This newly updated bestseller by Marketdata examines the $12 billion business
of debt collection agencies. Complaints by consumers about harassment by
collectors still exists and tops the list of complaints to the FTC. With the
recession, it has gotten worse, since it has become more difficult to collect
on (liquidate) accounts. Lots of accounts are being placed, but colleting is
more difficult, since many consumers are still out of work, have high debt
service loads, face high gas prices, and are struggling to pay for the
necessities, with little left over to repay debts.
Collections is a fragmented business of 4,500 mostly small firms. Major
consolidation has taken place amongst collections agencies since the late
1990's, and one firm, NCO Financial Systems, now accounts for $1.5 billion in
sales, by virtue of acquiring its biggest competitor (OSI Solutions).
Technology is making firms more efficient and profitability had risen until
the recession hit. After a period of strong growth from 1999-2004, top-line
revenue growth has slowed substantially - only 3.9% last year. Industry
receipts fell by nearly 10% in 2008-2009 - the first time in 20 years. Future
growth will have to come from untapped niche segments such as healthcare
accounts, legal, cell phone bills, municipal government, and outsourced IRS
The study examines industry revenues/growth, competitor profiles/rankings,
consumer debt trends and industry issues, extensive operating ratios, etc.
Covers national revenues (1987-2010 actual, 2011 estimates, 20012 & 2016
forecasts), latest Census data industry operating ratios. The study examines
consumer debt trends, foreclosure trends, bankruptcy trends, the debt buying
market, outsourcing, status of IRS tax debt business, major market segments
Contains 49 tables and charts. This report is also sold by chapters. Call for
Table of Contents
Introduction: Report Scope, Sources of Information, Methodology
Executive Overview of Major Findings
- Discussion of major findings, status of the industry, industry structure,
nature of the profession, major trends affecting collections agencies,
industry receipts: (1987-2010 actual, 2011-2012 est., 2016 forecast) -
major competitors' mkt. share, consolidation, collection methods, recovery
rates, debt buying, effects of the recession, mkt. segments, commercial vs.
consumer accts., new technologies, latest Census ratios, consumer debt
trends/other demand indicators, other industry analysts' opinions -
highlights of ALL study chapters.
Nature & Status Report of the Industry
- Definition & characteristics of the business: history & development,
Census NAICS codes, how services operate, no. of services nationwide/recent
- Status Report: Number of agencies in U.S., profitability, growth, no. of
workers, effect of the recession, etc.
- Findings/opinion of Kaulkin Ginsberg, ACA trade group, Faulkner & Gray
(recent surveys, discussion of major trends)
- Collection Techniques: discussion of "traditional" collection techniques &
how agencies operate (letters, phone calls, legal action, use of operatives),
what methods work best, current recovery rates, contingency fees, customer
FDCPA & Consumer Complaints About Debt Collectors
- Discussion of major complaints about collection harassment and
unethical/illegal practices, privacy issues.
- Recent legislation/fines by FTC, settlements, new rules
- Definition and explanation of 1977 Fair Debt Collection Practices Act,
- State actions by NY Attorney General against collection firms
- FTC report on FDCPA: act requirements, prohibitions, etc.
- Types of violations committed by debt collectors, by % of total complaints
in 2010, FTC enforcement examples
- Table: 2010 no. of consumer complaints by type
Major Industry Trends & Factors Affecting Demand
- Industry placements volume rises but liquidations fall, is this industry
recession-proof or even recession-resistant ?
- Summary: The growth of consumer debt/trends through 2011: (Federal
Reserve, BEA, consulting firms data), delinquencies & charge-off rates,
- Bankruptcy trends: personal vs. business, discussion of Chapter 7, 11, 13
types, peak levels and reasons, regional differences
- Major trends affecting the business - discussion of consolidation,
increased consumer debt, emergence of the "debt buying mkt." ($ size, no.
of competitors, trade group), outsourcing of collections to India, Web-based
applications, call center advances, international expansion, IRS outsourcing,
client consolidation, status of debt buying market.
- Foreclosure trends: foreclosure rates, delinquencies, states with highest
- Findings of latest Kaulkin Ginsberg research/reports
- Emerging collection technologies - integration of computer/telecommun.
systems, pre-authorized draft printing (leading firms, how service works,
software vs. service bureau approaches), skip tracing, predictive dialing,
check verification & computer databases.
- Consumer credit outstanding and finance rates: 1992-2011
- Ratios of debt payments to family income: 1998 to 2007
- U.S. non-commercial bankruptcies, by type: 1991-2011
Industry Size, Growth, Segments & Forecasts
- Demand indicators: growth in "placements" value (Amer. Collectors Assn.),
limitations of data, opinions, how recession-proof is the business?
- Comparison of industry receipts estimates by: U.S. Census Bureau, Kaulkin
Ginsberg, PriceWaterhouseCoopers, Ernst & Young, Marketdata
- Effects of the recession on collectability and revenues
- Growth of leading companies, 2011 vs. 2010
- Estimated value of consumer, medical, government, communication markets.
- 2010-2011 performance/growth/rationale, 2016 forecasts: discussion of
growth/reasons and contributing factors, opinions of Kaulkin Report, industry
competitors, analysts, short and long-term factors affecting demand and
growth, weighted sales increase of top competitors.
- Market segments & niches: consumer vs. commercial accounts, estd. share of
- *Industry receipts (1987-2010 Census), Marketdata estimates/projections
for 2011 & 2012, 2016 forecasts ($ value, % changes)
- *Industry receipts by: consumer, healthcare, gov't., telecommun., other
- *Debt recovered by collection agencies, by state: $, 2010
Government Tax Debt: A Status Report
- Findings of PriceWaterhouseCoopers study: amounts referred and collected.
- In-depth discussion of government tax debt, possible huge new market
represented by IRS outsourcing of collections to outside agencies: tax debt,
non-tax debt, child support, Treasury Dept. & other programs status as of FY
2010, actual collections
- Explanation of Treasury Offset Program - FY 2010 results, amounts, child
support, cross servicing
- Objections to outsourcing
Industry Economic Structure & Operating Ratios
- Findings of past ACA Benchmarking Survey: expenses as % gross revenues,
liquidation percentages, cost per acct., acct. size, collections per employee
- Summary, discussions of: no. of services, annual receipts (2007 vs. 2002),
payroll costs, avg. receipts per firm/establishment, legal form of firms,
concentration levels for 50 largest firms, single vs. multi-unit operations,
services by receipts size of firms & individual estabs., top 10 states (mkt.
potential, $ value of receipts), avg. receipts per service, by state
- 15-year snapshot of the industry - 1992-2007, key ratios.
- Legal format - corporations, partnerships, proprietorships (no. of
estabs., receipts, payroll as % receipts, avg. receipts (2007, 2002, 1997)
- Concentration ratios: largest 4, 8, 20, 50 firms (no. of estabs.,
revenues, as % total industry, payroll, no. of workers (2007, 2002, 1997)
- Single vs. multi-unit firms (1, 2, 3-4, 5-9, 10+ facilities) no. of
firms, estabs., receipts, avg. receipts, payroll costs (2007, 2002, 1997)
- Annual receipts size of FIRMS, measures as above, 11 sales size classes
from $100 mill. to under $10,000 (2007, 2002, 1997)
- Annual receipts size of individual ESTABLISHMENTS, ratios as above, 11
classes: $10+ mill. to under $10,000 (2007, 2002, 1997)
- State analysis: No. of total adjustment & collection services, receipts,
avg. receipts per estab., % of national receipts for 50 states (2007, 2002)
- Estabs. & receipts, by major city (2007, 1997)
Collection Agency Competitor Profiles
(company overview & business description, products, strategies, recent
acquisitions, operations, recent developments, financial summary - 2009-2001
and prior years)
- NCO Financial Systems (and Outsourcing Solutions Inc.)
- Encore Capital Group
- Asset Acceptance Capital
- iQor (Intellirisk Management)
- Convergent Resources
- Largest collection firms, ranked by revenues: 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011
- Top debt buyer companies, ranked by 2008 & 2007 revenues
- 50 largest firms, by collection agency placements: 2005 (First Detroit
- 50 largest collection agencies, by revenues: 2005 (First Detroit
- 50 largest collection firms, by no. of branch offices: 2005 (First
Reference Directory of Industry Information Sources
- Name/address/phone/key contacts of credit and collections trade groups,
journals, magazines, directories, federal and state agencies, etc.