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Debt Collection

Debt collection refers to the work done to recover balances from credit accounts that are past due. Most commonly, debt collection specifically references third party debt collectors whose clients include banks, credit card issuers and other credit grantors, debt buyers, governments, and any organization that extends credit or owns an account where a balance is due. Collection methods traditionally include phone calls from call center agents, e-mails, and letters, and increasingly, SMS text. If an account remains in arrears after these efforts, the collection agency may contract with a collection attorney to file suit to recover the debt, if the collection agency is not positioned to do so.

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Performant Financial Corporation Announces Financial Results for First Quarter

Performant Financial Corporation (PFMT), yesterday announced financial results for first quarter ending March 31, 2016. The company also hosted a conference call to discuss the results. PFMT is one of the few publicly traded companies in the ARM space. The company has also historically been one of the Department of Education’s (ED) top performing private […]

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US District Court in Illinois Finds Disclosure of Potential Tax Consequences for Settling an Account is Misleading to Consumer

Another ARM firm is caught in the “no-win” scenario of including so-called 1099(c) disclosures in a letter to a consumer. Many financial institutions are requiring ARM firms to include 1099(c) disclosures in their initial letters to consumers. It is not clear from the pleadings whether the client in this case mandated that their agency include the language in the letter sent to the Plaintiff. But, if so, companies like this defendant are put in an untenable position.

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New ProPublica Article Criticizes Debt Collection Litigation on Medical Accounts; Paints One Firm as Outlier

As part of an ongoing investigation, Propublica published a lengthy article by Paul Kiel titled For Nebraska’s Poor, Get Sick and Get Sued. The article discusses the practice of use of litigation to collect delinquent healthcare accounts in the State of Nebraska. It is clear that Mr. Kiel spent a considerable amount of time researching the story before publication. The story is less than flattering to the debt collection industry.

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Former CFPB Senior Advisor: Debt Collection Industry Must Press CFPB to Put Complaint Data in Context

Data can be accurate, but without context it could mislead. That was the message former CFPB Senior Advisor Jim McCarthy delivered to industry attendees of last week’s insideARM Larger Market Participant Summit in Washington, D.C. The CFPB cares about data and accuracy, McCarthy noted, but it is not pairing collections complaint data with necessary context […]

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CFPB Announces Consent Orders Against Law Firm and Debt Buyer

Yesterday the CFPB announced that a New Jersey law firm and a debt purchasing company had agreed to pay $2.5 million in response to the agency’s assertions regarding the filing of “mass-produced” lawsuits. The law firm, Pressler & Pressler, issued a strong response, noting that no restitution or invalidation of judgments was required in the agreement, and that the settlement is not about laws or rules that are currently in place.

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CFPB Targets ARM Industry — Which Practices Should Your Company Avoid?

The CFPB intends for its consent orders to set industry-wide precedents. In March 2016, CFPB Director Richard Cordray referred to consent orders as a guide “to all participants in the marketplace to avoid similar violations and make an immediate effort to correct any such improper practices,” telling the Consumer Bankers Association that any company not following the precedents set by the CFPB’s consent orders is committing “compliance malpractice.”