The Week's Features
California towman comes to rescue of trooper under attack
Extra-thick low-clearance roadside mat is 2' wide by 4' long
Delinquency on payments highest since 2010
Man of Steel graphics are a company’s moving billboard
Some 32,000-pounds of peanuts makes a mess
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American Towman Magazine Presents the Week in TowingFebruary 20 - February 26, 2019
Elwood Allan Humphries was killed by Anton B. Robinson as Humphries attempted to repossess his car in January 2018. Recently, Robinson pleaded guilty to the slaying. Image -

Man Pleads Guilty of [b]Killing VA Repo Man

Anton B. Robinson pleaded guilty ahead of a scheduled two-day trial to second-degree murder—reduced from first-degree murder—of repossession agent Elwood Allan Humphries in January 2018. Robinson, who used a firearm in the killing, will likely face a prison term of 16 to 28 years when he is sentenced later this year in Petersburg, Virginia, Circuit Court.

As Humphries was preparing to repossess Robinson's car he was shot to death as he sat in the driver's seat of his tow truck with the repossession order by his side.

Police were summoned to a shots-fired call just after midnight on Jan. 11, 2018, when they discovered Humphries dead and the nearby house open with lights and televisions still on. Officers found the tow truck backed into a driveway with its engine running and in reverse gear with its lights on and doors locked. According to reports, Humphries had just hung up the phone after talking with someone from River City Recovery, his employer.

Robinson and his girlfriend, Amy Jackson, had fled the scene.

Petersburg police soon confirmed that Robinson and Jackson lived there but had fled after the shooting to Robinson's mother's home in Jarratt. Detectives traveled there and kept watch on Jackson's car until someone tried to drive it away. Police stopped the car and that led investigators to interview Robinson and Jackson.


Ill. Bill Could End Predatory Lending

Heartland Alliance, Illinois State Senator Kimberly Lightford, Representative Chris Welch, and a coalition of community organizations have reintroduced the Fair Lending Act (SB85 / HB2468) in the Illinois General Assembly in an effort to protect consumers from extreme interest rates on auto title loans that climb as high as 360 percent.

The Fair Lending Act was introduced last legislative session, but was halted by strong opposition from the auto title lending industry. The legislation would cap auto title loan interest rates at 36 percent, providing a long overdue safeguard for the people of Illinois. Additionally, the Fair Lending Act would establish maximum loan term limits, and create protections in the event of car repossession.

"With every year that passes, thousands of low-income families and people of color lose their cars to title loans," said Jody Blaylock, Project Manager for Financial Empowerment Policy at Heartland Alliance. "We call on Illinois legislators to give consumers relief and support the Fair Lending Act."

Twenty-eight states cap interest rates at 36 percent or less, or prohibit title lending altogether.

"With interest rates as high as 360 percent, title loans are disastrous for families across this state," said Senate Majority Leader and lead bill sponsor Kimberly Lightford. "It is beyond time that we ensure that title lending is safe and affordable. I look forward to working with my colleagues on both sides of the aisle to advance the Fair Lending Act, which brings much-needed relief for consumers."


ARA Partners with Advantage GPS

Advantage GPS has formed a strategic partnership with the American Recovery Association.

According to a recent news release ARA made this move to continue developments that include what the association dubbed a "Unity Initiative" with Time Finance Adjusters. Together they plan to strengthen their relationships with other leading trades associations.

"Our Unity Initiative with TFA and the enhancement for our relationships with a variety of national trade associations and companies like Advantage GPS will only serve to create a better and more profitable environment for our members," said Les McCook, ARA executive director.

This specific partnership is designed to enhance the ability of ARA members to locate and recover finance company collateral more efficiently.

"The strategic alliance between ARA and Advantage GPS comes at a time when the recovery association is moving forward with important initiatives to improve the health of the industry, work more closely with their finance partners and employ cutting-edge technology and artificial intelligence," said David Meyer, president of Advantage GPS.


NFL’s Williams’ Dodge Hellcat Repo’d

More car trouble for NFL wide receiver Terrance Williams—this time, the repo man grabbed his flashy Dodge Hellcat.

The Dallas Cowboys player bragged about his 2015 Dodge Challenger SRT Hellcat years ago, after he fashioned it with a custom purple/lime green Joker-style paint job.

But, apparently, the 29-year-old had some issues when it came to making payments, because the repo man came calling this week in Texas and hooked it up to a tow truck.

Williams has reportedly made close to $13 million during his six-year NFL career. His bright blue $200,000 Lamborghini was smashed into a light pole in Texas back last May.

There's been no comment from Williams at press time.


7M Owners Behind [b]on Car Notes

A record 7 million Americans are 90 or more days behind on their auto loan payments, according to a study from the Federal Reserve Bank of New York. That number is a million higher than the total at the end of 2010, a time when unemployment rates hit 10 percent and "delinquency rates were at their worst" notes the Fed.

At that time, 5.3 percent of auto loan borrowers were three months late on their payments. Now, the share is a slightly lower 4.5 percent, due in part to a growing number of people taking out loans to purchase a car. But The Washington Post reports that there is increasing concern among economists that this rate has continued to rise in spite of or concurrent with dropping unemployment levels.

That Americans are late on auto loan payments is significant, as this is one of the first bills individuals are likely to pay. Cars are often necessary for transportation to and from work, and falling too far behind on payments can lead to repossession of one's car.

Nevertheless, the picture isn't entirely bleak. While delinquency levels increased for those with lower credit scores, individuals with the highest scores are less likely to miss payments, thereby offsetting the effects on the subprime sector.


Man Charged for Firing at Agents

A Florida man has been charged with attempted felony murder for opening fire at repo men after they mistakenly tried to tow his Mercedes.

Juan A. Barquero, 57, allegedly shot at the two men who were repossessing his 2010 Mercedes-Benz E350 from his home in Southwest Ranches, Florida, Feb. 7.

He is charged with attempted felony murder, aggravated assault with intent to commit a felony and firing a missile into an occupied vehicle, records show.

Police said in their report that Barquero, armed with a handgun, and a second man exited Barquero's home and confronted the repo men, demanding that they drop the car.

The repo men then supposedly identified themselves as being employees of Gryphon Recovery, a Miami-based asset recovery firm, and showed their credentials to Barquero and his friend, before stating that a bank had instructed them to take his car.

Police wrote in their report that Barquero supposed said 'he did not care,' pointed his gun at the repo men and told them to release his car.

As the men drove off, Barquero allegedly fired seven shots at the tow truck, one of which hit his own Mercedes, while the other six shattered the truck's rear window.

The repo men stopped their car a short distance away and called police. Neither of was injured during the incident.

Police caught up with Barquero later in the day during a traffic stop. He was driving a white Mercedes.

Barquero is being held without bond.

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