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Professional Collection Agencies - How To Deal With Difficult Debtors

Aug 17, 2007
Businesses both big and small had risen and fallen because of difficult debtors. Bad debts are an eternal source of pain for businesses, and are best left into the hands of the experts - the collection agencies.

Collection agencies are businesses hired to pursue debt collecting. They are adept at tracking debtors and making sure they pay the amount they owe. Of course, there are different types of debtors to consider - each type has different means of persuasion, though the methods remain the same. However, tackling difficult debtors are an entirely different matter.

It is easy to know the difficult debtor - he is the one with the most excuse. He will blame everything from his computer to his boss to his present financial situation. He will craft any excuses he can, and sometimes he will adamantly say that he does not owe anything.

Make sure you are talking to the debtor - don't let the debtor give you the runaround. As a professional, practice patience - and have an attitude. Adopt a cool, professional attitude. You have a contract, you deliver the goods, money must be returned and you have a right to expect payment. You're a professional - never allow things to become personal. Never yell, never raise your voice, and never swear. Never ever threaten.

Control the conversation - keep it focused on the business at hand. Do not let the debtor sidetrack you with his various excuses and personal stories - remember that your purpose is to collect money or get a commitment and nothing more.

Ask questions. The more you ask, the faster you get to the truth of the matter. When difficult debtors lie about their reason for not paying, it is always coupled with a hope that you will accept their words at face value and drop the subject. The more you ask of them, the more uncomfortable they become. After being subjected to incessant interrogations, sending the collection agent or the creditor a check becomes much, much more appealing than answering all the questions and cooking up one excuse after another.

When last demand letter went unnoticed, or when the debtor proved to be more difficult, you can impact his credit standing by reporting his account to major credit bureaus. Most of the time, just a warning of reporting the debtor would suffice - sometimes, the debtor is just stubborn. Reporting a debtor's delinquent account will most likely affect his credit in a negative manner for up to 7 years, limiting his ability to obtain credit in the future; he must clear his debt first.

When this too, had failed, the only recourse is litigation. Follow through with your complaint - when you say that you will file a lawsuit, do it - else credibility is lost and the debtor will realize that all your collection efforts were merely empty threats. Go through the whole proceedings until the debtor learns to keep his promise, and pays.
About the Author
Tristan Andrews writes useful articles about debt collection agencies. Find out how using a collection agency can expand your financial horizons at http://www.collectionagencyservices.net
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