07. 03. 17

(The following article was published in Credit Research Foundation's 2Q 2017 News.  Commercial Collection Agencies of America is a proud Platinum member of Credit Research Foundation!)

By Annette M. Waggoner, Executive Director
Commercial Collection Agencies of America

When a creditor places a delinquent receivable with a certified commercial collection agency for collection, the creditor may authorize the agency, when necessary, to retain an attorney in the area where the debtor is located. The attorney is selected by the creditor and/or the agency with a specific provision that a lawsuit will not be filed without the creditor’s prior authorization. It is incumbent on the creditor to determine whether the likelihood of recovery on the claim, and the probable amount of recovery, will justify the time and expense of litigation. Consultation by an agency and attorney can assist in that task.When a creditor places a delinquent receivable with a certified commercial collection agency for collection, the creditor may authorize the agency, when necessary, to retain an attorney in the area where the debtor is located. The attorney is selected by the creditor and/or the agency with a specific provision that a lawsuit will not be filed without the creditor’s prior authorization. It is incumbent on the creditor to determine whether the likelihood of recovery on the claim, and the probable amount of recovery, will justify the time and expense of litigation. Consultation by an agency and attorney can assist in that task.

The agency and attorney can evaluate the claim for suit worthiness, establish the viability of the corporate entity (and personal guarantor, if applicable), determine if the statute of limitations has expired, examine the risks of initiating a law suit and discuss the willingness to defend a counterclaim if brought against the creditor.

Agencies forward claims to a network of attorneys across the United States and abroad. The advantage of using an agency’s network is that attorneys receive many claims in their locale from the agency and represent many of the agency’s clients. A tenured, certified commercial collection agency has long-standing relationships with attorneys who specialize in creditors’ rights within each state. These relationships ensure that the attorneys handle each matter in an expeditious manner, represent the creditors with the utmost professionalism and provide detailed and timely reports of progress throughout the life of the lawsuit.

04. 19. 17

Commercial Collection Agencies of America recently released its year-end report and analysis of delinquent account placement with its agency membership. Annette M. Waggoner, Executive Director reports the number of commercial (business to business) accounts placed with agency members rose by 10.82% in 2016 when compared to 2015.

The dollar amount of accounts placed increased by 10.58%. Ms. Waggoner noted that the second quarter of 2016 registered the largest dollar amount of placements in the eight quarter history studied while the fourth quarter registered the second largest dollar amount of placements.

The association also studied the average-sized account placed with agency members, which ranged from just above $2,400 to slightly above $3,100 in both 2015 and 2016. The average-sized account in the fourth quarter of 2016 was 16.64% higher than in the fourth quarter of 2015.

An expanded study also provided an analysis for the pre-recession period through current day. Regarding the number of accounts placed, at the outset of the recessionary period, 2007-2009, agencies reported an increase, followed by a sharp decline from 2010-2013. In 2014 and 2015, there were numerous fluctuations between quarters, while a steady increase was exhibited in 2016.

The same study examined the dollar amount of increases. Between 2007 and 2009, there was a consistent increase in the dollar amount of commercial accounts placed with third party agencies. Between 2010 and 2013, there was a consistent decline. As seen in the number of accounts placed, the index fluctuated between quarters in 2014. In 2015 and 2016, the highest levels in the dollar amount of accounts placed were reported.

The increases in number of accounts placed and dollar amount of accounts placed are encouraging to the seasoned professionals, which make up the membership. While manufacturing output is increasing and according to the economists, industrial sector output growth has been improving over the past months, members note that significant gains in their clients’ sales will have to occur before a notable uptick in account placement will be realized.

Commercial Collection Agencies of America is the premier association for commercial collection agencies, elevating the standards of the collection industry by providing the superior certification program in the industry. The association requires adherence to a strict code of ethics in addition to fulfillment of continuing education of its members. The rigorous certification requirements, set by an Independent Standards Board, ensure that member agencies provide the highest level of professional service while they collect billions of dollars on behalf of creditors worldwide.

A director of certified agencies and affiliate members can be found by clicking "Members" above.