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Old 07-11-2014, 12:30 PM   #226
TheStuntman
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Re: Starting Collections Agency

Read the thread, congrats OP. It's always nice to be the boss of your own company.
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Old 07-11-2014, 04:36 PM   #227
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Re: Starting Collections Agency

Love this thread.

OP - do you mind telling us a bit about your day-to-day routine?
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Old 01-15-2015, 12:31 AM   #228
SebastianHalf
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Re: Starting Collections Agency

Been away from the site a long time and figured I'd post a little update and a brag to go with it;

For 2014 my collection agency made just a hair under 300k according to my accountant. My debt buying operation lost 131k as it was a newish venture that I started investing in seriously as of June; I expect it to profit around 250k this year or so because of the investments I made into it this year. For example, I bought 81k worth of debt in December in order to get my tax liability down. I just started collecting on it in January, so I will gain that loss plus any profit from that this year on paper. I'm extremely happy, and my realistic goal for this year is to make 500k in 2015. I think I have a very good shot at it. In addition, I am opening up a second location in the Buffalo area with a person I met in the industry as a partner; we are going to be focusing on different asset classes. I'm super excited, and in addition I will be in Vegas the first week in February for a debt buyers convention if anybody is going to be in town at the time and wants to meet up.

As for the last question that I never got to from "Enough is Enough," my day to day is pretty random most of the time. A large part of my day is now focusing on compliance at the agency at this point; we are large enough where the New York attorney general has my cell phone number. We have to be fairly careful these days since our footprint is fairly large. I spend a lot of time combing through random calls making sure it's all kosher. I also spend a ton of time handling client relations and planning different work-flow strategies based on what type of debt we have at the time and what our clients require. I have small manage meetings every morning and review what our numbers are at. A lot of numbers these days.

Taking questions after 2+ full years in the business if anybody is interested at this point.
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Old 01-15-2015, 01:00 AM   #229
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Re: Starting Collections Agency

300k profit on how many dollars collected? I always had a feeling that my old boss always tried to make us think he made way less than he really did so he could dick us over.
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Old 01-15-2015, 01:04 AM   #230
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Re: Starting Collections Agency

Gross dollars collected for last year was a hair under 2.5mm; however I've been looking at my profit/loss statement for the past hour or 2 and my accountant missed a transfer at the end of the year. The collection agency actually profited round 275k and the debt buying operation actually lost about 106k. My personal net for the year is identical, but the company info is off. It's to late to edit the above post, but that means my margin is just a little above 11% for every dollar collected gross.

Last edited by SebastianHalf; 01-15-2015 at 01:10 AM. Reason: More accuracy
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Old 01-15-2015, 02:05 AM   #231
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Re: Starting Collections Agency

Either he was lying about how much he was making by orders of magnitude in order to cut our wages, or there is a TON more margin in the debt you are collecting. 11% profit per dollar collected is insane though, great job!

I'm sure your debt is a quite a bit harder to collect than what I was collecting, but I would have made you 132k in profit myself the last year I worked in collections. Jeez, that almost makes me want to get back in the game, except for myself.
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Old 01-15-2015, 03:35 AM   #232
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Re: Starting Collections Agency

Great thread, been following along for awhile now, congrats on getting to this point and thanks for the update. Best of luck in 2015.
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Old 01-15-2015, 08:30 AM   #233
SebastianHalf
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Re: Starting Collections Agency

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Originally Posted by KatoKrazy View Post
Either he was lying about how much he was making by orders of magnitude in order to cut our wages, or there is a TON more margin in the debt you are collecting. 11% profit per dollar collected is insane though, great job!

I'm sure your debt is a quite a bit harder to collect than what I was collecting, but I would have made you 132k in profit myself the last year I worked in collections. Jeez, that almost makes me want to get back in the game, except for myself.
I'm actually pretty sure the debt we collect is harder to collect on that what you were doing. To put it in perspective, I have had an average of about 16 collectors for the year, and an average of about 22 employees. That means my average collector was collecting about 15.5k per month in cash... I'm betting you did quite a bit better than we did cash collected-wise, especially if you would have made 132k yourself! Our average collector only collected 185k for the year total!

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Great thread, been following along for awhile now, congrats on getting to this point and thanks for the update. Best of luck in 2015.
Thank you very much!
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Old 01-15-2015, 08:38 PM   #234
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Re: Starting Collections Agency

The stuff I collected was mostly recent medical bills and utility bills that we contracted with the original creditor to collect on their behalf, so yes, it was relatively easy to collect. I collected about 100k a month on average, resulting in about 15k in "fee dollars" for the company. Most did much worse, there were a couple others that did similar.

I would imagine on the purchased stuff you collect it is much better to get the money all now, and offer substantial settlements to do so. In contrast, a big portion of my collections were payment plans. I would come into any given month with 50k+ of post-dated payments. Many of the other collectors never quite got the significance of starting every month with more "collected" than many of the other collectors would have total at the end of the month.
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Old 02-07-2015, 12:21 AM   #235
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Re: Starting Collections Agency

https://forumserver.twoplustwo.com/30...iated-1509194/

Sebastian can you take a look at my post and also maybe private message me, im looking for all the help I can get
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Old 05-23-2015, 01:58 PM   #236
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Re: Starting Collections Agency

Andy your story is incredibly inspiring. I Have been doing commercial and consumer collections for insurance companies like Liberty Mutual, Erie, Utica National Insurance, and the payroll service Paychex Inc, and advertising companies like Homepages directories.

SebastianHalf, KatoKrazy, duecesful, Tastyburger, KENNYTRANPLUSEV, and sup hezbollah I wish I could PM you, but I'm brand new to this forum. I would greatly appreciate an opportunity to chat with you all and anyone else with experience in the collections business, especially about starting your own collection agency. My email is kopcollection@gmail.com When you have a moment please contact me via email SebastianHalf, KatoKrazy, duecesful, Tastyburger, KENNYTRANPLUSEV, sup hezbollah, I would appreciate the opportunity to talk to you all about your experience in collections.

I just started my own collection agency out of my home with my wife. I have some decent capital saved up and feel confident with my ability as a collector. Even with that I am having a real hard time sleeping given how overwhelming the process of starting your own business is.

Andy, I'm surprised you didn't go into insurance debt collection, given your insurance experience. Any reason that you haven't?
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Old 05-27-2015, 07:59 PM   #237
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Re: Starting Collections Agency

In Illinois it takes the state 45-60 days just to review your application for the collection agency license. I just submitted the application today. IL requires a lot just to get the license compared to other states you need two business checking accounts, you need a $25,000 surety bond, and the application fee is $750.
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Old 05-27-2015, 09:21 PM   #238
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Re: Starting Collections Agency

Illinois is tough. I didn't know it was that tough; I use a 3rd party to do all my licensing and just have the licenses, I don't know what is required to get them.

I don't know anything about insurance collections; I know about personal debts. We have moved away from payday loans and are now doing mostly revolving credit and installment loans, with some retail as well.

If you have questions about getting started, I just started checking this site again. I will answer them as time permits.
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Old 06-03-2015, 12:05 PM   #239
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Re: Starting Collections Agency

Quote:
Originally Posted by SebastianHalf View Post
If I was to start over, I would start smaller. I started with 7 employees and quickly realized I couldn't afford to pay them all. I would also go with VoIP phones immediately; not using them off the bat cost me a lot of money.
Andy thank you for getting back to me! I have a question about this quote. I am currently working as a full-time collector while working part-time getting my collection agency off the ground. Andy I know you said in a previous post if you were to start over you would start smaller. I want to start really small, but I'm not sure if it's even feasible. I want to get my collection agency up running from my home office. Once I have everything running as far as clients, website, computer/phone system etc, I then want to expand to a small office with a few employees. Does this sound feasible given your experience in the industry? I am putting together a business plan that explains everything more in depth. Also what would be your estimate on how much start-up capital one would need to successfully start a collection agency? I'd love to hire you as a consultant for my business. If this is something that would interest you please email me at kopcollection@gmail.com
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Old 06-03-2015, 07:20 PM   #240
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Re: Starting Collections Agency

Cool thread. OP how do you know the debt you are buying is what the seller tells you it is? For example debt worked only once, is there something they provide you or is it just all reputation?
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Old 06-06-2015, 07:10 AM   #241
SebastianHalf
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Re: Starting Collections Agency

It's all reputation. You can prove the amount of owners of the debt through a Chain of Title, which is similar to seeing how many people owned a car. But you can't tell how many people drove the car based on how many owners... same with debt and how many people worked it.
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Old 06-13-2015, 12:57 PM   #242
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Re: Starting Collections Agency

I have been looking at debt collection software as well as a client and debtor portal that connects to the debt collection software. Andy what does your collection agency use? After trying out demos of a few different software I think I have decided on simplicity http://www.simplicitycollect.com/
The only thing I don't like that much about it is the debtor portal is really simple. The debtor can just go online and pay with either a credit/debit card or ACH. Simplicity is a very affordable price for a start up but I really like InterProse WebAR the best especially because of its virtual agent debtor portal http://www.interprose.com/videos/vir...ent/index.html
InterProse Web AR is 3 times the price as simplicity maybe more when you add up all the fees
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Old 06-18-2015, 03:52 PM   #243
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Re: Starting Collections Agency

Illinois is extremely tough when it comes to getting your licence as a debt collection agency. I just got off the phone with the state and they said they did receive my application from back on May 30th but there is a severe backlog with the applications and I might get my licence at the latest in 10-12 weeks. WOW. I also found out that if you're a debt collection agency collecting on debt in Chicago you need to get a Chicago business licence as well, even if your business is located outside of Chicago. in 2013 Chicago became the nation’s third municipality, after New York City and Buffalo, NY, to adopt a municipal licensing ordinance. I am now looking into the Indiana licence which should be a lot cheaper and easier
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Old 07-17-2015, 10:32 PM   #244
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Re: Starting Collections Agency

Are you pursuing legal strategies with any accounts? Thoughts on the case vs Hanna?
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Old 10-02-2015, 03:30 PM   #245
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Re: Starting Collections Agency

Just stumbled across this thread in doing some research on a creditor that is actually completely unrelated to everything discussed here so I'm not sure why it even popped up. But I read your thread from beginning to end and it was very interesting! At the start of the thread I thought you wouldn't even go through with starting the company. By the end I was really pumped to hear that everything turned out so well for you!

I've been in the business since '01 (purchasing and collecting) and I've actually done some business with a company in Buffalo who will remain unnamed here. I don't believe it was yours though - they've been around longer. I'm curious if I know you though. Ours is a fairly small world. If you see this shoot me an email sometime! I'll leave one of my junk email addresses as I don't want to ID myself in a public forum: cjohns1042@hotmail.com. Put something specific to our industry in the subject otherwise I'll assume it's junkmail since that's mostly what this address gets.
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Old 10-05-2015, 09:36 AM   #246
SebastianHalf
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Re: Starting Collections Agency

Quote:
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Are you pursuing legal strategies with any accounts? Thoughts on the case vs Hanna?
We just started pursuing legal on some state-specific debt. Our collection agency doesn't do any legal, as we don't have in-house council. On debt that we own, we will SOMETIMES outsource to collection attorneys to get judgments and then collect on the judgments.

The case vs Hanna, I'm not an expert but I don't mind the ruling. For me, it's actually good. We most likely won't ever end up on that level no matter how hard I grind, so forcing actual attorney involvement means that some of the debt that was originally rubber-stamp sued may actually end up in my hands to collect. As far as the faulty evidence, I'm more than OK with that issue. I'm not typically sympathetic to people that owe debts, but you're dealing with peoples lives here. I think that making sure that the truth is stated is extremely important. Falsifying evidence is really terrible when you are playing with somebodies financial well-being

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Originally Posted by CJohns1042 View Post
Just stumbled across this thread in doing some research on a creditor that is actually completely unrelated to everything discussed here so I'm not sure why it even popped up. But I read your thread from beginning to end and it was very interesting! At the start of the thread I thought you wouldn't even go through with starting the company. By the end I was really pumped to hear that everything turned out so well for you!

I've been in the business since '01 (purchasing and collecting) and I've actually done some business with a company in Buffalo who will remain unnamed here. I don't believe it was yours though - they've been around longer. I'm curious if I know you though. Ours is a fairly small world. If you see this shoot me an email sometime! I'll leave one of my junk email addresses as I don't want to ID myself in a public forum: cjohns1042@hotmail.com. Put something specific to our industry in the subject otherwise I'll assume it's junkmail since that's mostly what this address gets.
Email sent. Check your spam.
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Old 10-05-2015, 09:44 AM   #247
Potbot
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Re: Starting Collections Agency

Hey Sebastian. I just came across this thread for the first time. I see it was started a few years ago but may be able to answer any questions you may still have?

I started off working collections for private student loans through Sallie Mae, eventually moved on to a collections manager for a pay day loan company (I was 1st party in both jobs), and now I work for a company just doing straight skip tracing.

Actually one of my former managers/mentors is a director of a collection agency in/near buffalo. Does the last name Raiber ring a bell?
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Old 10-05-2015, 11:26 AM   #248
SebastianHalf
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Re: Starting Collections Agency

Quote:
Originally Posted by Potbot View Post
Hey Sebastian. I just came across this thread for the first time. I see it was started a few years ago but may be able to answer any questions you may still have?

I started off working collections for private student loans through Sallie Mae, eventually moved on to a collections manager for a pay day loan company (I was 1st party in both jobs), and now I work for a company just doing straight skip tracing.

Actually one of my former managers/mentors is a director of a collection agency in/near buffalo. Does the last name Raiber ring a bell?
Nope, name doesn't mean anything to me. There's probably a ton of people around here I don't know though. Thanks for the offer as well.
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Old 10-05-2015, 03:22 PM   #249
Brons
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Re: Starting Collections Agency

Is your original manager still with you? Did he ever get a piece of one of your businesses?
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Old 10-06-2015, 10:06 AM   #250
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Re: Starting Collections Agency

Andy/Sebastian,

I Just finished reading the entire 17 pages of this thread and i am sooo excited and happy for you. This is a great feeling to see some one starting from scratch in small business with such a limited bankroll and experience and make it big time, well medium time. So CONGRATULATIONS

I have been into several small businesses in the past 10 years of my career and your posts were such an amazing reminders of things that can go wrong. Remember first day the internet wasn't working? I was actually looking forward to see what won't work on first day.

Anyways, i just want to introduce myself. I run a call center in a offshore country and had run a debt settlement company in California for many many years until June 2010 when FTC came in changed laws for debt settlement companies to not charge fee until the debt is actually collected.

I have always been keen to jump into the collections side of the business but have been procrastinating always trying to perfect the current business. Currently, i have about 100 telemarketers on predictive dialer working on different sales projects for US based small businesses.

I would love to chat with you about your thoughts on collection from overseas to cut down the cost. I also think, i can learn alot from you about the art of debt buying, i have never done this before and i know it's not easy.

please PM me your email or phone number to get in touch and perhaps we can talk business, or poker...

Good luck & congratulations one more time

Thanks
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