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American Towman Magazine Presents the Week in TowingMarch 20 - March 26, 2019
Nominations are open for the 2019 NARS Industry Awards to be presented at the 11th annual North American Repossessors Summit held by the American Recovery Association in conjunction with Harding Brooks Insurance in Irving, Texas, April 18-19.

Nominations Open [b]for 2019 NARS Awards

Organizers of the 11th annual North American Repossessors Summit — held by the American Recovery Association in conjunction with headline sponsor Harding Brooks Insurance—have opened its online award submissions for the 2019 NARS Industry Awards.

The online submissions will be accepted until April 1.

Honoring exemplary repossession professionals, this year's award categories include Agent of the Year, Service Representative of the Year, Humanitarian of the Year and Agency Owner of the Year. Winners will be announced during the summit, which will take place at the Omni Mandalay Hotel in Irving, Texas on April 18 and 19.

"Every year, we welcome the opportunity to recognize the industry professionals who best demonstrate the values of NARS in their work," ARA President Dave Kennedy said. "This year, we wanted to create more ways we could honor repossession professionals across multiple job titles who truly embody our 2019 theme, 'Adapt, Conquer and Overcome.' "

Nominations for the 2019 NARS Industry Awards can be submitted at


78 Bags of Heroin Found in Repo’d Car

Duncan Eric McCreary will serve prison time for drug trafficking after authorities found 78 bags of heroin in his car while it was being repossessed.

McCreary, 33, was sentenced to 20 years on March 7, with the first 10 to be served in prison, according to the Gwinnett County (Georgia) district attorney.

C&O Recovery & Towing was repossessing McCreary's Mazda 3 Sport from the parking lot of the Suburban Extended Stay Motel in Duluth, officials said. While looking through the car, the towman said he found 78 bags of heroin in the center console, the district attorney said.

Gwinnett police seized the drugs. Later that day, authorities said McCreary reported his car stolen and told officers he was the only one who had a key.

A special investigator seized and searched three cellphones from McCreary. Authorities said they found notes and text messages about heroin transactions, "further connecting (McCreary) to the heroin found in his car."


Paramount Recovery Service Expands

Southern California-based automotive repossession company Paramount Recovery Service, Inc. recently announced the expansion of its locations and services, as well as the hiring of two industry experts.

The physical expansion includes the acquisition of PRS' largest location to date, an 88,000-sq.-ft. indoor and outdoor facility based in downtown Los Angeles' Huntington Park district. The company now services 15 counties with brick and mortar repossession storage facilities, including a location in San Diego, a one-acre facility in Perris, and others in Ontario, East Los Angeles, Burbank, Oxnard, Lancaster, Bakersfield and Fresno.

PRS also maintains an office and auto storage facility in Phoenix, Arizona.

A portion of this growth follows PRS' acquisition of three other automotive repossession companies over the past two quarters. Additional acquisitions are underway with plans to expand to Palm Springs, Santa Maria, and throughout California by the end of 2019.

PRS also added two new employees to its management team.

Industry veteran Kevin Morgan joins as vice president with an extensive background in auto and repossession services, credit union experience and auto remarketing. He will assist owner Steve Simons in company oversight and daily operations.

Daisy Duarte joins as director of operations, Pre-recovery Unit and brings years of industry knowledge and expertise from Westlake Financial Services. She joins the Operations team led by Roger Gilden, chief operating officer.

Source: Paramount Recovery Service.

RISC Offers Monitoring via Traxxis GPS

Recovery Industry Services Company has joined forces with Traxxis GPS Solutions to offer a risk mitigation product by providing on truck video monitoring to RISC Members.

According to a release by RISC, the partnership broadens RISC's leading compliance offerings to agencies, clients, and insurance companies by leveraging Traxxis GPS Vehicle Tracking and Video Telematics to help agencies with risk mitigation needs.

"The initial investment in Traxxis GPS is pennies compared to the mitigation of claims," said Stamatis Ferarolis, chief executive officer of RISC. "I've been told by many agency owners that within the first three months users have saved their investment in claims mitigation alone."

"RISC is excited to work with Traxxis GPS to offer this unique opportunity to agency owners and help them reduce risk, increase industry compliance and improve safety. Lenders have been asking RISC for such a solution and we're happy to have partnered with Traxxis GPS to provide it," said Holly Balogh, president and chief operating officer of RISC.

Source: Recovery Industry Services Company

$80K Settlement over [b]Repo Allegations

Federal prosecutors reached a proposed $80,000 settlement with California Auto Finance of Orange, California, on March 6. The auto lender was accused of illegally repossessing the cars of two U.S. Army soldiers just after they reported for active duty.

The court-enforceable consent order requires California Auto Finance, as well as a related company called Generation Inc., to pay $30,000 in compensation to a U.S. Army Specialist, as well as a $50,000 fine to the government, U.S. Attorney's Office spokesman Thom Mrozek said in a written statement. The settlement must still be approved by a federal judge before taking effect.

The U.S. Justice Department sued the subprime auto lender in March of 2018, alleging it had repossessed the car of U.S. Army Pvt. Andrea Starks, according to Mrozek. She notified the company in April of 2016 that she would be entering the military the following month.

"Despite this advanced notice, California Auto Finance repossessed Private Starks' vehicle without a court order on May 9, 2016, her first day of military training duty at Fort Leonard Wood, Missouri," Mrozek said.

Investigators also learned of a second similar instance involving U.S. Army Spc. Omar Martinez, officials said.

He also informed the company he would be entering the military and would have limited means of communication while in basic training, prosecutors said.

"Nonetheless, California Auto Finance repossessed Specialist Martinez's vehicle during his first month of military service," Mrozek said. "The repossession severely damaged Specialist Martinez's credit."

Martinez deployed to Afghanistan in March through November of 2018, officials said.

In addition to paying Martinez $30,000, which would be the largest amount ever recovered by the DOJ for a single service member in an auto repossession case, the settlement calls for California Auto Care to pay a $50,000 civil penalty, help Martinez repair his credit and take steps to make sure the company does not impound the vehicles of military members without court orders in the future, authorities said.


Agent Knocked Down in [b]Repo Attempt

A man who was trying to prevent the repossession of a vehicle in Leavenworth allegedly knocked down a woman as he fled in the car Feb. 26, according to a police spokesman.

The man also allegedly ran over the woman's foot.

The woman was among the employees of a repossession company who were attempting to take possession of the vehicle. The suspect allegedly got into the car and drove away, according to Maj. Dan Nicodemus, deputy chief of the Leavenworth Police Department.

The woman reportedly was knocked down as the suspect was leaving the scene in the vehicle.

Maj. Nicodemus said police will attempt to find the suspect and obtain a statement from him regarding what happened.

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