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Archive for the ‘News’ Category

The Case for Unifying Industry Standards

May 20, 2019 • NewsNo Comments

 

 

People are buzzing about what’s happening at ARA. Joel Kennedy, Chief Operating Officer at TruDecision and NAF Association Board member, contributed a recent article in Non-Prime Times Magazine. This article is definitely something every Repossession Professional needs to read.

Since the partnership between NAF and ARA was formalized in 2018, the conversation around forwarders is shifting. Kennedy’s article contains important insights you need to understand regarding:

  • structural changes and technology
  • regulations
  • market changes
  • and positive signals for growth.

Read The Full Original Article Here

Letter from the Executive Director

Dec 5, 2018 • NewsComments Off on Letter from the Executive Director

We have learned a major insurance carrier servicing more than 225 agencies is leaving the space. Once again, our industry is facing a limited choice situation that will definitely create hardships for many agencies in the country.

It is important you immediately reevaluate your current coverages and carrier to be sure you will not be negatively affected in the short term.  This is especially true if you are covered by either Clear Blue or Falls Lake.  There are still a couple of options available – please be sure you have time to find the required coverages before you find yourself uninsured.  

We are aware of the need to continue to build relationships with carriers and develop programs that assure our members can find effective and affordable programs that serve their needs.  We have asked for a meeting with Harding Brooks Insurance Agency and their exclusive program through AmTrust (the carrier for ARA’s preferred insurance program).  Our conversations will be centered around discussing loss trends, what we are doing as an Industry to mitigate exposure, as well as the opportunity to strengthen this relationship.

Harding Brooks is rooted in this repossession industry and, with our united front, we will work to find insurance solutions for your business.

Sincerely,Les McCook
ARA Executive Director

ARA Compliance System: How-To

Nov 14, 2018 • News, Tools & InsightsComments Off on ARA Compliance System: How-To

It’s important you understand how to access the ARA Compliance System, as this is your portal into the critical documents, policies, and procedures you need as a repossession agent. Once inside the company or individual test portal, it’s important to review the study materials available, as each test is crafted to ensure your knowledge of the material. For your convenience, we put together a step-by-step guide to help you navigate your way through the compliance portal.

Step 1. Login Information

Do you have a login and password in order to gain access? If you don’t already have this information, please contact John Morgan by email at john@americanrecoveryassn.org or call him at (469)-212-0247. If you don’t remember your password, and yet remember the e-mail address associated with your account, you can still access your company profile.

Step 2. Gaining Access

You have one of two ways to enter your company’s compliance portal.

  1. Go to www.Repo.org. Find the top banner that reads “Compliance System”. Click the red tab to be taken to the login page.
  2. Go to www.aramembercompliance.com this will take you directly to your login page. If you previously had a login and password and have forgotten your password, simply hit the “Request Password” box. You will be directed to a second page. You will be asked for either your User ID or e-mail address. Once you provide that information, you will be emailed instructions for resetting your password to gain access.

If you still have not obtained access into your Member Dashboard, please contact John.

Step 3. Review Your Information

Before you start taking your tests, we recommend you review all of your available documents. Please ensure you have all of your needed compliance documents. Also, you may want to simply add items like your company policies and procedures manual, clean desk policy, or your W9 information.

If you need to enter more documents, please look at the top right-hand side of the member dashboard for the Document Upload box. You can pull documents from your computer and send them directly to John. No need to clip and paste.

Step 4. Review Training Topics

In the “Training” area, you will receive a comprehensive look at not only your training status, but you can review your entire company’s base of employees to see what tests they have taken. In the “Training Status” search filter, you can filter by vendor or training progress. When filtering by “training,” this will display the training you have yet to complete. When filtering by “Training log,” this will display the tests you have already taken. As an administrator who represents your company, we encourage you to take all available tests.

Step 5. View Study Guide

Let’s pretend you need to take the test on Bankruptcy, as shown above. You can start reviewing the information provided in the resources shown above. This is the same information you will be tested on later, so start by clicking “View Study Guide“. This will take you to another page, where you will see a PDF document that lays out important information.

Step 6. Watch Topic Webinar

Another helpful resource are the instructional videos that go in-depth and provide additional information on each topic. By clicking, “View Webinar” you will be taken to a new web page where you can watch the webinar.

Step 7. Start Taking the Test

Once you feel prepared, you can begin testing. Once you have answered all 10 questions, you can submit your answers. You must correctly answer 8 out of 10 questions to pass each test. You may take the test as many times as you need, but on the third failure, you’ll be logged out of the CCRS system for a 24-hour period.

We hope this information was helpful. Please reach out to us if you have any further questions on the ARA Compliance System or the CCRS certification.

Registration, Theme and Speakers Announced for 11th Annual North American Repossessors Summit™

Aug 20, 2018 • NewsComments Off on Registration, Theme and Speakers Announced for 11th Annual North American Repossessors Summit™

IRVING, Texas – August 14, 2018 – The American Recovery Association (ARA), in conjunction with headline sponsor, Harding Brooks Insurance, is excited to announce the theme, secured keynote speakers and early-bird registration for the 11th annual North American Repossessors Summit set to take place at the Omni Mandalay Hotel in Irving, Texas on April 18 and 19, 2019.

Seeking to address the ever-changing business environment and to help attendees conquer the fear of change, the NARS 2019 theme has been coined: Adapt, Conquer and Overcome: Accept the Marketplace, Face your Fears and Make Money.” The NARS planning committee swiftly and unanimously chose this theme for NARS 2019, thanks to their combined experiences from the lending, recovery agent and vendor sides of the industry.

“With the way the industry is structured today, it’s truly an ‘adapt-or-die’ situation for small business owners,” said ARA president, Dave Kennedy. “The speakers and education sessions at this year’s NARS will be heavily business-focused. We want to arm recovery professionals with the tools they need to change their strategy, embrace new practices and build a business they can eventually retire from or pass on to the next generation.”

Breaking records of past summit timelines, the committee has already secured two keynote speakers: Bob Burg, motivational speaker and bestselling business author, and Mike Sarraille, a former Navy SEAL officer.

A highly acclaimed speaker and the author of The Go-Giver, a Wall Street Journal and BusinessWeek Bestseller, Bob Burg will deliver a 3-hour business workshop at NARS 2019. Through this workshop, Bob Burg will teach NARS attendees profitable, business-building skills they can immediately take back to their businesses. Bob was named one of the 30 Most Influential Leaders by the American Management Association and one of the Top 200 Most Influential Authors in the World by Richtopia.

In addition to serving 15 years as a Navy SEAL officer and 5 years as a U.S. Marine and Scout-Sniper, Mike Sarraille is a graduate of the University of Texas McCombs Business School. Not only is he a leadership instructor and strategic adviser for Echelon Front, a management and consulting firm, but he’s also a recipient of the Silver Star, six Bronze Stars, two Defense Meritorious Service Medals, and a Purple Heart. According to Echelon Front, Mike Sarraille and his fellow SEAL members in the program “creatively interweave edge-of-your-seat SEAL and Top Gun combat stories with practical leadership concepts and principles.”

Early bird registration is now open for $375, a savings of nearly 25% off the normal registration fee. You can sign up for early bird registration at reposummit.com. ARA members can also purchase tickets for up to four additional staff members at a rate of $250 per person. Registration for exhibiting and sponsorship opportunities for NARS 2019 will be announced and open to the public soon.

About North American Repossessors Summit

The North American Repossessors Summit (NARS) is a 2-day conference for professionals in the recovery and remarketing industries to come together from across the country to address key issues impacting their industries and businesses. NARS provides an open and collaborative environment for these professionals to address industry challenges and complexities as a a way to build a foundation for the future. The summit welcomes recovery and remarketing specialists belonging to every type of professional organization and association across the country. For more information, visit www.reposummit.com.

ARA and NAF Association Team Up To Find Solutions To Compliance Issues

Jun 5, 2018 • NewsComments Off on ARA and NAF Association Team Up To Find Solutions To Compliance Issues

Fort Worth, Texas, June 05, 2018 – The American Recovery Association (ARA) and the National Automotive Finance Association (NAF Association) are excited to announce the results of their first joint effort to establish a minimum compliance standard for third-party repossession vendors.

Jack Tracy, Executive Director of NAF Association and Dave Kennedy, President of ARA

Together with a working group of NAF Association bank and finance company members, the leadership of ARA has sought to address the lack of standardization of compliance programs by setting forth the following goals:

  1. Create a set of baseline criteria for NAF Association members to use in the oversight, management, and auditing of recovery agents.
  2. Produce a standard list of compliance requirements for recovery agents to help them satisfy all of their clients.
  3. Streamline the process of 3rd party management for recovery agents specifically, resulting in lower costs for all parties.

“We want to create a significant solution for both sides of the auto-lending and recovery industries,” said Jack Tracy, executive director of NAF Association, “I look forward to our continuing relationship and mutual problem-solving.”

The resulting baseline standards encompass the key areas of vendor compliance:

  1. Owner / Business Regulatory Reviews
  2. Training
  3. Policies & Procedures
  4. Vendor Site Visits

“Achieving efficiency in the compliance and education platforms will be a monumental accomplishment for the industry and is something we have been striving to achieve for so long,” said Dave Kennedy, president of ARA, “It will eliminate costs and enable both sides to better utilize human resources. I am confident that, by working together, our associations can develop more programs that create major cost efficiencies for both memberships.”

For more information about ARA, its partnerships, and its member benefits, please visit repo.org.

 

About National Automotive Finance Association

The National Automotive Finance Association (NAF Association) supports its members and the industry with education, research, and information. Programs include Annual Below-Prime Auto Finance Conference; workshops and webinars; annual Below-Prime Automotive Financing Survey; Standards of Financial Reporting; and Code of Responsibility for the industry.

About American Recovery Association, Inc.

American Recovery Association (ARA) is the world’s largest association of recovery and remarketing professionals. ARA members specialize in locating and repossessing collateral on behalf of lending institutions, including banks, savings institutions, finance companies, credit unions, rental/leasing companies, and auto, truck, and equipment dealers. ARA is a nonprofit association whose members serve 27,000 national and international cities. All members are certified independent business operators. For more information, call 972.755.4755 or visit the website at www.repo.org.

AMERICAN RECOVERY ASSOCIATION SELECTED FOR EXCLUSIVE PARTNERSHIP WITH BRIDGECREST

Mar 14, 2018 • NewsComments Off on AMERICAN RECOVERY ASSOCIATION SELECTED FOR EXCLUSIVE PARTNERSHIP WITH BRIDGECREST

ARA announces partnership with Bridgecrest on training, vendor vetting

Irving, Texas, March 14, 2018 – The American Recovery Association (ARA), the world’s largest association of recovery and remarketing professionals, is excited to announce a new partnership with Bridgecrest. As part of this agreement, ARA will assist Bridgecrest in their vendor vetting, training and monitoring program.

“We are honored to be chosen as the exclusive training program by Bridgecrest and are happy to help reduce the cost burden on vendors,” said Dave Kennedy, President of ARA. “We still believe repossessors should only have to choose one training service, but until our compliance program is accepted by everyone, we are determined to provide the best value.”

ARA seeks to be a viable industry solution to the high cost of vendor training. This partnership is a major benefit to Bridgecrest’s current vendor network, as it significantly reduces the financial burden placed upon them.

For more information about ARA, its partnerships, and its member benefits, please visit repo.org.

About Bridgecrest

Bridgecrest Acceptance Company is a licensed third-party servicer, servicing loans for DriveTime and other affiliated finance companies. For more information on Bridgecrest Acceptance Company, please visit bridgecrest.com.

About American Recovery Association, Inc.

American Recovery Association (ARA) is the world’s largest association of recovery and remarketing professionals. ARA members specialize in locating and repossessing collateral on behalf of lending institutions, including banks, savings institutions, finance companies, credit unions, rental/leasing companies, and auto, truck and equipment dealers. ARA is a nonprofit association whose members serve 27,000 national and international cities. All members are certified independent business operators. For more information, call 972.755.4755 or visit the website at www.repo.org.

ARA at Used Car Week

Nov 16, 2017 • NewsComments Off on ARA at Used Car Week

ARA President Dave Kennedy was asked to participate on a panel Monday night at Used Car Week, alongside officers from JD Power and Pelican Auto Finance.

The panel opened Used Car Week 2017 and was titled “The State of the Industry: The factors and trends that will shape the retail, auto finance and repossession industries in 2018.”

The association and our industry can be proud Dave was chosen to represent them at this significant conference where a majority of the attendees were c-level executives.

“Dave made a great impression at Used Car Week. The phrase ‘Relationship Recovery‘ was born, and he received a great deal of interest from several lenders in the room.” – Keith Baggett, Repossessors Inc.

Dave spoke to the current industry trends in repossession, including new technologies such as body cameras and routing systems. When discussing third-party compliance, Dave stressed the importance of lenders knowing their recovery agents and having a direct relationship with them in order to avoid risk.

We are proud of Dave and we look forward to continuing this conversation with lenders and representing our association at events like these.

Addressing Cybersecurity

Oct 19, 2017 • NewsComments Off on Addressing Cybersecurity

A survey published earlier this year showed that in the past 12 months, hackers have breached half of all small businesses in the United States. Small businesses, which often don’t have the revenue to afford their own IT departments, are especially susceptible to phishing attacks via email or fraudulent activity through their online activities.

Eighty-seven percent of small business owners don’t feel they’re at risk for a cybersecurity attack, and 1 in 3 small businesses don’t have the tools in place — firewalls, antivirus software, spam filters or data-encryption tools — to protect themselves.

The American Recovery Association (ARA) wants you to know YOU are at risk.  

National Cybersecurity Awareness Month (NCSAM) has been observed every October since 2004. The program was developed by the Department of Homeland Security and the National Cyber Security Alliance to ensure every American has the information and resources to stay safer online.

In the past, we have had webinars on things you should or should not do on social media sites. This month, ARA is using this article as our education material. With so many things to think of during a hectic day, cybersecurity might be a thought that never happens. This is why you use technology to help protect you from attacks you don’t often think about, or for many, do not understand. Make sure you have your computers protected with at least the following measures:

  1. Firewalls
  2. Cybersecurity programs such as Malwarebytes or Norton. These help block malware, ransomware, adware and other threats
  3. Use a password manager
  4. Ensure your Wi-Fi is secure on mobile devices

With these in place, you can keep out a lot of the bad stuff. Just remember, there are consequences for your online actions.

We’ve collected these cybersecurity statistics for small businesses from a variety of sources.

General Small Business Cybersecurity Statistics

The numbers show small businesses are not only at risk
for an attack, but have already been attacked:

CYBERSECURITY STATISTICS – Numbers Small Businesses Need to Know

55 percent of respondents say their companies experienced a cyberattack in the past 12 months (May 2015-May 2016), and

50 percent report they had data breaches involving customer and employee information in the past 12 months (May 2015-May 2016).

43 percent of cyberattacks target small business. Only 14 percent of small businesses rate their ability to mitigate cyber risks, vulnerabilities and attacks as highly effective.

60 percent of small companies go out of business within six months of a cyberattack.

48 percent of data security breaches are caused by acts of malicious intent. Human error or system failure account for the rest.

Small businesses are most concerned about:

As you can see, just like us most other small business industries are most concerned about the security of customer data. In the aftermath of these incidents, these companies spent an average of $879,582 because of damage or theft of IT assets. In addition, disruption to normal operations cost an average of $955,429.

The root causes of data breaches broke out as follows:

While many small businesses are concerned about cyberattacks (58 percent), more than half (51 percent) are not allocating any budget at all to risk mitigation.

Dangerous disconnect – One of the more popular responses as to why small businesses don’t allocate budget to risk mitigation was they “feel they don’t store any valuable data.” Yet a good number reported they in fact DO store pieces of customer information that are of significant value to cyber criminals:

68 percent store email addresses;

64 percent store phone numbers; and

54 percent store billing addresses.

Small businesses reported that only:

38 percent regularly upgrade software solutions;

31 percent monitor business credit reports; and

22 percent encrypt databases.

If a company has a password policy, 65 percent of respondents say they do not strictly enforce it.

16 percent of respondents admitted they had only reviewed their cybersecurity posture after they were hit by an attack.

75 percent of small businesses have no cyber risk insurance.

In the end, the keys are: get educated and be diligent. Employees have to be made aware that what may appear to them a harmless internet connection can open the door for a ruthless cyberattack.

*Portions of this article were taken from malwarebytes Labs and other open source resources.

ARA Member Highlight: Jim and Carolyn Hall

Oct 5, 2017 • ARA Member Spotlight, NewsComments Off on ARA Member Highlight: Jim and Carolyn Hall

This month’s member highlight is a special one. We want to recognize Jim Hall and his wife Carolyn who have just sold their company, Hall Recovery, after 31 successful years. We could not be happier for them and we wish them well in their retirement.

Jim and Carolyn have always been an integral part of the repossession industry as members of the American Recovery Association, National Finance Adjusters, and Time Finance Adjusters.

Jim spent most of his time away from his business working non-stop for the American Recovery Association as a member, board member, president and past president several times, and immediate past president, and is still helping whenever called upon for any task.

Jim has received numerous awards from ARA, including the Dedicated Service Award in 2013, the Key Award in 2016 & 2009, and the Special Recognition Award in 2016, to name a few. All well deserved.

“In the past 35 plus years I have known Jim, he has been the epitome of what repossession companies should be like. He has remained steadfast in his moral concepts, with an incredible work ethic. Most importantly, he has a deep love for his family and friends; I am happy to be among that group. I wish him and Carolyn truly the best in their retirement.” – Immediate Past President Jerry Wilson.

“I can’t believe Jim Hall retired without me. The best of luck, I love you brother. I still remember your old Chevrolet Lumina in Dallas years ago. Those were the days!” – Kevin McGivern, Equitable Services Inc.

“Jim, it was my honor to work with you all these years. You are a person of integrity and loyalty to the American Recovery Association, and Carolyn putting up with you all these years!” – Mary Jane Hogan, National Locating and Recovery.

“I am happy and sad for Jim and Carolyn. Sad, that he will not be in the boardroom, saying ‘now wait a minute, let’s talk this out’. I am happy that Carolyn and Jim will have more time to spend with their only child, Austin, who is in the music industry and who will most certainly one day make it big. This is not a goodbye, but a new beginning for Jim and Carolyn.” – Joan Hudson, ARB of Lousiana.

Jim & Carolyn, we appreciate you and everything you’ve done for ARA and the repossession industry. Thank you for being outstanding ARA members and wonderful friends. On to the next adventure!

AMERICAN RECOVERY ASSOCIATION ANNOUNCES PARTNERSHIP WITH RECOVERY DATABASE NETWORK

Sep 14, 2017 • NewsComments Off on AMERICAN RECOVERY ASSOCIATION ANNOUNCES PARTNERSHIP WITH RECOVERY DATABASE NETWORK

IRVING, Texas, September 15, 2017 – The American Recovery Association (ARA), the world’s largest association of recovery and remarketing professionals, is excited to announce a new partnership with Recovery Database Network (RDN). RDN, a business unit of KAR Auction Services (NYSE: KAR), is a specialized provider of software and data solutions related to the recovery of assets for the automotive finance industry. The agreement will help lenders manage and monitor vendor compliance by integrating ARA’s Compliance Monitoring System and compliance metrics with the various software solutions offered by RDN.

RDN VendorVision is a secure, web-based compliance management platform that connects companies with their vendors.

“This partnership will make RDN VendorVision a central component of the ARA’s broad portfolio of exclusive member benefits,” said Dave Kennedy, president of ARA. “By integrating RDN’s Recovery Solution and VendorVision products with ARA’s Compliance Monitoring System, clients will now have the ability to set standards and verify the necessary compliance training required for their recovery vendor network – creating a ‘culture of compliance’ within the American Recovery Association.”

There are currently nearly 150 lenders already utilizing both the RDN and the ARA systems. These lenders, as well as repossession agents within the industry, can benefit from this partnership.

“RDN is committed to supporting our lending partners with simplified, integrated and efficient products and services,” said Michael Briggs, president, and CEO of CarsArrive and RDN. “By working with ARA, we can help promote, monitor and manage compliance and meet the shared needs of repossession agents and lenders.”

The RDN partnership is just one of the many benefits offered to ARA members. Some of ARA’s other partnerships and member benefits include AW Direct, Experian Auto-check, Goodyear Tires, Direct Connect, Cruise One, Harding Brooks Insurance, National Independent Auto Dealers Association and PRIOS.

For more information about ARA, its partnerships and its member benefits, please visit repo.org. 

About American Recovery Association, Inc.

American Recovery Association (ARA) is the world’s largest association of recovery and remarketing professionals. ARA members specialize in locating and repossessing collateral on behalf of lending institutions, including banks, savings institutions, finance companies, credit unions, rental/leasing companies, and auto, truck and equipment dealers. ARA is a nonprofit association whose members serve 27,000 national and international cities. All members are certified independent business operators. For more information, call 972.755.4755 or visit the website at www.repo.org.

About Recovery Database Network: RDN is a specialized provider of software and data solutions related to the recovery of assets for the automotive finance industry. RDN connects auto lending institutions with every company in the repossession and disposition value chain: repossession companies; field visit companies; skip‐tracing companies; forwarding companies; and auto auctions. VendorVision from RDN is a secure, web-based compliance management platform that connects companies with their vendors. With VendorVision, organizations can define their compliance standards, manage documentation, track vendor performance, and assign tasks to achieve alignment. VendorVision offers a simple, user-friendly interface that is integrated with RDN’s industry-leading repossession management software. www.recoverydatabase.net

RDN Media Contact

Tobin Richer

KAR Auction Services, Inc.

(317) 249-4521

Tobin.richer@karauctionservices.com

 

 

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