COVID-19 has changed our daily lives, and for many Americans, it has changed the way they go about their business, too. While some companies are able to embrace work-from-home policies and deliver the same services online, others aren’t so lucky. Social distancing and lockdown measures have made it necessary for some businesses to shutter their doors.

Even if your doors are still open for business, you may be facing new challenges as a result of the pandemic. The fact of the matter is, as more businesses close, more accounts will go unpaid.

Late payments, bad checks, and unpaid accounts may hit harder now that you’re weathering the same financial storm as everyone else. Fast debt recovery is no doubt an essential method of preserving your cash flow throughout the pandemic. But is it ethical? And is it even possible?

Here at Summit A*R, we know it is on both accounts.

As a commercial collection agency that values professional and compassionate collections, we understand the delicate nature of collecting debt during these unprecedented times. We rely on our extensive experience in the business to help our clients navigate these difficult times with integrity.

While COVID-19 may have changed the current economic landscape, recovering difficult debt has always been part of our business-as-usual, and we’re good at it, too.

Here’s why:

We Have a P.H.D. in Collections

P.H.D — standing for Preserve Human Dignity — is our in-house philosophy that informs everything we do. Our dedication to the P.H.D. method means we’re committed to collecting money in an ethical and fair way every time, regardless of how much money is on the line.

While other debt collection agencies may have mandatory minimums, we have no such restrictions. We work with any business, even if you need help with just one account, and we won’t charge for our services until we successfully recover what you’re owed.

As an ethical debt collection agency, we work in a way that preserves your reputation and your relationships. We understand your customers — even delinquent ones — are essential to the health of your company. We treat them respectfully, so you can nurture this relationship long after we collect.

We’ve been in the business since 1996, so we have experience working with all different types of delinquent customers. Whether it’s a disorganized customer who often forgets to pay or a customer feeling the pandemic crunch, we know a diplomatic, yet focused, strategy yields the best results. Our track record speaks for itself. In most cases, our recovery rates are nearly double the industry average.

Debt collection agencies that don’t have such a philosophy give the collections industry a bad name. They fall back on intimidation tactics that may sour the strong relationships you build with your customers and damage your reputation at large.

These aggressive strategies are part of a high-risk gamble that rarely pays off. Threatening or abusive language isn’t as persuasive as you might think. It’s also against the law.

We Understand the Laws

The Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) is just one of many laws that inform the way we do business. It forbids the use of deceptive or abusive consumer debt collection practices that includes any form of harassment, misleading claims, or unreasonable demands.

With our P.H.D. philosophy, following this law is simple. The foundation of these laws makes up the heart of our values as a collection agency.

Nowadays, the laws that regulate collections are changing rapidly to reflect the current economic situation. These changes hope to counteract the devastating effects COVID-19 can have on consumer and commercial finances.

For those who are interested in learning how these laws impact the collections process, we encourage our clients to visit insideARM to watch as these policy changes unfold.

But you don’t need to shadow these updates to ensure your collections follow the letter of the law. That’s what we’re here for. We’re watching everything closely to help you successfully navigate collections in an ethical and lawful way. 

While the federal and state laws may be in flux, our commitment to following them will never change. Summit A*R adheres to all rules and regulations including new addenda created in response to the pandemic.

We Have the Tools to Get the Job Done

A constructive conversation is sometimes all that’s necessary to get the money you’re owed. Other times, it takes more than just a few words to convince your customer or vendor to pay. For these stubborn accounts, we have an arsenal of tools to persuade them. Let’s take a quick look at each of them below.

Comprehensive Skip Tracing

Sometimes, a bill goes unpaid because your debtor has skipped town. Ordinarily, your in-house collections department may give up the search when the trail goes cold, but our experienced skip tracing team is tenacious. With oversight from a licensed private investigator and access to state-of-the-art technology, we can follow the trail long after most people give up.

Credit Reporting

As a nation-wide debt recovery agency, we have powers that your in-house collections department may not. One of them is the ability to report unpaid bills or accounts to one of the three major credit reporting bureaus. If we share them, a negative entry will be added to their history, which may impact their overall score. As this will affect how easily they can get a loan in the future, consumers and businesses may do whatever it takes to avoid such an impact on their scores.

Full-Service Litigation program

Most of the time, our collection team successfully recovers debt, but for those tough cases, we have a full-service litigation program. When every other avenue has been exhausted, one of our licensed private investigators will conduct a thorough financial investigation to determine if and when legal action is necessary.

If our team believes recovery is likely, we’ll connect you with our affiliate attorneys to pursue payment until we resolve the case successfully. But if the investigation indicates recovery is unlikely, you won’t have to pay a single cent.

Debt Recovery is Possible

In times like these, cash flow management is particularly top of mind for many business owners. If you’re looking for tips to improve cashflow nowadays, consider what the right collection agency can do for you. We can help you recover debt that you’ve previously written off, even during these unprecedented times.

Despite all the changes COVID-19 has brought this spring, business hasn’t changed too much for us here at Summit A*R. We’re still treating people on either side of the collection transaction respectfully. As for our customers, we’ll continue to get your unpaid bills paid.