Wednesday, 20 March 2019 20:10

Body Shop Owners Can Sell Their Short Pays to StopShortPays.com

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The difficulty of obtaining full payment for a repair when a collision repair shop’s invoice differs from the insurer’s estimate is a common complaint among shop owners.


Texas-based attorney Leroy Scott noticed the prevalence of this concern among the shops he represents. Deciding to do something about it, he established StopShortPays.com.


Scott shared, “At my law firm, I kept running into these situations where it seemed like insurance companies were underpaying shops, and when I reached out to some shops I represent, I realized it’s a huge problem. Then I had to figure out which angle to approach it from, and that’s when I started StopShortPays.com in earnest in October 2018.”


Scott recognized that many shops were accepting the payment dictated by the insurer’s estimate and were not pursuing short pays for the full rate of their work because the legal process was so difficult and time-consuming, especially for those who are unfamiliar with the system. By educating himself on the collision repair industry, Scott has been able to recover short pays for the shops. However, he recently came up with a new solution for shops that don’t want to wait months or even years to collect on short pays.


Through StopShortPays.com, Scott purchases the right to collect on an insurer’s short pay from the shop. Because Scott pays the shop upfront, the process is quick and easy for the shops, eliminating the need to pursue lawsuits.


According to Scott, “Once I purchase the right to collect on a shop’s short pay, it becomes my problem. If the insurance company doesn’t settle, I file a lawsuit, which may take a long time to pursue, but I’m used to it.”


Scott will purchase short pays up to two years old. Although he’s based in Texas, he has worked with shops in Colorado and New Jersey and said he’s willing and able to buy short pays from shops anywhere in the country.


Of course, shops who sell the right to collect on short pays receive only a percentage of the original short pay amount, up to 60 percent, and this percentage varies based on the strength of the shop’s documentation.


Scott explained, “Some short pays are easier to collect on than others. We need to see an invoice showing what work the shop performed, how much was charged, the amount paid and the outstanding balance. A lot of shops change their invoices to match the insurer’s estimates, making it difficult to pursue the short pay in court because it appears as though the shop was paid in full.


“Some shops’ documentation states they ‘agree to repair per the insurer estimate,’ and I don’t like those because it sounds like they’re agreeing to accept what the insurer wants to pay. Other shops make it clear that they have established prices and will accept payment from the insurer but the customer is responsible for the balance. These are much easier to pursue and receive payment on.”


If a shop’s documentation isn’t strong enough to hold up in court, Scott may offer a smaller percentage of the short pay amount, or he may provide coaching on how to organize their documentation in the future.


Scott offered advice to shops on ensuring their documentation is as strong as possible.


“The customer should sign an authorization that the shop performing the repairs will bill the insurance company but is not waiving their right to collect payment in full,” he said. “The authorization should make it clear that the shop expects to receive the complete amount they invoice. Pre- and post-scanning documentation is helpful for proving what repairs were completed, but the invoice is the most important part and must clearly indicate what work was completed, the charges presented, the amount paid by the insurer, and the balance due.”


The goal of StopShortPays.com is to help shops recover short pay losses without engaging in complicated, time-consuming legal processes.


According to Scott, “Our process gives shops access to capital they didn’t think they had without the hassle of pursuing litigation themselves.”


For more information, visit StopShortPays.com.