• Evolving Auto Finance Industry

A call to auto finance executives to get involved

“What is the last book you read?” That is a standard question for every person I interview and it’s an important question.

Am I looking for the “right answer,” hoping the candidate tells me they have read the latest business book to trend on the New York Times Best Seller list?

Not at all. The answer to that question tells me a lot about a person’s mindset. It tells me that they are curious and a learner. It tells me that if they join our team, they will be open to getting involved in the organizations and trade groups that serve our industry. And that’s the kind of person I want on our team.

In this industry, we are incredibly well served by the organizations that advocate on our behalf and work to create positive legislation and best practices for the industry. We have publications like SubPrime News that keep us up-to-date on the latest news and trends. Our job? It is to get involved, read, attend trade shows, sign up for webinars, participate in a panel discussion, network with our peers, share our successes, and our failures.

For as surely as this industry evolves, we too must evolve with it if we want our organizations to succeed. It’s all too easy to become consumed by daily operations and fail to engage with the industry. I encourage you to resist that temptation and commit time every day to connecting and engaging. Here are my recommendations for connecting.

American Financial Services Association (AFSA) AFSA is the primary trade association for the consumer credit industry, “protecting access to credit and consumer choice. AFSA provides the consumer credit industry and the consumers it serves with a voice in Washington, D.C., where the association is headquartered, access to the media and investment community. It also provides research, policy advice and issues management at both the federal and state level.” Get involved to help shape the industry’s directions and positions on issues that impact your business.

National Automotive Financing Association (NAF)NAF “is the only trade association exclusively serving the non-prime auto financing industry.” NAF supports its members and the industry with programs and education. If you are serving the non-prime auto finance market, then you need to be plugged into NAF.

Receivables Management Association (RMA) – Formerly DBA International, RMA is the nonprofit trade association representing more than 550 companies that support the purchase, sale, and collection of performing and nonperforming receivables on the secondary market. Take a look at RMA’s Get Involved page to see how you can participate in advocacy efforts for the industry, as well as networking and educational opportunities.

Mark Your Calendar for the AutoFinCon Peer-to-Peer Networking Group

New to AutoFinCon this year, DRN will be hosting a Peer-to-Peer Networking event on November 16, from 8:00 – 10:00 am. Join your peers at this 2-hour session to exchange ideas and best practices. In roundtable sessions, we will discuss collections challenges and new technologies impacting collections, regulatory impacts to collections, and operational issues. Lenders will share new ideas for improving collections and explain the results of their operational adjustments.

This is an exciting time for the industry, but it is also a challenging time that requires informed decisions. Some of you are responding to subprime delinquencies by pulling back on originations, while some see that pullback as an opportunity to ramp up originations. And everyone we talk to looks to improve collections effectiveness and stem the tide on delinquencies, repossessions and charge-offs. I have seen first-hand the benefits of getting involved and learning from your peers. I hope to see you at AutoFinCon and hope that you are inspired to get involved too.