A really good friend of mine sent me an article last night that he thought was derogatory toward debt collectors because it used the phrase “debt collectors” when the issue was more about local government tax collection. This morning, I came across a different article debating the merits of sending a collection agency after parents who are not paying schools for their kids’ lunches. And, as readers of this site will have seen on a number of occasions in the past few months, those collecting on unpaid hospital debts are in the spotlight for what collection tactics that are being deemed to be too aggressive. Viewing these issues individually may not seem like a big deal, but, I think at least, if you step back and look at these through a wider lens, it’s interesting to see the intersection of debt collection and everyday life occurring on so many different fronts today.
Is this just a coincidence? Or, does this mean that debt collection is becoming a more popular topic for mainstream media outlets because more individuals have unpaid debts? Does this mean that the mainstream media is just more aware of the debt collection angle?
When you’re in the forest every day, it can be hard to step back and see the bigger picture. But it’s important every now and then to take a step back and take a look at the whole board so you can see how all of the pieces are moving. It’s clear that debt collection is becoming a more important component of what the mainstream media is writing about. This means it’s far more likely that an email may pop into your inbox or your phone may ring with questions about something specific or otherwise.
Companies in the credit and collection industry need to be prepared with answers. Much like the advice that the industry espouses every day, not answering the phone when someone is trying to get in touch with you is not a good PR strategy. Are you ready to answer questions about why an individual was sued? Or why you were collecting a debt from someone who is on a fixed income? Or what you think about collecting from individuals who have unpaid medical debts that were not covered by their insurance? Take it from me: not being prepared in these types of situations is a bad idea.