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Paula Bartlett
The Check's In The Mail

The first thing you want to do as a business owner/manager is avoid delinquent accounts. Nobody wants to deal with the hassle of calling or sending dunning letters to consumers for goods or services provided. You just want to provide the goods or services and be paid, right?

First things first… My advice when working with a consumer is to assume you may be put in a position to try and collect your money at a later date. If your put in such a position ask yourself what will you need if you have to begin the collection process. read more »

The Check's In The Mail

As the year whines down this may be an excellent time to take a serious look at those outstanding accounts receivables you have been billing each month. I receive calls frequently asking if an account that is being placed for collections can be written off or not. It is my understating that you can show the outstanding amounts due you as a loss but once the account is paid you would of course have to indicate the income.

Many small businesses have been as lenient as they possibly can in this economic environment but at the end of the year are taking a very close look at the money they should have received for goods or services rendered. read more »

The Check's In The Mail

Over the last two years I have been sued three times by the same debtor in Federal Court. The suit took place in Chicago since the debtor lives in Illinois. The suit was based on violations of the Fair Debt Collection Practice Act. I was being sued for $75,000 but was told by the debtor’s attorney that if I wanted to make this “go away” they would settle for $15,000.

Since I was confident there were no violations, I told them no. Of course this meant that I was forced to hire an attorney in Chicago to defend what would be the beginning of three frivolous lawsuits filed against my company in Federal Court. All the false accusations were being made by a debtor that rented an RV to make an alleged charitable run across the U.S. read more »


Collection agencies are becoming very competitive. Every type of business is struggling and keeping a close eye on their bottom line. The collection industry. like many, has its fair share of scammers, so be careful. When researching the services of a collection agency it is important to know they are licensed and bonded. Remember, they are responsible for handling your money. Check with the Attorney General’s Office and the Department of Licensing to be sure their license is current and verify the number of complaints filed against them. It’s great to save money on fees but the last thing a business needs is to be involved in a lawsuit created by a collection agency that did not follow the FDCPA (fair debt collection practices act.) read more »

The Check's In The Mail

So now we have the co-chairmen of President Obama’s debt and deficit commission offering an assessment of the nation’s fiscal future? Erskine Bowles said that unlike the current economic crisis, which was largely unforeseen before it hit in the fall of 2008, the coming fiscal calamity is staring the country in the face. “This one is as clear as a bell. This debt is like a cancer.” These are quotes from Mr. Bowles at the National Governors Association meeting. States that ask for more help will probably be left out in the cold. read more »

The Check's In The Mail

I am supposed to be giving advice for collecting account receivables. Account receivables have seen a dramatic decrease due to anti-business elected officials. Instead of advice, I’m going to give you my opinion.

According to Businessweek.com-June 8, 2010. It is reported that according to a recent survey by the National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB), confidence among small employers in the United States increased to its highest level since September 2008 as employers become more optimistic that the nation’s economy will improve in six months. read more »


Things have evolved a little since this time last year. We have all learned how to operate our businesses with a lot less. I think the term is “survive.”

It has not been a pleasant experience for many businesses. Bankruptcies are up approximately 6 percent from this time last year. Debtors are using the economy as their “flavor of the month” excuse for not paying their debts. The problem with that excuse is, many were habitual debtors long before the economic mess of today.

I am receiving calls from businesses who never used the service of a collection agency before. Many of them express sympathy for the debtor who owes them money. My usual response is “You have to pay your bills don’t you?” read more »

The Check's In The Mail

In trying economic times like these, we have to try to keep a sense of humor. The following was given to me by a friend, and it made me laugh. Laughter is a strong medicine so here is your dose…

The economy is so bad that… read more »

The Check's In The Mail

I have a valued client that offers valuable services to our community. They provide rehabilitation for drug and alcohol abuse. They work extremely hard for their patrons but like all businesses they have to receive compensation or they will not be able to provide their much-needed services to others. read more »

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