Tag Archive | "AFAS"

New F&I Compliance Certification Offered by American Financial

THE WOODLANDS, Texas – A new F&I compliance certification has been introduced to the industry by Automotive Compliance Education, LLC (ACE). The ACE certification program was developed by industry-leading attorneys to help set and maintain professional standards at dealerships. This training program takes the rigorous and complicated federal regulations that touch different parts of the dealership, and digests it into logical doses. The online training modules also show how the regulations relate to everyday situations in the dealership. From Reg Z, to Red Flags, to ECOA, ACE certification ensures that all who complete the program can take that knowledge and confidence back to the business office and apply it immediately.

It is important for business managers to become ACE certified as the process of obtaining this certification helps to raise the industry standard of F&I professionalism and education. ACE understands that the automotive industry and regulations are always evolving. For that reason, annual re-certification is part of the program. ACE certified F&I professionals will be responsible for maintaining this new standard by taking an annual review module and exam. This process includes any significant regulatory changes that may have occurred in the previous year. Like other professional licenses, such as an insurance license, this certificate will recognize automotive professionals and their adherence to ethics, industry education, and professionalism on an ongoing basis.

American Financial & Automotive Services, Inc. has partnered with ACE to provide the ACE certification through its award-winning F&I University (FIU). As the Dealers’ Choice Diamond Level winner in Compliance Training and the Platinum Level winner in F&I Training, American Financial believed this unique opportunity with ACE was a natural partnership. Aligning compliance certification and F&I training creates an even stronger program for F&I professionals that will take their career to the next level. FIU already provides an industry-leading F&I curriculum and online continuing education to provide dealerships increased opportunities and revenue. By implementing ACE certification into the current curriculum, FIU has solidified their commitment to compliance and F&I training to the industry. Not only will business managers walk away from the intensive F&I school with innovative techniques to take back to the business office, they will also walk away with an ACE F&I compliance certificate that will set them apart as professional leaders in ethics and compliance.

FIU is the only F&I school to offer ACE certification in an instructor-led format. When business managers leave the five-day F&I school being ACE certified, they will bring back assurance to the dealership and its customers. Prove your dealership’s commitment to compliance and F&I by getting your team ACE certified today!

Please visit www.AFASinc.com for more information about FIU and to register for the F&I school.

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American Financial Wins Diamond and Platinum Level for the 2016 Dealers’ Choice Awards

American Financial & Automotive Services, Inc. is honored to be the recipient of two 2016 Dealers’ Choice Awards. This F&I dealership development company received the Diamond level award in Compliance Training and Platinum level in F&I Training. This is the second year in a row that American Financial has been awarded in these two categories.

American Financial appreciates this recognition because it is the dealers and Auto Dealer Today and F&I Showroom readers who vote on the best industry providers. The voting criteria is divided into four categories: the product/service provided, customer support and service, overall value, and whether the dealer would recommend the provider.

Arden Hetland, President of American Financial, states, “Our main focus is to put the needs of our dealer partners first. The American Financial team strives to provide industry leading service and products. These awards are a great reflection on all of their hard work and dedication.”

Centered at the core of American Financial’s offerings are customized in-dealership development, the MasterTechTM F&I product suite, the Automotive Training Academy (ATA), F&I University (FIU), and Compliance Programs.

FIU provides cutting-edge F&I curriculum and online continuing education for today’s business manager. FIU is also at the forefront of digital solutions to streamline the business office by offering training on tablet technology and benefits analysis software.

American Financial has created a program to help navigate dealerships through industry regulations and policies. The web-based Compliance Management Program is customized to complement the procedures and functions utilized in your dealership. In addition, American Financial has developed a compliance officer certification course that arms your dealership with the resources, tools, and expertise your compliance officer needs.

For more information on American Financial, please visit www.AFASinc.com.

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Industry Responds to New York Times Op-Ed on Subprime Auto Loans

Recent reports that the Department of Justice (DOJ) is looking into the subprime auto finance market have spurred a discussion about whether such loans will go the way of subprime mortgages. According to a New York Times op-ed piece published Friday, predatory auto loans have been a growing problem — but industry associations have stepped in to dispute this claim.

“The mortgage industry set the stage for the recession by luring people into ruinously priced loans they could never hope to repay, then selling those loans to Wall Street in mortgage-backed securities that went bad,” the New York Times’ 18-member editorial board claimed in an Aug. 8 opinion piece. “The federal government has since tamed that industry, outlawing most of the risky and deceptive practices that led to that crisis. It must now do the same with the auto lending industry, where the practice of roping people into loans that damage them financially is all too common.”

This month, both GM Financial and Santander Consumer USA reported in regulatory filings that they had received subpoenas from the DOJ, requesting documents related to the origination and securitization of subprime auto finance contracts dating back to 2007. The regulator is said to be investigating potential violations of Financial Institutions Reform, Recovery, and Enforcement Act of 1989 (FIRREA).

In July, Citigroup was ordered by the regulator to pay the largest civil penalty under FIRREA in history — $4 billion — for its conduct in the packaging, securitization, marketing, sale and issuance of residential mortgage-backed securities.

“Dealers who can offload loans to banks before the loans fail take the same rapacious approach that mortgage lenders took in the run-up to the recession,” said The Times. “They prey on less sophisticated borrowers, falsifying the borrower’s income information and writing loans with astronomical interest rates and hidden fees that deliver a quick profit to the dealers.”

But the National Automobile Dealers Association (NADA)’s President Peter Welch, in a rebuttal to the editorial, noted that during the Great Recession, auto loans were one of the best performing asset classes. In fact, “Auto loan default rates never went higher than 2.74%, versus first mortgage default rates that hit 5.67%,” he noted.

“The Times’ editorial … is an unfair and unfounded attempt to portray the auto lending industry as a hotbed of deceptive practices and a harbinger of insolvency that could lead to another recession,” Welch said. “Nothing could be further from the truth. Auto loan defaults are at historic lows (less than 1% in June).”

In an op-ed piece submitted to F&I and Showroom this week, the American Financial Services Association (AFSA)’s Executive Vice President Bill Himpler similarly denounced the comparisons between mortgages and auto lending made by The Times.

“Unlike a house, a vehicle is a depreciating asset, and lenders calculate this loss of value into their financing. No one — from consumers to dealers to manufacturers to finance companies — believes that a car or truck will be worth more in the future,” Himpler explained. “Thus, the talk of a bubble — which occurs when assets become overpriced based on a belief that they will continue to appreciate — in subprime auto is misguided. The mortgage bubble grew from this very premise, but the underlying fundamentals of automobile values mitigate a bubble.

“Drawing parallels between subprime auto finance and mortgages does nothing to help an economic recovery, as the auto sector exhibits resilience and consumers continue to repay their loans.”

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‘Stump the Pro’ Returns to 2013 F&I Conference

Las Vegas — Tony Dupaquier will return to the 2013 F&I Conference this September to put his objection-handling skills to the test. The director of F&I training for American Financial & Automotive Services Inc. (AFAS) will reprise his “Stump the Pro” challenge during a special interactive session scheduled for Tuesday, Sept. 17, at 10:30 a.m.

This year, conference organizers have extended Dupaquier’s session to an hour and a half instead of one hour, providing attendees with more time to put the skills of one of the nation’s top F&I trainers to the test. The session will conclude at 12 p.m.

“The only complaint we received last year was that the session was too short, so we’re giving attendees what they want: more time to put Tony’s skills to the test,” said Gregory Arroyo, editorial director, F&I and Showroom magazine. “We’re very excited to have Tony back. He’s one of the premiere F&I trainers in the business and he really delivered a fun and educational session at last year’s event.”

Dupaquier is the head trainer for AFAS and is responsible for content, direction and marketing for the company’s F&I University. He started in the car business in 1990, serving in various roles at the retail level before joining AFAS in 2000. He has served as a guest speaker for a number of 20 Groups, dealer associations and NADA Conventions.

The F&I Conference is one of three shows being hosted at Industry Summit 2013, which is being held at the Paris Las Vegas hotel Sept. 16-18. For more information, visit www.industrysummit.com.

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