3 Credit & Collection Organizations To Watch For
Debt collection is an industry that has its fair share of scammers and unethical companies. Check out our blog post 4 Ways To Spot A Scamming Collection Agency to check out some of the vital warning signs that you might be on the end of some trouble.
While there are these big signs of who not to trust, what are the signs of a trustworthy agency? That seems like an oxymoron to some, but there are reputable agencies who look out for the best interests of both their clients and respective debtors. While there are a handful of certification programs out in the field, these are the major certifications and associations we found that have the biggest impact.
National Association of Credit Managers (NACM)
The NACM is one of the largest and most trusted organizations of credit managers in the country. For those who extend credit, the inherent risk of past due payments is written into the process. Underwriting and credit applications serve as strong deterrents for debt; however, it is often completely unavoidable.
The NACM provides a list of agencies that provide stability to their client’s bottom lines with top of the line services. They promise to provide:
Letter series services stressing the importance of paying the debt. These letters are a low-cost option before the account is sent to a collector.
10-day demand service, which puts a deadline on the debt before it is sent to collections.
Collection action, where a collector takes the account into his own hands and begins to understand the in’s and out’s of the account.
Legal forwarding services, which puts your account in the hands of the company’s legal team. These legal services will get your case in front of a judge.
International Association of Commercial Collectors (IACC) & Commercial Law League of America (CLLA)
The IACC & CLLA are two of the most respected certifying bodies of collection agencies in the world. While each member has their own members, they maintain a distinction between members and certified members. These organizations team up in their certification processes to ensure that all agencies are properly vetted without bias and exposing potentially game changing proprietary information. To become a certified member, agencies must:
Undergo an intense audit conducted by an independent CPA firm to ensure that all members are correctly remitting to their clients while conducting ethical business practices.
Require bonding and licensing in states that they practice in.
Yearly recertification to ensure that all agencies continue to uphold ethical practices.
Management is required to attend yearly educational events to remain up to date on the newest industry laws and happenings.
Maintain $300,000 insurance bond.
These certified members have not only proven that they are the elite of the debt collection industry, but they have also maintained a sterling reputation among clients and debtors alike. Take a look at the reviews that these agencies have, and you will see many maintain an A+ rating from the Better Business Bureau and high reviews from the main review sites (Google, Yahoo, etc.).
The Association of Credit & Collection Professionals (ACA International)
ACA International connects third-party collection agencies, law firms, asset buying companies, creditors and vendor affiliates. They provide an umbrella certification that covers and legitimatizes more than 230,000 employees in the world! While working mainly with the consumer side of collections, the ACA certification ensures that you are working with an agency that follows all the FDCPA guidelines and commits itself to educating their collectors on correct legal practices.
The ACA is broken down into 36 “state units”, where some territories may be singular states, while others encompass more of a region. These regions act as a larger voice to speak on legislative and regulatory issues that face the collection and credit services in the country.
While helping to provide a platform to these agencies, the ACA also provides:
Educational services to all of their members, keeping each collector updated on all new rules and regulations.
Bonding and insurance, protecting both you & the certified agency from any poor practices.
Annual Conventions & Expos, connecting your agency with resources to help improve their processes.
In conclusion, there is no reason to not be working with a certified agency. At the end of the day, certification is not meant to be a championship belt for agencies to parade around, but rather to work as a shield that protects you from harm. Many agencies have gone and earned their poor reputation. Whether that is not remitting to their clients, using illegal practices, harassing your clients, or more unethical and unlawful practices, a bad agency can put you in a hole.
We have a saying around our office, and that is “if your agency isn’t certified, it’s not because they don’t want to, but it’s because they can’t be”. Beware of the red flags around these bad debt agencies and protect yourself today!