When you're behind on your bills, it can be tough to know where to turn. You might be tempted to avoid calls and emails from debt collectors, but that's the worst thing you can do. The good news is that there are ways to handle debt collectors without ending up in a full-blown legal battle.
In this guide, we'll walk you through the steps of an amicable debt collection process. We'll also show you what a debt collector might say over the phone at first contact, and how a debt collection agency locates a person.
Overview of the Amicable Debt Collection Process
When you're behind on your payments, the last thing you want is a creditor constantly calling you and harassing you to pay up. In fact, many people would rather ignore those calls and hope the problem will go away.
But that's not the best solution. Ignoring calls from a debt collector will only make things worse, because it means the collector will have to take more drastic measures to get in touch with you.
The best solution is to reach out to the debt collector and start an amicable debt collection process. This is a process where both parties work together to resolve the issue. The debt collector will provide you with a list of steps to follow, and as long as you comply with those steps, the debt collector will not resort to harassment or intimidation tactics.
If you're behind on your payments, now is the time to reach out to a debt collection agency and start the amicable debt collection process.
How to Prepare the First Payment Demand Email
A payment demand email is the first step in the debt collection process. It's important to make sure that the email is well written and formatted, as this will be the first impression that the debtor has of the debt collection agency.
The email should be polite and professional, and it should contain all of the necessary information for the debtor to make a payment. This includes the amount of money that is owed, the date by which it needs to be paid, and contact information for the debt collector.
If possible, it's also a good idea to attach a copy of the invoice or contract that outlines the debt. This will help to prove that the debt is real and that it needs to be paid.
The email should be sent to the debtor's primary email address, as this is the most likely address to be checked. If there is no response after a week, a follow-up email can be sent.
What to Say During First Phone Contact With a Debtor
The best way to start off a debt collection call is by identifying yourself and your company, and then explaining that you are calling in regards to the debtor's outstanding balance. From there, be sure to remain calm and professional while stressing the importance of settling the debt promptly.
The key is to be polite and understanding, yet firm in your message. You want to make it clear that the debtor has the opportunity to work with you to resolve the issue, but that you will take more aggressive steps if necessary. For more tips on what to say during your first call, please consult our Debt Collection Script guide.
Finding the Right Person: How Debt Collection Agencies Locate Debtors
Finding the right person to collect a debt from can be a daunting task. There are many ways for debt collection agencies to find where a debtor is located and how to contact them. They often start with the information provided by the creditor - that is, the person or company you owe money to - as well as public records such as telephone/utility bills and credit reports.
If that doesn’t yield results, then collection agencies will likely use a number of tools available at their disposal. These can include skip-tracing services (which allow them to search databases containing contact information for individuals), social media searches, internet searches, cell phone location services, warrant searches (which look for contact information and driver’s licence records), and more.
It's important to note that debt collectors always have to comply with the law in these matters. They cannot try to trick or harass someone in an effort to track them down – criminal background checks and other investigative tactics aren't allowed without permission.
Tips and Strategies for an Effective Debt Collection Process
The success of the debt collection process depends on effectively communicating with the debtors. Here are a few tips and strategies to ensure your debt collection process is amicable, effective, and successful:
- Take the time to explain what is owed and why the debt has been accumulated. Make sure the debtor understands their responsibility and that they’re aware of how they can pay it off.
- Maintain communication. Keep in touch with the debtor throughout the process to ensure there are no miscommunications or misunderstandings.
- Be flexible in terms of payment options. Offer different payment plans or instalment payments to make repayment more achievable for both parties.
- Use an automated system for convenience. Automated systems are easier to track, can save time and resources, and require less manual labour on your end, which is always a plus! The bottom line is that an effective automated system should be incorporated into your debt collection process.
FAQs on Debt Collection Process and Best Practises
Questions often arise when it comes to debt collection process and best practises. Here are some of the most common ones:
• Can debt collectors contact people through social media or email?
Yes, debt collectors can contact people through email, but they should ensure that all communications are professional and avoid being overly intrusive or aggressive. Additionally, they should not use any language that is misrepresentative or misleading.
• How do debt collectors locate debtors?
Debt collectors use a variety of methods to trace debtors and locate them, including making contact by phone and mail, carrying out background checks using publicly available information sources, contacting relatives or other individuals that may have knowledge of the debtor’s whereabouts and using asset tracking services.
• What should a first payment demand letter include?
The letter should clearly explain the amount of money owed by the debtor, the reason for owing it (for example, outstanding credit card bills) and the consequences of not paying it (e.g., potential legal action). It should also include information on what payment methods are accepted by the creditor as well as any deadlines for payment.
When it comes to debt collection, it's important to know your rights and what to expect. By following these simple steps, you can make the process easier for both you and the debt collector. Remember, it's always best to communicate and stay amicable throughout the process.