Business Article


Teamwork in Today’s Debt Collection 

By Mark V. Matz
Industry Collection Industry Consultant

 No one is an island is a popular saying about working together instead of going it alone.  In the business where debt collection agencies and law firms who handle creditors’ rights issues and complex commercial litigation; this statement is comment on how the industry works.  

From the very beginning of the process, teamwork is essential.  Well before any third party collections take place, a business transaction involving teamwork is needed.  The first elements encountered are the efforts of a sales department working with their credit or finance department.  Knowing the goals of producing sales that produce revenue is the key to making this first step in the credit industry process work.  The sales staff has to understand that saying yes to every prospect may rack up the numbers but if that sales does not pay, then there is no revenue to pay commissions or produce profit for the company.  While sometimes at odds, the efforts taken by sales and credit staff will yield a team effort where prospects turn into good paying clients.  After all the due-diligence is preformed, sometimes a customer doesn’t pay.  This is when the next team effort comes into play.  

Teams are generally defined as more than one person working for a common goal.  But the next team may seem an unlikely one.  It is the creditor grantor and their past due customer.  In most cases, the lack of a timely payment is not a malicious move, but due to some set of circumstances that causes expected payments not to be made.  This unlikely team consists of a credit manager (maybe an owner or accounting staff) and accounts payable (which could be the owner, CFO or accounting clerk) working together to solve the problem causing the past due.  This often overlooked pair can often work together to find a solution from extended payments or resolution of discrepancies to get the good credit and accompanying goods or services flowing again.

 When the efforts of well-intentioned professionals on both sides of a commercial transaction can’t work out their payment problems, new teams come together to resolve the problem.  Where do those credit grantors who are owned money turn when one team dissolves?  They turn to the professionals in the debt collection industry.  The team effort now involves selecting a debt collection agency or debt collection lawyer or law firm that will best represent the size, scope and philosophy of their company.  Now working with those whose job and training are resolution of bad debt issues, the credit grantor will now be able to pass along the baton and let their new team member work towards a resolution.  The team concept still exists because the debt collection professional will still need to work closely with their clients along the way.  Such items as providing backup documentation, parameters for settlement, history of the debt and contact information are all essential to a satisfactory resolution.

 But the teamwork doesn’t end here.  There are a number of other teams working together to make sure the common goal is achieved, resolution of a past due amount.  Some of the other teams that come together are when a debt collector needs the assistance of another professional to help collect money out of their state or country when a law suit is required to move the ball down the field.  When these services are needed, another player comes on the field, the legal directory.  Being able to find a connection with the correct expertise and local presence is essential.  Looking for these professionals can be found by exploring sites such as the National Board of Collection Attorneys (  The debt collection professionals can also get help for their teams by educational organizations and associations that provide continuing education and networking.  These are available from all elements in the debt collection industry from credit grantors, collection agencies, debt collection and bankruptcy law firms, legal directories and many more.

 As we all move along in the professional world, it is both efficient and comforting not to go it alone.  Being able to make connections as part of a one (or many) teams will help achieving any number of goals, especially in the very challenging business of collection debt.

Meet Mark V. Matz

Mark V. Matz - began working in the broadcast media for WGN Radio and Television in Chicago, IL (a part of the Tribune Company) back in the late 1970's as part of the team on the then number one rated radio program. He later worked in the station’s Sports Department working for Baseball Hall of Fame Broadcasters Jack Brickhouse, Harry Caray and Lou Boudreau - before moving into the Finance Department at WGN, reaching the title of Credit Manager in 1986.

Moving beyond broadcasting, he went to work in the credit industry on the association side of the business before branching out to provide marketing services to a number of members of the industry ranging from attorneys, collection agencies and law list publishers. Mark served on staff as Marketing and Membership Director for the CLLA and remains active with the association; including serving as Co-Chair of the National Marketing Committee and on the Midwest Regional Executive Council. He also served on the Creditors’ Rights Executive Council, as Secretary of the Association of Law List Publishers and in various positions on other CLLA and Commercial Collection Agency Association committees. Mark has written numerous articles and spoken at a number of educational programs on marketing, finance, credit and collection issues during his thirty-plus year career.




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