Yes, there are several methods for backing up your data from one centralized location. One of the quickest and simplest is to set up Team Viewer on the main computer and the computers in question. Through Team Viewer, there is a File Transfer protocol you can use that will easily transfer your data between stores for back ups. For more instructions on backing up, just read the topic "How do we back up our data?"
When connecting, just select "File Transfer" and enter in the partner ID. You will then be prompted to enter in the partner's password. Once the connection is established you will locate the database on whichever computer you are trying to connect to.
Another method is to use TightVNC service--which is available by clicking Here.
Pull up the loan in question on the Loan tab. Click the Additional information button, go to the payment info tab, click in the Next payment date field, and then press Ctrl+E to edit the date. However, if your system security is set up to not allow date changes, you may not be able to edit the date.
To remove records, you must be logged in as admin or an account with administrative privileges.
To remove a client, pull the client up in the Personal tab. Make sure the client does not have any "real" loans (you can check this by going to the current Loans tab and using the History drop down).
Then click in the Account Number field (the next to last field in the rectangular grid of fields at the top of the Client window). The field will turn white.
Then hold down the Control or Ctrl key and tap the letter R to remove the client account. The program will ask you to verify the deletion of the account. Answering yes will delete all client information and all loans and transactions for the client.
To remove/delete a loan, you must have admin access.
Pull up the loan to be removed in the Current Loans tab and then click on the Loan Number field(This is the second field on the Current Loan form--the field label for space considerations is simply "Number"). The field will turn white.
Then hold down the Control of Ctrl key and tap the letter R to remove the loan. The program will ask you to verify the deletion of the transaction.
Close the program on all computers. Then on the computer that hosts the database, go to Tools and select Upgrade Database. Make sure that this step completes without errors.
Log in as an administrator, go to File maintenance, select Title Loan payment Methods, and make sure the table is populated and that the line with the ID "Default" has both the Default and Active check boxes checked.
If you are doing amortized or multi-pay balloon loans, your payment may not be Default, in which case you should delect the appropriate method and click its Default check box.
If you change payment methods on a loan-by-loan basis, it's a good idea to uncheck the Active check boxes on all payment methods that are not used to prevent them from being accidentally selected.
Most of our clients don't enter clients who are denied credit.
If you do not enter the clients who are turned down, go to File maintenance, then Account status and add a new account status such as "Denied Credit" and be sure to check to Place Hold On Account check box.
Then manually select this account status on any client it applies to.
It is extremely important to ensure that your data is constantly backed up in case of corruption, hardware malfunction, or anything that could destroy your computer.
Before doing your back up, ensure that you everybody on the network is logged out of the program. Next, go to the machine which hosts the database and go to "My Computer." From here, select the C: Drive and go into Program Files. Next, select Title Loan Professional Plus.
From here you should see a folder named "database." Highlight this folder and right click. Select "Send To" and then select "compressed zip folder." Once this zipped folder is created, right click like before, select send to, and then finally select the external harddrive or cd that you will be writing the data on.
It is recommended at the very least to do a back up of your data once a week.
If a loan is not accruing interest, you can still apply payments to the loan regardless of the loan status. Just compose the payment transaction as usual, press the Submit button, and make sure the loan balance is correct after the payment has been applied.
If a loan has been written off and the loan balance is zero, your accountant may have to be consulted as to how the payment is to be applied. If the loan balance is zero and the money lost has been written off your company's taxes, the payment might have to go to a special G/L account such as "Collection of Bad Debt."
In this case you might not even key the payment into our system, but directly into you G/L as a seperate deposit. If you want to enter the payment in to our system, you might need to do a "negative write-off" to restore part of the principal, but your accountant will need to be informed, or your company's G/L, financial statements, and taxes might be wrong.
If you have any questions about taking payments on loans with zero balances, you might want to arrange a conference call between Aplpha Omega, your accountant, and anyone in your company with input into the decision.
The electronic signature file should be saved in the Title Loan Professional Plus folder. Before beginning, it is important to ensure the program is not open on any computers. On the host machine, open up "My Computer" and click on the C:\ drive. Next, click on Program Files, then Title Loan professional Plus.
Inside of this folder you should see the "images" folder. Enter this folder and then drag and drop your image file. Your image file should either be GIF or BMP format. Once it is loaded into here, start the program.
Be sure to log in as an administrator and then select Tools. Next, select Company Setup and click the browse button at the bottom in the Company Signature field.
This will open up a new Microsoft Explorer window. From here, click on computer, then select the C Drive, Program Files, Title Loan Professional Plus, and then Images. Now just make sure to select "GIF" or "BMP" to match the file format of your signature. Select your file and hit save. You will now be able to print your signature off on checks.
We have several chains of stores that use our software, and we do have provisions for remote access. One simple solution to put PC Anywhere on each store computer. This kills several birds with one stone:
(1) We can offer a higher level of remote support, training, and program updates.
(2) Each store can be accessed from the main buisiness office, and even from home and on the road.
(3) Each store's database can be copied to the main buisiness location, which in effect backs up the other stores. Of course the computer the files are downloaded to needs to be backup up, and an off-site back up of all data files is imperative.
(4) Once the store databases are centralized on one computer system, Title Loan Professional Plus will allow any store database to be opened, reports can be run, and accounts can be viewed, etc. If each store has it's own "live" computer system, changes should not be made on the centralized system, however. Changes should always be made to the live system. However, if remote changes need to be made, you can use PC Anywhere to log into the remote store computer, and then you can make data changes and do just about anything the remote store users can do.
So you have two features for the price of one:
(1) downloading store databses for centralized backup, reporting and viewing,
(2) remote access for "real-time" data entry and corrections
If you want to set up a network, it involves setting up a full-time VPN (Virtual Private Network), and if the internet or VPN connection goes down, all remote stores go down also. So the approach of having independent live systems that can be centralized for reporting and viewing accounts often makes sense for the following reasons:
Internet problems don't take down all remote stores
Speed is much better with an in-store network (LAN-Local Area network) rather than VPN
The cost of an in-store network is generally less than a VPN
VPNs cost more to set up and are more complicated when things "go wrong"
Some of our larger clients use VPNs, but data entry can be very slow at times, and there are times when users can't log in, get disconnected without being able to close active windows (which can cause data loss or data corruption), etc.
Yes, there are two ways of doing manual checks using the Title Loan Professional Plus check register. If you don't care about the check register showing the actual payee name, you can set up one client with a first name of "Manual" and a last name of "Checks."
Then, whenever you do a manual check, select "manual Checks" as the client and enter the check number, date, and amount.
If you want to print the manual check or if you want the check register to show the payee name, you will need to set the payee up in the client file before entering the manual check.
Once you have entered a payee, that payee will automatically be available for future manual checks. You only need to add the payee the first time.
Q: On the EFT report which creates the file for export, what is the file path?
A: On a standalone system, the path to the main program is C:\Program Files\Title Loan Professional Plus.
The path to export files such as the EFT file is C:\Program Files\Title Loan Professional Plus\Export
If you're on a network, the C:\ may be a server drive letter like Z: or a UNC pathname, such as '\\server\program files\title loan professional plus\export'. You will need to get this information from the person who set up your network. Or in Title Loan Professional you can click on File, then Select Store Database, and see the prefix before '\Program Files'.
When we send a check through the ACH and it clears do we just change the status to paid in full and not apply any fees when the adjustment box appears?
No, changing the loan staus manually does no change the account balance. Instead, use the ACH Deposit transaction, entering the amount of the ACH transaction. If the loan is paid in full, the loan status will change to Paid In Full automatically.
We have begun to switch the customers from out old software to Title Loan Professional. Am I correct in using the pay off from the previous software as a current balance?
In most states you can't convert interest to principal, so the best method is to collect all current fees and interest from the client, then do a new loan with the loan amount being the principal due to the old system. Printing a new contract with the actual date the new contract is done with Title Loan Professional Plus.
How do we cancel loans without removing the loan record?
If the loan never takes place, you can remove it, but some auditors frown on missing loan numbers, so you may want to keep a log of missing loan numbers and the reasons the loans were removed.
If you don't want to remove the loan, you can enter a transaction to set the loan balance to zero. Examples of such transactions are listed below. In the examples, CASH can be replaced by any other form of payment such as CHECK, ACH, etc.
CASH -- All the money was returned, including the fees and interest.
ADJUSTMENT then CASH -- If the full fees and interest were not paid, submit an adjustment for the amount not paid, and then enter a CASH transaction for the amount that was paid.
WRITEOFF -- If the loan is considered a bad debt and the client is not eligible for future loans, you can enter a WRITEOFF transaction.
Each of these methods is better than removing the loan, in our opinion. We have seen auditors "freak out" when loan numbers are missing from reports. If a loan is started but not completed, or the completed loan is removed, there are two options:
(1) Have an administrator go to the company setup and reset the next loan number on the ALL LOANS tab, so that the loan number is not "lost."
(2) Or keep a log of all "lost" loan numbers and the reason the loans numbers are no longer in the system. It would be a good idea to review the log at the end of the month to be sure all missing loan numbers have been accounted for.
I'm working on our reporting procedures. Can you tell me how you'd document a repossessed vehicle and subsequent sale of that vehicle?
We have Repo and Sales tabs on our Vehicle screen. It is very important to enter the repo date when you issue a repo, if you want our Repo Log to work correctly. The other fields can be used as you think best. You should also go to the Loan screen, enter the Repo Fee transaction, and submit the repo fee.
Do the "to be repoed" and "Possession" statuses stop the interest accumulation?
You can control that through the Loan Status screen on the File Maintenance menu. Most title lenders charge interest while looking for the vehicle, then stop interest and fees when the vehicle is in their possession. But this depends on state laws. For instance, in Tennessee the interest and fees must stop accruing when the repo is issued (although some title lenders disagree with this interpretation of the title loan regulations).
What loan status is used when a vehicle is no longer in our possession but has been sold either through an actual sale or a salvage sale?
If there is a write-off, you submit a write-off transaction to get the balance to be zero, and the status changes to write-off. If you collected all the money owed the balance should go to zero automatically and you can decide what loan status to use.
Our accountant wants a report that documents what principle and interest was owed upon our taking possession and how much we sold it for and then how much had to be written off.
There are two solutions here. One is to use our reports and keep a spreadsheet with the information your accountant wants. The other solution is for you to take one of our reports, tell us the fields you want us to add and the calculations involved, and we can give you a quote on a custom report. You or your accountant can go to our website, aocg.com, then click on Contracts, then Reports to see the existing report formats.
Normally, the gain would not go into our Loan screen, but could be documented through the Vehicle tab and/or through Notes. The gain would be reported through a special G/L account on your financial statements. But some states do not allow title lenders to keep gains, and require the additional money to be returned to the borrower. Of course it is very important to comply with state laws, so in some states there are no actual gains.
How can I enter the amount received from a sale in order to show it in the register and make a deposit at the end of the day? Currently I'm entering it on the actual loan itself but it's really not a payment from the client but a payment by the buyer. I'm making a note on the payment but this doesn't translate to a report I can use.
The program doesn't care who made the payment, so you can enter the payment the way you are doing. If you decide to create a spreadsheet, you can have one column for payments made by the client and another column for payments made by buyers or other parties. But from an accounting standpoint, it probably doesn't matter unless you have some internal reasons for making a distinction. If you want us to do a custom report that makes a distinction, we would set up a special payment transaction for payments by third parties.
I need a step-by-step procedure for handling repos that includes the sale and reporting on the sale and losses/gains.
The process is very simple.
When the repo is issued, be sure to enter the repo date in the first field on the Repo sub-tab. Also enter any other fields you want to track, such as the repo agent.
Go to the loan screen and submit a repo fee so that the program knows the adjusted loan balance. If there is no repo fee, submit a zero amount. The transaction type must be "Repo fee." At this point you can use TLP repo letters and "notice to cure" letters.
As the status of the repo changes, use the sub-tabs on the Vehicle screen. You can also use the Notes module, if you prefer. You can use the Repo Log to view or print the status of each repo.
When the final payment is received, submit it on the loan screen. Do not add any gains that would result in a credit balance. Then submit a write-off transaction to get the balance to zero, if there is still a balance.
Update the Repo and Sales sub-tabs to record what happened. If you prefer a different loan status, change the loan status to your preference.
Generally, if we are unable to get a client to respond we deposit their check. At this point it either clears or bounces back. If it bounces back, then we will generally make a 2nd deposit for NSF checks. If it bounces again and we are still unable to get the client to respond, then we write-off the loan. What process would fit best for what we're actually doing?
When the check bounces the first time, most of our lenders enter a returned check transaction (like RC-NSF, or RC-Account-Closed). The program will automatically add the RC fee and print a returned check letter, changing the status to HOLD-Returned-Check.
If the check bounces again, you can add a second RC fee manually if the state allows that.
When the time comes to give up on normal collections, there are two options:
You can set up a status for Close/Inactive loans or Outside Collections if you have a collections company. Just change the loan status to the appropriate setting.
Or if you do not intend to try to collect the loan, you can do a Writeoff at this point.
You have to be careful about reversing such transactions because if you took a tax credit for the loss, you would have to report the collected money as new revenue. Most lenders have a G/L account for Collections on Bad Debts. If you have a collection on a bad debt, you could post the money directly to the G/L account and do nothing in our program. Or if you want to reflect what happened after a writeoff has been done, you could set up a fee called Collection of Bad Debt, add the fee to the loan, then take the payment.
There are two payoff buttons. Click the higher button CALCULATE PAYOFF USING DAILY INTEREST to calculate the payoff amount. This does NOT change the loan balance.
Click the lower button PAYOFF/CREDIT only if the borrower has actually paid off the loan. This adjusts the loan balance to the true daily interest method. Enter the payment immediately and the loan balance should go to zero.
If the client owes more money and you do not intend to collect the overage, do NOT click the lower button. Only click the lower button if you accept the difference and have been paid the balance in full.
If you do not want to use the computer's calculation, you can always enter a discount or adjustment to reduce the balance due, using the SUBMIT button on the loan screen. We are unaware of any law in any state that prohibits voluntarily discounting interest, fees or principal. Many states do prohibit charging certain types of fees, such as late charges, or cap the fees. So if you are going to charge the borrower additional interest, you must be careful to comply with all state and federal regulations or it may appear to auditors that you charged an illegal late fee. In other words, credits are always acceptable but increasing fees and interest depends on the state and must comply with Federal Regulation Z, which governs every loan made in the United States. If you make an adjustment that causes the total interest on the loan to exceed the APR in the Federal Truth in Lending box on the contract, or if you charge a fee that is not allowed by the contract, state and federal government, the loan could be construed as fraudulent and/or illegal. If you are not sure about the adjustment to be made, please call our tech support first and ask for someone familiar with the laws in your state.
What steps do I need to take to charge off an account?
The most common method is to submit a write-off transaction for the balance of the loan. On the Reports menu there is a Write-Off Log that will keep track of all write-offs for accounting and tax purposes. A write-off transaction automatically puts the account on hold. If you want to do a partial charge-off and not put the account on hold, you can submit an adjustment instead. A write-off is considered a "red flag" event, whereas an adjustment is considered to be normal operating procedure and doesn't put the account on hold.
What forms can be printed after transactions have been posted?
If you take a payment, you can print a receipt by clicking in the date field of the posted payment and pressing the letter P to print. If you do a Principle Adjustment that increases the loan balance and want a form that shows the increase and the new balance, you can click in the date field once the transaction has been posted, then press the letter P to Print. Please note that in both cases the letter P is used, not CONTROL-P (which is the standard Windows key to print the active form; pressing CONTROL-P on a data entry form can sometimes waste a LOT of paper!)
If you are increasing the loan balance and want to keep everything on one loan without a new contract, it is best to submit a Principle Adjustment. If you want to close out the old loan and do a new loan with a new contract, you can submit a Loan Increase. However, if you do a Loan Increase, please be sure it works with the type(s) of loan(s) you do. If the Loan Increase does not work for your particular loan(s), you can always pay off the old loan, then do a new loan, clicking on Additional Information before the new loan is saved to enter the Paid to Prior amount (this is the balance of the old loan that was paid off). If you have any up-front fees that you do not want to charge such as a title lien fee, you can set the fee(s) to zero on the Fees tab before saving the loan. However, we have been informed that some judges will not accept a title lien fee being "carried forward" from an old loan to a new loan, so it may be safer to charge the title lien fee again (of course explaining the reason to the borrower).
What causes missing loan numbers and how can my company avoid them?
Because TLP is designed to be multi-user, it assigns the next available loan number as soon as you press the NEW LOAN button. TLP cannot wait to see it the loan is actually saved, because another user could be trying to add another new loan at the same time. Here are three ways to deal with the problem of missing loan numbers:
(1) After a loan has been started by pressing the NEW LOAN button, do not tell the program not to save the record and do not leave the incomplete loan on the loan screen (where a timeout, power outage or reboot would cause the loan number to be "lost"). Always finish the loan as quickly as possible, by clicking SAVE+PRINT to be sure the loan gets saved. If the client did not sign the contract for any reason, get an admin to remove the loan, which will put it on the Deleted Transactions report in the Admin section of the Reports Menu. It would also be a good idea to keep a manual log of such deleted loans, with information such as who approved the deletion and the reason for the deletion. During an audit, if the auditor questions missing loan numbers, the log can be provided as evidence. The log could be kept in a spreadsheet or word-processor, or in a paper journal.
(2) Another option is to immediately have an Admin change the next loan number in Tools, Company Setup on the All Loans tab. This must be done before the next loan is added. In this case, there should not be any missing loan numbers.
(3) A third option is to try to prevent missing loan numbers altogether. In this case, users should not press NEW LOAN until they are sure the borrower has agreed to all terms of the transaction. This might be accomplished by giving the borrower the information that will appear on the contract, with a sample preprinted contract to review before the new loan is started. If your company makes the same loans on a regular basis, you could have a preprinted sample for each "normal" loan. That way there will be fewer surprises. Also, try to avoid users being "distracted" in the middle of doing a loan. Try to complete each new loan before "jumping" to something else that might result in a loan ending up in "suspended animation."
In any case, we recommend keeping a manual log of loans that are deleted or not completed, as itemized in option (1) above.