Blog

post

ARA President Dave Kennedy to Speak at Used Car Week 2018

Nov 7, 2018 • ARA News and EventsComments Off on ARA President Dave Kennedy to Speak at Used Car Week 2018

For the second year in a row, Dave has been invited to speak at Used Car Week in Phoenix, AZ as part of Repo-Con. This is one of the largest events in the automobile finance, repossession, and auto remarketing markets. Sponsored by the National Automobile Finance Association and organized by the Cherokee Media Group, we are honored our President has been invited to speak once again and represent the repossession industry.

With 15 years as a collection manager and senior lending officer in the retail banking field in conjunction with 28 years in the repossession industry, Dave is uniquely qualified to address both sides of the industry. In addition, Dave is a Certified Credit and Collection Compliance Officer (CCCO) and an FDCPA trainer specialist. He has helped several National Associations and private enterprises to develop training and compliance programs.

His report on the trends in reported complaints, the new regulator, repossession portals, the face of repossessors today, and the future of the repossession industry will deliver keen insights for the collateral recovery industry and those interested in its future.

Member Highlight: Mark and Steve Summs

Oct 9, 2018 • ARA Member SpotlightComments Off on Member Highlight: Mark and Steve Summs

This month we want to highlight Mark and Steve Summs and their team at Summs Skip and Collateral Solutions.

With over 80 years of business and guardianship, Summs Skip and Collection Service, Inc. is now a
fourth generation company that operates under the trade name of Summs Skip and Collateral Solutions. As that fourth generation of the Summs family, Mark and Steve have been heavily involved in every aspect of this company to ensure the business continues to flourish. With a high family-focused work culture, they remain firmly grounded to their roots as a family business and are committed to the mission of providing safe, compliant, and innovative solutions for their clients in a consistently timely manner.

Summs Skip and Collateral Solutions wanted to share an upcoming work anniversary with their fellow ARA members. As the premiere skip tracer on their team, Pat Bivens is celebrating 54 years with Summs Skip and Collateral Solutions. Hired straight out of the Navy in her 20’s, Pat shows her dedication and love for the Summs Skip and Collateral Solutions family by driving over an hour to and from work every day.

Summs Skip and Collateral Solutions prove that hard work and a caring work-family make a great business.

Letter from the Executive Director

Sep 28, 2018 • Recovery Industry NewsComments Off on Letter from the Executive Director

Dear ARA Members,

We have long sought relationships with the lending community and their associations to foster a strategy of seeking mutually beneficial solutions to areas of concern that both sides face.

Clients request financial information regarding the short and long term financial health of our businesses.  Does anybody actually look at this information?  Poor short term decisions will insure a continuing erosion of critical third party service providers.

A reasonable profit for the supplier with a firm ceiling for the clients should be a cooperative effort to insure long term success for both entities.  Decisions based on “how much can I save today” will have far reaching consequences for both client and supplier, in the future.

Accepting 35% recovery rates today, when profits are high from sectors other than auto finance, will not serve lenders well when faced with weaker profits, in the future, from these other sectors.  In order for third party suppliers to provide the services necessary to continue the lending cycle, we must work together to insure the minimum financial package necessary to continue to function in a compliant and customer focused manner and maintain a viable business model for the qualified, professionally trained and educated repossessor.  The long term view is optimal for both parties.

As a critical function of long term business planning, our lending partners perform risk assessments regarding the long term viability of their vendors and suppliers. Will the third party suppliers that clients depend on become extinct or still be viable, healthy, and providing the critical services that are needed in the future?

We will be redoubling our efforts in the 4th quarter of this year to educate our industry as to the seriousness of these issues and seek every opportunity to address them.

Sincerely,

Les McCook
ARA Executive Director

Member Highlight: Leroy Royer III

Sep 19, 2018 • ARA Member SpotlightComments Off on Member Highlight: Leroy Royer III

This month we’d like to highlight Leroy Royer III and his team at Cardinal  Recovery, Inc.

Cardinal Recovery is highly active in the Garner, North Carolina community, giving back to local police agencies through annual donations to the Garner PD, as well as sponsoring a Raleigh-area recreational softball team.

Leroy himself is a member and trustee of his local chapter of the Knights of Columbus Council, a fraternal society that works with a variety of charitable organizations, including the Christian Refugee Relief Fund, Disaster Relief, Ultrasound Initiative, and Coats for Kids. He also chairs their annual golf tournament and works with their youth organization.

In addition to his role as president at Cardinal Recovery, Leroy also serves on both the NARS committee and the Public Relations committee. Leroy’s service to ARA and his community are an example to us all and we’re thankful to have members like him among our ranks.

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.

Are You Buying a Repo Service Or A Repo Result?

Jul 12, 2018 • UncategorizedComments Off on Are You Buying a Repo Service Or A Repo Result?

This is a guest article from Mike Levison, CEO of ALS Resolvion.

Over the years, repossession and skip tracing services have come to be viewed somewhat as commodities by many in the lending community.  As such, outside of compliance, the primary focus around the management of these services has been costly.  After all, since these services are available through multiple providers, why pay more than what the low-cost provider is willing to accept?

This downward pressure on costs has resulted in the service providers having to reduce resource allocation, in several key areas, in order to maintain an acceptable margin on the business.  In many cases, this strategy ends up costing the lender more in the form of higher charge-offs, higher priced deep skip services, etc.

However, some lenders have realized that even small differences in recovery rates can translate into big gains in net dollars recovered even if the cost of the repossession was slightly higher.

When recovery fees are driven down to rock bottom levels, the service provider (whether a direct agent or a forwarder/skip company) is typically forced to undertake one or more of the following:

  • Reduce the labor allocation devoted to the portfolio
  • Reduce payment to the agent/driver
  • Reduce the amount and quality of the data purchased from third-party providers

Let’s look at each of these issues in a little more detail:

Labor Allocation

In the case of forwarders or skip service providers, typically administrators or skip tracers are assigned to work a specific group of cases.  The labor pool allocated to these functions is a significant part of the provider’s overall cost structure.   When a lender pushes for rock bottom fees, inevitably queue sizes get increased in order to reduce labor cost.  The more cases an investigator has to work, the less time that can be spent on each and recovery rates usually suffer.

Repossession Agent Fees

When margins are very tight due to low fees, the forwarder/skip provider is also limited as to how much can be offered to the recovery agency.  In our case, those fees range from $275 on the low end to $375 on the high end.  You can bet there is a big difference in the amount of effort the agent puts into the $375 cases than the $275 cases.

The repo agency faces the same dilemma since they also work primarily on a contingent model. On low fee cases, they will inevitably have to reduce the number of times an address is run, reduce the fee to the driver….or both.

This is a real issue in today’s world where the agent ranks have thinned over the past few years due to rising costs and compliance requirements.  Fewer agents, combined with rising delinquency rates, means that agents are in a good position to pick and choose where they put their resources and you can be sure that they do just that.  Wouldn’t you?

Reduced Data Purchases

When it comes to locating missing cars (outside of LPR technology) it is all about finding good addresses and contact numbers.  Fortunately, there are many data sources out there that provide information.  The cost can be anywhere from free to several dollars per report.  As you might expect, the more expensive reports often (not always) contain the better/more current information.  However, the service provider must be very careful on how and when the best data sources are used.  For instance, a $6.00 report on a portfolio that generates a 20% recovery rate will add $30 in cost per recovery just for that report.  Combine that with a low fee schedule and it makes it very difficult to utilize that data source.

All of these “adjustments” that are required to deal with low margin business absolutely make a difference in recovery rates, charge offs, auction values, etc..

Financial Impact

Let’s take a look at a couple of different analysis of the trade off between higher recovery costs and higher recovery rates.

The analysis below illustrates the additional “lift” in recovery rates that is required to offset a $50 difference in recovery costs.

As you can see, based on these assumptions, the service provider would only have to generate less than one additional recovery for every 100 assignments to offset the cost of paying $50 more on all recoveries.  This does not even take into consideration the value of avoiding the charge off.

Note: The below analysis is designed to illustrate two issues:

  1. The extremely small (1/4 of 1%) additional recovery rate that would have to be achieved to offset an additional $50 recovery fee
  2. The additional value ALSR believes it will generate based on the higher recovery rate we believe we can achieve

Of course, the net benefit between higher costs and higher recovery rates is significantly impacted by auction values.  Some portfolios deal in collateral that often has little more than scrap value when recovered and some have average values in excess of $25,000.  The table below illustrates the financial gain, under different auction value scenarios, if recovery rate increases just 5%.

Assumptions

  • 250 1st placement cases per month
  • 35% vs. 45% recovery rate
  • $50 increase in recovery fee

If you would like to see a more detailed analysis based on the specifics of your portfolio, just let us know and we will prepare.

Summary

Cost is an important variable in the repossession management process, but pushing costs too low can produce a diminishing return.

Mike Levison, CEO of ALS Resolvion – Mike has over 30 years of senior executive experience in the financial institution marketplace. Prior to joining ALSR in 2010, he served a CEO of Remark Americas, an international insurance brokerage firm for 8 years. Prior to ReMark, he served as CEO of Coverdell & Company from 1987 – 2002. Mike is a graduate of the University of Georgia School of Finance.

Register for the July 2018 Webinar

Jul 10, 2018 • ARA News and EventsComments Off on Register for the July 2018 Webinar

Juan Bryant delivers a webinar version of his popular NARS 2018 roundtable about effective communication in the digital age.

From text and email to phone calls and face-to-face conversations, there are more channels of communication today than ever before. But even though we have so many ways to talk to each other, it’s become very easy for meaning and intention to get lost in translation.

In this month’s ARA webinar, Juan brings fresh life to his “Verbal Judo” presentation NARS 2018. Not only will he cover the current best practices for face-to-face encounters and electronic communications so that people understand what you’re saying, he’ll also teach us how to use the “diffuser” technique.

Thursday, July 12th
1:00 p.m. CT / 2:00 p.m. ET

*Members who attend this webinar session will receive an ARA certificate upon completion*

The American Recovery Association provides a free continuing education webinar series for recovery and remarketing professionals. This monthly one-hour webinar series offers education about the latest recovery laws and regulations, compliance policies, industry issues, and more. These presentations are geared towards owners, managers, employees, and field agents.

As an ARA member, you must register online for this webinar using your personal e-mail address so that you receive your certificate of completion. In the event that computer sharing is necessary for your office, please provide a list of employee names and email addresses in an excel spreadsheet to tricia@americanrecoveryassn.org.

If you have any questions or feedback about our continuing education webinar series, please contact ARA Home Office at 972-755-4755 or homeoffice@americanrecoveryassn.org.

Register for the June 2018 Webinar

Jun 21, 2018 • ARA News and EventsComments Off on Register for the June 2018 Webinar

Register for the June 2018 Webinar

Doug Duncan of Talent Value will discuss 4 simple steps for finding and hiring great people.
You have a business to run. You shouldn’t have to spend time worrying about whether or not your employees will show up, how they will perform, or if they’re trustworthy. Learn how to avoid wasting your time on lackluster candidates and recruit the best for your business.

Register Online

Thursday, June 28th
1:00 p.m. CT / 2:00 p.m. ET
*Members who attend this webinar session will receive an ARA certificate upon completion*

American Recovery Association provides a free continuing education webinar series for recovery and remarketing professionals. The one-hour webinar offers education about the latest recovery laws and regulations, compliance policies and industry issues. This presentation is geared specifically towards owners and managers. ARA members must register online for the webinar with individual email addresses to receive a certificate of completion. If computer sharing is necessary, please provide a list of employee names and email addresses in an excel spreadsheet to tricia@americanrecoveryassn.org.

If you have any questions or feedback about our continuing education webinar series, please contact ARA Home Office at 972-755-4755 or homeoffice@americanrecoveryassn.org.

Member Highlight: Karen Rogers

Jun 7, 2018 • ARA Member SpotlightComments Off on Member Highlight: Karen Rogers

This month, we’d like to recognize Karen Rogers of A.R.B. of Louisiana Inc., Lafayette. Karen has been in the repossession business for over 19 years, serving as operations manager of A.R.B. of Lousisiana Inc. She has been a member of the American Recovery Association for three years.

Under her guidance, her staff has helped raise funds for Red Nose Nose Day 2018, an organization that works to end child poverty. Red Nose Day is a simple yet powerful, visible, and playful way to bring people together and break down barriers. It serves as a reminder of the power of laughter.

Because of people like Karen, Red Nose Day was able to raise more than $145 million dollars for their cause this year.

She was also a huge help at the NARS 2017 and 2018 live auctions and everyone in her office finds her a joy to work with. Thanks for being a great ARA member and inspiring all of us with your charitable works, Karen! We’re lucky to have you.

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.

Ready to Work With ARA?

Become a Member Find a Specialist