Table of Contents

Rising Up!

2020: The Year of the Lemon

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You have been great to work with on this unfortunate issue. 
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      Thanks so much,
               a consumer

"I've worked with United Credit Service for over 25 years and I've found their staff to be very professional and knowledgeable. UCS has provided our patients and our staff with outstanding customer service while also providing excellent collection results." 

Director of Patient Financial Services, Large Midwestern Hospital

Hello Friends!

I like to look at challenges as opportunities. Each difficult situation offers us a chance to improve ourselves and shake up the status quo. And by focusing on the positive outcome we are striving to achieve, rather than the negative situation, we can get excited about how much better off we will be after finding the solution instead of feeling anxious about the obstacle itself.

2020 has been full of challenges to be sure. But this also means it’s given us many opportunities to improve ourselves as a company (and hopefully as individuals too). As a result, there have been many positive outcomes.

This will be the focus of our newsletter this quarter—a few of the positive outcomes of 2020.

The first thing it did was ratchet up our resilience. Granted, our added resilience didn’t make the problems go away, but it sure helped us adapt to them and handle the added stress better. And it is something we will be able to call upon, time and time again, as difficulties arise in the future.

2020 also gave us the chance to build a stronger team. The old saying, When the going gets tough, the tough get going, sure was apropos this year. As strong of a group Team UCS was at the beginning of the year, it is without a doubt a much stronger team now! It’s a testimony to their desire and determination to get to that positive outcome!

It also provided us the opportunity to make a correction in our Company Culture. You might be surprised to hear this, but our Culture is more upbeat and optimistic today than it was at the beginning of the year. Thank you 2020.

It also strengthened our relationships with our vendors. Times like these let you know who your friends are. Many of them stepped up by providing us much needed support and guidance during these challenging times. And those partnerships are stronger than ever.

Year end is always a time for reflection, 2020 is no different. Even though we did not have any control over where the year took us, we did take control of our response to it. And I’m proud of how we handled it.

If you are a client, thank you for allowing us the privilege of serving you. If you are a prospective client, we’d love the opportunity to ease your burden while improving your bottom line.

Have a happy New Year's Eve and a healthy, happy, and prosperous 2021.

Best regards,


If you would have told us last March what the next nine months would be like we would have said: “You have got to be kidding!” Yet, in the spirit of the old adage that what does not kill you makes you stronger, we adapted to the sudden life changes we all experienced, dug in and made the business thrive in this new environment.

First and foremost, we needed to ensure the safety and health of our employees so they could continue to serve our valued clients during this volatile period. The first objective, therefore, was to spread out our working environment and relocate our employees so they could stay safe by working remotely until the crisis had passed.

To do this meant that we committed as a company to maintaining our high standards of security, privacy and service in a new, untested work environment. This meant we needed the most up to date industry information, as well as leverage the management and service tools to connect the dots.

And we did that!

First, we relocated most of our staff to remote locations. This required that we not only ensured that they had the necessary, secure, high speed internet access available, but also the right equipment installed that worked first time, every time.

Our IT support team worked quickly with us to ensure that we were up and running as soon as possible. Every location needed secure connections and that our staff would continue to have access to VPN network functions and hardware such as printers, faxes and scanners.

Next, we had to adapt to the quickly changing environment. We were incredibly pleased that many of our vendors worked with us to modify our service agreements to stop the use of certain technologies that were not appropriate during this tough financially strained time.

We also leveraged our ongoing relationship with ACA International, a trade association for Collections firms like UCS. They were invaluable in providing daily updates on quickly changing debt collection regulations as they evolved with rapidly changing federal and state law. We are pleased to report that their efforts allowed us to meet 100% of those changes and maintain our highest level of compliance on behalf of our clients.

Of course, most importantly, we did our best to ensure our employees had a safe working environment. Those that needed to come into the office were required to comply with state and federal guidelines for maintaining healthy social distancing measures, sanitizing workstations as well as the appropriate use of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE).

We also were extremely sensitive to the fact that for many of our staff, working remotely was a new challenge and required creativity to keep everyone in the loop on what was happening. Tools such as Slack ensured that everyone was on the same page each day, it also provided a great way to keep up individual contact when daily interactions were not possible.

Did we make it?

Yes we did! We were able to keep our valued employees safe and healthy during one of the most disruptive times any of us may experience in our working lives. On top of that, we were able to provide seamless, high quality collections services throughout this period.

Rising up, above expectations. That is what we do here at United Credit Service!


If 2020 was a tree, it would be a lemon tree. A big, abundant tree of lemons. It sure has been the ‘gift’ that keeps on giving, am I right?!

I used quotation marks around the word gift to imply sarcasm, but there are a lot of good things you can do with lemons to take away their sourness.

Here are a few of the sweet things, here in the office, that came from our COVID lemon tree.

Improved Communication - In the absence of information, people either make up their own stories or jump to a worst-case conclusion. To combat this and added stress, we upped our communication by having a daily huddle.

This gives us all a chance to ask questions or discuss concerns. It’s also where we give updates from the CDC and state recommendations as well sharing any other pertinent information.

To keep team members working remotely in the loop we started using Slack. It’s a communication platform similar to Facebook, but it’s for businesses. It not only disseminates necessary information, it also helps those at home feel less isolated and a part of the team.

Increased Collaboration, Inclusion and Camaraderie – Social distancing and working remotely put a huge damper on our daily interactions. Now, through Slack, we aren’t just sharing stories with the person at the next cubicle or giving an “atta boy” after commiserating about a difficult call with somebody close by, we are now sharing these interactions with the whole team. Using this platform has increased feelings of inclusion globally. It has also given a voice to introverts who might otherwise sit quietly by while others do most of the talking.

More Emphasis on Celebrating the Small Victories – It takes five positive encounters to overcome every negative one. In our industry that’s not easy under normal circumstances. That’s why we are taking the time to celebrate each win—no matter how small. Guess what? The practice has snowballed. Now we are finding tons of little victories and cheering for each other on a more regular basis.

Here's the thing, sometimes trying times can be a catalyst for good, especially if you’re open to it. I know we’ve all had a trying year, but if you look, I bet you’ll be able to you find the silver lining in your COVID cloud.

Did you know the first quarter of the year is the ideal time to collect? Don’t take my word for it. According to Experian, 35 percent of Americans use their tax refund to pay off debt. With an average tax refund of over $2500 we like to do everything we can to make sure our clients get their fair share of that refund.

Please don’t lose out on this ideal time to collect. Send your placements in today.

United Credit Service, Inc.
15 N. Lincoln Street, P.O. Box 740
Elkhorn, WI 53121