Ayla Gokturk is the Regional Credit and Collections Manager for the west coast division of Waste Collections – the third-largest garbage hauler in the United States. As the regional credit manager, Ayla is responsible for all of the accounts receivable across ten states as well as credit policies and security around payments.
One of the biggest challenges of her role is keeping track of the different regulations and laws around construction payments that exist in the ten different states. “I’m keeping track of important dates, monitoring job sites, and making sure we never miss an opportunity to protect ourselves,” says Ayla.
While sending a notice is usually an essential part of protecting your right to file a lien in the case of nonpayment, often, contractors feel that they’re going to create tension or cause problems by sending one.
However, for Ayla and others like her, protecting the business against bad debt and getting paid is what’s most important. With this mindset, sending a notice is just a best practice process for conducting business in the construction industry. Here’s why Ayla believes in protecting lien rights on every job and how she uses Levelset to do so.
Why protect lien rights?
Ayla sends notices on almost all of their construction projects because she believes that it’s a small price to pay for a large amount of security.
“Occasionally you have a contractor who is upset that you sent them a notice. I always tell folks, the only reason a contractor should be upset that you sent a notice is because they didn’t intend to pay you in the first place,” Ayla explains.
In one instance, Ayla started sending lien notices to a customer that would consistently pay within 60-90 days. At first, the customer was frustrated, but Ayla knew she made the right decision because she was tired of waiting on this customer to pay at their convenience.
“It didn’t matter what we did,” says Ayla. “If we weren’t stopping their trucks at our gate, they weren’t going to pay us until they got paid. And we do not have pay when paid terms. So, we started sending them notices on all of their projects, because all of their projects are large for our standards.”
“We simply told them, ‘This is a new process for us, and we’re going to do this for all of our contractors for a certain dollar amount.’ They were pretty ticked off. However, they are a customer who now pays us on time because they know if they don’t pay us, we have the security behind each one of their projects.”
By sending a lien notice on these jobs, Ayla is both protecting Waste Connections from slow payment and showing their customers that they mean business when it comes to getting paid. To ensure that these notices are sent with the right information and at the right time, Ayla uses Levelset’s lien rights management solution.
How Levelset simplifies the lien rights process
Before using Levelset to manage lien notices and other lien rights paperwork, Ayla and her team worked with a local notice service. At a basic level, this service allowed them to create and send notices, but they weren’t able to do much more than that.
“It wasn’t easy for us to see if a lien notice went out, or if it was delivered. Also, this company didn’t help with tracking when these notices were due. It was really easy for us to miss a deadline. And if you miss a deadline, you’ve missed the opportunity to secure that lien and get paid on your job,” says Ayla.
By switching over to Levelset, Ayla has been able to easily track notice deadlines, see the status of all payment documents, and protect double the amount of projects in a fraction of the time.
“I have been in the credit collections business for close to 30 years, and as it pertains to secondary security, I haven’t found a solution that works better than Levelset. The customer support is always spot on, and the research is great. It just makes my life easier, it makes me look good to my bosses, and it definitely helps me cut down on our bad debt,” Ayla says.
Ayla has especially benefited from Levelset’s project research – Scout Research. With this Scout Research, a team of in-house researchers at Levelset use exclusive construction job databases to find job details and property stakeholder information. They’ll also make calls if needed to track down hard-to-find information, or get creative with searching through property records and web mapping platforms.
“Scout Research has saved us a ton of time. Frequently when we’re sending a roll-off box to a subcontractor, we don’t get the owner information,” Ayla explains. “But with Levelset, we can just say that we don’t have owner information and let you guys take that and run with it. It gives us confidence to know that the best research has been done on your end to make sure that we’re getting the notices to the owner properly.”
Another piece of Levelset’s toolbox that has been helpful for Ayla and her team is the Legal Expert Center where Ayla can quickly ask questions about laws in a particular state.
“I submitted a question to the Expert Center, and it was good advice. I was fact checking something that I believed I understood correctly but wasn’t sure. I was able to shoot that question off to somebody and get an answer back quickly. It gave me a level of confidence that allowed me to go back to my end user and give her the advice she needed to talk intelligently to the customer who hadn’t paid us – and we did get paid!” says Ayla.
For Waste Connections, Levelset has become a key piece of securing receivables and working with customers to get paid quickly and easily.
And they aren’t the only contractors who use Levelset in this way. Schedule a call with our team to learn more about how protecting your lien rights on every job can lower your risk and how Levelset makes the process easy.
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