We sat down with Eric Sonnier, co-founder and CEO of Lawgix, a portfolio company of Temerity, to find out what it really takes to build a fintech platform.
Give me your elevator pitch on Lawgix.
Split into two parts, it’s a decisioning engine that helps financial institutions and creditors make informed decisions about which accounts to put into litigation.
Second, once a decision is made to put an account into litigation, our platform acts as an automation and code-driven compliance tool. It’s designed to automate as much of the litigation process as possible, while allowing in-house counsel to collaborate, in real- time, with third-party attorneys as an account moves through the litigation process.
when is it important to involve subject matter experts in creating a FinTech solution?
From the very beginning. One of our three founders, Tom Michael, has been in the collection litigation space the majority of his professional career, and a lot of our industry expertise comes from him. When we met, Tom was managing a distributed network of attorneys who handled court appearances on behalf of debt buyers and collection law firms. He knew that this process could be handled much more efficiently than it was at the time, so he started to build a small version of what is now Lawgix.
The origins of Lawgix are deeply rooted in one subject matter expert’s pursuit of finding a better way to manage a complex process. With every new state, we add a State Managing Attorney who is deeply familiar with the litigation process within their state. Experts are involved in every step of the creation process.
So once the technology is built with input from experts, can it exist without them?
Our technology cannot exist in a vacuum. Processes change. Regulations change. Our technology is easily updated to reflect those changes, but needs input from industry experts.
For example, creditors all have their own pre-placement decisioning based on their internal knowledge, regulations, and processes and procedures. That decisioning has historically been a manual process. Our technology helps automate that decisioning and provides more accurate real-time data than a manual process ever could. Our goal is not to remove the emotional intelligence from the decisioning process, but to introduce efficiencies and code-driven compliance.
Our technology cannot exist in a vacuum. Processes change. Regulations change.
Our technology helps creditors do something they’ve always been doing, but helps them do it efficiently, and in a more compliant way. For instance, our technology integrates with third-party data vendors that gives creditors the most accurate real-time information available.
Our technology has built in safeguards and escalation protocols for things like hardships or medical emergencies, making it easier for decision-makers to make better informed decisions on accounts.
How do you get regulatory compliance experts to speak the same language as developers?
What we’re building is extremely complicated and complex, and it would not be able to be built without industry experts. I feel that way about a lot of FinTech and RegTech start-ups. You can’t even begin to have a seat at the table unless you have some industry expertise on the team. From there, it takes a lot of understanding on both sides of the table.
One, engineers have to understand what the process looks like today, before they can go about finding technical solutions to make the system faster, more efficient, more compliant. And on the other side of the table, the industry experts must understand the capabilities of the software and embrace technology.
Eric Sonnier is the co-founder and CEO of Lawgix, an operating platform designed to help the corporate legal departments of financial institutions manage their collection litigation process with more efficiency and centralized compliance. To learn more, visit www.lawgixlaw.com.