It’s critical to manage cash flow and revenue for a business. Making sure your company has enough equity to pay bills and cover salaries is what maintains daily operations. However, a client’s unpaid invoices can sometimes begin piling up and impacting your bottom line. Retaining the services of a commercial collection agency is one of the strategies that business owners use to collect debt. This process is efficient as long as you follow the right legal procedures. To help, here’s a guide to business debt collection laws.
Why Are Business Debt Collection Laws Necessary?
Business debt collection laws give businesses and debt collection agencies guidelines that dictate safe practices. They also protect debtors against unfair processes that impact their reputation and long-term financial capabilities.
Commercial Debt Collection Laws
While commercial debtors don’t have the same level of protection that consumer debtors enjoy, there are some business debt collection laws that must be followed, including:
Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA)
The FDCPA is the primary federal law that oversees debt collection processes. It prohibits commercial debt collectors from using abusive or unfair practices. Some of the restrictions placed on debt collection agencies include:
Time and Place
Debt collection service providers can’t contact you at a time or place that’s inconvenient to the debtor. Contact before 8 a.m. or after 9 p.m. is prohibited, and the collection agency can’t reach out to you at work.
Debt collectors are forbidden from harassing the debtor or anyone associated with them. Any contact, whether over the phone or in person, must maintain a professional tone.
If the debtor retains an attorney, all contact from the collection agency must go through them. However, this is only true if the agency knows the attorney and is provided with their contact information.
Commercial Collection Agency Association (CCAA)
State and federal governments don’t govern business debt collection agencies. Instead, they established the CCAA, a non-government body that exists under the Commercial Law League of America. Founded in 1974, this agency supervises and improves best practices in the commercial debt collection industry. To become a certified member of the CCAA, an agency must:
- Have been in operation for at least four years
- Have a separate trust account where funds are deposited
- Have up to 80% of their entire operations because commercial debt related
- Retain at least one agent that is a member of the Commercial Law League of America
- Offer a $300,000 bond to protect the creditors it serves
- Be open to random visits from the CCAA’s executive directors
The CCAA also has a strict code of ethics that each member must adhere to that includes:
Every member of the CCAA is required to follow their general conduct rules, such as:
- Maintaining a high standard of fairness and honesty
- Providing an efficient collection service that protects the interest of creditors
- Operating under a name that doesn’t suggest the agency is a branch of or associated with any government entity
- Making sure all employees are familiar with and fully comply with the Code of Ethics
Avoiding any unauthorized processes or practices of the law
Interactions With Creditors
The CCAA also offers guidelines to follow when working with creditors. These include:
- Comply with creditors’ instructions and promptly process claims.
- Identify all charges to the creditor.
- Identify service and administrative charges and keep them separate from court costs and suit fees.
- Display an official logo on letterhead for all correspondence sent to creditors.
- Provide professional and courteous marketing of services and don’t engage in an activity that impacts the industry’s reputation.
Relations With Debtors
Managing relationships with debtors is a key element of the debt collection industry. Here are the guidelines provided by the CCAA in these dealings.
- Avoid deceptive practices or statements that may lead debtors to believe they’re dealing with someone outside the debt collection industry.
- Show consideration for the debtor’s problems and treat them with respect.
- Provide the debtor with any documentation that validates the debt.
- Never engage in any harassing conduct.
- If the debtor retains an attorney, the agency must deal directly with their representation unless the attorney doesn’t respond to contact within a reasonable time—then you can contact the debtor.
- Never threaten to damage a debtor’s credit reputation if they don’t pay or cooperate by alerting other vendors and financial institutions.
Are You Looking for a Commercial Debt Collecting Agency That Follows Business Debt Collection Laws?
The Rapid Collection team knows that adhering to commercial debt collection laws benefits all parties. Contact us today to learn more about our business-to-business approach to commercial collections.
Rapid Collections: An Expert Commercial Debt Collection Agency
The Rapid Collections team understands complying with business debt collection laws is critical for maintaining our reputation as a leading commercial debt collection agency. Our commitment to monitoring and enhancing our processes enables us to take the necessary steps to improve our organization and services. Along with our leading collection agency services, we also offer other solutions to serve our clients, including:
Our goal is to settle cases quickly for our clients, but sometimes legal representation is necessary. We’ve carefully selected our legal team to make sure they offer comprehensive knowledge and expertise in multiple industries. Our attorneys provide enhanced attention to detail that ensures your case best suits your company.
We understand that the debt collection process is difficult for many clients. That’s why we offer consulting and training services to equip you with the right tools. Our team works with clients to develop a custom approach that best suits their needs.
Contact Rapid Collections today to learn more about how our process respects business debt collection laws.