Debt collector dos and doníts for collection calls

By: Sara Peterson1

Once an account is turned over to a collection agency, the representative trying to recover the account will begin telephone calls and sending written notices regarding the account. Once those nescience telephone calls begin,they usually do not stop until the account is paid and settled. The debt collectors trying to collect the delinquent accounts have state and federal collection laws they must follow including The Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA).
The FDCPA was passed to protect consumers from abusive debt recovery tactics and to promote fair debt collection practices. Both the collectors trying to collect on the past-due accounts and the debtors placed into collections can get frustrated when dealing with these accounts. The representatives will make several telephone calls on a weekly basis reminding debtors of the outstanding accounts. Because the representatives are subject to the FDCPA and other state and federal laws there are certain things the collector can and cannot do and say when making these telephone calls. Below is a list of dos and doníts for collectors when calling to request payment on the accounts.
1. Know the details on the account including the amount due, date of the purchase/service, the name of the original creditor and what the debt is for.
2. Have a positive expectation for every call.
3. Identify yourself, where youíre calling from and the person you are speaking with.
4. Maintain control of the call.
5. Stay calm and professional during the call.
6. Listen to what the debtor has to say.
7. Request payment from the debtor in a nonthreatening way. Encourage them to make a payment in full or set up a payment plan to settle the account immediately.
8. Note details of the call including what they said, when they plan to pay, their attitude over the phone and when you are scheduled to talk to them next.
9. Set up a specific date and time to follow up with the debtor.
10. Convince the debtor to speed up the payment.
1. Donít eat, drink or chew gum when calling the debtor.
2. Donít use the speakerphone unless there are multiple people on the call.
3. Donít use abusive language or threaten the debtor to get payment.
4. Donít use a negative attitude.
5. Donít agree to small payments without knowing all of the facts on the account.
6. Donít place the debtor on hold.
7. Donít accuse the debtor of lying.
8. Donít make an excuse for the debtor not to make a payment.
9. Donít shout or raise your voice at the debtor.

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Debt collectors that follow these dos and don’ts will have a higher likelihood of successfully collecting on the accounts and working with more pleasant debtors.

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