Before you trust them to collect your debts, determine whether you can trust them at all
Choosing the right collection agency is about finding the solution that works best for your community. You have a choice to use a collection agency or a law firm; however, collection agencies do not have the ability to foreclose on owners. Collection agencies are best suited for the pre-foreclosure work but beware that you should seek legal advice before signing any contracts! If you make the wrong decision, you might be kicking yourself down the line. Finding out that the collection agency you chose does not really mesh with your organization or does not work hard enough to recover assets can be frustrating.
1. Find a professional and legal collection agency
Make sure that the company is legally licensed and bonded. It's also a good idea to get a copy of the company's Errors and Omissions insurance, too. You want to avoid being held legally responsible for unethical practices or issues raised by a questionable agency. Keep a copy of these documents on hand in case any questions arise.
2. Determine their internal practices
One of the things you need to know is whether the company handles things internally or whether debt collection services are outsourced. This is primarily because it can be disappointing to realize that your point of contact at the agency is not even the same person carrying out the efforts.
Understanding the caseload handled by the agency is another indicator of how much they have on their plate. You need to feel confident that the company is committed to handling your service as opposed to focusing only on other clients or on “bigger fish”. If your cases are deemed to be “small potatoes”, then they might get pushed to the backburner while other clients' interests are pursued.
It can be frustrating to realize that the collection agency has not even exercised the work you anticipated months down the line. This can even communicate to consumers that there are no “teeth” to your debt collection services. This can mean you're missing out on recovering assets that you might have been counting on, so you might have been better off choosing a more serious agency from the outset.
3. Discover the commission structure and reporting capabilities
From start to finish, your community association needs to know how the process will be handled as you pass cases off. The collection agency should be able to provide you an update on any accounts on which you have questions. You should also know from the beginning how the commission payout will work if they are able to recover any of the assets for these cases.
4. Establish communication guidelines
This goes in line with the reporting capabilities of the collection agency, but your initial conversations with the collection agency should clarify when and how often you can expect updates and the best way to reach the agency. Bear in mind red flags that crop up early in your communication as these may be indicative of future problems.
Choosing the right collection agency can not only help you recover assets, but it can also free up your time while still being able to close out accounts. But if you're looking for a turnkey collection solution, you may want to explore your options with an experienced law firm. Contact PeytonBolin today to get started.