Commercial Collections Blog

What Drives a Debt Collector?

The Unsung Heroes of Business Owners

Debt collectors get an awful reputation everywhere we go. Sometimes it’s embarrassing to tell other people what we do for a living. Especially at parties, it’s just easier to change the subject.

Collections agents are known for harassing little old ladies and trying to weasel them into writing checks out of their social security money, but in reality, it’s not that simple, or that dark.

Most collections agents don’t get in the business because it was ever their dream job. How could it be, given the stereotypes? What kind of unsavory person would want to be in that kind of position?

And yet, here we are, and it’s actually not as bad as it was made out to be. Most of us work for really solid companies. These companies don’t treat people like dirt, the way they’re so often portrayed.

Having a guiding philosophy about this kind of work is important. On the one hand, when a contract is made, the person who was supposed to be paid has a right to receive what they were promised. They deserve it, especially if they held up their end of the deal.

On the other hand, unfortunate circumstances happen. We know that. People get sick when they least expect it. Layoffs occur in a downturn, and there are dozens of other ways to lose a job.

Sometimes people get into debts they can’t handle because they just don’t know any better. Sometimes they do know better, but they just aren’t good at making budgets. We get it.

We just think that people need to be shown how to make amends. How to fix what was broken.

And something is definitely broken when we start to call.

You might not think that your little $2000 credit card bill is that important. The world isn’t going to stop spinning just because you missed a few payments.

That’s true, but really, what if everyone thought that way? (Read more about this in our article Ethics of Business Debt Collection)

The Unsung Heroes of Business Owners

Debt collectors provide a valuable service that keeps a lot of businesses from failing. You see, even with all the rejection, we still manage to collect several billion dollars each year from debtors. That doesn’t even cover the full value of what was owed on those debts in the first place, but can you imagine the relief a store owner feels when they’re able to receive monies from their past due accounts?

That sale might be the difference between staying open another day, or closing up shop.

For some of us who work in the industry, this is just a job. We’ve got bills to pay, too, and kids to feed and put through school, so it’s our lifeline.

Even so, it’s not personal when we come calling. We don’t know much about you beyond what’s on your credit report. We don’t know really what you’ve gone through, but you know what? If you do own up to what you owe, and make a sincere effort to pay it back, good on you! You kept our lights on, and you made it possible for us to help out more businesses. If everyone thought like you, if everyone fulfilled their obligations and responsibilities, so many things would run so much smoother.

It’s hard, though. The one who pays is one in a couple hundred. Half of the people we call hang up, but only after insulting us profanely. Some few pick up the phone and talk, only to do the same a few minutes later. That kind of thing can wear us down.

Those of us who work in business-to-business collections have it a little easier. A debtor who runs a business knows how it is, usually. They deal with customers, too, and they get abused a bit. They’re a little more sympathetic when we call.

At the end of the day, we just want you to win. That may seem strange, since we’re calling, asking for or even demanding money, but it’s the truth. We want you to pay so that you can have a good credit score, so that you can have peace of mind so that you can have your creditors off your back.

We perform a valuable service. It’s sometimes one that goes without thanks, but it’s one that keeps commerce moving. There would be no way to do business if no one ever had to pay for someone else’s goods or services.

We want to enjoy the finer things in life, without having to worry. We want the same for you, so that’s why we want you to pay. It’s so that someone else can make those finer things and offer them to us without fear of losing.

We are debt collectors. We’re decent people. We’re the unsung heroes of business owners, trying to do some good in this world. Let us do our job for you so that everyone else can do theirs.