All companies at some point face delinquent accounts that need to be collected. Often it is easier to hire services of a professional collection agency to recover the overdue amounts. Collection agency locates the debtors and collects the money on your behalf. Studies have shown that the possibility of collecting an unpaid bill drops dramatically within a few months, so it is important to hire the collection agency early to improve the chances of successfully collecting the money and to recover a substantial portion of your unpaid accounts. For example according to a survey by the Commercial Collection Agency Section of the Commercial Law League of America, the probability of collecting an overdue account drops to 73 percent after just three months, to 57 percent after six months, and to only 29 percent after one year.
Using an agency saves you time and money. They are simply more effective than you can be in recovering delinquent account. They have trained professionals backed by phone systems, computers, and software to make them more effective at collections. Downside to using a collection agency is that they charge between 15 to 50 percent of what they recover. But it is worth every penny. You will still end up with more than what you would if you try to collect yourself.
But how do you know it is time to hire a collection agency? There are some tell tale signs that your customers are not going to pay you and you may need a professional agency to collect the payments.
One of the first signs of a customer unwilling to pay their bills is excessive complains that are mostly unwarranted. They will call in repeatedly to customer service and find problems, ask for discounts and even ask for free service. Some of the other common signs are customers simply denying that they owe you money despite concrete evidence. They will frequently ignore collection notices or will be unresponsive to your phone calls. As a last resort, many of them will change their contact details without informing you. Their mail will bounce and the phone number on file will show as disconnected.
As a business owner, it is important to read into these signs of trouble and take action immediately. Ask your friends and business associates for recommendations. You can also find multiple collection agencies at a B2B marketplace on the internet or the yellow pages. Call up a few and ask them their modus operandi. It is important to feel comfortable with their approach before hiring them. Additionally, make sure they are licensed to do international debt collection and operate in different countries and will work within the law to collect your money.