Raiders of the Lost Bark

“You have to bark at them, get their attention, let them know there are consequences for not paying us,” I was told by a collection supervisor, early in my career. “The older the debt,” she added, “the less they pay attention.”

We can argue about the value of barking in one form or another, but almost all of us will agree that as a debt ages, it is tougher to collect and less valuable.

Yet, there are firms that find profit in collecting on old debt, very old debt. Past the statute of limitations? It may be written off by the original creditor, assigned and re-assigned and be past the statue of limitations, but it does not mean it is not owed – it does not mean a creditor (or its agents) can’t ask for the money.

By the way, Mark Silverthorn, author of “The Wolf at the Door” says that when a debt is past the statute of limitations, it provides the debtor with a defense, but if they do not use it, default judgment could still be obtained.

Why should a debtor pay an old debt? You might tell them something like:

  • You managed to get yourself through a difficult time, but there is still a debt
    to be paid
  • Your financial situation is much different now
  • You may not be able to fully clear your credit record, but can make some improvements

Notice how we focus on ‘you’ and ‘your’. Always WIIFT – What is in it for them? Yes, the debt is older, but so is the debtor (maturity?), other things have changed too. I’m sure you can add a few more.

A few debtors believe that a few years between them and when they incurred the debt means that it is over. Yet, in the words of the well known philosopher, Yogi Berra, “It ain’t over till it’s over.”

Special Opportunity:

We have made some recent changes to our on-line program and would like to offer the chance for one person to take the PACE Consumer program. free of charge, testing some of the new features. The standard registration fee is $395.00.

How to win the $395.00 value? Visit the site and make sure it is of value to you and you will make the commitment (about 1.5 to 2 hours of study each week) to earn your designation as a Certified Financial Collection Professional. Here is the link

Then, send an email to me that confirms your commitment and why it will be of value to you. I will make the choice and confirm.