How do you deal with the common excuses that debtors may use to get away from debt during debt collection?

Customers usually have excuses like the following:

I have already sent the check in the mail. At that point, ask them to send a copy of the check and ask for the check number, date, and when the check was written. If they are honest, in most instances, they will be able to provide you with the requested information.

I never received any notice or invoice. This is, in fact, the most common excuse you will probably receive. Ask the debtor to give you their address. Then ask them to make a payment by a certain date. You can give them your contact information or the company’s contact information to process the payment on that date.

You can’t contact the debtor, or he or she is never available. If you need to contact a debtor, you should attempt to get a personal contact number through which you can reach the debtor. However, if that is unsuccessful, send a warning letter to the debtor’s address about the payment, and they may actually call you back.

Cash flow problem. If the client is really facing cash-flow problems, which is common, when a person has a lot of past-due debt, ask them if they are willing to pay in smaller installments. If this method is unsuccessful, you can refer them to a debt counselor. However, if the cash flow problem is temporary, consider giving the debtor a little time to address the debt and give them a call back at a later date.

The debtor died. If the debtor is deceased, there is nothing you can do unless you have legal paperwork that states that another person is responsible for the debt, such as a co-signor or guarantor.

I already paid for this account. If the debtor tells you that the debt has already been paid, then try to retrieve all the information like the date and method of payment. Overall, ask the debtor for some type of proof that the account was paid. If the debtor does not want to provide this information or is hesitant, this is a major red flag.

I’m too busy to deal with this right now. Be respectful and show appreciation for the debtor spending time with you to discuss the account, and then nicely ask them to settle the payment without any further delay. If the debtor still can’t discuss, ask them if there is a better time, you can call them back to discuss.


Marcadis Singer, PA
5104 South Westshore Blvd.,
Tampa, Florida.
Phone: (813) 288-1881

Top 12 Debt Collection Q&A – Ninth in a Series

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