When should you place an account with a collection agency?
It’s not unusual for creditors to be uncertain about when to involve a commercial collection agency to resolve a debt. How soon is too soon? How late is too late? You want to be fair, but what – exactly – is fair?
It’s safe to say that if an account is 90 days past due (120 days past the date of the invoice), you should consider placement with a commercial debt collection agency. This is especially true if the customer hasn’t initiated a response to your prior attempts to engage.
Take a step back and analyze the account. Pay close attention if you are experiencing the following:
1. Your customer breaks two or more promises of payment.
2. Your customer’s telephone is disconnected.
3. Your customer makes repeated requests for documentation the he already has. (This is a common stall tactic.)
4. Your customer ignores your terms of sale. If your customer sets his own payment rules, ignoring the terms to which he agreed, remind him of the agreement and request immediate payment. If he refuses, turn the account over to your collection agency.
5. Your customer refuses to provide a specific date for payment or to initiate a realistic payment schedule.
6. Your customer suddenly introduces a dispute late in the process of collection. Problems with services or product should be addressed immediately. If a customer throws this wrench late in the game, it’s a stall tactic.
7. You’re in danger of investing more time than the debt is worth. If the hours and effort are adding up, stop and contact a collection agency.
When you spot the above danger signs, your best chance for collecting your money is to place the account with a licensed collection agency. The sooner the better.
Attached is our Action Matching flyer, which might be helpful.