Summer 2014 Newsletter       


Accelerating Cash Flow through every stage of the recovery process!

Receivables Control acquires Advantage Collection Professionals    

We are happy to announce Receivables Control's acquisition of Advantage Collection Professionals, a Cambridge, Minnesota based consumer collection agency. Providing clients access to 3rd party consumer collection services is the next step in branching out from our commercial service offerings, which already include:  outsourcing services, pre-collect services through General Auditing Bureau, portfolio management services through our Asset Recovery Group, and traditional 3rd party B2B collections.   


Over the past 15 years, Advantage Collection Professionals has developed a reputation for providing excellent customer service while using a complaint free approach to professionally collect debts. The client base spans many industries including medical, student loans, and bank debt.  Advantage Collection Professionals operates as a subsidiary of Receivables Control and will continue to use the Advantage Collection Professionals trade name.

We're excited that Corey Bustrom, one of Advantage Collection Professionals'
founders, has retained an ownership stake in the company. Corey and his original partners founded Advantage Collection Professionals in order to provide clients a better way to collect their consumer accounts.  That's exactly what caught our eyes when we completed our 18 month search for a consumer collection firm!  Corey and his team of professionals are eager to continue their mission to serve clients by providing world-class consumer recovery services.  Should you have consumer collection needs, be sure to let us know.
In the coming months you may see us seizing additional commercial and consumer acquisition opportunities.  We are continually looking for companies that are a good fit and are able to help us provide clients additional services.


All of us at Receivables Control would like to thank you for your partnership and we wish you a safe and fun summer!     

Contact Luke Vidor at


Wisdom From the Road 


During the first half of 2014 I have logged hundreds of miles visiting clients across the country.  Through my travels, a common question arises.  Clients ask me what they can do to minimize write offs and improve recoveries. 


The answer to this question is simple but all too often I see that people aren't doing what they already know how to do.  Follow your credit policy concerning aged accounts.  As unpaid accounts age, internal treatment levels gain more frequency and build to a crescendo of urgency.  That crescendo should occur in the range of 60 to 90 days past due.  As you reach the crescendo, the customer receives a final demand.  If the customer doesn't pay from a final demand, it's time to move the account out.  That's it.  Simple!


If it's that simple, why do agings swell?  One of the biggest issues I see is that management lays out a policy and doesn't implement a procedure that supports the policy.   Too often, the line employees who are supposed to follow the policy undermine it with their interpretation of what they think you want.  Make sure you have a strong system in place that ensures your policy is followed.    


Think your present policies and systems are "tight"?  Spot check your aging.  If you have a weak process around your aging review, you will see aged accounts that are holding on by the excuses they give your collectors.   


Spending resources chasing marginal customers that are already aged past 90 days takes away from your team's ability to cover more current accounts and to keep those fresher accounts from aging past due.   Chances are your collection resources are already tight so make sure you use your people's time wisely.    


Worried you'll end up sending more accounts to collections?  I don't give that premise very good odds.  The more you do up front to collect accounts, the fewer accounts you'll have that ever reach 90 days.  If your policy is flawed, you'll fix it and you'll see your internal recoveries surge and your 3rd party placements diminish!  


 Jim Fritz can be reached at 763 315 9631 or at 

Front LinesFrom the front line:  Do you really know your agency partner? 
Warning to the reader: Ignoring the basic advice contained within this article has cost companies thousands of dollars.  Our economy is in a period where many agencies are under financial stress.  We continue to encounter clients who are finding "problem" agencies that have not remitted funds.  We have been asked by several clients to collect money from their previous collection agency that didn't remit their funds.  Also, during our acquisition due diligence, there were several agencies that we passed on because they had been misusing their trust account and couldn't remit clients' funds.  I feel it is time again to get the word out about making sound decisions when choosing your agency.   


When is the last time you visited your collection agency? If you were to do a site visit, what do you look for? What questions would you ask?


In the credit and collection industry, you learn quickly that there are some great companies, some mediocre ones, and there are companies that give the industry a bad name. You learn that most agencies use telemarketing as a means of finding new customers.   In this age of technology, one of the challenges facing credit professionals is that all agencies sound alike. I would suggest that if you look at agency websites, all agencies tend to look alike too. If you meet your agency through a telemarketing relationship, your eyes and ears are getting a strong dose of what the telemarketer wants you to see and hear. Sadly, what they want you to see and hear may not be reality.


Technology allows people and businesses to be more "connected" than ever; however, vetting your business partners requires you to perform due diligence and that should include doing a site visit and seeing their operation first hand.


First things first:  


Before you pack your bags, check the internet and use your credit research tools to make sure any business partner can clear the most basic hurdles:

  • Perform separate searches by company name, company address, DBA names, and owner's name prior to considering doing business. You are trying to ascertain if the company and its owner(s) are prone to complaints and if they have any negative issues that are visible through basic Google searches. It may seem like a no-brainer, but make sure your potential business partner has a business address and isn't operating out of their home. Make sure the internet isn't spilling over with complaints. Given the nature of the collection business, a complaint or two may be expected, but if it looks like generating complaints is business as usual, that's not a business you want to associate with.
  • Check the company's history. Identify the ownership of the company, search for suits, judgments, liens and administrative actions. If there is anything that is negative in this area, chances are you can find a business partner with a cleaner history.

Visiting the vendor:

  • What is the condition of the business location?  What is the demeanor and professionalism of the ownership, management, and employees? The answers to these questions are all subjective. If it were your personal money on the line, would you trust the people working at this location? Do the people and their work environment leave you feeling comfortable?
  • Are you able to talk to employees in different departments? You will want to talk to a number of people and get to know how long they have been at the company, what their role is, and how they fit in and work with other departments. If you get consistent answers, it will boost your confidence in this vendor.  If you meet lots of people hired recently that don't seem knowledgeable about basic practices, there is reason for concern.
  • Can you audit the company's system? Will they show you how accounts are worked?  Are your accounts called at routine, frequent intervals? Are notes thorough and professional? Is real work taking place?
  • Talk to the accounting representatives, how are the transactions posted daily? What controls do they have on their systems? Who has access to the physical payments? What is their process for remitting to clients? Are the people that handle the money professional and do they adhere to strict processes?  Is their company using their trust account as an operating account? 

Finally, visiting the agency is a business trip for you. It's your opportunity to vet your potential agency or even long time business partner. Give the visit the time it needs to be productive.  We can tell you from our experience and from other clients' experiences that one trip can save you hundreds of thousands of dollars!  No matter what someone sounds like on the phone and no matter how nifty their website appears, there is no substitute for a site visit.  


Kelly Brand New By the way, if you haven't visited Receivables Control lately, consider this an invitation to check on us. Contact us in advance or show up unannounced, we'll be happy to let you see our operation!


Kelly Cronan can be reached at 763 315 9660 and his email is
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In This Issue
Advantage Collection Professionals
Road Wisdom
Next Business Trip?
Associate Spotlight
Featured Article

Quick Links


Executive Team


Luke Vidor


  Mike Zwach


Kelly Cronan



National Sales Team


Jim Fritz


Rod Mettling 


Pam Heffron



Asset Recovery Group


Kurt Huizinga


 Patrick O'Gorman



Advantage Collection Professionals 


Corey Bustrom


Sheri Barnes


John Erlandson, Jr. 



Collection Management


Isaac Hjermstad


Marty Bell

Our Core Values



Long-term Partnerships








Associate Spotlight 


Corey Bustrom is the President of our newly acquired Advantage Collection Professionals consumer agency.  The Receivables Control team welcomes Corey to our family.  We gain a savvy and experienced veteran in Corey.  


Corey has spent two decades in the consumer collection industry, as a collector, paralegal and logging 15 of those years as an agency owner.  


Corey is married and has four children.  He is active in the community as a city councilperson, a hockey coach, and a volunteer firefighter.  


Corey can be reached at 763 552 5566 or at 


How I Became a Collector at Receivables Control

My first experience as a bill collector was in the 1960's when I had my first paper route. The job entailed door to door collections! I enjoyed the challenge of getting the person to answer the door so I could collect on their past due subscriptions!


In the 1970's I was selling insurance to over the road truckers and many of their checks would be returned NSF. I would have to go to all kinds of strange and different places to meet with the truckers and get the return checks replaced.  Many times that entailed carrying a lot of CASH back to the office!


In the 1980's I worked at a company called Chicago Cutlery as a credit manager and used my first collection agency, which happened to be Receivables Control. I developed what has turned out to be a long time friendship with my salesman, Luke Vidor, who later became the owner of Receivables Control. I used General Auditing Bureau and Receivables Control for many years and was always very satisfied and impressed with the recoveries and excellent service I received.


In the early 1990's the company I was credit manager at, Tsumura International, was sold and moved out of state. Luke contacted me and asked if I wanted to come over to Receivables Control and do some collection work for a few hours a day on a receivable portfolio that they had recently purchased. That was 22 years ago!


I have always enjoyed collections and the variety of situations and problem solving that inherently comes with the job. I also enjoy working with all of our clients, and helping to keep Receivables Control the best agency you will find, with the best people.  Just like it was back in the early days.


Outside of work I enjoy songwriting/composing and recording albums.  I have played the guitar since I was seven years old. My wife Linda and I also spend a lot of our free time in our garden. Our main focus is on the over 100 Dahlia's we plant, grow, and harvest each year!  We start in April and finish in November; just in time to really get settled in to Football season. Go Vikes! Unfortunately, Linda is a Packer fan!


Charles Lakotas was Receivables Control's Spark Plug winner for June and can be reached at 763 315 9663 or by email at



Receivables Control

7373 Kirkwood Ct,

Suite 200,

Maple Grove, MN 55369


763 315 9600 


Advantage Collection Professionals 

495 2nd Ave SE Cambridge,  

MN  55008


763 689 1500