These are the most common reasons why debtors are unable to pay their debt. Sometimes they are actually truthful, but many of them simply use these as a delay tactic to defer paying on time, or even avoid paying altogether. A debt collector should always ask for the proof or an explanation about what the debtor is saying. The debt collector may even give option to the debtor to pay the outstanding amount in installments or renegotiate to settle the debt for a slightly lower amount.
|Type||Debtor’s Reason||How to negotiate|
|Financial Problems|| • Job Loss. |
• I am waiting for my customers to pay me first.
• Cash flow problem.
• Spent money on a medical emergency.
• Lost money in gambling.
• No money to pay, no special reason.
|Understand debtor’s situation and ask when he expects the situation to improve, contact debtor at a later date again. May be debtor is more comfortable paying in installments, or settle for a slightly less amount.|
|Delay Tactic||• Need a copy of invoice or statement. |
• Prove me that I actually owe this amount.
• Never received an invoice, asking me to pay.
• Check is in the mail, you should get it soon.
• No time for this right now, I have other priorities.
• Our accounting department work only 1 hour a day or once a month, please call during that time. Our accounting department sits elsewhere.
• No time to go to the bank due to my work schedule.- Changing banks or checkbook not received yet.
• Signatory is not available.
• Lost the bill, can you sent it again.
• Really, I haven’t paid it yet? Give me time to check my bank statement.
• I know nothing about this.
• Debtor returns the bill to the sender, tries to become untraceable.
• I did not expect my bill to be that high.
|Provide information if debtor has requested. This could be resending the invoice or documentation to prove that the debt is actually owed. Most of the time the collectors have to actually call the debtor on a later date/time that is convenient for debtor, and then communicate that he has already been given enough time. Every situation is handled differently. An experienced debt collector knows how to work around these delay tactics.|
|Dispute or Denial to pay|| • I do not owe anything |
• I will send you legal notice for harassing me.
• Let’s go to the court.
• Invoice is disputed.
• Never received the goods or service.
• Goods were defected or service provided was bad.
• I am being overcharged or I did not expect my bill to be that high
• My insurance company did not cover my entire bill as I thought.
• Over my dead body.
• Threats: Dude, I have connections; will have someone visit you !!
|If debtor continues to resist and there is adequate proof that debtor owes the debt, it may be the time to check with the attorneys if a legal suit is advisable.|
|Other Reasons|| • Statute of limitations |
• Person you need to talk to is not here right now.
• Debtor has expired
• I have already paid.
• Wrong number.
|A debt collector needs to get the facts straight and get further information on the case. Take a call if further collection activity is even possible or not.|
A Debt Collector should deal with great patience, yet sound confident and assertive. Using abusive or unprofessional language is not only illegal; it can also take debtor to a point where he becomes completely non-cooperative.