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    Job Security?

    Tales from the Trenches of Debt Management 

    The Federal Reserve released the Q1 2024 numbers on household debt and delinquency in the USA. As a collections leader, you may view the latest numbers as good news from a ‘job security’ perspective. As a risk operations leader, I remember a time when my employer ran a big lending initiative calling it “Ride the Wave.” As that vintage of accounts made its way through collections, we started an initiative sarcastically naming it “Stop the Wave”! Throughout the years, I have often quipped that every time lending gets creative, collectors get job security! 

    The headline from the Fed is “Household Debt Rose by $184 Billion in Q1 2024; Delinquency Transition Rates Increased Across All Debt Types” Federal Reserve Bank of NY, May 14, 2024. Some of the highlights from the report include the following:  

    • Credit Card serious delinquency (90+ days past due) rose from 4.57% 1Q23 to 6.86% 1Q24 
    • Auto loan serious delinquency (90+ days past due) rose from 2.33% 1Q23 to 2.78%1Q24 
    • “Other” debt serious delinquency (90+days past due) rose from 4.35%1Q23 to 5.43% 1Q24 

    So…is this job security if you are in the business of collections? Maybe! I would argue that it all depends on what YOU DO with the opportunity in front of you.  

    With all the respect for my debt management colleagues, let’s keep it real. Collections is a hard function in an organization. It seldom gets the recognition it deserves from its leadership. Normally the only time you get ANY attention is when the numbers are deteriorating, and loss reserves must be increased. Your agents spend their days talking to customers who are financially distressed and often vent their frustration. Keeping morale and attrition in check is its own challenge.  Trying to inject some humor in this burnout role included running contests such as “most no’s received,” and “most hang-ups in an hour”. Many days I remember looking across my floor to make sure my collectors had not run away.  

    Back to the opportunity in front of you. Now may be your best chance to ask for what you need to do your best for your customers and your organization. If, as the numbers suggest, serious delinquency will continue to deteriorate leading to higher write-offs…are you set up for success? Do you and your agents have the tools to deal with your customers effectively and efficiently? If you cannot say confidently YES, then now is the perfect time to ask for what you need to stem the tide of escalating debt! 

    If you want to take advantage of the current headwinds in debt management, it’s time to look at alternatives. A lot has changed since your current solution was likely built several decades ago. Conversions can be much easier, integrations can be seamless, and both productivity and results can be improved. Can that be said with your current solution? Most likely not! 

    If this is you, now is the time to call us. We are Telrock Systems, and we offer a cloud-native, end-to-end, SaaS debt management solution called Optimus. We’ve de-risked the 3 biggest issues of system replacement: conversion, integration & upgrades.  

    Take advantage of this opportunity and “Stop the Wave” for your organization! 

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