In a societal atmosphere that relies increasingly on mobile phone use and a growing decline in landlines has made the collection agency business as challenging as ever. Modes of communication have changed in the past 20 years, and these changes have hampered collection efforts across the board. With growing levels of debt left over that from the 2007-2008 recession, the industry appears to be headed for an increased change in collection agency methodology and strategy.
Quite simply, technological advances in the last 15 years have focused the collection agency business on modernization, but many representatives claim that turn-of-the-century laws are not a reflection of the way people communicate in 2017.
“It’s more of a challenge to collect than it was 10 or 20 years ago.” According to Jay Gonzales, a collection agency owner. Additionally, larger medical copayments and deductibles have put increasing pressure on citizens with medical issues. The result of these developments has been an increasing level of debt in the medical care industry.
Mobile phones and mobile communication are commonplace, if not the norm, in our present society and current FCC proposals make it more difficult to call mobile phones unless the owner has granted specific permission. A proposed regulation modification would require customers to provide “stressed written consent” to make collection calls on a cell phone. Further, the required permission cannot be a requirement of a contract.
Of course, this proposed change is being vigorously opposed by collection agency lobbying groups that represent airlines, drugstore chains and utilities, and medical groups. On the flip side of the coin, consumer advocacy groups are pushing for this change.
Collection agencies and similar firms must wait for final regulation publication and adjust their collection efforts accordingly. As usual, it seems the collection agency business will be forced to further adjust their efforts in collecting debt.