The Collection Advisor

Online Debt Recovery Calculator: What is the Money Owed to You Worth?

Posted by Brian Summerfelt on Oct 31, 2016 9:33:37 AM

If there is one thing I’ve learned during my decades at Canada’s top national collection agency, it’s that the majority of business people misunderstand the entire debt collection process. 

For example, if you a customer owes you $2,000, and the debt is 12 months past due, what is that account worth if you continue trying to collect it yourself?

No, not the $2,000. Not $1,000. $500? Getting warmer...

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Topics: Debt Collection

How to (Always) Get Paid in the Construction Industry

Posted by Brian Summerfelt on Oct 12, 2016 1:50:22 PM

If there is a single industry that creates a disproportionate share of the challenges, claims and disputes we see at my collection agency, it’s construction.

There are a multitude of reasons for this. Few industries face a similar number of variables in terms of weather, labour availability, site conditions and a miscellany of other unforeseen impacts. Often there is a panic to prepare the scope of work and contract, leading to gaps you could drive a backhoe through. 

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Topics: Debt Collection

9 Small Business Debt Collection Tips to Get Paid Faster

Posted by Brian Summerfelt on Oct 3, 2016 7:30:00 AM

From following up sales leads to putting out fires, as a small business owner you’ve got a million things to do – and never nearly enough time to do them all. If you’re like most, chasing debt is low on the list of your favourite tasks to do.

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Topics: Debt Collection

Collecting Debt in Canada’s Northern Territories: It’s About Respect

Posted by Brian Summerfelt on Sep 7, 2016 2:18:14 PM

With MetCredit’s VP Business Development Dave Hopkyns on his regular northern Canada tour for client visits as well as the Opportunities North 2016 conference, I found myself reflecting on what the north means to me. And in fact, it means a lot.

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Topics: Debt Collection

3 Unforgivable Debt Collection Mistakes You’re Making Now

Posted by Brian Summerfelt on Aug 10, 2016 3:23:05 PM

We all make mistakes. Some are just worse than others.

In debt collection, there are three big failures we see every day, and they cost businesses a ton of money. What makes them unforgivable is that every one is quite easily prevented.

Here are The Unforgivable Three, and what you can do to avoid them – starting now.

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Topics: Debt Collection, Insider Tips

Why So Many U.S. Businesses Fail in Canada

Posted by Brian Summerfelt on Jul 19, 2016 3:28:11 PM

The colossal failure of Target in Canada shocked a lot of people, including many business analysts. In just 22 months, the $70-billion U.S. retail giant opened – and closed 133 stores across the country. 

That it happened so quickly signified how, despite many similarities between our two countries, Canadians are much more than unarmed Americans with healthcare.

Recent bankrupted Canadian expansions include Wal-Mart's Sam's Club, K-Mart, Radio Shack, Linens 'N' Things, and Sony Stores. And Best Buy, Sears Canada and others are teetering on the edge after deep cuts.

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Topics: Debt Collection

How a Canada Post Lockout Will Harm Your Business

Posted by Brian Summerfelt on Jul 5, 2016 11:49:57 AM

Despite that it’s probably the worst thing Canada Post and its employees could do to themselves, a lockout is looming large. 

For many businesses, the impacts will be crippling. If yours is one that still depends on the regular delivery of payments by mail, be prepared for cash flow to hit a brick wall. According to the Canadian Federation of Independent Businesses (CFIB), more than 98 percent of its members still use postal mail.

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Topics: Debt Collection

Introducing Credit Reporting to 3 Specialized Regional Credit Bureaus

Posted by Brian Summerfelt on Jun 21, 2016 10:29:20 AM



For many years, MetCredit has provided credit reporting to the three national Canadian agencies: TransunionEquifax, and Dun & Bradstreet.

Credit bureau reporting is an important privilege for a collection agency – although not all invest the money and effort required. Those of us who do gain the ability to quickly and directly impact the credit rating of debtors who fail to honour their commitments – and to update that report when the credit grantor is paid in full. The “Big 3” are highly effective at what they do, but tend to focus mainly on credit scoring and do not offer in-depth coverage and specialized reporting needed by major industries, especially during volatile times.

That’s why I’m pleased to announce that MetCredit is now directly connected with the 3 regional credit reporting agencies: LumbermensCredifax Atlantic and Sterling Credit

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Topics: Debt Collection

When Time Runs Out On Debt Collection: Understanding Statutes of Limitations

Posted by Brian Summerfelt on Jun 13, 2016 1:11:03 PM

In debt collection, we constantly remind clients that time is the enemy. With every month that passes, your chances of collecting an overdue debt become substantially smaller

But at a certain point, you (or your collection agency) completely lose the entitlement to take legal action for the money that’s owed to you. That means the debt can still be posted to the credit bureaus and affect the debtor’s credit rating, but you can no longer sue for a legal judgment. We call this “statute barred” debt, and it’s essentially worthless.
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Topics: Debt Collection

Collecting Debt in Tough Times: the Role of Emotional Intelligence

Posted by Brian Summerfelt on Jun 7, 2016 11:05:59 AM

Debt collection is never an easy business. A slow economy makes it harder still, and when disaster strikes, urgency and sensitivity rise to dangerous new levels.

Take what is happening in Alberta right now. For two years, the province’s economy had been crippled by low oil prices, the brunt of which was felt in the city of Fort McMurray, source of more than half of Canada’s total oil revenue.

Then “The Beast” struck.

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Topics: Debt Collection, Business Strategy

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