Knowing the personality type of the consumer you are on the phone with is half the battle in collections.
Knowing the personality type of the consumer you are on the phone with is half the battle in collections. It is so important that it could increase your odds of collecting the debt greatly. In debt collections I am a firm believer that knowledge is advantage. The more that you know about the consumer the more advantage you have in bargaining for the debt to be resolved. As a recap from my previous article there are 4 types of personalities that a consumer has, as well as 6 financial types. That being said, there is an easier way to narrow the personality types down to three types of egos that every consumer has and how to handle them so that they get to a certain ego state to have the best results.
The three ego states are defined in a psychology method called Transactional Analysis which was founded by a psychologist named Eric Berne in the 1950’s for the purpose of communicating with the different personality types. In his theory there are 3 states in any given personality. Those states are child, adult, and parent. The use of these points in collections is simple. First let me explain how they work…
The Child State in a persons personality consists of parts of ourselves which hark back to our childhood. It is childlike but not childish. In this state “reside intuition, creative and spontaneous drive and enjoyment”.
The Adult State is where we hope to be as adults. It is our adult selves, dealing with the vicissitudes of everyday life. It also has the function of regulating the activities of the Parent and Child, and mediating between them.
The Parent State reflects the absorption over the years of the influences of our actual parents and of parent and authority figures such as teachers, bosses and so on. It has two functions. One is to enable people to be better actual parents of their children. The other is to enable many responses to life to be made automatically—“that’s the way it’s done”—thereby freeing the Adult from making innumerable trivial decisions.
Understanding the state of their personality can greatly increase your ability to handle the communication with the consumer. As a collector you want to avoid being in the Parent Ego state, you must learn to ask information gathering questions, who, what, how, etc., and not be judgmental. These are areas where a conversation could begin to slip and the customer could become defensive. By being aware of the customers Ego State you can get the conversation back on track and deal with resolving the account.
By using the Adult Ego state during collection calls, the collector can refer back to the signed credit and financial agreements and reason with the customer with what was set up and the importance of following through on their obligations. They can use negotiation and mediation techniques that will allow them to work out some sort of arrangement with the customer. Being professional and objective in a collection call will leave your staff feeling comfortable with the intimidating task of calling people for money. The collections will no longer go on the back burner, they will become a daily priority. This is necessary for the success of any business.
If the consumer is in the Child Ego state you faced with a challenging conversation think of them as being like a child throwing a tantrum, can you reason with a child while they are throwing a tantrum? In this scenario, a consumer becomes irate the best results would be to terminate the conversation with the consumer and pass the account to a buddy that can get the conversation back on a Adult Ego standing. I have found that passing the call over to someone else in this fashion elevates the outcome of the consumer hanging up mad. Having the fresh voice that is sympathetic to the consumers’ cause will elevate that Child Ego and possibly get the consumer back on track to paying the account.
The Adult Ego state is where we want to the consumer to be as well as ourselves in any business transaction. When the consumer has been in the Child Ego state and is passed to another collector to resolve the issue most generally they have calmed themselves down and are ready to reason with someone. This is when they are in the Adult Ego state and can be reasoned with. Being in the Adult Ego state as a collector is just as important as a collector as well. If we as collectors slip into either other state we normally will force the consumer into the child state. By the collector being in the Adult Ego state and asking informational questions of the consumer, without judgement, you are gathering the information need to solve the problem.
The Parent Ego State is where I see most collection calls fail. The collector tries to be judgmental and controlling. They usually get the customer into the Child Ego State. The customer then lies and is generally on the defense. You get a lot of broken payment arrangements because the customer said whatever he had to, to get the collector off of the telephone. If the consumer is in the Parent Ego state remember to stay in the Adult Ego state and ask informational question to get them focusing on answering the questions rather that controlling the conversation. By answering the questions and telling you the problems they shift back into the business mode and solutions can be reasoned.
Always validate the debt make sure they admit that they owe the amount. Find out why the account has not been paid up til now, without judgement. This will further help you with resolving the account by giving a foundation of the financial situation available to come to a resolution. Remember it is just as important for you as the collector to remain in the Adult Ego state as it is for the consumer. Always drive the state back to the Adult state with informational questions and validation questions. If you use this technique you will succeed as a collector.
At what price do we give up our right to the speak freely? When did the right to free speech begin to fade? When did someone else’s opinion or belief supersede the right to another’s just because it was not the popular belief? Our country was founded on our constitution and the content there in, was it not? Organizations were founded to protect those rights and the rights of our citizens to exercise them even if they were not the beliefs of those organizations. Now even the organizations are falling into the pitfall of rights over beliefs. Personally I despise all “hate speech” but I believe that our founding fathers gave every person the right to that belief as a human being not just a citizen of a free nation.
In the public eye today, if you speak on a belief or even joke about the subject, you are persecuted to a point that may completely change your life. People are being fired for jokes because it doesn’t conform to the popular belief or it might offend an audience. Is that a society that our fore-fathers imagined or gave their lives for? A world where a person makes an offensive statement and everyone scrambles to do PR recovery and black balls the person. I have seen many versions of this as far back as Mel Gibson in 2006 when he made a racist rant to a police officer. Or his private phone call to his ex-girlfriend Oksana Grigorieva in which he stated: “You look like a fucking pig in heat, and if you get raped by a pack of niggers, it will be your fault.”Radar alleges that Gibson threatened:“I am going to come and burn the fucking house down.” which was a private message on the voicemail of the ex-girlfriend. I personally think that his statement was offensive and appalling but none of my business nor anyone elses. Furthermore, it is his right to speak freely.
Justine Sacco was fired from InterActiveCorp which holds companies like, Vimeo, Ask.com and Match.com. She was fired for a tweet about her impeding trip to Africa in 2013. Sacco tweeted: “Going to Africa. Hope I don’t get AIDS. Just kidding. I’m white!”she was fired before the plane landed. What happened to her right of free speech? What age do we live in that a simple statement not meant to offend, or harm anyone, but becomes the change of her life.
Meagan Fox was not invited back in the sequel of Transformers because of a statement made about the director Michael Bay calling him “Hitler” as a joke about his work ethics and for her statement she was not invited back for the sequel per the request of Steven Spielberg. Another victim of the world we live in where a joke can change your life. This country is suppose to be free but it seems to me that the freedoms that were fought for are suppressed by the opinions of others. The more powerful you are the more your opinion matters.
These are just examples of how are society is letting our right to freedom of speech to disappear. Where has this society gone when ever word you say is measured and weighed based on popular demand and a person is judged by the popular for any word that comes out of his mouth. I understand the importance of equality of all and the fight for that equality. Floyd Mayweather Jr made direct racial remarks, in 2010, in a video about Manny Pacquiao who is Filipino American. With no recourse for his freedom to speak freely even though action was pressured by National Federation of Filipino American Associations.
Mayweather Jr said, “As soon as we come off vacation, we’re going to cook that little yellow chump,”and then continued with, “Once I stomp the midget, I’ll make that mother f—– make me a sushi roll and cook me some rice.” and finished with, “We gonna cook that mother f—– with some cats and dogs. … Rice with [a] little bit of cat, rice with a little bit of barbecued dog.” I find this whole statement racist and outrageous but little was done about the statement made by the boxer. He didn’t lose his job, the fight wasn’t cancelled, and he wasn’t fined by the boxing commission. He made an public apology to Pacquiao and a job “fight” was scheduled.
The statement was wrong but it was an opinion and Mayweather Jr had the right to express those thoughts without persecution. So does any other citizen of our country. Why though is it “OK” in this instance and not in the others above, as well as, countless others? If Roseanne Barr, Mel Gibson, Meagan Fox, Justine Sacco or Charlie Sheen would have said those words in a video the way he did, what would have been their consequences? I will tell you, Roseanne would have had her show cancelled, Mel Gibson would have been black balled, Meagan Fox would have been fired, Justine Sacco would have been fired, and Charlie Sheen would have lost his show.
Racism is a real thing, hate is a real thing and neither should be dealt with lightly when an act is committed, if the act violates the laws that have been put in place to protect against it. Our first amendment prohibits the creation of laws that change our opinions, muzzle our voice, or change our beliefs. Therefore to remain a free nation we shall not be able to persecute a fellow human for exercising that right, no matter what race, color, or creed he/she is. After all how is our nation great if we continue to grow into what we left behind when we founded this nation.
This question has been around for many of years, some people ask the question and some don’t. If you’re asking the question you probably likely need collection services. Even if you are not asking the question, but have consumers that are late frequently or just not paying, you probably need to collection services. Let’s face it not all customers are reliable, and your time should be focused on running you’re business and providing your services not chasing after people that rarely pay for services or are always late. Chasing after people less reliable is time consuming, some of them are hard to locate to say the least.
An experienced collection agency is equipped to handle the rigor process of locating the consumer and getting them to pay. Your main focus is on the services that you provide and the agency is focused on collecting your bad debt accounts professionally and fast. They have the methods, tools, and skills to get the job done, after all you wouldn’t send a collector in to do the job you do, just as much as you shouldn’t do the job a collector is trained to do.
Consumers pay faster when called by an collection agency, most of the time just the thought of being turned to a collection agency is motive to pay. Then a number of consumers pay just to avoid the possibility of being reported to the credit bureau. A collection agency takes on the responsibility of sending letters, locating, and calling the consumer. All of these things, while running your company you don’t have the time, means and ability to manage properly.
Another fact about collections is the longer that the account is unpaid the success rate of ever collecting that account decreases. Studies show that every year a debt goes unpaid the success rate of collecting it goes down 30%. Also there is a statute of limitations on how long an account can be collected. That limit varies from state to state but a rate is set in every state. So hiring a collection agency fast in the recovery process is essential to getting the accounts paid. Not only does hiring a debt collection agency increase your chances of a successful recoup but it also sends a message to future consumers that you will not tolerate bad debt.
Many people confuse debt collection agencies with debt buyers. There is a huge difference in the two. Debt collection agencies work for you and only get paid a commission if they collect for you. Sometimes they charge a set fee for every account. Debt buyers buy the debt from you for pennies on the dollar and it becomes their debt. The type of agency you choose should be dependent on the type of needs you have. In any case you should find an agency with the experience to handle the type of debt you have.
If you’re interested in working as a debt collector, there are some key traits that you should be able to display in order to master the Art of Collection. The following 5 traits serve to offer a guideline to any aspiring collection professional!
Communication is one of the keys to becoming a successful debt collector. When you are able to effectively communicate the debt collection message to your clients, you put yourselves in a position to resolve differences while you build a trust relationship between you and them. Not only does this put you in your clients good books but the more effective your communication is, the much easier it becomes to solve problems. As a debt collector therefore, you are seen as a problem solver and your ability to resolve problems lies to a great extent on being able to effectively communicate in this regard.
A successful debt collector is a good negotiator. The word negotiation is derived from a Latin word and simply means the art of dealing with people. Through negotiations you are able to resolve problems, since most problems arise from unmet needs. Therefore the solutions you suggest must have your clients needs at heart. The most effective form of negotiations is known as assertive negotiations. You need to set aside your judgment and withhold blame and criticism in order to fully understand your clients situation. Your objective is to reach a WIN-WIN outcomes in any given negotiation, in other words you want everyone to walk away from the negotiation table satisfied. Your sincere eagerness to help needs to be perfectly reflected through your attitude towards the client.
Empathy has more to do with logic than feelings. A successful debt collector must have the ability to view the situation from the clients perspective. And this process is logical in that in order to understand your clients position, you need to walk away from your own. And in doing this you allow your client to be free and to open up to you instead of being hostile towards you. Scientists speak of “mirror neurons” and they say these neurons are accountable for the responses triggered in another person when you act in a certain way towards that person. A successful debt collect excels in empathy because they understand that it holds the key to a productive outcome in any given situation. Treat your clients how you would like to be treated and soon enough they will doing what you want them to do.
Goal orientation is the degree to which a person focuses on what needs to be done and the end results of their efforts. Strong goal orientation focuses more on the end results that your actions will accomplish instead of the efforts necessary to bring about the desired end results and how those end results will affect you in the end. Therefore a goal oriented person focuses all their attention on getting the job done, no matter what it takes. A successful debt collector understands that their personal success is linked to their organisation’s success and therefore aims to achieve their goals on a personal level.
And finally, a successful debt collector knows and understands that there is no such thing as over-night success. To be successful you will need to define some goals and be persistent in carrying them out. Day in and day out you must commit your focus to the attaining of your goals. Successful people all have one thing in common, they never gave up on their goals no matter how often they might have failed in the past. In spite of difficulty or opposition, successful people rise above their challenges.
For most people, picking up the phone to call a customer and ask them for money isn’t the highlight of their day. In fact, in most over worked and under staffed credit departments, collection calls are placed dead last or fall off the “to-do list” altogether.
Why? Reasons vary. But basically, the truth is that making collection calls takes most people out of their comfort zone. They don’t feel confident with the process, so they fear embarrassment or failure.
If collection is part of your job responsibilities, here’s some good news. You can become more comfortable and more successful by following a few tips from the collection pros on our staff.
#1 Always Be Prepared – Generally and Specifically
NASCAR great Bobby Unser is credited as saying, “Success is where preparation and opportunity meet.” We couldn’t agree more. You can never be over prepared when it comes to tackling a collection call.
Be Ready to Handle Excuses
Before making your next collection call, take time to compile a list of common debtor excuses, matching them with effective rebuttals. Write them down on file cards or include them in your computer scripting. Group them by category and keep them handy. Exchange ideas with others in your department. Then, when the debtor tries to end the call by offering an excuse, you can take control by countering with a well-thought out reply and returning to the purpose of your call — collecting the debt.
Here are some examples from our collection experts to get you started:
Customer: The check is in the mail.
Collector: Great! May I have the check number, amount and date it was mailed so I can ensure it is posted correctly?
Customer: I have a cash flow problem right now.
Collector: I understand that times are difficult. Can I set you up on a payment plan, or can you make at least a partial payment today?
Customer: I don’t have a copy of the invoice.
Collector: I’ll fax the invoice over right now. Will you be mailing the check today?
Arm Yourself with the Facts
Before you pick up the phone, It’s critical that you have all the specifics of the debt you’re calling about. Having the facts in front of you keeps you in control. You don’t want the conversation to get derailed by a question you can’t answer. Many debtors know how to use this to their advantage. Suddenly they can’t discuss payment on their account without details you don’t have and they don’t “have in front of them” either. So, the call is over.
If you hear yourself saying, “I’ll have to get back to you on that,” you’ve just given the debtor an extension without a commitment to pay – and you’ll have to start from square one with him when you call back.
At minimum, be sure to have the following in front of you before you make the call:
exact amount owed
terms of sale
payment due date
other open invoices, even those not yet past due
Know Who You’re Calling
It’s also helpful to brief yourself on the customer’s payment record with your company, as well as any other payment history you may have available to you. Do they usually pay on time? Are payments getting slower and slower? Is past-due payment uncharacteristic of this customer?
#2 Think Positively
Your mental state has a strong impact both on how you handle the debtor and how they respond to you. Treat each call as if it was your first call of a very good day. Put a smile on your face. If you were irritated on the previous call, take a few minutes to calm yourself and start afresh. The debtor will respond to your tone. Your upbeat mood will be contagious and you are likely to get a more positive response from the debtor.
#3 Speak Professionally and Authoritatively
Most of us take our speaking voices for granted. But the tone, pitch, inflection and even the speed at which you talk can have a powerful influence on your listener. Think about typical news anchors or radio commentators. They have voices that command attention. With a little effort, you can develop one too.
Try recording a general collection call opening and then listen to yourself. Make adjustments as needed, and try again. This will not only improve how you come across on the phone, it will also build confidence. It does take a little time and extra work, but remember, sucess is strongly linked to preparation.
Here are a few hints that might help:
don’t chew gum or drink when you’re on the phone
speak a bit slower and enunciate
use a lower pitched voice
pause more often
make sure you pronounce the ending consonants of words and don’t slur
smile while you talk — although the person on the end of the line can’t see it, they will hear it; and everyone responds more openly to a smile than to a scowl
#4 Take Control and Don’t Let Go
You can manage the call in such a way that you control the debtor’s response. In addition to what we already mentioned about preparation and voice, here are some other tricks of the trade:
Address the debtor by name throughout the conversation. This shows respect on your part and commands their attention. Be careful not to over do it through, or it will start to sound contrived and annoying.
Make the debtor right, even when they are wrong. You may not agree with what they’re saying, but you can still validate it. After an objection or excuse, say, “I can understand why you feel that way.” Or, “I can certainly see how something like that might happen.” Validating what the debtor has to say maintains open lines of communication. Understanding their point of view, even as you share yours, will disarm the debtor’s defensiveness.
Ask open-ended questions. Try to get the debtor to give you as much information as possible. For instance, bank information is critical, yet many debtors may not want to share it. Instead of coming straight out and asking, “Where is your account?” Try “Will you be sending a check or a money order?” He will usually say “a check.” You respond, “That’s fine. So we don’t miss it, what bank will it be drawn on?”
Listen carefully and take notes. You will get clues to whether the debtor is serious about paying. You’ll also have ammunition for your next call and will be ready to counter any excuses that may have been tried in the past.
Use silence. Count slowly to five before responding to a debtor statement, and wait several seconds after asking a question. Leaving blank spaces in the conversation compels the debtor to fill them in.
Stay focused. Some debtors will try to get you off track by complaining about service, or somehow shifting the blame for their delinquency to you. Be polite, even validate their opinion. But always bring them right back to the point of your call — getting paid the money rightfully due your company.
Don’t let the debtor manipulate you. A screaming debtor could be using anger as a ploy to get you upset and end the conversation. At the very least, you’re not going to get anywhere with someone that’s angry.
If a debtor starts yelling or using abusive language, stay calm. Try reminding them that you cannot help resolve the situation if they are yelling.
If that doesn’t work, say something like, “This obviously isn’t a good time for you. When can I call you back?”
Or you could try a tactic one of ABC-Amega’s collectors employs. Say, “Could you hang on a moment? I can’t understand what you’re saying.” Put the phone down for several seconds, then pick it up again stating, “I’m back.” That few seconds of silence will often calm the debtor down and you can get on with the discussion more reasonably.
#5 Nail Things Down
A call that doesn’t result in a commitment from the debtor is a wasted call. If you can’t get them to commit to payment in full, get a promise of something — a partial payment or a call back with a payment date. Make sure you control the timing. Don’t ask, “When can you get back to me on this?” Rather, ask “Will you be calling me by Wednesday?”
Don’t hang up the phone without summarizing the results of the call: their commitment; your expectations; and, the consequences if your expectations are not met. Emphasize the urgency of the matter. It’s easy for the customer to forget your call as soon as he puts down the receiver, especially if they don’t think you were really concerned about the outcome.
Stress the importance that the debtor call you back on the date they promise payment — to let you know the check has been sent. If they fail to call, the payment likely didn’t happen. You won’t waste time waiting for a check that was never mailed.
And finally, if the debtor doesn’t follow through on their commitment, make sure you follow through on the consequences. If you don’t, they will never take you seriously.
#6 Learn to be Flexible
Following the above advice will help improve the effectiveness of your collection calls – but there is no magic bullet in debt collection. Every debtor is different. What works really well with one, may get you nowhere with another. Listen carefully to the debtor and you will pick up clues to the best way to handle each situation.
When your rights to fair treatment, equality, and freedom from tyranny by people that are suppose to uphold the law, who is accountable? Our country was founded on the principles of freedom first and is one of our most basic pillars of our constitution. So when is it okay for the enforcers of the laws put in place to protect that freedom allowed to use those laws to take it away? Well in my opinion those people should be held in a higher order and when they break that cycle, causing harm to the public and individuals by there actions, they should be held accountable. New Orleans Parish District Attorney Leon Cannizzaro allegedly is one of those corrupt leaders that uses tactics of deceit, bullying, and just completely unlawful practices to “Accomplish Justice” or more honestly get his way, in court. The ACLU says, that they have filed a suit against this District Attorney in a case in which Cannizzaro used a phony “subpoenas” not in one case but many cases, To coerce victims and witnesses like her to talk to prosecutors in secret, off-the-record meetings, often by threatening a fine and imprisonment for failure to comply.
This is just one of his tactics to force prosecution in a case that the victim does not want to pursue. In the case mentioned by the ACLU Renata Singleton, was imprisoned by the prosecutor for 5 days because she did not follow the orders of the phony “subpoenas” so Cannizzaro’s office went to court and asked a judge that she be jailed as a material witness. This was common practice by Cannizzaro’s office according to the ACLU. The “victim” Renata, went to Cannizzaro’s office and informed the prosecutors that she did not want to pursue the case. She told them that she was uncomfortable with how the district attorney’s office had treated her. They then had her arrested on the spot.
This is outrageous to say the least but is only miniscule in comparison to what this prosecutor has done to Kevin Smith from New Orleans. When Kevin Smith was jailed on a drug charge in New Orleans in 2010, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1 hit theaters.After 8 years or 2832 days, Criminal District Court Judge Tracey Flemings-Davillier ordered Smith’s release, succumbing to an appeals court ruling that prosecutors had violated his right to a speedy trial. Keep in mind that Kevin Smith maintained the entire time, his innocence of the crimes he was being charged with. To the extent that the prosecutor offered him time served if he just plead guilty in 2015, and according to his defense attorney Martin Regan, whose firm handled the case from the start. “There’s a man who just steadfastly said, ‘I don’t care, you can keep me. I’m not guilty, I want a trial.’ ”
So after 8 years of being held for a trial that never came, the 4th Circuit Court of Appeal, a three-judge panel ruled in Smith’s favor and said he should go free. The court found that Flemings-Davillier was wrong in adopting prosecutors’ argument that the sanity hearing rolled back the deadline for trial by another two years. With the law on his side, Kevin was to be released last November. Even with an order to be released Cannizzaro found revenge and this man is now going on his ninth year in jail without ever having been convicted for a crime. It appears that his body is being housed and used for profit in jail and for some type of vendetta from local officials.
“Simply put, the District Attorney was not able to convict him,” Martin Regan, one of Smith’s former attorneys, said. “They dragged their feet and when they got to the parole board they brought people in who did not know the case. The parole board accepted the testimony of some unsworn witnesses who inaccurately presented the case. It was an injustice.”
Whatever the case, it’s an egregious injustice and we must all organize to make sure that Kevin Smith is released and that no such thing happens ever again.
As of March 10, 2018 U.S. District Judge Jane Triche Milazzo is presiding over the ACLU’s case on the prosecutor for misleading judges into ordering warrants issued for the arrest of witnesses in cases. The judge is current ruling on a motion to dismiss submitted by Cannizzaro. Again I ask should people of authority be held accountable for the lives they ruin or deprive? To date prosecutors are immune to anything they do while prosecuting an individual. You decide…who should be accountable for their actions then…
Bill Cosby, the 80 year old pedophile, who’s reputation is destroyed by the verdict of “guilty” on all three charges brought against him December 30, 2015. The state statutes of limitations were days from running out, as they were 12 years and the charges that were still within that limit happened in 2004. Bill’s first day in court was in May 2016 when he was arraigned by Judge Elizabeth McHugh.
The first trial was declared a mistrial in only 12 days. This trial began June 05, 2017 and ended June 17, 2017 with a completely deadlocked jury. Now out of 60 women only one would reach a trial because of the statutes. Furthermore, none of the other women were allowed to testify in the first trial. One other interesting fact was that the civil suit disposition was not admissible in court either. So why was all of this same old evidence admissible in the current trial? The same judge and prosecutor are in this trial as the last one, what changed in the eyes of the court to allow the other evidence?
The woman that the three counts are pertaining to is Andrea Constand who testified that in January 2004 the defendant drugged and assaulted her in his home. Most states forbid evidence from those who can’t speak directly to the alleged crime, but Pennsylvania has exceptions related to evidence about a “common plan, scheme and design” and “absence of mistake.”
Nevertheless, Cosby’s lawyers opposed the testimony about prior bad acts, writing in court papers, “One of our most fundamental and prized principles in the administration of criminal law [is] that a distinct crime, except under special circumstances, cannot be given in evidence against a defendant who is being tried for another crime.” Judge Steven T. O’Neill’s overruled that 5 of the alleged victims could testify about the prior bad acts. Testimony was heard from Janice Baker-Kinney, Heidi Thomas, Chelan Lasha, Janice Dickinson, and Lise-Lotte Lublin.
Janice Baker-Kinney was a bartender at the Harrah’s Hotel & Casino in Reno, Nevada, when she first met Bill Cosby in 1982. Over the course of two days of testimony, Janice Baker-Kinney, the third accuser to be called as a witness in Cosby’s felony sexual-assault retrial, painstakingly recounted her story of a foggy night involving drugs and rape.
Baker-Kinney, who now works behind the scenes in TV news in California, was 24 when a co-worker invited her to a pizza party Cosby was hosting at a private home in Reno. The home, which was often used to house headliners performing at the casino, was a well-known party destination. Baker-Kinney remembers meeting many famous performers there, including Wayne Newton, who once hosted a bash at the house for 30 or more people, many of them employees. She was well-acquainted with the party scene.
“When we got there,” she said, “I thought, it’s just us, not a real party.” Baker-Kinney said that while she had been expecting at least a dozen or more people, it was just her friend Judy and Cosby in attendance.
She was planning on staying just long enough to have a slice of pizza and a beer, she said, until Cosby offered her little pills that she remembered being quaaludes. She had experimented with the drug when she lived in Colorado.
“I took one from him,” she said. “And he put a second one in my hand.”
Cosby allegedly told the young woman to take both pills, saying, “It’ll be okay.”
She told the court that she had no indication that the pills were meant to be anything other than a mood enhancer for the party. “Even though I didn’t know him,” she said. “I trusted him.”
Baker-Kinney said she took the pills and sat down to play a game of Backgammon, a favorite of the comedian’s. Before long she said she was “looking down at the board and getting dizzy … my head was spinning.” She distinctly remembers saying, “This game isn’t fair anymore.” Cosby asked why and she responded, “Because I can’t see the board,” before face-planting into the game and passing out.
The next thing Baker-Kinney recalled, she told the court, was being on the couch. “My shirt was unbuttoned and pants were undone,” she said.
The testimony became increasingly graphic as Baker-Kinney recounted how Cosby sat next to her on the couch and put his hand inside her open blouse. She said she felt dizzy and was in no condition to leave or say much of anything when he helped her upstairs into a bedroom, where she reportedly passed out.
Baker-Kinney has no idea how much time had passed when she woke up naked in bed next to Cosby. He was touching her belly and genital area when she came to. “I was ashamed,” she told the jury. Baker-Kinney said she blamed herself for taking the pills and everything that subsequently happened that day for 30 years.
The defense, led by Tom Mesereau, latched onto the fact that Baker-Kinney had taken the pills voluntarily. He also questioned why Baker-Kinney waited three decades to allege that Cosby had raped her. She said she had “buried” the incident, and that she told her husband ten years before she went public; he was the first person who told her that she was raped. “Well, I took drugs,” she kept saying.
“So for 30 years you didn’t suspect someone had sexually assaulted you?” Mesereau pointedly asked.
“For 30 years I didn’t think about it,” said Baker-Kinney after a pause. “I didn’t want to think about it.” She said when women started coming forward and articles were being published alleging similar assaults against Cosby, she didn’t even want to read them. “I didn’t want to hear about anyone else who might have said similar things,” she said.
Heidi Thomas was an aspiring actress during the time of the alleged assault and now is a private music teacher. Heidi’s testimony was that she was contacted by her agent and told that the defendant wanted to mentor her and setup a meeting with Bill to meet him in Reno at his Ranch. There she had a glass of wine, and planned to go to his show later even had tickets to the show that he performed there in Reno later after the event. Heidi admitted that after the event she even drove Bill to his show. She had taken pictures of the tickets, the drink coins, and the Ranch. The defense team even asked her why she had taken the pictures of them that night. She testified that she didn’t remember anything but waking up periodically like a snap shot. Once she woke up and Cosby was forcing his penis down her throat. The next one she heard Cosby’s voice saying, “You’re with Mr. C, your friend” and “Your friend is gonna come again.” She kept thinking “How did I get here this isn’t what I’m here for?” And that ends another snapshot. After all this Thomas said “that she just thought she led the Actor on to think that she wanted this and that she will just move on with her life.”
Chelan Lasha was another aspiring actress at the time of the alleged Assault in 1986 in Las Vegas, Nevada in the Elvis Presley Suite at the Las Vegas Hilton. She was 17 at the time the alleged crime happened. Chelan testified that Cosby wanted to take modeling photos and asked her to wet her hair for him. She said that she told Bill that she was sick and he offered her an antihistamine to help her cold, and some Almond liqueur. She added that she took both because she “trusted him.” She said that he laid her on the bed and she could not move after that. He kept pinching my breast and humping my leg. Waking up, I was naked.” She said she heard him grunting, and with that, she imitated from the stand the sounds she said Mr. Cosby had made. And when it was over, Ms. Lasha said, Mr. Cosby told her, “Daddy said wake up,” before pushing her out the door. Lasha pleaded guilty to making a false police report in Arizona in 2007.
Janice Dickinson was a model in 1982 when she alleges that Cosby Drugged and raped her at a motel room in Lake Tahoe. Janice claims that Cosby gave her Quaaludes, that he had told her will help with her menstrual cramps. Janice and Cosby had separate rooms and in the book that Janice wrote about her life where she mentioned the stay in Tahoe with Cosby she wrote that she had taken two Quaaludes on her own in her own room, not that Cosby had given them to her. Her testimony went like this… Mr. Cosby approached her through her agency and invited her to his Manhattan house to talk about acting.
Soon afterward, she said Mr. Cosby flew her to Lake Tahoe where she watched him perform, and they had dinner and discussed her career. She said she went to his hotel room to continue their conversation, and there she snapped some pictures — which were shown to the courtroom — of Mr. Cosby in a colored bathrobe and cap talking on the telephone.
Ms. Dickinson said that because she was knocked out by the drugs, she does not fully remember the sexual assault. But when she woke up, she said, she found herself back in her own room, alone. “I noticed semen between my legs, and I felt anal pain,” she said. “I felt very, very sore.” Janice is suing the actor in civil court, and is one of more than a dozen of the women looking for compensation. Another thing that troubles me is that Janice is known for how outspoken and lively she is, do you really think that if she was forced to have sex or sexually assaulted this would have been kept secret 36 years?
Lise-Lotte Lublin was a model and 23 years old in 1989 when her alleged sexual assault took place in Las Vegas, NV. This is her account of what happened…In 1989, Ms. Lublin was 23, living in Las Vegas, her hometown, and modeling to help pay for college when she was summoned by her agency to meet Mr. Cosby. Guessing he had seen her portfolio pictures, she went. On their second meeting, she said, he invited her to his suite at the Las Vegas Hilton, because he wanted her to practice improvising, even though she wasn’t an actor. He gave her alcohol to relax, she said, and soon afterward she felt woozy and sick, like she might topple.
Mr. Cosby beckoned her over, she said, pulled her down between his legs, so that her back was against his groin, and began stroking her hair. Ms. Lublin remembers wondering why he was doing that, and that she couldn’t understand a word he was saying. She has a few fractured memories of being guided by him down a hallway of the suite, and then nothing, until she woke up at home in her bed.
Ms. Lublin was mortified, but not, at the time, because of anything Mr. Cosby might have done. “I looked at it as ‘Oh my god, Lisa, you got sick from alcohol; you don’t even remember how you got home,’” she said.
When Mr. Cosby reached out to her again, and even forged a friendship with her mother, she felt reassured: Maybe her blackout behavior hadn’t been that bad. Ms. Lublin said she and Mr. Cosby met several times after that — though never alone — and that at his urging, she began running at a track as he looked on.
When bystanders asked what Mr. Cosby was doing there, Ms. Lublin said he replied, “I’m out here with my daughter, Lisa.” (Lisa is the name she goes by.) Eventually they fell out of touch.
After Ms. Dickinson went public with her story late in 2014, Ms. Lublin began reconsidering what really happened at the hotel that night. “I started to kind of accept that, yeah, something has happened to you,” she said. Her mother, outraged at feeling hoodwinked herself, began calling television shows, and Ms. Lublin found herself on “Dr. Phil,” publicly recounting her story for the first time.
It took her six weeks to muster the courage to file a police report, but when she did, a detective told her there was nothing they could do; too much time had passed.
Andrea Constand, the central figure in the criminal trial of Bill Cosby, testified over two days that the former TV icon drugged and assaulted her at his home in January 2004. She testified that she thought of Bill as a mentor who helped her on many occasions. Constand testified that the alleged assault occurred when she went to his home outside Philadelphia in January 2004 to discuss her future and career.
During the visit, he offered her wine and three blue pills, saying “these are your friends, they will take the edge off,” she testified. She said she thought they were natural remedies, and she trusted him, so she took them. She began to slur her words and became very weak, she testified, and Cosby guided her to a sofa as she went in and out of consciousness.
“The next thing I recall is, um, I was kind of jolted awake, and felt Mr. Cosby on the couch beside me, behind me, and my vagina was being penetrated quite forcefully,” Constand testified. “I felt my breasts being touched, and he took my hand and placed my hand on his penis and masturbated himself with my hand. And I was not able to do a thing to fight back. “I felt his fingers going inside of my vagina, going in and out, very forcefully,” she said.
Constand testified that she could not move as Cosby assaulted her on the couch. “Were you able to verbalize and tell him to stop?” prosecutor Kristen Feden asked. “No,” she replied. “I wanted it to stop. I couldn’t say anything. I was trying to get my hands to move, my legs to move and the message just wasn’t getting there. I was weak, I was limp and I couldn’t fight him off.”
“I was really humiliated. I was in shock. And I was really confused,” Constand added. In the morning, she woke up disheveled. “My next memory was getting up off the couch, seeing my bra was up around my neck and my pants were kind of half unzipped,” Constand continued. “I had to kind of get myself together … and started walking toward the door.”
As she got up, Cosby told her that there was a muffin and tea on the table, Constand testified. She sipped the tea, took the top of the muffin and drove home, she said. Here is the thing that just doesn’t add up to me…After the alleged assault, Constand and Cosby interacted a number of times over the phone. She also spoke with him to arrange tickets for her family to attend one of his shows, she testified.
Constand, an employee with the Temple women’s basketball team, said the calls were largely in her job duties to inform Cosby of the basketball schedule and scores. Mesereau pointed out that one of her calls to Cosby was made on Valentine’s Day in 2004. “I called many people on Valentine’s Day, sir,” Constand responded. On cross-examination, Mesereau argued that she had significant inconsistencies in her version of events. He noted that in one police report, she said the assault took place in March, while other reports said it took place in January.
“I was mistaken,” Constand said. “Do you agree that on many subjects you have been inconsistent with what you have told police?” Mesereau asked. “I believe I have been consistent, but mistaken in some areas,” she said. Prosecutors pointed out that Constand has been consistent on the primary accusation in the case. “Have you consistently maintained that you were drugged and sexually assaulted by the defendant?” attorney Feden asked.
“Yes,” Constand said.
Constand was one of the many women who were trying or received civil relief for the events so many years ago. She received a $3.38 million civil settlement in connection with those events. In which Cosby never admitted wrong doing but rather said this was to prevent further cost in fighting the allegations. Constand stated that she accepted the settlement without admission of guilt because she just wanted this over with, but had no problem starting the criminal charges now, does that make sense?
There are so many questions that roll threw my mind in this case, that I don’t know how a jury could beyond a reasonable doubt convict.
Out of 60 young ladies that allege they were raped, not one came out at the time the rape occurred and made accusations? Why in the first trial was only one of the “Prior Bad Acts” witnesses permitted to give testimony in the trial that was a mistrial? Furthermore why are they being permitted to testify as Prior Bad Acts if it was never proven that their testimony was factual?
Another Question was why did the Judge not remove himself when there is evidence of his bias in the matter of sexually assaulted women? His wife leads a group called STTOP that deals with sexually assaulted women. All of these things are grounds for the conviction to be turned over in the appeal process.
If Andrea Constand had a clear picture in her mind that she was raped at the time of the event why did she not report it immediately? Most importantly if Constand believed that she was raped by Cosby, even if she didn’t report it, why would she have contact with him, or even want to get tickets for her family to go to one of his shows?
Janice Baker-Kinney had experimented with the then party drug Quaaludes before and knew what she was taking in a motel room alone with Cosby and her friend Judy, how would she not know the effects from the previous times she had experimented with them? If she couldn’t move or say no how was it that she was lead up a flight of stairs to the bedroom by Cosby?
Heidi Thomas by her own admission had been to Harrah’s Casino that night with Cosby even had pictures of the drink tickets from there but says she doesn’t remember anything about it. How do you go to a casino have drinks take pictures yet not remember if you gave consent to Cosby to have sex with you or even came on to him first? She even admits that she thought to herself that maybe she led him on.
Chelan Lasha went to the actors motel room alone with hopes of landing a part on the Cosby Show according to her testimony. She was given the drug Quaalude as an antihistamine for her cold. Again she recalls that she was “Raped” by the star but still did not attempt to report it the the authorities at the time? Now 30+ years later she miraculously was now raped when everyone is coming out with allegations at once?
These are just a few of the hard questions that go through my mind as I write this report and come to my own conclusions. The intent for this article is to lay the facts as they were presented and let you make your own choice. There are so many similarities to these women’s store that it makes it hard to believe that none of it happened. Bill in my opinion was a sick individual to want to have sex with someone so incapacitated but is that a crime if the other person is willing to be in that fantasy? Did these woman, especially the ones that voluntarily took the Quaaludes in a setting where they were alone with the actor, know what was happening?
Does a known millionaire, actor, and comedian really need to drug someone to have sex with them? I am sure that during that time in his life there were many women that would have made themselves available to a man like that. Were all these women the ones that did and now are making these stories up for fame or money, just because they were with him years ago? Our court system says that none of these questions matter because a jury of today made a decision on a crime of yesterday when these “date rapes” were not legally a crime. When women didn’t go to a mans private motel room without the thought of something sexual happening.
I’m not saying that Cosby did everything right, I am saying that there are too many questions for a jury to honestly say without a doubt that he did in fact rape this women. After all it is only one women that he is being Tried of raping. The sexual assault charges included penetration without consent, penetration while unconscious and penetration after administrating an intoxicant. Each count is punishable by up to 10 years in prison. How is that not Double Jeopardy three charges for the the same act of sexual assault on a single person? When you kill someone you get one count of murder not one count with lesser counts added on? Just one more thing for the appeals court to address. So all the facts are in what do you think?
With 25+ years of collecting debt, I have heard it all when it comes to attempting to collect a debt. Many debtors are intimidated by the whole debt collection process, and believe that collectors are all powerful entities that are out to wreck your way of life. This is just a myth, Most legitimate collectors are just trying to do their jobs to the best of their ability and want to help you resolve the cloud hanging over your head, called debt. I’m not saying that there are not bad apples in the business, that give all of us a bad rap. The reality is that most of the time the collector is more scared calling a stranger asking for the debt to be paid then the debtor is receiving the call. Over the years I don’t know how many time I have lost collectors that just can’t do the job.
Which now brings me to my point, what is myth and what is fact? Just like in sales, in collections when a debtor give a reason why he/she cannot pay, this is called an objection. It is the collectors job to overcome that objection and get the debtor to pay the debt. This interaction is where the myths take place most. So lets get to the facts of the matter, or the myths.
The debt will just go away over time, if you ignore it long enough.
Honestly that might be true in some aspects, but the fact is that it will never just go away. Yes it has a statute of limitations that pertains to the amount of time that a person can legally be sued for the debt. Not to say that an agency will not sue after that allotted time, but all you have to do is prove that the statutes is up and it will be thrown out of court. Even after that time, which varies from state to state , it will still be on your credit report. Even after all those things expire the debt is still owed to the original creditor and will have to be paid before you can get services from them again, in most cases.
If you send a Cease and Desist letter to a collection agency the debt goes away.
A Cease and Desist letter does tell the agency to cease all communication with you in regards to the collection of the debt. The debt doesn’t go away just because the collection agency can’t call you, send you a letter, or communicate with you in any way. Once a Cease and Desist letter is received the agency may contact you one more time to acknowledge the receipt of the notice and to notify you of the agencies intent to further collect the debt. The right for litigation is still there and is the most obvious choice if there is now other means of collecting the debt.
If you pay a debt collection it will remove it from your credit or raise your credit score.
The fact is paying a collection is the best thing in that situation that you can do is you truly owe the debt. The collection is not required to be removed from your credit report until the time limit of the account is up. That time limit is 7 years from the original date of delinquency according to the FCRA. Although I would suggest that if you have the money to pay the account in full that you request that the item be removed after payment is made. Get it in writing that the account will be removed. Most likely that payment of the debt will not help your credit significantly because it shows that it was charged off to collections. Eventually it might raise your score but possibly not, but it is always better to show as a paid charge off than a delinquent one.
Debt collectors have to stop calling you if you tell them to stop.
This is presumed that if I tell someone to stop calling they have to stop calling. Truly the only way to stop a debt collector from calling you is to send it in writing which is known as a Cease and Desist letter. Now there are stipulations to that, if a debt collector calls you at work and you tell them not to call you there then they cannot call your job again. Another chink in the armor, is that if you say that it is not a good time they cannot call at that time again. Now if the collector is calling with a ATDS then you can request that the collector no longer calls your cellphone with a ATDS. It is actually illegal to call a cellphone without authorization to do so by the cellphone owner. That permission is usually obtained by the original creditor at the time of services.
Making a partial payment will get the debt collector off your back.
The full balance is due when turned to collections. Making a partial payment although will get the debt paid off, but does not stop collection efforts. Now setting up an arrangement to pay the accounts of through the debt collection agency will hold off the agency as long as you keep the arrangement. Once they have agreed to an arrangement and you have agreed to the same arrangement then they are bound by that arrangement unless you break the arrangement.
Debt collectors can put you in jail if you don’t pay your collection.
This is totally absurd. Debtor Jail was abolished in 1833 and then affirmed by the Supreme Court in 1983, they stated that incarcerating indigent debtors was was unconstitutional under the Fourteenth Amendment’s Equal Protection clause. Any collector that implies or threatens jail is in violation of the law.
You can bypass the debt collector and pay the original creditor.
Although some people would rather pay the original creditor than a collection agency in most cases the creditor and the agency are under contract and the creditor cannot take payment for the debt. There are instances that the debt was purchased by the agency and the creditor no longer owns the debt. Even if the creditor allows you to pay them it doesn’t circumvent the agency which still gets the commission owed them and the payment is reported to them as collected.
Debt collectors cannot garnish your wages if you don’t pay.
The fact is that you can be sued and a judgement can be obtained on a valid debt. Now depending on the state that you live in determines if the agency can garnish to collect that judgement. Most states allow garnishment for debt. A collector can not threaten garnishment when a judgement has not been obtained and you live in a non-garnishment state such as Texas. There are too many variables to guess at weather a collector could garnish on a debt, but some agencies do sue and obtain judgement with the sole purpose of garnishing to collect the debt.
At Midwest Business Cycle Management we want you to know your rights and we want to help you get back to financial freedom. If you have any questions about your right as a debtor or the legality of a collector feel free to send me message here on our site or twitter at @midwestbcm.
Have you ever worked in a collection agency and been the low man/woman on the board? Have you been frustrated by that result because you just don’t know how they have so much success and you don’t? Good collectors are good because they use the tips I am about to share with you. Every collector should have a plan to collect from the debtor before they call. Obviously, a lot of modern agencies use a dialer system to call in the modern collection world. You still must be able to multitask your efforts. As a collector when I had to work the dialer I still used all these methods I am about to share with you. I have 25+ experience using these techniques and they work.
Gather Information, Know the debtor, where they work, how much they make, what area do they live in, size of house, what its worth, the cars they drive, credit score, credit trends. All information is good information. Learning the assets of a debtor is super important.
Know your debtors personality and financial personality type, if you learn how to master this piece of information alone it will increase your closes. Every debtor has a personality that he/she calls their own and each debtor has a spending personality as well. Read my article at the link above where I describe them and give you tips using them.
Listen to the Debtor, don’t just let the information go in one ear and out the other so you can say what you want to say. The debtor will give you clues on how to close if you listen. As a collection manager, I don’t know how many time I took a supervisor call and all the debtor want was to be heard before he/she paid.
Make good notes of the conversation take notes as you talk so that you don’t forget important information, don’t be afraid to ask questions about information that you were unable to gather yourself.
Buddy calls – This one is my favorite if you can’t close the deal have a buddy that you take turns closing each other’s deals, you would be surprised how many time just hearing a new voice make the debtor willing to pay. Make sure you buddy knows the stipulations that you are willing to make to get the account paid.
This rule is one of the most important – always keep the conversation going in the direction of how this is going to be paid. I don’t say this lightly either, the debtor will get you off on another topic completely and sometimes that is fine depending on the personality type but always steer the debtor back to the issue at hand and that is paying the debt.
Unless obtaining information, never ask an open-ended question. Use your pauses, when you are waiting for a response pause the first one to speak loses. For example:
Me: “sir I know that you are a person that pays his bills and I know that you just got in a bind and are now ready to fix this wrong is that right?” (pause)
Him: “well yes”
Me: “great let me show you the way”
Always, and let me say this again always, be respectful. You as a collector need to be firm but that is not saying that you must be disrespectful as well. Never loose your cool when taking to a debtor, if you do they have won.
This tip is controversial in the collection world, set a minimum result you are willing to resolve the debt for. The reason that I say it is controversial is because some agencies make you take what ever you can get but I think my time is worth more that a $25 payment that I must maintain every month for years. On the other side of the spectrum you build a base with payments no mater what they are and eventually you get to a place where quota is made before you ever start. I just set my payments higher than most.
Negotiate – always start with PIF or payment in full -> then Settlement -> then ½ an ½ -> if it must be lower than that ask them what realistically they can pay don’t offer a payment ever. You might offer $150.00 a month and they would have paid $300.00, you cut yourself short. Negotiate from there usually they will offer about half of what they can afford.
Remember these trick and tip are a resource, a tool, a way to help you get to the end, when used properly you will succeed in the collection world. Hope this helps you be the best that you can be.
In the modern collection world we develop strategies to be an effective collector. One of those strategies are based on effectively determining the personality type and collecting according to that type. These types are based on cultural tradition, race, and social status. Each one of these basis are how our consumers determine financial decisions in the collection industry. In this industry it is important to know how to spot the types and to cater to the needs of each type.
There are 4 types of personalities of consumers that are easy to spot when you know what you are looking for. There are 6 financial spending types that when combined with the 4 personality types, you as a collector have a powerful collection tool. As any good collector will tell you, knowledge is the most powerful tool in collections.
The analytical consumer in collections and sales look for…