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ACA International Report: Third-Party Debt Collection Keeps Credit-Based Economy Thriving PDF Print E-mail
Wednesday, 27 January 2016

Consumers, creditors, and the economy as a whole benefit from the existence of the professional debt collection industry, according to the newest white paper from ACA International, the association of credit and collection professionals.

The white paper “The Role of Third-Party Debt Collection in the U.S. Economy” explores the industry’s role in the U.S. economy, focusing on how third-party debt collectors work in tandem with creditors and consumers to ensure that much-needed credit is widely accessible.

Debt collectors can help consumers with a payment resolution plan that works best for them. “There is often the opportunity to negotiate the total outstanding balance, pay a discounted price on the initial balance, or develop a payment plan with the debt collector as a mediator,” the white paper states.

As a result of this help, third-party debt collectors returned nearly $45 billion to the U.S. economy in 2013. That translates to an average savings of $389 for every household because they didn’t have to pay more for goods and services to offset other consumers’ debts.

The debt collection industry also supports consumers by sustaining an environment where lenders can make credit available and affordable to more people. Lenders decide to make credit available based on a risk calculation that factors in a consumer’s ability to repay; if creditors deem a consumer “high risk,” they may charge prohibitively high interest rates or deny that person credit altogether. But working with third-party debt collectors “provides a degree of security for lenders and a mechanism for them to mitigate losses,” according to the white paper.

“The credit-based economy as we know it could not exist without third-party debt collectors,” said ACA International CEO Pat Morris. “Debt collectors act as a crucial bridge between creditors and consumers, helping consumers take control of their finances and helping ensure that creditors can provide more credit to the people who need it.”

ACA International’s whitepaper is part of a new research initiative that aims to collect original and meaningful data about the credit and collection industry and to quantify the ways that debt collectors help consumers and the overall economy.

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