Data security and identity theft are prominent topics for any industry these days. For collection agencies, providing data security is one of the important things we can do to provide peace of mind for our clients. It is on that front that some significant news came on a national level this week.
The Affiliated Group Blog
In debt collections, the conversations between consumers and collectors must be two-way conversations. Both parties need to listen so that everybody is informed about the facts of the situation and what the process will be.
The debt collections industry has always been under the spotlight. That has not necessarily been the case for positive reasons; typically it is an extension of the fact that people still perceive this to be an industry where collectors threaten and harass consumers into paying their debts, complete with gold chains and baseball bats.
The ALS Ice Bucket Challenge has, without question, taken over the internet in the last few weeks. As anybody with a Facebook profile can attest, people all over the country have taken video of themselves dumping ice water on themselves while nominating their friends to do the same, raising awareness, and making donations to research for ALS, or “Lou Gehrig’s Disease” as it is commonly known.
National media coverage of the debt collections industry is important and useful. When a writer for a publication like the Chicago Tribune pens a column dedicated to consumer education for those who have debts placed with a third-party agency, that has the potential to be a good thing.
On the Money section of their web site this week, Time Magazine ran an article entitled: "9 Ways to Outsmart Debt Collectors."
The approach of the article makes sense, as the Buzzfeed culture of the internet is such that people love lists and countdowns. In that sense, all this was missing was a slideshow. Unfortunately the title of the article, the headline that is worth clicking, implies that debt collections is always combative. It suggests that it is always "you vs. them" and that there are ways to fight back and get around the issue at hand.
The Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) is in the news once again, and once again the news is relevant to collection agencies.
As passed along by Patrick Lunsford of InsideArm.com, three ARM companies and Capital One came to a $75 million settlement in a recent TCPA case. That is the largest such settlement that we have ever seen.
Here is an interesting number, one that might surprise a number of people given the negative stigma that is attached to a person being sent to collections.
According to a recent report, more than 35 percent of American adults are in collections.
Patrick Lunsford of InsideArm passes along the data from the TransUnion report:
When it comes to data about litigation and lawsuits in the collections industry, it is seldom enough to look at numbers on the surface to try and determine what is actually happening in the industry. We have no choice but to dig into the nuances of the situation, to look at the context to better understand what is happening.
TAG was honored once again last week to take part in the annual Rochester Chamber Golf Event at Willow Creek Golf Course here in Rochester, MN. It was a great as expected. We thoroughly enjoyed the opportunity to connect with people and businesses from the Rochester community.
This year's theme was time travel. For our hole, the par 4 no. 4 at Willow Creek, we went all the way back to 1903 to honor the Wright Brothers and the first flight.