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How Government Agencies are Better Serving Collections

“Hey, Rich – it’s Edward Jacobs returning your call.”

“Thanks for calling back, Mr. Jacobs. I had a chance to review your case and have some good news. We can go over the details on this call, or I can send you an e-mail and you can select your preferred option via our web portal.”

“E-mail would be great, Rich; I’m in a lot of meetings this week. Also, could you send me a text reminder like last time? That was great. Glad I signed up for those.”

“Perfect. Look forward to that text and e-mail, and we can go from there. And as always – just pick up the phone if you need to talk, I’ll be your designated point of contact.”

“Thanks. I really appreciate the help. Considering the situation, you’re making my life easier – it’s great working with just one agent and not having to tell my story to multiple people.”

Sound familiar? The answer may surprise you. Yes, it’s a customer service call. But it’s not what you think – Rich is a debt collector for a government agency, while Mr. Jacobs owes back taxes on some of the multiple properties he owns.

And while this specific instance is fictional, the exchange isn’t – FICO is working with several government agencies at the state and local level to improve taxpayer collections, without having to resort to tactics like screaming, threats, or worse.

One county agency connects and collects with its taxpayers every day. The Office of the Shelby County Trustee, home to more than 940,000 residents in the State of Tennessee, is challenged to resolve delinquencies with fewer resources and declining property tax values. Powered by an advanced collection system from FICO, The Office has transformed how its collectors collect – and how debtors such as parcel owners respond.

For example, the system links multiple properties to a single owner, so that one collector can work directly with a taxpayer and total dollars owed, reducing unwanted calls and debtors who have to “keep telling the same story to different people.” Also, data-based rule sets and decision trees improve workflow collection strategies such as account prioritization, segmented responses to different offers, even which resources should work which accounts. The Office has implemented additional communication channels, with full consent from those taxpayers who desire to opt-in, to help resolve debt in a mutually beneficial way – to the tune of a 548% return on investment.

State and local collectors are now equipped to generate better outcomes, while intelligent, flexible, and rules-driven payment options are making taxpayers less hesitant to resolve debts quickly. It’s a win-win for The Office.

The whole story is available at

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