We can all attest that 2020 was a year for the books. The onset of the pandemic affected every part of our world, including the debt collections industry. Consumer debt reached numbers higher than ever before, so it is understandable that debt collectors had to step up their game. With COVID-19 still impacting the industry, here are two interesting debt collection trends for 2021.
In today’s world, consumers can hop online and take care of most purchases and financial obligations without ever speaking to a real human. Artificial intelligence and automation are becoming more and more critical in the debt collection process.
According to Inside ARM, debt collectors are increasingly adopting self-service portals where borrowers can make a payment without having to speak with a person on the phone. This tool will also be a great way to put the decision back in the hands of the consumer and allow them to pay their debt at their convenience.
The new guidelines set by the CFPB will have the biggest impact on what’s to come in 2021 with debt collections trends. Research from TransUnion shows that last year 22% of collectors reached out to their customers via text and 87% via a phone call. While texting still trails far behind phone calls, it is expected to rise as more debt collectors become open to modernized forms of communication.
“As the collections industry looks ahead to 2021, one of the few positives from 2020 is that modernization of collections practices may become the norm for more large and small agencies,” said Glen Goldstein, executive vice president of diversified markets at TransUnion.
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