Jun 10, 2013 Philip Burgess
Many consumers with outstanding debts tend to take their frustrations out on debt collectors. Some even have a less than stellar opinion about the agents on the other end of debt calls. However, most collection firms are very professional and would rather make a debtor feel at ease than upset.
Dennis Donohue recently outlined the practices that his debt collection firm uses in the Green Bay Press Gazette. Donohue is the vice president of Associated Collectors, which has been in business for 50 years. He noted that some companies looking to collect on outstanding debts are reluctant to partner with debt collection firms, but he encourages them to join him at his office and listen to calls. What they find, the source noted, are professional agents who are more kind than they are threatening.
The industry is heavily regulated by state and federal laws, something that Donohue does not bemoan. Rather, he welcomes the professional standards and has two individuals employed in his firm that help properly train new staff in debt collection best practices.
Donohue said that working with consumers is his company's priority. His employees work with debtors to establish payment plans based on their needs. Ideally, all debts would be paid in full in a single payment, but he realizes that it's not always possible. Instead, he prefers that his workers analyze each consumer's financial situation independently to establish a payment strategy that is right for them.
Executives at other agencies would be wise to promote similar practices at their agencies. Ensuring that employees are highly trained and work professionally with debtors can help establish a positive reputation for a given company. That could lead to an increase business down the road.
The National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB) even recommends the use of debt collection agencies for companies looking to close outstanding accounts. The NFIB says that after 90 days of delinquent payments, accounts should be outsourced to professional collectors, as they are better equipped to address severely tardy debts.