Tag Archives: Debt Collection Companies

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!

 

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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!

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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!

 

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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  

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.

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!

 

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FIRMS – Changing the Debt Collection Industry

There was a national article written sometime in 2008 that got a lot of attention for the debt collection industry, a lot of negative attention.  In the article you can read the story of a journalist out of Buffalo New York who went undercover at one of the nation’s largest debt collection agencies.  The article details all of the horrid practices that the debt collection industry is known for.  Harassing customers, making up titles for themselves, in the article the story talks about one employee who masked himself as a “fraud investigator” to make the person he was collecting debt from become scared and hopefully make them settle their debts immediately.  Whatever the practices, the fact remains the industry has some bad eggs out there hurting the people they are collecting from and the businesses they are trying to help grow.

This is one of the main reasons we started FIRMS in the first place.  We wanted to help businesses grow and collect on those outstanding debts but we also wanted to help those average Americans who’d gotten a little behind on their bills or lost their job, we wanted to make sure we were holding true to the best business practices possible.

I cannot begin to tell you how many customers we have that tell us how easy the process is when they are receiving calls from FIRMS.  We make sure that our call specialists are trained to be polite and friendly when contacting individuals who have fallen behind on their bills. We ensure our customers, the local veterinarians or the local optometrist that are working hard to keep their doors open, that we will help them collect on debt and maintain a positive image for their company.

At the end of the day, FIRMS is not just collecting debt from ordinary people, we are making a difference in local communities.  FIRMS is helping solidify the good customer service practices of local businesses we are helping to collect on those outstanding debts.

Contact FIRMS today and let us show you how we can help your business collect and how we can do so with the best practices around!

 

Characteristics of Debt-Free people

    Let’s talk about goals.  But first we need to get real with ourselves.  

Let’s assume you have personal debt.  According to credit.com 80% of Americans are currently in debt of some sort whether it be student loans, credit cards, car loans, or home loans.  My question for you is this; how does it feel?  Do you like having those debts?  Does it feel good to make payments month after month with those interest rates adding to the amount of money you owe?  I will take a stab in the dark and say your answer is no, you do not like paying those bills every month.  Wouldn’t it be nice to not have those payments?  The average American carries over $15,000 in credit card debt alone!  Imagine not having that account any longer.  What could you do with that money?

    I am writing this post at 8:25PM on Wednesday January 13th.  I have been told that tonight at 10:59PM the Powerball lottery numbers will be chosen and someone, or a number of people, will win over ONE BILLION DOLLARS!  I am sure a lot of you are dreaming about what you could do with that much money, and I am sure that in your top ten list of what you would use the money for paying off debt is not listed.  Whether you win the Powerball lottery or not, I want to provide you with a strategy that will help you pay off your outstanding debts.  The following is a list of some characteristics of debt-free people.

  1. They are wise.  Debt-free people are not as concerned with their FICO score as they are with their net worth.  While you are focusing on paying off your debt you should consider debt as being a very bad thing.  Do not go into debt while you are trying to pay off debt.  It is not wise and debt-free people are wise.
  2. They are patient.  Debt-free people are focused and secure in their goals and their strategy and they do not fly by the seat of their pants.  They wait patiently for their opportunity.  You should not go into debt to buy Powerball tickets hoping to pay off your debts!
  3. They are not materialistic.  You do not need the latest iPhone, especially if it will cost you paying off your credit card debt.  You do not need to go spend $200 at the bar or at the newest restaurant in town.  Never allow your need for materialism to get in the way of you being debt-free.      
  4. They are willing to make sacrifices.  You may need to sacrifice your morning Starbucks and make coffee at home in order to pay off a credit card earlier.  You could save $250 a month by simply making coffee at home rather than buying your morning cup of joe at a local coffee or donut shop.

Set goals, make a vision board.  Determine what you are going to spend all your money on when you are debt-free.  Plan that dream vacation you will be able to afford when you don’t have all of those monthly debt payments to worry about and then stick to the principles above to get yourself out of debt and on your way to financial freedom!

    At FIRMS we are dedicated to making America a better place by helping businesses stay open by assisting them in collecting debts owed to their business and helping the average American in debt by giving them useful tips and information to become debt-free.

 

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