LAWRENCE, Mass. – Valentine & Kebartas, LLC (V&K), based in Lawrence, MA, today announced it has achieved Historically Underutilized Business Zone (HUBZone) certification through the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA). The HUBZone program helps small businesses in urban and rural communities gain preferential access to Federal procurement opportunities. The program was enacted into law as part of the Small Business Reauthorization Act of 1997.

V&K has decades of service to student loan creditors, including current service to one of the largest and best-known guaranty agencies in the higher education sector.  Operational and regulatory requirements of collection agencies working for guarantors are highly comparable to those on Federal contracts like the U.S. Department of Education (ED) Private Collection Agency (PCA) contracts, the largest single Federal client for collection agencies.

Among other requirements, the Federal HUBZone program requires a firm’s principal office to be located in a Federal HUBzone, with not less than 35% of all employees residing in HUBZones.  V&K obtained the certification to compete for opportunities to work as a subcontractor to PCAs.

Chief Operating Officer Scott Sweeney stated, “Achieving HUBZone certification is an important step in our plans for this market.  V&K’s proven student loan collection credentials means that PCAs can count on us not only to meet their required spending needs in this area, but also to absorb significant volumes of borrower transfers when needed.”

V&K is a member of the Fed Cetera Network, an organization comprising dozens of pre-qualified companies PCAs can hire to meet subcontracting goals, including those in all specially-designated socioeconomic groups. “With most of the HUBZone-certified small business collection agencies among our members, it’s never been easier for PCAs to access so many highly-qualified HUBZone small businesses like V&K with a single phone call,” said Leah Wilson Conger of the Fed Cetera Network. “We will be responsive to PCA outreach in this important area.”

About V&K

V&K is a HUBZone-certified, privately-held national collection agency with its office located in Lawrence, Massachusetts. V&K handles outsourcing, primary, secondary and legal placements for a wide array of clients and for different receivables needs.  The firm employs roughly 150 representatives, with a majority of the business dedicated to higher education. The management team has an average of 22 years of industry experience.  V&K is licensed and bonded to perform collection activities nationally.  By building long-term relationships with our clients and providing excellent results, V&K provides security and peace of mind to our clients.

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