SOUTHFIELD, Mich. — Credit Acceptance Corp’s Steve Jones will retire on June 30 as president of the subprime finance source, a post he’s held since April 2007, CEO Brett Roberts announced in a recent regulatory filing.
The announcement comes at a time when the finance source is facing multiple investigations into its originations and collections practices. Roberts described Jones’ retirement as a “significant event” for the company.
“While our success does not depend on any one individual, I expect the transition will include some challenges,” Robert said in the company’s April 11 filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). “At the same time, I have confidence in our team. It is deeper and more talented than it has ever been, and this period of transition will present an opportunity for others to contribute in different ways.”
Roberts noted in the regulatory filing that he and Jones have worked together for 20 years. Jones, who added COO to his title in February 2008, started at the company in October 1997 as manager of the debt recovery department of Credit Acceptance Corp.’s UK operations. He was promoted to deputy managing director in 1999 and then managing director in 2001.
“When I met Steve, he was leading our U.K. loan servicing function,” Roberts said, noting that the company was in a “fragile and risky position” due to significant turnover in leadership at the time. “I got to know Steve during this period and realized he was the answer to my problems. This was a pattern that repeated itself for the next 20 years. We have faced challenges, but Steve proved himself to be a world-class problem solver, a clear thinker, and a great leader.
This past November, the company received a second civil investigation demand from the Massachusetts Attorney General’s Office seeking updated information related to a Dec. 4, 2015, CID. The additional information request related to the company’s origination and collection of consumer loans, and information regarding securitization activities.
“We are cooperating with the inquiry and cannot predict the eventual scope, duration or outcome at this time,” the company stated in its November 20, 2017, regulatory filing. “As a result, we are unable to estimate the reasonably possible loss or range of reasonably possible loss arising from this investigation.”
In an Oct. 6 filing with the SEC, the finance source revealed it received a subpoena from the Mississippi Attorney General’s Office on Aug. 14, relating to the origination and collection of nonprime auto loans. The company also said it was cooperating with the inquiry and couldn’t predict the scope, duration or outcome at the time.
In announcing Jones’ retirement, Roberts noted that one of Jones’ team members, Senior Vice President Kathy Kantzer, received a leadership award from Great Places to Work, the organization that selects the companies recognized in Fortune magazine’s annual list of 100 Best Companies to Work For. The company ranked No. 61 on the 2018 Top 100 list.
“Our business is difficult. We compete with banks that have a significant cost-of-funds advantage through their low-cost deposits. We compete with much larger companies that have an advantage due to economies of scale. And we compete with credit unions that aren’t required to earn a profit,” Roberts concluded in the company’s April 11 regulatory filing. “Our only advantage is our people. We start with customers that other companies avoid, and we provide these individuals with an opportunity to improve their lives using our product. I am proud of what our people have accomplished, and I am grateful for their efforts.”