HERNDON, Va. (9/28/09)--Northwest FCU has revised its late loan collection payment strategy, with marked success. The credit union, using Digital Mailer’s Automatic Relationship builder, sent out 673 e-mails the week of Aug. 20 to members delinquent on loan payments. About 63% responded and provided payments. “I think that’s pretty good,” said Cindy Cherry, Northwest FCU collections manager. “It’s definitely improved the success of our collection efforts.” DigitalMailer’s e-mail program targets delinquent members with customized e-mail messages. Traditionally, credit unions send notices after 15 days, but Northwest is sending the messages after five days. Automatic Relationship Builder synchronizes the reports with DigitalMailer’s e-mail engine, filling in variable fields. It also collects delivery and open-rate data and input the data into the credit union’s collection software. Credit unions, by using the resources they already have--such as members’ e-mail addresses--can find cost-efficient methods to improve their collections, said Ron Daly, DigitalMailer president/CEO. “There’s no doubt today’s economy is challenging credit unions as they collect loan payments,” he added. A Federal Reserve statistical release from second quarter 2009 indicates that charge-off and delinquency rates at commercial institutions have increased. The statistics indicate:
* Residential real estate loans grew to 8.84%; * Credit cards grew to 6.70%; and * Other consumer loans grew to 3.73%.
“As more credit unions face growing member delinquencies, more are looking for new strategies in the collections area,” Daly added. Based in Herndon, Va., Northwest FCU has $1.7 billion in assets.