Attempting to collect an outstanding debt from the guy down the street can be a difficult task in many cases. If that person decides to pick up and leave the country, things can get even more complicated. At that point, you are dealing with an agency that is capable of collecting debts at an international level.
While international debt collections are certainly going to be more complicated than domestic collections, they are not impossible. In many cases, the country that the debtor relocates to will have some type of legislation in place that details exactly how you should proceed with your collection process.
If you are struggling to locate and collect from a debtor that has fled the country, this is the road map to help you get started.
Identify the Debtor’s New Location
The first step in collecting from a debtor that has left the country is to establish exactly where that person is currently living. In some cases, this is as simple as looking them up on Facebook. But in other cases, it can be a lot more difficult and may even require hiring a private investigator.
Regardless of how you go about locating them, you have to know where exactly they are in order to know what rules you are going to have to play by to collect.
Understand the Rules
Once you have figured out a location for the outstanding debtor, the next step is to research exactly what you can and cannot say and do to them. In some countries, you will be free to contact the debtor directly and pursue the collection just as you would here in the United States.
However, there are also countries that have incredibly strict laws to protect their residents from international debt collections. In those countries, you may have to go through a government official or lawyer in that country to contact the debtor.
Pursue the Collection
Once you have located the debtor and understand the rules of the country they have relocated to, the next step is to push forward with your collection effort. Depending on the country we are talking about and their specific rules, this could mean anything from calling the debtor yourself to filing charges with a local court in that country.
No matter how you choose to proceed with the collection, you should always be sure to accurately document each and every step of your collection effort. This can be especially useful if you should have to prove that you attempted to follow all of the collection laws in that country.
Know When to Ask for Help
Chasing down outstanding debtors in foreign countries can be extremely difficult, and actually getting them to pay you can be even more challenging. In order to improve your odds tremendously, you should be prepared to contact a professional as soon as things start to get tricky.
With an agency in your corner, not only are you going to be more likely to get results, but you are also less likely to violate any of the collection laws that exist in the foreign country. That makes the partnership more than worth the cost of doing business.