ALL THE RISK, WITH NONE OF THE REWARD
Is FREE storage really free?
Over the last two years our industry has worked aggressively to build a transparent relationship
between agent, forwarder, and lien holder. Many of us had thought we’d reached that goal. The Alliance
of Illinois Repossessors (A.I.R) recently held an emergency Zoom meeting to discuss the security
measures many agencies in Illinois have put in place with regard to the recent string of catalytic
converter thefts in the area. After finishing that discussion, the conversation shifted to other issues
needing to be addressed. One company disclosed they had come across repossession notices, uploaded
to multiple orders by a forwarding company, that were likely meant for the lien holder only. These
documents included fees charged by the forwarder to the lien holder for services that were never
performed by the repossession agency. The agency was paid one third of what the lien holder was
invoiced by the forwarder. Raising frustration levels further, the contract with this forwarder dictates
agencies may not invoice storage fees, while at the same time billing the lien holder daily storage. All
agencies in attendance agreed that secured storage is one of their greatest monthly losses.
With rising insurance rates, and some of the highest property taxes in the country, storage can no longer
be provided for free. After a recent analysis done by members of our alliance, it was discovered the
average per unit cost for storage in Illinois is between $12.00-$14.00 per day, depending on monthly
A.I.R requested, and received, data from Harding Brooks to further look into this issue. In 2022, to date,
there were 254 claims filed for lot incidents, 118 of which were for theft, with a total of $1.6 million paid
out. These figures were for claims filed. Every member of A.I.R has had incidents, that were not
submitted as a claim, in fear of premiums rising above sustainable rates.
All this information comes back to the question, is free storage really free? The Agent network across
the country are accepting all of the risk with none of the reward. This cannot continue. On November
11, 2022, members of A.I.R unanimously voted on, and have agreed, that beginning January 1st 2023, all
members of the Alliance Of Illinois Repossessors will begin rejecting cases where a daily fee is not
collected to offset the cost incurred to safely and securely store lien holders’ collateral and customers’
A.I.R has always remained transparent to the industry and invites forwards and lien holders to contact
them to discus the need for this industry change.
The Alliance of Illinois Repossessors is a gathering of Repossession companies that will unite
for the progression of the repossession industry within our state. AIR is composed of licensed
members operating repossession agencies with the State of Illinois that together account for
over 85% of the repossessed volume secured within the state, the purpose of this Association
is to strengthen understanding between licensed Repossessors, law enforcement, financial
institutions, regulatory agencies, and the consumer.