As we have discussed before, when small business owners are in the position of NEEDING a collection agency, doing durable, extensive research to find the most legitimate collection agency is key. However, this process seems time-consuming and involved. What if there was an easier way? Good news: there is. By simply checking to see if the collection agency you are considering is a member of the Commercial Collection Agency Association (CCAA) of the Commercial Law League of America (CLLA), you will be able to know you are choosing the best possible collection agency available.
Why You Should Only Ever Use a CCAA Collection Agency
CCAA members are the only commercial collection agencies who are certified by the Commericial Law League of America. What’s more important, though, is what this certification means. Below, explore the CCAA certification requirement, and the assurance these requirements should provide for you, the creditor.
1) The agency must have been in business at least four years prior to application for membership
– Knowing these businesses have been in business for at least four years gives you, as a customer, a peace of mind. You know they are experienced, and have an understanding that you will have years full of customer and bank references you can locate for each specific collection agency’s information –
2) 80% of the agency’s business must be commercial (business-to-business)
– If a large majority of a collection agency’s practice is focused on commercial collections, it’s a good sign for you. It means they are experienced in dealing with the same genre of accounts that you are bringing to them, and they understand the different measures to be taken in business-to-business collections than business-to-consumer –
3) The agency must maintain a separate Trust Account into which all monies belonging to creditors are placed. This Trust Account is reviewed twice annually by the Executive Director of the CCAA
-Having a TRUSTED guarantee that the agency has a separate client trust account can help you rest easy. What this means is that the agency keeps what money is rightfully yours in a separate account, that way if they are ever involved in any legal processes that involves their assets, your money is left untouched. Knowing that the Executive Director of the CCAA keeps a close watch on this gives that guarantee much more credence –
4) The agency must agree to abide by the CCAA Code of Ethics, which sets ethical standards for dealing with creditors, debtors and attorneys
-When reading the CCAA’s Code of Ethics, you see that this help covers all the behaviors of the collection agency, which assures you, in passing your customers off to this agency, that they are to act with the up most integrity when dealing with your customers –
5) Executives of the agency must meet continuing educational requirements and attend regular CCAA meetings. The member agency must complete sixty continuing educational credits annually
– Knowing that the agency is staying up-to-date on industry trends, and even more so, industry laws, allows you to know that they are aware of all the most recent practices and changes in commercial collections –
6) The agency must post a surety bond of at least $300,000 for the protection of the creditors it serves
-If anything ever happens to the agency, knowing they are bonded and insured for your protection makes approaching the process less nerve-wracking –
7) One person in the agency must also be a member of the Commercial Law League of America
-With an agency serving with the Commercial Law League of America, they immediately have a sense of responsibility to abide by the laws of the community they influence –
8)The agency must agree to random periodic site visits from the CCAA Executive Director
-These checks create an automated sense of compliance and a complete transparency, as agencies never know when they will be looked into by the CCAA Executive Director. This just means better business practices for you –
9)The agency must be in compliance with all local and state licensing requirements and regulations governing commercial collection firms
-Knowing that to be a CCAA member, agencies have to be following governmental regulations, makes the CCAA member list a one-stop-shop to discovering agencies that are licensed businesses, one of the biggest worries among collection agency shoppers –
Without a doubt, you should always do your due diligence before selecting a collection agency. However, to make the process much more simple for yourself, begin first by checking if an agency is a Commercial Collection Agency Association Member. By doing this, you are helping yourself answer all your collection agency questions.