Collection Strategies (That Work)
By David Brauner, Editor
Appraiser and office manager Nikki Moffatt, like most of us, gets pretty tired of chasing deadbeat clients. Here are a few tips she has developed out of necessity and frustration.
If a check bounces you can take it back to originating bank and if there are funds, you can get a cashier’s check right then and there. Obviously, your timing has to be just right. (There is a small fee for the cashier’s check.)
“We don’t take credit cards because if they don’t like the value, they may reverse the charges,” Moffatt said. “That’s why we like the Check-by-Fax service.”
Check-by-Fax allows you to accept faxed checks (instant payment) from your client and create bank drafts which can be deposited the same day. (for more, visit www.orep.org, click “Benefits” and “End Collection Headaches! New Checks by Fax!”)
Moffatt says that in her state of Nevada , she has the most luck collecting by taking it to the Mortgage Lending Division. Most states have an office that either regulates or oversees real estate professionals. “We found a nice lady in that office who calls for us. They make a call and usually that produces results. This works even for out of state lenders because if they are doing business here the state has jurisdiction. They don’t like getting calls from the Mortgage Lending Division.”
Moffatt says that they also turn bounced checks over to District Attorney’s office if they can prove they did the appraisal work (so keep a paper trail).
“These are tips we’ve learned out of frustration. We get tired of getting the run around; calling and chasing the money. These are the strategies that work best.”