Collections Agency Comparisons
The collections agency industry may not have the best reputation, but it still continues to grow as about 30 million Americans have at least one debt in collections. The industries with the largest consumer debt include credit card debt, student loans, medical bills, mortgages, and auto loans. In an increasingly digital world, however, the industry is expected to see a decline in workers because of automation of collections work.
Best Collection Agency for Small Business
With Rocket Receivables' helpful online portal, inexpensive fees and tailored strategies, we chose this provider as the best collections agency for small businesses. It's a great solution for any small business looking for help with delinquent accounts.
The company's online portal gives you 24/7 access to your accounts. At any time, you're able to approve partial payments, and start, stop or suspend accounts with just the click of the button. The portal also houses daily status reports.
Rocket Receivables offers two different approaches for debt recovery. The first stage is designed for new accounts and small businesses. It's less expensive, but doesn't offer as many services. The second stage is for older, harder accounts and utilizes more aggressive tactics to recover payments from delinquent debtors.
Stage one ranges between $10.95 and $19.95 per account, while the cost of stage two is 50 percent of the money collected. Rocket Receivables has lower prices than other solutions we reviewed.
Best B2B Collection Agency
Summit Account Resolutions has excellent features paired with strong customer service, making it our choice for the best B2B collections service. It has every feature a business needs to recover debt from delinquent accounts, including a skip-tracing department, an online portal and full-service litigation.
When you sign up with Summit, you receive credentials to its online portal. There, you can submit new accounts and view the status of current accounts 24/7. You also receive an account manager who is your point of contact when you sign up. If your debtors are hard to locate, Summit can use its entire skip-tracing department led by a private investigator.
Best B2C Collection Agency
Aspen National Collections is our pick for the best B2C collections agency. It has every feature a business needs to recover debt from delinquent B2C debt, such as skip-tracing, online access to accounts, customized approaches and great reporting.
Aspen National Collections has expertise in consumer debt, specifically for companies with timeshare or vacation ownership resorts, educational loans, utility cooperatives and other niches. This U.S.-based company collects debts across the country and in Mexico and Canada. You can decide which of Aspen National's customized approaches is best for each of your accounts. It also gives you the opportunity to play unpaid debt on your debtor's credit history if they don't respond to your demands.
Editor's Note: Looking for a collections agency to help your business recover customer debt? Fill out the questionnaire below and we will connect you with vendors that can help.
With the right technology, collections agencies can tailor communications to resonate with each debtor. The best agencies are up-to-date with the latest technologies; and have responsive, mobile-friendly websites and payment portals so consumers can easily pay online.
Other technologies such as skip tracing and online portals are also important to evaluate before choosing and signing up with an agency. To help you find the right service, we evaluated more than 25 agencies to come up with our best recommendations. In this guide, we highlight key features, price points and the best services available.
Rocket Receivables, Summit Account Resolutions, and Aspen National Collections are our best picks for businesses. You can read about each below.
Most collections agencies charge based on contingency fees. This means fees are a percentage of the collected debt. Typically, fees range between 10 and 50 percent. However, many factors determine the fees, such as the size of debt portfolio, the work required to obtain the debt, the age of the account and whether attorneys need to get involved.
What to Look For in a Collections Agency
Collections agencies have techniques and processes to recover debt from delinquent accounts. Most offer skip tracing, a method of tracking down hard-to-find people, including if they have skipped town to avoid paying their debts. Letters are generally the first step of contact and can be very effective. Most services send two or three letters before taking further action. If these means of requesting payments are unsuccessful, many services offer litigation services should you decide to pursue legal action against your debtor. The best services typically don't charge you until they recover your funds.
When you select a collections agency, you want to make sure it has all the features you company needs to recover money from delinquent accounts. A useful feature is an online system and client portal. Most services offer this option, which is very beneficial for receiving up-to-date information on the progress the company is making in recovering your monies.
If your business deals with international sales and accounts, you want a service that also offers foreign collections, which many services do.
Debt collection can be a sensitive subject; therefore, you'll want to look at a collections agency's reputation. The way it treats your debtors reflects directly on your company, either positively or negatively. While we considered the reputation of the services we reviewed, we recommend doing further research as well.
When evaluating collections agencies, you want to find a company that is proactive and quick to respond to any inquires you have, as well as one that you can easily contact when you need to. Testimonials are helpful when researching the company's reputation, and it speaks volumes when a company can provide many satisfied clients.
You'll also want a service that is reputable and honest – one that fights to recover your funds without tarnishing the good name of your company. Most services offer similar features, so knowing the way they execute those features and services will be the deciding factor when choosing a company to recover the funds you've earned.
To find the best collection agency for small businesses, we started by listing vendors that appeared on reputable online sources such as review sites and business websites. Then, we interviewed small business owners to discover new ones to add to our list. We also included vendors who have previously pitched their collection services to us. In total, we created list of more than 30 collections agencies.
We narrowed down the list based on different use-cases scenarios and a range of criteria, which are listed below. Our research included reviewing each provider's website and comparing services and prices, as well as studying user reviews. We posed as business owners and contacted customer services and sales representatives to gain a better understanding of the quality of services and to learn information we couldn't find online.
Our short list for best picks contenders includes Alexander Miller & Associates, Aspen National Collections, Firstsource Recovery, LLC, National Association of Credit Management, Prestige Services, Inc., Rocket Receivables, The Smyyth, Summit Account Resolution, Transworld Systems, and Your Collection Solution.
Here are the criteria we used to evaluate each collection agency:
- Rates and contracts
- Customer service
- Service limitation
- Skip-tracing services
- Litigation services
- What industries worked in
- Online features available
- Better Business Bureau ratings and accreditations
- Locations services are available
Ever wonder how you can take your collections performance to the top?
Learn how analytics boost collection revenue. Five ways to increase your collections effectiveness. Read MoreDownload Now
Traditional approaches are less and less effective. New techniques are proving to produce much higher ROI for collections time, effort and expense despite the shifting ground of economic, regulatory and social change. Using multi-channel strategies, whether mobile applications, voice, SMS, web or email – along with advanced analytics can help you connect and collect at the right time with the right approaches. Allowing consumers to select their preferred channel is a best practice strategy for collection and recovery. In fact, one bank used automation to collect 51% more debt than its current call center—at an even lower cost than an offshore alternative.
Four Steps to Smart Automation in Collection and RecoveryDOWNLOAD
Automating accounts receivable management streamlines processes, accelerates production ef ciencies and improves accuracy. It’s essential to collection and recovery success. Learn more about a complete, end-to-end solution for debt management and automating decisions from predelinquency to resolution metrics. This Executive Brief outlines the dramatic improvements technology automation brings to the collection and recovery of debt.
Unlocking New Doors to Collection Success
Unlocking New Doors to Collection SuccessDownload Now
Collections organizations worldwide struggle to keep pace with their highly mobile customers and their rapidly changing payment priorities. Now, automated multi-channel systems, sophisticated analytics and personalized approaches are putting creditors, agencies, health care organizations and other businesses a step ahead- achieving impressive incremental gains in revenue, reducing costs and greatly reducing customer discomfort about late payments (and thereby increasing their willingness to pay). Discover the trade secrets and best of class solutions that are hitting home with today's fast-moving collection targets. Download today and learn more!
How Mobile Communications Can Improve Collections
How Mobile Communications Can Improve CollectionsDownload Now
According to a report from Juniper Research, the number of mobile banking users worldwide will reach 530 million by 2013, up from about 300 million in 2011. For banks, this creates new options for mobile communication and interaction with customers, while reducing the load on their call centers. The opportunity is particularly compelling in collections for a simple reason: Many people do not like dealing with collection agents. Mobile communications allows customers to bring their payments up to date without dealing with an agent or receiving embarrassing phone calls, making this channel far more effective than traditional methods. Download today and learn more!
Toyota Financial Services optimises collections treatments with a customer-centric approachDOWNLOAD
Toyota uses analytics to keep delinquent customers in their cars Ever wonder how to reduce auto loan delinquencies and repossessions by providing payment options that are pro table to the business and address customer preferences? Toyota Financial Services turned to a collections treatment solution powered by FICO® Xpress Optimisation Suite and FICO® Model Builder to infuse statistical and predictive modeling, forecasting, advanced segmentation and optimization into a single framework to simulate multiple scenarios and deploy the optimal strategy into production. The bottom line was quick ROI that kept thousands of customers in their cars and allowed TFS to grow their portfolio without adding collections headcount.
Common Collection Agency Service Questions & Answers
Have a collection agency service question of your own?
I'm going to assume you've already set up payment parameters. I like the suggestions of payment upon receipt with a service fee for 1-15 days and a larger fee for anything after. At this point, you are probably at the point of pulling your hair out with either chronically late payers, businesses with cash flow problems, or someone (call me cynical) taking advantage of you. For these already in motion, consider making sure you have excellent merchant services rates (make sure you have...
Companies evaluate the time-value of their money and have a certain percentage in mind that helps them determine which invoices to pay. It is likely that number is less than 5%. For example, some companies will pay on time for 2% net 20, but still others simply want to pay net 60 no matter what. Having a good relationship with your client can help you ask the right questions to determine what will motivate them to pay on time. In one case, I had a candid conversation with my client and...
Diane, its been my experience that when a client starts to feel that a service they are paying for does not have the value they expected, they tend to think that they can get away with not paying. I do lots of business long distance and have never had a client not pay becasue they were in Canada and I am in So. Cal. Here are a few 'best practices' for insuring you get paid: 1. Make sure the client understands your billing practices. Explain it to them verbally in addition to putting...
Hi Lamar, I also have a business that deals with residential customers. I agree with David: if you can't get them to pay on time, then you won't ever be able to collect a penalty, no matter how carefully you spell it out ahead of time. We require payment at the time of service (they can put it on a credit card). Still, sometimes people aren't there so we call them to remind them that they owe and that we expect to collect the next time. If they aren't there the next time then no...
I would recommend keeping a deposit or retainer on file in the form of a time block, or other "prepaid" service. With the payment history, you have the justification in that their credit record is not established at this point to support billing in arrears. When the account on file reaches a minimum balance, you can request that it be replenished. This way, instead of continually running after funds, you have an established credit policy, funds on file, and can forward time or service...
Hello Daniel ~ While I am not familiar with UK law, I will tell you that here in the States, having a signed contract is no guarantee of payment. The only time in my long career as an entrepreneur that I could not get final payment from a client, I HAD a signed contact! After numerous attempts, both by email and phone, I decided to turn the account over to a collection agency. They agreed to take the assignment, and I agreed to the 60/40 split (60% to me, 40% to them) when they recovered the...