Adam Stewart is a well-known expert in the field of Debt Collection. As the owner of Debt Recoveries Australia and ADC Legal, he diligently publishes blogs every week that could help debtors and their clients deal with credit-related concerns.
In his blogs, Adam gives good points on how people can control their budget, how to work with debt collectors, claims recovery, insurance, how to write their credit application forms, and sometimes, he even gives free initial legal advice.
Adam also shares some of his secrets that made DRA (partnered with ADC Legal) as one of the top debt collection agencies in Australia and New Zealand.
Wayne Bucklar: My guest today is Adam Stewart from Debt Recoveries Australia. Adam, it’s good to have you back with us.
Adam Stewart: Good day Wayne and how are you?
Wayne: Adam can you tell the audience more about what Debt Recoveries Australia does and whereabouts do you provide services?
Adam: Sure. So we’re a debt collection agency and we also provide litigation services right across Australia and New Zealand. So we have a company called “Debt Recoveries Australia” which is a debt recoveries company. We provide contingent collection services right across Australia and we have our sister company called a “ADC Legal” and we provide litigation services right throughout Australia as well. So we collect debts for any company large or small and any debts large or small. We do a lot of work for the insurance industry so insurance claims recoveries. We do some public sector recoveries and commercial recoveries as well.
Wayne: To educate us about debt recovery, you publish a weekly blog post and the latest one you wrote is “How to Become a Successful Debt Collection Agency.” What does it take to be a good debt collector these days? You mentioned starting with good staff.
Adam: Every week I try and provide some value-add content for our clients but also the debtors as well. So people that owe the money, sometimes we give them tips on how they can budget and how they can work with debt collectors. But most of the blogs are targeted towards our clients to add value to our clients to give them information so we help our clients with their internal cards receivable for instance. So we might give them tips on say how to write their credit application forms or I had to word their letters of demand and we also give free initial legal advice on the debts that they send through to us.
Wayne: Automation is one thing you’re big on at Debt Recoveries Australia and ADC Legal. Can you explain how you automate your debt recovery and litigation processes?
Adam: Yes, that’s a good question. So that’s the recent blog that we did. I think really to run a good debt collection agency which is what that blog was about, you’ve got to start with your staff. So in order to get good debt collectors, you need to train them well and to make sure you’ve got good working conditions, you provide things like flexibility, flexible hours, a really good workspace, interesting files for them, a variety of work. I know because I come from a debt collection background so I know that when I collected, so I want a bit of variety in my day. So yes, so the first thing is to start with good staff. So we have found our online software so our clients can get access to the software. The debtors can log on and make their payments online and more importantly our staff. So it’s completely in the cloud, it’s user friendly. So if we have any new staff coming, they can pick it up fairly quickly. And our clients have access to that software as well, they can see all of our notes, they can view our letters, they can generate their reports. So it works really well and it cuts down on the work that goes in between our clients and us. And also the litigation matters are handled in our portal as well, so once our clients give us their litigation file whether it’s a claim litigation, we do a lot of insurance claims litigation or it’s debt collector matter, they all go on our online portal and the clients have access to all of those matters. So yes, that’s how we automate, also the declaration process itself is pretty much automated so letters, emails, SMS’s are all automated today. So that helps us a lot.
Wayne: Can you explain the importance of being prepared as a debt collector? How do you prepare to collect the debt?
Adam: Yes, so preparation is key. So we often tell our clients in order to try and prevent the debt in the first place, they need to prepare as much as possible. So if they’re trying to collect the debt internally, they need to send all the invoices and the contract and all the information to their client, or to the debtor or the person that owes them money in the first instance and then they need to be very proactive about following it up. If they fail to collect the debt and they give it to us, then we need to know exactly what the debt is all about before we even start collecting it. So we have to validate the debt first of all, we have to make sure that the debt actually exists, that it’s a contracted debt for instance, we don’t collect uncontracted debts. So it must be a contracted debt, we must have valid invoices for those debts. If there’s any contracts that have been signed, we will need copies of those contracts. So we need to validate the debt first before we even commence collection on that debt. Once we’ve validated the debt and we’ve seen all the contracts and the invoices, then what we do is we send all of those to the debtors so we don’t just ring them up and ask for the money. We will make contact with them, we’ll email them and send them all the details of the debt so that there’s full transparency and they know exactly what’s going on. And we will also investigate if there’s any disputes about the debts, that we’ll already have that information from our client if there is any dispute. So that’s what I mean about being prepared. So we have to know everything about the debt, we have to know all about whether there’s going to be any disputes, what the likely disputes will be so that we can have rebuttals and we know how to speak to the debtor on behalf of our clients.
Wayne: For your legal arm, ADC Legal, what is your litigation strategy in case you can’t collect?
Adam: Absolutely, yes. So it’s vitally important that we have our own litigation arm which is ADC Legal. So we do a lot of commercial litigation, and insurance litigation and advice on insurance disputes Australia-wide. So we have a lot of blue-chip insurance clients and also commercial, we obviously do commercial litigation for debt recovery. So ADC Legal is our legal arm, it marries in well with Debt Recoveries Australia in that we are able to send legal letters that demand on most of those matters. And again, that’s all automated, it’s all online so we can virtually issue proceedings in any court in Australia online and that makes it a lot easier for us. We have offices in pretty much every state in Australia but we’re able to do a lot of that work online now which makes it good. So it’s a one-stop solution for our clients, they have the debt recovery arm which is Debt Recoveries Australia and we have the litigation arm which is ADC Legal.
Wayne: What areas does ADC Legal cover? What is that legal process?
Adam: Yes, good question. So we are a litigation firm that we provide advice on debt recovery matters but we also do insurance disputes and insurance litigation to deal with claims mostly. So insurance claims litigation but also, a commercial debt recovery disputes. So that’s the main basis of our practice and you mentioned about the legal process so what generally happens is that we will try and collect the debt first to save the client’s money so there’s “no win no fee” debt collection that we do. But if we do hit a brick wall with that and what we do is we recommend to the client legal action. So we will only recommend legal action if we think there’s a good chance of getting the money back so there’s no dispute or it’s little dispute and that we’ve done some research on the company that owes the money or the debtor and we’ll do some research on them to see if they are financially viable, they can afford to pay the debt, then we’ll recommend to the client to issue proceedings. Once they get to that stage, we generally already made contact with the debtor or the company and we usually advise them that there may be legal action pending. We might even send them a formal legal letter advising them that this is the last stage, this is the last chance that they have to pay. If they still don’t pay then, what we do is we simply issue through the court so we issue the matter through the court, we’ll prepare a statement of claim and issue that through the court. That process generally takes about 2 to 4 weeks and then we’ll go from there and that usually brings about some sort of response from the debtor or the company and we go from there and that most of these matters will hopefully end up in a negotiating phase then. Also, we can apply for judgment so if the debtor doesn’t respond to us then we can simply apply to the courts to have a judgment which is basically where you apply to the courts to have an order made against that debtor or that company for them to repay the debt. And quite often we can add in our interest on and some of our court fees onto that judgment and that judgment lasts for 10 to 12 years depending on per state but it lasts a fair of time, so that gives us quite a good time to collect the debts.
Contact Details [Debt Recoveries Australia]
- Website – Debt Recoveries Australia
- Number – 1300 799 511
- Email – [email protected]
- Skype Name: debtrecoveries
Contact Details [ADC Legal]