Unified Collection Network

office: (614) 410-9844
toll free: (866) 955-9034
Toll Free Fax: (877) 403-4171
info@unifiedcollectnet.com

The #1 Most Frequently Asked Question: What kind of accounts do I get to work, and how many?

Most of our members maintain extremely large desk sizes, and there is a nice flow of new business several times per month.  The majority of the accounts are Primary and Secondary accounts, direct from the lenders , and most are within 1 year from the default date.

 

Is someone else making $$$ off of what you do?

Do you know what it takes to run a successful collection agency, and you know this because you've done it for years?

Do you believe that you can take that knowledge, drive, and determination that is within you, and create your own success story?

If you had all the good accounts that you can possibly handle, are you convinced that you can produce?

We encourage you to do your homework

Compare start-up costs with just about any other business or industry in the world, and see how this compares!!!

Talk to existing Agency Members and get the inside scoop.

Joining the Network:

Q: Can I use UCN’s collection or business licenses to do business if I become a network member
A: No. Each member operates their own agency. UCN is not a collection agency. UCN provides a service to the collection industry. It is up to each agency to acquire licenses as each feels necessary, and as required by law in the state that they are doing business in. You will not be distributed business from any state that your are not able to service. A copy of your current license needs to be on file before accounts are distributed.

Q: What do I need on my end to get started?
A: For the most part…electrical power, a pretty good computer, as fast of an internet connection as you can get, and an IP Headset (that plugs into your computer). Dual monitors are nice, but not required. We strongly encourage all of our members to keep some operating capital on hand. Just as any new collector may take month(s) to build a payment base from scratch, new owners need to allow time to get those post dates built up. Unfortunately, it doesn’t happen overnight, so be prepared for that. Additionally, you will need the appropriate licensing, bonds, and insurances, as well. 

Q: Who controls my hours of operation?
A: With exception to the general flow of the accounts, and monitoring for compliance issues, UCN controls very little of what you do in your day-to-day operations…so you manage your own time. Just don’t get caught in that ugly trap thinking that life gets easier when you become your own boss. Just like any new business venture, building a good solid foundation for success takes time and dedication.

Q: Can I use my own phone or collection software system if I want to? Can I just get account placements?
A: Sorry…no. We maintain the flow of accounts to each agency to ensure that the accounts are being worked properly.

Q: What kind of accounts do I get?
A: We are not a fan of old accounts here at UCN. The vast majority of the accounts that will be provided to you are PDL Accounts. Roughly 95% of those accounts are Primes, approximately 2-3 months from the delinquency date. Seconds are sometimes placed, and they tend to be 9 months+ from delinquency

Debt buyers may sporadically place Credit Cards, Auto Deficiencies, and on-line loans from time-to-time.

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Q: I’m only licensed in the state that I live in. How does this effect the way that the accounts that are distributed to me?
A: If you are not licensed in a state that requires licensing, then our system will not distribute accounts from that state to you. The more licenses you have, the more accounts that can be assigned to you. This might be huge if UCN loads a relatively small portfolio of big balance accounts to work. Accounts from open border states (no collection licenses required) are evenly distributed to each owner, and the owner has five (5) days to activate the new business, or the account will be re-distributed. Also, an agency will have an equal distribution of accounts from “licensed required” states if and only if they have submitted a copy of their collection license from that state to UCN.

Q: How are accounts distributed to network members?
A: When new business is loaded into our system.  We want to do our best to eliminate you seeing accounts where the debtors are deceased or bankrupt, so the accounts are frequently scrubbed. The accounts are then distributed fairly and evenly to each agency. As always, accounts that are not properly activated can and will be redistributed.

Q: How many collectors can I have working the accounts if I become a member of the network?
A: You are buying seat licenses, so you can only have one person on at a time, unless, of course you purchase additional seat licenses.  You can, however, rotate different people in on that one license. For example, a small agency may choose to buy one seat license and then have one collector working 8-5, and then another from 5-midnight and really get their money’s worth. Once they have a nice payment base is established, they could then choose to buy another seat license and expand their operation.

Q: Can I work my own accounts through the network?
A: Yes…you can keep them exclusively for yourself or become a "client" on the system, as well as an "agency member."  You may also choose to place your accounts with other agencies in the network if you wish. If you intend to work your accounts exclusively, there is a small, additional 3% monthly fee (minimum of $250.00) for servicing those through the software, which is really just to cover the costs.

Q: Why do I need you? I already have 20 collectors and growing.
A: You probably don’t need us. I would not encourage you to change if you are already seeing success. The fact is, you most likely have a good client base, and have a regular flow of accounts. This network is for agencies looking to grow their technology and account base.

Q: Why should I consider joining UCN when I can do this on my own?
A: Because most of what you need in order to develop a successful collection agency is put together for you in a nice little package (at a much better overall rate than you can get individually). Apply on Monday, and usually by Thursday you can be making calls. Try getting just your credit card and ACH processing set up in that amount of time doing it yourself.

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Q: What assurances do I have that I can be successful by joining your network?
A: It’s a rare occasion that someone can start a business with very little up-front capital and know that they are guaranteed success. What we have done here at UCN is identify the tools needed to be successful in this industry. We simply offer to combine them up with your gifts and talents in a nice, cost effective package.

Q: When should I expect to start seeing a profit?
A:
A general rule of thumb in the collection industry is that when you hire a collector, it takes approximately three to six months to start making a profit from that person. It simply takes most of them that long to build a base of post-dated checks and payment plans. We have had members join and are in the black month one, and we have had other take time to build. There is a direct correlation between the rate in which an office does well and their skill level and effort.

We believe that the tools that we provide our members, along with our custom made Work Flow Strategy, will help all of them achieve profit at a more advanced pace than those who try to do this on their own. These tools are not cheap, but we can provide these to our members at a better rate because of the volume business that we offer to our venders.

Q: Are the accounts direct from lenders or from debt buyers?
A:
Both…as you can probably guess, this network concept, being the first of its kind, is just starting to catch on. We have a number of contacts in this industry who are very, very interested in what we do, and very much like the concept. We anticipate a large growth in our client base in the next couple of years as lenders and debt buyers begin to see the benefits to using our network.

Q: Anyone can join?
A: Nope…we are pretty selective. We have to know you’re head is on right, and that you know what you’re doing in this industry. The most important issue is trying to determine if you are not only an effective debt collector, but also a compliant, effective debt collector. We will definitely check you out before you can become a member. We owe that to our clients.

Q: What kind of skip tracing occurs on these accounts?
A: We provide some batch skip tracing as an add-on to your service, if you wish. Collectors all have their favorite sources. If it’s not already offered through this network at a discount for you, let us know and well talk to that vender and try to add their service.  

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Q: What kind of letters will I have access to?
A: We have a standard set of dunning notices. They are non-threatening and compliant, but each owner must approve their letters through their own legal counsel before using them.  Our members also have a number of Settlement Offer type of letters, as well as Broken Promise, NSF, Account Satisfied, and Verification of Employment letters at your disposal.

Q: How do I send letters? Is there a service that I can use or do I send them myself?
A: This is your choice. You may print letter and mail them yourself, or they can be processed through our letter vender for $0.57 per letter (this cost may change with changes in postal rates). This cost also includes a National Change of Address (NCOA) search. A $200.00 deposit is required to use our letter vender, and we require prior payment on large batches.

Q: So I’m responsible for all my mail.
A: As a part of you network fees, notices such as Payment Reminder Notices, and Notices of Intent to Deposit are automatically sent for you, and you will not be billed for those. However, each agency is responsible for send their own dunning notices, like the Initial Demand Notice, Settlement offers, Final Demand Notices, Letters of Satisfaction, etc.

Q: Where should consumers send their payments?
A: When taking, or setting up, payments, our network members advise the consumer that their office utilizes a payment processing service called UCN Payment Processing Service to post payments and to handle other administrative functions. Mail in payments will be sent to a centralized location at UCN Payment Processing Service, and credit cards and ACHs will show as UCN Payment Processing Service on the consumer’s bank statements.

Q: Do I have access to credit cards processing and ACHs?
A: Yes, and the data is secure through tokenization.

Q: How do I remit to the client, and when is the fee that I generate paid to me?
A: You do not have to deal with this at all. Since all payments are processed at a central location, we handle all client reporting and remits. By the 5th business day of each month, you will receive an email breaking down your monthly production, and a direct deposit in the amount of your remit will be made into your account.

Q: What are the fees that I am paid?
A: Each client is different, and that information is found on a particular screen on each account. We will show you where to find that information once you are signed in. Most of our current clients are 35-45% clients, but we have others that pay a lesser fee because the accounts are fresher, or are generally liquidate at a higher rate, so that client pays less. Using 40% as an example, our client would receive a remit of 60%, 2% would go to UCN (used primarily for batch skip tracing), and 38% would go to the network member.

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Q: What are the fees to be a network member?
A: It’s important that you thoroughly understand our services and our processes before discussing pricing. We are responsible for managing a very large flow of accounts from clients to members. In that process, there are a number of unseen benefits that goes on behind the scenes before a network member even see or spends any of their valuable time on an account.

As a part of their membership fees, our members are provided with

   Accounts to work 

   Latitude Collection Software,

   LiveVOX Dialer

   Administrative assistance that includes IT Support, and centralized bookkeeping.

All at a cost for less than the cost of one full time employee.

 

Q: What if I fail to produce enough to cover my network fees?
A: Unfortunately, the fees would be an out of pocket expense for you if this were to occur. It is important that everyone knows that this does occur, and you need to be prepared for it, especially in the early stages of your growth.

This network is not a get-rich-quick proposition. If you know how to collect well and are willing to work hard to be successful, then our goal is to give you the tools needed to do it.

Ask yourself this…if you opened your own agency and turned on all these services outside this network, how much is that going to cost you? All those monthly fees from each of your venders (software license, phone expenses, etc) would be due regardless of whether or not your produced a dime that month. The same holds true with this all-inclusive package. These are the costs of doing business, and every single new (and established) business in the world has them.

Q: Can I control the number of accounts that are assigned to me?
A: Yes…by your effort and production. You will ALWAYS have as many accounts as you can handle. If you can work them, we can supply them.

Q: How do I lose accounts, or get rid of accounts that I am finished with?
A: We have a responsibility to our clients to see to it that their accounts get worked properly, and in a timely manner. Our system is designed to manage the flow of accounts in this manner. Accounts that are being worked properly but have seen no revenue recovered will be “rotated” to a new agency after a pre-determined period of time, which is usually 60-90 days, depending upon the client. You may also status the accounts in a manner in which you tell the system that you have worked that account to completion and you want a new account to replace that account.

IMPORTANT:  Poor work effort adversely effects every member of this network.  If you join the network and don't do the work, you will not be a member long, regardless of whether or not your network fees are paid.  We reserve the right to ask members to leave due to poor work standards.

It's hard to believe, but this is the single greatest issue this network has faced.  Members must self-police, and it's not as easy as everyone thinks it is.

Q: Can I have multiple seat licenses?
A: Absolutely. Several of our active members have multiple seat licenses. Our members can purchase licenses known as "Supplemental Licenses" and a much better cost once they have at least one Full Seat License.  New members are limited to a full and a supplemental license for their first six (6) months of operation.

Q: What if I am involved in an FDCPA Issue?
A: Each office is liable for its own actions. Collection agents tend to follow the FDCPA a bit more stringently when they are the ones liable for what is said. UCN will need to be made aware of any claims, and it will be UCN’s responsibility to notify the client that may be involved. If there is an obvious, purposeful violation of the FDCPA, your membership with the network may be in jeopardy.

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Q: What kind of insurance do I need?
A: You can join the network with a minimum of a $500,000.00 Errors and omission policy, but some of our clients require a $1M policy. It actually doesn’t cost that much more to get that much more, but we cannot assign their accounts to you until you have the coverage that they specify.

Q: Can I use my logo?
A: Sure…we can customize your letters to look however you want them to look.

Q: How long will it take to set me up?
A: It’s usually only takes a few days once all the forms are done, but we always tell everyone a week just to be safe.

Q: Is there any extra equipment that I’ll need?
A: You’ll need a headset that plugs into a usb port on your computer. Note that our dialer vender, LiveVOX, offers them to our members as a substantially lower rate than can be found anywhere else on line. Dual monitors can be helpful and convenient at times.

Q: What are some unseen costs?
A: Dialer and letter costs are based on usage and volume

Also, if you choose to waive the $3.00 convenience fees that are charged to consumers on phone payments, your office will pay that fee.

Our credit card company charges a $35.00 fee for charge-back reversals, which is a fee that is assessed to whoever the account is assigned to.

Q: What if there is a blemish on my background check?
A: Security is one of our main concerns. If you do not pass our background check, you will not be granted membership to the network, unless the issue is a very, very minor issue. Any background check resulting in issues of financial impropriety will disqualify you from membership. If our research finds that your organization has numerous complaints stemming from FDCPA issues,, your application will most likely not be accepted.

Q: What if my business develops beyond using your services and I want to leave the network?
A: You may want to use UCN as a stepping stone to bigger things, however, our goal is to make this experience so care free and lucrative, that you will not see a need to do this. However, if you do want to go it alone, we ask that you give us a 60 day notice. This 60 day notice is not required in the first three months of operation. If you join and decide right away that this is not something for you (and, certainly, this may not be for everyone) we will not hold you to the 60 day notice.  Your costs will terminate at the end of the month that you request for the services to be terminated, and you will only be required to cover monthly costs to that point.

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