How to Get a Job in Collections
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Nearly every major organization has some type of collection department; other companies forward their delinquent receivables to collection agencies or third party debt collectors. Companies that use collectors include banks, mortgage companies, collection agencies, department stores, credit card companies, and credit unions. Get information on several companies to see which one you would like to work for.
Obtain the necessary skills for collections. Sales or customer service experience can pave the way for a collection job. Persuasion and negotiation skills are required. Some companies require specific collections experience with certain types of accounts such as 30, 60, 90 or 120 days past due. If you have no experience, apply for an entry level position to pave the way for other collection jobs. Do not claim experience you don't have.
Read a copy of the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA). This act governs the activity of third party debt collectors, such as collection agencies. One stipulation of the FDCPA is that phone calls must be made between the hours of 8 a.m. and 9 p.m. If a collector calls outside those times a debtor can complain to the Federal Trade Commission or the Attorney General's office even if the collector is not obligated to abide by the FDCPA.
Familiarize yourself with the statute of limitations on debts. The statute of limitations is the time frame in which a collector can bring legal action against a debtor. After the statute of limitations has passed, the collector can still call and send past due notices but cannot attempt to collect the amount owed using legal action. The statute of limitations usually ranges from 2 to 15 years, but varies from state to state.
Order a copy of your own credit report and become familiar with the information. As a debt collector you will need to understand how to read a credit report. You may also need to find out about charged off accounts and other terminology pertaining to a credit report.
Apply for debt collection jobs online or in person. A human resource representative will contact you if you have the necessary qualifications and skills. Visit job search websites such as careerbuilder.com and search the term "collections" to see available jobs and their requirements in your area.
Melvin J. Richardson has been a freelance writer for two years with Associated Content, and writes about topics such as banking, credit and collections, goal setting, financial services, management, health and fitness. Richardson has worked for several banks and financial institutions and gained invaluable experience and knowledge. Richardson holds a Master of Business Administration in Executive Management from Ashland University in Ashland Ohio.