The total consumer debt in the U.S. is the highest it’s ever been, exceeding $4 trillion for the first time in February 2019. To make matters worse, delinquency rates have also been rising steadily over time with more Americans falling behind on their loans every month.
Considering the climate, we recommend you read our eight tips for getting paid on time to protect yourself from delinquent accounts. But should you still run into a roadblock from a person or business that owes you payment, you’ll want to hire an experienced commercial collection agency like ours to help. After all, we’ve been in business since 1996. In our 23 years of operation, we have achieved a recovery rate that in most cases is double the industry average across the country. But what makes us different goes deeper than our success rate.
We are proud to say that our staff here at Summit A*R are trained, licensed professionals who don’t resort to unethical or aggressive collection tactics, and we are equally proud of our A+ rating by the Better Business Bureau. We have achieved this through an ideology called Preserve Human Dignity, which we like to refer as our P.H.D. Philosophy. In other words, we are stern, but we also treat people with respect and dignity.
If you’ve heard the many myths about using a debt collector, then our philosophy may strike you as unusual. But our modus operandi is not only good for our karma it’s also just good business. For instance, over the years the Federal Trade Commission has shut down a list of debt collectors for unlawful practices. The FTC has also filed hundreds of lawsuits and won hundreds of millions of dollars in judgments.
Consumers with debt are protected by something called the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act. Aside from the many rights afforded to people by the law, this law also gives them the power to file lawsuits against debt collectors who’ve broken the rules to the tune of $1000.
At Summit A*R we are mindful of this and the dozens of other regulatory initiatives that direct consumer-debt collection. Sadly, not every debt collector plays by the rules. Here some dirty tactics that other parties may use. These not only go against our commitment to treating people with humanity but are also at odds with the law.
- Threatening bodily harm: It’s not unheard of for unscrupulous debt collectors to intimidate people with physical threats of violence in order to scare them into paying debts. Of course, we would never resort to such filthy tactics. We are a team of professionals, not a bunch of thugs.
- Misrepresent Themselves: Some unprincipled debt collectors may lie and present themselves as members of law enforcement to drive people into anxiety. They may even threaten non-payers with jail and other scary consequences. The truth is that as debt collectors we must identify ourselves correctly. Pretending to be cops is a big no-no.
- Robocalls: Many debt collectors will use a computerized automatic dialing system to harass their targets with pre-recorded messages. This aggravation is counterproductive because people usually respond by either turning their phones off or leaving them off the hook. Here at Summit A*R we have a strict policy against using robocalls.
- Calling When They Shouldn’t: Some debt collectors will call at midnight, in the middle of the night, or right before the sun is up. At Summit A*R these methods are frowned upon because we believe in treating people with respect. According to the law, in most circumstances, a debt collector can only call between 8 a.m. and 9 p.m.
- Swearing: Complaints have been filed against many debt collectors for swearing at people. By hurling verbal abuse and using obscene language, they hope to play on the minds of their victims and intimidate them into cooperating. At Summit A*R we don’t believe in using dehumanizing words.
- Shaming: Some unethical debt collectors may call neighbors, employers, and family members to shame people into paying them. According to rule 805 of the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA), it’s unlawful to use such grimy pressure tactics like this.
At Summit A*R we have developed a reputation as an ethical collection agency precisely because we play by the rules. These underhanded tactics not only malign our industry but also affect our insurance rates. With over two decades of experience under our belt, we know that most people want to pay their bills and they value their self-respect. Our team of specialists use negotiation skills to show non-paying customers a path they are usually too happy to take.
Credit Bureau Reporting
There is proof that the average person will pay off a debt if they know that their credit rating will suffer otherwise. At Summit A*R we have the capability to report someone to all three major credit bureaus. Of course, we make sure that we meet Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) compliance if choosing to go this route. In house collection units of businesses like yours do not have this powerful tool to leverage parties that owe you, which is why an agency like ours can be a powerful ally.
State Resource Center
Not only are there Federal Trade Commission rules, but dozens of statewide laws to be mindful of. Our keen understanding of this information is important because it allows our agency to work efficiently within the confines of a state’s specific collection laws. This improves our debt recovery rate significantly. If you are interested in reading more about guidelines, laws, and statutes of limitations pertaining to your state you can easily do so by accessing our State Resource Center.
In most circumstances, our subdivisions at Summit A*R are more than capable of handling accounts. On the rare occasion when all other options have been completely exhausted, we offer you our full-service litigation program.
First, we conduct a comprehensive investigation that helps us develop an in-depth cost-benefit analysis of pursuing legal action. Depending on the outcome of this investigation, we give you, our client, the option to proceed with legal action. It’s just another example of Summit A*R giving our customers the best service possible within a legal and ethical framework.