There are limited statistics relating to the factoring industry and the numbers of transactions being done. That being said, some of the largest companies are public and/or securitize so we can extrapolate from that information that roughly 1,000 cases per month are being factored. If you are only receiving an inquiry or two from past clients a year, how can this be?
A part of the reason is “scraping,” which is an industry term that refers to searching court records for annuitants. With every factoring transaction, there is a corresponding court record in the public domain that has all the particulars of the case. The factoring companies then use sophisticated search engine tools to find these cases and locate the annuitant. They then bombard them with solicitations to sell any remaining payments. We’re not talking about junk mail like you get from mortgage companies promising to lower your payments, but incessant phone calls and even cases of sales associates arriving at the annuitant’s doorstep with contracts in hand. To come out on top in this game you have to be aggressive and persistent. Each new case is like a gazelle carcass on the Serengeti with hyenas circling. The aggressive eat while the timid go hungry.
We’ve always encouraged our clients to add their phone numbers to the Federal “Do Not Call” registry but recently discovered from a competitor that the list is ignored by scrapers. I was told that annuitants are harassed so frequently that they do not write down who is calling and from where so they will never be able to recognize repeat offenders. Additionally, most of these repetitive callers have several different company names that they use. These companies, some who exclusively scrape, all attend NASP meetings and, in fact, some of the worst offenders are longtime members of NASP and are serving or have served as president.
At Bentzen Financial, we do not scrape court records, nor do we actively solicit past clients into repeat transactions. To the contrary, we always warn clients that these hyenas will be calling and give them suggestions on ways to make them stop.