The annual Collections and Recovery Solutions (CRS) conference never fails to recharge my batteries. Coming just 5 months into the year, it’s a great time to take the pulse of the industry and hear first-hand the challenges and successes of the industry. Entering the year at American Financial Services Association (AFSA) Conference, the buzz was all about the call for lenders to disrupt and adopt new strategies to mitigate risk. That theme of disruption could be heard throughout the sessions and hallways at CRS. And here’s how that played out in conversations.
Disrupt with Vehicle Location Data
As our CEO Chris Metaxas likes to say, “When you reduce your risk, cut charge-offs and become more efficient in your collections, you get to make more money.” Sounds simple and for some of our customers like Westlake Financial, it has truly been that simple. They disrupted using our vehicle location data earlier in the delinquency cycle and across their delinquent portfolio, and the results are there. They are making right party contact and curing loans, they are reducing charge-offs, and they are recovering more vehicles faster. And yes, that means they get to make more money. The story here is that our data and analytics work and lenders are seeing a positive ROI. We never get tired of hearing the success stories during our conversations with you at CRS and we appreciate your partnership.
Loss Alerts Equal Easy Money
Lenders are often surprised to learn that when they sign up for DRNsights, they also get Loss Alerts. What these do is send alerts any time a vehicle in your portfolio ends up as salvage, total loss, stolen or in an impound lot. More than once at CRS, we heard from lenders who claim that Loss Alerts give them the most advanced notice of vehicles in impound, usually up to two weeks faster than paper notices. And that notice saves them from paying costly impound fees that add up fast.
You Don’t Have to Cut What Makes You Money
It’s discouraging to talk with lenders and hear that their “best” strategy is to cut originations. It simply does not add up, and as I have said before, as a strategy, this is just kicking the can down the road. On the other hand, it’s great to have that conversation at CRS and hear how other lenders are sharing the message of how to operationalize vehicle location data to mitigate risk so that you don’t have to cut what makes you money. I go back to the story of Westlake. From their recent press release with us “We knew the power of DRN could assist us in locating and recovering vehicles, so it was only logical to integrate DRN data into our servicing process. By using DRN’s vehicle location data, we are provided notifications through a series of flags based on what the data demonstrates. This is a game-changer for us; we can help customers earlier in the process and we are more efficient with our servicing and recovery,” commented Ian Anderson, Group President of Westlake Financial. The Westlake story is a great example of how to use vehicle location data as a risk mitigation and risk management strategy versus cutting originations.
Credit Unions Need New Ideas
Credit union lenders shared a unique set of challenges as they see more and more loans coming from indirect sources, they need to up their game to collect and mitigate risk. Many who thought our data was “just for the big guys” were surprised to hear about our success at Philadelphia Federal Credit Union (PFCU) where we were able to show one month savings of over $150,000 with eleven out of 19 loans cured during that one-month period using our data. It shows that our vehicle location data is working for lenders of all sizes, with both direct and indirect portfolios.
CRS Just Keeps Getting Better
I observed that the CRS conference in general was more friendly across the spectrum in attracting more originating creditors than ever before. And that’s good for lenders of all sizes, because it makes the peer networking groups more effective. I spoke with Debbie Venderley who headed up the auto creditor peer-to-peer group and she observed an openness and eagerness to disrupt, some with our data and analytics.
This industry never gets old and events like CRS continue to challenge us to keep innovating and to help guide lenders through the disruption to better outcomes. Thank you for everyone who attended our event at Brooklyn Bowl and thank you to our sponsors as well.