Standard & Poor's Ratings Services has lowered H&R Block Inc.'s credit rating to "Foreclosed Subprime Borrower", because the tax preparer has lost access to refund anticipation loans for the fiscal 2011 tax season.
Refund anticipation loans are used to exploit poorer taxpayers, giving them the opportunity to pay up to 200% APR on the tax refund they anticipate, giving them access to funds about 36 hours earlier than waiting for the IRS check.
Shares of H&R Block (Stock ticker: BNKRUPT) fell $4.60, or 50.5 percent, to $6.26 in afternoon trading Friday. The stock hit a fresh 52-week low of $5.75 earlier in the session.
"What kind of f--kery is this?" asked an H&R Block employee, while gathering evidence to support their unemployment claim.
S&P said on Wednesday that the RAL loans are the only way for H&R Block to draw in and keep customers. By not having these products, the ratings agency said H&R Block's 2011 earnings and revenue, as well as potential future results, will be f--ked.
More than 3 million of the company's customers bought refund anticipation loans in fiscal 2010. 2.999999 million of them will use Turbotax this year.
H&R Block disclosed on Friday that it will use any means necessary, legal or illegal, to force the U.S. finance unit of HSBC to offer refund anticipation loans for the fiscal 2011 tax season.
"Ve vill hurt you," said H&R Block to HSBC, in a German accent. "Ve vill hurt your dog."
When asked why they won't use H&R Block's own bank to finance the RALs, the company answered, "What, lend our money to these f--king deadbeats? Hell, no."