PICB's Monthly Digest of Sound Credit And Collections Practices
Volume 9, Oct. 2014
With the onset of the Fall Season, we here at the Printing Industry Credit Bureau hope all of our clients and members of PIA have a bumper crop of good paying customers, however...
If you need help to collect any rotten apples click HERE.
With much respect,
AND IT WAS ALL PREVENTABLE
By Andrea Schlack
Lately I have been very sad so I hope you will allow me a little cathartic indulgence while I explain why I am sad, mad, & disappointed and how my feelings are collateral damage from a set of circumstances that could have all been preventable!
In the early summer of 2013, on that first perfect summer day that inspires everyone to dream of playing hooky, I decided I deserved a vacation day so I left the office instructing my staff to not bother me unless it was a dire emergency. I was headed to my sister's house for an afternoon of puppy play, poolside, and for a relaxing lunch in the warm summer air when my cell phone intruded upon my anticipated tranquility. My assistant, very apologetically, called to inform me that a FBI agent had just called asking for me and that he had also faxed over an information subpoena for a grand jury investigation. I thought my staff was pranking me because I knew that service by fax is not an acceptable form of service so I called the Agent's number fully anticipating it was going to be some obscene joke line...It wasn't ..It was the REAL DEAL! The Government was investigating a very serious crime.
To my complete shock and surprise the Agent informed me that a Grand Jury had been convened to investigate a couple of sales persons who allegedly used strong arm tactic to collect money from some non-paying customers. These customers had been placed for collection with PICB, hence why I was contacted; The FBI wanted my records. I really thought the documents exposed credit cheats and it was about time there were some comeuppance on deadbeats who profited and thrived upon the sweat equity of hard working Printers!
PRINTING INDUSTRY CREDIT BUREAU, I, NOR THE PRINTER WERE THE FOCUS OF THIS PROBE.
Under a federal subpoena PICB was ordered to provide the government with our records that related to their case therefore we had no choice but to cooperate. I provided the documents requested even though I was in disbelief; No one would be so arrogantly stupid to hire thugs to collect commissions. I really believed my records were going to help prove innocence so I spent several hours with this Agent reviewing several cases. I explained our collection procedures and showed him the various steps PICB takes to try and recover money due. I further detailed how we use the internet to skip trace and locate debtors and/or assets and explained the importance of doing so not only impacts recovery but also identifies when a case is suit worthy should the debtor be uncooperative, and how these same tools were used to form our sister company, Check It Company that provides Credit Risk Assessment reports on prospective credit customers.
In one specific case the FBI had focused upon, a credit scammer who we deemed 'a ghost operation', was ultimately closed as not collectable. I explained how we determined the sham business had no physical address (the Printer only knew a PO Box). The customer provided phone number was an unregistered cell that always went to voice mail and no calls were ever returned. I showed the Agent how the public records further exposed this con's duplicity, how he had created six corporate entities in as many years, and all having been dissolved by the state and each having used mail drops as their address for service. I explained that ultimately this file was closed by the client, whom I believed choose wisely to not waste further money chasing ghosts, despite the substantial debt due.
Several other cases were reviewed and each had similar flaws. These various credit cheats owed large sums of money and should NOT have been granted credit. They all were questionable operations with little or no assets, they had similar history to the ghost, there were prior failed businesses, prior law suits, and other questionable issues: Despite all the records the credit cons got credit lines that they never intended to pay!
The salespersons were convicted on all counts and now they are facing serious jail time.
I am sad because while I did not know them well, I knew of them and never suspected they could do what they had been charged with, yet in reflection I really believe their crime was born from the passion of the moment, the frustration of working hard for nothing. I am not making an excuse for what they did because IT WAS WRONG but I hope we can all spend a moment trying to understand an act of desperation so we may all prevent similar circumstances.
A moment's credit wisdom prevents losses.
Call us any time at (847) 265-0400
NOW YOU KNOW...
Florida Law Change
Helps Printers Protect Their Rights
By Richard Ahlquist, Attorney
Ahlquist & Associates, Florida
Note that to address abuse and evasion by a party to be served through a private mailbox Florida enacted Florida Statute 48.031, paragraph (6), which provides "if the only address for a person to be served, which is discoverable through public records, is a private mailbox, substitute service may be made by leaving a copy of the process with the person in charge of the private mailbox, but only if the process server determines that the person to be served maintains a mailbox at that location".
Most institutional private mailboxes such as UPS have in place a protocol where they will provide information to the private process server as to whether or not a party to be served maintains a mailbox at that location. Only a few independent private mailboxes dishonor that protocol. Often if the only public record as to the address where the party to be served is a private mailbox I instruct the process server of that public record information and request that he drop serve the person in charge of the private mailbox if the person in charge refuses to otherwise accept service of process or reveal whether or not the party to be served has a private mailbox at that location.
A copy of that Statute is attached.
I interpret public records to include credit applications, invoices or statement or proof of delivery information, any advertising, any disclosures with the private p.o. box by the parties to be served if attached to the complaint. Once same is incorporated in the complaint it becomes public information.
The Statute was enacted to allow service of process because many private mailboxes as a part of their contracted services would withhold information as to the street address or other address of the principal of the party to be served. The courts got tired of that and wasted hearings, although we still have a problem with the federal post office giving you any postal information or addresses they have once you make appropriate inquiry. Private mailboxes still attempt to hide that information as it gives them a marketing edge. Thus the drop service noted above.
PICB is the printing industry's dedicated commercial collection agency that has helped printers recover unpaid debts for over 35 years. Our collection expertise, personal service, dedication, and intimate knowledge of the industry produce superior results at rates below industry averages.
√Check It Company
PICB's sister company created an easy to use web portal to government sponsored web-sites that provides real-time, free information you may find helpful in determining a customer's stability or viability. These sites provide you the ability to verify business registrations, civil court records, lien information, and much more.
Credit Risk Assessment Reports
No time to research your customer's background? PICB's sister company, Check It Co. can help. Check It Co's Credit Risk Assessments compile reports the old-fashioned way with hands-on, extensive research using 21st century tools. Know your customer before you do the work and you won't get KISSED.
PICB's free web-based tool, located at www.picb-us.com near the center of the navigation bar, provides free access to our database of customers who haven't paid printers. Look up your potential customer and see if PICB already knows them. It may save you some heartache.
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Don't let them bite twice!
A partial list of Uncollected Judgments for MAY 2014.
to view the full list.
Andrew Eperi, Individually and dba Afrique
Alex Fino dba SF Transport Services (PA)
Associated Air Products
Berg Printing Enterprises, LLC dba Masterprint (WI)
CCMP dba BerylMartin
Christopher Nicholas Campos dba Campos School Portraits
Dale Jaslove Ind dba Healthcare Construciton
DBR Enterprises Inc & Anna Fregron as Personal Guarantor
Desi Talk Inc (dissolved)
Hemant, Inc. (dissolved)
Direct Media Marketing, Inc.
El Sol Newspaper
Ewa Kuchino dba A to Z Media Graph (dissolved)
Frank Finocchiaro individually & T/A LBT Systems & LBT Systems, Inc.
First Fruits Beverage Company
Gregorys Furniture & Mattress LLC
Hi India, Inc.
Higher Standard Entreprises Inc dba Intouch Publishers.com
Hip Hop Weekly Entertainment, inc.
Home Video Studio, Inc.
Hometown Heating & Cooling, Richard E. Fox, individually
Indian Hill System Inc, Robert Kelly
Jeffrey Samuel Perry dba Chicago Salon & Day Spa
Jill Morgenthaler for Congress
Jim Weems dba J Print Services
Joseph D. Rinder dba Beltone Hearing Aid Center, and individually
Karry Matheson dba Matheson Custom Print, and individually