It was translated using Google Translate
In 2009 – 2010, specialized collection companies began to actively create, collecting exclusively corporate debts, which in fact led to the emergence of a full-fledged segment of the so-called “B2B collection” (corporate collection in Russian terminology).
Oksana Rudetska, head of the Global Credit Solutions Commercial Debt Collection Department, shares on international practice and problems of debt collection from legal entities in Ukraine.
Most often, problems arise with overly complex procedures required to begin work on debt collection. For example, in most European countries, an elementary order or a concise contract is enough to start a debt collection process, unlike Ukrainian practice, where you need at least a fairly complicated contract, a power of attorney from a client, billing and acts of completion after each payment of the debtor and. etc.
At the same time, the generally accepted European practice is the ability of collection companies to accept funds to pay off debt from the debtor to their special “trust account”, after which these funds, minus the commission of the company, are sent to the creditor. This is very convenient for all sides of the collection process, but, unfortunately, is not yet possible in principle in Ukraine.
It should be noted that the lack of specialized legislation greatly limits the possibilities of collection companies. For example, in Norway, a collection company with the appropriate license has access to a huge number of databases of legal entities, which greatly facilitates the search for debtors and debt collection, and in a broader perspective, risk management in general. In Ukraine, there is no such thing. We have to be content with the principle “everything is allowed that is not prohibited.
The second problem is a lack of understanding of the essence of collection business by the market – customers, banks, debtors, colleagues, government bodies. Some, for example, associate the “collection business” with former employees of law enforcement agencies or former “brothers” and believe that such employees quickly “resolve issues” so that the debtor immediately pays for everything. Others believe that the “collection business” is not legal in our country and prefer not to get involved; still others believe that debt collection is only possible with the help of lawyers in court and in a GIS.
Debtors also treat collectors very ambiguously. Some debtors believe that the entry of a third party into negotiations regarding the collection of debts is absolutely illegal, while others are simply afraid, the third word “collector” and even causes confusion …
These stereotypes lead to a large number of small difficulties in the work of collection companies and they are very difficult to overcome in the minds of the majority.
The lack of experienced staff is also still a serious problem. Despite the fact that the first corporate collectors started working 3 years ago, the market for collection specialists still feels a shortage of personnel. This is especially true for the B2B sphere. Traditionally, either lawyers or former employees of call centers of large collection companies involved in the recovery of consumer debts claim the position of a B2B collector. Practice shows that a professional in B2B should be someone in between these two categories.
We should also mention the problems that arise when working with foreign partners (for example, offices of the Global Credit Solutions network). Despite Ukraine’s declaration of aspiration to a more civilized world, business practice is just the same “wild” in the eyes of ordinary European or even more so American businessman. What is the only problem with the usual mutual settlements between offices! Strict currency restrictions, the need for a huge number of original (!) Documents often lead to the fact that payments are processed for months, and sometimes do not reach at all. It’s hard even to say how many hours our company spent to explain to one counterparty in the USA that in order to receive an amount of about 100 Euro you need to prepare a bilingual contract, acts, bills, and even send it in the original urgently by courier (expenses for which is more than the amount transferred!). As a result, however, they paid with a credit card – since they have no such problems …
It should be noted that all this greatly complicates the conduct of foreign economic activity by all Ukrainian companies, which very often leads to debt and, more unpleasantly, to the negative perception of our country abroad as the focus of bureaucracy, lawlessness and generally a very risky partner.