A collection agency is hired to collect a debt that is two years old. They make a phone call in an attempt to collect. Upon receiving the call, the debtor (who had avoided contact for two years) immediately called his creditor and paid the bill (over $1,000) in full. The client called to report the payment, but also asked, “What did you actually do on this file?”
The answer is, “I did the exact right thing to get him to pay.”
Now my customer may believe that it was too quick and that I could not have possibly made it happen that quickly. I mean, it is possible that after two years, this person decided on their own to pick up the phone and pay their bill. What a coincidence that he did this the very same day we called!
It is impossible to say exactly what will turn a file.
Sometimes it is quick, and sometimes it goes on for years. Some people pay when they receive a collection letter, some wait for a phone call or second collection letter. Some have to be taken through the legal process. Some are only collected through post-judgment collection by a lien or garnishment.
Many debts placed for collection will need to be researched. A collection agency has specialized tools to “skip trace” or research to find new information such as address or phone.
I like to look at my collection agency as a problem solver. Each file is different and needs a specific approach. If I receive a $10.00 file for collection, I can ill-afford to do more than send them one letter. If the debtor has no assets, the best option may be to get them on a payment plan they can afford. If the debtor has the means to pay and is just ignoring the debt, then litigation and post-judgment recovery make sense.
Yes, a collection sends letters. They make phone calls. Sometimes they report debts to the credit bureau. The main thing that leads to success is that a collection agency can focus on getting you paid. It is all they do – focus on getting you paid, which makes all the difference.