It’s tough to think of something that business owners dread more than having to chase around the money they’re owed by clients and/or vendors. One thing is sure, however; it’s impossible to predict whether or not a client will be responsible with their payments if you’ve never actually worked with them before. Once you’ve done the work, it’s too late, and you can be at the mercy of a deadbeat client without having ever expected it. In a situation such as this, there’s often no choice other than to work with a bill collector. Bill collectors often get a bad reputation, but there are plenty out there who are not only adept at what they do, but fair in their practices as well. If you know what to look for when choosing a bill collector, you shouldn’t find yourself coming up against any issues.
How to Choose the Right Bill Collector
1. Always Start with Reputation – One of the greatest things about the Internet is that it has made it easier than ever to determine whether or not a company has a good reputation in the community. One of the best places to start is with the Better Business Bureau, which can serve as a good barometer for whether or not a debt collection agency practices fairly. While you’re always going to find a detractor or two when reading reviews of debt collection agencies, it’s those who have consistent, across-the-board poor ratings that need to be avoided at all costs.
2. Ask about “Skip Tracing” – It’s not uncommon for those who are in debt with a local company to skip town and try to avoid having to make payments. While this can sometimes get in the way of recovering your money, some collection agencies offer what is called “skip tracing,” which basically means they’ll be able to track your debtors as they move from one state to another, ensuring that you’ll still be able to make contact to demand payment. Skip tracing can sometimes cost more, but it’s worth implementing if you have any reasons to believe that your debtors might up and leave.
3. Look into Costs/Fees – One of the most important things you can do before signing up with a bill collector is to ensure you are well-versed in the costs/fees that come along with their services. It can seem as if you’re getting a good deal when working with certain bill collectors, simply because in most cases they’re able to get you your money back and all you have to do is pay a percentage or other type of fee. The fact is, however, these fees can be exponentially higher than they look at face value, which can result in you getting back far less money than you originally expected to. Never work with a bill collector without first asking them to fully explain their fee structure.
Chasing debts is never fun, and can sometimes prove to be fruitless. With a good bill collector on your side, however, you’ll most likely be able to get the money you’re owed back in hand.