Are you sure your Customers are who they say they are?
Are you sure they agreed to your sales conditions?
If not, there is likely trouble in your future!
There are some significant changes that are being considered by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau to protect the public. Collection Agencies have had to deal with these regulations for years, but it may soon be your turn.
There are two changes that you need to address now, before it becomes a problem. You need to have verified identities for your credit customers and you need to have verifiable contracts.
Let’s look at contracts first. You will need a signed and dated contract plus appropriate signatures on any changes to that contract that occur over time. You need to be certain that the person signing the contract has the authority and is actually the person they present themselves to be. You need signatures on EVERYTHING. That includes delivery receipts, dispute resolution, time sheets and detailed item lists. If you can’t prove your contract is properly signed, understood and implemented you may not get paid.
Customer identity is equally significant. I am constantly hearing from debtors who claim they are not the correct person or that their identities were stolen. If you can’t prove they were the person who signed your documents you may not get paid.
How do you prove an identity? First, you get a photo ID, make a color copy and add it to the customer file. You ask a lot of questions on your application then check the answers against the prospective customer’s Credit Report. Make sure the address on the report is the same as the address on the application. Make sure the signature on the ID matches the signature on the application. Make sure the phone numbers provided on the application reach the applicant.
It isn’t much work, but it will do two things you will need. First, it will allow you to collect unpaid bills. Second, and possibly more important, it will keep you from being sued. There is a waiting industry of consumer attorneys eager to litigate against any Collection Agency for any alleged mistreatment. They will be ready to sue you as well. Some of the more ambitious will go for class action suits.
Stay out of trouble. know your customer, and have everything in writing. Then, make sure they sign it.
Understanding debt collection and background screening best practices can save your business big money. Building up front applicant screening into your business processes costs you very little, but saves you so much in the end. If you haven't already, partner with a full service debt collection and applicant screening company to guide your business to a place of security and prosperity.
ABOUT EXECUTIVE CREDIT MANAGEMENT, INC.
Executive Credit Management is a full-service Debt Collection and Applicant Screening agency with over 20 years experience located in Central New Jersey. We provide excellent service in the following areas: Employment Screening, Business Screening, and Tenant Screening. Executive Credit Management belongs to a number of Skip Tracing databases and offers services to help locate and confirm the current address of missing debtors. Other services provided are: litigation evaluation on all lawsuit decisions, improvement of the quality of the applicant data, Lawsuit Monitoring, Handling of Debtor Disputes. Executive Credit Management features the best Call Monitoring System in the Debt Collection industry.