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] 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. 

RISC launches a 2020 updated version of their CARS – Continuing Education Course 4 – The Recovery Process

TAMPA, FL 4/21/2020 – RISC along with Hudson Cook, LLP, a law firm whose regulatory compliance practice includes work within the subject of automotive repossession, has updated RISC’s most popular CARS Continuing Education Course, CE 4. CARS CE 4 covers the “Recovery Process” which includes crucial topics that recovery agencies face on a daily basis. This course is designed to give agents the ability to communicate accurately with clients and provide the framework for agents to complete a wide range of work at the highest level of compliance. Topics include details on preparing assignments for agents, personal property procedures, consumer’s right to cure notices, sale of a recovered property and much more. CARS CE 4 is one of several courses that RISC offers that counts towards a recovery agent’s need for annual continuing education to keep certifications up to date. To purchase the course go to RISC’s website.

**CARS CE 4 is updated as of March 12, 2020. This course is created for the general U.S. collateral recovery industry and it is the responsibility of agencies to ensure it is applicable to their local city/state laws.

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.

RISC waives RISC Pro membership/education subscription fees through the end of May 2020 to support collateral agents during the COVID-19 crisis.

We cannot avoid the news about COVID-19 and the uncertainty it is bringing to our lives. This virus has caused disruptions to not only our daily lives but, most certainly, the collateral recovery industry. In these challenging times, the compliance team at RISC would like to do our part and help support the industry agents on the frontlines. We realize that the pandemic and its economic impacts will slow assignments significantly. However, it is important to remember that this will not last for long. If we can find ways to weather the storm then we know there is going to be a significant workload in the near future. In fact, it is realistic to say there will be more work than we all can handle. As an industry, we need to help each other survive, prepare, and be ready for the favorable times to come.

To support the agent community, RISC will waive all membership fees including the CARS education subscription fees within the membership for current and new RISC Pro Members starting immediately through the end of May. Billing will resume the first week of June 2020. Our hope is that this will give some financial relief to agents and the chance to use the downtime to get staff trained and ready for when business turns back on.

What is RISC Pro?

RISC Pro is a membership for Agents that provides the ability to:

To manage and store compliance documentation on the MBSi VendorConnect platform. Lenders can see the status and assign more efficiently using RecoveryConncect.
Showcase a compliance profile and company listing in front of 40+ Lenders and Forwarders that are on the MBSi VendorConnect / RISC Pro platform.
Quickly share a compliance profile direct with the Lenders on the platform or outside the MBSi platform.
Have unlimited staff access to the CARS National Certification, Continuing Education, and Drivers Safety Certification for a small monthly “pay as you go” subscription rather than the full upfront certification cost.
And more…
Membership billing is currently on hold and will begin again the first week of June. There is NO cancellation fee. If agencies decide to cancel the RISC Pro Membership, any

CARS certification completed between now and then will require you to pay in full to retain a valid CARS certificate. More details can be found in the RISC Pro Service Agreement at Registration.

Learn More and Register for RISC Pro

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.

RISC launches the CARS – Massachusetts Certification Course, the #1 Massachusetts-specific training for repossession agents.

TAMPA, FL 1/29/2020 – RISC, a compliance services company, is pleased to launch the Massachusetts-specific collateral recovery training course as part of their CARS National Certification Program. Continually providing up to date training on state-mandated regulations is the goal of RISC, the leader in compliance services and education. “It’s crucial to let the industry know about updated regulations and provide comprehensive training for collateral recovery in Massachusetts and beyond,” says RISC CEO, Stamatis Ferarolis. “We are committed to providing these updates and have hired the prestigious law firm, Hudson Cook, to help design the most current training programs in the nation,” says Ferarolis. RISC will continue to evolve with the industry and look towards always building courses that will provide value to both clients and recovery agents.

“The overview of Massachusetts regulations is very informative. It’s another great addition to RISC’s current CARS program to keep my recovery staff safe and knowledgable,” says Steve Digantgikis, owner of New England Adjustment Bureau. Digantgikis is the first to become certified in this MA-specific CARS Program and focuses on having one of the most skilled teams to support his lending clients.

CARS-Massachusetts course is an example of RISC’s commitment to educating the industry to keep both the consumer and the recovery agent safe. The CARS certification is accepted by all domestic lending institutions and is completed by over 4,000 people annually. The course is available on RISC’s Education Platform for purchase on the RISC website.

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.

Mark Lacek lays out the case that Commercial Repossession is an untapped niche.

Mark Lacek lays out the case that Commercial Repossession is an untapped niche.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

TAMPA, FL 11/4/2019 – During this year’s Allied Finance Adjusters Midyear Meeting, Mark Lacek, author of RISC’s Certified Commercial Recovery Agent national certification program (CCRA), was invited to summarize the highlights of his 40-year commercial repossession career experience.  During the seminar, attendees were educated on the veteran recovery agent’s approach to commercial account repossession, including how to fine-tune their skills, make more money and reduce their overhead costs.

  

During the 90-minute session, Lacek advised on many of the most important stages and categories of the commercial repossession business. Some of the various topics included how to identify and locate a client in need of commercial repossession services; what kinds of collateral are associated with this type of portfolio; what are the various steps involved when receiving an assignment of this nature and what job-specific tools and resources are needed; insight on some of the lenders and forwarders who operate in this landscape; and appropriate charges for services rendered, as well as additional revenue streams within this industry.

According to the former president of Allied Finance Adjusters, George Badeen, “Mark’s session was really well received with the crowd of over 50 agents. He gave them some great ammo to go back to their businesses with and find ways to tap into this lucrative niche”.

“I tried to pack in as much information during the session as I could. I honestly feel the most valuable information on commercial repossessions are within the CCRA Certification Course”, said Lacek. He went on to add, “I received several responses from attendees at the Allied Midyear Meeting, advising one of the first things on their agendas – once home – was to go onto the RISC website and sign up for the CCRA program.”

Mark will be conducting another seminar at the American Towman Expo this December in Atlantic City, NJ.

Mark Lacek is the founder of Professional Repossessor Magazine, owner of Commercial Asset Solutions (CAS), and former president of Florida Association of Licensed Repossessors. Lacek is considered one of the nation’s leading expert witnesses on professional standards and the repossession industry. 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 advocate on behalf of all professional practitioners with the industry. RISC is dedicated to the professional training and certification of collateral recovery specialists. For more information visit www.RISCus.com or contact us at [email protected], (866) 996-7472 or (813) 712-7535

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Keith Baggett joins the RISC team as Director of Business Development

Keith Baggett joins the RISC team as Director of Business Development

TAMPA, FL 9/4/2019 –

RISC, the leading compliance and training company for the auto recovery industry, is pleased to announce Keith Baggett as their new Director of Business Development.

RISC has spent the last 6 months working to improve and standardize their services as well as develop new ones. Keith will be critical to bringing them to life. “Keith has been an essential player in this industry for over 20 years. His extensive experience with vendor and client relations while working at Remarketing Solutions, Renovo Services, Primeritus Financial Services and Location Services has provided him with a deep knowledge base for compliance and training. Keith is a Swiss army knife with a wide range of skills that can ensure RISC works to solve the problems of all our customers”, says RISC CEO, Stamatis Ferarolis.

Compliance continues to expand in the industry, and it can become burdensome at all stages of the process. RISC strives to relieve as much of this pain as possible by standardizing and providing in-depth vetting and monitoring, as well as the best continual education training to keep all players aware of potential pitfalls. Keith goes on to add, “existing customers, new customers, internal customers, external customers…it’s all the same as far as I’m concerned. Everyone deserves the best customer service(s) available and I’m here to provide that”.

Keith Baggett can be contacted at [email protected] or (813) 712-7535 x3019.

About RISC

RISC is an organization dedicated to providing services specific to the collateral recovery industry and advocate on behalf of all professional practitioners with the industry. RISC is dedicated to the professional training and certification of collateral recovery specialists. For more information visit www.RISCus.com.

 

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