ARA’s latest project: The cost of COVID-19

IRVING, Texas – 

American Recovery Association president Dave Kennedy didn’t mince words to open a letter he delivered to the industry last week.

“We are failing — all of us,” Kennedy wrote.

Kennedy used the direct language to introduce the latest endeavor by ARA, which has been assessing, researching and creating content that the association said will make “a clear and present argument for radical change” within the pricing structures of the repossession industry to be beneficial to all parties.

ARA emphasized that repossession and recovery are essential to the entirety of the auto-finance business, which is why the association opened a series dubbed, “The Cost of COVID-19 on the Industry.”

Kennedy continued in the project introduction, “Given the current state of economic affairs and the added pressure of COVID-19, our already struggling business model has become even more difficult to navigate.

“It seems that every day, there is a new challenge and we see many good repossession companies closing their doors, unable to keep up with the ever-increasing cost of doing business. The repercussions have shockwaves throughout the industry — lenders and forwarders alike are struggling to find quality adjusters who can produce results and maintain compliance,” he said.

“It’s easy to wax poetic about the ‘good old days’ — when repossessions were simple, when compliance was minimal, when consumer complaints rarely escalated to litigation,” Kennedy went on to say. “It’s easy to hope that sweeping change will happen somewhere, sometime, eventually. It’s easy to wait for the decision makers — whoever they may be — to regulate, litigate and compensate their way to a more viable and sustainable revenue model.

“No one is coming. It’s up to us,” he added.

ARA offered a host of suggestions for repossession agents, finance companies and forwarders. The association reiterated that each of those industry segments must work together to create sweeping changes.

“Now is the time for action,” Kennedy wrote. “Now is the time to come together to ensure the survival of our industry. Now is the time to galvanize the industry and reassess our failing business model.

“Now is the time to rethink and rectify a revenue model, which will allow for repossession agencies to operate in a viable and sustainable manner. It’s hard work, yes, but to slip back into complacency will be the death of our industry.”

The opening segment of this ARA project can be found on this website.

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