Businesses should be focused on serving their clients, not on tracking them down for missed payments. Collection agency services solve this problem by recovering your money and strengthening your cash flow. Agencies do this by identifying your debtors and reaching out to them in a targeted way. If you’re wondering which collection agency could be best for you, keep reading.
The Top 6 Best Collection Agency Services
- Rocket Receivables – Best for Small Businesses in Highly Regulated Industries
- Prestige Services – Best for Commercial Accounts
- Summit Account Resolution – Best for Medical, Dental, and Employee Reimbursement
- Atradius Collections – Best for Global B2B Debt Collection
- IC System – Best for Landlords, Government Agencies, and Financial Institutions
- The Kaplan Group – Best for Large Claims
Let’s take a deeper dive into the best collection agencies so you can determine which is right for your business.
#1 – Rocket Receivables — Best For Small Businesses in Highly Regulated Industries
- Stage One clients receive 100% of collections
- Rocket Booster enhances collection reminders
- Stage Two clients only pay when debt is collected
- Covers B2C and B2B accounts
Rocket Receivables is the solution for smaller businesses that are having trouble collecting and that are concerned about breaking debt collection regulations. The service helps small to midsize businesses in industries like healthcare, retail, contracted services, real estate, professional services, education, and more.
The service is straightforward and is broken down into two stages. Stage One is for accounts that are less than 120 days past due, and it has up-front pricing with a fixed fee. During Stage One, the debtor is reminded once from first-party outreach and is sent three additional third-party reminders. Rocket Booster can be added to include phone call reminders.
If accounts are over 120 days past due and are harder to collect, businesses usually go with Stage Two. Businesses pay a percentage of the amount of debt collected with Stage Two, and they are not required to pay if nothing is collected. Stage Two involves legal actions, negotiations, phone calls, and written demands.
If the debt isn’t collected through Stage One, accounts are automatically moved to Stage Two. Stage One comes with deliverables like debt validation, an online portal, postage envelopes, thank you letters, and database screening. Stage Two includes free bankruptcy screening, the ability to adjust negotiation amounts, asset investigations, and B2C and B2B accounts.
Stage One services cost $21.95 per account with 10 accounts, $17.95 per account with 25 accounts, and $14.95 per account with 50 accounts. If you have over 100 accounts, contact Rocket Receivables for more information.
Stage Two contingency fees are set at 50% of collections received. This is on the higher end of typical contingency fees, and it is one disadvantage of using Rocket Receivables’ Stage Two debt collection service.
#2 – Prestige Services — Best For Commercial Accounts
- Lower rates than most agencies
- Collections within 10 days are free
- Negotiable rates for large accounts
- Attorney-forwarding for tough collections
Prestige Services is the best collection agency for commercial accounts. It covers all U.S. states, Washington D.C., Puerto Rico, Canada, and Mexico. It’s been in business for over two decades, its employees have over 50 years of combined experience, and it has won multiple accredited business awards.
Prestige Services has one of the best collection ratios in the U.S., and it partners with Commercial Law League of America (CLLA) attorneys if it fails to collect. To ensure the best chance of success, it works with attorneys in a debtor’s geographical area.
Prestige’s services are free if collection is achieved within 10 days of sign-up as long as it is informed within the 10-day period. Prestige does not charge any fees if no debt is collected, and it has 5 to 10 percent lower average rates than most collection agencies.
Prestige clients can access their accounts online at any time. They can check claim status, debt collection notes, and keep accounts organized. The service also includes pre-collection services, accounts receivable outsourcing, professional skip-tracing, free final notice forms, and bank account searching.
Prestige requires a minimum claim of $200. Rates of claims for $200 to $3,000 are set at 25 percent. Claims for over $3,000 to $20,000 have rates at 22 percent. Rates are negotiable for claims over $20,000. Claims forwarded to attorneys typically have 35 to 40 percent contingency rates.
#3 – Summit Account Resolution — Best For Medical, Dental, and Employee Reimbursement
- 0.02% customer complaint rate
- No claim minimums or quotas
- A+ rating from Better Business Bureau
- Recovery rates double U.S. average
Summit Account Resolution has the best solutions for medical, dental, and employee reimbursement collections. It also helps with common B2C and B2B accounts. The company prides itself on being more personal, and it doesn’t use threats, robo-calls, or aggressive strategies. It has an excellent compliance record and an A+ rating by the Better Business Bureau.
Summit’s medical collection service aims to gather debt from patients without hurting its clients’ reputations. The collection service has received a 0.02% patient complaint rate, resolved 13,700 accounts in the past year, and collected $140 million for clients as of writing. Its tactics are fully compliant with the HIPAA, and its recovery rates are double the U.S. average.
Dentists can hire Summit to handle pre-collection services and collect patient debt. Summit understands that running a dental practice comes with high costs and the need for cash flow. It uses its “Preserve Human Dignity” philosophy to represent practices and retrieve payments in a professional way. Summit can help small practices or multi-location operations.
Summit’s employee reimbursement solutions help recover debt from things like overpaid salaries, commission recalls, unauthorized expenses, early termination relocation expenses, uniform fees, unauthorized travel costs, and tuition reimbursements. It helps with current or former employees and with accidental or intentional debts.
Summit is paid through contingency rates ranging from 7.5% to 50% depending on factors like balance amount, collection type, and debt age. Summit isn’t paid until debt is collected, and it doesn’t require claim minimums or quotas.
#4 – Atradius Collections — Best For Global B2B Debt Collection
- 79.4% global success rate
- Covers 96% of the world’s countries
- Network of international collection professionals
- Collections sent directly to your bank account
Atradius is a collection agency focusing on B2B debt in the U.S. and internationally. It has a network of professionals around the world that speak the same language as debtors and are familiar with local collecting regulations. As a result, Atradius covers 96% of countries across the globe, and its average global success rate is 79.3%.
If collection is unsuccessful, Atradius searches for other options like dispute registration, collection plan monitoring, and first-party collections. Once collections are retrieved, they are sent directly to the hiring company’s bank account no matter what currency was used to pay it.
This service monitors debt and eliminates the need for clients to track it across different languages, jurisdictions, and time zones. Atradius also provides accounts receivable outsourcing, insolvency services, legal collections, standby servicing, and invoice checking.
Atradius offers upfront pricing after requesting a quote, and payment is dependent upon successful collection. Simply enter your debtor’s name and country, your company’s name and country, and debt details on the Atradius website for a free quote. Invoices can be uploaded, and the entire process can be tracked online.
#5 – IC System — Best For Landlords, Government Agencies, and Financial Institutions
- 80+ years of industry experience
- Credit monitoring predicts ability to pay
- Helps landlords collect damage payments
- Flat fee and contingency-based options
IC System is a collection agency that serves a variety of different industries, and it’s the best choice for rent recovery, government collections, and financial institution collections. The agency has over 80 years of experience, and it specializes in U.S. collections only. Like Summit, it emphasizes the importance of consumer-friendly and ethical debt collection.
Late rent is a common issue with landlords leasing out properties. To help them solve this, IC System collects rent from tenants of apartment units, rental properties, mobile homes, and more. It can be used to collect debt when damage to a unit exceeds the security deposit amount. It also helps with credit monitoring, and it automatically sends debts.
IC System is authorized to provide government debt collection services on the federal level through its General Services Administration (GSA) Professional Services Schedule Contract. The service maximizes revenue by segmenting accounts, takes note of the ability to pay through late-state credit monitoring, and re-engages inactive accounts through clean-up strategies.
Financial institutions are constantly lending money, and many require collection services. IC System helps recover debt from actions like loans given, credit cards issued, and mortgages lent. It helps financial institutions like banks, accounting firms, and credit unions recover debt quickly using its customer-friendly and compliant approach.
IC System offers two plans called Recovery Plus and Premier Collect. Recovery Plus is a two-stage approach in which clients pay a fixed fee during the first phase, and they pay a low contingency fee during the second phase. Premier Collect is a more comprehensive service and is contingency-based. For more information on pricing, reach out to IC System through its website.
#6 – The Kaplan Group — Best For Large Claims
- Debt collectors average over 10 years experience
- 85% success rate on large viable claims
- Collaborative and transparent collection strategies
- Competitive contingency fees
The Kaplan Group is a collection agency specializing in large claims. Rated A+ by the Better Business Bureau, this agency is a member of the International Association of Commercial Collectors, a group that under 5% of collection agencies are a part of. It specializes in large commercial claims, but it can help with businesses of any size.
Kaplan’s three-step system has led to an 85% success rate on large viable claims. Step One consists of a prospect and a Kaplan agent meeting over the phone to discuss the case and whether it’s a good fit. If it is, a debt collector averaging more than 10 years of experience is assigned to personally manage the client’s case.
Step Two involves research of the debtor in the case. The agent researches the non-paying company and pinpoints who the best person is to reach out to for collection. Kaplan prides itself on understanding how the money-controllers within a company work, and how contracts like sales orders, invoices, price discounts, shipping charges, and sales tax laws work.
During Step Three, the client and the assigned Kaplan agent devise a plan for recovering the debt. Kaplan knows how to handle excuses and objections, and it uses proven strategies to navigate them. Before executing the plan, agents go over the entire strategy with their clients to ensure transparency.
The Kaplan Group charges contingency-based rates for using its service, and clients do not pay until money is recovered. A client’s first claim must be more than $10,000. Claims over $500,000 have a 10% fee. $50,000 to $500,000 claims have a 15% fee. $5,000 to $50,000 claims have a 20% fee, and $1,000 to $5,000 claims have a 25% fee.
If your debtor is located outside the U.S., there is a 30% fee. There are 50% fees for claims under $1,000, but claims this small are only available to long-term clients.
How to Find The Best Collection Agency Service For You
When researching a collection agency, pay attention to how it charges its clients, how it conducts business, what its success rate or experience is, and what it focuses on.
The fee structure is something that you must factor in before choosing a collection agency service. The two main types of fees are fixed fees and contingency fees. Clients pay fixed fees regardless of the result, and they pay contingency fees as a percentage of money recovered. Contingency fees typically range from 7% to 50%.
One advantage of fixed-fee arrangements is that clients don’t need to pay more for large collection amounts, and they receive 100% of the money recovered. However, fixed-fee clients could end up paying a collection agency that doesn’t recover any money for them. Many of the easier-to-obtain claims involve fixed-fee structures.
Contingency-fee arrangements are beneficial because clients don’t have to pay unless money is recovered. However, clients can end up handing over a large chunk of money depending on the collection amount. If you can find a suitable collection agency with lower contingency fees without sacrificing quality, this is ideal.
Everyone looking for a suitable collection agency should find one that is ethical. When a company hires a collection agency, it wants to obtain the debt from the end client without tarnishing its relationship with that client.
If you choose an agency that harasses and threatens debtors, then the debtors probably won’t want to do business with you again. Unethical collection agencies hurt business reputations and are often less successful than ethical ones.
You want to look for a collection agency that is customer-friendly and personable. Debtors should always be treated with dignity and respect. This will not only increase their chances of paying you back, but also make it more likely that they will do business with you again.
Success Rate and Experience
Always look for collection agency success rates, especially when they are charging a fixed fee. Solid collection success rates are above 75%. For contingency-fee payers, this is less important because they have nothing to lose except the time wasted on hiring the agency.
If an agency’s success rate isn’t listed, look for experience details. Many agencies like to advertise the years they have been collecting debt or the amount of experience their debt collectors have. Experience is a huge bonus in this industry, so it’s something to keep in mind.
Finally, always factor in a collection agency’s specialization before choosing them. Many will work in niches like B2C, B2B, national, global, or industry-specific businesses. You may be required to pay higher fees with a specialized collection agency, but it might be worth it due to its experience.
Also, some agencies focus on larger claims and require a minimum amount to do business with them. Be sure to investigate an agency’s website before choosing it and call its support team if you still have questions.
Hopefully, you now have a better idea of which collection agencies are the best. Let’s recap so you don’t forget. Small to midsize companies in highly regulated industries should look into Rocket Receivables. Prestige Services is best for commercial accounts, and Atradius’s global network is best for international B2B collections.
For businesses looking for medical, dental, or employee reimbursement collections, consider an agency like Summit Account Resolution. IC System is best for government agencies, landlords, and financial institutions, and Kaplan is best for big claims.
Always choose an agency that is ethical and that either has a high success rate or over a decade of experience. It’s also important to account for fee structures when factoring in your budget, and make sure to choose one that specializes in handling similar situations to yours.