It is not uncommon for individuals contacted by a collection agency to find themselves with questions they’d like answered. Those questions often include inquiries about the collection process, the agency involved, or the debt itself. With the understanding that uncertainty in these areas is counterproductive for all parties involved, IC System strives to keep both clients and consumers well-informed about the various aspects of collections. Read on for a deeper look into these types of questions in order to gain a greater understanding of the issues they raise.
About the Agency
IC System is an accounts receivable company that works to improve financial outcomes for both consumers and clients. Founded by Ruth and Jack Erickson in 1938, the company is headquartered outside of St. Paul, Minnesota. It prides itself on its ethical and honest approach put in place by its founders, and this approach is reflected in the company’s Core Values: People, Integrity, Performance, Pride, and Innovation. Not only does the company use state-of-the-art collection tools, but it also makes sure to follow the most up to date regulatory and compliance standards including TCPA, CFPB, and 501(r).
What to Expect When Contacted
IC System works with both its clients and consumers to achieve financial resolutions. The company’s process includes a variety of methods that work to resolve past-due accounts while also maintaining client-consumer relationships. Their initial methods include contacting consumers via letter or phone. During a contact by telephone, IC System’s consumer financial representatives will ask to verify that they are in fact speaking to the correct party before moving on to discussing the account in question. This is a normal step in the collections process and is required by law. These representatives are highly trained in compliance and the law. They also make polite conduct a priority in all of their interactions.
Should IC System’s consumer financial representatives find that the consumer no longer resides at the address on file, they are also trained to locate the consumer’s new contact information. IC System is licensed and/or bonded in all fifty states, allowing them to locate and contact consumers that have moved to a different state than the one in which their debt was accrued.
Conduct and Compliance
IC System stresses its Core Values, using ethical and honest conduct on every call. In order to ensure that consumer financial representatives are conducting themselves in this manner, the company records and archives all calls. Consumer financial representatives are regularly evaluated on their overall manner as well as the quality of their calls.
As an example of the high priority the company places on compliance, IC System has set up an extensive Compliance Risk Management System. This system includes in-depth documentation, robust auditing, and thorough training. During the process, the company validates that all required policies exist and are clearly documented (https://www.nhms.org/content/ic-system).
To further support the focus on compliance, the company maintains an in-house director of internal audit who heads the company’s Internal Audit department. All policies are routinely audited by this department and the director reports to both the CFO and an audit committee.
If There Has Been a Mix-up
Though the above guidelines are wholly focused on ensuring an accurate and honest collections process, some consumers may still feel that they have been contacted in error. It is important to IC System that such situations are handled with swift and careful consideration. On its website, the company maintains pages dedicated to general contact, mistaken identity, and disputed accounts. For those who would like to discuss their account, the company is available through several methods of contact.
In addition to ensuring high quality of service and regular auditing, IC System also takes great care to ensure the security of information for both clients and consumers. In a demonstration of just how seriously the company takes security, they have opted for much higher auditing scrutiny than many others in the accounts receivable industry. While other collection agencies conduct a self-assessment called the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard, IC System opts for a third-party security assessment. Not only is this audit, called the PCI DSS 3.2 Report on Compliance, more stringent than the self-assessments of other agencies, it is also performed on the company’s entire network. This is in contrast to other companies who only assess the portion of their network that processes credit cards.
In addition to the central security audit, the company also performs audits on specific aspects of their operations related to the industries of many of their clients. These audits are performed by assessors with an industry focus, such as those familiar with the Health Insurance Portability & Accountability Act, the Financial Services Modernization Act of 1999, and the Federal Trade CommissionRed Flags Rule.
Beyond these audits and assessments, the company also ensures that it is licensed to operate throughout the entire country. This is done in contrast to some collection agencies who are not able to operate beyond the state in which the service was provided. When these other agencies do decide to operate beyond their legal allowances, they not only put themselves at risk, but they can also represent a significant legal liability for the clients they serve. IC System’s extensive licensing and bonding focus allows clients and consumer to be assured that all of its operations lay within the purview of the law.
Though some may find the collection process to be confusing at first, IC System always strives to deliver as many details as possible to all parties involved. With the above information as a guide, consumers and clients alike should now have a more complete picture of the work the company performs and the ways in which it can achieve financial outcomes in an ethical and honest manner. For more information on the subject, feel free to reach out to IC System directly or contact them via their website. There you will find an even more in-depth look at the variety of services and the methods through which it operates.