Debt collectors are some of the most dreaded and feared people in the working world, especially for those who have a lot of debt. However, these professionals are a lot more “normal” and “typical” than many people think.
To begin with, they are not “thugs” or “criminals,” as is often the stereotype. Instead, they are just people trying to make a living at a tough profession: the profession of collecting on people’s bad debts.
Most of these professionals work at agencies where the focus is solely on collecting on debt, typically for business clients. As such, the working day for most debt collectors begins with a morning meeting with their managers. Their managers will communicate the goals for the day, give any reminders necessary about strategies and policies, and hopefully give the collectors a positive message before sending them off to their individual work stations.
Once there, debt collectors will go over the accounts they need to follow up on or make contact with for the day. They’ll typically read notes on previous conversations they’ve had or other collectors have had with the debtor, if applicable, to help them better combat the debt and to increase the chances of collecting on it.
In addition to making outbound collection calls, debt collectors may also take inbound calls from clients and search for recent information on debtors whom they are having trouble reaching. This information-gathering process is known as “skip tracing,” a process through which debt collectors access secure databases of information on debt-owing consumers in an effort to track them down and make contact with them.
When debt collectors do make contact with clients, their goal is to attempt to collect on the debt owed or to work out some kind of repayment plan or schedule with the debtor. They use their extensive training to try and make this happen, and, on average, debt collectors are able to have success with about one in four consumers that they contact.
Though they do have some success, debt collectors often have to put up with a lot on behalf of debtors. It is not uncommon for them to be screamed at or cursed at or just plain hung up on. However, debt collectors must act professionally at all times and use the conflict resolution techniques they have learned to attempt to settle debts, even with difficult consumers.
A debt collector’s job is certainly not easy, but, for these professionals, all of this is just in a day’s work!