When you are questioning your debtor, don't ask questions like,
"Are you going to pay this bill?" It's too open ended, you have made
it too easy for him to say no. Instead ask, "How much of your bill do
you intend to pay today Mr. Debtor?"
If you don't like the answer a debtor gives you, then think it
through, and next time try to phrase the question so that they have to
give you a more favorable answer.
|Debt Collection Information, Tips & Tricks|
Here is some basic information on debt collections
and skip tracing for debt collections. Please
e-mail us if you have a skip tracing link or tip
that you would like to see added to this page.
Take a minute and bookmark this page as we are
regularly updating it with even more debt collection
tips and tricks.
|Fair Debt Collection Practices Act|
Here is a link to the Fair Debt Collection Practices
Act. If you are going to work in the collections
industry, you should read it, learn it, and adhere to
Fair Debt Collection Practices Act
agencies teach you that it is illegal to call a debtor
outside the times of 9:00 AM through 9:00 PM. The law
actually says that you can't call a debtor at a time
known to be inconvenient to the debtor. So if you know
that your debtor works third shift and that he is
sleeping at noon, it is illegal to call him at noon.
Please take the time to read the law, not someone else's
interpretations of it.
|Ten Tips to Successful Debt Collecting|
Tips on how to collect debt:|
PREPARE: Review the paperwork on the debtor before
making the call. Know the history of the account, credit
record, the promises kept/broken. Have all records in
front of you, ready for reference.
ATTITUDE: Adopt a straight, professional business-like
attitude. You have a contract, you delivered the goods,
money is owed, and you have a right to expect payment.
Never let it become personal. DonŽt yell or raise your
voice; and NEVER swear. DonŽt threaten; legal action is
CONTACT: Make sure youŽre talking to the right person.
DonŽt let the individual brush you off with "YouŽll have
to talk to the bookkeeper." Identify the person who will
pay the bill. If you canŽt get through after several
calls, tell the secretary that you know your calls are
being screened. Indicate the purpose of your call and if
necessary give deadlines.
CONTROL: Control the conversation. Keep it focused on
the debt and on the repayment schedule. DonŽt let the
customer sidetrack you with personal history, excuses,
etc. Remember, the object of your call is to collect
money, or get a commitment, not to become buddies with
the customer or win arguments.
FLEXIBLE: Be ready to adjust to the situation. Think
about the kind of customer youŽre dealing with and adapt
to meet the circumstances. Be prepared to accept a
reasonable payment schedule, and a willingness to deal
with a customerŽs circumstances.
NOTES: Keep detailed, accurate notes of every contact
with the customer. Probe for further information on the
customer. Notes of these contacts will help you in
subsequent phone calls, and may be invaluable in
litigation. Good notes will also help in further credit
decisions, or in cases where skip tracing may be needed.
PRODUCTIVE: Keep contact brief and to the point. This is
a business call, not a social one. View your efforts on
a ratio of time expended to results achieved. Long
conversations probably mean the customer is stalling
you, or trapping you in the buddy syndrome.
PRECISE: Never leave a contact open ended, such as "WeŽll
talk next week," or "IŽll send what I can." Every
contact should result in a commitment to payment, of a
specific amount, by a specific date, even the check
number the customer is using to pay the pledge.
TIME: The longer an account is held, the less likely it
is that it will be recovered. If payment or a payout is
not arranged within 90 days, place the claim with a
collection agency or start legal proceedings.
PLACEMENT: Use only an agency that is a national debt
collection agency. This will insure that youŽre dealing
with ethical professionals who are fully bonded to
guarantee your remittance.
"Top 5 Collection Tips"|
Assume that most people are honest and want
to pay you. Treat customers with respect during the collection
Try to find out why a customer is not paying. Has he fallen on hard
times—a lost job or ill health? Or, is he withholding payment because
your product was faulty or your service was poor?
Keep a customer’s total payment history in mind. If she has paid on
time over the years, don’t jump on her with a collection call the
first time she’s late.
Be a good listener. When you understand the situation, you can come up
with solutions that will help the customer get you paid.
Remember that friendliness will help a customer want to pay you first.