Debt Collection approach: Aggressive or Assertive?

You might know the certain stereotypes that exist regarding Debt Collectors and Debt Collection agencies in general: very tough guys who call you very aggressively and in some cases even come knocking on your door and use threats. Usually, for these stereotypical Debt Collection agencies their motto is ‘the end justifies the means’. In other words, it does not matter to them how the debt is collected – as long as it is collected. But are these stereotypes even real? And what is CMC’s approach towards debtors? Read this blog to find the answers to these questions.

Are these stereotypes real?

The short answer is yes: there are some Debt Collection agencies that work solely or primarily with the aggressive approach. As in most industries, there are always companies that work with different values and ethical standards. Acting in such an aggressive way could have various reasons for those companies: the type of clients, the type of debtors, management’s demands, the nature of the debt and the environment, such as the laws in a country or the culture. For us, it is very important that people understand that this aggressive approach does exist, but it is not the only option – and it is certainly not our approach.

What is CMC’s approach towards debtors?

As we have previously explained in our Debt Collection blogs, at CMC we work with a 100% tailor-made approach. This means that we fully adapt ourselves to our clients’ needs and context – all with the objective to collect as much as possible, as soon as possible. During this process, we always aim to keep or restore the relationship between our client and their debtor. That is why we require a full understanding of our client’s business and the origin of the debt before starting the Debt Collection process. It is also important for us to know if there still is an existing and possibly future business relationship with the debtor. If this is the case, our approach will be completely different.

"Our debt collectors will act in a strict and assertive – not to be confused with aggressive – way, to achieve that the debtor will pay their debts"

Our client wants to keep their debtor as a client

When our client wants to protect or restore the business relationship with their debtor, our attitude will be quite diplomatic and focused on negotiation during the whole process. We seek to understand the reasons for the debtor to not pay the invoice(s) – but at the same time we use our tools and techniques to stress the urgency of payment to achieve the results expected by our client and ourselves. Many times, the debtors needs that extra pressure from a Debt Collection agency to prioritize their accounts payable.

A clear example of this is what is happening in 2020: many companies have had financial complications and therefore difficulties in prioritizing to pay their debts. At CMC, we have achieved excellent results for our clients who want to maintain their business relationship with their debtors, but who at the same time need their invoices to be paid without further delay.

Our client does not want to keep their debtor as a client

When our client does not want to protect or restore the business relationship with their debtor, our attitude is much stricter. It is often due to recurring breaches of trust, bad experiences or a loss of contact that causes our client to end any business relationship with the debtor. At CMC, we believe in justice and we feel our clients’ pain in these situations as if it were our own. Our debt collectors will act in a strict and assertive – not to be confused with aggressive – way, to achieve that the debtor will pay their debts. We do what is needed to get results within the applicable law. If that means we need to call 10 times a day, schedule a company visit, arrange a meeting with our Managing Director and the debtor’s Board, we will do it: our motto is ‘whatever it takes to get the job done’ for a reason. If tailor-made Debt Collection has taught us anything, it is to understand our client’s business, know their debtor’s culture, country, language and mindset in order to get the invoices paid.

Exceptional cases

Of course, there can be special situations when collecting a debt, such as a complete loss of contact with the debtor while this debtor is located in a remote country. In these cases, creativity and perseverance are key. At CMC, we ensure that we do whatever it takes to deliver – regardless of limitations, challenges and difficulties.


If you would like to know more about our different approaches or discuss the best approach for your situation, please contact us to discuss your case.