The Collection Advisor

Brian Summerfelt

Brian Summerfelt is the President and CEO of MetCredit, Canada's National Collection Agency. Like many of MetCredit's senior management team, Brian started out on the collection floor, and has learned a thing or two in his two decades in the business.
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Recent Posts

Stolen Joy: How Overdue Accounts Can Spoil Your Holidays [video]

Posted by Brian Summerfelt on Dec 7, 2018 12:56:29 PM

Business owners have a lot on their minds at the best of times: Human Resources, expenses, inventory, a changing competitive landscape, rising costs and more. Plenty more.

During the month of December, it all tends to compound. From the increased staffing impacts of cold and flu season to extra costs surrounding year-end bonuses, Christmas parties and holiday downtime, it can be the toughest time of year for cash flow. At the very same time, costs at home blow through the roof.

So when there is a slowdown in receivables, entrepreneurs’ stress levels can go through the roof: at the very time when we’re expected to be overflowing with joy and goodwill towards all.

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Topics: Commercial Collection Agency, Insider Debt Collection Tips

Ethical Debt Collection: A Tradition of Excellence Centred On Respect

Posted by Brian Summerfelt on Nov 15, 2018 3:48:29 PM

At MetCredit, our Code of Ethics has three simple components—each of them articulating one of our most essential guiding principles:

The MetCredit Code of Ethics

  1. The individual must be respected at all times.
  2. The customer must be given the best possible service.
  3. Excellence and superior performance must be pursued at all times.

This clear and concise Code of Ethics affects everyone who works at and interacts with MetCredit: our management team, employees, clients and every one of the debtors with whom we communicate. It’s an integral part of our brand promise.

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B2B Debt Collection: 4 Dangers Owners and AR Managers Need to Recognize

Posted by Brian Summerfelt on Oct 29, 2018 10:42:38 AM

Cash flow is oxygen to business. Interrupt the supply, and the consequences are immediate and severe.

This is true for all business models, and for those whose customers are other businesses, a multitude of unique challenges exist. Specifically, there are four great dangers that make B2B debt collection very different from collecting retail or consumer debt:

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Topics: Commercial Collection Agency, B2B Collection Agency

4 Spooky Business Stories to Keep Entrepreneurs Awake At Night

Posted by Brian Summerfelt on Oct 23, 2018 10:31:48 AM

It’s the time of year again for artery-clogging pumpkin pie, toddlers in plasticky Costco costumes and debilitating coloured contact lenses. Yes, Halloween: that scariest of all seasons. 

For business owners, the likes of horror films, axe-wielding fiends and things that go thump in the night are child’s play. Know what is truly frightening?

Real-life business, that’s what! 

Dredged freshly from the MetCredit morgue, here are four of the scariest horror stories you’re likely to ever hear, made concise for sleep-deprived business readers:
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Topics: Collection agencies, Debt Collection

7 Sure Signs You Need a Debt Collection Agency

Posted by Brian Summerfelt on Sep 13, 2018 6:55:00 AM

If your business has never used a collection agency before—or even if you have—you may be unsure about when is the right time. 

How bad do things need to be in order to escalate matters and send an account to collections? In general, not very bad at all. In most Canadian provinces and territories, the statue of limitations on debt is a mere two years. What’s more, you deserve to be paid on time, always, so it should NEVER have to get that bad.

Here are seven sure signs it’s time to send a file to collections:

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Topics: Business Strategy, Commercial Collection Agency, Collection agencies

How Overdue Receivables Can Ruin Your Life (And What to Do About It)

Posted by Brian Summerfelt on Aug 14, 2018 12:47:17 PM

It’s a fact: business owners have a ton on their mind.

Entrepreneurs are statistically more likely to be worried, stressed or depressed than the general public, a fact that will come as no surprise to most owners. You have to manage partnerships and cope with lost deals, human resource issues, ever-increasing competition, shrinking margins, regulatory issues and a daily barrage of other surprises. You may be tough and smart, but you’re only human.

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Topics: Collection agencies, Business Strategy

New Brunswick Gets it Right on How to Deal With a Collection Agency

Posted by Brian Summerfelt on Jul 25, 2018 12:45:15 PM

When it comes to knowing how to deal with a collection agency, many people are unsure.

Sadly, the same applies to some governments. The rules governing debt collection agencies differ by Canadian province, most of which don’t do a fantastic job articulating what a consumer ought to do when a collection agency calls.

This is where New Brunswick is a standout. The province’s Financial and Consumer Services Commission (FCNB) posts some helpful information on its website, including this advice (posted here verbatim):

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Topics: Consumer Debt Collection, Collection agencies

5 Reasons Never to Use a Collection Agency (And Why They’re ALL Wrong)

Posted by Brian Summerfelt on Jul 23, 2018 2:48:38 PM

Any business that provides credit terms to its customers will face occasional challenges collecting debt. It simply comes with the territory.

Yet not all entrepreneurs are comfortable sending overdue debt to a collection agency—even when experience shows that aging accounts bear an ever-increasing risk of morphing into bad debt writeoffs.

Ironically, the most common reasons business owners and AR Managers give NOT to use a collection agency are based on old misconceptions. Here are 5 reasons to never use a collection agency, all of which are completely wrong.

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Topics: Business Strategy, Collection agencies

Debt Collection Tips for Startups: 4 Steps Entrepreneurs Must Take to Survive

Posted by Brian Summerfelt on Jul 9, 2018 7:17:18 AM

Entrepreneurs are some of the bravest people in the world. They strike out on their own and stake their livelihood on a dream in a world of unprecedented competitiveness, knowing full well their chances of failure are exceedingly high.

And when it comes to collecting debt, most startup owners are ill-prepared for what awaits them. Vendors are reluctant to grant credit to startups lacking a history, and customers can take advantage of your inexperience or lack of confidence, paying your bills after higher-priority ones with established partners. It's a double-whammy many entrepreneurs never see coming.

Here are four steps every entrepreneur should take to improve their startup business’s probability of surviving those critical early years:

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Topics: Business Strategy, Collections

Financial Debt Recovery: 3 Reasons Top Banks Use a Collection Agency

Posted by Brian Summerfelt on Jun 21, 2018 7:35:28 AM

Most Canadian banks, credit unions and other financial institutions have in-house collections departments as part of their risk management and loss reduction infrastructures. For the most part, these offices are staffed with highly competent financial services debt recovery teams and perform very well at collecting defaults on credit card debt, mortgages, lines of credit, leases, and other banking and financial services lending products.

So then why would these financial institutions need a collection agency, you may wonder. At MetCredit, some of our best, longest-standing client relationships are with banks, credit unions and other financial services providers. 

 

In fact, we have provided uninterrupted financial debt recovery services to one of Canada’s biggest banks since 1974—our second year in business! 

Here are three great reasons why top banks and other lenders use a collection agency:

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Topics: Consumer Debt Collection, credit score, Insider Tips

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