Jan De Meuter, the founder and business manager of Modero Judicial Officers, explains why Modero SOLID is the ideal partner for your cash flow. Modero SOLID sets the tone by linking quality to speed and financial transparency, even before the procedure starts.
SOLID imPROVEMENT OF CASHFLOW without surprises
“This is exactly what companies are looking for”, says Jan De Meuter, founder and business manager of Modero Judicial Officers, and generally recognised within the profession as paving the way to a progressive profession through his use of technological innovation for greater social impact. “Payment arrears are a concern for every company. These days, nearly 3% of Belgian invoices are written off, that’s around 8.8 billion Euros. This is often simply due to the lack of a systematic and structured follow-up of unpaid invoices. Countless debt collection agencies and similar promise the world, but in the end there’s always a hitch. Modero represents a real solution with no surprises, just guarantees.”
Modero is the market leader in the B2C market, and has over 1 million active dossiers. To what does it attribute this success?
Jan De Meuter: “Results don’t just happen. I have continuously striven to innovate, both inside and outside my office, with a clear business-philosophy. No technological gadgets or gimmicks, just technology as a means for continuously improving services: a process-led operating method with attention to the reputation of the creditor, our principal, and the social situation of the debtor, our client. This two-fold attention is in our DNA. The right style of communication at the right time can dictate the success or failure of the project. This requires the right conditions: the extensive expertise of our employees combined with clever IT. The latter was perfected by us, with the necessary ups and downs. Our approach has proved successful due to the development of our own software platform and due to our national network and our centralised/decentralised operating method, which combines the local engagement of the Judicial Officer with centralised data and knowledge. Today, this approach is proving fruitful, not just for Modero, but for the whole profession. Our working model and technical concept have formed the basis for the creation of large-scale projects, such as the automatic and objective distribution of, nowadays, nearly 650,000 Flemish tax dossiers amongst all Judicial Officers, or the creation of the Central Database of Seizure Notices, a central databank which all judicial parties can consult to assess
someone’s financial situation, which represents over 9 million transactions per year. In addition, we have amassed substantial experience in providing tailor-made collection solutions. In this way, we were struck by the great need for an integrated solution for the B2B market, as an alternative to the “heavies” or the debt collection agency. At Modero Solid we provide a sustainable solution to meet that need. Our solution is based on three pillars. The first is the legislative context, namely the new collection procedure in which we were lucky enough to collaborate. The other two principles are our SOLID Score and our financial model.”
A PEARL IN EUROPE
Since July 2016, Belgian Law provides a new administrative procedure, unique in Europe, for collecting unpaid, uncontested invoices for companies in a B2B-relationship much quicker and more cheaply. A new, fully digitalised support procedure was introduced to replace the old, very cumbersome and time-consuming court procedure.
Jan De Meuter: “As Chairman of the Expertise Centre for Judicial Officers, Sam-Tes, I am closely involved in creating this legislation. Furthermore: the concept and the technical flow were devised and developed by our IT partner. This procedure unites all of our IT developments of the last ten years: the working method is fully synchronised, so each act performed by the Judicial Officer at the office, is also logged and stored centrally. The electronic signature of documents also contributes to the performance of this working method. This is a real pearl which is, quite rightly, generating considerable interest in other European countries. In addition, an executory decision to allow this procedure to provide a solution for claims made from Europe to Belgium is awaited.”
Does it annoy you that rolling out this new procedure makes part of Modero’s technology and the work invested in it available for all Judicial Officers to use and exploit?
Jan De Meuter: “No, on the contrary, I regard it as an achievement and a challenge. I have always tried to think outside the limits of my own office. I gain greater satisfaction from my work, by being able to work at a higher level in a more productive profession. It’s a logical consequence that my colleagues make money out of it. But that keeps me on the ball. I consider it a challenge to keep ahead of the others by continually focussing on innovation. It’s still always better to be copied than to have to copy others.”
“This procedure unites all of our IT developments of the last ten years: the working method is fully synchronised, so each act performed by the Judicial Officer at the office, is also logged and stored centrally. The electronic signature of documents also contributes to the performance of this working method. This is a real pearl which is, quite rightly, generating considerable interest in other European countries.”
QUICK ACTION FOR QUICK RESULTS
The new procedure makes it possible to recover uncontested claimable debts without involving the courts. How exactly does the process work?
Jan De Meuter: “When the Judicial Officer serves an order to pay upon the other party, the latter has one month’s time to settle, pay by payment scheme, or contest the claim. If none of these happens, after one month and eight days the Judicial Officer draws up an official report of uncontested claim that is submitted digitally to a magistrate who performs the formal inspection and signs it electronically. Once this step has been taken, the Judicial Officer receives back a ‘push message’ containing a title, which he can then enforce. So, you get quick results, and in addition, Modero guarantees a high-quality approach, and most important of all: the guarantee of no-unforeseen costs. This is backed-up by our SOLID Score, the second cornerstone of Modero Solid, which carefully assesses the financial strength of the debtor. The many years we have dedicated to the importance of this solvency screening, also in the B2C market, mean we can really rely on it. The SOLID Score acts as an automatic barrier and sign-post at the start, and also during the course of the procedure. It immediately flags up uncollectible dossiers so that our client has clear insight into the costs he can write-off in his portfolio, beforehand. And conversely, the SOLID Score can signal where it is not necessary to grant a request for a payment plan, because payment in full must be possible.”
You KNOW WHAT YOU PAY
Obtaining a title is also cheaper under the new administrative procedure: on average four times cheaper than in the traditional legal procedure. These costs are usually paid by the debtor. And a smaller sum gets paid quicker: so everybody wins. Could it be even cheaper?
Jan De Meuter: “Completely free of charge is not possible. Anyone who claims otherwise should not be trusted. After all, we Judicial Officers are bound by legally-imposed tariffs. Although the risk of a debtor being unable to pay once the procedure has started is low, due to our SOLID Score, we wish to provide our client with certainty from the start, not just regarding what he will pay, but also regarding when he will be paid. For this purpose, we have found a dependable financial partner, with whom we are currently applying the finishing touches to a financial model, the third pillar of our solution, to enable us to provide 100% transparency in advance. That’s why Modero Solid is the ideal party for guaranteeing company cash flow: predictability combined with quality.