It isn’t uncommon for people to have unpaid debt wind up at a Collection Agency. Sometimes they forget that they have an outstanding balance and other times, they simply don’t have the money to pay the lump sum.
If you are a business owner, you may have been forced to make the difficult decision to send your delinquent customer or a business partner to a debt collector.
Most B2C debt is transferred to a collection agency after 60-90 days of non-payment. Most B2B partners try to postpone making this move, but if they are dodging your requests for payments, you may have not have had any other choice. The question is, will this move ruin your business relationship?
Debt collectors are often met with a negative connotation. Your delinquent customer or a business partner probably won’t be happy to learn that you sent their balance to a collector. The good news is, debt collectors use a diplomatic approach specifically so that your business relationship remains in good standing. They understand the importance of business relationships and work hard to preserve it. They will work with the debtor in order to consolidate or get rid of their debt entirely.
To get a full grasp of this concept, let’s look at how a collection agency works in order to determine how it affects your business relationship.
Understanding How Debt Collectors Work
If you decide to send someone’s unpaid balance to a collection agency, they will be immediately notified; usually via phone call or a collection letter. These contacts are often met with apprehension because being sent to collections can possibly effect the debtor’s credit score if the creditor has requested the collection agency to report the debt to the credit bureaus. And, naturally, this can ruin their chances of getting a car, a house, or a business loan.
When Debt Is Sent To Collections
It’s difficult to know when it is time to write off the unpaid debt as a loss. If you have been working with your business partner for some time, you may wait for months or even years before you decide to send their debt to collections. However the chances of recovering the past due amount go down by about 10% each month. The longer you wait, higher the chances are that you will never recover your money.
There is no set dollar amount or time frame that depicts when it’s time to write off unpaid balances. If you get the impression that your partner isn’t going to pay off their capital or they haven’t made an effort to set up payments, you should absolutely cut your losses.
Debt can be sent to a collection agency 31 days past the due date, though many wait until after three to six months of nonpayment. It is recommended to use Debt Collection Letters after 60 days past due date. If the debt is over 120 days or more past due then go for the Collection Calls service.
How It Affects The Debtor’s Credit Score
Not everyone’s credit score is affected unless the original creditor instructs the collection agency to report the debt to the credit bureaus. Generally speaking, those with higher credit scores are often penalized more points than those who have a lower credit score. The amount owed will also determine how many points will be shaved off their credit score.
How A Collection Agency Will Approach Your Delinquent Customer or Business Partner
If someone owes you money, knowing how collection agencies approach debtors can help you rest easy about your decision. In the past, the tact of a debt collector was to make relentless phone calls demanding payment. And if you’re looking to maintain your business relationship, having put your partner in this situation is obviously going to cause some tension.
However, now with the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA), agencies use a more subdued approach when contacting your partner or associate.
Talk To Your Associate First
As the original creditor, you can only send someone to collections 31 days after the payment is past due. The best practice to maintain your business relationship is to talk with your associate first. Have a system in place to send out reminders that payment is due. This includes regular emails, phone calls, and other points of contact.
Approaching your associate about their late payment first can help preserve your relationship. This is recommended instead of sending them straight to collections without warning or notice of this action.
This act was created once it had been made clear that, “Abusive debt collection practices contribute to the number of personal bankruptcies, to marital instability, to the loss of jobs, and to invasions of individual privacy.” Along with other reasoning established in this act, debt collectors may not be abusive or vexatious when approaching debtors.
Instead, collection agencies will approach your partner in an amicable way. They may even give guidance on setting up payments to their debt. With these practices, you cab rest assured that sending someone’s debt to an agency should not ruin your business relationship. We only recommend notifying your business associate first and educate them on your impending decision to write off their debt. Once you’ve made your decision, the debt agency will take the reins to help settle the outstanding balance.
Note: No Collection Agency can guarantee that your business relationship with the debtor will remain intact during the collection process. However this article simply conveys you that all good collection agencies use diplomatic and an amicable way to collect debt, rather than the common notion that debt collectors are intensive, abusive or threatening. If they use threat tactics, they just violated the debt collection laws.