Note: This blog is the last in a three-part series about the changes we have seen take place over the years in selling our services and in carrying them out. Read part 1, How has landing a commercial debt collection client changed since our business started?, here; and part 2, Contacting debtors: changes for us as a commercial debt collection agency, here.
One of the ways in which our industry has changed over the years is the increase in the number of consumer protection laws on both the federal and state level – which one wouldn’t think would apply to us as a commercial debt collection agency, but which we must conform to anyway since the regulations don’t distinguish between a consumer debt and a commercial debt. A consumer debt is defined as a debt incurred for personal, family or household purposes. Blanket laws that attempt to regulate ALL types of debt are causing problems to the very people they are designed to protect. All the same, we are careful to follow all laws and regulations that apply to our business in order to keep ourselves and our customers operating within the rules.
A good rule of thumb for a commercial agency is to document ALL of your procedures, especially when it comes to disputes, since your policies/timing towards responding to these disputes is half the battle. The other half is to play by the rules and not run afoul of laws that you know apply to your business. The two biggest areas to avoid are Unfair, Deceptive, or Abusive Acts or Practices (UDAAP) violations and any violations of the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA). In a later blog, I will go more in depth about the ways in which our business strives to comply with these laws.