The Ethical F&I Managers group was launched to help educate the F&I manager in a single-point store, one that was small, with little money and time set aside for compliance training.
The intention to build an online community of experts, educators and comrades was a way to reach those in need of guidance without charging a fee.
The group started with more than 30 members, but expansion was slow. More than 500 members joined within the first two years.
Initially, the conversation on the page was little more than depressing.
"It was gloom and doom, no question. A lot of people were down in the dumps," Eleazer said. "Many, of course, got out of the industry and never returned."
Remaining positive was a challenge, but as unemployment shrank and car sales rose, engagement on the site increased exponentially. Word began to spread, and F&I trainers and publications were invited into the fold.
With the group, Eleazer imagined assisting his younger self, who started in F&I in 1989. All of his early education in F&I was wrong, he said, and formed bad habits that took years to shake.
"I was trained to pack payment. I was trained to juice incomes and power book used-car values and all those sorts of things," he said. "Back in those days, it was pretty common."
Though common then, those practices today would land a dealership in hot water with regulators and potentially attract the attention of lawyers looking to file class-action lawsuits.
With the industry's amped-up scrutiny around behavior, training and compliance in the F&I department, members of the Facebook group have many more resources than Eleazer did in his early days.
Questions asked by members newer to F&I are consistent, often centering on compliance, objection-handling and sales tools.
Some conversations gain more traction than others. Stories and comments about work-life balance — the ever-elusive bid to produce profits and still make it home in time for dinner — always shoot to the top of the list.
While F&I managers make up most of the group, other dealership personnel, F&I trainers, vendors and auto finance publications are among the members.