You have to tip your cap to someone who can say that collections is in his blood and that the job is something that just came naturally. Todd Figard has spent his entire career in collections and loves it so much that he really can’t ever see himself doing anything else. Read on to learn more about Todd, how his morning routine ensures his day gets off to a good start, and the importance of having positive energy.
Name: Todd Figard
Current Role/Job Title: Director of Servicing | Chief Compliance Officer
Company: Time Investment Company, Inc
Length of time at current company: 4.5 years
Length of time in industry: 20+ years
How did you get your start in the industry?
My first collection job was as a call center collector for Talk.com collecting on America Online Long-Distance phone service. Later I moved on to Special Data Processing collecting on magazine subscriptions. Collections came naturally to me and in 2003 I landed at Van Ru Credit Corporation collecting on defaulted student loans for the Florida Department of Education. I worked my way up and eventually became a General Manager for Van Ru managing varied portfolios and debt types over the years including FFEL and FDSL student loans, auto loans, credit cards, medical, purchased debt both in and out of stat, and legal collections for various clients and portfolios.
What is your career highlight so far?
I would say my current role and position are my career highlight. Time Investment Company is a family-owned direct sales finance company that is rapidly growing. Being able to bring my experience and skills into a role where I am able to help shape and forge the direction of the company is beyond exciting. Working with a team of leaders, executives, and owners who share the same values and put people and relationships first has helped create a culture that people want to be a part of.
When or how are you most productive?
I am most productive in the morning. I get up at 4am daily and have a morning ritual of feeding my mind, body, and spirit by listening to various forms of content and hitting the gym first thing. I usually start my work day at 7am and find the first 2-3 hours of the day the most productive for me.
Which industry professional do you admire most?
I have so many people that I have had the privilege of working with and learning from. I could name several but will stop at these two. Roni Teson and James Lincoln.
What is one thing you do better than everyone else?
A greet each day with a fresh optimism and make sure to convey that daily to others when I speak with them. Positive energy is infectious.
What do you like most about this industry?
I like the skills that you develop in the process of learning and becoming successful in collections.
What is one thing you wish you could change about this industry?
Some of the rules and regulations that are outdated and hinder being able to collect effectively in the modern age.
If you weren’t in this industry, what would you be doing?
That is hard to say since collections seems to be in my blood. Considering I am now in a first party role that covers more than just collections I would say I would likely be in Finance and/or Operations.
Describe a typical work day
Typical days consist of reviewing MTD KPIs including monthly delinquency, loss rates, collections and charge off recoveries. Once KPIs are reviewed tactical meetings take place with department heads and managers to review strategy and projections. Remainder of time is spent on compliance issues and complaint management.
What is your guilty pleasure?
Grilled or smoked meats including steak, pulled pork, ribs, etc.
What is the best advice you’ve ever received?
Talk to and listen to people. Listening doesn’t mean you have to agree with them or their viewpoint. Don’t assume you know what someone is going to tell you before they have finished saying what they have to say. Listen until they are done speaking before responding or taking action.
What are you currently reading?
I am re-reading “How to Win Friends and Influence People” by Dale Carnegie, the original version.
Who else would you like to see answer these questions?
Joe Hankins, James Lincoln.