Improving collections strategy

December 17, 2009 by Guest Contributor

By: Kari Michel


Lenders are looking for ways to improve their collections strategy as they continue to deal with unprecedented consumer debt, significant increases in delinquency, charge-off rates and unemployment and, declining collectability on accounts.

Improve collections

To maximize recovered dollars while minimizing collections costs and resources, new collections strategies are a must. The standard assembly line “bucket” approach to collection treatment no longer works because lenders can not afford the inefficiencies and costs of working each account equally without any intelligence around likelihood of recovery. Using a segmentation approach helps control spend and reduces labor costs to maximize the dollars collected. Credit based data can be utilized in decision trees to create segments that can be used with or without collection models. For example, below is a portion of a full decision tree that shows the separation in the liquidation rates by applying an attribute to a recovery score

This entire segment has an average of 21.91 percent liquidation rate. The attribute applied to this score segment is the aggregated available credit on open bank card trades updated within 12 months. By using just this one attribute for this score band, we can see that the liquidation rates range from 11 to 35 percent. Additional attributes can be applied to grow the tree to isolate additional pockets of customers that are more recoverable, and identify segments that are not likely to be recovered. From a fully-developed segmentation analysis, appropriate collections strategies can be determined to prioritize those accounts that are most likely to pay, creating new efficiencies within existing collection strategies to help improve collections.