It can be a major annoyance: outstanding customer bills. If the companies are located in your own country, it is still easy to call in a collection agency from your own village or city, at least you know them. However, many fruit and vegetable companies in the sector have customers worldwide. What if a company from Colombia, Morocco or Germany doesn't want to pay its bills? Then you have to look for a collection agency in that country. But how do you know if that is a reliable partner and that you will receive your money in good order?
Dick Wolff saw this many years ago and decided to specialize in international debt collection as in Liechtenstein, where he ended up through love. “Since the 1990s, I have put a lot of effort into building relationships with foreign debt collection agencies,” says Dick. “Thanks to this extensive network, we now have partners from DWM International all over the world who can submit the collections to the debtors. That saves a lot of research work for companies, especially if you have open accounts in several countries.”
At the top of the list
"Not only do the local debt collection agencies speak the debtor's language, but they are also familiar with the applicable laws and regulations." Dick knows from experience that a direct debit from a local agency reaches a company more quickly than an email from abroad. “It immediately puts your company at the top of the list of creditors that your customer wants to pay off first. Because someone with payment problems often has several bills open that he cannot pay all at once, so he will have to make a selection. Creditors from abroad often do not have a priority to pay off quickly, so they are placed at the bottom of the list. But when such a foreign company suddenly starts submitting its outstanding invoices through a local collection agency, you do become a priority because it is bad for the debtor's solvency and then it stops completely for him.”
Many bankruptcies expected
Recently, Dick has seen more outstanding invoices end up on his desk. “This is surely the result of the corona crisis that many more outstanding invoices are now being submitted. On the one hand, this is because there is still a lot of state support for companies that are struggling and that there is still money to be obtained. On the other hand, because many companies that are currently struggling get their list of debtors to see who still has an outstanding account. This shows again that it is very important not to wait too long before submitting a direct debit. In most cases, when a company goes bankrupt, you can whistle for your money.” This is especially important for fruit and vegetable companies. “It's the tomatoes and peppers that a creditor ultimately hopes to earn money on in order to pay off other debts. Those orders will continue until a company is truly bankrupt.”
Take action on time
By the way, prevention is better than a cure, Dick agrees. “Companies can also have us conduct an address and story investigation for customers (credit reports). For Austria, Germany, Switzerland and Liechtenstein we can also do this for private individuals. In these reports, we provide advice on the solvency of these companies. We do this with a rating in three categories: red (does not pay), yellow (better pay in advance) and green (pays on time). We do this in collaboration with other parties and what distinguishes us is that you can easily order separate reports from us and are therefore not bound to an annual rate.
Yet Dick sees another way to prevent direct debits. “You can also approach your creditors yourself to come to a payment arrangement. This is ultimately better for both parties. You should not wait for the moment when we are suddenly at the door. ”
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