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Collections Information

Facts and statistics about third-party debt collection.

  • In 2010, agencies recovered nearly $54.9 billion in total debt, on which they earned $10.3 billion in commissions. Removing commission amounts from the total debt recovered leaves more than $44.6 billion in debt that agencies returned on a commission basis to creditors and the U.S. economy. (Source: The Impact of Third-Party Debt Collection on the National and State Economies, February 2012.)
  • The collection industry saved the average American household $396 in 2010. This amount represents dollars households would have spent if businesses were forced to raise prices to cover bad debt. (Source: The Impact of Third-Party Debt Collection on the National and State Economies, February 2012.)
  • U.S. collection agencies directly employ approximately 148,300 people in debt collection agencies and support the indirect and induced employment of more than 153,300 individuals in industries that sell goods and services to debt collection agencies and their employees. Considering both the direct and indirect economic impacts of the debt collection industry, the total employment impact on the U.S. is nearly 302,000 jobs with a total payroll impact of $10.1 billion. (Source: The Impact of Third-Party Debt Collection on the National and State Economies, February 2012.)
  • Job growth for bill and account collectors is expected to be 15 percent by 2022. There were approximately 397,000 bill and account collectors employed in the United States in 2012, and projected employment for the industry is more than 455,000 by 2022. (Source: 2014/15 Bureau of Labor Statistics’ Occupational Outlook Handbook.)
  • In 2010, collection agencies had a payroll that included nearly $5.0 billion of direct wage and salary payments to employees of collection agencies as well as $5.1 billion of indirect income paid to employees of businesses in other industries. Combined, these income impacts total $10.1 billion. (Source: The Impact of Third-Party Debt Collection on the National and State Economies, February 2012.)
  • Third-party debt collection agencies made a total of $85 million in charitable contributions in 2011, and industry employees spent approximately 652,000 hours at company-sponsored volunteer activities. (Source: The Impact of Third-Party Debt Collection on the National and State Economies, February 2012.)
  • U.S. debt collection agencies were estimated to directly create $495 million of federal tax, $289 million of state tax and $221 million of local tax, for a combined tax impact of more than $1 billion. (Source: The Impact of Third-Party Debt Collection on the National and State Economies, February 2012.)
  • The Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, the primary federal law regulating third-party collection agencies, was enacted in 1977 with the support of ACA to protect consumers from unfair and abusive collection practices. (Source: A Guide to the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act.)
  • Approximately 69 percent of collectors are female, while about 28 percent are male. (Source: 2012 Benchmarking & Agency Operations Survey, ACA International, March 2012.)
  • Annual compensation (including base salary and commissions) for a full-time collector averages $38,000. (Source: ACA’s 2013 Compensation & Benefits Survey, March 2013.)

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