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The Practicalities of Using a Collection Agency

Aug 17, 2007
Collection agencies fulfill a vital role in business operations. Instead of spending all your time and energy trying to reach debtors, you can instead turn your efforts towards the more rewarding aspects of running your business.

Collection agencies, as with all service sectors, have their share of bad apples. It is imperative, therefore, that you find the best collection agency to manage your debt collection activities for you.

Before deciding to use any collection agency, do your part in investigating the collection agency industry. Be sure to check out the standard market rates for collection agencies. Usually, commissions for successful collections range from 15%-50% of the total amount collected. This percentage varies with the amount of debt. It is also dependent on the type of account and the expected level of difficulty in collecting.

Do not be hasty by choosing the collection agency with the least commission percentage. If the collection agency offers its services for commissions far below the standard going rate, you have cause to be skeptical. You are not paying collection agencies anything for their operations, so they have to shoulder expenses incurred through debt collection efforts that are not certain to bear fruit. If a collection agency offers its service at amazingly low rates, where does it get its operating expenses? Likewise, be cautious in choosing collection agencies which have outrageously high success rates. Ask for proof and ask for a detailed accounting of their collection methods. These collection agencies that can offer very low commission and extremely high success rates can be either incredibly efficient or incredibly corrupt. For help in choosing the best collection agency, you can ask for advice from colleagues who have used collection agencies.

Once you have chosen your collection agency, give it your full cooperation and support. Give them all the information that they need in their debt collection efforts like detailed statement of accounts, copies of checks and invoices, copies of mail correspondence to and from the debtor, notes on telephone calls, promises made by debtors and your company's concessions, and your debtor's records (especially helpful if the debtor has skipped town or has gone missing).

After turning over an account to a collection agency, do not interfere in any way. If you have chosen wisely, your collection agency knows how to do its job. Let the collection agency do the job from which it will earn its keep.
About the Author
Tristan Andrews writes useful articles about collection agencies. Discover and explore the world of debt collections. Find out how using a collection agency can expand your financial horizons at http://www.advinfoc.com
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