Santander Demands CARS Certification – The Contingent Fee Contradiction


We’ve been getting a lot of laughs lately, as well as some copies of cancellation letters being sent to lenders and forwarders over their ludicrous demands. If you work for Santander/Chrysler you should have already received their latest demand for CARS Certification. While we strongly support the CARS program created by the respected industry veterans, Joe Taylor and Stamatis Ferrolis and RISC, we find the Santander/Chryslers demands almost laughable considering they demand their agents partake in the obviously dangerous practice of contingent assignments.

Over the last 5 years repossession agencies have spent hundreds of thousands of dollars on compliance management systems (CMS) and education of street level agents. The professionals in the industry, yes there are many in the industry that are not professional in their actions, you read about them almost every day in this newsletter, have embraced this process with understanding and have dug deep into their near empty pocket books to make it happen.

Every contract we sign hammers home the point that we are INDEPENDENT CONTRACTORS and the contracts go on to say “CONTRACTOR shall have absolute and entire charge, control and supervision of the manner and means of performing the Services”.

This recent mandate of using only one training platform would appear to be a mandate given to an employee not an independent contractor. In the real world if you go to school and you get a degree from an education institution that degree qualifies across the nation as proof of your knowledge and understanding. This mandate basically is saying that all the other schools are moot. How can this be mandated when the industry to date has not even decided on the course material.

Make no mistake the industry is in favor of training and compliance but this mandate is unfair and unjustified. If the program meets the curriculum then it must be accepted as in real world education. The asset recovery industry being paid below cost wages in some cases and presently being forced to jump at the whim of individuals most of whom have never left the comfort of their corner office in the last decade is incomprehensible. We operate on a very thin profit platform we should not be coerced into supporting 5 different education platforms.

We are INDEPENDENT CONTRACTORS who as the contracts say have proven that we have policies and procedures in place to meet all state and federal laws and as the contracts say have the knowledge and ability to enforce, educate and operate as required by all Federal and State consumer protection laws.

There is something of a contradiction that a Lender who only pays on contingency, would mandate that their approved agencies only use only one specific compliance training program. Specifically one that has in the past stated that contingent assignments without appropriate recovery fees are a dangerous practice.

It is not that contingent assignments themselves are bad, it is because they do not financially compensate any differently than a non-contingent assignment in fees. Fees are where the rubber meets the road. If you want quality professional agents, agencies and practices, you need to pay for them. $325-$375 is ridiculous. Those are the same fees as Lenders were paying in the 80’s! You know that is not right.

This is the second time in less than a year Santander/Chrysler demanded agents pay out of pocket for the “privilege” of working their contingent assignments with four bad addresses. Do you remember their demand that all of their agents purchase the MBSi’s Recovery Connect System, which costs agencies $30 per month and $5 per month per user as well as data usage and gave Santander/Chrysler, via MBSi, passive GPS location data on the repossession agencies field agents? That was just last November.

What’s next? You rent assignments from them by the day? Wash their cars, mow their lawns? Where does this end?

We just received a letter from Troy Manzi of Prairie Land Services that had the testicular fortitude and intelligence to say what I’ve always advised. Say NO!

Below is the text.


08/22/2017    To Whom It May Concern:    Effective immediately, Prairie Land Services, Inc. will no longer accept 

Santander/Chrysler accounts.


The demands placed on our agency with zero increase in pay is not tolerable.  To make this issue even worse, I was informed today via email that this lender is placing another training/certification requirement on us, again, without increase in pay, that will cost close to $1,500 to for us to complete. 

You and Santander wants the best of the best and the best trained agencies/agents working their accounts but refused to pay for the training and experience.

I am sure you have heard the one about wanting the best brain surgeon, yes? Well, you have to pay for that person.

Should you want to reconsider your rates, then we can talk, but please know this, after years of zero pay hikes from you, the new recovery rate will have a lot of catching up to

Again, effective 08/23/2017, we will no longer accept new assignments for

Santander/Chrysler. Any open or current accounts, at your will, will remain open and

worked by us.

Thank you,   

Troy Manzi President 

(and small business owner, local supporter, family man with college kids, 

husband and someone who needs a retirement fund so he can enjoy life after 60).  


Troy gave me permission to post this.

We encourage all of you who have been brought to task by Santander/Chrysler to stand up and write your own response today if this bothers you. You are not alone. If you do not do work for Santander/Chrysler through any of their forwarders, and they call you asking you to do their work, do yourselves and the industry a favor, just say NO!

Now, for the Lenders and Forwarders reading this, don’t hire based on price alone. Please properly vet ALL of your agents. We know you’re not, otherwise the companies we see working from their truck and storing your metal in their back yard with a rope tied around it for security would not be our competition. If our education and street level training is from a reputable source audited by outside auditors for accuracy you need to accept it just as it would be in a free market education platform, otherwise prepare yourselves for a lot more letters like the one above.


Thank you,

Kevin Armstrong,

Editor, CUCollector


This editorial has been reviewed, contributed to and approved by;

Allied Finance Adjusters

American Recovery Association

California Association of Licensed Repossessors

Time Finance Adjusters

Recovery Specialist Insurance Group

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