Q. What if my debtor has moved out of
A. We will work accounts such as
this just as we do in-state accounts. In cases where your
consumer has moved to a 'closed borders' state, we will forward
the account to an agency in his local area. We have
relationships with other collection agencies throughout the US,
many of whom are also clients.
Q. Can I call or send letters to the
consumer after I turn the account over to you?
A. The federal Fair Debt Collection
Practices Act (FDCPA) forbids two entities from attempting to
collect on the same debt. Once an account is placed with us you
will need to mark it as such in some way, so that you send no
further correspondence to that consumer in connection with this
debt. If the consumer contacts YOU, you should tell him that
you are no longer handling the account, and refer him to us. If
he makes a payment at your office, it is IMPORTANT that you
notify us immediately, so that we are not continuing to dun for
a debt that is paid in full or partially (also against the
Q. Can we add interest or a collection
fee to an account we place with you?
A. In New York State, the law is
silent on this issue, so a case which is disputed by the
consumer because of the addition of fees will be ruled upon by a
judge. The FTC has issued an opinion that an additional amount
may not be added if the original contract does not
provide for the addition of fees and state law is silent. Our
attorneys have researched this area, and their opinion is that
if you have a written agreement with your customer/patient which
specifically allows the collection of interest, fees and/or
collection costs, the court may overrule any objections put
forth by the consumer. In any case, no further charges may be
added to an account once it is placed with us.
Q. When do you close an account?
A. The answer to this question will
vary, based on the size and age of the account, amount of
information provided by you, and the debtor's credit history.
Typically, if an account has been worked for 3 or 4 months with
no payments being made, or the collector has been unable to
reach the debtor, the collector will either (1) report the
account on the debtor's credit record and transfer it to
history, if no assets are found; or (2) verify employment or
other assets and recommend suit to our client. Although an
account is placed in history, it is still reported on the
debtor's credit record for up to 7 years after the date of
Q. When do you sue an account?
A. If our collector determines that
a debtor will not pay voluntarily, or refuses to pay, she will
verify full-time employment or other assets and send an
authorization letter to our client, requesting permission to
sue. The NY statute of limitation for suit is 4 years for sale
of tangible goods and 6 years for provision of services (e.g.,
medical) or written contract. An account must also be a certain
minimum size in order to make suit feasible.
Q. How do we pay your fee?
A. There is no fee, unless
we collect! Monthly we will deduct our fees on accounts
collected from the total monies collected, and remit the balance
to you. Fees on accounts paid at your office will also
be deducted from monies collected in our office--if there is a
fee balance due, it will be billed to you. Your
statement/remittance will be delivered personally most months by
your VP Marketing representative, who will review it with you.