Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

Debt Collector's Tactful Role

Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

Debt Collector's Tactful Role

Article excerpt

D is for Debt Collector.

The work focuses on the recovering of bad debts and chasing up late payments.

Debt collectors can work with consumer or business clients, trace missing debtors or administer legal collection procedures.

Usually contact with a debtor is made initially by phone or letter to flag up the arrears, with the aim of trying to negotiate a settlement through an agreed payment plan.

Debt collectors either work in the credit control department of a business or work with third party collection agencies.

They may need to pay field visits to debtors' homes to collect consumer debt from individuals.

Debt may be recovered through legal proceedings.

A debt collector's responsibility would then be to service court orders and follow a legal framework. They may work with solicitors or bailiffs.

Debt collectors often work shifts and weekends to contact debtors who are working during the day. Part-time work is common.

Much of the work is based in offices or call centres, contacting people by phone or mail.

Field collectors usually work from home, visiting customers at their home or business premises. A driving licence is needed for field collection work.

To be a debt collector you should:

* Have good verbal and written communication skills.

* Have an assertive but tactful approach.

* Be able to stay calm under pressure and work to strict deadlines.

* Have strong negotiation skills and the ability to explain financial matters firmly and clearly.

* Be numerate to explain payments, financial terms and credit services.

* Be able to understand relevant legislation and court procedures.

* Have good administration and IT skills.

There are no minimum qualifications required for this work, although most people have some GCSEs/S grades.

Customer service experience is valued, as are keyboard and database skills. Some debt collectors may come from a credit control background.

Agencies normally provide initial on-the-job training and in-house courses on telephone techniques, litigation and insolvency.

Some debt collectors may attain qualifications awarded by the Institute of Credit Management (ICM), or the Credit Services Association (CSA) which will develop their career towards roles with more responsibility. …

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