Third party collections has broad sweeping benefits for consumers like Heather. The recovery of delinquent debts keeps the cost of consumer goods, services and interest rates down, and often, when debts like Heather’s have been sent to collections, there is the opportunity to negotiate the total outstanding balance, or develop a payment plan with the collection agency serving as a mediator.
Regulated by both the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), the collections industry makes in excess of one billion consumer contacts annually. And, as a proportion of the 30 million debts in collections on an annual basis, are relatively small number of consumers register formal complaints.
The Fair Debt Collections Practice Act was enacted in 1977 with the support of the industry to protect consumers from unfair and abusive collection practices. Collectors are trained to listen to what consumers say and determine if they actually have the resources to pay a past–due bill, often engaging in a problem–solving dialogue working to develop a flexible or alternate payment arrangement that works best with their specific financial situation.
In fact, multiple studies show debt collectors are leaders in successfully resolving consumer complaints. Complaints against debt collectors are down, and debt collectors still outrank other industries in complaint resolution. The Council of Better Business Bureaus 2014 Complaint and Inquiry Statistics show a dramatic decrease in the number of complaints against debt collectors. According to BBB data,consumers complained more about: cellular telephone service and supplies; telephone communications; television – cable, CATV and satellite; and auto dealers – new cars.Complaints against debt collectors also decreased 11 percent from 2013 to 2014, according to the data. The BBB data shows that 82 percent of complaints received by debt collectors in 2014 were resolved.
Furthermore, the efforts of collectors keep the prices of goods and services from rising, and the industry plays an essential role in maintaining the availability of consumer credit. Debt collectors act as a crucial bridge between creditors and consumers, helping consumers take control of their finances and helping ensure that creditors can provide more credit to the people who need it.
After falling under extremely tough times, suffering from addiction and an abusive past relationship, Heather became one of the millions of Americans who find themselves crippled with personal debt and bad credit. After working very hard to get sober and eventually putting her life and her family back on track, Heather learned her credit score and outstanding delinquent accounts were preventing her from obtaining a driver’s license and accessing a loan that she desperately needed to start a new painting business with her husband.
When Heather was contacted by Professional Credit Service (PCS) she feared the worst. But, abiding by the values PCS has pledged to uphold, the company worked patiently and compassionately with Heather to find a payment plan that worked for her, negotiating interest rates and payment schedules, communicating with her creditors on her behalf, educating her about her credit score and helping her prioritize her outstanding accounts to yield the best immediate results.
Now, nearly two years of working with the collection agency, and many payments later, Heather’s credit score has seen a significant jump. She is back on the road driving again, almost debt-free and focused on building a life for the family she has worked so hard to regain.