Consumer debt collection helps sustain the credit-based economy in the U.S. According to findings from a new survey by Ernst & Young and ACA International, the health of national and state economies in the U.S. continues to rely on the recovery of rightfully owned consumer debt. However, the data also shows that only a small percentage of outstanding consumer debt was actually recovered in 2013.

Conducted in spring 2014, the survey provides a snapshot of national and state-level collection efforts, including the items below. ACA conducted a similar survey in 2011, and a comparative analysis of the findings can be viewed at

Key findings in the latest survey include:

  • Outstanding Debt: Third-party debt collectors received approximately 1 billion consumer accounts from creditor clients in 2013, with a face value of $756 billion. However, only 7 percent ($55.2 billion) was actually recovered.
  • Recovering Assets: A total of $55.2 billion was recovered from consumers on behalf of creditor and government clients. The collection of consumer debt also provides a valuable benefit to American households by returning an average savings of $479 per household and keeping the costs of goods and services lower.
  • Job Creation: Third-party collection agencies directly employed more than 136,000 people, with a payroll of $6.4 billion. Indirectly, the industry influenced the creation of more than 230,000 jobs, with a payroll of $12.4 billion.
  • Paying Taxes: Third-party collection agencies and their employees paid more than $2.6 billion in federal, state and local taxes.
  • Giving Back: Third-party collection agencies and their employees contributed $130.5 million and volunteered approximately 1.9 million hours to charitable community causes.

Thanks to everyone who participated in the survey and helped with outreach to ACA members. To review the complete ACA/Ernst and Young report, “The Impact of Third-Party Debt Collection to the National and State Economies,” please visit

Reprinted from

About State Collection Service, Inc.

Since 1949, State Collection Service has provided quality collection service to countless healthcare organizations.

Through experience and innovation, State Collection Service has grown to become a tremendously credible and nationally-recognized collection agency offering services from pre-registration to bad debt. It is upon the basis of ethical behavior and a dedication to integrity that each State Collection Service employee works to uphold the company’s vision – Partnerships for a Lifetime.

*This article first appeared in “A State Collection Service, Inc. Newsletter Volume 20, Issue 3, Third Quarter 2014”