Summary: This article is intended to provide an overview of the Collections process in Vantaca, which is driven by the Collections action item(s), with association-specific settings established on the Association -> Settings page.
In talking about "Collections" in Vantaca, it is first important to define what we mean by "Collections." "Collections" is the term we at Vantaca use to describe the process of notifying owner's of delinquency, which includes everything from sending that Friendly Reminder Notice all the way through the HOA Foreclosure process. We use the Collections action item to build out each step of your collections process so that you can define the rules by which accounts advance through the process. This means that your Collections action items can be configured to automatically generate collection letters, send templated emails, turn over accounts to collections attorneys, and more!
*Please note that our late fee process and collection process run independently in Vantaca. Delinquent Fees and Interest Rules are established on the Association -> Assessments page.
This means that the rules used to define how late fees are applied are completely independent from the rules by which Collections activity is created and advanced through the process.
Collection settings are found under Association -> Settings in the Collections section.
Active: In this section, collections can be turned on or off (ie on hold). If you select the Model association, you can turn collections on or off for all associations that are following the Model association settings. This allows you to define default settings that most associations will follow, therefore any changes made to the Model association will also be made to all of those associations following that Model.
Collection Model is where you choose which Collections action item you are utilizing for an association. This allows us to make separate collections action items for different collection processes. For example, if the majority of associations send a late notice, then a warning and then an intent to lien but another association sends one late notice and then sends an intent to lien, we would utilize a ‘Collections (3 letters)’ and a ‘Collection (2 letter)’ action item to accommodate for the different processes. The setting would determine which ‘model’ or action item type to use.
Processing Days is where we define which days of the week that we want the Collections Process to run. On each morning that the Collections process is active, immediately after late fees and interest have posted, Vantaca will begin scanning each owner's account to identify any accounts that either:
- Meet the criteria to have a new Collections action item created
- Already have an open Collections action item and meet the criteria to advance to the next step of the process
The criteria we use to define when a new Collections action item is created are the Minimum Threshold and Age of Balance (Days) settings.
The Collections action item is created in the first step of the action item, so if you send a last zero balance statement and a first notice letter on the first step, such as "Late Notice", that will automatically kick off the communication as configured on the "Late Notice" step of the Collection action item.
Once a Collections action item has been created on an account, the rules of the step of the Collections action item dictates how the Collections action item advances from there. Below is a screenshot example of a common rule setup for the first step of the Collections action item. (Rules of a specific action item step can be found on the Settings -> Action Types/ Steps page.)
In the "# of Days to Remain at this Step" field, we define the number of days that the action item (or in this example, the First Notice) will remain in the First Notice Step before making a decision as to how to advance. This decision criteria is defined in the "Decision Required?" field. This is where we can define a Balance Threshold, management company decision, or require no decision before advancing.
- If Balance > Threshold or Balance > Lien Threshold are selected, the action item will look to the Balance Threshold or Lien Threshold (depending on the setting used) to calculate the amount of the Threshold.
- If the balance on the account exceeds this threshold, the action item will automatically advance to the lowest numbered step defined in the "Next Step if Yes" field.
- If the balance on the account is less than the defined threshold, then the account will advance to the lowest numbered step defined in the "Next Step if No" field.
First notice step for a customizable number of days, it will automatically advance to the next step if the owners balance is greater than the ‘Balance Threshold’.
Then once the collection action item has remained in the first notice step for a customizable number of days it will automatically advance to the next step if the owners balance is greater than the ‘Lien Threshold’. Some companies do not utilize this setting depending on how many letters/notices are sent to the owner before reviewing the account.
Most companies’ collections policies then go to an account review step for a team member to decide whether to send to an attorney or make another decision. Please note that the collection action item will automatically close once the owner balance falls below the minimum balance setup on the Association -> Settings page.
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