The Twelfth Man of Debt Collection

Posted on: October 31st, 2017

The Twelfth Man in Debt Collections

By Jared Kirby

October 31, 2017


Listening to the noise of the Auto Finance industry could leave you stumbling in a few different directions on where your focus should be for Q1 2018.  Everyone says they’re an advocate of stats and metrics, but most tend to stay away from the daunting task of organizing and sorting spreadsheets as they lack the tools to make this a simple process.  At the end of the day, every company has one common goal; to beat last year’s numbers.


With technology constantly evolving and everybody chiming in with an opinion on what the latest and greatest trend is, it’s often tough to prioritize your projects for the rapidly approaching new year.


The twelfth man in football is arguably the most crucial factor when it comes to having a substantial home field advantage.  Automation in debt collection works the same way.  It’s a secret weapon and a tool in your pocket that isn’t on your payroll.  Every task that you can take out of the hands of an employee and automate is money saved.


I promise that if you took a stop watch to a few simple things on your collection floor and calculated in the average amount you pay an employee to perform manual processes, you would find significant opportunity in looking further into how you can automate these tedious tasks:

  • Logging in to multiple web sites and using intuition to decide which phone numbers and addresses are the most accurate
  • Copy and Pasting this data from one system to another
  • Logging permissible purpose and consent to use the data on subjects and third parties
  • Manually verifying compliance scrubs
  • Tracking compliance rules around each piece of data and how much risk is involved on using that data

Imagine a world where all your collectors had to do was make more quality phone calls and collect money.  As Bill Ploog, a former executive at Ally Financial said, “when you automate these manual processes, you skip the skip.”


The use of automation eliminates the time consuming, manual skip tracing processes most companies use today.  This is a powerful thought that brings us to time management and how you gather data from multiple different data sources.


As technology progresses so does the sophistication of unique data sources that can be directly related to countless Right Party Contacts and locates that would have ended up falling under the charge off category.


Who would have ever thought there would be thousands of cameras driving around taking more than six billion pictures of license plates every month with a geo stamped location tagged to it?  With the evolution of social media and the willingness to post anything about our lives on a public website, social media sites have easily become a skip tracers best friend.  How many people thought getting their oil changed at the local dealership would give away that they were hiding their car in Georgia and not Alabama?


Although every data source has its standalone advantages, the real power behind these new and extremely unique data sources, is comparing them to what we already know.  Comparing, calculating and scoring public records information, LPR data, social media data, vehicle history data and payday loan data sources with artificial intelligence is by far the biggest and most influential trend in 2018.


You can have all the data in the world but as we’ve seen over the last year, security, compliance and risk has been a variable that needs to come first.  With multimillion dollar fines flying around the industry, you have no choice.  Adding automation and new alternative data sources are great, but if you can’t guarantee that the data you already have is secure, you have a sinking ship.


The last trend that I really see taking off in 2018 is forced compliance and data sharing.  Because of the rules around when to call, or more importantly when not to call, skip tracers find themselves hesitating to pick up the phone.  Add the fact the CFPB is now asking companies to produce organized logs showing all the data they gathered in the skip tracing process, where it came from, where it’s been and where it’s going, most companies are left rolling the dice.  The lack of a unified system that tracks and records all phone calls made from the early stages in delinquency through post charge off deficiency collections, internally and at third party vendors, leaves very few ways to measure when and who you can and can’t call. is by far the debt collection industries worst nightmare.  A free app that allows consumers to document calls made to their phone and immediately create legal documentation to file a TCPA claim. Although there is no way to control what your collectors might say on the phone, forced calling compliance can control when that phone number gets dialed and whether it should be dialed again.


These are just a few new features that are becoming more and more important when trying to evaluate where your team is at, and where you should look for improvements in 2018.   If you find yourself juggling projects for the upcoming new year, I highly recommend attending Used Car Week in November in Palm Springs.


While you’re there, we hope you swing by our masterQueue User Conference on November 13th from 9AM to Noon to network and find out how current masterQueue users are currently tapping into technology to stay on top of automation, data, compliance, security and more.



Jared Kirby

(916) 235-1196

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