After reading the December issue, specifically the article by Lorraine Hollett and Patrick Wahl, I was inspired to acquire more information from some of the financing companies that they had listed. Upon contacting American General Finance and Associates Financial Services, I was informed that they no longer finance dental treatment due to the large number of defaults (exactly why dental offices do not want to be the bank).
J. Scott Delaplain, DDS
Authors` response: Thank you for taking the time to report your experiences in contacting the financing companies listed in our article in the December Dental Economics. While it is true that, on a corporate level, Associates Financial Services does not solicit dental practices, the branch manager at your local office has the authority to contract with any local business he so desires. In fact, our local Associates branch handles the financing needs of our practices` patients every day and has done so for more than 10 years.
We don`t know who answered the phone when you called American General Finance, but the information you were given is inaccurate. Again, it is at the final discretion of each local branch manager, but on a corporate level, American General Finance is committed to handling the financing needs of dental patients. AGF recently printed a four-color brochure describing this commitment. Please call them again and, if necessary, ask to speak to Mr. Gary Chernow, the division retail manager.
We personally have consulted with hundreds of dental practices that currently are farming out the financing of their patients through the companies above. You know the saying: If other people are doing it, chances are it can be done! We congratulate you on recognizing the desirability of farming out your financing, and we urge you not to give up until you have done so. Nothing worthwhile ever is easy. If we can be of any assistance to you, please do not hesitate to contact us.