Quick turnover of delinquent accounts is essential to you as a business owner. When working with a commercial collections agency, viewing your collection professional as a member of your “debt collection team” will prove to be an integral part in accomplishing this goal.
As anyone who has participated in any kind of team-related efforts can attest, working together ie essential to your success. By providing your collection professional with a well-documented collections file, you will help them avoid any time-consuming efforts that are associated with gathering the information they need for collections purposes. Many of the necessary documents your collection professional will need have most likely already been collected by you and are already in your client͛s files.
Having previously placed a file for collections, you no doubt have most, if not all of the necessary documents available to you. These documents will ͚arm͟ your collection professional giving them the necessary ammunition to communicate and demand the outstanding debts and receivables from your debtor. Such information would include name, phone number, address, legal identity, etc. Sharing this information with your collection professional helps breed the spirit of teamwork between you.
Proper documentation given to your collections professional at the beginning of your working relationship will allow the collection professional to handle the claim on your behalf, as well as aid in the expediting of the collection process, and provide you with solid legal footing in the process.
Your collection professional knows that good documentation is essential in your efforts and working in tandem with them by providing them with this information at the beginning can very well speed up the debt collection process.
The following is a checklist of documents that will assist your collection professional:
Credit application (or equivalent). This is often the most crucial document as it usually contains:
Debtor’s full name
Debtor’s physical address
Debtor’s legal identity (i.e., corporation, partnership, or sole proprietor.).
Nature of debtor͛s business
Trade references Social Security Number (SSN) or Employer Identification Number (EIN)
Note: Always obtain a Social Security Number of an individual who is personally obligated for your debt
Promissory Note. Though not usually part of the typical goods transaction, having one on hand to be filled out by the debtor is a good practice to engage in when your forbearance of the collection process and a payment plan is requested by the debtor.
Name, Physical Address, and Phone Numbers of any cosigners, guarantors, or companies and/or persons liable.
Principal and Interest after credits Statements
Documentation, handwritten or electronic, of any and all contacts and collection efforts made.
Copies of Non-sufficient Funds (NSF) Checks, notices regarding NSFs required by State Statutes, Or Notices under the Fair Debt Collections Practices Act
Payment Arrangement Confirmations
Security Documents, Agreements, and Legal Notices
Credit Reports, Annual Reports, and/or Financial Statements.
Photocopies of debtor͛s checks (cleared)
Note: You should make it a practice to occasionally make a copy of any checks paid on accounts, especially new accounts.
Notices of Bankruptcy, including bankruptcy of any guarantors or other companies or persons liable for the debt.
Not every document listed above is essential to assist your collection professional in the debt collection process. However, using the above list of documents as a guide in developing your customer files, will assist you should the debt collection process ever become a reality and make you a clutch player for your debt collection team.