The Side You Don’t Hear: Being A Debt Collector

What did you want to be when you were younger? A fireman? A spaceman? A model? No matter what it was, we can put a bet on ‘debt collector’ being low on your list. However, that is the daily reality for some people. What is it like being a debt collector and what do they have to face in a days work? We dive deeper into these questions. These people were also known as ‘bailiff’s, which was the job title until new regulations were introduced in 2014.

Usually, quite a few ex-army people find themselves in this line of work. The army is certainly a great place to learn to be brave enough for any role, especially one such as a debt collector. The fact that a lot of ex-army individuals find themselves in this line of work is also due to the fact that ex-soldiers do find it difficult to find work when coming back into a fully functioning society.

The days for debt collectors start early, so if you want a role like this you need to be an early riser! As they have to be at the debtor’s home between the times of 6am-9.30pm, often debt collectors are out of their door in the morning by 5.30am.

Upon arrival, you are expected to take an inventory of the goods the debtor possesses and provide a valuation so you are aware of if they have enough goods to meet the value of the debt. The positive side to this is that goods can be released back to the debtor once they’ve paid off what they owe. If they are unable to pay then the goods may be sold at auction. Usually, debt collectors do work alone but can work in pairs or call in the authorities if they are aware of any threats or vulnerability in advance.

The threat of violence may be a daily worry for debt collectors. Of course, when it comes to peoples possessions, businesses and homes people can get extremely protective. Therefore, be prepared for some threats. However, you will be provided with skills in training that help you defuse hostile situations.

One of the main traits a debt collector should have is compassion. Understand that although you are fulfilling a legal obligation, people are still people. A job that requires you to work so closely to so many different types of people demands an understanding candidate.


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