Arming Yourself for a Successful Collection


by Ila Zellner


Sally the collector scanned through her new set of claims. The first seemed pretty straightforward. Labels Boutique had two outstanding invoices for the designer Donna Karen. She picked up the telephone and called Donna.

Sally: "Good afternoon, Ms. Karen. I represent Labels Boutique. You have an outstanding balance with them."

Donna: "Well, I never received and merchandise. Do you have a proof of delivery?"

Sally: "Hmmm...I don't have that information on hand. I will have to contact Labels Boutique and get the proof of delivery. I will forward that to you."

The debtor had effectively stalled for a few weeks.



How many times has this happened to you? Or maybe it was a similar situation, like "I need copies of the invoicing," or "Can you send me a copy of the signed contract?" Whether the debtor is stalling on purpose, or legitimately needs the information, the claim is delayed and the money is not coming. To collect on the outstanding balance, the collector must provide all of the pertinent information that the debtor requests.

Almost every collection attempt is delayed because the collector does not have all the necessary information. When the debtor makes a demand for the information, the collector must first contact the client and request it. Then the client needs to find that information and send it to the collector. Finally, the collector forwards the informationto the debtor. When a collector is able to provide documentation fast, they have more control over the claim and the ball is always in the debtor's court. Having all the information on hand helps to cut through the smoke and get right to the money.

Here is a list of some basic documentation that every creditor should have to help the collector and increase the chances of a successful collection:

  • Signed Contracts

  • Personal Guarantees

  • Proof of Delivery

  • Copies of Invoices

  • Credit References

  • Copies of Checks

  • Dun & Bradstreet Reports

  • Current Statements of Account

  • Terms of Leases/Agreements

  • Correspondence From the Debtor

  • Previous History of Collections

With this information on hand, the collector can dodge the excuses and get to the money. Sending this information when placing the claim will save valuable time, resources and money.



Here's the above story again, with Sally having all the information and the debtor having nowhere to go:

Sally: "Good afternoon, Ms. Karen. I represent Labels Boutique. You have an outstanding balance with them."

Donna: "Well, I never received and merchandise. Do you have a proof of delivery?"

Sally: "Why yes, I do. I also have the invoices, a current statement of account and a contract outlining the terms of the agreement with your signature on it. Why don't I fax this information to you for your perusal and have my courier pick up a check tomorrow."

Donna: "Umm....err....ok."

Web Design and Optimization By Top Ten Marketing
Copyright 2005-2006 Twenty-First Century Associates

All Rights Reserved.