Providing a Positive ROI for Your Dues Investment Electronic Lien & Titling (ELT)
in Political & Legislative
By: David Frankil, NJCUL President/CEO

Back at my first NJCUL Annual Convention in 2016, we promised you a League that was focused on your needs, providing compelling value and a solid ROI for your dues investment. We’ve spent the last 15 months living up to that promise.

It can be difficult to estimate benefits from legislation, which often only have indirect benefits on our operating environment. But ELT gives us a chance to attach some numbers to a standard business process.

ELT legislation was signed into law by Governor Christie this week, and it requires the NJ Department of Motor Vehicles to determine within 60 days whether it can create its own ELT system within a year, or to outsource it.

We did a back-of-the envelope estimate a few weeks ago, but let’s dig deeper into the analysis. What would ELT save a typical credit union in New Jersey?

Let’s start with an estimate of the additional internal cost of manually processing lien and titles. Assume a typical employee involved in this process is paid a $35k salary plus benefits. Manual processing includes storage, recording/perfecting title, replacing lost titles (if applicable, and this is an additional cost to the CU), releasing the title, and mailing the title (footnoting in internal systems – core/LOS).

Let’s assume this all chews up on average 30 minutes per title, which translates into a cost of $12 per title. And then let’s figure an additional $1.00 per title savings by not having to mail the physical title and additional paperwork or store it.

That gets us to $13 in savings per title - so for a credit union with

  • 100 auto loans per year, the savings are $1,300
  • 500 auto loans per year, the savings are $6,500
  • 1,000 auto loans per year, the savings are $13,000
  • 2,000 loans, the savings are $26,000, and so on.

These estimates are if everything runs 100% perfectly as intended, and doesn’t even consider the extra costs when your credit union might need to replace a lost title, which is a fee of $60. Even with being conservative, that would be a solid ROI on dues for most NJCUL members right there – but go one step further, and include the benefits from reducing fraud and manual errors, which both require mitigation. This is going to differ significantly from credit union to credit union, and we can’t estimate it unless we know your fraud losses and incidence of errors.

For example, this category of costs addresses issues where the lien wasn’t placed correctly, resulting in no lien; or the borrower not making good on the loan, with the lender stuck with no recourse and/or duplicate loans on one vehicle. 

So if we assume a combined 0.1% fraud and error mitigation rate, depending on the cost of the car involved, we could be looking at anywhere between $15k-$60k per year for a credit union doing 1,000 car loans per year. In other words, the cost of a single fraudulent car loan or a single error that require mitigation.

So for credit union doing 1,000 car loans per year, the total estimated benefit from ELT is somewhere between $28,000-$73,000.

Email me at if you’d like the spreadsheet to plug in your own numbers!