Cedar Financial was founded in 1991 with the goal to build an agency focused on international collections
Amir Erez was in law school in California when he realized that becoming a lawyer wasn’t the career path for him. He worked at a small collection agency after earning his undergraduate degree in finance and international business at California State University, Northridge.
That experience opened his eyes to how much help small businesses needed to recoup unpaid debts. He set his sights on founding a collection agency with a focus on international debt collections because of his roots in Israel and experiences traveling the world.
As a member of ACA International, Erez met other professionals in the industry who specialized in international collections. He also traveled to Brazil for an industry conference, and said that experience helped him better understand collections from a global perspective.
While Cedar Financial works accounts for domestic government and healthcare clients, its partnership with TCM Group also allows it to collect on international debts, thanks to TCM Group’s global network of collection agencies.
“The way that we present this differently to the marketplace is the accounts really are worked from the local perspective, not the U.S” Erez said.
There are differences in technology and collection laws in all the countries Cedar Financial has accounts in, making the partnership with TCM Group incredibly valuable.
Erez said there are fewer constraints on collections in countries with developing economies, but there is still a legal system in place and compliance is important around the world. Erez said that the U.S. has stricter laws than many other countries. And while technology may not be as advanced in some areas as it is in developed nations, it is still a consistent presence in collections.
“Technology has a lot to do with our industry, and technology doesn’t have borders” Erez said.
He added that the best way to assess and understand collection practices in each country is to have the correct partners.
Additionally, collectors at Cedar Financial in the U.S. who do not work on international accounts are still trained on some aspects of international collections on an ongoing basis. This includes information on currency exchanges, different laws and cultures of countries where Cedar Financiars partners are located.
“Our business is modeled on both importing and exporting cross-border debt recovery claims” Erez said.
Today, Cedar Financial is focused on expanding into different collection verticals and opportunities. As the agency continues to partner with companies around the world, it remains focused on its employees too.
“We really want to invest in the people we have here because it’s a long-term thing for us” Erez said.