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What To Look For In A Collection Agency

Every business reaches a point where it is no longer sustainable to collect outstanding debts in house. Small businesses find that debt collection is too involved for their staff and is a drain on their time and energy. Larger businesses find that even with dedicated debt collection staff, some debts stay unpaid longer and are more complicated to collect than they have bandwidth for. When these limits are reached, it’s time to outsource your collection process. But what should you look for in a collection agency? How can you be sure they will have your back?

Consider Cost

Cost is often the first consideration when businesses start looking to outsource their collections. Collection agencies usually acquire debt from businesses in two ways, by purchasing them outright, or by contingency. 

When a collection agent buys debt outright, it can sometimes feel like a windfall for the business. But be careful. Remember that they are going to try to collect much more than they pay you. If this is the route your choose, make sure to get several offers before settling to be certain you get the best deal.

Contingency debt collectors like Southwest Recovery Services collect debts without buying them or charging any money to the business up front. In this scenario, the collection agency takes a fee only when they collect the debt. Sometimes, this works out to be a better deal for businesses because you’re not paying for debts they don’t collect, and there’s nothing to lose to give them a try. It’s also great motivation for the agency to collect, so you see a greater return on investment.


The next thing to consider is the expertise of the company. Evaluate the agency in much the same way you would a prospective vendor or contractor. What is their experience? How many years do they have in the field? Do they have knowledge and experience in your particular field? What kind of training do their agents receive? 

Part of that expertise is the resources they bring to the table. Credit reporting is an incredibly common and necessary practice for collection agents. It’s a good idea to find out how they report and to which bureaus. There are also significant legal implications that come along with debt collection, including lawsuits and wage garnishments. Find out how they handle legal counsel and why. Other important features like security and skip tracing are also things to consider. Just like with the cost analysis, it’s important to compare and contrast. 

Communication and Integrity

No matter how many bells and whistles a company offers or how cost effective they are, it’s important to like working with your debt collection agency. Make sure you know up front who your point of contact should be, how often you will get reports from them (if it’s an agency you’ll have ongoing contact with, like a contingency agency), and what is the best way to communicate what you need. It’s also important that they fit into your overall culture and customer service philosophy. Even after a debt goes to a collector, your customer will associate that process with your business. Make sure you are committing to an agency with integrity that treats your customers with respect.

Ask Southwest Recovery Services!

Do you have questions about debt recovery and how it works? Give us a call. We are a leader in the debt collection industry. Our experienced and well-trained agents are ready to help you get paid faster. We are ready to serve you!

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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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