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American Towman Magazine Presents the Week in TowingJune 13 - June 19, 2018
Dave Kennedy, American Recovery Association president (left) and Joel Kennedy, board member of the National Automotive Finance Association, announced results of a joint effort to improve efficiencies in the repossession industry.

ARA, NAFA Announce [b]Joint Effort Results

The American Recovery Association and the National Automotive Finance Association recently announced the results of their first joint effort to establish a minimum compliance standard for third-party repossession vendors that work directly with an auto finance provider—not through a forwarding model—during the annual Non-Prime Auto Finance Conference hosted by the NAFA.

The initial agreement indicates repossession agencies can complete training curriculum from five different providers, including: Recovery Industry Services Company; Recovery Standard Training; Vendor Transparency Solutions; American Recovery Association; and Recovery Specialist Insurance Group.

"The key is to bring efficiency. All of these training programs meet the basic criteria. This is going to save hundreds of thousands of dollars for lenders. They're all great programs. Now if an agent can prove he has one, it's going to save hundreds of man hours," said ARA President Dave Kennedy.

"It's an excellent initiative and something that's going to bring a lot of efficiency and comfort to both sides of the table," Kennedy said.

Joel Kennedy, an NAF Association board member, former finance company executive and now director with Spinnaker Consulting Group, emphasized the concept of bringing efficiency and addressing potential problems that might be keeping finance companies "up at night."

Kennedy also pointed out how crucial the input was from an array of finance companies, not just large players dictating the situation.

"It's all about trying to drive better efficiencies and synergies for the process that we have right now," Kennedy said, adding that there is additional risk involved with repossessors given the customer engagement.

"What we came up with was a baseline set of standards that can be ascribed to by all of the NAF Association members to say, 'Here is the bare minimum of what we think you need in order to safely (manage) this relationship.' There really isn't any kind of guidance from any regulatory body that says ... how you manage this relationship and risk," Kennedy continued.

The resulting baseline standards encompass the key areas of vendor compliance, including: owner / business regulatory reviews; training; policies and procedures; and vendor site visits.

"I think this is the kind of thing that not only can provide guidance to our members to streamline and build efficiencies where we can all spend ... more time analyzing on the high-value, high-risk targets we can get solved," he said.


Woman Charged with Cutting Agent

Mobile, Alabama, police said a woman charged with attacking a repo man in March is now in custody.

Officers said 26-year-old Raven Yates was arrested in Texas during a traffic stop. Police said Yates left Mobile after warrants for her arrest were issued.

Police said Yates and Keith Hill attacked a repo agent who came to get their vehicle. Officers said Yates sliced the victim with a box cutter.

She is charged with two counts of robbery first degree, two counts of assault second degree, and unlawful breaking and entering a motor vehicle.

Hill had not been arrested at press time.


Police Investigating [b]Shots Fired at Agent

Police continue to search for someone who they say shot at a repo man in the early morning on June 8 in Fresno, California.

Officers were called to a house, where the repossession agent told police he went there to repossess an SUV but the owner followed him in a different car.

The agent said the driver of the car fired shots at him.

There were bullet holes in the SUV but the agent was not hit.


RISC Acquires Recovery [b]Standard Training

Recovery Industry Services Co. announced its acquisition of Recovery Standard Training, which is curriculum created and maintained by Hudson Cook, on May 29.

Officials highlighted the program will soon be added to RISC's CARS certification and continuing education programs. Hudson Cook will continue to support and update the Recovery Standard curriculum and provide oversight and updates to the CARS curriculum, ensuring third-party vendors and lenders are kept up-to-date with the latest government regulations.

"We are excited about this transaction, which represents unification of robust education curriculum offered to the collateral recovery industry," RISC founder/CEO Stamatis Ferarolis said. "The course material and software platform developed by Recovery Standard adds extensive value to RISC's industry leading CARS certification program."

Ferarolis added that the acquisition helps standardize vendor training and certification, and will allow "repossession companies, national forwarders and lenders access to the most comprehensive option for ongoing compliance training."

Recovery Standard Training materials will be added to RISC's CARS continuing education program over the course of the next three months. In addition, RISC will add a new course for finance companies, covering skip tracing, cyber security and repossession agent scenarios.


Woman Attempted to [b]Drive Car off Truck

A Galway, New York, woman attempted to drive her car off of a tow truck June 8 after it had been repossessed, according to Saratoga County Sheriff's officials.

Destiny M. Robinson, 23, faces multiple charges in connection with the incident, including for leaving a child behind alone in a nearby park as she attempted to stop the repossession, officials said.

The repo man had gotten her vehicle onto the truck, but Robinson got in and managed to drive it partially off the tow truck. The vehicle went toward the tow truck driver, officials said.

Robinson faces one count each of first-degree reckless endangerment, a felony, and misdemeanor child endangerment and criminal tampering.

She was arraigned and released to return to court later.


Guilty of Firing Weapons During Repo

A judge recently found two Union Township, Ohio, men guilty of felonious assault and illegally discharging a firearm in a May 2017 attempted vehicle repossession.

Miami County Common Pleas Judge Christopher Gee ordered Eric Brown, 55, and Matthew Naff, 35, taken into custody after reading the verdicts. The men were found guilty of the felony charges along with firearms specifications that accompanied each charge.

Gee said they were being jailed pending sentencing July 10 because of the criminal behavior they exhibited and the increased chance of fleeing the area following conviction. The firearms specifications call for mandatory prison time.

During the trial, Gee was told John Couch, who worked for a repossession company, was at the Naff house on a vehicle repossession the morning of May 22, 2017, when Naff thought he was attempting to break into the house and fired a 9mm handgun into the ground near the him. Couch testified he was at the door simply to leave a note asking about the vehicle. Gee was told that Brown, who was living on a trailer at the property, came outside with a .22-caliber handgun and shot into the air.

No one was injured.

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