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They’ll cost one Oregon towman $42,000 each to get rid of them
Do you have the certifications required for commercial use?
Law imposes new disclosure requirements on auto lenders
Design was quite different from what was expected
Cleaners for mud, engines and glass available in spray cans
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American Towman Magazine Presents the Week in TowingOctober 17 - October 23, 2018
New York Governor Andrew Cuomo signed New York Senate Bill 2484 into law, which limits the use of remote disabling devices by automobile lenders. Image: ABC News -

New York Reins In Kill Switches

andrew d579bNew York Gov. Andrew Cuomo signed into law legislation limiting the use of remote disabling devices by automobile lenders. New York Senate Bill 2484, which took effect on Oct. 2, imposes new disclosure requirements on auto lenders before they can use the devices, colloquially known as "kill switches," to repossess vehicles from defaulted borrowers.

In recent years, some auto lenders have endeavored to use kill switches to expedite the repossession process. Lenders have increasingly relied on the switches and GPS devices to track the vehicles to remotely disable these cars in lieu of, or in anticipation of, repossession.

These methods have stirred controversy, as New York legislators pointed to the safety implications of disabling cars while they are in motion or when they are needed in a medical emergency, for instance. Consumer groups also criticize GPS tracking and remote disabling as invasive.

Auto lenders argue that these safeguards expand access to credit for consumers who may otherwise be regarded as unacceptable credit risks.

The passage of SB 2484 may have significant consequences for auto finance industry practices, says the law firm Mayer Brown, a global legal services provider.


TFA, ARA to Merge

Two of the largest repossession organizations are set to become one group.

According to an announcement sent to "SubPrime Auto Finance News" on Oct. 2, the American Recovery Association (ARA) and Time Finance Adjusters (TFA) are joining together. The statement indicated the new association is expected to launch in January.

TFA president Nicki Merthe believes this development is the most significant event to take place in the repossession industry in modern times. By taking advantage of each other's strengths, Merthe explained this move forms a unified and restructured organization unlike anything that has existed in the industry's past.

"By merging these two associations and combining our clout, we will enhance our efficiency, efficacy and outreach," Merthe continued.

TFA's Patrick Altes discussed how the organizations arrived the announcement.

"The new organization is being formed with the direct input of many of the best repossessors in the country," Altes said. "This is the result of two day-long brainstorming sessions held earlier in 2018.

"Men and women from both organizations volunteered their time and resources to help build the framework for this new entity. This has never happened before," he continued.

As a result of these planning and input sessions, the announcement mentioned the new organization will remain member-owned, with an all-volunteer board of directors. Altes will be named to the executive board of the new organization. TFA will remain as the publishing arm of the new organization, with TFA's Todd Squires joining the communication and social media team.

Both Merthe and Altes shared that the underlying theme of those strategy sessions was to build an organization with "One Voice, Strong and United." They added that premise resonated throughout each of the historic meetings.

"We've had no large collective voice, and this has paralyzed our industry," he continued. "Unifying is our last, and best chance, for making any long-lasting changes. ARA has shared the vision, and it has been a real pleasure working with Les McCook (executive director of ARA) and David Kennedy (president of ARA) on bringing this initiative to life."

Merthe went on to say, "The response from membership has been overwhelmingly positive. They know it's time for a change for the betterment of the industry. We are responding to the call to unite. This is our chance to really make a difference."

Source: SubPrime Auto Finance News

Location Services Acquires [b]Auto Approve, Four Agencies

Location Services recently announced the acquisition of Auto Approve and four industry-recognized recovery agencies. The agencies are Repossessors Inc., CARS Recovery Inc., Digital Dog Auto Recovery and American Recovery Specialists of Florida.

The company said that acquisition of these companies establishes Location Services as a vertically integrated, national, direct-loss-mitigation service provider.

The services provided by Locations Services give credit unions, banks, captive finance companies and other financial institutions the ability to have one company manage the entire loss-mitigation outsource process including auto refinance, recovery, skip-locate, account administration, license plate digital technology, transportation and remarketing.

"Our purchase of Auto Approve uniquely positions us to provide auto refinance services and the purchase of the repossession agencies expands our reach and ability to support the boots on the ground, our valued repossession agency partners," said Lee McCarty, CEO, Location Services.

Source: Location Services.

Agents Arrested for [b]Alleged Assault

Two Sussex County, Delaware, men have been arrested after they allegedly assaulted a man whose vehicle they were attempting to repossess.

Delaware State Police spokeswoman Master Cpl. Melissa Jaffe said the incident took place Sept. 15.

The 37-year-old victim said two men, later identified as Raymond M. Hitchens, 23, of Georgetown, and Michael R. Milligan, 46, of Laurel, backed a truck with a vehicle lift into his driveway. The men got out and told the victim they were there to repossess his 2002 Dodge Caravan.

The victim laid on the lift in an attempt to stop the men, but Hitchens and Milligan began trying to pull him off. One of them sprayed the victim in the face with a chemical stun spray, pulled him from the lift and they left with the Caravan.

Two children, ages 5 and 11, witnessed the incident, Jaffe said.

Detectives identified Hitchens and Milligan and both turned themselves in at Troop 5, Sept. 18.

Both are charged with second-degree assault using a disabling chemical spray, second-degree conspiracy, and two counts of endangering the welfare of a child.

They were later released from custody on $7,000 secured bonds.


Man Arrested Attempting [b]to Shoot Agent

A Metropolis, Illinois, man was arrested after a repossession agent reported to police he had been the target of shots.

Metropolis police said the agent reported he was trying to repossess a Jeep at a residence, when someone came out of the house yelling and threatening.

The victim and a witness both reported seeing the man with something in his hand and hearing two loud pops, which they believed were gunfire.

Police identified the suspect as Louis Cozzie, 55. Cozzie told police he had thrown firecrackers, but an investigation found no evidence of firecrackers at the scene, police said.

Cozzie was arrested and charged with disorderly conduct.


Dealership Wrongfully [b]Repo’d Car, Allegedly

A Fresno, California, woman alleges her car was wrongfully repossessed.

Isabel Hernandez filed a complaint on Sept. 4 in the Fresno County Superior Court against Own a Car Fresno over alleged violation of the Rosenthal Fair Debt Collection Practices Act and Consumers Legal Remedies Act.

According to the complaint, on Aug. 18, 2017, Hernandez purchased a 2013 Hyundai Elantra through a retail installment sales contract with Own a Car Fresno. She alleges under the terms of the contract, the seller's right to rescind expired on Aug. 28, 2017, but she told the defendant she was happy with the contract and would not be signing another.

She alleges she tried to pay her last down payment on Sept. 22, 2017, but the defendant refused it and her car was repossessed a few days later despite that she was current on all payments.

The plaintiff holds Own a Car Fresno responsible because the defendant allegedly refused to turn over the vehicle despite having no right to repossess the vehicle as per the contract.

The plaintiff seeks injunctive relief, attorney's fees, civil penalties, actual and punitive damages, costs, and for such and further relief as the court deem just and proper.

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