As a business seeking to recover unpaid debts, you may feel overwhelmed when shopping for a debt collection agency. After all, there are thousands in the United States alone. And like members of any industry, they can vary in terms of quality and reputation.

Finding the right one can be especially tricky if ethics are a concern. You’ve probably heard of the dirty tactics some debt collectors use to achieve their goals that have forced the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) to ban a number of them.

Fortunately, many good debt collection agencies do exist. For instance, see how Summit A*R can help you recover your accounts receivable in a manner that’s ethical and legal without compromising on the chances of a successful recovery. If anything, they claim to have twice as much as the national debt recovery rate.

Interestingly, an ethical debt collection agency like the one mentioned above has several tools at its disposal. Here are a few of them.

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#1 Skip Tracing

When your debtor skips town to disappear without a trace, an experienced debt collection agency can find them and their assets through skip tracing. By gathering their information from you, private investigators, employers, tax records, places of education, they can crossmatch with dozens of databases, public and private, online and offline, to pinpoint a location.

#2 Boots on the Ground

Once a location is determined, a debt collector can pay your client a visit and ask questions. So long as the debt collector does not abuse and harass them, or visit outside of business hours, they are well within their rights to do this.

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#3 Tactful Communication

Within reason, a debt collector can contact your customer through the phone or mail. If the content of the communication remains factual and to the point, a debt collector can use it to pressure the customer into paying their debts.

#4 Reporting to the Credit Union

One of the most effective weapons a debt collector has is the ability to report a nonpayer to the credit union. This works because people don’t want their credit history to be damaged and are usually willing to cooperate with a creditor when threatened in this way.

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#4 Negotiation

Sometimes life hits people hard. Perhaps they lost a job or took on debt to meet immediate health concerns – though they still carry a desire to pay what they owe. In these situations, a debt collector may be willing to negotiate their dues to a more manageable sum.

#5 Buy and Sell Debt

If you are in the mood to write off a bad debt, a debt collection agency may buy it at a low price after calculating risk and reward. This allows them to pursue a collection well after you’ve moved on. What’s more, they can also sell the debt to another collection agency should they choose.

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#6 Litigation

If your customer is still unresponsive a long time after the transaction, and a debt collection agency believes they’ve exhausted all their options, then they may sue for outstanding debt. Keep in mind that although legal action can be fruitful for both you and your debt collector, it may be a long and expensive process.