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What questions should I ask a collection agency?

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If you have been weighing the merits of outsourcing your company’s debt collections, wonder no more. Besides the obvious pros, such as not having to pay a whole other department for the purpose or not having qualified personnel to do it, there are other benefits. By outsourcing to a company who has the necessary expertise, a company ensures their staff can devote time to the tasks they are trained to do. Why have them stress over collection calls instead?

Now that’s settled, here are the questions you should ask a collection agency before hiring them. After all, if they aren’t the right fit for your business, you’re setting up to fight uphill:


Are they licensed to work in all states, including yours?

Ensuring that a collection agency has the license to function in your state may occur to you more readily. But the next part of this equation is equally important. Firstly, that’s because not every agency will be licensed in every state. Secondly, you may need one that is if say, your debtor, decides to move. Sure, you did business with them originally in your state. However, sending a collection agency where the debtor now resides means they should be licensed in that state, as well.

Thirdly, if you skip to check the agency’s license, you could get in trouble with the FDCPA. The ensuing legal ramifications would reflect poorly on your business.


Do they employ only certified collectors?

Confirm whether the OCA you want to employ has collection representatives who are both experienced and specialized in handling business-to-business debt. If your debtors are overseas, then make sure the agency can also manage overseas accounts against them. Only certified collectors will be familiar with the laws regarding compliance issues that control credit and collections. Working with a firm who isn’t well informed about the principles of common business transactions may not be a good idea.

A certification from an accreditation body like the CCLA (Commercial Law League of America) or the IACC (International Association of Commercial Collectors) adds another layer of protection. You can also work with agencies with a CCA of A (Commercial Collections Agencies of America)-certification.


Do they have Specialization in your industry?

Now that you have confirmed the general licensing and certifications, the next step is industry specialization. Working with a collection agency that has the experience like that of your company’s industry comes with several advantages. Their representatives will function with a working knowledge of its intricacies. This increases your chances of getting paid.

For instance, consumers from certain industries are allowed regulatory protection due to their specific needs. Healthcare would be a good example. With this field, the collection process needs handling with finesse since the debtor’s well-being might be at stake.

Then there is the energy-utilities sector. According to the law, individuals have protection from having their services stopped at specific times. In winter, consumers cannot be denied fuel. The same would be true for air conditioning in summer.

So, during the interview, ask a potential candidate how many clients they have worked for in your industry. Then determine what their recovery rate for those types of clients has been.


What about an extensive experience?

We have already discussed how experience within the industry matters while hiring a collection agency. Now let’s look at the overall experience in collections for a potential agency. As a prospective client, you should look for agencies with a strong background. By that, we mean that their executive and senior management has relevant experience of about 15 or more years. If that experience relates to financial services, they’d be a good find. But those with experience in debt collection would be an even better choice.

Remember, collection agencies with such experience are likely to be au courant with economic and consumer trends. They will also have more knowledge about compliance, collections technology, and data security.


Do they have Customizable collections process?

When discussing recovery resources, talk to a potential collective agency about the way they work. It will be your company reputation they put at stake when they go to your debtors. Therefore, you should pick someone you trust to stay within the guidelines of the Fair Debt Collections Practices Act.

Begin by asking the agency about their process. Which methods or tactics do they use when collecting debts? Get into the details, such as how they contact a debtor, how often do they call them, etc. Then question if their collection strategy is specific to your industry. If it isn’t, will they be willing to customize it? And even if it is, can they design it, so it is more suitable to your company’s needs. The more appropriate it is to your requirements, the less likely it would be to result in lost collection efforts.


Wrapping up

A suitable debt collection agency can reduce the time and patience that you’d devote to the challenging work of recovery. But before you hire them, consider these questions during your research. Your reputation of a business that is firm but considerate is far more important than uncollected debt.




Author Bio:

About Ashley Rosa: Ashley Rosa is a freelance writer and blogger. As writing is her passion that why she loves to write articles related to the latest trends in technology and sometimes on health-tech as well. She is crazy about chocolates. You can find her at twitter: @ashrosa2.



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