Gordon Beck, the chief executive of Diversified Consultants, Inc. (DCI), has a bold prediction for the ARM industry for 2018. Speaking on a webinar last week which was sponsored by Microbilt, Beck said that 2018 will be the ARM’s industry’s “best year in a decade.”
To support his prediction, Beck pointed to growing consumer confidence which is presenting an opportunity to collect more money. As well, the delays and issues that impacted refund returns during last year’s tax season will not happen again and as people are looking to “rebuild their credit,” they will pay their bills, Beck said.
The objective of the webinar was to provide an in-depth outlook at what 2018 has in store for the ARM industry. A recording of the webinar is available here.
The big question for the industry is how the changes in leadership at the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau will impact the ARM industry. A new director could impact the ARM industry in a number of ways. The CFPB has been working on a rule for the debt collection industry for nearly four years, and that rule may be in jeopardy under a new director. A new director may also choose to make changes to enforcement prerogatives that could mean fewer investigations and enforcement actions against collection agencies. And if the CFPB does decide not to move forward with a rule or does take fewer enforcement actions, then many in the industry expect state attorneys general and state regulators to increase their regulatory oversight over collection agencies. There are a lot of potential dominoes that could fall, depending on who is nominated to be the next director of the CFPB.
“I do not believe that the bureau will propose a debt collection rule in 2018,” said David Cherner, a lawyer with the firm of Moss & Barnett. That being said, “I think that the value of a rule outweighs the value of not having a rule.”
Said June Coleman, a lawyer with the law firm of Kronick Moskovitz Tiedemann & Girard: “If there is going to be a pullback with regulation, then states will step up to the plate. There are a number of states with active attorneys general.”
Each of the panelists were excited about developing new technologies that could help improve right party contacts and payment rates.
“We are seeing a major movement among clients and issuers, there is a strong push in using new technologies and more technology,” said Ohad Samet, the co-founder and chief executive of TrueAccord. “There is a thirst from consumers and clients to move away from the call center model.”