What To Do When Collection Agencies Are Overzealous

Collection agencies are notorious for skirting the law when trying to collect the money that’s owed them. Non-English speaking and low income individuals are frequently the target of their illegal and deceptive practices. But anyone who’s had an account sent to collection could find themselves their target. If you’ve fallen victim to any of their shady habits, you do have recourse.

Some of the common practices employed by collection agencies are to use profanity, intimidation, or threats to extract money from debtors. They have even been known to impersonate law personnel or falsity documents in their quest to extort money. Sometimes they have even pulled the adult children or parents of debtors into the fray. None of these practices are allowed. Even debtors have rights and those rights are protected specifically under the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA). The Act provides recourse for those who have been the victim of repeated violations, especially if they have a witness. If you can prove your rights were violated, you can even sue or possibly receive punitive damages.

If you have been the victim of an overzealous collection agency, you owe it to yourself and others to hold them accountable for their misdeeds. Do this by lodging a formal complaint right away with the proper authorities. Not only will that help prevent further victims, but it could lead to the forgiveness of your entire debt.

The agencies you want to contact to pursue a complaint are the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and your state’s Consumer Protection Agency (CPA). Your original creditor might also be interested to hear about any particularly outrageous conduct by the collection agency because they can be held liable for their behavior in some cases.

The first thing to do is send a letter to your creditor outlining the specific violations made by the collection agency. Communicate your willingness to waive any further legal action in exchange for forgiveness of your entire debt, plus removal of anything negative related to it on your credit report. This could end the matter because most creditors don’t want to risk the potential embarrassment and damage to their reputation from a lawsuit.

Victims of abuse by overzealous collection agencies have specific legal protections. When pursuing a complaint, make sure any violations have been fully documented and that you have a witness, if possible. Creditors can be held responsible for the illegal actions of collection agencies made on their behalf. Standing up for yourself if you have fallen prey to an unscrupulous collection agency can benefit both other potential victims, as well as your wallet.


Reasons to Hire a Consultant for Employee Benefits Administration

As a businessman or woman, chances are the biggest question on your mind these days is what’s the cheapest way of doing business? In this age of challenged resources, dwindling markets, and increased competition, the best way to increase the profit margin of your business comes from cutting your expenses, in short, finding cheaper ways to meet the daily demands of your business demographic. One of the best ways that businesses can save money is right in their benefits administration. Surprisingly, hiring a consultant to manage your employee benefits saves money. Sure, you pay at the outset, but having somebody who truly knows the ins and outs of the insurance and benefits business can save you a lot more in the long run.

Insurance is a complicated game these days. Don’t fool yourself. New health care reform doesn’t completely solve the problem, as the bill was drastically watered down as it made its way through Congress. More importantly, most of the health care law’s benefits don’t go into effect for several years, leaving small businesses to fend for their own. The best way to get a good handle on the insurance market is to outsource your benefits administration to the experts. It’s the only way to get the best savings for your company and your employees.

Ask yourself: When was the last time you competitively shopped for company insurance? If you have to think about it, if it’s been longer than even a few weeks, it’s too long. Insurance companies are constantly playing the hide the bottle cap beneath paper cup game, switching prices on policies so what seems like a good deal today is not so hot tomorrow. One of the greatest advantages of outsourcing your employee benefits package to a consultant is that they constantly work to find you the best deals. If that means constantly shifting insurance packages every year or so, so be it. It’s the nature of the business. To get the best savings as well as excellent coverage, you need an benefits administration consultant who can keep up with.

A company’s biggest expense is usually in its employee benefits package, especially in this day and age, and the game isn’t getting any easier. To get the best bang for the company buck, finding affordable yet quality coverage is essential. Work with somebody on the inside who truly knows the business. Let your benefits administration consultant concentrate on your health plan, and you your business. We all have specialties. Why leave your employee benefits to the laymen?


Employee and Environmental Care

If you are working in a high risk industry, it is important that you take precautions to care for your employees and also the environment. In today’s community, the public is quick to boycott and discriminate unethical companies. We have seen big companies crumbling down due to their lies and their ignorance to the plight of their employees and their harming of Mother Nature. If your business is caught neglecting employees or causing excessive pollution to the environment, you could be hit with a hefty fine. What is worse is that you will lose customer confidence. And customer confidence is one thing that you will find very hard to regain.

Therefore, if you are in a high risk business, it is always advisable that you invest in the right safety precautions and equipment. For example, if you are a business that uses a lot of toxic chemicals, it is important that you get proper chemical storage. By storing your chemicals well, you will prevent unauthorized people from getting access to the chemicals. If inexperienced people get hold of these harmful materials, they will be putting themselves and those near to them in grave danger. Chemical storage comes in many designs, functions and sizes. Common ones will require authorized personnel to key in a password to gain access to the storage. This is because some chemicals are not easy to produce, thus causing it to be highly valued. Another common characteristic of chemical storages is having the right paddings and tools to prevent an overblown catastrophe when an accident happens. If your chemicals are flammable, you will want to have fire extinguishers in your storage room.

But if the inevitable happens, you will want to have chemical spill kits to minimize the amount of damage done to your factory and also your employees. Similar to the above, chemical spill kits Brisbane comes in many forms. By getting the right chemical spill kits, you will be protecting you and your employees from danger. Silt curtain Brisbane is also used to prevent unwanted events from happening.

There are many other high risk industries like oil and gas and also construction. Therefore, you will always want to access the potential harms and risk that your business will pose to the environment and your employees. Based on this assessment, you will then want to find the right ways to prevent it from bringing harm to your operations. If you are unsure of how risky your business might be, or what are the precautions that you can take, it will be wise for you to consult an expert. By talking to a qualified consultant, you will be able to understand business risk better and take the right steps to make your company a more environmental and socially friendly entity.


Ways To Secure A Singapore Employment Pass

The Ministry of Manpower is authorized to grant Singapore Employment Pass to qualified applicants which will allow foreigners to work legally for a period of 1 to 2 years. Employment Pass is renewable as long as the pass holder remains employed in a Singapore company. This work visa allows foreigners to travel in and out of Singapore with minimum hassle in the immigration and apply for a permanent residency in Singapore.

For entrepreneurs who have just incorporated a Singapore company and planned to relocate to the country it is required to secure an Employment Pass, a work visa which will allow them to relocate easily. It is also a must for corporation wanting to transfer their staff such as managing directors and management staff of the company.

Here are the fundamental steps to note in securing a Singapore Employment Pass:

First, you need to be aware of the eligibility requirements. The following basic requirements should be met first:

Employment Pass Eligibility Requirements
Recognised educational diploma/degree
Professional qualifications
Specialist skills

Second, note that the the subsequent considerations is also examined by the Ministry of Manpower and may affect your application.

Salary
Age
Roles & responsibility
Related work experience
Companys background
Companys paid up capital
Current citizenship

Third, prepare your resume or CV stating your educational and employment history, copies of educational certificates and past employment testimonials, and a copy of your passport details after you assessed that you are qualified for the eligibility requirements. Remember that all non-English documents should pass through a professional translation firm for a quality translation. In addition, there are three Employment Pass categories, P! for applicants generating a wage of more than S$7,000, P2 for salary of more than S$3,500 up to S$7,000 and Q1 for salary of more than S$2,500.

Fourth, you need to hire the services of a professional firm who will apply in your behalf your Employment Pass. They will be the one to apply online to Ministry of Manpower as the application process is shorter. The normal timeframe of application approval is usually within 1 to 15 days before issuance. Once approved,an In-Principle Approval (IPA) will be issued by the Ministry of Manpower. The IPA letter will have to be produced upon collection of the EP at the Work Pass Division at Ministry of Manpower. An IPA letter is good for Six months from the date of notification of approval.

Fifth, Once accepted, you need to carry the following in order for you to get the Employment Pass:

Recently taken passport size photograph
Original passport with the entry embarkation cards
Medical exam report* (if the In-Principle Approval states that you require one)
Any other documents that are requested in the approval letter
A copy of the IPA letter


Advantages And Disadvantages Of Income Protection Insurance

Income protection is a type of insurance that is often misunderstood in the UK. As with other types of insurance there are many advantages and disadvantages to having a policy, and here we list a few of them.

First, lets explain a little about income protection. This type of insurance will replace part of your income tax free if you cannot work because of accident, sickness or unemployment. There are many different types of policy, most of which can be adjusted according to your individual circumstances.

Advantages

Income protection can cover up to 70% of your mortgage. This could work out to be significantly more than the government would pay you in benefits.
Some long term policies offer cover until retirement age. This means that if you suffer a long term illness, you will receive your benefits either until you can return to work or until the age of 64.
The money can be used however you please. Most people choose to cover their mortgage, bills and other financial commitments, but it could be used for general lifestyle costs.
The policy can be tied into a particular debt, like a mortgage or credit card repayments.
You can choose cover for accident and sickness only, accident, sickness and unemployment, or unemployment cover only.
Unemployment cover could offer back to work schemes and training to help you find a new job.
Income protection can be designed to kick in only after your sick pay stops, so your premiums are lower.

Disadvantages

Unemployment cover will only pay out for a maximum of 12 months, even if you havent found a new job within this time.
Accident, sickness and unemployment policies usually only offer 12 months of benefits as well. Long term-policies offer better cover, but are sometimes more expensive.
Pre-existing conditions may not be covered on your policy, so it is important to take one out before you need it.
Similarly, you will not be covered for redundancy if you already knew there was a chance it was going to happen. This protects the insurance companies against people taking advantages of the policy.
Smokers will usually pay higher premiums for accident and sickness cover because they are more likely to fall ill.
It is important never to buy a policy without researching the market first to get the best deal; otherwise you could be paying more than you need to.
Now you know the advantages and disadvantages, it is up to you to decide whether income protection is right for you!


Why You Need Income Protection Insurance.

With predictions of a second global financial crisis making headlines, the number of people seeking income protection insurance in case of unemployment has risen considerably. Credit rating agencies are forewarning about a bigger financial crisis which is expected to have a harder and deeper impact than the previous one especially on Asia and Australia. As a result, the fear of losing their regular income is haunting both workers and businessmen.

Income Protection Insurance: Features And Benefits

Income protection insurance comes to the aid of workers who are unable to earn their regular income due to illness, accidents or injuries. In general, people depend on their income to meet regular financial needs except for the rich upper class. The sudden loss of regular income can lead to a financial crisis, with devastating effects on their lifestyle.

Income protection insurance covers up to seventy five percent of income, in case a person is incapable of earning regular wages. To claim the benefits, the policy holders will have to prove that they are incapacitated and unable to perform an occupation that is suited to their educational and training level. The benefit is paid after a deferred period, the time between the claim and actual commencement of payment.

Income protection insurance typically covers:

* Mortgage payment

* Credit card payment

* Payment of bills

* Day to day living expenses

* Medical and rehabilitation costs

* Maintenance costs for businesses

The insurance companies tailor the policies to meet the specific risk profiles based on the occupation. Income protection policies are able to meet the specific needs of white collar workers, blue collar workers and self employed people.

How Income Protection Insurance Can Help during Global Financial Crisis:

Generally income protection insurance does not cover unemployment due to redundancy but income protection policies are flexible and can be customized to meet the current crisis situation and needs.

With the predictions of a second global financial crisis, the threat of unemployment is looming large which has led to surge in inquiries about income protection in case of unemployment due to redundancy. To meet the crisis, insurance companies have come up with policies to meet the specific need of the current financial situation. On an average, a policy holder pays approximately two percent of their annual income as premium for the policy. For a higher premium, a worker can get income protection which will cover involuntary unemployment, lying to rest the looming fear of loss of income due to recession.

How To Choose The Perfect Policy

With wide array of policies available for different types of income protection, the task of choosing the right policy is tough. Every policy will have different terms and conditions for the claims, which if overlooked can lead to loss of requisite coverage. The premium charged for this kind of insurance will depend on several factors like:


Computer Skills Which Ones Your Staff Needs

Don’t worry too much if you lack advanced technical computer skills. A lot of that can be remedied by just putting in a little bit of time each week in doing some self-study. In this article, you’ll learn which computer skills are necessary to serve your sweet spot small business clients.

If It Works, Break It
You can do something as simple as getting a not-for-resale (NFR) copy of a product that you want to sell, install, and support and then working with the product in your lab. When you or one of your lead technicians or engineers has a spare half-hour to an hour, you can walk through the basic installations. Then, deliberately break the lab installations. Next, reinstall the software until you get more comfortable with the package.

Most of these products that you’ll be installing for small businesses are very mature technologies. They’re very wizard-driven, and at least for plain-vanilla configurations, they don’t require tremendous levels of computer skills.

Installations Are Easier Now
Years ago, it was much more difficult to install the Novell small business suite or IBM equivalent, or the original 1997 Microsoft Small Business Server. But all of these companies, especially Microsoft, put a lot of money into making it easier for people who don’t have advanced IT backgrounds and networking computer skills to install their small business server application suites.

In terms of your technical computer skills to service sweet spot clients, your staff needs to:
1.have good strong PC hardware skills
2.be able to handle a peer-to-peer setup
3.understand what TCP/IP is all about
4.know what POP3 and SMTP are
5.know how to work with basic SOHO routers

If your staff possesses the above skills, you’re definitely at a good starting point to get started with at least the smaller sweet spot small businesses (10-20 PCs).

Share the knowledge among your employees
Make sure your staff members cross-train each other and you. This way, no one’s ever too knowledgeable to the point where they can blackmail you, extract huge raises or huge bonuses, or walk away with your client base. You have to make sure your company’s internal know-how or intellectual capital can’t just get up and walk out the door to your biggest competitor.

The Bottom Line about Computer Skills
In this article you’ve learned about which technical computer skills are necessary to service your sweet spot clients.

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Employee Appreciation Cards That Express Value And Recognition

Have you ever wondered how to show your employees that you truly appreciate the work that they do? Have you wanted to let an employee know that they went above and beyond yet been unsure of how to professionally go about this? Being able to reach out and recognize the people who make your company successful, are some of the key attributes of successful business owners and managers.

Employee recognition programs demonstrate to your employees that you”re not just another company barely offering the minimums to retain employees; rather, you can stand out above other corporations by showing appreciation of your employees. Whether you are interested in: employee service anniversaries or safety awards; recognition and retention of employees; peer-to-peer acknowledgement; or even customer service recognition, program management systems provide valuable solutions that many business owners and managers are seeking. These cost effective, memorable, and professional incentive-based services help attract and retain top employees, boost job satisfaction and increase productivity.

One common example of employers not knowing specifically how to show appreciation toward an employee is when a milestone is met, whether that be an anniversary-hire date or obtaining a promotion, oftentimes the date comes and goes without other employees even being aware of the service and commitment that the individual has had to the company. This is where a heartfelt card tailored to the individual can show that you value them as an employee and are committed to seeing them grow professionally.

One interesting tidbit to mention is that the custom of sending greeting cards originated as a way of celebrating the New Year among the ancient Chinese. The early Egyptians had an interesting way of conveying their greetings; they wrote on papyrus scrolls. By the 1850s, the greeting card had been transformed from a relatively expensive, handmade and hand-delivered gift to a popular and affordable means of personal communication, due largely to advances in printing and mechanization.

However, it wasn”t until nearly 100 years ago that cards began to be used for strengthening relationships and enriching lives. Why not use this same mechanism to show employees that their hard work, determination, and enthusiasm is appreciated? Giving a card is a simple gesture that can serve as a physical reminder of a significant event and professional relationship that will be remembered long after they may have grown into another position within your organization or even moved on to another company. With this form of employee recognition, the individual can long remember the impact that they had on your organization and the lasting positive memories of working with you to achieve corporate objectives.