Credit unions seeking to boost their collection efforts should take an AVENUE approach, says Martin Sher, co-CEO of AmSher, Birmingham, Ala., as reported in the CUNA Lending Council white paper, “Collections: Not a Cookie-Cutter Operation.”
AVENUE is an acronym for successful collections:
“Collecting is like sales—we’re selling people the benefits of paying their bills,” Sher says. “We help people figure out ways they can raise the money to help pay. Collectors may think of things the debtors haven’t.”
He advises credit unions to start the collections process as soon as members are past due. “Collectors sometimes think a person will get angry if they call too soon, and take it out on the credit union. But time is the weapon of the debtor—the more time passes, the less likely you’ll collect.”
Steps for success
Other advice the white paper offers for successful collections:
Also, look for self-motivated people with a good attitude. Collectors, Sher says, should:
“Collections: Not a Cookie-Cutter Operation,” is available free to CUNA Lending Council members; $50 for nonmembers.