DEBTOR’S SPOTLIGHT — THE SERIAL DEBTOR 2016

admin

In our monthly Debtor’s Spotlight series, we highlight some of the more prominent cases we encounter with errant and unscrupulous debtors. Some of them are so flagrant they would outright refuse to return the money they owe, and what’s worse is that they will tell you straight to your face.

Well, this is a case involving a Sports Organizing Company. The owner of the company is the debtor in question, and he has known our client for a good 3 to 4 years. Our client runs a Consultancy firm and has been asked by the debtor to provide their consultancy services on two occasions. First is to provide Industry Management Training for the debtor’s staffs, and the other is to provide the debtor with critical network opportunities so that he can expand his company to China.

The debtor disputes the quality of service that our client had provided, asserting that the training provided for his staffs were sub-standard and not “worthy of [his] money”. However, further engagement with the case subsequently revealed that the staffs that went for the course provided by our client actually sent emails to our client complimenting him on the practicality and usefulness of the course. Their positive feedback of the course, however, was not aligned with what the debtor had claimed. There are more discrepancies.

Based on our understanding, the debtor intends to expand to China and our client was engaged to assist the debtor by setting up important meetings with the influential decision makers of the industry in China, including various government officials. Except for the air ticket, our client’s firm provided all the necessary accommodation and expenses for food and beverages, providing the best situation for the debtor’s business needs. Our client went the extra mile partly to try to appease the debtor, especially since he had previously claimed that our client had provided sub-standard training services, contrary to the email correspondence of his staffs.
When the debtor returned to Singapore, he wrote to all the officials he met in China, thanking them for the “opportunities” and “support” received. However, he did not pay our client for both the services that he engaged. He dragged payment for 2 months and counting. He refused to pay for the training for his staff and he also refused payment for the network opportunities he was provided through our client’s firm.

Once again, he said that he did not receive a “good” and “worthy” service from our client. Which leads one to wonder: if the service provided by our client was truly so subpar, then does it make any sense for the debtor to engage our client again one week later (after his claims of “poor” training standards) to provide consultancy services? Perhaps not.
Even when our client offered to provide another trip to China and setting up more meeting FREE OF CHARGE, the debtor refused. When our client realized that the debtor has no real intention to pay for the services, he got another company representative to speak to the debtor. It is during this conversation that the debtor finally showed his true colors, he said: “I just don’t want to pay you (the company) the money”.

KX-Unit’s engagement with the case has unraveled more information about the debtor’s errant and unscrupulous tactics. KX-Unit adopted a specialized approach, including a soft approach, and we realized that the debtor owes considerably large sums of money to many other suppliers in the Sports Organization and Management Industry.

When we went to his company to serve a Letter of Demand, we identified ourselves professionally with legal proof of debt and warrant to act on behalf of our client. However, the debtor was not around and the next most senior representative (the Accountant) of the company came out to receive the Letter of Demand on behalf of the debtor, but not before he shouted and screamed at us.

As a modern and professional Debt Collection Agency, KX-Unit works in the best interest for our clients. Sometimes this means that when debtors get loud and rowdy, we remain in control of the situation: firm and professional. In fact, we rose above the situation and subsequently offered the debtor a chance to share what was “inferior” about the service he received.
It is clear that the debtor has a particular modus operandi of deflecting constructive questions and being incongruous in his remarks. But like we have said before and we will say it again, as professionals of KX-Unit, we come prepared with negotiating expertise and we will deal with the dynamism of on-site negotiations.

Our staffs are persistent and strategic in thinking, and our focus is always on providing quality, effective service to serve our client’s best interest regardless of the circumstances. For those who may be encountering such situations or deadlocks, we encourage you to seek professional advice. You can make enquires by heading to our website http://www.KX-Unit.com/ or email us at enquires@KX-Unit.com or call us @ h/p: +65 8112 7790 and we will be most willing to assist.

C.J. Bervyn,
Columnist

KX-UNIT 2015 YEAR IN REVIEW

admin

Now that 2015 is coming to an end, the staffs at KX-Unit would like to wish everyone a HAPPY NEW YEAR!
Looking back, 2015 has been a challenging year, and just as well because at KX-Unit we are not afraid of challenges. We strategize, we improve and we thrive on them. But that said, nothing is perfect and there are always things we can do to improve ourselves and serve our people better.

Confucius wisely said: “Study the past, if you would divine the future”. And we at KX-Unit cannot agree more. The staffs at KX-Unit sat down today to have a reflection on the past work year, and looked at how we would progress from here. To wrap up 2015, the Proprietor of KX-Unit, Winston Chin, will also be sharing his thoughts at the end.

In 2015 we have been successful in rolling out new initiatives to serve our clients. The most recent Claims and Dispute Management initiative has gained much traction with our corporate clients. This is part of our new calibrated approach and strategic customization of services to help clients navigate the complexity of fundamentally establishing a claim, managing disputation, and eventual recovery.

In October, we were also featured on the Straits Times and some online media platforms like Stomp and All Singapore Stuff with regards to one of the Second Hand Car Dealership Scams. Even though the case was challenging and trying, especially for our client, KX-Unit remained professional and committed towards a progressive solution.

We have also served a considerable number of Construction and Renovation firms in our Debt Collection portfolio. In fact, we have achieved a healthy and diverse debt collection portfolio.

We have served clients with personal/corporate debts ranging from a few thousands of dollars to multi-million dollar cases. Our clients also hail from diverse backgrounds including investors, business owners, corporate firms, etc.

The exposure we have amassed dealing with scam cases targeting business owners and investors, and also companies as an entity, have allowed us to share these valuable experience and database on our Facebook and website in hope that the sharing will cultivate a more vigilant and alert public.

It is with this spirit that we have rolled out KX-Community to explore the ways in which we can help both our clients and our debtors. After all, debtors may have a genuine financial situation that requires assistance. Some may have been going through a rough patch, and it makes sense to provide them a way out such that they can also work towards repaying their debts.

And as mentioned above, our Proprietor will share his views of the work year:

[**PROPRIETOR’S THOUGHTS AND REFLECTION OF THE YEAR**]
Ever since our operations begin this year, KX-Unit and its staffs have numerous clients and victims of scam from various industries and from all walks of life. Indeed, handling each and every case has its own set of unique obstacles and challenges.
From tracing debtors who don’t even have a fixed or last known address, to verifying multiple complex business transaction or multiple business entities’ agreement, to working with various law enforcement entity and relevant government authorities; those are pretty high-intensity operations for any new start-up, especially in our industry.

I would be truthful and frank that although we have remained highly efficient on our strategy and execution, there are times and cases where we have exhausted all resources and innovative plans and yet we face a momentary gridlock and are unable to progress for that moment.

But even so, we remained firm and steadfast in our belief and motto:

N E V E R F A L T E R N E V E R C A P I T U L A T E
And with this strong sense of ownership over the cases we have been entrusted by our client, we raise the bar of service standards and commitment over the past 6 months.

I want to take this opportunity to thank my colleagues from the Operation Team, Public Relations Team, my friends and family members for giving the utmost support to me and to the company from time to time. Your consistent effort and support to us is like a Pillar of Motivation that keeps us going from time to time.

And most importantly, our Clients and the General Public who has placed their trust in us. Your trust is one of the greatest motivation that give the staffs of KX-Unit a sense of belonging and a GREAT SENSE OF DUTY to serve the people.

THANK YOU.
Winston Chin,
Proprietor of KX-Unit

But moving forward, we would first like to thank our Facebook fans and everyone for your continued support and trust. For those who have helped to share by word of mouth our services, here’s a B I G T H A N K Y O U from KX-Unit! Once again, we wish all a HAPPY NEW YEAR and a smooth sailing 2016!

C. J. Bervyn and Winston Chin

SCAM CASE SERIES: SERIAL INVESTOR SCAM

admin

First, KX-Unit would like to wish everyone a Merry Christmas! We hope you have had a pleasant Christmas. The article we will be sharing today is part of our usual Scam Case Series (SCS). If you have read our past articles, you would know that majority of the scam cases feature similar modus operandi. But not every case is the same, and the case we are sharing today involves a sum of almost $450,000.

The suspected scammer is in his mid-30s, dealing in multiple logistics businesses. Some of his partners include one of the few prominent e-commerce platforms, with their own independent warehousing space. The suspected scammer also owns 7 businesses, 5 of which deal with logistics with this prominent e-commerce company. His involvement with them typically includes providing the delivery of goods for the various zones of this company.

The suspected scammer initially met our client and pitched his business proposal, which like all scam cases, will appear quite sound on the surface. The suspected scammer used the fact that he is a client of a prominent e-commerce company to justify his sound business proposal, and legitimate management style. He even drafted the contract and proposal nicely and smartly it looks credible to a businessman. He even provided data of his monthly $100,00 revenue!

So over a 6 months period the suspected scammer borrowed a total of $450,000, which he largely claimed to be for investment purposes. Knowing it would be hard to ask for a loan amounting to almost half a million, he stretched out his demands, using different situations to paint stories to sway our client into providing the loan.

He started with $50,000 for what can be considered an “initial start-up financing”. And each time he got bolder and bolder. He justified the need for his private car, for multiple vans and lorries, and slowly to his company and office expenses (and remember he has 5 different businesses). This is a petty scammer who would even try to claim his car summons from our client.
He subsequently purported that the company is not doing as well, so there is a need to set-up another company to try to gain/bid for more delivery zones to eventually monopolize the routes. After 3 months, it became clear that there were no real results and that the “deals” were not very active after all.

Under the pressure of our client who has yet to see any results, he gave our client $10,500 a month, supposedly the “profits” from the business. He did so for the next 3 months and even as he gave the profits he was taking money from our client! He was good at manipulating even his most disadvantageous situation to get the most mileage of it.

But this was not sustainable, of course. In 3 months he stopped paying our client and suddenly disappeared. According to our client, his family situation also seemed to have broken down, although it does seem a little dubious. Perhaps the attempt to de-couple the business transaction and relations is itself an evasive attempt.

Our engagement with this case was challenging because of his almost total disappearance. Almost like a phantom with his old phone numbers inactive, and his absence from his registered address, all this while still being the director of multiple functioning companies and signee of various recent business contracts with the prominent e-commerce firms.

Although further engagements has pushed us to some deadlock. We learn that he still works via multiple proxies and engaged his workers and secretaries to find out more. Some of the information we learn is consistent with what we have written of this suspected scammer.

Because we found that even amongst the very few people who interact, deal, work with and work for him (including his driver), they have been approached at least once to lend him cash. He has actually attempted to borrow from them all, and for if we add the loans he took from his friends, the amount adds up to a whopping $850,000. This sum includes a $200,000 loan he allegedly took from loan sharks. Even as we work on the case, the newfound information is bringing us closer to identifying crucial aspects of this case.

Advisory:
What’s more important is that through this sharing; you have gained a better understanding of the shady world of scammers. Of course this knowledge does not make you invincible from the scammers, so always be vigilant and objective in your business interactions. Because do not forget, the scammers are themselves improvising. We have written about both amateurs and professional scammers from the various industries, including construction and renovation, logistics, to finance and trading.
If you are unsure of what to expect in your business propositions and especially when you need professional help with a person’s creditability, finance situation, etc. you may consider KX-Unit’s consulting services. If unfortunately you have some sort of debts (be it personal loans or corporate claims) that you need to recover but have been struggling with, feel free to let us know more about your case and we will be most willing to help. You can reach us at +65 8112 7790 or drop us a mail at enquiries@KX-Unit.com

OPERATIONAL INSIGHTS: INTERVIEW SESSION

admin

Operational Insights: Interview Session

Ever wondered what KX-Unit does as a Debt Collection Agency? Today we had a “mini-interview” with our Case Consultant, Winston, to give you our fans a glimpse into some of the Operational aspects of the job, including questions on personal threats received at work, how much money is typically collected, etc.

Traditionally, the Debt Collection industry is a niche one and so there are questions that people may not be so upfront in sharing. But times have changed, and as a modern Debt Collection agency, KX-Unit has very different methods and disposition when it comes to debt recovery. So here are the questions:

(1) What do you do as a debt collector?

a. “Ok, traditionally we have 2 types of debt collection: Personal Debt and Corporate Debt. But we are a legal and lawful agency and we will need a legal proof of debt in order to recover the debt.

In the past you can probably be loud and bang your way to get your way, but definitely not today. Today’s Debt Collection industry is one that is complex: from verifying complicated contracts and tracing transactions, from evasive and violent debtors to cases with legal implications.

That’s why we need the whole picture from our clients in order to pre-empt certain scenarios during the on-site negotiation process, devise strategies to adapt to situation and recover the debt effectively.”

(2) Have you received any threats during work?

a. “Threats? Of course! Like I mentioned already, as Debt Collectors we get a lot of violent threats from debtors. I won’t say every single debtor is like that though.

We also get debtors who wrongly accuse us, some even try to frame us! They will say we hit them or swear at them etc etc. Some even give false, baseless and exaggerating statements to Law Enforcement Entities.

We could only react positively to the situation. This is just part and parcel of what we do. We just need to do better from here on, and I am happy to say we have. Every team on the field, deploys with a Body Camera precisely because of such situations.”

(3) How do you all handle violent debtors then?

a. “Well, it’s a matter of discipline and having the over-arching picture. I mean, we work for the best interest of our client, so every negative situation will always be used and turned into an advantageous one.

We train our people to have Situational Control, and always bring the debtor back to talk and negotiate. Then sometimes somehow the violence may disappear. It’s not easy, but achievable.”

(4) How much money do you typically collect?

a. “Haha. Well, we deal with a range of sum. From $1000 dollars to millions of dollars. Any amount lesser than $10K is typically easier to collect but anything more usually can be quite lengthy and complex.”

(5) Will police arrest you during your work?

a. “First, we are not loan sharks or “ah longs”. We are a legal and lawful company, providing professional debt collection service.

At KX-Unit we follow the 3 Vs principle: NO VIOLENCE, NO VULGARITIES, and NO VANDALISM.

When law enforcement do intervene, we will professionally explain our purpose and intention, with legal proof/document for our visit.”

(6) What made you want to join this industry?

a. “Because the money is good! HAHAH. But if we live on just money we would burn out from fear and threats, right? For me, I like the challenge and sense of duty to return the rightful amount of money back to the clients.

Challenge because in today’s age, everything is complex and complicated. Can you sit there and scrutinize a contract for half a day? Can you be sure your Ops strategy will turn out the way you planned? Have you thought of a plan B? How about plan C?

Sense of Duty because I see victims of scams losing away entire of their 20 years of life savings, money that was supposed to go to their child’s education… What can they do? In our modern society today there are people online, just sit there and judge them for being “dumb” or “stupid” etc etc. But come on, let’s be fair. We all make mistakes.

I always believe in this: Build people up, not tear them down.”

(7) What kind of people do you hire?

a. “Generally we don’t discriminate based on background or education qualification. We have strong criteria for choosing our people, though, because we need them to fit the job. There are large transactions too, and the temptation may be too much to bear. So we hire based on these criteria:

They must have the following qualities: A strong EQ, the ability to negotiate, and INTEGRITY.

We at KX-Unit believes in nurturing people, and I’m happy to share that a lot of our staffs have benefited especially those who were naughtier (laughs) during their younger days and stunted by their education etc.

But now they see their strengths, they use their skillsets and past experience at work to excel. And that’s the kind of fulfillment we strive to have.”

The whole 40 minutes interview with Case Consultant, Winston, was quite an eye-opening experience. We hope this short interview have given you greater insights into what we do at KX-Unit.

If you are unsure of what we do, in general, we help clients to recover debts (personal or corporate ones), we provide Claims and Dispute Management (especially if there are many parties/stakeholders and all cannot agree on a claim amount), and we also provide Consultancy services (for those who need information on a person’s credibility, financial stability, etc.). And fret not, some of these services may overlap, and that’s all part of our customised and strategic approach. If you do need, or know someone who might need our services, feel free to contact us at 8112 7790 or drop us a mail at enquiries@KX-Unit.com.

Cheers.
C.J. Bervyn

Columnist

CLAIMS AND DISPUTE MANAGEMENT

admin

Claims & Dispute Management

The staffs at KX-Unit have taken this end of year season to systematically lay out and consolidate the various needs of our clients, in conjunction with our pre-existing understanding of the various industry needs, with our debt collection expertise. And after intensive deliberation and thought, KX-Unit is proud to announce that we have rolled out our new service: Claims and Dispute Management.

But what exactly is it?

With an ever increasingly complex business environment that often involve multiple parties, it is not surprising that even the best managed businesses can have claims that may evolve into disputes unless effectively managed. These are claims and disputes that are difficult to establish and recover with conventional Debt Collection methods.

Generally, for business projects to continue to be effective, the Management needs to have a strategic and tactical thinking, to avoid the effects of dispute. Unfortunately, there are inevitable cases where competing claims from multiple parties turn into a situation of dispute. Some of these disputes have been undertaken using Debt Collection methods, which may not be the most effective or favourable method for clients.

As a Debt Collection Agency, KX-Unit have the privileged exposure to an extensive range of industries, with in-depth perspectives on operational and financial aspects of a company. We have also negotiated with a diverse group of debtors from multiple industries. The complexity of the cases we have handled ranged from recovery of Personal Debts to Corporate Debts. However, some of these Debt Collection cases remain difficult to resolve because of the ambiguity of disputed claims, especially among business entities.

Therefore, on top of the conventional Debt Collection services, KX-Unit saw the need to provide professional and niche service in Claims and Dispute Management. We provide extensive Claims and Dispute Management advice customised for clients that require professional consultancy assistance, in which we represent client in negotiations with all parties to reach effective settlement and minimise the impact of these disputes on businesses.

Some of the services under Claims & Dispute Management that we have includes the following:

– Assessment of the Case and potential of claim issues arising
– Advising on Alternative support requirements to effectively manage claims
– Strategic On-Site Negotiations
– Recommendation and drafting of settlement agreements
– Assistance in the preparation of legal documentation/proof/evidence and fact-gathering.
– Review of project documentation and advice on claim, entitlement and strategy
– Strategize in preparation and engagement of dialogues and discussions
– Providing assistance in producing and maintaining critical project data and records for claim substantiation
– Detailed assessment and preparation of claim documentation, programmes, presentations and other analysis of relevant particulars

If you do find yourself in a frustrating and sticky situation of conflict and dispute, especially when recovering a disputed debt from a difficult debtor, feel free to contact KX-Unit at 8112 7790 or drop us a mail at enquiries@KX-Unit.com. We would be more than willing to work out a highly customised, dynamic, and strategic approach with our expertise to achieve a most favourable outcome for you.

Cheers!
C.J. Bervyn,
Columnist

SCAM CASE SERIES: FOREIGN STOCK MARKET SCAM

admin

In this month’s Scam Case Series (SCS), KX-Unit will be sharing on investment related scam cases. In particular, a suspected scam case involving a overseas top banker formally from a top investment bank currently residing in Singapore, who masterminded the initiative to network and consolidate vulnerable contacts for his plan. Some of his many assets include properties at prime areas in Singapore and an exotic sports car. With over 20 years of experience in the investment industry, he knew his prospective clients’ anxieties and typical aspirations, and that gave him the advantage of exploiting them using reverse psychology and negative rhetoric, swaying them to his plan.

Once again, KX-Unit hopes that as with all our articles, everyone will be able to better understand some of the dubious tactics and psyche of potential scammers and better protect yourself, friends, and loved ones from any unnecessary distress.
Roughly 5 years ago, this suspected scammer left the bank he was working for and got a group of people (from different backgrounds) to invest in his investment portfolio. He did so through friends of friends, and our client happened to be one of the unlucky few. This was a scam involving almost 4.5 million US dollars.

Our client was told that they would be investing in a coal mine in Indonesia. (If you recall, we wrote another article involving foreign direct investment scams involving Indonesia Coal Mines too). Part of this investment scheme includes a 5 years “maturity” period during which the investment is expected to “stable” down. As such, the investment would be “locked in” for the next 5 years, and any “lack of account” in this 5 years would be considered “normal”, as our client was told.
The suspected scammer told our client that she would be investing in his own company first (let’s call it Company A), and while holding Company A’s shares, she will be investing in the Indonesia coalmines represented by another company (Company B). Effectively, our client and other victims were told to invest in Company A and through Company A’s investment activities also concurrently invest in Company B which is the Indonesia coalmines. When Company A’s investment in Company B is profitable; the suspected scammer will sell off the shares and return the profits to our client. This was a reasonable proposal, at least on paper.

Knowing that our client does not have an extensive knowledge of the investment field, the ex-banker capitalized on it. This Company A is registered in Virgin Island all the way across the globe, relatively inaccessible to Singaporeans. This distance made it difficult to monitor and accurately pin down activities. As Company A is registered in Virgin Island, MAS ruling and regulations do not govern it.

The island is also infamous for its money laundering activities. Without being deterministic, it is rather suspicious that the ex-banker (Director of Company A) would choose to register his company in the Virgin Island, isn’t it? Anyway, our client was unable to control the shares as they were at the director/ex-banker’s discretion. Any diversion of funds was simply out of control of the many investors he sourced, including our client. Movement of funds was also hard to trace.
So the director held onto the 4.5 million dollars for 5 years, but after our client suspected something amiss, she contacted him for some information. This was after 3 years. However, all she was able to gather was that the investment was not doing very well, but it was improving and she would receive a dividend in the meantime. While the structure of the investment was clearly dubious, the director returned 10 thousand Singapore dollars out of his own pocket as “dividend” and created the impression of a normal investment return making money while evading accounts.

It was not until recently when the investment was clearly past the 5-year “maturity” mark that the victims came together and realized the discrepancies over the years in their correspondence with Company A’s director. By now, it was too late. For majority of the typical middle-class investors, including our client, money that was supposed to gradually increase by the time someone’s child got to university now disappeared. Retirement funds were depleted. And hard-earned money saved over the years suddenly missing.

Their attempts to reach the director were futile, and without any details about him, they could not have a closure. Even the correspondent in Virgin Island “disappeared”. The ex-banker was evading them and refused to return any reply. While some lost more than others in this scam, this money were all relatively significant and intended for very similar purposes like for education and retirement.

Advisory:
Financial Advice – Every investment has a risk element that the investor must be prepared to take. However such risk can be minimise if the investor would to do their due diligence by checking on the company’s background before parting their hard earn money. Instead of going for such high-risk options through private investment, there are several other options that one can consider. Banks, insurers or even fund houses are a safer partner to deal with as these institutions are subjected to MAS regulations and has to adhere to MAS guideline. There could be some capital guaranteed platforms for all to consider. If you have any queries or need advice on various investment platform, you can contact our Advisory Contributor, Jonathan Jiang (Certified Financial Consultant) via Jonjiang.yx@hotmail.com.

KX-Advice – As much as money is important, a peace of mind is something that you can guard if you remain vigilant and rigorous in examining the investment proposal. KX-Unit hopes that this short article on a highly complex scam will remind everyone of the need to be alert and patient. If you need advice on an investors’ background or company history that can better guide your investment decision, we will be most willing to help. If you are unfortunately embroiled in such a scam case and need advice, or if you know someone who needs assistance, feel free to contact KX-Unit at 8112 7790 or drop us a mail at enquiries@KX-Unit.com.

INDUSTRY TALK

admin

In a recent report, Minister of Finance Heng Swee Keat who is chairing the The Future Economy Committee, has mentioned that there is a need to continue keeping Singapore competitve and create opportunities in Singapore, including jobs for Singaporean.
The Future Economy Community is focused on looking at the future of jobs, companies, technology and market. Finance Minister Heng Swee Keat also said after a dialogue with the Singapore Business Federation and business leaders that Singapore needs to shift from a value adding economy to a value creating one.

The entrepreneurial spirit needs to be cultivated in Singapore, such that we can maximise our value as a reliable and trustworthy presence, capitalise on that to achieve a domestic base for innovative entrepreneurial companies in Singapore itself.
Additionally, there is also a need to better optimise resources, in particular, labour, land and business costs.
Minister of Finance Heng Swee Keat also mentioned in interview with reporters that this new shift and direction is not a response to any crisis, but a long-term re-positioning of Singapore’s business outlook.

At KX-Unit, some of our clients are from the Small and Medium Enterprise (SMEs) section, and this news is important. Given that this is Minster Heng Swee Keat first public meeting with business leaders, it is vital to keep abreast of any inkling of change and better react and respond to them.

Singapore Business Federation chairman Mr Teo Siong Seng said that one of the pressing issues in the short to medium terms was the cost of doing business for small and medium-sized enterprises.
The increasing cases we have encountered are a result of companies who have engaged in unsustainable business practices or unreliable partners to begin with. With this context, KX-Unit would recommend being extra vigilant while entering any business proposition. Also, to seek professional advice if needed on any expansion proposal given the state’s restructuring intent. This includes doing an extensive groundwork by evaluating accounts available online.

KX-Unit also provides services to help our client assess and analyse these information, and if requested, also to source for them. One of the most understated aspect that firms may overlook is the temperament of the business partner or the company’s head. This includes privileged information on company history, its financial portfolio, the personal financial history, and much more.
As we have written in last month’s Industry Talk article, KX-Unit recommends evaluating partnerships by looking at a company’s ability to make payments. We identified a few ways to be sure that your new business partner is reliable and assess if that is what your company is looking for in a partnership. Find out if they have any on-going projects and look at their performance of those projects against the sector’s performance. The priority is on long-term sustainability and reliability.

KK-Unit have continued to providing advice to our clients who have found themselves with partners-turned-debtors circumstances. We have a keen understanding of the context not just of these debts but also in sourcing the business outlook of companies, and are well-placed to not just provide constructive solutions with difficult debtors, but also in providing consultancy with regards to prospective business partners and firms. Should you have queries regarding KX-Unit’s services, feel free to call 8112 7790 or drop them a mail at enquiries@KX-Unit.com.

OPERATIONAL INSIGHTS – SITUATIONAL MASTERY TRAINING

admin

Operational Insights – Situational Mastery Training
In this month’s article on Operational Insights, we will be sharing more about KX-Unit’s training for staffs. These training aspects will ultimately coincide with our operational requirements, translating to operational effectiveness. It will be split into 3 sections: Basic Laws and Business Laws, Proof of Debt(s) and Contract Interpretation, and Situational Mastery and Negotiation Skills.

1. Basic Laws and Business Laws:
All the staffs at KX-Unit, specifically our debt collectors, are trained to know basic and business laws. Our debt collectors are trained to recognize their jurisdiction under the law. This is important because we are a professional and legal debt collection agency. Some of the basic laws include unlawful assembly. Whenever we train our personnel for an operation, we emphasize that there cannot be excessive number of debt collectors at any one time. The importance of having more debt collectors on the ground is so that we can have greater negotiating bandwidth. And this negotiation advantage is always for the interest of the clients we serve.

Once our staffs have adopted this mindset, we set the ground rules with them as per the law. No violence and intimidation is to be practiced during operation. We train them to control themselves and their minds, forbidding the use of vulgarities. This is crucial because in our operations, it is not uncommon to have debtors that try to taunt the debt collectors and even debtors that are violent towards our staffs. More importantly, they are trained to keep their cool, rise above the situation and bring the negotiation back to the repayment of the debt. Needless to say, our staffs are cognizant of the fact that we are legal debt collector and we will not resort to vandalism. In fact, we train them to be aware of their surrounding and as much as possible stay away from the possessions of the debtor. This is so that scheming debtors will not have the chance to wrongfully accuse us of ‘vandalism’. Ultimately, the importance of the body cameras in protecting our staffs is reiterated again.

We train our debt collectors with the knowledge of certain laws like Bankruptcy Laws so as to verify if the debtor is indeed bankrupt as he may claim. This is important because we have evasive debtors who try to mislead and delude us with claims of bankruptcy just to evade discussion with us. In the genuine cases, our debt collectors are trained to acquire the necessary proof to provide our client a fair assessment and advice. Additionally, we train our personnel in business laws because every case is different. For example, in cases involving corporate debts, our debt collectors are well trained to identity the type of business debt and their implications, be it sole proprietorship, limited liability, limited partnership, private limited, etc. We work with a close group of lawyers to seek advice on loopholes in contracts that debtors may use to evade repaying our clients, allowing us to strategize and plan a few steps ahead.

2. Proof of Debt(s) and Contract Interpretation
At KX-Unit, we also train our staffs to understand the various types of proof of debt. The proof of debt can be in the form of a signed contract, signed invoice, signed quotation, email and letter correspondence, mobile chat logs like Whatsapp, WeChat, etc. Different proof of debt requires varying angles of negotiation. This is crucial because it is debtors will use differing methods to try to dispute the legality or even the very existence of the debt. A good grasp of the proof of debt and its implication thus gives the debt collector legitimacy to establish the negotiations for debt repayment. Even in cases where law enforcement is called in, our debt collectors would have solid grounding of the debt to justify our discussion and dialogue.
Contract interpretation is another critical aspect of our training. The complexity of a contract may vary, but suffice to say that the larger the sum of debt involved (500K and above), the more loopholes there will typically be. Debtors who evade repayment may likely exploit the complexities and loopholes. That is where our debt collectors are also trained to understand which part of the contract will be exploited and disadvantage our client in the negotiation phase.

One of the many ways we pre-empt this issue is to identify which parts of the contract is not aligned with industry practice. We also train them to recognize that every industry is different; a Construction company will have their own industry norms, just as an F&B company would, etc. Understanding the CONTEXT of the contract and debt is paramount for a favorable collection. Therefore, the inputs of our clients in a case is critical in providing that context of the debtor, so that even when the debtor tries to invoke complex and exclusive terminologies and jargon to “confuse” our negotiators, we would have been prepared to tackle and unpack these terminologies. Our role as professionals is to be above-board and unambiguous, because this presents the best solution for our client.

3. Situational Mastery and Negotiation Skills
That said, just as every case and every industry is never the same, there are no identical situations. The human factor (of the debtor) is always a changing variable; even the same debtor can have different temperament. For example, an executive may respond very differently from a typical person, and a sole proprietor may exude a different temperament than that of a CEO in a Private Limited company.

It is with this in mind that we train our people on their EQ (Emotional Quotient). It is easy for anyone to be angry or be happy, but in our line of work, we have to rise above our moods and rise above the negotiation climate. This is especially important when you consider that our collectors deal with 4-5 cases a day on average.
The last thing we want is to have the mindset that all debtors are the same. Even though we will be faced with debtors that insult our line of work, taunt and be highly uncooperative, we have to remain objective and fair to every debtor. While some people will have the perspective that we debt collectors use harsh tactics to recover debts, this is actually mistaken. Our role is always to negotiate for the best outcome for our clients, and intimidation is never an option. Only in select situations like debtors who hurl vulgarities and insults and curses at our debtors will we react with appropriate actions to rebuke and re-direct the conversation back to the repayment of the debt, and even so, we speak professionally. We train our staffs to be focused and mentally resilient with practice scenarios in the office.

We adapt to different personality of debtors using different personas. We have sharing after operations and debrief to highlight learning opportunities. Our senior negotiators are often the role model and example for our budding negotiators. The main thing, again, is how to achieve a favorable outcome for our client.

By now it is clear that negotiation is important. But having the right type and right amount of information is also crucial. It allows us to enter a negotiation with a plan, a versatile and dynamic plan with a certain set parameters. This way, we will know how much to budge and how much to insist. The information also allows us to work on our alternate plans (Plan Bs and Cs) as we anticipate in a forward-looking manner, and use our creativity and strategy effectively for the best outcome.

KX-Unit is a firm believer in the idea of lifelong learning, and indeed, some of our negotiators have expertise from their previous careers that are highly applicable and value adding to our clients. We hope this article is helpful is showing not just the training that our debt collectors go through, but also highlight the fact that because no two case is the same, and no two debtor is the same, our training is always an on-going process. If you have any queries on our service or need advice on a personal situation, feel free to contact 8112 7790 or email KX-Unit at enquiries@KX-Unit.com.

DEBTOR’S SPOTLIGHT – THE RECALCITRANT CEO PART 2: CON-ARTIST EXECUTIVE OFFICER

admin

This is part two of our RECALCITRANT C.E.O. article. In this article we are not referring to any Chief Executive Officer because, in this special edition, it stands for CON-ARTIST EXECUTIVE OFFICER.

There is 4 parts to this article, so everyone can have a holistic picture:

1) Origins of Debt,
2) Evasive Tactics,
3) Deception, and
4) Requital Aggravation.

*ORIGINS OF DEBT*
As mentioned in Part One of the Recalcitrant CEO, we represent our client to recover a debt from her debtor, also known as the “Con-artist Executive Officer”.
We will present all the facts based on our encounter during the engagement of the case and let you our readers decide for yourself, whether or not the debtor is indeed a recalcitrant and flagrant individual.

This debtor has requested the help of our client time and again for loans to tide him over his “rough patches”. He is able to paint a picture of himself as really desperate and destitute, knowing it is the soft spot of our client. He would borrow for a whole lot of things, ranging from simple things like household bills to things like his heavy gambling debts. In fact, he borrows quite extensively. He borrows from his associates, his business associates, his shareholders, (during our extensive engagement and facts we have gathered) from licensed moneylenders and even from illegal moneylenders! And to make things worse, his debt to our client is already close to a whole 2 MILLION DOLLARS. The main bulk of which is chalked up by his severe lack of discipline and gambling addiction.

*EVASIVE TACTICS*
More crucially, he has an atrocious lack of personal integrity. If someone really has a challenge in paying a debt, at least be upfront to your creditors. And provide constructive modes of repayment.
This debtor has received A Letter of Demand from KX-Unit, requiring him to reply us within 3 days. It also notified him that our client has entrusted this case to us, and we shall be the point of contact representing our client in recovering this debt. We called his phone, his home, his office, and even requesting assistance from his business associates in hope of trying to reach him. We even waited at his office, his registered address, and even his alternate address hoping to speak to him, but he was always unresponsive.

He totally ignored all our legal correspondence. As if evading us is not bad enough, he flooded our client with lengthy Whatsapp messages and an average of 2000 word emails every single day for 2 whole weeks. Did he think he could still continue to sweet-talk our client? Or was it her soft and kind nature that he wants to take advantage of again? He is so despicable he even approached mutual friends to paint his part of the story, making himself the victim, so that friends (from Singapore and even all the way to the United Kingdom) would convince our client to drop the debt.

But all these friends would eventually stop convincing our client, because they soon realized they were being manipulated too. He did not just lie about circumstances; he was one who told half-truths to swing the situation to his favor. For e.g., when we went to his office, we made it clear to his Business Associates that this was a personal debt against the debtor. We were very clear and transparent, because we knew he would change the story again. True enough, he initiated a meeting and told all the people in his office that KX-Unit was there to “SABO” him because he had a “dispute” with his business partner, which is untrue.
We take on cases professionally, putting our client’s interest first. We are not street gangs to be hired (as he asserts) to sabotage people. We have our own families to feed, and for us, this is our full-time job and career.

*DECEPTION*
Anyway, he continued to lie about many things, and quite incredulously so. For e.g., he said he owed 4 months worth of rental and 2 months of car installment bills. But that does not make much sense, because if indeed that was true, he would not have his office space anymore, and his car would have been repossessed long ago!

His deceptive tactics could range from poorly planned to highly thought out ones. In our second meeting with him, he said his “solution” is to declare bankruptcy. But that is not a solution! That is just being selfish to the very person who was kind enough to help him in his rough patch.

He still went to our client’s place of worship to “speak” to her Spiritual Leader, hoping that he can counsel her to stop chasing this debt. He did so via multiple correspondences seeking his intervention. His inconsiderate nature or rather “fake consideration” for our client and his own well-being and “soul” was the bait to the Spiritual Leader. Of course the Spiritual Leader knew his manipulative intent and informed our client of the “Con-Artist”.

*REQUITAL AGGRVATION*
Sometimes it is really difficult to tell if he was trying to ‘fight back’ and take revenge. After our client engaged us, he got his friends to communicate with our client, he sent her many messages to pressure her, and he drove down to her house to “visit” her, even went to her workout sessions to try to speak to her.

He was not successful because our client was always with her friends or with the maid at home. But once, he was successfully ambushed our client in her office carpark. He got into her car and locked himself in the left passenger seat, and pretended to be very destitute (when in fact he had his own luxury car parked 4 lots away).

The type of energy and investment he can make in evading payment really makes you wonder why he has not sat down to make a constructive plan of repayment? Why was he doing all these non-constructive actions to evade? Well, at KX-Unit, our job is to deal with such people. We hope this Part Two of Recalcitrant C.E.O. (Con-Artist Executive Officer) have been insightful, and if you have any enquires to make on this case, or any other case, feel free to contact 8112 7790 or email KX-Unit at enquiries@KX-Unit.com.

DEBTOR’S SPOTLIGHT – THE RECALCITRANT CEO

admin

Good Day everyone. It’s been a month since our first DEBTOR SPOTLIGHT write-up. If you are wondering what this segment is about, it is basically where we share some of the tactics of the MORE PROBLEMATIC debtors encounter during our collection process.

This month, we have selected a particular case that we think is worth sharing, because it was significant to KX-Unit in many ways.
This debtor we are sharing about is a middle-aged man. He owes our client a substantial amount (which we cannot disclose, but suffice to say it is a LARGE amount). Being the CEO of a company, he definitely had the brains and resources to evade our client, and he did. He has a highly erratic and bossy nature, so it was no surprise that negotiation attempts by the staffs at KX-Unit were often derailed by his lack of cooperation and absurd requests.

When we went down to visit him during our first visit, he provided the façade that he was going to be cooperative with us and with our negotiations. But about 30 minutes into the discussion it became obvious to us that he wanted to level the negotiation process to his advantage, and he did so by starting to make unreasonable requests, requests that were obviously to his favor and unfair to our clients.

In fact, during our second visit, when we went down to his office, he was high-handed in the way he treated us. Sometimes, difficult debtors try to make the staff at KX-Unit (and debt collectors in general) look like they are outcasts. But they did not consider even for a moment that the staffs at KX-Unit are just like him, doing their utmost best to support their family. As much as we try to sympathize with our debtor’s predicament, it is difficult when he does not reciprocate with our goodwill.

In one instance, he refused to meet us unless we removed our Body Cameras, which is a device we wear to protect our staffs. Instead of understanding our rationale, the debtor was sharp and aggravating in his remarks. He even went, as far as to say that he won’t have a discussion with us and demanded us to GET OUT OF THE OFFICE unless we removed it. After some thought, we decided that as professionals with our client’s best interest at heart, we needed to find a way. Even if we had to make a concession and compromise, we must fulfill our duty to generate the best outcome for our client’s interest.

But despite our goodwill and relative cooperation – something that we assessed will be a good bargaining chip for our client – we encountered many more absurd demands or “patterns” from the debtor. During one of our visits when we went to his office to look for him, he was not present in the office. But instead of giving the matter a little more attention and seriousness, he told his staff to tell us to “make an appointment” because he was not around. This was ridiculous because he has been evading payments for the past TWO YEARS and instead of demonstrating remorse or any sense of urgency to work out a constructive solution, he continued to play and hide behind the “big boss” persona. I mean, no matter what challenges we face, we should at least try to be responsible and accountable. That is the most basic of etiquette.
And prior to this we have already communicated numerous times with him but still he did not commit to any concrete repayment plan.

If we really think about it, first, we were not on an official procurement visit. We were not his business partner or associate. We were not even here on a sales pitch. We were there with all the necessary documentation to recover a RIGHTFUL and long overdue debt on behalf of our client!

And so we started to take a firmer stand, and he agreed to submit his financial accounts for a professional assessment of his ability to commit to an installment repayment plan. He said that he is unable to re-pay our clients (yet) because he is not even making money. When we questioned how he could pay for his rental and his employees, he just conveniently and quite unbelievably told us that they were working for free. He continued with his recalcitrant tactics.

He kept this hot-and-cold disposition throughout our few visits to him. He continued to provide half-truths like showing us his (incomplete) Profit and Loss accounts, and lamented that he had owed a lot on his employees’ CPF contribution. On one occasion he cooperated by saying he would show us his cheque book accounts to prove that indeed he has expended his accounts. Although we were not fully convinced, and in no small measure because of his credibility, we agreed to put that cheque book account into consideration, on condition that we will get an accounting professional in to assess it. Once again, the staff at KX-Unit played the bigger man, but only so that we can get negotiations going and so that our client’s interest are always on top.
That being said we are also fair to debtors. With a professional way of handling private and confidential information from our debtor, we presented the report of the assessed accounts to our client, our client was clearly exasperated because it was just so characteristic of the recalcitrant debtor who has always tried to gain an advantage with these half-truths.

But that was also exactly why our client approached us in the first place. We at KX-Unit are here with the expertise to deal with such debtors, with the most effective means. In our next visit, we brought in 4 more experienced negotiators to provide alternative approaches in the dialogue and assistance for the lead negotiator. This was assessed to be necessary because of the debtor’s erratic tendencies. In addition, this case was highly complex and involved a large sum. Therefore we brought in additional negotiators to help our client achieve a justified and accountable dialogue.

This is only half the account. We will share the other half again later in the week, because it will be quite a long post for some of you. But perhaps we can share a snippet of the subsequent operations; one of our staffs was actually hurt by the debtor. We are thankful that he is fine and we have lodged the necessary report with the authorities.

At KX-Unit, our people are our assets. We train them and we nurture them, but most importantly, we work with sense of duty and accountability, and always for the best of our client. This is only right, because just as we hope that debtors will be responsible and accountable, we ourselves must show our professional work ethic. And we are proud to say that despite the challenges we faced, the staffs at KX-Unit have kept our fundamental mission at heart. We hope you have gained some insight with this article, and do not hesitate to contact 8112 7790 or email KX-Unit at enquiries@KX-Unit.com if you have any case you would like to highlight to us or have enquiries to make on the case.
Cheers.

1 3 4 5 6 7

@ KX-Unit 2018. All rights reserved