Justin Zane offered vivid imagery to finance company attendees during the opening session of ALS Resolvion’s Innovations in Recovery Summit last week on the topic of updates regarding agencies’ efforts to find vehicles that are out for repossession.
“Visualize a truck backing up to your door every day with 410,000 updates, dumping it and then driving away,” said Zane, who is the chief executive officer of Recovery Database Network (RDN) and Clearplan, each part of the KAR Global family of companies.
“Most agents are contingency now. They’re not going to get paid unless they secure the collateral, so the actions don’t stop,” Zane continued. “These agencies are still going to run all these accounts repetitively try to secure your collateral, but their updates that they’re sending back to you, you can’t consume them.”
MBSi Corp. president Cort DeHart participated on this panel, as well, chiming in on Zane’s descriptions.
“These are remnants from a bygone era,” DeHart said. “It’s one of those habits that are hard to break.”
Both Zane and DeHart explained that their technology companies not only are trying to change industry habits, but also streamline processes by leveraging technology. Especially since when it comes to charge-offs, repossessions and recoveries, time truly is money.
Zane described enhanced ways firms are getting updates to finance companies.
“Whether it’s through API, whether you’re logging into Cort’s system, whether you’re logging into mine, you’re consuming all this data. What we’re trying to do is we’re trying to ease the industry into the process. Instead of a text update, what you’ll be receiving is kind of a categorized set of updates,” Zane said.
“If it’s a simple, ‘Ran the address, no unit found,’ that’s going to be an update type. And the next phase of that is also going to be your kind of discounted, or your invalidated information, because a lot of a lot of agencies will tell you in an update that this address is no longer any good. But per your automated systems, you are still asking for an update on 123 Main Street, even though on the first day, that agency told you this address is no good. It’s vacant, and it was vacant three times I ran it for three other companies,” he continued.
“So what we want to do is categorize those into buckets, if you will, or update types. The only thing you’re going to be doing is actually filtering through either we found new information, or we need information. But the simple status updates, we think that those are a thing of the past,” Zane went on to say.
Along with a new way of presenting data, Zane also elaborated on what else might be on the horizon for the recovery industry,
“You’re going to see cleaner data,” he said. “We’re already introducing you to real-time connectivity at the agent at the agent level. You’re already getting connected much, much quicker to your assignments. Your assignments are getting filled faster. Agents aren’t coming back and updating their accounts at the end of the night anymore, because they have to be within a certain proximity of the address to perform an update. The information you guys are getting is already better. You may not realize because it still comes through the same conduit.
“Now our job is to make the information cleaner and more consumable,” Zane added. “The next two to three year, even though even though our space has been really, really slow to move with technology, technology forces more speed now on every industry, and I think you’re going to see a lot of advancements.”
DeHart also insisted the recovery industry must continue to adopt technology to improve itself. He pointed to significant reductions in wrongful repossessions since mobile technology can connect the finance company with the repossession agent almost instantly if the customer finds the funds to redeem their contact and become current.
“I will say that to the extent that we can use data to make decisions in real time, that are not monolithic across the board, across the whole portfolio, but the ability to consume the data, use it to drive workflow and processes downstream, that might be where we could get in the near future. And I think that’s a huge step forward,” DeHart said.
“The new platforms will be able to keep up with data changes and things that we don’t even know are out there yet because they’re architected with different plug-and-play options and new technologies that may be developed in a different industry,” he went on to say.