Perception: I have to pay an upfront fee and may get nothing in return.
Reality: Columbia Collection Service works on a contingency fee basis. We only earn money as a percentage of what we collect for you and we don’t get paid unless you get paid; no matter how much time and resources we have spent. This is how confident we are in our abilities to collect your bad debt portfolio.
Perception: Collectors push people into bankruptcy.
Reality: In bankruptcy, everyone loses. In most cases the debt is forgiven and the original creditor and the collector will receive very little. A consumer may simply not understand their own abilities and resources to satisfy their debt; and that fear may be what has prevented them from addressing your bill. Collectors understand that helping to resolve these issues takes different approaches fine-tuned to the needs of the creditor and debtor. Time can help create resolution—flexibility of payment arrangements or suggesting alternatives on what their options are has always been our approach.
Perception: Using a collection agency could be bad for my business and my customers.
Reality: Picking the wrong collection agency will be bad for your business and customers. Columbia Collection Service was founded on the belief that treating people with respect and preserving our clients’ brand name and image in the community; while still acting as an effective advocate on their behalf was sorely needed in the marketplace. We are an extension of your business office and can tailor our collection approach to the specific nature and circumstances surrounding a particular debt or client’s industry.
Perception: Rude, threatening collectors are the most successful.
Reality: The most successful collectors are well trained, good listeners and problem solvers. Crafting a plan that works for everyone involved helps to bring resolution. The best collectors work with people—not against.
Perception: I already have a collection department—I don’t need a collection agency.
Reality: Your collection department partnered with the collection specialists will result in the best overall recovery for your business. There is a point of diminishing returns on your struggling overdue receivables. Using Columbia Collection Service can reduce time trying to track down debtors and get you paid quicker. Also, working with your staff can help your own business be more efficient and collecting your accounts in-house. In the end, when you have decided not to attempt collection and write-off your loss, a collection agency may be able to recover accounts where you never thought you would see the payment.
Perception: Economic downturn is good for collections.
Reality: When the economy is in a downturn, there are more unpaid bills. There are more people that are unable to pay and more collection accounts assigned to an agency. A strong economy produces jobs, business and income and people have more of an ability to pay their debts. A healthy economy benefits everyone.
Perception: Collections accounts are from people who can’t afford to pay their bills.
Reality: Consumers don’t pay their bills for a wide variety of reasons. Many of them don’t believe they can afford to pay their bills and some of them in fact can not. Some may have a life change that places them in a temporary decreased cash flow issue. A good collector knows what motivates payment. Consumers may not understand the importance and the issues surrounding unpaid bills. Establishing and maintaining good credit, and why it is to their benefit to workout a plan that will get their bills paid.
Perception: Collection agencies have no accountability and they as a course of business disregard the law.
Reality: The collection industry is one of the most regulated industries and governed by the state and federal laws. The Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) was legislated to provide process to how a third-party agency is able to collect. An effective agency with integrity knows that following FDCPA and the other state and federal laws helps protect everyone involved.