With the credit and collection industry facing several challenges in
1. What are the biggest changes you've seen during your 18 years in the industry?
Clearly, the maturation of our industry Twenty years ago, with a little capital, hard work and a few clients in hand, you could start an agency. Today, the knowledge base required to mange the regulatory and compliance obstacles are overwhelming, not to mention the medical industry consolidation leaving fewer small potential clients for a start-up to acquire as part of a client base.
Additionally, technology has had a significant impact on every industry but particularly the accounts receivable management industry Data storage, software applications, dialers and the like have all increased the efficiencies of the job. Unfortunately, I don't think those efficiencies have compensated for the increased regulatory and compliance burden.
2. Would you say those are top challenges facing the collection industry today?
Without question. I think any agency owner will tell you that the multitude of federal, state and now sometimes even municipal regulations – many of which differ and some of which even conflict – present a very costly and inefficient business environment. On top ofthat, the rapid growth of Fair Debt Collection Practices Act litigation makes it very difficult to remain in the black.
3. You'd like to see consumers' rights diminished with regard to private rights of action?
No. What I'd like to see is a regulatory environment that creates bright lines of compliance so that, as an honest actor, I can be sure that by doing things the right way, I won't be penalized. The environment we face today is the complete opposite. That's not good for businesses, and it's not good for consumers either.
4. Are there any bright spots?
It's difficult to see any right now, but I would point to some green shoots with regard to the economy. I think when the economy struggles, it makes what we do tougher. When the economy is strong, there is a greater expectation of personal responsibility and that helps our cause.
5. Where do you see the industry heading over the next 10 years?
That's a good question. I think you'll likely see greater compliance and fewer complaints. Again, for one, I think the economy will improve. And also, I think the increased regulatory authority by the new
The three issues that we have been focused on are: engaging with the new
7. How do you think ACA has reacted to all the activity at the federal level?
I think it's clear that ACA outfights its weight class. We have been recognized by the FTC as a helpful industry participant, we are heavily engaged with and known by
8. What are the most critical steps the association must still make to preserve our industry's future viability?
Bright line legal compliance. We must rid ourselves of the lawsuits and high insurance costs, and the only way to do that is to have a clear and uniform compliance standard.
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