The face value of business-to-business accounts placed in collections totaled $3.6 billion in the fourth quarter ended Dec. 31, up nearly 3.4% from $3.5 billion in the third quarter, according to the Commercial Collection Agency Association, which tracks accounts placed with its members. The total face value increase was an estimated $119.3 million.

The fourth quarter number is down approximately 22.1% from more than $4.6 billion placed in Q4 2009. That year-to-year decrease is likely a reflection of the slow economic recovery. Wholesale sales and other commercial transactions are improving, but they are not doing so at a rapid rate.

Commercial collectors saw a 5.5% drop in the number of accounts placed in collection in the fourth quarter, dropping to approximately 1.9 million. Total accounts placed are still down 25.7% from the estimated 2.5 million accounts in collection Q4 2009.

CCAA is a group of 115 commercial collection agencies certified by the Commercial Law League of America (CLLA). They are involved in commercial collections or business-to-business collections, handling about 65% of the commercial accounts placed for collection in the U.S. CLLA is the nation’s oldest creditors’ rights organization, founded in 1895.

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