Jan 07, 2014 Philip Burgess
Despite the numerous benefits that players in the debt recovery industry have given to the national economy, many individuals across the United States still view debt collectors negatively. This might be more of an emotional reaction - these are the professionals to whom people who haven't paid their bills for whatever reason have to answer.
However, if consumers realize that by not paying off accounts, they're hurting businesses, they might recognize that their actions have the potential to adversely affect others. Think of it this way: Say a number of individuals decide not to pay a utilities company. In order to make a profit and ensure that it can stay in operation (meeting payroll, paying overhead expenses, etc.), the business is likely going to have to raise its prices, which then has unfortunate effects on everyone else. Hiring a debt collection agency can help companies recoup their money and avoid such a situation.
That being said, debt collectors have to work to make sure they're following best practices so they maintain and add to a positive reputation for the entire sector. Because of current consumer sentiments, even the slightest slip-up could have a poor effect on the industry as a whole.
As such, collectors might want to take special care in the near future with regard to referencing bank documents, as that recently got three firms in hot water in Colorado.
Attorney General launches lawsuit
According to The Denver Post, Colorado Attorney General John Suthers recently sued United Credit Recovery (UCR), GTF Services and Standley & Associates in civil court, citing the use of fraudulent bank documents allegedly leveraged to collect on outstanding accounts and employ deceptive trade strategies.
The news source said that Suthers thinks UCR is particularly at fault, accusing employees of faking bank officer signatures and starting a "debt-for-sale scheme." Another issue at hand is the alleged use of false affidavits Suthers said GTF and Standley both used to prompt collections.
What can others learn from this?
While all debt collection firms know to follow the law when communicating with consumers and proving debt, those unsure of legalities might want to review the associated federal, state and local regulations. Teaching all employees the applicable laws and best practices is also paramount to the success of a business.
As long as debt collectors stick to the rules and work with consumers to find the best possible solutions for all involved, everyone will profit.