Triage collections and recovery: A collections management best practice

Published: May 29, 2009 by Jeff Bernstein

Back during World War I, the concept of “triage” was first introduced to the battlefield. Faced with massive casualties and limited medical resources, a system was developed to identify and select those who most needed treatment and who would best respond to treatment. Some casualties were tagged as terminal and received no aid; others with minimal injuries were also passed over. Instead, medical staff focused their attentions on those who required their services in order to be saved. These were the ones who needed and would respond to appropriate treatment.

Our clients realize that the collections battlefield of today requires a similar approach. They have limited resources to face this mounting wave of delinquencies and charge offs. They also realize that they can’t throw bodies at this problem. They need to work smarter and use data and decisioning more effectively to help them survive this collections efficiency battle.

Some accounts will never “cure” no matter what you do. Others will self-cure with minimal or no active effort. Taking the right actions on the right accounts, with the right resources, at the right time is best accomplished with advanced segmentation that employs behavioral scoring, bureau-based scores and other relevant account data. The actual data and scores that should be used depend on the situation and account status, and there is no one-size-fits-all approach.