Axial NA — On The Inactive Client Pile.

Most of my time as a new business startup has been spent maintaining and leveraging that initial hunger to do something of significance. I formed my contractor firm shortly after being let go from a mediocre job where I had felt a false sense of comfort, despite the fact that I wasn’t happy. Turns out being fired was the most pivotal and inspiring thing that happened to me that year. I knew then what it was like to be hungry and start from scratch.

In the time I have spent developing Integrity REO Solutions as a name that can be trusted in the industry, I have unwisely allowed our company to experience hunger from the hand of the few now inactive clients who withheld payments from us for whatever reason they failed to communicate to us. Hunger that is self-provoked, self-maintained helps one to develop a healthy focus on what really matters. Hunger that comes from withheld payments is wrong.

I have a reason to speak strongly against those for whom we have given a significant amount of time, energy, financing, and scheduling to help succeed only to be met with an empty hand. If it were a matter of losing some pocket money that we had set aside for the sake of gambling that would be one thing — we could blame no one but ourselves. But our families are at stake, both mine and my contractors families. I started this firm with nothing in my pocket but a business card from the unemployment office, and nothing in my checking account or savings to speak of. All I had was my wife and three toddlers, and a small house on the outskirts of Dallas that we had been renting for the past 2 years.

I have recently moved Axial NA, from Fort Worth, TX to our inactive client pile. It’s not easy to do this because you try to hold on to a source of income as long as you can, even if it proves to be a bad fit. People will do anything — work in a job they hate, under a boss they hate, in an industry they hate for the sake of bringing home a steady income. As a company, Integrity makes it a policy to hold on to a client long enough to get that deep sense that it just wasn’t a fit. Initially, I struggle with thoughts of it being my problem (I’m just not trying hard enough…I haven’t given them the benefit of the doubt…I’m being too hard on them). Admittedly, at times I hold on too long and suffer the consequences.

My experience with Axial NA was just like this. Initially, I asked all the pertinent questions up front — When do we get paid? This was really the only question, but perhaps I asked it in different forms to sounds like more than one question. The president of the company told me he paid people every week. I had rarely seen this type of turnaround time for invoices, so I decided not to take this offer too seriously. I went for about a month providing a host of subcontract type services from lawn care to cleanouts on vacant properties the banks were getting ready to list. Then, I thought, “A month has already gone by, ask for payment.”

When the first payment came, it was over 750.00 short and the statement that was attached to the check didn’t even detail all of the assignments we had completed during that period. I pointed this out to the business owner in a firm email and thankfully he apologized for the error and sent a new check in the mail for the exact amount I said we had been underpaid.

The process we had to undergo for receiving every check after this was exhausting. I would submit invoices to Axial, and then get a response that they would look over them. A week later, they still hadn’t been reviewed. It would be argued that we had already been paid for many of the projects I had invoiced for. I had to show documentation from my records to prove we had in fact not been paid yet. A check was sent in the mail for the exact amount I invoiced for. And, none of these checks had a statement attached to show which orders I had been paid for. Only a blank statement attached with “Axial NA” written in pen. It’s a good thing we keep good invoicing records on our end. If this had not been the case, I am certain we would have received much less on payments than we had actually earned as was the case with the very first check we received.

I have spoken with Axial’s owner several times over the phone, and he seemed very easy to talk to. But recently, he has become very difficult to reach over the phone. Through email. Through text. So, I sent a business partner to his workplace to personally deliver the stack of invoices totaling over 6000.00 that are now due. After being handed the invoices and asked to remit payment, he responded that he had already paid. He even pretended not to know our company name, though we had worked with him for three months accumulating at least 20,000.00 of revenue from his assigned work orders. He told my associate that he would in fact look through the invoices and get back to him and never did we hear another word from him.

Both before this visit and after, I have made respectful attempts that could not have been mistaken for pressure to simply speak with Tyler McGuire. His inability to respond feeds the assumption that I will have to withhold 6000.00 from both my contractors and my family. And, to be honest, I should not have to put up with this as an educated, honest, hard-working professional.

My company has a strong vision, and it would take a lot more than a nonpayment to make us close shop. But, I make it my mission to put every company like Axial NA out of business for the sake of saving the REO industry. There are too many hard-working contractors out there getting used and then not paid for their services. I don’t want to compete with anyone. It is not my desire to be “better” than another company. But, I would cherish the thought of clearing the path of all companies that are poorly managed on the payroll end.

If, on the other hand, Mr McGuire would reach out to me today and give me a reason why he is holding my payments (even “my children need this money for Christmas” is better than silence), then I would erase these words and forget this event. I invite him to contact me personally as I will make it my highest priority to make him feel respected. I will not offer an argument or even ask why he has not responded. I will simply thank him for just compensation.

I hope he will call me today.


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