How to Pay Off Debt in Collections

If you find yourself or your business with debts that have gone to collections, it can seem a little overwhelming. We’ll break down the process of paying off the debt in collections so that you can get them handled quickly and efficiently. To start, it’s important to realize that if you have debt that is in collections, it has been due for quite some time. Not only does this affect the business or person you owe, but it also most likely has an impact on your credit score. It’s important to get this resolved as soon as you can.

Your first step is to make sure that the debt is yours. As obvious as this may sound, you will want to validate that the debt the collector is calling about is in relation to you as an individual or business. If it is not debt that you recognize, be sure to request proof from the collector before making any payments.

Negotiating With The Collector

The first step to paying off the debt in collections is to answer the phone when the collector calls or get in contact with them through a written request. They have been commissioned through the person or business that you owe to obtain the outlaying debt. The first step is to negotiate with the collector. There is something called a settlement payment, which works by paying off the amount so that the account can be deleted off your credit report in return. You will need to send in a written request to the collector for this. This is the best-case scenario, as it lessens the impact on your credit report and also allows room for negotiation. You can also do this over the phone, so long as you are careful with your wording. Most likely, you will be able to work with the collector to negotiate a lower payoff.

Getting it in Writing

Whether you submit a written request or call to negotiate, be sure to get all of the agreements in writing. You can ask the collector to give you access to a letter with all of the payment information via mail or fax, and make sure you do this before you pay anything. This is especially important if you choose to go the settlement route.

Having to Pay in Full

If the above scenarios don’t work for your specific case and collector, you may have to pay in full. Again, you should try to negotiate to pay the amount in full and have it removed from your credit report. Be sure to keep the general rule of having it all in writing before you make the payment.

Other Options

There are other ways to pay off your debt in collections, although they may not be your first choice. One option is to at least make sure that the payment is labeled as “Paid in full.” This is the best case if the collector will not remove it from your credit report, and this should also be in writing. If this is simply not possible, you can request that the account is labeled as “Paid. Settled.” If you do not want to do any of these steps, you can always pay in full and pay off the debt.

Whatever the choice is that you make, paying off the debt is the end-goal of the collector’s process.


What is Commercial Debt Collection?

If your business is looking to outsource debt collection, commercial debt collection is a good option to consider. Outsourcing debt collection can take worry off your plate and get your business the money it is owed in a way that is safe and proficient. Commercial debt collection works to collect money that is owed between businesses for various types of accounts or production. For example, if a large business orders product from a small business, and they do not deliver, they may turn to commercial debt collection. Commercial debt collection can work for businesses of all sizes and may be a good option for your business to receive its debt pay-offs without the hassle of doing the work.

What types of debt do they collect?

The types of businesses that commercial debt collectors work for vary across the board. Some examples are colleges and institutions, major companies, sales companies, and construction companies. The companies can be of all sizes and provide a wide range of services. They work to collect outstanding debts on accounts between businesses. The reason for debt collection is to ensure that funds that were promised or agreed upon by a contract are delivered. Businesses often outsource to commercial debt collectors when their own attempts at collecting the debts on their outstanding accounts between contractors and other businesses have proven unsuccessful.  

How do they collect?

Commercial debt collectors operate through first determining who the business owner is or who is in charge of paying bills. It’s essential that the right party is reached to ensure pay-off can happen in a timely manner and that the topic of finances is discussed with the right person. Once the correct person has been identified, the commercial debt collectors are then able to make calls at regular intervals. These calls are used to determine which payment method will work for both parties and the timeline they will make payments on. Having a commercial debt collector be the one to contact owners of outstanding accounts can be used to ensure that your business remains profitable and receives the money it deserves.

What differentiates them from consumer debt collection?

When determining the difference between consumer and commercial debt collection, it’s all in the name. Consumer debt collectors work for a business to collect debts that are owed by an individual to the business. Consumer debt collectors are subject to FDCPA governance (the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act), whereas commercial debt collectors are not. This doesn’t mean that commercial debt collectors are free from all rules, though. Commercial debt collectors are not able to use tactics that are aggressive, threatening, or illegal.

Are they regulated?

Regulations also differ based on the state that a commercial debt collector is in. Some states have a requirement for commercial debt collectors to be licensed and bonded, and there are also associations that work to ensure fair practices.

If your business is looking into outsourcing your debt collection services, it’s time to look into which accounts have outstanding debts. If your primary debt issue is individuals and consumers, a consumer debt collection is best. However, if you have relations with businesses where accounts are unsettled, outsourcing these debts to a commercial debt collector can assist you by taking over the process.