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Contract Financing & Factoring

 

By Debbie Gregory.

By Debbie Gregory.

Contract financing, often referred to as “factoring” or “invoice financing” is a general term used for asset based lending products that will allow companies to finance slow-paying accounts receivable.

Contract financing differs from loans from a bank in the fact that rather than being based on the borrowing company’s credit record, it’s underwritten based on the creditworthiness of invoiced customer and the terms of the contract that customer has with the borrowing company.

That means that contract financing is a useful tool when the credit history of a small or medium company is such that it would limit or prohibit access to conventional bank loans and commercial lines of credit.

An agreed upon rate and fee amount between the borrowing company and the factoring company is withheld until the factoring company has been paid in full, at which point the factoring company releases any reserves.

This arrangement is beneficial to the borrowing company’s cash flow, which is vital to the success of any company.

Each financing company will have different rates and fee structures. By shopping around, comparing rates and doing due diligence businesses can avoid making a bad deal.  The right financing company will offer transparency, with their rates and fees upfront and clear.

You may be wondering if a company has to factor all of their invoices. The answer depends on the factoring company selected. Some will allow their borrowers to pick and choose which invoices to finance, while others may require the borrower to finance all of their invoices.

Contract financing companies are most often private firms, and you can usually find them online. The general procedure is to leave your contact information and wait for a phone call from the finance company.

Under many circumstances, contract financing can be a powerful financial tool for business owners to take control of their cash flow and use it strategically to work for them.

Veteran and Military Business Owners Association, VAMBOA,

 

By Debbie Gregory.

By Debbie Gregory.

A slap on the wrist for eight years of scamming veterans might be something like $10,000 or $20,000, minimum but a man accused of misleading veterans to turn over much of their military retirement or disability benefits has been fined $1! Yes, that’s not a typo. One American Dollar.

Oh, and he has been ordered to stop engaging in the illegal scheme of pension poaching.

Despite finding that Mark Corbett’s acts were deceptive and unfair and likely caused “substantial injury” to veterans, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) handed Corbett the ridiculous fine.

Since 2011, Corbett served as an agent for companies that the CFPB declined to name, calling them the “Doe companies.” He brokered contracts for the companies, marketing to veterans online who were searching for loans to veterans or for pension sales.

On websites he operated, Corbett marketed a deal for veterans with retiree or disability pensions. He set them up with offers from the Doe companies to purchase some or all of those future pension payments in exchange for a lump sum. Veterans would then use an online portal to redirect pension payments to a bank account controlled by one of the Doe companies.

Under federal law, assigning veterans’ pensions to a third party is prohibited. In fact, several veterans complained to Corbett that the transactions were illegal, a charge he denied.

The consent order handed down states that the $1 be paid within 10 days of the effective date, and thereafter distributed to the Civil Penalty Fund to compensate victims of financial crimes!

This is not the first time during the current administration that the CFPB has taken an inability to pay into account to reduce a fine for violations of consumer protection law. Under the previous acting CFPB director, Mick Mulvaney, currently serving as the White House Chief of Staff, this type of reduction was so widespread that it came to be known as the “Mulvaney discount.”

Mulvaney has since been replaced by his former aide, Kathy Kraninger. The discount, however, has remained.

This would be laughable if it wasn’t so egregious. Tell us what you think at info@vamboa.org.

Veteran and Military Business Owners Association, VAMBOA,

By Debbie Gregory.

By Debbie Gregory.

Today we will review how two tech companies, who rely heavily on government contracts to provide income and to keep their workforce busy, were able to adjust, and ride out the recent shutdown. Additionally, we will learn how they applied innovative thinking to not only retain their team but to positively ride out the government shutdown.

Evans Incorporated was founded by Sue Evans in 1994; with a single contract. Ford hired Evans Inc. to help them to reimagine and automate a paper-intensive, OSHA-mandated processes.  To help them to successfully transition away from that manual paper-based system to a much more streamlined computer-driven web-based work process. Thus Evans Incorporated was formed.

They have grown quite a bit since those early days; currently approximately 90 percent of Evans Inc.’s revenue comes from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA). And recently, nearly all of the company’s contracts with the FAA were under a stop-work order during the government shutdown. Instead of furloughing valuable employees, Evans Incorporated kept working; internally reassigning their team to focus on and update the company’s strategic plan. To also identify and implement improvement goals for the year.  Employees focused on internal research and development efforts, resulting in several innovations.

“We’re committed to them, they’re committed to us,” said Bob Etris, a partner at Evans Incorporated. “We were fortunate. Airplanes still need to fly, the government will eventually reopen, so let’s continue to do good stuff in the meantime.”

HumanTouch, a McLean, VA IT consulting firm was founded in 1998 and specializes in cybersecurity, cloud and IT modernization.

HumanTouch found a unique way to ensure its employees and team remained whole through the shutdown. Because the company could not afford to lose their talent pool, the management team decided to take a very unique approach: they sacrificed a portion of their salaries to retain employees working on contracts that had been stopped.  CEO Moe Jafari forwent his salary altogether.  These actions directly resulted in salaries being covered and health insurance premiums being paid for their team.

Should the threat of another shutdown in mid-February come to pass, similar government contractors could potentially survive it a little easier by paying attention to the actions of these two companies highlighted above on how to weather the political storm.

Veteran and Military Business Owners Association, VAMBOA,

By Debbie Gregory.

By Debbie Gregory.

In 2014, U.S. Navy veteran Joaquin Antonio Sotelo Tarin pleaded guilty to several felonies, including a domestic violence charge.

Tarin, like many other veterans, said he suffered from post-traumatic stress disorder and substance abuse upon returning from Iraq and Afghanistan. He took responsibility for his past crimes and has been receiving help, completing his court-ordered rehabilitation and living within the law.

But after serving around a year-and-a-half in prison, Tarin was picked up by ICE agents immediately upon his release. He was then detained in a federal immigration facility for another year-and-a-half before being bonded out in January 2017.

Now facing possible confinement in an immigration facility or deportation to Mexico, a country he left as an 8-year-old, Tarin has asked Sen. Dianne Feinstein to intervene on his behalf, ahead of his Feb. 12 surrender to a Fresno, California, ICE office.

Tarin has turned his life around and now serves as an advocate for the veteran services he once sorely needed. He is family focused and is married with four children, between the ages of eight months to 11 years old.

Tarin is also fighting a separate battle, to have his criminal conviction overturned, saying he received poor legal representation and was not told that a felony conviction could lead to his deportation prior to accepting a plea deal.

Unfortunately, there are limited options for an immigrant military veteran who’s been deported following a felony conviction. Usually, returning to the U.S. is not an option.  And options in Mexico are also severely limited, as jobs are scarce and crime is on the rise.

A very real worry is that these deported veterans have valuable skill sets that they honed through military service, these veterans then run the risk of being forced into service by the drug cartels, locking them into a criminal lifestyle they would not voluntarily choose.

While the Department of Homeland Security doesn’t keep track of how many U.S. veterans have been deported, estimates put the number in the thousands.

According to a 2016 report by the American Civil Liberties Union entitled “Discharged, Then Discarded,” the federal government’s failure to help naturalize immigrants serving in the U.S. military has led to the large number of deportations, all of whom were entitled to become citizens because of their service.

The hope is that that we can influence positive change in available options for these veterans.

Veteran and Military Business Owners Association, VAMBOA,

 

By Debbie Gregory.

By Debbie Gregory.

A federal court has ruled that “blue water” Navy veterans who served on ships offshore during the Vietnam war are eligible for benefits to treat illnesses linked to exposure to the chemical herbicide Agent Orange.

The Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit ruled 9-2 in favor of Alfred Procopio, Jr., 73, who served on the USS Intrepid during the Vietnam War. Procopio is one of tens of thousands of “Blue Water” Navy veterans who served aboard aircraft carriers, destroyers and other ships and were deemed ineligible for the same disability benefits as those veterans who served on the ground and inland waterways.

At issue was interpretation of the current law, which allows easier access to disability benefits for veterans who “served in the Republic of Vietnam.” The court determined territorial seas should be included in the definition of “Republic of Vietnam”, a point the government disputed.

Under current VA rules, the blue water veterans could receive medical care for their illnesses through VA, but not disability benefits without proving that their ailments were directly connected to toxic exposure while on duty.

The boots on the ground Vietnam veterans were provided disability benefits because it was presumed they had been exposed to Agent Orange and other defoliants known to cause serious and rare cancers.

The new ruling states that the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) cannot deny disability benefits to thousands of Vietnam veterans simply because they served in the waters off the country’s coastline, and not inland.

The VA officials had taken the stance that scientific evidence didn’t justify the presumption of toxic exposure for the group. But the decision by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit overturns past court opinions backing up VA, saying that Congress never intended to exclude servicemembers in the seas around Vietnam.

If, in the next 90 days, VA officials do not appeal the decision to the Supreme Court, up to 90,000 blue water veterans could see disability payouts as early as this year.

Veteran and Military Business Owners Association, VAMBOA,

 

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