What is your rate?
ACS determines rate by carefully assessing your collection situation. We take a number of factors into consideration. Things like average balance of your accounts, age of the accounts, how often you place accounts, the way you place accounts, socio-economic factors and demographic information are all taken into account. (Ask yourself this question: “If ACS can put more money in our pocket and practically eliminate patient complaints and protect our good name, what difference does the rate make?” Whatever you currently receive from your collection accounts will likely rise with ACS no matter what the rate.)
When do you sue debtors?
Only after receiving confirmation from you, the client, that you approve of our doing so. ACS pays the court costs and attorney fees in advance so your business is out no extra money up front. This translates into big savings for you.
Once an account is placed with your agency, can I close it and then not be charged?
Once again, it depends. When we enter an account into our system there is no doubt that we have incurred an expense on each and every account and would be due the commission on the account unless otherwise agreed upon in writing. On the other hand, if it is clear that the account hasn’t been entered then the account may be closed at no charge to you. Otherwise, it is only fair that your agency be paid for the work they have done as agreed upon in your collection agreement.
Can I add collection fees to my accounts?
Only in very specific situations. In every case, a very clear “financial responsibility” agreement must be in place and signed by the debtor. Is this necessarily fair? Most think not; however, it is a good practice and minimizes your liability.
I see salesmen for collection agencies almost daily, what makes Alliance Collection Service any different from the others?
Any salesperson will usually tell you three things: (1) We are the best agency for you; (2) We are going to give you the best rate; and (3) we can collect more money than any other agency. Alliance is no different, we truly believe that we are the best at what we do, and if we feel that we can’t do a better job, we will tell you so. The difference is the way we collect your money. We approach the debtor with dignity and respect. We do not “talk down” to your debtors or make them feel like less of a person, We simply try to be nice. This has proven to be the best way to approach the collection process for us. We do; however, “have teeth” and will not hesitate to utilize all tools necessary to collect money from those who force us to utilize these tools.
Do I have to accept a payment of five dollars on an account with a balance of one thousand dollars or more? My patients say I have to accept whatever they pay.
This is not true in most states; however, in Louisiana, for instance, it is. Check with your state to be sure or email us and we will get the answer for you. In most states you should expect a “reasonable payment” and a payment which is only pennies compared to what is actually owed, cannot stop collection activity, You might offer a payment plan in order to allow the debtor to pay in 12 monthly installments or maybe even more but you are not bound by law to accept whatever they send and not pursue the rest.
Why is it better to use an agency that operates on a contingency basis?
Because you are out no more money on accounts which have cost you too much already. Agencies that charge a “per letter” fee or charge “up front” fees typically force you to buy in bulk, meaning that you pay for hundreds of pre- paid accounts up front and they usually offer no guarantees. ACSI offers a pre-paid service under ACES that allows you to place one account at a time, as your needs dictate.
In addition, and possibly more importantly, an agency that is working on a contingency basis must produce in order to get paid.
What if a debtor believes they do not owe the debt?
If a person receives a collection notice and they believe that they do not owe the debt they have the right to dispute the debt in writing. It is important to do this as soon as possible to prevent further collection activity. If the debt is valid, collection activity will resume.
Do you affect credit?
Yes, however, we wait for a period of time before doing so in order to limit the number of patient complaints to your office. The FDCPA requires that we allow a validation period on each account also, after we send out the initial notice.
Do collection agencies have rights that I do not while collecting money?
Not exactly, The collection agencies of the United States are regulated by the Federal Trade Commission. The law that governs collection agencies is the Fair Debt Collection and Practices Act. This law applies only to third party collection agencies and does not apply to you; however, a collection agency has tools at their disposal that most companies do not and usually have a much better chance of collecting bad debt.
ACSI does not provide any legal advice and users of this web site should consult with their own lawyer for legal advice.