Receiving a notice of collections for the first time can be a difficult process. Not only does the notice signify that a debt is past due, it can also provoke an emotionally trying reaction that might include a mix of feelings rooted in anger or anxiety. While these responses are understandable, it’s important to also understand how to progress towards a resolution of collections to avoid a number of more serious outcomes. This provides pointers for what to do when you find yourself in collections with the accounts receivable company, IC Systems. Following these steps will help anyone bring an end to the process in a manner that works for all parties involved (LinkedIn).
About the Agency
Before diving into the advice, it helps to understand where it is coming from. IC Systems was founded in 1938 by Ruth and Jack Erickson. The company, headquartered outside of St. Paul, Minnesota, has a long history of achieving financial resolutions for clients and consumers while maintaining a focus on ethical and honest practices. In just one example of its continuing commitment to the company’s founding principles, the company was recently nominated as a finalist for the Better Business Bureau’s Torch Award for Ethics in three consecutive years.
Mindset After Notice
Often, the first time that a person realizes they are in collections is when they receive their initial notice in the mail. When such an event occurs, it’s important not to panic and to instead realize that this notice is part of the normal accounting process by which companies resolve debt. It’s also important to realize that there are people on the other end of the notice who understand that you are a human with your own range of potential issues that can be influencing your debt. Collection agencies realize that you may be experiencing financial hardships, such as recent health issues or the sudden loss of employment. Trusting that a collection agent can take these factors into account may be a first step into engaging with the process and working towards a financial resolution.
At the same time, it’s important to understand that the collection agency’s client is a business that is run by people as well. Just as any other person, they need income to pay for their expenses in business and in life. When a debt is outstanding for an extended period, these individuals may opt to hire an accounts receivable company such as IC Systems in order to recover the funds they are owed. Keeping this aspect of the process in mind will also help facilitate a quicker end to debt collection.
One thing to check immediately after being contacted is whether the information on the notice is accurate. Though collection agencies strive to stay up to date, it is possible they have contacted you in error or they may have an incorrect understanding of the amount owed on your account. A thorough review of the initial collection notice will help to avoid possible confusion from developing and negatively affecting your financial standing. If, after review, you are not certain that you owe the amount stated, you can contact the collection agency for written verification of the debt in question. If your review shows that you do not owe the debt being collected, then you can contact the agency to dispute the account.
Sometimes when a person receives a collection notice that they are currently unable to pay, they opt to ignore the debt in the hopes that it may go away. This can be problematic for a number of reasons. For starters, when a debt is left unpaid, fees may accumulate on the outstanding balance that may increase the amount that will eventually need to be paid. Also, many debts are listed with credit bureaus, and an account that remains past due for too long may count negatively against an individual’s credit standing. This will affect your ability to take out loans or secure a line of credit in the future.
Instead of letting a past due account remain unpaid, it’s always best to contact the collection agency to discuss the debt. Even if you cannot pay the full amount immediately, the agency may be able to negotiate a payment plan to allow repayment of the debt in installments. Alternative financial solutions may be available depending on the specifics of your situation.
Agent Consumer Relations
Not only are the above options available to many people, but at IC Systems the agents in charge of negotiating these types of resolutions are trained to prioritize courteous and ethical behavior when interacting with consumers. This allows those receiving a past due notice to be assured that they can contact the collection agency without fear of harassment or other morally dubious behavior.
In fact, not only is agent training extensive, but accountability is equally robust. Agents are constantly monitored, and their conduct is evaluated to ensure it is in line with company principles. There is also an auditing department at the company that concerns itself with accuracy of accounts to verify that consumers are being treated fairly. With these methods in place, along with an eighty-year legacy of honesty in all practices, contact with the collection agency is an action that can reap benefits for all parties concerned.
It’s only natural when first faced with a collection notice to experience emotions that may be difficult to grapple with. However, the collection process need not be a scary undertaking when armed with the above information. Collection agents are on hand to assist with the resolution of financial debt and to help to work towards a solution that benefits the consumer as well as the client. When receiving such a notice, it is important to act on it as soon as possible to avoid possible long-term ramifications of outstanding debt. By working with a reputable collection agency such as IC Systems, many consumers find that a process that was previously shrouded in anxiety can actually be a positive experience that serves to free them from debt and helps further their own financial goals.