Eleven years ago Jodi Gaines, CEO of Claims Recovery Financial Services (CRFS), gambled on the launch of her own claims processing firm to help lenders and servicers manage every type of claim imaginable after a foreclosure is complete.
"We were not known," Gaines remembers when looking back at her firm's launch. "There were not a lot of claims vendors, and for those that were (in existence), there were no great success stories."
Gaines remained committed to her idea after spending an entire career in the claims business. She realized early on that servicers and lenders are better off leaning on an outside vendor who can handle claims when a loan is liquidated or pushed through foreclosure.
It seems Gaines gamble has paid off in spades.
CRFS is growing, with plans to hire more staff. The firm is in the process of moving its entire operation to a larger facility – the JPMorgan Chase complex in Albion, N.Y.
By March, all of the company’s employees will have moved into the 60,000-square foot facility.
Right now, plans are underway to hire another 150 employees. The company is currently scoping the industry for talent after recently hiring 55 former JPMorgan Chase employees, all of whom were laid off when a local JPM call center closed.
All of this is not bad for a company that launched from Gaines kitchen table, with only one employee and one client.
Gaines credits the company’s focus on claims processing quality – and saving clients money – as the two drivers of CRFS’ success. At a time when vendors are being shut out and subjected to regulatory scrutiny, Gaines feels she’s laid the groundwork to provide a service that lenders and servicers need in these changing times.
"I think we gain additional business through our existing clients," she told HousingWire. “We are at the end of the line, we see everything. We can tell you to the penny where you are losing money.”
The firm doesn’t just handle loss-mitigation claims, it processes everything from foreclosure claims to single-family loan sale claims and any other claim request imaginable.
CRFS is now the largest private employer in Orleans County, New York, and recently received an $872,500 incentive package from the Empire State Development program in New York to assist with job growth and retention. The Orleans Economic Development Agency also gave CRFS a sales tax abatement on equipment purchases.
Looking back to the firm’s founding, Gaines says it was a long climb to this point, but the company is now braced to benefit from the industry's current focus on quality and precision.
"We knew we had to come in and make a difference," she said. "To be successful in today’s industry, you have to have a lot of control and discipline."