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This week’s collector mentor Challenge is inspired by a recent piece published on titled, “A Walk Down Memory Lane: A Fascinating Look at the Collection Industry as in was in 1995.”

In the article, Kaulkin Media president and publisher Stephanie Eidelman, encourages readers to download the 1995 Kaulkin Report to see the debt collection industry as it was back then.

This past weekend, I had an opportunity to travel back in time to1974 and read the legendary Chicago Tribune articles on debt collectors. If you are not familiar with the history of the FDCPA, the articles that I am referring to were part of a weeklong series covering the abusive collection practices of Chicago-area collection agencies. Although I have been in the industry for more than a decade, and was familiar with the story of how the FDCPA came about, I never had the opportunity to read the actual articles until I spent a couple of hours searching the online archives. Now, the articles are a prized possession (Hey, what can I say, I am a collections nerd.).

The Challenge

This week’s challenge is to fire up the DeLorean and travel back in time in order to see the debt collection industry from a different point of view.

You can:

  1. Download and review the 1995 Kaulkin Report (it’s totally free).
  2. Access the historical “gems” that Eidelman mentions in her article.
  3. Talk with seasoned veterans and ask them how things have changed since they first came to the industry. (I personally enjoy talking with people who have worked in the industry pre-FDCPA and pre-computer. The stories are awesome.)
  4. Access the Chicago Tribune’s online archive and review the articles that were instrumental in the development of the FDCPA.

The Reflection

In her article, Eidelman encourages her audience to reflect on how the changes of the past 15 years have influenced business, and asks, “What do you think will characterize the next fifteen?”

Question: What do you think the future holds for the collections industry?

Please share your thoughts in the comments section below

Gary Jensen
Editor | collector mentor

To download companion worksheets to use with The collector mentor Challenge™, please visit

About collector mentor
Published bimonthly, collector mentor is a quick-read publication dedicated entirely to delivering articles and practical advice that teaches credit and collection professionals how to increase collection results, enhance productivity, improve teamwork, and become better stewards of the industry.