7 Components of eLEND Solutions’ New CreditPlus Tool


Officials from eLEND Solutions highlighted the seven main components of CreditPlus, the next generation of their online, interactive credit application platform.

Launched on Monday, the company explained CreditPlus can instantly pre-approve shoppers based on dealer-defined credit criteria and can provide shoppers with direct, upfront access to dealership financing sources and real near-final terms of approval from multiple lenders, all of which are controlled by the dealer.

With CreditPlus, officials insisted that for the first time, dealers are able to match a buyer’s credit profile with the right vehicle and the right financing program before the customer has even started the test drive.

Pete MacInnis, chief executive officer of eLEND Solutions emphasized this solution can facilitate a more equal exchange of information between consumer and dealer and the structuring of a more profitable deal.

“Auto dealers are looking for ways to convert online shoppers to in-store buyers … faster,” MacInnis said.

“Today’s shoppers expect more information, multiple choices, transparency and immediate gratification,” he continued. "CreditPlus, powered by a patented rules-based loan decision engine, allows the customer to select from a menu of approved near-final finance terms, such as APR, term, monthly payment, down payment) from multiple lenders — all controlled by the dealer.”

Here are the seven major elements in how CreditPlus is geared to operate:

— Better consumer experience: The company indicated CreditPlus features an easy, short interactive application that is geared to be 100 percent mobile and tablet adaptive. Applicants not only can get approved for financing in seconds, but they can also view their credit score and pick their payments — all of which is designed to drive engagement and accelerate conversion of online shoppers into showroom buyers.

— Better dealer controlled experience: CreditPlus can offer dealers numerous application configuration options, including videos, vehicle detail image selections and lead management tools. The company stressed that dealers are in complete control of credit criteria and payment terms displayed to the customer, which can also can include dealer mark-up, doc fees, service contracts and more.

— Electronic lender rate card: The company pointed out CreditPlus is powered by a rules-based loan decision engine that can aggregate a limitless universe of finance company programs based on credit, stability and ability. Results from real multiple loan underwriting rules, APRs, program guidelines and more are available instantly to the dealer and the customer.

— Communication and system integrations: CreditPlus can drive engagement via automated email and text communications, chat integrations, automated system escalations and alerts — all designed to keep dealers in touch with ready-to buy online shoppers and convert them into showroom buyers faster.

— Security: eLEND Solutions is EI3PA Certified, the highest level of security certification in the industry, offering the most secure environment for collecting, storing, retrieving, modifying or auditing applications.

— Compliance and CFPB protection: Officials contend CreditPlus’ rules-based loan decision engine does not support decisions/terms that could be considered discriminatory or subjective. They added eLEND’s platform includes loan decision reporting and audit trail processes that can be made transparent to dealers, lenders and the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.

— Industry Neutral Solution: The company noted eLEND Solutions’ credit platform, deal structuring decision engine and API platform is agnostic and compatible with any dealer desk tool and can be integrated seamlessly with all dealer websites and service providers, including inventory management and CRM providers, finance platforms and dealer management systems.

“We’ve witnessed two decades of innovation in online car buying, but the financing process remains outdated and low-tech. This lack of innovation has not only cost dealers time and money, but it has also seriously alienated consumers, who increasingly demand online transparency in everything they do,” MacInnis said.

“CreditPlus’ real, upfront loan terms are a missing piece of the car-buying revolution, bringing dealers more high-quality credit app leads, while slashing the current 3 to 4 hour sales process,” he went on to say.

MacInniss also highlighted consumer adoption of smart, online credit application solutions is remarkably high, according to a study using eLEND’s first-generation, interactive online credit application, Get Pre-approved in Seconds (GPIS).

The study showed that GPIS generated a 2,000-percent uplift in submitted credit applications vs. other standard long-forms submitted on dealer websites. The study mentioned that 50 percent of consumers who start the GPIS credit application complete it versus a mere four percent who complete the process with the traditional static application.

Furthermore, according to a recent IHS Automotive custom analysis of 1,400 dealers nationwide showed that of those consumers that submitted eLEND’s short-form credit application, 54 percent purchased a vehicle and those purchasing from the intended dealer saw average buy rates of 28 percent.

Performance was dramatically higher than the 6 percent to 8 percent closing ratio for standard third party leads, according to Cobalt.

Norm Reeves Honda Superstore general manager Brad Mugg said, “eLEND’s online credit application has been the best lead conversion tool for our dealer group for the past eight years.

“We expect that CreditPlus will drive even higher submit-to-sales conversions and will help us sell and finance more cars, with more speed, transparency and profitability than ever before,” Mugg continued.

CreditPlus is available to U.S. dealers immediately, and store managers can review a company demo here.

Zurich’s Vance Earns AFIP Master Certification


The Association of Finance and Insurance Professionals (AFIP) announced Brian Vance, the regional F&I manager in the Midwest office of Zurich North America, earned his master certification at an AFIP Certification Boot Camp in Overland Park, Kan., this summer.

Vance is the second Zurich executive to earn master certification, following Scott Gagne, the Wisconsin regional F&I Manager who achieved master status in early 2013.

Regarding his accomplishment, Vance said, “We’re very engaged with our clients in the area of compliance. More knowledge is always better.”

Vance had 13 years of experience on the retail side of the automotive business, moving from sales to dealership F&I director, before joining Zurich about 11 years ago. He served Zurich as an F&I executive, account executive and national F&I executive before being named to his current position in 2010.

The Zurich direct markets unit, based in Overland Park, Kan., markets a full range of F&I products and services, as well as garage liability insurance. The company celebrated its 100th anniversary in 2012.

Vance earned his basic AFIP certification in 1994.

Vance serves as a member of the Zurich F&I Steering Committee and F&I Thought Leadership Editorial Board. A certified insurance counselor, Vance is also working to earn the certified risk manager designation and is attending the University of Phoenix.

NADA Reiterates Plan to Quell CFPB Fair Credit Concerns


National Automobile Dealers Association chairman Forrest McConnell reiterated his arguments this week against points made by federal regulators, especially the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. McConnell emphasized in remarks to the Automotive Press Association in Detroit that dealers compete fiercely against each other on vehicle pricing, financing and service, which reduces costs for consumers.

“Competing with the dealer down the street or on the Internet benefits car buyers across the nation,” McConnell said.

As a percentage of total sales in the new, used and service/parts departments, NADA declared that net pretax profit at franchised dealerships was just 2.2 percent in 2013.

“Our manufacturers benefit from a high return on capital in making vehicles, as opposed to the low margin of selling them, because dealers bear the cost and risks of these investments — at virtually no cost to the manufacturer,” he said.

McConnell, a Honda and Acura dealer from Montgomery, Ala., said there’s a simple reason why manufacturers use dealers to sell new vehicles.

“The franchised dealer network is the most competitive, the most cost-effective and most pro-consumer model for buying and selling new cars and trucks,” McConnell said.

“If manufacturers sold directly to customers, there would be zero competition in pricing vehicles, parts and service,” he continued. “Car buyers would be stuck paying the full sticker price — because there would be no ‘same-brand dealership’ to shop and compare prices.”

McConnell added that dealer-assisted financing, which is optional, increases competition for buyers, and the retail finance rate offered by dealers is often more competitive than a bank or credit union.

“We work with multiple lenders who compete for the dealers’ business by offering us low financing rates,” McConnell said.

“The bottom line is this: dealer-assisted financing provides car buyers with the ability to get a discounted auto rate from the dealer,” he continued. “And low rates mean lower car payments for our customers. But the government is trying to take away a customer’s right to get that discount.”

NADA maintained that the controversy with the CFPB has been ongoing since March of last year when the agency issued its guidance on indirect auto lending. McConnell and the association contend the bureau took the wrong direction by attempting to eliminate the flexibility of dealers to discount financing rates offered to their customers by pressuring finance companies to switch to a flat-fee compensation system.

“We can all agree on one thing: We are all against discrimination. There’s no room for it in this business or any other business,” McConnell said.

But what we can’t agree on is the CFPB’s insistence on a flat-fee model — which eliminates a customer’s right to get a discount,” he continued.  “Right now, dealers are incentivized to select the lender that offers us the lowest available rate. The current system works because it forces banks to compete and offer dealers low rates to get their business.

"Next, dealers have to discount those rates to beat the competition or meet a customer’s budget. Those two competitive factors drive rates lower for our customers,” McConnell went on to say.

Then the NADA chairman asked the gathering in the Motor City a question.

“What happens to customers if the current system changes to flat fees? Lenders will want to pay higher flats to get business. Not lower interest rates. That would give dealers the incentive to select the lender that offers the highest flat fee. That doesn’t help car buyers save money,” McConnell said.

Back in January, NADA developed an optional Fair Credit Compliance Policy and Program for dealerships, which was released in partnership with the National Association of Minority Automobile Dealers and the American International Automobile Dealers Association.

“We’ve come up with a solution to address all the risks the CFPB talks about — a dealer following the program sets a standard starting point for dealer reserve,” McConnell said.

“This gives a dealer who adopts the program the ability to discount the finance rate when there is a legitimate business reason — like helping a customer fit a monthly payment plan into his or her budget,” he continued.

McConnell closed his appearance by mentioning that since March of last year the industry — from dealers to finance companies — and Congress have worked to bring greater transparency and accountability to the CFPB.

“There haven’t been many issues lately where members of Congress have seen eye to eye,” McConnell said. “But the CFPB’s flawed position is one of them.”

Last month, Reps. Ed Perlmutter (D-Colo.) and Marlin Stutzman (R-Ind.) introduced H.R. 5403, a bipartisan bill to nullify the CFPB’s auto lending guidance. So far, NADA indicated 69 Republicans and 40 Democrats in the U.S. House of Representatives support the dealer’s ability to discount the rate for our customers.

DriveItNow Highlights 6 Features of Finance Tool for Dealer Websites


Pre-qualified monthly payment marketing technology provider DriveItNow now offers dealer website hosts a comprehensive and compliant credit services solution for their customers. Officials highlighted the six major capabilities of this solution — DriveItNow’s Credit Center.

The company explained that since most consumers finance or lease their vehicles, today’s dealer websites provide a variety of what officials described as “disjointed and often conflicting” credit-related services. These services can include items such as a “get pre-approved” product, generic payment calculators, a search-by-payment option, trade-in valuations and full credit applications that require personal information.

DriveItNow president Tarry Shebesta pointed out these services are usually from different vendors that require the shopper to provide their information multiple times.

“DriveItNow’s Credit Center ties all auto finance-related services together through one simple-to-integrate website widget,” Shebasta said. “Online shoppers can easily access what they need in one place without having to provide personal information or complete multiple forms.”

At the core of the Credit Center platform is DriveItNow’s patent-pending pre-qualification payment quoting technology. Shebesta indicated that real monthly payments are quoted using the dealer’s finance company programs and the consumer’s actual credit bureau, without requiring a Social Security Number or date of birth or affecting the consumer’s credit score.

“Other industry services that quote monthly payments and finance rates are not always accurate or compliant and are not based on the consumer’s actual credit bureau,” Shebesta said. “Those services display best-case scenarios which may give shoppers an unrealistic expectation of what they can actually afford to buy.”

Shebesta also mentioned the Credit Center integration is simple, totally customizable and can give website providers that offer SEO/SEM services additional keyword marketing opportunities.

DriveItNow also displays fully compliant disclosures and works with compliance experts to ensure dealers comply with federal rules and regulations of the Fair Credit Reporting Act and Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.

DriveItNow’s Credit Center services include:

• Short-form finance application with instant pre-qualification

• Pre-qualified monthly payment buttons on vehicle inventory

• Shop-by-payment functionality

• Trade-in equity calculation  

• OEM loan and lease special promotions

• Real-time “soft pull” full credit bureau reports

Shebesta also noted all Credit Center services can be accessed from various links throughout a website, within email marketing campaigns or social media.

“Other industry vendors are trying to play catch up as we continue to lead in this market segment,” Shebesta said. “Our 14 years of online experience as a direct-to-consumer finance company, and dealer, gives us the advantage in knowing what engages online shoppers. We don’t rely on surveys or focus groups.”

A mobile version of these services is also available and is compatible with responsive website platforms.

DriveItNow’s Credit Center is available to dealers, OEMs, classified and finance portals and website vendors.

For more information, visit or call (800) 223-4882, ext. 10.

AFSA Adds 4 New Members to Board of Directors


Along with welcoming three replacements, the American Financial Services Association added four new members to its board of directors.

Joining the organization in this capacity are:

— James “Tom” Hudgins, president and chief operating officer, Western-Shamrock Corp.

— Pat St. Charles, president and chief executive officer, Citizens Savings & Loan Corp.

— Nicholas Stanutz, senior executive vice president, Huntington National Bank

— Andrew Stuart, president and chief executive officer, TD Auto Finance

Hudgins joined Western-Shamrock Corporation in 2007 as vice president of operations and was promoted to president and COO in 2011. Hudgins is directly responsible for all operations of the company and for recruiting and maintaining the management team. He also plays a lead role in the company’s regulatory and governmental relations department.

Hudgins currently serves as the president of the Independent Finance Institute of Oklahoma and serves on the board of several other state associations as well as the National Installment Lenders Association.

St. Charles joined Pat St. Charles Company, a family real estate business, in 1975 and was primarily involved in real estate management and appraisals from 1975 through 1982, then commercial real estate brokerage and management from 1982 through 1992. He was elected to Citizens Savings & Loan Corp.’s board of directors in 1979 and appointed treasurer in 1992. He was elected to chief executive officer in 2003, then president in 2009.

St. Charles is currently president of the Tennessee Consumer Finance Association. He is past president of the Chattanooga Association of Realtors 1990 and former president of the Southeast Tennessee Certified Commercial and Investment Member Real Estate Council. St. Charles served on the AFSA Independents Section Advisory Board from 2011 to 2014.

Stanutz is managing director of one of Huntington’s five major lines of business, which includes auto finance, asset based lending and the commercial real estate group. These three business groups combined account for approximately 30 percent of Huntington’s total loan and lease portfolio. Stanutz has been in the banking industry for 36 years and with Huntington 28 years.

He is a member of the bank’s executive leadership team and is nationally recognized as an industry leader in auto finance. He was the chairman of the Consumer Bankers Association Auto Finance Committee from 2000-2005. He has been a member of the AFSA Vehicle Finance Board since 2012 and is an active member of AFSA.

Stuart leads all aspects of TD Auto Finance in the U.S. Prior to his current role, he was president and chief executive officer at VW Credit. During the past 20 years, Stuart has held various positions of increased responsibility in the automotive field. He started his career at Volkswagen Group Canada as a district manager in the Atlantic Provinces. Since then, he has held various management positions with the Volkswagen Group, in sales, marketing, product planning and financial services.

Stuart was a member of the AFSA board from 2009 to July of this year and the AFSA executive committee from 2012 to 2014 while employed with VW Credit, and also served as the AFSA Vehicle Finance Division chair from 2012 to 2014.

In addition, AFSA welcomed three replacement members to its board of directors:

— Don Gottwald of KAR Auction Services has relinquished his AFSA board seat due to increased responsibilities. John Hammer, chief executive officer and president, Automotive Finance Corp. (AFC) will take his place. As CEO, Hammer is responsible for the strategic leadership of the company’s objectives and growth. He joined AFC in April 2009 as chief operating officer, and assumed his current role in March of this year.

— Andrew Traeger of John Deere Financial has relinquished his AFSA board seat due to increased responsibilities to Matthew Haney, deputy chief counsel of John Deere Financial. Haney is responsible for legal services for John Deere Financial in the U.S. and manages its litigation, compliance, archival services and financial services knowledge center groups. Following graduation from law school, Haney joined Lewis, Rice & Fingersh in Kansas City, where he practiced law for five years. He later became chief legal and compliance officer for Aviva Investors North America, Inc. and vice president, corporate legal & government and regulatory affairs for Aviva USA Corporation. He worked for Aviva and its predecessor companies for 18 years. He joined John Deere Financial in 2013 in his existing role.

— Robert Carter, president & CEO, Regency Finance Co., is stepping down from the AFSA board of directors and will be replaced by Jeffrey Chepkevich, senior vice president and director of operations at Regency Finance. Chepkevich joined Regency Finance Company in April 2012 with more than 25 years of experience in the financial services industry, with additional work in the mortgage and retail banking areas. He spent the majority of his career, from March 1987 through May 2009, with Beneficial Consumer Discount Co./Household Finance Corp., a subsidiary of HSBC Bank. Chepkevich is a member of the AFSA Independents Section Advisory Board and the AFSA Operations & Regulatory Compliance Committee.

Auto/Mate Integrates DMS with MaximTrak F&I Suite


Auto/Mate Dealership Systems recently completed the integration of its dealership management system with MaximTrak Technologies' F&I Suite.

The companies highlighted dealers using both systems now can benefit from a real-time, bi-directional exchange of information that’s intended to speed up the F&I process, keep transaction data and contact information accurate, improve customer satisfaction and increase profits.

 Auto/Mate Dealership Systems president and chief executive officer Mike Esposito says his solution is designed to be a user-friendly, flexible solution with more than 20 modules to serve every departmental need.

"Our Open/Mate certification is easy, inexpensive and fast for third-party vendors, lowering costs and expanding vendor choices for dealers,” Esposito said.

 MaximTrak Technologies president Jim Maxim Jr. explained the provider’s F&I menu platform can enable managers to quickly create custom menu presentations, navigate between screens with ease and present multiple deal scenarios with a flexible interface.

Plus, he said MaximTrak can allow data to be saved as a presentation progresses, eliminating the need to re-type information and allowing for a branded presentation with custom graphics and color design.

“Our focus is on creating a better buying experience for the customers, which is accomplished by the professionalism and speed of our F&I menu and reporting solutions,” Maxim said. “Having our product suite integrated with a dealer's DMS eliminates redundancies and errors caused by incomplete transfer of information.”

The executives pointed out both Auto/Mate and MaximTrak are integrated with credit bureaus and can offer advanced, easy-to-use reporting capabilities.

For more information, visit Auto/Mate at or MaximTrak at

Free VTS Webinar to Dissect Impact of Proposed Larger Participant Rule

TUCSON, Ariz. - 

Vendor Transparency Solutions and Weltman, Weinberg & Reis are joining forces again for another free webinar — this time focusing on what the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s larger participant rule proposal means for nonbanks in the auto financing market.

Partner Michael Dougherty plans to ask two important questions: Are you now regulated by the CFPB, and, if so, what does it mean?

“The CFPB recently announced its proposal for defining who is a larger participant in the automobile financing market,” Dougherty said. “The proposal sets forth who is now a CFPB regulated entity and defines the scope of potential oversight and regulation.  

“The CFPB proposal addresses issues surrounding buy rates and any discretionary dealer markups to the buy rate.  It further sets forth the roadmap for lenders to use when establishing their dealer management compliance system especially as it relates to the ECOA and UDAAP,” he continued.

“The comment period for this proposal will end quickly, so understanding how this new proposed regulation will affect your business model is of great and urgent importance,” Dougherty went on to say.

The one-hour free webinar is set to begin at 2 p.m. EDT on Friday.

Finance company executives can complete the registration for the session here.

Despite Comment Time, Little Can Slow CFPB’s Rule Proposal

CARY, N.C. - 

It’s been nearly two weeks since the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau revealed its proposed changes for what is classified as a larger participant in auto financing. More than half the time is remaining in the 60-day comment period the CFPB has in place. Still, auto finance legal expert Michael Thurman isn’t expecting dramatic changes from what the bureau outlined during its field hearing last month.

“I’m aware of no obstacle that would prevent the CFPB from implementing this rule,” Thurman told SubPrime Auto Finance News. “The way the process works, the agency will take comments from all sources including consumers, the industry and legislators. But at the end of the day, the CFPB has spent a significant amount of time making its determination of what an appropriate level is to set the barrier for being a larger participant. The agency has the authority to do that under the Dodd-Frank Act. I don’t expect any substantial changes to the rule from what we’re seeing. In fact, I’d say there’s a good chance that the rule we’re seeing now will be the rule that’s adopted.

“That doesn’t mean the agency won’t consider the comments that are made, but I don’t see them making any significant alterations in for example the definitional changes their proposing or the calculation by which they’re going to determine larger participants of this industry,” continued Thurman, a former partner at Loeb & Loeb who opened his own firm in Pasadena, Calif., earlier this year.

To recap, if a finance company makes, acquires, or refinances 10,000 or more vehicle loans or leases in a year, the CFPB is looking to become that operation’s primary regulator stemming from a proposal disclosed during a bureau event on Sept. 18 in Indianapolis.

The bureau said this proposed rule would generally allow the CFPB to supervise nonbank auto finance companies to ensure they are complying with federal consumer financial law. Bureau officials estimated that about 38 auto finance companies would be subject to this new oversight.

Organizations such as the American Financial Services Association didn’t need 60 days to make a comment. Senior vice president Bill Himpler was part of a panel discussion during last month’s field hearing and made concerns known immediately.

“AFSA remains concerned that the bureau continues to issue larger participant rules that capture market participants that, for lack of a better term, are not large by any stretch of the imagination,” Himpler said.

“Many of the market players that will be subject to the proposed rule have well below 1 percent of market share. According to Experian data, companies below the top 30 have less than a half a percentage point of market share in vehicle finance,” he continued.

“Above all, the vehicle finance industry wants to comply with the law and the regulations that are set forth by the bureau, as well as continue to play a positive role in the American consumer experience. Industry stands ready to work with the CFPB to develop regulations that protect consumers and simultaneously ensure that Americans have access to safe and affordable consumer credit,” he went on to say.

Despite the objections, Thurman acknowledged the latest moves the CFPB made were not unexpected.

“It’s something that we’ve been looking for since late in the spring when the CFPB indicated it would heading in this direction. And even going farther back to 2012 when it initially announced the direction it was heading with respect to indirect lending and its fair-lending practices in the fact that they view it as applicable to loans that are being done by dealers that are ultimately financed by auto lenders,” he said.

Thurman did mention one expectation he said wasn’t met by the CFPB in its latest action. He was looking for an addition section to the bureau’s supervisory manual that would assist finance companies in knowing exactly what regulatory concerns are covered with respect to auto lending. Thurman suggested the CFPB will continue to focus on several areas of its current manual that are connected to unfair, deceptive or abusive acts or practices (UDAAP), credit reporting, fair lending, debt collection and truth in lending.

“It would have been great for the industry if the agency had come out with a specific set of guidelines that accompany this announcement because then I think they can focus even further on what they need to be ready for an examination,” Thurman said.

Without more specifics, Thurman recommended that finance companies continue to enhance their compliance programs.

“Hopefully, they all have been already bracing for not only this announcement, but also bracing for supervision by the agency even in the form of subpoenas or civil investigative demands. Obviously the auto finance industry has known for some time that the CFPB has some jurisdiction over the industry. The only new news here is which companies, in particular, will be subject to onsite examinations on a periodic or regular basis,” Thurman said.

Thurman speculated that larger finance companies likely have been dissecting the CFPB supervision manual, spending a significant amount of time in discussions with their attorneys and compliance staff, building out procedures to make sure they comply with the CFPB rules.

“The difficulty may be for some of the companies that are closer to the line, but my hunch is that’s a relatively small number of companies that have been identified for supervision. My hunch is every company in that group probably assumed they were going to be included in this process,” Thurman said.

“I don’t expect any of them will slow down on their efforts to build out their compliance management systems,” he continued. “The fact that this announcement has been made tells everyone that the time is coming very soon when they’re actually regulators coming to visit them. The efforts that they have been doing are going to have to be as far along as they can be.

“If I were going to give advice to companies that find themselves within the group that will be subject to onsite examinations, I would tell them to keep the pedal to the metal in building out their compliance management systems and continue doing the things they’ve been doing for the last few months and years,” Thurman went on to say. “Don’t slow down in terms of preparations for when the CFPB actually shows up at their door.”

A way finance company executives can keep the “pedal to the metal” as Thurman indicated is by attending this year’s SubPrime Forum during the opening days of Used Car Week.

One of the presentations during the SubPrime Forum — an event orchestrated in partnership with the National Automotive Finance Association — is from the team at McGladrey, which is gathering together strategy recommendations to enhance regulatory compliance moves executives might have already put in place.

McGladrey will be conducting a session during the SubPrime Forum where attendees can learn how to implement, maintain and provide governance oversight for their compliance management system based on the latest mandates issued by the bureau, which is taking a hard stance on this issue based on the enforcement actions the agency has taken during the past year.

Attendees will leave the Red Rock Casino, Resort and Spa in Las Vegas with a plan of action for when — not if — the CFPB arrives ready to conduct a thorough investigation.

The SubPrime Forum begins Nov. 10 with registration and a welcome reception before launching into a full day of events on Nov. 11, followed by a half-day of sessions on Nov. 12.

For a full schedule of events, visit, and be sure to register for the event by Oct. 10 to save $200 off of your registration fee. And once you’re registered, don’t forget to make your hotel reservations at the Red Rock Casino, Resort and Spa in Las Vegas. The exclusive conference rate of $195/night is available only through Oct. 17.

AFA Enhances Repo Compliance Proof with VTS Partnership

TUCSON, Ariz. - 

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau is insistent that finance companies have documentation verifying the federal compliance of their service providers. For managers that use Allied Finance Adjusters member repossession agencies to find and recover vehicles, a new partnership with Vendor Transparency Solutions is aimed at enhancing what a finance company can show federal regulators.

For some time, AFA maintained its compliance module on its website that assisted its members in sharing compliance documents with finance companies. On Wednesday, AFA and VTS finalized a partnership that designed to take that process many steps higher.

With the introduction of VTS Basic, AFA can now offer our members a platform geared to reach a higher level of compliance. This new software can provide members with more functionality and features, including the VTS Marketing Module, VTS Complaint Handling Module and VTS Continued Education Module to give members exposure to finance companies that utilize VTS Professionals.

“Since the inception of the CFPB, AFA has positioned its members to be the most educated operators in the recovery industry. Working with VTS gives AFA proven tools to show the lending community that AFA and its members are taking compliance seriously,” said James Osselburn, second vice president of Allied Finance Adjusters.

Through the partnership, AFA members can receive exclusive discounts on all VTS services, which consist of VTS Professional, VTS Basic and ongoing continued education.

Additionally, AFA has contracted VTS to perform the site inspections and other due diligence required to become a new member of Allied Finance Adjusters. AFA officials insisted that utilizing VTS to perform these inspections is important when it comes to vetting new members as “the high caliber of VTS will insure to the lending institutions that the members of AFA are held to a higher standard.”

New members of AFA will receive an even greater discount on VTS Basic, should they choose to participate.

Allied Finance Adjusters is one of the leaders among national trade associations in CFPB compliance training and education through its relationship with Recovery Specialist Insurance Group (RSIG). To date, 90 percent of AFA members have completed this training.

Vendor Transparency Solutions president Max Pineiro explained this partnership demonstrates AFA's commitment to be the largest group of bonded, compliant service providers in the nation, which can create new revenue opportunities for members by creating a one-stop shop for all financial institutions, banks, credit unions, law firms and replevin brokers.

Pineiro added the AFA Education Committee will be working closely alongside VTS on its continuing education module to introduce new ideas on education for AFA members and VTS subscribers.

“There is no question that mastering compliance requires a team effort. That team includes the financial institutions, their contracted service providers and the leaders of the industry trade associations that assist their members through valuable tools and benefits,” Pineiro said.

“The most valuable tools today are those that are closely related to compliance and compliance monitoring,” he continued.

“We at VTS applaud Allied Finance Adjusters for taking on the leadership role in the industry and assuring that asset recovery businesses throughout the country have access to the necessary tools needed to achieve compliance," Pineiro went on to say.

NAF Association Gathering 4 Compliance Experts for Free Webinar


The National Automotive Finance Association in cooperation with Hudson Cook is gathering together four of the most knowledgeable experts in auto finance industry compliance for a free webinar.

The session titled, “Auto Finance: Federal Supervision and Enforcement,” is set for noon EST on Oct. 14. The webinar is scheduled to include the following Hudson Cook partners:

— Lucy Morris, recent deputy enforcement director in the Division of Supervision, Enforcement, and Fair Lending at the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau

— Joel Winston, former associate director of the Federal Trade Commission’s Division of Financial Practices

— Rick Hackett, former CFPB assistant director in the Office of Installment and Liquidity Lending Markets

— Michael Benoit, senior partner in Hudson Cook’s Automotive Finance Group and a member of the firm's regulatory enforcement team

Morris recently joined Hudson Cook after three years with the CFPB where she was responsible for overseeing investigations and litigation relating to consumer financial products and services. Prior to her time at the CFPB, Morris was an assistant director and senior attorney in the Division of Financial Practices at the Federal Trade Commission.

Winston's responsibilities at the FTC focused on the oversight of civil enforcement actions and investigations, including litigation and leading settlement negotiations.

Hackett's responsibilities at the CFPB included leading and managing a team responsible for advising the bureau on auto financing market information and policy issues.

“The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau's new larger participant rule for auto finance will subject larger auto finance companies to supervision by the CFPB,” NAF Association executive director Jack Tracey said. Those attending the webinar will learn about the new rule and what auto finance companies can expect to experience in a supervisory exam.

“The webinar will also cover the CFPB's enforcement activities and how its enforcement authority complements its new supervisory authority,” Tracey continued. “The panel of experts will provide insight into the exam process and discuss recent enforcement actions and their implications for the auto financing industry.”

Finance company executives, dealership F&I managers and other interested individuals can register for the free webinar here.