Category Archives: Collections & Recovery

Collections & Recovery GDPR – Two First Steps for Collectors

GDPR logo
Jun152017

If my last post on GDPR and collections left you feeling mildly depressed, you’re paying attention! Now that we’ve scoped out the difficulties, here are a couple of things you can do to prepare. And preparation, like compliance, is important: GDPR sets out some steep fines for non-compliance, and you don’t want your department — or your vendor — to be the trigger. 1. Create Your Data Inventory GDPR wants you to only use the data that is absolutely necessary. Whether your decisions are based on rules or algorithms, you’re going to have to show what data you are using and how it impacts decisions in collections. As someone executing collection strategies, you want to make sure neither you, your department nor the third parties serving you cause the business to be exposed. You need to make sure you understand where the data you’re using comes from, and prove that... [Read More]

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Collections & Recovery Early Warning Signs on New UK Card Accounts

Pile of credit cards
Jun072017

As noted in my previous post, over the last five years there has been significant growth in exposure, card balances, sales and, to a lesser extent, cash usage on UK cards. This is despite a decrease in the number of total accounts, as acquisitions have not outpaced attrition. Looking at our March 17 report, less than 1% of total card accounts were booked that month, and just under 8% of accounts had been on the books 12 months or less, showing slow growth rates. Fortunately, payments growth has exceeded these metrics and total 1 to 3 cycle accounts and balances decreased over this period. That reduction in delinquent balances isn’t true across the board, though. If you look at the vintage level, you see a different story. Veteran accounts (5+ years) are responsible for the positive news above, and to a lesser extent Established (on the books 1 to 5... [Read More]

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Collections & Recovery Collectors — Get Ready for the IFRS 9 Bucket Challenge

Ice bucket challenge photo
Jun012017

Remember the ice bucket challenge craze? Get ready for the IFRS 9 bucket challenge — it’s even more startling, and nobody’s standing by to give you a warm towel. Like GDPR, IFRS 9 poses major challenges for collectors, just as it does for accountants, IT, risk managers and anyone else in the credit business. So now let’s talk about what you can do. Note: While I’m just talking about IFRS 9 here, you do have to approach it and GDPR in concert, because in some areas they seem to be in conflict. You don’t want to gear up for IFRS 9 and then realize you have to undo some of your strategies or processes to avoid GDPR fines. Build your 30-day plan IFRS 9 says if a customer’s risk deteriorates — including becoming 31 days overdue — they go into Stage 2, and you have to start holding lifetime impairment.... [Read More]

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Collections & Recovery IFRS 9: Three Critical Areas of Focus for Collectors

May152017

My colleague Bruce Curry recently published a blog on “IFRS 9 & Collections – The 31 Day Time Bomb”. During my various client interactions, I can see that many businesses are developing and testing the impairment models that will give them a good understanding on the financial impacts that the new standard will have on their balance sheet performance, but the operational implications are currently less clear. From a practical perspective, I believe there are three areas across collections that should be reviewed to mitigate the increases in impairment that are expected to result from IFRS 9: 1. Pre-arrears strategy – These strategies have been a topic of conversation for a number of years and their success has been mixed. IFRS 9 means that it is now more important than ever to adopt a “prevention rather than cure” approach in mitigating the risk, and flow, of accounts into Stage 1... [Read More]

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Collections & Recovery What is it Costing You to Collect? Are the Odds in Your Favor?

May042017

If you are considering a new collections platform, you are probably already aware that the upfront price isn’t the only cost that you will pay over the lifetime of the system. How much time and effort you actually want to spend calculating the potential total cost of ownership (TCO) as part of your purchase is an individual choice. Many organizations tend to generalize, knowing that TCO isn’t an exact science, and that a new system’s benefits tend to outweigh other factors. As a starting point you should spend some time understanding where common, easily-avoided pitfalls lurk. With this knowledge you will be able to make the right choices that can shift the TCO odds in your favor. Two areas—a platform’s flexibility and security—can have a huge impact on an organization’s exposure to risk and result in unforeseen expenses if not properly supported. Flexibility The ability for a platform to easily... [Read More]

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Collections & Recovery Three Top Regulatory Themes Emerge from Debt Collection Panel

Three Regulatory Themes
Apr102017

I recently moderated a regulatory panel discussion before a group of nearly 100 collections and recovery (C&R) professionals at the FICO® Debt Manager™ User Group Forum. The esteemed panel consisted of a mix of veteran policy and business leaders, including: Maria Wolvin, Vice President and Senior Counsel of Regulatory Affairs at ACA International; Terry Collins, Collections and Recovery Manager at Trustmark National Bank; and Lucia Lebens, Vice President of Government Relations and Public Policy at Navient. Much of the discussion focused on what C&R professionals can expect in the new US regulatory environment that has emerged in the wake of the November elections. While our experts spoke on a number of hot-button topics, three main themes emerged. CFPB Debt Collection Rulemaking Will Likely Move Forward The panel discussed the CFPB’s continued focus on developing new debt collection regulations. The CFPB has indicated that its next pre-rule action will be the... [Read More]

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Collections & Recovery IFRS 9 and Collections – The 31-Day Time Bomb

IFRS 9 as digital clock display
Apr052017

IFRS 9 may just be a new accounting standard, but accountants aren’t the only people scrambling to meet the January 2018 deadline. If you’re involved with consumer debt in any way, this regulation is going to change your world. (Unless, of course, you’re in the US – the name of the game for you will be CECL.) I recently presented a webinar on how IFRS 9 will impact collections, and in this post I’ll share two changes that will have a massive impact on everyone in debt collection, from in-house collectors to DCAs to debt purchasers. At 31 Days, Everything Changes When accounts roll from Stage 1 (low risk) to Stage 2 (impaired risk), it’s a big deal. 31 days is a hard trigger that sends an account from Stage 1 to Stage 2. Impairment for Stage 1 accounts is 12-month expected credit losses. Impairment for Stage 2 and 3 accounts... [Read More]

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Collections & Recovery Why GDPR Is a Four-Letter Word for Collectors

GDPR logo
Mar202017

Collectors in Europe who have been ignoring GDPR because it was risk’s problem, or the CIO’s problem, or the compliance team’s problem should think again. GDPR could well be a four-letter word for collections. You’re probably familiar with the General Data Protection Regulation, Europe’s attempt to create a single, enforceable standard to protect the freedom and rights of EU citizens. But you might not have thought much about it from a collections perspective. I just presented a webinar on GDPR in collections, so I’ve got an hour’s worth of material if you want to listen to it. However, I’ll keep it brief here and just give you 11 takeaways to ponder: 1. It applies from 25 May 2018. You have a year to get comfortable with it. 2. It’s not just about social media data. That’s how it started, but it broadened into an all-encompassing piece of regulation by the time it... [Read More]

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Collections & Recovery What We Heard When UK Collectors Sat Down

Word balloons with key themes
Feb082017

Last week I sat down with around 20 executives who manage collections for both lenders and debt collection agencies in the UK, to discuss what’s happening in the industry and how analytics — FICO’s specialty — can help. I will discuss my takeaways from this meeting in a separate post, but first I want to share some of the statements made during this meeting. If you ask me, the diversity of opinions in this group, and the participants’ clear desire to improve collections and customer relationships, show how much the industry is changing. This was not your father’s back-room chat on how to squeeze people for cash. This was a group of highly engaged professionals who understand regulations, customer needs and technology as well as anyone in the lending industry. Here are some quotes that should get anyone in the collections industry thinking. Regulation “The FCA is asking, ‘Are we... [Read More]

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Collections & Recovery How Thames Water Cut Bad Debt by 11% in a Year

Thames Water logo
Feb072017

Think of collections and most people think of angry phone calls and repossessed cars and homes. But what happens when you provide an essential service you can’t switch off? That’s the case for Thames Water, the UK’s largest provider of water and wastewater services, which uses technology to increase results. Thames Water has reduced bad debt by 11% in the last 12 months by innovating its collections process using FICO® Debt Manager™ solution. For its achievement, Thames Water has been awarded the FICO Decisions Award for Debt Management. “The introduction of Debt Manager 9 has allowed us to design our treatment strategies from the bottom-up — rather than building strategies to the system limitations, we built them to the business and customer needs,” said Ross Betts, Thames Water’s collections system, strategy & segmentation manager. “This program has been hugely successful, not least because it managed to implement several ambitious goals... [Read More]

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