IRVING, Texas –
The repossession industry is taking swift action to position itself to survive the dire situation intensified by the COVID-19 pandemic.
First, the American Recovery Association (ARA) started an initiative several weeks ago that’s resulted in the Repo Alliance, a fundraising organization to boost lobbying and other industry promotion efforts.
Also, ARA compiled a seven-page whitepaper that aimed at setting uniform operating standards for repossession agencies.
The Repo Alliance is the combination of ARA along with the California Association of Licensed Repossessors (CALR), Texas Accredited Repossession Professionals (Texas ARP) and Harding Brooks Insurance.
“We are working with other industry lobbyist groups but have realized without our own voice,” officials said in information sent to SubPrime Auto Finance News. “We would be trusting the future of the recovery industry to the priorities of others. Riding the coattails of these other groups puts our agenda as simply an afterthought.”
The alliance spelled out a trio of goals, including:
• Change the negative, reputational image of the recovery industry
• Educate legislatures of the vital role repossession agents play
• Fight against language in bills or guidance from regulators and lawmakers that could decimate the recovery industry
CALR president Marcele Egley said, “We are an industry without a voice. Hiring a lobbyist in Washington, D.C. will give us a voice to help us fight the good fight.”
While the Repo Alliance is looking to raise money, only a lobbyist is being paid for services rendered. Officials said the rest of the individuals involved in the Repo Alliance are volunteers.
As of Wednesday, the site indicated $52,225 already had been collected.
Texas ARP president Stephanie Findley said, “I am on board 100% with this important Industry-wide initiative to hire a lobbyist.”
More details about the project and a path to contribute fund can be found at www.RepoAlliance.com. Check payable to the Repo Alliance also can be sent to:
1400 Corporate Drive
Irving, Texas 75038
Harding Brooks vice president Mike Peplinski added, “A lobbyist is needed for the repossession industry to protect the industry’s future. We are committed to helping in this cause.”
Details of ARA whitepaper
In a separate move, ARA this week in an industry announcement shared details about its whitepaper titled, “Setting Uniform Standards for Operating in a Changed Environment.”
A portion of the seven-page document gives a comparison of repossession agency operating costs in 2000 versus 2020. The most notable differential fell in the technology category.
Authors explained 2000 technology costs came in at about $20 a month for a basic fax machine. In 2020, that cost spiked to $10,000 per month for cameras and other equipment.
“For repossession company owners though, the current financial landscape is precarious,” ARA wrote in the whitepaper. “While many are eager to get back to work, the difficult economic realities of the last few years have now been greatly compounded by the effects of the COVID-19 crisis.
“Consequently, it has become incredibly challenging to afford continuing to operate in the recovery space and a change to the status quo is needed immediately,” the association continued. “Establishing a new economic model and adopting universally accepted industry standards are essential next steps.”