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Another article that was in the New York Times July 12: “Automated Debt-collection Lawsuits Engulf Courts. As millions of Americans have fallen behind on paying their bills, debt-collection law firms have been clogging courtrooms with lawsuits seeking repayment.” The firm that they profile in Woodbury, New York has been filing roughly 80,000 lawsuits a year. They have 14 lawyers on staff, so that averages out to more than 5700 cases per lawyer and the article goes on to explain how automated the process is, the software that they’re using.How is that possible? “The answer to that is at the heart of a growing debate over the increasing use of the nation’s legal system to collect on bad debts. Already some state legislators and judges have tried to crack down on collection lawsuits and on Monday the Federal Trade Commission weighed in, saying the system for resolving disputes over consumer debts was broken and in need of significant reforms. The agency also urged states to adopt measures to make it more likely that consumers would show up in court to defend themselves because currently most do not, resulting in default judgments. Most consumers fail to show up in court and those who do rarely have a lawyer. A court judgment gives debt buyers the ability to collect on the debt through actions like wage or property garnishment.” The last comment: “Lawsuits are sometimes filed against the wrong people, critics say. Other times, they say, the amount owed is incorrect or includes questionable fees and interest that has been added to the balance.” So again, just a couple of articles that Mark had forwarded. We always say pick up any newspaper and it will make a case for our membership benefits and certainly I think those two are right on point, so please consider that information and at this time I’ll ask our chief financial officer Steve Williamson to step through the more significant financial highlights for the 2010 second quarter. Steve?
Steve WilliamsonThanks Randy. I’ll just start with a little overview for the second quarter of 2010 compared to ‘09. We had total revenue up about $1.7 million. Total expenses and taxes were up about $1 million, which resulted in about a $695,000 increase or a 4% increase in that income. 9% fewer shares gave us a 15% increase in diluted earnings per share. On a sequential basis, membership fees were down about $581,000. Looking at the quarterly comparison, second quarter 2010 membership fees increased 1% over the second quarter of ‘09 due to the 1% increase in the average premium enforced that we had for the second quarter of 2010. Associate services revenue increased $588,000, and that was primarily due to higher e-service fees that we had during the quarter compared to the ’09 quarter. The revenue, which as most of you know, is the 3-year amortization of that $10 enrollment fee that we have on some of our memberships. That was down $74,000, bringing that total line to $895,000. Read the rest of this transcript for free on seekingalpha.com