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    Wednesday, December 3, 2008

    What you should know about collection agencies...

    Tough economic times attract annoying, unwanted telephone calls from collection agencies, collecting on debt they purchase from creditors. Collection agencies buy consumer debt for pennies on the dollar. The reward - A nice profit if they collect the full outstanding debt.

    So what should you know about your bad debt and the pesky, annoying telephone calls you receive from collection agencies during your dinner hour?

    The first thing you should know about collection agencies is that they are nothing more than call centers, employing anybody and everybody with or without credentials. A typical collection agency will jam all their agents into one room - open concept with the supervisor pit in the middle to monitor calls.

    Collection agencies CANNOT harass, threaten, seize, garnish, hold, or threaten you with any legal action. It is against the law and against the Fair Debt Collection Practices. They cannot contact your employer or any of your extended family. Contacting family is a tactic collection agencies use to try and shame you into paying your debt but it is illegal.

    The Process For Delinquent Accounts Leading to Charge Off

    • Creditors that hold delinquent accounts attempt to collect on outstanding balances internally first. They often use a different company name and mailing address. 
    • Creditors internal collection cycle will last between six to eight months. Beyond this period of time debts are passed off to a third party collection agency. Companies acting on behalf of the original creditor will try to recuperate some or all of the outstanding balance and are paid commission. There is very little negotiating power at this stage. You might work out a deal, making a nominal monthly payment.

    Charge Off

    • The definition of “Charge Off” is a debt that has been determined uncollectible by the original creditor, usually after the consumer has become seriously delinquent. This is when collection agencies buy debt for pennies on the dollar and when you the consumer have the greatest opportunity to negotiate.
    • Confirm your debt was sold by checking your credit report. The credit report will indicate a “Charge Off” if in fact the debt was sold.
    Okay now what? 
    • After you confirm your debt was sold - the next time you receive an annoying telephone call from a collection agency you simply say: PLEASE DO NOT CONTACT ME ANYMORE. They can contact you one more time, after the second phone call it then becomes illegal and the collection agency will be violating the Fair Debt Collection Practices. They can and will send you mail threatening legal action, but that’s all it is, an empty threat.
    • Or, you can offer to pay 1% of the total amount owing. The collection agency will flex their muscle and reject your offer. Request they do not call you again. Just be aware they will call again. The next time they call you offer 2% and so on up to 5% of the total debt. 
    • On average, collection agencies buy debt for 3% - Your offer of 5% will yield a profit of 2%. If they accept your offer, verify with your credit report in a few month that your debt indicates “PAID”. You are clear and free

    You should also know collection agency can sell debt up to three times and have sophisticated software that run credit reports on delinquent consumers that do not pay. When the economy recovers and delinquent consumers begin the process of applying for credit, guess what Collection agencies will soon be calling again. 

    Knowledge is Power... Use knowledge to your advantage. 

    Bruno LoGreco Master Life Coach & Mentor



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    4 comments:

    Mona said...

    are these canada laws your are talking about?

    being in collection will affect your credit negatively right?

    jojo said...

    good info...I couldn't agree more---knowledge IS power on sooo many levels.

    And I think you sound just fine...at least your comment did...I understood it right away ;)

    Mona said...

    hey bruno, should your poll choice "Somewhere" be "Somewhat" instead?

    Kent Wallman said...

    Debt collection companies do not have the right to collect a debt sold to them by a debtors origianl creditor. A person cannot put himself in harms way and then once he is harmed go and sue for the damage the harm did to him. This is equivalent to a buyer purchings a home that is on fire and then after the sale the new owner sues the old owner for fire damage. If a collection company purchases a debt that has been uncollectable he cannot win a law suit against the debtor to the original creditor because he has no ground to stand on. This reason among others is why we at freedomfromcreditors.com consider a debt owed by a collection company to be uncollectable and one not to be paid.

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    Ten Powerful Self-Coaching Tips

    By Bruno LoGreco

    Are you living the life of creativity and happiness that you've always dreamed of, or are you allowing your fears or other outside factors to influence you?

    Following the path that your heart's desires requires courage and might require a shift in attitude. There are several methods you can use to act as your own life coach and start working toward the life you dream of.

    Ideas for self-improvement

    You don't need to change every aspect of your life at once in order to improve your attitude and outlook on life. Self-improvement can feel daunting if you try to change everything at once.

    A good way to embark on your journey of self-coaching is to make one change and see what kind of impact it has upon your life. The following tips are designed to help you improve your life and become your own life coach. Try out one of the following tips at a time to positively impact your attitude and daily life.

    1. Find some ‘you' time. Everyone needs time alone to meditate and recharge. You may think you don't have extra time in your day. Start with 10-20 minutes to use for meditation or silent reflection.

    2. Ask yourself what you truly want in life. Are you living your life according to your true dreams and desires? You may be unaware of your desires that lie hidden beneath your surface needs and wants, so take the time to find out.

    3. Write everything down. Even if your thought seems silly, write it down! You may be surprised by the inspiration and ideas you can come up with.

    4. Journal daily, but with a twist. Instead of just writing about today, try writing about yesterday.

    5. Keep track of the "happy moments." Each day has potential for many small moments that bring joy and happiness. If you don't make a special note of them, you may not even recognize the small joys in your day.

    6. Choose one task each night to complete the next day. This way, you have focus, and you accomplish at least one task. Tasking and taxing yourself with effort is important in reaching goals.

    7. Smile when you wake up. Smiling is contagious. By smiling you improve your mood and can potentially improve someone else's day as well.

    8. Give thanks each night. Gratitude will improve your outlook on life and help you see all the good and wonderful moments of your day.

    9. Try something new. A new experience fuels creativity and your enjoyment of the day.

    10. Create at least one memorable moment each day. Make each day unforgettable, even if in a small way!

    Taking the next step with a life coach

    Self-coaching tips are great ideas for helping you improve your life. However, you can take your life to the next level with a life coach and mentor. A professional life coach can help you set goals and help you move forward with your dreams. If you're looking for the right path toward happiness, a life coach can help you discover the path your heart truly desires.

    Want to learn more about self-improvement? Bruno LoGreco is a Life Coach Toronto and mentor. Visit BrunoLoGreco.com and find out how to unleash your potential for success and happiness.

    The Success Indicators on Your Life Path

    Many people seek out a particular goal in their life path and are content when they achieve it. The chance to broaden their horizons or learn new things within an existent structure is not as appealing to them as it is to some others. This is an issue that arises in many individuals because they mistakenly think they have achieved what they wanted to in their lives. The plethora of environmental noise around them begins to infringe upon their goals and forces them to lose sight of what they truly wanted.

    A good way to think of this problem is to envision a large square box. This is not just any box though. Rather, in this case, your box has been divided into three separate, but equally shaped rectangular boxes, all stacked on top of one another. Each of these rectangular boxes is a highly important expression of your life goals -- individual levels of success. Within each of these levels of success is an indicator that tells you how close you are to becoming successful in this area of your life.

    Every area of your life that you identify as a potential path for success can be further divided, containing the many different events and obstacles you will encounter as you strive to reach your goals. Think of each sector of your life as being divided even further, with three new sections within one of the three stacked boxes (sectors). Within each stacked box are three separate sections, divided by dotted lines that make up the life path you will follow. These dotted lines are not the same as the solid lines dividing the sectors -- they are a path that you have envisioned since childhood -- a series of goals and pathways to success that you want to follow.

    As young people, these life paths may not be fully formed. Or they might be crystal clear in our minds--long, straight life paths from the early days of college and adult living to the ultimate goal of success that you have always strived for. You can see exactly what you need to do to reach each success indicator and achieve what you have set out to accomplish. And you probably did just this. After all, your goals as a youth were to be successful in the same way that you saw thousands of others live their lives. You wanted to reach your success indicators and experience the measure of success by which you would measure you life for decades to come.

    However, nothing is ever as simple as we envision it during youth. There are countless factors that interfere with your ability to clearly see those success indicators and life paths to success. These factors, or "Environmental Noise," can be detrimental to even the most focused of individuals. Think of what would happen if you dumped the contents of downtown New York into your box and tried to maintain your focus on those goals. Would you even be able to see your life path anymore?

    Everyone must travel their life path with environmental noise inundating them from all sides. It begins to become cloudy. The dotted lines, our life paths, begin to look like the straight lines and the success indicators start to be confused with any number of different distractions.

    And then something will happen and you will realize that you are in fact nowhere near the original success indicators you set for yourself. Everything has changed and yet you are stuck in a way. You are deep within the center of the middle rectangular box and you have no idea which way to go or how to get back on track. The noise only grows louder and you grow dizzy trying to regain your focus.

    It is in this instant that you must clear the noise and return to the basic, almost instinctive mode of thought you experienced as a child. What did you want from life? Where did you want to go? What do you need to get to that point? What was my life path? All of these questions must be asked without the distractions of the world around you muddying up your thought process. When you can revert to a very simple perspective of the world and only spend time thinking of what you want from life, you can be that much more successful.

    You can succeed in life despite the environmental noise, cruising down your life paths and moving through your rectangles with ease, but oftentimes you need a helping hand to clear away the noise and look at life with fresh eyes. There is nothing wrong with asking for help to weed out these distractions and remove the clutter from your life sectors with a professional life coach.

    Is your life path inundated with environmental noise? Learn how you can lift the noise and begin reestablishing your success indicators today. Visit www.brunologreco.com a Life Coach Toronto today.

    Chapters.ca

    Top 10 Benefits to Journaling

    By Bruno Logreco

    There are countless reasons to maintaining a journal. The top ten benefits of journaling may differ from person to person. However, there seems to be general themes that are attractive in the collective unconscious. Many people are looking to daily entries of their personal experiences to reap some of the following rewards.

    Maintaining a journal is a natural way to exercise the brain. People who make regular entries are taking time to develop writing and communication skills that are very valuable in everyday interactions. This mental exercise also helps to allow your thoughts to flow freely.

    Creativity is a second benefit to consider. This is an important aspect of journaling. The right hemisphere of the brain is associated with visual, imaginative and intuitive facets of thought. When you take time to write, you free the right hemisphere. The ideal entry will be one that puts the inner editor on hold. Thoughts and ideas should flow freely and naturally.

    The uninhibited nature of this form of writing serves a third benefit of developing self awareness. People often create different faces to meet various circumstances. We tend to recreate in distinct situations including the work environment, the community and even when at home.

    The process of keeping a journal helps you recognize the various aspects of your unique personality. The growing self awareness is a powerful force that can lead to even greater benefits in the future. Gaining insight into the self is among the most important aspects to maintaining a journal.

    The fourth benefit is the ability to set priorities. Once you get a grasp on the thoughts and emotions that are filtered through your personal experience, you begin to gain control of them. The process eventually leads to a greater understanding of what is and what is not important.

    The ability to re-see the past is another great benefit of keeping a journal. The pages can be revisited with a fresh perspective. It can be very surprising how much your understanding of an event changes over a relatively short period of time. Some writers find great moments of epiphany when rethinking and rereading entries.

    Journaling is a fantastic problem-solving resource. The approach of using entries to come up with various solutions to troubles is a little different than approaches for self awareness and growth. Many people choose temporary brainstorming techniques that serve to give viable solutions to problems.

    The seventh benefit of journaling is variety. You can choose what kind of entries you want to make. Common choices include brainstorming sessions, automatic writing and reflective notes. Personal journal entries can be made upon inspiration, when you first wake or right before you fall asleep. Some choose to do a combination of these.

    Purging is the eighth benefit to this practice. Many people find it helpful to place negative thoughts and feelings down on paper. Once the negative energy is placed on the page, they are free to let it go. This practice also works well when dealing with anger towards another individual. Purge the negativity and work towards a constructive approach.

    The ability to communicate with others is another benefit of keeping a journal. Those who work with life coaches can find a wealth of resources for sessions. Journaling can help you tap into your fears and dreams, helping your coach gain insight through entries that you choose to share.

    The tenth benefit is improvement in your overall health. Journaling reduces stress. It provides time for you to meditate. The process helps to make the positive forces in your life surface and it helps to bring the harmful elements into light. The result of personal journaling is a new perspective on how you can take control of many aspects of your life.

    Want to learn how online journaling can help you reach goals and problem solve? Learn more about life coach Toronto at brunologreco.com and journaling at iijournal.

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