Collections Specialist Job Description: Top Duties and Qualifications

Collections Specialist, or Billing Collections Specialist, is responsible for ensuring that their company receives all necessary payments from debtors. Their duties include monitoring accounts payable statements to identify debts owed to their company, contacting customers or business partners to notify them of overdue payments and documenting debts collected.

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Collections Specialist duties and responsibilities 

Collections Specialists are responsible for many duties during a typical workday. A job description for a Collections Specialist may contain the following duties and responsibilities:

  • Monitor the firm’s accounts receivable and identify overdue accounts.
  • Contact customers with overdue accounts and attempt to either collect the overdue amount or negotiate a payment plan to collect it in installments.
  • Use credit bureau data, post office information, internet searches and other tools to try to locate customers who have moved or changed phone numbers.
  • Maintain records of contacts and attempted contacts with delinquent account customers as well as records of any payments collected from the customer.
  • Resolve customer issues and complaints concerning billing.
  • Submit regular reports on the status of unpaid accounts and any repayment progress.

What does a Collections Specialist do? 

Collections Specialists typically work for corporations, insurance companies and credit agencies to collect payments from debtors. They work closely with the sales team and review customer accounts to determine missed or overdue payments. Their job is to call debtors to notify them of missed payments or contact them by mail to issue a statement of the amount owed to the company. They may also be responsible for processing on-time payments from customers and helping them obtain refunds for products or services.

Collections Specialist skills and qualifications

Collections Specialist should have a variety of skills to be effective in their role. A successful Collections Specialist will possess the following skills and qualifications: 

  • Good listening skills
  • Communication skills
  • Familiar with the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) and other laws governing debt collection practices
  • Negotiating skills
  • Patience and stress management
  • Problem-solving skills
  • Critical thinking skills

Collections Specialist salary expectations   

While there is not specific salary data for a Collections Specialist, a Collection Agent makes an average of $15.23 per hour. This pay rate may depend on the candidate’s experience, education and geographic location.

Collections Specialist education and training requirements 

Collections Specialist positions generally require a high school diploma. Depending upon the local labor market, some will accept a GED while others require or prefer some college but not a degree. This is a position where employers will generally provide on-the-job training for those who lack previous experience.

Collections Specialist experience requirements

While some employers require or prefer previous collection experience, most are willing to provide on-the-job training for this position. In general, Collections Specialist positions do not require extensive job-specific training before being hired for an entry-level position. However, any experience in a customer service position will be helpful.

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Frequently asked questions about Collections Specialists

 

What is the difference between a Collections Specialist and a Collections Analyst?

The difference between a Collections Specialist and a Collections Analyst is that Collection Specialists focus on identifying debts and contacting debtors to obtain late payments. In contrast, Collections Analysts take preemptive action to ensure that potential clients, policyholders or business partners have significant funds and good credit histories. They review credit scores and financial statements to determine if individuals should receive a loan or credit payment.

 

What are the daily duties of a Collections Specialist?

On a typical day, a Collections Specialist reviews their email and voicemail to check for responses from debtors about their missed payments. They examine the company’s accounts payable statement and highlight amounts owed from clients or other businesses. Using this information, Collections Specialists send out reminder emails and call individuals to follow up on their remaining debts. Collections Specialists also use this time to draft invoices and other statements to send by email or print mail to individuals. 

Throughout their workday, they provide debtors with extensions on their payments in accordance with company policy and help others figure out how to pay their remaining balances.

 

What qualities make a good Collections Specialist?

A good Collections Specialist has an investigative personality. This quality encourages them to conduct research and review financial statements to determine the amount owed by an individual and where to contact them. They pay close attention to detail to catch discrepancies in pay statements to ensure they receive the correct amount from a debtor. Collections Specialists also have excellent verbal and written communication, enabling them to collect payment over the phone or issue late notices to debtors. 

Further, a good Collections Specialist should practice ethical workplace behaviors. This is because they typically have access to debtors’ financial accounts and other confidential information.

 

Who does a Collections Specialist report to?

A Collections Specialist typically reports to the Collections Supervisor to receive specific cases and ask questions. The Collections Supervisor usually create work schedules for their team and act as a point of communication when they need to call out sick. Collections Specialists may also report to the Accounting Manager or Finance Manager in smaller corporations.

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