America is among the most litigious of all countries, with the most expensive civil litigation system on earth. It seems to be in our nature to call in the lawyers whenever a customer fails to pay—and it’s a very costly inclination. Nationally, we spend $429B on lawsuits, with only 57 cents on every dollar going to plaintiffs. The rest is used to pay lawyers and administrative costs, according to a recent study by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce’s Institute for Legal Reform. Those facts say a lot about the efficacy of litigation. The good news is that there’s a better option: simply hire a great collection agency. Here are eight more powerful reasons why sending a file for collections is smarter than calling in a lawyer:
- Collection agencies leverage credit bureaus. When your lawyer writes a letter to a customer who owes you money, you know it’s a bluff. The customer also knows you don’t want to sue, because litigation will take forever and cost you piles of money. And when a customer calls your bluff, you lose out regardless of what happens next. But credit bureau reporting collection agencies like MetCredit USA aren’t relying on a bluff. We have the upper hand, because we report unpaid accounts to national credit bureaus like Equifax. An account in collections is a major hit to the credit score, and can make it impossible for the debtor to get a mortgage, finance a car, be approved for a credit card, or even be hired by many employers. That’s powerful leverage lawyers don’t provide.
- We track down debtors. When someone who owes you money (whether that is a runaway tenant, a consumer or a business owner gone AWOL) our pedigree as a top US debt collection agency makes us expert skip tracers. Lawyers can seldom be bothered to do the detective work at which our agents are highly trained.
- You can keep good customers. The moment your lawyer sends your customer a letter, the account is almost always gone forever—even if you get paid. Suing is win-lose, and highly destructive to relationships. Only MetCredit USA, uses Solution-Oriented Recovery™ techniques to help the customer find ways to pay, through collaborative brainstorming. Rehabilitated customers very often come back, with new respect for your business. So when you bill again, you’re a payment priority.
- Safeguard your brand reputation. Another benefit of MetCredit USA’s unique Solution-Oriented Recovery™ is that customers who are treated with respect and value tend to think far more highly of your business than if you take a litigious approach. In an era of instant, permanent online reviews, this makes a big difference to your priceless brand reputation.
- When you sue, you still need to collect. Retaining a lawyer to collect debt means that every time a customer calls your bluff, you move into the big costs. And when you litigate, you might not win—and still have to pay your legal fees! But it doesn’t end there. Even if you are awarded a court judgment (usually many months down the line), you still need to collect on it. We know, because we help businesses—and law firms—collect quickly on court judgments. If only they’d started with us in the first place…
- No upfront costs. When you send an account to collections, we pay all the upfront costs. That is something few law firms will do with smaller files, if at all: you’re on the hook for all out-of-pocket expenses in addition to legal fees.
- No risk. Despite taking on those upfront costs, MetCredit USA has a longstanding policy of no collection, no fee. That means you don’t pay a cent if we are not successful. The reason we can do this is because we know our methods have a high rate of success!
- Litigation is still an option. If all else fails (and only as a final recourse), a collection agency can still take your account to court or mediation (and we remind clients what cool, profitable minds know: Don’t litigate—mediate!) When a legal route does make sense, we partner with excellent lawyers who have specialized expertise in debt recovery. And of course we’re ideally positioned to collect on judgments in your favor.
For smaller B2B accounts, ($150 to $10,000), a top-performing collection agency is the fastest, most cost-effective way to collect unpaid bills quickly. At MetCredit USA, we’ve been helping our clients get back more of the money they deserve since 1935.
President and CEO of MetCredit USA, America’s debt collection and accounts receivable recovery agency.Go to LinkedIn