Today's Headlines

    AFSA announces new chair-elect for Board of Directors

    The American Financial Services Association (AFSA) Monday announced that its board of directors has elected Dan Chait, President of Southeast Toyota Finance, as the new chair-elect of the AFSA board.

    Chait has been on the AFSA Board of Directors since 2015 and recently joined the AFSA Executive Committee. As chair-elect, he is next in line to become board chair at AFSA’s Annual Meeting in October 2019, succeeding current chair Josh Johnson, CEO of Mariner Finance.

    Southeast Toyota Finance is a leading provider of financial services to automotive dealers, consumers and lenders, and a subsidiary of diversified automotive corporation JM Family Enterprises, Inc. Chait also serves as a member of JM Family’s Executive Management Team, which oversees the development and implementation of the company’s long-range planning and strategies for future growth.

    As President, Chait is responsible for the strategic and operational management of Southeast Toyota Finance, which provides financial products to Toyota dealers and consumers in the Southeast, manages a portfolio in excess of $10 billion and was recently awarded “#1 in Mass Market Automotive Consumer Financing Satisfaction” by J.D. Power.

    Chait joined Southeast Toyota Finance in 2002 as Vice President, Asset Management. In 2007, he became Group Vice President, responsible for Portfolio Management, Dealer Services, Operations, Sales and Marketing functions.

    In 2012, he was promoted President. Chait has more than 25 years of experience in the financial services industry and has held senior level positions with US Airways, AutoNation, and UniCapital Corporation.

    Chait earned Master of Business Administration and bachelor’s degrees in economics and political science from the University of Rochester. 

    Law & Compliance Symposium Adds Two Breakout Sessions

    The 2019 Law & Compliance Symposium agenda continues to firm up as the conference is adding two breakout sessions during the conference that will take place March 5-7 in Ft. Lauderdale, Fla.

    Join us to discuss what the CFPB’s enforcement team may be doing in 2019 and lessons learned from previous enforcement actions. Our panel of experts has been closely involved with CFPB enforcement over the past several years. They will answer questions such as: Will the CFPB continue to use its UDAAP authority? How active will the CFPB’s enforcement team be under its new leadership? What products or services might be targeted? Is it possible to get the CFPB to drop an enforcement action? If so, how?

    Moderated by Michele Lieber, President, BluePoint DC, panelists include Eric Mogilnicki, Partner, Covington; and Scott Weltman, Managing Partner, Weltman, Weinberg & Reis Co.

    A second break-out session deals with consumer finance litigation trends.

    Topics will examine the actions plaintiffs’ attorneys may take this year. On this panel, our experts will be talking about litigation trends in 2019. In all likelihood, TCPA litigation will continue to rise. What other issues will fill the courts’ calendars? We’ll talk about ADA website accessibility, debt collection, and more.

    Panelists include John Rossman, Attorney at Law, Moss and Barnett, and Alison LaBruyere, Of Counsel, Squire Patton Boggs.

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    AFSA Submits Letter to FDIC on Small-Dollar Request for Information

    AFSA this week submitted a letter to the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) regarding its Request for Information (RFI) on small-dollar credit. The letter notes that the FDIC should ensure that the banks it supervises support the financial institutions, especially traditional installment lenders who are already meeting consumers’ small-dollar credit needs.

    The letter focuses on three specific areas:

    ·         That traditional installment lenders are already meeting the demand for safe, secure small-dollar credit products;

    ·         The cost associated with providing high-quality, small-dollar lending products, and;

    ·         The need small-dollar lenders have for support from their banking partners.

    “We strongly believe that traditional installment loans are a responsible and beneficial form of credit that help consumers make ends meet,” said AFSA President-elect Bill Himpler in the letter. “We ask that the FDIC acknowledge the benefits these loans provide and work with banks to support the lenders that make them.”

    ADA Website Litigation & Cybersecurity Webinar set for next week

    Join AFSA on Jan. 30 at 2 p.m. ET for ADA Website & Cybersecurity with Holland & Knight attorneys discussing key legal trends and risks arising out of web content. This presentation will provide an overview of the legal requirements for website accessibility, including an overview of tools and resources for evaluating your site's current accessibility. We will discuss specific barriers to accessibility and accommodations for assistive technologies plus recommendations and strategies for improving the accessibility of web and mobile content.

    In addition, the presentation will discuss new privacy and cybersecurity challenges for customer-facing websites and mobile applications. These include: new vectors of third-party risk posed by online technology and advertising partners; sensitivity to collection and use of biometric and persistent geolocation information via digital platforms; operational requirements imposed by laws like the GDPR and California Consumer Protection Act (CCPA) (from which financial institutions are not wholly exempt); and other 2019 initiatives likely to move the needle.

    The recording and slides for Tuesday’s Optimizing the Usage of Alternative Credit Data in Auto Finance, presented by Experian are now available on the Webinar Resource Center

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    Auto finance industry leaders gather at AFSA conference

    Leaders of the automotive financial services industry gathered in San Francisco this week to hear the latest insight and analysis for what’s ahead in 2019 and to re-cap 2018 as the American Financial Services Association (AFSA) hosted its annual Vehicle Finance Conference.

    The conference attracted approximately 630 attendees and more than 60 exhibitors to what has become the largest and longest-running convention dedicated to the vehicle finance industry, a leading indicator of the U.S. economy.

    This is the 16th year in a row that AFSA’s Vehicle Finance conference was held in the same city and immediately before the annual National Automobile Dealers’ (NADA) Show.

    Even though the U.S. auto industry celebrated the fourth year in a row of new vehicle sales over 17 million cars and light trucks in 2018, most experts at the conference are forecasting a slight decline to the mid-to-upper ranges of 16 million.

    Factors like low unemployment, tax reform, low gas prices and solid consumer confidence in the U.S. economy drove sales in 2018. But issues like rising interest rates, higher debt levels, uncertainty in federal policies and the affordability of new cars could impact sales in 2019.

    The average transaction price for a new vehicle in 2018 was $35,377 vs. $30, 079 in 2010. Pickup trucks and sport utility vehicles continue to dominate the mix of vehicles sold in the U.S., accounting for nearly 70 percent of all new vehicles sold in 2018. Auto finance debt reached an all-time high of $1.3 trillion in 2018, according to one panelist, but he assured the audience that this does not mean there is an “auto finance bubble.” He said the industry has economic cycles as opposed to periods of boom and bust.

    Newsbriefs will have additional coverage of the conference in the Jan. 31 edition.