Collector – October 2019 - 14

COLLECTIONTIPS

A Clear Path
How to triage stalls, disputes or consumer dissatisfaction.
By Angela Czerlanis

I

n the newly launched update of
ACA's Essential Collection Skills and
Techniques course, we place a fresh
emphasis on the keen listening skills and
quick-thinking that pro collectors need.
Calls move fast. Your ability to triage a
stall, dispute or consumer dissatisfaction and
respond appropriately is crucial to keeping
the call moving and properly servicing the
account for the consumer and your client.

STALLS
Consumers who say, "I'm busy. I can't
talk now" or "My fiancée handles my
money now; you'll have to talk to her,"
might be trying to avoid talking to you,
stalling the inevitable.
Can the issue be resolved or is it a time/
place inconvenience that you must honor
per the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act?
Confirm the preferred call-back time and
record the permission to call back in your
notes. Follow any other restrictions or
guidelines for call backs to prevent possible
harassment.
Think fast about third-party disclosure
risks. Is the fiancée a co-debtor on the
account? If so, the FDCPA would allow
the communication. If not, and they are
not yet official spouses (check state law),
assume the fiancée is a third party. Get
the consumer's prior express consent
to speak to this person before sharing
any information about the debt. If the
fiancée has a power of attorney or legal
authorization, like a conservatorship,
to handle the consumer's finances,
follow your company's policies for
documentation and obtaining the
consumer's consent.

what you're talking about" are
potential disputes under the FDCPA.
Remember, the consumer doesn't need
to use the word "dispute."
If the dispute is received in
writing within the 30-day validation
period, you must stop collection
efforts until verification is sent to
the consumer. While the FDCPA
does not require collectors to send
verification in response to a verbal
dispute, your company may choose
to do so. Your company may have
additional responsibilities under
the Fair Credit Reporting Act. If
you hear anything that sounds like a
potential dispute, take detailed notes
and flag the account.

DISSATISFACTION
One way to manage dissatisfaction is
to let the consumer vent. Listen for
clues that may uncover a dispute or
complaint, which may help you find
ways to negotiate a successful payment
arrangement and timeline.
Does your company follow a defined
procedure for fast-tracking dissatisfied

consumers? Maybe you have someone on
your team who is the go-to for diffusing
escalated situations. Talk with your team
about how you can best triage consumers
so they get help and maintain a positive
experience with the collection process
and your company.
If it's been awhile since you've taken
ACA's Essential Collection Skills and
Techniques course, or it's time to renew your
Professional Collection Specialist (PCS)
designation, check out the new ACA All
Access Training Zone and join an upcoming
webinar to experience the new material.
Angela Czerlanis is ACA International's
compliance education specialist.
For more information, visit www.
acainternational.org/events#trainingzone.

DISPUTES
"Whoa, I don't owe that much" or
"That's not mine, I have no idea

14

ACAINTERNATIONAL.ORG


http://www.acainternational.org/events#trainingzone http://www.ACAINTERNATIONAL.ORG

Collector – October 2019

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Collector – October 2019

President’s Page
Industry News
Best Practices
FYI
Collection Tips
Accessibility From Every Angle
Information Transformation
Calendar
Honor Roll
Education Spotlight
Behind the Name
A.I. is Transforming Compliance. Are You Ready?
What to Watch in 2020
ACA’s Industry Advancement Program Provides Amicus Support in Key FDCPA Statute of Limitations Issue
ACA SearchPoint
Ad Index
Membership
Last Word
Collector – October 2019 - Cover1
Collector – October 2019 - Cover2
Collector – October 2019 - 1
Collector – October 2019 - 2
Collector – October 2019 - 3
Collector – October 2019 - 4
Collector – October 2019 - President’s Page
Collector – October 2019 - Industry News
Collector – October 2019 - 7
Collector – October 2019 - 8
Collector – October 2019 - 9
Collector – October 2019 - Best Practices
Collector – October 2019 - 11
Collector – October 2019 - FYI
Collector – October 2019 - 13
Collector – October 2019 - Collection Tips
Collector – October 2019 - 15
Collector – October 2019 - 16
Collector – October 2019 - 17
Collector – October 2019 - 18
Collector – October 2019 - 19
Collector – October 2019 - Accessibility From Every Angle
Collector – October 2019 - 21
Collector – October 2019 - 22
Collector – October 2019 - 23
Collector – October 2019 - Information Transformation
Collector – October 2019 - 25
Collector – October 2019 - 26
Collector – October 2019 - 27
Collector – October 2019 - 28
Collector – October 2019 - 29
Collector – October 2019 - Calendar
Collector – October 2019 - Honor Roll
Collector – October 2019 - Education Spotlight
Collector – October 2019 - 33
Collector – October 2019 - Behind the Name
Collector – October 2019 - 35
Collector – October 2019 - A.I. is Transforming Compliance. Are You Ready?
Collector – October 2019 - 37
Collector – October 2019 - What to Watch in 2020
Collector – October 2019 - 39
Collector – October 2019 - 40
Collector – October 2019 - 41
Collector – October 2019 - ACA’s Industry Advancement Program Provides Amicus Support in Key FDCPA Statute of Limitations Issue
Collector – October 2019 - 43
Collector – October 2019 - ACA SearchPoint
Collector – October 2019 - Ad Index
Collector – October 2019 - Membership
Collector – October 2019 - 47
Collector – October 2019 - Last Word
Collector – October 2019 - Cover3
Collector – October 2019 - Cover4
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