Company Quick10K Filing
World Acceptance
Price126.21 EPS7
Shares9 P/E19
MCap1,077 P/FCF5
Net Debt-10 EBIT103
TEV1,067 TEV/EBIT10
TTM 2019-09-30, in MM, except price, ratios
10-K 2020-03-31 Filed 2020-05-29
10-Q 2019-12-31 Filed 2020-02-10
10-Q 2019-09-30 Filed 2019-11-07
10-Q 2019-06-30 Filed 2019-08-07
10-K 2019-03-31 Filed 2019-05-24
10-Q 2018-12-31 Filed 2019-02-11
10-Q 2018-09-30 Filed 2018-11-08
10-Q 2018-06-30 Filed 2018-08-09
10-K 2018-03-31 Filed 2018-06-13
10-Q 2017-12-31 Filed 2018-02-06
10-Q 2017-09-30 Filed 2017-11-08
10-Q 2017-06-30 Filed 2017-08-08
10-K 2017-03-31 Filed 2017-06-29
10-Q 2016-12-31 Filed 2017-02-06
10-Q 2016-09-30 Filed 2016-11-04
10-Q 2016-06-30 Filed 2016-08-05
10-K 2016-03-31 Filed 2016-06-01
10-Q 2015-12-31 Filed 2016-02-05
10-Q 2015-09-30 Filed 2015-11-06
10-Q 2015-06-30 Filed 2015-07-30
10-K 2015-03-31 Filed 2015-06-02
10-Q 2014-12-31 Filed 2015-02-06
10-Q 2014-09-30 Filed 2014-11-10
10-Q 2014-06-30 Filed 2014-08-06
10-K 2014-03-31 Filed 2014-06-12
10-Q 2013-12-31 Filed 2014-02-05
10-Q 2013-09-30 Filed 2013-11-01
10-Q 2013-06-30 Filed 2013-08-06
10-K 2013-03-31 Filed 2013-06-14
10-Q 2012-12-31 Filed 2013-02-08
10-Q 2012-09-30 Filed 2012-11-02
10-Q 2012-06-30 Filed 2012-08-06
10-K 2012-03-31 Filed 2012-05-29
10-Q 2011-09-30 Filed 2011-11-01
10-Q 2011-06-30 Filed 2011-08-03
10-K 2011-03-31 Filed 2011-06-03
10-Q 2010-12-31 Filed 2011-01-31
10-Q 2010-09-30 Filed 2010-10-29
10-Q 2010-06-30 Filed 2010-08-03
10-K 2010-03-31 Filed 2010-06-08
10-Q 2009-12-31 Filed 2010-02-01
8-K 2020-07-30 Earnings, Regulation FD, Exhibits
8-K 2020-07-24 Enter Agreement, Exhibits
8-K 2020-06-16
8-K 2020-05-07
8-K 2020-04-29
8-K 2020-03-12
8-K 2020-01-30
8-K 2019-12-20
8-K 2019-10-31
8-K 2019-08-22
8-K 2019-07-25
8-K 2019-06-07
8-K 2019-05-09
8-K 2019-04-15
8-K 2019-01-31
8-K 2018-12-14
8-K 2018-11-01
8-K 2018-10-15
8-K 2018-08-24
8-K 2018-08-01
8-K 2018-07-26
8-K 2018-07-13
8-K 2018-06-27
8-K 2018-06-01
8-K 2018-05-04
8-K 2018-01-26
8-K 2018-01-18
8-K 2018-01-04
8-K 2018-01-01

WRLD 10K Annual Report

Part I.
Item 1. Description of Business
Item 1A. Risk Factors
Item 1B. Unresolved Staff Comments
Item 2. Properties
Item 3.Legal Proceedings
Item 4. Mine Safety Disclosures
Part II.
Item 5.Market for Registrant's Common Equity, Related Stockholder Matters and Issuer Purchases of Equity Securities
Item 6. Selected Financial Data
Item 7. Management's Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations
Item 7A. Quantitative and Qualitative Disclosures About Market Risk
Part II
Item 8. Financial Statements and Supplementary Data
Item 9.Changes in and Disagreements with Accountants on Accounting and Financial Disclosure
Item 9A.Controls and Procedures
Item 9B.Other Information
Part III.
Item 10.Directors, Executive Officers and Corporate Governance
Item 11.Executive Compensation
Item 12. Security Ownership of Certain Beneficial Owners, Management and Related Stockholder Matters
Item 13. Certain Relationships and Related Transactions and Director Independence
Item 14. Principal Accountant Fees and Services
Part IV.
Item 15. Exhibits and Financial Statement Schedules
Item 16. Form 10 - K Summary
EX-21 exhibit21q4fy20.htm
EX-23 exhibit23q4fy20.htm
EX-31.01 exhibit3101q4fy20.htm
EX-31.02 exhibit3102q4fy20.htm
EX-32.01 exhibit3201q4fy20.htm
EX-32.02 exhibit3202q4fy20.htm

World Acceptance Earnings 2020-03-31

Balance SheetIncome StatementCash Flow
1.10.90.70.40.20.02012201420172020
Assets, Equity
0.20.10.10.0-0.0-0.12012201420172020
Rev, G Profit, Net Income
0.10.0-0.0-0.1-0.1-0.22012201420172020
Ops, Inv, Fin

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UNITED STATES
SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION
WASHINGTON, D.C. 20549
 
__________________________________
Form 10-K
__________________________________
 
ANNUAL REPORT PURSUANT TO SECTION 13 OR 15(d) OF THE SECURITIES EXCHANGE ACT OF 1934
      
For the fiscal year ended: March 31, 2020

OR
TRANSITION REPORT PURSUANT TO SECTION 13 OR 15(d) OF THE SECURITIES EXCHANGE ACT OF 1934
   
For the transition period from _______________ to _____________

Commission file number: 000-19599

WORLD ACCEPTANCE CORPORATION
(Exact name of registrant as specified in its charter)

South Carolina 57-0425114
(State or other jurisdiction of incorporation or organization) (I.R.S. Employer Identification No.)
   
104 S. Main St.  
GreenvilleSouth Carolina   29601
(Address of principal executive offices)  (Zip Code) 
 
(864)298-9800  
(Registrant's telephone number, including area code) 
 
SECURITIES REGISTERED PURSUANT TO SECTION 12(b) OF THE ACT:
 
Title of Each Class  Trading Symbol(s) Name of Each Exchange on Which Registered
Common Stock, no par valueWRLD The NASDAQ Stock Market LLC
  (NASDAQ Global Select Market)

SECURITIES REGISTERED PURSUANT TO SECTION 12(g) OF THE ACT: NONE
 
Indicate by check mark if the registrant is a well-known seasoned issuer, as defined in Rule 405 of the Securities Act. Yes o
 No x

Indicate by check mark if the registrant is not required to file reports pursuant to Section 13 or Section 15(d) of the Exchange Act.   Yes o No x

Indicate by check mark whether the registrant (1) has filed all reports required to be filed by Section 13 or Section 15(d) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 during the preceding 12 months (or for such shorter period that the Registrant was required to file such reports), and (2) has been subject to such filing requirements for the past 90 days. Yes x  No o

Indicate by check mark whether the registrant has submitted electronically every Interactive Data File required to be submitted pursuant to Rule 405 of Regulation S-T during the preceding 12 months (or for such shorter period that the registrant was required to submit such files).  Yes x  No o

Indicate by check mark whether the registrant is a large accelerated filer, an accelerated filer, a non-accelerated filer, a smaller reporting company, or an emerging growth company. See the definitions of “large accelerated filer,” “accelerated filer,” “smaller reporting company,” and "emerging growth company" in Rule 12b-2 of the Exchange Act. (Check One):
 
Large accelerated filerAccelerated filer 
  
Non-accelerated filer Smaller reporting company
Emerging growth company

If an emerging growth company, indicate by check mark if registrant has elected not to use the extended transition period for complying with any new or revised financial accounting standards provided pursuant to Section 13(a) of the Exchange Act. o

Indicate by check mark whether the registrant has filed a report on and attestation to its management’s assessment of the effectiveness of its internal control over financial reporting under Section 404(b) of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act (15 U.S.C. 7262(b)) by the registered public accounting firm that prepared or issued its audit report. x

Indicate by check mark whether the registrant is a shell company (as defined in Rule 12b-2 of the Exchange Act).  
Yes   No x

The aggregate market value of voting stock held by non-affiliates of the registrant as of September 30, 2019, computed by reference to the closing sale price on such date, was $609,768,376. (For purposes of calculating this amount only, all directors and executive officers are treated as affiliates. This determination of affiliate status is not necessarily a conclusive determination for other purposes.) As of May 15, 2020, 7,509,384 shares of the registrant’s Common Stock, no par value, were outstanding.

DOCUMENTS INCORPORATED BY REFERENCE
Portions of the Registrant's definitive Proxy Statement pertaining to the 2020 Annual Meeting of Shareholders ("the Proxy Statement") and filed pursuant to Regulation 14A are incorporated herein by reference into Part III hereof.




WORLD ACCEPTANCE CORPORATION
FORM 10-K

TABLE OF CONTENTS
 
Item No.ContentsPage
GLOSSARY OF DEFINED TERMS
PART I 
1.Business
1A.Risk Factors
1B.Unresolved Staff Comments
2.Properties
3.Legal Proceedings
4.Mine Safety Disclosures
PART II 
5.Market for Registrant's Common Equity, Related Stockholder Matters and Issuer Purchases of Equity Securities
6.Selected Financial Data
7.Management's Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations
7A.Quantitative and Qualitative Disclosures About Market Risk
8.Financial Statements and Supplementary Data
9.Changes in and Disagreements With Accountants on Accounting and Financial Disclosure
9A.Controls and Procedures
9B.Other Information
PART III 
10.Directors, Executive Officers and Corporate Governance
11.Executive Compensation
12.Security Ownership of Certain Beneficial Owners and Management and Related Stockholder Matters
13.Certain Relationships and Related Transactions, and Director Independence
14.Principal Accountant Fees and Services
PART IV 
15.Exhibits and Financial Statement Schedules
16.Form 10-K Summary
EXHIBIT INDEX
SIGNATURES




GLOSSARY OF DEFINED TERMS

The following terms may be used throughout this Report, including consolidated financial statements and related notes.

TermDefinition
ASCAccounting Standards Codification
ASUAccounting Standards Update
CFPBU.S. Consumer Financial Protection Bureau
Compensation CommitteeCompensation and Stock Option Committee of World Acceptance Corporation
DOJU.S. Department of Justice
EBITDAEarnings before interest, tax, depreciation, and amortization
EDGARElectronic Data Gathering, Analysis, and Retrieval
ERISAEmployee Retirement Income Security Act
Exchange ActSecurities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended
FASBFinancial Accounting Standards Board
FCPAU.S. Foreign Corrupt Practices Act of 1977, as amended
G&AGeneral and administrative
GAAPU.S. generally accepted accounting principles
IRSU.S. Internal Revenue Service
LIBORLondon Interbank Offered Rate
Option Measurement PeriodThe 6.5 year performance period beginning on September 30, 2018 and ending on March 31, 2025 over which the Performance Options are eligible to vest, following certification by the Compensation Committee of achievement of defined performance measures
PurchasersJointly, Astro Wealth S.A. de C.V. and Astro Assets S.A. de C.V.
Performance Share Measurement PeriodThe 6.5 year performance period beginning on September 30, 2018 and ending on March 31, 2025 over which the Performance Shares are eligible to vest, following certification by the Compensation Committee of achievement of defined performance measures
Performance OptionsPerformance-based stock options
Performance SharesService- and performance-based restricted stock awards
Restricted StockService-based restricted stock awards
Sarbanes-Oxley ActSarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002
SECU.S. Securities and Exchange Commission
SERPSupplemental Executive Retirement Plans
SellersCollectively, World Acceptance Corporation, WFC Services Inc., and WAC Mexico Holdings LLC
Service OptionsService-based stock options
SWACServicios World Acceptance Corporation de México, S. de R.L. de C.V, a former subsidiary of World Acceptance Corporation
TCJATax Cuts and Jobs Act
Transition TaxTax amount associated with a one-time repatriation tax on deferred foreign income
UCCUniform Commercial Code
WAC de MexicoWAC de México, S.A. de C.V., SOFOM, E.N.R., a former subsidiary of World Acceptance Corporation

4

Table of Contents
Introduction
 
World Acceptance Corporation, a South Carolina corporation, operates a small-loan consumer finance (installment loan) business in sixteen states as of March 31, 2020.  As used herein, the "Company,” “we,” “our,” “us,” or similar formulations include World Acceptance Corporation and each of its subsidiaries, except as the context otherwise requires. All references in this report to “fiscal 2021” are to the Company’s fiscal year ending March 31, 2021; all references in this report to "fiscal 2020" are to the Company's fiscal year ended March 31, 2020; all references to “fiscal 2019” are to the Company’s fiscal year ended March 31, 2019; all references to “fiscal 2018” are to the Company’s fiscal year ended March 31, 2018; all references to "fiscal 2017" are to the Company's fiscal year ended March 31, 2017; and all references to "fiscal 2016" are to the Company's fiscal year ended March 31, 2016.

PART I.


Item 1. Description of Business

General.  The Company was incorporated under the laws of South Carolina on February 22, 1973 and is now one of the nation's largest small-loan consumer finance companies, offering short-term small installment loans, medium-term larger installment loans, related credit insurance and ancillary products and services to individuals. The Company offers standardized installment loans generally between $100 and $3,200, with the average loan being $1,005. The Company operates 1,243 branches in Alabama, Georgia, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, New Mexico, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Texas, Tennessee, Utah, and Wisconsin as of March 31, 2020. The Company generally serves individuals with limited access to other sources of consumer credit such as banks, credit unions, other consumer finance businesses and credit card lenders. The Company also offers income tax return preparation services to its loan customers and other individuals.

The small-loan consumer finance industry is a highly fragmented segment of the consumer lending industry. Small-loan consumer finance companies generally make loans to individuals of less than $2,000 with maturities of less than 18 months. These companies approve loans on the basis of the personal creditworthiness of their customers and maintain close contact with borrowers to encourage the repayment or, when appropriate to meet the borrower’s needs, the refinancing of loans. By contrast, commercial banks, credit unions and other consumer finance businesses typically make loans of more than $5,000 with maturities of greater than one year. Those financial institutions generally approve consumer loans on the security of qualifying personal property pledged as collateral or impose more stringent credit requirements than those of small-loan consumer finance companies. As a result of their higher credit standards and specific collateral requirements, commercial banks, savings and loans and other consumer finance businesses typically charge lower interest rates and fees and experience lower delinquency and charge-off rates than do small-loan consumer finance companies. Small-loan consumer finance companies generally charge higher interest rates and fees to compensate for the greater risk of delinquencies and charge-offs and increased loan administration and collection costs.

The majority of the participants in the industry are independent operators with generally less than 100 branches. We believe that competition between small-loan consumer finance companies occurs primarily on the basis of the strength of customer relationships, customer service and reputation in the local community rather than pricing, as participants in this industry generally charge interest rates and fees at, or close to, the maximum permitted by applicable state laws. We believe that our relatively large size affords us a competitive advantage over smaller companies by increasing our access to, and reducing our cost of, capital.
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Small-loan consumer finance companies are subject to extensive regulation, supervision, and licensing under various federal and state statutes, ordinances, and regulations. Consumer loan offices are licensed under state laws which, in many states, establish maximum loan amounts and interest rates and the types and maximum amounts of fees and other charges. In addition, state laws govern other aspects of the operation of small-loan consumer finance companies. Periodically, constituencies within states seek to enact stricter regulations that would affect our business. Furthermore, the industry is subject to numerous federal laws and regulations that affect lending operations. These federal laws require companies to provide complete disclosure of the principal terms of each loan to the borrower in accordance with specified standards prior to the consummation of the loan transaction. Federal laws also prohibit misleading advertising, protect against discriminatory lending practices and prohibit unfair, deceptive, or abusive credit practices.

Impact of COVID-19. COVID-19 is having a global impact and the Company is closely tracking and reacting to the continued effects of the pandemic. Thus far, nearly all branches have remained open as a result of being classified as an essential business by government authorities. In each, steps have been taken to reduce personal interactions and assist associates and customers. Some of these measures include reducing store hours, providing additional leave for those directly impacted, closing lobbies and offering curbside service, and encouraging customers to service accounts digitally rather than in person. Branch team members have remained positive, strong, and have worked hard to continue to be a resource for customers during these uncertainties.

As we began to experience non-essential business and school closures, we proactively halted marketing efforts and updated underwriting criteria given the uncertainty at that time. The Company experienced expected declines in customer demand due to a combination of reduced marketing and stay-at-home orders reducing customer mobility. Rapid increases in unemployment and subsequent federal stimulus packages have both altered the underwriting landscape. As a result, the Company has seen significant increases in online and phone activity related to account access, payments, and refinances. To assist customers impacted by COVID-19, the normal 30 day wait period for unemployment insurance claims was waived and payment deferrals have been offered to impacted customers. The Company has also expedited projects related to its digital presence and online lending and is currently piloting remote applications, signatures, and funding for select customers.

See Part I, Item 1A for an update to our risk factors related to COVID-19.

Expansion.  During fiscal 2020, the Company opened 19 new branches, purchased 38 branches, and merged or consolidated 7 branches into existing branches due to their inability to generate sufficient returns or for efficiency reasons. In fiscal 2021, the Company currently plans to open or acquire approximately 25 new branches by increasing the number of branches in its existing market areas or commencing operations in new states where it believes demographic profiles and state regulations are attractive. The Company may merge other branches on a case-by-case basis based on profitability or other factors. The Company's ability to continue existing operations and expand its operations in existing or new states is dependent upon, among other things, laws and regulations that permit the Company to operate its business profitably and its ability to obtain necessary regulatory approvals and licenses. There can be no assurance that such laws and regulations will not change in ways that adversely affect the Company or that the Company will be able to obtain any such approvals or consents. See Part 1, Item 1A, “Risk Factors” for a further discussion of risks to our business and plans for expansion.

The Company's expansion is also dependent upon its ability to identify attractive locations for new branches and to hire suitable personnel to staff, manage, and supervise new branches. In evaluating a particular community, the Company examines several factors, including the demographic profile of the community, the existence of an established small-loan consumer finance market and the availability of suitable personnel.

The following table sets forth the number of branches of the Company at the dates indicated:
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 At March 31,
State2020201920182017201620152014201320122011
Alabama68656565696868646251
Georgia133124123125114113110108105103
Idaho (1)
18192021178
Illinois79778280828282817568
Indiana (2)
383532292522178
Kentucky78787877797976717066
Louisiana52474747484948474440
Mississippi (3)
3027252020125
Missouri81777675777876767266
New Mexico37373839424444444444
Oklahoma69697174828383828282
South Carolina1029597929699101989797
Tennessee107107105104106107105105105103
Texas303298291291300300297279262247
Utah (4)
189
Wisconsin3029273029282621145
Total1,2431,1931,1771,1691,1861,1721,1381,0841,032972
_______________________________________________________
(1) The Company commenced operations in Idaho in October 2014.
(2) The Company commenced operations in Indiana in September 2012.
(3) The Company commenced operations in Mississippi in September 2013.
(4) The Company commenced operations in Utah in October 2018.

Mexico Exit. On August 3, 2018 the Company and its affiliates completed the sale of the Company's Mexico operating segment in its entirety. The Company sold all of the issued and outstanding capital stock and equity interest of WAC de Mexico and SWAC to the Purchasers, effective as of July 1, 2018, for a purchase price of approximately $44.36 million. The Company has not and will not have any other involvement with the Mexico operating segment subsequent to the sale's effective date. The Company and its subsidiaries no longer operate in Mexico. Information about the Mexico operating segment is presented as discontinued operations in this annual report on Form 10-K.

Loan and Other Products.  In each state in which we operate, we primarily offer pre-computed consumer installment loans that are standardized by amount and maturity. Consumer installment loans are our principal product and interest and fee income from such loans accounted for 86.2%, 86.2%, and 86.7% of our total revenues in fiscal years 2020, 2019, and 2018, respectively. Our loans are payable in fully-amortizing monthly installments with terms generally from 3 to 16 months and are pre-payable at any time without penalty. In addition, we offer income tax preparation and filing services as well as interest and fee-free tax advance loans.
 
The following table sets forth information about our loan products for fiscal 2020:
Minimum
    Origination (1)
Maximum
    Origination (1)
Minimum Term
(Months)
Maximum Term
(Months)
Small loans$100  $2,450   25  
Large loans$2,500  $20,600  12  48  
_______________________________________________________
(1) Gross loan net of finance charges.

Specific allowable interest, fees, and other charges vary by state and, consistent with industry practice, we generally charge at, or close to, the maximum rates allowable under applicable state law in those states that limit loan rates. The finance charge is a combination of origination or acquisition fees, account maintenance fees, monthly account handling fees, interest and other charges permitted by the relevant state laws. As of March 31, 2020, the annual percentage rates on loans we offer for small and large loans, including interest, fees and other charges as calculated in accordance with the Federal Truth in Lending Act, ranged from 0% to 199%, depending on the loan size, maturity, and the state in which the loan was made.
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As of March 31, 2020, annual percentage rates applicable to our gross loans receivable as defined by the Truth in Lending Act were as follows:
LowHighAmountPercentage of total
gross loans
receivable
— %36 %$361,084,827  29.8  
37 %50 %286,670,650  23.7  
51 %60 %170,055,923  14.1  
61 %70 %70,063,032  5.8  
71 %80 %36,531,908  3.0  
81 %90 %70,723,111  5.8  
91 %100 %119,397,778  9.9  
101 %120 %84,806,608  7.0  
121 %150 %9,630,303  0.8  
151 %199 %907,226  0.1  
  $1,209,871,366  100  

The Company, as an agent for an unaffiliated insurance company, markets and sells credit life, credit accident and health, credit property and auto, unemployment, and accidental death and dismemberment insurance in connection with its loans in selected states where the sale of such insurance is permitted by law. Credit life insurance provides for the payment in full of the borrower's credit obligation to the lender in the event of death. Credit accident and health insurance provides for repayment of loan installments to the lender that come due during the insured's period of income interruption resulting from disability from illness or injury. Credit property and auto insurance insures payment of the borrower's credit obligation to the lender in the event that the personal property pledged as security by the borrower is damaged or destroyed by a covered event. Unemployment insurance provides for repayment of loan installments to the lender that come due during the insured’s period of involuntary unemployment. Accidental death and dismemberment insurance insures against unintentional death or dismemberment of the insured. The Company offers credit insurance for all loans originated in Georgia, Indiana, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, and South Carolina, and on a more limited basis in Alabama, Oklahoma, Tennessee, and Texas. Customers in those states typically obtain such credit insurance through the Company. Charges for such credit insurance are made at filed, authorized rates and are stated separately in the Company's disclosure to customers, as required by the Truth in Lending Act and by various applicable state laws. In the sale of insurance policies, the Company, as an agent, writes policies only within limitations established by its agency contracts with the insurer. The Company does not sell credit insurance to non-borrowers.

The Company has a wholly-owned, captive insurance subsidiary that reinsures a portion of the credit insurance sold in connection with loans made by the Company. Certain coverages currently sold by the Company on behalf of the unaffiliated insurance carrier are ceded by the carrier to the captive insurance subsidiary, providing the Company with an additional source of income derived from the earned reinsurance premiums.

The Company also offers automobile club memberships to its borrowers in Alabama, Georgia, Idaho, Indiana, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Tennessee, Texas, and Wisconsin, as an agent for an unaffiliated automobile club. Club memberships entitle members to automobile breakdown coverage, towing reimbursement and related services. The Company is paid a commission on each membership sold, but has no responsibility for administering the club, paying benefits or providing services to club members. The Company primarily sells automobile club memberships to borrowers.

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The table below shows the types of insurance and ancillary products the Company sells by state as of March 31, 2020:
 Credit LifeCredit Accident
and Health
Credit Property and AutoUnemploymentAccidental Death & DismembermentNon-fileAutomobile Club
Membership
Alabama (1)
XXX X
GeorgiaXXX XXX
IdahoX
Illinois     
IndianaXXXXXXX
KentuckyXXXXXX
LouisianaXXX XXX
MississippiXXXX
MissouriXX XX
New Mexico  X
Oklahoma (1)
XXXXX
South CarolinaXXXXX 
Tennessee (1)
XXXXX
Texas (1)
XXXXX
Utah
Wisconsin    X
_______________________________________________________
(1) Credit insurance is offered for certain loans.

Another service offered by the Company is income tax return preparation and electronic filing. This program is provided in all but a few of the Company’s branches. The Company prepared approximately 84,000, 91,000 and 77,000 returns in fiscal years 2020, 2019, and 2018, respectively. Net revenue generated by the Company from this program during fiscal 2020, 2019, and 2018 amounted to approximately $20.9 million, $21.5 million, and $16.8 million, respectively. In addition, our tax customers are eligible to receive an interest and fee-free tax advance loan which is generally a percentage of the anticipated tax refund amount. The Company believes that this is a beneficial service for its existing customer base as well as non-loan customers, and it plans to continue to promote this program.

The following table sets forth information about our tax advance loan product for fiscal 2020:
Minimum OriginationMaximum OriginationMinimum Term
(Months)
Maximum Term
(Months)
Tax advance loans100  5,000    

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Loan Receivables.  The following table sets forth the composition of the Company's gross loans receivable by state at March 31 of each year from 2011 through 2020:
 At March 31,
State2020201920182017201620152014201320122011
Alabama%%%%%%%%%%
Georgia13  13  14  15  13  13  13  14  14  14  
Idaho (1)
  —  —  —  —  —  —  —  —  
Illinois          
Indiana (2)
       —  —  —  
Kentucky   10  10  10   10  10  10  
Louisiana          
Mississippi (3)
    —  —  —  —  —  —  
Missouri          
New Mexico          
Oklahoma          
South Carolina10   10  11  10  11  12  12  13  14  
Tennessee11  12  13  13  13  13  13  14  15  15  
Texas19  21  19  18  19  19  21  20  20  20  
Utah (4)
 —  —  —  —  —  —  —  —  —  
Wisconsin (5)
         —  
Total100 %100 %100 %100 %100 %100 %100 %100 %100 %100 %
_______________________________________________________
(1) The Company commenced operations in Idaho in October 2014.
(2) The Company commenced operations in Indiana in September 2012.
(3) The Company commenced operations in Mississippi in September 2013.
(4) The Company commenced operations in Utah in October 2018.
(5) The Company commenced operations in Wisconsin in December 2010.

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The following table sets forth the total number of loans, the average gross loan balance, and the gross loan balance by state at March 31, 2020: 
 Total Number
of Loans
Average Gross Loan BalanceGross Loan Balance (thousands)
Alabama55,050  $1,138  $62,639  
Georgia105,132  1,473  154,861  
Idaho9,659  1,026  9,912  
Illinois51,184  1,779  91,055  
Indiana21,777  1,304  28,401  
Kentucky58,615  1,604  94,010  
Louisiana37,803  1,010  38,179  
Mississippi20,325  815  16,563  
Missouri47,840  1,938  92,707  
New Mexico23,717  1,173  27,826  
Oklahoma54,207  1,393  75,529  
South Carolina89,791  1,353  121,459  
Tennessee90,653  1,497  135,707  
Texas229,740  1,012  232,504  
Utah6,152  1,164  7,158  
Wisconsin14,214  1,503  21,361  
Total915,859  $1,321  $1,209,871  

Seasonality.  The Company's highest loan demand occurs generally from October through December, its third fiscal quarter. Loan demand is generally lowest and loan repayment highest from January to March, its fourth fiscal quarter. Consequently, the Company experiences significant seasonal fluctuations in its operating results and cash needs. Operating results for the Company's third fiscal quarter are generally lower than in other quarters, and operating results for its fourth fiscal quarter are generally higher than in other quarters. However, the effects of COVID-19 could impact our typical seasonal trends.

Lending and Collection Operations.  The Company seeks to provide short-term consumer installment loans to the segment of the population that has limited access to other sources of credit. In evaluating the creditworthiness of potential customers, the Company primarily examines the individual's discretionary income, length of current employment and/or sources of income, duration of residence, and prior credit experience. Loans are made to individuals on the basis of their discretionary income and other factors and are limited to amounts we believe that customers can reasonably be expected to repay from that income given our assessment of their stability and ability and willingness to pay. The Company also generates a proprietary credit score in assisting loan decisions to potential new customers that evaluates key attributes such as payment history, outstanding debt, length of credit history, number of credit inquiries as well as credit mix. All loan applicants are required to complete standardized credit applications in person or by telephone at local Company branches. Each of the Company's local branches are equipped to perform rapid background, employment, and credit checks and approve loan applications promptly, often while the customer waits. The Company's employees verify the applicant's sources of income and credit histories through telephone checks with employers, other employment references, and verification with various credit bureaus. Substantially all new customers are required to submit a listing of personal property that will serve as collateral to secure the loan, but the Company does not rely on the value of such collateral in the loan approval process and generally does not perfect its security interest in that collateral. Accordingly, if the customer were to default in the repayment of the loan, the Company may not be able to recover the outstanding loan balance by resorting to the sale of collateral. 

The Company believes that development and continual reinforcement of personal relationships with customers improve the Company's ability to monitor their creditworthiness, reduce credit risk, and generate customer loyalty. It is not unusual for the Company to have made a number of loans to the same customer over the course of several years, many of which were refinanced with a new loan after the borrower had reduced the existing loan's outstanding balance by making multiple payments. In determining whether to refinance existing loans, the Company typically requires loans to be current on a recency basis, and repeat customers are generally required to complete a new credit application if they have not completed one within the prior two years.

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Approximately 79.6%, 78.7%, and 79.0% of the Company's loans were generated through refinancings of outstanding loans and the origination of new loans to previous customers in fiscal 2020, 2019, and 2018, respectively. A refinancing represents a new loan transaction with a present customer in which a portion of the new loan proceeds is used to repay the balance of an existing loan and the remaining portion is advanced to the customer. The Company markets the opportunity for qualifying customers to refinance existing loans prior to maturity. In many cases the existing customer’s past performance and established creditworthiness with the Company qualifies that customer for a larger loan. This, in turn, may increase the fees and other income realized for a particular customer. For fiscal 2020, 2019, and 2018, the percentages of the Company's loan originations that were refinancings of existing loans were 66.9%, 66.2%, and 65.9%, respectively.

The Company allows refinancing of delinquent loans on a case-by-case basis for those customers who otherwise satisfy the Company's credit standards. Each such refinancing is carefully examined before approval in an effort to avoid increasing credit risk. A delinquent loan generally may be refinanced only if the customer has made payments that, together with any credits of insurance premiums or other charges to which the customer is entitled in connection with the refinancing, reduce the balance due on the loan to an amount equal to or less than the original cash advance made in connection with the loan. The Company does not allow the amount of the new loan to exceed the original amount of the existing loan. The Company believes that refinancing delinquent loans for certain customers who have made periodic payments allows the Company to increase its average loans outstanding and its interest, fees and other income without experiencing a significant increase in loan losses. These refinancings also provide a resolution to temporary financial setbacks for these borrowers and sustain their credit rating. Refinancings of delinquent loans represented 1.3%, 1.1%, and 1.2% of the Company’s loan volume in fiscal 2020, 2019, and 2018, respectively.

To reduce late payment risk, local branch staff encourage customers to inform the Company in advance of expected payment problems. Local branch staff also promptly contact delinquent customers following any payment due date and thereafter remain in close contact with such customers through phone calls or letters until payment is received or some other resolution is reached. The Company expanded our centralized collections in fiscal 2018, focusing on customers who have become more than 90 days past due on a recency basis. In Alabama, Georgia, Idaho, Indiana, Illinois, Kentucky, Louisiana, Missouri, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Tennessee, Utah, and Wisconsin, the Company is permitted under state laws to garnish customers' wages for repayment of loans, but the Company does not otherwise generally resort to litigation for collection purposes and rarely attempts to foreclose on collateral.

Insurance-related Operations.  As discussed above, in certain states, the Company sells credit insurance to customers in connection with its loans as an agent for an unaffiliated insurance company. These insurance policies provide for the payment of the outstanding balance of the Company's loan upon the occurrence of an insured event. The Company earns a commission on the sale of such credit insurance, which, for most products, is directly impacted by the claims experience of the insurance company on policies sold on its behalf by the Company. In states where commissions on certain products are capped, the commission earned is not directly impacted by the claims experience.

The Company has a wholly-owned, captive insurance subsidiary that reinsures a portion of the credit insurance sold in connection with loans made by the Company. Certain coverages currently sold by the Company on behalf of the unaffiliated insurance carrier are ceded by the carrier to the captive insurance subsidiary, providing the Company with an additional source of income derived from the earned reinsurance premiums. In fiscal 2020, the captive insurance subsidiary reinsured approximately 10.5% of the credit insurance sold by the Company and contributed approximately $2.2 million to the Company's total revenue.

Non-Filing Insurance.  The Company typically does not perfect its security interest in collateral securing its smaller loans by filing UCC financing statements. Non-filing insurance premiums are equal in aggregate amount to the premiums paid by the Company to purchase non-filing insurance coverage from an unaffiliated insurance company. Under its non-filing insurance coverage, the Company is reimbursed for losses on loans resulting from its policy not to perfect its security interest in collateral securing the loans.

Monitoring and Supervision.  The Company's loan operations are organized into Southeastern, Central, and Western Divisions. As of March 31, 2020 the Southeastern Division consisted of Georgia, Missouri, South Carolina and Tennessee; the Central Division consisted of Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Oklahoma and Wisconsin; and the Western Division consisted of Alabama, Idaho, New Mexico, Texas, and Utah. Several levels of management monitor and supervise the operations of each of the Company's branches. Branch managers are directly responsible for the performance of their respective branches. District Managers are responsible for the performance of 8 to 11 branches in their districts. They typically communicate with the branch managers of each of their branches at least weekly and visit the branches at least monthly. The Regional Vice Presidents of Operations monitor the performance of all branches within their states (or partial state in the case of Texas), primarily through communication with District Managers. These Regional Vice Presidents of Operations typically
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communicate with the District Managers of each of their districts weekly and regularly visit branches. The Senior Vice Presidents of each of the Southeastern, Central, and Western Divisions are responsible for supervising the Regional Vice Presidents of Operations.

Senior management has access to daily delinquency, loan volume, charge-off, and other statistical data on a consolidated, state and branch level. At least eight times per fiscal year District Managers examine the operations of each branch in their geographic area and submit standardized reports detailing their findings to the Company's senior management. The Company takes a risk-based approach to determine internal audit frequency. At least once every 18 months each branch undergoes an audit by the Company's internal auditors. These audits include an examination of cash balances and compliance with Company loan approval, review and collection procedures, and compliance with federal and state laws and regulations.

Staff and Training.  Local branches are staffed with a minimum of two employees. The branch manager supervises and administers operations of the branch and is responsible for approving all borrower loan applications and requests for increases in the amount of credit extended. Each branch generally has one or two account specialists who take loan applications, process loan applications, apply payments, and assist in the preparation of operational reports, collection efforts, and marketing activities. Larger branches may employ additional account specialists.

New employees are required to review detailed training materials that explain the Company's operating policies and procedures. The Company tests each employee on the training materials during the first year of employment. In addition, each branch associate completes an online training session once every week and attends periodic training sessions outside the branch. The Company has also implemented an enhanced training tool known as World University, which provides continuous, real-time, on-line training to all locations. This allows for more training opportunities to be available to all employees throughout the course of their career with the Company.

Advertising.  The Company actively advertises through direct mail, targeting both its present and former customers and potential customers who have used other sources of consumer credit. The Company obtains or acquires mailing lists from third party sources. In addition to the general promotion of its loans for last-minute needs, back-to-school needs and other uses, the Company advertises extensively during the October through December holiday season and in connection with new branch openings. The Company also advertises across digital platforms, by email and to existing customers via SMS/text. The Company believes its advertising contributes significantly to its ability to compete effectively with other providers of small-loan consumer credit. Advertising expenses as a percent of revenue were approximately 4.1%, 4.1%, and 4.2% in fiscal 2020, 2019, and 2018, respectively.

Competition.  The small-loan consumer finance industry is highly fragmented, with numerous competitors. The majority of the Company's competitors are independent operators with generally less than 100 branches. Competition from community banks and credit unions is limited because they typically do not make loans of less than $5,000. We believe that online lending could be affecting the consumer lending market within which we operate. While it appears online lenders are marketing to a different customer segment than that of our primary customers, some of our customers may overlap.

The Company believes that competition between small-loan consumer finance companies occurs primarily on the basis of the strength of customer relationships, customer service, and reputation in the local community rather than pricing, as participants in this industry generally all charge interest rates and fees at or close to the maximum permitted by applicable laws. The Company believes that its relatively larger size affords it a competitive advantage over smaller companies by increasing its access to, and reducing its cost of, capital.  

Several of the states in which the Company currently operates limit the size of loans made by small-loan consumer finance companies and prohibit the extension of more than one loan to a customer by any one company. As a result, many customers borrow from more than one finance company, which enables the Company, subject to the limitations of various consumer protection and privacy statutes, including, but not limited to, the Fair Credit Reporting Act and the Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act, to obtain information on the credit history of specific customers from other consumer finance companies.

Employees.  As of March 31, 2020, the Company had 3,744 employees, none of whom were represented by labor unions. The Company considers its relations with its employees to be good. The Company seeks to hire people who will become long-term employees, and, as a result, the vast majority of our field leadership has been promoted from within.

Information about our Executive Officers.  The names and ages, positions, terms of office and periods of service of each of the Company's executive officers (and other business experience for executive officers who have served as such for less than five years) are set forth below. The term of office for each executive officer expires upon the earlier of the appointment and qualification of a successor or such officer's death, resignation, retirement, or removal.
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Name and AgePositionPeriod of Service as Executive Officer and
Pre-Executive Officer Experience (if an
Executive Officer for Less Than Five Years)
   
R. Chad Prashad (39)President and Chief Executive OfficerPresident and Chief Executive Officer since June 2018; Senior Vice President, Chief Strategy & Analytics Officer from February 2018 to June 2018; Vice President of Analytics from June 2014 to February 2018; Senior Director of Strategy Development for Resurgent Capital Services (a consumer debt managing and servicing company) from 2013 to June 2014; Director of Legal Strategy for Resurgent Capital Services from 2009 to 2013.
   
John L. Calmes Jr. (40)Executive Vice President, Chief Financial and Strategy Officer, and TreasurerExecutive Vice President and Chief Financial and Strategy Officer and Treasurer since October 2018; Senior Vice President, Chief Financial Officer and Treasurer from November 2015 to October 2018; Vice President, Chief Financial Officer and Treasurer from December 2013 to November 2015; Director of Finance - Corporate and Investment Banking Division of Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi UFJ in 2013; Senior Manager of PricewaterhouseCoopers from 2011 to 2013; Manager of PricewaterhouseCoopers from 2008 to 2011.
D. Clinton Dyer (47)Executive Vice President and Chief Branch Operations OfficerExecutive Vice President and Chief Branch Operations Officer since February 2018; Executive Vice President of Branch Operations from September 2016 to February 2018; Senior Vice President, Southeastern Division from November 2015 to September 2016; Senior Vice President, Central Division from June 2005 to November 2015; Vice President, Operations –Tennessee and Kentucky from April 2002 to June 2005.
Luke J. Umstetter (40)Senior Vice President, Secretary, and General CounselSenior Vice President, Secretary and General Counsel since August 2018; General Counsel and Chief Compliance Officer for Shellpoint Mortgage Servicing from December 2015 to August 2018; General Counsel for Global Lending Services from May 2015 to December 2015; Managing Counsel for Resurgent Capital Services, June 2009 to May 2015.
   
A. Lindsay Caulder (44)Senior Vice President, Human ResourcesSenior Vice President, Human Resources since October 2018; Vice President, Human Resources from February 2016 to October 2018; Divisional Vice President - Human Resources of Family Dollar Corporation from 2012 to 2016; Director - Learning and Talent Acquisition of Family Dollar Corporation from 2009-2012.
Jason E. Childers (45)Senior Vice President, Information TechnologySenior Vice President, Information Technology since October 2018; Vice President of IT Strategic Solutions from April 2016 to October 2018, Partner and Head of IT at Sabal Financial Group, LP from March 2009 until April 2016.
Scott McIntyre (43)Senior Vice President, AccountingSenior Vice President of Accounting since October 2018; Vice President of Accounting-US from June 2013 to October 2018; Controller-US from June 2011 to June 2013.

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Government Regulation.

Operations.  Small-loan consumer finance companies are subject to extensive regulation, supervision, and licensing under various federal and state statutes, ordinances, and regulations. In many cases these statutes establish maximum loan amounts and interest rates and the types and maximum amounts of fees and other charges. In addition, state laws regulate collection procedures, the keeping of books and records, and other aspects of the operation of small-loan consumer finance companies. Generally, state regulations also establish minimum capital requirements for each local branch. Accordingly, the ability of the Company to expand by acquiring existing branches and opening new branches will depend in part on obtaining the necessary regulatory approvals.

For example, Texas regulation requires the approval of the Texas Consumer Credit Commissioner for the acquisition, directly or indirectly, of more than 10% of the voting or common stock of a consumer finance company. A Louisiana statute prohibits any person from acquiring control of 50% or more of the shares of stock of a licensed consumer lender, such as the Company, without first obtaining a license as a consumer lender. The overall effect of these laws, and similar laws in other states, is to make it more difficult to acquire a consumer finance company than it might be to acquire control of an unregulated company.

All of the Company's branches are licensed under the laws of the state in which the branch is located. Licenses in these states are subject to renewal every year and may be revoked for failure to comply with applicable state and federal laws and regulations. In the states in which the Company currently operates, licenses may be revoked only after an administrative hearing.

The Company and its operations are regulated by several state agencies, including the following:
The Alabama State Banking Department
The Industrial Loan Division of the Office of the Georgia Insurance Commissioner
The Idaho Department of Finance
The Consumer Credit Division of the Illinois Department of Financial Institutions
The Indiana Department of Financial Institutions
The Kentucky Department of Financial Institutions
The Louisiana Office of Financial Institutions
The Mississippi Department of Banking and Consumer Finance
The Missouri Division of Finance
The Financial Institutions Division of the New Mexico Regulation and Licensing Department
The Oklahoma Department of Consumer Credit
The Consumer Finance Division of the South Carolina Board of Financial Institutions and the South Carolina Department of Consumer Affairs
The Tennessee Department of Financial Institutions
The Texas Office of the Consumer Credit Commissioner
The Utah Department of Financial Institutions
The Wisconsin Department of Financial Institutions

These state regulatory agencies audit the Company's local branches from time to time, and most state agencies perform an annual compliance audit of the Company's operations in that state.

Insurance. The Company is also subject to state regulations governing insurance agents in the states in which it sells credit insurance. State insurance regulations require that insurance agents be licensed, govern the commissions that may be paid to agents in connection with the sale of credit insurance and limit the premium amount charged for such insurance. The Company's captive insurance subsidiary is regulated by the insurance authorities of the Turks and Caicos Islands of the British West Indies, where the subsidiary is organized and domiciled.

Consumer finance companies are affected by changes in state and federal statutes and regulations. The Company actively participates in trade associations and in lobbying efforts in the states in which it operates and at the federal level. There have been, and the Company expects that there will continue to be, media attention, initiatives, discussions, proposals, and legislation regarding the entire consumer credit industry, as well as our particular installment loan business, and possible significant changes to the laws and regulations that govern our business, or the authority exercised pursuant to those laws and regulations. In some cases, proposed or pending legislative or regulatory changes have been introduced that would, if enacted,  have a material adverse effect on, or possibly even eliminate, our ability to continue our current business. We can give no assurance that the laws and regulations that govern our business, or the interpretation or administration of those laws and regulations, will remain unchanged or that any such future changes will not materially and adversely affect, or in the worst case, eliminate, the Company’s lending practices, operations, profitability, or prospects. See "State legislation" and “Federal
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legislation” below and Part I, Item 1A, “Risk Factors,” for a further discussion of the potential impact of regulatory changes on our business.

State legislation.  The Company is subject to numerous state laws and regulations that affect our lending activities. Many of these regulations impose detailed and complex constraints on the terms of our loans, lending forms and operations. Further, there is a trend of increased state regulation on loan origination, servicing, and collection procedures, as well as more detailed reporting and examinations, and coordination of examinations among the states. Failure to comply with applicable laws and regulations could subject us to regulatory enforcement action that could result in the assessment against us of civil, monetary, or other penalties.

In addition, state authorities regulate and supervise our insurance operations. The extent of such regulation varies by product and by state, but relate primarily to the following: licensing; conduct of business, including marketing and sales practices; periodic financial and market conduct examination of the affairs of insurers; form and content of required financial reports; standards of solvency; limitations on the payment of dividends and other affiliate transactions; types of products offered; approval of policy forms and premium rates; formulas used to calculate any unearned premium refund due to an insured customer; permissible investments; deposits of securities for the benefit of policyholders; reserve requirements for unearned premiums, losses, and other purposes; and claims processing.

In the past, several state legislative and regulatory proposals have been introduced which, had they become law, would have had a materially adverse impact on our operations and ability to continue to conduct business in the relevant state. Although to date none of these state initiatives have been successful, state legislatures continue to receive pressure to adopt similar legislation that would affect our lending operations.
 
In addition, any adverse change in existing laws or regulations, or any adverse interpretation or litigation relating to existing laws and regulations in any state in which we operate, could subject us to liability for prior operating activities or could lower or eliminate the profitability of our operations going forward by, among other things, reducing the amount of interest and fees we can charge in connection with our loans. If these or other factors lead us to close our branches in a state, then in addition to the loss of net revenues attributable to that closing, we would also incur closing costs such as lease cancellation payments, and we would have to write off assets that we could no longer use. If we were to suspend rather than permanently cease our operations in a state, we may also have continuing costs associated with maintaining our branches and our employees in that state, with little or no revenues to offset those costs.

Federal legislation.  In addition to state and local laws and regulations, we are subject to numerous federal laws and regulations that affect our lending operations. These laws include the Truth in Lending Act, the Equal Credit Opportunity Act, the Military Lending Act, the Fair Credit Reporting Act, and the regulations thereunder, and the Federal Trade Commission's Credit Practices Rule. These laws require the Company to provide complete disclosure of the principal terms of each loan to the borrower prior to the consummation of the loan transaction, prohibit misleading advertising, protect against discriminatory lending practices, and prohibit unfair, deceptive, or abusive credit practices. Among the principal disclosure items under the Truth in Lending Act and Regulation Z, which implements this statute, are the terms of repayment, the final maturity, the total finance charge, and the annual percentage rate charged on each loan. The Equal Credit Opportunity Act prohibits creditors from discriminating against loan applicants on, among other things, the basis of race, color, sex, age, or marital status. Pursuant to Regulation B promulgated under the Equal Credit Opportunity Act, creditors are required to make certain disclosures regarding consumer rights and advise consumers whose credit applications are not approved of the reasons for the rejection. The Military Lending Act applies to active-duty service members and their covered dependents. We are prohibited from charging a borrower covered under the Military Lending Act more than a 36% Military Annual Percentage Rate, which includes certain costs associated with the loan in calculating the interest rate. The Fair Credit Reporting Act, which among other things, governs the use of credit bureau reports and reporting information to credit bureaus. Additionally, the Fair Credit Reporting Act requires the Company to provide certain information to consumers whose credit applications are not approved on the basis of a report obtained from a consumer reporting agency and to provide additional information to those borrowers whose loans are approved and consummated if the credit decision was based in whole or in part on the contents of a credit report. The Credit Practices Rule limits the types of property a creditor may accept as collateral to secure a consumer loan. Violations of these statutes and regulations may result in actions for damages, claims for refund of payments made, certain fines and penalties, injunctions against certain practices, and the potential forfeiture of rights to repayment of loans.

Although these laws and regulations remained substantially unchanged for many years, over the last several years the laws and regulations directly affecting our lending activities have been under review and are subject to change as a result of various developments and changes in economic conditions, the make-up of the executive and legislative branches of government, and the political and media focus on issues of consumer and borrower protection. See Part I, Item 1A, “Risk Factors—Media and public characterization of consumer installment loans as being predatory or abusive could materially adversely affect our
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business, prospects, results of operations, and financial condition” below. Any changes in such laws and regulations could force us to modify, suspend, or cease part or, in the worst case, all of our existing operations. It is also possible that the scope of federal regulations could change or expand in such a way as to preempt what has traditionally been state law regulation of our business activities. The enactment of one or more of such regulatory changes could materially and adversely affect our business, results of operations, and prospects.

Various legislative proposals addressing consumer credit transactions have been passed in recent years or are currently pending in the U.S. Congress. Congressional members continue to receive pressure from consumer activists and other industry opposition groups to adopt legislation to address various aspects of consumer credit transactions. As part of a sweeping package of financial industry reform regulations, in July 2010 Congress passed and the President signed into law the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act (the “Dodd-Frank Act”). The Dodd-Frank Act established the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (commonly referred to as the CFPB), which has sweeping regulatory, supervisory, and enforcement powers over providers of consumer financial products and services, including explicit supervisory authority to examine and require registration of non-depository lenders and to promulgate rules that can affect the practices and activities of lenders. The CFPB continues to actively engage in the announcement and implementation of various plans and initiatives in the area of consumer financial transactions generally. Some of these CFPB announced plans and initiatives, if implemented, would directly affect certain loan products we currently offer and subject us to the CFPB’s supervisory authority. See Part II, Item 7, “Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations - Regulatory Matters,” for more information regarding the CFPB's regulatory initiatives.

The Dodd-Frank Act also gives the CFPB the authority to examine and regulate large non-depository financial companies and gives the CFPB authority over anyone deemed by rule to be a “larger participant of a market for other consumer financial products or services.” The CFPB contemplates regulating the installment lending industry as part of the “consumer credit and related activities” market. However, this so-called “larger participant rule” will not impose substantive consumer protection requirements, but rather will provide to the CFPB the authority to supervise larger participants in certain markets, including by requiring reports and conducting examinations to ensure, among other things, that they are complying with existing federal consumer financial law. While the CFPB has defined a “larger participant” standard for certain markets, such as the debt collection, automobile finance, and consumer reporting markets, it has not yet acted to define “larger participant” in the traditional installment lending market. If, in the future, a traditional installment lending “larger participant rule” is promulgated by the CFPB, the rule would likely cover only the largest installment lenders, and we do not yet know whether the definition of larger participant would cover us.

In addition to the grant of certain regulatory powers to the CFPB, the Dodd-Frank Act gives the CFPB authority to pursue administrative proceedings or litigation for violations of federal consumer financial laws. In these proceedings, the CFPB can obtain cease and desist orders (which can include orders for restitution or rescission of contracts, as well as other kinds of affirmative relief) and monetary penalties. Also, where a company has violated Title X of the Dodd-Frank Act or CFPB regulations thereunder, the Dodd-Frank Act empowers state attorneys general and state regulators to bring civil actions to remedy violations of state law.

Although the Dodd-Frank Act prohibits the CFPB from setting interest rates on consumer loans, efforts to create a federal usury cap, applicable to all consumer credit transactions and substantially below rates at which the Company could continue to operate profitably, are still ongoing. Any federal legislative or regulatory action that severely restricts or prohibits the provision of small-loan consumer credit and similar services on terms substantially similar to those we currently provide would, if enacted, have a material, adverse impact on our business, prospects, results of operations and financial condition. Any federal law that would impose a national 36% or similar annualized credit rate cap on our services would, if enacted, almost certainly eliminate our ability to continue our current operations. See Part I, Item 1A, “Risk Factors - Federal legislative or regulatory proposals, initiatives, actions or changes that are adverse to our operations or result in adverse regulatory proceedings, or our failure to comply with existing or future federal laws and regulations, could force us to modify, suspend, or cease part or all of our nationwide operations,” for further information regarding the potential impact of adverse legislative and regulatory changes.

Available Information. The Company maintains an Internet website, “www.LoansByWorld.com,” where interested persons will be able to access free of charge, among other information, the Company’s annual reports on Form 10-K, its quarterly reports on Form 10-Q, and its current reports on Form 8-K as well as amendments to these filings via a link to a third-party website. These documents are available for access as soon as reasonably practicable after we electronically file these documents with the SEC. The Company files these reports with the SEC via the SEC’s EDGAR filing system, and such reports also may be accessed via the SEC’s EDGAR database at www.sec.gov. Information included on or linked to our website is not incorporated by reference into this annual report.

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Item 1A. Risk Factors

Forward-Looking Statements

This annual report contains various “forward-looking statements” within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995 that are based on management’s beliefs and assumptions, as well as information currently available to management. Statements other than those of historical fact, as well as those identified by the use of words such as “anticipate,” “estimate,” “intend,” “plan,” “expect,” “believe,” “may,” “will,” “should,” “would,” “could,” and any variations of the foregoing and similar expressions, are forward-looking statements. Although we believe that the expectations reflected in any such forward-looking statements are reasonable, we can give no assurance that such expectations will prove to be correct. Any such statements are subject to certain risks, uncertainties, and assumptions. Should one or more of these risks or uncertainties materialize, or should underlying assumptions prove incorrect, our actual financial results, performance or financial condition may vary materially from those anticipated, estimated, expected or implied by any forward-looking statements.

Investors should consider the following risk factors, in addition to the other information presented in this annual report and the other reports and registration statements the Company files with or furnishes to the SEC from time to time, in evaluating us, our business, and an investment in our securities. Any of the following risks, as well as other risks, uncertainties, and possibly inaccurate assumptions underlying our plans and expectations, could result in harm to our business, results of operations and financial condition and cause the value of our securities to decline, which in turn could cause investors to lose all or part of their investment in our Company. These factors, among others, could also cause actual results to differ materially from those we have experienced in the past or those we may express or imply from time to time in any forward-looking statements we make. Investors are advised that it is impossible to identify or predict all risks, and those risks not currently known to us or those we currently deem immaterial also could affect us in the future. The following risks should not be construed as exclusive and should be read with the other cautionary statements that are in this Annual Report on Form 10-K. The Company does not undertake any obligation to update forward-looking statements, except as may be required by law, whether as a result of new information, future developments, or otherwise.

The coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic has and is expected to continue adversely affecting our business, liquidity, results of operations and financial position.

The COVID-19 pandemic has resulted in widespread volatility and deterioration in household, business, economic, and market conditions. The ultimate extent of the impact of the COVID-19 global pandemic on our capital, liquidity, and other financial positions and on our business, results of operations, and prospects will depend on a number of evolving factors, including the duration, response, effect on customers, employees and service providers, and the effect on markets and economies.

We are unable to estimate the full impact of COVID-19 on our business and operations at this time. However, we have started to experience reduced demand for our products and services. We expect to continue experiencing adverse effects related to the pandemic, any of which could have a material adverse effect on our financial position, results of operations, and prospects. Sustained adverse effects may also prevent us from satisfying our minimum capital ratios and other requirements under our revolving credit facility.

In addition, as a result of our CECL implementation in fiscal 2021, our financial results may be negatively affected as weak or deteriorating economic conditions are forecasted and alter our expectations for credit losses. In addition, due to the expansion of the time horizon over which we are required to estimate future credit losses under CECL, we may experience increased volatility in our future provisions for credit losses. As a result, factoring in COVID-19, we could incur a significant provision expense for credit losses in the first quarter of 2021 and may incur significant provision expense for credit losses in future periods as well.

Given the unprecedented nature of the crisis, our financial and economic models may be unable to accurately predict and respond to the impact of the economic contraction or lasting changes to customer behaviors, which in turn may limit our ability to manage credit risk and avoid higher charge-off rates. Additionally, our credit and economic models may not be able to adequately predict or forecast credit losses, loan receivables or other financial metrics during and after the crisis, which could result in our reserves being too large or insufficient. We do not yet know the full extent of the impacts on our business, our operations or the global economy as a whole.

Federal legislative or regulatory proposals, initiatives, actions, or changes that are adverse to our operations or result in adverse regulatory proceedings, or our failure to comply with existing or future federal laws and regulations, could force us to modify, suspend, or cease part or all of our nationwide operations.

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We are subject to numerous federal laws and regulations that affect our lending operations. Although these laws and regulations have remained substantially unchanged for many years, the laws and regulations directly affecting our lending activities have been under review and subject to change in recent years as a result of various developments and changes in economic conditions, the make-up of the executive and legislative branches of government, and the political and media focus on issues of consumer and borrower protection. Any changes in such laws and regulations could force us to modify, suspend, or cease part or, in the worst case, all of our existing operations. It is also possible that the scope of federal regulations could change or expand in such a way as to preempt what has traditionally been state law regulation of our business activities.

In July 2010 the Dodd-Frank Act was enacted. The Dodd-Frank Act restructured and enhanced the regulation and supervision of the financial services industry and created the CFPB, an agency with sweeping regulatory and enforcement authority over consumer financial transactions. Although the Dodd-Frank Act prohibits the CFPB from setting interest rates on consumer loans, efforts to create a federal usury cap, applicable to all consumer credit transactions and substantially below rates at which the Company could continue to operate profitably, are still ongoing. Any federal legislative or regulatory action that severely restricts or prohibits the provision of small-loan consumer credit and similar services on terms substantially similar to those we currently provide would, if enacted, have a material adverse impact on our business, prospects, results of operations, and financial condition. Any federal law that would impose a 36% or similar annualized credit rate cap on our services would, if enacted, almost certainly eliminate our ability to continue our current operations. Given the uncertainty associated with the manner in which various expected provisions of the Dodd-Frank Act have been and are expected to continue to be implemented by the various regulatory agencies and through regulations, the full extent of the impact such requirements will have on our operations remains unclear; however, these regulations have increased and are expected to further increase our cost of doing business and time spent by management on regulatory matters, which may have a material adverse effect on the Company’s operations and results.

The CFPB’s rulemaking and enforcement authority extends to certain non-depository institutions, including us. The CFPB is specifically authorized, among other things, to take actions to prevent companies providing consumer financial products or services and their service providers from engaging in unfair, deceptive or abusive acts or practices in connection with consumer financial products and services, and to issue rules requiring enhanced disclosures for consumer financial products or services. The CFPB also has authority to interpret, enforce, and issue regulations implementing enumerated consumer laws, including certain laws that apply to our business. Further, the CFPB has authority to designate non-depository “larger participants” in certain markets for consumer financial services and products for purposes of the CFPB’s supervisory authority under the Dodd-Frank Act. Such designated “larger participants” are subject to reporting and on-site compliance examinations by the CFPB, which may result in increased compliance costs and potentially greater enforcement risks based on these supervisory activities. Although the CFPB has not yet developed a “larger participant” rule that directly covers the Company’s installment lending business, in June 2016 the CFPB stated that it expects to conduct separate rulemaking to identify larger participants in the installment lending market for purposes of its supervision program. Though the timing of any such rulemaking is uncertain, the Company believes that the implementation of such rules would likely bring the Company’s business under the CFPB’s direct supervisory authority.

On October 5, 2017, the CFPB issued a final rule under its unfair, deceptive and abusive acts and practices rulemaking authority relating to payday, vehicle title, and similar loans. The final rule imposes limitations on (i) short-term consumer, (ii) longer-term consumer installment loans with balloon payments, and (iii) higher-rate consumer installment loans repayable by a payment authorization. The final rule requires lenders originating short-term loans and longer-term balloon payment loans to first make a good-faith reasonable determination that the consumer has the ability to repay the covered loan along with current obligations and expenses (“ability to repay requirements”). The final rule also curtails repeated unsuccessful attempts to debit consumers’ accounts for short-term loans, balloon payment loans, and installment loans that involve a payment authorization and an Annual Percentage Rate over 36% (“payment requirements”). Although the Company does not make loans with terms of 45 days or less or obtain access to a customer’s bank account or paycheck for repayment of any of its loans, it does make some vehicle-secured loans with an Annual Percentage Rate within the scope of the final rule. Pursuant to the ability to repay requirements, a lender must consider and verify the amount and timing of the consumer’s income, the consumer’s major financial obligations, and the consumer’s borrowing history prior to making a covered loan. Lenders would also be required to determine that a consumer is able to make all projected payments under the covered longer-term loan as those payments are due, while still fulfilling other major financial obligations and meeting living expenses. This ability to repay assessment applies to both the initial longer-term loan and to any subsequent refinancing. In addition, the final rule includes a rebuttable presumption that customers seeking to refinance a covered longer-term loan lack an “ability to repay” if at the time of refinancing: (i) the borrower was delinquent by more than seven days or had recently been delinquent on an outstanding loan within the past 30 days; (ii) the borrower stated or indicated an inability to make a scheduled payment within the past 30 days; (iii) the refinancing would result in the first scheduled payment to be due in a longer period of time than between the time of refinancing the loan and the next regularly scheduled payment on the outstanding loan; or (iv) the refinancing would not provide the consumer a disbursement of funds or an amount that would not substantially exceed the amount of payment due on
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the outstanding loan within 30 days of refinancing. To overcome this presumption of inability to repay, the lender must verify an improvement in the borrower’s financial capacity to indicate an ability to repay the additional extension of credit. The final rule has significant differences from the CFPB’s proposed rules announced on June 2, 2016. Further, on February 6, 2019, the CFPB issued two notices of proposed rulemaking regarding potential amendments to the Rule. First, the CFPB is proposing to rescind provisions of the Rule governing the ability to repay requirements. Second, the CFPB is proposing to delay the August 19, 2019 compliance date for part of the Rule, including the ability to repay requirements. These proposed amendments are not yet final and are subject to possible change before any final amendments would be issued and implemented. We cannot predict what the ultimate rulemaking will provide. The Company does not believe that these changes, as currently described by the CFPB, would have a material impact on the Company’s existing lending procedures, because the Company currently underwrites all its loans (including those secured by a vehicle title that would fall within the scope of these proposals) by reviewing the customer’s ability to repay based on the Company’s standards. However, the changes for longer-term loans will require changes to the Company’s practices and procedures for such loans, which could materially and adversely affect the Company’s ability to make such loans, the cost of making such loans, the Company’s ability to, or frequency with which it could, refinance any such loans, and the profitability of such loans. Any regulatory changes could have effects beyond those currently contemplated that could further materially and adversely impact our business and operations. The Company will have to comply with the final rule’s payment requirements since it allows consumers to set up future recurring payments online for certain covered loans such that it meets the definition of having a “leveraged payment mechanism” under the final rule. The payment provisions of the final rule are expected to go into effect on August 19, 2019. If the payment provisions of the final rule apply, the Company will have to modify its loan payment procedures to comply with the required notices within the mandated timeframes set forth in the final rule.

In addition to the specific matters described above, other aspects of our business may be the subject of future CFPB rulemaking. The enactment of one or more of such regulatory changes, or the exercise of broad regulatory authority by regulators, including but not limited to, the CFPB, having jurisdiction over the Company’s business or discretionary consumer financial transactions generically, could materially and adversely affect our business, results of operations and prospects. See Part I, Item 1, “Business-Government Regulation” for more information regarding legislation we are subject to and related risks.

Although we are working to resolve the previously reported investigation of our Mexico operations, there can be no assurance that our efforts to reach settlements will be successful, or if they are, what the timing or terms of any such settlements would be.

In March 2020, our discussions with the SEC progressed to a point that the Company could reasonably estimate a probable loss and recorded an aggregate accrual of $21.7 million with respect to the SEC matters. As the discussions with the SEC are continuing, there can be no assurance that the Company's efforts to reach a final resolution with the SEC will be successful or, if they are, what the timing or terms of such resolution will be. The Company has no offer of settlement or resolution with the DOJ at this time. Until any settlement or other resolution of these matters is reached, we expect to continue to incur potentially significant costs in connection with the investigation of our former Mexico operations, primarily in the form of professional fees and expenses. At this time, we are unable to predict the developments in, outcome of, and economic and other consequences of the investigation or its impact on our earnings, cash flows, liquidity, financial condition and ongoing business. While we have made an accrual related to the potential resolution, the discussions are continuing with the SEC, and there can be no assurance as to the timing or the terms of the final resolution of these matters. Although we do not presently believe that these matters, including the accrual (and the payment of the accrual at some point-in-time in the future) will have a material adverse effect on our business, financial position, results of operations or cash flows, given the inherent uncertainties in such situations, we can provide no assurance that these matters will not be material to our business, financial position, results of operations or cash flows in the future.

We may be exposed to liabilities under the FCPA, and any determination that the Company or any of its subsidiaries has violated the FCPA could have a material adverse effect on our business and liquidity.

We are subject to the FCPA and various other anti-corruption and anti-bribery laws. We face significant risks and liability if we fail to comply with these laws, which generally prohibit companies and their employees and third-party intermediaries from authorizing, offering, or providing, directly or indirectly, improper payments or benefits to foreign government officials, political parties or candidates, employees of public international organizations, or private-sector recipients for the corrupt purpose of obtaining or retaining business, directing business to any person, or securing any advantage. As discussed in Part I, Item 3, “Legal Proceedings-Mexico Investigation,” in this Annual Report on Form 10-K, we retained outside counsel and forensic accountants to conduct an investigation of certain transactions and payments in Mexico that potentially implicate the Company in violations of the FCPA, including the books and records provisions of the FCPA. In addition, we voluntarily contacted the SEC and the DOJ in June 2017 to advise both agencies that an internal investigation was underway and that the Company intended to cooperate with both agencies. The Company has and will continue to cooperate with both agencies. The SEC issued a formal order of investigation in connection with these matters.

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If violations of the FCPA occurred, the Company could be subject to fines, civil and criminal penalties, equitable remedies, including profit disgorgement and related interest, and injunctive relief. In addition, any disposition of these matters could adversely impact the Company’s access to debt financing and capital funding and result in further modifications to our business practices and compliance programs. Any disposition could also potentially require that a monitor be appointed to review future business practices with the goal of ensuring compliance with the FCPA and other applicable laws. The Company could also face fines, sanctions, and other penalties from authorities in Mexico, as well as third-party claims by shareholders and/or other stakeholders of the Company. In addition, disclosure of the investigation or its ultimate disposition could adversely affect the Company’s reputation and its ability to obtain new business or retain existing business from its current customers and potential customers, to attract and retain employees, and to access the capital markets. Additional potential FCPA violations or violations of other laws or regulations may be uncovered through the investigation.

In addition to the ultimate liability for disgorgement and related interest, the Company believes that it could be further liable for fines and penalties.

Detecting, investigating, and resolving these matters is expensive and consumes significant time and attention of the Company’s senior management. While we are currently unable to predict what actions the DOJ, SEC, or other governmental agencies (including governmental agencies in Mexico) might take, or what the likely outcome of any such actions might be, we may incur substantial additional expenses responding to such actions. In addition, such actions, fines, and/or penalties could adversely affect the Company’s reputation and its ability to obtain new business or retain existing business from its current customers and potential customers, to attract and retain employees, and to access the capital markets. If it is determined that a violation of the FCPA has occurred, such violation, or a settlement thereof, may give rise to an event of default under the agreement governing our revolving credit facility, which could have a material adverse effect on our liquidity. See Part I, Item 1A, “Risk Factors- We depend to a substantial extent on borrowings under our revolving credit agreement to fund our liquidity needs” and “-The terms of our debt limit how we conduct our business.”

Our investigation of our previous operations in Mexico may expose the Company to other potential liabilities in addition to any potential liabilities under the FCPA and cause the Company to incur substantial expenses.

In addition to the FCPA implications of our internal investigation into our previous Mexico operations, as described in the preceding risk factor, our internal investigation may also uncover other material violations of federal and local laws, including but not limited to violations of tax laws and regulations. Any such violations could expose us to lawsuits and other liabilities under applicable law and have a material adverse effect on our business and our liquidity. Investigating, uncovering, and resolving these matters is expensive and continues to consume significant time and attention of the Company’s senior management. In addition, we may incur substantial additional expenses responding to potential lawsuits and the results thereof could adversely affect our reputation and our ability to obtain new business or retain existing business from our current clients and potential clients, to attract and retain employees, and to access the capital markets.

We may suffer significant liability in connection with indemnification provisions of the stock purchase agreement pursuant to which we sold our Mexico subsidiaries.

In the second quarter of fiscal year 2019, we completed the sale of our two Mexico subsidiaries, WAC de Mexico and SWAC, to the Purchasers. Under the terms of the stock purchase agreement, we are obligated to indemnify the Purchasers for claims and liabilities relating to certain investigations of WAC de Mexico, SWAC, or the Sellers by the DOJ or the SEC that commenced prior to July 1, 2018. Any such indemnification claims could have a material adverse effect on our financial condition, including liquidity, and results of operations.

Litigation and regulatory actions, including challenges to the arbitration clauses in our customer agreements, could subject us to significant class actions, fines, penalties, judgments and requirements resulting in increased expenses and potential material adverse effects on our business, results of operations and financial condition.

In the normal course of business, from time to time, we have been involved in various legal actions, including arbitrations, class actions and other litigation, arising in connection with our business activities. All such legal proceedings are inherently unpredictable and, regardless or the merits of the claims, litigation is often expensive, time consuming, disruptive to our operations and resources, and distracting to management. If resolved against us, such legal proceedings could result in excessive verdicts and judgments, injunctive relief, equitable relief, and other adverse consequences that may affect our financial condition and how we operate our business. Similarly, if we settle such legal proceedings, it may affect our financial condition and how we operate our business. Future court decisions, alternative dispute resolution awards, business expansion or legislative activity may increase our exposure to litigation and regulatory investigations. In some cases, substantial non-economic remedies or punitive damages may be sought.

Although we maintain liability insurance coverage, there can be no assurance that such coverage will cover any particular verdict, judgment, or settlement that may be entered against us, that such coverage will prove to be adequate, or that such
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coverage will continue to remain available on acceptable terms, if at all. If in any legal proceeding we incur liability or defense costs that exceed our insurance coverage or that are not within the scope of our insurance coverage, it could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition, and results of operation.

Certain legal actions include claims for substantial compensatory and punitive damages, or claims for indeterminate amounts of damages. While the arbitration provisions in our customer agreements historically have limited our exposure to consumer class action litigation, there can be no assurance that we will be successful in enforcing our arbitration clause in the future. There may also be legislative, administrative or regulatory efforts to directly or indirectly prohibit the use of pre-dispute arbitration clauses, or we may be compelled as a result of competitive pressure or reputational concerns to voluntarily eliminate pre-dispute arbitration clauses.

Unfavorable state legislation, executive orders, or regulatory actions , adverse outcomes in litigation or regulatory proceedings or failure to comply with existing laws and regulations could force us to cease, suspend or modify our operations in a state, potentially resulting in a material adverse effect on our business, results of operations and financial condition.

In addition to federal laws and regulations, we are subject to numerous state laws and regulations that affect our lending activities. Many of these regulations impose detailed and complex constraints on the terms of our loans, lending forms and operations. Failure to comply with applicable laws and regulations could subject us to regulatory enforcement action that could result in the assessment against us of civil, monetary, or other penalties, including the suspension or revocation of our licenses to lend in one or more jurisdictions.

As discussed elsewhere in this report, the Company’s operations are subject to extensive state and federal laws and regulations, and changes in those laws or regulations or their application could have a material adverse effect on the Company’s business, results of operations, prospects or ability to continue operations in the jurisdictions affected by these changes. See Part I, Item 1, “Business-Government Regulation-State Legislation” and “-Federal Legislation,” and Part I, Item 1A, “Risk Factors,” for more information regarding this legislation and related risks.

Passage of adverse legislation, such as rate caps on financial lending products or similar initiatives, in any of the states in which we operate could have a material adverse effect on the Company’s business, results of operations, prospects, or ability to continue operations in the jurisdictions affected by such changes. We can give no assurance that the laws and regulations that govern our business, or the interpretation or administration of those laws and regulations, will remain unchanged or that any such future changes will not materially and adversely affect or in the worst case, eliminate the Company’s lending practices, operations, profitability, or prospects.

In addition, any adverse change in existing laws or regulations, or any adverse interpretation or litigation relating to existing laws and regulations in any state in which we operate, could subject us to liability for prior operating activities or could lower or eliminate the profitability of our operations going forward by, among other things, reducing the amount of interest and fees we can charge in connection with our loans. If these or other factors lead us to close our branches in a state, then in addition to the loss of net revenues attributable to that closing, we would also incur closing costs such as lease cancellation payments and we would have to write off assets that we could no longer use. If we were to suspend rather than permanently cease our operations in a state, we may also have continuing costs associated with maintaining our branches and our employees in that state, with little or no revenues to offset those costs.
Changes in local laws and regulations or interpretations of local laws and regulations could negatively impact our business, results of operations, and financial condition.
In addition to state and federal laws and regulations, our business is subject to various local laws and regulations, such as local zoning regulations. Local zoning boards and other local governing bodies have been increasingly restricting the permitted locations of consumer finance companies. Any future actions taken to require special use permits for or impose other restrictions on our ability to provide products could adversely affect our ability to expand our operations or force us to attempt to relocate existing branches. If we were forced to relocate any of our branches, in addition to the costs associated with the relocation, we may be required to hire new employees in the new areas, which may adversely impact the operations of those branches. Relocation of an existing branch may also hinder our collection abilities, as our business model relies in part on the locations of our branches being close to where our customers live in order to successfully collect on outstanding loans.

We may experience significant turnover in our senior management, and our business may be adversely affected by the transitions in our senior management team.
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Executive leadership transitions can be inherently difficult to manage and may cause disruption to our business. In addition, management transition inherently causes some loss of institutional knowledge, which can negatively affect strategy and execution, and our results of operations and financial condition could be negative impacted as a result. The loss of services of one or more other members of senior management, or the inability to attract qualified permanent replacements, could have a material adverse effect on our business. If we fail to successfully attract and appoint permanent replacements with the appropriate expertise, we could experience increased employee turnover and harm to our business, results of operations, cash flow and financial condition. The search for permanent replacements could also result in significant recruiting and relocation costs.

The departure, transition, or replacement of key personnel could significantly impact the results of our operations. If we cannot continue to hire and retain high-quality employees, our business and financial results may be negatively affected.

Our future success significantly depends on the continued service and performance of our key management personnel. Competition for these employees is intense. Our operating results could be adversely affected by higher employee turnover or increased salary and benefit costs. Like most businesses, our employees are important to our success and we are dependent in part on our ability to retain the services of our key management, operational, compliance, finance, and administrative personnel. We have built our business on a set of core values, and we attempt to hire employees who are committed to these values. We want to hire and retain employees who will fit our culture of compliance and of providing exceptional service to our customers. In order to compete and to continue to grow, we must attract, retain, and motivate employees, including those in executive, senior management, and operational positions. As our employees gain experience and develop their knowledge and skills, they become highly desired by other businesses. Therefore, to retain our employees, we must provide a satisfying work environment and competitive compensation and benefits. If costs to retain our skilled employees increase, then our business and financial results may be negatively affected.

Media and public characterization of consumer installment loans as being predatory or abusive could have a materially adverse effect on our business, prospects, results of operations and financial condition.

Consumer activist groups and various other media sources continue to advocate for governmental and regulatory action to prohibit or severely restrict our products and services. These critics frequently characterize our products and services as predatory or abusive toward consumers. If this negative characterization of the consumer installment loans we make and/or ancillary services we provide becomes widely accepted by government policy makers or is embodied in legislative, regulatory, policy or litigation developments that adversely affect our ability to continue offering our products and services or the profitability of these products and services, our business, results of operations and financial condition would be materially and adversely affected. Furthermore, our industry is highly regulated, and announcements regarding new or expected governmental and regulatory action regarding consumer lending may adversely impact perceptions of our business even if such actions are not targeted at our operations and do not directly impact us.
Damage to our reputation could negatively impact our business.
Maintaining a strong reputation is critical to our ability to attract and retain customers, investors, and employees. Harm to our reputation can arise from many sources, including employee misconduct, misconduct by third-party service providers or other vendors, litigation or regulatory actions, failure by us to meet minimum standards of service and quality, inadequate protection of customer information, and compliance failures. Negative publicity regarding our Company (or others engaged in a similar business or similar activities), whether or not accurate, may damage our reputation, which could have a material adverse effect on our business, results of operations, and financial condition.

Employee misconduct or misconduct by third parties acting on our behalf could harm us by subjecting us to monetary loss, significant legal liability, regulatory scrutiny, and reputational harm.

There is a risk that our employees or third-party contractors could engage in misconduct that adversely affects our business. For example, if an employee or a third-party contractor were to engage in, or be accused of engaging in, illegal or suspicious activities including fraud or theft, we could suffer direct losses from the activity. Additionally, we could be subject to regulatory sanctions and suffer serious harm to our reputation, financial condition, customer relationships and ability to attract future customers. Employee or third-party misconduct could prompt regulators to allege or to determine based upon such misconduct that we have not established adequate supervisory systems and procedures to inform employees of applicable rules or to detect violations of such rules. Our branches have experienced employee fraud from time to time, and it is not always possible to deter employee or third-party misconduct. The precautions that we take to detect and prevent misconduct may not be effective in all
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cases. Misconduct by our employees or third-party contractors, or even unsubstantiated allegations of misconduct, could result in a material adverse effect on our reputation and our business.

Interest rate fluctuations may adversely affect our borrowing costs, profitability and liquidity.

Our profitability may be directly affected by the level of and fluctuations in interest rates, whether caused by changes in economic conditions or other factors that affect our borrowing costs. Interest rates are highly sensitive to many factors that are beyond our control, including general economic conditions and policies of various governmental and regulatory agencies and, in particular, the Federal Reserve Board. Changes in monetary policy, including changes in interest rates, could influence the amount of interest we pay on our revolving credit facility or any other floating interest rate obligations we may incur. Our profitability and liquidity could be materially adversely affected during any period of higher interest rates. See Part II, Item 7A, “Quantitative and Qualitative Disclosure About Market Risk” for additional information regarding our interest rate risk.

We depend to a substantial extent on borrowings under our revolving credit agreement to fund our liquidity needs.

Our revolving credit agreement allows us to borrow up to $685.0 million through June 7, 2022. Pursuant to the terms of our revolving credit agreement, we are required to comply with a number of covenants and conditions, including a minimum borrowing base calculation. If our existing sources of liquidity become insufficient to satisfy our financial needs or our access to these sources becomes unexpectedly restricted, we may need to try to raise additional capital in the future. If such an event were to occur, we can give no assurance that such alternate sources of liquidity would be available to us at all or on favorable terms. Additional information regarding our liquidity risk is included in Part II, Item 7, “Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations-Liquidity and Capital Resources.”
Our risk management efforts may not be effective.

We could incur substantial losses and our business operations could be disrupted if we are unable to effectively identify, manage, monitor, and mitigate financial risks, such as credit risk, interest rate risk, prepayment risk, liquidity risk, and other market-related risks, as well as regulatory and operational risks related to our business, assets, and liabilities. Our risk management policies, procedures, and techniques may not be sufficient to identify all of the risks we are exposed to, mitigate the risks we have identified, or identify additional risks to which we may become subject in the future.

Our current debt and any additional debt we may incur in the future could negatively impact our business, prevent us from satisfying our debt obligations and adversely affect our financial condition.

We may incur a substantial amount of debt in the future. As of March 31, 2020, we had approximately $451.1 million of total debt outstanding and a total debt-to-equity ratio of approximately 1.1 to 1. The amount of debt we may incur in the future could have important consequences, including the following:

our ability to obtain additional financing for working capital, debt refinancing, share repurchases or other purposes could be impaired;
a substantial portion of our cash flows from operations will be dedicated to paying principal and interest on our debt, reducing funds available for other purposes;
we may be vulnerable to interest rate increases, as borrowings under our revolving credit agreement bear interest at variable rates, as may any future debt that we incur;
we may be at a competitive disadvantage to competitors that are not as highly leveraged;
we could be more vulnerable to adverse developments in our industry or in general economic conditions;
we may be restricted from taking advantage of business opportunities or making strategic acquisitions;
we may be limited in our flexibility in planning for, or reacting to, changes in our business and the industry in which we operate;
we may have difficulty satisfying our obligations under the debt if accelerated upon the occurrence of an event of default; and
we may be more vulnerable to periods of negative or slow growth in the general economy or in our business.

In addition, meeting our anticipated liquidity requirements is contingent upon our continued compliance with our revolving credit agreement. An acceleration of our debt would have a material adverse effect on our liquidity and our ability to continue as a going concern. If our debt obligations increase, whether due to the increased cost of existing indebtedness or the incurrence of additional indebtedness, the consequences described above could be magnified.

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Although the terms of our revolving credit agreement contain restrictions on our ability to incur additional debt, as well as any future debt that we incur, these restrictions are subject, or likely to be subject, in the case of any future debt, to exceptions that could permit us to incur a substantial amount of additional debt. In addition, our existing and future debt agreements will not prevent us from incurring certain liabilities that do not constitute indebtedness as defined for purposes of those debt agreements. If new debt or other liabilities are added to our current debt levels, the risks associated with our having substantial debt could intensify. As of March 31, 2020, we had $180.2 million available for borrowing under our revolving credit agreement, subject to borrowing base limitations and other specified terms and conditions.

We may not be able to generate sufficient cash flows to service our outstanding debt and fund operations and may be forced to take other actions to satisfy our obligations under such debt.

Our ability to make scheduled payments on the principal of, to pay interest on, or to refinance our indebtedness will depend in part on our cash flows from operations, which are subject to regulatory, economic, financial, competitive, and other factors beyond our control. We may not generate a level of cash flows from operations sufficient to permit us to meet our debt service obligations. If we are unable to generate sufficient cash flows from operations to service our debt, we may be required to sell assets, refinance all or a portion of our existing debt, obtain additional financing, or obtain additional equity capital on terms that may be onerous or highly dilutive. There can be no assurance that any refinancing will be possible or that any asset sales or additional financing can be completed on acceptable terms or at all.

The terms of our debt limit how we conduct our business.

Our revolving credit agreement contains covenants that restrict our ability to, among other things:

incur and guarantee debt;
pay dividends or make other distributions on or redeem or repurchase our stock;
make investments or acquisitions;
create liens on our assets;
sell assets;
merge with or into other companies;
enter into transactions with shareholders and other affiliates; and
make capital expenditures.

Our revolving credit agreement also imposes requirements that we maintain specified financial measures not in excess of, or not below, specified levels. In particular, our revolving credit agreement requires, among other things, that we maintain (i) at all times a specified minimum consolidated net worth, (ii) as of the end of each fiscal quarter, a minimum ratio of consolidated net income available for fixed charges for the period of four consecutive fiscal quarters most recently ended to consolidated fixed charges for that period of not less than a specified minimum, (iii) at all times a specified maximum ratio of total debt to consolidated adjusted net worth and (iv) at all times a specified ratio of subordinated debt to consolidated adjusted net worth. These covenants limit the manner in which we can conduct our business and could prevent us from engaging in favorable business activities or financing future operations and capital needs and impair our ability to successfully execute our strategy and operate our business.

A breach of any of the covenants in our revolving credit agreement would result in an event of default thereunder. Any event of default would permit the creditors to accelerate the related debt, which could also result in the acceleration of any other or future debt containing a cross-acceleration or cross-default provision. In addition, an event of default under our revolving credit agreement would permit the lenders thereunder to terminate all commitments to extend further credit under the revolving credit agreement. Furthermore, if we were unable to repay the amounts due and payable under the revolving credit agreement or any other secured debt we may incur, the lenders thereunder could cause the collateral agent to proceed against the collateral securing that debt. In the event our creditors accelerate the repayment of our debt, there can be no assurance that we would have sufficient assets to repay that debt, and our financial condition, liquidity and results of operations would suffer. Additional information regarding our revolving credit facility is included in Part II, Item 7 “Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations-Liquidity and Capital Resources.”

Changes in federal, state and local tax law, interpretations of existing tax law, or adverse determinations by tax authorities, could increase our tax burden or otherwise adversely affect our financial condition or results of operations.

We are subject to taxation at the federal, state and local levels. Furthermore, we are subject to regular review and audit by tax authorities. While we believe our tax positions will be sustained, the final outcome of tax audits and related litigation may differ
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materially from the tax amounts recorded in our Consolidated Financial Statements, which could adversely impact our cash flows and financial results.

The conditions of the U.S. and international capital markets may adversely affect lenders with which we have relationships, causing us to incur additional costs and reducing our sources of liquidity, which may adversely affect our financial position, liquidity and results of operations.

Turbulence in the global capital markets can result in disruptions in the financial sector and affect lenders with which we have relationships, including members of the syndicate of banks that are lenders under our revolving credit agreement. Disruptions in the financial sector may increase our exposure to credit risk and adversely affect the ability of lenders to perform under the terms of their lending arrangements with us. Failure by our lenders to perform under the terms of our lending arrangements could cause us to incur additional costs that may adversely affect our liquidity, financial condition, and results of operations. There can be no assurance that future disruptions in the financial sector will not occur that could have adverse effects on our business. Additional information regarding our liquidity and related risks is included in Part II, Item 7, “Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations-Liquidity and Capital Resources.”

We are exposed to credit risk in our lending activities.

Our ability to collect on loans to individuals, our single largest asset group, depends on the ability and willingness of our borrowers to repay such loans. Any material adverse change in the ability or willingness of a significant portion of our borrowers to meet their obligations to us, whether due to changes in economic conditions, unemployment rates, the cost of consumer goods (particularly, but not limited to, food and energy costs), disposable income, interest rates, health crises, natural disasters, acts of war or terrorism, political or social conditions, divorce, death, or other causes over which we have no control, would have a material adverse impact on our earnings and financial condition. Although new customers are required to submit a listing of personal property that will serve as collateral to secure their loans, the Company does not rely on the value of such collateral in the loan approval process and generally does not perfect its security interest in that collateral. Additional information regarding our credit risk is included in Part II, Item 7, “Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operation-Credit Quality.”

Our insurance operations are subject to a number of risks and uncertainties, including claims, catastrophic events, underwriting risks and dependence on a primary distribution channel.

Insurance claims and policyholder liabilities are difficult to predict and may exceed the related reserves set aside for claims (losses) and associated expenses for claims adjudication (loss adjustment expenses). Additionally, events such as cyber security breaches and other types of catastrophes, and prolonged economic downturns, could adversely affect our financial condition and results of operations. Other risks relating to our insurance operations include changes to laws and regulations applicable to us, as well as changes to the regulatory environment, such as: changes to laws or regulations affecting capital and reserve requirements; frequency and type of regulatory monitoring and reporting; consumer privacy, use of customer data and data security; benefits or loss ratio requirements; insurance producer licensing or appointment requirements; required disclosures to consumers; and collateral protection insurance (i.e., insurance some of our lender companies purchase, at the customer’s expense, on that customer’s loan collateral for the periods of time the customer fails to adequately, as required by his loan, insure his collateral).

If our estimates of loan losses are not adequate to absorb actual losses, our provision for loan losses would increase, which would adversely affect our results of operations.

To estimate the appropriate level of allowance for loan losses, we consider known and relevant internal and external factors that affect loan collectability, including the total amount of loan receivables outstanding, historical loan receivable charge-offs, our current collection patterns, and economic trends. Our methodology for establishing our allowance for loan losses is based on the guidance in ASC 450, Contingencies, and, in part, on our historic loss experience. If customer behavior changes as a result of economic, political, or social conditions, or if we are unable to predict how these conditions may affect our allowance for loan losses, our allowance for loan losses may be inadequate. Our allowance for loan losses is an estimate, and if actual loan losses are materially greater than our allowance for loan losses, our provision for loan losses would increase, which would result in a decline in our future earnings, and thus our results of operations could be adversely affected. Neither state regulators nor federal regulators regulate our allowance for loan losses. Additional information regarding our allowance for loan losses is included in Part II, Item 7, “Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations-Credit Quality.”

In June of 2016, the FASB issued ASU 2016-13, Financial Instruments-Credit Losses (Topic 326): Measurement of Credit Losses on Financial Instruments (CECL). This ASU significantly changes the way that entities will be required to measure
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credit losses. The new standard requires that the estimated credit loss be based upon an “expected credit loss” approach rather than the “incurred loss” approach currently required. The new approach will require entities to measure all expected credit losses for financial assets based on historical experience, current conditions, and reasonable forecasts of collectability. It is anticipated that the expected credit loss model may require earlier recognition of credit losses than the incurred loss approach. CECL became effective for the Company April 1, 2020. We currently expect the adoption of CECL will result in an increase of approximately $14.5 million to $26.2 million in our allowance for loan losses. See Note 1 of the Notes to Consolidated Financial Statements included in this report for more information on this new accounting standard.

The concentration of our revenues in certain states could adversely affect us.

We currently operate consumer installment loan branches in sixteen states in the United States. Any adverse legislative or regulatory change in any one of our states, but particularly in any of our larger states could have a material adverse effect on our business, prospects, and results of operation or financial condition. See Part I, Item 1, “Description of Business” for information regarding the size of our business in the various states in which we operate.

We have goodwill, which is subject to periodic review and testing for impairment.

At March 31, 2020 our total assets contained $7.4 million of goodwill. Under GAAP, goodwill is subject to periodic review and testing to determine if it is impaired. Unfavorable trends in our industry and unfavorable events or disruptions to our operations resulting from adverse legislative or regulatory actions or from other unpredictable causes could result in goodwill impairment charges.

If we fail to maintain appropriate controls and procedures, we may not be able to accurately report our financial results, which could have a material adverse effect on our operations, financial condition, and the trading price of our common stock.

We are required to maintain disclosure controls and procedures and internal control over financial reporting. Section 404(a) of the Sarbanes Oxley Act requires us to include in our annual reports on Form 10-K an assessment by management of the effectiveness of our internal control over financial reporting. Section 404(b) of the Sarbanes Oxley Act requires us to engage our independent registered public accounting firm to attest to the effectiveness of our internal control over financial reporting. We expect to incur significant expenses and to devote resources to Section 404 compliance on an ongoing basis. It is difficult for us to predict how long it will take or costly it will be to complete the assessment of the effectiveness of our internal control over financial reporting for each year and to remediate any deficiencies in our internal control over financial reporting.

If we identify a material weakness in our controls and procedures, our ability to record, process, summarize, and report financial information accurately and within the time periods specified in the rules and forms of the SEC could be adversely affected. In addition, remediation of a material weakness would require our management to devote significant time and incur significant expense. A material weakness is a deficiency, or a combination of deficiencies, such that there is a reasonable possibility that a material misstatement of our annual or interim financial statements will not be prevented or detected on a timely basis. If we are unable to maintain effective controls and procedures we could lose investor confidence in the accuracy and completeness of our financial reports, and we may be subject to investigation or sanctions by the SEC. Any such consequence or other negative effect could adversely affect our operations, financial condition, and the trading price of our common stock.

Regular turnover among our managers and other employees at our branches makes it more difficult for us to operate our branches and increases our costs of operations, which could have an adverse effect on our business, results of operations and financial condition.

The annual turnover as of March 31, 2020 among our branch employees was approximately 32.7%. This turnover increases our cost of operations and makes it more difficult to operate our branches. If we are unable to keep our employee turnover rates consistent with historical levels or if unanticipated problems arise from our high employee turnover, our business, results of operations, and financial condition could be adversely affected.

We may be unable to execute our business strategy due to current economic conditions.

Our financial position, liquidity, and results of operations depend on management’s ability to execute our business strategy. Key factors involved in the execution of our business strategy include achieving our desired loan volume and pricing strategies, the use of effective credit risk management techniques, marketing and servicing strategies, continued investment in technology to support operating efficiency, and continued access to funding and liquidity sources. Although our pricing strategy is intended
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to maximize the amount of economic profit we generate, within the confines of capital and infrastructure constraints, there can be no assurance that this strategy will have its intended effect. Our failure or inability to execute any element of our business strategy could materially adversely affect our financial position, liquidity, and results of operations.

Our ability to execute our growth strategy may be adversely affected.

Our growth strategy includes opening and acquiring branches in existing and new markets and is subject to significant risks, some of which are beyond our control, including:

the prevailing laws and regulatory environment of each state in which we operate or seek to operate, and, to the extent applicable, federal laws and regulations, which are subject to change at any time;
our ability to obtain and maintain any regulatory approvals, government permits, or licenses that may be required;
the degree of competition in new markets and its effect on our ability to attract new customers;
our ability to obtain adequate financing for our expansion plans; and
our ability to attract, train, and retain qualified personnel to staff our new operations.

We currently lack product and business diversification; as a result, our revenues and earnings may be disproportionately negatively impacted by external factors and may be more susceptible to fluctuations than more diversified companies.

Our primary business activity is offering small consumer installment loans together with, in some states in which we operate, related ancillary products. Thus, any developments, whether regulatory, economic or otherwise, that would hinder, reduce the profitability of, or limit our ability to operate our small consumer installment loan business on the terms currently conducted would have a direct and adverse impact on our business, profitability, and perhaps even our viability. Our current lack of product and business diversification could inhibit our opportunities for growth, reduce our revenues and profits, and make us more susceptible to earnings fluctuations than many other financial institutions whose operations are more diversified.

A reduction in demand for our products and a failure by us to adapt to such reduction could adversely affect our business and results of operations.
The demand for the products we offer may be reduced due to a variety of factors, such as demographic patterns, changes in customer preferences or financial condition, regulatory restrictions that decrease customer access to particular products, or the availability of competing products, including through alternative or competing marketing channels. For example, we are highly dependent upon selecting and maintaining attractive branch locations. These locations are subject to local market conditions, including the employment available in the area, housing costs, traffic patterns, crime, and other demographic influences, any of which may quickly change, thereby negatively impacting demand for our products in the area. Should we fail to adapt to significant changes in our customers’ demand for, or access to, our products, our revenues could decrease significantly and our operations could be harmed. Even if we do make changes to existing products or introduce new products and channels to fulfill customer demand, customers may resist or may reject such products. Moreover, the effect of any product change on the results of our business may not be fully ascertainable until the change has been in effect for some time, and by that time it may be too late to make further modifications to such product without causing further harm to our business, results of operations, and financial condition.

We operate in a highly competitive market, and we cannot ensure that the competitive pressures we face will not have a material adverse effect on our results of operations, financial condition and liquidity.

The consumer lending industry is highly competitive. We compete with other consumer finance companies as well as other types of financial institutions that offer similar consumer financial products and services. Some of these competitors may have greater financial, technical, and marketing resources than we possess. Some competitors may also have a lower cost of funds and access to funding sources that may not be available to us. While banks and credit card companies have decreased their lending to non-prime customers in recent years, there is no assurance that such lenders will not resume those lending activities. Further, because of increased regulatory pressure on payday lenders, many of those lenders are starting to make more traditional installment consumer loans in order to reduce regulatory scrutiny of their practices, which could increase competition in markets in which we operate. We cannot be sure that the competitive pressures we face will not have a material adverse effect on our results of operations, financial condition, and liquidity.

We depend on secure information technology, and a breach of those systems or those of third-party vendors could result in significant losses, unauthorized disclosure of confidential customer information, and reputational damage, which could materially adversely affect our business, financial condition and/or results of operations, and could lead to significant financial and legal exposure.
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Our operations rely heavily on the secure collection, processing, storage, and transmission of personal, confidential, and other information about us, our customers and third parties with which we do business. We process a significant number of customer transactions on a continuous basis through our computer systems and networks and are subject to increasingly more risk related to security systems as we enhance our mobile payment technologies and otherwise attempt to keep pace with rapid technological changes in the financial services industry.

While we commit resources to the design, implementation, maintenance, and monitoring of our networks and systems, we may be required to expend significant additional resources in the future to modify and enhance our security controls in response to new or more sophisticated threats, new regulations related to cybersecurity and other developments. Additionally, there is no guarantee that our security controls can provide absolute security.

Despite the measures we implement to protect our systems and data, we may not be able to anticipate, identify, prevent or detect cyber-attacks, particularly because the techniques used by attackers change frequently or are not recognized until launched, and because cyber-attacks can originate from a wide variety of sources, including third parties who are or may be involved in organized crime or linked to terrorist organizations or hostile foreign governments. Such third parties may seek to gain unauthorized access to our systems directly, by fraudulently inducing employees, customers, or other users of our systems, or by using equipment or security passwords belonging to employees, customers, third-party service providers, or other users of our systems. Or, they may seek to disrupt or disable our services through attacks such as denial-of-service attacks and ransomware attacks. In addition, we may be unable to identify, or may be significantly delayed in identifying, cyber-attacks and incidents due to the increasing use of techniques and tools that are designed to circumvent controls, to avoid detection, and to remove or obfuscate forensic artifacts. As a result, our computer systems, software and networks, as well as those of third-party vendors we utilize, may be vulnerable to unauthorized access, computer viruses, malicious attacks and other events that could have a security impact beyond our control. Our staff, technologies, systems, networks, and those of third-parties we utilize also may become the target of cyber-attacks, unauthorized access, malicious code, computer viruses, denial of service attacks, ransomware, and physical attacks that could result in information security breaches, the unauthorized release, gathering, monitoring, misuse, loss or destruction of our or our customers’ confidential, proprietary and other information, or otherwise disrupt our or our customers’ operations. We also routinely transmit and receive personal, confidential and proprietary information through third parties, which may be vulnerable to interception, misuse, or mishandling.

If one or more of such events occur, personal, confidential, and other information processed and stored in, and transmitted through our computer systems and networks, or those of third-party vendors, could be compromised or could cause interruptions or malfunctions in our operations that could result in significant losses, loss of confidence by and business from customers, customer dissatisfaction, significant litigation, regulatory exposures, and harm to our reputation and brand.

In the event personal, confidential, or other information is threatened, intercepted, misused, mishandled, or compromised, we may be required to expend significant additional resources to modify our protective measures, to investigate the circumstances surrounding the event, and implement mitigation and remediation measures. We also may be subject to fines, penalties, litigation (including securities fraud class action lawsuits), and regulatory investigation costs and settlements and financial losses that are either not insured against or not fully covered through any insurance maintained by us. If one or more of such events occur, our business, financial condition and/or results of operations could be significantly and adversely affected.

Any interruption of our information systems could adversely affect us.

Our business and reputation may be materially impacted by information system failures or network disruptions. We rely heavily on communications and information systems to conduct our business. Each branch is part of an information network that is designed to permit us to maintain adequate cash inventory, reconcile cash balances on a daily basis, and report revenues and expenses to our headquarters. Any failure or interruption of these systems, including any failure of our back-up systems, network outages, slow performance, breaches, unauthorized access, misuse, computer viruses, or other failures or disruptions could result in disruption to our business or the loss or theft of confidential information, including customer information. A disruption could impair our ability to offer and process our loans, provide customer service, perform collections or other necessary business activities, which could result in a loss of customer confidence or business, subject us to additional regulatory scrutiny or negative publicity, or expose us to civil litigation and possible financial liability, or otherwise materially adversely affect our financial condition and operating results. Furthermore, we may not be able to detect immediately any such breach, which may increase the losses that we would suffer. In addition, our existing insurance policies may not reimburse us for all of the damages that we might incur as a result of a breach.

We may not be able to make technological improvements as quickly as some of our competitors, which could harm our ability to compete with our competitors and adversely affect our results of operations, financial condition, and liquidity.
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The financial services industry is undergoing rapid technological changes, with frequent introductions of new technology-driven products and services. The effective use of technology increases efficiency and enables financial and lending institutions to better serve customers and reduce costs. Our future success and, in particular, the success of our centralized operations, will depend, in part, upon our ability to address the needs of our customers by using technology to provide products and services that will satisfy customer demands for convenience, as well as to create additional efficiencies in our operations. We may not be able to effectively implement new technology-driven products and services as quickly as some of our competitors or be successful in marketing these products and services to our existing and new customers. Failure to successfully keep pace with technological change affecting the financial services industry could harm our ability to compete with our competitors and adversely affect our results of operations, financial condition, and liquidity.

We are subject to data privacy laws, which may significantly increase our compliance and technology costs resulting in a material adverse effect on our results of operations and financial condition.

We are subject to various federal and state privacy, data protection, and information security laws and regulations, including requirements concerning security breach notification. Moreover, various federal and state regulatory agencies require us to notify customers in the event of a security breach. Federal and state legislators are increasingly pursuing new guidance, laws, and regulations. Compliance with current or future privacy, data protection and information security laws affecting customer or employee data to which we are subject could result in higher compliance and technology costs and could materially and adversely affect our profitability. Our failure to comply with privacy, data protection and information security laws may require us to change our business practices or operational structure, and could subject us to potentially significant regulatory and/or governmental investigations and/or actions, litigation, fines, sanctions, and damage to our reputation.

We are also subject to the theft or misuse of physical customer and employee records at our facilities.

Our branch offices and centralized headquarters have physical and electronic customer records necessary for day-to-day operations that contain extensive confidential information about our customers. We also retain physical records in various storage locations. The loss or theft of customer information and data from our branch offices, headquarters, or other storage locations could subject us to additional regulatory scrutiny and penalties and could expose us to civil litigation and possible financial liability, which could have a material adverse effect on our results of operations, financial condition and liquidity. In addition, if we cannot locate original documents (or copies, in some cases) for certain finance receivables, we may not be able to collect on those finance receivables.

Our off-site data center and centralized IT functions are susceptible to disruption by catastrophic events, which could have a material adverse effect on our business, results of operations, and financial condition.

Our information systems, and administrative and management processes could be disrupted if a catastrophic event, such as severe weather, natural disaster, power outage, act of terror or similar event, destroyed or severely damaged our infrastructure. Any such catastrophic event or other unexpected disruption of our headquarters functions or off-site data center could have a material adverse effect on our business, results of operations, and financial condition.

Absence of dividends could reduce our attractiveness to investors.

Since 1989, we have not declared or paid cash dividends on our common stock and may not pay cash dividends in the foreseeable future. As a result, our common stock may be less attractive to certain investors than the stock of dividend-paying companies. Investors may need to rely on sales of their common stock after price appreciation, which may not occur, as the only way to realize future gains on their investment.

Various provisions of our charter documents and applicable laws could delay or prevent a change of control that shareholders may favor.

Provisions of our articles of incorporation, South Carolina law, and the laws in several of the states in which our operating subsidiaries are incorporated could delay or prevent a change of control that the holders of our common stock may favor or may impede the ability of our shareholders to change our management. In particular, our articles of incorporation and South Carolina law, among other things, authorize our board of directors to issue preferred stock in one or more series, without shareholder approval, and will require the affirmative vote of holders of two-thirds of our outstanding shares of voting stock, to approve our merger or consolidation with another corporation. Additional information regarding the similar effect of laws in certain states in which we operate is described in Part 1, Item 1, “Description of Business - Government Regulation.”

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Overall stock market volatility may materially and adversely affect the market price of our common stock.

The Company’s common stock price has been and is likely to continue to be subject to significant volatility. Securities markets worldwide experience significant price and volume fluctuations. This market volatility, as well as general economic, market, or political conditions, could reduce the market price of shares of our common stock in spite of our operating performance. Additionally, a variety of factors could cause the price of the common stock to fluctuate, perhaps substantially, including: general market fluctuations resulting from factors not directly related to the Company’s operations or the inherent value of its common stock; state or federal legislative or regulatory proposals, initiatives, actions or changes that are, or are perceived to be, adverse to our operations or the broader consumer finance industry in general; announcements of developments related to our business; fluctuations in our operating results and the provision for loan losses; low trading volume in our common stock; decreased availability of our common stock resulting from stock repurchases and concentrations of ownership by large or institutional investors; general conditions in the financial service industry, the domestic or global economy or the domestic or global credit or capital markets; changes in financial estimates by securities analysts; our failure to meet the expectations of securities analysts or investors; negative commentary regarding our Company and corresponding short-selling market behavior; adverse developments in our relationships with our customers; investigations or legal proceedings brought against the Company or its officers; or significant changes in our senior management team.

Changes to accounting rules, regulations or interpretations could significantly affect our financial results.

New accounting rules or regulations, changes to existing accounting rules or regulations, and changing interpretations of existing rules and regulations have been issued or occurred and may continue to be issued or occur in the future. Our methodology for valuing our receivables and otherwise accounting for our business is subject to change depending upon the changes in, and interpretation of, accounting rules, regulations, or interpretations. Any such changes to accounting rules, regulations, or interpretations could negatively affect our reported results of operations and could negatively affect our financial condition through increased cost of compliance.

In June of 2016, the FASB issued ASU 2016-13, Financial Instruments-Credit Losses (Topic 326): Measurement of Credit Losses on Financial Instruments (CECL). This ASU significantly changes the way that entities will be required to measure credit losses. The new standard requires that the estimated credit loss be based upon an “expected credit loss” approach rather than the “incurred loss” approach currently required. The new approach will require entities to measure all expected credit losses for financial assets based on historical experience, current conditions, and reasonable forecasts of collectability. It is anticipated that the expected credit loss model may require earlier recognition of credit losses than the incurred loss approach. CECL became effective for the Company April 1, 2020. We currently expect the adoption of CECL will result in an increase of approximately $14.5 million to $26.2 million in our allowance for loan losses. See Note 1 of the Notes to Consolidated Financial Statements included in this report for more information on this new accounting standard.

If assumptions or estimates we use in preparing our financial statements are incorrect or are required to change, our reported results of operations and financial condition may be adversely affected.
We are required to use certain assumptions and estimates in preparing our financial statements under GAAP, including in determining allowances for credit losses, the fair value of financial instruments, asset impairment, reserves related to litigation and other legal matters, the fair value of share-based compensation, valuation of income, and other taxes and regulatory exposures. In addition, significant assumptions and estimates are involved in determining certain disclosures required under GAAP, including those involving the fair value of our financial instruments. If the assumptions or estimates underlying our financial statements are incorrect, the actual amounts realized on transactions and balances subject to those estimates will be different, and this could have a material adverse effect on our results of operations and financial condition.
In addition, the FASB is currently reviewing or proposing changes to several financial accounting and reporting standards that govern key aspects of our financial statements, including areas where assumptions or estimates are required. As a result of changes to financial accounting or reporting standards, whether promulgated or required by the FASB or other regulators, we could be required to change certain of the assumptions or estimates we previously used in preparing our financial statements, which could negatively impact how we record and report our results of operations and financial condition generally.

A small number of our shareholders have the ability to significantly influence matters requiring shareholder approval and such shareholders have interests which may conflict with the interests of our other security holders.

As of March 31, 2020, based on filings made with the SEC and other information made available to us, Prescott General Partners, LLC and its affiliates beneficially owned approximately 35.0% of our common stock. As a result, these few shareholders are able to significantly influence matters presented to shareholders, including the election and removal of
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directors, the approval of significant corporate transactions, such as any reclassification, reorganization, merger, consolidation or sale of all or substantially all of our assets, and the control of our management and affairs, including executive compensation arrangements. Their interests may conflict with the interests of our other security holders.

The future issuance of additional shares of our common stock in connection with potential acquisitions or otherwise will dilute all other shareholders.

Except in certain circumstances, we are not restricted from issuing additional shares of common stock, including any securities that are convertible into or exchangeable for, or that represent the right to receive, common stock. The market price of shares of our common stock could decline as a result of sales of a large number of shares of common stock in the market or the perception that such sales could occur. We intend to continue to evaluate acquisition opportunities and may issue shares of common stock in connection with these acquisitions. Any shares of common stock issued in connection with acquisitions, the exercise of outstanding stock options, or otherwise would dilute the percentage ownership held by our existing shareholders.

Our use of third-party vendors is subject to regulatory review.

The CFPB and other regulators have issued regulatory guidance focusing on the need for financial institutions to perform due diligence and ongoing monitoring of third-party vendor relationships, which increases the scope of management involvement and decreases the benefit that we receive from using third-party vendors. Moreover, if our regulators conclude that we have not met the standards for oversight of our third-party vendors, we could be subject to enforcement actions, civil monetary penalties, supervisory orders to cease and desist or other remedial actions, which could have a materially adverse effect on our business, reputation, financial condition and operating results. Further, federal and state regulators have been scrutinizing the practices of lead aggregators and providers recently. If regulators place restrictions on certain practices by lead aggregators or providers, our ability to use them as a source for applicants could be affected.

Initiating and processing potential acquisitions may be unsuccessful or difficult, leading to losses and increased delinquencies, which could have a material adverse effect on our results of operations.

We have previously acquired, and in the future may acquire, assets or businesses, including large portfolios of finance receivables, either through the direct purchase of such assets or the purchase of the equity of a company with such a portfolio. Since we will not have originated or serviced the loans we acquire, we may not be aware of legal or other deficiencies related to origination or servicing, and our due diligence efforts of the acquisition prior to purchase may not uncover those deficiencies. Further, we may have limited recourse against the seller of the portfolio.

In pursuing these transactions, we may experience, among other things:

overvaluing potential targets;
difficulties in integrating any acquired companies or branches into our existing business, including integration of account data into our information systems;
inability to realize the benefits we anticipate in a timely fashion, or at all;
unexpected losses due to the acquisition of loan portfolios with loans originated using less stringent underwriting criteria;
significant costs, charges, or write-downs; or
unforeseen operating difficulties that require significant financial and managerial resources that would otherwise be available for the ongoing development and expansion of our existing operations.


Item 1B. Unresolved Staff Comments

None. 

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Item 2. Properties
 
In January 2020, the Company moved into its new corporate headquarters located at 104 S. Main Street in Greenville, South Carolina. The Company leases approximately 45,000 square feet at this location. This lease expires on November 30, 2029 and includes two five-year options. The Company’s previous corporate headquarters, which consists of approximately 42,000 square feet in Greenville, South Carolina, was classified as held for sale as of March 31, 2020.

The Company owns all of the furniture, fixtures and computer terminals located in each of its branches. As of March 31, 2020, the Company had 1,243 branches, most of which are generally leased pursuant to three- to five-year operating leases. During the fiscal year ended March 31, 2020, total lease expense was approximately $26.4 million, or an average of approximately $21.5 thousand per branch. The Company's leases generally provide for an initial three- to five-year term with renewal options. The Company's branches are typically located in shopping centers, malls and the first floors of downtown buildings. Branches generally have an average size of 1,603 square feet.


Item 3.Legal Proceedings

Mexico Investigation

As previously disclosed, the Company retained outside legal counsel and forensic accountants to conduct an investigation of its operations in Mexico, focusing on the legality under the FCPA, and certain local laws of certain payments related to loans, the maintenance of the Company’s books and records associated with such payments, and the treatment of compensation matters for certain employees.

The investigation addressed whether and to what extent improper payments, which may violate the FCPA and other local laws, were made approximately between 2010 and 2017 by or on behalf of WAC de Mexico, to government officials in Mexico relating to loans made to unionized employees. The Company voluntarily contacted the SEC and the DOJ in June 2017 to advise both agencies that an internal investigation was underway and that the Company intended to cooperate with both agencies. The Company has and will continue to cooperate with both agencies. The SEC has issued a formal order of investigation.

There have been ongoing discussions with the SEC regarding the possible resolution of these matters. The discussions with the SEC have progressed to a point that the Company can now reasonably estimate a probable loss and has recorded an aggregate accrual of $21.7 million with respect to the SEC matters as of March 31, 2020. As the discussions with the SEC are continuing, there can be no assurance that the Company's efforts to reach a final resolution with the SEC will be successful or, if they are, what the timing or terms of such resolution will be. The Company has no offer of settlement or resolution with the DOJ at this time. The total amount of the Company’s loss incurred in connection with the investigation and any resolution thereof, including those amounts which remain subject to approval by the SEC, may be higher than the amount of the accrual.

If violations of the FCPA or other local laws occurred, the Company could be subject to fines, civil and criminal penalties, equitable remedies, including profit disgorgement and related interest, and injunctive relief. In addition, any disposition of these matters could adversely impact our access to debt financing and capital funding and result in further modifications to our business practices and compliance programs. Any disposition could also potentially require that a monitor be appointed to review future business practices with the goal of ensuring compliance with the FCPA and other applicable laws. The Company could also face fines, sanctions, and other penalties from authorities in Mexico, as well as third-party claims by shareholders and/or other stakeholders of the Company. In addition, disclosure of the investigation or its ultimate disposition could adversely affect the Company’s reputation and its ability to obtain new business or retain existing business from its current customers and potential customers, to attract and retain employees, and to access the capital markets. If it is determined that a violation of the FCPA or other laws has occurred, such violation may give rise to an event of default under the Company’s credit agreement if such violation were to have a material adverse effect on the Company’s business, operations, properties, assets, or condition (financial or otherwise) or if the amount of any settlement, penalties, fines, or other payments resulted in the Company failing to satisfy any financial covenants. Additional potential FCPA violations or violations of other laws or regulations may be uncovered through the investigation. See Part I, Item 1A, “Risk Factors-We may be exposed to liabilities under the FCPA, and any determination that the Company or any of its subsidiaries has violated the FCPA could have a material adverse effect on our business and liquidity” and “-Our investigation of our previous operations in Mexico may expose the Company to other potential liabilities in addition to any potential liabilities under the FCPA and cause the Company to incur substantial expenses.”