Cyber-fare

Up 50% since 2015, nearly 52 percent of the world’s population (3.8 billion individuals) are now online. That’s great progress and opens up a whole host of opportunities for everyone online to experience the many benefits of being online.

But as you well know, there are still many security issues that go along with using the internet. We have in this country gotten used to online banking and shopping, and some even post things to social media that can give hackers an edge. And many of us don’t even know it. That along with passwords that should not be passwords, and we have opened ourselves up to the potential to have security issues with our data.

The United States is constantly under a barrage of attacks from foreign actors.

  • Verified 2018. Russian hackers attack US power grids.
  • Verified 2018. Iranian hackers attack more than 140 US universities.
  • Verified 2017. China hackers attack the US Office of Personnel Management (OPM) exposing records of over 22 million federal employees.
  • Organizations are constantly threatened by malicious actors.
  • Adobe had 38 million records stolen.
  • Home Depot had 56 million consumer records exposed.
  • Uber has 57 million users and 600,000 driver records compromised.
  • JP Morgan Chase (The largest US bank) had the information from over 76 million households and over 7 million companies compromised through a data breach.
  • PlayStation had 77 million consumer accounts breached.
  • Anthem, the second largest insurance company in the US, had 78.8 million current (and former) customer records exposed.
  • TJX Companies had 94 million credit cards stolen.

Continue reading “Cyber-fare”

Great customer service makes you different

What does a collection agency know about customer service? More than you think.

If there are a few things that are overflowing here at American Profit Recovery, its respect, and a deep desire to help. That’s helping the business that hires us and their customer that owes them money. They both require our help and some might say, they are both our customer.

Since we are most often talking about helping a business, stay in business, and what we can do to help them, let’s focus on the consumer for a moment.Reputable Collection Agencies

While in many cases, a consumer gets into our system because of an oversight or even a minor dispute, many times, they are facing financial challenges. And in a lot of cases, they don’t know where to turn. So they ignore both the business they owe the money to and the debt collector. It is our job to open the lines of communication as best we can. And we cannot do that by being rude, unreasonable or not understanding of their situation. We need to be great at customer service. Continue reading “Great customer service makes you different”

A few positive facts about debt collectors

If you spend any time on Google looking for a collection agency then you have no doubt seen many articles on various aspects of collection agencies, good and negative. The fact is that in any business, you see the exact same thing. Let’s take food for example.

How many times have you gone online to look for a restaurant only to find a wide range of reviews and opinions about that business. Some of these opinions are valid while other may be misleading. Not all businesses are created equal and that goes for just about any industry.

What we can tell you about the collection industry from a positive aspect is that this is a necessary industry for both business and the overall economy. Without the collection industry, many in business would be out of business. Continue reading “A few positive facts about debt collectors”

How Do We Help a Consumer the American Profit Recovery Way?

By Greg D. 

Contacting consumers is probably the most obvious thing a collection agency does.  Debt Collectors have a multitude of ways to reach out to consumers.  We can mail letters to them.  Some collection agencies may use email to try and get in touch.  Unlike years ago we now have a website that consumers seek out and look for help and make payments on.  But today just like 12 years ago when I started at American Profit Recovery, the number one tool in collections is the telephone and collector on the other end.Reputable Collection Agencies

As one might imagine a collection call can go many different ways.  Recently I was speaking to consumer who had owed a bank for over drafting his account six months ago.  When I would call him he would hang up on me or send me straight to his voicemail.  He never returned any of my calls.  Then one day I finally reached him because he thought I was calling about the job he was supposed to start.  After hearing me out and realizing my willingness to help.  He explained to me that he had never been turned over to a collection agency.  The only thing he knew about debt collections was something he had seen on TV.  He said it did not paint the collection industry in a very good light.  The TV show had a recording of a collector being rude and harassing a consumer. Continue reading “How Do We Help a Consumer the American Profit Recovery Way?”

Consider the Person Behind the Business

By John W.

In any social setting, when asked what you do, responding that you work for a collection agency can sometimes evoke a less than enthusiastic response from some. But why is this?Good collection agencies

In most cases, our opinions are cultivated in reaction to our own experiences. So, your friend that rolled their eyes when you said what you do may likely be thinking of a past call that they received from a debt collector, or could be thinking of their grandpa’s experience getting in over his head and being on the receiving end of a collection agency’s efforts.

This is a one sided view however. What if grandpa owned the business that is owed?

It’s important that when we refer to a business that we remind ourselves of what that consists of: people. Each of those people have their own ambitions and dreams, and each of them have bills and responsibilities that they need to manage as well. Their livelihood is reliant on the success of that company and if you refuse to pay that business you aren’t taking away from some faceless, colossal entity. You are taking away from people that are just like you.

So while it’s important to understand that people may hold these opinions on this industry based on personal experience, or even based on the negative way that the media sometimes depicts it, there is a larger scope here to consider. Sometimes grandpa owns the company, and if that’s the case, you’re certainly happy there’s people like us to help him, and his company, flourish.

Kids and Money

It’s no secret that many of our lifelong habits are acquired at an early age. From our attitudes about certain things, the foods we eat, the company we keep and many other traits. So why should money be any different? April is Financial Literacy Month so let’s help our kids by giving them some tools.

And for all you parents who have kids heading out for Spring Break, we suggest you send them this article right now. See if they can catch up on their financial education just a bit before they hit the beach…

For many, the discussion about money comes way too late when it comes to kids. And it shows in their habits as they get older. As someone who has worked at collection agencies for over 20 years, take it from me…

As parents, we just shell out money and toys to our kids with no real explanation of how we are able to buy these items or the value of having enough money to take care of ourselves.

I found a great article about how and when to talk to your children about money. Getting them acquainted with the concept of money and its value at an early age is really important to equipping them with the tools they need later on in life. We have all taken the trips to the department store with our kids and had them ask us to buy all kinds of things, not being aware that we need to work for that money to spend it. They just want that new toy.

And how many of us have seen those monumental flip outs when the kid doesn’t get his or her way? Maybe that parent was doing the right thing. It just looked bad…

The article below outlines a step by step process for educating your children about money. We thought it was great because it breaks up the topics by age group. For instance, at age five, your kids should know what a bank is, what a check is and have some kind of knowledge about bills. By age 10, they should have a basic concept of loans, interest and timeframes for saving for things they want.

I can’t help but think that some of the consumers we deal with here at this collection agency might be a little better off if their parents gave them the financial tools they needed at an early age. Take a look at the article below and get your children on the right track when it comes to money.

http://www.forbes.com/sites/halahtouryalai/2013/03/19/money-lessons-for-your-kids-what-they-should-know-by-age-5-10-15/?ss=personalfinance

April Is Financial Literacy Month

April signifies so many things here. For one, spring is here and of course its tax season. It’s also Financial Literacy Month. Here at American Profit Recovery, we join many other collection agencies this April in helping to raise money for The ACA International Education Foundation which promotes financial literacy and the Loomer-Mortenson Scholarship.

We also try hard to always educate the consumer on how they can better manage their finances and when they do get into a tricky situation, how to navigate through it all. We’ve mentioned these tips several times here on our blog and on television interviews we’ve done but these tips still hold true when it comes to dealing with this collection agency or any other.

Featured in the video below is Greg, one of our veteran collectors and he has a few tips for consumers.  He has worked closely with countless businesses and consumers, trying to bridge the gap and develop solutions that get the business paid, help the customer meet their obligations with that business and hopefully preserve the relationship they had before the customer went late on their payments.

If you’re a consumer reading this, please note this is friendly advice, meant to help you manage your debt and hopefully get you back on track with your finances; especially if you’re dealing with a collection agency.

Aside from the advice in Greg’s video, you also have a great resource available to you in the website Ask Doctor Debt. If you need help or have questions related to managing your finances, this website is a tremendous tool you should use. It’s free and you’ll most likely find the answers you are looking for. If you’re in debt, you need help and Ask Doctor Debt can be a guide for you.

Here is Greg’s advice for how to deal with a collection agency.

Even More Ways to Save Money

Last time we gave you three quick tips to save money around the house and we’ve got a few more for you below. Many of us are always looking to save money to keep up with bills or the rising cost of so many items and these just might help you save a few bucks. Like we mentioned in our last money-saving blog, collection agencies like American Profit Recovery deal with consumers everyday that might have prevented the situation they are in by trimming back a little.How to save money

Here are a few more tips.

Easily track your spending: For many, tracking what you spend is about as much fun as keeping a food journal to monitor what you eat. It can be a tedious and a harsh reality check but there are a number of services to track everything from monthly spending to retirement accounts; it is definitely something worth considering. Tracking spending can keep you on the right path with your budget. Check out the Aps for your phone and you might find one you can use.

Take advantage of rebates: When you buy a product with a rebate, take time that day to fill out the form and put it in mail. Although this may seem like a hassle, if you do this with all products that offer rebates your savings can add up over the course of a year. Be certain to mark your calendar to remind yourself when the rebate check should arrive and follow up with the rebate company if it does not show up in your mailbox around this time.

Eliminate cable service: Whoa, did we just say that?? This may seem drastic but if you can handle it, this measure can save you roughly $100 per month or more. With so many online options via Netflix, Hulu and other sites it is possible to get rid of your cable and stream your favorite shows onto your television and through your computer or tablet.

Ok, maybe you don’t want to get rid of cable. You can at least take a look at your packages and see what you can trim out. You should also compare companies. Many towns now have more than one Cable Company so it’s well worth calling them and getting a comparison.

Once again, taking a little time to adjust how and what you spend money on can really save you cash. Till next time, take these tips and see what you can do.

A Few Smart Ways to Save Money

If you’re a smart consumer or a small business owner, you are exploring every cost savings option possible to aide your monthly budget. We know the importance of saving a little money each month because as a collection agency, we see people every day that could have avoided going into debt if they just spent a little time and effort looking at their expenses.How to save money

Below we have a few cost savings measures to consider which may require a little effort but well worth it in the long run.

Reduce your credit card interest rate: It does not hurt to ask your credit card company for a reduction in your interest rate. If you do a little homework prior to placing your call and let them know you have explored other credit card companies with lower rates, they may be more inclined to bring your rate down. Sometimes a little healthy competition does not hurt. As they say, it can’t hurt to try.

Utilize your local library: A membership to your local library is typically free and can save you a bundle. You can rent books instead of buying them; read magazines which can eliminate subscription costs and you can rent videos. Over the course of a year, a membership to your local library can save you a generous amount in your entertainment budget.

Become a coupon clipper: Although it takes a little time and effort, clipping coupons can really add up; especially over a year’s time. The Sunday paper typically has the most coupons to consider but savings can also be found online through many different coupon sites. A little research can help you save big on shopping expenses. It also pays to search for discount codes when contemplating larger purchases. Many times companies will offer savings on shipping costs or a percentage reduction on your total order when you enter their discount code.

And don’t forget online coupon sites. They are rapidly becoming more popular and you can do very well by taking some time to visits these sites. If you are planning a shopping trip, go to that store’s website and search for coupons. More and more retailers are offering these online.

American Profit Recovery strives each day to help consumers get their finances on the right track and prepare for a better financial future. You might not think that’s the role of collection agencies but we do it every day and the consumers we contact, thank us every day.

Three random things you can do right now to save money

While I could certainly think of more than three ways for you to save money, I looked into some simple yet sometimes forgotten ways you can save a little money. In fact, if you gave me time, I could probably come up with at least 50… Collection agencies including this one have contact with consumers that do not pay attention to simple ways to manage and save money. It’s very easy to sit down and think of a few ways to save some cash. Let’s start with three easy ones.How to save money

Compare credit cards: If you’re like most consumers, you get a lot of credit card offers. And many people will stand over the shredder before they even open them. That’s fine if you do but it might make sense to open them every so often and see if you can get a better deal. Some things to consider are, obviously the rate or what’s called the APR. (Not to be confused with us…) You’ll want to compare fees and just what those fees are. And check to see if the card company has a grace period.

Bundle your cable, telephone and internet: It’s pretty common now but believe it or not, some people still have not done this. You can save some pretty big bucks by bundling some of your utilities. I have seen people save upwards of $100 a month and more by doing this. Again, most people are just taking the mailing they get and standing over that shredder. But, it really does pay off to run the numbers even with competing companies.

Buy that Entertainment Book: If you have kids then you may have been asked to buy one of those entertainment coupon books as a school fundraiser. The fact is, you can save a ton of money by getting one of these. They have everything from discounts at restaurants, clothing stores, kids’ indoor playgrounds which can cost a bunch of money, and so many other categories. You definitely need to get one of these and use what’s in it.

What’s my point with three random ways to save money? If you take 20 minutes, you could come up with at least five ways to save money right now. I came up with three. Let’s see what you have.