Friday, January 04, 2008

Collection Agency Pricing

By JR Rooney

One of the main benefits to working with many collection agencies is that you only pay them when they successfully recover your money. This means if the collection agency fails to collect money on your behalf, you don't owe a penny.

However, this is not always the case. If you have some small accounts under $500, some collection agencies may require a flat fee to handle those accounts to make it worth their while.

A Collection agency earns its money by taking a small percentage of the money they successfully collect. This percentage can range from 10% to 50% with the most common percentage being between 25% and 40%.

The fee is typically based on age and dollar amount. The older the debt the more difficult it is to collect and the agent will require a much higher fee to go after that kind of account. Also, make sure you factor in how difficult it will be to collect. Certain debts are riskier to collect therefore require percentage kept to be greater.

You may also be responsible for several other charges related to their collection efforts including fee-based background checks, travel, filing fees, and long-distance phone calls.

Before a collection agent works on a single claim, they will write up a contract that details the terms of your working arrangement including their responsibilities, the fees, any additional expenses, and customer service policies.

Be sure to read the contract over carefully for any fine print or contract language that seems confusing. If you notice discrepancies in the contract, make sure the agency fixes the problems immediately before requiring you to sign anything.

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