Obviously, the key service provided by a collection agency is to actually get the money you are owed. However, a collection agency may provide a wide array of services.
Some large debt collection agencies provide “pre-collection” services. In this stage, the agency sends letters and makes phone calls under the name of the client. The person receiving the call believes they are being contacted by the company that they owe, not a collection agency. There is usually a fee for each account rather than a contingency fee for this type of service. This service is appropriate for companies that have hundreds or thousands of delinquent accounts each month. The Kaplan Group does not offer pre-collection services as we focus on truly delinquent claims and put a significant amount of effort into each matter.
A collection agency may offer a “Free Final Demand”. The Kaplan Group will send a free 10 day demand notice to debtors on our preprinted form. This notifies the debtor that the account will be turned over to us if the balance is not paid in full by the end of the 10 days. We do not charge a fee for sending this demand notice and there is no contingency fee if they pay within the 10 day time frame. If they do not pay, then on the day after the deadline we send our formal demand letter and begin making collection calls.
Our collection agency also provides expert skip tracing research at no charge to our clients. We do this research to try to locate additional phone numbers and addresses where we can reach the debtor. We utilize several subscription databases and we are also extremely savvy in using the Internet and social networking services to gather additional information. Often, it is like searching for a needle in a haystack. We have proven to be excellent skip tracers. There are occasions when we cannot locate an individual. At that point, if the amount of the debt warrants an investment, we can hire a private investigator to take other steps to try to locate the debtor. We will quote the cost for this service to our clients who can then decide if they want to make this investment.
Our collection agency offers dual collection efforts for the same contingency rate. The first would be under the name The Kaplan Group and the second under the name of our in house law firm. We do not know of any other boutique collection agency that offers this dual collection effort. Some very large agencies also have in-house attorneys but the legal effort typically is simply a couple of form letters and calls from script reading tele-collectors. We also have a nationwide network of debt collection attorney‘s who work on a contingency basis if litigation is required.