because it won’t even tell you what their criteria is. This is so unfair, it’s like false advertising or a scam. Oh wait is’nt Hewitt the owner of Liberty? I remember Hewitt in Texas got caught up and a lot of his offices closed. I wonder if that has anything to do with it. I just know that I am never going back or refering anyone to Liberty.

  12. krysun4983

    I work for Security Finance. We are doing our taxes through Chase Bank and the only people I’ve seen be denied is because they owe a debt. Our Rals have even been coming in the same day if you file before 11am. You should find one of our offices near you or Continental Credit our sister offices.

Comments are closed.