Collection Bureau Services Teams With Helena Municipal Court
Our customers know they can count on us to do everything in our power to collect their past due accounts. That’s what we do, and we have the experienced, trained and dedicated staff to make that happen. Less well known perhaps is our commitment to be good citizens of the various communities we work in.
That might not fit the stereotype of a collection agency, but then we like to think we’re not your run of the mill firm. We’re also interested in the general community. To that end we encourage our employees to belong to various organizations such as Kiwanis, Rotary, Business Women’s Networks, Exchange Club and others.
One of our more recent contracts is with the Helena Municipal Court. We handle their time-pay accounts on tickets and fines. Customers that formerly made monthly payments directly to the court’s staff now make their payments to CBS.
By all accounts the program has been a spectacular success, with the court’s staff now free from the burden of handling the walk-in payments and all the associated questions and concerns. Those staff members are now able to handle other functions in the court’s daily business.
There are advantages for the consumers as well. CBS has the capability to handle payments in many formats that the court is not set up for, including credit cards, voice authorization, bank drafts, and of course walk-in. Best of all, it costs the court nothing, and the convenience fee to the consumer is negligible.
However, as is often the case when new policies are put into place, unforeseen situations arise. When the court was approached by the Helena Food Share for their annual “Food for Fines” program where-in customers are given credit for their fines in return for a food donation the court wasn’t sure it could assist. “My first inclination was to tell them we couldn’t do it this year” said Claudia Bagley, Administrator of the Helena Municipal Court. “But it was such a popular program that I called Collection Bureau’s representative Brett Foster to see if he had any thoughts.” As it turns out he did!
Knowing CBS’ interest in these kinds of endeavors, Brett went right to work. He met with Claudia and worked out a plan where the customers can still drop off their food donations and CBS will credit their accounts appropriately. Court Administrator Bagley noted that Brett made it so easy; and as a nice surprise, not only will CBS handle the customer’s donations and credits, CBS offered to make a substantial donation to the Food for Fines program!
The Food for Fines program provides food for low-income people and a sense of satisfaction for the clients of the court. According to Bagley, this is the third year of successful partnership between the Helena Municipal Court and Helena Food Share.
The Food for Fines project has collected more than 20 tons of food and several tons of food is expected to be donated again this year. Helena Municipal Court is very happy to include CBS as a participating partner.
This isn’t the first time CBS has helped a court in the Food for Fines program. Every year that the Missoula Municipal Court has had a similar food drive, CBS has participated. Some years we make a cash donation, and in others we hold a mini-food drive in our office and bring the proceeds to the Food for Fines program.
CBS thanks the Helena Municipal Court for the opportunity to participate this year!
Source: CBS Headlines Newsletter, May 2012