December 17, 2014

How to Become an Intelligent Debt Collector in 2015

Since the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFBP) was founded in 2011, the Financial Industry continues to face scrutiny surrounding debt collection. According to the CFPB’s 2014 annual consumer complaint report, there were 163,000 complaints in 2013, which was 80% more than when it first started 4 years ago.

With consumer complaints on the rise, regulations governing fair collection practices are only becoming stricter. Through their enforcement, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau has secured more than $1.6 billion in relief for consumers who were victims of these violations. This means as a business, you must take the right steps to ensure your collectors are abiding by the law when speaking to consumers.

In the instance that CFPB regulators do come knocking on your door, it is critical that you have a concrete plan in place that demonstrates that the practices your collectors engage in don’t amount to intrusive behavior. Rather than living in fear of CFPB fines, protect your business by adopting technology that provides these 3 things:

1. Call History: It’s important to monitor the calls your debt collectors’ make down to the frequency, time and length of each call. This way, if you ever are questioned about your collectors’ practices, you can have accurate reports to support your case.

2. Call Recording: In the absence of call detail records, it ultimately amounts to one person’s word against the other and historically, regulators have assumed the business is at fault. Do yourself a favor and implement call recording on all your calls, so in the chance that regulators do question your collectors’ practices; you can produce detailed audio records immediately upon their request.

3. Speech Analytics: To ensure bullet-proof protection when it comes to CFPB regulations, you may want to go a step beyond call recording and adopt a technology that performs speech analytics on your calls. It’s a fact that regulators have become highly targeted and subjective towards debt collectors, so it’s your job to capture every detail of your calls. With speech analytics enabled, you can turn the unstructured audio from interactions into actionable intelligence that can be used to monitor your reps behavior – this includes tracking words of harassment or profanity.

Staying clear of CFPB regulators in 2015 means adopting a pro-active approach. Set your collectors up for success from the onset by taking advantage of the many analytic technologies out there that can help you establish best practices around behaviors and assist you in managing to those standards on an ongoing basis. Marketing Compliance professionals like Gryphon Networks can assist your company in becoming CFPB compliant. For more information, call us at 866.366.6822.