Recently we have been reliving into the world of collection agencies and trying to understand how the system works. In particular, we spent time with the team atand spoke to them regarding the whole operation. This is a particular industry that has a stigma attached to it, and which carries a great deal of myth along with it too. We wanted to understand more about the companies who make the calls to debtors, and find out what exactly the process is of procuring a debt, and then chasing it up.
How They Get Involved
The first thing which we wanted to know about this, was how debt collection companies get involved in the first place. As it turns out, when they procure the debt from a bank or a lender, they are actually helping everyone out. A debt collection company will buy the debt from the original lender once it has gone ‘bad’, or unpaid for too long. These agencies will then offer a low ball figure to the original lender, which is happy to get the bad debt off their hands, even if they have lost a little bit of money in the process. From here, the debt collection company only has profit to make, once they chase up that debt.
What They Do For Debtors
Once the debt collection agency has the debt, they will begin to try and make contact with the debtor, through calls and letters. This is where many make a mistake, because they believe that if they ignore such communication that the debt will somehow disappear. The reality, however, is that these agencies are actually looking to help out. Because they have got the debt for such a low price, they are then able to offer certain deals to the debtor. For example, this could be a repayment plan which is much lower than their previous agreement. In some cases, they will offer huge discounts for lump-sum payments. What most debtors fail to recognize is that the agency wants this debt over and paid-up just as much as they do, and they will be flexible in doing so.
What Happens When They Are Ignored
The reason why these companies have a stigma around them is that they can take hard action if they so wish, and if they are ignored for a long time. For example, if the credit which is unpaid is a mortgage or was for the purchase of a single item, they can get approval from a judge, to remove said item. Naturally, when they tow away a car that has outstanding debt on it, they are seen to be the bad guys. The reality is that the owner of the car will have been given multiple opportunities to speak up and to discuss their situation with the debt collection agency.
If you are in debt and that debt is passed over to a collection agency, the best thing will always be for you to communicate with them.