It has been brought to the attention of several repossession association Presidents, that there are Lenders out there that appear to be obstructing the release and transport of vehicles from the lots of repossession agencies in the path of Hurricane Irma while also requesting more cars be repossessed up to the last minute. We know who you are, and at this point we are hoping that this is merely a misunderstanding and not an obvious attempt to force insurance losses on any repossession agency instead of your own insurance coverage.
We certainly hope these actions are not being taken in an attempt to manipulate insurance claims, which could have long lasting financial repercussions.
One Repo Company (unnamed) reported to have 53 units still on their lot. This agency has been trying to get them picked up for several days. The forwarding company that assigned them, apparently seemed unconcerned in earlier conversations. When contacted yesterday, they claimed that they had arrangements to transport them to an (Unnamed) Auto Auction, but today, they advised that they had not.
It has been reported to myself, that there are agents reporting that Lenders (names withheld) are not providing transportation releases to move repossessed vehicles out of harm’s way. As a standard compliance measure with any Emergency Preparedness Plan (EDP) transporting collateral out of a predicted disaster area is a prudent and necessary protocol measure in executing any EDP, in order to mitigate potential damages.
While we have not been able to verify these concerns through the Lender(s) directly, time is of essence as Hurricane Irma is predicted to hit Eastern Florida on Sunday the 10th. Some Hurricane prediction models predict that it may shift eastward and not hit land, which would divert more significant damage, but the situation is fluid and the primary models all suggest it will hit land. Even without a land strike, a storm of this nature will produce damaging winds and flooding to Coastal areas and other areas further inland or on low ground.
The ramifications of the collateral not being moved should the Hurricane hit any of these agencies is dire. These vehicles (and personal property contained within) would all be the liability of the repossession agencies depending of course on the terms stipulated in their contracts which may require indemnification for ANY AND ALL LOSSES. The repossession agencies, many of which may not even have insurance coverage for “Acts of God” since many carriers do not provide it would likely be unable to absorb all of the losses, which could be based upon loan balances (if required by contract) and not Actual Cash Value. Coupled with the possible personal losses of property, these agents’ lives and livelihoods could be destroyed.
Standard terms in most insurance policies require insureds to mitigate potential losses. In this case, repossessors are trying to meet insurance contract requirements by moving vehicles. Failure to do so could possibly void any insurance benefits that would be available to the repossessor that are required by the same Lenders to protect the Lender’s property.
The trickledown effect of these losses could drive up future insurance costs through the industry to unsustainable levels.
THIS HAS NOT BEEN VERIFIED! Regardless, we urge all agencies in this area to consult legal counsel immediately if they are finding this to be fact.
We do not like to play “Chicken Little”, but the source is credible and the consequences of inaction, should this prove correct, are extreme to say the least.
Be safe and God bless you all,
Allied Finance Adjusters (AFA)
American Repossessors Association (ARA)
California Association of Licensed Repossessors (CALR)
Time Finance Adjusters (TFA)
Recovery Specialists Insurance Group (RSIG)