You may be familiar with the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, or CFPB for short, but are you aware of the impact it can have on your collections agency business? Debtor complaints to the CFPB can cause you to lose both time and money in the form of lawsuits. Not to mention it can ruin your reputation, and drive hard earned clients into the arms of your competitors. Steps must be taken to ensure that your collection agents are interacting with the debtors in a respectful, and compliant manner. The following information will help you put a plan in place to minimize CFPB complaints.
Minimize CFPB Complaints By Being Prepared
Your collection agents should be prepared before making any contact with the debtors. They must know everything about the situation. Instruct your employees to make copies of everything including invoices, contracts, and any other pertinent information. This action will help them speak to the debtors like a knowledgeable professional, and on a personal level.
Minimize CFPB Complaints By Documenting Everything
Your collections agents should take careful notes when speaking with debtors on the phone. This includes any comments the debtor makes. The notes can prove extremely useful if the debtor makes a future dispute, or files a complaint with CFPB. If your collections agency has tracking software, the agents should immediately input everything into the system. Additional details should be added to the file over time.
Minimize CFPB Complaints By Not Assuming Anything
Your debt collection agents should do their homework before contacting the debtors. For example, they should review the file to make sure the debt has not already been paid. Agents should never alienate the debtors. The debt in question may be a mistake, and not a collections issue. All employees must be careful with their words and tone when initially speaking with the debtors. They need to wait, and actually listen to what the debtors have to say. Once again, document all conversations.
Minimize CFPB Complaints By Acting Pleasant
Your debt collection agents should speak with the debtors in a pleasant manner. The tone of their voice can dictate how the conversation will go. They need to keep in mind that debtors are facing a difficult situation. If the agents begin the conversation with a friendly, non-confrontational tone, it is far more likely that the debtors will respond in a positive manner. Agents should ask if there is anything they can do to help alleviate the situation, provide additional information if needed, and act like they actually care.
Minimize CFPB Complaints By Remaining Calm In All Situations
Your debt collection agents should always stay calm in every situation. This can become extremely difficult when the debtors become verbally abusive. However, the agents must simply grin and bear it at this point. They can suggest calling back at a more convenient time, or simply allow the debtors to vent their frustrations. Being a good listener can go a long way in these situations. You catch more bees with honey than you do with vinegar.
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