Absolutely Legal Ways to Collect Every Dollar and Dime From Consumers

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Debt collection via phone is the most profitable and easy activity. Collection campaigns must be prepared with knowledge about laws and regulations. Find out the legal requirements and issues for call centers that proactively collect money from debtors. Check this article to achieve the latest insights.

What is a Debt Collection Call Center?

This is an on-demand call center with debt collection agents that initiate campaigns to collect as much debt as possible. The crucial purpose of this type of call center is to contact debtors and convince them to pay a full or part amount of the debt, from credit cards, auto loans, medical bills, student loans, mortgage, household debts, etc. 

And it’s crucial to have compliance with laws and regulatory agencies to make the call center activity lasting and profitable.

Expanding of credit debt and call centers with the purpose of collection

The continuous rising number of debtors over the globe triggered expanding the number of call centers with the purpose of debt collection. According to the Statista research department, only credit card debt in the United States in 2021 amounted to 770 billion dollars.

Source: Credit card debt in the US 2021, Statista Research Department

Credit card debt and other types of debts show constant dynamics for a rise from year to year. That means that the rising amount of debt forces collectors to find ways to recover as much debt as possible.

Call centers for debt collections are globally distributed and contact with consumers in any part of the globe. 

Proactive all-in-one call center software and good internet connection opened huge options to reach debtors over the world. There is even an opportunity to start a small business collection agency collection from home.

How Do Debt Collections Call Centers Operate?

In terms of efficiency and profit, there are two types of call centers for debt collection. Some of them use a phone and a list of numbers, to manually dial debtors one by one. Others use advanced technologies, scripts, and software to call and collect a maximum amount from the maximum debtors possible. 

Collecting from consumers

Source: The behavior of consumers on the subject of paying a debt, Statista Research Departement 2021

Both government and private collector organizations provide legal procurement and new approaches for collecting a debt.

However, consumers have a wide pool of legal rights to slow down or prevent fast recovery. Either by themselves by avoiding agent’s calls or through attorneys. In the case of attorneys, it’s hard to collect a debt from the first touchpoint, so it’s better to have a successful negotiation to convince a person without involving any delays and attorneys. 

Take a look at most legal ways to recover absolutely all debt from consumers on a legal basis

Debt collection is possible on behalf of a bank or as a third-party call center. The scaling up and down, compliance, and responsibilities of bank call centers are different from call centers as a third party. 

Call centers are in winning positions for collecting 

Firstly, build your strategy using facts about a consumer in your data and consumer relationships management (CRM) system. Observe the previous conversations and their results in your call center data. 

The wider options you have to observe the financial information, the better. You can define how to build your conversation strategy when you interact with a consumer for the first time and based on your previous history of interactions. 

The only significant advantage of banks is that they have more explicit information in CRM about each consumer than the third party. And they're able to collect debts using their authority. If you have personal data about the financial state, you can observe accountability to pay the full amount of debt. You need to understand whether a person makes a partial payment or no payments whatsoever. 

If a consumer is financially successful and earns thousands of dollars each month, this person is likely to pay for the debt from the first touchpoint with a collector.

As an example, if a person lives in a rich city, where household income is more than 450 000$, there is a winning chance to collect a big amount of debt within one call. 

Such cities and districts with a big household income in the US are New York, Scarsdale, Hillsborough, Cherry Hills, Los Altos Hills, Short Hills, Highland Park, Glencoe, Winnetka, Darien, Los Angeles, Beverly Hills, Atherton, etc. 

The same thing with other countries, you can define high-income consumers and target them. These high-accountable consumers are likely to have decent bankroll management and constant cash flow.  

The more the rate of accountability, the more debtors have rich immovable property and cars, income per year, you name it. On the other hand, debtors with low household incomes are likely to avoid paying the full amount or hiding from collecting agents. Use these when you observe information about a consumer.

How to Use Successful Debt Collection Techniques and Collect All Money If Possible?

Remember that most debtors are under emotional distress due to financial situations. Of course, they’re nervous and unlikely to have conversations with collectors if they had a chance. Yet some people want to solve their debt problems in one way or another. 

One of the reasons you need to talk without any rude or harassing words is because it triggers defensive behavior. After unpleasant contact, even a highly successful consumer starts to avoid you with any possible opportunities and this will delay for some time recovering of debt. 

The other reason you need to speak with a person kindly is that there is a significant possibility that a person starts to use the services of attorneys, so later you will need to contact them without having the option to speak with the consumer. And all this will delay the payment, even if your position is winning. 

Instead of aggression, deliver compelling facts about the financial state. Try to present these facts in a calm and friendly tone. Convince a person that particular financial distress is not a mistake of debtors, yet must be solved in the closest time possible. 

Deliver more integrity to the needs of a consumer, speak with them about their problems and listen to their complaints to build the mood of trust. It doesn’t mean that you must be humbling delivering these facts, but the more emphasis you’ll show, the more response you’ll meet. 

You need to provide the best possible customer service. Agents with emphatic treatment, integrity, and consumer care will meet more reach rate and collection. 

How to create more emphasis with your consumer to collect more money? Firstly, understand that debt is the cause of several reasons:

  • Finance disruptions;
  • Disease; 
  • Depression;
  • Lost of the job;
  • Bad bankroll management.

 These reasons are important to notice and identify in debt collection calls. They want to hear from you something that they can do about the situation.

Build your collecting strategy

Whether you work at a bank or third-party call center, the strategy of collecting is pretty much the same:

  • Divide consumers by the amount of debt. It’s better to aim at high-risk consumers with the biggest debt you have in your database. One of the reasons is that you’ll collect more debt and more profit. The other reason is that it’s more challenging to recover a big amount of money.
  • Prepare script. Conversation with consumers is a challenging activity. Especially, when you talk with rude and unpleasant consumers during a shift. It’s essential to make short notes for conversation or have a debt collection call script sample in front of your eyes that helps you in conversations. When you’ll meet objections, scripts will give you additional ideas on how to build further conversation;
  • Variate calling and messaging to debtors. If consumers are likely to speak via phone, your work will be much easier. The phone conversation eliminates all factors of delay, and you’ll emphasize the mind of consumers on the subject of paying the debt right now.

    In the case, the consumer hesitates to pay you within a phone call, you'll create images in the mind of the consumer to pay in the shortest future.

    However, there are cases when you meet more responses from consumers through such channels as SMS, chat, email, social media. If one of these sources works better than another, use it. You observe more responses from one of the channels through the frequency of answers.

    But a phone call is a more trusted source of communication, and you’ll be able to hear a real person and understand his state of mind. It’s also the fastest source of communication because you reach consumers immediately, instead of delaying when they read the message.
  • Speak not too fast. When you contact a person they will likely be busy, and their attention will be span. Especially when consumers hear the bad news about a big amount of debt, they start to get nervous and hardly understand fast speech.

    To eliminate misunderstanding, you need to create a common level of speed. Set the appropriate speed of speech so a consumer could understand and hear everything you say. Make a pause from time to time, ensuring that consumers are listening to you. Most of all, speak calmly and naturally.
  • Notice the time when a particular person will likely talk about the subject of debt payment. Especially do it with the highly valuable debtors that have huge debt.

Make crucial preparations for your debt collection campaign

Contact centers handle better debt collection when they have everything prepared for the campaign. There are crucial steps in preparation of a debt collection campaign you should know:

  • Staff. Depending on the number of debtors and amounts of debts that you need to collect, define the proper number of agents in your call center. Consider the fact, some agents will be more successful, and others don’t. 
  • Accuracy of data. Achieve a wide range of correct and up-to-date data about each debtor. It’s significantly easier to collect debts if you have the latest and relevant information about each consumer (monthly payment, load debt, promise to pay (PTP), annual household income, movable, immovable property, etc.) You’ll also prevent awkward moments and save time when consumers have already paid their debts.
  • Incentives for collectors. It’s not an easy task for collectors, and it must be rewarding accordingly. Placing more rewards for collecting will keep agents energized during all processes of collecting;
  • Compliance. Compliance with time and laws is one of the essential issues you need to consider when you start your debt collecting campaign. It ensures your lasting revenue.
  • Contact center software. The amount of debtors you need to process is huge, and you need to ease your efforts using proactive technologies that help you. Consider achieving the latest call center software to ensure automating dialing of numbers and speaking only with a real person, avoiding answering machines. 

Setting crucial goals for collecting shift

  • Contact with a maximum number of debtors within the shortest period;

  • Compelling maximum number of debtors to pay for the full debt. In other cases, collect a bigger percentage of the debt as possible;

  • Arrange a plan for step-by-step paying weekly, monthly for those who can’t pay you right now.

Contacting with debtors

If you observe a thin amount of money previously on a bank account, a consumer will likely pay a part or no payments whatsoever.  

Make sure you use only these legal practices for collecting:

  • Contact only with debtor, spouse, or attorney. It’s illegal to contact other family members.

  • You have a legal right to ask other people about the phone and address of the debtor. Yet legally it's allowed to do only once. There are legal consequences if the debtor or attorney proves in the court that you repeatedly asked someone for the debtor’s personal information.

What a debt collector must do in any case, when he calls first to the debtor:

  1. Identify themselves with name, the purpose of a call;
  2. Reveal the name of the creditor that the consumer owes a debt;
  3. Reveal the way how to get the name of the original creditor, and it's not allowed to mislead the consumer;
  4. Tell what consumers can do if they think it’s not their debt.

Strongly prohibited to collectors

  • Repeatedly call a consumer with a purpose to recover the debt or ask third parties for phone numbers and addresses. In the US, it’s a call processed after consumers ask collectors to stop calling.
  •  If the attorney or court proves that these calls are harassing or damaging the consumer's life after asking to stop, then there will be legal and financial consequences. 
  • Provide information that misleads or misinterprets the real state of debt;
  • Publicly reveal debt;
  • Collect debts that consumers don’t recognize;
  • Treat or harass consumers;

Legal base for recovering your debt legally

  1. Federal Trade Commission (FTC);
  2. Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB);
  3. Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA);

Despite the fact these documents are the explicit legal base for collecting, there are also compliance institutions that you need to follow:

  1. Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA), in the United States;
  2. Office of Communication (Ofcom), in the UK;
  3. Bloctel, in France.

These are the main legal regulations. However, in the United States, there are state laws that regulate many activities of process collecting of debt. In some states, you're able to collect every dollar and dime whatsoever and in other states, it’s illegal to collect all dollars and dimes of debt without any second thought.

When and how to contact a consumer?

It's better to contact consumers through a contact center solution to exclude time zone mistakes or dialing the wrong number. Some of the collectors want to contact debtors at any time as much as they want. However, in the US, you're free to contact legally from 8 a.m. and before 9 p.m. 

When a debtor is not allowed to take personal calls while they work, and consumers notify you about it. It’s crucial to stop these calls in a particular period. Or in a case when the consumer notifies you about that within an official letter.

And there is one case when you can’t contact a consumer with the purpose of collecting a debt. When they personally or through an attorney send a letter with a return receipt function that ensures that letter is received, for stopping to contact a subject of debt collection. In this case, you can contact debtors only when you take specific actions (e.g. initiate a lawsuit).

Ways of contacting a debtor:

  • Phone;
  • SMS;
  • Chat and Messengers;
  • Email;
  • Official letters;

Time-barred debts. This is the type of debt whose term of recovery expired some time ago. Time-barred debts are one of the things that debtors must know. There is a 7 years period for collecting this type of debt in the US debt before it becomes time-barred. 

Crucial to know that some states support the recovery of time-barred debts and others don’t. 


Collecting debt is a pretty much legal activity both for banks and third parties. Trying to avoid the law is a very scary tactic because someday, you'll have a lawsuit against you for breaking the law of debtors. 

On the other hand, it’s a very demanding and profitable activity, and you're able to collect large sums of money every day and profit from it. 

To ensure you have maximum efficiency in collecting debt today, get advanced call center software for your debt collection campaign.

Voiptime Cloud software will give you 5-star advantages, such as:

  • Predictive dialer. This automated dialer increases your productivity tenfold, allowing you to avoid answering machines and call as many debtors as possible. Depending on your contact list, you’re able to call up to 188 live calls per agent per day.
  • Omnichannel communication. Use all possible channels of communication with consumers such as phone, chat, and email. Reach your prospect across all these channels. Don’t lose any messages or calls in your call center. Ensure the option to receive and initiate calls and messages 24 hours a day.
  • Local caller IDs in any country. Use phone numbers for 100+ countries in your favor to ensure your call number is authoritative.
  • Call recording. Record conversations for better customer experience and compliance with laws.  
  • Highly accountable software. We ensure your call center works with maximum efficiency 24 hours a day, 365 days a week. 
  • 100% remote. Achieve all-in-one software for call centers without any additional investment. All you have to do is to buy subscriptions for agents. Scale up or down your call center, and achieve a progressive discount on subscription. For example, for 100+ subscriptions we offer a 50% discount. 

Tanya Gonchar

Expert in call center process automation, Head of Marketing at Voiptime Cloud. Interested in customer service, B2B sales, marketing, business analysis.

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