11 Common Debt Collection Questions Answered by Us

January 12, 2021 9:36 pm Published by

As long as businesses exist, some of them will need help with debt recovery, whether it’s from customers or other businesses. Of course, before your business begins the debt recovery process, it probably has questions it needs answers to. 

At Summit A*R, we’ve been in the debt collection business for over 20 years and have helped businesses of various sizes from many industries successfully collect payments. As a licensed and experienced collection agency — we feel that we’re qualified to answer your queries. Here are some answers to commonly asked questions:

1. What size does my business have to be to collect debt?

It’s a misconception that small businesses can’t collect debt. A company of any size can collect debt, whether it’s small, medium, or large. Many small companies hesitate to contact debt collection agencies because they believe that debt collection agencies won’t help them.

At Summit A*R, we assist companies of all sizes. And unlike other agencies, we don’t have mandatory minimums. We will recover your debt whether you give us one account or ten. In addition, we don’t demand any payment upfront — we get paid when you get paid! 

Even if a small business has only one past-due account, they can partner with us for their debt recovery needs. What’s more, small businesses don’t have to worry about throwing good money after bad debt because we don’t charge our clients anything upfront! 

2. What are laws regarding debt collection and time? Can I collect a debt after 10 years?

We are often asked about the statute of limitations regarding debt. In most cases, it varies. Depending on local state laws, the statute of limitations is between four and six years. However, you may have more time if you reached an agreement with your debtor and they broke it. 

For example, if you made an agreement with your debtor to receive partial payments over a period of 10 years, and they stopped paying a few years ago, there’s a good chance you can still pursue the debt. 

As we said, it depends. For a more accurate answer, you can speak to one of our friendly representatives by calling (888) 222-0793. You can also send us an email at info@summitcollects.com. Alternatively, you can request a callback on our contact page. 

We have a team of licensed long-term knowledgeable staff that can help you. 

3. How long does it take to for you to collect debt? 

Although some debts can be collected within a few days, others can take up to 90 days. You can easily follow our collection efforts through the client portal. In addition, you can place new orders, view placement summaries, report updates yourself, or contact us through the client portal.

To take advantage of the client access facilities, simply email us at help@summitcollects.com. You can also call 888.212.2021 and select option 3 for your login I.D. and password. 

4. How fast do I get paid after payment is collected from the debtor?

All payments are immediately sent to a state-regulated client trust account, and your net amount is sent to you on the 10th of the following month. An itemized statement is available in your Status Portal the day your check is sent in order to help you maintain your records.

To request an email notification as well, you can email our accounts team at accounting@summitcollects.com or call them at 763-712-3705. 

In case your customer pays you directly after the involvement of Summit A*R, please notify us immediately so that we can stop further debt recovery action and give proper credit to your client. We will bill you for our fees if a customer chooses to pay you directly. 

It’s easy to notify us of direct payment through the status portal. Alternatively, get in touch with our accounts team. 

5. Can you answer questions about international debt collection laws for my business?

At Summit A*R, we work actively to help our clients across the United States. Unfortunately, we don’t recover debt outside of the country. For international inquires, we recommend finding a local debt collection agency. 

However, we may be able to help your business recover debt from an international business if they have a presence in the United States. Remember, any international business must abide by American rules and regulations to operate in the country. Please get in touch with us directly for more information regarding your situation. 

6. What consumer collection laws should my business know?  

It’s essential for your business to beware of the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) before you try to pursue debt. Debt collectors that violate the FDCPA can be heavily fined by the Federal Trade Commission (F.T.C.). They can also open themselves up to legal action from their debtors.  In some cases, companies may get blacklisted. 

That’s why it’s vital for your business to outsource its debt collection needs to a company like Summit A*R that respects all rules and regulations.

Here are a few things debt collectors can’t do:

  • Impersonate a government employee: Under no circumstances can a debt collector pretend to be a police officer, attorney, federal agent, or any other government employee when communicating with a debtor. Misrepresentation is a big no-no. 
  • Threaten them: A debt collector must never threaten a debtor, especially with violence, harm, or jail time.  
  • Shame them in public: Dent collectors can’t shame debtors by publishing their names in newspapers or contacting their friends, family, and employers for the sole purpose of humiliating them. 
  • Lie about the debt: This goes without saying, but a debt collector must never exaggerate the size of the debt or try to pursue a collection that’s expired. 
  • Harassment: A debt collector must never call debtors repeatedly, use robocalls, or call debtors early in the morning or late at night. 

At Summit A*R, we abhor such tactics. Not only do we play by the rules — but we follow a “P.H.D. Philosophy” (Preserve Human Dignity), which means that we treat every debtor with dignity, kindness, and respect. 

Our experienced and trained experts handle each account with sensitivity and compassion. Not only is this legally sound, but it’s also good for your reputation. You don’t know if your debtor today will turn into your best customer tomorrow!

Businesses and consumers respond positively to our P.H.D. Philosophy. You can find many testimonials on our platforms from debtors who were happy to be treated with humanity. 

While we treat debtors with respect, we also remain professional. We make sure that your debtor knows that you’re serious about getting paid. We also know that most debtors want to pay their debts, and we help them find a way. 

Thanks to our skilled negotiation tactics, we boast twice the national recovery rate across a wide range of industries.

7. What businesses can’t collect debt? 

Debt collection laws are changing because of the COVID-19 pandemic. Many debtors are rightly being given protection due to extraordinary circumstances. For example, if you’re interested in medical debt collection laws, you should know that there is a federal ban on surprise medical bills. Likewise, if you’re interested in rent collection, then you should learn about local eviction bans

Feel free to get in touch with us at Summit A*R for more details about collection laws. We have many collection services to help you with your revenue recovery needs. 

8. If you don’t use aggressive tactics, then how do you collect debt?

We have noticed that most debtors take their responsibilities more seriously when a reputable debt collection agency like Summit A*R is involved. We start the debt collection process by locating your debtor with the assistance of one of our licensed private investigators. 

Next, we start our campaign of demand letters and phone calls. Usually, this campaign is enough to convince a debtor into paying their dues.

9. What if a debtor refuses to pay?

We’re proud to say that over the years we’ve recovered some difficult debts. We help debtors find manageable ways to pay their dues. If a debtor refuses to pay despite having assets, then we can report the delinquent account to the three major credit bureaus

Remember, most debtors value their credit scores. A red flag on their credit report can affect their ability to rent a home, lease a car, get a cellphone, qualify for a mortgage, and more. Many debtors cooperate with us when they realize that their credit report could be impacted.

Keep in mind that businesses have credit scores too. A good credit score is critical for the health of a business. It helps businesses secure long-term loans, bridge funding, and investments. Companies that need to work with other companies on credit need to have healthy credit reports. 

We can use our credit reporting ability to make your commercial debt recovery much faster. Of course, we won’t report your debtor to the credit bureaus if you don’t want us to. 

Remember, debt grows harder to recover with time. You need to spot the signs of trouble in order to maintain a desirable accounts receivable turnover ratio: 

  • Their payments are coming in later and later despite your warnings
  • They’re slower to respond to your phone calls, emails, and demand letters
  • Their industry has been negatively impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic
  • Their number of creditors are rising
  • Staff at their company is getting fired or resigning
  • Their stock value is falling
  • They tell you to wait a few extra days before cashing the check
  • Invoices sent to them are being nitpicked
  • Your in-house collections department is tired of dealing with them. 

Please reach out to us if your customer has missed multiple deadlines, or their other creditors may beat you to the punch.

10. What if none of your strategies work? 

In the improbable event that our recovery efforts fail to pay dividends, we can turn to our full-service litigation program. First, we perform a cost-benefit analysis because the process is expensive. Our professional investigators examine the entity’s assets to ensure that legal action is worthwhile. 

If our team of professionals determine that legal action is suitable, we approach you with a report of the analysis. With your written authorization, we take the account to court with the assistance of our affiliated partners in law. Please note that we require an upfront payment of the legal costs to begin the proceedings. However, you’re not charged a penny for the investigation. 

If the lawsuit is successful, the entity owning the debt may be held responsible for our fee, and you will typically be awarded the entire amount you are due.

In case you’re not interested in the litigation program, the account is returned to the collection queue for future efforts.

11. What if I can’t find my debtor? 

It’s not uncommon for a debtor to break contact with their creditor when they don’t want to pay their bills. They may start screening their phone calls and emails to avoid communicating with you. The debtor may even turn off their phone, deactivate their social media pages, and get a new phone number when the value of the debt is high, or they have multiple creditors. 

In extreme cases, debtors have been known to cross state lines and relocate to another home in another part of the country. They may even change their names in an effort to start afresh. 

Your in-house collection department can’t be expected to have the tools and experience to locate such delinquent accounts. At Summit A*R, we have a robust skip tracing department led by an experienced and skillful private investigator. Our department also has sophisticated tools at its disposal. That’s why they skip tracing department at Summit A*R has a higher find rate than other debt collection agencies. 

We can find your debtor and their assets and convince them to pay their dues. We are also well-informed about local debt collection statutes. If your debtor has skipped town, then it’s vital for you to get in touch with us as soon as possible, as many states have shorter statutes of limitations. 

For more information on local laws across the United States, please the State Resource Center on our platform. Of course, feel free to reach out to us with more questions.

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This post was written by Summit A•R

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