NCB Management Services, Inc., a privately held national debt buyer and collection agency, continues to build on the debt purchasing arm of their business they started in 2006. During the first half of this year NCB has purchased nearly $600 million of consumer debt direct from issuers and other debt buyers. NCB’s ability to close on these transactions is a direct reflection of NCB’s keen understanding of today’s regulatory environment and their existing operational controls.
NCB has developed into one of the top performing companies in the collections and recovery space by relying on a customer centric approach to collections and mitigating headline risk. NCB’s President and CEO, Marcelo Aita, explains, “Banks and credit issuers today operate under the same level of scrutiny whether they are placing accounts with agencies or selling accounts to debt buyers.” Aita is a seasoned industry executive with nearly 20 years of experience on the credit issuer side. “Every one of our clients, whether placing accounts with us or selling us debt, is focused on compliance and operational controls. Over the past three years we have developed a culture and infrastructure that delivers performance while protecting our brand.”
The impact of today’s regulatory environment on the consumer collection industry has been the single biggest focus all year. Banks and credit issuers want to ensure that debt buyers are laserfocused on compliance and customer treatment. Some industry experts believe that debt buyers will need to be and act like collection agencies which, by the very nature of the business relationship, have been more closely supervised by banks and issuers than debt buyers.
The executive team at NCB recognized this paradigm shift a few years ago. “We offer a debt seller the same level of operational control, quality of service, and compliance as we do all of our servicing clients,” explains Andrew Blady, NCB’s General Counsel and head of compliance, “At NCB we don’t break-up and flip portfolios into the resale market. We don’t use litigation as a significant collection strategy. We use our own collectors across our domestic call centers with a focus on long-term resolution of the debt owed.” Blady, a former partner at the law firm of Eastburn and Gray P.C., joined NCB in 2009 when it was becoming apparent that the industry was undergoing revolutionary change. Andrew’s attitude reflects NCB’s philosophy, “It’s obvious now, that from here on in, either you collect the right way or you won’t be collecting for much longer.”
As a reputable collection agency, servicing several of the most recognized banking brands in the country, NCB is subject to more supervision and audits than many of the banking clients they service. “Every client we have has its own sets of guidelines, policies, and audits. Some of the restrictions imposed on us by our clients go further to protect the consumer than many federal or state law requirements. That has actually given us a competitive advantage over agencies and debt buyers that aren’t used to that level of control and supervision,” says Aita. NCB is one of the agencies and debt buyers that falls under the CFPB’s large participant rule and has been focused on brand protection and service delivery for years. “Like every bank, agency, and debt buyer in the financial services industry we make mistakes from time to time,” admits Aita, “However, we work hard to learn from these mistakes to improve our operations. We collect with confidence, coach our employees to be assertive without being aggressive, and expect all our collectors to be professional at all times.”
NCB’s approach of treating the debt you buy the same way you treat the debt you service is precisely what banks and regulators are looking for. They are looking for debt buyers that have made significant investments in compliance and operational controls. They are looking for debt buyers that can deliver on today’s standards and withstand the same level of scrutiny they are under themselves. NCB is one of those national debt buyers with an approach that will serve them well for many years to come.