Christian Bill Collection Agency
A Christian bill collection agency is a third-party entity hired by creditors to collect payment on delinquent accounts. However, the job of collecting past due monies involves dealing with consumers on a professional and emotional level which is regulated by state and federal laws. As economic woes increase in the United States and abroad, consumers of every socio-economic level are experiencing monetary problems such as foreclosures, business failures, and bankrutpcy. Added to this volatile mix is a sluggish housing market and high-interest lending. The result is a cash-strapped public with reduced spending power and an increasing amount of unpaid credit card debt. Debtors faced with a myriad of financial problems either don't have the cash to pay past due accounts, or lack the ability to make a sufficient income to manage household finances. However, in spite of a lagging economy, creditors deserve payment for goods and services rendered. The welfare of the U.S. economic system depends largely on the ability of corporations, manufacturers, retailers, and healthcare professionals to stay in business; and they can only remain viable if they get paid.
A bill collection agency works diligently on behalf of creditors to secure payment from delinquent debtors for a certain percentage of recovered funds. Percentages can range from as little as 15% to as much as 50%; and some charge a one-time administrative fee for each account. As a neutral party, the debt recovery firm can exert influence and apply a measure of pressure on delinquent debtors, which could place creditors in an unfavorable light. Physicians, business owners, and retailers who spend years building up a loyal customer base simply don't want to have to use tactics to collect monies owed to them which might be perceived by long standing customers as strong-arming. That's why physicians known for a cheerful bedside manner will seldom be found calling patients about past due bills. "A good name is rather to be chosen than great riches, and loving favour than silver and gold" (Proverbs 22:1). But when the physician's office administrator consistently issues gentle reminders and collection letters, with little response from delinquent payers, then it is time to call in the "big boys."
Calling in the "big boys" must still be done with decorum and within the limits of the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA), issued by the federal government in 1977. Most debtors are unaware that the FDCPA prohibits a bill collection agency from making threats of imprisonment or doing bodily harm for unpaid debts; calling before dawn or well after midnight; or making harassing phone calls to debtors on the job, especially after the debtor has given instructions not to be contacted at a place of employment. Other prohibited practices include contacting family members, coworkers, or employers and sharing confidential information, which places the debtor's job or reputation in jeopardy. A debt recovery firm may call debtors directly or solicit relatives, family members and employers for information, such as a new address or phone number after debtors relocate. However agencies are strictly prohibited from discussing the reason for the call or details about the debtor's account. A bill collection agency can send registered letters via the postal service which require a signature to acknowledge the debtor's receipt of a creditor's intent to prosecute or take action.
After efforts fail to elicit a favorable debtor response, a persistent bill collection agency can undertake more severe recovery efforts, such as wage garnishment, lawsuits, and judgments in states where they are allowed. By law, wage garnishments cannot exceed one-third of the employee's income; and workers making less than $20,000 are exempt. When third-party agencies have the court issue an order to garnishee the debtor's wages via mandatory payroll deductions, the court notifies the employer to initiate the process. Employers are responsible for deducting monies from each paycheck and forwarding funds to the court. The court then becomes an agent for the bill collection agency and forwards the debtor's funds to agency's attorney. Wage garnishments are a surefire way to settle with creditors, but the process can cause some debtors to lose out with employers. Companies realize that employees have personal problems, but the time and money expended by employers to manage employee garnishments may adversely affect a worker's chances for merit raises and promotions.
Debtors who have been contacted by a bill collection agency should deal with indebtedness head on. The problem won't go away on its own and the more debtors ignore phone calls and letters, the more late fees and administrative costs will add up. The moment harried debtors realize that they are unable to honor financial obligations, they should respond to debt recovery letters with a phone call or email. Most agencies will be happy to make payment arrangements to accommodate debtors who have lost employment or income due to chronic illness or layoffs. Although under financial distress, honesty is the best policy when dealing with recovery agents; and debtors should refrain from making promises that are impossible to keep. Each time debtors fail to honor payment arrangements, the bill collection agency will make a note of broken promises in customer records and add more late fees. It is better not to verbally commit to making a payment, unless debtors intend to fully comply with agreements previously reached with recovery agencies. But the best hedge against collection of delinquent accounts is to develop a practical budget and stop overspending. In a lagging economy, consumers will have to forego luxury items simply to afford high-priced gas and food. But, as debtors take a more responsible attitude towards consumer spending, the collection call will become a thing of the past.
Christian Business Debt CollectionBusiness debt collection can prove to be the bane of many companies when dealing with customers who refuse to pay what is due. The act of ensuring that proper payments are received at an appointed time can prove to be a difficult task. Occasionally, a situation will arise in which a customer is either unable or unwilling to pay what is owed. Those who own businesses should be watchful and take action as soon as possible when a delinquent debtor becomes apparent. There are several reasons why a person might refuse to pay up, and the faster a company can recognize and deal with the situation the better, before legal actions are required.
There are a few facts that should be kept in mind throughout the process of collecting on a business debt with a customer. Before the process begins an agreement should be drawn up and agreed upon which states all the terms and conditions of applicable loans and proceedings. This is important as a written agreement in such a case, is more binding than a verbal agreement, and can be easily referred to if need be. A formal document is essential for an agreement to be conducted as smoothly as possible. Legally binding documents ensures that all the terms will be adhered to in the time allotted. Many times the task of collecting debt from customers can prove to be a very frustrating task. Occasionally, situations will arise in which a customer refuses to pay which can lead to a difficult situation for the business or company in question. Business debt collection can be a difficult procedure, fortunately however, there are tips and advice for those in need.
One way to ensure that a customer pays what is due is to constantly remind them of the amount owed and the date at which time payment is due. Collectors should exercise caution as to the ways in which customers are reminded, as there is a fine line between what is acceptable, and what is considered to be harassment. No one should be subjected to harsh treatment such as unrelenting calls and unnecessary threats, and collectors should keep in mind that there are laws in place to protect debtors from what is considered to be harassment. As long as caution is exercised in the methods for business debt collection, the very act of occasionally reminding a customer or client of an amount due is often necessary and one of the most effective methods of receiving payment as eventually a client will become tired of hearing from the collector, and most often pay up if they are able to do so.
In the case that reminders prove an ineffective method, the next step may very well include the act of suing a delinquent debtor. Before legal action is taken, a formal letter is required which is sent to the debtor explaining the procedure and what is required of them. The repercussions that come with refusal to pay should be clearly explained, and the fact that legal action will be taken if payment is not received should be clearly stated. Most often, if a debtor is able to do so, they will pay up in order to avoid legal action as the process of business debt collection can become very involved and lead to further complications for them in the future. However, in some cases the threat to sue is required in order to get a debtor to pay attention and pay up as quickly as possible.
There are several solutions for business debt collection as not every situation is the same. For example, not every debtor is delinquent with payments on purpose, and would like to make the required payment but is perhaps unable to do so for one reason or another. Most often there are a few categories that debtors can be classified into such as: those who would like to pay but are unable to do so for one reason or another, those who purposely delay payments but intended to pay up eventually, and those who purposely delay in order to do whatever they can to avoid payment of any kind.
Unfortunately, ideal situations can be hard to come by when business debt collection is in question and alternatives must be sought. Ideally all customers would fall into the first two categories, those who have every intention of paying but are simply unable to do so at the time that the funds are due. The easiest customers to deal with are those who are willing to work with the company in question in order to find a solution that works for both parties with both group's interests in mind. A watchful eye must be kept by those responsible for business debt collection in order to guard against those who refuse to pay and take every action they can to avoid payments of any kind. Actions must be taken against delinquent debtors immediately in order to ensure that the most funds as possible are recovered. Despite the course of action a business owner decides to take, applicable to all is the promptness with which such actions are taken. The sooner such a situation is recognized and dealt with the better it is for the company in question.
Several points of advice are offered for Christians who are involved in business debt collection. The best course of action a business owner can take when dealing with a delinquent debtor is to avoid any action that can be construed as harassment of any kind should be avoided as such an action is in violation of laws which are intended to protect those in debt from such abuse. Secondly, a collector should abstain from anger and do what is necessary to remain as calm as possible and refrain from becoming personal. More often than not, a person in debt will be more aptly to respond to calm yet consistent methods, as the Scripture says, "The servant therefore fell down, and worshipped him, saying, Lord, have patience with me, and I will pay thee all" (Matthew 18:26).