Feb 28, 2018 MicroBilt News
For the ARM industry, this is the playoffs and for those companies that have not yet realized they should have started preparing for this time of year months ago, it’s still not too late to take advantage, according to a panel of executives who spoke on a webinar hosted by AccountsRecovery.net earlier this month. It’s income tax season; that time of year when individuals from across the country come into a little bit of extra money and can use it to pay off some or all of their old debts. So far, 2018’s tax season is shaping up to be a little bit better than last year, which was a good year, too, said the panel during the webinar, which was sponsored by Microbilt. Collection agencies should start preparing for tax season while everyone else is decorating for Christmas, the panel of speakers said. That means doing the necessary hiring to make sure that agencies will have enough properly trained staff to manage the influx of incoming and outgoing calls. It means making the necessary investments in preparing to send more letters and having more money in the budget for pizza to keep employees well-fed and motivated. It means having conversations with clients about settlement rates and managing expectations. But even if an agency did not take those steps back in December, it is still not too late, the speakers said. Agencies may want to choose not to spend a lot of time revamping letters and instead just get something out in the mail as soon as possible, because if those individuals have debts placed with other agencies, you can bet that those agencies are reaching out, too, and there is only so much money to go around, said Ed Saleh, the owner of Acer Capital Recovery. What is interesting about collection letters is that they bring in significantly more money during income tax season, said Mike Hiller of American Profit Recovery. “Letters don’t collect debt unless it’s tax time,” Hiller said during the webinar. Letters sent during tax time should have a slightly different flavor than those sent during the rest of the year, something along the lines of “we’re still here,” Hiller said. Employees at American Profit have the opportunity to work unlimited overtime during tax season, Hiller said. “If you’re limiting the number of hours your employees can work to 40, you’re missing out,” he said. “You can’t afford not to be paying overtime.” But companies also need to be wary of employees burning out if they are working too much, said Saleh. While sending more letters and making more calls is great, companies also need to beef up their compliance protocols during tax season, too, said Jacob Corlyon of Capital Collection Management. Companies need to monitor more calls and spend more time on their compliance to make sure that employees are not getting too aggressive or doing something they shouldn’t.