A survey released today by Bankrate.com that shows banks are boosting their fees faster than the interest rates they are offering customers illustrates why banks should not be allowed to broker real estate, the president of the National Association of Realtors said today.
"Banks have once again demonstrated their incredible ability to find ways to charge customers record fees. Banks that once touted warm, fuzzy customer relations now are brazenly charging nearly $3 to use an ATM and more than $26 for a bounced check. Imagine what they will do to the real estate customer if they are allowed to broker real estate. Banks will control the real estate transaction end-to-end, creating virtually unlimited opportunities for extra charges and add-ons," said NAR President Thomas M. Stevens of Vienna, Va.
As credit managers become more involved in the order-to-cash cycle, many find themselves wearing a new hat: customer consultant.
By William Atkinson
When it comes to collection, Carol Frischer has always been able to “pull rabbits out of a hat.” Recently, she worked her magic again, collecting $50,000 from a recalcitrant insurance company. “I knew they wanted to settle, because when I called, I found out they owed money to a lot of medical providers, and I knew they were settling a lot of these claims,” she recalls. But Frischer was not collecting for her employer. She was collecting for one of her employer’s clients, a medical provider, who had been struggling to get payment from the insurance company for months. Frischer actually works for Holthouse, Carlin & Van Trigt, Certified Public Accountants, Santa Monica, Calif.
Ours is a technology dependent industry. The collection environment demands efficiency in all facets of our business. To achieve such efficiency in these competitive times requires the services available through established partnerships while focusing your efforts on your core competency; your differentiation - your unique and creative ways to recover debt.
As Mike Crawley points out in his article "The Role of IT in a Credit Business -- Outsourcing the IT Function", "Worldwide, there is a marked trend towards companies outsourcing non-core functions and using third party vendors for the provision of software, systems support and the development of strategic projects. Providing IT support for a business requires specialized technology, applications and resources".
Traditional behavioral scoring has filled the bill for many years by providing a basis for making decisions about which delinquent accounts to call. But with millions of dollars in uncollected delinquent dollars, many financial institutions are supplementing their behavioral scoring approach with action-specific modeling solutions that predict the response to particular actions – such as sending a letter, making a call, and placement with an agency – on specific accounts. The most appropriate and profitable action may then be taken for each account.
The benefits of action-specific modeling include: an improved cure rate, resulting in more dollars collected along with lower roll rates and fewer chargeoffs; reduced call volume, making better use of collection call center resources; improved customer retention, by eliminating collection calls to those likely to pay without a call; and fast return on investment, with payback typically in just a few months.
Banks are turning to identity scores to determine if people are who they say they are. How is it working?
By Ann McDonald
Move over credit scores – there’s a new type of score on the block: identity scores that can calculate the risk of fraud before a consumer opens an account. Vendors say their use is bound to grow because of mounting concern about identity theft and fraud. Last year, for the fifth year in a row, identity theft topped the Federal Trade Commission’s list of consumer complaints, accounting for 39% of all complaints filed with the agency in 2004.
Mike Killian has been writing about credit and debt management issues that are of importance to consumers for over 8 years. He formerly served as the Guide to About's credit site, which was recognized by Forbes Magazine's "Best of the Web" for 5 of the last 6 years. Mike has also offered debt elimination seminars to businesses and community colleges for many years.
The American Bankers Association (ABA) recently posted statistics concerning delinquent credit card payments. The data indicates a continued high delinquency rate, which in turn leads to lower credit scores since past payment history accounts for about 35% of one's credit score. The more recent a tardiness, the more credit score points are sacrificed. A consumer could be 30, 60, 90 or more days late on an account and the impact on his or her score becomes progressively more pronounced. Logically, a history of late payments on several accounts will cause even more damage than just a single account. The good news is that by paying your bills consistently on time, you can greatly improve your overall score.
In a press release, the ABA's chief economist, James Chessen, suggested 4th quarter gas prices and stronger economic indicators "leaves me hopeful that delinquencies will continue to fall."