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Hochul sees home-grown success story at CRFS

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 18 February 2015 at 12:00 am

Photos by Tom Rivers

ALBION – Lt. Gov. Kathy Hochul was given a tour of CRFS this afternoon by Sean Snook, the company’s chief operating officer.

CRFS moved into the former Chase site over a year ago and now has about 600 employees workers out of the site on East Avenue. The company also has about 50 employees that work out of San Antonio, Texas.

“For a county this size to have all of these employees is just awesome,” Hochul said on the tour. “This is a great success story for this county.”

CRFS was started by company founder Jodi Gaines with two employees in 2002. Gaines had been working in the claims department for Dime Bank, which was acquired by Washington Mutual. WaMu phased out the claims department.

Gaines wanted to stay in claims and started her own company. She and her staff learned the regulations in all 50 states and rapidly took on more clients. CRFS employees work with attorneys, county clerks, utility companies and investors from all over the country. CRFS works to recover past-due interest, unpaid principal, unpaid taxes and unpaid insurance on houses.

Kathy Hochul, the lieutenant governor, listens to CRFS human resources director Dan Zatkos, center, and Sean Snook, the company’s chief operating officer.

The company’s latest expansion came when Chase closed its Albion site, eliminating 413 jobs from the community in June 2013, leaving a 60,000-square-foot building empty.

Gaines and CRFS in September 2013 committed to moving into the site, putting its Orleans County sites under one roof and giving the company room to grow. (Gaines was driving back from Buffalo to meet with Hochul today but was delayed due to traffic and the bad weather.)

“I remember when Chase was leaving,” said Hochul, a former congresswoman. “It was a scary time.”

Zatkos said 80 percent of the workforce at the site is within a 15-minute drive of Albion.

The company continues to look for opportunities to grow the business, Zatkos told Hochul.