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American Towman Magazine Presents the Week in TowingFebruary 22 - February 28, 2017
Prentiss Martin fired several shots at two repo agents as they tried to repossess a Chevy Cruze Feb. 10. Photo credit: Shelby County Sheriff’s Office

Man Arrested for [b]Firing at Repo Agents

A Memphis, Tenn., man was arrested after police said he fired shots at two men trying to repossess a car.

Police said the two men, who worked with a repossession company, attempted to repossess a Chevy Cruze on Feb. 10.

The two men told officers that Prentiss Martin fired several shots at them while they were driving away.

Martin was later arrested and admitted to shooting at the men. He is charged with aggravated assault.


Service Receives [b]Repo Settlement Funds

Lehigh Valley's (Pa.) legal aid provider, North Penn Legal Services, will receive a share of the money left over after an auto lender settled claims its vehicle repossession practices violated the state consumer protection law.

North Penn, based in Bethlehem, and Harrisburg-based Mid-Penn Legal Services will split $42,000 remaining in a fund after First Commonwealth Federal Credit Union settled a consumer class-action lawsuit on behalf of 900 borrowers.

"It makes us proud when we can funnel some of the money that's left over to legal aid," said attorney Andy Milz, of Flitter Milz in Narberth, the law firm that pursued the class action.

To settle the consumer protection law claims, the credit union agreed to create a $790,000 settlement fund for borrowers whose vehicles were repossessed between 2008 and 2014. The lawsuit alleged the credit union improperly notified borrowers of their rights after their vehicles were repossessed, according to a website for the class action.

As part of the settlement, First Commonwealth also agreed to modify borrowers' credit reports to remove any reference to the loan from the credit union and write off any balance remaining on loans after repossessed cars were sold, the website says.


Repo Men Shot in [b]Repo Attempt

Lake Havasu (Ariz.) City Police are investigating a recent shooting that sent two men to the hospital with non-life threatening injuries.

A female called police to report there were people attempting to break into her home and access a motorcycle.

During the police investigation, it was learned that three employees of a repo company out of Las Vegas attempted to repossess a motorcycle and a vehicle from the residence. The male homeowner entered the attached garage confronting the subjects. He discharged his rifle at least a dozen times, striking two of the individuals.

The two men arrived at Havasu Regional Medical Center, one suffering from a non-life threatening gunshot wound, according to a city press release.

Dyjuan A. Gresham, 32, will be charged for second-degree burglary in connection with the incident, a felony offense.


LPS Chooses MBSi for [b]Tech and Compliance

Repossession and skip-tracing services provider Loss Prevention Services announced that it has chosen MBSi Corp. as its assignment and compliance management solution, Feb. 2.

Throughout the year, LPS said it will transition its assignment management platform to Recovery Connect, MBSi's next-generation assignment platform.

In addition to adopting Recovery Connect, LPS also has chosen to use MBSi's Compliance Made Easy platforms and full vendor compliance management services.

In addition to adopting the MBSi solutions, LPS also has chosen to increase training and education for all of its internal employees and vendor network. LPS picked Recovery Industry Services Co.

RISC offers the Certified Asset Recovery Specialist training program that can allow LPS to provide its agents with continual education on the ever-changing compliance requirements of the vehicle repossession industry.

Because MBSi is fully integrated with RISC, LPS said it will be able to verify CARS certification in real time on every assignment.


Agent Drives Off [b]with Toddler in Car

Authorities say an Arizona repo agent responsible for repossessing a car drove away with a toddler in the vehicle.

Yavapai County Sheriff's Office spokesman Dwight D'Evelyn said that a mother put her 20-month-old child in the car on Wednesday and left the engine running while she ran back in her house.

In that time, the tow-truck driver hooked up the car and began to haul it away. D'Evelyn says the driver didn't get far before realizing the child was there and stopped by the end of the block, called sheriff's deputies and brought the car back.

The child was not hurt and the mother worked out a deal with the bank over the phone.


Bill Would Make [b]Hindering a Repo a Theft

Hindering the repossession of a vehicle would become a criminal act of theft in South Dakota under a proposal Feb. 3 by a state committee.

Rep. David Lust is prime sponsor of House Bill 1096 that now goes to the full House for consideration. Brian Busch, manager for Anytime Auto Sales in Rapid City, testified during a hearing by the House Judiciary Committee and recounted instances of people making down payments and never making another payment.

Busch said there sometimes wasn't a way to retrieve vehicles when they were taken to Native American reservations and sometimes vehicles were sold for scrap.

"These customers have absolutely no repercussions for their actions," Busch said. "It's just plain wrong. People need to have consequences for car theft." He said this would be similar to an Arizona law.

Myron Rau, president for the South Dakota Automobile Dealers Association, said car sellers know they're taking a risk. "Anything you could do for us would help," Rau said.

The committee voted 10-2 to recommend the bill's passage.

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