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Tampa's LM Funding America faces delisting from NASDAQ

Corporate officers of LM Funding America celebrate when the Tampa company went public in 2015 and appeared on the podium at NASDAQ in New York. Now, the company faces delisting. [Courtesy of Nasdaq, 2015]
Corporate officers of LM Funding America celebrate when the Tampa company went public in 2015 and appeared on the podium at NASDAQ in New York. Now, the company faces delisting. [Courtesy of Nasdaq, 2015]
Published Apr. 30, 2018

TAMPA — One of Tampa Bay's newest public companies might not be publicly traded on a major stock exchange much longer.

NASDAQ has notified LM Funding America that it faces delisting because it doesn't have enough net income to meet the exchange's rules.

The Tampa-based company, which buys homeowner association debts, has until June 4 to come up with a plan that meets NASDAQ requirements.

LM Funding reported an $8.6 million net loss from continuing operations last year. It is required to maintain a minimum net income of $500,000 in its most recently completed fiscal year, or two of the last three fiscal years.

PREVIOUS COVERAGE: Tampa's LM Funding America continues to struggle

Founded in 2008 by Tampa attorney Bruce Rodgers and his wife, Carrollin Gould, LM Funding struggled even before it went public on Oct. 23, 2015. At the last minute, the couple had to buy $2 million worth of shares themselves to meet NASDAQ's minimum requirements for the share offering.

"The deal almost blew up that morning," Rodgers later said. He did not return a call or email seeking comment today.

LM Funding raised $10 million in its initial offering but had to cut staff and slash salaries the following year. All along, the company has been plagued by lawsuits alleging questionable business practices and conflicts of interest with a Tampa law firm, founded by Rodgers, that collects much of the debts.

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In a filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, LM Funding says it plans to submit a compliance plan by May 15. If the plan is accepted, NASDAQ can grant an extension of up to 180 days from the April date of its notice to give the company time to meet the exchange's requirements.

LM Funding recently announced that it has partnered with a New York company, Debt Management Partners, LLC, to share the costs of collecting judgments against homeowners who didn't pay their association dues. The judgments are estimated to be worth as much as $25 million, LM Funding said.

From a high of about $10 in 2015, the company's shares closed Friday at 63 cents. Shares slumped another two cents apiece in early trading Monday.

Contact Susan Taylor Martin at smartin@tampabay.com or (727) 893-8642. Follow @susanskate

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