collection letter

What is a collection letter? A collection letter is a critical communication used by the ARM (accounts receivable management) industry. They stand as the official and formal notice to a debtor from a business regarding bills and payments due. It includes key information and must comply with compliance regulations. While all these documents are similar, they aren’t all effective collection letters. So, what should it include to fit this descriptor?

The Components of an Effective Collection Letter

Let’s look at the elements that make a collection letter effective.

A Collection Letter Must Be Compliant

The Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA)defines the rules of collection letters. It limits how third parties like ARM companies can attempt to collect a debt. The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) dictates and enforces these requirements. Individual states may also have additional regulations.

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For ARM debt collection letters to be compliant, the details are critical. The information on the debt must be accurate, and rules and disclosures must be present. Letters need to also provide resources to debtors on how to dispute the debt and how they can respond. Contact details for the collector must also be present. Language can never be threatening or aggressive. Remain professional and list only the facts.

Ensuring compliance with these letters extends to more than the content. You must have a process that enables each letter to find the correct envelope. Advanced technology makes this easier and works at scale.

A lot of information may be necessary in the letter, so the design and layout matter.

Design Optimization Strategies Can Improve Response and Clarity

what is a collection letterIn designing effective collection letters, you can use design optimization best practices, including:

  • Adding color to improve readership and emphasize specific areas.
  • Highlighting any disclaimers and resources.
  • Using layouts to box the most important parts of the communication (e.g., amount due, how to contact the company).
  • Inserting icons to reduce the amount of text for easier understanding.
  • Organizing information by underlining and bolding text.

There are many templates available for use. In addition, your transactional print and mail provider can provide these services. The best approach is to make it visually appealing but not overwhelming.

Simple Is Better

Design elements are vital for any type of letter, but you’ll be in a better position when you keep things simple. The more straightforward the communication is the better comprehension. Some steps to simplify this involve removing duplicate fields and text, sticking to classic design elements, and using a clean, legible font.

Trackable Letters Are More Effective

Sending out letters to debtors and ensuring they arrive is another effectiveness aspect. You’ll need to have certain obligations met for this, such as:

  • Using address maintenance tools to have the best chance of reaching the correct person.
  • Access to a tracking system through a print and mail provider, allowing you to monitor the letter from when you send the data until it arrives in a mailbox.

Such technology supports compliance, meeting deadlines, and audits.

How You Package the Collection Letter Matters

With debt collection letters, you can opt to pressure seal them with perforated tear-away edges. The advantage is that it looks different than junk mail, so people may be more apt to open it. This option also saves costs.

A sealed postcard works for collection letters. It’s one piece and at a lower postage rate, creating more budget efficiencies.

Certified Mail envelopes are another option. Automation is possible for this type of certified mail with all the necessary manifest and tracking elements. No forms or stickers are needed.

All these best practices and compliance obligations can be a lot of work for you. That’s why so many in the ARM industry choose a trusted partner that understand what is a collection letter and the purpose it serves.

Ready to Upgrade to Effective Collection Letters?

Effective collection letters are compliant, well-designed, accurate, and easy to understand. Streamlining the production of these letters and being able to track everything is crucial to your collection letter efforts. Working with PCI Group offers you peace of mind on all fronts. We can design, print, and mail your collection letters. Explore our solutions today.