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home | Collection Tips
Collection Tips
Collection Tips

Here you'll find a valuable collection of articles designed to help help you collect more money, faster, and more easily than you ever imagined!

We've scoured the country for the best of the best to help you get every advantage possible!

In this department, you'll learn:

  • The collection techniques that are working for others.
  • How to overcome excuses
  • How to stay excited about your job
  • Ways to reduce stress
  • The best ways to handle abusive customers without losing your cool!
  • Skip-tracing secrets of the experts - how to reach tough-to-find debtors
  • Ways to stay out of legal trouble... Learn what you can, but more importantly, what you CAN'T do.

Ten Steps To More Effective Collections
Recently, Connecticut Natural Gas Corporation (ONG), Hartford, Connecticut, a division of Energy East, streamlined its collection effort and significantly decreased write-offs and improved receivables. "I felt we could do a better job collecting money, reducing bad debt and streamlining our internal processes," says Credit and Collection Manager Lucy Davis. "Now we're proactive instead of reactive." On the recommendation of an outside consultant who had reviewed the credit and collection process, the department: . . . keep reading
Collecting After the Holidays
Merry Christmas! Happy New Year! Happy Holidays! Each year, from Thanksgiving through the New Year, people tend to be in a more festive, optimistic, cheerful, and giving mood. This is all well and good, and it would be nice if the "festive, optimistic, and cheerful" spirit remained year-round. However, the "giving" component, while well intentioned, can come back to bite a lot of people after the first of the year.

"We deal with delinquencies throughout the year, but they become more frequent from December through February," notes an Ohio-based mortgage collection manager, who asked not to be identified. "Historically, January is the month when people start trying to recover from their December spending."

With this understanding, the department implements a concerted effort to keep borrowers on track during these sometimes lean times. "Our goal is to stem the tide of problems in January and February, so that borrowers don't end up as foreclosure candidates later on," he explains. This article looks at their strategy for coping with tougher collections after the holidays; how they support collectors, including extra incentives they offer. . . .
keep reading
Too Aggressive Collecting?
A battered veteran of the fiercely competitive computer market, this Credit & Collections Manager friend of ours is an ardent advocate of letting customers know exactly what payment performance is expected and of confronting delinquents immediately. This article details how she handled a complaint from a customer's accounting manager about supposed aggressive and inappropriate collections by one of her collectors. . . . keep reading
Just Asking for Money
What collecting? It's merely asking for money that's owed to your organization. Should anyone be uncomfortable about that? Not according to David Sher, CEO of AmSher Receivables Management (Birmingham, Ala.).To become comfortable, he says, use the ASK model:

Attitude. "Realize that it is OK to ask for money that is owed to you," he says. "A lot of business owners are uncomfortable asking."

Speed. "Collection is urgent," he adds. "The longer you put it off, the less likely it is that you will be paid."

Knowledge. Finally, successful collections depends on your knowledge of credit policies and appropriate customer contact.

To put the ASK model into practice, Sher recommends following the six-step AVENUE model: . . .
keep reading
Customizing Collection Strategies on Business Credit Cards
Business credit card issuers deal with a wide variety of businesses in diverse industries. Furthermore, some of these businesses may be relatively new while others may be seasonal, either of which present specific challenges. So the same collection strategy doesn't work for all. That's why Advanta Bancorp. (Spring House, Pa.), an affiliate of Advanta Corporation, diversifies its collection strategies to match cardholders' businesses.
  • what resources Advanta uses to determines what part of its lifecycle a business is in
  • When the late fee is charged
  • How delinquencies are measured according to risk and what collection strategies they use depending on the risk
  • variables used by their call center predictive dialers
  • strategies used to script calls
. . .
keep reading
Small Claims Court--A Do-It-Yourself Guide
You've heard all the promises. You've offered workable solutions. You've given all the proper warnings and issued all the proper Fair Debt Collection Practices information. Still, you haven't been paid and your patience is at its end. What's your next step? If the amount owed falls within your state's guidelines, you could take the debtor to small claims court. Here's a complete run-down of what goes on in small claims court and how you can do it yourself without hiring a lawyer... . . . keep reading
Reflections of a Part-Time Collector
By Gregory Dennis
For the third summer in a row, I have had the opportunity to work for my father as a collection specialist. Some of the things that I have learned about collections are:
  • there are some fantastic observations and techniques in this article as this college student is unburdened by years of "experience" and instead gives us a fresh look and some important "truisms" about collections...
. . .
keep reading
The Importance of Collections Focus
No matter how long I work in commercial collections, one aspect of this job will continue to amaze me. It is the fact that some collectors cannot, do not, or will not, when contacting delinquent accounts, differentiate between customers owing a few hundred dollars and customers with past due balances many times larger than that. Like most business issues, the old 80/20 rule applies to commercial collections. 80% of the past due balances involve 20% of your customers. I tell my collectors to . . . keep reading
Intuitive Collections
"When collectors are talking with debtors, they need to pay attention not only to what the debtors are saying, but to how the debtors seem to feel about what they are saying. contends Leonard Sklar, a former collection agency owner and now a professional collections consultant based in Redwood City, Calif.). "Collectors who fail to deal with debtor emotions rarely ever reach the root of the problem. Key points covered:
  • why most collectors stay too long with an account, and why this trait hurts productivity
  • what the top goal (other than collecting the money, of course) should be in a collection call
  • the surprising way he reccommends helping collectors be more effective in getting to the root cause of debtors' problems
. . .
keep reading
The Four Types of Responses Collectors Can Expect
New collectors in training at Windham Associates (Fairport, New York) are taught that there are four general types of responses to expect from the debtors they contact. . . . keep reading
Avoiding Mistakes
Even though it has been years since this credit manager was a full-time collector, she tries to make at least a dozen collection calls a day. In particular, she tries to handle some of the more seriously delinquent accounts personally to make certain that the right amount of pressure is being brought to bear to motivate customers to remit payment as quickly as possible. Her goal is to be assertive but not aggressive, and to be insistent and persistent about getting paid quickly. Here's an interesting situation she ran into that taught her some good lessons about thoroughness in collecting, along with the three key principles of collecting that she became "reaquainted" with. . . . keep reading
Excuses! Excuses!
The key to handling customer excuses for not paying is having some well-thought-out responses to them, according to the credit manager for an international moving and relocation firm. "Such responses will often catch a customer off guard and free up payments that might otherwise take additional weeks or months to collect," he says. Here are seven common excuses and ways you can get from ruse to payment: . . . keep reading
Knowing When to Say When: 25 Signs You Should Place an Account For Collection
There is no simple answer to when an account should be placed for collection, but the more of the following statements that are true, the more appropriate it is to forward the account quickly to a third party... . . . keep reading
Defusing Delinquents' Anger
There are two main reasons customers react to collection calls with anger. But more important than those two reasons is what you do about that anger; how you and your staff react to it. One's natural reaction is to become angry yourself, but that would not be productive. Read on to learn:
  • Five specific steps to take to control the collection call (and your own emotions) when you find yourself dealing with an angry customer.
  • A right and a wrong way to phrase your questions
  • Coping methods: Five suggestions for managing stress after the call
  • Ways managers can stay on top of the stress experienced by their collection staff
  • Telltale signs that a collector is experiencing a stressful call
  • Ways collection managers can help cope deal with the aftermath of a stressful call
. . .
keep reading
Seven-Step Telephone Collection Procedure
When you are collecting by phone, it would be hard to improve on this seven-step procedure. This also includes some great advice from a collection veteran on both how to phrase your questions and what questions to ask to ensure the best outcome in your collection calls. And finally, how to determine when you should turn an account over to a 3rd-party collection agency. . . . keep reading
Collecting From Chronic Late Payers
Why are some customers chronic late payers? "Maybe they have cash-flow problems, or maybe they just don't accept your terms. Either way," says Credit Manager Michelle Booker of Ashland Hardware Systems (Lowell, Ind.), "while it may be tedious calling the same late-paying customers month after month, persistence pays off." Read on to learn:
  • The five key ways Ashland Hardware minimizes risk
  • The key clause in their credit application
  • What info (or lack of info) causes a CIA decision
  • Collection strategies: how soon they call when an account is past due and what they say when they call
  • How their past due letter campaign works
  • How payment arrangements are handled
  • How they leverage their sales reps to aid in the collection process; what's expected from sales
. . .
keep reading
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