The dispute process isn’t working for consumers – this is how we solve it

By on December 21st, 2015 in Compliance, Industry Insights

TrueAccord has been refining the debt dispute process since our inception in 2013. Offering digital disputes streamlines the conversation between consumers and collectors while also reducing compliance risk. Engagement of consumers in debt-related discussions have decreased complaints quickly leading conversations into debt resolution.

Read the excerpt and download the whitepaper for free.

Consumers who owe debts are often confused, angry and scared – sometimes unaware of the full details of what they owe and to whom. Though the FDCPA was written to protect the average American consumer, aspects of it, including the mini Miranda and debt validation notice are written in formal legalese. As a result, consumers filing a formal debt dispute tend to skip over reading the information or misunderstand the language, leading them to miss remedies immediately available to them. For example, consumers often miss the allotted 30-day dispute window after the initial communication, during which time they can dispute the debt, while asking for additional verification.

Active Feedback in Practice

By on October 30th, 2015 in Industry Insights

In July of this year, I published a post about the importance of feedback – making it part of a team’s day-to-day way of functioning and investing in training on how to give, receive and take it beyond managers and direct reports. Three months later, I am reflecting on how TrueAccord is working to implement these principles.

In TrueAccord’s June/mid-year round of employee performance reviews, the leadership team debated about whether to spend time getting peer and upward feedback. We ended up doing it, though mostly over email (I find in-person conversations with the feedback-giver more effective – but it takes more time).
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CFPB enforcement paints a new world in data requirements: don’t be caught unprepared

By on October 12th, 2015 in Compliance, Industry Insights

On September 9th the CFPB released consent orders for Encore Capital Group of San Diego, CA and Portfolio Recovery Associates (PRA) of Norfolk, VA following an investigation uncovering their attempts to collect debt that they knew or should have suspected were invalid. Hitting the US’s two largest debt buyers and collectors with a combined settlement of $72 million in refunds and penalties (as well as the inability to collect on an additional $128 million in debt) for using deceptive tactics, sends a clear message about best practices surrounding debt substantiation in the collections industry.

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The FDCPA dispute process isn’t working – here’s how to fix it

By on September 24th, 2015 in Compliance, Industry Insights

TrueAccord has been refining the debt dispute process since our inception in 2013. We’ve found that offering digital disputes streamlines the conversation between consumers and collectors while also reducing compliance risk. By encouraging consumers to stay engaged during the collections process, we’re creating an opportunity to discuss debt-related concerns. As a result, complaints decrease, leading conversations to move quickly into debt resolution.

Read the following excerpt and download the entire whitepaper for free.

The dispute process is as opaque to the collector as it is to the consumer. While respecting the 30-day window and not pressuring consumers to pay while the debt is in dispute, a collector is never quite sure whether a dispute is en route via the postal system. This leaves a long period – days and often weeks –in which the consumer knows that a dispute is “in the mail”– but the collector is still lawfully able to contact them. This creates an ambiguous situation that often leads to consumer complaints.

What if a debt collection agency refuses to give any details about an outstanding bill?

By on September 3rd, 2015 in Industry Insights

Originally answered on Quora: TrueAccord’s CEO, Ohad Samet, answers questions about debt collection. (Edited to expand on the answer, as well as to add notations and information.)

What should I do if a debt collection agency refuses to give any details (except the amount due) about an outstanding bill?

I visited a hospital in another state in 2014. By the time the hospital sent a bill to my temporary address, I had moved state. A few months later, a collection agency called me asking me to pay the dues. I called the hospital to verify the details given by this agency. It checked out, so I paid the hospital and got a zero due certificate from the hospital. One fine day, I find an entry in my credit report from another collection agency for the same hospital bill. (The due amount was different this time). I called the collection agency and they said they don’t have any details regarding this bill except the amount and asked me to contact the hospital for more details. I called the hospital, physician’s billing office and the insurance company for an explanation of benefits (EOB). The hospital and physician’s office confirms that there is no record of any dues against my name. This due amount does not show up anywhere in the Insurance’s EOB. Today, the collection agency has made another entry in my credit report for the same balance. The agency continues to not give me any more information (in spite of multiple phone calls asking for more information) regarding the outstanding balance other than asking me to pay up. How should I solve this?
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Strategic Content

By on August 21st, 2015 in Industry Insights

Being an avid reader of articles on design and writing on the web; it seems content strategy has been buzzworthy for the last few years. But, like seeing your favorite indie band play on Saturday Night Live, TrueAccord has been intent on providing quality content since its inception in 2013. (TrueAccord liked content since it was playing in the basement of a vintage store in the Tenderloin! ;))

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Debt Collection is Dead, Long Live Debt Collection!

By on August 8th, 2015 in Compliance

A gloom hangs over the debt collection industry. Between the recent FCC ruling and the decline of postal mail, there’s talk on the internet about the death of the debt collection industry, or at least its most popular tools. Now with the upcoming FTC-sponsored Debt Dialogue, the industry is preparing to get before regulators to discuss how business is being stifled amongst mounting costs and regulations. Sometimes we feel like an outdated robocall (*zing*) when we say that there’s a better way.
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Recap of ACA International Convention

By on July 30th, 2015 in Compliance

Earlier last week, I, along with TrueAccord’s CEO, Ohad Samet and general counsel, Avital Samet, attended the Association of Collections and Credit Professionals International (ACA) convention in Boston. Even though it was my third time attending the ACA convention; it was my first time attending as Head of Business Development for TrueAccord.

If you work in debt collection, attending the ACA conference is worth it. In addition to informative panels and the exhibit hall, there are a ton of networking opportunities. The collections industry is based on relationships and it is only through hallway conversations and drinks at end of day receptions that these relationships can be built.
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The FCC is Saying: Give Consumers Communication Choices

By on July 24th, 2015 in Compliance
TrueAccord Blog

Choice is inherent in the way we, as 21st century consumers, interact with our world. The choice to eat whatever we want. The choice to take whatever form of transportation we like. The choice to marry whomever we wish. The concept of choice in debt collection isn’t revolutionary; debt collection has always been linked to the consumer experience. Yet, recent crack downs on bad actors in the debt collection space by the CFPB, as well as the July 10th ruling from the FCC feels like an affirmation of how TrueAccord approaches debt collection.
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CFPB Gets Tough on Debt Sales with a JPMorgan Chase Settlement

By on July 9th, 2015 in Compliance

It’s taking a herculean effort to not title this, “We told you so.” Just a few months after our CEO, Ohad’s, Op-Ed about debt buying practices got strong responses from the industry, JPMorgan Chase & Co. is currently in trouble with the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau to the tune of at least $136 million. The reason? Problematic data management and debt sales practices.

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