The team will compile reports containing information gathered from both desk-based research and field visits. Such visits will be able to report on key information from as simple as whether the business is open and still trading to more in-depth information gained from an interview with the borrower.
At this visit the agent can obtain copies of the accounts, details of trading figures and the reasons for the arrears.
Paul Duckworth, director at The Charlbury Group, says: “The importance of local knowledge when deciding what course of action to take with a commercial loan in arrears has never been more important.
“The challenge for lenders without a nationwide network of staff is that when a borrower does not answer phone calls or respond to letters there is little option but to proceed down the repossession route. We’re finding that lenders are struggling to find enough people ‘on the ground’ to make contact with borrowers.
“Our role is to gather as much information on the business as possible and pass this back to the lender. Armed with this information, the lender or loan manager can make an informed decision about how best to proceed and take the most appropriate action.
“Our agents are also tasked with making contact with the borrower and confirming how and when communication between themselves and the lender can be established.”