The NAF Association – Hi Ho Silver!

The National Automotive Finance Association (NAF Association) was created 25 years ago by a group of founding fathers that are as active today as they were when they founded the group. We are proud to be the only trade group that is exclusively focused on the interests of the non-prime automotive finance market. The NAF Association boasts over 150 members that represent larger banks and captives, down to smaller regional finance companies.

The NAF Association has built and delivered best-in-class compliance training programs (Consumer Credit Compliance Certification Program) that certifies senior compliance management and education programs for front line staff (Compliance Certificate Program for Underwriters, Collectors, Customer Service Representatives, Funders & Sales Representatives). We are proud to have graduated over 650 participants in the Consumer Credit Compliance Certification Program and over 4,200 in the Compliance Certificate Program.

Our annual conference being held on August 30 – September 1, 2021 in Plano, TX is where the industry gathers. For the past 25 years the Association has produced a comprehensive survey of the non-prime auto financing industry where useful metrics are compiled and analyzed. The Association has a magazine publication (Non-Prime Times), and is co-sponsoring the ConsumerFi podcast – both of which are meant to educate and inform the non-prime auto financing industry on changes in the market, regulation, and other issues of import.

During my term alone we have delivered on the mandate that Jack and I laid out, starting with an on-site meeting at the CFPB that has resulted in not only an open line of communication, but also in perpetuating a healthy working relationship. The pandemic is a great example where we kept communication open with the bureau relating to the health of the American consumer and our member companies. This relationship will continue to grow and mature.

The NAF Association has been an active player in state-based lobbying, particularly as it pertains to protecting the rights and interests of recovery professionals. We have partnered with the American Recovery Association (ARA) to help streamline inefficiencies, assist with government affairs, and in supporting the Repo Alliance. We built this relationship with the intention of making everyone’s lives better, and just as with the CFPB, this work continues. I will be emceeing the ARA’s annual NARS Conference this fall in Las Colinas, TX and I invite all NAF Association members to participate.

Finally, the NAF Association is an inclusive organization. We drafted and posted a diversity statement in 2019, and the statement which is proudly posted on our website reads:

“The National Automotive Finance Association is an organization that is open to all people. We welcome and value individuals of all age, race, ethnicity, religion, gender, ability, sexual orientation, financial circumstance, or thought. We are committed to embracing diversity, and we feel strongly that it reflects the people and needs of our industry.”

I would like to recognize our Executive Director of all 25 years, Jack Tracey, for his steady hand at the helm, for his leadership and for guiding the organization forward during several economic cycles. Non-prime lenders can rely on the NAF Association to be there and to continue to grow and mature and progress in its relevance. I invite all market participants, lenders, servicers, recovery agents, and dealers to get involved and help to keep the organization moving forward and growing. The NAF Association has had a great 25 years and our goal is to make the next 25 years even better!

Please join us on our Silver Celebration at the upcoming NAF Association 25th  Annual Non-Prime Auto Financing Conference on August 30 – September 1 in Plano, Texas.

Joel Kennedy
Joel Kennedy is director of Business Development at Nortridge Software Company. He has a passion for growing and improving auto finance ecosystem. Joel has over 24 years’ experience helping big banks down to start-up finance companies to build, grow, improve, and repeat. He is the current president of the National Automotive Finance Association, and a board advisor to TruDecision. Joel can be reached at 240-308-2169 or [email protected]