Ann Arbor debt collection software company sees growth, expands into rental market

By: Latoya Irby



->HealPay Employees<-

HealPay, an Ann Arbor-based technology company, has grown since its May 2010 launch and co-founder Erick Bzovi said he hopes to continue the upward trajectory as he rolls out some new software.

HealPay, 106 E. Liberty, Suite 302, has continued to expand the development and sales of its software for the debt collection industry and large companies with delinquent accounts. HealPay’s Settlement app software allows people to pay off debts through collection agencies online.

In 2011, the company had close to 500,000 debtors signed up through its software. It now has more than 750,000 active accounts and Bzovi expects that number to continue to grow.

“We’ve definitely grown,” Bzovi said. “I think we had a good year. It’s been a consistent upward growth and it’s been managed growth. Hopefully we can hire more people.”

HealPay also has secured more companies that use the settlement app, including the Ann Arbor Credit Bureau.

Ann Arbor Credit Bureau vice president Thomas Oldani said he tries to focus his collectors on their mission of helping people with debt resolve their obligations.

Bureau CEO Thomas Oldani said Bzovi approached him a while ago, but the initial app didn’t work for his company because of some logistical issues.

“Their product has changed a little bit and turned into a product gateway,” Oldani said. “It didn’t take very long for us to see that what they created was more in tune with what we were looking for. Every time I talked to the larger players, there were siginificant startup costs and we just couldn’t see the return on the investment.”

AnnArbor.com reported in December that Association of Credit and Collection Professionals data show debt turned over to third party collection agencies was only collected at a rate of 17 cents on the dollar until the economic recession began in 2008.

When the recession began, the collection rate dipped to under 10 cents for every dollar of debt passed onto the agencies.

However, Oldani said when the app launched, he saw a “significant increase” in payments.

“It continues to grow and we’re really impressed by it,” he said. “They gave us an online option that we didn’t previously have in place. When the economy turned south in 2008, one of our focuses was to do business with people that are in this state.”

Bzovi said the bureau was the company’s first local client.

“You need to start in your backyard,” he said. “Ann Arbor created this center point for us to expand.”

Next, Bzovi said he plans to target local hospitals, medical billing sites and the west side of the state.

Although the company has found success with its collection software, Bzovi said he and co-founder Lancelot Carlson, decided to create an app for a different industry.

“We just signed up another collection attorney in Cincinnati and we’re continuing to grow that outside of Michigan,” Bzovi said. “The settlement app is still our flagship, but we didn’t want to just be collections. We’ve kind of opened ourselves up.”

Bzovi has launched another app, the Rent Roll , that allows landlords to collect rent online, which Bzovi said is something many don’t offer.

“We’ve actually been successful selling that,” he said.

Bzovi said he recently launched the app with a company that owns 300 property units in Sterling Heights. Bzovi said his real goal is to get into the Ann Arbor market.

“What we see is there are so many businesses collecting checks and checks are dying,” he said. “There’s a huge movement to digitize money and until we can remove checks completely, they’re inefficient and with technology, it’s quicker.”

The business has four full-time employees and as it continues to expand, Bzovi said he’ll consider hiring more. With two universities in Washtenaw County, he said the talent opportunities abound and he believes Ann Arbor is a prime spot to attract tech talent.

“There’s more exploration and more creative thought here,” Bzovi said. “It felt like a tech hub versus Detroit. The tech field is definitely here.”

Source – http://www.annarbor.com/business-review/ann-arbor-debt-collection-software-company-sees-growth-breaks-into-rental-market/