- Yin Yan Teo
Working As A Debt Collector: What Is It Really Like?
Updated: Aug 12, 2021
When we talk about debt collectors, chances are that the image of loan sharks wrecking havoc would pop up in your head. Contrary to the industry’s negative reputation, the true nature of the job of licensed debt collectors is not to make things difficult for debtors, but help them negotiate repayment plans.
In order to find out what working as a debt collector is really like, hear from Frankie, the founder of Double Ace Associates, as we introduce you to some facts about the nature of the job.
Having witnessed the plethora of problems in the means of communication between creditors and debtors, Frankie started Double Ace Associates in order to help bridge creditors and debtors in a way that is transparent and fair to both parties.
He believes that “being able to mediate and negotiate between both parties helps the situation become a win-win, reducing delinquent debts in society”.
One key idea that Frankie wishes the public could understand about debt collectors is that debt collectors are in fact, not the same as illegal loan sharks. Especially at Double Ace Associates, besides mediating between creditors and debtors, the debt collectors try to involve and create better credit policies for their clients in every way.
Frankie said: “Our core idea when dealing with debtors is to get them out of their debt as soon as possible. This is a process where most debtors will misunderstand our work, dislike our work and view us as the ‘bad guys’. However, despite the hostile attitudes we constantly face from the public, we do not give up. In the end, most debtors come to understand our work and the help we are giving.”
Tough Being A Debt Collector
Besides constantly facing the wrath of the public, debt collectors also encounter these key difficulties on the job:
1. Striking a Balance Between Creditors and Debtors
It is often difficult to manage the creditors’ expectations when dealing with debts while consecutively reaching an amicable result with the debtors.
2. Stigma Surrounding Debt Collectors
Towards the public, the image of debt collectors is highly negative, with the public viewing debt collectors as ‘uneducated’ or ‘rough’. However, in almost all cases, debt collectors are only here to help debtors out of their debt and aim to get them debt free.
“There are times where we wish that debtors could be more patient with us and see the sincerity in our actions,” Frankie added.
3. Performing Duties While Keeping In Line with Legal Guidelines
Double Ace Associates is constantly learning and improving from our past mistakes in order to extend the best experience for our clients. Learning and upgrading while keeping in check with guidelines from authorities allow us to transform to a more professional team.
Going The Extra Step
During all discussion processes with the debtors, our debt collectors and debt counsellors make it a point to understand the financial capacities of our debtors.
Through this understanding, we help debtors to draft out the financial plan and assist them to manage this plan by helping them keep up with payment deadlines that are to their comfort zone.
Frankie emphasised: “We do not and have never advised any debtor to borrow from us in order to settle their debts.”
“There was a case where I could clearly recall a debtor who was in an unstable mental state due to being retrenched while carrying a heavy financial burden. Through our services, we managed to advise the debtor on the different routes he could take to upgrade himself for better job opportunities and also advised him to make use of the relevant government agencies to upgrade himself,” Frankie reminisced.
After months of encouragement from Double Ace Associates, the debtor finally managed to secure a new job. During this process, Frankie also had to mediate with the client in order to manage their expectations regarding the debtor’s payment deadlines.
Frankie cited this as an unforgettable case as it was one of the few times where a debtor actually extended their appreciation to Double Ace Associates for getting them out of debt.
“Three years after the debtor completed the payment, our office received a call and the caller insisted on meeting up with me. I realised that the caller was the very debtor whom I helped three years ago. By this point, he had already been debt free and had started a small business of his own. He wanted to meet me to thank me for the help we extended,” Frankie recalled.
For more information, you can read our blog where we clarify some of the myths surrounding debt collectors in Singapore.