By Joe W.
I keep getting asked two questions by my friends and family, “Why are you calling consumers during Covid-19?” and “Why are businesses turning over debts during Covid-19?” They point out to me that many people are struggling during these unprecedented times, and they cannot pay their bills.
I asked how anyone can know why a consumer has not resolved their account. A consumer may have lost their job or had their income reduced. They may have been personally affected by the virus, and have had to face unexpected medical costs. Or, they may have simply forgotten about the outstanding bill. I had someone tell me that during the Great Recession they had one blemish on their credit, and that was only because they had moved and never got the bill.
They wished that someone would have called them then to remind them.
Many consumers may be unware that they can be set up on a payment plan, and that they don’t have to wait until they have the full balance in order to pay. Unless the consumer has informed our office, or our client (which is normally not the case), we have no idea why they have not resolved their debt. I think now more than ever good communication is essential.
The first goal on every call I make is to find out why the account has not been resolved. The second goal is find a way assist the consumer. If they need additional time, I’ll ask them questions to get a better understanding of their financial situation. That way, I’ll be better able to customize a payment plan that helps them resolve the account according to their situation. I love the fact that I can tell a consumer that I can assist them with a payment plan that I believe will set them up for success. If they are disputing the account, I can help communicate the consumer’s concerns to our client, and help work towards a solution that benefits both parties.
No matter what, I want the consumer to know that I can work with them.
I also understand why our clients are assigning accounts during this crisis. Our clients want to maintain the good relationships they have with their customers. At the same time, cash flow is even more vital at this time. Our clients may have had to temporary stop doing business, or have reduced their business dealings. As a result, past due amounts are even more important to them, and are needed to pay their own business obligations like payroll, rent, or truck payments.
If the consumer had been in communication with our client in order to attempt to resolve the account, I am sure the client would not be placing the account with American Profit Recovery. However, our clients understand that many of their customers need help resolving their financial obligations during these unprecedented times.
That is precisely why they have asked American Profit Recovery to establish communication with the consumer. Their hope is that we can help them work out a resolution that is mutually beneficial.