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Avoid Debts During X-Mas / New Year Season through Wise spending Habits – Some Tips & Tricks

Money can matter a lot, especially during festivals and festivities. There are gifts, decorations, food and beverages to buy. For many, travel is impending, to meet up with friends and family. If you want to celebrate, you need money and when you don’t have it, you approach your friends or financial institutions that lend you money. But debt can get you in bigger trouble personally and the thought of it lingers in your mind that fades the happiness of the festivities. So here are some tips and tricks that can save you some serious money and keep you away from a Debt Collection Company this X-Mas and New Year Season:

firms-christmas-wishes-blog-post

  1. Set an Affordable Budget for Spending

It all starts from the budget! Get down to the bare minimum and draw a clear budget that you can afford to spend on the gifts, travel, party and decorations. Chart out the amount you can afford on each of these and stick to it while spending.

  1. Avoid Credit Payments

The easiest way out is to use the credit cards. In that case, you will end up using up a lot of Personal Finance by the time you have to pay up the card bills the next month! So AVOID credit cards and stick to what you can really afford otherwise.

  1. Make a List and Then Shortlist

This is very important. You first need to make a list of all the people you want to invite for the party and for whom you need to buy the gifts. Once you are done with it, sit down further and shortlist the most important people from this list. Try to cut down at least 50% of the first list.

  1. Check out for Coupons and Discount Codes

Festive seasons luckily come with discounts and coupons. Make sure you plan in advance so that you know what coupons and codes to watch out for. Collect discount coupons and codes and use them to the maximum to save the maximum on all your festive purchases.

  1. Get Creative and Make your own Decorations

Decorations can get really expensive, especially the glittering and lighted ones. Instead of buying such expensive decorations, spend some extra time and make your own decorations using cheaper stationary you can get. It will make your decorations personalized and unique. Check if there are any decorative items of the previous year left over in the basement or the attic and reuse them. Use the cheaper versions of LEDs for decorations instead of the flashy and expensive ones.

  1. Watch out for non-perishable discounted items to gift

If you plan in advance, you can buy and stack non-perishable items like wines and perfumes much early when they are sold on discount sale. You can gift them during the X-Mas and New Year season that will help you to stay debt free through the festivities.

  1. Organize Potluck Parties instead of hosting it on your own

If you cannot afford to host a New Year Party, arrange a potluck where everyone brings in a dish that contributes to the party. This is a great way to share and care and also survive during the festive season.

  1. Stick to your budget

The most important point to follow is to stick to your budget. If you are a little careful and plan well in advance, you can make sure that you follow your budget strictly which will keep you away from the debt collection companies.

More than the price of the gifts and the decorations, what really matters is that you spend some quality time with your friends and family. Entertain them and enjoy yourself in whichever way you can to make the Christmas and New Year season the most memorable.

What our clients say about FIRMS.

At FIRMS we take great pride in our customer satisfaction.  We originally got started in the debt collection industry because we knew that FIRMS would make an impact on the debt collection industry in a very crucial way.  We knew we would work harder and smarter than any one of our competitors.  

Let me ask you a question.  How is your current debt collection company working for you?  Are they available for you when you need them?  Do you they have a high-quality customer website for you to get up to date and real time account information?  Do they notify you when you an account has been paid?  Do they customize their services to fit your company’s needs and wants?  I would imagine most of your answers were no.  That’s because FIRMS has created something unique; a debt collection company that cares.

We hear two simple words time and time again from our customers.  Those two words are “Thank You.”  Our clients constantly contact us to say thank you for all the hard work we do for them.  We hear about how impressed they are at our customer service, our technology that makes their lives easier, and our rate of return.  We have always believed that it is better to attract bee’s with honey and we consider our impeccable customer service and business savvy to be that honey.

So stop worrying about the issues you’re having with your current debt collection company.  Don’t worry about if the accounts will get paid, if your business will be able to afford to stay open, or whether or not your current provider is practicing poor business and collection techniques in your name.  Give FIRMS a call today and let us show you how a debt collection company can really work for your business.

 

When and How to Hire a Debt Collection Company

At FIRMS we realize that some of our potential clients have never worked with a debt collection company before.  We have found a very insightful and helpful article written by Credit.com that will help guide you through the process and some tips to consider when making your choice.

When to hire a collection agency

Most companies send accounts to a collection agency when they are between 90 and 120 days past due. If you wait longer than that, you’re far less likely to recover the debt. The more time that passes, the lower the chances. Generally, it’s time to start thinking about hiring a collection agency if:

  • New customers do not respond to your first attempt to collect the debt. When you do not have a history of transactions with the customer, there’s a greater chance they will refuse to pay or never intended to.
  • You’ve agreed to a payment plan, but the customer does not follow through. Customers who still won’t pay after you’ve agreed to meet them halfway with a payment plan are unlikely to change their minds.
  • A customer completely denies responsibility for the debt. Without a collection agency, these debts are rarely recovered.
  • The customer makes unfounded complaints about your business, product or service as an excuse not to pay. Most of the time, these complaints are just an excuse to get out of paying the debt.
  • The customer is going through a serious personal situation such as a divorce. Often, one spouse blames the other for the debt. A collection agency will be able to get to the bottom of who’s responsible.
  • The customer has a long history of being financially irresponsible.

Deciding when to hire a collection agency is a personal choice, of course. But once it becomes clear you’ve exhausted all your options and aren’t getting anywhere, the debt is better left in the hands of a professional agency. It is better to recover some portion of the debt than none of it.

Choosing a collection agency

There are more than 5,000 collection agencies in the United States alone, and not all are alike — far from it, in fact. Some handle consumer accounts, while others specialize in business-to-business (B2B) collections. The biggest firms often handle both. Some collection agencies specialize in certain industries such as medical, insurance, utilities, credit cards, mortgages or auto loans, while others work for a number of industries. There are agencies that cater specifically to small businesses and those that cater to large corporations. Some agencies are local or statewide in focus, while others are national firms.

Generally, it is important to hire a collection agency that has an established track record of successful collections in your industry. The agency needs to be familiar with the terminology in your industry, and the rules or regulations set forth by state or federal agencies governing your industry, if applicable. If you’re in the medical field, for example, the agency needs to be well versed in insurance requirements and medical terms. If you have consumer debt, find an agency that specializes in consumer debt.

It is always important to focus and choose a debt collection company that will work best with your company.  And guess what?  FIRMS is that debt collection company that will work best with you!

We hope to hear from you soon!

 

  • FIRMS

FIRMS: A Better Debt Collection Company

I have always had the type of personality and spirit about em that i want to help people.  I can always remember seeing a product out there or a service offered and almost immediately being able to recognize various ways I could improve on those products and services.  The same is true of the debt collection industry.  I had never given the debt collection industry much thought but once I had started doing some investigating into the industry I quickly realized all the ways I could improve upon the experience and services that were being offered by the industry leaders.

One of the main area’s we researched was finding out the top complaints people had filed against other debt collection companies.  According to a website called ‘Florida Debt Fighters” the top complaints against debt collection companies in the state of Florida are as follows:

  • Falsely represents the character, amount or status of the debt
  • Calls repeatedly or continuously
  • Falsely threatens suit/illegal or unintended act
  • Fails to send written notice of debt
  • Falsely threatens arrest, seizure of property
  • Fails to identify self as a debt collector
  • Calls someone repeatedly to obtain debtor’s location
  • Calls debtor at work knowing debtor can’t take calls
  • Uses obscene, profane or otherwise abusive language

I knew when I started FIRMS that we would make sure to treat our customers and even those we were going to be collecting from in ways that would follow a path opposite of these complaints.  FIRMS makes sure to work with the most integrity and business professionalism as to ensure we will never have such horrible complaints filed against our company.  

When you sign with FIRMS you can be guaranteed that we will collect on those outstanding debts for your business.  We will handle each account with the best customer service and professionalism.  And we will ensure that we handle every situation to the direct guidelines set in place for debt collection companies.

We look forward to earning your business.

  • FIRMS

 

Customer Interview

As one of the top leading debt collection agencies in the industry, FIRMS makes it a practice to contact a portion of our clients from time to time in order to find out some of the problems they had faced in the past with other debt collection agencies and how FIRMS can perform at a higher level to meet our customers needs and wants.

Recently we contacted a relatively new client to the FIRMS family of clients and called Rood and Riddle Equine Hospital in Lexington, Kentucky.

Prior to hiring FIRMS as the hospitals premier debt collection company, Rood and Riddle used various debt collections companies in the past and as the director states “It was simply time to make a change.  There had been debt collection companies in place for years that were not performing to our needs as a business.”

FIRMS:  What would you say was the best advancement for you moving to FIRMS?

Rood and Riddle:  The automated service is very important to us.  I get an update every time someone makes a payment on their account.  The transparency is amazing with FIRMS.  Moving to FIRMS has made our accounting department so much simpler because of the system FIRMS has put in place to help us.  And I feel that as our business continues to grow I can be confident that FIRMS will be able to handle the increased workload and grow with us.

FIRMS:  Is there anything you wish FIRMS would do differently?

Rood and Riddle:  Not at all.  When we first started with FIRMS they needed to make some adjustments to the account settings to work better for our business and they made those adjustments.  Working with FIRMS has been amazing!

At FIRMS we pride ourselves in hearing about the success that our clients have had in working with our company and we hope FIRMS can add your business to our list of satisfied customers.  Contact us and let us know how we can help you grow!

  • FIRMS

How To Save Money With Cash

Recently BuzzFeed ran an article with one of its editors in which she set out to save money over the course of two weeks by only using cash to pay for her necessities and to put her credit card away.  During the first week she set a budget of under $60.  This included buying food, going out for entertainment, and fun activities like going to get drinks with friends.  

The first few days of her first week were a success.  She walked down 35 blocks to attend the grand opening of a new Mexican restaurant where she was able to buy lunch and dinner for $2.  The next day she went to a local grocery store and bought dinner and coffee for $5.  She opted to stay home and cook dinner rather than going out to eat.  On her third day she found a new bar and went to get drinks with a friend because of a $2 special they were having.  By Saturday night though she had given into her old spending habits and the pleasures she had grown accustomed to and exceeded her budget of $60 by spending $75.

The second week she set a budget of $40 to cover all food expenses and entertainment.  This time she buckled down and made it happen.  Monday she went to McDonald’s to get her morning coffee and take advantage of their special of $1 coffee instead of going to Starbucks and spending $4.  For lunch she went online and found great new restaurants that were offering amazing specials for their lunch and dinner menu’s.  Tuesday she was able to spend $5 on lunch and dinner for the entire day.

Why did FIRMS just tell you about this one woman’s experience on setting a budget?  Because FIRMS is dedicated to helping you get out of debt and save more money.

This woman lives in New York City and was able to live for two weeks on only $115 for her food and entertainment.  Everyone has a budget and lifestyle they have become accustomed to and not everyone can live on $40 a week for food and entertainment, especially if you have a family.  However, everyone can cut expenses if they had to.

So how much debt do you have?  How much do you want to get out from the burden of debt and to remove those recurring monthly bills from your budget?

We suggest tracking your spending over the last two months.  Look and see how much money you have actually spent on food and entertainment.  Do you have the number written down?  Now take 25% off that and live on that remaining amount for the next month.  Why?  Because now you can take that 25% and apply it towards your debt payments for that month.  This might sound like a lot for you today but it’s not that challenging so long as you set a plan on how to live off the remaining balance and if you PUT YOUR CREDIT CARD AWAY!  USE CASH!  As we have mentioned in previous blogs, paying with credit cards always cause you to spend more money than you planned.

So set your budget, pay with cash, hide your credit card, and PAY OFF YOUR DEBT!

FIRMS is here if you have any questions or need any advice on how to properly set your budget and stick to it!

 

  • FIRMS   

Top Complaints Of A Debt Collection Agency

Top Complaints of a Debt Collection Agency

In 2015 there were a number of complaints against various debt collection agencies all around the United States.  Below is a list of some of the top complaints registered.

  •  Taking or threatening to take an illegal action:  2,207 complaints in 2015.
  •  Improper contact or sharing of information.  2,333 complaints in 2015.  
  •  False statements or representation.  2,906 complaints in 2015.
  •  Disclosure verification of debt. There were 5,452 improper disclosures reported in 2015. Of these, 1,346 related to credit card collections and 1,057 had to do with healthcare collections.

FIRMS is a premier debt collection company that specializes in caring for our customers and making sure we always stand above the rest of the companies in the industry.

A basic Google search for the reviews of the top debt collection companies will reveal that of the top 72 national debt collection agencies not one company holds a customer review above 1.5 out of 5 stars.  There are literally thousands of complaints listed against the practices of these companies.  So the question stands, who do you want to handle your company’s business and debt collection?  When you turn your collections over to a debt collection agency you want to be assured that they will continue to represent your business in the best way possible.  You do not want to worry about the collections company practicing illegal or aggressive business to try and collect from your customers.

This is why people choose FIRMS time and time again.  Our customers know that they will be treated properly, that they will have complete access to our client portal 24/7 and with real time updates with every account.  It means that can trust FIRMS to continue their better and proper practices when it comes to customer service.

If you’re having trouble with your current debt collection agency or if you would like to experience how a premier debt collection company can work for you, give FIRMS a call today!

We hope to hear from you soon.

 

  • FIRMS  

Helping People To Get Results.

Helping People To Get Results.

The world of business and sales has continually developed over the years and successful companies have gone from trying to aggressively sell their products and services to potential customers to realizing and understanding that it is far more important to help their customers find a solution to their problems.  In the world of business we are realizing that it is far more important to help your customer find a solution, to help them through a difficult process in order to earn their business and also earn a customer for life.

FIRMS is a debt collection company that specializes in helping our customer work through difficult situations.  This is our area of expertise in the debt and financial world.  Whether it be helping local companies collect on outstanding debts, helping the customer we call to collect from in assisting them through difficult work related issues such as helping to build their resume or sending it out to assist them in finding new employment, or through this blog in helping you learn about the ins and outs of the financial world and how you can better manage and handle your money.

A lot of people may visit this blog produced by FIRMS and wonder why we write about topics like saving and paying off debt or managing your monthly finances through a budget.  For FIRMS we care about our customers, we care about anyone needing help or advice and education on managing their finances.  We care about local communities, we care about helping more Americans get out of debt and save for their families and their own lives.

FIRMS is a rare breed in the world of debt collection companies for one simple reason; we care about the customers and people we deal with every day.  You will never catch FIRMS focused on the almighty dollar, you will never find FIRMS only interested in collecting from individuals in any way possible.  You will always find FIRMS caring for our customers and helping people find positive solutions.

 

  • FIRMS

Saving For An Emergency

Saving For An Emergency

A great way to get out of debt is to save and pay off your debts.  Right?  Sounds simple enough.  But there is also another step that comes before paying off debts, this is a step that a lot of people do not fully understand and can result in going further into debt.

This is another common principle that a lot of financial experts advise their clients and fan base to pursue.  The principle is establishing an emergency fund prior to paying off your personal debts.  

For some of us, we went into debt in the first place because there was a form of an emergency that we were not prepared or financially equipped to handle at the moment and the way of handling the financial burden was to use a credit card or take out a no-interest loan that later became impossible to pay off in time.

An emergency fund is a great way to, well, prepare for an emergency.  A standard amount that most experts agree on saving is $1,000.  Now this is where things can get a little tricky.

We believe that you should work towards establishing this $1,000 emergency fund BEFORE you begin paying off your debts.  The logic is simple, if you begin paying off your debts and run into an emergency, you will still not be financially equipped to handle the emergency and will go further into debt.  

Despite what your expenses may be or what level your income stands, saving $1,000 into an emergency fund will be enough to handle most issues that may arise in your financial life.  Make sure your emergency fund is located in a liquid form.  You do not want to have the easiest access to your money, unless you have exceptional self-control, but you also need to insure that you have total access in the event there is an emergency.  A savings account is a great example while a CD or stuffing your $1,000 under the mattress may not be the best places to store your money.

Once you have saved the initial $1,000 you can begin paying off your debts little by little.

But the most important aspect to remember is that you are developing a healthier financial intelligence concerning your personal finances.  No matter how difficult it may seem to save the $1,000 remember you can literally do anything you put your time, energy, and thoughts to.  

Here’s to you saving money and paying off debt!

 

FIRMS, FDCPA Compliant

FIRMS

We have talked about this topic before but we feel it is important to remind you about some of the great practices FIRMS has set in place as a premier debt collection agency that sets us apart from other debt collection companies in the industry.

First and foremost FIRMS is a staunch follower of the rules and regulations set in place with the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act.  The Federal Trade Commission (FTC), the nation’s consumer protection agency, enforces the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA), which prohibits debt collectors from using abusive, unfair, or deceptive practices to collect from you.  FIRMS prides itself in being not only a follower of these practices but also in providing friendly, supportive, and knowledgeable support to our customers and to the individuals we are collecting from.

A quick Google search will show you a complete list of practices that all debt collection companies MUST comply with and there is a comprehensive list of actions that debt collection businesses may never use.  Among this list are rules such as not being allowed to contact a person outside the hours of 8:00AM and 9:00PM, submitting false information to an individual’s credit report, calling repeatedly with intent to annoy or harass, increasing the amount of money owed on the debt, and using harsh or abusive language.  

You know what strikes me most about the few items listed in the paragraph above?  This list was obviously created because at some point a debt collection company used these tactics to collect money from someone.  See, at FIRMS we find this kind of behavior and these actions to be repulsive for a debt collection agency.  We work hard to insure that we treat everyone we contact with most respect and we have policies and practices in place to assist anyone that may need help.  As most of you already know, if FIRMS calls a family to collect on a debt and that person is out of a job, FIRMS will assist them in building a resume and sending that out to help them find work!

FIRMS is changing the way the world views the debt collection industry one customer at a time and we are excited to be on the cutting edge of progressive debt collection companies that are focused on making the lives of those businesses and people we interact with better and better.

Give FIRMS a call today and let us show you how we can help your business collect on those outstanding debts today!

 

  • FIRMS.