Debt collectors have become more and more aggressive these days. You will be less intimidated by collection calls if you know your rights; what is allowable and what is not. No one likes or needs those unexpected debt collection calls. No matter what your debt troubles are, there are several approaches you can take in that situation. The worst of all is to do nothing. Take action, know your rights, and in so doing, you can help others in the same situation.Millions of Americans are dealing with this crisis, and it is growing every day. The average American credit card debt is topping 18k. Perhaps you have noticed people paying for groceries and gas and normal staples they would never have thought of putting of their credit cards before? It’s no small wonder so many are falling behind and in trouble with debt. This has incited debt collectors to take extreme measures, many of which are illegal. Complaints against collection debt practices are the highest in history, obviously due to so many American consumers in debt up to their necks. It has been reported and proven in court cases, those debt collectors are becoming more abusive and crossing the line beyond what is legal collection law.A good idea would be to familiarize yourself with The Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA). Congress saw the need for it when it wrote, as part of the law that “[t]here is abundant evidence of the use of abusive, deceptive, and unfair debt collection practices by many debt collectors. Abusive debt collection practices contribute to the number of personal bankruptcies, to marital instability, to the loss of jobs, and to invasions of individual privacy. Therefore, it was written that the purpose of the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act is to eliminate abusive debt collection practices by debt collectors and to protect consumers against debt collection abuses.”The full document is a bit cumbersome, so here are a few of the key points covered by The Fair Debt Collection Act.Key Points of The Fair Debt Collection Practices Act · A debt collector can not harass, oppress, or abuse you or any third parties they contact.This would include any threat of violence or harm, use of obscene or profane language; repeatedly make calls with intent to annoy or harass someone, publish any personal information anywhere expect a credit reporting agency.· A debt collector cannot call before 9 a.m. or after 8 p.m.· A debt collector cannot contact 3rd parties for any information except to gather location information.· A debt collector may not call you at work if you have directed them not to do so.· A debt collector may not misrepresent themselves. For example, falsely claim they are an attorney, or belong to a government agency; falsely claim you have committed a crime or misrepresent the amount you owe. A debt collector cannot threaten you with arrest for nonpayment. They cannot claim to take legal action against you, or tell you they will seize, garnish, attach or sell your property or wages unless they are permitted by law to take the action and intend to do so.· Debt collectors are prohibited from using unfair practices when they try to collect a debt. For example, they may not attempt to collect interest, fees or other charges on top of the amount owed unless the contract that created the debt, or your state saw, allows the charge. Debt collectors are also not allowed to take or threaten to take property unless it can be done legally. They cannot deposit a post-dated check early or contact you by postcard.· A debt collector may not contact you once you have notified them in writing to cease communication. However, they are allowed to notify you one time only to convey their intent of action.· Debt collectors are required to provide validation of debts. They must notify you within five days of initial contact. The validation must provide the amount of the debt, the name of the creditor to whom the debt is owed, and how you should proceed if you wish to dispute the debt. If you dispute the debt within 30 days, the debt collector must verify the validity of the debt. This should provide proof that the collection company owns the debt/or has been assigned the debt, and statements from the original creditor.The Federal Trade Commission (FTC), the nation’s consumer protection agency, enforces the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA). If you feel a debt collector is in violation of the FDCPA, notify the FTC. Also report the problem to your state Attorney General’s office. They can help you determine your rights under your state’s law. You can also file a civil suit in your state or federal court for up to $1,000plus damages and costs.
Most companies do not have a debt collection department. This means that the collection of debt often falls onto the employees. Most employees are not happy with this task and generally are not successful. Since it is important that debt recovery be successful if you want your business to succeed, you need to ensure that you have the best professionals on the job. For some businesses this means hiring a collections agency.Commercial agencies exist so that businesses do not have to handle collection of debt on their own. The right collection services are those that have expertise in handling the collection of debt successfully. The debt collectors that you select are vital to your business. If they do not have proven results bypass them and move on to someone else. You need only the best collections agency to help you.Debt collection is a serious matter because it could impact your finances dramatically. Without incoming cash the outgoing cash could be too low. In other words, you may not be able to pay your expenses if you do not collect your debt. The sample answer is to have the right professional handle the job.If you do not pursue the collection of debt as you should, your company could end up in financial distress. The income that you receive from your customers is vital to cover the expenses that your business has. This is why many businesses rely on commercial agencies. A collections agency has the skills and expertise to collect your debt from customers that have not paid.It is very important that you choose the debt collectors wisely. You need a debt recovery collection company that is able to provide results. This means they need education, training and experience in the collection of debt. The collections agency you select should have proven results and be able to provide you with the information you need quickly and easily.Collection services are available to assist you and help you to regain the financial compensation your business deserves. This will allow you to continue to offer payment plans to customers. After all, customers that have not proven themselves untrustworthy should not be punished for those who are. Debt collection is a necessary part of business and should be handled by professionals.Commercial agencies are professionals that are highly trained in this art of collecting. They know how to achieve the results that you want. The right professional will work with you to meet your goals successfully. Do not focus your energy or insist that your employees work on debt collections when you can hire a professional for the job.
This article provides a brief overview of the state of the debt collection business. Why is this important to doctors and medical billing and collection practices? Because one of the main reasons this business is thriving is because of the medical debt incurred by consumers today.Medical Debt and BankruptciesAccording to: Medical Bankruptcy in the United States, 2007: Results of a National Study, by David U. Himmelstein, et. al., American Journal of Medicine, 2009:• 62.1% of all bankruptcies are related to a medical issue.• Bankruptcies that could be attributed to medical issues increased by 50% between 2001 and 2007.• 75% of medical debtors had health insurance.There is opportunity for savvy physician practices and medical billing firms to collect what is owed them.Booming Debt Collection IndustryCurrent data predicts a debt collection industry growth of 23% between now and 2016. Leading the way for these services will be doctor’s offices and hospitals.New technology is making it profitable for even small scale entrepreneurs to get into the debt collection industry, increasing the number of companies in the business. Debt collection agencies have recovered almost $40 billion in debt or about $133 for every person in the US. In fact, in 2005, US businesses forwarded $141 billion in delinquent consumer debt to collection. The agencies collected $51 billion of that debt keeping a profit of about 25%.To show how much money can be made from collecting consumer debts, consider this example. A Virginia based company, Portfolio Recovery Associates (PRA), bought debt worth $16.4 million in face value. The company paid $415.4 million for that debt which came out to about 2.5 cents on the dollar. PRA collected an average of 7.5 cents per debt dollar eventually posting a profit of $36.8 million in 2005.Because of this profit potential, small mom and pop business are finding it more likely that a collection agency will help them. Municipalities are also using collection agencies to help collect past due parking tickets and library fines.Consumer Debt and BankruptcyIn the beginning of 2009, US revolving consumer debt was about $950 billion, requiring consumers to spend 13.9% of their disposable income to service it.The number of bankruptcy cases commenced, terminated and pending has more than doubled over the last five years. Here are the statistics as of December for the prior 12 months over the last five years:2010- 1,593,0812009- 1,473,6752008- 1,117,6412007- 850,9122006- 617,660