HOUSTON — Ken Shilson, CPA and founder of the National Alliance of Buy-Here, Pay-Here Dealers, reported that the recent meltdown in the subprime mortgage markets and a tightening of subprime credit in the capital markets are moving underwriting and collections to center stage.

As such, his group, NABD, is preparing for its annual Underwriting and Collection conference to be held Nov. 11 to 13 by announcing speakers and the agenda.

More than 600 attendees and sponsors are expected to participate in the three day-event, according to officials.

"Operators who wish to prosper in the months ahead must underwrite prudently and be diligent collectors," Shilson explained.

The conference will feature role playing and other interactive training techniques, involving some experienced collectors, including Fran Chatman, of Car Today in Jonesboro, Ark., and P.J. Turner, of J.D. Byrider in Indianapolis.

These ladies will team up with other presenters to teach best practices and offer demonstrations of techniques they use and how to successfully implement them.

"Attendees will learn how to gather all the necessary customer information and to match the right customers with the proper vehicles," officials highlighted. "Equifax will discuss ways to successfully underwrite customers who do not have a credit score and how to use credit bureau information to make better underwriting decisions."

Moreover, skip-tracing techniques will also be another important topic of discussion, with Ron Brown, an international recovery expert, sharing tips and best practices.

"His proven techniques will be particularly important in an economic environment where operators are fighting to collect every dollar," Shilson pointed out.

Tom Hudson and Chuck Dodge, two of the nation's leading attorneys, are slated to cover ways to avoid making legal, regulatory and compliance blunders that can cost millions. These two experts will participate in an interactive session, allowing attendees to ask questions.

Additionally, NABD announced that Rick Potter, president of Car Financial Services, along with Somir Paul, president of Woodland Financial Services, will be featured as successful contract purchasers who highlight many of the underwriting mistakes they witness every day and how to avoid these pitfalls.

Teaming up with the rest of the presenters is Terry O'Laughlin, formerly of the Florida Attorney General's office, who will serve as the event's keynote speaker. This presenter will explain why some dealers receive attorney general complaints and how to avoid these challenges. According to Shilson, O'Laughlin has more than 15 years of experience investigating and prosecuting complaints against dealers, which gives this speaker a unique perspective.

Other featured topics include best collection and underwriting ideas from 20 Group host NCM, in addition to the latest portfolio performance benchmarks and industry trends from Shilson.

The general education sessions will be delivered in a single-track during two days, while vendor presentations will be in separate workshops where attendees can select their topics of interest, NABD pointed out.

These workshops will include topics such as:

—Payment devices.

—Dealer management software.

—Add-on products.

—New technologies and tools that can help profits and cash flow.

The agenda also features two receptions and a luncheon with exhibitors, giving attendees a chance to network and meet with vendors to learn about their offerings.

The conference will be held at the Wyndham Greenspoint Hotel, which is located near the airport. Shilson noted that transportation to and from the airport to the hotel will be provided.

Registration has already begun, according to the NABD, and the exhibit hall is nearly full. For more information, exhibitors can call Keith at NABD headquarters at (713) 290-8171, or visit www.bhphinfo.com.