Wednesday, 31 December 2014

How to Reduce the Risk of Bad Debt and Avoid Collections

Now that the mad rush and excitement from holiday shopping and boxing week sales is coming to an end, you can start planning for the New Year, and unfortunately, accounts in arrears.

With consumer debt reaching new highs each holiday season, its no wonder that accounts go into arrears.  There are some steps you can take to avoid this situation, both before and after accounts become overdue.


Evaluate your credit process.  Though it may be tempting to offer credit to all customers in an attempt to boost sales, this may results in higher risk for losses for your business.  Consider implementing a credit check and reference check before approving the credit limit for each customer.

Keep account information up-to-date.  Especially with returning customers, it is important to keep the mailing address and contact phone number up-to-date.  In order to contact customers about their account, you need to have the right information! 

Be timely.  If an account does go into arrears, contact you customer without delay. 

Contact by phone.  The sooner you make contact, the sooner you will receive payment.  Contact your customer by phone as well as by mail – mail will often be ignored, so its best to contact through both mediums.

Implement flexible payment schedules.  If you have a customer who is constantly bouncing payments, contact them to find out why.  Is the payment scheduled to be withdrawn a day or two before payday?  Consider altering the preauthorized payment to work well with your customer’s pay schedule.

Work with your customers.  If your customer is having a hard time paying off their debt, consider building a strategy with them to assist in making payments.  Negotiate the terms of your contract or arrange for an alternative billing cycle.  Its better to work with your client to receive some of the payment rather than writing the entire payment in full. 

Encourage prompt or early payment.  Consider implementing payment terms that offer discounts to payments made prior to the due date or accrue interest on late payments.

Identify issues immediately.  If your customer has an issue with your product or service, it may affect payment.  Identify these problems as soon as possible and find a viable solution.  A positive customer service experience will create a loyal customer who pays on time!

Send out a reminder.  For large invoices, consider sending out a reminder of the payment due date.  This will keep the payment top of mind while also giving your customer extra time to prepare.

Bring in an expert.  If you are unable to locate a customer, skip tracing services will help you locate the customer and their contact information.

If you are unable to locate a customer, skip tracing services will help you locate the customer and their contact information. 

Our skip tracing service is a fast and cost effective debtor and missing person tracing solution. Our tracing service enables you to re-establish contact with your customers by identifying a forwarding address for your customer.  

The Renwick Group is Canada’s leading Private Investigation Company specializing in Skip Tracing – we locate hidden assets, people, missing autos & boats, witnesses, beneficiaries, property and missing persons.


We will search and locate anyone.  Our success rate is over 90%.


Contact us for more information.

Tuesday, 25 November 2014

The Top 10 Uses for Skip Tracing

Skip tracing is useful tool for tracking down missing information, people or assets.

The term “skip tracing” is derived from the expression “to skip town,” “where skip” refers to the person who has departed and left no “trace” of their whereabouts.  

Though the origins of the term skip tracing may be not be common knowledge, the practice is widely used in many different industries.


How does it actually work?

Skip tracing services utilize a combination of information databases and investigative tools.  Each investigation has its own unique challenges, but the main techniques used in skip tracing investigations are:      

Database searches
Online inquiries
Surveillance
Telephone Interviews
In-person Interviews

What is Skip Tracing Used For?

Since skip tracing can be applied in so many different industries, it is a valuable tool that can help you find information, people and even lost assets.

The most commonly used form of skip tracing is in the collections industry.  Skip tracing can be used to locate customers whose accounts are in arrears.  This process typically involves locating contact information such as place of residence and place of employment.

Skip tracing can be used to:

1.  Find beneficiaries.
2.  Find loan borrowers.
3.  Serve legal documents.
4.  Track down defaulting Contractors.
5.  Find vehicles or equipment for repossession.
6.  Locate customer residences and contact information.
7.  Locate former spouses who need to pay alimony or child support.
8.  Locate a lost loved one.
9.  Find a witness to a crime.
10.  Locate a tenant who has skipped out on rent payments.

Finding information can be difficult for those without Private Investigation Licenses due to legislation that limits data collection.  Most often, the skip trace process is a time consuming task that cannot be added onto regular job responsibilities, requiring the hiring of investigator.


The Renwick Group is Canada's leading Private Investigation Company specializing in SKIP TRACING - We locate hidden assets, people, missing autos & boats, witnesses, beneficiaries, property and missing persons.

We will search and locate anyone.  Our success rate is over 90%



Tuesday, 21 October 2014

Corporate Surveillance and PIPEDA

 Privacy Legislation Fact Sheet
View the Privacy Commissioner of Canada's  Fact Sheet
for an overview of Canadian Privacy Legislation.

Understanding employee privacy rights during corporate surveillance will help you avoid breach of privacy accusations and litigation.

The Renwick Group provides corporate surveillance services and has a thorough understanding of Canadian privacy legislation. We have implemented a strict privacy policy to ensure we follow all legislative requirements and suggest all businesses do the same.

When building your privacy policy, be sure to have a comprehensive understanding of privacy legislation such as the Privacy Act and PIPEDA. The Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act (PIPEDA), enacted in 2000, has set rules for how private sector organizations may collect, use or disclose personal information in the course of commercial activities (Visit the Privacy Commission of Canada for more information).

Express or Implied Consent?

The basis of PIPEDA is built on the idea of “consent.” Whether express or implied, consent must always be present in respect of any collection, use or disclosure of personal information, though there are some exceptions.

Express consent is difficult to obtain in a litigation context and may be an exception to consent laws. Express consent should still be obtained when seeking disclosure of personal information from a non-party to litigation.

Implied consent is the most prevalent form of consent, especially in the litigation context. Most organizations rely on this type of consent for collection, use and disclosure of personal information in a wide range of litigation activities, including settlement negotiations. Implied consent is limited to what a reasonable person would deem appropriate and does not authorize unlimited or inappropriate collection, use or disclosure of an individual’s personal information.

Exceptions to Consent

Section 7 of PIPEDA is relevant in litigation as it applies to exceptions from implied and express consent. The Privacy Commission of Canada lists the following as relevant sections of PIPEDA in a litigation context:

  •  Collection without consent is permitted under paragraph 7(1)(b) where it is reasonable to expect that: 
    • the collection with the knowledge and consent of the individual would compromise the availability or accuracy of the information; and 
    • the collection is reasonable for purposes related to investigating a breach of an agreement or a contravention of the laws of Canada or a province, including the common law. 
  • Use without consent is permitted under paragraph 7(2)(d) where the information was collected under paragraph 7(1)(b) above; and 
  • Disclosure without consent is permitted by one of the exceptions listed under subsection 7(3), including the following: 
    • for the purpose of collecting a debt owed by the individual,
    • where required to comply with a subpoena, warrant or order, or to comply with rules of court relating to the production of records, or,
    • when made to an investigative body on reasonable grounds to believe that the personal information relates to a breach of an agreement or a contravention of the laws of Canada or of a province or a foreign jurisdiction. 
Understanding legislative requirements and clearly outlining your privacy policy is an important step in preventing accusations of unlawful use or collection of personal information.

The Renwick Group has experience working with many different types of businesses and organizations providing skip-tracing, fraud investigations, WSIB support, legal team assistance, evidence gathering, employee background checks, and more. We also work with individuals who need help with personal matters. Call us at 1 (888) 722-9807 or visit our website for information.

Tuesday, 16 September 2014

Identify Falsified Resumés Before a Background Check

Background checks are the most effective way to identify potential problems prior to hiring a new employee.

More than 40% of resumés contain false or tweaked information!

While a background check will identify issues such as addictions, poor credit and criminal activity, they are typically conducted near the end of the hiring process. You can screen your stack of resumés to identify false information and inconsistencies, allowing you to minimize the amount of interviews and subsequent background checks.


The most commonly falsified areas on a resumé include:

1. Employment History

2. Job Skills

3. Education Credentials

4. Salary and Job Title

Now that we have identified the main areas of embellishment, here are some things to look for to help you recognize false information:

1. Unexplained Gaps in Employment. This is the most obvious red flag. An unexplained gap could mean the job applicant has a history of being fired or leaving jobs often. You should also check to make sure dates of employment line-up during your reference checks.

2. Unusual Periods of Self-Employment. This is a tactic that can be used to fill gaps in employment. Candidates may have asked friends or family to act as clients and provide reference checks.

3. Reluctance to Explain a Reason for Leaving a Job. A job applicant who isn’t forthcoming with the reason for leaving a job most likely left on bad terms. Give them the opportunity to explain their reluctance – there may be a confidentiality or privacy issue that cannot be disclosed.

4. Minimal Details. Most resumés will include a job title, organization name and location, alongside a job description. A resumé lacking any of those details may indicate job history discrepancies.

5. Careful Wording or Self-Acclamation. Watch for misleading wording or omitted information. A bachelor’s degree that has no listed graduation date or an unfamiliar educational institution may indicate false information. In addition, self-acclamation's such as “award-winning” should be collaborated with credentials.

6. Unverifiable Information. Gaps on a resumé, job positions, self-employment. Most social media sites provide an opportunity to cross-check information for inconsistencies.

Following these tips should help you sift through job applications and create a short-list. From here, you can conduct interviews and background checks to ensure you’re making the correct hiring decision. Most importantly, remember to trust your instincts and if you think you’ve found the right candidate, give them the opportunity to discuss any issues you have found on their resumé.

The Renwick Group has experience working with many different types of businesses and organizations providing skip-tracing, fraud investigations, WSIB support, legal team assistance, evidence gathering, employee background checks, and more. We also work with individuals who need help with personal matters. Call us at 1 (888) 722-9807 or visit our website for more contact information.