If you're considering hiring a professional and experienced debt collection partner, it's more than likely because you've exhausted other available collection efforts. Delinquent accounts have already taken enough of your time and resources and now you're looking for a collections agency to assist in recovering funds. You also recognize that a collections partner will be representing your company while attempting to collect. Researching collections agencies can be overwhelming if you're unsure what to look for.
Here are 6 questions to help identify a collections partner for your business.
1. What will they charge?
When researching collections agencies, you may notice that there isn't a standard cost for collections. If you have budget concerns, you may shop purely on what a collections agency will charge. The research should go deeper than that, taking into consideration what industries the agency works with and if they specialize in any in particular.
2. What is their litigation history?
Unfortunately, some debt collections agencies have used abusive or deceptive tactics during their collections efforts. This may mean that they have been taken to court for violating consumer rights protected by the Fair Debt Collections Practices Act (FDCPA). Do some research to see if the agency you're considering has faced litigation for deceitful collections tactics.
3. Are they nationally licensed?
Very important to consider when researching a collections company is licensing. Every state handles licensing in their own way and may require the agency be licensed in order to collect.
4. Do they offer training and compliance support?
Agencies that want to educate their clients will offer more than just a good recovery rate. Debt collections training and compliance support may help you to understand how to collect and handle delinquent accounts more effectively in the long run. An agency that specializes in your industry should also be aware of industry-specific regulations that may affect collections.
5. Do they provide access to audit and review account activity?
If you're working with a collections agency, you will want to follow through on their collection efforts and they should allow access to this activity. These efforts include their tactics for contacting the debtor, collector notes, call recordings, and other activities on your accounts.
6. Do they review performance monthly?
Regular reporting ensures that the agency is meeting the goals of the account. The right agency will review their key performance indicators on a regular basis with you so that you feel they are satisfactorily assisting your organization in its collection needs.
A debt collections agency can be a valued partner in your organization. Just as with any partnership, authenticity and communication is paramount to the success of the relationship. Understanding what to look for when researching a debt collections partner will help you find the right agency to meet your needs.