2010 Newsletters


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2010 Newsletters

  1. 1. VOLUME 5, ISSUE 1 The Official Newsletter of National Recovery Agency January - 2010NRA Today“A Responsible Revenue Recovery Company™” 2007 ~ 2008 ~ 2009Debt Collection Service - Top Techniques to Reduce and Contain Delinquencies Collections Recon December 1, 2009 Many businesses extend creditto customers to drive sales and • collecting a deposit from the customer before delivering goods or Inside this issue:improve customer relationships. servicesThough this strategy is successful ingetting more business and retaining • collecting portions of the Featured Article P.1existing customers, it also creates the payment as a project progressesproblem of bad debts. Bad debtsare the receivables that have not • reminding customers of payments Industry News P.2been collected. Bad debts show through phone, letters or visitsunfavourably on a business account Urgent Alert P.3and severely affect the valuable cash In spite of having an efficient creditflows. management strategy, it is still possible Agency News P.5 to incur bad debts. All businesses will Recovering bad debts is not an easy have some percentage of customers Events Page P.7or pleasant task, and it is advisable for who delay payments or even avoidbusinesses to take measures to avoid or them. Businesses have many options to Compliance Corner P.8at least minimize bad debt. This can be deal with delinquent customers. Somedone by having a credit management of these are discussed below.system in place. Credit management Client Information P.9strategies may include: Consultation: Businesses can try to recover bad debt from customers • clearly stating terms and through consultation. The consultationconditions in the credit contract can bring about an agreement between the creditor and debtor Statutory letter: The credit company • ensuring all credit transactions are regarding the payment. In case of any may choose to send a statutorydocumented and signed disputes over the debt, the Community letter instead of a demand letter. A Justice Center can be called upon to statutory letter will also give details of • maintaining records accurately intervene and resolve the issue. the debt, total amount of debt and expected date of debt settlement. • keeping track of due and overdue Demand letter: A demand letter Statutory letters are sent out like courtpayments can be sent to the company or documents and hold greater clout individual in debt, if the consultation than demand letters. The statutory • checking the credit rating of does not give satisfactory results. A letter warns the debtors of legal action,debtors before extending credit demand letter must clearly state the within 21 days of the specified date, if details of the debt, along with the total they fail to make the payment. • checking the credit rating of the amount of debt involved and the datedebtor on a regular basis after giving by which the debt must be settled.credit The demand letter can also include Please turn to page a warning of legal action in case the debt is not paid by the specified date. © 2010 National Recovery Agency. All Rights Reserved.®
  2. 2. INDUSTRY NEWS January 2010 Volume 5 Issue 1 FDCPA 2009 STATISTICS Summary: January 7, 2010 • Of those cases, there were about 459 unique Oakley Duff Group Inc. / CEO plaintiffs (including multiple plaintiffs in one suit). • Of those plaintiffs, about 141 had sued under 2009 has ended, and it shattered the previous year’s consumer statutes before.record number of FDCPA cases filed in (or removed • Combined, those 141 plaintiffs have filed aboutto) US District Courts. Expectations that FDCPA cases 805 lawsuits since 2001would break the 8000 barrier were easily met, though • Actions were filed in 101 different US DistrictFCRA cases actually fell just short of 2008 numbers and Court branches.TCPA cases remained statistically (though not legally) • About 268 different collection firms andinsignificant. creditors were sued. Annual Comparisons: The top courts where lawsuits were filed: • 36 Lawsuits: Illinois Northern District Court - 2009: 8287 FDCPA, 1174 FCRA, 28 TCPA Cases Chicago 2008: 5188 FDCPA, 1164 FCRA, 16 TCPA Cases • 24 Lawsuits: New York Western District Court - 2007: 3813 FDCPA, 1347 FCRA, 22 TCPA Cases Buffalo 2006: 3220 FDCPA, 955 FCRA, 14 TCPA Cases • 23 Lawsuits: California Central District Court - Western Division - Los Angeles • 20 Lawsuits: Minnesota District Court - DMN Monthly Recap: There were about 907 consumer • 18 Lawsuits: Pennsylvania Eastern District Courtrights lawsuits in the month of December, including 774 - PhiladelphiaFDCPA and 79 FCRA suits filed against creditors and • 11 Lawsuits: Colorado District Court - Denvercollection agencies. • 11 Lawsuits: Georgia Northern District Court - Atlanta FDCPA and Other Consumer Rights Lawsuit Statistics, • 10 Lawsuits: Arizona District Court - PhoenixDecember 16-31, 2009 • 10 Lawsuits: California Southern District Court - San Diego There were about 427 lawsuits filed under consumer • 8 Lawsuits: California Eastern District Court -statutes in the second half of December. Here is an Sacramentoapproximate breakdown: The most active consumer attorneys were: • 358 Fair Debt Collection Practices Act • Representing 21 Consumers: Matthew William • 41 Fair Credit Reporting Act Kiverts • 21 Truth In Lending Act • Representing 16 Consumers: Sergei Lemberg • 2 Credit Repair Organizations Act • Representing 15 Consumers: Adam Theodore • 1 Equal Credit Opportunity Act Hill • 1 Electronic Fund Transfers Act • Representing 14 Consumers: Nicholas J. • 1 Federal Communications Act Bontrager • 1 Graham-Leach-Bliley Act • Representing 11 Consumers: Todd Michael • 1 Home Ownership And Equity Protection Act Friedman • 6 State of California Consumer Statutes • Representing 10 Consumers: Ryan Scott Lee • 2 State of Florida Consumer Statutes • Representing 10 Consumers: Joseph A Mullaney • 1 State of Kentucky Consumer Statutes III • 1 State of Michigan Consumer Statutes • Representing 9 Consumers: David Michael • 1 State of Rhode Island Consumer Statutes Larson • 1 State of Texas Consumer Statutes • Representing 9 Consumers: James Marvin • 1 State of West Virginia Consumer Statutes Feagle • 2 Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act • Representing 8 Consumers: Brian P. Parker • 1 Right to Financial Privacy Act • 1 Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Please turn to page Organizations Act © 2010 National Recovery Agency. All Rights Reserved.®
  3. 3. URGENT ALERT January 2010 Volume 5 Issue 1Continued from page U.S. Postal Service Announces Most Rates Will NotStatistics Year to Date: Increase in 201010128 total lawsuits for 2009, including: November 2, 2009• 8287 FDCPA• 1174 FCRA Concern over pricing by businesses leads USPS• 28 TCPA to freeze pricing for many common services.Number of unique Plaintiffs: 9697 (including In light of the current economic climate, themultiple plaintiffs in one suit) postmaster general for the U.S. Postal ServiceThe most active consumer attorneys of the year: has announced plans to freeze prices for most mailing services in 2010. These include first-class• Representing 441 Consumers: Ryan Scott Lee mail, standard mail, periodicals and single-piece• Representing 329 Consumers: Nicholas J. Bontrager parcel post.• Representing 239 Consumers: Todd Michael In a letter to customers, Postmaster General Friedman John E. Potter said, “While increasing prices• Representing 227 Consumers: Sergei Lemberg might have generated revenue for the Postal• Representing 220 Consumers: Brent F. Vullings Service in the short term, the long-term effect could drive additional mail out of the system. We want mailers to continue to invest in mail to grow their business, communicate with valued customers and maintain a strong presence in the marketplace.” Pricing changes for priority mail, express mail, parcel select and international products remain under consideration. FASTFAX: ACA International • HIPAA Compliance Issues for the Collections Industry (#6251); revised and updated per the requirements of the HITECH Act. • Caller ID and the FDCPA (#1168); added section on displaying local area codes. • GLBA Notices and the FDCPA: Possible FDCPA Violations (#3027): new document. • North Carolina Collection Law Changes (#3030): new document. • Leaving Voice Mail Messages for Consumers (#1146); added new case law. © 2010 National Recovery Agency. All Rights Reserved.®
  4. 4. URGENT ALERT January 2010 Volume 5 Issue 1 Class Claims DAs Let Collectors Use Official Letterhead to Threaten Debtors By ERIN MCAULEY SCRANTON, Pa. (CN) - A federal reports of debts owed to them due to “Pursuant to the contract withclass action claims a collection dishonored checks,” according to the NCG, Defendant Jarbola receivesagency uses district attorneys’ complaint. 100% of the administrative feesletterheads to threaten debtors After receiving a complaint generated by NCG. NCG receiveswith jail time in a “bad check from a merchant or other creditor, 100% of the class fees and incidentalrestitution program” - and that “NCG sends the individual accused of fees.”the district attorneys allow it. The writing the dishonored check a notice, The two named plaintiffs sayclass says”approximately twenty” ostensibly from the district attorney, they each had to pay more thanPennsylvania counties have contracts on official district attorney letterhead, three times the amount of theirwith the National Corrective Group, with a reproduction of the district alleged debts in fees. They sayallowing the collectors to use the attorney’s signature,” threatening they were never informed that the“district attorney brand.” The class says the debtor with criminal prosecution, “restitution program” was voluntarysuch contracts are unconstitutional, as the complaint states. It adds that the and never were told that theythey violate due process. complaints “are never reviewed by were being contacted by a debt The class sued Lackawanna any employee of the district attorney. collection agency.County District Attorney Andrew J. NCG alone evaluates the complaints In the past two years,Jarbola III and the National Corrective and initiates participation in the bad approximately 12,000 people haveGroup (NCG). It claims that on March check restitution program. It has a been harassed into participating in31, 2009, NCG assumed the “duties purely financial incentive in doing so.” the “program,” according to theand responsibilities under its contracts In threatening criminal complaint.with Pennsylvania district attorneys” prosecution, NCG’s demand letter “Neither defendant Jarbolafrom its predecessor, American states that if the recipient “may nor other Pennsylvania districtCorrective Counseling Services. contact ‘the District Attorney’s Bad attorneys have the authority under“NCG has continued to operate the Check Restitution Office’ at a toll Pennsylvania law to operatebad check restitution program in free number or fax or mail a written a pre-charge, extra judicialLackawanna and other counties in dispute within 30 days to a fax number diversion, restitution or debtthe same, or substantially the same or post office box. The phone and collection program, nor are themanner as ACCS. fax numbers provided, as well as the fees charged pursuant to such “Pursuant to this contract, P.O. box, connect the individual with programs authorized by law. MostDefendant Jarbola permits NCG to use representatives of NCG in California, Pennsylvania district attorneys havehis office, his official letterhead and not with defendant Jarbola’s or declined to participate in NCG’shis signature in communicating with any other district attorney’s office,” scheme,” the complaint states.individuals who have issued checks according to the complaint. “Pennsylvania has authorized,which have been dishonored. NCG In violation of Pennsylvania through state rule, diversionthereupon uses the district attorney’s law, NCG’s demand letters say the programs which require that criminalidentity in threatening prosecution debtor may not pay the merchant charges first be actually filed andand imprisonment, stating or implying directly. The complaint adds: “These which require judicial oversight andthat criminal charges have been notices are sent for the purpose of approval.”filed and that court appearances collecting private debt as well as The class seeks an injunctionwill be required, and stating that fees to the Defendants. NCG has the and damages for violations of thepayments are due that far exceed same arrangement with certain other state and federal constitutions,the amount of the dishonored check. Pennsylvania district attorneys.” violations of the Fair Debt CollectionThese notices are sent for the purpose The class claims that Jarbola Practices Act, misrepresentation,of collecting private debt as well as and other district attorneys “have also unfair trade, and other charges.fees to the Defendants. NCG has the authorized NCG to use their name, Their lead attorneys are Donaldsame arrangement with certain other signature and letterhead to charge Driscoll and Margaret Schuetz withPennsylvania district attorneys. individuals numerous incidental fees the Community Justice Project of “Through its ability to use the over and above an administrative Pittsburgh.“district attorney brand” and its and accountability class fee. Thesesuperior performance relative to incidental fees include late paymentother debt collectors, NCG solicits fees, rescheduling fees, Payment/and then receives from merchants Convenience fees and Overpayment/ Handling fees. © 2010 National Recovery Agency. All Rights Reserved.®
  5. 5. AGENCY NEWS January 2010 Volume 5 Issue 1 Collectors receive professional Continued from page training during two-day seminar January 12, 2010 Litigation: A business may have to file a lawsuit against the debtor to recover the debt. All other Last month, eight (8) of NRA’s Collectors debt recovery strategies, within legal boundaries, attended the FDCPA Compliance Training and must be tried before reaching this stage. Litigation Professional Telephone Techniques Seminar held is always the last option. Taking legal action is on December 16 17 at the Harrisburg Hilton, in a time-consuming and costly business. It is Harrisburg, PA. advisable to get some idea of the potential cost involved before proceeding with the litigation. “This is an interesting time for us,” states Steven Bad debts are an unavoidable side effect of C. Kusic. With the rise in consumer debt, it’s more extending credit. Though there are many avenues important now than ever to comply with the to collect debts, they are by no means easy and FDCPA and employ professionals trained to do so. can cost the business a good amount of time Consumers are facing some tough times ahead and money. Therefore, it is better to develop an of them. We are here to help them meet their effective credit management strategy to minimize obligations, in a professional and legal manner. bad debts. Also, consider a partnership with a good NRA is committed to providing the very best collection agency that can take over the task of services available. We strive to train our staff collection if your in-house resources and expertise in providing excellent customer service which is inadequate to resolve the situation. ultimately results in 100% Client Satisfaction. GREAT TIME TO PERFORM YOUR ON-SITE AUDITS!! DID YOU KNOW ?REMINDER: Call us at 1-800-360-9953 toschedule a time to visit with us on February 26th. National Recovery Agency is PPMS, PCI-DSS and SAS-70 Type II Certified? NRA IS LOOKING FOR GOOD EMPLOYEES!! © 2010 National Recovery Agency. All Rights Reserved.®
  6. 6. AGENCY NEWS January 2010 Volume 5 Issue 1Upcoming Events NRA Book Club JANUARY 2010 NRA is offering its staff reading material that is meant to educate, train, and motivate. NRA’s staff is excitedJanuary 26, 2010 about being given the opportunity to enhance theirCentral Pennsylvania Blood Bank knowledge in various areas of business.NRA Group, LLCHarrisburg, PA 17111 January’s FEATURED FEBRUARY 2010 BookFebruary 9-11, 2010 I can’t say enough about theDebt Buyer Association Convention books we are being provided.Las Vegas, NV They have helped me a lot in the different tasks as a manager MARCH 2010 and they have also helped me personally with interacting theMarch 17 - 19, 2010 collectors.Spring Forum Expo Kim GouldScottsdale, AZ Training Managerhttp://www.acainternational.org/events Visit us today at www.nationalrecovery.com WE’RE OPEN! To maximize recovery on your portfolio ~ we operate seven days a week. © 2010 National Recovery Agency. All Rights Reserved.®
  7. 7. EVENT PAGE January 2010 Volume 5 Issue 1 CENTRAL PA BLOOD BANK On January 26, 2010, National Recovery Agency community. There is no substitute for human blood; hosted a blood drive for the Central PA Blood Bank. 52 donors are the only source. Every two seconds, someone NRA employees attempted to donate blood and 40 were needs blood, and an adequate blood supply is crucial to successful donors. 40 pints of blood can save as many their survival. as 160 lives. Over 30% of NRA employees attempted to donate; however only 5% of the population donates! In 2010, NRA is committed to dedicating its time in supporting the following organizations lead by its National Recovery Agency’s next blood drive at Community Caring Committees: CENTRAL PA FOOD the Paxton Street location is on March 29th and at the BANK, CENTRAL PA BLOOD BANK, ADOPT-A-HIGHWAY, Crossgate Drive location on April 8th. Please consider VOLUNTEER OF AMERICA, BIG BROTHERS BIG SISTERS OF donating at one of our locations next time. Remember CENTRAL PA that the most important reason for becoming a regular blood donor is to meet the blood needs of ourCOMING IN MARCH... SEE A COMMITTEE MEMBER TO GET YOUR PLEDGE FORMS NOW!!! Big Brothers Big Sisters would not be able to operate without funding and volunteers for ourservices. If you are not able to volunteer as a Big, please consider one of the many other ways inwhich you could help our organization. You too can be part of the magic! With the death toll from the Haiti earthquake climbing, many people are wondering how they can help with the disaster relief efforts. Numerous organizations and aid agencies are accepting donations to assist those affected by the catastrophe. ACA International has teamed up with American Red Cross to develop a Web page where association members can donate to help relief efforts. Please Donate today! The American Red Cross name and emblem are used with its permission, which in no way constitutes an endorsement, express or implied, of any product, service, company, opinion or political position. For more information about the Red Cross, please visit http://www.redcross.org © 2010 National Recovery Agency. All Rights Reserved.®
  8. 8. COMPLIANCE CORNER January 2010 Volume 5 Issue 12010 Census to Begin WARNING: 2010 Census Cautions from theBetter Business Bureau Be Cautious About Giving Info to Census Workers by Security number, credit card or banking informationSusan Johnson to anyone, even if they claim they need it for the U.S. . Census. With the U.S. Census process beginning, the BetterBusiness Bureau REMEMBER, NO MATTER WHAT THEY ASK, YOU REALLY (BBB) advises people to be cooperative, but cautious, ONLY NEED TO TELL THEM HOW MANY PEOPLE LIVE ATso as not to become a victim of fraud or identity theft. The YOUR ADDRESS..first phase of the 2010 U.S. Census is under way as workers While the Census Bureau might ask for basic financialhave begun verifying the addresses of households across information, such as a salary range, YOU DON’T HAVEthe country. Eventually, more than 140,000 U.S. Census TO ANSWER ANYTHING AT ALL ABOUT YOUR FINANCIALworkers will count every person in the United States and SITUATION. The Census Bureau will not ask for Socialwill gather information about every person living at each Security, bank account, or credit card numbers, nor willaddress including name, age, gender, race, and other employees solicit donations. Any one asking for thatrelevant data. information is NOT with the Census Bureau. The big question is - how do you tell the difference AND REMEMBER, THE CENSUS BUREAU HAS DECIDEDbetween a U.S. Census worker and a con artist? BBB offers NOT TO WORK WITH ACORN ON GATHERING THISthe following advice: INFORMATION.. No Acorn worker should approach you ** If a U.S. Census worker knocks on your door, they saying he/she is with the Census Bureau. Eventually,will have a badge, a handheld device, a Census Bureau Census workers may contact you by telephone, mail,canvas bag, and a confidentiality notice. Ask to see their or in person at home. However, the Census Bureau willidentification and their badge before answering their not contact you by Email, so be on the lookout for Emailquestions. However, you should never invite anyone you scams impersonating the Census.don’t know into your home. Never click on a link or open any attachments in an ** Census workers are currently only knocking on doors Email that are supposedly from the U.S. Census Bureau.to verify address information. Do not give your Social Why offer payment arrangements in this economy? The most important reason you want to offer payment payment plans, they accept whatever their customerarrangements is to get paid. In this troubled economy it is offers without any negotiation, this is a huge mistakeunrealistic to think your customers can all pay you in full. that can cost you the customer, money or your If a customer is avoiding you or becoming more and business. Business owners need to maximize their in-more delinquent, it is likely they just cannot pay the entire house receivables, they cannot get a handle onbill and don’t realize they have the opportunity to set up a their receivables without assessing the situation andpayment plan. negotiating a payment plan that works for them, the In my years of doing collection work, many of the customer and that is beneficial to all involved.debtors I would call did not pay because they thought they You have to make payment arrangements that arehad to pay the whole amount, Once they realized they worth your while, while making the arrangement do-could set up a payment plan, they were relieved and open able for the customer. If you set up a blanket paymentto setting something up to get their bill paid. arrangement, for example, everyone pays $100 a month, The key in offering payment arrangements, especially if a debtor cannot pay that, you will not get paid. If younow, is to BE REALISTIC. work with the debtor and assess their specific situation If you treat your customers well, they will continue to and agree on $25 every other week, and the customerbe your customer when this economic crisis is over, they can do that, you will get paid. This article is an excerptwill appreciate that you worked with them and hopefully from my e-book Establishing Payment Arrangements:continue to be loyal and tell others about your business. Beyond Net 30 Many business owners don’t set precedence on © 2010 National Recovery Agency. All Rights Reserved.®
  9. 9. CLIENT INFORMATION January 2010 Volume 5 Issue 1Effective immediately, the following process appliesto any and all clients who are referring accounts VIEW YOUR ACCOUNTS ON LINEelectronically to NRA. When referring an account fileelectronically, please use the format below to ensure WITH “NAVIGATE”.timely download/upload of your data. It is suggested that THIS IS A USER-FRIENDLY AND SECUREyou save this page and submit with each electronic file. SITE THAT YOU CAN USE TO CHECK THE STATUS OF YOUR ACCOUNTS, UPLOAD FILES AND MORE. NAVIGATE IS A CONVENIENT SITE FOR NRA FILE TRANSFER OUR CLIENTS. VERIFICATION FORM FOR LOGIN INFORMATION PLEASE CONTACT FILE NAME TMORITZ@NATIONALRECOVERY.COM DATE OF TRANSFER CLIENT NUMBER CLIENT NAME CONTACT NAME LET US “HOOK” YOU UP BY TURNING YOUR DISTRESSED CONTACT PHONE DEBT INTO PLACEMENT TOTALS LIQUID CAPITAL. TOTAL NUMBER OF ACCOUNTS PLACED DOLLAR VALUE OF ACCOUNTS PLACED PLEASE FORWARD THIS INFORMATION TO THE INDIVIDUAL WHO PLACES YOUR ACCOUNTS WITH OUR AGENCY. call us today!! If ou have any questions, please feel free to call IT Support at 1-800-360-9953 x 6736 1/800-360-9953 OR VISIT US ONLINE AT WWW.NATIONALRECOVERY.COM © 2010 National Recovery Agency. All Rights Reserved.®
  10. 10. PASS IT ON:Do you know someone who would like to National Recovery places great emphasisreceive Our Newsletter? Call us at 717-540- on the importance of recovering our7636 with the individual’s name, company client’s portfolio. In addition toand email address. We will be happy to traditional methods of payment suchinclude them on our mailing list or go as cash, money orders, personal, bank,on-line at www.nationalrecovery.com and certified checks, we accept theand request a copy of our newsletter. following methods of debtor payment over the phone; as well as the ability to Questions or comments about pay online at www.nationalrecovery.com. the newsletter? • Western Union/Quick Collect Email us at: sales@nationalrecovery.com • Credit AND DEBIT Cards • MoneyGram • Bank Wire OFFICE LOCATIONS: • Check By Phone 2491 Paxton Street Harrisburg, PA 17106 3 Crossgates Drive Mechanicsburg, PA 17055 Phone: 800-360-9953 Fax: 800-360-9954 SUDOKU Ask Dr. DebtAsk Dr. DebtConsumers seeking solutions to debt problems have a new online resource through Ask Dr. Debt, a financial education Web site that ACA International -- a nonprofit credit association unveiled April 15. “It’s essentially an online versionof ‘Dear Abby’ for consumers with credit and debtquestions,” John Nemo, public relations director for ACAInternational, said in an e-mail. Nemo said visitors tothe site will be able to search a database of frequentlyasked questions and submit their own. Ask Doctor Debtalso contains interactive tools to educate consumers,such as budget calculators and a free personal financialmanagement Web course. HERE’S THE PUZZLE. GOOD LUCK! 10 © 2010 National Recovery Agency. All Rights Reserved.®
  11. 11. VOLUME 5, ISSUE 2 The Official Newsletter of National Recovery Agency February - 2010NRA Today“A Responsible Revenue Recovery Company™” 2007 ~ 2008 ~ 2009 Better Risk Models Boost Health Care Collections PaymentsSource | Friday, January 29, 2010 Editor’s Note: The following exclusive scrubbed to pinpoint bankruptcies andreport is part of our ongoing coverage deceased individuals.of niche markets. To contribute to our “The depth of data used to build Inside this issue:health care stories, or to comment, write scoring models is helping to createto: darren.waggoner@sourcemedia. more accurate risk scores,” says Shellcom Sharma, chief operating officer at Health care debt is on the rise as collection agency NRA Group LLC Featured Article P.1more companies raise deductibles in Harrisburg, Pa. “Since we havefor employee insurance plans. For been scoring health care debt pre- Industry News P.2collection agencies, counting on better collections, recoveries on that debtscoring models – and sometimes a mix have increased 15%.” Agency News P.4of models - is critical. Relying on a single model to score In the recession, salaries are stagnant health care debt can pose problems. Urgent Alert P.6and dual income families often are now NRA scores health care debt using anone-income households, or worse. Co- in-house model and then sends thepayments are soaring and deductibles accounts out to be scored again by Events Page P.7in some cases are reaching five third parties. NRA began the practicefigures, says Chad Mulvaney, technical to verify the results of its scoring model Client Information P.8manager at the Healthcare Financial and has continued it because they likeManagement Association, Westchester, having a broader perspective whenIll. evaluating the risk characteristics of the A reasonable goal for collection portfolios they work.agencies is to collect approximately Collection managers and health Connance Inc., a Waltham, Mass.5% of health care receivables from care providers also use scoring models provider of analytics and self-payconsumers who fully self-pay, industry pre-collections to identify patient software to the health care industry.insiders say. By comparison, the receivables as charity care that might “Scoring models and gathering betterrecovery rate for the self-pay portion otherwise be classified as bad debt patient data upfront can help identifyof health care bills for consumers with downstream. charity care cases.”insurance, i.e. deductibles and co-pay, Non-profit hospitals and health care One reason why a third of patientaverages 60%, providers provide charity care as part receivables that wind up in collections For agencies and health care of requirements to keep a tax-exempt are not classified as charity careproviders, the good news is that better status. Charity care patients are those is that providers neglect to gatherinformation – such as unemployment who lack the financial means to cover patient information to qualify them forrates by Zip code and average income all or a portion of treatment. charity care because of the cost oflevels for a geographic area – is “About 30% of health care debt processing a charity care application.available and has led to better scoring can be qualified for charity care but is It can cost as much as $200 to do so.models. not, and that figure has not changed As a result, many health care providers Collectors need to identify charity much in the past year,” says David only pursue the most obvious cases.care cases early; accounts must be Franklin, chief development officer at “We end up with a lot of paper on Please turn to page © 2009-2010 National Recovery Agency. All Rights Reserved.®
  12. 12. INDUSTRY NEWS February 2010 Volume 5 Issue 2 Hard Times Lead To Dramatic Rise In Bankruptcies for households located in the county) were concentrated in This high default risk combined in two clusters: the Southwest and Georgia. Seven of the ten countieswith increasing unemployment and the Southeast. Interestingly, as with the highest filing rates werebankruptcy filings continues to have a Map 2 shows, the concentration in Georgia, with the highest rateserious impact on the economy. of foreclosure proceedings is in the county occurring in Shelby much different, with the highest County, Tennessee (Memphis), concentrations clustered in the Bankruptcy filings in December with a filing rate almost three times northern Midwest. 2009 topped 110,000 for the tenth the national average. The second The states with the highest straight month, for a 32% increase and third highest filing rates were household-adjusted bankruptcy filing over last December’s total. The in two counties east of Atlanta rates are Nevada (two-and-half times high number of December filings (Newton and Barrow), both with the national average), followed by suggests an unusual seasonal pattern. filing rates more than two and a Tennessee, Georgia, Alabama, and December filings typically are much half-times the national average. Indiana (with household-adjusted lower than November filings, but this On a national basis, 28% of all filing rates more than one and a half year they were almost identical (even filings to date were under Chapter times the national average). More considering the relative number of 13, the procedure most directly than one out of every six bankruptcy days). Still, the trend in bankruptcy related to home-mortgage distress. filings this year has occurred in one filings in recent months suggests that Again, there was a substantial of those States, even though those we have passed the peak of filings variation among the States on the States include only one in twelve related to the economic crisis, and prevalence of bankrupts seeking American households. The lowest thus that 2010 filings will be lower than Chapter 13 relief. The States with filing rates were in Alaska (less than 2009 filings. Rolling three-month data the highest share of Chapter a third of the national average), (Figure 1) account for the seasonality 13 filings (50% or more in each followed by the District of Columbia, in filing trends, but illustrate the case) were concentrated in the North Dakota, South Carolina, and comparatively higher filing patterns South: Louisiana, Alabama, South South Dakota (all far less than half the for 2009. For comparison, foreclosure Carolina, Tennessee, and Texas. national average). data over the last three years reveal At the other end of the spectrum The States with the biggest no comparable peak (Figure 2, based were States with relatively low increase in filings over the previous on data from the Mortgage Bankers Chapter 13 shares. (The three year were Arizona (an 80% jump) Association). lowest were New Mexico, Iowa, followed by Nevada, California, With the December filings, the and West Virginia, all with less than Wyoming, and Utah (all with increases total for 2009 is above 1.4 million, a 10% of their filings under Chapter of 55-60%). Although 2009 filings were 32% increase over filings for 2008. 13. higher than 2008 filings in all States, Indeed, 2009 filings were the highest This analysis was performed on several States have experienced in any year since the 2005 bankruptcy data collected by the National comparatively modest increases. The reform bill. Bankruptcy Research Center lowest increases (all about 12-14%) The increase includes a marked (NBKRC) by NBKRC contributor are in Nebraska, Pennsylvania, Alaska, upturn in the last year in Chapter Professor Ronald Mann of the and Tennessee. 7 (liquidation) filings, which have Columbia Law School. At the county level, the counties increased by more than 42% as with the highest filing rates (adjusting compared to this time last year, where Chapter 13 (rehabilitation) Filings per Million Households (2009) filings have increased by only 12%. The steadily declining share of Chapter 13 filings (less than 30% of 2009 filings to date) contrasts with the strong push by Congress in its 2005 bankruptcy legislation to encourage bankrupts to choose Chapter 13 rather than Chapter 7. Nationwide, 2009 filings amounted to more than 12,000 filings per million households – about 1 in every 80 households. As Map 1 shows, the high filing rates are concentrated © 2009-2010 National Recovery Agency. All Rights Reserved.®
  13. 13. INDUSTRY NEWS February 2010 Volume 5 Issue 2 SUDOKU METHODS OF ACCEPTABLE PAYMENT: National Recovery places great emphasis on the importance of recovering our client’s portfolio. In addition to traditional methods of payment such as cash, money orders, personal, Here is the puzzle. Good luck! bank, and certified checks, we accept the following methods of debtor payment over the phone; as well as the ability to pay online at www.nationalrecovery.com. • Western Union/Quick Collect • Credit AND DEBIT Cards • MoneyGram • Bank Wire • Check By Phone Continued from Page potential charity care prospects,” says “These are healthy people whoRod Goodall, president at Creditors “Boosting recoveries are rolling the dice, because if theyCollections Bureau Inc., Kankakee, Ill. of health care debt is contract a major illness or are in a Although collection agencies can serious accident, the cost of the a challenge and it is treatment quite possibly will bequalify charity care cases on the back-end, the health care provider still has likely to get tougher,” beyond their financial means to payto gather the necessary data from off,” says Goodall. In these cases,the consumer, which can be tough the best option may be to reach aif the patient is reluctant to fill out the settlement to recover a portion of employed consumers withoutforms. Reasons consumers who may the debt, he adds. health care insurance. More often,qualify for charity care, but do not, are While scoring models are not a this demographic consists of singleprivacy related and simple pride. panacea for improving recovery consumers in their 20s and early 30s “Once a potential charity case rates of health care debt, they do who are self-employed, but haveis identified, getting a completed prois expected to continue rising. foregone health care insuranceapplication is tough because some With health care reform still an because of the cost.people just don’t want to share that unknown, health care providers The trend slowed the growth ofinformation or accept charity care,” and collection agencies that want health care spending in 2008 tosays Thomas Gavinsky, vice president to keep recovery rates up will have 4.4% in 2008, down from 6% in 2007at collection agency IC System, St. to adopt more aggressive use of because uninsured consumersPaul, Minn. “Unless the debtor provides scoring models. are reluctant to seek treatment,the necessary personal information “Boosting recoveries of health according to the Centers forto verify they are a charity care case, care debt is a challenge and it Medicare and Medicaid Services.they can’t qualify.” is likely to get tougher,” predicts Health care collection experts Despite the improvement in Sharma. “Broader use of scoring are concerned that this pool ofscoring models, health care providers models can help meet that consumers represents a potentialand collection agencies doubt the challenge.” ticking bomb when it comes totechnology can have much of an delinquent medical debt.impact on boosting recoveries from © 2009-2010 National Recovery Agency. All Rights Reserved.®
  14. 14. AGENCY NEWS February 2010 Volume 5 Issue 2 NRA “BEST PRACTICES” February 4, 2010 Collector Effectiveness Collector effectiveness measures what the collectoraccomplishes during a customer contact andgenerally, reflects the quality of the collections staff,associated training; and tenure. Effective collectorsfocus customer calls on the following critical actions: • Define the reason for delinquency • Reach a mutually agreeable solution to the delinquency • Update customer information • Discuss future payments. PAXTON STREET OFFICE - MARCH 29TH, 2010 Successful collection requires balancing collectoreffectiveness with call intensity and contact rates. CROSSGATE DRIVE OFFICE - APRIL 8, 2010A well-designed collections process and prioritizedcollections goals are the key drivers that technologyenables and supports. Visit us today at www.nationalrecovery.com NRA’S RECYCLING PROGRAM SAVES DID YOU KNOW ? 148 TREES FROM DESTRUCTION IN 2009! February 4, 2010 National Recovery Agency NRA feels that every individual and business entity has a duty to protect our environment. There are many ways all is PPMS, PCI-DSS and of us can participate. Take part in a recycling program, at work or at home. Some of the ways NRA contributes to this cause includes using recycled paper, recycling empty ink SAS-70 Type II Certified? cartridges, and we have recycling bins for all of the paper we generate. You too can help. Take some of these small steps in making a big difference. • Recycle at work - ensure that there are paper recycling bins close to desks or printers. • Encourage your boss to purchase office paper with high recycled content. • Reduce the size of documents and print double sided to save paper. • Add the slogan “Think before you print” to the bottom of emails. NRA IS LOOKING FOR GOOD Employee participation is key! There are several web- EMPLOYEES!! sites that offer plans and tips to make a recycling plan at work a success. © 2009-2010 National Recovery Agency. All Rights Reserved.®
  15. 15. AGENCY NEWS February 2010 Volume 5 Issue 2 Upcoming Events FEBRUARY 2010 February 9-11, 2010 Debt Buyer Association Convention Las Vegas, NV February 23-25 Platts Credit Collections Utility Conference Orlando, FL February 23-24 Western Chapter HFMA Three Rivers AAHAM Seven Springs Resort Moon, PA MARCH 2010 March 17 - 19, 2010 Spring Forum Expo Scottsdale, AZ http://www.acainternational.org/events NRA Book Club NRA is offering its staff reading material that is meant to educate, train, and motivate. NRA’s staff is excited about being given the opportunity to enhance their knowledge in various areas of business. REREAD:Source: Central Penn Business JournalFebruary 2010 © 2009-2010 National Recovery Agency. All Rights Reserved.®
  16. 16. URGENT ALERT February 2010 Volume 5 Issue 2Don’t fall for credit-repair schemes InsideARM Published: 3/4/2009 2:22 AM The companies also advise you to dispute all Only time and effort will fix your credit score the information in your credit report, regardless of We’ve all seen those little stake-signs along rights its accuracy or timeliness.of way advertising “credit repair.” But unless you can When you follow illegalprove your credit reports contain errors, nobody can advice and commit fraud,change them legally — it’s a scam. you are legally liable and The Federal Trade Commission warns the public may face prosecution — it’snot to believe such claims, saying: “They’re very likely a federal crime to lie on asigns of a scam.” FTC attorneys say they have never loan or credit application,seen a legitimate credit repair operation making to misrepresent your Socialthose claims. Security number, and Fact is, there’s no quick fix for bad credit. You can to obtain an Employerimprove your credit report legitimately, but this takes Identification Number from the IRS under false pretenses.time and effort — you must adhere to a personal debt You can be charged and prosecuted for mail or wirerepayment plan until your debts are paid, and that fraud when using the mail, telephone or Internet to applyalone repairs your bad credit. for credit and provide false information. Whenever people lose their jobs due to a weakeconomy, credit reports begin to affect them more.Bad information on the reports lowers credit scores,and this prevents job searchers from getting goodjobs. Maryland Collection Agency Licensing That’s when scam perpetrators emerge from Board Issues Advisory Noticehibernation, lean and hungry for those last dimes.They target consumers with poor credit histories,promising to clean up their credit reports so they can January 28, 2010get a car loan, a home mortgage, insurance, maybea job. Board notifies collection agencies and consumers of a “Truth is, these companies can’t deliver improved debt collection law firm’s closure.credit reports for you with the tactics they promote,”the FTC Web site says. “It is illegal. No one can remove On Jan. 19, 2010, the Maryland Collection Agencyaccurate negative information from your credit Licensing Board issued an advisory notice to all Marylandreport. So after you pay them hundreds or thousands licensed debt collection agencies. The notice informedof dollars in fees, you’re left with the same credit consumers and creditors about the recent closure ofreport and someone else has your money.” Mann Bracken LLP, a Delaware limited liability partnership. Credit repair companies want you to pay for Additionally, the notice stated that Axiant, LLC, the supporttheir services before they provide any. Under the service company of Mann Bracken, had filed for Chapter 7federal Credit Repair Organizations Act, credit repair bankruptcy.companies cannot require you to pay until they havecompleted the services they have promised. As a result of Mann Bracken’s closure, the Maryland Office These companies usually don’t tell you your rights of the Commissioner of Financial Regulation has receivedunder the act, or what you can do on your own for numerous complaints from consumers voicing concernsfree. They tell you not to contact the three major regarding remitted checks not being cashed and who tonational credit reporting companies. They tell you contact about their specific accounts.they can rid your reports of their negative creditinformation — even if the information is accurate The advisory notice is intended to clarify collectionand current. They suggest you “invent a new credit agencies that have used the services of Mann Bracken oridentity” and a new credit report by applying Axiant are expected to contact consumers and inform themto the Internal Revenue Service for an Employer of what to do regarding their specific accounts. Additionally,Identification Number to use instead of your Social the Maryland Collection Agency Licensing Board has madeSecurity number. it clear simply responding to inbound inquiries is not sufficient given the scope of Mann Bracken’s activities. © 2009-2010 National Recovery Agency. All Rights Reserved.®
  17. 17. EVENT PAGE February 2010 Volume 5 Issue 2COMING IN MARCH... SEE A COMMITTEE MEMBER TO GET YOUR PLEDGE FORMS NOW!!! Please consider one of the many other ways in which you could help our organization. You toocan be part of the magic! NRA teams Participating: * Denotes Captain of the Team NRA Pin Collectors - *Kim Summerlot, Lori Gutshall, Brad Huffman, Anita Schaar, Carin Schrum NRA Bowling Stones – *Emma Yingling, Tasey Leitzell, Liz Krom, Penni Lee, Julie Conti NRA Money Makers - *Ashton Novinger, Cherie Wiley, Valerie Ginger, Melinda Laureano, Billy Albright NRA Bowl Dogs - *Craig Andrus, Winnie Smith, David Kell, Yvonne Cooper, Chris Bowen NRA Golden Boys - *Derek Bowman, Orlando Laureano, Ronnel Sanford, Joshua Love Sr., Andre Young Consider sponsoring an NRA employee or start your own team. Donate at www.capbigs.kintera.org With the death toll from the Haiti earthquake climbing, many people are wondering how they can help with thedisaster relief efforts. Numerous organizations and aid agencies are accepting donations to assist those affectedby the catastrophe. ACA International has teamed up with American Red Cross to develop a Web page whereassociation members can donate to help relief efforts. Please Donate today! The American Red Cross name and emblem are used with its permission, which in no way constitutes anendorsement, express or implied, of any product, service, company, opinion or political position. For moreinformation about the Red Cross, please visit http://www.redcross.org. © 2009-2010 National Recovery Agency. All Rights Reserved.®
  18. 18. CLIENT INFORMATION February 2010 Volume 5 Issue 2 LET US “HOOK” YOU UP BY TURNING YOUR OUTSTANDING DEBT INTO LIQUID CAPITAL. call us today!! 1/800-360-9953 OR VISIT US ONLINE AT WWW.NATIONALRECOVERY.COM Ask Dr. Debt Consumers seeking solutions to debt problems have a new online resource through Ask Dr. Debt, a financial education Web site FINAL NOTICE: GREAT TIME TO that ACA International PERFORM YOUR ON-SITE AUDITS!! -- a nonprofit credit association unveiledCall us at 1-800-360-9953 to schedule a time to April 15. “It’s essentiallyvisit with us on February 26th. an online version of ‘Dear Abby’ for consumers with credit and debt questions,” John Nemo, public relations director for ACA International, said in an e-mail. Nemo said visitors to the site will be able to search a database of frequently asked questions and submit their own. Ask Doctor Debt also contains interactive tools to educate consumers, such as budget calculators and a free personal financial management Web course. © 2009-2010 National Recovery Agency. All Rights Reserved.®
  19. 19. CLIENT INFORMATION February 2010 Volume 5 Issue 2Effective immediately, the following process appliesto any and all clients who are referring accounts VIEW YOUR ACCOUNTS ON LINEelectronically to NRA. When referring an account file WITH “NAVIGATE”.electronically, please use the format below to ensure THIS IS A USER-FRIENDLY AND SECURE SITE THAT YOU CAN USE TO CHECK THE STATUS OF YOURtimely download/upload of your data. It is suggested that ACCOUNTS, UPLOAD FILES AND MORE. NAVIGATE ISyou save this page and submit it with each electronic file. A CONVENIENT SITE FOR OUR CLIENTS. FOR LOGIN INFORMATION PLEASE CONTACT NRA FILE TRANSFER TMORITZ@NATIONALRECOVERY.COM VERIFICATION FORM FILE NAME PASS IT ON: Do you know someone who would like to receive Our Newsletter? Call us at 717-540-7636 with the individual’s name, DATE OF TRANSFER company and email address. We will be happy to include them on our mailing list or go on-line at www.nationalrecovery. com and request a copy of our newsletter. CLIENT NUMBER Questions or comments about the newsletter? Email us at: sales@nationalrecovery.com CLIENT NAME CONTACT NAME OFFICE LOCATIONS: 2491 Paxton Street Harrisburg, PA 17106 CONTACT PHONE 3 Crossgates Drive Mechanicsburg, PA 17055 PLACEMENT TOTALS Phone: 800-360-9953 Fax: 800-360-9954 TOTAL NUMBER OF ACCOUNTS PLACED DOLLAR VALUE OF ACCOUNTS PLACED PLEASE FORWARD THIS INFORMATION TO THE INDIVIDUAL WHO PLACES YOUR ACCOUNTS WITH OUR AGENCY. If ou have any questions, please feel free to call IT Support at 1-800-360-9953 x 6736 © 2009-2010 National Recovery Agency. All Rights Reserved.®
  20. 20. VOLUME 5, ISSUE 3 The Official Newsletter of National Recovery Agency March/April - 2010NRA Today “A Responsible Revenue Recovery Company™” 2007 ~ 2008 ~ 2009FTC Amends Free Credit Reports RuleEric J. EllmanVice President, Public Policy and Legal AffairsConsumer Data Industry AssociationFor Release: 2/23/2010 Inside this issue:On Feb. 23, the FTC issued a final reports, which states:amended rule which amends THIS NOTICE IS REQUIRED BY LAW.the Free Annual File Disclosures Read more at FTC.GOV. Featured Article P.1Rule, 16 CFR Part 610. The final You have the right toamended rule is attached here a free credit report from Industry News P.2and the media release related to AnnualCreditReport.com or 877-this rule is pasted in below. 322-8228, the ONLY authorized Events Page P.4 source under federal law. FTC Amends Free Credit The Web site disclosure must Urgent Alert P.6Reports Rule To Help Consumers include a clickable button toSteer Clear of ‘Free’ Offers that “Take me to the authorized Agency News P.7Cost Money source” and clickable links to Starting April 1, advertising AnnualCreditReport.com and FTC. Client Information P.8for “free credit reports” will GOV.require new disclosures to help The Credit CARD Act of 2009consumers avoid confusing requires the Commission to issue“free” offers – which often require a rule by February 22, 2010, to April 1: “Free credits reports areconsumers to spend money prevent deceptive marketing of available under Federal law at:on credit monitoring or other “free credit reports.” Specifically, AnnualCreditReport.com.”products or services – with the the Act requires that certain The FTC proposed amendingno-strings-attached credit reports advertisements for “free credit the Rule in October 2009available at AnnualCreditReport. reports” include prominent and received more than onecom, or 877-322-8228. disclosures designed to prevent thousand comments from The Federal Trade consumers from confusing these consumers, consumer reportingCommission’s Free Credit Reports “free” offers with the federally agencies, consumer reportRule will require new prominent mandated free annual credit resellers, business and tradedisclosures in advertisements reports available through the organizations, state attorneysfor “free credit reports.” For “centralized source,” which is general, consumer advocates,example, any Web site offering AnnualCreditReport.com, or 877- law firms, members of Congress,free credit reports must include a 322-8228. The Credit CARD Act of and academics.disclosure, across the top of each 2009 requires a slightly different The amended Rule alsopage that mentions free credit disclosure between now until restricts practices that might Please turn to page © 2009-2010 National Recovery Agency. All Rights Reserved.®
  21. 21. INDUSTRY NEWS March/April 2010 Volume 5 Issue 4 Continued from Page VALIDATION NOTICE ALERTconfuse or mislead consumers Source: ACA Internationalas they try to get their federallymandated free annual credit A consumer attorney inreports. For example, the amended Florida is pursuing claims againstRule requires nationwide consumer collection agencies, claimingreporting agencies – Equifax, that use of the phrase “30 daysExperian, and TransUnion – to delay from receiving this notice” inany advertising for products or the validation notice violatesservices on AnnualCreditReport. the FDCPA. The attorney claimscom until after consumers get their that using the word “from” asfree credit reports. NEW YORK CITY CERTIFICATES opposed to “after” is confusing the The amended Rule is effective consumers. This is a new theory OF CONFORMITY TOApril 1, 2010, except for the that has not, to my knowledge, AFFIDAVITSwording of the disclosures been tested in any Court.for television and radio However, to avoid litigation on Source: ACA Internationaladvertisements, which takes this issue, I recommend that alleffect on September 1, 2010. The validation notices be immediately On January 1, 2010, the CivilFTC will monitor and evaluate the reviewed to ensure that they Court of New York City amendedeffectiveness of the amended Rule contain exactly the following DRP-189 relating to Certificates ofand the required disclosures, and validation language: Conformity on Affidavits notarizedwill consider additional changes as Unless you notify this office within outside the State of New York. Thenecessary. 30 days after receiving this notice directive states that: The amended Rule can be that you dispute the validity of this “An affidavit submitted to thefound on the Commission’s Web debt or any portion thereof, this court which has been notarizedsite as a link to this press release office will assume this debt is valid. outside of New York State mustand will soon be published in the If you notify this office in writing have a certificate of conformityFederal Register. The Commission within 30 days after receiving this attached… The Certificate mustvote authorizing the publication of notice that you dispute the validity state that the acknowledgementthe Federal Register notice was 4-0. of this debt or any portion of it, was taken following the laws of Information in credit reports this office will obtain verification New York State…and that themay affect whether consumers of the debt or obtain a copy of a person notarizing the affidavitcan get a loan or a job, so it is judgment and mail you a copy of conformed to the laws of New Yorkimportant that consumers check such judgment or verification. If State…”their credit reports and correct you request of this office in writing The Certificate of Conformity is usedany information that is inaccurate. within 30 days after receiving this for the out of state notary, not theEach of the nationwide credit notice this office will provide you affiant. Should an affidavit be filedreporting companies is required with the name and address of the without the required Certificateto provide consumers with a free original creditor, if different from of Conformity, it will be flaggedcopy of their credit reports once the current creditor. by the Clerk and filed. However,every 12 months upon request. Any validation notices that applications for default judgmentConsumers can learn more about contain the phrase “30 days from will be rejected by the Clerk. Atheir right to a free credit report receiving this notice” should be submission of the Certificate ofunder federal law at http://www. changed to state “30 days after Conformity shall cure the defect.ftc.gov/freereports. receiving this notice.” Please note Upon DBA’s request for that any modifications to CNR clarification, The Clerk of New approved letters require submission York has stated that “the original and approval or else insurance certificate of conformity may coverage will not be available for be copied and used for each the modified letter. affidavit”. © 2009-2010 National Recovery Agency. All Rights Reserved.®
  22. 22. INDUSTRY NEWS March/April 2010 Volume 5 Issue 4 More consumers file for bankruptcy protection By Christine Dugas, USA TODAY ASK DR. DEBT “People generally file for Chapter 13 to try to save a home,” says Robert Lawless, professor of law at the University of Illinois. Before the housing crisis, financially strapped consumers could often avoid bankruptcy by tapping the rising value of their homes and taking out home equity loans. “People have borrowed money to avoid filing for bankruptcy,” says Lawless. “When consumer credit tightens up, as we’ve seen, that does increase the The economic recovery (bankruptcy) filing rate.” Ask Dr. Debteffort has not slowed consumer Business bankruptcy filings are Consumers seeking solutionsbankruptcy filings. They surged 14% rising, too. In February, there were to debt problems have a newin February compared with a year 6,557 business filings, compared online resource through Ask Dr.earlier, according to the American with 6,390 a year earlier, according Debt, a financial education WebBankruptcy Institute. to Automated Access to Court site that ACA International The 111,693 cases filed last month Electronic Records. -- a nonprofit credit associationalso represented a 9% increase from Gerdano expects that trend to unveiled April 15. “It’s essentiallyJanuary, the report said. continue, but he notes that business an online version of ‘Dear Abby’ “The debt-stress overhang from bankruptcies represent fewer than for consumers with credit andyears of consumer spending has a 10% of total filings. debt questions,” John Nemo,more acute impact now because Last year, there were 1.47 million public relations director for ACAof troubling economic times,” bankruptcy filings, up 32% from 2008, International, said in an e-mail.says Samuel Gerdano, American according to data released by the Nemo said visitors to the site willBankruptcy Institute executive Administrative Office of the U.S. be able to search a database ofdirector. Courts on Tuesday. Chapter 7 filings frequently asked questions and And that financial distress is driving rose 41% in 2009, while Chapter 13 filings were up just 12%. submit their own. Ask Doctor Debtmore Americans to file for Chapter The bankruptcy rate has risen also contains interactive tools to7 bankruptcy, which — if approved— allows a court to discharge most each year since the law was educate consumers, such as budgetunsecured consumer debt, including changed in 2005. “We are already calculators and a free personalcredit card bills. on a faster pace in 2010 than we financial management Web course. When a stricter bankruptcy law were a year ago,” Gerdano says.took effect in 2005, a major goal “Consumer filings will likely surpass 1.5was to require more families to rely million filings this year.”on Chapter 13 bankruptcy, whichrequires filers with regular income torepay debts in full, or in part, overseveral years. Yet the number of Chapter 13filings decreased 3% last month fromJanuary, the American BankruptcyInstitute says. © 2009-2010 National Recovery Agency. All Rights Reserved.®
  23. 23. EVENT PAGE March/April 2010 Volume 5 Issue 4NRA Team Bowl for Kids’ Sake On Saturday, March 6, 2010, four NRA teams“Bowled for Kids’ Sake”, a Big Brothers Big Sistersevent. The four teams – the NRA Pin Collectors,NRA Bowling Stones, NRA Golden Boys, andNRA Money Makers raised over $2,000.00 for BigBrothers Big Sisters of the Capital Region. NRAhas one more team bowling on Saturday, March27, 2010…the NRA Bowl Dogs (Craig Andrus,Winnie Smith, David Kell, Yvonne Cooper, ChrisBowen). Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Capital Regionhas been the area’s leader in establishing andsupporting ‘one-to-one’ mentoring relationships-- or friendships -- since 1981. They currentlyserve over 1,000 children throughout Dauphin, Above: NRA Bowling Stones (Julie Conti, Tasey Leitzell, Liz Krom, Emma Yingling, Penni Lee) Cumberland, Lebanon and Perry Counties. The bigs (volunteers), little (children), and families are as diverse as the colors of a rainbow. They come from all walks of life and hail from Harrisburg to Hershey, Shippensburg to Carlisle, Lebanon to Palmyra and West Perry to West Enola. What they all have in common is a desire to be part of something big and to bring a little magic into their own lives or the life of a child. It’s not just children that they reach; the volunteers say they get as much, if not more out of the friendships as do the children. THANK YOU!! NRA would like to extend a very special Thank You to the staff of VASCULAR ASSOCIATES who were generous enough to make a donation in support of NRA’s efforts! Above: NRA Golden Boys (Derek Bowman Orlando Laureano) © 2009-2010 National Recovery Agency. All Rights Reserved.®