Collection of unpaid care home fees
Collection of Unpaid Care Home Fees
The sad fact of modern-day life is that times are tough financially for everyone. In this kind of scenario, it is the most vulnerable in society that can be hit the hardest.
The demand for the collection of unpaid care home fees is on the increase.
As with any industry, the costs of providing good care services is rising, This rise does not match the payments from state pensions in some cases. This leaves many people in a position where they need to rely on a family member to help pay their costs.
By 2040, it is estimated that over 25% of the UK population will be over 65 years of age. It is natural to assume that the demand in the care home industry will become ever greater.
This rising demand will inevitably result in a noticeable increase in unpaid care home fees. In many cases, this can be resolved with a simple conversation, ending the matter amicably. In other cases, there will be a need to take action to collect care home fees.
Some issues can develop as a result of the sensitivity of the debt in question.
When an elderly person falls behind with their care home fees, chasing payment from them or relatives can feel really awkward.
However, in the current financial climate, all businesses including care homes are under pressure to ensure that their invoices are paid.
Local councils and local authorities continue to reduce the contribution they make to provide adequate care for the elderly. As a result, a growing number of residents may experience financial difficulty. This obviously leads to late invoices and the problem of broaching this sensitive subject.
Add to this an indeterminate percentage of those people who simply won’t pay and it can add up to a lot.
Failure to manage these debts leads to serious shortfalls if it is allowed to continue for too long. Care home fees debt collection is on the rise in the UK so it is not an isolated matter. Taking pragmatic action to recover unpaid fees is a sensible move.
For people living in care homes, there are options available. A way to fund or avoid paying care fees is by the use of equity release.
This example of an equity release calculator is a great way to see what is available.
Collection of Unpaid Care Home Fees – Work Smart
The difference between profitability and going out of business is a compelling enough reason to act. The smart action is to get a specialist debt assistant from a professional.
A reputable debt collection agency can help you deal with this issue and similarly sensitive debts, such as funeral costs.
Your care home has to be sustainable in terms of meeting its overheads and liabilities. The non-payment of fees are detrimental to that so you need to take action or face financial ruin.
Many care homes have failed to take a professional course of action, those care homes are no longer in operation. The collection of unpaid care home fees is critical to ensure sustainability.
If your clients do not pay their care home fees, you will be unable to fulfil your own financial obligations. Home costs and care costs will only ever rise, if your bank account is at risk it can cause a great number of problems.
Working on your behalf, a debt collection agency can make contact with the debtor in a friendly and professional way. They will absolutely take the feelings of all parties into consideration.
There are agencies that have specialist expertise in sensitive debt recovery that will give you a better chance of being successful.
This can be offset by late payment terms and conditions put in place to protect you.
It pays to think smart and the smart move is professional, specialised debt collection.
Resolving Debt in Care Homes
When confronted with unpaid care home fees, the best option is to instruct a professional debt collection agency. As mentioned above, a professional debt collector will be able to resolve the issue in a timely manner. They will also make sure that all parties are satisfied with the outcome.
An agency such as Frontline Collections will understand the sensitive nature of debt in this sector. As such, they will take every appropriate step to ensure that the matter is handled with the utmost care and attention.
Many care homes can take some steps to aid in the debt collection process. We asked our debt recovery agents what the best ways in which a care home could manage their unpaid fees.
Prepare Robust Payment Terms and Conditions
The best way to deal with debt is to take steps to ensure that it does not occur, to begin with. It is common for many businesses, care homes included, to create payment terms. Documents such as these help a client to understand what their payment obligations are, as well as clarifying any queries they might have.
It is always better to outline all potential costs to a new client before beginning a new agreement. When you are first speaking to a new client, you should inform them of all information regarding payments. This includes amounts, due dates and cost increases if there are any.
For care homes, it is good for the client to understand what costs are included in their agreement. This way, they can ensure that they receive the best care possible. You should also ensure to add details on circumstances where a client may not be able to pay the full amount.
Working with the client at this early stage to clarify payment can help to manage expectations and prevent debt from occurring. It is always good to get the payment terms agreed by a client in the form of a signature. If the client is happy with the agreement, they will be aware of their own obligations.
Make it as Easy as Possible for Clients to Pay
In some cases, a client may have fallen on hard times and so may not be able to pay the full amount of their fees. If this happens, it is often better to work with the client in order to arrange a way that can help them pay their fees in a way that helps them.
Performing a financial assessment to determine what the client can afford is a good first step. One solution may be to begin a repayment plan to help them pay their fees in a way that suits their financial circumstances.
This can be an effective way to deal with the sensitive issue of care home fees amicably.
Send the Client a Payment Reminder
Often, you may need to notify the client that their payment is overdue. In many cases, this is enough to secure a payment, as some people may have simply forgotten to pay. This is most common with newer clients that are not familiar with how your payment system works.
It is best to send a payment reminder in a way that can be recorded. For instance, royal mail provides a recorded delivery service that logs when a letter has been sent and signed for by its recipient. It should be both polite and professional in tone, and clearly convey that a payment is overdue.
Sending payment reminders can be an effective method of debt recovery that care homes can perform themselves. However, a certain portion of your debtors will still aim to withhold payment. If this is the case, it is important to choose a cutoff point for your chasing, as it can become too costly to do this over time.
Help with the Collection of Unpaid Care Home Fees
If your care home needs assistance with unpaid fees, our debt collection experts are ready to help.
Frontline Collections is regarded as the UK’s leader in private debt collection. If you have unpaid care home fees speak to us today for expert help.