Debt Collection - When to hand over accounts?

Debt Collection Guide

Generally, if an account is 90 days and over, it should be handed over to a debt collection agency.

At this point, most creditors have already broken the terms and conditions of the credit granted and the relationship has soured.

By now, the debtor has received all statements and letters and the creditor has also expressed its concern at the lack of response for payment.

The writing is on the wall - the debtor has a cash flow problem.

Be that as it may, a collection problem exists and the account should now be placed with a debt collection agency.

The following excuses are indications of serious cash flow problems and are good reasons to hand over earlier than the prescribed 90 days:

The cheque is in the post!

Most of us know this one. Payment is promised but the delivery thereof is a hoax.

The telephone number is disconnected

The quicker you investigate and follow up the better your chances of recovery of the debt.

Repeatedly requests additional documentation

This is a common practice and is mostly used when debtors want to play for more time.

I will take care of the account

The Debtor acknowledges the debt but refuses to provide a specific date and time for payment.

Broken two or more promises

A strong indication that debtor could not manage to raise the funds and the quicker you get in line the better your chances.

I know I received the goods/services, but I am not responsible for payment

in many cases like in divorces this situation occurs. The one party incurs the debt and refers it to the other party to pay. These disputes are not easily dealt with and tact should be used when confronting the debtor.

Can't pay - do whatever you want

In most cases this is only a bluff with the expectation for you to forget about collecting the debt.

Return to sender mail

This is a clear indication the debtor has absconded

Refer to Drawer cheque

The debtor is in financial difficulty and the bank has dishonoured the cheque.

A Dispute arises which was not raised previously

The debtor raises objections to paying on the basis of disputing the service delivery or the working of the product.

Debtor claims to be unemployed

If in doubt a very good reason to hand over.

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