William "Bill" Hjort was raised on a farm north of Foreston, Minnesota. In the 1950s, in addition to his used farm machinery sales, crop farming and bull and hog sire service, he started a consumer finance business. In 1962 his son Bob moved home to work in the business, and it was incorporated with the name "Hjort & Son Finance, Inc.". In 1965 Bob changed the name to "Town & Country Finance, Inc." and became licensed and regulated by the State of Minnesota Department of Commerce. In 1978 Bob relocated the business' world heaquarters to Milaca. Grandson Bill moved back to Milaca in 1997 to work in and eventually take over the business.
In the early days of the loan company the maximum loan size was $300, and in addition to using vehicles or farm machinery for collateral, a wide variety of personal property was used, including farm animals, crops, guns, antiques, and even oak fence posts. At the present time most of our loans are secured by vehicles or real estate, but also by RVs, boats, ATVs and other miscellaneous items. The business hit a milestone in 1987 when it reached $1,000,000 in outstanding loans. Presently our loan portfolio is just shy of $10,000,000, and our geographic lending area is greatly expanded.
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