When questioned, most agencies will tell you that one of the most important parts of being able to collect on an account is getting it out on time. The longer an account goes past due, the less chance there is of a bad debt recovery.
Of course, that means that getting it to one of the collection agencies in time is a priority, so you should not wait until the last minute to send an account out or to find a collection agency. You need to start checking some out before you hire one to handle your collections.
There are a number of things that should be covered when you are interviewing collection agencies for your business. Including how long they have been in business and are they able to collect debts locally, nationally and internationally if necessary? If you have commercial accounts, then find out if they are familiar with commercial debt collection?
Naturally, you are in business to make money; however, your reputation is just as important and collection agencies in general do not have the most sterling of reputations. For this reason it is a good idea to find out who some of their other clients are.
Find out if they reputable companies that would only hire reputable collections help. Be sure to speak with some of their clients in order to get information about the debt collection services they offer.
Most often, a collection company provides reports to their clients; however, the frequency of these reports vary by company. Some provide them weekly, bi-weekly or monthly but they should be willing to provide you with a report at any time that you ask. A financial collection agency should absolutely be willing to speak with you at any time, within reason, while handling your accounts and if they have to return a call it should be done fairly quickly, easing your mind concerning the accounts.
Some collection agencies offer different services, such as locating (skip-tracing) a debtor if necessary and they will normally require more payment for this service. Make sure all of the details are worked out and understood.
It may be a good idea to speak to a collection lawyer before signing on the dotted line. Make sure the collection agencies in sync with you. If they feel that the cost is going to be different than what was agreed to, no matter the reason, then you should have them check with you first, as they should have your approval before doing any additional work.
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