It could be argued that an internal credit control department provides the same service as a debt collection agency. However, a debt collection agency can often provide better results whilst being more cost effective. The effect of a third party debt recovery agency becoming involved should also not be underestimated. Often, a simple demand for payment from a third party agency can be the prompt a debtor requires to settle an unpaid account. see this here
A debt collection agency can also provide additional services to the core business of debt recovery. For instance, a collection agency may also provide legal services, enquiry agents, process serving, company searches, credit reports & company formations in addition to debt collection services. An agency providing all of these services can therefore be a “one stop shop” for all your credit control requirements.
A debt recovery agency may also have its own in house legal department employing solicitors & legal clerks. Such firms provide a real alternative to the traditional option of employing a solicitor & often at a fraction of the cost. A debt recovery agency with an in house legal department often provides a much more professional service than a firm of solicitors, who may not be specialists in the debt recovery arena.
Debt collection agents often have a less than desirable image. However, in recent years much has been done to regulate the industry to ensure that an efficient & ethical service is provided at a reasonable price. Ensure that any debt recovery agency you consider engaging is regulated by the relevant governing bodies & holds the appropriate licences & accreditations.
When considering engaging a third party agency also make sure that you understand the fees & pricing structure. Avoid any collection agency that requires payment upfront or requires you to purchase credits or join any form of membership scheme. A reputable collection agency will have a clear & concise fee structure which will usually be a set commission on any monies recovered.