Why Won’t They Pay What They Owe?

It can be easy to forget that debtors are people, not animals to be hunted and trapped. There are a variety of reasons individuals and companies have past due accounts and why they don’t pay.

Scared and overwhelmed

Perhaps their small business is not as successful as they’d hoped it would be and they are mourning the loss of a dream. Instead of focusing on paying bills, these owners are more concerned with how to tell their spouses the business is going under.


There are those individuals who work in the accounts payable department at a company that have been told by their boss to stall until there is money in the account. These people prefer to avoid confrontation at all costs, so they do what the boss said to do, but they never communicate with you why the bill hasn’t been paid because they don’t want you to be upset with them. Caught in the middle, their hands are tied.

Broke and stressed

Not all debtors are other companies; sometimes they are individuals. Imagine you found yourself in the following situation. You are a single mom of three, working two jobs just to make ends meet. Your kids are well-behaved, get good grades and are involved in sports at their schools. You are hoping they will get scholarships for college. Then you get the phone call. Your oldest was seriously injured in a game and will require surgery. Suddenly the athletic scholarship is no longer a possibility and your insurance deductible is more than you have in savings. Do you make the car payment or pay for your kid’s surgery? Debtors are not always “bad” people.

Forgetful and/or unorganized

It’s the forgetful and unorganized people who are the easiest to collect from. They saw the invoice and then put it in a pile and forgot all about it. They’re not struggling financially and they are in no way trying to avoid payment; they simply need a better organization system. More often than not these folks require a follow-up phone call and no more.


Only a small percentage of debtors are scheming when they avoid payment. They learn how to work the system and then disappear, racking up exorbitant amounts of debt as they go. These are the folks that require us to call in a private investigator or pursue global debt recovery. Also falling into this category are identity thieves. Imagine the shock of having debt collection services show up at your door to collect money you never spent.

There is a human side to debt, and each debtor has a story. The stories do not eliminate the debt, but they do remind you there are people on the other side of the invoices. It is not your job to fix their problems, but a little compassion goes a long way. And when you are all out of time and compassion, let us do the legwork to collect what’s due to you.

By | 2017-05-10T01:54:53+00:00 August 20th, 2012|Blog|0 Comments

About the Author:

Graduated from University of Utah - business degree 1990. Served in US Army as an interrogator / linguist, then as a tactical intelligence officer - Military Intelligence 1986-1990. Managed Western US sales operations for NY based collection agency 1990-1992. Founded Direct Recovery Associates, Inc. 1992-present