The duties of Credit & Collections Managers are similar across the many different organizations in which they work. First, Credit & Collections Managers are called upon to locate and notify consumers or businesses with delinquent accounts, usually over the telephone, but sometimes by letter. When debtors move without leaving a forwarding address, Credit & Collections Managers may check with the post office, telephone companies, credit bureaus, or former neighbors to obtain the new address. This is called “skip tracing.” Computer systems assist in tracing by automatically tracking when individuals or companies change their addresses or contact information on any of their open accounts.
Once Credit & Collections Managers find debtors, they inform them of the overdue accounts and solicit payment. If necessary, they review terms of sale, or credit contracts. Good Credit & Collections Managers use their listening skills to attempt to learn the cause of delinquencies. They generally have the authority to offer repayment plans or other assistance to make it easier for debtors to pay their bills. In many cases, they are able to find payment solutions that will allow the debtor to pay off their accounts. They may also offer simple advice or refer customers to debt counselors.
If a consumer agrees to pay, the Credit & Collections Manager records this commitment and checks later to verify that the payment was made. If a consumer fails to pay, the Credit & Collections Manager prepares a statement indicating the consumer’s delinquency for the credit department of the establishment. In more extreme cases, Credit & Collections Managers may initiate repossession proceedings, disconnect service, or hand the account over to an attorney for legal action. Most Credit & Collections Managers handle other administrative functions for the accounts assigned to them, including recording changes of address and purging the records of the deceased.
Because people are very sensitive about their financial problems, Credit & Collections Managers must be careful to follow applicable Federal and State laws that govern their work. Most companies use electronic systems to help collectors remember all laws and regulations governing each call.
Source: U.S. Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics, Occupational Outlook Handbook