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Collection industry earns reputation for helping veterans

May 24, 2012 Philip Burgess

Collection industry earns reputation for helping veterans
Debt collection agencies are often not recognized for the things they do to benefit a community. From job creation to volunteer efforts, workers in the industry do a lot to make society a better place. Lately, there has been heavy news coverage of the lengths to which agents are going to help American veterans.
 ARMing heroes Leaders in the recovery industry began the website ARMing Heroes, which veterans or enlisted service members can visit to request help when faced with overdue debts. The website also provides pages civilians can visit to donate or volunteer. The group was founded in March 2009 to help veterans and their dependents. Pay off student loans Of all people, agents trying to recover missed payments know how tough it can be to pay off a student loan. Recently, the collection community banded together to pay off the student loans of Pennsylvania National Guard Reserve soldier Maurice Shuff after he requested help from ARMing Heroes. Industry heads hosted the Second Annual Veterans Day Charity Fundraising Drive, and were able to raise $27,000 in ten weeks, part of which was given to Shuff. Not only did collectors donate the money to Shuff's student loans, but they also gave a little extra, so he could put the surplus toward other bills. Agents were also able to educate him on proper money and payment scheduling management. Health benefits More than just concerning themselves with the inner workings of their own sector, a number of employees at recovery services have dedicated their money and time to help veterans struggling in other ways. In April, agents were able to buy specialized hearing aids for Vietnam veteran Kenon Jenkins, a former member of the United States Navy, who suffered hearing loss after working near machines on his naval destroyer and in a post office. At the Charity Fundraising Drive, some of the money not given to Shuff was donated to Jenkins. Californian, Texan collectors Recent studies undertaken by ACA International and Ernst and Young found that workers from the industry benefit their surrounding citizens greatly by volunteering in numerous states. Collectors in California gave 61,200 hours of their time to charity work, while agents in Texas contributed 95,200 hours in 2010. In all, the studies found, debt recovery workers volunteered a total of 652,000 hours that year.