Getting to Know Sarah Ritter of CSO Financial

Sarah Ritter’s start in the collection industry is something out of a movie. Getting a new job, and then almost immediately watching her supervisor and the senior collector quit, leaving her to figure it all out on her own. Twenty-three years later, she is now the president of collections at CSO Financial. Read on to learn more about Sarah, why morning brain isn’t a bad thing for her, and the one thing she can’t live without.

Name: Sarah Ritter
Current Role/Job Title: President of Collections
Company: CSO Financial, Inc.
Length of time at current company: 23 years
Length of time in industry: 23 years

How did you get your start in the industry?
A friend of mine at the time was working for CSO Financial, Inc., formerly known as Credit Services of Oregon. She thought I should swing in and fill out an application. At the time I was the assistant manager at Papa Murphy’s Pizza. I had been there seven years at that time and had dealt with every kind of person imaginable. I was also the one in charge of calling people when their checks didn’t clear. So I swung in one day filled out an application and about a week later I received a “Sorry, we are not hiring you” letter. The next week the supervisor called me in for an interview and hired me on the spot. Green as could be. Within my first 90 days of being there, turmoil that had been brewing with the supervisor and owner exploded. She walked out, and shortly thereafter the senior collector in the office took another job and well I was left to figure it out! So, I did. I made it my goal to figure it out and succeed. Now 23 years later I am where I am.

What is your career highlight so far?
Gosh, well, I am not sure. I feel like from my start to where I am now is a great accomplishment.

When or how are you most productive?
Mornings, give me my morning brain and I am fresh. I can get paperwork done, calls made, questions answered. I’m good to go!

Which industry professional do you admire most?
I would have to say Cortney Helfrich. I met her one time way back at a conference and she was just a training supervisor at that time but I loved her energy. She was so fierce on learning and teaching.

What is one thing you do better than everyone else?
Problem solve and maybe give my opinion a little too much but hey that’s me!

What do you like most about this industry?
The constant change. This job is forever changing and that keeps it interesting.

What is one thing you wish you could change about this industry?
The stigma of debt collectors. We are not sending Guido guys. We are here to help!

If you weren’t in this industry, what would you be doing?
I would have to say that I honestly don’t know. Something in an office setting for sure.

Describe a typical work day
BUSY! I wear a lot of different hats so I am either learning, reading, training, writing work instructions, doing webinars, problem solving and sometimes I get to just collect money.

What is your guilty pleasure?
Ice cream. Love it and can’t live without it!

What is the best advice you’ve ever received?
My dad taught me that when you do a job, do it 100% the first time. That way you are not constantly having to fix things.

What are you currently reading?
Oh, well, nothing specific other then work instructions, policies, and training … you know the usual.

What is one fact you’d like everyone in the industry to know about you?
I love going camping, fishing, and hanging out with my family. I am such a homebody it’s unreal!

Who else would you like to see answer these questions?
Honestly, anyone and everyone. I love reading these!

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