The American Recovery Association issued a message late Tuesday, acknowledging the immense problem the coronavirus pandemic is causing when it comes to collections and vehicle repossessions.
As more states and municipalities issue stay-at-home orders, ARA has tried to get clarity from officials about how businesses involved with repossessions and recovery can function under these circumstances. Thus far, ARA said, “We have made inquiries to every governor that has made a stay at home proclamation for clarification on whether or not the repossession industry is an essential or life-sustaining business and we have yet to hear back from them.
“Our discussions with attorneys and accountants have proven to be just as confusing. They are also unable to get clarification from the federal government on most of the new laws and regulations passed in the last two weeks,” ARA continued.
“We find it very difficult to believe that a judge or jury will offer our industry much relief under these guidelines when we suggest we are operating as an essential business per the guidelines of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security,” ARA went on to say. “It may be that a client will offer us an indemnification that should one of our employees become ill or, even worse, die from an interaction with a consumer or vice versa.”
Bottom line is, as an agency owner, it is your responsibility to protect the well-being of your employees and the consumers your company comes in contact with,” ARA added.
The association closed its latest message by recommending repossession agencies send letters to customers and clients, reiterating the individual company’s policy in regards to dealing with the handling of personal property, the release of collateral and storage of vehicles left on your property during this crisis.
ARA has a collection of online resources for agencies to leverage that can be downloaded here.
Furthermore, ARA president Dave Kennedy and executive director Les McCook will be hosting an open industry webinar to have these questions and more answered in times of uncertainty. The session is scheduled for 2 p.m. ET on Thursday.
Agencies can register for the webinar here.