Tag Archive | "Reynolds and Reynolds"

Wise F&I now Delivers Easy Access to its Products through a Reynolds and Reynolds DMS


ST. LOUIS – Wise F&I, which offers a full suite of finance and insurance products for the automotive market, is pleased to announce that its products are now available to automotive retailers operating on a Reynolds dealership management system (DMS) through the Product Rating and Booking (PRB) tool within a Reynolds DMS. This seamless access includes Wise F&I’s full suite of branded protection products, including GAPWise, WiseCARE, TIREWise, WiseTVP, THEFTWise and KEYWise. With online capabilities, such as eRating and eContracting, this new access will provide accuracy and efficiency for the dealer and additional customer support for the car buyer.

“Throughout 25 years in the automotive industry, Wise F&I has focused on providing the best automotive finance and insurance protection products to our clients and consumers,” said Matt Croak, president of Wise F&I. “We’re pleased to be working more closely with Reynolds and Reynolds and expect this new enhancement between Wise F&I and the Reynolds Product Rating and Booking tool will enable our mutual dealership clients to more easily, efficiently, and accurately offer our branded protection products to their customers.”

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O’Loughlin to Tackle ‘Rules and Regulations’ at Compliance Summit


LAS VEGAS —Terry O’Loughlin, director of compliance for Reynolds and Reynolds and a former regulator, will serve as a featured speaker at the upcoming Compliance Summit Las Vegas, organizers announced Tuesday. The conference will be held Aug. 29–30, 2016, at Paris Las Vegas, as part of Industry Summit.

“Compliance is one of the more unrelenting — and daunting — responsibilities that dealers face. Implementing the right policies and tools in compliance, along with applying best practices, all are proven strategies to help dealers meet those responsibilities, especially considering the likelihood for ever-increasing regulation and scrutiny,” said O’Loughlin, who served in the Florida attorney general’s office before joining the Reynolds Document Services group in 2006 as director of compliance. “Compliance Summit promises to focus on compliance as a critical business management issue for dealers, and I’m pleased to join a number of my professional colleagues in presenting at the conference and being part of the event.”

O’Loughlin’s presentation will be followed by a panel discussion; the event will also include featured speakers and panels dedicated to Your Responsibilities and Easy-to-Implement Processes and Controls and, to conclude the educational sessions, an open forum called “Is It Compliant?”

“This is not Terry’s first rodeo, so to speak, and past attendees of Compliance Summit have singled him out as an informed and passionate speaker,” said David Gesualdo, show chair and publisher of Auto Dealer Today and F&I and Showroom. “When a former regulator and current industry advocate speaks, we are wise to listen.”

Registration for Compliance Summit Las Vegas is open at the event’s website. Attendees are welcome to take part in the rest of Industry Summit, and those who register by July 29 will enjoy a $100 discount. Attendees are also invited to sit for the Certified Automotive Compliance Specialist exam for no additional charge.

For more information about Compliance Summit, including sponsorship and exhibition opportunities, contact David Gesualdo via email  or at 727-947-4027.

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The Dodd-Frank Act: The Creation of the CFPB and How it Impacts F&I


One of the sessions that garnered a lot of attendance and attention at the Industry Summit show at the Paris Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas last month was the Dodd-Frank panel, moderated by Bob Harkins, vice president/director of training, AFG Training Academy; president, RAH Consulting. It tackled subjects such as the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) and other regulatory bodies that impact the F&I office across the board.

As outlined by the panel, the Dodd-Frank act was signed into law in July 2010, and that set into motion the creation of the CFPB, which is the federal agency “causing the most uproar in recent memory”. It was officially created in July 2011, and currently has approximately 1,400 employees – about 700 of whom are attorneys. The problem, and the cause of much anxiety throughout the F&I industry, is that the CFPB has issued only vague, general statements, but hasn’t provided any concrete rules or guidelines that dealers, agents and providers can follow. This leaves a legal “grey area” with everyone uncertain as to what is expected of them.

“It’s been a very interesting trip for us,” said Damon Wiener, senior vice president and general counsel, Safe-Guard Products International LLC. He went on to compare it to a marriage – “They claim they have authority over me, they won’t tell me what the rules are, but they punish me when I break them,” he said, to laughs throughout the room.

Nicole Munro, partner, Hudson Cook LLP, agreed, noting that the CFPB is impacting her legal practice every day. While Wiener compared it to a marriage, she used the analogy of a two-year-old on a sugar high, noting that the agency might be young, but it’s been very, very active. “You should be very prepared for their intervention,” she noted.

Part of the reason the CFPB is so active, and something to be concerned about, is that it is extending and augmenting it’s authority by incentivizing the state Attorney Generals, noted Terry O’Loughlin, director of compliance, Reynolds and Reynolds. He explained that the Attorney General doesn’t have the same limits that are in place to constrain the CFPB, so the agency is encouraging them to adopt and prosecute its policies, extending its reach.

The key to staying out of trouble, noted Dave Robertson, executive director, Association of Finance & Insurance Professionals (AFIP), is to take a proactive approach – dealers, agents and providers should all be looking at the F&I process and asking themselves what can they be doing on a day-to-day basis to stay in compliance.

One of the key points the CFPB is targeting is the issue of dealer compensation and the ability for dealers to price credit. “The CFPB has agreed that dealers should be compensated, but the debate is how they get compensated,” said Andrew Koblenz, executive vice president, Legal and Regulatory Affairs, and general counsel, National Automobile Dealers Association (NADA). His agency has been one of the industry players looking to educate the CFPB, among others, on how dealer compensation works, and why it is important. At first, he said, they were looking at the possibility of eliminating it altogether, but once it was explained how it adds value to the consumer, and provides access to credit that many consumers would not otherwise have had, they were persuaded not to slash compensation completely. Now, however, it is trying to find the middle ground where dealers are compensated fairly, and consumers are protected from unfair practices.

The agency is also targeting “unfair or deceptive” advertising, which is where the vagueness comes in. They have not clarified what “unfair or deceptive” means, but they have issued orders noting that dealers should avoid them. When there are no clear-cut actions to avoid, what should the industry be doing? First, Munro, noted, providers and dealers need to look at each product and classify exactly what it is in each state – is it a vehicle service contract (VSC), warranty or insurance product? Then, she noted, examine whether that state’s law allows the financing of that type of product, and if so, how it needs to be disclosed. “The problem is in characterizing it,” she said. “Since if you get that wrong, everything else could be wrong too, and you might have violated state laws.” The challenge gets even harder when bundled or combo products start to come into play – she gave the example of adding an insurance product to a bundle of non-insurance products – and noted that it varies as to whether that changes the classification of the other bundled products as well. “You may only know you have an insurance product when you get a violation,” she said.

“Agencies prefer to be unclear,” said O’Loughlin. “Because it forces their targets to overreact, to overcompensate. It’s a great result, because it makes the industry more fearful of what else they might do.”

“There’s a lot of uncertainty out there,” said Wiener. “Everything right now is mostly speculation.” He did go on to note that while the orders have started to at least frame what the CFPB is looking to do, we are still in the early days of figuring out exactly what that is. He did say that the agency does not seem to be attacking the value of the products themselves – they are focused instead on how they are marketed to consumers. However, that does not change the need to make sure the product itself is compliant with all state laws where it is being sold, and that the sales practices themselves are buttoned-up. “We need to be careful, and pay attention to nitpicky details,” he said.

It also goes back to that jurisdictional issue that O’Loughlin pointed out – at the end of the day, what authority does the CFPB actually have, and what actions do they have available to enforce them? Munro does not believe that, legally, the agency has the jurisdiction to regulate product or service providers directly – but she believes it will be a fight to prove that and keep the agency out of this area. “I believe anything offered equally in cash or finance should be outside their jurisdiction,” she said.

“They will try to overreach, and we will have to push back,” agreed Koblenz.

Words Matter
While the CFPB orders might be vague, the panel agreed that they matter, and they will have an impact going forward on the ancillary products offered in the F&I office. O’Loughlin believes the impact will be more far ranging than just products, however. “They will issue very harsh demands, and will conduct audits where they collect tremendous amounts of data. The CFPB is going to share sensitive information [with state Attorney Generals] to identify patterns and practices – and that is a menacing prospect.” The problem is that the CFPB can gain access to sensitive information that the Attorney General could not have otherwise obtained without a subpoena. That worries him; right now, not all of the Attorney Generals are signing on to work with the CFPB, but he believes it is only a matter of time – there is too much money to be made for the state, he noted. The CFPB allows them to enact much higher penalties than the Attorney General could alone, and he does not see them refusing to go that route for long.

Munro noted that while the agency does not have direct access to dealers today, she agrees that the access to data is the most concerning. “They cannot go into a dealership [and collect information],” she noted. “But they can find information about the dealership through the sales of finance products, and pass that along to the Attorney General.”

However, cautioned Koblenz, there are limits. He noted that, like Munro, he sees jurisdiction issues coming into play, as to what the CFPB can and cannot do, and where their authority extends, and that could limit the effectiveness of their strategy in the future.

Disparate Impact – Where Does That Come Into Play?
One of the ways the CFPB is targeting dealers and providers is to claim disparate impact – which is when they go back and look at deals already made, and use an algorithm to determine if they believe discrimination happened. The problem is that it is illegal to collect information such as race when filling out loan or credit documents. So agencies like the CFPB use information such as the U.S. Census, or surnames, to try and assign race or gender. But, agreed the panel, that process is flawed. It can be misleading at best, and plain wrong at worst, leading the agency to make policies to prevent unintentional discrimination that, the panel noted, might not even exist in the first place.

“They have to look at other factors,” said Koblenz. “Things like credit risk – it costs more to place a subprime loan, regardless of race. And there are other variables such as inventory, the amount financed or the term of the loan.” A better metric for determining if everyone was treated fairly, he said, is to look at the dollars – if the goal is to have every deal generate approximately the same dollar amount, then the rates will be all over the place, based on all those credit and financing factors – race doesn’t play into it. Everyone is treated equally, based on their financial standing.

The frustration over disparate impact, Wiener noted, is that the CFPB is preaching transparency in all transactions to ensure every customer is treated equally and fairly – but at the same time, they are refusing to release the metrics they used to determine that there was discrimination in the first place. It is a double standard that leaves dealers, agents and providers to develop compliant policies, only to have to constantly keep adjusting them as the CFPB releases new bits of information.

“They’ve given us little information on how to code these loans,” said Munro. She pointed out that there is currently a case before the Supreme Court that might make it a moot point – the case is seeking, among other points, to have the court rule on whether disparate impact is a valid legal theory. She believes the case will eventually do away with disparate impact completely, which will change the entire conversation around the CFPB completely, yet again.

At the end of the day, the CFPB is impacting F&I today, and will continue to have an impact in the future. But exactly what that impact will be long term, not even the panel could say for sure. There are still too many variables in play, and not enough information to go on – the best policy for anyone in the industry is to stay vigilant and create clear, understandable policies that apply to every loan and every product that is sold through the dealership – so even if a violation is cited, there is a clear paper trail showing the intent to be compliant and stay within the law.

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Reynolds Exploring $5 Billion LBO


New York — Citing several unnamed sources familiar with the matter, Reuters reported last week that Reynolds and Reynolds is considering a sale to private equity firms in a deal that could be worth $5 billion. According to the report, Reynolds has hired technology-focused investment bank Qatalyst Partners to manage the process. It also indicated that Reynolds is already in talks with a few major private equity firms about a leveraged buyout.

As of press time, Qatalyst had not responded to a request for comment, and a representative with Reynolds and Reynolds said he could not comment on the matter.

“As a matter of policy and practice, we don’t comment on market rumors,” said Tom Schwartz, spokesman for the software company.

Deutsche Bank, according to the Reuters report, is also helping Reynolds, which claims more than $500 million in annual earnings, with the potential sales.

Founded in 1866 by Lucius Reynolds and his brother-in-law, Reynolds started as a company that printed standardized business forms. It didn’t begin serving auto dealers until the 1920s. The company was purchased by Universal Computer Systems’ Bob Brockman, the company’s current chief executive, in 2006 for $2.8 billion. The buyout was funded primarily by a group of investors that included Goldman Sachs Capital Partners, the private equity arm of Goldman Sachs Group, and Vista Equity Partners.

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Reynolds and Reynolds Announces Integration with POWER DMS and PEN


DAYTON, Ohio – Reynolds and Reynolds announced the availability of integration between the Reynolds ERA and POWER dealership management systems (DMS) and the Provider Exchange Network (PEN), a digital pipeline that connects F&I product providers with the DMS or other dealer point-of-sale systems. Integration with PEN is a value-added enhancement for dealers using Reynolds’ ERA and POWER F&I Menus and Desking solutions, as well as ERA-IGNITE F&I. Reynolds customers will be able to take advantage of this functionality beginning in September 2012.

“The integration between Reynolds’ F&I solutions and the Provider Exchange Network is one more example of how technology can help streamline the sale of F&I and aftermarket products in the dealership,” said Jon Strawsburg, vice president of Product Planning at Reynolds. “By putting F&I product information and pricing at the F&I manager’s fingertips, this integration can help improve efficiency for the dealer and the vehicle sale process for the consumer.”

DMS integration with the Provider Exchange Network offers the following benefits for dealers who work with participating providers:

• Provides instant and accurate F&I product pricing, reducing manual and error-prone look-ups.
• Eliminates the need to use multiple resources to acquire product pricing.
• Saves time by eliminating the need to re-key sold F&I product information back into the DMS.
• Enables dealers to electronically transmit service contract data to F&I product providers at the point of sale, eliminating the need to register the contract through a separate tool or website and allowing consumers to take advantage of their F&I products sooner.
• Reduces the amount of administrative effort for dealership personnel to manually process and submit paper contracts for sold F&I products.

“It’s a win-win for dealers and participating providers alike,” said Ron Greer, vice president of Provider Services. “By increasing product exposure and reducing tedious administrative tasks and errors, the integration between PEN and a Reynolds DMS helps dealers and providers stay focused on the business of selling and administering products.”

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Reynolds Launches Standard F&I Forms for Calif. Dealers


DAYTON — The Reynolds and Reynolds Co. and the California New Car Dealers Association (CNCDA) announced the launch of the LAW® California F&I Library, a comprehensive catalog of standardized, legally reviewed F&I documents for California motor vehicle dealers.

The LAW California F&I Library, which is an outgrowth of the strategic alliance formed between Reynolds and the CNCDA in October 2011, offers dealers a set of standard F&I forms designed to help manage risk, provide common defenses in litigation, and streamline processes.

“In today’s constantly evolving regulatory environment, automobile dealerships, state agencies, and financial institutions continue to look for ways to ensure appropriate levels of compliance and to gain efficiencies in their F&I processes,” said Jerry Kirwan, senior vice president of Document Solutions at Reynolds and Reynolds. “The LAW California F&I Library is a big step forward in helping dealerships manage risk and maintain compliance, while also streamlining the F&I process.”

The LAW California F&I Library was developed and will be maintained using the combined legal expertise of Reynolds’ Director of Compliance Terry O’Loughlin and the CNCDA legal department. Additional support for the project was provided by Manning, Leaver, Bruder & Berberich, Rob Cohen of Auto Advisory Services, Robert Robards of Automotive System Analysis, and Hudson Cook, LLP.

“At the CNCDA, one of our highest priorities is to help dealers reduce litigation risk by providing legally reviewed documents that help standardize the F&I process,” CNCDA President Peter Welch said. “The CNCDA board chose Reynolds for this project because they share the same vision and bring to the table the expertise necessary to create and maintain these standard documents.”

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