5 Things to Look for in a Debt Collection Agency

17 May 2016

Put the money back in your pocket with these 5 tips.

The scenario is this: someone owes you or your business a considerable amount of money and is dodging your calls, ignoring your emails and just generally being evasive. You are out of ideas for how to handle the situation civilly and are ready to hire a professional to track down your money for you.

The question is, how do you pick a debt collection agency that you can trust to get the job done quickly and efficiently? Here are five key attributes to look for in your eventual debt collector.

1. A good fit for your business

Know upfront that one very highly recommended debt recovery agency is not necessarily going to be the right fit for every single client. Some debt collectors work exclusively with larger companies and corporations; others specialise in small businesses. Some firms target specific industries, like the finance or education sectors; others are willing to take on clients from any industry. Considering these factors and finding a debt recovery agent who is the right fit for your business will maximise your chances of getting your money.

2. Proper licensing and certification

Just like with many other industries, companies operating in the debt collection sphere need to have the proper licensing and certification to do so. Finding a reputable firm will mean two things for your business. First, you will be working with a reputable company that you can trust to return your money if and when they recover it. Secondly, you will avoid the potential legal pitfalls of hiring a debt recovery agency that uses unethical or downright illegal methods to recover debts.

3. An agreeable fee structure

You should never choose a debt collection company based on price alone. You get what you pay for with recovery, and choosing the cheapest collector probably also means selecting the least skilled. However, thinking about expense is still important. First of all, you need to make sure that paying your debt collector wouldn’t cost you more than simply writing off the debt entirely. Secondly, you need to look at fee structure: will your collection agency be billing with a flat rate or based on contingency? Find a firm where the answers to these questions are agreeable to your business and your current situation.

4. A strong policy for client communication

One of the biggest reasons to hire a debt recovery agency is that dealing with debtors yourself is frustrating and time-consuming. If you are like most business managers, you probably don’t have time to call a debtor repeatedly until he or she picks up the phone, or to go track them down in person. Your debt collector will take the time to do all these things for you, but the process can be just as frustrating if there is no communication. Find a debt collector who will keep you updated on what is happening.

5. A solid track record of satisfied clients

You don’t necessarily need a big debt collection company, nor do you need one with years of experience. There are small businesses and new start-ups that will work just as hard to get your money back—if not harder. However, doing your homework and making sure that your debt recovery agency has a positive track record is still a smart step. The track record doesn’t need to be too long, but as long as the collector has a handful of exceedingly satisfied customers, you can rest easy knowing that you’re in good hands.

No one likes chasing down debtors. It goes without saying that life would be much, much easier if everyone paid their bills in full and on time. However, when neither of those things happens, it’s good to have a debt collector in your company speed dial to help you get the issue sorted. By looking for the five qualities laid out above, you will be able to find the perfect debt recovery specialist for your business.