“[Debt] Collectors actually care about consumers… They want to teach consumers how to get out of debt. They’re trying to put themselves out of business.” – Rozanne Andersen, general counsel of ACA International (formerly the American Collectors Association) as quoted in this morning’s NYT article, “Debt Collectors Try to Put on a Friendlier Face.” As times get tougher and the options for borrowing from Peter to pay Paul shrink, more accounts are becoming delinquent. This means booming business for debt collectors, but increased activity could bring scrutiny from politicians and regulators, as well as consumer backlash. So, infamous for harassing debtors with abusive and threatening language and incessant calls (all violations of Federal regulations), the industry is trying a new tactic: playing Mr. Nice Guy. They’re conducting personal finance management courses, writing columns about how Abraham Lincoln couldn’t pay his debts, and opened a full-time lobbying office in Washington DC this month.
(Thanks to George!) (Photo: Getty)