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What Should You Look for in an Arbitrator?

A 2010 report from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) found that of the $150 billion in debt sent to collection agencies, only $40 billion was recovered. There’s a pretty good reason for this, and it all starts with who you choose as your arbitrator.

All successful debt recovery requires the ability to settle disputes, and your arbitrator can make or break those efforts. Through more than a quarter of a century serving in this capacity, Southwest Recovery Services has learned there are certain qualities an arbitrator must have in place to be successful.

As a business owner, you’ll want to have a vetting process before selecting yours. That process should include looking for the following qualities.

Dedicated Support

A debt collection agency worth its salt will have more than one client, but that doesn’t get them off the hook from treating you like you’re the only one. Southwest Recovery Services has grown over the years, but we’ve always felt it was important to feature continuity of services between our clients and personnel. The goal not only is to treat you like our top priority no matter what, but also to make you feel it in the level of service you receive.

Legal Knowledge and Training

Arbitration and debt collection in the sectors that we serve requires a certain degree of legal knowledge and continuing education.

A good arbitrator should know the American Collectors Association Rules and Regulations. He/she/it should stay up-to-date on Fair Debt Collection Practices and the Fair Credit Reporting Act as well as the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) as well as any other state and federal processes and procedures related to legal collections. Bankruptcy laws and skip tracing techniques also are important.

Soft skills make debt arbitration easier to manage as well. Examples of those include the following:

  • Negotiation techniques
  • Overcoming objections
  • Oral and written communication skills

Customer Service Skills

Customer service skills are important when interacting with you, but they’re also vital to getting what you want out of a delinquent account. By using best practices and the aforementioned negotiation/communication skills, a good arbitrator can settle many accounts that would otherwise never be paid.

Getting to that point requires interactions that are aggressive and authoritative while respecting the other person’s or organization’s reputation and dignity.


Lastly, you want an arbitrator who can provide some degree of focus in their practices. This especially is true when you have a heavily regulated industry like healthcare, business, or municipal collections. Southwest Recovery Services has limited its focus to a few key areas, and it’s allowed us to build significant expertise in each one.

Do you feel you could use some extra help in settling delinquent accounts and generating revenue for your business? Are your employees better used in other areas aside from the administrative? If so, we invite you to contact us today and let us know how we can help.



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Southwest Recovery Services is a national collection agency with offices in Texas, Oklahoma, Missouri, Ohio, Florida and Georgia.

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