The Case for Unifying Industry Standards

May 20, 2019 • NewsComments Off on The Case for Unifying Industry Standards



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

Member Highlight: Jeremy Cross

Apr 12, 2019 • ARA Member SpotlightComments Off on Member Highlight: Jeremy Cross

This month, we want to highlight Jeremy Cross, president of International Recovery Systems. Jeremy joined ARA this past February 2019 and currently lives in Kennett Square, Pennsylvania.

Jeremy spends a lot of his time in the office continuing to grow his business, which provides a full range of repossession and remarketing-related services in Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and Delaware. Their suite of services and outstanding attention to detail ensure that all clients will be handled in the most professional manner possible. Under Jeremy’s leadership, International Recovery Systems is projected to meet their 2019 goals and is on track to exceed their goals for the future.

Outside of the office, Jeremy enjoys spending time with his family. From football and lacrosse games to Girl Scout meetings, Jeremy stays busy being involved in his kid’s activities and spending time with his wife, who also stays busy by working as a nurse manager for a Veteran’s Hospital. Even with a new home being built, Jeremy stays well balanced and on top of it all.

We appreciate Jeremy for being active in ARA, before and after joining and look forward to hearing more good news from him in his life and business.

Travel Benefits for ARA Members

Apr 10, 2019 • UncategorizedComments Off on Travel Benefits for ARA Members

Have you already booked your travel to the ARA Convention and NARS 2019? If not, you can save on those tickets! All ARA members enjoy exclusive travel discounts through our partnerships with American Airlines, Hertz, and Thrifty.

You can earn miles while also helping us reduce association travel costs by using your membership code. If you’re renting a car for the convention, ARA members have two great options with Hertz and Thrifty!

To take advantage of all the available ARA member benefits, visit the member benefits portal. 

We wish everyone safe travels to this year’s ARA Convention and NARS!

Member Highlight: Richard Frame

Mar 11, 2019 • ARA Member SpotlightComments Off on Member Highlight: Richard Frame

Richard & his family

This month, we want to highlight Richard (Dick) Frame, from Midland Recovery. Dick has been an ARA member since 2006 and currently lives in Columbia, South Carolina.

Dick came from the business world as a national sales manager before transitioning into the repossession industry. Though Dick has had many professional accomplishments, including serving on the ARA Board of Directors back in 2010, he states that his family and children are his proudest accomplishment to date. Dick currently has two children in college and one in high school. 

Over the years, Dick has found that success in our industry correlates to professionals treating their businesses like businesses. He understands the impact of being an ARA member has for all industry professionals first-hand. His recommendation to others just starting out is to look at being profitable first and foremost, then set goals from there. 

Dick has great insight into our industry and believes that communication is the key to success. Since every professional has differing experiences, it’s important to be open to the thoughts and viewpoints of others. You should also look for opportunities to learn from others mistakes and make changes from what has been shared with you. He also recommends that ARA members should accept and acknowledge that things in the industry are ever-changing – clients and personnel move around all the time – so it is important to stay in touch with other professionals in the industry.

While several reasons have kept Dick invested in ARA, the networking and communicating with like-minded people stand out to him the most. He’s been able to connect with so many different people across the country over the years, so he knows that ARA has something to offer to everyone.

Member Highlight: Dave Kennedy

Jan 13, 2019 • ARA Member SpotlightComments Off on Member Highlight: Dave Kennedy

While it might seem highly unusual for our “Member Highlight” to feature a sitting ARA President, we felt it was important to showcase how dedicated Dave has been to serving everyone. Not only has he committed countless hours and personal expense into continuing his education to better serve our association, but Dave has also taken a series of safety classes to improve the quality and diversity of our field agent training modules. There is no doubt that our training program is one of the best.

On top of all he is doing as our President, Dave spent considerable time playing Santa for various charitable organizations in his community. It is always heartwarming to see the pictures and hear the stories of how the children and families appreciate the way he keeps his wonderful Santa Claus figure all year. That is how committed Dave is!

We realize our members are facing challenging issues to their very existence. Our entire Board is dedicated to creating a better future for our entire industry, but Dave is working overtime behind the scenes to form new partnerships and find strategies that will directly benefit your bottom line. In fact, you will be receiving a series of emails outlining some of these plans over the next few weeks, and Dave has been instrumental in bringing them all to pass.

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

Member Highlight: Patrick Altes

Dec 4, 2018 • ARA Member SpotlightComments Off on Member Highlight: Patrick Altes

This month we’d like to highlight Patrick J. Altes, the newest addition to the ARA Board of Directors, after our recent merger with Time Finance Adjusters. Patrick started in the repossession business in 1974, shortly after high school, as a part-time employee at his father’s repossession business. Initially, he had planned to get a “real job” after graduation, however, as many of us know, his dad, Harvey C. Altes, was quite a legend in the industry and Patrick was quickly drawn into the family business.

Patrick was able to pick up some of his father’s skills along the way and the father-son duo worked together working for some interesting non-repo-related clients on investigation and research, including nationally-known attorneys and celebrities. For many years they worked as researchers for CBS TV’s “48 Hours” TV show.

Over the years, Patrick developed the “international” aspect of his repossession agency, Falcon International while also working with Time Finance Adjusters, helping his sister, Nicki Merthe, with the management of that great organization. Patrick’s main role there was that of an industry advocate. He has been a writer, blogger, and point-of-contact for the mainstream media, to advocate for the professional repossessor and the worth and value of their services. Patrick has fought hard against practices, like contingent repossession work, which he believes to yield dangerous, unprofessional results that don’t best serve the lender, their proxies, or the consumer. After having done this for so many years with TFA, it is especially exciting for him to now partner with the “new” ARA in being a united, single voice for the industry.

In his free time, Patrick is a musician and worship leader at his church and has been involved with the music for over 27 years. Patrick still does photography and a little video production work and has been married to his favorite person, Sharon, for 37 years. They have 5 tremendous grandchildren. They work hard to be a big part of their lives, hopefully in a positive way. Patrick believes that will be his legacy, undoubtedly more enduring, and important than whatever else he has done or will do in the world.

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 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 Find the top banner that reads “Compliance System”. Click the red tab to be taken to the login page.
  2. Go to 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.

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.

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