On February 14, 2012, we lost a veteran of the accounts receivable management industry, Bill Haddock. He was 63.
Bill had worked for the internal collection department of several banks before moving over to the National Attorney Network (NAN) which was later acquired by NCO. I had the pleasure of working with Bill as my firm manager for many years. He covered the Midwest as the performance manager for many law firms. Every time we spoke on the phone you could hear the smile on his face. Nothing made Bill happier than talking about his family, his gun and knife collection, or his favorite movie actor, John Wayne. Bill was everything you could want a person to be. He had an incredible personality, a terrific sense of humor, and was a man of his word. His depth of knowledge of the industry was welcoming. He was a master of Excel spreadsheets, and each month you were guaranteed that he would dive deep into the performance numbers. Bill ended each call with, “If we haven’t told you lately, we appreciate the work you do on behalf of us and our clients.” We, in turn, appreciated working with Bill, he will be greatly missed. May he rest in peace.
As I reflected on Bill’s life and his legacy in business, I also began to think about the historical changes to the ARM industry itself.
As a person who grew up in the collections business, it is often difficult to recognize the industry as it exists today. As RSIEH celebrates our 35th year in business on April 1st, I sometimes find it hard to believe where we are today. Within the last few years, changes within the ARM industry have been remarkable.
Compliance issues will continue to be among the hottest topics for us in 2012. I know that’s not earth-shattering news, given the weekly news headlines we read or the memos we receive from our clients. But the vast majority of companies in the debt collection industry follow state and federal rules and try to help both their clients and consumers find agreeable solutions to delinquent accounts on a daily basis. That said it still seems that the common legislative or regulatory solution to perceived compliance problems in the industry is to make the jobs of companies operating above-the-board harder instead of addressing the root cause of non-compliance.
In the coming weeks we will be covering many topics that are relevant to our current collection environment: client relationships, employee hiring, workflows, performance measurement, and the use of technology & security in ARM industry. We look forward to sharing our thoughts with you about these and other Trending Movements in ARM.
Bill Sturm is the CEO of Rausch, Sturm, Israel, Enerson & Hornik. RSIEH serves clients in IA, MD, MI, MN, MT, ND, NE, NV, OK, SD, TX, UT, WI and WY. Bill also is the President of CAAPS, Inc., which serves its clients nationally through its attorney network.