Our Approach to Commercial Collections

Our Process, Rates & Remittance Policies

Since 2005, Richard James & Associates has provided a range of financial recovery and commercial collections services to clients across the country. After over 20 years experience in the collections industry, our founder branched off to start his own firm, taking with him the best commercial collections agents and client service personnel. Our collection agency in Vancouver, WA is centered around providing clients with superior collections services, fast turn around time, and quality support services.

Our unmistakable quality is we put our skills and experience to use in every avenue of your financial recovery process. With our team of professional collectors, national network of collection attorneys and coalition of private investigators, we will work to minimize your losses on even the toughest accounts.

We have identified the 3 distinct stages all debtor companies go through, and will help you identify where your clients rest on the scale. Together, we will work with you to recognize if your clients are experiencing hard times, and if receiving payment is possible.

3 Stages of a Debtor

Stage 1

  • Customer wants to make a payment on their bill
  • Customer claims “check is in the mail” when it isn’t
  • It takes several calls to the debtor before a response

Stage 2

  • Debtor company begins to prioritize who they must pay to who they need to pay and then down to they won’t pay.

Note: This is the optimal time to utilize an agency as a debtor still has options to pay. Our job is to make paying you their #1 priority.

Stage 3

  • Debtor company can’t pay anything to anyone at all.
  • Rumors of possibly filing for bankruptcy protection or going out of business are rampant in the industry.
  • Stops making excuses
  • Simply says, “I can’t pay you”
  • Partial payment stop

Note: At this point the debt is NOT collectible and the use of a collection agency has long passed.

Once we have determined what stage your clients are on, we will work with you to create a customized collections plan. We take two distinct approaches to commercial debt collection. See below for details.

Service Partner / Soft Audit Approach

This approach is best used with sensitive customers who need a gentle push in order to pay your invoice. Our team will position itself as a receiving auditing company, rather than a collections agency. Our skilled and experienced customer service and collection personnel will make initial contact with the customer via phone. From there, we will focus on identifying and resolving legitimate disputes or overcoming objections and collecting the balance in full. The team at Richard James & Associates with identify and work to separate customer service problems from collections issues and take steps to resolve each one. The joint focus on this approach is collecting the past due balance while maintaining an ongoing relationship with the customer. This is the better approach if you are looking to retain your customer and maintain a working business relationship.

Aggressive Approach

Our aggressive approach is considered one of the most aggressive in the collections industry. Other agencies try and persuade the debtor into paying by use of letters and phone calls. Our team intimidates debtors by escalating the collections process beyond what other agencies do. We utilize a network of private investigators in our process, and have access to a network of local collection attorneys. This helps escalate the collections process and localize our efforts. The use of private investigators coupled with local attorneys means additional pressure on the debtor, and helps in the extraction of whatever money the debtor has.

We use all of these tools along with our collection talent to help you receive the highest rate of return. Our collections agents have on average a minimum of 10 years commercial collection agency experience. In addition, they have no more than 150 accounts in their files, so each and every claim is worked diligently. We conduct a full investigation on the debtor company which includes talking to the debtors’ vendors, suppliers, landlord and even their banker. This investigation creates an impression of a “cast of thousands” against the debtor company, and pressures them into paying what they owe.

Our Rates

The services offered by Richard James & Associates are meant to be an extension of your in-house efforts, not a duplication of them. All cost and fees associated with utilizing private investigators, attorneys and asset and liability investigations are covered by RJA.

Rates on individual placements are:

  • 33% - Accounts aged less than 365 days, (1 year) with a working phone number and still in business.
  • 50% - Accounts aged over 365 days (1 year) and/or accounts that have gone out of business. This rate also applies to second placements and judgments.

RJA offers preferred rates. Ask your account representative for further details.


Richard James and Associates is unique within the collection industry in that we pay our clients on a weekly basis. Once we receive payment from the debtor and the debtor's funds have aged for 2 weeks, Richard James and Associates will mail a check to you the following Friday. By having such a quick remit policy, you are able to enjoy a faster revenue return cycle.


RJA’s goal is to limit the amount of claims that go to litigation. If legal action is necessary, RJA is committed to providing you the lowest cost possible to take your case all the way through execution of judgment. We do this by:

  • Not charging legal management fees
  • Reducing the legal cost by only charging filing fees and other necessary cost
  • Utilizing a network of collection attorneys throughout the country

Trusted Commercial Debt Collection Since 2005

The team of collections agents here at Richard James & Associates is dedicated to providing the best financial recovery and commercial collections services in Vancouver, WA and across the United States and Canada. We are proud to have over 100+ years of experience in commercial collections, and are committed to helping you balance and maintain your accounts receivable.

For more information about our process, our collections services or for general questions, please contact us toll-free at 877-816-0242 today.

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