From the Trenches in Florida

trenchesGuest Editorial

Thank you for posting your article in CU Collector about the impending Recovery Agency vs Forwarders “War” in Florida.  I understand your space may be limited in outlining the details of this issue, however, from a recovery agent perspective, I believe it is equally important to point out and define REGULATED ACTIVITY-Repossession:

The recovery of a motor vehicle as defined under s.320.01(1)by an individual who is authorized by the legal owner, lienholder or lessor to recover, or to collect money payment in lieu of recovery of, that which has been sold or leased under a security agreement that contains a repossession clause.  The last sentence in this definition states: A repossession is complete when a licensed recovery agent is in control, custody, and possession of such repossessed property.

There is no clause in this definition authorizing a “representative of the lien holder” to secure recovery service from a licensed recovery agent.  The regulation appears to be very specific to the licensed recovery agent (agency) representing the lienholder directly.

I am appalled at the audacity of Scott Jackson of MVTRAC’s comment, “that his company as well as others would be irreparably harmed if lenders believed that using a repossession forwarder in Florida were illegal”.  The vast majority of repossession forwarding companies require their “agents” to provide recovery service for fees much less than industry standards. Many of these companies insist on a “contingency” payment plan, which as you know means “no repossession/ no pay”.

Forwarding companies bear no financial responsibility in securing the required Florida Licensing for agencies or agents. Nor do they maintain offices or staff, storage facilities, or wreckers, fuel or maintenance on those wreckers. The repossession forwarding companies do not pay to insure the wreckers or the State required liability insurance premiums (most often, financial institutions require more coverage than the State), workers’ compensation insurance or any of the other line items on our list of operating expenses.

While the list is quite long, there is one more to discuss: Compliance. Repossession forwarding companies have no direct financial responsibility to this “line item” either.  Recovery agents are now a part of the “train” of financial oversight known as CFPB and all that is involved in being “compliant”.  I would add to the point of being compliant, we understand, it is the lienholder that bears the responsibility of the agent that represents their financial institution in the field, not the repossession forwarding company.

So for less money on completed repossessions and often no payment for work completed (addresses vacant, confirming debtor has moved etc.) but vehicles are not recovered, I ask you, exactly WHO IS ACTUALLY ENDURING “IRREPARABLE HARM”?  The continuation of this activity can very likely cause very reputable agencies that pay taxes in the State of Florida, to rethink the viability of their very existence.

If the recovery agents are the “David” in your story, I assure you there are MANY “David’s” that are taking an “active role in this game changing situation”.

Thanks very much.

Respectfully,

Becky Gauntt

Gauntt Investigations, Inc.

407-859-4418   Fax 407-851-9807

mailto:rgauntt@flrepoconnection.com

“Integrity is one of several paths. It distinguishes itself from others because it is the right path, and the only one upon which you will never get lost”

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