Meet CBQ Services
Every business that accepts credit takes a risk that those dollars will not be collected. CBQ Services, celebrating its 90th anniversary this year, helps businesses recover delinquent accounts and avoid putting more bad debt on their books.
“There is no reason to be embarrassed about collecting money for the product or service you provide,” says CBQ Services Owner Michael Hitt. “That’s business. You owe it to yourself and your employees to collect that money.
“We also believe that consumers should be treated with respect,” continues Hitt. “We are firm but fair. We are referees, motivational speakers, counselors and, above all, problem solvers. This is a small community and most people would pay their bills if they had the money. We often just need to open up those lines of communication to come up with a payment plan.” CBQ Services accounts are handled on a contingency fee basis; if they don’t collect, they don’t get paid.
In the credit and collection industry for 30 years, Hitt purchased the business in 2001 and changed its name from Credit Bureau of Quincy to CBQ Services.
“The term ‘credit bureau’ is so misunderstood,” explains Hitt. “We are not a credit union or financial institution where consumers can go for a loan. We provide services to businesses that help them check the responsibility of customers who ask for credit.”
A credit report is a warehouse of information about how a person pays their bills. CBQ Services does not contribute to or influence a report in any way. They just report what is reported to them.
“Everything in your credit report is voluntarily reported by your mortgage company, your credit card companies, and other businesses that loan you money,” Hitt says. “We do not verify those reports—they are produced by the three national credit reporting companies, TransUnion, Equifax and Experian—but we help our local companies access them and use them wisely to avoid bad debt.”
In 2007, CBQ Services began offering credit monitoring for consumers through its Identity Theft Shield Program. Hitt’s staff monitors all three credit reporting companies and alerts members any time a report shows a change, such as if there was an inquiry on the credit or a report of slow payment, among others.
Hitt says that identity theft is not limited to financial issues; thieves can steal medical, social security, driver’s license and criminal information, too. If a client becomes a victim, licensed investigators are available to fix the problem at no charge.
“Ninety-eight percent of identity theft victims never lose any money, but experts estimate it will take 600 hours to fix the problem. That will really cut into your productivity at work and at home. This service helps you file paperwork with the police department, Social Security Administration, state’s driver’s license bureau, your creditors…everyone. They even put a note on your credit report that you have been a victim,” says Hitt.
“This is not insurance. It does not pay the victim for monies lost and it cannot keep someone from becoming a victim. It is, however, an early warning system that gives our clients peace of mind that their information is being monitored and that things will go back to normal.”
For more information about collection services, using credit reports or the Identity Theft Shield program, visit www.cbqservices.com, call Hitt at 217-222-1500 or visit their office on the fourth floor of the WCU Building, 510 Maine, during normal business hours.