It’s unanimous: Attendees rave about NABD’s fall conference

From Kansas to Georgia to across the Atlantic Ocean over to England, attendees evidently received what they wanted when the National Alliance of Buy-Here, Pay-Here Dealers hosted its Best Practices Conference in Orlando, Fla., at the beginning of this month.

President Ken Shilson highlighted that approximately 60 percent of attendees surveyed afterward had never been to an NABD conference previously. What they told Shilson and the NABD team about the three-day event dubbed “Best Practices to Succeed Now” left organizers excited about how the gathering unfolded.

“Attendee evaluations unanimously indicated that the program will help them succeed in 2017 and beyond,” Shilson said. “Our speakers and sponsors did an outstanding job helping attendees achieve their learning objectives.”

One person who gained significant amount of knowledge was Ciara Kimsey of Momentum Motorcars in Marietta, Ga., who might be considered a “green pea” in the BHPH space.

“As a dealer about to convert to BHPH, the information has been beyond helpful,” Kimsey said.

Taryn Meier of Affordable Transportation Co. in Abilene, Kansas, added, “This conference was very informational and helped bring my focus back to what’s most important in BHPH. Loved it!”

Along with attendees from elsewhere in the U.S. as well as Canada, Gavin Leach made the trip to Florida from Berkshire, England.

“I travel 6,000 miles to come to the convention. Need I say more; I always learn something valuable to take back,” Leach said.

The conference opened with 14 different workshop sessions covering vendor compliance, recoveries, millennial marketing, new technology, deal jacket compliance, reconditioning, F&I best practices, tax refunds, payment devices, capital solutions, lease-here, pay-here and the latest accounting and tax developments. All these workshops were interactive so attendees could ask questions and get answers on all these important topics.

General education sessions began with a highly inspirational keynote presentation by Harris Rosen, owner of Rosen Hotels and Resorts in Orlando. His keynote presentation was followed by sessions covering current developments, sourcing and financing inventory using digital channels and a benchmarks and trends update.

The event concluded with sessions on customer communications, an operating best practices dealer panel as well as a collection best practices panel and presentation. The conference also included a first-timer reception with more than 150 attendees and a sold out exhibit hall with more than 70 exhibitors who offered all the latest products and services to make attendees more profitable.

“NABD Orlando did not disappoint as the trend of improved success continued in our exhibitor space,” TaxMax founder Bill Neylan said. “It’s nice to have the ability to get in front of BHPH dealers who are decision makers that are there to take action. We meet new attendees every year who come to NABD with the goal of improving their business.”

NABD also announced that it will hold its 19th annual National BHPH Conference at a new venue — Encore in Las Vegas on May 23-25. Encore is a premier Las Vegas hotel and casino facility, and NABD has arranged unprecedented discounted room rates with no resort fees. The conference will focus on the “changing world of BHPH and of NABD” with an entirely new and exciting program agenda.

“This is a must attend for both new and experienced operators who want to compete successfully in the subprime auto finance market,” Shilson said.

For information or to register, visit or call (832) 767-4759.

AuctionACCESS adds Vehicle Acceptance to floor-plan platform

AutoTec announced on Tuesday that Vehicle Acceptance Corp. (VAC) is now integrated with the AuctionACCESS floor plan platform.

This integration will enable VAC to automate the transmission of updated credit availability and flooring request messages at AuctionACCESS subscribing auctions.

VAC insisted that the finance company believes in giving independent and buy-here, pay-here dealers choices. As an example, all dealers are offered four different price plans that are available on a per-unit basis and can be switched during the term. The AuctionACCESS connection will offer VAC dealers many more choices in auction locations from which to acquire inventory.

“This integration will make it easier for Vehicle Acceptance dealers to floor cars throughout the wholesale industry,” said Jonathan Neubauer, president and chief executive officer of Vehicle Acceptance.

“We are excited to work with our auction partners on this automation as it creates a more efficient process for our dealers to get in and out of the lanes,” Neubauer continued.

AuctionACCESS is the centralized credentialing authority for more than 285 wholesale auto auctions throughout the country. The company’s automated floor plan platform can provide a centralized portal for finance companies and auctions to communicate credit availability and loan origination information.

“We are excited about adding VAC as a partner on our floor plan platform,” AutoTec vice president of business development Charlie Adams said.

“AuctionACCESS is now integrated with more than 10 lenders, as we have created a centralized and efficient way for auctions and lenders to communicate up-to-date credit availability and real-time floor plan transactions,” Adams went on to say.

PassTime unveils LTE Category 1 Device on the Verizon Wireless network

PassTime recently launched what the wireless GPS telematics products provider called Elite 5, an LTE Category 1-based telematics device serving consumer, dealership, fleet and specialized finance company markets.

The company highlighted The Elite 5 is the first LTE Category 1-based GPS device certified on Verizon’s 4G LTE network to serve the subprime automotive finance market in the U.S.

In addition, PassTime noted the Elite 5 will feature advanced power-saving functionality.

“The Elite 5 is a huge accomplishment for PassTime,” PassTime chief operating officer Chris Macheca said.

Bringing the first LTE Category 1-based device into the payment assurance market will provide our customers with access to the most reliable 4G LTE network and provide for network longevity which is critical to our customers,” Macheca continued.

PassTime has been a valued member of the Verizon Partner Program for nearly two years since launching a CDMA device on Verizon’s wireless network in 2014.  The company continues to provide innovative products and access to the latest technologies, helping ensure its customers have the best technology options to fit their needs.

“PassTime is a valued partner that has made several fleet devices available to Verizon customers,” said Chris Schmidt, executive director at Verizon.

“We are pleased to see cost-effective 4G LTE solutions such as PassTime’s Elite 5 Cat 1 device come to market and provide a new solution to serve the subprime auto finance market that connects to Verizon’s 4G network,” Schmidt went on to say.

For more information on PassTime’s new Elite 5 device, contact the company at (877) 727-7846 or

DriveTime now gives buyers 3-month SiriusXM subscription

SiriusXM and DriveTime Automotive Group, which operates 140 dealerships across the country and turns more than 145,000 vehicles annually, announced on Thursday that its customers will now receive a three-month subscription to the SiriusXM All Access package when purchasing any pre-owned vehicle with a factory-installed satellite radio.

DriveTime vice president of market strategy Scott Worthington explained why this development will help DriveTime maintain its presence in the buy-here, pay-here market.

“At DriveTime, we are always looking for ways to build on our customer-first approach. This relationship with SiriusXM provides additional value to our customers and gives them a benefit they would receive with a new vehicle,” Worthington said.

The “All Access” package is SiriusXM’s most extensive offering and includes Howard Stern, every NFL, MLB and NBA game, every NASCAR race, plus NHL games, PGA Tour coverage and live college sports, as well as SiriusXM’s wide variety of commercial-free music, plus talk programming, comedy and several exclusive online-only channels. 

All-Access subscribers also can get access to SiriusXM programming outside the vehicle on the SiriusXM app and online at

“We are pleased to welcome DriveTime to the more than 23,000 auto dealers across the country already participating in the SiriusXM Pre-Owned Program,” said Gail Berger, vice president of auto remarketing at SiriusXM.

“The SiriusXM All Access package adds value to DriveTime’s satellite radio equipped pre-owned vehicle inventory, and gives their customers access to SiriusXM’s extensive programming lineup — with commercial-free music, plus live sports, comedy, news, exclusive talk and entertainment — as they drive their newly purchased vehicle,” Berger went on to say.

For more information on the SiriusXM Pre-Owned Program, visit

Frazer now part of NIADA National Member Benefit Program

In an effort to boost its commitment to buy-here, pay-here operators, dealer management software provider Frazer Computing became the newest member of the National Independent Automobile Dealers Association's National Member Benefit Program this week.

While it is new to the NMB program, Frazer has a long affiliation with NIADA, having joined the association’s Georgia affiliate in 1992. Frazer is currently a member of more than 30 of NIADA’s state associations.

“NIADA and its state associations are an incredible resource for independent dealers,” Frazer president Michael Frazer said. “We love the state associations and are now proud to call ourselves partners with the national association.”

More than 16,000 customers use the Frazer DMS to help run their dealership. The system features hundreds of integrations with other vendors and thousands of features, including vehicle management, printing forms, vehicle marketing, processing sales, buy here-pay here and accounting.

“We heartily welcome Frazer Computing, a longtime leader in the independent auto dealer DMS marketplace, as our newest NIADA National Member Benefit partner,” NIADA senior vice president of member services Scott Lilja said.

“Thousands of Frazer dealers are also NIADA members, and now we're expecting even more to start joining their state associations and NIADA,” Lilja went on to say.

Frazer DMS now integrated with F&I Express

Independent dealers and buy-here, pay-here operators who use Frazer Software to handle their DMS needs now have more options to serve their customers thanks to a strategic partnership the company finalized with F&I Express.

Officials highlighted the integration of F&I Express with Frazer Software is designed to provide dealerships with the ability to digitally rate and construct eContracts. Dealers can capture electronic signatures and submit contracts for more than 130 F&I aftermarket product providers.

The incorporation of F&I Express eContracting within Frazer Software also can provide an even more streamlined process for dealers.

Independent dealers using Frazer Software are able to digitally send the customer’s deal information directly over to F&I Express to complete the contract. They are ensured of 100-percent accuracy and error-free contracts, sending the contract quickly and digitally to the customer for signatures.

Once signed, the digital contract can be easily tracked and submitted.   

“Our primary mission at F&I Express is to provide automotive dealerships with digital solutions to make the F&I process easier, faster and 100 percent error-free,” F&I Express president and chief executive officer Brian Reed said.

“The integration with Frazer allows us to serve a wider range of dealers and provides them with new functionality that streamlines the total process,” Reed continued. “Dealers who use eContracting with Frazer DMS integration will find the process to be error-free and even more efficient.”

By entering just the VIN and mileage, the F&I Express platform automatically displays the plans available and calculates the contract price.

Frazer Software president Michael Frazer explained the chance of human error is diminished, and the need for dealers to look through pricing information is removed. He added customer satisfaction increases with a faster, error-free process, which saves time at the dealership.

“We are very excited for our dealer customers,” Frazer said. “The Frazer DMS will now be instantly integrated with an additional 130 companies.”

Nominations needed to highlight BHPH Movers & Shakers

Buy-here, pay-here might be one of the most intimate parts of the automotive industry. Participants take some of the biggest risks and help to provide transportation to individuals who have little financial means but need a vehicle the most.

For the September/October issue of BHPH Report, we’re looking to highlight executives, operators and managers who flourish in this space, what we’ve dubbed “Movers & Shakers.” And we need your help to make sure we highlight some of the most talented BHPH professionals.

Through Tuesday, Sept. 13, we’re accepting nominations for our next print edition of BHPH Report dedicated to “Movers & Shakers.” You can send nominations to BHPH Report senior editor Nick Zulovich at All we ask is for the company’s logo, a high-resolution head shot of the BHPH professional and a few comments stemming from these three questions:

—Why does this individual have a passion for the BHPH industry?

—How has this individual adapted to the changing demands of BHPH?

—How does this individual make the company and fellow employees better?

“While the industry has been the subject of misconstrued and negative conclusions about what buy-here, pay-here might be, automotive experts know the true importance and value this slice of the industry possesses, and why BHPH participants are so talented and successful,” said Bill Zadeits, publisher of BHPH Report.

“We hope this issue captures why buy-here, pay-here is one of the most innovative and pioneering pieces of the entire industry,” Zadeits continued.

Along with highlighting “Movers & Shakers,” the September/October issue of BHPH Report also will share a preview of what’s coming during the 13th annual fall conference hosted by the National Alliance of Buy-Here, Pay-Here Dealers. The conference, whose theme is “Best Practices to Succeed Now,” is designed for both new and experienced operators and is set for the first days of November.

The issue will also have a collection of recommendations from BHPH experts to enhance compliance and other operational departments.

So if you know of an industry professional who should be included in our next issue putting the spotlight on “Movers & Shakers,” send your nominations and responses to the questions listed above to BHPH Report senior editor Nick Zulovich (

And if you don’t already have one, get your free subscription to BHPH Report by going to

HBO show lambastes BHPH, but thankful customers remain

If any buy-here, pay-here operators were fans of the HBO comedy program “Last Week Tonight with John Oliver,” they might not be any longer after the host’s unflattering portrayal of subprime auto financing, and in particular BHPH dealerships.

The nearly 18-minute segment recounted the story of a vehicle repossessed and resold multiple times, revisited the series published by The Los Angeles Times that triggered significant legislation in California, and included snippets of comments that Ken Shilson, the president and founder of the National Alliance of Buy-Here, Pay-Here Dealers, made during the annual conference hosted by DBA International earlier this summer.

Before operators get too discouraged about being negatively portrayed, BHPH Report found a consumer who has greatly benefitted from the “transportation solution,” as Shilson likes to put it, that dealerships with related finance companies can provide individuals with badly bruised credit histories.

And the anecdote came from a story posted earlier this year by sister publication SubPrime Auto Finance News.

The individual, who was listed as Joy in the comments section and verified by BHPH Report, indicated that delivery came through a DriveTime dealership. One of DriveTime’s former top executives, Mark Sauder, was recently inducted into the NABD Hall of Fame.

Joy recollected, “DriveTime is great if you are responsible. I went to DriveTime because my heart broke every time my son cried because it was too cold to sit at the bus stop.

“My credit was so bad, I was surprised they gave me a car. When I was young I maxed out a bunch on credit cards and was evicted twice. I wouldn't give that person a car. I only had a job for a couple of months, but my baby was crying. So I went to them, and they saved me,” Joy continued.

Joy did some due diligence when selecting a vehicle, too.

“I took my car to two mechanics to be on the safe side. My car was great. It only needed one fix and they paid for it,” Joy wrote in the comments section of this report.

Another portion of the HBO show segment explained how a vehicle with a wholesale value of about $3,500 would cost someone buying from a BHPH operator many times that figure because of interest and the length of the contract.

Joy said, “Having a car has allowed me to go to school, so now I can afford the payments a little better. But I'm not really angry because even though I will pay double for the car, without them I would not have a car at all.”

Joy also touched on one of the most difficult parts of the BHPH business that the HBO segment didn’t paint favorably, either.

When referencing collections, Joy added, “If anyone owed me money, I’d call them all day also. That’s just a given. I don’t understand why people complain so much.”

If you haven’t seen the HBO show material, it’s available here and in the window at the top of this page.

For BHPH dealers who need more encouragement from fellow operators and industry experts, NABD’s next event could be the remedy.

NABD recently released details of its upcoming BHPH Conference set for the first days of November.

The conference, whose theme is “Best Practices to Succeed Now,” is designed for both new and experienced operators. The event marks the 13th annual fall conference hosted by NABD, which is the largest used-vehicle special interest group for BHPH operators with more than 13,000 members.

The conference — to be held Nov. 1-3 at the Rosen Shingle Creek Resort in Orlando, Fla. — features dual-track workshop sessions that will focus on best operating practices, compliance, technology and new developments that operators must learn in order to succeed in today’s highly competitive subprime auto finance market.

Attendees are encouraged to bring their families and enjoy one of the nation’s most popular destinations. NABD has arranged discounted room rates with no resort fees in an effort to make it affordable for everyone. Early registration and member discounts are available, while supplies last, by calling NABD at (832) 767-4759 or going online to

A conference agenda and speaker information have been posted and will be updated on the NABD website at Attendees and exhibitors are encouraged to register soon while space is still available.

3 indicators for improved BHPH opportunities

Recent developments in the subprime auto finance market indicate that better days are ahead for the buy-here, pay-here industry. The last 24 months have seen fierce competition for deep subprime customers from credit unions, finance companies and franchised dealers. Much of this competition has been fueled by billions of dollars from auto bond securitizations packaged by Wall Street and sold to investors who were seeking high investment yields.

Some recent indicators suggest that better subprime market conditions are ahead for independent BHPH operators as follows:

1. Some of the deep subprime auto bond securitizations are not performing as projected and further deterioration is expected during the summer months.

2. Inventory availability continues to improve from auto bond repos, off-lease and rental vehicles, and from franchise trade-ins.

3. The deep subprime customers of today who are “car dependent” are finding new and certified pre-owned vehicles unaffordable for their limited financial capacity.

The aforementioned changes do not guarantee that every BHPH operator will automatically regain lost market share. Instead, they need to realize that the old ways of operating may not lead them to BHPH success in the subprime finance market of today.

We must learn from the deep subprime auto bond losses by recognizing the following:

1. Selling late model vehicles to weaker credit borrowers does not end well.

2. Lower down payments and repayments create longer terms, which increases default risk.

3. The higher-cost vehicles collateralizing auto bonds increases loss severity in early defaults.

A proper business model is needed to succeed in the competitive subprime auto finance market of today. Competition for the best customers will always exist so operators must adapt in order to compete successfully by:

1. Evaluating your business model from a cash return perspective. Does it generate a cash return commensurate with your investment in the portfolio?

2. Selling vehicles is important but “keeping them sold” is what generates long term success.

3. Relationships not transactions are needed to keep customers paying over the life of the contracts. These weaker credit customers need a transportation solution, which keeps the vehicle running throughout the contract term.

4. Collecting deep subprime installment contracts requires training, experience, and knowledge of the regulations in order to avoid significant operating and regulatory mistakes, which can cost millions of dollars.

5. There are three important elements in every BHPH deal: the customer, the vehicle and the deal structure. Good underwriting is needed at origination to properly match the customer with a vehicle they can afford.

In response to the changing market opportunities, I have surveyed and will discuss the business models that are working the best in the current environment and the operating practices that generate them at our next NABD conference in Orlando, Fla., on Nov. 1-3. Many of the nation’s best operators and experts will share their tips and techniques to help other operators succeed. The conference theme is “Best Practices to Succeed Now.”

Will your own operation capitalize on these new opportunities? Is your business model designed for future success? Are you making compliance mistakes that will cause failure? Now is the time to take a look “under your hood” to get these answers. Good Luck!

Ken Shilson is president and founder of the National Alliance of Buy-Here, Pay-Here Dealers (NABD), which is the nation’s largest special interest group for this industry. Information is available at Ken is also president of Subprime Analytics, which provides portfolio performance improvement analysis for operators and capital providers. For more information on the analytical services visit  

Arkansas operator secures $3.5M from Westlake ALPS

An operator who tries to sell used vehicles to credit-challenged consumers throughout Arkansas received a financial shot in the arm on Tuesday from Westlake Advanced Lending & Portfolio Services (ALPS).

Westlake ALPS, a division of Westlake Financial Services, finalized the formation of a $3.5 million revolving credit line with Star Finance of Hot Springs, Ark., an affiliate of Lloyd’s Auto Sales.

Westlake ALPS replaced Capital One Auto Finance as Lloyd’s exclusive institutional finance company, providing the operation with a secured revolving credit line to facilitate receivables growth for the next two years. Lloyd’s is an independent dealership based out of Hot Springs and serves the entire state.

“I was pleasantly surprised when I initially contacted Westlake,” Star Finance owner Lloyd Robertson said. “Right away, they were eager to assist me in securing a new line of credit. The entire process was easier than I ever expected, and they went above and beyond to expedite my deal and meet all of my financial needs.

“I now have much-needed capital at an affordable rate to help my portfolio grow and expand my business. I look forward to a long and healthy relationship with Westlake,” Robertson continued.

Westlake Financial Services’ ALPS division specializes in providing revolving credit lines to independent dealers throughout the United States. The division also acquires performing and distressed subprime loan portfolios from buy-here, pay-here dealerships and finance companies.

Forging relationships with operations such as Star Finance is the objective.

“We are excited to establish a partnership with Lloyd’s as they have proven to be a strong counterparty for Westlake Financial,” said Todd Laruffa, assistant vice president and division head of ALPS.

“Their business philosophy and growth strategy over the past 26 years is in line with Westlake’s vision, so we believe this partnership will be advantageous for both parties,” Laruffa added.

Dealerships, brokers and finance companies interested in learning more about Westlake’s ALPS can contact ALPS directly at (888) 937-2577.