Credit Associates is your local recovery partner

Credit Associates mission is to provide its clients with superior service and collection results. We strive to represent our client’s best interests while ensuring to uphold the highest standards of ethics and integrity.

Our goal is to provide a collection service that is efficient and performance based while being sensitive to our clients public image and brand identity. Our commitment to supporting the Central Oregon economy has helped us receive recognition as the best choice for receivables management and the best possible local provider of collection services in our community.

Credit Associates is committed to understanding your businesses values, ethics, business philosophy and expectations. If given the opportunity to submit a proposal we would provide a comprehensive presentation focused on relevant issues such as performance, operations and compliance, recovery rates, front loading versus junk pricing returns, favorable contingent fees, industry knowledge, local experience, community issues and economics, and keeping the economic power of your accounts revenue working to benefit the community you serve.

Please feel free to reach out to us at your convenience. We look forward to hearing from you.

Understanding how the FDCPA applies to first party creditors.

For decades, the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act has been largely viewed as the domain of third-party debt collectors. Today, however, smart companies know otherwise.

Both the Federal Trade Commission and the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau have made it clear—through guidance, enforcement actions and lawsuits—that in certain situations, first-party creditors fall under the FDCPA’s jurisdiction directly or will be held to standards similar to the FDCPACollector magazine editor Anne Rosso May reports in the April edition.

First, if a creditor collects its own debts but used a different company name to do so, it must adhere to the FDCPA.

In a blog post last year, Christopher Koegel, assistant director in the FTC’s Division of Financial Practices, cited a 2011 case in which a payday loan company offered loans under the names Ecash and GeteCash, but collected debt under the name LoanPointe.

The payday lender contended that both company names were related by common ownership, which exempted it under FDCPA Section 803(6)(B), Rosso May reports. However, the FTC maintained the provision only applies if the principal business of [the person collecting the debt] is not the collection of debts.”

In some cases, a creditor can easily become a debt collector, and have to adhere to the FDCPA, depending on the status of the account it’s working, Rosso May reports.

If a debt is in default when the creditor obtains it, the company’s activities to collect that debt are covered by the FDCPA.

Creditors who may not be directly subject to the FDCPA could also be subject to enforcement by the CFPB.

The Consumer Financial Protection Act, which is part of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act, prohibits certain actions and practices that are unlawful, deceptive and abusive, commonly known as UDAAPs, Rosso May reports.

The CFPB has made it clear that if a creditor’s debt collection practice would violate the FDCPA, it may constitute a UDAAP.

Creditors who outsource services should also be careful about setting up those programs to avoid FDCPA violations.

If you or your collection agency partner is sending collection letters under the debt collector’s name, the debt collector should have substantial input and decision-making ability, Rosso May reports. The debt collector should also have the ability to perform additional collection efforts above and beyond merely sending a letter.

Finally, creditors should also be aware of state laws that regulate first-party collection activities. Notably some states, such as Iowa, require creditors who collect their own debts to adhere to the same debt collection laws that apply to third-party collectors, Rosso May reports.

Across the board, creditors should review and update their policies and procedures to consider conduct prohibited by the FDCPA, even if they think the act doesn’t apply.

Attention Medical Clients

Date: January 6, 2016

To: All medical clients

From: Wes Fisher

Re: New Credit Reporting Rules

Included as part of the comprehensive collection and recovery service we provide you we regularly report bad debt to the credit bureaus.  This is an important step not just for recovery purposes, but to maintain the integrity of a consumer’s credit report.

New rules have been established by the Credit Bureau’s resulting from an action filed by the New York Attorney General related to medical debt including specific time lines related to delinquency.

The new rules include a provision prohibiting the listing of medical debt on a consumer report that is less than 180 days old from the date of first billing.   With this in mind it will be important to include this information on the listing material that you submit to us.   This does not mean that you can’t list the account for collections earlier than 180 days.  In fact, we encourage you not let an unpaid debt go past 90 days before listing it for collections.  The earlier we get the account the more effective we can be in making the recovery.

Although this rule doesn’t go into effect until next year we want to stay ahead of the implementation by beginning the practice of entering the first billing date when setting up your accounts.  

So, when submitting accounts for collection in the future please highlight the date or write it on the account detail so we can enter it in the appropriate credit reporting field.

If you have any questions please feel free to contact me directly at the number above. 

We sincerely thank you for allowing us the privilege to service your recovery needs and look forward to continuing that relationship into the future. 


              “Our Community.  Your recovery partner.”

Keep it local! Something to think about.

Let’s stop and think for a moment

How would your business be impacted if your patients decided to go to Portland, Springfield or Salem for their medical care? Would you be able to continue supporting our local economy, create jobs, contribute to local charities, and assist organizations and other programs that make Central Oregon such a great place to live? How would you pay your employees who depend on your business to cover rent, pay mortgages, afford car payments, and how would you keep your business afloat? More important, what actions would you take to prevent this from happening?

Credit Associates, INC. is taking ACTION!

The situation above is quickly becoming a reality within our industry and it has Credit Associates taking action. We are reaching out to local businesses like yours to increase awareness of the damaging affects regional and national collection agencies, some who even maintain “field offices” in Central Oregon are having on our community. When you use vendors (such as collection agencies) whose economic interests are foreign to our community those earnings are in fact stripped from our families, our businesses and those organizations most important to us. Perhaps you have heard of us or you may have heard our name mentioned by a current client of ours, but Credit Associates now feels compelled to get the word out there that we not only out perform these foreign agencies, but we do so in a way that benefits & supports our community.  

How can Credit Associates help?

Credit Associates has been providing superior recovery services in Central Oregon for over 15 years. As the largest locally owned and operated Collection Agencies in Central Oregon we conduct our operations in a fashion that best supports our local economy by keeping our earnings working in the same community we both live and work.

We work to support our local community in ways no other agency of our type ever has. Over the years raising money for local organizations such as the Central Oregon Parkinson’s Council (working directly with Brendan and Sharon Adams), Local Boy Scout troops, Healing Reigns, Shepherds house and directly sponsoring local youth traveling basketball teams, we have demonstrated our commitment to maintaining the economic integrity of our community. Remember, our employees, like yours, are patients, property owners and neighbors.

Why choose Credit Associates as your Collection Agency?

When you choose Credit Associates as your recovery partner, you’re making a choice that benefits not only your Central Oregon business, but our local community. By listing your accounts with Credit Associates you are working with a professional and reputable company that understands the impact your business, and our success, has on our shared community.

At the same time we're doing our part to keep our economy moving, we're also focused on delivering our clients the best service possible. Our experienced and knowledgeable staff works with the largest collection database in our area, with security features and technology you can count on. Unlike foreign agencies focused on stripping the revenue from our economy, we provide our clients with a superior collection vendor experience, with rates of return well above that of the competition. We are well established, working directly with some of the largest economic supporters in our area and we want you to become a part of that success.

With these facts in mind, we hope you will consider joining us in doing all we can to support our community by keeping your dollars working right here in Central Oregon. Working together as your recovery partner we can best serve your collection needs while at the same time supporting the people, businesses and organizations that are most important to us.

With collection agencies, like everything else, you get what you pay for

 

Many collection agencies are long on promises and short on substance.  Such is the way of the foreign agency.  An agency which has no financial stake in your local economy and serves only to strip your community of revenue that should be used to help maintain strong local growth.

 Foreign agencies, whether based out of the valley or in some other State, offer low contingent rates and provide well orated promises and tested marketing material that sounds good to the uneducated ear.  So here are some “inside baseball” facts for you to consider.

Foreign agencies who offer seeming low rates make more money off your accounts than those who provide you with an honest rate based on performance.  This scheme has several names, but the one I think is most accurate is “Junk Pricing.”

·         “Junk Pricing” is a term used when the agency gives you a great contingent rate but posts all payments to accumulated interest, retained by the agency, prior to giving you, the assignor, any return, resulting in an interest windfall for to the agency at your and your customer/patient’s expense.

·         “Account aging” is another practice we see with some of the larger regional and national agencies. In this scenario the agency will not even send notice to a debtor until they communicate with the debtor by phone or the debtor questions a collection trade line on their credit report.  This serves to increase the amount of accumulated interest available to the agency prior to first payment and eliminates the expense of sending multiple notices.  Only after the debtor contacts the agency are they provided notice.  To the big regional and national agencies it’s the interest accumulation that serves as the silver lining for profits.

·         “Settling short” is a term used when an agency attempts to settle with the client (assignor) for an amount less than that offered by the debtor, retaining the difference for themselves as a windfall. This is a widespread practice that diminishes integrity within the collection industry.  As a rule the agency should reduce any accumulated interest by the same or greater percentage than the reduction approved by the client.  

The fact is that local agencies, on average, well out perform regional and national agencies as a whole, providing superior return to their clients.  The reason is that your local agency, who is part of the same community that you are, is as much motivated by providing a superior service as it is to making a profit.  Foreign agencies have no reason to consider this. They are not part of our local economy and have little reason to concern themselves with one particular community save their base of operation.  Monies that could be used by local agencies to strengthen the local economy or benefit local charities are stripped and used for executive bonuses and luxury purchases in foreign communities.

With regulatory issues equally realized by local agencies as large foreign agencies, security and technology standards are often higher at the local level. Further, large agencies are more likely to violate regulations due to the sheer number of collectors competing for bonuses and benefits and, with regard to out of state agencies, often operating on a state regulatory waiver allowing them some avoidance of regulatory enforcement for violations. 

Boom time for Debt Collection Agencies purchasing bad debt

According to UK Debt Collection News a current trend is taking place in the world of Debt Collection Agencies. These agencies are purchasing bad debt for pennies on the dollar with expectations of doubling their investments over the next five years. In the UK alone "Spending on bad debts in 2012 was circa 800m and this is expected to rise to 1.5Bn by 2017." 

For the entire article please click here.