ACA International Responds to CNN’s “Almighty Debt” Program

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ACA International, the leading voice for debt collection, today applauds CNN’s “Almighty Debt: A Black in America program for its insightful look at the financial challenges facing the African American community.

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ACA International members believe that all consumers, regardless of race, ethnicity, gender, age, marital status or socio-economic status deserve and should expect to be treated respectfully.

ACA International, the leading voice for debt collection, today applauds CNN’s “Almighty Debt: A Black in America program for its insightful look at the financial challenges facing the African American community.

The following is a statement from ACA International Chief Executive Officer Rozanne M. Andersen.

“Consumer debt is color-blind and so is debt collection. Tens of millions of hard working Americans from all races and socio-economic backgrounds have been hard hit by the economic downturn and face the prospect of being contacted by a debt collector to resolve an outstanding obligation. While the thought of being contacted by debt collector may not be pleasant, it should never be a scary, confusing or abusive experience.

ACA International members believe that all consumers, regardless of race, ethnicity, gender, age, marital status or socio-economic status deserve and should expect to be treated respectfully. Our best advice when contacted by a debt collector:

  • Work with the collector to verify the debt and, if owed, negotiate terms. Evasion does not make a debt disappear and will only increase the likelihood of future contact from the debt collector.
  • Knowledge is power. To help consumers better understand their personal finances and rights when contacted by a debt collector, ACA International members created AskDoctorDebt.com, a resource in English and Spanish to help consumers find accurate and straightforward answers to their debt collection questions.
  • Never, ever accept harassment, threats, racial slurs, profanity or any other abusive treatment from a debt collector or anyone else. We too are appalled by the aggressive and illegal collection actions of some debt collectors and believe they should be held accountable to the fullest extent of the law.

From local hardware stores, hospitals, utilities, banks and businesses on Main Street to student loans, credit card companies and national retailers, the recovery of rightfully owed consumer debt is essential to these organizations’ ability to survive. As a legitimate and important part of our nation’s economy, debt collectors and consumers share the common goal of resolving a justly owed debt in a reasonable, respectful fashion.”

ACA International, the Association of Credit and Collection Professionals, 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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