The Top 9 Documents Every Collector Should Have
I once had a history teacher who constantly preached “The pencil remembers what the mind forgets…” It was his delicate way of reminding us to quit blankly staring at him and grab a pencil and paper for note taking. Although few of us use pencils and notebooks in the digital age, the phrase still rings true because it stresses the importance of having everything in writing.
For the purposes of today’s topic, let’s treat “writing” as “documentation.” If you find yourself faced with the task of sending an account to collections, it’s important to provide the collector with all pertinent backup documentation. Collecting a past due receivable can be difficult, but if your collector has the necessary documentation, debt recovery becomes easier.
Why Should I Have Documents?
Yes, it’s worth repeating: “Collecting a past due receivable can be difficult, but if your collector has the necessary documentation, debt recovery becomes easier.” Providing the documentation at the time the collection is placed facilitates communication with your debtor regarding the past due receivable and it also improves efficiency.
Efficiency? Why Would I Care about Efficiency?
Efficiency matters on many levels! For the sake of simplicity – if something is more efficient, it tends to be faster. If your collection agency has the necessary information, they are able to better prepare and preparation means communication with your debtor will be more effective, leading to a faster recovery.
For example, when I’m going to cook, I make sure I have my recipe, the ingredients and the necessary utensils in order before I start cooking. I don’t want to run back and forth between the refrigerator, cabinets & stove because I end up wasting time and inevitably making a mistake (or in my case, burn the food to the point that even the dog won’t come near it).
Come to the proverbial kitchen with everything in hand – make the most of your time & money.
What Documentation Should I Include with a Collection Placement?
Here are some documents our collectors find to be beneficial:
- A copy of the Contract or Agreement
- A copy of the Credit Application
- Copies of Invoices and Statement of Account
- Copies of the Proof of Delivery
- A copy of the Personal Guarantee
- Your customer’s Trade References, including bank name and account number, and copies of any Returned/NSF Check(s)
- Copies of Correspondence & Notes. In this bundle, make sure you have emails, letters (demand letters, payment requests and notices), and documented phone conversations (i.e. “Spoke with Mr. Smith 5/5 @ 2:00 pm and he advised payment will be made 5/31″).
- Corporate Certificate: this should include your debtor’s legal identity, including whether it is a corporation, partnership or proprietorship
- Copies of a Credit Report(s)
Also make sure you provide your collector with contact information for your debtor. This should include the debtor’s full name and physical address as well as the names, addresses and phone numbers for the company owners.