Direct Recovery Associates is a California-based corporation that specializes in helping creditors pursue and collect debts from delinquent accounts. We have extensive experience with commercial and consumer debt collection practices both domestically and internationally.
Through our history of working with a wide range of clients, we have seen just about every type of debt collection scenario imaginable. And interestingly, many of those scenarios could have been avoided if the creditors had simply followed the following three steps.
Step 1: Know the Warning Signs
The number one thing that all creditors can do to reduce the number of delinquent accounts on their books is to start watching for signs of trouble well before that trouble arrives. This can include things like payments that are getting progressively later, accounts who suddenly “forget” to send their payments, or customers actually mentioning that their business is struggling.
Almost all delinquent accounts show warning signs well before they are too far gone, so the key here is to make sure that you are tracking and documenting these warning signs. Simply being aware that things might be getting worse for a customer with an outstanding account could make the difference in working out a plan with them or ending up with nothing.
Step 2: Have a Plan in Place
Once you identify an account that might be on the verge or just past the point of trouble, you have to know exactly what to do in order to protect yourself and attempt to salvage a future relationship. There is no room for error here, so you should make sure that you have a written plan in place that details what should be done at each step of the collection process.
Your written plan will likely include things like sending collection letters, making collection calls, attempting to negotiate restructured terms, and even submitting the debt to a commercial debt collection agency. Should you be forced to take that last option, having an established relationship with a debt collection agency is a huge asset.
Step 3: Follow Your Plan
One of the most common ways that we see creditors get themselves into trouble is by simply not following their existing debt collection plan. Many of our clients have taken the time to craft a detailed strategy, but they choose to go against that plan or put off following it when an actual collection scenario arises.
The whole purpose of having a debt collection strategy in place is to make sure that you do exactly the right thing at exactly the right time throughout each step of the collection process. So when your plan states that it is time to turn the delinquent account over to your commercial debt collection agency, make sure that you actually follow through.
Every single day that passes in a debt collection situation could mean the difference between recovering what you are owed in full or never receiving another penny. Clearly, we want you to find yourself in the former situation much more frequently than the latter. By knowing the warnings signs, having a plan in place, and following your plan, you are going to give yourself the best chance to ensure that is exactly what happens.
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