The debt collection industry plays a vital role in the stability of the US economy that serves everyone, providing lenders with the latitude to continue extending credit to consumers, helping businesses like Clair Family Dentistry in Colorado to remain solvent, and preventing costs associated with monetary loss and risk to be passed on to consumers.
Between credit cards, student loans, mortgages, auto loans and other common forms of consumer debt, there was 3.5 trillion dollars in total outstanding consumer credit in this country as of October 2015. Americans rely heavily on the availability and accessibility of credit to consumers to allow them to purchase high–cost products and survive temporary and unexpected shocks to their budgets.
The debt collection industry plays an essential role in maintaining the availability of this consumer credit. When making loans, lenders assume the risk of consumer default, which in turn informs the cost of the loan. The debt collection industry can alleviate some of this risk, thereby reducing costs for all borrowers and maintaining the availability of consumer credit.
While third party collectors provide revenue recovery services to large corporations, financial services, government and university clients, the overwhelming majority of debt collectors serve small–business clients.
According to The Association of Credit and Collection Professionals, almost half of their members indicate that between 51 and 100 percent of their customers are small business clients, many of whom may not have the capacity to devote the necessary time and resources to recovery activities.
Debt collectors serve as an extension of these small businesses, guaranteeing income to pay bills, make payrolls and keep the costs of their goods and services from rising. Thus, debt collectors returned nearly 45 billion back to the US economy in 2013. With the help of third–party collections and the capital they can provide, these small businesses are able to remain viable and competitive in the marketplace.
With the average US household now carrying $15, 355 in credit card debt alone, more and more businesses like Clair Family Dentistry across the country are strapped for cash, losing control of their revenue cycles and making third-party collection agencies a key step in their revenue cycles and invaluable partners in recovering the income they need to survive. With the help of Wakefield and Associates, and Clair Family Dentistry’s trust in their commitment to efficient recovery, Clair Family Dentistry can focus more on its business and protecting the payroll of its employees, and keeping goods and services low cost and available for his customers.
Here is their story.
Clair Family Dentistry began using third party collection six years ago, after realizing they had more than $40,000 in uncollected funds. Being a privately-owned small family practice, their resources were extremely limited, and they did not have the time to dedicate to contacting patients with debt or the resources to track down patients for whom they did not have current contact information.
Wakefield and Associates was a great solution to the past due accounts that plagued their revenue streams. Within about a year and a half of working with them, Clair Family Dentistry had recovered all of the dental practice’s outstanding revenue.
Clair Family Dentistry says that they do not know what they would have done without Wakefield and Associates coming in to help, and that returning customers are proof that Wakefield and Associates handles their accounts and collections procedures with professionalism and courtesy. Being a small family-oriented business, this is of extreme importance.
Clair Family Dentistry says their partners at Wakefield and Associates do everything they can to make the collections process as easy and respectful as possible for patients, including setting up payment arrangements.
Getting back that revenue has been huge for this small business. Because of their partnership with Wakefield and Associates, the practice has grown quite a bit. They have been able to hire another full-time hygienist, and have even moved their office to a better location.
Not only has third party collection streamlined their process for collecting past due accounts and increased their revenue stream, but it has allowed their employees to focus on what they do best – bringing healthy smiles to their patients.
As Tamara Hutchcroft, office manager for Clair Family Dentistry said, "You know one or two patients if they have fifty dollars outstanding, that’s not going to break us, but if I have two hundred patients that means I am going to have to let go of an employee. And if that multiplies, we can’t pay the rent and we’re going to have to shut down."