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More Rights for Debtors Means More Reasons to Hire Professional Collection Agencies

Aug 17, 2007
If you're a business owner, you know how frustrating and potentially devastating it can be when a client doesn't pay. While you're not wearing your business owner hat, you probably hear the conversations between people sharing strategies about how to avoid paying outstanding debts.

Consumers today are much more demanding and knowledgeable than ever before. Additionally a great deal of legislation has come to pass that has increased consumer rights while reducing a company's rights to collect on payment owed. Debt collection today requires adhering to specific laws and strategies which is why it more important than ever for businesses to hire collection agencies to collect on unpaid debts.

Why debtors are compelled to avoid debt:
Because there is usually no personal connection between a company and its debtors, there is little innate loyalty on the customer's part to pay their debts. What holds debtors in check is the promise of a negative credit rating. However, even avoiding bad credit isn't as much of a deterrent anymore. In today's competitive marketplace, the desire to obtain customers is so fierce that there are now numerous ways for consumers with less than perfect credit to acquire loans for homes, cars, and products.

In order for customers to make good on overdue payments, the consequence for not paying must be greater than parting with the money, which is where representation by collection agencies come into play. Collection agencies have an air of finality that tells a customer you mean business and won't be put off for much longer before starting legal action.

How consumers avoid debts:
Most people don't set out to avoid debts but rather find themselves in a financial crisis at some time or another that forces them to become late on payments. The first step in avoiding debts is simply not to pay. If there is no repercussion for not paying, there is very little reason for the debtor to make paying your debt a priority. Though this seems simple enough, many small businesses don't have a solid process of dealing with past due accounts. Some full service collection agencies offer complete accounts receivable management to tackle the problem at the very onset, before it turns into a full-blown collection account.

Other tactics debtors use to avoid payment is to move without providing a forwarding address, filing bankruptcy, or by refusing to pay due to a claimed defect with the product or service. To counter these obstacles, collection agencies use a variety of tactics. Collection agencies use advanced skip tracing techniques to find missing debtors while handling the other defenses requires a more strategic plan.

If consumers feel backed into a corner by either the company or its collection agencies, they are likely to revert to the more drastic measures that can result in complete loss of payment. For this reason, it is essential that collection agencies are extremely professional, flexible, tactical, and yet firm about collecting. Aggressive collection agencies only make your company look unprofessional and can quickly cost you your debts.

How to make sure that your debt is one that is paid:
If a debtor ends up in financial straights, he or she will normally pay essential bills like the mortgage or car payment, followed by the non-essential bills that promise the highest consequence if not paid. One way to make sure your bill remains unpaid, is to take no action at all. When there's not enough money to go around, even customers with the best intention can justify letting a bill go unpaid if there seems to be no serious repercussions. Collection agencies take the urgency to a new level and give debtors a reason to pay. Some collection agencies offer a free 10-day demand letter service which is oftentimes enough to force payment.

Allowing customers to make payments on debts once contacted by collection agencies greatly increases the chances that your debtors will have the means to repay the debt. However, to truly ensure that your accounts are paid, having a system in place to prevent delinquent accounts is critical. Whether that means hiring collection agencies for accounts receivable management or implementing a dedicated in-house staff, getting ahead of the problem means far fewer losses and a much more profitable business.
About the Author
The author is a freelance copywriter. For more information about what a collection agency can do for you, visit www.AABUSA.com.
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