10 Reasons to Work with a CCAofA Certified Agency

Why should you work with an agency that is a Commercial Collection Agencies of America member?

Well, according to the CCAofA, it can be broken down into 10 key reasons.

  • Members carry a minimum of $300,000 surety bond coverage for your firm’s protection
  • Members’ professional practices help attain maximum dollar recovery
  • Members have qualified for a Certificate of Accreditation and Compliance by fulfilling rigorous certification requirements
  • Members promptly remit funds to your firm
  • A strict code of ethics is followed by each member
  • Financial and procedural overview by Commercial Collection
  • Agencies of America of each member ensures on-going adherence to requirements
  • Members maintain separate trust accounts for collected funds
  • Member agencies have been in business for a minimum of four (4) years
  • Agency executives are required to fulfill continuing education annually
  • Members assist in choosing legal counsel if necessary
  • Creditors can call the Executive Director of Commercial Collection Agencies of America if a problem arises

foundingmember_200pxSource: Commercial Collection Agencies of America – www.commercialcollectionsagenciesofamerica.com

When it comes to commercial collections, Brennan & Clark are special. We’ve not come across any other agency that can compete
– B&C client from the insurance sector

If you’re interested in partnering with an accredited CCAofA agency, contact us at info@brennanclark.com or (800) 858-7600 and let’s talk about how we can start making a difference to your business.

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Fill those backpacks!

We’re excited to participate in the Aunt Martha’s Back-To-School drive to provide supplies to the kids they serve at their health and wellness centers throughout northern Illinois.

IMG_20190805_101053If you happen to be visiting our office before August 23, be sure to stop by the accounting department to add your donation to the box.

If not, there are plenty of other ways to contribute. See the flyer below for more details.

Driven by innovation, integration and care coordination, Aunt Martha’s Health & Wellness is committed to providing an exceptional, unique, and comprehensive patient experience.

Thanks to Paula, our energetic Controller, for organizing this effort for our team!

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How to Act When a Debtor is Hiding

A large percentage of the time, a debtor’s strategy is to avoid conversing with us. They implement this strategy for a variety of reasons.

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Fear
Some debtors would rather not know what could potentially happen as a result of not addressing their obligation, and if they don’t pick up the phone, they never get to find out what the possible consequences of their actions are. For some, not knowing is a better option than knowing.

Creating Doubt
By their not answering the phone, we don’t have the full picture of where things stand on the debtor’s end, and in their minds that hinders our ability to make a decision on the best next step to take on behalf of our clients.

They Don’t Care
By not answering, we can’t influence their “don’t care” mindset. Catch them off guard on a different number – or the right number! – and you can change that.

There are more reasons than the three listed above, but the bottom line is the debtor who opts to not pick up the phone cannot be influenced if we do not talk to them.

More often than not, the only way to get them on the phone is to catch them off guard by calling them on a number they don’t expect us to, e.g. a night call to a home phone number or (for a small business) a spouse’s number. If you were a small business owner, and your significant other received a voice mail message on their cell phone, wouldn’t you call the creditor back? We are never aggressive, confrontational or over the top – but our expertise built up over many years of dealing with every type of scenario means we’re acutely aware that sometimes invasive tactics such as this will make debtors sit up and take notice.

In instances where a business owner has been ignoring calls and our skip tracing analysis includes access to alternative numbers, they are certainly worth calling.

Brennan & Clark is in the job of influencing people to pay. Part of that process is finding correct numbers and getting the decision maker on the phone. It pays to be creative.

Want to learn more about how we can put our experience and creative thinking to work in order to reach your debtors effectively? Get in touch with us at info@brennanclark.com or (800) 858-7600.

The Importance of Mandating Credit Applications from New Customers

Most people fail to realize that credit extensions to customers are essentially loans. If you were going into a bank for a loan, you would expect to fill out an application. So, it makes sense that when a prospect asks for credit terms, you would have them fill out an application.

Fear of losing a sale often stops business owners from insisting on getting a credit application filled out and signed. But the reality is that asking for and obtaining such an application will go a long way to adding credibility to your organization whilst also securing your product/service if an invoice goes unpaid.

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Any financially sound buyer with good credit credentials should have no objection to completing an application. If anyone does object, it should alert you that something may be wrong – either the prospective customer is already trading beyond their financial limits or has something else to hide. If a potential customer refuses to buy from you because you insist on a credit application, the sale was probably headed for disaster anyway. So, even in this case, requiring a credit application helped you to make a sound credit decision by weeding out a potential bad debt situation.

A well-constructed credit application should be one of the cornerstones of any credit extension policy. Properly constructed and executed, it can:

  • aid in the decision to extend credit to potential customers
  • serve as a point of reference for gathering information in the event of non-payment
  • function as an enforceable document if litigation becomes necessary

What to include in a credit application:

  • All legal data on the customer, including their exact legal composition (i.e. corporation, partnership, LLC, etc.), the names of all principals or corporate officers, and place of incorporation, address, direct dial phone numbers, fax numbers, along with their email addresses.
  • Bank account information – in the event you have a judgment and need to attach company assets.
  • Trade references, preferably in your own industry.
  • Personal Guarantee. The Personal Guarantee is an added protection for you. Understand, however, that it is only as good as the financial worthiness of the guarantor. Personal Guarantees within the credit application have been a constant discussion in recent years. While we recommend including it for credibility, and leverage if needed, not all states allow them, and enforcing them is not always easy.
    Arbitration. Both parties agree to arbitration of any payment disputes. By doing so, the more expensive approach of litigation is avoided. Include in the clause the exact arbitration steps to be followed, so there are no delays associated with later negotiation of these steps.
  • Binding and Electronic Signature. A clause could state that the person signing the application does have the authority to agree to the terms and conditions stated in the application. And all electronic versions are valid.
  • Electronic payment. All payments will automatically be debited from its bank account with an ACH debit transaction for invoiced sales. (Each organization will determine the parameters of when each payment is withdrawn.)
  • Collection Fee and Attorney Fee reimbursement. If the company needs to pay a third party, such as a collection agency or attorney, to collect from the applicant, the applicant agrees to pay these fees. It is not likely that the fees will actually be collected, but it may be worthwhile to insert the clause just to provide the company with extra collection leverage.
  • Legal venue. The parties agree that, if a legal outcome is necessary, the litigation will be addressed in the state of residence of the company, not the applicant. This reduces the cost of travel for the company.
  • Returned check fees.

To find out more, contact us at info@brennanclark.com or (800) 858-7600.

New look, new insights

If you’ve visited our website this week, you might have noticed things look a little different…

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If you haven’t, we’d love to have you stop by to learn more about how our nearly 40 years of experience position us uniquely to Collect & Protect your receivables.

Want to apply what we’ve learned from that experience to your own team’s commercial collection efforts? Download our brand-new guide Mastering the Art of Collections. It’s one more way you can put our knowledge to work for you, and it’s absolutely free!

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Whatever your collection needs, we’re here to help. Get in touch and talk to our experts.

 

Allow us to introduce ourselves.

We’re Brennan & Clark, a full-service commercial collection agency serving the business community since 1980.

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When slow-turning receivables impede your cash flow and threaten your bottom line, we can help. Our job is to free up your time and your company’s cash so both can be invested in more profitable activities.

We offer a comprehensive array of collection services, and our team of experienced professionals is dedicated to making sure you recover your lost revenues.

We are proud to be a Founding Member of the Commercial Collection Agencies of America. Our certification is your assurance that we adhere to the organization’s rigid code of ethics and conduct.

Let us put ourselves in your place.

We work with you as a resource and a partner — a valuable adjunct to your organization.

We’ve learned over the years that the one-size-fits-all approach that many agencies offer isn’t very productive.

Issues that are important to your company are often overlooked. So we tailor our services to your circumstances.

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Our process is simple and straightforward.

  • We meet with
    you to discuss your immediate needs and long-term goals.
  • We develop the best program for your company and your customers.
  • Then we work with you professionally, efficiently, and effectively to ensure your success.

Let’s get to work.

  • Contingency Collections ~ Minimize credit losses while focusing on a positive customer experience
  • Fast Track Payment ~ Guarantee payment within 5 working days
  • Collections Consultancy ~ Helping you build a best-practice collections department

What can you expect from us?

We believe that collections is a craft, something that needs to be developed, implemented and improved time and again. We get the best results for our clients because our team understands this belief, and they all have the

training and experience to prove it.

In business since 1980, Brennan & Clark, Ltd., a Founding Member of the Commercial Collection Agencies of America, has been an industry trendsetter.

  • 312 hours: Number of training hours per year of a Brennan & Clark team member vs 78 industry average
  • 8 years: Average experience of our negotiators vs industry average of 8 months
  • 8 %: The average increase in recovery rate that our training is proven to yield

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With a combined industry experience of 95 years, our management team is at the forefront of collections practice.

You can expect to be satisfied. We guarantee it. If issues arise we work with you to correct them. If you are ever unhappy with our service, we will gladly refund your fee.

To learn more, contact us at info@brennanclark.com or (800) 858-7600.

Choosing the right collection agency

We’ve talked before about when it’s time to bring in the experts to help manage your delinquent receivables. But with dozens of agencies vying for your attention, how do you know which one is right for your business?

Here are a few aspects to consider:

What kind of debtors do you have?

The most basic distinction here is between commercial and consumer. If your debtors are individual consumers, your agency needs to be well versed in navigating the complicated extra layers of regulation. If your debtors are businesses, you need experienced negotiators who understand how to reach an outcome that works for everyone!

Are the accounts months or even years past due and actively dodging you, or do they just need the right plan to get them back on track as valued customers?

Are your customers large corporations where your calls are picked up by a different bored associate in accounts payable every time, or inexperienced entrepreneurs still learning how to manage a business?

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Does the prospective agency understand your business – be it insurance, auto parts, or medical services – so they can discuss your debtors’ accounts from a knowledgeable position?

Do you need negotiators fluent in the languages and business practices of your international customers?

What supplemental services do you need?

Maybe your debtors are in constant motion, and you need an agency with in-house skip tracing to arm their collectors with valid contact information right away. Or maybe your corporate policy requires delinquent accounts to be reported to credit agencies.

Maybe your in-house team needs to check the notes on the agency’s file in real time, or your customer base prefers to pay online.

Does the prospective agency have the technology and programs in place to meet your particular needs?

How do you want to communicate?

Some creditors like to stay on top of developments day-to-day; others prefer their data organized into weekly or monthly reports.45380218

Whether you favor real-time conversations, email, or smoke signals, your agency should be prepared to keep the lines of communication open and their processes transparent in a way that fits your business.

What about quality and integrity?

In a business world that seems to be changing faster every day, it’s more important than ever for your collection agency to keep up with regulatory compliance and best practices. A reputable agency should be able to provide references from current clients and valid licenses or permits for any jurisdiction your debtors are located in. Ask about their continuing education for their team, and make sure they’re certified by a leading industry association like Commercial Collection Agencies of America.

Choosing the right third-party collection agency can have a dramatic effect on your bottom line. Make sure your agency understands and is ready to meet the needs of your business.

 

To learn more about how Brennan & Clark can meet your business’ needs, contact us at info@brennanclark.com or (800) 858-7600.