Oct 18, 2013 Philip Burgess
A number of prominent debt collection agencies have joined together to form the forward-thinking Consumer Relations Consortium (CRC), reveals industry news site insideARM. The new collaboration was announced Monday, October 14, perhaps as a response to the highly critical attack on debt collectors published by the National Consumer Law Center (NCLC) earlier in the month. The NCLC report accused many debt collectors of exacerbating financially-burdened families' declines into poverty, though industry giant ACA International deemed these findings "misleading," as the findings themselves center on outdated state laws rather than nefarious debt collection agencies.
According to the CRC website, the organization is devoted to identifying and solving problems in the realm of debt collection. Sensitivity to consumers' economic situations is tantamount to the CRC's aim, as shown by the countless references to "fair, respectful and progressive collaboration" on the consortium's 'about' page. The CRC boasts a steering committee that is comprised of top executives at such companies as Integrity Solution Services, Inc., NCB Management Services, Inc. and others. The presence and experience of these well-known figures will hopefully help to ensure consumers and other agencies that the CRC is serious about debt collection reform and will not act rashly or unfairly.
Regular meetings with government regulating bodies and consumer advocacy groups are on CRC's to-do list. Furthermore, the consortium encourages the participation of other "large market participant" groups in the reform project and offers membership to serious applicants who comply with their standards. This is a great way for debt collection agencies to boost their credibility with clients and fellow creditors. While the NCLC report was biting, it mostly just reaffirmed the negative perception of debt collectors that some have. The recent development of the CRC proves that the industry is responsive to criticism, yet practical in its aims. Above all, its members simply want to do their (necessary) jobs without drawing the misguided ire of outside groups. Hopefully, the establishment of the CRC will allow for just that.