It is an honor to introduce our newest board member, Amy Bednar, president and co-owner of Relentless Recovery in Ohio. Jim Hall’s retirement created a vacancy on the board, and our president has chosen Amy as his replacement. She will complete his term that expires at the ARA Convention in 2019.
As an owner of one of the largest recovery operations in Ohio, she will be an asset to our association as we try to build relationships with lenders and continue the process of building the finest training and monitoring system in the country.
Amy and her partner, David Ziebro, gave Relentless its start by working for buy here pay here lots. Since its humble beginnings in 2001, Relentless has grown into a successful agency working with large lenders to recover over 2,000 cars per month throughout the state of Ohio. Amy has been an ARA member since 2010, and her company has been featured in Scene Magazine, Popular Science, and various news articles related to its philanthropic endeavors and pioneering deployment of technology in the recovery industry.
When not at work, Amy enjoys spending time with her two sons, being a foster mom, and leading bible study with her husband.
As you are well aware, there are repossession companies having their bank accounts closed by the very banks employing them, allegedly because they don’t meet the bank’s “risk profiles.” Although recent actions at the highest levels of our government should go a long way toward resolving this issue, those wheels are infamously slow to turn. Meanwhile, American Recovery Association is proactively working to correct individual wrongs as well as working with others to present a united front for the entire industry to our legislature, banks, and the Department of Justice (DOJ).
If you and your business have been directly affected by this issue, contact ARA and please be sure to inform us of the particulars.
On background, Operation Choke Point was a 2013 initiative of the United States Department of Justice to investigate banks and their business associations that the DOJ believed to be a high risk for fraud and money laundering. The program, which purportedly was to use legal and regulatory pressure to “choke off” financial support for businesses that were exploiting consumers, unfortunately had a far wider effect.
Banks were being pressured to separate themselves from legal businesses of which the previous administration disapproved (like payday loans, gun dealers, etc.). Obviously, the effect has gotten wider, yet.
Fortunately, things are changing.
On Monday, the House of Representatives passed a bipartisan bill to prohibit any future Operation Choke Point initiatives.
American Recovery Association insists the closure of accounts of professional collateral recovery agents who have been held to the highest levels of personal and business standards in the financial arena is unlawful and unconscionable – this practice must be stopped and all accounts reinstated. We have been in contact with Representative Hensarling’s office and Senator Ted Cruz’s office about this matter. Rest assured we will continue this fight until we win.
American Recovery Association
This month, we’d like to recognize longtime member Gary Purdom, President of MO-KAN Central Recovery Company in Kansas City, Kansas. A loyal member since 1989, Gary and his company of professionals have represented themselves and ARA in a laudable manner, day in and day out, year after year.Clients love working with them for the services they provide and their willingness to go the extra mile. Just last month a client sent them a $100.00 bonus check for handling a particularly difficult transaction.
Knowing happy employees make happy clients, Gary recently purchased “sit and stand” desks for his office personnel. When he’s not slaving away at the office, Gary can be found on the soccer fields coaching young athletes, teaching the same work ethic he develops in his employees.
Thank you, Gary, for your membership and for being such a great ambassador for ARA.
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.
This month, we want to highlight everyone who donated to our Hurricane Relief Fund. We were able to get the funds distributed to the families who so desperately needed help, many of whom had up to three feet of water in their homes and no flood insurance.
They were very appreciative of all of you who donated. Here are a few quotes of gratitude:
“We cannot thank you enough for the Hurricane Relief Funds. To receive this check from ARA means so much to us. We are grateful, thankful, and most of all know that American Recovery Association cares about its members and staff! God Is GOOD!!”
“It is with my deepest gratitude that I thank ARA and those that donated to Hurricane Harvey relief. The checks that I received today brought tears of gratitude to all. I’m proud to be an ARA member and to be surrounded by such considerate people. Just saying thanks does not fully express our gratitude.”
“Thank you so much for the outpouring of care and love. On behalf of our entire operation, we sincerely thank the entire ARA membership for this act of extreme kindness and generosity.”
It’s members like you that make ARA great. Thank you!
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:
- Cybersecurity programs such as Malwarebytes or Norton. These help block malware, ransomware, adware and other threats
- Use a password manager
- 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.
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!
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
KAR Auction Services, Inc.
This month’s member highlight is on Russ and Lauren DeWitt of Capital Adjusters, Inc., in Austin, Texas. Capital Adjusters was founded in 1975 and Russ, who has been with the company since 1976, is the current owner and president. They were the first company in Austin to join ARA and have been outstanding members ever since.
Russ, Lauren and their son Steven were recently awarded as Humanitarians by their church for their selfless contributions toward the betterment of mankind. Along with making sizable monetary donations to various church programs in their community and around the world, Lauren has been able to use her training as a pharmacist to act as medical director for Citizens Commission on Human Rights – a non-profit organization that exposes psychiatric abuses with the goal of cleaning up the field of mental health. Through her efforts, psychiatric abuses in Texas have been exposed and the offenders stripped of their licenses, and in some cases imprisoned. She has also been featured in two documentaries exposing these abuses.
Along with working nights and weekends at his church, Russ traveled to Berlin to help end religious discrimination in Germany, participated in disaster relief in Texas, and testified before the Texas legislature to help ban electroshock and forced drugging of children in Texas. Lauren was also part of the volunteer minister relief efforts in Louisiana after Hurricane Katrina devastated New Orleans. Their son Steven does volunteer work at the Church.
“We believe we are put on this Earth to help others and a person’s value is not determined by his wallet, but by how much he is able to give to his fellow man.”
Thank you Russ and Lauren for being outstanding ARA members and for doing such amazing work in your community.
American Recovery Association offers a free monthly webinar as part of its new continuing education series to help recovery and remarketing professionals stay plugged into the most current industry rules, regulations and compliance requirements. The August webinar, led by Doug Duncan of TalentValue, will focus on finding good employees in a tough recruiting market and integrating the ARA compliance process with the TalentValue HR Compliance process.
Join us for our August webinar focusing on:
Recruiting & the TalentValue HR Compliance Process
Doug Duncan of TalentValue
Tuesday, August 29th
1:00 p.m. CT / 2:00 p.m. ET
*Members who attend this webinar session will receive an ARA HR certification 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 towards owners, managers, employees, and field agents. 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 email@example.com
If you have any questions or feedback about our continuing education webinar series, please contact ARA Home Office at 972-755-4755 or firstname.lastname@example.org.