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Learn About Notice of Assignment for Invoice Factoring

July 14, 2022
Phil Cohen
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In a factoring relationship, you agree to assign your selected receivables to the factoring company. By advancing your cash against your invoices, the factor has purchased the right to collect amounts due from your customers. The Notice of Assignment is a critical part of your factoring paperwork as it reflects the change in invoice ownership.

What is a Notice of Assignment?

The Notice of Assignment is a simple letter the factoring company sends to your customers whose invoices you are factoring. In writing, the notice informs your customers that the accounts receivable is assigned, and future payments should be made payable to the factoring company. The notice will also include a remittance address so your customer can change their payment information.

The Notice of Assignment legally explains to your customers that any payments they make to you instead of the factor will not satisfy their obligation. The factoring company may hold your customers liable for misdirected amounts. This may occur if your customers choose to ignore the notice or fail to update payment information.

Many factors will require your customers to sign and return a copy of the notice to acknowledge receipt. This is not always required, though. Instead, the Notice of Assignment may include language that considers your customer’s continued use of your services to constitute an agreement to the notice. In addition, the factor may only revoke a Notice of Assignment if they send a signed and notarized release notification to your customers. They will do so if you choose not to factor that account any longer or you end your factoring relationship. In either case, the account must have no outstanding balance.

Why do Factoring Companies Notify Your Customers?

The Notice of Assignment is a vital form of protection for a factoring company. It protects the factor in case the business owner (the factor’s client) receives the payment instead of the factoring company.

In a best-case scenario, the notice serves to inform every party in a factoring transaction of their rights and responsibilities. It also gives your customer the appropriate address to make account payments, allowing your factoring relationship to continue smoothly.

In a worst-case scenario, a factor can recover unpaid amounts from your customer should they continuously pay over notice or not pay at all. A Notice of Assignment is evidence in any legal proceeding — from a demand letter for payment to a full-fledged lawsuit — that asserts the factor’s standing and rights to payment.

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Why Notification Matters To You

You will receive a copy of the Notice of Assignment that the factor sends to your customers. While the notice is to inform your customers, it also has an important implication for you as well.

As your factoring agreement explains, payments your company receives from your customers over notice are payable to the factoring company. Even in the smoothest transition, you may receive payments sent before receipt of the notice or released before your customers’ updated their payment system. There will likely be a provision explaining the procedure for sending misdirected payments to the factor in these cases. Misdirected payments are usually sent by overnight check or via bank transfer.

However, you may be responsible for additional penalties and fees if your customers continue to pay over notice, and you deposit those payments into your account. In addition, you may end up owing more, depending on fee structure, due to the extra time it takes for the factor to receive payment. Some factors include a misdirected payment fee in the factoring agreement that you will have to pay if you fail to return misdirected payments to the factor. Therefore, fees may be higher if you are responsible for the misdirection.

As with any legal document, be sure to be fully aware of the language used within the Notice of Assignment. Be mindful of your customers’ responsiveness to the notice. Take action immediately if you realize that any of your customers are not sending their payments on time. This transparency solidifies your factoring relationship, builds trust with your factor, and protects your interests.

What if the Payment is for an Invoice I Didn’t Factor?

When you assign your customers’ receivables to your factoring company, you agree to direct all payments to the factor, even for invoices that you did not factor. This eliminates complications for all parties and ensures that the factoring company receives every payment they should. Without an all-inclusive assignment, your customers would receive a notification every single time you factor an invoice. They would have to retain two addresses on file, increasing the likelihood of misdirected payments.

Your factoring company will have a straightforward procedure in place to address non-factored payments. This may include applying those payments to open invoices and sending you the difference or the total amount in a regularly scheduled reserve release. Stay prepared by asking your factor about their policies surrounding non-factored payments.

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About the Author

Phil is the owner of PRN Funding and sister company Factor Finders. He has been an authority in the factoring industry for over 20 years, serving on the board of directors for several factoring associations.

Learn more about Phil Cohen