As the President of the Illinois Recovery Association (IRA), I would like to take the opportunity to reply to the previous article, Illinois Where are We Headed, dated 1/24/18. First, let me say that the IRA is not a secret association. The IRA is a state-wide association founded in 2001 for the purpose of having a medium where owner-operators could work in partnership. There are various benefits of the association; for example, the IRA made it possible for companies to stay well-informed of upcoming changes in the industry and developed and maintained a relationship with the Illinois Commerce Commission (ICC).
Unfortunately, the industry suffered the loss of multiple repossession companies as a result of the enactment of the Illinois Recovery Act. This had a direct impact on the operation of the association. Low membership and low membership fees meant that the association was unable to fund various aspects of its operation, including its social media presence. So, yes, the website was taken down as a result. Regardless, the remaining members comprised felt that it was imperative to keep the association intact.
As the new president of the IRA, I understand that there is much work to be done before the association is running well again. In 2018, the IRA plans to move forward in rebuilding the association, but that takes time (as all of the remaining members are also running their day to day businesses) and the collaboration of new members. The IRA welcomes the chance to have an open dialogue with all interested parties. The association will be seeking new membership from Illinois and multi-state or out-of- state companies in order to achieve its goals.
We all know the term “recovery” can be used in different ways such as “recovering an asset” or “recovering a unit in a ditch”. There are many reasons towing companies can charge the rates indicated in the article. All business owners in the industry (regardless of size) have the choice to decide who to conduct business with or work for and none of us should be afraid to just say no to an agency/third party/vendor that does not meet the needs of our businesses.
I will not speak directly on behalf of the Professional Towing and Recovery Operators of Illinois (PTROI). However, the PTROI does provide its members with numerous benefits which are all outlined on its website. One of the key benefits is its legislative program which includes lobbyists and watchdog groups who are constantly monitoring laws and regulations. Accordingly, the PTROI did help with the Illinois Recovery Act. As in most regulated industries, the law protects the consumer not the repossession companies.
Remember, “United We Stand, Divided We Fall.” In order to effectively make positive changes the IRA needs to reestablish a strong state association. In the event that anyone reading this article would like to request more information, or would like to join the IRA, please feel free to contact me at email@example.com or call the IRA at 708-921-3575.
Thank you for your time,
Jon Jendral, President
Illinois Recovery Association