Posted: Wednesday, July 31, 2019. 5:04 pm CST.
By Aaron Humes: Not paying your debts? Now, there’s an app for that.
The collection agency Credit Master Systems, which has been active since 1993 and online since 2009, is now mobile with an app that lets employers and others check what they call a “complaint score” or C-score to establish one’s integrity and trust ratio.
CMS, a sister company to JL’s Quick Loan and Quick Cash Card, says it has gotten increased and regular requests at home and abroad to check out persons in Belize with whom they wish to do business. It has established a complaint information system to help both business and consumers to make better decisions, move goods and services, create jobs and most especially, encourage consumers to pay their debts.
Founder Maurice Underwood says a credit bureau is needed in Belize but will be difficult to establish because of lack of critical information as well as privacy issues. So to make lime juice out of lemons, CMS started collecting bad debt information and formulated a system and formula to assist in providing key information on credit, employment, renting, leasing, relationships, and agreements generally where a person’s integrity is in question.
Under the CMS system, according to Sharrette Palmer, the C-score is two numbers: the numbers of complaints, followed by the number settled and a positive or negative sign if the person is making payment. Hence, a 2-0-negative means two complaints lodged, none settled and no effort to make payment.
The new CMS Info Net app is available, for now, only to Smart phone users. You can download the app from the Google Play Store, enter your name, Social Security number and date of birth and send to CMS, which sends back the C-score via text message for $2.50. A detailed report can be obtained from Zitro locations countrywide for $5, including names and numbers owed.
According to Underwood, a five-year plan is underway with the Chamber of Commerce to pave the way for Belizean entrepreneurs to enter CARICOM with the seal of integrity behind them.
As he points out, “you can’t look at a person and tell if they have a good C-score or not; you can’t tell. Like me…my C-score is 1-0-positive, so I own the company, I should have zero, but I have a complaint against me, but it’s positive because I’m paying on it.”
Underwood told us that he even hopes instances of crime, like obtaining property by deception, can be lowered. (CMS does not collect fines on behalf of the Magistracy, a Government department).
All registered and licensed businesses such as banks, utility companies and places like Courts/Tropigas and other pawn shops and loan agencies are covered.
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