May 14, 2012  


CCN Factoid:
It estimated that U.S. Collection agency revenues grew 3.9% to $12.2 billion in 2011.


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Errors & Omissions (E&O) InsuranceDebtmaster 2 Wall Street ShuffleConvoke Systems new 2

Accretive Health issues report in response to Minnesota attorney general's allegations


School Lunch Debt: Districts Taking To Collection Agencies


State debt collectors to aid ex-wives to collect their child support


Slower consumer spending: Weakness or good judgement?


Dems, GOP using popular bills to hurt other party


Late payments speed up for UK firms


JPMorgan Chase bank chief to leave after 2bn loss


Student loan default rates rise in Chattanooga and across the country


Credit-card measure in legislature could aid Huntington


Ally hopes to end mortgage woes with ResCap bankruptcy


Collection agency dogging former fitness club members


Experian Launches Tool to Help Small Businesses Collect


FICO 8, Not FICO, Is Used In Recent Credit Company Report


Why Are Credit Report Errors So Hard to Fix?


Bank Forgives Dead Student's Loan


An unpaid parking ticket can come back to haunt you


FICO Map Reveals Winners and Losers in Fight Against European Card Fraud


City vendors hope for end to past-due payments


Oregon anti-foreclosure program shows slow start


Average US rate on 30-year fixed mortgage hits record low of 3.83 percent


American Express Adds its Cards to the USA Based Isis Mobile Wallet


McGraw-Hill Federal Credit Union Introduces Cutting-Edge Wireless Mobile Check


Credit Union payouts raise questions about boards' backbone

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Accretive Health issues report in response to Minnesota Attorney's General allegations

Errors & Omissions (E&O) Insurance The embattled Chicago firm that was the subject last month of a scathing report by Minnesota's attorney general has issued its own report designed to "set the record straight," the company said Friday, May 11. The 29-page report was released by Sen. Al Franken, D-Minn., because it features answers to a lengthy set of questions he issued last month. Franken questioned Accretive Health after Attorney General Lori Swanson issued her report alleging overly aggressive billing and collection tactics by Accretive Health and one of its local customers, the Fairview health system. The company maintains that Swanson's allegations obscure the fact that Accretive Health follows industry standards for talking with patients about the money they owe for health services. In particular, Accretive Health employees were instructed never to insist that patients pay old or current bills in order to receive care, the company contended, adding that bedside conversations about bills were voluntary. 

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School Lunch Debt: Districts Taking To Collection Agencies


Americans are likely hearing from debt collectors more in recent years than in the past, but a practice that may become even more common: debt collecting for unpaid school lunches. A lot of school-aged kids are getting free lunches -- not because they are backed by the government's free and reduced-lunch program, but because parents haven't been paying off lunch bills, forcing a number of districts to foot the cost. Already weighed down by budget cuts across education systems, districts can't afford to take on yet another addition to climbing costs. As a result, several across the country have resorted to hiring debt collectors, employing constables and switching out regular meals for lesser versions in a push to get parents to pay up. As of last February, New York City schools had absorbed some $42 million in unpaid lunch fees since 2004, according to The New York Times. Chapel Hill-Carrboro City Schools in North Carolina recently appropriated $40,000 to cover unpaid lunch fees, the Daily Tar Heel reports. Columbus City Schools in Ohio in March turned unpaid accounts over to a collection agency in an effort to recover about $900,000 in unpaid lunch fees. 

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Slower consumer spending: Weakness or good judgement?  

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On the last day of April, the U.S. Commerce Department released its most recent report on consumer spending. The figures seem to reinforce the impression that the economy began to tail off late in the first quarter of 2012. Further, the details of the report hinted at underlying problems for the economy that won't be solved by more trips to the mall. In a sense, the March figures on income and outlays suggest that American consumers behaved rationally. That may be good news in the long run, but it is not the type of quick fix that would send stocks and deposit interest rates immediately higher. Consumer spending slows - In a statement accompanying the March figures on personal income and outlays, Deputy U.S. Commerce Secretary Rebecca Blank pointed out that personal income rose for the 28th consecutive month, and that consumer spending was up 2.9 percent in the first quarter. Despite the positive spin, the numbers suggested signs of consumer weakness. For example, though personal income may have risen for 28 consecutive months, some of those increases were purely the effects of inflation. After taxes and inflation, personal income actually declined in January and February.

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Dems, GOP using popular bills to hurt other party

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Congress is producing little this election year that will become law, yet both parties are churning out bills designed to make the other side look bad. Take a look at separate measures that would protect women from violence, keep student loan rates low and build roads and bridges. Each is a widely shared goal and seemingly easy to enact. But the proposals are caught in pitched battles, each party adding language that infuriates the other. As a result, the Democratic-led Senate and Republican-run House are writing legislation that dies right away or is assured of going nowhere in the other chamber. Instead of laws, the bills generate grist for fundraising pitches and campaign attack ads. "It was, 'Let's put a bill on the floor that we know Republicans will never support, designed specifically to fail, so we can then spend the week talking about this on the Sunday talk shows and speeches on the floor and missives from the campaign,'" Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., complained last week after GOP senators voted in virtual lockstep to block Democrats' student loan bill.

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Debt Settlement InfoBank (DSI) is the electronic repository for the securely maintained consumer records of more than 1,000 Debt Management and Settlement companies. Credit grantors, debt buyers, collection agencies and law firms may apply for controlled access to DSI's database to scrub portfolios against more than one million consumers currently enrolled in some type of credit resolution program. Electronic matches are quickly identified, and these immediate settlement opportunities will prove invaluable in every stage of the collection process. DSI provides the 21st century means to expediently maximize revenue opportunities without incurring increased payroll and other types of related incremental costs.

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