Lockhart, Morris & Montgomery, Inc.

Dec 14, 2023

How to Hire the Right Debt Collector Online

Searching online for debt collection services is common in a world where consumers need solutions “now.”

However, there is a plethora of national companies to pick from, and choosing the right third-party collection partner is a challenge.

After all, working with a third-party collections agency like Lockhart, Morris & Montgomery, Inc. (LMM, Inc.) Is an investment in your financial success.

You want the right team on your side that can produce results, not one that’s inexperienced and drags out the collection process.

As always, we’re here to help you out! This guide will walk you through the key steps to take when hiring a debt collection agency so you can ensure you’re making the right choice.  

Vet Their Online Reputation

The first thing you should do is research the online reputation of any debt collection agencies you are considering. Sure, looking at their site testimonials are a good start, but any business is only going to put their best foot forward.

For the most honest reviews check out what people are saying on Google Business Profile, Yelp, and the business search section of the Better Business Bureau

Aside from investigating star ratings, read through the reviews to get details on real customer experiences. Look for red flags like excessive complaints about harassment, threats, shady practices or failure to return documentation of payments. 

Review Their Licenses, Bonding and Insurance

Reputable debt collectors should carry bonding and insurance coverage to protect their clients. 

Bonding helps reimburse you financially if the agency causes you harm through negligent acts or failing to follow regulations. 

Liability insurance covers devastating events like data breaches, cyber issues, and errors and omissions. 

Before signing the dotted line on any contract with a third-party collection agency, ask about coverage amounts and thoroughly examine any documentation they provide.

Understand Fee Structures and Terms

Debt collectors have different commission fees and billing models. Some charge a percentage of the total debt they successfully collect.

Others charge a flat upfront or monthly fee instead of taking a portion of collected debts. 

Terms change from collector to collector. You want to ensure the structure you get involved with is one that works with your goals and current financial means.

Be clear on all charges at the onset so there are no surprises later on. 

Vet Security and Regulation Compliance

Debt collectors can access sensitive consumer information like social security numbers, account details, contact info, and more. 

Scrutinize what data security measures are in place to protect your data. Some security measures to dig into include the effectiveness of the company’s physical security, network and firewall protections, data transmission encryption, employee training, and background checks.

A company that thoroughly vets their security measures is one that will keep your consumers and reputation safe.

Also, look at how they handle compliance with debt collection laws like the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, HIPAA, state-level regulations, and maintaining state and city licenses. Ethical handling of accounts is crucial, and that’s why at LMM, Inc., we ensure the agents on our team are all committed to remaining proficient with compliance standards that keep our processes within regulation. 

Set Clear Expectations on Methods

Some debt collection methods like repeated phone calls or legal action, may be off-putting to you or harm your ongoing relationship with the entity or consumer that owes you money. 

Discuss boundaries and preferred approaches upfront with any potential agency you work with. 

For example, setting limits on call timing/frequency or ruling out aggressive collection tactics, could be the key to successful collections and retaining your good name with consumers. 

Before starting any collection process, ensure you outline what you consider reasonable so all collection attempts meet your standards.

Check References and Sample Reports  

Before finalizing your choice of a debt collector, ask for 2-3 references from recent clients along with sample collection reports from different industries they serve, and you may collect from.

Speaking with real customers can give you greater insights into their success rates and services. Reviewing sample documentation of payments collected, fees charged, and status reports, also clarifies how the agency tracks and communicates progress. 

Make the Right Choice With LMM, Inc.

Hiring a debt collector online can help you start the collection process quickly. But choosing the right agency still requires rigor and due diligence on your end. 

Make your collection efforts a success in the new year with LMM, Inc. on your side. Our team of experienced, trustworthy agents is ready to help you with all consumer and commercial collection needs. 

Contact us today to learn more about acquiring our services.