Collections Job Description

by Faizah Imani

Collections workers are hired by companies to collect debts that are owed to them. They are debt-recovery experts who specialize in helping companies decrease their financial losses. Whether you are looking for employment as a collection worker or looking to hire collection agents, be clear about the job duties of an agent. Exact job duties may vary based on an employer's needs.

Collections Calls

Collections workers use every available resource to collect a debt. They make telephone calls and write letters, and some use social media to track down debtors. Once a collections worker initiates contact, he is responsible for maintaining contact with the debtor through a series of followup calls or correspondence.

Skip Tracing

When a collections agent is working with outdated debtor information, he may adopt the role of investigator. It is his responsibility to determine the debtor's new telephone number and mailing address in a process known as “skip tracing.” To locate a debtor, the investigator may contact references or family members listed on a credit application. The collections worker may also check with credit bureaus, run online background checks or use social media to determine the debtor's current contact information.

Negotiates Payoff

A collections worker may also work as a payment negotiator in his attempt to collect debt. If it is impossible to collect the entire debt amount, he may negotiate a plan with the debtor. He must determine the debtor's current financial situation, and set up payment arrangements to settle the debt if the debtor is unable to make a lump sum payment. The collections worker is responsible for handling any objections the debtor has about paying off the debt.

Seeks Legal Action

If a debtor fails to pay off a debt as agreed upon or remains unresponsive to collection attempts, the collectionsworker can seek legal action against the debtor. This legal action may include turning over the customer's records to a collections attorney or petitioning the courts for a judgment against the debtor. Once a judgment is received, the collections worker can request wage garnishments to pay off the debt. Whether or not the collections agent is responsible for initiating legal proceedings depends upon the employer. Legal proceedings may be handled by another department.

About the Author

Faizah Imani, an educator, minister and published author, has worked with clients such as Harrison House Author, Thomas Weeks III, Candle Of Prayer Company and "Truth & Church Magazine." Her dossier includes JaZaMM WebDesigns, assistant high-school band director, district manager for the Clarion Ledger and event coordinator for the Vicksburg Convention Center.

Photo Credits

  • David De Lossy/Digital Vision/Getty Images