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New debt collection methods

On Behalf of | May 1, 2017 | Bankruptcy

Virginia residents might like to know about creative methods being used by debt collectors to attempt to get more payments. Some techniques, like ringless voice mails, appear to skirt rules. Regulations limit how often collectors can call, but this software allows collection agencies to put voice mails into phones by sending messages to phone company servers.

Critics feel that ringless voice mails break the spirit of laws if not the letter as debtor consent is required and auto-dialed collection calls are regulated. A representative from VonApp argues that the technology actually helps consumers because they can answer messages when ready without feeling ambushed. He says that the silent voice mails work so well that debt collection call centers can become overwhelmed with a large volume of inbound calls.

In an effort to transform the tarnished reputation of debt collection agencies and eliminate the embarrassment felt by some delinquent customers, animated cartoon avatars serve as virtual collections agents. These avatars can be found in emails and on collection websites and are said to work three times better than traditional payment sites. Proponents of this technology say consumers like the avatars and the friendly treatment they receive more than threats and warnings from real people.

When real people do make calls, innovations also make this process easier. Speech analytics programs can recognize when a debtor is upset and notify management or offer prompts to help while FidoTrack developed video games and incentives to motivate agents.

While technological advancements are allegedly making the process more bearable for some consumers, those who do not have the resources to make payments might still find themselves dreading bills and collection attempts. Those who need relief from overwhelming debt might wish to meet with an attorney to see what options are available to them.