Best Practices for the New Economy

July 28, 2011

In these challenging times, organizations are often pressured to grow their revenues–despite budget cut-backs, decreased staffing, tighter overall margins, and expanded service level demands; however, there is a bright spot. When it comes to increasing receivables recoveries, there are several ways to make any revenue recovery program more productive. Penn Credit offers the following overview of often-overlooked, yet very effective, suggestions.
  • Ensure quality of information 
  • Report accounts to the credit bureaus 
  • Provide settlement authority 
  • Review account turnover timeline
First, we suggest looking at the data provided for use in the recovery program. Quality information gives collection agents the best opportunity to succeed with each collection attempt; therefore ensuring that this data is collected and provided to your collection agency ensures more positive recovery efforts. In addition to basic data (e.g. correct contact information and service dates), Penn Credit recommends a confirmation of, social security numbers, employment information, detailed descriptions of the service rendered, payment history, and insurance information (for healthcare accounts).
These data items aid the representatives in their attempts to locate a debtor’s new contact information–and then to speak knowledgeably with the debtor about the account once contact is made, leading to greater collection success.
Credit Bureau reporting and settlement authority are also two best practices used to motivate payment. For credit bureau reporting, qualifying accounts can be sent to the credit reporting agencies after the validation period. A no charge service, credit reporting provides one more layer of urgency that may be needed to resolve the account. Additionally, settlements can assist with the resolution of minor balance disputes turning a negative situation into a positive for both parties. Settlements can also be used as part of special campaigns throughout the year.
Lastly, a realistic view should be taken when determining the duration and treatments an account receives before it’s placed with an outside agency. If a minimal effort is taken and an adequate follow-up tempo cannot be established in-house, Penn Credit recommends referring the accounts within an earlier time frame.
Penn Credit is GMA’s service provider for our debt collection program and is available to assist cities in updating their practices to increase collections in today’s economy. For more information contact Pam Helton with GMA at 678-686-6275 or by email at or Bruce Hower with Penn Credit at 800-800-3328 ext 3118 or by email at