AFM’s Attorney Intervention Collection Program (aka: Immediate Collection) provides a stronger collection and adds enormous value to your collection efforts. From the very first day that we receive a new account for collection, an in-house AFM Attorney will directly work your file and contact the debtor to obtain immediate, voluntary payment on a contingency fee basis. If we do not collect the monies owed to you, then we do not earn a fee. Our lawyers do not litigate. Rather, they solely focus on collection and account resolution by phone, email, facsimile and postal mail.
AFM handles each assigned claim with professionalism, the utmost care and decisive action. We attempt to work each new file every single day for three straight days after we receive a new assignment to immediately, directly communicate with the debtor, incite urgency and collect the monies due as quick as possible. The immediate attorney involvement alone subconsciously creates a sense of urgency, so our immediate, persistent and respectful collection pursuits elicit a quicker response and payment.
Further, the immediate attorney involvement provides a stronger likelihood to increase the quality of your claim (e.g. obtain a personal guaranty, promissory note, confession of judgment), while we collect the monies owed on your behalf. Also, if necessary, it sets the foundation for a comprehensive investigation to locate the obligor and learn the obligor’s payment capabilities. This will help you make an informed decision when responding to a settlement offer or when deciding whether to forward a claim to local counsel for possible legal action.
Based on your requirements, desires and goals, we will completely customize our Attorney Intervention Collection Program for you. This includes all procedural items from assigning files to the type and frequency of status updates to remittance manner and location. In addition, every AFM client has access to AFM’s online client portal, which is available 24/7 and allows our clients to view and download all notes, the status and payment history for every account assigned to our office as well as many different cumulative reports, such as History, Inventory, and Payment Reports.
AFM offers a Free Demand Letter Series Program on commercial accounts that exceed $300.00. Specifically, AFM can send your delinquent customers final demand letters, covering a period of 10, 20, or 30-days, at absolutely no charge to you.
AFM’s Free Demand allows you to separate your customers that are truly customers from your past customers that are debtors and belong in collections. If you already know a past customer is a debtor, then AFM’s Attorney Intervention Collection Program (aka: Immediate Collection) will provide you with the most leverage and highest collection probability. From our experience, files involving a customer dispute, severe financial distress, or an opposing attorney are best served by immediate placement into AFM’s Attorney Intervention Collection Program.
How it works:
- Choose a time frame: 10-Days, 20-Days, or 30-Days.
- Every 10-days, on AFM Letterhead, AFM will send a demand letter to your customer that directs all communications and payments to your office. The language within each demand letter becomes more stringent as the Free Demand period progresses.
- If payment is made to you during the Free Demand period and you notify AFM, in writing, of the payment received, then there is no charge whatsoever for the monies collected. It is absolutely free.
- However, if you do not receive payment in full during the Free Demand period, the account’s remaining balance automatically transfers into AFM’s Attorney Intervention Collection Program.
- Third Party Intervention – The final demand letters are sent on AFM letterhead, which gives your customers the impression that AFM is already involved.
- Flexibility – You choose the Free Demand program length. You can choose 10, 20, or 30 days and a final Demand letter is sent every 10-days.
- No Cost – There is absolutely no fee for any payments reported to AFM during Free Demand.
- Proven Results – Approximately 20% of all dollars placed in Free Demand are collected at no cost. Some Clients resolve as many as 50% of all dollars placed in Free Demand at no cost.
- Retaining Customers – AFM’s Free Demand provides your valued customer with the opportunity to remain a customer. If the customer does not submit payment during the selected Free Demand period, the customer is really a past customer, or a debtor, and belong in collections.
At no cost and with your prior, written authorization, AFM will report your debtors’ and guarantors’ unpaid account balances to the credit bureaus during the first week of the month after 30 days elapsed since you place an account with our office for collections. For example, if you assign a file to AFM for collections on January 15, 2019, AFM will report the debtor’s unpaid balance to the credit bureaus during the first week of March 2019.
Once reported, the delinquent mark on the debtor’s credit report will appear as “American Financial Management” within the Significant Derogatory Data section. After the balance was initially reported, AFM will continue to report the up-to-date unpaid balance to the credit bureaus every month, for seven years, until the balance is paid in full.
Your credit reporting authorization applies to all future assigned accounts, rather than on an individual account basis. By authorizing AFM to report your debtors to the credit bureaus, you obtain additional leverage in both your internal collection efforts and after an account is sent to our office for collections. Plus, you receive an additional level of protection for seven years on all open and unpaid collection accounts. Specifically, if the debtor attempts to procure credit, while the credit reporting is active, the credit grantor will see that the debtor has an unpaid obligation and, in most cases, will not extend credit until the balance is completely satisfied.
In addition to reporting debtor businesses to the credit bureaus, AFM can also report guarantors and individuals to the consumer credit bureaus. This continues to prove to be a very effective means to increase recoveries on older accounts. Specifically, during and after the 2008 recession, many individuals attempt to refinance loans while interest rates are at historic lows. We collect on many of these older debts by reporting guarantors and individuals to the consumer credit bureaus because banks and other lending institutions do not allow the individual to refinance until they satisfy outstanding obligations reported to the credit bureaus.
AFM has built relationships with attorneys throughout the world to assist your litigation needs. That being said, our goal is to maximize and obtain recoveries without having to provide you with the option of filing a lawsuit and more than 90% of the monies we collect are secured prior to forwarding. However, at times, filing a lawsuit is in your best interests.
Specifically, around 60 – 90 days after you assign a file to our office and after we made all possible collection attempts, if we have not secured payment in full, a partial payment or a settlement offer, and debtor communications are not progressing in your best interests, we will either close our file or provide you with the option to forward the file to local counsel for possible legal action. Before providing you with the option to forward the file to local counsel, AFM will consider the size of your claim, the account’s resolution status, whether the obligor showed good faith to resolve the balance due, if the file is disputed and the debtor’s payment capabilities (e.g. operating status of the business and the debtor’s financial status learned through AFM’s investigative efforts).
We will only forward a file to a local attorney after we receive your written authorization. After we receive your approval, we will forward the account to a local attorney that is a member of the Commercial Law League of America and is licensed, bonded and insured in accordance with the requirements of the association. Thereafter, all communications on the account forwarded to local counsel will involve yourself, AFM and local counsel, together, in one email chain, to ensure we work as a team to get the best result possible. Your local attorney, through AFM, will request monies to cover court costs, which vary based on the jurisdiction, the type and dollar size of your claim. Once legal proceedings conclude, local counsel will provide an accounting of all outlaid court costs.
AFM maintains a partnership with Experian to provide clients with the analytical tools necessary to manage business risk and maximize profits. Managing business risk is essential to maximizing revenue while limiting credit losses.
Experian products can assist in:
- Acquiring creditworthy new customers;
- Monitoring how customers are meeting their financial obligations to the business community; and
- Timely identifying customers’ deteriorating financial conditions, allowing you to make informed, decisive decisions to minimize losses.
Experian offers many cost-effective options to assist in evaluating the creditworthiness of a new customer. These options include blended reports, which encompass data from both the business entity and the business owner to give you the added insight for better decision making.
In addition, Experian offers an array of online monitoring tools, including alert warning services, after your company extended credit to a customer. These tools can assist in timely modifying customers’ credit limits and identifying customers’ delinquencies, liens and bankruptcy filings. This information, along with decisive action, such as halting pending orders, modifying credit terms, or immediately placing the account for collections, will greatly help your company minimize losses.
FIRST PARTY OUTSOURCING
AFM can tailor its services to your company’s needs. We can reduce your internal operating costs, while we improve results and grow customer relationships, especially in high volume environments. Specifically, AFM could contact your customers, as your company, to ensure your customers timely pay invoices and are educated on their payment terms. Our current and recent projects include:
- Assisting a client with first party collections on the client’s computer, telephone and email system from AFM’s office location;
- Sending a customized first-party letter series;
- Performing credit granting activities through Experian and by reviewing and processing Credit Applications; and
- Auditing accounts previously closed by a different third-party collection vendor.