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.

  13. april

    i looked it up with my taxes it was depoisted on the 29th and today is the 31 still havent got a checked called several times and noone knows nothing i dont know where to turn

  14. Stinky

    Oh yes this just happened to me too. Liberty tax has disapproved me for a ral even though I called them earlier and they said it was approved and waiting to be printed off in the back> WTF? If I knew that I would of done it myself and saved the horrendous fees I was charged. Hey Republic Bank: Go F#ck Yourselves!

  15. LinzRamirez

    My Husband and I are going thru the exact situation. I have used jackson hewitt for the past three years and have always been approved for the RAL loan. Well this year with getting laid off and my husband only working we really needed to get our money asap. My husband is also in the military well the lady at the branch failed to mention that if you were active duty military you get denied the ral because of interest rules and regulations. The words out of her mouth were I dont see why you wouldnt get it. Well I find out the next day we were denied the ral loan and that we would receive a letter in the mail. Well I have went back and forth with jackson hewitt the IRS and Republic bank and I am getting nowhere. I was told yesterday that our tax refund was anticipated to be received by republic bank on the 29th. Jackson hewitt and republic bank told me that. However I spoke with a representitive from the IRS today as well saying that my tax refund was still processing. But that their system might not have been updated yet. I have never had such a big headache filing my taxes as I am now. I will never use jackson hewitt again not only could I have had my money most likely this morning I could of also saved myself $300 dollars for something that is absolutely free online. I am definetly going to dispute this with someone and I encourage everyone else to do the same.

  16. Tom Chennault

    I have been in the Income Tax Business for 40 years. Until Santa Barbara Bank closed down many firms access to offer Ral’s two weeks ago, I too offered Ral’s. However I have always encouraged my clients to just e-file and have their refunds deposited to their own accounts and just have one fee for my services, As a result of this over the past few years I have converted most of my clients away from Ral’s.They save a lot in fees and still get their refund in 9-15 days. The difference in the fees and the amount saved is well worth the wait. I encourage anyone who is filing for an Ral to wait for their refund that little extra time and put the EXTRA cash to a better use than lining someone elses pocket. As an added note, I am amazed at the number of new clients that come to my office that have been using the “National Chain Services” that when I tell them to e-file to their own account that just give me a blank look. They were never told that was an option. Tells you something, doesn’t it.

  17. Somewhat Informed

    Reasons for loan denials and other issues posted earlier

    (1) RALS: I used to work for a tax service and processed rejected income tax returns and am pretty familiar with the process. If the banks denied your RAL loan it is most likely because the IRS has not approved all of the refund for one reason or another. 100% of the loan has to be free and clear in order for the bank to approve the RAL. Remember that this is a loan and the IRS has to guarantee you will get the amount of your refund or the Bank will not approve it. At least that is the way it was a couple of years ago. With the economic downturn they may have tightened their purse strings a little but if that is the case and they are screening individuals based on some credit criteria they should let the applicants know. Also if there is any type of issue with governmental programs; ie child support, old tax returns, student loans, etc., the IRS will want to take that money first and then release the difference to the bank within 14 days.
    (2) FEES: Please note that IF you were NOT approved for the RAL you SHOULD NOT be charged for RAL portion of your fees, only the next product, which is what you would get for free or a minimal charge if filed your taxes yourself online.
    (3) Anonymous: It sounds like your first call was an acceptance by the IRS of your return, but the bank denied you for the RAL.
    Good luck to all and please remember to read the fine print and if you can, WAIT, don’t shell out hundreds of bucks for 10 minutes of work to these banks. If you can follow instructions you can easily file your taxes yourself online for free in most cases and have your money in your account by Friday of the following week. (If filed by midnite Wednesday)

  18. doris berry

    how can jackson hewit give someone a check that they can’t cash at walmart and at my bank inside of walmart fsnb. i went to my bank first and then to walmart cs desk they gave me a number to call and i gave to the jaskson hewit rep that did’t know they were’nt honoring the checks , this was monday evening on the 25th i gave her back the check i said it is useless to me until it is good at the bank which on the 26th i plan to check into this whole heartly iam thinking about calling the tv station here in nashville tenn

  19. AWilson

    at Liberty Tax Services, we are giving 50.00 cash in a flash, and we are giving plenty of RAL’s with Republic Bank!!!

  20. Anonymous

    same problem as rest with jackson hewitt went on line accepted with bank went to class come home had a call denied ral after said approved

  21. WTF!!!!

    Same as you guys. I have done RAL’s in the past and NEVER been denied. I went to Jackson Hewitt and received the call that I was denied. I called the automated service as well and got the same results. The funny thing is that they can’t give me a reason as to why I was denied but can still charge me their fees as if I got my check in 1 day. This is insane. I hate feeling helpless. I wrote the Better Business Bureau and filled a complaint. I advise you all to do the same. Stay encouraged and blessed.

  22. whats going on

    I to have to wait 2 weeks to receive my money. Does anyone know if this new bank are doing credit checks.I have been doing rals for years and have never had a problem.Whats the problem now.Its double bull s##t.

  23. Will Never Do This Again

    I also like many others filed my taxes this year, with a RAL thru Rupublic Bank, with a company by the name of the Tax Shelter, in Lexington, Kentucky. What a BIG joke. From my understanding, out of 300 people that filed RAL, only 70 applicants were approved thru Republic Bank. What in the world happen with the other 230 people, and of course, I only got a number to call Rupublic Bank automated system, telling of my denial, and that a letter will be submitted, but that my refund will be available to me just like everyone else, and that is on the 28th or 29th of January.
    I agree that if you can in any way wait to have your taxes done, please do it the old fashion way, and just wait it out, cause this is bull!!!!

  24. msmon

    I filed with jackson hewitt in houston tx off of 1960 and wunderlich. I was suppose to recieve my RAL on 1-18-2010. I spoke to 5 different reps at republic bank and they said that this hewitt location did not update there services with the bank in order to give RALs. I end up going to another hewitt location and got my paper work transferred. Now it is locked, so now they are trying to resubmit the RALS and unlock my refund so i can get paid. I am so mad at them. The other location is very sweet. The district manager and supervisor is working very hard on my issue.

  25. Wheres my $

    Yeah, I filed my taxes on Jan. 15 (friday night) Their stupid automated service said the same thing….”The IRS accepted it, but the bank did not.” I have to wait the 2 weeks right along with the rest of you. After doing my research on the web for the last 24 hours, I’m not surprised. I will NEVER go to Jackson Hewitt or H&R Block again! Corporate greed has taken it’s toll on me and every other white collar worker in this country. I am expected to get over $6000 in my federal return. Funny, the automated service then tells you you’ll receive an explanation as to why the bank denied your RAL loan in the mail in the near future. Funny, why do both of these companies say in their ads that your garaunteed to walk out with your return in as little as 4-48 hrs. I’ve always done my taxes and received my RAL. I’ve never been denied. I pay the ridiculous $411.00 fee to prepare my taxes because I usually can’t wait 2 weeks to receive it regularly through the IRS. I have bills to pay and mouths to feed. 1 W-2 to file because I only have 1 job. DO NOT PAY these companies to file your taxes! They make over $400 in 15 minutes on something you can do for free through the IRS and get your return just as fast. Even when I went to Jackson Hewitt last night after work and spoke with the woman who filed my taxes said she cannot give out personal information to me as to why the bank denied my loan, even though the lady on the customer service end of Jackson Hewitt said if I went into the location where I filed my taxes, she would be able to tell me why I was denied. She then gave me ANOTHER 1-800 automated number to call which told me that Rebublic Bank would receive my Federal Refund on Jan. 29th and they would then cut my check to me, then it says that if I have questions about my refund to call the IRS at 1-800-829-1040, so I did that….THEY DON’T HAVE RECORD OF RECEIVING MY TAX RETURN. So now where’s my $$$$$$??????????

  26. whats going on

    I filled my taxes on the 16 of jan. The IRS accepted it but the bank didnot. Have to wait 2 weeks,mad az hell. Whats going on.

  27. Dawn

    Has anyone gotten their refund in 24 hours from republic ban and trust? I efiled 1/15/2010 for the 24 hour loan

  28. reginald

    I heard time tax can get you money in 24 hours! I’m going this weekend to file my taxes with them

  29. mike

    I went to ON TIME TAX SERVICE located in Lancaster,Tx and LOVED IT they were helpful,professional and got me the more money than anyone I’ve filed with

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