Historically, the debt settlement industry has enjoyed a less than stellar reputation in the eyes of most ARM professionals. Many companies were perceived as preying on consumers by charging large upfront fees and delivering little or no results for the consumer.
insideARM.com, partnering with Persolvo Data Systems, wanted to further discover not only which companies or segments of our industry most utilize the debt settlement industry, but how ARM firms are utilizing this new channel to increase liquidations.
insideARM.com designed its Debt Settlement Survey to gain insight into the perception and utilization of the debt settlement industry by creditors, buyers, collectors, and legal recovery firms. Recent legislation may have changed the perception of the industry, and we wanted to better understand the extent to which creditors and collectors now utilize this channel to manage collections and recoveries.
The survey, conducted over a two week period in October of 2011, generated a good deal of response. Over the two week period the survey was available on InsideARM.com, 649 respondents completed the survey. Using that data, we created a debt settlement-themed white paper.
The largest group of respondents identified their primary business classification as Collection Agency. Collection Agencies made up over half of all respondents, or 53%. Collection agencies also made up over half of all companies who currently work with debt settlement agencies to settle accounts.
Conversely, Credit Card Issuers made up the smallest group of respondents to the survey overall, and to those answering YES to working with debt settlement companies. Overall 6% of respondents identified themselves as a Credit Card Issuer, and only 5% of Credit Card Issuers answered YES to working with debt settlement companies to settle debts.