Many of the mistakes tow operators make that result in accidents, injuries and death in our industry are directly related to the laws of physics. American Towman Field Editor Terry Abejuela's session on the physics of towing and recovery will help tow operators understand how Newton's laws of motion, simple machines and mechanical advantage apply in the daily performance of their jobs. This seminar will be presented as part of the Rotator & Recovery Conference taking place during Tow Industry Week in Las Vegas, Nev., May 10-12 at the South Point Hotel & Casino.
New legislation signed into law by New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie will make it more difficult for auto dealers and lenders to equip cars with remote disabling devices. Photo credit: cnn.com.
Tougher to Use Remote Devices
New Jersey auto dealers and lenders will soon have to clear a number of new hurdles before they are allowed to use remote disabling devices if drivers are late on making payments under a bill recently signed into law by Gov. Chris Christie.
The devices use GPS technology to allow lenders to track where vehicles are and shut off the car's ignition if a borrower fails to make a payment on time. State lawmakers estimate that there are two million cars with such mechanisms in the U.S.
But lawmakers say the devices had been unregulated in New Jersey. Dealers and lenders were not required to inform borrowers that the devices had been installed or when their vehicle would be disabled.
Under the bill Christie signed:
• Dealers and lenders must to provide written disclosure saying they were installing the devices.
• Borrowers cannot be billed or charged a fee for the installation.
• Borrowers must receive at least a 72-hour warning before their vehicle is shut off, and the warning must be transmitted through at least two modes of communication, such as a phone call or email.
• Dealers and lenders could not disable a car while it is being operated.
Violating the law will be considered an unlawful practice under the state's Consumer Fraud Act. Those who break it face a maximum fine of $10,000 for a first offense and $20,000 for any subsequent offense.
Sponsors say the bill was needed because there had been reports of vehicles being shut off during emergencies, while idling, or even while driving.
The law will take affect on Aug. 1.
New York, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, and Virginia are considering similar measures.
Man Accused of [b]Assault on Agent
A Rupert, Vt., man faces an assault charge after he allegedly struck a repossession agent with his truck.
Gordon Patrick, 44, pleaded not guilty in Vermont Superior Court Bennington Criminal Division to a felony count of aggravated assault with a weapon.
Trooper Justin Walker, in an affidavit, wrote that Vermont State Police responded to a Hebron Road residence after a repo man called 9-1-1 to report a confrontation with a man whose vehicle was being repossessed.
In a statement to troopers, the caller said he was an agent with an upstate New York company who was sent to repossess a truck owned by Patrick. He stated he was checking the truck's vehicle identification number when Patrick came outside and moved a trailer that was in front of the truck. Patrick then shoved him away from the driver's side door and he moved in front of the truck to stop Patrick from leaving with it.
When Patrick put the truck into gear and accelerated, the man jumped onto the driver's side front fender. Patrick accelerated towards a field behind the residence with the repo man still on the truck's hood.
Will Car-Sharing Impact [b]Repo Business?
Are the days of repossession agents numbered? A report in the "Washington Post" may show the future of driving and in it, repossession agents may no longer be needed.
More people are subscribing to car-sharing services, and forgoing owning their own vehicles. A program offered by Cadillac in New York City allows individuals to swap automobiles like they are changing channels on the TV. The service costs $1,500 per month and so far, 5,000 people have signed up. General Motors is testing a similar program with lower-end vehicles in California.
Car buying hasn't changed much in the 100 years since the automobile was invented. That means that the repossession business model hasn't changed much, either. Someone doesn't make their car payments, and the vehicle is taken away from them.
But if more people decide not to buy a car and instead rent one or share one, how will that affect the repossession industry? To be fair, the number of people enrolled in these sharing services are just a drop in the bucket when compared to the hundreds of millions of vehicles on the road, but should that mean their success is to be ignored?
Or will the repossession industry of the future have to evolve or risk extinction? Source: repopulse.com.
Police: Vehicle Owner [b]Assaults Agent
A Wichita Falls, Texas, man was jailed on charges of assaulting a repo man who was trying to take his vehicle.
According to a police report, officers were called to a disturbance in the at a residence and found two men arguing. The victim told police he was there to repossess a pickup belonging to Christopher Smith, 31. He said that as he was hooking the pickup to his tow truck, Smith came running up, jumped into the pickup and started the engine.
The repo man said Smith threw his pickup into drive and then reverse in an effort to get the vehicle off the wheel locks. He said Smith slammed into the back of the tow truck several times, knocking it into the air once. The repo man said his leg was injured at that time. Other witnesses at the scene said Smith almost hit some bystanders on the sidewalk.
Officers arrested Smith and charged him with aggravated assault. Source: timesrecordnews.com.
Reports of a stolen vehicle in New Vineyard, Maine, left a repo agent surrounded by police officers recently.
The repo company forgot to call the sheriff's office to alert them to the repo.
The car's owner saw the vehicle being taken and called police. An officer on patrol spotted the vehicle and followed it until other officers arrived.
When the driver stopped and got out of the vehicle, about six officers surrounded him.
"It is a repo," the agent told police, and produced documents. The officers wished him a pleasant day and left.
Free DRN Webinar Is April 12
Alex Price, director of risk solutions at Digital Recognition Network and one of the leading experts on skip-tracing, will host the second of a free, four-part webinar series with his "Tools of a Skip Tracer" presentation on April 12 at 1 p.m. CST.
Price will discuss online databases to utilize, name searching basics, how to pro-search Google and more. The webinar is designed to help recovery companies and agents to expand their toolset and how to more effectively use the ones they're already familiar with.
The webinar will be the second of a four-part series on skip-tracing. Future webinars will include Skip Tracing Basics on May 10 and Vehicle Behavior Meets License Plate Recognition on June 9. To register, go to go.drndata.com/skip-tracing-webinar-series.