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777 Partners Announces Acquisition of Uown Leasing

MIAMI—-777 Partners, a Miami based investment firm, is pleased to announce the acquisition of Uown Leasing (“Uown”), a lease-to-own company based in Tampa, Florida.

Uown, founded in 2008, partners with retailers of durable consumer goods to offer a lease-to-own financing product as an alternative to traditional credit. Currently, Uown offers its product in over 450 locations across the United States, with a focus on retailers of furniture, bedding and appliances.

Under the terms of the acquisition, Uown Leasing will combine operations with Mollie Financial, 777 Partners’ existing lease-to-own product, and operate solely under the Uown Leasing name going forward. Uown will utilize Mollie Financial’s best-in-class technology, including its innovative merchant portal.

“We look forward to expanding Uown into a nationally recognized leader in the lease to own industry, and we think that 777 Partners and Mollie Financial are the ideal partners to fuel explosive growth,” says Daniel Klein, the CEO of Uown.

“We are excited to add Uown to 777 Partners’ portfolio of consumer finance companies. Daniel and team have built a market leading platform and we look forward to contributing to the future growth of Uown,” says Aaron Levy, Principal at 777 Partners.

About Uown Leasing

Uown Leasing operates lease purchase programs to select furniture and electronics retailers across the United States. The company was founded in 2008 and is headquartered in Tampa, Florida. Uown Leasing currently supports dealers operating in over 46 states. For more information, visit www.uownleasing.com.

About 777 Partners

777 Partners is a Miami-based investment firm focused on a broad spectrum of financial services businesses across insurance, lending, specialty finance, and financial technology. Operating in attractive markets and often times esoteric asset classes, 777 seeks to make control investments across the business life cycle in companies with scalable profiles and ambitious management teams. 777 Partners senior management team is composed of industry veterans with backgrounds in private equity, venture capital, investment banking, insurance, financial technology, actuarial science, asset management, structured-credit, ABS, risk, analytics, complex commercial litigation and computer science. For more information on 777 Partners, visit www.777part.com.


Daniel Klein

Top 5 Mistakes to Avoid When Buying Furniture

Buying furniture is kind of a big deal. It’s large, expensive, and you’re probably going to be stuck together for a while. Selecting which couch, bed, or coffee table to buy is a highly personal decision. But there are a few basic guidelines that everybody should follow before making the plunge. Here are five common mistakes to avoid when buying furniture.

1. Ignoring your lifestyle
That white suede couch may look great in your living room, but if you have two toddlers and a Golden Retriever—it might not be the best idea. Select furniture that suits your lifestyle. If you’re a young couple planning on starting a family, buy for the future. The lifespan of a couch is at least 10 years, so go ahead and get that sectional over a loveseat. If you’re a pet lover, be mindful of how difficult it will be to deal with the shedding and drool. Pick a fabric that’s easy to clean and your furniture can still look amazing when it’s old.

2. Misled by leather
Not all “composite” or “bonded” leather is treated equal. If the store calls it leather, but the price is comparable to fabric, it’s probably a composite leather product of some kind. Many of these products are great and will last a lifetime. But others will crack and fade after only a few years. It’s a good idea to look at online customer reviews from the store you plan on purchasing from to see what others have to say. If you want the real deal, make sure it says “full grain leather” in the description.

3. Forgetting to measure
Pretty obvious, right? But you’d be amazed how many folks forget to do it. Measure your room before you hit the stores to get an idea of what you need. Then measure the exact piece to make sure it’s the perfect fit before you buy. Also measure the front door, hallway, staircase, etc. that it will have to go through to find its home. You know the mantra “measure twice, cut once”? Same principle.

4. Asking too few questions
Where’s it made? Does it have a warranty? What’s the return policy? A good salesperson can provide all the details you’re looking for about your furniture piece. Most furniture salespeople are honest, hard-working folks who benefit just as much as you do from a satisfied purchase. Ask a lot of questions and you’ll get the best furniture your money can buy.

5. Rushing your purchase
Once that big, bold, beautiful recliner catches your eye in the showroom, it’s hard not to fall in love. But, your furniture is going to be with you for a long time. Don’t rush into things. It’s better to slow down and take your time than to rush into an impulse buy. If you feel overeager in a store, it might be best to leave and come back another day. That recliner isn’t going anywhere.

And there you have it. Our top 5 mistakes to avoid when buying furniture. Redecorating your home can be a lot of fun. Just play it smart, take it slow, and enjoy the ride. Good luck!

5 Money Saving Tips

As the financial squeeze tightens, everything seems to be getting more and more expensive. Imagine what you could do with a little extra cash in your pocket each month. Save for a vacation? Pay down your loans? Turning that dream into reality is actually easier than you think. To help get you started, here are five easy things you can do to save money.

1) Become master of the thermostat
Sure, it feels pretty awesome to crank down your thermostat on hot summer nights—but at what cost? The United States Energy Department offers some great tips on mastering your thermostat to get the maximum amount of savings on your electric bill. An easy way to save energy in the summer months is to simply set your thermostat higher while you are asleep. In winter and fall months, open your curtains on south-facing windows during the day and allow the sun to naturally heat your home. Programmable thermostats are also a great way to save on home energy costs. Nest thermostats are incredibly popular and do a great job of delivering both savings and convenience.

2) It’s time to cut the cord
If you’re one of the dwindling number of Americans who still pay for cable, you’ve probably already considered doing without. With so many great ala cart options out there, like Netflix and Hulu, cutting cable can significantly lower your monthly expenses and you won’t miss an entertainment beat! If local programing and sports are your concern, there are plenty of HD Digital TV Antennas out there that can give you all your local network channels for one low price. Cutting cable out of your life may hurt at first. But within a few weeks, you’ll be wondering why you didn’t do it sooner—especially when it’s time to pay your bills.

3) Utilize customer rewards
It costs a lot more for a business to acquire new customers than to keep existing ones. Because of this fact, most big retailers offer robust customer reward programs. Most of the programs are free, you just have to sign up! CVS ExtraCare, for example gives you big time savings throughout the store, plus a stockpile of coupons at the bottom of every receipt. Target RedCard is a debit card option that links to your existing checking account and gives you 5% back on everything you buy. Look into reward programs at all the stores you frequent. If you’re going to shop there anyway, you might as well get rewarded for it!

4) Don’t use it? Sell it!
Do you really still need that old video game system? How about those purses collecting dust in the back of your closet? As the saying goes, “one man’s trash is another man’s treasure.” If you’re no longer using it, turn it into something you can use—cold hard cash. Ebay is still a solid online option for selling your old stuff. If you don’t want to mess with shipping, check and see if there’s a “Swap and Shop” group for your neighborhood on Facebook. There’s more at stake than dollars and cents. As this article in Psychology Today suggests, a less cluttered house can lead to a happier, less cluttered life!

5) Buy quality appliances that last
If you’re on this website, there’s a good chance you’re in the market for a new appliance. It’s a wise use of your time to do online research before you buy. A cheap dishwasher will no doubt save you money up front. But if the product is poorly made and breaks down early or often, it will end up costing you more in the long run. Try zeroing in on a few different models and scouring the internet for customer reviews. If you’re old school, check out back issues of Consumer Reports. You’ll also want to learn how energy efficient your appliances are before you buy. Those energy savings add up and could save you a significant amount of cash over the years.

You’ve got this!
The hardest part about saving money can be getting started. Start small and start today. Incorporate these five easy steps into your daily routine and you’ll have enough money saved for that vacation in no time!