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Displaying Matches 5 thru 19 of 295 Found.  BACK NEXT

Case Study: Is This Raising of Credit Card Rates a Truth in Lending ACT (TILA) Violation?
Solicitation materials for a bank's credit card promised a "fixed" 7.99% interest rate, and stated that the rate was "not an introductory rate." However, the disclosures that accompanied the solicitation, as well as the credit card agreement that the plaintiff executed after her application had been received and approved, both made it perfectly clear that the terms of the credit card, including the interest rate, could be changed "at any time." . . . keep reading

Pay-As-You-Go Billing--One Utility's Creative Way of Managing Risk
In the vast majority of situations, customers are billed after they've used a product or service. What if you could get customers to pay at the same time or even before they use your product or service? That's exactly what a Canadian utility is doing to keep bad debt down. . . . keep reading

Ten Steps To More Effective Collections
Recently, Connecticut Natural Gas Corporation (ONG), Hartford, Connecticut, a division of Energy East, streamlined its collection effort and significantly decreased write-offs and improved receivables. "I felt we could do a better job collecting money, reducing bad debt and streamlining our internal processes," says Credit and Collection Manager Lucy Davis. "Now we're proactive instead of reactive." On the recommendation of an outside consultant who had reviewed the credit and collection process, the department: . . . keep reading

Are Both the Employer and the Employee Resonsible For This Improper Ordering of a Consumer Credit Report?
As finance manager of Hoffman of Simsbury, an auto dealership, Mark Strauss was authorized to obtain credit reports on prospective purchasers of cars. On July 3, 1995, he requested and obtained a credit report from a consumer credit agency on Debra Northrop, although she had no business dealings with Hoffman that would have provided Strauss with a legitimate reason to obtain her credit report. This legal case study looks at what happened to Northrop as a result of the pulling of her credit report, and whether Strauss and his auto dealership got themselves in a jam as a result of their actions. . . . keep reading

No-Cost Collections: Too Good to Be True?
I recently received a letter from a collection agency I had never heard of. The letter contained an interesting offer. The company would collect, and it would cost us nothing, zero, zip. Why? Because the collection agency would be paid by the debtor and we would receive 100% of our money. How did this magical process work? The collection agency would charge and demand that the debtor pay interest on the debt from the date the account became past due until the date the claim was paid in full.

Being something of a professional skeptic, I decided to look a bit further at the five-page letter explaining how the program works. There is an expression: "The devil is in the details." The details of this program were as follows: . . .
keep reading

Unsecured Loan
This case study looks at situation in which a lender made a secured loan to an individual that contained a clear and strongly worded privacy clause. When the loan went south, the undertook aggressive collection actions, and the borrower sued based on damages and an invasion of privacy. Did he have a case? . . . keep reading

Collecting After the Holidays
Merry Christmas! Happy New Year! Happy Holidays! Each year, from Thanksgiving through the New Year, people tend to be in a more festive, optimistic, cheerful, and giving mood. This is all well and good, and it would be nice if the "festive, optimistic, and cheerful" spirit remained year-round. However, the "giving" component, while well intentioned, can come back to bite a lot of people after the first of the year.

"We deal with delinquencies throughout the year, but they become more frequent from December through February," notes an Ohio-based mortgage collection manager, who asked not to be identified. "Historically, January is the month when people start trying to recover from their December spending."

With this understanding, the department implements a concerted effort to keep borrowers on track during these sometimes lean times. "Our goal is to stem the tide of problems in January and February, so that borrowers don't end up as foreclosure candidates later on," he explains. This article looks at their strategy for coping with tougher collections after the holidays; how they support collectors, including extra incentives they offer. . . .
keep reading

Too Aggressive Collecting?
A battered veteran of the fiercely competitive computer market, this Credit & Collections Manager friend of ours is an ardent advocate of letting customers know exactly what payment performance is expected and of confronting delinquents immediately. This article details how she handled a complaint from a customer's accounting manager about supposed aggressive and inappropriate collections by one of her collectors. . . . keep reading

Reducing Collector Turnover
Many collection agencies have a difficult time attracting enough collectors just to keep pace with turnover. So what must agencies that are growing rapidly do? What, for example, would an agency do if it landed a contract requiring an additional 30 collectors in the next 30 days?
  • why this agency restricts hiring to those with experience in collections, and the two things that accomplishes
  • why they look for collectors with portfolios and what that tells them
  • what they look for when checking references on their applicants
  • how they worked with a psychologist to develop an personality skills assessment test
  • work-related benefits that attract good applicants
  • a special career track they've developed, including the four levels in that program
  • how they screen those who seem fit to become managers
. . .
keep reading

Improving Call Center Performance
At one time, the collection team at UGI Utilities, Inc. (Reading, Pa.) used to lose between 400 and 500 calls a day (customers hanging up after being on hold for too long). "Now, on a bad day, we rarely even lose 100," reports Alexis Bechtel, supervisor of Central Credit. "Our people are answering about 80% of all calls within 90 seconds."

Moreover, collections employees, who used to answer between four and five calls an hour while spending the rest of their time off-line doing paperwork, are now averaging nine calls an hour. And on average they are collecting 11% of their accounts, almost triple what they did before.

All of these improvements have grown out of a performance measurement program begun as part of the company's Performance Quality Management initiative. Most of the initiative involved a workforce management program that focused on creating RE's (reasonably-expected times to get jobs done).

This article examines their call center's training, improvement teams, written goals and objectives, awards, what types of incentives they offer, and the how, when, and what of their monthly meetings. . . .
keep reading

Legal Case Study: The Case of the Collection Letter That Might Have Missrepresented the Agency. Or Did It?
Lori Pettit received a collection letter from Retrieval Masters Creditors Bureau, Incorporated ("RMCB") dunning her for an outstanding debt. The lette . . . keep reading

Putting a Wrench in Delinquent Customers' "Systems"
One Nebraska credit manager (who has asked to remain anonymous) splits up collection calls with her assistant. Each takes one half of the delinquents . . . keep reading

Making Loan Decisions on Marginal Applicants
Decisions are easy on loan applications that are either (1) outstanding, or (2) beneath any reasonable consideration. Where decisions get difficult is when applications are marginal, and they are particularly difficult when the applicant stands in some special relationship with the lender--like a credit union member. . . . keep reading

Just Asking for Money
What collecting? It's merely asking for money that's owed to your organization. Should anyone be uncomfortable about that? Not according to David Sher, CEO of AmSher Receivables Management (Birmingham, Ala.).To become comfortable, he says, use the ASK model:

Attitude. "Realize that it is OK to ask for money that is owed to you," he says. "A lot of business owners are uncomfortable asking."

Speed. "Collection is urgent," he adds. "The longer you put it off, the less likely it is that you will be paid."

Knowledge. Finally, successful collections depends on your knowledge of credit policies and appropriate customer contact.

To put the ASK model into practice, Sher recommends following the six-step AVENUE model: . . .
keep reading

Teachable Moments
The "teachable moment" (TM) is that period of time when an individual is especially open to information. In consumer credit, these occur when
  1. The application is made
  2. Credit is granted
  3. Credit opportunities are extended, and
  4. Credit is refused
  5. Credit counseling is conducted
Learn what this credit exec aims to convey in each of these "teachable moments! . . .
keep reading

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