Collection agencies collect debts on behalf of businesses like medical centers, banks, and insurance firms. Credit card companies and other private businesses may also hire collection agencies to collect their debts. This is sometimes necessary when a company’s clients fail to pay their loans, bills, and other financial agreements. Mortgages and credit card bills are both two types of financial contracts that are made between two parties. When someone owes money but hasn’t paid in, say, three months, collection agencies may get involved. They charge a fee for their service, but work diligently to settle the debt through phone calls, letters, in-person visits, and legal action if necessary. Once a debt is paid, the collection agency closes out the account or claim. They must adhere to certain state and federal regulations, though, on how to collect a debt. If you need to hire a collection agency for your business, call the firm or visit its website for more information. Also known as credit bureaus and bounty hunters, collection agencies may charge interest rates on the accounts for commercial and residential customers. If you owe a debt collection agency money, you may be able to pay the bill online. It’s helpful to know some popular definitions in the business.
Creditor – A business or person to whom money is owed.
Skip Tracing – The act of tracking down a person to settle a debt on a financial contract, bill, plan, or other agreement.
Asset and Liability Searches – One service offered by collection agencies that allows them to search for assets or liabilities.
Pre-collection – A service offered by collection agencies that involves letters and telephone contact before more aggressive forms of collection. The level of pre-collection can be customized by the client.
The businesses referred to as collection agencies specialize in reminding or compelling individuals with outstanding debts to make good on their financial and legal obligations. The collection agency industry acts on the basis of the legality inherent in an individual's credit, but not necessarily as the company to which the money was originally owed. In general, the collection agency field is known for the proactive and potentially antagonistic stance which it typically takes toward people who have not yet settled their credit obligations.
One of the main sources of variability in the collection agency field derives from the relationship which the company has to the creditor and the debtor. As a supporting function, an agency can collect payments from a debtor of its parent company. Collection agencies of this kind may also be known as first-party collectors.
On the other and, people with outstanding bills are often compelled to pay off their obligations to-called "third party" agencies. The original debtor can allow for this practice by contracting out the right to make good on a debt claim to one of those third parties. Commercial collection agencies will be paid based on a fee or a percentage based on the interest rate involved. Another third-party sector of this field consists of companies which specialize in purchasing the right to compel debtors to settle their bills.
Since this financial industry sometimes engages in abusive behavior toward people with unpaid debt plans, the U.S. Congress carried out regulation through the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA). Cornell University's Law School maintains relevant online information. People without sufficient medical insurance to cover their bills, or other financial obligations, can thus learn about the scope and limitations of their rights, and protect themselves more effectively.