ACA International (http://www.acainternational.org) is a trade association representing the third-party debt collection industry. Founded in 1939, ACA brings together nearly 5,000 members in the United States and more than 60 nations abroad, and their more than 350,000 employees. ACA members include third-party collection agencies, asset buyers, attorneys, creditors and vendor affiliates.
Beyond their important impact on the United States economy in recovering more than $55 billion dollars on behalf of their creditor clients, consumer debt collectors are highly valued employers, taxpayers and philanthropists. If rightfully owed consumer debt was not recovered it could:
- Destroy America’s credit-based economy
- Increase the price for goods and services to cover creditor losses
- Make credit more expensive and less available for consumers
- Put companies out of business – recovered debt is used for rent, utilities, operations and salaries
- Prompt governments to increase taxes/cut spending to cover shortfalls from uncollected debt
In America, consumer debt collectors are trained professionals doing a very difficult job given that consumers typically don’t want to be contacted about an outstanding debt of any kind. Industry leaders are committed to continuing education, best practices and exceptional customer service. As a career, it does provide opportunities for development and growth.
Disregard the outdated stereotypes that usually come to mind when discussing debt collectors. People employed in the industry are moms and dads; grandparents; students; men and women; ages ranging from 18-80; and come from various races and ethnic backgrounds. Horror stories about debt collectors are the exception, not the norm, and indicative of what really goes on at collection agencies. Like any industry, there are bad apples and examples of bad behavior.