Webinar offers advice about responding to debt collection calls

Consumer Action and the Consumer Relations Consortium (CRC) last month co-produced a webinar, designed for community-based organizers who work directly with consumers, to offer an “insider’s perspective” on how to start a dialogue with a legitimate debt collector, and how to spot a scam. Approximately 200 participated in the webinar, which was offered twice on June 22 and has been recorded for wider viewing. (Listen to the webinar recording here.)

The interactive session was designed as a follow-up to a guide that was co-produced by CRC and Consumer Action in late 2015, which advises consumers how to tell whether a "debt collection" caller is a scammer and how to respond to authentic debt collection calls. (Download the guide here in English or Spanish.)

Participants were surveyed following the webinar. Results include:

  • 96% of attendees said they found the webinar helpful.
  • 89% said they now planned to download the guide.
  • 96% said they’d like to receive online training on other specific debt collection topics, such as student loans, credit cards or medical debt.

Audrey Perrott, associate director of outreach and training for Consumer Action, said, “We are appreciative for the opportunity to partner with the CRC to develop ‘When a collector calls: An insider’s guide to responding to debt collectors,’ and to train our community partners on how to communicate effectively with legitimate debt collectors, protect rights and avoid debt collection scams. The webinar included a high level of interaction and the presenters offered insight on effective and ineffective strategies for working with collectors. We conducted a pre-training survey, and the industry professionals were able to answer questions asked by our partners on behalf of their clients. Our network partners work with low-to-moderate-income consumers across the country who struggle to pay debt and experience collection problems with all forms of debt. It is my hope that our network partners will use the publication and webinar recording as resources to empower their clients to resolve debt.”

Stephanie Eidelman, co-executive director of the Consumer Relations Consortium, said, “We are thrilled to be able to partner with Consumer Action to bring educational resources that give truly practical insight into how to talk with collectors—who are also regular human beings. If we can demystify what is undoubtedly a scary situation for consumers, it will make for a much less intimidating interaction for all involved.”

About Consumer Action

Through multilingual consumer education materials, community outreach and issue-focused advocacy, Consumer Action empowers underrepresented consumers nationwide to assert their rights in the marketplace and financially prosper.

About the Consumer Relations Consortium

The Consumer Relations Consortium (CRC) is a group of more than 30 of the largest, forward-thinking, and compliance-oriented debt collection firms in the United States. As of 2017, the group also includes creditors and—as part of its new Innovation Council—technology providers. The unique mission of the CRC is to engage in collaborative relationships with consumer advocacy groups and other thought leaders to bridge the gap of expectations often present between consumers and collectors. The ultimate goal is to collect the right debt, from the right consumer, the right way.





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