I’d just had a conversation with a Grad student writing a paper about the industry and was discussing the major disconnect between the lenders and the repossession industry (the real one, not the Forwarders) and later that day a story was shown to me published on Cherokee Media’s, Subprime News site; “TFS gives Kaizen Award to Millennium Capital and Recovery.” Apparently, TFS (Toyota Financial Services) gives an annual award and they think that Millennium is doing things “The Toyota Way.” Well, as I read into it, apparently “The Toyota Way” is their “forward-thinking ComplianceFIRST no-fee-to-consumer model” and “redemptions process with focus on consumer satisfaction.”
This made me wonder, just how many in person and face to face consumers did Millennium conduct? I’d wager to say, ZERO! Apparently, they are being awarded for suckering all of the repossession agencies into not charging the borrowers for storage or property. BRAVO!!
I guess they should be applauded. They talked their sucker repo agency base into not only getting pathetic paying contingent assignments of apparently low quality (according to the Forwarder ratings on CUCollector), but managed to get them all to waive all of the other fees that they had hoped would supplement their pathetic contingent repo fees. WOW! Nice job! Legendary Pimp, “Iceberg Slim”, would be proud of that manipulation!
For the many of you that probably missed this article, please click here to their site for it. It’s really pretty awesome!
So, as you spend a half hour carefully listing and doing inventory on that motorized dumpster full of cockroaches, needles, trash and half eaten food that smells like a dead bum left in the sun to rot that used to be a car, and then hand it over FOR FREE, to the foul mouthed “consumer” who is threatening to sue you and worse and you got paid a whopping $300 (the same as you would have gotten paid in 1990) for it, take solace! Millennium got an award for your sacrifice! Now, THAT should put a smile on your face!
All sarcasm aside, as I’d eluded to earlier, there is a major disconnect between the Big Lenders and the “Real” Repossession Industry and, the Forwarders have only made it worse. Here’s the real deal folks, like it or not. The Big Lenders don’t even think you matter. They think the Forwarders matter. All that they care about is reducing their expenses and keeping the static from their borrowers and paranoid compliance departments at a minimum. Your livelihood, nor the welfare of the industry matter one bit to them.
The Forwarders and Lenders have been using the CFPB and their insane legal opinions as leverage against you to wipe away more of your income through the years. Always, they expect you to suck up the losses and never do they offer a reasonable offset by way of rate increases. Nope, fees stay flat so they can stay competitive and the Lenders can show more budget reductions.
For those of you that seem to think that you can make up for it in volume, IMHO, you’re short sighted. You are only making things worse for yourselves and the industry as a whole. There is only one reason they get away with flat wages and removing all of your ancillary fees. YOU LET THEM! You are slowly killing your own business and the industry.
In all fairness, Millennium is not the only Forwarder doing this. For the most, they are all doing it and every one of you that goes along with it are killing your own businesses as well as your fellow repossessors. Look at yourselves. You know who you are and you should feel some shame as you mingle at your next convention, or for the majority of you that don’t associate with the rest of the industry. You should feel some level of shame that you are not protecting your business as well as you should and as such, not providing as well for your family or yourselves as you and they deserve.
Today is only the start of the second month of the year. Already, we’ve seen one Repossessor murdered. One stabbed and several attacked with weapons or held at gunpoint. Where is the award for these people? Where is the income to compensate for these losses injuries and risks? Just how tone deaf have the Big Lenders become that they could hand out awards to Forwarders while the real men and women doing the dirty work are putting their lives on the line for them? Obviously, they’re just plain deaf and indifferent since they applaud and award middle men for taking advantage of these people.
One of the first words every child learns is “NO”. It’s a powerful word. It forces negotiation. It draws lines of acceptability. For an industry of men and women so experienced and versed in managing conflict, it amazes me how many of you are afraid to use that word with Lenders and Forwarders. Your inability to execute this basic word, this decision, this choice, has been killing the REAL Repossession Industry for decades now. This is why you do not prosper. This is why your employees do not have insurance. This is why you can not attract and maintain experienced and professional staff and this is why every month, repossession agencies are closing.
Don’t get too excited about your competitors closing. You’ll be next if you keep agreeing to do whatever the “Pimp” of Forwarding tells you and for how much. It’s just a matter of time.