The prospect of a debt collector knocking on your door is a scary one for anybody. Not only can field agents be a little intimidating but they are well versed in the law, procedures and won’t leave until something has been arranged.
Most debt collectors are highly trained and very professional so you need not fear them, but some have been known to act a little outside of the law and try to use some unsavory tactics to force payment from a debtor.
Should you find yourself having to deal with collections agents either at home at your business, here’s what you should do:
- Ask for identification
- Request an explanation
- Try to come to an arrangement
Firstly, you should always ask for an ID of some kind as there are known collection agent impersonators out there and a genuine agent should be able to give you a detailed reason why they are there.
Once a rapport has been established with the agents you are best advised to stay calm and try your best to come to an arrangement that suits everyone.
Check Their Credentials
There is no shortage of horror stories involving fake personnel claiming to be from a specific company, department, or emergency service.
Just recently in the UK, fakers posing as NHS staff were targeting elderly and vulnerable people claiming to be authorized Covid-19 vaccination specialists and conning cash out of their victims.
Fake collections agents also exist so don’t just simply trust someone who knocks on your door. Always immediately as somebody to identify themselves verbally and show you an official ID badge of some kind.
Any official and genuine staff from any organization will not be offended by having an ID request made upon them and they are trained to identify themselves accordingly anyway.
Third-party collections exist for all kinds of industries such as tech, hospitality, and even Cannabis Debt Collection agencies. A genuine collections agent will be able to clearly and concisely explain who they are by stating their full name and what company they represent.
Take a good look at their badge as well and check that the photograph is an accurate representation of the person you are talking to, that nothing has expired and that the quality of the printing, holder, or lanyard is top quality.
Verify Their Standing
Following an ID verification, make sure to ask for a complete and accurate explanation as to why the agents are at your premises. Good collections staff are more than happy to explain the situation because it helps them in their cause and they will never be offended by this either.
They should be able to present certain documentation, usually, copies of any correspondence between yourself and the agency, detailing the situation. The agents should also be able to inform you of who they work for, who the client is and what the debt is for.
Should you request it, an agent should also let you call their office in order to verify that they are who they say they are and that the information being provided to you is accurate.
Find an Amicable Solution
Once all necessary checks have been completed and you are satisfied that the agents are genuine, you should try your best to stay calm and come to a suitable arrangement. Most debt collectors will be fair and respectful but some don’t like to leave without some kind of payment or arrangement in place.
Usually, part payment is accepted with a payment plan in place, however, the client can reject any offer you make and might require further action. However, it should be noted that private collections agencies cannot legally remove assets from your home or business.
It is in everyone’s best interest to come to an arrangement that asks you for a reasonable payment plan that you can afford.
Agencies are not allowed to arrange payment plans that exceed the limits of what you need for living expenses and should an arrangement be made, always get a full receipt of the transaction and follow it up with the agency to make sure the client has received their payment.