Collector - November 2020 - 39

GOVERNMENTAFFAIRS

reason, compliance officers and agency
operations managers across the country
obsess over the development of policies
and procedures designed to avoid
inadvertent FDCPA violations resulting
from clerical, computer or human error
wherever possible.
Again, it's not enough to have policies
and procedures written down-staff must be
trained, policies communicated, procedures
followed and records kept. Only by taking
these affirmative steps can agencies meet
the third and often overlooked essential
condition of the bona fide error defense:
the maintenance of procedures reasonably
adapted to avoid the violation.
The same may be true when acquiring
information from creditor clients. Too
often, agencies rely blindly on data given

workers' compensation claims that
should be paid by a third party and not
by the consumer?
In short, an agency can't let its creditorclients or vendor-partners decide what's
appropriate for the agency's business risk and
collections operations given the portfolios
that it's handling and the challenges posed
by the accounts in that portfolio. It must
educate clients and work with them to
improve the quality of information submitted
for collection.
Likewise, an agency must not let its
employees decide, each for themselves, when
certain actions might be appropriate. For
example: Is that awkwardly written letter from
the consumer a cease and desist request or is
it a request for verification? Have a process in
place to flag the account and document that

to them by clients. But when dealing
with a new client, take care to evaluate
the history of FDCPA claims relating to
that prospective client's portfolio. And
consider the context of the accounts in
that portfolio in light of potential claims.
Has the creditor provided actual dates of
first delinquency, rather than, say, chargeoff dates? If not, and you credit report
on behalf of that creditor, you may end
up with an FDCPA violation (and
perhaps an FCRA violation to boot). If
you deal with medical clients, do they have
a process in place for verifying placement
of the consumer's actual obligation after
insurance? Or do clients just send the
full balance for collection, regardless of
how much the consumer might actually
owe? Do they have a process for flagging

Quality Management System

Write it.
Do it.
Check it.
Improve it.

A certification designed to:
» Form a foundation for
RFPs, licensing, regulators
and industry certifications
ACA INTERNATIONAL

BLUEPRINT
COLLECTOR 11.20

» Create efficiency
and consistency for
staff and clients

» Develop
» Make continuous
accountability to
improvements
higher standards
across all practices

Build strong business practices people trust.
Visit www.acainternational.org/education/blueprint
to learn more about certifying your company.

39


http://www.acainternational.org/education/blueprint

Collector - November 2020

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