Why Santander Chose CARS – Editorial Response from Mark Lacek


I read the recent editorial about Santander/Chrysler and I felt the need to respond from my point of view. One of the questions in the article was why Santander/Chrysler chose the C.A.R.S. National Certification Program for ensuring that the recovery agents they hire are professionally trained. I am going to try to answer that question only.

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1 thought on “Why Santander Chose CARS – Editorial Response from Mark Lacek

  1. This rebuttal is very well thought out and presented. I don’t think anyone disagrees with the quality of the CARS Programs or the qualifications of its’ principals. I feel that you have missed the actual point of the complaints. Agencies are not complaining about being CARS Certified. What they are complaining about is the mandate to the “independent contractor” as the contract stipulates they all are.

    Santander/Chrysler has gone too far with their continued demands. I am not saying it is wrong in any capacity to require training and certification. But please re-read all of your contracts. You and the agencies are independent contractors.

    There is always a line in the contract that goes along the lines of: ” The means and methods of repossessing any such vehicle shall be within the sole discretion of Independent Contractor, and Independent Contractor agrees to ensure that it complies with any and all State, Federal, and/or local laws, rules, regulation or ordinances during any repossession or other activity hereunder to include, but not limited to the FDCPA, and the prohibition on committing Unfair Dececeptive Abusive Acts and Practices.”

    Please take a moment and re-read that last part. “Sole Discretion” Pretty powerful two words that is being completely stepped on at this moment. Please review the IRS test in regards to employee vs sub-contractor. You will find that this industry is being treated as EMPLOYEES. Take it from someone who battled the IRS and lost in regards to employee or sub-contractor. It doesn’t matter what the contracts state or don’t state as far as independent contractor status. Fail their sub-contractor test, and find out the monetary penalty that gets paid.

    So back to the point, I, along with the majority of the industry agree that the CARS Certification is top notch. But let us not label the other certifications as “rubber stamped”. You stated no states recognize the other certifications. I can tell you that Illinois accepts RSIG for agents and agencies to get their licenses. California also accepts other certifications for their certification requirements.

    CARS, RSIG, Eagle XX, and the others all have very good testing metrics. Each of them are strong in certain areas, and not so strong in other areas. But again, the complaints are not based on which certification the lending institution is requiring, rather that the “sole discretion” guaranteed to them in their contracts is being breached.

    What is going to happen when this industry finally wakes up and realizes that a majority of their contracts are being breached on a daily basis? Personally, I can’t wait to find out.

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