Make Your Company’s Voice Heard TODAY
Over the past month across our country and around the world, the lives of so many have been deeply impacted by the unprecedented and difficult circumstances resulting from the COVID-19 coronavirus and its rapid spread. Our hearts go out to all those who are affected directly and indirectly, especially to those in the repossession community that we serve.
We know that many of you in our industry are facing growing pressure due to the increased stress and diminished revenue during this period. Know that ARA is working diligently on a daily basis to help get our industry back to work as quickly as possible so that each of you can once again serve your clients and provide a livelihood for you, your families, your employees and their families. Towards that end, we must bring a critical and timely issue to your attention and need your immediate response.
Right now, in the midst of the COVID-19 crisis, our industry is facing a different kind of crisis due to the introduction this week of new potential legislation that if passed would devastate our businesses over the coming months in ways that most would not be able to recover from. Bills in both the Senate and the House of Representatives have been introduced (that would become attached to the next round of small business loan assistance if approved) which would not allow any repossessions for a period of 120 days from the ending of the National State of Emergency. Needless to say, an additional 120-day moratorium on top of the downtime currently being experienced by the repossession industry would be devastating to most of our members.
Over the last 48 hours, the Leadership of ARA has been interacting with multiple legislators to fully understand where this bill is in the process. We have been collaborating and strategizing with other trade associations inside our industry on how to fight this legislation together (as all will be affected by this legislation), and have been meeting with a key lobbyist group to determine the most effective ways to engage this process immediately and fight back against these bills.
The lobbyist group has shared very clearly that in order to assist us in the fight to preserve our industry, we MUST provide an accurate representation of the companies in our industry and what congressional districts and states they fall under, as the first question lawmakers always ask is “who do you represent and how many are affected.” We MUST put this information together right away for our repossession community, and then we will combine it with the other associations that are working together on this situation to create the biggest influence possible towards hopefully changing the course of these bills that would block us from returning to work.
Helping us gather this information will not only allow an immediate effort on this matter, it will also allow ARA to be prepared for any other matter in the future where we need to engage a lobbying effort on your behalf. ARA has been calling for our community to rise up and become a strong and united voice for a long time, and it has never been more crucial than this moment. Whatever your political views, association status, or opinions are regarding ARA, we need your help to make sure that every repossession company in the country is accounted for as we fight back against this legislation that could prevent us from doing business far after the COVID-19 crisis subsides.
We cannot win in this fight to sustain our industry without your help and we must act quickly. We urge you to fill out the below questionnaire today to make sure that your company and all of its employees are counted. Then, please get word to all other repossession company owners you know across our industry and ask them to do the same right away. Together – UNITED – gives us the best chance at success today and in the future. Thank you in advance for your support.
The Current State of the Industry
ARA President Dave Kennedy and Executive Director Les McCook hosted an open industry webinar to answer all of your business questions and more in times of uncertainty.
Panelists during the webinar included experts Doug Duncan, Mike Peplinski and Joe Geeck, discussing topics from all over the industry, giving their own perspective on the state of the industry and defining best practices and best places for resources.
Webinar topics included:
- The Current State of the Industry
- Dealing with Human Resource Challenges
- Impact on Insurance Policies and Plans
- How this Crisis will Effect your Taxes and Accounting
To catch up on the current state of the repossession industry and check out the 120+ questions that were answered during the webinar, click the link below to watch the The Current State of the Industry – March 2020.
ARA 2020: The Future of the Repossession Industry
Exciting changes are on the horizon for ARA members in 2020. On December 2nd, we unveiled the new membership opportunities that ARA will offer next year and illustrated our vision for the future of the repossession industry.
During these webinars, we touched on:
- ARA’s six primary areas of focus going into 2020
- Ways ARA will be evolving to establish a standardized and fair playing field for the recovery industry
- In-depth explanation of the four categories of ARA membership in 2020
- and much more!
To catch up on the future of the repossession industry and the vision ARA has for 2020, click the link below to watch the ARA 2020: The Future of the Repossession Industry webinar.
The state of Illinois has officially declared American Recovery Association a licensed Recovery Agent School and Training Facility! This recognition allows all future recovery professionals to gain the training required to receive an Illinois Repossessors License and Managers License through ARA.
Illinois is the second state this year to declare ARA a licensed training school, with Florida declaring ARA a recognized training school in October. By early 2020, recovery industry stakeholders in Illinois will have the ability to streamline how licensing and compliance are engaged and verified.
“This new certification further cements ARA in their mission to provide true advocacy to Repossession Professionals,” said ARA President Dave Kennedy. “ARA has moved to perform as the Industry Association which provides education, licensing help, standardization, compliance, and insurance alternatives supported by a national footprint.”
ARA is continuing its efforts to gain certification and expects this will be the first of many important announcements in the coming months.
To learn more about the new direction of ARA, we are hosting a special webinar on December 2nd. The webinar will be offered at 4 different times to accommodate those who are interested. Click here to register for one of the webinars!
New Webinar – Cannabis Legalization and How It Affects You
Ever pondered how the constantly progressing cannabis laws will affect your business? What about if you run into a driver that is under the influence?
Tune in to our November Webinar November 20th at 1 P.M. CST, Hosted by Renee Low and Mike Peplinski of Harding Brooks. Topics include:
- Better understand the difference between THC and CBD
- Review credentials for an effective drug testing policies
- Train your drivers on encountering impaired drivers and customers
With the growing use of cannabis products, it is important to stay equipped with the facts you can use both in the field and out.
November 20, 2019 at 1 P.M. CST
Do Trade Associations Matter?
As I write to you all in this season of change, ARA is preparing to launch serval major initiatives in this ever-changing industry. We have seen the chatter and the questions of late: Why do trade associations such as ARA even exist anymore? What is their place in this competitive climate?
Well, fellow members of the repossession industry, I argue to you that our association is more crucial now than ever. Beyond being one united voice for your interests, ARA is actively involved in legislative issues, compliance training and bringing money-saving insurance benefits to its members.
ARA’s latest insurance benefit, Worker’s Compensation, has received an outpouring of praise from those who have taken advantage of these savings. On the Hook Towing and Recovery, Indiana Recovery and Ideal Recovery have saved at minimum 15% on their yearly cost and most notably, Done Rite Recovery and Greenwood Recovery have saved more than 40% on their yearly cost!
Mike Peplinski at Harding Brooks, the dedicated ARA vendor member behind this initiative, let us know that he deeply appreciates and credits ARA’s new training programs for giving him leverage to broker deals and get ARA members the most affordable insurance programs.
The recent Worker’s Compensation initiative is just one in a growing roster of exciting announcements that will come out of ARA in the next few months. We encourage everyone in our industry to stay as involved as possible as ARA continues to build positive synergy and help establish universally accepted industry standards.
ARA is inviting all repossession agency owners to an in-person meeting in Dallas, Texas on Tuesday, November 5, where we will give an in-depth presentation that will outline current ARA initiatives. For those not able to attend in person, we will be holding webinars on Thursday November 14 at 3 p.m. EST/12 p.m. PST and Friday November 15 at 12 p.m. EST/9 a.m. PST to communicate these initiatives and answer additional questions.
I look forward to your participation and want to thank all of our members for your continued support and belief in our vision for the future of the industry.
New Webinar – Taking Care of Yourself and Others On the Job
In Part 3 of our Creating a Culture of Safety series, we’re going to teach you how to take care of yourself and others on the job. In this webinar, you’ll:
- Learn the basic first aid principles
- Find out how to properly assess and help someone in need (i.e. when they’re bleeding, not breathing, poisoned, shock, etc.)
- Tips to care for yourself
In our profession, because we often work alone, it’s critical to know how to take care of ourselves first and how to properly assist someone in need. To register for this webinar, click the button below!
Tuesday, October 29, 2019
1 P.M. CST
The American Recovery Association (ARA) is pleased to announce that the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services has approved ARA as a licensed Recovery Agent School and Training Facility. This recognition allows all future recovery professionals to gain the training required to receive a Florida license through ARA.
Along with the recently introduced ARA/RDN real-time compliance solution, this recognition from the state of Florida will allow ARA to offer all recovery industry stakeholders the ability to streamline how licensing and compliance are engaged and verified.
“It is an honor for Florida to acknowledge the strength of the ARA Field Agent Training Program and accept it as a viable choice for the training required to receive a repossession license,” said ARA President Dave Kennedy. “Through our continuing efforts to create an industry-wide solution for training, licensing and compliance, we believe that all industry participants will benefit.”
To build positive synergy and help establish universally accepted industry standards, ARA is inviting all repossession agency owners to an in-person meeting in Dallas, Texas on Tuesday, November 5, from 9 a.m. – 12 p.m. CST, where an in-depth presentation will outline current ARA initiatives.
The meeting will be held at the Westin Dallas Fort Worth Airport, 4545 W John Carpenter Freeway, Irving, TX 75063. For those not able to attend in person, ARA will be holding webinars on Thursday November 14 at 3 p.m. EST/12 p.m. PST and Friday November 15 at 12 p.m. EST/9 a.m. PST to communicate and answer additional questions.
Written by ALS Resolvion CEO and ARA Member, Michael Levison
Effective management of impound repossessions is challenging. Impound yard operators are notorious for being difficult and, in many cases, unscrupulous operators. The entire process consists of several unconnected parts and requires specialized expertise to handle effectively. If not handled properly, the process can be extremely expensive, or even worse, can result in the loss of your lien.
The article will examine the issues and highlight strategies that should increase your net recoveries on impounded vehicles.
The first step in handling an impound is actually knowing that the vehicle that you are trying to recover has actually been impounded. This may seem obvious but this is where most problems start. While a party that is considering converting title is required to give the existing lien holder notice, the process is often delayed or ignored. We also see many cases where the lender does not have clear procedures for identifying impound notifications. All of this results in loss of time and when it comes to impounded vehicles, time is definitely big money.
To mitigate this issue, we recommend a couple of basic steps: (1) subscribe to a VIN monitoring service that has access to law enforcement information and other data that can give you early notification on potential lien losses and (2) establish clear internal procedures for acting on the information quickly. Storage fees add up very fast so you want to establish contact with the lot immediately. Taking these basic steps to have a defined internal process and VIN monitoring system will not only reduce your storage fees but also make your impound recovery operations more efficient helping you save time and money.
Knowledge is Power
Impound lot operators have developed a pretty bad reputation for exploiting situations. One of their favorite tactics is to charge fees that, under local regulations, they really are not allowed to charge. This is where knowledge of local rules can be very valuable. Admittedly, it is not always easy to find. Rules can vary based on state, city, county, etc. However, basic web searches can often yield the insight that you need. Even if you don’t have the information, don’t hesitate to push back on the fees. They are usually willing to negotiate.
If the fees are very high and you are convinced that you are being grossly overcharged, you may want to take (or threaten) a legal action known as an Interpleader Proceeding. Under this approach, the fees demanded are placed with the court and then the court decides what is allowed. Just the threat of going this route is often enough to persuade a bad operator to be more reasonable. Thus, in order to avoid paying higher fees for recovering impounded cars, equip yourself with knowledge of local rules or ensure you have an impound partner with expert negotiating skills.
To Pay or Not to Pay
It pretty common for impounded vehicles to have severe damage which obviously would materially reduce auction values. Combine that with the impound fees, transport and auction-related fees and it does not take much to pull the transaction into the red. Careful analysis should be conducted on borderline situations. Spend a little money and send an inspector to take pictures and complete a proper condition report. There are also multiple data sources that can give you pretty accurate estimates of value. If it does not make sense, just let the lien go.
Rapid Impound Recovery
Speed of recovery is especially important when dealing with impounded vehicles. Given the very high daily storage rates charged by many lots, just a few days of additional storage can make the difference when determining whether or not it makes sense to recover the unit. Align yourself with vendors that can coordinate a pick up quickly regardless of location and who are willing to front the fees on your behalf. Moving quickly, with the right partners, can add significantly to the net realized value.
Insurance Related Issues
Often times impounded vehicles are damaged and have active insurance coverages under which you are entitled to make a claim. The opportunity is overlooked by many lenders. Others attempt to pursue it but don’t really have the expertise to optimize the opportunity. There are several firms that offer expertise in this area including our nationwide skip trace and repossession company, ALS Resolvion.
In addition to timely filing of insurance claims, it is good practice to audit the claims payment you receive. The insurance company’s objective is to minimize payout and they have many ways to accomplish this goal. Often times their decisions are subjective and/or made on inaccurate data. One lender recently reported to us that simply auditing claims payments for accuracy added almost $300 in net proceeds to each impound recovery. For a sub-prime lender, that is huge.
One last opportunity that can be pursued are excess proceeds that might be generated from a lien sale. Legally, the party that successfully converted a lien is only entitled to the amount of the fees they claimed were owed. If a sale of the vehicle generates amounts in excess of the amount due, it is supposed to be remitted to the lien holder. Of course, in many cases this is not done voluntarily but some lenders monitor the issue and will pursue it when appropriate.
As this article has mentioned, there are many issues involved when it comes to recovering an impounded vehicle and different strategies to solve them. Optimizing financial results from impounded vehicles is tricky business; however, the right processes and partners can make a big difference.
New Webinar – Do You Know How to Deal with Angry People?
In Part 2 of our Creating a Culture of Safety series, we’re discussing how to effectively deal with angry people and strategies you can use to relieve tense situations. In this webinar, you’ll:
- Better understand the different levels of anger
- Learn proven strategies to deal with angry people
- Communications process
- Effective listening/speaking skills
- Telephone techniques
- Knowing your people
- Administrative policies and procedures
The problem-solving techniques you will learn can be applied both in and out of the field! To register for this webinar, click the button below!
Wednesday, September 18
1:00 p.m. CST