We recently caught up with our Associate Steve Rose about his work as a Collections Manager at Escalate, what his typical working day looks like, and his fondness for WWE wrestling…
Many people sadly see the Debt Recovery industry as the “bad guys” however, I can safely say that it’s simply not the case.
You recently celebrated your first 12 months working for Escalate – how has the past year been for you, especially adapting to remote working?
Starting a new role on the eve of a global pandemic was far from ideal however, in the two weeks working from the office before the national lockdown, I was pleased that I could meet with all of my colleagues and get to grips with the system.
Thankfully, Escalate was already set up for remote working which made it a seamless transition. A new case management system was introduced at the beginning of 2020, which allows for access from anywhere in the world and ensures that all team members can sufficiently access case files, review notes and manage costs seamlessly. We also have weekly team meetings to discuss the progress of ongoing cases, so the delivery of our service has been consistent throughout the whole lockdown period, meaning that we’ve benefited from absolutely no downtime whatsoever.
Working full time at home with a newborn baby and a naughty dog (not sure which was more challenging), whilst having daily Zoom meetings was an interesting experience to say the least.I do feel that this whole experience has made me more resilient and adaptive to change, which can only be a positive.
Tell us about your career path… you started your career as a Debt Recovery Administrator, how did you choose this field of work?
I would love to say that I had dreamt of a career in Debt Recovery from childhood, but sadly I didn’t have such foresight! I knew from my mid-teens that I didn’t want to go to university, nor was I particularly a “hands-on” person when it came to DIY. I’d always had a natural interest in business but wasn’t quite sure where that would take me. After leaving Sixth Form, in 2005 I was given the opportunity to work in the Debt Recovery industry and I haven’t looked back since!
Can you describe what a typical working day at Escalate involves?
An average day consists of working through a list of matters that I’m involved with to ensure everything is up to date in line with our projections. It also tends to include various conversations with our partner firms, referrers and our mutual clients. The collaborative approach that Escalate adopts also allows for time to speak to colleagues on their matters, so that we can work together to find the best resolution on our respective cases we’re all handling.
Are there any Escalate cases you’ve dealt with that particularly stand out to you?
I’ve worked on numerous cases of interest, both large and small. Some of the ones that stand out for me personally are those combative debtors or legal representatives who have been resistant to reaching a resolution after extensive pre-litigation correspondence, who have ultimately paid the price in costs when we’ve been forced to litigate as a last resort. Taking no particular satisfaction to their misfortune, I’m more hopeful that they’ll take the experience of dealing with Escalate and use it to improve how they handle legal matters in the future.
The urgency for businesses to proactively chase debts has somewhat been eclipsed by their desire to keep hold of their existing customers at all costs.
What aspect of the job has brought you most satisfaction?
Many people sadly see the Debt Recovery industry as the “bad guys” however, having worked across several firms over the last 16 years I can safely say that it’s simply not the case. I’ve helped countless small business owners recover money from debtors, that has resulted in saving people’s jobs and protecting their livelihoods. There are always two sides to every story and unfortunately not all people and businesses pay their suppliers on time. The knock-on effect of this can be disastrous for a business of any size, so helping to improve their cash flow and collections has always felt rewarding.
What do you think the field of debt recovery will look like over the next 12 months – have you got any predictions or goals that you’d like to share?
I think we’ll see a real surge in the usage of Debt Collection Agencies and Law Firms over the next 12 months, once the Government support schemes come to a natural conclusion. The urgency for businesses to proactively chase debts has somewhat been eclipsed by their desire to keep hold of their existing customers at all costs, irrespective of whether those customers are paying their bills on time. This has created something of a ticking time bomb for some businesses who may find themselves owed extremely large sums of money, and clamouring for help from whomever is able to provide it.
How is Escalate working with Debt Collection Agencies currently?
We’re continuing to expand our reach with the introduction of several DCA’s in Q1 & Q2 of 2021, with our aim to expand this referral network even further. Coming from that environment, I am uniquely placed to see how a service like ours can really make a difference to how a DCA can market their services to prospective clients, enabling them to go out and win more work and utilising those services provided by Escalate.
What is your life outside of work like?
I live on the Wirral with my wife, daughter and our Pugalier, Archie. We’re members of Chester Zoo, so we’re very much looking forward to the lockdown restrictions being lifted so we can go for a few days out in the sun over the summer. I’m also an avid football fan, having a season ticket for Tranmere Rovers (for my sins) and somewhat more bizarrely, a follower of WWE wrestling both in the UK and the USA. The latter having allowed me to visit New York, New Jersey, Texas & Florida over the last few years, so I shall look forward to future trips once I’m able to do so.
If your business has been affected by any of the issues raised, or if you need some advice on tackling a commercial dispute or late payment, please get in touch with us or one of our partner firms.
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