Frequently Asked Questions
Is Freelance Collection a collection agency?
No. We don’t directly engage your debtor. We’re your agent and advocate in the collections process, meaning we…
Thoughtfully route your account to a top tier collection agency or law firm that makes sense given your specific needs.
Stay on top of that collections professional to make sure they’re working hard for you.
Move your account to a different collections professional if it’s not getting the attention it deserves.
Remain your point of contact throughout the collections process so you don’t need to learn to “speak debt collector”.
Why don’t I just find a collection agency myself and deal with them directly?
The best collection agencies prefer to work with high-volume clients who send them repeat business. They generally don’t want the hassle of taking on smaller clients on a one-off basis because. Most of the agencies we work with wouldn't take your call, but they will take cases through us because we're an aggregator and we do the work of vetting accounts before we submit them. If a good firm did take your call, they might charge you a higher rate than you’ll pay through us.
Moreover, the collections world is confusing unless you’re familiar with it, so we navigate it for you. We make sure the collection agencies and law firms we work with are properly qualified and licensed, have sterling reputations, charge fair rates, and (of course) are effective.
Finally, collections professionals are not one-size-fits-all. Some focus on consumer issues like credit card, medical, or student loan debt; some only deal with debts over $10,000; some only work in certain countries; some have internal legal resources while others do not. We route your account to the right resource.
What happens when collection agents try to collect? What should I expect to happen to my debtor?
Before making contact, the collection agent will read through your supporting documentation and do research on your debtor to understand your specific situation. Phone contact is made early in the process with other written communications to follow. If your debtor does not cooperate, the collection agency may report to the credit bureaus, so there are real, concrete consequences to your debtor for failing to pay.
The best collection agencies (the only ones we work with) take a collaborative approach with your debtor, attempting to let them resolve the situation with their head held high. The collection agent will educate your debtor on why it’s important to pay on time and will work with them to create a settlement or installment-based payment plan if necessary.
What are your criteria for taking an account?
Unfortunately, we can’t help everybody who comes to us. We cannot accept accounts with debts…
Arising out of consumer services (e.g. wedding photography, medical services, home construction) as opposed to commercial services (e.g. app development, web design, consulting).
Owed by a debtor who has gone out of business or who likely has no assets with which to pay.
Where there is no written work agreement. You don’t need a formal contract, but there must be something in writing that clearly shows your client hired you at a set rate.
That have aged past the statute of limitations. In most states, that means the debt cannot be older than 6 years.
That other collection agencies or lawyers have previously attempted to collect.
How much does it cost?
For accounts where the debtor is located within the United States, we'll deduct 35% of the amount collected as our fee. You'll keep the rest. International accounts are 40%.
Do I have to pay anything out of pocket?
There is no upfront fee. If we, together with you, decide to sue your debtor, you may need to front court-related fees that can be as much as $600. We would not suggest that course of action to you unless (a) the expected return is large enough to justify the fees and (b) you explicitly let us know you want to move forward and pay the fee. Signing our Service Agreement does not obligate you to pay any fees.
What’s the minimum debt you’ll pursue?
$1,000. We wish we could help everyone, but the collections professionals we work with are not willing to work on accounts under $1,000.
Where does Freelance Collection work?
Our network extends throughout the United States and to most of the developed world.
Does it matter if I’m located outside the United States?
No. As long as your debtor is within our network, it doesn’t matter where you’re based.
When should I stop trying to collect on my own?
The general rule with collections is that starting earlier is better because accounts are harder to collect once they go stale. That being said, collections services should be your last resort after you've made your own efforts. Frankly, collections services (ours or any other) keep a large chunk of the money you've earned, and as entrepreneurs we understand how painful that can be. Our advice: Bring in the professionals the moment you feel you've exhausted your internal options.
Should I have my lawyer friend write a scary letter before retaining a collections professional?
It’s ultimately up to you, but this is a more important decision than you may realize. Once you’ve had someone outside your own company make an attempt to collect, any collection agency or lawyer will consider that a “first attempt”. Once an unsuccessful first attempt has been made, collection agencies and law firms will consider it a more difficult account. Many will refuse to handle the account at that point and others will charge a much higher rate.
How long does the collections process take?
The time it takes to collect varies. Some successful recoveries happen in a matter of days while others require negotiations over several months. Even when there is a quick resolution, collection agencies frequently hold funds for periods of up to one month after debtors pay them, so you’re unlikely to see any payments for at least a month.
Can you guarantee I’ll get paid?
No. We cannot make any guarantees of success.
What do you need from me to get started?
We’ll need you to send us supporting documentation (contracts, invoices, screenshots of relevant email and text correspondence) to validate the debt, you’ll have to provide enough information on your debtor to be able to make contact, and we’ll need you to sign our Servicing Agreement, which we’ll send you once you fill out our Get Paid form.
Why is there so much to fill out in Freelance Collection’s Servicing Agreement?
Some debtors try to avoid contact with collectors. We ask for information on your debtor to help initiate contact. You don’t have to have every piece of information we request, but giving us more increases the likelihood we’ll be able to deliver a successful outcome for you.