Many people have gone through debt collection due to the financial crash of 2018 and know the feeling of being hounded by creditors. But it’s a much different process when a business falls into debt, especially in this era in which corporate debt is at an all-time high. Commercial collectors only collect debts of businesses that owe contractors. Here are important points to know about commercial debt recovery.
Defining Commercial Debt Recovery
Just like when an individual owes a debt and potentially faces a debt collection service, a business may have to deal with a similar agency. The difference is that a business usually has more options than a consumer. Commercial debt recovery, also known as B2B debt collection, is handled by a collection agency that specializes in collecting outstanding debt from businesses. Creditors usually make this method a priority over other debt recovery methods such as hiring a first-party debt recovery service that operates as a subdivision within a creditor’s firm.
Commercial debt recovery is often needed when an unpaid invoice is long overdue. Each country has its own deadlines for when an individual’s payment is considered late, which is typically 30-60 days after the due date. Again, it’s much different in the business world, in which late payments can range 60 days to 5 years. If a balance hasn’t been settled by the deadline, it’s considered a late payment. When a business needs to collect from a client, it must decide between working with a consumer or commercial debt collector.
Common Causes of Late Payments
Experts from LaneandCoSolicitors.com explain that one of the main reasons invoices are disputed is late deliveries. Not only do these disagreements slow down the payment process, but they also strain business relationships, which can lead to revenue loss. To make matters worse, a debt that hasn’t been paid over a lengthy period will likely never be repaid. Other reasons for a company to not pay on time include declining cash flow and improper financial oversight.
Studies show that the majority of small businesses have experienced extended payment terms or late payments. Furthermore, thousands of businesses have shut down due to their inability to pay vendors. Many businesses with a capital structure based on loans instead of revenue or investors, fail to pay bills. When creditors are not paid it can become a strain on their finances, creating a negative chain reaction.
An effective way for contractors to protect themselves from struggling companies that can’t pay invoices is to rate and prioritize clients based on loyalty and reliability at paying on time. Catching these non-paying companies early will help reduce the potential for lost revenue. Some companies are able to weed out bad clients by setting business income levels or longevity requirements.
How Business Debt Collectors Operate
Commercial debt collection agencies go through a series of steps, but many times debt is resolved after the first legal step, known as The Letter Before Action, which involves the creditor sending a letter to the debtor of the intention to go to court if the balance is not paid by a certain date. This notice also establishes the value of the debt.
Business collection agencies use various forms of communication channels including email, phone, and traditional mail to contact the business that owes them. Commercial collectors make their money by charging the creditor fees to cover expenses such as paying for a bailiff or court proceedings. In some cases, collectors charge the debtor directly rather than the creditor. The laws dictate the different fees commercial debt collectors can charge firms that hire them.
The next step the creditor takes for the small percentage of companies that still haven’t paid what they owe is to file a Court Claim. From there the collection agency can take further steps, such as file a Court Judgment and have it enforced. The business that owes the vendor, however, has the option to file bankruptcy if they cannot complete the transaction. Each nation sets its own laws as to how to deal with unpaid invoices.
Unpaid bills are common in the B2B world, especially among small businesses with a minimal capital base or cash flow. But invoices must still be paid or companies unable to pay can face consequences. Commercial debt recovery agencies work to recover unpaid invoices from business entities. In some cases, the debt cannot be recovered from clients that fail as companies, but most of the time all it takes is a warning letter for a contractor to get paid.