Wednesday, April 17th, 2013
There is a great discussion going on, via LinkedIn, regarding the importance of skip tracing in collections. Follow the link below to take part, or just read what others are saying.
Monday, April 8th, 2013
Professional Recovery Consultants is proud of our Client Relations Manager, John Cook, whose article was published in the Winter 2013 issue of The Journal of Healthcare Administrative Management.
The article, Pre-Encounter, A Mission to Success, outlines the discussions of pre-admission processes. The article highlights beneficial practices and explains which pre-encounter approaches are working.
You can read a copy of the article on our website.
Monday, April 8th, 2013
The number of frivolous lawsuits against debt collectors may soon be on the decline, following a Supreme Court ruling last month.
In February, the Supreme Court ruled on a case involving the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act. In the case, Marx vs. General Revenue Corp., the main question for the court was whether the defendant in FCDPA cases (the agency) is entitled to court costs if they win the case. The court ruled 7-2 in favor of the debt collector.
The precedent has been for collection agencies to recover costs in cases where the consumer brought the case in bad faith. However, this means agencies may now recover those costs even if the suit was not intended for harassment. Debt collectors are still discussing the impacts of this ruling, but overall, we feel it’s a big win. Plaintiffs who file frivolous lawsuits may now reconsider if they know they may be responsible for the defendant’s legal fees.
While consumers have important rights when it comes to how debts are collected, collection agencies often struggle to satisfy the standard of “bad faith and for the purpose of harassment” — even if they know it to be truth. There are many instances in which suits are based on marginal claims that would likely fail. Those cases tie up our resources and taxpayer resources.
Hopefully this decision will not only reduce the number of frivolous lawsuits, but allow agencies to recover the fees involved in defending any suits when the court rules in favor of the Agency.
Wednesday, February 27th, 2013
Please join us in welcoming Jean Konzman to the PRC family. Jean joined PRC at the end of 2012 as PRC’s Financial Controller.
Originally from the Washington D.C. area, Jean has been in North Carolina for the last 15 years. PRC’s new Controller holds degrees in Finance and Business Administration from the University of Maryland. She spent several years in banking before working as Controller for a number of small to medium-size companies. With Jean’s help, we hope to further improve our financial processes and controls, as well as increase our efficiency and profitability.
Jean is the proud mother of a son and a daughter, both of whom are in college. In her off time, Jean is an avid tennis player and enjoys spending time outdoors with family and friends.
Friday, February 22nd, 2013
Some federal changes to health care regulations are affecting several industries, including, of course, health care providers. But the agencies most affected aren’t providers — it’s their partners, such as collection agencies.
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services last month released what’s called the omnibus regulations package, which contains a slew of changes in the way healthcare information is handled. The changes could cost more than $225 million to implement, according to DHHS. Business associates will now be “directly liable for compliance,” according to HHS. The federal agency estimates that up to 400,000 business associates will be required to ensure they have achieved security rule compliance.
Overall, it’s hard to say how these changes may affect your business and ours. Still, we know our main challenge will be the extra cost and time required to achieve these new compliance requirements. Some estimate that collection partners might be required to spend as much as $113 million to comply with these new regulations.
Compliance has always been a top priority here at PRC, where we maintain an infrastructure dedicated to continuing education for our staff. While we don’t know yet how it will impact contingency fees in our industry to meet these new regulations, we will remain committed to serving our clients by being the best in our field.
Thursday, January 17th, 2013
Recovering your losses after a business or corporation closes can be one of the toughest debts to collect. You may not always be able to trace the debt to a single individual because those signing are often signing on behalf of the company.
One debt collector shares his story of how a creditor’s wording ensured the billwas paid — even after the business closed. The wording and the litigation of the personal guaranty held up in court.
Tuesday, January 8th, 2013
Calling all debts and debtors. But not automatically.
As the year winds down, it’s a good time to check-in with your processes — and that includes automatic dialing. Although many of our clients may not use automated dialing systems themselves, PRC’s ability to provide efficient service to our clients comes in large part from the use of automated dialing systems
Use of automatic dialers or predictive dialers or prerecorded messages is regulated the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA). Of course, automatic calls from debt collectors to land lines are allowed, as long as certain disclosures are provided. But it’s a different story with cell phones. According to the TCPA, people cannot make “any call using any automatic telephone dialing system or an artificial or prerecorded voice” to a cell phone number unless it’s for an emergency or you have prior express consent.
These days, more people are abandoning land lines completely, which makes this information more important than ever. So how do you we get prior consent? In many cases, the work is already done. The FCC says if a customer has given prior express to the creditor, he/she is automatically giving that consent to the debt collector calling on behalf of the creditor.
There is no specific language that must be used in order to obtain prior express consent. Still, if you’re looking for guidance, try this “Sample Notice” from the Association of Credit and Collection Professionals.
You agree, in order for us to service our account or to collect any amounts you may owe, we may contact you by telephone at any telephone number associated with your account, including wireless telephone numbers, which could result in charges to you. We may also contact you by sending text messages or e-mails, using any e-mail address you provide to us. Methods of contact may include using pre-recorded/artificial voice messages and/or use of an automatic dialing device, as applicable.
I/We have read this disclosure and agree that the Lender/Creditor may contact me/us as described above.
Borrower/Customer Signature ______________
Thursday, December 13th, 2012
People in the northeastern U.S. are still recovering from Hurricane Sandy. Although we often hear about the residents and how they are affected, plenty of businesses are suffering from the lack of power and phones.
Such a disaster can have a big financial impact on a business and its employees. Having the right insurance and an emergency fund set aside are a good place to start.
The author of this article, “What a Natural Disaster Can Mean for Your Business,” offers several other useful steps for business owners preparing for disaster — whether it’s the next Sandy or a devastating fire.
Is your business ready?
Wednesday, November 7th, 2012
Members of the Association of Credit and Collection Professionals (ACA International) gathered in Washington, D.C., Sept. 19 and 20 to meet with their elected representatives and help advocate for the association’s legislative and regulatory agenda. Members focused their messages on several critical issues facing the industry, including amending the Telephone Consumer Protection ACT; amending the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act to fix the inherent Catch-22 when leaving messages; and ensuring the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau protects consumers without causing undue harm or burden on businesses.
PRC believes these Fly-Ins are important opportunity to effect positive change in the receivables management and collections industries. As such we send representatives each year to participate. This year our Compliance Officer, René Dillard, attended the Fly-In to represent PRC as well as the interests of our colleagues throughout the state of North Carolina.
Meetings were held with U.S. Rep. David Price, who was interested in amending the FDCPA as it relates to leaving messages and who has offered to co-sponsor this change. René also met with Curtis Davis of Senator Kay Hagan’s office and Chris Toppings from Senator Richard Burr’s office. While there is still much work to be done creating new legislation and refining existing laws to fairly (and clearly) regulate the collection industry while still protecting the rights of consumers, we feel that the Fly-In was a great success and we look forward to the next one.
Learn more about the ACA’s Fly-In.
Wednesday, October 3rd, 2012
Ever wonder which U.S. County has the highest credit card delinquency rate?
The recent article from insideARM.com What U.S. Counties are the Most Behind on their Credit Cards? has a fantastic interactive map showing credit card delinquency by county. The data was sourced from the Federal Reserve Bank of New York’s Quarterly Report on Household Debt and Credit for the fourth quarter of 2011.
While there is some debate about which individual county actually has the highest delinquency rate, the overall results are still quite interesting to see.
Durham County, NC, home to PRC came in at 7.56%, Wake County, NC, came in at 7.54%, and Guilford County, NC was at 10.42%. Find out how your county ranked by using the interactive map in the link above.