What is Integrated Resourcing?
The debt collection industry is facing major obstacles to profitability, including a decline in revenues due to competitive contingency rates and increased costs from payroll and compliance regulations. Revenue is a huge concern with a decrease in commission and recovery rates. The 2014 ACA Benchmarking Survey shows that the median commission rate stood at 25.6% while the 2017 Ernst & Young report states that commission fees dropped from 18.1% to 13.9% between 2013 and 2016, a decline of more than 12% in a short period of time .
The 2014 ACA Benchmarking Survey also illustrated challenges with recovery rates at 13.1%, while the Kaulkin Ginsberg 2020 State of the Industry Report explained that recovery rates had decreased to 11%, a clear downward trend . These changes demonstrate that it is imperative that debt collection companies quickly pivot and embrace cost-saving measures to maintain profitability.
Integrated resourcing addresses these problems by providing the following benefits. First, it finds the talent to serve collection files from a secure offsite remote location. This talent is integrated with a company’s core team to deliver strong collection rates in strict accordance with collection laws while generating considerable cost savings.
How does integrated resourcing apply in collections & recovery?
The collection industry must accommodate clients who are demanding lower rates to stay competitive. They must supply the same services for less revenue with an average account balance of only $574 dollars . To be effective, agencies need to evaluate their overhead, including payroll, office space, and expenses such as hardware and software to conduct collections. Integrated resourcing can help agencies take advantage of lower contingency rates and remain profitable through talent search and integration with the core team. Employees work in a secure offsite location to generate successful collection rates while following all collection laws at significant overhead savings.
Who is a Good Candidate for Integrated Resourcing?
Debt collection companies are ideal clients because integrated resourcing addresses the problems of increased labor costs, compliance, HR bandwidth, and resources to conduct collections. Staffing needs require an expansive pool of financial resources and a strong foundation to conduct revenue recovery. HR responsibilities present a heavy commitment to managing human resource issues and onboarding staff, while budget shortfalls and a lack of office space present a challenge to growth opportunities.
Together, these problems demonstrate a strong need for resource integration. Integrated resourcing finds quality talent dedicated to delivering an agency’s collection rates while following all collection laws. It has the added flexibility of a secure remote workforce integrated with a core team that produces substantial cost savings.
What are the risks to collection agencies under the FDCPA?
We are all fully aware that FDCPA complaints and lawsuits are a major concern for creditors working consumer accounts. In 2021, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) resolved three FDCPA cases that banned 17 companies from ever engaging in future debt collection practices. In that same year, the FTC issued 4.86 million in refunds to consumers whom it determined had been defrauded by debt collection agencies .
However, the specific risk under the FDCPA is the same regardless of where an agent is located. Abusive debt collection practices result when agents fail to follow company procedures and compliance requirements. This is not a risk unique to remote staff work and we are not aware of any data suggesting more FDCPA complaints produced by remote agents. Additionally, remote work is monitored through the same methods as on-site work—call monitoring, KPI reviews, and file auditing. Resource integration addresses this challenge through a vetted candidate search and workplace security measures.
Can Integrated Resourcing Reduce Compliance Risk?
Yes. Agents working files at an integrated secure remote site while following the same policies, procedures, and business practices limits compliance risks to the extent training adequately covers compliance. Oftentimes compliance is actually improved simply by using integrated resourcing because the infrastructure offered exceeds what is available at the agency’s headquarters. Where an agency may struggle is when the subject matter leading to compliance issues is not covered within the agency’s training material. If compliance training is inadequate, then the risk is not unique to remote work and can be resolved by improving training practices and material.
Integrated resourcing reduces compliance risk:
- Through a candidate search that identifies qualified staff to join the core team of collectors and produce the collection rates that a company is accustomed to at substantial cost savings.
- Provides a secure work location with onsite procedures to ensure employees adhere to quality control measures to safeguard client information. These measures include prohibiting the use of personal mobile devices and electronics.
- Integrated training to cover compliance. Agents are blended with the core team and follow the same policies and procedures.
- Monitoring and recording are available to ensure that agents deliver quality service in accordance with training protocols and company procedures.
What are the Risks of Integrated Resourcing?
The two potential risks associated with integrated resourcing include quality control and compliance.
Integrated resources possess the core competencies that are necessary for successful collectors. It is not like business process outsourcing where agents may be shared among several clients and measured on service levels. Integrated resources are part of the agency’s core team. Top talent performs core functions (i.e., collections) as they would be performed from headquarters. When a company provides the proper tools and training, the issue of quality control becomes nonexistent. Meanwhile, compliance is heavily dependent on an agent’s desire to succeed. Integrated resourcing vets qualified candidates who are knowledgeable, proficient, and dedicated to revenue recovery. Integrated resourcing offers the opportunity for agencies to acquire new talent to fill key production positions such as team lead, training, compliance, and supervision where it was previously cost prohibitive to further improve quality control and compliance.
In the collections industry, we can only anticipate that costs will continue to increase, while revenue will face some major headwinds. It is imperative that companies quickly pivot to embrace strategies to meet these changes so they can succeed. Especially vulnerable are companies that lack the infrastructure and resources to survive, let alone be profitable in an increasingly competitive environment where lower commission rates and greater compliance regulations are prevalent. Integrated resourcing provides the answer to these problems with qualified staff working in a secure remote location and integrated with a company’s core team. Additional performance monitoring measures are available to resolve quality control and compliance issues and boost productivity. This approach delivers collection rates that a company is accustomed to in compliance with all laws and at substantial cost savings.
 Ernst & Young. The Impact of Third-Party Debt Collection on the US National and State Economies in 2016. Pg. 2; ACA International. (2014). 2014 Agency Benchmarking Survey. Pg. 19
 ACA International. (2014). 2014 Agency Benchmarking Survey. Pg. 19.; Kaulkin Ginsberg, 2020 State of the Industry Report. ACA International.
 Kaulkin Ginsberg, 2020 State of the Industry Report. ACA International.
 Federal Trade Commission. “FTC Refunded $4.86 Million to Victims of Abusive Debt Collectors in 2021” 2021. Federal Trade Commission. Washington, D.C.