DriveTime Automotive Group launched a third-party servicer for DriveTime and other affiliated finance companies — Bridgecrest Acceptance Company — the buy-here, pay-here lender announced this morning.
All loans, previously serviced by DriveTime Acceptance Corp., which currently services about 220,000 customers, will transition to Bridgecrest, the company said in a press release.
Even though the new subsidiary is licensed as a third-party servicer, Bridgecrest is not pursuing partnerships outside of DriveTime at the moment, Greg Sax, vice president of DriveTime, told Auto Finance News. “We are focused on channeling the growth at DriveTime for now,” he said. “But the licensing opens up the opportunity to do that in the future.”
Just like the parent company, Bridgecrest aims to provide digital servicing for its customers, Sax said. “DriveTime was one of the first servicers to use texting, including our ‘Text to Pay’ tool,” he said. “More recently, we started doing paperless loan modifications. We feel good about utilizing the existing technology from DriveTime [at Bridgecrest], but also realize that there is still a lot to work on.”
North of 85% of DriveTime’s customers have elected to use electronic documentation so far, Chief Financial Officer Kurt Wood told AFN previously. “We switched to go nationwide with 100% electronic contracting offered at our dealerships, for customers that elect that process,” he said. “We want to make it as easy as possible for the consumers, and less paper helps them.”
Bridgecrest expects to hire at least 20 people a month in both Arizona and Texas through the end of the year “to fulfill their growing loan servicing needs,” according to the release.