Tax Refund Advances are back in 2016

Here’s some good news for buy-here, pay-here dealers going into Thanksgiving celebrations.

After four years on the shelf, the banking industry has revived the Tax Refund Advance for 2016. This development means that much needed funds are expected to be in the hands of consumers in mid-January.  Many individuals can expect up to $750 in 24 hours or less.

Prior to 2012, customers became accustomed to 24 hour refund loans. The old RAL (Refund Anticipation Loan) was greatly frowned upon by the current administration in Washington. Consumer protection advocates argued that the fees were too high and the APR was unacceptable.  The latest reincarnation has put all of these concerns to rest. This is a win-win for both the dealership and the customer.

Come January, many of the new Tax Refund Advance products that are being proposed will come with zero APR and zero application fees.

Recent history has brought about the new normal of a 5- to 21-day tax refund cycle. This will still exist in 2016. The difference that is generating additional excitement is the opportunity to obtain up to $750 within 24 hours, without a credit check.

The demand for the return of the Tax Refund Advance comes largely in response to the decline in traffic seen by the professional tax preparer. Self-preparation software such as TurboTax and TaxAct seized control of the market after the RAL disappeared. 

Consumers seem to have become unconcerned with their own personal qualifications to file a tax return.  The market is hoping to capitalize on the primary, pre-2012 draw to the local tax preparer: the enticement of fast money.

Banking institutions within the tax refund industry market have seen dramatic declines in revenues since 2012. Self-prepared tax returns bypass these companies, resulting in reduced customer counts.  An old product in the form of a Tax Refund Advance is seen as the new hope to reverse these trends.

Such trends have been mirrored at car dealerships who have not focused on the tax refund customer.  Many lament that tax season is not what it once was.  This phenomenon is due to both the refund loan hiatus and more aggressive competition.

Dealerships on the sidelines have seen the competition on the field steal their market share while garnering higher down payments.  Those with tax refund strategies have seen a steady rise in business, leading to a decline for the rest.

Tax refund marketing has evolved over the past five years to counteract the absence of the refund loan.  Now that the Tax Refund Advance has re-emerged, customer traffic is expected to soon follow.

Chip Wiley is the corporate trainer and marketing specialist for Tax Refund Services and Tax Max. Wiley can be reached at (813) 987-2199 or

DriveTime hosting 48 races to raise funds for struggling families

On Sunday, DriveTime is hosting 48 running events across the country during its first DriveTime Kids in Need 5K Fun Run.

Officials shared recent estimates that indicate nearly 20 percent of Americans face the burden of unpaid medical bills.

Recognizing this need, especially among families with children, each DriveTime dealership and operations center will raise funds for a local customer family that has a child with a medical need.

With the addition of the Kids in Need 5K Fun Run, DriveTime said it is deepening its commitment to giving back to the communities in which the company’s employees live, work and run. The Kids in Need 5K Fun Run is designed to provide the unique opportunity to engage all DriveTime dealerships and their communities at once, showing the depth of the network of support created by DriveTime.

Community members are encouraged to join the nearly 4,000 DriveTime employees and run, walk, jog or cheer on their local run. The event is free for participants and spectators, and no tickets are required. Medals will be awarded for the top 3 finishers at each race, and water stations and snacks will be provided.

Through the Kids in Need 5K Fun Run, DriveTime is working hand in hand with local communities and eliminating the potential administrative and marketing costs associated with donating to charities. As a result, DriveTime will give 100 percent of proceeds directly back to the community.

DriveTime is committed to donating a minimum of $65,000 to participating families (up to $230,000), and has set a goal to raise an additional $35,000 from the public. Donations can be made at GoFundMe through the race date. 

DriveTime Kids in Need 5K Fun Runs will take place in the following cities:

Albuquerque, N.M
Austin, Texas
Baltimore, Md.
Birmingham, Ala.
Charleston, S.C.
Charlotte, N.C.
Chattanooga, Tenn.
Columbia, S.C.
Columbus, Ohio
Dayton, Ohio
Fort Myers, Fla.
Greensboro, N.C.
Greenville, S.C.
Huntsville, Ala.
Jackson, Miss.
Jacksonville, Fla.
Kansas City, Mo.
Knoxville, Tenn.
Las Vegas
Lexington, Ky.
Los Angeles
Louisville, Ky.
Memphis, Tenn.
Montgomery, Ala.
Myrtle Beach, S.C.
Nashville, Tenn.
Norfolk, Va.
Oklahoma City
Orlando, Fla.
Pensacola, Fla.
Raleigh, N.C.
Richmond, Va.
Roanoke, Va.
San Antonio
Savannah, Ga.
St. Louis
Tallahassee, Fla.
Tampa, Fla.
Tulsa, Okla.
Tyler, Texas
Washington, D.C.
Youngstown, Ohio

To learn more, visit DriveTime’s charities website or find the nearest 5K fun run near you on Facebook, along with time and location information.

FAIR & KISS highlight 8 parts of new asset protection program

Finance And Insurance Resources (FAIR) has partnered with KISS Concepts Group to release the Complete Asset Protection (CAP) program — what they believe is a first-of-its-kind, all-inclusive insurance program to protect the collateral of buy-here, pay-here dealers, lease-here, pay-here dealers, auto finance companies, banks, credit unions and related finance and lease companies. 

The CAP program is one of several unique insurance offerings to be released this year, resulting from a strategic master agent private label agreement between FAIR and KISS Concepts Group. The two companies are building a platform of insurance programs tailored specifically for auto-related audiences.

“One of the biggest challenges every auto finance company faces is finding affordable, easy-to-implement ways to minimize their normal everyday losses, catastrophic losses and other unique risk exposures that occur in protecting their collateral and profit. The CAP program offers exactly that,” FAIR chief executive officer Rick Mims said.

“For even more peace of mind, the entire policy is backed by Certain Underwriters at Lloyd’s of London, one of the largest specialty insurance providers in the world with underwriting capacity in excess of $31 billion,” Mims conintue.

CAP includes the following coverage for both loans and leases, combined into one policy:

— Guaranteed asset protection (GAP): This coverage can protect both lenders and borrowers, so it can be presented during the sales process as a value-add to the vehicle buyer.

 — Lender’s single interest: If the consumer stops making payments, the lender’s investment can be covered against many perils without the cost of having to track insurance.

 —Skip: If the lender cannot locate the borrower, co-borrower or the vehicle, the lender’s investment can be covered.

 —Physical damage and theft: If the vehicle is damaged or stolen before, during or after repossession (and the consumer’s insurance has lapsed), the lender’s investment can be covered.

 —Title errors and omissions: If the insured party or the state makes an error or omission in the processing of the loan or title work that causes a loss, the insured party can be covered. 

 —Confiscation and seizure: If the vehicle is impounded or seized by police or a public/government/federal office or officer, the lender’s investment can be covered.

 —Terrorism: If the vehicle is damaged during an act of terrorism, the lender’s investment can be covered.

 —24-hour roadside assistance: This coverage can benefit both the borrower and lender and includes sign-and-drive coverage for items such as towing assistance, flat tire assistance, emergency fluid delivery, lockout assistance, battery service, rental car discounts and more.

Rod Heasley, president and chief relationships officer of KISS (Keep It Simple Successfully) Concepts Group partnered with FAIR to develop the CAP program. Heasley explained the policy offers dealers and lenders a “one-stop shop” to insure their collateral investment.

“Clients now have the convenience of combining multiple insurance coverages into a single policy. That means only one claim form and one point of contact,” he said.

“In addition to expanding coverage, CAP streamlines the dreaded ‘paperwork overload’ from dealing with multiple insurance agencies, thus adhering to our philosophy of keeping it simple,” Heasley went on to say.

CAP policies may be applied to new and/or existing loan portfolios. Coverages within the policy may be customized, mixed and matched depending on the insured party’s needs and preference.

For more information, contact KISS Concepts Group at (844) 857-0869.

Peritus Portfolio Services surpasses $100M in bankruptcy loans

Peritus Portfolio Services, which services auto-secured Chapter 7 and Chapter 13 bankruptcy loans, announced this week that its total outstanding balances currently under management now stands at more than $100 million.

President Gary Perdue, who founded the company five years ago, said, “We are excited about our business and what we offer to the auto finance market. 

“We exclusively service auto loans in bankruptcy proceedings,” Perdue continued. “Management and most of our service employees have many years of experience in the auto finance industry, and as a result I believe our performance exceeds those companies that service multiple product lines”

Peritus offers a variety of levels of service that ranges from filing proof of claims, handling reaffirmations, and monitoring, to full liquidations servicing. Peritus also has a solution for buy-here, pay-here dealerships that wish to sell portfolios of auto-secured bankrupt accounts.

“We have found that Peritus stands out well above others in their specialized field,” said Sam Ellis, chief executive officer of DriverUp, parent company of Sierra Auto Finance.

“They maximize recoveries for lenders, but still place priority on truly helping the consumers, and do more than just the minimum required to be federal bankruptcy law compliant,” Eillis added. “They are really good at what they do.”

Peritus works with clients of all sizes, from buying and servicing accounts from BHPH dealers to servicing portfolios for one of the largest debt buyers in the U.S.

“I have been in the auto finance industry for over 25 years,” Perdue said. “I focused on bankruptcy because I saw an opportunity to help small buy-here, pay-here dealers as well as large auto finance companies increase recoveries, while reducing overhead.” 

For more information on Peritus Portfolio Services, go to or send a message to           

Car-Mart, J.D. Byrider open new stores

Two of the largest buy-here, pay-here dealership chains — America’s Car-Mart and J.D. Byrider — recently opened new stores, each one expanding their footprints in the Southeast.

Longtime franchisees Steve and Jeanne Locklear recently rolled out their fourth dealership, broadening J.D. Byrider’s presence in Florida to 10 locations. The new store is located at 707 N. New Warrington Road in Pensacola, Fla.

The facility includes 20,000 square feet with 10 service bays. The dealership will also create approximately 15 new jobs.

“Pensacola is an exciting community for us to open a J.D. Byrider dealership,” said Michael Anglin, general manager of the new location.

“We look forward to bringing industry-leading financing options and the company’s brand promise — to offer good, reliable vehicles to those with less-than-perfect credit — to the area,” Anglin continued.

Including the new Pensacola location, J.D. Byrider now has opened a total of seven new dealerships in 2015. The company now has 169 locations in 34 states.

“Steve and Jeanne Locklear are exceptional operators and will undoubtedly enhance our brand as they expand into Pensacola,” J.D. Byrider vice president of franchising Tom Welter said. “Like many of our franchisees, they know the value of the J.D. Byrider business model and operational support, both of which drive our unprecedented store growth.”

Over at America’s Car-Mart, the company recently unveiled its 144th dealership. The store is located in Brunswick, Ga.

The move in Brunswick marks the eighth dealership in Georgia to join Car-Mart’s network. It’s also the third new dealership opening for the company’s 2016 fiscal year.

Car-Mart indicated the Brunswick dealership will be managed by Sabrina Kirkland.

Top 10 missteps that could shut down a BHPH dealer

With the closing weekend of August upon us, Hudson Cook senior partner and chairman Tom Hudson shared his Top 10 list of practices buy-here, pay-here dealers need to recognize so they not only avoid a bad month, but the possibility of being on their way out of business.

Items such as promissory notes, deal jackets and other written policies are all mentioned by Hudson, who will deliver a keynote speech with his predictions for the next five years in the business at Innovate: The Independent Dealer Industry Conference on Sept. 20-23 in Fort Worth, Texas.

“In my 42 years practicing consumer financial services law, I've seen a lot of egregious violations by dealers, but these top them all," Hudson said.

“Let's face it — the newer regulations are highly complicated,” he continued. “It can be tempting to just bury your head in the sand and pretend you’re doing fine. If you choose that route, though, it's only a matter of time before you get a big surprise in the form of an investigation or lawsuit.”

Hudson previewed his Innovate keynote speech by outlining these clues that your dealership might use to turn an extra vehicle or two to close the month but that might soon lead to an operation shut down:

1. You don't know the difference between promissory notes and retail installment contracts.

Many dealers call the contracts that buyers sign “notes,” but they aren’t. They are retail installment contracts. Notes and retail installment contracts are completely different documents, subject to different laws. Dealers who trade vehicles for signed contracts need to understand those contracts.

2. You charge cash buyers less than you charge buyers who finance.

This is one of the biggest red flags in today’s market and must be avoided at all costs. If the financed price is higher, regulators may conclude you added an undisclosed finance charge. You may also be in violation of usury laws.

3. Your idea of obtaining documents that comply with state and federal law is to photocopy the deal jacket documents from the last place you worked.

Many well-established dealers — both buy-here, pay-here and franchised — use documents that are outdated, designed for use in other states, copyrighted, crafted by lawyers who don't know what they are doing, or are otherwise invalid.

4. You don't know the difference between precomputed retail installment contracts and interest-bearing (so called "simple interest") retail installment contracts.

Some dealers use precomputed contracts and service them as interest-bearing contracts, and vice versa. This is a huge no-no.

5. You think all your prior experience in the car business, which consists only of dealerships that sell retail installment contracts to unrelated financing sources, is enough to get by.

If you are new to the buy-here, pay-here world, you absolutely must learn how the activities of servicing, collections, repossession and sale of repossessed vehicles are regulated. If not, you will be flying blind with regard to half of your business.

6. You don't budget for legal compliance costs in your ongoing expenses.

In addition to up-front formal training, you must pay real attention to compliance issues by participating in dealer associations and 20 Groups; reading industry publications; and creating, implementing, updating and funding a credible compliance program for your dealership. Dealers should also prioritize in-person training at conferences like Innovate with a wide variety of compliance courses.

7. Your accountant and your lawyer are not well-versed in the car business.

Missing critical tax or compliance advice because your accountant and/or attorney is inexperienced with dealers is a shortcut to the poorhouse.

8. You think you can just buy your advertising from an ad agency without taking responsibility for the content of the ads.

Operation Ruse Control, led by the Federal Trade Commission and 32 law enforcement partners, resulted in 252 enforcement actions against dealers. The FTC is on a tear over dealer ads, and dealers need to understand that they are responsible for what their ad agencies do.

9. You don't have written policies for privacy safeguarding, red flags, underwriting, servicing and all your other compliance responsibilities.

Maintaining up-to-date policies is one of the clearest ways you can communicate your good faith effort to comply with regulations.

10. You think you don't need to worry about this compliance stuff because you “take good care” of your customers.

Unfortunately, it just doesn't work that way anymore. Inevitably, something will tip off a lawyer or regulator, and you will wish you had your legal house in order.

To get more detailed, real-world knowledge on buy-here, pay-here law, operators can join Hudson and some of the most-respected legal experts in the country at Innovate: The Independent Dealer Industry Conference, Sept. 20-23 in Fort Worth, Texas.

The event will feature more than 80 different classes — all more than an hour long — that dive deep into compliance, collections, finance, accounting, operations and more.

Officials insisted Innovate is one of the only events or independent dealers and finance companies with two full compliance tracks, which by themselves cover 16-20 different topics.

“In total, attendees will access more than $10,000 in legal insight for the price of admission,” organizers said.

AutoStar and DealerSocket, its parent company, expect more than 600 attendees at this year's conference, including major exhibitors and financial institutions that will showcase the latest dealership technology, best practices and industry solutions.

To view the full schedule or buy tickets, visit

Ongoing adjustments, adoption of GPS impacting Car-Mart charge-offs & losses

Perhaps the most recent quarterly performance by America’s Car-Mart shows that GPS technology cannot singlehandedly improve charge-offs and credit losses for buy-here, pay-here operators.

During a quarter where retail sales and revenue improved, Car-Mart executives said they were “very disappointed” with net charge-offs as a percent of average finance receivables rising 7.8 percent in the first quarter of their 2016 fiscal year. That reading is up from 6.3 percent for the prior year quarter.

Also frustrating Car-Mart leadership was the Q1 provision for credit losses coming in at 27.7 percent of sales versus 24.6 percent for the same quarter a year earlier.

Elsewhere on the performance side, the company indicated collections as a percentage of average finance receivables remained relatively flat at 14.0 percent from 14.1 percent for the prior year quarter. Furthermore, Car-Mart highlighted that its accounts more than 30 days past due dropped to 3.8 percent from 5.8 percent as of April 30, a move that represented a decrease of $7.7 million.

Car-Mart president and chief executive officer William “Hank” Henderson tried to explain what happened as the company opened its fiscal year.

“We certainly anticipated some elevated loss levels as we started the quarter with a high 5.8 percent of our finance receivables being 30-plus days past due,” Henderson said. “Also, as we had mentioned, we were somewhat disappointed in our collections for the fourth quarter and knew that we were facing some challenges heading into this year.

“Operational inconsistencies among dealerships, including issues with the effective utilization of our GPS technology in our collection practices, as well as other distractions related to policy changes and our software implementation, contributed to the poor results,” he continued.

“Additionally, the competitive landscape remains intense, but we feel that our issues are more attributable to our own lack of consistent blocking and tackling,” Henderson went on to say.

Earlier this calendar year, Car-Mart indicated that it had about 80 percent of its inventory equipped with GPS technology with plans to have devices installed on all of its retail units within six months. That process along with several other operational and technology changes appear to be impacting the company’s performance.

“We have spent several years now building an infrastructure to support a larger customer base,” Car-Mart chief financial officer Jeff Williams said before rattling off eight specific areas, including:

— Information technology
— Compliance
— Associate support and training
— GPS technology
— Centralization of non-core lot level administrative functions
— Manager-in-training program
— Customer payment technology
— Credit reporting

“These investments were made to provide better service to our customers and our field associates and to allow for productivity improvements for existing dealerships as well as to support growth from new dealership openings,” Williams continued. “While we are disappointed with the current quarter's results, we are always looking long-term and do expect that we will see benefit from these investments in the future

“The competitive landscape remains challenging, but as Hank mentioned, we know that we can do so much better at helping our customers succeed,” Williams went on to say. “Our bottom line results are always dependent on our customers succeeding on their individual contracts with us.”

As of the close of Q1, Car-Mart reported its active accounts base stood at approximately 65,600, pushed in part by a retail unit sales increase of 6.6 percent to 12,244 units. Company dealerships turned an average of 28.9 units per month in the first quarter, up slightly from 28.4 units a year earlier and 28.1 units in the previous quarter.

The sales performance lifted company revenue 8.9 percent to $143 million, leaving Car-Mart with $4.6 million in net income or 52 cents per diluted share.

Car-Mart now has 143 dealerships in its network after bringing aboard a store in Rolla, Mo., on Aug. 14. The company’s footprint is on track to expand to 11 states as its growth pipeline eight new locations, including one in Iowa.

As the company irons out its processes — including improved underwriting and leveraging of GPS technology, Henderson is confident in what Car-Mart can accomplish going forward.

“We are disappointed with our results for the quarter, but we are not deterred. We have opened almost 50 stores in the past five years and the majority of which of have done very well, and you can’t have that level of growth without a few bumps in the road,” Henderson said.

"We have great shared vision of the company,” he continued. “We are building an extremely capable and dedicated team to get us here. We have a solid plan in place to correct our shortcomings and we will work it intensely.

“When we fall short and make a mistake, we gained valuable experience that makes us better provided the course that we learned from it,” Henderson went on to say. “This recent quarter has gotten our attention drawn to exactly where it needs to be and I fully expect we will better for it.”

Car-Mart adjusts dealership addition plans by opening Georgia store

When America's Car-Mart closed its fiscal year back at the end of April, the buy-here, pay-here dealership chain initially expected to expand its footprint in Missouri. Instead, Car-Mart broadened its presence elsewhere in the Southeast this week with its seventh dealership in Georgia.

The newest location is in Albany, Ga., lifting Car-Mart’s store count to 142. This store that’s to be managed by Josh Wolf is the first new store opening of the company’s current fiscal year.

And as far as that previously projected addition in Missouri, company officials said, “We currently expect to open our Rolla, Mo., dealership within the next couple of weeks, and we have eight additional new location projects in process at this time.”

Car-Mart president and chief executive officer William “Hank” Henderson mentioned when the company reported its fourth-quarter and full fiscal year performance that the store in Missouri was scheduled to begin moving metal in June. Henderson also shared some details on how Car-Mart plans to venture into new markets.

“We are very excited about our expansion plans as we will be adding a new state this year — Iowa,” Henderson said. “We have already secured a location in Burlington, Iowa, and are currently looking at a few other prospects in the state.

“As always, we look forward to adding value to the markets we will serve,” he continued. “We are looking to pick up the pace of new lot openings in 2016, and the projects in process right now will certainly help.

“We are pleased with the top line growth and remain convinced that we are moving the company in the right direction,” Henderson went on to say.

The company is looking to leverage the additional stores to improve the performance it enjoyed during the 2015 fiscal year, metrics that included:

— Net income of $29.5 million or $3.25 per diluted share

— Revenue increase of 8.4 percent to $530 million

— Retail unit sales increase of 9.9 percent to 46,760 vehicles

— Net charge-offs as a percentage of average finance receivables of 27.8 percent, down from 28.2 percent for the prior year

Car-Mart closed its most recent fiscal year with a 10.7-percent lift in sales during Q4 as well as a $222 jump in the retail sales price for those vehicles to push revenue to $138 million and net income to $7.2 million.

“As we expected, we saw a nice improvement at the top line for the quarter and are pleased to see the increase in sales productivity,” Henderson said. “Our general managers are doing a very nice job of executing our sales plan and are working hard to attract customers looking for good, basic and affordable transportation to go with Car-Mart's excellent service.

“We believe that we offer our local markets a better value by staying focused on customer success,” he continued. “As always, we are committed to growing our company in a healthy manner with customer success being the priority.

“Competition remains tough, but we know that we can execute at a much higher level, specifically as related to our lot level collections efforts,” Henderson went on to say. “We remain committed to continuing to grow the business in the face of increased competitive pressures which have been prevalent for the last few years. We believe that there is a significant number of good, hard-working folks who deserve the opportunity to succeed with Car-Mart, and we will continue to expand to meet this need.”

No matter how many more stores in Missouri, Georgia, Iowa or elsewhere where Car-Mart might add, chief financial officer Jeff Williams reiterated the importance of one specific part of the company’s business.

“Because the competitive environment remains challenging, we must always be on the top of our game especially as related to collections,” Williams said.

“We are focused on the increase in our accounts over 30 days past due at the end of the quarter and the decrease in principal collected for the quarter. We are not happy with where we are in these two areas and are working hard to help our customers succeed,” he went on to say.

3 steps to solidify customer complaint response strategy

Especially in these times of intensive regulator oversite, Automotive Compliance Consultants president Terry Dortch insisted that how your buy-here, pay-here dealership responds to customer complaints often determines whether the store’s good name gets blemished or a lawsuit results.

Viewed proactively, Dortch explained complaints can help BHPH dealers identify process and personnel weaknesses to be corrected.

Dortch acknowledged that every dealer knows about customer complaints. But if operators are not hearing them personally, he mentioned that perhaps a visit to review websites like Consumer Affairs will be enlightening.

Automotive Compliance Consultants has found that most review sites like this one contain a number of positive reviews, but their share of negative ones about various dealerships, as well.

Dortch wondered how many complaint reviews might have never reached social media had dealers responded to customer concerns more appropriately, expediently and kindly.

The firm emphasized that proper response to customer complaints is part of an effective compliance management system (CMS). This system describes correct processes for complaint follow-up and other best practices for ensuring BHPH dealership compliance with prevailing laws regulating the business.

“A dealer can have put into place the right practices to ensure the business operates according to these various laws, but if no set policy and responding practices are put in place for handling customer complaints, the CMS is broken,” Dortch said.

Automotive Compliance Consultants specializes in dealership and auto finance compliance, providing in-dealership consultations and analysis, compliance audits and training, and offers solutions for all compliance needs.

When establishing a complaint response system, the firm explained a dealership should consider:

• The types of complaints received, and how to categorize them. Those from a regulatory agency, and complaints regarding Equal Credit Opportunity Act claims should be placed in their own category.

• How complaints are to be received and by which individual or individuals within the dealership.

• How complaints will be documented, how information will be gathered about the complaint, information about the individual making the same, and each contact with the customer.

“Respond promptly and appropriately, whether in your estimation a complaint has merit or not, as certainly someone believes you violated their rights and certainly their emotions,” Dortch said.

“Ignore complaints or respond in a way that dismisses or demeans the customer and you’ll likely germinate a potential lawsuit,” he continued.

After receiving, logging and responding to complaints, Automotive Compliance Consultants recommended that BHPH operators use them to improve the business, as they likely point to:

• Weaknesses in sales and finance processes

• Employees that may be exposing the dealership to risk

• Needed improvements in customer handling

• Broken compliance practices

• Need for remedial employee compliance training

The Automotive Compliance Consultants staff has extensive experience in the retail automotive industry and focuses exclusively on dealership compliance issues.

For more information, contact Dortch at or visit

DealerSocket Buys AutoStar Solutions

DealerSocket announced this afternoon it has bought AutoStar Solutions, a popular dealer management system for buy-here, pay-here and used-car dealers.

This news comes after AutoStar Solutions first announced at the end of December that its AutoStar Fusion dealer management system had completed integration with DealerSocket’s customer relationship management software.

 “AutoStar Solutions delivers extreme value and expertise to the buy-here, pay-here and used-car retailers,” said Jonathan Ord, chief executive officer of DealerSocket. “The people at AutoStar are passionate about the used car retailing world. Together, our goal is to equip BHPH dealers with the most advanced and innovative next generation technology at the best possible value for their day-to-day operations.”

The DMS system tailors its solutions for BHPH and used dealers, specifically, and works to optimize processes for finance, wholesale and leasing.

AutoStar’s solutions include Web-Based DMS, PortalPay, CollectorPro, Insight Reporting, Leasing, AccountLink, NetLink, and more.

“We’re excited to announce this partnership with DealerSocket,” said AutoStar’s president and CEO Allen Dobbins. “DealerSocket’s deep commitment to providing their customers with next-generation technology aligns perfectly with our value standards, technology, and opportunities for automotive dealers.”

AutoStar’s chief revenue officer Antonio Rajan added: “This is an excellent opportunity for our company to evolve our product offering into an even more powerful platform and essential tool for Independent and BHPH dealers. The future is brighter more than ever with this partnership.”

And this isn’t the first big acquisition the DealerSocket has made this year. In late February, DealerSocket announced the acquisition of FEX DMS, a dealer management system (DMS) for BHPH and other independent dealers.