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Nine Guidelines for Selecting the Right Collection Agency

Originally published: August 2012

Every business, big or small, will eventually have a collection issue. Despite your best efforts, some accounts will fall past due. Some customers simply will not pay. And, like a rusted bolt, they're just not going to budge. So you reach out for a tool with added torque to get things moving – an outside collection agency (OCA).

The Commercial Collection Agency Association (CCAA) of the Commercial Law League of America (CLLA) suggests that accounts be placed with a collection agency at 90 days past due. The recommendations of the Credit Research Foundation are not so specific: “When the marginal cost of collection exceeds the marginal benefit, it is time to employ a third party method of collection.” Both associations, however, recognize the value of forwarding past due accounts to a reputable OCA for handling.