Five Common Under-Handed Tactics of the Unscrupulous Debt Collector

Feb 12, 2015

Debt collectors are forced to walk a fine line to ensure that payments are made for outstanding debt. There are many effective debt collectors working for agencies that have appropriate business practices—many of them have collection agency merchant accounts here at EMB. But, whether you’re someone who is behind on payments or a collection agency looking to contract more collectors, there are five signs you should watch for when it comes to debt collectors tip-toeing past the line of what is strictly legal.

1) If You Don’t Owe, Don’t Pay

Many people can be trapped by debt collectors insisting they owe an amount that may seem slightly larger than it ought to have been. Miscalculated or embellished interest rates can mislead someone into paying more than they owe. Debt collectors will do this to shave a bit here and a bit there to cover another debt that they have been unsuccessful collecting. Be wary of this illegal tactic.

2) Harassment

Harassment no matter how you dice it or slice it is illegal. Debt collectors can be aggressive well beyond reasonable and rational standards. Persistent calls, calls at all hours, and even calls at the work place constitute harassment.

3) Threats of Eviction

If your debt is outside debt–unrelated to payments made on your home or other similar property–debt collectors cannot have you evicted. Oftentimes, collectors insinuate as much, as many people are really unsure of the legal ramifications of debt. This is a cheap tactic and the implication of eviction is false.

4) Threats to Publicize Debt

If the threat of eviction doesn’t work, collectors may threaten to inform an employer or landlord of debt. This is absolutely illegal. It’s a cheap trick relying on the ignorance of the majority of the public regarding debt.

5) Impersonation

Debt collectors are not officers of the court, do not represent the police, and are not part of the legal system. Collectors are not part of law enforcement and cannot bully someone into believing they are. This is a poor approach which can lead to credibility problems down the road.

Oftentimes the best debt collectors, the ones agencies want to hire, are those who simply take the time to listen. Everyone does indeed have a story why they can’t pay. The collector who takes a human approach and listens and understands, while still firmly encouraging payment, will often have the best results. These are the merchants you want to hire for your collection agency to keep your collection agency merchant account with EMB flowing with business.

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Having a merchant account allows an account holder to take advantage of merchant cash advances. When a merchant is approved for an advance, the business agrees to receive a lump sum of cash in exchange for an agreed-upon percentage of future credit card sales.

Pricing varies depending on the merchant’s industry, past credit card processing history, the type of business seeking the account, average ticket sales, and average transaction volumes.

Yes, EMB works with merchants who are building their credit, as well as those who have poor credit. EMB also approves merchants that have no credit card processing history and businesses that have lost their merchant accounts due to high chargebacks.

Several factors influence a merchant’s risk level. Though only one factor likely will not get a merchant classified as high risk, a combination of these may: business size, location, and industry, credit score, credit card processing history, a industry’s reputation for excessive chargebacks, a prior history of high chargeback ratios, and whether a merchant exclusively sells online.

Virtual terminals are stationed on a merchant’s website, making it easy for customers to make a payment or purchase online. Merchants or a payment processor can easily set up virtual terminals, so online businesses can accept credit and debit card and e-check transactions.

A merchant account is a business account with an acquiring bank. Without this business account, which actually works more like a line of credit, a merchant cannot accept and process credit and debit card transactions. Businesses need a merchant account to accept major credit cards via a static point-of-sale terminal, mobile card reader, or through a virtual payment gateway.

After filling out EMB’s simple online application and submitting any necessary, requested documents, many merchants get approved within 24 and 48 hours.

EMB specializes in working with high-risk merchants. EMB works with many merchants, including but not limited to businesses in these industries: gambling and gaming, adult entertainment, nutraceuticals, vaping and e-cigarettes, electronics, tech support, travel, high-end furniture, weight loss programs, calling cards, e-books and software, and telecommunications.

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