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Jan 01 2015
Kick Start The New Year With Collection Techniques That Really Work
Norma Julian, Burton Lumber

I start with running an aging and a lien report every morning so I can see where I am on each account and which accounts paid the previous day. I then send friendly email reminders about a week before an account rolls past due, reminding them month end is coming up and there will be a finance charge if not paid. I attach a copy of their aging.


Most of the time that reminder really seems to help. Since I started doing this, I actually have several customers that like me to remind them a week before month end so they can come in and pay the account. If I am unsuccessful in collecting the amount that just rolled past due, I send a 40 day reminder letter about 20 days after statements are run. The letter basically says you should have received your statement by now and this amount is currently due.

A couple of weeks after that, if I still have not been paid or received a response to my email or letter, I send out a 50 day letter. This lets them know they have until the 10th of the month to get me paid or the account will be placed on COD. At that time I put the account on a light credit hold, which basically says "see Norma." That way if they are trying to purchase something I am notified before they can place the order. Then I call the customer and let them know that I will release the order, but they will need to have payment made within a few days. This almost always works. Now and again nothing works, and I put the account on COD.


When an account comes up on my lien report at 60 days, I again send a friendly reminder letting the customer know they are on my lien report and that I will need payment within 10 days. If I have not seen payment within 7 days I call the customer again. This time to let them know that we are almost at 70 days and that if I am not paid I will file a lien. Most of the time I get a credit card payment or learn they have already mailed a check.