As the owner of a business, you explored several options before deciding to partner with a commercial collection agency. You sent your debtor many reminders by phone, email, and letter. You also offered to forgo late payment fees. But your in-house collections department only received empty promises.
You realize that you need professional help, and fast because you know that debt grows harder to recover with time. Partnering with a commercial collection agency seems like a no-brainer, but you are wary of hiring the wrong agency. Here are a few questions you should ask a commercial agency before partnering with them.
#1 Do You Specialize in Commercial Collection?
While consumer collection is the process of recovering debt from individuals, commercial collection is the process of collecting payment from businesses. Both processes require different skillsets. It will be easier for your business to close out accounts if you partner with a business that specializes in business to business collections.
#2 Do You Know My Industry?
It’s important to find a commercial collection agency that has collected debt across a broad range of industries. This will help them approach your account more effectively. For example, collecting debt from a small seasonal business that’s is about to generate revenue can require a different approach than collecting from a larger company that simply doesn’t want to pay.
Likewise, avoid debt collection agencies that are new to the business. Instead, partner with an agency that has been in the business for decades. Their experience will help them adapt to any scenario. For example, an experienced and resourceful agency will know how to collect from a debtor that’s stalling while an inexperienced agency may simply cost you more time.
Check the agency’s reputation by visiting their website and asking for references. Look for their affiliations. If they are aligned with reputable collection organizations and have a good rating from the Better Business Bureau, then they may be worth partnering with.
#3 Will You Treat My Debtor with Respect?
You’ve carefully developed your reputation and business relationships. You don’t want to partner with a commercial collection agency that uses shady tactics such as harassment or threats. Instead, find an ethical agency that treats debtors with a stern but respectful approach.
Remember, there are people behind every business. Usually, debtors clear their dues when they’re treated more humanely. An ethical approach can also help you avoid legal complications. Many creditors have been successfully sued for harassment by their debtors while agencies have been blacklisted by the Federal Trade Commission for violating the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA).
#4 What If My Debtor Refuses to Pay?
Partner with a commercial collection agency that has the resources to recover stubborn debts. For example, your debtor may clear their account if the agency can report them to the major credit bureaus. Remember, businesses have credit scores too and value them. Likewise, an agency with an experienced legal department can help you if your debtor needs to be taken to court.
These are a few questions you should ask a commercial debt collection agency before partnering with them. By taking the time to find an experienced, effective, and ethical agency, you can clear your accounts without hurting your company’s reputation.