A History of Debt Collection

The Debts of Babylon

The earliest record of commercial debt collection comes from ancient Babylon, around 2300 B.C. It protected debtors’ rights and allowed creditors to recoup delinquent accounts.


Colonial America:

In 17th century America, creditors used a write of attachment to ensure repayment of debts. If the debtor did not have enough property to cover the debt, his body was used as security.


The Industrial Revolution:

Larger numbers of Americans owning property created an expanding market for secured loans. Fearing the loss of their investments, creditors often aggressively foreclosed on wayward borrowers.


The Advent of Agencies:

Modern collection agencies arose in the 1980s during the savings and loan crisis. Collection agencies began purchasing delinquent accounts and negotiating with debtors.

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