Defining the Basics of the Collection Industry
What is Professional Debt Collection Services?
Professional debt collection services work to collect on delinquent accounts that are referred to them by creditors, credit card companies, healthcare companies, car dealerships, personal finance lenders and any other business or company that extends credit to their customers.
What does a professional collector do?
Many times, creditors are unable to locate customers with delinquent accounts for the following reasons:
- They have moved without providing a forwarding address.
- They gave incorrect information to begin with.
When this is the case, a tracking system called Skip Tracing can help with locating these customers. Once the information has been found the collection agency will send out a notice to the delinquent customer so that the claim can either be disputed or verified. Once a notice has been given ample time to be received, a call will be made to demand full payment of the debt. If payment in full is not a option for the customer, a payment plan can be arranged in order to get the bill paid off.
Why are accounts referred to collector?
The main reason that accounts are given to collectors is because they are delinquent for several months without any contact from the customer. Third party collection agencies use specialized phone systems, computer systems and software that is specifically designed for use in the collection industry. They are often more effective then the creditors themselves trying to collect on their own delinquent accounts.
Is there a debtor that is typical?
The answer to this question is no. Financial problems are common among people from all walks of life. Their issues can stem from being in a tough financial spot to having lost their jobs and therefore, their ability to make payments. There are several circumstances in people’s lives that may cause their debt to become delinquent.
What should one do if they get a notice of collection?
The first thing to do is stay calm. Keep in mind that though you are having a hard time making your payment obligations, the people you owe depend on you making your payments for their livelihoods as well. Also keep in mind that if your account is in the hands of a creditor, the original creditor has likely had it in their possession for quite awhile. The second thing to do is to make every attempt to work with the collection agency so you can resolve the issue before it gets any worse.
What are the things that a collector cannot do when contacting a customer?
- They are not allowed to make repetitive phone calls that are considered legally harassing
- Make contact in an excessive manner
- Lie about their identity
- Make threats –legal or otherwise- that they are not allowed to carry out or do not plan to carry out
How has the collection process changed over the last 15 years?
In addition to higher quality training for the collectors themselves, the biggest changes have resulted from the increase in automation. 15 years ago accounts were kept up with by paper –not by computer technology. Now that offices are fully computerized things are much easier to deal with on both ends.
How is the collection industry likely to change over the next 15 years?
In the future, collection agencies will likely have a wider array of services and an increased capacity for billing and accounts receivable. In addition, many agencies also will expand their current technological systems in keeping up with new developments in this area.
The CECA has compiled the above information from a variety of sources in response to the frequently asked questions regarding the collection and credit industry. Every source has been cited with all efforts being made to assure that the information is correct. For any further information please contact the CECA.