HOA Collections – Interview of Axela

James Phifer:                     The market is asking for a new take on collections. This is not an avocation for this type of collections. My intent here is to bring the information to community associations so they can do research for themselves. Personally, right now our company uses probably 99 percent traditional collections, for our associations. Some of the products coming on the market include no fees to the association, which you’ll hear from Mitch today, and also being able to turn owners over to the credit reporting agencies, which I really feel brings a certain value especially when we have those owners who know how to manipulate the system and they continue to go on and on and on and cost the association thousands of dollars, with no other hammer. Now, when we report them to the credit agencies, that gives us an additional hammer to get them to pay their assessments to the community associations. So, without further adieu. Let’s get into the video.

James Phifer:                     I’d like for you to go ahead and introduce yourself to our viewers. Tell us a little bit about who you are and what your company is.

Mitch Drimmer:                Good afternoon. My name’s Mitch Drimmer. I’m the President of Axela Technologies in Miami. And, we are a collections agency. There’s no nice way to say it, and we specialize in delinquent fees for community associations, condos and HOAs, as I mentioned, the most community associations have in delinquency, the first thing that they want to do is send it over to the attorney, and so what does an attorney do? An attorney liens and forecloses. That’s not collections, that’s a legal process. What we do, is at no cost and at no risk and at no out of pocket fees to the association, we engage the owner, with collection agency techniques. Such techniques are initial demand letters, letter strings, free lien notices, outbound calls, credit bureau reporting. You’d be surprised how many delinquent owners don’t even know they’re delinquent, don’t know where they are, don’t know how much they owe. It’s a problem for them.

James Phifer:                     I got a phone call from a investigative journalist not too long ago. She wanted to pick my brain on a situation that she was experiencing here, which was, there was a 95 year old lady who didn’t understand that she had been delinquent. There was a change of management companies and she didn’t open her mail or she didn’t open her email, whatever it was to be notified that there was a change in management companies and the way that she was notified that she was delinquent was during the eviction after the foreclosure and the, lady who wanted a report on it was really curious as to why the management company would do something like that. And I had to explain to her that we’re not a fair debt collection company, that we’re only able to operate with collections within the documents of the association, then we have to turn it over. And, you just alluded a second ago to a kind of an industry standard, which is to take a delinquent owner and turn them over to an attorney.

James Phifer:                     With your model and what you’re doing, do you start this process before… When is it that you get involved to start the process to try to help collect on the delinquent owner? Before it goes to the attorney? Does it ever go the attorney in your model or what does that look like?

Mitch Drimmer:                The idea is never to go to the attorney.

James Phifer:                     Okay.

Mitch Drimmer:                The idea is to resolve the issue before it has to go to the attorney. For instance, if somebody owes 50 thousand dollars and has no equity in their units, I’m not going to be able to help you. My company cannot be able to help you because they’re not going to pay, period. You might as well send it to the attorney. But that only happens, nowadays… This is not 2009. This is 2020 and that only happens in very few cases. Many, if not all homes in America now have equity in them, so you have a lot of leverage to work with them. So, engaging them and not burying them deep with legal fees, when you send them to an attorney, it’ll cost them two, three, four thousand dollars to unbury themselves out from what the attorney charges because they have to pay the legal fees to get the lien released or get whatever it is released.

Mitch Drimmer:                What we do is we do what’s known as a skip trace. We find out where the individual is. We call them. We send them letters. We engage with them, and then we tell them or… and we’ve run into cases like this. Management companies change, people don’t know where to send the money to or are confused. That’s not really the fault of the management company and I’ll tell you why because if somebody’s not going to open up the mail then how are you going to communicate with them? But if you call them and you send them letters that look very official, which my letters do look official or collection agency letters look official. People will open up that mail and see, oh my God. Also, you have cases where people are not paying and they’ve paid for 10 years, 20 years, 30 years and it’s not coming out of their accounts.

Mitch Drimmer:                I understand they’re elderly people and I take care of my mother’s bills, but still, if you don’t see money coming out of your account monthly, you have to wake up and you have to proactively search the management company and say, “Hey, what’s going on here? How come my maintenance fees are not being paid this month?”

James Phifer:                     That’s wonderful and it leads me into a question. I did a video recently and that may be where you and I picked up and started talking. I did a video on South Carolina. There is a legislator out there who is running a bill that would, not allow associations to foreclose for non-payment of assessments and inside that video, that was being presented by… I think it was Channel seven news out there. One of the issues that was brought up by a homeowner that was being interviewed was that, he has seen people with special needs and disabled people be foreclosed on within the communities as in evicted, and one of the questions that I think he’s addressing, that he didn’t address directly was non-discrimination and fair treatment, right? You as a collection agent have to treat everything the same way unless there is a requirement for some type of reasonable accommodation. Is that correct and can you tell me a little bit more about how that works?

Mitch Drimmer:                The ADA doesn’t really overlap too much. That’s the Americans with Disabilities Act, with the FDCPA, the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, however, what your experience in the Carolinas over there is nothing new because right here in Florida, the legislative session is coming up, and there, the banks are lobbying that if a community association forecloses and takes title, then the bank is the one who has a proprietary interest in the rental revenue, which is almost the same thing, which is saying, sorry guys. Why bother take the title? Why bother foreclose the association because the only reason an association should foreclose, is to get titled to a unit, so that they can rent the unit out and recover their money. But if the banks are coming for that money and they aren’t coming for that money because, most mortgages have a proprietary… have language that the interest is their proprietary revenue. So, in North Carolina… You’re in North Carolina, you said, right?

James Phifer:                     I’m in Colorado. But I did a story on North Carolina when I saw that they were trying to introduce that bill.

Mitch Drimmer:                In Colorado, they don’t have a bill like that, but it’s coming, and we’ll be coming. They will take away the rights from community associations to foreclose, or at least if not to foreclose, allowing them to foreclose, but then, grab the rent revenue. So what’s the point of a community association foreclosing, if you can’t rent out the unit, to monetize the unit after it’s foreclosed. And certain States, you take California for instance, you can’t file a foreclosure unless the delinquent unit owner owes $1,800 or more. That’s in California.

James Phifer:                     Right.

Mitch Drimmer:                And in certain States they have thresholds and they should have thresholds. Somebody who didn’t pay a 25 hour late fee. And then next thing you know, they’re in collections with an attorney, and they’re being pursued. That’s a tough thing. That’s wrong.

James Phifer:                     It is wrong, and, it puts a black eye on our industry when those types of things happen, and unfortunately, here in Colorado and I think through the rest of the States, a lot of our legal system is muddied up with these homeowner association issues, specifically as it relates to delinquencies a lot of time, and I’m not sure that we’re being seen as favorable as we were in 2008, 2009 time period when people didn’t pay their assessments. We won a lot, but when we went through the economic downturn, there were so many legal issues that were taking place. I think now the court systems, favor us less than they once did. Would you agree with that or no?

Mitch Drimmer:                Well, the thing is, is that the… It depends on the judge.

James Phifer:                     That’s true.

Mitch Drimmer:                I’ve, been a witness in many cases. And, I’ve had, judges… I brought in, I’ve had people come in and I’m a witness to the veracity of the ledger, is a ledger really good, because the only defense a delinquent unit owner has is, here’s the funds, and here is the back of the check, or, the association didn’t properly adhere to procedures such as, noticing the meeting or noticing the budget meeting or something like-

James Phifer:                     And I heard you there say association and ultimately is their responsibility but I think the responsibility largely long lands on the management company to guide and support them and I really feel that there is a real responsibility for an association to hire reparable management companies that are going to follow those things through because if they’re not done correctly, it’s going to be very difficult to collect on, these assessments. I see them get kicked out too often when the job is not done correctly.

Mitch Drimmer:                The management company is not responsible, this are adults, because you can’t sign a contract unless you’re over 18. However, although I don’t believe the management company is responsible, I do believe that the management company will get the blame, and the management company-

James Phifer:                     Fair.

Mitch Drimmer:                … the board, will drop a ton of bricks on your head if there’s a delinquency blaming you for some reason, for a poor communications or something like that. What I think that needs to be done, is that, there needs to be more outreach to community association members, and that’s what we do and that’s what management companies do. I mean, when somebody is delinquent, what do you do? You send a courtesy letter, and then you send another courtesy letter, and then boom, it’s off to the attorney, and try and call any attorney, in Colorado or in Florida or in California and say to them, “I’m a delinquent owner and I would like to get involved in a payment plan. I was sick, I missed out, my money didn’t get pulled out of the bank.” Whatever excuses they have, they’ve got loads of excuses. But the thing is that, it doesn’t mean you have to take away their homes, it means that you’ve got to speak with them, you’ve got to engage with them, you’ve got to give them good reason, and then, you need to work out some sort of accommodation payment plan, or something-

James Phifer:                     There was a, I think it was either a house bill or a Senate bill and if I remember correctly, it was house bill 1237, if memory serves correctly, that required Colorado to mandate a six month payment plan on everyone who’s delinquent. And I don’t know how that is in other States, but, I see some value in that, that really gives them consistency. Before there was a state law that required us to do that, we as the management company, we’re really allowed to listen to each person’s problem and kind of determine whether or not they deserved it or if they didn’t. And, because of that, there was a whole bunch of discrimination, not cases, but there was a lot of, people saying that the management companies were discriminating, and so they kind of made it standard six months across the board. That’s what everyone gets, and I think that’s pretty fair.

Mitch Drimmer:                Yes, and that is the law in Colorado. As a matter of fact, I do quite a bit of business in Colorado and, before I will take a unit into collections. I will ask to see, did you notice the delinquent owner, that he has the ability to do a six months payment plan with you?

James Phifer:                     Right.

Mitch Drimmer:                And if they didn’t, I will send it back. I can’t do it. I can’t do collections unless that’s six months. Also in Colorado, everybody must have… every community association must have a uniform collection policy, and that should be in your rules and regulations if it isn’t already in your-

James Phifer:                     That’s in our policies. There’s the SB 89100 policies and procedures that we follow and these collection policies is one of those procedures, and, we have adopted that. In fact, we staff somebody that we call a legal liaison here that follows each associations governing documents because as much as we’d like for every association to be standardized, they’re not. Each association gets to determine a little bit about how they want to do it and it makes it very difficult from a management perspective to follow each one of those, to the letter because we have to and so we employ somebody specifically to perform that job responsibility for our associations. It gets complicated. These collection issues with associations are not easy and we really do need professionals in the industry that we can rely on.

James Phifer:                     And one of the questions that I have for you, because right when you started to introduce yourself and tell us about your product, you’re explaining that it’s a zero cost product and I’m wondering if you… if the association is assigning their rights to collect on the delinquency to your firms, so, you’re able to collect anything that’s delinquent and that’s how you’re making money or, how is it that your firm is as funded?

Mitch Drimmer:                Okay, let me… the question is, and whenever I go into a board of directors meeting, the first question is how do you earn your money? How much money did you make?

James Phifer:                     Sure.

Mitch Drimmer:                What are your charge?

James Phifer:                     Sure.

Mitch Drimmer:                Very reasonable question. The second question, and I’ll answer that in a second. The second question and I always get a take on it, is how long is it contract? When can we get rid of you? So, first this is, how much is [crosstalk 00:17:08]-

James Phifer:                     I get the same question all the time? So let’s hear your answer.

Mitch Drimmer:                And how quick can we get rid of you? So here’s my answer. On charges are this, is $200 for a setup, all of our charges are charged to the association, mind you that they are passed through to the delinquent owner. So, if we cannot collect our fees from the delinquent owner, we will waive off what is owned by the association to us.

James Phifer:                     Okay.

Mitch Drimmer:                We cannot charge a delinquent owner directly. Any collection agency that tells you, “I’m charging them directly.” Is acting outside the law, because, the delinquent owner didn’t sign up with my company and then sign my-

James Phifer:                     I’m going to jump in because we have to explain that same thing. The ACCU, we as a management company, our contract is with the corporation, which is the association, not individual member that lives in that association. Now, through our contract we are able to, try and collect from that owner, but we can’t mandate it. So we do have to collect that money from the association, who our contract is with, and then if the owner pays, they get reimbursed. So what you’re saying, for your company is it works the same way, but that if you’re not able to collect from the owner that there is no charge to the community association. Am I understanding that correctly?

Mitch Drimmer:                Exactly.

James Phifer:                     Okay.

Mitch Drimmer:                Now our fee won’t stop at $200 what it is, the $200 is the setup fee, and the setup fee is for doing a whole bunch of underwriting. We do what is known as a skip trace. We look into property appraiser’s site, we do, the court to see if there’s a mortgage. We do a very large algorithm to see if there’s equity in the unit, and then when we get it already, we send out the initial demand letter saying to the owner, you’re delinquent, you owe this, please make a payment, if not, you could call us or you could log in, to our portal. And if they don’t want to speak to somebody, they could actually work out a payment plan online, or make a payment online or resolve it online, or speak to somebody if they want to dispute what they owe. If they believe that they owe, less than what we’re showing them, then we’re sending them a ledger. Because [inaudible 00:19:46].

Mitch Drimmer:                Let’s say you send somebody into collections, my company will take the ledger and maintain the ledger, every month we add the maintenance fees, the late fees, the late interest, the collection costs, and if you have fines and violations of special assessments, we’ll add that on as well. And we do the ledger maintenance. And so, if somebody calls you and says, “What’s going on with my ledger, why are you in collections? Why am I in collections?” You say, “Well, first of all, we tried to contact you, we sent you letters, and it didn’t work out. So we sent you to collections, but, call this number.” So, our customer service representatives are familiar with this type of debt, and we hear very similar stories, very often. New management company came in, I had, automatic withdrawals. All of a sudden, the withdrawals weren’t coming out of my bank. All sorts of stories. And then you hear some heartbreaking stories and, then you hear stories of the people who are just playing, trying to gain the system. And you get a lot of that.

James Phifer:                     I mean, we as the management company, our hands are tied because we are not a fair debt collection company. We cannot get involved after it’s turned over to a collection company. Our hands are off, right? So there’s not a whole lot that we can do. And, the collection companies are really restricted to certain laws within certain States. Do you want to take a moment to kind of address that and how boards should really view these delinquencies when, somebody knows the system well enough to get away with it?

Mitch Drimmer:                Right. Well first of all, we are bound by federal laws, the fair debt collection practices act. You have TCPA, you’ve heard it. Everybody’s heard it, we’re bound by the FCRA, Fair Credit Reporting Act, because one of the things that we do, which lawyers don’t do, is we will report people to credit bureaus and we will have and we will present consequences for nonpayment. And, we’re also, have to be licensed in each and every state that we’re in, and we have to be very careful about how do we speak to people, and even gets even more serious. We have to be more careful on the fonts and the colors we use in our demand letters. We can’t make them look threatening. Now, for people who are going to gain the system. There are those people out there, and, one of their favorite tools is bankruptcy. Okay? Bankruptcy doesn’t last that long. A lot of people think that bankruptcy is a five year process. Bankruptcy shouldn’t be any more than a nine month to a one year process.

James Phifer:                     If you know how to work the system appropriately.

Mitch Drimmer:                Right. I mean, it is a difficult thing but, let’s say you gave me a unit that filed for bankruptcy, or is in bankruptcy. Okay, that’s fine. What I’m going to do is get the ledger, tip the ledger, split the ledger into two. One is, pre-petition, the other one would be post-petition. And then what I’m going to do is once a month on a thing that I have called pacer, that lawyers have and we have in house attorneys here that work for us, it don’t work for you. We will check to see if that bankruptcy has been discharged. And once the bankruptcy is discharged, and we check it out once a month. In Florida, we have what is known as the DDPR, there’s a division for condominiums and homeowners, not homeowners, condominiums, timeshares, and, don’t tell me, mobile homes.

James Phifer:                     Okay.

Mitch Drimmer:                And, well, there’s those who put in complaints. And they’ll say, “The association never had a proper… a properly noticed budget meeting or the association did this wrong or that wrong or procedurally wrong, to the legally appointed board.” What we simply do is we strain them out. We tell them, the association did have and we will go back and check on it, because I’ve been to court, where, an association is trying to foreclose on a unit and, they use that defense that they didn’t properly, have budget meetings or reelections or something like that. And the judge will say, “No, this condominium is not running itself properly. I’m afraid that we’re going to have to give these people, a break and no judgment on behalf of the association.” And what does that do? So now the association has lost money on maintenance fees and you’ve lost money on attorney fees because you’ve lost.

Mitch Drimmer:                I mean, I’ve worked into associations that haven’t had a proper budget meeting in five years. So, people know about these things and if the association isn’t properly run, and I find this, and I know you’re going to be happy, this is going to be music to your ears, but I find this happening in self managed associations, people who wake up one day, get elected to a board of directors and say, “What do I need to fight this for?” Or, “What do I need this fight for? What do I need that?

James Phifer:                     Sure.

Mitch Drimmer:                Only to find out after, that it’s a mess without you. And, that’s how they play the game.

James Phifer:                     There are certain States where it really is the wild West still, there’ll be a motion from the floor to adopt a policy in the community that is blatantly illegal and it will be ratified unanimously, within the association. It’s just crazy. And, what it comes down to is additional education. Something I’m a huge advocate for. And really trying to do with these videos and, your involvement is certainly appreciated. If there is a homeowner who is asked to be a part of their board and they go to YouTube to do some research to find out what it’s like to be a board member, they probably will run the other direction because there’s not enough content out there that helps educate people as to what it really is to be on the board of a homeowner’s association. I think the same thing for managers. It’s just people going with their cell phones and filming absolute nightmare community meetings and it’s the worst of the worst.

James Phifer:                     And that’s not the way it always is. There are some communities that are very well run. We’re advocates for the association. And, most communities pay their fees. I mean, most of these communities, adults live in them. Right? And I think you alluded to it before, the people who don’t pay, there should be a consequence and everyone’s got a sob story and I get it. And some of them when they’re honest, I think the board and the attorneys and the collection agencies really come to the rescue and come up with good payment plans if they’re being honest. But if they’re just trying to come up with a sob story to get out of pain, then that’s not the fault of the association. The other members shouldn’t have to pick up for their slack.

Mitch Drimmer:                One of the downfalls or one of the bank sides of this particular industry, I’m getting off collections a little bit, is that there’s a lack of consistency. New board of directors is elected, and everybody gets fired. So, I’ll walk into a board of directors meeting and I’ll sit down with the new board of directors, and they’re the third board of directors in five years. And they’ve been through four management companies. The record keeping, the records from going from one management company to the other management companies and the other management, they don’t have any records. And in every state, every state of the union. I noticed, because I’m a licensed community association manager and I’m a professional, and as a manager, you must keep the records for a certain amount of years, either five years or seven years, all the records. And I’m talking about even the ballots from the election have to be checked for one year.

Mitch Drimmer:                The ledgers are the ones that suffer the most. I receive ledgers that have balance forward. Now if I have a ledger balance forward, I can’t collect them something that’s balanced forward, it doesn’t show. I know attorney collect on something that was balanced for, although attorneys don’t collect. What an attorney will tell you to do is carve that out and let me foreclose on the money that I can prove, wasn’t paid. Does that make sense to you?

James Phifer:                     It does, and for the people who are watching this video, a balance forward really happens when a community switches from one management company to another, is that correct? And one association will show the balance forward to the other?

Mitch Drimmer:                Yes. But they won’t show… they won’t give a historical ledger.

James Phifer:                     And so that ledger becomes compromised and you can no longer collect on that balance because of improper information. So, what an attorney will do is it’ll take the information that is fair and accurate and try and foreclose on just that information and that becomes sticky and sloppy.

Mitch Drimmer:                Well, it also becomes a loss to the association because, let’s say, they live in what is known as a super lien state, and somebody owes six months and, the bank forecloses, and they’ve written that six months off, well they lose that six months, of maintenance fees.

James Phifer:                     The way that I understand it here in Colorado is that the bank has a priority lien on the unit. So, the association is subordinate to that lien, meaning that they cannot collect above the mortgage holder except for six months. So, upon foreclosure of a unit, the association has a right to six months worth of the current assessment rate.

Mitch Drimmer:                Up to the time that it was foreclosed. And it depends on the state, and Florida, it’s the lesser of 12 months or 1% of the first mortgage, and Colorado, with six months, in New Jersey, it’s six months for every 12 months up to five years.

James Phifer:                     Well, can we have that in Colorado too? Because that would be fantastic. Wow. Is Jersey really that… Wow.

Mitch Drimmer:                Jersey just passed that. Jersey has it on. So they’ve got a, big super lien. Only 27 out of 50 States have some sort of super lien laws so that when the bank forecloses the association, we’ll get something. But it’s usually a fraction of what they’re entitled to get.

James Phifer:                     But let’s just use Colorado as the model because it’s pretty standard, six months worth of assessments. Does Axela take any of that super lien amount or does 100% of that go to the association?

Mitch Drimmer:                100% of the principal goes to the association. If we collect… and again, let me review my fees because I started to before, it’s $200 to say hello, we get set up, and then, it is the equivalent of the late fees and the late interest that you’re allowed to charge in your governing documents. So if you’re allowed to charge, $25 a month or, 18% a year, that equivalent, the late fees and the late interest is what pays us and that’s what they’re for. Late fees and the late interests are for that purpose to cover, delinquencies and to cover the costs of delinquencies. So, that’s what we charge, to the delinquent owner. And again, if we cannot recover it, we don’t expect the association to pay him back. Now, with the bank comes forecloses and takes title, and gives the association six months, that principal belongs to the association. We take a loss.

Mitch Drimmer:                If you have taken that unit and given it to an attorney, and the bank comes and wipes out the first lien, their lien and the associations lien, the bank will of course give you six months, but the attorney will grab that six months and then you’ll solo the attorney more, because you had an attorney working on the case, for what? A year or two years and they will require to be paid, and probably you’ve already paid them as you’ve moved along.

James Phifer:                     Right.

Mitch Drimmer:                And there’s a big loss from the association. It was a race to the court house steps. The banks won. And even had the banks [inaudible 00:33:09] won, let’s say the association was able to foreclose before the banks, and the association had the right idea to rent out the unit to monetize the property. Correct?

James Phifer:                     Right.

Mitch Drimmer:                Well, three months later, the bank’s going to come and foreclose and get a judgment on it and take title. So you just wasted all your money on legal fees. You’ve wasted all your money on rehabilitation of the unit, and marketing the unit. Maybe you’ve never even got, so it doesn’t make any sense for associations, and I keep saying this over and over and over again, unless somebody is stone cold, not going to pay, it makes no sense from the association on foreclose on the unit, you must go through the process and the process is this. Let your management company send those courtesy letters like you do, and by the way, those courtesy letters, and this is for managers. You really should not put them on your own heading, on your own paperwork, put it on the paperwork of the association and sign it for the board of directors because, there’s been some case law where, management companies have to consider a collection agencies because they’re-

James Phifer:                     It’s on their letterhead and so they’re seen as the collection agency?

Mitch Drimmer:                Exactly. They’re not the collection agency. They’re the first credit, creditors.

James Phifer:                     Yes.

Mitch Drimmer:                You’re the first party creditors, so that way they cannot be guilty of any violations of the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, whereas a management company can be.

James Phifer:                     That’s great. That’s wonderful information. Let me ask you a quick question because I’ve had some success with this model in the past and I’m curious if you as a collection company have done this or have thought about it. With some collections here in my market, what we have done is we have gone to the bank and we have gotten the information on their loan and we find that it does state that the lender can pay assessments, so we go to the lender and we explained to them that they should pay now because they’re going to owe six months of assessments anyway. They pay the assessments and tack it onto the back end of the loan for the homeowner. So now they’re dealing with the bank instead us, but now we’ve been paid. Is that a process that you hear about something that you’re interested in doing? Is that even a model that can be done? How does that work?

Mitch Drimmer:                That’s a matter that we automatically do. We do that as a matter of course.

James Phifer:                     Okay, great.

Mitch Drimmer:                We notify and remember I talked about our underwriting. We find out which bank has the mortgage for the association.

James Phifer:                     Okay.

Mitch Drimmer:                And then what we do is by virtue of what is known as a PUD rider, Planned Unit Development rider or a condo rider, we are allowed to advise the bank that holds the mortgage or the servicing company, the mortgage servicer that this guy is late. Banks don’t like it when you don’t pay, an insurance, taxes and maintenance fees. So one of the things that we do, one of the very early things that we do is, we rad them out to the banks and we find out who their banks are and we tell the banks, “Hey, these folks are in paying their maintenance fees.” The banks get very [inaudible 00:36:53], because they don’t want anything complicated in their collateral, and their property. So, the banks will in certain cases pay us, add it onto the mortgage amount.

James Phifer:                     Right.

Mitch Drimmer:                And collect from the delinquent unit owners just as you explained. And that’s by virtue of the rider, called a PUD rider, Planned Unit Development or a condo writer.

James Phifer:                     That’s exactly right. That’s great to know. So being as run as we’re running out of time here, I’d like if you could just give us a quick little elevator pitch on, what your company is and why choose you for the collection of assessments.

Mitch Drimmer:                Okay, very good. What I’m asking people to do, boards and directors and members, and managers is consider a collections process, over a legal process, is what lawyers will do. There will never be a case that a lawyer will walk through that door and come in… That you’ll walk through [inaudible 00:37:56], “I can’t take that case.” There will be a mind, the guy who was $50,000. He’ll never voluntarily pay. Okay? That should go to a lawyer. But there should be a process, a collections process, involved before you go into a legal process to take away somebody’s home. And, it could cost you no money, and it’s at no risk and no danger to the association. It’s a beautiful, brilliant, a way you go about business and we do not bury the owners, in fees they can pay. Our fees are very reasonable, they’re, like I said, $200 plus the late fees and a late interest, something that they’re not unusual with and we do a lot of work. We reach out, we call, we connect, we send letter strings, we speak to them, we report them in credit bureaus. We notice them to the banks and we will also cause an attorney to file a lien.

Mitch Drimmer:                We all like doing legal stuff, but filing the lien is an important thing along the process, but we tell the attorney, “You’re not doing collections here. We’re doing collections here. We’re filing the lien, protecting the interests of the association.” Again, it works and right now we’ve signed up… we usually sign up management companies. We don’t go wholesale, association by association, but if, any individual association wants to, please call and we’ll send you a contract. We, sell our product, our service through management companies such as yourself, whereas, you can absolutely offer third debt collection practices services to community associations. And that’s how we work.

James Phifer:                     I love it. That’s great. I can’t tell how much I appreciate you taking the time to speak with me today and give education to this industry that I think means so much to us both. I really value what we do. I think we bring a lot of value to community associations and boards and I just think we need to do a better job of trying to educate and get ourselves out there. So, appreciate you doing that today. I did receive your marketing information on my desk here in Colorado, so you’re obviously getting some reach all the way from Florida. Good work.

Mitch Drimmer:                Yeah, I’m trying, I’m trying. I’ve got a good marketing team, but you know, I’d like to, tell people that I am involved in Colorado. I know the laws. We have a 95% success rate, and that, to define that means, 95% of the files that are sent to us, we recover 100% of their money and then we have to take it back 5% say, “Look, there’s nothing we can do. Take it to an attorney if you want to or, don’t invite the guy to a Christmas party.” [crosstalk 00:41:09].

James Phifer:                     Write it off at the end of the year.

Mitch Drimmer:                Yeah, that’s it.

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