Liberty Tax Service Claims Victory as Pre-Season Loans are Eradicated

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CEO has lobbied for two years against these products.

This represents a huge victory for the consumer, said Hewitt.

Liberty Tax Service's Founder and CEO, John Hewitt, today expressed relief in the wake of the decision by Pacific Capital Bancorp to eliminate pre-season loan products. "This represents a huge victory for the consumer, said Hewitt. "I have personally lobbied for these loans products to be discontinued." The decision by Pacific Capital Bancorp comes on the heels of an announcement by HSBC Finance Corp. several weeks ago that they would no longer offer pre-season loans, commonly referred to as pay-stub or holiday loans.

Liberty Tax Service fought to keep pre-season loans out of the company's product mix in 2005 and 2006. In 2007 when both competitors H&R Block (NYSE:HRB) and Jackson Hewitt (NYSE:JTX) offered the loans, Liberty was compelled for competitive reasons, to participate in the pay-stub loan program but the company has never offered the holiday loan. "I have gone on record for the last 2 years saying that the pre-season loan program was bad for business. The piling on of fees to the consumer is bad customer service. The abolishment of these products is a huge step in the right direction for the tax preparation industry and is well grounded in business considerations," stated Hewitt.

About Liberty Tax Service

Founded in 1997, Liberty Tax Service is the fastest growing retail tax preparation company in the industry's history. Founder and CEO John T. Hewitt has 38 years of tax industry experience, the most of any CEO in the tax preparation business. Hewitt is also the founder of Jackson Hewitt Tax Service (NYSE: JTX). Liberty Tax Service ( operates 2,400 offices throughout the United States and Canada, and has prepared over 4,000,000 individual income tax returns. Emphasis on customer service including audit assistance, a money back guarantee and free tax return checking are just a few of the above and beyond features offered by Liberty Tax Service.

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Martha O'Gorman
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