If you have gone through the process of setting up a relationship with a collection agency, you want to make sure you are maximizing your results.
Here are some ways to do just that:
Do not delay sending files.
Certainly you should attempt to collect on your own, but if you have not received payment, or if your calls are being ignored after 90 days, send it to your agency and move on.
Do not hang on to files for a long time just to get a lower rate. Consider that if someone owes you money, they likely owe other people too, and the longer you wait, the more chance that your customer is going to pay those other creditors first. Also, the longer you wait, the greater the chance that the customer will move or change their phone number. Your collection agency should be able to research to find new information, but public records take a while to update, and could delay your recovery.
A delay could also mean that the debtors dispose of an asset that might be used to secure your debt. I once received a an old debt from a client. The debt was over $2,000 and the customer was ignoring any contact. I researched the file, and found that the debtor had retired, sold his home and moved out of state a few months before I received the file. Had my client not waited, we could have obtained a judgment and attached his wages, or placed a lien on his home.
Tell your collection agency all details regarding the nature of the debt.
Let the collection agency know what you have done to collect. Was the debt disputed? Was there a service issue that led to non-payment? Trust me, the debtor will be sure to tell their side of the story when contacted, and you are doing your agency a disservice if you do not give them the full story.
Similarly, if the debt is the result of the debtor passing you a bad check, keep the check and send it along with your submission. The collection agency can use state laws to help collect bad checks.
If the debtor is represented by counsel, let the agency know.
If you debt results from a consumer transaction and the debtor is represented by an attorney, advise your agency. Debt collection laws prohibit direct contact with consumers if they are represented by an attorney.
Do not send files that cannot be collected.
Files that are outside the statute of limitations, or debts that have been discharged in bankruptcy cannot be collected. Write them off and focus on the money you can recover.
Pass along any new information you discover.
If you learn that a debtor has moved, or has a new job, inform your agency. Last week, a customer contacted me to let me know that a gentleman we were researching for a possible legal action had lost his job. With this new information, we decided that legal action should be delayed.