Friday, March 18, 2016

What Collectors Need to Know About Caller ID

Since the invention of caller ID, debt collectors have had a much harder time getting in touch with their delinquent clients. There’s a tendency among debtors to just ignore collection phone calls, and that’s pretty easy to do when they can instantly tell who is calling and thus make a decision about whether or not to answer the phone.   

Nowadays, a lot of debt collectors get around this little dilemma by choosing to alter their company name or by making their numbers “private” on caller IDs. However, depending on where you operate, this may or may not be allowed by state law, so always check to be sure you are within your legal rights before you make the decision to obscure any identifying information.

Displaying a false name is rarely allowed, though an abbreviated name typically is allowed. Again, though, laws do vary from state to state, and some states require that a company identify itself by its full and legal name. Because the laws can vary so much, it is extremely important to obey the law for the area in which your business is located and the area or areas which you will be calling. Not doing so could land your debt collection business in serious hot water!

Another strategy many debt collectors will try in order to make debtors more likely to pick up the phone is to change their area code to the local area code of the person whom they are calling.For this reason, many debt collection agencies actually own and use several different phone numbers. While there have been some cases in which the Federal Trade Commission has found this practice to be unfair, the practice is allowed as long as the company actually owns that number and as long as the debt collection agency can be reached by dialing that number.

If you’d prefer not to have any information about your company or your number displayed when you attempt to reach debtors, that is allowed by the Telephone Consumer Protection Act. If you choose this option, when you call consumers, your number will appear as “private” or “unavailable.” Of course, you do run some risk of not being able to make contact with this option since many people simply won’t answer blocked phone calls, but it is a good choice if you’ve tried all other ways to reach a consumer with no luck. Plus, some consumers will finally pick up the phone out of curiosity, and then they’ll have to talk with you.

Debt collection is a tough job, and it is one that is made even more difficult thanks to the popularity of caller IDs. However, as you can see, there are many workarounds that can potentially make it easier for you to contact clients and actually get them to respond. You just have to operate within the bounds of the law to protect yourself and your business.

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