Having drawn from the expertise of the Atradius Collections' local offices, the International Debt Collections Handbook explains the different stages, regulations and procedures for the United States.
Atradius Collections USA maintains a professional collection process, focusing on the relationship between client and debtor at all times. We pursue debtors within the bounds of federal and state laws and liaise with clients and the relationship management team to ensure that we service our clients efficiently and effectively. Collectors work to ensure that, if the initial collection phase is not productive, the file is adequately documented to fully utilise the second tier of the collection process, the legal phase. When there is a dispute, we aim to reach an amicable solution between creditor and debtor. We do this by analysing all contractual documents (e.g. signed contracts, orders, confirmations, invoices and delivery notes, as well as standard terms previously agreed upon). All investigations are completed with the assistance and agreement of our legal team.
Atradius Collections USA may charge interest back to debtors. Currently, we add 4% interest to each case placed with office. However, in most states, if no signed contractual agreement exists, then we cannot exert legal means to collect the interest. If the contractual interest is greater than 4%, then the interest we charge will match that of the agreed amount. US-based debtors are not used to paying interest. Often the actual amount of the interest is considered a negotiation tool between debtors and collectors.
Collection costs cannot be added to a case unless a signed contractual agreement exists between debtor and client. However, even if the contractual agreement includes collection costs, they are often used as a negotiation between debtors and collectors.
The Debt Collections Handbook presents a snapshot of the USA's local economic situation and covers the following topics:
- Accepted and most common payment methods
- Types of companies
- Legal procedures & legal system
- Enforcement in debt, movable and immovable goods
- Insolvency proceedings
To read more about steps and procedures undertaken in the field of debt collection: