Latest News

Medicare Beneficiaries are Facing Higher Out-of-Pocket Costs

Medicare beneficiaries are facing higher out-of-pocket costs that amount to a “substantial” share of their income, according to an issue brief from The Commonwealth Fund, “Medicare Beneficiaries’ High Out-of-Pocket Costs: Cost Burdens by Income and Health Status. ”There are 56 million people, or 17 percent of the U.S. population, who rely on Medicare, according to the report. By 2024, one-fifth of the population will have Medicare coverage. The benefits exclude dental, vision, hearing and long-term services coverage, and there is no limit on out-of-pocket costs for thecovered services, it states.

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Credit Card Debt

Thirty-nine percent of adults surveyed report their household carries credit card debt from month to month, compared to 35 percent in 2016, according to the news release. Sixteen percent of adults said they carried over $2,500 or more in credit card debt each month, compared to 14 percent in 2016.

“Interest rate increases related to the recent Federal Reserve announcement will likely add to the cost of carrying credit card debt, which could increase financial pressures on families who are unable to find extra room in their budget to offset the impact of these changes,” the NCFF reports.

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Protecting yourself, What you need to know about Social Media

Today many companies understand the value that social media tools bring to an organization, including enhanced enterprise communication and customer engagement. But while social media generates many benefits in modern business, it also exposes companies to a great deal of risk.  Your organization must develop a risk-sensitive strategy to create an effective ethics and compliance program for your social media efforts.  It’s important to understand not only what social media risk is, but also what action should be taken to effectively respond to these risks.

The average cost of a single social media risk incident is #3.5 million, according to a report by Blue Hill Research.  These incidents can lead to brand erosion, direct financial costs, legal exposure, regulatory penalties and litigation costs.

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Security Is a Shared Responsibility

 

The payment card industry Data Security Standard, known as PCI DSS, is one of the most common ways companies are expected to protect consumer cardholder date.

 

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CFPB AND CREDIT REPORTING

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) remains extremely interested in the activities of data furnishers and the accuracy of information contained in consumer reports. The CFPB recently released Bulletin 2014-01 which highlights the obligations of data furnishers to investigate disputed information contained in consumer reports.

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Email Hacking….what to look for

email security

UCS Employees Reach Milestone

Theresa LewisCongratulations to Theresa for making 30 years with Universal.  We are proud to have her and welcome her for 30 more!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

angie champion Universal would also like to Congratulate Angie on 25 years of service.

Bankruptcies and Spouses

 

Bankruptcy is a complex process that affects the rights of not only the petitioner and her creditors, but also other interested parties including spouses and ex-spouses.  Questions often arise regarding the rights of a non-filing spouse when debt is discharged in the other spouse’s bankruptcy proceeding.

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The Next Phase of ICD- 10

How health-care providers manage the progress of ICD-10 will determine how well they are able to protect their bottom line.
By Katy Zillmer

The deadline to implement the ICD-10 medical diagnostic coding system passed on Oct. 1,2015, and now it’s critical for health-care organizations to make sure their efforts to prepare for its use, including preventing technological problems and claim denials, do not go to waste.

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Merry Christmas & HAPPY HOLIDAYS

From all of us at Universal Collection Systems!!!!!

We have experienced another great year that would not

have been possible without YOU!

We would like to take this time to say a Very Heart Felt and Warm Thank You. Please take some extended time with your Family and Friends this Christmas season.

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Settlement Offers

Settlement offers provided with the validation letter may overshadow the consumer’s validation rights. Courts are not in agreement on this subject and at least one court has held a settlement offer provided with the validation notice overshadowed the validation period. This court found that a validation letter that contained language to suggest that the consumer should call to arrange a settlement to gain the collector’s cooperation circumvented the FDCPA and overshadowed the validation notice. Another court held that a settlement offer that expired before the validation period did not overshadow the validation notice as it did not demand immediate payment nor did it state the consumer has less than thirty days to dispute the debt. One time offers can sometimes be considered false or misleading; especially, if the collector can offer the discount at any time or can offer more of a discount than is presented. One district court determined that successive settlement offers that included end dates were not false or misleading under the FDCPA. The court concluded “a settlement offer that states the proposed discount and the length of the offer, but does not expressly nor implicitly indicate no other offer will be made” does not violate the Act even though more favorable terms in the future are likely.

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Millions of Consumers Lack Credit History

Many U.S. consumers do not have a credit history or enough record of borrowing to establish a credit score, which is information that helps track the likelihood they will repay their debts and how much is owed to creditors.

One in every 10 adults, or 26 million people, do not have a credit history with one of the three nationwide consumer reporting agencies, according to data released by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau this week.

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