Collections & Non-English Speakers: Everything You Need To Know

There are laws in place to ensure non-English speakers are not taken advantage of in the collections process. Communication is key in collections, so you need to consider when a language barrier is present. Although the procedure for collecting a debt from a non-English speaker requires some extra knowledge, patience, and problem-solving, having a system like this in place can help your business!

If you are looking for a collections agency to help recover debts owed to your business, contact (link to contact page) Kinum, Inc, located in Virginia Beach, VA, today!

Statistics on Non-English Speakers In The US

According to the Migration Policy Institute (MPI), 22% of the US population (about 61.6 million people) does not speak English at home. Spanish holds a high majority of the primary language spoken, clocking in around 59% of those 62 million people. These statistics include bilingual individuals; however, the MPI goes on to state that of those non-English speakers, 41% are considered limited English speakers, meaning they speak English less than “very well.”

That translates to 25.1 million individuals with limited or no English speaking ability

Idioms & Dialects

There are five major dialects of Spanish spoken in the US. Between those five, and depending on the country or even city of origin, each dialect can be further broken down and individualized further when idioms are introduced. Because understanding these types of differences in language typically comes with a depth of knowledge of the language, it is not suggested that any non-fluent speaker makes any collection attempt of the consumer’s language.

Communication Is The Key To Collections

Collections is an industry based on verbal communication. Language is the greatest tool for a collector. Their ability to connect with the consumer is critical to a successful collection. When dealing with language barriers, it can be challenging to complete the collection in a way that is not only fair but legal.

How To Proceed

Laws regarding collections vary from state to state, so your first step should be to research the legislation that applies to you. For example, in 2020, the New York Department of Consumer Affairs updated their regulations on the topic. A law that states across the United States are adopting is that an agent must request and record the language preference of the consumer before there is an attempt to collect.

Choose A Collections Agency That Meets Your Needs

Collecting debts owed to your business is not always easy, and when you throw a language barrier on top of the whole process, it can be easy to feel overwhelmed. Between attempting to decipher collections laws in your state to ensuring everyone understands what is happening at every step in the process, it’s easy to understand why so many businesses opt to outsource their collections to a professional agency.

When looking for assistance while working with non-English speakers, research prospective agencies thoroughly to ensure they offer comprehensive services, like having a dedicated Spanish-speaking team like the one at Kinum, Inc.

They can help you make sure the debt owed to you is paid. They have the knowledge, experience, and language ability to make sure your future collections run smoothly.

If you are looking for any kind of collections assistance, contact the experts at Kinum, Inc. today!

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