Your ARMor

The UCS Newsletter, providing A/R management and debt collection insights, with the commitment of maintaining the important balance between

Results and Relationships
 vol. 4 issue 3
Table of Contents

Ready. Set. What? Fall?

Debt Collection: A Tough Job in an Often Misunderstood Industry

Data Furnishers' Credit Reporting Requirement Changes


Did you know?
You have been great to work with on this unfortunate issue. 
Thank you so much for your kindness.  Please apply this check to reference# XX-XXXXXXXXX.
      Thanks so much,
               a consumer

I want to thank Krys for being so polite and helpful. She is an asset to your company.
         a consumer

Thank you Kori, You are the best!

Hi Shirley, Thank you for always treating me with respect when you call. I'm sure you're the #1 collection person. Could you please send me the paid-in full letter for both accounts?
           a consumer

It’s officially fall, one of my favorite times of the year.  I know I say that a lot, but here in the Midwest each season is very distinct. I love the uniqueness of each. There is so much to look forward to.  Autumn brings red, purple, orange, and yellow landscapes with fallen leaves crunching underfoot, cooler temperatures, baseball play-offs, comfort foods in the slow cooker, and football. The kids are back in school and weekends are full of fall festivals, the smell of burning leaves, and football.  Oh, did I mention football? 

I’ve been a sports fan my entire life.  I can’t remember a time when I didn’t enjoy watching the games and cheering the victories of my favorite teams.  But as I’ve gotten older there has been a noticeable shift in the makeup of the teams.  When I was a kid, my friends and I could tell you all about the players on our teams. We followed their careers and rooted for them year after year. Frequently, today, players come and go so often, sometimes it doesn’t feel like it’s a “team” you are cheering for, but a jersey with a team name on it. 

Decades ago when we lived in Minnesota, back in the late ‘80s and again in the early ‘90s, the Twins won the World Series twice. The core team during those years was homegrown.  They came up through the ranks at the same time from the farm system.  That’s where they learned to play together so well, building off each other’s strengths. They had devotion to the team and each other. That’s how championship winning teams are made.  I see a lot of resemblance between that Minnesota team and the Chicago Cubs’ team this year.  Could they be this year’s champions?

Earlier this month we celebrated Labor Day, a day to recognize our workforce. I see a lot of similarities between that Minnesota team and our team here at UCS.   Our team is also homegrown. A fairly large central group—over 40 percent—came up through the ranks, many at the same time. They learned together, worked together, and grew together into a cohesive team devoted to our Mission, the Organization, and each other.  Through their strong work ethic and hard work they provided us with a foundation of unrivaled core competencies, professionalism, and industry wisdom that has been a big part of why UCS has remained a leader in our industry for so long. 

The longevity of our Company (over 65 years) this core group (averaging almost 25 years together) along with the rest of our dedicated, talented organization, together create a team I’m proud to say are champions.  Thank you for your hard work and dedication. 

To our clients, thank you for the continual opportunity to serve you.  We appreciate your business.

Best Regards,


Ready. Set. What? Fall?
by Mark Hammerstrom

Okay, so what exactly happened here? The last time I checked the snow had barely melted, the flowers sprang up, and then…suddenly…its fall again?   If you are like me, I had a list of things I truly wanted to do for spring and summer clean up.  Yet the pathway of good intentions being what it is, most of the list still needs tending to.  So, with regret, those lists have now become additions to the ‘fall clean up’ list. 

Just like our personal lives, in business it is often very easy to put off until later those routine things we probably should have done earlier, or at least maintained, so that they did not suddenly take us by surprise.  In summer it is particularly easy to let things slide, especially given all the distractions the season presents.

Now with a busy fall season ahead, it is important to remember that the condition of your accounts receivable should be reviewed and any placements you wish us to work in the most efficient way turned over to us at the very earliest opportunity.

Things to consider and add to your ‘fall cleaning’ list:

  • Turning over your delinquent accounts now allows us sufficient time to meet the federally mandated debt validation period and take advantage of the prime collection opportunities fall and winter present. 

  • Tax season is just around the corner, too, and is also a very rich opportunity to recover your debts.  Our ability to take advantage of this key payment period on your behalf depends on your turning your delinquencies over to us on a timely basis.

  • If you were not aware, important changes to the credit reporting laws will continue to take effect in 2017.  Have you reviewed your Payment Agreements to make sure you are, at the very least, documenting a debtor’s date of birth and / or social security number?  Without at least one of these we will not be able to report the delinquency to the credit reporting agencies.  If you are not doing that now, starting as soon as possible will help ensure we can continue to report them as you may wish.

  • When was the last time you reviewed the overall content of your current Payment Agreement?  As can often happen, the most routine, yet very important, documents can quickly become less than optimal for collections purposes as the Agreements do not reflect effective collections language. While we do not provide legal advice, we do review (at no cost to our clients)  current Agreements and provide feedback.  

  • Finally, reviewing and maintaining a vigilant approach to your delinquencies now can avoid surprises should your debts suddenly increase due to changes in the economy. Mounting evidence shows that consumer debt is at an all-time high and a slight wiggle in the economic health of the country could without warning increase your delinquencies rapidly. 

Much of this is just good business ‘house cleaning’ and the fall is a great time to ensure you have prepared your business to effectively recover your debts by using your debt collection experts at United Credit Service.
Debt Collection: A Tough Job in an often Misunderstood Industry
By  Lisa Brammer

The debt collection industry gets a lot of bad press.  It’s one of those industries where the light shines brightest on the few bad actors. As a result; many consumers, politicians, and businesses conjure up images of ruffians doing the ‘dirty work’ of an untrustworthy industry.  I know you’ve heard this all before, but it really bothers me. I guess I take it personally.

The U.S. economy is built on the premise that when consumers purchase goods, services, or credit, they are expected to repay what they owe. By recovering tens of billions of dollars in delinquent consumer debt each year the collection industry plays a vital role in keeping our economy healthy.  Results from an ACA International study conducted by Ernst and Young reported that in 2013, the debt collection industry collected more than $55 billion of debt and returned almost $45 billion to creditors and the economy; provided 130,000 jobs (and indirectly supported the employment of 100,000 more) with a total payroll of $12.4 billion, and paid $2.6 billion in federal, state, and local taxes. Our industry also gave almost 2 million company and individual volunteer hours and made more than $130 million in monetary donations.  Not too shabby for a vilified industry, huh?

Do you know who we are at UCS?  We are moms, dads, sons, daughters, husbands and wives.  We are doting grandparents showing off the newest pictures of our darling grandbabies and the people sitting next to you at church.  We are a group of individuals who’ve come together to make a difference; a difference for our clients, the patients, consumers, and for each other.

How do we do this? As Rick mentioned earlier in his letter, many of our team members have been working here together for a really long time—some multiple decades!  This gives us a great foundation of experience and understanding.  Others joined our team after gaining knowledge from other organizations, adding new perspectives and fresh eyes to older processes. Together, we do our best to provide the most effective, compliant collection efforts we can while providing everyone we come into contact with great customer service.

Our Company’s Mission Statement and guiding Principles talks about how “We will conduct ourselves ethically and professionally: in all of our business dealings, in the treatment of each other, and within the communities where we live, work, and thrive.”  Balance in our business and personal lives is also important and encouraged. Balance is vital because debt collection is a very stressful occupation and let’s face it, not a lot of fun.  At UCS we strive to provide a positive upbeat culture to help lessen the pressure of the job. Work incentives are often structured around games to provide a little light-hearted frivolity to a tough work day.  As a result, our team members are better equipped to defuse emotional and sometimes difficult encounters with overwhelmed patients (or consumers) by providing financial counseling solutions calmly, patiently, and most importantly nicely. 

United Credit Service, like our industry, believes in supporting philanthropic organizations both locally and nationally. Community and giving back are such important ideals to us we’ve created an Employee Volunteer Program called ‘Credit to the Community’ which gives team members the opportunity to volunteer (at favorite charities) as individuals not just as a company. Team members just need to request time off using the bank of VTO (Volunteer Time Off) hours given to them each year.

Is debt collection a tough job in an often misunderstood industry?  Yes, it is. But I’m proud of the work our industry does and extremely proud to be part of the hard-working team at United Credit Service, Inc.
Data Furnishers' Credit Reporting Requirement Changes
Second-Collect is a program that collects delinquent accounts other agencies have deemed, for one reason or another, uncollectable. Disregarded, these accounts leave valuable revenue uncollected. With Second-Collect, United Credit Service, Inc. will showcase our proven, highly effective debt collection program that can get these past due accounts paid. UCS believes no account is uncollectable until we have exhausted every possible effort. This program is used to collect on delinquent accounts by implementing a series of highly effective processes:

  • Telephone Calling campaigns
  • Written Correspondence
  • Skip Tracing
  • Credit Bureau Reporting
  • Litigation

No Collection = No Fees
Did you know? 

People born in the fall live longer.
According to researchers at the University of Chicago, babies born in the autumn (September, October, and November) are more likely to live to become 100 or older than babies born during the other months of the year.                                    
United Credit Service, Inc.
15 N. Lincoln Street, P.O. Box 740
Elkhorn, WI 53121