Category Archives: Featured Articles

Collection Training Tips

Collecting debts can be hectic sometimes, but there is always a way to do hectic jobs smoothly, and here we will learn some tips that can help you to get your money.

Know Yourself

Do not make a call to the customer just for the sake of it. Prepare yourself mentally and physically before making any phone calls. People can easily understand your sentiments over the phone, and that’s why you need to sound greedy and wishing to receive full payment.

Show the need and the urgency over the phone call. Unless and until you show the seriousness of the situation, your overdue customer won’t understand the need to pay you back on time. A little emotion in your words will always help. Since you are not aware of the person’s state, things might get negative, but that is quite natural so, it’s ok. You, on the other hand, be optimistic and show the personal importance and benefits of paying their debts on time also the drawbacks if they fail to do the same. Remember, do not forget to keep the professional approach all the time.

Know Your Customer

Every customer has an impact on your business, that’s why you must know them well. Especially whom you are calling. Get every small detail of your customers such as previous records and payment history. Try to find out the exact due amount and reason behind it. Many marketers make this mistake of asking “is there a problem” while asking for money during the call. Always ask for full payment whenever you make a phone call without assuming anything. Do not make that mistake.

Ask Questions

Questioning your customer is the best way to keep control during a conversation. Ask as many questions as you can to your overdue customer. It will not only help you to lead the conversation but also makes you look concerned and worried. During conversation try to make notes, and gather the information that will help you in the future. You can start with open-ended questions and continue with the leading questions according to the conversation. Remember always keep control.

Listen to Your Customer

Listening is as important as you ask questions to your customer. It shows that you care and listen to what your customer has to say. Be attentive to listen because sometimes you may drift while asking questions. It’s not about just listening to the voice of the customer but listening to his emotion, tone, and sincerity.  Make a note and summarize your conversation for future reference.

Make Notes

Keep the habit of making notes and always keep your notes handy with yourself. Many marketers try depending on memory and fail miserably. Notes will help you to remember the specifics of every conversation. You can also save it in your drive or other electronic devices within your reach. Make sure to share it with your colleagues, especially the sales team, as it will be helpful for them too.

Always be polite with your customers on call and confident without being aggressive.

Broken Promises

Fulfilling promises shows credibility, one of the most important factors in the collection calls. If you have made a promise to your customer like ‘looking after a certain problem’ or ‘calling them with the solution to their problem in a certain time’ then keep your promise. And the same implies to the customer also. 

If customers break their promises, do not hesitate to remind them about their poor credibility, and take the right action against them. 

Avoid Arguments and Threats

It has been observed that many times the conversation turns into arguments drifting marketers away from the goal of asking them to make payments. That is why, in the debts collection profession, it is advised to stay calm, composed, and focussed. Getting into dispute is enticing. Try not to permit your clients to lead you, in an unwanted situation. Utilize your influence if all else fails.

Objections

Debtors will try their best to postponed payment or paying part payments. Your objective is to make them pay the full amount now. You may face lots of objections or complaints at that time, but you can use it as an opportunity by taking a commitment from them to make full payments once the complaint is managed.

Work Smart and Not Hard

If you wanted to be a successful debt collector and then you must know how to use the available resources near you. Such as salespeople. Having a salesperson beside you can help in successful debt collection.

It’s always the quality that matters and not the quantity, the same goes for the debt collection. You can take the help of the collection agency, some of them leverage you with collection stickers that you can use on your overdue statements.

In the end, it is important to keep in mind that whomever you talk with they are your business partners and you are just taking care of them by providing customer services. Remember that it is an integral part of your job so enjoy what you do and success will follow.

Article By Robert Pinchuck

Getting Divorced? Here’s How Your Divorce May Impact Your Business

An article that was published by Business Insider ‘The Most Expensive (and Explosive) Celebrity Divorces of All Time’ gave the readers a peek inside the affluent world and their struggles after marriage fail. Divorce is very real for most of us. In the United States, roughly 40% to 50% of marriages end in divorce according to the American Psychological Association.

But many people do not seem to understand the story, reason, and impact behind their divorce has on their businesses. But the reality of this is quite closer to us.

The multimillionaire divorces have a hefty negotiation of roughly $38 billion for the divorce settlement that also sometimes includes transferring about $19 million shares of their business to their would-be ex-spouse’s bank account. And most of us do not have to deal with that. As per those statistics in 2019, the United States has an estimated 32 billion businesses. This means that if you own a business and get married, the divorce will create a major impact on your business.

What happens to your business in a Divorce?

Three factors must be included in a divorce case that involves a business:

  1.     Is your business a separate property or a marital asset? There is a law in Florida that states, any non-marital assets which are obligated during marriage or/and asset that is obtained during the marriage might be considered a marital property and will be divided between the partners. In this process, all the liabilities and debts are included.
  2.     What is the interest value of your business?
  3.     What happens to the interest value after the divorce case is resolved?

The process is more complicated than it seems. The fair market value of your business is determined with the help of different valuation methods. These methods are not limited to an income method, a market method, or an asset-based method. If the value of your business is significant, then you should think about seeking assistance to determine the fair market value of your business. an independent qualified valuation professional, such as Certified Public Accountant (CPA), Certified Business Appraiser (CBA), or Accredited Senior Appraiser (ASA). If a dispute is raised, each spouse can hire their own professional.

After it is decided if your business is a separate property or marital asset, as well as the value of your business, what happens to your business interest is decided after the divorce case is resolved. There are three options given to them:

  1.     One partner buys out the other
  2.     They both together make a decision to sell the business.
  3.     They remain co-owners of the business.

The business should be continued with no disruption to the creditors, members, shareholders, and employees during the divorce negotiations. A good attorney can help you with any issues that come up such as any type of additional legal scrutiny and any potential violations of the loan security agreement.

Are there any ways to protect your business during a divorce?

There ways to protect your business during divorce especially if you own a business before getting married. Following are strategies you can consider:

  1.     Sign a prenuptial agreement. If you own a business before you get married you might want to consider signing a prenuptial agreement before the wedding.
  2.     Postnuptial agreement. It is pretty much like a prenuptial agreement but is signed after the wedding. You can separate your business from your marital assets.
  3.     Put your business in a trust. This will help you to keep your business from being determined as a marital asset.
  4.     Execute a buy-sell agreement. If the business owner’s status is changed such as divorce or death, this agreement decides what happens with the business.
  5.     Maintain good records. It is important that your personal finances and business finances are shown separately.
  6.     Don’t involve your partner in your business. Keep them from working for the business. This way you can be entitled to a greater portion of the business.

Thinking about getting a divorce?

Taxes are another important part when it comes to dividing the property. In some cases, getting financial benefits might not be beneficial for one of the parties after a divorce. There might be other marital properties that can benefit them.

Make sure you are hiring qualified experts that can manage time and money in resolving a case.

Choosing the right attorney is also very important to make the process easier. A divorce in itself is emotional and stressful. Getting stuck in negotiation complications can add to the stress.

Plan and understand how divorce will have an impact on your business.

A good and experienced attorney will work closely to evaluate your business ownership rights and help you with settlements that are customized to the specific requirements of your family and your business. These cases are complicated financial cases and can lead to higher legal issues. Therefore, an expert attorney is important to have on your side who knows how to argue effectively before the court. 

Article by Robert Pinchuck

 

How to Job Hunt During the Coronavirus Pandemic?

On March 28, over 6.6 million people filed for unemployment insurance, according to the U.S. Department of Labor. If you are not dismissed, your company still might consider freezing salary or implementing hiring. This also means that the promotion or raise you were expecting can extend for months. Even though with this pandemic going on, you should keep searching for a job by applying effective job search strategies. By doing this, you will be ahead of your fellow-mates when the lockdown is over.

Seize Online Networking:

One great way to boost your career growth by sitting at home is to network online. Try to develop a digital presence. Keep your LinkedIn profile up-to-date, seek recommendations, and join groups. If you are interested in marketing, you can join a LinkedIn group ‘ Global Marketing and Communications Professionals ‘. Try to build new connections and be active on LinkedIn by commenting and liking posts. Ask your former colleagues how they are doing to nurture past connections. To make your presence more personal, try recording a video.

Stay Mindful

The interview process can take longer than usual as HR departments are trying to execute different work policies and keep the present workers productive. If you have already applied to a job and do not get a response, stay calm. Wait for another few days and then you can write a follow-up email. Try to contact the HR through LinkedIn. Comment on the post, this way you will be the first one on their minds.

Do your Research

You can use the time of daily commuting minutes to research and explore companies. Setting up Google Alerts for companies will also immensely help. Reaching about the company and how it is doing is also important. Take notes on how the company is reacting to the pandemic by following them on social media platforms. Check how the team and managers are dealing with their employees. Consider setting up informational interviews via video calls and phone.

Ask Questions

Asking questions during these times is justified. Try to figure out the company’s timeline and process. You can ask them questions like:

  1. How are you supporting employees during this pandemic?
  2. Have you implemented remote work guidelines and how?
  3. Has pandemic affected company strategy?
  4. Can you tell me more about the work culture as I won’t be able to visit the workplace?

Strengthen your Skill

You can leverage this time to sharpen your skills especially if you think that a particular skill needs to be improved. Try to join online courses and take extra certificates. Harvard and MIT have some great online courses. Udemy is also another site that offers over 100,000 videos monthly.

In short, hiring has slowed down but has not stopped. There are plenty of jobs out there. You need to be consistent, flexible, and more importantly patient. This is a temporary crisis and more recruiting will begin in the future. The above tips and strategies will help you to be on top of the game and on the priority list of future recruits. 

Article by Robert Pinchuck

Education Department Doubles Number of Loans it Improperly Collected On

THE DEPARTMENT OF Education incorrectly collected student loan debt from an additional 17,000 borrowers defrauded by for-profits colleges, it admitted this week, bringing the total to upward of 29,000.

In a monthly compliance report dated Dec. 1, department officials disclosed that a glitch in the agency’s monitoring system resulted in a major undercount of the number of borrowers who were incorrectly collected on, either in the form of traditional payments or wage and tax refund garnishments.

Department officials said that a new process they adopted to verify and validate their collection efforts shows “an isolated miscommunication” between the Education Department’s Federal Student Aid office and various loan servicers, as well as “other logistical issues” that resulted in the undercount.

“The Department’s reverification and revalidation efforts recently revealed that an isolated miscommunication between [the Federal Student Aid office] and its servicers and other logistical issues caused this underestimate in the number of impacted borrowers,” the monitoring report reads. “FSA has corrected the miscommunications with the loans servicers and developed systems to ensure borrowers stay in the correct repayment status, allowing the Department to quickly take these remedial steps.”

DeVos has come under fire for refusing to discharge the student loan debt and process the claims of borrowers who qualified or applied for loan forgiveness under the previous administration’s borrower defense protection on the basis that their schools engaged in deceptive or illegal practices.

The secretary stopped processing those claims in 2017, when she paused the Obama-era borrower defense regulation to rewrite it, arguing that it was too lenient and allowed practically anyone dissatisfied with their education to apply to have their debt forgiven. Over the course of 2017, the Education Department developed a new process to adjudicate claims using earnings data pulled from the Social Security Administration.

Last year, a federal judge ruled that using the earnings data from the Social Security Administration to process borrower defense claims violated the Privacy Act, and it ordered the department to stop. The Education Department appealed the decision to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit.

 

In October, a judge held DeVos in civil contempt when the Education Department disclosed during a case management conference that it had continued to collect on the debt of thousands of former Corinthian Colleges students in direct violation of the court’s previous injunction ordering it not to collect on those debts.

At the time, the department revealed it had demanded incorrect loan payment from 16,034 students. Of those, 3,289 borrowers made one or more loan payments, which they were not actually supposed to pay, and 1,808 had their wages, tax refunds or other benefits garnished.

The monthly compliance report released Dec. 1, now shows that that an additional 17,258 student borrowers were incorrectly collected upon in violation of the court order.

Among the disclosures included in the compliance report, an additional 11,500 student borrowers made one or more loan payments, which they were not actually supposed to pay, an additional 550 experienced involuntary collection in the form of the seizure of tax refunds or wage garnishment and an additional 5,000 experienced adverse credit reporting.

“Students and taxpayers should be infuriated by the Department of Education’s complete disregard for student borrowers,” Toby Merrill, director of the Project on Predatory Student Lending, said in a statement. “Sec. DeVos has already been found in contempt of court for her illegal collections on students. Now we find out the impact was far greater than previously reported, and she still hasn’t returned all the money owed to students. It is galling, it’s unlawful, and it can’t be tolerated.”

In the report, the department writes that it has been “working diligently to implement oversight and compliance tracking measures” with the goal of “refining” its estimate of the number of potential and impacted borrowers.

“As a result of those efforts,” the compliance report reads, “the Department now has an improved understanding of those figures.”

The department officials said they have corrected the repayment status of the 29,000 borrowers.

“The Department takes seriously both our responsibility to student borrowers, our customers, and our obligation to the court,” a spokeswoman for the department said. “We have acknowledged that, unfortunately, the loan servicers made mistakes in keeping impacted students in the proper forbearance status as we wait for a final decision from the courts.”

She reiterated that the department has taken action to fix any harm done to borrowers and made internal changes to help prevent against future errors.

“The internal changes include involve putting a new team in charge of overseeing borrower defense-related issues,” she said, adding that the new staff are conducting a review to ensure borrowers weren’t inadvertently missed. “That process is well underway and will be completed soon.”