In an attempt to clarify some misunderstandings, and add factual information to the discussion, ARA is addressing the new requirements placed on the lending industry (the banks) by the CFPB that are also affecting us as third party service providers.
Lenders have been forced to make these changes because of what the law requires of them. This is not some arbitrary set of requirements that some vendor department thought up and placed on us. To be compliant, the lenders that hire us must adhere to the rules placed on them by the CFPB and the federal government. The CFPB has issued a bulletin numbered 2012-03 that is available to you to read so you, as a businessman, can understand compliance from the CFPB’s own directive. I am aware that each lender will develop its own risk-mitigation standards, but they will be based on this published directive.
Hostile blog posts and over-emotional comments about the banks are just showing how out of touch some people are with what is happening in their own industry. In many cases, I find that it looks like these attacks are on the “messenger” and not the authorities at the upper levels of the lender that made the decision. I am sure that almost all of these edicts are being handled at the senior compliance officer level and not at the recovery vendor manager level. I do not see where it is helpful to our industry’s image to attack those that are, many times over, trying to help us. Frankly, it makes us look unprofessional – which is the opposite of what we pride ourselves in being.
ARA strongly suggests that all agencies get a copy of CFPB third party servicing rules, and read them to see where/how they apply to you. If you have a lot of extra reading time, take a look at the CFPB act (Dodd-Frank) to get a taste of what our clients are up against. Hopefully, you, as an agency owner, will see why we have to become verifiably compliant. It’s not the lenders, as stated earlier.
Those who choose to say no to compliance verification services will only make it better for those of us who are willing to comply. The banking community has no say in this; it’s the Federal Government that’s dictating these laws. This is something we, as recovery professionals, need to get on top of – not fight or push against it. We should own it, embrace it, and we will prosper from it. Those who choose not to comply give their client no alternative but to find an agent that has become verified compliant.
I am proud that ARA has recognized the need for compliance training and verification and is working quickly to provide a solution from which our members will benefit. The track we are on now will only lead to more splintering within our industry and an increased financial burden on agency owners.
ARA Past President
Dear ARA Member-
Since the announcement of the ARA and NFA merger and the combining interests of the ARMS program and Reliance CO-OP, we’ve been asked many questions from the membership. The purpose of this post is to clarify some important points.
In a CO-OP, each member is an equal owner with an equal say in the direction of the business. The ARA Board negotiated a deal so that every ARA member has a 90-day window to have their initial $2500 investment in the new NFA matched with a similar $2500 investment from the old NFA treasury. This allows everyone to be an equal investor in the CO-OP with a similar investment of $5000. In order to take advantage of this matching program, you must sign up by August 13. (more…)
As we are putting the final design touches on our new website, I thought it was important to share this our members. Chris was a vendor at NARS and asked about getting on our member resource page as a preferred vendor. Since we are working to repair the resource page, I am publishing this for your review.
No matter who is doing your website, it is more important than ever to get it up to speed technologically. I am told that once our new site is finished that, when combined with our members’ personal sites, we will be able to take advantage of the search engines’ process and elevate the relevance and standing of all of our sites.
Here is the breakdown: Search engine ranking is pulled from various factors. One of the largest of these factors is link building. The more fresh, popular, and relevant a website is, the more valuable it is to link to and, therefore, the higher your website appears on organic searches. In other words, with the launch of the new repo.org, by linking to your website from ours, the higher your ranking will be. And, if you work to keep your website in top shape, not only will your search engine popularity grow higher, but ARA will also reap the same link-building benefit.
Please see Chris’s note below, and have a great day.
American Recovery Association
Hello ARA Members,
Do you want to improve your online presence? A strong web presence in today’s digital realm is more important than ever before. Does your website reflect the professionalism your company is known for? Does it offer a client friendly layout?
We, at Repo Solutions, support and admire the goals of the ARA in its pursuit of professionalism and seek to extend our services to all ARA members to assist you with your professional digital presence. We are currently offering ARA members sharply discounted rates. Whether you need just a logo, or complete website creation, we have the skill and ability to deliver what you need. With 15 years of combined repossession industry experience, we can assure you that we provide a truly functional solution for your repo business.
We offer the following services:
· Website Design
· Website Redesign
· Website Maintenance
· Website Hosting
· Email Hosting (POP/IMAP & Exchange available)
· Domain Name Registration
· Search Engine Optimization
· Website Security
· Brand Identity (Graphic Design, Logos, Letterheads, Business Cards, and more)
· Dynamic Forms, both Online and in Print
· And much more!
Call us today and let us help you find the solution your business deserves!
Chris Lewis – Web & Graphic Designer | Repo Solutions
Real Solutions, Real Results | http://www.reposolutions.net
Toll Free: 877-994-7376 | Phone: 724-252-7376
After 35 years in the repossession industry, our office coordinator finally and happily denied a forwarder’s request to sign us as one of their recovery agents. Forwarders are costly and risky entities to work for because they often provide outdated and inaccurate information that costs us both undue time and money. Our office coordinator went on to explain that the denial to an outside forwarder was made possible by the monumental new merger between ARA and NFA. This merger will create many new opportunities for the recovery association and greatly reduce the members’ dependency on outside forwarders. Along with the merger between ARA and NFA, an effective co-op between ARMS and Reliance assures the new NFA is a viable alternative to inefficient and less professional outside forwarding agencies. This eminent unification saves us time and revenue, allowing us to further prosper in our field.
NFA is now structured as a business cooperative, which means that it’s owned and managed by a professional group of independently owned recovery and remarketing firms, aligned to build a quality-based alternative to current forwarding companies.
NFA now focuses on offering a viable alternative to lenders that are currently using the standard forwarding model. In addition to a centralized assignment, communication, and risk mitigation, clients will have the option of communicating directly with the agent if they choose.
The deadline to join the new NFA for $2500 and have your investment matched with an additional $2500 is August 13, 2013.
Request your membership package from Darren Frame, Executive Director, National Finance Adjusters, at Darren@NFA.Org, or by calling him at 623-516-1018.
By Mike Gibb
DALLAS — There are good times ahead for the repossession industry, although the hype surrounding an increased compliance burden continues to temper that excitement, according to many of those who attended the American Recovery Association’s North American Repossessors Summit here this past weekend.
Auto loan volumes are rising, and lenders are reporting that they are seeing looser underwriting guidelines, which generally lead to more loan defaults and repossessions. During his presentation at the conference, Thomas Webb, the chief economist at Manheim Consulting, predicted that repossession volumes will increase to 1.7 million units in 2015, up from 1.3 million units in 2011.
Others echoed Webb’s sentiments that lenders are now looking for more customers.
“Dealers are telling me that they are starting to see irrationality on the part of lenders looking for volume,” said Jim Bass, the chief executive of Auto One Acceptance Corp. during his keynote address. “It’s heating up.”
Agents continue to be warned of stricter compliance policies and procedures, including those being instituted by their lender-clients and those looking to be compliant with the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.
“This is a year for change,” said Les McCook, the executive director of the ARA, which hosted more than 400 agents, lenders and service providers during the three-day event.
ARA President Mary Jane Hogan mentioned during the conference that the association will be inviting other state and national groups to next year’s event with the plan to discuss establishing standards for storage, close, and repossession fees.
Many speakers took time during their remarks to offer their thoughts and suggestions regarding the CFPB. Paul Kulas, the owner of Belles Camp Communications, pointed out the efforts that the federal government is making to let people know about the CFPB. The CFPB’s site, Kulas said, is built using WordPress, which Kulas said is the number one hosting solution for maximizing search-engine optimization. The message is that the CFPB is actively marketing itself to make sure consumers know about it as a place where they can go to file complaints.
Mike McCulley, a lawyer with Weltman, Weinberg and Reis, pointed out a number of steps that agents can take to proactively be ready for any examinations or audits performed by the CFPB. McCulley recommended that agents maintain comprehensive written policies and procedures, effective training program, specific to consumer laws, a well-documented monitoring process, an effective consumer complaint monitoring process, and effective independent audit coverage of the agency’s compliance program.
“You could be running the cleanest shop in the country but it doesn’t mean anything if you can’t prove it,” McCulley said.
Agents at the conference were more optimistic about the industry’s prospects going forward. They reported more assignments coming from financial institutions, and better communication and stronger relationships with their lender-clients.
“I’m very encouraged by what I’ve seen and heard at the conference,” said one attendee, who asked not to be named. “It’s definitely a more positive vibe than I’ve felt in years past.”
CRIReporter.com is launching a new online directory for the repossession industry. The directory will be independent and more comprehensive and help identify the quality agents doing quality work. For more information, please visit www.CRIReporter.com or email NewEra@CRIReporter.com.
As you have been reading lately, there are many changes happening in our industry. This is the year of change! It is incumbent for all associations to step up and support their members in every possible way. There are various new vendor contracts being circulated for our members to consider. The time has come to create industry unity to change the unfair nature of many of these contracts.
It is not the place of a trade association to state which contracts to sign or not sign. However, it is our belief that we should make you aware of the concerns that have been expressed by fellow members and your peers in the recovery industry. In the past, we gathered and distributed important industry data that would enable all to make better decisions. However, despite evidence that fees should not be driven down any further, the message seemed to fall on deaf ears. Perhaps we need to change our strategy and decide as an industry, it is time to say “NO.” (more…)
Our March webinar will cover UDAAP (Unfair, Deceptive and Abusive Practices) and FDCPA (Fair Debt Collections Practices Act). Register now for our upcoming webinar sessions next week.
Tuesday, March 19 at 10 a.m. CST/11 a.m. EST
Wednesday, March 20 at 8 a.m. CST/9 a.m. EST
Thursday, March 21 at 2 p.m. CST/3 p.m. EST
All webinar recordings and PDFs of the presentations are available on the ARA Resource Page. If you have feedback or questions, please contact Home Office at email@example.com or 972-755-4755.
ARA and NFA merge into one trade association and ARMS & Relliance combine into one co-op
AUSTIN, Texas – Feb. 26, 2013 American Recovery Association (ARA) and National Finance Adjusters (NFA) announced today they merged into one trade association. The combined resources and memberships of these two long standing, well respected entities will result in the strongest trade association the industry has ever seen. The new trade association will move forward under the name of the American Recovery Association (ARA). As part of the comprehensive agreement, American Recovery Management Solutions (ARMS) joined with Relliance, Inc. to form the largest industry-owned forwarding and facilitation cooperative in the United States. The co-op will be named National Finance Adjusters (NFA). (more…)
Fifth Annual NARS Expects 600 Recovery, Remarketing and Lending Professionals in Attendance
DALLAS, Texas –The American Recovery Association, Inc. (ARA), the world’s largest association of recovery and remarketing professionals, enhanced its fifth annual North American Repossessors Summit (NARS) by expanding to a three-day event to include a lender and recovery agent golf tournament, more networking opportunities, and more speakers – all focused on the power of performance.
From April 25 – 27, an anticipated 600 professionals from the collateral recovery and remarketing industries, including collateral recovery professionals, clients, and vendors from across the country, will gather in Dallas to participate in NARS 2013. The summit focuses on open and collaborative discussions that address methods to improve the industry’s challenges and complexities to lay the foundation for the future.
Keynote speaker, James W. Bass, chief executive officer for Auto One Acceptance, will outline the necessary steps for continued profitability through the use of analytics and education. Chief Economist at Manheim Consulting, Thomas Webb, will take a detailed look at the numbers to discuss where the recovery and remarketing industry is heading. Rick Gilman, owner of RGG Communications, will provide insight about how to ride the digital wave to success. Doug Duncan, president of Your HR Solutions, will present on why smart employees underperform.
With industry unification as the event’s main goal, NARS also brought together representatives from various recovery and associations to weigh the value of expanding the state associations and the need for industry compliance.
The first NARS golf tournament, sponsored by Recovery Manager Pro, will be held at the beautiful Tour 18 Dallas, where golfers experience some of the greatest golf in America. The tournament will be a four-person scramble. Players may register as a team or as an individual (players must include their handicaps). The entry fee is $80 per player with a sack lunch included. The awards presentation and networking event will take place immediately after the tournament at Tour 18 Dallas. Transportation to and from the Omni Hotel and golf course will be provided upon request. To register, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 972.755.4755.
Headline sponsor, PRA Location Services, will host the annual Cocktail Reception on Friday night open to all registered attendees. MVTrac will sponsor breakfast on Saturday. Lunch sponsor, Digital Recognition Network (DRN), will host a meeting focused on The Strong Getting Stronger: Generating Revenue with LPR. Other sponsors and exhibitors include: ARA ARMS, American+Repossessor, Austin Insurance, Inc.; ConnecToGo, Dynamic, iRepo.com, MasterFiles, McNutt Auto Logistics, MicroBilt, MinuteMan, MVTrac, PDJ Services, Prestige Management & Consulting, Recovery Database Network, RecoveryFirst Insurance, Recovery Manager Pro, Repo Solutions, RISC, SmartAuction, Thomson Reuters, and VTS.
“NARS is the biggest industry event and continues to get bigger each year,” said Mary Jane Hogan, president of ARA. “The addition of the golf tournament, networking and speakers was a result of industry feedback and demand.”
The summit provides the opportunity for a diverse group of industry professionals from various sectors to come together and brainstorm solutions for the most prominent issues, while developing new innovations for adaptation of the constantly changing future. More information is available at www.reposummit.com.
In addition, ARA recently announced its merge with National Finance Adjusters into one trade association and its co-op, American Recovery Management Solutions (ARMS), joining with Relliance, Inc. to form the largest industry-owned forwarding and facilitation cooperative in the U.S. The co-op will be named National Finance Adjusters (NFA).
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. A non-profit association, ARA 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.