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With 2013 coming to a close, ALQ would like to wish its members, partners and other industry professionals a very safe and happy holiday season.

As we reflect on the past year, we would like to provide The Eagle subscribers with a look at the most-read news stories.

Your regular news publication will resume on Wednesday, Jan. 8, 2014.


As the holidays and the end of the year approach, it means many things to many people. For me it is a time to reflect on all the wonderful people who I continue to meet and talk with throughout the year. As Nancy and I travel to and participate in many industry conferences, I truly feel blessed that we have come to know so many of you. I am especially delighted with the new developments and business opportunities that many of you have shared with us.

As we enter into the New Year, I again would like to say to all of you how much I greatly value our relationship and hope that we will continue to support and work with each other, not only in the coming year, but for many years to come.

I wish you and your loved ones a Happy and Healthy Holiday and New Year.

Thomas W. Hamilton

Playing a high-stakes game
By Dwayne Banasiak, AvantGard
From Sept. 18: Buying debt, whether it's medical, credit card or telecom/utilities, can be equated to the American reality television series, "Storage Wars," in which participants bid on abandoned items in a storage locker. The show's narrator explains, "When storage units are abandoned, the treasures within are put up for auction."
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After the judgement
By Daniel Spilotro, Spilotro Law Group, LLC
From Sept. 18: It is often said that getting a judgment is half the battle. Collecting a judgment is the other half. Of the two, collecting the judgment is the more difficult aspect. Enforcing a judgment can require a light or heavy hand. It all depends upon the debtor's cooperation or lack thereof.
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Policies and procedures ... and how they can increase your bottom line!
By Susan A. L. Marston, MBA, CEO, ConnecTGo, Inc.
From Sept. 18:
Many small businesses are so wrapped up in the day-to-day running of the business and often miss out on the bigger picture! While that is understandable to some degree, they should still be vigilant as to what is occurring in their own industry and marketplace. Owning and managing a company in addition to the provision of its services, is no easy task.

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Evaluating your claim for suit
by Steve Harms
From Feb. 6: Collection efforts have not been successful in collecting your past due balance, and you are considering a collection law suit against your debtor. The purpose of this article is to review some of the practical considerations in evaluating your claim for suit.
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Piercing the corporate veil: A general overview of the exception creditors can use to find individual shareholders liable for corporate debts
by David S. Brown, Esquire
From March 6:
A fundamental rule of corporate law is that shareholders, officers and directors are not liable for the debts of the corporation. In this respect, individuals find the corporate form useful because it creates a division between shareholders and their business concerns. Simply put, the corporate form insulates individual shareholders from being held liable for corporate wrongdoings or debts. The Ohio Supreme Court summarized this concept by stating that, "the corporate form has been introduced for the convenience of the company in making contracts, in acquiring property for corporate purposes, in suing and being sued, and to preserve the limited liability of the stockholders, by distinguishing between the corporate debts and property of the company, and of the stockholders in their capacity as individuals."

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The ABCs of telephone collections
by Bob Tharnish
From April 17: Effective telephone techniques can make the difference between a failed attempt and a successful collection. An experienced collection professional makes the rules of the game as simple as A-B-C, highlighting techniques of the trade which will provide a useful primer for new collectors, as well as a helpful reminder for those more experienced.
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What our clients have to say:
Since my start in the collection industry close to four years ago, ALQ and its staff have made me feel welcomed in a new environment. The customer service is outstanding whether it is handling a specific claim or getting a recommendation for new counsel. The staff does a great job in following up on any outstanding issues and would recommend them to any forwarder or attorney.

— Brian Haley, legal coordinator, Windham Professionals, Inc., Salem, N.H.

For over thirty years, ALQ has been my primary resource for selecting local litigation counsel in my collection practice. ALQ selects quality lawyers and firms, monitors their performance and always supports my (rarely needed) requests for service assistance. As a relatively small-volume forwarder, I appreciate that ALQ staff gives my business the same attention and value as claims from large agencies. As we say in Texas, if it ain't broke, don't fix it...and I'll keep ALQ's web search link among my most trusted professional tools.

— D. Park Smith, Attorney, D. Park Smith & Associates, Irving, Texas

Consideration of IRS Form 1099-C in the settlement of disputed debts
by Eamonn N. Sullivan and Donald W. Seeley, Jr.
From May 15: Collection attorneys are in the business of settling disputed debts. Typically, two factors drive these settlements: The settlement figure and the payment schedule. The parties negotiate their settlement, payments are made and the debt is settled. Or is it? In addition to honoring the settlement terms, certain creditors have federally imposed requirements to report settled debt to the IRS. These obligations exist even when the debtor disputes the debt and may result in additional tax consequences for the settling debtor. At the heart of this issue lies IRS Form 1099-C.
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Being a witness at a collection trial: Common concerns
By Steve Harms
From May 29: Rarely do collection cases go to trial. That's a good thing because providing a witness, or being a witness is an inconvenience at best, and a real strain at worst (where the case is heavily disputed). This discussion covers some of the common questions asked by people who may have to testify at a collection trial.
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Jan. 15-17, 2014
IACC 43RD Annual Conference
Miami Beach, Fla.

Jan. 19-20, 2014
NARCA Attorney Workshop

Hotel Monteleone — New Orleans

Feb. 22-25, 2014
CLLA Legislative Day
Washington, D.C.

Complete schedule of events

6 steps in the US collection suit process what to expect
by Robert M. Tharnish, Vice President, Corporate Quality and International
From July 10: What actually happens once an account is submitted to an attorney for suit? Here's a brief summary of six steps that describe the process from the decision to sue to its outcome.
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House bill offers technical fix to FDCPA for collection attorneys
From Aug. 21: A bill introduced recently in the U.S. House of Representatives would exempt debt collection attorneys from the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act "when taking certain actions." The bill's supporters say that it is a technical fix that does not erode the consumer protections of the FDCPA.
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