10 Debt Collection Call Script Samples as Per FDCPA Guidelines

Debt collection is a tricky process. Most people think it is just about making calls and demanding people to pay overdue bills. However, there is more than what meets the eye. With several guidelines to follow, calling customers for debt collection can feel like walking on a tightrope. Therefore, having a good debt collection call script sample at hand can help collection agents while conversing with debtors.

As a collection agent, it is essential to follow the FDCPA guidelines. Of course, the FDCPA guidelines are extensive. But the basic guidelines are simple. For instance, do not call the consumer before 8 AM or after 9 PM local time. Do not engage in consumer harassment or use misleading information. 

Beyond that, it is essential to follow a professional demeanor at all times. Try to keep your script positive and helpful. Write down the responses for the most common reasons people give for not making payments. If possible, ask for full repayment. If not, at least go for partial payment. And if they are not in a state to make any payment, at least get a future commitment (Promise to Pay). It can be the commitment for repayment by a specific date or a date for another call. 

Debt Collection Call Script Samples

10 Effective Debt Collection Call Script Samples

Here are ten debt collection call script samples (as per FDCPA guidelines) to help you strike a fruitful conversation with debtors. However, you can adjust these scripts as per your circumstances. 

Script 1 – Calling a customer who forgot to pay

You: Good Morning. My name is John, and I am a debt collector with XYZ Company. Am I speaking with Mary Johnson?
Mary: Yes, Mary here.
You: I am calling with regards to an overdue bill.
Mary: My apologies. I got busy and forget to pay.
You: No issues. It can happen. However, now that I have you on the phone are you in the position to make the payment now?
Mary: I am a bit busy right now. I will try to make it either today or tomorrow.
You: Not a problem. I have made a note of it in the system. We look forward to receiving it. Thank you.

Script 2 – Calling a customer who says he/she did not receive the bill

You: Good Afternoon. My name is John, and I am a debt collector with XYZ Company. Am I speaking with Mary Johnson?
Mary: Yes, Mary here.
You: I am calling with regards to an overdue bill.
Mary: My apologies. But I did not receive the bill from you yet. 
You: Apologies if that is the case. However, could you please confirm if this is your email address – abc@xyz.com?
Mary: Yes, that is right.
You: Great. Thank you for your clarification. I am sending you the bill again. But please check your spam folder, as we have sent the bill several times on the specified email id. With regards to the bill, can you please process it now over the phone?
Mary: No. I do not have access to my card. I will do it in the evening.
You: Great. I will take note of that in our system. Please make sure you process it today. Thank you for your time. 

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Script 3 – When the customer says the bill is incorrect

You: Good Morning. My name is John, and I am a debt collector with XYZ Company. Am I speaking with Mary Johnson?
Mary: Yes, Mary here.
You: I am calling with regards to an overdue bill.
Mary: I have not paid because the bill is incorrect. 
You: Okay. I am sorry to hear that the bill is incorrect. Can you please explain the problem in more detail?
Mary: (Explains the issue. If it is correct).
You: Apologies for the mistake. I am correcting the bill as we speak and will get back to you shortly.
OR
Mary: (Explains the issue. If she misunderstood).
You: Thank you for explaining the issue. However, you have misunderstood the details. (Explain the misunderstanding). I would appreciate it if you can process the bill as soon as possible. Can you make it now?
Mary: Yes.
You: Great. Looking forward to it.

Script 4 – When the customer says the bill is not approved

You: Good Morning. My name is John, and I am a debt collector with XYZ Company. Am I speaking with Mary Johnson?
Mary: Yes, Mary here.
You: I am calling with regards to an overdue bill.
Mary: Unfortunately, the supervisor has not approved the bill yet.  
You: Okay. I understand these things are out of your control. Does your supervisor have any queries regarding the bill?
Mary: Not to my knowledge. 
You: Okay. If you can look into it, I would greatly appreciate that.
Mary: The supervisor is not in the office. But I will reach out to her ASAP.
You: I appreciate that. I will check with you soon. Have a great day ahead.

Script 5 – Calling the customer for the second collection attempt

You: Good Afternoon. My name is John, and I am a debt collector with XYZ Company. Am I speaking with Mary Johnson?
Mary: Yes, Mary here.
You: I am following up on our call on date regarding the payment. Unfortunately, we have not received the payment yet from your side. Can I accept the credit card payment over the phone?
Mary: Give me a second to get the card.
You: Thank you for making the payment. Have a great day ahead.

Please note that while accepting the payment over phone, there is always a risk that the customer is not the authorized card user. It might lead to card-not-present transactions. To prevent such situations, you should take extra measures to secure transactions over the phone.

LeadSquared Collections CRM helps collection teams to access borrower details, notify agents to call, remind them if the follow-up is due, make notes in the system itself, record calls, and more. It also has a cloud calling facility to increase collection agents’ productivity.

Script 6 – When the call goes to the customer voicemail

You: Good Afternoon. My name is John, and I am a debt collector with XYZ Company. Your bill payment is past the due date. Based on our records, the total outstanding balance of $10,000 is overdue. We have tried contacting you seven times during the last two weeks.
Please call us when you get some free time. Also, let us know the status of your payment or if you have any questions. Thank you for your time and attention.

Script 7 – When the customer has already paid the bill

You: Good Afternoon. My name is John, and I am a debt collector with XYZ Company. Am I speaking with Mary Johnson?
Mary: Yes, Mary here. But why are you calling me? I have made the payment already.
You: Is that correct? Give me a second to check the payment details in the system. Do you know when you made the payment?
Mary: In the last week I believe. 
You: Okay. I see that now. Thank you for your cooperation. Have a nice day ahead.

Script 8 – When a business has an outstanding balance

Businesses often have IVR (Interactive Voice Response) systems, and you can connect with the desired department/representative by entering appropriate numbers. Many times, companies also record calls for quality and training purposes. Don’t drop off or hesitate to call in such situations. If your task is to close an outstanding balance from a business, then this debt collection call script sample can help.

*Thank you for calling XYZ company, this is a recorded line. How may I help you?*
You: Can I speak to Mary Johnson?
*After the call connects to the relevant person*
You: Good Morning. My name is John, and I am a debt collector with XYZ Company. This call is regarding an outstanding debt with your firm. We have an account in our office with your firm’s total balance of $100,000. How would you like to take care of that balance? By phone, with a check, debit, or credit card?
Mary: We can send a check by the end of this week.
You: Thank you for your cooperation. I will take a note of that in our system. Have a good day ahead.

Script 9 – When the customer is out of office

You: Good Morning. My name is John, and I am a debt collector with XYZ Company. Am I speaking with Mary Johnson? 
Mary: Hi, I am not in the office right now so I cannot make payment.
You: No problem. I understand you must be busy. We can accept card payment over the phone if that would make things easier?
Mary: No, sorry, I am driving. I should be in tomorrow. I will pay it then.
You: Thanks for that, I appreciate it. I will make a note in our system to expect payment tomorrow. Have a good day.

Script 10 – When the customer does not have enough cash to pay the bill in full.

You: Good Morning. My name is John, and I am a debt collector with XYZ Company. Am I speaking with Mary Johnson?
Mary: I don’t have the money this week. I’ll pay soon.
You: I’m sorry to hear that. How’s your business going?
Mary: (Explains the reasons for her inability to repay.)
You: I see. Thank you for sharing your concerns, and I appreciate your honesty. It sounds like you are facing some serious cash flow issues. I understand that it is tough to manage, as we are also always trying to manage our cash flow. However, I would love to keep you on as a customer. I think a payment arrangement would help us both. What do you think?Mary: What does that mean?
You: It means we agree on part payments until full settlement. That way, we can both manage our cash flow better.
Mary: Yes, we can do that. 
You: (Suggest your payment plan.) 
Mary: Okay, it sounds great!
You: Thank you for your commitment. I will make a note of it in our system, and we would be expecting your first payment due tomorrow.

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Final Thoughts

The debt collection call script samples must be friendly and flexible. Thus, allowing you to modify and adjust, as necessary. Using these debt collection call script samples, you can take a breather when calling customers for payments. However, make sure that you are following the FDCPA guidelines all the time.

To sum up, while preparing your debt collection call script, keep the following things in mind:

  • Make sure you’re talking to the right person. Collection laws prohibit lenders/collection agents from disclosing any personal details about the debt to anyone else other than the debtor.
  • Be positive while talking to the debtor and offer solutions that can help both – you and the debtor.
  • Do not hesitate to ask for full repayment in your opening call. This way, you can always work down from there. Asking when you can pay or how much can you pay will encourage the debtor to stall payments.
  • Listen to the debtor. If his/her concerns are genuine, then make a different arrangement like part-payments or extend repayment date. But get a commitment (Promise to Pay) because you need to take care of your company’s cashflows as well.
  • Document every conversation. Either you can record the conversation, or you can make notes in your Collections CRM system, but document every interaction with the debtor. It will help the lending institution to take further actions if the case looks like going towards default.

If you are looking for a software solution to digitize your collection process, then you must try LeadSquared Collection CRM. It will help you with case prioritization, day planning for collection agents, automated communications, task reminders, recovery workflows, and more.

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