HANOVER, Md. — In addition to releasing the names of speakers and sessions for the upcoming National Auto Finance Association's annual Non-Prime Auto Financing Conference, the executive director also announced that a new association will be forming in conjunction with the event.

A meeting to form the new trade association for the starter interrupt/GPS industry will be held at noon, June 4 at the Renaissance Worthington Hotel in Fort Worth.

The NAF Association executive director Jack Tracey said, "The emergence and importance of this high-tech industry to the auto financing industry has created the need for an industry trade group."

The new association is named the Payment Assurance Technology Association, and membership is open to manufacturers, sellers and users of the devices.

At the first meeting, a board of directors and officers will be elected and initial plans will be made. Activities the group may consider includes the establishment of industry standards, initiating independent industry studies of the effectiveness of the devices on portfolio performance and drafting model legislation.

For those unable to attend the meeting in person, there will be a teleconference option.

"The most important thing" Tracey indicated, "is to get the industry players together, establish bylaws and a dues structure to begin the planning process."

Those interested in becoming part of the new trade group can contact Tracey at (410) 865-5431, or jtracey@hudco.com.

12th Annual NAF Association Conference

This annual event brings together top auto lending executives, analysts, attorneys and more to discuss the latest trends in the vehicle finance industry, with a particular focus on non-prime.

The conference will be June 4 to 6 at the Renaissance Worthington Hotel in Fort Worth.

The sessions include:

Keynote Address: Bernard Weinstein, of the Institute of Applied Economics for the University of North Texas, will talk about the subprime mess, the credit crunch and the recession of 2008, focusing on the implications for the national economy and auto financing.

"The U.S. economy likely went into recession in late 2007 or early 2008," he indicated. "Home foreclosures and personal bankruptcies have spiked in recent months while mortgage and credit card delinquencies are on the rise. Overdue auto loans have also increased sharply in recent months."

In his presentation, Weinstein will talk about the current state of the national economy, along with the outlook for various sectors and regions and more.

Session Two: This panel will bring together moderator Tankersley, of HSBC Auto Finance, asking collection questions of Scott Collier, Regional Acceptance Corp.; Bob Hesman, SMG Servicing; Robert Beatty, AmeriCredit; and Kevin Pruner, Systems & Services Technologies.

"Given the current macroeconomic challenges in the U.S. economy, such as higher fuel prices, increasing level of unemployment, unknown impact of subprime mortgage payment resets and softening used-car pricing, lenders are focusing more of their resources on the servicing side of their business in an effort to mitigate these risks," NAF Association officials pointed out.

This panel of servicing experts will discuss the best ways to optimize servicing platforms.

Session Three: Moderator George Halloran, of BenchMark Consulting International, will talk with Amy Martin, of Standard & Poor's; Robert Micalizzi, of Merrill Lynch; and other non-prime originator and investor representatives. The focus of this session will be "How Can We Stimulate ABS Investors?"

Session Four: This panel will cover "Alternative Data and Scoring Models in the Under-banked Market." Moderator Annette Girmus-Orford, of Phoenix Capital Management, will lead a discussion with Steve Darsie, of Scoring Solutions; May Ya Poon, of Wells Fargo Auto Finance; and Steve Hall, of driversselect.

"How do lenders determine a good risk from a bad risk when credit files are thin or nonexistent? Join this panel discussion and learn about scoring models and developments in the use of alternative data in identifying better risks in the thin file market for both experts and practitioners," the association reported.

Session Five: This workshop will feature Richard Howse and Lisa Chlubiski, of J.D. Power and Associates, who will talk about how many lenders are deploying full-spectrum strategies to serve both prime and subprime customers.

Session Six: Paul Snider, of CIQ/VOISYS; Tracey, NAF Association executive director; and Rich Apicella, of BenchMark, will come together to discuss the association's accomplishments over the past year. Apicella will also take center stage to present the results of the association's annual Non-Prime Auto Financing Survey.

Session Seven: This workshop will be the innovations roundtable featuring Marguerite Wanatabe, of Connections Insights.

"In this interactive session, leaders in the industry will facilitate stimulating discussions on the topics that represent ongoing challenges and emerging opportunities for non-prime auto finance companies," according to officials.

Session Eight: Top executives from non-prime auto lenders will come together to discuss issues facing the industry currently and how to remain successful. The panel will consist of Mark Floyd, AmeriCredit; Dan Leonard, Triad Financial; and Tommy Moore Jr., First Investors Financial Services Group.

Session Nine: Tom Webb, Manheim's chief economist, will take the stage to offer an analysis of how economic forces, along with supply and demand in the wholesale market impact originations, delinquencies, recoveries and profit opportunities.

Session 10: Moderator Eric Johnson, of Phillips McFall McCaffrey McVay & Murrah, will lead a discussion with several prominent auto industry attorneys about recent dealer fraud cases and straw purchases; firm offers of credit compliance; FRB amendments to Reg. Z and M for electronic disclosures and more.

Session 11: This seminar will bring together Gary Perdue, of AppOne/Wolters Kluwer Financial Services; Gil Van Over, of gvo3 & Associates; Becky Chernek, of Chernek Consulting Inc.; and Emily Beck, of Hudson Cook, to talk about dealer/creditor compliance in the subprime world, with a particular focus on dealers' viewpoint.

Session 12: "Remarketing: The Global Buyer Effect" is the title of this workshop. Robert Guerroro, of Insurance Auto Auctions, will comment on how both domestic and international remarketing impacts a lender portfolio.

For more information, or to register for this conference, visit www.nafassociation.com/events.html.