Challenging the Court of Public Opinion

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June 7, 2017 by Harry Stoll

When a collection agency makes news headlines, it’s rarely a positive event that precipitates the news coverage.  The media in our country is quick to pick up stories about collection agencies deserving a bad rap. These rogue agencies get all of the attention.  It’s sad you rarely, if ever, hear stories about reputable agencies who not only help to improve our local and national economies by returning unpaid revenue to businesses and medical facilities, offset losses that might otherwise turn into price increases for everyone, but also assist debtors pay off their obligations by offering viable solutions for repayment that are acceptable to both the creditor and debtor.  Instead, the media chooses stories about dishonest agencies and write headlines that aim to get your blood boiling.

Even complaint statistics are skewed.  Articles have been written about how the collection industry is the most-complained about industry in the USA and points to the number of consumers complaining to the government about collection agencies. But they offer no context or relevancy to these numbers. Without taking a deeper look into all the data, it is easy to assume the collection industry is full of horrible people. In reality the number of complaints received by the CFPB represents only one eight-millionth of 1% of the approximate 77 million Americans with debts in collections. The percentage of debtors complaining is such a miniscule number I’m not exactly sure how to even write it out in numeric form!

At UCS, we firmly believe in doing business professionally and ethically (and there are many, many other reputable agencies like us out there running principled businesses). All of our team members go through extensive and ongoing training to ensure compliance in all regulations while providing both clients and consumers the best customer service we can.  Our collection staff are ACA certified Collection Specialists which means they all take the ACA International Collection Pledge.  This pledge is the foundation of their training and compliance practices.   It reads:

I believe every person has worth as an individual.

I believe every person should be treated with dignity and respect.

I will make it my responsibility to help consumers find ways to pay their debts.

I will be professional and ethical.

I will commit to honoring this pledge.

I wonder how many people in the public know about this collection industry pledge?  I highly doubt the media will ever talk about it let alone make it a headline.  At UCS, we each individually honor this pledge, and our company’s culture embraces it.

Whenever we begin a relationship with a new client we always ask about how they came to know about us. I’ll never forget the first time I heard a client tell me about how they had personally gotten into some financial difficulty and we were the collection agency that helped them pay off their debt. “I know first-hand how you treat patients” I was told—and this was not an isolated event.  We have many clients who either began their relationship with us as consumers or were referred to us by a consumer who worked with us in the past.  Our collectors are that nice!  In fact, we receive thank you letters on an ongoing basis from debtors who wish to express their gratitude to the collector who worked with them to pay off their debts.

By recovering delinquent consumer debt that would have otherwise gone uncollected, UCS has improved the bottom line for healthcare providers and businesses alike, generated important benefits to our economy, and have helped countless consumers regain their financial footing by providing repayment solutions that’s resulted in millions of payments and roughly a half a million paid-in-full accounts. And we are just one agency.  Imagine the benefits accomplished by our industry as a whole.

In conclusion, I would like to thank the team here at UCS for the collaborative effort that makes us a leader in challenging the court of public opinion.  Through our actions we are constantly challenging the media hype that harms our industry’s reputation.

Founded in 1950, United Credit Service, Inc. is a full service, licensed revenue cycle management and debt collection agency in Wisconsin providing effective, customized one on one management and recovery solutions for our business partners. Visit our website at http://www.unitedcreditservice.com, call 877-723-2902, or check out our YouTube video.

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