Financial Technology

Financial Technology

May 29, 2013

The City of Saluda Considers Hiring Transworld Systems

Collection agencies have been in charge of pursuing payments of old debt owed by individuals or businesses for years. Most agencies operate as an agent of creditors and make money by receiving a fee or a percentage of the total amount owed. However, not all agencies conduct business in a friendly manner. The city of Saluda has been receiving complaints from residents who want a change.

At a city council meeting on May 13, residents Bill Wilkerson and Karen Bultman both addressed the city with complaints over overdue bills. While Wilkerson asked the city to pursue utility lines, Bultman said she was concerned not only by the amount of bills she was able to get copies of, but the amounts. Bultman said one of the bills was more than $1,000.

However, it’s going to be hard to collect anything when the city’s collection agency went under last year. Craig Halford, who works in the debt collection industry, said the longer a bill sits, the harder it will be to collect it. Offering up a solution, Halford said his agency might be able to help by charging $14 per account to take over the debt.

Then, under Transworld Systems, the company would send out five reminders, including three written reminders and two phone calls. The customer would have 10 days to pay the entire balance in full or setup a payment plan.

If the customer still refuses, the bill would then be sent over to a much harsher collection agency. If a customer decides to mail in a check they will be able to send it directly to the city.

“We start out by saying we understand,” said Halford. “So we give you the power of a collection agency but we’re nice.”

“If they can be found, we find them,” said Halford. “Some people drop off into a black hold and no one can fund them. I’m not going to stand here and tell you we’re going to collect everything for you. But we can minimize the bad debt.”

The city has until June 10 to decide if they will see Halford’s help against the $23,000 worth of bad debt.

Edited by Rachel Ramsey

blog comments powered by Disqus