Dont Let Your Small Business Fall in the FDCPA Trap
When someone owes your small business money, you certainly feel like a victim. But did you know that if you aren't careful, you could break the law by trying to get the money back?
How to Break a Federal Debt Collection Law
You have a small business, and your bills are coming due soon. You could easily pay those bills if a few thousands dollars of overdue invoices were paid. It's time to give your clients a few friendly reminders:
1] You call up the biggest debtor at his home number. The debtor's girlfriend answers and you leave the message that you were just calling to remind her husband about the invoice you had sent last month.
2] You get into an argument over the phone with the next debtor. In the heat of the moment, you say you're referring the debt to you attorney--when in reality, you know you can't afford to do that.
3]It's getting late--in fact, it's already after 9pm. But you know that debtor number 3 tends to stay up quite late, so it's practically midday for him. So, you cheerfully give him a call and remind him about the invoice of a couple of months ago.
Congratulations, you may have just broken a federal law three separate times. Plus, you could be sued for it.
Collections Laws Finer Points
Have you figured out what collections law you broke yet? It's the Fair Debt Collections Practice Act (FDCPA), the federal law for collections. Meant to protect consumers from harassment, it has a clear list of things you can't do. Let's look at what you did wrong in the last example:
- Never tell someone other than the debtor that you are calling about a bill. You can, of course, leave a message that you called. You can even call someone simply to find out if they know if a hard-to-reach debtor has moved house. But you cannot under any circumstances let on that they owe money. Simply leave your name and phone number as with any other "call me back" telephone message.
-Never claim to be involving an attorney when you are not. Of course, this might seem like a soft area of the law, since intentions are fuzzy. But, for instance, if it's clear that suing to recover the debt would cost as much as the debt itself, your bluff will be obvious in retrospect. To be on the safe side, don't ever claim to have involved your lawyer.
-Never call before 8 am or after 9 pm, unless you have the explicit permission of the debtor. But unless that permission is in writing, you're safer not calling during those hours, anyway. Of course, it's not strictly this simple.
For instance, the law is only supposed to apply to consumer collections, not business collections. But with home business and telecommuting blurring the line between work and home, you're better off following the law's dictates in every case.
Plus, the law has numerous other protections for debtors--or traps for collectors, depending on your point of view. This is just one reason why you might want to outsource your over-aged accounts receivables to a professional service.
10 Best Practices to Consider as Your SBIR Negotations Approach Contract Signature
10 Best Practices to consider as your SBIR negotiations approach contract signature:
Small Businesses - Big Obstacles
Everyone is talking about small businesses. In 1993, when it was allowed, more than 90,000 new firms were registered by individuals. Now, less than three years later, official figures show that only 40,000 of them still pay their dues and present annual financial statements. These firms are called "active" - but this is a misrepresentation. Only a very small fraction really does business and produces income.
Do You Need the Help of a Virtual Assistant?
Running a business, whether large, small or in your home, is full of challenges. Getting the day-to-day tasks completed, e-mail, faxes and telephones answered, bills and statements sent out, reports run, schedule updated, travel arrangements made, marketing pieces and website updated, as well as a plethora of other tasks, can be downright daunting.
5 Steps To Success for Small Business Owners
Everyone wants to succeed in life. Most people want to succeed in business. And no one starts a business of any sort wanting to fail.
Success Tips for Small Business Owners
Running a small business requires many skills. However, to do this successfully you need to organize yourself first. Avoid procrastination - read the following and take action.
Small Business Health Check-Up
If your home business is not performing the way you hoped for, rather than stay away at night...use this simple list to check-up on possible reasons why your business is under performing.
Yeah, It IS Lonely At the Top
Sometimes when you run a business you feel as lonely as the Maytag repairman. Loneliness and isolation are very common problems for business owners. You sit at your desk wondering if you are steering your business in the right direction. When faced with a decision, you worry that you may be making a mistake or missing an opportunity. You get frustrated because you have no one to talk to about all the problems and decisions you have to make everyday. When you have a confidential matter you can't discuss with employees, family members, or friends you suffer in silence because you don't have an advisor to turn to. And unless your spouse is an MBA, he or she probably doesn't have the answers you need either.
Boy oh Boy, The Obstructions and Obstacles
The bad things starts with the letter 'O'?.like Obstacles, Obstruction, Obscene?.overly-poor? There's bound to obstructions and obstacles in everything that we do in life. Like riding a bicycle. We get a few scrapes and bruises and think that we're never going to ride a bike ever again. We try to blow bubblegum and we blow it up in our own face and have our laughing friends jeering at us. We try to dress up only to find out that we look dowdy. Everything in life, there's an obstacle.
Wichita Kansas is a Great Place to Run a Business
We love Wichita because it has great all round weather except during ice storms and the once in a while Tornado threat, which could carry away you best workers to meet Dorothy. 225 sunny days a year snow about 5 days a year. Which makes a Downtown out-door'sy type setting even better.
How to Sponsor an Event for Fun and PROFIT
How do you sponsor an event and get personal introductions at the same time?
Small Business and Over Regulation
Over regulation of small business is so intense it is getting hard to make a buck.
Using Holidays to Put Some Extra Cheer in Your Cash Box
No matter your age or station in life, we all look forward toholidays. They give us a reason to decorate, celebrate, and mostof all, spend.
Truck Wash Business Case Study
Often smart entrepreneurs look for out of the way businesses, things out of the mainstream but businesses, which have a good customer base and steady incomes. This is an extremely interesting story. I had always considered the mobile truck washing efforts to be very profitable and believed that fixed truck washes were a big waste of money. That was until one year when a new franchisee joined our team from Oklahoma City. I run a franchise company called the Car Wash Guys; www.carwashguys.com. Turns out the franchisee was formerly employed by Blue Beacon Truck Washes the largest chain of truck washes in the US. They do about $138,000,000 per year with 80 truck washes and the company is very closely held. Tim our franchisee was a truck manager for them and before buying into our franchise and started washing cars in OKC even though he knows truck washing best. He had a two-year non-compete with his old company, which we have honored in OKC. He has tons of experience and had indicated to me that the business is sound and we should really get into it. Later that year I sold a franchise to a person in WA State who owned car washes (5) and he made a deal with a truck stop on an Indian Reservation, he never started the plan, but the numbers we ran on the spreadsheet looked great and very profitable.
Looking for a New Office Chair?
Perhaps you are building a new home office or you are redoing the one you have. Or, maybe you are looking for an office chair to replace that broken down model sitting in your office. Regardless, the office chairs of today offer more then just comfort. Choosing an office chair can be as much fun as getting a raise! Well, maybe it's not that good, but it's still a great moment!
11 Things Small Business Owners Can Learn From The Supreme Court
1. Have A Strong Constitution ? Justices deliver decisions by interpreting the U.S. Constitution. Never let the challenges of running your small business overwhelm your judgment.
Does Your Business Need a Toll-Free 800 Number?
Should your business have a toll free number for customers to make sales, service and billing inquirers? The industry began in the early 1970's and today most customers expect you to have it. Providing a toll free line can bring in a number of benefits to your business.
Small Business Marketing: Specialize or Generalize?
There have been many great points raised on both sides of this discussion. In order to make a final decision, we must look at how the business world is moving and at the purchasing patterns of the consumers who will be utilizing your services.
To Buy Or Not To Buy: Lawn Mowing Business
TRUTH IN THE LAWN MOWING INDUSTRY
Setting Up a Pressure Washer Rig to Clean Concrete
Maximum efficiency in the cleaning industry is a key to survival and higher rates of income. The trailer or tuck unit needs to be set up so that you can use a garden hose and external water supply, because you never know when you are going to need one for concrete or other types of jobs. Any new rig should also come with quick releases between the tank and the intake tube to the pressure washer. There should also be a valve that is turned so the water is running from the black tank that now holds the external water that comes in if you are running thru an unmodified hot water pressure washer skid unit with a float tank.
How to Write a Credit Policy for Your Business
The book, "Become the Squeaky Wheel," by New Hampshire author Michelle Dunn, says the different ways people use and extend credit makes or breaks your credit policy and bottom line, which could result in less or more sales and money for your business.
|© Athifea Distribution LLC - 2013|