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Webinar Recap: Lenders Navigating COVID-19

DRN hosted a webinar in April to share perspectives from the vehicle finance industry about how the current COVID-19 environment is changing how they do business.

 We heard from Jan Stieger, Executive Director of the Receivables Management Association International (RMA Intl.), a receivables trade association. Jan discussed that the COVID-19 pandemic has created a need among lenders for greater flexibility as all of us navigate an unprecedented situation. While lenders are prepared to manage through natural disasters and other crises that lead to “personal recessions,” we’ve never seen a situation with such a broad impact across geographies and demographics. Lenders must consider what financial hardship looks like as a result of COVID-19, understanding that this is a global economic crisis that will take time to resolve.

 Jan also noted that RMA Intl.’s website has a number of resources, including business and industry guidelines and helpful updates on both federal and state regulations as they relate to COVID-19. Visit www.rmaintl.org to access these materials.

 We also heard from Rod Arends, Vice President of Service Center Operations for Southeast Toyota Finance, and Dean Berendt, Vice President of Collections for Landmark Credit Union. Rod and Dean reiterated the need for flexibility, noting that collections and recoveries have slowed in recent weeks. At the same time, they’re granting more loan extensions and payment relief than ever before. Rod added that lenders must be willing to consider loan modification options that may be beyond standard procedure, but showing empathy and understanding during this unprecedented situation is simply the right thing to do.

 Both Rod’s and Dean’s organizations use DRNsights as part of their vehicle recovery processes. DRNsights is proving helpful even during this slower time of collections as it can help lenders build real stories to help locate vehicles and make right-party contact more efficiently. This slower collections period can also be a good time to use DRNsights data for general portfolio analysis.

 Key takeaways:

–   These are uncharted waters, so flexibility and empathy are critical.

–   It’s important to stay familiar with debt collection rules and other regulations at both the state and federal levels. Resources on www.rmaintl.org can help with this.

–   Real data remains the key to making smart decisions faster.

Thanks to Jan, Rod and Dean for their insights on this unique and ever-changing topic that affects each one of us, regardless of our personal or professional situation. Click here to listen to the full webinar.

 

About the author:

Jeremiah Wheeler

Jeremiah Wheeler

Jeremiah is the President of the DRN & MVTRAC business units for Motorola Solutions Inc. (NYSE: MSI) leading operations, business development, data collection, government affairs and strategy efforts for the automotive, insurance, retail, and financial services industries. Prior to joining the company more than 11 years ago, Jeremiah led one of the largest repossession companies in the US, with more than 65 Trucks, covering 6 states and also had national coverage with the top 20 auto lenders for recovery services. He serves on three committees for the Receivables Management Association International, three committees for the American Financial Services Association, is an advisory board member for the American Recovery Association and is a founding member of the Auto Intel Council with Cherokee Media Group. He is very involved with numerous other organizations helping to promote legislative activities, fundraising and awareness campaigns. Jeremiah has been married for 20 years, has 2 daughters and enjoys spending time traveling with his family, teaching and mentoring students, mountain biking and most anything outdoors.