Fleet Loans for Rental Operators Included in TARP Bill

The American Car Rental Association announced today that, on behalf of its members and the car rental industry, it has successfully ensured the inclusion of language regarding the availability of fleet purchase loans for rental operators in HR 384, a bill designed to reform the Troubled Assets Relief Program and ensure the program’s accountability.

“ACRA was concerned the original language was not sufficient to protect our interests and ensure our inclusion in financial assistance,” said Sean Busking, executive director of ACRA.

Frank Colonna, ACRA board member and owner of Triangle Rent A Car, worked with Bob Barton, ACRA president, and Busking to formulate suggested language that identified the car rental industry as a noted recipient of available financing.

Colonna proposed the amended language to Congressman Brad Miller, Colonna’s representative in North Carolina. Miller was able to have the language included in the “Amendment to HR 384 Offered by Congressman, and Chairman of the Financial Services Committee, Barney Frank.”

That language has since been approved and is included in the bill.

“ACRA’s mission is to support sensible legislation that benefits all its members,” said Busking. “This particular piece of legislation, and the subsequent inclusion of the amended language recognizing the car rental industry, certainly proves what can be accomplished when we call upon the strength and unity of industry-wide representation in the form of the American Car Rental Association.”

“This is a major accomplishment,” said Bob Barton, president of ACRA. “Through the efforts of the ACRA board of directors we have been successful in getting our voice heard in having a common issue affecting us all addressed by government.”

Contact Your Representatives

“While we have been successful in greasing the wheels, now is the time to push the train,” Busking said. “I encourage everyone reading this alert to pick up the phone and contact your local representative and urge them to support this bill, as it is one of—if not the most—important issues we are currently facing.”

“Fortunately, as a member of ACRA, our company can have industry- and company-specific issues addressed,” said Barton, who is also COO of Franchise Services North America (FSNA), owners of U-Save Car & Truck Rental. “Strength comes in numbers, and one voice representing the industry has been, and will continue to be, very effective in getting our needs met.”

The previous wording of the bill,

SEC. 137. CLARIFICATION OF AUTHORITY REGARDING CONSUMER LOANS.

“The authority of the Secretary to take any action under this title includes the authority to establish or support facilities to support the availability of consumer loans, including loans for autos and other vehicles and student loans, including through purchase of asset-backed securities, directly or through the Board or any Federal reserve bank.”

Has been amended as follows:

SEC. 140. CLARIFICATION OF AUTHORITY REGARDING AUTOMOBILE FLEET PURCHASE LOANS.

“The authority of the Secretary to take any action under this title includes the authority to establish or support facilities to support the availability of automobile fleet purchase loans, including loans for the automobile rental industry and other fleet purchasers, including through purchase of asset-backed securities, directly or through the Board or any Federal reserve bank.”

HR 384 now awaits a vote in the House of Representatives, followed by the Senate and then the president.

For more information, contact Sean Busking at [email protected] or call (918) 810-6231.

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