HOUSTON — The National Alliance of Buy-Here, Pay-Here Dealers is preparing for its two-day collection academy in Atlanta, Jan. 10-11 at the Manheim DRIVE Center. One of the highlights of this year's event will be some newly introduced benchmarks from NABD.

The benchmarks will feature statistics such as: which customers work best for business; what a dealer should be doing on the front end; what to look for when it comes to a customer's time at his job or at a certain residence; does a certain consumer need a credit report; and more.

"These benchmarks are designed to help dealers understand which customers can really afford to pay," Ken Shilson, founder of the NABD, explained to SubPrime Auto Finance News. "We'll show different loss rates from different types of customers and more."

The NABD academy is designed to allow BHPH professionals to learn from each other, covering topics of how to avoid the business pitfalls, improving underwriting, staying up-to-date on the latest technology, preventing legal and regulatory mistakes, along with learning from mistakes.

"Some people just don't know the basics," said Shilson. "Dealers really need to get it and know how to collect in both good times and bad. We'll be featuring a panel of dealers who discuss this. They'll do role playing.

"Many of the people registered have considerable experience in the business," he continued. "I believe that one of our goals is to bring the talent from the audience into play in our interactive sessions. All of the expertise will not just be coming from the podium but also from the audience. DRIVE is the perfect setting for the event. It really facilitates the interactive program we're hosting."

The two-day event is ideally suited for owners, general managers, collection managers, collectors and other key employees who are involved in the BHPH collection operations.

A few of the sessions offered at the event are:

— Organizing Your Collection Department

— Finding the Right Vehicles

— Collection Best Practices and Processes

— Utilizing Payment Devices Successfully

— Biggest Collection Mistakes

— Legal Collection Pitfalls

— GPS Tracking versus Starter Interrupt

— Getting Your Paperwork Compliant

"Simply stated, buy-here, pay-here is the collection business, and this program will make you more successful," according to Shilson. "This modest investment in education can make you millions."

He went on to say that registration is underway and will be limited to 200 to facilitate personal training and interaction with instructors and sponsors.

"We've set up participating sponsors who each will bring a very relevant message to attendees," Shilson pointed out. "They've all been blended together well to add insights and help dealers become better at what they're doing. We're working hard to make this one of the best events we've ever put on. The key is getting people to attend the event who really want to get better at what they do. We can all network together and benefit from each other's experience."

The NABD said it has arranged for discounts at the Hilton Atlanta Airport Hotel and ground transportation will be provided. 

"We have been in used-car sales for 35 years, and this was the most informative training we have ever attended," said DeWayne Hutchins, of Blue Ribbon Auto Sales in Sturgis, Mich.

For more information or to register, visit www.bhphinfo.com, or call (713) 290-8171.

NABD also announced it will host its annual conference next year in Las Vegas, May 14-16. Highlights from the 2006 event are available on the NABD site or by calling the group's headquarters.

NABD Collection Academy General Speakers Include:

— Frances Chatman, of Car Today in Jonesboro, Ark.

— Cereice Earp, of Jim Keras Buick in Memphis, Tenn.

— Michael Moore, NCM Twenty Group Moderator

— Ingram Walters, owner of Griffin's Credit Quick in Charlotte, N.C.


— Tom Hudson, of Hudson Cook

— Joseph Looney, of Hudson Cook

Participating Sponsors:

— Aircept

— American Recovery Association

— Auto Master Systems

— CAR Financial Services

— Guardian Warranty Corp.

— LCS Financial Services

— Manheim

— NCM Associates

— OnTime Payment Protection Systems

— Goldberg, Cheung & Associates

— Subprime Analytics