What you should know
Initial situation with debt collection for private individuals
Private individuals are often even more seriously affected by outstanding repayments or loss of money than companies or business people. Loans or investments are often granted privately within the framework of a personal relationship. Enforcement is more difficult vis-à-vis friends, acquaintances or family members because:
- one does not want to strain the relationship too much,
- they often hesitate too long, and
- a demand for payment or a default summons is issued late.
This makes the situation even more complicated in the end, e.g., because the statute of limitations is threatening, or the debtor no longer has any money.
However, private debt collection also costs money. Part of it has to be paid in advance in the form of a deposit, even if the debt collection agency, like us, only receives the success commission in the end, i.e., the deposit is refunded, see conditions. Especially when private individuals are short of money due to non-payment or other reasons, it is painful if they must dig into their pockets again to get the money back.
Of course, the statements made here about the initial situation of private individuals vary in individual cases and, as is almost always the case with debt collection cases, the specific problems in the individual case must be taken as a basis.
Can money collection be successful in your case?
What should be considered when collecting money privately?
Again and again, we come across two mistakes:
- People are too patient and wait too long. This puts the debtor in an increasingly strong position; he experiences that his excuses, promises, and machinations are successful. And success, as we know, reinforces previous behavior.
- For too long, debt collection has been pursued exclusively by legal means. Of course, it is right to take the debt collection route under debt collection law or, in the case of disputed claims, to conduct legally supported negotiations via a lawyer and, if these are unsuccessful, to take legal action (lawsuit).
The problem is that such procedures can drag on for months to years, e.g., if the debtor (and his lawyer) exhaust all deadlines and possibilities for delay or appeal, possibly dragging the matter all the way to the Federal Supreme Court or another highest instance. Not only is this expensive, but it also gives the debtor all the time in the world to prepare for enforcement proceedings based on a legally valid judgment. Therefore, even in private debt collection cases, professional help should be sought at an early stage.
Money collector or classic debt collection agency for private debt collection cases?
Many of our clients have not had good experiences with a classic debt collection agency, which mainly writes letters and at best initiates legal debt collection. This is not to disparage the services of conventional debt collection agencies. However, their arsenal is more effective with consumer debtors or those who are at least not unwilling but at least temporarily unable to pay.
Instead, private creditors should turn to a debt collection agency that engages in direct debt collection, thus thoroughly researching the debtor, developing clever pressure scenarios, negotiating pressurefully on this background, and arriving at solutions through presence and on the spot. Of course, even professional debt collectors do not rule out the possibility of legal debt collection or legal action. However, the success rate, which is around 75% for our company, proves that this approach is often worthwhile enough.
How do we facilitate debt collection for private individuals?
Based on our experience with private clients, we have adapted our approach and conditions to their needs, although the same advantages are of course also available to commercial clients:
- Before taking on the case, we carry out an analysis and preliminary research, make a statement about the prospects of success and submit an offer. The private individual can thus weigh up the costs/benefits himself.
- We allow partial payments for the down payment, usually two to three partial payments over a 2 – 6-month period. This preserves the client’s liquidity; they can convince themselves of our professional and reliable working methods and sometimes a repayment success is achieved before the entire down payment had to be made.
- We share the costs and the risk. First: there is never a guarantee of success in debt collection and the process often contains enough surprises. We share this risk by contractually committing ourselves to take on a case for an unlimited period without incurring additional costs for the client beyond the down payment. If a case lasts longer than about 6 months, in most cases the deposit is used up and we continue to work at our own expense. The client has insight into the project accounts at any time and can convince himself of our time and financial commitment. This increases the chances of achieving a result even in difficult cases.
Are the costs for a private debt collection worth it?
If you and the debt collection company making the offer see (estimate!) a probability of success of over 50%, then it is worth it. If not, then you should have the courage to write off a debt. This may be painful, probably even more so for private individuals than for companies, but it is still better than fighting windmills for years. If a case seems too uncertain to us, we advise clients against it. Unfortunately, we observe that some do not follow this advice and try elsewhere with dubious success.
If opportunities exist, they only come to fruition if one is prepared to bear the costs and a certain residual risk. We give here a general, simple example of costs and returns.
|Amount of claim||CHF 100’00.—|
|Down payment||10%||CHF 10’000.—|
|Success commission||30%||CHF 30’00.—|
|of which already received with down payment||CHF -10’000.—|
|Remaining fee collection||CHF 20’000.—|
|Payment to client||CHF 80’000.—|
Please scroll to the right to see the amount of claim and costs.
If you would like a detailed preview based on your claim for different result variants, please send us an enquiry.
Who are we?
Inkasso-Team AG is an association of debt collection entrepreneurs, some of whom have up to 20 years of experience, who have been working together since 2014, whose business has grown steadily since then and who have once again raised their activities to a higher level of professionalism in Inkasso-Team AG in 2021. The team currently comprises 8 employees in Switzerland, Germany, Austria, and France. In addition, there is a network of freelancers, specialists such as private investigators and lawyers worldwide. For a short introduction video, please click here https://inkasso-team.com/team/.