U.S. collection agencies resolved 86% of the consumer complaints received in 2012; exceeding the national average of 77% for all industries, according to the Council of Better Business Bureau's report on inquiries and complaint statistics.

ACA International, the largest association representing collection agencies, on Tuesday applauded the industry's success. 

“While the goal is to avoid complaints, this year’s rate of resolution tops 2011’s 83% showing how serious debt collectors take consumer complaints and how committed they are at working with consumers to find solutions,” ACA International CEO Pat Morris said. “Since 2002, collection agencies have consistently been above the national average in resolving more than 80% of the consumer complaints filed with the BBB.”
 
Overall, the BBB system received nearly 1.5 million inquiries about collection agencies in 2012 and of these, approximately 24,500 (1.6%) were recorded as complaints. The total number of consumer inquiries and complaints for all industries as tracked by the BBB continued to rise in 2012, now topping 117 million inquiries and 950,000 complaints. In 2011, the organization received a more than 97 million inquiries and 895,000 complaints for all industries combined.
 
According to Morris, “We will continue to provide educational resources to help our members, and their employees, prevent, manage and resolve consumer complaints.  It’s imperative that consumers not avoid debt collectors because, in many cases, the matter at hand can be effectively resolved through communication with the collector making contact.”
 
ACA International members continue working with federal and state regulators, lawmakers and enforcement authorities to ensure a balanced debt collection system that allows for consumer protection and the legitimate recovery of rightfully owed consumer debts. 

The non-profit ACA International Education Foundation created www.askdoctordebt.org as a free resource to help ensure consumers contacted about these debts know their rights and better navigate the often confusing world of personal finance. No registration or sharing of a consumer’s personal information is required.

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