The Legitimate Businessman: Rod Aycox of Select Management Resources


A college dropout, failed insurance salesman, and former used car salesman, Rod Aycox is many things but he is not a payday lender. He runs Select Management Resources, the parent company of LoanMax and other title loan companies where cash strapped customers offer the titles of their automobiles as collateral for short-term loans. As you might expect, the title loan industry – like the payday lending industry – traps customers in a cycle of debt.

More than a simple mom and pop lender, Aycox is said to have done more to expand the availability of title loans than anyone. He has even been called the industry’s “most impassioned evangelist.” Not exactly a yearbook superlative of which to be proud.

In 1993, Aycox joined a pair of investors to create Title Loans of America which would go on to became America’s largest title lender. Aycox’s fellow investors were US Title Trust, whose beneficiary is Alvin Malnik, and Kenneth Lee Partiss. Malnik had reportedly been linked for over three decades “by law enforcement, newspapers, and authors to organized crime” while Partiss had been indicted and later acquitted of drug smuggling charges. Aycox left the company in 1998 though he told Business Review that his departure had nothing to do with publicity Malnik’s purported Mob connections were receiving.

After parting ways with Malnik and Partiss, Aycox started Select Management Resources, which operates under the names Atlanta Title Loans, LoanMax, and North American Title Loans.

Through it all, Aycox has been a staunch defender of his industry. He has said that a 36 percent rate cap would “force” his “company out of business” and those who oppose title loans “do not grasp the basic economics of our industry.” Even after a reporter went to one of his LoanMax storefronts and was offered a title loan with a 420 percent APR, Aycox said his company never charges such a high rate and that an even greater 500 percent was simply the ceiling when it comes to APR’s.

Aycox’s companies have faced a variety of legal hurdles over the years. In 1997, Aycox and his company settled a wrongful death suit after a repo man hired by the company shot and killed a borrower while trying to seize his vehicle. He and his companies have also faced a federal class action lawsuit accusing them of “victimizing customers by collecting illegal debts at interest rates that violate both Georgia’s criminal usury statute and federal truth-in-lending laws.” The DC Attorney General also sued Aycox’s LoanMax for charging interest rates of more than 300 percent. LoanMax ultimately settled out of court by refunding customers and returning repossessed cars.

Despite these legal issues, Aycox has made a killing selling title loans. He saw his income increase from $505,000 to $2.76 million in just one year in the 1990s as his business expanded to Florida. And as the Atlanta Journal Constitution reported, “On a warm Friday morning, customers drive up to Atlanta Title Loans in dented pickup trucks and decade-old Nissans. Rod Aycox arrives in a black Mercedes coupe that retails for $128,000.” While Aycox declines to disclose the earnings of his privately held company, we do know that his company employed 415 people and had two private jets in 2005.

Aycox’s success with title loans has been lucrative for others too. Aycox has donated more than $1.6 million to state and local candidates and committees and more than $500,000 to federal candidates and committees. He has also spent nearly $1.3 million lobbying the federal government.

The Details:

Aycox Was a Failed Insurance Man and Used Car Salesman Before Opening Title-lending Store

  • Aycox Was a Failed Insurance Man and A Former Used-Car Salesman Before He Began His Title-Loan Business. “In 1991, Roderick Aycox, a former Riverdale used-car salesman and failed insurance man, sold his auto business, maxed out his credit cards, and opened a string of title pawnshops in Georgia. It proved to be a lucrative investment. In 1992, Georgia legislators passed a law allowing pawnbrokers to make loans at an annual percentage rate of up to 300 percent in interest and pawnshop fees.” [Atlanta Journal Constitution, 2/22/98]
  • Aycox Said He Got into The Title-Loan Business Because He Failed in The Insurance Business. “He said he got into the title pawn business because he had failed in the insurance business.” [Atlanta Journal Constitution, 2/22/98]
  • Aycox Was a College Dropout and Used Car Salesman When He Started His First Title-Loan Company. “In 1990, Aycox was a college dropout and a used car salesman with uncertain prospects. One day he got a flier hawking software to manage a new business called title pawn. He didn’t buy the software, but he bought into the concept. Stretching his credit cards to their limits, he rented a storefront on Tara Boulevard, put up a banner and waited for borrowers to find him. They did. The first day, he made four loans.” [Atlanta Journal Constitution, 1/31/05]

No One Has Done More for the Title-lending Industry than Aycox

  • The Aggressive Lobbying by Title Loans of America President Rod Aycox “Helped Open the Doors for Countless Other Title Loan Operators Across the Country.” “In California, the title loan bill didn’t even make it out of committee. Until a civil lawsuit in Georgia surfaced in 1997, little was known about Title Loans of America except that it was leading a fast-expanding, controversial industry. The aggressive lobbying by its president, former used car salesman Roderick Aycox of Atlanta helped open the doors for countless other title loan operators across the country.    Neither Aycox nor his attorney returned phone calls for this article. An official at the company’s Atlanta office said Aycox is no longer with the company, though he remains listed as a top officer on corporate documents.” [St. Petersburg Times, 1/24/99]
  • AJC: “No One Has Done More to Spread Title Lending Across the Country” Than Aycox and He Is the Industry’s “Most Impassioned Evangelist”; Aycox: “I Love the Business…My Business Is Very Fair, Upfront and Decent.” “Aycox was 24 years old when he opened his first title lending store on Tara. He wasn’t quite the first title lender. He still isn’t quite the biggest. But no one has done more to spread title lending across the country from its Georgia roots. Now a 38-year-old suburbanite on a low-carb diet, juggling a demanding job, a wife, two children and a house in Alpharetta, Aycox has become his industry’s most impassioned evangelist. “I love the business,” he says. “I enjoy the business. I believe in the business. . . . My business is very fair, upfront and decent.” [Atlanta Journal Constitution, 1/31/05]

Aycox Was Business Partners with a Man with Mafia Ties and Another Who Was Indicted for Drug Smuggling

  • In 1993, Aycox Joined a Pair of Investors to Create Title Loans of America Which Became America’s Largest Title Lender. “Aycox worked solo behind the counter for two years, logging 100-hour workweeks. After the General Assembly approved title lending, Aycox expanded in Atlanta and to Birmingham. To take title lending national, though, Aycox needed partners. He joined with a pair of investors in 1993 to form a company called Title Loans of America. The Atlanta-based firm soon became America’s largest title lender. Aycox says his partners put up the money and he provided the expertise to open about 200 stores in 15 states. Expanding into some states meant little more than filling a regulatory vacuum; those states’ laws neither specifically allowed nor barred title lending. Opening in other states, however, required mastering local politics.” [Atlanta Journal Constitution, 1/31/05]
  • Aycox Was Business Partners with Alvin Malnik Who Had Been Linked for Three Decades “By Law Enforcement, Newspapers, And Authors to Organized Crime.” “Aycox also revealed in a deposition the company’s three shareholders: Aycox owned 33 percent of the company; Kenneth Lee Partiss owned 17 percent; and U.S. Title Trust 50 percent.   U.S. Title Trust? Its beneficiary is a 65-year-old south Florida millionaire lawyer and real estate mogul named Alvin I. Malnik. For the better part of three decades, Malnik constantly has been linked by law enforcement, newspapers and authors to organized crime, particularly to legendary mob financier Meyer Lansky.    Although Malnik has never been convicted of a crime, gaming regulators in Nevada and New Jersey won’t let casino operators have anything to do with him because of his suspected Mafia links.   “The evidence establishes that Mr. Malnik associated with persons engaged in organized criminal activities, and that he himself participated in transactions that were clearly illegitimate and illegal. . . . Federal authorities have long believed Mr. Malnik to be involved in organized crime,” the New Jersey Casino Control Commission concluded in 1980 in an assessment of Malnik that was reiterated in 1993 by New Jersey’s Division of Gaming Enforcement.   Malnik did not return phone calls from the Times, but in the past he has repeatedly denied any involvement in organized crime. In a 1982 interview with the Miami Herald, Malnik – described once in Reader’s Digest as Lansky’s “heir apparent” – said in fact he had only once met Lansky. [St. Petersburg Times, 1/24/99]
  • Aycox Was Also Business Partners with Kenneth Lee Partiss Who Had Been Indicted, And Later Acquitted, Of Drug Smuggling Charges. “Malnik is not the only backer of Title Loans of America known to law enforcement. Partiss, the 17-percent owner who has addresses in Miami and Atlanta, was indicted – and later acquitted – on drug smuggling charges in Miami in 1983. [St. Petersburg Times, 1/24/99]
  • Aycox Left Title Loans of America in 1998 And Created LoanMax Though He Said the Mob Connections Were Not Why He and Malnik Were No Longer Partners. “LoanMax hails from Atlanta and is headed by Roderick Aycox, who founded Title Loans of America with Malnik. The two split in 1998, the same time TLA was being hounded by journalists in other states because of Malnik’s reputation. Aycox told the Business Review he didn’t leave Malnik because of the publicity. He would only say, “I decided I didn’t want to partner with anyone, and I certainly didn’t want to partner with Malnik.” Although he said there was no falling out, he said he hasn’t spoken to Malnik since the split, and that Malnik has no financial relationship with his new companies whatsoever. Aycox is the direct owner of LoanMax as well as numerous affiliates with names such as North American Title Loans and Northwest Title Loans. He also owns Select Management Resources, which manages the companies. All told, he has some 200 stores in 17 states.” [New Hampshire Business Review, 2/22/02]
  • 1998: Aycox Sold His Interest in Title Loans of America and Started Select Management Resources Which Operates Under the Names Atlanta Title Loans, LoanMax, And North American Title Loans. “Later that year, Aycox sold his interest in Title Loans of America. He started his own company, Select Management Resources, based near his home in Alpharetta, and opened stores under the names Atlanta Title Loans, LoanMax and North American Title Loans.” [Atlanta Journal Constitution, 1/31/05]

Aycox Settled Wrongful Death Suit after a Repo Man Hired by His Company Shot and Killed a Borrower While Trying to Seize His Car

  • 1997: Aycox and His Company Settled a Wrongful Death Suit After a Repo Man Hired by The Company Shot and Killed a Borrower While Trying to Seize His Vehicle. “In 1997, Aycox and his company were hit with a wrongful death lawsuit in Georgia after a repo man hired by the company shot and killed someone while trying to seize their vehicle. That case was settled under confidential terms, but court records in the suit provided a window into the privately held company.” [St. Petersburg Times, 1/24/99]

Aycox’s Companies Charged APR’s Greater than 400% and He Opposed Rate Caps

  • Aycox’s LoanMax Store Posted a Maximum 500% APR but Aycox Said “We Never Go That High.” “The manager at the branch told this reporter – posing as a prospective applicant – that the rate was 35 percent. Only after being asked did the manager offer the information that the rate was a monthly one – and translates into a 420 percent annual rate. The annual APR is listed as 500 percent on a yellow sign on the counter, there were no written materials, and a contract is provided only when a person sits down to take out a loan. Aycox later said the loan rate was 30 percent a month. The 500 percent rate was just the maximum, “but we never go that high,” he said. Aycox promised to fax a LoanMax contract, but none was provided by deadline. Disclosure materials are not in the public file at the state Banking Department. State and federal regulations only require written disclosure on the contracts to a borrower.” [New Hampshire Business Review, 2/22/02]
  • Aycox: 36% Rate Cap Would “Force Our Company Out of the Business” And Those Who Oppose Title Loans “Do Not Grasp the Basic Economics of Our Industry.” Aycox, in a statement through his firm, says artificially capping interest rates at even a higher 36% would “force our company out of the business and thereby eliminate a needed credit option for hundreds of thousands of consumers.” “Unfortunately, special interest groups who oppose the idea of title loans being made available to consumers do not grasp the basic economics of our industry,” the Aycox statement said. [USA Today, 12/27/06]

Aycox and His Companies Have Been Sued for Their High Interest Rates

  • Aycox and His Companies Were Defendants in A Federal Class Action Lawsuit That Accused Them of “Victimizing Customers by Collecting Illegal Debts at Interest Rates That Violate Both Georgia’s Criminal Usury Statute and Federal Truth-In-Lending Laws.” “Aycox and his companies are now defendants in a federal class action suit that accuses pawnbrokers of victimizing customers by collecting illegal debts at interest rates that violate both Georgia’s criminal usury statute and federal truth-in-lending laws.” [Atlanta Journal Constitution, 2/22/98]
  • Loan Max Was Sued by The DC Attorney General for Charging Interest Rates of More Than 300% And Settled Out of Court by Refunding Customers and Returning Repossessed Cars. Select Management is one of several companies owned by Rod Aycox. Another Aycox-owned title lender, Loan Max, was sued in 2009 by District of Columbia Attorney General Peter Nickles for charging interest rates of more than 300 percent a year, according to a press release from the attorney general’s office. Loan Max settled out of court by agreeing to provide refunds to customers who lived in the nation’s capital and return cars that the company had repossessed, according to a D.C. government release. [Bloomberg, 3/21/12]

Aycox Has Made Millions from the Title-loan Business

  • Aycox’s Income Was $505,000 In 1994 And Increased to Nearly $2.76 Million in 1995 After Florida’s Legislature Opened the Doors for Dozens of Title Loan Companies Owned by Aycox’s Company. “Aycox, for instance, reported $ 505,000 income on his 1994 tax returns. The following year, after Florida’s Legislature opened the doors for dozens of title loan shops owned by Aycox’s company, his income rose to nearly $ 2.76-million.” [St. Petersburg Times, 1/24/99]
  • 2005: Aycox Drove a Black Mercedes Coupe That Retailed for $128,000. “On a warm Friday morning, customers drive up to Atlanta Title Loans in dented pickup trucks and decade-old Nissans. Rod Aycox arrives in a black Mercedes coupe that retails for $128,000.” [Atlanta Journal Constitution, 1/31/05]
  • Aycox Has Declined to Disclose Select Management Resources Earnings but The Company Had Two Private Jets. “Aycox declines to disclose earnings of the privately held company. By all appearances, though, he has been successful. He employs 415 people, including 25 at the corporate headquarters on Mansell Road. He estimates that he has a 70 percent market share everywhere his business is well-established. Three days a week, he travels to his stores across the country — on one of his company’s two jets.” [Atlanta Journal Constitution, 1/31/05]

Aycox Has Contributed at Least $2.1 Million to Powerful Politicians and Special Interest PACs. He Has Also Spent at Lease $1.3 Million on Lobbying

Aycox Has Donated $1,648,815 To State Candidates and Committees. [National Institute On Money in State Politics, Accessed 12/28/14]

Aycox Has Donated at Least $551,800 to Federal Candidates, PACs and Committees Since 1996. [Center for Responsive Politics]

  • 12/12/1996 – $600 – Kentucky State Dem Central Executive Committee
  • 04/03/1997 – $5,000 – Kentucky State Dem Central Executive Committee
  • 06/10/1998 – $1,000 – Cooper, Jerry
  • 07/15/1998 – $1,000 – Nixon, Jay
  • 07/20/1998 – $250 – Heckemeyer, Anthony Joseph
  • 07/20/1998 – $2,000 – Missouri Democratic State Committee
  • 10/09/2000 – $1,000 – Brown, Henry
  • 12/31/2001 – $1,000 – Walker Jr., Chap
  • 06/30/2002 – $1,000 – Walker Jr., Chap
  • 08/21/2002 – $3,000 – Republican Party of South Carolina
  • 09/04/2002 – $1,000 – Davis, Danny
  • 10/18/2002 – $1,000 – Jackson, Jesse Jr.
  • 03/29/2003 – $1,000 – Jackson, Jesse Jr.
  • 03/31/2003 – $25,000 – DNC Services Corporation
  • 03/31/2003 – $1,000 – Davis, Artur
  • 05/21/2003 – $1,000 – Shimkus, John
  • 09/15/2003 – $1,000 – Clay Jr., William
  • 09/23/2003 – $250 – Bishop, Sanford
  • 12/09/2003 – $1,000 – Rodriguez, Ciro
  • 03/29/2004 – $2,000 – Obama, Barack
  • 05/21/2004 – $1,000 – Davis, Artur
  • 10/15/2004 – $2,000 – Ameri, Goli Yazdi
  • 06/07/2005 – $2,000 – Perennial Strategy Group
  • 06/28/2005 – $1,000 – Dix, Bill
  • 07/08/2005 – $8,312 – Perennial Strategy Group
  • 11/18/2005 – $2,000 – Detert, Nancy C
  • 11/26/2005 – $2,000 – Coleman, Norm
  • 11/27/2005 – $1,500 – Democratic Party of Illinois
  • 12/30/2005 – ($5,312)            Perennial Strategy Group
  • 03/02/2006 – $2,000 – Miller, Les
  • 07/14/2006 – $2,000 – Saxton, Jim
  • 11/08/2006 – $500 – Nachman, Jim
  • 11/20/2006 – $2,000 – Perennial Strategy Group
  • 01/29/2007 – $5,000 – Perennial Strategy Group
  • 01/31/2007 – $2,100 – Edwards, John
  • 03/03/2007 – $2,300 – Berkley, Shelley
  • 03/03/2007 – $2,300 – Berkley, Shelley
  • 03/13/2007 – $2,300 – Bishop, Sanford
  • 03/13/2007 – $2,300 – Bishop, Sanford
  • 05/24/2007 – $2,300 – Romney, Mitt
  • 03/25/2008 – $2,300 – Clinton, Hillary
  • 03/25/2008 – $2,300 – Clinton, Hillary
  • 06/16/2008 – ($2,300)            Obama, Barack
  • 06/16/2008 – $4,600 – Obama, Barack
  • 06/16/2008 – $2,300 – Obama, Barack
  • 08/21/2008 – $2,300 – Chambliss, Saxby
  • 08/28/2008 – ($2,300)            Clinton, Hillary
  • 09/25/2008 – $10,000 – Republican Party of Georgia
  • 09/26/2008 – $2,300 – McCain, John
  • 09/26/2008 – $2,300 – McCain, John
  • 11/06/2008 – $28,500 – Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee
  • 11/14/2008 – $2,300 – Chambliss, Saxby
  • 11/25/2008 – $2,300 – Reid, Harry
  • 04/27/2009 – $2,300 – Reid, Harry
  • 05/28/2009 – $30,400 – Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee
  • 06/04/2009 – $2,400 – Dodd, Chris
  • 06/04/2009 – $2,400 – Dodd, Chris
  • 06/25/2009 – $2,400 – Thomas, David Lloyd
  • 09/30/2009 – $5,000 – Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee
  • 11/20/2009 – $1,000 – Udall, Mark
  • 12/07/2009 – $2,400 – Shelby, Richard
  • 01/31/2010 – $2,400 – Yoder, Kevin
  • 03/08/2010 – $2,400 – Warner, Mark
  • 03/10/2010 – $2,300 – Dodd, Chris
  • 03/10/2010 – ($2,300)            Dodd, Chris
  • 03/31/2010 – $2,400 – Scott, Tim
  • 04/23/2010 – $2,400 – Baucus, Max
  • 05/10/2010 – $1,000 – Shelby, Richard
  • 06/17/2010 – $1,000 – Growth & Prosperity PAC (Rep. Bachus Leadership PAC)
  • 06/22/2010 – $2,400 – Scott, Austin
  • 06/25/2010 – $1,000 – DeMint, Jim
  • 08/26/2010 – $2,400 – Scott, Austin
  • 10/11/2010 – $1,500 – South Dakota First PAC (Sen. Johnson Leadership PAC)
  • 10/19/2010 – $2,400 – Yoder, Kevin
  • 02/03/2011 – $2,400 – Haridopolos, Mike
  • 05/20/2011 – $2,000 – Duffy, Sean
  • 07/14/2011 – $100,000 – Restore Our Future
  • 08/11/2011 – $2,500 – Yoder, Kevin
  • 09/27/2011 – $2,500 – Dewhurst, David
  • 12/01/2011 – $2,500 – Oceguera, John
  • 12/31/2011 – $2,500 – Scott, Austin
  • 02/09/2012 – $100,000 – Restore Our Future
  • 02/21/2012 – ($100,000) – Restore Our Future
  • 03/26/2012 – $100,000 – Restore Our Future
  • 03/31/2012 – $2,500 – Horsford, Steven
  • 05/14/2012 – $2,500 – Collins, Doug
  • 07/12/2012 – $2,500 – Romney, Mitt
  • 07/12/2012 – $2,500 – Romney, Mitt
  • 07/14/2012 – $30,800 – Republican National Committee
  • 07/24/2012 – $2,500 – Dewhurst, David
  • 07/24/2012 – $2,500 – Dewhurst, David
  • 07/31/2012 – $7,100 – National Republican Senatorial Committee
  • 07/31/2012 – $7,100 – National Republican Congressional Committee
  • 08/13/2012 – $2,500 – Allen, George
  • 10/11/2012 – $2,500 – Horsford, Steven
  • 11/02/2012 – $5,000 – Cruz, Ted
  • 11/02/2012 – $5,000 – Cruz, Ted
  • 12/22/2012 – $2,500 – Cruz, Ted
  • 12/22/2012 – ($2,500) – Cruz, Ted
  • 05/17/2013 – $2,600 – Lindsey, Ed
  • 09/30/2013 – $2,600 – Yoder, Kevin
  • 11/06/2013 – $2,600 – Stivers, Steve
  • 02/14/2014 – $1,000 – Scott, Tim
  • 03/31/2014 – $2,600 – Horsford, Steven
  • 03/31/2014 – $2,600 – Horsford, Steven
  • 04/07/2014 – $1,000 – Shannon, T.W.
  • 05/07/2014 – $2,600 – Meeks, Gregory
  • 08/05/2014 – $5,000 – State Conservative Reform Action PAC
  • 09/22/2014 – $2,600 – Stivers, Steve
  • 09/26/2014 – $1,000 – Garcia, Marilinda
  • 11/03/2014 – $2,600 – Yoder, Kevin
  • 11/20/2014 – $1,000 – Perdue, David
  • 05/08/2015 – $1,000 – Oklahoma Strong Leadership PAC
  • 11/02/2015 – $2,700 – Gowan, David
  • 12/29/2015 – $2,700 – Yoder, Kevin
  • 01/22/2016 – $10,000 – Republican Party of Georgia
  • TOTAL: $551,800
  • 2008-2012: Aycox Spent Almost $1.3 Million on Federal Lobbying—Including On the Dodd-Frank Law That Created The CFPB. “According to the federal lobbying disclosure database, Aycox’s company has paid two Washington firms, SNR Denton and McGuireWoods Consulting, almost $1.3 million since 2008 to lobby on federal consumer credit matters, including the Dodd-Frank bill that created the consumer protection bureau.” [Reuters, 3/15/12]
  • As Texas Lawmakers Were Debating Legislation Affecting His Business, Aycox Donated $60,800 To 23 Texas Lawmakers Including $25,000 To The Speaker of the House and $7,500 To The Head of the Committee That Oversaw the Legislation. For instance, as Texas lawmakers last year debated legislation directly affecting Aycox’s business activities in the state, he and his wife gave 23 contributions totaling $60,800 to Texas lawmakers, according to the database. Aycox gave $25,000 to Joe Straus, speaker of the House, and he and his wife, Leslie, each gave $7,500 to Republican State Rep. Todd Hunter. Hunter chairs the committee that oversees the movement of legislation through the House. [Reuters, 3/15/12]
  • 2008: Aycox Donated to McCain, Romney, Clinton, And Obama. “Four years ago, Aycox spread his contributions among the 2008 presidential candidates, giving to Republicans John McCain and Romney as well as Democrats Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama. But those checks were limited to $2,300 by federal campaign laws.” [Reuters, 3/15/12]
  • Aycox and His Wife Donated $100,000 To Obama’s Inauguration Committee—The Most of Any Georgia Household. “Nearly 50 Georgians — most from metro Atlanta — have donated $250 or more to the fund, and many have written checks for far larger amounts. A list of donors published on the Web site of the official Presidential Inaugural Committee recently shows that nine have given $50,000 — the maximum allowed by the organizers. Rod and Leslie Aycox of Alpharetta, who gave a combined $100,000, were the Georgia household giving the most. Rod Aycox is chief executive of Select Management Resource.” [Atlanta Journal Constitution, 1/12/09]
  • Aycox, His Company, And His Foundation Gave a Combined $300,000 To Restore Our Future, A Super PAC Supporting Mitt Romney. Another major contributor to the super PAC is Rod Aycox, whose Georgia-based Select Management Resources operates auto title loan provider LoanMax. Aycox gave $100,000 last month, on top of $100,000 from his corporate account in January and $100,000 from the Rod and Leslie Aycox Foundation last year. A statement from Restore Our Future’s spokeswoman Brittany Gross said: “We don’t comment on specific donors.” [USA Today, 3/20/12]

Aycox Has Used His Company’s Private Planes to Transport Legislators

  • 1996: Aycox’s Company Owned a Private Plane and Used It to Transport Legislators. “He began contributing generously to political campaigns — a total of $ 12,800 to 74 Georgia legislators in 1996, according to campaign disclosure records. He gave four legislators a ride to Savannah in his private plane for the funeral of a former state senator, said pawnbroker lobbyist John Thomas.” [Atlanta Journal Constitution, 2/22/98]
  • Aycox Provided Input into an ALEC Model Bill On Title Lending That Would Encourage Customers to Drag Out Repaying the High Cost Loans; Aycox Flew a Georgia State House Member to The ALEC Panel On His Corporate Jet and The House Member Introduced the Bill. “Ehrhart’s proposal allows automatic monthly renewals, which consumer advocates say encourage borrowers to drag out repaying the high-cost loans. Lenders would be permitted to sell car club memberships in conjunction with the loans — products that drive up finance charges for borrowers while allowing lenders to collect commissions in addition to interest payments. Former Gov. Roy Barnes, a Democrat whose law firm recently sued two title lenders, said the bill “turns back the clock on what little protection exists in Georgia.” The bill might be heard by Ehrhart’s committee this week. Ehrhart’s proposal closely tracks the draft version of a model bill provided by the American Legislative Exchange Council, a Washington-based organization of conservative lawmakers and corporate executives. Ehrhart is the immediate past chairman of ALEC’s national board of directors. An ALEC task force drafted the model title loan bill in August at the urging of Rod Aycox, one of the biggest title lenders in Georgia. Aycox’s Alpharetta-based company, Select Management Resources, which operates in nearly two dozen states, became an ALEC member last year, signing up to pay $10,000 a year in dues. “We had quite a bit of input in it,” Aycox said of the model bill. “We asked ALEC to pass it through their committees so we could have sort of an ALEC-sponsored bill.” He said the ALEC panel wrote the model bill “using a lot of my comments and input.” Ehrhart was a member of the panel, and Aycox said he let the lawmaker fly to the ALEC committee meeting in Texas on one of his corporate airplanes. Ehrhart accepted $15,652 in campaign contributions from title lenders last year, more than all but two other legislators, records show. Aycox, his relatives and his companies provided all but $500 of Ehrhart’s total, which included the flight to Texas and one other trip on Aycox’s corporate plane. A lobbyist for Aycox’s company accompanied Ehrhart on both flights. Aycox contributed $192,054 to Georgia campaigns last year, the largest share of the title loan industry’s $328,310 in political donations, according to a recent analysis by The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. The industry gave less than half that amount during the two previous years combined. Aycox said Monday that the new proposal offered “a lot of consumer protections,” since title lenders would be licensed for the first time and would be required to return money left over after they repossess and sell a borrower’s car. As for removing the interest cap, Aycox said, “I don’t think that’s intentional.” [Atlanta Journal Constitution, 2/21/06]

Aycox: The Grinch

  • Aycox: “Christmas Is a Wonderful Time of Year for Us. People Are Buying Presents. Vacations—The First of June Is a Wonderful Time of Year for Us.” “So title lenders compete through maximum visibility. Aycox seeks customers not just with brightly colored, well-lit stores on busy thoroughfares, he also advertises on daytime television — talk shows and courtroom programs, mostly — and on radio stations that play rock and hip-hop music. Aycox says these appeals bring in hard-working, financially responsible people who sometimes have trouble borrowing money because they have “lesser credit.” “Christmas is a wonderful time of year for us,” he says. “People are buying presents. Vacations — the first of June is a wonderful time of year for us.” [Atlanta Journal Constitution, 1/31/05]

Aycox Refuses to Be Photographed

  • Aycox Declined to Be Photographed for A News Article. “Aycox, who declined to be photographed for this article, has cultivated a cautious, low-key image that disarms even his adversaries.” [Atlanta Journal Constitution, 1/31/05]

Special thanks to National People’s Action for allowing Allied Progress to use its extensive research on payday lending industry executives.

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