Tips on Avoiding Bad Debt Tips

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How can I automate rent collection?

Collecting Back Rents

Rent collection is another important facet of professional collection agencies. Some agencies have developed automated services for tenants designed to help ensure timely rent payments by invoicing tenants every month. This provides an easy reminder that payments are due, elevates rent payments to the same level of importance as car payments, and adds professionalism to the business of apartment management.

How do I perform employee background checks?

Background Checks for Employees

Tips on avoiding bad debt: Collection agencies are diversifying to help businesses avoid bad debt in many innovative waye. Employee screening may seem over the top, but by hiring good employees you reduce your chances for dealing with deliquency or even claims on unemployment insurance when you have to fire a bad employee. Informatio services like these are formed to assist employers in providing a safer and more productive working environment. Online employment screening can allow an applications to be processed 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Employee background checks can be viewed as they become available. These services can include statewide criminal search, address verification, reference checking, social security number verification, employment history and educational background verification, driving record check, and drug screening services.

What is the Delinquent Tenant Cooperative ?

Delinquent Tenant Cooperative

The Delinquent Tenant Cooperative offers a forum for rental property owners to share negative resident information. The information shared ensures successful tenant screening. Never before has there been an opportunity for property management personnel to freely exchange this information on a nationwide basis. This allows landlords everywhere to help protect one another from the perils of bad tenants and people that don't pay their bills.

The Cooperative offers the following valuable information:

* Delinquent payment history patterns
* Property damage
* Suspected criminal activity
* Uncleanliness
* Chronic disturbances

What kind of tenant screening services are offered?

Tenant Screening

More tips on avoiding bad debt: Tenant screening used to be a manual process that required the property manager or a service to check references and application information - a time consuming and expensive process! If you are a first time property manager, you are lack the sophistication to evaluate an application. You don't know what you don't know! If you hire a service it can take too long and cost more money than its worth.

Online tenant screening services eliminate all of these problems. Internet-based real-time tenant screening services can feature systems that help landlords to establish a tenant profile (the type of tenant they are looking for) based on multiple parameters. The system evaluates each applicant and tells the prospective landlord “recommend” or “not recommend.”

The service also evaluates the credit of a potential tenant. Some of these services also checks applicants against eviction databases and perform criminal background checks.

If you register for a service like this you can also often report your delinquent tenants to Experian, Equifax and TransUnion as well as to organzations like the Delinquent Tenant Cooperative who offer consultation and advice.

What should the preemployment screening report include?

Rules on PreEmployment Screening

The law restricts a credit reporting agency from including a credit report that contains a consumer's medical information for employment without first obtaining the consumer's consent. By law, a prospective employer must have a consumer's written permission before getting a copy of their credit report. A credit reporting agency that includes a preemployment screening report for purposes that contains items of information that are matters of public record and are likely to have an adverse effect upon a consumer's ability to obtain employment must:

* At the time such information is reported to a prospective employer, notify the consumer of the fact that public record information is being reported by the consumer reporting agency, together with the name and address of the person to whom such information is being reported;

* Maintain strict procedures designed to insure that whenever public record information which is likely to have an adverse effect on a consumer's ability to obtain employment is reported, it is complete and up-to-date. Items relating to arrests, indictments, convictions, suits, tax liens, and outstanding judgments are considered up-to-date if the current public record status of the item at the time of the report is reported.

What should I look out for with tenant screening?

What to Watch Out for with Tenant Screening

One thing to consider when conducting tenant screening or choosing a company that conducts screening is something called "mixed files." These are situations where a person might lose a rental property because their name is the same or similat as someone with a blemished record.

Critics of tenant and employment screening like privacy right advocates, have concerns about issues like identity theft, about who has access to information and who puts the information in to the system.

What kind of tenant screening services are offered?

What a Tenant Screeing Report Should Contain

Tenant Screening reports include consumer credit information from one or more of the three major credit bureaus -- Experian, Equifax or Transunion.

They should also containg information on
*delinquent payment histories
*property damage
*chronic violations
*criminal activity
*other types of disturbances

In addition, tenant screening services should offer various options that include:

* A scoring system that enables landlords to establish a tenant profile and then evaluates applicants according to those criteria and helps you decide if someone will be a good fit.
*Credit information provided by the credit bureaus
*Eviction and public record checks.
*National criminal background searches.
*Fraud detection and personal information verification.

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Sherril Steele-Carlin