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ConsumerFi Podcast: The Future of GPS Recovery Technology with Repo America’s J. Patrick Altes and PassTime GPS’ Kevin Carr


February 25, 2021

Episode 17


Joel is joined by J. Patrick Altes, of the Repo America Podcast and Kevin Carr, SVP of Financial Services at PassTimeGPS, to discuss the evolution and future of GPS recovery technology, the importance of disclosure and how governmental changes may affect the repossession ecosystem.

ConsumerFi is presented by Nortridge Software: Loan Software That Accelerates Change

And special thanks to The National Automotive Finance Association: The only trade association exclusively serving the nonprime auto finance industry.


[00:00:20] Everybody welcome to the podcast today. I’m really excited to have with me two people that I respect greatly. Within within the whole ecosystem. Um, uh, we have, uh, first off, I’ll start off with my co-host today. Patrick L Tez, who, uh, is kind of my behind the scenes guru for all information relating to podcasting.

[00:00:41] I know I’m, I’m kind of buttering them up a little bit, but he has been really, really helpful and a cheerleader for me, Patrick Scott, the repo America podcast, which is doing quite well. And, um, The other thing I, you, we’re kind of kindred spirits in is that you’re also the government leader. He’s on a, for repo Alliance slash NRA [00:01:00] with, uh, making sure that we’re educating our federal electorate on issues of import to, uh, the repossession agent, which is obviously an important component within the entire value chain.

[00:01:10] Not only for. The the consumer, uh, it, but for, for the businesses as well. And then, uh, your background is in a repossession and you’re a second generation, I think, a re repossession, uh, uh, agency owner, Falcon international, Patrick. Uh, welcome to the podcast and thanks for, thanks for co-hosting with me. I really appreciate it.

[00:01:31] Patrick Altes: [00:01:31] It’s my pleasure. I, I think, uh, these podcasts, both yours and mine, uh, have been a great. Platform to kind of expand on some of these issues in an audio fashion. You know, a lot of people can listen to them on the go. So I salute you for having launched yours and for the , there I go. Great, great luck you’ve had with your podcast.

[00:01:53] So, well, we usually,

[00:01:55] Joel Kennedy: [00:01:55] we usually have a shot of bourbon before we get started, but I think you skipped that today. Loosen up the [00:02:00] tongue a little bit. Yep. We’ve got Kevin, uh, Kevin Carr in the background and Kevin and I have a very long standing relationship where we’ve actually done business together. Uh, I owned an auto finance company and we were a hundred percent GPS and starter interrupt.

[00:02:12] Okay. So things have changed. We’re going to cover a little bit about that, but Kevin Carr has been, uh, he’s the VP of financial services for pastime GPS, uh, and has been in that, uh, been in that leadership position for some time. Kevin, welcome to the program.

[00:02:27] Kevin Carr: [00:02:27] Thanks, Joel, I appreciate being here, Patrick.

[00:02:30] It’s a pleasure meeting you.

[00:02:32] Patrick Altes: [00:02:32] Yep. Same here.

[00:02:34] Joel Kennedy: [00:02:34] So to get started, um, Kevin, you know, let let’s talk. Maybe we can talk a little bit about the, the innovation. Of of the device itself and how it kind of moved through time. And then Patrick, feel free to chime in on, on questions. Or you might even remember, um, some of these, these older devices, you know, my first experience with it was back in, I want to say the 2007 [00:03:00] timeframe where it was the, uh, device where.

[00:03:04] Customer calls to make a payment or, you know, and a lot of it was phone back. Then they get a code and there, they had a, a fob that had numbers on it and they could enter in the code and that would then give them another, uh, uh, 30 day duration or whatever the terms of the agreement were. And that was the original device, uh, installed between the starter and their interrupt.

[00:03:26] No GPS. It was just the starter interrupt device. Then we migrated through and we got away from the customer and putting the codes. We put it on the lender. Um, we innovated that device added in the GPS and then you kind of got it smaller and smaller, and now you have it so that it doesn’t even need to be wired in right.

[00:03:45] For the GPS only.

[00:03:48] Kevin Carr: [00:03:48] That’s correct. Yeah, I did. I do. I did you, did you, did you did great from, from cradle to grave kind of thing. Yeah. Um, you know, GPS has evolved, I mean, still [00:04:00] viewed as a collection tolerant, uh, collection technology solution. Uh, you have, you know, two schools of thoughts. You have those that use it as a collection tool, which what you’re talking about, the, uh, the pay code system that basically work like an eight timer, you know, they.

[00:04:14] They’re on the clock for 30 days that they made their payment. And when that comes due, they need to make a payment to get a code. Otherwise they can’t drive and it has worked very effectively. And it’s evolved as you have clients that either gravitate away from that or not looking for that. They just want to use it for, uh, getting the data off the vehicle for the purposes of just recovery.

[00:04:34] And that’s kind of where things have, I guess, the evolution of the device and the innovation of the device. Um, pastime being a manufacturer. We have always had the mindset of, you know, what do our customers want? You know, how they use the technology and then the feedback, how is it working? What do they want next?

[00:04:55] What things do we need to tweak? And so really be more of a, the mindset of what those are [00:05:00] Alliant one. And the let’s go back to the drawing board and read the, rebuild it, or let’s go back and let’s add to it. And so the evolution of our technology now is purely all from our client’s input. And feedback to us.

[00:05:15] Um, ultimately, you know, the people doing the work know most about it. So ultimately, you know, we learn from them, we just ask questions and you know, some of the things that have come up is, you know, boy, if I could get these devices where I didn’t have to wire them where I didn’t need an installer, that would be fantastic.

[00:05:32] If I could get these devices just to go in the car and a small little area, and I didn’t have to worry about the starter disable. I just wanted to locate only, uh, that would be fantastic. And that’s where we’ve evolved. We still maintain our. Uh, our different suite of products, but we’ve evolved to a point now that the feedback from our clients who want, you know, I guess newer innovation we’ve created that.

[00:05:55] So we’ve created a wireless product. It’s called Encore and it’s [00:06:00] been. Completely a game changer in the market place. It is brought people back to GPS who may have left, and it has really exposed more people who want GPS because they don’t have to hire an installer. They don’t have to deal with the installation and they get exactly what they were looking for, which is knowing where the vehicle is.

[00:06:20] So they know how to arrange getting that vehicle either picked up through recovery companies like Patrick, or, you know, hired, you know, send it out to a forwarder, but basically they can improve their collection recoveries and increase the amount of vehicles that are out for repo, uh, grab almost a hundred percent of all of them.

[00:06:40] Joel Kennedy: [00:06:40] Patrick in, in your experience as a, as a recovery professional, um, how has the transition since, you know, over the past, like decade or so gone with, you know, moving from the old skip tracing technologies, right? Like using credit bureaus and other things, looking, trying to call known relatives. Tips to shifting over to [00:07:00] looking at the snail trail within a GPS device or using like a license plate recognition, for example, how has, how has that, that transition gone within the entire repossession world?

[00:07:11] Well, that’s been

[00:07:12] Patrick Altes: [00:07:12] interesting because you had sort of, again, uh, spoken cradle to grave, or we’re not at the grave yet, but, uh, just the transition, you know, we can’t. Call references really much anymore, uh, due to, you know, federal regulation, fair debt collection practices, act all that. So a lot of, uh, uh, contacting relatives or neighbors, all that’s out the window.

[00:07:35] And, uh, so there’s a greater reliance on this sort of technology. And, uh, as Kevin said, the technology has improved a lot. Like even I remember back in the day when GPS was first introduced, Uh, the accuracy was a little bit suspect, but I think over the years has gotten to be more and more. And maybe Kevin can address that later, uh, become far more and more accurate.

[00:07:56] As far as the actual location. It used to be pretty, you know, it would be [00:08:00] more generalized, I think at one point, uh, that. The consumer, uh, civilians weren’t allowed to, to the same technology that the military had as far as GPS accuracy. And, uh, so there has been a transition to using this technology. Both the GPS coordinates provided by the client or, or by the client via companies like past time where we’re allowed to log in and, and try and find the car in real time.

[00:08:27] And, uh, and you also mentioned LPR. LPR does rely on the vehicle beings. Visible on the street in an area where the, where the cameras are running. Whereas GPS is a little bit more, you know, it’s, it’s attached to the vehicle itself. So it might be actually more accurate in some ways, as far as, uh, are a more direct route to locate in the vehicle, then, uh, Just the hope of it being caught by an LPR camera.

[00:08:52] Um, but all these techniques to get back to your question between those technologies and our ability to [00:09:00] access databases and, um, Whether it should be made, known or not access to social media. Oftentimes that is another element of technology that comes into the skip tracing and location process. So you’re right.

[00:09:16] Has been a big transition from the good, the good old days or battle battle days where you would, uh, get call uncle Harry on the phone and ask were, you know, Juniors car as you can’t really do that anymore. Yeah. If

[00:09:30] Kevin Carr: [00:09:30] I could touch base on the question regarding accuracy, you know, ultimately, um, you know, Patrick, it really does come down sometimes to just the pure technology in terms of, um, And I’m not trying to promote past them over everybody else.

[00:09:43] You know, I will be a little selfish. Um, you know, we, we are a manufacturer, so ultimately, um, we have some control over that accuracy. So to your point, the feedback from clients that said, Hey, you know what. It went to the vehicle and, and ultimately it was, you know, 20, 30, [00:10:00] 40 feet away from where the address said, so that kind of feedback that we get, you know, we’ve made enhancements over the years.

[00:10:06] So we’re accuracy now is within eight feet of where that vehicle is. In fact, you know, we have so dialed in that, uh, in some of our, uh, products that we offer, like lot management for dealers, so that you could literally look in the parking slot. That that car is in that’s exactly where the devices and that’s exactly where it shows on the map.

[00:10:24] So, um, you’re, you’re out a hundred percent correct. In terms of the technology has gotten better, but, um, some of us have made better enhancements to our technology to ensure that we don’t have, have a repo agent going over a block when the vehicle is on the other block. So, um, we have to dial in, so our accuracy is.

[00:10:44] It’s not a hundred percent down to the finite, but it’s within eight feet. And I think that’s close enough for anyone to go repo that. And it does help address those situations. Where is it actually in the parking lot or is actually in the garage. So when you’re talking about [00:11:00] accuracy and that pin dropping is literally on top of the garage or on top of the roof, on the map, you can suspect that.

[00:11:07] Yep. It’s right inside the garage. So your repo agent is going to know before they go.

[00:11:11] Patrick Altes: [00:11:11] It’s come a long way. What was the accuracy when you first got involved in GPS technology?

[00:11:17] Kevin Carr: [00:11:17] Oh, um, you know, I got involved with, uh, another provider and I would say we were roughly anywhere from 15 to 20 feet, but you know, I’m on the marketing and sales side, so I really had to rely a lot of my engineers.

[00:11:31] And so my engineers always weren’t telling me what’s up. Um, being passed on my engineers are Lily. I mean, I would say they were right across, uh, right across the hallway. Um, but they’re, they’re literally a phone call that that’s the, I guess the beauty of being a manufacturer is I can pick up a phone and call my engineer and we can talk about what’s happening and make decisions on the fly to improve things or address issues.

[00:11:53] So, um, it really comes back to, again, the founders of our company wanted to make sure that. [00:12:00] We built products that were reliable and that works and that were supported. Um, so we, we do spend a little bit more money on our hardware. Um, we’re not the cheapest in the marketplace. Uh, it’s all about long-term solution.

[00:12:13] So, um, yeah, Patrick, some of the other technology out there may not have been as accurate and I don’t know where everyone is today, but, uh, we’ve come a long way since the beginning.

[00:12:26] Patrick Altes: [00:12:26] Now, do you ever encourage some of your class to utilize both your technology and LPR camera technology as sort of a hybrid system?

[00:12:36] Kevin Carr: [00:12:36] I would say, um, it’s like anything else that they are, there are tools, uh, for collection, I would never put one over the other. But, um, I would say they can work hand in hand with each other. So, uh, obviously I, I think everyone would admit and talk with every repo agent time data is crucial to fast recovery.

[00:12:56] Uh, if I have a GPS data that tells you right here and now the vehicles [00:13:00] parked here versus I have a report that says last time we installed this vehicle, it was over here. Who knows when that data was. I think it goes without saying collectors would love our repo agents would love to have real time information to make better decisions.

[00:13:14] That being said, um, we know that over time devices, um, could possibly not work due to tampering by the consumer, um, possibly due to issues related to how it was wired, uh, in the past. And it maybe failed over time, but. Uh, ultimately there, there’s going to come a time that some devices may not work for various reasons.

[00:13:35] And then now

[00:13:36] Joel Kennedy: [00:13:36] you need that backup

[00:13:37] Kevin Carr: [00:13:37] data or the LPR, if you will, to kind of resurrect or I guess get an update. So collectors use the historical data still as like a skip tracing tool, but clearly by adding the additional support of like LPR and the license recognition solution. Does help to update. So if my history shows that they lived in, uh, [00:14:00] you know, uh, California, and then I get a hit, uh, 30 days later from a file that stopped reporting on a year ago that they’re in New Mexico.

[00:14:08] Then obviously you got some updated information start chasing that kind of data. So yes, I would say we all work hand in hand

[00:14:14] Joel Kennedy: [00:14:14] and with each other. Yeah. Yeah. And that, that was my experience. Um, You know, because we used, um, a little bit of the, the license plate recognition. This is at a prior lender. Um, and, uh, we had the GPS on every vehicle, but then in certain cases where, uh, it warranted it, we would do a door knock as well.

[00:14:36] So you think about, we’ll add some prior historical information on the GPS. It might be offline. Um, but. I did a door knock and I, I got some information that the, you know, the, the vehicle wasn’t there, but this is in fact where the borrower resides. Right. So then you triangulate that with some, some LPR data.

[00:14:53] Now maybe I, I kind of find out where the guy, you know, buys his groceries or something. Right. So, um, [00:15:00] These things are all additive in my mind. And, uh, I like having, yeah. On the collection side, you know, Patrick, I’m sure you’ve heard this from some guys who throw over assignments. They’re just hemming and hawing because they just, they, they want, if the car ultimately gets repossessed, they want to be able to demonstrate probably to their conscience at the end of the day that they’ve done everything they could possibly do, right.

[00:15:25] To help this consumer stay in this vehicle. And that’s how I’ve always viewed these things is, is yeah, you, you want alone. Um, there’s going to have to be certain parameters around it because you know, the cost of funds for the banks or the lenders that are doing this are high because of your credit score without getting into how that all happened or whatever, it just is what it is.

[00:15:48] And if I want to lend money, I’ve got to pay a high rate. So you’ve got to pay a little bit more on your rate and yeah, you you’ve demonstrated that you’ve. Done some things in the past that I got to keep my guard up. It’s kind of a trust, but [00:16:00] verify kind of thing.

[00:16:01] Patrick Altes: [00:16:01] Well, that’s a, I talked to Kevin, I talked to you both earlier, that that is an element in the repossession.

[00:16:07] Uh, the mine of the repossessor that, uh, GPS technology or LPR technology does help locate the vehicle. But in some cases, There’s a self-selecting group of people that we’re now interacting with in a particular way that actually can complicate the repossession process. If you know what I mean, addressing what you just, uh, we’re saying, uh, if the vehicle has a, a GPS tracker or a started interrupt device by default, there they’ve had a troubled financial past in some cases.

[00:16:40] Yeah. Or, um, um, Who knows. And so they are, uh, they might have a different response to collection or repossession efforts then. Well, like a prime borrower might have who have quite. And so that’s, so that’s, again, that’s something that’s in the mind of the repossession industry that w that, [00:17:00] uh, GPS. Yes.

[00:17:02] There’s no doubt it locates the vehicle. Uh, that, that pin is right on top of the, the vehicle in the garage, the backyard, or in the front yard, but it doesn’t really address some of the other, um, Some of the other associates, logical issues of the party we’re

[00:17:18] Joel Kennedy: [00:17:18] dealing with. Yeah. Yeah. I, I ultimately believe that at the end of the day, these types of things result in more access, more access for consumers of this ilk to be able to continue to have a vehicle and continue to drive.

[00:17:33] Um, I that I firmly believe that. And look, the disclosures that, that, you know, the, the standard disclosure is that the consumer has to sign on the front end are, are pretty exhaustive. I think it’s a good couple of pages. Uh, you’re asked to signature in multiple places is telling you exactly how the device is being used and how you’re being surveilled.

[00:17:53] Um, it’s incumbent upon the lenders to really hold the line on the compliance. With that I don’t [00:18:00] like seeing loan packages that don’t have that disclosure in there. I don’t like hearing that lenders are sticking devices on vehicles after a repossession, without notifying the customer or without getting an update to that acknowledgement, or even having that acknowledgement in the first place.

[00:18:15] If you already have the acknowledgement, you’re just replacing the device. And I think, you know, that’s one thing, but, uh, but yeah, it’s, it’s th there’s a lot of pressure, uh, for the lenders and, but. I look at all the compliance things that lenders have to manage. And I think this is just one, just another thing.

[00:18:31] And it makes a lot of sense, right? You don’t go tell somebody you’re going to repossess their car as a consequence of nonpayment, and then don’t repossess their car. That’s always been a big no-no. Um, There are things that you can do to get a little bit better surety. If the customer doesn’t want to pay, just to make sure that you know where the vehicle is at, so you can go get it.

[00:18:50] And, and that’s, that’s what I, that’s where I think everything comes together where it’s like, you know, as a lenders and the recovery agents, we’re all kind of in the same boat together. And [00:19:00] if I could just

[00:19:00] Patrick Altes: [00:19:00] interject. Yeah. Kevin and Joel, really bus in some regard occupied the same space for providing a service that ultimately makes the consumer able to buy, uh, and drive a vehicle.

[00:19:13] And w in cases that otherwise they wouldn’t be, uh, they wouldn’t qualify for. So, so, uh, Kevin, when I say that this about the love, hate relationship, I realized that really we. Um, we’re kind of serving the same need and it really benefits the, uh, American consumer a lot does. So I

[00:19:35] Joel Kennedy: [00:19:35] recognize

[00:19:35] Kevin Carr: [00:19:35] that. Yeah. Yeah.

[00:19:37] I mean, as I mentioned before, I was in the lending space for quite some time and, and ultimately, um, Uh, there’s lots of different types of lenders out there. And certainly the people in the deep subprime space, um, there is a you going, you’re going into this with a mindset knowing, uh, you know, you’re going to have delinquency, you know, you, you build your model around it and you price accordingly.

[00:19:59] Uh, and it’s not a [00:20:00] matter of if it’s just a matter of when. So ultimately you look at this as, I just need to have the right people working with us to protect us the bottom line. If I know going into it. That there’s going to be delinquency. I need to have the right partners to help cure that delinquency and address my numbers of properly.

[00:20:17] So if my recovery agents know how to effectively recover this type of consumer and, uh, work with the technology and I ha I could build a really tight model, um, and then we can get the uptick if, because of the technology, the consumers pay better than expected. Well, that’s a benefit as well because now I’m able to lend more money.

[00:20:38] To these consumers and hopefully we get some of them to work their way through it that they’ve actually learned. They don’t want to give the car up. They’re just repeating the same mistake over and over and perpetual bad credit. Um, we want the ones to kind of graduate out of this. So they’re better consumers for all of us.

[00:20:55] So yes, we all serve a purpose and, and to add one more, I mean, [00:21:00] I know everyone talks about GPS for collection in terms of the end result to recover. And that’s, yes, that’s a, that’s a big benefit, but that’s not the only benefit. So, you know, we talk about data and the data off the device, real-time data, you know, and what people do with that data.

[00:21:18] To help them better understand what’s happening in their portfolio. So while the device is there and it’s helping a lender, make a business decision on when to execute a repossession, when to bring in the Patricks of the world to say, enough’s enough, he’s not going to pay. And I’m at 60 days delinquency, it’s time to pull the trigger.

[00:21:38] Uh, it’s really more or less knowing. The data that helps in the early stages of alone. I, you Joel, you were in lending side and you know, unfortunately there’s going to be some of those bad apples that are going to deceive. So you’ve got straw purchases that happen. You’ve got out of state buyers that happen.

[00:21:56] You got people that give you addresses where they say they live. Right. [00:22:00] But they’re really shacking up with somebody else and they just want to get the loan approved. So whether the coercion is coming from the dealer side, ultimately the consumer is just basically following the lead of the coercion and the device also helps to identify early stages of fraud.

[00:22:18] So you can have a different conversation with that borrower. So that way it kind of puts them on notice. Hey, I know you don’t live at this address. I know you don’t live in Nevada. Um, your address is all Texas, so clearly did you relocate? And then we get a different story. Well, actually the cars for me and, uh, that was my cousin who, you know, signed for it.

[00:22:41] And, um, he, he thought he could get us a better interest rate, so different conversations. So now we know what we’ve got. Now we know who we’re dealing with and we can make better business decisions based on the data. Um, you know, take, take for instance, what’s happening with COVID. You’ve got a lot of people, um, who [00:23:00] obviously had lost their jobs in this unfortunate pandemic.

[00:23:03] Uh, and it’s horrible. And we hope that everyone can get back to work soon and get back to paying bills on time and, and, and their lives together. Um, but then you have opportunists. They’re also looking at ways in which they can basically take whatever they can do in terms of not make payments and use that to their advantage.

[00:23:21] And so you have people that have reported. Yeah, I lost my job. I can’t work. But now we have the device identifying a different story. We see that the guy that says he doesn’t work, lost his job. He’s been going to the same location every day of the week. Uh, clearly going back to work and getting paid. So now what’s happening is the lender has an idea of what’s potentially a problem with that consumer as well.

[00:23:43] So again, data helps you better know what’s going on and, and ultimately it’s telling you. Information that your bar were probably isn’t telling you so you can make better business decisions about your portfolio.

[00:23:55] Joel Kennedy: [00:23:55] Yeah, that’s that fraud and misrepresentation portion that Kevin, you and I [00:24:00] were on a same panel for fraud Friday for the national automotive finance association annual conference.

[00:24:05] And we talked about that. You can use the device to identify if the vehicles and impound. And that’s helpful obviously to know if you have a, uh, Patrick, if you’re out looking for a vehicle and it’s in impound, but you know, it’s one of these kind of guys that isn’t really, they’re kind of holding it.

[00:24:21] They’re not really letting anybody know they have it cause they wanna, you know, rack up some, some peas or something, you know, that, that ultimately helps the consumer. And that’s about reducing those days to repo, which is what we really saw with some of the benefits of the device. Kevin, you guys are going to have, um, Along these lines.

[00:24:38] I want to make sure we don’t lose sight of this. You know, there’s a lot with operational aspects of the device. Um, and obviously with the device changing over time, how, how we use it from a compliance standpoint, um, You know, I w w we, we, we saw some shifts in terms of utilization of the starter and our device, you know, and that’s something [00:25:00] that if people want to do or whatever, I encourage you to get with your compliance folks, get with your, your legal team to figure out if that’s going to be the right solution for you.

[00:25:08] But, um, There’s there’s a good bit within the operational side to be able to manage the devices and do X and Y um, you guys are having a, are you guys having like a webinar or something? You guys are having a webinar coming up. Are you guys going to get into some of those operational aspects that surround the device?

[00:25:25] Kevin Carr: [00:25:25] Yeah, Joel, we’re we’re, uh, having, uh, our webinar is going to be on March 2nd at one 30 Eastern. Um, and it’s the secret of finance company success with the zero cost GPS. So we’ll get into how you get that kind of program set up, but yes, the operational side of how do you implement a very simplistic GPS solution into your lending model with your dealers?

[00:25:49] That you can implement a, uh, collection rules and processes to not only expand your originations, but really, uh, using the tools and the [00:26:00] data to make better decisions on prioritizing those concerning accounts. Uh, taking the data when you want to execute, bringing in, uh, the recovery agencies. To know that, Hey, you’ve got real time data.

[00:26:13] And ultimately the information is telling you this, guy’s not going to pay whether it’s voluntary surrender, which those are relatively pretty easy. I would imagine, uh, to the ones that are, you know, basically avoiding the phone call and they would play the shell game of moving the car here one week, moving the car here next week.

[00:26:29] And the data just lets you know, you’ve got a suspect that you need to address right away. So we’ll talk about the benefits as, as you mentioned, Joel, I mean the data upfront and the beginning of it alone, the data throughout the loan, and then ultimately what that, uh, what the results of GPS are doing to improve the turn time of days to repo.

[00:26:49] The percent, the repo and then the net dollars. I mean, clearly if you’re able to find the cars faster and get them recovered faster, you can get them to the marketing beside faster, which recover [00:27:00] more of your potential loss or get more remarketing money. So that way the outstanding balances aren’t as high and possibly the charge offs aren’t as high as well.

[00:27:10] So other than net net effect of everything.

[00:27:13] Joel Kennedy: [00:27:13] Yeah. You know, like I mentioned, you know, at a, at a prior lender, we were a hundred percent utilized utilizing this technology and we made a, we made a shift from the starter interrupt over to just the GPS only. And that was, uh, A conscious decision. There was some, there was some heat, uh, there.

[00:27:31] So we, we, we made a little shift, but it was a very seamless transition. And I was very pleased that, uh, we were using your device at the time. So it was, it was, it was really easy and facilitated. You guys stay on top of that. And obviously for folks that know, uh, pastime has also has been very actively involved in, um, Making sure that good education, uh, is getting out to the consumer, to the lenders and obviously to our, our, our, uh, our electorate as well.

[00:27:59] Um, [00:28:00] we have, uh, I know we, uh, We have a new CFPB head now. So I think we’re all kind of looking at what’s going to come next there, Patrick. Um, any, anything that you’ve been seeing along those lines that you think are, are interesting to report? I mean, there’s a lot of forecasting going on, right? There’s a lot of people looking at this guys prior tweets and FTC stuff, like

[00:28:23] Patrick Altes: [00:28:23] absolutely.

[00:28:25] Every day, it’s kind of an everyday thing. There is some concern that it appears that the new head of the CFPB is going to be a young man by the name of Rohit Chopra. Yeah. He was formerly a head of the FTC and he does have, uh, a little bit of a. A wary eye on, uh, subprime lending and indirectly the repossession process.

[00:28:47] He had a few things to say, and I’d like to share those with you. Yeah. Um, he explained the consequences of auto lending delinquencies, and he said, this should be a real worry for us because an auto. [00:29:00] Mo automobiles, literally the vehicle in which you get to employment in which you can access health care and where you can actually participate in society for the vast majority of America.

[00:29:10] And he went on to say, and on top of that, subprime auto is disproportionally affecting people of color and is disproportionately affecting the zip codes to have a lower income. And those are the places that don’t necessarily have the political power to demand certain types of change. And then another memo issued by the FTC.

[00:29:30] He said, uh, he wants to take a look at, uh, what he calls fake, recall notices, yo-yo financing, schemes, misleading advertisement, GPS trackers, and clutch switches. I don’t know what a clutch, which is exactly, but maybe you could tell me and add on products. So, um, He has, uh, I mean, he’s got a history of looking at our space is, is my point.

[00:29:54] Yeah. And, um, and I think that it coupled that with COVID, [00:30:00] uh, empathy or sympathy for the disenfranchised, I think that we might see, in other words, all of us. Uh, the GPS, uh, companies, repossessor subprime lenders. We all need to keep our eye on the ball on this at this point. Yeah.

[00:30:18] Joel Kennedy: [00:30:18] Yeah. And we’ve seen, we’ve seen, I’ll just say this and let you talk, get Kevin.

[00:30:22] We’ve seen similar things in the past, and that’s when we made the switch from using the starter interrupt over to the GPS device was there was a letter. This one, actually it wasn’t from the CFPB. It came out from some senators or some congressmen that were exploring this issue. So they sent a solicitation out to a variety of things.

[00:30:38] Prime lenders and ask them to fill out some questions. And, um, I, I thought that was a, I thought that was a better way of handling it versus just coming out with, you know, regulation through enforcement. Um, If, if this guy is so outspoken, uh, I’m good. It’s going to be an interesting, uh, uh, hearing for his, uh, appointment [00:31:00] because it, my concern is this, and this is just my personal opinion or my soap box.

[00:31:06] Um, is if all roads point to app you’d app with two A’s, it’s just the catch. All. For, I’m just going to rake you over the coals because look, I’m in California, California, labor law is really problematic. You guys know there’s a lot of companies that have left California because of it and move to places that have more, uh, what they would call fair and balanced in their opinion.

[00:31:31] Right? Fair and balanced laws and regulations. I was talking to a lady the other day about, uh, she, she used to be, she used to defend companies in, in. Garbage employment lawsuits. And, uh, she ended up going and, uh, did a bit of a life change. And, and now she’s now she’s representing, uh, individuals in lawsuits against, against, and I said, okay, well, how’s that going?

[00:31:57] She goes, well, you know, we always, we always get [00:32:00] some money out of them. And I thought, okay, well, how did that go? She goes, well, sometimes these people come in and they say that all this stuff was done to them, but then they can’t produce any evidence that it’s very clear that that’s a very shoddy case.

[00:32:10] In which case we just default to going to like. Uh, let’s review the employee manual or let’s see that they didn’t, uh, you know, treat them like children and telling them, Hey, you need to punch out for your 15 minute break. Like, you know, even though you’re an adult and you know, you’re supposed to punch out for your two 15 minute breaks, if they can show that you didn’t force them to take these two 15 minute breaks.

[00:32:30] Well now, boom, you’re culpable. So she’s saying exactly what the CFPB is doing or has done in the past, which is we were looking for something. Uh, we couldn’t find anything there. Okay. You dab. Fine. Boom. There you go. So to me, it’s, it’s, it’s a broader cultural issue. It’s a broader issue of regulation and enforcement.

[00:32:52] Uh, it could happen here. It could happen. Who knows where, where it could happen, who knows where it could happen next. Um, I [00:33:00] say, you know, in my opinion, I think that that, you know, lenders and all of us involved in the space, we have a thick skin. You got to keep your guard up. You got to keep your guard up.

[00:33:11] Patrick Altes: [00:33:11] Hey, Kevin, you were getting ready to say something

[00:33:12] Joel Kennedy: [00:33:12] too.

[00:33:12] Kevin Carr: [00:33:12] Yeah. Sorry, Kevin. No,

[00:33:17] Patrick Altes: [00:33:17] we know better about that. I know

[00:33:19] Kevin Carr: [00:33:19] I’ve known you way too long, Joel. Sure conference. Um, no, I was going to add, I mean, obviously with the, with the change, uh, with the CFPB mean, um, like anything else with CFPB is all about education.

[00:33:32] Um, I would love to think that. Um, they’re as knowledgeable about every aspect of this car business from both sides of the house, you know? Um, but that isn’t always the case. So it’s just so important for us to keep educating. And it’s not just educating about what the technology can do. It’s about what the technology should do in terms of the person using it and how they use it.

[00:33:53] And. At the end of the day, know that the consumer is protected. And if we’re not having those conversations, we should be. So everyone [00:34:00] involved with it needs to ensure that when they have that opportunity to speak to the, uh, the political side of the house or their senators or governors, when they were talking about what the impact of their business, um, talking about how they are helping consumers and what the technology does for them, because at the end of the day, the one who’s gonna get.

[00:34:17] Penalize the most is going to be the consumer, because if the lenders don’t have some assurances of protection, then they aren’t going to lend money. And there’s a lot of people out there who definitely need help. And I think there’s a lot of finance comes that want to help them. But, um, certainly from the CFPB perspective, I mean, we take a position to educate and share.

[00:34:38] How it’s being done. And we also like position to share how we protect the consumer. So we don’t have, we don’t have Renegade users that are using the devices for other purposes. So monitoring, you know, daily, like, you know, the device is not meant for you to know everything the consumer’s doing and we put protections in place.

[00:34:59] So if somebody [00:35:00] is. Say tracking them without a purpose or tracking them. And their loans currently are not delinquent. We flag those accounts and we have conversations with our clients to say, you know, what are you doing? This is abuse of the system. And we’ll either remove your access to it. Or we will, uh, talk to the administrator of your, of your account to ensure that you won’t have Renegade collectors that are misusing the attempt of the device.

[00:35:28] Yeah. We started to Sable. With those, with those clients that you started to disable. And as you mentioned, do you have those that moved away? Um, definitely. You have to look at the state and the compliance laws around it. Some States just don’t make it advantageous to use starter just to Sable because it doesn’t help the consumer.

[00:35:45] It actually hurts the consumer when you can actually use that, uh, solution. But for those States where it doesn’t make sense, I mean, obviously a located only, but for those States that does again. Protecting the consumer, give them a way out. [00:36:00] Um, you know, Jill, you worked on the finance side and learned that by, by basically, um, helping your customer or, um, uh, for the most part, rewarding them.

[00:36:11] If they just picked up the phone and called. You would allow them to restart their vehicle, even if they didn’t make their payment, but at least they called you and said, Hey, um, you, you turn my car off and I need to get to work. And I don’t have the money today, but can we work something out maybe in five days or seven days from now?

[00:36:27] And just that conversation alone allowed them to get from point a to point B because. They, they did the right thing. They called you. And that’s what the device was for those type of best practices or what everybody should be utilizing when you make a hard stance. No, if I don’t get a payment, you can’t drive is what is where we say you’re kind of abusing the use of start disabled.

[00:36:50] That’s not what it was intended for. It was intended to.

[00:36:54] Joel Kennedy: [00:36:54] Get them to call, to make a remedy

[00:36:56] Kevin Carr: [00:36:56] to the situation, or at least have a crucial [00:37:00] conversation on what is your intent is your intent to pay or is your intent? I can’t pay, I can’t afford. And I have no intention of paying. So maybe we need to talk about arrangement to pick the vehicle up.

[00:37:09] Yeah. And, and so while having safety nets in play, whether the lender provides it or we provide it, we ensure all of our clients have at least a one 24 hour, uh, uh, restart. Uh, we don’t use emergency restarting where we just say a restart, uh, an override, if you will, if they call in, they get rewarded. So that way they at least can get from point a to point B and then the consumer knows I’m on the clock.

[00:37:37] Um, I need to talk to my lender and figure out what I can do to make remedy on my payment. And

[00:37:42] Joel Kennedy: [00:37:42] again, back

[00:37:43] Kevin Carr: [00:37:43] with the CFPB it’s education, how we use it effectively, properly, and that we don’t negatively impact the consumer all about

[00:37:50] Joel Kennedy: [00:37:50] education. I love it. And Patrick, um, you know, as, as a liaison with the, the [00:38:00] CFPB, you know, I appreciate you doing that.

[00:38:02] Um, we’re, we’re doing a little bit of that on the national automotive finance association side. So. I think it’ll be good for us to keep carrying that torch and keep that conversation string going, especially as it pertains to the operational aspects, right? The aspects that cross between the lender and the recovery agent, where I think it’s just really helpful to make sure that everybody is understanding whatever the regulation is.

[00:38:27] And what the influences, uh, or the point of view is relative to a variety of technologies. Look, G GPS is not the only one that’s in the cross hairs, right? Uh, the license plate recognition has, has had its couple, uh, uh, you know, run ins as well and, uh, door knocks as well. Right? Like some of the door-knock companies, um, are not licensed as collectors and, and then others are.

[00:38:52] And so it’s really just a function of what you think, um, you know, type of coverage you need, but, um,

[00:38:59] Patrick Altes: [00:38:59] do you have any, [00:39:00] yes, Kevin did speak and I’ll just, I’ll close my part with this. Yeah. The need for education and this, uh, uh, Joel had mentioned the repo Alliance. That’s an Alliance of the American recovery association, NAF Harding Brooks.

[00:39:14] Cal our, uh, California associates have license free possessors, Texas FRP. And the goal is that very, that very same thing is to make the, uh, people in Congress and the people on the Senate banking committee aware that we’re not predators that we, uh, provide, uh, an ecology that allows people to get auto loans.

[00:39:37] And, and, and we have to, we’ve got to keep speaking that message. We got to keep presenting that message to them rather than have them view as just the henchman for the nasty, you know, auto lenders that this is, this is, they can’t pull the plug on this, uh, segment of the supply chain and hope all is well, it won’t be well.

[00:39:58] And so that’s, that’s the message that we [00:40:00] continue to put forward. And, uh, I thank you, Joel, for all the help you’ve been with that too.

[00:40:05] Joel Kennedy: [00:40:05] Oh, this is fun. I love it. It’s it’s, it’s such a worthy fight, especially this is a great ecosystem, as you mentioned. And, uh, I’ve never, I’ve never worked in an industry where people get so passionate, you know, it really gets under your skin.

[00:40:19] You really want to kind of, I’ve seen so much innovation take place guys, and it’s it’s it’s really great. Cause that was my one sticking point was, you know, why is there not any more innovation? Why are we still using a fax machine to get deals from the dealers? And. You know, all this stuff. So I look at, I look at this broadly as, as all positive on the innovation front.

[00:40:36] Well, Kevin, I want to let you have the last word people listening to this may want to get in touch with you. Obviously you mentioned a webinar. Um, can you, can you give people like, uh, what’s the best way for them to get engaged with you?

[00:40:51] Kevin Carr: [00:40:51] So, um, obviously, uh, as I mentioned before, I’m on LinkedIn, but you can reach me at K car at pastime,

[00:40:59] Um, and if [00:41:00] we need to provide my, my, uh, phone information, but, um, I oversee the finance companies and that solution, um, and happy to talk to anyone. Uh, as I mentioned early on Joel, I mean, while we obviously promote pastime, we’re really about promoting the solution. So as much as we want people to use pastime, Um, it’s just embracing the technology.

[00:41:21] So I am happy to educate anybody about the use of it. Um, you and I have done case studies before now, Patrick, you talked about, you know, how your guys are using it on your end and there’s no doubt real-time data helps improve everything. So yeah. Um, it’s really more or less embraced the technology, embrace the information and then make a good business decision.

[00:41:42] I think at the end of the day, you know, we’re going into 2021 was still a lot of unknowns. Uh, there’s definitely people talking. They’re not talking about the lending bubble. They’re talking about the potential repossession bubble that’s going to happen here in 2021. So I would say, you know, it’s all about [00:42:00] survival from the lending and collection world.

[00:42:01] And if you embrace. Technology innovation. And you look at things to help streamline your business, especially when it comes to, uh, software data that is right at your fingertips that is easy to implement and is data that you can utilize to make decisions today, or project potential problems in the future.

[00:42:21] And then that way you can build a good solid model around it, where you can sustain what’s going to happen in the near future. And I would just say, look at it as this way is insulate your portfolio. Yeah. There are so many times that I hear hear a finance company say, I wish I put a GPS on this customer.

[00:42:38] So, um, that’s all we’re doing. We’re here to help and educate and work with great partners like, you know, Patrick and Joel yourself, and, uh, just, uh, help those that don’t know about it and uncover all the secrets and the ease of implementation.

[00:42:54] Joel Kennedy: [00:42:54] There you go. And I can speak from, from experience. Kevin is not a, uh, a pressure [00:43:00] sales guy.

[00:43:00] I mean, he’s, he is really passionate and Matt making sure we’re getting the education out there and, and look at Kerryn who is with your organization. She’s been with them for, you know, she’s, she’s, she’s old hat at it and she’s, she’s a lot, you know, she, she helps with education of the electorate as well.

[00:43:16] So, um, you know, just

[00:43:17] Kevin Carr: [00:43:17] to give you an idea of where you’re not a sales person, Right. Corrina is not a salesperson. She’s happy to talk to anyone and, and she loves compliance. So she just sucks it all up and just a whirlwind of knowledge and information, but definitely will not sell you, pass them. So just educate you on the rules and regulations around.

[00:43:36] The technology.

[00:43:37] Joel Kennedy: [00:43:37] That’s great. Well, we love having her in the, in the, in the leadership position there. Well, I want to be the, I want to thank, uh, I want to thank you, Kevin, for joining us today, Patrick. Thank you so much for all you do for the, the entire ecosystem and for being my, my number one cheerleader on the podcast front, I do appreciate it and I think we should come back after we.

[00:43:57] After we have a couple more interactions with [00:44:00] hopefully the new administration to, to provide some insights to our folks, to make sure that everybody’s riding clean. We want to keep everybody safe. We want to keep everybody doing business in a safe fashion. There, there may be some fights. We may have a difference of opinion, but I think you and I CA uh, Patrick, we’ve spoken about the political environment.

[00:44:18] We just we’re ready to turn the page. And we’re ready. You know, we’ve always been wanting to do the right thing and we want to continue to do that. And we want to provide that guidance through, to all of our constituents. Thanks Kevin. Thanks Patrick. The consumer five podcast has been brought to you by Northbridge loan software.

[00:44:35] That accelerates change. We’d also like to thank the national automotive finance association, the only trade association, exclusively serving the non-prime auto financing industry. [00:45:00]

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