Local Authorities • Merchant Software Limited

The Corporate Arrears Recovery System (C.A.R.S.) provides Local Authorities with the ability to manage citizen debt on a corporate level, consolidating historic and in year liabilities across all debt types.

CARS matches cases from Council Tax, Rents, Non Domestic Rates, Sundry Debts, Residual Community Charge and Housing Benefit Overpayments systems, regardless of the back office system versions used.

A host of enhanced recovery tools significantly increase collection rate, reduce the (recovery) resources required through process automation, and improve the customer experience by simplifying repayment arrangements and reducing avoidable contact.

The system is simple to use and revolutionises the way in which Local Authority recovery teams can be organised, and caseloads managed.

Welcome to Joined Up Thinking.

Key Features and Benefits include:

Unique Corporate Approach

Focused on Case Management the Corporate Module is compliant with the Citizen’s Account Initiative.  It enables all related accounts to be linked together to create a true Citizens Account which can be used to manage payments and recovery.

Annual Statements

Consolidation of account details from all back office systems enables Annual Statements to be issued giving Citizens a summary of their outstanding balances.

Integrated Back Office Links

Integration Adaptors for retrieveing all relevant information from a range of local authority systems have already been developed and are provided as part of the CARS implementation.

Joined Up Organisations

CARS enables a single point of contact for arrears management to be provided.  This approach can significantly reduce the number of Citizen contacts and avoid duplication of recovery effort across all departments involved. Extending CARS access throughout an organisation overcomes the ‘Silos’ of information and activity enabling a collaborative approach to be established.

Improved Customer Experience

Case consolidation significantly reduces the number of cases to be managed and improves the customer experience by enabling their total indebtdness to be handled on first contact and thereafter.

Arrangement Negotiation and Monitoring

Voluntary customer arrangements can be negotiated, rcorded and monitored automatically on a daily basis.  This allows default arrangements to be promptly identified and managed, overcoming the time delay and resource issues traditionally required for more manual approaches.

Caseload Management

Management decisions on strategy, resources and funding require an accurate understanding of the caseload. CARS’ case management approach provides the information and business intelligence required to make those decisions with confidence, without interrogating each individual source system.

Appropriate Recovery Approach

The circumstances of each arrears case can range from payment avoidance to genuine financial hardship and it is vital that the most appropriate recovery approach for each is applied.  Cases are assigned to Recovery Profiles within CARS that reflect their circumstances and ensure that the most appropriate recovery approach is taken.  An integrated Income / Expenditure assesment process allows debtors financial circumstances to be assessed and used as the basis of any arrangement.

Automated Arrears Direct

The Arrears Direct module automatically identifies eligible cases where Arrears Direct is not in payment and maximises the level of payments received.  Recovery activity on cases where Arrears Direct is received can be suspended.  This feature has delivered increases of up to 200% in the revenue collected by this means.

Benefit and Money Advice Inclusion

Ensuring that Citizens are provided the appropriate advice for both Benefit Entitlement and also Money Advice is essential in reducing levels of debt.  CARS enables Benefits and Money Advice departments and agencies to become involved and have cases referred directly to them.

Partner Referrals

Closer co-operation between organisations and their external agents is enabled by the option within CARS for third parties to have access to cases that have been referred for their attention. This can be external recovery agents, advice agencies, bailiffs or sheriff officers. Cases passed to external agencies for legal action and recovery can be monitored by CARS in respect of recovery achieved allowing the effectiveness of external agencies to be guaged independently.

For more information, please download the brochure, contact our sales team on 0141 353 5074 or Contact Us.

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