Are you overwhelmed with debt?

13 07 2011

There are several options that consumers have to deal with their debt before considering bankruptcy. Declaring bankruptcy may be helpful in certain situations but it should always be used as a last resort. Depending on your level debt and self discipline, there are different options that you should consider.
Organize yourself
Contact your creditors directly and try to work out a payment plan. Try explaining to them the cause of your financial troubles, they may be understanding. Don’t wait until you have debt collectors calling you because that means your creditors have given your debt away to someone else which may or may not affect your credit. If you have secured debt like a home or car loan those objects may be repossessed until the full payment of the debt is received. If you foresee that you cannot make the payments on time, If possible, the best way to avoid this is sell the car or house and pay off the loan before the amount builds up more than you can handle.

Work with credit counselors
If you cannot organize your finances on your own there are organizations out there to help people with these exact problems. They usually offer services online or on the phone. They can help advise you on managing your debts and money, develop a budget and offer free educational materials.
Enroll in a debt management plan
Debt management plans or DMPs are programs that work with your creditors and schedule timely regular monthly payments for you unsecured debt. In exchange for inactivation of the accounts or credit cards the creditors may lower interest rates or fees. These are not for everyone though. If you fail to make a payment while enrolled in one of these programs it may affect your credit even worse.
File for bankruptcy
This should be done only as a last resort. The results of this are long lasting and can stay on your credit report for up to 10 years. This can make it almost impossible to buy a house or car or even get a job. But if it is your only option, it is an option.

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Small Business Loans for 2011 Unlikely: Businesses turn to Collections for Cash

3 12 2010

Cash is needed in order for any business to operate.  In the past it was easier for Banks to lend money in order for the business to continue operating but since banks have tightened up giving loans to small businesses, many have been forced to max out their credit cards carrying further debt into 2011. Businesses will continue to need economic relief. The question is “where will it come from?”

 

Fico claims that banks as Lenders may not be able to meet the credit demands of small businesses seeking relief in the future.  59% of those surveyed expect small businesses to request a higher amount of credit over the next six months, but less than 37% expect lenders to increase the amount of credit given to those small businesses.

 

According to Standard & Poor’s Data, only four companies last month received leveraged loan covenant relief for a total of $883 million in leveraged loans.  This is the lowest amount of relief given since February 2008.

 

S&P expects covenant relief activity to be high in the beginning of 2011 as checks due to lender agreements from 2008 and 2009 are paid.  But as the year goes on, businesses may not be able to get relief from banks.

 

Until problems in mortgage portfolios are solved and private sector employment grows, the gap between credit demand and credit supply is unlikely to close. Along with this, the number of failing banks is increasing as well.  In 2010, 141 banks failed, making it the worst year ever, and this list is expected to continue to grow.

 

With banks unable to loan money, small businesses will seek other ways to generate cash to operate.  THERE IS A SOLUTION.  Businesses can rely on Commercial Collections professionals to recoup lost cash flow from customers who have not paid. Although times continue to be hard professional B2B collection agencies have the tools, the staff and the expertise to put your receivables on the TOP of their bills to be paid.

 

Caine & Weiner reported that out of the businesses surveyed, 57.5% plan to place accounts for collection in order to generate cash and the sooner the better. Credit and Collection managers also plan to reduce credit lines given to clients and to initiate collection sooner in order to protect their accounts receivables and generate money as banks are unable to offer financial relief in the upcoming year.

 

The bottom line is that businesses can no longer continue to be their customer’s bank and CFO’s; Controllers and Credit Managers must be more proactive in 2011. It can be argued that revenue generation is the most critical function of a company.  However, that revenue must be converted into cash.  Cash is the lifeblood of any company.  Every dollar of a company’s receivable must be managed and collected.





Smart Questions to Ask A Corporate Collection Agency

24 09 2010

A collection agency can become an important partner for any business in helping to recoup debts owed the business from past due clients when all other attempts and options have proved futile. Because the collection agency your business hires is in effect representing you, there are several smart questions to ask a potential agency in order to select one that is reputable as well as effective.

The first question to ask is how long the collection agency has been in business and at their present location. You want an agency that has a good track record and that has been in business long enough to show that they are professionals who get the job done to their clients’ satisfaction.

Another smart question to ask is how many collection agents they have on their staff and how are they trained. Find out if one or more collection agents are assigned to your account. Ask the collection agency if they expect their staff members to be professional and courteous at all times, both attitudes which can only help you in the long run.

Ask how easy the collection agency makes it for the debtor to reach them, either by phone or in person or email and even thru social media such as Linkedin, Facebook and even Twitter. Find out if they offer debtors a toll-free number for returning their calls, making it easier for a cash-strapped debtor to call back and discuss the situation rather than avoiding the call because they cannot afford to make a long-distance or toll call to the collection agency.

Ask if the agency is computerized and how often they report the status of your account to you.

Ask if the agency will provide client referrals or testimonials from others in your same type of business. Ask what sort of fees they charge you to collect monies owed and if you must sign a contract to retain their services and how long is it binding on both parties.

Ask a prospective collection agency how they ensure that they are following all state and local laws and regulations regarding collection.

Ask how long the collection agency works at trying to obtain your money from past-due accounts and how they determine when to advise you to start legal proceedings against deadbeat clients.

Have a question? Call us now.

Butler, Robbins and White has been in business for 30 years and we are on standby now to help increase your business’ cash flow. Call now at 1800-749-1969 or email us your contact information to new_client@brwcollect.com