Common Sense Compliance: Article 2 – Is It Better?

 

complnc_cupGuest Editorial

A few years ago I was in another state (which shall go unnamed here) working with a group of collateral recovery business owners to pass a minimum, sensible and effective law regulating the licensure and oversight of those who provide self-help (non-judicial) repossession services.  It was a State Senate hearing and there were a number of collateral recovery business owners there supporting our Bill.  However, in the crowd there was one business owner who opposed our efforts.  His reason, which he really did say openly to the Senate Committee, was that “if this legislation passed into law he would have to terminate several of his employees because they were convicted felons”.  The Bill passed in the Senate but was not taken up by the House so that State still has no regulatory authority to ensure the public safety by properly regulating those who offer repossession services.

It struck me at that moment that with more than 35 courts across the country including District Courts, Appellate Courts and State Supreme Courts ruling that there are “inherent” risks associated with self-help repossession activity and with state legislators taking an oath to “protect the public safety”, why would these legislators (servants of the people) not pass a law that simply states:  “OK, ladies and gentlemen, if you want to provide such services here is how it works;  If you are a convicted felon, a sex offender, a pedophile, drug abuser, have a propensity for violence, have a history of mental illness, etc., etc. you can’t do this kind of work in our state.”  I don’t know about anyone else but I think I would be OK with that, which leads me to my topic.

Fast forward to today, it appears that without the efforts of state legislatures the creation of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) will address, through new compliance mandates to the lending community, the criteria for hiring collateral recovery specialists to service their self-help repossession needs.  The question is, will these new criteria’s bring about more communications and cooperation between the lending community and their “business associates” and if so, will it begin to create a beneficial result for both parties?

There is no question that the new compliance mandates for the lending community has begun to change the criteria for qualifying collateral recovery specialists.  Will this be a good thing for those collateral recovery business owners who already run their businesses on a professional level?  I would think so, and I would hope so.  My belief is that the new compliance requirements will filter out the unscrupulous recovery agents just like the law did in the State I mentioned.  As a byproduct the professionals in this industry who meet these mandates should see their business increase.

And speaking again about minimal, sensible and effective regulatory authority by the states, the FTC has indicated that the states which have demonstrated such regulatory responsibility can request exemptions from the federal mandates.

If you have been following the actions of the CFPB it is clear that their primary attention is currently on mortgage and credit card fraud but will eventually “trickle” down to all aspects of the lending process which includes self-help repossession services.

It may well be a little too soon to see how all this “shakes” out so I can only hope that the professionals in our industry try to maintain a positive attitude and continue to improve their respective operations.

In my third article I will attempt to address the need for independent, third party assistance in helping collateral recovery business owners and the lending community in complying with the new mandates and how you might go about choosing that third party company.  In the meantime, think “Time, Money and Liability” which my third article will address.

RISC_logo_2013RISC is recognized within the collateral recovery industry as a leader in the fields of CFPB consumer protection training, risk management and industry standard compliance requirements.  RISC services include:  RISC Vendor Compliance Reporting (VCR), Compliant Agent Network (CAN) membership, certification through the C.A.R.S. National Certification Program, compliance vetting and training, continuing education courses, office and storage facilities inspections, business consulting, repossession insurance consulting, lock-smith training and supplies, automotive key codes, discount programs, and a $1 million Client Protection Bond for members of the RISC Complaint Agent Network.  For more information please email RISC at services@RiscUS.com, call 866-996-RISC (7472), or visit our website at www.RiscUS.com.

 

Be safe,

Joe Taylor

Vice President

Director of Education

RISC

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1 thought on “Common Sense Compliance: Article 2 – Is It Better?

  1. Joe,

    While I appreciate your knowledge and experience in the recovery industry; I could not disagree with you more on your blanket position on ex-felons.

    As an ex-felon in which I was convicted of in 1985 for forging my mother’s checks during my bout with alcoholism, I have found positions such as yours to be short sighted, self-serving, and completely Un-American.

    While I can not, nor will not, lay my actions at the feet of my alcoholism; what I can say is I served my time, paid my debt to society, and have become a recovered alcoholic for the past 24 years. I have made my amends to my mother, my family, and to all those that I can when I was drinking and effected by actions.

    The problem with a blanket law that does not allow any redemption of the ex-felon is UN-American in the sense that the debit is NEVER paid off. In a Country that was found on the belief that everyone can correct their wrongs and make something of them selves. That the Good Lord not only provides but request of His children forgiveness, the attitude you share with many others in contradictory to these most cherished fundamentals.

    A repossessor everyday of work takes the chance of being charged with any number of felonies in the course of their work and the particular Law Enforcement’s attitudes towards repossession he/she encounters. Once charged, the fight to not be convicted and branded is unbalanced and unfair. Against a State prosecutor with unlimited resources and budget against either a public defender or over-priced lawyer costing in to the tens of thousands of dollars, the fight ends up 9 times out of 10 in plea bargain, under threat and pressure of prison time, regardless of true guilt or innocence.

    Since the advent of fake “reality” TV shows showing the repossession industry as crazy aggressive hillbilly’s, more and more confrontations are taking place on the streets across the Country. Repossessors are being charged with crimes, many of which are felony in nature, as our Country as taken a produced perception as converted it to an unbiased reality.

    We will soon hear the call for a Repossessor Legal Defense Fund as our members are caught between the fire of the public and the courts.

    The “inherent” risks of being a repossessor are gaining in number as this unfolds across our Nation. In some States, it is becoming a felony to run ALPR. What if the regulated States decide that Forwarders, Certiifiers, Trainers, and Compliance Issuers are in-fact engaged in repossession activities (much like the bar tender being held accountable for the drunk driver) and you Joe find yourself a convicted felon? Where then would you stand on such a blanket law?

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