Collector - February 2018 - 12
Tax impact of U.S.
employed by U.S. debt
Money returned to
creditors by U.S. debt
Source: "The Impact of Third-Party Debt Collection on the U.S.
National and State Economies in 2016" by ACA/Ernst and Young
An Invaluable Resource
A new ACA International study highlights many of the ways debt collectors help bolster the U.S. economy.
he debt collection industry
generates tremendous benefits
to U.S. businesses by recovering
billions of dollars in delinquent debt each
year that would otherwise go uncollected.
The result? Reduced consumer prices,
diminished business insolvency risks and
decreased future tax and fee increases by
To measure and promote the vital impacts
third-party debt collectors have on the national
and state economies, ACA International
commissioned global advisory firm Ernst &
Young to conduct a survey of third-party debt
collection firms, having previously conducted
similar studies in 2011 and 2013.
The latest survey, released at the end of
2017, found that third-party debt collection
agencies recovered approximately $78.5
billion in total debt in 2016. Subtracting
commissions and fees, $67.6 billion was
returned to creditors, ranging from large
financial institutions to small businesses in
your local community. In all, this represents an
average of $579 in savings per U.S. household.
The third-party debt collection firms in
the U.S. employ more than 129,260 people.
In addition to those jobs, the industry
indirectly supports the employment of more
than 89,000 individuals. Overall, the thirdparty debt collection industry maintains a
payroll of $12.6 billion.
Counting both individual and corporate
taxes, third-party collection agencies and
their employees paid more than $1.5 billion
in federal, state and local taxes. Together,
the direct and ancillary impact of the
industry generated $1.6 billion in federal
taxes paid and $1.28 billion in state and
When it comes to philanthropy, third-party
debt collectors are exceptional stewards.
They made an estimated $17.7 million in
charitable contributions in 2016, and industry
employees spent 521,700 hours volunteering
their time to benefit local communities.
While the data in this article reflects
national statistics, local data is also available
to demonstrate the economic impact of the
industry in each of the 50 states. To review the
complete ACA/Ernst & Young report, "The
Impact of Third-Party Debt Collection on the
U.S. National and State Economies in 2016,"