Monterey Financial Services was founded in 1989 to create full service receivables management tools and financing, tailored to the specific needs of its clients. Below is our recent interview with Chris Ratigan, Sales Executive at Monterey Financial:
Q: Can you tell us something more about your company?
A: We have spent the last 30 years serving a wide range of clientele in a variety of industries, giving us distinctive experience and the ability to provide solutions to unique markets. Our solutions help nurture the entire receivable life cycle from document generation, receivable purchase/funding, loan servicing & payment processing, debt recovery services, and 24/7 access to account reporting. Our services were developed so that our clients could benefit from the upside of having a finance program, while minimizing the backend costs and risks associated with doing so.
Q: That sounds like a unique business model. Can you give us some more insight into those services?
A: Our services are broken down between our Consumer Financing, professional Loan Servicing/Back Up Servicing, and delinquent Debt Recovery Solutions.
Our company is heavily centered around Consumer Financing services, where business’s utilize Monterey to purchase their consumer receivables immediately after origination, or in some cases after accounts have been held and aged by the client. Think of any business that could potentially increase their sales by offering customers the option to finance their product or service. Those selling products and services between a price point of $300-$25k are our typical clients. Jewelry, furniture, electronics, fitness equipment, and medical devices are just a few of our more common industries. But we are also highly present in more service based industries like membership programs, education, vocational schools, and travel related services like vacation club and timeshare sales. We really like to look at just about any opportunity within these price points and can utilize our experience to provide the ability to receive funding for business’s looking to create a finance option, or to complement already existing programs. It’s also fairly common to partner with clients that already have a productive in house finance program and need someone like Monterey to help purchase or service their existing receivables. We have an online approval system that’s available 24/7 and provides instant credit decisions with e-signature capabilities to the consumer to help clients provide a seamless sales process. Over the years we have created a variety of dynamic underwriting options which gives our clients additional flexibility in creating a program that’s specific to their business. Once a contract is approved and executed, Monterey purchases that receivable from the client, and manages all collection efforts in house through the life of the consumer loan.
Q: So you have the ability to look at all sorts of B2C companies looking to partner on a consumer finance program? Why would any of these companies utilize your loan servicing services?
A: That’s a great question. Some businesses prefer to offer financing but don’t necessarily have cash needs for Monterey to purchase their accounts. In these cases we simply manage these receivables to make sure clients get the most out of their financed portfolio. We still help with underwriting, credit reporting, contract generation, booking, portfolio reporting, and handle all servicing efforts to make sure receivable delinquency is minimized and financing compliance is met. This lets businesses step away from the backend functions needed to oversee payment applications and can help their lending partners get comfortable with that piece of the business is being effectively managed. Other companies, a competing finance or fintech firm for example; could already have a servicing partner, and are looking for someone like Monterey to act as a backup or safeguard to that partner. This can be a lending requirement in certain more complex finance relationships and in those cases, Monterey will store consumer account data while updating payment aging data so that we can be ready to step in to take over servicing efforts if any when necessary. Due to our reputation and long history of high level performance, our Servicing division has grown to be every bit as productive as our other two divisions. I think part of what makes us unique is that we have both a consumer finance and debt recovery division to compliment our loan servicing services Purchasing consumer receivables while also being experienced and proficient on the delinquent debt side, helps clarify to our partners that we are highly motivated at maximizing receivable portfolio returns.
Q: So then are your delinquent debt collection clients the same clients that utilize you for one or both of your other two services?
A: Sometimes, but that’s not always the case. Debt recovery clients can be those that utilized Monterey for either of our two previously mentioned programs and prefer to keep accounts placed with Monterey after they are written off due to delinquency. But it many other scenarios, clients will get in touch with Monterey after becoming frustrated with their current finance or loan servicing partner, and then look to Monterey to help recover on those accounts that were not successfully recovered by their previous partner. Our most experienced representative are in our collection agency, with the average having more than 10 years of collection experience. We will utilize out most experiences representatives, continuously evolving collection and compliance practices, along with skip tracing efforts to insure a maximum recovery for our clients. Monterey actually launched operations 30 years ago with our collection division, and our success here is what allowed our other two divisions to thrive. As of today, we have nearly $1B in outstanding accounts placed with our collection agency that recovers nearly $1mm each month for our clients.
Q: What makes you stand out from your competition?
A: That depends a lot on who we are looking at as our competition. That being said; I would say our largest differentiators are our experience, flexibility, and performance. Monterey’s history dates back nearly30 years of providing these three core services to clients in a very wide range of industries, allowing businesses to create programs that other finance firms and banks likely would not support. That experience has also given us the confidence that our services can complement our client’s current finance options’ while remaining consistent to encourage a long term relationship that greatly benefits both us and our clients. This experience has also contributed to our company’s strong reputation for optimizing portfolio performance in all divisions, a key in separating ourselves from any competition. The flexibility of having these three core products under one roof adds tremendous value and support that our clients have come to rely on
Q: What is the biggest challenge you’ve faced in your business and how did you overcome it?
A: As you can imagine, 30 years’ worth of business history has presented a number of unique challenges. In our early years finding the right clients was a major challenge and one we had to overcome in order to survive. Good marketing and sales efforts are obviously important but it can still be challenging to get in front of the right business owners, especially when you have a limited sales force. For that reason, we sought out to develop our “broker” network of business professionals who help refer potential leads back to Monterey. Our brokers are often from a lending, consulting, or investment background but don’t necessarily need to have any experience or particular framework. They simply need to have a basic understanding of Monterey and our services, and from there can make a business introduction to see if any of those services are a fit for their potential client. We have been developing this network for over 25years which now consists of more than 2,000 individuals. We work closely with each of our brokers to help better their understanding of our services as well as where they might find business opportunities. Our brokers can earn ongoing commissions which can last up to several years and many have made this their primary source if not their only source of income. It’s been a game changer for our continued growth with nearly 50% of all business leads coming through our broker network.
Q: What are your plans for the future?
A: The future looks good for Monterey and our clients as we recently expanded capital to $90 million in total capacity, and we continue to focus our efforts on improving all of our consumer finance services from the inside out. In the next few years we hope to find a beneficial acquisition and/or partnership opportunity that would help us enter a new market, or expand our current services to better serve our clients. This is something we executed with a competitor in 2017 which has since brought in over $30mm in receivables to Monterey while allowing us to expand our footprint in a space we weren’t at the time involved in. This is something we will be pursuing again these next few years to help further increase industry market share and product diversity across each of our divisions.Activate Social Media: