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Facts To Consider When Choosing A Collection Agency

Todays Date: September 20, 2018

Once you’ve decided on delegating your delinquent accounts to a collection agency, the next question is how to find the best one. In today’s current economy there are so many different kinds it can be confusing. Following are suggestions for finding the best collection agency to suit your needs.

The first question out of your mouth when interviewing a collection agency should be how they structure their fees. While some of them charge monthly fees, there are many who take a percentage of any recovered money. This costs you less cash outlay, obviously, and it also means they’re guaranteeing their ability to perform for you, so this is the kind of agency you want.

Some agencies belong to professional collection associations, while others do not. There are two such groups in the US, the Commercial Law League of America and the American Collectors Association. It’s preferable to hire a member firm for collections because they take their professional standing seriously.

For example, both organizations require perfectly professional conduct from their members. Not only do they conform to the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, they are committed to training courses for members to teach the latest collection techniques.

The next question for a collection agency you want to hire is whether or not they will allow you to access your accounts online. Even though you’re delegating collections to them, you want to be able to check your files to see how things are going at any time. A truly professional agency will understand this need and take care of it for you rather than making you rely on monthly reports.

You also want to pick an agency that uses private investigators or does investigations themselves with skip trace software. (A skip trace is a search for a person based on their previous known addresses.) Collections efforts can’t be successful when you can’t locate the debtor. This is a practice that all good collection agencies follow these days so make sure the one you choose does as well.

Ask your potential collection agency if they do all their own work or outsource it. If you’re hiring a company you want that company to perform the actual work. Some agencies outsource their calls, including to offshore call centers. Unless your collections are international, in which case you will want an international collection agency that is familiar with the local culture, this is not a good idea. Debtors tend to take these calls less seriously.

The final thing you should check on when hiring a collection agency is what their business hours are. This may seem like a small thing but with national collections, time zones can be a problem, and with local collections, you still want people working outside of normal business hours. Consumer debtors are more likely to answer the phone before 9 am or after 5 pm, because they’re more likely to be home, and also because they believe collections calls are less likely at those times. A collection agency which spreads out its work hours is beneficial to you.

David P. Montana has three decades experience as an industry professional, business consultant and published author in debt collection agency services. David provides more helpful tips and facts about national collection agencies.

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