Category Archives: Personal Finance

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.

Let’s Talk Money Management

Let’s talk about money management.  A lot of people have heard of a celebrity named Dave Ramsey.  Dave is a financial adviser, radios show host, and acclaimed author.  Dave’s book, “The Total Money Makeover” helps people learn the ins and outs of debt and how to get out of debt and stay out of debt.  In fact, Dave’s number one goal is for people to live debt free.

One of the principles Dave uses in his strategy is to get people to use envelopes to help manage their money.  Envelopes? you ask.  Yes, envelopes.  Dave has a strategy in which you set a monthly budget.  Let’s say your food, rent, gas, utilities, and some extra spending money.  Dave’s strategy says once you have been paid from your employer that you should immediately withdraw the cash you need for expenses.  If you’re rent is $700 a month you would get your paycheck, take out $700 in cash, and place it in an envelope you have tapped to your wall marked “rent”.  Now that the money is set aside for rent you need to do the exact same thing for your food, utilities, phone bill, etc.  The second you get your paycheck, take out the cash and place it in your envelopes and DON’T TOUCH THE MONEY!

When you need to go to the grocery store, go to your food envelope.  When you have to pay rent, go to your rent envelope.  Anything you have left over from your paycheck that didn’t go into your envelopes should go into a savings account or into paying off debt.  Don’t go out and buy the latest video game with the extra money, but PAY OFF DEBT!

This method is effective IF you stay focused.  You have to already have budget in place and have planned out your finances in order for this system to work.  If your food budget is $400 a month and you only take out $200 for your food envelope the process is pointless.

at FIRMS we believe that the first step to paying off debt is setting an honest budget and sticking to it.  Don’t do anything halfway, go all out and get focused on setting your budget and taking back control of your finances.  

As a premiere debt collection agency FIRMS is always here to help you manage your money and pay off your debts through our blogs.  Do you have any specific questions on money management or debt?  Comment below and we will be glad to respond!

 

  • FIRMS.

The Need For Cash

There are thousands of blogs, articles, books, and workshops floating around in the world that are all circulated around the same topic; how to get out of debt.

There are differing opinions and views about how to get out of debt, stay out of debt, and better manage your personal finances.  Among the vast majority of those views is the same principle; track your spending.

We live in a world where money is electronic.  today we have credit and debit cards, papal accounts, apple pay, Samsung pay, and Bit Coins.  Money has become numbers on a screen and has lost it’s reality as total value.  Studies show it is easier to spend more money with electronically than it is when you have the cold, hard cash in your hand.

Tracking your spending starts with using cash and leaving your debit card at home.  Let’s say you’re going out to a local electronics store to buy a new television.  You have a budget in mind of $300.  You have done your research at home, you know exactly which model you want to buy and so you go out with the exact amount the television will cost in cash.  You get to the store and begin walking around looking at all of the bigger, brighter, and more defined televisions.  Suddenly the great model you found for $300 seems too small or too dim.  What are you going to do?  If you’re smart, you’ll buy your television for the $300 you planned and you’ll be happy because a $300 television is an upgrade from what you own now.  Maybe you will leave the store without a television and you’ll go home and save for a week or two until you can afford the nicer model.  Now, let’s pretend you are not that smart, which we all know you are.  But let’s say you forgot to leave your credit card at home and guess what?  You have $500 available on that card!  That means you can take your cash and your credit card and buy an $800 television!  Sadly, this is what most of us do on a daily basis.  Maybe we our budget says we have $5 to spend on lunch.  You decide to go to Panera bread for lunch and notice there’s a great lunch special for $10 and it looks delicious.  You have your debit card in hand and decide to double your budget for lunch that day.  Guess what, chances are you’re going to do the same thing 3 days out of the week, spend more money than you budgeted because you decided to leave home with your debit card.

See, this is where tracking your spending and paying with cash will benefit you.  If you track your spending you can see those patterns developing over time and see how much you actually spend over budget each week because of using your credit or debit card instead of sticking to your budget and paying with cash.

FIRMS is an odd debt collection agency.  Why is FIRMS different than most debt collections companies?  Because we don’t want you to go into debt, we want to help you get out of and stay out of debt.

We hope this helps,

 

  • FIRMS

 

When A Debt Collection Company Is Wrong

When A Debt Collection Company Is Wrong

Today we are going to tell you a little story about John who recently had an interesting and frustrating experience with a debt collection agency.  John’s story may be unique and not every reader will be able to relate, however the principles are true and worthy of giving your attention to.

John Smith got a call one day from a debt collection company stating that John had a past due amount he owed to a local cable provider.  John was confused as to how he could have such a bill.  John had recently moved into his childhood home and had never had any sort of account with the cable company in question.  The debt collection agency didn’t want to hear any excuses from John and called him a liar and stated that he owed them $175.

John hung up the phone with the company and after a couple of days he forgot about the situation.  

Two months later John went online to check his credit report and found that there was a negative claim on his account that shouldn’t be there.  After some investigating John realized it was that mysterious cable company bill.  John called the debt collection company and tried to find out more information.  It turned out that John’s grandfather had opened the account and the final bill was never paid after his grandfather had passed away years ago.  The issue was that John shared the same name of his grandfather and now john was living in his grandfather’s old house, so there was virtually no way to distinguish between John and his grandfather.

John talked to every manager at the debt collection agency he could find but no one was willing to help him. He finally called the cable company and went through their channels to try and find someone that could help.  The cable company wanted John to submit a death certificate for his grandfather proving John was telling the truth!  After more and more digging and talking to more and more managers, John finally asked the manager to check when the account was opened.  They found it had been opened in 1995 when John would have only been 7 years old.  The manager apologized for the mistake and immediately removed everything from their system.  John’s credit still took a minor hit but that will soon recover.

The point of this story is that you should never allow a debt collection agency to push you around or harass you.  If there has been a mistake on your credit report you need to spend some time and dig to find out what the mistake is so you can correct the issue and fix the situation.  Most debt collection agencies will not assist you and most companies will not immediately correct the issue unless they have proof.  You have to work to prove that their reporting is inaccurate.  So don’t get upset if something is wrong on your credit report. Just work a little bit harder and find the mistake and then contact the company with the correct information!

Remember, with FIRMS we are here to help you with any financial or debt related questions you might have!  Don’t hesitate to contact and let us know how FIRMS can help you!

 

  • FIRMS