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If you find Debt Collection Status Reports difficult to understand you are not alone. The problem is that Debt Collection requires a lot of different letters, some of which are custom, and a lot of telephone calls, many of which are messages. 

Look at the original and current balance for each claim. If they are the same, the debtor has not made any payments. If the current balance is smaller, payments have been made. The last activity will show payments only if the payment is the most recent activity. These payments are deposited into an Escrow Account until the check clears in about two weeks. Often, payments are missed and you will see a last activity that shows a message or letter. This is common and does not mean payments have stopped.

Aside from payments, the flow of pre-litigation Debt Collection involves many attempts at phone contact at various times of day or evening along with letters designed to encourage the debtor to call. You should expect a flow of activity something like this:

  • Initial letter mailed with full documentation.
  • Calls and/or messages requesting resolution.
  • Final Notice suggesting it is in the Debtor’s best interest to contact the Agency.
  • More calls/messages.
  • Credit notice informing the debtor the debt has been reported and remains for 7 years unless paid.
  • Another call or message.
  • Suit Notice informing the Client and Debtor that suit has been requested.

If you decide to litigate, the report can get even more confusing, but here is the general flow once litigation has been started:

  • The Attorney tries to contact the debtor to resolve.
    • (1 month)
  • A Summons is filed.
    • (1 month)
  • A Summons is served.
    • (1-3 months)
  • If the Debtor does not answer, a default Judgment is awarded.
    • (1-2 months)
  • If the debtor answers the Summons, a trial date is set.
    • (2-4 months) 
  • Once a Judgment is obtained, the Sheriff will levy bank accounts, income or other assets.
    • (6-9 months)
  • If no assets are found, the Judgment is docketed to make it a Public record.
    • (1-2 months)

The legal system runs slow. Everything is backed up and getting paid takes a long time. In general you can expect about 25 cents on a dollar for claims sent to litigation. Our Clients do better (about one third collected) because we do pre-litigation investigations. Still, while Judgments give you a piece of paper saying You Win, they don’t get you paid. 

Our Status Reports are available from our web site 24/7. They are easy to read and completely secure. Our Clients can change variables to customize how the report appears. For example, they can choose to view only active claims, only archived claims or all claims.

It is important that you know what is happening so it is important to us to provide a report that you can understand.

Understanding debt collection and background screening best practices can save your business big money. Building up front applicant screening into your business processes costs you very little, but saves you so much in the end. If you haven’t already, partner with a full service debt collection and applicant screening company to guide your business to a place of security and prosperity. Contact us to sign up for a free account and get started protecting your business today.


Executive Credit Management is a full-service Debt Collection and Applicant Screening agency with over 20 years experience located in Central New Jersey. We provide excellent service in the following areas: Employment ScreeningBusiness Screening, and Tenant Screening. Executive Credit Management belongs to a number of Skip Tracing databases and offers services to help locate and confirm the current address of missing debtors. Other services provided are: litigation evaluation on all lawsuit decisions, improvement of the quality of the applicant data, Lawsuit Monitoring, Handling of Debtor Disputes. Executive Credit Management features the best Call Monitoring System in the Debt Collection industry.