When selecting a debt recovery or collection agency, some clients find they may have questions about what the collections process entails. In order to gain a deeper perspective, it helps to know a bit more about how a collection agency operates and how they conduct themselves through the various aspects of their work. A great place to look for this type of info is IC System, an accounts receivable company that has been in operation for eighty years. This article will take a deeper look at that company and their policy and philosophies when it comes to collections.
The first thing to understand about the process of an accounts receivable company seeking a financial solution is that recovery actions actually begin well in advance of such a company becoming involved. When addressing the subject, IC System offers an informative look into the actions they encourage a client to take before a formal collections process begins. The five steps they recommend could be considered part of a pre-collections process which serves to allow clients and consumers to come to an amicable resolution before a collection agency takes over.
The first step the company recommends is that a client engage in a bit of investigation into the specific details of a consumer’s account. It’s not uncommon for a consumer to simply misplace or never receive an initial bill. But if the account remains unresolved after a subsequent billing, the recommendation becomes to look into the consumer’s account and see if there are any details that might inform the status of the outstanding financials. Sometimes the resolution is a simple one and just requires a bit of digging to ascertain.
If the account remains past due after this initial step, IC System recommends a client get in contact with the consumer to attempt to resolve the outstanding balance (Crunchbase). At this stage, a consumer may just have forgotten to pay and a reminder is all that is necessary to settle the account. At other times, this stage will uncover an issue the consumer has with the outstanding balance. In these cases, it is incumbent upon the client to listen and attempt to address any concerns there may be.
After Initial Attempts
It is possible that a client may have trouble making contact with a consumer. Perhaps letters have gone unanswered and they are having trouble reaching their intended party via telephone. In these cases, the recommendation is to attempt to uncover alternative contact info for the consumer. For example, if a landline has been disconnected, a mobile phone may still be in service. Likewise, if a physical address is not receiving mail, an email address may work for making contact. The company stresses that when leaving a voicemail or sending an email, account specifics should not be discussed so as to avoid a third party receiving sensitive data.
If the preceding steps fail to resolve the status of the past due account, the company recommends alternating communication methods for subsequent attempts. Along with this step they recommend increasing the frequency of communication attempts. At this point, the account may be nearing a point at which a collection agency may need to step in, so it’s important to stress the status of the account to the consumer. These communications should be made while maintaining a polite and inviting manner.
Finally, if the above attempts go unanswered, IC System recommends turning to a collection agency for assistance. In this case, they recommend giving a consumer ample warning that their account is going to collections. Communication is a key component of the process and advising a consumer of their account’s status in this way is an important part of setting up the collections undertaking for success (https://www.glassdoor.com/Reviews/I-C-System-Reviews-E32267.htm).
Once a collection agency like IC System steps in they follow a strict procedure for attempting to come to a financial resolution. The company will begin by sending letters to the consumer to notify them of their involvement and to seek a resolution of the outstanding account balance. If those attempts are unsuccessful, they will proceed by contacting the consumer via telephone.
In all of these operations, the company stresses the emphasis they place on the conduct of their collection agents. These agents are highly trained in manner and compliance, as well as the aspects of the law that pertain to the process. In addition, agents are monitored constantly to ensure they are following the guidelines to which they are bound. In the pursuit of this high standard of quality, the company will record agent telephone calls and regularly review their interactions. This allows the company to live up to a key tenet of its philosophy of achieving financial resolutions for clients and consumers while maintaining a focus on ethical and honest conduct.
By reviewing the above procedures, clients can help to acquaint themselves with what to expect should they find that a consumer is past due on an account. By understanding the process through both service provider and agency interactions, clients can become better equipped with how they can participate in the process to achieve a financial resolution that works for both themselves and their consumer. As more and more agencies seek to emulate the ethically-centered practices of IC System, clients will find that the preceding guidelines will bear even more weight in the future. An in-depth command of these guidelines along with a thorough knowledge of the specifics of a past due account will allow these interactions to go as smoothly as possible.
About the Company
IC System was founded in 1938 by Ruth and Jack Erickson. The company has remained a family business since its creation, now having passed down through three generations of family members. Headquartered just outside St. Paul, Minnesota, the company remains focused on a core set of values that prioritize people, integrity, pride, performance, and innovation. With these goals in mind, and with a focus placed on cutting-edge methods and adherence to regulation, the company is one of the leaders in the accounts receivable industry.