A debt collection agency will mediate and ensure both sides are able to find the best resolution rather than seek immediate aggressive actions. A recent report by MPs suggest many local authorities are instead selecting to chase debtors harshly from the beginning. Could they benefit from the experts?
 

What makes a good debt collection agency? Should a debt collector chase aggressively? Should collectors make debtors feel uncomfy?

We believe not necessarily. Dealing with debt is an emotive issue. Debt collection requires conducting on a case by case basis. This means personal strategies and investment from the collection agent in charge.

Local authority debt collection – Too aggressive?

Recently, MPs have suggested debt collection procedures by local councils have failed to meet this remit. In a report from the Treasury Committee, MPs believe local authorities are being ‘overzealous’. Some authorities seem happy to forward debt collection to high court enforcement early in the process. When it comes to repayment of council tax, each case should face scrutiny. Circumstance matters and in consumer debt, this is a vital aspect of collections.

The report suggests current tactics are “driving vulnerable people into further financial difficulty”. Rather than being aggressive, councils are being urged to take a calmer approach. As an experienced debt collection agency, our collectors know aggressive processes aren’t a one size fits all answer. If a debtor has the means to pay and is avoiding it on purpose, eventually a collector must be stern. If however a debtor is having trouble with cash flow, mediation is the answer. Talking to a debtor is the best method of finding a solution. Many debt collection agencies may boast quick collections and ruthless tactics, but often, this doesn’t create a quick fix.

Debt Collection Procedures – It’s personal

Our message to local councils would be, listen to the report. We recently blogged about debt collection automation and how homogeneous strategies can be harmful. While local councils may not be adopting this exact approach, the report suggests they are taking a similar one. Currently they are not taking into account personal circumstance. The pride of our collections process is in our ability to understand a debt to find the best solution. A creditor simply wants payment and the debtor wants the issue to no longer strain them. Escalating to the high court early can be a costly and very emotional and taxing procedure. This is why we find mediation a much more agreeable course of action.

Speaking about the report was the head of Collections at AYOM. He told us “it’s never advisable to head right into collecting a debt aggressive; threatening high court action. Every story has two sides and the biggest part of our service is to mediate and find a resolution. Of course sometimes we must be firm but the term ‘firm but fair’ is what we aim for. We act on behalf of the client but we also have a duty of care to debtors. Each case needs assessment and looking at this report, it seems some authorities aren’t doing that.”

Debt collection agencies – outsource to the experts

Local authorities aren’t always the shining example of repaying their debts. While we have recovered from authorities, we have also recovered for authorities. When it comes to debt collection, don’t take the risk of being too aggressive or selecting the wrong strategy. Outsource it. Debt collection agencies like AYOM are here to make the process simple. We mediate, find solutions and remove the problem from both sides.

For advice if you have outstanding debts in a business or personal capacity, call AYOM today. We’re available on 0800 130 3357 or by email at enquiries@ayom.co.uk. We can discuss options going forward and what path may be best for your particular debt.