Anyone work or ever worked for a Collections Agency?

Discussion in 'Budget Board' started by Padme, Apr 14, 2010.

  1. Padme

    Padme Mouseketeer

    May 20, 2003
    A collection agency close to my home has openings and I was wondering if anyone can tell me more about what its like to work for a company like that? Are positions usually commision only?

    I have a part time job where the hourly rate and benefits are decent but I really need fulltime work. I'm scared to give up a good thing for something unknown. The one benefit of the collection agency is I could walk to work instead of the 40 mile roundtrip, $4-soon to be $5 bridgetoll I do everyday.

    The company sounds promising but I don't know the first thing about this type of thing. And, having been on the receiving end of a few nasty collections calls back in the day, I don't really want to have to resort to those kind of tactics to make money.

    Any info or insight you could share would be greatly appreciated. :goodvibes
  2. FreeTime

    FreeTime DIS Veteran

    May 11, 2000
    I work for a company that does its own collections (and service, new accounts, etc) but on occasion sells the bad debt to outside agencies. From my experience in being a collector and talking to customers who have been called by an agency, collecting on ones own debt is less cut throat then collecting on a debt that was purchased. The collectors are usually not as nasty and are better paid (receiving more incentive pay so they focus on getting paid from the customer by offering solutions instead of yelling and belittling them). I would suggest you check the company out. Also find out what their turnover rate is. If you aren't a good collector you could quickly be gone.
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  4. mom2faith

    mom2faith DIS Veteran

    Mar 7, 2008
    I worked for a company that did collections for Sprint, Walmart and Capital One. I worked on the Sprint project.

    There are ups and downs. But, first of all, just to calm your nerves a bit, we were not allowed to be nasty or rude. We had to be caring and compasionate and understanding, but firm.

    May I ask who it is?

    You will need a thick skin becuase you are going to be yelled at, berated and called every name in the book. Remember, the people you are calling or who have called you did this to themselves and they are trying to lay blame.

    We focused on the funny ones to keep it light - we always had "one of those" people who could make our entire team laugh. For example, I had one lady say she should not be responsible for her cell phone because she traded it for crack and how does she know what kind of calls the crack guy made:rotfl: If it was true oir not, it was a great story!!

    I also spoke with a former Football star. That was kind of neat.

    I will try to think of more tips.

    Oh, and I worked for an hourly wage not comission. We had targets of how many contacts we reached and arrangements we made, that got us bonuses, but it was not commision.
  5. Padme

    Padme Mouseketeer

    May 20, 2003
    I did try to search for more info on the company but all that comes up is their website, nothing really with any feedback. If I decide to put in an application, I'll remember to ask about their turnover rates- thanks! I have no idea if I would be good at this or not. They seem to encourage having a strong sales backround and I did many years ago but this just seems so different. Are there usually quotas to be met or they fire you?

    The place is called SRA, it seems like its just a small, one location company. Don't know if thats good or bad. I think theyre hiring 12 new people so either business is booming or the employees leave or are fired easily. :confused:

    I love the story of the cellphone/crack lady!! :rotfl:

    Thanks so much for your replies!! It definately gives me more to think about.
  6. bettymae1121

    bettymae1121 DIS Veteran

    Jan 5, 2010
    A friend of mine did in-house collections for other businesses that owed her employer money. Most of the people she spoke with were profesional, often it was either an oversight that an invoice wasn't paid or the company was having cash flow issues and would be able to pay in a resonable amount of time. Occasionally she'd get a idiot on the phone that would curse her out, but that was the exception rather than the rule.

    Collection agencies run the spectrum from decent and fair to down right sleezy, even to the extent they break the consumer protection laws. If there is anyway to find out what kind of collection tactics they practice, you should do so. If they break the law or tip toe right up to the edge of it, you'll want to pass. Some of the really bad ones are getting shut down by state agencies (owner led away in hand-cuffs even!) and you don't want to find yourself unemployeed because the owner was indited!
  7. dd50

    dd50 DIS Veteran

    May 21, 2009
    I wouldn't touch a job like that with a 10 foot pole. I had a collector calling me for someone that I never heard of but the fool wouldn't take no for an answer. Mean and nasty. I had to find where they were and send a C&D letter for them to stop.
  8. PrncessA

    PrncessA Dis_Mom_

    Jan 16, 2009
    I am the office manager for a fitness club in the Chicago area and deal with our deliquent accounts. It is the worst part of the job! We decided last month we are handing over our serious deliquents to a collections company this month. Those are the worst! I have been hung up on, cussed out, called names and threatened. It isn't a fun experience.
  9. tnkr_bell

    tnkr_bell Mouseketeer

    Apr 1, 2007
    I actually answered the phone for a collection agency and that was bad enough. We weren't allowed to tell the person calling in that this was a collection agency, all that we could tell them was that we were an answering service for the building. LOL Anyway, I got a wide range of people from the irate to the people who have gone through a difficult time to the elderly. You really need to a have a thick skin and not let the sob stories bother you. I would have to say I think in most cases people were either just procrastinated in paying the bill or they just couldn't because of financial hardship. It takes a certain kind of person to be a collector, which is probably why they have 12 positions available.
  10. RachaelA

    RachaelA DIS Veteran

    Dec 9, 2007
    I'm a legal assistant for a law firm that deals with evictions and collections. We don't cold call though and I don't talk to anyone thankfully!!! We mostly deal with garnishing people's wages and doing attachments on their bank accounts.

    Debtors call us and the names they call us are horrible! I could never cold call. That's even worse!
  11. 3boymthr

    3boymthr DIS Veteran

    Nov 5, 2008
    I've never done collections but when I was very young my mom did for about a week - she just couldn't take it for this very reason.

    OTH - I worked for GMAC one summer sending out "Cure" letters. I just sent out the letters - I used to feel sorry for some of the people as they were obviously in over their heads - we had a dealership that used to sell cars with 28% interest at a time when most cars were sold at 3 or 4%. I didn't get or make the phone calls but my co-workers did. Oh the things they used to get called. But they also made really good money.

    Love the crack story BTW. Our experience with unpaid cell phones is a little different - DS' cell phone number belonged to a woman apparently who never paid her bills. :scared1: It's been quite the experience dealing will all the agencies and telling them that no Valerie (we don't have a last name, just Valerie) doesn't have this number any more. He even get's texts looking for money. He's is getting to be quite the expert at dealing with collection agencies and he hasn't even started HS yet. :rotfl2:
  12. dreweyj

    dreweyj Mouseketeer

    Aug 12, 2009
    I have been in Mortgage collections/default for 10 years now. While this type of collections is much different than others, I have worked for banks and mortgage servicers who collect on many different products.

    The questions I would recommend you should get answers to are below:

    1) What type of products are you going to collect? (Credit card collections are cut throat because unlike collaterally backed loans, these companies cannot repossess what was purchased on the cards when the customer doesn't pay, so they take the approach that they must be nasty to get the customer to pay)

    2) Is the entity with the job opening a 3rd party collections shop or a department within a company that handles its own collections? (The reason this is important is because 3rd party collection agencies MUST follow the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act which legally allows a customer or group of customers to sue not just the company but the actual collections representative should a law be broken. You can legally be sued for a percentage of your net worth. An in-house collections department working for its own company typically follows the FDCPA but is not actually required to legally.

    3) How many Better Business Bureau complaints and FTC/FCC complaints this particular agency or company has in regards to their collection practices. Companies who have lots of complaints of this nature probably aren't being ethical in their practices. But, keep in mind that just because a company has complaints, doesn't mean they aren't following ethical practices. Delinquent customers often get irate at the lender even when they are trying to collect professionally.

    If you have any specific questions, feel free to IM me. BUt overall, a reasonable number of complaints are much different than hundreds. Hope this helps :)

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