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5 Marketing Tactics for Your Repossession Agency to Gain More Clients

Marketing your repossession agency is not necessarily a straightforward endeavor.  Repossession agencies do not market themselves like a typical local business nor are all marketing tactics apparent. As a repossession agency, your primary customer is the creditor: banks, credit unions, captive lenders, national forwarding companies, and so on. How do these clients find their vendors? There are multiple marketing tactics for repossession agencies. The most important tactics are through your compliance profile, with online presence and via email outreach. 

Compliance Profile

A compliance profile is generally not the first thing that any recovery agent thinks of when making a marketing plan. However, the savvy ones know that creditors have a high level of risk when dealing with self-help repossession and therefore need to be sure that their vendors are taking all precautions to reduce their risk. The creditors want to know they can trust you and that you will keep them away from lawsuits. When an agency demonstrates that their compliance documentation including annual training, insurance accords, business licenses, lot inspections, and more are in order, they have a leg up on the competition.

The best option to showcase compliance is through a RISC Pro membership. RISC Pro gives you this compliance profile, tools, and support to keep your compliance rating at the top. In addition to the tools, RISC Pro is a platform where creditors can see the agents who take their compliance seriously. It allows agents to quickly share their profile with creditors, creating an easy marketing tool to talk with prospective clients. You know that the collateral recovery industry has different rules, so being able to market your compliance standing is more important than any website or advertisement.

Website

A website will not necessarily be the most crucial element of marketing a repossession agency, but in the 21st century, nearly every business should have a website of some sort. Everyone goes to the www to find what they need or to get more information on a company. You may not necessarily land a new client through your website, but it can be your online contact card. Use your website to showcase that you are CARS certified or licensed in a specific state. List your services, your coverage area, and promote your mantra on how you do business professionally. Without a website, you are missing an opportunity for a potential client to find and learn more about you. 

It can be intimidating to make a website, but it does not need to be a multi-thousand-dollar endeavor. Many platforms such as Wix or Squarespace provide the tools to create a website with no coding necessary. These plug and play options will cost you under $25 per month if you are moderately tech-savvy. Or, search out online services that will create a website for you at a low price. If you need a logo, there are dozens of sites that do affordable logo design. Tailored Logo, Fiverr, or Canva are a few examples. Online apps are making marketing material creation easier each day.

Social Media

Social media can be a time suck and a rabbit hole for negative dialogue. If properly used, it is another way to increase your online presence. LinkedIn and Facebook are the most valuable platforms where repossession dialogue occurs and industry contacts ‘hang out’. LinkedIn is the platform where many contacts of your creditor clients are active and searchable. It is also the more professional platform where creditors seek the professional agent. Locate the vendor managers, repossession supervisors, or asset recovery directors working for the clients you hope to work for. Connect and add them to your network. Reach out to them via LinkedIn Inmail or a personal email to set up a call or talk via email. Be proactive in finding the clients you want for your business. 

Facebook is the platform where a lot of the recovery agent chatter happens. Generally, you do not see much conversation from lending clients or third-party providers, but they are definitely on Facebook listening. Actively posting in the groups that have a positive or constructive dialogue can elevate you as an agency owner. It will shine a positive light on your business but be aware who might be reading. Bashing creditors will not help you get business with any of them. In some cases your posts can even be used against you in a lawsuit. Overall, social media is a great tool to increase your online visibility, but it can eat up a lot of your time. You also must be careful of how you want to present yourself and your company online. 

Google Listing

One quick and easy way to improve your online presence is to add your company to Google My Business. Finding recovery agencies is generally not something lenders do by searching the web, but there is always the chance that someone might be looking for you. It only takes about 10 minutes so there is no reason not to check this simple online marketing checkbox. 

Electronic PDF Sales Flyer

Many recovery agencies choose to omit certain details on websites since the recovery business has unique safety and legal concerns. For this reason, a great marketing tool can be a simple email along with a detailed digital sales flyer for prospective clients. This flyer can provide more details about your lots, offices, policies, services, and attention to compliance. It’s a perfect piece of marketing collateral to send direct to prospective clients. Designing a sales flyer can be done in Microsoft PowerPoint, Apple Keynote, or other simple online design tools. Ensure it looks professional, matches your website, includes contact details, and is an emailable-sized PDF. 

In short, marketing tactics for repossession agencies need to be nurtured if gaining new clients is a goal. These are not the only tactics to increase your client base, but they are essential. Your compliance profile is the most important thing creditors want to see. If you do not have an online presence, you are missing the boat.   

Insurance: Creditor Requirements for Repossession Agents

by Holly Balogh : RISC / President

Insurance coverage requirements vary significantly from one creditor to the next. Although the insurance industry provides coverage in the trillions of dollars, repossession is a $50MM niche market. Unfortunately, many insurance carriers and professionals struggle to understand this unique industry and many times are unable to provide the insurance these agents are asked to carry.

Recently, RISC was asked to provide an analysis to creditors about common expectations and baseline requirements for repossession insurance.  RISC performs vendor vetting compliance services to more than 40 creditors and national forwarders across the U.S. and monitors over 2,000 repossession agencies.  RISC’s vetting services includes reviewing agencies’ insurance policies and puts us in a unique position to observe trends in this critical area of compliance.

Recent trends of non-standard requirements include the waiver of subrogation on an employer’s liability insurance and cyber liability limits of $5MM per occurrence. For the waiver, only a small handful of lenders ask for this, but carriers will almost always deny this request as it puts them in an unenviable position. For the requirement of a cyber liability insurance limit of $5MM per occurrence, recovery agents simply do not have these limits, and finding a repo agent who will obtain and pay for a policy with this requirement is challenging. Another request that is unusual is Professional Liability, also known as Errors and Omissions (E&O) with a limit of $5MM per occurrence.  Again, repossession agencies do not carry a policy with that high of a limit. Generally, agents maintain limits according to their service level agreements with their clients and they vary from no required limit to as high as $1MM per occurrence as seen in the chart below.

Despite these unique expectations, commonality does exist.  Of the 40+ creditors that RISC supports for vendor vetting, 63% require a Commercial General Liability insurance of $1MM per occurrence and $2MM general aggregate, and 25% require limits of $1MM per occurrence and $3MM general aggregate.  Only 6% require a $2MM per occurrence coverage, and another 6% have no specific requirement on limits. 

Similarly, all of RISC’s creditor clients require Vehicle Liability insurance covering owned, non-owned, and leased vehicles of not less than $1MM combined single limit. In addition to the major coverage requirements, creditors have varying limit requirements for garage keepers, on-hook, and wrongful repossession coverages, as seen in the following charts.

The most important takeaway from our observations regarding insurance for repossession agencies is that there are very few insurance providers in this industry. Creditors need to be aware of nonstandard requests that are near impossible for agents to obtain or afford. Creditors may need to be prepared to pay agencies a premium if they want to demand these out-of-the-ordinary coverage requirements.

RISC is the leading authority in the compliance services industry for collateral recovery. We provide education, vendor vetting, and lot inspection services for clients across the country. If lenders or national forwarding companies have additional questions about insurance coverage standard practices, please contact RISC at [email protected]m or call (813) 712-7535 to start a conversation with an expert.

DISCLAIMER: Limits defined in the statistics from the charts above are based on an average of RISC, LLC’s more than 40 vendor vetting client requirements. These are not intended to provide legal advice to creditors or claim to be legal standards, but rather are intended to show potential trends.

Personal property during repossession, do you know all 50 states’​ requirements?

Written by Holly Balogh – President: RISC

Education is paramount to protecting yourself from liability in several different areas of the repossession process. When it comes to personal property, the rules vary by state and some states have specific regulations. Unfortunately, lenders may unknowingly put themselves at risk for fines if they are unaware of these unique laws. As an example, a few months ago, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) documented a ruling against a large National Creditor for a number of infractions including personal property issues that spanned three years. The hefty penalty included a violation because the repossession agents, with the creditor’s knowledge, “demanded that consumers pay a separate, upfront storage fee for personal property contained in repossessed vehicles. These agents refused to return consumers’ personal property until the consumers paid the fee.” 

This recent case should open the eyes of everyone involved in the repossession process, including the financial creditors making the loans, the repossession agents completing the repo process, and the consumer who has the rights to protect him or herself during what has to be a very difficult situation. An issue, that perhaps exacerbates the ability of the industry to ‘do the right thing’ when it comes to dealing with personal property, are the multiple different state laws across the United States. 

The CFPB has made it clear that a repossessor cannot hold personal property hostage in lieu of payment but if someone is willing to pay, then there is no issue. In the State of Florida by State Statute 493, agents are allowed to charge for personal property storage. This can be confusing as some lenders allow fees to be charged, some do not, and some pay the agency to give personal property back in lieu of collecting fees from the consumer. Ultimately, an agency must understand what their lenders allow and ensure they are appropriately compensated for their own internal costs for managing, maintaining, and supporting the personal property found in repossessed vehicles. As demonstrated in the recent CFPB case, the actions of the agent fall under the responsibility of the creditor for whom they are repossessing. In today’s COVID-19 world, these costs are higher and support is needed now more than ever.

Here is a little quiz. What do the States of Alaska, Arizona, and Alabama have in common? Besides starting with the letter A, they do not have any specific laws for how to handle personal property. Therefore, federal law must be adhered to. Here is another one. What state requires a notification that the repossession agent is in possession of personal property? If you guessed Indiana, you got it right. Here is another, what state has a requirement for special treatment for medical devices in the vehicle? If you guessed Maine you would be right again.

As you can see from these few examples, some states, ten in all, have very unique and specific personal property requirements. RISC has taken a key step to support the industry and help all parties understand what rules must be followed. In partnership with Hudson Cook, LLP, RISC has outlined the details of personal property laws state-by-state in this FREE Report. This report outlines the latest regulations as of February 2021. Print these laws out, review them, ensure that your agencies understand them. Doing so will help you take a big step forward in ‘doing the right thing’ and following the law related to how to handle personal property during the repossession process.

Skip tracing not only helps locate bad debts, but also helps unmask child predators on the internet.

Story by RISC

Skip tracing has long been a crucial skill and an integral part of the auto repossession process. It involves collecting information on a person in question, analyzing and verifying that information, then using it to determine that person’s location. A skip tracer is part data miner and part private investigator and the art of skip tracing requires talent to nurture. One of the leading experts in repossession skip tracing is Alex “SkipGuru” Price, the Director of Training & Development at LocateSmarter. Price has been skip tracing and advising the auto finance industry for over 30 years on tracing individuals who are no longer making timely car payments. Price is also the creator of RISC’s Skip Tracer Certification program that is widely used by the collateral recovery industry as well as private investigators, bounty hunters, news reporters, and others.

Price has always been first in line to use his skills or certification programs to help out a good cause. His latest volunteer effort is support for the Innocent Lives Foundation (ILF). ILF is a nonprofit organization that utilizes the unique skill set of computer security and OSINT (Open-Source Intelligence) professionals to unmask child predators on the internet and help bring them to justice. Sadly, 1 in 10 children will be a victim of sexual abuse before their 18th birthday. ILF is committed to protecting childrens’ innocence as they hunt down the worst of the worst — pedophiles, sexual predators, and human traffickers — while also providing critical evidence to US and international law enforcement agencies. Since its inception, the ILF has had over 239 cases accepted by law enforcement. The impact the case support has had on childrens’ lives is immeasurable. “Working with the ILF is a great passion of mine, and I intend to put all my resources and contacts into helping their mission,” says Price. “As parents of two great kids, my wife and I have been blessed never to have had the experience of any violent crime in our family. It is hard for us even to imagine the torture these poor children have endured, so if one dime of my certification program sales or one friend volunteers to help the ILF to save children, then my entire career will be worth it”, says Price. 

To support ILF, RISC and Alex “SkipGuru” Price will donate 100% of the proceeds of the sale of the Skip-Tracing Certification Program to ILF for the months of February and March 2021. RISC and Price have also set a challenge to other skip tracers to reach out to ILF to donate any amount of their time and skills to support the cause. “I know many of the best investigators in the world, and I challenge each of you to find out how you can help save a child. God bless anyone that is able to contribute in any way!” says Price. “Partnerships with individuals like Alex Price, and companies such as RISC are vital to our mission, for many reasons,” adds Shane McCombs, Chief Operating Officer at ILF. “First off, it can cost up to $10,000 for the ILF to create and deliver a case to law enforcement. And, as a 501(c)3, we rely solely on generous donations to continue our vital work”, says McCombs. “In addition to fundraising initiatives, these partnerships are an essential way that our organization can gain new exposure to groups and individuals who align themselves with our mission,” declares McCombs.

Here are a few ways that the public can help. First, visit the Innocent Lives Foundation website, to learn more. You may have a needed skill or another way you can contribute. Second, purchase the RISC Skip Tracer Certification Program in February and March, and in addition to becoming a Certified Skip Tracer, all proceeds from the program will go directly to ILF. Lastly, you can watch Alex Price and ILF during a fireside chat on February 9th at 7pm EST to hear more about their efforts. Join them live on the streaming website Twitch. Please spread the word and contribute where you can. 

Mark Lacek to speak about the financial impact of commercial collateral recovery at this year’s Allied Finance Adjusters Annual Convention.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

TAMPA, FL 10/19/2020 – During this year’s Allied Finance Adjusters Annual Convention Meeting on November 20th, Mark Lacek, author of the Certified Commercial Recovery Agent national certification program (CCRA) offered through RISC’s education platform, will be speaking to the attendees about commercial asset recovery best practices. 

With COVID-19 weighing heavily on the repossession industry, everyone is adjusting their business models and capabilities. Lacek, considered one of the nation’s leading expert witnesses on professional standards within the repossession industry, will be giving attendees a closer look at how they can incorporate the commercial side of recovery into their established repossession agencies. He will cover a broad spectrum of topics, including contacting national commercial lending clients, commercial skip-tracing strategy, re-marketing tips for commercial equipment, billing and invoicing advice, and much more. For the full AFA Annual Meeting agenda and times visit the AFA website here.

All attendees will receive a one-time offer for a 50% discount off RISC’s Certified Commercial Recovery Agent course, which normally retails for $360. All attendees will also walk away with a code for a 20% discount off the industry-leading repossession certification, CARS.

Mark Lacek is the founder of Professional Repossessor Magazine, Commercial Asset Solutions (CAS) owner, and former president of Florida Association of Licensed Repossessors. Mark is also a monthly contributor to the American Towman magazine column titled, RepoRun, as well as a contributing writer for Tow Times Magazine. The full CCRA program is an online certification offered through RISC (Recovery Industry Services Company) and available at www.riscus.com.

About RISC

RISC is an organization dedicated to providing services specific to the collateral recovery industry and advocates on behalf of all professional practitioners with the industry. RISC is the industry leader of professional training and certification for collateral recovery specialists, training over 5,000 agents every year. For more information, visit www.RISCus.com or contact us at [email protected], (866) 996-7472 or (813) 712-7535

RISC on LinkedIn and Facebook

Supporting Tomorrow’s Business Leaders – RISC launches Program LIFT

By Stamatis Ferarolis – CEO, RISC

As COVID-19 began to grip the world, I started thinking about preparations here in the US and how it might affect our business.  Our employees are the lifeblood of our company, so it got me wondering how this new norm would affect their work and home life.  The biggest questions I had were, what would work from home look like and how did this change their children’s life?  Fortunately, and by design, we were already largely prepared for the work-from-home scenario as we had many operational functions online and in the cloud. However, we quickly realized that there was another problem arising with older aged adolescents at home or suddenly coming home from college. As a father of teenage kids, I saw this firsthand how COVID19 was affecting them. They now had the challenge of virtual school, no longer had afterschool or summer jobs and had lost all sense of normalcy. These ‘kids’ had suddenly entered a very challenging time in their lives, and I saw an opportunity where I could help.

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is home-office-4996834_1920-1024x683.jpg
Image by Leni_und_Tom from Pixabay 

After some consideration, I realized that RISC had several opportunities where teenagers and young college-age kids could learn different skills within the RISC virtual office. Not only was this going to help our company, but more importantly, it was an opportunity to teach these students essential business skills and earn some money. It was at this point that Program LIFT, “Leaning Into the Future Together”, was born.  After staff consultation we saw this as one way to create young leaders of tomorrow during a time of great uncertainty.

This program was designed for teenage children of RISC employees.  A source of pride for me was to see the relationship that parent-employees cultivated with their teenage children because many of our LIFT employees get to work alongside their parents, providing additional mentorship, pride, and revenue. 

Here is how it works for RISC. As LIFT candidates, they are introduced to a real-world professional hiring process. They are required to submit a resume, conduct an interview, and upon acceptance, the new LIFT employee joins the company following the same process as any other new employee would. This includes reviewing the employee handbook, setting up their direct deposit payroll, obtaining a company email address, setting up their home office equipment, one-on-one manager mentorship and so on. The employees work on routine, non-emergency items that can be accomplished remotely, part-time and during flexible hours. To incentivize hard work, the pay rate is well above minimum wage.  Exposing the LIFT candidates to this new work-from-home opportunity has allowed them to learn in a professional work atmosphere while working on their time balancing school and work.

I see Program LIFT continuing well beyond the COVID era. It has been a very positive experience and worth the effort.  My dream is that this inspires other companies to do something similar.  I am promoting this as a template for others across the country to follow.  We have a duty to lift others as we rise ourselves, and our children are the way to make that happen. To learn more about our framework, please download the Program LIFT template HERE. Good luck!

RISC updates its CARS Financial Client collateral recovery training program for lenders and national forwarders.

TAMPA, FL 9/28/2020 – RISC, with support from the leading consumer financial law firm, Hudson Cook, LLP, have completed the 2020 update of the training certification program CARS Financial Client (CARS FC). The CARS FC certification program was created for financial clients, including national forwarding companies and lending institutions, to provide a comprehensive understanding of the state and federal laws that apply to self-help repossession. The course update aligns the content with current federal law and the addition of the Equal Credit Opportunity Act (ECOA).

RISC developed this collateral recovery training curriculum in 2017 to support industry professionals who do not perform repossessions and is updated annually.  This online training program takes enrollees through all aspects of the repossession process, from government regulations to possible liability traps, and teaches best practices. The program covers topics such as:

  • CFPB Oversight
  • Fair Debt Collections Practices Act (FDCPA)
  • Dodd-Frank prohibition on Unfair, Deceptive, and Abusive Acts and Practices (UDAAP)
  • Telephone Protection Act
  • Servicemembers Civil Relief Act
  • Contracts
  • Crimes and Torts
  • And much more

CARS FC is an online course administered on the RISC Educational Platform that allows for self-paced training. Over 5,000 people are certified annually with RISC’s CARS FC, CARS, and CARS Continuing Education programs. To learn how to train yourself or your employees, contact us at [email protected].

About RISC

RISC is an organization dedicated to providing compliance oversight and training services to the collateral recovery industry and beyond. RISC advocates on behalf of all practitioners within the industry. For more information, visit www.RISCus.com or call (813) 712-7535.

Insurance broker, Western Skies MGA, endorses CARS, RISC Pro and Driver Safety.

Western Skies MGA announced that they will be officially endorsing several of RISC’s compliance education and services. Read the full press release below:

8/23/2020 – FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Western Skies MGA announces their endorsement of collateral recovery compliance services company RISC and their CARS education courses.

Las Vegas, NV – Western Skies MGA, an insurance brokerage firm writing coverage for the towing and repossession industry, announced that they are officially endorsing RISC (Recovery Industry Services Company) and its compliance training certification program, CARS, the Driver Safety training, and their RISC Pro Membership. RISC is the primary compliance services company in the collateral recovery industry that provides compliance and safety training for both recovery agencies as well as lending institutions.

RISC’s CARS National Certification program covers the full spectrum of crucial knowledge that recovery agents need to safely do business in the industry. CARS is the only training accepted in all 50 states by all national creditors. In addition, RISC’s Driver Safety Training can be instrumental in reducing claims and keeping recovery agents safe. RISC Pro Members are part of an elite network of agency owners that use all RISC training courses while meeting stringent vetting to achieve a higher level of compliance standing.

“At Western Skies, we always encourage our customers to train their staff with the most comprehensive and up to date certification courses,” says president, Daniel Smith. “Thorough vetting and training are essential to reduce insurance claims and help reduce liability in the event of a lawsuit.  RISC’s CARS National Certification and Driver Safety programs are the top education programs in the collateral recovery industry. We desire our customers be RISC Pro members because we can have confidence that they have had the best training possible.”

Western Skies MGA will continue to remind its clients of the importance of training as a vital piece of any recovery agency’s business protocol. To learn more about the CARS National Certification Program, Driver Safety Training, or RISC Pro visit www.riscus.com.

About Western Skies MGA

Western Skies MGA is a licensed wholesale and E&S brokerage headquartered in Las Vegas, Nevada. We have strong insurance carrier relationships and can help secure coverage for all commercial trucking and transportation risks; even very hard to place risks. Our staff has years of program administration and insurance experience. We make it our business to understand your business and to provide guidance, excellent customer service and support to each and every client. The integrity of our company is our biggest asset, so we select individuals and companies we do business with very carefully. With a team of seasoned professionals, the very latest in data management technology and communication systems, as well as the implementation of consistent standards of practice, Western Skies is the transportation partner you can trust. Contact us at (702) 685-2074 or email us at [email protected]. westerskiesmga.com

Repossession Job Search During COVID19

Published from RepoHiring.com

By Holly Balogh / President @ RISC

Searching for a job in the repossession industry can be an arduous task at any time, let alone the during the COVID19 pandemic.  Many repossession companies have been forced to temporarily shutter their doors, shut down storage lots, or, worse, are now permanently out-of-business due to the coronavirus.  Times are tough for these small businesses and the personnel who work there.

But hope is on the horizon.  At compliance services company, RISC, we have started to see an uptick in compliance needs and onsite inspections have started rolling again.  Our lending clients have confirmed that they are beginning to send out assignments, and those who have not started, have established dates for full reopening.  It appears that this is the calm before the storm of a massive influx of work for us all. It’s time to get proactive.

For those of you out there searching for work in the repossession world… read the rest of the story here.

RISC LAUNCHES EMPLOYMENT SITE FOR THE REPOSSESSION INDUSTRY

Tampa, FL 6/30/2020 –

RepoHiring.com is designed to connect employers with collateral recovery professionals

Launched by RISC, RepoHiring.com helps connect collateral recovery industry employers with qualified job seekers.  Free for both employers and job seekers, this site is designed with the asset recovery industry in mind.

Over the past few years, the collateral recovery industry has been particularly challenged to identify and retain qualified employees. The old process simply wasn’t very efficient. Without a centralized resource, industry job seekers found opportunities through word of mouth, Facebook, Indeed, Craigslist, etc. 

None of these sites were designed with the collateral recovery industry in mind. 

RepoHiring.com fills that gap across the gamut of roles in the repossession and collateral recovery industry including Agents, Lenders, Forwarders, Industry Service Providers, Skip Tracers, Locksmiths, etc.

Employers can post unlimited free job opportunities on the site in just minutes.  They can also search the database of registered job seekers with public profiles.

Job seekers create a profile and save it to apply for future opportunities.  They can upload a resume or build out an employment profile. Once the profile is built, applying for jobs is as easy as a single click.   

If you’re reading this, RepoHiring.com was built for you. 

RepoHiring.com currently serves all U.S. states with plans to expand as demand grows.

About RISC / RepoHiring.com

RISC is an organization dedicated to providing oversight and training services to the collateral recovery industry and beyond.  RISC advocates on behalf of all practitioners within the industry. For more information on RepoHiring, visit www.RepoHiring.com or email at [email protected]

Copyright 2021. All Rights Reserved RISC LLC.