Working With a Collection Agency

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Working With a Collection Agency

Not many people ever think of what it would be like working with a collection agency. Due to the nature of this work, it is a job where you often get very rude answers and people hang up on you when you call them. They do not realize that you, as a person working for a collection agency, do not have anything personal against them and that you are just doing your job.

What Does It Mean to Work with a Collection Agency?

Working with a collection agency means that you are working for a creditor, trying to collect on a debt. The agency is separate from the creditor, but it might also buy debts that a creditor has written off as uncollectible. The debt is still valid and does show up on the credit record of the person who didn't pay. Most credit agencies, though, work as third party collections, which means they are contracted by the creditor to collect on bills for them.

When you are working with a collection agency, the main means of corresponding with delinquent debtors is through letters and telephone conversations. Most of the time the first correspondence is through the mail, which has a friendly tone and a gentle reminder. It is when several of these letters are ignored that you have to start calling and this is where you sometimes have to take a lot of abuse.

When you send out a letter from the collection agency, the recipient has the right to dispute the claim. The letter also has to obtain the credit information from the creditor and a list of actions that the agency can take in the process of collecting on the debt. Although most recipients do pay when they receive the first letter, others may take a threatening stance toward you. They don't realize that evasive or hostile action only makes it worse on themselves.

You might spend most of your day on the telephone when you are working with a collection agency. In some cases, the more money you collect this way means bonuses and although you might be reticent at first to deal with hostile debtors, eventually it becomes routine. However, there are some things that you are not allowed to do when you call a debtor regarding an outstanding bill. If you call and the person you want is not at home, you cannot leave a message regarding the reason for the call. The same thing applies if you get voice mail or an answering machine. You can leave a name and toll free number for the person to call you back if you wish.

When speaking with a debtor, you usually have a script to follow. There are also answers for you to use depending on the debtor's responses, so you don't have to get personally involved. This also makes it easier to terminate the conversation when you feel that you are not getting anywhere and you make notes in the debtor's file. This information is used to help determine the next course of action.

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