Serving credit professionals everywhere...since 1899
Monthly news & updates
September 2020
September. A year later.

A few thoughts from
Jon Flora, President & CEO
Best places. Best practices.

As I’m writing this, I have just received word that our organization - for the second year - has been named one of Washington’s Best Places to Work list by the Puget Sound Business Journal. 
We are honored to be included in this recognition with companies large and small in the Pacific Northwest. This independent review affirms that our in-house culture is what drives us to put you first. Thanks to you and our partners for supporting all that we do.

In this column last September, I wrote about our time-tested view that following Best Practices will almost always keep you out of trouble. Pulling credit reports on a regular basis and turning accounts over for collection sooner than later makes a big difference. A year later, that was pretty good advice!

We have been pleased to see most of you doing these things in recent months and weathering the current storm pretty well.  Moreover, many of you are taking advantage of portfolio scoring and alerts products, sending accounts to Collections even sooner, updating your payment processing tools, and using our new lien services. Way to go! We continue to believe that using these tools will guide good decision-making. If you’re interested in hearing more, let us know how we can help you stay on track.

The majority of our NACM BCS family appears to be doing well during this unique time in our history. We do, however, want to take a moment to acknowledge our members that are struggling during COVID. This is especially true with our friends in hospitality and travel-related companies.

Thousands of employees – including many of our colleagues and friends – are experiencing the struggles that come with furloughs and outright closure of companies. We continue to try hard to support and stay in contact with them but with very mixed results. Once someone leaves a company, we generally do not have contact information for them. This where you can help!

If you know any furloughed or laid off credit professionals, please let them know that NACM BCS is here for them. We want to support them now and ultimately assist them in their return to work. Just drop an email to: [email protected] and we will follow-up.

Enjoy the end of your summer as you prepare for what will definitely be an interesting autumn.

As always, thank you for being part of NACM Business Credit Services. We appreciate you and your involvement in the credit profession.
A new addition to the NACM BCS family
Meet Nash Gibson
We are pleased to join with our colleague, Jaime Gibson and her family, in welcoming Nash Gibson who was born on August 17th. Mom and baby are well; Trevor, the other two kids, and Tater the dog are still adjusting to a newcomer.

Congratulations Gibsons!
Upcoming Events
See what's happening this month...and beyond
Industry Groups

NOTE: All Group meetings are being conducted online until the Coronavirus subsides.

Puget Sound

Thursday, 9/10
11:30 Floor

Tuesday, 9/15
11:30 a.m. HVAC

Wednesday, 9/16
11:00 Tacoma Construction
1:00 Food

Thursday, 9/17
11:00 Eastside Construction
1:00 Wholesale Electric


Wednesday, 9/16
1:00 (AKDT) Alaska Suppliers


Tuesday, 9/15
11:30 (HST) Hawaii Hospitality

Tuesday, 9/18
11:30 (HST) Hawaii Building

The best for payment processing
Education and Events

Monthly Webinar (Free)

Thriving in a one person credit department

October 6 - 12:00-1:00


Western Credit Conference - ONLINE
October 14 - December 16


International Talk Like a Pirate Day
September 19 - All Day

The best partners for credit reporting
The tools you need at the right price,
with service from NACM BCS:

Call us today at 800-423-5710
Member News
NACM Business Credit Services
recognized by the Puget Sound Business Journal
as one of Washington's
Best Places to Work for 2020
Your association has once again been ranked in the Top 100 Best Places to Work in Washington! With more than 529,863 registered businesses in the state, that's pretty exciting news. In the finals, we were ranked 19th in the Small Business category up a bit from last year.

Beyond the public recognition, the best part is that we learn some things through this process that help us be an even better employer and a better organization for our members and customers. This includes:

  • increasing educational opportunities for our employees. Our primary focus has always been on member education - and that won't change. We've come to realize, however, that we need to do more for our staff. WE made some headway over the last year but there's more to do.

  • the cost of benefits for any business is significant these days and for a small company, it can be monumental. We've worked hard to control these expenses in recent years and introduced some new ideas for our people. We fall in the top 30% of other Best Places but there's still probably room for improvement.

  • Finally, the word most used by our staff to describe our workplace is SUPPORTIVE. Flexible schedules, telecommuting, and accommodating family needs (young and old) is part of our office culture. And, we're dog friendly, too! We try hard to support our crew as they do their best to serve our members and customers. SUPPORTIVE will continue to part of the NACM BCS mantra.

Congratulations and thanks to our employees, partners - and to you, our members and customers!
Covid Updates from region
COVID Cases in the West

7,797,100 Population

77,235 Confirmed Cases
1,953 Deaths
399 New Cases

735,720 Population

6,690 Confirmed Cases
42 Deaths
34 New Cases

1,412,690 Population

9,885 Confirmed Cases
85 Deaths
162 New Cases

39,937,500 Population

735,235 Confirmed Cases
13,726 Deaths
3,091 New Cases

4,301,090 Population

28,190 Confirmed Cases
482 Deaths
146 New Cases

7,378,490 Population

205,964 Confirmed Cases
5,219 Deaths
198 New Cases
Tools for You
Wanted: Internship Opportunities
NACM BCS will soon be launching a new scholarship/internship program for college students pursuing careers in finance. The mission of the program is to encourage the next generation to consider credit as a profession or certainly make it part of their future career.

NACM BCS is targeting selected college Juniors and Seniors for an investment in scholarship dollars. To make this work, we need some member companies to step up with paid internships. Given COVID, we're aiming for an inaugural group during the Spring Term in 2021.

Although we will focus on Washington, Alaska and Hawaii, we have a unique ability to have relationships with colleges and universities just about anywhere. If you have branches in other states, we will consider them. So don't limit your thinking by geography.

If your company is interested in participating, please drop a line to our President, Jon Flora, at: [email protected].
Need help with Collections? Call us today!
2020 is year no one could have forecasted. If you are having trouble collecting on overdue accounts, now is the time to turn them over to NACMBCS. Our team is doing very well finding money for our customers during COVID. Why not you? Drop us a line or give us a call today!

Please help me 206-728-6333
New Lien Services
In response to several requests, we have established a new subsidiary to handle your lien needs. We have invested in BCS Lien Services in order to bring you help when it's proving to be a struggle to get paid. Our rates are reasonable and having it come from our association gives you comfort in knowing NACM BCS is behind it. For more information, please contact Paul Krause at 206-728-6324 or drop an email at:

Our panel of experts is here for you. And, have they been busy in the last few months! They have fielded a number of great questions from members and we thought it would be good to share some of them with you:

Q: Is assignment of benefits for a Life Insurance Policy exempt as assets in Bankruptcy cases? Our company has an assignment of life insurance on our client's company. His business is now dissolved and we have an option to cash out on the life insurance policy. If we choose to move forward with it now, it is half of what the death benefit would be. If we wait, we can recover more of what is owed. If we wait, and the client does file for bankruptcy, would the court seek the life insurance asset if it is assigned to us? Or are we safe keeping the assignment should we wait until he is deceased to receive the full death benefit amount?
A: It depends. Generally, if the life insurance policy is NOT property of the estate, then the bankruptcy will not affect your company. However, if the language of the assignment contract is not clear and the life insurance policy is deemed to be property of the estate, your company will NOT be entitled to keep the policy. State law also comes into play. As these kinds of things can be complicated , be sure to have your attorney review the matter.

Q: We’ve seen credit card fraud attempts increasing recently, mostly with telephone parts orders. Short of asking the customer to send a copy of their driver’s license and credit card, are any of you taking a less restrictive (but successful) approach?

A: Unfortunately, we’ve had to get more restrictive. We have had several fairly recent cards transactions that processed with no red flags, including a complete match for the address, zip and security code; and they ended up being fraudulent. If the order is being placed by someone who doesn’t have an account or is not known to us, we ask that they send a copy of the card and driver’s license. If the order is suspicious, we tell them that they are required to bring the card into one of our locations so the order can be processed.    

If you have a question or problem, take advantage of Ask-an-Expert. Click below to ask your question. Remember: It's free and a benefit of membership!
Did you miss the most recent Monthly Webinar?
If you missed last week's webinar, here's your chance for a re-do. Just click on the link below and you can watch the presentation on AI / Robotic Process Automation from Bill Weiss at HighRadius. It's free and lasts about 45 minutes. Click on the link below and, when prompted, enter the password: 1kgsBp%8

For people with disabilities, COVID-19 challenges are a lot like daily life
The COVID-19 pandemic has forced us to make major adjustments to our lives. Many workplaces are closed off to us. Our travel is greatly restricted. We can’t even get together with friends and family.

Welcome to what everyday life is like for people with disabilities.

Landlord-Tenant Law and eviction notice on a desk.
The new eviction moratorium: What you need to know
The Trump administration has announced an order to suspend the possibility of eviction for millions of renters who have suffered financially because of the coronavirus pandemic. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said that the order was an emergency action, which it is entitled to take under the law.

Here are answers to questions.

REAL ID Enforcement Deadline extended to October 2021
Due to circumstances resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic and the national emergency declaration, the Department of Homeland Security is extending the REAL ID enforcement deadline by a year.

The new deadline for REAL ID enforcement is October 1, 2021. Read the announcement.
Beginning October 1, 2021, every air traveler 18 years of age and older will need a REAL ID-compliant driver’s license, state-issued enhanced driver’s license, or other
acceptable form of ID to fly within the United States.

Check for the star.
REAL ID-compliant cards are marked with a star at the top of the card. If you’re not sure, contact your state driver’s license agency on how to obtain a REAL ID compliant card.
For information by state, including where to obtain a REAL ID, visit the DHS REAL ID website and click your state on the map.

About enhanced driver's licenses.
Michigan, Vermont, Minnesota, and New York states issue REAL ID and state-issued enhanced driver’s licenses, both of which are acceptable. Washington state issues enhanced driver’s licenses only.

State-issued enhanced driver's licenses are marked with a flag. These documents will be accepted at the airport security checkpoint when the REAL ID enforcement goes into effect.
The Credit Roundtable Returns!

"I've just lost my job. Now what?"
You've just been told you're no longer needed. Layoff, furlough, termination. After the initial panic, now what do you do? If you're like most people, the clock starts ticking right away so you need to get started searching for your next role. 

Join Jon Flora and his guest, Thea Dudley, for some tips on how to manage your life after a job loss and how to look for your next position.
Never mind the frothy stock market — we could be headed into a pandemic depression
The prospect of COVID-19 and its economic shutdown causing a sustained downturn is very much on the minds of economists and other scholars and policymakers. John Talton, of our member the Seattle Times, looks at history and makes a case for a new round of Federal stimulus and a strong dose of leadership.

Online Conferences
The NACM Western Credit Conference is going virtual!

Live October 14 - December 16
Our colleagues at NACM Commercial Services are hosting this year's WCC in a virtual format. We believe that this approach will help many of our members participate during this odd year. There's an excellent line-up of programs, so take a look and take advantage of early registration for the best deal!

Regional Business News
Seattle-area home prices rise faster than nearly every other U.S. city; younger homebuyers
For the fifth month in a row, home prices around Seattle rose faster in June — 6.5%, year-over-year — than any of the nation’s other top 18 metro areas, save Phoenix, according to new data.

Bankruptcy cases fall in Hawaii despite economic hardship
Hawaii’s slowing economy apparently isn’t leading to an influx of bankruptcy filings.

Through eight months, bankruptcy filings were down 7.7% to 1,024 from 1,110, according to new data from the U.S. Bankruptcy Court, District of Hawaii.

How Nigerian fraud ring bilked Washington’s unemployment system amid coronavirus chaos
As Washington began to pay out enhanced unemployment benefits to tens of thousands of laid-off and furloughed workers, a criminal organization halfway around the world spied an enormous opportunity.

A Nigerian fraud ring, dubbed “Scattered Canary” would soon begin siphoning off the benefits, notably the extra $600 a week Congress had added to unemployment checks. The scammers made off with “hundreds of millions of dollars,” ESD Commissioner Suzi LeVine acknowledged Thursday.

Survey shows widespread hardship for Hawaii's local business
Hawaii continues to struggle through the pandemic. The University of Hawaii Economic Research Organization (UHERO) has conducted a survey that has shown that, with the exception of jobs in information technology and other services, no industry category saw a meaningful increase from the devastating April 2020 job numbers. Most industries plateaued or continued to shed jobs including double-digit declines in education services, arts and entertainment, and manufacturing. More positively, the opening of the kamaʻāina (local) economy seems to have halted the decline in food services, retail, and real estate, although there is no sign yet of significant recovery.

Southeast Alaska Business Survey Results 2020 
Each year the Southeast Conference conducts a regional business climate and investment survey in order to track Southeast Alaska business confidence on an annual basis. The results are analyzed by community and economic sector, allowing the data to be used by policy leaders, program developers, and project proponents to form projections regarding the economic direction of Southeast Alaska. This year several comprehensive questions regarding COVID-19 business impacts were added to the survey.

US home construction surges 22.6%, third monthly increase
Construction of new U.S. homes surged 22.6% last month as homebuilders bounced back from a lull induced by the coronavirus pandemic.

Opinion: First floor retail vacancies are becoming the rule, not the exception
In an effort to stimulate commercial vitality, zoning requirements often mandate ground floor retail. And the trend hasn’t abated.

That’s great, except for one very troubling unintended consequence: First floor vacancies are becoming the rule, not the exception.

Careers and Employment
Looking for a job or trying to fill a position in your company?
Take advantage of the Job Center at You will find current listings as well the opportunity to post your openings. It's a free service that comes with membership in NACM BCS.

Businessman or job seeker review his resume on his desk before send to finding a new job with pen_ necktie_ glasses and digital tablet.
COVID-19 is causing workers to reassess career choices
Layoffs, furloughs and reduced hours for millions during the pandemic has forced a reckoning among workers on why they do what they do. A growing number, forced outside comfort zones, have changed jobs or careers and even returned to school in pursuit of dreams long contemplated. 

Stress stressful stressed businessman sleep tension laptop
Stiffing workers on wages grows worse with recession
Even in the best of times, workers in industries like construction, apparel, food and domestic work can have trouble collecting some or all of the compensation they are due — especially if they are people of color or women, or lack U.S. citizenship or union representation. But during a recession, the problem — known as wage theft — tends to increase significantly.

Making the best of out a pandemic
Light hearted thoughts from your association staff