Perhaps the most important service we offer our association clients is our assessment collection service. Through our award winning software, we have had tremendous success in collecting delinquent assessments for our clients. Effective assessment collection is more than just the schedule of fees for legal services. Effective assessment collection requires a collaborative effort by and among legal counsel, management and the board of directors. The key to this collaborative effort is communication. In today’s world, communication must be in real-time and information must be available on demand so critical decisions may be made instantaneously.
Riddle & Williams, P.C. recognized this basic need for communication when it opened its doors in 1993. With the advent of cloud computing and the use of the Internet to access information, R&W saw an opportunity to develop a cloud-based application to meet and exceed our boards’ and managers’ expectations for how we communicate information regarding our collection accounts. In 2001, R&W became the first law firm in the country to develop and implement an automated internet-based Assessment Collection Tracking System (ACTS©) accessible via the Web to our board members and managers. Due to the great response we received to this new approach to assessment collection, R&W began offering its proprietary assessment collection technology to other law firms across the United States in 2003 and is now the leading provider of assessment collection technology to community association attorneys throughout the country.
Riddle & Williams recognizes that the traditional assessment collection process of using manual tracking and reporting systems is cumbersome, inefficient and largely ineffective. Coupling this with the ever-growing legal protections afforded debtors under state and federal laws, our association clients need something to tip the scales back in their favor. We understand that better communication among us, the boards and managers was critical in gaining the advantage. To improve this communication, we developed an online collection system that tracks each step of the collection process, generates reminders to our account managers when an account is ready to proceed to the next collection step, generates authorization requests electronically to our client contacts alerting them that we are ready to proceed with the next collection step if warranted, allows our board members and managers to enter comments and notes directly onto a delinquent account on ACTS© which then notifies our account manager via e-mail, allows our board members and managers to check the status of a delinquent account at any time via the Web, and grants our clients access to real-time status reports 24/7 over the Web. Upon request, these status reports can even be automatically generated and electronically delivered to our board members and managers as often as they would like during the month. All of these capabilities have improved communication among all of those involved in the collection process and has greatly improved the efficiency of the entire collection process and the success rate for our clients.
While technology is the vehicle that carries the load of our assessment recovery practice, it is our people that drive the vehicle. Each one of our clients is assigned a particular assessment recovery manager under the direct supervision of an attorney dedicated to the assessment recovery practice. No two clients are the same when it comes to collections. We assign our assessment recovery managers to particular clients so that they know the collection requirements and parameters for each client. We also configure ACTS© to conform to each client’s requirements and preferences such as payment plan parameters, steps requiring client authorization, timing and content of status reports, etc. Our team of assessment recovery managers and attorneys has handled well over 40,000 delinquent accounts on ACTS© and has collected well over $50 million in delinquent assessments for our clients within the past 10 years.
What you will not see when you review our schedule of fees for assessment recovery services are the following additional services that are provided at no additional charge:
- Free Access. ACTS© is provided as a free service to our boards and managers.
- Online Status Reports. ACTS© provides 24/7/365 real-time online access to status reports.
- Pushed Status Reports. Auto generated status report delivered via email to your inbox as often as desired.
- Real-time Information. regarding Attorney’s Fees and Costs. ACTS© tracks all attorney’s fees and costs incurred on a particular account in real-time. Gone are the days when you receive an invoice for legal fees that were incurred weeks, if not months ago. This also allows our managers to timely charge back these fees and costs to the delinquent owner’s account and maximize recovery.
- Proactive Tracking, Calendaring and Notifications. ACTS© automatically tracks all collection accounts and the relevant time periods at each step of the collection process. It also calendars all important dates and events and monitors payment plans. As soon as an account is ready to proceed, our Assessment Recovery Managers are automatically prompted to proceed. If client authorization is required at a particular step, ACTS© will automatically send an email to our client contact and request authorization.
- Instant Communication. Managers and board members may enter Case Notes on a particular account at any time. These notes are instantly emailed to the Assessment Recovery Manager assigned to the account.
- Shared Client Portal. ACTS© allows our clients and managers to access their collection accounts using the same portal that our Assessment Recovery Managers and attorneys use allowing for a true, collaborative effort.
- Auto Populated Collection Documents. ACTS© requires the input of information only once for an association or delinquent account. This information is then used to create our collection letters and pleadings. By reducing the number of times that information is handled manually, we are able to minimize mistakes and more efficiently handle your accounts.
- Customized Workflows and Integrated Mail System. Not all associations are the same and neither are their collection processes. ACTS© allows us to tailor a collection workflow that best works for a particular association. ACTS © also tracks in real time the delivery status of all mail generated through the system. This allows us to quickly identify potential issues with a delinquent owner’s contact information.
- Customer Support and Call Center. R&W uses trained bilingual staff members to manage its call center. We also provide support, both online and via telephone, for any of your questions regarding ACTS©.
- Statewide Operation. Because of the web-based nature of ACTS, we are not restricted to representing associations in one geographic area. As a result, R&W has clients located all across the State of Texas.
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