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What to Look for When Deciding on a Collection Agency

By Contributing Writer
Marinus Nutma
October 12, 2021

There’s certain things that happen to every entrepreneur. Your first big sale, the first time one of your clients recommends you to someone else… and the first time you notice an invoice hasn’t been paid. Bummer! There are few things more annoying than having to chase down a debtor - especially if that debtor tries their hardest to be unreachable. Maybe you can’t reach them anymore when you try to call and all your emails bounce … In that case, it’s time to take the next step: work together with a collection agency. But how do you decide on a good one?

First things first: check if it’s a legit collection agency

We can’t lie: collection agencies tend to have a bad reputation. And there are some true cowboys out there, unfortunately. Agencies that ask for fee after fee while ‘trying to collect your money’. That’s why it’s important to always check the reputation of the agencies in your area.

A good collection agency (Dutch: incassobureau) has good reviews online. Take a look at their Google Reviews or reviews on sites like TrustPilot or CustomerReport. If you can’t find any reviews or they have a low ranking, stay away! If the agencies around all have good reviews, it might be handy to ask fellow entrepreneurs in your area which agency they recommend.

What to look for when hiring a collection agency

If you’ve decided to hire a collection agency, your work isn’t done yet. You need to discuss what their payment method is, how quickly they can get started on your case and more. We recommend always asking what their success rate is before even listening to the rest. Always ask how their fee is made up and whether you pay if they’re successful in collecting the funds, or always. An agency that only lets you pay when they’ve retrieved the money, works with the ‘no cure, no pay’-method. We also recommend this method.

What can a collection agency do for you?

There are multiple things your agency can do for you, and what they choose to do first can depend on your case. Usually they start by sending a formal payment reminder. Sometimes, if a debtor notices you’ve hired a collection agency, they pay straight away because they know what an agency can do.

If that’s not the case, there are other things the collection agency can do. For instance, they can call in a bailiff (Dutch: deurwaarder inschakelen) who can seize their assets. Properties can be seized, but bank accounts can also be frozen. It all depends on the case, really. Your contact at the collection agency will talk you through all the possible ways to get your money back. They’ve got loads of tricks up their sleeves - after all, they’re professionals. That’s a big plus for you: you don’t have to stress over this, because you know your partner agency has got your back.

We hope you find a trustworthy collection agency that can retrieve your money in no time!

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