If you are going to hire a collection agency, you want to make sure you get the best results possible.
Communication is key in debt collection, and sending your agency the right information will assist the agency in determining the best bad debt recovery plan for your business.
It should be easy for you to submit business to your agency. Ask your agency for a form or checklist to help you prepare files for submission. Streamlining the process should NEVER, however mean leaving off important information.
Here is a list to get your started:
- Detailed invoice or statement showing all payments and charges.
- Customer contact information including at least address, phone, email. Send whatever you have, even if you think it is outdated or unimportant. Your collection agency can research using an old address or phone number. (Medical practices should take care not to send any health protected information.)
- Documentation of any payment arrangements or contractual information. You need not send an entire contract, only the parts that reference payment terms, consequences, or any information that documents your claim. (For example, if you provide a service plan but the debt you are attempting to recover is the result of something that was not covered by the service plan, include a copy of the exclusionary language).
- Any and all correspondence from the customer or their attorney regarding disputes.
Even after the file has been sent to your collection agency, you may receive new information that is necessary and important for your agency to receive:
- Notice of representation by an attorney, or notice of bankruptcy. This information must be conveyed to your agency immediately upon receipt. State and federal laws prohibit a debt collection agency from contacting debtors directly if the debtor is represented by an attorney or under the protection of the bankruptcy courts.
- New information – New address, phone, new job.
- Any request for new product or service, or any communication regarding a promise to pay or an offer of settlement made directly to you.
Remember that your debt collection agency is a trusted partner, and give them the tools they need to get the job done.