A question often arises in our offices, “When should I stop my efforts collecting past due accounts?”

Collecting Past Due AccountsUnlike fine wines or select cheeses, past due accounts do not get better with age. Most businesses make the mistake of waiting twice as long as they should before handing over their accounts receivables to a commercial collections agency. For instance, did you know your chances of collecting past due accounts in-house drop 12% every 30 days.

When it comes to collecting past due accounts, it’s important for business owners to remember, collecting on outstanding receivables is a financial process. Because we have an invested interest in our companies, we tend to treat collection as an “emotional” process instead of a financial one. Whether or not we make or lose money needs to be the determining factor when pursuing collecting past due accounts.

For example, Collecting on an invoice that is less than 120 days old holds an 80% success rate while dropping to 40% collectible after that time frame. Because we still see the debt as outstanding, we mistakingly apply the same amount of time and effort trying to collect those older accounts as we do the new ones. Our motto: Don’t spend a dollar chasing after a dime.

Early warning signs it may be time to stop your collecting past due accounts efforts

  • Customer avoids contact attempts
  • Refuses to sign personal guarantee
  • Customer breaks terms of original agreement
  • Customer breaks their first promise
  • Customer only makes partial payments to buy more time.
  • Customer ignores demand letters

You have business to run. You have better things to do than spending your valuable time Collecting past due accounts. Handing your outstanding debts and accounts receivables over to a commercial collection agency is often your best course of action.


If you are a business owner trying to collect on past-due accounts, a reputable collection agency can often help. Turning accounts over to an agency for collection may seem like signaling defeat or throwing in the towel to some collectors. Rather than take the defeatist attitude of “I can’t collect this on my own,” take the attitude that collection is a team effort with you and your outside agency working together.

We invite you to give The Stevens-Lloyd Group, Inc. a try…

Place an account with us right now and see what we can do for you!

It’s easy. Here’s all you need to do: 

Just fill out this convenient online placement sheet.
Once it’s sent, you’ll be on the road to discovering The Stevens-Lloyd Group, Inc. difference!


collecting past due accounts

Collecting Past Due Accounts: When To Quit