National SOC Month

Daily Debt News

BCFP Advisory Council to Discuss Rulemaking

ACA International

The Bureau of Consumer Financial Protection’s Request for Information process about several of its functions is ongoing and next week the Community Bank Advisory Council will discuss some of the requests – including rulemaking processes, debt collection and complaint reporting. The council’s May 24 meeting features introductory remarks from Acting Director Mick Mulvaney at 9 a.m. Eastern followed by discussions about the Request for Information process initiated under Mulvaney’s interim leadership in January. The opportunity to comment on the bureau’s public reporting processes of consumer complaint information remains open through June 4 and comments on the rulemaking processes are due June...

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The Bottom Line

Collection Agency Advisor

Interviewing the Next Top Gun

Sam Eidson

As we all know, hiring employees is an expense. While it’s far more cost effective to retain and develop whom we have, turnover and growth make hiring new employees a necessity. Implementing a formal interview process allows an organization to be selective when searching for their next successful collector. Finding the right fit to join your team is important to any organization no matter the industry. Today we are going to discuss a few of the things we do to separate us from our competitors. Being prepared prior to interviewing candidates is a must. Not only are we interviewing the...

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Feature Stories

The Changing Landscape of Commercial Collectors

Bob Ingold

I started in this field in 1979, those were known as the glory years. Plenty of business and all creditors wanted was money collected and manual written reports explaining circumstances of the debtor. We would spend Monday through Thursday calling customers and Friday reporting on our portfolio. As for legal accounts, costs were small, credit managers would invest years trying to collect $1,200 through the legal system. Rates were non-negotiable. 25/20 was the norm and usually 50% for small balances. As for legal matters, the Commercial Law League Rates were the gold standard. Very seldom did a client ask for...

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Cover Stories

Developing Talent in Government Collections

Joshua Fluegel

Anyone who has worked in both the government and private sectors knows how much they contrast. Survival in government collections requires a great deal of training so accounts receivable professionals may use the same language and business practices as their government counterparts. No easy feat. This issue shines the Agency Spotlight on Credit Collection Partners and ask its president, Rick Bonitzer, what they have done to train and collect the way the Man does. How did you get started in collections? It was part of relocating my family from the Chicago area down to central Illinois roughly seven years ago. CCP was a...

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Collection Industry Advisor

5 Things You Need for Government Collections

Nick Jarman

Government collections can be vastly different than traditional collections as compared to accounts such as financial services, telecom, or utilities. Namely, government or municipality debt is owed indefinitely with no statute of limitations and the debts are not dischargeable in bankruptcy. There are several key elements that need to be taken into consideration when collecting on government debts. It consists of knowing the data elements, segmentation, training, integration and data reporting. Data Elements First, it is important to know and understand the data elements of the debts that are coming across the system and eventually to the collector’s desk. A couple things...

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Compliance Advisor

“Reasonable Belief” Applied to Credit Repair Organizations’ …

Debra J. Ciskey

You have seen them by the binful, no doubt, if you are a data furnisher to credit reporting agencies. The nearly identical envelopes containing nearly identical disputes from consumers, written in such archaic language you would think they were written sometime early in the last century. Language such as: “data dispatched by our company” and “may evince an intention” and my favorite which is used frequently, “may be contained with visà- vis that data. . .” And, interestingly, many seem to be signed by the same hand. The cherry on top is the sender’s use of presorted first class postage...

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Skip Tracing Advisor

The Origin of the Cybertracker

Ron Brown

In the process of instructing men and women across the United States and Canada I have found there are three distinct and readily identifiable groups: cybertrackers, skip tracers and skip guessers. In this series I would like to address the traits and recognition flags of each group and look at the advantages and disadvantages associated with each group. First let’s explore the cybertracker and look at its origin. Several years back I was contracted to instruct an offshore service company’s select group of employees in the art and science of skip tracing. I was assured the selection process for this group included...

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Benchmark Advisor

Creating a Corporate Legacy

Harry A. Strausser III

The collections industry has a long history. From the beginning of the concept of the extension of credit hundreds of years ago, this is an industry that has grown and changed dramatically. Over the last century, with the exponential growth of credit, the first and third-party debt collection industry has exploded and players in the market continually leverage new and exciting technologies to facilitate the process. Healthy bottom lines are important but developing a compliant culture is at the very foundation of any reputable ARM participant. Since selling my firm in May of 2017, I have had much time to reflect...

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Legal Collection Advisor

Benefits of Legal Debt Collection on the Nation’s Economy

Michael L. Starzec

The old cliché relating to elected officials is that “all politics are local.” However, as our industry has learned with CFPB consent decrees and regulation by federal litigation, that adage seemed to have lost its meaning. Yet, Mike Mulvaney’s appointment and his recently leaked memo where he stated a legal truism, i.e. that “the people regulated should have the right to know what the rules are before being charged with breaking them…” it seemed that era was passing. In fact, even the recent PHH v. CFPB ruling which found the CFPB constitutional also found Cordray exceeded his authority and therefore...

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Technology Advisor

Rewarding Telecom Consumers to Entice Payments

Sam Edens

Great opportunities for agencies to get into the telecom market remain. The continued growth of telecommunications providers combined with loosely defined regulation in the industry has introduced a noteworthy amount of debt. Fierce competition among providers to retain customers can be costly and will likely lead to a write-off when the customer becomes uncooperative with the provider. Industry competition also makes it easier, and often more economical, for customers to switch providers. For the provider, excellent customer service and availability to the newest offerings in the industry will often result in customer loyalty, even when competing providers are offering lower...

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Checklists & Training Tools

11 Strategies to Improve the Science of Skip Tracing

Jason Horsley

Skip tracing is part art and part science. The science involves leveraging technology. I’d like to share 11 strategies to improve how you use technology to improve the science side of skip tracing. Utilizing skip trace technology is a business- growth engine because it takes care of “easy” day-to-day activities like phone number identification and change of address, while at the same time working harder to solve overarching skip trace challenges like optimizing allocation of resources. You want to stay relevant to your customers so that your business grows despite the jungle of compliance regulations that you wade through every day...

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Collection Education Exams

March/April 2018

Collection Advisor

The importance of keeping abreast of new developments in regulation, technology and collection techniques cannot be overstated. The following Collection Education Exam is a quick way of reviewing the information...