MADISON, Wis. (5/30/08)--Experts agree that the best strategies for credit collections focus on the process rather than the numbers. Establishing a strong rapport with members, nurturing trust, communicating with respect, and working toward a payment solution is preferable to being concerned only with numbers. Specific process-focused collections strategies are offered in a new best practices report from the Credit Union National Association (CUNA). As the economy struggles and delinquencies rise, Credit Union Magazine Best Practices: Collections the Credit Union Way describes the strategies of eight credit unions for weathering the economic storm. These credit unions--ranging from $23 million to $3 billion in assets--collectively recovered nearly $2.7 million in charge-offs and average a 25.7% recovery rate. Collectors who treat members with compassion and who help craft real solutions to payment problems are the ones who will be paid first when members’ finances improve, said Craig Sacia, manager of credit services at the $542 million asset Altra FCU in LaCrosse, Wis. “If we’re the ones showing them we’re concerned for their well-being, we’re going to make a friend for life if we turn their situation around,” Sacia said. “We want to be the one creditor they hold on to after the storm passes. And if they think we’re nasty to work with, what are our chances of being the last creditor standing?” Best practices reports on succession planning, serving members of modest means, growing youth membership, business services providers, consumer lending, credit counseling, disaster recovery, risk-based lending, and more also are available. For more information, use the link.