Collector - May 2018 - 25
The full court press is on to
get debt collectors to align
their compensation and
Here's how to get it right.
By Anne Rosso May
ompensation can be a powerful
motivator, whether it's a straightup bank account deposit or small
rewards doled out for incremental successes.
Using compensation to incentivize
performance is a standard management
technique that works in many industries-
including debt collection. Research from
WorkStride, an employee engagement vendor,
found that incentive programs improve
employee performance by 22 percent. For
years, that technique has meant the more
agents collect, the more they earn.
But the culture has changed, and today
debt collection agencies are also trying to
use their bonus and commission structure
to motivate collectors to comply with their
written policies and procedures. You likely
even have clients who tell you they are more
concerned about consumer treatment than
they are with performance.
In January 2017, Consumer Financial
Protection Bureau then-director Richard
Cordray said, "Most debt collectors are
compensated based on how much they collect,
which can create the kind of serious incentive
problems that we have noted elsewhere in the
But Cordray has moved on and probusiness Mick Mulvaney is leading the
CFPB now, leaving debt collectors to
wonder: in light of this shift, is it still critical
for companies to work on aligning their
compensation and compliance strategies?
Leslie Bender, IFCCE, chief strategy officer
and general counsel for BCA Financial
Services, says the answer is an empathic yes.