Is an informed consumer good news or bad news for your business?
Well, for most service-based businesses the answer is most likely yes. After all, an informed consumer can hopefully determine why doing business with you is better than choosing your competition.
But when it comes to collecting outstanding revenue, especially if you handle this in-house, the answer might be “no.”
Why is that?
Business collection laws and compliance
The stated purpose of the Bureau of Consumer Financial Protection (CFPB), according to Wikipedia, is…
“an independent agency of the United States government responsible for consumer protection in the financial sector…. It writes and enforces rules for financial institutions, examines both bank and non-bank financial institutions, monitors and reports on markets, as well as collects and tracks consumer complaints.“
And that includes efforts on your part to collecting outstanding payments owed to you.
Almost doesn’t seem fair, right?
Well, recently the CFPB issued a notice that it intends to conduct a mail survey of consumers “to learn about their experiences interacting with the debt collection industry.” The goal of this survey is to gather information related to debt collection law, and will ask consumer questions regarding:
- whether they have been contacted by debt collectors in the past
- whether they recognized the debt being collected
- how they were contacted by the debt collector
- preferences for how they would like to be contacted
- and general opinions about the existing laws that govern debt collection
So what does this mean for your business?
Well, if you generally handle debt collections in-house you better make sure that ALL of your correspondence with current and former customers, patients or clients is compliant.
The changing landscape of collection law
In a recent article I pointed out why, in my opinion, collection letter templates are unreliable.
The point I addressed in that article, worth repeating, here, is that…
“And the last thing you want while trying to collect is to get a notice in the mail that you are being sued by the very person or persons who you are trying to collect from. Nothing could be more frustrating than getting sued from the very people who owe you money.”
An “informed consumer,” according to the recent CFPB survey, is one who is knowledgeable of how collection laws relate to their experience of being contacted by you or a collection agency on your behalf. Which means that it will become increasingly more difficult to collect outstanding debt on your own.
And this means that one slip-up on your part could land you on the wrong side of a lawsuit.
And as I mentioned in that earlier article it really does make sense, now more than ever, to outsource your collection headaches to a company that is fully compliant with state and federal collection laws. This reduces your liability to essentially zero and gives you a better chance for collecting some, or all, of the money that you are owed.
Get professional help with your past due accounts today
To find a collections agency that specializes in helping business likes yours, simply request a free services quote from qualified and reputable companies.
Click the link and compare free collection agency quotes today.
This way you can save time, money and aggravation by hiring a professional who can help you collect some (or all?) of your outstanding accounts receivable.
After all, when you get down to it you really only have two choices:
- you can keep doing what you’re doing (and hope for a different result), or
- you can find a commercial collections agency that can help you recover what’s rightfully yours.
Either way it’s your money… you decide.