A collection agency is not the party that neglected to pay you. They did not cause the debt to happen. I am not saying it is your fault you did not get paid, but it is certainly not our fault either. If you are angry at your collection agency because they charge a fee to collect money for you, you are missing the point. Your agency is your ally. Work with them to recover at least some of the money owed. In short, don’t get mad, get paid!
You can assist your collection agency and get the best results by doing a number of things:
Provide full submission with all the information you have
Give your agency a detailed bill that shows and charges and also payments against those charges. If you have a contract, send it. Provide all information you have the debtor, even if it is old information and even if you are not sure it will be relevant.
Let the agency know what you have done to collect the debt. If the debtor has disputed the debt or may have reason to dispute it, share that with the agency. If a debt results from a special circumstance such as a bounced check, include a copy of the bad check with your submission.
Share any updates with the agency
If you learn that the debtor has a new address or has changed jobs, let the agency know. Any detail, no matter how insignificant it may appear on the surface. could prove to be the very detail that turns the file.
Stop providing new product or service to someone who owes you money
Unless you are contractually obligated, or, as in the case of a medical provider, you have a professional responsibility, stop providing service or product to customers in collections. If for some reason, you must continue, let the agency know.
We once received a large file from a local chiropractor who never told us that they already had two large open balances for a patient. The woman owed them around $7,000 and yet they took her on again as a patient. The debtor did not take our collection agency seriously, as she believed she would suffer no consequence and could get an unlimited amount of free service. Work with your agency, not against them.
Get out of the way
Once you have sent a file to your collection agency, let them do their job. Customers who have ignored for months will all of a sudden contact you and promise anything if you will only take their file out of collections. Do not believe it. Send them back to collection agency. While it may well be that the act of sending a file to collections does draw the customer out, pulling the file not only sends a mixed message but also disrespects your relationship with your collection agency.
Treat your collection agency like you would any other trusted business partner. The rewards will be well worth the effort.