Martin Sher of Birmingham Takes the Gavel as President of International Trade Association

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Martin Sher, a Birmingham, Ala businessman has been named the 2010-2011 president of ACA International, the association of credit and collection professionals. Sher, co-owner with his brother David of AmSher Receivables Management, assumed the president’s gavel in July at the ACA International Convention in Washington D.C.

ACA members employ good, hard-working people from coast to coast who collect debt in a respectful, ethical, consumer sensitive manner. They are proud of what they do.

Martin Sher, a Birmingham, Ala businessman has been named the 2010-2011 president of ACA International, the association of credit and collection professionals. Sher, co-owner with his brother David of AmSher Receivables Management, assumed the president’s gavel in July at the ACA International Convention in Washington D.C.

As president, Sher will lead an organization of 5,000 members in 65 countries world wide during a critical time in ACA’s history. “The creation of the new Bureau of Consumer Financial Protection, potential reform of the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, proposed restrictions regarding communicating with cell phones, and states considering new laws demand ACA’s active collaboration in finding an appropriate balance between a critically important industry to the world economy and appropriate levels of consumer protection,” he said.

In addition to legislative and regulatory advocacy, among Sher’s priorities in the coming year is to improve the reputation of the debt collection industry. "Our industry employs more than 400,000 people. What gets lost is that 99 percent of the people who work in this industry comply with a strict code of ethics, a complex fabric of state and federal laws and produce high quality, professional work." Sher said. "ACA members employ good, hard-working people from coast to coast who collect debt in a respectful, ethical, consumer sensitive manner. They are proud of what they do.”

Sher worked with his colleagues at ACA in the creation of the Collector’s Pledge, a vow to treat all people owing debts with dignity and respect. AmSher became the first collection agency in the United States to have its employees sign the Collector’s Pledge and has shepherded it from that of a voluntary promise to a core principle of the ACA Code of Ethics. “Most people don’t want to hear from a debt collector but it happens. Debt collectors should give consumers the courtesy and respect they deserve. It’s important to remember that we want to help consumers resolve the legitimate debt they owe. We welcome calls and questions to make certain we are not contacting the wrong person or trying to resolve a debt that has already been paid. We can help clear misunderstandings up which helps our client and the consumer avoid unnecessary and expensive litigation.”

The dynamics of the current economy are changing the practice of debt collection. According to Sher, “These are unprecedented and challenging times for everyone. The collection industry is adjusting and so are consumers. Many more people are choosing to pay their bills because of the obvious benefits of less personal debt. On the collection side, agencies are working with consumers and accepting payment plans.”

With the US consumer savings rate hovering at one percent, the lowest since the Great Depression, there are more people everyday who face the likelihood of receiving a call from a debt collector. “I am proud that ACA has created a reliable and free tool in AskDoctorDebt.com to help consumers answer their debt related questions and learn more about their rights,” said Sher. Available in both English and Spanish, AskDoctorDebt.com features straightforward answers, links to resources and helpful tools for consumers.

ACA International is the comprehensive, knowledge–based resource for success in the credit and collection industry. Founded in 1939, ACA brings together more than 5,000 members worldwide, including third–party collection agencies, asset buyers, attorneys, creditors and vendor affiliates. ACA International establishes ethical standards, produces a wide variety of products, services and publications, and articulates the value of the credit and collection industry to businesses, policymakers and consumers. For more information about ACA International, visit acainternational.org.

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Mark Schiffman
ACA International
952 928-8000 ext. 124
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