Working Hard to Shape Effective Legislation
State Collection Service has always taken great pride in our involvement within the accounts receivable industry, both at the state level as well as the national level. A key part of this has been a commitment by the company and our staff to engage at a political level when legislation arises that will affect our business and the way in which we are able to service our clients.
Late in the Fall, the Wisconsin Collectors Association sponsored a Legislative Day at the Wisconsin State Capitol in Madison. The specific purpose of this event was to encourage members to meet with their legislators and discuss two specific topics that would greatly enhance our ability to work on behalf of clients. So important are these two items that we had employees from each of our three Wisconsin locations come to Madison to attend and meet with legislators.
The first piece of legislation would allow for the state’s post-judgment interest rate to increase to the previous level of 12%. Currently, this interest rate stands at prime plus 1%, a change that was made back in 2011. Since that time, State Collection Service and other member agencies have been working hard to reverse this change – we recognize that such a low rate is detrimental to our clients and makes it more expensive for them to provide services vital to our communities.
The second item we wanted brought to the attention of legislators relates to the ability for call center staff to work from home. While allowed in many other states, this is something that has not been able to grab much of a foothold in Wisconsin. For a company like ours, with the security, technology, and quality assurance infrastructure in place to manage individuals working from outside of our office buildings, having the ability to employ staff that can work from their own homes opens up a large pool of potential candidates. Specifically, we are looking for the ability to allow long-term employees, who have become disabled or moved out of the vicinity of any of our locations, to continue their employment with us. The value of long-term staff is immeasurable and such legislation would allow us to retain such a valuable workforce. Moreover, this legislation provides us with the opportunity to employ veterans, disabled individuals, stay-at-home parents, or anyone who, for whatever reason, is restricted in their ability to come to an office every day. Such legislation is a win for businesses and individuals alike.
All in all, the entire group that was at the Capitol that day met with 24 legislators and/or their key staff members. These legislators represent areas throughout the state and were all more than willing to listen to us and understand how these issues affect our business, our clients, and, ultimately, the consumers that they represent. I truly appreciate the number of State Collection Service employees who took the time to discuss these important issues with their representatives – not only do these types of grass-roots efforts help further important causes, our presence during the Legislative Day certainly helped to educate many of our state’s representatives on what we do as a company and how truly consumer-focused we strive to be. Most importantly, I am proud to report that due to our efforts that day, the Wisconsin State Assembly and Senate are currently preparing to present bills that will increase the post-judgment rate and allow call center staff to work from home. We expect that these will be presented for a vote during floor periods in the first quarter and will each pass without must fuss.
For our staff who attended that day, they had an opportunity to witness first-hand just now much power they hold as citizens. So many of us often feel that our individual voices are too small to be heard in the halls of government, but this group can tell you otherwise. Had it not been for them and the others who attended meetings that day, neither of these issues would have gained much traction. So I encourage each of you as well, as this election year gets into full swing to remember how important your voice is – whether for business or for personal matters – and to take the opportunity to talk to your representatives about the issues that mean something to you.
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 22, Issue 1, First Quarter 2016”