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Wilson Cole's Podcast From The Road


Jun 19, 2019

A recent trend in the staffing industry has appeared as the result of the low unemployment rate and the increased use of recruiters on a broader scale. This trend is to hide binding confidentiality agreements in contracts to try and trap companies into paying extra money to high end debtors. In fact, this has become a shockingly common practice by insanely predatory high-end debtors, and we are thankful that most of our clients have had the insight to not sign these contracts.

We are seeing a few different manifestations of these predatory documents. One example is a client received an email from someone who had not been paying their bills and they tried to have our client sign a new form before they would send the money. These forms are often confidentiality agreements that are so binding and strict that the client could not even hire an attorney because they cannot disclose to them.

These new schemes involve a higher thought process than we typically see which means that our clients are even more vulnerable. One recent example a client brought to us was a document that protected their client from paying a bill, and our client would have to start paying if they tried to collect on the bill. To be frank: only attorneys could come up with this crap.

Another scheme we have seen is if you ever had a company that was behind on their bills and they hired someone to handle their receivables then asked you to sign some kind of document, beware! If you are ever in doubt about the wording in a contract, then have an attorney look at it. Our in-house council can take a look at any document and advise you on how to proceed, but as a general rule an attorney should look at any form before you sign it. If someone wants you to sign something out of the ordinary, DO NOT SIGN until you know exactly what it says.

These predatory companies are not short on creativity and some have tried to slip a master service agreement for recruiters and staffing agencies after already establishing a relationship. One of our clients came to us with a contract they had been served which had a master service agreement that would not be fulfilled unless a separate fee was paid for each placement. Thankfully, our client was smart and sent the document to us so we could identify the trap. Make sure to watch what you sign, and if even one paragraph is unfamiliar, then you need to have someone look at it.

It is strange to admit this, but debt negotiators serve a purpose. We have seen clients take a downward turn and we have helped with their exposure and vulnerability by taking care of their debt. We do this in a transparent and legal way, but other people try to take advantage of weak companies and bind them to contracts that will drain the rest of their money. Do not fall prey to these schemes and work with legit debt negotiators and, once again, DO NOT SIGN anything until you know exactly what it says!

As a special treat to you, our lovely audience, we are going to sum up this article by sharing Wilson’s raw fish approach: He is not a fan of raw fish, but one night he was having dinner at a trendy restaurant. While looking at the menu, he saw a dish that looked appealing, but he did not recognize a word in the description. Instead of asking the waiter what it meant, he ordered it blindly only to find out that the word was Chilean for raw fish. Now he had paid a lot of money for a dish that he was not going to eat and there was no going back.

If you have any questions or want our help if you encounter one of these predatory debtors, reach out to Samantha Cole at samantha@aercollections.com.