Example script from experienced collector...please read!!!!

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Mods...please don't delete this! This is different from the other thread that is the guide. This is an actual acript!

This is a little long, but please read!

Those of us with several years in the industry are really good at knowing who has fallen on hard times as opposed to the "professional debtor."

That said, let me talk about scripts. I don't care WHAT a collector tells you...they have a script. The collectors are monitored, and QA forms are filled out on them to make sure they did everything they were supposed to. The last place that I worked was really out of hand. The QA form was over 25 questions long. The collectors go to one or more meetings every week to practice role playing on scripts, and it is pounded into their brains. I have actually been given flow charts on how to handle "objections." It's silly, but that's the business.

Here is a basic script: comments in << >> are further explanations for the purpose of this post, and what YOU should know what the collector is actually up to!

Collector: May I speak with Mary?

Debtor: This is Mary.

C: Mary, my name is Sarah, and I am a manager calling from the firm of XYZ here in Dallas. Mary, this is real sensitive information, so I need to verify that I am talking to the correct Mary Jones. The last four of the social that you put in this file is 1234. I am assuming that hasn't changed?

D: Yes, that's me. What's this about?

C: Well, Mary, as I said, I am a manager here, and I have to ask you some questions about your Visa card that has been delinquent for quite some time. Mary, they tell me that you refuse to pay this. I know that this isn't always the case, so I am calling today, Mary, to find out why this is a refusal to pay, or if they have provided me with the wrong information.

D: Well, I didn't refuse to pay it. I lost my job, and my unemployment only covers living expenses right now.

C: Mary, sounds like you have been having a tough time. Unemployment rates have been cut there in Florida, haven't they? To what, about $300 a week?

D: Yeah, it's pretty bad, about $310 a week.

C: Gee, Mary. That must be so hard trying to feed your family on that. Your husband's income supplements that though a little bit, so that should help.

D: Yes, well, my husband only works part time because of an injury, so we don't make that much.

C: Well, Mary, I can tell that this is not a refusal to pay, it's an inability. My guess is the last person you talked to was asking for too much money, and you couldn't afford it. Sounds like you all have been though it! How was your husband hurt?

D: Yeah. We don't make that much. He got hurt with bulging disks in his neck.

C: Mary, that's terrible! How long has he only been able to work part time? Since his surgery a few months ago?

D: Oh, his surgery was last year. He has only been back to work part time for a few months now.

C: Well, Mary, I am here to help you today. It looks like you fit into our hardship catagory, so let me just fill out this form here and see what I can do to help you get this negative mark off of your credit, and avoid any further action taking place on this account.

D: OK.

C: OK, Mary. Your address is still 123 Main St, in Tampa, right?

D: Yes.

C: Now, Mary I know we have a good home number for you, but in order for you to qualify, we need to get an alternate number. This could be your cell, sibling, parent, sister...just an alternate number. Mary, we won't need to call them as long as this number is good.

D: Ok, my cell phone is 555-555-5555.

C: That's great, Mary. I know you are unemployed, but how long have you been on that now?

D: About six months.

C: Mary, do you get a direct deposit like most folks do nowadays?

D: Yes.

C: Let's see Mary, if I remember correctly, unemployment is paid out two times a month there in Florida, usually on Fridays?

D: Correct.

C: OK, great. Now, Mary, we have here in our notes that your husband was employed with Wal-Mart, does that sound right to you? I am not sure if I am reading this correctly...these notes can be confusing sometimes!

D: Walmart? No, he works for Sears, at the mall here.

C: Oh really? Hmm. I don't know where that note came from! I'll correct that right now. Mary, do you have the number for Sears at the mall?

D: Oh, well, I don't want to give that to you.

C: OK, Mary, I understand. Please be assured that we don't want to call him. I just have to get this form completed for you. Can you just tell me the name of the mall if you feel more comfortable? I'll just explain to my director that you didn't want to give out the number, and it should be OK.

D: OK, he works at the Mall of Tampa.

C: Looking over your credit report here, and it says that you have purchased a car in the past three to five years. You still making payments on that?

D: Oh, no. That car was repossessed. We bought a cheap car for cash so John can get to and from work.

C: OK, I'll just note that here. Now, Mary, do you pay your mortgage on the 1st of the month?

D: Yes, we do.

C: OK, and you have been in your home there for quite a while. It is a better investment to mortgage your home than rent it, right!?

D: Yes, we have been making payments for a while.

C: Oops, almost overlooked this. Exactly how long have you been in your home? The records I have say more than ten years?

D: Yes, that's about right.

C: It also says no refinances during that time?

D: No, we haven't done that.

C: Well, Mary, based on the form here, I can indeed cut you a break on the balance. With interest, you owe $789.52. I can go ahead and knock that back to $675 for you, today only. We can do that now with your debit card or a check by phone, and date it for this Friday when your check comes in.

D: What? I don't have that kind of money!

C: Well, Mary, your check is going to be about $600 dollars, and I am sure that your husband's check can make up the difference, and then the remainder of his check can get your through to your next payday.

D: Oh, no. We have prescriptions, and mortgage, we cannot do it.

C: Oh, well, I understand. Mary, I would really like to be able to extend this offer to you to save you some money. Perhaps your mom or dad could help, and you could pay them back in small payments?

D: Oh, no, I couldn't ask them for help.

C: Now, Mary, I am not an attorney, so I cannot give you legal advice, but you should know that this account is in statute in the state of Florida. That is important for you to know. This is serious. You can check at a law library and find out what creditor rights are in your state. I don't want it to get to that point. Surely someone in your family or church could help?

D: No, that is not an option.

C: Mary, I looked over your credit report, and it seems like you have some debt that can be easily taken care of. Since you own your home, I can refer you to a partner company that does refinancing. You can use the equity in your home and pay off your debts!

D: Oh, no. My husband will never agree to that. There's just no way.

C: Well, here's an idea Mary. Mortgage companies are pretty reasonable. They will defer a payment if you need them to. Go ahead and give them a call, get that payment deferred, and use that money to pay us, and we'll get this off your credit.

D: No, we have been behind in our mortgage. We cannot do that.

C: OK, Mary. If you aren't able to pay this $675 in a lump sum, I can break it into two payments for you. Go ahead and get your debit card, and we will set up a payment for this friday, then for your next payday, and get this all cleared up!

D: That is still too much money.

C: OK, Mary, there are a couple of things I don't understand. You are in a dire financial situation, yet you can afford a cell phone bill? It sounds like you really need to examine your priorities here. You can always get that phone cut back on later!

D: Well, I don't care. I cannot make large payments.

C: Mary, why will you not ask someone to help you take care of this? Two payments to us, Mary. We can set it up on your mom's credit card. Just have her call us. It would be easier for you to pay her back in smaller payments and be done with this!

D: No, I will not do that. Mother is on SSI.

C: OK, Mary. Let me go out on a limb for you here. My boss isn't going to like this at all! $675 in four payments, post dated on your debit card. Otherwise, you will have to pay the full balance. Mary, please understand that I know what you are going through, and I really want to help!

D: OK, I will agree, but I do not want to give my bank info.

C: Mary, this is not a payment processing center. We don't have a mail department here. Our accounting department usually only deals with lump sums, so this is really unusual. I am really trying to save you some money here. Besides, for the past year, you have had the opportunity to mail your payments, and you didn't. We have no guarantee that you will stick to this arrangement, so for me to make this binding, I am going to have to postdate this for you. These payments will have to be in-house on these certain dates to avoid your account going for further action, and you can never depend on the mail these days. I'll wait while you grab your pocketbook.

D: OK.

So, the debtor gives me her info, then my supervisor gets on the phone to "back up" the arrangements. Really, what they are doing is making sure that there is nothing missed in order to get a lump sum payment.

That is how most scripts work. My advice is this:

LISTEN carefully to what the collector is asking you. DO NOT provide any information other than what they have. If they have your home number and address, that is really all they need. They may have your place of employment, but you certainly don't have to confirm it, and you surely don't have to give out the number. They can ask, but you don't have to provide it. They may call and try to verify your employment, that they can do. They have no right to know what your reason was for not paying the bill..in detail. All you need to do is tell them, "I became ill." When they ask why, for how long, how are your bills being paid, etc...do not answer them. Politely tell them that you do not feel comfortable giving them any info other than what they have. Tell them you will pay this bill as you have the money to do so, and that is the best you can do. They will continue to press you. Stay cool and calm (it drives them nuts) and say "I appreciate your call. I will be in touch when I can make an arrangement, goodbye." That's all they need to know!

Hope this helps. Feel free to re-post.

Posts: 677
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Sub: #1 That was really informative! I'm glad it got bumped up. These
Tue, 10/09/2007 - 04:40

That was really informative! I'm glad it got bumped up. These collectors are such buggers!!!

Mommy to Matthew Patrick...born 3/6/08!


Sub: #2 Let me ask you this, How long was it till you were sick of colle
Mon, 10/08/2007 - 21:40

Let me ask you this, How long was it till you were sick of collections, and then what direction did your career lead you? I have been in secondary collections for six years and hate it.

Jedi Mistress Ari

Posts: 2193
Credits: 31544.95

Sub: #3 Beatlemyn, I haave just finished reading your two post and I
Wed, 03/22/2006 - 14:02


I haave just finished reading your two post and I am in full agreement with you about how some debtors act out because they are mad at themselves. I see where you are coming from completely. My first collections job was in defaulted student loans and the fdcpa was always the order of the day, and still is. I guess I came to expect that of all agencies because it is federal law, right?
When I became acquainted with this forum, and then took my second collections job, I took quite a slap upside the head as to how naive I was on that! Reading what I read of all these collectors terrorizing people, and then going to work and being ordered to do the same by my boss shocked me profoundly! We're all people! Debt or no debt people deserve to be treated with dignity!

I'm also so sorry to hear of how disgusting that person was to you after your mom died. I'm also so sorry about how they scorned your mother in extremis. What a bunch of monsters! All that for a bonus check? That's like selling your soul for a doughnut!

Once you start down the dark path, forever will it dominate your destiny.

Debt Samaritan
Posts: 1388
Credits: 24607.8

Sub: #4 Oh my.....that sucks that you were treated like that :( Thanks
Wed, 03/22/2006 - 06:49

Oh my.....that sucks that you were treated like that :( Thanks for posting those though, really interesting to read!


Posts: 80
Credits: 5552.35

Sub: #5 These are talk offs i actually witnessed, and I will put a perso
Wed, 03/22/2006 - 02:36

These are talk offs i actually witnessed, and I will put a personal one at the end:

Collector: Yes, please put mary on the phone.
Third party: She's sleeping.
C: Oh REALLY. Who is THIS? Her secretary?
T: No, I am her son.
C: Well, son, this is an urgent matter. I'll wait while you go and get her out of the bed.
T: But, she works nights.
C: And? What's your point? She has something she needs to take care of, so tell her she needs to get up and take this call.
T: Can't you leave a message.
C: Why leave a message when I know she is there. Stop covering and playing secretary and wake her up!
C: Mary?
D: Yes, this is Mary.
C: Mary, this is Billy with AAA collections. We need to have this taken care of right now.
D: Billy (baby crying in background) I have a sick child here, and now is not a good time. Please call back.
C: Stop avoiding me, Mary. Put the baby down, get out your pocketbook, and let's get this paid.
D: I really can't right now...my baby is sick.
C: You know, Mary, it is people like you who make interest rates higher for the rest of us. You have no intention of paying this bill.
C: John?
D: This is John.
C: John, it's about time you decided to answer the phone. Let's talk about how you are going to pay this Visa bill.
D: WHo the ^%&^ are you?
C: John! This is Sarah, you know, the same one that keeps leaving you messages every day.
d: Listen, Sarah, I am not able to pay this bill. I am sick and there is nothing I can do.
C: You must be proud of yourself John. How many other companies have you ripped off? You obviously like taking money and not paying it back. Why don't you go and pawn some of the things you bought with that Visa?
D: Don't call me again.
C: (Laughing) John, I am going to call you every single day at 8AM until you decide to become responsible and take care of this.
D: I am going to call the proper authorities on you.
C: (Laughing) Who? The phone police? Go ahead and call them. I'll wait on the other line.
C: Yes, I need to speak to Rita.
Third Party female: She isn't home, can I take a message?
C: Who is this?
T: I am her sister.
C: Ohhhh, her SISTER, huh? Well, you sure sound a lot like Rita!
T: My name is Rhonda. We live here with our folks.
C: Come on Rita! Stop playing games. I know this is you! Why are you playing games?
Collector calling employer: Yes, I need to speak with the owner.
Recept: He cannot be reached here.
C: Oh, I see. Well I need to speak to the person in charge of John Jones.
R: I can get his manager.
C: You do that, and let him know this is important, and I can't wait long.
Manager: Can I help you?
C: Yes, this is Billy. John requested that I send some documents over here to the company fax machine. I just want to make sure he is present when I fax them. Is he there now?
M: Yes, but he cannot come to the phone.
C: Oh, I see. Are you his direct manager?
M: Yes.
C: I need to make sure that he is aware that I am calling because this is time sensitive. I can wait while you go and get him.
M: I am not going to do that. he is not allowed to recieve documents here.
C: Sir, you have an attitude, I would like to speak to YOUR manager.
Other manager: Can I help you?
C: How high are you up in the company?
M: I am the building supervisor.
C: Good. Since John and the other manager are uncooperative, I want you to hand deliver this important message to him immediately.

This actually happened to me, the day after my mother died. I was fieldinga bunch of calls from concerned relatives and whatnot...then I get this:

Beatlemyn: Hello?
Collector: I need to talk to Janie.
Me: My mother? Who are you?
C: Don't worry about who I am, just put her on the phone.
Me: Sir, I don't think you know who you are dealing with.
C: Are you threatening me?
Me: No, !@!$%@^, I am not. You are tying up my phone line. My mother passed away yesterday.
C: (laughter) Sure she did.
Me: Yes, @%#^@%, she did. Call the Benbrook Funeral Home. Now what do you want?
C: Who do you know that works there that will cover for your mother?
Me: Listen, ^@%%^*, I don't have time for this $%@#%^. You can believe me or you can shove it up your @^@&*. My mother is dead not even 24 hours ago. Good luck trying to collect from her. Call me back if you reach her.
C: (laughter) It doesn't matter if she is dead. Her husband is just going to have to pay this bill. I guess I'll call him.
Me: Ok, @^#%!@^%, I DARE YOU. I'll be sure to let him know about the third party disclosure, and I'm sure he will be happy to tell you that his attorney will be contacting you soon. (I hung up)

That dude DID call my stepfather, who told him to &%@%#*@&^@*(^$(*$^)$&@&($^&*@#%@^^ and mentioned the third party disclosure...and the debt just sort of went away after that...

*I can also give advice*
*on credit repair*

I have many years of experience.


PM me, or ask in the forum.

I can help you beat THEM.


(I offer advice free of charge as a MEMBER of this forum.)

Posts: 80
Credits: 5552.35

Sub: #6 I guess I should have noted that would have been an IDEAL call.
Wed, 03/22/2006 - 02:11

I guess I should have noted that would have been an IDEAL call. LOL. That script is what collectors are trained on. That is how the call should go. Verifying the party, getting a reason for deliquency, digging for information, and then going through a payment progression. Collectors bonus on lump sums. $50/month payers are bad for collectors. The idea in the training is to push for the lump sum, and when the debtor balks, use what information that you have gathered to convince him/her that it is the right thing to do, and to offer them options based on the information that you have. So, yes, I posted that script just so the non-collectors would have some idea behind the motivation of the collector on the phone. Oh, by the way, that was a script (similar) to the junk buyer I worked for...LOL!!! Do collectors deviate from the scripts? Ohhhhh yeah. A lot. If the money comes in, the management tends to look the other way. Let me post some talkoffs that I have heard used that are bad. Also, I would like to note that in the defense of collectors, some debtors are just not reasonable. They are upset with their situation, and often scream and cuss at the person on the phone. I had a man that said he was going to kill me in the parking lot of my work because he had the address. I have worked at places where debtors HAVE showed up, and the police had to be called. 90% of people are not like that. They are honest people who got in a bind.
Let me post some talkoffs here...

*I can also give advice*
*on credit repair*

I have many years of experience.


PM me, or ask in the forum.

I can help you beat THEM.


(I offer advice free of charge as a MEMBER of this forum.)

Jedi Mistress Ari

Posts: 2193
Credits: 31544.95

Sub: #7 Stanley, In a law-abiding agency, about 80% of conversatio
Mon, 03/20/2006 - 13:27


In a law-abiding agency, about 80% of conversations do go that smooth. Collectors have to be coercive in order to gather information vital to the resolution of the debt, because debtors are often stubborn and overly guarded, which can be understandable considering all the boogeymen out there in collections. They're not necessarily bluffs, they're open-ended questions, and yes many of them are a bit assumptive. Come on, if I came out and asked point-blank "Got a checking account?" or "Where do you work?" would I not chase you away?

I think it's been stated repeatedly throughout the forums what a bad collection agency will do! Threaten arrest, removal of children, all sorts of nightmares.

Once you start down the dark path, forever will it dominate your destiny.

Debt Samaritan
Posts: 1388
Credits: 24607.8

Sub: #8 Interesting read, thanks for sharing it! ~Mary
Mon, 03/20/2006 - 11:49

Interesting read, thanks for sharing it!



Debt Samaritan
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Credits: 2396.15

Sub: #9 Thanks for sharing this with the community beatle. I wonder the
Mon, 03/20/2006 - 11:18

Thanks for sharing this with the community beatle. I wonder the script contains so many bluffs. If a legitimate collection agency uses so many bluffs during a small discussion, what will a bad collection agency do?

And beatle, I'm sure things rarely go that much smooth, what you say?


Sub: #10 Indeed, that script sounds as if it is from a legit collector (n
Sun, 03/19/2006 - 21:50

Indeed, that script sounds as if it is from a legit collector (not a junk debt buyer, operating on the edge of the law). I'd disagree with the ownership of a cell phone being any clue though. Nowadays there are many very good pre-payed plans, some as little as $20 every 90 days.

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