ACSI believes that the content, timing, and sequence of calls and letters are complementary and should work together to ensure attempts are made to contact all consumers and, equally important, create a sense of importance that encourages more consumers to contact us to resolve their debts. We don’t, however, believe that dunning consumers with a barrage of harassing and/or threatening calls and letters equates to “importance,” nor does it elicit positive responses from consumers. ACSI’s approach to contacting consumers through letters and telephone calls is a four-fold strategy that integrates regulatory compliance, compelling verbiage, convenient contact times and toll-free numbers, and a posture of cooperation. The effectiveness of our approach is evidenced through our successful call and letter campaigns that include:
- Compliant with Regulatory Mandates and Constraints - All ACSI letters and scripts are reviewed by ACSI’s Director of Compliance and approved by attorneys via ACA’s Members’ Attorney Program before they are released for use. These compliance and legal reviews and approvals ensure all communications are compliant with the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) and all other relevant federal and state regulatory rules; contain all disclosures, such as the Mini-Miranda; and are accurate in both context and content based on debt type and client contract requirements. All consumer telephone calls are recorded and archived for future use, including internal and client auditing for compliance and quality assurance.
- Customized to Meet Client Requirements and Preferences - All letters and scripts used to communicate with clients’ consumers are customized to integrate all of their requirements and preferences. Customizations include providing one or more language translations to accommodate a client’s consumer demographic, incorporating any terms or conditions outlined by a client, and modifying ACSI’s existing letter content to reflect client language usage and preference. In addition, for clients who use a consolidated master contract to service multiple locations and/or user entities, ACSI customizes every letter to be used for each location and/or entity.
- Flexible Letter Series - ACSI’s system houses hundreds of collection letter templates, including, but not limited to, validation letters; payment arrangement agreement letters; 1st, 2nd, 3rd, and final notice letters; settlement offer letters; and paid-in-full letters. Letters are automatically generated by the collection system based on account status and previous collection activity; Recovery Agents can also select agent-approved letters and request letters be sent. In general, ACSI sends initial letters within one to two days of account placement and makes telephone calls within three to five days after letters have been sent; our rationale for making telephone calls within this time frame is that we believe this approach to be the most considerate and professional because it allows consumers time to receive the initial letters and respond to them first should they choose to do so. Follow-up letters are sent based on debt type; type of consumer response, including no response; and as soon as legally permissible and/or in compliance with client contract requirements.
- Managed Outbound Calls - Outbound calls are driven in three ways: (1) ACSI’s Recovery Managers establish dialer pools that our dialer uses to automatically make calls to consumers; consumers who answer the dialer calls are immediately connected to the next available Recovery Agent working the dialer pools; (2) ACSI’s collection system manages Recovery Agents’ work queues by displaying the next collection activity to be performed; Recovery Agents make calls based on those work queue activity requirements, including follow-up calls to consumers who have missed payments; and (3) Recovery Agent return calls based on consumer voice mail messages. In all cases, ACSI’s Recovery Agents verify that the right consumers have been contacted and all disclosures have been presented to them.
- Varied and Nationwide Coverage - To better service our clients’ portfolios that contain accounts for consumers who are located throughout the U.S., ACSI provides several customer service support channels designed to allow consumers more, and easier, options to reach and respond to ACSI, including extended and weekend work hours; planned additional locations for increased time zone coverage; and an automatic outbound call monitor that permits calls to be scheduled or made only within allowable time frames and prohibits call attempts outside of allowable call times.