We recently attended a film entitled “A
Day Without A Mexican”. It was titled a “mockumentary” and the story
took place in California where one-third of the population is of Latino
heritage. Early in the film it is established that the majority of
citizens do not know the difference between the seventy, (70) plus Latino
nationalities that reside within U.S. borders. All Latinos are considered
to be Mexican and in many cases “illegal”.
The story depicts what happens when a
“fog” surrounds the borders of California and all communication beyond
California’s borders is cut off. In addition all residents of Latino
heritage disappear. Within hours the industries and services made up of
agriculture (harvesting & distribution), construction, hospitality
(hotels, restaurants, fast food), public services (waste management) and
public transportation are all adversely affected. On a national level the
employees of the U.S. Border Patrol and Immigration & Naturalization
Service (INS) have nothing to do and are faced with the possibility of
losing their jobs. In addition the California economy plummeted with the
loss of daily revenue provided by one-third of its citizens who no longer
In the end the “Mexicans” reappear and
all of California rejoices upon their return including the Border Patrol
and INS agents much to the bewilderment of the “Mexicans” who before
their “disappearance” had been abused and maligned on a daily basis.
SO WHAT DOES THIS FILM HAVE TO DO WITH
CREDIT AND COLLECTIONS?
Well, as we contemplated this
“mockumentary” we began to think about the role of the credit
department within the organization. Credit has many functions;
identification of creditworthy customers, monitoring marginal accounts,
handling deductions and short payments, processing legal notices, updating
credit files, and the list goes on.
SO WHAT IF THERE WERE NO DEBTORS?
What if all of our customers:
their applications for credit,
tax certificates and financial statements without prodding,
disputed prices or terms,
took deductions other than discount for prompt payment and
paid within terms and/or the discount period?
What would credit professionals do without
debtors? Would they be needed by the organizations? Not only credit
professionals but also what would become of collection agencies, deduction
management firms, bankruptcy courts and oh yes, most importantly credit
Like the two-thirds of the citizens of
California depicted in the film we often criticize and complain about a
segment of our world without recognizing what the ramifications would be
without them. The fact is we are all dependent on each other for our wants
There is an old saying about being careful
what we wish for because the wish may come true. The next time we pick up
the phone to call the delinquent customer for payment, or write the
unauthorized deduction notice, we should take a moment to reflect about
what we are doing and then don’t forget to thank them.
What would we be doing if there were no one
to place a collection call too or call because they did not complete the
I wish you well.
information is provided as information only and not legal advice.
Legal advice should be obtained from a competent, licensed attorney,
in good standing with the state bar association.