How Debt Collection Agencies Help Recover Property Factor Debt
June 2017

The majority of residential flats and housing developments now have shared areas and common land which needs to be maintained by an appointed property management company. In exchange for the inspection and upkeep of these shared areas residents pay a set factors fee to the property management firm. In times of economic hardship it has become a familiar situation that fees are left unpaid by the owners causing cash flow problems for the development account. Under certain title conditions it may also be necessary for these arrears to be split amongst the other owners creating a strain in normal neighbour relationships.

These outstanding debts can be a costly problem for property management companies with the potential to impact the businesses bottom line. Alex M Adamson LLP has the knowledge and systems to support our property factoring clients throughout the debt collection process, from initial contact to litigation, if required, to create the most commercially viable recovery process.

Our web-based instruction and monitoring system, Web Minerva enables clients to load their own cases and an initial demand letter is produced and sent within 24 hours. In addition our workflow system is supported by a reliable power dialling software which is utilised immediately with the aim of contacting the debtor quicker in order to maximise the effectiveness of the recovery process and reach an agreement with the debtor as soon as possible.

Our advanced recovery team is then on hand to ensure all additional contact information required is available as well as conducting social media searches to find any extra details to aid settlement of the case. Our power dialling software continues to aid communication with the debtor throughout the recovery process by scheduling outbound calls for times when it is most likely that debtors are available. Whilst much of the routine collection effort is automated the system utilises a high degree of flexibility streaming high value cases for contact by our most senior recovery staff. If settlement has not been agreed following the initial letter and contact a second demand is issued 7-10 days later which triggers further telephone, text and email contact.

We have tailored our system for our property management clients to include an optional automated stage in the workflow which can be triggered by balance to prepare and register a Notice of Potential Liability with the Registers of Scotland. Using either the Tenements Scotland Act 2004 or the Title Conditions Scotland Act 2003 notices were introduced to limit the financial damage associated with non-payment and ensure settlement was made in full when the heritable title is moved or sold.

Following these steps if the case has not been fully paid or an instalment plan agreed within 30 days of the initial load we work closely with the client to discuss how best to proceed. Our systems ensure that our clients are involved at each stage in the recovery process.

We’ve spent significant time with clients to make sure they utilise the available functionality and as a result they have become more engaged, helping us deliver a successful service capable of handling volume and delivering a managed service for key debts. One of our major clients operating in this sector has achieved a collection rate of 73% over a period of 10 years reflecting the focus and importance we place on this line of business.