The Week's Features
Tow Expo Dallas' winning trucks are highlighted
Towman Scott Shover is being called "a guardian angel"
Redi-Letters' lighted signs easily mount on wreckers
Suspending auto repos of clients impacted by Hurricane Harvey
Or, do government controls actually work?
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American Towman Magazine Presents the Week in TowingSeptember 13 - September 19, 2017
Banco Santander has suspended automotive repossession and loan collection activities as part of their initiatives to help clients affected by Hurricane Harvey.

Santander Undertakes [b]Hurricane Initiatives

Banco Santander reported that the firm and its businesses have implemented proactive measures to help clients impacted by Hurricane Harvey.

Santander US's auto finance unit, Santander Consumer USA Holdings Inc has suspended automotive repossession and loan collection activities, and is providing temporary loan help to customers in the form of suspended late fees and loan modifications.

Santander Bank is also providing immediate assistance to its small business, retail and commercial clients to comprise temporarily-suspended late fees, temporarily-reduced interest rates, the suspension of collection calls, auto repossessions and loan modifications.

Scott Powell, CEO and President of Santander US, added that as the recovery process starts, they will work with clients whose lives have been disturbed, as well as those who require alternate payment arrangements.

Source: financialstrend.com

CORP Cautions on Locksmiths

The Council of Repossession Professionals recently cautioned repo agencies about the potential pitfalls of using a locksmith company that might be mandated by a particular finance company client—but could utilize employees who may not be aware or comply with specific state regulations.

CORP explained on its site that many states have explicit regulations when it comes to locksmiths, indicating that some jurisdictions prohibit contracting work to local locksmiths who might not be employed by a national company.

"Some states even demand that these national locksmith companies have an actual physical business in the state they are doing the service in," said CORP officials.

CORP suggested that repossession agencies ask and seek the answers to three simple questions with regard to the cutting of new keys for repossessed vehicles:
1) Do locksmiths have to have a license to operate?
2) What type of insurance does the state require them to have?
3) Does the state require all businesses to carry worker's compensation?

"Once you have this information, now you have a chance," CORP said.

Source: autoremarketing.com.

Sheffield Financial [b]Halting Repo Orders

More than half a million vehicles in the Houston area are estimated to be a total loss in the wake of flooding damage caused by Hurricane Harvey.

Sheffield Financial is "actively working" to support its clients and others in the affected area, according to a statement released to Powersports Finance.

Parent company BB&T Bank is waiving ATM fees for non-clients using the bank's ATMs in the disaster counties; waiving fees for Texas clients using ATM and debit cards at other bank's ATMS; and activating its disaster loan policy.

The bank is halting existing and new auto and recreational vehicle repossession orders in the emergency declaration counties, in addition to its usual compliance with the Servicemember's Civil Relief Act for clients called to active-duty and complying with each state's insurance department disaster declaration requirements.

Source: powersportsfinance.com

Drivers Allege Unpaid [b]Overtime Wages

Two employees for a Houston, Texas, repossession company allege that they were not paid at the correct rate for overtime work.

Melissa Mikeska and Christopher Contreras filed a complaint on July 26 on behalf of themselves and all others similarly situated in the Houston Division of the Southern District of Texas against Collateral Recovery Team LLC and John Moul, alleging that they violated the Fair Labor Standards Act.

According to the complaint, the defendant employs camera car drivers to drive and detect cars that are sought for repossession and classifies them as independent contractors.

The plaintiff holds Collateral Recovery Team LLC and Moul responsible because the defendants allegedly only paid the plaintiffs straight time for all hours worked over 40 per week.

The plaintiff requests a trial by jury and seeks unpaid regular and overtime compensation, liquidated damages, pre- and post-judgment interest, attorneys' fees and costs of court.

Source: setexasrecord.com.

New Santander Consumer CEO

Scott Powell will take on the role of president/CEO at Santander Consumer USA, succeeding Jason Kulas who resigned late last month. Powell will continue to serve as CEO of Santander Holdings USA and as Santander Group's U.S. head.

Prior to joining Santander, Powell held a variety of senior roles at JPMorgan Chase & Co., including head of banking and consumer lending operations, CEO of consumer banking and retail investments, head of retail lending, head of Chase Auto Finance, and chief risk officer, consumer. He also spent 14 years at Citigroup and its predecessors in a variety of senior risk management roles.

"Scott's depth of experience makes him the right person to continue SC's evolution and to sustain its long-term performance," Santander Chairman Bill Rainer said.

"I look forward to leading the Santander Consumer team," Powell said. "My focus will be on strengthening the company's financial and operational performance, delivering returns for all shareholders, improving risk management and putting our customers at the center of everything we do."

Source: autoremarketing.com.

Yard Owner Accused of [b]Shooting at Agent

The owner of a South Pymatuning Township, Pennsylvania, salvage yard has been jailed for shooting at a repo agent, township police said.

Charles L. Raiti, 60, has been charged with simple assault, reckless endangerment and making terroristic threats, police said.

An employee of Interlink Recovery Services attempted to repossess a vehicle Aug. 28 at Raiti Salvage Yard when Raiti fired a shot at him, police said.

Raiti was unable to post bond and was jailed. The judge set a Sept. 6 preliminary hearing.

Source: sharonherald.com.
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WreckMaster President Justin Cruse said that the WreckMaster Convention will bring together towers from all over North America to provide a unique and beneficial opportunity to broaden knowledge.
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