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Consumer and Commercial Debt Collection Florida

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Fort Lauderdale / Miami, FL

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Debt Collection in Florida – Payment Processing 101

Tuesday, October 2nd, 2018 | The Cash Flow Group | No Comments

Debt Collection in Florida – The Cash Flow Group:

Payment Processing 101

debt collection in florida

debt collection in florida

If you run a busy business, then you know all too well that the way payments are processed has greatly changed over the years. While some people still pay with cash or check many customers choose alternative methods. There are many different ways to make a payment these days and offering them to your customers is a great way to increase sales. Today we are going to learn about several of these payment types and how they can boost your business and make life easier.

Pay by Text

A fairly new payment process that is taking the commerce world by storm is pay by text. The process of payment by text is very simply. The two-step process begins when the customer sends you their mobile phone number. Then you place that number in the payment system and a text message is generated and sent back to the customer. The customer will then have the option to pay for the good or service with just one click. This process is very fast and it speeds up the checkout process.

Below is a list of businesses that could benefit from this payment method.

  • Retail locations: No matter what type of retail location you own, you could greatly benefit from pay by text. Those long lines in your shop during the holidays season can be quickly processed using this mobile payment method.
  • Food establishments: Whether you own a high-end restaurant or a trendy food truck, processing payments quickly is always in your best interests. So why not offer your customers an option to pay by text? It will speed things along and there will be no need for them to wait around for a check.

High Risk Payment Processing

This is another area of payment that deals with those establishments that are considered a high-risk. If your company has been labeled high-risk, chances are you will have a hard time finding a company to process your payments. When this happens, you will need to seek out a payment company that specializes in these services, that will be willing to work with you.  But you might be asking yourself how did you became a high-risk merchant in the first place?

Below is a list of reasons why you might be deemed high-risk.

  • You have poor credit: If you are just starting your business and your credit score is poor you might be placed in the high-risk category.
  • A history of chargebacks: If your business has had a lot of chargebacks in the past you might be dropped by your payment processing company. Trying to find a new one might be difficult if you were label a high-risk.
  • An industry with a high fraud rate: If you are doing business in an industry that is known to be plagued with fraud you are high-risk. Some financial services companies such as check cashing companies fall into this category. Also, many online-only merchants will fall into the category of high-risk companies due to the fraud levels associated with online transactions.

Utility Payment Processing

Another huge industry is the utility industry. People of all walks of life pay their utilities each and every month. But keeping track of those payments can be difficult to handle alone. If you are a utility company that is looking for the best way to process payments, chances are in-house is not the best option. Hiring someone else to handle your payments for you can lift the burden off you. This will allow you to focus on other aspects of your company.

Below are several utility companies that can benefit from this service.

  • Electric companies
  • Gas companies
  • Sanitation companies
  • Water companies

Working with A Payment Processor You Can Trust

When you are looking for a payment processing company for your business, finding one you can trust is very important.

For any questions you have, The Cash Flow Group is here to help!  Contact us today!

Debt Collection in Florida Advice for Loans

Sunday, September 30th, 2018 | Florida Debt Collection | No Comments

Should You Lend Money Friends or Family?

Debt collection is The Cash Flow Group’s specialty and we are here to help!

It is a well-known rule that lending money to family members or friends is a “no”. Shakespeare admonishes us with his immortal words, “Neither a borrower nor a lender be.” It is the words that follow that inform us of the consequences, “For loan oft loses itself and friend.” If you loan money to a friend or family member, you can expect to lose both the money and the relationship. According to a money-etiquette survey, 57% of people had a relationship ruined this way. Still, many people who are in a position to help, feel compelled to. Especially when close friends or family is in need. This does not have to be a bad thing as long as you go about it with your eyes open.

Here are some things to consider when your friends asking for money:

What’s More Important – Repayment or the Relationship?

If someone approaches you for a loan, chances are they aren’t creditworthy to qualify for a loan from a lender. So, you know going into it you are taking on the risk of not seeing all or some of the money again. The question is whether repayment of the loan or the relationship is more important to you. What happens when the borrower gets behind on payments or no longer returns your calls. Know in advance how you would handle this situation. You can expect things to get very awkward, especially if the person is at family events or around town. So, if you value the relationship, you can treat the loan like a gift.  The person will likely try to repay you as if it was a loan, but the pressure is off the relationship.

Are You Helping or Enabling?

While you may have the right intent, you may be hurting the very person you are trying help. This person may need money to cover basic living needs or to pay off credit card debt. In some cases, loaning them money may only exacerbate their financial problems. What they might need is financial counseling. They may also need help with finding alternative sources of income. If you do loan them money, do so under the condition they seek the help they need to turn things around.

Don’t Make it Open-Ended.

The problem with loaning money to a friend is they are often open-ended based on a handshake. A handshake has no specific terms for repayment. That leaves both parties in a state of limbo with no expectations to when the loan is to be repaid. It also creates a false notion in the mind of the borrower that there is no sense of urgency to repay the loan. You need to have clear expectations or specific loan terms. Approaching the borrower about payments becomes difficult without terms. If you are going to loan money, put it in writing with specific terms.

Is the Loan IRS Compliant?

Lending money to family or friends is often interest free, which is not a good idea.
 
First, it diminishes the value you place on the money you loan someone; second, it could put you at odds with the IRS. Charging interest is not unreasonable, especially when it at below-market rates. The IRS expects you to charge interest on a family loan if you don’t want it to be a gift for tax purposes. The IRS doesn’t care about small loans made to children. Loans of $10,000 or less are not subject to gift tax rules if they are not used for investments. Larger loans could show up on the IRS radar if appropriate interest is not charged. You need to avoid treatment as a taxable gift. To do this, the loan needs to be in writing with the amoung terms, and rate of interest. Define all these things. The IRS requires a charged interest rate which is now reported as income by the lender. If the loan is being made for a down payment on a house, the borrower may deduct interest charges. Secure this loan by a lien on the home.

What are the Alternatives?

One alternative is to say “no.” That may be hard to do, but, in some cases, it could be the right thing to do. Or, you can say “yes,” but with conditions. First, is that they at least try to have a personal loan on their own. We know you don’t want them to get stuck with a “payday” type loan. There are alternative lending sources. These sources can offer a priced personal loans for people with less than good credit.

The Cash Flow Group is here to answer any questions or concerns you might have about loaning money.  Contact us today!

Debt Collection Tips and Strategies

Thursday, September 27th, 2018 | The Cash Flow Group | No Comments

Strategies For Improving Collection Rates – PROVEN!

The Cash Flow Group in Miami

 

Debt collection tips from The Cash Flow Group:
 
Taking a few safeguards can improve your success when collecting on your receivables. I have found that basic strategies are usually the most effective. Increase the effectiveness of your collection process by:

1. Have a Written Credit Policy 

Follow this policy on a consistent basis.

2. Know Your Customer

Is your customer an individual, a sole proprietor, a partnership, or a corporation? Businesses often use fictitious names and acronyms for their businesses. It is important to establish who has responsibility for the obligation.

3. Plan for Collection Problems Before They Happen.

Your credit agreement or application should provide for provisions for attorney’s fees. Interest at a high rate and late charges for a delinquent account is also provided. To recover attorney’s fees, courts need a written agreement. This needs to signed by an authorized representative.

4. Use Personal Guarantees 

Use these guarantees especially when you are dealing with new companies. These companies may not have a credit history. They will try to escape personal liability be creating a corporate account.

5. Have a Detailed Credit Application

All the above, and more, should be now contained in a comprehensive credit application.

6. Obtain a Security Agreement

This agreement creates a lien on the equipment or merchandise. This is to protect you in the event of a default or bankruptcy filing.

7. Keep all Correspondence Between You and Your Customer

Letters or emails received from your customers may admit the liability in question. Use follow up phone conversations with a letter or email confirming the conversation.  You may receive a letter or email from your customer that you do not agree with. Respond to these by the reasons for the dispute. Once an account is in dispute and the customer has defaulted you must act quick. The age of the account will be one of the main factors that will impact your ability to be able to collect. Statistics show that 90 days after the account is past due, you have less than a 75% chance of collecting it. The percentage shrinks every passing month. After 12 months, there is only a 25% possibility of collection.

Get a hold of us at the Cash Flow Group with any questions or concerns.  We are here to help!

Florida Commercial Collection Agency

Tuesday, September 25th, 2018 | The Cash Flow Group | No Comments

Steps to Making Powerful Commercial Collection Calls:

Florida Commercial Collection Agency – If you don’t have a predetermined strategy in place, you’re probably spinning your wheels – being ineffective and costing your company money.

  1. Know your customer and their business. Are they impacted by seasonal cash flow etc.?
  2. Deciding what strategies you will use to stay on track.
  3. Set goals for yourself. For example – reduce DSO by 12% to improve cash flow.
  4. Deciding and outlining which strategies you will use to achieve its goals.
  5. Create effective call scripts so the conversation flows well and you can effectively manage objections and/or stall tactics.
  6. Measure your results to see what works and what does not. Establish key performance indicators (KPI) to help benchmark future results/ activities.
  7. Make detailed notes of your conversations with your customers. Before hanging up the phone – provide the customer of a recap of your understanding of the conversation. Better to catch misunderstandings now.
  8. Try to establish quickly if the customer is slow paying because of a dispute or cash flow issues. You can increase customer satisfaction by simply listening. If there is a legitimate dispute – deal with it. If it is a cash flow problem – see if you can work with the customer.
  9. Be decisive. If you are getting many promises but no meaningful action (money) then consider bringing in a professional collection agency or lawyer. If you don’t follow through – your customer will take advantage of you.
  10. Consistency is key. Consistent follow up – consistency doing what you say you’re going to do. Customers will soon learn that your invoices get paid before others.

Please call our collection agency at (800) 226-2006 today with any questions or concerns.  The Cash Flow Group is here to help!

 

Debt Collection in Florida

Tuesday, September 25th, 2018 | Florida Debt Collection | No Comments

DEBT COLLECTION MYTHS BUSTED

Debt collection can be a taboo subject. There’s a lot of misinformation about debt collection floating around the internet, so The Cash Flow Group is here to set the record straight. Here are the biggest myths about debt collection busted:

You Can Pay the Original Creditor Instead of the Debt Collector

Other companies hire debt collection agencies to collect for them, called third party agencies. Or, they sell their debt to a collection agency, meaning the original creditor no longer owns the debt. Either way, the collection agency is contacting you for a reason and you cannot bypass them. The good news is, however, that most collection agencies make it as easy as possible to pay back a debt.

Debt Collections Won’t Impact Your Credit Score if You Pay It

When a debt goes into collections, it has most likely already negatively impacted your credit score. When you refuse to work with a collector, it can cause further damage. It’s best to pay your bills on time and avoid collections altogether, but if you are contacted by a collector, just cooperate and pay or explain your situation. It’s a collector’s job to resolve debt, so they are most likely willing to work with you and figure out some options for how you can pay the debt.

If You Avoid Collectors They Will Go Away

Avoiding collection calls will only make the situation worse and damage your credit score. Plus, collectors can help by giving you options to repay your debt. It’s best to cooperate with collectors and try to explain your situation.

The Fair Debt Collection Practices Act Protects All Debtors

According to Investopedia, the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) is “a federal law that limits the behavior and actions of third-party debt collectors who are attempting to collect debts on behalf of another person or entity.” In short, the FPCPA protects debtors from abusive, unfair or deceptive debt collectors. However, the FDCPA only protects consumer debtors, not commercial debtors. Although there are currently no federal laws controlling commercial debt collection, most states have statutes which govern commercial debt collection.

Smaller Debts Do Not Go Into Collections

While some agencies don’t bother with smaller amounts, others specialize in collecting smaller amounts of debt because it can add up over time to create good revenue. There’s no way to tell if a debt will go into collections or not. Basically, anything can go into collections and harm your credit score. It’s best to just pay what you owe.

Debt Collectors Only Care About Getting Your Money

Debt collectors’ jobs are to resolve debt, not just collect it.They will work with you on payment plans, recommend programs to get out of debt. So, if you’re contacted by a debt collector, see what your options are and what they can do to help.

Hiring a Collection Agency is Expensive

Most collection agencies operate on a contingency-fee basis, meaning if they don’t collect, you don’t pay. Others will charge a flat fee. When you hire a collection agency you are hiring experts who can increase their sales by collecting more money for their customers.

Businesses that Use Collection Agencies Lose Customers

If you choose a good collection agency, you won’t lose customers. This would only be the case if the agency uses illegal tactics to collect debt, like threats or harassment

Contact The Cash Flow Group for any questions you may have about collections!  We are here to help.

 

Commercial Debt Collection in Florida

Monday, September 17th, 2018 | The Cash Flow Group | No Comments

Protect Yourself from Fraudulent Checks

Commercial Debt Collection in Florida – During the holidays and the huge sales thereafter is a hot time for bad checks. It’s certainly not limited to holiday time, but it seems that criminals take a liking to the holiday season in ways that wreck it for the rest of us.

No business is immune. Large, small or mid-sized, every company must take precautions.

A few tips from Costco Service Provider Harland Clarke can help you and your employees spot fraud before the damage is done. Here’s what to look for when examining a paper check:

  1. Missing routing or bank numbers
  2. Low check number as it may indicate a newly opened account
  3. Missing address
  4. Handwritten address
  5. Missing bank name
  6. “Void” printed anywhere on check
  7. Glued, taped or stapled check
  8. Obvious erasures or white out portions
  9. Missing signature
  10. Unusually large purchase from unknown customer

Security features, like a watermark are a good sign that the check is legit. You may want to make a quick call to the bank before you finish the transaction.

As a business owner, you have the right to protect yourself. If the check just doesn’t feel or look right, request another form of payment.

Florida Debt Collectors and Tax Write-Offs

Monday, September 17th, 2018 | Florida commercial collection agency, Florida Debt Collection, The Cash Flow Group | No Comments

Collecting Uncollectible Debts and Tax Write-offs

Florida Debt Collectors, The Cash Flow Group is here to answer your questions!  One question that business owners often have to wrestle with at tax time is whether or not to write off a debt as “uncollectible.”

If your business uses a cash basis accounting system, this isn’t an issue for you. In a cash basis accounting system, you don’t count money that you’re owed until it’s paid to you. You can still write off any expenses related to an unpaid invoice, but you do not owe taxes on any unpaid income. If you are a large company this also is unlikely to be an issue for you. Large companies tend to use a reserve form of accounting and have a “bad debt reserve” to which they apply bad debts.

However, if you are neither a very large or very small company, you most likely file your taxes on an accrual basis. In accrual basis accounting, the unpaid invoice shows up as income on which you owe taxes. However, if you never collect that money, you can write off the amount as a bad debt expense.

Tax Planning

It is usually best to take your write off as soon as possible so that you get the tax deduction now, instead of later. The only time taking the deduction later would be better is if you are expecting to be in a higher tax bracket later on. This is primarily a concern for sole proprietors and S corporations, whose annual income fluctuates more widely. However, even if you expect to change tax brackets, you can not randomly decide when to write off debts. There are no hard and fast tax rules about when you can consider a debt “uncollectible,” but the IRS does like to see consistency in your tax filing methods.

Generally, it’s hard to justify classifying a debt as “uncollectible” if the debt has been owed for less than 90 days. But, some warning signs that a debt may be uncollectible, even if it’s been less than 90 days, include a company declaring bankruptcy, a company refusing to answer communication, a company stating that they will not pay you, or a company simply disappearing. Once you have turned a debt over to a collection agency, you are also justified in writing it off on your taxes. However, if the collection agency is able to collect, you will owe taxes on the amount collected.

We recommend that you not wait until tax season to think about how you will collect on unpaid invoices. We advise clients to consider professional help with unpaid invoices that are 90 days or more overdue, or when they start to notice any of the warning signs that a business may not be willing or able to pay its bills.

Debt Collecting

Writing off bad debt is helpful to your bottom line, but what’s more helpful is actually collecting on that debt. For example, imagine that your company is in the 33% tax bracket and a company owes you $10,000. If you write that off as bad debt, you’ll save $3,300 in taxes. However, if you hire a reputable collection agency that charges 20% of the amount collected, you could get $8,000. Earning $8,000 is clearly better than saving $3,300.

At The Cash Flow Group, our goal is to make sure you are paid the money you are owed, so that you write off as few uncollectible debts as possible. Please reach out and let us know how we can help.

Debt Collection in Florida – When Customers Won’t Pay

Tuesday, August 21st, 2018 | The Cash Flow Group | No Comments

Florida PR

Slow-to-pay and no-pay customers can be a real headache for small business owners.

Those outstanding invoices often create havoc with a small business’ cash flow and can bring operations to a grinding halt- especially if the company is working on tight profit margins. But collecting on outstanding consumer debt does not have to begin with a bottle of aspirin.

Here are a few strategies to help small business owners get the most money from those outstanding invoices:

Be assertive, yet sensible with collection efforts: Trying to collect on overdue accounts is a delicate balance. On one hand, a business can often ill afford to be lax with collection calls and demand for payment letters. On the other hand, to keep loyal customers business owners should also take into consideration any external circumstances, such as economic conditions, that may affect a customer’s short-term ability to pay and make adjustments to the credit policy where it is feasible. Moreover, when deciding how to collect on an overdue account, a business owner should weigh the cost (in terms of money and other resources) of any collection efforts versus the actual amount that can be recovered.

Develop a credit policy: Business owners should make sure to clearly outline the terms and conditions customers must fulfill to establish credit with the company as well as the actions that will be taken when accounts are overdue. This policy should be made available to customers and can be submitted with any invoices on overdue accounts so that these customers know what to expect.

Don’t stop the communication: Once the communication stops between the business and the indebted customer, the likelihood that the business will receive even some if its money is much less. All communication should be firm, yet clear and respectful.

Know what action to take and when: Business owners should be familiar with the different options available for collecting on outstanding invoices or reducing the loss.

Keep good records: Along with a credit policy, businesses need to maintain clear, accurate, and up-to-date credit files and payment histories on each of their customers. There are numerous accounting software suites, such as those offered by Quickbooks, Peachtree, MYOB, and Microsoft Office and even some decent free, open source options, such as GnuCash and NolaPro, that can help small business owners stay on top of their accounts receivables.

– Send the invoice to a factoring company. If the outstanding account fulfills certain requirements, it can be given over to a factoring company. With accounts receivables factoring, the business will receive a significant percentage of the amount owed on the invoice up front from the factoring company and also be able to hand over the collection process.

– Find a good collection agency. For a fee, small business owners can enlist the expertise and services of a collection agency to nudge customers into paying on the account.

– Take the customer to small claims court. Though going to small claims court may not be such an attractive or even worthwhile option, there may be certain situations that warrant this course of action. A business owner, for example, may want to begin the process in order to influence a customer into reaching some kind of settlement.

– Claim the loss for a tax deduction. According to the Tax Code IRC 166, Reg. 1.166, business owners may be able to claim part of the loss on their subsequent tax return.

In short, with a little effort, know-how, and sensibility, small business owners can significantly improve their chances of collecting on outstanding invoices, and keep their heads clear for more important matters, such as running their business.

Please call our collection agency at (800) 226-2006 today with any questions or concerns.

Florida Debt Collection

Thursday, August 16th, 2018 | The Cash Flow Group | No Comments

Florida Debt Collection

Florida Debt Collection

We are a Florida Commercial Collection Agency

The Cash Flow Group has been collecting claims for large to small sized businesses. We have been doing this since the company was founded in 1982. 28 years of commercial consumer debt collection. We have never had a debtor action filed against us.  In today’s litigious climate, that fact gives our clients great peace of mind.

Our agency prefers to use a customized approach in the collection of your bad debt claims. This is unlike that of many other commercial collection agencies. A collection campaign that is gearing towards your company’s best interests is paramount. This provides you with the best results while satisfying you as an CFG client. The collection of your bad debt claims is now handled by seasoned professionals. These professionals know and understand the strategies to achieve the success you desire.

Florida Debt Collection Specialists

We are a commercial collection agency. So it is important to the success of each collection campaign to use the following method. Use the type of specialist who understands the intricacies of collections accounts receivable. The Cash Flow Group’s collection staff is very experienced. They are collection professionals who have proven themselves to be experts. Our staff has proven over the years to be very qualified in commercial collections.

There are many commercial collection agencies in Florida. There are few who have the drive, determination and experience as we do. The Cash Flow group is ready and equipped to collect your collection claims. We provide industry leading results. We take pride in extending world class service to all our valued clients.

The Cash Flow Group can collect your Florida commercial collection claims. We can provide your business with unbeatable results without compromising your customer relationships. We stand ready to serve the collection needs of your business and to enhance your bottom line.

Please call our collection agency at (800) 226-2006 today.

 

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How long can a company try to collect a debt?

Wednesday, August 15th, 2018 | Florida Debt Collection | No Comments

Does Your Old Debt Have an Expiration Date?

If you have some negative debt reflected on your credit reports, you may be wondering how long debt collectors can try to collect on that debt, and how long that debt can affect your credit. The simple answer is, it depends. The full answer requires some explanation…let’s start with collections.

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The Cash Flow Group, Inc

1126 S Federal Hwy

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Ft Lauderdale, FL 33316

Email: info@thecashflowgroup.com

800.226.2006 Toll Free

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