CNNMoney.com has posted an interesting article ,that we have turned into a series of posts, where 10 former debt collectors were interviewed to share their experiences in the collections industry…and why they chose to leave it.
Mike Huddleston worked as a debt collector at a bank for 11 years where he was responsible for collecting on, and sometimes repossessing, car and boat loans. Needless to say, this didn’t do much for his popularity and Huddleston says he was threatened with a gun, had 2 Dobermans sicced on him by a debtor. However, Huddleston says he never:
tried to scare people or take advantage of peoples’ ignorance by threatening things like eviction even though we weren’t allowed to evict someone. But it was still tough to deal with people who are struggling so much, and it was even harder knowing that a lot of people aren’t telling you the truth.
The interview doesn’t say why he left the debt collection industry, but Huddleston now works as a consumer credit counselor.
Ryan Neuweg was the founder an owner of a collection agency. He said he immediately realized the industry needed reform after he posted a job vacancy and received over 300 applications, but after telling applicants that drug and background checks were required, the pool dropped to about 100 people.
To assure no harassment or nothing illegal was being done, Neuweg says he:
had to put a lot of checks and balances in place and keep collector morale high to make sure no laws were violated and that standards were met. It’s difficult to make 50 or 60 calls a day to people that don’t want to hear from you — so we had to try to keep the pressure off our collectors so that no one exploded over the phone with a debtor.
Neuweg had to do a lot of collecting himself and says he found it very rewarding to negotiate with debtors who felt “buried alive” by debt and come to an agreement. He now owns a matchmaking business that pairs debt collection companies with businesses.
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