The debt collection industry is designed to contact the consumers and disposition the accounts. If the consumer was convinced to pay the account ,that is the desired disposition but no matter if the the disposition is deceased, bankrupt or other statuses the purpose of the contact is to disposition the account. So what are the three top contact trends to get that disposition posted?
As the top operational consultant in the debt collection industry since 2001 I have seen many agencies and law firm strategies to collect and contact consumers. Once the consumer has been identified and the initial talk off is executed what are the three most likely scenarios for that contact?
The first is that the debtor will say “I do not have the money”.
Well we are all very used to that one but whats the best way to handle that rebuttal? What Lighthouse Consulting teaches is to just listen till you hear something better from the consumer. If the collector has performed the talk off correctly then the last thing said by him or her was something close to “My client shows a balance of $1.234.56 dollars and they desire it paid in full today, how would you like to pay this bill today by card or check?”.
Most collectors cannot just listen to the consumer they prefer to talk but if a collector is trained to ask for the payment in full and just push the mute button till he/she hears a payment offer it’s a game changer. If the collector can listen long enough he can easily move to the next scenario by the debtor making any kind of offer of repayment.
Most consumers will first say I have no money, then if the collector is still quiet they will give a reason for their non payment and if still nothing from the collector they will offer a small token repayment offer. Now you move to the next scenario. The trick is getting that collector to make the request for payment in full and just listen.
The second scenario is most likely to be “I can pay you $10 a month”.
Once you have gotten the consumer to offer any repayment plan its all up to how well you can negotiate the deal. This is what the debt collector is looking for, a willing consumer. Now the trick is to gather enough info from the consumer that will lead you to methods of repayment such as a 401K, available line of credit, deferred car payment or other way to pay the bill or negotiate the best possible arrangement or repayment.
The last most likely scenario is “I don’t owe that bill”.
This is much harder to deal with than the two above rebuttals as you have to try to get the real story so you can determine if its a real, legit dispute, a lie or a partial dispute. Handling disputes is very important and requires a patient debt collector who is able to and willing to listen to the dispute. The biggest job at this point is clearly to document the issue and either use docs already provided by the client to get to the real truth and settlement or to send the details to the client for further documentation of the debt.
So what does all this mean, whats the takeaway? Well in my opinion It reenforces the fact that quality training is required in todays marketplace. If you need more information on The Lighthouse Consulting Collector Training Program contact us at 305-853-8773.