How to Handle Late Payments Without Losing Customers

Whether you’re a young, aspiring entrepreneur or a successful leader in academia, you depend on your customers and clients to pay on time, every time, and you need straightforward policies and processes to make that happen. If your customers are late with their payments, your business has to handle the situation with kid gloves because the last thing you want to do is lose a customer. Here are some tips for how to tackle late payments without offending your clients.

By Julie Morris, Guest Contributor and Author

Attempt to Avoid Late Payments in the First Place

In a dream world, your customers will always pay on time and you’ll never have an issue, but that is not reality. However, you can get as close to that as possible by creating a clear and concise payment policy and placing it on your website and your invoices. Yonyx points out that this policy should list all acceptable payment methods and spell out your terms, such as when a payment will be considered late and penalties if a late payment does occur.

Your payment policy should also be clearly stated in all documents that your client or customers receive when they first start working with your company. If the amount of money in question is significant, you may want to work with an attorney to write up a contract. Be sure to work with the business partner during this process so that the document is fair to both parties.

The point is that you want something to point to if a customer is late with the hope that they will understand their obligation and complete the payment ASAP. When customers or clients are late with payments, make sure you’ve sent the invoice to the right person, coordinate your invoicing with the customer’s billing cycles, and/or offer a discount for quick payment. You can also spruce up your invoices to make them more memorable by using a free invoice generator to create a branded invoice that leaves a more professional impression.

It is also a smart idea to invest in payroll software that can properly process and organize payments so you know which clients have paid and which have not. The last thing you want to do is accuse a customer of being late when you actually have received their payment and it slipped through the cracks.

Another way to ensure timely payments is to make it easier for your clients and customers to pay you. When you accept payments through your app, you’ll simplify the payment process, but you need to ensure that your customers’ sensitive financial information is protected. Fortunately, you can use a tool to authenticate bank account information for secure payments.

Polite Follow-Ups

Once you realize that a payment is late, it is time to send a follow-up, but remember you do not want to be overly demanding or threaten litigation at this point. Start by sending an email that reminds the customer of the item you sold or service you completed and the cost for that work, and remind them that they have a past due payment.

If you do not get a response, this may be a good time to call the client’s company and inquire with a different employee about how to be paid. In some cases, the person who requested the service is not the same individual that handles invoices, so ask for the billing department just in case.

If a phone call is required for the follow-up, Practice Ignition suggests keeping it nice and polite. Phrases like “this is a friendly reminder” and “I’d appreciate it if…” are a good way to start. If the customer states that they don’t have the funds to pay the bill in full, you might consider allowing a partial payment or creating an alternative arrangement that fits both of your needs.

Make the Payment Process Easier

Organizations that are finding that they have payments arriving late on a constant basis may want to look at their payment processes and make them simpler to use for the customers. Give your clients multiple avenues to make their payments, be it over the phone, through a web portal, or by mail.

You may also consider sending out automated reminders to your customers. These can be sent out a few days prior to a due date, on that day, and a week after the due date if payment is not made. By receiving automated messages that are sent by a computer, your customers will know that this isn’t a personal attack. Another benefit of setting automated reminders is that you will never forget to ask for a payment, and sometimes, that can be half of the battle.

If you are looking to keep your organization running on full steam, get the payments you’ve earned through the tips above.

About Julie Morris

Julie Morris is a life and career coach. She thrives on helping others live their best lives. It’s easy for her to relate to clients who feel run over by life because she’s been there. After years in a successful (but unfulfilling) career in finance, Julie busted out of the corner office that had become her prison.

Today, she is fulfilled by helping busy professionals like her past self get the clarity they need in order to live inspired lives that fill more than just their bank accounts. When Julie isn’t working with clients, she enjoys writing and is currently working on her first book. She also loves spending time outdoors and getting lost in a good book.

Read her articles here

Improve your company’s performance and decision making with services from BRP Onesta. Find out how our customized solutions can help your business!

Damaging Mistakes That Small Business Owners Make When Financing Their Businesses

Business owners tend to rely on borrowing money to grow their businesses.  However, it is not without pain that many small business owners and entrepreneurs experience when borrowing money.  In this article, we explore a bunch of damaging outcomes that occur when small business owners borrow money for their businesses.  By sharing what we see every day from small business owners we hope to share some foresight for small business owners who wish to access financing for their businesses.

By Thomas Tramaglini, Managing Director at BRP Onesta
info@BRPOnesta.com
www.backofficedepot.com
www.thomastramaglini.com
About Thomas Tramaglini

Small Businesses Need Financing

The typical small business regularly seeks and utilizes working capital of some type to address various needs including growth.  A recent dataset from Anna Serio suggested that in 2021, 57% of small businesses sought financing in amounts less than $100,000.  In another recent article published by Fundera, nearly 3 in 10 small businesses fail because they do not have access the capital they need. 

So, small businesses need working capital to fulfil their short and long term needs and they seek funds in all sorts of avenues, from SBA loans to Merchant Cash Advances.  In 2021, we surveyed over 1,000 small business owners about their experiences with seeking funds for their small businesses. 

Our data showed several commonalities which were interesting:

  • 68.8% of small business owners said that they sought working capital without restrictions
  • 43.1% of the small business owners said that speed in receiving funds mattered over most other factors, including rate
  • 92.5% of small business owners we surveyed said they wanted an SBA loan but only 1.3% said they had received an SBA loan.
  • The most popular loan product sought in 2021 was a Line of Credit

What are the unintended consequences of borrowing money to finance your small business?

Clearly, small business owners look for financing for their small businesses.  The data supports our work with small business owners as they seek financing that is fast and easy.  However, many times small business owners face the unintended consequences of borrowing money.  From our data and experiences, we have put together a list of some different consequences that we see small business owners encounter when borrowing money. 

Using Personal Credit to Finance a Business

This is one of the biggest areas we encounter small business owners taking a hit.  Small business owners take personal loans and use personal credit to finance their businesses.  When small business owners finance their businesses using personal credit or personal loans they generate lower credit scores, reduce the amount of credit they can use for their personal lives and jeopardize losing everything.

Risking Personal Assets

This occurs when small business owners pledge their personal assets to back what they are doing for their businesses.  For instance, some small business owners personally guarantee loans they take or even worst, they collateralize their homes and savings.  When businesses cannot pay their bills, the lenders will come looking for you to satisfy your commitment.

Co-Mingling Company Credit with Joint Credit

Small business owners who have joint credit with other family members (such as spouse or children) run the risk of having people who are not associated with the business hurt the company’s credit or business owner’s personal credit.

Not Paying Your Bills on Time

Not making payments on loans or credit cards on time each time they are due can hurt your ability to borrow money for your business or attain vendor accounts. 

Using Your Family’s Money

Routinely, we see small business owners using their family’s savings or personal credit for their business.  Once this becomes a regular practice, business owners cannot carry enough cushion to get them through hard times if they come up.  The idea is that eating up your personal credit for business expenses weakens your safety net.

Failing to Build Corporate Credit Correctly

From time to time we find small business owners either confused or misinformed about how to develop corporate credit.  Incorporating your business allows your business to be separate from your personal wealth.  If one understands that there is a process for building appropriate corporate credit and follows that process correctly, it is easy to separate personal and business wealth.  However, often we see someone trying to build their corporate credit by getting a Uline account or a Grainger account and failing to harness how to build progressive corporate credit.

Trying to Accelerate Corporate Credit Too Quickly

Having adequate business credit takes time and many business owners try to build their credit too quickly.  It takes time to build corporate credit to levels where small business owners can access financing without a personal guarantee or strictly on their business credit.  Some business owners turn to just applying for corporate cards and getting declined, or those cards go on their personal credit.

Poor Follow Up on Building Corporate Credit

It takes effort to consistently build your corporate credit.  In many cases, small business owners fail to keep track of their progress and waste their business credit.  They tend to miss key benchmarks or elements that can increase their credit. 

Overextending Borrowing Capacity

There are many times we see small business owners take on debt and do not truly understand what that means to their profit margins, etc.  For instance, we see small business owners regularly take Merchant Cash Advances.  Those advances can carry 50-55% interest so if you do not have profit margins that would yield enough to make these MCAs work, then it is probably not a good idea.  We see small business owners utilizing these risky practices regularly. 

So what?

Small business owners want access to business financing but at what cost?  In this article we provided real things that happen when small business owners take on financing.  In many cases, small business owners never see what is coming until it is too late. 

The best financing programs for small businesses at those that utilize corporate credit, which carry low interest and that do not carry a personal guarantee.  To build adequate corporate credit, small business owners need to build their portfolio of tradelines which have a record of successful payments and depth.

To learn more about our programs that help build corporate credit, please click here.

References:

1 https://www.fundera.com/resources/small-business-lending-statistics

2 https://www.finder.com/business-loan-statistics

3 https://www.fedsmallbusiness.org/medialibrary/FedSmallBusiness/files/2021/2021-sbcs-employer-firms-report

Dr. Thomas Tramaglini is the Managing Director for BRP Onesta, a company that supports small businesses. By offering a host of important and affordable services that small business owners tend to not have time to do themselves, the team at BRP Onesta can help small businesses grow infinitely. Although located in on the famous Jersey shore, BRP Onesta serves clients in all 50 states, Puerto Rico, Mexico and Canada.

Nearly Every State Requires Annual Corporate Filings: It Is Probably Time for You To File Yours.

Small business owners and entrepreneurs must balance the grind of their work each day with the compliance requirements to run their businesses effectively and legally. One compliance attribute which our clients and others deal with each year is the filing of their annual report. In this article we tackle what an annual report is and provide resources for small business owners and entrepreneurs to complete their reports.

You can also scroll down to see your state’s annual filing requirement(s)

By Thomas Tramaglini, Managing Director at BRP Onesta
info@BRPOnesta.com
www.backofficedepot.com
www.thomastramaglini.com
About Thomas Tramaglini

Corporate Filings are Important

Are you a small business owner? Did you file your annual report for 2021? Failing to file your business or corporation annual compliance documents can lead to a business being suspended or in some cases forfeited without small business owners knowing it.

In 2021, BRP Onesta surveyed over 1,000 (1,292) small business owners. 35.1% of the small business owners who responded said that they had no idea of whether they needed to file corporate filings for the year. We also audited 2,400 of our clients and nearly 20% of our clients had deficiencies in their corporate filings.

What is an Annual Report?

An annual report is a document filed by non-profit and for-profit corporations, limited liability companies, and limited liability partnerships must file with their state which the business is filed in, usually each year. The content of the annual report usually outlines the status of an organization.

Annual Reports Differ from State to State

State governments very in how they require small businesses to file annual reports. Some state Secretary of State offices (or similar agencies) require Annual Reports to be files on different timelines (like biennial or decennial).

Our team is regularly asked about when and what to do from clients regarding these filings, so we decided to put together a chart for our clients and others to review.

Critical Things Associated with Annual Reports

There are some critical things that are associated with annual filings, so we have compiled a list of things to remember when you are considering corporate filings:

  • While nearly every state requires an annual filing of some sort, not every state requires the same information. For instance, Maryland requires different reporting (taxes and operation) and New Jersey requires less information.
  • States that require corporate filings usually require a payment to keep the business in good standing.
  • Those business owners who fail to pay their fees can have penalties added.
  • States process filings at different rates of speed. Some are online only, some mail in only.
  • Small business owners jeopardize their Certificate in Good Standing Status if they fail to file their annual report. This can have a detrimental effect in areas such as funding, grants, or acquiring new licenses.

What Are Your State’s Requirements for Filing?

Considering each state has different requirements, we try to keep a running list on our website. For our list, we break down both LLC and Corporation requirements.

See your state’s filing requirements

Ensure Your Corporate Filings Are Done on Time and Accurately

If you are a small business owner or entrepreneur, we highly suggest using our company to prepare your corporate filings for you. It is inexpensive and will allow you to focus on your typical everyday work.

At BRP Onesta, we have a team of experts who prepare and file small business filings such as annual reports in all 50 States.

Dr. Thomas Tramaglini is the Managing Director for BRP Onesta, a company that supports small businesses. By offering a host of important and affordable services that small business owners tend to not have time to do themselves, the team at BRP Onesta can help small businesses grow infinitely. Although located in on the famous Jersey shore, BRP Onesta serves clients in all 50 states, Puerto Rico, Mexico and Canada.

Are SBA Loans Forgivable?

In this article, we tackle SBA loan forgiveness. We identify what SBA loans are forgivable and how to get those SBA loans forgiven. This article is part of our series, SBA Loans for Small Business Owners: The Complete Beginners Guide, we share our experiences and expertise to answer questions that small business owners have about SBA loans.

By Thomas Tramaglini, Managing Director at BRP Onesta
info@BRPOnesta.com
www.backofficedepot.com
thomastramaglini.com

Business Owners Confused

Are you a small business owner that has an SBA loan? Do you receive an SBA loan in recent years? Is your loan forgivable? Are parts of your loan forgivable?

Business owners are confused and continue to be confused.

According to the SBA, there are over 31 million small businesses in the United States. Using SBA data, of the 31 million+ small businesses, over the last 5 years approximately 12 million loans have some sort of SBA tag to it. So, about approximately 1 in 3 small business owners have recently had some sort of SBA small business loan. We believe the percentage could be closer to 1 in 2 with the number of small businesses that the SBA Office of Advocacy also suggests that many businesses have no employees, or they may be dormant.

Since so many small business owners have a loan associated with the SBA in some way, we frequently are asked if they must pay back their SBA loan. As part of our blog series SBA Loans for Small Business Owners: The Complete Beginners Guide, we provide some simple answers below.

Sign Up for Our Secret Sauce Newsletter for Small Businesses and receive the link to 1 Tradeline Who Gives Business Credit for Free Click Here

Access to SBA Loans Blew Up in 2020

Before 2020, I am not sure if anyone had ever seen an SBA loan be forgiven. In fact, according to the Small Business Credit Survey suggests that before the Pandemic, only about 1 in 5 small businesses were actually able to secure an SBA loan of some type.

So, we know that since April 2020, the number of small business owners having some sort of associated SBA loan is 30%-50% higher.

Mass Confusion Prevalent

Regardless of your educational level, time in business or the size of SBA loan, it was and still is clear that small business owners are confused about what is forgivable and what is not. A recent report in the Wall Street Journal suggests that the majority of small business owners continue to be confused about SBA loans.

What is considered “Loan Forgiveness?”

The advisors at Brothers Road Partners LTD (BRP Onesta) are asked about Loan Forgiveness every day. Simply, Loan Forgiveness means that you do not have to pay back the loan.

With this definition, we still live by one tenet set by Managing Director, Thomas Tramaglini: Until the loan is forgivable, the business owner is responsible. This is good advice considering the confusion surrounding SBA loans.

What SBA Loans are Forgivable?

Below is a list of SBA loans (and we included advances/grants) we have helped our clients get or manage and whether or not the loans are forgivable:

Payroll Protection Program (PPP)

PPP loans were designed to provide an incentive for small businesses to keep workers on the payroll (List of PPP allowable uses). Like other SBA loans, PPP loans were underwritten, funded and forgiven by approved SBA lenders. So far, there have been 2 rounds of PPP available to small business owners. PPP loans are forgivable if the borrower spent the funds and can provide proof that the funds were used for the intended purposes. To date, about 87% of the PPP loans have been forgiven.

Getting your PPP loan forgiven is not hard as long as you used the money for what it was intended for. The SBA has made it easier to apply for forgiveness with the website https://directforgiveness.sba.gov/requests/borrower/login/?next=/ Depending on if the bank the PPP loan was funded from opts to use this portal, this site is easy to apply for the PPP loan through. Otherwise, each bank either directly has their own process (PNC Bank, Fountainhead) or may use a 3rd party for forgiveness (Scratch).

Verdict: Forgivable

Is your PPP loan(s) still not forgiven? Contact us today – we can help.

Click here to find out here whether your PPP loan or loans are forgiven.

Economic Disaster Injury Loans (EIDL)

The EIDL loan program was extended to Pandemic relief under the CARES and American Recovery Acts. EIDL loans are loans directly provided to small business owners by the US Department of Treasury. After the initial EIDL loans were provided for 6 months of working capital, the loan was extended to those who qualified for up to 24 months. The terms of this loan are 2.75% (non-profit) to 3.75% (for-profit) and go out to 30 years. This direct long-term loan program from the SBA is not forgivable.

List of EIDL allowable uses

Verdict: Not Forgivable

Do you need help with EIDL Reconsideration? Contact us today – we can help? We have helped numerous clients with their EIDL loans and loan expansion.

Misuses of EIDL and PPP Loans: If you are curious about some of the misuses of PPP and EIDL, I wrote a couple of articles on the topic:

The Front-Line Zeroes of the Pandemic: Ranking our top 15 EIDL/PPP SM Business Owners Accused or Convicted of EIDL/PPP Fraud

Fake 940/941s, More Lamborghinis, Rolexes and Real Estate, Oh My. More Fraud from PPP/EIDL

EIDL Advance | EIDL Targeted Advance | EIDL Supplemental Targeted Advance

EIDL Advances has been rolled out in a host of different ways. That is, the government has found different ways to provide funds set aside for small businesses. From $1,000 per employee up to $10,000 for any small business that qualified to more targeted small businesses that mainly drove funds to lower income areas generally, EIDL Advance programs have been intended to not have small business owners pay back funds. It is important to note that some EIDL Advances were rolled into PPP loans however, SBA guidance is all over the place on that topic, so our disposition is that if you received an EIDL Advance, you likely do not have to pay the funds back.

Verdict: Forgivable

SBA 7(a) and Express Loan (same guidelines)

SBA 7(a) loans are the most common loan program offered by SBA. The SBA suggests that the 7(a) can be used for business real estate purchases, as well as short- and long-term working capital, refinancing current business debt, as well as the purchase of furniture, fixtures and supplies. The maximum loan amount for a 7(a) loan is $5 million. Key eligibility factors are based on what the business does to receive its income, its credit history, and where the business operates. SBA 7(a) loans are not forgivable.

Verdict: Not Forgivable

SBA 504

The Certified Development Companies/504 Loan Program provides long-term, fixed rate financing of up to $5 million for major fixed assets that promote business growth and job creation. 504 loans are available through SBA’s community-based partners who regulate nonprofits and promote economic development within their communities. CDCs are certified and regulated by the SBA. SBA 504 are repayable over 10 – 20 years and pegged to an increment above the current market rates. SBA 504 loans are not forgivable.

Verdict: Not Forgivable

Microloans

The SBA microloan program provides loans up to $50,000 to help small businesses and certain not-for-profit childcare centers start up and expand. The average microloan is about $13,000. SBA provides funds to specially designated intermediary lenders, which are nonprofit community-based organizations with experience in lending as well as management and technical assistance. These intermediaries administer the Microloan program for eligible borrowers.

Verdict: Not Forgivable

Implications

Over the past two years our team at BRP Onesta has been hit with many questions regarding whether or not one has to pay back their SBA loans. In this article, I have provided an overview of different SBA loans and whether they are forgivable.

If you have any questions, you can contact us or reach out directly to SBA.

Do you want to apply for an SBA loan? Do you think you are ready to qualify now? Do you want to find out if you can get pre-approved for an SBA loan before you apply?

If you answered YES to any of these questions, please contact our team at any time for a free, no-obligation phone consultation with one of our specialists. We will set up a time with you and go over what you are looking for, what we think you can qualify for, and what we can do to get you to the finish line.

We also have a host of small business funding opportunities, from equipment loans to small business grants which we keep updated each week (click here)

References

SBA EIDL Loan Data: https://www.sba.gov/sites/default/files/2022-02/COVID-19%20EIDL%20TA%20STA_02032022_Public-508.pdf

SBA PPP Loan Data: https://www.sba.gov/funding-programs/loans/covid-19-relief-options/paycheck-protection-program/ppp-data

SBA Office of Advocacy Data: https://cdn.advocacy.sba.gov/wp-content/uploads/2020/11/05122043/Small-Business-FAQ-2020.pdf

SBA Loan Descriptions: https://www.sba.gov/funding-programs/loans

Dr. Thomas Tramaglini is the Managing Director for BRP Onesta, a company that supports small businesses. By offering a host of important and affordable services that small business owners tend to not have time to do themselves, the team at BRP Onesta can help small businesses grow infinitely. Although located in on the famous Jersey shore, BRP Onesta serves clients in all 50 states, Puerto Rico, Mexico and Canada.

Are You on The Lending Blacklist? You might be surprised.

Lenders are getting smarter. A few tools that online and MCA lenders use to gauge fundability.

By Thomas Tramaglini, BRP Onesta
info@BRPOnesta.com
www.backofficedepot.com

Our company routinely works with small business owners to stabilize or grow their businesses. One important step that small business owners require our assistance is with the attainment of capital for their businesses. In a previous post, I discussed some of the statistics of how many small businesses are looking to borrow money for their business. Whether for consolidation of debt, expansion, real estate, or equipment, underwriting of any loan or advance, we generally are asked by small business owners what the lenders are looking for in order to get an approval.

Through professional conversations with brokers of merchant cash advance and online loans in the past, brokers seemed to have lenders who they suggested did not thoroughly vet client applications ultimately providing funding to small business owners who probably should not have been funded. While this has not been our experience, clearly the shenanigans of the merchant cash advance and online loans have been in existence for some time.

So, we decided to explore some ways that lenders vet possible lenders in the online and alternative lending space.

Sign Up for Our Secret Sauce Newsletter which shares information on trends, lending and grants for Small Businesses and receive the link to 1 Tradeline Who Gives Business Credit for Free Click Here

In no way can one blog (or probably a book) do any justice to go through the art (and it is an art) of how banks or lenders go about their approval processes. We did however, find three tools that online lenders (i.e., OnDeck, PayPal) and alternative lenders (MCA, equipment) favor in vetting their applications.

What are the lenders looking for?

Simply put, there are many different variables that go into an approval. Yet, regardless of how strong a small business’ financials or bank statements look, one attribute that will kill any deal is whether a business has ever had issues paying back capital (defaults, slow pays, Judgements, fraud, etc.).

Three Tools that Lenders Use Which Unofficially Serve as A Blacklist

Clearinghouse Data

Online and alternative lenders use different clearinghouses who curate a multitude of data. From publicly reported data to credit records, these datasets provide a robust amount of information about potential borrowers and businesses. There are a few clearinghouses our there (others like Chex Systems) but here are a few that we know are commonly used.

LexisNexis

LexisNexis provides business research and risk management services to various industries. These include lenders, insurance companies, vendors and more. These companies use LexisNexis to verify personal and business credit history (PayNet does this too), public records (PACER), and application history. And they use LexisNexis to assess risk on applicants. Inaccurate information, data which doesn’t match your application, or negative items in your LexisNexis report can have a drastic negative impact on your business. This is especially true during the application process.

Business owners can request a copy of their LexisNexis report and decrease the probability of surprises during the application process. Click Here to Request Your Report

DataMerch.com

Founded in 2015, DataMerch.com is a popular tool for online and alternative lenders. Lenders who belong to DataMerch.com upload their lending experiences ultimately painting a picture of many small businesses who have taken loans and merchant cash advances with their companies. Recently, DataMerch.com reported that they now have over 50,000 records on file.

Why is this important? DataMerch.com provides lenders a robust database so they can better inform their approval process. These records provide categorical data such as suspicious activity, slow payers, split payers, and COVID-19 Hardships. Lenders can also find out if small businesses have taken on recent or defaulted funding that might not appear in a business’ bank statements. Regardless, small business owners should know that lenders are not stupid and if you have had issues with your MCAs or loans, you will probably have some issues taking another loan or MCA.

NYS Court System

One place that online and alternative lenders check for issues with loans, MCAs or just other issues which might be a red flag for borrowers is the New York State Unified Court System (New York State Courts Electronic Filing). This website yields a host of legal cases from New York State but importantly, most alternative lenders are in New York so anytime there is a default, and a lender files a Judgement, that Judgement is listed.

If you are a small business owner and default on a loan or merchant cash advance and you are served with a Judgement, it will likely be listed here. The good news is that you can satisfy your Judgement which will be listed on the site after doing so. The bad news is that once you have a Judgement listed on this website it becomes very difficult to ever get funding for your business ever again. In some ways, have a Judgement posted on this site can be worst than a bankruptcy.

Would you like to see if you have anything listed? https://iapps.courts.state.ny.us/ is the link that used to access the files.

So what?

I wrote this Blog because when our clients get declined for loans or merchant cash advances, they tend to ask us why? Although lenders do not share much information with us, we do know that lenders are getting smarter about who they provide funds to. That is, lenders want to (and should) know that someone requesting to borrow funds will pay back their debt.

Over the years, we have seen just about everything small business owners have done to get funded. Specifically, we could write a book about some of the shenanigans some business owners who have negative payment histories have pulled to get funded.

When our clients or small business owners get declined for loans or merchant cash advances and ask why? Notwithstanding that many times the clients do not tell us they had issues with paying a loan or merchant cash advance, they should understand there are tools that lenders use, and it is very possible they are blacklisted.

So, if you are a small business owner who has had issues with paying back a lender, lenders are getting more informed, and they should be aware of this. Lenders are not stupid and if you had issues paying back a loan or merchant cash advance, rightfully so you will probably not be able to access more capital for your business. In fact, you will probably not find an easy road finding capital for another business as well.

Read Other Blog Posts at www.backofficedepot.com/blog or www.tomtramaglini.com

Dr. Thomas W. Tramaglini is the Managing Director for BRP Onesta, a company that supports small businesses. By offering a host of important and affordable services that small business owners tend to not have time to do themselves, the team at BRP Onesta can help small businesses grow infinitely. Although located in on the famous Jersey shore, BRP Onesta serves clients in all 50 states, Puerto Rico, Mexico and Canada.

WHY OUR CLIENTS LOVE EQUIPMENT FINANCING

By Thomas W. Tramaglini, Managing Director at BRP Onesta

info@BRPOnesta.com
www.backofficedepot.com

For years we have met small business owners who have self-funded or taken high-interest loans and merchant cash advances to address their small business needs. Whether growing or replacing equipment and supplies that they already have we consistently see business owners spending way more than they should have.

What are the inherent benefits of Equipment Financing and Leasing as compared to traditional small business loans or merchant cash advances?

  • Likely Tax Advantages Under IRS 179
  • Finance Rates as Low as 5%
  • Flexible Payback Terms from 3 Months – 5 years
  • Numerous Types of Leases (True, FMV, $1 buyout, etc.) for All Businesses
  • Fast Approvals – Often Same Business Day
  • Less Documentation and Faster Funding than Other Options
  • For deals below $100,000 no bank statements usually required

Contact Us Now to Learn More: Click Here

What is Equipment Leasing and Financing?

Equipment leasing is basically a loan in which the lender buys and owns equipment and then “rents” it to a business at a flat monthly rate for a specified number of months. At the end of the lease, the business may purchase the equipment for its fair market value (or a fixed or predetermined amount), continue leasing, lease new equipment or return it.

The most common types of leases are fair market value (FMV) and dollar buyout leases. Businesses that choose to work with an FMV often obtain equipment that quickly depreciates in value. Dollar buyouts are ideal for those who plan on keeping their equipment at the end of the lease term. Other types of available programs are wrap leases, business expansion, refinancing, new business programs, sale lease backs and working capital loans.

If you need equipment or technology infrastructure to help your business grow without using your working capital or business credit lines, equipment financing is the answer. In addition to preserving cash flow, leasing offers tax advantages, helps build and maintain good business credit and allows your business to remain competitive and efficient. Almost any kind of equipment your business needs can be financed, including medical and dental, commercial vehicles, industrial equipment, computer hardware and/or software, restaurant and catering equipment, office furniture, telephone systems and more.

Qualification

Leasing rates are based upon your credit history, the cost and type of equipment and the term structure you want. There are lease programs available across a broad range of credit profiles, industry types and time-in-business ranges – from startups to mature companies.

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Dr. Thomas W. Tramaglini is the Managing Director for BRP Onesta, a company that supports small businesses. By offering a host of important and affordable services that small business owners tend to not have time to do themselves, the team at BRP Onesta can help small businesses grow infinitely. Although located in on the famous Jersey shore, BRP Onesta serves clients in all 50 states, Puerto Rico, Mexico and Canada.

Fake 940/941s, More Lamborghinis, Rolexes and Real Estate Oh My.

Part II – An addition to the Small Business Owners (Real or Fake) Who Are Accused or Convicted of the Largest EIDL/PPP/CARES Act Fraud

By Thomas Tramaglini, Managing Director at BRP Onesta

info@BRPOnesta.com
ThomasTramaglini.com
www.backofficedepot.com

A few weeks ago, I wrote an article (see link below) that provided some context about one of our clients who was convicted of defrauding the United States of nearly $1.2 Million in Payroll Protection Program Funding because it was a real eye-opener for me and my journey in an industry that supports small bBlog – Thomas tramagliniusinesses. Every day, I work with professional, hard-working, small business owners who in many cases live paycheck or have had to shut their doors because of the Pandemic. I love our clients because they are the crossroad of what makes our nation great.

Yet, I continue to read about the people who have defrauded our nation with EIDL or PPP fraud and I wanted to share more examples of what some people tried to get away with that in essence, shut out many of our clients and small business owners who deserved PPP or EIDL funds and were shut out.

These Small Business Owners Lied About The Number of Employees They Had

If you read the dockets on sites like Arnold & Porter, many of the cases involve small business owners flat out lying on their PPP applications about the number of employees they had. While I believe that this could have been a practice more prevalent than what is known, the cases also show falsified documents made to back up the claims for how many employees a company did employ.

I guess these people did not read much Mark Twain. He said, “Honesty is the best policy – when there is money in it.”

Former Olympian Allison Baver

For instance, former Olympic speedskater Allison Baver is accused of falsely obtaining $10 Million in PPP funds. According to Newsweek, Baver claimed that her company, Allison Baver Entertainment had over 400 employees on its monthly payroll. She submitted several loan applications to banks back in April 2020, however according to the complaint, she did not have any employees on payroll.

For anyone who has any brain and owns a small business, it takes a big set to try and get $10 Million in PPP funding and have 0 employees. We will see how this case is defended – Looks like the Alamo to me.

Lamborghinis, Trucks, Rolexes, Real Estate…

Similar to our client that I wrote about in the first article (The Zeroes of the Pandemic) Henry, Lee Price III from Houston defrauded the government of $1,600,000. In fact, Price tried to get PPP funding for 3 different entities and even applied for a PPP loan under the name of a guy who had recently died. According to the complaint, Two fraudulent applications received funding, according to the complaint. Price Enterprises Holdings allegedly received more than $900,000, while a loan application listing 713 Construction was approved for over $700,000. The loan applications allegedly asserted both entities each had numerous employees and significant payroll expenses. According to the charges, however, neither entity has employees nor pays wages consistent with the amounts claimed in the loan applications. Further, the individual listed as CEO on the 713 Construction loan application died in April 2020, a month before the application was submitted, according to the complaint.”

Price used his proceeds to purchase a Lamborghini Urus, a Rolex, and purchase real estate.

In September, Price pled guilty to wire fraud and money laundering. (see https://www.justice.gov/usao-sdtx/pr/houston-entrepreneur-charged-spending-covid-relief-funds-improper-expenses-including)

A Common Practice of Those Convicted of PPP fraud – Submitting False 941 Forms

One of the requirements for companies that ran payroll was to submit Form 940 or 941 with their PPP application. If you review the different cases and follow the news clearly the list of those who submitted Fraudulent 940s/941s is growing. For instance, this month, a ring of those submitting fraudulent PPP applications was brought down in Georgia.

Ex University of Maryland Football Player Marc Mason

Earlier in January 2022, Marc Mason, the owner of Atlanta Business Capital is accused of submitting fraudulent PPP applications for more than one of his businesses. He received nearly $600,000 in funding. On top of that, Marc is separately accused of assisting others in getting PPP funds. Allegedly, Marc helped business owners by creating IRS 941 forms for the business owners to submit to banks. If the loans were awarded, he would receive a 2%-5% success fee from the borrower.

Celebrities Among Those Connected to Mason

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution highlighted Mason’s complaint and described 19 people connected with his scheme in Georgia. Included in this list were Desperate Housewives Ion Overman, Dale Godboldo who was in The People v. O.J. Simpson, and music producer Carlos “Clos” Stephens.

Camus said, “Stupidity has a knack of getting in its way.” The implications –

Well, when writing an article like this, one has to ask the question, So what?”

As I began this blog article, every day I work with small business owners and clients who put their lives and souls into their business. The Pandemic hit hard. They needed help. I know many small business owners who were shut out of needed funding because the funds ran dry.

It is clear that the government is beginning to find more and more cases where small business owners submitted fraudulent documents in their applications.

In my first article, I ranked my top 15 Accused or Convicted of Fraud. I am not sure were any of these “small business owners” would fall on that list. Either way, it is horrible to see the means that people went to in order to defraud those who really needed the help. I fully expect to continue to see more cases of small business owners who submitted fraudulent 941 forms or purchased things which were just dumb, like Lamborghinis and Jewelry.

For now, again in case you missed it, here is our “Top Fifteen Alleged or Convicted List for Pandemic Relief Fraud.”

1) ($14M) Apocalypse Bella (https://www.justice.gov/usao-sdny/pr/two-texas-men-and-one-oregon-man-charged-fraud-scheme-obtain-over-14-million-covid)

2) ($11.1M) Amanda Christian (https://www.justice.gov/opa/pr/twenty-two-charged-connection-more-11-million-paycheck-protection-program-fraud-scheme)

3) Charles Petty ($11.1M) (https://www.justice.gov/opa/pr/twenty-two-charged-connection-more-11-million-paycheck-protection-program-fraud-scheme)

4) ($11.1) Charmine Redding (https://www.justice.gov/opa/pr/twenty-two-charged-connection-more-11-million-paycheck-protection-program-fraud-scheme)

5) ($7.6M) Jacob Carter, Quadri Salahuddin, Anwar Salahuddin, Christal Ransom (https://www.justice.gov/usao-sdny/pr/four-defendants-charged-76-million-covid-19-fraud-scheme)

6) ($7.2M) Don Cisternino (https://www.justice.gov/usao-mdfl/pr/seminole-county-man-charged-covid-relief-fraud)

7) ($6M) Christopher Lick (https://www.justice.gov/usao-ndms/pr/starkville-man-charged-more-6-million-covid-relief-fraud-false-statements-and-money)

8) ($5.8M) Julio Enrique Lugo (https://www.justice.gov/usao-mdfl/pr/davenport-couple-charged-58-million-covid-relief-fraud)

9) (4.5M) Christina Burden (https://www.justice.gov/usao-ndca/pr/oakland-woman-charged-million-dollar-scheme-defraud-pandemic-relief-programs-struggling)

10) ($3.8M) Gregory Blotnick (https://www.justice.gov/usao-nj/pr/new-york-and-florida-resident-charged-38-million-paycheck-protection-program-fraud-scheme)

11) ($3M) Anuli Okeke (https://www.justice.gov/usao-edny/pr/two-former-employees-new-york-branch-major-bank-and-accountant-charged-cares-act-loan)

12) ($2.2M) Abdreq Aaron Lloyd, Russell Schort (https://www.justice.gov/usao-or/pr/two-oregon-men-face-federal-charges-pocketing-millions-covid-relief-fraud-scheme)

13) ($1.9M ) John Jhong (https://www.justice.gov/usao-nj/pr/sussex-county-man-charged-19-million-paycheck-protection-program-fraud-scheme)

14) ($1.6M) Alicia Ayers, Andrea Ayers, Traci Proctor (https://www.justice.gov/usao-sdny/pr/three-defendants-charged-16-million-covid-19-fraud-scheme)

15) ($1.6M) James Kyle Bell (https://www.justice.gov/usao-dc/pr/nevada-man-pleads-guilty-election-fundraising-scam-and-cheating-taxpayers-out-paycheck)

Source: Arnold & Porter, 2021 https://www.arnoldporter.com/en/general/cares-act-fraud-tracker

There are other people or groups of people who have been accused or convicted (some for more greedy amounts than below and can be found here: https://tinyurl.com/2d5rm823.

*Disclaimer to reader – We believe that every person is entitled to due process and until convicted of any crime, anyone accused should be innocent until proven guilty. All contents in this article, including names and claims were confirmed in by research through the United States Department of Justice or the State the person is accused from.

Dr. Thomas W. Tramaglini is the Managing Director for BRP Onesta, a company that supports small businesses. By offering a host of important and affordable services that small business owners tend to not have time to do themselves, the team at BRP Onesta can help small businesses grow infinitely. Although located in on the famous Jersey shore, BRP Onesta serves clients in all 50 states, Puerto Rico, Mexico and Canada.

Be Careful – It’s Not a Loan!

Several times a year we survey small business owners regarding their practices and needs and from what we learn we shape areas of our company. One thing we learned has implications for small business owners.

By Thomas W. Tramaglini, Managing Director at BRP Onesta

info@BRPOnesta.com
www.backofficedepot.com
thomaswtramaglini.com
ThomasTramaglini.com

BRP Onesta is a company that supports small businesses in a host of areas. One of the areas we help our clients with is commercial loan origination. Our platform has over 50 different types of products that small businesses can take advantage of to support their operations and growth.

However, in our latest survey we learned that the majority of small business owners who have taken a Merchant Cash Advance (MCA) believe that they secured a loan. In our 2021 survey, we found the majority of small business owners (68.1%) believing that that MCAs were loans.

The majority of small business owners believe that Merchant Cash Advances are loans but they are not.

Merchant Cash Advances are not loans – Merchant Cash Advances (MCAs) are advances of future receivables which are paid back over a short amount of time. MCAs are not classified as loans so these advances skirt most of the regulation which the banking and lending industry require.

NAV defines MCAs as: “A merchant cash advance is not a business loan but should be considered a cash advance based on the volume of your credit card receipts. The funding provider gets paid back by taking a portion of your future credit card sales each day. You can usually get approved in a day or two—with very little paperwork. But you’ll likely pay for this convenience in higher interest rates.”

Why MCA?

Loans take time and are in many cases not east to get – One of our best loan products are business loans that are guaranteed by the Small Business Administration (SBA) and on average fund in 90 days from start to finish. Sometimes, they take much longer but rarely do they take fewer than 90 days to get done.

Some of our equipment loans, small business loans (not SBA) can take a few days to fund but generally speaking, Merchant Cash Advances can be funded in as little as 2 hours with minimal underwriting. The following can also be true with regards to MCAs:

  • Fast funding
  • Minimal underwriting
  • No Personal Guarantee
  • Unsecured funds
  • Poor credit okay

However, some negatives also include high cost of money (up to 150% interest/fees), daily or weekly payments required, as well as dealing with companies who are similar to loan sharks (see https://www.backofficedepot.com/post/ftc-goes-after-mca-lenders-who-resort-to-machiavellian-tactics-to-recover-funds).

Taxes and MCA – Be Careful

Considering that an MCA is not a loan, small business owners need to be cognizant – BRP Onesta also handles bookkeeping for many small businesses. What is significant is that we consistently see small business owners counting their MCAs as long-term liabilities. Rarely do we not see MCAs listed on a balance sheet as a long-term liability.

Because a Merchant Cash Advance is not a loan and is an advance of future receivables, it should be counted as that – revenue. Therefore, if one receives a $10K MCA, that is an advance of $10K in revenue.

MCAs also do not include interest. They include a pre-determined agreed-upon percentage of business sales to be returned to the lender each day (or week). Payments should be made against the revenue. In theory, the income line should be negative once a MCA is exhausted because the business owner has forfeited a portion of their future receivables to the lender.

What are the implications?

BRP Onesta has clients who have been audited by the IRS and have been penalized for not counting Merchant Cash Advances as revenue. Remember, MCAs are not loans, nor should they be coded on a balance sheet as a loan. Loans are not counted as income and business owners need to understand the implications of using MCAs versus loans so they are not liable for misreporting taxable revenue.

*BRP Onesta is not an accountancy and Thomas Tramaglini is not a CPA. We encourage anyone and everyone to always consult their accountants regarding MCAs.

Dr. Thomas W. Tramaglini is the Managing Director for BRP Onesta, a company that supports small businesses. By offering a host of important and affordable services that small business owners tend to not have time to do themselves, the team at BRP Onesta can help small businesses grow infinitely. Although located in on the famous Jersey shore, BRP Onesta serves clients in all 50 states, Puerto Rico, Mexico and Canada.