Sunday, May 20, 2012

Debt Collections and Debt Settlement Jobs

I have worked (briefly) in both the debt settlement and debt collection field. Let me tell you, its the biggest mistake you can make. Unless you like having a manager breathing down your back telling you to face the computer and get your ass on the phone, then by all means go for it! Let me explain my history in these fields.... The first debt collection company I worked for was in the medical field. This company had some real great people in it and they made me feel very comfortable for the first few months. They didn't put a lot of pressure on you to make your goals because it was only a base pay and there was no commission or bonus structure. Now the seasoned debt collectors will refuse to work at a place like that because its all about the bonuses and commissions. However, this company was more geared towards customer service and we dealt with insurance issues and so on. They wanted us to collect money of course and all of us did a pretty good job. However, after a few months of working there they merged offices with another branch so we were getting more accounts and they were putting more pressure on us. This was when everything started to go downhill. I started having health problems and I couldn't deal with the stress so I ended up leaving. I worked at a few other collection agencies after that but none of them worked out. I worked at a couple of big bad "law office" collection agencies which were full of shit. They never sued anyone, instead they were spending all their money fighting law suits against them for FDCPA violations left and right. They would tell you how to get by FDCPA violations such as stating the words "recommending a lawsuit" instead of "we are going to sue you" because you cannot state that UNLESS you are going to sue the debtor (the person who owes the money) right then and there. However, to the least sophisticated consumer the statement "recommending a lawsuit" and "this law firm will take further action against you" means a lawsuit to them. So when the collection agency is taken to court by the plaintiff will win.

Recently, I decided to try and work for a debt settlement company. These companies help people that owe money instead of being the collection agency harassing them. I was hired as a Client Service Representative which dealt with contacting creditors and collection agencies on behalf of the debtor to negotiate settlements. Seemed like a great job until I got in there.

Now the people who work at debt settlement companies usually have worked for collection agencies in the past. Almost all of the upper management came from the collection field. So all of them have this big bad tough guy look to them. They all have that complex to them because they got their asses handed to them in previous years. I dealt with the asshole who was the general manager at this debt settlement company a few years back when I tried to get a job there. I spoke to him over the phone and he started grilling me with questions and basically making fun of me. I thought he had left that company so that's the ONLY reason why I applied there.

Come to find out he was still there! I found this out when I was called back for a second interview. I figured on going back in anyways because I was so close to getting a position with the company. Maybe he wasn't so bad after all? I went in for the second interview and met with a really nice lady who ran the department. She offered me the position and I happily accepted it.

When I went in for my first day it was paperwork and sitting with other reps to see what we would be doing. I was told by the HR woman that if you call out ANYTIME within your first 90 days no matter what the reason is you will be fired. It was a real high pressure environment which is to be expected considering the type of work it was. I didn't have a problem with that. There were pretty nice people working for the company but something just didn't seem right. The people seemed really on edge you could say. There was no smiling or anyone that looked like they enjoyed the job.

So the second day comes, this is where I finally get to see the general manager. He was exactly what I expected aside from instead of a shirt and a tie he was wearing a skin tight polo shirt. He had tattoos on his forearm and didn't acknowledge me whatsoever. Unless you were really producing your not worth his breath, even if its your second day in training. I saw this one young guy who was sitting at the cubicle next to where I was training who was having pressure put on him like you wouldn't believe. It looked like he was relatively new with the company. If I was him I would have told them to fuck off and walked out.

After I left that night I decided that this was not the place for me to work. I should have listened to myself a while back when I decided that collection agencies and anything like that was not a good place for me to work. I do not enjoy being micromanaged. I would rather be living on the street going to soup kitchens for food then work for some asshole company. At least I would have pride.

My advice to you is to stay away from these types of companies. 99% of the times they are ran by real pricks that could care less about you. All you are is a body to them that gets on the phone and you can be replaced the same day you leave.

5 comments:

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