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Breaking News

Hunstein Decision Not Final for All Other Circuit Courts Pending Possible R…

Steel Rose

The 11th Circuit Court of Appeals is withholding issuance of the mandate in Hunstein v. Preferred Collection and Management Services, Inc.as of June 14, 2021. Therefore the Hunstein Decision is not final in all other circuit courts pending all 12 of the 11th circuit judges determining if they will rehear the case...

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The Bottom Line

Product Spotlight

CSS Product Spotlight

Henry Gardner

CSS, Inc., a leading provider of enterprise class accounts receivable management and financial software offers a broad portfolio of platforms & solutions. CSS enables companies to transition their legacy revenue & payment management systems to a modern, cognitive, centralized, cloud-based Financial Ecosystem®. CSS may be utilized to provide business financial...

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Skip Tracing Advisor

Developing a Network of Closed Sources by Ron Brown, Skip Tr…

Ron Brown

As we begin this article it is very important that the professional tracer clearly understand what constitutes a “CLOSED SOURCE”, the value of a closed source network and the obligation due to each closed source. Definition: CLOSED SOURCE… sources of information with restricted access and information available only through mutual information...

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Collection Software Roundtables

Shielding Collectors From TCPA and FDCPA Violations

Joshua Fluegel

The demands of regulators lead collection professionals to collect debt with the credo of “as little contact with the consumer as possible.” Every eliminated encounter with a consumer while the payment is still being collected is one less chance for a TCPA or FDCPA violation. For this reason many accounts...

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Feature Stories

Hunstein on Rehearing – Revisiting Article III Standing in t…

Eve Cann and Jonathan Green

On April 21, 2021, the Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals issued its decision in Richard Hunstein v. Preferred Collection and Management Services, Inc., and potentially created a new claim under the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) – ruling that a debt collector's sharing of information with a vendor is a violation...

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Collection Agency Advisor

The Secret to Excelling in Profit AND Performance

Gordon C. Beck III

To each their own. That’s what I keep telling myself when discussing with my competitors what their strategy is to run and operate a successful collection agency. Everyone’s outlook is different, but the same. Sure, everyone wants to be a top agency, that’s what everyone is supposed to say. But...

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Legal Collection Advisor

Executive Orders Impacting Collections

Michael Starzec

No, this is not a review of the 1996 thriller starring Kurt Russell, Halle Berry and Steven Seagal but it does focus on the prestige of the word “Executive.”   At hotels and sports arenas, you want the executive suite. In Illinois, at least a 1,000 corporations integrate “executive” into their...

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Collection Industry Advisor

3 Options to Offer During Tax Season

Nick Jarman

When it comes to collecting debt, tax season is without argument the most profitable season of the year. Tax season starts at the beginning of February and wraps up in early May. February generally sees the highest return and slightly tapers off each month thereafter. One issue that can ease...

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Compliance Advisor

PCI Compliance, SOC, and HITRUST

Debra J. Ciskey

With the June, 2019, disclosure of a data breach at AMCA looming large in the rearview mirror, debt collectors both large and small are scrambling to verify the security of their consumer portals and their consumer information in general. With numerous vendors and auditors serving the industry in this key...

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Collectors Working from Home: Is that Remotely Possible?

  • Written by Harry Strausser

strausser harryOver the years, when I presented programs on technology and the impact it has had on the ARM industry, I have always found a lot of entertaining stories and examples to use underscoring how far we have come. The interesting dynamic with technological change is that we quickly forget how we used to do that and adapt to the new way of doing business. We might go down kicking and screaming about the change as some are not open adopters but eventually the new revelation becomes the norm and we brace ourselves for the next wave. And what waves there have been.

During this unprecedented time with the Covid pandemic, organizations have been forced to stretch their comfort levels in extraordinary ways. Those companies that had already embraced a remote workforce were in a prime position to adapt quickly and smoothly. Those that had not explored that culture had to scramble to acquire the equipment, software and telecommunications platforms necessitated for this kind of transition. Six months ago, no one could have predicted the wave of change necessary for ARM industry players to stay in the game. The good news is that most firms are winning this game.

 It is common in business for leadership to put substantive change on hold until it is the right time. We have so many competing priorities and challenges with which to contend. We go from needs that are on the back burner to an urgent requirement for change to allow our organizations to keep the doors open. When states mandated the closure of non-essential businesses, we added one more layer of challenge to what is already an industry riddled with regulatory, litigious and financial dynamics that keep owners and leaders on their toes. What we have learned is, it is possible to conduct business in the midst of a pandemic and the consumer public still wants to pay their bills. Most collectors are busy!

Think of how we manage change and new direction in our personal lives. When we experience the misfortune of being burglarized, we then invest in a security system for our home. When a hurricane passes through our region and we lose power for 2 weeks we then purchase a home generator. When we receive a reprimand from our doctor that we need to lose 40 pounds, we go on a diet. Something motivates our decisions and it is often due to the discomfort we feel.

It was George Bernard Shaw who said, “Progress is impossible without change, and those who cannot change their minds cannot change anything.” What we need to do as an industry is strategically predict the change needed to keep our businesses healthy and successful. Sometimes it takes a crisis: a pandemic. We need to look forward and envision what we do in a new light and leave the old conventions of business behind us. Socrates proclaimed, “The secret of change is to focus all of your energy, not on fighting the old but on building the new.” The new day has arrived.

         So, YES, it is more than remotely possible for collectors to work from home. In fact, it is hugely successful. Many, in fact, are stunned at how effectively collectors can perform while using their homes as an office. Today, telephony software allows us to track, and record calls. Dialers can still manage the call flow. Video devices display the collector’s workspace. Virtual Private Networks allow for the office connectivity we require to work on collection platforms. Software tracks keystrokes.

         My hope is that our readers are finding success during these unpredictable times. Open your minds and focus on what we CAN do to keep moving forward despite the fact that we are continually being told what we CAN’T do. Conduct business differently. Think creatively. Survive instinctively. The other side of our challenges tomorrow will be determined by the decisions we make today!        

         We continually welcome thoughts and best practices from our readers. Feel free to send us your feedback for possible inclusion in a future column.

Harry can be reached at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. and at 570-336-7056.