Most collection agencies and debt buyers predict a healthy increase this year in key metrics - including gross collections, productivity, hiring, placements and technology spending, according to Collection & Credit Risk's annual Industry Rankings report. The primary goal behind the annual report is to spot market trends based on information provided by participants.

Identical to last year's rankings, NCO Group Inc., based in Horsham, Pa., is the No. 1 collection agency with $1.2 billion in 2007 sales and more than 7,200 collectors; Sherman Financial is the top debt buyer with annual revenues of $1.5 billion; and Weltman, Weinberg & Reis Co. L.P.A. is the top collection law firm with $78 million in revenues last year.

The acquisitions of Outsourcing Solutions Inc. by NCO Group, which closed March 1, and Omnium Worldwide Inc. by Omaha-based West Corp., completed May 7, 2007, proved to be the biggest changes in the past year among the top ranked firms. Those two buyouts eliminated OSI and Omnium from the agency rankings.

For more information about the rankings and a complete list of companies that provided full revenue, watch for CCR's August issue.

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