Having an account in collections can be a stressful process. Between recognizing unresolved accounts and scheduling payments that fit your budget, many people cannot take out time during their workday to talk to collection agencies to appropriately resolve any questions or concerns they may have, or even make a payment. Luckily, a vast majority of collection agencies actually don’t require you to make direct contact with the organization to resolve overdue accounts placed with them for collections.
The goal of this Money Chat is to help you understand how you can resolve your overdue accounts without talking to most collection agencies and what you can do on most collection agencies’ websites to help you resolve your accounts.
Options For Communication With Collection Agencies
Collection agencies are bound primarily by the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA). The FDCPA is a comprehensive and evolving set of rules and regulations regarding how third-party collection agencies can collect upon overdue accounts.
Several major changes, most notably a large change referred to as “Reg F” late in 2021, have given new guidelines to agencies regarding text messages and emails. In order to comply with the FDCPA and give consumers more options to make payments on their own time, a majority of third-party collection agencies now offer alternative communication options to help consumers achieve financial wellness.
Emails and Texts
The primary new methods for communication are SMS and email communications. These two methods give consumers the freedom they need to make payments on their own time and receive account updates without having to wait in a call queue to speak with a representative. For consumers looking to quickly set up a payment schedule that meets their budgetary needs, or who simply want to speak with a representative without having to call during work hours, email communications give them a much-needed reprieve.
Text communications are a relatively new practice in financial services and are now being adopted by much of the receivables management industry. Texts provide instantaneous updates on devices most convenient for most consumers. Consumers can opt into not only account updates via SMS messaging but also can quickly confirm payment schedules or even set up a different recurring payment plan.
The biggest advancement in contactless communications, online self-service payment portals are making waves throughout the industry. Collection agencies looking to give consumers even more ways to make payments on their own time are providing online portals that offer access to your account, payment schedules, agency communications, and more all in one easy-to-access place.
These self-service portals are more and more common in the industry and provide access to your account 24/7. Often these portals not only provide a quick payment tab but also provide a way to negotiate with the agency. If you’re looking to pay down your overdue accounts on a more advanced schedule or even looking to question your total balance, built-in negotiation tools can help alleviate a potentially stressful phone call.
If you’re on the go and want to check up on an upcoming payment or check the status of your auto-payments, online portals often come with additional tools and resources to help you view all previous transactions, communications, and documents associated with your account.
Collection Agencies Want To Help
Regardless of communication preference, collection agencies are there to help. Both consumers and the agency want their accounts resolved in the most efficient and respectful manner possible. Whether you opt-in to text messaging, email communications, or use a self-service online portal, agencies have representatives available by phone to assist in any way possible.
Most agencies, while available only during normal working hours, have dispute resolution centers and compliance managers available to help alleviate any additional stress or concerns that come with the collections process. Regardless, as technology advances, most consumers no longer have to call a collection agency to resolve their overdue accounts. Emails, texts, and online portals provide detailed access and information into the nature of overdue accounts and remain compliant, secure, and safeguarded.
If you want to learn more about financial literacy or your rights as a consumer, please visit the Receivables Info Resources Page.
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The information contained in this article is meant to serve as general guidance for consumers and not meant to serve as comprehensive financial advice. For questions about your individual circumstance, finances, or accounts, please contact your creditor(s) and/or financial advisor directly.
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Superlative RM is a nationally licensed account receivables management company that works with consumers in all 50 states to assist creditors and debt buyers with recovering past due balances. Founded by a U.S. Marine Corps veteran, Jerry Terrill, the Superlative RM team regularly undergoes development to improve consumer service and expand their core values of creating a wow factor, doing it right from A to Z, and collaborating at every opportunity.