The types of services that are offered depend on the type of recovery program and the collection agency you choose to work with. The types of services included in the collection program often times depend on the rate the agency charges and the number of accounts you send over. Some agencies will offer different packages and programs to tailor to the client’s specific needs. Before hiring a collection agency you should think about what you want included in the recovery process.
Most agencies will start with a letter campaign as the minimal service. The written notice will notify the debtor that they have been placed into collections, have an outstanding balance and need to work with the agency in order to resolve the account. Other agencies will include a combination of written notices and telephone calls. The debt collectors will make several telephone calls a week and will try to negotiate and work with the debtor to get the account paid. Letter and calling campaign are basic services provided by most collection agencies. It just depends on what the client is willing to pay and how active they want the collection agency involved in the recovery process.
Most clients also want the collection agency to credit report the individuals placed into collections. This is a common service provided by agencies. They will often give the consumer 60-90 days to pay off the account before placing anything on their credit report. In order to credit report, the agency must be properly licensed and bonded. Agencies often receive the biggest response from debtors when they credit report. Another service agencies provide is legal services.
Some agencies have an in-house legal staff with an attorney to help work on the accounts. These are more common in business to business accounts. Agencies will have an attorney on staff to help enforce collections and to make sure they are following of the state and federal collection and credit reporting laws. For an additional fee agencies may offer the services of their in-house legal counsel to work and negotiate with the debtor or the debtor’s attorney and get the account satisfied.
If you do not have the debtor’s current contact information, most agencies have the latest skip tracing tools and software to help locate the debtor and find their current information. Below is a list of additional services offered by most collection agencies:
• Age and Marital status
• Credit Watch
• Process Service
• Credit Monitoring
• Past Credit History
• Location Service
The collection services and processes vary with each agency. Prior to hiring an agency find out what services are included and if there are any additional fees. Don’t just assume that because they offer a service it is included in the initial charge.