American businesses lose hundreds of millions of dollars every year-often without noticing. Some of the largest hotels, hospitals and other national chains affected by mergers, acquisitions, staff changes and simply the passing of time are often in the dark when it comes to invoices, uncashed checks and unreimbursed services from previous months, years and even decades.
Asset recovery specialists, Martin and Joel Rothman of Universal Property Recovery Specialists (UPRS Group), work with corporations to get them the money they have lost to the years. “The problem is simple enough,” according to Martin Rothman, Partner and CFO of UPRS. “Money can be lost in the corporate chain in many ways. A company sent an invoice and received a check, but the check didn’t get deposited. Or a vendor sent payment but, for some reason, the payment doesn’t get to the business. Then someone in accounting changes jobs and someone else takes over. The disconnect means the payment never materializes.”
The Rothman’s business-like explanations of asset recovery bely a tenaciousness and depth of knowledge few in the industry possess. Dormant property and other assets are often buried in layers of databases and documents. The recovery process has a big learning curve and the Rothmans have put in the time. “It has taken us years to learn how to find this money. Through trial and error, Joel and I have learned what rocks to look under and what rabbit trails to avoid. When we call you, rest assured we have identified significant assets that belong to you,” Martin said.
If long-forgotten assets exist, the Rothmans will eventually find it.
The challenge of asset recovery gets complicated for the average person when parent companies that undergo mergers and acquisitions take over the books of ten or twenty other companies and the accounting gets muddled. Abandoned assets affect both profit and non-profit businesses, individuals and companies. Billions of dollars of inheritance funds, forgotten savings and checking accounts,unknown stocks and securities that were part of stock splits or spinoffs,and credit balances are sitting untouched. On a corporate scale the numbers are even larger. Assets can be transferred from one agency to another agency and only expert sleuths can follow the money trail.
And companies rarely expend the energy to track down dated assets. Voluminous public records make searches timely and expensive. A misspelled name or letter leaves an asset hidden. The work of recovery is often left to licensed investigators like UPRS Group who know how to peel layer through layer to see if legitimate claims even exist.
The Rothmans have a secret formula and the golden touch when it comes to asset recovery for some of the most prestigious universities, REITS, hotels and other industries.
According to Rothman, whose company has recovered over $130 million: “We locate funds and get them back. We work with dozens of the largest companies in the US and are A + rated with the BBB. Here is the best part: Companies have nothing to lose with us. We don’t collect anything, a company owes us nothing.”
He continues, “When we submit a claim, it is ready to be paid out. When we call a company, we have done our due diligence.
In 2016, through Escheatment laws and statutes, U.S. agencies collected $7.8 billion, but returned only $3.2 billion to the rightful owners. Rothman estimates there is close to $100 billion that these US agencies are still holding while waiting for a claim to be made for these buried assets.
Rothman reiterates the opportunities: “We have worked with hundreds of organizations that will vouch for our services and reputation. Part of serving various industries, like hotel chains, is to make sure the recovery process is an ongoing education lesson as well for the CFOs that we interact with. Having them understand why these assets got lost in the first place, will mean less recovery issues going forward.