Debt Collector Job Description: Top Duties and Requirements

A Debt Collector, or Collections Agent, is an individual who contacts people with unpaid bills or accounts in search of overdue amounts. Their main duties include notifying the debtor of their unpaid balance, arranging payment over the phone or in-person, and locating or tracing debtors by calling friends, family, and neighbours if the individual is difficult to contact.

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Debt Collector duties and responsibilities

There are many daily duties and responsibilities a Debt Collector must perform daily. Some of the most common tasks include:

  • Keep records of overdue balances and payment plans
  • Suggest payment plans and options for the debtor to resolve their debt
  • Follow up on bounced cheques and report any fraudulent payment attempts to the local authorities
  • Answer customer questions and provide information to help the debtor understand how to resolve their unpaid account
  • Negotiate settlements on behalf of the lender
  • Report overdue accounts to collections agencies

What does a Debt Collector do?

A Debt Collector is responsible for recovering overdue payments from debtors. They maintain excellent records and answer all communications. If they have trouble recovering payment, they may escalate the case to a higher level of collections. A Debt Collector can be employed by a collections agency, utility company, bank, loan company, credit union, or government financing institution.

Debt Collector skills and qualifications

There are several skills and qualifications that are important in a good Debt Collector candidate, including:

  • Excellent communication skills
  • Exceptional organizational and record-keeping skills
  • Strong analytical skills
  • Excellent negotiation and conflict resolution skills
  • In-depth knowledge of legal recourse for overdue accounts
  • Knowledge of software programs and reporting systems used by the company
  • Ability to multitask and prioritize as needed
  • Strong attention to detail

Debt Collector experience requirements

Ideal Debt Collector candidates will have previous experience in debt collection or another related finance role. They will have experience dealing with related financial regulations and laws. However, for entry level positions, Debt Collector candidates do not need any prior experience in debt collection, as they can be trained on the job. If the Debt Collector position requires the supervision and training of other employees, look for a minimum of three years experience in candidates. 

Debt Collector education and training requirements

A Debt Collector should generally have a high school diploma. In some provinces, such as British Columbia and the Yukon, Debt Collectors require a collections license from the governing body in their province. For the rest of Canada, no licences are necessary. 

Debt Collector salary expectations

According to Indeed Salaries, average Debt Collector pay in Canada is $16.76 per hour. Wages may vary based on factors like geographical location, size and type of industry, and the candidate’s level of experience.

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Debt Collector job description FAQs

What is the difference between a Debt Collector and a Collections Specialist?

A Debt Collector is an agent who handles unresolved payments and overdue accounts. They contact debtors to advise them of their debt and work out a repayment plan. A Collections Specialist has more experience and often serves as a managerial member of the team. They have specialized training in dealing with problem cases, training new staff members, and overseeing other Debt Collectors in their department.

How can you make a Debt Collector job description stand out?

A good Debt Collector job description will include a detailed list of daily requirements such as the types of clients (personal or business) to work with, the usual number of reports expected, the types of settlements the company expects debt collectors to make, and the number of files to oversee each month. You should also be sure to include information about any competitive benefits you’re offering such as pension and paid leave.

What qualities should you look for in a Debt Collector candidate?

A strong Debt Collector candidate is someone who is very comfortable speaking with others. They should be good listeners, patient, and willing to help. Debt collection can sometimes be difficult, so persistence is a major key to being a successful Debt Collector. Strong candidates are excellent communicators who don’t shy away from a challenge or give up easily. 

What are the different types of Debt Collectors?

A Debt Collector may be an Internal Debt Collector, working for a private institution like a utility provider, bank, credit card company, or loan company. They seek repayment of overdue accounts owed directly to the company they work for. If the debtor does not repay the amount they owe, the situation is escalated to Collections Agency Debt Collectors, who are third-party Debt Collectors. They are also often responsible for finding the debtor and getting the payment to their clients.

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