Key Tips for Hiring a Collection Agency
Hiring a collection agency can be a confusing and frustrating process. There are so many types and it can be hard to tell a good one from a bad one. This webinar is all about picking an agency that has good values and a strong reputation.
Join this discussion with Sven Nelson, CMO of C2C Resources, to discover the top 8 things to look for when choosing a collections agency.
Register for the live session and Q&A to find out:
- The minimum certifications, licenses and bonds an agency should hold
- Why operating with a trust account is important
- What communications you should expect to receive from your agency
- Lori J. Drake, CBA, Levelset
- Sven Nelson, C2C Resources
Lori J. Drake, CBA (00:01):
Good afternoon, everybody. Thank you for joining us today. As we talk about key tips for hiring a collection agency, my name is Lori Drake, and I’m with Levelset. If you don’t know what Levelset does we handle construction? We know it’s a confusing subject. So we deal with the notices, the waivers. We have educational webinars and classes as well. Some contractor profiles, community digest, and much more. Today we are joined by Sen Nelson with CTC resources. Thanks for joining us today. So then
Sven Nelson (00:32):
Lori J. Drake, CBA (00:32):
Want to tell everybody a little about yourself?
Sven Nelson (00:34):
Uh, yeah, I’ve been, uh, in credit and collections for 16 plus years. Uh, there was the same agency, CTC resources, all that time. Um, we handle, uh, both domestic and international collections. We have about 35,000 clients. Uh, we’ve done business with since inception and have collected over $380 million in bad debt for our customers, um, fully licensed, fully bonded. And, um, yeah. Um, that’s, that’s in a nutshell early.
Lori J. Drake, CBA (01:03):
It sounds good to me. Um, do you want to go ahead and cover what we’ll go over today and then I’ll just change the slides as you need them.
Sven Nelson (01:09):
Yeah, thanks. I appreciate it, Laurie. Uh, first of all, thanks for having us on, uh, thanks to Levelset and for you for inviting me. So I appreciate it. Um, so, uh, we’re going to talk about, um, you know, basically, uh, what you should be asking a collection agency when we get those threaded calls, right? Uh, I’m sure all of you credit managers, uh, despise getting the calls from collection agencies, uh, wanting to, uh, you know, ask you for your business and believe me, we hate making those calls as much as you hate getting them. But, um, however, um, you know, there’s some great things that you can ask an agency. Um, you know, the one thing that me hear all the time, the first thing, and I think it’s just kind of an automatic response for people is what is your contingency rate? Um, and there’s a lot of other questions that are, I think are more important, uh, that you should be asking a collection agency.
Sven Nelson (01:57):
Um, some of the topics that we’re going to discuss today is, uh, you know, licensing certifications, um, you know, uh, we’re going to talk a little bit about trust accounts. Um, we’re gonna talk about how the agency communicates with you, um, how they report to you. Um, we’re also gonna talk about, you know, um, you know, questions we’re getting near legal capabilities and then, you know, how do they remit to you? Um, and you know, what’s their policy with regards to that. So, um, with, with, without further ado, let’s, let’s go ahead and get started. Let’s jump into it. Um, so, um, when it comes to life and thing, I think that there’s a lot of people out there that don’t really know, um, or aren’t really quite sure, uh, about whether or not, you know, licensing is important or, you know, should you really care?
Sven Nelson (02:43):
Does doesn’t really matter? Um, well the, the quick answer is yes, it absolutely does. Um, I would say that there is a ton, I don’t know the exact statistic, but there is a ton of these out there, um, that do operate without the proper licensing. And, you know, as an agency, we don’t really get licensed, uh, you know, just for ourselves, it’s actually to protect our clients. It’s, it’s really important. Um, number one, you know, it’s the law, right? Um, so, you know, operating without a license is, is actually a felony in some states. And, uh, if your collection agency is operating without a license, you know, you have to think about what other laws are they breaking are, uh, are they doing, um, and your, your name really? Um, so, uh, you know, licensing protects you and it protects your money. Um, states require agencies to maintain bonds and some trust accounts, um, and those procedures are set in place to protect you.
Sven Nelson (03:42):
Um, if God forbid you do business with an unlicensed agency, um, and they’re not operating with a trust account, and I’ve actually heard the horror stories, I’ve actually seen this happen where the agency will close up shop, they’ll go out of business. I mean, it’s a really large thing. Um, you know, well well-known agencies, um, that have gone out of business and actually taking their client’s money with them when they went out of business. So it is absolutely important. Um, licensing protects your business from any possible lawsuits, right? So I’m questioning C’s that operate in unethical or illegal manner are really subject to legal action. Um, as the creditor, you can be sued, you know, right along with them. Um, licensed agencies must pass the test. Um, you know, there’s audits, there are letters and procedures, um, on a, on a routine routine basis that, you know, they, they all have to adhere to.
Sven Nelson (04:32):
Um, so it really just protects you guys again as a customer, um, you know, licensing also maximizes the recovery, believe it or not. Um, some debtors will, will use the fact that an agency isn’t licensed to avoid paying the debt. Um, you know, if a dinner is reported on licensed agency, you know, they, they obviously have that to use, uh, against the agency and it gets you as a creditor. So, you know, the, you may quick the close the claim or, you know, to avoid the issues, but, and in all actuality, you just don’t deal with an unlicensed agency. It’s not good. Um, you know, in some, in some states, uh, regulatory regulators have actually made agencies get the money back if they’re on life. Um, and then, you know, you, you didn’t even collect the money, so it doesn’t do any good. Um, so with regards to licensing, uh, you know, it’s, it’s just important, make sure that you’re using an agency that is licensed, that they understand, uh, how important it is.
Sven Nelson (05:25):
And then do you know, you understand how important it is and licensing is actually not only important to the agency from a collection standpoint, but also from a sales standpoint. Um, so if they’re not properly licensed, like, uh, so if your company is located in, um, you know, Alaska, Arizona, Delaware, Florida, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Minnesota, Nebraska, Nevada, New Jersey, New York, and actually the city of Buffalo in New York to be more specific North Dakota, Oregon, Tennessee, Utah, Washington, and West Virginia. Um, your collection agency must be licensed to either solicit or handle your business right now. Um, if your delinquent customer is located in any of these following states, um, and then, then the agency must be licensed to flex in that state specifically. So you’ve got in that category, you’ve got Arizona, Arkansas, um, Delaware, Idaho, Illinois, Minnesota, New Jersey, and New York. Again, the city of Buffalo, don’t ask me why it’s specifically the city of Buffalo, but, uh, North Carolina, North Dakota, Oregon, Utah, Washington.
Sven Nelson (06:36):
Um, so, so, you know, if your, your debtors in those states, the agency must be licensed as well. And a lot of PR, a lot of agencies, you know, when they’re talking to you and they’re soliciting your business, they won’t bring up licensing and it may be because their own license or it may be because they just don’t think it’s that big a deal. Um, but I do. And, uh, I think it’s something you should definitely, um, you know, be aware of. So, um, I think the next slide, Laurie, if you will, uh, okay, so certification, um, there’s some certification programs out there and, uh, there’s a difference between actually being a member of the certification programs or actually being certified. So, um, the commercial law league, the CLA and, um, is, uh, actually the certification, uh, that, that we have and, uh, that’s, that’s out there.
Sven Nelson (07:28):
Um, but you can also be a member of the CLA. So the membership is actually just something that the agencies paid for, and they do have some things that they have to do with it’s typically like an association, but the certification process itself is actually what I think is more important. Um, so, uh, the, in the certification process basically, um, there’s a third party review of owners, backgrounds, um, the ADC operations and the financial practices. Uh, there’s also a surety bond. Uh, that’s required, um, a surety bond up to $500,000 depending on the agency, uh, size. Um, our bond actually required requirement is, is $500,000. Um, and there’s also the AUC leadership is actually required, um, to earn annual continual education. Um, there’s credits to ensure that, you know, that they’re up to date on the log. They are doing everything by the book, and they’re just doing everything to the letter of the law.
Sven Nelson (08:33):
Um, that certification is actually, uh, also renewed annually and to make sure that all those certifications are kept up, they also do a, uh, an accounting audit and they also do a site visit, I think it’s every two years. Um, so the CLA certification is actually pretty, pretty rare. Um, there’s less than 30 agencies in the entire world that have that certification. And just to let you know a little bit about the CLA the commercial wall league of America is disrespected organization of attorneys and other experts in the credit and finance, uh, industry, um, that obviously practice in the field of commercial collection law, uh, bankruptcy and insolvency. Um, so since, since 1895, the CLA, uh, has been associated with representation and credit or interests, um, you know, also looking for fair and equitable and efficient administration of bankruptcy cases, all the parties that are involved.
Sven Nelson (09:31):
Um, so again, there’s only, there’s less than 30 agencies in the entire world that have that certification. So I think it’s something that, you know, agencies, when they go out and do that, it’s, it’s a great deal of money. Um, it’s upwards to $20,000 a year. Um, if you actually have that certification, then I think it’s, it’s important because the agencies, again, there’s, you’re not just doing it for you, they’re doing it for, for, or I’m sorry, they’re not just doing it for themselves. They’re doing it for you to protect you, to show you that they care. And just to make sure that they’re doing everything by the book and, you know, obviously, uh, it’s important. So, um, with that, let’s, uh, let’s go on to the next slide.
Sven Nelson (10:13):
So, um, trust accounts, um, a lot of people aren’t aware or, um, maybe don’t think about, you know, where does this money go when the agency gets it? Um, you know, we’re actually, uh, we, we separate our funds, um, and every agency really should from their operating account and their trust account, right? So if, if God forbid we did go out of business, like the story I told you earlier, uh, those funds that are in that trust account are actually protected and accounted for. And, um, it, it allows us, uh, to basically be held accountable. And, uh, that’s, that’s actually, you know, why I think it’s important. Um, you know, the assets in that trust account are all accounted for by the client’s name, uh, client number. And, uh, the trust accounts are actually monitored. Um, and we do have to stay within trust. Um, so, uh, you know, it’s a clear separation obviously of operating funds and, and what’s what goes into it.
Sven Nelson (11:12):
And what’s involved. Um, you also allows us to take checks in the name of our clients. Um, it also allows us to cash post-dated checks, um, and have those arrangements set up for payment plans, payment arrangements. And, um, you know, I think it’s definitely important, something that, you know, a lot of the agency or the licensing agencies out there, the state regulators do require it. Uh, the CLA does require it. And if you’re operating without a trust account, um, or you’re used to an agency that operates without investing account, you should definitely be concerned. Um, for some of the things that, you know, it could get if the cost of the trouble you can get into. So, um, yeah, we can go on to the next slide, um, legal capabilities. So, you know, a lot of agencies, uh, do have, uh, some in-house legal, um, most agencies actually use an attorney network, uh, to file suits because we can’t possibly have an agent or an, a three that’s barred in every state, um, on staff.
Sven Nelson (12:17):
So we also subscribe to these attorney networks and that’s kinda how it works. We pay a fee, um, to belong to these networks, and it allows us, uh, to have the relationship with these vetted, um, collection attorneys that specialize specifically in collections. Uh, these are not just normal business attorneys. These are all collection attorneys that specialize specifically in collections, uh, and they’re, they ha they have experienced in doing this. So, um, you want to definitely ask, you know, about your agency’s legal capabilities, how do they operate within the legal parameters? You know, um, a lot of agencies are really quick to go to suit. Um, I’m not a huge fan of that. Um, we know that, you know, the justice system, anybody who’s taken anybody to court or dealt with a suit, um, with regards to a debtor knows that the justice system is a long drawn out process, right?
Sven Nelson (13:11):
So, um, we want to try to avoid that as much as possible. Um, in fact, the number of cases that we have less than 2% of our cases actually go illegal. Um, and it’s because, you know, it is a long drawn out process. A lot of times you end up with a judgment, um, that, you know, you really can’t collect on, uh, just because you win the suit doesn’t mean you’re going to get paid. Um, so you want to know, you know, why does, uh, what, what triggers the agency to go legal? You know, what are their qualifications for that? Um, the other questions you want to ask is, you know, is there any additional costs, um, to going legal, right? Um, are they going to raise your contingency rate? A lot of agencies actually use that legal department as a profit center, believe it or not.
Sven Nelson (13:58):
Um, you know, some of these agencies will go, you know, 60 days, um, you know, they do what I call premium. The crop they’ll work, the easy stuff in-house, and then they’ll shift it over to a legal department around the 60 to 90 day period. They’ll raise your contingency rate, awfully charge you a legal management fee. Um, so you want to know what other costs are involved. Um, is there going to be illegal management fee? Um, you know, obviously you’re going to have to pay the filing fees, fee support costs. Um, that’s, you know, that’s normal, um, but they shouldn’t be marking that up in any way, shape or form. They should just simply pass that cost along to you. I think that’s something that you should ask about as well. Um, but again, I think most of these agencies are going to, or all of them are going to have an outside attorney network. Some of them will have some attorneys on staff, but they won’t have an attorney that’s part in every state. And you are going to have to Sue your debtor where the debtor is located, where the assets are, because otherwise you’ll actually have to move that file to a whole nother state and then, you know, start the process almost all over again. So, uh, that’s something to keep in mind. Um, and, uh, that’s, that’s really it with regards to, uh, legal version of it.
Sven Nelson (15:17):
So, um, so some important things to ask, uh, when, when talking about an agency, remember at the beginning of the call, you know, a lot of people just, um, I think automatically just ask people, Hey, what is your rate? And, um, I think there’s, like I said, more important questions you can ask, um, you know, about licensing, about being bonded, um, you know, about their legal, but you know, also, you know, how do they communicate with you? I mean, everybody here has probably hired an agency before, you know, somebody that, you know, calls you and calls you and calls you, and thank you for an opportunity for their business, for your business. You give them an account, right. And then you never hear from them again. Right. Um, I’m sure some of you guys have lived that night here. Um, and, and usually it’s, it’s one of two things.
Sven Nelson (16:05):
It’s an inexperienced rep, um, that, you know, doesn’t understand how bad that communication needs to happen, or, uh, somebody that just is too afraid to call you and tell you that they didn’t collect the account. Right. Um, and you know, really, they should be having an honest conversation with you. They should be letting you know what’s going on with your accounts and keeping you updated good, bad or indifferent. You deserve to know what’s going on with that account. I mean, all of you guys are held accountable to these accounts and it’s important to know where every dollar is and whether or not it’s a possibility of coming in or not. So, um, as far as communication is concerned, you know, uh, does the agency have an online portal, right? Um, are there regular status reports that come out and, um, you know, are those status reports available to you online?
Sven Nelson (16:55):
Um, that’s a good question. You certainly should ask. Um, you know, with regards to, um, you know, how long does the agency hold the funds for once they’re collected, I’ve talked to customers before, and, you know, they said that, you know, they don’t get paid for 45 60 days. Um, you know, there’s, there’s really no reason to hold money, um, especially in a trust account where it’s a non interest bearing account. So why would they hold onto your money? Um, I mean, I would say anybody that’s holding your money for longer than, you know, 10, 15 days, just to make sure that it clears, um, is, you know, it is a concern. Um, so you know, here at our agency, we hold the money for 10 business days. Uh, and then, you know, we, we write checks out of that trust account every Tuesday. So I know that on Tuesdays, I’m going to get, you know, an email of different that have to be sent out for my clients, uh, you know, for ACH is, um, and that’s the other thing, are they going to ACH the money to you?
Sven Nelson (17:56):
Are they going to send you a check? How are they going to remit to you? What’s easiest for you? How are they going to bill you? Um, you know, there’s net remittance, which means that, you know, the company is going to send you the net amount minus, uh, any fees. Uh, and then there’s gross remittance. Um, you know, whether they’re going to send you the entire amount and they’re going to invoice you. Um, so you certainly want to talk to your, your, uh, collection agency about how you’d like to be built. I mean, and in some cases that that kind of accounting stuff can really cause issues at, uh, at certain businesses with regards to how they handle their billing and how they expect to be invoiced and things of that nature. So you definitely want to talk to them about, you know, how they’re going to bill you and, and talk about, you know, what’s best for you guys.
Sven Nelson (18:44):
Um, so, uh, does your agency provide any web-based tools, right? Is there any help that they’re going to provide you on the front end? Um, you know, in our agency, we actually have a web-based software, um, that we provide to all of our clients that gives them some contact management reporting systems, there’s letters that can be sent out through that system. So, you know, are they gonna work with you to help you better your situation? In other words, I feel like a lot of agencies out there, um, end up being a bandaid for the problem instead of working with you to become a solution. And I think it’s something that, you know, customers in your industry should actually strive for, you know, you should actually ask them, you know, is there any type of support that you can provide? Um, you know, are they gonna provide you with, uh, credit applications?
Sven Nelson (19:34):
Are they going to provide you with any resources, educational resources that can help you do that part of your job better? Um, so, um, you know, I mean, one question is, is this is kind of an obvious question is, you know, do you like the person you’re dealing? Um, are they, are they pleasant to deal with? I mean, I know it’s kind of an obvious thing. Um, but you know, it’s certainly, you know, you, you want to know, do you like that person and then last but not least, will you have a dedicated account rep? Um, a lot of you guys have probably had a collection agencies that have, uh, brought you on board and maybe the collection agencies been bought or sold. Um, maybe you have, you know, two or three different contacts there because one of the reps left, um, maybe you have two or three different contacts because they’re just not organized. And, you know, they, they don’t know who’s handling what account, what day? Um, so you want, you want to ask if you’re going to have a dedicated account account rep? Um, I guess, uh, that’s, that’s pretty much it, um, you’re on mute.
Lori J. Drake, CBA (20:50):
See, I don’t normally do that because I try to keep myself quiet. A lot of stuff you were saying. Definitely reminded me back in the day when obviously I haven’t been in credit manager for that long, uh, not been a credit manager for that long, but through LinkedIn, I’m sure everybody on this call and everybody else out there, there are so many collection agencies that contact you and they all say the same thing and they’ll do the same thing. So this is definitely a great topic to provide information to everybody on what the different things are to look for. I loved your quote. Don’t be a band-aid BS solution side.
Sven Nelson (21:25):
Uh, well, I hope I didn’t run through stuff so fast, too fast, but, um, you know, I want to get this information out there, especially with the licensing and the certification. I think those are things that people just don’t know about, you know, people normally think to have,
Lori J. Drake, CBA (21:40):
Well, I do have some questions for you. First one here is from Dr. Tony. He says, I have a Facebook community of personal injury doctors over 3,700 members. Now doctors only, they hold lanes with attorneys and settlements can take place not for over a year or more. So there are waiting a long time to get paid. Have you ever dealt with this situation before?
Sven Nelson (22:04):
So, um, I’m not sure if he’s referring to a consumer collections or business to business collections, consumer. Yeah. So Tony, unfortunately I’m only, um, I only know business to business collections, uh, with regards to consumer collections that deals a lot with FCCPA and I don’t want to miss speak to you, but, um, you know, I will say that, you know, anytime you’re dealing with the courts and the liens and, um, all of that, I mean, it just goes to show that, you know, really our justice system is not set up to collect money. It’s set up for dispense justice. Um, you know, it’s, it’s a tool to collect, um, but it’s not an end all be all. And you know, there’s a lot of people out there that have needs and judgements that just sit there and they never get collected. And, you know, you have to ask yourself, should I have really filed suit on this to begin with, because you know, there’s a lot of agencies out there that will, you know, push you to file suit. But, you know, if you really look at the big picture, maybe the company’s out of business already, like, what good is that going to do? Right. Um, and if you don’t have a personal guarantee, then that’s, that’s obviously gonna make things even harder for me. So, um, answer it as best I could, Tony, sorry, I don’t, I don’t have a FCCPA compliance, so I’m not, I can’t really answer to that.
Lori J. Drake, CBA (23:27):
Well, we appreciate that. He says, how about when the patient runs off with the settlement and now they owe the doctor. I think that would still fall under the consumer side of things. Um, if you want to reach out to me after we’re done on this call, I do know some consumer agencies that might be able to help you with that, but we do have a couple other questions here. First on your CLL, a site visits, do they let you know ahead of time when they’re going to show up?
Sven Nelson (23:55):
Uh, yeah, they do. They do. They do have to let us know that they’re going to be here. Well, not here cause I work out of my house, but I, our corporate office in Atlanta, yes we are identifying. Um, and, and usually it’s, it’s, it’s just like any other audit. Um, they’re gonna, they’re going to let you know they’re going to be there. Um, you’re going to be prepared as much as you can, and then they’re gonna basically ask you for random things and then you have to show them that you’re you’ve been compliant. So, so that’s how that works.
Lori J. Drake, CBA (24:26):
Another question is how old of an account is too old to submit to an agency.
Sven Nelson (24:32):
Um, so that’s stage specific actually. Um, so each day has statutes and it’s, uh, basically based on whether it’s a written contract or a not written contract. Um, and then, you know, the typical, I would say the average is four years, but I mean, if you’re talking about something that’s three and four years old, you’re probably wasting your time. Anyway. Unfortunately, um, you know, not only have, has the debtor forgotten about it, but you know, you’re going to not have the backup or the people that can talk with regards to disputes and all that kind of stuff. I mean, if it counts with three or four years old, you’re better off just writing it off, moving on and cutting your losses. Honestly,
Lori J. Drake, CBA (25:16):
Thank you. Another one do agencies typically report to the credit bureaus and if they do, is it consumer or commercial?
Sven Nelson (25:23):
So, um, commercial agencies actually can, um, report to, uh, commercial bureaus. Um, and it really depends on the agency, uh, whether or not they have that capability. Um, and they to have their clients actually have to sign, uh, something stating that they want their receivables reported. Um, so we actually have, uh, the ability to report to, um, experienced business and for Cara here. Um, and you know, those industries, as far as the bureaus are concerned are pretty incestuous. So, uh, what I mean by that is a lot, they all share information back and forth pretty readily. So, you know, once it hits one bureau, you can almost bet that it’s going to be seen on other bureaus. So
Lori J. Drake, CBA (26:10):
Another one do all credit aides or collection agencies understand the construction industry when they’re making those calls?
Sven Nelson (26:19):
Uh, no, uh, that’s actually a really great question. Um, I would tell you that a lot of them don’t understand the nuances and, uh, things that you deal with, uh, in the construction industry. Um, what I mean in particular is, uh, with regards to, you know, uh, your rights as a, the creditor, um, any lien waivers that DB filed, uh, deadlines that need to be met, um, you know, having the ability to actually go to the property owner, right? Like somebody just see might just get the debtor and don’t just pursue the debtor. Well, you know, if that doesn’t work, then what, um, well, you know, if you have an educated agency they’ll know that, you know, they actually have the right to talk to the property owner as well. Um, obviously with your permission as the creditor, but, um, no, um, you know, there are agencies out there that I would say are better at some industries than others.
Sven Nelson (27:14):
Um, so not everybody understands every industry as well as they should or could. Um, you know, it really depends on the experience of the agency, the experience of the collectors, um, as a whole, um, you know, some agencies, they just hire uneducated. People are not uneducated, but I’m sorry, unex inexperienced people, um, you know, we’ve got, uh, I, I cringe when I say this, but our average age, uh, or average experience for our clickers is like 30 years. Um, so yeah, I mean, just, they’ve just been doing it a really long time and it’s not like everybody here is old, but we have just a, really a massive group of, you know, what I would say more experienced bet, um, veteran collectors that are just awesome at it. So, yeah.
Lori J. Drake, CBA (28:01):
Another question. What is your advice for deciding where to send your accounts? I E attorney agency, small claims court.
Sven Nelson (28:11):
Um, again, I think that depends on, on you as an individual. Um, I think it depends on your threshold for time. Um, I think it depends on, you know, um, really the case in particular. I mean, I think things that, you know, automatically have a lien on them, um, that already have a lead and the customer still refusing to pay. I think something like that should certainly just go straight to an attorney and straight to suit. Um, because if it’s gotten that far, you’re probably not going to collect it through an agency. Um, you know, if you, if you want the experience of going through small claims court, you know, go, go ahead. Um, it, it does, it does feel like a time suck, um, because you do have to drive down there and, you know, and these days you’re, you’re doing everything via zoom or who jeans or anything like that.
Sven Nelson (28:59):
But, um, you know, I think that, you know, an agency is, is if you don’t have a lean on something, um, I think an agency is a good place to start. Um, I mean, if it’s, if you’re talking to small dollars and you really want to go do the experience, small things work by all means, go, go give it a try. But again, I don’t think it’s going to be as effective as a lot of people feel like it really is. Um, I mean, I think you’re going to win the judgment. You’re going to feel great. And then you’re going to remember, wait, my pockets are still in deep. Um, so I think collection agencies are a good place to start because, um, you know, we have several people that are going to be keeping an eye on these accounts on a regular basis, right?
Sven Nelson (29:41):
We have a lot of people that are touching them, whereas, you know, that’s, that’s the reason why you hand it over and you don’t have the time to deal with it as much as it needs to be dealt with and make you a priority. And, you know, if you have a great agency that really understands the legal process and they really have a great legal team behind them, then they can forward that onto the legal team for you and, and manage the process. So, you know, you can have somebody that can, can do it all for you. So I hope I answered that question.
Lori J. Drake, CBA (30:14):
Oh, another question is on reputation, heard a lot of horror stories around agencies damaging our reputation.
Sven Nelson (30:22):
Yeah. Um, I think that’s a great question as well. Um, you know, I think that collection agencies as a whole, we always, we always get a lot of scrutiny, right. I mean, uh, let’s face it, there isn’t a debtor out there, um, that does not want to get, you know, a collection agency called. Right. And, you know, as frustrated as they get with the situation, um, you know, some of these guys will go out and, you know, complain about the agency when really they’re not complaining about the agency, they’re complaining about the situation that they’re in. Um, and you know, agencies should also understand that, you know, when you hand them a customer, you’re actually giving them, you know, one of your most valuable assets, right? It’s a client that your company worked hard for now. Like some people they say they send an account to collections.
Sven Nelson (31:12):
They’re like, I’m done with this customer. I don’t ever want to see him again. I don’t want to deal with them again. And that’s fine too, but there are a lot of customers out there that really do want to have the ability to do business with these people. Again, I mean, believe it or not, I’ve had the same client place, the same customer for collections like three or four times over. So, and you know, these sales driven organizations, um, that are, you know, have that sales driven mentality will continue to place these accounts. You know, they’ll continue to sell them, right. They want the sale. So, you know, you do, you do need to work with somebody who does protect your, your reputation. It is important. Um, they need to understand that, you know, you, you don’t want your name drugged through the mud just because you’re trying to collect debt.
Sven Nelson (31:58):
Um, I also think that there’s a misconception out there that, you know, every customer that you turn them over for collections is going to run around bad. Now, can you be in front of, over for collections? I don’t think that’s the case. Um, most of the people aren’t going to sit around at the coffee pot and talk about how they’ve been turned over for collections. Right. So, um, I wouldn’t be too concerned about that, but I definitely think it’s important that your agency understands that, you know, you don’t want your reputation ruined and, you know, as long as you’re dealing with the certified agency, a company that, you know, really understands that, I think you’ll be okay.
Lori J. Drake, CBA (32:33):
Thank you for that. Looks like we have one more question. What do you think is the hardest part when choosing between agencies?
Sven Nelson (32:40):
Oh, man. Uh, gosh, I dunno, I guess, uh, I guess really knowing who you’re dealing with on the other end of the phone, you know, um, because you can, you can talk to somebody and feel like, you know, you’re, you’re dealing with a good person or that they know what they’re doing and then maybe talk to them another day and then realize that, oh man, maybe they don’t, you know, so, um, maybe just knowing who you’re dealing with, but I mean, I think it’s important that, you know, if an agency of licensed, if they’re certified, they have a lot of people looking at them. They have a lot of people scrutinizing how they operate. And so I think that’s a good way to tell. Um, and you know, just, just your overall gut, I mean, you know, look at the ASU website, um, look at, um, you know, their reputation online, you know, are they better business bureau?
Sven Nelson (33:30):
Is there a better business bureau reputation? Good. I mean, have they had any queues filed against them? Um, that’s a good thing. Um, you can check into. So, um, you know, there’s, there’s all sorts of in, in, in Google, your friend, right? I mean, just like when you get a new customer, you Google them, um, or you should anyway, um, and Google the agency, like what, what’s, what’s negative out there, you know, like if you’re Googling them and they only negative information you see is a customer that’s mad because, you know, they were turned over for collections and they went out there and bad mouth, the agency, and then I wouldn’t be too concerned, but if they have a whole bunch of customer complaints like of their customers that aren’t getting paid or aren’t getting communication, correct. You know, there’s not great communication or they’re, you know, that kind of stuff, then I’d be really concerned. So
Lori J. Drake, CBA (34:24):
I agree with all that. And definitely Google is, has always been my friend.
Sven Nelson (34:31):
Lori J. Drake, CBA (34:31):
It looks like that’s all we had for questions. I want to thank you again for taking the time and sharing all this information. It was definitely a lot of good stuff. Um, we did have a gentleman Jeffrey, that’s going to go ahead and send him over some templates that he uses when choosing a collection agency. So I’ll go ahead and send those out along with the recording. Uh, when we get this all done and again, spend,
Sven Nelson (34:51):
Hey, thank you for having me on. I really appreciate it. So
Lori J. Drake, CBA (34:56):
Everybody have a great day. We’ll see you next time.
Sven Nelson (34:58):
Awesome. Thank you.