Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Paying off existing advances

One thing you will see very quickly once you begin selling merchant cash advance products is that you will come across merchants that are already in an existing merchant funding program. Similar to other financial products such as credit cards, mortgages, etc. there exists a large refinance model in the merchant funding industry.

What I mean by this is a merchant cash advance provider will provide a merchant who already has an advance with another provider the funds to pay off their existing advance and potentially have excess funds after paying off their balance. As someone who is selling this product you want to make sure that the merchant cash advance provider who is going to refinance the merchant, will pay the balance on the advance to their "last provider" directly and not to the merchant with the hope that they will pay the provider. The reason being is the merchant may not pay off their old advance and hence violate their contract by having two advances at once. In addition, you as the sales rep can potentially be liabile for something called "torturous interference" meaning that you knowingly helped the merchant violate its agreement with their original merchant cash provider.

The best way to avoid any trouble for the merchant, a sales rep or the new merchant cash advance provider is to ask a merchant if they are currently in a working capital program that requires them to either use a specific credit card processor exclusively or pay off their existing balance should they utilize another type of financing product after they got their initial merchant funding. (In almost all cases, the answer is yes). A responsible way to handle this is to ask the merchant for their current merchant cash advance statement which will show their balance and provide it to the new merchant cash advance provider that will be refinancing them. The new merchant cash advance provider should pay off the old provider directly and everyone will be happy and performing "best practices."

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