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Frequently Asked Questions

What makes the Collect Northwest family of companies different from other collection companies?

At treating people with respect is one of our core values. Our employees are respectful of a person’s dignity and are trained to interact with our clients customers, in a polite and respectful manner.

We work to help the consumer to understand their options, and do not charge people more than it costs to collect the debt. We have no conflicts of interest with any of our vendors or business partners, such as attorneys or process servers.

Our team works for our client, and our values and corporate culture reflect that at every level.

What are the advantages to hiring Collect Northwest?

Our entire focus is exclusively on receivables and collecting overdue payments. This means that your company can:

  • Focus on your core business offerings without worrying about bad debt accumulation.
  • Continue to have good customer relationships – our teams of collectors are professional and respectful.
  • Save the expense of in-house personnel who try to collect past-due accounts.
  • Recover more money, since our company has the incentive of getting paid only when we collect for you!
  • Safeguard your business from legal or regulatory issues. We are engaged in state and federal advocacy for the credit and collection industries and keep up to date with debt collection rules, regulations, and the ongoing case laws impacting every aspect of debt collections.

What are your rates

We only get paid when we collect for our clients. We work on a contingent commission rate. The specific rate depends on a number of factors, including:

  • Number and average balance of the account(s) you assign
  • Average age of the account
  • Type of debt
  • Possible location of the debtor
  • Level of activity required to collect the debt

Healthcare has a different type of debt and debtor than commercial advertising or municipal government debt, so the rates can vary between industries.

What is your typical process for collecting debts?

Our comprehensive process of debt collection focuses on establishing communication with the consumer. Our collectors call all known numbers right after listing the account, as well as send notices to the last known address.

  • A major component of the collection process is locating and verifying a debtor’s assets.
  • We identify a reasonable payment plan for each person that’s based on their income and assets.
  • Our company reports to two national credit bureaus in accordance with the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA).

How often will I hear from someone at your company?

This varies depending on your needs, as well as the number and types of accounts you’ve listed.

  • One of our representatives will regularly communicate with you about the status and progress of your collection accounts.
  • We will set up a schedule with you that works for the number and types of accounts you’ve listed, whether it’s a weekly meeting or an update phone call every few months.

Do you file for or collect judgments?

We accept judgments for collection and we will pursue litigation to obtain a judgment when necessary.

How long do you work the accounts?

We work each account for the statute of limitations of the debt, unless a time for assignment is prearranged at the time of listing.

How do I assign accounts?

A Master Assignment Agreement (and business Associate Agreement if you are in the healthcare industry) will allow us to begin working for you. We will need specific information about the debt and the debtor in a format that is easiest for you to assign.

What is the easiest way to assign accounts?

Creating an electronic file of the accounts and billing details is often the fastest and easiest way to assign accounts.

  • You can upload the file(s) from your own computer any time you are ready.
  • Providing us with copies of documents or printed statements is another option.

As long as we get the information we need, the easiest way for you works for us.

What kind of reports can I get?

What kind of reports do you need? As part of our standard process, we already provide many reports for our clients to access via our Client Access Web portal. These reports can be downloaded in Word or Excel formats. We also create custom reports and electronic files for our clients. We work with our clients to accommodate their specific needs.

What keeps you from collecting from people?

People may have income or assets that cannot be legally attached to specific debts. Each state prescribes a minimum and maximum amount of wage garnishments and writs of executions on personal property like vehicles and bank accounts. All income from social security or a retirement account is completely exempt from attachment.

  • Most of the time we can locate and even talk to people, but they simply do not have the means to pay.
  • Some people do not bring in enough income to make payments or have their wages garnished. They may already have garnishments in place from debts such as child support or the IRS that take 25% or more of their income.
  • Bankruptcy prevents creditors from collecting most or all of a person’s debts.

Do you collect in other states?

We are licensed in Oregon, Washington, Idaho, and registered in California.   We are able to collect in many other states. Our team networks with other agencies in some areas to continue collection efforts from a local perspective when practical.

What do you do to follow all the collection laws?

We became a certified Blueprint Quality Management System company through ACA International in 2008. Our written policies and procedures, regular training, dedicated Quality Assurance Coordinator and team, and highly involved ownership in the debt collection industry all work toward making our company a well-oiled and compliant firm. We require all of our Collectors to participate annually in the FDCPA and Professional Telephone Techniques training.