Many Business or Creditors can be very apprehensive about hiring the services of a professional debt collection agency to recover unpaid accounts. They are often reluctant because they are concerned about maintaining the relationship with their clients, and how recruiting a debt collector could tarnish that relationship.
Firstly, they need to ask themselves is this client a good client if they are not paying them on time? However, if they find a good debt collection agency, they will understand the relationship you have with this particular client an adapt their approach accordingly. This means that accounts can be successfully recovered and relationships can continue with that client if they still wish them to, if they don’t then a stronger approach can be taken by the debt recovery agency to recover the money, but it should not be one style of collection for every case. You should select the agency you wish to use with care as there are a lot of rouges, fly by nights and agencies out there who will rip you off.
Types of Debt Collection Agencies in the UK
There are many Debt Collection Agencies in the UK, some of these agencies are part or fronted by huge companies, some of these companies are based in the United States or somewhere else in Europe and they have contact centres abroad in places like the Philippines, India, Poland or elsewhere.
These large organisations are focused on a high volume of accounts from a small number of clients, usually high street banks, credit card companies or utility bills. These types of agencies will not deal with a business unable to pass them a high volume of accounts for collection each month or year. The relationship between the debtor and the creditor will be non-existent as the creditor will have already written the debt off and it will be of no concern to them to lose this customer.
Other debt collection agencies deal solely with debt they have purchased, they are called Debt Purchasers. They will purchase the debt from large organisations such as, high street banks, credit card companies, pay day loan companies or utility companies. They will pay sometimes only a penny in the pound or slightly more for the debt which they will now own. They make their profits in the hope that they can recover more money from the debtor than they paid for the debt. The original creditor for the debt again will have no interest in maintaining any sort of relationship with the debtor as they will not want to deal with them any longer.
There are also specialist Debt Collection Agencies to help and support all sorts of different businesses. Some agencies may only operate in specific areas such as construction or Oil & Gas, others may cover every area. These types of agencies offer a very personal service for you as their client and also for the debtor. Due to this they usually have a high success rate, as they can focus their attentions on each individual case rather than dealing with a high volume of cases. They are usually small to medium size Agencies, which again allow them to personalise their services to your needs.
How to Choose a Suitable Debt Collection Agency?
If you are unsure of the agency you wish to use then you can ask the agency to supply references from some of its existing clients. We would recommend that you actually phone the client yourself once you have received the reference from the agency, just to check that it is genuine.
The debt collection agency should be well established and should have been trading for a number of years.
Trustworthy, reputable and professional Debt Collection Agencies will work on a No Collection – No Fee Basis. They will not charge you any “upfront fees” or “registration costs”, this is just a way of extracting money from you and a lot of agencies will take these fees and you may never hear from them again. We have heard of horror stories in this industry of clients giving the debt collection agency sometimes as much as £2000.00 upfront to collect cases up to the value of £10,000. If a Debt Collection Agency has been trading for years on a No Collection – No Fee Basis, then you will know they are excellent at their job as they don’t make any money unless they recover your money from the debtor.
You should ask to see a copy of the debt collection agencies Terms and Conditions before instructing them to carry out a collection for you or signing any paperwork. The agency should have clearly detailed their rates in their Terms & Conditions and there should be no hidden charges.
The Financial Conduct Authority recently took over the regulation of the Debt Collection industry in the UK from the Office of Fair Trading. You should never use a Debt Collection Agency who are not registered with The Financial Conduct Authority.
Each agency needs to obtain the correct “permissions” from The Financial Conduct Authority in order to be permitted to collect debt. They will all be given a registration number by The Financial Conduct Authority which is sometimes found on the agencies website or their stationery etc, but you should ask for the number and check it is genuine on The Financial Services Authority website.
Commercial Debt Collection – Need More Advice?
If you carry out a few quick simple checks then this will allow you to choose the correct debt collection for you, that will have the best success rate and not charge you the earth, otherwise you could be more out of pocket than you were before.
At Debt Collect UK, we have over 35 years experience of providing debt recovery solutions for businesses across the UK and abroad.
For free initial advice & guidance, please call 03338008919 or contact us online.