Repossession Agent Training | Compliance Training | Annual Courses

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What is a mercantile agent?

A mercantile agent, also known as a commercial agent is a person who is appointed by those in business. In context, a financial institution engages mercantile agents to act on their behalf or to represent them dealing with their customers and other persons, usually via on-site visits. The entity on whose behalf he serves as an agent is known as the ‘credit licensee’, whereas a mercantile agent is the ‘authorised representative’ for training purposes.

 

Agents often come from a background in law enforcement, finance or credit management; although in recent times, many new entrants are seeking a career change and join from unconnected professions.

Duties of a mercantile agent are varied and may include:

  • Collection of monies under a loan contract;

  • Repossessing assets secured against a loan, typically cars, other vehicles, boats, aircraft, machinery and commercial fittings;

  • Ascertaining the whereabouts of a customer or asset* (skip inquiries);

  • Field calls to a customer’s, guarantor’s or third party’s home or place of business;

  • Negotiating payment arrangements or the return of secured assets*;

  • Identifying and reporting on customer hardship*;

  • Liaising with lawyers, insolvency trustees and financial counsellors*;

  • Completing asset valuation inspections*;

  • Coordinating tow operators, auction facilities and related service providers*;

  • Process serving (delivering of court documents);

  • Securing premises after a Bailiff or Sheriffs Officer eject the occupants and arranging a locksmith to re-secure the premises to prevent re-entry by the debtor/occupier; and

  • Submitting factual reports, progress updates, affidavits, condition reports, photographs and video*.

Duties of a mercantile agent’s assistant:

Providing administrative support and not generally licensed to perform repossession or debt collection activities; their duties may include those above marked with*.

Likewise, the assistant will provide bookkeeping support and the logging and coordination of new assignments.

Standards and ethics

Mercantile agents must possess a high standard of ethical and professional standards. Visit the Institute of Mercantile Agents (IMA) for more on this subject. Visit IMA

Regional and remotely located mercantile agents will often act as the appointed Bailiff or Sheriffs Officer in their jurisdiction; this function must be performed impartially to their duties as a mercantile agent.

Mercantile Agent

 4 min read

 
 
 

Why do mercantile agents and their assistants need to be trained every year?

The Global Financial Crisis (GFC) of 2008 saw Australia passing new laws further regulating financial institutions. Ethical and professional standards to protect the domestic consumer was the focal point. The legislation became known as the National Consumer Credit Protection Act (NCCPA), and the National Credit Code (NCC) and introduced in 2009. Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) became responsible for administrating the NCCP and NCC at a federal level.

In the same year, ASIC released Regulatory Guide 206 - Credit licensing: Competence and Training. From the top-down, virtually every person in the financial services sector must complete annual training. Including your home office assistant processing your field reports regardless of experience, work volumes, licence type or tertiary qualifications. The objective being 'combined accountability'.

ASIC's word on training 

RG 206 Table 1. states “Representatives must complete training as determined by the licensee, and as appropriate to the representative’s role and industry sector… Between 10 and 30 hours of Continuing Professional Development (CPD) each year… If a licensee determines that less than 10 hours of CPD per year is an appropriate number of hours for its representatives to engage in, we would expect the licensee to explain to us why this is sufficient.”

As with most industries in Australia and the developed world,

measurable annual compliance training is an essential audit and regulatory requirement. Without it, a mercantile agency or credit provider may not be able to provide you with work.

Agent compliance checklist

Consider these points:

  • A debt collection, repossession or inquiry licence (as required by the state or territory you operate in).

  • The completion of annual compliance training (ASIC - federal requirement). Contact Us

  • Business insurance (credit provider and mercantile agency requirement).

  • Secure office or home office and data protection protocols.

  • Other compliance items or training modules as required by the credit provider or mercantile agency’s Service Level Agreement (SLA).

  • Recommendation – Become a member of the Institute of Mercantile Agents (IMA). Established in 1961, they represent collectors, investigators, process servers and repossession agents throughout Australia. Their annual conferences present key speakers and excellent networking opportunities. Visit IMA

Why Beebox Training for your annual compliance training?

  • Mercantile agent’s training - is our core business.

  • Course authors and mentors have over 30 years of repossession, debt collection and investigative experience in the finance and related sectors.

  • Known and proven in the industry.

  • Your certificate of annual compliance - accepted by more than 21 mercantile agencies Australia wide. One course, one cost, one certificate - 21 potential clients.

 

What other benefits can I expect?

  • Possible business insurance discounts, for your commitment to risk mitigation (speak to your insurer).

  • We consult with key personnel in the industry, including legal advisors, educational professionals and IT consultants, to keep up with industry demands and expectations.

  • Our training is ‘niche market’ and explicitly tailored to your job.

  • We grade your long answers manually and give personal feedback to your test attempts.

  • We provide over the phone coaching on course content and answer over 100 queries each year based on real-life scenarios. All free of charge but subject to some limitations.

  • We assist your employer (agency) with maintaining a training register for their annual audit.

  • Discounts apply when there are two or more enrolments from the same entity, ideal for a husband and wife team.

  • Tax deduction.

  • Compliance badge – can be used with email signature.

  • We guarantee that you will learn something new every year.

 

Visit our course page for more on V093 - The Combined Acts & Professional Practices - 2020   ** LINK COMING SOON **